I have got a very good collection of photos that I captured and hereby wanted to share them in as the header page element of my blog. Now on, the picture you see when you navigate to my page will be the one clicked by me. I might sound selfish with this gesture but I guess there is no wrong in taking credit for my skill. :) (chuckles)
"The present photograph was taken at Dallas Arboretum's Spring Festival season '08"
The title tells everything. As in most of my posts which always carry a twist in the tale, this post has no such. It is a straight opinion of mine, not just mine but from many people that I know and a part of public opinion too. Don't think I have carried a survey to write this, but I certainly followed the poll. Don't wonder why after so many days of the movie's release this post has popped up on my blog...the lines below will tell u the reason.
Coming to the actual opinion that I wanted to share,...I was never excited to watch Slumdog Millionaire from the day of its release. I cannot remember any reason for this, it wasn't able to pull me to the theater. But, to kill some 14hrs while flying home in May '09, I tried to watch those movies I skipped watching in theaters. One of them was Slumdog Millionaire. I read the reviewes, heard people talking about it, and was very excited when my favorite ARR won Oscars in February. So, all those might have created a positive impact on me, and again on the flip side, Indian reviewers wrote it was not an exciting flick for Indian audience. With a mixed feeling, I watched the movie. My opinion was (except for some songs and appealing background score) it should be called a documentary. Yes, a documentary on India's poverty, Child Labor, Population, Unemployment, Pollution etc;. The director who won an Oscar projected India and majorly Mumbai just as another world's most polluted city in all most all aspects.
This is being discussed even today at Coffee table meetings, luncheons, n many other times here(abroad). I am writing as I have come through many such discussions where I and my friends have answered many a times that apart from the vast slums that was shown, India is best in many other aspects. When it comes to employment rate and especially recession effect, the studies said India is one of those countries which best survived the recession apart from having such a vast population. Is this one reason not enough to say India is best in other aspects?
The British director could have got an Oscar if he would have chosen his own Country's Crime rate. He knew or not but the BBC survey has revealed that Britain occupies top place in crime rate. Why wasn't this screenplayed? I would be glad if he had chosen the positive side of Mumbai.
Even the 26/11 incident had not created such impact but one movie did on International audience. In abroad, India was always remembered for its rich cultural heritage, the Mt. Everest, the Tajmahal and many more attractions, now the topics are always drawn to the Mumbai slums.
Just before writing this, I have seen a commercial on NDTV for American Touristor Luggage..the ad features Mumbai's crowd packed local trains,...a foreigner struggling to carry his luggage in the local train,...the luggage hitting here n there, it being thrown away by the passengers and finally he reaches the destination with his luggage being safe and tough enough to survive all those hits and stampede...in the end the caption goes, "Survive Mumbai, Survive World". I don't want to be a pessimistic reviewer but what is the motive of that commercial? The theme was again pulled from Slumdog Millionaire which helps them connect to all kinds of audience which again means, Mumbai has been projected as a place where survival is very hard. If that is the case, I would say there are 'n' number of places in the world where survival is equally and sometimes much more harder than what it is in Mumbai. I have never been to Mumbai but I have great love towards the city. Some of my friends who came from Mumbai have given me very good insight of the City. If the director could see only the slums, what about the Grandeur of Bollywood industry, the Bombay Stock Exchange that rules the market, the fashion waves generated from this City, the jobs that the city offers. Did the director ever think why the local trains were so crowd packed all through the day in Mumbai??? Why the City never sleeps???My dear learned Director it is because the city offers hopes and life to so many people. Even with so many slums as you screened, Mumbai remains the dream destination as well as an international tourist attraction. This has not been mentioned anywhere in the movie. n Thats the 1st reason why you have come to the City too.
I am so disgusted by the impact that movie has created among the international audience. Another Britisher has ruined India's (Mumbai's) glory to an extent. Whenever we face questions like, "OMG so many slums in India?...so many uneducated people in India?...so much child labor?...so much pollution??? we do have answers..but we do feel demeaned to know people have got such opinions on our Country.
To all those questions I have written above I have a better, rather slashing answers, that can pin point their own nations.
To begin with, slums in India??? if so much population is there any other country..would it survive at least like India??? No..but we can as we have a bonding between us, 10 people can live under 1 single roof, but can those who asked the question live like that??? I bet ...no way
So many uneducated people in India?..yes there are many uneducated people in India, but what about those countries which have more no.of educated citizens n yet there is lot of crime rate?
So much child labor?..yes children are forced to work because the family cannot survive if only one person works, it is for mere survival that they come to hard jobs, but what about those nations, which kick their children out once they turn 15/16 years of age,even though they have strong financial stability? If that can be called responsibility, this is also kind of responsibility for that child. They don't want to go to schools, but they want to feed their family. But, will those children who were kicked out to earn their own living at 16years of age will bring back their parents when they turn 60??? No way.
