Sunday, January 6, 2013

RIP Indian Cricket! The golden goose has been killed!

This article is kind of forced on me. As flattering as it is for people to ask for your views, I don't write about anything in which I don't find humor and clearly there is nothing humorous about Indian cricket at the moment. Before I begin, as a sort of prologue, allow me to mention that the views expressed henceforth could be incorrect, inaccurate and biased. So pardon my innocence at places where we differ in opinion because I'm not a cricket expert and notwithstanding what you think, nor are you!

So let's discuss what's plaguing our favorite sport. A few usual suspects immediately come to mind: IPL, Brand Campaigning (Commercials), BCCI, Bad Attitude, Dhoni.

IPL: I think it's safe to assume that everybody thinks now that IPL is EVIL! So much so that even Gavaskar has started saying that openly, despite being its patronizer in the past. But what exactly is wrong with IPL? Is it the huge money involved which makes players put playing for the country lower in the priority list? Is it the glamour factor which gets to the players' heads and lure them to loose focus from the real job ? Is it the rash nature of the game which leeches the players' techniques ? Is it the irresponsible scheduling of the tournament which attracts players from all around the globe to ditch their own national cricketing boards and come to IPL like zombies ? It's a homogeneous mix of all of the above. But what were all the caretakers of cricket doing until now? Where was the cricketing acumen of our so-called GOD like cricketers when they were themselves playing in the IPL. Isn't it a fact, that for the last couple of years Tendulkar played ODIs selectively but played IPL religiously? Isn't it a fact that all of Dravid, Laxman, Kumble and Ganguly were dying to get a piece of IPL ? I can understand if a newcomer who has recently become a part of the Indian team to play IPL because if he says no to IPL then he can kiss his position in the team a good-bye; but what held our iconic four back ? What scared them? Ganguly had even retired from international cricket, then why didn't he oppose ? Wasn't there even one son of a gun who had the balls to take a stand. Why didn't Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, who think they are the guardians of Indian cricket, boycott the IPL ? And if they didn't back then, then why raise all this hue and cry now ? Maybe we got tricked cos we aren't experts, but what blinded the aforementioned luminaries ? I couldn't recall anybody except Bishen Singh Bedi who opposed IPL from the word go.

Clueless Management: Every hardworking
person's nightmare!
BCCI: Clearly no cricket fan has BCCI officials' pic in a heart shaped photo stand next to the bed. They are the root-cause of all that's troubling Indian cricket. Afterall they are businessmen. Have you ever seen Rajeev Shukla? Nobody can even remotely relate him to anything that moves swiftly and exudes energy, leave aside cricket! In my experience of six years in the IT domain, I have come to realize that playing under BCCI is pretty much like working as a software engineer. In the IT domain, technology changes ever so frequently and by the time a person reaches top management, he has no clue of the latest technology his engineers are working on, but still goes on willy-nilly calling the shots; BCCI officials probably aren't even aware of the number of players that constitute a cricket team!
For all the cribbing and complaining that we do, 'Improving Indian Cricket' is no where even close to BCCI's To-do list. We have grown old requesting for bouncy pitches at-least for domestic cricket, haven't we? However BCCI knows damn well how to flash money and buy people. Hell even Kapil Dev succumbed to that and came back wagging his tail for the amnesty money!

Brand Campaigning: Quite a contentious subject this. Should cricketers be banned from indulging in Ads? Well Gavaskar did it with Dinesh Suitings and so did Tendulkar with Visa, Pepsi, Action, Coca Cola, Boost, Canon, Sunfeast, Castrol, MRF, Toshiba, AVIVA Life Insurance, TVS, Luminous, Reynolds, Airtel, Britannia, Adidas, Colgate-Palmolive, Philips etc etc. But they were the great ones! They could probably juggle with glamour and cricket at the same time but expecting Rohit Sharma to ad for Anal Nasal Spray and excel in cricket at the same time is probably asking for too much. For God's sake atleast stop those phony ads before the start of a series: 'Aane Do', 'Badla Series', 'Agneepath' etc.  

Bad Attitude: If you are from Delhi, then you better skip this section because all the four Delhites in the current team are responsible for the bad attitude and uncalled-for arrogance. We will not even get into discussing Kohli owing to the non-adult nature of this blog. But lets see the other three princes. 

Firstly the Nawab of Najafgarh. The guy considers bending low in the slips as something derogatory! Fitness is taboo according to the Nawab. Under the garb of being an attacking batsman, our Nawab goes around playing with utter recklessness. Probably he has never heard of the name Gayle. To top it all is the attitude: teaming up with his other loser friend Gambhir and ganging up against Dhoni. At-least, 2-3 years back he used to score a hundred on the first day of the series and relax for the rest of the series, now even that looks like asking for too much! Add to that, the smile on his face which just doesn't goes away. Fooling around with the on-field umpires, having a hearty chit chat in the pavilion when the team is getting raped in the middle. Of-course that doesn't stops Ravi Shastri from repeating in almost every match without fail: 'Sehwag is a very dangerous batsman. He can destroy any bowling attack on his day.' Unfortunately like the leap day of February 29, that day comes once in four years. And what exactly people mean when they say he is a big player. Bloody hell! How can a player be big when he fails miserably for 7-8 test matches straight, under such embarrassing circumstances !

I remember when Gambhir debuted, Shastri said that he is the best player of spin in the country. I thought that it was a pretty big thing to claim, given that we had Sachin, Dravid, VVS all actively playing then. But Shastri was right, Gambhir was indeed exceptional in playing spin, but again that Delhi-Ka-Garam-Dimaag! And also he has the added responsibility of bringing down the skipper. That's too much on his plate at the moment. But that doesn't stops him from giving arrogant statements like: "Sehwag and mine has been the best opening pair for the country in the last so-n-so years.." and "We should have tried to finish the match earlier!"

I don't blame Jadeja as much as Sehwag and Gambhir cos he has neither talent nor skill. Although I hate him for an altogether different reason (I don't like his face). 

The post is getting too lengthy and in my honest opinion, Jungleboy Ishant Sharma, even with all that height and hair, doesn't deserves the mention. Has been playing for such a long time, still gets smashed all around like a net bowler but doesn't fails to get into an abusive argument with a kid half his height (read Kamran Akmal).

Dhoni: This is where I get (probably) biased. My respect for him comes because of many factors. A) For a natural stroke player like him to adapt the way he has is commendable. Ask Yuvi and Viru and they will tell you about this. B) I admired the way he handled Yuvi when he was made the captain. Remember it was Yuvi who was supposed to succeed Dada and when Dhoni was made the skipper, had he not handled Yuvi in a mature way, giving him all the respect (Yuvi being a dominant player that he is) then the civilization as we know, would have collapsed. C) Close your eyes and think about McGrath, Lee, Steyn, Morkel, Shoaib Akhtar, Asif, Aamir, Gul, Anderson, Finn. Now open your eyes and close it again, only this time think about the bowlers that Dhoni has at his disposal: (Pregnant looking pace spearhead) Zaheer, (polio infected) Nehra, Munaf (muahahahahahaha), (Angry useless man)Sreesanth, Joginder Sharma (ROFL), (Baal Ki Dukaan) Ishant Sharma, (Stylishly cheap) RP Singh, (Gareeb Aadmi) Dinda, (Sir) Ravindra Jadeja, (Undergrown) Piyush Chawla, (Gutkha Chewing) Amit Mishra.... I think you got the point! Every new season, the set keeps changing like Sonu Nigam's name's spelling.

