Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Daily Travellers!

Traveling to office every morning covering a stretch of almost 15 kms in about 1.5 hrs does give me enough time to do a lot of  worthless work and guess I am mastering that art pretty nicely;) In the last couple of months I have been locomoting,I have figured out the different categories of people who travel by bus. I am sure the ones who frequent local train and metro trains can also relate to it.
The Radio Listeners: They form a major chunk of the population. They will have ear buds plugged in and they don't give a damn as to what the world is up to. They will never remove them, and still are able to hear each and every thing directed at them. They simply cannot travel without it and it remains plugged into their ears till the time they occupy their office seats.
The Intellectuals: They are generally the ones on the wrong side of their Forties,and they will always carry a newspaper or a book along. They will be one of the first to occupy the seat in the bus, will make themselves comfortable and make it a point to read the material in the entire stretch of the journey. 
The Social Media Addicts: These are the ones in their teens and twenties and will be engaged in their smart phones as soon as they board the bus. Usually the last ones to board the bus and they occupy a corner in the transport. You can often find them laughing and smiling with their eyes fixed on their cell phones while you wonder something's wrong with them!
The Boyfriend/Girlfriend type: If they are on a call throughout the journey, and you aren't able to listen what he/she is talking, though you are seated next to him/her, you can be safely put them in this category.
The Workaholics: Here are the ways to identify the workaholics. Either they will be busy talking on a phone loudly giving or taking instructions about what is to be done next, or they will be catching up a quick nap or finishing off their breakfast/lunch/dinner, because they have a long day at work and cannot afford to while away their precious time in the less important and petty worldly affairs.
The All in One type: They will be the ones who will have the ear phones plugged in, eyes on their mobile screen, taking calls in between and would also be carrying some reading material with them, which does come out of their bag, but usually remains closed!
The Gang of Girls/Boys: They will usually be on their way to the college, tuition or way back home. They will all be carrying notebooks in their hand and you can hear them bitching about others, talking about the latest movies, the latest addition to their wardrobe and often bringing in each others mothers and sisters in the midst of the conversation (usually in case of boys) oblivious to the fact that they are in a public transport.
The Exceptions: If you do not fall in the above types, then I am afraid you are an exception, and you can have all the time in the world to testify the above classification.

P.S: Do let me know which category you fall in.

Signing Off,

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Barfi!..class apart!

Picture Shuru...Ho gayi Picture Shuru
Picture me aaju baju walo ka khayal rakhna,
Picture me saamne ki kursi pe na pao rakhna
Picture me mobile aur bachhe dono off rakhna
Picture Shuru...Picture Shuru! 

The movie took off with the above notice, and certainly brought smiles to the faces of audience, which they kept wearing till the end. Very rarely, do you see a movie, which ends with an applause, a round of cheer by almost everyone present (Not the, Sunny Deol or Salman Khan types). Barfi!, for one, is a part of that privileged genre. Yes, he is deaf and dumb, she is autistic, but the equation they share is unparalleled. Already enough has been said and written about the classic roles essayed by versatile Ranbir, gutsy Priyanka and beautiful Ileana (I loved her Bong Bahu look!), and of course the vision of craft master Anurag Basu (Yes, the same guy who made Kites), but I can't help writing even more. There are moments which leave you smiling, which leaves your eyes moist, but in the end this movie makes you happy!How a person riddled with so many troubles manages to stay happy and give away his signature smile even in the worst of circumstances, makes you forget your miseries. I know, it might sound a bit cheesy, but yes, that's the effect it has!
They deserve all the accolades and the appreciation they are getting, and the audience are loving it. What I hope is, this movie goes on to be a mega hit, just like the Singhams' and Ek Tha Tigers' and the BodyGuards',(in fact it deserves to be much bigger than those), but as I write this I know this is not going to be. If it does, it will certainly motivate the directors, and more importantly the producers to invest in such scripts, the 'hatke' one's, not the so called mainstream cinema. Although there has been a lot of such films making waves (along with money) in the recent past, the likes of Kahaani, Vicky Donor, Wasseypur topping the list.
Succinctly I would say this is impeccable cinema, completely Hollywood material. (May be I am overrating it, but then that's what I feel!)Barfi might give away some traces of Charlie Chaplin, Mr. Beans, or Raj Kapoor but then what matters is, it's simplicity and silence subtly manages to tickle you and touch 'that' corner in your heart!
P.S: Darjeeling is my favorite hill station, and the Chhau Dance sequence was terrific. And yes, I hoped to see the 'Fatafati' number in the end, but alas!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The WIngs Of Silence!

