Friday, December 30, 2011

BJP :What it should do, but it won't.

(This post was written around 15 days back. Before Anna was finally told to shut up by both the Public and the Law of the land, and before Congress had pulled off a potential political masterstroke by pushing a weak Lokpal through Parliament. If it had passed, the credit was of Congress' and since it failed, it can conveniently blame BJP for it. But still I feel that this post might have some relevance.)

Bjp as a political opponent often tries to dig a hole for Congress. Now, all the opposition parties world over try to do the same. Where BJP is different is that BJP keeps jumping into the same hole before Congress even gets a chance to do so.

It did so during the nuclear deal issue just before the 2004 general elections,  did the same in 2004 general elections, repeated in 2009 , during the FDI debate and to put it concisely, several times during the history. And it does nothing to convince me that it will not do the same in 2012 elections. It painted a rosy picture in 2004, something common person could not identify with. In 2009 it bitterly opposed a nuclear bill which was set into motion by its very own government back during 1999-2004. And then it launched an even bitterer, personal attack on a person whose honesty and integrity back then was considered sacrosanct. Moreover recently it stalled the functioning of the parliament over over a bill which proposed introduction of FDI of 51% in retail. While it was not a particularly bright move from Congress who itself had stalled reforms throughout 2004-till date , BJP had actually supported 100 % FDI while it was in government    and had proposed introduction of 26% FDI in retail in its 2004 election manifesto. What was even more puzzling, as many other experts noted as well was that after 7 days in which BJP did not allow Parliament to function, when it finally did, Shushma Swaraj blasted the government in a calculated, voluble and scathing speech. I mean , what is the point of shouting in streets, when you can give a more purposeful shout in Parliament where it all matters? For all its political inconsistency, occasional hooliganism and frequent vandalism, BJP possesses much powerful orators than the ruling coalition. Yet it often deprives itself of the chances to best use them. That is why I say that it keeps jumping in the hole.

Sometimes it jumps into the hole to dig it further and then finds that there is no way out of it as it did in 2009. All it had to do was attack a policy-paralysed, left-stricken government and it failed spectacularly. And the less said about the manner in which it has handled the Anna “movement”, the better. Completely marginalised in a straight confrontation between the Congress and Anna , it could never decide and still has not that which part of the fence it wishes to stand on. Of course, with the brain freeze it is frequently prone to , it could never envisage that a middle path could exist. But this post is not about Anna and his shenanigan , but about how BJP in 2009 erred and why it will repeat that in 2014. Because the situation is the same in certain respects. BJP did not have a clear leader then and does not have one now and will find very difficult to find one in 2014. And though the Congress is in a much bigger mess now that it was in 2009 when  the mess was not visible, the next elections are due in 2014, by which time the public memory can forget an entire war, let alone something stupidly called “Second Freedom Movement”. And that is what is worrisome.  BJP has never been the one to learn from its mistakes. Actually no political party in India is such.

A big mistake BJP committed  in 2009 was that it sort of projected a 82 year old Lal Krishna Advani as it PM candidate. Sort of because later YashwantSinha projected Narendra Modi as PM candidate.   By having Advani , BJP alienated two class of voters- the young , urban voter (those who vote), and the Muslims. And then by proposing  Narendra Modi as candidate , it drove Muslims  away in flocks not only from itself , but from the entire NDA. BJP thinks that the lack of the Muslim votes can be offset by the majority of Hindus that live in India. But it forgets the fact that majority in India are Hindus, not fanatics and we are relatively comfortable with Muslims living with us. Further nobody likes to believe in somebody who says that handing over of 3 terrorists in IC 814 Kandhar case happenedwithout his knowledge while he was the Home Minister . So, that cancels two of them.  . Shushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley cancel each other. They wont let each other be the PM. Some like Pramod Mahajan and Sahib Singh Verma have died. So who does that leave? Actually, we might be close to seeing Mayawati’s dream of becoming PM of India being realised sooner that what we thought. Given the fickle nature of Indian political parties and Congress’ public anti-BSP stance for now, it might well  be possible. So, what can BJP do to save the tiger from being replaced as national animal by the elephant? Just look a little further east for its search for the next PM candidate. Actually no further than Nitish Kumar.

