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Wills India Fashion Week 2012

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Today I visited Wills India Fashion Week today for the second time in last one week since its begining. Tonight was a Grand Finale by famous Indian Designer Ritu Kumar who is known for her extensive use of indian hand crafted textiles, embroidery and ethnicity explosion in her designs. 

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However, before reaching the Finale one had an option to sit through other designer exhibits as well which is a mix of many young and talented pink blood.

The Fashion Week in India is almost a decade old concept now and it was picked up to mirror the marketing and business model of fashion industries of other countries. Its primarily managed by FDCI which is the promotional body of indian fashion in India and abroad. If India was still a socialist country, you could very well call it the Labour Union of Indian Fashion. However, it relies heavily on designers and thus has quite weak legs of its own. Its format of fashion week is not unique. Its a copy of western style fashion weeks format. It goes like this: 5 weeks. Almost 5 designers every day. One Title Sponsor (thus instead of India Fashion Week or Delhi Fashion Week, its called Will India Fashion Week thus the commercialization of the whole concept is right at it top, even before its name). One manually glamourised venue (it takes place in a govt. trade fair space called Pragati Maidan i.e. Progress Ground where one giant hall is designed aesthetically for 5 days). To cut the long observation data short and join the juicy clips, lets fast forward to the experience.

As you began hovering down at the whole event the first thing you notice from up high in the sky like an eagle, is how colorful, cheerful and free the dotted crowd appears from there. There are beautiful models, fully made-up and dressed in skimpy clothes smoking confidently among the dull, brown-grey-dark crowd of water guys, labors, rehri-walas and boring amber light of delhi’s public spaces. They shine in that environment, a promise of hope, spectacle and positivity in this corruption ridden, poverty ridden land, you fly around young boys dressed up themselves straight from the Coldplay videos wearing Red, Green, Yellow, mustard  trousers with brown belts, white shirts and donning a detective’s hat like Jason Miraz; slipping out from the main gate like papers in a xerox machine one after another like photocopy of Gap ads from 90’s. There are security guards proudly guarding the mecca of higher society and pumped up high on testosterones with so much glamour. They are drenched in that temporary power which gets bestowed upon them by this position. you see that look when these gym hitting town-youths are employed on weekends to guard privilege venues like high profile clubs, pubs, concerts and fashion events.  To be continued…

VJ Solaris

              

Tonight I performed at Channel V’s Cafe in Gurgaon with famous electronic musician Ashwin from jalebee cartel. While i was preparing for it i began to see a pattern that can be applied to indian electronic dance music. People who consciously follow these gigs and people who just end up there both are looking for a new experiences. These are people who are bored with status quo. Audio Visual musical concert is nothing new in the world. people have been doing it for last 50 years. much before than i was born. However, for indians its a new thing. its happening now in india. people are foming communities, festivals and gigs around it. Sunburn’s success has really made people sit up and pay attention to this new form of experience. Experiencing something new or beautiful is a deep human need. for some its therapeutic and for some its just an alternative. People come seeking focus, pleasure and escape from these spaces. They wanna experience sounds that elevates them, carry them to a new place and visual can really enhances that experience. They wanna give control to the hands of these artist who entice them and then take them on a musical journey. A trippy happy sound already conditions the listeners. Visuals then can really hook up their senses and bring their senses to focus on the experience. a kind of immersive environment of a cinematic experience. they wanna to assemble a story in their head, like reading a book or consuming a comic but with sound and visuals while its being written in front of them. So far I have arrived at surrealism as one of the key hook during these performances. people respond to something thats dreamy, bizzare, shocking, dramatic combined together aesthetically into a narrative (if possible) or segements of stories that leaves them enthralled.    

Movie Review: The Campaign

 

Will Ferell has always been my fav comedian. His absurd sarcasm and bizarre satire tickles me everytime. And he has lived upto my expectations once again. I didnt plan to watch this movie. My friend came over from Delhi and we were supposed to go for a lovely drive in the Aravali mountains. However, I got stuck at work and couldnt leave on time. So we decided to stick around in the city and like many times in the past, i knew this time too we would end up watching a movie. In my head The Expandables has been running as a movie that i was inclined to watch for sometime. However there were no shows available for it and we ended up buying tickets for The Campaign. and when I saw the poster outside the ticket counter I immediately knew that this movie is gonna be hillarious. I had read no reviews of or saw any star-ratings of it so i was quite set up to make an individual opinion. I am a politically charged up man. Also coming from advertising background the ideas of publicity and image make-over interest me and I love humour. Its so rare that I get to watch a movie that has all three ingredients together in one story. So my expectations were already set even before we entered the cinema hall.

The Review: The story is about good vs bad in a comic style. Its begins on the premise of how big corporates control US elections to push their personal agenda. Succeeding this premise in the story are two lead characters, Cam Brady (Ferell) a 4 times successful veteren congressman and (Marty Huggins) the son a now retired veteren politician; who is kind of odd and too human to be in politics. The corporate executives want to push an agenda by using Marty as a candidate against Cam for the upcoming district elections in North Carolina. 

The bizzare and absurd comic situations follows in the battle of perceptions. Both candidates fight for higher numbers on popularity poll. All values are thrown aside in the fist fight. it gets really dirty before bouncing back to the climax of whats good and whats not. Though the humour is absurd and bizarre the story does reflects the true nature of political branding and altering people’s perception through election campaigns. It reminds me of many real time funny situations and bizarre logics from recent state elections in India when Rahul Gandhi was pitched against Mayawati. India is a politically charged country and i think its great movie for every indian to watch. Because the absurdity and bizarre nature of story might seem real to many indians. Go with a politically inclined friend and this movie would stimulate you both for post movie discussion. 

