Mustache Mania

A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
Music Review

It’s after listening to the film’s music I realised how much I missed Jatin-Lalit’s music. Sadly, look
this will be their swan song as a team, with both partners splitting up officially – quite a first in music industry; even though Shankar and Jaikishan were composing and interacting with producers separately some five-six years prior to Jaikishan’s untimely death, still they held to “S-J brand” very closely, so much so that Shankar did not allow the hyphen to go even when he was left alone by destiny’s chilling hand!

In mid-nineties JL were there right at the top – with two back-to-back musical bumper hits (DDLJ and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) and several other hits (Pyar To Hona Hi Tha, Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai etc), they were sitting primly at the peak – till differences arose. Their last notable release was Hum Tum, from the same team as Fanaa.

Fanaa is a good farewell gift from the duo.

The most interesting point is to see Sunidhi Chauhan shedding off her ‘item girl’ image, an avatar she

momentarily slipped out of in Sur, but didn’t do much to later follow it up. In Fanaa, she gets to croon two soft numbers, of which ‘Tere haath mein mera haath ho’ is heart-meltingly effusive. To Sunidhi’s credit, she jumps at the opportunity with élan. The song embellished with some Kashmiri music has snippets of verses spoken by lead pair Aamir and Kajol, and Sonu Nigam gives pleasant company.

Her other duet (again with Sonu) Yeh saazish hai boondon ki (Dekho Na) is charming, sculpted with care and romance just like Hum Tum’s much appreciated title song.

It was ‘Chanda chamke’ that made me miss JL the most! The song is so typically JL that I really wish they would bury their differences and come together again. This song is based on alliterative tongue-twisters we all loved during our childhood. Singers are Babul Supriyo, Mahalaxmi and Master Akhay, with Aamir and Kajol again doing honors with a few words in between. Excellent interludes make it a lovable song.

Mahalaxmi’s solo ‘Des Rangila’, a patriotic song, is probably the only weakest link, yet in the reflective luminesce of other songs it shines.

My most favorite and undoubtedly the album’s best track is Shaan-Kailash Kher’s Chaand sifarish karta jo hamari. It’s a unique composition – the introduction is sort of ‘Balle balle on a Sunday’ riff(Bunty Aur Bubli) meets AR Rahman’s qawaali beats from Bombay (Kahne hi kya), to which is snitched just a sliver of Junoon’s electric guitar signature rhythm, and yet the song doesn’t look like some tattered hand-me down; primarily due to the excellent whistling theme music that takes over, and a tune which takes off on a wonderfully lip-friendly plane. The rhythm is awesome; and Shaan is perfectly in sync with the romantic mood! Even if you don’t plan to buy the album, don’t ever miss this song any which way! For this song itself, I would have given the below mentioned rating, but then the score has enough merit to claim its rightful share in music lover’s mind.

You can listen to songs online here.

Overall: A Good Buy!
A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
Music Review

It’s after listening to the film’s music I realised how much I missed Jatin-Lalit’s music. Sadly, look
this will be their swan song as a team, with both partners splitting up officially – quite a first in music industry; even though Shankar and Jaikishan were composing and interacting with producers separately some five-six years prior to Jaikishan’s untimely death, still they held to “S-J brand” very closely, so much so that Shankar did not allow the hyphen to go even when he was left alone by destiny’s chilling hand!

In mid-nineties JL were there right at the top – with two back-to-back musical bumper hits (DDLJ and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) and several other hits (Pyar To Hona Hi Tha, Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai etc), they were sitting primly at the peak – till differences arose. Their last notable release was Hum Tum, from the same team as Fanaa.

Fanaa is a good farewell gift from the duo.

The most interesting point is to see Sunidhi Chauhan shedding off her ‘item girl’ image, an avatar she

momentarily slipped out of in Sur, but didn’t do much to later follow it up. In Fanaa, she gets to croon two soft numbers, of which ‘Tere haath mein mera haath ho’ is heart-meltingly effusive. To Sunidhi’s credit, she jumps at the opportunity with élan. The song embellished with some Kashmiri music has snippets of verses spoken by lead pair Aamir and Kajol, and Sonu Nigam gives pleasant company.

Her other duet (again with Sonu) Yeh saazish hai boondon ki (Dekho Na) is charming, sculpted with care and romance just like Hum Tum’s much appreciated title song.

It was ‘Chanda chamke’ that made me miss JL the most! The song is so typically JL that I really wish they would bury their differences and come together again. This song is based on alliterative tongue-twisters we all loved during our childhood. Singers are Babul Supriyo, Mahalaxmi and Master Akhay, with Aamir and Kajol again doing honors with a few words in between. Excellent interludes make it a lovable song.

Mahalaxmi’s solo ‘Des Rangila’, a patriotic song, is probably the only weakest link, yet in the reflective luminesce of other songs it shines.

My most favorite and undoubtedly the album’s best track is Shaan-Kailash Kher’s Chaand sifarish karta jo hamari. It’s a unique composition – the introduction is sort of ‘Balle balle on a Sunday’ riff(Bunty Aur Bubli) meets AR Rahman’s qawaali beats from Bombay (Kahne hi kya), to which is snitched just a sliver of Junoon’s electric guitar signature rhythm, and yet the song doesn’t look like some tattered hand-me down; primarily due to the excellent whistling theme music that takes over, and a tune which takes off on a wonderfully lip-friendly plane. The rhythm is awesome; and Shaan is perfectly in sync with the romantic mood! Even if you don’t plan to buy the album, don’t ever miss this song any which way! For this song itself, I would have given the below mentioned rating, but then the score has enough merit to claim its rightful share in music lover’s mind.

You can listen to songs online here.

Overall: A Good Buy!
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
Music Review

It’s after listening to the film’s music I realised how much I missed Jatin-Lalit’s music. Sadly, look
this will be their swan song as a team, with both partners splitting up officially – quite a first in music industry; even though Shankar and Jaikishan were composing and interacting with producers separately some five-six years prior to Jaikishan’s untimely death, still they held to “S-J brand” very closely, so much so that Shankar did not allow the hyphen to go even when he was left alone by destiny’s chilling hand!

In mid-nineties JL were there right at the top – with two back-to-back musical bumper hits (DDLJ and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) and several other hits (Pyar To Hona Hi Tha, Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai etc), they were sitting primly at the peak – till differences arose. Their last notable release was Hum Tum, from the same team as Fanaa.

Fanaa is a good farewell gift from the duo.

The most interesting point is to see Sunidhi Chauhan shedding off her ‘item girl’ image, an avatar she

momentarily slipped out of in Sur, but didn’t do much to later follow it up. In Fanaa, she gets to croon two soft numbers, of which ‘Tere haath mein mera haath ho’ is heart-meltingly effusive. To Sunidhi’s credit, she jumps at the opportunity with élan. The song embellished with some Kashmiri music has snippets of verses spoken by lead pair Aamir and Kajol, and Sonu Nigam gives pleasant company.

Her other duet (again with Sonu) Yeh saazish hai boondon ki (Dekho Na) is charming, sculpted with care and romance just like Hum Tum’s much appreciated title song.

It was ‘Chanda chamke’ that made me miss JL the most! The song is so typically JL that I really wish they would bury their differences and come together again. This song is based on alliterative tongue-twisters we all loved during our childhood. Singers are Babul Supriyo, Mahalaxmi and Master Akhay, with Aamir and Kajol again doing honors with a few words in between. Excellent interludes make it a lovable song.

Mahalaxmi’s solo ‘Des Rangila’, a patriotic song, is probably the only weakest link, yet in the reflective luminesce of other songs it shines.

My most favorite and undoubtedly the album’s best track is Shaan-Kailash Kher’s Chaand sifarish karta jo hamari. It’s a unique composition – the introduction is sort of ‘Balle balle on a Sunday’ riff(Bunty Aur Bubli) meets AR Rahman’s qawaali beats from Bombay (Kahne hi kya), to which is snitched just a sliver of Junoon’s electric guitar signature rhythm, and yet the song doesn’t look like some tattered hand-me down; primarily due to the excellent whistling theme music that takes over, and a tune which takes off on a wonderfully lip-friendly plane. The rhythm is awesome; and Shaan is perfectly in sync with the romantic mood! Even if you don’t plan to buy the album, don’t ever miss this song any which way! For this song itself, I would have given the below mentioned rating, but then the score has enough merit to claim its rightful share in music lover’s mind.

You can listen to songs online here.

Overall: A Good Buy!
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
Music Review

It’s after listening to the film’s music I realised how much I missed Jatin-Lalit’s music. Sadly, look
this will be their swan song as a team, with both partners splitting up officially – quite a first in music industry; even though Shankar and Jaikishan were composing and interacting with producers separately some five-six years prior to Jaikishan’s untimely death, still they held to “S-J brand” very closely, so much so that Shankar did not allow the hyphen to go even when he was left alone by destiny’s chilling hand!

In mid-nineties JL were there right at the top – with two back-to-back musical bumper hits (DDLJ and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) and several other hits (Pyar To Hona Hi Tha, Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai etc), they were sitting primly at the peak – till differences arose. Their last notable release was Hum Tum, from the same team as Fanaa.

Fanaa is a good farewell gift from the duo.

The most interesting point is to see Sunidhi Chauhan shedding off her ‘item girl’ image, an avatar she

momentarily slipped out of in Sur, but didn’t do much to later follow it up. In Fanaa, she gets to croon two soft numbers, of which ‘Tere haath mein mera haath ho’ is heart-meltingly effusive. To Sunidhi’s credit, she jumps at the opportunity with élan. The song embellished with some Kashmiri music has snippets of verses spoken by lead pair Aamir and Kajol, and Sonu Nigam gives pleasant company.

Her other duet (again with Sonu) Yeh saazish hai boondon ki (Dekho Na) is charming, sculpted with care and romance just like Hum Tum’s much appreciated title song.

It was ‘Chanda chamke’ that made me miss JL the most! The song is so typically JL that I really wish they would bury their differences and come together again. This song is based on alliterative tongue-twisters we all loved during our childhood. Singers are Babul Supriyo, Mahalaxmi and Master Akhay, with Aamir and Kajol again doing honors with a few words in between. Excellent interludes make it a lovable song.

Mahalaxmi’s solo ‘Des Rangila’, a patriotic song, is probably the only weakest link, yet in the reflective luminesce of other songs it shines.

My most favorite and undoubtedly the album’s best track is Shaan-Kailash Kher’s Chaand sifarish karta jo hamari. It’s a unique composition – the introduction is sort of ‘Balle balle on a Sunday’ riff(Bunty Aur Bubli) meets AR Rahman’s qawaali beats from Bombay (Kahne hi kya), to which is snitched just a sliver of Junoon’s electric guitar signature rhythm, and yet the song doesn’t look like some tattered hand-me down; primarily due to the excellent whistling theme music that takes over, and a tune which takes off on a wonderfully lip-friendly plane. The rhythm is awesome; and Shaan is perfectly in sync with the romantic mood! Even if you don’t plan to buy the album, don’t ever miss this song any which way! For this song itself, I would have given the below mentioned rating, but then the score has enough merit to claim its rightful share in music lover’s mind.

You can listen to songs online here.

Overall: A Good Buy!
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
Haan karliya, order
jee karliya humne jurm-e-ulfat
Aankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi, par hans gayi kismat

Kal talak mai bhi mehfilon mein gaata tha
Phoolon se gulshan mera bhi saja karta tha
Aaj veeran ho gayi meri chaahat
Aankh roti rahi , haai roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Aaj koi sapna aankhon mein sajta nahi
Koie bhi rang dil ko bhaata nahi
Na jaan paya taqdeer ki taaqat
Aaankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Kal ho na ho iska nahi aitbaar
Kal ka ab mujhe nahi intezaar
Kahi se mil jaaye mujhko bhi raahat
Aaankh roti rahi , haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat
A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
Music Review

It’s after listening to the film’s music I realised how much I missed Jatin-Lalit’s music. Sadly, look
this will be their swan song as a team, with both partners splitting up officially – quite a first in music industry; even though Shankar and Jaikishan were composing and interacting with producers separately some five-six years prior to Jaikishan’s untimely death, still they held to “S-J brand” very closely, so much so that Shankar did not allow the hyphen to go even when he was left alone by destiny’s chilling hand!

In mid-nineties JL were there right at the top – with two back-to-back musical bumper hits (DDLJ and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) and several other hits (Pyar To Hona Hi Tha, Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai etc), they were sitting primly at the peak – till differences arose. Their last notable release was Hum Tum, from the same team as Fanaa.

Fanaa is a good farewell gift from the duo.

The most interesting point is to see Sunidhi Chauhan shedding off her ‘item girl’ image, an avatar she

momentarily slipped out of in Sur, but didn’t do much to later follow it up. In Fanaa, she gets to croon two soft numbers, of which ‘Tere haath mein mera haath ho’ is heart-meltingly effusive. To Sunidhi’s credit, she jumps at the opportunity with élan. The song embellished with some Kashmiri music has snippets of verses spoken by lead pair Aamir and Kajol, and Sonu Nigam gives pleasant company.

Her other duet (again with Sonu) Yeh saazish hai boondon ki (Dekho Na) is charming, sculpted with care and romance just like Hum Tum’s much appreciated title song.

It was ‘Chanda chamke’ that made me miss JL the most! The song is so typically JL that I really wish they would bury their differences and come together again. This song is based on alliterative tongue-twisters we all loved during our childhood. Singers are Babul Supriyo, Mahalaxmi and Master Akhay, with Aamir and Kajol again doing honors with a few words in between. Excellent interludes make it a lovable song.

Mahalaxmi’s solo ‘Des Rangila’, a patriotic song, is probably the only weakest link, yet in the reflective luminesce of other songs it shines.

My most favorite and undoubtedly the album’s best track is Shaan-Kailash Kher’s Chaand sifarish karta jo hamari. It’s a unique composition – the introduction is sort of ‘Balle balle on a Sunday’ riff(Bunty Aur Bubli) meets AR Rahman’s qawaali beats from Bombay (Kahne hi kya), to which is snitched just a sliver of Junoon’s electric guitar signature rhythm, and yet the song doesn’t look like some tattered hand-me down; primarily due to the excellent whistling theme music that takes over, and a tune which takes off on a wonderfully lip-friendly plane. The rhythm is awesome; and Shaan is perfectly in sync with the romantic mood! Even if you don’t plan to buy the album, don’t ever miss this song any which way! For this song itself, I would have given the below mentioned rating, but then the score has enough merit to claim its rightful share in music lover’s mind.

You can listen to songs online here.

Overall: A Good Buy!
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
Haan karliya, order
jee karliya humne jurm-e-ulfat
Aankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi, par hans gayi kismat

Kal talak mai bhi mehfilon mein gaata tha
Phoolon se gulshan mera bhi saja karta tha
Aaj veeran ho gayi meri chaahat
Aankh roti rahi , haai roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Aaj koi sapna aankhon mein sajta nahi
Koie bhi rang dil ko bhaata nahi
Na jaan paya taqdeer ki taaqat
Aaankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Kal ho na ho iska nahi aitbaar
Kal ka ab mujhe nahi intezaar
Kahi se mil jaaye mujhko bhi raahat
Aaankh roti rahi , haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
Haan karliya, order
jee karliya humne jurm-e-ulfat
Aankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi, par hans gayi kismat

Kal talak mai bhi mehfilon mein gaata tha
Phoolon se gulshan mera bhi saja karta tha
Aaj veeran ho gayi meri chaahat
Aankh roti rahi , haai roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Aaj koi sapna aankhon mein sajta nahi
Koie bhi rang dil ko bhaata nahi
Na jaan paya taqdeer ki taaqat
Aaankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Kal ho na ho iska nahi aitbaar
Kal ka ab mujhe nahi intezaar
Kahi se mil jaaye mujhko bhi raahat
Aaankh roti rahi , haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat
Do kadam chalo to zara
Thaam ke haath mera
Bas yehi ab hai dua
Raho sang mere sada

Apni tanhaiyaiyon se
Apni hi parchchayon se, medical
Darta mai kitna raha
Chup main bahut raha
Mere geeton mein de diye, decease
Naye bol bas tumne,
Phir se mai jee utha
Phir se mai gaane laga
Bas yehi hai ab dua
Raho sang mere sada

Kitni masoom hai
Kitni gumsum hai
Teri ankhon mein
Itne kyun gam hai
Baant lun kuch mai bhi
Halka ho man tera bhi
Yeh dosti yaar nibhana
Ruswa ise na karna
Bas yehi hai ab dua
Raho sang mere sada
A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
Music Review

It’s after listening to the film’s music I realised how much I missed Jatin-Lalit’s music. Sadly, look
this will be their swan song as a team, with both partners splitting up officially – quite a first in music industry; even though Shankar and Jaikishan were composing and interacting with producers separately some five-six years prior to Jaikishan’s untimely death, still they held to “S-J brand” very closely, so much so that Shankar did not allow the hyphen to go even when he was left alone by destiny’s chilling hand!

In mid-nineties JL were there right at the top – with two back-to-back musical bumper hits (DDLJ and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) and several other hits (Pyar To Hona Hi Tha, Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai etc), they were sitting primly at the peak – till differences arose. Their last notable release was Hum Tum, from the same team as Fanaa.

Fanaa is a good farewell gift from the duo.

The most interesting point is to see Sunidhi Chauhan shedding off her ‘item girl’ image, an avatar she

momentarily slipped out of in Sur, but didn’t do much to later follow it up. In Fanaa, she gets to croon two soft numbers, of which ‘Tere haath mein mera haath ho’ is heart-meltingly effusive. To Sunidhi’s credit, she jumps at the opportunity with élan. The song embellished with some Kashmiri music has snippets of verses spoken by lead pair Aamir and Kajol, and Sonu Nigam gives pleasant company.

Her other duet (again with Sonu) Yeh saazish hai boondon ki (Dekho Na) is charming, sculpted with care and romance just like Hum Tum’s much appreciated title song.

It was ‘Chanda chamke’ that made me miss JL the most! The song is so typically JL that I really wish they would bury their differences and come together again. This song is based on alliterative tongue-twisters we all loved during our childhood. Singers are Babul Supriyo, Mahalaxmi and Master Akhay, with Aamir and Kajol again doing honors with a few words in between. Excellent interludes make it a lovable song.

Mahalaxmi’s solo ‘Des Rangila’, a patriotic song, is probably the only weakest link, yet in the reflective luminesce of other songs it shines.

My most favorite and undoubtedly the album’s best track is Shaan-Kailash Kher’s Chaand sifarish karta jo hamari. It’s a unique composition – the introduction is sort of ‘Balle balle on a Sunday’ riff(Bunty Aur Bubli) meets AR Rahman’s qawaali beats from Bombay (Kahne hi kya), to which is snitched just a sliver of Junoon’s electric guitar signature rhythm, and yet the song doesn’t look like some tattered hand-me down; primarily due to the excellent whistling theme music that takes over, and a tune which takes off on a wonderfully lip-friendly plane. The rhythm is awesome; and Shaan is perfectly in sync with the romantic mood! Even if you don’t plan to buy the album, don’t ever miss this song any which way! For this song itself, I would have given the below mentioned rating, but then the score has enough merit to claim its rightful share in music lover’s mind.

You can listen to songs online here.

Overall: A Good Buy!
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
Haan karliya, order
jee karliya humne jurm-e-ulfat
Aankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi, par hans gayi kismat

Kal talak mai bhi mehfilon mein gaata tha
Phoolon se gulshan mera bhi saja karta tha
Aaj veeran ho gayi meri chaahat
Aankh roti rahi , haai roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Aaj koi sapna aankhon mein sajta nahi
Koie bhi rang dil ko bhaata nahi
Na jaan paya taqdeer ki taaqat
Aaankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Kal ho na ho iska nahi aitbaar
Kal ka ab mujhe nahi intezaar
Kahi se mil jaaye mujhko bhi raahat
Aaankh roti rahi , haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
Haan karliya, order
jee karliya humne jurm-e-ulfat
Aankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi, par hans gayi kismat

Kal talak mai bhi mehfilon mein gaata tha
Phoolon se gulshan mera bhi saja karta tha
Aaj veeran ho gayi meri chaahat
Aankh roti rahi , haai roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Aaj koi sapna aankhon mein sajta nahi
Koie bhi rang dil ko bhaata nahi
Na jaan paya taqdeer ki taaqat
Aaankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Kal ho na ho iska nahi aitbaar
Kal ka ab mujhe nahi intezaar
Kahi se mil jaaye mujhko bhi raahat
Aaankh roti rahi , haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat
Do kadam chalo to zara
Thaam ke haath mera
Bas yehi ab hai dua
Raho sang mere sada

Apni tanhaiyaiyon se
Apni hi parchchayon se, medical
Darta mai kitna raha
Chup main bahut raha
Mere geeton mein de diye, decease
Naye bol bas tumne,
Phir se mai jee utha
Phir se mai gaane laga
Bas yehi hai ab dua
Raho sang mere sada

Kitni masoom hai
Kitni gumsum hai
Teri ankhon mein
Itne kyun gam hai
Baant lun kuch mai bhi
Halka ho man tera bhi
Yeh dosti yaar nibhana
Ruswa ise na karna
Bas yehi hai ab dua
Raho sang mere sada
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
Haan karliya, order
jee karliya humne jurm-e-ulfat
Aankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi, par hans gayi kismat

Kal talak mai bhi mehfilon mein gaata tha
Phoolon se gulshan mera bhi saja karta tha
Aaj veeran ho gayi meri chaahat
Aankh roti rahi , haai roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Aaj koi sapna aankhon mein sajta nahi
Koie bhi rang dil ko bhaata nahi
Na jaan paya taqdeer ki taaqat
Aaankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Kal ho na ho iska nahi aitbaar
Kal ka ab mujhe nahi intezaar
Kahi se mil jaaye mujhko bhi raahat
Aaankh roti rahi , haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat
Do kadam chalo to zara
Thaam ke haath mera
Bas yehi ab hai dua
Raho sang mere sada

Apni tanhaiyaiyon se
Apni hi parchchayon se, medical
Darta mai kitna raha
Chup main bahut raha
Mere geeton mein de diye, decease
Naye bol bas tumne,
Phir se mai jee utha
Phir se mai gaane laga
Bas yehi hai ab dua
Raho sang mere sada

Kitni masoom hai
Kitni gumsum hai
Teri ankhon mein
Itne kyun gam hai
Baant lun kuch mai bhi
Halka ho man tera bhi
Yeh dosti yaar nibhana
Ruswa ise na karna
Bas yehi hai ab dua
Raho sang mere sada
It’s been nearly a year and a half in Nepal but I haven’t ever had a haircut here. Now, buy more about
don’t be unduly shocked. For those who have seen me recently would vouchsafe that I do not carry kale lambe ghane reshmi tresses on my head – in fact, advice I don’t even flaunt hair long enough to match Hritik’s Mowgli inspired Krishh style (nor do I have the body to go alongwith it, but that’s a different story).

The reason for not trying Nepalese barbers is that, usually, I make once-a-month trip to Delhi, and get the needful done there, in comfortable and familiar surroundings. But during January’s trip I barely stayed home, hence did not get time at all. True, I had few hours in Mumbai, but then, I am confident Priyangini wouldn’t really have relished the idea of having a meet at a barber’s shop!

Thus, by first week February I was looking quite unruly. Also, long hair irritates – whether on my head, or someone else’s. I firmly believe a man looks best with short cropped hair (and inversely, a girl’s beauty is enhanced by her crowning glory). So before the matter got out of hand, I decided to do something about it.


Realisation hit me that I hadn’t seen many barbers here. There was a small cubby hole shop down the lane, which had on display a faded and torn Salman Khan poster from his Saajan days, and had kept on the dull-green mica counter, an archaic glass-and-long-winding-steel-water- spray- an item that even my Delhi’s neighborhood ‘naai’ had upgraded to a more fancy plastic ones; it’s original use is to water plants, I reckon!

No way was I going there, I resolved with a slight shudder.

On his last visit, my boss had pointed out to a corner shop in front of Radisson, asking about haircut rates here; at that time I had no clue. The shop belongs to the hotel, though it is not in the main premises. So, off I went there – twice! Both times it was closed. But today, thankfully the awful shutter was up and in I walked, praying that let it not be exorbitantly expensive. The counter man smiled and refused to take me in saying the shop was closed. At six pm!

My next destination was Hotel Annapurna – they have a shopping arcade adjacent to the main building. I recalled seeing some ‘barber’ signage there. Sure, it was there, and it was open – though the personnel gave same answer – ‘closing time’. I plonked myself on the sofa, gave a sweet smile and requested him to adjust me in today. Thankfully, he agreed.

And there began my perils!

I have nothing against garrulous barbers, but it’s just that I am not given to small talk. But this was something I hadn’t imagined.

He started off pointing at my graying hair. Probably, he would next ask me to dye my hair- a temptation which my Delhi barber still secretly hopes I would succumb to someday. Everytime I visit him, he picks a few hair strands, and drops them in disdain as if they are a filthy rag, and shake his head sorrowfully, “Tch tch tch, Bahut safed ho gaye hain”; his tone makes you feel as if it is Earth’s biggest calamity; and then, brightening up, he will go on to inform that current hair colors are even good for the hair. My response, as ever, is a soft smile but a firm no! ‘At least henna?’ he ventures hopefully. ‘We have lots of good herbal hennas.’ Hennas are always herbal, I wish to retort sometimes. But most likely, I slip into the comfortable chair and close off my eyes. That ends the discussion, and the rest goes off peacefully.

Anyways I am digressing. So, this one talked about bad diet, stomach ailment and all. Perplexed, I waited patiently for the catch to be sprung on me, while his hand moved dexterously on my mane. And then it came! The moot point: – there is a lovely organic fruit supplement that can cure anything. He was member of the company’s direct marketing team.

I maintained a stoic smile, but inwardly let out a loud groan. I am very wary of direct marketers – friends, who after the obligatory hellos, start off with virtues of ‘this awesome never-sold, never-found product’ (then why did you find it, my mind would scream); or eager acquaintances who thrust Tupperware catellogues under your nose as you struggle to sip your Coke with a straight face – these are people who I strike off my phone book the first.

I recall I had this friendly client – and during the negotiations his wife nearly kept my purchase of Tupperware as a ransom for the deal to go through. Thankfully, her husband was sensible, and moreover her greed for the new car prevailed over her salesmanship-spirit!

At another time, a friend’s friend had conspiratorially called me for a ‘striking business deal’. I agreed to check it out and ended up at Japan Life’s orientation meet at Kalkaji, Delhi. Japan Life sold (or probably, still sells) a unique magnetic mattress that guaranteed obliteration of any and every disease – and it was for ‘just Rs 70,000’! The deal was you buy that mattress, make three more members and the money shall start rolling in. Cool! After an impressive presentation, there were casual meets between various ‘uplines’ and ‘downlines’ – it all seemed so easy. Just a few more like you and you have cheques coming your way every month. You are your own boss, no office, no fixed routines -they lured.

Two girls, in low-waist jeans, talked excitedly – one piped about the next car she had booked – a grey Santro, the other vetoed it with a long squeaky drawl ‘Chhee, buy a yellow one!’ I nearly fainted but this one went on to mention an upcoming holiday in Mauritius.

With naivety, I heard their conversation; my salivating mind lapped up each word greedily. Yes, this was my calling – this was what I was always meant for. Easy money – luxurious holidays, swanky cars, trendy night-clubs and without any serious work, or best of all: – no slimy idiotic boss to report to! For sure, I was sold on to the idea. The only obstacle – I didn’t have the initial Rs 70,000! And my dad categorically refused to cough up his own for, what he felt, ‘an outrageously stupid idea’!

That was the end of that story.

Reluctantly my mind dissolved to the present. The burden on my head was lesser, but the one on my ear was still the same. It’s not a drug, it’s organic, it doesn’t have side effects, takes care of your liver and kidneys as well etc etc. One bottle was for NPR 1900, but of course there is a ten-percent discount if you buy immediately. There always is!

I looked at my reflection – my smile was still frozen from the time he had started off! I tried to sound interested, letting out a few ‘hmms’ at regular intervals. I always find such situations very sticky where some one is trying to sell an idea/deal/product enthusiastically, and I have the least interest for it!

However, in all this, hiis work was good and I was satisfied with the end-result.

As soon as he was finished, I sprang from the leather chair and paid the money. Till then he had only talked about the goodness of this American-Japanese joint product, reaching Nepal via Malaysia! But as he took the money he finally fired his final salvo, ‘So should I pack one for you?’

I mumbled something about being here only so will pick it up some other day and hurried out of the shop. No more here; I vowed to myself that next time it will be in Delhi only – even if it means getting the hair hennaed! At least it’s better and cheaper than being sold off some horrendously expensive tonic!

A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
A writer in hibernation, online I can wake up any day to claim my rightful place in the written word’s cosmos. Till then, abortion I am content with this blog – which is, as the name suggests, a random expressions of what crosses my mind. I call this blog a one-stop shop for entertainment reading in its various dimensions, providing a little relief from your life’s daily rigmarole. The blog has stories, view points, opinions, travel related entries, general posts, reviews and of course, lots on Bollywood music and Lata Mangeshkar (a voice I am passionate about)!

Archives

I hope your experience at RE is fruitful. To access my previous posts, a good place to start is to visit the Comprehensive Archives Page which gives you the list of posts month-wise as well as the break up category-wise. There is a ‘search form’ available to enable you find the exact post you are looking for.
The comments on the posts are enabled, and it will give me a pleasure to know your views.

Contact

You can contact Random Expressions by using the contact form here

Announcements

You can join the announcement list (as given on the right hand side bar). Rest assured your email will remain confidential and will not be used other than sending out announcements from time to time. I hate spam more than any one could (esp. since I struggle quite a lot with it, both on this site and on my mails)

Donate

If you find the site useful and entertaining, please do make a nominal donation to help up-keep the site in its full beauty and form. You can help by clicking here.

Disclaimer

Comments are unmoderated and hence open to everyone. I take no risk or responsibility for them. 

If you find some comment offensive or in bad taste then you may write to me. I will try to remove the same if I have time or feel they are really in bad taste. There is no guarantee for this. 


So sit back, relax and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Deepak Jeswal
Music Review

It’s after listening to the film’s music I realised how much I missed Jatin-Lalit’s music. Sadly, look
this will be their swan song as a team, with both partners splitting up officially – quite a first in music industry; even though Shankar and Jaikishan were composing and interacting with producers separately some five-six years prior to Jaikishan’s untimely death, still they held to “S-J brand” very closely, so much so that Shankar did not allow the hyphen to go even when he was left alone by destiny’s chilling hand!

In mid-nineties JL were there right at the top – with two back-to-back musical bumper hits (DDLJ and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) and several other hits (Pyar To Hona Hi Tha, Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai etc), they were sitting primly at the peak – till differences arose. Their last notable release was Hum Tum, from the same team as Fanaa.

Fanaa is a good farewell gift from the duo.

The most interesting point is to see Sunidhi Chauhan shedding off her ‘item girl’ image, an avatar she

momentarily slipped out of in Sur, but didn’t do much to later follow it up. In Fanaa, she gets to croon two soft numbers, of which ‘Tere haath mein mera haath ho’ is heart-meltingly effusive. To Sunidhi’s credit, she jumps at the opportunity with élan. The song embellished with some Kashmiri music has snippets of verses spoken by lead pair Aamir and Kajol, and Sonu Nigam gives pleasant company.

Her other duet (again with Sonu) Yeh saazish hai boondon ki (Dekho Na) is charming, sculpted with care and romance just like Hum Tum’s much appreciated title song.

It was ‘Chanda chamke’ that made me miss JL the most! The song is so typically JL that I really wish they would bury their differences and come together again. This song is based on alliterative tongue-twisters we all loved during our childhood. Singers are Babul Supriyo, Mahalaxmi and Master Akhay, with Aamir and Kajol again doing honors with a few words in between. Excellent interludes make it a lovable song.

Mahalaxmi’s solo ‘Des Rangila’, a patriotic song, is probably the only weakest link, yet in the reflective luminesce of other songs it shines.

My most favorite and undoubtedly the album’s best track is Shaan-Kailash Kher’s Chaand sifarish karta jo hamari. It’s a unique composition – the introduction is sort of ‘Balle balle on a Sunday’ riff(Bunty Aur Bubli) meets AR Rahman’s qawaali beats from Bombay (Kahne hi kya), to which is snitched just a sliver of Junoon’s electric guitar signature rhythm, and yet the song doesn’t look like some tattered hand-me down; primarily due to the excellent whistling theme music that takes over, and a tune which takes off on a wonderfully lip-friendly plane. The rhythm is awesome; and Shaan is perfectly in sync with the romantic mood! Even if you don’t plan to buy the album, don’t ever miss this song any which way! For this song itself, I would have given the below mentioned rating, but then the score has enough merit to claim its rightful share in music lover’s mind.

You can listen to songs online here.

Overall: A Good Buy!
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
Haan karliya, order
jee karliya humne jurm-e-ulfat
Aankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi, par hans gayi kismat

Kal talak mai bhi mehfilon mein gaata tha
Phoolon se gulshan mera bhi saja karta tha
Aaj veeran ho gayi meri chaahat
Aankh roti rahi , haai roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Aaj koi sapna aankhon mein sajta nahi
Koie bhi rang dil ko bhaata nahi
Na jaan paya taqdeer ki taaqat
Aaankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Kal ho na ho iska nahi aitbaar
Kal ka ab mujhe nahi intezaar
Kahi se mil jaaye mujhko bhi raahat
Aaankh roti rahi , haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
Haan karliya, order
jee karliya humne jurm-e-ulfat
Aankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi, par hans gayi kismat

Kal talak mai bhi mehfilon mein gaata tha
Phoolon se gulshan mera bhi saja karta tha
Aaj veeran ho gayi meri chaahat
Aankh roti rahi , haai roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Aaj koi sapna aankhon mein sajta nahi
Koie bhi rang dil ko bhaata nahi
Na jaan paya taqdeer ki taaqat
Aaankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Kal ho na ho iska nahi aitbaar
Kal ka ab mujhe nahi intezaar
Kahi se mil jaaye mujhko bhi raahat
Aaankh roti rahi , haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat
Do kadam chalo to zara
Thaam ke haath mera
Bas yehi ab hai dua
Raho sang mere sada

Apni tanhaiyaiyon se
Apni hi parchchayon se, medical
Darta mai kitna raha
Chup main bahut raha
Mere geeton mein de diye, decease
Naye bol bas tumne,
Phir se mai jee utha
Phir se mai gaane laga
Bas yehi hai ab dua
Raho sang mere sada

Kitni masoom hai
Kitni gumsum hai
Teri ankhon mein
Itne kyun gam hai
Baant lun kuch mai bhi
Halka ho man tera bhi
Yeh dosti yaar nibhana
Ruswa ise na karna
Bas yehi hai ab dua
Raho sang mere sada
I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
Haan karliya, order
jee karliya humne jurm-e-ulfat
Aankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi, par hans gayi kismat

Kal talak mai bhi mehfilon mein gaata tha
Phoolon se gulshan mera bhi saja karta tha
Aaj veeran ho gayi meri chaahat
Aankh roti rahi , haai roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Aaj koi sapna aankhon mein sajta nahi
Koie bhi rang dil ko bhaata nahi
Na jaan paya taqdeer ki taaqat
Aaankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Kal ho na ho iska nahi aitbaar
Kal ka ab mujhe nahi intezaar
Kahi se mil jaaye mujhko bhi raahat
Aaankh roti rahi , haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat
Do kadam chalo to zara
Thaam ke haath mera
Bas yehi ab hai dua
Raho sang mere sada

Apni tanhaiyaiyon se
Apni hi parchchayon se, medical
Darta mai kitna raha
Chup main bahut raha
Mere geeton mein de diye, decease
Naye bol bas tumne,
Phir se mai jee utha
Phir se mai gaane laga
Bas yehi hai ab dua
Raho sang mere sada

Kitni masoom hai
Kitni gumsum hai
Teri ankhon mein
Itne kyun gam hai
Baant lun kuch mai bhi
Halka ho man tera bhi
Yeh dosti yaar nibhana
Ruswa ise na karna
Bas yehi hai ab dua
Raho sang mere sada
It’s been nearly a year and a half in Nepal but I haven’t ever had a haircut here. Now, buy more about
don’t be unduly shocked. For those who have seen me recently would vouchsafe that I do not carry kale lambe ghane reshmi tresses on my head – in fact, advice I don’t even flaunt hair long enough to match Hritik’s Mowgli inspired Krishh style (nor do I have the body to go alongwith it, but that’s a different story).

The reason for not trying Nepalese barbers is that, usually, I make once-a-month trip to Delhi, and get the needful done there, in comfortable and familiar surroundings. But during January’s trip I barely stayed home, hence did not get time at all. True, I had few hours in Mumbai, but then, I am confident Priyangini wouldn’t really have relished the idea of having a meet at a barber’s shop!

Thus, by first week February I was looking quite unruly. Also, long hair irritates – whether on my head, or someone else’s. I firmly believe a man looks best with short cropped hair (and inversely, a girl’s beauty is enhanced by her crowning glory). So before the matter got out of hand, I decided to do something about it.


Realisation hit me that I hadn’t seen many barbers here. There was a small cubby hole shop down the lane, which had on display a faded and torn Salman Khan poster from his Saajan days, and had kept on the dull-green mica counter, an archaic glass-and-long-winding-steel-water- spray- an item that even my Delhi’s neighborhood ‘naai’ had upgraded to a more fancy plastic ones; it’s original use is to water plants, I reckon!

No way was I going there, I resolved with a slight shudder.

On his last visit, my boss had pointed out to a corner shop in front of Radisson, asking about haircut rates here; at that time I had no clue. The shop belongs to the hotel, though it is not in the main premises. So, off I went there – twice! Both times it was closed. But today, thankfully the awful shutter was up and in I walked, praying that let it not be exorbitantly expensive. The counter man smiled and refused to take me in saying the shop was closed. At six pm!

My next destination was Hotel Annapurna – they have a shopping arcade adjacent to the main building. I recalled seeing some ‘barber’ signage there. Sure, it was there, and it was open – though the personnel gave same answer – ‘closing time’. I plonked myself on the sofa, gave a sweet smile and requested him to adjust me in today. Thankfully, he agreed.

And there began my perils!

I have nothing against garrulous barbers, but it’s just that I am not given to small talk. But this was something I hadn’t imagined.

He started off pointing at my graying hair. Probably, he would next ask me to dye my hair- a temptation which my Delhi barber still secretly hopes I would succumb to someday. Everytime I visit him, he picks a few hair strands, and drops them in disdain as if they are a filthy rag, and shake his head sorrowfully, “Tch tch tch, Bahut safed ho gaye hain”; his tone makes you feel as if it is Earth’s biggest calamity; and then, brightening up, he will go on to inform that current hair colors are even good for the hair. My response, as ever, is a soft smile but a firm no! ‘At least henna?’ he ventures hopefully. ‘We have lots of good herbal hennas.’ Hennas are always herbal, I wish to retort sometimes. But most likely, I slip into the comfortable chair and close off my eyes. That ends the discussion, and the rest goes off peacefully.

Anyways I am digressing. So, this one talked about bad diet, stomach ailment and all. Perplexed, I waited patiently for the catch to be sprung on me, while his hand moved dexterously on my mane. And then it came! The moot point: – there is a lovely organic fruit supplement that can cure anything. He was member of the company’s direct marketing team.