Now, there are two kinds of people in this world. One who understand economics and the others who don’t (Like me). Those who don’t understand economics are fed up of this Congress government over the humongous amount of corruption it has perpetrated. Those who understand economics realise that the corruption is just a trivial matter in front of the grave policy lacunae afflicting the government and the nation. During the 2004-09 term , it could blame the Left for the vacuum, but thereafter it had only itself to blame. Actually historically Congress has never been much reform minded. Indira’s “Garibi Hatao” significantly bent the back of the Indian economy and even 1991 reforms were brought about under significant pressure from the World Bank and IM when the government realised that it didn’t even have sufficient foreign reservesfor 15 days of imports . The problem with Congress’ populist measures right from “Garibi Hatao” days to NREGA to the recent food security bill has been that always it has sought to redistribute wealth without caring for additional generation of resources. It has only given rise to inflation, not poverty alleviation.

Sorry for digressing. Now coming back to Nitish Kumar, he is the exact antithesis of two things this Congress Government has come to represent – Corruption and Inaction. One can argue that Manmohan Singh is as honest a person as Nitish Kumar, but Nitish Kumar has been much more successful in keeping other around him honest as well. Secondly, he has taken Bihar from a land of buffalos, scams and caste massacres to the state with the second highest growth rate in India.  As reflected in the last sentence, the denominator Nitish Kumar had to work at was comparatively low, but still it has been a significant achievement. But, still BJP obviously will not have him as its PM candidate as he is not from BJP, but JD (U).  In India, political appointments are not made by cutting across the party lines. If that were the case, Atal Bihari Vajpayee would have been the External Affairs Minister in Indira Gandhi regime and Manmohan Singh the Finance Minister during NDA rule. But that simply doesn’t happen. Also, JD (U) is far less pushy , far too regional and far too unlike BSP to push for one of their own to be the Prime Minister.

So finally we have these four scenarios –said so for the want of a better word - which might be at hand in 2014 elections, though it is too early to call yet.

   1.  Congress  . Given its track record of the last 8 years, beleaguered, the extent of which might not be very publically visible and hoping to survive due to this.

  2.   BJP. Granting Congress its very wish by messing up again. Actually sometimes it seems to me that it is ironically what a leaked Wikileaks cable described Sonia Gandhi as – “She never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” 

   3.   A so called “civil society” which will most probably go on campaigning against Congress in most states including places like Karnataka which has a very corrupt BJP government in place. And it will have people believe that Politicians are the most evil of the species who ought not to exist in a country like ours. The only problem is that India happens to be a democracy and then fail to realise that in a democracy, come what may, always it will be a politician who will be the most powerful. The "Civil Society" will also fail to realise that in a democracy, our best chance is not some quasi-powerful or all powerful body like Lokpal, but to have honest, efficient and responsible people in our political setup. We simply need a better set of politicians. As we do not have much choice there. But this "Civil Society" will do its best to convince honest, efficient, responsible people that Politicians are hooligans and Politics is not for them, while we need the exact opposite.

   4. The general public who will believe in the above mentioned “Civil Society”.

Can't decide which is the worst.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


As I relentlessly hammered in my last post that I was in the organising team of the Annual Get-together of my firm and I did nothing, this post is all about the work I did for that. These posters and the write up at the end for some magazine I have no idea about.

The design was not by me, only the words were.

This was entirely done by me.

This was also done by me

The name was suggested by a colleague.

The background was contributed by a colleague, the rest by me. Though the original lines went something like these
We still snarl ‘kutte’ to our friends at times,
That hot girl is still ‘Chamiya’ for us,
People with “Thakur” as surnames are still asked for their hands at times.
And still more jokes are made on Sholay that on our politicians.”

And then followed all that is written on the poster. But it all was edited out.

