Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Arrogance, Confidence & Pure Entertainment

“There is a very little difference between arrogance and confidence -‘I can’ do it is confidence and ‘Only I’ can do it is arrogance” – Aamir Khan (quote from Ghajini)

SRK and Akshay Kumar consider only themselves as entertainers and no one else. That’s arrogance. Aamir by doing a Ghajini showed them that he too can do a mindless blockbuster entertainer. That’s confidence. And what a confidence - he has just “rub”bed the “King” the wrong way.

In all his pre-release interviews Aamir Khan had clearly stated that the audience, who has become used to his “Hatke” and intelligent movies, will be surprised to find him doing a complete masala entertainer. Yet the critics reviewed the movie as though Ghajini was an intelligent movie. It is not. It was never meant to be. It’s a film which ensures total entertainment for the 3 hours. Hence it was discomforting to read reviews of veteran reviewers like Khalid Mohammed & company who have ripped apart the movie and these are the same reviewers who finds films like Om Shanti Om and Rab Ne…good enough for a three / four star rating. Such double standards.

Though Ghajini is a mindless entertainer, it does not imply that the movie is dumb and unaware because the film caters to everyone amongst us, including the lowest commonest denominator, not because it doesn’t know better, but because it chooses to.

The other aspect of Ghajini that the critics are going bonkers is with the comparison with “Memento”. The only similarity between those two movies is that the lead character has short-term memory loss and remembers things via tattoos, photographs etc. The critics should know that an exact copy of Memento would not have rejected by the Indian audience. While adapting the basic premise of the memory loss, the director has created a legible variant, which has to be appreciated. Some cynics screamed that Ghajini does not have the non-linear film-making aspect of a classic like Memento. Why confuse the audience like Memento had done, particularly if the filmmakers’ intention is only to entertain. The same audience who wanted this non-linear shit is the one that had rejected a movie like Chocolate. Yes, the gimmick worked in Rang De Basanti. But Ghajini was not meant to be a classic or intellectual movie but an entertainer. And I bet that those who are talking about Memento now must have never heard about this movie till Ghajini was announced a year ago.

The movie moves back and forth in time, as it juxtaposes an effervescent romance in the past against a brutalized, spaced-out present. Aamir’s violent acts are not justified but you are made to see the reasons for his actions considering his past life. The film is riddled with logical loopholes but the director doesn’t give you enough time to think about them with his strong narration style. The gripping screenplay makes you want to know more about Aamir’s tribulations. Watching Aamir grapple with his 15 minute memory span makes for an engaging watch.

Highlights

The scene where Aamir puts all his things – guns, mobile, wallet into their proper places courtesy the notes and sleeps and gets up and walks into the bathroom clueless and sees the note of “open your shirt” and opens it and sees all his tattoos and burns in rage. This brought out the psychological and emotional state of Aamir.

The scene where Jiah Khan requests for a conversation with Aamir in the canteen. She jots down whatever Aamir says. Notice the irony out here – what is the difference between Jiah and Aamir. He notes down on his body, and she on her notepad. Memory is unreliable.

The scene where Aamir has to witness Asin’s brutal murder was heart wrenching. The audience drew a collective gasp when Asin gets killed.

The action sequence in the climax that is cheerful in its gratuitous violence and enjoyable too. And the chase he gives to the villain along a narrow path flanked by houses – a labrynth - brings out the claustrophobic feel of the space - the way it mirrored the road to Ghajini that was built and broken thousand times in Sanjay’s mind.

The crucial pre-climax sequence where Aamir Khan is lying in the hospital confused and lost after his life-saving tattoos and clues and pictures have been destroyed and the consequent Aamir’s outburst.

Asin’s compassionate nature is brought out through creatively written scenes. Watch her help the handicapped children enter the museum gate and then help a blind man walk to his stop all along informing of the happenings on the street.

And some beautiful nuggets like - Aamir trying to recognise Jiah by her rapid breathing after the chase. A robotic Sanjay beating up a bad guy in cyborg-ish style, Aamir visiting Asin’s boss’s party, the climax where Aamir for a moment forgets what he is fighting for when he comes face to face with Ghajini.

The romantic track involving a tycoon-in-guise-of-common man and a model-in-guise-of-tycoon’s girlfriend does not water down the impact of this action film. It has humour and sweetness. It is this portion that endears the film to the audience and lends the surrounding violence some poignancy and beauty and touches you. You feel the pain of Asin when Aamir informs that he will out of India for 10 days, you have a lump in the throat while watching the scene where Asin hands him money, you want Kalpana to know that Sanjay is indeed a rich businessman before she dies.

Given the unfortunate events, the violence is justified. Even family audiences and children won’t mind it. What sets apart the action from the “Sunny Deol” Rajnikant” type is the total absence of dialogues and the smart camera work.

A R Rahman is in full form in Guzarish, Kaise Mujhe and Bekha. Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics though are a bit of let down. Excellent cinematography (Ravi K Chandran) and tremendous sound (Resul) take the film to a higher level. Action by Peter Hains and Stunt Shiva keeps you on the edge of your seat.

The flaws the critics are so vocal about:
“How come no one recognizes the chairman of a big cellular company?” - Oh yeah, and a common man can recognize the chairman of Airtel, Vodafone, etc. in person?

“The rich boy – poor girl love story has been witnessed umpteen times in Hindi movies”. Really! And what about movies like KKHH, DDLJ, DTPH, etc that were seen umpteen times.

“Asin pretending to be super-rich Aamir’s girl friend” - Haven’t we come across so many incidents in real life too – A woman going public that she is SRK’s mother, or a model claiming to be wife of Abhishek Bachchan, etc. So why do you think there is no logic in what Asin does. Moreover, after a point she herself confesses to Aamir (Sachin) about the lie.

“A google search by Asin would have given her the information about Aamir’s indentity” - But why would she want to know about Aamir when all she wants is to take advantage of the misunderstanding of her employer.

“Ghajini doesn’t have a gun in the climax? – Why not assume that he must have forgotten to carry.

“Why was 8 pack needed by Aamir in this movie?” Oh Yeah, and those 6 packs of SRK were so critical to the story of OSO, right dear critics?

And what the villian has to do with pharma industry? Don’t we have real life thugs who are into while collared business but are goons in the sly?

If you critics can go on, so can I.

What I would have liked to see in the movie
Interesting complications like all Aamir’s clues being destroyed are resolved in simple ways.The movie could have taken a better path rather than boil down to the climax.

It would have interesting to know how Aamir transformed from a suave tycoon to a revenge-seeking person.

Cast:

Asin impresses in her debut and though she goes a little overboard in comic scenes she makes it up by acting brilliantly in the second half when she acts serious. When she is scared, we are scared for her too. When she helps a few kids glide past an obstacle or helps a blind man her generosity feels straight from almighty.

Aamir pushes the envelope all the time. There isn’t much of dialogue for him but his well-toned physique, facial expressions and body language does all the talking. Aamir adds his own touch to both the humorous and the intense portions of the film. A rich business man, a lover boy and a short-term memory loss patient - Aamir is absolutely convincing in all the roles.

Pradeep Rawat and Jiah Khan are strictly okay.

Before the films release, Aamir had said that if people walk out with his 8 pack abs in mind, then the movie has failed to connect. But thankfully the audience did not talk about Aamir’s physique but the movie. So the movie did connect with the audience.

Ghajini has two tones, primarily. One that shows Sanjay locked in the grim darkness of his revenge, where the word Ghajini is driving him and the other where the film ends up locking Sanjay in. That might as well be heaven, where he is locked with the divine Asin, and love is guiding him.

Don’t ask serious questions about rationale and you won’t get any wrong answers in this movie. Just sit back and relax and enjoy the great entertainer of 2008.

Finally, the only time the audience hated Aamir in the movie was when he leaves his cell phone in the car when Asin calls for help. If this does not convince the critics that the movie connected with the audience. Nothing will. Not even the record breaking historical Box Office collections !

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

View from Outside India

This post is NOT by K

For the last few days, most of us have experienced a cocktail of emotions. I have experienced pure rage.

The Australian media (which is where I live) made a mockery out of India since Thursday, when the news of the attacks first made the papers. India was called a nation ‘far from developed’, unsafe and under constant threat from external elements or internal religious fanatics. And I had nothing to say in retaliation.

In Mumbai, there is anger, grief, frustration and most importantly a sense of ‘now what?’. Some have suggested starting a youth political party, some want to anyhow hold politicians accountable, some want a formal apology from Raj Thackeray and some just want to bomb the living daylights out of Pakistan. All valid suggestions. While you’re at it, I say bomb Bangladesh too. After all, the sim cards and fake IDs were made there.

