Monday, February 28, 2011

Mumbai/New Delhi

…and after posing for the mandatory clicks is headed for the buffet hall. As he is busy chatting up the lovely Aizwal, New Delhi sneeks by again to have some fun..

New Delhi: So,you want a city-state status, handsome?

Mumbai: I would do better than you if I have one. Not that I want one.

New Delhi: Touché.

Mumbai: Go take your call-center English someplace else.

New Delhi: Call centers are in Gurgaon and Noida

Mumbai: Exactly, you want all the good things in life, there is life on the roads too.

New Delhi: So you don’t pretend that there is nothing north of Churchgate.

Mumbai: Where do you think is the airport?

New Delhi: Ah, there is the South Bombay snob I know; you don’t even know marathi.

Mumbai: Kay pan, amhi international jhale (whatever, I have gone global)

New Delhi: Kya? (what)

Mumbai: That was marathi and I have went global, unlike you. I am the gateway of India

New Delhi: Gateway to a lot of other things too

Mumbai: What is that supposed to mean?

New Delhi: I think you know.

Mumbai: Set your own house in order first you prick.

New Delhi: My place is spick and span with 2 back-up generators.

Mumbai: hmm..ok alright, tell me one think, it’s been 100 years been you have been the capital now, what have you achieved till now?

New Delhi: What are your achievements?

Mumbai: Is that your answer?

New Delhi: many

Mumbai: I am eager to listen..please enlighten

New Delhi: We are best in the country in culture, sports, infrastructure,

Mumbai: We have Kalaghoda art festival, we have been RANJI champs 39 times and I believe you have heard of the Bandra-Worli sea-link.

New Delhi: I have the best universities.

Mumbai: You have an IIM?

New Delhi: I have an IIT

Mumbai: You think I don’t?

New Delhi: I have the best real-estate, not match boxes like halls.

Mumbai: That is called maximizing the space by going higher

New Delhi: Looks worse that decayed trash

Mumbai: Do you even have a skyline? Even a promenade?

New Delhi: Atleast I don’t pretend to be the next Shanghai.

Mumbai: I am aspirational, you are too obsessed with yourself.

New Delhi: Beautiful people are

Mumbai: Could you be any more vain?

New Delhi: Could you be more irritating?

Mumbai: Yes I can; and truth irritates

New Delhi: We have better looking people.

Mumbai: That a preposterous thing to say

New Delhi: Come to Lady Shriram or Miranda House, heck even Chandni Chowk and you will know.

Mumbai: Hmm ,quality products all Chandni Chowk to China, Delhi 6..

New Delhi: You are digressing from the issue?

Mumbai: Aila, digress ? Jyaada tune mat de, items are not short supply with me.

New Delhi: What type of local bambaiyya lingo is that?

Mumbai: It’s called slang…but you have to get rid of your foreign fake twang to develop such a thing.

New Delhi: Saale bhains ki aan…

Mumbai: Shut up..that’s an expletive..not slang. As I said, you don’t have any

New Delhi: Because we are cultured

Mumbai: Because you didn’t have the talent.

New Delhi: If localising Hindi is you talent, then so be it..

Mumbai: So you accept that I am more creative.

New Delhi: I have to run the whole country; I can’t waste time on you.

Mumbai:60 years and you still can’t manage to do that

New Delhi: I can if people like you learn to fall in line and leave me to my job

Mumbai: That’s what I asked you. Leave me alone. But no you had to poke and pry.

New Delhi: You will never grow up

Mumbai: Who are you to tell me that oldie?

New Delhi: You are a spoilt, filthy child who refuses to listen.

Mumbai: You are an overfed uncle who would clog his arteries but never share his chips.

New Delhi: This conversation is over.

Mumbai: Don’t come over next time around.

New Delhi: You will pay for this.

Mumbai: We all know who pays and who loots.

New Delhi: It’s pointless.I am going for the budget meeting.

Mumbai: who cares?

New Delhi: saddi gali bhulke ke bhi mat aaiyo

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Delhi/Mumbai

At a recent state Capital Conference held in Jaipur, all the 27 respective cities came with Chandigarh proudly representing two states. The event went quite well until New Delhi walked up to arch –rival Mumbai to have a chat .The exchange was cold and hostile.

Mumbai stingingly stated as New Delhi came approaching…

Mumbai: oh, happy day, it’s you again

New Delhi: always nice to see you

Mumbai: love your sarcasm

New Delhi: how’s the metro coming up?

