Local War, Local Curfew

Monday, 31 July 2006 0 comments
As part of DC's crime emergency plan, kids below the age of 17 have a curfew of 10 pm to stay out in the streets. After that they have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian and if they're caught, they're shipped off to some kind of waiting shelter for a lecture and wait till someone responsible shows up to pick them up. Yeah right, and this will surely solve the spate of murders and crime in the city... why don't the cops do their job and lets parents do theirs??

Othello Revisited

Saturday, 29 July 2006 0 comments
I got a chance to see Omkara and was simply blown away. It begins with Saif Ali Khan saying "there's a thin line between a fool and a moron" and you're hooked. His depiction of Langda Tyagi (Iago) was fantastic... the foul language, the rotting teeth, the greed, jealousy and angst... he really proved how versatile he is. Ajay Devgan has played the angry young man type before but this character obviously had generous shades of grey. Kareena, Bipasha and Viveik (note new spelling) weren't too bad either. Konkona's portrayal of Emilia was expectedly powerful.
I had accompanied some friends from Afghanistan and they were a bit surprised by the sex, violence and abusive launguage shown in the film - compared to "normal Bollywood fare." But that's what interior India is... the director showed UP thug politics at its ugliest best, besides the usual colors and rustic way of life. It's interesting the plays he's chosen to adapt for desi sensibilities. After Maqbool (Macbeth) and Omkara (Othello) maybe he should complete the trilogy and take a stab at Hamlet or King Lear next. Then collect his laurels at some film fest!

Who Moved My - Laundry?

Friday, 28 July 2006 0 comments
The laundromat in my building basement has all the basic hallmarks of the most uninteresting place to be. It's hot, humid and the ventilation is not the best. There are these old-fashioned dryers that are nothing to be romanticized about. The detergent vending machine is from the 1960s perhaps. A sad couch sits under an equally sad clock on the wall to one side. A huge plastic thing (there's no other way to describe it) says "dump unwanted clothes here" or something like that. I've been tempted to let go of one of my Sarojini Nagar garments but doubt if it's going to Salvation Army or Goodwill. But there is a shoe rack stuffed with old books and magazines in case you're inspired to wait in the heat. It's kind of like a library except you can replace the book you borrowed with something else. Once I flicked Guns, Germs and Steel, among some dog-eared classic editions of Elle or Vanity Fair.
But the thing is - a laundromat is not the best place to socialize. you just go in, dump your clothes, and get out. there's no Friends or Seinfeld-type banter (although i admit i know of at least one person who had an affair with someone she met there!) or 'hey, what's that bleach you're using?' or 'gee, even i have the same shirt.' sometimes there's like a 'oh, i'm almost done here [with this machine]' or a passing smile with a familiar face.
So last night when i went to transfer the garments from ze washer to ze dryer, this couple was standing right next to my machine. So they had to move naturally. I came back about an hour and a half later to retrieve my stuff from ze dryer. And someone had ALREADY taken my stuff OUT of ze dryer, put it in ze laundry basket and basically left me this huge invisible post-it: "here's your stuff. needed to use the dryer. now go."
I have to say i felt kind of victimised! not to say that some random stranger (i think it had to be that couple) had gone through MY clothes. shudder. whatever happened to laundromat rules???

Officially Moved - Again!!

Thursday, 27 July 2006 0 comments

i have officially moved - yet again!! a lot of you have been asking about the whereabouts of www.shilpabanerji.com but that alas, my dear friends, has been put to rest for the time being due to reasons behind my own comprehension.... blame it on the mideast crisis for now. anyway at some point i will reclaim my domain name from the U.N.'s World Intellectual Property Organization ala Tom Cruise and other celebs. but i'll wait for my 15 mins. till then :)
anyway, hope you like my new look and keep writing in. i'll try to amuse you guys in the best way i can - just sheer madness.