Monday, 30 April, 2007

Introducing Vatsala`s Can

Can at Fort Aguada (Goa)

I have this austrian Coffee-Cooking-Can with me. Its a gift from somebody settled in Vienna these days to somebody living in Bombay. And cause i just decided to try everything at least once in my live, this can is with me till i finally will move to Bombay. Actually I am not forced to deliever it but am allowed to use or leave it anywhere and whenever i want to. But once i have my own coffeeconnections and this can is so shiny (and the camera really loves it), i still carry the thing arround. To shoot a crazy, absurd fotoserial was just something i had to try, and this is probably the best chance to do it. To be honest, this was not my idea, but the charming vienna-settled-persons. Whether the idea came up just to convince me to deliever it in Bombay or to give me the possibility to meet somebody nice in the ugliest place in the world... it doesn`t matter if you are sitting in Vienna, drinking wine and imagine nice pictures of the can in front of the Taj Mahal, the Himalaya, at Ganges or at Kajura-temples. So then. Quest accepted. One of the slots in my bag is now exclusivley occupied by the Quest-item.

Me, thinking what to do with the can

I definitley want to keep the can for my Bombay arrival. I can already see myself there with an adressbook full of names to call, but then completly planless whether to start with Sanjay Dutt, Simi Garewal or Shah Rukh. Finally I maybe will decide to meet the girl named Vatsala first and at least will cook one fine coffee for her.


To sum it up: I am just exercising with the object and the room arround it, without any special reason or further knowledge about photography. If any other can now feels discriminated or abused or jealous cause of this pictures.... well, i am sorry, but honestly thats not my problem if you decide to read my blog. Go and boil some water.







Monday, 23 April, 2007


Sunday. 23, April. Delhi.

Hi out there. I know- It has been a while since the last posting. I am fine, don´t worry. In fact i had so many experiences that i just didnt had the time to write something here. Right now i am in Delhi and have some time left before i will catch a bus to northern India tomorrow.

First of all i forgot to give you my next "best picture of the week", which i took right before i went to Panjim. Please meet Javer, who is a kaschmiri trailor settled in Calangute (North Goa): He is not just very good in his profession but also an adorable Abhishek Bachchan lookalike.

By the way- the last weeks it happened rather oftenly to me that indian fellows told me that i look like Bollywood-actress Katrina Kaif. Well, i dont really kow what they mean, but it is sort of an extra-bonus to be seen like this. And once Katrina Kaif is not one of the worst choices and seems to be of growing popularity i can live with that. But people who know me, may laugh now. But, dear friends- you know what? I consider a original Krrish-Mask my own- and you don´t! So who is laughing now? √Ątsch.

But there is something that i would like to share with you: I participated at Bollywood-Movie Shootings in Goa! The Movies title is "Shaadi Ke After Effects", starring Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora Khan, directed by Mr. Indrajit Lankesh.

If you want to know how this could happen to me read the following:
It started with my plan to move from Palolem to Patnem. Palolem is actually nice, but still to loud and to busy. And overfilled with crazy dogs and a recordnumber of cows. And sadly we had two drowned honeymoon-indians on one day, cause of the very dangerous waves. So i took my guitar and searched for a silent place.
When i arrived in Patnem i checked some beach-shacks and spoke to a bargainer-guy who forced me into some smalltalk-chai-shadow-sitting-thingi. Well- it took only 2 minutes when he realized with a glance in his eyes that i am somehow interested in indian Cinema. He immediatley sent me to discover the next beach. So i climbed the rocks there and run directly into a nearby song&dance set. One or two moments were passing by while i was deciding to whom to talk first. Then decided for the guy with the cap. Lucky strike. It was the director. After a ten minutes of this spontaneus interview i was allowed to stay with the crew, taking pictures and speaking with everybody.

I spent the next three days with them and spoke to the Producer, the Stars, the choreographers, the dancers, the Set designer, and many of the crewmembers like decoration department or the technicians and the equipment-carriers- but the lower the hirachy goes, the more difficult it gets, cause many of them came from Bangalore and weren`t able to speak english.

