Sunday, December 31, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
While 1. reminds of some systemic deficiencies in the way Media is evolving in our country
2. reminds me of Manusmriti -which had prescribed fines for such behavior. Read the history section here
I guess its time we have some changes here! Media - wake up! You can play a constructive role in this country..
What I am going to write is going to be nothing short of blasphemy. But let me do it.
I was actually scared of watching this movie. But then, I was the one who got 15 people together, and convinced them to watch this movie. So, even after hearing/reading the reviews that came out during the day, I could not pull out!
Those uncertain steps were certainly not needed. The movie is actually a laugh riot! And as the name suggests (it would means – Utter Chaos! Or Run-Run! Or something like that), the movie should be a runaway success!
The movie has a proven comical duo – Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar. And Priyadarshan has pulled in the No.1 Comedian – Govinda as well. The comic timing, as expected, is brilliant. Paresh Rawal, as usual, keeps the story together as “Sethji”. Govinda looks old and a little fatigued, but he still is doing what he does best. Meaningless gabs and witty gags. Akshay Kumar must be thinking – Why the hell did I waste so many precious years trying to kick people around in jeans and full sleeved t-shirts.
Bottomline – the movie rocks! Must watch, irrespective of what the serious critiques tell you. There are times when meaninglessness is shown in an amazingly funny way. And that’s what bhagam-bhaag is all about
Now, I wouldn’t ever become a critique worth my money if I don’t tell you the downers –
- Music definitely is one of them. The “Signal” song is pretty much the draw of the lot. The other songs don’t quite measure up.
- Lara Dutta looks pretty as ever, though her role and character could have been defined slightly better. But then, she would have looked lost when sharing the frame with three of the best comical actors of modern times.
- And lastly, the end-sequence could have been made a little more normal. This time, Priyadarshan has overdone it!
Oops – why is my review a blasphemy? Well, I don’t think I have too many people out there giving out positive and raving reviews about the movie! But then, aren’t we a democratic country?
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
The trivia that I am talking about is that "This" was the "FIRST" Indian ODI Century EVER! Beat that! The first and most probably, the greatest! India were reduced to 17/5 , and one of the finest allrounder of all times did not just produce a fine innings, he broke a barrier that had existed since 1974 (when India played its first ODI)
Another interesting trivia about this innings - Exactly 100 runs were scored in boundaries (16 4s and 6 6s). :)
This is one match for which none of the media channels has got any video footage.
Statistically, in this match, Kapil scored more than 65% of the runs scored by the Indian team, while facing 38% of the deliveries. Impressive, Huh?
Kapil also took the last wicket of Zimb innings (John Traicos) to seal the match for India.
And a couple of matches down the line, he did take one of the most memorable catches (Of SIR Viv Richards, running backwards) for Indian cricket.
History is truly made of magical stuff!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
©Amit Das, Prabhat Prabhakar
Local trains – the lifeline of Mumbai, the highest form of proof Darwin could have offered for his Theory of Origin of Species and Survival of the fittest. Mumbai local follows all rules of civilizations, with every individual standing on the platform being marginally better off than a lactobacillus bacteria in a glass of milk. With innocent people from down-south (like, Phanimitra) not being able to board a churchgate local at 8:30AM from Kandivli station in first three attempts. With people like Ranga afraid of boarding one, just in case their laptop bags are not able to cope up with the peer (or, is it sheer?) pressure!
A. In this Mumbai local, when you are holding on to the metal jacks while balancing yourself in an inhumanly crowded train, the only thing that can save you is either your deodorant, or the deodorant of your neighbor. But then, the neighbor has a right to say – “kya re? bot shaana samjha kya apne ko? Apna soongh, main tere liye scent maara kya?” (What’s your problem mate! You think you’re too smart or something? Smell your own. You think I have perfumed myself for you?).
B. A related theory is that there are three kinds of people in Mumbai local – Idiots (who do not use deodorants and smell their own), Educated (who use deodorants and smell their own) and Wise-Men(who do no use deodorants, but smell the educated deodorant users). What differentiates the wise-men from the idiots is the skill of identifying educated ones!
C. And the final one – The first class and second class compartments in Mumbai Local. The only difference is in the quality of deodorants used. Not a single genius has been able to win the spot the “two” differences” contest!
“Putting your nose in other people’s matter!” isn’t right? Isn’t that what we were taught?
2. In every city I work for four months for the government. But Mumbai is different.
In Mumbai, you work for four months for the government, and another four months for your landlord. The remaining four months, you work for yourself and your family.
Applicable to the 30% bracket guys, I often wonder if despite its amazingly conked workplace, all the banks in Mumbai have a low attrition rate only because these banks are ready to pay-up the 5Lakhs deposit needed to get flats in good localities in Mumbai.
