Slum Dog Millionaire scores a perfect 10

10 oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Director, ScreenWriter plus two nominations for A R Rahman. Actually three nominations for Rahman : Best Score and two best songs. I think we need to applaud ?

48 Responses to “Slum Dog Millionaire scores a perfect 10”

  1. ARR deserves every bit of recognition that comes as a result of his pure earnestness. While ARR fans will know Slumdog is probably not his best, it surely is so fresh for the western ear,people have noticed it more than ever before. The genius deserves all this and more.
    And as I have maintained, the credit for this also goes to the way in which Danny has mixed his music into the movie, loud, out in the front.He’s borrowed from the idea of use of heavy music in bollywood, and unwittingly presented it in a fresh way.

  2. brahmastra says:

    Geez..is it really that big a deal? The movie was really not all that great..and Transpotting was a piece of crap too. ‘Outsourced’ and ‘The Dargeeling Express’ were far technically superior and soulful movies from that genre. They just weren’t marketed like this. It’s all about the marketing..that’s how poisonous substances like Coke and Pepsi are so popular with people who don’t know better.
    It seems like a conspiracy..did you check out the awful rag dress that Freid Pinto wore to the Golden Globes 🙂

  3. Claps ! Claps ! Claps !
    Oscar – Yes.
    Cheers ?

  4. AJ says:

    The Hope / Wish and Vowww
    Ever since (for few years now) I noticed big ARR concert posters in Hollywood …
    a wish …
    a feeling …
    Life, God, Existence, whatever you call it
    Shows the results
    And it happens
    Hard work, efforts pay …
    “Yes Man” show at Chinese Mann theater gave me so much more hope, Yes Hollywood, here it comes …
    So Happy for India and ARR …
    Reminds how I wished for office at Hyatt SFO when i fast saw on SFO landing, God had been grateful to offer even a bigger contact in Hollywood …
    Shekhar its now yours and Suchitra’ time …

  5. I really like your blog and feel great to read your perspective on most topics, demonstrating your deep intellect (I even often link to your blog in my posts to make a point :p).
    But I can’t understand why we’re making Oscars such a big deal? Would you have applauded this as much if it got nominated in Filmfare or National Award (which are in the country with one of the largest film industries in the world)? I don’t buy that Oscars are the best in world and hence the celebration, since there’s enough evidence of how politically skewed an award it is.
    I feel Slumdog Millionaire wouldn’t have even gotten close had it been made in Bollywood. Or for that matter had it been a Hindi movie (which in my views would have conveyed its essence better).
    I’m sure I’m missing something here, but I feel we’re mostly seeking an approval from the west. The onus of getting us Indians away from that mindset, is, to a great extent on successful intellectuals like you.

  6. kkomal says:

    Hi Shekhar,
    You seem to be very happy on the success of ‘the slumdog millionaire’ ofcourse its a moment of pride and happiness that we are been recognised in the world community….but then thats that…we have seen many successes of these kinds and more…you’d know it better than me…but looking at the other side of the coin..i m sure you must have read what our another intellectual person Mr. Amitabh Bachchan had to say about the whole thing…i m refering to him because i too fully agree with him…i am telling you this because i am your fellow indian….so the point to understand…or shall i say the bottom line of the whole episode is whether we INDIANS believe in moving ahead in our lives…or do we still need some foreigners to tell us that our life in india stincts at some level…and we need a sympathy from them……need to learn how to live….and manage our affairs from them…..also that we should be ashamed that somewhere our religion sucks…..sorry for using such blatant words….but nothing can be more upright than honesty in its true sense…..for me as an indian..i dont think i need any certificate form any person sitting anywhere in the world holding any position….that i m good….nor do i see the need of any film to be made on myself and my capacities…….in short i as an indian dont need any recognition thru my only incapabilities…we indians..are what we are…TODAY…..great in every sense…..call it culture…sense of unity…care…world peace….an understanding of family system…and few abnormalities……and if we start making films on their weaknesses their social life…their past or their present not to mention their future….i m sure…they all will kiss our feet.
    so lets understand certain things…..that we are not hungry for their recognition….this life is for self search…..everyone does it in its own capacity…some are not destined to do so…and we know that better than them….so we are more A complete gonre of humans from within…..and thats the TRUTH.
    LETS accept the whole TRUTH with all our weaknesses.

