Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Prodigal Son

It was during the sleepy afternoons of late eighties when Doordarshan had started the afternoon transmissions for the first time in India as far as weekdays are concerned. In my neighbourhood, these programs were famous as Kanta and Shanta, derived from the names of the hosts.

Needless to say, it was a big hit amongst the bored housewives, and provided a good option to daily siesta. My school used to finish 2'o clock in the afternoon, so I also use to catch some of those stuff.

There was one particular serial which caught the fancy of all and sundry was Kya Banoge Munna. The title song was catchy -

Kya Banoge, Kya Banogey Munna?
Mummy Kehti Bano Doctor, Papa Kehtey Afsar,

Engineer Ban Jao Bhaiyya, Behna Kehti Aksar!

As the song suggests, it was a serial based on a family which was desperately seeking a prodigy out of their only son, putting him on enormous pressure. His homeworks, and grades were excessively monitored. He was constantly pushed for more. And there was a clash of interests between the parents regarding child's future career.

The results were catastrophic on the child. I felt sorry for 'Munna' as I was also of his age, but luckily never faced any such problems. Since it was a serial, where usually all ends well, so later sense drove home in the minds of the family, and they went back to saner levels.

But real life doesn't give a second chance. Take the case of Chennai doctor couple. To achieve the blind fame for which nobody cares two hoots about, they actually ended up committing a crime, and endangered someone's life.

The more shocking was the lethargy with which Chennai Police acted to arrest the couple allowing them to bask in their misplaced glory. The 'prodigy' is on the run. At the time when he was about to shape his career, the sheer lunacy of the parents has destroyed the same. They didn't realize surgery cannot be taught in Masti Ki Paathshala.

Had this doctor couple been a bit more patient, there were 'legal' ways of making their son a surgeon, albeit, not the youngest one in the world. This procedure is followed all over India, and Pune is amongst the shining stars.

Often, doctor as a profession runs in the family. This is no coincidence. Leaving out the deserving few who actually become doctors by merit, many doctor parents pay hefty sums to (almost) all paid seats colleges like DY Patil, Bharti Vidya Peeth etc. These sum start above 20 lakhs to actually reach as high as 50 lakhs. These colleges are pathetic as far as medical facilities are concerned.

After obtaining the "degree", they have their father's nursing home or clinic to start their career and 'practice'. In a few years, they are safely enconsed in the seat. That's the way this profession usually into the family. I have seen live instances in my family, and even otherwise.

Of course, there are honourable exceptions line Sanguine, who has a charted different career altogether, despite the fact that both of her parents are doctors.

Its not that only doctors do that. Laloo 's eldest daughter Misa (named after Maintainence of Internal Security Act during emergency) is a certified doctor. Typical Laloo style, she passed honours by blatantly flouting all norms.

She failed in Class X, CBSE board. Then Laloo got her shifted to Bihar board, and she 'passed' with distinction. Same story followed in Class XII. Then she 'cleared' the entrance for Ranchi Medical College to which she often travelled via helicopter from Patna. Soon Laloo got her 'transferred' to Patna Medical College. She finally passed the course with 'flying honours'.

I still remember one of her teacher's remarks published in TOI after she graduated as MBBS-"Now that Mr Chief Minister's desire to see his child as Doctor is fulfilled, my request would be to spare a thought for the patients, and refrain her from practicing."

Other prodigy which comes to my mind is Tathagat Avatar Tulsi who was the youngest matriculate till Sushma replaced him. He was claimed to be a Physics genius by his father, but turned out to be just a mugger by Department of Science and Technology, India. Please Read this ridiculous account by his father who claims he "programmed his child". Later I read, Tathagat was a wife beater too.

Thank God for not giving me ambitious parents.



Friday, June 22, 2007

Yes President

Though only an incumbent as of yet, but I have a strong premonition that Mrs Pratibha Patil's future utterances are going to be delicious fodder for the cattle like Star News and Aaj Tak.

Already, she has started cracking up the outdated clichés like - "This will lead indirect women empowerment" or " I won't be just a rubber stamp,"


Well mam, firstly, you will be as rubber as Sonia Gandhi's rubber band, and secondly this will surely going to empower at least two women( not counting the women & men of your family) - you yourself, and of course, the king maker - Sonia Gandhi. Aha now she is a queen maker too.

Say whatever you may, and do whatever you might - but don't be another national embarrassment. Please!



Monday, June 18, 2007


I am trying to rhyme Deols as the-owls. Deols as in Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby.

I think their genetic code have been altered for the worse in such a manner that they keep living in their own collectively delirium, and refuse to come out of it. I have seen many such evidences. Here is one such with elder brother. The other one with younger brother follows.

