Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rock On: Movie Review

I had the expected chance to catch Rock On yesterday. The film looked good from the promos and I liked both the songs on air – the Title track and Socha Hai Kya. And I am always ready for a good movie. So there I was at Adlabs, and I don’t regret it. It is a good movie.

In retrospect, there are a lot of similarities between Dil Chahta Hai and Rock On. Both deal with a couple of close buddies, who fall apart due to some misunderstandings; then again get back together after a couple of years when they are mature. But Rock On has the background of a Rock Band, and the underlying message to do what you really want to do because….the way it so beautifully comes across in the lines… Zindagi milegi na doobara!

I am quite impressed with Farhan Akhtar. So far we have seen him as a very capable and enterprising Director & Producer; with this movie he wows us as a singer and also as an actor to some extent. I think he has acted quite well, not extremely effortless, say Aamir Khan, but definitely much, much better than so-called actors getting heavily paid for doing what they called Acting! He looks good too – in the long as well as cropped hair.

Arjun Rampal is superb – it is definitely one of his best performances. (I did not like Om Shanti Om, as a movie, but Arjun was definitely good in the movie). He has a terrific voice; and awesome personality and acting skills to match it. He is the silent, emotional kind; and is very convincing in his role. Shahana Goswami, who played Arjun’s wife in the movie, is also extremely effortless. Although she is the bickering and nagging sort, but you tend to feel for her. Life does that to you. I found that she also featured in the movie Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., but I can’t remember seeing her in that. She comes across as somebody to watch out for. The problem with most of the actresses, I have found, is that they are always too much conscious of how they are looking on screen and thus cannot let themselves flow in the character. Aishwarya Rai cannot help catwalking on screen. She will do anything but cannot make herself look gauche on the screen. Even Rani tends to have that unnatural smile on her face, which looks forced and made up to, look good. Why can’t they be, say Tabu. She does not try too hard to look good in every shot, but she always makes a mark in her scenes because she breathes life in her characters.

Coming back to the movie, I loved Purab the most, in the movie. I know he was not the main lead, but he bowls you over with his easy charm and witty humour. He does it with élan and does not look unnatural even in a single shot. I thought Koel Poorie has also done a good job. Prachi Desai is good but I think she is little bit in awe of her make over into a big screen actress. She has done a decent job, but she needs to improve.

Luke Kenny was good in his role and did complete justice. Since the time I have seen him and heard his name, I feel I have seen him before, but can’t figure out. Apparently he was a veejay. But still I’m not convinced, as I have never been too much into ‘knowing’ or liking Veejays. But anyways, the point is that he has done his job well and matches up to everyone.

Everything said and done, I thought the 2nd half is better but then it got to be, because the passion re-ignites in the second half. I remember the entire hall was on splits when after the movies ends, the first thing which comes before the credits is – Don’t download the music. Buy the CD. Good message. Well-placed. And the movie! It definitely stays with you.

Just when we came out of the hall, my hubby said what have we done? I hate that about such movies; everyone need not be a rock star or a singer or with any such marked talent. A talent is anything in which you are good at. We got on to talking about how we did not have any such passion during college or whether this life is better or the college life was! Well, to each, his own. Personally, I have always liked my current life better than the past. I love being in the place I am in – happily married to the one I love, satisfied in my job and grateful to be able to enjoy the freedom that I have, to choose whatever I want to do. Now if I choose not to do anything worthwhile then it is entirely my own fault, not life’s!

We should just stop blaming everything and everyone. On that note, what I will take from the movie is ………..zindagi milegi na doobara! So do what you want to do – right here, right now!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Being Famous!

While I was doing something really innocuous but important (cleaning my kitchen), somehow I started thinking about “Fame”. Whether I would like to be Famous or why people want to be famous? It is a common desire of people to be Rich and Famous. I would definitely like to be Rich, but I don’t think I would like to be Famous. I just love my space and freedom too much to be famous.

But of course, I like standing out in the crowd. I like when I am acknowledged for doing something more than expected. I like being singled out and appreciated for my work. Is that an iota of being famous? Is being famous same as being recognized? Is it really the craving to be recognized in the crowd which people crave for? Quite possibly! Otherwise, I don’t think anybody likes people falling all over them, or writing each and every single detail about their lives or always having to put up a persona in their public lives. May be it is a simple case of recognition going over-board, to the extent that other people feel that it is their right to judge you for every single thing or encroach in your personal space to their whims and fancies.

Being famous is really not easy!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

E-books versus Printed books

When the internet was catching up and everything was being converted into e-format, right from e-books to e-paper, we thought the end of printed material is near. But several years later, we still await our morning paper with the same zest, like we ever used to. I don’t think the e-format can ever replace the print. Nothing can replace the joy of holding a book and being able to read it page by page, by physically turning the page; knowing that you were half way through, and that you can carry it everywhere and read at your own convenience.