The shootings were quite stressing but seemed very concentrated to me. There was no script on the set cause it was just song and dance, but usually they worked with one for this movie. It was the last scene for the film, which will be released in August. I was surprised to learn that all of the dancesteps are learned by the actors and backgrounddancers right on the set. Arbaaz Khan (brother of Salman Khan and husband of Malaika Arora) did very good with that, despite he was not really dancing in his earlier career. It took 2 to approximatley 6 rehearsels befor the real take. The backgrounddancers themselves wouldnt need any rehearsels at all, cause they are understanding really fast what to do. And even if the stressed-out assistant Director says something like "Girls! Do something! Just something", they stay professional and it will look good.

To sum it up i would say, that everybody who worked on this film enjoyed it. Some guys, like f.e. Somu, who is doing makeup nowadays, have done other jobs in the past, but so much enjoy to work within filmmaking (Somu f.e. has been a former IT-Student ). The guy who is transporting the cameracran maybe 20 times a day earns arround 600-800 Rupies, which seems to be quite much. I havent had the impression, that a single person here gets exploited.
Another perception one could have made, is that there were no women on the set, besides the Production Designer, the actress Malaika and sometimes her mother- and the background dancers. (Plus: there was one hair-dresser-transvestite who seemed to be as well a close friend and assistance of the Khan- family and seemed to float most of the time good energy to the whole set.)

Do i really have to tell you more? It was amazing. And it gave me much more to write and think about. On the other hand it was just three coincidence days of song and dance. If you want to know more you may post it to the comments.

PS: Good news for the beloved Bollywood-Bloggers! I got the Hardnewsmagazine! Have 5 of them and will sent it to Babasko when i am back from my Himachal-Trip. If you force her nicely she may forward it to you. If you want me to buy more pieces please tell soon.

Sunday, 15 April, 2007

The Inox Experience

Tuesday, 10th April.
Panjim, capitol of Goa, city of “Gurtpflicht”. Staying here right now cause of some important checkings, like parcel-sending, getting a mobile, running for the Hardnewsmagazine cause of Mehru Jaffer`s article about the bloggermeeting, and - of course- watching a movie at the Inox-Cineplexx here.

I had a short look at the "National Theater" as well- sadly this is mainly a bloody porn movie theater with bugs of all sort crawling around. Some nice Panjim-people even denied to show me the way to this sinkhole, cause the were very worried about me.

At Inox I had the choice between “Namastey London”, “Shakalaka Bum Bum” and “Provoked”. I was too much afraid of the lifesize-Ad from Akshaye Kumar from NL who welcomed us at Inox-Multiplex and as well from the Shakalaka- Trailer- so the (“based on a true story”-movie) “Provoked” won. If you ask me, it was an average movie. And it has much too less showings of the abuse and the domestic violence (which this film intends to communicate), if you ask female Indian audience here.

Inox Cineplex is a highstandard and modern designed Mulitplex-Cinema with AC, Snackbar and Lounge. Tickets cost 100 Rupies. Popcorn and Coke will cost you more then the ticket. The halls are like ours, with approximately 500 comfortable seats. Barely 30 people were participating at the “Provoked” 6:50pm screening. After some advice not to spit or to eat chewing gum or paan insinde the Inox, the national anthem is following. So everybody gets up, and is listening for one minute to the hymn; staring at the waving flag on the screen (OMG, I really want to know if the national anthem is also shown in the National Theater!). By the way: No weapons are allowed in Inox. There is a metal detector at the entrance. The backside of my ticket says furthermore: that no “items” are allowed at all. Whatever that should mean…


Aishwarya embodies Kiranjit Ahluwalia, a Punjab-NRI-women, who lived in Southhall (London) and was physically, mentally and sexual abused by her arranged-marriage-husband Deepak. This goodlooking, but sadly highly mental-injured psycho-husband is played by wonderful actor Navin Andrews (who played f.e. the character of Zayed in “Lost”). Well, she killed him accidently after ten years of communication- and love-lack. Even respect on the lowest level was missing. Also in real life, Kiranjit didn’t want to kill him but “thought that if I hurt his feet, he wouldn’t be able to come after me again.”

Maybe people like me aren´t able to understand, what this women must have felt like. W h y n o t b r e a k u p ? One has to make her own decisions. So then deal with the consequences. (Quote from Zeenat in the movie "Dor")

The movie "Provoked" seems to aim a higher awareness of domestic violence within NRI-families, which is surely a huge problem. Also in Austria the number of beaten and abused (austrian) women is astonishing high, and people who worked with these women told me that it has become especially a problem within higher income classes. Austria has set a special focus on domestic violence in 2007, many events are planned- by the way.

