Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What RangDeBasanti is doing to my mind!

Post reviews, thoughts and vents about and after RangDeBasanti...Hopefully even the writers of the movie might read it!


Blogger tash said...

oh what have we done!
What has become of us?
More than 50 yrs ago we became free of colonial rule
Yet we have succumbed to it again
Earlier they ruled over us on the strength of their power & cunning
Now we are slaves to their money & comfort
They have bought us out
All of us
With their fancy cars & their fancy products and all the consumerist fancies we chase
We are weakened by comfort and peace
Now we are willingly used by them for making more money for them
While millions in this land still starve and live in darkness
And we blame everything and everyone but our negligence
Our negligence of our legacy
There were people who fought for us to live in freedom
Not only are they forgotten, their stories reduced to textbooks we mug up for exams but the freedom has been relinquished for another kind of slavery
We seek the slavery; we study for it, prepare for it, chase it and work for it
We are perpetuating it we are losing our identity we are losing our history
We are trying to become them, while ironically some of them are trying to rediscover the richness that lies here
The richness that accommodates and changes everything that comes into contact with it
The richness that is increasingly being sought to make sense of the senseless pursuit of pleasure and thrill that is driving the world insane, the senseless pursuit that is destroying the earth that our very lives depend on
The richness we fail to realize because we are dazzled by all the false glitter and shine of their glass palaces and metallic jungles
Who says we are a free country? We are still overpowered by the 'goras' - the means differ but the result is the same
Now we dream of living in their land we want to escape the ruin we are responsible for here
We want to run away and pretend it has nothing to do with us
We can’t do anything about the poverty, the illiteracy, the rotten scoundrels who represent us coz we didn't do anything to make it happen
But we didn't do anything for it not to happen
We didn't do anything for it to become better
And we are the future of India
I wonder when my kids are growing up what will I tell them
How will I explain the shambles we have made of this land
Or will I revel in the glory of the glass fortresses raised here by the very people we are proud of having fought in the early part of this century
But then maybe we would have forgotten about that part in another decade
Comfort has a strange way of making you numb and blind

At the least RDB is the our story. The story of this generation, lost in the pursuit of fun and success and oblivious to the effort that went behind getting us here. Getting us the freedom we now take for granted. It is also a contrast of our self-centered ambitions with the ideals and sacrifice of another generation. But the brilliance of the movie lies in the fact that the contrast is between the youth of pre-independence India and what drove them to fight and the youth of today and their lack of drive. Lack of purpose. Lack of belief in their ability to make a difference. We have everything in abundance – freedom, peace, money, security and choices.

And we choose to jeer at these things; we choose to use them as long as they serve us well and crib when they do not. “What freedom?’ we say, the freedom to be our lazy, self centered, cynical, opportunistic, greedy selves. There is a thin line between cynicism and cowardice; cynicism is often the respite of the lazy. What RDB is trying to say is that if we want change – which we all certainly want – we have to make that change – it won’t happen by itself, someone else will not drop down from the sky and do it – we have to do it. Thankfully it does go about it in a preachy way but you get it loud and clear.

But this is not rocket science – its not like we do not know it already, but we choose to ignore it – it is not easy and it is certainly not possible to do while sitting on our comfortable couches in front of our TV sets or in our swanky offices while surfing the net. But if we are not going to do anything – we have no right to complain, to criticize, to expect anything to improve. The message is clear – Get up or shut up.

It is a remarkable film that conveys a profound message in a way that we can all relate to, without undue melodrama and through characters that we can easily identify as being one of us. It is not perfect only because it falls prey to the gimmick of trying to be entertaining as well, but that is probably a necessary evil in this age, to get people to pay attention.

But the beauty of the film is not so much in what it is about and who is in it but what it makes you think about. Issues that we have learned to live with that we do not like to confront because they make us uncomfortable – with ourselves. This movie makes you confront yourself and ask yourself uncomfortable questions – what have we done? Do we not owe anything to this place? Are we going to continue to let it be run to the ground by people we loath without trying to stop it.

But most importantly it leaves you with a belief. That we can change what we want to see changed. That if we move our lazy butts and mind off trivial pursuits we can start a wave that will make all of us part of a larger purpose. The rest is upto us – what we do with this reality check is going to reflect on the kind of people we are and what it takes to make us say enough!

