Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Movie: Claustrophobia

Release: Summer 2008

Directed by: Uditvanu Das

Released and Distributed by: Solvents International


Actors: James Woods, Sean Connery, Naomi Watts, Priya Shah, Malvika Jethwani, Purab Mehta, Abhishek Bachchan,Elijah Wood, Johnny Depp and many more...

(C)(R) Udit Das Networks 2007. All rights reserved.


Friday, June 22, 2007



to the Heads of government of the European Union and the Institutions of the European Union for immediate dispatch of an international protection force to Darfur.

Initiative coordinated by the Collectif Urgence Darfour/Emergency Darfur Coalition

To the Heads of Government of the European Union Member States,
To Mr José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission,
To Mr Javier Solana, High representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union,

We European citizens, can no longer remain indifferent and passive in the face of the true war against civilians presently taking place in Darfur, in the West of Sudan.

The army of Sudan and the Jinjaweed militias, mainly in the name of their “black African” identity, have committed massacres of entire villages, killing their Masalit, Fur, Zaghawa and other fellow-countrymen who constitute the majority of the six million inhabitants of Darfur.

Many already refer to Darfur as the first genocide of the 21st century.

Already 400 000 innocent men, women and children have been killed. Tens of thousands of people have been raped, tortured and terrorized. More than two and a half million others have been chased from their homes. Every hour, every day, the number of victims increases!

The United Nations has qualified the exactions committed against the populations as war crimes and crimes against humanity, and has referred to the International criminal Court.

Humanitarian action is intentionally being hindered by the government of Sudan. Some NGOs have had no choice other than to suspend their programmes and leave the area. Others have been quite simply forced to leave.

Today, according to the United Nations observers,
more than two and a half million refugees or displaced persons do not or no longer have access to international aid and are now exposed to death from malnutrition and disease.

This unbearable and persistent situation in Darfur creates even more instability in this region and worsens other humanitarian disasters in Chad and in the Central African Republic.

Over the last four years, ten resolutions have been voted by the United Nations without any concrete result on the government of Khartoum.

Upon leaving his position last December, Kofi Annan acknowledged that Darfur was the most serious failure the United Nations has had in recent years.

Every minute is costing the lives of more innocent people

Ladies and Gentlemen, as the European Parliament requested in its resolution dated 15th February 2007, voted unanimously, you must act now!

In line with resolution 1706 of the UN Security Council, the European states must immediately send a buffer force with a mandate to:

- effectively protect the populations from a generalized massacre;
- set up secure humanitarian corridors allowing the humanitarian organisations to have access to all the people who need vital assistance;
- bring to the International criminal Court all individuals accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Furthermore, it is essential to:

- establish a no-fly zone over all of Darfur
- apply targeted sanctions, in compliance with the latest resolution by the European Parliament;
- encourage the conditions of a true peace agreement between all the parties, allowing the displaced or refugee populations to return to their land safely.

It is Europe’s duty to intervene today and exercise its responsibility to protect!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Russian Ruble: Crisis and Aftermath

Crisis and Aftermath

  1. On December 21, 1991 the Alma-Ata treaty was signed by the all member states of the USSR(Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), leading to it’s dismemberment and disintegration. After this change in the political nature of the Soviet Union, the Russian government, decided to implement an economic reform program, aimed at transforming the country’s economy to a dynamic one, from one that was centrally planned. This led to a price surge for commodities due to various reasons.
    Firstly, during the Communist era, due to artificially low prices, there wasn’t much for Russians to spend their rubles on and so they hoarded them. Upon the announcement of liberalization, there was created a massive influx of rubles, and no commodities to spend them on. So prices were raised, to ensure the transfer of rubles, but this price rise, led to inflation.
    Secondly, the government subsidized money losing establishments, in order to prevent the massive unemployment by rushed privatization, which led to a rise in the budget deficit, to the tune of 17% by the end of 1992. Not wanting to increase taxes, the government decided to print money, and this added to the already rising inflation, caused by excess money supply and lack of supply of goods.
    Yes this could have been avoided. Since raising taxes was not a good option, as people would evade them, the ideal thing for Russia in the face of rising inflation would have been to introduce cuts in spending in the budget, and shift the financing of the budget, from central banks, to public bonds and international grants and loans.

