Herbert- A Rambling Non- Review

>> Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I was supposed to write my more serious experiences during these Pujas. I had had the most amazing, earth shattering ideas, thought up the sharpest of phrases and probably would have won the Pulitzer for that post. Unfortunately, by midnight yesterday, I had forgotten all about those experiences. I am flaky, absent minded and, possibly, a blonde with a permanent brunette hair colour. I blame it on Economics. The subject does not suit my mental prowesses. I am taking up Philosophy as soon as I can scrape up a graduation degree. However, till that happens, let my once-widening-and-now-stuck-at-seven blog reading population suffer more of my flakiness.
(What? I am a brute! The last post says so.)

My results are coming out. Possibly everyone I have ever been acquainted with knows about it. I have cribbed about it, cried about it, and warned people not to be surprised at the news of my death. Behind this scared exterior, however, lies an even more scared girl. The University I am registered under is not a very kind University. In fact, its a positive lemon in the garden of Universities (more Wodehouse plagiarized lines here). It revels in making its students psychotic killers. Not surprisingly, all the worry and the wonder has turned me into a zombie. Or an owl, if you prefer it. Sleep eludes me until its day break and then I sleep for fourteen hours straight. I am, of course, hours away from being disowned, but that is a secondary topic.

Last Saturday, after partying hard for seven hours straight, I trudged into my home to face another bout of insomnia. Television, my solace and savior, beckoned and at two a.m., I was enmeshed between a sofa and many cushions, channel surfing like there was no tomorrow.That is when I came across a Bengali movie. Normally, I do not watch Bengali movies, not being very well versed in the language (my ancestors are probably rolling in their graves now), but this one had English subtitles. Needless to say, I was intrigued. Any Bengali movie with English subtitles is an intellectual movie, at least that is what I believe, and intellectual Bengali movies are just the thing to make one a politician. Thus, I settled down more comfortably and started a movie marathon journey called Herbert.

I was not mistaken. The central theme was politics. Unless it had some obscure inner meaning I completely failed to comprehend. It started with the investigation of the death of a man called Herbert, who had caused a terrorist attack. The movie thus began unfolding, telling the story of Herbert, as a young, orphaned boy who was brought up at his uncle's place, treated miserably as a servant, growing up to become the supposed terrorist of the present year.

The movie, as many reviewers have noted, is perhaps a time traveling journey through Kolkata, showing it in its many facets, from the politically tumultuous 1970s to the more urbane, conscious city we know today. And we see Herbert suffering through it all, losing his loved ones one by one, through this amazing journey called Calcutta (I revert back to the name. It wasn't Kolkata then). We first see Herbert as dysfunctional, gawky, the proverbial idiot nephew in every family. But he grows on us, and we begin to see a more defined Herbert, the one who has a beautiful penmanship, the one who writes nonsense poems, the one who needs a hiding place, the one who flies kites, the one who has a vivid imagination, the one who has his unnamed longings, the one who dabbles in paranormal studies. Suddenly, he is not the idiot nephew anymore.

Another extremely important facet of the movie was its language. Possibly all the Bengali expletives known to man (and apparently unknown to Calcuttan policemen) were freely used. My knowledge of Bengali khisti increased overnight. Sadly, after I woke up next day at some time late int he afternoon, I had forgotten them all. Hopefully, someone else might fare better.

Predictably, since this movie was about politics, my college had a bit role to play. Its like second nature, a movie with few political leanings and suddenly, my college is a part of it. Though they did have a good view of it. And I liked the way the Presidency staircase was juxtaposed into the the 'Odessa steps', the site of a workers' uprising supported by the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin and Lenin's Iskra, where hundreds of Odessan citizens were murdered on the great stone staircase (copy-pasted from Wikipedia). Some things, apparently, never change. Not that I understand anything about politics. I never did. I saw the movie from the viewpoint of a person wondering why the screen was moving. I did not attempt to delve deeply and certainly do not have any political illusions.

The movie also used several interesting techniques of movie making, among which, is an interesting craft, called by reviewers the Brechtian art of Alienation. I do not know what it means. I do know what it referred to, though. Herbert's parents were shown in certain shots, filming the life of their son, giving a tragi-comic twist to the entire plot line. Perhaps that was what it was about. A tragi-comic life of an idiot who got entangled in situations beyond his comprehension. The story of a foolish do-gooder.