There is more.. But, as Mumbaikars would have you believe - there is a charm in mumbai local. It’s the lifeline of Mumbai
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Just got this forward from a friend. Was reminded of my incomplete discussion with Shivani (I don't introduce Shivani as Gullu's wife anymore!) J
The conversation was around how much information there actually is with the intelligence agencies in India. About terrorists, terrorism, blasts, and what nots. And if there is so much information, as we think there is, why do such incidents happen?
While reading the forward below, the only thought that came to my mind was – Maybe a lot of these people who do not act on the information they have, are reminded of their kids, and of their bread-earner status! Maybe, media would not give their kids the status of "Prince" and cover her for the next 3 days. Maybe, no channel would agree to finance their studies for a lifetime.
Life, sure, has a saracastically funny side to it!
The body of Major Manish Pitambare, who was shot dead at Anantnag, was cremated with full military honours at Thane on Wednesday
On Tuesday a news swept across all the news channels 'Sanjay Datt relieved by the court'. 'Sirf Munna Not a bhai' '13 saal ka vanvaas khatam' 'alhough found guilty for possession of armory, Sanjay can breath sigh of relief as all the TADA charges against him are withdrawn'
And then many experts like Salman khan saying 'He is a good person. We knew he will come out clean' Mr. Big B 'Datt family and our family have relations for years he's a good kid. He is like elder brother to abhishek'. His sister priya Datt 'we can sleep well tonight…it's a great relief'
In other news, Parliament was mad at Indian team for performing bad; Greg chapel said something …..; Bomb scare in gorakhpoor express; and Shah Rukh Khan replaces Big B in KBC and Sonia asked PM to consider reducing petroleum prices (I wonder who's the PM …anyways that is not the topic so leave it…) But most of the emphasis was given on Sanjay Datt's "phoenix like" comeback from the ashes of terrorist charges.
Surfing through the channels, one news on BBC startled me, it read, Hisbul Mujahidin's Most wanted terrorist 'Sohel Faisal' killed in anantnag, India. Indian Major leading the operation lost his life in the process. Four others are injured.
It was past midnight, I started visiting the Indian channels, the ones who are 'Sabse TEZ', but Sanjubaba was still ruling. They were telling How Sanjubaba pleaded to the court saying 'I am the sole bread earner for my family' 'I have a daughter who is studying in US who will look after her'. And then they showed how sanjubaba was not wearing his lucky blue shirt while he was hearing the verdict. Also how he went to every temple and prayed for last some months. A suspect in Mumbai bomb blasts, convicted under armory act…..was being made into a hero.
Sure Sanjubaba has a daughter; sure sanjubaba did not do any terrorist thing as in bombing some place or hijacking an airplane etc. Possessing an AK47 is considered too elementary in terrorist community and also one who possesses an AK47 has a right to possess a pistol so that again is not such a big crime; Sure sanjubaba went to all the temples; Sure he did a lot of gandhigiri but then, people please read on.
Major Manish H Pitambare got the information from his sources about the terrorists' whereabouts. Wasting no time he attacked the camp killed the Hisbul mujahidin's suprimo and in the process lost his life. To the bullets fired from an AK47
He has a wife and a daughter (just like sanjubaba), age..18 months.
Major Manish never said 'I have a daughter' before he took the decision to attack the terrorist hide out in the darkest of nights?
He never thought about having a family and he being the bread earner
No news channel covered this since they were too busy hyping a former drug addict, an actor in real and reel life, a suspect who's linked to bomb blasts which killed hundreds. Their aim was to show how he defied the TADA charges and they were so successful that his conviction in possession of armory had no meaning. They also concluded that his parents in heaven must be happy and proud of him
Parents of Major Pitambare are still on this earth and they have to live rest of their lives without their beloved son. His daughter won't ever see her papa again.
Definition of a Star has changed Major it really has. So sanjubaba always has a gun in every one of his movies then in real life if he has an AK47 then what's the big deal;
Even if one of the bullets from one of such AK47's took a Real Star's life…..
rang de basanti aayi thi tab bhi log aisehich kuch toh bolein they…
Finally Sir, to my generation there is no greater hero than one who laid his life in the name of this great nation. Hence Sir, I salute you. You are the real Star, Vande mataram.
(Forwarded by Nitin Sood)
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Third ODI against South Africa in the current series. Back to Back losses. Extremely pathetic batting display. Irfan Pathan top scored with 47. Another comprehensive victory for SA.
