Monday, March 30, 2009

The Argumentative Indian - Amartya Sen

The title is interesting enough to make people want to read the book. This book is about the importance of dilogue in India. The author talks about the arguments from the period of Mahabharata to current politics, arguments between genders; castes, arguments between sceptics, agnostics, atheists; between Hindus and Muslims. After 2-3 chapters it feels like the book is not about argumentative Indians but is about just one argumentative Indian and that is Amartya Sen, trying to prove some facts.
Suddenly out of nowhere he starts talking about Tagore and then keeps mentioning about some random Bengali people from writers to actors. It doesn't make any sense.

Amartya has succumbed to pompous diction and acute prolixity. He has used language that creates distance between him and the readers and the language does not feel natural. Lot of stories in the book are repeated lot many times. This book would have been far interesting if Amartya had chosen simple words and sentences rather than creating complicated sentence structures.

If you are of the types who take up something and then do not like to leave it until you finish even if it gets boring then you might want to read it till the end and PLEASE do so because it starts getting interesting in the end (in Part 4).

I just realized that from my reviews on books and movies even I am an Argumentative Indian!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sham Benegal

This month I watched films by Sham Benegal. Who says meaningful hindi movies are not made? They are… it is just that we like to watch gana bajana :D. No wonder he received national award for almost all his films.
Few of his films I watched and liked:

Ankur - The plot is based on a true story. The story revolves around two characters – Surya and Laxmi. What I found interesting in the plot is: Surya hates his father all his life for a certain reason but he does the same mistakes in his life. This fact is not been shown explicitly or even mentioned in the film or any of reviews of the film…

Nishant - This film’s focus is the power of the rural elite and the sexual exploitation of women. Story is written by Vijay Tendulkar. One of the best movies I have seen so far.

Bhumika - This film is broadly based on a Marathi screen actress of 1940s, 'Hansa Wadkar' who led a flamboyant and unconventional life and focus at an individual's search for identity and self-fulfillment. Very well made movie.

Suraj ka satawa ghoda – I just loved the end of this film…

Mammo – The story revolves around 3 characters – Mammo, Riyaz and Fayyazi. I am at loss of words to explain the beauty of this film.

Zubeidaa - It is the concluding chapter in a trilogy that began with Mammo(1994) and continued with Sardari Begum(1996). (I haven’t seen Sardari Begum yet)

Welcome to Sajjanpur – The story revolves around Mahadev Kushwaha, who is a letter writer in a small village who has an ambition to be a novel writer… this is a light comedy film.

Mandi - The film is a satirical comedy on politics and prostitution. Well made movie… not one of the best of Sham’s movies. Gets boring after an hour but again picks up at the end.

Hari Bhari – Story of 5 muslim females. Very well directed movie.

Kondura – Complete disappointment…

Trikaal – Story of a family in Goa. Well directed movie.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Savor the delicious cuisines

Cooking – what I always found time consuming and boring has been a remarkable experience for me in the last couple of months.
Since the time I started making various dishes I realized I was missing so many tastes and flavors in the world.
What made cooking easy for me -
1. Planning – I take 10 minutes during the week to decide which recipes I want to try and what ingredients are needed. And then take that list with me when I go for my routine grocery shopping.
2. Follow the recipe exactly.
Also some equipments like measuring cups and spoons, pasta cooker ( , all types of baking dishes are essential. It is one time investment.
I am posting some recipes that I tried and loved at www.rasikarecipes.blogspot.comIf you try even one of them and like it please drop a line (even if you have modified it a bit :D)
Give a treat to your palate. Enjoy!