Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This Bandar needs a break!

I am not much of a ‘review’ person but after watching Delhi-6 I needed to vent out my feelings, that’s why this piece. ‘Ye Delhi hai mere yaar…’, ‘Masakali masakali udd matakali matakali…, I was humming these songs for the last one month (I still do hum them). But the movie turned out to be one (boring) disaster.

My friends and I had planned a reunion and as all of us wanted to watch the movie, we went for it. We usually do not prefer watching movies when we meet after a long time, but this was an exceptional case. That’s why I am more frustrated. (I know I give long background but it creates the mood na? :)

I don’t need to write the story, as by now everyone must be acquainted with it. The story is as confusing as the characters and what they are supposed to play!! The focus of the film itself is not focused. Roshan (Abhishek) comes to India with his dadi (Waheeda Rehman, who looks stunning even at this age) but after half an hour of the movie runs by she is completely sidelined. The cinematography is awesome and the rustic streets and people of Delhi are showcased very well. The story is intermingled with the Ramleela and verses from the Ramayan are used. I quite liked this idea.

Then enters Bittu (Sonam- she could have been given a better pet name), who just flutters around everywhere and doesn’t have a scope to showcase her acting skills. The main actor of the film is the Kaala Bandar which causes havoc in the entire Delhi-6. All people push their wrongdoings on this Bandar. The monkey also causes communal disharmony between the Hindus and the Muslims. This could have been shown in a better way. The fights and the acting seem to be frivolous and they fight for no reasons.

Enters Abhishek aka Roshan, to fight the beliefs of the people and to remove the Kaala Bandar from everyone’s mind. The scene in which Roshan imagines a mix of New York and Delhi is really innovative and refreshing. But the scenes preceding the same are very funny. Abhishek becomes the monkey and people beat him up to vent their anger and still he manages to remain alive! The scenes of Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek when they meet in swarg are hilarious. Suddenly, Roshan returns back to dharti!!

Some scenes are relieving, especially the ones involving the two kiddos, Jalebi (a sweeper) and Gobar (a simpleton). The songs are like an oasis in the desert. The kabootar (Masakali) is the most handsome pigeon I have ever seen. It is simply adorable and dances really well!

All in all, worth ONLY one watch…which includes a 100 yawns and a stare/min from your girlfriend/boyfriend, if you have take them to watch it when they were suggesting a candle light dinner.

My ratings- *

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Have you ever tried revisiting your childhood by doing crazy things such as licking a lolly-pop or playing with your favourite Barbie? Recently, (to be precise yesterday itself) I relived my childhood by going to my gaav ka mela. I stay in a place called Vadgaonsheri in Pune, which is sandwiched between two posh localities namely Kalyani Nagar and Viman Nagar, yet this small suburb of Pune has kept its traditions alive. With IT parks, restaurants, malls and multiplexes, it is no longer a gaav, but does have a mela, every year!

My parents are very religious (yet secular) and we host a Gajanan Maharaj Prakat Din at our place and around 300 people visit our home and have lunch! On the same occasion, bunch of my friends had come to my place and I managed to persuade them into going to the fair. There was a splash of colour and lights everywhere. There were piggy banks made of clay in various shapes such as pots and gas cylinders, junk jewellery, kiddie stuff- talwar, gada and whistles. My pick of the day was a Shakalaka Boom Boom fame pencil which glows red and blue when put on!

We sat in an interesting ride called ‘Torra- torra’, which is somewhat like a giant wheel but slightly tilted (tedha). We had to persuade a friend into it for like 15 minutes and finally he agreed. And later, one could hear him shout, ‘Wee… yaay..”. from the top of the ride, we could see the bright and illuminated Pune city. I remembered the days when my brother and I would go to the fair with our parents… kya din the woh! We would throw tantrums to sit in a ride twice, to buy useless toys and sweets and they would ultimately have to give in to our ‘requests’. I would also go with my friends and there were incidents when some goonda guys would follow us and we would shoo them away in our own ishtyle. Those were the days of real enjoyment.

Yesterday, I felt the same vibes running through me and it seemed as if time had taken me 10 years back… it was the same innocent and fun-loving me.

Street- smart magic

They don’t follow the ‘Abra ka Dabra’ cliché, but certainly have the knack of entertaining people of all age groups. The street magicians Aas Mohammed Khan and Babban Khan are from Gaziabad and Faridabad and are in town to perform the traditional form of magic.

“Seven generations of our family are into street magic and want to keep the art alive,” says Aas Mohammed. He has been practicing the art from the age of ten. He would go with his father as an assistant and slowly picked up the art. “It is not real magic but sleight of hand or haatchalakhi,” adds Mohammed. Magic is the sole source of his income and he says that he wanted to preserve the art form and his sons are also doing the same.

The duo have performed all over India, ‘from Kashmir to Kanyakumari’, as they put it. But the income they generate is modest enough to get them daily bread and shelter. “Affluent people call us for their private parties to entertain their guests,” says Babban. The delightful responses from the children make them feel proud of themselves.

