Saturday, December 29, 2012

Rape, Shame and Lame

We feel ashamed as the brave heart girl Nirbhaya who had fought for her life leaves us for the better world, today on 29th Dec after fighting for her life.

We are sad but more anguished at how a handful of criminals can brutally rape a girl in Delhi, our Nation’s capital City.

Nirbhaya has not died for me today, in fact the Society, the Police and the whole of India has been beaten to death today!

Lets ask each other today, that will the Nation and the society wake up to respect women in our country?

These are the words of emotions written by me and my wife Puja as we wait for the day when the Nation and Society takes real measures to combat the menace of Rapes in our country.

A life is not just lost
Lost is a Nation’s right to fight
To the handful of evils
Who butcher the Nation?
On their will and wish
Making our heads fall in pain
As India battles with
Rape, Shame and Lame!

Yes, it’s all screwed up
The society limps
To protect her dignity
From being crushed by the
Wheels of evils
But all effort goes in vain
As India battles with
Rape, shame and Lame!

A life is not just lost
The right to be democratic
Has been snatched from the Nation
By the handful of evils
The nation meekly surrenders
To these brutal barbarians
As India struggles with
Rape, Shame and Lame!

The death has pierced
Our heart and sole
Our minds have Freezed
And we have lost our limbs
To these handful of cannibals
Who eat every inch of our Nation?
And the Nation bleeds,
As the country dies down
With Rape, Shame and Lame!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Shave or Crave – How I Made my Husband Crave for Shave

This blog post is written by my wife, Puja Rai who literally used to make me crave every time she used to see my evening stubble. She has posted this article on my, sorry our blog as I being a dedicated husband can’t overrule my loving wife’s order
So it’s all hers now -

My man is a nice husband, a good friend and a passionate person about his interests, but what I hate the most in him is his evening stubble that he brings along with him when he reaches home after battling the Mumbai traffic.

I am sure that many women like me would be suffering from this “Stubbleomania”. I don’t know whether this word exists in the dictionary or not, but that’s what my husband says that I suffer with this syndrome.

I decided to make him understand the importance of being a clean shaven guy in a woman’s life.
And why not, doesn’t he want me to be nicely dressed and look hot and sexy.

I prepared a 3 rule chart on what all he has to sacrifice for not shaving his evening stubble and handed over to him, as he came back home from work.

Husband – What is this piece of paper?
I – Ohh...You are an Architect and an MBA and working in an MNC…I guess you understand English better than me.
My husband who is used to my weird sense of humor didn’t seemed puzzled at this sarcasm as he knew I would be having much more surprises for him.
Husband – Ya, it’s fine...I can read it but I am asking what does this mean.
I – It means “Shave or Crave”
Husband – Ok...The first line reads “Bedroom lights will be switched off at 10 pm”; He seemed to be really happy on reading this ( must have thought more romance in the bedroom now) Sweetheart, Does it want more and winked at me ?
I – No...YOu dirty mind. This doesnt mean "everything is Rosy and we will be getting Cozy". This means we will sleep at 10 PM. There will be No Love and No book reading for you in the night. Do you understand ?
‘What’! He seemed surprised at this but he understood that he will miss reading stories before going to bed.

Husband – Ok…but what is this second rule…that we will order our food from the restaurant at least 3 days a week. You know honey’, its so expensive to order food from the restaurant these days. I have to pay for our monthly EMI, household budget and so many other expenses. And even if you still want, we can go for a romantic dinner on weekend. Main aur Tum aur Mumbai ka Samunder....
I made a sorry face and said to him.I can go out with you but not with your stubble.
Do you know “Your clean shaved look is the more expensive than this food from restaurant. Why don’t you take care of this...Huh?

Husband – Ok...No bedtime kisses...I mean don’t you think we will miss this most ?
I – I don’t know but at least I will be saved from your unshaved bruises.
He must be thinking that I have gone crazy, but I am feeling sharper today. I think I will be able to nail him to remove his evening stubble every day.
Husband – Yeah...I think I will manage with all three rules as I don’t want to waste my time shaving my evening stubble as I shave this piece of hair every morning. You women will never understand that how much it pains.