I was trying to look at the Indian lineup for this match. We had Jaffer, Sehwag, Tendulkar, Kaif, Dinesh Karthik, Dhoni, Pathan, Agarkar, Sreesanth , Kumble and Zahir Khan.
Lets question this lot a bit.
Sehwag has been out of sorts (oops, shots!) for quite some time. Like so many great Indian stars, there are a couple of shots from him that show some promise and glimpses of old time sorcery , but that is just an eyewash. The real thing is the nervous energy and reckless attitude that will become his undoing in the future!
Jaffer.. yippee!! Another example of flashing when its just not required. How many times have we seen that? I have lost count. You play a few nice drivers. And then there is a ball swinging away from you outside the off stump. You are supposed to be a good batsman with a good temperament. But alas! Jesus couldn't stop you from being led into the temptation!
Tendulkar – Cricinfo tells me that Pollock got him for the 9th time. Only Chaminda Vaas has managed to do it so many times. Story – edgy beginner, Tendulkar manages to pass one to the keeper/slips a bit too often against these two! I want to criticise him for being out of touch and getting out like that. But my respect for the master stops me!
Surprisingly, Kaif did not hole out. He did not get bowled out. He did the most unexpected thing of him. He got himself run out!
All these four top order guys are in absolutely topless form. You can't make a blockbuster when the lead actors of your movie want to play only a guest appearance!
I don't want to talk about the brave Indian batting tail, which seldom does the job its supposed to do (containing the batsmen, that is). But I do want to wonder about Karthik's place in the team! Wasn't he a keeper who could bat a bit? Do we really think he is better than Laxman in batting? Whats this world coming to? Are the selectors morons?
Damn it! We deserve to lose, with brains like that! Its surprising that we don't stop playing international cricket for a couple of years! At least , stop playing cricket in other countries. We are good ol momma's boys. We like playing in our backyard! Are the selectors listening?
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
This fine morning
As she called my name.........
Why aren't mornings
Always the same...................
One man's destiny
Attached to another...
Feather by feather...
Makes me fly....
This endless joy
Of you being you
And you being the one...
Whats so special
That drives me insane......
Takes me away
From things so mundane.....
Why isn't everyone
Sooooo like you
Why ain't the sky
Saturday, November 18, 2006
The morning sings about a story of hopes. I look at the morning sun. I think of her. How she makes it all look brighter. Brighter than sunshine.
Yeah. Just hope that the morning does not begin the way this night has ended. Its dark. No-one's out there. You want a hopeful morning, not a morose night. Nobody likes dropping shoulders and falling eyelids. You look drunk?
Saturday, October 28, 2006
I live alone. I sleep in a messy little corner of my room. Or, is it an apartment? Are there other rooms? I think there are. It seems like yesterday. There were a couple of people in the other room fighting with each other. Some minor squabble , I remember. They don't seem to be fighting anymore. They seem to be debating. About rights, duties, Karma, and Dharma! Someone switched on the TV
You fill up my senses
Like a night in the darkness….
I live alone. I lie down for a bit of rest on the bed that I cleaned up just now. I cannot sleep on messy beds with unclean bed-sheets. This is my sweet little one-bedroom apartment. Me , myself, and my poochooo. Poochooo? My teddy bear! Let me call up someone. Or, maybe pick up that MB I have been thinking of reading. Where's my iPOD?
You say it best…
When you say nothing at all…
We live together. It's a 2-bedroom apartment. We haven't been to the other room in the last three months . Its meant for our guests. But both of us have hardly spent anytime at home. I work till long past midnight. Me too! We haven't had guests. We haven't had time to have guests. It's a weekend. We manage to somehow spend sometime together on weekends. A few hours? The saving grace! I like candlelight dinners. Someday, you would cook me a special dinner at home. And I would set the table, near the red colored curtains. For the large glass windows that overlook the garden. And there will be candlelight.
Kabhi yun bhi aa, meri aankh mein..
Ki meri nazar ko khabar na ho
Mujhe ek raat nawaaz de
Magar uske baad sahar na ho...
(Let there be that moment, when you walk into my dreams, so sweetly that I dont even notice
I just want that one night, but let there be no dawn to that night of my dreams!)
I am sleepy!
Friday, October 27, 2006
Noticed Today!! Cars from CSD (for the uninitiated, its Canteen Stores Department (CSD) of the Indian Armed Forces - meant to provide the warriors of the nation some subsidized items). Only those who have served in the India Armed forces are allowed to buy from CSDs
I was just wondering if the uptight - stiff collared- we-can't-do-nothin'-wrong because we-are-so-righteous army-men take offense to this poster? Hmmm... still wondering....
