Monday, January 12, 2009

Hay Done !!

Australians have yet again committed the mistake that almost took away their test crown. Pushing out iconic players ,when you don't have half worthy replacements. Agreed that old Mat was out of form for a while. But he was still good enough for the english series. He has a formidable record against the pommies, and his ouster would certainly evoke a sigh of relief from Harmison brigade(which should rather be called Flintoff brigade, considering the past 2-3 years). Aussie bowling has still not recuperated from the departure of Warne and Mcgrath. And the batting line, which would have so liked the services of the old bully, is now left open for new comers. Ponting, head and shoulders ahead of his contemporaries, is the last of the fabulous players still standing.

Meanwhile, even as he is hated in India for the various infuriating deeds he has performed,lets not miss this opportunity to hail one most decisive opening batsman of his times on his retirement.His stepping down cover drive, the wristy on drive, and those magnificent hook/pull would be sorely missed. By the Aussies, that is.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Good one from Faraz

This is such a simple one. Yet so beautiful.

Bhaley Dinno Ki Baat Hai, Bhalee Si Ek Shakal Thee
Na Yeh Kay Husney Taam Ho, Na Deykhney Main Aam Si

Na Yeh Kay Woh Challey Tu Kehkashaan Si Rahaguzer Lagey
Mager! Woh Saath Ho tu Phir Bhala Bhala Safer Lagey

Koi Bhi Ruth Ho Us Ki Chabh,Fiza Ka Rang Roop Thi
Woh Germioon Ki Chanoon thi, Woh Serdioon Ki Dhoop Thi

Na Muddatoon Juda Rahey, Na Sath Subhoo Shaam Ho
Na Rishtaey Wafa Pey Zid, Na Yeh kay Uzn-e-Aam Ho

Na itni Khush Libasiaan kay Sadgi Gila Keray
Na itni Bey Takkallufee Kay Aaiena Ha'ya Keray

Na Aashiqee Junnoon Ki, Kay Zindagi Azzab Ho
Na iskader Suppurdgi Kay Dosti Kharab Ho

Khabhi tu Baat Bhi Khafi, Kabhi Sukoot Bhi Sukhan
Khabhi tu Kashtey Zaafraan, Khabhi Udasioon Ka Ban

Suna Hai Ek Umr Hai, Mulaqat-e-Dil Ki Bhi
Wisaley Jaan Fiza Tu Kya, Firaq-e-Jaan Gusal Ki Bhi

So Ek Roz Kya Hoa, Wafa Pey Behas Chhir Gayee
Main Ishq Ko Amer Kahoon, Woh Mayri Zid say Chirh Gayee

Main Ishq Ka Aseer Tha, Woh Ishq Ko Qaffas Kahey
Kay Umr Bher Kay Sath Ko Badterrez Hawas Kahey

Main Koi Painting Nahee Jo Kisi Kay Frame Main Rahoon
Wohi Jo Mann Ka Meet Ho Usi Kay Prem Main Rahoon

Tumhari Sooch Jo Bhi Ho, Main is Meezaj Ki Nahee
Mujhey Wafa Say Bair Hey, Yeh Baat Aaj Ki Nahee

Na Us Ko Mujh Pey Maan Tha, Na Mujhko Us Pey Zaam Hi
Jab Ehad Hi Koi Na Ho, Tu Kya Gham-e-Shikastgi

So Apna Apna Raasta Hansi Khushi Badal Dia
Woh Apni Rah Chall Peri Main Apni Rah Chall Dia

Bhali Si Ek Shakal Thi, Bhalee Si Us Ki Doosti
Ab Us Ki Yaad Raat Din, Nahee !!!Mager,,, Kabhee Kabhee

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Satyam saga!!

The satyam saga takes a nasty turn. This time,its born again conscience of its chairman Raju, that made him to write to board about the cash on books (and even accrued interest on it) that wasn't there. A shocking admission of such fraud, sitting over the (relatively) minor corporate governance issue, has sent the stock to the crest, which now trades at around 47, a beautiful fall of 72%. Interestingly this means that satyam is now available at an enterprise value of 3000 crores, lesser than its quarterly revenue ! And at .44 times its book value. The fictional value that is.The letter mr Raju sent to the board makes interesting reading and can be read here

One wonders whether this is the end of the beginning , o r a fresh beginning all together ! The dust does not accumulate on just one of the carpets, and plenty of moths might get discovered from here. Now analysts will have serious reservations about the amount of cash that companies report on balance sheets. As if there was any less crisis of confidence in the market.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New home!

