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My movies...my moments.

Some movies are remembered for those moments which light up the screen.

The chemistry between the actors, the screenplay, the dialogues fit in magically into a world where we smile, cry, laugh all in that moment of madness. Probably thats waht makes me love Bollywood movies. I thought , lets put up some of those scenes together. 

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai:
The scene where Rahul(SRK) and Anjali (Kajol ) meet after 8 years. Sheer magic. No words, no dialogues, just sheer eye to eye contact. The brilliance of the scene is in maintaining a subtlety.

Jab We Met:
 We have been subjected to Bollywood movies in the past where the heroine kisses the hero and starts crying and sprints away from the scene. The guy is left thinking as to what did I do wrong! 
However in jab we met, there is this intimate scene between Shahid and Kareena. And the next moment, Shahid says " Theek hai yaar...hota hai". Very nicely done.

Also, the picturization of the song "Aaoge jab tum o sajna" is brilliant. The entire episode of kareena is briefed to the audience in the song, without unnecessary drama or rona-dhona.

Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi:
One movie which doesnt depend on one scene to leave a lasting impression. I cant think of any 1 standout scene. The entire movie was like ..awesome. However, Sudhir Mishra (the director) kept the best for the last...when the mentally retarted Shiney writes "I love geeta" on the rock.

Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa:
SRK's "first class main pass" party to the Goan neighbours. The scolding from the "Tum Nahi karneko saka" father Naseerudin Shah...his confession to his parents. I cried when I was a kid on this scene. And the icing on the cake is Goga kapoor who arrives in the end as says "yeh dekh brother..apun tere liye usse bhi accha marksheet laaya hai"  

Yes Boss:
In the song Main koi Aisa Geet...listen to that line..."Ya main karun..tumse bayan...ki raja se rani milenge kahan kahan"

I guess, the expressions on his face say it all.

Sarfarosh:
Amir Khan was so brilliant in this movie. ACP Ajay Singh Rathod.
ACP: Kyu Thakur tereko kitni baar bulaaya tu aata nahi hai
Thakur: kon hai be tu
ACP: pehchaana nahi...

or the blasting he gives his team after their goofup at the traffic junction.

Amir: do minute main kya ho sakta hai...tumhara transfer ho sakta hai...aur aisi jagah jahan paan to kya...paani tak bhi naseeb na ho!!

Silsila:
I believe, Amitabh and Rekha in this movie were the best on-screen pair(maybe offscreen too, at that time). The screen sizzles everytime their eyes meet. Although I do not remember much about the movie, the scene where they meet in some exhibition is top class.

Swades:
The 25 paise ka paani lelo...25paise ka paani lelo...scene
It haunted me during my entire Bengal trip.

Andaz Apna Apna:
I'll write a separate blog on this movie later.

 



History alters itself at Chennai

4th innings!
Sachin 103*
India chasing down 387...

Its like a dream come true...
I remember having long discussions with Sunny/Amit/Damle/Amrish during our Bhavans days arguing over Sachin's 4th innings connundrum.  Infact, it was in Chennai in '99 when Sachin scored 136 but failed to reach past the finish line. 

FLASHBACK:
Year: 1999
Venue: Kalra Shukla Classes

It was a Sunday afternoon 12th standard exam test series. In another part of the country, India were chasing 278 against Pakistan. 
When I left for the exam, India were tottering at 86/5 and the match well beyond our grip. The exam started at 2 pm. India took tea then at a respectable 200/5.
I was blundering with Trigonometry...sin,cos,tan ka bhel puri, when I saw one of the inviligators pressing his ear to the transistor. The moment he came near my table I called out for him
Me:" Score kya hai?"
Invigilator: Shhh
Me: Yaar...bol na..
Inviligator: (looking around)... 245/6
Me: Waaaw!! Sachin haii?
Invigilator: Yes...Shhh



I was loud enough for Amrish to forget about the boring theta family. 
Amrish: Kya hua?
Atul: Abey...India needs only 26 more runs!

For the next 5 minutes, both of us forgot we had a stupid test at hand...and were busy imagining the scenes at Chepauk stadium, with every passing moment.

The invigilator kept us updated...
Invigilator: 248/6
Invigilator: 250/6
Invigilator: 252/6

Suddenly, there was commotion...the invigilators started running out of the hall...They didnt speak much...and stood still.After ten minutes, I cudnt control my excitement and called the invigilator...
Me: Yaar...kya hua match ka
Invigilator: India LOST!!!

I was stunned!!! 

9 years later, Sachin has exorcized the ghosts.An amazing day for India, cricket has finally bought a cheer on faces, who were shattered after the 26/11 mayhem. 



Dostana: 3.5/5

DOSTANA : "Straight" to the point

Maa ka Laadla vigad gaya!
Maa ka laadla vigad gaya!
Abhishek Bacchan sach main vigad gaya... Ash wud seriously have doubts on AB's "straight"forwardness after this movie. Always a "director's actor" AB has once again proved that he can fit into his character as easily as Yuvraj Singh fits into the ODI team.

A Karan Johar movie always has a freshness in its humor, and Dostana had more than its share of laughs.
Foolo Fhalo...Foolo Fhalo...Khair Chodo...was terrific. The nurse jokes on Abishek, although cliched were enacted with such natural charm that everytime you laughed at him. The usual banter between Kunal(John), Sam(AB) and Neha(PiggyChops) had the typical Karan Johar stamp mixed with subtle humor and witty one liners.

There was the exact dosage of romance and mush...Sam wooing Neha with a photo album or Kunal enacting the KKHH scene are the highlights of the movie. Although AB is clearly better at romance than John. The music complemented the mood of the film with songs for every genre.

Infact as my friend pointed out...probably the 1st movie which inspite of being shot abroad, does not boast of great cinematography. It sticks to its characters all through, while the Miami landscape remains in the background.

However, the movie fails on just one count. Its below the belt gay jokes...and to top it all, the kiss of death! Easily could have avoided the Boman Irani part and some of the gay frames and the movie would have truly been memorable.

Piggy Chops is terrific! No two ways about it...She looks ravishing throughout and there is not a single scene where her costumes, hair, makeup etc look out of place. Bobby Deol, Kirron Kher, Boman Irani, Sushmita Mukherjee(the irritating aunt) all complement the proceedings along the way. John tries his best to pace up with AB in the acting department but alas he seems to only have workd on his 6-pack abs. However, AB steals the show. The humor, the gay-act, the mush department or his proposal scene with Priyanka, he is in top form.

Debutant director Tarun has started off in fine form with mentor Karan Johar. Lets hope this dostana is "straight" in real life as well.

Swades Dairy: Life in a Hotel

Over the last 2 months, I have checked in and out of 6-7 hotels in upcountry Bengal. Im very fussy about the hotel room. It must be huge, with bright lights, a decent bathroom, atleast a decent TV with 100+channels and above all, no lizards please!

And so far...Ive seen them all...

Hotel Royal, Berhampore:

Only the name is Royal... :(

The waiters barge in....there is no concept of knocking at the door. They come straight inside, as if they were the real owners....will order on behalf of the guest.

Waiter: Saab, chicken kasa aur roti laaun?
Atlee: nahi...
Waiter: par sir, kal to aapne wahi liya tha!
Atlee: NAHI...

Purbasha Lodge Krishnanagar:

It was a replica of "Hotel Decent" of Jab We Met...I wish i had a Kareena with me though...

I entered the room...dingy and dimly lit.I was apprehensive...I have an eye for lizards, can sense them around easily. I decided to do the customary lizard check.
1...2...3...4!! 4 of them...including two in the bathroom!!!

I forced myself into constipation the next day...and spent half my working day searching for a another hotel.

But the icing on the cake was this hotel in Durgapur...

The room is always dark...there are around 10 bulbs, all 20 watts...
Switch all the lights, and u still cant read a book! This hotel has a history to it as well...
Apparently, a murder took place two years back in the lobby, next to my room...
I decided to lock all the scary movies on TV, to avoid any confrontation with "The Others".
Another secret is ferreted out by a colleague...Yahan par prostitution bhi hota tha...
Phew!!!

Talking about the TV...its my source of timepass these days. But when one does not know the TV channels by rote,its quite a pain scanning the TV to get to the desired channel.

ESPN is lying low at 63. NineXMusic is relegated to 243! While the top 10 slots are occupied by Bangla channels. I guess I will have to maintain an excel sheet to note my favorite channels in each hotel, in order to save time.

Talking of NineXM...Its my stress buster...The songs of Bheegi Billi, the Bade Chote PJs and the shayaris of the betel nuts, might be the worst thing you will ever see on the idiot box...but its slapstick and humorous.

Ohh...Its Bheegi Billi on TV now...time to sign off....

Mumbai Meri Jaan: (4/5)

Date:11th July 2006.
The camera sits on the railway track with the speeding trains passing by...WHAAAAMMMMMM!!! There goes one bomb! WHAAAMMMMM!! Another....Computerized imagery throwing people haywire,some hitting the poles, some crushed under the train. The camera zooms towards the electric pole with the kilometer sign showing 7/11. I felt like giving a standing ovation for that one shot! Well, what is this movie all about...other than the train blasts of 2006. Its about the fear! Its about the suspicion that arises between communities...and above all, for the first time, a movie maker captures ...what is time and again referred to as the "SPIRIT" of Mumbai.

So you have an unemployed youth (KK), an executive (Madhavan), a coffee wala (Irffan), a police constable (Paresh Rawal) and a news reporter (Soha Ali Khan), who have suffered directly or indirectly from the blasts. Each one reacts in a different way in the aftermath of the blasts. KK starts getting suspicious of Muslims around him to the point of being called a hardliner. Catch him say the line when a Muslim guy sings a Mohd. Rafi song: " Yeh log Kishore Kumar ko kabhi nahi sunenge"! Madhavan, a patriotic corporate, who has turned many lucrative offers down. is so scared after the blasts, that he is thinking of shifting base to USA.Soha Ali Khan, the news reporter, becomes the victim of the many "breaking news" bytes she has provided her TV channel. Irffan Khan, takes his frustration at a completely different level, trying to spread terror across the city through hoax calls.

But, what takes the movie to an altogether new level is Paresh Rawal. He is the face of the real Mumbai police force. Not the dashing Amitabh who solves cases. Not the stylish Sunny Deol or Akshay Kumar who have seen in movies before. He is just another helpless man, with no accomplishments or deeds. He acts as the sutradhar of the movie and also provides the punchline solution for Hindu -Muslim unity. It would go down as one of the best dialogues for the year.

Great performances by the cast. Everyone stands out tall in his /her part. Infact, even the unheard constable colleague of Paresh Rawal creates a stirring impact. A great effort by Nishikant Kamat! Full marks for trying to spread a message of peace and harmony between two communities who are always waging a small battle against one another.

Atlee Rating: ****

Bachna aye audience- 1/5

I was forewarned! But having watched Yashraj Films all my life... I decided to stand by them inspite of the terrible run at the b-o. Post CHak De they have consistently delivered duds. And Bachna adds up to the piling mess. Its a tale of many girls...many cities


Swiss -(1996):The story starts ...false-starts as a distant cousin of DDLJ, the same locales, the same Punjabi munda mundi, the same Euro Rail. Raj (Ranvir Kapoor) with his bag of friends bumps into Mahi (Ms. Laamba) , a DDLJ freak who is on the eurorail trip only to find the Raj of her life. Okie, the references of DDLJ are quite enjoyable, but after a while it looks like a spoof-movie. The romance soon dies after the song n dance as Mahi realises the "honest" kameena intentions of the casanova Raj.

Aaamchi Mumbai (2002): So, Raj is now back in Mumbai, and supposedly 6 yrs older...However, Mr. makeup man forgot his job. Ranvir looks exactly the same as in the Swiss tale. This time he is sleeping with model babe Bipasha. A Salaam-Namaste backdrop ensues soon after...However, the topic of marriage brings the demons back in casanova's life and he dumps Bipasha on their wedding day to catch a plane to Sydney.

Sydney: And our Raj, now after dumping 2 girls finally finds love! Had to be Deepika...and she had to be a cabbie!!(Director Anand, wats this fetish for cabs!! First Salaam Namaste, then Tararumpum and now here. Cab is the latest lucky mascot!) Deepika is a B-school grad,who drives a cab in the night, works in a retail store during the day and yet manages to attend classes. And she is intelligent too! She knows exactly the rise in the profits of the gaming company and which companies are tracked by Walls Street!! Oye MBA ke naujawano, kuch to sharam karo...
Our casanova-boy is in love with this B-school grad. He proposes....she disposes and our playboy turns devdas.

