When I started out, I used to ‘yearn’ for books. I thought buying any other than textbooks would be sinful, so I treasured any catalog of books which I could lay my hands on. The little snapshots of books’ cover-pages fascinated me beyond anything! Mostly I retrieved old books; read and forgotten ones starting from our grandfather’s time. I ‘read’ as many books as reached me, mostly of Hindi literary legends at that stage. Later I became ‘borrower’ of books, when I started borrowing from our office libraries – often at the rate of two every week. I would also ‘record’ the names of those I finished, along with some wonderful quotes. For some years I became 'trafficker' of books; when I bought those in bulk from near Churchgate. Then twice I could claim to be ‘author’ of books; at least portions of those specks in the ocean. All along I never noticed when I became ‘hoarder’ of books – I would buy due to sheer pleasure of owning those books… As I grew with age, I also flirted with being ‘unbeliever’ in books – since reading those gave a false feeling of ‘know it all’ while the key lied somewhere else. But all through the lifecycle of my ‘business’ with books, I guess one thing has survived which is the ‘love’ for books. Currently I am loving one from Arun Shourie, which I bought to own but now it owns my time and imagination.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
There is very sad news (news reference) where a tiger has killed a man who felled into its enclosure most probably by accident. Though some news sources are telling that the man was mentally unstable, at the same time they we are being told that he used to work hard as daily wage earner which tells that he was not that mentally unstable. I guess he must have scaled up the wall in order to have a better look at the tiger; white tiger to be precise, because as the pictures indicate, people were being allowed to see the unique white tiger in its enclosure from quite some distance.
Though this is very sad news and we naturally offer condolences, at the same time we can’t be without giving it a thought why it happened the way it happened.
I think that this is not a case of one man’s tragedy – it is a case of system failure. I read that the fence around tiger’s enclosure was only 3 feet high. There was a deep (15’) moat inside the enclosure and after the fence. The designers of the zoo would have thought only about how to prevent tigers from coming out of the enclosure – but they did not think about how to prevent people from coming inside it! They could prevent tiger from reaching the man but failed to prevent the man reaching the tiger! This is same case where we design even software systems – if we limit imagination to what could happen logically, there would be a time where illogical things would breach the system in a moment…
At the same time it is also interesting to know that when the man felled into the enclosure, the tiger did not instantly attack him. The tiger waited for 10 minutes and then attacked the man. The tiger was born and brought up in the zoo – so we can assume that it had not yet killed any living animal. Since it was born to a tigress inside the zoo, it must never have seen its mother hunt too! Then from where did it get the instinct to kill! Though its background explains why it took long time to attack, we can notice that sooner or later its natural instinct to attack and kill anyone threatening it (encroaching its enclosure meant the tiger felt threatened) came out!
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Daawat-E-Ishq is a lovely light-hearted movie; watching it was good time spent.
Anupam Kher is brilliant; Aditya Roy Kapoor is super-cool and Parineeti is in her usual self! The movie also has a good social message.
I liked the story which is full of twists and turns. If you have watched this movie then you can consider my analysis as below :)
At first, the father-daughter duo had become too negative in their attitude, due to the negative experiences they have had in their life. Though at one point Anupam Kher comforts Parineeti by saying, "not all boys are the same type", later on he agrees with her evil plan to become fraudster. At that point, he says, "like no one can buy a house in our country without paying in black, no one can marry without paying dowry". The first statement about buying houses is so untrue and judgmental - so many of us have bought houses without paying anything in black. While it is true that some people indulge in that, it is not correct to make a sweeping statement in general. Dowry is more prevalent, there are exceptional cases when no dowry is paid, but at the same time not in all cases dowry is meant to loot or make girl's family lose whole of their life's savings. In fact when Anupam Kher was not able to find a suitable boy even after willing to pay Rs 17 lakhs in dowry - it may not be because of dowry alone but because of other factors like his social status, the fact that the girl did not have mother, etc, because of which some families won't have agreed to marry her. 17 lakhs is not a little sum, and it was an exaggeration that he was not able to find a son-in-law only because of money. Anyways, coming back to Parineeti's decision to turn into a fraudster, it was surprising and idiotic that her father, Anupam Kher's character, agreed to allow her to do that and also join her. Kids at that age even though they feel like they are confident and wise, are half-baked and many of their decisions are not correct. In such a case it is essential for parents to interfere or at least register their opinion seriously. Since Anupam Kher was too soft on her and allowed her to do whatever she wished, illegal and unethical activity in this case, he did not play his role or duty correctly. And near the end, they were all in soup. Father was more to be blamed than the daughter for that situation.