After a lot of procrastination, I have finally moved my blog to a more customizable location. I hope to be a little more regular with posts this time around. My older blog stays where it was(the link at the bottom of this page). I would not be updating it though. If there would be any more action, this would be the place for it. Have shifted(read copy pasted) a few of the older posts though , just to acclimatize (and explore) the new environment.

A midsummers day

It was one of those summer days which masquerades as a cloudy one,just to draw people out to their perdition, much like Warne tossing up the ball to gullible batsman. I was not fully comitted to the shot and hence was just sitting in the gallery watching the series of unfortunate (read on) events. It was a pigeon's nest , in my neighbour's gallery, which had been discovered by a crow. The pigeon's young one, in such an age where defying parenteral instruction begins, had come out of the nest , not enchanted by weather but by the mightier enchantress, adolescence. The crow spotted it and licked his equivalent of lips. Down he came to the kiddie. The poor soul, draped in just a modicum of fur was not much of a job for the crow's mighty beak.A hit or two , and he laid dead on the boundry wall of the gallery, facing the sun,perhaps complaining why it all happened to him. The crow started pecking it frentically, there wasn't much to be eaten anyway. But then something remarkable happened. Mr and mrs pigeon returned, and attacked the crow. They both took turns and barraged the raven with sorties. It was valiance at its best. The crow had to retreat to the nearby electrical wires. He thought that enough is enough. He gave cries to birds of his feather , and soon there were crows everywhere. By now , there were enough pigeons as well, but they had to withdraw thanks to superior opponent, any way there was no hope left to salvage what remained of their offspring. The crows could not enjoy their kill eaither. In their bid to tear it, the little pigeon fell from the gallery and was sfitly devoured by a dog passing by, who had become interested in the action, thanks to noice made by the crows. I just kept watching, reembering athe poem 'Lizard' by Nissim Ezekial which i studied in school.

Meanwhile , some thing as ghoulish if not more was going on TV. They were showing 'Hum tumhare hai sanam' for the umpteenth time. In the begining itself they gave signals of what would follow. Aloknath, with his eyebrows crossed and mouth agape in characteristic reversed crecent shape, refused to spend money to save his son-in-law, as the money belonged to shahrukh, of whose proprty he was mere caretaker. His daughter predicltably severs ties with him and shifts to some ramskacle house.There she and her brood discovered an orphan. Young madhuri , in her sweet( as in pouring hot 'chashni' in your ears, literally)voice asks 'tumhara naam kya hai'. When the poor guy says he has no name as there is no one who would call him, the young girl says in even sweeter(and hotter, to the ears) voice 'aaj se mein tumhe sooraj keh kar bulaoongi' .Just one frame it took her to 'mother' him and smother the viewer. To add sugar to burns(sugar is mightier than salt), aruna irani says 'aaj se tu hamare sath rahega'! I was too terrorised to leave my seat or even change. IN the mean time all the kids grew in a very small no of frames. Our sugarOverDose (java naming convention) also discoverd that her fondly christened 'friend' is a good singer. So after those few frames, he actually grows into a singer,his being salman notwithstanding. Our sugar babe too has grown into madhuri (over age though) and landed straigt into temple , praying for the success of her friend cum baby.The god, much like the worldly being he created is very kind to beautiful ladies, and hence a flower drops in her lap from the blues.The very next frame , we are at a stage show where a dance cum song is on, with an aging salman in funny costume, is singing a song with even funnier lyrics.Our sugar doll reaches just in time to cheer him in a very cacophonous way and to catch what he throws.The audience is left to take exception. More on this epic later.


Daag Dehalvi has his areas of srength. While he may not have the imagery of Meer or the genius of Ghalib, he certainly has amazing self effacing wit as against wailing(Ghalib's).Reading his works brings a lingering half smile to your face, even his sad verses have those 'pleasing' quality. His verses often have simple words and are easy to understand. 'Beauty thy name is simplicity' is his motto. Here are some of his masterpieces.

ye jo hai hukm mere paas na aaye ko_ii
is liye ruuTh rahe hai.n ki manaaye ko_ii
Here the use of koi to mean different things is awesome(yamak alankar i guess ).

haal afalaaq-o-zamii.n kaa jo bataayaa bhii to kyaa
baat vo hai jo tere dil kii baataaye ko_ii
Leaves me with no words.

aapane 'Daag' ko muu.Nh bhii na lagaayaa afsos
us ko rakhataa thaa kaleje se lagaaye ko_ii
Worth putting as introduction.