So much pollution, I totally agree, but as mentioned earlier India has lot of uneducated people, and people who have very little awareness about pollution. But what about those nations, which are very well developed and still release much equal and sometimes higher percentage of CFCs into the atmosphere? Technically well sophisticated countries do contribute to the growing pollution equally. At least India is not so technically groomed in that aspect. Such nations have started green revolution today..switching to paper bags,etc;. but we still have those stores which sell groceries in paper folded packs. Don't we???
Above all, I wanted to express one thing here; every nation has its own flaws and faults, even we are one among those. At the same time every nation has its own best aspects too. The director could have shown the positive life in Mumbai at least for couple of minutes in the movie.
Whatever it is we Indians are so open and quite cool to allow a Britisher to project our Mumbai as the worst survived cities in the world. And we are so broadminded, that we welcomed, enjoyed and celebrated the success of such movie.
All this has been written because I along with so many of my friends living abroad have faced many such questions, which made us feel bad. So, I thought I would share this with my readers. Not to offend any.
When I look through my window, I actually like to recollect some of my sweetest memories.
Yes, I don't intend to look for something what's actually there now but for something what's actually was there. I don't mean, that something was here, it was not here but there.. but I look for that something in here too... So that something there, which was so wonderful to experience wasn't seen here. But my habit of looking for that something here never faded. Hope is what makes us live...no ..look.
Well, I know it is quite confusing about this "something..here...there..." right?
Let me give a vivid reason for my habit of looking through the window hoping to find some of sweetest memories happen again.
While I was at my home in India, I always felt that I should be independent, make up my own home....and etc etc; I know most of the girls do dream like this. I too did. But when you actually live by yourself, you will get to know the pain apart from the pleasure you experience.You might wonder the memory I was talking about is something about missing home...Of course 'Yes' n Also 'No'. Another confusing expression comes onto your face...and you might feel what is she writing about. Let me not drag the introduction anymore...here goes the topic...
9 years ago when we moved to our new apartment from our old nuclear house, the best thing I liked was our bedroom (me n my brother shared one) because it has a big window which has a beautiful view of lush green field with thickly grown green crop waving to the breeze ...as if "it is dancing to tunes of the slow blowing breeze"....I couldn't stop to say WoW!
Don't imagine the apartment is somewhere outside the city limits..nooo it wasn't. Its along the City's busiest routes and close to the national highway.
Then where did this lush green field come from in between the urban dwellings??? this is your next question....Its because we had a school behind our apartment.....a Christian missionary school which offered free education to the economically poor children. The school owners had owned this field to grow some crop to feed their cattle.
So our bedroom had a beautiful green background throughout the year. I always enjoyed watching this green beauty and the slow breeze which kisses these green fields before bringing the freshness to our bedroom. The night view had very brightly lit lights..as if "the stars came down to shine". That was because we had a power supply house close by our apartment...not very close though. But as close as their lights could brighten the bedroom after all the lights in the house were turned off! Another beautiful and my favourite view through the window was, The Moon...full or half or a crescent..it was so spectacular that I couldn't turn my eyes off from its sight.
The best thing was I always felt like a Princess whenever I slept with the windows open and the moon pouring down its light onto my bed and comforting me to sleep..n the breeze slowly swinging me to sleep...it was such an amazing feeling.... and another worth mentioning feeling that I enjoyed was the smell of the freshly bloomed nightingales somewhere in the neighbor's backyard...."sending their fragrance to fill my sleep with more pleasantness"............"A night filled with Moonlight; cool breeze; nightingale fragrance; on a cozy bed" now its your turn to say...Wow..right?
The summer mornings started too early as the Sun used to scorch if slept late...but glowing orange Sun looked absolutely wonderful and the mirror in my bedroom reflected this light so much that I felt like wearing sunglasses in the bedroom. :P
The Monsoon season was so lovely.....to watch through the window.....the rain drops pitter-pattering, drenching the green crop as "if it is bathing the crop to turn much cleaner-greener" and "the smell of sun parched mud", along with some "lip smacking hot snacks"...together contribute to an awesome experience. When it gets cloudy and before it pours down..I liked watching the lightening though it scares me little bit, and sometimes scared to close the window panes when the wind gets angrier and blows hard breaking anything that comes its way.
The winter days were so pretty as the invisible snow in the night left some dew on the leaves which were the only witnesses of that invisible snow and it appeared like the leaves were dressed with pearls and most of the mornings were filled with lot of fog covering everything thats behind them..even the Sun which tries hard to escape and show off its beauty...and it looked "as if the dew and fog got jealous of the Orange colored bright Sun, start melting down and make their way out being out shined by the radiant color"!
Apart from enjoying these seasons, my day dreaming habit gave more space to the endless imaginations and hallucinations!
Yes I miss that feeling, I don't see that "something" here when I look through my window. Its totally different, I see more non-living things than liveliness. People hardly sit-in/enjoy their balconies. Except for few trees out in the courtyard which bloom now and then, I hardly get to see the beauty of life and nature here. Sun is silent, winds are silent...as we read in books...Summers are hot, Winters are cold and Rains are messy...this is what I find when I look through the window here!