Monthly Archives: May, 2016

Soul-sucking ‘entertainments’

Despite sitting in the secure and cosy hostel room, and knowing that the visuals on my laptop are way far from reality, the trailer of this soon-to-be released movie on a serial killer, and the gory acts of horror depicted in it, did make me sick to my stomach. Call it the brilliance behind a well-crafted story line, the incomparable talent of the actor who essayed the protagonist’s role, or the ingenious usage of advanced special effects and top-notch technologies, the images were deeply disturbing in so many levels. Are such movies worth seeing the light of the day? The answer depends on the extent of audiences who love watching such gory portrayals.

On-screen gores of several recent movies that illustrate mind-numbing murder mysteries and slaughtering are often so close to extreme ghastliness and obscenity. Viewers are often made to wonder how on earth such inarguably disturbing scenes receive the seal of approval from the censoring authorities. While movies are fundamentally a source of entertainment, such brutally and violent portrayals never serve even an iota of amusement. Instead the disturbing visuals dive deep into the psyche of several viewers and drive them to extreme sadness and depression, or elicit madness and human depravity in extreme situations.

blogLately, there are a whole bunch of both novice and veteran filmmakers who religiously cling on to the misconception that films that are subversive and filled to the brim with extreme violence of various forms are both enthralling and adrenaline-pumping. In other words, many futile attempts to make adrenaline-charging psychological thrillers often ends up with stark packages of explicit dialogues, mindless violence, dark protagonists, and gory bloodbaths. This disturbing approach of displaying everything grossest from necrophilia to incest or sexual violence, dismemberment makes me wonder what why movie makers jump into the presumption that audiences would find such grossest visuals amusing and enjoyable.

When it comes to depicting real-life incidents that have left us aghast and numb, none of us might want to be on the denial mode about the depth of cruelty and in-humaneness that have left us flabbergasted. But an on-screen depiction of such real incidents demand toned-down and tamed narrative approaches that aren’t bleak, bizarre and unnerving. Depressing, haunting, and horrifying narrations can never be bailed out for being straightforward and honest portrayals. While realistic narrations are indispensable, the brilliance in the making of murder mystery, horror, and thriller movies is not limited to making gratuitously violent visuals alone, instead they have to unfold through subtle portrayals that are watchable and easy on our minds. The stories have to be chronicled in a more fine-tuned and viewable manner that majority or viewers would love to watch.

Aversion to nauseating flicks are often regarded as one’s inability to rise above the childish scare. Such subtle mocks and undertones are what we often hear from friends and families who never think twice to call someone fain-hearted for being aversive towards gory visuals. However, as one gears up to watch a gruesome flick that chronicles a series of utmost horrific adventures, little do we know the devastating impacts the movie might leave on the viewer. Filmmakers across the world have to come into terms with the fact that such loathsome movies will only leave the audiences freaked, rather than entertaining them. Giving an edge of the seat experience can never be attributed to portraying disgustingly inhuman acts that no one would pleasurably watch.

Censoring has been widely debated around the world, and a whole host of filmmakers vehemently oppose the idea of censorship, as they believe the ‘cuts’ made might smother the ‘message’ to be delivered through the movie. However, this absolute freedom cannot be exploited for infusing explicit and violent depictions. The impact of such gory adaptations will only dwarf the aesthetic aspect of the movie, along with doing more harm than good to the viewers as well as the society as a whole.

Where will we get water from?

Every problem has a solution, but when it comes to dealing with water crisis, despite knowing every simple and practical solution available, this growing predicament is overlooked year after year. The result of this constant laxity is evident in many parts of the country, where the once-fertile lands have become dry and barren due to acute water shortage. Adding to this, both sweltering summer and water levels of reservoirs plummeting to historic lows have arisen some alarming questions on water security. Given the unpredictability of seasons, a delayed monsoon will only make matters worse and spell more trouble for many parts of the country. Here are some stark statistical evidences to shed more light on the alarming levels of water crisis – While you leave those faucets dripping, take a bit more time under the shower, or pour out the unused water a mineral water bottle, one among nine people around survive on unclean water, and nearly 3.4 million die every year from waterborne diseases. Our population continues to soar each day, but that increase has not been matched by a concurrent increase in fresh water supply.