5:02 AM  
Anonymous Jai said...

RDB just made me think that as a generation even to awaken we need to personally go through the injustice meted out by the system. We will only respond if we are affected. Gone are the days when the common good was the ultimate motive for all socially aware causes.

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Dee said...

Besides feeling stunned into action...and raving about the movie and dragging some of my friends to c it...this is what the movie made me write...

9.30am, Dadar station, launched out of a Churchgate bound train amongst one big jhund of women…
Walked 6 steps and immediately statued to let the men clear my path…

Ever thought about it…
A woman cannot walk in a straight line on the road…for she has to dodge several attempts to get felt up!
Sometimes a seemingly unintended breast brush, sometimes a graze of the hips…
And sometimes a head long collision
How a woman cannot run the length of a platform without amply covering her bosom with a dupatta or a pallu or a bag?

Ever wondered why we don’t talk about it -
It is a part of life na…
No use cribbing…it happens to all of us…so why then make a big deal of it?

And what if you protest…
Bounding the shame barrier…which is not too difficult a task…quick comes the retort…Kya Kiya?
Ever tried responding to that question?
Try…see how sick it feels.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…
One of the most non discriminating acts – where your skin colour, the length of your hair, your age, your weight really does not matter…
This one is beauty proof!

Damage control
Does it really affect your mood…no…it is a part of life…just shrug it off as a bad dream that most probably never happened…
After all…you weren’t raped or something! Big deal!

Support system: Kya kiya part 2
We love being entertained…so if some gurl in a tight T-shirt is screaming at a man on a station – she was asking for it!
If that girl was wearing a salwaar kameez – as a man with wife, sisters and daughters and a mother of course…make it your duty to ask her what really happened after the man in question has vanished yet again into oblivion…you’ll have a juicy tale to tell your wife or your train companions about how women face so many problems and how Bombay has become such an unsafe place.

Law of averages
On an average – personally speaking – cause my kind does not believe in keeping scores on such trivial matters – have been man handled at least once in 3 days at a station…and this is after I have learnt to be careful!

Practice makes perfect
Initial attempts at being on guard led to being touched but not where it mattered the most!
Once I mastered that, I wanted more…To not be touched at all!
Devising the 90 degree dodge: Gut works…so does being pro active
You doubt…you dodge!
Don’t wait or else it’ll be too late.
And for heaven’s sake no concentration lapses…one tiny lapse while walking – to check the latest movie ka poster put up on the station and you have had it!

Why spare the cop?
They will always be there AFTER you call them and complain!
Pro activity was not a priority in the mission or vision statement of any police force on this planet – however I recall this Tom Cruise movie on the concept of crime prevention even before it happened…but for far more serious offenses

Serious offense
Unless fatal or extremely violent it cant be really serious. We are even ok with corruption here! What use of money if it ain’t laundered!

Only me…only women
Initially for a large part of my life post puberty I wondered if it was really happening…it felt unintentional
It was really happening
Not only was it intentional it was calculated to precision!
I had to do something…anything…I could not let this pass and let it affect me so much…I did not want to feel bad about being woman! I wanted to feel good and responsible for myself
It happened…then one big tamaasha happened
Did not feel good…Felt horrid…Now everyone around me also knew what had happened…
Do I stop when some girl screams at a man?
Yes I do…its just a matter of time before every woman finds it reason enough to protest
But what about right here, right now?
I had to do something before it happened!
This is one place where the law does not apply --- I believe that the perpetrator should not be given a chance…or else I will feel guilty as a post script!

Getting violent
I believe violence is never the solution…however it was a possibility until yesterday.
That changed. Many women advocate this approach and it works for them…
For me…such a reaction…is really out of control…almost exactly like the man…and those many other men!

What I now do...
I do not believe that every man out there on the roads is out to grab me…
However over all these years of trial and error (read experience) in the matter and armed with what I can do best as a woman – sense things…If I suspect I prevent. I put a loving hand not on myself! But out to the man and sweep him out of my path…
Kya kiya…is again the quick retort.
And now I have an answer that does not make me feel sick anymore – Karne ki raah dekhu kya?
Usually the conversation ends there!

