Monday, August 25, 2008

Johnny Gaddar

In my last post I mentioned about watching some movies and this Sriram Raghavan written and directed crime thriller ‘Johnny Gaddar’ is one of them. My elder brother Alok recommended me this movie with a positive review which is quite strange from him especially for a new bollywood movie. I got to watch the movie only recently and am really overwhelmed by it and truly think it deserves the appreciation that it got from him.

This is a crime thriller story about a gang of five criminals who are into a big deal that involves 2.5 crore rupees. They have always been partners in any deal or crime that they have committed but this time with this much of money involved, one of them has another idea about the deal. He is the traitor in the gang, ‘the Johnny Gaddar’, who plans to get hold of the money and elope with her girlfriend. In the process, he unintentionally kills one of his friends and then starts a series of murders to conceal his betrayal. The series of murder involves all his partners and ends with his own.

The story is as simple as this but the twists and turns that come in the movie at regular intervals doesn’t leave it that a simple one. Every single time when the ‘Gaddar’ feels that all the hurdles are gone, a new thrill comes in and twists the whole story again. I think that these twists and turns in a thriller movie are the things that make it great and only these things when used a bit injudiciously or hazily can make it thoroughly complicated. Well! In this case this is the beautifully knitted story by Sriram Raghavan that makes the movie so clear yet so thrilling. Although there are a lot of things about the movie that gives it a place among the best, the presentation of the story is the best thing about the movie as far as my view is concerned. Next to it among the goods about the movie comes the freshness of the theme in the Indian film industry. How many times we get a movie wherein we are completely confused whether the protagonist in the film is the hero or a villain. The character of Vikram, the ‘gaddar’, played beautifully by Neil Nitin Mukesh is a character for which one is not sure whether to keep sympathy or to curse him. Not many times in Hindi movies we get such a situation. This is not the only thing fresh about the movie. Not in many Hindi movies we have all the lead characters dead in the end. There have been movies like ‘Deewar’, ‘Sholay’ or ‘Fanaa’ where we have the hero dead in the end but ‘Kaante’ is the movie that, I think, comes the nearest to this one in this regard (In fact, these two movies have a lot of things in common, anyways). Presenting such a story to the Indian audience really needs courage. Hats off!!!

Another fresh thing in the movie was Neil Nitin Mukesh in the title role. He has looked fresh, charming, handsome and elegant and above all has performed with even more elegance. He is really promising and presently, I think, the best starlet in the industry (although, of course, his father Nitin Mukesh was not a star singer, his grandfather Mukesh was a real superstar as a singer). Along with Neil, other actors have also given fine performances. Dharmendra is back again with one more inning in the films. I really don’t know how many comebacks he is going to make in this industry. Zakir Hussain again is brilliant and so is Vinay Pathak in a completely different kind of a role. He is always known for his roles as comedian in ‘Bheja Fry’, ‘Khosla ka Ghosla’, ‘Manorama Six Feet under’ and many more but this time he is completely different. Ashwini Kalsekar as Vinay’s wife is, as others, awesome.

Sriram’s story and direction, as mentioned earlier, is outstanding. He never intended to make it a suspense drama and does not keep it hidden from the audience about the traitor yet he manages to put so much of suspense and thrill in the film, really commendable!!!!!!! He has dedicated this film, as given in the opening credits, to the thriller maestros Vijay Anand and James Hadley Chase. I have not read Chase yet, so can’t say much on him. As for Vijay Anand, I didn’t know before this that he is treated as a thriller maestro. I remember him for ‘Haqeeqat’ and ‘Kora Kaaghaz’ and in both these cases there was nothing like thriller. Besides, I also remember him for his detective teleserial ‘Tahqeeqat’ that was aired on Doordarshan some 12-15 years ago in which he acted as Sam DeSilva, the detective. Here, this was a bit nearer to be called a thriller; still, I can’t figure anything else out of him that can give me an impression of him as a thriller maestro. That may be my lack of knowledge and nothing else. So, thanks in a sense to the director for improving my knowledge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One more thing about the opening credits that I liked was the flavor of the 70s commercial Amitabh hits that comes up in it. The way the names are presented and the background score in the credits reminds me a lot about the great hits of the 70s. The use of the plot of ‘Parwaana’ in the film or the extraction of the title from another thriller ‘Johnny Mera Naam’ is also awesome.

