Roundup…. No Title

Haven’t been blogging for a while, as the seasonal lethargy takes over. I can’t really blame it on anything else. Anyway, just a roundup of things/people/songs of note –

1. Television – I am in love with the 2 singing competitions on telly these days, Zee Saregamapa 2007 Challenge – Sangeet ka Pratham Vishwayud and Amul Star Voice of India. SVOI is going through a dramatic phase with Gajendra Chauhan ( the pioneer of such singing talent hunt shows) getting confused with his self created frankenstein. However, the singers to watch out for are Toshi Sabri (brought back into SVOI by popular demand, after being ejected on the basis of public voting), Harshit (SVOI), Amaanat Ali (SRGMP, an amazing voice from Pakistan) and Raja Hassan(SRGMP). Raja has the rusticness and purity in his voice, Toshi is probably the best trained and a sufi-genre singer. Harshit will make an awesome playback singer while Amanat probably is the most versatile of the lot, and will surely make a great ghazal singer if given a chance. His rendition of “Tujhse Naaraz Nahi Zindagi” yesterday (6th Oct) was plain simple awesome. The idea behind this long para on these people is to remind you guys that for every Dhoni who came out of Jharkhand, there are several who join Tata Steel on a small stipend! Please support, encourage and look out for these raw talents in the years to come. You can see the videos online here – SRGMP, SVOI

2. Music – 1. Main Agar Kahoon (Om Shanti Om) – beautiful romantic song with a very simple melody and another proof of how good Sonu Nigam is. Especially, when it comes to romantic songs, there are few who are as good. His voice has a certain yearning that others don’t
b. Yoon Shabnami from Saawariya  sung by Parthiv Gohil. A lot of you won’t even know who Parthiv Gohil is. Parthiv is the lost find of 1998 Saregama MegaFinal (youtube videos) (the year Sonu was still hosting the show,  Sanjeevani – another finalist, got a few movies as playback singers (such as Kareeb), and there were some truly amazing singers like Mohd. Vakil, Bela, Mukund and Sudeshna). An year or two after 1998 Shreya Ghoshal became the winner of Saregama. Anyway, Paarthiv had a very strong classical learning background and his rendition of songs like Ketak Gulab Juhi, and Dhanyabhaag Seva ka Awsar Paaya back in 1998 were wonderful. So, Bhansali has given Parthiv a break, along with Monty (the music director, who played some part in the background score of Devdas)
c. Songs from Manorama – 6 feet under.  From a collection of 4 songs (excluding remixes and versions), 3 belong to the category of very good to excellent. Woh Bheege Pal, Dhundhla jo sama bandha, Tere Sawalon Ke.. Try them out.

3. Movie – Johnny Gaddar is definitely my pick from bollywood. Bourne Ultimatum would be the hollywood pick. Johnny G is a wonderful movie which takes you back to the 70s thrillers where things just kept happening all through the movie. Director’s tribute to Vijay Anand and James Hadley Chase is visible throughout the movie. The movie could have been shortened by 15 minutes or so. But, but… its a wonderful movie to see on a weekend.

4. Books – Reading “Of Love and Other Demons” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez right now. Seems good so far, while being standard Marquez narration. Will update later.

However, just in case you got a feeling that this is what is keeping me busy.. Naah!  How many of you out there have lived out of a suitcase to get a house renovated. Working your butt off five days a week to reach home on a weekend (travelling usually in the middle of night both ways) to deal with tiles, cement, paints, designs and woodwork! Ugh.. its not easy!

Btw.. quick emotional outburst – Raikonnen has taken the pole. Hamilton has to wait. Vettel seems a driver to keep an eye on. The last couple of races are going to be amazingly interesting! 😀

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Quite a bit of stuff..

The last three days had a lot of interesting stuff happening all around –

1. Movies like Apne, Aap ka Suroor released. And I consciously stayed away from theatres. lsat heard, people had totally given up on a capped Himesh facing stiff competition from an animated Himesh [ Caricature of a caricature.. that’s intriguing] … and the Deol family’s emotional action movie. One helluva tearjerker, I hear! And going by Dharam paji’s performance at the IIFA awards, nothing short of an oscar nomination!!

