Friday, September 28, 2007

Manorama - Six Feet Under

And it stole the thunder!

Three year after Charas, I saw a movie which I can call a thriller. However, by the dint of previous experience, I was quite sure I need to see it in the opening week only, otherwise it would be a goner. And today, there is not a single show in Pune!

Desperate needs require desperate measures, and I just managed it by a whisker. Yesterday, I probably saw its last show of the country - 11 PM. I had made up my mind the day before, and as soon as I was back from office, I went to pick the ticket one hour early - though needlessly so. They were available in abundance.

The guy at the ticket counter watched me in disbelief as if saying who-is-this-idiot-watching-this-movie-at-this-hour ! Never mind!

When we reached the multiplex, there was absolutely nobody at Screen 3. Old memories of Ghatak started flooding in. Ten years back, at the Devki theater in Kanpur(which incidentally is the biggest film screen I have ever seen), I had watched that movie along with just three friends and a stray dog!

However by the time this movie started about 30-40 people had poured in.

As always, I am not writing the story here, but I must tell you, how much ever you go prepared, it is almost impossible for you to unknot each and every thread. Mystery just refuses to die, and twists out-twist themselves. I kept feeding people with my whodunit bright sparks, bungling quite often, until I shut up!

I remember a similar scenario from a Sydney Sheldon novel - The Windmills of God. Well, there is ruthless assassin in the book with pseudonym - Ariel, and of all the people I know, by far whoever has read that novel, he or she has not been able to guess the real identity of that assassin, even after open challenges before hand.

Coming back to the movie. The plot is as intriguing as it can get, and kind of reminds me of few James Hadley Chase novels I have read. Characters have a laid back earthly charm which reminds you of the people you know. Dialogues are the work of brilliance, and not one without a punch.

Then there is Rajasthan. Not the one which is shown to attract tourists with Chokhi Dhanis and Folk dances. The real mofussil Rajasthan where life refuses to move. Where people do not move in Opal Astra but brand new Honda CD 100 or battered Lambretta. And yes, not to forget those copious moustaches where could one graze a cow on.

Actors, barring Kulbhushan Kharbanda, have given top notch performance. Abhay Deol is sincere as a failed novelist, who wants to prove something. Gul Panag fairs well as a blow hot blow cold middle class homemaker. Raima Sen tries to be a seductress, but tastes only half the success.

Along with Deol, it is his Sala in the movie - Vinay Pathak as the Sub Inspector Brij Mohan who gives the comic relief in the movie - has impressed the most. He has got the best lines, and the dialogue delivery - one of the best one would have ever seen.

Kharbandha is as limited as he was as Shakaal 27 years ago. Neither that accent has gone, nor the expression.

So if you are lucky enough to have this movie still running in any of the theaters in your city, just gobble it. We need to make such movies a success. 1000 times more successful than Hey Baby.



Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Thank You, Dravid

This post may look an opportunastic hindsight, but believe me I had planned to write this, the day Rahul Dravid resigned as the captain. But I really don't have much time left to make posts these days.

After the shameful exit at the World Cup in West Indies, when he was not sacked, I wondered what will it take for the BCCI to do that. Even after the more shameful decision to not to enforce the Follow On in England (- which in my opinion took India back by 20 years to the great Sunny (Captaincy) Days, when Gavaskar used to make abslolutely sure that India's should not be in the position to lose -), I had given hope on his sacking.

But Rahul Dravid shook daylights out of me when he resigned! This as a situation I had never imagined! As much as I respect his grit and batting skills, he turned out to be one of most uninspiring captain of the recent times at the ground & most shamelessly stubborn on at the press conferences.

First round World Cup exit was an forgone conclusion which I had predicted almost an year ago. But his sissy decision to not to enforce Follow On could have done even more serious dent to the mindset young sports person of the country. He and Sachin are legends to whom crores emulate. But cowardice is not to be emulated. And that was cowardice in no uncertain terms.

Even otherwise, every single match he captained was a live example of bad, auto pilot captaincy. He absolutely never thought out of the box. His perpetual frowns and tensed eye brows inflicted such a negative impression on the team!

I think he only could have got rid of himself, and that will be good for India in long term. It has already proved good for short term.