All in all a fresh movie with a lot of thrill in it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Wikipedia article on the film has a mistake regarding the music director of the film. According to it, Vishal-Shekhar duo is the music composer but in reality the music I composed by the trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy………………….

Saturday, August 23, 2008

These days...

It’s been so long again without any post. After the stitch removal on 9th August, I have been a bit busy rejoining things that I lost during that resting period. I joined my classes from 10th and on 14th was off to Kanpur, at sister’s place on the occasion of ‘raksha bandhan’. I really wonder the importance of this occasion for me.

A few days before it, there was friendship day on 3rdAugust . After rejoining my classes I got a complaint from one of my dear friends (of course a girl……..since most of my dear friends are girls...:)...) that I didn’t wish her happy friendship day. It is strange but true, despite being my best friend I didn’t wish her that. In fact, I never intended to wish her or anyone and it’s not that I forgot to do it. I usually don’t believe in things like friendship day or mother’s day or father’s day or even Valentine’s Day. I have my own reason for this but I am not sure whether it is correct or not. I truly believe that such relations i.e. father, mother or a friend is forever and there should not be a single day to celebrate such relationships rather one should do it where and when one wants.

Now, thinking over raksha bandhan, this is a similar occasion to celebrate the beautiful relationship between a brother and a sister, really a very important day for every Indian brother and sister. The same reason that I applied in the earlier cases can also hold true as far as this raksha bandhan is concerned. A sister is also forever and you can celebrate your relationship with her anytime. Then why should we have a special day for sister? This question holds true in my case (for my view over other days) at least. Rethinking over this, I can’t get any solid reason for this ‘dual-standard’. One reason may be that we are accustomed to celebrate rakhi from the very childhood and the other mentioned days are like borrowed into Indian culture from the west. Is it non-acceptance to the western culture or non-adaptability to it, I can’t really make it clear for me but in either case it reflects the conservative nature of mine………………………. A typical Indian middle-class man.

Anyways, these days I am also busy in watching films. Recently I got to see really beautiful movies, some for the first time and some other repeated. ‘Swadesh’ was among the repeated one and I personally feel that this is the best movie by Shahrukh Khan ever. Dil Dosti Etc, Fire, Basic Instinct, Johnny Gaddar are among others which I watched and I liked. Maybe I will be writing on some of them if not all.

Besides these, I also watched two recent movies ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ and ‘Singh Is Kinng’ that too on consecutive days in theatre. Both were different kind of movies but had something in common between them………..they both are ‘big bakwaas’. Two meaningless movies on two consecutive days, one can feel my mental status on the third day. Apart from occasional grins they had nothing to cheer about. Where ‘Singh…..’ had only to serve the typified Akshay Kumar, ‘Bachna……’ had not even anything one can cheer. The story is meaningless, cast pathetic and the acting even more so. In this respect, at least, ‘Singh……’ fares a bit better than ‘Bachna……’.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


In my earlier post with the title ‘Depression’, I wrote about watching ‘Pyaasa’, a Guru Dutt directed and produced film. As I said there, I was, and in fact I am still, feeling a bit reluctant about writing something on doubtedly one of the best ever made Hindi movie of all times. I am still so enthralled after watching the movie and literally, spellbound by the magnificence of the movie that I am not sure of myself doing any sort of justice to the great work that Pyaasa is. Maybe, this is the reason behind my reluctance that I have already mentioned. Anyways, in reply to one of the comments to the earlier post that asked me to write something on this, I am attempting it here.