But then what? There is a lot being discussed about what can be done by us. Here’s my 2 bit; adding to some very good points made by K. These are suggestions that I haven’t heard in the last few days.

As K pointed out, there is an election next year. Let’s vote wisely. I am not saying we should elect a Hindu fanatic govt. But let’s elect someone with balls. Let’s not elect a govt that only wants to be a key ally of Western powers and constantly seek approval from the global community; too afraid of the diplomatic consequences of necessary military action.

Let’s also tell our maids, drivers, office boys and peons to vote wisely and not be swayed by blankets and food packets. Let them pass this message on to relatives in the village. It won’t work each time, but the ones that listen might make a significant difference.

Let’s also start rebuilding the city and its spirit with small, random acts of courage and tolerance. Let’s not pull a face when Bandra station comes to a standstill for Friday Namaaz. There are orphanages all across the city. Let’s spare an hour a month to give these kids some semblance of a happy childhood, so they don’t grow up to be brainwashed into senseless violence. Let’s begin to fulfill our moral duties as citizens. Report suspicious activity. Something tragic can be avoided if the cops even listen to half of our reports.

And most importantly, let’s not forget this day. Let’s not forget what happened. Let’s not forget the people who died. Let’s remember it everyday, remind our leaders of it everyday and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Mumbai is a person that looked after us as we were growing up. It now desperately needs our care and undivided attention in light of what it has faced last week. Let’s come together and protect it.

Posted by G

Sunday, November 30, 2008

NOW WHAT ???

Mumbai - 26th November 2008 – 28th November 2008 – 3 days that terror ruled the city, held it at gun-point, ruined and destroyed families & the peace of mind of every Mumbaikar. Terrorism was the only thing on TV, in the newspapers, in discussions – everywhere. It was the only ting I read, I saw, I spoke about. I will never forgive these 3 days. And neither will you.

In New York on September 11, 2001, when twisted, horrific minds flew passenger jets into the Twin Towers. As a believer in the free world, I can never forget that day either. Or forgive those who wrought upon such terror on the rest of us.

I cannot but notice that the United States of America, which then declared its biggest offensive since Pearl Harbour and which action brought it tonnes and tonnes of international criticism -- not to mention unveiled threats of attack from Osama bin Laden, abduction of US nationals and their murder -- has not faced any terrorist attack since 9/11.

Whereas we in India have come to accept terrorist attacks on our soil as just another karmic fact of life -- no doubt with the same stoic acceptance that we took in invader after invader over centuries. Since 1993 Mumbai alone has faced at least 12 more terrorist strikes – over 5 in 2008 alone – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, and now my home - Mumbai

So what has the United States done that India did not?
For one, Uncle Sam displayed the majesty of the American State.
On the evening of September 11, 2001, as I sat glued to the television, US President George Bush addressed his nation in a measured and calm manner. Through the solace he offered his shell-shocked countrymen, he said: 'We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbour them.'
With these words America went to war.

I had waited all these years for the majesty of the Indian State to similarly display itself. I waited for it this time as well, and finally I saw the display.

The PM addressed the nation like he was talking about some financial policy – dry, unemotional & cold – the last thing that scared, panicked Mumbaikars were looking for. We wanted assurance, confidence that things will be taken care of. We did not get any.
He, along with Advani, Sonia, Modi etc come down to Mumbai for their unnecessary, customary visits to the hospitals & the terror sites. WHY ??? what difference did their presence make, other than engaging the security personnel in their security, rather than at the terror hit sites

This was the majesty of the Indian State on display. I could have wept.

When somebody directs terror at you, nation-States are expected to hit back with maximum force, carry the fight into the enemy camp. It is not enough to possess unrelenting, unremitting muscle power -- it also becomes necessary, once in a while, to display that power. And not merely through caparisoned missiles parading down Janpath once a year, but by responding forcefully to challenges to the State's very existence.

All your nuclear weapons, your missiles, your tanks, come to nought when you don't have the steel in your soul to defend yourself and your subjects -- at any cost.

Has the Indian State done this? Ever?

The first serial blasts in Mumbai happened 13 years ago. Enough water has flowed into the Arabian Sea since then for the guilty to have spent part of their sentence in jail. But 13 years later even a fly has not been sentenced for the worst-ever terrorist attack in India. If you were a terrorist oiling your Kalashnikov and checking your grenades somewhere in the western sector, what exactly will you think of India?

What he does think is evident from the fact that in the last 13 years, Mumbai has faced six more terror attacks -- an average of one every two years. This, not counting the almost daily terrorist strikes in Jammu & Kashmir.

India believes, too, that the prime accused in the Mumbai blasts, Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, is a guest of the Pakistani establishment. Not only him, official lists of others accused of waging a war against India and hiding in Pakistan have periodically been handed over to that country. Ordinarily, you would think, if Pakistan is harbouring India's enemies, providing succour and sustenance to them, it needs to be treated as an inimical nation.
Yet, India has been engaged in a peace process with the very neighbour it knows is out to dismember it through any and every means available to it.

Is it any surprise that terrorists continue to attack India with impunity?

Contrast this with the way America has gone about its business since September 11, 2001, and you will see why that nation has not faced any attack in the last five years. Osama may fume and fret from his mountain hole, but there's little more than that he and his terrorist hordes have been able to achieve against the only remaining superpower.

That is because America understands that war can only be won through war, it cannot be won through peace, a belief India has been labouring under for so long. When the very articles of your liberty become your enemy's hand tools to destroy you, it is time to revise notions of liberty and freedom.

Civil liberties are for those who believe in civility and practice liberty, not inhuman monsters who think nothing of inflicting untold horror on innocents.

The tragedy with India is that successive governments have ignored one fact of life --India has been at war for many decades now. This is not an enemy who will come at you over the Khyber Pass; this is an invisible enemy who uses your own resources, your own freedoms, your own laxities, to hit at you. If you don't stop him first, he will stop you.
Till we turn around, realise that those who fight India in the name of religion do not represent the millions who practice that faith, and fighting the terrorists is not fighting the practitioners, we are condemned to suffer terrorist attacks - again & again ...


AN END TO THIS FARCE.

The government can't stop talking about the "spirit" & “resilience” of Mumbai. 98% attendance was reported in offices & workplaces (other than south Mumbai) 2 day after the attacks. This is not the "spirit" of Mumbai - it is the cruelty of the city that makes people go against conventional logic. The city waits for no one and for all "hand to mouth" people, there is no option but to work. The government can't jus go on praising the so called bravado of Mumbaikars and hide behind this facade. What Mumbai needs is not spirit from Mumbaikars, but SECURITY from the people we have elected.
Otherwise, the only thing left in Mumbai will be "spirit(s)".

Each time we are assured that a federal agency to tackle terror will be established. Then the ministers & their colleagues return to their business of doing nothing or doing more harm than good. Nothing has changed. Innocent blood continues to be shed. Terrorism, has, sadly, become a way of life in India.

WHAT TO DO

I believe that we deserve the politicians we have elected. Elections are coming up. We should show our discontent. There is a FORM 49 (O) that one can fill in case he/she does not find any candidate deserving enough – in case these 49(O) vtes outnumber the votes of any candidates – those candidates will be disqualified. Let’s do this.

I believe that not everyone in the government is corrupt. This gives them a chance to flush out & cleanse the system. Get the bad guys out. Put in the tough guys. Mere resignations won’t do. We need to see some positive action & anger from our ‘leaders’. Look at the disrespect shown to all politicians by the media houses. If they have any ‘sharam’, they’ll get their act together.

We need to ask certain questions to the politicians – is this enough to stir you from your sleep ? Are you going to go back to playing politics with our lives ? How many more deaths will it take for you to realize that too many people have died ?

ENDNOTE


Yes, I will go light a candle in support of the dead … Yes, I ll buy shares of Indian Hotels in support of The TAJ. But, uska kya faayda .. yes, it’s a show of solidarity – but that’s exactly what it is – A SHOW.

It’s time to think & start a citizen’s movement. Yes, our security is the government’s job. I do my job, get my salary & pay my taxes. The government gets its “salary” from my taxes. And, does it do its job ? I think the 200+ dead in the last 3 days will answer that question.