This may be anti-Green, since a book is a paper, which requires trees to be cut. But what do we do! It is a habit which is just too impossible to grow out of. I don’t think the joy which I get in looking at my collection of books, neatly stacked on my book-cupboard, can be replaced by any number of PDFs on my hard-disk. For a book lover, the joy of accumulating good books is as much as reading them. In fact, personally speaking, I tend to postpone reading the book because I just don’t want to lose the importance that book has in my life right now. Once I have read it, it will no longer be as much intriguing. I have never re-read any book so far. But I plan to since the time I started reading non-fiction on a variety of topics. Even some Fiction books are timeless.

I am yet to find another book lover who would rather read books on e-format. It is the love of the book for people like me, and not as much as the content inside. I mean, of course, the content makes the book invaluable, how do I explain, it is the physical being of the book which is treasured.

I guess, we need to find out a way through which there could be a re-cyclable material, for which we would not have to cut trees, and would still give the touch and feel of the paper. E-books are just not the solution!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Reality show on Splits

How many of you have seen Splitsville on MTV? Excuse my middle class values and small town upbringing; I really don’t understand the objective of this show. I collect that eventually there will be two couples who would become Veejays but what capabilities are you judging by falling all over each other and knowing what the guy is comfortable wearing! I was aghast when I first saw the show; my hubby was of course elated at the sight of cat fights between all the girls (that every guy just absolutely enjoys watching). Add to that the colorful language and extent of abuse being thrown at each other. And every time I fleetingly come across the show, I ask the same question – what the guys have to do? Just sit there and enjoy girls throwing themselves on both of them? Wow!

I like Vishal, from the looks of him. H e has Dhoni’s smile and looks cute but the other guy, Varun, he looks so pretentious and desperate. He looks like a guy who has never been too close to a girl and suddenly unable to handle the situation, wherein girls are fighting for him. He is not even cute! What girls!
Of course, for the channel it is a smart move to raise TRPs because people love such kind of “reality” shows but I wonder what the girls thought while entering the show! Some girls admitted (I think Yamini) that they were uncomfortable during some situations because whatever you say, girls are always wary about people entering their space. It is not comfortable for most of the girls. I mean, I will not fight for a guy, I have not chosen; forget about letting him get too close for comfort. To each, her own, I guess!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Hats off to “The Khel Ratna”, Dhoni

I must add that I was really proud when I heard that Dhoni is going to get Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest honour for a sportsman in our country. Besides being extremely cute (I am sure the Award has nothing to do with that), he has come really long way from being a small town wonder boy. In fact, I don’t recall if I have ever seen him without his characteristic composure. He comes across as a cool, composed, sophisticated, extremely confident and level-headed. Few weeks back, I remember I saw a show hosted by Shahrukh Khan, where in all the cricketers were pulled on the stage, one at a time, and were asked to copy the dance moves by Shahrukh himself. Though Shreesanth was undoubtedly the best dancer of the lot; Dhoni showed immense composure and was completely at ease, all with his one-liners. I am really proud of him, since we both are from Jharkhand. More so because he has put Jharkhand, even Ranchi, on the map of the country; and for once when you say you are from Jharkhand / Bihar, people don’t say – Oh Lalu!..........rather they say…….Oh Dhoniiiiiiiiiiii!

To Abort or not to Abort

I happened to watch News yesterday on TV, and every single channel was showing how Niketa Mehta will have to become mother now as Bombay High Court has rejected her plea to abort the child. The law allows a child to be aborted till 20th week and no further. What every Channel wanted to know was whether it should be the prerogative of the mother to choose to give birth or abort the child? My first reaction was - Of course!
But then on second thoughts, the law against abortion was made to safeguard the interests of girl child in India. Female foeticide is already one of the major concerns for our country.

The couple did a commendable thing in choosing to go the legal way; otherwise I’m sure there are hoardes of people who do it discreetly. And now there would not be any going back. They might choose to appeal to Supreme Court, but with every passing day, Niketa is putting herself into more danger because aborting the child so late puts the mother in utmost danger.

The case is already splashed across all media, so I would not get into the details. I have few observations though:
In today’s paper I read a quote by one of the Medico-Legal experts, Dr Lalit Kapoor – “No one wants imperfect children. Everyone wants a perfect baby. So there is always fear that more couples may want to seek such late abortions”.

Very true indeed. All of us want healthy, cute babies. But there are some parents who are unfortunate to have children with deformities, and then they have to be their support systems throughout their lives. Nobody wants that kind of life – for themselves as well as for their children.

When you know your child will have to depend on others for the rest of their lives, do you still go ahead with the child. Personally, I don’t think so. It is not only about dependency. It is also psychologically defeating for the person to live such life. If something happens to the parents, then who will take responsibility of the child? Is it same as Mercy killing? Possibly. One of the channels showed the responses of some poll. One of them said – “he would not want his mother to have that kind of decision power on his life.” But you say that when you do not have any deformity or dependency. What will you say when you are born an invalid. You will solely blame your parents, for letting him go through such kind of miserable life.