I – Don’t worry, I have got a surprise for you and she gave me a packet.
He opened the packet and found a Gillette Fusion Razor for Men, one of his close up photograph with an evening stubble and a card with a poem written inside.

Can I read this card for you and I snatched the card from him while he was appreciating the new Razor he got as a gift.

My Dear Husband,
You are the most important man in my life,
I am your only Wife, and I guess I am right!
So why don’t you listen to me,
When I say I hate your stubble,
As this pinches my palm,
When I touch your cheeks,
And bruises my face,
When I try to kiss!
I hate your stubble,
So please listen to me,
If you don’t shave,
I will make you Crave,
for love, hunger and wisdom,
When you are back home,
After finishing your work,
And beating the traffic,
You will miss my smile,
If you still don’t want to shave,
Then don’t crib but just crave
as I will still love you,
But you will miss something….
Your’s loving Wife

After reading this, I could see the color of my husband's face changing. He straight away went to the bathroom and closed the door. He had taken inside the Gillette Fusion Razor that I had gifted to him and came outside after 5 minutes sporting a prefect clean shaved Gentleman look.

I smiled at him.
He came to me, made my palms touch his smooth cheeks and he said:

My Dearest Wife,
I know you and I can’t resist you,
So I promise……………………………
That I will shave
Every morning and evening
Till I live with you
Because I don’t want to crave
Till I go to my grave,
And keep you happy
And smiling till we live forever....

We both hugged each other and now he is a happy husband without an evening stubble.

This post is a part of the 'Shave or Crave' movement in association with

"Sound of Love" - my entry to the GetPublished contest"

I fell in love umpteen times, from a kindergarten girl, had teenage crush on my class teacher to the hottest girl in my college and at my work place.

I always believed that love is expressed and communicated through words. However, extremely shy of expressing my love, I never proposed to any of them.

The Idea Description:

10th March 2012, Bakers Street, Pondicherry

I was sitting with my wife having my breakfast and was staring at the road just outside the café.
Hey, I think you are lost somewhere…. you seem to be tired too; Puja asked me?
Yeah,and we stood up and went to the counter to pay the bill.
Puja handed me a card that was kept at the bill counter, which read Merlyn Ayurvedic Massage Centre, MG road, Pondicherry.

I reached the address and was greeted by a 5 ft 8 inches tall, dark muscular guy.
He took me upstairs and gave me one of the best massage, I ever had. After the massage, I met a tall and beautiful lady at his house.

Hi! would you like to have some tea…she asked, to which I happily agreed.

At that time, I never knew that I am going to spend 9 hours with them listening to one of the most touching love story, which made me weep after ages.

24th Feb 2005, Anna International Airport, Chennai

A group of volunteers from an International NGO comes out of the airport and boards a Toyota Innova which was headed to Pondicherry.
Merlyn Flangiano, a girl in her late 20’s is sitting and listening to music on her ipod.
The car reached Pondicherry and after getting fresh, they split in groups and move towards the fisherman villages along the coast.

Its 2 months, since Tsunami had strike the Indian Ocean.

Merlyn was a social scientist and was working for rehabilitation of Tsunami victims.
The group met the head of the fisherman village to understand the Tsunami damage.
Some fisherman were watching the meeting and among them was a guy who was concentrating on Merlyn.

Merlyn smiled at him and waived her hand to say hello. The guy smiled too.
After the meeting, she went and asked his name.
He took out a piece of paper from his shorts and handed over to her.
She was surprised, but then another guy who was watching all this, came over to them.
Autograph Madam…Autograph… He tried explaining her in his broken English.
Ahh....I understand; she said and signed the blank paper in her beautiful writing.
But, what’s his name, she asked again.
Aaa…..Aaaaaa..…and she could understand now that he can’t speak.
Madam….he can’t speak and listen.
Oh...I am sorry. She said and went away.

What happened between the French girl and the fisherman in all these years is a tale of breaking many myths about love; we see everyday in our lives.
Why this story inspires me till today and I live with it everyday?

This is my entry for the HarperCollins-IndiBlogger Get Published Contest, which is run with inputs from Yashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.

