Monday, April 27, 2009

Susan Boyle

Millions of words have been written about Susan Boyle and her performance on Britan's Got Talent show. Here is the video if you haven't seen it (What is wrong with you??). Now this 47 year old woman who was nobody some weeks back, has a huge fan community, a wikipedia article, has been interviewed by CNN and has a movie being made on her life!
Some observations.
1. Instant fame: 9 days, 100 million+ views, 20 million overnight. If she stands for election she might easily become prime minister/president (Obama's victory speech had just 18.5 million views, damn!).
2. Bridging the old and new: First telecasted on the "traditional" media, Television, the video came on the "new" medias, YouTube, Facebook and the works. More importantly events like this make you realise the Democratization of the media has happened.
3. Sharing: Or as per Friedman, Flattening of the world. People are sharing information like never before. Someone in India can see the performance of a Scottish woman via an American website. If this is not globalization then what is?
4. Hypocrisy: Right now since she sang so well everyone is rooting for her. What if she had met expectations of the judges and embarrassed herself? That was being expected, right? No wonder she would have been a subject of another viral video, but just think for a second, What if she wasn't so good? All the rooting for Underdog, Beauty is skin deep bull crap would have evaporated right then and there.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Mard- a masterpiece by Ganapati Bohra starts with a scene which any good Bollywood movie should begin with… an attempted rape scene. But the attempt is stopped by MC (I am talking about Mithun Chakraborty you perverts) who punches the rapist through the wall and says these immortal lines, “Panga nahi leneka, mitti mein mila doonga” and then masterfully proceeds to beat up the goons to pulp.

MC plays Arjun, a honest cop who beats up goons and their CM fathers and is transferred (funny inspectors can be suspended right?) constantly.


Mithun wows the audience with an amazing action scene, where he beats the fellow police officer, who had neglected his duty since he was having tea and sandwiches. So for 10 minutes every dialogue from MC has the words. “Chai, sandweech (he says it that way!)”.


The best lines of the screenplay however are taken up by JL (Johnny Lever, not Jennifer Lopez). Here is the situation, JL is outside the temple with his mother and brother. The mother offers his Prasad of Ganapati. JL replies Mujhe sirf ek hi Ganapati pata hai, who hai director Ganapati Bohra. Prasad se yaad aaya TLV Prasad ki picture hai, bahut hit chal rahi hai, main jaata hoon. Brilliant! Bravo!


Then there is Shakti Kapoor (if Mithun is god, then sidekick number 1 is definitely Shakti Kapoor) with the immortal line, “Mach Jaayegi Hahakaar, jab apne pe aayega jabbaar


All in all the movie is a good package. It may not touch the heights achieved by Kanti Shah for Gunda or even Loha, but the film can stand on its own feet. I still cannot have tea and sandwiches. 

You can buy the movie from this link. No I don't get any commission for this.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pepsi-Coke Cola Wars: RIP

I grew up on Cola wars and loved the Pepsi-Coke wars. Now I look at the adverts they are a pale shadow of the 90s and early 2000 when the fun was at its peak. Now we have Coke celebrating “open happiness” and Pepsi doing the stupid advertisement on some promo on the Twenty-20 World Cup. Summer is going on! And no Cola Wars! This sucks!
Coke is trying to give the warm fuzzy feeling it has globally and maybe trying to globally align Indian advertisments to that. And Pepsi… less said is better. The Ranbir Kapoor-Deepika Padukone advertisements were a debacle. There was supposed to a sequel to the Canteen advertisement which was never aired maybe due to poor response. What is wrong with Pepsi? I think they should go back to SRK and Sachin. The new generation of superstars are not working out for them.
I miss the attacks and counter attacks and the rivalry! Someone please do something!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Few Links....

Here is couple of websites which I have been looking at For arbitary Trivia
Astronomy Picture of the Day Archive Archive of Wonderful pictures of our universe. Some make really good wallpapers :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


What is it about India that ensures that we have the biggest idiots being born here on regular basis. Latest is an entire group of idiots who have a name for their group, the Samajwadi Party. Now they have decided that computerization has created unemployment and hence they are against it. Also he is against usage of machines in agriculture and wants people to do work manually. (Actually it makes sense, if these guys get elected, they will shut down the IT companies and all the engineers will have to search for some work. All these unemployed people can be used to work on the farms.)
He also has issues with high corporate salaries and thinks that corporates be paid minimum wage as decided by the government... Yeah right Einstein and who will pay the taxes? Maybe we will take some money you "allegedly" made while you were the CM? He thinks this will make National Capital!! 
These guys are also anti-English and the party's manifesto also mentions that it will work to abolish schools providing expensive education in English medium. 
To see hypocrisy see their website (anti-computerization at its best huh) which is also in English. Do not miss the section headed 10 Reasons to join Samajwadi Party!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I got this mail today which heavily criticized Slumdog Millionaire. It read:
(Have edited it)

Yes, indeed it is a matter of pride for us as 3 Indians won 3 Oscar awards.
 But at what cost ?
 When we look at the other side of the coin, I feel what we lost is more than what we won.
 It is film by foreigners about the story of Indians and the only exception is A R Rahman.
 Directed by Danny Boyle
 Produced by Christian Colson
 Written by Simon Beaufoy
 Music by A. R. Rahman

 Cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle
 Editing by Chris Dickens
 The film portrays the poverty in
India and shows to the world what kind of life is lead by the children in slums. Pre Independence Britishers equaled Indians with dogs by saying "Dogs and Indians not allowed" into a restaurant.