Yes, his love for Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja is baffling. Yes, he doesn't have the technique to play test cricket in overseas condition. Yes, by accepting to Keep, Captain and Bat in all four formats of cricket, he has bitten more than he can chew. Clearly he has been overloaded, looks tired as if he hasn't slept for years. If there is one autobiography that I'm waiting to read, it's that of Dhoni's. If he chooses to spill the beans then it would be very interesting to know how he to (probably unwillingly) dance to the tunes of BCCI; how he has to deal with the egos of Viru, Gauti and Yuvi; how sooner he realized that being diplomatic is the only way to deal with BCCI; how frustrating it was to captain a team full of girlish bowlers and donkey fielders.

But dude if you think that Dhoni is the problem with Indian cricket then please tell me what you are smoking? No seriously, tell me, because whatever it is, trust me, it's of the finest quality! Dhoni is easily the best ODI player in the world.Period.

I think, as non-cricket-experts, we can do as much i.e. analyse, complain and crib. I believe kicking Bhajji out was a step in the right direction. But rest assure T20 cricket is here to stay, the earlier we make peace with this fact, the better it is. The quality of cricket, like other contemporary arts and sports, will gradually diminish, not just in India but all around the world. Commitment is all we ask! 

P.S. I'm sure almost everybody that reads this write-up would defer with me on atleast one point or the other, particularly since I highlighted THE GOD in a sort of negative way and Dhoni in a positive way. I am game for a civilized discussion in the comments section. Every Indian has his own playing XI, isn't it?

P.P.S. I wrote two more articles in the past when I was similarly distressed with our cricketers. Have a look, if you haven't already:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Indian Traffic: Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason!

I heard somewhere from someone that somebody said: "You show me the roads of a country and I will show you the soul of that country." I think we can safely discount that that 'somebody' hailed from India else he would have been accused of racism. Moreover, in case of India, I'm sure the soul will be wearing a 'Under Construction' t-shirt, which will be white in color as that's what Ramsay Brothers have taught us from our childhood. 
♫ .. Teri Meherbaniyan .. 

Traffic-Road situation in India is just not an ordinary situation like (putting my Congress cap on): increasing cases of farmer-suicides or rising number of rape cases in high testosterone regions like Delhi and Haryana. It's more like a Joint Entrance Exam to Dronacharya's Gurukul: It tests your respect for someone's privacy in how you bypass humping cattle (without disrupting the process); It tests your patience in how you react when you see a local bus holding up the traffic for hours in the thinnest of lanes; It tests your civility in how calm you can be when an Uncleji who was supposed to go straight is waiting for the green light blocking the free-turn; It tests your sense of hygiene in how you avoid running over an otherwise well-placed animal (and also human if you are nearby Kanpur railway station) excreta; It tests your respect for the law of the land in how you control yourself from taking a road which was until last night not a one-way; It tests your belief in God in how skillfully you save yourself from running over the neembu-mirchi (Lemon-Chilly) black-magic combination. The list is endless and unfortunately, nobody comes out of this exam as an Eklavya or Arjuna of the Mahabharata fame, but more like Arjuna Ranatunga after a long day's play- a very tired-looking and frustrated man.

At this point you must understand that the one and only principle governing traffic in India is: 'You are always right'. Yes, YOU are always right. So what if you are going in the illegitimate direction in a one-way street; So what if you don't think it's important to put on the indicator light for some 'obvious' turns; So what if you honk the horn excessively or don't honk at all; So what if after multiple years of driving experience you still don't know the difference between Hi-Beam an Dipper, but you are always right! 

Now that we have gained the basic understanding, lets dive into the problem. Two things majorly constitute the traffic problem in India: First, the driver-unfriendly roads (and in some cases lands that should have been roads) and second the always-in-hurry drivers (Talking about auto-drivers is out of the article's scope. Kindly refer my upcoming book: 'Sons Of Chyawanprash').

I think it would be wise of us to assume for the sake of practicality that the first problem can't be resolved. I swear to God, some of the roads are so unroadly that even if somebody is not due for delivery may deliver one, a 'baby' I mean. So much so that travelling on such roads is the only cardio exercise that people do on a daily basis. Besides, there is this growing hobby of every resident to make a personal speed-breaker right outside his house. I'm surprised they haven't started putting their autographs on them already. Don't they understand that the two fundamental words involved in speed-breaker are 'speed' and 'break'! What will the latter do without the former? And if you escape all of this then our brave policemen will catch you for not wearing seat-belt!!

Whenever I see the pathetic condition of the roads in our country, I feel the same pain that I experience every evening when my cook asks: 'What would you like to have, Alu-Gobi or Bhindi?'. I feel the pain not because I love my country and all that crap, but because I have never been able to enjoy a good car drive. This was not the vision I had when I took that hefty loan from that chor I-see-I-see-I bank. I'm not even sure if the car manufacturer has indeed put the fourth and the fifth gears as promised in the manual. The gear stick shows the numbers but what if I put my car to fourth gear and a sound plays 'Sorry! We never thought that you would make it this far. Have you left the country'? To pile on the pain, every car ad on the TV shows people being all happy and glad, rushing on even, smooth roads punching a hole in my soul. They go even a step further and show people gliding past till they reach their room and park it there, and I couldn't even get to reach my apartment without loosening a couple of screws of my car in the process.

Probably the most mystifying thing plaguing our country is the road-repair plan prepared by the local contractors, if it is prepared at all. Consider yourself alien if you haven't seen the best road in your locality getting repaired repeatedly while the ones which were built before independence continue unattended.  

By the way, when was the last time you saw a zebra-crossing white stripes across the road and moreover people following it? Perhaps that's asking for too much. I guess as long as we don't see actual zebras crossing the road, we are good to go.

Needless to say that bad roads go hand in hand with huge traffic jams. Being in Bangalore gives you a lot of such funny situations when a person new to Bangalore plans going by the 'Suggested Time' in Google Maps. Poor Google! How in world will it guess that bus drivers here sit cross-legged on their seats, leaving just one leg to tackle all of clutch, break and accelerator. To make matters worse, there are these generous driving schools. The beauty about these driving schools is that they will be teaching some Auntiji how to drive an Alto right in the middle of the most busiest market. Talk about being thrown in at the deep end! And how about that drunk guy who starts acting as a traffic policeman after coming out of the bar!

So what can we do about this menace? As individuals we can't improve ourselves and become civilized as that goes against our DNA. We can't also expect our government to help in this regard, as it is always busy covering their own tracks. So I guess the only thing left is to make others life a living hell 
by not allowing to squeeze back people, who swing out of their way to overtake but on seeing an oncoming vehicle try to squeeze back in. That's pretty much it!

