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"


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.


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.


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.

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.

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 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)


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


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