Or this one

taab-o-tavaa.N -o javani to "Daag" jaa chuke
yane ab hum bhi chaleiN saamaan to gayaa .
These lines are very quotable.

Khuub pardaa hai ke chilaman se lage baiThe hai.n
saaf chhupate bhii nahii.n saamane aate bhii nahii.n
ho chukaa qata ta'lluq to jafaaye.n kyo.n ho.n
jinako matalab nahii.n rahataa wo sataate bhii nahii.n

Gangster , and more

Yesterday was one of those days which passed in such a hurry that it was difficult to figure out whether it went well or otherwise. Kind of hurried up meal where lot was eaten , but less was relished. Any way it invovled certain quality outings , so restrospectively I can say that i enjoyed it. Watched gangster, perhaps the best movie i have watched this year. Uncle Bhat surely knows a thing or two about film making. Gangster has a good story, is fast paced, and its duration is just what was required. Some really good performances and a very good musical score, what more to ask for. This Kangana girl has done an amazing job for a debutante, in fact she did better than anyone else on screen. Shiney gave a powerful performance during the climax, though I found his acting a tad insipid during the first half. And Emran, well I envy him, no not for the amount of kisses he does,(for that envy will be too mild a word), But the way he is getting success after success despite doing hardly anything worth taking note of.He's even getting away with his kishen kumar like smile .All his films had great music and fast pace, tight direction, and as a result he has perhaps the highest success ratio lately. The only issue with this film was melodrama towards the end, the 'sindoor' thing disgust me every time I see it. I have developed such a hatred for it, wonder how will I deal with it if I ever have to.Besides the shady films should end on a dark note, the last 'reunion' frames were not required.

Later in the day, I went to akshardham. I never visit crowdy places, but on the insistence of an old friend who was visiting me, I went there in the evening. And despite all the crowds and queues, I actually liked that place. Its a well build place with the gradeur medieval kings employed to build tombs for their muses.Lot of marble and sand stone gives it a 'old world' charm. Built to the scale of a giant mall and run no differently, it sure offers a nice outing, and people normally come here for that only.You can spot people eating pizza's and burgers and sippping colas all around the fountains.I must say i underestimated the pervasiveness of consumerism. A good dinner is what is required to seal off a day, and a good sher to end a post, hence this, by qateel shifai

kiyaa hai pyaar jise hamane zindagii kii tarah
vo aashanaa bhii milaa hamase ajanabii kii tarah
ba.Daa ke pyaas merii us ne haath chho.D diyaa
vo kar rahaa thaa muravvat bhii dillagii kii tarah

Maataji and Fanaa

Yesterday i was all alone in my circle, so decided to make it big myself. Thought will watch hera pheri two and reached centre stage mall. But it was closed, only to be opened at 1030. So i decided that i will have my breakfast at costa . When i took a seat on the first floor, i saw a lady who looked rather familiar. On close examination ,she turned out to be one of the maataji's, or spirutal guru, coming on various channels, and in my judgement, fairly artuculate one as compared to her peers. She was wearing an expensive silk saree , designer sandles and a golden watch , along with pearls in her neck. Her face was radiant and she was fair to a fault, almost looked firang. She was quite tall, atleast 5'7'' and was speking fluent english.She really was graceful. Upon sighting me, she answered my nodd with a smile that amply conveyed that she acknowleges my respect, but would rather not be disturbed. And for the next several minutes she discussed content ,and online community with her colleagues , people who with their crushed clothes and weird dressing style, looked from media industry. It later turned out that she too had turned up there to watch film, Da Vinci to be particualr. I was quite impressed with her, she was quite some material for spiritualism.

Later I watched fanna. I didn't intend to , but tickets were not available for the movies of my interest. Now from chopra and clones you don't expect much these days, but fanna had so many specials. It was kajol's comeback film, and the last film jatin lalit did together.I hope lalit takes to singing, his 'rooth kar mujh se' in jo jeeta wohi sikandar ' remains on my favorite also had certain mr aamir khan, and prasoon pandey , better known for his 'best selling' jingles (selling as a transitive verb also holds good), wrote the lyrics for the first time. there were many other stars who did two bit roles, perhaps just to oblige chopra, for their own better future. We had an overweight rishi kapoor who redefined hamming. we also had kiron kher, who wore louder make up then the heroine , and acted (?) still louder. In fact these three terms made a geometric progression. the story kept swerving between asinine and childish. but good performances from kajol and aamir were saving grace for the movie, which has therefore done well commercially.kajol was ravishing. she portrayed all the emotions very fact she managed to look sweet despite age and motherhood. the cutie who played her son also did really well. he had some sweet dialogs written for him. aamir on the other hand looked jaded. he should soon stop playing the lover chocolate hero, this chocolate surely is way past its shelf life. but acting wise he was ok. music was not what you would like as the 'last work together' from the duo, but it still was nice. all in all, wastage of actors of great prowess, in an imbecile work.

