Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
As a child,
when drawn deep into my thoughts,
when drawn deep into my thoughts,
post a gloomy day,
introspecting on life ,
and its anomalous ways,
head cast down,
feeling an abstruse load bear upon my spine
I would slowly look up,
and a gaze accosted mine,
tender yet wise,
affectionate sans any vice,
suddenly my face,
would break into a smile,
as I looked into, those kind wrinkled eyes.
They seemed to,
tell a story,
of the times gone by,
the saga of a lifetime,
concealed from you and I,
narrating countless memoirs,
of life's short spells,
small spurts of happiness,
followed by afflictions from hell.
That gaze spelled naivete,
of an innocent child,
the passion, hunger and zest,
of youth gone wild.
exuding strength acquired
through years of toil,
maturity inducing calmness,
under circumstances that make,
young blood boil.
Those eyes were pools of sapience,
no book can teach,
attained through life's experiences ,
and not from what saints preach.
for all acts of vice,
in turn sending a message:
nothing is forever nice.
They were the gateway to a journey,
an odyssey called life,
to be lived and revered
of both harmony or strife.
closed one day,
never to open again,
leaving me with an ironical feeling,
of immense loss,
and unparalleled gain.
when drawn deep into my thoughts
post a gloomy day,
introspecting on life ,
and its anomalous ways,
head cast down,
feeling an abstruse load bear upon my spine,
I still look up,
with the hope of finding that gaze accosting mine,
its absence forms tears,
at the corner of my eyes,
but a feeling in my heart,
breaks my face into ,
A feeling that seems to say,
that someday in someway,
my gaze would also break a face into a smile,
help it shed its worries,
atleast for a while,
impart eternal wisdom,
sans verbal advice,
and to that someone,
I would be,
Those kind wrinkled eyes.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
|A TYPICAL DAY|
|AND MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP|
|DROPS AND DREAMS|
|THE CLOCK TOWER|
|HAJI ALI -MUMBAI|
|REMENANTS OF THE RAJ|
|MY CITY AT NIGHT: LOOKS LIKE A BRIDE|
|CHAWL WITH A STATEMENT AND SATTELITE:)|
|POST CARDS FROM MUMBAI|
|PICTURE OF A COLOURLESS LIFE|
|VERSION OF THE TAJ|
|FREEDOM AND LAND....I CHOOSE FREEDOM:)|
|I WAS IMPORTANT TOO ONCE UPON A TIME|
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
What happens when a film maker believes himself to be Goliath and treats the art of film making as David? He becomes Ram Gopal Verma. Forgetting that in the end the Goliath falls. This Goliath of bollywood shall soon meet the same end if he does not realise in time. Ram Gopal Verma's regression from an intelligent craftsman to a pompous,self absorbed fool is a classic example of how, the day a creative genius starts thinking of himself as 'CREATIVITY' he ceases to be creative. It is sad to see the the man who gave us brilliant movies like Satya, Rangeela, Kaun, Bhoot, Raat and Company loose his sanity due to his egocentricity and conceitedness.Despite hearing bad reviews from every quarter, I decided to watch Rakht Charitra because it was directed by Ram Gopal Verma, and somewhere I had not given up on the man's craft yet. But to say that this one time' Ramu' fan was thoroughly disappointed would be an understatement.If I were to describe his latest much hyped release in one word it would be 'Painful'. Painful because not only does it pain to see RGV deliver such crap, but also because you would literally suffer from pain as well : I actually had developed a migraine by the time the movie ended.