2. Indian team finally won a series against South Africa. Last night, the way they started their batting, I wasn’t too hopeful. But it was a good chase in the end. A very very scratchy Yuvraj managed to hold on till the end, thanks to several dropped catches! A cat with whiskers using all his nine lives…

3. The prancing horses finally managed a 1-2. It was good to see Raikkonen at 1. And after a while, it was not because someone else goofed up. They were right up there from the start! 🙂 Good pitstop strategies this time, reminiscent of their glorious days.

4. Was watching A B Vardhan’s (CPI) defense of Pratibha Patil’s various glorious acts. It was great to see a leading politician defend the case with the wisdom of a 5-year old. “Everyone does it.. So what’s wrong if we are also doing it” citing the numerous cases of inappropriate candidatures here and there! Interestingly enough, Pratibha Patil has finally claimed that the allegations are false and baseless. How? Well, that’s not really important, is it?

5. I was writing a post on Air Deccan. Will post it later during the day.. but even before I say something, I saw this post on Y-Lal’s blog. That’s one senior from IIMB days that a lot of people used to admire. In short, everytime I think of an Air Deccan experience, its an equivalent of caught in a peak-hour 2nd class compartment of mumbai local. Whatever you go through is your problem, because we offer cheap services!

Welll…. so much to write.. I think I will pass!

Movie Review: Black Friday (2007)

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind – Mahatma Gandhi

I watched the censored version of Black Friday a couple of days back. I have been thinking of why it was banned. It was said that it will bias public opinion in favor of the charge-sheeted offenders. Will it?

Since eternity, all wars/battles have been master minded by some and executed by several others. These several others are made to believe that they are fighting for a cause. That the cause is greatest cause one can fight for. At times, its revenge for the brotherhood, at other occasions, it might be a struggle for existence and survival. But the cause is always fair. Wars shall cease to exist if people believed in Gandhigiri – someone slaps you on one cheek, offer him the other cheek for slapping. Keep doing it till he is tired, confused, and shocked out of his wits and that’s precisely when his thinking becomes clear. That’s when he would apologize and seek mercy.

Does that mean once my sanity is restored, I should justify the reasons for the fight and the motives of the offender? Hmmm… I don’t quite think so.

Black Friday is a very well researched and well made movie(?). I would rather classify it as a documentary. Or, the serialization of history as shown on History Channel. The bottomline remains – it’s a great movie.

But that does not take anything away from the star-cast full of enraged, confused, frustrated, cheated, lost common people.

Pawan comes up with a truly superlative performance. And Kay Kay comes up with another good restrained and underplayed performance. All the other supporting actors have done justice to their role.

The movie has its comic real life moments as well. Imtiyaaz Ghavate chase which goes on for a long time, and the policeman eventually saying “Ae Imtiyaaz! Yaar ruk ja yaar!” and the shot where a hungry Kay Kay peels off a banana to eat and a hungry constable walks in.

The screenplay is realistic and gripping. The editing is slick and fast paced. Cinematography is just what it should be – scratchy, real, and not with a lot of jazz. The real footage shown from the then Newstrack videos adds the element of nostalgia.

Music – Indian Ocean don’t need a mention. Bandeh is the probably the pick of the lot. But its an album you can keep for the keeps.

Vote- Watch it. Unless you are a pig headed religious captain who cannot absorb reality the way it is. It’s a must watch.

(Ticket)less amusement

here.. another proof that Lalooo gets as much media attention as Ash-Abhishek

However, the most interesting part of the coverage is 3-4 versions of the same incident by different people, all closely related to the event!

Oh Media Media! Where art thou?

Two interesting news items… here and here.

While 1. reminds of some systemic deficiencies in the way Media is evolving in our country

2. reminds me of Manusmriti -which had prescribed fines for such behavior. Read the history section here

I guess its time we have some changes here! Media – wake up! You can play a constructive role in this country..

Dekh tere sansaar ki haalat….

