Sunday, May 27, 2012


There is a common perception that science is impersonal, non-creative and objective. I think solving math problems require as much creativity as analytical thinking and just like art, music any scientific field is people driven and subject to fads, whims and fashions.

Newton, Einstein, Tesla are as much fashion icons and are as much big artists as Shakespeare or Matisse in their resp field. Infact when I see my ex-colleagues (computer engineers) I feel lot of the top lot are also very good thinkers, exceptional bloggers(writers) and their personality shows in the work they do. So they as computer engg do not mass-produce fixed sized boxes but produce software that have their personal fingerprints. 
I wonder if our education system is to be blamed for people to believe that only analytical people can do well in scientific fields. I have actually found that people who hold top jobs are exceptionally creative as well.

Editing Techniques in Scorcese Films

Embedding of the video is disabled by request lest had shared the embedded version. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Raising the bar - the "paisa vasool" aspiration of Bollywood

I read excerpts of this book that discusses the anthropology of gift giving: The Gift.

It had an interesting point which said that sometimes when you read a book, or watch a movie, you come across an experience or wisdom that is so profound that the amount of money you spent in buying the book/movie ticket seems infinitely smaller than the value you derive from it.
The author of the book feels that the book/movie/work of art operates in two economies - one market economy and other the gift economy. A gift is a thing that is bestowed on us - it is more than we paid for or asked for. Like a gift, some work of art - are beyond "sugar for sugar" or "salt for salt" mentality and they awaken our soul in a way that no price tag can be put on it.

There is a very strong line of thinking in Bollywood that speaks about Paisa Vasool (roughly translated "to get my money's worth"). Basically there is a section of people who make films with ingredients that they have concluded to be the one people want and if those ingredients are there - the audience gets it's money worth. These makers profess that their films are the ones the majority likes and unfortunately I also sense some inexplicable aggression from them towards any kind of meaningful cinema that anyone is attempting to make.

 I agree that even "Paisa vasool" with your work of art is a very high target however it is not the highest possible target or ambition you can have with it. Any movie that has survived more than a year were beyond paisa vasool.
I feel every filmmaker should also have an aspiration towards reaching a level of transcendence from time to time. It is a tough target and even great artists have failed to touch that target with their every work but atleast they strive to do so.

As an audience as well I feel I should not cap my expectations from a movie to get my 2 hours worth of entertainment but I should look for sparks in the film that will stay with me for a long time to come. I should be greedy and not just stop at "paisa vasool" but encourage my filmmakers to give me a gift too.