The Intent –
Is not sympathy seeking…is not empathy seeking either.
Is it a call to action…who knows!
Because who knows where the roots of an offender or a rapist take anchor!
And who knows what we think is normal and routine and inconsequential…who knows if we will ever draw a line.

The Inspiration –
RDB – spurred me into my first violent reaction to this phenomenon…
however it also made me write this!
It made me take 2 of my best friends and watch it all over again.
It made one of those 2 shut the world out yet again and sink into slumber
And the other one…a soldier, to write something…something that she has not shared with me as yet…but will…sooner rather than as usual later!

6:05 AM  
Blogger AutomatiK said...

The morning after 26 January 2006
Today is a historic day. In fact even yesterday was. Yesterday, The Republic of India celebrated its 57th year as an "independent" & "free" country. The world’s largest free democratic group of people. An open progressive and thriving economy. The world’s youngest nation, where more than 50% of citizens are below the age of 25.
Yesterday also saw the release of Rang De Basanti, which in itself is a historic film. The movie wasn’t really great. It was the timing and the point Mr. Mehra has tried so successfully at making. I saw it yesterday night at a Surat City (Fastest developing city of India) Multiplex with my family. I have to say the movie made my blood boil.
I’ve decided to do something. I had an idea running through my head ever since I had first experienced the way our bureaucracy worked when I’d gone to get my first ever driving license. It was for a gearless scooter, a 16 yr old eligibility license. I was 16 then, I’m 23 now and my red Hero Winner stills runs, as described in the words of a friendly mechanic from near my home in Surat, "runs like a khilona". . I’d gone to get my RTO license. Like a naïve fool I went and got the form and eventually got to standing in the queue. But soon after I realised the futility of my actions.
There were rooms, and queues, and people (officers, agents, applicants, bastards) and floors to cover. I saw all the gory details of Indian Efficiency first hand and for the first time. Right then, I wished I had a camera. Which I could use to secretly capture all the insider trading at the RTO office. Years later, Mr. Tejpal did just that. Thank you! Your part has been well played, sir.
Looking at the uphill task ahead, the sixteen year old in me gave up. It’s not like I didn’t knew this would be the situation. I had been well informed by my dear businessperson father after he’d bought me my vehicle, all the things and all the people that I should be meeting to get the license. Dad gave me all the information a regular Indian would need to get a license in the best possible manner. Then there was also my elder bro. He’s 5 years senior to me. But I think he was more naïve than me. One because he had to go to a driving school to learn to drive, something which I didn’t have to do ;), and second, he wrote down in a notebook a step by step flowchart. It outlined the exact procedure, with details as far as floor and room numbers inside the RTO building, the names of the various forms and their code numbers and the various documents and proofs that will be required to be submitted at various points of time inside the RTO building. He wrote all the down when he managed to get his license, after a long time if I remember correctly. So he showed me all those pages filled with all the details which I neither could understand or was in any mood to go through. So leaving all my family and friends’ various comments aside I set to venture and find out what the fuss was all about.
So after seeing all this with my own eyes, I walked back where I’d come from – ‘outside’ the RTO office. There were numerous people there, all with briefcases in their laps sitting on their Bajaj scooters and Hero Honda bikes. Whenever someone approached them, they would open their briefcases, then close them and use them as writing pads. Indians are ingenious, no doubt about that! It was as if each vehicle was a different office in this Market for getting Driving Licenses. I was obviously apprehensive (a similar apprehension to the one that I felt a year later, when I went to rent my first adult vhs from a video library behind my home). Seeing my demeanour (he obviously understood the apprehension first-timers felt during their first encounter with The Government of India, and maybe could even smell a first-timer from a mile away), a ‘friendly’ uncle, yes with a briefcase on his lap, called me and stole the words from my mouth, "Driving License chahiye?". I nodded, paid him Rs. 160 (please note# this is same price as RDB Audio CD, except that former is unfair pricing while the latter is quiet fair pricing) and gave him 4 photographs. Next day, I came to collect my license from the same place near a particular tree where our man always sat. He said he had been there for...years.
