Monthly Archives: May 2009

cm’s yesterday, cm’s today

manmohan singh’s cabinet has taken a long time to come. and guess whom we see in the ministeries??? all ex-chief ministers are now cabinet minsters.

here’s a small list of such people:
sm krishna
veerappa moily
virbhadra singh
vilas rao deshmukh
farooq abdullah
sharad pawar
ghulam nabi azad
sushil kumar shinde
ak anthony
vayalar ravi

they are senior leaders and have served the party well. and their cm tenure should have been more than enough. why make them cabinet ministers? they were cm[chief minister] yesterday, they are cm[cabinet minister] today!

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Posted by on May 27, 2009 in indian politics


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MNS Disrupts Photo-shoot

MNS does it again. A few days back they disrupted the photo-shoot which was happening in a Juhu, Mumbai.

Neetu Chandra and Krishikha Gupta

The ph0to-shoot was no doubt hot, as Neetu Chandra and Krishikha Gupta were slugging it out on the poolside in a bikini.

Neetu Chandra and Krishikha Gupta

While they were still in the heat of the moment, loud sloganeering ‘Jai Maharashtra’ was heard. And soon enough, the MNS goons appeared and they halted the photo-shoot.

Neetu Chandra and Krishikha Gupta

The shoot was on for the cover of The Man magazine, when Raj Thackeray‘s men stopped proceedings.

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Posted by on May 24, 2009 in bollywood, indian politics


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BigB Wax Idol In Madame Tussauds NYC

Amitabh Bachchan’s wax idol now makes its debut in the Madame Tussauds Museum in New York.

A close up of the wax figure

The backdrop of the statue is a replica of the Taj Mahal.

A wax figure of Amitabh Bachchan on display

In fact, this idol is much better than the one which they had put-up in London. The previous idol seemed amateurish, while this looks fine; they got the proportions right and the face is much-much better. So, do rush to NYC and photograph yourself with BigB.

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Posted by on May 24, 2009 in bollywood


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ipl2 finals – kal ke zero, aaj ke hero

last year ipl ended with RCB and DC being at the bottom of the points table. and this year, we have RCB and DC being the finalists of ipl2.

in fact, at the beginning of ipl2, RCB did not have a good start. but change of captaincy and change of attitude has helped them. on the other hand, DC started off the tourney in a great way under the leadership of gilchrist.

whoever wins tomorrow, ipl2 has been a success. i will be cheering RCB, may the best team win. both the teams are winners, coming back from the dumps. zero yesterday, hero today!

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Posted by on May 23, 2009 in cricket, ipl


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with power comes arrogance …

manmohan singh was sworn-in yesterday as the new pm of india. it was a momentous occasion as the 15th lok sabha had given a decisive verdict in favour of congress(i) and since 1971, manmohan singh is the first pm to complete a full 5 yrs term and voted back to power.

since 1991, this has been cong’s best performance with a whopping 200+ seats. and this unpredicted success has probably gone to their head. they are suddenly found distancing themselves from their allies. while dmk was over-expecting by asking for so many ministries, but yet cong should try and mend their ways and politely disagree. no point in angering your allies, they will come handy during crisis and approval of important bills.

similarly, even rjd and sp should be kept in good humour. lalu yadav has been behind the cong and supported sonia gandhi during worst of crisis like ‘foreign origin’ issue etc. i surely do believe that cong should try and keep all their allies happy by distributing the goodies with everybody. cong should share the pie with everybody and not just make them eat humble pie. cong is in danger of falling into the power-trap, coz with power comes arrogance…

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Posted by on May 23, 2009 in indian politics


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time management personality types

recently i had a session on time management and quite a lot of things were spoken about skills and techniques involved in using time in a more efficient manner.  my personal opinion, albeit a little philosophical, is that we don’t manage time but time manages us. time for me is synonymous with destiny, as we usually say time-time ki baat hai

anyways, coming back to the session, a very interesting thing remained with me even after walking out of the session. it was about the various time management personality types based on the way in which different types of people manage themselves within the given time-frame or how they use their time, their behaviour pattern etc. here goes the types, place yourself in it:

perfectionist: these guys are, more often than not, over-indulgent. they get into minute details and begin micro-managing things. they never do a hurried job coz they want to be precise about everything.

fireman: these people treat every incident as critical. they are always on the run, from one crisis to another. they are busy putting out fire, extinguish one then move to the next. they burn-out soon, that’s a major consequence.

over-committer: these guys accept every task that comes their way. they just cannot refuse anything that’s asked of them. this results in them always running away from the very people who have assigned him tasks.

chatty-kathy: these guys have very good communication skills and thye just can’t stop themselves from indulging into small-talk with every tom-dick-harry. this talkative nature leads to pending tasks and unfinished work.

aquarian: these are another breed of people who have work piled on their desk. but its not because they are chatty, its because they are tardy. not just tardy, sometimes they don’t even have the wllingness to perform.

having read these, where do you place yourself?

