Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Comedy Circus On Sony TV

Comedy Circus started with a unique concept on Sony TV where a seasoned comic was paired with a TV actor .For instance Swapnil Joshi (of Krishna fame) was paired with VIP(best mimic on Indian TV imho) and Ali Ashgar(dutiful brother-in-law of Kahani Ghar-Ghar Ki)with Kasif(comedian from across the border) and so on.The show already has had two successful seasons and has provided great entertainment along the way.At present the Kaante Ki Takkar round is coming to its conclusion.The show has the best judges in Shekhar Suman and Archana Puran Singh (Sateesh Shah was also a judge previously)who don't go by considerations other than performance,which sadly is not the case in other such shows where judges often get emotionally involved with their favourites.This saturday(27th December) i missed out on watching the Comedy Circus Kaante Ki Takkar Finale and an internet site came to my rescue.Just watch the clipping where Sunny Deol, Himesh Reshamiya and Nana Patekar are left with no option but to sell cd/dvds of their movies as their movie career seems to be all but over.

You can watch all the episodes of the comedy circus at Latika's blog :

This video is courtesy :

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yes Man ....

On the final sunday of the year,the plan was to watch the Aamir Khan starrer Ghazini with a friend of mine,but all the shows were sold out.I was approached by a shady character outside the Satyam multiplex(Nehru Place) who made me an offer I had to refuse(shelling Rs.300 for Ghazini ticket which otherwise costs Rs.180 was definitely not my idea of having a good time).I refused or should i say he refused to bargain and i took a long walk back to my car.I caught hold of my Army friend near Ansal Plaza and we decided to watch Jim Carrey's Yes Man instead, at PVR Saket.The movie started and i found myself staring straight at the pagri of one Sardarji sitting in front of me.I tried to move my head little to the left and right but it was no use ,his headgear kept blocking one-tenth of the screen approximately.When Jim Carey speaks Korean in the movie i had to do a lot of head exercise in order to read the subtitles as the sardarji in front didn't budge.Anyway the movie was a treat to watch and a laugh riot and to top it all, had a sweet message.Say yes to people,opportunities,requests,orders,ideas etc etc for a change.Just go with the flow for once and see if it brings any change to the routine life.It definitely does so in the movie for Jim Carrey's character(the cute actress by the way is Zooey Deschanel).This movie is based on a true story and book of the same name by British humorist Danny Wallace who has also a fleeting role in the movie.But the point being made, and rightly so,is that by all means say yes but only because you want to and not just because you have to.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tu Meri Zindagi Hai ...

The mind-blowing song from the movie 'Aashiqui' that created box-office history solely on the basis of super-duper hit music.Not one song but almost all the songs of the movie make ones heart beat even after so many years.
Can anyone forget these songs :
1. Ek sanam chahiey aashiqui kay liye
2. Main duniya bhula doonga
3. Dheeray dheeray say meri zindagi main aana
4. Ab tere bin jee lenge hum
5. Dil ka aalam main kya bataun tujhey
6. Tu meri zindagi hai
7. Nazar kay saamne jigar kay paas

The movie released in the year 1991 and it changed the fortunes of T-series,Kumar Shaanu ,Anuradha Paudwal and Nadeem-Shravan.

While searching Youtube i came across the Pakistani version of "Tu Meri Zindagi Hai" from where it seems the super-hit track was lifted with some modifications and cosmetic changes. Here are the songs ,you decide which is better .....

Friday, December 26, 2008

Kavi Sammelan :Days Goneby !!!

While growing up Doordarshan (DD) was the only source of entertainment till the invasion of satellite TV and the good,old DD with its recurrent badly scrawled 'Rukawat Ke liye Khed' messages slipped slowly into oblivion.Though one still remembers the landmark serials like 'Ramayan','Mahabharat'(Ekta Kapoor's serial is so pathetic in comparison to the original),'Jungle Book',and so on which made Sunday mornings a real treat.When the Mahabharat was really at its peak,the market places used to be deserted as everyone was glued to the television sets waiting in anticipation for the next move by Duryodhan and company.Kavi sammelans also used to be a regular feature on festive occasions but not anymore ,at least not on TV.I am posting a youtube video courtesy Mayank Shukla 1 who had originally posted it on You Tube.Enjoy !!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mumbai Meri Jaan !!!

