Friday, August 01, 2008

Teaching from a Genghis Khan perspective

Friday, 1st August. Lots of things happened today. To begin with, as of today I am officially no longer their teacher :-( I hope they know though that I shall still be at their service 24.7 for as long as it takes. No empty words, even though I started my new job today. Okay, I stand corrected, because it is not an entirely new job. In a long forgotten past (read: some three years ago) I did work for NMO (Dutch Muslim Broadcasting Corporation) before. Loved the job. Yet after having taught for just four months I wonder whether journalism can be as fullfilling as teaching. Perhaps, in due course, I should combine the two. To use but a cliche: time will tell.

Ramchand Pakistani no Valentine to India
Whoever thinks Indian cinema is all about Bollywood and that all else is uninteresting, then don't bother to read the next bit which is about Ramchand Pakistani. A film that was released in both India and Pakistan today. Even before its release it already stirred quite a buzz. For one thing it stars one of my all-time favourites, Indian actress Nandita Das (Fire, Earth and Provoked), the rest of the cast coming from Pakistan.

Over a black screen, the words appear: adapted from actual events. The world is full of mad facts, but among the maddest is that in 2002, when Indian and Pakistani troops massed against each other on the countries' border. Ramchand Pakistani is the true story about an eight-year-old boy named Ramchand who wandered over the invisible line separating his own side of the desert from that of India's and was taken prisoner. In search of Ramchand, his father too crossed the invisible border and he too was thrown in jail. For five years father and son were held in an overcrowded Indian jail.

Poignant detail is that Ramchand's family is part of a Hindu tribe of untouchables, making them both suspect and powerless in Pakistan. Nandita Das thus proves doubly brave for taking the part of Ramchand's mother: Ramchand Pakistani isn't exactly a valentine to India.

Playing the younger Ramchand, Syed Fazal Hussain proves one of those miracle discoveries-he's a real kid, all piss and vinegar and shaking vulnerabilities-and director Mehreen Jabbar does well to dwell on his face as much as she does. The world is, after all, full of mad facts-but full of beauty, too.

Singh is Kinngh; Snoop Dogg goes gaga over India

Recently bombay star Akshay Kumar and Snoop Dogg shot this video clip in Chicago for the film ‘Singh is Kinng’ with Snoop dressing up in full Indian attire. The song is a mixture of Bhangrra and hiphop. Rumour has it that Snoop Dogg now wants to enter Bollywood to shoot a motion picture.

The video release is slated for release this coming Wednesday, two days before the premiere of the film Singh is Kinng. In the Netherlands you can go and watch the film in the Pathe Theatres de Kuip; Spuimarkt and Arena as well as the BiosWollf theaters Mustsee Groningen, Plaza Nieuwegein and Cinestar Enschede. For more info, do go to Bharat Entertainment International. Enjoy.