I maintained a stoic smile, but inwardly let out a loud groan. I am very wary of direct marketers – friends, who after the obligatory hellos, start off with virtues of ‘this awesome never-sold, never-found product’ (then why did you find it, my mind would scream); or eager acquaintances who thrust Tupperware catellogues under your nose as you struggle to sip your Coke with a straight face – these are people who I strike off my phone book the first.

I recall I had this friendly client – and during the negotiations his wife nearly kept my purchase of Tupperware as a ransom for the deal to go through. Thankfully, her husband was sensible, and moreover her greed for the new car prevailed over her salesmanship-spirit!

At another time, a friend’s friend had conspiratorially called me for a ‘striking business deal’. I agreed to check it out and ended up at Japan Life’s orientation meet at Kalkaji, Delhi. Japan Life sold (or probably, still sells) a unique magnetic mattress that guaranteed obliteration of any and every disease – and it was for ‘just Rs 70,000’! The deal was you buy that mattress, make three more members and the money shall start rolling in. Cool! After an impressive presentation, there were casual meets between various ‘uplines’ and ‘downlines’ – it all seemed so easy. Just a few more like you and you have cheques coming your way every month. You are your own boss, no office, no fixed routines -they lured.

Two girls, in low-waist jeans, talked excitedly – one piped about the next car she had booked – a grey Santro, the other vetoed it with a long squeaky drawl ‘Chhee, buy a yellow one!’ I nearly fainted but this one went on to mention an upcoming holiday in Mauritius.

With naivety, I heard their conversation; my salivating mind lapped up each word greedily. Yes, this was my calling – this was what I was always meant for. Easy money – luxurious holidays, swanky cars, trendy night-clubs and without any serious work, or best of all: – no slimy idiotic boss to report to! For sure, I was sold on to the idea. The only obstacle – I didn’t have the initial Rs 70,000! And my dad categorically refused to cough up his own for, what he felt, ‘an outrageously stupid idea’!

That was the end of that story.

Reluctantly my mind dissolved to the present. The burden on my head was lesser, but the one on my ear was still the same. It’s not a drug, it’s organic, it doesn’t have side effects, takes care of your liver and kidneys as well etc etc. One bottle was for NPR 1900, but of course there is a ten-percent discount if you buy immediately. There always is!

I looked at my reflection – my smile was still frozen from the time he had started off! I tried to sound interested, letting out a few ‘hmms’ at regular intervals. I always find such situations very sticky where some one is trying to sell an idea/deal/product enthusiastically, and I have the least interest for it!

However, in all this, hiis work was good and I was satisfied with the end-result.

As soon as he was finished, I sprang from the leather chair and paid the money. Till then he had only talked about the goodness of this American-Japanese joint product, reaching Nepal via Malaysia! But as he took the money he finally fired his final salvo, ‘So should I pack one for you?’

I mumbled something about being here only so will pick it up some other day and hurried out of the shop. No more here; I vowed to myself that next time it will be in Delhi only – even if it means getting the hair hennaed! At least it’s better and cheaper than being sold off some horrendously expensive tonic!

I haven’t really written much poetry. But in the following pages, healing you can find some Hindi stuff; would classify them more as ‘songs’ than poems!

Enjoy!
Bahut bechain, eczema
bahut betaab hai hum;
Bahut bekaraar, surgeon
bahut talabgaar hai hum

Aaj ki raat neend nahi aayegi
Aaj ki raat karwaton mein guzar jaayegi,
Silwaton mein subah gin lenge murjhaaye hue khwaab,
Aaj ki raat to masalne mein guzar jaayegi
Hamari tishnagi ka koie dariya nahi
Hamari mushqilon ka koie zaria nahi
Subah roshni ki barsaat hogi magar,
Aaj ki raat to kale sehre mein jaayegi
Kyun bechain kyun betaab hai hum
Kyun bekaraar kyun talabgaar hai hum

Ik hasrat hai dil mein
Ik chaah zahan ki
Paak ke jaise ho duaayen
Khaalikh par usme gunaahon si
Dil ke daayaron ko baandh diya
Armaanon ki rawaani ko rok diya
Khwashiyon ko humne dafn kiya
Bas jee rah ik zindagi si
Bejaan ruh ki dhadkan si
Is liye bechain, is liye betaab hai hum
Is liye talabgaar, is liye bekaraar hai hum
Haan karliya, order
jee karliya humne jurm-e-ulfat
Aankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi, par hans gayi kismat

Kal talak mai bhi mehfilon mein gaata tha
Phoolon se gulshan mera bhi saja karta tha
Aaj veeran ho gayi meri chaahat
Aankh roti rahi , haai roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Aaj koi sapna aankhon mein sajta nahi
Koie bhi rang dil ko bhaata nahi
Na jaan paya taqdeer ki taaqat
Aaankh roti rahi, haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat

Kal ho na ho iska nahi aitbaar
Kal ka ab mujhe nahi intezaar
Kahi se mil jaaye mujhko bhi raahat
Aaankh roti rahi , haa roti rahi par hans gayi kismat
Do kadam chalo to zara
Thaam ke haath mera
Bas yehi ab hai dua
Raho sang mere sada

Apni tanhaiyaiyon se
Apni hi parchchayon se, medical
Darta mai kitna raha
Chup main bahut raha
Mere geeton mein de diye, decease
Naye bol bas tumne,
Phir se mai jee utha
Phir se mai gaane laga
Bas yehi hai ab dua
Raho sang mere sada

Kitni masoom hai
Kitni gumsum hai
Teri ankhon mein
Itne kyun gam hai
Baant lun kuch mai bhi
Halka ho man tera bhi
Yeh dosti yaar nibhana
Ruswa ise na karna
Bas yehi hai ab dua
Raho sang mere sada
It’s been nearly a year and a half in Nepal but I haven’t ever had a haircut here. Now, buy more about
don’t be unduly shocked. For those who have seen me recently would vouchsafe that I do not carry kale lambe ghane reshmi tresses on my head – in fact, advice I don’t even flaunt hair long enough to match Hritik’s Mowgli inspired Krishh style (nor do I have the body to go alongwith it, but that’s a different story).

The reason for not trying Nepalese barbers is that, usually, I make once-a-month trip to Delhi, and get the needful done there, in comfortable and familiar surroundings. But during January’s trip I barely stayed home, hence did not get time at all. True, I had few hours in Mumbai, but then, I am confident Priyangini wouldn’t really have relished the idea of having a meet at a barber’s shop!

Thus, by first week February I was looking quite unruly. Also, long hair irritates – whether on my head, or someone else’s. I firmly believe a man looks best with short cropped hair (and inversely, a girl’s beauty is enhanced by her crowning glory). So before the matter got out of hand, I decided to do something about it.


Realisation hit me that I hadn’t seen many barbers here. There was a small cubby hole shop down the lane, which had on display a faded and torn Salman Khan poster from his Saajan days, and had kept on the dull-green mica counter, an archaic glass-and-long-winding-steel-water- spray- an item that even my Delhi’s neighborhood ‘naai’ had upgraded to a more fancy plastic ones; it’s original use is to water plants, I reckon!

No way was I going there, I resolved with a slight shudder.

On his last visit, my boss had pointed out to a corner shop in front of Radisson, asking about haircut rates here; at that time I had no clue. The shop belongs to the hotel, though it is not in the main premises. So, off I went there – twice! Both times it was closed. But today, thankfully the awful shutter was up and in I walked, praying that let it not be exorbitantly expensive. The counter man smiled and refused to take me in saying the shop was closed. At six pm!

My next destination was Hotel Annapurna – they have a shopping arcade adjacent to the main building. I recalled seeing some ‘barber’ signage there. Sure, it was there, and it was open – though the personnel gave same answer – ‘closing time’. I plonked myself on the sofa, gave a sweet smile and requested him to adjust me in today. Thankfully, he agreed.

And there began my perils!

I have nothing against garrulous barbers, but it’s just that I am not given to small talk. But this was something I hadn’t imagined.

He started off pointing at my graying hair. Probably, he would next ask me to dye my hair- a temptation which my Delhi barber still secretly hopes I would succumb to someday. Everytime I visit him, he picks a few hair strands, and drops them in disdain as if they are a filthy rag, and shake his head sorrowfully, “Tch tch tch, Bahut safed ho gaye hain”; his tone makes you feel as if it is Earth’s biggest calamity; and then, brightening up, he will go on to inform that current hair colors are even good for the hair. My response, as ever, is a soft smile but a firm no! ‘At least henna?’ he ventures hopefully. ‘We have lots of good herbal hennas.’ Hennas are always herbal, I wish to retort sometimes. But most likely, I slip into the comfortable chair and close off my eyes. That ends the discussion, and the rest goes off peacefully.

Anyways I am digressing. So, this one talked about bad diet, stomach ailment and all. Perplexed, I waited patiently for the catch to be sprung on me, while his hand moved dexterously on my mane. And then it came! The moot point: – there is a lovely organic fruit supplement that can cure anything. He was member of the company’s direct marketing team.

I maintained a stoic smile, but inwardly let out a loud groan. I am very wary of direct marketers – friends, who after the obligatory hellos, start off with virtues of ‘this awesome never-sold, never-found product’ (then why did you find it, my mind would scream); or eager acquaintances who thrust Tupperware catellogues under your nose as you struggle to sip your Coke with a straight face – these are people who I strike off my phone book the first.

I recall I had this friendly client – and during the negotiations his wife nearly kept my purchase of Tupperware as a ransom for the deal to go through. Thankfully, her husband was sensible, and moreover her greed for the new car prevailed over her salesmanship-spirit!

At another time, a friend’s friend had conspiratorially called me for a ‘striking business deal’. I agreed to check it out and ended up at Japan Life’s orientation meet at Kalkaji, Delhi. Japan Life sold (or probably, still sells) a unique magnetic mattress that guaranteed obliteration of any and every disease – and it was for ‘just Rs 70,000’! The deal was you buy that mattress, make three more members and the money shall start rolling in. Cool! After an impressive presentation, there were casual meets between various ‘uplines’ and ‘downlines’ – it all seemed so easy. Just a few more like you and you have cheques coming your way every month. You are your own boss, no office, no fixed routines -they lured.

Two girls, in low-waist jeans, talked excitedly – one piped about the next car she had booked – a grey Santro, the other vetoed it with a long squeaky drawl ‘Chhee, buy a yellow one!’ I nearly fainted but this one went on to mention an upcoming holiday in Mauritius.

With naivety, I heard their conversation; my salivating mind lapped up each word greedily. Yes, this was my calling – this was what I was always meant for. Easy money – luxurious holidays, swanky cars, trendy night-clubs and without any serious work, or best of all: – no slimy idiotic boss to report to! For sure, I was sold on to the idea. The only obstacle – I didn’t have the initial Rs 70,000! And my dad categorically refused to cough up his own for, what he felt, ‘an outrageously stupid idea’!

That was the end of that story.

Reluctantly my mind dissolved to the present. The burden on my head was lesser, but the one on my ear was still the same. It’s not a drug, it’s organic, it doesn’t have side effects, takes care of your liver and kidneys as well etc etc. One bottle was for NPR 1900, but of course there is a ten-percent discount if you buy immediately. There always is!

I looked at my reflection – my smile was still frozen from the time he had started off! I tried to sound interested, letting out a few ‘hmms’ at regular intervals. I always find such situations very sticky where some one is trying to sell an idea/deal/product enthusiastically, and I have the least interest for it!

However, in all this, hiis work was good and I was satisfied with the end-result.

As soon as he was finished, I sprang from the leather chair and paid the money. Till then he had only talked about the goodness of this American-Japanese joint product, reaching Nepal via Malaysia! But as he took the money he finally fired his final salvo, ‘So should I pack one for you?’

I mumbled something about being here only so will pick it up some other day and hurried out of the shop. No more here; I vowed to myself that next time it will be in Delhi only – even if it means getting the hair hennaed! At least it’s better and cheaper than being sold off some horrendously expensive tonic!

Kisse Karen shikayet
Kisse Karen shikwa
Duniya mein kaun hai apna

Hai raaste to kitne
Par manzil ek nahin
Jahan dam toote wo manzil hai kahan
Kisse kare shikayat……

Kaanto ki dukano par
Bikte nahi phool, story
Par chukane hai karz phoolon ke yahan
Kisse kare shikayat…..

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, order decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, page physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, dysentery and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, order decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, page physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, dysentery and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

From Mukesh’s soul-stirring (and melodious) Zinda hoon iss tarah to Shibani Kashyap’s guttural scream (and off key) Zinda hoon main, one Health
Hindi film music has come a long way; and so have its noir heroes. From Raj Kapoor’s humorously dark but essentially tracing roots in light, order
bumbling tramp to Sanjay Gupta’s nether-conceptualised Armani- wearing sinister baddies is another journey that Bollywood has taken. 

I would have given Zinda a complete miss had it not been the only film playing in nearly all top Kathmandu cinema-halls. Family, hospital
the other release, and my own choice, has not made its way here yet. To give Gupta his due credit, Zinda is perhaps his most cohesive and steadfast narrative to date. I wouldn’t go overboard as some critics have done in lauding about ‘realism’ because that is still truly not fully present here, though I can understand where they come from. But yes, there is a sense of starkness and throat-grabbing urgency that is, if not appealing, but certainly very attention-focussing. 

Another relief is that the film has nothing to do with mafia, dons, cons or heists – a marked change in Gupta's subject choice! The tale hangs around an ordinary citizen, which also makes it forceful giving just that tantalising realistic tickle – what if it happens to normal people like you and I?

The story (picked up from whichever English/Far East DVD) is pretty enticing. Balajeet Roy (Sanjay Dutt) has everything going for him – a plush job in top software Bangkok company, a loving wife and a caring friend. One day it all collapses. He is taken captive. For 14-years he spends his life in a solitary cell, fed on fried wantons with just a television for company.  Yet, his captor will not allow him to die or go insane – and releases him after 14 years for a purpose.
Roy traces his captor, but more than that he needs to find out why he was chosen for this exemplary punishment. 

The film’s strength is its pace – not jerky, yet not lacking. Gupta and his co-scriptwriter weave in all essential details beautifully in dialogues, something that I have always found interesting in Barjatya or Yash Chopra films. Of course, he has his eye on the ‘interior’ market (though such films don’t work there) which makes him spell out somethings that could have been best left unsaid. Just for an example – when Sanjay Dutt claims his first tormentor, the supplier of wantons, the death was amply conveyed; yet, Gupta gives a long pan shot of the gruesome dead body – not required. The impact is severely lost! 

Certain details in their gory stomach-throwing details might not find viewership acquiescence; but they do provide a taut vicarious thrill, and I guess that’s what Gupta aimed for. A word of caution – avoid taking in your pop-corn pre-interval! 

Shot in nearly black-and-white hues, the film’s cinematography is first-rate. The background score elevates the sequences several notches. And Sanjay Dutt, though not really appearing an emaciapated victim fed on just fried wantons for fourteen years, gives a superb performance. 

However, where Gupta falters horrendously are the solitary confinement sequences. Those were the film’s soul. But somehow the tension and morbidity of living alone just doesn’t come across, and the audience is uninvolved. That entire portion needed more padding up. Plus, a bit of realism when Dutt finally walks out to freedom would have made the film wholesome. I don’t think any one who has been fourteen years in captivity will walk the walk Dutt does! If length was a problem, Gupta could have cut out the gore! 

I wouldn’t say the climax is a let down, because the tension of knowing ‘the why’ is so strong by then that any motive would have felt short of the build-up. But yes, perhaps a better justification there could have helped. 

John Abraham is a wrong choice. The menace is too-contrived to hold weight. His habit of pursing his lips after every sentence is irritating – as if he is having a sore chin after a close-shave there. Lara Dutt provides glamour, and quite adequately. Celina Jeitly is as wooden as ever in her two-minute appearance. Mahesh Manjrekar is thankfully considerably reigned in. 

The music is all used in typical Hollywood fashion; the theme song by Strings has been on air for sometime. Again, like in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena, I will desist making any further comments on it. 

Though he does not give up making his heroes walk that Marlboro-advertisement inspired swagger, to sum up, I would rate Zinda as a big leap forward by Sanjay Gupta from his previous disasters. This one surely has more meat, and can be easily watched. The biggest compliment: it does not bore! Also, the running time is pretty narrow, and that helps too. 

Overall: Worth a view once.

UPDATE : Also saw KALYUG – Kaushi has done a superb review and covered whatever I had to say. Please click here for the same. My overall rating is same as hers : Worth viewing

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, order decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, page physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, dysentery and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

From Mukesh’s soul-stirring (and melodious) Zinda hoon iss tarah to Shibani Kashyap’s guttural scream (and off key) Zinda hoon main, one Health
Hindi film music has come a long way; and so have its noir heroes. From Raj Kapoor’s humorously dark but essentially tracing roots in light, order
bumbling tramp to Sanjay Gupta’s nether-conceptualised Armani- wearing sinister baddies is another journey that Bollywood has taken. 

I would have given Zinda a complete miss had it not been the only film playing in nearly all top Kathmandu cinema-halls. Family, hospital
the other release, and my own choice, has not made its way here yet. To give Gupta his due credit, Zinda is perhaps his most cohesive and steadfast narrative to date. I wouldn’t go overboard as some critics have done in lauding about ‘realism’ because that is still truly not fully present here, though I can understand where they come from. But yes, there is a sense of starkness and throat-grabbing urgency that is, if not appealing, but certainly very attention-focussing. 

Another relief is that the film has nothing to do with mafia, dons, cons or heists – a marked change in Gupta's subject choice! The tale hangs around an ordinary citizen, which also makes it forceful giving just that tantalising realistic tickle – what if it happens to normal people like you and I?

The story (picked up from whichever English/Far East DVD) is pretty enticing. Balajeet Roy (Sanjay Dutt) has everything going for him – a plush job in top software Bangkok company, a loving wife and a caring friend. One day it all collapses. He is taken captive. For 14-years he spends his life in a solitary cell, fed on fried wantons with just a television for company.  Yet, his captor will not allow him to die or go insane – and releases him after 14 years for a purpose.
Roy traces his captor, but more than that he needs to find out why he was chosen for this exemplary punishment. 

The film’s strength is its pace – not jerky, yet not lacking. Gupta and his co-scriptwriter weave in all essential details beautifully in dialogues, something that I have always found interesting in Barjatya or Yash Chopra films. Of course, he has his eye on the ‘interior’ market (though such films don’t work there) which makes him spell out somethings that could have been best left unsaid. Just for an example – when Sanjay Dutt claims his first tormentor, the supplier of wantons, the death was amply conveyed; yet, Gupta gives a long pan shot of the gruesome dead body – not required. The impact is severely lost! 

Certain details in their gory stomach-throwing details might not find viewership acquiescence; but they do provide a taut vicarious thrill, and I guess that’s what Gupta aimed for. A word of caution – avoid taking in your pop-corn pre-interval! 

Shot in nearly black-and-white hues, the film’s cinematography is first-rate. The background score elevates the sequences several notches. And Sanjay Dutt, though not really appearing an emaciapated victim fed on just fried wantons for fourteen years, gives a superb performance. 

However, where Gupta falters horrendously are the solitary confinement sequences. Those were the film’s soul. But somehow the tension and morbidity of living alone just doesn’t come across, and the audience is uninvolved. That entire portion needed more padding up. Plus, a bit of realism when Dutt finally walks out to freedom would have made the film wholesome. I don’t think any one who has been fourteen years in captivity will walk the walk Dutt does! If length was a problem, Gupta could have cut out the gore! 

I wouldn’t say the climax is a let down, because the tension of knowing ‘the why’ is so strong by then that any motive would have felt short of the build-up. But yes, perhaps a better justification there could have helped. 

John Abraham is a wrong choice. The menace is too-contrived to hold weight. His habit of pursing his lips after every sentence is irritating – as if he is having a sore chin after a close-shave there. Lara Dutt provides glamour, and quite adequately. Celina Jeitly is as wooden as ever in her two-minute appearance. Mahesh Manjrekar is thankfully considerably reigned in. 

The music is all used in typical Hollywood fashion; the theme song by Strings has been on air for sometime. Again, like in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena, I will desist making any further comments on it. 

Though he does not give up making his heroes walk that Marlboro-advertisement inspired swagger, to sum up, I would rate Zinda as a big leap forward by Sanjay Gupta from his previous disasters. This one surely has more meat, and can be easily watched. The biggest compliment: it does not bore! Also, the running time is pretty narrow, and that helps too. 

Overall: Worth a view once.

UPDATE : Also saw KALYUG – Kaushi has done a superb review and covered whatever I had to say. Please click here for the same. My overall rating is same as hers : Worth viewing

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, order decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, page physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, dysentery and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

From Mukesh’s soul-stirring (and melodious) Zinda hoon iss tarah to Shibani Kashyap’s guttural scream (and off key) Zinda hoon main, one Health
Hindi film music has come a long way; and so have its noir heroes. From Raj Kapoor’s humorously dark but essentially tracing roots in light, order
bumbling tramp to Sanjay Gupta’s nether-conceptualised Armani- wearing sinister baddies is another journey that Bollywood has taken. 

I would have given Zinda a complete miss had it not been the only film playing in nearly all top Kathmandu cinema-halls. Family, hospital
the other release, and my own choice, has not made its way here yet. To give Gupta his due credit, Zinda is perhaps his most cohesive and steadfast narrative to date. I wouldn’t go overboard as some critics have done in lauding about ‘realism’ because that is still truly not fully present here, though I can understand where they come from. But yes, there is a sense of starkness and throat-grabbing urgency that is, if not appealing, but certainly very attention-focussing. 

Another relief is that the film has nothing to do with mafia, dons, cons or heists – a marked change in Gupta's subject choice! The tale hangs around an ordinary citizen, which also makes it forceful giving just that tantalising realistic tickle – what if it happens to normal people like you and I?

The story (picked up from whichever English/Far East DVD) is pretty enticing. Balajeet Roy (Sanjay Dutt) has everything going for him – a plush job in top software Bangkok company, a loving wife and a caring friend. One day it all collapses. He is taken captive. For 14-years he spends his life in a solitary cell, fed on fried wantons with just a television for company.  Yet, his captor will not allow him to die or go insane – and releases him after 14 years for a purpose.
Roy traces his captor, but more than that he needs to find out why he was chosen for this exemplary punishment. 

The film’s strength is its pace – not jerky, yet not lacking. Gupta and his co-scriptwriter weave in all essential details beautifully in dialogues, something that I have always found interesting in Barjatya or Yash Chopra films. Of course, he has his eye on the ‘interior’ market (though such films don’t work there) which makes him spell out somethings that could have been best left unsaid. Just for an example – when Sanjay Dutt claims his first tormentor, the supplier of wantons, the death was amply conveyed; yet, Gupta gives a long pan shot of the gruesome dead body – not required. The impact is severely lost! 

Certain details in their gory stomach-throwing details might not find viewership acquiescence; but they do provide a taut vicarious thrill, and I guess that’s what Gupta aimed for. A word of caution – avoid taking in your pop-corn pre-interval! 

Shot in nearly black-and-white hues, the film’s cinematography is first-rate. The background score elevates the sequences several notches. And Sanjay Dutt, though not really appearing an emaciapated victim fed on just fried wantons for fourteen years, gives a superb performance. 

However, where Gupta falters horrendously are the solitary confinement sequences. Those were the film’s soul. But somehow the tension and morbidity of living alone just doesn’t come across, and the audience is uninvolved. That entire portion needed more padding up. Plus, a bit of realism when Dutt finally walks out to freedom would have made the film wholesome. I don’t think any one who has been fourteen years in captivity will walk the walk Dutt does! If length was a problem, Gupta could have cut out the gore! 

I wouldn’t say the climax is a let down, because the tension of knowing ‘the why’ is so strong by then that any motive would have felt short of the build-up. But yes, perhaps a better justification there could have helped. 

John Abraham is a wrong choice. The menace is too-contrived to hold weight. His habit of pursing his lips after every sentence is irritating – as if he is having a sore chin after a close-shave there. Lara Dutt provides glamour, and quite adequately. Celina Jeitly is as wooden as ever in her two-minute appearance. Mahesh Manjrekar is thankfully considerably reigned in. 

The music is all used in typical Hollywood fashion; the theme song by Strings has been on air for sometime. Again, like in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena, I will desist making any further comments on it. 

Though he does not give up making his heroes walk that Marlboro-advertisement inspired swagger, to sum up, I would rate Zinda as a big leap forward by Sanjay Gupta from his previous disasters. This one surely has more meat, and can be easily watched. The biggest compliment: it does not bore! Also, the running time is pretty narrow, and that helps too. 

Overall: Worth a view once.

UPDATE : Also saw KALYUG – Kaushi has done a superb review and covered whatever I had to say. Please click here for the same. My overall rating is same as hers : Worth viewing

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

I admit I am not too well versed in Kalpana Lajmi’s cinema, this web
and haven’t watched any of her films barring the refreshingly honest Ek Pal. My association with her is restricted to Lata Mangeshkar’s extremely eloquent ‘Dil Hoom Hoom Kare’ from Rudaali. Hence, sick
I approached Chingaari with an open mind, and to say it left me cold is a major understatement. 

Chingaari is one of those B-and-C-grade films masquerading as an art film. It is a puerile and pathetic piece of cinema that has neither the content nor flow to captivate audiences. It seems Lajmi’s intention was to shock and sensationalise the audience without any care for aesthetics or form. 

The story is set in a typical North Indian village, Rangpur which has a designated red light area called Lal Batti (how unimaginative!). The gullible villagers are firmly held in tight clutches of the evil head-priest Bhuvan Panda (Mithun Chakraborty), who abuses his authority for own selfish motives. He keeps them involved in meaningless religious mumbo-jumbos instigating fear in their heart to retain his superiority over them. He uses illogical rites like making a naked virgin girl sit on his lap, while he places himself over a corpse, in order to exorcise the dead man’s evil spirit! Even though he berates prostitutes, resorting to physical and verbal abuse even if they so much as touch the Goddess’ idol inadvertently, still he has no qualms in spending the nights at their place – practicing wild, kinky and sadist sex! 

One such prostitute is Basanti (Sushmita Sen), who lives with her daughter Titli, and ekes out her living in that deplorable condition. 

In this murky environment enters the fresh, educated and young postman Chandan Mishra (Anuj Sawhney). Like any villager postman, he not only delivers letters, but reads them out and writes for them, and in a sense he becomes a confidante, friend and mentor to them. An unstated, muted and sublime love develops between Chadan and Basanti, cemented by his affection for the latter’s fatherless daughter! He also instigates revolt against Bhuvan Panda. 

No doubt the love story between the postman and the prostitute (incidentally, the film’s original title as well) is good, and could have been a classy saga of romance, sacrifice and valor. Unfortunately, Lajmi seems to have seen too many Neha Dhupia flicks of late, hence it ends up being a loud, crass and disgusting melodrama. 

The narrative moves in jerks and fits, and the screenplay is shoddy. There is no continuum in the movement, and several unwanted scenes are repetitive or too lengthy for comfort; the running time is also inordinately long; looks as if the editor just did not know his job. Sequences where the prostitutes are interacting are gross. Sushmita’s introduction scene where she instigates two colleagues fighting over a customer and urges them to use words like ‘randi’ and ‘chinaal’ is horrible. 

The dialogues are crappy, peppered liberally with obscenities and profanities and are written only to evoke shock value. The climax is hilarious – Sushmita goes to the village temple with her hair flying wild, drums beating and picks up a trishul and kills Bhuvan Panda – it’s straight from those forgettable mid-eighties dacoit/revenge dramas that had infested Bollywood that time! 

Production value is shoddy and camera work is tacky. The music (by Adesh Srivastava) is nothing to write home (or anywhere) about. 

Sushmita Sen gives a relatively good performance, though she appears too urban to pass off as a rustic prostitute convincingly. Anuj Sawhney is adequate. But Mithun Chakraborty is too tired and haggard! Ila Arun, as the red light area’s head-madame, is ok. 

The film does nothing to sensitize against the prostitute’s plight; nor does it help to lay spotlight on interior
India’s woeful condition. In the end, it’s not even good cinema. This chingaari fizzles out without lighting any fire. I hope Lajmi drops the ‘neice of Guru Dutt’ tag for the time being till she returns with a more meaningful and involving film! 

Overall: Avoid

Side Notes 

While on prostitutes, I read the following somewhere: during the shoot of Kalyug abroad, Deepal Shaw was mistaken for a whore by another one from the tribe there! Despite liking Shaw in that film, my overall impression of her is that – to put it very bluntly – she looks like a slut! Her music videos are largely responsible for giving that image. In the write-up that I read, Shaw narrated this incident with obvious glee. I don’t know about her, but if I were in her place, I would have taken serious offence and not publicize this fact and, more importantly, do some serious introspection! 

Secondly, who is that goddamn singer who has screeched ‘Aa darr ke marr’ from Darna Zaroori Hai! It’s the most irritating, grating and awful voice I have heard in recent times. If the brief given to her was to sound sexy and scary at the same time, she has got it widely wrong! Why does Ram Gopal Verma waste money and time in recording songs which no one is going to buy? Stardust (April 2006) carries a piece on Verma’s deteriorating position in the industry. Though Stardust in itself is a gossip magazine, but still some facts are true and cannot be ignored – his films (except Sarkar) have all flopped, his proteges are deserting him and his financers are distancing themselves. 

Hope Darna Zaroori Hai bails him out. I liked the first part (Darna Marna Hai) and am eagerly awaiting the release of the second one now!

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, order decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, page physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, dysentery and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

From Mukesh’s soul-stirring (and melodious) Zinda hoon iss tarah to Shibani Kashyap’s guttural scream (and off key) Zinda hoon main, one Health
Hindi film music has come a long way; and so have its noir heroes. From Raj Kapoor’s humorously dark but essentially tracing roots in light, order
bumbling tramp to Sanjay Gupta’s nether-conceptualised Armani- wearing sinister baddies is another journey that Bollywood has taken. 

I would have given Zinda a complete miss had it not been the only film playing in nearly all top Kathmandu cinema-halls. Family, hospital
the other release, and my own choice, has not made its way here yet. To give Gupta his due credit, Zinda is perhaps his most cohesive and steadfast narrative to date. I wouldn’t go overboard as some critics have done in lauding about ‘realism’ because that is still truly not fully present here, though I can understand where they come from. But yes, there is a sense of starkness and throat-grabbing urgency that is, if not appealing, but certainly very attention-focussing. 

Another relief is that the film has nothing to do with mafia, dons, cons or heists – a marked change in Gupta's subject choice! The tale hangs around an ordinary citizen, which also makes it forceful giving just that tantalising realistic tickle – what if it happens to normal people like you and I?

The story (picked up from whichever English/Far East DVD) is pretty enticing. Balajeet Roy (Sanjay Dutt) has everything going for him – a plush job in top software Bangkok company, a loving wife and a caring friend. One day it all collapses. He is taken captive. For 14-years he spends his life in a solitary cell, fed on fried wantons with just a television for company.  Yet, his captor will not allow him to die or go insane – and releases him after 14 years for a purpose.
Roy traces his captor, but more than that he needs to find out why he was chosen for this exemplary punishment. 

The film’s strength is its pace – not jerky, yet not lacking. Gupta and his co-scriptwriter weave in all essential details beautifully in dialogues, something that I have always found interesting in Barjatya or Yash Chopra films. Of course, he has his eye on the ‘interior’ market (though such films don’t work there) which makes him spell out somethings that could have been best left unsaid. Just for an example – when Sanjay Dutt claims his first tormentor, the supplier of wantons, the death was amply conveyed; yet, Gupta gives a long pan shot of the gruesome dead body – not required. The impact is severely lost! 

Certain details in their gory stomach-throwing details might not find viewership acquiescence; but they do provide a taut vicarious thrill, and I guess that’s what Gupta aimed for. A word of caution – avoid taking in your pop-corn pre-interval! 

Shot in nearly black-and-white hues, the film’s cinematography is first-rate. The background score elevates the sequences several notches. And Sanjay Dutt, though not really appearing an emaciapated victim fed on just fried wantons for fourteen years, gives a superb performance. 

However, where Gupta falters horrendously are the solitary confinement sequences. Those were the film’s soul. But somehow the tension and morbidity of living alone just doesn’t come across, and the audience is uninvolved. That entire portion needed more padding up. Plus, a bit of realism when Dutt finally walks out to freedom would have made the film wholesome. I don’t think any one who has been fourteen years in captivity will walk the walk Dutt does! If length was a problem, Gupta could have cut out the gore! 

I wouldn’t say the climax is a let down, because the tension of knowing ‘the why’ is so strong by then that any motive would have felt short of the build-up. But yes, perhaps a better justification there could have helped. 

John Abraham is a wrong choice. The menace is too-contrived to hold weight. His habit of pursing his lips after every sentence is irritating – as if he is having a sore chin after a close-shave there. Lara Dutt provides glamour, and quite adequately. Celina Jeitly is as wooden as ever in her two-minute appearance. Mahesh Manjrekar is thankfully considerably reigned in. 

The music is all used in typical Hollywood fashion; the theme song by Strings has been on air for sometime. Again, like in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena, I will desist making any further comments on it. 

Though he does not give up making his heroes walk that Marlboro-advertisement inspired swagger, to sum up, I would rate Zinda as a big leap forward by Sanjay Gupta from his previous disasters. This one surely has more meat, and can be easily watched. The biggest compliment: it does not bore! Also, the running time is pretty narrow, and that helps too. 

Overall: Worth a view once.

UPDATE : Also saw KALYUG – Kaushi has done a superb review and covered whatever I had to say. Please click here for the same. My overall rating is same as hers : Worth viewing

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

I admit I am not too well versed in Kalpana Lajmi’s cinema, this web
and haven’t watched any of her films barring the refreshingly honest Ek Pal. My association with her is restricted to Lata Mangeshkar’s extremely eloquent ‘Dil Hoom Hoom Kare’ from Rudaali. Hence, sick
I approached Chingaari with an open mind, and to say it left me cold is a major understatement. 

Chingaari is one of those B-and-C-grade films masquerading as an art film. It is a puerile and pathetic piece of cinema that has neither the content nor flow to captivate audiences. It seems Lajmi’s intention was to shock and sensationalise the audience without any care for aesthetics or form. 

The story is set in a typical North Indian village, Rangpur which has a designated red light area called Lal Batti (how unimaginative!). The gullible villagers are firmly held in tight clutches of the evil head-priest Bhuvan Panda (Mithun Chakraborty), who abuses his authority for own selfish motives. He keeps them involved in meaningless religious mumbo-jumbos instigating fear in their heart to retain his superiority over them. He uses illogical rites like making a naked virgin girl sit on his lap, while he places himself over a corpse, in order to exorcise the dead man’s evil spirit! Even though he berates prostitutes, resorting to physical and verbal abuse even if they so much as touch the Goddess’ idol inadvertently, still he has no qualms in spending the nights at their place – practicing wild, kinky and sadist sex! 

One such prostitute is Basanti (Sushmita Sen), who lives with her daughter Titli, and ekes out her living in that deplorable condition. 

In this murky environment enters the fresh, educated and young postman Chandan Mishra (Anuj Sawhney). Like any villager postman, he not only delivers letters, but reads them out and writes for them, and in a sense he becomes a confidante, friend and mentor to them. An unstated, muted and sublime love develops between Chadan and Basanti, cemented by his affection for the latter’s fatherless daughter! He also instigates revolt against Bhuvan Panda. 

No doubt the love story between the postman and the prostitute (incidentally, the film’s original title as well) is good, and could have been a classy saga of romance, sacrifice and valor. Unfortunately, Lajmi seems to have seen too many Neha Dhupia flicks of late, hence it ends up being a loud, crass and disgusting melodrama. 

The narrative moves in jerks and fits, and the screenplay is shoddy. There is no continuum in the movement, and several unwanted scenes are repetitive or too lengthy for comfort; the running time is also inordinately long; looks as if the editor just did not know his job. Sequences where the prostitutes are interacting are gross. Sushmita’s introduction scene where she instigates two colleagues fighting over a customer and urges them to use words like ‘randi’ and ‘chinaal’ is horrible. 

The dialogues are crappy, peppered liberally with obscenities and profanities and are written only to evoke shock value. The climax is hilarious – Sushmita goes to the village temple with her hair flying wild, drums beating and picks up a trishul and kills Bhuvan Panda – it’s straight from those forgettable mid-eighties dacoit/revenge dramas that had infested Bollywood that time! 

Production value is shoddy and camera work is tacky. The music (by Adesh Srivastava) is nothing to write home (or anywhere) about. 

Sushmita Sen gives a relatively good performance, though she appears too urban to pass off as a rustic prostitute convincingly. Anuj Sawhney is adequate. But Mithun Chakraborty is too tired and haggard! Ila Arun, as the red light area’s head-madame, is ok. 

The film does nothing to sensitize against the prostitute’s plight; nor does it help to lay spotlight on interior
India’s woeful condition. In the end, it’s not even good cinema. This chingaari fizzles out without lighting any fire. I hope Lajmi drops the ‘neice of Guru Dutt’ tag for the time being till she returns with a more meaningful and involving film! 

Overall: Avoid

Side Notes 

While on prostitutes, I read the following somewhere: during the shoot of Kalyug abroad, Deepal Shaw was mistaken for a whore by another one from the tribe there! Despite liking Shaw in that film, my overall impression of her is that – to put it very bluntly – she looks like a slut! Her music videos are largely responsible for giving that image. In the write-up that I read, Shaw narrated this incident with obvious glee. I don’t know about her, but if I were in her place, I would have taken serious offence and not publicize this fact and, more importantly, do some serious introspection! 

Secondly, who is that goddamn singer who has screeched ‘Aa darr ke marr’ from Darna Zaroori Hai! It’s the most irritating, grating and awful voice I have heard in recent times. If the brief given to her was to sound sexy and scary at the same time, she has got it widely wrong! Why does Ram Gopal Verma waste money and time in recording songs which no one is going to buy? Stardust (April 2006) carries a piece on Verma’s deteriorating position in the industry. Though Stardust in itself is a gossip magazine, but still some facts are true and cannot be ignored – his films (except Sarkar) have all flopped, his proteges are deserting him and his financers are distancing themselves. 

Hope Darna Zaroori Hai bails him out. I liked the first part (Darna Marna Hai) and am eagerly awaiting the release of the second one now!

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, order decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, page physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, dysentery and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

From Mukesh’s soul-stirring (and melodious) Zinda hoon iss tarah to Shibani Kashyap’s guttural scream (and off key) Zinda hoon main, one Health
Hindi film music has come a long way; and so have its noir heroes. From Raj Kapoor’s humorously dark but essentially tracing roots in light, order
bumbling tramp to Sanjay Gupta’s nether-conceptualised Armani- wearing sinister baddies is another journey that Bollywood has taken. 

I would have given Zinda a complete miss had it not been the only film playing in nearly all top Kathmandu cinema-halls. Family, hospital
the other release, and my own choice, has not made its way here yet. To give Gupta his due credit, Zinda is perhaps his most cohesive and steadfast narrative to date. I wouldn’t go overboard as some critics have done in lauding about ‘realism’ because that is still truly not fully present here, though I can understand where they come from. But yes, there is a sense of starkness and throat-grabbing urgency that is, if not appealing, but certainly very attention-focussing. 

Another relief is that the film has nothing to do with mafia, dons, cons or heists – a marked change in Gupta's subject choice! The tale hangs around an ordinary citizen, which also makes it forceful giving just that tantalising realistic tickle – what if it happens to normal people like you and I?