Mumbai: Don’t gloat you son of a politician

New Delhi: I was just asking

Mumbai: What do you want?

New Delhi: Nothing, heard about your transportation woes

Mumbai: That’s because I am vertical. Think about can’t manage even your concentric circles and ring roads.

New Delhi: hah! Roads? I have an F1 Grand Prix coming up, in winters

Mumbai: Yeah I heard you had the Commonwealth games also

New Delhi: Zip it. All went off quite well in the end

Mumbai: At what price? Those crores were from Mumbai, I pay the taxes

New Delhi: Yeah your sensex and your if we don’t pay them.

Mumbai: You do? How thoughtful of you. But you hoard ten times as much

New Delhi: Look Bombay you are hitting below the belt

Mumbai: Why are you still here? Don’t you have any fancy fat wedding to attend in GK II?

New Delhi: At least the weddings are flashy and we hire Bollywood dancers from you..

Mumbai: How does it matter to me, you electricity thieves

New Delhi: You slumdog, we gave you Shah Rukh Khan

Mumbai: Ask him if he wants to come back…he would never leave the sea

New Delhi: Keep the filthy sea, I have the better climate

Mumbai: ahh..delusions of a land locked man

New Delhi: You have some strange illusions about yourself too

Mumbai: Have you made a list?

New Delhi: I didn’t bother to. I am busy being the capital ..of fashion, of culture, of..

Mumbai: ... .of red tape, of bureaucracy of

New Delhi: You have a paperless government over there? Can’t even handle immigration

Mumbai: We don’t legalise illegal colonies like you

New Delhi: Of course not, you can’t legalise shanties,can you. Hate the crowd you have

Mumbai: I am the LA and NY of India

New Delhi: And your sub-urbs are Sydney, London and Amsterdam, isn’t it vadapav

Mumbai: Shut up tunde kebab

New Delhi: That’s from Lucknow.

Mumbai: I know, all your stuff is borrowed in any case

New Delhi: You don’t speak of cuisine stuffing everything inside a pav- usal, missal, bhurji, kanda, mirchi, bhaji..etc etc

Mumbai: The food here is as great as you can have. A restaurant opens in Bandra-Juhu area everyday.

New Delhi: That’s because two shut down every other day also.

Mumbai: I am having nothing of this food and pav nonsense with you. I carry the whole deficit ridden state with me; you don’t even acknowledge those east Delhi shanties.

The ruckus ensues as the host and Bangalore ask them to take it someplace else..

Jaipur : Guys you are making a scene out here.

Mumbai: With all due respect, you stay out of this Jaipur.

Bangalore: People calm heads please..

New Delhi: Fine you, go write a program for that.

The PA system announces that its time for the conference photo-op after which lunch will follow. The cities move forth to take their places in front of the shutterbugs. Mumbai gets a cocktail in his hand.

End of part 1...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oscar favourites

After the BAFTA’s last Sunday, in less than a fortnight’s time are the Oscars. The 6000 strong Oscar Academy is impossible to influence but they take strange decisions in what we call snubs. Some people are Academy favourites like Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon, Meryl Streep and Daniel Day- Lewis while some like Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp and Christopher Nolan not exactly so. Winning an Academy award involves a lot of factors- some win after being nominated repeatedly like Martin Scorcese in 06’ for The Departed, Jeff Bridges and Kate Winslet in 09’ with their fifth and sixth nominations respectively. The Academy sometimes gives the Oscar for the body of work done and not one single film. And sometimes they have major apprehensions in giving award to a young and most popular film.

Everybody has their favourite film of the year and not everyone’s favourite film bags an Oscar. Last year I had written that James Cameron should get the Directors Oscar but Katheryn Bigelow won becoming the first woman director to do so ,leaving Cameron as good as been sucker punched.

This time around I have taken calls on more categories. According to my consideration, these are contenders that I have slotted as- should win, could win and would win. Should win are the front runners and favourites. Could wins are the close competition and dark horses. Would win means that I believe that, them winning is almost a certainty.

I have picked The Social Network to win the best film, despite the indications being that the Academy won’t choose a film that is about Facebook and that they love the Royals and kings (The Queen ,Elizabeth et al)

But say what you want, The Social Network was the most entertaining film of the year, behind maybe Toy story 3, which will win best animated film. Inception was unquestionably the most intelligent film of the year, possibly the decade and Christopher Nolan not getting a Best Director nomination is not just a snub but theft. Personally, The King’s Speech though win it might, doesn’t make my top 3 films of the year. The best Actor Oscar’ fate is sealed in the name of Colin Firth who deserves all the praise unlike last year when he was nominated and overpraised for ‘A Single Man’. Likewise, Natalie Portman should win for Black Swan.