It was a sad movie. A bitter one. Not a movie I should have watching in the middle of the night. But the memory lingers. There still is an impact. I am yet to fathom of what.

To read more coherent reviews of this movie, go here and here. I write rubbish reviews.


The Personality Defect Test

>> Monday, October 29, 2007

Got the link of this site from Firewhisky.I knew I was evil, but they make me sound hideous. How I love them.
To realize you are not as flawless as you thought, go to

The Personality Defect Test

Your Score: Brute

You are 28% Rational, 28% Extroverted, 57% Brutal, and 85% Arrogant.

You are the Brute! You are introverted, arrogant, brutal, and more intuitive than rational. Like a big, dumb animal, you are driven by your emotions more than your reason, and as a result of the fact that you care very little for the feelings of others, you tend to be rather selfish. You also possibly fling your own poo. Because of your selfishness, you also tend to be a bit arrogant, seeing yourself as big or strong or smart or always correct. This makes you a stubborn, irrational, emotion-driven brute. King Kong best represents the gorilla-version of your personality. Emotional, introverted (King Kong was isolated on his own island, after all), brutal, and arrogant (proud to be the largest ape on Earth!), Kong would probably get along very well with you, seeing as how you share many of the same traits. Aside from, you know, all the fur. You probably keep to yourself and take great pleasure in watching fat people fall down stairs. (But who doesn't, really?) You probably also have dreams of becoming famous or well-known, but this most likely won't happen because your introversion limits your Hollywood connections. Being introverted, ape-like, and arrogant isn't so bad, though. It beats being dead. So your personality defect is simply that you act like a large, overgrown ape that thinks highly of itself whilst brutalizing buxom blondes. Or something.

Try to stay off of buildings.

If you do the tests, do leave your results. They make an interesting read.


My Ramble-Scramble Pujo Post-I

>> Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Five Rather Weird Pujo Occurences 2007

  • Even at 4:30 a.m. at Maddox Square, it is perfectly possible to meet someone you know, complete with additional props like drunken stupor . Our group had 9 girls and had the innate power to wake up around 73 guys, all resplendent with their cameras and weird hairstyles, which, as everyone knows, is the mating call of our generation. The presence of 7 boys with us could not defeat their purpose. The spirit of Maddox Square glows splendidly in these 73 men.

  • Houses actually have signs stating "Ei gate-r shamne roll ba Pepsi jatiyo khaddyo grohon korben na (Do not consume eatables like Pepsi and roll in front of this gate)". I still don't see why. Pepsi is possibly the least likely thing one would spill. Unless they used is as an example of the genre it belongs to, alluding to tequilas or beers. Though I do not see people trying to have tequilas on a corner plot at God knows where, where everyone in the world, specially relatives, are liable to see them. But why rolls? I like rolls. Long live rolls. I do not like cockroaches.

  • At Ekdalia and Singhi Park, they cordon off people like cows (not people who look like cows, but the act of cordoning them was similar to putting cows in sheds. No, I do not look like a cow). Though I have been told its quite an usual phenomena during pujo. However, what was more creepy was the fact that just a few hours before, I had watched a friend being turned into a cow in a play. Coincidence? I think not. Our existence is an illusion which is preventing us from realizing that we are all cows and after the famed nuclear holocaust, cows will be the only living creatures left for they are actually cockroaches in disguise. What we call cockroaches now are actually the real human beings. For do not they outnumber us all and behave as if they are planning a devious attack to wipe us from the face of earth?

  • The major Pujo headlines this year was the fact that both Rani Mukherji and Kajol wore sunglasses on Ashtami. Half of the world was scandalized at this apparent blasphemy in the name of Ashtami Anjali, the other half was busy admiring them. Of course, there is one section left, who do not belong to the world, mainly because of the fact that they do not really understand why it is news. Why is it news? Someone's hair got stuck in the blades of a table fan during Anjali last year at our para. Where were the scandal mongering journalists, I prithee? Does not this incident count as profanity?