There was a joke of a driving test before I got my license. It seems agents can work more efficiently that government staff, who are obviously too unhappy at the salary given to them by The Government of India. Now, The Government of India gets all its funding from taxpaying citizens of India, who maybe either corrupt or human. So it’s quite a food chain you see. And it works this way because people at the bottom keep quiet and DO NOTHING.
Anyway, so I had this idea, which has become quite successful lately. All kinds of stings and spy cam operations have been carried by enterprising news channels and media entities alike (we ourselves at JWT were planning an Aishwarya Rai sting-like ad for promoting Lux, but never got around to doing it). Alas its all been more for TRPs than anything else. Now, a few weeks ago I had a similar but more impactful idea. I even managed to email NDTV about it. I’m still waiting for a reply. Basically what I proposed was to shift the power to nudify the corrupt motherfuckers and scum-of-the-earth kinds, from well-funded journalists to everyday people like you and me, i.e. the bottom of the pit people (some of you might not consider yourself among this set, congratulations!). My idea was simple, is simple, can be done effectively. Just imagine, if there were a millions eyes capturing and recording all the shit that goes on around our dear nation 24x7, and relaying it to million others, what terror it would strike into the hearts (if they have any) of these evil motherfuckers. Every time these choots try taking another bribe, they’ll think twice for sure and check thrice for small electronic eyes watching them lay bare their souls. and recording them silently, discreetly.
It’s possible! The tools required: Multimedia Instant Messaging Next Generation Tele Relay Devices (read MMS enabled cell phones) and/or Ultra Compact Digital VidCap Mechanisms (read Digi Cams) or why not the small cameras in lighters used by James Bond, I hear that these days they cost no more than Rs. 500!
The Tech Revolution that has taken India so far in the last 5 years can take us even further. Everyone has one of these nowadays. It’s a simple matter of switching it on when need be, pointing it in the right direction, and recording and sending or LIVE relaying the grabbed footage to a forum which deals only with such priceless videos and which millions subscribe to (more on this coming later). Or…as I suggested to NDTV, relaying it LIVE to a TV channel, as it happens.
So I said, hey NDTV! You guys have shit loads of cash, right? Why don’t you spend a little into something which will earn the nation some respect and you guys more pot loads of money, potentially that is. Why don’t you guys setup a LIVE Breaking News Hidden Cam Army. Equip a multitude of idiots like me, with special mobiles/hidden cams that can instantly relay the footage to a ‘safe location’ (should this be an overseas location? Or can we manage to find a spot in India, where no one in India can stop any footage whatsoever from being accessed by the public if they want to), from where it will directly be relayed to the public, without any disturbance whatsoever. When the footage is relayed to NDTV, and you put them on air, imagine the jump in your TRPs when suddenly during the evening news, there is a Breaking News announcement where a certain Amar, Akbar or Anthony from say Mumbai, is relaying LIVE to you an under-the-table deal in progress, repeat LIVE! It could be the traffic cop who asks for just a 100 bucks instead of 300, but without the receipt of course. Or a Railway TT (like the one who I met aboard the Flying Ranee when travelling back to Mumbai from Surat on The Morning After 26 January 2006, i.e. 27th morning, and it is after my encounter with this asshole, that I got down to putting all this down on paper) giving seats to ticket less passengers over wait listed passengers. What shame would befall on these weak men and women trying to make a quick buck, who are obviously unaware that the entire nation is watching them as they palm their last Gandhi Green 500 bucks. Anyway I’ll talk about this later.
So RDB, this movie made me think. Made me act. I couldn’t sleep last night (anyway I can’t sleep at night when I have to catch a train at 5:25 am, people who know me, know why). I was constantly thinking about what I need to do. So I came up with a name at least – RedCam.org, kooooool, izzzzun’t it?
I’m gonna set it up real soon. I wasn’t so sure about this thing last night, but now, now I’m sure as hell it WILL exist. After all how long can I not make it happen. Last night I was thinking, and today I got my first scandal-to-cite, such is destiny.
So, I’m on the Flying Ranee Express, a train with a million reasons why to hate travelling. More on these other reasons some other day, coz the last few hours have been a real rush and I’m bubbling with pride as to how I managed to survive unscathed thru them, I am, really.