We have the knowledge, but no INTELLIGENCE. The Govt. should get its act together. The masterminds behind these attackes should be caught & given a fitting end, even if it means an end to peace processes with our neighbours. All of them should be killed in public & the act should be covered by the media. It's high time India made a statement. It's high time India made a headline other than "terrorist attacks".

We can't take this anymore. and we shouldn't.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Bucket List

Dasvidaniya released this weekend. As most of you would now know, it’s about this 37 year old guy who gets to know that he has just 3 months to live before he succumbs to stomach cancer. Then, he realizes that he has never ‘lived’. He makes a list to 10 things he must do before he dies. It includes stuff like – standing up to his boss, telling his childhood sweetheart about his feelings (a scene straight out of Love, Actually), owning a car, going on a trip abroad, mending family feuds etc.

This got me thinking. I should have a list of my own. Below is the 1st draft of my list. It’s rather long . . but I’m thinking I have more than 3 months to live (Amen !)

Things I want to do in my life:

1. own an expensive automobile (not a BMW – we’ve decided, right va ???)
2. learn to drive the expensive automobile (or hire a chauffer, in case I start driving it like I do in the PS2 video games)
3. own a small yacht
4. learn to navigate in the yacht (or hire a captain, in case I get frustrated and decide to sink it)
5. own a private plane
6. definitely hire someone to operate it
7. OPTIONAL: file insurance claim for smashed car, sunken yacht and crashed plane
8. IMPORTANT: sue chauffer, captain, and pilot, in case of step 7.

9. own a ring of pure gold
10. IMPORTANT: try not to drop it in molten lava while calling it “My precious”, especially when wearing it.

11. own a medium size bungalow
12. own a large screen TV(at least 79 inch)
13. own a kick ass stereo system(at least a 7.1 surround sound system)
14. IMPORTANT: own a remote control that only responds to my touch
15. hire someone to teach me to operate these electronic devices
16. OPTIONAL: get a job to pay for all this

17. own a cat, a dog, a horse, an iguana, (a lion, a tiger, an alligator, a snake, etc)
18. make a zoo to house all the animals
19. IMPORTANT: never call it never-land, especially if inviting any kids


20. build a pool in the backyard
21. IMPORTANT: learn to swim on my own
21 a. IMPORTANT: Make sure it’s your own backyard.
22. OPTIONAL: make pool only 4 ft deep in case step 21 fails

23. learn to hold a conversation
24. PRECONDITION: learn to start a conversation
25. ask a girl out for a date, before she starts to run away
26. learn to do the 100 meter dash in less than 5 seconds (in case the girl decides to throw something at me, or to keep up with the girl when she is running away)
27. IMPORTANT: after step 26 is successfully executed set a new world record at the Olympics for the 100 meter dash


28. IMPORTANT: learn the meaning of life and realize that there is no spoon
29. buy a cutlery set

30. learn to cook
31. learn to eat what I cook
32. IMPORTANT: force others to eat what I cook, in case I can’t manage to eat it
33. OPTIONAL: open a restaurant if step 32 is successful
34. PRECONDITION: disable all fire alarms in the near vicinity


35. learn to curse in different languages
36. OPTIONAL: hire bodyguards
37. IMPORTANT: learn to dodge all manner of objects when making an exit.

38. learn to hold a tune
39. write a song
40. set the song to music
41. IMPORTANT: get a famous singer to actually sing the song
42. OPTIONAL: when using my own vocals for the album, set aside bricks thrown at the concerts to expand house...

43. make a lot of friends
44. OPTIONAL: owe them a lot of money in case step 16 fails
45. IMPORTANT: do not show gold ring, expensive car, and yacht, and private jet in case step 44 is successful

46. build a contraption that will change the course of history
47. OPTIONAL: call it a time machine

48. build an empire
49. IMPORTANT: make people an offer they cant refuse
50. AND LASTLY: resist the urge to behead horse from step 17


So, there… it’s done. Obviously, it’s still incomplete… would love suggestions from you guys.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Lost in Numbers

I am taking my CAT exam this year (yes, again) and am just tired & frustrated of all the complicated, twisted Math problems.
Not only are some of the questions quite senseless but also hilarious. Don’t take my word for it; take a look at some of the questions that I remember.

(Also supplied are some of the answers that I actually would give if it wasn’t a multiple choice thing)

Question 1: A tap fills a bucket at the rate of 2 milliliters per minute. The bucket has a hole at the bottom, which empties the bucket at the rate of 1.8 milliliters per minutes. If the tap is left running, what portion of the bucket is full after 4 hours?

Answer 1: Apply sealant to the hole in the bucket to stop the water from draining and in 15 minutes the bucket will be overflowing, forget four hours.

Question 2: A passenger train leaves point ‘A’ at 10:00 am at the speed of 4kmph. A goods train leaves point ‘B’ at 11:00 am at the speed of 6kmph in the opposite direction. Points A and B are ‘X’ kilometers apart. A bird flies from the passenger train to the goods train and back. Where will the bird be when the two trains meet?

Answer 2: hopefully as far as possible from the meeting point of the trains, because there will be a big mess when the trains do eventually meet.
A slight variation of the above question…

Question 3: A passenger train leaves point ‘A’ at 10:00 am at the speed of 4kmph. A goods train leaves point ‘B’ at 11:00 am at the speed of 6kmph in the same direction. Points A and B are ‘X’ kilometers apart. At what distance from ‘A’ will the goods train overtake the passenger train?

Answer 3-1: The goods train never manages to overtake the passenger train as there is a heard of cows on its track.
Answer 3-2: The goods train is behind the passenger train and on the same track; hence the goods train will never overtake the passenger train.
Another variation of the above question…

Question 4: A tortoise starts moving towards point ‘A’ at 1kmph, at the same time a hare starts to move towards the same point at 2kmph. The hare is 10 km behind the tortoise at the start. At what distance will the hare overtake the tortoise?

Answer 4: According to the story of the hare and the tortoise, the hare falls asleep till the tortoise reaches the end. This leads me to conclude that the hare never overtakes the tortoise, which makes the question invalid. (A rocket scientist he isn’t)

Okay so I am not that good at solving these questions in their right spirit, but that does not stop the exam papers from carrying such questions and neither does it stop me from asking some questions of my own.

For question 1: Okay so some genius realized that the bucket has a hole, and all he/she did was try to fill it up even though it would eventually empty out. Why would someone in their right mind try to fill a broken bucket?Secondly at a time when we get water for only two hours in the morning and three in the evening how are we supposed to keep the tap running for 4 hours, that too continuously?

For question 2: Why would the bird fly from one train to the other and back, does it not have any other work?

For question 2&3: Why would some one put two trains on the same track, going in opposite directions or in the same direction, so that they will actually meet at some point?

I am not even going to the last question…I guess maths will always be maths, but common sense will always be uncommon.

Anyways, I ll get back to my papers . .

“while recording the scores of the students in the mark’s register, the professor made a mistake – he exchanged the tens & units digit of the scores of the 2 students and wrote for two students marks which were 25 lower than their actual marks. If the average score of the class after these errors was 67, what was the actual avergae score of the class?”

What the f…. ! Do I care ????? Fire the professor, for God’s sake !!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Diwali Notes

There are few times when life gives you a breather, when you can look back at your life as you walk and drop quietly into an uncovered manhole in the process. For me, these three days with less work at office have been just that – A time to break away from the excel modelling, adding ‘zing’ to the teaser and reflect on the direction my life is heading in (Which, I discovered, may be heading right into a smelly pile of cow dung).And , of course , celebrate Diwali , the biggest festival of North India . It may leave the street dogs terrified. It may make people blow up crackers which cost half the entire GDP of Botswana . It may have burned down Mrs Rangwala’s plants, as it did the year before last . But then, an year without Diwali is like a three feet deep bungee jump . Safe but no fun.You know Diwali is around the corner when all the ladies in the colony arrange themselves in pairs and start discussing how to please the ‘kaamwali’ this year.

*************

The exchanging of sweets with friends and relatives is another domain which calls upon the recycling resources only a woman can possess- Mehta Ji gets the ‘burfi’ given by Gupta saab. The kurkure gift pack from Turakhia finds a place in Kumar Uncle’s house. Shahs are the lucky recipients of ‘something’ we got from the Sharmas – did not open up the pack , so don’t know what. But a logical thinking mechanism is indispensable here. If possible , a diagrammatic representation should be used here. Because one little lapse of concentration can be very hard to accept for the Kapoors who ended up getting a ten pack set of Real Juices from us , which they had gifted to the Kumars .

*********

I complete 1 year of office in November. I ve realised that English used in the corporate world is a complicated language.

