Monday, December 07, 2009

Clash of the Titans

In 1981

29 years later..

Friday, December 04, 2009

Inglorious Basterds

.. is a good movie. I recommend.

Pst.. 2012 sucks.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Jaggery and other Urban Legends

The word of mouth , I have come to realize, is far too potent a tool. Consider history: most of it, as we know it today, has passed on through several mouths across generations. One can only begin to imagine the distortions it has gone through before finding the pen, ending up as folklore at best rather than hard facts.

Case in point being a recent discussion in my class where we were analyzing the ethical framework over which the book 'My Experiments with Truth' was based on. To stress on Gandhi's moral highness, our professor mentioned an anecdote about how Gandhi refused to give fundas to a kid on addiction to jaggery before he himself gave it up. Before I could add that coincidently, I knew the very same story except with Prophet Muhammed in place of Mahatma Gandhi, a fellow classmate countered saying that the story belonged to Guru Nanak and not Gandhi.

While it is still plausible that religions share a common set of values that are considered desirable in every person, and that such stories were possibly created to imbibe these values, it is scary to watch such stories creep into politics. In my opinion, Gandhi was one of the greatest leaders who with sharp acumen and the right strategies had led an entire nation to freedom from slavery. That act would suffice for me to title him the Father of the Nation. But the minute his character is given idealistic moral attributes, in an attempt to make him more than was, it leads to the creation of new deities and newer religions. Whether such a thing has already led to the existing religions is a matter of personal opinion. The life-is-a-bitch part of it is that current wars and beliefs are based on this very same history.

I do not think it would be an exaggeration to extrapolate the trend. Fifty years from now, it's possible that we hear the story of how Sachin refused to give Dhoni fundas in life till he himself stopped eating Jaggery.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Mid Air Trap

Most of us have probably faced this often but never noticed it. You never see it coming. But once you're in it, there is no escape. For a while at least.

All the airlines in India mostly have either the Boeing 737 or the Airbus A320 models for domestic travel which have a single narrow corridor along the length of the aircraft. Sometime around 10 minutes after the flight has settled at a comfortable altitude, the announcement of refreshments being served/sold is made. Now I'm not sure if it's the AC, the word 'refreshments' or simply my bladder muscles reacting to the dizzying heights, I almost always have this urge to relieve myself at that very instant. I look out into the corridor and see that although the doors show green, both ends of the passage are blocked with pretty girls guiding metallic trolleys moving at a painfully slow pace who refuse to move backwards to accommodate my needs.

Several times have I walked into this trap and spent uncomfortable moments looking awkwardly outside the window hoping to be distracted.

Is there hope at the end of the corridor for those who suffer this fate? Yes. Following are a simple set of guidelines which can help you resolve the predicament:

  • As soon as the sign for seat belts goes off, rush to fulfill your destiny
  • Book a seat towards the ends of the aircraft
  • When you gotta go, you Gotta-Go
  • Don't drink, don't pee.
Hope that helped. Good luck.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Love Aaj Kal

.. beginning .. to choke .. on Punjabi.. Disco tracks.
Must.. breath... aaaaaaaaaaaaghh!!

Friday, July 03, 2009

The List

I have a list of people who I feel should be castrated. Really. It grows by the day. Some folks in it are from my college. There are also hopes of retribution from childhood demons such as the guy who always grabbed the pack of Chicklets my mother used to give me everyday before school.

Now, there is this lady going around installing statues of herself all over the place. With my tax payments. Some might argue that it is illogical to add her to this list due to certain physiological facts that counter such an action. But then, why not? Shouldn't be hard to cut down on her erections.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Yeh CCD ka hota hai?

Bundled up on a cycle rickshaw, I watched the evening traffic choke up a relatively wide road in this place called Kadam Kuan. I was returning from a trip to rural Vaishali where I was stopped twice by "Party Workers" on bikes. They had asked me which party I belonged to since only party workers and politicians traveled using white cabs in villages during elections. I get off the cycle rickshaw paying him ten bucks for a kilometer and walk on towards a sleazy hotel I have rented out for two months at 175 a day. It reeks of cigarettes.