The story in a nut shell is about Revenge. In the entire movie every character is seeking some revenge or the other and their vengeance is bloody and filled with gore. If we were to tag line it a la Karan Johar style then my tag line for Rakht Charitra would be "It's All About Killing Your Enemy". I think post Sarkar RGV has stopped thinking. Ironically his latest seemed like a rip off from his previous (Sarkar) but a deplorable version. The background score was pseudo and totally unnecessary at times, it was almost as if the 'govinda govinda' chant from Sarkar was replaced by chamunda jap and the word Rakht Charitra repeated in different tones. Who says that a background score is needed in every scene to make it impactful? I have seen a lot of moves with minimal background score leaving a greater impact. The movie also has a voice narrative, and the voice that is narrating the story makes you want to go inside the screen and gag him to shut him up.It is raucous ,acrid and highly annoying. Guess Amitabh Bachchan refused to lend his voice ( I'm sure being the smart man that he is,he knew what he was getting into) and they just about picked up anyone and that anyone has done a terrible job.
Now, we progress to analysing the acting, I would have one word for it "Over The Top". Every one is extremely animated and there are so many characters that it tends to confuse the audience. For your and my benefit, I would not even make the mistake of describing every character's performance. Though Shatrughan Sinha deserves a special mention : He plays the character of Shivaji, an onscreen portrayal of N.T.R, and despite all his efforts to bring out an outstanding performance, fails miserably. His accent is part bihari,part telegu and at times even Goan and the famous' hand gesticulation' remains albeit in a different form. To sum it up 'Shatru Ji' had me laughing for all the wrong reasons. Vivek Oberoi seems to be trying too hard and bears a constant frown throughout the movie. I guess that is his way of showing anger,worry,disgust,contempt and a myriad of other emotions. If he expects to match up to talents like Ranbir Kapoor , Hritik Roshan et all then he better pull up his socks before he falls into an abyss of oblivion. The only actor to have delivered a performance worth reckoning with is Abhimanyu Singh, controlled and restrained he has played the character of a mildly psychotic Bukha Singh with honesty and conviction. Cinematography is cliche with the camera angles being a typical RGV post Sarkar and the direction reeks of ingenuity.If you want to watch a bad version of Sarkar with bad acting... go watch Rakht Charitra.
It is sad that I have had nothing good to write about a Ram Gopal Verma film,but that unfortunately is the truth. A movie to avoid like plague and if you still would not believe what you have read and would like to give it a shot (being a once upon a time ramu fan like me) please carry a strip of disprin along with you. Mark my words, you will need it.
P.S : The audacity of the man appalled me when the movie ends with the announcement of a Part 2 to be released in November. Ram Gopal Verma has begun his journey on the highway to hell for' film makers'...... may his soul rest in peace!
Monday, October 18, 2010
As a child I despised geography , and I give full credit of that hatred to the Indian education system. Right from the inception of our academic charade the only thing taught in the name of education is 'How to mug up and spew it out'. Imagine, a subject like geography which is all about travel and experiences forced down a child's throat like a nauseating glass of milk. Distaste for any act performed under coercion is natural, and this explained my aversion to geography. The reason why I choose to highlight my abhorrence for this subject as a child in particular, is to give my present irony laced love for it more meaning. As an adult I have come to love geography, because as an adult I got aquainted with the essence of geography : Travelling.
Travelling as I have grown to realise, is all about exploration, adventure,knowledge,curiosity and spirituality. If I were to make my own quote on travel i'd say "Travelling is all about life". My metamorphosis from a geography phobic 8 yr old to a 28 yr old travel freak is a story in itself.
The entire credit for this transmogrification goes to my father,a gypsy at heart tied down by social norms.If he had his way, he would constantly be on the move and I guess the genes just got passed onto me. Being on the move makes me feel alive, it defines life for me and gives it a new found meaning.I was a nomad since childhood, prolonged consistency bored me. I would start feeling stagnated and would almost pray for change. Unlike other children, I loved changing schools because it gave me an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. I would be elated whenever my father got transferred to a new city,new city meant everything new, new city meant change,new city meant movement. So, while everyone else would groan and grunt anticipating the inconvenience attached to moving from one place to another, my eyes would secretly gleam and I would see its faint reflection in my father's eyes as well. Hence, the gypsy in me was born very early on in life.