I first saw Pyaasa some 7 years back courtesy my elder brother. At that time I had no idea of what the movie was all about and, in fact, had not even heard about the movie, though of course, had always liked some of its songs, unknowingly about the movie of course, like ‘Hum Aapki Aankhon Me’ and ‘Jaane Wo Kaise Log The’. My second encounter with the film came soon in an India Today edition about the best hindi movies. It had a poll where the different Hindi movies were voted by the eminent film directors of the bollywood. I do remember some of the movies that made it to the top 10 list of the poll and Pyaasa was in that. I don’t really remember the sequence of the films in the list but it included the great works like Sholay, Mother India, Mughal-e-Azam, Pyaasa, Kaagaz ke Phool, Deewar, DDLJ, Lagaan (as far as I remember, the first two names here were the first two respectively in the list and Lagaan was the tenth). Only after reading that edition of India Today, I realized what a masterpiece I had watched a few days back. Anyways, this list is dwarfed by the list of top 100 movies of all times that was presented by Time magazine, and this list also included Pyaasa. I came to know about it only after going through this Wikipedia article on the movie. This article contains many interesting facts about the movie and also the plot, so, I won’t go into much detail of the plot of the story.

The movie is about a dejected young poem Vijay (Guru Dutt) who depicts a common-man character of a post-independence Indian youth who faces the problems of unemployment and hunger. One day he is mistaken to be dead and then his poems, with efforts of a prostitute, Gulaabo (Waheeda Rahman) who was in love with him, get published. He receives ‘posthumous’ success with the sympathy of the audience for a dead poet. For the greed of money and more money, his friends and the publisher deny to recognize him as Vijay when he comes back in the picture but his brothers and some other people, again for the desire of success and money brings him to the public as the real Vijay. Anguished by the sad treatment of the world when he was alive and hurt by the opportunism of his near-ones, he then himself denies that he is not the real Vijay.

The film beautifully portrays a common man character in a state that was the destiny of most of the Indian youth post-independence. India at that time was facing lots of social problem and it is beautifully (can I call such a dismal situation beautiful?) portrayed in the film especially with the song ‘Jinhe Naaz Hai Hind Par Wo Kahan Hain’, a beautiful song written by Sahir Ludhiyanavi and sung even better by Md. Rafi as like the other songs of the film.

Guru Dutt as the lead character of Vijay is more than fantastic. Mala Sinha as Meena, his college life love and Waheeda Rahman as Gulaabo, the prostitute who gets him the fame do complete justice to their roles. They both were new actors at that time and their roles in this film must have led the founding stone of the fame that they later got in their life. Rahman as the rich publisher was again brilliant. His role was something like I have seen him doing in most of his later and maybe earlier films. I can’t figure out his earlier films but later in 'Waqt', 'Chacha Bhatija', 'Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam' and many others that I am unable to recall at present, he played a similar rich villain fully suited and booted who thinks of his own profit in every situation. Johnny Walker as Sattar Bhai, Vijay’s friend who helps him to get out to the world when everybody had denied recognizing him does his role as he has done in over 100 bollywood flicks. He is able to make the audience grin at every scene he comes in. Mahmood and others also faired quite well.

The acting of each and every actor was splendid but the best assets of the film were its songs. The lyrics of Sahir Ludhiyanavi and the music of S.D. Burman together does a magic that still most of us have not yet forgotten. All the songs of the film are as great as the film itself. It is a bit surprising for such a film that is sad almost throughout, to have songs with every mood. For love you have ‘Hum Aapki Aankhon Me’, for comedy you have ‘Sar Jo Tera Chakraye’, a heart-broken ‘Jane Wo Kaise Log The’, a song that questions the society ‘Jinhe Naaj Hai Hind Par Wo Kaha Hain’ and a completely outrageous against the opportunistic world ‘Ye Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye To Kya Hai’, every song just every song deserves a separate post for admiration. Personally, many of these songs were from my list of favourites (they still are) but till few years ago when I first saw the film, I didn’t know that they all were from same movie. I am a lover of sad songs and the Hemant Kumar sung ‘Jane Wo Kaise Log The’ is always at top of my list. I think this is the most hummed song by me for which I still get frowns from my girlfriend who loves me a lot and doesn’t want to hear such lines from meJ.