Some societies / groups have come forward to accept the responsibility of the child. But I am not sure if the parents would like to do so. It is not a clear moral issue. It is a practical issue. If they know they have a child, they would not like to give it away, but knowing that they are not capable to handle a situation which may arise, has prompted them to file such an unusual case.

I am not saying that the High Court was wrong in addressing the issue, in the way it did. I am saying what is the way forward to such an issue? The court in a way was right in its judgment, because -
§ The J.J. Hospital report says that there is a “rare” chance of the baby to suffer from the heart disorder
§ The mother is at risk for aborting the child at this stage
§ The child has the right to live
§ There are groups who are ready to take responsibility of the child or provide financial aid to the parents

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Happy Friendship Day!

I remember back in college, FRIENDSHIP DAY used to be quite an occasion in our hostel. I shared room with 5 other girls and all of us were quite close. One was my batch-mate but in science stream and one was a year senior in a different stream. Those were the days when I really understood the meaning of friendship. Till school days, I never dwelt on anything serious with any of my friends at that time. We were too guarded to discuss our fears and insecurities. I was not too sure whether the other person is worth our trust.

But once I moved out of home for my Graduation, I was on my own. There was nobody to turn to but in a way, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. There are a lot of things which you can share only with your friends, who are at the same wavelength as you. You are close to your family, but friends have a different place altogether. I made my first real friends in hostel. With my best friend, who was also my room-mate, we shared so many wonderful moments, which I cherish till date and will continue to do so forever. I told her every single thing about me, my insecurities, my failings, my nightmares and my fears; without any fear of being judged. And she never judged me. Somehow she always made me appear right, at the time, under the circumstances. I would always love her for that. That was the time when I understood that nobody has perfect lives, and it is quite OK to have insecurities. That was when I found a new confidence in myself and my abilities – confidence to stand up for anything I wanted and got it. I remember how she used to wait for me to take lunch, and in return I used to do same when she used to be late because of her classes. We used to have long chats on our lives. I have cried a lot on her shoulders. She was very compassionate yet a very naïve girl, almost gauche.

I always remember a very funny incident. We were studying for our exams, during our Final Year. We were sleeping and studying alternatively throughout the night. When I woke up sometime around 3 am, I saw her very tensed and searching for something. She said she has lost her spectacles, and the irony was she was not able to find it without spectacles. What we had done was, we had put one of the beds on another bed to make space in the room (most of the girls had gone home and only we were there for exams). We used to study on top of the higher bed sometimes; she had been doing the same, and slept while studying. When she got up she could not find her spectacles. She was almost into tears imagining all sorts of things – how would she write the exam with her “eyes”! Then I searched around the bed, and found it lying there. We were really into splits on that because she had gone completely overboard imagining all sorts of things she would do to write the exam.
I spoke to her yesterday after 7-8 month. She thinks I have forgotten her but I have not. How can I? I even wrote a poem on her, quoted on one of my earlier posts.

There was another friend, a year senior to me, but our wavelengths matched so much that we were quite close. She was also room-mate. I have kept in touch with her since then. She has had an inter-religion marriage and it all happened before my eyes. It was so weird how her love story started. If It is not fate then what is it? It is common knowledge that girls’ hostels are flooded with random calls from anonymous guys. Some girls used to pick up calls during night just to have fun, without knowledge of warden of course. One of our room-mates was quite a pro in talking to such calls – giving tit for tat to the foul speaking guys. During one of such calls, the guy who called was quite nice and spoke well to her. She passed on the phone to my friend also for a chat. She also took it to have fun. She used a pseudo-identity and gave him a false name. The guy called up again later, asking for the pseudo-name; somehow the call would always reach my friend. So the story started and after years of hardships and struggle, they were finally able to marry about a year and half back. Now she is expecting her baby this September. She is happy with him but keeps cribbing about how she has no career. But I love talking to her. She is quite talkative and warm, so even if you have some work, you really can’t put her off and keep the phone down.

I am also close to two of my school buddies, actually we have been friends since Kinder Garten but the friendship really grew stronger after college. All three of us are in different facets of life, lost touch a couple of times, getting busy with our respective lives, but now somehow fate brought us together and even if we do not talk on daily basis, we always reach out to each other when we need to talk about something. Knowing each other’s families and growing up together, there have been a lot of things in common and there is a lot of understanding; so we are on same wavelengths.

So to all FRIENDS, who have shared some wonderful and some crucial moments of my life, this day is a celebration of a beautiful relationship we share; and that you are my pillars of strength. I don’t know if they will read this or not, but nevertheless I cannot not acknowledge this.