Even if the father-daughter duo started to forge their identities; there was a time when Parineeti knew for sure that Aditya was a good guy, not the typical greedy men she had met in the past. But she feared that if she tells him the truth - he might not understand her and might give her away to the Police. At this time we see another flaw in her character - she assumed negative thing in Aditya behavior without any concrete reason supporting her assumption. What if she told him the the truth and he pardoned her (which ultimately happened in the end)? She could have taken a chance. Though I know it is easy to say than actually do. Still, when she realized that he was a good guy, and she already had Rs 40 lakhs he had given her, she could at least vanish from his life and go back to her home in Hyderabad. But no, she goes ahead with her decision to cheat the boy and throws Aditya at the mercy of police and also go down in the eyes of society. What wrong did Aditya do to deserve this? This decision to go ahead with old plan even when situation had changed and she had information which was prompting her to change her plan; shows her incompetence and indecisiveness. I may be exaggerating, but I worry about what she would do in future if she faces similarly complex situations? Life is long, and many things would change in the later years - if in future situation became tough - would she once again choose wrong path and make wrong decision to punish good people? I doubt that this is likely. Therefore it was a bold decision by Aditya to pardon her and keep his faith in her. It shows that his love towards her was true and in general it shows his good nature. If you are honest and truthful, it is more likely that you would assume the other person to be honest and truthful too. So his decision to keep her company tells more about his own good nature rather than pointing towards some good aspects of Parineeti's character.
I liked Aditya Roy Kapoor's character - he was so cool, funny and considerate/sensitive at the same time. So far I have loved each charater Aditya has played in his movies, and that is one reason I am a big fan of his.
The movie was mostly shot in Lucknow and Hyderabad - which is a welcome change. The overall exposure that the movie gave to these cities and their culture was nice. (I also liked to see these two cities again, recollecting my own personal memories there). The culinary connection was delightful. Though in promotions they have highlighted too much about its foodie connection, after watching the movie it appears that the movie is not too much about good food, but it is as much about many other things as about good food.
This is a good light-hearted movie; watching which I am sure you would spend your 2 hours well and you will come out with a smile on your face. It is also a clean movie which you can watch with whole family.
Recommended to one and all.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Happened to see brilliant Master Bittoo in one of the old movies and a thought came to mind - how does he look like now after growing up? Is he still chubby? And what does he do - is he still in world of cinema? So I searched and discovered how Vishal Desai looks like now... And he was associate director in Baghban and a few years back joined Colors:
Friday, September 19, 2014
When we were kids and did too much masti, sometimes mother would pull us (me and elder sis) up; mount us on the dining table (so that we could not escape); and give us a challenge (which was another trap) - sit still, close your eyes and for 10 minutes think only about Lord Ram, Sita ji and Hanuman ji with no other thought in mind... We tried but never succeeded - we were surprised why it did not work out - why we always had some other thought cropping up our mind - why we did not have that self control! We would ask mother why we could not do it - but mother would only smile and say two words - "try again". I think the idea was that even if we did not succeed but if kept trying, at least during that time we should be calm and rested...
I think that is a key to many things - keep trying; even if you don't succeed fully, at least during the time you are trying you are much better than otherwise!
Thursday, September 11, 2014
We were on a train journey and our co-passenger next berth was a super-cool uber-curious kid who kept asking questions. Once he looked outside the window, felt the train running, and asked, "how does the train move?" I thought to play game; to give him a stupid but logical answer which he could understand... So I said, "There are big elephants at the front of the train who are pulling the train and running fast..." To my relief, the kid bought the answer. He was satisfied and went to sleep.
He woke after an hour or two. As soon as he opened his eyes, he saw outside and realized that the train was still. And he exclaimed, "The elephants have stopped!!!" That was so cool - instead of saying "the train has stopped", he more appropriately said, "the elephants have stopped!"... I felt guilty of misleading this super-intelligent kid.
May be one day when he grows up a bit and knows how trains move, he would say, "that uncle on the train was so stupid to think elephants move the train!" :)
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
At engg college, our department's seniors were hosting 'welcome function' for us. As part of interactions, they were asking us (1st year freshers) questions. One of our classmates (many would remember who she is) was asked something like "what would you like to become in your next birth? Or if you could become something other than what you are - what would you choose?" She replied "I would like to become a tree because a tree is so at peace and ..."
That was an extraordinary thought and answer and it was so true!
From that day onward, somehow deep in my mind whenever I think of 'peace', I think of 'trees'...
That was an extraordinary thought and answer and it was so true!