Friday, September 21, 2007

Kan Kan Mein Ram

I am not the one to wear my religion on my sleeve. Nor would I declare a fatwa on Karunanidhi's head, not just because I can't afford to. It is my hard earned money, which deserves a better usage rather than vowing it on aging nut.

Talking about aging, Karunanidhi's hasn't shown its effects as far as number of marriages is concerned. He has married thrice - without divorcing - of which two of the wives are alive. When he is not rubbishing Hindu Gods( he dare not do it to other religions mind you), he divides his time in the houses of both wives - spending mornings at the Gopalapuram residence with Dayaluammal while moving to the house of his other wife, Rajathiammal, at CIT Nagar in Chennai in the afternoons.

Some trigamy, I should say. I think he was the inspiration for Sawan Kaumar Tak's Sautan series. There couldn't be more peaceful Sautan households than these. But is it legal? The rule says he can't hold a goverment job - leave alone the government!

Some memory loss has also been on Sonia Gandhi's part. The interim report of Justice Jain commission had indicted Karunanidhi for abetting the LTTE into Rajiv Gandhi's assasination. He had buddy relationship with late Veerappan. He was also indicted by Sarkaria commssion for corruption.

When Indian Peacekeeping Forces (IPKF) left the territorial waters of Sri Lanka to return to India, Karunanidhi boycotted the welcome ceremony, saying that their presence would jeopardize their political position with the Tamils in the state. "The humiliation was not in Sri Lanka, but in India," said Lieutenant-General A S Kalkat, the IPKF Commanding Officer.

His son - Stalin (reminds me of Joseph Stalin who got killed about 2.6 crore people) runs the TN government in proxy. Siphoned about 150 cr when he was Chennai Mayor.

His another favourite son M.K. Azhagiri accused of the murder of former DMK Minister Kiruttinan, and has also attacked Dinakaran office which killed three people.

However, if not aging then this three timing did have some effect on his memory. His parents named him - Karunanidhi. In whatever language it would be - it is another name of Ram. He has probably forgotten the meaning of his name.

I belong to the region - Awadh - where every Hindu household has Bhagwan Ram's idol. My village house has a full blown Thakurdwara - an imposing Ram-Sita-Laxman-Hanuman temple within the premises. Every nook and corner has either a Ram or Shiv temple.

When Nal & Neel were trying to create Ram Setu, and boulders were not holding on to the sea surface, Hanuman ji wrote Shree Ram, and they start floating. It was he only who proclaimed - Yahan Kan Kan Mein Ram Vypat Hain.

I have no issues for Karunanidhi being an atheist(or a Christian - I am not sure). But that does not mean he can unleash his Dravidian outrage in public. Karunanidhi - you don't deserve a Fatwa, but you do deserve Jayalalitha, which in some sense is even worse.

Yours & Yours & Yours

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours.

The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.

A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause.

For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.

- Leo Marks



Tuesday, September 11, 2007

By Bashir Badra

कभी यूँ भी आ मेरी आँख में कि मेरी नज़र को ख़बर न हो
मुझे एक रात नवाज़ दे, मगर उसके बाद सहर न हो

वो बड़ा रहीम-ओ-करीम है, मुझे ये सिफ़त भी अता करे
तुझे भूलने की दुआ करूँ तो मेरी दुआ में असर न हो

मेरे बाजुओं में थकी-थकी, अभी मह्व-ए-ख़्वाब है चाँदनी
न उठे सितारों की पालकी, अभी आहटों का गुज़र न हो

कभी दिन की धूप में झूम के, कभी शब के फूल को चूम के
यूँ ही साथ-साथ चलें सदा कभी ख़त्म अपना सफ़र न हो

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

After a Long Time





Sunday, September 02, 2007

Mahesh Bhatt : The Dhokha

I have seen only the promos and, certainly, that's as far as I would go as far as the movie is concerned.

But promos themselves are lateral thoughts provoking.

Police officer's wife is a suicide bomber. The bombing itself killed some 20 people, and injured many more. So far so good. However, when the "suicide bomber's" dead body is shown, her face, though ashen, is as clean as a slate. Far from being badly mutilated, there is not even a trace of blood or wound!

It was then that I learned that the story writer is Mahesh Bhatt. Kudos!