Sunday, April 29, 2012

Of Vicky Donor, Learning To Live With It and Apne Aap Ko Samjha Lena...

So long time no see..No Twitter for two weeks..didn't feel like..mood off and depression these days..aise hi...will write later about it...

Anyways, saw Vicky Donor. Found it okay. I loved the first half but was so bored during the second half, was constantly checking the time during the second half..a preposterous ending..the movie has a wafer thin plot..nothing great but what works are the one liners, some fine performances and the absolutely hilarious Punjabi-Bengali cross cultural clash. The most terrific performance that I loved was Dolly Aunty. What a stunning performance it is..effortless..natural..heartwarming! Perhaps the best scene of the movie was the one where Vicky comes home late in the night and Dolly is speaking in her sleep about her dead husband. What a scene that is. The character of Dadi was brilliant but somehow the performance came across as too artificial, contrived and forced. The way Shoojit Sircar has named some of the characters on drinks - such as the pet dog is named Whiskey (which the mother and dadi duo love to drink like anything!!) and the neighborhood aunty is named Pepsi (symbolic of the fizz and gas in her character??) is very interesting. Dr. Chadha's car has a model of a hanging sperm and even the paper weights in his office are sperm models! At one point in the movie, there is a book shown in his cabin - Berek and Novak's. I thought it would give a good insight about his character..but after googling, I found out that it is actually a book on no surprises there. Also, it was so annoying when the Censor Board completely destroyed that scene by silencing the word bhen**** when Dr.Chadha explains to Vicky about his Aryan lineage "tu aryaputra hai bhen****" Continuing the research on the topic of Aryans, Dr. Chadha had shown Vicky the map below.

He says the Alexander and his soldiers fathered many kids while marching on their conquests from Macedonia to Pakistan. If one goes back in history (I know I research every little thing), Aryans attacked India around 1500 BC!! And Alexander reached India only around 325 BC. So Aryans had been coming to India even before Alexander.

After the collapse of the Indus Valley civilization a new wave of people entered India. The Aryans came from central Asia and entered India through Afghanistan after 1500 BC. Their entry into the Indian sub-continent was probably through a series of invasions from the North over a period of time. The Aryans were a semi-nomadic race of pastoralists. By 1,000 BC they had learned to use iron. However in time the Aryans settled down and became farmers.

Slowly a more ordered and settled society evolved. Tribes went on to become kingdoms. The Aryans became the priests, rulers and warriors, free peasants and merchants. The subdued people became the slaves, laborers and artisans. In time this stratified society crystallized into the present day caste system.

And there is a place shown in the map - Persepolis in Persia. It immediately reminded me of that gem of a movie by the same name - Persepolis by Majrane Satrapi. It is a fantastic animated film based on the auto graphical "graphic novel" by Satrapi on the same name about life in modern day Iran. Iranians make such wonderful cinema! I haven't seen many of their films but in terms on emotional content, they are just brilliant. I have heard such terrific things about Majid Majidi's Children of Heaven

Anyway too much of a digression..back to Vicky Donor..A few years back, Poonam Saxena had written an article on the curse of the second half.. She had said that most of the films had a fabulous first half but their second half was too much of a disappointment. There should be films that you go and watch their first half and come back! I won't call Vicky Donor a bad is a far far superior film than any recent trash we have been witnessing.. It is a nice movie with some great performances. Watch it!

P.S. - On the desk where Ashima sits, it is written Term Deposit, then how can she open a bank account if she dies work on Term Deposit :P I know stupid thinking it is all possible but likhna tha to likh diya ;)

The concept of sperm donation is not new either. Maybe because we have watched so much of English sitcoms (the first episode of Big bang Theory, Friends and so many more) that it is so normal. But Vicky Donor is not the first film on sperm donation. Last year's movie by Onir, I Am, also had a story on Sperm Donation. And films on surrogacy have come before - the beautiful Filhaal and the melodramatic Chori Chori Chupke Chupke. But as far as I remember, it was Ekta Kapoor who had brought this concept long long before. In that show, Ghar Ek Mandir, one of her first and much better TV soaps (came on Sony), it was Archana who had gone in for artificial insemination as she did not like her husband's looks and personality. But as long as people are enjoying the movie, who cares :)

I think the female version of Pani Da Rang is so so much better than male one..once you hear it, the tune starts playing in you head, even if you don't know the lyrics...very nice!