The songs, no doubt, were the best part of the film. Something that was as good as these songs was the dialogue of the film by Abrar Alvi. He was Guru Dutt’s real life best friend and did a splendid job in every film that Guru Dutt ever produced (as far as I remember, later he also got to direct one of Guru Dutt’s produced films, I don’t really remember the name, just a wild guess…………Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam………..confessions in advance if the guess is totally wrongJ). Anyways, in Pyaasa his job as dialogue writer is just magnificent. Each and every dialogue has so much of pain inside it and really complements Sahir Ludhiyanavi in his emotional lyrics. Few instances have been given in the Wikipedia article on the film and the best to me was “main wo vijay nahi hoon”.

So much has already been written about the acting, singing, lyrics and dialogues in the film but the description is completely incomplete without any word on the direction. Guru Dutt as director is even better than he as an actor. Direction is fantastic and the picturisation of each and every film is truly outstanding. The picturisation of this film as in other of Dutt’s films is great. A great use of lights and camera angles and added to it the fantastic picturisation of shadows especially in the penultimate scene is great. The only flaws that I could get in the movie came in the credits itselfJ. Mala Sinha’s name appered the first in casting but I think the role of Waheeda Rahman was the most important of course after Guru Dutt. The other thing was that there was no any mention about the story and screenplay writer of the film.......……….

Anyways…………………………… All in all a great movie with all the stars in the world and as many thumbs up as possible.………………..Go man…………………………get it………………really………………….don’t even think of missing it.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


How depressing the life may be sometimes! These days I am going through a similar ‘sometime’, in which whatever that is happening to me or whatever state I am in is so much depressing. It is the post-operative period of recovery for me that I am in. I have to be in bed all the time that too alone………. (hehehe). If there is something that is with me is pain and nothing else. On the name of movement, I have only to move from one position to another and then again back, of course in the bed itself, the main aim being to avoid the bed-sores from developing. It’s a feeling that can be described as undescribable yet depression is the most appropriate in my dictionary to describe the state that I am in [I didn't use the word melancholy coz that is borrowed in my dictionary, I owe it to my bhaiya, :)]

In such a period of depression, I am doing a few things as my pass time. I got to read “Old Masters- A Comedy” by Thomas Bernhard. The review about the book at the back of it describes it as a satirical novel. I have started it only a day or two back, so have read only a small part of it. I had thought that this comedy could elevate my mood a bit if not much, but strange enough, it was not to be. From whatever I have read of it, I have been able to appreciate it as a satire on art, artist and many other things that are deemed to be great in this world. Where I have been able to appreciate it, I have not been able to appreciate in depth the satire part of it. Where I had thought it to elevate my mood, it has only been able to elevate the level of depression for me. It has brought in me a sense of unawareness, a unawareness from the beauty of this world, a unawareness from the greatness of the art of the world, a unawareness from the great artists of the world, a unawareness from many other things in this world that people call great. Even, I also called them great but now I feel that I have no right to call them great for I don’t know them, I don’t know the greatness of them, I am really not someone who can call them great, I have no right to do so.

To understand the satire part of it, I needed to know who Goethe, Kant, Schopenhauer, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart or many more are. The list is endless and with every name the feeling of that unawareness increases even more. Though, a few of these names I had heard of, I have not yet witnessed their work, so , I can’t appreciate anyone of them and to laugh on something that you don’t know is something that is the sorriest in this world. Anyway, it is only the start of my life, so, think, I’ll be knowing about, at least, some of them in future.

