Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The koward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"
                     oscar wilde , the ballad of reading gaol

When was the last that I thought of you...I know not...but am I the one who goes alone on this path...and should I but care only a little for the souls that follow or those as march ahead?

Mode C is a way of life, perhaps my way of life: C for Cool, C for Cold, C for Chaos, C for Calvin. Ultimately, all of it boils down to the way you look at things. Are they not how they are but just how they appear?? No...and yes...Almost all the seriously critical fundamental concepts of life...aren't they just the bogies under Calvin's bed that he is afraid of? Miss Wormwood, Susie, Mom and Dad, and of course above all, Hobbes...aren't they all merely the means that he uses to attack these bogies?

Reflecting on 'living the Calvin way', I have started to believe that life and our reaction to it can only be explained by a number of Calvin and Hobbes strips combined together. The philosophy, as I like to call it, is to know that you are not alone. It is not just my perspective alone that is going to help me fight my bogies. I will be able to inch towards the Calvin way only when I perceive the other perspectives on my way.

<< August 2009 >>
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
02 03 04 05 06 07 08
09 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31

My Past
Loyola High School Patna
Delhi Public School RK Puram
Institute of Technology BHU
Infosys Technologies Ltd
IIM Kozhikode

My Present
Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.

My Future
My Life

Project Nanhi Kali for the girl child

Movie Reviews at Mode C

Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
Batman Begins
War of the Worlds
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Bunty aur Babli
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
Veer Zaara
Phir Milenge
Kyun! Ho Gaya Na
Mujhse Shaadi Karogi
Spider Man 2
Main Hoon Na

Book Reviews at Mode C

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish
The Inscrutable Americans
Harry Potter - Half-Blood Prince
The Monk who sold his Ferrari
Angels and Demons
Life of Pi
The Da Vinci Code
The Tristan Betrayal

IIM Kozhikode Bloggers

Abhinav (Class of '05)
Aditya (Class of '06)
Alok (Class of '05)
Alok (Class of '09)
Ananya (Class of '08)
Andromeda (Class of '08)
Amit G (Class of '07)
Beena (Class of '08)
Chirantan (Class of '08)
DAR (Class of '07)
Deepak (Class of '05)
Dhananjay (Class of '05)
Divya (Class of '05)
Divyabhanu (Class of '07)
Firdaus (Class of '07)
Harsh (Class of '08)
Hemant (Class of '05)
Hitesh (Class of '08)
IIMK Photo Blog
Jayesh (Class of '08)
Kanav (Class of '06)
Karan (Class of '05)
Narayanan (Class of '07)
Manandeep (Class of '08)
Meren (Class of '06)
Nilanjan (Class of '06)
Paromita (Class of '07)
Pragna (Class of '03)
Pranay (Class of '06)
Prashant D (Class of '05)
Prashant JK (Class of '06)
Pratik (Class of '07)
Priya (Class of '06)
Rahul (Class of '08)
Ramesh (Class of '06)
Ridhi (Class of '07)
Ronald (Class of '05)
Saurabh (Class of '08)
Sheeba (Class of '07)
Shrikanth (Class of '08)
Sriram (Class of '07)
Suma (Class of '07)
Sumit (Class of '06)
Surabhi (Class of '06)
Surya (Class of '08)
Tity (Class of '05)
Vivek (Class of '09)
Yash (Class of '06)

Other B-school Bloggers

Chandoo (IIM Indore, Class of '06)
Nishith (IIM Lucknow, Class of '06)
Ravi (IIM Ahmedabad, Class of '06)
Shashank (IIM Calcutta, Class of '05)
Sidin (IIM Ahmedabad, Class of '05)

Blogger Friends and Contacts


Interesting Reads

A walk in the clouds
Bollywood Blog
Global Trends Collaborative
Sepia Mutiny
The Movie Blog
Youth Curry

Contact Me

All pictures and names concerning Calvin and Hobbes are copyright Bill Watterson

visitors: May 2004 to May 2005

visitors: since June 2005

Site search Web search

If you want to be updated on this weblog Enter your email here:

rss feed


Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Kabhi hum kaminey nikle, kabhi doosre kaminey

Main 'fa' ko 'fa' bolta hoon
Abe 'fa' ko 'fa' nahi to kya 'la' bolega

and it goes...Dhan ta nan. One of the most anticipated talked-about and hyped movies of the year, Kaminey does not disappoint, not in the least. In spite of the overwhelming majority coming out in fully voiced approval of the film, there is always the lurking doubt in one's mind as one watches the scenes unfold. Will it live up to the expectations built by such strong feedback coming in from almost all quarters? Is it another case of might becoming right and people following the herd and talking in a certain manner just because everyone else is? Will all the talk about getting your brains along for the movie and respecting viewers' intelligence be just a carefully orchestrated PR strategy? Is there really path-breaking, cult-forming cinematic excellence at display?

