Monthly Archives: September 2008

Rock On

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I finally watched a movie in theater, the last one was on Jan 26th 2008 “Taare Zameen Par”, and after almost nine months I got to see the next one, “Rock On”. I know I am late, its long time since the movie released, and the blogland has almost forgotten the movie, so many reviews for and against the movie some weeks back. So here is my take on the movie.

To say my verdict in least number of words, “I liked the movie”.

There you go simple as that, liked it. Now lets talk a little bit more about the movie, like all movies which I watch, in this movie too I found some positives and some negatives. Lets start with the positives first.

Dil Chahta Hain got released in 2001, and it has been a gap of 7 years before this one came out. Its from the same makers, and the lead actor happens to be the director of movies “Dil Chahta Hain” and “Lakshya”. I have been a big big fan of Lakshya, even though it bombed at the boxoffice, and it had some really unwanted drama with AB, I guess the main theme of a confused mid-twenty person was never told with such a poise before. On the same lines DCH too had a pretty common story, An youngster falling for a old lady, couple denying love, or a casanova types who falls for a homely girl. Every story has been told umpteen number of times on celluloid before, but what stood out in the movie was the freshness in the narration and treatment of the subject. Rock On too begins with the same weakness, a coming of age story of a rock band has been told so many times in english movies that you can hardly innovate in terms of story. The Idea of narration through flashing flash backs is amazingly fresh, even though its very similar to DCH, it took 7 years for someone to bring back this kind of narration back to Hindi cinema.

Next big winner in the movie is editing, very slick and sharp. I never felt a scene was dragged throughout the movie. Precise amounts of a scene is extremely important to keep the interest of the audience, even a slight slack can result in boredom, and specially in a movie aimed more towards an young audience. So Kudos to the editor Deepa Bhatia for such good work.

Casting, I think the makers could have really screwed in this department, but they didn’t. Instead for opting some really famous actors, they took people who are not very starry, and suited the role. The idea of a singing rock star could have been really spoiled by well known actors. Instead they choose Farhan Akthar, I knew he could sing well, but the idea of him being the leading man, and a singing star still sounds a little unbelieavable to me. He doesn’t disappoint, he has done a decent job as an actor, and a great one as a singer. Regarding the rest of the cast, it pains to see the talented Purab Kohli being wasted, how can one spoil such a good talent. He hardly has anything to do in the movie, so is Luke kenny. Arjun Rampal was decent. The leading ladies, I guess Prachi Desai was good enough, but not a meaty role at all, and the other lady who plays Debbie was good. But again, not much of the role for the ladies.

Guess we should move onto the negatives.

Even though editing was very good, I guess somewhere in the screen play there was a lack of continuity in between. I mean screenplay could have been better. Places where you felt the story was unbelievable, one does not generally walk off a close relation like the one FA shares with the lady Tanya.

Music. I know the songs have been a rage, and very popular and I liked some of the songs as well. But what really disappointed me was the lyrics, real crappy wordings. I think people might not like this criticism, or may be I am not used to the “rock” kind of lyrics, but then Javed Akthar saab doing this work, I think he could have done much much better. The songs are catchy, but lyrics a big let down.

The cliches, why on earth do we still get stuck in the old cliches?. Like any romantic movie should have the airport scene at the end, where the lovers meet, any band movie should have one of the member joining the party late, one of the member should fall terminally ill. Haven’t we seen this before so many times?, still we continue to use these cliches rich in melodrama to attract viewers. I think this was the biggest let down in the movie as far as I was concerned.

All said and done, it was a good movie, certainly different from the rest of the pack.

Yardsticks

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Its been more than six years since this particular mall opened here in Bangalore, one of the first malls of this city, and according to me still the best one around. I remember getting into this mall for the first time, I was doing bachelors at that time, probably in my third year or so. I walked into the mall, and this fresh smell of soap drew me towards this shop. People who know me will not be surprised, because they would know easily how much I am driven by my sense of smell, and anything which smells nice attracts me. Anyways the shop I was talking about was named “Lush“, its a home made Gourmet bath and body care shop.

I remember walking in and being shocked looking at their prices. For a middle class student, for whom an expense soap would mean something like 30Rs, being at a soap shop, where the starting range is something like 200Rs for 100gms of soap can be really overwhelming. For a moment I could not cope up with the fact that someone would really spend so much on bath or personal care. Of course I was way too naive about the spending and the purchasing power of the new age Bangloreans at that time. I did not buy anything in that shop that day. I just thought, may be someday when I earn a fat salary, I would surely buy a soap there.

Its been almost six years now, and invariably every time I go into this mall, I can smell their fresh soap at the entrance itself. My old weakness for good smell has not diminished either, so I end up going into the shop many a times. And every time I go, I look at the prices, a 1200Rs bottle of shampoo, or a 450Rs per 50 gms of soap, or a weird jelly looking soap which smells even weirder, and can’t get myself spending that much money on the piece of soap. I always have contrasting thoughts about myself in that shop, I hate to go to a shop and not buy anything, I feel its kind of cheap, and here I go every time and not get myself to buy a piece. I go spend like 800Rs on a meal without thinking twice, and here on something which I always want to do, I cannot get myself to go ahead and buy. Why these contrasting thoughts?.