  7. Jasmeet says:

    Hi Shekhar,
    You seem to be very happy on the success of ‘the slumdog millionaire’ ofcourse its a moment of pride and happiness that we are been recognised in the world community….but then thats that…we have seen many successes of these kinds and more…you’d know it better than me…but looking at the other side of the coin..i m sure you must have read what our another intellectual person Mr. Amitabh Bachchan had to say about the whole thing…i m refering to him because i too fully agree with him…i am telling you this because i am your fellow indian….so the point to understand…or shall i say the bottom line of the whole episode is whether we INDIANS believe in moving ahead in our lives…or do we still need some foreigners to tell us that our life in india stincts at some level…and we need a sympathy from them……need to learn how to live….and manage our affairs from them…..also that we should be ashamed that somewhere our religion sucks…..sorry for using such blatant words….but nothing can be more upright than honesty in its true sense…..for me as an indian..i dont think i need any certificate form any person sitting anywhere in the world holding any position….that i m good….nor do i see the need of any film to be made on myself and my capacities…….in short i as an indian dont need any recognition thru my only incapabilities…we indians..are what we are…TODAY…..great in every sense…..call it culture…sense of unity…care…world peace….an understanding of family system…and few abnormalities……and if we start making films on their weaknesses their social life…their past or their present not to mention their future….i m sure…they all will kiss our feet.
    so lets understand certain things…..that we are not hungry for their recognition….this life is for self search…..everyone does it in its own capacity…some are not destined to do so…and we know that better than them….so we are more A complete gonre of humans from within…..and thats the TRUTH.
    LETS accept the whole TRUTH with all our own weaknesses…..but at the same….not giving anyone chance to be looked upon as jokers and to be laughed at….as funny people from the snake age.

  8. Suresh says:

    Why do I want to generalise, why I do I hold back in appreciating ARR, why do I say that he is not God of music (like Sachin is the God of cricket), why do I get skeptical when it comes to giving it up for him..
    Is it because there have been/ are other Gods, (Panchamda, Ilayaraja, Nusrat, Zakir Hussain, Ganesh Kumaresh – to name a very few of my music Gods)…
    Is it because he really fails sometimes (for no reason of his – most of the times I am sure)..
    Or is it because he is in the present and it takes time to accept geniuses..
    Is it because of my incapability to do a good job in appreciating his music fully/completely..
    There have been times when I have felt it…that BGM or the other interlude has made me realise it..
    That I am him..I am ARR..there is no listener and player..there is just music..I just wish it stayed…
    Love
    Suresh

  9. Liked the soundtrack of Slumdog. “Jai Ho” is seriously anthem quality and I expect it to blare out of loudspeakers everywhere. I believe India has had much better Music directors than ARR but this effort from Rahman is special. (claps)

  10. kishore says:

    Hey – show some love for MIA too:) Her song is what sticks in my mind the most from the movie, though some part of Rahman’s background score are very memorable too. I am guessing she’s missing out on getting credited for her contribution – she composed and performed it way before this movie was released. Would be a good gesture if Rahman shares his winnings with her..

  11. Chaitali says:

    Cheers for A R Rahman.
    He wasnt there at Oscars when the nominations were announced he was working for Delhi 6.

  12. $iDs says:

    The Oscars is an institution, this award is being played out for the last 3 quarters of a century. Yes for people in India it should not be a big deal as we have our own National Awards etc,etc… But can you claim them to be fair and unbiased? I dont think so. By making this statement i am not trying to imply that if Oscars themselves are fair and full proof.
    Coming to Rahman Sir, well we dont need a Golden Globe or an Oscar to tell us that he is a living Legend do we? Yes a Golden Globe or an Oscar will surely bring him more Western mainstream recognition. Infact one can go on and on about how many soundtracks he has come up with, that were much superior to SM score.
    The western Music critics call his music a mix between Hip-Hop and traditional Indian music. Well so much for their expert comments.
    The only thing I am afraid of now is that we dont lose this genius to “Hollywood” where, there has been a tradition to respect genius which i must say doesnt come naturally to us over here.

  13. brahmastra says:

    Abhishek Sheopory,
    Well said. The Oscars and Grammys are not at all the standards for real talent. But we live in a time when we have buffoons for world leaders and drug-addicts as top entertainers. Little do the glam-struck Indians know that almost all of Hollywood is on drugs..directors, actors, producers..it is like using steroids in competitive sports. From that perspective, majority of Indian artists function from pure talent without any artificial performance enhancers. Slumdog is definitely an attempt to show the dark side of India..but to make it realistically complete, the director should have gone further and shown that most of the people in the slums live a lot more colourful, social and active lives than majority of the people in the ‘developed’ nations. This is plain fact. The saying ‘money isn’t everything’ is very apt here.
    And also the portrayal of the poor Muslim underdog should be completely ostracized in media. It is such deceitful propaganda that causes more harm than good. This movie should be banned in India in current times. Shame on all these pseudo-intellectuals to idolize Danny Boyle so much. I think a Subhash Ghai or a Madhur Bhandarkar are far superior in that domain. And Ashutosh Gowitrikar and movies like Swadesh are probably the best in the world for pure soulfulness.
    It is really quite important to enlighten the youth of their role models and attraction to glamour.