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Posted by on May 21, 2009 in general


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KKR salvage pride, MI bring shame

kkr have won the last two matches and salvaged some pride. in fact, they have ended their ipl2 on a positive note with a win. this will boost them up as well as bring some cheer to srk. and more importantly, it was not a match of no consequence. kkr’s win actually resulted in rajasthan royals being out of the tourney. that in itself would have given them immense satisfaction. kkr peaked a little too late; a case of too little, too late.

on the other hand, MI haven’t played to their potential at all. they have been a big let-down. the team that boasts of tendulkar, jayasuriya, zaheer khan etc just haven’t played their best cricket. they have lost 3 close matches which they should have won. if a team can’t chase 120[lost to RCB] and if they can’t score 4 runs off 6 balls then they don’t deserve to be in the semis.

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Posted by on May 20, 2009 in cricket, ipl


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Paan Singh Tomar – A Soldier, An Athlete, A Bandit

I had not heard of PST ever, until the day Tigmanshu Dhulia announced that he would be making a movie on him.

Initially I thought it was some fictitious character coz the name sounded quite strange. but i was in for a big surprise when i did a bit of reserach on PST and realised that Tigmanshu was getting ready to shoot a biopic on a real life character.

PST is quite an enigma, his story is definitely worth telling. a man who served the army in the ‘Rajputana Rifles’, took to the tracks and created national records in steeplechase, picked up arms and became a bandit and finally was shot dead by police in an encounter. What a fascinating tale to tell!

In 1958 National Games held in Cuttack, he timed 9mins & 12.4 sec in the steeplechase event and created a national record. Later, in 1964 Open Meet he broke his own record at the Karnail Singh stadium, Delhi with a timing of 9mins & 4 sec.

In between the two records, in 1962 during the India-Germany meet he won the gold medal.

So, what made hin take up the gun? 1960’s was a difficult phase for india. there was the impact of 2 wars and of course the widespread poverty and slow-rate of development. maybe such social issues and class barrier, impoverished demography, and a non-paying sports field and army-life may have pushed him into desperation. He became a bandit!

And he was finally put to rest in a police encounter. a sad end to a life which had seen more glories and deserved much more than he got.

It will be difficult for Tigmanshu to translate this complex story on screen because very less is known abt PST. There is not much info available, no photographs or videos of his athletic skills etc. I believe his coaches and close friends are still there to recount the tale.

What I have stated above as a disadvantage can turn into advantage because it gives Tigmanshu the freedom to mould the character any-which-way since little is known about him. And with Irfan Khan playing the lead, I am sure he will do justice to the character. All the best to the team of PST. Hope to see this character come alive on screen, pretty soon.

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Posted by on May 19, 2009 in bollywood, general


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prabhakaran dead – bure kaam ka bura natija

its been almost 18 years since rajiv gandhi was assassinated by ltte who used a human bomb to eliminate him. it was a gruesome act in which all the body parts were scattered by the impact of explosion.

the sri lankan govt has finally found the dead body of prabhakaran, head of ltte, in similar state. his head was totally delinked from rest of the body. the head had to be placed above the shoulder for photo-shoot. even that part of the head was without the temple and hairs. a gory scene, to say the least.

violence begets violence, a case of divine justice. prabhakaran finally met the fate what he had written for many others. terrorism cannot resolve any issue, in fact it gives birth to a new set of problems and un-thought of consequences. please give peace a chance, make love not war.