Wings of Silence, a very apt title for a tale marked by some of the most subtle feelings of humans. This is one of the finest tales, never heard of. The relations has brought alive by the author. It doesn’t speak just about the relation between two brothers, it’s about almost all the relations existent in a Hindu family, whether it be a father-son, mother daughter, cousins, aunt, grandparents and even the relationship of humanity! One might just say that this would have never happened in real life, a brother sacrificing his career for one, who was completely worthless, but then the author, shapes up and builds the story and the characters, in such a way it compels you to believe it can! Each and every protagonist is very finely described, a soft, strong willed Raj Sethi, who hardly (in fact never, save for his diary and after winning the Gold!) displays his emotion, the winner, the topper, Mr. perfect Saurav Sethi, the smart, beautiful, caring, Shalini, and the disciplinarian Akshay Sethi. In the beginning it seemed like the book would revolve around the life of Saurav Sethi, through whose eyes the entire description is done, but gradually, after the girl of her dreams came into his life, he was a changes man. He was more concerned for his brother, who was a loner, who craved for company, but never told (or signed). He understood that there is much more to life than just medals, and being the centre of attraction. He had to give a life to his brother first. Some of the portions, like running away from family and the wallet being stolen from goons, did seem straight out of the movies, but when the parts before and after it are so absorbing, you hardly care. I went through this book in straight eight hours and felt a lot of emotions creeping in and making eyes moist. The part where Akshay hugs Raj, Raj not leaving Saurav after winning the medal and placing his medal on his neck were some of the best moments! Apart from the above characters, I loved the character of Ekta, and Aunt Sheelu. They completely symbolize the essence of a joint Hindu family. On Saurav’s part it was definitely a very bold decision, to against his parents, to go against himself, and I also tried asking myself the same question after reading his situation, but I am afraid you actually need to be in his shoes to answer such a question. What he did was something commendable, and was probably out of the fear that he would lose his new friend, his brother. In one sense, this was more because he couldn’t imagine his life without Raj, and although he thought winning an Olympic gold would bring redemption to Raj, he knew it was too much to ask for. The love angle between Shalini and Saurav was cute, and so was between Olga and Raj (however short it may be), and Sheelu aunty teasing them added a bit of spice, but I am glad it was not overdone! However, I just wished Saurav would have also gone on to win the Wimbledon, but then, it surely would have been too ‘Bollywoodish’.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Google It...!!Really??

I saw this man on television answering questions on the Infosys debacle, I had seen him but wasn't able to recollect who he was. After about 2 minutes, I put my mind to rest and pulled out the weapon which has all the answers. Google!Turned out the man in question was the Co-Chairman of the company Kris Gopalachari.
The question which struck me was "Is Google making us dumb??" or maybe "dumber"
I started pondering over this thought and developed two contradictory set of theories.
We grew up in the time of video cassettes and Floppy discs, Computers were a luxury back then and search meant searching through the dark recess of cupboard for our best pair of clothes. Britannica was the answer to all our questions, and Oxford used to be give us the meanings! As of today, in this fast paced world, it is really hard to ignore the infinite collection of information available on Google. It has an answer to everything! You want a recipe, or you want to research about the Mayans, you'll get it all. All the facets of today's world: humor, politics, economics, entertainment etc. is available with it. It has answers to questions no one else probably would have. I am not advocating copying or cheating or plagiarism and am not telling you to find the easy way out, but you just cannot ignore looking out for a library which stocks everything under the sun. It doesn't matter whether you are 16 or 60, your cast creed or religion, modern technology insures knowledge is at your tips. One is only as dumb as he wants to be. Most of us are certainly smarter than that!
This argument stems from the basic assumption, that we were smart earlier. But then that's a debate another day. Google is making us dumb, in fact dumber, if I can be politically  incorrect. Do you remember the last time you applied your mind to a thought? All our brains work today is think "How do we Google it"? PC or on phone?
Our grey cells are slowly and steadily rusting, thanks to google, and with the advent of social networking, the dumb quotient has hit an all time low. We don't even google it now. It's just a tweet and the Twitterati replies with an answer! We have successfully added a whole new step to an otherwise prosaic process. Just for argument sake let's say that Google indeed has made us smarter and we have a high IQ to support the fact. 
But then, where did you check your IQ?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Australian factor..!