I ll give you a small exmple of the phrases I can readily recollect

“Sir, it was great interfacing with you. Let’s touch base next week to discuss how this opportunity is a strategic fit into your business verticals yielding operational synergies.”
(Nice talking to you. I ll call you next week to convince you to invest in this proposal)

“Over the years, we have realised that our company offers product solutions across all verticals, resulting in a lot of breadth but not a lot of depth”
(I have no clue what our company does – there are apparently a lot of products we sell)

“You are the relationship manager for this investor. Where is your traction ??”
(Why havent you spoken to this investor this week. You should know his daughter is getting married next month & his son is having an affair with the neighbour’s eldest daughter)

“Don’t give me the English of it. Show me the Maths“
( You are too verbose)

“This is all Maths. Give me the English”
(Please be more descriptive)

“There is no flavour in this one pager. I need to feel it. Please add some zing to it”
(I don’t like what you’ve made)

“Who is running the transaction. Tell me who owns it”
(Just tell me who to blame when the shit hits the ceiling)

I just remember these many right now. I assure you that I’ll remember more and add flavour & zing to the post when we touch base next time. Hopefully this post wasn’t too much english for you & you could realise the depth & breadth of the same. It was nice interfacing with you & hope to develop more traction over the years.

********

HAPPY DIWALI TO ALL READERS. HAVE A GREAT FESTIVAL SEASON AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR !!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

KARZZZZ - Why did MONTY ever come back ???

I never thought I'd feel sympathy for Dino Morea, especially since he's inflicted such terrible performances on us in his short but shameful acting career. But after watching Karzzzz, I have to say my heart went out to the poor guy even though he doesn't perform much better this time.

To be cast as a character who's bumped off prematurely only to be reborn in the body of Himesh Reshammiya is a humiliation nobody deserves.

Yes, it's true. In director Satish Kaushik's remake of Subhash Ghai's popular 80s movie Karz, Dino Morea plays Ravi Verma, the millionaire romantic who's killed by his wife Kamini (played here by Urmila Matondkar), until he returns to seek revenge 25 years later in the dancing shoes of pop-icon Monty (played by Himesh).

Despite its preposterous premise, the original Karz touched all the right chords because it was done convincingly. Because it somehow succeeded in being suspenseful, and because one felt familiarity with its characters.
The new Karzzzz doesn't work because it has no soul. It's a lazy rip-off where everything from characters to dialogues has been more-or-less duplicated, the only changes being superficial ones which are a pain.

Why transport the story to Kenya, where, let's face it, a Kaali-Maa ka mandir looks a little out of place bang in the middle of a barren field! What's the logic behind mute villain Sir Juda (played by Gulshan Grover) who communicates by punching musical notes into his computer-operated metal arm? Completely wasted !

And who is going to digest Himesh Reshammiya playing a 25-year-old while Urmila's meant to be, what, 50?

The least you expect of a remake whose plot and narrative you are fully familiar with is slickness. But Satish Kaushik's Karzzzz is a sloppy, sluggish soap-opera. The film feels like a showcase of the worst ensemble acting you've ever seen. Every single actor – the leads, the supporting cast, even the junior artistes who appear in insignificant bit roles seem to be trying to outdo each other in the over-acting department.

Veteran talent like Danny Denzongpa (tries hard, but not funny), Rohini Hattangadi (seems like she’s acting in Karan Arjun) and Raj Babbar (is he on drugs ???) ham it up so bad, it's as if they woke up from a five-year coma and discovered they'd forgotten how to act.

Newcomer Shweta Kumar who stars as Monty's true love Tina, is more blank than a freshly scrubbed slate, and believe me, I'm being kind to her. She has no future.

But Karzzzz belongs to the embarrassing ineptitude of its two star leads.
Urmila Matondkar quivers and shivers even when she's not meant to be afraid; she widens her eyes, she arches her brow, she goes through a whole range of expressions with the speed of lightening. She gives us 5 expressions when 1 would suffice. As Princess Kamini, the murderous wife, she lacks the elegance that Simi Garewal oozed in the original, and that terrible accent of hers doesn't help.
Himesh Reshammiya – his chest waxed, his tummy trimmed – makes a very sincere effort to pull off Monty. However, despite the careful styling and the precautions to not take too many tight close-ups, Himesh is ultimately unconvincing as the heartthrob pop-star who's hurting inside.
His body language is awkward, his facial expressions are contorted, and his dialogue delivery lacks modulation. Suffice to say he doesn't hold a candle to Rishi Kapoor who pulled off the original film on the strength of his charm alone. Yet it's only Himesh who actually appears convinced about the plot and it's only him who seems to want to make this film work. He is extremely sincere. It appears as if he is the only one who believes in the movie & gives it his best. I’m impressed !!

Much of the appeal of Subhash Ghai's Karz lay in its timeless music – who can forget such evergreen hits as Om Shanti Om, Dard-e-dil and Ek hasina thi?
Himesh Reshammiya's remake has catchy numbers in his signature style, but it's unlikely that we'll be humming tunes like Tandoori Nights and Lutt Jaoon twenty years from now. I saw the movie yesterday & can recollect ony 3 songs, one of them being “ek haseena thi”

This Karzzzz is a hopeless failure, and blame for that must go to its director for failing to keep the pace slick and the tone consistent.

Consolation comes in the form of a half-dozen scenes that are unintentionally hilarious.
Himesh Dancing !!!!! Absolutely Funny !!!!
Himesh holding the guitar !!! He doesn’t know how to
Himesh telling Urmila - "tum kiss kartte waqt apni aankhen bandh karti ho !!! ... apparently he knows females who keep their eyes open while kissing...
Girls going ga-ga over Himesh a.k.a Monty .. Can u believe tht .. Johnny Lever’s prophecy from the 1998 Filmfare awards comes true (Remember – Paaandu, we love you, paandu)
Himesh fighting and, believe it or not, he gives out flying kicks to the villains
Himesh’s muscles !!! .. in the climax, he tears of the sleeves of his skin fitting t-shirt !!!
Urmila flying a plane & shooting at Himesh
The doctor suggesting to Himesh that the visions he sees are from a past life (This after he does a brain scan)
Himesh singing down from the helicopter when the heroine forgets the lyris of one of his songs

All in all – go only if you are in a group of more than 5 and just want to make fun of something & laugh your hearts out !!! …

Im waiting for Himesh’s next – Kajraa re !!!
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An Ad on Radio
Girl 1: “Have you seen that new girl Janice. She is so beautiful, he face is so nice, her lips are like Angeline’a – so full & luscious & thick”
Girl 2: “Thick – have you tried the latest - Govardhan’s Curd. Its so tasty. It’s so thick !! its just dahi-licious !!!”
What have we come to !!!!
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Thought for the day :
If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It is much easier to apologise than it is to get permission.

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's still Roger's Court




When Roger Federer won last year’s US Open in expectedly dominant fashion, the tennis world was on the cusp of unanimously declaring him the Greatest of All Time. Pete Sampras’s Grand Slam record would be smashed, perhaps, by June.

Fast forward not quite a year, and Federer’s stock had crashed with a resounding thud.

Really?

Sure, Federer had shown himself to be vulnerable this year, suffering from mononucleosis early in the season, getting thumped at the French Open, and abdicating his crown at Wimbledon. His forehand suddenly wasn’t as feared. His imperiousness had been punctured by the rise of Rafael Nadal.

How quick we are, though, to predict a star’s fall. All because the Swiss, who had reigned over men’s tennis with a velvety game and an iron hand for much of the last decade, only made it to the finals of two Grand Slams (losing one he’d won five straight years 9-7 in the fifth set) and the semi of the other.

How lackluster! How pedestrian!

Federer’s rule, it was said, was over. He’d dropped to No. 2 and was plummeting, never again to win another Slam.

Not so fast.

In thrashing Andy Murray and capturing his 5th consecutive US Open and 13th Grand Slam, Federer showed us, and perhaps even himself, that we were all much too anxious to write off a player of his ethereal caliber.

Federer is the consummate gentleman champion, seemingly impossible to root against. His artistry is unsurpassed; he does things with a racquet none of us had ever seen before. He glides around the court with a silent, superhuman quality. And he is as graceful off the court as on.

Over the past year, Federer has shown us that he is, after all, human. Instead of consistent displays of impregnable confidence, we saw him grimace and bellow in frustration.

And how lucky we were.

Nadal’s rise and gritty, muscular style of play – which unnerved Federer – was a felicitous counterpoint to Federer’s effortless game and long dominance over the field.