Let me tell you before I begin my train story – DON’T GO TO THE RAILWAY STATION UNLESS YOU HAVE A RESERVED TICKET IN HAND. Just don’t, staying at home and snoring would be a much better option. That, or take matters into your hand (literally) and act upon your conscience.
So I was to leave for Mumbai, via the 5:25 morning double-decker train which would easily lift the title for "The Most Uncomfortable Train Ever Made". I had spent 3 really nice days with family.
I had a ticket which my dad got me through a ‘simple agent’, he charges 50 bucks for saving me time and energy I would have otherwise spent travelling to the reservation counter, and standing in the queue. Quiet reasonable I say, quite a steal in fact when you consider that it also prevents you mental damage and torture you could have faced by standing inside the reservation counter and seeing the cop-on-duty wander about as if in a garden, when people left right and center were asking me which train you wanted a ticket for. These were of course the ‘advanced agents’. They’re different from the ‘simple agent’ I paid Rs. 50 to the ‘simple agent’. He was just saving me time, he didn’t keep relations with the Ticket Booking Officers, or the TT, or the Railway Station Superintendent, that was an ‘advanced agent" job. They obviously charged higher than the ‘simple agent’ How much? Well that they would have told you after they figured out how gullible you were. It varies from person to person you see. Floating Interest Rates anyone?
But wait, the ticket is a waiting list ticket, although I was hoping that the WL17 last night would get confirmed by today morning, it didn’t, somehow, even though most days it does get confirmed, I don’t know, hmmm can’t say, pata nahin, bhagwaan jaane.
I was kinda heartbroken to see WL10 written somewhere in the complicated chart next to my name. I got to this information after a lot of searching, I tell you, who ever designed these charts for the Railways deserves an award.
Anyway, I started running towards my platform as I feared missing the train (why am I always late everywhere???) and was relieved to see it still standing on the platform. I still had some stupid-hope, so I consulted the chart again, this time outside the train coach. The of-so-well-laid-out-and-really-easy-to-find-the-information-chart again disappointed me. My name was nowhere, I was hoping that maybe there’s a bit of a time delay between the preparation of the chart outside the station that I saw a few minutes ago, and this one, stuck outside the coach. No such thing.
I looked left, and right, and left again and there I saw our man, the TT!!!, a guy with a really long and thick beard. Gathering up whatever hope was left, I went and showed him my ticket (maybe now my luck may change, maybe some people got their tickets cancelled at the last moment, or didn’t turn up at all). No luck again. "It’s full", he says. I asked more as a request than a clarification? "None at all?", "First class mein milega", he says. Fine I say, how much extra will I have to pay? 200 is the reply. 200 on top of a 300 rupee worthless ticket? And that too to sit in a non-ac compartment, where there’ll be more people standing than sitting? No way, I say, that’s a clear rip-off. Although I didn’t expect the poor guy to be honest, his straight forwardness in stating the figure surprised me (last nite I felt like shit, coz I’d paid the TT on the journey home from Mumbai, Rs. 300 as bribe to secure a berth in the chair car with my ‘chalu’ general ticket, without a receipt of course, who cares if the money went into the TT’s pocket and not into the already-making-huge-losses Railways’ cash register. Anyway Lalooji the great is Minister for Railways, so all the more reason not to offer any help to the Railways, whoever gets the money, it’s the same difference yaar! In fact better give it to the poor TT (and hey! Wasn’t lallu thrown out of power in Bihar a few weeks ago, how come he is still Minister? They taught me civics in Std 10th, I never imagined this can also happen then, or maybe our teacher didn’t teach us well, that’s why I don’t understand, yes maybe that’s the reason, the teacher who taught us in school, I had heard had himself not cleared the 10th Std exams ever. But that’s just speculation. Let’s get back to the facts.
So I felt like shit at being such a loser as to bribe the TT 300 to get a comfortable journey. This was both during and after the movie.
Back to the present, so I was fucked, that too in the morning, what to do, should I pay 200 and get a seat in the first class? Before I could make up my mind, the train started to move. I quickly got onto the cc dabba lest I miss the train.
And look what I found! The ‘full’ compartment our man was talking about seconds ago was practically empty save a dozen seats or so.