As an afterthought, people have often accused me of just cribbing about an existent problem without caring to offer a solution, you know with this being a public welfare blog and all. So this time in the spirit of Diwali bonus, I intend to provide the solution as well. So friends, Romans and countrymen, lend me your ears. The solution to this traffic menace is DANDA. No that is Dinda and he is neither an answer to Indian traffic problem nor Indian pace bowling problem. I meant DANDA as in lathi or stick. Let me quote an incident that happened a long long time ago i.e. when I was young and a college-goer. So there I was, waiting at a traffic signal on my gareebon-wali (Poorman's) Bajaj Platina bike along with many others when suddenly one of my college's local Bruce Lee decided to jump the bike on the footpath and proceed. Now that was nothing unusual, after-all some 'veer' people have earlier driven their vehicles on the footpath (with people sleeping on it). Seeing our Bruce Lee, myself with some others were also about to follow when out of nowhere, a policeman pounced on our Bruce Lee in a true Singham like fashion. In the next 15 seconds our Singham dished out Danda to our Bruce Lee's backside so viciously that he had to come to college in formals for the next fortnight.

Till this day, I haven't taken the footpath route on my vehicle. In-fact after that incident, I don't even walk on the footpath. I'm more than sure, that the Danda onslaught had a deep impact on others, like me, who were present at the scene. So that is how the Danda solution works. All the police needs to do is, deliver 1 danda subah-dopahar-shaam (Morning-Afternoon-Evening) on some wise ass for the next 30 days. In medical terms:

1---------------------1--------------------1  X  30 
(I worked for a short-while as a compounder too in a clinic when the IT industry was booming booming like the young Afridi)

You would be amazed to see the wild-fire-like speed with which the stories of such incidents spread and in turn straighten people for good. For instance, let's assume that at-least a million people will read this article and then share on Facebook, thus the article will reach at-least a billion people and go a long way in correcting this problem. 

So barring the wishful use of the words 'million' and 'billion', how did you like the idea in its entirety? Of-course I'm neither the son of a millennium superstar nor the husband of a former Miss World so why would you say 'What an idea sirjee!'.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Movie Review: Jab Tak Hai Jaan - Let's share the pain!

Ok this is going to be a quick and short one, in one single-shot, no edits, no rethinks, so pardon any typos, grammatical or otherwise, as the subject of this post is far from being flawless.

I was about to go to sleep but there was a feeling of restlessness, something was amiss. After 2 seconds of deep thinking I realized it was the movie 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' that I watched today which was not letting me sleep, which is quite strange because it literally chloroform-ed me into sleep many a times while the show was on. It had frustrated me to no end. So much so that I decided to come out of my retirement from writing movie reviews.

So here it goes, in a step-by-step fashion I will point out some of the goof-ups. I may miss some of them as for most of the part either I was sleeping or was waking up my friend from sleep or convincing him to 'let's get out of here'. Some of my time was also consumed in noticing that how many people are leaving the theater and at what point in the movie. Best was one Telugu family of 7 members which left within the first 15 minutes; surely they got the wrong screen, King of Bollywood cannot be that bad !
Sri Sri Sri Bomb Disposal Baba.

1) Movie starts with our dear SRK being shown as a member of garbage  bomb disposal squad who goes about his job without wearing any protection gear. Of-course he does wears fancy sunglasses and biker gloves cos Yashji wanted it to be that way. Thanks to his habit of smoking, SRK has already diffused 97-98 bombs with trembling fingers, thus earning him the title of 'Man who cannot die'. No No No ,don't take a deep breath now, time for that will come. Now is the time to sit back and laugh loudly for at-least 5 minutes.

2) On not even noticing carefully, one could easily observe that everytime SRK diffuses a bomb he is wearing a very expensive looking (probably Tag Heuer) watch. Of-course it's not a hidden secret that Indian Army pays its soldiers in millions of dollars.

3) Anushka Sharma enters the movie with a scene in which she is drowning in a small still lake. After half an hour she reveals to SRK that she is a national level swimmer and a deep-sea diver. Now that the Olympics riddle of India is solved, you can take a deep breath.

4) Anushka needs to make a documentary on 'Man who cannot die' (lol), so she is allowed to romance around the 'Man ..' while the 'Man ..' is busy diffusing bombs in the bomb-laden valleys of Leh.

5) Movie takes us into a flashback in London, where (time to sit and read) SRK is a 25 year old. By that calculation of time, Anushka's father would still be planning to propose her mother.

6) While in London, SRK works in a small time fish shop and in the free time, begs around the street by playing guitar and singing. Of-course that doesn't stops him from wearing some of the most scintillating outfits (Thanks to Yashji).

7) One of the customers of SRK's macchi-dukaan gets impressed for god-knows-what reason, and offers him the job of a waiter in a posh restaurant where SRK works in such groomed suit and wet-hair-combed-backwards as if he is just about to walk the red carpet at the Oscars (A distant possibility in real life).

8) It is at this posh restaurant only where the 25-year old SRK meets Kats (probably fresh out of the womb) and they hit it off. SRK takes no time to plant a kiss on Kats, something which I believe he originally did this movie for. Take that Salman, it's revenge time !

9) SRK meets a accident and is critical when Kats promises Jesus that if SRK survives then she will never meet him again. Normally an absurd logic but goes along well with this movie. Also Kats is shown a Punjabi but she visits churches on a strict basis.

10) When SRK regains consciousness, he gets completely pissed off (who wouldn't) with Kats newly made promise with Jesus: 'I'm ready to live without him if he is alive'

11) So SRK decides to prove Kats' concept wrong and joins Indian Army where he will play with danger on a daily basis. Of-course SRK could have eaten rat poison or jumped in front of a rushing train to prove the point, but that would have cut the movie short by approx 2.5 hours and we wouldn't have been made to pay for our sins of this life in this life!

12) Movie returns to the original story with the 'Man ..' diffusing bombs all over the place. Now, Discovery channel asks Anushka that for the documentary to be accepted they need to do some sort of phony fact-check. Of-course they could have sent a team for the authentication to Leh where SRK Baba used to reside but then how would have SRK traveled back to London.

13) So SRK goes to London and guess what, meets another accident. Good thing SRK doesn't stays in Kanpur. Anyway, so he suffers some sort of stupid memory condition in which (if you have gotten up then please be seated again) he has traveled back in time when he met the first accident, so essentially he has forgotten all about Anushka and thinks that his pairing with Kats is still on. Doctor asks Kats to comply accordingly and requests Anushka to get lost! You can stop reading at this point now if you want and I won't blame you.

14) So SRK and Kats start living like a happy couple and I think during this time, (if I wasn't asleep) SRK plants another one on Kats, to the utter dismay of Sallu. However, Kats was still stuck up with her promise to Jesus of not marrying SRK.

15) Kats is fed up by now and decides to quit the drama even after the doc pleads her not to do so. Of-course the doc is of Indian origin, wasn't that obvious in our movies? Anyway so the doc asks Anushka to appear back as this may bring the bastard's memory back. If at this point of time, you are asking yourself that SRK had seen Anushka after the 2nd accident, so if it didn't work then then how will it work now, then you don't know much about medical science so just shut up and read.

16) The pain could have ended here but Yashji had other plans. So one day SRK was at a metro station where there was a stampede owing to a bomb inside the train. Now please be brave for reading the next 2 lines. So, that bomb scare immediately brings SRK's memory back, making him recall the days when he was diffusing bombs like putting out past year leftover Deepawali-chakarghinnis. So SRK plunges into action right away, pushing away the crowd to diffuse the bomb in the presence of UK policemen. This is the same guy who gets stripped off in every international airport on a day-to-day basis, but in the movie, the UK POLICE ALLOWS A BROWN MAN TO COME NEAR A BOMB.