The visual depiction of a village belle with a metal pitcher filled with water balanced on her head no more incites a romantic inspiration. Instead, with alarming levels of water scarcity, this image is the poignant indication of the country’s growing water crisis, especially during those scorching summer months when temperatures soar. Gone are the days when farmers’ suicides from a drought-affected village would hit headlines, trigger heated debates, force authorities to jump into action. With growing number of political scams and scandals that rock the country every single day, plight of farmers never make it to the local or national news.

waterThe hard-hitting impacts of water crisis are not limited to the health and economic perils alone. The implications are far beyond agricultural and industrial woes. One among the many manifestations of water scarcity is the extraordinary tradition of polygamy that’s been practiced in numerous drought-hit villages. Several men from drought-stricken areas marry multiple times and saddle women with the taxing duty of fetching water from far-off places. In a country that prohibits polygamy by law and promotes women empowerment through endless much-publicized schemes, these unlawful marital arrangements are never resisted due to acute water shortage. Irrespective of being denied of any marital rights, these ‘paaniwaali bais’ continue their arduous routine every day, making repeated treks to nearby ponds, rivers, or dams to collect water. Such day-to-day gruelling walks take the worst toll on their health in no time. They soon go bald and often suffer from neck and spinal injuries

Despite knowing that the impacts of brutal summer has left many families devastated, no long-term plan has been devised by-far, and no sufficient measures have been taken to deal with the disaster. Adding to this shocking negligence and callous attitude is the gross misuse of water for making of helipads and cricket pitches, which indicates the alarming fact that not far is the day when a water riot might erupt at any part of the country. Though ‘water express’ trains are undoubtedly a commendable effort to supply quality drinking water to drought-hit areas, the need of the hour is not quick-fixes but long term solutions that help solve this staggering woe successfully. Securing water availability should not be limited to relying solely on dams, rivers, or bore-wells, but has to extend further with implementation of effective water saving and storage measures that prevent rapid depletion of ground water levels. However, other than, going gaga over rain water harvesting and desalination technologies that help store water, no significant efforts have been taken device and deploy such measures, or to clean and preserve polluted and dwindling water resources.

hiwareWhile several villages are reeling under acute drought and water shortage, Hiware Bazar, a village in Maharashtra, is a shining example of how proactive and sustainable efforts can help overcome water crisis. Thanks to the persistent efforts of the sarpanch, the villagers have never experienced water shortage in the last two decades. If Hiware Bazar can become an oasis amid parched villages, why can’t others follow the footsteps? Never dawdle; start saving and recycling every drop of water, or else, there will be nothing left to save.

Hatred, hatred everywhere!

Being active on social media was never a menace until I received that derisive message from a strange account. Shocked and distressed by those gross and insensitive words, I bid goodbye to the social media platform where I could easily voice my opinions without worrying about being politically correct. Lately, social media debates have stooped to a new low with some of the cruelest trolls from morons who insult and dare everyone who dares to dissent. They conveniently hide in the dark spaces of the web and constantly unleash their inane wrath and fury. They lack real names or identities, but insults are real, and are often laced with lewd slurs. Such virtual mudslingings are not only hurting and disturbing, but are extremely sickening to the gut. How long can one patiently ignore and defy the endless troll wraths?

trollRather than focusing on sharing genuine opinions, people are now keener on spurting venomous abuses behind the anonymity of their accounts. Surprisingly most of them, in all probably, are regular users, and never get caught for their shocking audacity. Despite being successful in providing an interactive platform, many social networking platforms are unable to curb these staggering levels of abusive and offensive rants that are posted from strangely-named and anonymous accounts. As victims around the world continue to wonder how to battle against this vulgarity and viciousness that spreads so freely, it’s sad that social media companies are constantly failing to acknowledge the impacts of such tormenting and slandering remarks. The ramifications can be so devastating that many might end up taking their lives after constantly failing to cope up with mounting levels of harassments and trolling.

No policies, filters, and tools that are currently available are completely successful in dealing with this vulnerability, the reason why many users are continually imploring for better and long-standing solutions that help avoid vitriolic online attacks. At times, situations can be so dire and annoying that such messages might extend beyond physical and mental abuses to spreading nasty rumors, engaging in endless bickering, or posting violent threats. While everyone is entitled to speak their own minds and hold their own opinions, and there’s no reason for people to be sadistic and mean. The freedom to garb oneself in anonymity is the main reason behind the rising number of disruptive users and outrageous behaviors on social media. Originally, spammers where the prime reason for peskiness, but lately, trolls have replaced them by persistently posting hateful and abusive messages, and targeting the well-know, the less-known, as well as the unknown equally. Thus the benefits of social media continue to get constantly challenged and totally usurped by such bullies who constantly engage in pervasive abusing. Following every hacking or online shaming, both critics and social media companies often jump in and blame the victims for being lackadaisical. This lack of accountability emphasizes the fact that social media will continue to remain unsafe for many of us. Or, there will be no end to this growing toxicity, the reason why many eminent personalities have voluntarily started quitting social media due to the rising proliferations of harassments and hostility.

Ugly, abusive, violent, and often sexual, online harassments and abuse are never easy to deal with. It’s high time to stop this merciless public lynching. The need of the hour is a zero-tolerance policy, as well as useful, and simple solutions that help combat online abuses. Reducing the anonymity is imminent, as it might help unmask several veiled harassers who screech vile abuses, post explicit images, and write crude remarks that wreck the lives of many who get victimized for no reason.