Sunday, January 21, 2007

No 'Londy' in Pondy. Only Ch**iap !

Starring- Shashank, Prasenjit and Ankur.


Budget- Not more than Rs.250 per head.

Let me first introduce you to these two great souls- Shashank and Prasenjit (my fellow partners in all crimes). We three are classmates and share the same bench (to be more prcise, the last bench). In these four years we have successfully managed to piss off every teacher of our department and we feel so good about it :D.

Pondicherry is a beautiful escape. When you are bored with the “aam zindagi”, just head to Pondy. You can find a lot of retirees and foreigners there, searching the true meaning of life- crappy things like…moksha and salvation. But what on earth could bring three unscrupulous guys like us to Pondy??? Ya, I know that liquor is real cheap here but, we are nice guys, we don’t drink!!! Actually we have had enough of “The Satyam Multiplex” and “The Spencer’s Plaza”. We wanted to unwind. “Lekin kisi k pass zyada paisa nahi tha, Pondy was the cheapest bet.”

The photos that follow were taken by Prasenjit’s new Nikon, digital camera. It had a 10X optical zoom, we made full use of it.( Sorry I can’t show you those zoomed pics here, if u want them, just drop in your mail id along with your comment). These are some of the un-photogenic and un-creative pics that we took. Shashank is the not so thin guy and Prasenjit is the guy who isn’t fat. I am wearing the yellow T. Please, don’t commit suicide, life is beautiful.

--We reached Pondy on a Saturday, midnight. All hotels were packed up. What to do? Shashank came up with a brilliant idea. We found the best hotel around, went in and said “Can we have 2 deluxe rooms”.

“Sorry Sir we are full, the rooms will only be vacant tomorrow morning.”, replied the receptionist.

“So, what should we do now?”, Prasenjit enquired to the receptionist.

“Sir if you don’t mind , you can make yourself at home in our Sofas”, said the receptionist.

“Ok, we will manage”, said Shashank, jaise ki sala bachpan se 5 star hotels mein rehta hai.

I whispered “Chal beta sone ka intezaam ho gaya”.

This photo was taken by the receptionist, she did a great job and we really felt at home.

In the morning we were as invisible as Mr. India.

--This is the Auro beach. We heard that we could see a lot of bikini clad foreigners here in this beach. Found none. Yeh firangi banda mila tha. Bol raha tha ki woh International surfboarding champion hai. Humne uske sath photo khinchwaya. Jab woh ja raha tha, we three showed him our middle fingers. Ha ha, we can be so mean!

--Shashank and Me. Tried to pose as if we were shooting for the cover of our new music album. Failed miserably.

Prasenjit took this pic at ‘Pichavaram’, it’s a beautiful place near Pondy. Very few know about it. This place has the only mangrove forests in India apart from the Sunderbans.

--This was our ride. My new Car, Accent Glx. Cost me a mere 9 lakhs. (Drugs bechne k bahut fayde hain). Gottcha!!!

Arey yar lawaris gadi khadi thi, hum theeno ne bari bari se pose maar ke photo khinchwaya.

--This old man was selling cigarattes and stuffs at a tourist spot. I bought a couple of suttas and asked him to smile for the camera, he tried hard, but, couldn’t.

--I took this pic at the Pondy bus stand. The little girl was tryin hard to make the monkey stare at the camera. The little boy in the pic is her brother. He danced like Rajnikant and did a better job. The picture got a bit blurred, I guess even the camera wasn't sure about there future. Let’s hope that someday they wont have to beg.

The last two pics reflected a lot to my psyche. Wherever I went in India, I couldn’t keep myself away from the bitter truth of poverty. But, whatever it might be, I love India and I love her the way She is.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Wah Guru !!!

"The country has lost iconic proof of what an ordinary Indian fired by the spirit of enterprise and driven by determination can achieve in his own lifetime."

-Atal Bihari Vajpaye, the ex-Prime Minister of India

Recently I read nobel laureate Amartya sen’s ‘The Argumentaive Indian’ and I hugely identified myself with the title. We Indians love to discuss gibberish. We talk about politics, cricket, movies, education and everything. We definitely love to ‘talk the talk’ but, we hardly ‘walk the talk’. I won’t blabber on this topic now and make your life miserable.