This movie deserves to be seen at least once by anyone who resides in a metro city ,as it holds a mirror to the metro life.Though the movie showcases Mumbai and its spirit,i could relate to movie as a Delhiite as well.The movie showcases the 'rich brat' syndrome, communal stereotyping,insensitive media, policemen and their compulsions etc.And all of this is shown without being preachy at any point .The movie leaves one with hope that all is not lost and if all of us make a small effort to understand 'the other' maybe the difference of opinions can be sorted out without any recourse to violent means.Media guys will do well to watch this movie and just for once introspect that what the public supposedly is interested in may not be in 'public interest'.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ek Haseen Shaam Ko .....

The deadline set by Amit Da (under the influence of alcohol)for me to find someone in order to attend his promised Bengali treat came and went without any change in my status.As a result I was not invited even if the treat did take place as planned but i have my doubts.
Anyway I had been invited by a good friend for dinner on 20th and so i went there instead. I knew only two people there,the host and the host's girl friend ,who incidentally is my school-friend. The connection does not stop there, the host of the evening is from Jorhat in Assam ,from where i did my engineering.So,the theory of 'it is a small world' has some truth to it.When i reached at 9 PM ,the party was truly underway.I was customarily introduced to all those present and as soon as the next person told me his name ,i forgot the name of the person before and so on.The crowd was diverse as there were people from Advertising,Newschannels,Newspapers,MBA students and me representing corporate social responsibility.For some reason ,people were very appreciative of my company as in the company which i work for.But Mani,who works for Indian Express had a grouse that Mithun Chakraboty's cult movie 'Goonda' was not available in Moser Baer's original CD/DVD.Everyone present there agreed with him and to pacify the 'mob' i also expressed my deep admiration for Mithun Da.
Later on the talk veered around to astrology (again and i was the culprit) and I found support from Sujeet,Bijoy da(who incidentally is married to Bengali actor Prosenjit's niece)and Satyam Da,but everybody had their own way of interpreting how things can be predicted by astrologers.Somebody said that Linda Goodman is right almost always and then someone recounted that he has noticed that HT repeats the weekly forecasts as it appears in TOI after a time lag of one week or vice versa.Some prediction that !

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bhojan Ka Nimantran !