  14. Rashmi says:

    Slumdog was brilliant and ARR at his best. Lets just enjoy the success of the film rather than disscting it to un necessary proportions.
    Slumdog showed the underbelly, true, but thats the story that this particular film maker wanted to tell. Does not necessarily mean he wanted to potray that this is all India is about. And surely, no westerner or anyone in the globe would believe that India is only abt slums, if they do, then they are sadly out dated.
    So many films potray India as one giant joint family where punjabi-weddings, son-singing and sacrificing for each other is what its all abt, thats their story, fair enuf, but thats not India either.
    India is all of this and more, growing every day, growing up in every way…and slumdog story caught the imagination of world, they love it. Lets applaud the sulmdog team and enoy their success, they too are part of the India story.
    Cheers
    Rashmi

  15. Mee says:

    Everything in this country has to be debated till we lose all joy in it! Saddens and sickens me at times! Lots of applause. Its feel good time for sure!:)

  16. Shekhar, makes me wonder if this has left a bitter aftertaste of a missed opportunity for people behind ‘Shantaram’. You know for not being able to get it off the ground early on. Danny and Fox Searchlight have successfully opened a new market for western cinema.
    I also think you will experience a greater appetite for ‘Paani’ as a result of Slumdog’s wide acceptance.

  17. Rudra says:

    Shekhar,
    Sure. Of Course !
    Since when( or more importantly ‘to whom’) is a Glittering ‘Award’ worth more than an insult to the Mother ?
    Lets apply some Simple Logic.
    Either you respect and emotionally bond with your Mother ( however poor or abused) and refuse any award for insulting her – even if it is all the riches and fame in the three worlds
    OR
    Have the award – this can happen due to one of the two reasons – One – that your Mother is someone else and are not the real Child. Second , that you are an undeserving Knave born to a great Mother.
    the Mother I am referring to here is , of course , Mother India who is Vedic India.

  18. raj says:

    I saw slum dog millionaire and I have to accept it was a very mediocore movie. I think Bandit Queen was way ahead of this movie and unfortunately due to our stupid governtment,It could not make it to the oscars..
    Though Rahman is a very good music director but the music for which he is nomitaned is not at all great to be nominated in oscar..
    This shows the level of oscar has degraded and in few more years many will be nominated..
    Mr shekhar,what are you upto these days? Will you be accepting scripts from your bloggers? I can’t see any way to contact you through ur blog..
    I am eagerly waiting to hear from you..

  19. Raj Walia (NJ) says:

    I personally didnt like the subject. Why do you want to show the cruelty and torture? Why these goras (americans, englishmen) like crappy movies? The torture and cruelty stuff? Now, its been nominated at oscars and has already bagged many awards. What is wrong with the world?
    Certain parts of this film do become interesting and capture the imagination, like when the brothers landed at the Taj Majal and instantly recognizing a business opportunity, became tour guides and entrepreneurs, stealing shoes, selling them for money, learning to SURVIVE! Amazing how quickly children can become little capitalists.
    In first part of the film, kids have acted so good. They stole the show. Thumbs up to them!
    But still “Slumdog” is too disturbing to be considered entertainment. Just there is so much of torture and violence in this world, does not mean you can cram it down our throat.
    Please STOP. Do not come to India to shoot movies like these. We are much more than that what you think we are…
    I am happy for A.R. Rahman. The night I was watching Golden Globe, I almost jumped out of the couch when they announced him the winner. It was the proud moment for me, for him and for One billion people back in India. You made us proud. You have taken Bollywood to a new level. God Bless you!

  20. Arpit says:

    Sure it does. But still thr are lot of faults in the movie .. and I just didn’t see the perfection which a movie of that kind should had have.

  21. ruchi says:

    I AM AMAZED THE WAY WE ARE FEELING ABOUT SUCCESS OF SDM. I FELT IT’S A OK MOVIE WITH OK ACTING.CAST AND DIRECTOR OF MOVIE WERE ON OPRA TODAY VIA SKYPE.I FELT “TARE JAMI PAR” WAS MORE DESERVING.
    ITS A BIASED INDUSTRY GIVING GOODDIES TO THEIR OWN FRIEND AND FAMILY.
    ABOUT RAHAM HE IS ONE OF THE GREATEST MUSIC DIRECTOR BUT HIS MUSIC IN SDM WAS ORDINARY

  22. raj says:

