The Journey and the Inspirations

On 29 August 2008, I complete one year of blogging. It has been an exhilarating journey of a world I was quite oblivious to, until last year when one of my friend introduced me to WordPress through her newly created blog. Although her blog is long abandoned at present, she passed the germ to me.
During this one year journey, I came across a variety of bloggers who inspired and awed me in various depths. I haven’t written much posts in the last one year. I haven’t even reached a count of 80 yet but I was able to reach a lot of people. I connected somehow and that is all that matters. So, I would like this opportunity to thank everyone who read my blog and provided their selfless comments. I know that there are people who read my blog without commenting and I thank them too for their support. I love it when someone who has been reading my blog from a while finally decides to comment. I remember Manoj did that and also Preeti. 🙂

I came across many bloggers who encouraged me to go ahead and not give up when things got really tough, because they amazed me with their knowledge and zeal and are now a part of this new facade of my life. There were posts which made me laugh when I was feeling low and there were posts which made me think and ponder. In such a short period, this place has become an essential part of my life. Here is a list of my favourite A list of Blogs –

Ruhi’s Time and Again – It was through Ruhi’s blog that I came in contact with this loony bunch. I saw Ruhi’s post on the Dashboard once and clicked on it. I was wide-eyed and amazed with what I saw. It was my first – most amazing blog visit (although I saw many after that) and I was hooked. She is not regular nowadays but she still pops up at times.

Ish’s Dead End – I still remember my first comment on Ish’s blog : “You are one hell of a kid!!!”. I was so amazed to see a kid maintaining such a fabulous blog. If you are in a bad mood then Ish’s rants can really cheer you up. I remember how I was in splits when I read his “The Ruhi” post. And yes, I was the winner of the PFHOI contest on his blog. How can I forget that?

Nita’s A wide angle view of India – This woman is amazing. She writes everyday and there is not a single day which goes without one of her posts being published. Everything is so diverse and well etched – The topics, the research, the writing style and the professional way in which her blog is maintained. She is a true blue journalist. And don’t even look at her Blog hits. Your eyes will pop out.

Poonam’s Visceral Observations – The Ms Best Blogger!!! She is also quite infrequent with her posts(like me), but writes very informative and hard hitting posts. Her posts are well sketched out and sometimes full of uncountable links(I am talking about her link posts) 🙂 . She writes on two other blogs and juggles between her job and blogging with ease. A true inspiration.

Ashish’s Thunder of the Dragon – He can drive you crazy with his loony posts and his love for Rock music. In most of his posts, I end up writing a comment which resembles a – 😐 but I must admit that his crazy ideas have inspired many posts on this blog. The Randomizer and the Nebula Mindspin were spin-offs from his blog. He calls me – Zero the Hero and he has an illusion(??) of being the Next Geeky Emperor of the World. Rock on My Lord!!

Reema’s My Random Thoughts – The most dazzling debut in the past year. She climbed up the charts very fast with her sometimes sentimental, sometimes bold and sometimes journalistic posts. An intelligent blogger which I feel is stuck in the wrong city (??? 😀 ) where people are too nosy to be believed. I remember how all of us almost pulled her out of Blogspot’s claws and landed her safely in WordPress. 😆

RamboDoc’s A twist of word and Mind – The father of all “Don’t take them at face value” posts. Believe me, you can’t dissect humor better than him. You might be fooled in the beginning by the seriousness of his posts, but a few visits and you learn to take everything with a pinch of salt. A doctor by profession, RamboDoc has huge female fans following him his blog. Not to be missed at all.

Shefaly’s La Vie Quotidienne – The owner of the most “profound” blog on WordPress (according to RamboDoc), she is one of her kind. Her posts are thoughtful, deep and scholarly and sometimes have the Tongue in cheek quality which makes them immensely enjoyable.

Nitin’s Nikhil’s Mirror Cracked – The Funny guy on the block. He can make you laugh with his simple daily life experiences served with a comical twist. I remember how I rolled on the floor after reading many of his posts. He is a writer too and his first book is already in the market. To read more about the book, click here.

Arvind’s An Entertainment Blog – The Entertainment Blog owner who is apparently a die hard cricket fan too. His blog was full of cricket centric posts once. 🙂 His blog is a nice mix of personal mumblings and latest news with Calvin and Hobbes splashed in-between.