Vote Link

If you like this story, do vote for me on indiblogger

Request to Vote for Me by Clicking on this

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Talaash....Answer to Different Cinema lies in this

I am writing this review after 15 days of the movie being released, but I have still not been able to get over this movie; even though I have watched it twice.
Many readers would think me crazy that why Talaash has impressed me so much?

I would not have been able to answer this question correctly; if had I not seen this movie for the second time.

Talaash starts with the dirty yet beautiful screenplay showing the underbelly of Mumbai. The scene where a man is shown walking with a guitar in the night, pimp, customers and prostitutes are standing outside the neon lit shady bars and an old lady sitting on the footpath and just staring are mixed together to show the dark side of Mumbai in the night.
The story is good and the screenplay is such that this can be used as an example to teach the students of cinema.

All the actors in Talaash have played their role close to reality. Aamir Khan is a normal cop who is as puzzled with the case as all the other cops is the beauty of his character. I doubt that any other current star could have done justice to this role. Rani Mukherjee as the Aamir Khan's wife and Kareena Kapoor as a prostitute are other examples of perfect casting in the movie.

I would love to make Special mention for the two other actors - Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Rajkumar Yadav. They are the new breed of class actors and they both leave their mark even in a small role.

Talaash is not an out and out suspense thriller, in fact it’s a Suspense and Emotional drama with paranormal angle attached to the whole film.
Can you think of any other Bollywood cinema where emotional scenes are as strong as the suspense of the movie?

Aamir Khan is a grief stricken father who has lost his 8 year old kid and is a restless human being. He is investigating the accidental death of a young Film star and is in the search of the answers to his death. He meets a prostitute named Rosy, played by Kareena Kapoor who not only provides him information about the case but also soothes his grief and pain.

Rani Mukherjee plays the role of the disturbed wife of Aamir Khan and they as a couple are not able to bring joy to their life because of their child's death in an accident. The emotional scenes between the couple take you to another level in the film.

However, when the film ends, you will find that the answer to the death of the Film star is not as important as the answers to Aamir Khan's grief and guilt.
That's where the story scores points; also I feel that the pace of the movie has been deliberately kept a bit slow, as increasing the pace of the movie could have confused the audience.

All the characters in the movie have been carefully moulded and there is a very line between them being an evil and good. The simple love and friendship story between the pimp Nawazuddin and an age past prostitute looks real and keeps you thinking even after you have walked out of the theater.

The music is good and I have started respecting Ram Sampath even more after Satyamev Jayate music. I love the background scores especially Muskanein jhoothi hai and Jiya lage Na; though all the other songs are good too. The best parts of these songs are that they are not forced upon you, but they help you to get in the rhythm of the movie.
Talaash is not a perfect movie and I would also not say it’s a cult movie.
I would say that this movie should be watched because of the story, screenplay, background music by Ram Sampath, class acting by all the actors and a bringing in a perfect mix of mainstream and art treatment.

I didn’t like the suspense of Talaash in the end and I wished that Reema Kagti and Zoya Akthar could have written a slightly different climax. But No movie is perfect and you can ignore this deficiency to watch a good cinema.
However, if you are bogged down by the climax, than I doubt that you will like the movie. Also, don’t hope for an edge of the seat thriller; as I guess it was never meant to be made like that.
So go and watch Talaash; enjoy the cinema which is set in the dark but will show light to the different kind of cinema.
My rating is 3.5 out of 5

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Student of the year - movie review "Entertainment Entertainment and Entertainment"