The story (picked up from whichever English/Far East DVD) is pretty enticing. Balajeet Roy (Sanjay Dutt) has everything going for him – a plush job in top software Bangkok company, a loving wife and a caring friend. One day it all collapses. He is taken captive. For 14-years he spends his life in a solitary cell, fed on fried wantons with just a television for company.  Yet, his captor will not allow him to die or go insane – and releases him after 14 years for a purpose.
Roy traces his captor, but more than that he needs to find out why he was chosen for this exemplary punishment. 

The film’s strength is its pace – not jerky, yet not lacking. Gupta and his co-scriptwriter weave in all essential details beautifully in dialogues, something that I have always found interesting in Barjatya or Yash Chopra films. Of course, he has his eye on the ‘interior’ market (though such films don’t work there) which makes him spell out somethings that could have been best left unsaid. Just for an example – when Sanjay Dutt claims his first tormentor, the supplier of wantons, the death was amply conveyed; yet, Gupta gives a long pan shot of the gruesome dead body – not required. The impact is severely lost! 

Certain details in their gory stomach-throwing details might not find viewership acquiescence; but they do provide a taut vicarious thrill, and I guess that’s what Gupta aimed for. A word of caution – avoid taking in your pop-corn pre-interval! 

Shot in nearly black-and-white hues, the film’s cinematography is first-rate. The background score elevates the sequences several notches. And Sanjay Dutt, though not really appearing an emaciapated victim fed on just fried wantons for fourteen years, gives a superb performance. 

However, where Gupta falters horrendously are the solitary confinement sequences. Those were the film’s soul. But somehow the tension and morbidity of living alone just doesn’t come across, and the audience is uninvolved. That entire portion needed more padding up. Plus, a bit of realism when Dutt finally walks out to freedom would have made the film wholesome. I don’t think any one who has been fourteen years in captivity will walk the walk Dutt does! If length was a problem, Gupta could have cut out the gore! 

I wouldn’t say the climax is a let down, because the tension of knowing ‘the why’ is so strong by then that any motive would have felt short of the build-up. But yes, perhaps a better justification there could have helped. 

John Abraham is a wrong choice. The menace is too-contrived to hold weight. His habit of pursing his lips after every sentence is irritating – as if he is having a sore chin after a close-shave there. Lara Dutt provides glamour, and quite adequately. Celina Jeitly is as wooden as ever in her two-minute appearance. Mahesh Manjrekar is thankfully considerably reigned in. 

The music is all used in typical Hollywood fashion; the theme song by Strings has been on air for sometime. Again, like in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena, I will desist making any further comments on it. 

Though he does not give up making his heroes walk that Marlboro-advertisement inspired swagger, to sum up, I would rate Zinda as a big leap forward by Sanjay Gupta from his previous disasters. This one surely has more meat, and can be easily watched. The biggest compliment: it does not bore! Also, the running time is pretty narrow, and that helps too. 

Overall: Worth a view once.

UPDATE : Also saw KALYUG – Kaushi has done a superb review and covered whatever I had to say. Please click here for the same. My overall rating is same as hers : Worth viewing

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

I admit I am not too well versed in Kalpana Lajmi’s cinema, this web
and haven’t watched any of her films barring the refreshingly honest Ek Pal. My association with her is restricted to Lata Mangeshkar’s extremely eloquent ‘Dil Hoom Hoom Kare’ from Rudaali. Hence, sick
I approached Chingaari with an open mind, and to say it left me cold is a major understatement. 

Chingaari is one of those B-and-C-grade films masquerading as an art film. It is a puerile and pathetic piece of cinema that has neither the content nor flow to captivate audiences. It seems Lajmi’s intention was to shock and sensationalise the audience without any care for aesthetics or form. 

The story is set in a typical North Indian village, Rangpur which has a designated red light area called Lal Batti (how unimaginative!). The gullible villagers are firmly held in tight clutches of the evil head-priest Bhuvan Panda (Mithun Chakraborty), who abuses his authority for own selfish motives. He keeps them involved in meaningless religious mumbo-jumbos instigating fear in their heart to retain his superiority over them. He uses illogical rites like making a naked virgin girl sit on his lap, while he places himself over a corpse, in order to exorcise the dead man’s evil spirit! Even though he berates prostitutes, resorting to physical and verbal abuse even if they so much as touch the Goddess’ idol inadvertently, still he has no qualms in spending the nights at their place – practicing wild, kinky and sadist sex! 

One such prostitute is Basanti (Sushmita Sen), who lives with her daughter Titli, and ekes out her living in that deplorable condition. 

In this murky environment enters the fresh, educated and young postman Chandan Mishra (Anuj Sawhney). Like any villager postman, he not only delivers letters, but reads them out and writes for them, and in a sense he becomes a confidante, friend and mentor to them. An unstated, muted and sublime love develops between Chadan and Basanti, cemented by his affection for the latter’s fatherless daughter! He also instigates revolt against Bhuvan Panda. 

No doubt the love story between the postman and the prostitute (incidentally, the film’s original title as well) is good, and could have been a classy saga of romance, sacrifice and valor. Unfortunately, Lajmi seems to have seen too many Neha Dhupia flicks of late, hence it ends up being a loud, crass and disgusting melodrama. 

The narrative moves in jerks and fits, and the screenplay is shoddy. There is no continuum in the movement, and several unwanted scenes are repetitive or too lengthy for comfort; the running time is also inordinately long; looks as if the editor just did not know his job. Sequences where the prostitutes are interacting are gross. Sushmita’s introduction scene where she instigates two colleagues fighting over a customer and urges them to use words like ‘randi’ and ‘chinaal’ is horrible. 

The dialogues are crappy, peppered liberally with obscenities and profanities and are written only to evoke shock value. The climax is hilarious – Sushmita goes to the village temple with her hair flying wild, drums beating and picks up a trishul and kills Bhuvan Panda – it’s straight from those forgettable mid-eighties dacoit/revenge dramas that had infested Bollywood that time! 

Production value is shoddy and camera work is tacky. The music (by Adesh Srivastava) is nothing to write home (or anywhere) about. 

Sushmita Sen gives a relatively good performance, though she appears too urban to pass off as a rustic prostitute convincingly. Anuj Sawhney is adequate. But Mithun Chakraborty is too tired and haggard! Ila Arun, as the red light area’s head-madame, is ok. 

The film does nothing to sensitize against the prostitute’s plight; nor does it help to lay spotlight on interior
India’s woeful condition. In the end, it’s not even good cinema. This chingaari fizzles out without lighting any fire. I hope Lajmi drops the ‘neice of Guru Dutt’ tag for the time being till she returns with a more meaningful and involving film! 

Overall: Avoid

Side Notes 

While on prostitutes, I read the following somewhere: during the shoot of Kalyug abroad, Deepal Shaw was mistaken for a whore by another one from the tribe there! Despite liking Shaw in that film, my overall impression of her is that – to put it very bluntly – she looks like a slut! Her music videos are largely responsible for giving that image. In the write-up that I read, Shaw narrated this incident with obvious glee. I don’t know about her, but if I were in her place, I would have taken serious offence and not publicize this fact and, more importantly, do some serious introspection! 

Secondly, who is that goddamn singer who has screeched ‘Aa darr ke marr’ from Darna Zaroori Hai! It’s the most irritating, grating and awful voice I have heard in recent times. If the brief given to her was to sound sexy and scary at the same time, she has got it widely wrong! Why does Ram Gopal Verma waste money and time in recording songs which no one is going to buy? Stardust (April 2006) carries a piece on Verma’s deteriorating position in the industry. Though Stardust in itself is a gossip magazine, but still some facts are true and cannot be ignored – his films (except Sarkar) have all flopped, his proteges are deserting him and his financers are distancing themselves. 

Hope Darna Zaroori Hai bails him out. I liked the first part (Darna Marna Hai) and am eagerly awaiting the release of the second one now!

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

Music That Entices!

While the nation looses control over Rahman’s frothy Rang De Basanti score, sickness
his quiet and serene Water languishes away in oblivion. I am not a Rahman fan, overweight
but his few scores have really made an impact with me. Dil Se, buy more about
Zubeidaa, Pukar, One Two Ka Four, Bombay
and Lagaan are my favorites. A point to note – all the above are prior to his current phase where the stress seems to be more on beats, rhythms and sounds than tunes. So, listening to Water came as a very pleasant surprise; till the time I read somewhere that Rahman’s music for Water was scored way back in 2000. 

Anyways, whenever Rahman recorded these songs, they are beautiful! 

The music is very delicate, like a dew drop; as if touching it would soil its purity. At other times, it’s like a soft drizzle which sends a thrilling shiver down the spine. Instruments are used minimally. You can switch off the light, put on Water’s music, and soak yourself in sheer melodies – extremely relaxing, that’s what Water is! 

My favorite number – and I heard it five times on repeat mode after the first hearing – is ‘Piya Ho’ sung by Sadhna Sargam and Sukhwinder. There is this subtle rhythm which keeps flowing in the background, and a tune which cascades in its own curves in an unhurried pace; and over this Rahman places some riveting flute pieces so softly as if he is placing an expensive crystal over rich velvet – but then, that’s what this song is – bright as a crystal, soft as velvet! And it’s the tune which holds attention and not just sounds; a strong harkback to the old era of music. Oh yes, I have to mention the chorus which trails after the mukhda; it’s like a soft breeze which ripples over the tranquil river waters! If I am allowed to make one wish on this score, I would have loved to hear Lata Mangeshkar in this number!

Continuing the same mode, but switching theme to Meera’s unfulfilled love, is ‘Naina Neer Bahaye Mujh Birhan Ka Dil Saajan Sang Jhoom Jhoom Gaaye’ – quite similar to ‘Piya Ho’ but has a distinct rhythm and melody. Once again the able Sadhna Sargam at the mic, but this time she is solo. ‘Prem toh hai gangaajal jisme vish amrit bann jaaye’ writes new lyricist Raqeeb Alam. The song encapstulates unadulterated love, alongwith it’s underlying pathos. 

Sukhwinder returns, but with a trifle increased tempo in ‘Aayo re sajan sakhi’ – earlier I felt it resembled Sukhwinder’s own Kisna title song. But as the song progresses the difference is stark. In this number Sadhna Sargam joins Sukhwinder from mid-way. A lovely use of Indian instruments like santoor embellishes the song . The song is like the royal sea's tide washing over an expansive beach.

With these three songs itself, the album can be called a dizzying exponent of high-quality sweet music. But there are three more tracks remaining – like the silver vark on tasteful barfi

This album is definitely Sukhwinder’s crowning glory. Listen to him in yet another Lord Krishna-theme-based semi-classical song Bangri marori saiyan ne meri. I love the way the tune takes a sharp upward curve at the line ‘Radha ke gal-dori’

The next exquisite track is ‘MoheShaam rang de’ – a Holi number. This is a full-fledged masti song and the heart dances as the singers throw up a vocal flourish with ‘bajale zaraa dhol zor se’. The rang-bhang ka mausam is right at our doorstep now, and this number should be right up there – and it is such a relief after Rahman’s own horrible Holi number in Mangal Pande. This time the singers are Richa Sharma, Naqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya – and they create an ocean of riotous merry making with their voices. 

The last track is the famous Gandhian bhajan- Vaishnav Jan To sung by Kaushaki Chakraborty. This is a bhajan immortalized by Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition in the bumper hit album Ram Rattan Dhan Paayo. Rahman moves away a bit from the basic framework, and manages quite well overall. My bias will remain for Lataji’s version! 

Yes, this is not the score that will be played at parties and discos. But the difference lies exactly there – it does not set your foot tapping, but your head swaying in its lyrical rhythm. And it makes a place permanently in the heart. This is A R Rahman’s very best in recent times. 

Do grab it as soon as possible – and while you go to buy it, I will return to have another hear of ‘Piya ho’

Overall: Not to be missed; A Must Buy
Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, order decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, page physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, dysentery and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

From Mukesh’s soul-stirring (and melodious) Zinda hoon iss tarah to Shibani Kashyap’s guttural scream (and off key) Zinda hoon main, one Health
Hindi film music has come a long way; and so have its noir heroes. From Raj Kapoor’s humorously dark but essentially tracing roots in light, order
bumbling tramp to Sanjay Gupta’s nether-conceptualised Armani- wearing sinister baddies is another journey that Bollywood has taken. 

I would have given Zinda a complete miss had it not been the only film playing in nearly all top Kathmandu cinema-halls. Family, hospital
the other release, and my own choice, has not made its way here yet. To give Gupta his due credit, Zinda is perhaps his most cohesive and steadfast narrative to date. I wouldn’t go overboard as some critics have done in lauding about ‘realism’ because that is still truly not fully present here, though I can understand where they come from. But yes, there is a sense of starkness and throat-grabbing urgency that is, if not appealing, but certainly very attention-focussing. 

Another relief is that the film has nothing to do with mafia, dons, cons or heists – a marked change in Gupta's subject choice! The tale hangs around an ordinary citizen, which also makes it forceful giving just that tantalising realistic tickle – what if it happens to normal people like you and I?

The story (picked up from whichever English/Far East DVD) is pretty enticing. Balajeet Roy (Sanjay Dutt) has everything going for him – a plush job in top software Bangkok company, a loving wife and a caring friend. One day it all collapses. He is taken captive. For 14-years he spends his life in a solitary cell, fed on fried wantons with just a television for company.  Yet, his captor will not allow him to die or go insane – and releases him after 14 years for a purpose.
Roy traces his captor, but more than that he needs to find out why he was chosen for this exemplary punishment. 

The film’s strength is its pace – not jerky, yet not lacking. Gupta and his co-scriptwriter weave in all essential details beautifully in dialogues, something that I have always found interesting in Barjatya or Yash Chopra films. Of course, he has his eye on the ‘interior’ market (though such films don’t work there) which makes him spell out somethings that could have been best left unsaid. Just for an example – when Sanjay Dutt claims his first tormentor, the supplier of wantons, the death was amply conveyed; yet, Gupta gives a long pan shot of the gruesome dead body – not required. The impact is severely lost! 

Certain details in their gory stomach-throwing details might not find viewership acquiescence; but they do provide a taut vicarious thrill, and I guess that’s what Gupta aimed for. A word of caution – avoid taking in your pop-corn pre-interval! 

Shot in nearly black-and-white hues, the film’s cinematography is first-rate. The background score elevates the sequences several notches. And Sanjay Dutt, though not really appearing an emaciapated victim fed on just fried wantons for fourteen years, gives a superb performance. 

However, where Gupta falters horrendously are the solitary confinement sequences. Those were the film’s soul. But somehow the tension and morbidity of living alone just doesn’t come across, and the audience is uninvolved. That entire portion needed more padding up. Plus, a bit of realism when Dutt finally walks out to freedom would have made the film wholesome. I don’t think any one who has been fourteen years in captivity will walk the walk Dutt does! If length was a problem, Gupta could have cut out the gore! 

I wouldn’t say the climax is a let down, because the tension of knowing ‘the why’ is so strong by then that any motive would have felt short of the build-up. But yes, perhaps a better justification there could have helped. 

John Abraham is a wrong choice. The menace is too-contrived to hold weight. His habit of pursing his lips after every sentence is irritating – as if he is having a sore chin after a close-shave there. Lara Dutt provides glamour, and quite adequately. Celina Jeitly is as wooden as ever in her two-minute appearance. Mahesh Manjrekar is thankfully considerably reigned in. 

The music is all used in typical Hollywood fashion; the theme song by Strings has been on air for sometime. Again, like in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena, I will desist making any further comments on it. 

Though he does not give up making his heroes walk that Marlboro-advertisement inspired swagger, to sum up, I would rate Zinda as a big leap forward by Sanjay Gupta from his previous disasters. This one surely has more meat, and can be easily watched. The biggest compliment: it does not bore! Also, the running time is pretty narrow, and that helps too. 

Overall: Worth a view once.

UPDATE : Also saw KALYUG – Kaushi has done a superb review and covered whatever I had to say. Please click here for the same. My overall rating is same as hers : Worth viewing

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

I admit I am not too well versed in Kalpana Lajmi’s cinema, this web
and haven’t watched any of her films barring the refreshingly honest Ek Pal. My association with her is restricted to Lata Mangeshkar’s extremely eloquent ‘Dil Hoom Hoom Kare’ from Rudaali. Hence, sick
I approached Chingaari with an open mind, and to say it left me cold is a major understatement. 

Chingaari is one of those B-and-C-grade films masquerading as an art film. It is a puerile and pathetic piece of cinema that has neither the content nor flow to captivate audiences. It seems Lajmi’s intention was to shock and sensationalise the audience without any care for aesthetics or form. 

The story is set in a typical North Indian village, Rangpur which has a designated red light area called Lal Batti (how unimaginative!). The gullible villagers are firmly held in tight clutches of the evil head-priest Bhuvan Panda (Mithun Chakraborty), who abuses his authority for own selfish motives. He keeps them involved in meaningless religious mumbo-jumbos instigating fear in their heart to retain his superiority over them. He uses illogical rites like making a naked virgin girl sit on his lap, while he places himself over a corpse, in order to exorcise the dead man’s evil spirit! Even though he berates prostitutes, resorting to physical and verbal abuse even if they so much as touch the Goddess’ idol inadvertently, still he has no qualms in spending the nights at their place – practicing wild, kinky and sadist sex! 

One such prostitute is Basanti (Sushmita Sen), who lives with her daughter Titli, and ekes out her living in that deplorable condition. 

In this murky environment enters the fresh, educated and young postman Chandan Mishra (Anuj Sawhney). Like any villager postman, he not only delivers letters, but reads them out and writes for them, and in a sense he becomes a confidante, friend and mentor to them. An unstated, muted and sublime love develops between Chadan and Basanti, cemented by his affection for the latter’s fatherless daughter! He also instigates revolt against Bhuvan Panda. 

No doubt the love story between the postman and the prostitute (incidentally, the film’s original title as well) is good, and could have been a classy saga of romance, sacrifice and valor. Unfortunately, Lajmi seems to have seen too many Neha Dhupia flicks of late, hence it ends up being a loud, crass and disgusting melodrama. 

The narrative moves in jerks and fits, and the screenplay is shoddy. There is no continuum in the movement, and several unwanted scenes are repetitive or too lengthy for comfort; the running time is also inordinately long; looks as if the editor just did not know his job. Sequences where the prostitutes are interacting are gross. Sushmita’s introduction scene where she instigates two colleagues fighting over a customer and urges them to use words like ‘randi’ and ‘chinaal’ is horrible. 

The dialogues are crappy, peppered liberally with obscenities and profanities and are written only to evoke shock value. The climax is hilarious – Sushmita goes to the village temple with her hair flying wild, drums beating and picks up a trishul and kills Bhuvan Panda – it’s straight from those forgettable mid-eighties dacoit/revenge dramas that had infested Bollywood that time! 

Production value is shoddy and camera work is tacky. The music (by Adesh Srivastava) is nothing to write home (or anywhere) about. 

Sushmita Sen gives a relatively good performance, though she appears too urban to pass off as a rustic prostitute convincingly. Anuj Sawhney is adequate. But Mithun Chakraborty is too tired and haggard! Ila Arun, as the red light area’s head-madame, is ok. 

The film does nothing to sensitize against the prostitute’s plight; nor does it help to lay spotlight on interior
India’s woeful condition. In the end, it’s not even good cinema. This chingaari fizzles out without lighting any fire. I hope Lajmi drops the ‘neice of Guru Dutt’ tag for the time being till she returns with a more meaningful and involving film! 

Overall: Avoid

Side Notes 

While on prostitutes, I read the following somewhere: during the shoot of Kalyug abroad, Deepal Shaw was mistaken for a whore by another one from the tribe there! Despite liking Shaw in that film, my overall impression of her is that – to put it very bluntly – she looks like a slut! Her music videos are largely responsible for giving that image. In the write-up that I read, Shaw narrated this incident with obvious glee. I don’t know about her, but if I were in her place, I would have taken serious offence and not publicize this fact and, more importantly, do some serious introspection! 

Secondly, who is that goddamn singer who has screeched ‘Aa darr ke marr’ from Darna Zaroori Hai! It’s the most irritating, grating and awful voice I have heard in recent times. If the brief given to her was to sound sexy and scary at the same time, she has got it widely wrong! Why does Ram Gopal Verma waste money and time in recording songs which no one is going to buy? Stardust (April 2006) carries a piece on Verma’s deteriorating position in the industry. Though Stardust in itself is a gossip magazine, but still some facts are true and cannot be ignored – his films (except Sarkar) have all flopped, his proteges are deserting him and his financers are distancing themselves. 

Hope Darna Zaroori Hai bails him out. I liked the first part (Darna Marna Hai) and am eagerly awaiting the release of the second one now!

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

Music That Entices!

While the nation looses control over Rahman’s frothy Rang De Basanti score, sickness
his quiet and serene Water languishes away in oblivion. I am not a Rahman fan, overweight
but his few scores have really made an impact with me. Dil Se, buy more about
Zubeidaa, Pukar, One Two Ka Four, Bombay
and Lagaan are my favorites. A point to note – all the above are prior to his current phase where the stress seems to be more on beats, rhythms and sounds than tunes. So, listening to Water came as a very pleasant surprise; till the time I read somewhere that Rahman’s music for Water was scored way back in 2000. 

Anyways, whenever Rahman recorded these songs, they are beautiful! 

The music is very delicate, like a dew drop; as if touching it would soil its purity. At other times, it’s like a soft drizzle which sends a thrilling shiver down the spine. Instruments are used minimally. You can switch off the light, put on Water’s music, and soak yourself in sheer melodies – extremely relaxing, that’s what Water is! 

My favorite number – and I heard it five times on repeat mode after the first hearing – is ‘Piya Ho’ sung by Sadhna Sargam and Sukhwinder. There is this subtle rhythm which keeps flowing in the background, and a tune which cascades in its own curves in an unhurried pace; and over this Rahman places some riveting flute pieces so softly as if he is placing an expensive crystal over rich velvet – but then, that’s what this song is – bright as a crystal, soft as velvet! And it’s the tune which holds attention and not just sounds; a strong harkback to the old era of music. Oh yes, I have to mention the chorus which trails after the mukhda; it’s like a soft breeze which ripples over the tranquil river waters! If I am allowed to make one wish on this score, I would have loved to hear Lata Mangeshkar in this number!

Continuing the same mode, but switching theme to Meera’s unfulfilled love, is ‘Naina Neer Bahaye Mujh Birhan Ka Dil Saajan Sang Jhoom Jhoom Gaaye’ – quite similar to ‘Piya Ho’ but has a distinct rhythm and melody. Once again the able Sadhna Sargam at the mic, but this time she is solo. ‘Prem toh hai gangaajal jisme vish amrit bann jaaye’ writes new lyricist Raqeeb Alam. The song encapstulates unadulterated love, alongwith it’s underlying pathos. 

Sukhwinder returns, but with a trifle increased tempo in ‘Aayo re sajan sakhi’ – earlier I felt it resembled Sukhwinder’s own Kisna title song. But as the song progresses the difference is stark. In this number Sadhna Sargam joins Sukhwinder from mid-way. A lovely use of Indian instruments like santoor embellishes the song . The song is like the royal sea's tide washing over an expansive beach.

With these three songs itself, the album can be called a dizzying exponent of high-quality sweet music. But there are three more tracks remaining – like the silver vark on tasteful barfi

This album is definitely Sukhwinder’s crowning glory. Listen to him in yet another Lord Krishna-theme-based semi-classical song Bangri marori saiyan ne meri. I love the way the tune takes a sharp upward curve at the line ‘Radha ke gal-dori’

The next exquisite track is ‘MoheShaam rang de’ – a Holi number. This is a full-fledged masti song and the heart dances as the singers throw up a vocal flourish with ‘bajale zaraa dhol zor se’. The rang-bhang ka mausam is right at our doorstep now, and this number should be right up there – and it is such a relief after Rahman’s own horrible Holi number in Mangal Pande. This time the singers are Richa Sharma, Naqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya – and they create an ocean of riotous merry making with their voices. 

The last track is the famous Gandhian bhajan- Vaishnav Jan To sung by Kaushaki Chakraborty. This is a bhajan immortalized by Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition in the bumper hit album Ram Rattan Dhan Paayo. Rahman moves away a bit from the basic framework, and manages quite well overall. My bias will remain for Lataji’s version! 

Yes, this is not the score that will be played at parties and discos. But the difference lies exactly there – it does not set your foot tapping, but your head swaying in its lyrical rhythm. And it makes a place permanently in the heart. This is A R Rahman’s very best in recent times. 

Do grab it as soon as possible – and while you go to buy it, I will return to have another hear of ‘Piya ho’

Overall: Not to be missed; A Must Buy

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

Music That Entices!

While the nation looses control over Rahman’s frothy Rang De Basanti score, sickness
his quiet and serene Water languishes away in oblivion. I am not a Rahman fan, overweight
but his few scores have really made an impact with me. Dil Se, buy more about
Zubeidaa, Pukar, One Two Ka Four, Bombay
and Lagaan are my favorites. A point to note – all the above are prior to his current phase where the stress seems to be more on beats, rhythms and sounds than tunes. So, listening to Water came as a very pleasant surprise; till the time I read somewhere that Rahman’s music for Water was scored way back in 2000. 

Anyways, whenever Rahman recorded these songs, they are beautiful! 

The music is very delicate, like a dew drop; as if touching it would soil its purity. At other times, it’s like a soft drizzle which sends a thrilling shiver down the spine. Instruments are used minimally. You can switch off the light, put on Water’s music, and soak yourself in sheer melodies – extremely relaxing, that’s what Water is! 

My favorite number – and I heard it five times on repeat mode after the first hearing – is ‘Piya Ho’ sung by Sadhna Sargam and Sukhwinder. There is this subtle rhythm which keeps flowing in the background, and a tune which cascades in its own curves in an unhurried pace; and over this Rahman places some riveting flute pieces so softly as if he is placing an expensive crystal over rich velvet – but then, that’s what this song is – bright as a crystal, soft as velvet! And it’s the tune which holds attention and not just sounds; a strong harkback to the old era of music. Oh yes, I have to mention the chorus which trails after the mukhda; it’s like a soft breeze which ripples over the tranquil river waters! If I am allowed to make one wish on this score, I would have loved to hear Lata Mangeshkar in this number!

Continuing the same mode, but switching theme to Meera’s unfulfilled love, is ‘Naina Neer Bahaye Mujh Birhan Ka Dil Saajan Sang Jhoom Jhoom Gaaye’ – quite similar to ‘Piya Ho’ but has a distinct rhythm and melody. Once again the able Sadhna Sargam at the mic, but this time she is solo. ‘Prem toh hai gangaajal jisme vish amrit bann jaaye’ writes new lyricist Raqeeb Alam. The song encapstulates unadulterated love, alongwith it’s underlying pathos. 

Sukhwinder returns, but with a trifle increased tempo in ‘Aayo re sajan sakhi’ – earlier I felt it resembled Sukhwinder’s own Kisna title song. But as the song progresses the difference is stark. In this number Sadhna Sargam joins Sukhwinder from mid-way. A lovely use of Indian instruments like santoor embellishes the song . The song is like the royal sea's tide washing over an expansive beach.

With these three songs itself, the album can be called a dizzying exponent of high-quality sweet music. But there are three more tracks remaining – like the silver vark on tasteful barfi

This album is definitely Sukhwinder’s crowning glory. Listen to him in yet another Lord Krishna-theme-based semi-classical song Bangri marori saiyan ne meri. I love the way the tune takes a sharp upward curve at the line ‘Radha ke gal-dori’

The next exquisite track is ‘MoheShaam rang de’ – a Holi number. This is a full-fledged masti song and the heart dances as the singers throw up a vocal flourish with ‘bajale zaraa dhol zor se’. The rang-bhang ka mausam is right at our doorstep now, and this number should be right up there – and it is such a relief after Rahman’s own horrible Holi number in Mangal Pande. This time the singers are Richa Sharma, Naqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya – and they create an ocean of riotous merry making with their voices. 

The last track is the famous Gandhian bhajan- Vaishnav Jan To sung by Kaushaki Chakraborty. This is a bhajan immortalized by Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition in the bumper hit album Ram Rattan Dhan Paayo. Rahman moves away a bit from the basic framework, and manages quite well overall. My bias will remain for Lataji’s version! 

Yes, this is not the score that will be played at parties and discos. But the difference lies exactly there – it does not set your foot tapping, but your head swaying in its lyrical rhythm. And it makes a place permanently in the heart. This is A R Rahman’s very best in recent times. 

Do grab it as soon as possible – and while you go to buy it, I will return to have another hear of ‘Piya ho’

Overall: Not to be missed; A Must Buy
This review was written the same day I saw the film, dermatologist
which was on 4th February. But seeing the overwhelmingly
positive reactions for the film didn’t have heart to publish it. Till the time I told Anubha about its existence. She reprimanded me for not putting it up and reminded me that on my blog I had complete right to write whatever I felt. True, help
perhaps I have been playing to the gallery quite a lot, visit this
and taking ‘the popular’ tag a bit too seriously than warranted. Thanks Anubha for the reality check! 

Blame it on the huge expectation – but fact is I found Rang De Basanti just about ok, a different film, but just about that. Somehow it couldn’t involve me into its narration. There were too many incoherent details which left me cold – some were minor quibbles regarding Delhi’s depiction: why the hell did Sonia (Soha Ali) take Sue via Red Fort if they were going to University from Delhi Airport?  There is a much shorter and convenient route! And then, that was clearly not anywhere close to Delhi University for sure! It was India Habitat Center passed off as DU! 

Even though Rakeysh Mehra struggles to deploy a conventional story telling format, he is unable to fully discard the now-standard jump-cuts and fast-track editing styles; at few crucial points these neo-modern techniques crop up horrifyingly. The post-interval lathi charge scene is one prime example. Instead of gripping the audience in a tight-fist and knocking a solid punch, he shows a collage alternating between slow-motion and hazy movements with a dull song in the background. The entire sequence’s steam, whose build-up begins with Ajay Rathod’s death, dissipates away like a pressure cooker rudely taken off the burner! 

The transformation of youth doesn’t come around neatly. I kept thinking of Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Swades, and how he had handled Mohan Bhargav’s transition smoothly! Here, it is erratic and abrupt. Also, in Swades the awakening is not linked to personal tragedy, making it more sublime. Here it seems more like those eighties personal vendetta film wearing a neo-modern cloak! 

The story is interesting – but the climax is very shoddy: it takes away the entire thrust of the film’s message. Here, I am not talking about the defence minister’s too-easy-to-be-true murder, which can be accorded to the director’s creative license. But it’s the death of all protagonists which I could not digest. Does the maker want to tell the youth that if they have to do something for the country they will necessarily be killed? And does it really make the nation rise in protest? Except for a few shots of some students talking to NDTV, which sounded like a storm in a teacup and extremely unconvincing, the film-maker remains stunningly silent on their action’s impact. To me, their sacrifice looked futile. Plus, where did the Commandos come from? And why? 

Agreed that Rakeysh Mehra wanted to draw a parallel to Bhagat Singh et al, but shouldn’t the climax have moved away to show the difference of the eras and of the youth, then and now! I feel an intelligent comparison need not be hundred percent overlapping – though the rising could be compared but the end needed much brain which was definitely not put to use. A mature writer draws parallel, brings them to a crossroad, but from there takes it to a separate and higher denouement.  And this is where the film fails, and the reason why it couldn’t touch me at all. 

Another fact which irked me was Sue’s character – did Mehra really have to use a foreigner to awaken youth-conscience and youth conscious? Is this some surreptitious handshake with old British ideology that ‘it is always white man’s burden’ to take care of Indians? Sorry, Mehra – an upright Indian NGO worker could have made the point more clear and driven home the fact more scathingly – and if Mehra feels that such people don’t exist, sorry he needs to open his wider! 

On the plus side – the film gives ample space to every character though it could have incorporated a bit on Soha Ali and Sharman Joshi’s background/home as well. 
Performance-wise the film is a topper – Soha Ali is a huge revelation especially after her wooden acting in Dil Maange More. She slips into her character’s skin effortlessly. Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor and Atul Kulkarni live their part with aplomb. Siddharth, who gets maximum footage amongst the supporting cast, is a delight to watch, especially his voice modulation was impeccable (not sure if he has done the dubbing himself!). Alice Patten, with her cute night-class Hindi, is sweet and understated. Madhavan shines in his guest appearance. 

But the mother of all performances is given by veteran Waheeda Rahman in her brief but strong role as Ajay’s mother. In one scene, after her son’s death, she is shown walking towards the door – her back is towards the camera, yet her entire body language, the minor tremor, the slight limp as she walks shows a seasoned actor at work! It’s a one small shot, where she is not even facing the camera – yet, she literally walks away with all accolades! 

There are some smaller but solid parts – Om Puri, Kirron Kher and Anupam Kher who do their bit fabulously. 

AR Rahman’s music is good in parts, though his background score was lacking – the odd sound during Jallianwala Bagh sequence was probably meant to stir hearts, but it shook the ears more! Lata Mangeshkar’s Lukka Chhupi Bahut Hui brings a lump, and that entire sequence is very well handled (though a personal grouse will remain for editing a bulk of Lataji’s portion). Of the other songs, Mohe mohe tu rang de basanti, Paathshaala and Tu bin bataye are ok. In ‘Mohe mohe’ Mehra picks up a few leaves from Yash Chopra’s films and shows flowing mustard fields and pulsating Punjab in satiated sway – given a choice, I’d prefer the tranquil pace of ‘Aisa des hai mera’ from Veer Zaara

I understand the film is doing very well, and I have only read praise for it – perhaps, I am getting old to enjoy these ‘youthful’ films, but once again I would leave by mentioning Swades – the patriotism, the inner journey presented in that film was far superior to RDB’s graffiti-like  cocktail! 

Overall: Above average

Also check out: Saba's brilliant review of the same film

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, order decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, page physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, dysentery and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

From Mukesh’s soul-stirring (and melodious) Zinda hoon iss tarah to Shibani Kashyap’s guttural scream (and off key) Zinda hoon main, one Health
Hindi film music has come a long way; and so have its noir heroes. From Raj Kapoor’s humorously dark but essentially tracing roots in light, order
bumbling tramp to Sanjay Gupta’s nether-conceptualised Armani- wearing sinister baddies is another journey that Bollywood has taken. 

I would have given Zinda a complete miss had it not been the only film playing in nearly all top Kathmandu cinema-halls. Family, hospital
the other release, and my own choice, has not made its way here yet. To give Gupta his due credit, Zinda is perhaps his most cohesive and steadfast narrative to date. I wouldn’t go overboard as some critics have done in lauding about ‘realism’ because that is still truly not fully present here, though I can understand where they come from. But yes, there is a sense of starkness and throat-grabbing urgency that is, if not appealing, but certainly very attention-focussing. 

Another relief is that the film has nothing to do with mafia, dons, cons or heists – a marked change in Gupta's subject choice! The tale hangs around an ordinary citizen, which also makes it forceful giving just that tantalising realistic tickle – what if it happens to normal people like you and I?

The story (picked up from whichever English/Far East DVD) is pretty enticing. Balajeet Roy (Sanjay Dutt) has everything going for him – a plush job in top software Bangkok company, a loving wife and a caring friend. One day it all collapses. He is taken captive. For 14-years he spends his life in a solitary cell, fed on fried wantons with just a television for company.  Yet, his captor will not allow him to die or go insane – and releases him after 14 years for a purpose.
Roy traces his captor, but more than that he needs to find out why he was chosen for this exemplary punishment. 

The film’s strength is its pace – not jerky, yet not lacking. Gupta and his co-scriptwriter weave in all essential details beautifully in dialogues, something that I have always found interesting in Barjatya or Yash Chopra films. Of course, he has his eye on the ‘interior’ market (though such films don’t work there) which makes him spell out somethings that could have been best left unsaid. Just for an example – when Sanjay Dutt claims his first tormentor, the supplier of wantons, the death was amply conveyed; yet, Gupta gives a long pan shot of the gruesome dead body – not required. The impact is severely lost! 

Certain details in their gory stomach-throwing details might not find viewership acquiescence; but they do provide a taut vicarious thrill, and I guess that’s what Gupta aimed for. A word of caution – avoid taking in your pop-corn pre-interval! 

Shot in nearly black-and-white hues, the film’s cinematography is first-rate. The background score elevates the sequences several notches. And Sanjay Dutt, though not really appearing an emaciapated victim fed on just fried wantons for fourteen years, gives a superb performance. 

However, where Gupta falters horrendously are the solitary confinement sequences. Those were the film’s soul. But somehow the tension and morbidity of living alone just doesn’t come across, and the audience is uninvolved. That entire portion needed more padding up. Plus, a bit of realism when Dutt finally walks out to freedom would have made the film wholesome. I don’t think any one who has been fourteen years in captivity will walk the walk Dutt does! If length was a problem, Gupta could have cut out the gore! 

I wouldn’t say the climax is a let down, because the tension of knowing ‘the why’ is so strong by then that any motive would have felt short of the build-up. But yes, perhaps a better justification there could have helped. 

John Abraham is a wrong choice. The menace is too-contrived to hold weight. His habit of pursing his lips after every sentence is irritating – as if he is having a sore chin after a close-shave there. Lara Dutt provides glamour, and quite adequately. Celina Jeitly is as wooden as ever in her two-minute appearance. Mahesh Manjrekar is thankfully considerably reigned in. 

The music is all used in typical Hollywood fashion; the theme song by Strings has been on air for sometime. Again, like in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena, I will desist making any further comments on it. 

Though he does not give up making his heroes walk that Marlboro-advertisement inspired swagger, to sum up, I would rate Zinda as a big leap forward by Sanjay Gupta from his previous disasters. This one surely has more meat, and can be easily watched. The biggest compliment: it does not bore! Also, the running time is pretty narrow, and that helps too. 

Overall: Worth a view once.

UPDATE : Also saw KALYUG – Kaushi has done a superb review and covered whatever I had to say. Please click here for the same. My overall rating is same as hers : Worth viewing

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

I admit I am not too well versed in Kalpana Lajmi’s cinema, this web
and haven’t watched any of her films barring the refreshingly honest Ek Pal. My association with her is restricted to Lata Mangeshkar’s extremely eloquent ‘Dil Hoom Hoom Kare’ from Rudaali. Hence, sick
I approached Chingaari with an open mind, and to say it left me cold is a major understatement. 

Chingaari is one of those B-and-C-grade films masquerading as an art film. It is a puerile and pathetic piece of cinema that has neither the content nor flow to captivate audiences. It seems Lajmi’s intention was to shock and sensationalise the audience without any care for aesthetics or form. 

The story is set in a typical North Indian village, Rangpur which has a designated red light area called Lal Batti (how unimaginative!). The gullible villagers are firmly held in tight clutches of the evil head-priest Bhuvan Panda (Mithun Chakraborty), who abuses his authority for own selfish motives. He keeps them involved in meaningless religious mumbo-jumbos instigating fear in their heart to retain his superiority over them. He uses illogical rites like making a naked virgin girl sit on his lap, while he places himself over a corpse, in order to exorcise the dead man’s evil spirit! Even though he berates prostitutes, resorting to physical and verbal abuse even if they so much as touch the Goddess’ idol inadvertently, still he has no qualms in spending the nights at their place – practicing wild, kinky and sadist sex! 