Interval Time

Post interval...our lad suddenly gets a momentary recap..."maine itni saari ladkiyo ka dil toda hai" mujhe sorry bolna hai". And the movie plunges down the valley....as the hero manages to say sorry to the girls. Eventually he cleanses his soul and can now qualify as the "typical" Yashraj hero...the one who is always romantic and not a tharki.

If I would have left the movie at the interval break I might have rated it around 3/5 for the fun and humor, the DDLJ nostalgia and the Bipasha effect. However, 2nd half gets mushy, emotional, Punjabi and total nonsensical. So much, that the mvie nosedives to new lows.

Performances are okie, u r expected to act well these days. Music...the title track stands out...It was RDBurman whose melody is stillso fresh, the other songs look pale in comparison. And special request to Adi Chopra (as if he is going to read this)...please stop the unnecesary Punjabism in movies. Its getting to my nerves now.

Atlee Rating: 1/5

Singh is KING choddo...KAT is HOT

Sunny Deol will feel the tremors after this movie. His USP of being the Sikh hero has taken a beating. Akki , the super cool hero of todays times, has pulled a stunner, branded the "Sikh" man, reinvented buffoonery and yet managed to carry the proceedings on his shoulders.
The director however expected a lot from Akki. Take him out of the equation, and the movie has nothing else to offer.

The movie starts with a Don hangover, SRK imitated by a wooden Sonu Sood , an Indian sardarji who migrates from Punjab to Australia and has turned into an underworld gangster. He is rechristened as KING and has a battery of sardarjis as his henchmen.
"Don ko to gyaara mulko ki pulice dhoond rahi hai...par is KING ko to aise gyaara don dhoond rahe hai".
Cut 2 rural India.
We are introduced to desi Punjab, a loafer sardar Happy Singh (Akshay Kumar) creating nuisance in his village. Running around girls, bullying the groom in the marriage or breaking TV sets. After a few unnecessary reels, he is sent to Australia to get the KING back to Punjab. Om Puri, miscast as his good friend joins him. They end up reaching Egypt due to a confusion and the screen is suddenly lit by the sexy Katrina. She not only looks ravishing, but also makes a dcent effort to act. Or maybe, I was so smitten by her, that I can't criticize her performance. Dont ask what she is doing there. Oh yes, supposedly studying law.

Then our Happy Singh manages to reach Australia. Akki tries to persuade KING to come back, gets into a brawl and ends up becoming the KING. This sequence is the only time in the movie when you laugh out loud. In between our Happy Singh also finds a muu boli maa in Kiron kher, whose asli daugher is "believe it or not" Katrina!! The rest of the movie is a big downer with a love triangle to add to the woes of the public.

As far as the positives...
Pritam's music is clearly one of the high points of the movie. Ek Vaari and teri oor the winners.
Acting department- Kiroon Kher is ok, Om Puri dissapoints yet again after mere baap pehle aap. Katrina ..Katrina...Katrina..katrina...super kool....Among the other sardars, watch out for javed Jaffrey.
But, what is this film without Akki. Super cool Sardar, tries his best to make you laugh, but thanks to the inept screenplay and dialogues, Singh is King ends up in the bracket of "could be better". The stars mainly for Katrina's looks and Akki's act.

Atlee Rating: **

Home Coming

Its home coming....
Waiting for the next weekend...
Waiting to see the half-made flyovers....
waiting to see red double decker buses...
waiting to see the potholes...the rains..the waves...the seas (not actually...bengal main bhaut paani dekh liya)
missing mom...mom ka khaana, mom ka pyaar...

motamoti...missing Mumbai now...

btw, motamoti...this is a frequently used term in bengal and ITC which is used to say...motamoti... anyhting...

its also time to catch up with my NITIE ppl...catch up with all u ppl...zindagi main bhaut kum baar aisa hoga ki Abdul Kalam saab humaare paas hone ki khushi main clap karenge...
(kuch log to paas bhi nahi hue firbhi)

Mere desh ki dharti

Jo Sikander Hi Dosto...kehlaata hai...
haari baazi ko jeetna hume aata hai...
niklenge maidaan main jis din hum jhoom ke..
dharti bolegi..


Picture this...Its not Amir khan in his Model School outfit cycling on his racer bike.

Its me... riding my cycle in the streets of Berhampore, North Bengal, travelling on my route meeting retailers and trying to sell Bingo!.



So,life has turned upside down in the last 1 month!

Well pretty much!
I used to spend 200 bucks on my dinners at NH-1, Maharaja with the Jajoos and the battys...nowadays my meals cost me single digit!

Conversation:
Atlee: Dada (the usual bhaisaab or bhai in Mumbai is now dada in bangla)
Dukaanwala is sitting on the road, a woman is busy making hot rotis, while this guy takes care of the front end.
Dukaanwala: haan, ki holo
Atlee: 4 roti aur sabzi milega
Dukaanwala: milega na...thoda rukna padega...line hai
Atlee: theek hai....
after 10 mins...my turn comes and the guy packs everything and gives me a plastic bag
Atlee: kitna hua...(opening the wallet to remove a 50)
Dukaanwala: 6 rupya
Atlee: KYAAA

Im sure, after reading this conv. our Finance Minister will feel really glad that atleast inflation hasnt hit some part of India as yet.

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I was travelling to a village in a van. It was a TATA 407, 32 years old and really old..but puffing its way into the tiny streets. As we sat in the vehicle, me sandwiched between the driver and the salesman with the gear hitting me at the wrong places....the vehicle suddenly came to an abrupt halt. How would a driver start a vehicle?
9/10 times using the key! But this was the 10th time....
He pulled two wires out...striking them onto one another, once...twice...thrice...and grrr..grrr.....
I had seen Amitabh bachchan do that in movies and I thought it was such a farce!
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TRAINS!!

SRK in swades fighting hard for space and air in that crowded train! remember...
Well, i aint SRK...and what more, I didnt even get a seat. After a while, i decided to immerse myself into my headphones with some soothing Bollywood music. However, another voice screeched into my headphones!
Whats wrong with them...I murmured...
Nay...Its not my headphone...its another song being played...
Dilbar mere...kab tak mujhee...aise hi tadpaaogee.....
Ohh...Some RD burman fan here....
I took the headphones off...and was startled to see a huge speaker in my compartment. And to my amazement, the song was not played..there was a guy who was singing it.
WAAAW!! The guy...had a karaoke arrangement...with music coming from the tape...and he taking care of the singing department.

After a while a 4 feet tall kid enters the already suffocating compartment.

"jagah do...jagah do..." he made some free space for himself.

My eyes were fixed on him...what is he upto?

Some more in the comaprtment gave his the attention he demanded.

Time for action.

3..

2..

1..GO

"Jhalak Dikhlaaja...Jhalak Diklaaja...Ek bar aaja aaja aaja aaja aaajaa.."

Now this kid goes one step ahead...he not only sings the song...but also dances like Emran hashmi...probably was better than him...only that the poor kid cud not kiss any girl around....

I was pretty much laughing and enjoying this impromtu DJ in the train...I gave his 2 bucks for his performance...which was viewed with scorn by my co-passengers.

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Abbas...Jaane tune kitna pakaaayaa

Jaane tu Ya jaane na. 1.5/5


Abbas Tyrewala ko maan gaya! Usne Aamir Khan ki aankhon main dhool jhaunka.
Aamir Khan ne to public ki aankhon main dhool jhaunka!
Why on earth did Abbas Tyrewala do a Chalte Chalte rip off by making the ever so charged friends narrate a story about the hero-heroine. Not only are they poor at story telling, worse…they reenter into the plot at the wrong times…with their wrong expressions and one of them had a “Halls-Ad model” voice. Already getting irritating.

Moving ahead into the story…We are introduced to Jai and whats the females name…oh ya the famous Aditi. The songs had a great impact in pulling the audiences in the theatre, but it lost all zing when the picturization of Aditi is not over some serious senti stuff. Its over the death of a cat!! Meow meow black sheep!! (wat im I writing)!

And back to back there is a strange video picturizing the song…aadha glass aadha khaali. So, two good songs wasted.
The movie slowly moves as the entire cast n crew wants Jai and Aditi to get married, and they do not love each other. So, they decide to find soulmates for each other. And after finding them there is a twist in the tale, which is so easy to guess. Only the Pappu Song keeps the momentum going…

Abbas Tyrewala took great pains in sketching the characters of Jai and Aditi. Clearly, Jai is a nice guy, doesn’t fight , has a great sense of humor, knows how to keep his friends, his girlfriend and his mom happy all the time. Aditi, is also a very sweet girl, with a terrible accent. But everyone else in their group has landed from Mars. Or for that matter, even their respective partners. Meghna was supposedly very cute till the interval, but she is found to have a very irritating “whats this” problem in addition to eccentric parents. While, Aditi’s fiancĂ© is a cutout of Dil Chahta Hai’s Ayub Khan (preity Zinta’s fiancĂ©). So, that means the best friend couple will dump their partners and find love in the most filmy manner…the airport climax!

The movie has a complete portion of Paresh Rawal and the 3 rules of Rajputania stuff which could have been chopped off at the editing table. However, Sohail and Arbaaz Khan are bearable, especially Sohail. He seems to enjoy this kind of a cameo after his Salaam-e-Ishq act. Ratna Pathak as Jai’s mom is gracious. She is going to give the filmy mommies a run for their money. And the portrait Naseer is good inspite of the small window. But there are only a couple of take aways from the acting department. Imran Khan, clearly has Amir Khan’s charm and boy next door image and has carried the film nicely. But it’s the prodigal son of Smita Patil who looks like the star of tomorrow. Watch out for him!

Chapter 6: Printout drama

We needed the signatures of the project guide on the letterhead. So , we went to our manager for the letterhead.
ideally one would take the letterhead, get the matter printed and then take the necessary signatures. But we belong from mars. Hume har cheez alag tareeke se karna hai.

Atul: Sir, we do not have the matter ready to be printed on the letterhead. So, if you could also put your signature at the bottom of the page it would be great.
Andy: Also, Sir there is a specific format in which that letter needs to be typed.
PM: But you can always come with the ready letter. I will sign it later.
Atul: Yes sir...
Andy: abey kyaaa yes Sir. baadme kon aayega wapis. abhi sab karwa dete hai
Andy: Sir, since we need to submit the report tomorrow itself, we thought it would be easier for the binding etc. We will show you the final version before we submit all copies.
PM: Arre...but I can sign then as well....
The phone rings...his mood gets irritating.
PM: Okie...I neways need to go out today...so I guess I will sign it. But please do not use my signatures for any wrong purpose. Who knows you will write something else in that report. HAHHAAHHA
Only he laughed...

We got the signature on the letterhead. By lunch Nimit and Sid had worked on the report and the certificate of approval content. It was time to take the printout.
We only had one letterhead, with the necessary signatures. One final printout and the report was ready to be taken to IIT for binding etc.

Nimit: oye, mein print deta hun...tu and Andy jaake print nikaalo
Atul: chal Andy
Sid: mein bhi aaou kya
Nimit: yahin baithh...wahan printer ke paas tp karne jaa mat. iska formating mein help kar
Andy: saala kaamchor!

Me and Andy reach the printer.
Both look at the machine with the gaze of a villager at the sight of the zooming maruti 800.
I have the sheet with me. I look at it once...glance towards the printer. Again focus on the signature and that side of the page.