Looking forward to the main event to be hosted by the talented James Franco and lovely Anne Hathaway.

Best Picture
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Should win The Social Network
Could win The King’s Speech
Must win but won’t Inception (if it does, it would be the most popular win of the night)

Best Director

David O. Russell – The Fighter
Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech
David Fincher – The Social Network
Joel And Ethan Coen – True Grit
Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan

Should win David Fincher

Could win Tom Hooper

Best Actress
Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter's Bone
Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine
Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole

Should win Natalie Portman

Could win Jennifer Lawrence

Best Actor
Javier Bardem – Biutiful
Jeff Bridges – True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
Colin Firth – The King's Speech
James Franco – 127 Hours

Should win Colin Firth

Would win Colin Firth

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams – The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo – The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom

Should win Mellisa Leo

Could win Jacki Weaver

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale – The Fighter
John Hawkes – Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner – The Town
Geoffrey Rush – The King's Speech
Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right

Should win Christian Bale

Would win Christian Bale

Best Original Screenplay
Another Year - Mike Leigh
The Fighter - Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, Keith Dorrington
Inception - Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right - Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King's Speech - David Seidler

Should win Inception - Christopher Nolan

Could win The King's Speech - David Seidler

As much as The King’s Speech is a very good screenplay, Inception is literally three levels deeper and almost a decade of mind churning and labour on screen .This is not asking for sympathy, it’s just asking to be judged on merit. It was built from a germ of an idea, and what an idea it is! So, in a perfect world, Inception should win hands down.

Best Adapted Screenplay
127 Hours - Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network - Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 - Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich
True Grit - Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Winter's Bone - Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Should win The Social Network - Aaron Sorkin

Would win The Social Network - Aaron Sorkin

With dialogues sharp enough to cut ribbons and polished scenes one after another, this is one category which has been sealed quite a few awards before the actual ceremony at Kodak Theatre.

Best Animated Film
Toy Story 3
The Illusionist
How To Train Your Dragon

Each film is good. I will explain in simple maths.

Toy Story 3> How To Train Your Dragon> The Illusionist

Should win Toy Story 3

Would win Toy Story 3

Best Foreign Film
Biutiful (Mexico)
Dog Tooth (Greece)
In A Better World (Denmark)
Incendies (Canada)
Outside the Law (Algeria)

Haven’t seen all, so can’t say as yet.

Best Score
How to Train Your Dragon – John Powell
Inception – Hans Zimmer
The King's Speech – Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours – A.R. Rahman
The Social Network – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

The King's Speech nomination is strange; there is just one simple but elegant tune throughout the film whereas AR Rahman gave such justice to James Franco’s emotions in 127 hours. Inception’s score by Hans Zimmer is loud but noteworthy. Difficult to take a call on this one. All odds at 1/5.

Should win The Social Network – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Could win All of the rest 4 can .

Best Cinematography
Black Swan – Matthew Libatique
Inception – Wally Pfister
The King's Speech – Danny Cohen
The Social Network – Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit – Roger Deakins

Should win Inception – Wally Pfister

Could win Black Swan – Matthew Libatique, The Social Network – Jeff Cronenweth

Best Editing
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network

Should win The Social Network

Could win 127 hours,The King’s Speech

The film that should have won is not here – Inception. Such a complex story would have collapsed if the editing was even a notch below excellent.

So there you go. I do not think any film will sweep the ceremony.Now for the wait until the next Monday morning and see who wins what !

Monday, February 14, 2011

Why we love

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres .(Corinthians 13:4-7)

So says the Bible, but love is a strange thing with many more sides to it. Good bad and ugly .But that it has an effect on us is without question.Love hurts,love scars,love wounds and mars.

