December 4, 2009

..a Slice of LIFE..

Chetan Bhagat’s latest offering has taken the market by storm. True to expectations, it’s got youngsters engrossed in “2 STATES: THE STORY OF MY MARRIAGE” . How much of it is real and how much is just some marketing hoopla, we’ll never know. What we do know, though, is that the publisher has had the cheek to blow up facts in the author’s intro. “ [his books]...have inspired major Bollywood films.” ANY sensible person would SO want to whack the publisher for a glaring error like THAT!!! This, of course, has now become the trend to push things, and make them look bigger than what they are, for purely marketing reasons.

About the book…nothing unique. Bhagat has repeatedly proven that flair is not his forte. The current book is an easy read, low on style, and light on the mind. The blogger breezed through it in 3 hours flat! This book is essentially a diary recording stereotypes held by Indians, be it cultural, regional, educational, ritualistic, food-related, etc. He’s effortlessly pointed to the notional status of ‘donation college’, ‘fair skin complex’, ‘discipline in defence’, ‘WPM’*, et al. The simple things in life which we so conveniently take for granted have been seamlessly sewn into the story-telling. From acknowledging the effort our moms put into EVERY meal, excitement about weddings, to children shrieking gleefully when they spot ‘mickey mouse’, he’s included it all. There are also the soppy elements of love for parents [separately!] to nationalistic fervour!

Like all his other books, this one also has a veiled positive feel to it. As always, the guy is trying to get the girl. And everything revolves around it, in an amoeba-like shape! Also, again, the male protagonist’s name is a derivative from that of Lord Krishna.

To KISS…this book is a good one-time read. It’s slightly funny, definitely not humourous, but you can let that pass.

*WPM: read the book to know its full form!

this blogger had reviwed his 2nd book 4 yrs ago

alas..nothing much has changed since then...with the writer, that is!

September 24, 2009

High UP!!!

Disney has an undeniably veritable history of producing endearing children’s entertainers. Over the past few years, their collaboration with Pixar has resulted in a distinctive style of story-telling with unassuming yet obvious portrayal of the fundamental human emotions. Their characters are well-etched, cutely animated and never fail to tug at the viewer’s heart. Case in point- Finding Nemo, Wall.E and now UP!!!

This movie epitomises the spirit of endurance in an adorable way! There really is a lot of power in persistence. Ultimately, you DO get what you want. And malicious intentions also reach their appropriate end. It’s all about believing in what you want and then pursuing it with diligence and a dash of tenacity!

The blogger will refrain from saying anything even remotely negative about UP...’coz there is NOTHING under that blanket! It is an upbeat film, taut and well made providing moments of thrill, drama, ingenuity, affection, et al packed in 1.5 hours! The old adage- “A PICTURE SAYS A THOUSAND WORDS” has been brilliantly used to convey a lot without unnecessary dialogues. The flick manages to keep the viewer’s attention intact without letting it flounder.

The ‘little one’ of this film represents the average American child – not in great physical shape and incomplete parentage, but the universal ‘child’ at heart enjoying ‘boring’ things! [Well, who doesn’t?!] He has his own ideas about the world ‘out there, quite a few of which get debunked.

Possibilities [both bright and of grim] of the future have been ably communicated via this movie and WALL.E.

This movie is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. It’s a must watch for people of ALL ages. Those who dismiss animated movies as ‘cartoons for children’ should go with an open mind and look BEYOND what is shown on the screen to pick up or refresh some important life-lessons!!! a B-I-G THUMBS UP!!!

This the first 3D Animation flick from the Disney-Pixar stable. Alas..the blogger had to see it in normal format..even though the theatre was a multiplex in an upmarket mall..:-(

PS:- The initial animated sequence of “Gods above the clouds MAKE babies and then the “stork comes visiting” to deliver them … utterly cute and delightful!!!

September 20, 2009



You can see it.
You can feel it.
Does it hurt?

A look at the gashes,
Brings back some flashes.
Could be positive or negative,
Or just a misgive!