This picture was taken 10 minutes later from outside the Chair Car compartment, where the TT was ‘reprimanding’ me
Man, I boiled all over again. I vowed not to bribe this motherfucker who is so shameless as to call this ‘full’. I went and sat at one of the many empty seats, next to me sat, a guy with a general ticket. I had a wait-listed ticket. That means I was in queue because there were way too many passengers who had booked tickets and were travelling in this coach. Right.
And a feeling that things are gonna heat up around here. My out-of-control emotions were already pouring out of my mouth, my target was the puny guy with the general ticket sitting next to me, and he was hearing patiently all the unmentionable words that were pouring outta my mouth full-steam. I’d already taken out my new Kodak digi cam and was taking a video grab of the empty compartment. In comes Mr. Long Beard Motherfucker, I started clicking even more vigorously to let him know of my protest. He came straight to me, didn’t question my camera antics, and raised an eyebrow at me, then asked me for my ticket which he had already seen properly outside on the platform and knew that I was WL. Then he said, "You are Waiting List", and asked me to come out of the compartment and to the vestibule/toilet area. By then I had lost even the little respect for him that I would keep for dogs at least. I back answered. I was in no mood to cozy up to this choot. I still had my camera in my hand and was deliberately pointing it towards him even though it was off, as I was short of storage space (in-built memory was only 16 MB, anyone know of a good deal for a Kodak V530 1GB Memory Card?). I was eye-to-eye with the motherfucker. I didn’t bother to keep my voice down, we spat various incomprehensible words at each other. Few seconds later I was standing at the same spot but with my luggage in hand this time. My ticket had been taken from me and was currently in the left jacket pocket of the motherfucker. I heard words like "police", ""charbi", "andar", "section 155", "seedha", "panga mujhse", "meri train" in the next 45 seconds.
To infuriate him more, I took a pic of the compartment in front of him. A nice steady shot and with flash too.
Then onwards it was all-out war. He gave me some more serious threats while I stood outside in the freezing morning cold gazing at the empty seats inside. While he sat inside and spoke to some of his regular travelling ‘friends’ whom he was telling about me. One by one as the various minor stations came, people went in and got seats, some people who get seats also held smaller tickets similar to the general ticket holder guy who sat next to me a while ago. TT came out and I stared blink less into his tiny eyes. His threats and demeanour were getting meaner all the while, and alarm bells began ringing in my head, I decided it was prudent to let my folks of what I was getting into. I called up mom and while I was talking (yes I did use the word ‘saala’ when describing the TT to my mom, I find the word a very short and efficient description, not too hard a curse either, and gets the point across quite simply) on the phone, the motherfucker came out blasting from the door, ‘saala bolta hai mujh ko, bahut charbi chadeli hai, meri train main baitha hai, jab tak danda nahin padega tab tak samjhe ga nahin, abhi section 155 ke andar tujhko andar karta hoon, abhi police aayegi, tujh jaise 25 aate hai roz". This was while mom was on the line. Anyway, so I went back to the phone and told them not to worry, and told my dad to keep his phone on at all times. I then shouted back even louder on his face, and ended my call. It was none of his business what I was doing on the phone or who I was talking to. He said he’ll even get my phone confiscated, as it is my digi cam was a goner, he said. I told him to buzz off.
Half an hour of standing in the cold (I forgot to wear a sweater that day, somehow) vestibule, and then on the other end I saw the motherfucker standing with a mean looking gujju daily traveller of the Flying Ranee, and the motherfucker with animated descriptions was describing to the mean guy what he was going to be doing to an ass who decided to speak against his authority, and the mean guy (hahahahahahahahaha) was nodding in agreement. I just stared at them. The TT/Motherfucker called me towards him with a flick of his wrist, and I lugged my luggage along clumsily but steadily.
The made me sit in the first cabin in the first class coach that is always next to the ac chair car coach, there were two other people, who were minding their own business. But these two choots were conversing about me loudly and trying to play mind games and threat games with me. I played along, I’m kinda good at sarcastic commentary. I was told that the police is coming and that I would be whisked off in the "Memu" train and spanked with ‘dandas’ until I learnt how to talk respectfully to a TT like him, an officer of The Government of India (why don’t we privatize Railways? There’s unlimited potential for developing private Railways, India can become the world’s best Railway network, as is we are the largest. Only if private companies are allowed to build/manage/share railway resources. The villages of India today are productive enough for private companies to invest and build networks across India, anyway. Look what privatization did to Banks, we once had the worst banks in the world, today our banking system is one of the most advanced ones in the world).