Today, I watched “Pyaasa” by Guru Dutt. A real masterpiece it is, doubtedly one of the best that the Hindi film industry has ever produced. It is again strange enough that a depressing movie that Pyaasa is, has elevated my mood much. I don’t want to get into the detail of this great work. I can only say one thing about it, a masterpiece. The plot of the story is available in this Wikipedia article about the movie. I wanted to write in detail about it but, don’t know why, I am feeling a bit reluctant in doing that. Anyway, watching Pyaasa, in spite of its depressingly pessimistic story, is able to bring happiness to you for you watch it and you watch a real masterpiece. you get the feeling that you have just witnessed one of the greatest works ever produced in bollywood.

Having said everything about me being depressed, I want to make it clear that I am not that much depressed as I have written. Writing for me is always associated with a bit of, and sometimes more, exaggeration. It’s a confession that I want to make for all my writing till date that they all have that part of exaggeration in them. CONFESSIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The 3 Mistakes of My Life

The title may confuse one and all but I want to make it clear here itself that in this post there is nothing like me making any confession or even recalling the mistakes that I have done in my life. Neither I have any intention nor I really want to review my mistakes in life, for, one, they are too many, and second, this is something that one does at the end of life when the hands of Yamraja advance forward to have a handshake. This post is only about the book by Chetan Bhagat which shares its title with that of my post.

As already written in my earlier post, Mr. Chetan Bhagat was the first English author whom I had read. That was his first book “Five Point Someone- What not to do at IIT”. I don’t really want to get into detail of that for it is not at my focus in this post but a few words will do no bad. As written in the book, it was a real story of three IITians and what they all did at the IIT (certainly they didn’t study for the full 4 years period, anyways). While I was reading that story, I believed it to be a true one without going into much insight into the story. The story had all the stuff of a commercially hit masala Hindi movie yet it seemed real for the story was about new-age boys with the ‘I-don’t-care’ approach and such things that happened rather mishappened with them could well have happened no doubt.

Anyway, the debate in the mind of readers on the reality of Chetan’s story will go on until, of course, they read the other stories by Chetan. His next two books till now, “One Night @ the Call-Centre” and “The 3 Mistakes of My Life” both are similar masala stories and both have been forwarded by the author as real stories. Although, I have not yet read the second book but I have heard about it and its plot and it seems totally unreal as looks the statement ‘someone will never die’ and for sure, I am never going to read that.

The third one i.e. “The 3 Mistakes…” is again told by the author as a real story. OK, the story is based on real events that happened in Gujarat but the story as a whole seems unreal. It’s a story about a businessman-minded boy-turned-man Govind and his friends Ish, a cricket buff and Omi, a priest’s son. It’s a story about their business and the natural calamities, religious politics, girl, love, friendship and many other things that come in between them and their smooth business. With so many of incidences that occur to them, you got to feel that it can only occur in a masala Hindi film. Everything that is required to make a film a blockbuster in India is present in this story. You have an earthquake first up to shatter the dreams of the lead men. They all get over it and then you have a communal riot that again puts everything in destruction mode. For Indians, you have cricket. On all of this you have kissing scenes, bed scenes and women topless. What more you can ask for a great commercial hit bollywood movie?

Now, I think, there are a few loopholes in the story. First, why should Govind call a girl who is not yet his girlfriend while he is amidst 200 hundred naked breasts? At least I am not going to recall my girlfriend at such a time when I can fantasize to have, maybe, only 1% of the total available wealth around me (hehehe, just joking). Second, why should anybody preparing for a medical entrance examination should read Mathematics? Only to get F…. by the teacher! (Again joking). Finally, the biggest flaw as I think is that none of the 3 mistakes of Govind’s life are really mistakes.