From that day onward, somehow deep in my mind whenever I think of 'peace', I think of 'trees'...
Monday, September 8, 2014
The new CEO had joined the company with much funfair. He was a big name and industry veteran. Once in a while he sent some emails to all employees in a drive to boast morale. Rohit read one such email and he was mesmerized. The email had so many jargon, buzz words, and what not - so this is how a CEO's email should be! He was highly impressed with the CEO’s email.
But his curiosity made him test his hypothesis. He copied one line from CEO's email with big words and 'googled' it. The exact line was found to be picked up from a synopsis of a Harvard training package! He was shocked and bewildered! Is it that the CEO did not write his email but someone else wrote it copying content from multiple sources? But why should a CEO not write his own email, especially if he was sending an important message to all employees of the organization? Since he was trying to make a culture shift in the organization?
Couldn't a CEO write one damn good email without plagiarizing it?
Sunday, September 7, 2014
I am a great fan of Anupam Kher and I have huge admiration for his talent and charisma. I think he is one of the finest actors of Bollywood. For some time ‘The Anupam Kher Show’ has been running on popular TV channel Colors and I watch it most of the times. The show’s format is good and it is content rich. Over the time I have made some observations on the show and wish to pen down those. These are merely my observations and intent is not personal towards anyone.
Awarding or gifting the guests at random: In some of the episodes, Anupam Kher gifts the guest with a memoire which is generally a written memento lauding the person for his or her achievements and commending the person. But this practice is followed only when some veteran celebrity arrives at the show and when some newcomer actor or actress or someone less famous from the chosen few comes, he or she does not get any such honor or award. Randomness of celebrity choices to whom such awards are given baffles the viewers and it is an uncomfortable moment near the end of the show. I mean last week you saw how Mr. Kher flattered that celebrity with a gift, but this week the show just ‘abruptly’ comes to an end! The celebrity who does not get award appears insecure about what is going to happen next too. In my opinion, even if Mr. Kher thinks some of the guests are unworthy to get an award and memento from his hands, he should still gift that person a memento – it does not cost much and it appears niceon his part. A good host does not discriminate between his guests.
Volley of questions: Quite often and abruptly at some point in the show we witness Mr. Kher showering the guest celebrity with a volley of questions. It is like a ‘rapid fire round’ without being labeled so. Viewers get confused for a moment and take time to settle down and realize what is happening. When this is in progress, which can start anytime without viewers or the guest having any clue, communication is one-way, i.e. Mr. Kher asks questions, the guest answers, but Mr. Kher instead of grasping the answer or responding or reacting to it, simply asks next question. At times this looks insensitive. After all, the guest might have shared a piece of his or her heart; something private or something dear to his or her heart; and the host is expected to respond or at least acknowledge it sensibly!
Too much flattery of some while ignoring some others: I don’t know if it was intended through the format of the show that the host Mr. Kher should often be too personal or impersonal towards the guests depending on who the guest is. When some old timer veteran actor or actress comes, he is seen flattering him or her with all the powers he possesses but when some youngsters or less famous celebrity comes, he is seen too impersonal or aloof/detached at times. I noticed when Sonam Kapoor came, at many points Mr. Kher kept her at arm’s length, i.e. did not respond with the same warmth with which Sonam was talking to him. Is it contempt or disapproval reflecting in Mr. Kher’s behavior towards those he thinks do not deserve too much respect for their not-so-great talent? It also reflects in the fact that Mr. Kher appears to have done much homework on some celebrities while on some others he appears unprepared and more like scratching on the surface.
Calling multiple celebrities: In many episodes two celebrities were called while it would be better to have only one. I think this show’s best USP is the content which is soaked in personal experiences of the celebrities who come on the show. Most of the time the celebrity guests have too much content to share but Mr. Kher has to flip between the two guests and hence viewers lose continuity. Though I must say that Mr. Kher tries to be balanced towards both hosts on such occasions brilliantly. I think if at some point of time this show could be documented in the form of a book, the book will definitely be a great hit. But for that to happen, episodes with two or more celebrities in it won’t make that much sense.
Appearing insensitive towards some guests: I am a big fan of Aditya Roy Kapoor. In today’s (7th of Sep) episode I did not like it when as soon as Aditya arrived and sat down – Mr. Kher asks something like, “We were discussing how Parineeti has been a topper and good in studies. Somehow I feel you have been an opposite of her…” This was not a respectful line to begin with; after all, was it written on Aditya’s face that he was not good at studies in school? For next fifteen minutes or so Aditya is quizzed on how he did not know what to do in life (which no kid does!) and in short how he fitted into the mold Mr. Kher had created for him! The frank, honest and cool manner in which Aditya handled all these questions was adorable. And while asking all these questions, Mr. Kher laughed at Aditya while Parineeti joined him and also interrupted Aditya with her comments perhaps in order to show her presence on the show and not to allow Aditya eclipse her. In my opinion some editing should have been done for Aditya’s portion to come uninterrupted.