Karan Johar, in Koffe With Karan, asks Bobby Deol whether Sholay should be remade. Latter answers "No it can't, because you cannot remake a remake. Sholay was a remake of my dad's - Mera Gaon Mera Desh!"

I was stunned. Ramesh Sippy could have choked. Karan gasped in breathlessness, but to his credit, he could continue without showing.

This, however, begets the question that by what stretch of imagination, and scale of comparison can be Sholay be termed as a remake of Mera Gaon Mera Desh ? I conclude it is the same delirium which I have talked about.

The fatherly and brotherly love between them has outwitted their senses irrevocably. All this was fine as long as they kept this within the family dining table, but the problem is that it is now spilling out.

I fear for the next generation, when their kids will talk fondly about "legendry" movies like Gadar and Barsat.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007


I am really in a fix. What will happen if Rahul Dravid decides that he wants me as a coach and BCCI actually calls me for the interview and sends me the tickets?

Or if they make a sudden announcement about making me the tour manager - like poor Chandu Borde, who self admittedly himself doesn't know what his role is! What will happen to my current job?

Then I have other concerns. What if Gavaskar thinks he has better idea like he might as well think that Kumar Gaurav might be better idea as he has played some Cricket in the movie Allrounder.

Like what Ford and Embury did, we too might come for it like Alice In Wonderland - bemused, enjoy the Hotel, and pack up the bags and say - thanks for the trip and hospitality!

So what's the solution about the coach? Sack Rahul Dravid, and make him the coach. Make Sunil Gavaskar manager for life time. Former wanted Ford, without even asking him, and latter wanted John Embury to whom Kapil Dev had hit four consecutive sixes to save a follow on. And none of them wanted Dave Whatmore who was the best choice and more than willing!

Anyways, how should a coach matter - bring any idiot - if the likes of Agarkar keep on making record breaking come backs, courtesy, guess who, Sunil Gavaskar.

Coach plot is getting thicker by each passing day. Already we have a bowling coach - Venkatesh Prasad(again a Dravid favourite), and a fielding coach - Robin Singh, the only saving grace in whole circus.

Days are not far when we will have separate coaches for right hand batting, left hand batting, right arm fast, left arm fast, right arm off spin, left arm off spin, right arm leg spin, and left arm leg spin, and apart from fielding coach, we will have a keeping coach too.

The game has just begin!



Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It is easy to be a soothsayer, when its about Mayawati. But sometimes, she over does herself.

In my earlier post I had mentioned how she will go about to destroy her enemy's friends - Anil Ambani, Subroto Roy Sahara, and Amitabh Bachhan. In the same post I had also mentioned she might trouble Ansal's but it was a possibility that they might get saved since they were neutral.

It seems I was wrong. Latest news is Mayawati will not only trouble Ansal API, they will also target Unitech.

For your information, Unitech is developing two mega townships in Agra and Varanasi of about 1700 acres each. Ansal API is developing a 2500 acre hitech township in Lucknow - Sushant Golf city.

They have got the approval to extend it to 5000 acres - making it the biggest township in the country along with DLF Ltd’s 5,000-acre township Dankuni, near Kolkata. It will house about 3,50,000 people.

This Rs 22,500 cr integrated township will feature a championship 18-hole golf course spread over 200 acres designed by landscape expert Dr Martin Hawtree, three 5-star hotels, a medicity, a university, a Mahesh Bhupathi Tennis Academy centre, and 120 acres devoted to office buildings for information technology and bio-tech companies, three Ansal Plazas and Multiplexes.

Not only this, in they same township, Fortis is setting up a Rs 1,000-crore (excluding land cost) medicity spread over 50 acres. It will be about the size if AIIMS with 5000 beds. It will be the largest private hospital of the country.

It will have a medical college, nursing college, physiotherapy college, dental college, an advanced post-graduate college, a health management and an allied services college. In addition, it will also have a superspeciality and a general hospital. Besides, it will also have a stem cell research centre, clinical research centre and a clinical reference laboratory.

My vested interest is a 50 acre IT Park in the same premises. Needless to say, these constructions will change the geography of city beyond recognition, and bring the city amongst the ultra modern cities in India. More than that, they will generate employment for about 5 Lakh people for next 7-10 years.

Mayawati doesn't understand all this. She could have as well learned from Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi. Jayalalitha is no less corrupt while Karunanidhi is no less caste motivated. Whatever they do, they don't stall the development process from the previous governments.

But Maya, like Laloo, knows that if people will get prosperous and educated, who will come and vote for her. Now, I can predict the future even more correctly.

She has already reversed UP Sugar Policy. She has sent shock waves to Ambani and Sahara. Dell and IBM Daksh have been royally kicked away. Punjab Auto, Omaxe Auto and Sundaram Clayton want to set up new plants in the city. TCS and Tata Motors is increasing its existing capacity. Wipro wants to move in. God knows what will happen to them.