Somehow I have never been able to convince my mind to go ahead and buy something from that shop, at the same time I have not been able to stop myself from getting into the shop. May be I go there with a hope that prices have become less, or may be I go there with a hope that the prices will stop looking so exorbitant to me.

Today I went there again, with lot of determination to buy something or the other. But you know as usual, I looked at the prices, smelt some of the soap, and I just walked out.

May be that store acts as a yardstick to measure the amount of change in me. May be I always go there to check if I am the same old guy who I once was, may be I want to see if the time/world/job/money have changed me enough to make me forget the things which I felt strongly for at one time.

I guess I should be happy, I haven’t given up some of my stands yet.

Don’t brand me a sexist

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One thing which has always fascinated me are women and handbags. My mom’s cleans her handbag like once in a year or so, and the dustbin in her room is almost full with junk that day, one thing for sure, she would never call it junk. Anyways even though the concept of highly useless contents fascinate me, I guess its more about what I consider “useless”, and my mom “useful”.  

With lot of difficulties, and with help from some of my female friends, I may someday understand the need for many things that go into a handbag. 

One thing which no one can make me understand is this.

You spend at the max 15/20 mnts in the cafe for a cup of coffee amidst a busy afternoon full of work, Coffee is served free of cost, and tissues are all over the cafeteria, why would a women want to carry her handbag to cafe?.  Nope it’s not a small wallet, its a big shoulder bag.

As I complete this post, one question that comes to my mind, why the hell am I bothered 😀

A slap tale

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I have never been slapped by anyone, and so I really don’t know how it feels like, to be slapped. You might be wondering what on earth made me think about how it feels to be slapped, It was nothing but an evening on streets of Bangalore, being struck in the traffic jam. Confusing ha?.

Tech parks around Bangalore are quite away from city centre, and if you live in one of the old parts of the city, then you have to travel a lot to reach your office, and worst part is the traffic, which has gone really bad over last few years. My workplace is very close to BEML, which makes train coaches, for Indian Railways and for many other rail services across the world. They have a track laid to transfer these coaches to the nearest railway station. And these tracks are not used often, and hence not well maintained, the bad rains over last few days has lead to further degradation of the tracks, and the result, the new coaches derailed on last wednesday, more than the derail, the coaches got stuck and could not be moved. This meant it blocked the only two entries and the exits to the tech park where I work at. Huge jams greeted me as I came out of my office, traffic stranded all around, people walking out of their buses and cabs to take a puff, or a cool drink, as they we were all in a picnic.

We finally got moving after an hour wait, and amidst the slow moving traffic reached a point, where I had an excellent view of the traffic jam, A lake to my right and a long line of headlights appearing like the English alphabet Y. Immediately the blogger in me woke up, I wanted to capture the sight in my mobile camera, and probably do a post here about it, so I take out my mobile, adjust the zoom, and ask my friend to move to the side, so I get a better view, move a little front, so that I am closer to the window and can get a better view.  

Now how does this remind one of being slapped. Well what followed was something which drove me into a complete shell.

A friend who was sitting next to me suddenly stops me and asks, what are you doing?, why are you taking picture of that girl in the car, she is staring at you from long?.

One could visibly see how scared I was, I immediately closed my clam shell phone, and just turned around, and could not get enough courage to look in the same direction again, then I slowly began to talk asking him what happened. Apparently I had been so busy looking at the traffic jam, I never realized that there was a car quite next to our cab, and it had a girl and a guy in the front seat, probably her husband. And from the way it appeared to all the people, I was taking her photograph, openly, adjusting for a better view, and apparently she saw me once, and began getting annoyed a little.

Thinking that we were struck in a traffic jam, and were moving closely, and our can was just in her husband’s striking distance, gave me goose bumps for long time. People noticed that too, they started teasing me about how I went silent, the fact was that I could not speak for sometime, man was I scared.

Well there goes my experience of an virtual slap.

One lesson learnt, mobile phone camera’s are not my cup of tea.

Do you know who’s back?

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I was flipping through channels today, and you know who is back?..Yep its Deepali..Remember she appeared in Virtual Ramblings as one of the girls on screen. i was surprised to see her back on screen, and disappointed at the same time, as she’s just an anchor on the new season of Indian Idol, and she did not even sing one song. Anyways hoping to see more of her, and her voice in episodes to come.

A White Canvas

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As a kid, people always found Kush interesting, they found him a little different, and in a way Kush loved it. He always wanted that bit of uniqueness to be tagged to him, and needless to say he consciously worked on it.  

Kush, one day had an interesting project for himself, his signature, he wanted to develop one which he would use on cheques and letters when he grew up, he wanted his signature to stand out, something out of the ordinary you know, he started practicing, he came up with many forms, but thought they were ordinary. he wanted that extra special twist, and finally he framed an artistic K, with two dots below, something no one can come up with, something his very own.