17) So now that SRK has regained his memory and with Kats not willing to change her promise, he decides to return to Indian Army (Yes, you can come and go anytime there) to play around with IEDs.

It was déjà vu all over again as I felt that I was watching Tara serial on Zee Tv which if I'm not mistaken completed 1000 episodes until Zee Tv itself got bored and blocked it I think. I left the theater at that point so not sure what happened at the end. Probably, Kats and Anushka married each other or whatever. Anyway, if you are a SRK fan, then you must be thinking that what kind of a loser I am who has nothing better to do in life. As true as that is, that's not the point. The point here is that our heads hang with shame, when we see the movies of Hollywood greats and compare them with SRK's (assumedly a Bollywood great). Also, I must shamelessly admit that my respect of a great film-maker has nosedived.

So that was it. A review after a long time, but JTHJ literally begged for it. Hopefully, I will not be needed to write another review. What? Dabangg2 is approaching?  

Friday, October 19, 2012

From सफ़र-ing to Suffer-ing !

I have never been a good traveler. Among other things that I'm bad at, I suck exclusively in travelling. Flight travel in particular pisses me off. Allow me to explain (in a Manish Tiwari way):

Just too much of BS: I am yet to make peace with the fact that for a flight time of 1-2 hours (which by the way costs you a fortune in holiday season), there is at-least 1-2 hours of BullShit accompanying it. It starts from the travel to the airport which will be located almost in a different city which means two things: First, you never go to drop anybody off, which in a way is a good thing unless you are fresh in love. Second, if you do have to indeed go for a drop-off then the traveling party will reach their homes before you return to yours. Of-course in case of such drop-offs, the dropper has to call the droppee and inform that he has reached his home safely. Weird!
Then comes the first circle of class-Z security, right at the entrance of the airport. This is mostly presided over by policemen, half of whom would look like candidates who have been requesting VRS for at-least 10-15 years but denied and the rest would look so weak and helpless that even polio would spare them.
This is followed by you becoming a mouse (for the first time in the day) and running through the maze-like queue at the ticket counter. Of-course if you are tech-savvy unlike me, then  you can do a web check-in from home, not from that computer at the airport cos that is just a showpiece to tell the foreigners that 'we know what's going on in the west..'
Now it's the time for you to become the mouse-in-a-haze for the second time - proceeding towards the security check. In this most painful part your laptop/phone will be x-rayed inside and you will be humiliated on the outside. Unless your sexual orientation is 'aligned' with that of Karan Johar's, you are not going to enjoy redoing school PT moves and the security guy touching you at inappropriate places (not necessarily in the same order).
Let me point out to you, a couple of incidents that happened with me right at the security podium where you climb up to be examined. 
In the first one, I was ready at the podium, all prepared to be 'touched' (reluctantly of-course), having removed coins and sunglasses and placed at the side. The security guy begins to check me when he notices the sunglasses on the side.
Security Guy: "These are a very good pair of glasses. Which brand is it? "
Me (in the arms-stretched position): "Ray-Ban"
Security Guy: "How much do these cost?"
Me (still in the arms-stretched position): "4700 bucks"
Security Guy: "Put them on. Let me see how they look."
Me (still in the arms-stretched position): "What !!"
Security Guy: "Yes. Put them on just for a minute."
Me (still in the arms-stretched position): "Sir, what are you talking about? There are dozens of people looking, I won't make a fool of myself!"
Security Guy: "I don't care!"
Me (still in the arms-stretched position): "WTF! The nerve of you son of a bitch!"

Of-course, I didn't actually say out the last dialogue else two years after, I would still be standing there in the arms-stretched position with the glasses on. But I guess we all have learnt that being a citizen of a country (which by the way is also world's biggest democracy) whose name is often preceded by the adjective 'incredible', there are some limitations.

Anyway, without getting into the details of how the incident ended, let me tell you about the second incident. This was around the time when there was some hoax warning by the terrorists about blowing up the Delhi airport or something, thereby calling for extreme security at the airport. Unfortunately one of the parts of that extreme security package was a huge sniffer DOG! So there I'm, all-ready to get down from the podium after being reluctantly touched yet again, when suddenly I noticed that a sniffer dog of the size of a lion is standing right at the top of the outlet of the X-Ray machine, just next to the conveyer belt. If that was not disturbing enough, I noticed that the dog was not even chained. NOT EVEN CHAINED !! Would you believe it !
West's idea of protecting their people

I hadn't known till then that turning the passengers into dog-food was Delhi police's idea of safeguarding them. The very sight of that monster made me run clumsily in the opposite direction, away from the podium and towards the metal detector gate creating a scene. 
Delhi police's idea of protection.
 (Notice the arms-stretched position)

Definitely not the proudest moment of my life.
Add to all of the above, the recurring Final-Destination thoughts that I keep getting whenever I'm at the airport; I start staring at all the people in the airport as if I'm seeing them for the last time. During one of such weird ogling sessions, the security-men got suspicious and re-checked me.

Pretentious Air Hostesses and Phony Pilots: First things first, have you ever heard of an air hostess with a name like Madhumati or Chandramukhi or Sita or Phoolwanti? No, you must not have (or maybe in Air-India you would have). But how is it possible that all the air hostesses get hot names like Tanya, Rita, Maya, Sheila, Ghazal? Add to that their phony accents: "Sir, would you like to have some watherr ..?" Besides the fact that they don't show any interest in people who decline to buy their 178 rupees panheer-parawtha just makes me hate them more.
All that attitude and what do they end up announcing? 'Save your data before shutting down the laptop'  Wow! How would the human civilization have survived without this precious of advice. If ever there was a contest of framing a sentence in which no thought has been put whatsoever, this one would go the distance. Or maybe this highly debatable one would pip the earlier to the post: 'In case of emergency, help yourself before helping others'.  
And while we are talking about bogus, pilots can't be left behind. I bet while at the flying school, each of the to-be pilots would be having just one dream: One day, I would be speaking on the microphone from the cockpit! You got to be deaf to not have noticed how coarse and heavy voices these pilots have, all of them! How is it possible? Do these people practice that? Or is it a part of their flying school curriculum? Or is it after all, the monkey business of covering the mic with a handkerchief? Whatever it may be, but do tell me if you hear a Tendulkar-like voice from the cockpit fellow. Even the pilots will have all fancy names. Ever heard:"Good evening ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot Chiraunji Lal accompanied by co-pilot Ghanshyam Prasad...". Ever? Besides what are these announcements good for anyway; bombarding the illiterate passengers like you and me with fancy cum scary jargon like nautical miles, altitude above sea-level, wind-speed etc.

Travelling with a Gujarati family: If your Shani and Mangal have decided to hump you on your day of travel, then you will find yourself sitting in the plane next to a Gujarati family. For the uninitiated, Gujaratis never travel alone. Yes, never, ever! You see them, you think as if the entire city is shifting. I had the misfortune of experiencing this the last time I was flying from Ahmedabad: Even before the flight took off, dhoklas started flying in the air across the aisle, fafdas started rolling on the floor, people started giggling hysterically, teasing each other, singing songs, even clapping. Clapping! Have you seen such a circus? It was as if the entire cast and crew of Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chasma has landed there.    