Ask an itinerant and he would tell you that travelling is a form of education in itself. Thus, my short geography story in the beginning. The sole purpose of education is to impart knowledge and wisdom, both of which you gain in abundance as a traveler. While travelling to a new place if you make an attempt to soak in their culture,traditions and lifestyle, if you make an attempt to soak in the essence of that land, you absorb a lot more than what 12 years of class room studies will teach you. I am not propagating banishing of the class room system, I am only highlighting the perks of travelling. Travelling broadens an individuals perspective and helps him evolve as a human being. Most of us live our entire lives in a cocoon made up of our social set up, family,friends and immediate surroundings, we only believe what we have been taught to believe and die within the same confined walls of the cocoon. Travelling makes a butterfly out of us.
A lot of people tend to confuse Travel with vacation. In Goa, at a beach shack drinking beer is an idea of travel for many. If i were to recreate that ambiance in Bombay, most of them would not even make an attempt to go to Goa. This is vacation not travelling. To sit,drink and spend a leisurely weekend, an airconditioned room would also suffice.But, if you call yourself a traveler you need to venture out,explore,absorb,assimilate and feel the pulse of the place. You need to connect with the place so that when you leave, you feel you are leaving home. See the world through a traveler's eyes every land is his home, every culture belongs to him and every tradition has a familiar fragrance. If we all unleashed that wanderer within us the world would have no boundaries, there would be no cocoons, only butterflies: choosing destinations at will.
So, release the gypsy within you spread your wings and make the world your oyster. We get to live just once and before we die we owe it to ourselves to completely explore this place called earth which god decided to make our home. Bon Voyage!!:)
Saturday, October 2, 2010
A romantic comedy, Anjaani Anjaani is about two strangers Akash(Ranbir Kapoor) and Kiara (Priyanka Chopra) who bump into each other at the Washington bridge one night while trying to commit suicide. After their repeated failed attempts to kill themselves, they decide to live for another 20 days and live each day as if its their last. Thus begins the story of two strangers and their 20 day journey. A journey which has fewer dialogues as compared to the songs, thus I rechristened the movie a musical.
So 'Why' should you not watch Anjaana Anjaani or let me rephrase this sentence' Who' should not watch Anjaana Anjaani ? Well if you are an ardent meaningful cinema fan, dont go for this one, if you are bored of the usual bollywood candy floss flicks, then thank me for warning you in advance, if you hate hindi songs, then you ll be pulling your hair by the end of the movie and last but not the least if you cant stand Ranbir Kapoor (highly doubtful) or Priyanka Chopra( no comments) then avoid this movie like plague. Because the movie has no one else but them, and this is what gets me to answer the Why you 'Should' watch Anjaana Anjaani query. Watch it to witness an exceptionally honest display of theatrical skills by the two stallions from the bollywood stable. Priyanka Chopra never ceases to surprise me, so honed and sharp are her acting skills that the girl can even bring variations while enacting a drunk scene.She is endearing as the young, vivacious, brash yet vulnerable and innocent Kiara. Ranbir Kapoor fits the role of the brutally ambitious, but given up on life invest ment banker Akash to the 'T' ( I can foresee the Khan throne wobbling)'.They manage to make the entire movie look like an enviable journey, a tad illogical but the sheer magnificence of their performance makes you believe in this too good to be true story. Ranbir and Priyanka's chemistry weaves magic,their acting displays honesty and together they have managed to deliver an enthralling performance.
Siddharth Anand s latest is clearly not a National Award worthy attempt, but definitely not worth dismissing either. I m not going ga ga over the movie and I m sure most of you would not as well. But if you do decide to give this latest bollywood popcorn flick two hours of your time I assure you, you would not be cursing me for making you waste your money.
