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Thanks For All The Laughs, RIP Jaspal Bhatti

Serial banaane wale, kya tere mann mei samayi
Kaahey ko comedy banaayi tuney, kaahey ko comedy banaayi

Kahan se miley tumhe nakli se actor
Kahan se laya ye flop director
Kaahey ko kiya tuney serial ka halwa
Prime time ka tuney kiya hai malwa
Gup-chup tamasha dekhe, waah re teri chaturayi
Kaahey ko comedy banaayi tuney, aahey ko comedy banaayi

These were the words of the parody song in the episode of ‘Kabristan ka chowkidar‘ which was one of the episodes of Flop Show. This one parody sums up the efforts of the motley crew, ably handled by Jaspal Bhatti, to capture the society and the ills of the bureaucracy. The above episode was on making of a tv series. Towards the end of the episode, a body equivalent to ITA, awards Jaspal Bhatti for ‘Best Comedy’ and Bhatti saheb, in his typical sarcastic tone says ‘Humne to tragedy banayi thi !’

A tragedy played on the tv screens and we laughed ourselves silly because every incident was slice of life. Our interactions with government officials, our struggle to get a telephone connection, our hassles with the builder/contractor, our long wait for a chief guest to cut a ribbon, our inability to push medical bills lying at the boss’ table, our attempt at working for a PhD, and so many such incidents depicted in the serial are straight out of our lives. We can identify with these issues even today. And that’s one of the reasons why Flop Show has stood the test of time as it still strikes a chord with the common man.

His cast was usually remained the same; the reliable Vivek Shauq and his wife Savita featured in most of the episodes. Another highlight of Flop Show was the credit rolls. Misdirection, Production Damager, Camera Jerks etc. It was like, they were making fun of themselves while still addressing serious issues. And he had the uncanny wit to call the series Flop Show.

In just 10 episodes, he tried his best to throw light on civil society and the babudom. Week after week, the satire played on as he took up one issue at a time. In one of the episodes on the difficulty of obtaining a new landline phone connection, he showed the benefits of having a lines-man as a damaad [son-in-law]. In an era where common man had to wait for 6 months to get a telephone connection, a damaad in telecom could benefit the entire family. While in another episode he showed the nexus between builder and neta; how a bad quality of construction ends up as a reward to the builder when a resident of the house was trying to drive a nail into the wall and the entire wall fell on a small time thief  and he was nabbed, is just hilarious.

His parody songs in Flop Show were just superb. ‘Jis gali mei kirayedar se jhagda na ho, uss gali mei hume ghar lena nahi‘, in the episode where tenants take ownership of house and drive out the real owners. Then ‘Bill da mamla hai‘, parodied on Gurdas Mann’s song was used in the episode where Bhatti gets his friend’s treatment done on his office expense at ‘Hit & Trial’ hospital.

His late foray into films was also a welcome move. But barring a few performances, like in Aa Ab Laut Chalen, he wasn’t utilized well. Maybe, he wasn’t used to being directed by others or probably didn’t like the limitations of doing cameo roles. That’s the reason he kept going back to making movies for his own production house. Although he did a couple of more tv shows like ‘Thank you Jijaji’ and ‘Full Tension’, but none of them could match the wit or content of ‘Flop Show’. Flop Show became his identity.

Bhatti was also known for organising events that would make fun of government policies and decisions. He would create fake political parties with hilarious names like ‘Hawala Party’ and ‘Suitcase Party’ during elections, and poke fun at the political class. His sense of humor and the deep satire was appreciable. Without trying to be over-the-top, he would convey the message in a sly manner.
The rip-roaring laughter that Bhatti generated was infectious. Bhatti was not just a satirist, but a good observer of the way things function. His work in Ulta Pulta and Flop Show are basically social commentaries. And he continued this even on his twitter account.

His sudden death has shocked one and all. It was really premature, as he was just 57. And what’s worse is that, he isn’t around to see the release of his latest movie ‘Power Cut‘ which he was busy promoting for past few months. He still had a lot of laughs left in him, but we shall never hear it.

Last year it was shagird Vivek Shauq, and this year guru Bhatti has joined him. On the brighter side, heaven will now be a funny place and he can spoof Chitragupt and Yamraj. Please don’t shed tears for him, that would only be hurting his spirit. Spread smile and cheer, and he will continue to live-on. Thanks Bhatti ji for all the laughs you provided us. R.I.P.