It may not perhaps be said that Vishal Bhardwaj's effort is perfect but it is as close to it in today's times as it can be. Building up the story and all the while challenging the viewer to continually think, interpret situations and get the hang of the story a la Johny Gaddar or DevD, Kaminey seems to have vowed to not let the viewer slip into mental slumber. All events of import post the interval are linked to stuff that is not explained by dumbing it down but more so in passing reference, by just displaying events as they take place with the freedom given to the viewer to form whatever conclusions she wishes to form.

The thread of the story is not lost anywhere what with the careful plot construction that takes place, involving all characters in a blitzkrieg of slides in the lives of the twins, Charlie and Guddu. There are a lot of characters intertwined with these two and the beauty of the movie lies in the finesse with which each one of these supposedly ancillary characters are sketched out. You can not help but wonder at the ingenuity with which the screen comes alive upon each appearance of the Maharasthtrian-speak politician of Amole Gupte, the fiery Marathi mulgi of Priyanka Chopra, the cocaine-addicted whacko gangster of Chandan Roy Sanyal, even the bit characters of corrupt narcotics cops and other gangsters (some of them even imported from Africa).

Vishal Bhardwaj, it will suffice to say, has done it again. Not only has he done an extremely fine job in directing a motley crew of relative newbies to the formulaic Bollywood, he has also worked wonders with the more established cast of Shahid and Priyanka. Shahid delivers on the front foot in his twin role with the two brothers actually coming across as being as different as chalk and cheese. The beefy, catcall-inducing gangster is innocently devilish while the stammering simpleton comes across as the eyes-averted, mentally slow and introverted idealist.

Priyanka Chopra does a fine act as the fiery and gutsy modern-yet-traditional belle who can lie through her teeth, plan much before she gets to act, and even shoot at her brother (in clear deviation from the standard Bollywood lore...even though the gun was out of bullets when she shot it, she did shoot) as long as the end is clear and worthy. Not too much to look at sans her made up and glammed avatar, she still comes across as an actress who is taking leaps and bounds to the grease paint.

As mentioned earlier, each of the other actors in the movie deserve special mention for the way they have, under Vishal's able direction, of course, brought alive the various characters of the movie. Gupte, Sanyal and Co., take a bow!

To top it all, the music of the movie really fits the folds almost seamlessly. Whether it is playing in the background to add to the excitement of chase sequences, or in the foreground in all its psychedelic glory, "Dhan ta nan" rocks...and so does the rest of the musical score re-emphasizing the multi-talented genius of Vishal Bhardwaj. Even the placement of the timeless classic "Duniya me logo ko dhoka kabhi…" is spot on. Consider innocuous songs like phataak, or the one accompanying the celebratory bridal participation in what is supposed to be the groom's baraat, nothing seems to be even an inch adrift.

The story line of Kaminey may admittedly be slightly thin and oft repeated in the Mumbai (or is it Bambai) film industry (identical twins caught up in each other's lives) but it is the treatment that gets this movie up to the tops. It is the small nuances that tease the viewer to apply her mind, to decide for herself if the movie is up to her standard or vice versa. What makes this one special is the pun in showing an auto rickshaw with its clearly displayed meter reading "For Hire" as the corrupt cop is shot down. What works for this movie is the immensely humorous jab in the bad-guy Shahid replying to the plea of the good-guy Shahid of his wife being pregnant by asking him tongue-in-cheek, "to kya meri kokh ("coke") ujaadega?"

Posted at 12:10 pm by Nitai

Comment on this post

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Update long due

It's been ages since I last wrote and this time, there are no excuses. I just did not feel like writing. Every time I came to see the blog, I felt like updating it but never managed to gather enough verve to actually sit and write something. Not that there was a dearth of things to write about...quite to the contrary, actually. Not only from a strict news point of you, but even from the emotions and sentiments ruling my life, there were so many things I should have recorded but I did not. Well, better late than never!