Video Jockeying - An art of visual storytelling. 

Have you ever experienced the difference between listening to music and watching a music video? Now take the concept and give the part of music to DJ and give the controls of the video to VJ and splash that experience in a club. This is video jockeying. it blends the energy of a club space and enhances it by adding visual treat to audible delicacies. I have been video jockeying for last 4 years now. Its an immensely gratifying experience as an artist and also as a consumer. A VJ likes it becos he has a brain thats pulsating with energy while he is controlling, experimenting and creating visuals with music and the audience like it becos it adds to their leisure experience. 

Movie Review: Ek Than Tiger

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I had been watching the trailers of Ek Tha Tiger on youtube since the month of july. I dont have TV so I am saved from the bombardment of its TV trailers. But the internet trailers were enough to give me a peek into the movie. The trailers were edited to appeal to the Salman Khan fans and Katrina Kaif followers. And i dont fit into any of these categories so my review of this film is gonna be not from a worshipper of these two but as an outsider. My friend had a hectic travelling schedule and she had already commanded me that she was going to watch this movie with me when she would return. You see, she has been in love with Salman Khan since Maine Pyaar Kiya! now she loves to see her favorite character from that movie growing up! so this is how I ended up watching Ek Tha Tiger. 

Movie Review: Salman Khan as an RAW agent is sent on a mission to observe the activities of a nuclear scientist who now lives in UK and falls in love of Katrina Kaif who is an ISI agent also on the same mission. He drops his mission and elopes with Katrina and the second half of the movie is all about how the two keeps running from the hands of RAW & ISI. If you have seen Isquejaade and Bourne Identity and are that extraordinarily genius species that is able to mix the two in his head coherently and finds it entertaining then this movie is for you. To me, the messiah of no-brainer entertainment fails even creating a useless crap that he is so famous for. The movie has no charm, storyline, characters or even farthest of logic. Even if you know that Salman movies and logic dont go together, the mindless entertainment is missing. There are few Jason Bourne type action scenes thats appealing. However rest of the time either you would be checking your wrist-watch, or trying to stay up or waking your partner up. And the only good song “Mashalla” comes in the end with the credits when the sweeper are cleaning the pop-corns from the seats. However,  if we go through the collection at the box office, this movie might break gross-earning records of any other Bollywood movie…dont ask me how but people of India do put their hard earned money into the pockets of such director and producers to make more mindless, entertainment-less, wit-less pieces of….movies. So dont burn your grey cells becos Neither RAW nor ISI can solve the mystery of why this happens!!

The Dark Knight Rises-Review from India

Alright!! “So whats all this big deal about the movie The Dark Knight Rises”? thats the question came into my mind when I began to see the buzz the movie was creating in my city. I live in Gurgaon. A small town that got transformed into a mid-size city over the last 10 years or so! Primarily occupied by Jats (formally, a farmer clan now turned into a rich-spoilts-uneducated-bunch of rowdy clan) that is now inhabited by a mixed community of punjabi businessmen from Delhi, nerdy software guys from down-south and struggling intellectual bengalis from Kolkatta. Anyhow, so i decided to go and watch the movie and as the hype was too much to bear and i wanted to get it off my list of to-do things.

11:30 P.M. show on a sunday night. Alone. I had no company you see as I decided to watch the movie at 11:15 p.m. so there was no time to organise friends in this escapade. Anyhow, So here’z my review of the movie:

The Dark Knight Rises could be any movie that has a hero, a villian and a out of the control situation where the evil plans of the sadistic villian had held the lives of people hopelessly hostage and this situation calls for a hero to save them. This is not a movie of batman but its a movie of heroism. Its a story that has been told and re-told so many times. Even the batman says it in one of the scenes “even a man who puts a coat on a kid and tells him that the world has not ended yet is a hero”. This is a story of a fallen hero who must rise up to the occasion for no reward more than to fulfill what he had promised to himself, what he believes in and to gather the strength to rise up again even when the world around him is crumbling. 

But, what sets this cinematic achievement apart is the refined structure of its story that would keep you tied to your seats while it takes you on a journey through themes of our times. It talks about organised terrorism, social-political weakness of our society as humans, the age old class struggle of rich vs the poor, the recent events of the fall of dictators in the arab-league states, some of the scenes in the movie even reminded me of Nazi-occupied states and world war II kind of tension with a nuclear bomb placed as a strategic weapon of negotiation and among all this chaos the batman is nowhere to be found. The people first desperate began to take recluse in this dark, oppressed state as the bomb ticks to a certain destruction. The city is abandoned even by the army as our masked villian with a traumatized past has put everyone on a strategically held hopeless position. But its not checkmate yet! because the knight still has one last move to make. But will the hero rise to the occasion? will he succeed? Will batman return to lead a war against the oppressor? Will he win? 

The movie makes for a great watchable experience. In my opinion, its a notch above than the last Batman movie. His weaponary have been improved by Mr. Fox. The bat-mobile is no more a car! its now an army chopper, that dodges missiles. His relationship with his guardian Alfred has become more deeper. There are scenes where Alfred’s concern for Batman is nothing lesser than a father. But, here’s the best entry into the list of characters in Batman’s life. A Cat! The catwoman played by Anna Hathway adds much needed sparks to this dark-blueish-greay world of Batman and she does live upto the expectation. The scene between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are hot. However, if you think this is all then there is the climax that would blow your mind! and yes people did clap at the end of the show!

Besides that, watch this movie to understand the feeling of an oppressive society, the emotion of freedom and the need of heros in our lives. As an Indian, we have lived that reality and we should give our freedom its long due respect! Because when India rose to fight, our heroes didn’t have a Bat-mobile!

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