Shopping with the airline magazine: I see a lot of ridiculous things being sold in the airline magazines at even a more ridiculous price. One such item is a T-shirt with the airline name and tagline. What kind of a person would buy such a t-shirt? Do you ever go down the Vodafone store and ask for their sponsored t-shirts? If yes, then do let me know, because I have been thinking for a while to test the 'Filter Readers' facility available with this blog.

Tenacious Cabwallahs: How can one talk about the misery of a flight travel without making a mention of these hounds waiting for your blood on the outside of an airport. Of-course they would only appear hounds to you if you are  travelling on your own expense, because if you are traveling on your company's expense then you start behaving like SRK and Saif of Seagreams Royal Stag ad: 'Abhi aur kharcha karna baaki hai..'
Nevertheless, there is no doubt in my mind that Cabwallahs are the most connected people in our country. Haven't you noticed them blabbering the long list of things that they can get you. The more you avoid them, the longer the list gets and it mostly ends with you saying "What ! Get lost !" But there is no questioning their perseverance. Once a cabwallah almost convinced cum pushed me into a cab even though I was on my way to board the flight !

In case you are still reading, it's over <cue celebration music>.By the way what exactly was Deepak Tijori thinking in the movie Anjaam, when SRK informed him that he has started a new airline exclusively for him. 'Oh, I fly the plane soooo well ..' Dumbass!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What women must know about Men's daru parties!

There was a time not very long ago, when women would wonder, with the frustration of Sunny Deol's choreographer and Sunny Leone's photographer, both combined, that what is it that draws men to drinking; what is it that men start walking like zombies as soon as a friend invites them for a drinks party. Of-course most of them have stopped wondering now, as they themselves have started indulging, thanks to the 'Liberal Women' crap. But just in case there are still some left from the almost extinct 'Sati Savitri' species, let me inform them that it's not the quality or quantity of alcohol, but the drinkers and their mannerisms, that makes these binge parties a gents-magnet. Here are a few 'characters' and their 'mannerisms' that make a Daru-party the addiction that it is:

The Bartender: Rest assure that there has never been and shall never be a certified daru-party without this one friend who assumes the role of a bartender. Nobody knows what drives this guy to do it, perhaps little moments of feeling 'being-in-charge', but be as it may, everyone in the party instantaneously trusts his knowledge of peg-measurements. Clean glasses, ice-cubes, 30 ml, 60 ml, you name it, our bartender friend juggles them perfectly. Whats more, post 4-5 rounds, when all the so-called bevdas start ROFP (rolling on the floor puking), he is the only guy still making the dreaded pegs with uncompromising precision and motherly care (as in 'Vicky Donor'). Selfless bugger this one!

The Bania: Meeting long-lost friends after an eternity? College reunion? Stopping by for a quickie (drink I mean)? Celebrating a success? Mourning a loss? The occasion doesn't matters to this guy. The only thing that occupies his mind is that he should be able to drink/eat worth the money he had contributed in arranging the party. With this man on mission, there would be plenty of cheap situations like sudden disappearance of the salted-cashews,dry chilli paneer not completing one full round of the table etc. Everybody at the party are left wishing that this guy achieves his 'no losses incurred' mission as soon as possible, making way for normalcy.

The Singer: This guy waits restlessly for such gatherings, expecting people under the alcoholic influence to lose their judgement and ask him to sing. And once he starts, there is no stopping! From Kishore Kumar to Kumar Sanu, nobody is spared. Jokes apart, he is generally a good singer. A very potent cog in the daru-party wheel! 

The Host: For most part of the party, he is not a happy man, particularly if he is married and hosting the party in his wife's absence. I mean who would be happy watching his home sweet home turn into a sty within the space of a few hours. Like a maestro overseeing a musical performance, this guy manages the entire drinking-event, conducting businesses like ordering food, preparing salad, issuing guidelines like who should not be allowed beyond a certain number of drinks and, the most important of them all, who should be sitting closest to the wash basin. I am yet to see, in my glorified career as a distinct drunk, the host being the first to go down. Never! Also, invariably, he is the one to egg people to sing or recite a shayari. The Singer's favorite this guy, not surprising is it?

The Non-Drinker: Yes! There is almost always a non-drinker in the daru-party too, silently sipping a Pepsi in the corner, shooting a video. He may or may not be threatened instructed requested by his wife/GF to return sober. Although I must say that participating in a daru-party and not drinking is not easy, one fumble and the entire bevda group would be all over the guy, coming up with wise cracks like 'Abey, Pepsi chadh gayee kya?' It doesn't ends there. If there is a scarcity of chakhna or side-dishes then this guy is asked to adjust as the underlying principle of Nashebaazi dictates that the drinkers be given the first right to food. As if putting up with all the non-sense during the course of the party isn't enough, this guy (possibly in tandem with The Host) had to do all the cleaning-up and dropping off of bodies later.

The Tanker (or so he thinks): Another regular at daru parties. Thinks optimistically that some day 'drinking' will qualify to be a category in Olympics. He challenges everyone to drink more and pulls out of the hole those who are silently skipping pegs. He is also never short of letting lose some venomous remarks on The Non-Drinker for not drinking. Goes without saying that he is also the first one to go down and become a liability for The Host. He would frequently slip into (fake) philosophical mode, touching topics like 'How to keep your wife under control', 'Total recall of the gorgeous school teachers' or 'college time crushes who are now married to someone else and already a mother of two', nothing goes under the radar of this guy. You surely would have run into this kind of guy in daru-parties, you know the one who is barely able to walk at the end but insists: "Gimme the keys, I will drive." Always charged up, like the outermost shell electron (valence electron was it?)
Sri Sri Sri Johnnie Walker ko
 barambar pranam!

The Tanker (real one): As expected, he is just the opposite of his evil twin (the other Tanker). He goes about his business, peg after peg, in a very silent and professional way. No bragging, no challenging, no trash talk, just more daru!

The Romantic: The guy in love! He urges The Singer to let out the most romantic of songs (another favorite of The Singer). Most often than not he tests others' patience (particularly the fake Tanker), with his depressing and thoughtful talks. Although sometimes his deep talks have an opposite effect, bringing out crazy statements (mostly from the fake Tanker guy) like: "You love her right? Let's go, we'll kidnap her !" However, things take an ugly turn when The Romantic, after hours of whining, resorts to watching porn.

About the author: He is a qualified drunk who has already successfully presented a white paper challenging the 'Those who drink go straight to hell' ideology. He could be reached at numerous drinking joints during the weekend and the weekdays.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review-Cocktail: It's a cocktail of highs and lows !

First of all, I didn't watch Agent Vinod, but based on the feedback, I wouldn't blame those who are not ready to risk another Saif Ali Khan flick released in such close proximity to Agent Vinod. But fortunately that's not the case with Cocktail. It is truly a cocktail of some ROFL and some ultra-boring-and-slow scenes. Goes without saying that it is an impractical movie. I mean for people like Indians, who witness on a daily basis, at-least ten guys running after one half-decent gal, the fact that Saif was living with two such stunning (not to mention taller) chicks itself is a hypothetical situation. 

Nevertheless, the first half of the movie is genuinely funny, barring the first 15 minutes perhaps, which looked like part of some documentary 'Life Of A Punjaban In London'. To pile on, a very old-looking Saif delivering cliched lines like 'You believe in love at first sight ya main fir se ghoom kar aaun' didn't help the movie's cause. But if you survived the first 15 minutes then there is an incentive to follow. Enter Boman Irani and the movie turns watchable right away. He partners with Saif in the first half to create real magic producing some genuinely hilarious stuff. Boman was so good in the movie that for once I was tempted to forgive him for doing 'Shirin Farhad Ki Nikal Padi' with Farah Khan.

