Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mausam and Misfortune

Pankaj Kapur, the highly acclaimed actor of ‘Maqbool’, ‘Karamchand’, ‘Office Office’ fame lures you into watching the first day first show of his directorial debut ‘Mausam’.

‘Mausam’ begins much like several Yashraj blockbusters, in the heartland of sadda Punjab. The funjabi Harry (Shahid Kapoor) spends his day singing ‘tutak tutak tutak tootiya’, chewing sugarcane and performing daredevil stunts in his car while chasing a train with his bros, just how an average village bwoy would unwind in the 90’s.

Harry falls madly,deeply and passionately in love with a seedhi saadhi Kashmiri girl Aayat(Sonam Kapoor). Their young love blossoms on rainy terraces and sarson ke khets (when Harry is not jumping from one terrace to another to catch a glimpse of his beloved). The lovebirds delight in looking at each other through binoculars, passing chits and smiling coyly as they whisper sweet nothings to one another. The endearing part of this movie ends here.

As the director goes forth with his mission of trying to squeeze in every possible act of violence (communal or otherwise) in this 3 hour long saga of eternal love, the plot is unfortunately lost. In the backdrop of political and religious upheavals like the Babri masjid demolition, the Kargil war, 9/11, the Godhara riots etc the lovers meet and part several times.

Harry - the pre-pubescent, chikna boy transforms into Sq. leader Harrinder Singh a suave, chivalrous, fake tanned, aviator-ed macho alpha male who is now an IAF officer. Meanwhile, Aayat is shown taking dance lessons amongst petite ballerinas. Ideally, Sonam Kapoor’s massive bone structure would be of no help when trying to master the art of pirouettes, and a pilot saying ‘I like your bird, it flies well’ ought to have been slapped but since when have hindi movies been governed by logic?

The fact that the movie is aesthetically pleasing cannot be denied. Both Sonam and Shahid Kapoor look their parts and Binod Pradhan’s sublime cinematography does pleasantly surprise one from time to time. The beauty of Punjab and Scotland is emphasized by long shots taken in amazing locations. But nothing saves the movie from its rather ridiculous end.

Harry’s left arm is paralyzed a la Rochester from Jane Eyre. But like a true blue filmy hero Harry risks his life to save the life of a screeching infant stuck on a Ferris wheel during the Gujarat riots, winning the eternal devotion of his saree clad heroine. One of the last scenes of the movie has Harry, Aayat, the rescued kid moving into the dark and a shaadi ka ghoda following them.

Where the director loses his focus and turns into an indulgent father trying to pull off another ‘Koi mil gaya’ for his son is hard to tell. Pankaj Kapur’s directorial venture had the potential of being one of the biggest blockbusters of 2011 but sadly for the audiences who waited with baited breath for this movie’s release and the producers who invested crores in this project this movie is perhaps as disappointing as Himesh reshamiya’s hair rebonding or Madhuri dixit’s comeback.

The National Award winning actor robs you of 3 hours of your precious life and 200 rupees that you will never be able to reclaim. So, boys and girls learn from my mistake and run away while you still can but if you insist on punishing yourself then sit at home and watch ‘From Prada to Nada’ instead.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Patato Potato

Most people spend their lives looking for that speacial potato. A potato that will stand by them through the good times and the bad. A potato that will wipe away their tears when their favorite character gets bumped off a television series in a gruesome and rather uncalled for accident when the aforementioned actor starts to throw starry tantrums. A potato that will call and ask them how their day was and pretend to listen when they rant about their insanely stupid classmate and an equally annoying room mate or sibling.

A potato that they can think of and smile to themselves when they hear cheesy love songs play at the mall. A potato that will be funny but in a more witty fashion than slapstick cheap fart joke cracking way. A potato that will be sarcastic in the classic chandler bing way. It would also be great if the potato happens to have a ravishing appearance. A potato that will wear shirts and miraculously not sweat in the sultry summers of our country. A potato that they can kiss and cuddle in the harsh,long and otherwise lonely winters.Oh, the quest for that perfect potato is tiresome.

