Just Chatting with Life

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Rang De Basanti

I find it hard to like Hindi Movies that are being made for the last 10 years or so. I cant stand the kind of unrealistic chocolate coated crap that Yash Chopra and Co come up with . I like watching this movies that impact my soul . You know those which "Jo andar se choo jaati hai " . Rang de Basanti is such a movie . It shook me right to the core of my soul . Am i a patriotic person ? What is the definition of my patriotism ? Is it just about standing to attention when the national anthem is playing ? Is it just about supporting the Indian Cricket team ? I fear that for majority of people ( including me ) , that holds true .

All of us crib about the conditions we live . About this "system " . But none of us has had the courage to do something about it . I myself am an cultprit . I have never thought about changing the system .Maybe i do not have enough courage . Maybe i am content to sit back and let the world go on. But i cannnot help but find a just cause in the way Aamir and his freinds react . The justness and moral issues of the actions are not relevant. Its the message that the movie conveys is important . And I find the ending perfectly fitting. Any other ending would have made the film less effective. It is when we react with shock to their deaths that we realize how passionate was the cause which they took up.

The movie builds up an atmosphere that is electrifying. I find getting shivers when Soha ali says " Maar Daalo usko " ! All the threads in the movie combine brilliantly in the end. I thought that Cyrus Sahukar's role was irrelevant, but it turnded out ot be the crucial in the climax. The juxtapositioning of the Past and the present was awesome. The scene where the friends plot the revenge , when each character is alternated by his alter ego in past is one of the most brilliant movie scenes i have ever seen . The entire cast has performed briliiantly. I also marvel at how Rakeysh Mehra overcame the temptation of Making Aamir the centre of the movie. In Rang De Basanti, The story is the winner . After Lagaan, this is the first Hindi Movie that has impacted me so much. But more so in case of Rang De Basanti becasue i could identify with the characters. When Sukhi complains about the system, it could have been me talking .

This movie may not prompt me to Do anything drastic, but it has made me think. And that is where i think RDB is a winner. IT will make the viewers think ! Hats off to the entire cast and crew !!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Why ?

The boy stood alone and cried,
a lonely figure with none by his side,
His misery too sad to see,
a bundle of sobs was he,
his world was now in shadows,
of barred glasses on cracked windows.

Some consoled and hugged him,
some others afraid to face him,
speaking kindly, all of them,
But what could he say to them,
for,how do you feel when your parents die,
the only question he asked was - "Why?"

- Rahul

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Mumbai Marathon 2006 : The story in Pictures

Mumbai Marathon 2006 - The Biggest Marathon ever in India . And I was a part of it. Here is the story in pictures . (The guy in white T-Shirt and specs is me) -

The Warriors proceed for the battle - At Kanjur Marg Station .

Chal Padein hain Raah par. Manzil pa ke rahenge !

We reach Azad Maidan near VT - Gathering point for the contestants.

Look who we spotted - A very dapper Harsha Bhogle and the Shining pate of Vinod Kambli

Harsha kuch kehna Chahta Hai

Say Hello to a very Motu Cyrus Broacha and his Son. Cyrus was sitting on the ground. No one noticed him until Harsha said Hi to him

Kya Costume Hai !

Just before the starting point !

The massive crowd near the starting line !

Me with VT in background .

Those who rule Maharshtra - Vilasrao Deshmukh, Chhagan Bhujbal and Suresh Kalmadi Cheering on the contestants .

Running on and on ! Somewhere near the halfway mark .

Hai Himmat to kuch kaam mushkil nahi !! This guy recieved huge cheers on his way. He completed 21 kms on crutches .

After running for 58 mins , we reach our destination - The Finishing line !

The joy of Victory and a Salute to the spirit of Mumbai.

Mission Accomplished- Showing off our numbers at VT !

And that ends an Amazing Day. The Marathon rocked and throughout the race the indomitable spirit of Mumbai was visible everywhere. People from all Cast, Creed , Colour and Religion took part in this momentous occasion. It was humbling to see people twice and thrice our age making full effort to complete the race. Thousands lined the streets to egg us on. Running was never a problem. Taking my eyes of the beauty of Mumbai was difficult. Watching it up close without any traffic and spotlesly clean was an amazing experience. We all gained something from the Marathon.A sense of satisfaction, a sense of achievement, a sense of sharing the Mumbaikar spirit, and above all a sense that we all have contributed something to the Society ( This was a charity event) . All of us have made a promise to run 21 kms in the next marathon and I have no Doubt that we will fulfil it.

Here's a Salute to all those who participated in today's marathon and to this great city itself.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Freshies and Stalies : The MBA Junta

Now this subject has been done to death in many articles and blogs, so i run the risk of repeating the oft-repeated stuff. Still i'll try and give it a different perspective.

The average B-School Junta can be divided into two groups- freshies and work-exies (lets call them stalies for ease of use). Now each of the group behaves in a predictable manner (except for a few glorious exceptions). Let us consider the freshies first .

