Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Bit of Genius

Surfing through some videos on Youtube a few days back, I came across a video from an old series called A Bit of Fry and Laurie. I did know that Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie are famous artistes, but I had not seen any of their work (other than few minutes of House here and there) before. A few videos later, and I was completely hooked into the brilliance of the two actors and the British humour. I am not sure how many of you have seen it, or in fact are big fans of this show, so am just putting it out there in case you haven't seen them.
Here are a few samples to see if it might interest you:
Sample 1:



Sample 2:



Sample 3:



Sample 4:



Here is the entire script for the Sample 4 Sketch
The last 40 odd seconds is simply hilarious: 
Stephen Er, of course it is, of course it is, of course it is. Language is a whore, a mistress, a wife, a pen- friend, a check-out girl, a complimentary moist lemon-scented cleansing square or handy freshen- up wipette. Language is the breath of God, the dew on a fresh apple, it's the soft rain of dust that falls into a shaft of morning sun when you pull from an old bookshelf a forgotten volume of erotic diaries; language is the faint scent of urine on a pair of boxer shorts, it's a half-remembered childhood birthday party, a creak on the stair, a spluttering match held to a frosted pane, the warm wet, trusting touch of a leaking nappy, the hulk of a charred Panzer, the underside of a granite boulder, the first downy growth on the upper lip of a Mediterranean girl, cobwebs long since overrun by an old Wellington boot.
Hugh Ner-night.
 Luckily there is a site http://abitoffryandlaurie.co.uk/, where you can get most of the scripts and the sketches of the 4 seasons of this season. I am absolutely captivated by this discovery of mine - even if it is 20 years late. Perhaps one or two of you might enjoy it as well.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Left Over !

They say - All good things come to an end. Thankfully, some bad things come to an end as well. The CPI(M) led West Bengal govt's rule finally came to an end after 34 long years. A govt which did nothing but Suppress Oppress and Depress the people of the state, which did Atyachar which was not just Emotional,  was given a long over due break by the people of the state.
I have mentioned it before - the communist rule in WB was like The Matrix, where the party - the machinery, the cadre - invaded every sphere of your life. A regime which, after its initial achievements in land reforms, became so power hungry, so controlling, so dark - that it pushed one of India's most forward, progressive states to the back of the queue. It made West Bengal - the leader in the number of sick industries in the country, by a country mile. It converted the state into a running joke of playing Counter-strike - where more than 60% of the entire nation's manday's lost used to happen there on account of bandhs/ hartals/gherao and other such time pass.It blocked education in English. And thanks to historical blunders, it made itself and West Bengal a redundant entity in the national arena. In hindsight, the bigger historic blunder has been that of the people of having the CPI(M) rule for such a long time. As Kolkata's leading daily points out - it is now a graveyard.
The state of West Bengal had become a lot like the West Indies cricket team, the only thing "Western" about them, being their name. A place/team which had a glorious past, but is in a terminal state of decline. One where the best talent cannot stay and make a decent living, but has to seek greener pastures outside. And all one keeps doing there is keep thinking of the heritage and the past.
Budhadeb Bhattacharya will be looked back like Ricky Ponting. So, while Ponting lead Australia to their first Ashes defeat in nearly two decades, Budha Babu "led" his comrades to their first defeat in assembly elections in 34 years. The fact that they have been living in denial, in complacency, in their own reality is best summed up by listening to their veteran (one of their many) leader Biman Bose over the last few days. He called the alliance of the TMC and Congress - one formed under US pressure !!! With all the exit polls, clearly showing a massive win for the TMC, he said something like this. And even after the defeat - he basically dismissed exit polls as fluke !!!
A few words on the lady who single handedly destroyed the Myth, the Monster, the invincible Marxist government. For all her hystrionics and madness, one cannot deny that there is no bigger fighter in India's political landscape than Mamata Banerjee. In 1991, a CPI(M) goon fractured her head in 1991 at Hajra crossing. 20 years later, she was still there fighting, and this time, they were calling her a whore . If nothing else, one cannot just be amazed by her single minded determination to fight the Communists.
We do not know where the state will go under her rule. A lot of the intelligentsia have very low expectations from the TMC and Mamata. This from @greatbong is a balanced piece on the state of affairs.
For me the best part has been the to know that the Communists can be defeated. The fact that people can vote out a government, and bring about a "Poriborton" is what gives me optimism. It has made elections and voters - relevant once again. No longer will future elections be mere formalities and foregone conclusions. The results should make the losers a little humble and the winners a little responsible. I honestly had given up hope of seeing a non Left front government in Bengal. But the unthinkable happened and how. Yeh Laal Rang Ab Hume Chorega !!!

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