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?