Freshies behave just like their name- very fresh. They bring fresh ideas to the discussions. Of course, being fresh does not necessarily mean useful. So, these guys are always very eager about things. They like to participate in the class as much as possible and more often than not end up asking questions which any self-respecting MBA student wont be caught dead asking. They try to hog all the limelight by sitting in the first two rows, which perfectly suits the rest of the class. They are the pets of Profs for all the donkey work that they are willing to do. They are the life of any project group. In an MBA institute "life" of the group is a wicked way of humoring the guy willing to slog for the whole group. These Freshies are also obsessed with grades and are usually the first one's to know about any grades that have arrived. They usually dont drink or smoke and consider anyone touching these things as untouchable. Their reportoir of curses is severely limited and this hampers their ability to effectivley communicate their frustration with a staly who dares to shirk his group duties.

As with any population, exceptions galore. These "exceptional" freshies do everything opposite to a normal freshy. They spend most of their time sleeping on the back-benches. They rarely do any work and dont give a damn about grades. They are looked upon by other freshies as somewhat of a disgrace.

Now, coming to the stalies. Stalies have more than a year of work-experience. And in their opinion, it gives them an undenaible right to pass opinions on everthing related to placements, jobs or companies. They usually categorise things in two categories- things that used to happen at their place of employement and things that did not used to happen at their place of employement. And god save you if some event is even remotely similar to a category 1 event. You then have to suffer through a long and boring description of the staly's exploits at his place of employement. Stalies dont believe in slogging for the group projects as they already consider themselves to be managers and are content with "managing" the project. Stalies can be observed at all times giving loads of unwarranted gyaan to a faithful freshie or reliving those gloriouos days of employement with their fellow stalies. For some strange reason, Stalies are also very obsessed with grades and manage to defeat Freshies in thier quest to be the topper. Stalies also belive that hobnobbing with the Profs will somehow increase their stature in the Institute.

Exceptional stalies are those wonderful creatures who behave just like a fresher. These guys are the most obsessed with grades. They slog the maximum and sit on the first bench. Somehow, They manage to beat freshies in asking silly questions during the class.Looking at them will give you an impression that they have not yet graduated, leave alone having a work-ex.

To those wondering to which group i belong, well , I leave you to make a few guesses !!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Best Movie Ever

Filmfare awards are round the corner. As usual a host of mediocre and below average movies are lined up to recieve the awards. Not all are like that though. Black and Sarkar being the two glorious exceptions (Is it a surprise that Big B stars in both ? ). Anyway, that set me thinking about my most Favorite movie.

Hmm, thats a toughie ! Do i Choose "Angoor" with its terrific storyline and an absolutely hilarious performance by Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Verma. Do i choose "Jaane Bhi do Yaaron" with its amazingly poignant and humurous take on politics and corruption . Or should it be "Sholay" with a great story, great performances and dialogues to die for. What about "Lagaan" with its David-versus-Goliath story and the courage and spirit it embodied.

Hollywood also comes calling. What about "Saving private Ryan" with its wonderful depiction of an epic journey to save the last Ryan. Should it be "The Matrix" for coming up with a terrificly convoluted but brilliant story and the mind-blowing special effects. What about "Forrest Gump" for its moving portrayal of a specially challanged but kind-hearted simpleton. For that matter, "Day after tomorrow" with its depiction of Apocalypse also stakes its claim.

But the winner is the movie which managed to encompass an amazing epic into celluloid and that too without losing out on the soul of the movie. I had my reservations before watching this movie, because i was sure that like all novel adaptions this would lose out on the spirit of the novel. Another reason was the very length and epynomous proportions of the Novel. There was no way a movie could capture it. The sheer breadth of the characters should have made it impossible to capture the same in 3 movies. The rambling and the magnificent landscapes and the epic battle sequences would surely have been too much for Celluloid. And most of all, the enduring spirit throghout the novel should have been impossible to depict.

But Lo and Behold , Peter Jackson and His "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy brought alive such a spectacle that all my fears were dumbfounded. I started watching the DVD'd on my laptop and i did not stop until all 3 had finished ( all 10.5 hours of it ) . I was mind-bogglingly amazing. The movies brought alive an age, the brought alive the characters, the battles. The magnificent landscapes of New Zealand provided a breathtaking backdrop in which the greates story ever told unfolded. I sat spell-bounded as Frodo ran from the corpses that were chasing him. I watched in Fascination as Aragorn and Legoulas fought the epic battles. I watched as armies of Saaron converged on all sides of Aragorn's army as Frodo dropped the ring in the Mountain of Doom. The Tree-men walked, The ghosts swayed, the immortal elves showed their courage and love, the evil armies of Saruman prepared for the ultimate battle. Men without any super-powers fought like lions. Above all, the love and Friendship of Sam ensured that Frodo did not lose sight of his goal even when tempted by the Ring.