Anyways, I had written in the last post about S, that I had sent her a mail. Yesterday, she replied me back 

Please don't feel so bad about my mom's news. I am learning to live with it - I have become more stronger in life. Just that, at times, I feel pathetic and feels that everything is a waste. Nevertheless, my dad is my source of strength and would not let him down. It was so nice catching up with you that day.  Thanks for those kind words, Pankaj. You're always supporting and such a genuine person - AND that is why you are one of my very good friends :-)

I felt so nice after reading this. Learning to live with it....because there is no other option no..we have to.. 

I met H yesterday and spoke for like hours. And as we were discussing, there are so so few people who are actually happy from inside..everyone just has a smile on their face but we don't know what is actually going on in people's lives...Learning to live with it..

And you know, yesterday, I also had beer..two Kingfishers ;-) 

I also bumped into A, my once best friend from school..things got somewhat weird due to some reasons..I have not spoken to him for the last 7 years! And I actually had nothing to say to him..just behaved so formally :\

Anyways, I also met you recently after ages :) I felt so happy. I loved it when you said that you should call me more often :) :) And when I asked, that will I find someone for myself and you said "you will find someone" I felt happy and sad at the same time :\ You are so awesome and I love it when you said you miss speaking to me a lot, isliye you should call me more often and don't think too much before calling. I know I am so stupid no?..main itna khush ho jata they say, chahat ke do pal bhi mil paye duniya me yeh bhi kam hai kya..but it's not the end of world no...main apne aap ko samjha leta hun...jaise har cheez ke liye apne aap ko samjhata hun.. I never fight for things..bas apne aap ko tasalli de deta home, at office ;-) Theek hai :) :) 

This week Rajeev Masand interviewed Zoya on the fantastic opening credit sequences in Luck By Chance..And I am back in my I -love-Luck-By-Chance phase again. I still haven't written that post on it..will write it soon..I love the part when she talks about the Angel going to the toilet! Awesome it is...I wish I could make a film like this one day :)

Anyways, more later..

Dialogue of the Day:
"अनोखी: प्यार तो बहुत मुश्किल काम है"
"दिया: काम समझ कर करोगी तो हाँ, और प्यार समझ कर करोगी तो नहीं"
  - Aaja Nachle

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Of A Lot of Things!

Long time no see!

This last week, all of a sudden, I got messages from old friends. I spoke to some of them after a really long time...after more than two years I think. K messaged me that "are you dead or alive?" And then T also called me and I spoke to him for more than an hour! The thing with speaking to old friends is that you can only talk about past incidents or general topics as of today. You cannot speak with them about what is actually going on in your life because it is very difficult to explain to them what the circumstances as they try to benchmark that with their own experience, which is totally different from yours. But speaking to them reminds you of the good old times. And I also met another friend T. A friend from school and from the same class for 12 years! It is such a big co-incidence. She joined the same office as mine and we are in the same cab. I got a mail that T would be joining the cab as well. I was like as if I really care whosoever joins. But the next day, I get a call from the person who is supposed to join and she asked about the pick up time and place. The voice seemed familiar but I just told the cab details. And woah! when we went to pick her up, I see her and I am like "yeh kahan se aa gayi" and then I figured out. She is now married, so the the last name is different, that is why I couldn't figure out it was she! I didn't talk much after all how much can you speak in front of other cab people when are not sitting next to each other. So in the evening while coming back, I spoke to her. The thing I mentioned, she still thought I was the same person I was in school..and I am not like that anymore..even she has changed..I am not blaming will people know when you are not in touch with them. I spoke about old school friends..who is doing what..who is going around with whom? Un dono ka break up ho gaya? *Shock and Horror* and things like that..