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
bekhud sangon ki beintehaa parashtish mein hoti hai
kabhi tum aao in lamhon mein, tumhe khuda kar dein...
girte, toote lafzon mein apni kahani sunata raha
sadiyon ko lamhon se azaadi muft nahi milti....
gam-e-furkat na sataaye, ye maza na do..
koi jalti hui shaama ko bujhaata kyon hai?
sadiyan lamhon mein guzar jaati hain..
aur wo aaine se dil lagaye baithe hain!!!
kehta hai koi manzil, musafir kahe koi
umr ki daraj mein tasveer hai adhoori
humne unke tasavvur se fariyadein bhee kar li hain
dekhte hain chand se pehle chaand nikalta hai ki nahi..
khud apni khwahishon ka arsh bhi ruka paaya
jab khuda the, khudai thee, juban pe lafz na the...
Ye khuli aankhon ka sunehra sapna bhee tha
Aur jaane kitne dhokhe kar gaya wo paarsaa....
hazaar asmaanon ki cheekh
Jalianwala aaj bhee zinda hai meri aahon mein
Monday, October 23, 2006
I watched "Don- The Chase Begins Again" last night. It was a disaster, relatively speaking (relative to the original). I could have spent those three hours watching a Real Madrid match where they defeated Barcelona, or I could have watched Schumacher pull out a real good one to end up at fourth, when even the stars were against him. But, however, alas! I watched DON! A meaningless chase.
First up – the background score sucks . Too loud, too "not-required". Unlike what he could achieve in Lakshya and Dil Chahta Hai, Farhan Akhtar and team have gone completely berserk with the background score of Don. Its jarry, incoherent and so distracting. And yes- distracting, the movie is!
Starting off with the golden scene where Amitabh picks the phone only to say - "Don!" in his deep baritone, and replacing it with a K.K.K…Kiran kinda Don voice (c'mon! you can't really compare the baritone of Amitabh's voice with Shahrukh's baby voice, can you?). Every dialogue then-immortalized by Amitabh goes begging for some more justice! SRK is just not there! He does have a strong screen presence. But that's where the similarities end. Don probably was written for Amitabh. SRK cannot be force-fitted in such a role. Just as I find it difficult to imagine Harish (remember, Prem-Qaidi, debut movie with Karishma Kapoor!) beat 20 guys at one go , I find it difficult to see SRK do justice to Amitabh's Don. For me, the movie will always remain – "Amitabh's" Don!
The songs are a disappointment . Morya re is probably the pick of the lot. Ye Mera Dil is not there. Simply because the song has such strong memories of the ethereal Helen dancing the way only the Apsaras of Lord Indra's court (religiously speaking) could! Kareena Kapoor does not look as hot , as luscious, and certainly, not as flexible. I could not understand why that Don did not give in to the temptation completely. But this Don, I understand. He just didn't get a good deal! Thank God , she is not there for too long. She looks a sack of potatoes moving around with great difficulty. Aaj ki Raat and Main Hoon Don are just ok. But the music arrangement could have been a little less obtrusive. Khaike Paan does not have the same punch that Kishore da packed.
The movie might have sold off well had it been an independent creation, simply because its brilliant in cinematography and editing. Technical details are well taken care of. Action sequences are involving and pretty much at the international level of film-making. The end is interesting and it leaves a lot of scope for a sequel. The first half of the movie puts you off because you compare almost every shot of the movie with Amitabh's Don. The second half is Farhan's creativity- but a little lost! Its difficult to retain the flair and flavor of the original Don , unless you retain the story. Farhan, to that extent, has fallen into the trap of trying to beat the excellent.
Lets do one on one comparisions –
- Amitabh Vs SRK – no comments! It will be an insult to the Big B!
- Chandra Vs. Farhan – Chandra was/is a no-name beyond Don. Farhan has DCH and Lakhshya , two amazingly well made movies. Vote for Farhan. But in the case of this movie, Chandra has kept it taut and flowing, while Farhan has succumbed to the pressure of altering the classic to show his creativity.
- Zeenat Vs. Priyanka Chopra – I am inclined to vote for Priyanka. While I do think the modern Roma had a more curtailed Role , compared to the old Roma, I think Priyanka has looked good, has acted well and has timed her expressions well.
- Salim-Javed vs. Farhan – Legendary S-J were the gods of Masala movies. They knew how to weave it all together. I think it would have been their era when RJ's on vividh bharti started explaining movies this way – Isme action hai , emotion hai, drama hai, suspense hai, thrill hai, romance hai aur song and dance bhee hai! Dekhna na bhooliye apne nezdiki theatre mein!! Farhan's biggest problem was trying to better a script written by the legendary duo. Farhan is good at natural expressions , and not at grandiosity of emotions. Don is not about subtlety. Its about magnanimity of that one character jise 11 mulkon ki police dhoondh rahi hai!