P.S : Just to be on the safer side, go for the morning show. They burn a smaller hole in your pocket.:)
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Dabaang: Synonym for fearless in hindi.... one surely has to be devoid of any fear to make an attempt like this and manage to make a success out of it.
The story is of a remote lawless land in uttar pradesh, and the place has just one cop ChulBul Panday (samlan khan), who is an alpha male, debauched,brassy, benevolent and crass and there is no story beyond this! The movie is all about Salman Khan( who with every passing film is emerging as the Rajnikant of Bollywood) and his antics. Its about ray ban sunglasses, thumping background score, x box style stunts, Salman 's pseudo attitude, his style and his reiteration of the fact that in India you dont need to be an actor to sell, you just need to be Salman Khan. Debutante Sonakshi Sinha looks divine,though it takes a while to digest the fact that she is the progeny of Shatrughan Sinha, a classic example of Mendel's laws in full play. As far as her theatrical skills are concerned there was not much to display considering there is only so much you can do being a lead opposite Salman Khan, but the girl definitely shows promise. Vinod Khanna and Dimple Kapadia, display the maturity of seasoned actors and both of them even at this age look as sensational as they did in their hay days, Arbaaz Khan is annoying beyond belief. Actors of incomparable caliber like Anupam Kher and Om Puri have been wasted in hit and miss scenes and Sonu Sood manages to pull on a decent act. So, if someone was to ask me what was the USP of the film,I would say it clearly is the hot to melting point MUNNI a.k.a Malaika Arora Khan, and her one item number which is clearly that one point in the movie where all eyes just remain transfixed on the screen and jaws touch the floor. This 'Munni's Badnaami' is clearly one of the main reasons people are thronging the theaters to catch a glimpse of the hottest mom of bollywood.
Arbaaz Khan's debut production venture's success is a classic example of how wherever Kotler comes into play, it yeilds thaumaturgic results. An excellent marketing strategy and impressive packaging along with all the ingredients required to make a typical bollywood pot boiler has made Dabang go on a box office record breaking spree. A definite one time watch for its daring attempt, mindless screenplay, over the top dialogues, Malaika arora khan's oomphy item number and Salman Khan's buffoonery in the name of acting.
Statutory warning: Please put your grey cells in a deactivated mode, and you shall thoroughly enjoy this bollywood masterpiece which surely is one of its kind!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Ok! so everyone who ostracized Raavan please raise your hands. I now recommend 'I Hate Love Stories', for you to get the real taste of bad cinema.Anyone who has read The Fountainhead, would know why i am not able to refrain my self from comparing Mani Ratnam 's Raavan to Karan Johar 's I Hate Love Stories. It is a classic case of Howard Roark vs Peter Keating, Mani Ratnam s individualistic genius vs Karan Johar 's unadventurous pseudo creativity. While Raavan displays a story tellers eccentricity I Hate Love Stories reeks of unoriginality.
The movie has nothing to vaunt about, weak screenplay, cliche direction,( at times you feel the movie has been ghost directed by Karan Johar himself as it has all his diabetes inducing sweet ingredients) and below average performances. Its the age old story of a' cynic meets a romantic and they fall in love', and there is nothing 'Hatke' about the film. The cynic played by Imran khan(Jay) does not believe in the concept of love (reminds me of the upteen nausiating shah rukh khan movies), propagates one night stands and philandary and the romantic played by Sonam Kapoor(Simran), believes in valentines days, soul mates and living happily ever after. They meet, Simran despite having an extremly loving and perfectly elligible fiancee falls in love with the brash and bizarre Jay in the first half and it takes Jay the entire second half to fall in love with her, and then they live happily ever after. Thats it!! thats what this self proclaimed young, zingy and peppy movie is all about. Disappointed? Ah well imagine my plight i endured it for three hours only to warn more cinegoers like me who get lured by 'state of the art' marketing of films by the new age film makers.