Kids zone – After being surprised by Ish’s creative posts, I came across many kids who were maintaining some very interesting blogs. Come to think of it, I was not even aware of the meaning of a blog at their age. Be it Allirekha’s beautiful poems, Bharat’s touching short stories, Prarthana’s examination woes, Perx’s apprehensions about his new abode, Priya’s bubbly and creative posts, all of them have something special to say and share.

The Balancers – These bloggers are married(well…most of them), they have a job(most of them) or are in colleges and they still blog. They could have easily shrugged and said that we don’t have time for all this.They are the true Supermen/superwomen. Anand’s Musings, Balu’s Chupchap, Dinsan’s Blog(hopefully he belongs to this group), Mehek’s Mind Flirting with thoughts, Harshasrisri’s blog, Joel’s blog, Lallopallo’s blog, Liju(recently married) Philip’s blog, Manoj’s Vagaries of my mind, RJ’s Especiality, Suda’s Life Love and Logic and Xylene’s Crapbook are such blogs, to name a few.

More Girl PowerLekhni, Sakhi, Nova, Pr3rna and Sulz have their own unique blogs. Lekhni and Sakhi are majorly into Short stories while Pr3rna’s posts are inspired mostly by the current happenings. Nova’s posts are vivacious and spicy while Sulz writes about her own life experiences in her own interesting style.

There are so many other bloggers I wish to acknowledge, but laziness is creeping over me. So please don’t feel sad if your name was not mentioned above. It was due to the yawn dripped laziness I am swimming in right now. I also wanted to award each of the above person and I (almost)promised Shefaly, but the sheer volume of links I have created above sent shivers up my spine.

I will do that. Someday…. 😛

Till then, a huge hug to all of you.

Love Story 2050 – Movie Review

What could have been the first Indian sci-fi movie and a turning point in the Indian cinema turns out to be a damp squib. The movie reminded me of 10,000 B.C. and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. 10,000 B.C. because the promo of the movie were very promising to say the least and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom because I consider that movie a classic example of how a director can castrate a beautiful and fresh story. Love Story 2050 had a story which most of our movies are lacking now a days. It could have turned into one of the best movies of the year, but alas, just showing a “Star Wars” inspired Mumbai does not mean good direction.

Karan(Harman Baweja) is an only son of a multimillionaire who is very much deprived of love and affection as his mother passed away when he was ten and his father has no time for him. Sana(Priyanka Chopra) is a sweet and shy typical Bollywood heroine who is quite opposite to Karan. A few meetings and songs later, both fall in love. Boman Irani plays the eccentric scientist called Dr. Yatinder Khanna who is Karan’s uncle and on the verge of making a time machine. The couple is about to get married when tragedy strikes and Sana dies in an accident and Karan has to take a journey to 2050 to get back his lady love.

The movie takes inspiration from so many Hollywood movies that its mind boggling. Its hard to believe that the Mumbai skyline would undergo such a drastic and sea change in the next 42 years. Maybe the movie should have been titled Love Story 2350. The graphics are straight out of Star Wars with flying cars and laser guns. The female robot is straight out of Bicentennial Man” while Boo, the robotic teddy bear is copied from the movie “Artificial Intelligence“. Boman Irani’s character reminds one of Dr. Brown from the movie “Back to the Future“. The movie also defies our understanding of reincarnation. If Sana died in 2008, then she must be 42 years old in 2050 after her rebirth, but she is very much a young and successful pop star. Maybe she was taking a break in between and spending some time with our Gods. Dr. Khanna does not find it hard to fix a robot functioning on A.I. in 2050 although the technology has taken giant leaps. And yes, some scenes are shamefully lifted from the the above mentioned movies.

The movie is bearable in the first half when the couple is in 2008 and the love story is developing. It has its own moments although they are very few in number. The second half drags as there are too many unwanted scenes which could have been left at the editor’s table. I could not understand why the Mortal Combat sequence was there in the movie. The movie needs a very heavy editing to make it bearable specially towards the end.

Harman, who is touted as the next superstar, is good enough for his first movie, although its not a dream debut like Hrithik’s. He needs to watch his diction and needs to work on the emotional scenes. His starts squeaking when he cries. Priyanka is passable. Boman Irani overdoes the act a little bit at times although he does not have much of a role. Archana Puran Singh manages to raise a few laughs in her blink-and-she-is-gone role. The music is already topping the charts and is good. “Mausam Achanak ye badla kyun” and “Milo na milo” are certainly above average songs.