And I also spoke to S after about a year or so. I felt so terrible. She told me that her mother passed away about six months back. She has lost faith in some things. She is such an awesome person and am sure she will get the best in life. I then sent her an email in which I forwarded the passage that I posted a week back, from The Last Song of Dusk, about how life is like water..And did not say anything else. People don't want to hear sympathetic statements in such situations, better to leave them alone..I felt so guilty for not keeping in touch with friends. Aise thori na hota hai...

I also had my mid year appraisal about two weeks back. I just managed to become eligible (anyone joining before 31 December). Surprisingly, it was better than expected in spite of the sermons these people keep giving at regular intervals :\ He said that that you are one of the most positive people in the team (I was like seriously?? me and positive!?!?) And the same old areas of improvement that I have been getting in every appraisal till date - speak more and interact more :\ Theek hai..whatever..

And finally I managed to see Khosla Ka Ghosla this week. I hadn't seen it till the last week. Ya I must have come on the TV about a zillion times. I watched it on the DVD. I loved it. More than the plot (no pun intended), I loved the characters. The film beautifully portrays the nitty-gritties of a father-son relationship. 
In that scene, where Mr. Sahwney advises Mr.Khosla to become his son's friend, he goes and buys liquor and while he is coming back, he is so embarrassed just by the noise of the bottles..only to find out later that Cheery doesn't drink!

Or the scene where Mr. Khosla is worried about Cherry's career being destroyed by their plan to dupe Khurana. And then Mr. Sahwney says, all this while he had grudges that his son doesn't help him and now when he s trying to help, he doesn't want him to!

And the absolutely delightful scene where Mrs.Khosla comes and serves Pizza to Mr. Khosla and he asks her to tell Cherry to stop spending money on this plan. And she says why doesn't he say that to him directly. He says it is Cherry's money, let him splurge. And then she retorts then why are you so worried if it is his money, leaving him speechless and asking for 'chutney'. My dad does the same at times, using mom as the messenger! So true it is..

And finally, where he says to Cherry about Meghna that she is a nice girl, even though Cherry didn't say anything that he is seeing her...

It is one of those rare films where father-son relationship is shown so realistically..neither bound by moral ethos or the other extreme of rebellion..Subtle with no need of words.But the movie also made me sad..the Kafkaesque story could happen to any of us. Any common man would just run pillars and posts if that happens. You can only pray it doesn't happen to you. Only a true Delhite can make such a Delhi film - Dibakar Bannerjee, Jaideep Sahni and Habib Faisal are true Delhites!

And finally I have started watching The Big Bang Theory. It's fine. Maybe I will start loving it slowly. Comedy is not my favorite genre but I love the science part of it. Sheldon's concepts make me want to go back to science.  The bathroom has a periodic table curtain! And in one episode, Leonard wears a paradox shirt. This is so bloody intelligent. Perfect! D and OX are at para positions - Paradox! Is this structure actually possible? Maybe! Replacing one H atom with Deuterium and adding O and X (a halogen) at para position. Will this be stable? Unlikely!!  X, being more electronegative than O, would try to take the electrons from O, giving it a positive charge. And a positive O would not be stable? Ain't it? I don't know it made sense or not..miss favorite subject in Class 11 and 12. I still make the resonance structures of chloro benzene at the back of notebooks, newspapers, rough papers,etc. I want this shirt.

Talking about pictures, in an episode of Modern Family, Haley dressed as Mother Teresa..a sexy Mother Teresa..Her mom said why did she dress like that and she said when she would have been young Mother Teresa would have been like this..Heh!

And I think you would have noticed that Central Board of Film Certification has now changed its certificate. It is now in English. Another thing changed. RIP to the old Hindi certificate that used to be shown before the beginning of every film. Now its clean and all in English!

