Film Review: Happy New Year, perfect Diwali cracker and high voltage package


Review: Happy New Year

Cast: Deepika Padukone, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Vivaan Shah, Jackie Shroff and Anupam Kher, Malika Arora Khan, Vishal Dadlani & Anurag Kashyap in guest appearances.

Music: Vishal-Shekhar

Director: Farah Khan

Producer: Gauri Khan/Red Chillies Entertainment

Wanna go on a bumpy and roller-coaster ride? If, yes! Read this review at your own risk..oops! my bad! Risque! It is for the haters of ‘meaningful’ brainless flicks that tickles the heart to happiness and kick ass comedy. A word of caution to the intellectual critics, swearing by meaningful cinema, it’s a sugar-coated appreciation of Happy New Year and don’t blame me for giving you a heart attack ‘kyon ki saala Kismet bada kutti cheez!’….’Haaro to Haaro, Ijaat Mat Uttara’…’Nandu manjhe Dimaag mein Khide’…

Happy New Year belongs to the masses. Stunning visuals of Dubai captured to perfection, mass appeal, Jhakaas dance moves, super entertaining songs and lovable performances. It’s no secret that Farah Khan belongs to the Manmohan Desai’s school of cinema whose one-liner should remain buried in our head, ‘If you want to enjoy my films, leave your brains at home.’ I know, the intellectuals must be fuming coz HNY has done to them what ‘Mere Brains Ko Aanda Kisne Maara.’ Happy New is a typical ‘Masale dhar’ movie, a bit stretched perhaps as it hits almost three hours, that will woo you to laugh your lungs out. What works for Farah’s is the dialogue baazi, after all what’s a Hindi movie without mazedar dialogues?

Happy New is the story of six losers in Dubai. Charlie (SRK), Mohini (Deepika), Nandu (Abhishek), Tammy (Boman), Jag (Sonu) and Vivaan (Rohan). A team of six underdogs who are hell bent in seeking a revenge by making the biggest diamond heist. In turn, they captivate the hearts of million across the globe and not just Rs 100 crores worth star-studded diamonds.

Shah Rukh Khan as Charlie, the Boston University topper, is endearing and proves why he is one of the biggest superstar in the country. Perhaps, HNY is the film where he packed an action storm that would make the rest of his movies fade in comparison in terms of Maar Dhaar. He exudes charisma whether in funny situations, action, romance and emotions. The rehearsing of his old filmy bazzi dialogues that won him hearts and wooing his audience remains the movie’s forte. Captivating.

The surprise package of HNY is Abhishek Bachchan. In case you haven’t watched this roller-coaster ride, grab your tickets and you’ll know why. Abhishek as Nandu excels in comedy and HNY will certainly be one of his most loved character after a spate of bad movies. He is hilarious when he does a repeat of Amitabh Bachchan, ‘I can talk in English and Walk in English.’ Junior Bachchan scores big time in this one with his hatke, tapori style which the fans will love to no end. In one word: Brilliant. People will identify with Nandu who re-defines himself as an actor.

Deepika Padukone as Mohini is live poetry in motion. Her entry is fantastic in the ‘Lovely’ song and the kind of energy she displays, hitting the octane level like a volcano is breath-taking. She has improved a lot as an actor and in every movie, she raises the bar a notch higher which leaves her contemporaries far behind. Certainly, Deepika proves in HNY that she is the most accomplished and versatile actor who gives her fans something new every time. Whether it’s the romantic scenes with King Khan and through her flair for comedy or emotional scenes, she shines throughout. She adds credence to her character whether getting ensnared by English the Phunny language or doing a spoof of Kabir Khan in Chak De India. Deepika as Mohini is a delight to watch. It’s an education watching Boman Irani as Tammy and one wonders how he pulls this character so effortlessly. An endearing performance by one of the most talented actors in the Hindi film industry. Sonu Sood as Jag is effortless and performs in a competent manner while Naseer’s son Vivaan Shah plays his part well as the loser Geek. A potential to watch out for. Jackie Shroff is competent and suave as the villain.

