Sunday, March 30, 2014

Guest Post: Good ole’ Villains in Hindi Movies

The best way to face the so called "writers-block" is to bug your friends for a guest post :P ... so here I'm with a post from a blogger friend. 

This Sunday, let me introduce an avid blogger who writes everything from fiction to poetry, a journalist by profession and also a friend, Vishal Bheeroo, who was kind enough to grace his presence here. 

Without much blabbering on to him.... 

Good ole’ Villains in Hindi Movies.

Hindi movies are undergoing a transition where the good old villains have gone into oblivion. Gone are the days when the archetypal villain would pack a punch and scare the hero to death. Yeah! We miss the villains mouthing hard-hitting dialogues like Amrish Puri scaring kids with epic one liners, ‘Mogamba Khush Hua’, Prem Chopra with his classic, ‘Prem Naam Hai Mera, Prem Chopra or Pran Saab in Zanjeer, ‘Iss Ilaka mein Nayaa Aaya Saab..Varna Sher Khan ko kaun Nahin Janta’ or ‘Michael Daroo peeke Danga Karta Hain.’

Villains were alter ego of our mainstream heroes by re-defining character roles as they delivered power-packed performances. One is tempted to ask whether the likes of Amitabh Bachchan in Zanjeer or Anil Kapoor in Mr India would have the same impact on the audience had there not been actors of the caliber of Pran or Amrish Puri playing havoc amidst high octane action scenes. I mean, the villains gave the heroes such as tough fight throughout films that audience learned the art of loving to hate the villains. How can we forget Gabbar Singh who would scare every child, ‘Kitne Aadmi the…Jab Bacha Rota hai Raat Ko Maa Kehte hai so ja Munna Nahin to Gabbar Ayega.’? I wonder whether Jai and Veeru could exist in Sholay without Gabbar Singh.

Being an ardent and self-confessed fan of Masala movies, I feel it hard to digest that we hardly see villains in movies. The crass but larger than life villains that stood tall among charismatic heroes such as Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Anil Kapoor, among others, made movies an event to look forward every Friday. It was an experience watching the villain battling the hero and, at one point, you started to doubt whether the hero will be able to overpower the villain.

Villains defined heroes as the ‘audience’ looked up to the saviors who would protect an entire village or the victory good over eveil. I feel that a movie couldn’t have the same impact on the audience without the power packed performance of the bad guys. Just imagine a flick with a weak villain that makes life a sundry affair for the hero? Bland performances and boring movie! You bet!

However, actors such as Gulshan Grover made powerful villains with lines such as, ‘I am a bad guy’ that would make the audience break into splinter of laughter not without a chill running down the spine. Among the recent lot, Prakash Raj has managed to tower above the rest by infusing maniac laughter and menacing dialogues in the moniker that made the audience wanting more from the man. Prakash Raj weaved his magic and became an overnight sensation in movies like Singham, Wanted and Buddha Hoga Tera Baap. Truly an affair to remember!

I wonder whether 100 years of cinema can be celebrate without yesteryears villains such as Ajit, Amrish Puri, Anupam Kher, Pran and the not so recent actors like Gulshan Grover and Prakash Raj. Glorious years of cinema and a fading era, one is tempted to say. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's all about happiness...

Christmas was always my favorite festival of the year. Because of the colors, happiness, family togetherness, carols, wine & cakes and so much of goodie foods too.  Even thou, I’m not a big foodie, at times I get this irresistible craving to have some spicy, juicy chicken or sinfully delicious chocolatey cake or a crispy hot samosa or a simple sandwich. But the mere thought of driving all through the city traffic and waiting aimlessly in a food outlet for never ending minutes, itself turns me down. And I prefer having my comfy foods, in my favorite PJ’s with a Shah Rukh Khan movie on screen and digging deep in my couch rather than going to a restaurant where we are expected to dress up (anything other than PJs, messy hair and no jewels is dressing up for me) and behave in a humanly way.  

So last time when the new generation of the family met late in the evening with wine, gossips and laughter, everyone wanted different cuisines to hog onto. My home been the place of meeting, and me been the official driver of the family, I was expected to roam around the city, go to ten different restaurants to satisfy the taste buds of my siblings. So when a tech savvy cousin of mine, said to an already irritated me, “Why worry when food will arrive on a click.” … I thought she was teasing me. That’s when she told me about FoodPanda, the online food ordering site. Using this you could order your favorite cuisine from the many restaurants and the food arrives at your doorstep. They are also available as an app in iOS and Androids too. Awe! You could just imagine my happiness na. ;) I fell in love with this Panda then and there!

That same Christmas, myself and my friends, decided to celebrate a day of the season with the children of an orphanage. We arranged everything beforehand, ordered food for 50 people in a catering service, bought cake, sweets, gifts for the kids, and even harassed a friend until he agreed to be Santa. On the D-day, we reached early spend time with the kids, played games, and was having fun. But when the food came, my smile just disappeared. It was just enough for some 30 people. Going out and buying food for the rest, was not an option as time was running out and the nuns at the orphanage were already in their worst moods seeing the quantity of the food. That's when FoodPanda served the purpose again. Though it saved our time but not from snarling stares of those nuns. But the smiles we got from those little ones just were enough to make our day. How I wished, like the food we got on a click, if I could give them all the happiness they deserve with just a click!