Howz this for a bollywood song lyric !! Its from gangster.

mujhe mat roko,mujhe yaar ke ghar jaane do
main hoon parwana,mujhe shamma pe mit jaane do
usko pana hi meri zindagi ka maksat hain
agar marke milta hai woh mujhe toh mar jaane do


Watched Omkara on Saturday, it surely was one of the better films I watched this year. Vishal Bharadwaj is surely a talented man, has Howard Roark like approach to things, builds the way he likes, all by himself, irrespective of popular perception or fear of rejection/doom. And Omkara is closest to a one man show you can get from a film. Script, dialogues, music, direction, you name it. And perhaps that explains the logical harmony the film possesses. Its one of the best adaptations one would get, vishal has really interpreted the play well. So Othello the moor, becomes the 'half Brahmin' muscleman omkar shukla, and all the characters very much in sync with the reasonable expectations you will have. Performance wise Devgan was as impressive as he was in company. Some how the poker faced , expressionless roles fit him to the hilt. He is well suited for the roles where he has to look menacing and vulnerable at the same time. Saif, well it was his film actually. His was the most versatile role, with a whole array of emotions. Be it the hurt, grief, jealousy, elation .I wonder whether the best supporting actor's awards will have any contest this year.Kareena acted okayishly, but she didn't overact much, a rare feat by her standards. In fact the 'much' was added later, after the films 'awe' had receded with time. Vivek didn't had much to act, but did his job well.Konkona looks like the girl(rather women) next door, and apart from her decent acting , has an amiable screen persona. Bipasha was ravishing in her item numbers. The bidi song was really entertaining stuff, both music wise and lyrically.But her steps look repetitive, needs to add some variety. Music was decent, typical vishal bharadwaj music with high notes and morning raagas. The dialogs were crisp and entertaining, though raunchy at times. The film maintained a consistent earthly look and feel throughout, which is good marks to the director. In all a different, and good film, after a lot of time.

Cars the review

Watched cars on sunday. Though I have always been a great follower of Disney movies, I felt cars was not as good as their previous flicks like Lion king or A bugs life. It nevertheless was a very nice movie, one of the better ones I watched this year. An amazing creative effort to imagine a car's world,with Anthropomorphic cars, all around. So we had the protagonist(a male , ambitious car) ,his goofy friend, the leading lady(a caring considerate one), the villain, every character a car. In fact so complete is the director's imagination, that the moths surrounding a tube light are also cars(beetles, to be specific).During the races, the entire stadium is full of cars, be it 'Oh! my god' screaming red(female) cars, or the beer(rather mobil oil) guzzling stud pick ups. And so are the names of locations, say cadillac valley or radiator springs. The plot is relatively simple.The hero, wants to win the piston cup, a major car racing event. He is self centered and mean to start with, who wants to win the cup desperately, to get fame fortune and,well romance.On his way to race, he is stuck in a country side suburb.He meets nice people there, and his perspective about life changes. He realizes that there are other things to life than just winning and racing .So in the final race, he behaves differently, and wins hearts, apart from all what he wanted. But he refuses to live that charmed life, for now his ideas of a good life have changed. He returns to the simple and caring folks he befriended on his way, to live a purposeful life. The script is endearing to say the least. The dialogs are nice and sweet. The sound effects and animation are as good as you would expect from a pixar studio movie. Simply the best possible. However the film is a bit slow and boring during the middle part. Not as entertaining as some of the previous films from Disney. But still very watchable. These movies have often had some really moving dialogs, particularly worth mentioning here is Lion king. Sadly this film's punch line (the cup is empty ) misses the mark by a distance.