One of the many issues that we love to discuss and argue over is movies. I watch a lot of movies and consider myself a good critic. Ha ha! Do I sound pompous? I can undoubtedly say that I have a lot of competition in the criticism field. Half of my branchmates can give me a run for my money. When we start discussing about a movie we talk about everything from the acting skills, direction, screenplay, script, dialogues, music, makeup and what not? In short “hum film ki maa , behan…..”. Though I am sure that none of us has ever been to a film set.

Like a true movie freak I was ready to watch the first day first show of the new flick ‘Guru’ at a plush chennai multiplex this Friday. So what that the ticket price will drill a hole through my denim pocket, I want to catch the first show of this much awaited movie. After all it features Abhishek Bachan, Aishwarya Rai, Madhavan, Vidya Balan and my favorite childhood ‘hero’, Mithun Da. If I am correct, this is the first time that Bollywood is making a movie on a businessman. Hollywood has made a few, among which ‘The Aviator’ is the most famous one, which showcases the erratic lifestyle of Howard Hughes. “Abb Bollywood ki bari hai”.

I saw Guru and what I write now will definitely help my friends decide whether they want to watch it or save their buck.

Guru is a biographical movie on the life of Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of the Reliance Industries, though at the starting of the movie the screen reads that “the characters in the movie are purely fictional and bear no resemblance to any person living or dead”.

I can’t describe the movie in a single word as ‘Guru’elsome or ‘guru’pping(I meant gripping, I am so bad at these word games!). Though I can say the post interval part was definitely ‘guru’elling.

Mani Ratnam didn’t had to worry about the story, he could have named the movie ‘Dhiru’. The story is simply a cut-paste from Dhirubhai’s biography, minus some changes here and there. The story opens in a village in Gujarat named Idhar. Guru fails in his exams and his father who is a teacher in the village school, tells him to do whatever he wants in dejection. The young Guru moves to Turkey where he sells petrol cans. Here I must tell you that Dhirubhai moved to Yemen (not Turkey).

[Here is an interesting piece of fact that I gathered from the Internet. You may skip it if you are interested only for the review.]

“In the 1950s the Yemini administration realized that their main unit of currency Rial were disappearing fast. Upon investigating it was realized that all Rials were being routed to the Port City of Aden. There a young man in his twenties was placing unlimited buy orders of Yemini Rials. During those days the Yemini Rial was a pure silver coin and was in much demand at the London Bullion Exchange. Young Dhirubhai would buy the Rials, melt them in pure silver and sell it to the bullion traders in London . In the later part of his life while talking to reporters it is believed that he said “The margins were small but it was money for jam. After three months, it was stopped. But I made a few lakh of rupees. In short I was a manipulator. A very good manipulator. But I don’t believe in not taking opportunities..”

Back to review. Guru realizes that it’s best to work for himself and not for others. (The basic idea of entrepreneurship). Then he returns to India to realize his dream. Then it’s all about the shortcomings he faces and how he overcomes them.

What really stood out in the movie for me are the performances by Abhishek, Aishwarya (this is the first time she ‘acted’) and Mithun. Abhishek carried himself in the un-glamorous role flawlessly. Aishwarya gave a sober performance. But, for me Mithun Da stole the show. That’s the way to go Mithun da. ( Enough of “kasam paida karne wale ki” type of movie). The music of the movie is a clear upset from A.R. Rehmaan. Except for the two songs, ‘Ay hayrathe’ and ‘Barso re megha’ which are also not very good, the rest of the songs are too ‘pakau’. The cinematography is just ‘ossuum’.(It always is, in a Mani Ratnam movie).

There is an Arabic item number for all you cleavage hungry guys (Mallika Sherawat does the honours) and a smooch scene between Madhavan and Vidya Balan.(Is this the same girl who refused to wear minis in movies?).

What more do you want? Just go ahead and watch it.

Ques for Mr. Mani Ratnam: Sir if you are reading this post, why do you make these four lettered word movies? First it was Roja, then Yuva and now Guru. Maybe you can call the next one Mani.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

"Boulevard of broken dreams"

The city of ‘The Gateway of india’ and the ‘Victoria Terminus’,

The city of the ‘Shree Sidhivinayak’ and the ‘Haji Ali’,

The city of the ‘Marine Drive’ and the Bandra Band Strand,

The city of the Fashion Street and the innumerable malls,

The city of the Bombay Stock Exchange and the Bollywood,

The city of the Dawoods and the Salems,

The city of the rich and the poor,

The city that never sleeps.