Her next target will be the 350 crore Sahara-Apollo Hospital and the latest Sahara Infrastructure's township. Builders like Omaxe, Parasvanth, Ansal Housing, Eldeco, Halwasia, Rohtas, Uppals, Chaddha, Arif Industries will also face brunt of Mayawati's ire.

And to think that it will be 5 years of relentless misrule by this woman, Uttar Pradesh is surely going to be in the deeper pit.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Aasmaan Se...

...Aag Baras Rahi Hai.

Jaisalmer, in Rajasthan, has clocked a temperature of whopping 51 degree in Centigrade...not in Farenhite or Kelvin! The 50 barrier is broken for the first time in this summer, and as if for Shagun it is one more than that.

We are on the way to give El Azizia a serious complex.

Churu, again in Rajasthan, is even a more interesting place. In summers, it is at more than half the boling point of water, and winters it is below freezing point. Proverbial blow hot, blow cold. And it is still inhabited is a big surpirse!

Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, has been staying above 45 degree. Who would say this is the place which is land-locked between Kashmir and Himachal, though technically it is more close to Punjab.

But if you consider just the cities, the honours go to Nagpur. For such a green city, temperatures surprisingly consistently hover above 45 degree April onwards. This is the hottest city in India. Though inhabitants of neighbouring Chandrapur find Nagpur a hill station in comparision.

Lucknow is not bad either. Post April 38 to 45 degree is a norm. So what we use to do? Well, the ususal suspects - Aam Ka Pana, Khus Ka Sharbat, Bel Ki Thandai, crushed onions, watermelons & cantaloupes, and cap becomes almost another limb.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cheeni Kum

R. Balki, why do you guys make the cardinal sin of making such a boring promos for otherwise such a fantastic movie! And despite being an Ad man yourself.

I almost didn't watch it.

Had it not been for the irrestible desire to watch a movie in a cinema hall(after not being able to watch one for more than 10 months now - courtesy Aryan), and that company was offering free movie ticket 'n food for its employees and their spouses, and that only alternative was - The Pirates Of Carribean(which was as good as no option) - I almost didn't watch it.

Thank God I did. Thoroughly enjoyble, except last 20 minutes.

With minimal but solid characters and incredible dialogues(almost each of them), I haven't seen any movie in recent past having such quality, except Khosla Ka Ghosla, of course.

Since movie hardly has a story, and is primarily based on conversations between the characters(cellphone was no less a small character in itself), the dialogues had to be sharp and witty. Balki has written them very very well. They will remain with the audience for a long long time.

Characters have terrific chemistry in between them - Amitabh-Tabu, Amitabh-Zohra Sehgal(mom), and Amitabh-Sexy(Swini Khara - the little neighbour). And that was because of these excellent actors, and superbly crafted lines. I especially loved the refreshing capsules between Amitabh and Sexy.

At first it appeared that grown up dialogues might sound too heavy on the girl - Swini, but her deadpan delivery pulled it off every single time.

Zohra is a darling. She is an immensely talented women, and has remarkable screen presence.

This movie has no bollywood cliches. Every event is handled naturally. So you won't realise when did the romance develop. Tiffs between the couples are natural. The only melodrama of the movie has been provided by Paresh Rawal which somewhat spoils the movie.

But in totality, it is an excellent movie which will yet again flop because there is no Yash or Johar marketing here.

And yes, Amitabh Bachchan has re-affirmed that he is still the king.

A must watch.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Two Songs Of Different Kind

Bum Lehri

In what moment of mental weakness did Kailash Kher decide to sing this awful song? Lyrics are very under developed, music is lifted from Sholay's - Mehbooba Mehbooba, and video is shabby. Worst is, however, is his singing. He is gasping for breath - sounds almost like a steam engine!

The promise which he had shown in Allah Ke Bande from the fantastic - Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part - II(must watch), he has failed miserably to live up to that. His movie songs have done poorly, while his video albums have been pathetic.

Somnath's Lulaby

Speaker Somnath Chatterjee's ego trip, it seems, haven't ended, as of yet. He is still crooning his old favourite song - "Judiciary must remain in its limits" at every possible ceremony or conference he is called upon as a guest "speaker". I feel sorry for his family on whom he must be regularly tormenting this song.

I wonder why haven't courts charged him yet under the contempt of court. He deserves a week or two as sarkari mehmaan. If one can take his colleague Gurudas Dasgupta too along, that will be a bonus. Bahut Bak Bak Ker Raha Hai Aajkal.



Friday, June 01, 2007

Ek Kahani Mein Sarey

A poem for kids.

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