Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Reality Check: Danny Boyle style

There's been a lot of chest beating over Slumdog Millionaire.

"Oh they have shown slums and not our malls", "oh they have shown shit and not our granite five star loos", "oh they have shown begging as a profession and not our software coders", "oh they have shown riots", "of they have shown hookers", "oh they chose a has been and not our super stars", "oh the West loves to mock us".

My question is, is there anything shown which is not true? And who will remind us of this reality? We will even forget that the streets of India exist left to the Karan Johars and Yah Raj's of the world. Forget the reality of Indian streets.

Someone had to wake us up. Sadly enough it had to be an Irish man.

We can exult saying that we are the next super power. By saying China beware.

But somewhere we need to get real. Our politicians, our roads, our public transport, our concern for others, our concern for the environment... the list of areas where we trail the developed nations is huge.

Somewhere we need to realise that a lot has to be done back home and something seems to tell me that others won't do it for us.

We can exult in an Obama and revel in him. But the reality is that he is not our President. We are still stuck with amazing set of politicians ever. Most of whom should be in old age homes. The other should be in jails.

Guess I need a stiff drink.

When I last heard Indian culture is fine with men who drink.


Scarlett said...

You are so right. KJ & YRF dish out escapist fare at best. Left to them, we'll start thinking Manhattan & Switzerland are the real India! I also couldn't agree more on our politicians' bit. Most of them are octogenarians. God knows we've never needed young blood steering our country more than now. How about getting a Barack Obama for ourselves? :)

Serendipity said...

Was gonna say something about what you've wrttien until i read this - "A good adda works when we discuss things till the cows come home".

And now, for the life of me i cant remeber what it is that I Wanted to say!


The knife said...

@Scarlett: An Obama would be great. The country needs hope and dynamism. But where do we get him from? I don't think Alfa (the imported goods shop here) stocks Obama
@Serendipity: And then, in Calcutta, we would go to Nizams and have beef rols

Aria said...

When I watched the movie, I had no idea it was going to receive such a tremendous amount of criticism, really. Sad.. When, like you said.. It's all true. We can't get ourselves off our butts to DO something about it, but hey.. We MUST make a fuss, right?

Btw, I still can't figure out what's SO BAD about the word 'slumdog'! Enlighten me?

Lastly, chanced upon your travel blog recently. Then got hooked onto your food blog. Now I'm delighted about this! :-) Keep blogging, you! Love reading them.

The knife said...

Hey Aria, thanks for dropping in. Am sort of over the moon with your comments :)

Often things start with making a fuss. The sort of stuff we tolerate is really something. Look at Mumbai. Its supposed to be the financial hub of the future global economic centre.

Has one seen the roads, the potholes, the dust. We take pride in our local trains and the number of people they transport is phenomenol. But can't they look better. Can't they have loos one needn't pass out at?

Or they build flyovers which are decimated before they are operational

Whom are we kidding?

The knife said...

@Aria: dog is considered to be a bad word in parts of society - 'kurte kamine' types.

problem is that there are people who are misleading others. They have been told that the film refers to people in slums as 'dogs' Which is not true. The reference was to a character over there. Like reservoir dogs

I personally love dogs.

Aria said...

You kiddin'? Love dogs too.. Bought a house just so I can fill it up with dogs. ;) (I hope the husband's not reading this, EVER)

Besides the point.. Point being.. Not good. You mean to tell me that people in the West needed a "Slumdog Millionaire" to tell them just how bad an issue poverty is, in India? Dhyaaatt!! They know what India is all about. Sad but true. I hope it never happens, but the rate at which we're going.. We won't have anything good to brag about very soon. (Apart from the street food in Calcutta i.e.) :)

The knife said...

I love we have a house where we can keep one. I am so tempted. Dogs follow me like a magnet wherever I go. The problem is both of us go to work.

I think people had got tired of being seen as a country of lepers and snake charmers. We had got used to a lot of self thumping from the 90s onwards. So this seemed a bit deflating.

I think it stems from a sense of insecurity and lack of confidence. There are enough films in the West which are quite self critical.

And we will always have phhuchkas