A well-played out role by Saif doesn't covers the fact that at nearly 42 years of age, with his daughter about to debut herself, he doesn't exactly looks a lady-killer anymore but what the heck! If a good-looking policeman like Chulbul Pandey could draw water from Champakal(handpump) then why go against Saif, after-all the guy treats women of all ages equally in real life too (No pun intended). Diana Penty looked gorgeous in her debut film although at 5'10 she has all but lost her opportunity to work with the holy trinity of Bollywood. But that in no way takes anything away from her for having a very interesting name. 

A 2-2.5/5 movie, Cocktail is a time-pass at best. However if you want to make it an enjoyable watch then the trick is to just watch the first half and after that race towards the exit door with the speed of a software engineer who rushes towards the printer after giving his payslip for print.

P.S. Secret of the movie: After this movie, Deepika Padukone becomes the first Indian girl to kiss both the guy and his mother. Or perhaps the second as Poonam Pandey has not left out anything!
P.P.S. Before the start of the movie, misfortune struck me when I saw the trailer of Shirish Kunder's 'Joker'. SRK was right in slapping this man!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Understanding the amazing concept of व्यवहार !!

Since I have traveled very little across the length and breadth of our great country, I am not sure how many of you are aware of the word, व्यवहार (surely not my South-Indian friends). So today I will be spoiling my Sunday explaining to you this very dangerous (sometimes life-threatening) phenomenon. व्यवहार has many meanings but the one that I am going to take up today means the cash/kind that you give as gifts to people on pleasant occasions as a token of (generally fake) congratulations, thereby expressing your (surely fake) happiness. For example, you must have noticed some useless Chacha/Tau in wedding receptions, entering in a register 'who gifted what'. Yeah, that's as simply as this concept could be captured.

Now you might be wondering what could possibly be wrong with such a sweet gesture? Allow yours truly to explain using the language of a software engineer since I am kind of in that field (till you are ready to sponsor my book). So here it goes:

Test Case: The 10th standard result of Pappu, the first of seven kids of your neighbor Mr Gupta, is out and against your prediction Pappu Paas Ho Gaya. You and your wife are completely devastated by the kid's success, but since this is a momentous occasion (which every kid is falsely made to believe) you wrap all your bad wishes in a 100 rupees (व्यवहार) and gift it to Pappu with a very heavy heart. Thanks to Mr Gupta's perpetual libido, you continue to follow this pattern with Pappu's other six siblings as well.

Expected Result: When your only kid Tinku clears Xth, the same Mr Gupta (Pappu's pappa), reciprocate with the same amount i.e. 700 rupees, which is consistent with the underlying principle of the concept of व्यवहार , i.e. the total amount of money that changes hands should remain same!

Error Case #1: The most common of errors this one. When your only kid Tinku clears Xth, the same Mr Gupta, reciprocate with 100 rupees, intentionally or unintentionally erring in the fundamentals of व्यवहार that the amount changing hands should be same. 
Side Effect of Error Case #1: You and your wife is being left red-faced. You try to diffuse the situation by bringing in Mr Gupta's Ghajini-like memory as the possible reason but your wife is not convinced. She even proposes to have six more kids to establish some sort of financial equilibrium with that chor Gupta family. However the plan is quickly aborted after considering your physical viability and you guys sleep over the matter after wishing to God that Mr Gupta dies of piles or something.    

Error Case #2: A rookie mistake this one! After 10 years of you gifting a 100 rupees each to all seven of Mr Gupta's kids, your only kid Tinku clears Xth. Mr Gupta, reciprocates with 700 rupees this time but failing to take inflation into count. 
Side Effect of Error Case #2: You notice the slip-up and probably choose to ignore it. But, it hasn't gone undetected under your wife's radar. She finds herself burning from inside. You try to explain her that 'the rate of inflation' doesn't exactly goes hand-in-hand with 'the time to conceive', but to no avail. That ship has already sailed by then. In the next few weeks, you overhear her smart-ass comments whenever the Guptas are in sight: "10 years back we could get the ration for the entire year at the cost that we get for one month now. Oh this inflation!" OR "One can't even buy a decent pencil-box for 100 rupees these days." 

Error Case #3: When your only kid Tinku clears Xth, Mr Gupta is unable to reciprocate due to some genuine reason like Mr Gupta being on a deathbed having entered the terminal stage of a deadly disease OR his house being burnt down forcing him to declare bankruptcy OR one/many of his daughters have fled from the house with same/different neighboring boy(s).
Side Effect of Error Case #3: You guys wait for days for some good news on the व्यवहार front. Following the disappointment, your wife pulls you into a week long analysis of how many people Mr Gupta could have sent the व्यवहार through, if he could not genuinely make it himself. Huge sketches of Mr Gupta's family tree are drawn to depict the possible carriers of व्यवहार. Finally it all ends with your wife justifying why Mr Gupta is in the state that he is.  

Error Case #4: This one's a killer. When your only kid Tinku clears Xth, Mr Gupta, in all his health and happiness, just doesn't turns up to reciprocate. Plain and simple! Just ignores you completely, point-blank right-on-your-face stuff.
Side Effect of Error Case #4: Mr Gupta is dead for your family now. Your kid Tinku even flicks Mr Gupta's nameplate and buries in your backyard, thereby officially celebrating Mr Gupta's pleasant demise. In reality, you guys start walking over egg shells when Guptas are around. Within 24 hours, the entire neighborhood comes to know what kind of a jerk Mr Gupta is. You once again try to calm the storm by attributing this faux pas to Mr Gupta being a Bania, but your rationale backfires on you as you realize, perhaps too late, that your wife's mother's side is also Bania. As a result of this insensitivity on your part, you are awarded a week-long silent treatment with occasional verbal abuses and generously salted meals. By the time you finish your exile and are planning to make an honorable comeback, your wife has already started unearthing any past/current affair that has brought shame to the Gupta household, the ultimate aim being to prove that deceit is in the DNA of Mr Gupta. Things like "No wonder Mr Gupta's father had two wives" OR "Colony people must prohibit Mr Gupta near the hand-pump when women are using it" OR "Why does Mr Gupta's wife only thinks of watering the plants in the balcony at sharp 11 A.M. everyday" OR "Karma will catch up with that SOB sooner than later."

So those were some use-case scenarios that you might find handy once you enter the Grihastha Ashram (aka DeadEnd) phase of your life. Continuing with the explanation of the concept, as our civilization progressed, some wise men got together and decided that giving cash as gifts looks very cheesy (finally!) and that, ladies and gentlemen, was the birth of another great practice of 'gifting in kind' (WOW!). 

But pretty soon the women in house found a loophole in the new mechanism as well. For instance, if Mr Gupta gifted a 'Milton ki water bottle' to Mr and Mrs Agarwal on their marriage anniversary then Mrs Agarwal must elbow Mr Agarwal to immediately run to the market and conclude an approximate price of the 'Milton ki water bottle'. Then Mr and Mrs Agarwal wait anxiously for the marriage anniversary of Mr and Mrs Gupta, to gift them a gift of approximately same price. Of-course by then the wretched 'Milton ki water bottle' would have been re-gifted by Mr and Mrs Gupta to somebody else.