By this time, I guess it is pretty clear from my diary entries that I am a "Late to bed, late to rise" person, but I don't mind waking up early if I have a Cricket Match to catch up..;). Jokes apart, saw the English Premier league decider, and interestingly the season is all set for a nail biting finish, with both the Manchester Clubs vying for the No. 1 spot! Coming back to cricket, I guess it's time Dada needs to sit down and think what's best for him. I hope he doesn't end up kicked in the midst of the series from the Pune franchise. He is simply not working for them, and being on the wrong side of the thirties, he certainly is not fit for the format (I know there are exceptions, but he certainly is not one!).
On the other end, the BCCI needs to ban Sehwag from playing the rest of the IPL. He is simply killing all the competition and fun! Initially it was believed that he is not a player who follows the textbook, but what the hell!!You are not supposed to hit 5 consecutive fifties in and that too at a strike rate of over 160!! He has to think about the other teams as well, who are fighting hard to be on the remaining upper half of the table.
The new entrants in the form of Australians, Michael Clarke and Shane Watson, who both returned from the Australia-West Indies series, could not do anything spectacular with both ending on the losing side. Never mind, hope to see a more competitive encounter tomorrow!

Signing Off
Nirvaan Baid

Another Day, Different Pitch, Different opponent, Same team!l

The feeling of the win over the last year runners up, at our home turf was yet to sink in, but guess what we were already up against the title defenders, CSK! The Knight Rider’s good form and confidence was obviously making me believe that this match’s going to be a delight for the eyes. The day was as usual more about cricket, with me trying to get in more and more out of the newspapers, which could provide some fodder for a good story for us to cover for the Fan station. Stuff, about the fan’s favorite teams which probably they would like to read and watch. By the time I am done with this research work (which includes an afternoon naps and a few meals), the buzz of the match is already huge to switch on the TV . The same thing happened today and that’s what made me sit down and enjoy the match without much ado. Not to mention, it was this Gambhir’s innings and Debabrata’s cameo, which was yet again the turning point of the match. So overall, another day ended on a happy note for a KKR fan like me @ The Fan Station!

Signing Off
Nirvaan Baid

Diary-April 28th

Frankly speaking, I could not have a proper night's sleep, as it was supposed to be my first experience of IPL 5. First experience in the front of camera. Excitement and nervousness were the two emotions I could very well feel. Woke up at around 7, and started practicing in front of the mirror, sporting the fan station jersey. First headed towards the crowded streets of New Market, Kolkata. Trust me, in the beginning, it was actually a hard time getting people to speak for us, but then we went all out, running here and there, and voila! We got absolute fan frenzy, people ready to do anything we ask them to, sing for SRK, scream for KKR, dance, pose, and what not. The shoot went good, considering it was our first time. Thereafter, it was time to catch the fan frenzy outside the Eden, and that was probably the easiest thing! You just need to show them the camera, and then it was left on the cameraman to capture! 3 and half hours of pure fun and an even fitting result brought a perfect ending to the day..!

Signing Off,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Experience @Eden..!

