Republic of Failed Dreams

The positive about Republic Day 2018, is the deepening of our relationship with the Nusantara. The negative is the marginalisation of many configurations on a day that we celebrate our flawed democracy. In 1950, granting voting rights to all citizens in a post colonial nation state scarred by partition, was audacious. A thought ahead of its time. Democracy though is not only about elections. It is not a chore. Rituals are moments to reassess and reflect on the journey. We are a nation where a group stalls discourse. This is democracy too. RK Nagar elections is also democracy.

Cow, Caste and Capitalism

Are totems

Of everyday life

Republic Day is an extended weekend

We hoist the flag

Sing the Anthem

Flutter flags

Purchased at the traffic signal

Haggled down to the paisa

With the homeless Street hawker

This is our democracy

Democracy is a packet of Biryani

We digest it easily

Debates are harder


All The Money In The World: A Movie on Global Capitalism

All the money in the world is a period classic ( early 1970’s again as the spotlight) on the attitude and dynamics of wealth with an oil billionaire Getty, and the kidnapping of his grandson in Rome. It has all the trappings of the times; 1948 Saudi Arabia and the Hejaz Railway, Playboy interviews, the heady leftist feel of Italy and ex CIA agent speaking Arabic to cut deals with Tribesmen. The volatility of the 1973 oil embargo features well here. The backdrop of gulf oil capitalism reaching San Francisco boardrooms via cobbled Rome and the English Countryside has a terrific sweep of Globalisation. The scenes capturing the smoking on the flights, which are not allowed now a days, is the symbolic vain of the 1970’s.

The political economy of artistic patronage with roots in tax evasion, with formation of charitable trusts is a highlight, with the Getty Family Museum in LA a remainder of the family wealth. Art and Artefacts don’t change like people, make them reliable, is what the dirty old man quipped in the movie, while cutting deals and corners to not pay his favourite grandson’s ransom even after one ear was chopped off as a warning by the kidnappers.

The actor who played billionaire Getty is brilliant with cocky confidence who washes his inner wear in a star hotel suite to save a tenner. The movie captures the zeitgeist of the era well, with the non aggressive cinematography, and the dialogue writing/screenplay winning the day. Historical context is the hero of the movie. A strong star cast with solid acting throughout the movie.

A must watch of a movie. The talented Mr. Ridley Scott has a winner.