- Iftekhaar vs. Boman Irani – vote for iftekhaar. Iftekhaar was the traditional Indian cop who knew how to underplay himself while keeping the emotions/expressions natural. Boman , has a bigger role than iftekhaar and a different shade to it, but he is not in the same league this time.
- Om Shivpuri vs. Om Puri – Actors like Om Puri should not be wasted the way he has been in this movie. He could have taken one of the more meatier roles (maybe DCP De Silva or Narang). Lets not compare. Both are good!
- Narang and the side kicks – Mac and Narang are two characters everyone remembers. They are like the sambha and kaalia of sholay. And I missed the originals. They were better. New Narang (Pavan Malhotra) hardly looks menacing.
- Arpana Chudhrary Vs. Isha Kopikkar (Anita)– The character of Anita had more emotion and meat in the older version. Maybe , Farhan is saving Anita for the sequel.
- And finally, Pran Vs. Arjun Rampal – Whooooooooooaaaahhhh… There are times when I wonder if Pran was/is better than half our star lot put together. Pran had charisma, personality and an extreme amount of versatility in his performances. Arjun doesn't look half as suffering/determined as Pran looked.
All in all – watch it if you are totally madly in love with SRK, or if you have absolutely nothing to do. Otherwise , I would say – rent out the original Don DVD (buying might be a good option) and Ensoi!
Saturday, October 21, 2006
I dont remember having wished so many people Happy Diwali ever in my life. I mean, I always had a lot of friends.. but wishing Happy Diwali was never such a big deal. You just met friends, family, relatives, acquaintances, new people. You ate a lot of good food/sweets, burst a lot of crackers, and had a good deal of fun. This explicit expression of Diwali bringing great joy, happiness, prosperity and a whole lot of other things was never soooo important. It "used to" go without saying that you mean well!
All this- before I got a mobile phone, and my friend living across the street got a mobile phone, and the friend living in the other city, and my aunty, and my servant, and my grocery store guy, and the tailor, and the barber and everyone else that I knew decided to get a mobile phone. Before 70% of my office folks got my cell number. and before all of them decided to send a Diwali message to all the people in their extended phonebook (thats a selling proposition - 500 numbers on phone memory and another 300 on the SIM! With the latest N series and x series and extendible memory blah, you dont need to worry!)
Simple maths - I wished more than 120 people today, some of them living overseas. I spent, thus, more than 60-70 bucks on wishing people. And i used orkut friend list to wish some 300 people or so! I have received more than a 100 message during the day. Thats 7-8k telecom revenue in the vicinity of my near and dear ones! And I am not even the most popular person around! I would always wonder how many messages the babe living down the street got!! With every company claiming to have a few million subscribers, I wonder what the daily revenue looks like for these companies. Several millions/billions? On such "simply" important days as new year, diwali, holi and "extremely" important days like Friendship Day/Women's Day/ Mother's day!!
On a separate note, before the age of media glorifying the ritual of simple love, I always thought that everyday was Mother's day and Friendship day! And being a little unbiased when it comes to gender, every day is Men's day and Women's day as well!!
I wont be surprised if a couple of years from now, people start sending "Gandhigiri" messages on 2nd October, and "Republican/Long Live Democracy" kinda messages on 26th Jan/15th August.
This is my explicitly spoken apology to all those who feel happy/get bugged with the continuously ringing/beeping cellphones carrying the same "May the goddess of light..." messages from n different people. Some call back to say - Thanks for remembering. Some message back with another deepawali forward that they got from someone else. Some choose to ignore. Some feel important.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
1. There always is pressure, when you are playing the highest form of cricket.
2. There always is pressure when you are playing for your country, and a game that a billion people follow!
3. I am not talking about the attacking form of cricket. The class of a batsman is visible when he is defending the ball, with the full face of his bat, the front feet stretching all the way to meet the ball, no gap between bat and pad and a completely still head! Look a some of the defensive strokes he played early on in Today's match in Champion's Trophy
The embedded video is the attacking display, but I would want you guys to think not of the pulls and the blasts, but of the punches of his backfoot, when his body is partly in air! Isnt this poetry in motion??
Can you ever write him off????
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Any sportsperson would tell you that you need your body to be still at that precise moment when you're making a shot. Be it cricket, soccer, basketball, or any other such formof sport, this maxim applies everywhere. Commentators prove that they are worth their salaries by showing how still Sachin's head was, while playing that exquisite cover drive! This v.Persie goal is another example of that!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
I am sure the reviewer isnt as mesmerized as I am. But I am equally sure, that the reader missed a lot of finer points about Banker's narration of Ramayana not just being about the magnanimity of Rama's character. For that, Ramacharitmanas is good enough!
