Monday, February 26, 2007

Pointless questions and pointed answers

    Dreams... Or nightmares can sometimes articulate your fears, way better than, what in your waking hours you'll ever be able to put in words.

    The feeling is that of being pinned to the ground. Knowing that choices exist but also knowing that one could've been better off without any choices. One can never know for sure though.

    Would you rather have the choice or would you not?

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Pointless questions and pointed answers

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Loyal Guard

    I want to make it official now. For a long time, I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve deliberated endlessly and now take this step with conviction. With this decision I might leave my peers dismayed, my parents disappointed and my landlord might even kick me out of his house but it’s time I put down my loyalties on paper. At least this way I would’ve no shame and no regrets. After all, honesty might be a ridiculed yet a desirable virtue to possess in our times.

    This World Cup, I’m supporting Bermuda. There’s no looking back now. I’m going to cheer for them hoarse, wear their colors and gun for them to win it even if they are stranded hopelessly chasing 618 runs against India in the group stage.

    The whole point of ICC allowing teams like Bermuda to play in the World Cup (apart from minting truck loads of dollars) is to promote the game and which game has been promoted in any nation without a loyal band of supporters?

    And I sense Bermuda is short of supporters this season. I mean look at the other minnows. Look at Bangladesh. Before you can even bat an eyelid, you’d be swept by a wave of Bangla supporters shouting you down even if you’re on 1800 MW speakers. Canada had John Davison in the last edition. And he’s back as captain this time. Thanks to him, we would follow that team for sheer curiosity. I’m sure any Irish supporter would be passionately hoping that they kick English ass. They’d love this game back in Scotland. It gives them 6 more hours to drown themselves in good old Scotch instead of a plain vanilla 90 minutes. Kenya; we all know what they’re capable of and Netherlands being veterans amongst these minnows at World Cup, I think has more of chance topping their group than India.

    And now if this emotional plea was not enough to inspire you to support Bermuda, I shall present a few more facts to appeal to your left brain (And that is, if your brain is still in place after reading all this. Bermuda does have an uncanny knack to get on your nerves. It did on mine!)

    The nation is all of 50 sq. km. Their population is 80,000 and yes they’re fielding a 15 member team. No less. Calculate the ratio of players to population and you’ve the biggest underdog ever in the history of cricket.

    I went to a link that listed the “Bermuda Players to Watch Out For”. I waited long. It never downloaded.

    On another link a player profile read: He has a lot of determination and with some more hard work will surely emerge as a successful cricketer in the future.
    Evidently, he needs our support. Let’s cheer him for at least one match!

    Their winning percentage in ODI’s is 29%. Sheer figures suggest they’re better than Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. This has been brought to your notice so that you never feel that you’re cheering for a team down in the dumps. Down in the Atlantic yes, but not in the dumps!

    Along with the illustrious Papua New Guinea, Bermuda showed the cricketing world that 400 runs could be scored in an ODI. This was in ICC Trophy in 1986. 20 long and winding years before Australia and South Africa had any devious plans of the same. And this IS TRUE! Here’s your chance this World Cup to cheer for the original attacking cricketing nation of our generation!

    They’ve only had one Olympic medal winner so far. Finally, you have a country that’s done worse than India in Olympics. It should do your ego good to support them.

    Player names are equally evocative. Their team has one Hurdle, one Cann, a Pitcher, a couple of Tuckers and a certain Minors. Can’t you read the signs?

    And if all the above were still not enough reason, allow me to throw some light on state of the nation’s economy. It’s GDP per capita of a stunning $76,000 is the highest in the world.

    And I’ve also heard they’re taking the best Bermuda supporter from India to partake a slice of that cake!

    I leave you with that luscious thought and when you go to sleep from today do not, I repeat do not forget to shout “Goooooooo Beeerrrrmuuddddaaaa!!!”

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The Loyal Guard

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Monday, February 5, 2007

The List - I

    Most of my close friends have been a little baffled at my fairly insignificant skill of recounting lines and scenes from my favorite movies with ease. Some of them think it comes effortlessly to me. I don’t quite intend to shatter that perception but the truth is that if I like a particular scene or a dialogue in a movie, I end up watching it again and again until I know I can recollect it on my own. It’s like a scaling a summit. The journey is immensely exciting and the accomplishment endearing.

    However I realized that over the years, while I kept scaling those summits, because I didn’t keep a record of those scenes and dialogues, sadly most of those impressions have eroded from my mind. And hence, here is an effort to list some of the best scenes from Hindi movies that I grew up to and continue to be charmed with.