  2. The decline of the value of the Ruble against the dollar between 1992 and 1998, points out the Purchasing Power Parity theory, which states that when there is rising inflation in one country, the value of it’s currency will depreciate, relative to the value of the currency of the country with lower inflation. In this case, the value of the ruble in Russia, tumbled against the value of the US dollar, due to increasing inflation in Russia, throughout 1992 to 1998.
    Also based on the reactions of the investors to the Asian Financial Crisis, one is reminded of the impact of investor behavior, which well led to them pulling out of Russia, and looking and far more stable markets. This is turn led to other investors following suit, leading to the bandwagon effect.

  3. In 1996, IMF supplied Russia, with a loan of $10 billion, and stated some terms and changes that it wanted in the Russian economic system.
    The Asian Crisis, made investors decide to invest their money in safer and stable economies, that resulted in many such investors pulling out from Russian economy.
    Unfortunately that year there was a fall in oil prices, which led to a lower tax collection on oil sales. Also the Russian tax collection system was inefficient and corrupt, which led to massive tax evasion. There was also the problem that most of the economic activity that occurred in Russia was unaccounted for, and hence they paid no taxes, this also was a product of corruption. There was also a lobby within the Russian parliament that rendered the bill to raise corporate taxation and cut government spending ineffectual.

  4. The government of Vladimir Putin in the year 2000, decided to reduce government spending and reduce the income tax to 13% from the original 30%, and corporate tax was reduced to 24% from 35%. This reduction in taxation led to a massive increase in government revenue from tax collection, as people decided to pay taxes since the rates were quite reasonable.
    Also the Russian recovery was helped by increase in global oil prices, which in turn increased Russia’s collections from tax on oil sales.
    No the IMF policy prescriptions were absolutely correct, as the Russian banking system is very weak, and the manufacturing facilities are poor. There is rampant corruption and foreign investment in Russia is low. The Russian economy is over dependent on oil and commodity prices, therefore a sudden fall in prices would lead to a massive collapse of the economy.

Dream Thoughts and Dream Images

Sigmund Freud has said in his book, "The Interpretation of Dreams" that dreams are wish fulfillments, and in "Beyond the Pleasure Principle", he has spoken of them being divided into dreams thoughts and dreams images
Dream images, are disguised material from the unconscious,
Dream thoughts, are repressed wishes and desires.

Seem's complex eh?

Well i want to understand, that if it is so, then what are they disguised as. So what is the wish that we actually want fulfilled?

Also are they always disguised?
Or can we at times take them at face value.

I had a dream last night, well basically, there is this girl i really like,
who is in my mind constantly throughout the day... yes i'm lost in her thought(sound like a lovesick puppy dont I?)
well anyhoo,
so last night i had this dream,
we were sitting in the study lounge, and supposedly there was a bar in the study lounge (how/why I have no clue but who's complaining), and people were dancing and chatting.
I sat with her at the bar, got a dry vermouth martini for myself, and she ordered an original margherita. We walked towards the table, and she said to me, "Udit I 'ave zis assignment that I would like you to 'ave a look at.. let me know if it is okay, ze professor is really strict...", "Sure *****, I'd love to.", "Oh zank you, I am so tired today..me and **** went shopping and we travel so much...", she sat down in the chair, started her laptop( an HP i think,silver), and looked up at me, she was smiling(looked beautiful too), I put my arm around her hesitantly, and she rested her head on me, I then sat down next to her, and was looking through her assignment, and constantly looking at her, i caressed her hair, and then, i awoke!
what the hell!

I mean, rather than wish fulfillment, that's cruelty to animals..whoops sorry human aka boy aka Udit... I mean it's like giving me something that would not possibly happen in reality, I mean not just cause there are 10 days left till I leave Berkeley, but mainly cause well, I dont think she probably even thinks of me in that way ( yes girls have this strange "way" thing...will blog about this in a separate issue!)


more on dreams later...when my mind is clearer..

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper, 1974



Genre: Slasher Film
Plot: A group of teenagers are in Texas on their way to their ancestral farmhouse. They encounter a hitchhiker along the way. They wander upon the property of this family of people, who were laid off from the nearby slaughterhouse. Slaughtering being their way of life, remains and the family enters the sausage business, which well is much more sinister as the kids find out. One by one, the are killed off by this deranged, chainsaw wielding maniac, Leatherface. Gruesome, and an iconic slasher film of the 70’s, this film is the one that I have chosen to prove/disprove elements of Carol J Clover’s article.