Finally we all get to see a Karan Johar's movie after a gap of 3 long years. His last directed movie was My Name is Khan in the year 2009. Student of the year is slightly different from all his previous movies as the movie is neither over melodramatic nor does this make you cry or is too intense. This is more fun and more entertainment. So how does the movie look like. Well , there is a school called ST Teresa in Dehradun which has a combination of super rich teens as well as middle class folks. No, the movie is not about the melting pot of the rich and the poor but is more about the friendship , infatuation, affection, love , jealousy and competitiveness. The school is managed by Rishi Kapoor who is a dean and is a gay. He has really evolved as an actor in all his last movies and he plays the role perfectly as he drools over the hunk sports coach played by Ronit Roy. The school is funded by a mean business man played by Ram Kapoor whose son , Rohan Nanda played by dubutant Varun Dhawan also studies there and comes to school in a Ferrari. He is a rich brat who wants to be a Rockstar than run business like his his father and brother. He has an equally rich designer girlfriend Shanaya Singhania, the role essayed by Alia Bhatt. A young guy Abhimanyu Singh played by Sidharth Malhotra from a middle class enters the college on a sports quota and dreams of becoming even bigger than the businessman Ram Kapoor. The film has lots of fun quotient as these young teens play around prank with each other , become friends and share the happiness and sadness together. They go to the parties , have drink, share a smoke and visit hospitals, go to each other homes for meals etc.
What gets the fim running till the end is to win the coveted trophy of " Student of The Year" award which offers an all expense paid scholarships in an IVY league university in the United States of America. Every teen in the school aspires for this trophy and the competitiveness sneaks in the minds of friends as gradually all the friends become enemy of each other. In between there is love confusion drama between the three main stars of the movie - Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt. So , the trophy becomes the bone of contention. Who wins the "Student of the year" award is a kind of guess work but for me the best part of this competition was the speech given by one of the fat Parsi student , Kaizad popularly called as Sudoow in the film after drinking an Old Monk Rum quarter. He challenges the whole concept of the trophy and forces the Dean to face the truth of his life. The direction is gala with opulence and one can understand the film making style of the ususal Karan Johar. However , the film often reminds of the mixing of many hit movies in the Karan Johar's production lab. The story telling is copied from Jaane Tu Ya Janne Na, the competition is lifted from Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander and the 40 min weeding drama is a modern day sexy avtaar of the entertaining shadi of last decade, Hum Aapke Hai Kaun . The film also has remixes of old Hindi movie hit songs like Disco Deewane and Gulabi Aankhen jo teri dekhi. But one can forget these similarities and can enjoy the movie as its full of fun and entertainment. The songs and dances are good ( Kajol steals the dance show for 2 minutes ) and one doesnt feel boared even though the movie is slightly longer by 15-20 minutes. Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra have a good body and justify their role , though Sidharth Malhotra doesnt actually look like a teen age guy. Alia Bhatt looks cute and even dons a Bikni in her first movie and also gives a smooch scene with one of the actors. Rishi Kapoor is excellent as a dean , Farida Jalal as the grand mother of Sidharth Malohtra leaves her impact in a small role. However, I wished Boman Irani as a Sardar and the dean of a rival school had a slightly larger role. This movie is not a must watch but a fun watch , as in the words of the Dirty picture " Cinema is all about Entertainment Entertainment and Entertainment !!! My Rating - 3/5

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gangs of Wasseypur to Gangs of Bollywood

