Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The koward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"
                     oscar wilde , the ballad of reading gaol







When was the last that I thought of you...I know not...but am I the one who goes alone on this path...and should I but care only a little for the souls that follow or those as march ahead?

Mode C is a way of life, perhaps my way of life: C for Cool, C for Cold, C for Chaos, C for Calvin. Ultimately, all of it boils down to the way you look at things. Are they not how they are but just how they appear?? No...and yes...Almost all the seriously critical fundamental concepts of life...aren't they just the bogies under Calvin's bed that he is afraid of? Miss Wormwood, Susie, Mom and Dad, and of course above all, Hobbes...aren't they all merely the means that he uses to attack these bogies?

Reflecting on 'living the Calvin way', I have started to believe that life and our reaction to it can only be explained by a number of Calvin and Hobbes strips combined together. The philosophy, as I like to call it, is to know that you are not alone. It is not just my perspective alone that is going to help me fight my bogies. I will be able to inch towards the Calvin way only when I perceive the other perspectives on my way.



   
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My Past
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All pictures and names concerning Calvin and Hobbes are copyright Bill Watterson


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Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Can there be a living without a life?


An HIV postive person is not the same as an AIDS patient

A disease can take away a person's life, but why are we taking away the person's living?

What is the sense in fighting, knowing fully well that someday, it's all going to end?

There is not even a single law in India related to discrimination in work place against an AIDS patient




At the very outset, I must say that Phir Milenge has impressed me quite a lot. Before I write anything else however, let me warn all readers that the movie is not meant to entertain you. It is one of those different movies that come, but rarely, and are so often lost in the maze that is the Indian movie market. Directed by Revathy, one of those southern once-I-am-here-once-I-am-not actresses who feel the need to prove themselves in Hindi movies to believe themselves worthy of their salt. I am not too sure about her acting, but Revathy has certainly proved her mettle, as far as direction goes.

Phir Milenge is the story of a happy, hard-working, lively girl, Tamanna who, true to her name, is ambitious and wants to make something big out of her life. Driven by the dream to appear on the cover page of Business Today, she lives in Bangalore with her younger sister, Tanya, who is a RJ on the local FM channel. She has her own circle of friends, her own professional life in which she, as a young achiever, is totally involved. She is the co-founder and creative head at TJ Associates, an advertising and publicity firm.

Tamanna has an old gurukul flame in Rohit, who has not been heard of for the past ten years and has suddenly come back to India. Tamanna takes leave from a very tight-schedule project she has been working on to go and visit her old arts school, where she hopes to meet Rohit. Tamanna gets her leave, goes back to meet Rohit, and there are expressions of mutual love and all is fine till the next time.

All is going great guns in Tamanna's life till the day when Tanya, her sister, has an accident and Tamanna is called upon to donate blood for the blood bank. Some days later, she is called back from her final presentation to a very important client by the doctor who tells her that she is HIV positive. This is where the movie gets into top gear in so many aspects...acting, direction...you name it.

Tamanna goes into depression for some days till she realizes that she is not helping anyone, least of all her sister, by escaping from life. She decides to make a comeback but is prevented from doing that by her mentor and boss, who has already hired a replacement for her and even credited him with all the work that Tamanna had done. He believes that her being HIV positive speaks of her character and competent or not, he is not going to let an AIDS patient work in his company. Tamanna's pleas about her not being affected from AIDS but being only HIV positive and still competent enough to work in her old capacity go to deaf ears and that is when she decides to take up arms and fight it out in the court.

Despite several attempts, Tamanna is not able to find a lawyer to fight her case till she meets Tarun, who after refusing her the first time, is impressed by her fighting spirit and decides to help Tamanna. Taru's teacher and mentor, Lal, also gets in the act as he guides both Tamanna and Tarun towards the case that may get Tamanna's rights back.

This is when Rohit makes another entry into Tamanna's life. After being incommunicado for so long, Rohit is now suffering from AIDS and has come back with a hope against hope that Tamanna has not been affected with the virus due to him. Rohit is dying, and so is Tamanna's will to fight. She knows that even if she gets back all her rights, her job, her prestige, her social standing...all she is destined for is being a vegetable like Rohit and dying a horrible, lonely and prolonged death.

As Tamanna spends most of her time caring for Rohit, Tarun takes up the matter from here and despite losing the case in the lower court, goes on to appeal in the high court, impressing the judges with his arguments and probably even winning the case for Tamanna (the movie ends without telling us the exact outcome of the case).

The movie touches you, if not anything else. It is based on a very different theme and one which is very much a reality...so much so that it is very easy to relate to it's characters and the way things are going on in the movie. The movie also makes you wonder if all the media attention that AIDS has got, has not actually gone against the interests of the people most affected by the disease and its carrying virus. The movie has more to do with people, relations, and what keeps one going, than anything else.

Not only is Phir Milenge a question mark on the contemporary Indian society that talks about openness and logic, but it also focuses on how things are changing in the modern India. The movie goes on to show that the modern face of India is actually more of a hypocrite than the one reflecting the basic traditions that are ingrained within us...regardless, the hope exists...we are still able to juggle between the two and at times, raise our conscience enough to actually care.

The direction, as I already mentioned, is nothing less than superb. Right from giving each character its due, to maintaining the correct lighting, hues, etc. in the set design, Revathy has done everything just right. The actors are not too far behind in proving their mettle. Shilpa Shetty has gone beyond her role in the movie Dhadkan and has actually surpassed expectations in portraying Tamanna with a lot of conviction. She has not only played the lively Tamanna to the hilt but has also looked vulnerable in the scenes with Rohit. The best part of her talent comes through as she realizes that she has no point left in going on with the fight because she will, one day, end up like Rohit. The way she breaks down has been very well enacted.

Abhishek Bachchan as Tarun, the lawyer, is as good as ever. This actor does deserve more credit than he gets. He is one of the few people in the Indian film industry who can really get away with dry humor, and that too in a big way. No one else...well, apart from the Tumhara naam kya hai Basanti Amitabh...has been even clsoe to him. He is that and much more in this movie, as he plays the suave and yet caring lawyer with a panache.

Salman Khan is just adequate and fortunately for the viewers, controlled, in his performance. He plays Rohit, the AIDS patient who dies after having affected Tamanna with the HIV virus.

The only negative with the movie is one that is true with any southern product mish-mashed and presented for the northern market. All the support cast, including Tamanna's sister have a distinct southern accent and despite the past three years that I have spent in South India and all respect I have for South Indians, I simply can not digest a hindi movie with central characters speaking Tamanna with an hach (read h). With the lead cast doing an exceptional job, the others do lend a jarring note that really takes away the feel of the movie. Apart from Mita Vashisht, who plays the role of the attorney representing TJ Associates, Tamanna's erstwhile employers, rest of the cast is, in one word, ordinary.

The movie does have some good music but unfortunate that it is, there is no scope for songs in the movie. There is only one song, which is more like the theme song of the movie...keeps going in and out of the scenes.

All in all, the movie is worth watching if you are in one of those moods when you have just recovered from a bad headache...when you are still feeling a little down with the cold that has been blocking your nose for long...when you don't really want to play loud music...when you think that a sea beach is the ideal place to be...when you want to see something really worth the time and effort...

Posted at 11:24 pm by Nitai



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