The experience was mind blowing, mind boggling, terrific, spectacular, tremendous, awesome etc etc., i guess I'll finish the entire dictionary but not get the right word for the emotions that were brewing inside my mind sitting right there, inside THE EDEN GARDENS, watching KKR take on the mighty RCB. What better could it have been than KKR registering a comprehensive win over their rivals. The atmosphere was electric, The pom poms, the face paints, the balloons, the placards, the wigs, and of course the cheerleaders (only the Bangalore ones, I did not like those of Kolkata) all making the environment all the more lively and colorful. 
Hardly a seat seemed empty and man, you must have been there to witness the crowd at a single glimpse of SRK. It went totally mad. I was seated in a fairly decent position, near the cover boundary and thereby could see players like Zaheer, Dilshan and Brett Lee up close! There were some candid moments which I tried to spot, (it was not so easy to get it from the naked eye) during KKR's batting I saw Brett Lee bringing in a full meal in a tray, from the Dressing room to the dugout, whereas Vijay Mallya was spotted eating a mere piece of bread (I hope his team's plight is not same as his airlines company). 
I also happen to remember a few tracks which were played during the over breaks. Mostly SRK no.'s they were, right from Criminal to Chammak Challo. Apart from them there was Wo sikandar hi dosto, Dhinka Chinka, along with some peppy punjabi no.s, Mundiya to Bachke, Sadi gali, Let the Music Play and also I am sexy and I know it..;) Not to mention the innings of Gambhir was indeed too good and so was Kallis' all rounder performance. Overall a well deserved victory for the Knights and a life time experience for a fan like me..!

Maza aana banta hai boss..!

Another lazy day, however researched a bit for the match to come tomorrow. Who knows, I might get lucky and end up with some cricketer, and get a chance to interview them! Nevertheless, Dada couldn't get the better of DC yesterday, but it's alright, they can still come back. Of course it;s the high intensity match between DD and MI today, and yes till now it promises to live up to the expectations of the fans. A 200 plus score to chase, and with a batting line up, consisting of Sachin, Rohit , Peterson, maza to aana banta hai boss..! The schedule for the tomorrow match has just come up, and yes excitement is at its peak. Just hoping to get everything right and hoping to meet more and more fans, *correction*, crazy fans!

Signing Off,

Diary-April 25th

Back to the City of Joy, saw the desolate look of the Eden Gardens at 2 in the night (or morning??whatever..), on my way back (could not get a click, battery died:(..). The lobbies donned the "New Dawn, New Knights" posters, raat me bhi mast lag raha tha. Anyways, as soon as I reached home, caught hold of the remote and checked out the result of the matches of yesterday. Damn, I missed a hell of a match...A last over finish, a "Ashish Nehra" act by Piyush Chawla, and what a waste of what promised to be a cracker, ye baarish bhi RCB vs.CSK wale din hi honi thii. 
Guess what, slept for around 10 hrs, to compensate for the last three days.:P..par sapne me bhi mumbai hi aa rha tha, I am missing the fun.. :( Now watching the DC vs. PWI, hope DC gets thier first win..!

Signing Off,
Nirvaan Baid

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's not aisa waisa pur, its Wasseypur!

