Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bollywood and Me

Its not for nothing that people rate me at least at par to the Google search result on Bollywood. I have grown up on a staple diet of Bollywood potboilers and have a habit of relating almost everything real to something that has been captured in reel life.

Starting from the day I was given a name till today, much of what I do has been inspired by Bollywood. I was named Kumar Gaurav when I was born, the reason - Love Story, a Kumar Gaurav blockbuster was rocking the nation then. My Mom thought that it would be really cool to have her first born named after a superstar in the making. Unfortunately, Kumar Gaurav failed and so did my name. My parents later settled for a more sober, non-filmy, Anurag. Though she never agrees to it, I think Mom had that Rajesh Khanna starrer film Anurag in her mind when she rechristened me.
"Jaley ko aag kehte hain bujhe ko raakh kehte hain..aur jo Vishwanath ki jageh apna naam lagake dialogue boley usse Anurag kehte hain"

While kids my age listened to lullabies to go to sleep, I was fond of an abscure film, Saawan Ko Aane Do's songs. The day my second brother was born, I felt that our trio was complete - Amar, Akbar, Anthony. The only problem I had was that I did not find Amar's character very fascinating. Although I don't remember it now but I am sure I must have had a fight with God over this, Deewar style - "Khush to bahut hoge tum aaj..mujhe Amar ka ghatiya character dekar"

I got myself a new cycle when Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander released and bought a Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi cap to go with it. I also had that cycle race with my brother, I think we collided mid way and never completed the race. I thought of staging a "Main kaun hoon..kahan hoon" act after the collision but I guess Mom could read my mind - "Teri yaadaasht nahi khoyi?" The cycle is no more with me now but that cap still is!

I thought that Bollywood and I would part ways once I grew up and became more rational in my thinking but that never happened. Bollywood fever still has me in its grips. Even today if a friend seeks help I agree only because I can't help thinking of the on screen friendship shared by Amjad Khan-Big B in Yarana. If that man could sell himself for the happiness of his friend can't I shell out a few bucks or something?
"Tere liye dil kya jaan bhi haazir hai" .. Oh! what a crap!

I also have a habit of blurting these very filmy dialogues to wriggle out of sticky situations and believe me or not, it works. Sample these tried and tested one liners:
- "Tum mere andar jhaank ke dekh lo ki kya main jhooth bol raha hoon" - and the rest assured, you will be the most truthful person in the eyes of the other person at least for the moment.
- "Tumhare baare mein to pata nahi par shayad main apna ek accha dost kho raha hoon" - and friendship would bloom again.
(My fault then was that I had read a few 'personal' e-mails of one of my acquaintainces and was propogating the mail collection in our common close circle..and then it got leaked :( )

Bollywood has been very much a part of me always. Yes, most of the times they make these sloppy, idiotic, song-n-dance flicks which look all the same but still at some sub-conscious levels, a lot of us do get influenced by films. Some just run away to Mumbai to chase their Bollywood dreams while a few like me try to incorporate their influence in our lives.

"Aaj mere paas gaadi hai, bangla hai, paisa hai..kya hai tumhare paas?"

"..Mere paas CineMA hai". Hail Bollywood!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Astro Speak

I got this in one of the forwards. Found it really funny. Check out what stars have to say about you ;)

Capricorn( dec 21st - jan 20th) - you are conservative and are afraid of taking risks. you are basically a chicken shit. there has never bee a capricorn of any importance. you should kill yourself.

Aquarius(jan 21st - feb 19th) - you have an inventive mind and are inclined to be progressive. you lie a great deal. you make the same mistake repeatedly because you are stupid. everyone thinks you are a jerk. you enjoy getting screwed by large inanimate objects.

Pisces(feb 20th- march 19th) - you have a vivid imagination and often think you are being followed by FBI or aliens. you have ainor influence on your friends and people resent you for flaunting what you confuse for power. you lack confidence and you smell funny.

Aries( mar 20th - apr 18th) - you are a pioneer type and think most people are dickheads. you are quick to reprimand, imaptient and scornful of advice. you do nothing but piss off everyone you come across. basically you are a prick.