Scene: Opening Scene/ Character Introduction

Analysis: The film opens with the shot of a dead animal, presumably possum, on the road, which according to me denotes that, the film is clearly about death, which is also blatantly mentioned in the title. Also an interesting element is that, as the starting credits are rolling, there is a dialogue in the background which sounds like news over the radio, which gives the film a very realistic everyday setting. Also the false document technique, which in the start says that the film is based on true events, is unsettling to the viewer, as it sort of makes you wonder, as to whether you, sitting in your seat watching the movie are safe, or is there someone out there, who kills people with chainsaws and who might get you.

Clearly on the basis of the setting one can say that the film is set in the 70’s on account of the car, which is a van, hippie like in nature, and the interests of the character,Pam, is in the zodiac and occult.

Now Franklin in the start of the film is shown to be the one who is physically handicapped, and he emerges out of the car on the ramps, as though it were a baby emerging from a womb, but in this case the baby is born defective so therefore will it be able to survive in the bad world outside. As it is when the truck goes by, Franklin’s wheelchair stumbles down the hill along with him, and he gets bruised. So sort of until now, one gets the impression that Franklin might be the one to die first.

About Sally, who becomes our final girl. Carol Clover spoke about how the final girl is distinguishable from the rest. I agree with a few points of her argument but not everything. Sally does seem to be distinct from the rest, in the sense that at the graveyard she is the one who goes to talk to the Sheriff and find out about her grand father’s grave, and she seems practical even in her explanation to Franklin.

But Carol J Clover, says that the final girl is sexually repressed or inactive. This is do not agree with as in this film at least Sally, has a boyfriend, Jerry, and the reason she goes towards the house is for Jerry, which therefore means that there is much more to the character of a final girl than just being sexually inactive.

Scene: Hitchhiker Scene

Analysis: In this scene the hitchhiker is an immediate autonomous, internal threat, for the following reasons. He looks slightly off his rocker, and is covered in dried blood, and blood is something that should remain outside, not on the clothes of a person. But as usual, a rational reason is given for the blood, saying that he was in the slaughterhouse. Here again begins a strange ambiguity, Franklin who is the one in the wheelchair, is as fascinated by the process of killing the cattle, as the hitchhiker and he sort of admires the killing of cattle, which is sort of not normal, for a person, I mean after all, I agree that we like to eat hamburgers, but we wouldn’t want to know what happened to the cattle!

Also we have again an inside out situation, when the hitchhiker cuts his palm, the blood gushes out, and the blood that was supposed to remain inside, came outside, which sort of was like, a precursor, to what would happen later on in the film, that what is supposed to remain inside, comes outside, throught the use of the chainsaw and other weapons by Leatherface.

The odd thing is that Franklin was in admiration about the fact that the hitchhiker cut his hand, and which is strange, and sort of gets you to wonder as to whether it would be because of Franklin’s sadistic tendencies, curiosities that the rest would have to die.

Another interesting fact, is the hitchhiker, is very childlike in his actions, to an extent seems dyslexic which instantly starts registering as a threat, because it sort of follows the pretext of a slasher killer, but even then in one’s mind there is that lingering doubt, that he could not be the killer as he was too skinny, and how would he pick up a chainsaw. So therefore, the characteristics of the killer in slasher films may be there in other characters of the film as well, which may lead us on a wild goose chase, and sort of gets us looking the other way in the film.

Also while the whole context of the crazy hitchhiker is in the film, also outside the film world, I think the movie, is sort of conveying a message, that hey, don’t just pick up any random dude from the road! Keep Driving!

Scene: Discovery of Sawyers Home and Death of Pam and Kirk

Analysis: Sexual transgressors are the one’s who die first. So said Carol J Clover’s article. And in this film it is true. Kirk and Pam attempt to spend some romantic time at the pond, but the pond is missing, and then they trespass on to the property of the Sawyer’s(as I shall be calling them, based on their name in Texas Chainsaw Massacre II(1986)). Already two mistakes. That would mean that two must die.

As we saw in the gas station scene, and in the swimming hole area, Pam is wearing a sort of backless top, with small red shorts, which makes her vulnerable and penetrable to say the least.

Now the place. The terrible place. Kirk enters the home, and he see’s the skins of animals on the walls, then on hearing a pig squeal he rushes towards it, only to be maimed on the head with a mallet by Leatherface. In the shot we can see the viciousness of the beating and yet, when Leatherface pulls the door shut, it is completely steel, and antiseptic in nature, which is completely different from the way he kills her.