Yes, it is the epic saga of Indian Coal Mafia, running over three generations, with power packed performances, a taut script and and excellent,fresh dose of music and background score!(In fact Sneha Khanwalkar was certainly the champion of this movie) It did not have a single ingredient of the making of a blockbuster, but then it surely will go on to be one! No big stars, no romance, not a  typical masala film, but then yes it had innovative ingredients, the rustic feel, and of course performances by the lesser known actors Richa Chadda, Tigmanshu Dhulia (a great director), Nawazuddin etc, and trust it works wonders for the movie, atleast it worked for me.
The uninhibited mouthing of Galis, double entredes, the skin show, all prove that Bollywood has certainly come of age. The fact that the director has dared to shoot almost a six hour long movie, and have already shot the sequel without even waiting to see the reactions of the audience goes on to speak how much belief he had in this script and the taste of the maturing audience. It was no less than a gamble to shoot almost a 20 crore film in this fashion, and moreover this has never been done before! This film obviously got the much needed popularity, when it was the first commercial Indian movie to be premiered at the Director's Fortnight .
The character of Manoj Bajpayee as Sardar Khan was that of a revengeful son, who is out on a mission to finish his father's killer. I know it sound's cliche, but that's only until you go and watch out this movie. He murders ruthlessly and has an insatiable appetite for sex. After a point even his wife accepts and asks him to eat well "Khana khao, takat aayega, bahar jaa ke be-izzati na karana". He gives those lecherous looks to Reema sen, is a womanizer, yet he is lovable! The music is just too unique and more importantly is good with the rendition of "Teri keh k lunga" by Sneha stealing the show.
However, the movie was just too rushed, and although Kashyap has a very strong script but it seems like he has fit in just too many characters in it. I won't say that they are not good, but then you need to be on alert while watching. If you happen to miss anything, you would remain confused till the end as to who this character is!
Nevertheless, there is so much and more, and wait...this is just the 1st part! The movie ended with a twist and I believe Nawazuddin will have the major part in the second part. But till its release we can only wait..!!

Signing Off
Nirvaan Baid

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The P(olitics) connection!

A statement made by English Prime Minister David Cameroon certainly will be a slap on the face of all the anti Sachin Tendulkar creatures. In a recent event, the first citizen of Britain did not hesitate to announce in public that the bat autographed by Sachin is one of his most prized possessions. In a nation where soccer is the big thing and footballers are considered to be the Megastars, the Prime Minister making such a statement is indeed incredible. That just goes out to prove the immense fan following of  “Brand “Tendulkar”. It’s not just the British Prime Minister but also the Indian PMO who is in such awe of the Master, so much that they have gone all out to offer him a nomination to the Rajya Sabha. These gestures certainly go out to prove that this entire world can be divided into two kinds of people- The Sachin Fans and heartless zombies. (Trust me, it’s not a exaggerated statement!) :P

Signing Off,
Nirvaan Baid

KKR - Expectations in season 5

Ever heard of a roller coaster ride…??? I know most of you must have experienced it at least once in your life but guess who’s had a hell of such a ride, the Kolkata Knight Riders. The team which started its journey with extraordinarily strong players on papers, the team which showed what strength it possessed and what all it can do in the very first match of the IPL edition-1 went on to be a team which struggled even to manage a spot in the upper half of the points tally. Yes, this is the journey of Kolkata Knight Riders, the team with the maximum fan following, the franchisee which was the only one to reap profits right from the beginning of the saga of Indian Premier League. Things kept on changing for KKR and it changed quite dramatically.
Though the team has shown a remarkable recovery in the last edition and if truly cricket is the real blend of ‘form’ and ‘class’ then the team is one of the most favorites to make a place in the top 3 in IPL edition-5. The captaincy of Gautam Gambhir, the inclusion of Yusuf Pathan and many more amendments makes KKR the front runners in this edition and more probable for a winner than it ever was. Now, when the stage is all set for the battle of the title to begin, the expectations and hopes of Kolkata fans is at its peak. Their captain is performing extremely well. He has brought a new energy to the team and now this team is not only with a new logo and a new marketing campaign but also with a new attitude.
The team has been one of the most unpredictable and unfortunate teams among all others in the same category. Who can forget the innings from Mccullum which is still one of the greatest innings in IPL history, who unfortunately could not live up to the high expectations he generated, in any of the further editions. The same Gayle, who played a series of a lifetime for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, could hardly do anything substantial for the KKR’s. Who can forget the unavailability of many foreign cricketers at the most critical of times for the team? But now this team of Mr. Khan is creating new hypes after the performance in IPL-4. This time no one will dare take KKR lightly because the team is now having players, full of energy, class and more importantly, form. Team is not at the top but it is all set to make a difference. May be the performance of KKR in this season can give SRK a new life (G-One). So, as the IPL is getting closer and closer, the team management and administration is leaving no stone unturned in order to live o the expectations of the fans and finally win it for them!

Signing Off,
Nirvaan Baid