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Posted by on May 19, 2009 in general, indian politics


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Prakash Mehra – Rote Huye Aate Hain Sab, Hasta Hua Jo Jayega

Location – Railway Station
Scene-1, Take-1:

A disappointed youngman, totally down and out, failed in his endeavours and wishing to return home, is about to board a train. That’s when a small time director, with a bit of success, appraoches the youngman and advices him to stay on; asks him to be positive and not just that, he also offers him a role in his next upcoming movie. The youngman shows faith in the director and decides to give it one last shot. The movie is made, goes on to become a super-duper hit, the youngman eventually carves a place for himself in the annals of history; and as usual, the director who gave the country an angry-youngman, dies in oldage with lot less than deserved or credited for.

The scene may not have played out as was written above, but that’s how the legend has it. The youngman was none other than Amitabh Bachchan, the one-man-industry; the movie was Zanjeer and the director was Prakash Mehra. Prakash Mehra passed away today in illness, and its a big loss to the film industry.

Let’s just re-play his life, his achievments, his dreams, his movies and his success story. Mehra started out as a production controller, in the late 1950′s, with movies like Ujala which came in 1959 and Professor in 1962. He graduated to become the assisstant director of Majboor in 1964, starring Biswajeet and Waheeda Rehman. His moment finally arrived in 1968, when he turned director with Haseena Maan Jayegi which starred Babita and Shashi Kapoor in a double role. The movie had a decent story with war as a dropback, where one look-alike replaces another, in an inconvenient manner. It has a murder suspense, an emotional drama with Babita playing the wife who is faced with the dilemma of probably living with a man who may not ber her husband, but a look-alike. The movie had two lovely songs, Kabhi Raat Din Hum Door The and Bekhudi Mei Sanam. The film was a good directorial debut and it did very well at the BO, giving much confidence to Mehra.

His next movie as a director came 3 years later, in 1971. Mehra got an opportunity to direct both the Khan brothers together, Feroz and Sanjay, in Mela which released in 1971. The movie was set in a village and we see here the seeds of a typical masala potboiler, which later became his forte, where 3 men revolt against the current panchayat setup of the village. All the characters in the movie were diverse – a man from a lower caste wishing to marry a brahmin girl, an orphan who is brought up by a muslim woman, a daaku who will not allow any women from the village to tie the nuptial knots because the thakurs had raped and killed his sweetheart. The orphan was played by Sanjay and Feroz played the disgruntled daaku, and added to this is the twist of the lost-and-found saga where 20 years back Feroz had lost his sibling in a fair. Mehra probably hit the winning formula with this movie, with a great mix of characters, secular touch, cast/class barriers and the lost-found story. The movie was well received at the BO.

Before Mehra turned producer with Zanjeer in 1973, he directed a few other movies like Samadhi and Ek Kunwari Ek Kunwara. Neither of the movies did very well, but Samadhi did have one zingy number which later became popular after being remixed, Kanta Laga.

Finally Mehra decided to produce movies and Zanjeer was his first venture. This movie catapulted Amitabh Bachchan to stardom and gave us the man who would go onto become the superstar of the millenium. There is so much to write about this movie, but it may not be possible right here. All I would like to say is that Mehra directed this movie with utmost honesty and it showed. He portrayed actual anger and not just undertones of it, as was seen in movies of 1960′s and 70′s. The manner in which BigB does not let a criminal occupy a seat in the police station, the way in which he displayed smouldering anger when he was jailed on false charges and the way BigB interacted with the anti-elements of the society was brilliant. He did it, without playing to the gallery; he later lost this art.

After the unpredicted success of Zanjeer, Mehra directed Haath Ki Safai in 1974. This was another lost-and-found story where a young Raju is orphaned and separated from his elder brother Shankar. Raju becomes a small time pickpocket while Shankar becomes a don. In what circumstance they meet again, how a stolen necklace brings them together forms the rest of the movie. Randhir Kapoor played Raju and Shankar was played by Vinod Khanna. Mehra, by now, had mastered the art of making such masala movies and as was expected this movie also went on to become a big hit. The song Waada Karle Saajna, from the movie, remains one of the most romantic songs.

Two years later, in 1976, came Hera Pheri starring Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna; the movie was produced by Mehra himself. This was the second time that Mehra directed BigB and Vinod Khanna, but the first time he was directing them together. The movie had a convoluted storyline about two friends who are petty thiefs who have a secret past which leads to familial revenge drama. Although the movie was not good, it rode on the waves of BigB and VK. The movie had lots of comical moments, silly laughs and gags and a few funny songs as well. Mehra handled his stars well, but went over-the-top in all departments.