Teenage and peer pressures hardly had an effect on him, in fact it did, but in the reverse way, it made him choose paths unthinkable to his peers. When there was a mad rush to get into professional courses, scoring as much to get into a good college, he chose a lesser known path, painting. He began painting as an hobby, and soon it began taking all his time. He loved how much he contributed to his own creativity, and how different and unique it felt when compared to other paintings around him. He began investing more time, and thought of making this career, and infact he did not care if painting counted as a career, but he had found what he wanted to do.
 
Kush who had started as an amateur painter, began developing skills which he never imagined, the paintings started to express things in a spectacular way, with colors no one used, with depictions hardly ever seen. Something which made his style of painting extra ordinary. People began liking his edge and even suggested him to arrange an exhibition. At 19, he had his first exhibition,  something which  was conceived and planned totally by him, everything about the exhibition stood out, the huge dark gloomy welcome signs, or the single exhibit concept he came up with, where a big room would have a single piece waiting to be explored by the onlooker behind the closed doors. He was an instant hit, his paintings sold within seconds, with bids raking in huge moolah. 

Kush, over months became a revelation in the art world, his unique use of colors and moods made his paintings stand out everywhere. Anybody could recognize his work without any tags, but still he did not let his old effort go waste, he began to sign his paintings with the interesting K he had come up with. It had become his signature, in a true sense.

His quest for uniqueness didn’t stop at his profession, his personal life too was filled with ideas and plans, to make his life more interesting and unique, Kush never believed in marriage, or any social norms, he wanted to be the outlaw, he first fell in love with a single mother about ten years older to him, within no time, they decided to move in together, he truly loved her, and she was in love too. He knew the topic of marriage would come up some day, and in a way he expected that it would be soon. He was surprised it took more than five years for the topic to come up, the stern guy he was with his ideologies, he refused, she was left with no choice but to move out. For the first time Kush felt real rage in his life.
 
He wanted to bring this out on canvas, he took a white canvas, and started venting his rage on to the painting, at the end of three hours he had a red canvas, a canvas with shades of red, In a way showing every frustration he had had over time, the things he was angry with himself for, every silly move of his which had come back to trouble him on days he had been alone. He had a look at the piece, and felt this was his worst work till date, nothing more than the mixing palette he had in his hands. He couldn’t believe he had created something so common. He wanted the piece to be out of sight, he took the painting and threw it behind the stack of old canvases up in the attic.

 Kush was back being single, and he enjoyed his new single status in every possible way he could, dinner dates, and sleepovers was now common, I guess he never considered what he had lost, or more importantly what he wanted. Days passed by, he developed a habit of going on long evening walks. He would walk down the beachside, or even busy streets for hours, just thinking and enjoying his company. One day he came across a children’s park, and he loved the sight. He entered the park and sat on a park bench, observing kids. It soon became part of his evening routine, where he would just visit and look at kids. Once when he was in a the middle of a painting, suddenly his thoughts drifted to those days back with her, the greener pastures from the days gone buy, the kids in the park, the greenery, and without him realizing the canvas turned into an absolute green one, shades of green just like his mind. It had him in splits, did it indicate his envy, or the calmness. He did not want to think, nor wanted it to affect his usual style. So he found the best place for it, the attic. Right behind the red one he had painted few years back.

 Years flew past, woman after another, painting after painting, life just flew in front of his own eyes. Only two things survived the years, his paintings and his long walks. Today as he walks past with his stick to his side, and almost the same attitude he once possessed, one can almost see the stubbornness. I guess one can choose to call it as his determination too. He walked past a beautiful sunset, the sky had turned orange in the twilight, just like the vibrant orange he had used in numerous of his paintings, for a second he could frame a canvas through his eyes onto the sky. He had no clue, that the sight would somehow find his way into his canvas the very next day. An Orange canvas, with shades ranging from the dull and pale, to the vibrant and shocking streaks. 

 This time he wanted to analyze, he wanted to find out what the  painting stood for, why he had painted something so common, something which has none of his style, something he would never want to claim as his own. Suddenly he remembered the other two sitting somewhere on the attic, he got his servant to bring them down, and there had all three of them, side by side, shades of red, Green and Orange.  Standing there, looking at these paintings Kush felt an amazing uniqueness and satisfaction which he had never felt before, he had finally come up with the subject for his masterpiece. 

 He took out his canvas, and began painting every possible incident he could remember about his life, people he loved, people he missed, things he chose to ignore, thinks he loved. Every thing he could think of. It almost took him an year to fill the canvas until, he had nothing more left that he would want to fill. Finally he took a long clean brush, and painted over the filled canvas, a sheer white. There he had his masterpiece, a perfectly white one, the way he wanted his life to be, the way he wanted his painting to be.

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Prats over at Retrospections! Emotional ecology……Tagged me here . I was supposed to come with a story with color I like, and I chose not one but many which I like.