One such prostitute is Basanti (Sushmita Sen), who lives with her daughter Titli, and ekes out her living in that deplorable condition. 

In this murky environment enters the fresh, educated and young postman Chandan Mishra (Anuj Sawhney). Like any villager postman, he not only delivers letters, but reads them out and writes for them, and in a sense he becomes a confidante, friend and mentor to them. An unstated, muted and sublime love develops between Chadan and Basanti, cemented by his affection for the latter’s fatherless daughter! He also instigates revolt against Bhuvan Panda. 

No doubt the love story between the postman and the prostitute (incidentally, the film’s original title as well) is good, and could have been a classy saga of romance, sacrifice and valor. Unfortunately, Lajmi seems to have seen too many Neha Dhupia flicks of late, hence it ends up being a loud, crass and disgusting melodrama. 

The narrative moves in jerks and fits, and the screenplay is shoddy. There is no continuum in the movement, and several unwanted scenes are repetitive or too lengthy for comfort; the running time is also inordinately long; looks as if the editor just did not know his job. Sequences where the prostitutes are interacting are gross. Sushmita’s introduction scene where she instigates two colleagues fighting over a customer and urges them to use words like ‘randi’ and ‘chinaal’ is horrible. 

The dialogues are crappy, peppered liberally with obscenities and profanities and are written only to evoke shock value. The climax is hilarious – Sushmita goes to the village temple with her hair flying wild, drums beating and picks up a trishul and kills Bhuvan Panda – it’s straight from those forgettable mid-eighties dacoit/revenge dramas that had infested Bollywood that time! 

Production value is shoddy and camera work is tacky. The music (by Adesh Srivastava) is nothing to write home (or anywhere) about. 

Sushmita Sen gives a relatively good performance, though she appears too urban to pass off as a rustic prostitute convincingly. Anuj Sawhney is adequate. But Mithun Chakraborty is too tired and haggard! Ila Arun, as the red light area’s head-madame, is ok. 

The film does nothing to sensitize against the prostitute’s plight; nor does it help to lay spotlight on interior
India’s woeful condition. In the end, it’s not even good cinema. This chingaari fizzles out without lighting any fire. I hope Lajmi drops the ‘neice of Guru Dutt’ tag for the time being till she returns with a more meaningful and involving film! 

Overall: Avoid

Side Notes 

While on prostitutes, I read the following somewhere: during the shoot of Kalyug abroad, Deepal Shaw was mistaken for a whore by another one from the tribe there! Despite liking Shaw in that film, my overall impression of her is that – to put it very bluntly – she looks like a slut! Her music videos are largely responsible for giving that image. In the write-up that I read, Shaw narrated this incident with obvious glee. I don’t know about her, but if I were in her place, I would have taken serious offence and not publicize this fact and, more importantly, do some serious introspection! 

Secondly, who is that goddamn singer who has screeched ‘Aa darr ke marr’ from Darna Zaroori Hai! It’s the most irritating, grating and awful voice I have heard in recent times. If the brief given to her was to sound sexy and scary at the same time, she has got it widely wrong! Why does Ram Gopal Verma waste money and time in recording songs which no one is going to buy? Stardust (April 2006) carries a piece on Verma’s deteriorating position in the industry. Though Stardust in itself is a gossip magazine, but still some facts are true and cannot be ignored – his films (except Sarkar) have all flopped, his proteges are deserting him and his financers are distancing themselves. 

Hope Darna Zaroori Hai bails him out. I liked the first part (Darna Marna Hai) and am eagerly awaiting the release of the second one now!

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

Music That Entices!

While the nation looses control over Rahman’s frothy Rang De Basanti score, sickness
his quiet and serene Water languishes away in oblivion. I am not a Rahman fan, overweight
but his few scores have really made an impact with me. Dil Se, buy more about
Zubeidaa, Pukar, One Two Ka Four, Bombay
and Lagaan are my favorites. A point to note – all the above are prior to his current phase where the stress seems to be more on beats, rhythms and sounds than tunes. So, listening to Water came as a very pleasant surprise; till the time I read somewhere that Rahman’s music for Water was scored way back in 2000. 

Anyways, whenever Rahman recorded these songs, they are beautiful! 

The music is very delicate, like a dew drop; as if touching it would soil its purity. At other times, it’s like a soft drizzle which sends a thrilling shiver down the spine. Instruments are used minimally. You can switch off the light, put on Water’s music, and soak yourself in sheer melodies – extremely relaxing, that’s what Water is! 

My favorite number – and I heard it five times on repeat mode after the first hearing – is ‘Piya Ho’ sung by Sadhna Sargam and Sukhwinder. There is this subtle rhythm which keeps flowing in the background, and a tune which cascades in its own curves in an unhurried pace; and over this Rahman places some riveting flute pieces so softly as if he is placing an expensive crystal over rich velvet – but then, that’s what this song is – bright as a crystal, soft as velvet! And it’s the tune which holds attention and not just sounds; a strong harkback to the old era of music. Oh yes, I have to mention the chorus which trails after the mukhda; it’s like a soft breeze which ripples over the tranquil river waters! If I am allowed to make one wish on this score, I would have loved to hear Lata Mangeshkar in this number!

Continuing the same mode, but switching theme to Meera’s unfulfilled love, is ‘Naina Neer Bahaye Mujh Birhan Ka Dil Saajan Sang Jhoom Jhoom Gaaye’ – quite similar to ‘Piya Ho’ but has a distinct rhythm and melody. Once again the able Sadhna Sargam at the mic, but this time she is solo. ‘Prem toh hai gangaajal jisme vish amrit bann jaaye’ writes new lyricist Raqeeb Alam. The song encapstulates unadulterated love, alongwith it’s underlying pathos. 

Sukhwinder returns, but with a trifle increased tempo in ‘Aayo re sajan sakhi’ – earlier I felt it resembled Sukhwinder’s own Kisna title song. But as the song progresses the difference is stark. In this number Sadhna Sargam joins Sukhwinder from mid-way. A lovely use of Indian instruments like santoor embellishes the song . The song is like the royal sea's tide washing over an expansive beach.

With these three songs itself, the album can be called a dizzying exponent of high-quality sweet music. But there are three more tracks remaining – like the silver vark on tasteful barfi

This album is definitely Sukhwinder’s crowning glory. Listen to him in yet another Lord Krishna-theme-based semi-classical song Bangri marori saiyan ne meri. I love the way the tune takes a sharp upward curve at the line ‘Radha ke gal-dori’

The next exquisite track is ‘MoheShaam rang de’ – a Holi number. This is a full-fledged masti song and the heart dances as the singers throw up a vocal flourish with ‘bajale zaraa dhol zor se’. The rang-bhang ka mausam is right at our doorstep now, and this number should be right up there – and it is such a relief after Rahman’s own horrible Holi number in Mangal Pande. This time the singers are Richa Sharma, Naqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya – and they create an ocean of riotous merry making with their voices. 

The last track is the famous Gandhian bhajan- Vaishnav Jan To sung by Kaushaki Chakraborty. This is a bhajan immortalized by Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition in the bumper hit album Ram Rattan Dhan Paayo. Rahman moves away a bit from the basic framework, and manages quite well overall. My bias will remain for Lataji’s version! 

Yes, this is not the score that will be played at parties and discos. But the difference lies exactly there – it does not set your foot tapping, but your head swaying in its lyrical rhythm. And it makes a place permanently in the heart. This is A R Rahman’s very best in recent times. 

Do grab it as soon as possible – and while you go to buy it, I will return to have another hear of ‘Piya ho’

Overall: Not to be missed; A Must Buy

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

Music That Entices!

While the nation looses control over Rahman’s frothy Rang De Basanti score, sickness
his quiet and serene Water languishes away in oblivion. I am not a Rahman fan, overweight
but his few scores have really made an impact with me. Dil Se, buy more about
Zubeidaa, Pukar, One Two Ka Four, Bombay
and Lagaan are my favorites. A point to note – all the above are prior to his current phase where the stress seems to be more on beats, rhythms and sounds than tunes. So, listening to Water came as a very pleasant surprise; till the time I read somewhere that Rahman’s music for Water was scored way back in 2000. 

Anyways, whenever Rahman recorded these songs, they are beautiful! 

The music is very delicate, like a dew drop; as if touching it would soil its purity. At other times, it’s like a soft drizzle which sends a thrilling shiver down the spine. Instruments are used minimally. You can switch off the light, put on Water’s music, and soak yourself in sheer melodies – extremely relaxing, that’s what Water is! 

My favorite number – and I heard it five times on repeat mode after the first hearing – is ‘Piya Ho’ sung by Sadhna Sargam and Sukhwinder. There is this subtle rhythm which keeps flowing in the background, and a tune which cascades in its own curves in an unhurried pace; and over this Rahman places some riveting flute pieces so softly as if he is placing an expensive crystal over rich velvet – but then, that’s what this song is – bright as a crystal, soft as velvet! And it’s the tune which holds attention and not just sounds; a strong harkback to the old era of music. Oh yes, I have to mention the chorus which trails after the mukhda; it’s like a soft breeze which ripples over the tranquil river waters! If I am allowed to make one wish on this score, I would have loved to hear Lata Mangeshkar in this number!

Continuing the same mode, but switching theme to Meera’s unfulfilled love, is ‘Naina Neer Bahaye Mujh Birhan Ka Dil Saajan Sang Jhoom Jhoom Gaaye’ – quite similar to ‘Piya Ho’ but has a distinct rhythm and melody. Once again the able Sadhna Sargam at the mic, but this time she is solo. ‘Prem toh hai gangaajal jisme vish amrit bann jaaye’ writes new lyricist Raqeeb Alam. The song encapstulates unadulterated love, alongwith it’s underlying pathos. 

Sukhwinder returns, but with a trifle increased tempo in ‘Aayo re sajan sakhi’ – earlier I felt it resembled Sukhwinder’s own Kisna title song. But as the song progresses the difference is stark. In this number Sadhna Sargam joins Sukhwinder from mid-way. A lovely use of Indian instruments like santoor embellishes the song . The song is like the royal sea's tide washing over an expansive beach.

With these three songs itself, the album can be called a dizzying exponent of high-quality sweet music. But there are three more tracks remaining – like the silver vark on tasteful barfi

This album is definitely Sukhwinder’s crowning glory. Listen to him in yet another Lord Krishna-theme-based semi-classical song Bangri marori saiyan ne meri. I love the way the tune takes a sharp upward curve at the line ‘Radha ke gal-dori’

The next exquisite track is ‘MoheShaam rang de’ – a Holi number. This is a full-fledged masti song and the heart dances as the singers throw up a vocal flourish with ‘bajale zaraa dhol zor se’. The rang-bhang ka mausam is right at our doorstep now, and this number should be right up there – and it is such a relief after Rahman’s own horrible Holi number in Mangal Pande. This time the singers are Richa Sharma, Naqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya – and they create an ocean of riotous merry making with their voices. 

The last track is the famous Gandhian bhajan- Vaishnav Jan To sung by Kaushaki Chakraborty. This is a bhajan immortalized by Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition in the bumper hit album Ram Rattan Dhan Paayo. Rahman moves away a bit from the basic framework, and manages quite well overall. My bias will remain for Lataji’s version! 

Yes, this is not the score that will be played at parties and discos. But the difference lies exactly there – it does not set your foot tapping, but your head swaying in its lyrical rhythm. And it makes a place permanently in the heart. This is A R Rahman’s very best in recent times. 

Do grab it as soon as possible – and while you go to buy it, I will return to have another hear of ‘Piya ho’

Overall: Not to be missed; A Must Buy
This review was written the same day I saw the film, dermatologist
which was on 4th February. But seeing the overwhelmingly
positive reactions for the film didn’t have heart to publish it. Till the time I told Anubha about its existence. She reprimanded me for not putting it up and reminded me that on my blog I had complete right to write whatever I felt. True, help
perhaps I have been playing to the gallery quite a lot, visit this
and taking ‘the popular’ tag a bit too seriously than warranted. Thanks Anubha for the reality check! 

Blame it on the huge expectation – but fact is I found Rang De Basanti just about ok, a different film, but just about that. Somehow it couldn’t involve me into its narration. There were too many incoherent details which left me cold – some were minor quibbles regarding Delhi’s depiction: why the hell did Sonia (Soha Ali) take Sue via Red Fort if they were going to University from Delhi Airport?  There is a much shorter and convenient route! And then, that was clearly not anywhere close to Delhi University for sure! It was India Habitat Center passed off as DU! 

Even though Rakeysh Mehra struggles to deploy a conventional story telling format, he is unable to fully discard the now-standard jump-cuts and fast-track editing styles; at few crucial points these neo-modern techniques crop up horrifyingly. The post-interval lathi charge scene is one prime example. Instead of gripping the audience in a tight-fist and knocking a solid punch, he shows a collage alternating between slow-motion and hazy movements with a dull song in the background. The entire sequence’s steam, whose build-up begins with Ajay Rathod’s death, dissipates away like a pressure cooker rudely taken off the burner! 

The transformation of youth doesn’t come around neatly. I kept thinking of Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Swades, and how he had handled Mohan Bhargav’s transition smoothly! Here, it is erratic and abrupt. Also, in Swades the awakening is not linked to personal tragedy, making it more sublime. Here it seems more like those eighties personal vendetta film wearing a neo-modern cloak! 

The story is interesting – but the climax is very shoddy: it takes away the entire thrust of the film’s message. Here, I am not talking about the defence minister’s too-easy-to-be-true murder, which can be accorded to the director’s creative license. But it’s the death of all protagonists which I could not digest. Does the maker want to tell the youth that if they have to do something for the country they will necessarily be killed? And does it really make the nation rise in protest? Except for a few shots of some students talking to NDTV, which sounded like a storm in a teacup and extremely unconvincing, the film-maker remains stunningly silent on their action’s impact. To me, their sacrifice looked futile. Plus, where did the Commandos come from? And why? 

Agreed that Rakeysh Mehra wanted to draw a parallel to Bhagat Singh et al, but shouldn’t the climax have moved away to show the difference of the eras and of the youth, then and now! I feel an intelligent comparison need not be hundred percent overlapping – though the rising could be compared but the end needed much brain which was definitely not put to use. A mature writer draws parallel, brings them to a crossroad, but from there takes it to a separate and higher denouement.  And this is where the film fails, and the reason why it couldn’t touch me at all. 

Another fact which irked me was Sue’s character – did Mehra really have to use a foreigner to awaken youth-conscience and youth conscious? Is this some surreptitious handshake with old British ideology that ‘it is always white man’s burden’ to take care of Indians? Sorry, Mehra – an upright Indian NGO worker could have made the point more clear and driven home the fact more scathingly – and if Mehra feels that such people don’t exist, sorry he needs to open his wider! 

On the plus side – the film gives ample space to every character though it could have incorporated a bit on Soha Ali and Sharman Joshi’s background/home as well. 
Performance-wise the film is a topper – Soha Ali is a huge revelation especially after her wooden acting in Dil Maange More. She slips into her character’s skin effortlessly. Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor and Atul Kulkarni live their part with aplomb. Siddharth, who gets maximum footage amongst the supporting cast, is a delight to watch, especially his voice modulation was impeccable (not sure if he has done the dubbing himself!). Alice Patten, with her cute night-class Hindi, is sweet and understated. Madhavan shines in his guest appearance. 

But the mother of all performances is given by veteran Waheeda Rahman in her brief but strong role as Ajay’s mother. In one scene, after her son’s death, she is shown walking towards the door – her back is towards the camera, yet her entire body language, the minor tremor, the slight limp as she walks shows a seasoned actor at work! It’s a one small shot, where she is not even facing the camera – yet, she literally walks away with all accolades! 

There are some smaller but solid parts – Om Puri, Kirron Kher and Anupam Kher who do their bit fabulously. 

AR Rahman’s music is good in parts, though his background score was lacking – the odd sound during Jallianwala Bagh sequence was probably meant to stir hearts, but it shook the ears more! Lata Mangeshkar’s Lukka Chhupi Bahut Hui brings a lump, and that entire sequence is very well handled (though a personal grouse will remain for editing a bulk of Lataji’s portion). Of the other songs, Mohe mohe tu rang de basanti, Paathshaala and Tu bin bataye are ok. In ‘Mohe mohe’ Mehra picks up a few leaves from Yash Chopra’s films and shows flowing mustard fields and pulsating Punjab in satiated sway – given a choice, I’d prefer the tranquil pace of ‘Aisa des hai mera’ from Veer Zaara

I understand the film is doing very well, and I have only read praise for it – perhaps, I am getting old to enjoy these ‘youthful’ films, but once again I would leave by mentioning Swades – the patriotism, the inner journey presented in that film was far superior to RDB’s graffiti-like  cocktail! 

Overall: Above average

Also check out: Saba's brilliant review of the same film

When I started writing for the Blogs, oncology I made a secret pact with myself: I will not indulge in self reflections, population health and certainly not write on my personal life and what it is happening to me. These were anecdotes, incidents and events of my life, and no one would be interested to read them. Honestly, I did not think I would be comfortable in baring my heart out ever. I preferred the other route- the fiction one, where I can seamlessly knit these occurrences into an imaginative story; and no is the wiser as to which is the truth and which is fiction out of that.


But within a week, I am here, penning my thoughts, expressions and reflections. So what made me change my heart? Today, I read one of the finest blogs and that made my thought waves tingling. This was a blog by Mr Ramesh Somasundaram, and is available at http://ramesh_somasundaram.rediffblogs.com. During the past one week, since the time I have been initiated into blogging, I have browsed a lot many of them: some good, some funny, some reflective, some empty, some stupid and some really shoddy; but this one was at once serious and funny; simple and complex, and a mixture of fiction and truth. Of course, that Mr Somasundaram writes in very lucid English helped a lot. I have this writing bug in me which gets activated every time I read a good piece of writing. It has happened earlier also; and at the cost of sounding immodest, I must say, that some of the stories that I have written have been quite good. Even I enjoyed reading them after a year or so, despite knowing each and every twist of the tale. But since a bright story idea eluded my poor brain, and the bug continued its insistent persistence, I decided to venture into an area which I had till now resolutely avoided. What the hell, I have also lived a full and enriching 31 years of life on this lonely( or is it not?) planet , and I have also gone through many bitter-sweet moments of upheavals and exhilirations that I think I should start sharing and not bottling them up in my 5’11” frame!!

Its said that plagiarism is the best form of flattery. Hence, I have kept the title of this blog similar to one that Mr Somasundaram does, as also the design of the blog and the first line of this blog, which is nothing but a paraphrase of a sentence which Mr Sundaram had used in one of its blogs.

I am not sure for how long I will be able to continue this blog, but I will definitely try. Perhaps, someday the rediff management will also find it appropriate enough to feature in the “Sizzling Blogs” section, though, to be honest, their criteria for selection bewilders me no end

[This was my first post on my Rediff blog; posting it for nostalgic sake again with same date stamp!]

[edited and posted with ecto]

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, order decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, page physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, dysentery and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

From Mukesh’s soul-stirring (and melodious) Zinda hoon iss tarah to Shibani Kashyap’s guttural scream (and off key) Zinda hoon main, one Health
Hindi film music has come a long way; and so have its noir heroes. From Raj Kapoor’s humorously dark but essentially tracing roots in light, order
bumbling tramp to Sanjay Gupta’s nether-conceptualised Armani- wearing sinister baddies is another journey that Bollywood has taken. 

I would have given Zinda a complete miss had it not been the only film playing in nearly all top Kathmandu cinema-halls. Family, hospital
the other release, and my own choice, has not made its way here yet. To give Gupta his due credit, Zinda is perhaps his most cohesive and steadfast narrative to date. I wouldn’t go overboard as some critics have done in lauding about ‘realism’ because that is still truly not fully present here, though I can understand where they come from. But yes, there is a sense of starkness and throat-grabbing urgency that is, if not appealing, but certainly very attention-focussing. 

Another relief is that the film has nothing to do with mafia, dons, cons or heists – a marked change in Gupta's subject choice! The tale hangs around an ordinary citizen, which also makes it forceful giving just that tantalising realistic tickle – what if it happens to normal people like you and I?

The story (picked up from whichever English/Far East DVD) is pretty enticing. Balajeet Roy (Sanjay Dutt) has everything going for him – a plush job in top software Bangkok company, a loving wife and a caring friend. One day it all collapses. He is taken captive. For 14-years he spends his life in a solitary cell, fed on fried wantons with just a television for company.  Yet, his captor will not allow him to die or go insane – and releases him after 14 years for a purpose.
Roy traces his captor, but more than that he needs to find out why he was chosen for this exemplary punishment. 

The film’s strength is its pace – not jerky, yet not lacking. Gupta and his co-scriptwriter weave in all essential details beautifully in dialogues, something that I have always found interesting in Barjatya or Yash Chopra films. Of course, he has his eye on the ‘interior’ market (though such films don’t work there) which makes him spell out somethings that could have been best left unsaid. Just for an example – when Sanjay Dutt claims his first tormentor, the supplier of wantons, the death was amply conveyed; yet, Gupta gives a long pan shot of the gruesome dead body – not required. The impact is severely lost! 

Certain details in their gory stomach-throwing details might not find viewership acquiescence; but they do provide a taut vicarious thrill, and I guess that’s what Gupta aimed for. A word of caution – avoid taking in your pop-corn pre-interval! 

Shot in nearly black-and-white hues, the film’s cinematography is first-rate. The background score elevates the sequences several notches. And Sanjay Dutt, though not really appearing an emaciapated victim fed on just fried wantons for fourteen years, gives a superb performance. 

However, where Gupta falters horrendously are the solitary confinement sequences. Those were the film’s soul. But somehow the tension and morbidity of living alone just doesn’t come across, and the audience is uninvolved. That entire portion needed more padding up. Plus, a bit of realism when Dutt finally walks out to freedom would have made the film wholesome. I don’t think any one who has been fourteen years in captivity will walk the walk Dutt does! If length was a problem, Gupta could have cut out the gore! 

I wouldn’t say the climax is a let down, because the tension of knowing ‘the why’ is so strong by then that any motive would have felt short of the build-up. But yes, perhaps a better justification there could have helped. 

John Abraham is a wrong choice. The menace is too-contrived to hold weight. His habit of pursing his lips after every sentence is irritating – as if he is having a sore chin after a close-shave there. Lara Dutt provides glamour, and quite adequately. Celina Jeitly is as wooden as ever in her two-minute appearance. Mahesh Manjrekar is thankfully considerably reigned in. 

The music is all used in typical Hollywood fashion; the theme song by Strings has been on air for sometime. Again, like in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena, I will desist making any further comments on it. 

Though he does not give up making his heroes walk that Marlboro-advertisement inspired swagger, to sum up, I would rate Zinda as a big leap forward by Sanjay Gupta from his previous disasters. This one surely has more meat, and can be easily watched. The biggest compliment: it does not bore! Also, the running time is pretty narrow, and that helps too. 

Overall: Worth a view once.

UPDATE : Also saw KALYUG – Kaushi has done a superb review and covered whatever I had to say. Please click here for the same. My overall rating is same as hers : Worth viewing

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

I admit I am not too well versed in Kalpana Lajmi’s cinema, this web
and haven’t watched any of her films barring the refreshingly honest Ek Pal. My association with her is restricted to Lata Mangeshkar’s extremely eloquent ‘Dil Hoom Hoom Kare’ from Rudaali. Hence, sick
I approached Chingaari with an open mind, and to say it left me cold is a major understatement. 

Chingaari is one of those B-and-C-grade films masquerading as an art film. It is a puerile and pathetic piece of cinema that has neither the content nor flow to captivate audiences. It seems Lajmi’s intention was to shock and sensationalise the audience without any care for aesthetics or form. 

The story is set in a typical North Indian village, Rangpur which has a designated red light area called Lal Batti (how unimaginative!). The gullible villagers are firmly held in tight clutches of the evil head-priest Bhuvan Panda (Mithun Chakraborty), who abuses his authority for own selfish motives. He keeps them involved in meaningless religious mumbo-jumbos instigating fear in their heart to retain his superiority over them. He uses illogical rites like making a naked virgin girl sit on his lap, while he places himself over a corpse, in order to exorcise the dead man’s evil spirit! Even though he berates prostitutes, resorting to physical and verbal abuse even if they so much as touch the Goddess’ idol inadvertently, still he has no qualms in spending the nights at their place – practicing wild, kinky and sadist sex! 

One such prostitute is Basanti (Sushmita Sen), who lives with her daughter Titli, and ekes out her living in that deplorable condition. 

In this murky environment enters the fresh, educated and young postman Chandan Mishra (Anuj Sawhney). Like any villager postman, he not only delivers letters, but reads them out and writes for them, and in a sense he becomes a confidante, friend and mentor to them. An unstated, muted and sublime love develops between Chadan and Basanti, cemented by his affection for the latter’s fatherless daughter! He also instigates revolt against Bhuvan Panda. 

No doubt the love story between the postman and the prostitute (incidentally, the film’s original title as well) is good, and could have been a classy saga of romance, sacrifice and valor. Unfortunately, Lajmi seems to have seen too many Neha Dhupia flicks of late, hence it ends up being a loud, crass and disgusting melodrama. 

The narrative moves in jerks and fits, and the screenplay is shoddy. There is no continuum in the movement, and several unwanted scenes are repetitive or too lengthy for comfort; the running time is also inordinately long; looks as if the editor just did not know his job. Sequences where the prostitutes are interacting are gross. Sushmita’s introduction scene where she instigates two colleagues fighting over a customer and urges them to use words like ‘randi’ and ‘chinaal’ is horrible. 

The dialogues are crappy, peppered liberally with obscenities and profanities and are written only to evoke shock value. The climax is hilarious – Sushmita goes to the village temple with her hair flying wild, drums beating and picks up a trishul and kills Bhuvan Panda – it’s straight from those forgettable mid-eighties dacoit/revenge dramas that had infested Bollywood that time! 

Production value is shoddy and camera work is tacky. The music (by Adesh Srivastava) is nothing to write home (or anywhere) about. 

Sushmita Sen gives a relatively good performance, though she appears too urban to pass off as a rustic prostitute convincingly. Anuj Sawhney is adequate. But Mithun Chakraborty is too tired and haggard! Ila Arun, as the red light area’s head-madame, is ok. 

The film does nothing to sensitize against the prostitute’s plight; nor does it help to lay spotlight on interior
India’s woeful condition. In the end, it’s not even good cinema. This chingaari fizzles out without lighting any fire. I hope Lajmi drops the ‘neice of Guru Dutt’ tag for the time being till she returns with a more meaningful and involving film! 

Overall: Avoid

Side Notes 

While on prostitutes, I read the following somewhere: during the shoot of Kalyug abroad, Deepal Shaw was mistaken for a whore by another one from the tribe there! Despite liking Shaw in that film, my overall impression of her is that – to put it very bluntly – she looks like a slut! Her music videos are largely responsible for giving that image. In the write-up that I read, Shaw narrated this incident with obvious glee. I don’t know about her, but if I were in her place, I would have taken serious offence and not publicize this fact and, more importantly, do some serious introspection! 

Secondly, who is that goddamn singer who has screeched ‘Aa darr ke marr’ from Darna Zaroori Hai! It’s the most irritating, grating and awful voice I have heard in recent times. If the brief given to her was to sound sexy and scary at the same time, she has got it widely wrong! Why does Ram Gopal Verma waste money and time in recording songs which no one is going to buy? Stardust (April 2006) carries a piece on Verma’s deteriorating position in the industry. Though Stardust in itself is a gossip magazine, but still some facts are true and cannot be ignored – his films (except Sarkar) have all flopped, his proteges are deserting him and his financers are distancing themselves. 

Hope Darna Zaroori Hai bails him out. I liked the first part (Darna Marna Hai) and am eagerly awaiting the release of the second one now!

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

Music That Entices!

While the nation looses control over Rahman’s frothy Rang De Basanti score, sickness
his quiet and serene Water languishes away in oblivion. I am not a Rahman fan, overweight
but his few scores have really made an impact with me. Dil Se, buy more about
Zubeidaa, Pukar, One Two Ka Four, Bombay
and Lagaan are my favorites. A point to note – all the above are prior to his current phase where the stress seems to be more on beats, rhythms and sounds than tunes. So, listening to Water came as a very pleasant surprise; till the time I read somewhere that Rahman’s music for Water was scored way back in 2000. 

Anyways, whenever Rahman recorded these songs, they are beautiful! 

The music is very delicate, like a dew drop; as if touching it would soil its purity. At other times, it’s like a soft drizzle which sends a thrilling shiver down the spine. Instruments are used minimally. You can switch off the light, put on Water’s music, and soak yourself in sheer melodies – extremely relaxing, that’s what Water is! 

My favorite number – and I heard it five times on repeat mode after the first hearing – is ‘Piya Ho’ sung by Sadhna Sargam and Sukhwinder. There is this subtle rhythm which keeps flowing in the background, and a tune which cascades in its own curves in an unhurried pace; and over this Rahman places some riveting flute pieces so softly as if he is placing an expensive crystal over rich velvet – but then, that’s what this song is – bright as a crystal, soft as velvet! And it’s the tune which holds attention and not just sounds; a strong harkback to the old era of music. Oh yes, I have to mention the chorus which trails after the mukhda; it’s like a soft breeze which ripples over the tranquil river waters! If I am allowed to make one wish on this score, I would have loved to hear Lata Mangeshkar in this number!

Continuing the same mode, but switching theme to Meera’s unfulfilled love, is ‘Naina Neer Bahaye Mujh Birhan Ka Dil Saajan Sang Jhoom Jhoom Gaaye’ – quite similar to ‘Piya Ho’ but has a distinct rhythm and melody. Once again the able Sadhna Sargam at the mic, but this time she is solo. ‘Prem toh hai gangaajal jisme vish amrit bann jaaye’ writes new lyricist Raqeeb Alam. The song encapstulates unadulterated love, alongwith it’s underlying pathos. 

Sukhwinder returns, but with a trifle increased tempo in ‘Aayo re sajan sakhi’ – earlier I felt it resembled Sukhwinder’s own Kisna title song. But as the song progresses the difference is stark. In this number Sadhna Sargam joins Sukhwinder from mid-way. A lovely use of Indian instruments like santoor embellishes the song . The song is like the royal sea's tide washing over an expansive beach.

With these three songs itself, the album can be called a dizzying exponent of high-quality sweet music. But there are three more tracks remaining – like the silver vark on tasteful barfi

This album is definitely Sukhwinder’s crowning glory. Listen to him in yet another Lord Krishna-theme-based semi-classical song Bangri marori saiyan ne meri. I love the way the tune takes a sharp upward curve at the line ‘Radha ke gal-dori’

The next exquisite track is ‘MoheShaam rang de’ – a Holi number. This is a full-fledged masti song and the heart dances as the singers throw up a vocal flourish with ‘bajale zaraa dhol zor se’. The rang-bhang ka mausam is right at our doorstep now, and this number should be right up there – and it is such a relief after Rahman’s own horrible Holi number in Mangal Pande. This time the singers are Richa Sharma, Naqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya – and they create an ocean of riotous merry making with their voices. 

The last track is the famous Gandhian bhajan- Vaishnav Jan To sung by Kaushaki Chakraborty. This is a bhajan immortalized by Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition in the bumper hit album Ram Rattan Dhan Paayo. Rahman moves away a bit from the basic framework, and manages quite well overall. My bias will remain for Lataji’s version! 

Yes, this is not the score that will be played at parties and discos. But the difference lies exactly there – it does not set your foot tapping, but your head swaying in its lyrical rhythm. And it makes a place permanently in the heart. This is A R Rahman’s very best in recent times. 

Do grab it as soon as possible – and while you go to buy it, I will return to have another hear of ‘Piya ho’

Overall: Not to be missed; A Must Buy

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

Music That Entices!

While the nation looses control over Rahman’s frothy Rang De Basanti score, sickness
his quiet and serene Water languishes away in oblivion. I am not a Rahman fan, overweight
but his few scores have really made an impact with me. Dil Se, buy more about
Zubeidaa, Pukar, One Two Ka Four, Bombay
and Lagaan are my favorites. A point to note – all the above are prior to his current phase where the stress seems to be more on beats, rhythms and sounds than tunes. So, listening to Water came as a very pleasant surprise; till the time I read somewhere that Rahman’s music for Water was scored way back in 2000. 

Anyways, whenever Rahman recorded these songs, they are beautiful! 

The music is very delicate, like a dew drop; as if touching it would soil its purity. At other times, it’s like a soft drizzle which sends a thrilling shiver down the spine. Instruments are used minimally. You can switch off the light, put on Water’s music, and soak yourself in sheer melodies – extremely relaxing, that’s what Water is! 

My favorite number – and I heard it five times on repeat mode after the first hearing – is ‘Piya Ho’ sung by Sadhna Sargam and Sukhwinder. There is this subtle rhythm which keeps flowing in the background, and a tune which cascades in its own curves in an unhurried pace; and over this Rahman places some riveting flute pieces so softly as if he is placing an expensive crystal over rich velvet – but then, that’s what this song is – bright as a crystal, soft as velvet! And it’s the tune which holds attention and not just sounds; a strong harkback to the old era of music. Oh yes, I have to mention the chorus which trails after the mukhda; it’s like a soft breeze which ripples over the tranquil river waters! If I am allowed to make one wish on this score, I would have loved to hear Lata Mangeshkar in this number!

Continuing the same mode, but switching theme to Meera’s unfulfilled love, is ‘Naina Neer Bahaye Mujh Birhan Ka Dil Saajan Sang Jhoom Jhoom Gaaye’ – quite similar to ‘Piya Ho’ but has a distinct rhythm and melody. Once again the able Sadhna Sargam at the mic, but this time she is solo. ‘Prem toh hai gangaajal jisme vish amrit bann jaaye’ writes new lyricist Raqeeb Alam. The song encapstulates unadulterated love, alongwith it’s underlying pathos. 

Sukhwinder returns, but with a trifle increased tempo in ‘Aayo re sajan sakhi’ – earlier I felt it resembled Sukhwinder’s own Kisna title song. But as the song progresses the difference is stark. In this number Sadhna Sargam joins Sukhwinder from mid-way. A lovely use of Indian instruments like santoor embellishes the song . The song is like the royal sea's tide washing over an expansive beach.

With these three songs itself, the album can be called a dizzying exponent of high-quality sweet music. But there are three more tracks remaining – like the silver vark on tasteful barfi

This album is definitely Sukhwinder’s crowning glory. Listen to him in yet another Lord Krishna-theme-based semi-classical song Bangri marori saiyan ne meri. I love the way the tune takes a sharp upward curve at the line ‘Radha ke gal-dori’

The next exquisite track is ‘MoheShaam rang de’ – a Holi number. This is a full-fledged masti song and the heart dances as the singers throw up a vocal flourish with ‘bajale zaraa dhol zor se’. The rang-bhang ka mausam is right at our doorstep now, and this number should be right up there – and it is such a relief after Rahman’s own horrible Holi number in Mangal Pande. This time the singers are Richa Sharma, Naqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya – and they create an ocean of riotous merry making with their voices. 

The last track is the famous Gandhian bhajan- Vaishnav Jan To sung by Kaushaki Chakraborty. This is a bhajan immortalized by Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition in the bumper hit album Ram Rattan Dhan Paayo. Rahman moves away a bit from the basic framework, and manages quite well overall. My bias will remain for Lataji’s version! 

Yes, this is not the score that will be played at parties and discos. But the difference lies exactly there – it does not set your foot tapping, but your head swaying in its lyrical rhythm. And it makes a place permanently in the heart. This is A R Rahman’s very best in recent times. 

Do grab it as soon as possible – and while you go to buy it, I will return to have another hear of ‘Piya ho’

Overall: Not to be missed; A Must Buy
This review was written the same day I saw the film, dermatologist
which was on 4th February. But seeing the overwhelmingly
positive reactions for the film didn’t have heart to publish it. Till the time I told Anubha about its existence. She reprimanded me for not putting it up and reminded me that on my blog I had complete right to write whatever I felt. True, help
perhaps I have been playing to the gallery quite a lot, visit this
and taking ‘the popular’ tag a bit too seriously than warranted. Thanks Anubha for the reality check! 

Blame it on the huge expectation – but fact is I found Rang De Basanti just about ok, a different film, but just about that. Somehow it couldn’t involve me into its narration. There were too many incoherent details which left me cold – some were minor quibbles regarding Delhi’s depiction: why the hell did Sonia (Soha Ali) take Sue via Red Fort if they were going to University from Delhi Airport?  There is a much shorter and convenient route! And then, that was clearly not anywhere close to Delhi University for sure! It was India Habitat Center passed off as DU! 

Even though Rakeysh Mehra struggles to deploy a conventional story telling format, he is unable to fully discard the now-standard jump-cuts and fast-track editing styles; at few crucial points these neo-modern techniques crop up horrifyingly. The post-interval lathi charge scene is one prime example. Instead of gripping the audience in a tight-fist and knocking a solid punch, he shows a collage alternating between slow-motion and hazy movements with a dull song in the background. The entire sequence’s steam, whose build-up begins with Ajay Rathod’s death, dissipates away like a pressure cooker rudely taken off the burner! 

The transformation of youth doesn’t come around neatly. I kept thinking of Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Swades, and how he had handled Mohan Bhargav’s transition smoothly! Here, it is erratic and abrupt. Also, in Swades the awakening is not linked to personal tragedy, making it more sublime. Here it seems more like those eighties personal vendetta film wearing a neo-modern cloak! 

The story is interesting – but the climax is very shoddy: it takes away the entire thrust of the film’s message. Here, I am not talking about the defence minister’s too-easy-to-be-true murder, which can be accorded to the director’s creative license. But it’s the death of all protagonists which I could not digest. Does the maker want to tell the youth that if they have to do something for the country they will necessarily be killed? And does it really make the nation rise in protest? Except for a few shots of some students talking to NDTV, which sounded like a storm in a teacup and extremely unconvincing, the film-maker remains stunningly silent on their action’s impact. To me, their sacrifice looked futile. Plus, where did the Commandos come from? And why? 

Agreed that Rakeysh Mehra wanted to draw a parallel to Bhagat Singh et al, but shouldn’t the climax have moved away to show the difference of the eras and of the youth, then and now! I feel an intelligent comparison need not be hundred percent overlapping – though the rising could be compared but the end needed much brain which was definitely not put to use. A mature writer draws parallel, brings them to a crossroad, but from there takes it to a separate and higher denouement.  And this is where the film fails, and the reason why it couldn’t touch me at all. 

Another fact which irked me was Sue’s character – did Mehra really have to use a foreigner to awaken youth-conscience and youth conscious? Is this some surreptitious handshake with old British ideology that ‘it is always white man’s burden’ to take care of Indians? Sorry, Mehra – an upright Indian NGO worker could have made the point more clear and driven home the fact more scathingly – and if Mehra feels that such people don’t exist, sorry he needs to open his wider! 

On the plus side – the film gives ample space to every character though it could have incorporated a bit on Soha Ali and Sharman Joshi’s background/home as well. 
Performance-wise the film is a topper – Soha Ali is a huge revelation especially after her wooden acting in Dil Maange More. She slips into her character’s skin effortlessly. Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor and Atul Kulkarni live their part with aplomb. Siddharth, who gets maximum footage amongst the supporting cast, is a delight to watch, especially his voice modulation was impeccable (not sure if he has done the dubbing himself!). Alice Patten, with her cute night-class Hindi, is sweet and understated. Madhavan shines in his guest appearance. 