And on that day, I released how fortunate I was to have a family. The kids in that place had a roof over their head, but they were still orphans. They were so poorly dressed, and the manners they have were not tolerable. And that place was one reputed one, which gets support from all over the world and even from the government. So they could never say the excuse of lack of fund to look after these kids properly. After seeing all this, we thought why we can’t build a home, a proper one for kids like them, where they would be happy to come back after a day at school. We may not able to provide everything for so many children, but if we could take care of at least two, then that's enough. We wanted to build a home for the less fortunate kids, which can be done only under a NGO which have experience for three years. And in that josh we actually went and registered an NGO - "Nikshik" with the help of an advocate friend. But when the NGO got officially registered and ready to go, I had to get back to Doha and another friend got hooked up with higher studies. Even though Nikshik is struggling in its initial stage, it's running and doing its bit and we hope one day we could make our dream come true.

Like Paulo Coelho said, "When you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."

And we want this to happen so badly, so the entire universe have to conspire together to make it happen.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Treasured for lifelong...

Treasured memento.... is it a box full of greeting cards and letters, birthday gifts, photographs, trophies or ....

An old e-mail from Dad where he said, "It’s OK and I'm still proud of you", when I failed his expectations.... a memento of his love.

Or my favorite dish Mom made even after I did a walk out on her... memento of her forgiveness.

Or the image of the memory when a friend stood by me when I was going downhill in life... the memento of his friendship.

Or a hug from Brother who loves me no matter what... memento of his care.

Or a message in the inbox from friends to make sure I'm ok after a social hibernation... memento of concern.

Or the happiness I feel when a friend gives me space when I need the "ME" time... memento of understanding.

Or the pride when a cousin shares her secrets only with me... memento of her trust.

Or an "I miss you" e-card from a never-expressive friend... memento of her attachment.

Or the blissfulness when nieces and nephews cling to me the moment I step into the house... memento of their innocence.

Comments on my blog or non-stop bugging, when I ignore writing for long from blogger friends... memento of their time and compassion.

When a person gives me their love, care, understanding, trust and even smiles, they are giving me a part of themselves. And that's the biggest reminder of that person I can preserve. For me every single tiny expression like these are my treasured mementos. I see this as a gesture of acceptance from the people in my life for what I am and not criticizing the weirdness I may exhibit at times. All these moments and smiles complete me and make the picture perfect. If one goes missing, that just takes away the beauty of the whole package. 

I want to thank two lovely friends of mine Aditi and Ankur for tagging me in this contest, conducting by Arti. And now I'm tagging KajalRichaShilpa and Pixie to share their treasured mementos.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dear M,

This is my first open letter to you in all these years. Don't know what made me write this. Maybe the feeling of 'lemme get it out there' or arrogantly opening up myself in my own public space.

Actually how's you up there? I have written to you numerous times and I know you have obviously read all those. Who knows u better? 

It's going to be five years since we met and four since you went. I read somewhere that it's always proper to use death or died than using insinuations for it. Even I prefer the same in my case. But till date, with all these years behind I couldn't bring myself into saying so, but 'm going to try doing so from now on.

After you died, I admit that I felt terrible, in fact destroyed. You just died off like that even without a warning sign and it was a hard core hit right on the face. I became quite than ever, but came out from that sulken face too damn fast. Life did move on, but felt like some automated version. Nothing made sense esp when had to encounter those huge photographs of yours in and around the campus. It felt like you were all around the place when you were actually just an  alumni till yesterday. And I never knew you had soo much of female fan followers..... I admit 'm jealous. Big Deal!

I gave up soo much I loved, esp the relation I had with God. I felt so betrayed and cheated, I couldn't even look at their faces. But now I know that if it wasn't for God, I could have missed knowing you. Through you I got an awesome second family who I could rely upon anything and a sister who's soo much like a lil one.
I am sorry for those nights I cried to sleep. But I did hold up in front of others esp when was with your aunt and sis. And thanks for all those random conversations we had and those I imagined up in my head and dreams. And thanks for letting us know that you are still watching all of us from there and no one is spared from your looks. ;)

Life is going on. Actually nothing have changed much except the vaccum feeling  at times I get deep down when I think that you are no more visibly here. Or the insanity when my mind stubbornly wants to talk to you. It was not easy to adjust with you dieing. But now I'm dealing with it far better, but it took me such a period.

You may not be here physically. But the moments we shared and the moments you gave others is definitely here. And that's one reason you are still missed and loved even more even now.

In between you had to call K too. I know, you might been getting bored there and other than that nut case who's the better option.

I still miss you, in fact both of you guys. But everyone's doing every possible big and little acts to keep you peoples' spirit alive. So it's like you both are still living invisibly between us and no one is ready to let you go.
You taught me to appreciate small small things in life and to be happy for the moment. So, in every moments you're remembered. I love you loads and will do forever. You are that chapter in my life that I reread always. And this is not something written out of despair but I just want you to be here in this space of mine. And going to do this more often.