A terrific story gone wasted and a terrible amount of money too. But still i would not like to trash it completely as I have seen worse in the past few months. A two out of five as the movie didn’t turn out to be a sheer torture like Tashan. 😀

Rating – 2/5

Director – Harry Baweja

Official Site – http://www.lovestory2050.com/

Tashan – Movie Review

When you start believing that life can’t get worst, it suddenly does.

This is what how an experience like Tashan can be summed up after watching movies like Race and U Me Aur Hum. Race at least had a constant oomph factor oozing out of each frame and an over-doze of twists and turns to make it watchable. Tashan looks like a mockery of the Indian audience, if nothing else. It made me believe that the Indian directors take me as a chimpanzee who will watch anything shown to him with great amazement and awe.

The movie revolves around four characters – Jimmy (Saif Ali Khan) who is a call centre executive and who learns to fire/dodge bullets as easily as someone learns to brush, Pooja (Kareena Kapoor) who works for Bhaiyyaji and who breaks into a sizzling hot number in a bikini just before submerging her father’s ashes in water, Bachchan Pandey (Akshay Kumar) who is a small time gangster and completely incapable of saying I love you to his lady love and finally Bhaiyyaji (Anil Kapoor) who is a notorious gangster hellbent on learning English and kills people with any sports equipment he can lay his hands on.

Tashan is an onion of problems. You can peel off layers and layers of them. Jimmy is so naive that he can’t make out that something is wrong when he sees a bag full of money fall off Pooja’s hands. Bhaiyyaji is one of the most irritating characters in the history of Indian Cinema and Anil Kapoor could have been nominated for the Indian Razzies, if they could have existed. Pooja is called a “bitch” so many times in the movie that Kareena’s grandchildren would be really embarrassed if they ever happen to watch the movie.

Tashan does not have a story. It seems like a rip off from Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja, specially in the climax. And, oh yes, you would have to be really strong to bear the climax. Its the ultimate patience test ever created by Bollywood. The fight sequences are hilarious as you would have never seen heroes dodge so many bullets or jumping like a monkey on walls or ending up riding a water scooter in a gutter(kind of). Its unbelievable and sheer torture. Its amazing how our stars agree to do such scenes.

I would have rated the movie 1 out of five, but I would add another 0.5 for Kareena who is looking sizzling hot in all the scenes. Your heart would definitely skip a beat while watching her dance in “Chaliya” and “Dil Haara”. This 0.5 addition to the rating is also because of the comic scenes between Saif, Akshay and Kareena. Atleast they managed to make the audience laugh, even if it was ephemeral. And, yes, if you are going to watch the movie to see the latest hot pair of Bollywood in action, then forget it. Kareena is paired opposite Akshay and her love story with Saif ends in a blink in the first half.

An appeal to the director Vijay Krishna Acharya – Please come out of the mindset that Indian audience can’t digest a movie without over the top comic characters (like Anil’s) or fight sequences straight out of Marvel comic strips or without the thin waistline of the heroine on display. We are tired of giving the proof time and again, that we are ready for sensible and serious cinema.

One last word – After watching Tashan, I believe that Race should be sent for the Oscars.

Rating – 1.5/5

Director – Vijay Krishna Acharya

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U Me Aur Hum – Movie Review

Its always a very brutal job to pan down a directorial debut. Its the closest you can reach to a catch 22 situation. You don’t want to point out all the obvious flaws because its the first movie of the director and on the other side you have such glorious examples ( for example – Taare Zameen Par) of some near perfect debuts that you crave to underline those very flaws. So does U Me Aur Hum fall into the usual Bollywood traps or does Ajay Devgan has a different story to tell?

Ajay Devgan directs his first movie and himself plays the character of Ajay, a leading psychiatrist who meets Pia (Kajol) on a cruise. Ajay is on the ship with his friends Nikhil (Sumeet Raghavan) ,Reena (Divya Dutta) , Vicky (Karan Khanna) and Natasha (Isha Sharvani). Nikhil and Reena are married but are always fighting like cats and dogs. On the other hand Vicky and Natasha are happily unmarried. Ajay falls in love with Pia and after a little bit of fighting and bickering both of them get married. The story follows the journey of these three couples who influence each other lives by the decisions they make in their own, where the main emphasis is given to the love story of Ajay and Pia. It would not be appropriate to go deeper into the story as it would give away the plot.