Taurus(apr 19th - may 19th) - you are practical and impatient. you have dogged determination and stick-to-it-ivness because you never do anything right the first time. most people think you are stubborn and bull headed. you are nothing but an ass hole.

Gemini(May 20th - June 20th) - you are a quick and intelliget thinker.People like you because you are bisexual. You are inclined to expect too much for too little. This means you are a cheap bastard. Gemini's are notorious for hitting on their siblings.

Cancer(Jun 21st - Jul 21st) - you are sympathetic and understanding to other people's problems, which makes you a nosey prick. you always keep putting things off. this is why you will always be on welfare, and won't be worth a turd. everybody in prison is a cancer.

Leo(jul 22nd - aug 22nd) - you consider yourself a born leader. everyonethnks you are an idiot. most leo's are bullies. you are vain and cannot tolerate honest criticism. your arrogance is disgusting. leo's are thieving dipshits and enjoy masturbating mor than sex.

Virgo(Aug 23rd - Sep 21st) - you are alogical type and hate disorder. you nit picking attitude is sickening to your coworkers. you are cold and unemotional and often fall asleep during intercourse. virgos make good bus drivers and pimps.

Libra(sep 21st - oct 22nd) - you are the artistic type and you have a difficult time with reality. if you are a male, you are probably gay. chances for employment and monetary gain are nil. most libra women are stubs. all libra's have one form of a veneral disease.

Scorpio(oct 23rd - nov 21st) - the worst of the lot. you are shrewd n business and canot be trusted. you shall achieve the pinnacle of success because of ttal lack of ethics. you are a perfect sonnova bitch. most scorpios are murdered.

Sagittarius(nov 22nd - dec 20th) - you are optimistic and enthusiastic. you have a reckless tendency to rely on luck, since you have no talent. the majority of sagittarius are drunkards. nixon was a saggitarius. you are indeed a worthless piece of crap.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Adam, Eve and the Apple!

God created Adam, Eve and the forbidden fruit. Adam was lucky because he faced no competition in fetching the apple from the tree and impressed Eve. Though he incurred the heaven's wrath, his job was done. Eve was his!

Cut to the present times. Though the number of Adam and Eves remains almost the same, the number of fruits that the forbidden tree has borne has not grown in proportion and that has left a lot of Adams in the lurch. Who's to blame? Poor Adam, the ever demanding Eve or the tree? Well how about a guy named Sir Issac Newton! If it was not for him, no one would have known that the apple from the tree can fall by itself onto our laps owing to gravity. His discovery of gravity was a turning point in the history of mankind as it led to the creation of a class of Adams who sit under the tree waiting for the apple to drop. This class of Adams is widely found amongst Engineers. Having closely followed the trails of many such Adams, I found a number of reasons behind their tendency to wait for the apple to fall rather than dare to pluck it:

a.) His(The nerdy Adam's) formattive teen years are generally spent behind a pile of books of all sorts. Maths, Physics, Chemistry, x, y and z. Following the path of perseverence and self afflicted penance to reach out to the elixir of life which he mistakingly searches in the books, the budding engineer sees reason in the logic offered that the thrills and frills of life can wait.

b.) The day he qualifies for a top notch engineering institute, he starts to believe that he is of a superior race. He considers himself a gift to humanity and laughs off at the idea of chasing a girl.

c.) When he enters an engineering school, he is surrounded by people belonging to his school of thought. What loads the dice against this poor guy is the fact that in an engineering college, you have a very skewed girl-boy ratio.

d.) All his fantasies bite the dust as his qualifications stand guard to protect his celibacy. Any attempts to venture into the outside world of non-engineers fail as he finds it difficult to converse in an alien world. He talks in terms of 'probablities' instead of 'luck/chance' and cracks jokes which are pathetic(because his sense of humor is generally the non-veg kinda!)

e.) He is not classy. He clings on to the 100 rupee t-shirt of his first college fest for four years. Goes to the City Malls and other hep areas with chappals on and unkempt hair( tends to use comb only if it comes from his neighbour's cupboard).