“Provoked”, shows bites of violence within Kiranjit`s flashbacks, which are framed in a very personal way. There was rarely one scene where she was sharing her experience with details to another person in this movie. Like she herself seems to work up step by step what she was actually going through, also the people who are trying to help her, are starting to realize, how her case can be argued in court.

Radha Dalal (the founding member of Southhall Black Sisters- a radical group of women whose mission is to help women suffering from domestic violence) is one of Kiranjit`s helpers and is played by gorgeous Nandita Das. She points out the cruel juristic truth, when she is asking in a rhetoric way: “what kind of world is this, where a women has to loose her marbles, and a man only has to loose his temper?” By the way: Nandita`s performance made the movie really seaworthy- and not Aish´s, if you ask me.

The filmmakers intend to stage “Silence” as the main problem, followed maybe by the secondary female role model, followed by the problem of the inmoral inactivity and defamation of familymembers or inlaws- shame on them.


By the way: I saw other movies, which i would really like to recommend:
"Traffic Signal" and "Kabul Express".

Monday, 9 April, 2007

picture of the week

foto: by umananda
title: "india unbound"

Monday, 2 April, 2007

making friends

Karma has done good work during the last days:
I just met the right people and did some mindblowing guitarsessions. Also I was coincidently watching some KBC with Sanjay Dutt and Boman Irani (Boman was singing “We are the world, we are the children”, iiiih). By the way: Did you know that Shah Rukh Khan uses his red-colored DDLJ-Swiss-style-hat in this show? It’s calles the “think-hat”. If somebody takes to much time for thinking SRK cogently flips it on this persons head (underlined by a funny sound). Will try to capture it the next time.

So then I had some cricket- conversations. But India is out, what a pitty. But I am not very much interested in watching cricket at all. Hopefully I will play it soon, cause some of my companions here keep inviting me. And there is this one guy, who is a musician today, and was a professional Cricket-player for Goa’s Team not long ago. Would be fun to throw some balls with him. But sadly its not possible now. Let me explain:

Best things in live are free. But on the other hand one has to pay for everything. Remember when I wrote that I got a TV-Ad-Shooting on the beach for a barefootstep into dogshit? So, according to this strange logic, what will I get for stepping into cowshit? Well, I watched my step since then much better- but unfortunately I had a scooter-accident the other day. Maybe I should have stayed on the beach, making friends and writing songs, then exploring Goa. There was a sharp turn covered with sand on the road to mapusa…and despite I was driving with much less then 10mph I was kissing the ground hardly. Luckily a first aid-shop was just 10 metres ahead. And business was good this day. There were other and much worse accidents on this very spot.

Eyening my 14cm wound on my swollen foot, I thought, that I would be just fair if Karma is giving something really nice back to me. And this is what happened after one day of wound licking:

1) Participated at a Shaadi- celebration, including a drumssession-danceparty with Bollywoodmusic-influence. No pics, sorry, but one Soundfile .

2)Got a hint for an event: the “Bollywood- Night” in Baga. Sadly it was cancelled in the last minute, because there was too little tourist-interest in Bollywood. So then we explored Baga and found coincidently - and with overwhelming pleasure - a “Coffee Day” there. I tell you that because Coffeday is the traditional viennese meetingpoint of the Bollywoodfanclub. Somehow i felt them being here. Traditionally we had to have coffe (exactly the same quality like in Vienna) and Samosas (less quality). I met also my first (livesize) Shah Rukh there. How charming.

3) Jesus and Maria passed by in Shiolim during the annual christian festival there. Many hundreds of people participating.

4) Spending time with Shahbad in Baga and learned some new amazing magic tricks (like the levitating match, the dissappearing coin, and some very annoying mind-tricks which will make you completely freak out). Funny thing is that I had known him before (Met him on my first india-trip in Manali). He was one of my very first Carrom-challenger back then. You may call it coincidence...

5) Spending time with exercising the magic tricks in publicsphere. Some were impressed, some kept laughing, all of them kept me to do the tricks all over again. So funny.

5) Next station: The “Bollywood-Orchester”. 800 to 1000 indian fellows participated in a stage-concert, including our driver and my magic-trick audience, who heartly welcomed us (which was good, because we felt rather alienated there). No white faces besides ours. Classical Bollywoodsongs were performed- including f.e. “Yeh mera Dil” (Don). No Pics, sorry.

I give you a beachcow-picture instead. Boring, I know. Sorry.