It seemed just like a normal day when I woke up (and how mistaken I was). I went to my parent’s room to drink my morning tea and also to watch news on TV. Though I am a big time critic of News-channels and the rubbish they dish out usually barring a few exceptions like NDTV, CNN-IBN and good old DD News .Instead of news I saw that mummy was watching a Panditji on TV (it was Sahara Samay ) and he was going on and on about various rashi’s (zodiacs) and what was in store for people belonging to particular zodiacs. After a while it was the turn of Vrishchik Rashi (Scorpio) and he said “ Aaj aapko bhojan ka nimantran mil sakta hai ”. I smiled at mummy and told her that lets see if I get invited today and she smiled back.
Around 10 am I was ready to leave for office and left home. On my way I had to drive on the wrong side of the road as cars in front of me were moving a bit slow and I was listening to an energetic Bappi Lahiri number from the film Suraksha (Mausam hai gaane ka ….) and then suddenly a scooterist appeared. I was completely oblivious of the fact that he was mighty pissed off at seeing me driving on the wrong side while I was trying to overtake other vehicles (it was not a main road).I added further fuel to the fire raging within him by using the dipper. He reacted just like a woman scorned (plz don’t mind the wrong use of phrase) and waved his arm frantically (just like a bowler shows the way to the pavilion to a batsman!) to indicate where I should be driving. Thankfully I did not hear the profanities he must have uttered.I looked at him in the rear view mirror and saw that he was also looking back intermittently and I started wondering whether he will take a u-turn and demand at least an explanation from me. After that I tried consciously to forget this incident but it kept haunting me till I reached office. Yes, I was on the wrong side but was his behaviour right ? No easy answers I suppose.
Since my boss was away for the first-half and I had some work pending ,I started in earnest. After some time I received a call from boss that some people would be coming from an NGO and putting up a stall in our cafeteria and I had to facilitate their stay and provide them anything they might need. I was working on excel sheets when a girl came accompanied by one office staff and enquired about the whereabouts of my boss. I realized that this girl might be from the NGO and introduced myself . She told me that she has come along with two other colleagues and they have already put up a stall in the cafeteria and she had come to ask my boss that why people were not coming to buy products from their stall. I forgot to save the excel sheet and went with the flow and her to the cafeteria. As we reached cafeteria which is on the second floor, we saw some people looking at things in their stall. She told me that I was lucky for them as customers had started to come. I humbly smiled and assured all three girls my assistance if required and came back to my seat where I received the shock of the day.The excel sheet which I had been working on for close to two hours had a different look to it.I tried to undo the damage but to no avail, I had to start afresh again.
A little later my phone rang , I picked it up and was greeted with the question “Are you sleeping ?”
I said no I usually don’t sleep at work unlike many of my good friends (which is a half-truth).Then he asked me whether I could come this Saturday to his place for dinner .I replied in the affirmative and my thought straight-away went to the prediction that I had heard on TV. My belief in astrology is getting stronger by the day :)

Since it was lunch time ,I went to the cafeteria to find how the NGO interns were doing. The girl who had come downstairs earlier to meet me turned out to be a documentary film-maker, the second was a MBA student and third was working full time with the NGO. The docu-filmmaker suggested that instead of all four of us having lunch together, we can have lunch two at a time so that someone is there to take care of the stall at all times (which made imminent sense to me). So myself and the docu-film director took lunch together and I hardly remember when was the last time (if ever) I had lunch with a person of the opposite gender all alone. Though I have lunch with my boss daily in office but then that is different. So it was a nice feeling , and the budding docu-film director seemed to know her craft well. She did complain that the two actors she has taken for her 15 minute short fiction film “Ishrat”(meaning jannat or heaven) ‘over-act’ a lot.
After lunch it was back to my struggle with excel sheets(which for the record is continuing still) and then my boss returned from her meeting. The meeting had gone really well and we were discussing it when the film-director entered the frame again with a shoulder bag. I introduced her to my boss and they exchanged pleasantries. She told that she had to leave a bit early due to some prior engagements(film shooting) and I thought it fit that I should see her off till the office gate. She had to go to Indraprastha Park for the film shoot and her actors were repeatedly calling her and she was requesting them to rehearse their lines till the time she gets there. As luck would have it there were no autos in sight, she said that she will walk and catch a auto or bus somewhere and I returned back to office.

Around 6:20 I left for home, and experienced the mother of all traffic jams which converted my 20 minutes drive into a 45 minute ordeal. And when I reached home I found the same two girls playing badminton. I tried to be strong and approached the dangerous situation with overt calm. I could not let any emotions show on my face and as I walked there was the sound of another smash and giggles.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hor(r)orscope ???

Astrology is a science to some and an art to deceive people for others. But the fact remains that most of us do read the weekly/daily astrological predictions in newspapers.Well ,i read the weekly horoscope as it appears in TOI and also the astrological prediction in 'The Week' magazine.Now, few weeks back my astrological prediction was something on these lines :
1.You are going to have trouble with office matters - and since then i am having the rough end of the stick as far as official matters are concerned.
2.You are going to be a source of motivation for others - and as a matter of fact now a days i am motivating youngsters who want to take up civil services exams etc.
3.Thirdly it hinted at some romantic liaisons which seems to be the only area where the prediction seems to be failing(unfortunately) !

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Unlucky Oye !!!