Yet so many of us were quick to revel in Federer’s vulnerability. Was it our want of a true rivalry? Or was it our inability to make sense of perfection? Was Federer too princely for his own good?

In the end, the New York crowd cheered Roger on as never before. His struggles made him more accessible to mere mortals in the cheap seats.
It was exciting to see Federer challenged, forced to respond to his pursuers and search for answers. And it has been thrilling to bear witness – again – to his greatness.

Federer, in staking his continuing claim to the throne, has shown he can turn things around as fast as his forehand can go from defense to offense.

Yes, he now shares the pedestal with Nadal. And the challengers are mounting, with Murray and Novak Djokovic demonstrating that they are capable of winning majors on any surface.

As always, Federer has everything in perspective. “I really believe tennis is at a great place right now, with a lot of incredible athletes.”

And he’s not backing down from the challenge. Not yet.
All is right again, in Roger’s Court.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A fully coloured Red Hat for my Santa

I am beginning to mess around too much with sleep patterns.The way things are going , I will soon grow big round eyes and a little beak and become a perfect owl in a week.Right now I am feeling like a baby monkey who has been air dropped in a chemistry lab.So I have no idea what this baby monkey is going to do. So, I have no idea what I am going to write.

I have to study for my GMAT. i don't understand a word of its Verbal Section. But at 1.45 in the morning , i am too useless to do anything but write.So let me think.

Its said that when most guys think , 80% of the times , they think about girls.I think that is wrong.When most guys think , they think only about girls. From the Anna Kournikova wallpaper on the desktop , to the coochie coochie late night talk with the third girlfriend in the last four months , there are more girls than grey cells in a guy's head. And I do not understand it.And I do not get why a guy needs to go gaga over girls.I hate two things. One. Mallika Sherawat. Two.Guys who change colours before a girl.And I see these guys all the time.

In class 4th , I had this boy, Gibran , in my class.I used to think he is one of my good friends.I used to share my lunch with him.Even when I got bread rolls for lunch.I saw Sholay.I saw the "Yeh Dosti Hum Nahi Todenge" song with Amitabh and Dharmendra on their bike.I used to think I am Dharmendra and he is Amitabh and our friendship is like theirs in the movie.One day , during the drawing class , I asked him for the red crayon from his new crayon box.He gave me the red crayon.And then the little girl , Nupur ( I still remember her name !) asked him for the Red Crayon.He took it from me and gave it to her.And smiled at her.I was coloring Santa Claus's Cap at that time.The half filled sheet lay before me as he snatched the crayon from me and passed it to Nupur.It broke my heart.The psychological scarring it caused me leads me to hate every squirming guy dying to impress girls.

And there are a lot of Gibrans around still.

I
Me : Heyyy Rahul , yaar please explain me the 17th chapter in economics.The exam is tomorrow , and right now I understand the chapter as much as our college security guards do.
Rahul : My dad just had an accident.My mom just had a heart attack.My sister just attempted suicide.I am sad.Leave me alone.
Deepika : Heyyyy Rahul , I hope we are meeting for coffee at the canteen in the evening.And please explain economics chapter 17 to me over the coffee.....pleaaaaaasse
Rahul : Oh sure , I am willing to stick carrots in my ears and paint myself orange and come riding on a donkey to teach you economics , Deepu ( whatever happened to the name Deepika).

II
Me : Heyyyy Ajay , you seem to be going to college , I guess I can get a lift on your bike.
Ajay : Man my bike suspension is real shaky these days.And the pen in your shirtpocket looks real heavy.Sorry.
Priyanka : Heyyy Ajay , I was wondering if you could give me a lift till Shiv Sagar (a 10 mins drive from college)
Ajay :Oh priya ( say the complete name dumbass ) , I can carry you on my shoulders ( priyanka weighs 84 kg , by the way ) and run all the way to afganistan .What are friends for yaaaaaaaar ( notice the extended pronunciation)


III
Me : Heyyy Gaurav , I am broke buddy.I need 200 bucks yaar.I will repay you by evening.
Gaurav : My dad's name is not Dawood Ibrahim or Bill Gates, man.I am real low on cash too. ( no extended pronunciation)
Richa : Ohhhh Gaurav , my dad is beginning to scold me for spending too much these days.
Gaurav (pulls out his ATM card and stuffs it in Richa's mouth) : All yours Richaaaa. (extended pronunciation again)

Ok.Things are a little exaggerated here.No guy is so desperate.But guys go extra soft around girls , and I do not know what for.Even here in the blogworld.A girl starts a blog and there are "sweet blogggg , cute bloggg , cool bloggg, i can completely relate to it, WOWW" comments before she clicks the "post it" button. (Nothing personal, Cosmo'G'al !!!)

So any guy who goes extra soft around girls is Gibran.I like good people who teach economics , give rides and lend cash. But be good to all.Good people should be good to all.

Bloody , my Santa Claus still sports a half filled red cap.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What a girl wants.......

Disclaimer: This Post is not by K

“What a girl wants…what a girl needs” sang Christina Aguilera before she turned ‘dirty”. Well it depends to who you put this question to.

Ask the guys and most of them would be clueless, while there could be others who would vaguely give the same old boring answers. Chocolates, flowers, money, commitment…blah, blah. The ones who had the misfortune of having a not-so-good experience with the opposite gender would come up with some really nasty suggestions while some who still haven’t tarnished the image of the ‘fairer’ specie would have rosy ideas of what they think a woman would want.

Ask a girl or for that matter a woman what she would want and you’d be surprised how confused she herself is about what exactly that would be. Is it her career, her family or her own personal space and sanity or is it money????? Well what would be the ideal order??? Why choose, can’t she have them all??? Well that happens to be the problem in the first place!!! The girl wants everything…and maybe even a little feels like having it all.

Ever hear a girl say that she wants to be independent but also wants to feel secretly possessed? That on returning home after a crappy day she would rather have a hug than a distant hi. That she be surprised and pampered in every manner possible…ahem. That she is admired for what she does and accepted the way she is. That she is understood and not mocked for choosing what she thinks is right. That she can still let the child inside her come alive when she feels like it. That she can just be….herself. That she…….oh well, if only there was a way people would just get the point. Hmmm.

Women. What really pleases them can be a hell lot of things. Everything and sometimes nothing at all can heighten their spirits. She wants a family that would mean everything to her. At the same time some time away from the same people would be like sweet heaven for her. There, she asked for nothing here…except maybe her peace of mind, her own space. Is that too much to ask….well, I don’t think so. Career woman. She may be ambitious, shrewd, and successful, a deadly combination of beauty and brains, a subtle taskmaster but deep inside there is the vulnerability she identifies with every other woman she meets. Women may be different but their basic needs are the same. It’s a pity guys keep whining about never understanding a woman. It ain’t that difficult you know. Not as hard as the rocket science it is made out to be. One needs to only tune in to the feelings of a woman. Just feel her pulse and you know what’s on her mind. You’d be surprised how differently she reacts, every time she is confronted with a similar situation. That would make a woman highly unpredictable. A whole lot interesting. And desirable. For men who look for variety outside their current relationship, just treat your woman right and a whole new side of your partner is unveiled to you. It’s as easy as action and the opposite (and sometimes equally forceful) reaction. You treat a woman special and she returns with all her heart. And when it is her heart that is involved the guy needs to feel lucky. Or in a language guys understand…he just hit the jackpot. See it’s that easy. What you been complaining about buddy???

Did I hear someone say something….something like- easier said than done???? Now, COME ON. How easy do you want the task to get…if you call wooing or pleasing a woman a task in the first place!!!! In that case you need to give up at finding any pleasure from her in the very first place, my friend!!! No pain…certainly no gain. Forget approaching her. Strategize how you gonna approach her first. Look at her and try thinking about the time when looking at her made you feel differently about her for the first time (this for those who did not feel the same way at the first sight). Think about the time when looking at her made you feel like you want to just be with her. Felt like spending every given moment with her. Felt... God damn different. Now that the feeling is in place think how lucky you got finding her. That woman chose to (genuinely) shower all she got over you. Not that you don’t deserve it but knowing how choosy we women can get…dude, you get the point. Remember me mention genuine affection sometime back. Ok back to where we were. Now that the feeling is renewed go and approach her. Look at her. Really look at her. Look at her looking back at you. Look at the look she gives you. God, just spend some time looking at what an exquisite person you have before you. She is the person who made you feel, didn’t she? What could have changed to make her seem any different? She is there, you’re there…and so are your renewed feelings for her. Hold her in your arms and feel how good she feels against you. How right. Call it instinct but the woman will just know what you are feeling at that moment. She will try to give back exactly what she gets from her man. You give her Genuine Love; and trust the woman to reciprocate with everything she got. Did I repeat myself? But then there was no other way of explaining the gravity of the feeling she generates for her man. Come on, learn to feel guys. Feel, FEEL, FEELLLL. That’s the key word. You feel, the woman feels and then you have a brand new avatar of the woman you thought you had enough of or thought you had seen enough of. Experiment with what you got. Find ways to pleasure the woman and see her want to give back and more. She sees her man go out of the way to make her happy; she just makes sure that the man feels great where he is.