Atul: Andy...kaise karnega.
Andy: simple hai re...is paper ko daalte hai...Nimit print dega...bahar aayega direct
Atul: par konse side se aayega
Andy: arre...right side se aayega...tu paper de mereko
Andy took the paper put it inside and was about to instruct Nimit to click enter on the print command.
Atul: abey ruk!
Andy: kya hau...
Atul: ek test paper daal ke dekhte hai..konse side se aata hai
Andy: arre haan...yeh bhi right hai...waise bhi main paper main masti nahi kar sakte.
I take a blank paper...and pass it on to Andy
Andy: chal isko daalta hun main. Nimit...print kar

the paper is out after 5 secs.
Atul: abey tune kuch mark kiya tha kya...konse side se paperdaala...aur kis side pe print hua...
Andy: hailaa nahi :(
Atul: chuu saala....fir faayda kya hua blank paper ka. Ruk mein karta hun
I took another blank paper...marked an A on the top left...and inserted it into the prnter.
Atul: Nimit...print
Nimit is suspicious already but decides to mind his business. Sid is busy glancing at Ms. P. She's looking rather hot on a Friday "casual" afternoon. No wonder our guide Mr. R is cicrcling around her. While I was having a look at Ms. P my concentation...on her was rock solid...and the printer sound woke me up.
Atul: yeh raha...is side se print hua...jahan A mark kiya uske opposite.
Andy: kool...tune paper dala kis side se tha...
Atul: err...
Andy: haan?
Atul: abey bhool gaya...woh Ms. P kya lag rahi hai dekh.
Andy: haan be...usse baat karte hai aaj...project ke baare main thoda fekenge
Nimit's voice disturbs us once again
Nimit: hoagyaa kyaa?
Atul: nahi be...ek min. ruk na..kitna important page print karna hai...poora page setup dekhne de barabar se.
Now, behind us 2 employees are waiting to have their sheets printed as well...so..we let them take the prints.
Nimit: abey lunch time hogaya be...jaldi karo...
Andy: abey tujhe yaad nahi hai kya...kis side se daala tha
Atul: I think mark wala part peeche ke taraf tha...
Andy: yeh mark kya hai...
Atul: teja main hun...mark idhar hai...
Andy: hahahaa....abey nimit bahadak raha hai...is side se daalte hai...maine dekha tha...whohi right side hai
Atul: theek hai to agar ise paper daala...to print letterhead ke side pe hi hoga.
I did an entire action of the printing prcess bending my back forward as if I was being printed.
Andy: chal sahi hai...main paper daal deta hun
Atul: Nimit...thumbs up...final print...

The printer starts to rearrange...the dot matrix printer at work...the paper is on its way out..me and Andy are tense...waiting to see the output...
Suddenly Nimit joins us. Befre we could take the paper, he plucks it out...

:(
The matter is printed on the backside of the letterhead.

Have you ever failed in a test!!!

Have you ever failed in a test!!!

I came across this question recently. I would have laughed off...mocked at the poor souls who had missed to get the proverbial 35 (in school) 40 (in engg) and 50(in MBA).
But just before I could laugh Adv. Supply Chain management comes straight into my face and puts an "F" grade next to my name.

Not the person to fret and lose sleep over this, unlike Mainaakda ;), I decided to take a flashback of my earlier attempts to reach the F grade.

In school....the closest I came was once getting 56/100, with passing marks as 35. I was kind of a padhaku back then...so, inspite of once studying Geometry for the Geography test, I managed to get 8/15 and passed the sad unit test.

Then came junior college...My first interaction with girls...(my dad took badla on me right when I was in school. he put me into an all-boys). So, in order to pataofy I got a whopping 75% + in my 1st term exam of Std XIth. I then realised that the people with 50-60s were considered cool dudes. Threw away the books...and did well to scale down to the mid-60s. But still...did not fail.

Engineering was fun. Semester -1. We were used to scoring 90s 95s in HSC. Thought, Engg. was also similar. The 1st paper was I guess Maths -I. In HSC , we used to start off...blindly scoring the 2s and the3s (marks) I mean..and within no time one wud have touched 50 marks. Lke a typical 20-20 batting wicket. Decided to use the same strategy for Engg. But engg. exams are like green ffast bowler wickets. You can never score an 80/100. One must be satisfied with a 60.
Struggled big time in Semester-1. I was sure of failing in 4 subjects. Finally the reuslts were out.
My marks in those 4 subjects I was fearing were...40,42,48 and 50. Close shave.

And then came NITIE. Suposedly the resort, where people come for a 2 year vacation with a 400% increase in salary. I swear I never even thought of giving a re-test here.
Inspite of having many failed candidates around me. There was Batty...who failed in a paper inspite of the professor spelling the entire paper in class before hand!! Can u beat that!
or there was Ramesh...who had the audacity to fail in an HR paper. We laughed and laughed...mocked and ridiculed them on evey single occasion.
Then came module-6 . The last module. The mere formality of a module. "Its only for placements". There was a prof...Prof. L. (I cant name him since the reuslts are still awaited). He was the most chilled out prof in NITIE. No attendance hassles... gives 90+ to all, and moreover takes 2 subjects! Everyone in class applied for his subjects. Nearly 130 students. He refused to teach such a huge batch. A filter system was applied. Only those people getting 76+ in Supply Chain management subject would be able to opt for Adv. Supply Chain Management.

I had 77 I guess. "Im so lucky"!!! Yahoo...Now one module of aaram. I attended 1 out of 14 classes...that too for a mid term...went into the test with oozing superconfidence...mocked the others (Shikhar will remember) for studying like a fattu and...
1 week back....
tring tring...tring tring...
Atul: hulllooooo
Mainaak: yar atlee ek bhaut buri khabar hai?
Atul: (yawning...he had called at 9 am !!)
Mainaak: I hope jo main bol raha hun wo jhooth nikle lekin...par...
Atul: arre bol na...
Mainaak: tu....
Atul: arre bolo bhai
Mainaak: tu ek aur baar check karle...
Atul: arre kyaaa!!
Mainaak: yaaar tu Adv. Supply Chain main fail ho gaya!!!

Moral of the story:
Life mein kuch cheezein first time hoti hai maamu

Chapter 5: Luurv storie

This was the time of the project when things were going on smoothly.
The usual discussion on Friday evening.
Nimit: kal mere ghar aajaao subah 10 am.
Sid;Atlee;Andy: ok


later at 11Pm.
tring tring...tring tring

Atlee: huloo
Andy: kal kab jaana hai...
Atlee: 10 baje milte hai Andheri station.
Andy: thoda late kar re...1030
Atlee: done... Sid ko tu bol
phone disconnect.


tring tring...tring tring
Sid: ehho
Andy: kal 11 baje Nimit ke gahr
Sid: par woh to dus bola tha na
Andy: woh saala Atul ko kuch kaam hai.
Sid: saala serious hi nahi be koi tumlog mein se. dekh mujhko kaisa yaad tha dus baje milkena karke.
Andy: tu pahuch dus baje. hum aate hain
disconnect.


Nimit's place.
Time: 10 am. Nimit is ready and already doing some code on his machine. His was a small makeshift room all for himself, with a table and a bed. Nimit is getting restless..."where r these guys"
Time: 11 Pm: No sign

Time 12 : No sign.

Time 1245 pm.
Ding Dong! Ding Dong!
Atlee and Andy arrive.
Nimit: (frowning)itna jaldi aaye be tumlog.
Andy: saala yeh...1130 ko aaya. humesha late.
Atlee: Andy ki galti hai...bola paiir dukh raha hai...teen train chodda uske wajah se.
Nimit: disgusted!
Atlee: aur uske baad bola bus se jaate hain. Isliye late hua.
Andy: par Sid to aane wala tha na?
Nimit: uska phone aaya subah. Kuch Swaminarayan ka kaam hai. Dupahar ko aayega
Andy: saala #$%^. Kal bahut shaana bannn raha tha
Atlee: waise Nimit...woh book issual ka screen ho gaya kya?
Nimit: haan..ab maine hi kar diya...tum log to aane se rahe.


Its close to lunch time. Nimit ki mom ke haath ka khaana...lajawaab.
Aunty: chalo...pehle khaa lo...baadme kaam kar lena.
They always have an impression that we 4 guys are doing some brilliant work inside that small room.
After hving another lavish lunch we move to the small room.
10 mins past lunch.

Atlee: zzzz....zzzz....zzzz....zzzz
Andy: opens up the book. ASP for beginners.
Nimit: Abey Atul uthh be! Sone ke liye aaya kya.
After 15 mins , the door bell rings and Sid comes in...with a sheepish smile.
Andy: ab aa raha ahi tu!
Sid: aaya na mai...kitna mushkil se nikla malumm kya.
Nimit: chal chal...ab atul ke saath baithkar database table dekho for the other module.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thoda kaam kar liya...then we decided to take a break!

Sid: chal yaar 15 min. ka break lete hai.

Sid: Nimit...mujhe bata...teri item kidhar hai?

Andy: ITEM! yeh kya hai ganda word. Girlfriend bol!

Sid: haan be , tu samjhaa na

Nimit: koi girlfriend nahi hai be

Atul: fir woh kon hai koi jisko tu mila tha koi picnic pe.

Nimit: haan woh...jaane do yaar.

Andy: nahi bol na...

Nimit: rehne de

Andy: arre nahi...tu bol na

Nimit: abey der ho gayi hai...

Andy: kya der?

Nimit: ab woh chali gayi yaar...Main usse mila tha ek picnic ke...apne 12th ke class ke. We used to talk to each other. Par jyaada nahi...uske dad ka cable network business tha...borivli chodd kar Andhri side kahin shift ho gaye.

Atul: zzzzzz

Sid: hmm...

Nimit: wasie bhi yaar woh muslim thi...to kuch hone nahi wala tha.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We played a few sad songs on WINAMP.

Ajab hai ishq yaaaaaraaaaaaa

pal do pal ki khushiyaaaaannnnnn....


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

end of project day work...we leave for home at 7 pm.

-----------------------------------------------------
Next week, we were at Andy's place in Lokhandwala ( the residence of TV actors and flopped Bollywood stars, in Andheri West). After doing some work on the code, we decided to take a walk and babe watch on the streets of Lokhandwala.

Atlee: Andy tere hi ghar pe kaam karna chiye. Kaam ka kaam...aur masti ki masti

Sid: haan be...sahi jagah hai yeh

Andy: tere Vasai ke saamne to jannat

Nimit: abey woh dekh Sheeba!!

Nimit was excitedly peeping into the car trying to catch a glimpse of the heroine of duds like Boyfriend and that song...Aaja meri gaadi mein baith jaa...of some baba sehgal film.

Andy: abey aise roz dikhte hai...kya dekh raha hai.

Nimit: sahi hai yaar...

Andy: mere building main Akki aata hai...(Andy starts bragging his filmy gyan). Har week nayi girlfriend ko laata hai...current Raveena hai.

We decided to sit in the nearest restaurant for a light dinner.

Sid opens up a topic of terror prone Vasai.

Sid: pata hai kya...apun ke area main sirf bhai log hai. Ek cable wale ko maardiya.

Atlee: maar diya...hialaa kaaiku

Sid: ek naya aadmi aaya area main. Sab jagah brochure baata...cable monthly rent 100/- only jab ki baaki log 200/- main dete hain

Atlee: to sahi hai na...fir kya hua.

Sid: buss...bhai log ko gussa aaya...aise kaise aadha rate pe de raha hai...to maar daala usko.

Nimit: haila!!

Andy and Atlee glanced at each other...and smiled mischeviously.

Atlee: Yaar Andy, tu us din kuch bata raha tha na...tere cable wale ke baare main.

Andy: haan be...naya aadmi aagaya cableman. Naam yaad nahi hai

Nimit who was sipping his pepsi is slightly attentive.

Atlee: nahi be...tu kuch bata raha tha na musulmaan hai woh.

Andy: haan be...bhool hi gaya...woh us bus stop pe mujhe mile they to baat kiya main...woh namaaz padh ke aa rahey they...aur mereko hello bola

Nimit: hello bola yeh humlog kokyu bol raha hai

Andy: aage sun na...to main poochaki aap naye aaye is area main...to he said haan...abhi kuch mahine pehle...pehle woh Borivli main business karte theyy...ab sab chodd ke idhar aaye

Nimit: Kya!! yaar unka naam kya hai?

Atlee: ABEY ANDY...kahin yeh wahi to nahi

Andy: kaun

Atlee: Abey woh NIMIT - ladki - muslim - cable...

Nimit: haan re...

Andy: arre...

Sid: haan be...sahi

Atlee: Nimit unka naam kya hai

Nimit: Mr. Ismail Shaikh

Andy: abey!!! yahi to naam hai unkaa...abhi yaad aaya....ditto wahi naam...

Sid: Nimit hailaa...yeh to poora filmy story ho gaya be...tera "sasur" idharich mil gaya.

Nimit: sahi yaar...Andy number nikaal na cable wale ka...please please

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number to Nimit ko mila nahi...par paanch minute baad Andy and Atlee started laughing...itni zor se ki Sheeba ne bhi dekh liya. Nimit slowly realized it was a prank played on his heart.