love is odd, love is cold breeze,

love makes you hot under the collar,

love is silence ,love is strife,

love is fresh, love ages, love fades, love grows,

love transcends, love dissolves differences, love overlooks faults,

love cares, love bares, love suffers but perseveres,

love is ancient, as old as time, yet is new every time,

love makes you float and love makes you gloat,

love brings a smile, smile without reason or season,

love is divine, love is jealous,

love makes you feel good, love raises your esteem,

love is multi dimensional, love is unconditional,

love has a better plan, love is sacred,

love is weird and complicated,

love is innocent and straightforward ,

love can make you go around in circles, love can show you the way

love is mystifying, love is amazing, love is pretty ,

love is a potion, a medicine, a panacea,

love can hate, love should never be regretted,

love can be bitter and unrequited,

love is ninth symphony, love is the eight colour,

love is the elixir, love is a punch from cupid,

love is serene, love is pristine, love is beautiful,

love bleeds blood, love feeds on tears,

love appreciates, love waits, love never spites,

love is frenetic and kinetic, love is dynamic,

love leads, love follows, love evolves,

love confides, love never seeks to divide, love is a trance,

love is a phase, love encapsulates,

love is poetic, love is tragic, these days even strategic,

love turns sour, love can turn cynical,

love can spur you, love can unfurl you,

love opens doors, love makes you creative,

love can ignore and exploit,

love can prevent and destroy,

love eggs you on, love tells you to dream on,

love is a free bird, love gives you wings,

love can be found,love keeps you sane and sound,

love can be lost and then found again, found love can be lost again,

love is soft, love is tough as nails,

love is power, love can conquer,

love can demolish, love connects, love affects, love nullifies,

love fires a passion, fuels an ambition,

love makes you grow ,love is a loaded cannon,

love is a guided missile, love makes your heart fertile,

love is a sin ,love can be unbridled bundles of joy,

love is partial ,love is myopic,

love is war, love is energetic,

love is deep and passive and also shallow and active.

love bites, love fights, love has tiffs, love has buts and ifs..

Despite all this we still love. We all do .Some say it .Some are not able to. Some don’t know how to. Some refuse to. Love is all around. Floating and masking around. Even water doesn’t have this many properties.

Love is the best intangible thing in the world. If it comes by your way ,experience it. Whatever happens, you will experience something special and next Valentines, you can say ' yes, I have loved’

Happy Valentine’s day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Roadies - 8

People watch reality television because of the Peeping Tom Syndrome.These shows provide a platform for 15 minutes of fame and notice. But several youngsters misconstrue this as the shortcut to popularity and a benchmark of success. MTV’s Roadies is an example of how the youth is thinking these days. Baffling as it is, all 18-25 year olds on these auditions now want to be models and Roadies. It is as if they acknowledge, ‘ We are stupid. We will go to gym, build physique and walk on ramp and open our mouth for spewing obscenities– We get famous – bingo!! ’

I am not a regular viewer of Roadies, but I do enjoy the auditions-purely for entertainment. It’s pure guilty pleasure. After the auditions, I do not care a whit as to who is in or out of Roadies .And where the heck they are put in. Hell or further down under. Truth be told, these are casting episodes of show rather than auditions- but it works and not for nothing is it the longest running reality show on Indian television.

No doubt judges on panel, are manipulative and try to wrest the upper hand and humiliate the participants. It is done intentionaly to make people uncomfortable .To separate the chaff from the wheat. But some of them are roasted and humiliated ever so deservingly. That later on they are cast on the very show, is however a liability and function of the format that feeds on creating tension by behaviour that is psychotic.

And the universal rule of reality TV holds true - that you can’t keep those without self respect down for too long.

And I will tell you exactly why people watch Roadies. Because as a guilt trip, those auditions are a treat to watch as we watch with voyeuristic glee at the deserved humiliation handed out on national television. Watching people confidently being so wrong in their priorities in life that you think you are in control sitting in front of a computer and logging on to youtube during work hours.

We love to bitch, love to hate, watch people sweat it out and empty their shallow souls in the hope of the short-lived fame it can bring it. But there is a lesson in this too. How many even after winning Roadies got a steady contract with MTV? Very few. And who is the most successful VJ on MTV right now? José. And José made his way working up from radio industry. Reality TV is a fickle.

Anyhoo, we watch on with crab mentality because some guys/girls richly deserve such a dressing down. More than anything else it’s fun to watch how wrong can people be about basic general knowledge. Confidently identifying that the current president is a man, getting state capitals wrong, not knowing what Ayodha is, trying to overcompensate for diffidence by wannabe dressing styles. How ashamed their respective schools would be to be their Alma maters. Maybe the Raghu/Rajiv put it correctly by saying that to straighten this generation; we need to close down all the call centres and gyms in first place.

I hope these people are not produced on a conveyor belt in India somewhere; else with such stupidity, god bless India!