So I sat, and around 10 minutes later the cop came, looked middle aged, bihari, and he had alcohol breath. More mind games and loud banter later, the police wallah had paper and a pen in hand, which he held in his hand, unsteadily. He began asking me questions politely and writing down my ‘bayaan’. He did this while I relaxed a bit more in the slightly comfortable 1st class non ac, sleeper like small compartment seat, I even got tea and managed to hold to the tea cup in my hand, steadily.
I gave him all the gory details as is, presenting a very clear case and exactly what happened. He STANK as he spoke to me, early morning drinking ahoy! So he took down the entire story in the format machine-fed into his brain after years of servitude to The Government of India, and its ever changing but always the same officers, who commanded their faithful dog to follow the money that traveled in the railways, and not those who traveled in it. He did a little ‘X’ at the bottom right of the sheet, and asked me to sign my ‘bayaan’. I said I don’t sign stuff I don’t write. If required I can write either in Hindi, Gujarati or English, whatever The Government of India prefers. By then the compartment had become kinda full, an elderly couple, the trying-to-look-mean man (I asked for his pen to write my ‘bayaan’, and then by ‘mistake’ dropped his pen hard on the floor, "oh sorry", I said) I even gave my JWT visiting card to the police wallah. Said it’ll look good along with my ‘bayaan’, I in an FYI sort of manner told him, it was an ‘ishtahaar waali company’ where we make ads that appear in newspapers and televisions, "prachaar waale hain hum". By then the elderly couple first, the people started enquiring about the matter and the police guy, wary not to appear as either one of the two parties involved in the tiff, answered them politely, the TT had gone off to make some more Gandhian Greenbacks I suppose.
Threats in all shapes, sizes and disguises were given to me by the cop as well, he was obviously well connected and friends with the TT. I was also told about "witnesses" to my behaviour (the handful of people that were present in the compartment in the morning, and of them four who I guess traveled everyday in the train were the "witnesses", asked to join in the fun of course by Mr. T.T. Motherfucker, errr you can spot them in the discreet picture I managed to take once the TT disappeared behind the door, there are the ones sitting right in front, didn’t have to walk much to choose a seat of their liking I guess, he made me delete the video grab of the compartment that I had taken, I wonder if it is in his rights to do that, maybe ill check with a lawyer. Then loudly, I’ve done my fair share of drama in school and college, I spoke to the cop about "symbiotic relationships", "parasites", "our system", "57 years of India", etc. etc.
And I could see the elderly couple smile as I said those things.
Finally, what happened was a blur, I was taken from the first class compartment to the chair car compartment and back again. A more senior police official got onto the train at one of the stations during the next 1 hours period, when I kept staring back at whosoever that communicated with the TT in an overfriendly manner. All of them were now busy discussing among themselves what to do, I overheard them talking about "media se hai" for sure once. Then what happened made me totally relieved and overjoyed in fact. Although the Mr. T.T. Motherfucker still kept his hard ass manner, the two police officials were talking to me with a smile and held the neatly folded ‘bayaan’ in their hand and told me, "yeh sab ke bareein mein bhool jayenge, agar tum in se maafi maang lo". They persisted for 15 minutes, trying to get me to say sorry. I said "aap log kya bol rahein hain?". Even regular uncles who were travelling in the train told me to say sorry and get over with this, although i am sure they wanted me to be safe more than the TT to be happy, that was something that the police really really wanted. So I said to policewallah#1, "agar meri jagah aapka beta hota, usse bhi yeh hi bolte, sorry kehdo?" I said clearly I had done nothing wrong, I WILL NOT say sorry. They can go ahead and do their job and put me in jail, take away my phone, and my camera, that I will buy new ones. I’m not saying sorry. I knew very well I was on top here. As expected I was handed over my ticket which was until now was in the left jacket pocket of the TT Motherfucker. I was told to go and wait at the other end of the first class compartment, that I will be ‘probably’ be taken to the police station at Mumbai Central. So I went, and as I passed the compartment I was earlier put in, I peeked in, and waved the ticket I held high in my hand towards the elderly couple, smiled, told then, "Uncle, maine sirf aapme hi sympathy dekhi, dekhiye maine sorry nahin bola, aur yeh mera ticket mere haath mein hai". I wave saluted and left.