Nimit: saaala ##$%###$*******.... meri haay lagegi tum log ko dekh lena.

Us din se ajun tak Nimit ko Lokhanwala ke cable wale ke naam se chidaate hai hum!



My last few days

Indian Hockey finally surprises itself!
After the corruption charges and change of leadership, India did well to finish second in the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament ahead of arch rivals Pakistan. Although I hardly could get to see the matches live...it was heartening to read the giant strides of Adrain Dsouza, my good freind Ashley's bro and India's daredevil goalkeeper.
Congrats! Adrain...if you read this...wishing you greater deeds for the future.

Moving on to a different stream altogether...saw a play after a while...one of Naseerudin Shah's MOTLEY festival. This one was called"Ismat Apa ke naam" a collection of 3 stories written by Ismat something....way back in the '30s and '40s. The uniqueness of this play...was that it was simply a story telling session. But the manner in which the lead actors narrate the story to the audience makes the play enjoyable, inspite of the pre-independance setup stories and the high octane urdu dialect.
And the icing on the cake was meeting Naseer saab and Ratna Pathak Shah once again and getting to chat with them for a decent time :)
As Dhivya said recently, there isnt much on the entertainment plate these days...with the IPL murdering all TV shows around..esp. the exciting Paanchi Pass..err..Fail. SRK I felt was much much lively and rejuvinated as compared to his previous experience in KBC 2 or 3. But unfortunately...poor timing and a direct competition with IPL has hurt Paanchvi Pass a big way.

So, its now the final leg of the MBA chapter...another 20 days and corporate life is waiting to suck my soul. NITIE was an awesome pitstop in this journey called life...and Im getting a bit nostalgic so, the next post will surely be on my days at NITIE.

Scribblings for a change...

Finally caught up with the movie Johnny Gaddar.
Crisp and fastpaced, and as Vijit said...probably one of the best edited movies in recent times. I liked the reference to Parwana (the Amitabh flick) and the vintage Dharamendra shooting in english lingo "stop acting like a kid".

Im still reading Maximum City - Suketu Mehta's detailed version on the underworld, the dance bars, the cops...of Mumbai. Frankly, this book needs editing! Sriram Raghavan, please send ur editor to Suketu. But, must say..this book is an eye opener to me! To all the people in Mumbai, who have never visited a police station, never brushed a "bhai" the wrong side.

Its Friday...to finally some movies calling! Probably Bhootnath..the star cast luring me to the booking office. There is "Jannat" releasing as well, but Emran Hashmi flicks! on the big screen! Naay! They are best as late night movies on Zee Cinema.

And once I have finished off with my usual gala time...I wl have to pick up the books or the ppts of Advance Supply Chain Management once again!!!
:(((

Chapter 4: Project Guide bhadak gaya

Recap:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
We started with some coding sessions, mostly at Nimit's place. He used to head the coding sessions, simply coz he knew how to code.
The rest?
Andy: competent at best.
Sid: Never there
Atlee: Coding...rehne hi do
We had done some work on the inital screens and had to meet Mr. R for the demo session. We reached LTITL, got away with the security formalities and headed to R's cubicle. We were given a computer and a cramped space for 4 people to sit somehow shifting the chairs every 2 mins to let people pass. However, setting up your application on a new machine requires some basic knowledge on computers,server settings and the ilk. So, Nimit took the hot seat, Andy his deputy, me and Sid were almost close to the next guy, and were watching his actions closely.
5 min. observation of this new guy:

Window 1: Hotmail
Window 2: Chat; a lot of smileys...so assumption...its a girl
Window 3: Winamp
Window 4: Office Email
Wow! isnt that awesome as an occupation. Poora din listening to songs, chatting with the girl next seat and getting paid 20k.! I am dying to work in the IT industry now.

Coming back to Nimit... he tried for a while to set the application.
Nimit: Yeh PWS (Personal Web Server) ka ek setting hai....usme gadbad hai
Andy: dekh na...advanced options main.
Nimit: hmm
after a while...
Nimit: nahi ho raha
Sid: saala kuch kaam ka nahi hai tu...
Atlee: haa be...itna simple to hai
Nimit: dimaak kharab mat karo...itna hi pata hai to khud karo...aa baith mere seat par.
Sid: Chal Atul, hum karte hai

Sid and Atlee sit and do some irreparable damage to the settings that nothing works after their "midas touch".

Andy: Ek kaam karte hai...Mr. R se poochte hai...kaise karneka.
Now, Mr. R had a crush on Ms. P (we 4 had one as well...I doubt abt Sid though...). And Ms. P had just invited him for a coffee break. So, after we asked him how to setup...Mr. R left his computer for us...and asked us to setup the files on his machine.

Sid: Hero hai be yeh...us item ke saath bhag gaya.
Atlee: dheere bol saale.
Andy: chal Nimit...ab tu poor mast kar ke ready kar de. 5 ko baj gaya...530 tak nikalte hai. Mereko kisi ko milna hai 630 ko.
Atlee: kahan...Siddivinayak temple?
Sid: mereko bhi jaana hai Swaminarayan.
Nimit: saala...sab ko kahin na kahin jaana hota hai prject ka kisi ko padi nahi. Tum log jaao...Main aur Atul kar lenge
Atlee: err...Main bhi bolne hi wala tha ki mujhe mere DJ friends ko milna hai.
Sid: ha ha ha...saala tu bhi.
Andy: chal yaar...abhi seriously kaam kar lete hia
Atlee: haan...cummon
Nimit, started to find similar settings as his home PC and started transfering files on Mr. R's machine. All seemed fine for a while.
He changed the machine port and typed the url on the IE browser.

Andy: sahi...1st page aagaya...kool
Sid: data ka problem hai...Database change nahi kiya kya.
Nimit: arre haan re...par ab naya database setup karte hai
Atlee: MS-SQL khol ke dekh le
Andy: wahan new database main export kuch hoga...to floppy se export kar denge. ( As I said, we were in the era of floppy drives.) For some reason, it didnt work,
Statutory Warning: The following incident is completely Nimit's responsibility and holds no legal binding on Atul, Sid and Andy
Nimit: Ek kaam karte hai...yahin pe database bana ke test karte hai.
Andy ; Atlee; Sid :( all 3 look at the time in their watches..whispering) Its getting late.
Nimit, opened the MS SQL client...There was already some application data running. He added some table , put some data in...saved the setting and tried the application again.

Atlee and Sid were almost sleeping.
Andy was on his mobile phone. He used to carry this giant sized wireless device as if stolen from the traffic policeman at SV Road. But his phone was the link to ppl outside LTITL. More on the phone later.

Nimit: Sahi!! It worked. See, I added a new book table and that shows on the screen.
Andy: waah, sahi hai
Atlee: Nimit, tu to great hai
Sid: ditto

Mr.R is back after a mini-date with Ms. P, who is looking absolutely stunning. Ek din iske saath lunch karne ka mann kar raha hai. Probably through Mr. R.

Mr R: so, are u guys done with the setup.
Nimit: Yes sir. U can have a look
Nimit browses through the 1st page and all seems well.
Mr. R: Nice, nice...so how did you manage the data. Did u export it from your floppy.
Andy: S-Sir...we tried doing that, but that didnt work out, so we created a new table in the existing MySQL client on your machine.

Mr. R: Ok...(slightly suspicious look.) Theek hai...I wl have a look...You can move to your seats, and I will call you in a while.
We move to our original cramped seats. We are almot preparing to leave now... End of days play...and a good start to the project as well. Now, the same code to be replicated with a few changed as that should be it.
Suddenly, Mr. R calls us to his seat.
Mr R: Guys...did you delete any existing database.
Atlee: delete , err...no sir.
Sid: Nimit...
Andy is also looking at Nimit.
Nimit: sir... I I opened a new instance...
Mr.R : but did you get a message to save the database XXX
FLASHBACK
While we were working on Mr. R's machine
Nimit: abey yeh message aaya hai
Some 4 line message about application XXX finally asking a yes and a No.
Andy: Yes kar.
Sid:nahi be no kar
Atlee: ek koi bolo
Nimit read the message again and said..No karna hoga...
Andy: theek hai no kar.
End of flashback
Nimit: No sir...we got another message about the permissions and we clicked on No.
Mr R: almost in a furious mood, but calming himself. Yeh kya kiya...you ahve deleted the database I was working on! I tried to open it and I see your library tables instead

Nimit: OH
Noone else even close to opening their mouths. Silence for a while.
Mr R realises he is talking to technology angootha chaaps...
Mr R: Its ok now...but please be careful next time. I wl try to fix it.
Okie sir (in unison).

We move out of his cubicle and come back to our seats. Suddenly all eyes are pointing towards Nimit.
Atlee: maine bola tha Yes karne
ANdy: tune nahi maine bola tha...
Sid: ek baar theek se dekhna tha na.
Nimit is obviously irritated by now.
Atlee:Nimit sab gadbad karta hai...
Sid: Kuch nahi aata usku
Nimit: (almost red...) bus ho gaya...ab se main kuch nahi karne wala...tumlog karo...project

Andy: yaar...bahar chalke jhagadte hai...mereko der ho raha hai...chalo.

Akki da Tashan all the way: 2.5/5


Mumbai traffic can do this to you! Losing the first 5-10 mins of the movie...esp. the credits and the ads...

So I got into the theater missing out on the seetis of the first look of Kareena and Saif(no seeti for him obviously). Trying to understand what Jimmy(Saif) n Pooja(Kareena) are doing roaming around South Mumbai. Nicely captured although only for the first few reels. Then comes Anil Kapoor as bhaiyaaji(my childhood favorite) with a half Welcome half Betaaj Baadshah look along with 2 sambas (Manoj Pahwa and Apple Singh). Turns out Jimmy is supposed to teach Bhaiyaaji English in 3 months and he ends up fallng for Pooja who works for Bhaiyaaji.

Its another gang story...the evils along with Saif n kareena who are all grey shades.
A Race/Welcome hangover follows...alongwith nice comic bits n pieces with Bhaiiyaji doing a Deewar -Amitabh mandir scene in half English half bhojpuri... clearly one of the highlights of the film.

Soon its complete into Race with dupes and money swindles and Bhaiyaaji needs help to search for Pooja and the lost crores. Enters Bacchcan Pande (Akshay) with a bang..Literally...as Ravan and storms the scene. Next, its back to old days as Main Khilaadi to Anari and Kismet is enacted in a new setting altogether. Although only in bits n pieces here...but the camaraderie is there to enjoy.

Soon Bachan pande dominates the proceedings...His Kanpur ada... the kantaap, the bhaiyaa style is really enjoyable...so much that I didnt miss Kareena or Saif's presence. The proceedings are fast paced...moving from Mumbai to UP to Rajasthan through virgin Greece. Its an incredible India advertisement in the backdrop with the storyline steadying down from the twists to the mundane.

Comic elemnets are plenty: Saif's attempted rape of Kareena, Akshay's sharmaana or his daaru peene ka tashan, Akshay taking love tips from Guru Saif or his terrible matrix style handling of the police.

So, is there nothing to criticize about tashan?
Plenty:
The story: Slapstick comedies are not supposed to have one.
The flashback...the biggest downer...I felt I was watching a bhojpuri movie!
The climax: Too long and action too boring
The songs: Picturisation lft a lot to be desired.
The choreography: Cud surely have been better done. Dil Haara is a complete dissapointment there.

and to a certain extent Saif n Kareena. It is clearly Akki and Anil Kapoor all the way. Newcomer director has done well in bits n pieces.

This could go on to be a very good movie to watch on TV over the years, with some comedy scenes clearly worth watching. However, there is nothing than you take back home from this movie.

Took me more than the usual time to think of the stars...with a lot of comparision from previous posts to consider.