Yesterday, i.e. on 10th of December, I attended the birthday party of my school friend who also lives in Delhi. Since he had asked me to come at 8 pm (I could sense the hidden message in the timing prescribed!) ,I thought I would leave a bit early from office(now a days I leave at 6 pm and face the traffic bottleneck at Nehru Place) but it so happened that I could leave office much later at 6:40 pm. Anyway, I reached home around 7 pm and realized that I would have to hurry in order to reach in time as my friend Mainak (urf DM) lives in Palika Nikunj (near Le Meredien ) which is at least 40 minutes drive from my home. So finally, I dressed up and left home completely oblivious of the danger that was waiting to confront me. As I walked out towards my car, I saw two kids playing badminton. I tried to walk by without disrupting their game but at that very moment one of them smashed and the shuttlecock headed straight towards me.A freak accident ,who would have thought that one can be hit by a shuttlecock in the night and that too right in the centre of the forehead. There was no time to react (now I fully realize how bogus those special effects in films are) and the girl who had inadvertently hit me said sorry(while trying hard to stop her laughter and even i would have considered the situation funny but for the fact that i was at the receiving end!) and I had to conceal my embarrassment and agony with a smile and say its “okay”. But one has to give credit where its due and that kid has a good aim and needs to be groomed properly and definitely not let loose on the streets !
I reached DM’s place and there I met his cousin Amit da and his wife and another of his school friend Nikunj. Soon, I realized that I was the only bachelor as it turned out that Nikunj also was married and also has a 7 month old kid. After the cake cutting it was time for the ‘spirits’ to soar. Black label was opened and I being a beer/wine person declined but DM pleasantly surprised me by offering me red wine. Amit da turned out be the in-house expert at opening the bottle of wine and did it with some panache.
So Amit da and Nikunj started in earnest with black label while myself and DM had a glass of wine ,mind you just to keep them company ;) . The fact that DM’s parents were in the other room made drinking a risky proposition but somehow the temptation was too much and under Amit da’s radical leadership everyone threw caution to the winds. By the time we had dinner, Nikunj and Amit da were in high spirits as was evident from their behavior. Even I was under the influence but the narrator has to have some leeway. When it was time to return and as all four of us myself,Nikunj ,Amit da and his wife were headed to south delhi ,we decided that we will go together. But Nikunj left suddenly and since Amit da had a driver I asked him that I would be following their vehicle. We started and maybe Amit da forgot to tell his driver that I would be following their car or maybe his driver thought that this was a night F1 race and over-estimated my capabilities as a driver. Very soon I realized that following Amit da’s driver was a much riskier proposition than merely losing track of one's way.So I slowed down to a speed I was comfortable with while the desi hamilton sped away in the dark of the night. All in all it was an interesting evening and under the influence of alcohol Amit da promised us a Bengali treat on 20th December but with a condition that I should not be coming alone.What luck !!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pro-incumbency ???

The election results of assembly elections have come as a surprise to layman and political pundits alike. What is amazing is the fact that in three out of the five states(yes elections were also held in Mizoram !) where elections were held, the incumbent governments have come back to power.
Even in Rajasthan ,it was a close fight and but for the rebel factor Vasundhra Raje might have still held on to the reigns of power. It is basically two all for Congress and BJP as both are going to form governments in two states each. In Mizoram, Congress has defeated Zoramthanga’s Mizo National Front(MNF) but the BJP hardly has a visible presence there or in any of the other northeastern states.
The most outstanding and unexpected result has been Sheila Dixit’s victory over V.K.Malhotra led BJP in Delhi.I ,for one,thought that Congress would have a tough time and after the Mumbai attacks I firmly believed that Congress was on its way out in Delhi. But the election results have clearly shown that people in Delhi as in other states are voting more on development issues than on emotional or fear appeals.
One analyst made a very good point in a TV debate that the decline in democratic process seen over the years is because people vote for parties rather than voting for good individuals. He claimed ,and rightly so, that if we would have been voting for good candidates without caste, creed, religion and party affiliation coming into play then it would not have mattered as to which party won or lost because only a good candidate would have won.