Mrs Agarwal re-gifting Milton ki water bottle

As with other good things in life, the very well thought-out concept of 'gifting in kind' too had a couple of issues. First, if somebody gifts you, for instance, a cheap sweater and you are cheap enough to start wearing it too then everytime that gifter sees you in that sweater, you would have to put up with comments like: "Oh! That sweater looks so good on you!" Of-course with the old and austere system of 'gifting in cash', this kind of situation would never have arisen. I mean nobody could come up to you and say, "Oh! That sweater looks so good on you! You must have bought it from the 100 rupees that I gifted you." Second problem relates to the shameful act of re-gifting a gift you received. This act involves helluva precision and careful planning, like the Greeks did before attacking Troy. One mistake here and there, and the gifter ends up seeing his gifted gift in the possession of the person to whom it has been re-gifted and you end up becoming Mr Gupta of Error Case#4.

Such is the robustness of the concept of व्यवहार, that it doesn't only holds good for an occasion like exam results, but is applicable to almost all scenarios which can be related to human society like Raksha-Bandhan, Marriage, Birth of a (legitimate) child etc. It truly has passed the test of time and generations. It has even successfully countered the threat that the roaring prices of gold presented. (One of the clauses of the ideology of व्यवहार dictates that the total amount of gold that changes hands too should be same.) 

So kids, today you learnt about the legendary tradition of व्यवहार. Unlike 'Sati', the practice of व्यवहार has not been abolished, at-least not in my family. You also got a feel of how cheap and shortsighted me, my family and Kanpurians in general are. 

Also now you know, if you are gifting something to Mr and Mrs Nigam then what to expect!!

P.S. Time for diplomatic crap now: The article in no way intends to offend the Guptas/Banias. Some names were to be used to provide more authenticity to the article, that's all. It could well have been Banerjee/Bengali or even Nigam/Kayast! Regarding my jibe on women being involved in everything that is wrong on earth, don't take me lightly. Happy व्यवहारing !! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Gangs of Wasseypur : Could be your new favorite !

I generally write review of a movie, in which I can find some absurdities or which is out-rightly ridiculous (like this review of Ra-One), but Gangs of Wasseypur is going to be an exception here, after-all it was an exceptional movie. Is it the most enjoyable movie of our times? The answer to it depends on which state you are from because only then could you understand, co-relate and enjoy the dialogues and situations in the movie. If you are from UP/Bihar then this could definitely be the one as it would run through you all the cheesy punch lines that you would have heard in your school/college time but might have forgotten now, living in the concrete jungles of metropolitan cities running the IT circus.

But make no mistake, after watching Gangs of Wasseypur, those few who had doubts about the potential of Manoj Bajpayee's acting potential would realise what they have been missing so far. Serious movie-buffs always knew the gold in him. This could well be the turning point of Manoj Bajpayee's acting career albeit the actor has delivered some fine performances in the past. I remember listening to his interview on FM a couple of years ago, in which he narrated how he fled from his home to the tinsel town to become Amitabh Bacchhan. I am sure, both Manoj and Big B will be proud of this memorable performance.
कह के ले ली मनोज बाजपाई नें

Coming to the movie itself, don't be surprised if you loose track of the plot, because of the duration of the movie or the complex family tree depicted, but not for a single moment will you feel disconnected despite it being a 2 hour 40 minutes affair. Each and every dialogue, and let me tell you again in bold and capital, EACH AND EVERY DIALOGUE of Gangs of Wasseypur is legendary, an absolute joy.  The ease with which Manoj Bajpayee had carried himself throughout the movie, delivering both utterly heartless crime scenes as well as ridiculously humorous scenes is commendable. The funny manner in which he defends himself when his wife catches him cheating on her and the way he woos his to-be second wife Reema Sen was ROFL material. Needless to mention, after watching a string of silly remakes, Gangs of Wasseypur was a huge sigh of relief for a movie lover like me. 

A look at the star-cast for this movie is enough to promise you quality acting performance. Nawazzudin Siddiqui who was brilliant in Kahaani as Inspector Khan was equally good here again if not better. In him Bollywood has surely found a Naseeruddin Shah for the future. Piyush Mishra with his lyrics, music and acting is sure to remind you of his earlier Gulaal, which was another fabulous movie. 

If watching the movie was not fun enough, the crowd's running commentary was the icing on the cake. Of-course the public nature of this blog doesn't allows me to mention those comments here but the one that I could mention here is 'Abey yeh to alu bum rahe Diwali-wala'. I could not recall how many times I was in splits listening to the dialogues going on the screen and off it.

A definitely 4.5/5 movie, Gangs of Wasseypur is a must must watch, although it is highly recommended that you choose your company to the movie with due care and diligence. Yes, very soon some mindless SRK/Akshay Kumar movie will hit the theaters, which will make crore of rupees and all this will be forgotten, but until then let's enjoy the quality that Manoj Bajpayee-Anurag Kashyap showcases in Gangs of Wasseypur

P.S. Don't forget to watch this movie for the second time on your personal computer in peace, because it's impossible not to miss some dialogues in the theater with the crowd clapping and laughing like crazy.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Rowdy Rathore: A surprisingly safe-to-watch Akshay Kumar movie !

First of all, let me tell you that it's never easy to go out and watch a Akshay Kumar flick, particularly when you haven't watched 12 of his last 13 ones. Lucky me! Nevertheless, I undertook this high risk task so that you know what's coming at you and I must say that I was pleasantly rewarded. Rowdy Rathore which has two male actors in Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha is most certainly a one time watch. Although the movie as a whole is far from jaw-dropping, but some dialogues/scenes are genuinely humorous albeit corny. A definite 3.5/5 !

As usual, I would not get into the technicalities of the movie, but just point out certain things which I found disturbingly amusing. The points ahead will serve as spoilers, but don't worry, it's not like you are missing on some Oscar winning flick.

1) Akshay Kumar, following the hot trend of a moustache sporting police officer with Ray Ban Aviator sunglasses, is in a double role in the movie. One is a police officer who is murdered and replaced by another one (not by villain) after days or weeks or even months later by the other Akshay Kumar who happened to be, surprise surprise, a petty thief! Of-course in such cases nobody in the police department cares to find about the officer in the days he was missing. But I guess, that's okay. Stranger things have happened in Bollywood movies (Reference: RaOne). But the more essential point here is that where are these good-looking and supremely fit policemen coming from. This piece of news although seems to paint a different picture.

2) Now you must not be thinking that how was the policewala Akshay Kumar murdered. Well, it's simple. He fights and kill some 100 goons and dies in the process. But that's the usual prowess of a Bollywood hero. The unusual part is that the policewala Akshay Kumar was suffering from some rare kind of brain condition which he acquired while he was being, guess what, shot in the brain !! Stop laughing and read ahead, there is plenty more. So because of this acute brain condition, the policewala Akshay Kumar sometimes feels dizzy while jack-hammering goons (The movie even zooms his brain and shows the particular cell which bleeds). So now what does our hero do? He just puts some water on his head and regains original composure and pummels another 20-30 goons. Ya, that's it! Simple, isn't it? A knife stabbed in the back, a harpoon in the chest, a couple of bullets here and there is not a problem, Dispirin will take care of that. 
A rare event in Bollywood movies where more
 than one goon attacks the hero. Ofcourse they
 were all blown away after exactly half a second.

