Padma Sri Anyone???

I read the most upsetting news bit in a marquee of a famous news channel the other night. “Aishwarya Rai to receive Padma Shri along with others on 26th January”. I was ashamed of our country at that moment. Aishwarya Rai for art ? In which sense of the word ?!

Is the Padma Sri sold out like the millions of film awards? I guess so. Definitely, Jodhaa Akbar was one of the less deserving ones among those nominated for one of the many awards to follow. But all the awards were swept by them which seemed like a paid show. Art ? Does she know any ? Apart from perfect symmetrical features and God and genes given beauty, she remains plastic to anyone who cares about performances in movies. She does look good in outfits, but her awful performances in almost any movie just make those designer costumes also a waste. Jodhaa Akbar was hardly tolerable and her contribution to Hollywood remains absolute Zilch with a sneeky performance in Pink Panther 2. ( Dont tell me Mistress of Spices was worth a hollywood tag). What art are we talking about here? Oh well, consider the art of being in the limelight continuously with her new martial status and “Bachchan” tag. She makes it regularly to the list of “Most Desired Women” in some foreign magazine and makes it a point to be mentioned in the papers atleast once a while. (Does she pay journalists to take her interviews ever so often?).

This post may seem like a lot of Aishwarya bashing, but hell no! Its bashing the committee which chooses these awardees. Her name being included in the list just makes us wonder if these awards are indeed biased and sold out or atleast influenced. It hurts to take away the credit from the really deserving people out there who finally won the award. But her presence? For art ? Definitely no no. Beauty ? Perhaps yes.

Having said so much about the garbage prevalent in our bollywood, I cringe at the criticism melted out at the recent ‘SlumDog Millionaire‘. Amitabh Bachchan writes a personal opinion on his blog and lo and behold! the nation feels the same way. I choose to differ. The truth is shown in the movie. There is no mention of India being ONLY slums, but slums form an integral part of our landscape. Do you think the slums shown in the movie were sets ? No, absolutely real! Then they ask, what are we marketing to the west? Mumbai airport is surrounded by slums and street urchins beg at every traffic signal in Mumbai or Delhi. Dont the westerners encounter them? Dont they actually see that ? They are curious about the slum dwellers since they are something they havent seen before. Instead of taking steps to cut down the begging industry shown blatantly in the film or the fact that young girls are taken to brothels, we just create a hue and cry asking people not to watch the movie. India is shown as a poor country? Then make a good movie showing India in good light? Did our people expect Singh is King to win nominations for the Oscars? Or perhaps a copy of another english film “Memento” to make it there? Firstly, we copy everything from some Hollywood film, be it the latest Raaz( a heady mix of The Ring, Exorcist and Stigmata) or Gajini( Memento) or Yuvraaj (The Rainman) and then tell the west, look at the Indian film industry?

Agreed, the west aint all that clean also.They like to project certain stereotypical images of countries in Asia. Israel should make war movies, France should make arty movies etc etc. But hell, this movie deserves no complain. We must accept reality, choose to eradicate the shortcomings and be honoured that the most deserving musician who definitely is one of the best in the world has finally got what he deserves. A Golden Globe and some Oscar(s) definitely.

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8 thoughts on “Padma Sri Anyone???

  1. I laughed out loud when I saw her face in The Hindu against Padma Shri.

    Art today be ash,
    And artists, trash.
    They art sick,
    Their art sicker.

    And where does Harbhajan Singh figure in all this?
    ———————

    You’re the only one I know who loves Slumdog Millionaire. High-fives! I don’t know much about Mumbai, but I know that our people are angry with the movie because it reminds them of India’s awkward face. I don’t understand why they comfortably forget that the developed India is also clearly shown to bring out the contrast.

  2. “They like to project certain stereotypical images of countries in Asia. Israel should make war movies, France should make arty movies etc etc.”

    True. A friend who saw “Page 3” with me here, commented – “This looks like a modern movie. Is India like that?”

    If I were to criticize, I’d criticize the west and not the movie makers. They choose to show India in the setting they wish to (which is varied, of course). However, the west chooses to look at India in the same stereotyped fashion it has always looked at and refuses to look beyond it.

  3. agree with you about both the things… i guess the reason aish has been awarded is because by some weird means she manages to remain in the limelight and figure in some magazine or the other… also, did u by any chance see the star screen awards? akshay’s speech!! what the hell??be thankful that the audience voted for u…creating a scene..anyways the whole ceremony was just a show..every tom, dick and harry got an award

    and ya i am rooting for rehman just like all the other indians 🙂

  4. jai ho! 🙂
    this comes after the oscars..
    am not a fan of the song or slumdog but am happy nevertheless

    ps- dev patel is nice na? 😛

  5. Ash, well, the govt needs to get in sync with a vas majority of the male population that seems to think Aishwarya is the epitome of theatrical art, u know, what with elections round the corner n all :-/

    As for slumdog, well, to be frank, did it really deserve the oscars? or even get nominated for it ? It din’t have half the quality that a movie that deserves to be nominated should have. And people compare it with ‘the curious case of benjamin button’ et al, and give it a superior rating, well, thats bullcrap according to me. The only reason it got the raving reviews was the portrayal of the huge economic-growth juggernaut India as a nation in shambles, literally.
    Although i disagree with the claim that only negative aspects were shown and that we must not rejoice for the movie bagging 8 oscars, i believe we must mourn for the death of disinterested criticism and celebration of actual art.

    (big words there 😐 )

  6. Nice one!

    The way I look at it, a new category of entertainment must be brought in. Categorizing mainstream cinema, at least in India, into Art would be a blunder. We may call it entertainment or sexual gratification or some blah. And at the same time, the whole industry of entertainment cannot remain devoid of state recognition. So a small award quota for them would suffice. At least it would be an insult to all those real artists who take the award along with the likes of Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai.

    And about Bollywood copying scripts, what’s new about that. If the name of the film industry itself is a lift (Bombay’s Hollywood, hence bollywood? What were they thinking?!), no wonder the scripts and all are lifted.

    No particular comments on Slumdog. The Academy mindset I guess. Remember that year when they decided to honor all the black guys in movies all of a sudden(Sidney Poiter, Denzel Washington, Harry Berry et. al). This time it was Indians, that’s all. And I want to see how these Academy guys would react if the heard the actually good songs of Rahman.

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