Also published on MadAboutMoviez

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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in bollywood, movies, personal, sitcom

 

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george costanza : a character from ‘seinfeld’


Let me start off by explaining to you the meaning of sitcom, a word that’s grossly mis-used by many promos who claim their series to be a sitcom, but they are not actually sitcoms. Sitcom stands for SITuational COMedy, a comedy that’s created by a situation and done tastefully without any caricaturing and lampooning. By far, the best sitcom I have ever seen is ‘Seinfeld‘ created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld himself.

The series revolves around 4 characters, JerryGeorgeKramerElaine, who who have no regards for societal norms and a scant view of the society in general; they live in a world of their own. All the four have their own whims and fancies and an obscured outlook on life. And the most fascinating of all the four characters is George Costanza who forever changed shallowness and selfishness one could exhibit in public. He made it sound cool, look funny and justified his asinine behavior by stoooping to new lows. He lowered the bar of morality, glorified misdemeanor and cheap behavior, he had no work ethics, he had no job for most part of the series and lived off his parents, he had no money, no steady girlfriend, no prospects in life, and no conceivable reason to wake up in the mornings, except perhaps to get the daily news perhaps.

Anyways, here are some of the most memorable lines that he delivered in the series. It exemplifies everything that I have tried to convey above:

  • Every decision I have ever made in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I wanted to be. Every instinct I have, in every aspect of life, is it something to wear, something to eat, it’s all been wrong
  • Yeah, I’m a great quitter: it’s one of the few things I do well… I come from a long line of quitters. My father was a quitter, my grandfather was a quitter… I was raised to give up
  • It’s not a lie, if you believe it
  • Pity’s very underrated. I like pity. It’s good
  • If you look annoyed all the time, people think you’re busy
  • But, but I’m disturbed…I’m depressed…I’m inadequate; I got it all
  • I know less about women than anyone in the world
  • I always get the feeling that when lesbians are looking at me they’re thinking, that’s why I’m not a heterosexual
  • I think I can sum up the show for you with one word; Nothing
  • When women smile at me I don’t know what it means. Sometimes I interpret it like they’re psychotic or something. And I don’t know if I’m supposed to smile back. I don’t know what to do.
  • For me to ask a woman out, I’ve got to get into a mental state like the karate guys before they break the bricks
  • Instead of doing a wash, I just keep buying underwear. My goal is to have over 360 pair. That way I only have to do wash once a year
  • She thinks I’m a nice guy. Women always think I’m nice. But women don’t want nice. Why is nice bad? What kind of a sick society are we living in when nice is bad?
  • Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable. I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but I was perceptive. I always know when someone’s uncomfortable at a party. It all became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made in my entire life has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat… It’s often wrong
  • Hey, believe me, baldness will catch on. When the aliens come, who do you think they’re gonna relate to? Who do you think’s gonna be the first ones getting a tour of the ship?
  • I’m much more comfortable criticizing people behind their backs
  • You know, the funny thing is, somehow I find her more appealing now… It’s like if I knew she was a lesbian when we went out, I never would’ve broken up with her
  • Borrowing money from a friend is like having sex. It just completely changes the relationship
  • No, I can’t. I can’t die with dignity. I have no dignity. I want to be the one person who doesn’t die with dignity. I live my whole life in shame. Why should I die with dignity?
  • I just threw away a lifetime of guilt-free sex, and floor seats for every sporting event in Madison Square Garden. So please, a little respect. For I am Costanza: Lord of the Idiots!
  • I wish there were pigmen. You get a few of these pigmen walking around I’m looking a whole lot better. Then if somebody wants to fix me up at least they could say, “Hey he’s no pig-man!”
  • Bald men with no jobs and no money who live with their parents don’t approach strange women
  • You know I always wanted to pretend I was an architect
  • I don’t think I could do it. You know, they always remember the first time. I don’t want to be remembered. I wanna be forgotten
  • I don’t want hope. Hope is killing me. My dream is to become hopeless. When you’re hopeless you don’t care. And when you don’t care, that indifference makes you attractive.
  • The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A death. What’s that, a bonus?!?! I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you go live in an old age home. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, then, when you start work, you get a gold watch on your first day. You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You drink alcohol, you party, and you get ready for high school. You go to primary school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities. You become a little baby, you go back, spend your last 9 months floating with luxuries like central heating, spa, room service on tap, then you finish off as an orgasm! Amen
 
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Posted by on August 19, 2009 in general, hollywood, sitcom

 

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