    Now like in any field, the task of selection is inevitably an onerous task. Not because you don’t know which ones to select but because you have trouble eliminating options. Nevertheless, after 3 hours of thinking, this is what I could come up with.

    1. Ashok Kumar wanting to light his cigarette in Jewel Thief in the flight: A charming thief brought to book finally after three hours of gripping screenplay. The Jewel Thief was defeated but alarmingly undeterred. I remember watching and still thinking if there was any way there could be another twist in the tale even now.

    2. Amol Palekar’s moustache coming off in Golmaal: Ramprasad is eating a wholesome lunch at Utpal Dutt’s place when his moustache starts giving way. The rest is history. How Shubha Khote managed to pound Utpal Dutt with a club in his own backyard while both of them were looking for Ramprasad cracks me up even now!

    3.Satish Shah in a coffin with a drunk Om Puri on the road in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron: I would be betraying the trust of the numerous worshippers of this movie if I even attempted to describe it further…

    4. Anupam Kher with a friend coaxing him to drink in Daddy: A loser to the world and a daddy to his girl is about to give a final performance on stage. He’s tempted by a jerk to get back to drinking; something his daughter has painstakingly managed to take him away from. One of Anupam Kher’s best performances after Saaransh.

    5.Vijay Deenanath Chauhan: How else could I do justice to this? A TV programme once suggested that when the first prints came out, the distributors thought that there was something wrong with the sound of those prints because of Amitabh Bachchan’s gruff dialogue delivery style.

    6.Sanjay Dutt in Naam being told by Paresh Rawal overlooking a busy street in Dubai that underworld is a one-way street: Similar scenes with exact lines have been enacted in numerous movies but none have been as subdued yet menacing.

    7. Jackie Shroff in his desperate last scene in Gardish: I saw this movie on cable first and I thought this would be another of those cable-fit movies that you want to devote time to only because you have nothing else to do. All throughout the movie, the father son equation was a stirring tale of emotion. This was a remake of a Malayalam movie called 'Kireedam'. ( Thanks to Tushar, else all of you would have been led to believe, by me, that it was 'Spadikam' ). While the latter happens to be one of my favorite movies, I must say the Hindi version didn’t disappoint one bit.

    8. Kamal Hasan in the song Dauda dauda bhaaga in Chachi 420: To add to the glee, the ensemble of Om Puri , Paresh Rawal and Amrish Puri was nothing short of a casting coup. Add to that the return of Johnny Walker and you had to have an eminently enjoyable joyride.

    9.The song Tu Bin Bataaye in Rang De Basanti: Beautifully shot, beautifully scripted and beautifully sung. The shot where Aamir and his gang throw leaves over Madhavan and Soha Ali Khan is simply the most endearingly mischievous scene ever!

    10.Snow falling over Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee in Black: Right after the teacher tells his protégé, that she’s failed her papers, there’s a moment of silence. The stage is set for one of them to cry and instead the falling snow makes sure that they dance like two kids who just got news they could go home earlier than usual. Absolutely unadulterated!

    11.Amitabh Bachchan waving his hand after being released from jail in Sarkar. Sarkar had just got bail and comes back to his mansion after a failed attempt on his life in jail. The foreground in the scene is a wave of his left hand protruding out of an SUV. The background, a huge group of his supporters cheering him on. Together, they signal a comeback. Everyone in the hall knew Sarkar would be released from jail but how was the question.

    12. Abhishek Bachchan screaming and instructing his accountant in Guru: “Contractor ka naam gaali ban jaana chahiye. Gaali…” For sheer intensity. A typical scene that Al Pacino would have delivered with consummate ease. We don’t have an equal for the latter yet in Bollywood but at least we’re close to getting another angry young man after ages.

    13. Johnny Walker breaking down in Anand: The one scene that has to be my most favorite scene of all time in Hindi cinema. An actor who lived his life making others laugh in all his movies made the audience cry in possibly the only movie he shed tears on screen for.

    Like with any list, there must’ve been more scenes that I couldn’t recall while penning ( keyboarding?) this article. Readers of this post, few and far and as disappointed or delighted they maybe are welcome to suggest more scenes. If I think any of the scenes, is worthy of an inclusion, I’ll add it to the post!
    As Calvin once said, “Big incentive!”: -P

    P.S.: Tried keeping it down to 10. Couldn't succeed. Diffcult to eliminate! :-)

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The List - I

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