This potato, once found and attained would magically transform their lives for the better. The reason behind the over usage of hearts and "mwah mwah" on their facebook statuses and profile pictures would be the said potato. It would also give them a swing in their step and all that jazz. Ah! bliss. :|

But what happens when the potato turns overtly mushy and starts to upset their digestive system? when the constant smiles,calls and almost paternal concern starts to annoy the beejezus out of them? what then? That is when they have the dreaded "talk".

The break up phase isnt easy. It makes them swear off vegetables for a while. They write long blog posts, facebook notes and even tweet cryptic song lyrics about the one who must not be named. They watch soppy romantic movies holed up in their dingy rooms in their snowman pjs and try to pull a bridget jones but fail. They wonder if they have to resort to fiction and flights of fancy to satisfy their appetite for a good and wholesome meal?

Before they know it, they have spent a major part of their teenage life chasing,courting or running away from a potato.

Until, in walks the tomato. Starch free,juicy, complacent and casual and technically not a vegetable, that has got to be a sign they think. After a little trepidation they bestow their faith upon it and the same cycle of events take place all over again.

Par ki farak penda hai? The market is abundant with exotic fruits and vegetables, some imported from foreign lands as well. Their friends gush about this scrumptious tofu they devoured the other day after one too many drinks and they wonder if they should change their preferences and turn non vegetarian , do a little experimentation and soul searching. Thats what college is about, isn't it?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Coming Home

Where is home?

Home is the land of yellow and black taxis.

Home is where the rickshaw wallas go by metre.

Home is the memory of cycling down hill in early winter mornings.

Home is throwing a tantrum as a child and leaving with your sibling in tow hoping to return and find jalebis waiting for you. (Like in the dhara oil ad)

Home is the artificial sandy beach of my polluted city.

Home is the flashing image of making sand castles on that beach with this boy.

Home is a father with a moustache and an electronics engineer for a mother who gave up everything to raise you.

Home is the thrill of defying parental authority.

Home is failing to defy the said authority.

Home is Nanaji's Sherlock Holmes stories.

Home is the awkward silences filled by the distant faint blabber of a television.

Home is where you devour prawns and sinful chocolate overload brownies.

Home is where the aunty jis of ONGC colony discuss the latest gossip brewing in the society while simultaneously having a discussion on how to make low fat halwa.

Home is singing the theme song of Psych every night at 11 pm with your brother.
Home is the racing heartbeats before an open house.

Home is where you make life decisions when stuck in a traffic jam.

Home is where you can whisper your secrets to the sea and smile gleefully when it rains in response to your queries.

Home is where you want the laughter and conversations to never end.

Home is making up ludicrous stories to escape paying extra charges for excess baggage at the airport. (Emotional or otherwise)

Home is where sweat trickles down your forehead as you exit the airport only to be surrounded by familiar faces and as your car passes the Parle G factory and the smell of these biscuits wafts in, it stirs in you something deep and inexplicable.

Home is waking up with a sudden jerk at 4 in the morning to scribble something down lest you lose the thought forever.

Is home the city I was born in? or the city of my origins? or the cities I was schooled in? Or the city I am living in currently?

Is it a city? A happy place? A state of mind?

Where is home?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Promised Land

Dear Delhi,

I write this letter to you curled up in my 10 pound quilt on this wintery sunday morning where the classes have been called off because of the overbearing power of a mass bunk and as I have substantial amount of time left till I leave home for my Narnia movie I am going to pour my heart out to you.Hence, I request you to get some popcorn or paratha if you must and sit back and brace yourself for a long-ish post.

So first things first. You have to work on your PR bro. I mean the amount of negative publicity this city generates is just crazy. So you call gola chuski and spell Pav bhaji the wrong way but still.All that any one imagines when one thinks of "Delhi" is rape,robbery,more rape,and the vvips of the nation zooming off in the shiny white ambassador cars with a red batti on top. This imagery although not entirely false tends to overpower multiple other facets and faces of the city, which is something that one has to experience to truly relish and cherish.