It keeps reminding…
How unsmooth was the ride!
Was it the driver?
Or just the roadside?!

Every mark has a story…
May or may not be gory.
Is that how you wanted?
Or it just got planted?!

"Jarred, charred and scarred."
I feel extremely marred.
Forgiven or not…
There’s STILL a spot.
What may I say?
Hope the scars…
Just fade away.
20th September 2009

September 10, 2009

keedon kee bastee ka makoda!!!

The blogger will keep this comment somewhat short in comparison to comments made on other movies previously on this forum.

KAMINEY is an auteur’s work. The style of the director is very palpable through the sequences and Bharadwaj has taken his caliber to the next level. I have been an admirer of his work ever since MAKDEE (2002): A dark fable. It redefined children's films. The director is a creative, par excellence. His vision, craft, skills with sound is all incomparable.

This movie is very well made, though the first half could be tauter. It’s layered, quick, grey, gritty and gutsy. The assistant director-turned-casting director Honey Trehan, 29, is responsible for pulling off the stunning casting coups in Kaminey- from making Bhardwaj's old tour operator friend based in Mussoorie, Tenzing Nima a.k.a. Momo, play a Nepali gangster, persuading Parinda and 1942: A Love Story writer Shiv Subrahmanyam to play the corrupt narcotics police officer, Lobo, to Amol Gupte, the writer of Taare Zameen Par and the surprise Bhope Bhau.

The male lead has done a brilliant job of the task assigned to him. the sincerity and effort are commendable! BRAVO Shahid!!!

a-n-d Ahmed Khan ROCKS Shahid Kapoor! this is ONE awesome pairing!!! 

The music is lovely and in keeping with Bharadwaj’s rooting in reality, takes the story forward. The less that is said about the sheer remarkableness of the flick, the better it is!

One special mention for the man who essayed the role of Shahids’ father! It was a pleasant surprise to see him on screen, after his touching portrayal as Shweta Prasad’s father in Makdee. A-N-D…the guy who played the younger Shahids….MY GOODNESS…WHAT GROWTH?!!!! Like the cliché goes…"bachcha bada ho gaya!” He was, of course, the cute and endearing ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ in Makdee!

PS: For a heart-warming insight into Vishal Bharadwaj, please click on…

August 28, 2009

uber narcissicistic!

प्रियम्वद राधिका!

रंगबिरंगी, खूबसूरत, प्यारी सी
तितली की तरह चंचल सी
एक अनजानी लड़की, अब बन गई है पक्की सहेली
राधिका रानी, जो अब है राधिका दीदी

उछलती, कूदती, levitate करती
एक पक्के मन की लड़की
करती है हर एक काम ...
अपने मन की सुनती

जिसके संग रहकर
मैं मैं हूँ, और वो वो
कोई ढोंग कोई दिखावा
बस अपनापन बिना छलावा l

उम्मीद थी, एक साँवली सी
dungarees और black tee में घूमती यह लड़की
मेरे इतने करीब होगी
वह भी इतनी जल्दी

अब जो हो,
तो मैं खुश हूँ
हमेशा यूँ ही रहना
प्यारी, थोड़े गुस्सेवाली, लाड करती,
vibes-conscious मेरी बहना
जा रही हो कई कि.मी. दूर
पर दिल से जाना
हमें जाने को कहना

आती रहना,
बतियाती रहना
जीवन में जो भी करो ... सफल होना
यही हमारी कामना .. हमेशा खुश रहना!

-कोमल अग्रवाल

this blogger would like to thank the very sweet author of this poem from deep down under. i'll not lie...i'm way beyond the cirro-stratus!!! to Komal...MUAH!!!

August 1, 2009


A reality show *ing MJ

Put together a few real characters. Mix it with some logical [or so-called?!] sequence of events. Stir in a li’l bit of drama. Garnish with a peppy sound-track. And VOILA! What have we?! A veritably identifiable product acting as a mirror to OUR [read as educated, ambitious, globalised and err.. ‘realistic’] times.