More importantly, the three more times refers not to Jai-Vijay but the Dashavatar of Vishnu! And the most interesting bit - Dashratha, DashAanan, Dashavatar. Indian mythology can be quite intriguing!
For those who would want to read some more, read the blogs on EpicIndia
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Qatil Shifai suddenly came alive
"Humen to aaj ki shab pau phate tak jaagna hoga
yahi qismat hamari hai, sitaron tum to so jao...."
Tonight I need to be up until dawn,
Thats my destiny, O heavens! You should go to sleep now
Was reading Dhoomketu on Jose Mourinho and...
.. Ghalib was peeping this time
"Har ek baat pe kehte ho tum ki tu kya hai?
Tumhi kaho ki ye andaaz-e-guftgu kya hai?"
With every phrase, you ask me- Who am I?
Is this the language of the learned and the wise?
And the last was Sunil's Porch when it was Ghalib and Zafar engaged in a battle of wits-
"Hui Muddat ke Ghalib mar gaya par yaad aata hai
Wo har ik baat pe kehna ki yun hota to kya hota...."
Its been ages since Ghalib died, but not his memories
Especially his style- Especially his What ifs?
"Mohabbat karne wale kam na honge...
Teri mehfil mein lekin hum na honge...."
There won't be a dearth of suitors, I am sure
You'll still crave for my love, mon amour
Monday, October 02, 2006
Couple of weeks back, I was seen walking around with "King of Ayodhya – Book 6 of Ramayana Series by Ashok Banker ":. My fetish with the book was so strong that I would keep it at my desk, in the car, near the pillow, to steal those 3-5-10-15 minutes where I would read a few pages from the book. People were wondering – Why? Whats so special? After all , its Ramayana!! A story that we already know inside out. And I used to just smile at them and pass on a very friendly suggestion – If you are not averse to printed words, read the first 50 pages of Prince of Ayodhya – Book 1. We can discuss these questions at that time. One of my colleagues Sulabh tried it and he curses me even today – He had to spend 1800 bucks or so to get all the six books (he could not wait a month for me to give him all the six books for a read)! For the records , Sulabh is my eighth direct marketing success story (all for the same book)!
King of Ayodhya
A story that starts on the shores of lanka, and ends at Ayodhya, KoA is an excellent example of what a magnificent storyteller can do to a story you have already heard so often. What Banker does , incrementally, is to add his imagination, wisdom, and perspective to a story that every Indian lives and breathes! End Result – a book that you can just not put down!
The book is fascinating, the storytelling is spellbinding, and the events – quite unlike my imagination (largely inspired by Ramanand Sagar's Television Series).
Its about war, war strategies, mind-games, Rama's mortal life (and not-the demi god life where he smiles at even problems of huge magnitude). The only thing that has always confused me about the book is that after you have completed reading all the six books , you wonder if Hanuman is the GOD in the book, and Rama the mortal. Gods descend to help Mortals (as part of all Heavenly gameplans!) in Indian mythology. And Rama, though a higher mortal with his (seemingly) infallible poise and adherence to Dharma , he needed more than just inspiration from Hanuman to win this battle.
There are several interesting facets about this book-
- The war is fought at a level which is not heavenly. Not a lot of fancy arrows in multiple colors and doing funny stuff. Vanars do get massacred. They have to retaliate not in anger , but with wisdom to win the battle.
- Ravan has some strategic gems too, up his sleeve. And some esoteric powers.
- Kumbhakarna gets killed by Hanuman, and not Rama.
- Most of the seemingly important stories of Ravana's warriors (such as Atikaya, Akampana , Kumbh, Nikumbh, Trishala, etc.) which we have heard of in good detail, as they got killed by various Rama warriors and not just Rama/ Lakshmana/ Hanuman, have been discounted to give us a view of what the war being fought at a mental level.
- Ravana finally kills Supanakha. And more importantly, Supanakha, in many ways, is Ravana's source of power
Questions that still remained unanswered –
- Ravana, with all that he achieved in one night before the war started, did not chose to demolish the Vanar Army at one go. Despite the fact that he had the powers to do so!
- What happened to the Amrit Kalash story and of Ravana being immortal?
- Hanuman, with all his might, could have changed the course of the war at any given minute? Why did he
- While Ashok explains why he is not writing Book 7 (Uttar Ramayana), I would still want to read his explanation of Ram banishing Sita.