If there is anything worth appreciating in the film it is New Zealand. Quite ironical i agree, but I think Dharma Productions should charge royalty from the govt of New Zealand for marketing their tourism in India. The locales are breathtaking so much so that in some scenes one tends to completely ignore the actors because the backdrop is more alluring. Apart from New Zealand another sight to behold is Sonam Kapoor, to say she has looked ravishing would be an understatement. Her skills as an actor are yet to be tested, but she surely is a treat to watch. Imran Khan must have had a lot of young hearts fluttering, but his theatrical skills are way below average, he pouts and frowns and makes acting seem like such a task,.Bruna Abdullah is nasal and wodden Sameer Soni looks ill at ease and rest of the cast does not even merit a mention . Debutante writer and director Puneet Malhotra has demonstrated an absolute lack of creativity and ingenuity. The box office debacle of this popcorn flick clearly indicates that the Indian audiences now demand quality cinema as opposed to candy flossed mirage.
Love stories have been made in the past and they have been beautiful, but Karan Johar s latest true to its title makes you hate them.
Monday, June 21, 2010
One of the first lessons given in kindergarden were...' early to bed and early to rise makes u healthy, wealthy n wise'. Somewhere in the entire 'growing up' bedlam for most of us the lesson gradually metamorphed into ' late to bed and later to rise, who cares about health, when you have dad s wealth, and excuse me who on this planet is ever wise?'
After following the second lesson for almost two and a half decades of my life, one day the realisation struck me that if I don't mend my ways soon, I ll be competing in the heavy weight championship at the Olympics. With this thought out came my jogging shoes bought when I was 16 and never used. I was surprised when they fit me! but the fact that atleast my shoe size has not changed was hardly a self esteem booster.So with the resolve of getting back all other sizes down to that of a 16 year old , I set the alarm for 6am the next morning. Little did I know that the next morning would turn out to be one of the most amusing mornings of my entire life.
As I entered the joggers park, the first thing that hit me was that we indeed are the second most populated country in the world, for the fact that it was 6 am the place felt like a packed Mumbai local train. Suddenly jogging was not just about slow running it also became a test of your maneuvering and dodging skills, and sometimes even then you cant help but bump into someone, bear the wrath of their glare, mummer apologies and run before they reply.
Intrestingly the ones you bump into are usually extremly fat aunties, who's sole purpose of coming to the park is to talk about Mr Sharma's son having an affair with Mrs Ahuja s daughter, and many a times Mr Sharma and Mrs Ahuja have something cooking on the side as well. I call them the 'Gossip Girls'. Their walk follows a specific pattern, meeting at the entrence of the park, exchange of pleasentries, one round of the park in absolute silence depicting utmost sincearity towards shedding all those lards of fat accumulated over years of physical and mental inactivity. By the time the second round ensues conversations begin and two and a half rounds later the entire group has rested their humongous back sides on the park bench and are engrossed in animated conversations and if because of your ill fate it is a group comprising of 'Punjabi' or 'Gujrati' women then be rest assured you would not miss a word of the spicy gossip floating around because their raucous dissonance manages to vibrate every ear drum present in the park. But looking at the brighter side, with huge ass(ets) out of the way suddenly the park seems more spacious and fresh morning air wafts through your nostrils finally.
With the pudgy roly- poly aunties out of the way the next catagory of joggers that catch your eye are the 'self appointed brand ambassadors'.Everything from their socks to wrist band is branded(the purpose of wearing a wrist band while jogging still eludes me)and their brand loyalty is remarkable, an Addidas guy will not have a thread of Reebok on him,and a Puma girl will look down upon every other branded jogger as if she's the queen because she is adorned by Puma. oh! and how could I forget to mention the latest apple i pod, strapped to the forearm with a branded( I dont think I needed to mention here) i pod strap. Now, this catagory of people can be further sub categorised into two types..
1) Serious Joggers ie Health Freaks
2) Serious Letchers ie. Freaks!