The city of DREAMS. Mumbai.

Here I am again, waiting for my train to chennai at the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus. (CST, it was previously known as the Victoria Terminus). I like to pronounce myself a true optimist who sees the glass half full and not half empty, so I hope to get atleast one ‘XY’ material in my compartment. After all I am boarding a train from the city of dreams. (For those who do not know about my fetish for this dream please read my previous post titled ‘Mumbai Calling’).

My ticket wasn’t confirmed but at the last moment I found my name besides S8, 48, on the confirmation chart. Thanks to God, it seemed it was my lucky day.

Last time around I was cursing my lady luck, so God decided to give me a surprise. And boy, did he surprise me? I found myself in the company of 7 ladies in my compartment. Does that sound exciting? No way!!! They were all above 60 and I am not a pervert. Dude who says I don’t have a lady luck? So, when you have 7, sixty plus ladies accompanying you on a train journey what can you expect? I really didn’t had any expectations but, these Dadis were kind enough and they started singing bhajans in their shrill voice. Now can you beat that? Great, what more? Finally, Mr. Steve Jobs came to my rescue. Thank god, I had my iPod with me. So here I am sitting with my iPod, earphones stuck hard into my ears and the volume to the full as Green Day sings “the boulevard of broken dreams”.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mumbai Calling !!!

My 7th Semester exams were over and suddenly I found myself so much idle. I had nothing to do except to click the ‘refresh’ icon on the Orkut page to see if my scrap count has increased. I live with four guys of my college. All of them are very good friends of mine but, we hardly get to talk to each other. Actually all of them are ‘going out’ with some girls of my college. So when I wake up at 10 AM in the morning, I find myself alone in our flat and ‘The Hindu’ staring at me pleading me to read it. No, I am not what you think, I am definitely straight. No offence intended, it’s just that I am not very comfortable with this “patao, satao aur hatao” business. I used to start my day reading all the crappy news from India and all over the world. Thanks to “The Hindu-since 1878”, my god, that’s a lot of crap! The rest of the day I sat in front of my PC, orkutting. It sucked but, I had no choice. In short, “life bore maar raha tha yaar”. Its was during one of these days when I was browsing the net, sitting alone in my flat that my uncle (mama) called. This is the conversation that we had.

me: Hello mamu, kaise hain aap?

mamaji: Main think hoon, tera sab kaisa chal raha hai?

me: sab thik hai, abhi semesters khatam huye, awaiting my results.

mamaji: Acha tu wahan Chennai mein kya kar raha hai?? Yahan mumbai kyun nahi chala aata ??

me : Mumbai ? Wahan jake main kya karunga ?

mamaji: Arey yahan ghumne k liye kitne jagah hai. Tu aa ja.

I thought this was a good opportunity to get rid of my boredom

me: Thik hai mamaji, main ticket karwa leta hoon.

mamaji: Achi baat hai, jaldi ticket karwa ke aa ja. Rakhta hoon.

So, my mamaji came to my rescue. I went to the reservation office that day and bought the tatkal tickets for Mumbai.

Day: 23rd Dec, 2006

Time: 23:54

Location: Somewhere in Tamil Nadu, inside the Mumbai mail, coach S6, berth 67

As I was sitting on my upper birth, I decided to pen down a few words.

I am going to Mumbai. It has been almost an hour that the train departed from Chennai. As usual, I had hoped that I would have some pretty girl for my company in the train but, as luck would have it, I was disappointed. My berth no. is 67, that means my coup is just besides the toilet. To make matters worse I have seven middle aged men for my company. Out of them four are Telugus, staying in the Andamans. They proudly told that they were a group of 30 pilgrims going to Shirdi. The other three men are busy in their heated discussion about the state of the Indian Railways. They are having a nice GD and each one is trying to impress each other by stating facts that even the railways doesn’t know. They know so much about our great nation!!! One of them has a great sense of humor, criticizing the ‘system’, he says “Mera Bharaat mahaan, 100 mein se 99 beiman”. In between all this I sit on my berth cursing my lady luck. I really want to grab some sleep but, the critics are busy discussing the new ‘tatkal’ and the ‘waiting’ schemes, and how Mr. Lalu made Railways a success story. So I decide to give away my sleep and flip through the pages of the Business World.