Atlee Rating: **1/2









Remakes and plagiarism the world over

Its my privelige to have a guest column on my blog. The author of this blog...
a very dear friend of mine since I started bunking my classes and someone who has hated my choice of movies (or SRK movies all this while).
Le me introduce you to my buddy


Sunny Panpalia


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Before I go on writing abt what's on my mind, I would like to let yall know that I am an avid movie fan. I love watching movies, especially those in other languages - Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French, Thai, Chinese, etc - and obviously in addition to those American and Hindi Movies. What I have observed is that all of these do have their inspirations/adaptations from which they base their movie. the Hollywood movies have their books , as a matter of fact almost all good Hollywood movies are adaptations from books - try me think of some English movies u really liked -



Godfather

Shawshank Redemption,
Silence of the lambs,
Exorcist, the latest 21

and the list goes on and on. Also a lot of Hollywood movies especially the horror are inspired from Asian movies. The Japanese adapt some of their movies from Manga which basically are Japanese cartoons with adult themes. The Hindi movies take their inspiration from Hollywood movies. basically I hate it when people tell me that Hindi movies are all copied from Hollywood blockbusters, all I have to tell them is look at ur movies, they are copied (if I could use that work) from bestsellers. so what is difference ?


The difference my friend is in Royalty, the amount of money you have to pay to the authors is you have to use their book and adapt them into a movie. But they can afford it , with budgets of over hundreds of millions of dollars, they can afford to come forth and say look I have adapted from a movie and since I have such a lot of money at my disposal I can make a great movie with great locations, spend on publicity, etc and have my movie win the Oscars. that brings us to the Hindi cinema. we adapt movies from the west,but we do not have the budget to pay royalties. hence what we do is to twist the movie just slightly and call them an inspiration. that brings us to "Shaurya" ...the movie made from "Few Good Men" in which by the way Jack Nicholson rocked ... and many such other movies who the Hindi movie critics would say have been shamelessly copied from Hollywood flicks. to come extent I do agree , they have been copied from Hollywood ... but I have a different outlook to this


Firstly, why do Hindi movie directors put in their own sidetrack and spoil the movie. plain and simple if you adapt a movie from Hollywood stick to the plot and story line, that would at least make the movie interesting. take the example of Zinda, sanjay copied reel to reel from the Korean movie "old boy" the same story line , same characters, almost the same sets , same dumplings :) , the only thing he had to change was the ending and a little bit of the plot and that was because the Indian audiences are not ready for the plot that was actually "Old Boy".


And secondly, I don't see anything wrong in adapting a movie/novel/manga and putting it out for the audiences. reason - plain and simple, how many of us have seen a movie like Old Boy, or read a Godfather had it not been made into a movie. It just gives these classics a wider audience to view such great works. That said I also want to add that shamelessly copying such a creation and then calling it your own is sinful, I mean at least have the guts to say u have copied or "adapted" .. don't use words like inspired ... sarkar was nor "inspired" from godfather , it was godfather and thankfully RGV had the sense to have Amitabh play Don Corleone and Abhisekh Michael ... perfect star cast .. so was K.K. playing Sonny ... if this involves royalty issues then that's something that I wouldn't know or want to comment about.



Coming back to why this post was written in the first place "Shaurya" ...A good plot from Few Good Men .. spoiled because of bad acting, extremely poorly written dialogues, senseless sub plots and the snail like speed the movie moves baring the last 10 minutes .... the movie would have been much better if it were made on same lines as its original movie , it would have had a better impact . Alas neither or Hindi film makers not the Hollywood ones who remake greats like ring, shutter, eye, grudge and thousand other Asian movies would ever realize to not alter classics. Do remake them put please do not alter them, it ruins it for everybody , those who have watched/read the original and those who missed out on the original but after seeing the poor remake decide not to see the original.

Filmy Blogs

For all Filmy buffs

Just came across a couple of blogs written by filmwalas.
http://passionforcinema.com
Big B: http://blogs.bigadda.com/ab/
Amir Khan: http://www.aamirkhan.com/blog.htm

Here u can find Anurag Kashyap, Sudhir Mishra and Onir sharing their creativity with internet browsers. Alsp, if you havent read Amir Khan or Big B's blogs...then you surely are missing something.

Sudhir Mishra has analyzed his own masterpiece Hazaaro Khwaisehn Aisi. A terrific read.
http://passionforcinema.com/hazaaron-khwaishen-aisi-and-after/

Cheque De India

It had to happen...

Indian Hockey has always been a distant step brother of cricket. Atleast, frm the time Ive followed sports in India. Ive always enjoyed watching hockey...

The first impressions were the hindi chapter on Dhyan Chand...how he scored 4 goals in 4 mins or something. Then in school, there was a hockey team...though I never came close to selection.

The team I vividly remember...Dhanraj Pillay was a character then...in his prime, Mukesh and Gavin Ferrera ( i think so...Ashley pls confirm) and a few sardars always a mandatory requirement for any defence ..pargat Singh the veteran. And then I happened to come across Adrain D'souza- India team goalkeeper, my good friend Ashley's brother, who 1st made it to U-19 and then to the senior team. Quite a proud moment for all of us...to knw someone who has made it so big. Later, I ended up knowing him better having invited him to campus for a celebrity event.

And I so very well remember that game...India vs Pakistan played in Malaysia I think...India were trailing 2-4. There was tension in the air...Suddenly there was a flare up...hockey sticks goin in the air...4 paki players rounding up an Indian. Almost fisticutts. And there should Gagan Ajit Singh...that glare..that look..."one step and u'll pay for it". Running from behind came Jugraj Singh...one of the most flamboyant players for India. To support Gagan being hit...it was as if Indo-Pak revisited. Dhanraj came in and calmed the youngsters and egged them to play...


And in the space of 5-10 mins India pumped in 5 goals...won the match 7-4!




I felt it was a redefining moment of Indian hockey...it cud have invigored the nation to take up the plight of the national sport. But the next game..the 3-4 playoffs for bronze...the entire nation watched with excitement...we lost 2-3 to Pak...lost the chance to push hockey to the next level.

And since then, hockey has barely survived to attract eye balls. One moment up! onemoment down...losing the Olympic entry was a shocker...to ppl...but how many even knew it was the Olympic play-offs going on!

And today, Aaj Tak manages a ripper...catches IHF secretary taking a bribe for setting up a tournament, picking players for the Indian team and waht not! I had read abt the controversy surrounding Viren Rasquina's untimely exit, the teary eyed Dhanraj Pillay and the untimely accident of Jugraj. Things seem to be going crazy for Indian Hockey...

From Chak De India to cheque De India!

My All Time Favorite Series

This song is special...for a lot of reasons.
The music is so refreshing...the drum beats, the guitar too western, the melody typical soothing Jatin-Lalit. The movie was a big FLOP, but the song lasted...lasted years...but not many knew about it...till DJ Suketu turned it into the new romantic mantra.
See the music video....
http://youtube.com/watch?v=VVOs_ATjikQ
One of my all-time favorite tracks.

U me and Match

Not in a mood to write a full length review. Coz, I just read Nikhat Kazmi's review in TOI and felt i would have written, very much the same.
Just a few thoughts...
Although the movie hovers around the Hollywood concepts used in Notebook and A Beautiful Mind (in certain scenes for sure), there is an Indianness in the relationship between Ajay and Kajol. Decent support staff (Sumeet Raghvan, Divya Dutta, Sachin Khedekar) keep the movie moving. It reminds you of RGV esp. in the top view and bottom up camera angles.The music is dissapointing except the title track. Ajay Devgan's effort to break the audience emotionally and Kajol's superlative performance help the movie break even from the false start of the 1st half.

Turned out to be more than a few thoughts.

I'll leave with my rating : ***

Well, its not been a great day for me on the cricket field.
Scored a duck and bowled terribly. Yet, we managed to win the league game.
So, criticisms are invited ;)

A dream come true

Indian Independance "Freedom"fare Award

If History was a filmfare award:



I have always been a keen student of history. Atleast till Std. X. History fascinated me, unlike most of my friends at school. The Indian independance struggle was an imaginative battlefield in itself, with Lokmanya Tilak starting the proceedings by dominating Chapter 3 and 5 before handing over the mantle to Gandhiji who played the main lead. Nehru, was usually the 2nd lead till assuming supremacy in the climax, after the sad death scene of the Mahatma. History is an intersting subject. You believe everything written in there. Perceptions are made and remain forever. Jinaah was bad and Gandhi was good. In Pakistan, its probably vice versa. How can there be different accounts for the same fact. Roshomon concept at work!

Newyas, if History was a filmfare award ceremony:



My nominations for best actor-male:



1) Mahatma Gandhi for Satyagraha
2) Mahatma Gandhi for Quit India Movement
3) Mangal Pandey for 1857-Uprising
4) Lokmanya Tilak for Swaraj is my birthright.
5) Jawarhal Nehru for Lady Mountbatten episode and PMship.






Female leads were very few and far between. 1857 saw the ferocious and brave Rani Jhansibai. There was a lull before a faint and soft spoken Sarojini Naidu reached the dias. Please pardon my history if I have forgotten someone in the vast 90 year old independance struggle. Perhaps, the most powerful woman in India has been Indira Gandhi. Since, her exploits are timed post independance, she does not share screen space. However, there was a fantastic performance in mainstream history (i.e. social upliftment) for which she won accolades across the globe. Although she became world famous post '50s , she however does get a nomination as she came to India in '46.
Mother Teresa may give some tough competition to our angry young women.

My nominations for best actor-female:
1) Rani Laxmibai - 1857 Uprising
2) Sarojini Naidu - Quit India Movement
3) Mother Teresa - Missionaries.



Supporting actors were far too many in the Indian independance struggle. Tatya Tope won all hearts in school, as he was the last man standing after the 1857 uprising. His guerilla warfare tactics made him the last heir to Shivaji before the Thakereys took over. Thereafter there were the Parsibabas, the Nowrojis whose work was less impressive than their passport sized photographs in the history books. Then, in order to slow the momentum of the freedom struggle, we had the Vivekanands and the Tagores, who bought art and music to the Indian struggle. However, three action heroes took centrestage in the middle chapters when Gandhiji went for a restroom break.



First, the well documented Bhagatsingh. Already 4-5 movies have been made on his valiant effort to take revenge of the Jalianwala Baug massacre. However, his role was "allegedly" cut on the editing table by Gandhi.

Another, action hero who stormed the entire nation was Bose. His fan following in the East in unprecedented. The East of India and the Eastern nations as well. However, his untimely "death" led to his relegation to supporting actor.

The third was the Iron man. Sardar Patel, who was instrumental in the formation of the 26 states of India.

My nominations for best supporting actor:

1) Netaji Bose - World war 2

2) Bhagatsingh - Courtroom

3) Swami Vivekananda - Brothers and sisters

4) Tatya Tope - 1857 Uprising

5) Sardar Patel - 26 states

Best Dialogue:

One liners were the mantra to rebellion in those days. This award is dedicated to the line, which led to the most terrific response by the followers, without whom the Independace struggle is unthinkable.

Our nominations:

1) "Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it" - Tilak

This dialogue was the crux of the Tilak chapters. We read the entire 4 page chapter only to read this line. Questions of every term paper would revolve around it.

q) What did Lokmanya Tilak say when he came out of prison? Over the years, this question is asked for 3 marks, which in itself is a big achievement.

2) Tumhaara Aagyakaari beta, Bhagatsingh

Although not as popular as the previous, in terms of national movement, this line shows the family values of a freedom fighter. His respect for his father, inspite of his love for the land.

Imagine, the line which has been rehearsed by Bobby Deol, Sonu Sood, Ajay Devgan and Siddharth over the last 4 years, must have some "dum"

3) SIMON , go back
Probably, the first time Indians talked in English. John Simon, a commisioner, would be elated to become such a household name in India. It paved the way for foriegn language in India, and today we have English as our 1st language. Great contribution. What more, even in the recent Ind-Aus series down under, the reference was clearly visible: Symonds go back.

4) Hey Ram - Gandhi

The most controversial dialogue ever in Indian history. A line, which has all the ingrediants of religious acimony, bitterness and fued. A line, which contradicts all the convictions on which the great man walked. A line, on which INC exists even today. A line, which led to the formation of the BJP.

Best Music:
Only 2 nominations
1) Jana gana mana - Tagore
2) Vande Mataram - Bankim Chattopadhyay
However, A R Rehman may clearly win a nomination with his versions of both the songs soon.

Worst Villain
1) Mohd. Ali Jinaah - Partitiion riots.
2) General Dyer - Jalianwala Baug
3) Nathuram Godse - Hey Ram

This is where history starts contradicting itself. Some claim Jinaah ws right, even Advani has apositive opinion about him. Godse, is an idol for the BJP, while General Dyer is hated all over.

Best Director:
However, the best award should go to the Congress Government over the years, for projecting the Indian history in the minds of youngistan, the way they wanted to project leaders. Hence, Bose and Tilak and given 10 pages worth space. Nehru, Gandhi and even the young Indira has enough screen space to show their wares. What more , they have the 10 mark questions coming their way as well.