Getting on to the news front first, I bought a house in Mumbai...that's right, a dwelling place in one of the most densely populated and costliest cities in the world. That is the good part. The bad part is that the house and associated liabilities have resulted in a fixed monthly expense of about Rs. 80,000 and that is without taking into account the other, relatively variable expenditure that one will have to make towards regular expenses like maid, electricity, cooking gas, car fuel, groceries, etc...most of which is being covered by Priya today but that will only last for that much more time.

The office, incidentally, has also shifted to Kalina, which is only 3 odd kilometers from my new home. What this means is that I have now got additional two hours of my life per day, all to myself. I have started utilizing these two additional hours properly. While the one in the morning goes into exercise (I have actually started running and to my utter surprise, I have managed notwithstanding my leg), the one in the evening goes to reading (one good habit that I had put on the back burner for a long time).

Amongst other news, my car has become a wreck and the driver is threatening to leave (not related to each other but still...). Now Sunil, the driver in question, has been serving our family for the last six years and since he belongs to the native place, the trust factor is pretty strong. From my side, I have tried to treat him well but the promise of Mumbai does not fail in getting anyone. Having spent his driving career in Jaipur and Delhi, Sunil has realized, having come to Mumbai, what the possibilities endless they seem once you are free to pursue them...and free is what he wants to be.

Okay, now that we are done with news in its strictest sense, time to do the transition from news to its impact. The transition, of course, starts with more news and this one happens to be that I did not get any special treatment from my firm this year (and this includes bonus and salary hikes which I did not expect, as well as promotions and role definitions which I did). That's it...I have said it and I don't care who reads it.

Obviously, all the news has resulted in a combination of some extreme sentiments. There is, of course, happiness, joy, pride, and a sense of achievement on the family owning a house in Mumbai (celebrated in part via two housewarming parties, one for the college junta and another for the office people). At the same time, there is sadness, disappointment, disillusionment, and a resignation to fate that has resulted from news at work.

I have become so befuddled with all this that I don't know whether to be happy or sad nowadays. The end result is that I have become such an explosive mixture that at times, I hardly know what to expect from myself. A friend tells me that I am dead and have lost my sense of humor, another tells me that I am into some sort of depression, my sister has stopped talking to me since I flare up at her at the slightest of things, and I get tired of any conversation that lasts for more than a minute or two.

Posted at 01:38 pm by Nitai

Read (1) Comments / Comment

Thursday, March 26, 2009
Much ado about...

Regular readers of this blog (I am still hopeful!) are aware of the entire brouhaha about "The play that never was" which happened last Wednesday. Irregular readers or those who don't know what I am talking about should read the previous post just below this before they come back to read the rest of this one.

Now that Wednesday March 25th was approaching, I was looking forward to watch the play more than ever before. Further news items in newspapers and on the radio, talking about the play and how its special edition was going to be a special show, kept on adding to the anticipation throughout the week.

And then it was that I received this mail from my boss asking me to arrange a mock session for some presentation on some product that we are launching. And before you say you guessed it, let me still have the satisfaction of telling you that the mail mentioned Wednesday March 25th as one of the dates on which the sessions would take place and before you jump the gun and take away from me my thunder, let me also tell you that the timings for the session were just right, starting about an hour before the show started and ending at least an hour after the show could have ended.

So it was that with a heavy heart, I drew the schedule and sent it to all concerned. I was still ruminating on the lost opportunity and trying to console the inconsolable Jassi when I was given a real bad look by one of the other concerned. He also happened to have planned for the show...with his wife...having bought tickets worth Rs 1000 each...twice of what we paid, btw.

In spite of all the bad looks and all the inability of being consoled, nothing could have been changed, more so when there was a mail from the boss again the next day, asking people to stay back for the entire session irrespective of whether they were directly involved in it or not. You couldn't have played around with something as direct as that, could you (we did try doing some re-scheduling earlier when certain things would have freed us up on time for the show)?

It was not to be and it was not. We sat through the entire mock session, I trying to forget everything by concentrating on watching the presentation getting murdered in some mock sessions and added on to in others, others shifting from being interested to being hung over, all this within less than a few minutes.

And then the torture ended and we were out on the streets to get back to home and that is exactly when the show broke as well. As Jassi put it very nicely, "not only did we not get to see the show, but we also got to get stuck in the traffic because of it".

PS: We managed to sell the tickets in time, and the person we sold to had a really nice time...really nice...really nice (yes, she did it, repeated it thrice).

Posted at 04:10 pm by Nitai

Comment on this post

Thursday, March 19, 2009
My Blonde Moment

I did it. Before you start your wisecracks about how everyone does it some time or the other and it took me a really long time to get about doing it, let me correct you. It's not about what you think it is about. It is about what I am going to tell you it is about.

