Posts from — December 2008

Happy New Year!

It’s new year eve– whether you are headed out to a celebration with friends or opting for a cozy night in with good food and someone special, or doing something productive as cleaning dishes like me – I wish you all a very safe and happy New Year’s Eve and a 2009 filled with peace.

See you next year.


December 31, 2008   6 Comments

Learn from the Ladies…

December 29, 2008   1 Comment

The Manishwa Bollywood Awards 2008

I like good Bollywood films. And I love bad Bollywood films. The badder, the better and certainly more enjoyable. It’s probably a bit perverse, but there’s nothing more amusing than a filmmaker or actor putting in an effort – only to see him fall flat on his face.

As an effort to honour these efforts, here is the Manishwa Bollywood Awards – the biggest phussses of the year 2008.

Film of the Year: Drona. Easily the most spectacularly shot nonsense of the year. It had Alfa Romeo car-chases, but yet when they fought, they used tubelights as swords.  Once they had seen the rushes, I wonder why they even went about promoting the film – with the Small B even running into the Bigg Boss household. If it wasn’t for a brilliantly timed hospitalization story of the Big B, the Small B would have been eaten up by the media.

Actor of the Year: Himesh Reshammiya. The good thing – he didn’t have a double role in Karzzzz. Monty was back with his waxed chest, ladies hairstyle and girlie jeans – uttering the most memorable lines of 2008 – main Ravi Verma hoon Kamini. And Ravi Verma would have mouthed an expletive from his grave.

Actor(ess) of the Year: Kareena Kapoor in Tashan. Size zero, abilities zero. She closely beat Kareena in Golmal Returns for the crown.

Debut of the Year: Harman Baweja: One actor who will certainly make it big. Around the year 2050 – when Hrithik would be thinking of retirement.

Song of the Year: Tandoori Nights: Fantastic song – made you feel like dumping Himesh and Urmila down a flaming tandoor. Meaningful lyrics as well: Jiya jale, jale , jale – what else would you get after a full-round of Tandoori chicken? Acidity and Heartburns, of course.

Director of the Year: Subhash Ghai: Two amazingly directed movies – Black and White as well as Yuvvraj – splendid examples of what his students at the Whistling Woods institute will be capable of.

Eyesight of the year: Anushka Sharma in Rab ne Banaa di Jodi for not able to spot her husband when he got rid of the spectacles and moustache. Maybe she needs Suri’s glasses as well.

Incentive of the year: Dostana for pointing us out the wonderful legal workaround to get past the immigration procedures quickly. Incentive for many to swing the other way.

Ulta-chor-kotwal-ko.. of the year: Raakesh Roshan the legendary lifter for accusing Ram Sampath of being money-minded when the former was caught red-handed lifting a song for Krazzy4.

Perfectionist of the Year: Who else, but Aamir Khan for putting in a year’s effort for the perfect garbage called Ghajini.

December 29, 2008   No Comments

Hyderabadi Mangoes

More than a decade ago, when I was in my first job, I lived in a small rented apartment along with two other roommates. One, was a childhood friend from school – let’s call him Tinu for now. The other was a Hyderabadi. The Hyderabadi, wasn’t a roommate by our choice – but ended up in our apartment due to a few strange circumstances. But that’s another story.

Hyderabadis, just in case you haven’t realized it yet, are pretty interesting characters. This one was no exception. He had this terribly annoying habit of crashing into every conversation with “Hamaare Hyderabad mein..“. So, if we were talking about biryanis, he would butt in with – “Biryani toh haamare Hyderabad mein miltaa hai…“.  If we talked about movies, “Acting to Hyderabad mein Chiranjeevi karta hai“…. And so on. Everything I or Tinu had or could do, Hyderabadis could do it better.

Let’s get back to the story. It was one lazy Sunday afternoon – when we pooled money to buy a kilo of mangoes. Mangoes, for people like me were quite a luxury – and they were usually ridiculously priced. The rich man’s fruit, as I always thought of them. As I, Tinu and the friend from Hyderabad indulged in our mangoes, I casually told Tinu – “Lagtaa hai aam khaane ke liye ab udhaar lena padega.”.

The Hyderabadi, as usual,  was quick to barge in. “Aam to hamaare Hyderabad mein milta hai. Hamaare  yahaan ek special variety ka aam milta hai – bahut hi meetha. Poora yellow rang ka hota hai… aur usme chotey chotey kaale spots hotey hai“.

He paused for effect and then continued -”Hamaare yahaan usey Malgova kehte hai“.

My friend Tinu, first looked at me.  Then looked at the Hyderabadi, and casually said – “Hamaare yahaan usey kela kehte hain“.

That was the last time we heard the Hamaare Hyderabad from him.

PS: I don’t recall the exact variety of mango he mentioned, but for convenience sake, I have called it the Malgova.

December 28, 2008   1 Comment

The nine-year old pick-up guru

There’s a 9-year old kid in town who has written a book on how to impress girls. Among his enlightening stuff – which comes 20 years too late for me, Alec Greven writes:

“A crush is like a love disease. It can drive you mad…Many boys get crushes on girls. But it can be very hard to get a girl to like you. Sometimes it takes years. Whatever happens, just don’t act desperate. Girls don’t like desperate boys.”