Well, please put in your thoughts on who should win the best award in each category. Other nominations are also welcome [:)]

RACE: NFS khelo.. khud jaan jaao


Its a RACE to be the first to post a review. [:P] , So, DGrail, KilliBoy here I am...on a mission

"Maine humesha reviews jeetne ke liye likhe hai, aur isliye main hi jeeta hun"


THE PLOT:

So, Its an Abbas-Mustan flick...And this time they present an F-1 race. Or should we call it..NFS. Yes, NFS would suit better. And we have two teams.

Racers: Stud Bro-SAif, Dumb Babe-Katrina, Hot Babe-Bips and WigBoy-Akshaye.

Race Marshalls: Frooti- Anil Kapoor and Pakao - Sameera Reddy

Circuit 1: Horse Race Track

Initially all racers belong to one team. After a routine pit stop (song n dance flick), they pipque rival number 1: Dalip Tahil at the chequered flag.


Circuit 2: Pehli Nazar Main Track

Victory has resulted in a divide in the Team. Breakaway team is formed by Wigboy and HotBabe.(Akshaye n Bips). It results in a pathetic picturisation of the Atim Aslam number. Too bad!


Circuit 3: Cape Town Track

Schemes are planned for the Sunday race between StudBoy and DumbBabe (Saif n Kats). Espionage is on the rise. Suddenly, teams change, now Hot Babe (Bips) is back with StudBoy, while WigBoy gets DumbBabe, who isnt as dumb as she seems.


The race marshalls arrive,with yellow flags...rather yellow fruits. Teams continue to chop and change, all combinations are tried, however there is no clear winner.


Its finally left for one big race...on a clear track...with 2 cars..StudBoy vs WigBoy. The winner gets the coveted $200mn.


PROs:

1) Saif Ali Khan: Clearly, a winner. This is one of his coolest act in recent times.

2) Twisters: As expected in an Abbas-Mustan flick, there are doses of thrill. Every ten minutes the scenario of the movie changes. Also, they race ahead of the audience as far as the imagination goes.

3) Cars: Any 4-wheeler freak will vouch for this.


CONS:

1) Twists too many.

2) Terrible comic element in the form of Anil Kapoor and Sameera. Johny Lever does a better job in the 2 min. sequence.

3) Akshaye Khanna: He should retire from A-M flicks. There is no change from the character he plays in Humraaz or Naqaab. Also, his wig looks like Pran's hairdo at times.

4) Pritam's music. Apart from Pehli Nazar and Race Sanson ki, the other songs are "shift delete" types.


Final Statement:

Too many twists and turns.

The critique almost mourns.


Atlee Rating: 2/5

Detective Maurya - Farmer suicides| A wake up call


We read of stories of farmer deaths in Vidharbha. Farmers who are starving to death. Farmers who cant meet their ends. They end up their life. They find a small mention on Pg 10 of TOI, after you flip through the color photo of Ishaant Sharma, ShahRukh Khan with his IPL team, and a host of other unnecessary articles on Thakereys opinions on the north India attitude.

But why am I talking about all this! Coz, yesterday, I saw this play "Detective Maurya" directed by Makrand Deshpande and starring Shekhar Suman and Makrand himself among others. The play talks about two contrasting worlds. The urban and the rural. A kisaan (Makrand) kills himself in front of Detective Maurya in Bodh Gaya. The detective( Suman) starts hallucinating, the farmer comes in his dreams, his day to day life and begs him to help the state of farmers today. There is a parallel drawn to the metamorphis of Siddhartha to Gautam Buddha, the Buddism philosophy.Maurya is a materialistic person, a selfish and money minded individual. However, the incident of a man dying in front of him has brought a conflict in his mind...of either helping the farmer community or living his life the normal way. How he manages to find a solution forms the crux of the play.

Performances:
Shekhar Suman dissapoints. There is an effort to play a cool dude. He isnt! He does well in the final emotional outburst, but not good enough to bring tears in your eyes. There is an artificial layer in his performance. Makrand is haunting, throughout. His vague dancing pose, his voice and his smoky presence gives a sense of chill throughout the do ank as well as the "pandhra minute ka madhyaantar". Kavita Bhedekar, who plays Suman's wife is competent. However, the scene stealer is Nanu, the mentall challenged kid.

Afterthought:
There is a social message, but isnt very strongly put forth. The farmers plight is expressed in bits and pieces but there is no effort to show a solution. However, the question that lingers in my mind is...do these social messages really help? Does it galvanize the audience. Does the audience take cue from the plot and act against the system to help the destitute?

The answer is a sad no. We congratulate the director , we clap for the actors, we talk about it for a few mintues, and then, we sleep over it. The next day morning we are back in our own wrlds, doing all the things which might be affecting someone in some part of the country. But who cares!

Atlee rating: *** (3/5)

Friends

Watching Class of '84, I was reflecting on my friends so far.
In this existence of 26 years and a few months, I have chalked up around 410 odd friends on orkut, If that was some barometer.
However, how many friends can you really bank on. How many friends will actually stand by you in the need of the hour.
Difficult to answer.
Today everyone is busy, ppl stay in the same city, yet meet once a year. They have no clue wats goin on in a freinds life. But life goes on.
I usually had no difficulty spending a weekend, coz always had "friends" around me for some movie/play/beach/mall outing. However, one weekend, when my NITIE friends were enjoying home food during vacations, I found it making a saturdya plan almost as difficult as I find riding a bike or swimming.
Called up a few mates, they were busy with work.
Somehad plans already arranged, some I wasnt in contact for a loong time to really ask.
So, the saturday went in vain.

The situation is NITIE is quite different. You knw 150 people if you network really well. Yet,
the situaiton is really strange. You have groups. Of around 8-10 ppl. Its not as if you dont know the rest. But, once you belong to a group, you are stuck with them, quite literally. Youhave to hang out with them, eat, dine drink and gossip with the same set of friends. Trust me it gets to my nerves at times. Living with the same set of ppl for 18 months and knowing them inside out is cool, but talking the same nonsense, the same jokes, the same potshots is uncool.

Sometimes, I wished to talk to others, hang out with them, learn more about them (obviously ppl from the opposite sex is always a bonus). But, its back to the same friends.

But I guesss, each one is different in nature. Some people fear new acquaintances, they want the same faces around them, they do not like mingling with others as much. Each is right in his own way.

Coming back to my weekend plan which went astray, I was left wondering looking at my orkut homepage, 410 friends! What use! If i cant get one of them, to spend some fun time with.

It really doesnt help, that distance is also a factor. But that cant be an excuse. Im working on ensuring I have something to do on weekends.

So, its branching out from the usual fun arenas- movies. So, wehave caught up on plays (its a social thing as well. "ohh did u catch up on Alique padamsee's latest". Quite a Status symbol these days), or the latest kala ghoda festival. Its was pathetic , nothing different than the usual Republic Day mela with Giant Wheels and merrry Go Rounds in my colony years ago. But its a status symbol. I tried my hand at discs as well.

Never a dancer, always dveloped 3 feet whle dancing, suddenly I developed an urge to improve my dancing CV. I still think Im terrible, 1/10, and with alcohol, 4/10. So, we nowadays have a few Dj friends who spam my SMSs with party passses at Engima, Poison etc. And then the search begins at 4pm. To help us get couple entry. Each attempt is a failure. After a few denials and a few hangups, we , we asin (jajoo , me and Chiru), decide to go in on stag entry next time. However, our wallets pinch us hard and we stick to the night mess.

Next , is the IPL which should catch on big time as an entertainment option. Hopefully, if the ticket rates are reasonable, im sure we will find a permanent solution to organising a weeknd plan.
I hope the Ambanis, SRK, Priety Zinta are reading this.

Class of '84

This is not exactly a movie review. A play review.

Class of '84, is set in the backdrop of the Alibaug beachhouse of the Citibank Head, Sanjay Mehra. At their place is their gang, their college friends from St. Xaviers, who have come to mourn the death of their gang leader Jojo, who died a day back. The friends each a distinct personality,settle down amidst the music and the booze and chatter incessantly, constantly barking at each other and spewing venom over old time grouses. There is an Art of Living guru, A page 3 journo, a sidey TV actor, an inellectual but flop director, a charsi, a banker and his wife. Each has a grouse, each has a secret, each has a heart filled with sadness. What better than sharing it with old friends. In between, they try to solve the puzzle behind Jojo's death, bringing in another character Niki.

The storyline is wafer thin. The dialogues add a thick layer of cream, tangy sauce and spices which change the flavor of the play by the minute. If there is a leud joke by the Punju TV actor, there is a stinging remark by the Page 3 journo the next minute. Suddenly two freinds bring an old secret out, and Fuzzy calms the mood with a Vastu philosophy. Even in tragic moments, the humor dark or bright, keeps the audience glued to the stage, eyes roving from one character to another.

Moments of Brilliance:
The scene where they revisit the brawl outside the pub where Jojo smashed the goon left n right. Amazingly done.
Also, the scene with the 3 ladies gossiping is subtle yet hilarious.

Scene Stealers:
Would be difficult to pinpoint on one actor.
Rajit Kapoor shines in a loud Punjabi role. Fuzzy (She is the one who played Rani's mom in Black) is hilarious. Shades of Phoebee of Friends.
Didnt quite like the performance of the mallu film director and Jojo's friend Niki.

Atlee Rating: 4/5

The Idiot Box

Channel Surfing
An idyllic day as it is today...as were the last 18 months, I decide to catch up on the latest on the idiot box.

Channel 1: DD1
Ironical isnt it. Have seen this in almost all TV homes. No one watches DD, but it occupies the No. 1 channel position.

Move over...
The next two channels have nearly the same color, look, sets , people. All of them in lush bungalows, suits and rich sarees even as they wake up or go to sleep, and each one of the sobbing.
Welcome to the STAR TV and ZEE!
Change!
Channel 4: SONY
One kiddo sings. The 3 judges applaud. One of them goes up the stage and lifts him up.
Tu jab bada hoga main apni film main tujhe gaana doonga.
Ironically, this music director himself has composed for only 1 film in the last 2 years!
Change!


The remote button is twitching...asking for a break, but I go on...the down arrow button under stress.

Channel 7: Jungle in the background, a cheetah towering over a stag. This one keeps me hooked on for a while. I watch the poor stag run down and carnal pleasure obtained!
Next!

Channel 8: Another forest, another chase, no this time its a snake. Im reminded of the great Steve Irvin, the crocodile hunter. A 10 sec silence for the brave man!
10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
Next!
National Geography, History, Travel n Living all breezed through. I enjoy travelling a lot, but hate to watch someone doing the traveling and commentary for us!

Im getting increasingly bored now. Is there nothing to watch.
Channel 12: Ok some information now! The news. NDTV 24 7
Sensex rises! 200 points.
Change
Channel 13: AAJ TAK
Sensex falls!
Change
Channel 14: CNBC
Sensex rises again!
After sweeping through the news channels, finally at channel 18, SEBI has halted trading due to stock market upheaval.

Disclaimer: To all my FINANCE oriented friends- Any reference to Fin facts and logic is purely coincidental and illogical.

Channel 19: Oh! Another news channel...Some India TV
Okie, I will wait here...

BREAKING NEWS:" KON HAI JISNE SAURAV GANGULY KE PEETH MAIN CHURA DAALA HAI"
oops, looks like a breaking news. I have to see this channel now. I wait!
"KON HAI JISNE DADA KO TEAM SE NIKAALA"
"KON HAI JISNE DADA KE EHSAANO KA YEH SILA DIYA"
Im restless...break it dude! break it!
"WOH AUR KOI NAHI...
WOH HAI APNA MAAHI"
"AAKHIR KYU KIYA DHONI NE AISI ANHONI"

INDIA TV, i realised thereafter is the worst news channel in the Indian satellite space. I deleted the channel from my menu.
Next in line are the sports channels

For some strange reason, our cable guy feeds only 2 channels, watever be the sporting activity.
ESPN: Sachin cuts, Sachin pulls. Sachin straight drives. Its the same highlights, I have seen 15 times. Ind vs Eng, 2002-03 Headingly test. Sachin 193. Naa, not the right time.
Change
TEN SPORTS: WWF or WWE. Was hooked on to this voilence during the time of Hitman and Tatanka. Not any more.