When Pam goes to look for Kirk, she encounters the room filled with bones, and the horror is the fact, that the bones that are supposed to be inside are now outside, and also the animal skins all over the walls are unsettling.

But the funny thing is that from the outside, the house looks like any other house, and looks as Freud would call it heimesch. Instead I feel that it is the ancestral home of Franklin that seems more apt as a setting for a film titled Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But I think the reason the home was made that way was to prod at horror films in earlier decades, where the places would be on a hill, desolate, dark, creepy crawlies and dark contrasts characterized the homes of evil, while in this case, this was just an abandoned mansion. Nothing unheimlich about it.

Now the killing scenes. Clover has spoken about how the female’s death is given much more importance that the male’s. In this scene, we see Leatherface, lifting up Pam and grabbing her by the waist, as he drags her down into the cellar, and puts her on a hook, penetrating her in a way. The way he held her as it is seemed sexual, in the sense that it seemed that he might rape her, but nothing of that sort happens. It is as though one was led on to believe until this point that she might get raped then killed, but then the movie just flips it around and kills her, sort of like saying ‘Ha! You don’t know what I know!’.

Also when Leatherface powers up the chainsaw, he holds it at his midsection, which sort of makes it seem like an extension of his penis, and he used this extension to kill, ‘castrate’, Kirk, though one only sees the chainsaw and not Kirk’s dismembered head.

Scene: Sally’s Escape

Analysis: Though initially I thought that I would analyze only two scenes I decided on analyzing four scenes in as much detail I could manage, and basically get the point across. This scene is important and this scene clearly speaks about the features of the final girl in slasher film.

Leatherface is clearly an external threat, which is psychological in nature. But what is interesting is that, there is a gender ambiguity in Leatherface, as in he is scary, but at the same time he is scared. He is scared of his elder brother, and he is scared off all these humans who have suddenly come into his home, and invaded his space. There are no women in the family, except for the dead grandmother, and sort of Leatherface assumes a feminine, maternal role in the family.

Sally manages to escape from the clutches of the hitchhiker, and jumps out through a window, to a supposed safety. But the hitchhiker and Leatherface chase her. She runs trying to escape them, and manages to get the hitchhiker in the way of a truck, thus crushing him.

But somehow in my mind, Sally does not really suit the final girl characteristics. Sure she was more practical than the rest, but she really did not seem manly as she never really injured Leatherface, she just kept escaping him. Even in the end, it is only by sheer chance that she manages to enter the pick up truck before Leatherface’s chainsaw comes down.

Her hysterical laughter at the end, sort of makes you wonder, has this incident made her as crazy as Leatherface, so now the threat is no more Leatherface, it’s Sally herself. And in the film, I did find in the earlier portions incidences which showed Sally’s levelheadedness and agility, but in the end, there was nothing, it’s like she was reduced to a damsel in distress status, and the male aid, first in the form of the cattle truck driver and then in the form of the pick up driver came to her aid.

One thing which I noticed in the film was an interesting racial element. The truck was called Black Maria, and within was clearly a driver of African-American descent, and as he exits the truck her grabs a wench. The same wench he hurls at Leatherface, causing him to drop the chainsaw and cut his leg. I feel this element is sort of a poke at that look, the African-American’s may be cattle truck drivers, but they are resourceful, and far more sensible than the whites, who are going about killing people and running about with chainsaws.

I watched the film once before reading Clover’s article and once after and in many scenes I was able to identify with what Clover had written but there were scenes like this last one, in which I read Clover’s final girl analysis and there wasn’t much of a resemblance to the film, but the same article is quite relevant to the final girl in films like Halloween. But that would mean that the Final Girl character analysis is film specific, so it’s not that the final girl must possess all of the characteristics as mentioned by Clover, but she may possess some or one of them.

A Deviation...

All this while I've been talking mainly about the intangible

and their irrelevant existence in our realm.

I think the time has come to discuss what we can see..

in the arts..

the films..


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Cookies- The Mystery

The Mystery

Coming Soon

Posted by Picasa

Lost Blogs and Lost Feet...The Return

We spoke to eminent personalities from a various fields the last time around..
and yet..it seems that everyone has something to say..
but nothing fills this void

Now what is the void?
Well i would love to tell you the dictionary definition but i would have to cite my sources.
which i shall.
So therefore, void, may be defined as "an emptyness" according to Princeton University.