    Oscar lost all its value when Marlon Brando refused to accept it..Oscar has became a business making entity which gives oscars to crappy movies.
    Martin scorsese just has 1 oscar award in his entire career and finally he got it for a very bad movie which was not at all classy..
    I really feel sad to see the plight of oscar awards..Ne tom dick or hary is getting nominated..
    I guess its just sheer luck and timing which makes u win..
    If AR Rahman wins I will be tired of watching news channels praising Rahman for rest of his life…Though I personally like rahman but winning in India is a big sin and the media turns an individual into GOD ..Over all he gave a very mediocore music for this movie..
    Another thing which will follow is the compraision of Hollywood vs Bollwood saga..This again pisses me off to the core. I guess it is not at all nice to compare father with son…
    What fascinates me is when Bollywood stars talk about Movie script..Do they even have a script? I could not get a single script of Indian movies online and on ther other hand I could get the scripts of best hollywood movies and learn a great deal from it..I wonder how on earth Scripts of chak de and Rock on reached Oscar library??
    I really wished Elizabeth was released this year instead of 1998,am sure Slum dog had no chance..
    Elizabeth had 7 nominations and won 1 and slum dog has 10 so lets c what happens..

  23. Vikas says:

    It’s kind of a revelation to see some people think that this movie is crap, but Bollywood movies are great 🙂 Considering this one is as close to Bollywood as a movie can get, without quite reaching the mediocre depths of one. Also how people want ‘perfection’ etc. – where is all the critical analysis when it comes to our movies? Point one to me in the recent past which is actually watchable, isn’t a complete ripoff.. Also folks are quick to point out some violence in this movie – but Ghajini? The entire premise is violent, and the film is full of gore – but they will take their kids to watch it. Weird. There’s sure something strange – I’ve been trying to understand this for a while. I wonder – is it a fear of excellence? i.e. we want stuff to be ‘chalta hai’ and status quo – we are really scared we will not succeed if we actually tried harder and did something different?

  24. justbe says:

    i saw the film today.
    the way it has been made the movie has a good mass appeal(audience drawing capacity) and oscar nominations/globe awards have added to the subconscious even before people have seen the film. it was very much felt when i went to see house full morning show in one of the multiplexes.
    ok 2 things that immediately comes to me that i would have definitely added/altered if i had made such a film –
    1. i would have certainly brought in some angles to the film that could have secular activities shown. Even by having Jamal named ram thomas mohammad just in itself was a great idea indeed, giving a overall feel of the possibility of going beyond religious identifications or atleast expressed a subtle current of universal acceptance.
    These are the times when no medium can take up a casual approach in showing any religious/political violence. SM is an entertainer that has drawn the masses to watch it – it could have been used to make certain humane contributions as well without losing its prospects of being a financial blockbuster.
    2. before asking the answer to the final question to jamal, anil kapoor could have been made to ask jamal what all would he do if he wins the prize money – like Amitabh Bachan used to ask in the original kaun banega crorepati..and it used to generate very interesting answers(and real life) taking one beyond merely one’s own selfish motives. in this film jamal could have been made to do the same by expressing his wish to contribute a part of it/his towards some kind of wellness of slum dwelling children. and then later actually could have been shown happily doing that towards the end along with his lovelife, with rahman’s musical playing in the background – jai ho!!

  25. Pankaj says:

    Rudra, why do u feel that slumdog was an insult to India?

  26. yas its a very best film that i never seen. its based on backwardness of poor people and how a boy become a millionaire about questions asked to him and that all related to his life
    thus the film should get an oscar award comlulsory this is not an insult to india it is an true story slum dog

  27. Rudra says:

    Pankaj,
    I vowed not to write to Shekhar Kapur on his Jaundiced blog anymore – but I felt I had to answer your question – hopefully this will be posted.
    Say an Indian director travelled to New Orleans for a few months to film a movie about Jamal Martin, an impoverished African American who lost his home in Hurricane Katrina, who once had a promising basketball career, but who — following a drive-by shooting — now walks with a permanent limp, whose father is in jail for selling drugs, whose mother is addicted to crack cocaine, whose younger sister was killed by gang-violence, whose brother was arrested by corrupt cops, whose first born child has sickle cell anaemia, and so on. The movie would be widely panned and laughed out of theatres.
    That, to me, is Slumdog Millionaire: contrived, pretentious, absurd, hollow, inauthentic, a pseudo-statement about social justice. And yet today the film stands on the precipice of Hollywood’s highest honour, the Academy Award for Best Picture.
    For me, the only authentic aspects of the film were the Hindi-driven dialogue and the acting of the slum children, which worked to make the entire slick package palatable.

