Aamir Khan’s Tare Zameen Par and the Oscars

So what are the chances of Tare Zameen Par to get a nomination or even better, win the Oscar for best foreign language film category ? First my usual rant. The Oscars do NOT represent the ultimate in films of that year. 85% of the foreign language films are not even seen by the voters. There are beautiful Vietnamese, African, South American, Japanese and other Asian films that are absolute treasures that just pass by without notice, because there is no one to back them.
TZP has a great theme, it is emotionally moving and has a brilliant performance at it’s centre. That should be good enough to get it nominated. Especially as autism is a subject that in the US (where all the voters live) has been the subject of a very volatile debate recently. So it should at least get a nomination. I suspect that most films this year will be political in nature given what the world is going through. So TZP will stand out……

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The US Presidential Debate, who won, Obama or McCain ?

I was hoping that this was going to be a complete walk over for Sen Obama. I was fairly sure it would be. But no it was not. For some reason I cannot fathom, the confident, visionary leader that gave one of the great acceptance (of nomination) speeches of all time, was defending himself. That’s the first time I have seen Obama on the defensive. Against what ? Are there some calculations that have made the Democratic think tank vary of what is really happening in the US ? Perhaps. Perhaps they feel that having projected himself as a world leader of compassion and peace, of vision and inner strength, of calm and fortitude, the Democratic think tank wants that Obama must now allay the fears of a last minute right wing swing of US voters. The American voters have done that before. Who would have ever believed that Bush would have been elected for a second term ?….

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Happy Birthday Dev (anand) uncle !!

Hi Shekhar,
Just wanted to drop a note to say it was your uncle Dev Anand’s 85 birthday yesterday. A truly amazing man purely for his unputdownable spirit and his ability to do what we keep discussing on this blog.. to seperate effort from fruits. To work with a sense of detachment to the outcome. Truly a wondrous life!
My little tribute to him here

Emptiness : what Osho said

“There are only two types of people in the world: those who try to stuff their inner emptiness, and those very rare precious beings who try to see the inner emptiness.
Those who try to stuff it remain empty, frustrated. They go on collecting garbage, their whole life is futile and fruitless.
Only the other kind, the very precious people who try to look into their inner emptiness without any desire to stuff it, become meditators.”
Thank u Nyayprem for sending this to me, and Buddha did not attain enlightenment without years of (and some would say many lifetimes) agonizing and often fruitless battles with his mind. Starvation, denial, extreme yoga all failed, till he just sat and battled the demons thrown at him from his own mind.
Mind, Mara, Devil.


the fear of emptiness
that hollow sinking fear
that grip of panic
that first realization
the moment of waking up
that there is nothing
there was nothing
but the mind trying to hold
fantasies and memories
to somehow connect
those fantasies
those memories
to the coming day
how will I survive it ?
if I will survive it?
with the same lies I tell myself ?
as I move the day into a construct
of reality
of importance
of memory
of addictiveness
of lies
to myself
if only I could get out of bed
and go to the temple
as I had promised myself a year ago
or to the gym, 5 years ago
so that the hormones in my body
provoked by faith
or by excercise
could erase that cloying feeling
of emptiness
from my mind
but wait …..

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What does it mean to be Hindu ?

…So what is Hinduism not ? It is not centralized, it not an organization, it is not political. It can never be. For every time there has been an attempt to organize Hinduism as a political force, it becomes by nature a finite structured force that bears no relationship to the idea for a search for the infinite.
So to those people that ask why we cannot declare India a Hindu state I ask them to understand and trace back to what a Hindu state is ? And they will soon realize they are looking for an identity. And the very basis of Hinduism negates the idea of identity. For it is a search for ourselves beyond that which is called ‘Identity’.

Which begs the question, why we cannot accept our identity as just Indian ?

Islamabad bombings, is this really about Bin Laden anymore ? where are we headed ?

How many people need to pay with their lives for the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre ? What started as a hunt for the few people involved in that attack to bring them to justice has ignited into a fire that has spread and threatens to gradually engulf half the populations of the world. The US over reacted by invading Iraq in what will go down in history as one of the most misjudged attacks in the history of modern warfare, and now the world has been polarized into Islamic fundamentalism vs capitalism, threatening to bring down the very fabric of civilization. This is now no longer a hunt for Bin Laden, it has encompassed and exposed pressure points between religion, social structures, philosophies and between the haves and the have-nots. Proving that harmony and peace is such a fragile concept, one that needs constant nurturing.
And as Pakistan falls to fundamentalist forces, what we mistakenly call Talibanization ( it is really just fundamentalism) – everything points to that India is the next target. I am a complete liberal, and I stand up and say that we must protect ourselves. Any one indulging n terror activities that targets innocent civilians is a terrorist. Be they Muslims, Hindu’s Christians or Agnostics. The Bajrang Dal that desecrates and kills nuns and attacks churches are terrorists too.
The war in India is no longer on our borders. Why are we spending half our defence budget on the Siachin Glacier – when the real war now is inside India ? Inside Pakistan ?


did you hear me scream ?
laughing an chattin’
holding hands and lovin’
but can you hear me scream ?
shaking hands
and smilin’
but please
can you hear my scream ?

Is this the end of Capitalism ? An Open Forum for debate

The headlines everywhere, over dramatic as usual herald the end of an era. Perhaps this is the end of an era. But the era of what ? What was so different here from the few times it has happened before ? Like the Great Depression ? or Black Monday (or was it Tuesday ?). I am not sure I get it all, and I do believe no one does. But lets hear voices and lets find a way to lead this into a healthy debate, so we all can hope to make some sense of the free fall that is taking place in the financial systems of the world.
First, what is Capitalism and what are it’s assumptions ? At it’s most simplistic level It assumes a free market economy where individual (even though selfish) actions ultimately pan out for the good of the larger collective or economy. So that s one rule flouted in any case ! We all accept that individual actions bordering on greed have in fact sucked enough wealth out of the system to completely dis-balance it,
Second, Capitalism assumes an equality of market information. It assumes that everyone has the same information and understanding of the market situation, based on which they will make decisions beneficial for themselves. That is patently not true anymore, with financial instruments so complex that individual decisions are heavily reliant on advice and more so, advertising that provokes dreams and fantasies to people. Capitalism will never take into account that people can be encouraged to create debt through a multiplicity of credit card transactions, or over-leveraging through re-mortgages of equity in home values. The over creation of debt fuels the artificial creation of money supply that is NOT backed by an increase in productivity, because a large chunk of this increased mney supply is being sucked out of the system by few very wealth individuals and organizations.

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Sonya’s Picks: Dreams from my Father

Dreams from my Father
There’s a story, in Barack Obama’s ‘Dreams from my Father‘ of the day Obama joined school in Hawaii. After the introduction from a teacher who talked kindly about Kenya, he says, “I spent the rest of the day in a daze. A red headed girl asked to touch my hair and seemed hurt when I refused. A ruddy faced boy asked me if my father ate people.”

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