But this void.

can a mere definition explain it..
or is there something quite more sinister to this void.

is it just an emptyness..
or something..
that cannot be filled, by mere human efforts,
and requires superhuman strength.

is it like popcorn,
in a bag in the microwave,
there is that empty spot in the bag,
where the heat does not reach,
and thus u get unpopped kernels.

but is this about lack of heat,
or a lack of sugar?

Not a lack of sugar,that would be Cheeni Kum, but this is more like, Zindagi Kum.

bcoz this void,
this loss,
of a blog,
or of the feet.

but wait,
realization has dawned upon me..

the relationship between lost blogs and lost feet is finally clear.

the answer seems palatable.

So finally,
maybe it is that this sequel might come to an end.

but no.

not yet,
not in this sequel that's for sure.

stay tuned, for a spine chilling, bone crunching, nerve racking,
final episode,
to end the 5 part series,
the series you all love and revisit.
"Lost Blogs and Lost Feet".

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

On Why You Shouldnt Talk To Yourself...

You know it's really strange, but i tend to do this a lot. Whenever I'm alone, and probably engaged in some activity of some sort, i talk to myself, as to what it would be like to be with someone who shared the same interest as you in the activity that you are a part of.

The other day I was walking down the aisle..(no not getting married, havent found anyone yet..not french for sure :P)
the aisle at Safeway..and i looked at the bread, then at the cheese, and then at random moisturisers, and then i started first thinking to myself, as to what it would be like to own a chain of stores like Safeway, and coming down to the stores once in a while to inspect things, speak to customers and the like. While all this was going on in my head, it just got out of my mouth, "Why truly it is very nice to meet you as well!" and at this point of time i was facing a bottle of dishwashing liquid. This girl(looked cute) was standing near me and she giggled, and walked away. I looked myself in the mirror and said, "Why!!!"

Well but this is not the only incident, there are so many, like everyday, every hour almost, when I'm walking alone, i speak to myself, but mutter under my breath, and no-one really can make out. But at times..well i just wish i were invisible.

Now the bathroom. I think the bathroom, is this place to think, think about whatever you want to in life. Be it politics, what bush says, what he does, what is right, what should be stopped, what should i do after i crap...things like that. After all it is the most personal, private place right.

Well but in my residence halls, that is so not the case. We have like a common bathroom. Now when i say common bathroom i dont mean just one VC and one shower. There are (claps) 4 shower cubicles and 4 toilet cubicles.
I've sort of decided that cubicle one is my toilet, and cubicle 3 of the showers is my shower!
Well so the other night, i went to wash my face and use the facilities.
I lock the door, and while standing in that tiny space, i just mutter to myself, "You know, i wanna fucking kill each and every person in this dorm. Slowly, stealthily, gruesome deaths."
(Now this might be influenced by the fact, that i have taken horror film, and this is sort of desentitizing me towards violence against humans)
Well so anyhow, i came out of the loo, thought i was alone, and then i hear a flushing noise in the cubicle that was next to the one i was in.
i thought whoever was in there must already be planning on calling the cops, and getting me admitted to the MADHOUSE!
i mean truly, i would if i heard someone say something of that sort, in the serial killer voice!

So then i start repeating the lines, and adding more and talking to the mirror. The guy comes out of the loo, chinese dude, and he says, "hey! what you upto?" and i was like..ohh nothing, just practicing for a play of mine, i play a psychopath. It's this famous play in India, titled, "Psych"...he actually bought it!
i was suprised..
i mean psych!! wtf!

So i think..
i'm going to try and control my conversations with myself for a while, because if I do make such comments, oh boy the police are seriously going to want to have a word with me.

So mouth...ziip!!!(shut)..


Monday, June 4, 2007

is this where i am

is there where i am right now.

this is where i am.
music fills my ears,
occasional cheer,
familiar voices,
not really around.

the green trees around,
the books around,
the quarters,
the sounds.


clock ticking on,
ring ring.


spraying that deo,
doing the laundry,
managing finances,

where's the weighing scale,
losing weight,
gaining weight,
losing myself.

falling in love,
falling out,
fallin in love again.


make my bed,
run for dinner,
play with a glider,

this is it,
this is what it is.