And the write up is
The evening began with poise and ended with exuberance. In an nutshell, that was the ambience, tone and the general spirit at the annual family night “Spandan’ we had on 26th of November.
 From buffets to drinks, from dancing troupes to employee dance performances, from casino to karaoke, from lucky draw to fashion shows ,  from musical shows to couple games and from kid games to childhood picture games, we tried to incorporate all. The fact that there was fantastic enthusiasm and participation shown from the employees and their families obviously spiced it all up.
  There was a mesmerizing semi classical Indian dance performance by the daughter of one our colleague while another of our colleague chose to partner his son on “Tabla” an Indian percussion instrument to result in an utterly mellifluous ballad. A tiny tot’s dance performance completely belied her age and some of our colleagues who tried to copy her steps are still recovering from cramps!! While a senior colleague chose to remind us of his splendid skills with harmonica, the innovative couple games involved such twists and turns that the participating couples were left exercising those muscles and bones of their bodies they never knew existed.
 A family event that it was, it never could have been complete without the involvement of the newest addition to our CH2M HILL family- The Halcrow Group. Several Halcrow employees were also present and delighted us all with their active participation. One of them actually won First Prize in the Fashion Show event. Well Done Sir.
 A memorable night was rendered truly momentous with the verve of participation from one and all. It really was a night to dance, jive and feel alive.

Any creative media agency reading this post and liking it ? Anyone?? 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bored Ruminations

It has been four months since I have been employed. And the only thing I have learnt apart form the fact that you actually wish your colleagues “Happy Weekend” on Fridays is to unlearn the theory that you have to work a lot while you are being employed while I was in college. Well, another thing I have learnt of course is that your supervisor will come to look for you to fill timesheets, to tell you about some non-technical training, asking you about the coming get-together, hand you your termination letter at the exact time on which you will not be present at your “work”place. Ok, he didn’t come to hand me my termination letter, but maybe he did come and didn’t find me anywhere. But Murphy taught us all this years back. Didn’t he? So there goes my chance to “learn” anything  because just learnt that before I should have learnt that. Frankly, why are you still reading this post??

And even more frankly, I don’t know why I am writing this post.  May be plain boredom at work. F act that I was in the organising team of our Annual Get-together, fiction that I actually helped in that organising. Fact that Internet has now marked my blogspot blog URl as a phishing address, fiction that I actually harboured fishes there. I even deleted the widget “Feed these Fishes”, but to no avail. Fact that I am thinking of buying a personal domain, fiction that I will actually do so. Fact that I am writing something meant to be a blogpost, fiction that I will actually post it. Ok, did you just say that it is not fiction that I will post this as you can read this blogpost. You too are damned bored right now, aren’t you?

So, if you are still with me you may have read that I was in the organising team of the Annual get-together of my firm. Forgive me if I make that sound like organising of Olympics, but still there were lessons to learn it. Like how to shop with ladies. “Shopping”, “Ladies” and “Men” have difficulty in existing together. I knew that beforehand, but I learnt it now. Then naming an event is the most difficult part and you have to start with that. Or that lucky numbers are not really lucky. Actually we had a lucky draw prize based on the coupon numbers allotted with the invitations to employees. Now as the organisers , some of has had first access to the coupons and selected numbers like 123, 111, 013, 007 or like in order to get lucky. But the numbers which won were 072, 078 and we realised that the numbers we thought were lucky were actually only good looking numbers. On second thoughts, 13 x 6 = 78. Now did you tell me to shut up?

Another lesson I learnt was that while expats got to know about the timing of event , 5.30 pm that is  by looking at the invitation card and arrive at that time , we Indians never require the invitation card to know about the timing. Like we Indians all arrived at 7.30 and that was the time the event started. Telepathy, anyone?

Also, recently we had a Rewards and Recognition felicitation at our office which is held to reward the outstanding performers of the last 3 months. Only, this time it was a little different. Instead of rewarding people with outstanding work in the last 3 months, the management decided to award everybody who worked in the last 3 months. And the awardees were in total 5 in number.