Both Aas Mohammed and Babban belong to a certain caste which is known for its magic. Aas Mohammed is famous for his mango trick, in which he produces a mango tree from its seed. The other tricks include- disappearing a small boy from a basket and bowl trick. They have performed in schools and organizations across Mumbai and have also entertained the audience at the recent Kala Ghoda festival.

PS: The picture above shows Aas Mohammed performing the basket trip, in which he disappears the kid. Visit the following website for more info on street magicians.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Phone tales

Imagine a day… or should I say an hour without your mobile phone. Its difficult na? I know, difficult is not the word. Communication has never been so easy. Thanks to this miracle of science, we can call anyone, from anywhere, listen and share music and do loads of other stuff as well. This small device has become our lifeline!

My tryst with the cell phone started in December 2005 when I was studying in the final year of BSc. My mother proudly presented me a Nokia 3315, which is the sturdiest phone I have ever seen. It was a third hand phone used by my father, mother and then me. The blue coloured black and white phone became the apple of my eyes.

The next phone that I owned was a Nokia 1100. This time I was the second person to use it after my father. This phone is known for its long battery life, which can last up to a week also! Lekin mera aur is phone ka saath jyada dino ka nahi tha. When I was in the first year of post-graduation, my parents thought (thankfully) that it’s high time I got a new phone and became the proud possessor of another Nokia phone- 2310. This phone was the most popular phone two years back (it still is!).

When I started earning, I bought myself a chic Samsung J-600. It was love at first sight for me. But as they say, looks betray. The phone was good for 5K, but didn’t have multitasking and was very delicate. The battery was weak and there were only black and white colour themes which made my cellular life very dull. When I got an offer two days back of exchanging it for 2.3K, I jumped at it and exchanged my phone for an all new Supernova Nokia 7210. the phone is slim and sleek. It has a 2 mp camera, media player, memory slot expandable upto 2 GB and all this just for 5.5K!

Now I am happy and satisfied with my new phone. After all, it’s a Nokia- good features, good quality, affordable price and long life. (No, I am not Nokia’s PR :P)

Psst: Above displayed is my new phone...

Friday, February 6, 2009

A brush with Page 3 party animals…

Reading party reviews…looking at the ‘oh-so-cool’ dresses that the celebs wear… and commenting on their ‘style statements’ is one of my favourite timepass. But I had never imagined that my tryst with the Page 3 culture will come so late in my journalistic career of 8 months! It doesn’t mean that I had imagined being a part of every other ‘Page 3- celeb show-off’ party. And this event which I attended in particular- well, my destiny took me to it, not my assignment!

Me and my friend-cum-colleague headed towards JW Marriot for a ‘Simply Pizza’ festival where a hot Italian Chef was going to showcase her acrobatic pizza making style. Talk about free food in 5-star hotels and we are always there to make full use of the opportunity! ;) The Chef presented her skills in a rather unique way by dancing to Bollywood songs and stripping off her ‘birdy’ look. (She had come dressed as a bird with a plastic beak on her face!) She danced with other members of the restaurant and her acrobatic skills were remarkable. But that was not enough to please connoisseurs like us. So we got bored after a while and the food menu was devoid of many vegetarian dishes I was left hungry.

Then came the ray of light- I met a PR friend called Pallavi (a crazy head just like me!) and she invited us to another party taking place at the JW. It was a wine brand launch. I was told that is a different kind of a wine called creamy wine. They gave us a glassful of it to taste, but I liked the creamy stuff and hated the wine (may be coz I am a non-drinker).

There were loads of celebs hanging around in that compact area filled with liquor and loud music (and free food ofcouse! :). There were hot male models and also ultra-skinny female models. They were super tall and I felt like a pygmy in front of them. They were surrounded by charmers, trying to impress them. The models were lost in their own world- sipping on the alcohol and posing for the camera. I was told that to remain skinny and not letting flesh appear on their body these girls keep on smoking and drinking. Liquid diet, I guess. (I never want to be in their shoes!)

We were commenting on every possible creature around and observing their outrageous style of dressing and talking. (May be comments were being made on our style also, or maybe they were jealous looking at us :). I passed a comment on a girl who had a strange hair cut and my friend poke me and said, “Shut up you fool, that’s my boss!” I decided to close my mouth and open it only when I saw food!

Food- there was lots of it. Paneer masala, ‘assorted Indian breads’ which means rotis in sophisticated language, pasta, Chinese, etc etc. I ate less coz I had seen the desserts menu. It consisted of yummy chocolate cakes, fudges and a chocolate fountain was flowing much to the pleasure of our eyes. I gorged on all possible desserts (now you know the secret of my health) and ate till my heart was content.

After eating, we left the place, leaving the page 3ites to enjoy the ‘abhi toh raat jawan hai’ event. I will never forget the crazy day.