Farah Khan belongs to a director that is fully attuned to the taste of the masses and is a maven on making films with the right dose of what one calls, ‘Masala.’ However, two back-to-back songs towards the interval seems repetitive and tad boring. Plus, the films drags a bit with its nearing three hours which could have been chopped to make the screenplay tight.

On the whole, credit goes to Farah Khan for injecting the right dose of action, comedy and emotions to make Happy New Year the real winner in terms of entertainment.  The right dose of striking a hilarious route coupled with a subdued text of patriotism in the climax makes Happy New Year a flick that carries repeat value coupled with gripping narrative and blockbuster with the right ingredients. Plus, the friendly appearances of Anupam Kher, Vishal Dadlani, Dina Morea and Anurag Kashyap is the extra Mithais.  Truly Team India! Happy New Year has come to make the perfect Diwali gift like the jalebis, mouth-watering Gulab Jamuns and Rasgoolas. Plus, the music by Vishal-Shekhar are captivating and catchy. Another musical high.

What I like with Farah Khan is how she always gives credit to the whole crew towards the end. A special gift by Shah Rukh Khan how he presented his cute son, AbRam and of course, Farah’s triplets. It’s endearing to see Gauri Khan shaking a leg. Reasons for you to watch HNY.

PS: Breaking with the tradition of giving stars to HNY and just go, munch the pop corn and enjoy the ride. To nay-sayers, I am your average blogger and no, SRK, Farah, Abhishek and Deepika have not paid me for the review. So shut up and stop cribbing.

With Love

V

Good ole charm of ‘Gharwali Diwali’


Wishing each & everyone of you a very Happy and Dhinchak Diwali. May all your dreams come true and be bestowed with health, wealth and good wishes. May all your dreams come true as we leave behind the bad, relish wonderful moments and look up to a super awesome season full of love. Diwali is a season where we become one, irrespective of caste, creed, sex or religion and hope to unite as human beings, free of prejudices.

Image credit: Google India

Image credit: Google India

 

In this age of Shor Sharaba, held under siege by crackers on the road, multiplex culture in the busy streets, there is nothing like Gharwali Diwali. Sober Diwali! See I’m quite a home pigeon these days, gushing to celebrate a sober Diwali. Nah! I haven’t been binge drinking or high on drugs to suffer from withdrawal symptom.

Diwali is always special to me and always look up to D-Day. New clothes, Mithai, lighting Diyas and there is a spark in my eyes as I look excitedly to the celebration, sharing moment of love with near and dear ones. As a child, my eyes would beam excitedly on Diwali and couldn’t wait to sneak on Mithai made by Mom. I remember on the eve of Diwali, Mom would be in the kitchen till late and, as I lay on bed, overhearing the oil as mom would prepare ladoo and Gulab Jamun. I was dying to taste the Mithai but there is no way to sneak in the catch to steal the sweets. Mom is very particular and no one has the right to touch the sweets till Laxmi Puja is performed. I waited with bated breath till the morning, surveying Mom and Dad movement, pretending to go to toilet thousand times, before stealing Mithai that I would slip in my pocket. Done deed!

I would wait for guests in front of the door and when they reach with their dabba full of Mithai, I would gorge on them. Diwali is the day where I strictly don’t have lunch or dinner as countless Mithai shared is spread on the table. A day full of Mithai to sweeten the mouth and stomach. See! I am a very sweet guy, always speaking in loving tone. Must be the effect of Mithai. Meet me at your own peril and I can assure you’ll die of diabetes. My silly stomach crave for Mithai on Diwali Day as I loiter around, wearing my best Kurta-Pyjama. One task I am always given and I am a maven at is to distribute Mithai in small plastic bags to neighbors home as Mom would keep making the sweets. It’s a never ending tough task for Mom, cleaning and washing the house, windows before Diwali and making sweets. Tiring, na! Tsk!!! Uff! Yeh sab ghar ka kaam Diwali ke liye.