And at last, as the year draws to a close, it reminds of the number of great people we lost this year. Along with Shammi Kapoor and Dev Anand , the person whose work I liked the most was Shrilal Shukl. And,

मैं श्रीलाल शुक्ल के बारे में कुछ नहीं लिखना चाहूँगा 

क्योंकि वो शब्द सूरज को ना सिर्फ दीया, बल्कि माचिस दिखाने के जैसा

होगा, वो भी बुझी हुई माचिस

And to conclude , I must admit that I have not seen many movies of either Shammi Kapoor Or Dev Anand, but of all the old songs I love and they are far greater in number than the new ones, I realised few days back that 90% of them star either Shammi Kapoor or Dev Anand. RIP All.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

My way or Subway???

I have gone impolite these days. Just like some say that impossible can be read as I M Possible, I am wondering that if impolite can be read as I M Polite. Actually that was what I was shouting in front of the mirror in the bath room when my reflection shouted back, “impolite” at me and asked me to shut up. Now, if you believe this story to be true, then you are the exact kind of people I love to be reading my blog.  Those who will believe anything and everything I say. And trust me , I will behave absolutely the same when I get to your blog as well.

So the other day, I went to a subway outlet. Now if  you do not know what a subway outlet is , go and thank whatever God you pray to for your “ignorance”. And to add to that, you shall go to the top right corner of your browser and press that close button. Because I might  just describe “Subway” in this post. It will lose me a few readers (if any) , but the greater good, you know and all that . Subway is a place where the idea of making a cool burger is to put in stuff Italian people do  not like to eat into ice cold bread loaves. It is a place where you always stand  confused on the counter where they ask you to choose between 5 different types of breads , scores of  different ingredients and many different sauces and you just cannot decide which combination  is likely to be the least worst of all.  But  this time, well ….

“ Which bread Sir?”

“ Honey Oat please.”

“Sorry Sir, that is not available.”

“Then I will have umm… Italian Herb & Cheese.”

“ Actually even that is not available Sir. Only Parmesan Oregano is available.”

I was stumped.

“Then why did you ask?”

“Sir, because I am asked to  ask.”

I wonder whether I have gone impolite or there is something in the whole Subway atmosphere itself.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A question

The time has gone beyond me ,
The “phoney” conversations now only make me sad
I don’t even wish to turn around time
Can we please put an end to this charade?

Just a passing thought....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and My Conundrum

I am wondering these days whether I can review movies. I have consistently held , even if not in written word in all my posts about everything written being my view, not review. I am not qualified enough to be a critic. Because for one, I liked “Mere Brother Ki dulhan” and loathed “That Girl in yellow Boots.”  If I were a critic, the adjectives used for these movies would have been opposite. Or I might have even loved That Girl…. So technically I am not a critic. Taran Adarsh is a critic, because he loved “That Girl in Yellow Boots” and gave it 4 stars. According to him, the finale hit him like a ton of bricks. Everybody I know of who were fateful enough to watch that -yes all three of us-  had guessed what the end is going to look like. But then , Taran Adarsh likes anything. He is the antithesis of Devil’s Advocate. He gave “Mere Brother ki Dulhan” 4 stars as well . Actually he gave “Do Knot Disturb” (you remember?)  3.5 stars. Actually Mark Zuckerberg told me that the Facebook  like button using which you can like statuses which condole somebody’s death as well was inspired by Taran Adarsh. Actually.. ok you get the point, right?