Its never too late when you want to pour your heart out to write a review for a good movie and also about one of your favorite film director who is the torchbearer of the change for the way bollywood movies are made.This one is for the fire ball "Gangs of Wasseypur" which lies close to my heart because I have always loved Anurag Kashyap's movies and I am always excited to understand his filmmaking style . The movie starts with a voice over by talented Piyush Mishra , who writes some of the most interesting and unorthodox lyrics ( check out lyrics of the songs of the movie Gulal) decribing the pre independence era of coal mining in the Dhanbad district of than undivided Bengal and now in Jharkhand. The movie makes you fall in love with the cinematography and the way sets have been created. The film takes time to pick up the pace initially, especially till the time the central character of Sardar Khan played by talented Manoj Bajpayee enters . He doesnt shine as the hero of the movie but he is an ordinary man with enough guts to take up the mighty dhoti clad politician cum businessman Ramadhar Singh played by the ace director Tigmanshu Dhulia. The initial 30-45 minutes are more about building the plot of the story than jumping directly into the theme. This is the beauty of story telling art which Anurag Kashyap knows very well. Initially the audience might feel that the movie is about coal mining issues , but than it smoothly transits into the traditional story of a son taking vow to revenge his father's murder by the dominating local politician. The son revenge over his father's murder has never been a revelation in the bollywood mainstream but the tight script laden with many one liners makes you feel that this movie is so close to reality and that is where the film scores an advantage. The chemistry between the central character Sardar Khan and his wife Nagma, played by the tall punjabi girl from Delhi, Richa Chaddha is blunt. They love , they hate , they abuse and they need each other. Thats the reality of many young couples in everyday life, isnt it. The film makes you think hard on drawing the line of morality as every character in this movie has shades of grey. Whether it's the another dominant muslim faction of the butchers , or the Khan clans of Sardar Khan or the corrupt politician and his son, they all are opportunistic and are hungry to reign their supremacy. The film literally travels with time and Sardar Khan moves from Dhanbad to Wasseypur , a small town near the coal district and forms his mighty gang which is more powerful than the butchers and the politician. The violence strikes many times but it never makes you close your eyes , instead it makes you think that many bloodbaths happen with a cool and calm mind and not in fit or sheer anger. Sardar Khan's character is serious about the revenge of his father's murder but is also equally serious about his responsibilities towards his mistress, played by the Bengali beauty Reema Sen. One is left hard to understand if Sardar Khan is using the lady to satisfy his lust or the lady is using him to satisfy her lust and greed. Nagma, the beautiful wife of Sardar Khan is a strong and outspoken woman who doesnt bow to go against her husband even when her husband doesnt live with her anymore. Howver , at the same time she doesnt spare him either and hurls abuses at him on his greed for sex and womanising. The film binds the audience with fast storytelling in the middle and doesnt give time to predict the next scene. One style of filmmaking is that you should never give enough time to audience to think what will come next and you have won the hearts of the audience. The two young sons of Sardar Khan are like poles apart in their living but the traces of their father's mentality is preserved. While one is more crazy , smoking ciggartes and pots ; the other is slightly peace maker who proposes to marry the girl from the leader of the butcher family in order to get united. The script is good , the dialogs are sharp with lots of Bihari lingo , story telling is structured , movement of scenes is fast , songs and lyrics are unorthodox of any typical bollywood fillum but what works the most in the movie is the way characters have been developed. The characters, I would say are the heart of the movie; whether its a cameo by the guy who dances on the old hindi movie hit "Kasam paida karne wale ki" , the guy who is singing "salame ishe meri jaan" in both the male and female voice during the Nikah of Sardar Khan's son or the Ray Ban girl who preaches in chaste bihari accent to Sardar Khan's son to catch hold of a girl's hand only after taking her permisson. All the songs have become a rage by now whether its Hunter, womaniya or jiya ho Bihar ke lala. Infact , I have heard these songs as caller tunes of many people whom I call, which reflecs the mass acceptance of the songs with a difference.
The lead actress or the "Womaniya" of the film played by Richa Chaddha ( if you remember , she played the role of a spoiled girl who is after Abhay Deol in Oye Lucky Lucky Oye) is terrific as Nagma . Its not easy to fit under a role of a woman which demands boldness not in terms of skin exposure but in terms of the skin of the character and she has done it a perfect 10. Piyush Mishra always comes good and here also, he is no exception. Nawazuddin Shaikh who plays as one of the son of Sardar Khan is also good and in the next part "Gangs of Wasseypur II" he will be seen in a more crazy and meaty character. Not to forget to mention the last scene of the movie, where Sardar Khan is attacked by his enemies in his car. I dont want to mention any spoiler hence would not go beyond this on the film's story line. The movie is simply binding,amazing as the violence and murder makes you not only shiver but also laugh at times. The characters act violently as if its like any other daily work for them. The movie is inspired by bits and pieces of some real stories from the small place called Wasseypur , but still you cant take credit away from a tight script writing. I think that "Gangs of Wasseypur " is going to open gates to for many such reality struck movies. To name some , Anurag Kashyap , Dibakar Banerjee, Shoojit Sircar, Tigmanshu Dhulia are the new age directors who have come up with many unorthodox and entertaining movies. we will get to see some really good movies from these talented filmmakers who would define the new "Gangs of Bollywood" Coming Soon... Gangs of Wasseypur 2...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Agneepath – Good but far from the Cult Agneepath