Towards the end of the compartment I had to wait for half an hour, it wasn’t so cold anymore.., before I could find a place to sit. Ironically, I found the TT chair stuck onto the wall near the toilet of the first class compartment to sit on. So I sat down, put on my glares, glared at anyone who dared look upto me, and started jotting this story down. Before that I wrote in big bold letters on my left arm – REDCAM.ORG
Hardly 15 minutes had passed, I’d had another tea, when came TT Motherfucker to me, I put the glares above my head, and asked "Yes?" quite animatedly in fact. "Coach C1, seat 17". I took out my ticket, he write down on it, and I left without a word. As I was getting into my lovely window seat in the chair car, I kept on my glares, and kept a pen in my mouth, it allowed me to keep a permanent grin on my face, and people around the compartment were looking towards me, many in smiles. I mimed a well know swear word towards his stinking face so that everyone can make out what I was doing, while TT Motherfucker was busy making check marks on his various charts. As soon as he left the compartment, I got up and proclaimed loudly "R E D C A M dot O R G
RedCam.org, it’ll be up and running sooon, do check it out."
Then, staring through the window for over 2 hours, I went on to vent out the contents of my brain on to my pad, which has now been read by you. I hope this eventually reaches the eyes of Mr. Tejpal and Mr. Mehra, both of whom I respect quite a lot, and both of whom can change things with their help and support. Mr. Tejpal, your help will make RedCam.org inevitably successful and Mr. Mehra, your help will me a movie director! hahahahah which I so really wanna be.
A sincere request, please do go ahead and flock the theatres playing Rang De Basanti, buy their original Audio CDs, don’t MP3 this, MP3 was our generation’s secret tool to bring down unfair profiteering music labels, and we’ve done and will continue to afflict them with endless p2p retribution unless they decide to charge nominal fees for music products. Please do neither buy this movie’s pirated VCDs, for two reasons, one – this movie deserves to be seen on nothing less than the big screen along with the souls of hundreds of other Indians, I’m telling you the scene that you will witness after everyone exits the cinema hall after the movie is over, is something you’ll see rarely – a silent and pondering audience. Two – let’s not steal from these guys, they made a brilliant movie, let’s give them credit, lets set record numbers for DVD sales in India, let’s show Nasscom all time low anti-piracy reports, let’s create history by making RDB the first movie in the world, against which there is one hundred percent unanimous support of the audiences, who therefore refuse to pirate it, and no MP3s are ever created or transferred. Our tech warriors from Bangalore and elsewhere can easily handle the task of blocking of all malicious pirated copies on the net. Let’s set an example for the world to follow for once. Let’s give standing ovations and record box-office figures. Think of it as an election we all decided to take part it to voice what we feel for. Stop watching govinda movies. Stop going to cinema for just watching lame movies with songs. Stop giving money to these mediocre so-called artists who are wasting everyone’s time. You stop watching them, they stop existing. Get the point? Make RDB a hit! It’s really election time! Jai Hind!
Author is a Jr. Copywriter at the largest ad agency in India – JWT Mumbai. This office is a fine example of how ‘New India’ works, but of course, there is always room for improvement.
p.s: RedCam.org will happen with our without your support, but right now I want you guys to make another minor miracle happen, you guys forward silly mushy mails around all the time, please forward this to all you can, maybe things can change

p.s: i've got another idea, why don't we all shout "chor, chor, chor", whenever we hear someone playing any rdb mp3 on thier comp or mp3 player, please will you'll do it? thank you. :)



4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looking at the reviews and initial reactions i could feel that impact of RDB is profound on indian youth. It is good for the producers of the movie. There are several movies in the past that showcased indian petriotism and freedom movement. people react to it initially and the effect fads the follwoing friday. Whether it is RDB or anyother movie...the is message is loud and clear 'if you have to live with pride you got to fight' errespective of whether you have territorial freedom or not. accepting crime/wrong doings is encouraging crime. petriotism is more meaningful when practised.

7:35 AM  

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