But the mother of all performances is given by veteran Waheeda Rahman in her brief but strong role as Ajay’s mother. In one scene, after her son’s death, she is shown walking towards the door – her back is towards the camera, yet her entire body language, the minor tremor, the slight limp as she walks shows a seasoned actor at work! It’s a one small shot, where she is not even facing the camera – yet, she literally walks away with all accolades! 

There are some smaller but solid parts – Om Puri, Kirron Kher and Anupam Kher who do their bit fabulously. 

AR Rahman’s music is good in parts, though his background score was lacking – the odd sound during Jallianwala Bagh sequence was probably meant to stir hearts, but it shook the ears more! Lata Mangeshkar’s Lukka Chhupi Bahut Hui brings a lump, and that entire sequence is very well handled (though a personal grouse will remain for editing a bulk of Lataji’s portion). Of the other songs, Mohe mohe tu rang de basanti, Paathshaala and Tu bin bataye are ok. In ‘Mohe mohe’ Mehra picks up a few leaves from Yash Chopra’s films and shows flowing mustard fields and pulsating Punjab in satiated sway – given a choice, I’d prefer the tranquil pace of ‘Aisa des hai mera’ from Veer Zaara

I understand the film is doing very well, and I have only read praise for it – perhaps, I am getting old to enjoy these ‘youthful’ films, but once again I would leave by mentioning Swades – the patriotism, the inner journey presented in that film was far superior to RDB’s graffiti-like  cocktail! 

Overall: Above average

Also check out: Saba's brilliant review of the same film

When I started writing for the Blogs, oncology I made a secret pact with myself: I will not indulge in self reflections, population health and certainly not write on my personal life and what it is happening to me. These were anecdotes, incidents and events of my life, and no one would be interested to read them. Honestly, I did not think I would be comfortable in baring my heart out ever. I preferred the other route- the fiction one, where I can seamlessly knit these occurrences into an imaginative story; and no is the wiser as to which is the truth and which is fiction out of that.


But within a week, I am here, penning my thoughts, expressions and reflections. So what made me change my heart? Today, I read one of the finest blogs and that made my thought waves tingling. This was a blog by Mr Ramesh Somasundaram, and is available at http://ramesh_somasundaram.rediffblogs.com. During the past one week, since the time I have been initiated into blogging, I have browsed a lot many of them: some good, some funny, some reflective, some empty, some stupid and some really shoddy; but this one was at once serious and funny; simple and complex, and a mixture of fiction and truth. Of course, that Mr Somasundaram writes in very lucid English helped a lot. I have this writing bug in me which gets activated every time I read a good piece of writing. It has happened earlier also; and at the cost of sounding immodest, I must say, that some of the stories that I have written have been quite good. Even I enjoyed reading them after a year or so, despite knowing each and every twist of the tale. But since a bright story idea eluded my poor brain, and the bug continued its insistent persistence, I decided to venture into an area which I had till now resolutely avoided. What the hell, I have also lived a full and enriching 31 years of life on this lonely( or is it not?) planet , and I have also gone through many bitter-sweet moments of upheavals and exhilirations that I think I should start sharing and not bottling them up in my 5’11” frame!!

Its said that plagiarism is the best form of flattery. Hence, I have kept the title of this blog similar to one that Mr Somasundaram does, as also the design of the blog and the first line of this blog, which is nothing but a paraphrase of a sentence which Mr Sundaram had used in one of its blogs.

I am not sure for how long I will be able to continue this blog, but I will definitely try. Perhaps, someday the rediff management will also find it appropriate enough to feature in the “Sizzling Blogs” section, though, to be honest, their criteria for selection bewilders me no end

[This was my first post on my Rediff blog; posting it for nostalgic sake again with same date stamp!]

[edited and posted with ecto]

When I started writing for the Blogs, oncology I made a secret pact with myself: I will not indulge in self reflections, population health and certainly not write on my personal life and what it is happening to me. These were anecdotes, incidents and events of my life, and no one would be interested to read them. Honestly, I did not think I would be comfortable in baring my heart out ever. I preferred the other route- the fiction one, where I can seamlessly knit these occurrences into an imaginative story; and no is the wiser as to which is the truth and which is fiction out of that.


But within a week, I am here, penning my thoughts, expressions and reflections. So what made me change my heart? Today, I read one of the finest blogs and that made my thought waves tingling. This was a blog by Mr Ramesh Somasundaram, and is available at http://ramesh_somasundaram.rediffblogs.com. During the past one week, since the time I have been initiated into blogging, I have browsed a lot many of them: some good, some funny, some reflective, some empty, some stupid and some really shoddy; but this one was at once serious and funny; simple and complex, and a mixture of fiction and truth. Of course, that Mr Somasundaram writes in very lucid English helped a lot. I have this writing bug in me which gets activated every time I read a good piece of writing. It has happened earlier also; and at the cost of sounding immodest, I must say, that some of the stories that I have written have been quite good. Even I enjoyed reading them after a year or so, despite knowing each and every twist of the tale. But since a bright story idea eluded my poor brain, and the bug continued its insistent persistence, I decided to venture into an area which I had till now resolutely avoided. What the hell, I have also lived a full and enriching 31 years of life on this lonely( or is it not?) planet , and I have also gone through many bitter-sweet moments of upheavals and exhilirations that I think I should start sharing and not bottling them up in my 5’11” frame!!

Its said that plagiarism is the best form of flattery. Hence, I have kept the title of this blog similar to one that Mr Somasundaram does, as also the design of the blog and the first line of this blog, which is nothing but a paraphrase of a sentence which Mr Sundaram had used in one of its blogs.

I am not sure for how long I will be able to continue this blog, but I will definitely try. Perhaps, someday the rediff management will also find it appropriate enough to feature in the “Sizzling Blogs” section, though, to be honest, their criteria for selection bewilders me no end

[This was my first post on my Rediff blog; posting it for nostalgic sake again with same date stamp!]

[edited and posted with ecto]

All relationships come with an expiry date

If I am not mistaken, viagra 100mg
this is a line that I had read in one of the interviews of Pooja Bhatt. Even if it’s not her original quote, rehabilitation
or even if she did not say it, somewhere, and somehow, I have always attributed this line to her. I am not too fond of Pooja Bhatt as an actor, but I am definitely enamored by her spunky, sprightly and absolutely sensational quotes and interviews that she gives. Whether she means them, or they are said only for effect, I cannot comment, but I have always found them meaningful and truthful; to put it crudely, she catches life’s morality from the balls.

I come back again to Mr. Ramesh Somasundaram’s blog*. In that he has questioned the mysteries of relationships in a wonderfully eloquent manner. I have gone through a few very deep but failed relationships and have not been able to unravel the mystery even by one layer of the complexities that wrap them.

But apart from the well-stated thoughts mentioned in the blog, I would like to add that if we enter each relationship with the above maxim in mind we could at least reduce the pain that accompanies most relationships, especially when they get over.

Whether we grow apart, or one of the partner dies a relationship does come back with an indelibly stamped expiry date. And like all products, if we attempt to use it after that “expiry date” we will be hurt, sad and immensely ill.

In Paap (The Sin), Pooja Bhatt’s latest film, which she has also directed, there is beautiful verbal debate between the heroine’s (Kaya) father and her lover. The father wants Kaya to renounce the world, join a monastery, because he wants to protect her from the pain of any worldly relationships going wrong; hence he wants her to forsake all such earthly desires and take the path of God. The lover retorts that we cannot stop smiling for fear of the crying; we cannot stop living for the fear of dying; we cannot stop forming relationships for the fear of losing. In fact, the desire for renouncing all desires is also just another desire. Then why should that desire be considered holy and the love that he feels for Kaya be termed as “sin”?

In another scene, the hero tells the heroine that once he leaves, he will not even look back and think about her; he wants to spend a lifetime with her; but not a lifetime with her memories and brooding over it.

This film merely asserts the maxim that all relationships come with an expiry date- so we should enjoy it while it lasts and move on when they end.

Carcasses, whether of humans, animals or emotions, always stink.

[This post was originally written in my older blog]
[*Romesh Somasundaram stopped blogging after a few months]
[re-posted with ecto]

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, order decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, page physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, dysentery and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

From Mukesh’s soul-stirring (and melodious) Zinda hoon iss tarah to Shibani Kashyap’s guttural scream (and off key) Zinda hoon main, one Health
Hindi film music has come a long way; and so have its noir heroes. From Raj Kapoor’s humorously dark but essentially tracing roots in light, order
bumbling tramp to Sanjay Gupta’s nether-conceptualised Armani- wearing sinister baddies is another journey that Bollywood has taken. 

I would have given Zinda a complete miss had it not been the only film playing in nearly all top Kathmandu cinema-halls. Family, hospital
the other release, and my own choice, has not made its way here yet. To give Gupta his due credit, Zinda is perhaps his most cohesive and steadfast narrative to date. I wouldn’t go overboard as some critics have done in lauding about ‘realism’ because that is still truly not fully present here, though I can understand where they come from. But yes, there is a sense of starkness and throat-grabbing urgency that is, if not appealing, but certainly very attention-focussing. 

Another relief is that the film has nothing to do with mafia, dons, cons or heists – a marked change in Gupta's subject choice! The tale hangs around an ordinary citizen, which also makes it forceful giving just that tantalising realistic tickle – what if it happens to normal people like you and I?

The story (picked up from whichever English/Far East DVD) is pretty enticing. Balajeet Roy (Sanjay Dutt) has everything going for him – a plush job in top software Bangkok company, a loving wife and a caring friend. One day it all collapses. He is taken captive. For 14-years he spends his life in a solitary cell, fed on fried wantons with just a television for company.  Yet, his captor will not allow him to die or go insane – and releases him after 14 years for a purpose.
Roy traces his captor, but more than that he needs to find out why he was chosen for this exemplary punishment. 

The film’s strength is its pace – not jerky, yet not lacking. Gupta and his co-scriptwriter weave in all essential details beautifully in dialogues, something that I have always found interesting in Barjatya or Yash Chopra films. Of course, he has his eye on the ‘interior’ market (though such films don’t work there) which makes him spell out somethings that could have been best left unsaid. Just for an example – when Sanjay Dutt claims his first tormentor, the supplier of wantons, the death was amply conveyed; yet, Gupta gives a long pan shot of the gruesome dead body – not required. The impact is severely lost! 

Certain details in their gory stomach-throwing details might not find viewership acquiescence; but they do provide a taut vicarious thrill, and I guess that’s what Gupta aimed for. A word of caution – avoid taking in your pop-corn pre-interval! 

Shot in nearly black-and-white hues, the film’s cinematography is first-rate. The background score elevates the sequences several notches. And Sanjay Dutt, though not really appearing an emaciapated victim fed on just fried wantons for fourteen years, gives a superb performance. 

However, where Gupta falters horrendously are the solitary confinement sequences. Those were the film’s soul. But somehow the tension and morbidity of living alone just doesn’t come across, and the audience is uninvolved. That entire portion needed more padding up. Plus, a bit of realism when Dutt finally walks out to freedom would have made the film wholesome. I don’t think any one who has been fourteen years in captivity will walk the walk Dutt does! If length was a problem, Gupta could have cut out the gore! 

I wouldn’t say the climax is a let down, because the tension of knowing ‘the why’ is so strong by then that any motive would have felt short of the build-up. But yes, perhaps a better justification there could have helped. 

John Abraham is a wrong choice. The menace is too-contrived to hold weight. His habit of pursing his lips after every sentence is irritating – as if he is having a sore chin after a close-shave there. Lara Dutt provides glamour, and quite adequately. Celina Jeitly is as wooden as ever in her two-minute appearance. Mahesh Manjrekar is thankfully considerably reigned in. 

The music is all used in typical Hollywood fashion; the theme song by Strings has been on air for sometime. Again, like in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena, I will desist making any further comments on it. 

Though he does not give up making his heroes walk that Marlboro-advertisement inspired swagger, to sum up, I would rate Zinda as a big leap forward by Sanjay Gupta from his previous disasters. This one surely has more meat, and can be easily watched. The biggest compliment: it does not bore! Also, the running time is pretty narrow, and that helps too. 

Overall: Worth a view once.

UPDATE : Also saw KALYUG – Kaushi has done a superb review and covered whatever I had to say. Please click here for the same. My overall rating is same as hers : Worth viewing

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

I admit I am not too well versed in Kalpana Lajmi’s cinema, this web
and haven’t watched any of her films barring the refreshingly honest Ek Pal. My association with her is restricted to Lata Mangeshkar’s extremely eloquent ‘Dil Hoom Hoom Kare’ from Rudaali. Hence, sick
I approached Chingaari with an open mind, and to say it left me cold is a major understatement. 

Chingaari is one of those B-and-C-grade films masquerading as an art film. It is a puerile and pathetic piece of cinema that has neither the content nor flow to captivate audiences. It seems Lajmi’s intention was to shock and sensationalise the audience without any care for aesthetics or form. 

The story is set in a typical North Indian village, Rangpur which has a designated red light area called Lal Batti (how unimaginative!). The gullible villagers are firmly held in tight clutches of the evil head-priest Bhuvan Panda (Mithun Chakraborty), who abuses his authority for own selfish motives. He keeps them involved in meaningless religious mumbo-jumbos instigating fear in their heart to retain his superiority over them. He uses illogical rites like making a naked virgin girl sit on his lap, while he places himself over a corpse, in order to exorcise the dead man’s evil spirit! Even though he berates prostitutes, resorting to physical and verbal abuse even if they so much as touch the Goddess’ idol inadvertently, still he has no qualms in spending the nights at their place – practicing wild, kinky and sadist sex! 

One such prostitute is Basanti (Sushmita Sen), who lives with her daughter Titli, and ekes out her living in that deplorable condition. 

In this murky environment enters the fresh, educated and young postman Chandan Mishra (Anuj Sawhney). Like any villager postman, he not only delivers letters, but reads them out and writes for them, and in a sense he becomes a confidante, friend and mentor to them. An unstated, muted and sublime love develops between Chadan and Basanti, cemented by his affection for the latter’s fatherless daughter! He also instigates revolt against Bhuvan Panda. 

No doubt the love story between the postman and the prostitute (incidentally, the film’s original title as well) is good, and could have been a classy saga of romance, sacrifice and valor. Unfortunately, Lajmi seems to have seen too many Neha Dhupia flicks of late, hence it ends up being a loud, crass and disgusting melodrama. 

The narrative moves in jerks and fits, and the screenplay is shoddy. There is no continuum in the movement, and several unwanted scenes are repetitive or too lengthy for comfort; the running time is also inordinately long; looks as if the editor just did not know his job. Sequences where the prostitutes are interacting are gross. Sushmita’s introduction scene where she instigates two colleagues fighting over a customer and urges them to use words like ‘randi’ and ‘chinaal’ is horrible. 

The dialogues are crappy, peppered liberally with obscenities and profanities and are written only to evoke shock value. The climax is hilarious – Sushmita goes to the village temple with her hair flying wild, drums beating and picks up a trishul and kills Bhuvan Panda – it’s straight from those forgettable mid-eighties dacoit/revenge dramas that had infested Bollywood that time! 

Production value is shoddy and camera work is tacky. The music (by Adesh Srivastava) is nothing to write home (or anywhere) about. 

Sushmita Sen gives a relatively good performance, though she appears too urban to pass off as a rustic prostitute convincingly. Anuj Sawhney is adequate. But Mithun Chakraborty is too tired and haggard! Ila Arun, as the red light area’s head-madame, is ok. 

The film does nothing to sensitize against the prostitute’s plight; nor does it help to lay spotlight on interior
India’s woeful condition. In the end, it’s not even good cinema. This chingaari fizzles out without lighting any fire. I hope Lajmi drops the ‘neice of Guru Dutt’ tag for the time being till she returns with a more meaningful and involving film! 

Overall: Avoid

Side Notes 

While on prostitutes, I read the following somewhere: during the shoot of Kalyug abroad, Deepal Shaw was mistaken for a whore by another one from the tribe there! Despite liking Shaw in that film, my overall impression of her is that – to put it very bluntly – she looks like a slut! Her music videos are largely responsible for giving that image. In the write-up that I read, Shaw narrated this incident with obvious glee. I don’t know about her, but if I were in her place, I would have taken serious offence and not publicize this fact and, more importantly, do some serious introspection! 

Secondly, who is that goddamn singer who has screeched ‘Aa darr ke marr’ from Darna Zaroori Hai! It’s the most irritating, grating and awful voice I have heard in recent times. If the brief given to her was to sound sexy and scary at the same time, she has got it widely wrong! Why does Ram Gopal Verma waste money and time in recording songs which no one is going to buy? Stardust (April 2006) carries a piece on Verma’s deteriorating position in the industry. Though Stardust in itself is a gossip magazine, but still some facts are true and cannot be ignored – his films (except Sarkar) have all flopped, his proteges are deserting him and his financers are distancing themselves. 

Hope Darna Zaroori Hai bails him out. I liked the first part (Darna Marna Hai) and am eagerly awaiting the release of the second one now!

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

Music That Entices!

While the nation looses control over Rahman’s frothy Rang De Basanti score, sickness
his quiet and serene Water languishes away in oblivion. I am not a Rahman fan, overweight
but his few scores have really made an impact with me. Dil Se, buy more about
Zubeidaa, Pukar, One Two Ka Four, Bombay
and Lagaan are my favorites. A point to note – all the above are prior to his current phase where the stress seems to be more on beats, rhythms and sounds than tunes. So, listening to Water came as a very pleasant surprise; till the time I read somewhere that Rahman’s music for Water was scored way back in 2000. 

Anyways, whenever Rahman recorded these songs, they are beautiful! 

The music is very delicate, like a dew drop; as if touching it would soil its purity. At other times, it’s like a soft drizzle which sends a thrilling shiver down the spine. Instruments are used minimally. You can switch off the light, put on Water’s music, and soak yourself in sheer melodies – extremely relaxing, that’s what Water is! 

My favorite number – and I heard it five times on repeat mode after the first hearing – is ‘Piya Ho’ sung by Sadhna Sargam and Sukhwinder. There is this subtle rhythm which keeps flowing in the background, and a tune which cascades in its own curves in an unhurried pace; and over this Rahman places some riveting flute pieces so softly as if he is placing an expensive crystal over rich velvet – but then, that’s what this song is – bright as a crystal, soft as velvet! And it’s the tune which holds attention and not just sounds; a strong harkback to the old era of music. Oh yes, I have to mention the chorus which trails after the mukhda; it’s like a soft breeze which ripples over the tranquil river waters! If I am allowed to make one wish on this score, I would have loved to hear Lata Mangeshkar in this number!

Continuing the same mode, but switching theme to Meera’s unfulfilled love, is ‘Naina Neer Bahaye Mujh Birhan Ka Dil Saajan Sang Jhoom Jhoom Gaaye’ – quite similar to ‘Piya Ho’ but has a distinct rhythm and melody. Once again the able Sadhna Sargam at the mic, but this time she is solo. ‘Prem toh hai gangaajal jisme vish amrit bann jaaye’ writes new lyricist Raqeeb Alam. The song encapstulates unadulterated love, alongwith it’s underlying pathos. 

Sukhwinder returns, but with a trifle increased tempo in ‘Aayo re sajan sakhi’ – earlier I felt it resembled Sukhwinder’s own Kisna title song. But as the song progresses the difference is stark. In this number Sadhna Sargam joins Sukhwinder from mid-way. A lovely use of Indian instruments like santoor embellishes the song . The song is like the royal sea's tide washing over an expansive beach.

With these three songs itself, the album can be called a dizzying exponent of high-quality sweet music. But there are three more tracks remaining – like the silver vark on tasteful barfi

This album is definitely Sukhwinder’s crowning glory. Listen to him in yet another Lord Krishna-theme-based semi-classical song Bangri marori saiyan ne meri. I love the way the tune takes a sharp upward curve at the line ‘Radha ke gal-dori’

The next exquisite track is ‘MoheShaam rang de’ – a Holi number. This is a full-fledged masti song and the heart dances as the singers throw up a vocal flourish with ‘bajale zaraa dhol zor se’. The rang-bhang ka mausam is right at our doorstep now, and this number should be right up there – and it is such a relief after Rahman’s own horrible Holi number in Mangal Pande. This time the singers are Richa Sharma, Naqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya – and they create an ocean of riotous merry making with their voices. 

The last track is the famous Gandhian bhajan- Vaishnav Jan To sung by Kaushaki Chakraborty. This is a bhajan immortalized by Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition in the bumper hit album Ram Rattan Dhan Paayo. Rahman moves away a bit from the basic framework, and manages quite well overall. My bias will remain for Lataji’s version! 

Yes, this is not the score that will be played at parties and discos. But the difference lies exactly there – it does not set your foot tapping, but your head swaying in its lyrical rhythm. And it makes a place permanently in the heart. This is A R Rahman’s very best in recent times. 

Do grab it as soon as possible – and while you go to buy it, I will return to have another hear of ‘Piya ho’

Overall: Not to be missed; A Must Buy

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

Music That Entices!

While the nation looses control over Rahman’s frothy Rang De Basanti score, sickness
his quiet and serene Water languishes away in oblivion. I am not a Rahman fan, overweight
but his few scores have really made an impact with me. Dil Se, buy more about
Zubeidaa, Pukar, One Two Ka Four, Bombay
and Lagaan are my favorites. A point to note – all the above are prior to his current phase where the stress seems to be more on beats, rhythms and sounds than tunes. So, listening to Water came as a very pleasant surprise; till the time I read somewhere that Rahman’s music for Water was scored way back in 2000. 

Anyways, whenever Rahman recorded these songs, they are beautiful! 

The music is very delicate, like a dew drop; as if touching it would soil its purity. At other times, it’s like a soft drizzle which sends a thrilling shiver down the spine. Instruments are used minimally. You can switch off the light, put on Water’s music, and soak yourself in sheer melodies – extremely relaxing, that’s what Water is! 

My favorite number – and I heard it five times on repeat mode after the first hearing – is ‘Piya Ho’ sung by Sadhna Sargam and Sukhwinder. There is this subtle rhythm which keeps flowing in the background, and a tune which cascades in its own curves in an unhurried pace; and over this Rahman places some riveting flute pieces so softly as if he is placing an expensive crystal over rich velvet – but then, that’s what this song is – bright as a crystal, soft as velvet! And it’s the tune which holds attention and not just sounds; a strong harkback to the old era of music. Oh yes, I have to mention the chorus which trails after the mukhda; it’s like a soft breeze which ripples over the tranquil river waters! If I am allowed to make one wish on this score, I would have loved to hear Lata Mangeshkar in this number!

Continuing the same mode, but switching theme to Meera’s unfulfilled love, is ‘Naina Neer Bahaye Mujh Birhan Ka Dil Saajan Sang Jhoom Jhoom Gaaye’ – quite similar to ‘Piya Ho’ but has a distinct rhythm and melody. Once again the able Sadhna Sargam at the mic, but this time she is solo. ‘Prem toh hai gangaajal jisme vish amrit bann jaaye’ writes new lyricist Raqeeb Alam. The song encapstulates unadulterated love, alongwith it’s underlying pathos. 

Sukhwinder returns, but with a trifle increased tempo in ‘Aayo re sajan sakhi’ – earlier I felt it resembled Sukhwinder’s own Kisna title song. But as the song progresses the difference is stark. In this number Sadhna Sargam joins Sukhwinder from mid-way. A lovely use of Indian instruments like santoor embellishes the song . The song is like the royal sea's tide washing over an expansive beach.

With these three songs itself, the album can be called a dizzying exponent of high-quality sweet music. But there are three more tracks remaining – like the silver vark on tasteful barfi

This album is definitely Sukhwinder’s crowning glory. Listen to him in yet another Lord Krishna-theme-based semi-classical song Bangri marori saiyan ne meri. I love the way the tune takes a sharp upward curve at the line ‘Radha ke gal-dori’

The next exquisite track is ‘MoheShaam rang de’ – a Holi number. This is a full-fledged masti song and the heart dances as the singers throw up a vocal flourish with ‘bajale zaraa dhol zor se’. The rang-bhang ka mausam is right at our doorstep now, and this number should be right up there – and it is such a relief after Rahman’s own horrible Holi number in Mangal Pande. This time the singers are Richa Sharma, Naqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya – and they create an ocean of riotous merry making with their voices. 

The last track is the famous Gandhian bhajan- Vaishnav Jan To sung by Kaushaki Chakraborty. This is a bhajan immortalized by Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition in the bumper hit album Ram Rattan Dhan Paayo. Rahman moves away a bit from the basic framework, and manages quite well overall. My bias will remain for Lataji’s version! 

Yes, this is not the score that will be played at parties and discos. But the difference lies exactly there – it does not set your foot tapping, but your head swaying in its lyrical rhythm. And it makes a place permanently in the heart. This is A R Rahman’s very best in recent times. 

Do grab it as soon as possible – and while you go to buy it, I will return to have another hear of ‘Piya ho’

Overall: Not to be missed; A Must Buy
This review was written the same day I saw the film, dermatologist
which was on 4th February. But seeing the overwhelmingly
positive reactions for the film didn’t have heart to publish it. Till the time I told Anubha about its existence. She reprimanded me for not putting it up and reminded me that on my blog I had complete right to write whatever I felt. True, help
perhaps I have been playing to the gallery quite a lot, visit this
and taking ‘the popular’ tag a bit too seriously than warranted. Thanks Anubha for the reality check! 

Blame it on the huge expectation – but fact is I found Rang De Basanti just about ok, a different film, but just about that. Somehow it couldn’t involve me into its narration. There were too many incoherent details which left me cold – some were minor quibbles regarding Delhi’s depiction: why the hell did Sonia (Soha Ali) take Sue via Red Fort if they were going to University from Delhi Airport?  There is a much shorter and convenient route! And then, that was clearly not anywhere close to Delhi University for sure! It was India Habitat Center passed off as DU! 

Even though Rakeysh Mehra struggles to deploy a conventional story telling format, he is unable to fully discard the now-standard jump-cuts and fast-track editing styles; at few crucial points these neo-modern techniques crop up horrifyingly. The post-interval lathi charge scene is one prime example. Instead of gripping the audience in a tight-fist and knocking a solid punch, he shows a collage alternating between slow-motion and hazy movements with a dull song in the background. The entire sequence’s steam, whose build-up begins with Ajay Rathod’s death, dissipates away like a pressure cooker rudely taken off the burner! 

The transformation of youth doesn’t come around neatly. I kept thinking of Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Swades, and how he had handled Mohan Bhargav’s transition smoothly! Here, it is erratic and abrupt. Also, in Swades the awakening is not linked to personal tragedy, making it more sublime. Here it seems more like those eighties personal vendetta film wearing a neo-modern cloak! 

The story is interesting – but the climax is very shoddy: it takes away the entire thrust of the film’s message. Here, I am not talking about the defence minister’s too-easy-to-be-true murder, which can be accorded to the director’s creative license. But it’s the death of all protagonists which I could not digest. Does the maker want to tell the youth that if they have to do something for the country they will necessarily be killed? And does it really make the nation rise in protest? Except for a few shots of some students talking to NDTV, which sounded like a storm in a teacup and extremely unconvincing, the film-maker remains stunningly silent on their action’s impact. To me, their sacrifice looked futile. Plus, where did the Commandos come from? And why? 

Agreed that Rakeysh Mehra wanted to draw a parallel to Bhagat Singh et al, but shouldn’t the climax have moved away to show the difference of the eras and of the youth, then and now! I feel an intelligent comparison need not be hundred percent overlapping – though the rising could be compared but the end needed much brain which was definitely not put to use. A mature writer draws parallel, brings them to a crossroad, but from there takes it to a separate and higher denouement.  And this is where the film fails, and the reason why it couldn’t touch me at all. 

Another fact which irked me was Sue’s character – did Mehra really have to use a foreigner to awaken youth-conscience and youth conscious? Is this some surreptitious handshake with old British ideology that ‘it is always white man’s burden’ to take care of Indians? Sorry, Mehra – an upright Indian NGO worker could have made the point more clear and driven home the fact more scathingly – and if Mehra feels that such people don’t exist, sorry he needs to open his wider! 

On the plus side – the film gives ample space to every character though it could have incorporated a bit on Soha Ali and Sharman Joshi’s background/home as well. 
Performance-wise the film is a topper – Soha Ali is a huge revelation especially after her wooden acting in Dil Maange More. She slips into her character’s skin effortlessly. Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor and Atul Kulkarni live their part with aplomb. Siddharth, who gets maximum footage amongst the supporting cast, is a delight to watch, especially his voice modulation was impeccable (not sure if he has done the dubbing himself!). Alice Patten, with her cute night-class Hindi, is sweet and understated. Madhavan shines in his guest appearance. 

But the mother of all performances is given by veteran Waheeda Rahman in her brief but strong role as Ajay’s mother. In one scene, after her son’s death, she is shown walking towards the door – her back is towards the camera, yet her entire body language, the minor tremor, the slight limp as she walks shows a seasoned actor at work! It’s a one small shot, where she is not even facing the camera – yet, she literally walks away with all accolades! 

There are some smaller but solid parts – Om Puri, Kirron Kher and Anupam Kher who do their bit fabulously. 

AR Rahman’s music is good in parts, though his background score was lacking – the odd sound during Jallianwala Bagh sequence was probably meant to stir hearts, but it shook the ears more! Lata Mangeshkar’s Lukka Chhupi Bahut Hui brings a lump, and that entire sequence is very well handled (though a personal grouse will remain for editing a bulk of Lataji’s portion). Of the other songs, Mohe mohe tu rang de basanti, Paathshaala and Tu bin bataye are ok. In ‘Mohe mohe’ Mehra picks up a few leaves from Yash Chopra’s films and shows flowing mustard fields and pulsating Punjab in satiated sway – given a choice, I’d prefer the tranquil pace of ‘Aisa des hai mera’ from Veer Zaara

I understand the film is doing very well, and I have only read praise for it – perhaps, I am getting old to enjoy these ‘youthful’ films, but once again I would leave by mentioning Swades – the patriotism, the inner journey presented in that film was far superior to RDB’s graffiti-like  cocktail! 

Overall: Above average

Also check out: Saba's brilliant review of the same film

When I started writing for the Blogs, oncology I made a secret pact with myself: I will not indulge in self reflections, population health and certainly not write on my personal life and what it is happening to me. These were anecdotes, incidents and events of my life, and no one would be interested to read them. Honestly, I did not think I would be comfortable in baring my heart out ever. I preferred the other route- the fiction one, where I can seamlessly knit these occurrences into an imaginative story; and no is the wiser as to which is the truth and which is fiction out of that.


But within a week, I am here, penning my thoughts, expressions and reflections. So what made me change my heart? Today, I read one of the finest blogs and that made my thought waves tingling. This was a blog by Mr Ramesh Somasundaram, and is available at http://ramesh_somasundaram.rediffblogs.com. During the past one week, since the time I have been initiated into blogging, I have browsed a lot many of them: some good, some funny, some reflective, some empty, some stupid and some really shoddy; but this one was at once serious and funny; simple and complex, and a mixture of fiction and truth. Of course, that Mr Somasundaram writes in very lucid English helped a lot. I have this writing bug in me which gets activated every time I read a good piece of writing. It has happened earlier also; and at the cost of sounding immodest, I must say, that some of the stories that I have written have been quite good. Even I enjoyed reading them after a year or so, despite knowing each and every twist of the tale. But since a bright story idea eluded my poor brain, and the bug continued its insistent persistence, I decided to venture into an area which I had till now resolutely avoided. What the hell, I have also lived a full and enriching 31 years of life on this lonely( or is it not?) planet , and I have also gone through many bitter-sweet moments of upheavals and exhilirations that I think I should start sharing and not bottling them up in my 5’11” frame!!

Its said that plagiarism is the best form of flattery. Hence, I have kept the title of this blog similar to one that Mr Somasundaram does, as also the design of the blog and the first line of this blog, which is nothing but a paraphrase of a sentence which Mr Sundaram had used in one of its blogs.

I am not sure for how long I will be able to continue this blog, but I will definitely try. Perhaps, someday the rediff management will also find it appropriate enough to feature in the “Sizzling Blogs” section, though, to be honest, their criteria for selection bewilders me no end

[This was my first post on my Rediff blog; posting it for nostalgic sake again with same date stamp!]

[edited and posted with ecto]

When I started writing for the Blogs, oncology I made a secret pact with myself: I will not indulge in self reflections, population health and certainly not write on my personal life and what it is happening to me. These were anecdotes, incidents and events of my life, and no one would be interested to read them. Honestly, I did not think I would be comfortable in baring my heart out ever. I preferred the other route- the fiction one, where I can seamlessly knit these occurrences into an imaginative story; and no is the wiser as to which is the truth and which is fiction out of that.


But within a week, I am here, penning my thoughts, expressions and reflections. So what made me change my heart? Today, I read one of the finest blogs and that made my thought waves tingling. This was a blog by Mr Ramesh Somasundaram, and is available at http://ramesh_somasundaram.rediffblogs.com. During the past one week, since the time I have been initiated into blogging, I have browsed a lot many of them: some good, some funny, some reflective, some empty, some stupid and some really shoddy; but this one was at once serious and funny; simple and complex, and a mixture of fiction and truth. Of course, that Mr Somasundaram writes in very lucid English helped a lot. I have this writing bug in me which gets activated every time I read a good piece of writing. It has happened earlier also; and at the cost of sounding immodest, I must say, that some of the stories that I have written have been quite good. Even I enjoyed reading them after a year or so, despite knowing each and every twist of the tale. But since a bright story idea eluded my poor brain, and the bug continued its insistent persistence, I decided to venture into an area which I had till now resolutely avoided. What the hell, I have also lived a full and enriching 31 years of life on this lonely( or is it not?) planet , and I have also gone through many bitter-sweet moments of upheavals and exhilirations that I think I should start sharing and not bottling them up in my 5’11” frame!!

Its said that plagiarism is the best form of flattery. Hence, I have kept the title of this blog similar to one that Mr Somasundaram does, as also the design of the blog and the first line of this blog, which is nothing but a paraphrase of a sentence which Mr Sundaram had used in one of its blogs.

I am not sure for how long I will be able to continue this blog, but I will definitely try. Perhaps, someday the rediff management will also find it appropriate enough to feature in the “Sizzling Blogs” section, though, to be honest, their criteria for selection bewilders me no end

[This was my first post on my Rediff blog; posting it for nostalgic sake again with same date stamp!]

[edited and posted with ecto]

All relationships come with an expiry date

If I am not mistaken, viagra 100mg
this is a line that I had read in one of the interviews of Pooja Bhatt. Even if it’s not her original quote, rehabilitation
or even if she did not say it, somewhere, and somehow, I have always attributed this line to her. I am not too fond of Pooja Bhatt as an actor, but I am definitely enamored by her spunky, sprightly and absolutely sensational quotes and interviews that she gives. Whether she means them, or they are said only for effect, I cannot comment, but I have always found them meaningful and truthful; to put it crudely, she catches life’s morality from the balls.

I come back again to Mr. Ramesh Somasundaram’s blog*. In that he has questioned the mysteries of relationships in a wonderfully eloquent manner. I have gone through a few very deep but failed relationships and have not been able to unravel the mystery even by one layer of the complexities that wrap them.

But apart from the well-stated thoughts mentioned in the blog, I would like to add that if we enter each relationship with the above maxim in mind we could at least reduce the pain that accompanies most relationships, especially when they get over.

Whether we grow apart, or one of the partner dies a relationship does come back with an indelibly stamped expiry date. And like all products, if we attempt to use it after that “expiry date” we will be hurt, sad and immensely ill.

In Paap (The Sin), Pooja Bhatt’s latest film, which she has also directed, there is beautiful verbal debate between the heroine’s (Kaya) father and her lover. The father wants Kaya to renounce the world, join a monastery, because he wants to protect her from the pain of any worldly relationships going wrong; hence he wants her to forsake all such earthly desires and take the path of God. The lover retorts that we cannot stop smiling for fear of the crying; we cannot stop living for the fear of dying; we cannot stop forming relationships for the fear of losing. In fact, the desire for renouncing all desires is also just another desire. Then why should that desire be considered holy and the love that he feels for Kaya be termed as “sin”?

In another scene, the hero tells the heroine that once he leaves, he will not even look back and think about her; he wants to spend a lifetime with her; but not a lifetime with her memories and brooding over it.

This film merely asserts the maxim that all relationships come with an expiry date- so we should enjoy it while it lasts and move on when they end.

Carcasses, whether of humans, animals or emotions, always stink.

[This post was originally written in my older blog]
[*Romesh Somasundaram stopped blogging after a few months]
[re-posted with ecto]

When I started writing for the Blogs, oncology I made a secret pact with myself: I will not indulge in self reflections, population health and certainly not write on my personal life and what it is happening to me. These were anecdotes, incidents and events of my life, and no one would be interested to read them. Honestly, I did not think I would be comfortable in baring my heart out ever. I preferred the other route- the fiction one, where I can seamlessly knit these occurrences into an imaginative story; and no is the wiser as to which is the truth and which is fiction out of that.


But within a week, I am here, penning my thoughts, expressions and reflections. So what made me change my heart? Today, I read one of the finest blogs and that made my thought waves tingling. This was a blog by Mr Ramesh Somasundaram, and is available at http://ramesh_somasundaram.rediffblogs.com. During the past one week, since the time I have been initiated into blogging, I have browsed a lot many of them: some good, some funny, some reflective, some empty, some stupid and some really shoddy; but this one was at once serious and funny; simple and complex, and a mixture of fiction and truth. Of course, that Mr Somasundaram writes in very lucid English helped a lot. I have this writing bug in me which gets activated every time I read a good piece of writing. It has happened earlier also; and at the cost of sounding immodest, I must say, that some of the stories that I have written have been quite good. Even I enjoyed reading them after a year or so, despite knowing each and every twist of the tale. But since a bright story idea eluded my poor brain, and the bug continued its insistent persistence, I decided to venture into an area which I had till now resolutely avoided. What the hell, I have also lived a full and enriching 31 years of life on this lonely( or is it not?) planet , and I have also gone through many bitter-sweet moments of upheavals and exhilirations that I think I should start sharing and not bottling them up in my 5’11” frame!!

Its said that plagiarism is the best form of flattery. Hence, I have kept the title of this blog similar to one that Mr Somasundaram does, as also the design of the blog and the first line of this blog, which is nothing but a paraphrase of a sentence which Mr Sundaram had used in one of its blogs.

I am not sure for how long I will be able to continue this blog, but I will definitely try. Perhaps, someday the rediff management will also find it appropriate enough to feature in the “Sizzling Blogs” section, though, to be honest, their criteria for selection bewilders me no end

[This was my first post on my Rediff blog; posting it for nostalgic sake again with same date stamp!]

[edited and posted with ecto]

All relationships come with an expiry date

If I am not mistaken, viagra 100mg
this is a line that I had read in one of the interviews of Pooja Bhatt. Even if it’s not her original quote, rehabilitation
or even if she did not say it, somewhere, and somehow, I have always attributed this line to her. I am not too fond of Pooja Bhatt as an actor, but I am definitely enamored by her spunky, sprightly and absolutely sensational quotes and interviews that she gives. Whether she means them, or they are said only for effect, I cannot comment, but I have always found them meaningful and truthful; to put it crudely, she catches life’s morality from the balls.

I come back again to Mr. Ramesh Somasundaram’s blog*. In that he has questioned the mysteries of relationships in a wonderfully eloquent manner. I have gone through a few very deep but failed relationships and have not been able to unravel the mystery even by one layer of the complexities that wrap them.