I am so disappointed I will not be able to the Takshashila's GCPP program this time also. It starts in June and ends in September. I won't be here in August :\ So will miss the exam. I really want to do it. I am in complete awe of such smart people like Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Nitin Pai, Vikram Sood, Atanu Dey, Bibek Debroy, Swaminathan Aiyar, Swapan Dasgupta, Mukul Kesavan, Shekhar Gupta (yes, still respect him in spite of the 'C' word, it was a story that needed to be reported!) and so many more...To learn public policy from such intellectuals is  such a rare opportunity. I really wonder why aren't these sensible people running the country. Just read some of the columns by Pratap Bhanu Mehta here: 

In addition to the high quality content and the points, the way he writes is so beautiful..what language.. literary orgasms if I may use the word. Superb. Like in the article about the Right to Education, he says:

The objective should be to remove deprivations based on caste, but using the instrumentality of caste itself to address that deprivation often reinstates the very identities we are trying to dissolve.

Or in this one about the Peter Heehs visa controversy, he says,

The relationship between “higher experiences” and ordinary life, the relationship between the transcendent and the social, has also continuously plagued modern Indian intellectual history. For figures like Aurobindo and Vivekananda, this tension is resolved at the plane of their consciousness. But it is never even remotely resolved at the level of social existence. For followers, bereft of the experience, what remains is the assertion of faith. We put ourselves under the yoke of the Divine when we feel its presence the least.

The complete articles here:

Or this where Swaminathan Aiyar talks about the concept of inclusive growth-

Inclusive institutions lead to creative destruction, which is essential for sustained prosperity but threatens extractive regimes, and is typically sabotaged by them. Only politically-free regimes will ultimately allow creative destruction. This is why some nations fail and others succeed. All Indian parties swear by inclusive growth, but define inclusion in terms of subsidies and reservations in jobs and education. This is vote-bank politics parading as inclusion.For Acemoglu and Robinson, inclusive growth means the spreading of opportunity to all to participate in economic activity, leading to creative destruction in which newcomers oust the old.

I really want to do something like this in life. But I just keep on saying..never do anything :\

And these days one of my favorite websites is It has been started by Madhu Trehan, well known author, also the wife of Dr.Naresh Trehan. It is a site on the happenings in the Indian news media. Some great content! Also, every week, Madhu interviews a journalist and asks them uncomfortable questions. It is really nice to hear candid confessions by journalists. This is where Sagarika  Ghose speaks

Sagarika makes a very interesting point. She says journalists and politicians should not be friends but should be friendly. Very valid point but as you know it is an ideal situation. For example - Anuradha Prasad, the well known face on News 24, is actually the wife of Rajiv Shukla and the sister of Ravi Shankar Prasad! NDTV's Sonia Singh (one of my favorites) is the wife of UP Congress leader RPN Singh. And of course, Prannoy Roy and Prakash Karat are brothers-in-laws. Do we expect media to be impartial then? I really don't know. There are so many links between politicians and journalists...hiding under the guise of 'sources'!!

And finally, the weather in Delhi has been so pleasant the last week or so. I was really hoping it doesn't rain as untimely rains would destroy the standing crop! Such freaky weather patterns we are witnessing. And when the weather is pleasant, one tends to enjoy the surroundings. While going to office, I see such beautiful trees in Delhi that I am amazed. Trees with purple leaves, trees with maroon leaves, trees with no spellbinding they are.. every tree has its own physiology..almost like an individual telling its own story...standing under a neem tree is so comforting..I wish I knew photography :\ I love my is the best place in the world!

I wrote a lot today...anyways, still have so much to write..Will write later..

Dialogue of the Day:

We like to think we're so smart, that we have all the answers. And we want to pass that on to our children. But if you scratch beneath the surface, you won't have to dig deep to find the kid you were, which is why it's kind of crazy that we're raising kids of our own. I guess that's the real circle of life. Your parents faked their way through it. You fake your way through it. And you just hope you didn't raise a serial killer.
 - Modern Family

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I am feeling terrible after hearing about a friend's loss..I did not even know about it...

All around I see people battling their inner home, at office, among friends..But what can we do..Just pray that they all get what they want..

I don't feel like writing what I had thought about..


Sunday, April 1, 2012