When I moved to Pune and Mumbai for my studies, Diwali became an ongoing romance that I cherished over the years and still miss those days. A home away from home. There was never a dull moment on Diwali. I would wait with bated breath for the special pocket money from Dad and Mom to shop for new Kurtas, forking money at the sweet shop to distribute to friends and teachers. Shopping at the crowded Laxmi Road in Pune for the whole day to no avail to get the favorite and special Kurta. Unsuccessful shopping! Trying my luck the next day till I find something better. After all, it’s Diwali. As you walk past the Peth areas, you are held to crackers bursting like being caught on the Indo-Pak border. After all, it’s such a homely feeling in cities like Pune and Mumbai with friends.

How I miss the sweet made by aunty, my best friend Adi’s Mom on Diwali. Aunty makes the best coffee, chai, Maharashtrian food and of course, Mithai. She made my days in Pune super awesome and been Mom to me. The first house I would pay a visit was Adi’s Mom coz I know she would force feed me with Barfi, my favorite Gulab Jamun and, of course, her superb chai. No! I wasn’t complaining. Or, visiting my doc in Pune, Dr Alka, who would make me sit in the Puja and make me eat loads of Mithai. Super awesome Diwali in Pune, I tell you!

During the next, our gang would meet and we were a gen who wouldn’t mind our King Fisher beer as an ode to Vijay Mallya on Diwali. One thing led to the other, shuffling cards, we were ‘juari.’ Yeh Diwali hai ek Jua!!! Rolling the empty bottle of beer to play Truth or Dare. Beware! The deep secrets were out! Who is your latest crush in college? Do you like XYZ? The secret was out on Diwali. Truly special! On Diwali, Adi would corner me on the latest girl friend potential or making me imitate Hindi film ka dialogues..no wonder the actor in me came out on Diwali. Kya kya nahin Karta Diwali hum logon ko..exposing us, of course, and poor me was always the victim.

How I miss those priceless memories. Shopping for hours at Colaba, CST and the awesome street shopping at Crawford Market. The joy of haggling for a Kurta on the street at Crawford cannot be quantified and makes memories to be cherished for a life time. Truly a Gharwali Diwali at home and away from home. It made my Gharwali Diwali full of joyful memories.

This post is written as a part of Indi Happy Hours’#GharWaliDiwali in association with PepsiCo and IndiBlogger.

Diwali Abhinanda

With Love

V

 

Maharashtra Poll Results: Gamble, lessons and future


Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gamble has finally paid off handsomely in Maharashtra after sweeping 122 seats out of 288 in the Marathi strong belt state. The BJP took a big risk by breaking its 25-year-old alliance with the Shiv Sena led by Udhav Thackeray. Still, it fell short of the majority needed to rule Maharashtra on its own. The biggest loser is Congress Party who was not only decimated after its rout in the Lok Sabha but lost Maharashtra, in particular Mumbai, which is considered to be India’s financial capital.

What does this win represent for the state? First and foremost, BJP has emerged as the strongest party on its own in Maharashtra and perhaps, the win should be credited to the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo. In all likelihood, BJP will rule the state with the help of an ally. The spoiler is the National Congress Party who made overture to BJP. It spoils the chance of Shiv Sena to re-work a political arrangement with the BJP to run the state. In short, BJP’s victory spoils the chance of Udhav Thackeray’s aspiration to become Maharashtra’s Chief Minister. In the event, BJP choose to negotiate with SS in the coming days, it will be hard nut to crack for the Sainiks. The biggest loser is the Udhav Thackeray’s party who fought the alliance on its own without the support of their patriarch and the party’s charismatic figure, Bala Saheb Thackeray. Certainly, the late senior’s Thackeray’s shoes is too big to fill for Udhav Thackeray.

However, the positive for the Shiv Sena is that they slightly improved their 2009 tally from 44 to 63. It’s not a bad score for the party who can now claim to be the rightful political inheritor of Bala Saheb but it also means a good start for Udhav Thackeray as the political heir and legitimate leader of the party. Considering that Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader, Raj Thackeray failed to make an impact in the state. However, if the Shiv Sena wants aspire to become the single largest party in the long run, there is a need to re-invent and favor an all-inclusive politics, not necessarily pro-Maratha. It’s no secret that Shiv Sena’s traditional voters are Marathi strong belt in areas like Dadar and Mahim.