The more I think about this book, the more questions I will have. But, for the time being, let me tell you guys – READ THIS BOOK. AND THE ENTIRE SERIES. Its not just good storytelling, but a fresh insight into a story that you "think" you know!
Rating - 10 on 10
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Had someone told me that one of the side effects of watching this movie would be my utter discomfort in asking a girl out for coffee (just in case she has also seen the movie) , I would have not taken the plunge. However, having taken the plunge, I did not regret any minute of it.
Pyar Ke Side Effects has an unusual star cast - the metrosexual Rahul Bose with an upmarket appeal, and can-it-get-any-shorter Mallika Sherawat (Fido- mujhe sabse jyada Curvy bana do!) with an amazing downmarket appeal. But as Shilpa pointed out after the movie- if you are in a relationship , you can relate to almost every scene of the movie.
I dont know where the movie started, because like every other movie, I was late for this one as well. Had to send out a client deck , and drive to the malls, park the car (thats one big piece of mess!), find Golu (Sulabh) and then wait for a family phone call to end before I could get in. But, from the point where I saw the movie (where RB is meeting his sister) , it was all about modern boy meeting girl, loving and regretting every moment of it all the time! :)
Its a hilarious comedy riot all throughout. The beauty of a good movie is that it leaves you with a few keywords - If Munnabhai had MAMU , PKSE has "Baby Girl Volume 3" and "Coffee".
Naam Gum Jayega, Poster Ye Badal Jayega
Mere keywords hi pehchaan hain.. gar yaad rahe
There was a time when people might have had to pay me for watching a mallika movie (yeah! yeah!! we know that one!). I have walked out of Murder , Shaadi se Pehle. I havent seen any other. But after this movie, I would say that she has definitely tried to act and not just play 'show'-biz!! And that reminds me of one of the high points of the movie -
Mallika (to Sophiya) - Nice dress! Main to himmat hi nahi kar pati aise kapde pehenNe ki. (I cant even dare try such clothes on me!) I can't carry them off, you know!
And the cinema hall went crazy after that! All this while we were thinking that poor kid must be stuffy in the kind of clothes she was wearing in this movie.
Rahul's expressions are 'fantabulous'! Thats a word that Scott uses quite often. However, the unsurety of Rahul's being is nothing compared to the surety of Scott's whims. We'll leave that aside and 'take it offline' <that damn phrase bugs me off more than anything else>.
Naanoo (that MTV VJ - I think Ranveer) is awesome in the movie. His treatise on how women train you for years, and how your leaving them mid-way wastes their time and energy , and how that is the reason why women would stick on to you, is a philosophy that every guy would want to hold on to. But guys are basically insecure. They always think that they are on the losing side of a relationship if it comes to an end.
Some more philo-gems from the movie
- Guys dont want to get married and girls dont want to remain unmarried (marriage is the end of all things fun!! Yea!)
- Guys dont want kids but girls do! (If a guy is a little organized , he is considered pansy/chom!)
- Tears/Extreme emotions are women's forte – Imagine yourself crying right in the middle of a heated argument. Guys would rather die than give up on a chance to have an argument
- You need sad songs in your life if you want to cry (applicable to guys only)- Now I know the origin/need for sad songs and why it is said that Sadness helps you discover yourself
- Whatever is going wrong with your life, blame it on the guy (And some moron tried to suggest that behind every successful man, there is a woman)
Watch it! It's a must watch movie. Especially if you are in love, or planning to be in love (forced, maybe).
Watch it, if you are Tushar Thakkar (You can always pity the guys who ran away with your "first" love).
Watch it if you are Mannu Bhai (One night-multiple affairs and non of them materializing is better than One that makes you go through all that!
Watch it if you are Buchi (I am sure he never played sad songs in his room after the fiascos!).
Watch it if you are Mama (new strategies – gals tend to dig you if you are already engaged! Whats the harm in claiming that you are engaged!).
Watch it if you are Gullu/Lala/Me/ Honorary Member of the Gossip Circuit (gives you ways of reading into whats happening in other people's life)
Watch it if you are Sarin – Baby Girl Volume 3. Yeah Baby! That's the way to go! Coffee please!!
Watch it if you are anyone else – Sooner or later, you will graduate to one of the earlier categories!
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Dont expect an answer in this post. This post, however, is about what I think of the 2 recent movies I saw.
Lets start with "Dor" first.
I missed the first ten minutes of the movie, but my friends did not mind getting into the gory detail of what happened in those ten minutes. However, my comments would reflect the remaining part of the movie.
