Sunday, January 20, 2013

SEA aquarium

K was super excited about going to the aquarium today. He had decided beforehand that sharks are going to be his favourite. He was slightly overwhelmed though by the scale & variety of marine life when he finally entered the place. He hadn't imagined that so many creatures could've existed in water. At the end, he asked me if I thought the ocean was prettier than the earth :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola

I didn't know what to make of the movie title but it made us curious enough to go watch it. And I quite enjoyed it. I can see why some people didn't though - its a whimsically made movie, bordering on the insane; but thankfully I was in a mood to lap up all the quirkiness that Vishal Bharadwaj could throw at me.

There aren't that many Indian movie makers who are brave enough to attempt a satire that so smugly refuses to put a boundary on imagination. Like Salman Rushdie's writing or Picasso's paintings, Vishal Bharadwaj's movies are gutsy in their quirkiness. That I love. I loved Pankaj Kapur's portrayal of the divided face of the Indian upper class. How tough is that character to pull off, to balance comedy with evil & tomfoolery with graveness. I loved Shabana Azmi's witches-of-Macbeth portrayal, especially in some of her monologues. For a restrained actor like her, it couldn't have been easy to be so overtly over the top. And I loved Vishal Bharadwaj's unhindered style. Its not easy at all to layer a satire under the bizzarre silliness of pink bulls & zulu dance troupes. It could easily be mistaken for just silliness.

Perhaps the movie could've been shorter, snappier; but I didn't get bored. I did wonder where it was going for a while, but that didn't last long. Its not a movie I loved, but I liked it a good deal.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

OH Open House Art Walkabout

We went for the art walkabout 2 years ago. It was a strange experience then...going through people's homes looking at the art in their very 'heartland Singapore' setting. This year, the walk was in a more familiar setting. It was set in the financial district. And went through my office! :)

The coolest part of the tour this year, for me, was an installation in the Google office. How fun is that office! Not only is it yellow & green, it has a swing in its reception & a wrought iron spiral staircase running in the middle of the office space. The installation in that office, was very cheekily called 'search for happiness' .

Personally, I liked the setting of the tour more than the art itself. Singapore's business district has its own unique character. The old(ish) law firms from the 80s, the swanky trading floors of the new banking giants, the evergreen appetite of the construction sector, the reclaimed earth & the ever receding seashore. The tour takes you through all of these. It is pretty awe-inspiring, intimidating, glittery & ruthless all at once. The theme was 'Happiness Index' though & that isn't easy to forecast in this part of the city.

Monday, January 07, 2013

What's reality anyway!

K celebrated Christmas with his little friends at home this year. A friend of ours dressed up as Santa (a very good one too!) & put in an appearance with some gifts. And although K found the Santa completely believable, a slightly older friend of his raised some very pertinent questions about why this Santa couldn't have been real.

I dread having to deal with questions on "is this real?" when it comes to K. We did have a conversation about "Is Spiderman real?" & while he didn't seem heart-broken to have found out that his beloved Spidey is make-belief; I certainly felt like I've destroyed something precious in his imaginative world.

While in India, we picked up a children's book on the Ramayan & K loves reading it. Of course the question had to come "Is Ram a real person?" My reply was, "Some people believe him to be real, some don't". He mulled over it for a while & finally said, "I think he's not real because this is just a story. Monkeys can't really fly". We just left it at that.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Delhi Protests

Sitting here in Singapore, its quite scary reading online news in India these days. The barbarianism of the perpetrators of the heinous rape case in Delhi frightens me, yes. But what frightens me as much (or more) is the public reaction to the news. My facebook pages & the internet in general is full of people asking for these men to be castrated or tortured or publicly stoned or at the very least, killed.

I don't have sympathy for the men; god no! But why has the news of a savage act turned so many online readers into savages? Why do we suddenly start demanding eye-for-an-eye even so many centuries after the caveman died? It's as barbaric & reflects as badly on a culture that should know better. Maybe its anger. Or frustration. Or the nature of the internet - anonymity always brings out the worst bullies in us.