  28. Ritu says:

    Brahmastra said in #13
    “Little do the glam-struck Indians know that almost all of Hollywood is on drugs..directors, actors, producers..it is like using steroids in competitive sports. From that perspective, majority of Indian artists function from pure talent without any artificial performance enhancers. ”
    Brahmaastra you never cease to surprise me. Both by your fantastical conspiracy theories and by your propensity to fit EVERYTHING into ‘us’ and ‘them’.
    I do hope that you know, more than half of spiritual india is high on ganja. And as far as performers are concerned, I hope you know that artists have long fought long and sometimes losing battles with drugs, alcoholism and other weakness. Our Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi is a prime example of that. He has been fighting a battle with alcoholism for most his life. He was a chronic alcoholic at one point in time. And homegrown drugs have always been around since ancient times and quite pervasively in Indian society.
    Please do take off your dark glasses and get off your high horse!

  29. brahmastra says:

    Rudra,
    Very aptly said. As someone mentioned here somewhere..movies like Slumdog are ‘poverty porn’ for many westerners..especially in current times when they need some reassurance. For far too long, many of them have been complacent in their completely deluded superiority over the ‘developing’ nations.

  30. brahmastra says:

    Ritu,
    It is surprising to me that your statistics are so way off. I can actually count with my fingers how many cases of drug or alcohol abuse are known in the history of Indian art and entertainment. 90% of them are free of substance abuse. Whereas in Hollywood, that ratio is reverse.
    The subject of Ganja cannot be weighed in the same scale when it comes to the yogis and renunciants of India. And even then, i think it is pure exaggeration on your part to say that ‘half of spiritual India’ is on ganja..that is plain ridiculous. I don’t know which part of India you come from..but in our neck of the woods in Mumbai and around, drug use was a rather exceptional case in lower-middle+ classes of society..so again, you are just not correct about homegrown drugs and all that. You need to probably get out in the sun and get off the horse that you are not sitting on :O

  31. Ritu says:

    Brahmastra – I do suggest that you read biographies of great artists, only then will you realise that it is your statistics that wear the glasses of your vedic superiority notion. Let me just give you a few names of legendary artists who had a strong propensity for alcohol. Some succumbed to it, others managed to control it. I am not even going into the second rung artists.
    Begum Akhtar
    Bhimsen Joshi
    Kesarbai Kerkar
    KL Saigal
    Geeta Dutt
    Guru Dutt
    Meena Kumari
    Shailendra
    Mukesh
    Jaikishen (from Shankar-Jaikishen)
    And these are just off the top of my head. Not everyone succumbs to it like KL Saigal. Infact in a lot of middle-class setups, people were wary to send their wards to music lessons because there persisted an impression all artists are alcoholics.
    There might be a variance in the degree of substance abuse but its all there. In India we just brush everything under the carpet and project a white-pure shining image. The basic point is that if you think western art is leaning on the crutches of drugs, so is Indian art.
    As far as spiritual india and drug use is concerned, it does not happen in middle-class localities in Bombay/Delhi, but goto the Kumbh Mela or the assembly of baul in Bengal or even up in the garhwal Himalayas and you will see all these sadhus stone dead with substance abuse. Bhaang is very much a part of Indian tradition and in small towns there are enough people addicted to ‘afeem’.
    One doesn’t get a world view based on the cocoon of middle-class morality. That is just one face of India. Get up and face it, there is a vast population in India that falls out of middle-class mores. India is not about your little corner of Mumbai. It is about the small towns in UP abd Bihar, of the common folks in the hills (who have a strong culture of drug consumption), the tribals in North-east and the Tamil Brahmin in Chennai. Between all of them we encompass all vices and virtues.

  32. brahmastra says:

    Ritu,
    I hope you got a chance to read the stuff about Mecca I posted in that other topic since you were longing for it.
    I am not talking only about the middle class. It is true that there is drug use among the street dwellers and “some” tribals, but – irrespective of Mumbai or Delhi – I think it is fair to say that less than 10% of the entire lower, middle to upper classes of Indian society have ever tried hard drugs, leave alone abusing it. All that you talk of probably falls into the categories of street dwellers or the 10%. You are spreading complete misinformation to claim your victory in debate. Mumbai is an excellent sample for Quality Analysis of India because it is quite inclusive..and that is why I mentioned it. Please abandon your assumption that you are the authority on any kind of Indian statistics..your sense of relative comparison is quite absurd, and you are not willing to accept certain hard facts with your anti-indian mindset. But you proved my point that the cases of substance-abuse in Indian artistic history could be counted on fingers..and that too it is only alcohol. There is something called lesser of the evils you know..cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, etc. are banned substances for a reason. And you make it sound like women and teenagers in UP and Bihar sit around smoking Ganja..Ganja – and to a much lesser extent, Opium – are ceremonial substances in India in selective places used only by males, and it has maintained that status. But, any time of the day or night, you cannot compare the substance abuse in western countries to that in India..sorry..one has to be extremely deluded to not see that.

  33. brahmastra says:

    And Ritu,
    The Tamil Brahmin in Chennai is a drug-abuser? That statement could only be made by someone living in a cave in Andaman. The Tamil Brahmins have the most ‘sattvic’ lifestyles..probably in the entire world.
    Oh, and we haven’t even talked about consumption of legal narcotics and pharmaceuticals yet. Are you going to argue over that as well?