So there is this very popular play I had been looking forward to catch whenever it plays in town. The play called "The Vagina Monologues" is broadly a tribute to Women's Liberation and is popular the world over. It was last Sunday that I came across an ad which said that the play was in town and for the first time in its screenings around the world, this screening (the 200th one) will have any male actors and these male actors would be the celebrities Farhan Akhtar and Imran Khan.

Expectedly, it was an excited me who, after being reminded of the play yet again by an ad this Sunday, shot off an email on Monday morning to all friends, asking them if they were on for the show on Wednesday. Since it was middle of the week, most of the people responded in the negative and it was ultimately Jassi (Jasminder Gujral for the uninitiated is a colleague and friend) and me who ended up forming the party. I happily booked the second cheapest tickets (which were worth 500 apiece, incredulously) on and received confirmation for the same on my mobile.

All I needed to do now was walk up to NCPA (next building to my office), show the message on my mobile, collect the tickets, walk into the theatre and enjoy the show. Things were going along on the said lines till we saw that the ticket counter from where we were supposed to collect the tickets was shut down. When we, exasperated because we were already late for the strict 7:30 PM start, approached the security guards, they knowingly smiled and reassured us that such things have happened in the past.

While one of the security guards was trying to call up the program manager to help us out, the other kept talking about some Lawni event that was happening and if we had come to see that. Knowing that there were three theatres in the NCPA compound and assuming that he was talking about some event at one of the other two theatres, I did not pay much heed to what he was saying. He then went on to ask me if I had the message with me. I was about to blow over the top by now as I opened the message on my mobile and began reading from it, as if to prove the big mistake the guard had done in challenging some one like me on some thing like this...of course, I had the message...what did he mean by Do you have the message...Will I come here just like that, without booking tickets, without checking if I got the confirmation message...

"See, here it says", I said..."Vagina Monologues, NCPA Tata Theatre 7:30 PM, Wednesday, 25 March 2009. Aaj Wednesday hi hai na?". And that was when Jassi spoke for the first time. "Dude, kya kar raha hai...Today is Wednesday but not the 25th, 18th of March, what are you doing???"

Posted at 03:53 pm by Nitai

Read (1) Comments / Comment

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Ghate do to bache kya?

Jaise door des ke tower me ghus jaaye re aeroplane
Jaise sare aam Iraq me jaake jam gaye Uncle Sam
Jaise Bisleri ki bottle pike ban gaye English Man
Jaise har ek baat pe Democracy me lagne laga hai ban
Jaise bina baat Afghanistan ka baj gayo bhaiyya band
Jaise door desh ke tower me ghus jaaye re aeroplane

Anurag Kashyap does it again. In fact, he did it again when he did it in DevD. This was what he did before DevD was completed and even if you may say that he did it better the second time, he still did it damn better than most others even the first time around. Coming after Black Friday and No Smoking, with Gulaal, Kashyap has gone really deep into the web of ambition, greed, and angst as he weaves his characters around it.

Set against the backdrop of the Rajputana movement and its overlap with student politics in the local university, Gulaal's storyline seems to be incidental to the real tale that is attempted at being told. This, perhaps, is the weakest link in the movie and it is difficult to say if this was intentional or otherwise...once human feelings and emotions take center stage in such strong fashion as in Gulaal, it is anyway difficult to do justice to anything else.

As you see Dilip Singh (Raja Chaudhary) move in with Rananjay Singh aka Ransa (Abhimanyu Singh) and are just settling into the movie just as Dilip is trying to settle in a new city and university, you are caught unawares as Dilip gets entangled in one of the strongest and most hard hitting ragging sessions seen on celluloid. You follow Dilip getting beaten and thrown butt naked in a room which has for company, another naked individual who, you realize with a gasp a little later, is Anuja (Jesse Randhawa), a new professor at the college. If ever a movie had set the tone for what was to come next, this was it.

Dilip's humiliation sees Ransa getting involved in the petty college rivalry and the subsequent entry into the scene of Dukey Bana (Kay Kay Menon) who is the covert marshal for Rajputana independence. In no time, Ransa is projected as the candidate for General Secretary Elections in the university, with full support from Dukey Bana and hidden support from his father, the ex-King, whom Ransa is not really proud of.