This is a story spanning 4 years in the life of a pair of young adults, who dare to dream and can go to any lengths to convert them into reality. ANY lengths? Well…that’s what the climax suggests! Some dream are clear and obvious, others are hazy. It’s the hazy ones that mislead us into believing that ONLY the dreams which are crystal clear are meant to be realized, not others.

LOVE AAJ KAL is a some-what poignant story of MEERA and JAI [MJ!] who are fair enough to breakaway from ‘love’ to pursue their professional dreams. But do they REALLY take a break?! The movie has a contemporary feel and is a telling tale of the times that we live in. it’s all about being ‘instant’! In the pursuit of this instant gratification, one may push to the back sources which seemingly create obstacles in the achievement of our dream and consequent gratification. Ironically, it IS these sources that we derive support from, not just instant but also long-lasting!!!

The lead stars are affable and the on-screen chemistry between them is striking. The dimpled and dainty damsel proves a striking match to the effervescent Khan. Saif, of course, has mastered this art from his first solo hit “Hum Tum”. Only JAI is more fickle, and obviously a very ‘today’ guy!!! He looks a li’l old for his character, though.

Deepika, as always, is lovely and a pleasure to watch…whiff of fresh air! Duds like CC2C [she worked very hard for it] n Bachna Ae Haseeno [a self-proclaimed hit] have done little to stop this beauty from establishing a firm foothold in the film industry. The styling for her character [by Anahita Shroff Adajania] is true-to-times. A very wearable fashion and minimal make-up, add more certainty to the reality of Meera’s character. My favourite is the peach-coloured chiffon wedding-saree. Absolutely STUNNING..both..the outfit..AND..the wearer!!! but even before that, there is the adorable yellow mini [see image]...this one's on top of the 'to-buy' list!!!

Dialogues of the movie are crisp and devoid of any OTT theatrics, a characteristic feature of most previous hindi movies. Times have been successfully shown changing via ROCK ON and similar movies.

To conclude… a VERY watchable flick. though the first half of the movie is quite slow and not much's picks up well in the 2nd half! Usage of streety hindi dialogues in some places adds oodles of authenticity to the on goings. The old joke of ‘mango man’[aam aadmi] has been immortalized on screen as ‘mango ppl’ [aam junta/log]!

One song which perfectly suits the gist of this movie... MY HEART WILL GO ON...

July 10, 2009

Missing SK


long before a film is's music n trailers hit the airwaves...trying to entice the viewers and seduce any unsuspecting individual into watching the film after it's released!!!

such is also the intention of the soon to-be released LOVE AAJ KAL directed by the very spunky Imtiaz Ali. relying on his previous cinematic ventures AND the buzz around this movie, it's definitely gonna be worth one watch AT LEAST!!!

but what makes this blogger squirm the track "TWIST". and one person who'd surely be twisting n turning in his grave with disgust is Mr. Hemant Kumar...the music director of 'mann dole mera tann dole'...which has that VERY famous 'nagin' tune.'s not his own compostion that he's regretting NOW. it's the blatant plagiarisation of tht tune and it's incorporation in "TWIST".

oh! n this blogger has a few more grudges against the song!!! Pritam...the music director of LOVE AAJ known for his foot-tapping compositions. what he's also known for, on the sly, is copying tunes!!! THAT is one fact which is not really publicised! a simple example wud be the track "yeh ishq hai" from JAB WE MET. it's been copied from a number in some foreign language. go figure!!!

that Imtiaz and Pritam wanted to recreate the "Mauja" magic is quite ostensible from the visuals of this track. WHO can forget the awesome video of Shahid doing some mean moves in "Mauja hi Mauja" from Jab We Met?!!! that song was an INSTANT hit, a chart topper, and STILL rocks on the club scene. it was SO well-loved that posters of the movie..printed in Punjab had Pritam's surname as 'Singh'. the music director was stumped, 'coz he's actually "Chakraborty"! he was then told that the people thought the music director OUGHT to be a punju since he made something so authentically punjabi as 'mauja hi mauja'. Shahid being a trained dancer [from Shiamak's] helped the choreographers Bosco-Caesar in giving him very appealing steps.