Its largely about Zeenat (Gul Panag) and a little about Meera (Ayesha Takia), and still lesser about Behroopia (Shreyas). But the man who does leave his mark is the 'man'- Shreyas. After a very silent performance in Iqbal, iqbal's delivery in this movie takes us through his imitations of bollywood icons and I must say that he has done a good job. His performance has a level of sensibility and timing that is very refreshing. Especially, the portrayal of conflicting emotions - smiling when doesnt want to, loving zeenat but realizing that he is helping her save her husband, restraint and effervescence. If history is the reflection of future, I think he is a good find for the industry, along with Shiney Ahuja.
I should not take the credit away from Ayesha either. With no makeup and the fact that half the world likes her because of her looks (that is, before this movie), it was a bold move to get into such a de-glamorized role. And she has pulled it off with consummate ease. She adds that element of freshness to an otherwise serious storyline, with her take on Kajra Re, and You are my Sonia.
Gul Panag, on the other hand, had the msot powerful character in the movie, and well, she hasnt done wonders to it. She hasn't spoilt it either. But its these roles that distinguish the goods from the me-toos.
Now lets talk about the defining things about the movie -
1. Direction - Very tight, crisp, and to the point. There isnt much beating around the bush, trying to create situations where a heavy dialogue is delivered by the protagonists, trying to glorify the goods or the bads. The characters are well defined, the music is in the background, not interferring with the movie.
2. Cinematography - I loved it. Widescreen, panoramic views. Rusty locales that speak of tradition, culture and heritage. Villages and kothis that look like they belong, and not pulled out of some king's palace. Long Shots that do justice to the sunset. Deserts that look intimidating, and at the same time, you can feel the comfort that someone who's been there for a long time would feel. In short, a beautifully done movie.
3. Music- nice and unobtrusive. You dont feel that you've already heard 3-4 songs.
4. Acting - good overall. Shreyas shines with his cameo. Ayesha looks pretty even without makeup and has done a fabulous job. Gul Panag - decent. Girish Karnad - wasted!
5. Script - nice dialogues. fitting the characters. Zeenat does not talk in long winded sentences. Meera has her initial confused statements where she finds it difficult to express her real emotions. Behroopia talks the sweet language of behroopias. Touch of Rajasthani accent. They could have added a bit more of rajasthani accent to Meera's family.
Part 2 of my blog, which is blog-in-waiting, will cover my serious take on Lage Raho Munnabhai
Sunday, August 06, 2006
When gulli-danda and kanche (marbles) were more popular than cricket...
When we always had friends to play aais-paais (I Spy), chhepan-chhepai and pitthoo anytime ...
When we desperately waited for 'yeh jo hai jindagi'...
When chitrahaar, vikram-baitaal, dada daadi ki kahaniyaan were so fulfilling ...
When there was just one tv in every five houses...
When bisleris were not sold in the trains and we were worrying if papas will get back into the train in time or not when they weregetting down at stations to fill up the water bottle...
When we were going to bed by 9.00pm sharp except for the 'yeh jo hai jindagi' day...
When Holis & Diwalis meant mostly hand-made pakwaans and sweets and moms seeking our help while preparing them.
When Maths teachers were not worried of our mummys and papas while slapping/beating us...
When we were exchanging comics and stamps and chacha-chaudaris and billus were our heroes...
When we were in nanihaals every summer and loved flying kites and plucking and eating unripe mangoes and leechis ...
When one movie every Sunday evening on television was more than asked for and 'ek do teen chaar' and 'Rajni' inspired us...
When 50 paisa meant at least 10 toffees...
When left over pages of the last years notebooks were used for rough work or even fair work...
When 'chelpark' and 'natraaj' were encouraged against 'reynolds and family'...
When the first rain meant getting drenched and playing in water and mud and making 'kaagaj ki kishtis'...
When there were no phones to tell friends that we will be at their homes at six in the evening...
When our parents always had 15 paise blue colored 'antardesis' and 5
paise machli wale stamps at\nhome...
When we remembered tens of jokes and were not finding 'ice-cream and papa' type jokes foolish enough to stop us from laughing...
When we were not seeing patakhes on Diwalis and gulaals on Holis as air and noise polluting or allergic agents...
The list can be endless... On the serious note I would like to summarise with...When we were using our hearts more than our brains, even for scientifically brainy activities like 'thinking' and 'deciding' ...
When we were crying and laughing more often, more openly and more sincerily...When we were enjoying our present more than worrying about our future...
When being emotional was not synonymous to being weak...
When sharing worries and happinesses didnt mean getting vulnerable to the listener...
When blacks and whites were the favourite colors instead of greys...
When journeys also were important and not just the destinations...When life was a passenger's sleeper giving enough time and opportunity to enjoy the sceneries from its open and transparent glass windows instead of some superfast's second ac with its curtained, closed and dark windows ...