Thursday, December 10, 2009


Do you remember the sparrow and the hay story? A sparrow at the Bangalore International Airport is going to need some. I settled down with a plate of idli and a bowl of spicy chutney and a book on the other hand and when I turned to dip a slice of the idli into the chutney… guess what? There was a sparrow feeding on it. A handful of sparrows have made the airport their home and they are unmindful of the people around as they fly and feed unperturbedly.


Found a man dressed in a Silk Shervani, Jodhpuris and carrying an orange leather briefcase at the airport at five in the morning. He quietly walks and positions himself at the beginning of the airport waiting line. And when I reminded him about the people in the queue… he coolly says ‘I know. I’m standing in the queue too.’ Dude!!


The ladies queue at the security check of BIAL is the best place to spot the branded beauties. Last time around it was a 25-ish something with a LV Speedy and what seemed like the Vaio pink-crocodile skin laptop. This time around another short 25-ish something was dressed obnoxiously in Burberry from head to toe – scarf, shirt, handbag and shoes. Fortunately she stopped short of wearing plaid pants too.


Did Chennai airport get a makeover or what? When I got down from the shuttle I almost thought I had taken the wrong flight. Shiny interiors, no dogs around, and baggage was already there when we arrived! The pre-paid taxi counter is now inside the airport itself… impressive! Two hours later I was back to haggling with the auto-rickshaw driver on prices – not impressive.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

District 9

Not having heard of many good movies around the block, M suggested a slightly older one that we had missed during the year and we settled for 'District 9' to watch over a late Sunday evening. You should know that we've been living without a television for the past 6 months. Earlier it was about finding a good house to settle in and then picking up a good TV. But now it's been more than 3 months since we found a beautiful place and we've snugly settled in and a TV is not yet in the horizon. So our daily entertainment is chiefly from books, friends, drives, shopping, eating and movies! Oh well, the whys and the why nots later, back to 'District 9' now.

The movie was supposed to be a disaster right from the story line - Aliens on earth, a UFO, gory scenes, aliens with worm like thingies on their nose, a dumb looking actor. I mean, please, whoever thought this would be as brilliant as it turned out to be. There were a number of times at the beginning of the movie we wanted to turn it off thinking it was too violent for our taste but fortunately we didn't.

District 9 is not just another alien movie – it’s not MIB and it’s not The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It’s actually the most human movie that’s been made in a long time. It shows the truth about how human (or inhuman if it helps you understand better what I mean) we can be. The basic plot is about aliens who find themselves stranded on earth and how as humans we deal with the circumstance. We kick them around, we try to grab their technology, we treat them like unwanted citizens, we conduct medical experiments on them… When we treat our own fellow beings like this why should aliens be expected to be treated differently? As the movie unfolds in Johannesburg, I begin to wonder if the makers really meant it to be an alien race or just another human race.

One scene touched the cord for me. After deciding that the aliens need to be moved to another place away from the city, the protagonist goes around each alien home serving eviction notices and making them sign the notice. The understanding that it’s perfectly okay as long as you just take the legal course – I guess that’s as human as it can get.