Well enough gyaan given here. Time to get going and making good of every opportunity you get people. Ladies, don’t think…just be whoever you are. The more you be yourself will the pleasures you seek from life increase to levels you didn’t care to imagine. And to the men folks…well, look at what you have and just bring a twist to the current situations and then just sit and observe how a new world, a new person unravels in front of you. Don’t say that no one forewarned you of the effects of letting just that happen….hmmm. Surprise yourself and your woman as you both discover what exactly it is that a girl wants….and needs.

Posted by Cosmo'G'al

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Celeb Sightings

Saw Marc Robinson & Mahammed Azharuddin at Land's End a couple of wees back when i was there for a meeting.

Azhar is TALL ...

Marc met some random babe - not Waluscha - and kissed her full on the lips !!! ... (the base sure was HOT, maybe some1 famous, but i could not recognise her - this is where i miss chili)

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RT will just argue about who speaks marathi n who doesn't & that all shops / commerical outfits have to bear their name in marathi on the outside. This is what it has come to. Welfare of the state, people - bhaad mein gaya. This is the most important issue.

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Till when will we tolerate these blasts. When will the government take action ? Please see 'A Wednesday' & you'll realise that EACH & EVERY WORD that Naseer makes in his final speech makes SO MUCH sense. It is so true & i can't say it in better words on the blog, so i won't.

btw, i feel that Aamir, Mumbai Meri Jaan & A Wednesday are the 3 movies of the year.

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BOY, BUDDY BOY !!!! i'll miss you dude !!!

I ll end this post by some phrases that you use....

"Tap it Buddy"

"Buddy Boy, Boy Toy"

"Len ki Den"

"waaaaaaaaaaaatttssss uuuuuuuppppppp !!!!!"

"duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudddddeeeee"

"F*** You Dude !!!"

All the Best Buddy, Rock it !!!!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Indians: The most preferred guinea pigs?

A SHOCKING report from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) leaves me wondering whether we can entrust our children to the care of our health sector. The said report states that 49 babies, all below one year of age, have died in AIIMS because new drugs and therapies were tested on them over the last two years and a half. This information was obtained by Rahul Varma of ‘Uday Foundation for Congenital Defects and Rare Blood Groups’, under the provisions of the Right to Information Act (RTI). He sought the report because some of the parents were unable to admit their seriously-ill children to AIIMS while ironically, children from some poor and illiterate families were treated at the hospital for too long a time. According to the report, 4142 babies, of which 2,728 were below the age of one, were registered for clinical trials by the institutes’ department of paediatrics. 49 babies had died since January 1, 2007. During this period, the department had conducted 42 sets of trials on babies. On August 18, Health minister Anbumani Ramadoss, after a meeting of the governing body, asked the AIIMS director to conduct an inquiry and submit a report as soon as possible on the whole issue. But the question is who will be ultimately held responsible for the death of the 49 babies.


First of all, there is the question of ethics underlying the said clinical trials. A clinical trial is the ultimate stage of the research. It is conducted to answer questions on the safety and efficacy aspects of vaccines, drugs, devices, new therapies and forms of care or new ways of using known treatments. In brief, each study attempts to find better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases. The most notable thing is that, in India, many of these trials are conducted using foreign drugs. It is only recently that India became Asia’s most admired destination for conducting clinical trials. According to statistics released by the Planning Board, 139 new trials were outsourced to India recently. This is not only because it is cheaper but also because it is easy to deceive the system in India, given that most of the trials are conducted on the poor. It is a fact that India sources life-saving drugs from foreign countries. Importers of such drugs do not print the price of the drugs on the package, thanks to the loopholes in our law. Retailers cannot afford to stock such costly drugs. So corporate giants like Subiksha, Reliance and Pantaloon (many of them already have retail outlets in many states) are free to sell the said drugs at any price they choose. Besides, the Centre has allowed drug manufacturers the freedom to price 70 per cent of their products. In the case of the remaining 30 percent of products, the price is decided by the government. So the absence of a regulator has led to a proliferation of spurious drugs.


The Masheedkar Commission, appointed in 2007 to detect spurious drugs in the country, reported that except in Kerala and Goa, the health sector in most of the states was characterised by spurious drugs. The AIIMS issue also points to the presence of fake drugs. Five foreign-manufactured drugs were tested during the trials at AIIMS. They were Zinc tablets serving as nutritional supplement, olmesartan and valsartan for treating blood pressure, rituximab for treating chronic focal encephalitis and gene-activated glucocerebrosidase for treating Gaucher’s disease, which affects the liver. The five top agencies which funded the clinical trials were the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Department of Bio-technology, the World Health Organisation and the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health of US. If carefully conducted, clinical trials are the safest and fastest way of inventing treatment. AIIMS report says that the deaths accounted for a mortality rate of 1.18 per cent.


But the ultimate question is the ethical aspect behind treating the babies like guinea pigs. AIIMS claims that before conducting the trials it had obtained clearance from its own Ethics Committee, the Health Ministry’s steering committee on ethics and the National Ethics Committee. Trials were conducted under strict protocol and every step was analysed through faculty presentations and data safety management groups. Then, why foreign countries choose India, avoiding their own population?


AIIMS admits that the families of patients were given social counselling before trials were commenced on them. In some patients, mortality was the normal outcome and AIIMS wanted to ascertain whether the drug (being tested) could improve the situation. But this is not a tenable argument. Most of the patients at AIIMS are illiterate and from extremely poor families. According to Varma, the ‘consent form’ that has to be executed by the parents was read out by the treating physician to the said parents who were not able to read it themselves. In the circumstances, it is debatable whether they understood what ‘clinical trial’ was and what their children were being subjected to. The parents are in a hurry to save their children, something the investors in the trials take advantage of. With the help of doctors they convince the patient’s relatives that the new medicine can save the child if they are permitted to use it on the child. The socio-economic condition of the patient’s family plays a role here. According to the report, the children are drawn from patients who seek out-patient and in-patient services. The eligible patients are chosen, based on the needs of the respective studies. The reasons behind the death of babies, their age or their gender have not been disclosed in the reply furnished by AIIMS because these details were not specifically sought by the applicant. But Varma says that he received an unsatisfactory reply from the paediatrics surgery department. After all, he had separately filed the same set of questions with the paediatrics department and its surgery department. Hence the reply from AIIMS has only given rise to even more doubts. But, at least, a part of what remained hidden has come out in the open now.


In conclusion, for international agencies, India has emerged as the favourable destination to test their products thanks to the ease with which they can enter our country, courtesy our pliant bureaucracy. Hence a nodal agency is needed badly and promptly. The government should act urgently in the matter to prevent the international mafias from exploiting our poor and illiterate country men by conniving with officers of the health sector. Otherwise we may end up as the next guinea pigs when we visit the hospital next time !

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ae Dil, Hai Mushkil Jeena Yahaan……


Mumbai Meri Jaan – The MOST brilliant movie of the year. It is a must watch for every mumbaikar.

UTV, Nishikant Kamat along with Paresh Rawal, Kay Kay Menon, Madhavan, Irrfan Khan, Soha Ali Khan give us a very poignant tale of the aftermath of the Mumbai Bomb Blasts and its effect on 5 people.

Irrfan Khan – a coffee vendor who moves from place to place on his cycle. He looks at the rich with a cynical eye, yet goes into the shopping mall with his family to check out the latest perfumes on display.

He is looked donw by every one in the society, physically forced out of the mall by security in front of his family. He sees the panic of the people post the blasts & uses it to get back at society in general. It gives him a sense of power & superiority. He brings himself back to his senses as soon as he realizes the adverse consequences of his wrong doings.

Wonderfully acted, as is expected. He has put on a great southie accent & completely looks the part. Do notice the bright yellow shirt he wears when he goes to the mall.