You my friend Delhi have been an adventure of sorts. Staying away from home in a different city guarantees the much needed freedom. I would like to take a moment here to thank you from the bottom of my abysmal heart for having protected the ijjat of my two girlfriends and I when we went out at 9.30 in the night from lajpat nagar to hauz khas to get booze to mark my transition from naiveity to stupidity on my 18th birthday.
Unfortunately,when the hangover of independance wears off and one has to go to the dentist and the doctor alone and when one is forced to wash their own undies everyday,freedom suddenly doesnt feel so pleasant anymore.

It is in this city that I realized what it felt like to be a part of a "society" in college. So, it doesnt feel any different. Well,turning 18 years old doesnt feel any different either but people around you have an urgency to get laid/sloshed/drive. Anyhoo, as I was saying, you realize how lucky you are to be in where you are when you can perform a street play dealing with the issue of mob mentality among an enthusiastic mob infront of India Gate.

Now, moving on to matters of grave importance. WHAT EYE CANDIES MON! + 200 points for the eye candies you stock,from inquisitive foriegn tourists to the lads with bieber hair-do, you've got them all. At this point I think it is only fair that I disclose a very important secret. I am studying in an all girls college. Therefore, I live in constant hope.

Having studied in co-ed schools for a major part of my life, the initial days at my college were rather strange. It was as if I was engulfed in a sea of boobs. But gradually, things got better, I realized that being away from the men folk lead to women dropping all their pretentions. (almost). Thus, the sight of a bunch of girls rolling down the slope of a grassy hill or just sitting in the front lawns soaking up the sun was not a surprising one. Among the gazillion girls at my college the group of girls with chocolate muffins and hot chocolate in their hands standing infront of the Nescafe stall singing glee songs in pitches gone awry and chilling would be my group of friends.

This city, would not hold as much value for me if it were not for these wonderful and completely bamboozled people I call my friends. We eat, we chill,we click random pictures(thats issy moo's forte),we plan world elimination (thats diya's agenda),we sleep (1 of piddi's favorite activities),we bunk classes(yeah this one is our favorite), we shriek (thats just me actually), we pet animals/humans, we stand tall (thats just adilah actually),we eat cheap chinese that tastes like punjabi but isnt at city cafe, we blow up all our money at big chill cafe but the best thing about us is that we belong. To the city, to each other.

Delhi, you are like a fresh made tiramisu, with layers galore, as one digs into you one discovers and rediscovers things,places and people. I only hope that I can discover myself in the process of discovering you.

Yours truly,
I love you as much as home,

Red one.

PS : Good job with the metros.
PS1 : Amazing food yaar.
PS3: Ainvayi likh diya :P


This post was left unwritten so I decided to finish it today. Sorry for the long delay in publishing new posts. I admit that I am an idiot.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Soda Lemon Ginger Pop LPHS on de taaap.

My school didnt give us a farewell.
I mean what kind of a chindi school does that?

All through Podar. When were stuck in 12-D, a claustrophobic class of 20 girls and 1 boy, all we really wanted to do was to get the hell out of there.

Now it seems as though we are out of a hell hole only to fall into the dirty sewer of the over rated "real world".

We made movies in Podar. We started a movement to create awareness against child rights and instead of just limiting it to colourful papers of our spiral bound project we actually went around municipal schools and orphanages staging plays and singing and dancing for the lil' kids encouraging them to dream big. We played bhojpuri dumbcharades. We saw tribal porn (well almost) to get in depth knowlegde about the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar islands. We assumed that the bad moods of our teachers was directly proportional to their non existant sex lives and PMS issues. We went through a long day looking forward to downing pepsi, gorging on schezwan cheese frankie made by the nepali man with orange hair and having orange candy, 3 things which defined our after school activities and also reflected in our growing waistlines. But who cared. We were in Podar. And life and all its hassels could wait.

When jaishree who btw is the head of the department for english has hair like snape and shares my birthday, would come into our class to lecture us about our disappointing performance in the exam that we just gave or when were burdened with project work that we thought would just never end, all we really wanted to do was kill ourselves or kill them or both.