Today, politics and balance of power in the state is fast changing and the average Marathi-born Maharashtrians are an educated lot who aspires for better education, jobs and is a secular lot. Shiv Sena brand of jingoistic politics will not work since there is an attitudinal shift in the way its traditional base is thinking. They must go towards the youth, not just Maratha but its cosmopolitan crowd. They have a trump card in the form of Aditya Thackeray and only time will tell whether the young leader can give a new thinking to the party and revolutionize its structure.

Everything is possible in politics. Can Shiv Sena seek support of the Congress and NCP to turn the table? Highly improbable scenario! Or, will BJP rope in NCP to form the Government or go back to SS since they traveled a long way together? The chances are there since the 63 seats of the Shiv Sena makes them a force to reckon in Maharashtra. I feel BJP and SS may find a truce.

At the end of the day, what matters is the largest interest of the state where BJP who has emerged at the single biggest party in this five-cornered fight has now a free hand  to build infrastructure, provide jobs for the youth and ensure that commoners do not suffer whether it”s the monsoon season or terror attacks in the city. Maharashtra should win and not petty politics. Congress learned it the hard way with nepotism, corruption and a lackadaisical attitude where the woes of the people were blatantly ignored. Crumbling of infrastructure, pot holes during rains, Adarsh Scam you name it, you get it! Maharashtra is one state that has potential to steer high growth and is already a leader on the developmental front. The people must win.

V

Mumbai Musing: Star Struck at Marine Drive


Sobo (South Mumbai) is famous not just for the sea wave and wind breeze, stroking your hair, as you are surrounded by the Arabian Sea and plush five star hotels. A resident of Marine Drive for two years, I made life time memories, taking long walks, to and fro, Chedda Sadan and Nariman Point, sitting on the parapet among hordes of South Mumbaikars. A place that I fell absolutely in love with. As I hark back, I couldn’t believe how lucky I’ve been to get a room in the super expensive part of SoBo for grabs, doesn’t matter if it’s a hostel room on C-Road.

Copyright. Image to be reproduced with permission or acknowledgement.

Copyright. Image to be reproduced with permission or acknowledgement.

The hostel’s window gives a view to Marine Drive as one would feel the breeze wading through the room. One could see people thronging on Marine Drive, doing the morning and afternoon jog and couples cooing. It’s pure bliss, sitting at Mumbai’s most loved spot. Marine Drive is home to a peek into celebrities making a blink-and-miss appearance to the great delight of Mumbaikars. The sleepless nights spent in the room made me wait for the hostel door to open at 6 a.m as I would rush out for long walks. Rushing to the stalls for a cutting chai, smoke and buying the morning newspapers, spread on the pavement as stacks of them are thrown from the truck. Walking to Nariman Point for my favorite Sheera, I hop straight at Marine Drive, sitting on parapet. As the morning wind blows mercilessly, I  tried to save my newspaper from falling apart and torn. See! I love reading my newspaper in order and not laying scattered from one end to another.

Bang on! After trying to save the newspaper from the wind and breeze, I fold them since I am tired fighting the wind. I sit still and saw Black Cat commando in a jeep, armed with guns. Baap re Baap! Itni Subha! I’m wondering whether Mumbai are chasing some thieves or terrorists. Saw a short athletic guy, in short and black Banyan, sweating profusely as if he is taking part in the olympic, taking big leaps as he sprints his way to victory. I must have seen the guy, somewhere, may be on TV or newspaper. Silly me! Kem-cho, I wanted to yell! The man has already disappeared, trailed by his Black Cats. It’s our own Gujju Bhai, Anil Ambani. Saw Anil-Bhaiyya a couple of times sprinting his way to heaven. They tell me, Anil-Ji favorite track to jog is Marine Drive.