Switching over, I finally found solace in the next set of music channels.
AAA! some respite.
Channel 20: Channel [V]
BREAK
Channel 21: MTV
BREAK
Channel 22: ZOOM
Mauja hi Mauja
BREAK
Dard e Disco
BREAK
Khwaaja mere Kwaaja
BREAK

Too many breaks yaar! Im out of the songs set as well.
Channel 24: Now comes the movie zone
HBO: Some Black n White
STAR MOVIES: Some kissing scene....okie...hold on...
The moment the scene is over,I switch
STAR GOLD: SUNNY DEOL screeeeeming!!! Wheres the volume.
Down..Dwon...Down...no effect!!
MUTE!!!
Still I can hear a murmur...Sunny Deol is still audible!

Change:
Zee Cinema: Aaa!! The only channel at your rescue!!
Guess wat movie is on right now
My favorite: ANDAZ APNA APNA
Do dost ek hi pyaale main chai peeyenge. Isse dosti badhti hai.
Ab maine remote side pe rakha, aur coke, lays...lays nahi Bingo aur TV.

P.S. This post dedicated to DGrail for urging me to write one today.

Unspoken Dialogues - Play by Alique Padamsee

Saw this play this Sunday at NCPA. Its a collection of around 7-8 small instances from people of different spectra of the society, talking to the audience about the things they usually conceal from their close ones.

The idea is to open up the society, make people talk about all the issues which are hush-hushed in today's hypocrite Indian society. But I guess, there is still a long way to go if we need to remove the baises of gender, race, religion from our culture, which we are so proud of.

There is discrimination everywhere. As my friend Batty pointed out, we talk about us being discriminated by the West, but there are numerous instances of discrimination that we preach in our day to day lives in Mumbai.

Sex and secrecy is also so much a part of us. Who would dare talk about it to close ones. It is advisable say the playmakers. However, one lady pointed out during the post play discussion "The success to a good marriage is secrets." Maybe true!

There are some questions whose answers lie somewhere in between. Neither a direct yes or a No! Maybe this generation is moving towards finding a solution to it.

As far as the play is concerned, mypick would be the Savitri monologue, about this middle class woman who talks about her infidelity due to some circumstances. Also, the trauma of a childhood molestation was nicely presented.

JodhaAkbar: Hope the review is not as lengthy


I missed the start of the movie thanks to the Mumbai traffic. Almost a crime fr a movie buff who missed the advertisements and moreover the titles! After getting the crux of the first 5 minutes from my friends I slipped back into time... into the Mughal era...

So, kahan se shuru kare jahanpanah... The movie starts, at least for me, with a magnanimous war sequence, between the Mughals-led by Akbar and a Rajput kingdom. The bows and arrows, the huge battleground, the screeching swords and the elephants roaring and stamping their foot on the beleaguered soldiers was a treat to watch! The dolby effect makes you wince on instinct. There is a lull before a storm, however, in JodhaAkbar, the storm leads to a lull. We are introduced to the other half of the magnum opus Jodhabai, the daughter of the maharaja of Amer played by...Ashutosh's favorite maharaja...Kulbushan Kharbanda. He shows his constipated face throughout the movie with natural ease. Maharani is Suhasini Mulay, while Sonu Sood plays her cousin brother, who is unhappy over the siyasat being handed over to someone else.

Maharaja decided to save his countrymen of battle, bloodshed and violence and surrender his state to Akbar. This creates a rift between rival Rajput kingdoms and Amer is banished by one and all, breaking a marriage alliance of Jodha with some Rajput guy. This leads to the proposal of Maharaj to Akbar to marry his daughter Jodha in return of his state. Akbar, accepts the proposal in order to set up a "misaal" of Hindu-Muslim alliance. And thus, begins a love affair.

There is everything in this love ishtory... Takraars, romance, light hearted silent moments, saas bahu saazish and jealousy. However, each plot is extended and goes on and on... There is no surprise in the plot. The screenplay drags to the finale, which brightens things up a notch or two.

Key Moments: The elephant fight is terrific. Also, the sword fight between Jodha and Akbar, excellently crafted. Also, the rajputana khaana daawat scene.

Music: The background music scores over the 5 songs. Rahman dissapoints! Lagaan and Swades had better songs in comparison. Only the kehne ko jashne bahara lingers in my mind. Although picturisation wise, Marhaaba is festive. But, with Hrithik donned as Akbar, he can only watch people dancing here!

Character actors have less to do here, but Hrithik's ammi shines in her small role. Ashwarya holds her own in front of Hrithik and is competent.But Hrithik is the soul of the movie. He potrays Akbar, from the ones we have read, better in the action sequences. The romantic angle of Akbar, is delved like any other mushy movie. Probably, he could have improved there.

In the age, where top directors are banishing popular commercial requirements to make movies that satisfy thier creative urges, Ashutosh joins the list. But, this one, somehow doesnt give the triumphant feeling of Lagaan or the guilty feeling of Swades. It makes your head ache like old History books did!

However, for the cinematoghaphy, the effort taken in meticulously getting the look of the Mughals, the Rajputs and the battlefield you can take a pill and watch this once.
Rating: 2.5/5

Mithya - unconventional and breezy


About the Director:
I am a fan of Rajat Kapoor, his character "Mahesh Uncle" in Dil Chahta Hai was quite an underrated performance. No doubt he has played some lenghtier and meetier characters in his career till now, but DCH stays. He also has a couple of movies behind him: Raghu Romeo and Mixed Doubles. I had seen Mixed Doubles, was quite a decent flick.

About the Cast:
When you have Ranvir, Vinay Pathak, you know comedy is mandatory. Add Naseerudin Shah to the plot and the star cast is beefed up. Plus there is Harsh Chhaya a TV veteran, but another fantastic actor. Neha Dhupia adds the glamor quotient.
But there is no Khan, no Kumar here...

Plot:
Ranvir is a struggling actor who is getting nowhere in life. One day he witnesses a shootout and his life goes for a toss. He ends up playing a lot of characters in real life getting into all the pitfalls.
The plot is a suspense in itself.

The first half has a regular dosage of comedy. There is however a teaspoon of dark underworld chill which turns the smiles into sweat. Once you are back munching your caramel popcorn n pepsi, the plot thickens and takes a near u-turn, with zero comedy. There are shades of love romance and family bonding but the underworld dose is acting in the background to steer the genre back into the dark world of crime.

My 2 cents:

The screenplay is awesome, with the dialoges perfecting the characters. The movie loses some steam in the 2nd half, however, the director steers it to safety right before you feel like yawning.
Awesome performances by Iravati and Inspector Shyam.

Ranvir Shourey makes acting look so easy. Minimal histrionics, no fuss and consummate ease with which he puts his point. He is truly, successor to Naseer.

Atlee Rating:
3/5

Chapter-3: First presentation

Cast: Me, Nimit, Sid, Andy Supporting Cast: Mr. R, Mr. D

Flashback:

We finally got a project, in the Powai office, our PM, Mr. D and our project guide Mr.R.We had a few meetings with Mr. R, who explained us the requirements of the project. The requirements included the kind of screens required, the different entities and the database requirements. We were asked us to document the design document, the database tables and the screen navigation flow.


Our presentation with the "librarian" was slated on November 20th 2002.

End of Flashback:

Scene 1: Getting ready

Location: My home

2 hours before the presentation

Nimit: Yaar ek ar baar ppt dekh lete hain

Sid: abey fattu, kitni baar karega, sab aata hai apun ko

Nimit: Abey decide to karo koun kaisa bolega

Atlee: Nimit, librarian ko hi to presentation dena hai, itna tension mat le

Andy: Sab aata to hai apneko, pandhra (15) minute ka kaam hai

Nimit: Par yaar...

Sid: abey chupp...jaldi jaldi doc dekhle...uska print bhi lena hai

Atlee: saala print bhi nahi liya...saale tujhe bola tha printout leke aane

Nimit: Sid , tu saala kuch kaam nahi karta hai

Andy: Sid gaya ab tu

Sid: arre par...vasai main power cut tha...isliye nahi kar paaya

Atlee: saala tera gaav

Nimit: yaar, thoda serious ho jaao be...pehla presentation hai....thoda jaldi jaate hain abhi

Atlee: haan yaar, wahin printout le lenge

Andy: main rakhta hai softcopy.

Sid: Andy , rehne de, last time yaad hai na...sab ghafla karta hai tu, main rakhunga

Nimit: chupp dono...kaise kaise logo ke saath fuss gaya main...laa mujhe de

Sid: chal sahi hia, Nimit is the best

We take the printout in some stationary shop and move to the busstop. Buses were Atlee's second love. His first love was always temporary. He would know all the BEST bus routes in Mumbai and also had a bus conductor friend. Andy would call him BEST ka baadshah. As he found out which bus would reach the quickest and cheapest, a bus apporached us. Once inside and comfortable in our respective window seats, the conductor approaches us with the irritating sound of the small stapler like device in his hand.

Conductor: Ticket , Ticket

Sid: chaar ehh-ann-tee

Conductor: IIT?

Sid: ehh-ann-teeee

Conductor: IIT naa?

Sid: nahi re EHHH-ANN-TEEE

Conductor: arre kaay bolto haa (what is he saying)

Andy: master, chaar LnT dya...IIT naahi (Andy's learning Marathi for a cause...since then!)

We all are rolling on the floor bynow as Sid frowns and hurles a few abuses.

Scene 2: All set

I would like to explain a little bit about our breakthrough library management system.

This software would be used by the librarian at the Powai office, to issue/retrieve/reservation of books/periodicials and cds for employees of LTITL. A book may have 'n' copies in the library. We had two terms to distinguish between them;


bookId: unique id for a book

accId: unique Id for any individual entity in the library.

For eg: The Book :Java For professionals would be assigned BookId: B1 and its 4 copies would be assigned as A1 to A4.

I still remember, we have fought nearly once every day in order to understand this simple logic.


Our arguements would be funny as well.


We always used to gang up against one another.


Nimit and Sid would have an argument.


Nimit: Abey, BookId ek book ke liye hoga...par accession No ek book main se har copy ke liye hoga


Sid: chupp saala..sab galat bol raha hai


Me would join one of them....take Sid this time


Atlee: bookId and accessionId saath saath hona chiye. Otherwise we will not be able to identify an issued book from the database.


Sid: jo primary key hota hai, woh unique hona chiye..ab bookId cannot be unique....since there are many copies of 1 book...and accID cannot be either becasue you cannot differentiate between copies.


(Sid was the master of databases. Only reason being he was clear he wants to take up a career in Oracle. He only knew some fundae on databases, but we trusted him like God)


Andy would be silent till then...Thinking which side to join in.


Invariable, he would join the weaker party of the argument, Nimit in this case....


Andy: Par 2 variables lagenge na saale, jab search karega to accession number is not required. We need only book id in that case.


Now the fight was on!! 2 on 2.


Sid: But primary key is only one unique key. Woh book nikaal Korth, usme sab theek se diya hai.

Nimit: pata hia mujhe woh...saala tujhe database aata hai to mujhe bhi aata hai

Andy: do variables rehne de na. Jab search ka kaam hoga to bookID ki hi zarurat hogi

Atlee: ab yeh search kyu beech main laa raha hai.

Sid: Andy tu chupp baith...we need just one variable BooKKey which will be a mix of bookID and accessionID

Nimit: no ways...kuchbhi bol raha hai tu...documentation theek se padh...2 months ho gaye shuru karke, itna simple cheez nahi aa raha hia...Andy...tu hi samjha isko

Andy: Yaar, fir se shuru karte hain. Apna project main books, perioidicals and cds ko librarian issue/retrieve ya reserve kar sakta hai. Ab retrieve karne ke liye search feature hoga jisme bookId search key hoga. Uske results main number of availabl copies aayenge jab we will need accessionId to decide which books are available. Now, when he issues a book he will select one of the accesionIDs active and issue or reserve the book to the customer.

Sid: Customer nahi be...employee. Log galat samjhenge

Nimit: chee saala Sid, ganda dimaak

Now, Nimit-Andy combine was titling the arguement in their favor.

Atlee: But we can do that with the combined Id as well.

Sid: Yes, jo search hai usme exact wahi key aayega jo available hai. Librarian need not bother which Id is availbale not.