  • They had a Pandal based on Central Jail. Durga, I am assuming is the warden. Unless it is Durga who is the innocent victim accused of some heinous crime she did not commit, Shiva is her lawyer, Ganesha and all her prison mates and the Asura is therefore either the true perpetrator of the crime or the warden. Unless it was the warden who did it. Damn. Why can't butlers be wardens? Then the butler could do it. Butlers always do it. That is what butlers are for. It justifies their existence.

A lot happened these Pujas. Most importantly, I fell in love. Some people do it madly, some idiotically, some precipitately. I? I do it in all three ways. For I went and fell in love with Gregory Peck. He is dead. But he is gorgeous. He has that aquiline nose I could kill to get into the genes of my future generations. For I have one which would put Indira Gandhi to shame. Does he have a son? A grandson? Does he look like him? I solemnly believe people as good looking as that should reproduce like crazy so that at least one kid turns out exactly like him. Though how Rakesh Roshan begat Hrithik Roshan remains a standing mystery, right after the great question of Who funds Dev Anand movies?

I also broke up with my long standing boyfriend of one year, who turned all of five this year. Reason being he prefers being carried around by my sister rather than me. Any person who prefers my sister to me has absolutely no taste at all. So we decided to end it this year. (I am not a pedophile. I would have waited for him to turn 21 before we got married. Its just that he was not maturing fast enough to realize the enormity of our relationship. Plus, he has a crush on this four year old. I can fight tooth and nail for my man but I cannot defy age. Youth calls to youth. I am nineteen, going on forty, with mid life crisis fast looming. I had no hope.)

Pujo this year was not only about failed romances with deceased men and alliances with babies. It was not only about Pandal hopping either. I hope to write more about it in my next post. Until then
Shubo Bijoya.


Mostly About Bellybuttons

>> Sunday, October 14, 2007

Disclaimer: If any reader actually thinks this entry will be perverted, explicit and a joy to an entire section of male population, I am afraid I will have to disillusion you. Not only is it only partly about bellybuttons, it mostly talks about male bellybuttons. There, you have been warned. Now proceed at your own risk.

A Saturday night is usually a very evil way of ending a week when you have

  1. no life
  2. no chance of midnight revelries
  3. a broken down computer, mainly because you repeatedly curse at it
After weeks of slogging for *mumble mumble mumble*, I finally had a morning when I could sleep for as long as I liked, for I have been blessed with parents who actually think I need as much sleep as I can get (They live in la-la land). Which obviously meant that I had an entire night to myself to do anything I liked without parental control or sunlight (I personally am not very fond of sunlight. Its way too over rated anyway). Hence I gave up some of my most precious, treasured, cherished and rare to find free hours to channel surfing.

After wandering around aimlessly at a few Bachchan movies, I finally reached Star World where they were showing Kyle XY which is about some boy who is different from everyone else. Why? He has no belly button. Oh, granted he has this really super memory and he completed reading every section of some encyclopedia in just an afternoon, and, oh, he has these amazing reflexes, but I mean, come on, no belly button? How cool is that? Spiderman did that reflexes thingy and androids or whatever he is supposed to be have huge memory reserves. Everybody knows that. But absence of belly buttons is the most unique Superhero trait ever. They might actually call him the NO BELLYBUTTON MAN, for he would roam around masked but topless, the bellybutton-less, washboard flat stomach being his stock-in-trade. It also helped that the robot or whatever the lead character is supposed to be playing is gorgeously cute which held my interest wonderfully. But his bellybutton-less existence had me spell bound and I spent a major part of an hour wondering what would life be like without a bellybutton. Other than the fact that if one did not have a bellybutton, there would be just one lesser body part to pierce, nothing really came to my mind. Does that make the belly button a vestigial organ?

The next batch of channel surfing led to a not-so-obscure movie called Dil Vil Pyar Vyar which is basically a meaningless movie with too much of sentiment, something I abhor, but has a few songs by Hariharan. I realize Mukesh loyalists cringe at the thought of his classics rehashed, but personally, any song sung in Hariharan's mellifluous voice is magical and an entire experience in itself. Hence, I steeled myself to watch a movie I would probably whimper for the rest of my life at the memory of. Unsurprisingly for a movie with 14 songs, one soon came along with a skimpily clad Hrishita Bhatt and a horror called Jimmy Shergill who actually had the gumption to wear an orange floral shirt with white trousers and a white jacket. Mercifully, the camera did not concentrate much on him. It was too busy following Bhatt's bellybutton in and around the railway station the song was shot at. It was then I made an observation that Kyle XY would not be much good as an actress over in India.
Because he has no bellybutton.