How do I review this movie? This question popped to me as I sit on my Laptop and try to type the thoughts post my 3 hours of Agneepath.
This movie unlike any other remakes will have two set of audience. One is who are the all time fans of the Cult Agneepath (Amitabh Bachchan as Vijay Dinanath Chauhan) and the latest one. The fan following of the old Agneepath is much stronger than the other classics of which remake have been made like Don.
The movie opens with a tribute to the Late Director Mukul S Anand who had directed the cult, original Agneepath and was a highly talented director, unfortunately died in his 40’s.
The original Agneepath was more intense with less of humor but high on emotions whereas the latest Agneepath intensity is diluted. The old one was a flop whereas the new one is more commercially viable as it has bit of humor, romance and drama as well.
Speaking of characters, can anyone fit Vijay Dinanath Chauhan other than Amitabh Bachchan in the whole of bollywood, probably not but yes, Hrithik Roshan does deliver a good performance. I understand he doesn’t have the strong, hoarse baritone like of Amitabh, but I wished that the director could have experimented with his voice a bit, as it seems to be softer in the movie.
The old or, I would say the real Vijay was cold blooded, intense, no nonsense criminal or Robin Hood whereas the reincarnated one is slightly softer, bit of humorous and seems to be low on confidence.
Did the director underplay his character deliberately or he was not able to live the immortal again on the screen?
Either the debutant director Karan Malhotra or Hrithik knows better about this.
Let’s get into the skin of supporting characters – the father of Vijay, the mother, Police Officer Gaitonde and the same characters in the latest Agneepath ; the characters are much better played in the old movie than the latest one without any doubt.
I also missed the character of Krishnan Iyer M.A played by Mithun Chakraborty in the old one which has been eliminated in the latest one.
Add to it the leading lady of Vijay played by Madhavi, in the old one was a supporting cast whereas the leading lady played by Priyanka Chopra in the latest is a distraction.
How can we end the character discussion with the infamous Kancha Cheena played by Danny in the original and Sanjay Dutt in the remake? While Danny was stylish, Sanjay Dutt is menacing with his looks, a complete contrast to the character. Danny was subtle in his dialogue delivery where Sanjay Dutt is bit loud.
Well, the latest one does score over the older one in the item song Chikni Chameli by Katrina Kaif against the one done by Archana Puran Singh and Shakti Kapoor in the old one.
Another missing feather in the latest Agneepath is the lack of popular one liners or bunch of dialogues from the old Agneepath. Though, they have kept the most popular ones like “ Naam – Vijay Chauhan pura naam – Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, Gaon- Mandwa but the types of unnoticed yet classy one liners like – “Hawa Tez hai Dinkar Rao, Topi Sambhalo Ud Jayega” are missing.
Overall if I sum up the comparison I can say that the latest Agneepath is like the Cult Jack Daniel’s Scotch which has been diluted with water – Real fan of Jack Daniels would vouch that they love it neat and hard and so am I as the ardent , never fail to watch type fan of the original Agneepath.
I try to erase my memories of the original Agneepath and take a fresh perspective. The movie is well shot with good cinematography and some strong performances by Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt and not to forget Rishi Kapoor. Infact, Rishi Kapoor for the first time played a completely negative character and he has done it perfectly. The Mumbai slum goon who is a flesh and drug trader gives patronage to Vijay, the hero against another goon Kancha Cheena. The battle is between Rishi Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt as they both want the control of Mumbai’s drug business whereas Vijay wants the village Mandwa where his innocent father was not only brutally killed but his character assassinated as well by Sanjay Dutt.
Add to it, there is childhood love interest of Vijay played by Priyanka Chopra as she tries to bring in some humor and romance in the movie to subdue the violence. After all, it’s a Karan Johar production and the movie has to appeal to the whole family than a specific set of audience.
There are few strong emotional scenes which have been beautifully shot like the one where Vijay goes to his estranged mother’s place for having dinner and the conflict of opinion happens between the mother and the son. Then, there is another one; the violent killing of a henchman by Vijay during the Ganpati visarjan.
I also liked the climax scene where Sanjay Dutt is killed; it’s violent but you want the hero to win over the evil by then.
Overall, the movie good and I am sure it will be commercially hit unlike the old one. The opening on Day 1 is surely going to break the earlier opening records as there is news coming of house full in every theater across India.
My Rating – 3/5