where TWIST falters, is the conscious attempt made by Pritam to do something EXACTLY like Mauja. it's very difficult to recreate the same magic. and WHY does one have to? doing a song from that genre is NOT the only way of creating a foot-tapping number and knowing it'll be a hit. and what makes it the fact that Saif Ali Khan can obviously not dance! n he himself admitted to having two left feet!!! PLUS...his face looks Botox-ed AND his movements don't have fluidity which makes the attempt look clumsy!!!

these people should have opted for someone who's an actual dancer and then had an item song in the flick. anyway, TWIST is part of the end WHO needed Saif to show off his not-so-smooth movements?!

also, the song's composition itself doesn't have much to make it sound distinguishable. TOO much of beats, make it sound somewhat fuzzy. it's a very cluttered soundtrack. probably the only recongnisable bit about the song is the 'nagin' tune!!!

ideally, i wouldn't wanna listen to it...or dance on it, for tht matter!!! BUT...the latter's probably not gonna happen...'coz seems like the song has caught up n wud be least for sometime...on the DJ circuit.

Imtiaz n Pritam..i can only wish u guys ALL THE BEST for ur next venture together. we hope u come up with some better musical creations!!!

May 10, 2009

Mum's the wor(l)d!


ALL mothers ARE “working” mothers!!!

Today…as we celebrate MOTHER’S DAY, the blogger stand vindicated of its belief articulated a few years back. Times are truly changing. As we ‘progress’… the path to enjoy the choice exercised by you is increasingly being paved with support and understanding. Yours truly had once said, when MY generation decides to enter motherhood, it’s going to be much easier for us to do it OUR way.

Presented here is an article from TIMES LIFE, a supplement of the SUNDAY TIMES OF INDIA which explores the gradual paradigm shift in the traditional notions of ‘motherhood’. As we move with the times, it REALLY symbolizes the essence of ‘progress’…and gives us a very clear picture of times to come.

Mom alone

Unwed, single, scared and yet brave — the new-age Mother's Day embraces motherhood of all kinds. Sreemoyee Piu Kundu explores


WOMEN nurture a Cindrella Syndrome — a loving husband, kids and a picture perfect home. But as a single mom, I’ve learnt that you don’t always need a Prince Charming to walk into the sunset!” That’s 32-year-old Parul Toria, single parent to a teenaged son, talking. Parul is just one of the many single moms who are redefining the very definition of parenthood in a contemporary urban scenario.


The twilight zone of single moms is a fortified universe guarded by maternal pride, and the need to be a material and emotional provider. “Single parenting is daunting, involving multitasking at all levels,” adds actress Pooja Bedi, single mom to 11-year-old Aalia and nine-year-old Omar. Thankfully, social acceptance is forthcoming. Kalyani Chawla, VP, Christian Dior, India, and a single mother feels, “There’s great respect for women who’re working to support themselves and bring up children as single moms. Once you can afford to take care of yourself and your children emotionally, on your own, more than financially, you find ground for great pride and self-worth. Today, women are financially independent. You don’t need a man anymore to fulfil a false sense of security.”


The rise in urban divorce rates coupled with redefined gender rules has transformed modern-day motherhood from a biological obligation to a 24-hour job. “In the past, a single mom raised her kid in the cocooned shelter of her parents’ home. Now, with nuclear homes and working women — it’s a challenge — spending quality time with the child and also being a pro at work. The struggle is more internal now,” holds Parul.
Single moms grapple with the void in their own lives too. Divya Khanna, a single mom to her 11-year-old daughter Megha adds, “Immediately after divorce, moms want to vent their frustration and the child is all she has. But, one needs to cultivate a positive support system and not badmouth the father in front of the child as it instills negative emotions.”
Teething problems apart, single moms are up for the challenge. Lecturer Sunaina Lal, who discovered she was pregnant two months after being dumped by her fiancé, recalls, “I was scared. At 30, being an unwed, single mom wasn’t on life’s agenda. When I decided to keep my child, a lot of people pitied me saying, ‘God will take care of your child.’ Their condescending attitude made me feel my child was being singled out. Wanting a baby puts a woman in control of her destiny and it’s a decision to be lauded!”