At this stage, we also see the introduction of probably the two strongest characters in this movie, the brother-sister duo of Karan (Aditya Srivastava) and Kiran (Ayesha Mohan). Burning with angst against their father for not having given them his name and against the society for never failing to make them realize and remember their illegitimate status, Karan and Kiran want to achieve their rightful place in the Rajput society, come what may.

As pawns start getting moved, the color of blood gets mixed with the heat of bodies pressing against each other and everything, right from bullets to free sex, is used to further the political ambitions of the involved players. Ransa gets killed, Dilip becomes the dummy candidate, wins the election. Kiran sleeps with Dilip, makes him lose his sleep and resign only to take his place. The two camps bump off people before seamlessly merging and Kiran using her charms on Dukey Bana to go for the final kill.

Things happen at such a frantic pace that getting a hold on the story and tying together the strings of each of the many characters becomes next to impossible. This may have been the falling of any other movie but the treatment that the characters get from the director stands out in this case. You keep marveling at Kiran's unabashed sexuality, at Karan's lack of any scruples in getting his sister on others' beds, at Dukey Bana's insane fervor, at Dilip's bumble act translating into that of a madman, at Jadhwal's (Pankaj Jha) arrogance and cruelty, at Anuja's pride and her frustration at having lost it, at Madhuri's (Mahie Gill in a special appearance) simplicity going to the extent of idiocy, at Bhati's (Deepak Dobriyal) cool composure and single minded devotion, and above all at Prithvi Bana's (Piyush Mishra) John-Lennon-amulet-wearing, harmonium-playing folk songs interspersed with some really topical English lyrics.

The score, especially the lyrics for Gulaal is one of the most exceptional to have hit the screens in recent times. With Piyush Mishra being given full freedom to flex his creative muscles, the result is striking. Whether it is the topical commentary sung and picturised as a mujra or the closing re-interpretation of Sahir Ludhianvi's Ye duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai, Piyush Mishra is simply brilliant. With his music (mostly in the background), lyrics and his smooth act in the movie, he stands out as the single largest thing going for this movie. And to say that for a movie which has excellent acting displays from nearly half dozen artists is really a lot.

The ever potent Kay Kay Menon, though standing by his own in an explosive performance, is still overshadowed at times by the sheer natural talent of others, the notables amongst them being Abhimanyu Singh, Deepak Dobriyal, Ayesha Mohan, and Aditya Srivastava. All these actors and most of others get into the skin of their roles and get colored by the red Gulaal at different points in the movie, red Gulaal that depicts the emotions associated with rebellion, revolution, anger, ambition, pride, lust, fear, greed, exploitation...

Anurag Kashyap has managed the technicals well and they are good enough to not distract attention from the pure play of emotions that is the high point of Gulaal. In trying to be true to the plotline, however, Kashyap does actually lose the plot at times. There are too many things going on and the typical movie audience keeps trying to tie all loose ends together, focus on how each character is developed, concentrate on the idea left behind with them at some point of the movie, expecting it to be brought to its logical conclusion before things end. It does not happen, however, and it can be attributed to the new genre of film-making that Kashyap brings to the fore.

All threads are not meant to be tied up, all ideas are not important, it is not as much about the revolution than about the characters' situations around it and their way of handling these situations. It is not important if you did not know what happened to Anuja, to Dilip, or to Kiran later...what matters is the strong realization that a change in guard is not enough to change the reality ala Ye Duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai...what matters is the look on Kiran's face in the last frame of the movie and she stares on with tears of pride at her brother as he takes over pride of place at the helm of Rajputana, a society of those very people who had rejected them, humiliated them, and laughed at them for their illegitimacy.

While you watch the movie and digest all this, you may keep your eyes open for the Kashyap touch. There are many ways in which he differentiates this movie, changing it from yet another couple of hours of entertainment to an arrogant medium of expression. The difference is depicted and illustrated both directly and through references...via the use of profanity in sharp dialogues, use of some twisted humor and unconventional music, attention to details, some jazzy light and camera angles, raising a toast to rock culture, whether it is direct references to John Lennon, or the indirect usage of symbols like the song Kiran keeps playing on her guitar (Goodbye Blue Sky from Pink Floyd's album 'The Wall'), and above all, cryptic symbolism depicted in so many different ways, in the antics of the painted Ardha Narishwar and Prithvi Bana, in the names of drinks that Ransa orders (Republic and Democracy, anyone?), through symbols like the word Nihilism (the philosophical position that values do not exist but rather are falsely invented) written on the black board of the class Anuja goes in to teach.

Posted at 08:03 pm by Nitai

Comment on this post

Next Page