Nimit: Par agar sirf book pe search karna hai to accessionID will not be required. Kya dimaak kharaab kar rahe ho yaar...20 min hogaya...fukat ka discussion chal raha ahi

Atlee: Dekh Sid aur main barabar bol rahe hain...when we can do it with one id why need another varible.

Nimit: Yeh sab baat apna ho gaya tha...TUM LOG FIR SE WAHI BAAT KAR RAHE HO!! think of the other things we need to do in the project. Database design sab baaki hai...Main aur Andy isi approach se kaam karenge...tum log ko nahi karna hai to bhaad main jaao. Andy , tu hi samjha inko

Andy: err....waise Sid jo bola woh bhi barabar hai...dekha jaayega to...waise bhi kar.....s..s sakte hai..

Yes, Andys on our side now...Its 3-1

Majority wins! Arguement over!

Andy usually the confused soul...would switch from one side of the debate to another. I dunno if it was on purpose in order to end the arguement, but eventually we finished our battle 30 mins later...we almost come close to blows...all agigated...glaring...

----------------------------------------------------------------------

More on our arguements later...Right now we are entering the LTITL office, the reception area, talking to the sweet receptiionist.

Overcofidence oozed in our swagger..as we walked up to Floor:1

The door opens, and we reach the cubicle of Mr.R, our project guide.

--------------------------------------

Scene 3: Nightmare

Mr R: So, you guys have arrived. Are you ready?

Atlee: Yes sir! ( As usual foot in the mouth)

Mr R: Presentation ready hai na?

Andy: Err.. Yes Sir

Mr R: You guys move to the seminar hall. We will be there in 5 minutes.

SEMINAAR HALL!!

Nimit: Yeh librarian itna bada aadmi hai ki seminaar hall main presentation.

Andy: Theek hai re, librarian hi to hai. Chalo neeche chalte hain

We reached the seminaar hall. It was dark room, with a white screen on the wall. Across the wall were placed around 10 desks with computer desktops attached. We took a few deep breaths and swtiched on the lights. Me who was still the technically challenged among the 4 of us, didnt venture out to the floppy drive. Nimit, moved ahead and swtiched on the CPU, arranged the wires to swtich on the projector and the seminar hall came to light!

We had everything ready, the ppt, set to slide:1 , with the title Library Management System in Font 14, while our names magnified the screen in Font :20.

"Software se jyaada, Developers ko bhaav milna chiye", Nimit used to boast. It looked nice too, as if we are the Bjarne Stroustrup or Niklaus Wirth of this era.

Our eyes were fixed on to the door, waiting for the librarian and our project guide.

I had seen very few librarians till then. In school, I hardly remeber going to the library, in junior college, our library had separate seats for girls and boys, so library was like "where"! As far as our engineering college was concerned, we had this librarian, a Marathi Manoos, jolly good fellow, who used to bore us with inane jokes, especially about authors and books which we hardly knew about. I expected our librarian to be another Marathi manoos, and someone who would be easy to convince as far as the project was concerned.

Sounds of the footsteps....Louder Louder...In comes a gentleman...In his mid 20s, short , curly haired with a pair of rimless glasses ushered in, took the far right corner of the room.He could probably sense the inquisitive look in our eyes.

I almost put my other foot in my mouth, by telling him, maybe he is in the wrong room. Andy asked me to remain silent.

Another sound...no, sounds...a lot of footsteps... this time two gentlemen. Just walked in and took their positions. None of these guys were the librarian(i assumed) or our project guide.
3 strangers who could easily have looked like managers. The next minute, to our astonishment, surprise or rather...shock..this was the right expression, the seminar hall was filled with 10 people. It also included our project manager Mr M, and his boss, Mr. J (who was a very very serious fellow) In came Mr. R, our only messiah in the room cool,calm and stylish.

Mr. R: Yes, you may start with the presentation.

What was going on! 11 people in the room, all big shots...and no one looks like the librarian. We are cheated! I looked at Andy, infact all four of us were shouting with our eyes...lip shut, body unmoved and feet rooted to the ground. Nimit, almost hid himself behind the computer he was adjusting just a minute ago.

Mr R: Common guys, we do not have much time.

Well, we had to start something...I managed to pull myself to the dias, oh what a feeling it was...stomach was curling inside, heart pumping outside and the feeling of going to the loo!!! I must stop here....

Atlee: gg Good Afternoon Sir...Sirs...(If was around 430 Pm, I was confused between afternoon and evening, stuck to afternoon as I felt it was going to be a loong day at the office). We are fourth year students of Vidyavardhini College of Engineering working with Larsen and Toubro Infotech Limited on our final year internship project.

Mr. J: It would be nice if you could introduce yourselves.

Ofcourse...what a fuckoll introduction it turned out to be...no introduction, no pleasant nothings straight about the project! Engineers will remain engineers. I thought...Im sure, neither of Andy Sid or Nimit may have done better. Atleast I took the leadership! Its so strange, pressure brings the worst in all...so much that suddenly the team became insignificant.

Atlee: Ahh...yes Sir... I am Atul Pujar(Atlee). I would like to introduce my team members, Ananthasivam Iyer (Andy), Siddhartha Joshi( Sid) and Nimit Patel. Each one giving a customary bow, as if he just sung an aria.

Mr. D our project manager sat alongside Mr. J, his boss...The others took their seats and took out their notepads and pencils. Mr. R sat next to the short curly haired guy. It seems, they were good friends as they started talking in Marathi and smiling at each other.

Mr. D: Yes Atul...go ahead.

Atul as I would like to call myself now, now that it is a professional affair.

Atul: Good afternoon again, We are fourth year engineering students ofVidyavardhini College of Engineering , Vasai and are specializing in Information Technology.

Mr. J: Is it the same as BE Computers?

A cliche question! Asked by almost every other older guy I have met and who knows something about computers! We had typical answers as well, and had mastered it over the years.

Atul: Well, BE I.T. and BE Computers have similar course structures.However, BE IT focusses more on Softwares than Hardware. BE Computer Engg course has more courses on Electronics, VLSI while IT focusses more on C, C++, Java.

Mr. J nodded in agreement.

Atul: As per the university curriculum, we are required to implement our academic learning by working in the industry. This internship project is of 12 months duration after which we have the final presentation in June 2003. We are working with LTITL under the guidance of Mr. D. Our project is titled "Library Management System".

There was a slight ease in my tone. The initial hesitation had erased, Sid and Andy were giving me a thumbs up while Nimit was keen to take me to the next slide.

The problem with our presentation was, it was not planned at all. No one knew who was taking what slides. Our premise was simple, if its the librarian whom we have to presentation, we can do it simply impromptu!

Impromptu brought us to a seminar hall with 10 people watching each move, each word closely.

Had I seen the ppt once, I would have been more than comfortable, but the fun was, each slide was a suspense for all of us ,except Nimit. And he chose to move the slides at the keyboard. Apprehensive, I asked Nimit to move to the next slide. Slide1

Slide 1 which was a gist of the system, the same books, cds periodicals thing. OK! I know this...

I spoke fluently about the various entities the system incorporated. Entusiastically I mentioned the versalitily of the system, it will also include periodicals, journals and cds! . As if they are completely different models with new technology or something. Now some confidence! Next slide please.

The next slide showed some rectangular blocks. Issue/ Reserve/ Reservation written in 3 blocks. I can speak about all 3! YAHOO!

Another easy slide this...wow! I can take any presentation in the world now!

Next slide! Suddenly request turns into arrogance. Nimit looks into my eye with scorn.

Next slide comes in! DATABASE STRUCTURE!

ATUL

ATUL

ATUL

ATUL

ATUL

I came back to earth! Now what! What am I saying next. The slide showed tables with some arrows around, our database design to baaju main...the table design was so horrible, with arrows flowing all around the page to meet its corresponding key in the , messing it all.

A moment's pause...everyone waiting for me to speak.

Atul: I woud now call upon Ananthasivam to take over the presentation. Andy stumbles from his seat, Main Kyu!! He looks at me as if Im Brutus, stabbing him in the back.

I decided that I could not handle it any further and someone had to take the mantle from me. Andy was the best bet. He was almost sleeping by then, assuming it would all be over. Andy takes over the stage now.

Andy: Database Design!

Andy looked much more in command. He started by explaining some variables, what exactly they meant in the system. I , meanwhile sat down in the far end of the hall, in front of that curly haired guy, whom we will now refer to as "pocket dynamo". You will soon know why!

As Andy was busy explaining the table structure, I heard voices of disagreement behind me.

"Naahi re, haa database design madhe gondhal aahe" ( There is something wrong in this database design). I ignored, focussed my attention to Andy. By then, Sid came and sat next to me and we were trying to control this tense situation around us.

Suddenly, pocket dynamo stands up!

Pocket: Excuse me, I have a doubt!!!

Silence!

Doubts! From where! Such a streamlined presentation going on, how can you have any doubt!

Andy: Err...Y Yes Sir...

Pocket: I want to know how is this table normalized.

NORMALIZED....normal...norm...normal....ive heard this somewhere....normalization!!

yes, normalization...where where....Cricket...no ..some movie...nayy!! C++...no...Microprocessor...no!! your close....Database....yess....maybe...Korth!

Yes, Korth!! Chapter 10. Rules of Normalization. Yes, Rule 1 says.....BLANK...... I often remembered the source, but not the contents....this was yet another such instance. The moment we realized it was related to database...all eyes turned to Sid!

Its his job!

Andy: (in a hushed tone) Sid....

Sid is looking elsewhere. Andy again prompts out to reach Sid, but since me and Sid were sitting towards the end of the room, some 25 ft away from Andy, it was difficult to call someone in hushed tones. Finally Andy had to resort to brute force

Andy: Yes sir, About Normalization, I would like to ask Sidhartha to answer your query.

Sid gives Andy a killing look. "aha mil mujhko"..somehow Andy got it...bahar mil mujhko he said and took the stick pointing it to the table on the screen.

Sid tried to explain the rules of normalizaiton which I would like to avoid saying it here, since I will have to open Korth myself. However, there was something wrong in our design. Soon, pocket dynamo rose once again...stopping Sid midway.

Pocket: This is wrong..This field should not be in this table. It is redundant.

aah! Redundancy was something related to normalization. I was trying to understand the rules in their discussion.

Pocket went on to explain something else. We nodded our heads with compete authority. Then, he turned to another table. Pointed another defect. It looked like things had already turned sour. This shorty had ruined our presentation before it was even halfway through. Our shoulders were dropping, no one was ready to defend.

Kahan se defend karte, none of us knew the intricacies of the database, and Sid, was already out! clean bowled!

Suddenly, Mr. R our dashing project guide, spoke. I thought, thats it, now he will start bashing the design as well.

Mr R: I do not agree to your point.( Looking towards Pocket dynamo). This design is right. If you see, the redundant fields are not seen in this table...

Soon, it was a free-for-all. All the gentlemen in the room started discussing/arguing over the structure barring the four of us. We wee looking in the direction of the person talking...half understanding the words, half understanding the table structure. "Oh kool, apna right hai". "Oh, yeh to galat hai"...The fish market seemed endless, pocketdynamo, was vibrant with energy , criticizing the design, showing how he would have made it. Mr. D joined Mr. R too, showing him that his table had a wrong field, not normalization. The short curly haired gentleman, suddenly exploded into this techie whiz kid who would blast the project once n for all.

Hence the name "Pocket Dynamo"!

Finally, the commotion ceased. They asked us to continue with the presentation. Andy continued with the other slides which were screenshots of the to-be project. There were minor changes asked, which we noted down. As Andy reached the last slide "Thank You" we heaved a sigh of relief.

A brief pause and Mr. D stepped up. Although he didnt look overjoyed, he managed to smile and applaud the presentation. He told us, that the work has just started and the next phase will be crucial to the project life cycle. We nodded, once again.

Nimit, who was in hiding till then, finally spoke. He told Mr. D that we will begin with the coding phase from the first week of January after our seventh semester would wind up. The gentlemen started to walk off, as we waited for them to leave.

Andy: Gone!

Sid: ohh fcuk!! kya waat laga be

Atlee: Shit! itna khatarnaak presentation.

Nimit: Chalo yaar, ab yaha se niklo....warna fir koi presentation dena padega. Baahar jaake baat karte hain

We rushed out of LTITL, took a rickshaw and went straight to a restaurant, ate and drank some cold drinks while recounting every thing that happened the afternoon.





















 
 
 

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