But apart from the well-stated thoughts mentioned in the blog, I would like to add that if we enter each relationship with the above maxim in mind we could at least reduce the pain that accompanies most relationships, especially when they get over.

Whether we grow apart, or one of the partner dies a relationship does come back with an indelibly stamped expiry date. And like all products, if we attempt to use it after that “expiry date” we will be hurt, sad and immensely ill.

In Paap (The Sin), Pooja Bhatt’s latest film, which she has also directed, there is beautiful verbal debate between the heroine’s (Kaya) father and her lover. The father wants Kaya to renounce the world, join a monastery, because he wants to protect her from the pain of any worldly relationships going wrong; hence he wants her to forsake all such earthly desires and take the path of God. The lover retorts that we cannot stop smiling for fear of the crying; we cannot stop living for the fear of dying; we cannot stop forming relationships for the fear of losing. In fact, the desire for renouncing all desires is also just another desire. Then why should that desire be considered holy and the love that he feels for Kaya be termed as “sin”?

In another scene, the hero tells the heroine that once he leaves, he will not even look back and think about her; he wants to spend a lifetime with her; but not a lifetime with her memories and brooding over it.

This film merely asserts the maxim that all relationships come with an expiry date- so we should enjoy it while it lasts and move on when they end.

Carcasses, whether of humans, animals or emotions, always stink.

[This post was originally written in my older blog]
[*Romesh Somasundaram stopped blogging after a few months]
[re-posted with ecto]

Nestled within lush verdant hills of Himachal Pradesh, global burden of disease
Kasauli is a quaint little hill cantonment, ailment
built 11kms off the Main Shimla Highway, and just a two-hour drive from Chandigarh, the nearest metropolitan city.

My acquaintance with Kasauli began when I was in the tenth standard. A classmate of mine was so taken up by this station that he would regularly keep talking about it. Since, I had spent a large chunk of my childhood abroad, due to my father’s postings, I was quite ignorant of the beauties of nature present in India itself. This friend of mine gave such vivid descriptions of the place that the name Kasauli just seeped into my sub-consciousness unknowingly.

Years later, when we were finally settled in Delhi, I started exploring the hill towns of the country. Mountains have always fascinated me, and hence, it was quite evident that I should start my Discovery India with the Himalayas only. In college, whenever we decided to go out for holidays the obvious names that cropped up were Shimla, Mussoorie, Nainital or Manali. Somehow, Kasauli always got vetoed.

So during a six-year period starting from college and ending with my first job, I visited all the places mentioned above (barring Nainital; but added Mt Abu and Mahabaleshwar to my ever-growing list of visited hill stations). But it rankled me no end as to why Kasauli never featured in any one’s shortlist.

Finally, when I had taken up my second job, the chance came. A couple of friends had shifted base to their hometown Chandigarh. Hence, when I got an elongated weekend due to some God-send (literally, too) consecutive holidays on account of Ram Navami etc. This time, around, I did not let either of the two veto me out; and since, they were tight on the schedules (as the same holidays were not there in Chandigarh), they agreed for a brief two-day tour to Kasauli.

To say that I was bowled over by Kasauli would be a gross understatement. It is beautiful, untouched and extremely quiet. The entire hill station is covered over two fork-like roads, the Upper and Lower Mall, which conjoin together in a neat, small central place. The town is untouched by the crass hands of commercialization. The crowd is minimal, and consequently, the cleanliness and the quietitude are of empyreal proportions.

As a hill station, Kasauli does not offer anything dramatic in terms of sight seeing, except for a place called Monkey Point. This is a hillock, on the outskirts of the town, next to the Air Force Station. It is believed that when Lord Hanuman was returning to Lanka after procuring the Sanjivini Booti for the slain Laxmana, his feet touched this hillock. Hence, there is a small Hanuman temple at the top of the hill. After an arduous climb, as one reaches the top, the sight and the view from there is simply enthralling. Surrounded by feral mountains (even the Shimla hills are visible from here), this was truly what heaven would look like. I could almost jump and touch the clouds from here, as the cool winds playfully teased me.

Another beautiful place is what the locals have termed as “Lover’s Point”. It’s a small dirt track that embraces a small hillock like a lover hugging his beloved. From here one gets a vantage view of the city of Chandigarh; and at night time, from here, Chandigarh, with its symmetrical roads and lights, looks like a gargantuan runway placed by the divine for its landing.

Apart from these two Kasauli does not offer much in terms of tourist attraction.

Let me add a word of warning: this place is certainly not meant for those who rush to the hill-stations but expect the same luxuries, noise and liveliness. In fact, on my second visit I was accompanied by a friend who was more worried that he could not get Kingfisher Beer or a proper “Daal Makhani”, and ultimately found the place boring and dull.

What Kasauli offers is not a tangible source of enjoyment, but a feeling that has to be experienced by the soul, and not by the senses. The walks on the Malls, that stretch into the wilderness was my favorite activity there. You can hear each rustle of the leaves, each note of the birds, each tune of the winds, each song of the all pervading, and all encompassing silence. It is blissful peace that infuses into every pore of the body, soothing and caressing the frayed nerves tattered by the noisy city life. I sat for hours on the mountainside, looking at the green valleys below, with the sunshine stroking my distraught spirit like a mother cuddling its young one into a deep satisfying and secure sleep.

Thankfully, the place has not been marauded by the film industry also. Barring Maya Memsaab ( the Deepa Sahi starrer that had five soulful Lata Mangeshkar songs) I do not recall any other film being shot there. Even the locals talk about the shooting of the film and are obviously proud to boast of having met Shahrukh Khan, though at the time of the shooting the film he was not the star that he is now.

I look forward to visiting the place again very soon.

[This post was originally written in my older blog]
[Since then, I have not been able to go to Kasauli- DJ, April 2006]
[Reposted with ecto]

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, order decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, page physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, dysentery and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

From Mukesh’s soul-stirring (and melodious) Zinda hoon iss tarah to Shibani Kashyap’s guttural scream (and off key) Zinda hoon main, one Health
Hindi film music has come a long way; and so have its noir heroes. From Raj Kapoor’s humorously dark but essentially tracing roots in light, order
bumbling tramp to Sanjay Gupta’s nether-conceptualised Armani- wearing sinister baddies is another journey that Bollywood has taken. 

I would have given Zinda a complete miss had it not been the only film playing in nearly all top Kathmandu cinema-halls. Family, hospital
the other release, and my own choice, has not made its way here yet. To give Gupta his due credit, Zinda is perhaps his most cohesive and steadfast narrative to date. I wouldn’t go overboard as some critics have done in lauding about ‘realism’ because that is still truly not fully present here, though I can understand where they come from. But yes, there is a sense of starkness and throat-grabbing urgency that is, if not appealing, but certainly very attention-focussing. 

Another relief is that the film has nothing to do with mafia, dons, cons or heists – a marked change in Gupta's subject choice! The tale hangs around an ordinary citizen, which also makes it forceful giving just that tantalising realistic tickle – what if it happens to normal people like you and I?

The story (picked up from whichever English/Far East DVD) is pretty enticing. Balajeet Roy (Sanjay Dutt) has everything going for him – a plush job in top software Bangkok company, a loving wife and a caring friend. One day it all collapses. He is taken captive. For 14-years he spends his life in a solitary cell, fed on fried wantons with just a television for company.  Yet, his captor will not allow him to die or go insane – and releases him after 14 years for a purpose.
Roy traces his captor, but more than that he needs to find out why he was chosen for this exemplary punishment. 

The film’s strength is its pace – not jerky, yet not lacking. Gupta and his co-scriptwriter weave in all essential details beautifully in dialogues, something that I have always found interesting in Barjatya or Yash Chopra films. Of course, he has his eye on the ‘interior’ market (though such films don’t work there) which makes him spell out somethings that could have been best left unsaid. Just for an example – when Sanjay Dutt claims his first tormentor, the supplier of wantons, the death was amply conveyed; yet, Gupta gives a long pan shot of the gruesome dead body – not required. The impact is severely lost! 

Certain details in their gory stomach-throwing details might not find viewership acquiescence; but they do provide a taut vicarious thrill, and I guess that’s what Gupta aimed for. A word of caution – avoid taking in your pop-corn pre-interval! 

Shot in nearly black-and-white hues, the film’s cinematography is first-rate. The background score elevates the sequences several notches. And Sanjay Dutt, though not really appearing an emaciapated victim fed on just fried wantons for fourteen years, gives a superb performance. 

However, where Gupta falters horrendously are the solitary confinement sequences. Those were the film’s soul. But somehow the tension and morbidity of living alone just doesn’t come across, and the audience is uninvolved. That entire portion needed more padding up. Plus, a bit of realism when Dutt finally walks out to freedom would have made the film wholesome. I don’t think any one who has been fourteen years in captivity will walk the walk Dutt does! If length was a problem, Gupta could have cut out the gore! 

I wouldn’t say the climax is a let down, because the tension of knowing ‘the why’ is so strong by then that any motive would have felt short of the build-up. But yes, perhaps a better justification there could have helped. 

John Abraham is a wrong choice. The menace is too-contrived to hold weight. His habit of pursing his lips after every sentence is irritating – as if he is having a sore chin after a close-shave there. Lara Dutt provides glamour, and quite adequately. Celina Jeitly is as wooden as ever in her two-minute appearance. Mahesh Manjrekar is thankfully considerably reigned in. 

The music is all used in typical Hollywood fashion; the theme song by Strings has been on air for sometime. Again, like in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena, I will desist making any further comments on it. 

Though he does not give up making his heroes walk that Marlboro-advertisement inspired swagger, to sum up, I would rate Zinda as a big leap forward by Sanjay Gupta from his previous disasters. This one surely has more meat, and can be easily watched. The biggest compliment: it does not bore! Also, the running time is pretty narrow, and that helps too. 

Overall: Worth a view once.

UPDATE : Also saw KALYUG – Kaushi has done a superb review and covered whatever I had to say. Please click here for the same. My overall rating is same as hers : Worth viewing

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

I admit I am not too well versed in Kalpana Lajmi’s cinema, this web
and haven’t watched any of her films barring the refreshingly honest Ek Pal. My association with her is restricted to Lata Mangeshkar’s extremely eloquent ‘Dil Hoom Hoom Kare’ from Rudaali. Hence, sick
I approached Chingaari with an open mind, and to say it left me cold is a major understatement. 

Chingaari is one of those B-and-C-grade films masquerading as an art film. It is a puerile and pathetic piece of cinema that has neither the content nor flow to captivate audiences. It seems Lajmi’s intention was to shock and sensationalise the audience without any care for aesthetics or form. 

The story is set in a typical North Indian village, Rangpur which has a designated red light area called Lal Batti (how unimaginative!). The gullible villagers are firmly held in tight clutches of the evil head-priest Bhuvan Panda (Mithun Chakraborty), who abuses his authority for own selfish motives. He keeps them involved in meaningless religious mumbo-jumbos instigating fear in their heart to retain his superiority over them. He uses illogical rites like making a naked virgin girl sit on his lap, while he places himself over a corpse, in order to exorcise the dead man’s evil spirit! Even though he berates prostitutes, resorting to physical and verbal abuse even if they so much as touch the Goddess’ idol inadvertently, still he has no qualms in spending the nights at their place – practicing wild, kinky and sadist sex! 

One such prostitute is Basanti (Sushmita Sen), who lives with her daughter Titli, and ekes out her living in that deplorable condition. 

In this murky environment enters the fresh, educated and young postman Chandan Mishra (Anuj Sawhney). Like any villager postman, he not only delivers letters, but reads them out and writes for them, and in a sense he becomes a confidante, friend and mentor to them. An unstated, muted and sublime love develops between Chadan and Basanti, cemented by his affection for the latter’s fatherless daughter! He also instigates revolt against Bhuvan Panda. 

No doubt the love story between the postman and the prostitute (incidentally, the film’s original title as well) is good, and could have been a classy saga of romance, sacrifice and valor. Unfortunately, Lajmi seems to have seen too many Neha Dhupia flicks of late, hence it ends up being a loud, crass and disgusting melodrama. 

The narrative moves in jerks and fits, and the screenplay is shoddy. There is no continuum in the movement, and several unwanted scenes are repetitive or too lengthy for comfort; the running time is also inordinately long; looks as if the editor just did not know his job. Sequences where the prostitutes are interacting are gross. Sushmita’s introduction scene where she instigates two colleagues fighting over a customer and urges them to use words like ‘randi’ and ‘chinaal’ is horrible. 

The dialogues are crappy, peppered liberally with obscenities and profanities and are written only to evoke shock value. The climax is hilarious – Sushmita goes to the village temple with her hair flying wild, drums beating and picks up a trishul and kills Bhuvan Panda – it’s straight from those forgettable mid-eighties dacoit/revenge dramas that had infested Bollywood that time! 

Production value is shoddy and camera work is tacky. The music (by Adesh Srivastava) is nothing to write home (or anywhere) about. 

Sushmita Sen gives a relatively good performance, though she appears too urban to pass off as a rustic prostitute convincingly. Anuj Sawhney is adequate. But Mithun Chakraborty is too tired and haggard! Ila Arun, as the red light area’s head-madame, is ok. 

The film does nothing to sensitize against the prostitute’s plight; nor does it help to lay spotlight on interior
India’s woeful condition. In the end, it’s not even good cinema. This chingaari fizzles out without lighting any fire. I hope Lajmi drops the ‘neice of Guru Dutt’ tag for the time being till she returns with a more meaningful and involving film! 

Overall: Avoid

Side Notes 

While on prostitutes, I read the following somewhere: during the shoot of Kalyug abroad, Deepal Shaw was mistaken for a whore by another one from the tribe there! Despite liking Shaw in that film, my overall impression of her is that – to put it very bluntly – she looks like a slut! Her music videos are largely responsible for giving that image. In the write-up that I read, Shaw narrated this incident with obvious glee. I don’t know about her, but if I were in her place, I would have taken serious offence and not publicize this fact and, more importantly, do some serious introspection! 

Secondly, who is that goddamn singer who has screeched ‘Aa darr ke marr’ from Darna Zaroori Hai! It’s the most irritating, grating and awful voice I have heard in recent times. If the brief given to her was to sound sexy and scary at the same time, she has got it widely wrong! Why does Ram Gopal Verma waste money and time in recording songs which no one is going to buy? Stardust (April 2006) carries a piece on Verma’s deteriorating position in the industry. Though Stardust in itself is a gossip magazine, but still some facts are true and cannot be ignored – his films (except Sarkar) have all flopped, his proteges are deserting him and his financers are distancing themselves. 

Hope Darna Zaroori Hai bails him out. I liked the first part (Darna Marna Hai) and am eagerly awaiting the release of the second one now!

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

Music That Entices!

While the nation looses control over Rahman’s frothy Rang De Basanti score, sickness
his quiet and serene Water languishes away in oblivion. I am not a Rahman fan, overweight
but his few scores have really made an impact with me. Dil Se, buy more about
Zubeidaa, Pukar, One Two Ka Four, Bombay
and Lagaan are my favorites. A point to note – all the above are prior to his current phase where the stress seems to be more on beats, rhythms and sounds than tunes. So, listening to Water came as a very pleasant surprise; till the time I read somewhere that Rahman’s music for Water was scored way back in 2000. 

Anyways, whenever Rahman recorded these songs, they are beautiful! 

The music is very delicate, like a dew drop; as if touching it would soil its purity. At other times, it’s like a soft drizzle which sends a thrilling shiver down the spine. Instruments are used minimally. You can switch off the light, put on Water’s music, and soak yourself in sheer melodies – extremely relaxing, that’s what Water is! 

My favorite number – and I heard it five times on repeat mode after the first hearing – is ‘Piya Ho’ sung by Sadhna Sargam and Sukhwinder. There is this subtle rhythm which keeps flowing in the background, and a tune which cascades in its own curves in an unhurried pace; and over this Rahman places some riveting flute pieces so softly as if he is placing an expensive crystal over rich velvet – but then, that’s what this song is – bright as a crystal, soft as velvet! And it’s the tune which holds attention and not just sounds; a strong harkback to the old era of music. Oh yes, I have to mention the chorus which trails after the mukhda; it’s like a soft breeze which ripples over the tranquil river waters! If I am allowed to make one wish on this score, I would have loved to hear Lata Mangeshkar in this number!

Continuing the same mode, but switching theme to Meera’s unfulfilled love, is ‘Naina Neer Bahaye Mujh Birhan Ka Dil Saajan Sang Jhoom Jhoom Gaaye’ – quite similar to ‘Piya Ho’ but has a distinct rhythm and melody. Once again the able Sadhna Sargam at the mic, but this time she is solo. ‘Prem toh hai gangaajal jisme vish amrit bann jaaye’ writes new lyricist Raqeeb Alam. The song encapstulates unadulterated love, alongwith it’s underlying pathos. 

Sukhwinder returns, but with a trifle increased tempo in ‘Aayo re sajan sakhi’ – earlier I felt it resembled Sukhwinder’s own Kisna title song. But as the song progresses the difference is stark. In this number Sadhna Sargam joins Sukhwinder from mid-way. A lovely use of Indian instruments like santoor embellishes the song . The song is like the royal sea's tide washing over an expansive beach.

With these three songs itself, the album can be called a dizzying exponent of high-quality sweet music. But there are three more tracks remaining – like the silver vark on tasteful barfi

This album is definitely Sukhwinder’s crowning glory. Listen to him in yet another Lord Krishna-theme-based semi-classical song Bangri marori saiyan ne meri. I love the way the tune takes a sharp upward curve at the line ‘Radha ke gal-dori’

The next exquisite track is ‘MoheShaam rang de’ – a Holi number. This is a full-fledged masti song and the heart dances as the singers throw up a vocal flourish with ‘bajale zaraa dhol zor se’. The rang-bhang ka mausam is right at our doorstep now, and this number should be right up there – and it is such a relief after Rahman’s own horrible Holi number in Mangal Pande. This time the singers are Richa Sharma, Naqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya – and they create an ocean of riotous merry making with their voices. 

The last track is the famous Gandhian bhajan- Vaishnav Jan To sung by Kaushaki Chakraborty. This is a bhajan immortalized by Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition in the bumper hit album Ram Rattan Dhan Paayo. Rahman moves away a bit from the basic framework, and manages quite well overall. My bias will remain for Lataji’s version! 

Yes, this is not the score that will be played at parties and discos. But the difference lies exactly there – it does not set your foot tapping, but your head swaying in its lyrical rhythm. And it makes a place permanently in the heart. This is A R Rahman’s very best in recent times. 

Do grab it as soon as possible – and while you go to buy it, I will return to have another hear of ‘Piya ho’

Overall: Not to be missed; A Must Buy

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

Music That Entices!

While the nation looses control over Rahman’s frothy Rang De Basanti score, sickness
his quiet and serene Water languishes away in oblivion. I am not a Rahman fan, overweight
but his few scores have really made an impact with me. Dil Se, buy more about
Zubeidaa, Pukar, One Two Ka Four, Bombay
and Lagaan are my favorites. A point to note – all the above are prior to his current phase where the stress seems to be more on beats, rhythms and sounds than tunes. So, listening to Water came as a very pleasant surprise; till the time I read somewhere that Rahman’s music for Water was scored way back in 2000. 

Anyways, whenever Rahman recorded these songs, they are beautiful! 

The music is very delicate, like a dew drop; as if touching it would soil its purity. At other times, it’s like a soft drizzle which sends a thrilling shiver down the spine. Instruments are used minimally. You can switch off the light, put on Water’s music, and soak yourself in sheer melodies – extremely relaxing, that’s what Water is! 

My favorite number – and I heard it five times on repeat mode after the first hearing – is ‘Piya Ho’ sung by Sadhna Sargam and Sukhwinder. There is this subtle rhythm which keeps flowing in the background, and a tune which cascades in its own curves in an unhurried pace; and over this Rahman places some riveting flute pieces so softly as if he is placing an expensive crystal over rich velvet – but then, that’s what this song is – bright as a crystal, soft as velvet! And it’s the tune which holds attention and not just sounds; a strong harkback to the old era of music. Oh yes, I have to mention the chorus which trails after the mukhda; it’s like a soft breeze which ripples over the tranquil river waters! If I am allowed to make one wish on this score, I would have loved to hear Lata Mangeshkar in this number!

Continuing the same mode, but switching theme to Meera’s unfulfilled love, is ‘Naina Neer Bahaye Mujh Birhan Ka Dil Saajan Sang Jhoom Jhoom Gaaye’ – quite similar to ‘Piya Ho’ but has a distinct rhythm and melody. Once again the able Sadhna Sargam at the mic, but this time she is solo. ‘Prem toh hai gangaajal jisme vish amrit bann jaaye’ writes new lyricist Raqeeb Alam. The song encapstulates unadulterated love, alongwith it’s underlying pathos. 

Sukhwinder returns, but with a trifle increased tempo in ‘Aayo re sajan sakhi’ – earlier I felt it resembled Sukhwinder’s own Kisna title song. But as the song progresses the difference is stark. In this number Sadhna Sargam joins Sukhwinder from mid-way. A lovely use of Indian instruments like santoor embellishes the song . The song is like the royal sea's tide washing over an expansive beach.

With these three songs itself, the album can be called a dizzying exponent of high-quality sweet music. But there are three more tracks remaining – like the silver vark on tasteful barfi

This album is definitely Sukhwinder’s crowning glory. Listen to him in yet another Lord Krishna-theme-based semi-classical song Bangri marori saiyan ne meri. I love the way the tune takes a sharp upward curve at the line ‘Radha ke gal-dori’

The next exquisite track is ‘MoheShaam rang de’ – a Holi number. This is a full-fledged masti song and the heart dances as the singers throw up a vocal flourish with ‘bajale zaraa dhol zor se’. The rang-bhang ka mausam is right at our doorstep now, and this number should be right up there – and it is such a relief after Rahman’s own horrible Holi number in Mangal Pande. This time the singers are Richa Sharma, Naqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya – and they create an ocean of riotous merry making with their voices. 

The last track is the famous Gandhian bhajan- Vaishnav Jan To sung by Kaushaki Chakraborty. This is a bhajan immortalized by Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition in the bumper hit album Ram Rattan Dhan Paayo. Rahman moves away a bit from the basic framework, and manages quite well overall. My bias will remain for Lataji’s version! 

Yes, this is not the score that will be played at parties and discos. But the difference lies exactly there – it does not set your foot tapping, but your head swaying in its lyrical rhythm. And it makes a place permanently in the heart. This is A R Rahman’s very best in recent times. 

Do grab it as soon as possible – and while you go to buy it, I will return to have another hear of ‘Piya ho’

Overall: Not to be missed; A Must Buy
This review was written the same day I saw the film, dermatologist
which was on 4th February. But seeing the overwhelmingly
positive reactions for the film didn’t have heart to publish it. Till the time I told Anubha about its existence. She reprimanded me for not putting it up and reminded me that on my blog I had complete right to write whatever I felt. True, help
perhaps I have been playing to the gallery quite a lot, visit this
and taking ‘the popular’ tag a bit too seriously than warranted. Thanks Anubha for the reality check! 

Blame it on the huge expectation – but fact is I found Rang De Basanti just about ok, a different film, but just about that. Somehow it couldn’t involve me into its narration. There were too many incoherent details which left me cold – some were minor quibbles regarding Delhi’s depiction: why the hell did Sonia (Soha Ali) take Sue via Red Fort if they were going to University from Delhi Airport?  There is a much shorter and convenient route! And then, that was clearly not anywhere close to Delhi University for sure! It was India Habitat Center passed off as DU! 

Even though Rakeysh Mehra struggles to deploy a conventional story telling format, he is unable to fully discard the now-standard jump-cuts and fast-track editing styles; at few crucial points these neo-modern techniques crop up horrifyingly. The post-interval lathi charge scene is one prime example. Instead of gripping the audience in a tight-fist and knocking a solid punch, he shows a collage alternating between slow-motion and hazy movements with a dull song in the background. The entire sequence’s steam, whose build-up begins with Ajay Rathod’s death, dissipates away like a pressure cooker rudely taken off the burner! 

The transformation of youth doesn’t come around neatly. I kept thinking of Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Swades, and how he had handled Mohan Bhargav’s transition smoothly! Here, it is erratic and abrupt. Also, in Swades the awakening is not linked to personal tragedy, making it more sublime. Here it seems more like those eighties personal vendetta film wearing a neo-modern cloak! 

The story is interesting – but the climax is very shoddy: it takes away the entire thrust of the film’s message. Here, I am not talking about the defence minister’s too-easy-to-be-true murder, which can be accorded to the director’s creative license. But it’s the death of all protagonists which I could not digest. Does the maker want to tell the youth that if they have to do something for the country they will necessarily be killed? And does it really make the nation rise in protest? Except for a few shots of some students talking to NDTV, which sounded like a storm in a teacup and extremely unconvincing, the film-maker remains stunningly silent on their action’s impact. To me, their sacrifice looked futile. Plus, where did the Commandos come from? And why? 

Agreed that Rakeysh Mehra wanted to draw a parallel to Bhagat Singh et al, but shouldn’t the climax have moved away to show the difference of the eras and of the youth, then and now! I feel an intelligent comparison need not be hundred percent overlapping – though the rising could be compared but the end needed much brain which was definitely not put to use. A mature writer draws parallel, brings them to a crossroad, but from there takes it to a separate and higher denouement.  And this is where the film fails, and the reason why it couldn’t touch me at all. 

Another fact which irked me was Sue’s character – did Mehra really have to use a foreigner to awaken youth-conscience and youth conscious? Is this some surreptitious handshake with old British ideology that ‘it is always white man’s burden’ to take care of Indians? Sorry, Mehra – an upright Indian NGO worker could have made the point more clear and driven home the fact more scathingly – and if Mehra feels that such people don’t exist, sorry he needs to open his wider! 

On the plus side – the film gives ample space to every character though it could have incorporated a bit on Soha Ali and Sharman Joshi’s background/home as well. 
Performance-wise the film is a topper – Soha Ali is a huge revelation especially after her wooden acting in Dil Maange More. She slips into her character’s skin effortlessly. Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor and Atul Kulkarni live their part with aplomb. Siddharth, who gets maximum footage amongst the supporting cast, is a delight to watch, especially his voice modulation was impeccable (not sure if he has done the dubbing himself!). Alice Patten, with her cute night-class Hindi, is sweet and understated. Madhavan shines in his guest appearance. 

But the mother of all performances is given by veteran Waheeda Rahman in her brief but strong role as Ajay’s mother. In one scene, after her son’s death, she is shown walking towards the door – her back is towards the camera, yet her entire body language, the minor tremor, the slight limp as she walks shows a seasoned actor at work! It’s a one small shot, where she is not even facing the camera – yet, she literally walks away with all accolades! 

There are some smaller but solid parts – Om Puri, Kirron Kher and Anupam Kher who do their bit fabulously. 

AR Rahman’s music is good in parts, though his background score was lacking – the odd sound during Jallianwala Bagh sequence was probably meant to stir hearts, but it shook the ears more! Lata Mangeshkar’s Lukka Chhupi Bahut Hui brings a lump, and that entire sequence is very well handled (though a personal grouse will remain for editing a bulk of Lataji’s portion). Of the other songs, Mohe mohe tu rang de basanti, Paathshaala and Tu bin bataye are ok. In ‘Mohe mohe’ Mehra picks up a few leaves from Yash Chopra’s films and shows flowing mustard fields and pulsating Punjab in satiated sway – given a choice, I’d prefer the tranquil pace of ‘Aisa des hai mera’ from Veer Zaara

I understand the film is doing very well, and I have only read praise for it – perhaps, I am getting old to enjoy these ‘youthful’ films, but once again I would leave by mentioning Swades – the patriotism, the inner journey presented in that film was far superior to RDB’s graffiti-like  cocktail! 

Overall: Above average

Also check out: Saba's brilliant review of the same film

When I started writing for the Blogs, oncology I made a secret pact with myself: I will not indulge in self reflections, population health and certainly not write on my personal life and what it is happening to me. These were anecdotes, incidents and events of my life, and no one would be interested to read them. Honestly, I did not think I would be comfortable in baring my heart out ever. I preferred the other route- the fiction one, where I can seamlessly knit these occurrences into an imaginative story; and no is the wiser as to which is the truth and which is fiction out of that.


But within a week, I am here, penning my thoughts, expressions and reflections. So what made me change my heart? Today, I read one of the finest blogs and that made my thought waves tingling. This was a blog by Mr Ramesh Somasundaram, and is available at http://ramesh_somasundaram.rediffblogs.com. During the past one week, since the time I have been initiated into blogging, I have browsed a lot many of them: some good, some funny, some reflective, some empty, some stupid and some really shoddy; but this one was at once serious and funny; simple and complex, and a mixture of fiction and truth. Of course, that Mr Somasundaram writes in very lucid English helped a lot. I have this writing bug in me which gets activated every time I read a good piece of writing. It has happened earlier also; and at the cost of sounding immodest, I must say, that some of the stories that I have written have been quite good. Even I enjoyed reading them after a year or so, despite knowing each and every twist of the tale. But since a bright story idea eluded my poor brain, and the bug continued its insistent persistence, I decided to venture into an area which I had till now resolutely avoided. What the hell, I have also lived a full and enriching 31 years of life on this lonely( or is it not?) planet , and I have also gone through many bitter-sweet moments of upheavals and exhilirations that I think I should start sharing and not bottling them up in my 5’11” frame!!

Its said that plagiarism is the best form of flattery. Hence, I have kept the title of this blog similar to one that Mr Somasundaram does, as also the design of the blog and the first line of this blog, which is nothing but a paraphrase of a sentence which Mr Sundaram had used in one of its blogs.

I am not sure for how long I will be able to continue this blog, but I will definitely try. Perhaps, someday the rediff management will also find it appropriate enough to feature in the “Sizzling Blogs” section, though, to be honest, their criteria for selection bewilders me no end

[This was my first post on my Rediff blog; posting it for nostalgic sake again with same date stamp!]

[edited and posted with ecto]

When I started writing for the Blogs, oncology I made a secret pact with myself: I will not indulge in self reflections, population health and certainly not write on my personal life and what it is happening to me. These were anecdotes, incidents and events of my life, and no one would be interested to read them. Honestly, I did not think I would be comfortable in baring my heart out ever. I preferred the other route- the fiction one, where I can seamlessly knit these occurrences into an imaginative story; and no is the wiser as to which is the truth and which is fiction out of that.


But within a week, I am here, penning my thoughts, expressions and reflections. So what made me change my heart? Today, I read one of the finest blogs and that made my thought waves tingling. This was a blog by Mr Ramesh Somasundaram, and is available at http://ramesh_somasundaram.rediffblogs.com. During the past one week, since the time I have been initiated into blogging, I have browsed a lot many of them: some good, some funny, some reflective, some empty, some stupid and some really shoddy; but this one was at once serious and funny; simple and complex, and a mixture of fiction and truth. Of course, that Mr Somasundaram writes in very lucid English helped a lot. I have this writing bug in me which gets activated every time I read a good piece of writing. It has happened earlier also; and at the cost of sounding immodest, I must say, that some of the stories that I have written have been quite good. Even I enjoyed reading them after a year or so, despite knowing each and every twist of the tale. But since a bright story idea eluded my poor brain, and the bug continued its insistent persistence, I decided to venture into an area which I had till now resolutely avoided. What the hell, I have also lived a full and enriching 31 years of life on this lonely( or is it not?) planet , and I have also gone through many bitter-sweet moments of upheavals and exhilirations that I think I should start sharing and not bottling them up in my 5’11” frame!!

Its said that plagiarism is the best form of flattery. Hence, I have kept the title of this blog similar to one that Mr Somasundaram does, as also the design of the blog and the first line of this blog, which is nothing but a paraphrase of a sentence which Mr Sundaram had used in one of its blogs.

I am not sure for how long I will be able to continue this blog, but I will definitely try. Perhaps, someday the rediff management will also find it appropriate enough to feature in the “Sizzling Blogs” section, though, to be honest, their criteria for selection bewilders me no end

[This was my first post on my Rediff blog; posting it for nostalgic sake again with same date stamp!]

[edited and posted with ecto]

All relationships come with an expiry date

If I am not mistaken, viagra 100mg
this is a line that I had read in one of the interviews of Pooja Bhatt. Even if it’s not her original quote, rehabilitation
or even if she did not say it, somewhere, and somehow, I have always attributed this line to her. I am not too fond of Pooja Bhatt as an actor, but I am definitely enamored by her spunky, sprightly and absolutely sensational quotes and interviews that she gives. Whether she means them, or they are said only for effect, I cannot comment, but I have always found them meaningful and truthful; to put it crudely, she catches life’s morality from the balls.

I come back again to Mr. Ramesh Somasundaram’s blog*. In that he has questioned the mysteries of relationships in a wonderfully eloquent manner. I have gone through a few very deep but failed relationships and have not been able to unravel the mystery even by one layer of the complexities that wrap them.

But apart from the well-stated thoughts mentioned in the blog, I would like to add that if we enter each relationship with the above maxim in mind we could at least reduce the pain that accompanies most relationships, especially when they get over.

Whether we grow apart, or one of the partner dies a relationship does come back with an indelibly stamped expiry date. And like all products, if we attempt to use it after that “expiry date” we will be hurt, sad and immensely ill.

In Paap (The Sin), Pooja Bhatt’s latest film, which she has also directed, there is beautiful verbal debate between the heroine’s (Kaya) father and her lover. The father wants Kaya to renounce the world, join a monastery, because he wants to protect her from the pain of any worldly relationships going wrong; hence he wants her to forsake all such earthly desires and take the path of God. The lover retorts that we cannot stop smiling for fear of the crying; we cannot stop living for the fear of dying; we cannot stop forming relationships for the fear of losing. In fact, the desire for renouncing all desires is also just another desire. Then why should that desire be considered holy and the love that he feels for Kaya be termed as “sin”?

In another scene, the hero tells the heroine that once he leaves, he will not even look back and think about her; he wants to spend a lifetime with her; but not a lifetime with her memories and brooding over it.

This film merely asserts the maxim that all relationships come with an expiry date- so we should enjoy it while it lasts and move on when they end.

Carcasses, whether of humans, animals or emotions, always stink.

[This post was originally written in my older blog]
[*Romesh Somasundaram stopped blogging after a few months]
[re-posted with ecto]

When I started writing for the Blogs, oncology I made a secret pact with myself: I will not indulge in self reflections, population health and certainly not write on my personal life and what it is happening to me. These were anecdotes, incidents and events of my life, and no one would be interested to read them. Honestly, I did not think I would be comfortable in baring my heart out ever. I preferred the other route- the fiction one, where I can seamlessly knit these occurrences into an imaginative story; and no is the wiser as to which is the truth and which is fiction out of that.


But within a week, I am here, penning my thoughts, expressions and reflections. So what made me change my heart? Today, I read one of the finest blogs and that made my thought waves tingling. This was a blog by Mr Ramesh Somasundaram, and is available at http://ramesh_somasundaram.rediffblogs.com. During the past one week, since the time I have been initiated into blogging, I have browsed a lot many of them: some good, some funny, some reflective, some empty, some stupid and some really shoddy; but this one was at once serious and funny; simple and complex, and a mixture of fiction and truth. Of course, that Mr Somasundaram writes in very lucid English helped a lot. I have this writing bug in me which gets activated every time I read a good piece of writing. It has happened earlier also; and at the cost of sounding immodest, I must say, that some of the stories that I have written have been quite good. Even I enjoyed reading them after a year or so, despite knowing each and every twist of the tale. But since a bright story idea eluded my poor brain, and the bug continued its insistent persistence, I decided to venture into an area which I had till now resolutely avoided. What the hell, I have also lived a full and enriching 31 years of life on this lonely( or is it not?) planet , and I have also gone through many bitter-sweet moments of upheavals and exhilirations that I think I should start sharing and not bottling them up in my 5’11” frame!!

Its said that plagiarism is the best form of flattery. Hence, I have kept the title of this blog similar to one that Mr Somasundaram does, as also the design of the blog and the first line of this blog, which is nothing but a paraphrase of a sentence which Mr Sundaram had used in one of its blogs.

I am not sure for how long I will be able to continue this blog, but I will definitely try. Perhaps, someday the rediff management will also find it appropriate enough to feature in the “Sizzling Blogs” section, though, to be honest, their criteria for selection bewilders me no end

[This was my first post on my Rediff blog; posting it for nostalgic sake again with same date stamp!]

[edited and posted with ecto]

All relationships come with an expiry date

If I am not mistaken, viagra 100mg
this is a line that I had read in one of the interviews of Pooja Bhatt. Even if it’s not her original quote, rehabilitation
or even if she did not say it, somewhere, and somehow, I have always attributed this line to her. I am not too fond of Pooja Bhatt as an actor, but I am definitely enamored by her spunky, sprightly and absolutely sensational quotes and interviews that she gives. Whether she means them, or they are said only for effect, I cannot comment, but I have always found them meaningful and truthful; to put it crudely, she catches life’s morality from the balls.

I come back again to Mr. Ramesh Somasundaram’s blog*. In that he has questioned the mysteries of relationships in a wonderfully eloquent manner. I have gone through a few very deep but failed relationships and have not been able to unravel the mystery even by one layer of the complexities that wrap them.

But apart from the well-stated thoughts mentioned in the blog, I would like to add that if we enter each relationship with the above maxim in mind we could at least reduce the pain that accompanies most relationships, especially when they get over.

Whether we grow apart, or one of the partner dies a relationship does come back with an indelibly stamped expiry date. And like all products, if we attempt to use it after that “expiry date” we will be hurt, sad and immensely ill.

In Paap (The Sin), Pooja Bhatt’s latest film, which she has also directed, there is beautiful verbal debate between the heroine’s (Kaya) father and her lover. The father wants Kaya to renounce the world, join a monastery, because he wants to protect her from the pain of any worldly relationships going wrong; hence he wants her to forsake all such earthly desires and take the path of God. The lover retorts that we cannot stop smiling for fear of the crying; we cannot stop living for the fear of dying; we cannot stop forming relationships for the fear of losing. In fact, the desire for renouncing all desires is also just another desire. Then why should that desire be considered holy and the love that he feels for Kaya be termed as “sin”?

In another scene, the hero tells the heroine that once he leaves, he will not even look back and think about her; he wants to spend a lifetime with her; but not a lifetime with her memories and brooding over it.

This film merely asserts the maxim that all relationships come with an expiry date- so we should enjoy it while it lasts and move on when they end.

Carcasses, whether of humans, animals or emotions, always stink.

[This post was originally written in my older blog]
[*Romesh Somasundaram stopped blogging after a few months]
[re-posted with ecto]

Nestled within lush verdant hills of Himachal Pradesh, global burden of disease
Kasauli is a quaint little hill cantonment, ailment
built 11kms off the Main Shimla Highway, and just a two-hour drive from Chandigarh, the nearest metropolitan city.

My acquaintance with Kasauli began when I was in the tenth standard. A classmate of mine was so taken up by this station that he would regularly keep talking about it. Since, I had spent a large chunk of my childhood abroad, due to my father’s postings, I was quite ignorant of the beauties of nature present in India itself. This friend of mine gave such vivid descriptions of the place that the name Kasauli just seeped into my sub-consciousness unknowingly.

Years later, when we were finally settled in Delhi, I started exploring the hill towns of the country. Mountains have always fascinated me, and hence, it was quite evident that I should start my Discovery India with the Himalayas only. In college, whenever we decided to go out for holidays the obvious names that cropped up were Shimla, Mussoorie, Nainital or Manali. Somehow, Kasauli always got vetoed.