  34. Ritu says:

    Brahmastra, unlike you I have no agenda. I do not believe in superiority of any race or caste or religion and do not come back to all topics with the same single lined vision. So accusing me of spreading misinformation is laughable at best. Be assured, I have no illusions of being an authority at anything, remember, you are the one spewing numbers (as usual backed with no substantive proof).
    Beyond that, I do not deny that the average lower middle class girl (just one section of society mind you) does not sit around and consume ganja. But through my student life and working life I have come across enough people all from middle/upper class setups who have consumed drugs. Yes, none of them really got hooked to it, but consuming drugs in parties is quite common across the youth in India today (I know you are going to blame this on the western influence). Yet you are right, it is far more difficult to get drugs here than it is in other places. However, there is a whole lot of stuff done on the sly in India. Lodi Gardens, Budhdha Jayanti Parks etc. are all havens where these activities take place.. all in broad daylight.
    However, you are digressing from the original point. The original point was that artists in India are free of any kind of substance abuse and for that reason only their art is ‘pure’ whereas western artists consume drugs and thus somehow have crutches of the drugs in their creativity. That theory by itself is silly, half-baked and fantastical like all your other theories and reflects the 60s flower children mentality at best. Artists like Ravi Shankar have gone on record to say creativity is not linked to drug consumption in any manner. They are unrelated.
    And given Pandit Bhimsen Joshi’s continued fight against alcoholism, would you rate him a lesser artist because of his weaknesses? Or do you think he is a great artist because he consumed alcohol and without those crutches he would have been lesser? To me he is a great artist **despite** the alcohol.
    And talking of bhaang being ceremonial and consumed only by men… which puritan world do you live in? I have seen enough women consume bhaang.
    But yes, definitely drugs are not as widespread and easily available in India as they are in many other countries but I don’t take any of your 90% and 10% figures seriously unless you back it up with statistical proof.
    And finally I disagree with another point, Mumbai is NOT representative of India and you CANNOT extrapolate inferences drawn from Mumbai based observations to apply to the entire country!
    Regards
    Ritu
    P.S Which thread are your links on mecca against? I missed it. Shekhar it would be great if we could get a ‘recent comments’ widget for our community. Otherwise one tends to miss out on threads if one does not keep track.

  35. Ritu says:

    Brahmaastra,
    Let me reproduce my statement in full again
    “One doesn’t get a world view based on the cocoon of middle-class morality. That is just one face of India. Get up and face it, there is a vast population in India that falls out of middle-class mores. India is not about your little corner of Mumbai. It is about the small towns in UP abd Bihar, of the common folks in the hills (who have a strong culture of drug consumption), the tribals in North-east and the Tamil Brahmin in Chennai. Between all of them we encompass all vices and virtues.

    If you read the last sentence carefully I say between them they encompass all vices and virtues. Obviously the typical Tam Bram (though again there are sorts and I know many who consume alcohol) represents the ‘virtue’ side of the picture.
    Maybe you should read my original post again 🙂
    And yes, I have heard enough boys hostel tales from friends about how they consumed cough syrup when they ran out alcohol. Everything happens, it is just a matter of how much comes out in the open. But by and large I agree in that in normal middle class society drugs are not as rampant in India as they are in the west. But the are there. However the original point was not about drugs in middle-class societies but it was about artists who usually don’t live with middle class moralities. And that is point I am contending India art is not ‘pure’ and drug free as you tout it to be.

  36. brahmastra says:

    Ritu,
    I have had considerable exposure – i’m sure a lot more than you – to the party-pub-club life in India and the west..and I can tell you with absolute certainty that there really is no comparison in this matter of substance-abuse. The drug-abuse in India is heavily concentrated in urban cities, and that too, to specific groups – say pseudos? LOL. The abuse in rural areas is limited to alcohol, and that too to men. The statistics in the west are so grim, i do not want to get into it.
    Back to the art aspect..Pt. Bhimsen Joshi is par excellence, he could probably light lamps after a while. You are again stating false facts. Please read his biographies..alcoholism was a passing phase in his life which he overcame with the help of his wife and family..and i don’t think he was a full-blown one at that. Is that the only example you can repeatedly come up with? Kishore Kumar, Jagjeet, and so many drank, but I doubt if they were full-blown addicts. All amazing artists. But if anyone says that heroin, cocaine or psychedelic substances do not enhance creativity and performance..that person is probably a caveman.
    “And talking of bhaang being ceremonial and consumed only by men… which puritan world do you live in? I have seen enough women consume bhaang.”
    Well, I don’t know which hedonistic part of India you were confined in..but from most of what i know of india, which is a lot, it is statistically quite rare for women to indulge in substance-use. Your conclusions are all seemingly derived from a small group of yuppies that you were exposed to, or from isolated instances as seeing some sadhu stoned on the street while on a trip to Kumbha Mela and such.
    P.S. My academic facts about Mecca were posted in the China, Pakistan, Hinduism, etc. topic.