It was over an hour when realization finally struck me. I mercifully went to sleep.



>> Monday, October 08, 2007

Some day the wind will change and you will see me clearly
One day these dreams of mine will bring me to my time
Some day i will become what i am meant to be coming to
One day but that's a million some days from today

Lately the sunshine makes a different shape around
Lately my music has a different sound to show me
Lately i ask questions of the world but no one is listening
Tell me when i go to sleep what will the morning bring me?

Falling, falling, falling, or am i flying?
Flying, flying, flying, or am i falling?

Though this is perhaps one of the most beautiful and lasting songs I have ever heard in a lifetime of music, I never could fathom its meaning completely. Sometimes I thought I understood what it was all about, but the last refrain always jumbled up all meanings born in my head. Until, that is, I came across this.

The song has a whole new aspect now. And never was it more beautiful.


Reflections on my future

>> Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sometime last year, while having the all important decision of choosing a life-defining career option thrown at my head, to be resolved in a couple of days, I chose Economics as a graduation subject. Now, everyone who knows me realizes I am a trespasser through the complex nitty-gritties of the subject, not only because I wandered into it by accident, but because I am sticking to it by sheer will power and the fact that most of my closest friends seem equally immune to its thrills and joys. Solow Model gives me no hope for humanity and I would rather worship the duo of Jeeves and Bertie rather than Hicks and Slutsky, notwithstanding the fact that the name of the latter partly borders into an adult context.
[For the uninitiated and the interested(why?), Hicks and Slutsky are famous economists known for deriving a couple of graphs no human could ever reproduce without losing a thick thatch of cranial hair and a couple of fingernails]

However, I do not vex over the question of my future, do not fear unemployment (specially since I have to read an entire chapter on it for the next term) and certainly do not worry about ending up as a vagabond. For while at school (it was school where I devised most of my hair brained plans, aided and abetted by one of my best friends and maddest companions, ad libber KS), I had devised a career option, certain to provide me with ample means to lead a life of luxury and have a twenty-four protection from all kinds of lawful segments of society. For should not terrorists be eternally devoted to the teacher of their young, fragile youth who accompanied them in their joyful gambols and taught them the name of their first revolver?

For KS and I have decided to open up a Kindergarten for Young Terrorists for specialized attention in their selected stream of study. Both KS and I believe that the molding of an young mind should begin early and if kids were born to bomb innocent human beings, they should learn to do so early, so as to prevent any symptoms of actually having a heart. We even charted a whole new course plan with a revised system of teaching alphabets to young kids using words and metaphors familiar to them with regular usage. Which brings us to the purpose of this post, the public unveiling of

The Revised Alphabets for Kindergarten Terrorists

A is for AK 56
B is for Bombs
C is for Cartridges
D is for Dynamites
E is for Enemies
F is for Fireguns
G is for Grenades
H is for Handguns
I is for Incendiary Bomb
J is for Jail
K is for Ku Klux Klan
L is for Laserguns
M is for Machineguns
N is for Naxalites
O is for Osama
P is for Pistols
Q is for Qaeda
R is for RDX
S is for Suicide Bombers
T is for Terrorism
U is for USA
V is for V2
W is for WTC
X is from Xenophobia
Y is for Yataghan
Z is for Zealots

However there still remains a certain trepidation as to some of the mentioned might come and kill us in our sleep (I actually am presumptuous enough to think Osama Bin Laden reads my blog) so I would like to clarify with them that KS and I are not innocent citizens and murdering us would be a great service to our nation, which, as an act, is complete contrary to the image you are trying to build of yourself. Hence, if you want to remain the feared and favoured few, the best decision you could ever make is employing us as the basic infrastructure in your economy. That, my friend, would be your greatest and most fearless act as a terrorist.


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