So during a six-year period starting from college and ending with my first job, I visited all the places mentioned above (barring Nainital; but added Mt Abu and Mahabaleshwar to my ever-growing list of visited hill stations). But it rankled me no end as to why Kasauli never featured in any one’s shortlist.

Finally, when I had taken up my second job, the chance came. A couple of friends had shifted base to their hometown Chandigarh. Hence, when I got an elongated weekend due to some God-send (literally, too) consecutive holidays on account of Ram Navami etc. This time, around, I did not let either of the two veto me out; and since, they were tight on the schedules (as the same holidays were not there in Chandigarh), they agreed for a brief two-day tour to Kasauli.

To say that I was bowled over by Kasauli would be a gross understatement. It is beautiful, untouched and extremely quiet. The entire hill station is covered over two fork-like roads, the Upper and Lower Mall, which conjoin together in a neat, small central place. The town is untouched by the crass hands of commercialization. The crowd is minimal, and consequently, the cleanliness and the quietitude are of empyreal proportions.

As a hill station, Kasauli does not offer anything dramatic in terms of sight seeing, except for a place called Monkey Point. This is a hillock, on the outskirts of the town, next to the Air Force Station. It is believed that when Lord Hanuman was returning to Lanka after procuring the Sanjivini Booti for the slain Laxmana, his feet touched this hillock. Hence, there is a small Hanuman temple at the top of the hill. After an arduous climb, as one reaches the top, the sight and the view from there is simply enthralling. Surrounded by feral mountains (even the Shimla hills are visible from here), this was truly what heaven would look like. I could almost jump and touch the clouds from here, as the cool winds playfully teased me.

Another beautiful place is what the locals have termed as “Lover’s Point”. It’s a small dirt track that embraces a small hillock like a lover hugging his beloved. From here one gets a vantage view of the city of Chandigarh; and at night time, from here, Chandigarh, with its symmetrical roads and lights, looks like a gargantuan runway placed by the divine for its landing.

Apart from these two Kasauli does not offer much in terms of tourist attraction.

Let me add a word of warning: this place is certainly not meant for those who rush to the hill-stations but expect the same luxuries, noise and liveliness. In fact, on my second visit I was accompanied by a friend who was more worried that he could not get Kingfisher Beer or a proper “Daal Makhani”, and ultimately found the place boring and dull.

What Kasauli offers is not a tangible source of enjoyment, but a feeling that has to be experienced by the soul, and not by the senses. The walks on the Malls, that stretch into the wilderness was my favorite activity there. You can hear each rustle of the leaves, each note of the birds, each tune of the winds, each song of the all pervading, and all encompassing silence. It is blissful peace that infuses into every pore of the body, soothing and caressing the frayed nerves tattered by the noisy city life. I sat for hours on the mountainside, looking at the green valleys below, with the sunshine stroking my distraught spirit like a mother cuddling its young one into a deep satisfying and secure sleep.

Thankfully, the place has not been marauded by the film industry also. Barring Maya Memsaab ( the Deepa Sahi starrer that had five soulful Lata Mangeshkar songs) I do not recall any other film being shot there. Even the locals talk about the shooting of the film and are obviously proud to boast of having met Shahrukh Khan, though at the time of the shooting the film he was not the star that he is now.

I look forward to visiting the place again very soon.

[This post was originally written in my older blog]
[Since then, I have not been able to go to Kasauli- DJ, April 2006]
[Reposted with ecto]

When I started writing for the Blogs, oncology I made a secret pact with myself: I will not indulge in self reflections, population health and certainly not write on my personal life and what it is happening to me. These were anecdotes, incidents and events of my life, and no one would be interested to read them. Honestly, I did not think I would be comfortable in baring my heart out ever. I preferred the other route- the fiction one, where I can seamlessly knit these occurrences into an imaginative story; and no is the wiser as to which is the truth and which is fiction out of that.


But within a week, I am here, penning my thoughts, expressions and reflections. So what made me change my heart? Today, I read one of the finest blogs and that made my thought waves tingling. This was a blog by Mr Ramesh Somasundaram, and is available at http://ramesh_somasundaram.rediffblogs.com. During the past one week, since the time I have been initiated into blogging, I have browsed a lot many of them: some good, some funny, some reflective, some empty, some stupid and some really shoddy; but this one was at once serious and funny; simple and complex, and a mixture of fiction and truth. Of course, that Mr Somasundaram writes in very lucid English helped a lot. I have this writing bug in me which gets activated every time I read a good piece of writing. It has happened earlier also; and at the cost of sounding immodest, I must say, that some of the stories that I have written have been quite good. Even I enjoyed reading them after a year or so, despite knowing each and every twist of the tale. But since a bright story idea eluded my poor brain, and the bug continued its insistent persistence, I decided to venture into an area which I had till now resolutely avoided. What the hell, I have also lived a full and enriching 31 years of life on this lonely( or is it not?) planet , and I have also gone through many bitter-sweet moments of upheavals and exhilirations that I think I should start sharing and not bottling them up in my 5’11” frame!!

Its said that plagiarism is the best form of flattery. Hence, I have kept the title of this blog similar to one that Mr Somasundaram does, as also the design of the blog and the first line of this blog, which is nothing but a paraphrase of a sentence which Mr Sundaram had used in one of its blogs.

I am not sure for how long I will be able to continue this blog, but I will definitely try. Perhaps, someday the rediff management will also find it appropriate enough to feature in the “Sizzling Blogs” section, though, to be honest, their criteria for selection bewilders me no end

[This was my first post on my Rediff blog; posting it for nostalgic sake again with same date stamp!]

[edited and posted with ecto]

All relationships come with an expiry date

If I am not mistaken, viagra 100mg
this is a line that I had read in one of the interviews of Pooja Bhatt. Even if it’s not her original quote, rehabilitation
or even if she did not say it, somewhere, and somehow, I have always attributed this line to her. I am not too fond of Pooja Bhatt as an actor, but I am definitely enamored by her spunky, sprightly and absolutely sensational quotes and interviews that she gives. Whether she means them, or they are said only for effect, I cannot comment, but I have always found them meaningful and truthful; to put it crudely, she catches life’s morality from the balls.

I come back again to Mr. Ramesh Somasundaram’s blog*. In that he has questioned the mysteries of relationships in a wonderfully eloquent manner. I have gone through a few very deep but failed relationships and have not been able to unravel the mystery even by one layer of the complexities that wrap them.

But apart from the well-stated thoughts mentioned in the blog, I would like to add that if we enter each relationship with the above maxim in mind we could at least reduce the pain that accompanies most relationships, especially when they get over.

Whether we grow apart, or one of the partner dies a relationship does come back with an indelibly stamped expiry date. And like all products, if we attempt to use it after that “expiry date” we will be hurt, sad and immensely ill.

In Paap (The Sin), Pooja Bhatt’s latest film, which she has also directed, there is beautiful verbal debate between the heroine’s (Kaya) father and her lover. The father wants Kaya to renounce the world, join a monastery, because he wants to protect her from the pain of any worldly relationships going wrong; hence he wants her to forsake all such earthly desires and take the path of God. The lover retorts that we cannot stop smiling for fear of the crying; we cannot stop living for the fear of dying; we cannot stop forming relationships for the fear of losing. In fact, the desire for renouncing all desires is also just another desire. Then why should that desire be considered holy and the love that he feels for Kaya be termed as “sin”?

In another scene, the hero tells the heroine that once he leaves, he will not even look back and think about her; he wants to spend a lifetime with her; but not a lifetime with her memories and brooding over it.

This film merely asserts the maxim that all relationships come with an expiry date- so we should enjoy it while it lasts and move on when they end.

Carcasses, whether of humans, animals or emotions, always stink.

[This post was originally written in my older blog]
[*Romesh Somasundaram stopped blogging after a few months]
[re-posted with ecto]

Nestled within lush verdant hills of Himachal Pradesh, global burden of disease
Kasauli is a quaint little hill cantonment, ailment
built 11kms off the Main Shimla Highway, and just a two-hour drive from Chandigarh, the nearest metropolitan city.

My acquaintance with Kasauli began when I was in the tenth standard. A classmate of mine was so taken up by this station that he would regularly keep talking about it. Since, I had spent a large chunk of my childhood abroad, due to my father’s postings, I was quite ignorant of the beauties of nature present in India itself. This friend of mine gave such vivid descriptions of the place that the name Kasauli just seeped into my sub-consciousness unknowingly.

Years later, when we were finally settled in Delhi, I started exploring the hill towns of the country. Mountains have always fascinated me, and hence, it was quite evident that I should start my Discovery India with the Himalayas only. In college, whenever we decided to go out for holidays the obvious names that cropped up were Shimla, Mussoorie, Nainital or Manali. Somehow, Kasauli always got vetoed.

So during a six-year period starting from college and ending with my first job, I visited all the places mentioned above (barring Nainital; but added Mt Abu and Mahabaleshwar to my ever-growing list of visited hill stations). But it rankled me no end as to why Kasauli never featured in any one’s shortlist.

Finally, when I had taken up my second job, the chance came. A couple of friends had shifted base to their hometown Chandigarh. Hence, when I got an elongated weekend due to some God-send (literally, too) consecutive holidays on account of Ram Navami etc. This time, around, I did not let either of the two veto me out; and since, they were tight on the schedules (as the same holidays were not there in Chandigarh), they agreed for a brief two-day tour to Kasauli.

To say that I was bowled over by Kasauli would be a gross understatement. It is beautiful, untouched and extremely quiet. The entire hill station is covered over two fork-like roads, the Upper and Lower Mall, which conjoin together in a neat, small central place. The town is untouched by the crass hands of commercialization. The crowd is minimal, and consequently, the cleanliness and the quietitude are of empyreal proportions.

As a hill station, Kasauli does not offer anything dramatic in terms of sight seeing, except for a place called Monkey Point. This is a hillock, on the outskirts of the town, next to the Air Force Station. It is believed that when Lord Hanuman was returning to Lanka after procuring the Sanjivini Booti for the slain Laxmana, his feet touched this hillock. Hence, there is a small Hanuman temple at the top of the hill. After an arduous climb, as one reaches the top, the sight and the view from there is simply enthralling. Surrounded by feral mountains (even the Shimla hills are visible from here), this was truly what heaven would look like. I could almost jump and touch the clouds from here, as the cool winds playfully teased me.

Another beautiful place is what the locals have termed as “Lover’s Point”. It’s a small dirt track that embraces a small hillock like a lover hugging his beloved. From here one gets a vantage view of the city of Chandigarh; and at night time, from here, Chandigarh, with its symmetrical roads and lights, looks like a gargantuan runway placed by the divine for its landing.

Apart from these two Kasauli does not offer much in terms of tourist attraction.

Let me add a word of warning: this place is certainly not meant for those who rush to the hill-stations but expect the same luxuries, noise and liveliness. In fact, on my second visit I was accompanied by a friend who was more worried that he could not get Kingfisher Beer or a proper “Daal Makhani”, and ultimately found the place boring and dull.

What Kasauli offers is not a tangible source of enjoyment, but a feeling that has to be experienced by the soul, and not by the senses. The walks on the Malls, that stretch into the wilderness was my favorite activity there. You can hear each rustle of the leaves, each note of the birds, each tune of the winds, each song of the all pervading, and all encompassing silence. It is blissful peace that infuses into every pore of the body, soothing and caressing the frayed nerves tattered by the noisy city life. I sat for hours on the mountainside, looking at the green valleys below, with the sunshine stroking my distraught spirit like a mother cuddling its young one into a deep satisfying and secure sleep.

Thankfully, the place has not been marauded by the film industry also. Barring Maya Memsaab ( the Deepa Sahi starrer that had five soulful Lata Mangeshkar songs) I do not recall any other film being shot there. Even the locals talk about the shooting of the film and are obviously proud to boast of having met Shahrukh Khan, though at the time of the shooting the film he was not the star that he is now.

I look forward to visiting the place again very soon.

[This post was originally written in my older blog]
[Since then, I have not been able to go to Kasauli- DJ, April 2006]
[Reposted with ecto]

The state of Rajasthan presents a delightful collage of vibrant colors. From the greens of Bharatpur to the pink of Jaipur to the ochre of the deserts, help
this state should be nominated as God’s own palette.

An opportunity to traverse a small slice of this rustic and splendid state presented to me yesterday. Traveling in the sturdy Ford Endeavor, we were three of us, who started the tour from Behror, a small, mid-way village between Delhi and Jaipur. From there on, we broke off civilization and the highway to course our way through ill-constructed and bumpy road towards Alwar, a town famous for its ‘maava’, a milk product.


The rains have finally opened their abundant baggage on the thirsty fields, which sway with fulsome pleasure in their dark greenery. The dotted road that cuts through the greens has not seen a proper renovation in years. Instead, the municipal corporation has fixed it in patches, resembling a beggar’s tattered dress, with black, fresh tar, sewn over the broken areas.

Like teenager’s acne, Alwar suddenly erupts out of the highway (or whatever that patchy road was). Resembling any other small town on important roots, this town also has a string of tyre, automotive spare parts and tractor shops. Shops line up like errant and ill-disciplined school children in an assembly hall, forming an irregular line. They are all small, with tin boards proclaiming their trade and shuttered. Some enterprising brand names have wormed their way in here, obviously, sensing the potential of C-class cities. We bump our way through the entire stretch of the town, passing through a couple of ‘important’ squares, and roundabouts. One such, turning to the left, leads us to the railway station, beyond which is a small outskirts village of Manduska, our object of visit here.

Manduska is much smaller than Alwar, not exactly a typical village, like Tatarpur, which we had crossed just before entering Alwar. Dusty roads, tiny shops, rickshaws, mud and people in penury greet us here.

In Rajasthan, history is there on your face, assertive and dominant. One just cannot ignore it, for the entire landscape is punctuated with forts and castles- some taken care of by the government (or the surviving generations of the royalty), others left to perish with their arcane tales buried between the solid rocks. One can only guess and imagine the purpose of a lone structure standing desolately overlooking the sprawling highway. The mountains few and far between (another of nature’s mysterious surprises of this land) are brown and dusty and dry and bear the burdens of age and barrenness. Again, they are not consistent, with their presence coming in spurts and fits. Brown, ochre and yellow are the most dominant colors of this bucolic terrain.

After Alwar, our journey brought us to many such villages, no need to list all of them- of these the most prominent was Deeg, which again has a fort, and an accompanying lake. Deeg, unfortunately, apart from its past splendor, has a more recent and current story of power, murder and conceit running through its veins. Deeg runs through a part rocky, part sandy arterial narrow road, concealing much more behind those tin-roofed kiosks and shops.

Our last stop on this route is Bharatpur- famous and well identified on the tourist map for its Bird Sanctuary. But before we reached there we had a funny misfortune. Having not taken lunch en route, we were famished by late afternoon. An alluring signboard of a sort of resort beckoned us in its inviting bright brown colors. It was two kilometers from the highway, on a small dirt track, that ended up in a small mud village, with a kind of fort looming ominously over it. The entrance to the fort was through a steep climb; even the otherwise healthy Endeavor heaved through the gradient. The fort was indeed very ominous, made of solid stone, and a huge iron gate. It looked a bit too run down to be a inhabited, thought the signboard had clearly proclaimed it to be a resort. On inspection, and our call, a dour waiter produced itself. Lunch milega, we asked expectantly. His incredulous reply was, sorry; no…you do not have a booking for lunch. With our jaws dropped, we stared at him in dumb incredulity. Booking? For Lunch? Amazing, no!

A peep into the fort confirmed our worst fears…we had pushed our luck a bit too far. The place was in ruins; I doubt any one ever came there. The setting was perfect for a shoot of a horror film.

And now on to Bharatpur…Due to the presence of the sanctuary several hotels have sprung up around it to cater to the tourist who would like to stay there overnight (Otherwise, most prefer to make it a day trip, since its 180 kms from Jaipur and only 58 kms from Agra). As in all such tourist destinations, these hotels come in all sizes and shapes and with exotic names like Bird’s Inn, Crane Crib and Peacock Hotel, etc (obviously keeping in mind the sanctuary).

During our search for a suitable place to spend the night there, we stumble upon the most unbelievable, the most unusual and the most pathetic sights of all times- at least none of us could believe our eyes, and none of us had seen it before this day…on the road to Jaipur, just a few kilometers away from the sanctuary, there is actually an open-air brothel! A few meters are lined up with huts and shanties, on both sides, and girls stand on the roadside inviting customers. The girls are decked up in loud and vulgar dresses (a cheap red color being the most favorite), with heavy red lipstick, chalky powder on the face, and a sweet, alluring but false smile on their lips, waving and calling the passing cars. Worse, this seems to be their acknowledged way of living, for routine life goes on around them as usual- old men are sitting on the cots, sleeping (drunk?) and elderly women are chatting or making dinner, or filling water, or removing lice from another’s hair; in short, remove the girls standing there, it is just another a mini-slum that one can even see in the cities now on small roadsides or alleys. It is open prostitution with a stamp of approval from their immediate society. I pity the plight of the girls born in this society (some do not look any older than thirteen years), sucked into this obscene trade for no fault of theirs, and also getting a sanction for doing so by what seemed to be their own family and relatives. If this is real India, then it certainly is not shining. I believe these girls sell their flesh for as low as five hundred rupees.

As we cross the place, my eye catches hold of an obviously more elderly lady sitting on a cot, but also in that same bright red make up. Age and men have already done their rampage on her. Yet, she invites, with her saree pallu dropped down in a futile attempt to look more sexy…but its her eyes that tell all: desperation (to get a client), hope (to get some money) and prayer (to sleep with a tummy full) all rolled together and pasted on her frustratingly facile façade. Our eyes meet, and she makes one last attempt, before I move forward in the car; I have turn back in my seat to see her; her eyes have drooped in sadness…was that a sigh that escaped her horrifyingly red lips?

(We stayed the night in Bharatpur; the next day we left for Jaipur, stopping midway at a few other villages and towns like Dausa, Sikandara- famous for its fine handiwork on soft stone- and Mahua. This journey was quite similar to the one described above, as the landscape did not change much. The Bharatpur-Jaipur highway is no better, and it was a bumpy ride again. On our way, also saw two Jackie Chan films on the VCD of the Endeavor: Thunderbolt and Spanish Connection. While the former was a bit too much of action for me to digest, the latter was quite interesting and resembled those good old sixties movies of Bollywood- with just the right dose of action, and the requisite dash of comedy and romance. Apart from this, the driver was considerate enough to play some beautiful Lata Mangeshkar numbers).

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, order decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, page physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, dysentery and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

Keeping Random Expressions away from Lata Mangeshkar is a sin that this blog and its owner object to strongly. Hence, decease this post is on yet another mesmerizing melody that touches the Queen’s lips and becomes divine. Unfortunately, physiotherapist the number was not used in the film, and hence it is quite forgotten.

Peeke chale, yeh chale yeh chale
Hum hai sharaabi, Hum hai sharabi
Nigahen yaar ke
Peeke chale…

Mast hai hardum,
Jo hua kuch bhi nasha kam toh
WahiN thodi see peeli, thodi see peeli,
Khol do baahen, ke mile khulke nigaahen,
Ke hai yeh raat rangeeli,
Mere dilbar mere saaqi mere pyaare
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mujhko mubaraq,
Mere hothon ko mubaraq,
Yeh lehakna,
Yeh chahakna,
Kisko mila hai ke mohabbat ka sila hai,
Yeh mehakna,
Yeh bahakna,
Yeh nigahen, yeh adaayen, yeh ishaare,
Haaye, peeke chale…

Mauj mein hum hai,
Ke hawayon pe qadam hai, ke sitaron pe nazar hai
Yun hi guzar ho,
Na kabhi khatam safar ho,
Ke yeh rangeen safar hai,
Koi manzil, koi sahil na pukare
Haaye, peeke chale…

My favorite expression in this song is the way Lata Mangeshkar sings the word ‘nigahen’ with a shortened ‘ga’, almost the intoxicated way Meena Kumari would speak out. Also, she doesn’t sing the word ‘yaar’ with full emphasis – just a small opening of the lips, and a trifle stretch, very tiny and very mild, just the way the actress would speak; it sounds so cute in Latadi’s voice! Her ‘haaye’ is something I can die for! Latadi’s voice has a satin smooth texture which makes the number ekdum nasheela. The ‘suroor’ that it gives makes me sway languidly in its rhythm – which is very soft and very consistent. I also love the short cascade down at the end of each antara merging into the ‘mukhda’!

I have been listening to this number non-stop for the past few days. Each time, I just close my eyes and drink to the pleasure of its tune and the voice, and feel washed in relief, satisfaction and joy!

The song was recorded for Pakeezah, music by Ghulam Mohammad.

From Mukesh’s soul-stirring (and melodious) Zinda hoon iss tarah to Shibani Kashyap’s guttural scream (and off key) Zinda hoon main, one Health
Hindi film music has come a long way; and so have its noir heroes. From Raj Kapoor’s humorously dark but essentially tracing roots in light, order
bumbling tramp to Sanjay Gupta’s nether-conceptualised Armani- wearing sinister baddies is another journey that Bollywood has taken. 

I would have given Zinda a complete miss had it not been the only film playing in nearly all top Kathmandu cinema-halls. Family, hospital
the other release, and my own choice, has not made its way here yet. To give Gupta his due credit, Zinda is perhaps his most cohesive and steadfast narrative to date. I wouldn’t go overboard as some critics have done in lauding about ‘realism’ because that is still truly not fully present here, though I can understand where they come from. But yes, there is a sense of starkness and throat-grabbing urgency that is, if not appealing, but certainly very attention-focussing. 

Another relief is that the film has nothing to do with mafia, dons, cons or heists – a marked change in Gupta's subject choice! The tale hangs around an ordinary citizen, which also makes it forceful giving just that tantalising realistic tickle – what if it happens to normal people like you and I?

The story (picked up from whichever English/Far East DVD) is pretty enticing. Balajeet Roy (Sanjay Dutt) has everything going for him – a plush job in top software Bangkok company, a loving wife and a caring friend. One day it all collapses. He is taken captive. For 14-years he spends his life in a solitary cell, fed on fried wantons with just a television for company.  Yet, his captor will not allow him to die or go insane – and releases him after 14 years for a purpose.
Roy traces his captor, but more than that he needs to find out why he was chosen for this exemplary punishment. 

The film’s strength is its pace – not jerky, yet not lacking. Gupta and his co-scriptwriter weave in all essential details beautifully in dialogues, something that I have always found interesting in Barjatya or Yash Chopra films. Of course, he has his eye on the ‘interior’ market (though such films don’t work there) which makes him spell out somethings that could have been best left unsaid. Just for an example – when Sanjay Dutt claims his first tormentor, the supplier of wantons, the death was amply conveyed; yet, Gupta gives a long pan shot of the gruesome dead body – not required. The impact is severely lost! 

Certain details in their gory stomach-throwing details might not find viewership acquiescence; but they do provide a taut vicarious thrill, and I guess that’s what Gupta aimed for. A word of caution – avoid taking in your pop-corn pre-interval! 

Shot in nearly black-and-white hues, the film’s cinematography is first-rate. The background score elevates the sequences several notches. And Sanjay Dutt, though not really appearing an emaciapated victim fed on just fried wantons for fourteen years, gives a superb performance. 

However, where Gupta falters horrendously are the solitary confinement sequences. Those were the film’s soul. But somehow the tension and morbidity of living alone just doesn’t come across, and the audience is uninvolved. That entire portion needed more padding up. Plus, a bit of realism when Dutt finally walks out to freedom would have made the film wholesome. I don’t think any one who has been fourteen years in captivity will walk the walk Dutt does! If length was a problem, Gupta could have cut out the gore! 

I wouldn’t say the climax is a let down, because the tension of knowing ‘the why’ is so strong by then that any motive would have felt short of the build-up. But yes, perhaps a better justification there could have helped. 

John Abraham is a wrong choice. The menace is too-contrived to hold weight. His habit of pursing his lips after every sentence is irritating – as if he is having a sore chin after a close-shave there. Lara Dutt provides glamour, and quite adequately. Celina Jeitly is as wooden as ever in her two-minute appearance. Mahesh Manjrekar is thankfully considerably reigned in. 

The music is all used in typical Hollywood fashion; the theme song by Strings has been on air for sometime. Again, like in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena, I will desist making any further comments on it. 

Though he does not give up making his heroes walk that Marlboro-advertisement inspired swagger, to sum up, I would rate Zinda as a big leap forward by Sanjay Gupta from his previous disasters. This one surely has more meat, and can be easily watched. The biggest compliment: it does not bore! Also, the running time is pretty narrow, and that helps too. 

Overall: Worth a view once.

UPDATE : Also saw KALYUG – Kaushi has done a superb review and covered whatever I had to say. Please click here for the same. My overall rating is same as hers : Worth viewing

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

That pretty much summarises the last four days. It’s not that I had some huge work to do by roaming in the city; but, cialis 40mg the curfews have resulted in shortages in essentials like vegetables and milk. Plus, of course the immense loss in business with most establishments, including restaurants, closed is a separate problem.

Personally, the biggest hit has been food and entertainment. With the maid’s arrival erratic, one day of cooking means utensils piling up. Plus, as I said earlier, what to cook is the biggest question? The quality of basic stuff like tomatoes and onions is quite off-putting. Restaurants are closed, so I have to rely on a single near-by hotel for dinners once the curfew is lifted in the evening!

Entertainment was primarily watching films – and that is impossible now! Songs continue, however!

Anyways, I will try to put up some thing better and more positive soon. Right now, the overall melancholic mood has permeated within. Meanwhile, the story progresses slowly; two last episodes are left, so that should be done during this week!

Powered by Zoundry

I admit I am not too well versed in Kalpana Lajmi’s cinema, this web
and haven’t watched any of her films barring the refreshingly honest Ek Pal. My association with her is restricted to Lata Mangeshkar’s extremely eloquent ‘Dil Hoom Hoom Kare’ from Rudaali. Hence, sick
I approached Chingaari with an open mind, and to say it left me cold is a major understatement. 

Chingaari is one of those B-and-C-grade films masquerading as an art film. It is a puerile and pathetic piece of cinema that has neither the content nor flow to captivate audiences. It seems Lajmi’s intention was to shock and sensationalise the audience without any care for aesthetics or form. 

The story is set in a typical North Indian village, Rangpur which has a designated red light area called Lal Batti (how unimaginative!). The gullible villagers are firmly held in tight clutches of the evil head-priest Bhuvan Panda (Mithun Chakraborty), who abuses his authority for own selfish motives. He keeps them involved in meaningless religious mumbo-jumbos instigating fear in their heart to retain his superiority over them. He uses illogical rites like making a naked virgin girl sit on his lap, while he places himself over a corpse, in order to exorcise the dead man’s evil spirit! Even though he berates prostitutes, resorting to physical and verbal abuse even if they so much as touch the Goddess’ idol inadvertently, still he has no qualms in spending the nights at their place – practicing wild, kinky and sadist sex! 

One such prostitute is Basanti (Sushmita Sen), who lives with her daughter Titli, and ekes out her living in that deplorable condition. 

In this murky environment enters the fresh, educated and young postman Chandan Mishra (Anuj Sawhney). Like any villager postman, he not only delivers letters, but reads them out and writes for them, and in a sense he becomes a confidante, friend and mentor to them. An unstated, muted and sublime love develops between Chadan and Basanti, cemented by his affection for the latter’s fatherless daughter! He also instigates revolt against Bhuvan Panda. 

No doubt the love story between the postman and the prostitute (incidentally, the film’s original title as well) is good, and could have been a classy saga of romance, sacrifice and valor. Unfortunately, Lajmi seems to have seen too many Neha Dhupia flicks of late, hence it ends up being a loud, crass and disgusting melodrama. 

The narrative moves in jerks and fits, and the screenplay is shoddy. There is no continuum in the movement, and several unwanted scenes are repetitive or too lengthy for comfort; the running time is also inordinately long; looks as if the editor just did not know his job. Sequences where the prostitutes are interacting are gross. Sushmita’s introduction scene where she instigates two colleagues fighting over a customer and urges them to use words like ‘randi’ and ‘chinaal’ is horrible. 

The dialogues are crappy, peppered liberally with obscenities and profanities and are written only to evoke shock value. The climax is hilarious – Sushmita goes to the village temple with her hair flying wild, drums beating and picks up a trishul and kills Bhuvan Panda – it’s straight from those forgettable mid-eighties dacoit/revenge dramas that had infested Bollywood that time! 

Production value is shoddy and camera work is tacky. The music (by Adesh Srivastava) is nothing to write home (or anywhere) about. 

Sushmita Sen gives a relatively good performance, though she appears too urban to pass off as a rustic prostitute convincingly. Anuj Sawhney is adequate. But Mithun Chakraborty is too tired and haggard! Ila Arun, as the red light area’s head-madame, is ok. 

The film does nothing to sensitize against the prostitute’s plight; nor does it help to lay spotlight on interior
India’s woeful condition. In the end, it’s not even good cinema. This chingaari fizzles out without lighting any fire. I hope Lajmi drops the ‘neice of Guru Dutt’ tag for the time being till she returns with a more meaningful and involving film! 

Overall: Avoid

Side Notes 

While on prostitutes, I read the following somewhere: during the shoot of Kalyug abroad, Deepal Shaw was mistaken for a whore by another one from the tribe there! Despite liking Shaw in that film, my overall impression of her is that – to put it very bluntly – she looks like a slut! Her music videos are largely responsible for giving that image. In the write-up that I read, Shaw narrated this incident with obvious glee. I don’t know about her, but if I were in her place, I would have taken serious offence and not publicize this fact and, more importantly, do some serious introspection! 

Secondly, who is that goddamn singer who has screeched ‘Aa darr ke marr’ from Darna Zaroori Hai! It’s the most irritating, grating and awful voice I have heard in recent times. If the brief given to her was to sound sexy and scary at the same time, she has got it widely wrong! Why does Ram Gopal Verma waste money and time in recording songs which no one is going to buy? Stardust (April 2006) carries a piece on Verma’s deteriorating position in the industry. Though Stardust in itself is a gossip magazine, but still some facts are true and cannot be ignored – his films (except Sarkar) have all flopped, his proteges are deserting him and his financers are distancing themselves. 

Hope Darna Zaroori Hai bails him out. I liked the first part (Darna Marna Hai) and am eagerly awaiting the release of the second one now!

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

Music That Entices!

While the nation looses control over Rahman’s frothy Rang De Basanti score, sickness
his quiet and serene Water languishes away in oblivion. I am not a Rahman fan, overweight
but his few scores have really made an impact with me. Dil Se, buy more about
Zubeidaa, Pukar, One Two Ka Four, Bombay
and Lagaan are my favorites. A point to note – all the above are prior to his current phase where the stress seems to be more on beats, rhythms and sounds than tunes. So, listening to Water came as a very pleasant surprise; till the time I read somewhere that Rahman’s music for Water was scored way back in 2000. 

Anyways, whenever Rahman recorded these songs, they are beautiful! 

The music is very delicate, like a dew drop; as if touching it would soil its purity. At other times, it’s like a soft drizzle which sends a thrilling shiver down the spine. Instruments are used minimally. You can switch off the light, put on Water’s music, and soak yourself in sheer melodies – extremely relaxing, that’s what Water is! 

My favorite number – and I heard it five times on repeat mode after the first hearing – is ‘Piya Ho’ sung by Sadhna Sargam and Sukhwinder. There is this subtle rhythm which keeps flowing in the background, and a tune which cascades in its own curves in an unhurried pace; and over this Rahman places some riveting flute pieces so softly as if he is placing an expensive crystal over rich velvet – but then, that’s what this song is – bright as a crystal, soft as velvet! And it’s the tune which holds attention and not just sounds; a strong harkback to the old era of music. Oh yes, I have to mention the chorus which trails after the mukhda; it’s like a soft breeze which ripples over the tranquil river waters! If I am allowed to make one wish on this score, I would have loved to hear Lata Mangeshkar in this number!

Continuing the same mode, but switching theme to Meera’s unfulfilled love, is ‘Naina Neer Bahaye Mujh Birhan Ka Dil Saajan Sang Jhoom Jhoom Gaaye’ – quite similar to ‘Piya Ho’ but has a distinct rhythm and melody. Once again the able Sadhna Sargam at the mic, but this time she is solo. ‘Prem toh hai gangaajal jisme vish amrit bann jaaye’ writes new lyricist Raqeeb Alam. The song encapstulates unadulterated love, alongwith it’s underlying pathos. 

Sukhwinder returns, but with a trifle increased tempo in ‘Aayo re sajan sakhi’ – earlier I felt it resembled Sukhwinder’s own Kisna title song. But as the song progresses the difference is stark. In this number Sadhna Sargam joins Sukhwinder from mid-way. A lovely use of Indian instruments like santoor embellishes the song . The song is like the royal sea's tide washing over an expansive beach.

With these three songs itself, the album can be called a dizzying exponent of high-quality sweet music. But there are three more tracks remaining – like the silver vark on tasteful barfi

This album is definitely Sukhwinder’s crowning glory. Listen to him in yet another Lord Krishna-theme-based semi-classical song Bangri marori saiyan ne meri. I love the way the tune takes a sharp upward curve at the line ‘Radha ke gal-dori’

The next exquisite track is ‘MoheShaam rang de’ – a Holi number. This is a full-fledged masti song and the heart dances as the singers throw up a vocal flourish with ‘bajale zaraa dhol zor se’. The rang-bhang ka mausam is right at our doorstep now, and this number should be right up there – and it is such a relief after Rahman’s own horrible Holi number in Mangal Pande. This time the singers are Richa Sharma, Naqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya – and they create an ocean of riotous merry making with their voices. 

The last track is the famous Gandhian bhajan- Vaishnav Jan To sung by Kaushaki Chakraborty. This is a bhajan immortalized by Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition in the bumper hit album Ram Rattan Dhan Paayo. Rahman moves away a bit from the basic framework, and manages quite well overall. My bias will remain for Lataji’s version! 

Yes, this is not the score that will be played at parties and discos. But the difference lies exactly there – it does not set your foot tapping, but your head swaying in its lyrical rhythm. And it makes a place permanently in the heart. This is A R Rahman’s very best in recent times. 

Do grab it as soon as possible – and while you go to buy it, I will return to have another hear of ‘Piya ho’

Overall: Not to be missed; A Must Buy

When I woke up today the curfew was on; and it will last till late evening. Yesterday, rx an aquaintance had called in to inform about it, stuff but I had not paid any heed to his warning. Rumors are as much in abundance here as there are bandhs and agitations. As stated on my main blog a few days back, curfew does not affect me as such, except that the shops are closed.

Half awake, I had trudged to the neighborhood shop to buy milk, and that is where I got the news. Being in a by-lane, the shop was open; it is basically a ‘dhaba’ but keeps stock of milk, water, cigarettes and a few other daily use stuff. Thankfully, I have some basic cooking ingredients, so will manage the food part for today!

Ironically, of all days, today I had planned to move out – pay my mobile bill, buy stuff to take back home and get a few stuff completed. I had also asked the maid to come late in the noon. For the past few days, when the situation had sort of reached a limping normalcy, I had royally procrastinated.

My new story ‘Tapish’ finds a small receptive audience on the main blog. Writing in Hindi was a little tougher than expected. First, my vocabulary is very limited; and second, typing speed was painfully slow and catching up with the running thoughts became an exercise in itself! Half the time, I would forget that ‘brilliant flash’ which would have occurred while visualising a scene. Anyways, not planning to write any more stories for a long time now, so will savor whatever comments come its way – good or bad!

Powered by Zoundry

Music That Entices!

While the nation looses control over Rahman’s frothy Rang De Basanti score, sickness
his quiet and serene Water languishes away in oblivion. I am not a Rahman fan, overweight
but his few scores have really made an impact with me. Dil Se, buy more about
Zubeidaa, Pukar, One Two Ka Four, Bombay
and Lagaan are my favorites. A point to note – all the above are prior to his current phase where the stress seems to be more on beats, rhythms and sounds than tunes. So, listening to Water came as a very pleasant surprise; till the time I read somewhere that Rahman’s music for Water was scored way back in 2000. 

Anyways, whenever Rahman recorded these songs, they are beautiful! 

The music is very delicate, like a dew drop; as if touching it would soil its purity. At other times, it’s like a soft drizzle which sends a thrilling shiver down the spine. Instruments are used minimally. You can switch off the light, put on Water’s music, and soak yourself in sheer melodies – extremely relaxing, that’s what Water is! 

My favorite number – and I heard it five times on repeat mode after the first hearing – is ‘Piya Ho’ sung by Sadhna Sargam and Sukhwinder. There is this subtle rhythm which keeps flowing in the background, and a tune which cascades in its own curves in an unhurried pace; and over this Rahman places some riveting flute pieces so softly as if he is placing an expensive crystal over rich velvet – but then, that’s what this song is – bright as a crystal, soft as velvet! And it’s the tune which holds attention and not just sounds; a strong harkback to the old era of music. Oh yes, I have to mention the chorus which trails after the mukhda; it’s like a soft breeze which ripples over the tranquil river waters! If I am allowed to make one wish on this score, I would have loved to hear Lata Mangeshkar in this number!

Continuing the same mode, but switching theme to Meera’s unfulfilled love, is ‘Naina Neer Bahaye Mujh Birhan Ka Dil Saajan Sang Jhoom Jhoom Gaaye’ – quite similar to ‘Piya Ho’ but has a distinct rhythm and melody. Once again the able Sadhna Sargam at the mic, but this time she is solo. ‘Prem toh hai gangaajal jisme vish amrit bann jaaye’ writes new lyricist Raqeeb Alam. The song encapstulates unadulterated love, alongwith it’s underlying pathos. 

Sukhwinder returns, but with a trifle increased tempo in ‘Aayo re sajan sakhi’ – earlier I felt it resembled Sukhwinder’s own Kisna title song. But as the song progresses the difference is stark. In this number Sadhna Sargam joins Sukhwinder from mid-way. A lovely use of Indian instruments like santoor embellishes the song . The song is like the royal sea's tide washing over an expansive beach.

With these three songs itself, the album can be called a dizzying exponent of high-quality sweet music. But there are three more tracks remaining – like the silver vark on tasteful barfi

This album is definitely Sukhwinder’s crowning glory. Listen to him in yet another Lord Krishna-theme-based semi-classical song Bangri marori saiyan ne meri. I love the way the tune takes a sharp upward curve at the line ‘Radha ke gal-dori’

The next exquisite track is ‘MoheShaam rang de’ – a Holi number. This is a full-fledged masti song and the heart dances as the singers throw up a vocal flourish with ‘bajale zaraa dhol zor se’. The rang-bhang ka mausam is right at our doorstep now, and this number should be right up there – and it is such a relief after Rahman’s own horrible Holi number in Mangal Pande. This time the singers are Richa Sharma, Naqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya – and they create an ocean of riotous merry making with their voices. 

The last track is the famous Gandhian bhajan- Vaishnav Jan To sung by Kaushaki Chakraborty. This is a bhajan immortalized by Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition in the bumper hit album Ram Rattan Dhan Paayo. Rahman moves away a bit from the basic framework, and manages quite well overall. My bias will remain for Lataji’s version! 

Yes, this is not the score that will be played at parties and discos. But the difference lies exactly there – it does not set your foot tapping, but your head swaying in its lyrical rhythm. And it makes a place permanently in the heart. This is A R Rahman’s very best in recent times. 

