Monday, December 29, 2008

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Ghajini : Masala Overdose!

What a month December has been. Two blockbusters from two greatest stars of Bollywood.

1. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
2. Ghajini

First was ‘Rab Ne…’ I have watched it 2 times already and I can tell you that barring 2 dialogs Shahrukh uses the word ‘love’ to refer to ‘love’ instead of the regular hindi word ‘pyaar’.

And then there was ‘Ghajini’ which I watched on the first day last show at my home town Bhusawal. What an experience that was! In last one and half years, that I have spent at Pune, I had almost forgot what an electrifying atmosphere there is on the release day of a blockbuster. There were throngs of young rowdy guys ready to fight for the tickets. (I made the safe choice by buying my ticket in black for, hold your breath…, 50 rupees.)

But of course the seats weren’t numbered, which means whoever enters first, gets better seats. Result: A hard fought battle to get into the movie hall. I plunged myself with all the enthusiasm and courage I had and managed to get in quite early. But the real credit for securing the seats for our group must go to my cousin brother Prashant who is a Mumbai local veteran and is accustomed to getting into the locals through similar crowd. But I think I should get a little credit too just for managing to get in all of my bulk through that slit of a gate.

Image Credit: Nino Satria

Alas, Ghajini was a disappointment. Don’t ask why? Long list of problems: Irregular pacing, too long, too many songs, an age old 'the villain killed the heroine so the hero killed the villain' kind of story... But most importantly, WHAT WAS THE NEED OF THE ‘MITHUN-FIGHT’ AT THE CLIMAX? It is really laughable to see a bunch of bad men throwing themselves at Aamir Khan only to be thrown in air with a single blow. And what’s more puzzling? None of these bad guys had a gun or a sword or a knife? And this is supposed to be a big gang involved in national-level human trafficking and body parts selling.

But yes if you are ready to leave such ‘little’ issues aside and ready to accept that these are Bollywood movies after all, then both ‘Rab ne…’ and ‘Ghajini’ are quite entertaining (in parts). What both Aditya Chopra and Aamir Khan has done is that they have packed every last bit of masala they had in their respective movies to ensure commercial success. After watching the movies one can’t help but wonder, ‘Only if there was a bit less of the masala, these could have been great movies’.

Monday, December 15, 2008

About Books and Acting Silly

Yesterday through innumerable twists and turns of fate, I found myself in front of Crossword in E-square with 45 minutes to kill. Actually I shouldn’t have been in E-square. With some very tight deadlines I should have been in my office working like a donkey. But no, I am at E-square waiting for the next show of ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ to start. (More about that in the next post.)

Image Credit : LotusHead

The next mistake was to stand in front the books display of Crossword. Books have this magnetic pull on me that before I could stop myself, I was inside Crossword drooling at the stacks and stacks of books.

In the end I ended up spending Rs. 694 on three books. I know for some of you its not much, but for me its huge. As a rule I either borrow books from library or from friends. (And I always return them in good condition!) In extreme cases I purchase second hand books. But that’s it. No more expenses on books. I cannot afford it.

But yesterday I told myself, “Dude whom are you kidding? You can afford to buy original books. You earn at least that much.” So with all those financial apprehensions quelled, I started to look at the books with renewed vigor and lust. Finally I ended up buying:

1. Glimpses of World History by Jawaharlal Nehru
This one was suggested by Anand. He also wants to read it.

2. It Happened in India by Kishore Biyani with Dipayan Baishya.
All you shopping aficionados (Padmaja I also mean you) Kishore Biyani is the person responsible for the shopping mall revolution in India. Here is the list of stores run by Mr. Biyani’s Future Group: Pantaloons, Big Bazaar, Central, Food Bazaar, Home Town, eZone, Depot, Future Money and

3. That Thing Called Love by Tuhin Sinha
I actually bought this one for Padmaja. She likes such silly (and Tushar suggests silly should be replaced with scandalous) books (Well I like them a bit too.)

So that was about a silly night and about squandering money on books. And It felt so good yesterday that I fear my trips to Crossword are bound to increase. God help my savings plan!

Essence of Being Indian

This is a cool advertisement of, a Tata Venture. Have a look at it.

Value of Rs. 500.00

Take a look at this video, I found it on one of my friend’s Orkut profile. It shows what 500 rupees mean to different people from different financial classes of the society. Most of the well-to-do-people seem to answer the question with: movies or booz.

Did you notice the kid who talks about buying ‘tamater and aloo’ to market them? Isn’t it astonishing to know that what you think of as cost of one evening’s fun can be a seed capital for somebody’s dreams.

Unfortunately my answer would have been movies too. It is hard to know what to feel in such incidents. I almost felt guilty about squandering money. A question repeatedly comes to my mind:

What if I had been born to poor parents from some slum instead of being born to my parents?

A lot of time we complain that our lives suck. I certainly do it a lot. But then after watching videos like this I feel have, I really even experienced a day of what is called as hard life. What it must feel like being hungry and not able to buy food? How must it feel when your loved ones are down with fever and you can’t even buy some medicine?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Quotes : Amusing

"Know thyself?" If I knew myself I'd run away.
-Goethe(From Oxford essential guide to writing)

There are no facts only interpretations.
-Friedrich Nietzsche(Source: RGV Blog)

If you save someone's life, you're responsible for them.
-A Chinese Saying(in the novel 'Bag of Bones' by Stephen King)

The world's full of injustice.
-David Eddings(in his novel 'Pawn of Prophecy')

Some things are unforgivable
-David Eddings(in his novel 'Pawn of Prophecy')

There are three kinds of lies ― lies, damned lies and statistics.
-Ben Bova(The Craft of writing science fiction that sells)

Greatness inspires envy, envy engenders spite, spite spawns lies.
-Lord Voldemort – The Dark Wizard(in Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by J. K. Rolling)

Great men can't be ruled.
-Ayn Rand

The genius must have his freedom and his independence.
-Ayn Rand

It takes a whole village to raise a good child.
-African proverb(in the novel '' by James Paterson)

Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!

There are some movies which grow as you think more about them. As you think more about these movies, you start to realize new layers of depth. One classic example of such movie is Forrest Gump. Well I won't put 'Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!' in the same class as that of Forrest Gump but certainly 'Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!' is a very well made movie.

I know a casual viewer may criticize the movie about the glorification of anti-social elements. And yes there is a serious concern of youngsters getting influenced by this cool thief. But a movie is a piece of art and what one chooses to pick from a piece of art depends upon the upbringing and moral values of that particular individual.

When the movie ended I thought, "That was it? What kind of ending is that?" I mean the movie was funny and all, but in a way it seemed pointless.

"That was it? What kind of ending is that?"
Image Credit muco

Then afterwards when I discussed the movie first with Archana and then with Hitesh (my buddies who also watched the movie with me) it dawned on me that this was more than a funny story about a cool thief. In fact right from the title track, the director hints us at the theme of the movie. The title track is Chahiye Thoda Pyaar... sung by Kishore Kumar from the 1978 movie Lahu ke Do Rang.

In that sense, it really is a sad story about a guy who is looking for some love but who never really got it. He was ready to spend any amount of money on his relatives and friends to get that love but never actually got it. Yes the heroine (the dazzlingly cute Neetu Chandra) loved him back but she never loved him for his money.

Apart from this, the movie tries to unmask the selfish and cunning side of so called law abiding people through various cleverly crafted incidents.

Certainly a very well made, thought provoking, yet totally enjoyable movie.