Double-decker BEST Buses and Mumbai is an ongoing romance. What a feeling joy to spot the red bus as you sit on Marine Drive, as passengers glance at the Arabian Sea. It was past five in the evening as I get set for the evening walk following a gruesome lecture at Kalina Campus in Santacruz, struggling my way in the jam-packed local and finally nestled-cum-sleeping in the room. The cutting chai ritual and smoke at the tapdi, Marine Drive is the ultimate destination.

Now, the crowd cheering and waving to the BEST Bus..double-decker wala. Has Mumbai gone mad?! I turn around and saw an open double decker bus, corrugated roof removed and may be flying somewhere like a sauce pan. The crowd must be cheering UFOs! Not really! Saw Bobby Deol and Priyanka Chopra dancing their way to heavenly bliss. See! I was a huge fan of Piggy Chop at that time..she waved back to the crowd, smiling coyly and hiding her face, as the phone wale camera tried to capture her photogenic face. Bobby looks dashing in a shirt tucked in his blue denim. I grew envious, secretly wishing I was him as the crowd would delight at the handsome me and clicking. I was bowled by PC and absolutely love the way she carried herself. No arrogance and comfy with the crowd. I cursed my luck coz the Nokia camera phone was stolen.

I message Aparna, ‘Guess, whom I say? Pat came her reply, “Mumbai people sitting at Marine Drive are so lucky..’ Indeed, we are lucky to stay at Marine Drive and spotting stars. I become crazy when I see stars in public view. I am already dreaming that I am a film star and fans rushing to click me and asking for autograph. Truly, Mumbai Musing.

V

Magnetic beauty possessing my soul


Stroking her hair gently,

the breeze ruffles the hair.

As she turns around, her face sparks of divinity.

Beauty can be an illusion,

yet I feel drawn towards her like magnet

Her angelic smile symbolizes the perfection of beauty made in heaven.

I am longing to walk up to her,

a power is fettering my steps.

I stand paralyzed, unable to make a move to tell her, ‘Her beauty captivated my mind and soul.’

The time I recover my senses,

she is long gone like dust out of thin air.

Love

V

 

Blog Action Day 2014: Equality in a society infested with #Inequality


I am taking part in #blogactionday, October 16, 2014. The post is  based on the theme ‘Inequality:  #BAD2014, #Inequality and #BlogAction hosted by http://blogactionday.org/

I choose to write on ‘Equality in a society infested with #Inequality‘ which is destroying the legitimate dreams and rights of human beings in society as well as the fact that children are deprived of education, women are discriminated at every end. The aim of the post is to shed light on the fallacy of capitalism as a system that crumbled and led to the global financial crisis. Still, some believe in the system which is the root cause of corruption, exploitation and inequality.

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Since times immemorial, inequality has perpetuated the social strata, be it caste, class, religion or gender.  There is unfair justification on the need for an unequal society to pave the way for equality in terms of resources-natural and human, goods and discrimination. It’s the biggest misnomer and human tragedy when the capitalist and so-called liberal society feed such crass mentality.

When we see a capitalist system that crashed and contributed to million of unemployed across the globe is being justified on rhetoric ground, it is the biggest inequality on earth. The famous United States bred and classic argument, ‘Banks who are too big to fail’ is implemented and taken as the holy truth to justify fat cheques for the fat cats at the expense of the middle class and working class people who are pulling all strings to make both ends meet. Speak about moron capitalism and unequal resources!  For me, this is inequality when the wealth gap gets wider and wider as the capitalist system is indoctrinated in the minds of people as the truth.

When mill workers are robbed of their existence to make way for sky-rocketed building and malls as they stand deprived of their livelihood, this is the biggest human tragedy on earth. The capitalists call it development in their own jargon while they forget the miseries faced by the commoners. It is an irony when slum dwellers live in inhumane conditions and are exploited at every end, while capitalists make crores by twisting the law. Likewise, in Mumbai, the residents of Cola Camp who sweat blood to buy an apartment which is declared as illegal and ordered to be destroyed while the developers violating the Floor Space Index get away. If the houses of residents who take loans to acquire property are driven out and declared as illegal, so are the thousands of so-called skycrapers across the globe.