The story of the movie is such that it could have stood apart only if the performances, dialogues and the screenplay would have been tour de force. Performances are honest and well etched but it is the dialogues and the screenplay which eventually pull down the movie. There are flashes of brilliance here and there but the overall effect looks half baked. For example, take the scene where Ajay is taking to his friends about his wife’s condition and they ask him to bring her back. Everything is perfect in the scene except the dialogues. The lines “Do you understand what I am trying to say” and “You know something” are repeated so many times across the length and breadth of the movie, that it starts getting on to the nerves after sometime. There are some scenes which don’t make any sense like the one in which Vicky is walking naked on the deck. What the heck??? 😐 Another problem is that nothing happens in the first half of the movie. Its completely flat and bland, something we have seen zillions of times in Bollywood movies. Its only in the second half that the movie starts making some sense. The scenes between Kajol and Ajay pick up the pace but when you walk out of the theatre at the end, you feel that something was missing throughout the movie.

Kajol is her bubbly self and is the only reason to watch the movie. Some actors are evergreen and she is one of them. Ajay Devgan is also “cool” except in the scenes where he knits his brows too sharply and say – “You know something??” Eeeeks!!! The rest of the cast also end up faring pretty decently, specially Sumeet Raghavan. Vishal Bharadwaj’s music score is passable but the lyricist Munna Dhiman is someone to watch out for. “Saiyaan” and “Dil Dhadka hai” stand out as far as lyrics are concerned. The title track by Shreya Ghosal is also hummable.

Ajay Devgan impresses in the way he shot some of the scenes on the ship and later some more crucial scenes in the movie like the one in which Kajol is staring at the lizard. He can create wonders for sure. All he needs is an impeccable script and an engrossing story.

Rating – 2.5/5

Director – Ajay Devgan

 

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Race – Movie Review

 

After China Town and Naqaab, there wasn’t much expected from the director duo Abbas Mastan, so it was easy to watch Race without any preconceived notions. If it would have been good, people would have applauded the comeback of the jodi which gave us Aitraaz and Ajnabee and numerous other hits. If it would have been bad, the directors would have had another egg on their face. Race, infact turns out to be neither good nor bad.

The story begins with Ranveer Singh(Saif Ali Khan) meeting with an accident and his alcoholic step brother Rajeev Singh(Akshaye Khanna) giving a sigh of relief that his brother is alive. Katrina Kaif plays Sophia, who is Ranveer’s seedhi saadhi secretary who is in love with her boss while Bipasha Basu plays Sonia who keeps on shuttling between the two brothers. Anil Kapoor(Detective R.D.) and Sameera Reddy(Mini) make an appearance only after the second half begins and indulge in their over the top Karamchand-Kitty act which manages a few laughs from the audience. As the story progresses, the audience is taken on a roller-coster ride of so many deceptions, fears and revelations that in the end you feel exhausted and just want all of it to stop. The first twist is great, the second one fine, the third one is ok…..but by the time the movie reveals its nth twist(Yawn!!!), you are quite sure that another one is there in the pipeline and then thankfully and suddenly the movie ends.

The problem with the movie is that there is an overdose of twists and turns and after sometime the characters start looking completely unbelievable. Sadly the movie starts looking like a Balaji Telefilms(God!!! I hate to mention them in all my posts) production instead of UTV’s. The “dead and still not dead” or the “step brother who hates his older brother” or the “poor vamp claws the rich guy” themes have been done to death in Indian cinema, but still Race follows the old path and that is what goes against it. And a special mention of the songs is a must here. The movie would have been much better without them, as they are completely out of place and not required at all. All they do is slowing down the pace of the movie and they sound nothing more than some bad remixes of old hindi songs.

On the brighter side, the starcast is the only saving grace of the movie as they try their best to look good and dance good and act good(Katreena still needs a lot of improvement here). The sets and the locations are good and the movie looks sleek. Akshaye Khanna is great as usual while Saif plays the part with intensity. Bipasha looks like a bombshell, specially in the scene in which she is introduced to Akshaye. Katrina should not cry in any of her movies. She looks really funny.

All in all, its a thriller gone wrong. Remove the songs and shorten the length of the movie and this could have been the best thriller of recent times. Its a one time watch if you have loads of time and nothing better to do.

Rating – 2/5

Directed by – Abbas Mustan

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