There are many positives of the show too, that is why I shall continue watching it. If I have to name a few, first thing is rich content, which won’t be possible without the brilliant Mr. Kher asking those probing and intelligent questions which encourage celebrities to come out of shells and bare their hearts. Honoring one viewer in each show and giving him/her opportunity to talk to the celebrity is also a very novel idea. Mr. Kher himself is excellent and adds huge star power to the show. Still, sometimes I have felt uncomfortable with the points I mentioned in the earlier parts of this article and hence thought to share what I felt. I am sorry if some feelings were hurt of the viewers who consider this show or Mr. Kher flawless. There is always a room for improvement – as Mr. Kher says and I like it very much, “Kuchh bhi ho sakta hai”!
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Keep pressing remote control's buttons and each TV channel shows a different world. Similarly at this very moment so many different worlds are unfolding. At this very moment, someone is in bed, some other travelling, some driving, some working, some fighting, some eating, some are in dreams, some are in others’ dreams… So many worlds in a single world…
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Watched It's Entertainment today. Filled with sidesplitting comedy and comic scenes - it's great entertainment for all. Kids in the theater were heard enjoying a lot; good decision by parents to bring them along :) Akshay is the best and Krishna Abhishek has done great role too.
I also noticed that 90% of the movie was shot in Bangkok. Don't know what will happen to Narendra Modi's "Come, Make in India" slogan! After returning back, thought to check the financials of the movie: Cost: Rs 75 Crores; Box office collection: ~ Rs 71 Crores after two weeks. It appears that its production cost was too high; even if it earned more than Rs 100 Crores, it won't have made much profits. Apart from spending on too many stars (who had got small roles anyway), one major factor for such high production cost would be shooting 90% of the film in a foreign location.
When Modi asks to "make in India", it is not only to generate local employment and local business but also to save costs and make more profits! I hope movie makers learn this as soon as possible - so that their finances also keep entertaining them!
Related Post: Do Big Budget Films Make Economic Sense?
Friday, August 22, 2014
A cow had roamed to the middle of the road, attracted by speck of greenery on the median strip. As she was busy dealing with the grass, a car zoomed past her. As soon as it passed besides her, the driver brought his hand out and touched the cow on her back. It is a Hindu custom where it is considered sacred to touch a cow. We can guess that the purpose of this custom would be to encourage people to serve cows, to feed and protect cows who give us milk second only to our mother’s milk. So does this casual touch-while-you-go business serve any real purpose?
This gesture is indeed ‘symbolism’. At the very moment the driver was touching the cow, he must have felt reverence for mother cow; at that moment he must have had pious thoughts in his mind; and hence I think this custom though symbolic in nature would still help preserve some goodness in the hearts of practitioners…
Sunday, August 17, 2014
In our neighborhood park there is a small merry-go-round which runs when pushed manually. Once a mother was seen pushing it while several kids enjoyed the ride. But she was holding the ride and also running round and round as the ride moved. I wondered why could not she stand at one place and simply push the ride to get it running! Why take the pains to run along with it? On second thoughts I could get it - She was not moving with the ride but in fact she was moving with her kid! If she stood at one place and pushed the ride, she would need to let her kid go out of her hands which she did not want to do... Tells how difficult it is to judge others from our own frame of reference. Also how parents take emotional decisions to protect kids while kids can judge them logically and consider them wrong...
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Cab driver stopped the car and went on to clean the corner of wet windshield. The moist and hazy surface was not getting perfectly clean. He kept trying and wondering what was wrong... I suggested to try cleaning from inside. He tried and it was done in a moment. That is how we keep trying to solve problems from outside while at times key may be to try from inside...
Friday, August 15, 2014
Independence of our country was earned at a great price and is ensured everyday by great sacrifices. If we could follow some bullet points from the wonderful speech by our great PM Sri Narendra Modi, our country will attain greater heights:
(1) Avoid imported goods and buy more ‘made in India’ items.
(2) Impart good values to sons so that daughters remain safe.
(3) Keep our localities neat and clean.
(4) It is our responsibility to build the nation our freedom fighters dreamed of.
Happy Independence Day India! Long live 15th August!