Tele suffering

Yesterday was some festival and they had declared a holiday for it. For me it meant a day long of boredom and of course no free lunch. I could still have gone to office and spent time reading books and surfing. But some how I was too reluctant to get out of bed , and thought I would watch TV for a change. I wonder how often I have made this decision and when was the last time that I didn't regret doing so. So the day was again full of unheard miseries for me. It was rakshabandhan, and all news channels were busy inventing creative titles and defining lower bound of reporting ethics. So one channel surfed how film stars celebrate this festival. Some other took viewers to preeti jhangiani's(remember any one?) place, where she in a garish make up, with more consciousness to look good rather than worry about the rakhi and all, tied it to her brother with lot of drama and shhweetness. Some one took their viewers to rakhi sawant's home and mentioned that her brother once gave her a dress(?) made of one rupee coins and had her dance in the film 'hotmail'! quite a brotherly act, I must say.Some how i feel that associating rakhi(festival) with her is like imagining peking fried duck on the mention of donald duck. But the burnt crust( as opposite of icing) of the cake was 'kalai per kafan' story by some channel, they were referring to a murder which took place in jaipur, whose anniversary coincided with rakhi this year. The pressmen kept prodding the hapless father and sister of the diseased, 'Aapko kaisa lag raha hai', what a absurd thing to ask to a bereaved family! Some other channel before break told their viewers that they will tell you Bipasha basu's secret of how to celebrate rakhi, if you have no brother. After the break, she enlightened the mortals, 'girls, tie one to each other' , while busy cutting ribbons and collecting freebees. And aajtak dug out one bai from the village which bill clinton visited, and bai sahab(among many others) tied a rakhi to him. 'Haan to behanjee, aapko rakhi per kaisa mehsoos ho raha hai!' . And the lady described that she had been sending rakhi every year to clinton, and he never replied, all the while bill's image was on screen with 'bhaiya mere rakhi ke bandhan ko nibhana' in background! Heavens, no wonder that in the west indians are looked down upon. I would rather be known as someone from snake charmer's land than press reporter's one. Noble profession being it, at least some creatures they charm.I decided that enough of news, lets watch movies . So I started watching 'dil diya dard liya' starring dilip kumar. And just replace dil by 'wakt' to know my fate, boy if ever I have come across a movie with such an asinine story! The film had dilip kumar and all his mannerisms, excellent mimicry/parody material. Some very good music(phir teri kahani yaad aayi, koi sagar dil ko behlata nahi plus the title song). But the story ? You have to see this film to find out. Luckily saw 'the castle' after it which kind of made me feel better. But soon after that there was some tushar kapoor film(name dosn't matter), with him ridng a harley! I had to close TV and sleep, i thanked god i was not prop. of harley, otherwise would have to spend time writing a disclaimer.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mahabharat vignettes

Created on Friday, September 19, 2008

Indians have endless fascination with mythology , and despite the current saas-bahu and reality show infestation, we are having some mythology show or other enjoying prime time on every channel worth its beam. Our mythology for that matter, is not devoid of sex sleaze and intrigue of soap operas that it competes against , and nothing epitomizes this more than mahabharat,a tale having no peers. Amazing plots, subplots,history, fiction, all woven into a surreal epic, which you can read , reread and yet neither fathom it fully, nor have enough of it. In this series of posts I will examine some of the interesting characters that the story offers. Of course derisively. Its more enjoyable that way(Imagine Akshay Kumar's 'wicked' grin in background). Umm.. on second thoughts i will also try to explain the stuff in what it 'actually' could have been. Logical interpretation, for those who prefer jargon. So, here we go with the first one.

Vyasa: They say history belongs to the victor. But i bet, a lot of it belongs to the chronicler too. Consider this. What was bharat vansh ? The clan of kauravs and pandavs , and the principle ruling family of present day india.Who were these Kaurav's and pandavs? Sons of Pandu and Dhritrashtra. And who exactly were these chaps ? Sons of their fathers ? Alas no. There father Vichitravirya died without being useful to their mothers. So, the dadi came to rescue.She called her illicit son(they are not Ekta Kapoor's prerogative) ,to make her two bahu's (and a daasi, in tow) pregnant. A very enviable job i must say. Coming back to the topic, so the children he begot , defined the 'true blue' royal blood in india.(There is a 'Pariskhit' twist to this tale , but it would be discussed later). So, the entire vansh, and its gaurav and parampara, is basically a 'jugad' arrangement thanks to this illicit son of a fisherwomen. And guess who he was. Vyasa. The writer of mahabharat.Just a little play with words,and the history of bharatvarsh becomes his own ! Since all this happens, early in the tale, he must have written the entire story that follows,with the sinful gratification of someone passing off his own children's frolicking as history. And perhaps housed all his fantasies into it too.