Catagory one (serious joggers) comprises of people who are inspired by every well toned hollywood and bollywood actor and actress, needless to say majority of them are aspiring actors or models themselves 'Strugglers' as they are fondly called in their line of business. Though I often wonder how can people who are struggling so much so as to be labelled 'strugglers' (imagine the extent of the struggle, I ve heard their persistence could have put our freedom fighters to shame) afford to be live brand hoardings, whereas us lesser mortals, commoners, not so good looking ,relatively less struggling people can only manage a few and dream of the rest. I guess we just dont struggle enough! sigh! But you cant ignore their focus and dedication towards looking good, the moment this catagory enters the park you know they mean business, no looking around, no talking, with i pods strapped to their forearms, and eye of the tiger blaring out of their ear phone (believe me if u run parallel to one of these u can actually hear the song being played in their eye pod and invariably its the rocky theme) they jog with the focus of a sucide bomber, jaw set with the determination to have angles sharper than a knife's edge, stomach pulled in to get the 9th pack of abdominal muscles if possible, biceps bulging,and sharp angular faces, they do mange to make teenage hearts skip a few beats and though way past my teenage I would admit rather opprobriously my own heart has fluttered at times too.
Once you are done oogling at catagory one( serious joggers) catagory two catches your attention (Serious Letchers) now this catagory is what you would describe as a serious 'pain in the ass'. They come to the park with the sole motive of letching at very woman irrespective of her shape and size.They can be easily identified from a kilometers distance, irritatingly casual walk, roving eyes, annoying smirk on the face, these people seem to be on a constant look out for an 'eye contact' and if by devils luck you manage to so much as even take a glance in their direction you will be greeted by a wink and a 'so u like me baby!' smile.They would be brand loaded to the' T' too, but not so much for their utility value as for their 'chic magnet' effect. Now someone needs to tell them that in their case even the brands fail in front of their sordid antics. The best way to deal with this particular set of people is to deny their existance. Look through them, pretend to be blind, and go about with your jogging, and if they still annoy you threaten to call the police.Trust me , there is no other way to get them off your back if one of them decides to stick on to you like a leech.
After skillfully avoiding the aunties and the leeches and slyly ogling at the eye candies when you decide to resume with some serious exercise, a fourth and rather elusive category comes to your notice. I may add here that this set goes unnoticed by most because they are the 'Park Bencher's' .It would take an eagles eye to spot them and an equally keen observation to understand their activities.They dont jog, they dont walk, they dont undertake any form of exercise while in the park, so what do they do? Well they sit on the park bench and observe people like you, to be able to write an anecdote like this, and as you finish reading this you have encountered your first 'Park Bencher'. So now its confession time: Despite all the enthusiasm displayed, the moment I set my foot in the park I was completely taken in by the plethora of people occupying it. The amateur writer in me took over the pseudo fitness freak and I was compelled to occupy one of the side benches (left lone by the aunties surprisingly) and observe with great amusement a glimpse of the new age fitness freaks of India. Needless to say barring that one morning I have not even lost my way to a joggers park,and I guess the next time would be when I hit 50. When the trends would have changed drastically so as to deserve this 'Park Bencher' again.
Friday, June 11, 2010
|A Young Begger Girl In Ajmer|
|Her Age is Etched Forever By These Lines|
|Colour Of Your Skin Does Not Define Beauty|
|Her Eyes Spelled Hope And Spirit|
|For Such An Innocent Face The Eyes Are Extremly Mature|
|Could Burst Into Tears Any Moment|
|Soft Light Ads An Element Of Mystry To any Face|
|This Was Just To Get Clicked:)|
|A pretty Indian Face|
|Streak Of Madness|
|This One Loves To Be Clicked|
|Soft Light Effect Again|
|Wish We all Could Have A Child's Innocense|
|Mother And Child|
|A Dying Woman|
|Profiles And Face Cuts|
|A life as colourless As Its Phorograph|