Saturday, June 21, 2008 

What a Six!

Saj rahi gali meri maa...chunari gote me....

Humour is one concept that holds a lot of importance in my life. I am fond of comedy movies more so than anything else, and not just the usual andaz apna apna, chupke chupke and golmaal stuff. I try to create humour in disasters such as deewane hue paagal, gunda etc. and actually end up enjoying them. And what transpires I think is the desire to repeat such jokes to make others laugh, often at the expense of an individual. I try to enact the funny emotions, dialogues and scenes which are more often then not at the edge of my tongue. But playing cricket all these years has been very different in this way. My attitude towards playing cricket has perhaps been a little two serious than my normal disposition. Yet maybe it was necessary. Whatever be the case I was always a serious fellow on field, never easily amused by anything. Of course the quint essential 'sound of timber' made me happy and all smiles, but the rest of it was very serious. I was not much of a batsman anyhow, but whatever little I did with the bat was the head down, rotate the strike type serious stuff, never entertaining like hitting a six.

Then again a six had a very different connotation when I was in college. A six or a chhakka was precisely meant to mean what it means. Me and five other of my friends (thats six of us) usually adressed each other as a six or a chhakka. But slowly we realised that we had bretheren through out our hostel who were as much chhakka as were we. "Oye chhakke kahan ja raha hai" was a normal onversation starter, or "kis chhakke ne mere bed pe ash giraya hai" and the likes. And life quite truly was an enjoyment. As a matter of fact we had resigned to the fact that we would never go out with a girl, and by all means that realisation was also fun, well mostly. Apart from the obvious laurel of not having a girl friend, oh sorry, not talking to a single woman on campus for most of us chhakkas, the other qualifications included failure and defeat that came by frequently. "Abe yaar is baar bhi kisi chhakke ka CAT clear nahi hua" or "abe tere se ek seedhi bowl nahi dalti kya chakka hai yaar tu" were normal concerns raised at our c-floor paralell wing. And laughing at each others' failures was also a source of enjoyment, perhaps a little insensitive at times, but it also sort of helped the 'loser' to come out of such shocks easily.

I by all means shared a strong connection with the number six. Well there are random connections here and there, such as my best bowling effort being 6 wickets, my group of chhakkas having six people etc., but these could be co-incidences. But picture this, none of which was done with any prior planning: the number of my bike is 1666, which is a second hand bike and so I had not control over the number and actually realised that I have this number long after I bought it from a friend, then i bought a new cell phone - Nokia 6600, then i took the GMAT - ya scored 660 and the essay score was 6. Eerie eh?

But then we came to the professional world. We had to be and act more responsible, at times because there were women around. Well as we had envisaged in our first year at college, it was'nt too hard to talk to females. I mean it was'nt normal, but it was'nt difficult either. Some of us actually had quite a number of conversations with women in their office which helped them come out of the chhakka tag, a tad. Well to be very honest, life is not the same now, it has changed, a lot. Not because of not being a chhakka or not being around a six, but certainly because the fun gauged out of being a six or being around sixes was not suddenly worth it. Probably maturity has set in and maybe thats why it is easier to interact with other people as well. Perhaps we have suddenly become more serious and we needed to be.

There is certainly more to life than meets the eye, because as soon as we settle into a rythym, life throws us off beat. But its nice, such a change in nice. Specially when you feel that you have lived through the entire length of any phase and enjoyed it. So, well what do you know, I go out to bat in our last corporate match, and I hit a six and 2 fours, entertaining ones, to win the match for the team, when we needed 50 from the last four overs, thank you very much. Its always nice to move on.


Friday, June 06, 2008 

Copy Book!

Powered by: Sarkar Raj

In cricketing terminology copy book stands for excellence and precision. Well the past two weeks at work have been nothing like it. But the weekend as they call it, was every bit ‘copybook’. So after spending close to two nights straight in office, I got to leave office early (read: 9.30) this Friday. While most Friday nights bring scary thoughts, thoughts of what to do tonight, this Friday, at least, that question had been answered well in advance.

So I went out to watch Sarkar Raj. I read two reviews of the movie before watching it. The reviews were in complete contrast with each other where one called the movie boring and the other called it a masterpiece. Well, a masterpiece it was. By Jove!

I went to watch the movie trying to control my expectations from rolling out to an extreme from where everything might seem mediocre. I made it a point not to read the good review in too much detail. I constantly kept telling myself that it could not be as good as the first one, no matter how good it is. But the fact is that I am not able to decide which one is better, because I am too dazed by this one to remember what I saw in Sarkar. The movie starts and ends with the class that the first part had set. All the actors in the movie are almost dissolved in the brilliant story and screenplay that totally grips you by the collar and keeps you glued. The story feels very real and not a half cooked batter of an effort just for the heck of making a sequel to a successful movie. The qualification of the story line and ingenuity of the director are apparent throughout the movie. If anyone of you has been or has had in the past, prepared for GMAT/CAT, then this sequel is like the perfect continuation of the first part.

Ram Gopal Varma doesn’t let the good work done in the first part go waste. He builds the story on the existing base, so character development is necessary for only a few people. The idea of ‘chai’ being a symbol of power is extremely powerful. While the drink remains the same, the styles of drinking change. The thumb is the same but styles of rotation are different and other parallels that have obvious yet remarkable connotations. The exchanges between Big B and Abhishek are very powerful. The movie, like the first part, has few dialogues but very meaningful and ones that impact the situation and help carry the story smoothly. Of course politics forms the base of the movie, but how well that political dilemma or conspiracy is developed feels surreal yet logical and very contemporary.

By the first half I was totally glued to the screen and did not realise that there were people around me. By that time I was thinking that this will go down as a feather in RGV’s cap, but the real stuff lies in the second half. The way the story unfolds is a bit sudden, but I guess rather than dragging the eventuality, RGV does the right thing by resolving the mystery through fast paced action and empowering his characters to take control, much like the first part. The women in the film look very good, yes Tanisha also looks good. Aishwarya, for once looks a capable miss world and does a good job. Again the introduction of Aishwarya is not forced, just because she is a Bachchan now. Her role is a critical link to the story and she perhaps fits the bill perfectly. Abhishek Bachchan, because of his limited talent looks repetitive but good repetitive. The other actors do their job quite well and look like the actual characters during the course of the movie rather than themselves. The enigmatic background score takes care of a lot of dialogues and creates a lot of impact by itself. The govinda, govinda or saam daam dand bhed engross you further into the story and their timing and sync with the script and dialogues is immaculate. And Big B, well if you are an Amitabh Bachchan fan you like everything, so this was quite exemplary stuff, simply superb. And if you are not a Big B fan, well what good are you to the society.

The story has a fascinating ending, which is again realistic yet shocking. This time of course RGV leaves no scope for guessing whether there will be another sequel. Yes there will be! And the final dialogue is really the icing on the cake, I couldn’t help start clapping at the end, something I do only instinctively and not just if the crowd is doing it. The movie perhaps clarifies the myths about being copied from Godfather’s screenplay or the book from Mario Puzo. I haven’t read the book myself, but I don’t think this part was anywhere similar to the book. The connection to Bala Saheb is not apparent, not a direct one anyhow. The politics depicted in the movie is a lot broader than we generally can imagine.

A wonderful end to an otherwise shitty week. The movie is already the year’s best, I mean including the ones that are going to come.


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