Kay Kay Menon – an umemployed youth, who is anti-Muslim & the blasts result in aggravating his bigotry, almost making him paranoid.

His is a very interesting track where he expresses his extreme hatred towards the muslims.

Notice that when he goes into a Muslim colony in search of someone & listens to someone playing a Mohd. Rafi song, he exclaims, “Yeh log Kishore Kumar kabhi nahi sunenge !” & how he hates Zidane as he is Muslim.

Soha Ali Khan – A news journalist, who loses her fiancĂ© in the blasts & realizes first hand how news channels make a tamasha out of everything. The scene where she breaks down on seeing the dead body of her fiancĂ© is the best crying scene I ve seen since Aamir in RDB. Soha impresses a lot as an actress.

Another notable scene is when her boss comes to her place to offer condolences along with a “request” to do a half hour piece on her story & gives her a bound script. They walk away & their feet are shown moving over Soha’s reflection in the plush, shiny tiles of her floor. It’s a metaphorical display of how the boss cares little for her loss & more for TRPs.

Madhavan – Simply WONDERFUL. I loved his track, specially because he has acted so well. A office goer, patriotic Indian, Environmentalist – who travels by train to do his bit in reducing traffic & pollution, does not encourage usage of plastic bags, stays in India despite several offers of work abroad.

He survives the blasts due to a friend convincing him to travel in the second class that fateful day.

Notice his reaction when he sees that a friend of his has lost his right hand in the blasts. It is an expression of pity, fear, sadness, something unspeakable – all rolled into one. It churns your stomach & wrenches your heart.

Also, his expression / acting in the last scene of the movie – PRICELESS.

Paresh Rawal – Everyone else is brilliant in the movie – but all should bow down to Mr. Rawal. He towers over the rest with his simple, amiable portrayal of a police officer due to retire in a week.

He has seen everything there is to see in his police life & has served his 35 years silently. But there is anguish within him, which he is compelled to express once his fellow officer questions the whole purpose of his life.

His monologues to Menon regarding Hindu – Muslim sparring & the one when he retires are master pieces, delivered naturally. You do not feel that he is acting. He is Inspector Patil. The way he cheers up Inspector Kadam with his “order” to pee or with his “diabetes” joke & his justification for taking a bribe - are a treat to watch.

He has the best dialogues

“Kadam, Moot !!!”

“Paisa lena – galat baat, Baar ko bandh nahi karna – galat baat. Par paisa leke, bar bandh karna – who bhi to galat baat”

“Agar Bomb Blast ke baad, sab ko daaru nahi peene denge, to Mumbai mein ‘SPIRIT’ kahaan se aayega ?”

Also, when a citizen asks him why the terrorists haven’t been caught, he puts him in his jeep & then says “ Sahi aadmi to pakadna chahiye na, ke kisiko bhi andar daal de . . . Naagrik !!!”

Its simply brilliant !!!

His is by far , the most brilliant performance – which is saying a lot when the others include Menon, Irrfan & Madhavan.

A special word for the actor who played Inspector Kadam. He matches Rawal in some scenes & is brilliant as the guy who is honest, but yet to come to terms with the corruption in the force, a person who feels helpless as the police can’t do anything.

Yes, the Mumbai blasts affected us all. And we may relate to one of the above characters for sure. So, go watch it.

The film has one of the most brilliant climax scenes that I ve seen. The look on Menon’s & Madhavan’s face during the climax speaks a thousand words. And the film ends with Rafi singing . . “zara hatke, zara bachke . . .yeh hai bambai meri jaan……..”

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Bachna Ae Haseeno …

I was not going to write on BAH, but A friend told me to … so here goes..

My review – 2 stars – 2.5 at max.

BAH is a simple film. Ranbir has 2 affairs – is commitment phobic, runs away form both. Finds love later in life, who doesn’t want to marry him. Then he realizes how hurt Girl 1 & Girl 2 would ve been & goes back, finds them & apologises. Nice Premise. Almost a Nice movie all through

Anyways,

Girl 1 – Mahi – a dreamy eyed Miniisha Lamba, who has seen DDLJ 17 times & hopes to find her Raj on her Eurail trip. She does find Ranbir & then follows a track straight out of DDLJ – not surprising, coz Aditya Chopra has written this movie.

They kiss, sing a song & depart at airport, where Mahi comes to know that Ranbir is not in “love” with her & was just doing, as we call it, TIME PASS.

What is not believable is the fact that Mahi holds on to this 1 DAY for the next 10 years of her life & pretty much screws up her marriage because of this. STUPID, I say.

Girl 2 – Radhika – a sexxxxy Bipasha. Hers & Ranbirs story is the best written track of all. The innocence of the first love track gives way to string sexual undertones here. Radhika & Raj are living in together. Raj gets a transfer to Australia and is happily planning to go there when he realizes that Radhika wants to get married. Here, he just appears as a cad when he abandons her on their wedding day. He even says “Escaping was the easier thing to do as compared to breaking her heart”.

Maybe one relates to it. Their track has quite a few dialogue exchanges & moments that I completely identify as natural / non filmy & probably relate to as well.

1. When Ranbir says tht this relationship is for “hamesha, par hamesha waala hamesha nahi, 6 mahine waala hamesha”. That’s how most relaionships are these days. Nothing is permanent. And you better realize that in order to avoid all sadness that accompanies the break up !!

2. Ranbir cribbing that no logical conversation/argument with a femal is complete without her crying & after that there remains no logic to the argument. It usually goes in the girl’s favour. I COMPLETELY AGREE, having been a party to such happening many a time.

3. Bipasha is ready to give up her career just so that she can be with Ranbir in Australia – such a wide spread phenomenon, something that I completely disagree with. But, I ve got many arguments against me, so wont express my point of view here.

4. Bipasha lashing out at Ranbir for not marrying her, saying that “I was the progressive one, the one you lived in with, not the one you can take to your parents. That is the reason you did not marry me”. Ranbir disagreed, but I feel, that this might be his very reason for not marrying her. I do not subscribe to sch a view, but I know that this is how general guy mentality is.

Girl 3 – Deepika – My favourite character. She has her priorities fixed, knows what she wants out of life & gets it. I loved her. BUT BUT BUT – such a fast turn around. She just lets go of her whole belief system for Ranbir. Disappointing.

Basically, this film is a showreel for Ranbir & he definitely excels – be it the 18 year old, high on testosterone college pass out or the 24 yr old cool guy or the 30 year ld who finally finds love & realizes his mistakes of earlier.

Hiten Paintal does a fantastic job as his best friend & has the best lines of the movie

- their discussion regarding going to Aqua vs. WaterBAr

- Bachelor Party – Vaasna ka Ashleel Pradarshan….” (my favourite)

All in all, it’s a very breezy, fun first half – spoilt completely but the seemingly long & definitely dragging second half. I personally believe that the movie could ve ended at the first half – and I would ve loved it !!!

Somethings I noticed, liked & must point out

1. Ranbir’s reaction after the first innocent kiss. He is scared, surprised, shocked, happy, comfused. He cant believe he got kissed. Till that time he had just seen it in movies & definitely imagined himself doing it. But this was the real thing. In 5 seconds, his face expressed all this. It was perfect/natural. How do I know – Go figure !!! Also, his kiss with Bipasha was decidedly non-innocent & had SEX written all over it. Nice. It signified the change in the character.

2. The galss breaking & toilet flushing sound whenever something goes wrong in his life – it’s too funny

3. Deepika says to Ranbir – “what we have is special. Don’t spoil it by giving names”

4. Deepika says to Ranbir towards the end of the movie – “im a GIRL. Im allowed to change my decisions without any explanation whatsoever, and the guy has to keep track of my decisions.” I completely agree madam !!!

5. Bipasha saying to Ranbir, “No matter how ‘progressive’ you think I am, & I might be, the wedding day is the most important in a girl’s life”. Yeah, I actually felt bad when Bips was all dressed in ‘shaadi ka joda’ & Ranbir jus abandoned her.

To end it, I had said in an earlier post, Yashraj finances the lifestyles of all its characters – case in point - Ranbir can take a 6 month break & roam in India & Italy to seek forgiveness.

Why don’t we all live the YashRaj movie life … ??

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Random Stuff : Did you know that a Rs. 5 gems packet has 14 gems in it. And more often than not, the pink gems outnumber all other colours. Go, check

Song on my lips : Tinka Tinka – from Karam. Alisha Chinai Rocks !!!

Book I Read: Keep off the grass. Move over Chetan Bhagat. Here comes Karan Bajaj.