Podar gave us vivum. Podar gave us the freedom to choose who and what we wanted to be. Somewhere along the way,while we were busy taking notes Renita gave us and sniggering about her sailor husband who favoured the sea to her, during vasanthi's economics classes when she told us how mohanram her hero and husband had taught her this chapter and we should probably try and get the best of her before she forgot it, during Geena's poetry lessons when she tried to explain the concept of "sweet moans" to us, failing miserably as she related it to her sex life and ours (?),when Geeta would go on and on about her family and family friends and friends of friends in delhi and dehradun etc. We sat raptured in our seats. Amused. Amazed. We never thought what the NEXT phase would be like. We hoped it would be better but is it? We believed in the heart of our hearts that time would not fly by so quickly. That we would have a moment to pause. To reflect.

Today I sit here in Delhi (or the big D as my friends call it) 719.53 miles away from mumbai,away from home,away from all the madness,laughs and tears. Why would I voluntarily move? Well thats a story for another time.

Ps: I am totally crashing my juniors ka farewell. That is if they have one.
Pps : I am sorry for not being regular with my posts. I am supremely lazy. But I shall try and post a lil' oftener.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Things I should not have done, But I went ahead and did them anyway

So it had been really long since I last posted something and I thought that now you guys qualify as the privileged few and should to know more about me. You see the thing is I am what they call an over thinker, I think, re-think and over think things way way too much but that is all after I have already done what should never have been done in the first place. Sad but true. Here's a list.

  1. Tried explaining the story of twilight the vampire love saga to my dad over the phone

Me : So there is this girl she falls in love with a guy, who is a vampire, he loves her but wants to eat her as well..

* Long pause on the other side*

2. Dispensed relationship advice on the radio.

RJ : My friend vicky has been dumped, he is upset, what should he do? (OR something like that)

I thinking that I am this major love guru use phrases like Many other fish in the sea, Move on, GET A LIFE! on the RADIO.

RJ : wow, you sound so level headed for a 16 year old.

Me : Yeah, I study psychology. (WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!)

Next day while going to school

My neighbour : Hi, red one from podar studying psychology.

Yeah. Out of all the millions of people in mumbai, My geeky neighbour heard that show.FANTASTIC.

3. Texted my geography tution teacher instead of my friend saying :

FUCK!! I am only done with 3 pages I hate GEOGRAPHY!

The woman read out the text in the class. It was so hard not to laugh!

4. Said " Mumbai is growing vertically 'coz it cannot grow horizontally anymore" in a compitition where I was representing the city, wearing a navaree and all.

5. Written this post during the study leave of my 12th std. Board examinations.

Although there are alot of times when I wish I could rewind,undo and fast forward my life, yet these incidents are what make me who I am and I would rather have it this way than any other.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Friends are like potatoes if you eat them they die.

When a Kid is really small and you hide the toy he is playing with,the toy ceases to exist for him but as he grows older,his brain develops and when you repeat the same action with him, he now looks for his toy as he knows that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be seen,touched or heard. This is called Object Permanence.

Today the same theory can be applied to the friends we have.There are some friends that you can call in the middle of the night when you are panicking about an exam or about the world ending in 2012 and they will answer your call tell you to calm the fuck down,console you and then tell you to slap yourself for waking them up.Then there are friends who you call after say 3-4 months and still manage to have the best conversations with, the kind that clears your head,with them distance or time doesnt change anything,unlike the rest of the world. (Thankgod for that!) And deep down you know that they will always be there no matter what.

But even though each one of us has these friends we still manage to put ourselves in the self loathe mode and declare that we have no friends and the world is a bad place after all. Untill..

We meet these wonderful set of people who completely change our views about life as we know it. The kind of people with who you just "click". They make you realize that all this time when someone gave that loser-ish speech about how there is a whole new world out there and how we are being completely juvenile in thinking that "my world is going to come to an end because my friends arent talking to me" or "the guy/girl I like doesnt like me I am gonna die", that person was actually right because there IS a whole new world out there where people accept you for who you are with no expectations or demands and where you just fit in like a puzzle piece that was in hiding.

^ Scooby and his friends. Different yet similar.

After a point you realize that there is no point in having 446 friends on your facebook friends list if you cant think of calling either one of them at a time of crisis. The thing is we spend most of our time thinking and over thinking about things and people who dont matter. As a part of my new year resoultion 101 I have decided to quit doing THIS and suggest you do the same.

Choose wisely live well - Some mutual fund advertizement.