Film Festival at Goa

Every year the arrival of the season for international film festival brings in it’s train a debate over the next venue for the festival. Goa or elsewhere is the present topic for debate. In a country with so many cultural streams merging in the film making arena, controversy on such issues is quite expected. Everyone has some pride for regional cultural heritage and would like to see it in the forefront at the national stage . There is a belief that a film festival provides the best opportunity for such showcasing of regional talent and highlighting the respective achievements. Some creative thinkers have expressed the feeling that by creating an all India format the opportunity for such exposure would be shared by film makers , artists , writers and all those connected with the film industry all over the country.


But is that a logic good enough for reducing this international event linked to creativity to the status of a sports competition or a traveling circus ? If we are keen to make this festival an icon of world ranking celebration, comparison with the formats for other comparable events is inevitable. Other famous international festivals are attached to permanent venues which is the identification mascot for the respective events. By changing the venue every year the festival would be having the status of an infant among a group of well established names. The new venue each year would fail to recall any memories of previous celebrations. The festival would be devoid of emotional contents which draw creative arstists from various nooks and corners of world to such events year after year. So let good sense prevail over personal prejudices to strengthen the international event , let it remain confined to one permanent venue.


Now the next issue would be why Goa instead of Delhi. For seeking an answer to this question it is necessary to see as to how IFFI or any other film festival stands apart from other mega events of international importance. A film festival is a celebration for creative instincts of mankind collectively brought from various civilizations under one roof. It is an occasion for sharing tears of joy and sorrow over suffering and enjoyments of mankind all over the world, mirrored in the films collected from the master craftsmen of the art. As denizens we know the international city into which Delhi is shaping up and the hectic life style of the city does not offer the ambiance for such emotional and sentimental activities now. The laid back life style which was the hallmark of Lutyen’s city at some stage of it’s growth is now only a part of our memories .


The city is fast moving towards virtualisation of all human activities where computers may sometimes take over our lives very much like the scenario visualized by the creator of masterpiece Matrix. In this fast paced journey we have no time to lament over the loss of film festival.City of Delhi served the interest of the festival in the evolutionary stage by providing the infrastructure and exposure.Now let it move to serene beaches of Goa which otherwise has the biggest exposure to international tourist in the tourism season and is the best known city for fun and frolick in the international stage.The poetic , emotional, creativity inspiring atmosphere missing from Delhi is however something with which Goa is blessed in abundance.


Having witnessed one of the film festivals leaves no doubt that the beautifully painted houses, smartly dressed locals in all nature of dresses, the lavish sprinkling of places of worship of each religion all over the city, the liberal spirits and free flowing wines of all descriptions leave Goa as the only natural choice for the International festival. All over the world people love Goa more than any place in India . It conjures up pleasant visions of celebration in minds of everyone who has visited or heard about the place. So let the film festival remain like that. Let it have the stamp of Goa.

Tsunami in Delhi

26th December 2004 was an unforgettable day for people living in many coastal cities in India . The powerful earthquake and the gigantic Tsunami waves which followed it shook several peaceful and sleepy towns out of their slumber, swept away several habitations from face of earth and in the process left painful memories of loss of near and dear ones for survivors. But human beings are just play things in the hands of nature so civilizations silently bear the sufferings arising out of such acts of devastation at the hands of the creator.


But how do we react to a Tsunami created in the national capital by politicians for the sake of publicity at the cost of public . Tsunami in a coastal city may be a something acceptable for natural compulsions but Tsunami in the land locked capital city of the country ? What does it mean ? Tsunami I am referring to here is a rally of human beings which is due to engulf the Capital city around the third anniversary of the original Tsunami .The occasion for rally is the celebrations for the empowerment of the Panchayati Raj institutions in the country . The proposed sweeping mega event which seems to owe its creation to brain waves originating in the ever creative mind of some ruling think tank is slated to hit the city on Christmas eve with a mega force . Train loads of members of panchayats and their families numbering more than 2.5 Lakhs are expected to descend on the city at the call of respected Prime Minister to participate in this celebration of transfer of democratic rights to grassroots level by virtue of a constitutional amendments several years back .


The persons in charge of the affairs started everything at a breakneck pace as if there was a fear that time was running out for the Govt. The first meeting was organized at a notice of barely 48 hours. Since it was impossible for senior officers of States (who have to send the participants) to attend the meeting at such short notice, so the Delhi based representatives of States were roped in along with Railways , Municipal Corporation and other agencies connected with logistic arrangements . Stunned by the sheer magnitude of the wasteful exercise Railways tried to plead for mercy citing the heavy cost of transportation (around 200 Crs.) , the heavy traffic movement due to vacations and paucity of resources and time. But the Juggernaut refused to stop it’s run. The pleadings of Health authorities about the possibility of causalities due to extreme weather conditions at the time of rally too could not impress the leader.


The citizens of Delhi have for years been at the receiving end, bearing brunt of the miseries and chaos in daily life which accompany such political gimmicks . Rallies organised in past have thrown life out of gear. People going to workplaces, children returning from schools , persons in need of medical treatment , women and disabled have repeatedly suffered in the past due to blockade of the traffic and hours and hours of traffic jams. Rallies have often created scenes of lawlessness and chaos. Public money worth Crores has gone down the drain, every time when such fancies have struck the minds of a political leader. However the anxiety to corner publicity at national stage always overcomes any sensitivity to sufferings of the public in the minds of politicians. Also, perhaps because most of the organizers have scant affection for the city and the city govt. burdened under it’s own contradictions, surviving at the mercy of central leadership is too meek to come to the rescue of the people.


Several years back the then political masters had decided that enough was enough. Henceforth Delhi would be a civilized place. So a rally ground was developed at the outskirts of the city in village of Burari. It was decided that all those coming for rally would disembark outside city limits at this rally ground, park the vehicles and do whatever they wanted in support of their cause at the vast open grounds there. This time too it was reminded by someone that Burai or even some neighboring town like Gurgaon would be a far better option for this kind of gathering. But politicians know their games well. A rally outside the city limits! Would that receive as good attention from media . Off course not. And a rally at Gurgaon ..would that not give far more mileage to the concerned State Govt. So heart of Delhi would remain the best choice and the human Tsunami would sweep us off our feet on the destined day. Get ready Delhiites.


Subsequently better sense seems to have prevailed. Rally is now Cancelled (14th Dec.2007 )

The Opening up

So many things happen around us all the time. So many small incidents have within them potential for creative thinking and passionate writings.Sometimes these small incidents pop up to jerk the mind. Keeping a written record was a practice in younger days. But then we got preoccupied with other pressing commitments . The writer within went into oblivion.Somehow the events are again pushing for giving outlet to emotions and reaching out to a bigger audience over issues and experiences which give some food to a thinking mind. Then I would not be alone . My thought process would get accelerated on hearing from others . I would know better whether I am wrong sometimes in being agitated over trivial issues or whether I am a truly sensitive person. My blog is a journey into discovery of self. An effort to occasionally try to light a candle.