When an underbelly and child in our society living on the streets of Mumbai, Rahul Dravid, accompanied by a college girl who was giving him a treat in an upmarket restaurant in the posh South Mumbai’s Churchgate is driven out because the former was not wearing slippers, it is the biggest discrimination on earth. Their flimsy justification: It will embarass their super rich patrons. One is appalled to see such kind of discrimination when both the girl and the boy are refused entry on the ground that the latter would offend customers and lower standards of the post restaurant. It’s not only blatant hypocrisy but also the biggest social injustice and inequality.

Inequality to me is when any society refuse to recognize the rights of transgenders and homosexuals as human beings, owing to archaic laws that declare love as a crime. When Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is being upheld, declaring same-sex love to be illegal, it entails that human beings have no right to live in society. Moreover, when a commercial sex worker is treated as inferior and deprived of basic human rights, this is inequality perpetuated in society.

Education is the right of any human being, rich or poor. When a child in some distant village belonging to the ‘undercaste’ is discriminated and deprived of education, this is not only prejudice but inequality. Similarly, when the girl child is scorned upon or women harassed by a society that prides itself in the name of patriarchy or tradition, this is blatant tale of inequality in society.

When Nobel Prize winner, Kailash Satyarthi, rescues souls subjected to child labour as a one-man army, one feel that the cause to fight an unequal society is not lost, after all. There are still some good human beings like Satyarthi working, faraway from the media glare, to fight inequality and pitch for an equal society. Inequality has always existed and will always exist but, as human beings, we have no right to condone the ugly by-product and evils of the capitalism. Let’s join hands to fight the evil for a more equal society in our own way.

V

‘From 15 to 50′


Linking this to the Fiction Challenge ‘From 15 to 50′, the prompt hosted by http://shailajav.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/from-15-to-50-fiction-link-up-october-2014/

A monthly October challenge with

Word Prompt: Happiness

Phrase Prompt: ‘On The Beach’

‘From 15 to 50′

Ketaki walked on the beach when a shining object struck her attention. Propelled by an unknown power, she was drawn towards the object. The sun reflected on the one rupee coin that stood on a castle made of sand. She flung the coin in the water and gyrated to happiness.

 

 

 

 

‘Maha’ Bharata in the times of Maharashtra


Image downloaded on Google/shiningindianews.com

Kaun Banega Crorepati question. Do you know who is the new ‘Mehenga Dulhan’ in town? Maharashtra! Jai Maharashtra. After all, Balasaheb must be laughing from Parlok, how they trying to rob him of his Baby. Remember he coined, Jai Maharashtra. He must be telling, look at the thieves, clamoring for Jai Maharashtra sing-song a la Doctor Deng. Congress, NCP, BJP and MNS.

Itna Mehenga Dulhan ban Gaya Maharashtra. After all, waqt waqt ki baat hai! Gujarat has suddenly become the sasta Dulha. Pradhan Mantri claimed that he wants Maharashtra to become mehenga than his once Queen of Hearts, Gujarat. Poor fellow, he must be nursing his break up..sob sob..Break Ke Baad with the Sainiks. Aur Apna Gadkari Babu is playing Chori Chori Chup Ke Chupke after his Dabbang fracas. Bechara, Gadkari! He has gone on silent mode now.

Image downloaded on Google India.

After all, it’s the battle for Maharashtra. The new prince, Aditya Thackeray wants Mumbai to gain back its days of glory. Sensible fellow, I tell you. After all, Mumbai is not a 9 to 5 city coz the residents love their city unplugged 24 hours a day. Inspector Dhoble is passé now. Dearies, political tokenism never works in Mumbai. Shivaji Maharaj politics is such an old refrain that makes us run away as if Yo! Yo! Honey Singh or Himesh Babu is singing, full blast almost damaging our ear lobes.

Break Up Ke Baad kya hoga, Maharashtra mein? Issues remain the same, potholes after every monsoon, farmers’ suicides, crime riding high quite surprisingly in cities like Mumbai and Pune. Does the average Mumbaikar have a choice in maximum city? Our life lines running late despite being considered one of the most efficient in the world.