Sometimes I miss the point of Anuraag Kashyap’s movies. But in “That girl in yellow boots” I missed the whole game. I simply do not want to go to a movie to do brain exercise to deduce the various acts and scenes which are the supposed illustrations of various degrees of subtleties a film maker can achieve   . Was the massage parlour symbolising the greasing of palm one is required to do to get every governmental job done? Was the constant chattering of the owner of the parlour a connotation for the constant din in the protagonist’s life? Did the character of Naseeruddin Shah typified the father Ruth never had? Did  the yellow boots symbolise…Oh leave it. Did the yellow boots symbolise anything at all? I don’t want to find out. I wanted to get entertained when I spend my 200 bucks, which did not happen. I can find numerous “Find the difference” and “Find the similarities” games on internet for free. And in my honest opinion, Kalki is not that fine an actress either as she is touted to be. Does acting only comprise of a grim mood, dark environment, shrieks, and hysterics?  I am no fan of acting of Katrina Kaif, but for me she was good in MBKD. She gave good expressions importantly at the right times, rolled her eyes well and conveyed appropriate amount of devilry through them. I never imagined that I will ever write such lines for Katrina, but she was good. But still she has been panned by critics. Guess that is what it takes to be a critic. The usual reaction “That girl in yellow boots” elicits is that of shock. I mean that is what I have been told. And I wonder what is so shocking about it. Is it child molestation or incest? Now, do we need a movie to tell us that these exist in reality? So, why seeing reality on the big screen shocks them? Is it because anytime we go to see a movie, they expect to see escapist cinema? Then why does watching something like “Mere Brother Ki dulhan” which is escapist cinema at its core disappoints them? And if they do not expect that, why get shocked at seeing something like “That Girl In yellow Boots” ? I do not expect to get answers. May be it is the taste thing. Rom-coms are anyway panned universally by critics with rare exceptions. But then , why would someone go to a romcom expecting to be shocked? Or expect that one will have anything different from a “run –of-the-mill” good ending? Or expect that if two people are protagonists, somehow they will not end up together just to provide a different ending? Now did anyone really expect Katrina Kaif to get hitched to  Ali Zafar  movie when  Imran Khan with all his Bollywood connection is lurking around? Really? But for me , I do not go to watch movies for the sole purpose of expecting to get shocked. Better I will sit at home and search YouTube for shocking videos instead. I go to get entertained. Simply put, MBKD with all its flaws, entertained me .  That girl in Yellow Boots didn’t despite it’s several subtleties which the critics regularly found orgasmic. Besides what was left in That girl in Yellow Boots if you could guess the end and take away the “shock”  as happened to me , is pretty much still unclear to me. Was it this trailer which is doing the rounds these days? Ch***yappa and handshake? Please don’t tell me that this trailer has not been released just to lure the so- called “ front benchers” using lewd gestures and slang language. If that is the truth, then why carry the pretence of being an off-beat, classy movie?

 Phew… Ok, enough of ranting now. Now did I  give you the impression that MBKD is a hugely entertaining, sugar-sweet, “Four Wedding and a Funeral-esque” funny movie which attains the climactic heights any romcom can aspire to get to ? No, it is  not surely. It is actually a silly movie actually. So silly that it shows BEST buses outside IGI Airport , Delhi. Actually it was more silly that Billy trying to do a wheelie in the rush hour traffic in apni Dilli and it is more clichéd than the word “Clichéd” has becomes a cliché to describe romcom movies. And  the movie is more silly than the last sentence I framed. It has the leading pair who on the account of their last few misadventures are quite proven to be incapable of acting. And if it was not enough, there is John Abraham as well for a quick dekko with his non-existent expressions. I have a theory regarding why Bipasha dumped him. Because he couldn’t “express” his love for her.  It has Imran khan , who had he been an animal would have had 4 left feet trying to “ape” the dance steps of the three Khans.  Now that is only possible if one Khan is your Uncle and you can be relatively assured that he will not sue you for doing that. Now , what is stopping the other two Khans from suing him, I don’t know. They have a camp right in front of The Tajmahal . Surely, Mayawati will want to know more about that. May be we will se a 5 star hotel in just that place in the coming days. And if you want to do better video calls than as those shown in Reliance ads, you should consider acting in movies. I have always doubted Reliance’s ability to deliver but this movie removes all doubts that the best video calls happen in movies and movies only. And that is about its silliness. Additionally it is clichéd at innumerable places.

But you will enjoy the movie if you expect beforehand that it is going to be silly and clichéd like all romantic movies are. I mean which is the last actress you remember who married a books store owner in reality? But that did not stop Notting Hill from being what it was. Love Actually was actually full of stupidity. But it was also full of love. They were good because they made you feel good and they were not bad just because they were stupid and clichéd. Mere brother Ki Dulhan does that, though to only an extent. But then that is why it is not Notting Hill or Love Actually. But who says that film making can only be Sholay on one side and RGV ki Aag on other? 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pehli Salary

Pehli salary badi kamini cheez hoti hai" 