Do grab it as soon as possible – and while you go to buy it, I will return to have another hear of ‘Piya ho’

Overall: Not to be missed; A Must Buy
This review was written the same day I saw the film, dermatologist
which was on 4th February. But seeing the overwhelmingly
positive reactions for the film didn’t have heart to publish it. Till the time I told Anubha about its existence. She reprimanded me for not putting it up and reminded me that on my blog I had complete right to write whatever I felt. True, help
perhaps I have been playing to the gallery quite a lot, visit this
and taking ‘the popular’ tag a bit too seriously than warranted. Thanks Anubha for the reality check! 

Blame it on the huge expectation – but fact is I found Rang De Basanti just about ok, a different film, but just about that. Somehow it couldn’t involve me into its narration. There were too many incoherent details which left me cold – some were minor quibbles regarding Delhi’s depiction: why the hell did Sonia (Soha Ali) take Sue via Red Fort if they were going to University from Delhi Airport?  There is a much shorter and convenient route! And then, that was clearly not anywhere close to Delhi University for sure! It was India Habitat Center passed off as DU! 

Even though Rakeysh Mehra struggles to deploy a conventional story telling format, he is unable to fully discard the now-standard jump-cuts and fast-track editing styles; at few crucial points these neo-modern techniques crop up horrifyingly. The post-interval lathi charge scene is one prime example. Instead of gripping the audience in a tight-fist and knocking a solid punch, he shows a collage alternating between slow-motion and hazy movements with a dull song in the background. The entire sequence’s steam, whose build-up begins with Ajay Rathod’s death, dissipates away like a pressure cooker rudely taken off the burner! 

The transformation of youth doesn’t come around neatly. I kept thinking of Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Swades, and how he had handled Mohan Bhargav’s transition smoothly! Here, it is erratic and abrupt. Also, in Swades the awakening is not linked to personal tragedy, making it more sublime. Here it seems more like those eighties personal vendetta film wearing a neo-modern cloak! 

The story is interesting – but the climax is very shoddy: it takes away the entire thrust of the film’s message. Here, I am not talking about the defence minister’s too-easy-to-be-true murder, which can be accorded to the director’s creative license. But it’s the death of all protagonists which I could not digest. Does the maker want to tell the youth that if they have to do something for the country they will necessarily be killed? And does it really make the nation rise in protest? Except for a few shots of some students talking to NDTV, which sounded like a storm in a teacup and extremely unconvincing, the film-maker remains stunningly silent on their action’s impact. To me, their sacrifice looked futile. Plus, where did the Commandos come from? And why? 

Agreed that Rakeysh Mehra wanted to draw a parallel to Bhagat Singh et al, but shouldn’t the climax have moved away to show the difference of the eras and of the youth, then and now! I feel an intelligent comparison need not be hundred percent overlapping – though the rising could be compared but the end needed much brain which was definitely not put to use. A mature writer draws parallel, brings them to a crossroad, but from there takes it to a separate and higher denouement.  And this is where the film fails, and the reason why it couldn’t touch me at all. 

Another fact which irked me was Sue’s character – did Mehra really have to use a foreigner to awaken youth-conscience and youth conscious? Is this some surreptitious handshake with old British ideology that ‘it is always white man’s burden’ to take care of Indians? Sorry, Mehra – an upright Indian NGO worker could have made the point more clear and driven home the fact more scathingly – and if Mehra feels that such people don’t exist, sorry he needs to open his wider! 

On the plus side – the film gives ample space to every character though it could have incorporated a bit on Soha Ali and Sharman Joshi’s background/home as well. 
Performance-wise the film is a topper – Soha Ali is a huge revelation especially after her wooden acting in Dil Maange More. She slips into her character’s skin effortlessly. Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor and Atul Kulkarni live their part with aplomb. Siddharth, who gets maximum footage amongst the supporting cast, is a delight to watch, especially his voice modulation was impeccable (not sure if he has done the dubbing himself!). Alice Patten, with her cute night-class Hindi, is sweet and understated. Madhavan shines in his guest appearance. 

But the mother of all performances is given by veteran Waheeda Rahman in her brief but strong role as Ajay’s mother. In one scene, after her son’s death, she is shown walking towards the door – her back is towards the camera, yet her entire body language, the minor tremor, the slight limp as she walks shows a seasoned actor at work! It’s a one small shot, where she is not even facing the camera – yet, she literally walks away with all accolades! 

There are some smaller but solid parts – Om Puri, Kirron Kher and Anupam Kher who do their bit fabulously. 

AR Rahman’s music is good in parts, though his background score was lacking – the odd sound during Jallianwala Bagh sequence was probably meant to stir hearts, but it shook the ears more! Lata Mangeshkar’s Lukka Chhupi Bahut Hui brings a lump, and that entire sequence is very well handled (though a personal grouse will remain for editing a bulk of Lataji’s portion). Of the other songs, Mohe mohe tu rang de basanti, Paathshaala and Tu bin bataye are ok. In ‘Mohe mohe’ Mehra picks up a few leaves from Yash Chopra’s films and shows flowing mustard fields and pulsating Punjab in satiated sway – given a choice, I’d prefer the tranquil pace of ‘Aisa des hai mera’ from Veer Zaara

I understand the film is doing very well, and I have only read praise for it – perhaps, I am getting old to enjoy these ‘youthful’ films, but once again I would leave by mentioning Swades – the patriotism, the inner journey presented in that film was far superior to RDB’s graffiti-like  cocktail! 

Overall: Above average

Also check out: Saba's brilliant review of the same film

When I started writing for the Blogs, oncology I made a secret pact with myself: I will not indulge in self reflections, population health and certainly not write on my personal life and what it is happening to me. These were anecdotes, incidents and events of my life, and no one would be interested to read them. Honestly, I did not think I would be comfortable in baring my heart out ever. I preferred the other route- the fiction one, where I can seamlessly knit these occurrences into an imaginative story; and no is the wiser as to which is the truth and which is fiction out of that.


But within a week, I am here, penning my thoughts, expressions and reflections. So what made me change my heart? Today, I read one of the finest blogs and that made my thought waves tingling. This was a blog by Mr Ramesh Somasundaram, and is available at http://ramesh_somasundaram.rediffblogs.com. During the past one week, since the time I have been initiated into blogging, I have browsed a lot many of them: some good, some funny, some reflective, some empty, some stupid and some really shoddy; but this one was at once serious and funny; simple and complex, and a mixture of fiction and truth. Of course, that Mr Somasundaram writes in very lucid English helped a lot. I have this writing bug in me which gets activated every time I read a good piece of writing. It has happened earlier also; and at the cost of sounding immodest, I must say, that some of the stories that I have written have been quite good. Even I enjoyed reading them after a year or so, despite knowing each and every twist of the tale. But since a bright story idea eluded my poor brain, and the bug continued its insistent persistence, I decided to venture into an area which I had till now resolutely avoided. What the hell, I have also lived a full and enriching 31 years of life on this lonely( or is it not?) planet , and I have also gone through many bitter-sweet moments of upheavals and exhilirations that I think I should start sharing and not bottling them up in my 5’11” frame!!

Its said that plagiarism is the best form of flattery. Hence, I have kept the title of this blog similar to one that Mr Somasundaram does, as also the design of the blog and the first line of this blog, which is nothing but a paraphrase of a sentence which Mr Sundaram had used in one of its blogs.

I am not sure for how long I will be able to continue this blog, but I will definitely try. Perhaps, someday the rediff management will also find it appropriate enough to feature in the “Sizzling Blogs” section, though, to be honest, their criteria for selection bewilders me no end

[This was my first post on my Rediff blog; posting it for nostalgic sake again with same date stamp!]

[edited and posted with ecto]

When I started writing for the Blogs, oncology I made a secret pact with myself: I will not indulge in self reflections, population health and certainly not write on my personal life and what it is happening to me. These were anecdotes, incidents and events of my life, and no one would be interested to read them. Honestly, I did not think I would be comfortable in baring my heart out ever. I preferred the other route- the fiction one, where I can seamlessly knit these occurrences into an imaginative story; and no is the wiser as to which is the truth and which is fiction out of that.


But within a week, I am here, penning my thoughts, expressions and reflections. So what made me change my heart? Today, I read one of the finest blogs and that made my thought waves tingling. This was a blog by Mr Ramesh Somasundaram, and is available at http://ramesh_somasundaram.rediffblogs.com. During the past one week, since the time I have been initiated into blogging, I have browsed a lot many of them: some good, some funny, some reflective, some empty, some stupid and some really shoddy; but this one was at once serious and funny; simple and complex, and a mixture of fiction and truth. Of course, that Mr Somasundaram writes in very lucid English helped a lot. I have this writing bug in me which gets activated every time I read a good piece of writing. It has happened earlier also; and at the cost of sounding immodest, I must say, that some of the stories that I have written have been quite good. Even I enjoyed reading them after a year or so, despite knowing each and every twist of the tale. But since a bright story idea eluded my poor brain, and the bug continued its insistent persistence, I decided to venture into an area which I had till now resolutely avoided. What the hell, I have also lived a full and enriching 31 years of life on this lonely( or is it not?) planet , and I have also gone through many bitter-sweet moments of upheavals and exhilirations that I think I should start sharing and not bottling them up in my 5’11” frame!!

Its said that plagiarism is the best form of flattery. Hence, I have kept the title of this blog similar to one that Mr Somasundaram does, as also the design of the blog and the first line of this blog, which is nothing but a paraphrase of a sentence which Mr Sundaram had used in one of its blogs.

I am not sure for how long I will be able to continue this blog, but I will definitely try. Perhaps, someday the rediff management will also find it appropriate enough to feature in the “Sizzling Blogs” section, though, to be honest, their criteria for selection bewilders me no end

[This was my first post on my Rediff blog; posting it for nostalgic sake again with same date stamp!]

[edited and posted with ecto]

All relationships come with an expiry date

If I am not mistaken, viagra 100mg
this is a line that I had read in one of the interviews of Pooja Bhatt. Even if it’s not her original quote, rehabilitation
or even if she did not say it, somewhere, and somehow, I have always attributed this line to her. I am not too fond of Pooja Bhatt as an actor, but I am definitely enamored by her spunky, sprightly and absolutely sensational quotes and interviews that she gives. Whether she means them, or they are said only for effect, I cannot comment, but I have always found them meaningful and truthful; to put it crudely, she catches life’s morality from the balls.

I come back again to Mr. Ramesh Somasundaram’s blog*. In that he has questioned the mysteries of relationships in a wonderfully eloquent manner. I have gone through a few very deep but failed relationships and have not been able to unravel the mystery even by one layer of the complexities that wrap them.

But apart from the well-stated thoughts mentioned in the blog, I would like to add that if we enter each relationship with the above maxim in mind we could at least reduce the pain that accompanies most relationships, especially when they get over.

Whether we grow apart, or one of the partner dies a relationship does come back with an indelibly stamped expiry date. And like all products, if we attempt to use it after that “expiry date” we will be hurt, sad and immensely ill.

In Paap (The Sin), Pooja Bhatt’s latest film, which she has also directed, there is beautiful verbal debate between the heroine’s (Kaya) father and her lover. The father wants Kaya to renounce the world, join a monastery, because he wants to protect her from the pain of any worldly relationships going wrong; hence he wants her to forsake all such earthly desires and take the path of God. The lover retorts that we cannot stop smiling for fear of the crying; we cannot stop living for the fear of dying; we cannot stop forming relationships for the fear of losing. In fact, the desire for renouncing all desires is also just another desire. Then why should that desire be considered holy and the love that he feels for Kaya be termed as “sin”?

In another scene, the hero tells the heroine that once he leaves, he will not even look back and think about her; he wants to spend a lifetime with her; but not a lifetime with her memories and brooding over it.

This film merely asserts the maxim that all relationships come with an expiry date- so we should enjoy it while it lasts and move on when they end.

Carcasses, whether of humans, animals or emotions, always stink.

[This post was originally written in my older blog]
[*Romesh Somasundaram stopped blogging after a few months]
[re-posted with ecto]

When I started writing for the Blogs, oncology I made a secret pact with myself: I will not indulge in self reflections, population health and certainly not write on my personal life and what it is happening to me. These were anecdotes, incidents and events of my life, and no one would be interested to read them. Honestly, I did not think I would be comfortable in baring my heart out ever. I preferred the other route- the fiction one, where I can seamlessly knit these occurrences into an imaginative story; and no is the wiser as to which is the truth and which is fiction out of that.


But within a week, I am here, penning my thoughts, expressions and reflections. So what made me change my heart? Today, I read one of the finest blogs and that made my thought waves tingling. This was a blog by Mr Ramesh Somasundaram, and is available at http://ramesh_somasundaram.rediffblogs.com. During the past one week, since the time I have been initiated into blogging, I have browsed a lot many of them: some good, some funny, some reflective, some empty, some stupid and some really shoddy; but this one was at once serious and funny; simple and complex, and a mixture of fiction and truth. Of course, that Mr Somasundaram writes in very lucid English helped a lot. I have this writing bug in me which gets activated every time I read a good piece of writing. It has happened earlier also; and at the cost of sounding immodest, I must say, that some of the stories that I have written have been quite good. Even I enjoyed reading them after a year or so, despite knowing each and every twist of the tale. But since a bright story idea eluded my poor brain, and the bug continued its insistent persistence, I decided to venture into an area which I had till now resolutely avoided. What the hell, I have also lived a full and enriching 31 years of life on this lonely( or is it not?) planet , and I have also gone through many bitter-sweet moments of upheavals and exhilirations that I think I should start sharing and not bottling them up in my 5’11” frame!!

Its said that plagiarism is the best form of flattery. Hence, I have kept the title of this blog similar to one that Mr Somasundaram does, as also the design of the blog and the first line of this blog, which is nothing but a paraphrase of a sentence which Mr Sundaram had used in one of its blogs.

I am not sure for how long I will be able to continue this blog, but I will definitely try. Perhaps, someday the rediff management will also find it appropriate enough to feature in the “Sizzling Blogs” section, though, to be honest, their criteria for selection bewilders me no end

[This was my first post on my Rediff blog; posting it for nostalgic sake again with same date stamp!]

[edited and posted with ecto]

All relationships come with an expiry date

If I am not mistaken, viagra 100mg
this is a line that I had read in one of the interviews of Pooja Bhatt. Even if it’s not her original quote, rehabilitation
or even if she did not say it, somewhere, and somehow, I have always attributed this line to her. I am not too fond of Pooja Bhatt as an actor, but I am definitely enamored by her spunky, sprightly and absolutely sensational quotes and interviews that she gives. Whether she means them, or they are said only for effect, I cannot comment, but I have always found them meaningful and truthful; to put it crudely, she catches life’s morality from the balls.

I come back again to Mr. Ramesh Somasundaram’s blog*. In that he has questioned the mysteries of relationships in a wonderfully eloquent manner. I have gone through a few very deep but failed relationships and have not been able to unravel the mystery even by one layer of the complexities that wrap them.

But apart from the well-stated thoughts mentioned in the blog, I would like to add that if we enter each relationship with the above maxim in mind we could at least reduce the pain that accompanies most relationships, especially when they get over.

Whether we grow apart, or one of the partner dies a relationship does come back with an indelibly stamped expiry date. And like all products, if we attempt to use it after that “expiry date” we will be hurt, sad and immensely ill.

In Paap (The Sin), Pooja Bhatt’s latest film, which she has also directed, there is beautiful verbal debate between the heroine’s (Kaya) father and her lover. The father wants Kaya to renounce the world, join a monastery, because he wants to protect her from the pain of any worldly relationships going wrong; hence he wants her to forsake all such earthly desires and take the path of God. The lover retorts that we cannot stop smiling for fear of the crying; we cannot stop living for the fear of dying; we cannot stop forming relationships for the fear of losing. In fact, the desire for renouncing all desires is also just another desire. Then why should that desire be considered holy and the love that he feels for Kaya be termed as “sin”?

In another scene, the hero tells the heroine that once he leaves, he will not even look back and think about her; he wants to spend a lifetime with her; but not a lifetime with her memories and brooding over it.

This film merely asserts the maxim that all relationships come with an expiry date- so we should enjoy it while it lasts and move on when they end.

Carcasses, whether of humans, animals or emotions, always stink.

[This post was originally written in my older blog]
[*Romesh Somasundaram stopped blogging after a few months]
[re-posted with ecto]

Nestled within lush verdant hills of Himachal Pradesh, global burden of disease
Kasauli is a quaint little hill cantonment, ailment
built 11kms off the Main Shimla Highway, and just a two-hour drive from Chandigarh, the nearest metropolitan city.

My acquaintance with Kasauli began when I was in the tenth standard. A classmate of mine was so taken up by this station that he would regularly keep talking about it. Since, I had spent a large chunk of my childhood abroad, due to my father’s postings, I was quite ignorant of the beauties of nature present in India itself. This friend of mine gave such vivid descriptions of the place that the name Kasauli just seeped into my sub-consciousness unknowingly.

Years later, when we were finally settled in Delhi, I started exploring the hill towns of the country. Mountains have always fascinated me, and hence, it was quite evident that I should start my Discovery India with the Himalayas only. In college, whenever we decided to go out for holidays the obvious names that cropped up were Shimla, Mussoorie, Nainital or Manali. Somehow, Kasauli always got vetoed.

So during a six-year period starting from college and ending with my first job, I visited all the places mentioned above (barring Nainital; but added Mt Abu and Mahabaleshwar to my ever-growing list of visited hill stations). But it rankled me no end as to why Kasauli never featured in any one’s shortlist.

Finally, when I had taken up my second job, the chance came. A couple of friends had shifted base to their hometown Chandigarh. Hence, when I got an elongated weekend due to some God-send (literally, too) consecutive holidays on account of Ram Navami etc. This time, around, I did not let either of the two veto me out; and since, they were tight on the schedules (as the same holidays were not there in Chandigarh), they agreed for a brief two-day tour to Kasauli.

To say that I was bowled over by Kasauli would be a gross understatement. It is beautiful, untouched and extremely quiet. The entire hill station is covered over two fork-like roads, the Upper and Lower Mall, which conjoin together in a neat, small central place. The town is untouched by the crass hands of commercialization. The crowd is minimal, and consequently, the cleanliness and the quietitude are of empyreal proportions.

As a hill station, Kasauli does not offer anything dramatic in terms of sight seeing, except for a place called Monkey Point. This is a hillock, on the outskirts of the town, next to the Air Force Station. It is believed that when Lord Hanuman was returning to Lanka after procuring the Sanjivini Booti for the slain Laxmana, his feet touched this hillock. Hence, there is a small Hanuman temple at the top of the hill. After an arduous climb, as one reaches the top, the sight and the view from there is simply enthralling. Surrounded by feral mountains (even the Shimla hills are visible from here), this was truly what heaven would look like. I could almost jump and touch the clouds from here, as the cool winds playfully teased me.

Another beautiful place is what the locals have termed as “Lover’s Point”. It’s a small dirt track that embraces a small hillock like a lover hugging his beloved. From here one gets a vantage view of the city of Chandigarh; and at night time, from here, Chandigarh, with its symmetrical roads and lights, looks like a gargantuan runway placed by the divine for its landing.

Apart from these two Kasauli does not offer much in terms of tourist attraction.

Let me add a word of warning: this place is certainly not meant for those who rush to the hill-stations but expect the same luxuries, noise and liveliness. In fact, on my second visit I was accompanied by a friend who was more worried that he could not get Kingfisher Beer or a proper “Daal Makhani”, and ultimately found the place boring and dull.

What Kasauli offers is not a tangible source of enjoyment, but a feeling that has to be experienced by the soul, and not by the senses. The walks on the Malls, that stretch into the wilderness was my favorite activity there. You can hear each rustle of the leaves, each note of the birds, each tune of the winds, each song of the all pervading, and all encompassing silence. It is blissful peace that infuses into every pore of the body, soothing and caressing the frayed nerves tattered by the noisy city life. I sat for hours on the mountainside, looking at the green valleys below, with the sunshine stroking my distraught spirit like a mother cuddling its young one into a deep satisfying and secure sleep.

Thankfully, the place has not been marauded by the film industry also. Barring Maya Memsaab ( the Deepa Sahi starrer that had five soulful Lata Mangeshkar songs) I do not recall any other film being shot there. Even the locals talk about the shooting of the film and are obviously proud to boast of having met Shahrukh Khan, though at the time of the shooting the film he was not the star that he is now.

I look forward to visiting the place again very soon.

[This post was originally written in my older blog]
[Since then, I have not been able to go to Kasauli- DJ, April 2006]
[Reposted with ecto]

When I started writing for the Blogs, oncology I made a secret pact with myself: I will not indulge in self reflections, population health and certainly not write on my personal life and what it is happening to me. These were anecdotes, incidents and events of my life, and no one would be interested to read them. Honestly, I did not think I would be comfortable in baring my heart out ever. I preferred the other route- the fiction one, where I can seamlessly knit these occurrences into an imaginative story; and no is the wiser as to which is the truth and which is fiction out of that.


But within a week, I am here, penning my thoughts, expressions and reflections. So what made me change my heart? Today, I read one of the finest blogs and that made my thought waves tingling. This was a blog by Mr Ramesh Somasundaram, and is available at http://ramesh_somasundaram.rediffblogs.com. During the past one week, since the time I have been initiated into blogging, I have browsed a lot many of them: some good, some funny, some reflective, some empty, some stupid and some really shoddy; but this one was at once serious and funny; simple and complex, and a mixture of fiction and truth. Of course, that Mr Somasundaram writes in very lucid English helped a lot. I have this writing bug in me which gets activated every time I read a good piece of writing. It has happened earlier also; and at the cost of sounding immodest, I must say, that some of the stories that I have written have been quite good. Even I enjoyed reading them after a year or so, despite knowing each and every twist of the tale. But since a bright story idea eluded my poor brain, and the bug continued its insistent persistence, I decided to venture into an area which I had till now resolutely avoided. What the hell, I have also lived a full and enriching 31 years of life on this lonely( or is it not?) planet , and I have also gone through many bitter-sweet moments of upheavals and exhilirations that I think I should start sharing and not bottling them up in my 5’11” frame!!

Its said that plagiarism is the best form of flattery. Hence, I have kept the title of this blog similar to one that Mr Somasundaram does, as also the design of the blog and the first line of this blog, which is nothing but a paraphrase of a sentence which Mr Sundaram had used in one of its blogs.

I am not sure for how long I will be able to continue this blog, but I will definitely try. Perhaps, someday the rediff management will also find it appropriate enough to feature in the “Sizzling Blogs” section, though, to be honest, their criteria for selection bewilders me no end

[This was my first post on my Rediff blog; posting it for nostalgic sake again with same date stamp!]

[edited and posted with ecto]

All relationships come with an expiry date

If I am not mistaken, viagra 100mg
this is a line that I had read in one of the interviews of Pooja Bhatt. Even if it’s not her original quote, rehabilitation
or even if she did not say it, somewhere, and somehow, I have always attributed this line to her. I am not too fond of Pooja Bhatt as an actor, but I am definitely enamored by her spunky, sprightly and absolutely sensational quotes and interviews that she gives. Whether she means them, or they are said only for effect, I cannot comment, but I have always found them meaningful and truthful; to put it crudely, she catches life’s morality from the balls.

I come back again to Mr. Ramesh Somasundaram’s blog*. In that he has questioned the mysteries of relationships in a wonderfully eloquent manner. I have gone through a few very deep but failed relationships and have not been able to unravel the mystery even by one layer of the complexities that wrap them.

But apart from the well-stated thoughts mentioned in the blog, I would like to add that if we enter each relationship with the above maxim in mind we could at least reduce the pain that accompanies most relationships, especially when they get over.

Whether we grow apart, or one of the partner dies a relationship does come back with an indelibly stamped expiry date. And like all products, if we attempt to use it after that “expiry date” we will be hurt, sad and immensely ill.

In Paap (The Sin), Pooja Bhatt’s latest film, which she has also directed, there is beautiful verbal debate between the heroine’s (Kaya) father and her lover. The father wants Kaya to renounce the world, join a monastery, because he wants to protect her from the pain of any worldly relationships going wrong; hence he wants her to forsake all such earthly desires and take the path of God. The lover retorts that we cannot stop smiling for fear of the crying; we cannot stop living for the fear of dying; we cannot stop forming relationships for the fear of losing. In fact, the desire for renouncing all desires is also just another desire. Then why should that desire be considered holy and the love that he feels for Kaya be termed as “sin”?

In another scene, the hero tells the heroine that once he leaves, he will not even look back and think about her; he wants to spend a lifetime with her; but not a lifetime with her memories and brooding over it.

This film merely asserts the maxim that all relationships come with an expiry date- so we should enjoy it while it lasts and move on when they end.

Carcasses, whether of humans, animals or emotions, always stink.

[This post was originally written in my older blog]
[*Romesh Somasundaram stopped blogging after a few months]
[re-posted with ecto]

Nestled within lush verdant hills of Himachal Pradesh, global burden of disease
Kasauli is a quaint little hill cantonment, ailment
built 11kms off the Main Shimla Highway, and just a two-hour drive from Chandigarh, the nearest metropolitan city.

My acquaintance with Kasauli began when I was in the tenth standard. A classmate of mine was so taken up by this station that he would regularly keep talking about it. Since, I had spent a large chunk of my childhood abroad, due to my father’s postings, I was quite ignorant of the beauties of nature present in India itself. This friend of mine gave such vivid descriptions of the place that the name Kasauli just seeped into my sub-consciousness unknowingly.

Years later, when we were finally settled in Delhi, I started exploring the hill towns of the country. Mountains have always fascinated me, and hence, it was quite evident that I should start my Discovery India with the Himalayas only. In college, whenever we decided to go out for holidays the obvious names that cropped up were Shimla, Mussoorie, Nainital or Manali. Somehow, Kasauli always got vetoed.

So during a six-year period starting from college and ending with my first job, I visited all the places mentioned above (barring Nainital; but added Mt Abu and Mahabaleshwar to my ever-growing list of visited hill stations). But it rankled me no end as to why Kasauli never featured in any one’s shortlist.

Finally, when I had taken up my second job, the chance came. A couple of friends had shifted base to their hometown Chandigarh. Hence, when I got an elongated weekend due to some God-send (literally, too) consecutive holidays on account of Ram Navami etc. This time, around, I did not let either of the two veto me out; and since, they were tight on the schedules (as the same holidays were not there in Chandigarh), they agreed for a brief two-day tour to Kasauli.

To say that I was bowled over by Kasauli would be a gross understatement. It is beautiful, untouched and extremely quiet. The entire hill station is covered over two fork-like roads, the Upper and Lower Mall, which conjoin together in a neat, small central place. The town is untouched by the crass hands of commercialization. The crowd is minimal, and consequently, the cleanliness and the quietitude are of empyreal proportions.

As a hill station, Kasauli does not offer anything dramatic in terms of sight seeing, except for a place called Monkey Point. This is a hillock, on the outskirts of the town, next to the Air Force Station. It is believed that when Lord Hanuman was returning to Lanka after procuring the Sanjivini Booti for the slain Laxmana, his feet touched this hillock. Hence, there is a small Hanuman temple at the top of the hill. After an arduous climb, as one reaches the top, the sight and the view from there is simply enthralling. Surrounded by feral mountains (even the Shimla hills are visible from here), this was truly what heaven would look like. I could almost jump and touch the clouds from here, as the cool winds playfully teased me.

Another beautiful place is what the locals have termed as “Lover’s Point”. It’s a small dirt track that embraces a small hillock like a lover hugging his beloved. From here one gets a vantage view of the city of Chandigarh; and at night time, from here, Chandigarh, with its symmetrical roads and lights, looks like a gargantuan runway placed by the divine for its landing.

Apart from these two Kasauli does not offer much in terms of tourist attraction.

Let me add a word of warning: this place is certainly not meant for those who rush to the hill-stations but expect the same luxuries, noise and liveliness. In fact, on my second visit I was accompanied by a friend who was more worried that he could not get Kingfisher Beer or a proper “Daal Makhani”, and ultimately found the place boring and dull.

What Kasauli offers is not a tangible source of enjoyment, but a feeling that has to be experienced by the soul, and not by the senses. The walks on the Malls, that stretch into the wilderness was my favorite activity there. You can hear each rustle of the leaves, each note of the birds, each tune of the winds, each song of the all pervading, and all encompassing silence. It is blissful peace that infuses into every pore of the body, soothing and caressing the frayed nerves tattered by the noisy city life. I sat for hours on the mountainside, looking at the green valleys below, with the sunshine stroking my distraught spirit like a mother cuddling its young one into a deep satisfying and secure sleep.

Thankfully, the place has not been marauded by the film industry also. Barring Maya Memsaab ( the Deepa Sahi starrer that had five soulful Lata Mangeshkar songs) I do not recall any other film being shot there. Even the locals talk about the shooting of the film and are obviously proud to boast of having met Shahrukh Khan, though at the time of the shooting the film he was not the star that he is now.

I look forward to visiting the place again very soon.

[This post was originally written in my older blog]
[Since then, I have not been able to go to Kasauli- DJ, April 2006]
[Reposted with ecto]

The state of Rajasthan presents a delightful collage of vibrant colors. From the greens of Bharatpur to the pink of Jaipur to the ochre of the deserts, help
this state should be nominated as God’s own palette.

An opportunity to traverse a small slice of this rustic and splendid state presented to me yesterday. Traveling in the sturdy Ford Endeavor, we were three of us, who started the tour from Behror, a small, mid-way village between Delhi and Jaipur. From there on, we broke off civilization and the highway to course our way through ill-constructed and bumpy road towards Alwar, a town famous for its ‘maava’, a milk product.


The rains have finally opened their abundant baggage on the thirsty fields, which sway with fulsome pleasure in their dark greenery. The dotted road that cuts through the greens has not seen a proper renovation in years. Instead, the municipal corporation has fixed it in patches, resembling a beggar’s tattered dress, with black, fresh tar, sewn over the broken areas.

Like teenager’s acne, Alwar suddenly erupts out of the highway (or whatever that patchy road was). Resembling any other small town on important roots, this town also has a string of tyre, automotive spare parts and tractor shops. Shops line up like errant and ill-disciplined school children in an assembly hall, forming an irregular line. They are all small, with tin boards proclaiming their trade and shuttered. Some enterprising brand names have wormed their way in here, obviously, sensing the potential of C-class cities. We bump our way through the entire stretch of the town, passing through a couple of ‘important’ squares, and roundabouts. One such, turning to the left, leads us to the railway station, beyond which is a small outskirts village of Manduska, our object of visit here.

Manduska is much smaller than Alwar, not exactly a typical village, like Tatarpur, which we had crossed just before entering Alwar. Dusty roads, tiny shops, rickshaws, mud and people in penury greet us here.

In Rajasthan, history is there on your face, assertive and dominant. One just cannot ignore it, for the entire landscape is punctuated with forts and castles- some taken care of by the government (or the surviving generations of the royalty), others left to perish with their arcane tales buried between the solid rocks. One can only guess and imagine the purpose of a lone structure standing desolately overlooking the sprawling highway. The mountains few and far between (another of nature’s mysterious surprises of this land) are brown and dusty and dry and bear the burdens of age and barrenness. Again, they are not consistent, with their presence coming in spurts and fits. Brown, ochre and yellow are the most dominant colors of this bucolic terrain.

After Alwar, our journey brought us to many such villages, no need to list all of them- of these the most prominent was Deeg, which again has a fort, and an accompanying lake. Deeg, unfortunately, apart from its past splendor, has a more recent and current story of power, murder and conceit running through its veins. Deeg runs through a part rocky, part sandy arterial narrow road, concealing much more behind those tin-roofed kiosks and shops.

Our last stop on this route is Bharatpur- famous and well identified on the tourist map for its Bird Sanctuary. But before we reached there we had a funny misfortune. Having not taken lunch en route, we were famished by late afternoon. An alluring signboard of a sort of resort beckoned us in its inviting bright brown colors. It was two kilometers from the highway, on a small dirt track, that ended up in a small mud village, with a kind of fort looming ominously over it. The entrance to the fort was through a steep climb; even the otherwise healthy Endeavor heaved through the gradient. The fort was indeed very ominous, made of solid stone, and a huge iron gate. It looked a bit too run down to be a inhabited, thought the signboard had clearly proclaimed it to be a resort. On inspection, and our call, a dour waiter produced itself. Lunch milega, we asked expectantly. His incredulous reply was, sorry; no…you do not have a booking for lunch. With our jaws dropped, we stared at him in dumb incredulity. Booking? For Lunch? Amazing, no!

A peep into the fort confirmed our worst fears…we had pushed our luck a bit too far. The place was in ruins; I doubt any one ever came there. The setting was perfect for a shoot of a horror film.

And now on to Bharatpur…Due to the presence of the sanctuary several hotels have sprung up around it to cater to the tourist who would like to stay there overnight (Otherwise, most prefer to make it a day trip, since its 180 kms from Jaipur and only 58 kms from Agra). As in all such tourist destinations, these hotels come in all sizes and shapes and with exotic names like Bird’s Inn, Crane Crib and Peacock Hotel, etc (obviously keeping in mind the sanctuary).

During our search for a suitable place to spend the night there, we stumble upon the most unbelievable, the most unusual and the most pathetic sights of all times- at least none of us could believe our eyes, and none of us had seen it before this day…on the road to Jaipur, just a few kilometers away from the sanctuary, there is actually an open-air brothel! A few meters are lined up with huts and shanties, on both sides, and girls stand on the roadside inviting customers. The girls are decked up in loud and vulgar dresses (a cheap red color being the most favorite), with heavy red lipstick, chalky powder on the face, and a sweet, alluring but false smile on their lips, waving and calling the passing cars. Worse, this seems to be their acknowledged way of living, for routine life goes on around them as usual- old men are sitting on the cots, sleeping (drunk?) and elderly women are chatting or making dinner, or filling water, or removing lice from another’s hair; in short, remove the girls standing there, it is just another a mini-slum that one can even see in the cities now on small roadsides or alleys. It is open prostitution with a stamp of approval from their immediate society. I pity the plight of the girls born in this society (some do not look any older than thirteen years), sucked into this obscene trade for no fault of theirs, and also getting a sanction for doing so by what seemed to be their own family and relatives. If this is real India, then it certainly is not shining. I believe these girls sell their flesh for as low as five hundred rupees.

As we cross the place, my eye catches hold of an obviously more elderly lady sitting on a cot, but also in that same bright red make up. Age and men have already done their rampage on her. Yet, she invites, with her saree pallu dropped down in a futile attempt to look more sexy…but its her eyes that tell all: desperation (to get a client), hope (to get some money) and prayer (to sleep with a tummy full) all rolled together and pasted on her frustratingly facile façade. Our eyes meet, and she makes one last attempt, before I move forward in the car; I have turn back in my seat to see her; her eyes have drooped in sadness…was that a sigh that escaped her horrifyingly red lips?

(We stayed the night in Bharatpur; the next day we left for Jaipur, stopping midway at a few other villages and towns like Dausa, Sikandara- famous for its fine handiwork on soft stone- and Mahua. This journey was quite similar to the one described above, as the landscape did not change much. The Bharatpur-Jaipur highway is no better, and it was a bumpy ride again. On our way, also saw two Jackie Chan films on the VCD of the Endeavor: Thunderbolt and Spanish Connection. While the former was a bit too much of action for me to digest, the latter was quite interesting and resembled those good old sixties movies of Bollywood- with just the right dose of action, and the requisite dash of comedy and romance. Apart from this, the driver was considerate enough to play some beautiful Lata Mangeshkar numbers).

I don’t know how far it is true, malady but I speak from my personal experience – separating a man from his moustaches is quite an impossible task. Hrishikesh Mukherjee built an entire comedy revolving around mouches – remember Golmaal? And Utpal Dutt’s indignant stand – munch nahin toh mard nahin! I sport one. But unlike Utpal Dutt in the film, physician I do not twirl any morality into them; but yes, it seems without them I would be not complete.

Love for moustaches is not hereditary. Even if it is, then I am that perfect exception which always exists in every theory. My father does not sport one, neither did my grandfathers (both sides), none of my mamas, and not my chachas. Yet, as far as I recall I always wanted to have one. I am not sure where the influence came from.

Once the down was established, I never had the courage to remove it. Earlier my mother would often jokingly ask me to remove it, at least to see how I look clean-shaven. But the very thought would send a cold shiver down my spine. The only time I shaved it off was way back in college – that entire week I felt I was roaming naked. After that, I have never attempted. Plus, Lamhe released, and I viewed Anil Kapoor’s stiff upper lip in the first half, painfully aware at his obvious discomfort – while viewing the film, I patted my mouche lovingly – no baby, I am not murdering you ever! Few years later, King Uncle came. There was an entire parody based on Anu Aggarwal trying to get Jackie to trim off his weirdly shaped mouche. Even though I don’t have that horrendous shape, still I payed close attention to the song.

Just in case the girls are feeling left out, let me say it’s quite similar to having your long hair chopped off. I remember the pangs my sister went through when she went in for a new, short hair-style. That furthered my resolve – I wouldn’t subject myself to this mental agony!

Years passed, and off and on I did get the arrant urge off and on to do something drastic; but always controlled these wild thoughts. During these years, I would look with envy and awe at people who could regularly experiment with their face. My elder brother-in-law is one such person – he has tried everything: mustaches, clean-shaven, French beard, full beard – in short, the full works! My younger brother-in-law deserted his mouche, and never returned back to it. His reasoning – too much white hair peeping out there!

On my part I just saw them in mute admiration for their guts, secretly hoping some day I will be brave enough. The maximum I did was to trim off the thick eighties South Indian-film-hero-style bushy crop to a sophisticated slim one; sometimes using the scissor to such effect that it is barely visible. But never went full monty over my upper lip! Thankfully, white hairs (which are quite in abundance over the scalp) have not made their detrimental foray into my mouche!

Before coming to Nepal I had thought of doing so. It’s much easier if you go with a new look to a new place; at least, no one will walk up to you and peer into your face as if you are some exotic animal just escaped from the zoo! But, no – I couldn’t bring myself to it!

Today morning, while shaving, I had that animalistic strong urge again to wipe off the face clean. But as ever, in some innate defence mechanism, the heart beat shot up, the hand trembled, the mouth went dry and the razor looked menacingly but couldn’t complete its act. Before this primeval instinct betrayed me, hastily I moved away from the wash-basin.

But yes, someday I am going to do get over this fear. Also, these days clean-shaven look seems to be in-fashion. When I was growing up, it was the other way round. So, I guess I should be up-to-date with times. Will keep you and this blog posted the day I do ‘the act’!

[As of now, done nothing with the mouche- DJ, April ’06]
[re-posted with ecto]

Comments

  1. […] If you remember this post, (and even if you don’t that’s why I am providing the link), you will recall my paranoia in shaving off my moustaches. Finally, one Sunday evening, while getting a shave at my friendly neighborhood barber, I told him to yank off the hair from above my upper lip – a rare on-the-spot decision, and it had to be that way only if it ever had to be accomplished. The reason for not updating this earlier ranged from I-might-not-like-it-and-will-return-to-the-original-look to the I-am-damn-lazy-and-writing-on-a-petty-mouche-doesn’t-serve-this-blog-good! Anyways, the point is that I haven’t grown them back, and am quite liking myself sans the extra hair. So, all ye who have seen me, be prepared to welcome the ‘new improved(?)’ DJ! […]