The success of Hera Pheri prompted Mehra to bring the two stars together again, this time in a new-age Devdas version. The movie was Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, produced and directed by him. The movie was mediocre at best, but no one notices the flaw when the package is this good. Mehra roped in Amjad Khan, Rekha and Rakhi; and added his twists to the story. Rekha played out Chandramukhi while Rakhi was happy playing Paro; the twist was that both of them had admirers. Vinod Khanna was the love interest of Paro, who pulls her out of BigB’s space of affection and love. Amjad Khan was the local goon who likes Chandramukhi, so you must have understood that BigB was the sulking Devdas. The movie had some beautiful songs like O Saathi Re, Salaam-e-Ishq and the title song; all set to tunes by Kalyanji-Anandji. The movie did whopping business, cemented BigB’s position in the industry and turned Mehra into a director with golden touch.

Mehra and BigB went on to give 3 more blockbusters to the industry; Laawaris in 1981, Namak Halaal in 1982 and Sharaabi in 1984. Although, all these movies did wonderfully well at BO, they lacked a sense of script and drama. Namak Halaal had a myraid of comical scenes scattered throughout the movie – the party scene [totally inspired by Peter Seller’s movie The Party], the interview scene about cricket commentary, the dinner table scene with the fly and of course the drunk scene. It was BigB’s performance that pulled in the crowds, enthused the movie-goers. Mehra should be given the credit for taking the best out of BigB, tapping his emotional and comical talent to great effect.

Sharaabi was a movie inspired by Arthur, but the movie succeeded due to BigB’s brilliant portrayal of a drunk yet happy and graceful man who is out to help the needy. His emotional detachment with his father, how he drowns himself in alcohol and desires no part of his father’s wealth went very well with the audience. They laughed, they cried, they sympathised with him and loved him so much that they made the movie a huge success by watching it again and again. Similarly, in Laawaris too, the audience sympathised with BigB and totally understood his angst. Mehra could literally feel the pulse of the fans and the normal movie watchers, and showed Amitabh Bachchan in all those roles which would appeal to them. All three movies lacked a sense of purpose, was not good cinema but just entertainers which went on to do well only because BigB starred in them. Mehra directed these movies which were totally over-the-top, but credit must go to BigB for carrying-off these mediocre roles with such panache.

Another thing that went in Mehra’s favour was the music of the movies. All the movies had songs that are sung to this day – Pag Ghungroo Baandh, Raat Baaki, Aaj Rapat Jaye, Jahan Char Yaar, De De Pyar De, Inteha Ho Gayi Intezar Ki, Kabke Bichhde, Mere Angne Mei and many more. All these songs were picturized well and BigB came to the forefront as a true entertainer.

In 1989, Mehra directed BigB for the last time in Jaadugar. The movie was weak in all departments, the script was bad, the dialogues were plain, setup was horrible and everything about it had ‘flop’ written all over it. But BigB did the movie in good faith, never ever questioning his directors. The movie tried to portray him as a messiah of sorts, and BigB’s get-up was matched up to resemble Jesus and so were the long drawn sermons. Only a die-hard fan of Amitabh can sit through the movie, and I have not just sat through it but have watched it quite a few times.

The last directorial venture of Mehra came in 1996, Bal Bramhachari which was the debut movie of Rajkumar’s son Puru Rajkumar and co-starring Karishma Kapoor. The movie was a non-starter at the BO, and Puru could never really recover from his bad debut.

Nevertheless, Mehra’s contribution in the industry is immense. He will be remembered for the great association he had with Amitabh Bachchan and the way they enthralled the audience for a decade. He will be remembered for giving Alka Yagnik her singing debut in Mere Angne Mei and for the fantastic antics of BigB in that song penned by his father, Harivansh Rai Bachchan. He will be remembered as a man with a big heart, who made movies king-size, conjured up images that audience would not just relate to but also lap it up. He will be remembered everytime we play out those funny sequences from Namak Halaal and Sharaabi, everytime BigB delivers the emotional lines from Muqaddar Ka Sikandar and everytime a police station scene is shot. He will be remembered as a great entertainer who gave us BigB.

zindagi to bewafa hai, ek din thukrayegi
maut mehbooba hai apne saath lekar jayegi
mar ke jeene ki ada jo duniya ko dikhlayega
wo muqaddar ka sikandar jaaneman kehlayega

May his soul rest in peace.

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Posted by on May 18, 2009 in bollywood, movies


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