It is at this time that he realises that he has walked many a miles and is at a point of no return. He makes some desperate attempts, if at all, and predictably fails. Why? Because he never learnt the art of fetching the apple from the tree. He heeded to the warnings of the Gods and never ventured out to pluck them and then that damn Issac Newton came and professed that crap about the apple falling by itself - That sealed his fate.

And the poor Adam kept waiting under the tree..

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Rang De Basanti - Review

There are two kinds of movies, some make you feel good, some don't register anything once you get out of the theatre. And then you come across the third kind, the ones which leave you numb. RDB is a movie that will make you think and the thought would linger long after you have come out of the theatres. A highly experimental film which despite its shortcomings succeeds in conveying a message is how I would describe it. Is it all about Patriotism? - Not really. Its more of an interpretation of freedom by the youth of today and as the title suggests - the awakening.

The hero in the film is not only Aamir Khan, its the vision of Rakyesh Mehra - the director who has finally arrived. Its an original work. Though many believe that even Aks was unusual and ahead of its times, I still feel otherwise. For all the Aamir Khan fans, if you feel that it is an out and out Aamir Khan flick, you are in for big surprises. Siddhartha(the new face) has a role of equal standing.

The director weaves two plots into one and what you get is an experimental but seamlessly joined story that sees the present day situation in the context of the Indian struggle for freedom. So you have these bunch of college pass-outs leading a somewhat confused, carefree and flippant lives suddenly discovering Chandrashekhar Azads, Bhagat Singhs and Ashfaqs within them.

The basic difference between RDB and other films of this genre is that unlike other movies, in RDB, the protagonists do not plead with the people to stand up against corruption, nor do they rant about patriotism and preach. This is where Swades, another brilliant film failed. This works for the film as it does not end up being another film with an overdose of nationalism/patriotism. The director seems to have picked up the cue from Ashutosh Gowariker's Swades where SRK says - "Hamara desh sirf hamare kehne se mahaan nahi hoga." The protagonists are unapologetic of what they do and they stand up for it.

The story is for you all to go and see but let me give you 5 reasons for watching this film:

  • The screenplay and the crisp editing - Rakyesh Mehra has brought out his imagiation brilliantly on celluloid. Tout screenplay by him and Renzil D'Silva. The script did have loopholes( you can’t just go and shoot a Home Minister at his home and get away without harm, comparing the lathicharge incident with Jallianwala Bagh tragedy and finally handling the climax) but then lets give him the allowance of cinematic liberty to give an entertaining/inspiring climax to his film within the 2.5 hours that he had. If he had gone all by logic then the message that the film conveys couldn't have come across. Though there are actually two plots running together, the transtition from colourful palletes to sepia tone does not look disjointed.
  • Peformances - First rate! So you have Aamir Khan in yet another stellar act enthralling you with his antiques. He is hysterical, sensitive, headstrong, insecure and even breaks down after gulping down a few bottles of beer. A welcome respite after Mangal Pandey - the dud. Soha Ali Khan is a revelation. She surprises you with her acting for sure. The rest of the cast is equally good and you also have veterans like Anupam and Kirron Kher, Om Puri and Waheeda Rehman besides the head-line makers of the movie.
  • Music - Its like a comeback for Rehman as well after Mangal Pandey. The way these songs are interwoven into the narrative adds to their quality. While the title track gives you that earthy feeling, the song Ru-ba-roo takes you into a trans. The background score is also great. To get the best music for his film, the director and his music director have to know exactly what they expect of each other and hats off to Mehra and Rehman for getting their efforts bang on target.
  • Dialogues and cinematography - Prasoon Joshi's dialogues exude a youthful exuberence and Binod Pradhan's camerawork is top class.

The Moments:

- The scenes where these guys whizz past Kiron Kher taking her dupatta away in a boyish naughtiness, and where Aamir speaks his heart out to Sue.

- The improvisation on 'Choo kar mere mann ko' when the band of boys gets to meet Sue for the first time.

- Aamir Khan mugging up his dialogue lines - "Bismil ka sandesh hai.." and the one where he gets embarassed when he comes to know that Sue understood Hindi.

- The camaraderie that all of them share in general. The 'Pathshala' song needs a special mention here.

Rang De Basanti paints you in its colors. It surely does..

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