March 12, 2010



The film begins with elaborate animated sketches talking about interesting and humorous
stuff. The story-line is simple and there are not too many twists and turns. Of course, beneath the perceieved simplicity lies a sharp depiction of today’s times. We have the quintessential urban couple, both of whom work and have a small child. Their life is sufficient, and gets upturned with the arrival of a ‘guest’.

What ensues are sweetly funny moments. No over-the-top comedy for this one. It believes in restrained humour and succeeds in that attempt. Director Ashwini Dhir has done a good job with the visualization of the scenes. The association with Warner Bro.s has been highly beneficial and can be seen in the neatly animated scenes which intersperse the narrative. Some scenes are shot from unusual camera angles, and have the viewer glued to the screen.

Being inspired from a story of the famous Hindi satirist SHARAD JOSHI, there is a take on the major controversies of recent past. It is, of course, done subtly and do not fail to tickle the viewer. For example, reference to medicines having animal fat and bones, ‘savitabhabhi’, the goon financing a movie, kitschy film set and many more! What takes the cake, though, are the songs based on old hindi songs’ tunes. The best is the ‘bhajan’ which is set on the tune of a recent and popular item song, as is often seen in the real world too!

Styling of all the characters is very well done. They seem utterly identifiable and there is a healthy combination of reality and exaggerated imagination. All the actors have played their parts really well. My Mom especially LOVED the acting of Konkona SenSharma!!! Also, Commendable is the acting of Ajay Devgn, who manages to do a very convincing job in this ‘regular’ role, with his average and usually brooding face!

The larger theme of the film does not get lost upon the audience. Yes, a lot of today’s people may find it boring. But, if you appreciate subtlety and gentleness, this film is worth a watch. It also mirrors the common sentiments of today’s urban populace on various levels.

Kudos to the producer Amita Mangat for undertaking this job at such a young age. And she’s humbly added a ‘thank you’ in the beginning to the entire cast and crew for finishing the whole film in 4 months flat. Now, that’s impressive! The blogger could not help noticing a senior from College doing a bit role in this film. She’s Mansi Multani, last spotted in a smaller role in PYAAR IMPOSSIBLE. I hope her next film has a longer role. Long time before she does meatier stuff!

दिल तो बच्चा है जी ...!


The famous literary genius Gulzar needs no introduction in India. And after ‘Jai Ho’ getting the Oscar in 2009, he doesn’t need much of an introduction in most parts of the world! This blogger had the blessed opportunity to be in his august company [with a host of other people] at an event in the national capital.

The Delhi University South Campus organized “A DAY WITH GULZAR SA’AB”, hosted by their INSTITUTE OF LIFE-LONG LEARNING. It was an apt choice of personality in keeping with the spirit of the Institute. Gulzar Sa’ab truly embodies the spirit of ‘learning’ in every sense of the word. An unassuming man of small height, he was simple dressed in a crisp white kurta and white pants. Not entirely devoid of colour, he teemed these with golden mojris having long pointed toes.

The event began with an introduction by the head of DUSC suggesting of Gulzar Sa’ab being a ‘mathematician’. Interestingly, this professor then went on to prove HOW Gulzar was actually a mathematician, albeit in poetic terms! ! The most touching part of this talk was the ‘turning point’ mentioned by him. It was Tagore’s poem “THE GARDENER”. Gulzar Sa’ab’s voice is very composed, grounded, as of one who has seen a lot in this world. This rich experience though does not prevent him from maintaining a child-like inquisitiveness and being a perpetual student.

The blogger noticed the deep respect he has for stalwarts of Hindi cinema whom he holds in high esteem and touched his ear-lobe every time he took an important name. He admitted to considering Bimal Roy as his ‘guru’ and narrating why he does so. The lucid, crisp and interesting description of his journey through the alleys of literature and cinema kept us all spell-bound.

This was followed by a panel discussion on “THE WORD AND THE IMAGE: Cinema, Literature, Culture.” For Gulzar Sa’ab, definitely, the ‘image’ comes first. This can be clearly understood while studying his lyrics as well as films. The word is a mere medium for articulating the thought process. Cinema is a medium that communicates through images. He compared his state to that of a lid on a boiling pan of water. The steam compels you for an expression. Expression arises from the desire to share and there is immense beauty in simplicity.

Being a creative person, he is beyond fixed domains. Artists cannot be, or rather should not be apolitical. As members of society it is their duty to express via art, and provoke too! The subjects of Gulzar Sa’ab’s movies, stories and poetry are a testimony to him practicing what he preaches! The discussion was so riveting, that the entire hall was on their feet, applauding for this greatly simple man. And yes, for the second time ever, this blogger gave a standing ovation to the ‘man of the day’.

Post-lunch, there was a poetry reading session. This definitely had the most heart-wrenching moments of the day. The layers of meaning, evoking vivid imagery and deeply sensitive themes, all tugged at the listener’s heart. Gulzar Sa’ab also has an admirable sense of earthly humour. लाजवाब चुटकियाँ लीं उन्होंने!!! His unassuming and humble demeanour are an important component of his ethereal charm.