  37. brahmastra says:

    And Ritu,
    “I do not believe in superiority of any race or caste or religion”
    Maybe you should. Inner equality does not translate into outer equality. That would be unproductively utopian.

  38. butterfly says:

    I personally did not like the movie SDM,..just becoz of its story..full of fiction..something that will never happen…but the idea was good.. as an Indian iam really happy with nominations even though the movie dont deserve it…

  39. Rudra says:

    brahmastra,
    your patience in rebutting some very stupid arguments is commendable.
    stupids are dangerous , so I too , sometimes labour to un-wind all the illogical windings of these pseudo intellectuals.
    their only claim to education is some accented english and the strut they get when they obtain their bastardised Mc Aulean education.
    They will not know what you mean by ‘external’ in-equality and ‘inner’ equality.
    If they did , they would be true children of Mother India – thats when they begin to understand what India truly is – a hyper power of many dimensions – but chooses to camouflouge it rather modestly in an ‘external’ sense.
    It is not the head – as much as it is difficult to get it in the right place , it is the heart that needs to be in the right place.
    True knowledge is not about knowing and debating – it is about being and living it. that is why Indian religion laid emphasis on ‘ dharma’ , not in a belief system – you could believe whatever you wanted – even a stone is god to a divine heart !
    and even a divine land appears mucky to a secular materialist !

  40. brian says:

    This is for brahmastra…
    You are a pretentious d-bag. This was a true story.. That should be moving enough. Also, The Darjeeling Express or however its spelled was terribly boring.. I mean holy crap.. I’ve seen boring movies before, but that was like 3 Syrianas piled into one giant vat of boring. In short, you suck big time, stick to your day job.

  41. Ritu says:

    Brahmastra :
    “But if anyone says that heroin, cocaine or psychedelic substances do not enhance creativity and performance..that person is probably a caveman.”
    Pandit Ravi Shankar will be flattered by your charectarisation of him :). And yes, like you I don’t make statements without proof. Check out the documentary on him called ‘Between two worlds’.
    And as far as your assumptions about my exposure is concerned I think it’s a waste of bandwidth to even go there. But I am repeating again, India is not only about the middle-class (where all your theories apply). India is also about economically challenged classes and the upper classes who don’t live by middle class morality.
    As far as Pandit Bhimsen Joshi is concerned, there is enough material out there about his alcoholism and his victory over it. But there was a period when his art and alcoholism existed side by side. Read Shiela Dhar’s ‘Raga N Josh’ to get some more on that.
    Btw you choose to remain quiet about people like Guru Dutt, KL Saigal, Meena Kumari (All intense artists who succumbed to alcohol). I had the opportunity to interact with Kavi Neeraj some time back and he confessed himself that he had ruined his kidneys because of excessive alcohol. And he is one of the cases who is not even known. I don’t see how you can turn a blind eye to alcohol consumption by artists.
    I do think it is an ostrich-view to believe that Indian artists are ‘pure’ and devoid of any kind of substance abuse!.
    It is good to have pride in one’s country but being jingoistic about it is counter-productive. Self-esteem is a virtue and the Ego, a vice. Unfortunately your statements display more streaks of the latter than the former

  42. Ritu says:

    @ Brahmastra: My response on the Tam Brahm point did not seem to make it past the editorial process. I wanted to clarify that no I don’t think the typical Tam Brahm is a drug abuser (though I am sure there will be exceptions everywhere), if you read my context carefully I mention they encompass all vices and virtues. Virtue is the keyword here.
    I am not disagreeing with your points vis-a-vis the middle class. Definitely drugs are limited to a small section of the middle class. But my point is that there is a large population in India outside of the middle class parameters.
    Also, it is interesting how you make sweeping statements about my sample space(or lack of it) while continuing to quote your sample space in Bombay as your proof! 🙂

  43. brahmastra says:

    Ritu,
    Read my post again to absorb it fully. Your whole system of logic and relativity is flawed. I had initiated this argument based on ‘relative’ and not ‘absolutes’ between the substance-abuse issues in India and the west. I never said there is absolutely no alcohol-abuse in India..in fact it is on the rise..thanks to pseudo-progressive folks as yourself. Your very statement that ‘half of spiritual India is on Ganja’ provides insight into your anti-indian, deluded, middle-class mindset borne of an inferiority complex. You pseudo-intellectuals can try all you want, but you cannot get out of your mediocrity without spiritual alignment.