A battle for Satta! No, Shiv Sena must get a reality check since this assembly election is not some classic song a la 90s and 2000s. Their trump card, Bal Thackeray is no more and, perhaps, it’s reason for the Sainiks to re-think of their political strategy, ‘Bhaiyyas Bhagao’ Maharashtra mein. The bait doesn’t bite the average and educated middle class, Maharashtrians or for that matter any one of them-remember anyone living in Maharashtra is called a Maharashtrian or Mumbaikar.

MNS Raj Thackeray has a certain charisma that reminds Sainik followers of his uncle. He has taken the ‘Mee Maratha’ and ‘Maratha Manoos’ campaigh a notch higher to steal the thunder right under the nose of cousin Udhdhav. The question is, can Uddhav Thackeray assert himself as Shiv Sena leader and impose in Maharashtra this time? That’s the million dollar question on the lips of everyone having a tryst with Maharashtra. Wait! Will they rope Uday-Baba as their trump card, showing his biceps to win the election in the name of Entertainment. Ask Vidya, Entertainment, Entertainment and Entertainment!

We, the People! The people of Maharashtra deserve better in terms of infrastructure, development, water, electricity woes to be put to an end as well as housing problems. Will Maharashtra win the battle on Wednesday? Let’s pray, wish and wait for the messiah! Or should we pull the horns to make our city and state the most prosperous in India?

It’s time to clean the city not just from filth but clean the system, both political and bureaucratic or otherwise.Swach Bharat! The people must restore the dignity of Maharashtra and kill corruption, political circus and infrastructure failure. Time to move beyond Namo’s wit to outshine the Thackeray!

Chala Bhau Chala Laukar Laukar!!!!

Big B @ 72: My Amitabh Bachchan moments


What does one churn on the most memorable megastar and superstar of the decade? The one who gave millions  fans across the globe, priceless memories & dream to live for! Seeing him standing tall and towering in every single frame is an experience that movie lovers not only revel but long for! That’s Amitabh Bachchan for you and me. The mention of his name send fans in frenzy and tizzy of sorts. The heart gyrates to a million beats..Dil Dhadak raha hai, aaj bhi, usske naam sunko! The Shahenshah and Sarkar of the Hindi film industry, the man who makes million of Indians nurture dream of cracking the Gold pot in every episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati.

My Amitabh Bachchan moments! The bond that we share with the man, something non Bachchan-alia could never understand. An inspiration! Reciting his father’s rendering of Madhushaala to my generation, oblivious of the works of the great stalwart, Dr Harishvansrai Bachchan, is the real icing on the cake. Bachchan-saab enthuses passion and makes the poetic rendering of Madhushaala an ongoing romance that captures the imagination like breezy words whispered in the ears, offering warmth and solace to the heart.

As a  90s kid,  I grew up quite late on Bachchan’s movies which I watched on TV and, occasionally, Dad would treat me to the movies showcased at the humble theater, minutes away from our house. In the late 80s, I was introduced to  Aakhri Raasta-love it coz his double role fascinated me; Shahenshah-the epic lines, ‘Rishtey Mein Hum Tumhare baap Lagta Hai and his costumes simply delighted me. Simply love this super hero movie; Agneepath-Vijay Dinanath Chauhan became my favorite movie for a long time till Black came.  Remember Dad took me to watch Main Azaad Hoon-the kid in me couldn’t make sense of this ‘boring’ movie whose brilliance I could only understand as an adult and student of cinema. How I wish I was born in this era to witness the frenzy created by stellar performances in Don, Deewar, AAA, Kala Pathar, Sholay and Zanjeer during the 7os!

I was stepping into teenage years in the 90s at a time when Bachchan was taking a break from his acting career. The fan in me borrowed money from Dad’s pockets to buy the audio cassettes containing dialogues of Hum- Jhumma Chumma De De and Tiger-was a dream to live for. Saving the hard earned but paltry pocket money to buy posters and magazines like Filmfare, Movie, Stardust and Cineblitz, featuring Big B on the cover. The scissor would find its way, cutting pictures and articles of Big B with his leading ladies that would find its way in the flip files that I have neatly conserved till date. Or! The post cards of Amitabh Bachchan! I have a huge collection of them.