The first mistake was that he had put all his savings from the shop plus some loan as a deposit for a new bigger shop. It’s nowhere a mistake. Every businessman dreams of expanding his business and this is what he was doing. It was not his mistake that a quake came and destroyed the building in which he was taking the shop. His second mistake, according to him, was his sleeping with his dearest friend’s younger sister. Such things can’t well be mistakes. He loved her and she did too and whatever happened was a decision of both and he was not the only one to blame (Maybe, this time I may be wrong). His third mistake was his delaying his effort to save Ali for a moment. He put his self in front of everything else in this matter and hence this can be agreed as his mistake but somewhere, I get the feeling with so much of fight already done, it was the best he could well have done.

Anyway, these are the loopholes in the plot of the story. The story was not flawless in its writing also. Many a part could have been a lot better than what came out. The quake scene was OK but could have been better. Some more emotions could have been brought into the riot scene. It seems Chetan gave his full effort in making the kissing scenes and the bed scenes worthy. And not to forget the 100 women topless at the Bondy beach at Sydney in Australia!

Nonetheless, if you are a lover of fantasy drama go for it otherwise just let it be at the other side of the counter……………………………

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Under the Surgeon's Knife

Ever since I stepped into the Patna Medical College in 2005, to be precise, on 1st Aug 2005, I always dreamt of something. I had always dreamt of an operation theatre in which a person is standing wearing green gown with a green cap on his head and the disposable gloves covering the fingers uptill where it suddenly vanished into the green sleeves of the gown. A few other persons are also standing here and there in the O.T. who play the all important role of O.T. assistants. I said their role an all important one for they are the surgeon’s hand apart from the two the god has already given him, for he needs more than two hands while cutting out the diseased portion and also some non-diseased healthy tissue.

In my dream, there is one more person lying haplessly, pathetically with the lights focused on his abdomen in front of the surgeon on the operation table consigning himself to the mercy of the surgeon, telling him do whatever you want to do with my body, it is all yours, play with it or cut it into pieces, I don’t really care, for I will be unconscious, done by your partner standing just at the side of my head with injections, masks and cuffs in his hand. Loads of fluids have already flown in the veins of the pathetic character and somebody comes and put some more liquid as antibiotics, sedatives, anti-emetics etc. inside the already placed cannula put inside the vein over his forearm.

Finally the man is unconscious and the surgeon becomes ready with a knife in his hand. He incises the abdomen already shaved, cleaned, draped, and sterilized and opens up the abdominal cavity where the human body puts in all its wealth apart from heart, lungs and brain. I said ‘all its wealth’ because only ‘health is wealth’. The surgeon plays with the long unending shining white loops which these bloody inhumane characters call intestine. He plays with everything he sees inside the window created by him in the form of an incision. Finally when he is all done with his playing and bored, he again seals the window and the anesthetist again puts a few injections and revives the misfortunate man into consciousness. He is assured by the surgeon that he will be alright in one week and will be able to do all his work after that though what follows till one week after is a terrible, awful period of pain.

This was a dream I have always seen in front of my eyes. In my dream the man as the surgeon was me and the operation theatre belonged to me only. Yes, I have always dreamt of being surgeon for he is one who surely cures diseases without giving any empirical therapy as do the physicians. Such a nice dream, NO? YES! It is.

It is hard mate! It is really hard to see your dream coming true with a few exceptions as they came in my case. The operation theatre was not that I own and I was not in the place of the surgeon rather I was the pathetic character lying down on the operation table haplessly.

Yes! I have been operated for umbilical hernia that was diagnosed by me myself. Doesn’t it sound interesting to diagnose your own ailment? Presently, I am gaining health at my residence with still some liquids as antibiotics being poured into my ever consuming veins. I feel for my veins. They have always been circulating the blood inside me and now how much they are paying s much of extra liquid being given to them to circulate!

It is getting hard to pass my time lying idly in the bed. I have already finished “The 3 Mistakes of My Life” by Chetan Bhagat and thinking of reading some more stuff. Maybe, I’ll be writing something on these also. Maybe, I’ll be writing yet another story and when I do it I’ll surely put it on my blog, a few plots are coming in my mind. Hope, I’ll be able to do some productive works in this horridly painful time for me. Hoping for your wishes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!