“About 73 per cent of regular girls ditch boys; 98 per cent of pretty girls ditch boys. Life is hard, move on.”

The bestselling book by Alec is called How To Talk To Girls. But if you would prefer to listen to a 34–year old not-so-guru – you don’t talk to girls. You simply listen.

December 28, 2008   No Comments

What’s in a doc’s name?

I have heard of several appropriate doctor names in the past. Like Dr.Vyawhare, the psychiatrist. Or Dr.Kaanfade, the ENT. And even Dr.Andhare, the opthal.

But this one is something special.


December 28, 2008   3 Comments

What? No Boxing Diwas?

A large section of the Indian media apparently was outraged that the Indian Boxing Federation, in spite of winning medals at the Olympics, failed to organize any function to mark “Boxing Day” and fete its boxers.

The new, proactive Indian media, and a few former players, had taken it upon themselves to find out why the Indian Boxing Federation, at the end of a year when the country’s pugilists had taken giant strides into the nation’s consciousness, had not bothered to organise any special function as part of the Boxing Day celebrations. Had they forgotten? Were they plain inconsiderate? With a national sports federation involved, could an inexplicable, inexcusable slip-up be far behind?

Finally, Col P K Muralidharan Raja, Secretary General of the Indian Boxing Federation – whose phone kept buzzing with queries from the media– ran out of patience and sent a clarification email.

This is to inform you all that ‘Boxing Day’ has nothing to do with the Sport of Boxing.” Controversy snuffed, he went on to explain: “Boxing Day is the day following Christmas i.e. 26 December. Traditionally this was the day to open the Christmas Box and share the gifts with the poor. It is a public holiday in England and certain other Commonwealth Countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand etc.”

I think 26th December should be now celebrated each year as Boxing Diwas – and on the occasion, members of the Indian sports media should be thrown into the boxing ring to let them get a feel of the game. A few black-eyes, perhaps, but that should solve a lot of problems of the media.

December 26, 2008   1 Comment

Forget Ghajini, Gajodhar is here

If you liked Ghajini, you might like this one as well. Check it out.

December 26, 2008   1 Comment

The Best of Bollywood: 2008

Okay, here’s top 10 of the best of Bollywood films in 2008. It’s my list, and of course it doesn’t necessarily match with yours.

Dasvidaniya: Charming tale of a man spending his last few months. Vinay Pathak at his best.

Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na: Nice script, breezy entertainer, old story… but with a fresh approach

A Wednesday: Tight script, a bit of preaching, no conventional heroes. But gripping.

Aamir: Though a lift of a Filipino film, it’s an intriguing thriller with Rajiv Khandelwal putting in a wonderful performance.

Rock On: Probably Jhankar Beats was better, but this one struck a chord as well.

Mithya: A bit patchy at times, but Ranvir Shorey puts in a delightful performance.

Oye Lucky Lucky Oye: Didn’t live up to the Khosla ka Ghosla promise, but still was watchable. Abhay Deol delights.

Shaurya: Inspired from “A Few Good Men”,  it has a powerful performance from Kay Kay Menon.

Mumbai Meri Jaan: Character driven and nicely scripted, it has a close look at various individuals’ reaction to the bomb blasts on Mumbai trains.

U Me aur Hum: Surprisingly good. Wonderful chemistry between Kajol and Ajay Devgan. Plus, Devgan does a good job with a few pretty complicated scenes.

December 26, 2008   5 Comments

Ghajini: Gore, Bore, Snore.

When Aamir Khan goes out on a massive scale publicity blitzkrieg to promote his film – you should realize there is a problem. It simply isn’t his style. With Lagaan, the pre-release publicity has absolutely no mention of cricket being involved. So when the viewers saw it – they found it as a pleasant surprise. With TZP, the publicity was much limited. The film grew with word-of-mouth – and held on to screens for weeks. But with Ghajini, Aamir Khan went all out like the Bofors gun – shoot and scoot. The screens are booked already for the weekend. And before anybody realizes how sickening the film is – the film makers would have scooted away and be busy counting their money. The hit-and-run approach that they call it in Bollywood.

Coming back to Ghajini – the film is in two parts. One immensely delightful. The other equally nauseating. The first part is the flashback – where the hero-heroine go about their romance – and this is where Aamir, Asin and the film excel. And then the second part where tragedy strikes – the girl is lost, memory is lost and the plot, if there was one-  is lost as well.

The storyline is linear, very predictable with no twists and turns. Girl and boy meet each other. Fall in love. Goon gets rid of the girl and the boy’s memory. Boy seeks revenge. When you are copying a film like Memento, at least they could have put in a little more effort.

Ghajini could be best watched on a DVD – where you can fast-forward every time you see Aamir in the weird hairstyle he sports. If you are interested in mindless spattering of blood, twisted necks and hammers hitting skulls, Ghajini could work for you.

Ghajini did manage to do one thing – ruin my Christmas.

December 24, 2008   5 Comments