In the humdrum of daily life, only the fittest survive. Meena Sharma, a teacher and a single mom to an eight-year-old son says, “I separated when Akash was only nine months old. I jumped jobs — lured by better pay and flexi-timings. Even today, many employers say my resume is choppy — but they don’t realise single moms aren’t like regular employees. We have to pay bills, attend PTA meetings and rush home if our child has fever.”
TV actress Achint Kaur, who separated when her son was three adds, “I customised my work schedule to accommodate my son’s every need. I rarely accepted outdoor schedules and worked only for 15-18 days a month. During and before his board exams, I informed my producers that I wasn’t available. Being professionally productive ensures people understand.” Yet one can’t deny the inherent pull at a mom’s heartstrings. Kalyani adds, “My daughter’s principal said, ‘Don’t feel guilty about being a working mother, every teacher teaching your daughter is one.’”


Most single moms grapple with disciplinary issues walking the fine line between indulgence and maternal love. “Usually parents balance each other out — while one’s strict, the other pampers. I’m the softer one and thus handling Megha’s rebellious bouts is tough,” admits Divya, adding, “Her dad always meets her outside, taking her to malls and coffee shops and spoiling her with shopping sprees. Their visits are more like dates. He doesn’t realise the impact it has.”
Is it wise then to keep the father out? Meena says, “Till my son was four, he never knew what a dad was. But, one day, after watching a man leave for work on a scooter, he asked, ‘Is that dad?’ It was time to mend
fences. I called my ex after years. Today, I know there’s someone there, apart from me, on whom my son can depend on.”
Sunaina adds, “My 10-yearold daughter once asked, ‘Do you miss dad?’ Initially, I said, ‘No, ma loves you, dad’s far away.’ But I couldn’t sleep for nights. I hadn’t disclosed my pregnancy to my ex. But, I’d wondered if knowing he was going to become a father may have changed his mind. I had to face my own demons. I traced him, mailing him pictures of Apsara. For months, there was nothing. And then one evening, I got a call from Dipin — a much married father of two daughters settled in Delhi. He even visited us, offered monetary help, but I refused knowing he wouldn’t be able to come clean to his family and that seemed hypocritical. I was scared of Apsara’s response — but her strength amazed me. After he left, she hugged me saying, ‘Ma, are you okay?’ It was a moment of retribution.”


Filling in a father’s shoes is no mean task. But Chawla says, “Create dedicated moments with your l’il one.” Psychologist Seema Hingorrany adds, “Single moms try to compensate lack of quality time through materialistic spoils. But, being there emotionally is the key.”
Meena says of her bonding ritual, “Every four months we go for a small holiday. Sundays too are reserved just for us — we cook, play board games and dance.”


A lot of single moms shy away from finding love for themselves. “The fear of being exploited again and the impact it can have on kids keeps love out,” says Seema. Meena adds, “Lots of men think it’s cool to date a single mom. But what most guys don’t realise is that a single mom can’t just go out on casual dates at the drop of a hat. I have to look out for my son first.”
Pooja, who was seeing choreographer Haneef Hilal feels, “Expose your kids to the people in your life. Even today, there’s no bitterness between Haneef, me and my kids, post our split. Kids need to know that love and respect exist between their mom and the men in her life, whether or not the relationship sustains.”


Being the perfect single mom is an uphill journey. But, the rewards overshadow the regrets. “Being a single mom isn’t as burdensome like films and serials portray — yes, there are moments when you face social pressure, rebellion from your child and professional dilemmas, but the joys of knowing you are their hero is unparalleled. Last year, on Mother’s Day, Apsara was awarded the best allrounder trophy in school and upon being asked whether she missed a dad, she just pointed at me saying, ‘That’s my dad!’ What’s bigger than that?”