The Bachchan of 90s was a luxury, the time I almost stopped watching Hindi movies on the silver screen. There was no AB in movies and if one was lucky, the superstar’s interviews would appear once in a blue moon. It was a luxury for die-hard Bachchan fans. There were new heroes, the chocolate boy Amir Khan, the anti-hero Shah Rukh Khan or lover boy Salman Khan, Ajay Devgn or for that matter, the new emerging superstar, Sanjay Dutt, who won hearts in Saajan and Sadak. It was the most amazing decade of 90s where memories movies were made with the new heroes, the Three Khans whose songs and simple, romantic movies altered the business of cinema. No doubt, I enjoyed these movies where one would swear by falling in love with cute girls. But, none of them came close to the charisma, magnetism and persona of Amitabh Bachchan. He was my hero, my God.

As a 90s kid, the filmy magazines I bought with my hard earned pocket money was confiscated by Mom because I was not studying and I was on the verge of crying several times. I would lift some extra coins from Dad’s pocket to buy airmails, sending countless letters to my hero, declaring my undying admiration for him throughout the year. The address was diligently written to the sender’s at Pratiksha Bungalow in Juhu. But, somehow, I never got a reply. I waited with bated breath and decades later, I got a signed autograph. Divine justice, like in the movies. Today, I got a signed digital autograph from Amitabh Bachchan on Twitter. I shall mark 11 October 2014 for it compensates the years of longing for my superstar’s reply. It made the day special.

The Digital autograph Big B sent on my Twitter handle today.

The Digital autograph Big B sent on my Twitter handle today.

This is my story of Amitabh Bachchan, the hero of the masses who became One with his audience who could relate to his pain, heart break, laugh with him and we feel like beating the villains ourselves. Over the years, Bachchan was no longer the hero, romancing his leading ladies and donned a new avatar, the suave KBC host and the rich, mature gentleman with shades of grey. There is no doubt that it was and is one of his most successful second inning, experimenting with different roles in the changing tide of cinema, whether Black, The Last Lear, Nishabd, Eklavya, Cheeni Kum and endorsing dozens of products or standing tall like Friend Philosopher and Guide on KBC. The fan in me still identify with the Vijay of 70s and 80s, the cleanly shaven guy who would do everything to woo his audience. Call him, one-man industry! I don’t care. So be it! This is my Amitabh Bachchan, my hero and inspiration.

A very Happy wala budday to the man, the friend and philosopher. Bachchan made me love movies and taught me what hero worship is all about. 72 is the new 27 for Bachchan. The man has not said his last words and hanging his boots is not for tomorrow. Amitabh Bachchan has not given his best and it’s yet to come. I strongly believe that there is a stellar performance lurking around that shall be way bigger than Zanjeer, Don, Deewar, Agneepath, Black or Paa! A performance that shall make the milestones he created for more than 40 years pale in comparison. May be with a brand new director. Bachchan fans are waiting for this new milestone. Sir! We are waiting for the next one.

I am having a Special Amitabh Bachchan weekend, blogging bout AB, watched Don and will watch Agneepath during the night and, of course, listening to AB songs, proudly wearing my KBC T-shirt. Party toh banta hai boss!

With Love

Die hard Bachchan fan

V

Memories lingering on mind & soul


Surrendering to the forces of nature,

the mind wanders during the night when the owl couldn’t be heard or seen.

The dogs stopped barking, the birds chirping at a looming distance as they are nestled to sleep.

Go with the flow, they tell!

The mind refuses to sit still at the turn of the clock as thoughts unfurl itself,

scripting new, imagined vision to the universe.

The mind shall not bow to the fury of mankind nor rest like the silent waters of the Arabian sea.

Memories of a lifetime flashes on a breezy Friday,

the moments spent at Marine Drive, loitering the streets of South Mumbai and friendships made!

Wondering why life has to evolve at such fast pace,

throwing me from one end to another.

The past is beautiful, the present is gnawing and the future shall be a mystery.

Good Night

V