Till the next letter loads of love and hugs.

P.S. Stop been the naughty guy there too. And if you ever come across Saddam Hussain, tell I'm great fan of his. (Ok. I'm done with my fan worship. Now stop rolling your eyes. :P)

Take care

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I Don't ...

Sometimes I feel like I don't exist, life rushes around me. People exchange brief glances, gestures, and general acknowledgment while I seem to stand in the eye of the storm, unconnected and unaffected.

The wind blows hardest downhill as I walk up hill, but it passes right through me. My hands and feet feel numb, I glance to the ground to steady myself and I notice I'm not casting a shadow.

The skies are usually dark in grim times, storm clouds lingering overhead and they say "when it rains it pours". So I chant that old lyric 'let it rain down on me...'

It's funny or at least a little odd the way clouds can filter the colors of leaves and even flowers. Dark romantic hues color the world around me and a nearby cast iron fence frames a garden like an oil painting, but I stand grey.

They don't see me because I am not there, I was never born...but merely, imagined. I am who 'she' would be had she not been disrupted, this makes me somehow important as measure for comparison. As an answer to an unasked question I float in the mist unrealized but not unwanted, never embraced but always cared for.

So a message to you from the world of what could or might have been...

"Hello, will you be staying long?"

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Relations! A child play?

Every child, be it a girl or boy, dream about been married to their soul mate. Right before they learn to be independent they start looking for that special person all around. But then, why the divorce rate of the present generation is rocketing so much?

Is this because, no one is ready to compromise? Or let go of their freedom, to be loyal and to be humble to their better half?

You fall in love with someone and at the end of the day you back out cos your parents won’t agree. The reason maybe different religion caste, family background, financial status, age or whatever it is (Indian Scenario). Actually, don’t you know your parents more than anyone, and you know what they expect for their child. So before getting committed to someone, can’t all the reasons be considered and then go for it. Love is blind. But after a point does the blindness go away and you regain eye sight?

Break-up is always a choice for the good of both individuals. If you find that you can’t get along with this person cos of your huge lot of in-differences, that’s a reason. Get out of each other’s life. But these days it’s always, “We are breaking up, cos our families won’t agree for this, and we don’t want to hurt our parents”. So when you were like Romeo and Juliet for past 2 or 3 years, mostly in college years, you didn't have parents? Seriously, this is one thing I never seems to understand. You can’t always find your soul mate from the same status or religion or whatever criteria the family puts forward, but if you are ready to love that person ignoring all this, be ready to spend your life with them too.

As read somewhere, “Divorce/break up is just a fancy word masking what is truly a broken attachment between two people. Divorce is more than separating assets and belongings.  It’s the severing of a very strong bond founded on deep feelings of dependency and need. Believe it or not, you developed an attachment to your partner over the course of dating and marriage that connected you on an emotional and physiological level beyond what you realized.”

Marriage or commitment is always a choice. If you are willing to spend the rest of the days with him/her under every circumstance, plunge into that sacred constitution or else just back out before you get committed.

In very relation, be it in friendship, love, marriage, siblings, there are fights, word wars, anger, jealously, misunderstandings and imperfections. No one is perfect. Learn to love the imperfections. Give your best in all relations. Never hesitate to say I love you or I miss you. Have faith enough to say, “I trust you more than I love you”. Hug each other. Hold hands. Never miss to give a Smile at each other. Mean your words. Be proud of one another. Never break your promises, if you don’t mind to keep them, then don't give out promises.

Try to hold the thread till the end, and if it’s meant to stay strong you won’t lose it, or else leave. If you have ever loved that person, you are gonna miss that individual when you back out. Why we have to miss someone when we could be with them throughout? So, never give up someone until you tried your best. 

As the Christian Marriage Vows says….

I _____, take you ______, to be my wedded wife/husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.

Give yourself to someone, “till death do us part”, and not only till you feel satisfied.

P.S. A self-reminder to a future me if ever I feel like giving up a relation. :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Are we strong enough...?

"We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we’re afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Then I looked at around to this place, at the chaos it has endured – the way it has been adapted, burned, pillaged and found a way to build itself back up again. And I was reassured, maybe my life hasn’t been so chaotic, it’s just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.” - Eat, Pray and Love. 

She was perfect from the beginning. Or could say she tried hard to be one, for others, pushing way beyond her boundaries and choosing others bliss above hers. But was this the way to live a life?

And very soon, her cocoon of perfect world broke when she kept away from the crowd to make her own way. It was far more difficult than her early scenario. Before, she had the whole world to support and now she felt all alone. 

Making your own way and been yourself is the biggest hurdle. Your life is all planned,  either by us or by our people. And one wrong step could flip everything in a blink. But what about starting all over again? Isn't that an option? Yes, every single day is a new beginning. But to forget and let go of everything and to move forward one needs immense strength. But do we, the present generation are that strong enough to start over again, if we ever take a wrong step?

What do you think....?

Saturday, March 8, 2014