  44. brahmastra says:

    Looks like my second post did not make it 🙂 So let me word it differently. The genesis of the middle-class wannabes lies in their alienation from the roots. They come with an inherent hatred towards the Indian way of life because they see it through dark material-oriented glasses. They pretend and put up a facade of misguided ‘sophistication’.
    The only sophistication is zen..being grounded in the self. To a large extent, people in the rural areas are a lot more grounded, and hence the attraction towards their simplicity and earthiness. The way substance-abuse is creeping into Indian society, it will become a disaster for India’s growth. Living in the slums is a lot better than living as an addict in a million-dollar home. That was my basic point. So, from such a perspective, an urban housing edition in California with 80% drug users is worse than the slums in Mumbai. If such a connection was shown in Slumdog, it would be worthy of its praise.

  45. Nirav Shethna says:

    I am indeed proud that Slumdog Millionaire won not one, two, but 10 awards.. including best picture. I had never, in my wildest dreams imagined that it would win the oscars. Nevertheless, i did not think it was oscar worthy because it lacked some very important elements that are involved in the art of making movies. It is hard for me to explain it in a comment.. but I am not biased. Even in 2008, i thought No country for old men was a great movie.. but again, NOT oscar worthy.

  46. P.I.Staker says:

    thats bullshit
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button should have won the oscar and best actor. Its a mad movie. Super entertaining
    bloody millionaire

  47. john says:

    Hi Shekhar,
    The question mark at the end gave me an insight of what is going on in your mind.
    Let me be as honest as the child commenting on the emperor’s clothes in the fable.
    I am really surprised how an average movie went on to get such accolades.I have nothing against Danny and dont grudge him his success. I just want to speak the plain truth.
    Some movies made by our very own directors in India surpass SDM by lightyears.Amitabh was very forthright in giving his opinion.

  48. Chakra says:

    Shekhar ji, pardon me for posting in this section 1 year after its inaugaration but I really hope that you will blog about this movie once you view it as an audience or at some preview. Below is what ramgopal varma had to say abt his xperience:
    Some people say less is more. I say, more is less and too much is not enough – James Cameron.
    As I stepped out of Imax last night after watching AVATAR in 3D, I hated James Cameron for in comparison to the ultra futuristic vision of his, he made me feel like a pre-historic being of cinema in every way. AVATAR in 3D is the most mind-blowing cinematic experience anybody can ever hope to have in their entire lifetime. Nearly 3 decades ago I remember being awestruck with Star Wars and now nearly 30 years later AVATAR to me looked 30 years ahead of its time both in its creative output and also in terms of James Cameron’s sheer imaginative power.
    Some people said that it’s low on the emotional quotient compared to Titanic but if at all, that could be because the visuals and the atmosphere of the film are so breathtaking that it takes you that much more time and effort to connect to its emotional aspect and its story when compared to a normal film with normal people.
    I have never believed in God but I think James Cameron is greater than God for the simple reason that he created a far more beautiful, far more fantastic and far more exotic world than what even God can ever hope to create.
    And all this he managed to do it in a paltry budget of 1200 Crores. Yes, I say it’s a paltry budget considering we make films like Kambhakt Ishq and London Dreams for budgets nearly touching 80 to 90 crores which is nearly as much as 1/12th of the budget of AVATAR and then every shot of AVATAR looks 12000 times better than our entire so-called 100 crore films.
    I honestly feel that it is a crime to give away such a glorious experience as that of watching AVATAR for a mere 100 or 200 Rupee ticket to us common people.
    When someone asked me if the special efx of AVATAR will inspire other filmmakers, I said that on the contrary they might have a reverse effect. What I mean is that we can only aspire to become someone when we can atleast have a belief that we can reach someone’s potential but James Cameron in AVATAR created a bench mark so high that it will take years for us lesser folk even to comprehend it let alone attempt to execute it.
    It’s like if you aspire to be a runner and somehow hope to run at a speed of 20km per hour which may be the world record and then when on the track you see a guy running at 200kmph you would rather give up and come back and make family dramas and TV serials and leave the running to James Cameron.
    *Titanic was fantastic but it did not shake me up inspite of everyone else around me back then saying that James Cameron is God of cinema.
    *But with his second coming “AVATAR” I have surely turned religious.
    *I want to pray to him for making “AVATAR”.
    *I hate him for making all us so-called filmmakers in the world feel like ants. (Read chooths)
    *I love him for the passion and the patience with which he created new benchmarks in each and every technical aspect of the medium of films.
    *And lastly, “I thank him for existing”.
    P.S: I truly believe “AVATAR” will divide cinema as we knew it so far into a pre “AVATAR” and a post “AVATAR” era. Don’t see it…. Experience it.

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