 

Just got this forward from a friend. Was reminded of my incomplete discussion with Shivani (I don’t introduce Shivani as Gullu’s wife anymore!) J

The conversation was around how much information there actually is with the intelligence agencies in India. About terrorists, terrorism, blasts, and what nots. And if there is so much information, as we think there is, why do such incidents happen?

While reading the forward below, the only thought that came to my mind was – Maybe a lot of these people who do not act on the information they have, are reminded of their kids, and of their bread-earner status! Maybe, media would not give their kids the status of “Prince” and cover her for the next 3 days. Maybe, no channel would agree to finance their studies for a lifetime.

Life, sure, has a saracastically funny side to it!

******

The body of Major Manish Pitambare, who was shot dead at Anantnag, was cremated with full military honours at Thane on Wednesday

On Tuesday a news swept across all the news channels ‘Sanjay Datt relieved by the court’. ‘Sirf Munna Not a bhai’ ’13 saal ka vanvaas khatam’ ‘alhough found guilty for possession of armory, Sanjay can breath sigh of relief as all the TADA charges against him are withdrawn’

And then many experts like Salman khan saying ‘He is a good person. We knew he will come out clean’ Mr. Big B ‘Datt family and our family have relations for years he’s a good kid. He is like elder brother to abhishek’. His sister priya Datt ‘we can sleep well tonight…it’s a great relief’

In other news, Parliament was mad at Indian team for performing bad; Greg chapel said something …..; Bomb scare in gorakhpoor express; and Shah Rukh Khan replaces Big B in KBC and Sonia asked PM to consider reducing petroleum prices (I wonder who’s the PM …anyways that is not the topic so leave it…) But most of the emphasis was given on Sanjay Datt’s “phoenix like” comeback from the ashes of terrorist charges.

Surfing through the channels, one news on BBC startled me, it read, Hisbul Mujahidin’s Most wanted terrorist ‘Sohel Faisal’ killed in anantnag, India. Indian Major leading the operation lost his life in the process. Four others are injured.

It was past midnight, I started visiting the Indian channels, the ones who are ‘Sabse TEZ’, but Sanjubaba was still ruling. They were telling How Sanjubaba pleaded to the court saying ‘I am the sole bread earner for my family’ ‘I have a daughter who is studying in US who will look after her’. And then they showed how sanjubaba was not wearing his lucky blue shirt while he was hearing the verdict. Also how he went to every temple and prayed for last some months. A suspect in Mumbai bomb blasts, convicted under armory act…..was being made into a hero.

Sure Sanjubaba has a daughter; sure sanjubaba did not do any terrorist thing as in bombing some place or hijacking an airplane etc. Possessing an AK47 is considered too elementary in terrorist community and also one who possesses an AK47 has a right to possess a pistol so that again is not such a big crime; Sure sanjubaba went to all the temples; Sure he did a lot of gandhigiri but then, people please read on.

Major Manish H Pitambare got the information from his sources about the terrorists’ whereabouts. Wasting no time he attacked the camp killed the Hisbul mujahidin’s suprimo and in the process lost his life. To the bullets fired from an AK47

He has a wife and a daughter (just like sanjubaba), age..18 months.

Major Manish never said ‘I have a daughter’ before he took the decision to attack the terrorist hide out in the darkest of nights?

He never thought about having a family and he being the bread earner

No news channel covered this since they were too busy hyping a former drug addict, an actor in real and reel life, a suspect who’s linked to bomb blasts which killed hundreds. Their aim was to show how he defied the TADA charges and they were so successful that his conviction in possession of armory had no meaning. They also concluded that his parents in heaven must be happy and proud of him

Parents of Major Pitambare are still on this earth and they have to live rest of their lives without their beloved son. His daughter won’t ever see her papa again.

Definition of a Star has changed Major it really has. So sanjubaba always has a gun in every one of his movies then in real life if he has an AK47 then what’s the big deal;

Even if one of the bullets from one of such AK47’s took a Real Star’s life…..

rang de basanti aayi thi tab bhi log aisehich kuch toh bolein they…

Finally Sir, to my generation there is no greater hero than one who laid his life in the name of this great nation. Hence Sir, I salute you. You are the real Star, Vande mataram.

(Forwarded by Nitin Sood)

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