The waiter walks in without knocking. A regular feature in this place I notice. I ask if there are any good hotels around to eat and he rattles of names with descriptions that didn't really sound palatable. I asked if there were any Pizza joints or a McDonalds around to which he blinks blankly. "To koi coffee ki jagah hogi na Patna mein?", I ask to which he offers to provide coffee in the room itself. I plead again, "Yahaan koi Coffee Day ki dukaan nahin hai? CCD?". "Ye CCD ka hota hai?".

I settled for a cup of tea that he brought in, switched on the TV and lay on the bed while they buzzed about the latest campaign strategy. The bed is usually drenched with my sweat due to power cuts.

It's been more than a month now and little has changed. Except for three offers by the waiter so far: "Kauno aurat chahiye ka? Aap akele bejaar ho rahe honge.", and an offer by a strange girl to meet up in Delhi after a month for some 'romance' if I could only lend Rs. 10,000 to fund her purchase of a new cell phone now. She even claimed that she is from a family of IAS officers.

13 more days in Bihar and counting.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Knotty Sawant

Just when I had given up on TV shows for their lagging entertainment value, the most electrifying woman on Indian Television is back again! And how.

The idea is brilliant. NDTV Imagine has lived up to its name by producing a show called "Rakhi Sawant ka Swayamwara". She will basically be up for grabs on a reality show where undoubtedly the most eligible bachelors of India would be vying for her hand by battling it out in the greatest slugfest ever on the small screen. For all those snotty la-di-da kinds who look down upon such crass display of unwanted silicone exuberance, keep a track of the TRPs and then we'll see who has the last laugh.

"I am looking for a companion who is warm, affectionate, someone who can dance a little bit, who respects women for who they are, and above all who is punctual. Even Sita had her Swayamvara so why not me?"

I agree. The guy next room in my lodge in Patna has already started warming up for the show and is doing it quite punctually above all. If it wasn't for my mom's insistence that I marry someone my own age, I would have sent in my application by now.And why not? In her own words, Rakhi is the ideal woman for every Indian soap watcher:

"I'm a cultured Indian woman with good values and I have reached a stage where I need a companion with whom I can share my love, joys, sorrows and success."

Sigh. If I could. Then I would. But I can watch. And so I will.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Beating the system

Frank Maus is my new hero. Who is Frank Maus? Honestly speaking, I don't have much of a description. But I can guess.

Frank is the climax of every Anurag Kashyap movie that promises you a real insight into life and ends up in cliches. He is Arindam Chaudhary who dares to think beyond IIMs and even dares to charge fees beyond them. He is Oprah, who makes you concoct fraud soul moving experiences just so you can visit her show and win that car she might give away to everyone in the audience. He is Enrique Iglesias who makes millions by distracting you with 10 hot supermodels while constipating about his Bailamos. He is all this and he ain't sorry about it.

Frank gets laid. Frank even gets paid. That is why Frank is my new hero.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Dev D

Anurag Kashyap has always walked the thin line between brilliant storytelling and forcefully stuffing in every arbitrary whim of his like an adamant kid. This time too, he stumbles. What could have been a masterpiece turns into a two and a half hour long drag. Literally. The music is the best part of this movie and tries hard to keep one glued yet fails towards the end.

The plotline is strong. For those of you who have dismissed it to be yet another version of Devdas, it's not. It shows a much more relevant world and real lives as compared to its predecessors. It depicts the lives of Dev, a rich spoilt kid, Paro the simple girl who he loves and Chanda, a "commercial sex worker" and how they intricately run together merging here and seperating there. What kills are the n-multiple scenes of a drunk and doped Dev roaming about aimlessly which makes you scream, "Yeah! I get the picture. What next?!"

Did I say that music was the best part of this movie? Sample Nayan Tarse and O Pardesi from youtube or the next cheapest source of pirated music and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Overall, I'd say that if this was cut to a 100 minute movie, it would have been something else.

Rating: 3.5/5

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The movie has its novelty. But it is proof that you can't run a successful film only on an idea. Yet another drag of a potentially poetic description of the fleeting temporariness of life and love.

This is the story of Benjamin Button who was born old and frail but grows younger with time while he watches all those he loves grow old and die. Brad Pitt plays his part well and so does everyone else but I felt that the movie leaves you a bit more depressed than it should. The colours used and the pace could be equally responsible for this. True, maybe it was meant to be a tragedy. But that kick that you get when you come out of a movie irrespective of the genre was missing. Instead, I was just.. low. I'm not sure I like this movie for what it did to my mood.

Rating: 3/5