3) This is an old one. Our hero manhandles atleast a dozen of goons who ofcourse attack him one by one. Even Lord Rama, with his favorite arrow (the one that emits fluorescent light), cannot do this after reading all his and Ravana's mantras, combined !! And in the songs, our heroine as usual makes an entry by running down in he stairs in one direction, while the support dancers in the background run in the opposite direction. Not to mention, that there will always be a strong velocity westerly wind blowing towards her face. Didn't you ever notice how the poor background dancers are made to wear such dull dresses to highlight our heroines? If the directors had it their way, they would chop of the ears and noses of these dancers just to make our heroine look acceptable. Although, one might argue that Sonakshi Sinha, with her physique, doesn't needs any highlighting.

4) This one is for all the ladies out there. So ladies, what if a young (well, not exactly) and good-looking (again, not exactly) guy like Akshay Kumar flirts with you and even tell you that he is a petty thief? You find a problem with him being a thief, not even a standard gangster which in turn would have atleast guaranteed you some kind of glamour? Well, our Sonakshi Sinha certainly didn't have a problem with that:

Sonakshi Sinha: "Yeh to batao, ki tum karte kya ho?"
Chorwala Akshay Kumar: "Chor hun. Choti-moti chori karta hun."
Sonakshi Sinha: "Theek hai. Lekin vaada karo ki ab chori nahi karoge."

Theek hai!! Theek hai?? Sala yahan Software Engineer bolo to koi ghaas bhi nahi daalti hai aur Chor k liye Theek Hai !!

Now I must stop, as depression has taken over my passion (a word I use very loosely) of writing. Ciao!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Why Saas-Bahu Soaps are a pain in the ass!

Today we will not focus on the problem because the problem relates back to women, dealing with whom is out of scope of this article and also the universe. So let's just focus on what makes this problem a problem. Let me begin by telling you all that I get exposed to this Saas-Bahu bullshit just twice a year i.e. when I am visiting my native on vacation. One might argue that this is not a very 'high' frequency but trust me, considering the 'quality' of bullshit, it indeed cranks up-to intolerable levels. 

Now keeping up with my legendary habit of bullshitting around (Boy, bulls all over the world have suddenly run into diarrhea today or what!) before coming to the crux of the matter, let me explain to you that why this post was long overdue. You might be wondering why are these Saas-Bahu soaps such a big pain in the ass for me even though I am subjected to this nonsense just twice a year. But unlike me, you don't see the larger picture. You see, let me put across my point using a slightly peculiar analogy. Think of Ekta Kapoor as Osama Bin Laden, Balaji Productions as Al-Qaeda and all the various soap series as the terrorist training camps. What makes this as a life-endangering issue for me is that it is going to be me who would be caught in the line of fire: My mother has been watching all these soaps religiously for years, getting trained for the Saas role, and I'm more than certain, that in some corner of the country, my would-be wife too would be watching these and training herself for the Bahu role. There, now you see why I am a worried man.

But the humble being that I am, I will not allow my personal future worries to hog the limelight on this platform which is specifically dedicated for the social welfare. Therefore, allow me to compile just a few aspects of these Saas-Bahu soaps which raise the stupidity bar each day of the week, higher and higher till a Salman Khan flick hits the theaters:

(Not necessarily in the increasing order of stupidity)

#1: First of all my favorite one: Whenever a shocking event unfolds in these soaps, the camera will show each and every member of the family with that 'astonished' expression. Of-course you are not allowed to question why are all the members of these huge family always together.

#2: I know all females swear by their favorite serials. Now I am not questioning the integrity of women. No sir, No! But try asking them about how their favorite serial ended and you will find that they will draw a blank. Yes, that's a proven fact. No living soul remembers how their favorite serial ended that's because stupidity beats patience. Nobody remembers how 'Tara' ended or how 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahut Thi' ended. 

A case in point: The highly innocent
Prerna Bahu (Shweta Tiwari)
#3: There will always be a generous character in the serial, you know of 'Tulsi' or 'Parvati' or 'Prerna' kind, who will always be engaged in the welfare of the entire world. Be it the family of the bride's side or groom's side, nobody will ever come to know of any trouble brewing in the family except for this generous character. Starting from a family member diagnosed with a life threatening disease to a family member who has 2-3 illicit wives and children, only this Mother Teresa of a character needs to worry. Needless to mention, that all the other females in the soap will be hating this character. 

#4: (Perhaps my second favorite this one) Haven't you ever noticed that the characters in these dorky serials talk so much to themselves. Who has this much freaking time and it breaks all the stupidity barriers when they talk to themselves by speaking out loud too (to ensure that it is heard to).

#5: Although I belong to a middle-class family, I have been to affluent people's houses but I have never ever seen all family members at all points of time being dressed in such tip-top manner with full make-up. The kind of heavy Bappi Lahiri-like jewellery that the bahus are shown wearing while preparing Dhokla in the kitchen is quite extra-ordinary, not to mention stupid. And those ba and dadis, man! They might go through a day having missed their catheter but the lipstick shade is never lost. Again, you can blame my middle-class upbringing to have this perception.

#6: So what do you do when you have to open yourself to someone, I mean if you have to confide in somebody or reveal a secret to someone that has been eating you from inside? You walk up to the person and say so, after guaranteeing enough privacy right? No No No No, in the Saas-Bahu soap world that's a taboo. That's something against the common etiquette here. If you have to talk secretly then you must ensure that the door is not locked or if the door is locked mistakenly then atleast there should be a window open, or else how will the other bahu/saas/bhabhi or any other member of the party which is always plotting against you will listen to the secret right? So never say again that soap-makers don't think of a plot. They do, mindless yes, but they do. 

#7: Talking about secrets, I am sure this one would have frustrated you many a times. I know I will not be able to explain the scenario in mind as succinctly as I would have liked, but nevertheless. Scenario: Girl wants to tell her father about her love affair but gets interrupted by somebody or the other everytime. This continues till a big function is arranged, of-course for no apparent reason, in which her demented father announces her engagement to a different guy and all hell breaks loose. WOW!! Have any of you seen this in real life?

#8: How do you open a door on hearing a bell or a knock? You ask who is it or you peep through the peephole or in the worst case you open the door tentatively trying to get the glimpse of the person as soon as possible right? But that's not how it works in the Saas-Bahu soap world. They open the door looking at the floor slowly raising their face to be startled to find their ex-hubby/ex-lover (both must not have undergone plastic surgery in this case) standing their. Hope you noticed this one before!

#9: I would like to end it with a point about the latest trend in the serials. My inside sources tell me that off-late the usual pattern of Saas being the bad one has been overtaken by Bua or Dadi-Bua character. Is it true?

P.S. The author has 'nervously' assumed that there aren't 'many' Ekta Kapoor fans who will feel offended reading this article. Also, the author has 'safely' assumed that there aren't 'any' Tushar Kapoor fans who love him so much that they will feel offended for his sister.

P.P.S. Any females or males who are about to hit the 'comment' section in a range of anger to throw profanities at me must understand that there is something called as the 'Comment Moderation' feature. Yes, I use this feature primarily to avoid the truth but also because it is consistent with the rest of my personality of being a 'Coward'. Happy frustration sisters!