To borrow from one of the speakers, this interaction was not just about that facet of Gulzar Sa’ab which is today best known. It was also delved into the realms of History, Economics, Mathematics, Literature and the indomitable human spirit. Gulzar Sa’ab brought with him this aura of positivity and calm. It was a fairly small [around 150-200] crowd and most, if not all, were charmed by his unassuming sense of humour and simplicity!


Rang BARSE!!!:D!!!


Holi is an important marker in the Hindu calendar. Different parts of the country have various significances associated with this date. But, for a kid…it is…simply… The festival of colours!!!

This blogger has tried to be at a different location for Holi every year, for the past couple of years. It always is a pleasant experience because EVERY place has its own unique ‘feel’ of Holi!!! This year, we headed to the famed and haloed campus of the JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY, New Delhi for being coloured!!!

It was an entirely dry ‘playing’, except for being sprinkled with some water by a young cousin. The festival had a somewhat ‘grown up’ feeling for us this time. It felt great saving a lot of water by not playing wet Holi. Of course, that also meant not having too much of residual colours on the skin!

While heading back home, we shared the auto-rickshaw with a Professor from Poland. He was all ga-ga over the festivities and colours! Someone told him that THIS playing in the campus was ‘civilised’. And he was wondering how would ‘uncivilised’ be then! Well, I gave him ample examples of how rowdy and crude could it get!

In conclusion, we had a nice, short and sweet ‘Holi’. It was truly 'RANG BARSE'...and no 'bheegi chunar'!!! NOTHING beats the Surat experience, though! The options for next year are
already being contemplated!

PS: That guy was a Prof. of Sociology and Anthropology!!! Yes, we had common stuff to talk about !:P!

March 6, 2010


HINDUJA VENTURES has made inroads into the Indian film industry with their film, TEEN PATTI. Amitabh Bachchan is the show-stealer. It’s a click flick with a skewed script! First-time director, LEENA YADAV has not done a very good job of narrating this thriller. Many scenes have shoddy camerawork and do not establish the location well. Songs in the film are nice, but OUT OF PLACE!!! There is the Brazilian bombshell Maria Gomes gyrating suggestively in an item number.

The ‘Casting Director’ of this film should have been named the ‘Networking Director’. Most of the cast belongs to the ilk which hobnobs with the Hindujas in London and Bombay. So we have everyone from super-model Saira Mohan to writer Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghavi showing off their ‘acting’ skills in whatever screen time they get. Ben Kingsley is BIG waste with nothing much to do! Maybe he DID have a lot to do, at least to establish his character, but that go chopped off on the editing table!:P!

The rest of the actors, new-comers…do a not-very-convincing job with their immature acting. It looks like they’ve ‘learnt’ acting and are now off to show their skills in this movie! it’s a just-about-okay film. The blogger has been told that ‘21’. The original in English from which this flick is inspired, is a better watch!


My Name is...

The Great Bard had famously said… “WHAT’S in a NAME?!” Well, if we were to look in the contemporary world around us, there’s a LOT in every name. If it wasn’t enough in India, for sur-names to symbolise people’s caste and the whole baggage it carries, we now have a terror-struck globe. MY NAME IS KHAN is a contemporary tale of how there’s a LOT in a name.

This is a refreshingly different movie from the DHARMA stable. Quite a respite from Karan Johar’s usual candy-floss style of cinema with designer brush strokes! This one’s designer too, but it got a lot more depth beyond the beautiful visual imagery! This film marks the turning of a radically new leaf in the careers of both SRK n KJo. It can be read as both these powerful people taking a stand in their larger responsibility towards the society at large.

It’s the journey of Rizwan Khan, in a world not-so-kind to differently-abled people. And matters get worse after the WTC is perished in the 9/11 air attacks. Khan suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. He cannot look straight into the eye while talking, stammers a little, has slight learning difficulties and other pet peeves but is resolute, nevertheless! The film keeps the viewer riveted, though the second half is a tad stretched.

The scene which struck the blogger was one where Khan throws his pebbles at a doctor in a mosque. This is symbolic of the stoning of the Satan, an integral part of Islamic tradition. The subtle incorporation and powerful portrayal of such a lore is deeply appreciated.

Kajol is as endearing as ever, and the lovely long jackets enhance her persona. SRK, for a change, REALLY goes way deep beyond the character’s skin. All other actors have done a fair job of justifying their roles. This film is a good example of the triumph of the just human spirit over all forms of prejudice and injustice.

In conclusion, this blogger believes that it is important to record the various happenings in society, in a variety of perspectives. Cinema is a very powerful medium to store what is tomorrow’s history. An array of narratives projecting the impact of the one common event is extremely necessary to have a rounded picture. KUDOS TO KJO n the entire MNIK team!:D!