Mardaani. I have a question.

Mardaani has done well. Surely everybody worked hard and deserve all their success. Child trafficking as their leitmotif hits hard and in the right places. The film team is also promoting public awareness. All very nice.

My question is regarding the children, mostly young girls acting in the film. Can the movie safely issue a statement ‘no children were emotionally traumatized during the making of the film?’ There was obscenity in the film. there was nudity, there were scenes, if I had a young daughter however talented, I wouldn’t want her to act in. Yet there are parents such as these who have peddled their children in the Bollywood industry. An industry known to have a dark underbelly.

Was there trafficking during the making of this film? Is my question. Who are these children acting out explicit scenes of prostitution? How were the children’s portfolios made? How were they auditioned? How were preferences made? What was the level of desperation for a big Bollywood role?

Given the way the Bollywood machinery works this allegation will be easily subverted.
Still the issue of artistic hygiene remains. And integrity. If I make a hit film about honesty does it matter that I stole money to make the film?

Hatari, a wildlife classic and my all time childhood favorite starts with an actual sequence of a big game hunt. So what? The world remembers it for the cute baby elephant song.
Animals were harmed during the making of the film. But does it matter?
The film is a hit!


The Hundred Foot Journey. A movie review

A little jewel, petit bijou.
Seldom does one see a movie that feels like a good book.You don’t want it to end. And little did I think Hollywood and Bollywood would share the same space in my time, as seamlessly as Om Puri and his ‘almost’ girlfriend in the film, the Oscar winner Helen Mirren.
‘You are a chef. Chefs don’t burn things.’ Is what is said to a French cook who tries to burn down an Indian restaurant in a racial attack. The Indian restaurant is run by a Muslim widower and his five children. Their restaurant is noisy, complete with the faux Taj facade and the zardozi center spreads.
The other one I took away was- “Food is memories.”
Just like cinema actually.
As the characters capture the essence of cuisine in making- the perfect omelette, so does the film-with the essence of story telling.
The crunch comes when Om Puri’s character mutters during a tense moment in the kitchen.’lehsun cheel na.’
Perfect. With a delicious aftertaste.
Three Michelin Stars

The Other

I am ,
The minor raped,
You are,
The juvenile serving time in jail.
I am,
The hob nailed boot.
You are the flower in the concrete.
You are the carpet bomber.
I am the razed city.
Me my mine yours
Child children
Is are
Destroyed by the word
If ‘ the other’ was removed from
The languages of this world.
Violence would be different.
Not this.