Referral : Go visit – http://confessionsandconversations.blogspot.com

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pain

(Disclaimer: This post is NOT by K)

Have you experienced pain? I know I have, and it doesn’t feel good. Not one bit. It hurts, really bad, especially when the heart is involved. And no, it’s not just when lovers are involved. It pains when the people you love are involved. The ones you may not love but have grown to care are involved. It pretty much kills you at times.

It breaks one’s heart when no matter what, no one cares to understand. When the mess in ones life piles on and refuses to lessen, no matter what you do. Family, friends, career, the world. A hell lot of things capable of getting messed up…royally. You can’t do anything but watch (helplessly) as things get murkier- no matter how much you try to avoid it from happening.

Had an argument with the people I care (a lot) about, today. It pained me that they knew nothing about how I felt, how much I cared. Contrary to what they assumed. I have grown to love them and have tried to accept them for who they are. Then why am I not treated the same way? No matter what I do, whichever side I take, what I choose to do- I seem to create a bigger mess. And it hurts not only for me but also for those people who are hurting because of the wrong notions they hold about me.

It doesn’t end there. Oh no, it certainly doesn’t. Thereafter a range of sacrifices are made (sometimes) to lessen their pain while your own increases a notch higher. Now that the sacrifice has been made, one prays and obviously expects things to return to normal. But, nah, that doesn’t happen always, does it???!!!! If you’re lucky the ‘sacrifice’ pays off – the desired effects are experienced. But at whose expense?

How many such ‘sacrifices’ do you plan to make, to let the other person feel better about the way things are?? How many times will you experience pain to accommodate the others’ feelings which are apparently all wrong towards your own? No matter what you do, it will be ‘wrong’ in their eyes. Slowly all that ‘accommodating’ can result in you transforming into someone you’d rather not be. You start hating the person you’ve become; the state you are in. The pain never went away. It just got transferred into your account (Congratulations???!!!- One kind of credit you’d rather do without). It pretty much still exists. Only this time in a different body, inside a different soul. What purpose did all that ‘sacrifice’ serve? The end effect still remains the same. Only this time one person takes the entire brunt and hurts all over because of it. And the other people (the ‘sacrificees’- if only there is a word like that) get used to you sacrificing all the time. And then one wonders why go through all that pain in the first place? What did it do for you? Pain just laughs in your face letting you know what a fool you have been.

Stop accommodating (always) for others. Not unless the pain truly reduces in the process. Else learn to live in the pain that accumulates within you. Learn to ‘accommodate’ FOR this pain you have created for yourself.

I don’t know what needs to be done. Truly, I should not (always) accommodate for others, no matter how dear they may be to me. But what’s the solution to this problem? How does one mend the wrong identity (of you) that certain other person is holding in his mind? How does one live and still be comfortable in his own skin and accept oneself before anyone else does? What if ‘corrective’ communication does not help? What if things look worse and the only ‘right’ thing to do is to ‘accommodate’, do things that lessen the mess in the others life, the ones you really care about –ones who are worthy of that sacrifice??

It’s a tricky one- any takers????


Posted by Cosmo'G'al
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Now, it's K

12:05 A.M. - im just out of office. Took a cab home. 3 mins into the cab, seeing the wide, long, empty roads (yeah, im talking about Mumbai only .. n no i was not imagining), i wad tempted to drive.

"bhaiya, hame drive karne doge ?"
"saab, license hai ?"
"haan"

And so, i took control ... fiat is togh to drive, it doesnt have floor gears .. but since i the first car i drove was a fiat, i hadnt forgotten everything .. anyways, i drove home & it took jus 20 mins.. tht too coz the fiat wudnt go beyond 80 ...
it was amazing fun ....

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Kaushik, Rahul, Varun - u guys r the greates friends !!!!!!!!!

i wished Rahul - "Happy Friendship Day"

he said, " hahahaha ... same to u dude ...as if we need it .... btw, u forgot my bday - 2 days back" ..

"shit ... but, thts usual now .. i dont even remember when i ve wished u last !!"

and, i havent wished any of them their bdays in a long lonog time, altho they unfailingly wish me every year ...

Varun says, "yeh birthdays to aati rahengi yaar ... ab bhool gaye to samjhe ..."

Thanks for everything guys ... and more than anything .. thanks for being yourselves .... i dont know what i wud ve done without you !!!
Rock on !!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gooey Feelings . . . .

(Disclaimer: This post is NOT by K)

OK, I agree I don’t write too often but today…I feel like I want to do just that. Write. I am listening to this song, “Khuda Jaane” from the new movie- Bachna ae Haseeno. For the twelfth time (maybe…I kind of lost count after the sixth time!!!!) back to back. And I couldn’t help but smile. The first time I heard it, today, was at the CCD. Not my “first time” listening to the song. Had heard the song a dozen times before. But I noticed the changes in my reactions, my moods as I kept listening to it more and more.

If I am allowed to be a bit boring- according to the law of diminishing marginal utility (in economics), a bit more of the same thing tends to lessen the utility (or the likeability) factor of that thing. But seems like that doesn’t apply to this song. At least where I am concerned. The CCD scene got over at 9.30 pm. By the time I came home and kept listening to the song – when I finally sat down with my Cosmopolitan (while the rest of the family retired for the day), I starting realizing that the juices in my head were working on a different level.

As I proceeded listening to the song for the thirteenth time I realized that I was feeling my romantic best – at 11.31 pm (to be precise)!!!!!!!! As I cuddle against my pillow, stare at the pitch darkness- with occasional twinkling of the lights as the traffic passes by- I can’t stop thinking of how much I want someone with me at this very instant, sharing this moment- this rare feeling- with me. How I wanted to pour my heart out – all my romantic feelings and love- to that special someone. How I wished he was here holding me close, slow dancing with me, matching every move of his own with mine, speaking to me without even saying a word, hanging on to everything I had to say – while I myself said nothing at all. How he would just be there- and that would be all. His presence would be all that would be required for the twinkle in my eyes, the choking feeling of repressed feelings- all waiting to pour out when he turned around with the look that said he understands everything I have to say- the feeling of being ALIVE, the dreamy look, the feeling of…..God, an unbelievable sense of being MYSELF. The feeling to let go and just be me. No pretense, no inhibitions, just a feeling of – complete freedom.

Dammit- I don’t feel any less mushy as I go on to listen to the song for the fifteenth time. It just heightens the feeling, the romance in the air. The lyrics, the passion, the music just echoes the need for a little romance in the lives of every person listening to it. Try listening to it in the middle of the night -with no noise -and just absorb the surrounding while you do that. Strangely I feel content- even though my (imaginary) beloved isn’t here to make all those fantasies come true. The smile on my face while writing this, speaks of the fact that I might be really enjoying the atmosphere and my own company with such melody playing in the background.

For God’s sake- if it rained right now, I’d know the scene would demand some dancing in the rains. Slow, painfully slow- dancing, that is- with the passions heightening within the circle of entwined arms, the knowledge of the things to come and yet knowing that what we have is just enough- for the moment.

God, what’s going on here???? Where did all that come from??? When did I start talking mushy so blatantly??? I know- when I felt in tune with myself. When I let myself a moment to be with –ME. It surprised…no, it actually shocked me. Smiling at myself while I imagined how I would do all those things – innocent, heart felt, soul touching moments. A passion at a different level, an emotion one of a kind, a heart felt warm, cozy (mushy), lovely, gooey – sensation. I know one thing for sure – let yourself a moment of quiet, listen to a song ( any song that lets you be in the moment I am experiencing…while I write), live in the moment and feel- feel the slow flow in your mind and heart, feel the easy restlessness and relaxation churn inside making you confused and warm all at once, feel the smile creep up while you feel all that. The key here is – FEEL. Fall in love with yourself and know that you can love. Be ready- for when love strikes (and that too, unexpected) you need to be ready to share all the love you can come up with…with all you have to give.

As you ponder on that thought- I shall go back to listening to MY song for the eighteenth time ( I guess!!!). And finally it starts raining!!!!! Time for me to leave myself –alone, that is.

-- Posted by cosmo'G'al
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Celeb Sightings (Dedicated to Sentimental Fool)

Ok, this is K now.

I was at a meeting at Andheri, somewher near Infiniti Mall. As i left the meeting, i walked past T-Series office there & saw standing there - Sudhir Mishra. So, i walked up to him & told him how much i liked Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi . . He is tall, almost 6'3!! ... i never imagined him to be so tall !

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