Even after 50 years of Indian Independence these western people call the children in our slums as "dogs". They made good money making fun of India at International level. There are many humiliating scenes in the movie which will make us feel ashamed, like:

 * The children posing as guides at Taj Mahal and cheating the tourists
 * The children working in hotel refills the Mineral water bottle and cheating the customers
 * Pick pocketing, stealing and reselling tourist footwear
 * Grounding a car of a foreign tourist
 * Training and employing the children for street begging
 * Making a child blind to make him an impact beggar
 * Training and pushing young girls into brothel house

 * Children becoming criminals at the age they don't know what is life
 * Host of the game suspecting the knowledge of a slum boy and trying to mislead the participant. etc., etc.
Hollywood journalists called Slumdog as "Poverty Porn".
 What impact will this have on
India amongst the audience of western world ?
 What do the children in slums learn from this film?
If we had won an Oscars for a film like Lagaan which shows our fight against the
Britishers by defeating them in their own game, every Indian would have been really proud. The Academy did not find Lagaan good for an award but found Slumdog Millionaire very good !! 
 The above is an opinion of many, Of course, you are free to have your own !!!


Now i believe that whatever they have shown in the movie is pretty genuine.Let me go Point by Point:

* The children posing as guides at Taj Mahal and cheating the tourists: Anyone who has been to any tourist place knows this. Its true
 * The children working in hotel refills the Mineral water bottle and cheating the customers: Again a pretty common phenomenon
 * Pick pocketing, stealing and reselling tourist footwear: Its India for gods sake! 
 * Grounding a car of a foreign tourist:Thought it was little over the top, its commercial cinema not a documentary!
 * Training and employing the children for street begging
 * Making a child blind to make him an impact beggar
 * Training and pushing young girls into brothel house

Sadly, it is the dark underbelly of India

 * Children becoming criminals at the age they don't know what is life: Damn it! Where does the author live? I think in the state of Denial! 
 * Host of the game suspecting the knowledge of a slum boy and trying to mislead the participant:
Pretty rich coming from a nation which thrives on stereotypes of fair skin and high caste!

Lagaan was the classic case of feel good cinema which catered to Indian audience and made them happy. It is possible for a Slumdog story to occur (just outline that a boy of slums wins KBC) but definitely it is impossible that something outrageous as Lagaan could have happened! Rains after match winning performance which ensured that  villagers don't pay tax and enjoy for 3 years! 

Get Real Guys!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Tata Nano: Smart Idea!

The hoopla surrounding Tata Nano has ensured that people don't notice (or maybe they did, should I say people I know didn't notice) that if you are not one of the lucky 1 lakh people who get the car, you have two options. First is you take back the deposit and re-book later or second choice is you keep the deposit with Tata and be in the queue. The chances increase if you keep deposit with Tata. And they are also paying 8.5% for it. 
Nice idea _______ (whoever thought about it, fill in your name) You are getting around 1 lakh that too below PLR (which is around 15.5 %). Effectively Tata Motors is saving 7.5% flat on interest. Cool idea! 
Combine this with the Sops and concessions Gujarat Government is paying (to the tune of Rs. 10,000 crores) Nano is already a success before the factory starts!
Great Going Ratan!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Why I miss the Late 80s and early 90s of Bollywood…

  • Guns had unlimted ammunition
  • The henchmen of the goons have learnt how to shoot
  • Villains no longer have fancy names
  • Heroes are no longer invincible
  • No more thakurs exist in the village anymore
  • Rape scenes have reduced
  • Actresses fight and not get hit in the head and faint
  • The hero doesn’t have a younger sister going to college (and waiting to be raped)
  • The whole village doesn’t dance in fancy clothes behind the main cast
  • There are no songs with hidden nuances and double meaning which can be enjoyed.
  • There is no tall black goonda who beats the hero before dying and shouting “AAAAAA” in a horrible way.
  • Movie titles do not contain words like Badla, Saugandh, Zindagi and stuff.
  • Heroes are no longer farmers and sons of poor farmers.
  • There is no kindly soul who does some qurbani so that the hero/heroine become something in life.
  • No more melodramatic mothers who wear white saris and stitch clothes for the hero so that the hero can become Bada aadmi.