To call Lord of the Rings series as movies would be an insult. They were an experience, a vista to tame all vistas. Take a bow , Peter Jackson, you have achieved the impossible. J.R.R. Tolkien would be proud of you !

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Finally I join Orkut

Finally I joined Orkut today. Had been posponing it for a long long time. The only reason being that I knew Orkut will become an addiction for me. I guess today I have spent close to 3 hours on orkut. But this time has been well invested, for i found 3 of my friends from school with whom i had lost contact.

This is the thing about online communities, be it Pagalguy or Orkut. One is already an obsession and the other is on its way to becoming one. Amen !

Saturday, January 07, 2006

When Sportsmen forget Sportsmanship

Today I happened to witness a volleyball match in our hostel. The match was extremly tight with the fortunes swinging either way. In the end, there had to be a winner and there had to be a loser. There was a lot of cheering and hooting from supporters of both the sides during the match. When the match ended, the losing team began to make its way back. To their shock, the winning team began to shout abuses at them. It came out of nowhere. To their credit, the losing team refrained from replying the same manner. The shouts continued for some time. What happened here ? They had won the match, they should have celebrated and gone away. Why did they hurl abuses at the other team ? And mind you, this wasn't even an inter-hostel match. So whats the point in responding in this manner to your hostel-mates ? Is this what they have learnt at their homes and in their School ? I guess they must have thought they were able to prove the other team as inferior and then just decided to rub it in.

The emotion that i am feeling is not of anger, but of pity. I pity such people who showcase their culture over such petty things. Cheering and Friendly banter during the match is fine. But, at the same time there is no need to get personal. It really shows the person's desperation to win at any cost. Since, they find it difficult to win the game in a normal way, these people resort to such tactics. That is why i did not like the Australian Cricket team even when they played excellent cricket. They were winning matches easily, and yet they resorted to sledging. Such fellas should be pitied. Its a pity that they have such twisted mind which prompts them to behave in this way. Its a pity that they did not learn basic mannerisms and sporting spirit. Its a pity that they won. Else, they could have seen how REAL sportsmen celebrate .

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Stand in Queue , please !!

Yesterday we had a visit from Mr. Shailesh J Mehta, the patron of our School. While interacting with the students, he made a very interesting observation. According to him, power can have different menaings in different countries. In the US, having money is the sign of power, in others a gun is the ultimate sign of power. In fact, this is the truth in most of the countries. However, in India, real power is the power to NOT stand in queues. Yes, thats right.

Our whole life revolves around queues. There are queues everywhere. Queues for birth certificate, queue for school admission, queue for collecting result, queue for enrolling into coaching classes, queue for girls ;), queue for buying college admssion form, queue for college result, queue for Bus and Local, queue for driving license, queue for passport, queue for post office, queue for ATM, queue for movie ticket; there is even a queue for peeing.

In this world governed by queues, a few privileged souls manage to bypass them. These are the persons with real power, the VIPs. They have no queue for anything. They have no queue for toll booth, no queue for bank, no queue for license or passport, no queue for Movie tickets and of course no queues for Bus and Local. Thier life passes off very easily, the sun and the rain don't trouble them, others dont yell at them for taking a step out of queue. The VIPs are indeed Very Important Persons. No matter how much money you have or how many goons you can call, if you have to stand in a queue then you are nothing better than an ordinary mortal. These Fortunate individuals scoff at us poor mortals who are braving the sun and the rain for that one piece of paper.

On some occasions, even we can rise above the crowd and become a VIP. It happens if you have an Aunt or an Uncle or a Friend who is (un)fortunately employed in the concerned place. These guys become the most sought after Friends with even distant and one-time acquitances claiming to be their bossom friends. The people working in government offices are most suscepible to this. The experiences of standing in the queue are really something.

Er... gotta run ! There is already a queue to fill up the mess fees :) .

Monday, January 02, 2006

Adios , Winter Vacations

Today is the last day of our holidays. From tomorrow classes are starting. This ends 40 days of absolute bliss. Although I was working on a winter project, it was not very hectic and i could manage with 3-4 hours a day. And i honestly dont know how i spent rest of the time. I played cricket, baddy , TT, squash; watched movies; roamed around Mumbai, went to Pune thrice, wrote poems, surfed net, devoured friends and last but not the least enjoyed my bliss to the hilt. Mood Indigo was rocking as usual ( that will be dealt in a separate post). There were hardly 15 people in our department. Somehow , this solitiude made all of us feel exclusive. I got to know some people better and realized how my initial impressions were wrong. Laziness is a very good feeling when you dont have to counter it ;) .

People have started arriving since 31st Dec. I guess by now, all the guys and gals in our hostel have arrived. The campus and the hostel has suddenly come to life as if some magic switch has been turned on. The daily grind begins from tomorrow. I feel a bit sad as the holidays have come to an end. I doubt that i will get such a long holiday until probably i retire.One chapter in my life has come and gone without me even realising it.

Adios, Winter Vacations. It was great meeting you.