It makes you happy. It is beyond anything you have ever experienced. You suddenly want to buy things. Anything. Just go buy it. In my case the day I got my first salary, I wanted to buy even those shirts on the footpath which you get at the rate of 1 for 100 bucks. But that is the story of only the first day. Very soon you realise that you can you have more than peanuts in your pocket and you can actually afford a shirt which costs 1 for 1000 bucks. And then gradually you come to know that not only that, you can also afford a gamepad which cost 1500 though earlier the one costing 150 used to be good enough. And then you aspire for a Xbox itself. Then may be a bike , the aspiration of which will soon turn into the one for a car. And all this khyali pulao takes place within two to three days of receiving your first salary. Just deep within you know that you can actually have all those aspirations.  And then before you know , all the money is spent. It just vanishes. And then the wish gets changed.  The wish becomes a wait. Wait for the next salary.  In other words you start aspiring for money. That is why , Pehli salary badi kamini cheez hoti hai.” 

It makes you  love money and disrespect it at the same time. You want to buy the world with it and yet want to lock it in a case and throw the key in a pond. It suddenly makes you aware of the capabilities of money. And that is worse than a lot of bad things you can ever think of. That is why , “ Pehli salary badi kamini cheez hoti hai.”

Sunday, July 31, 2011


(Today is my Grandmother's (Dadima) 5th barsi. I wrote this shortly after her death. I don't know what made me post this today. But just posting it.
P.S- I dont remember what actually was the "it" that follows)

It  brought  flushing inside me memories of my own grandmother, dadima to us. Sometimes it seems that  she is just beside me , sometimes it seems it had been  ages since she called my name .  The funy thing death is , gives every moment of introspection a dual personality.
                                          Dadima was a deeply religious person , as all the woman of her age generally are.  She never had a very happy life- getting widowed at an age of 29. But still she had a amajing rock of belief in almighty. But what amazes me even more is that why I was able to see these things only after she died. She was so religious that once we tried to tell her that man has reached moon , she said that god lives there and flatly refused to believe that any mortal can intrude his abode. Life was going on and she was just like any other member of my family like my parents or my sister. I did not share any special bonding with her as a lot of people do with their grandparents. But then , she died. Dadima  just passed away.
                                                         Is was not as if she died all of a sudden . She had been suffering from cancer for 2 years . But somehow it made the inevitability of death strike me . And ironically , life around me changed its meaning for me . Life around me became special from being routine. Earlier, my parents were too by the way for me , they were there because they were meant to be there, but now they are a gift , because ther are with me . Funnily enough it took a death to realise me that. Earlier a seat in bus was too precious ; Now every lady is like dadima. Earlier if a friend broke my heart, I wouldn’t have given a damn , now it cries for reversal of time . Probably,  that feeling of loss is etched upon. Saying sorry has become easier , because I have realised that there are far more important things in life than one’s ego and certainly far worse thngs than having it damaged.    Earlier friends were routine , they were there because they probably needed me. Now every moment with them is to be cherished , because  at some other time , they might not be there. The feeling of being with loved ones has changed its complexion , because tomorrow I might be far away , left with only memories and , memories never suffice.  Loss is inevitable , just that notion of bidding adieu has changed. And I thank my dadima for that.
                  Sonetimes , I think that how crass I have been for a death to make me realise that. But come to think of it, if instead my neighbour’s aunt would have died , would that have made any difference to me ?  Never , though I would readily pray hundred times a day for my dadima to make her come back if I could. It just makes me realise that though I never stopped to think of whether I loved her , I probably did, a lot actually, enough to make me love everyone with life . If she is reading this somehow, from any where Dadima, probably , she would understand a lot of things left unsaid. Because that was what she always was. Ethereal in life , larger than life in death . My Dadima.    

Friday, January 07, 2011

Best of Bollywod in 2010 (according to me , of course)

Top 10 Movies :-

10 ) Rajneeti :-
I still vividly remember the sense of anticipation and excitement Rajneeti left me with at the interval. But by the time movie had veered towards it culmination , I had well realised that that feeling was not to some directorial brilliance or some moving acting skill. It was because the first half was primarily based on two of the most dramatic and stirring books I have come across –Godfather and The Mahabharata. It just was the book which was rubbing off on the movie. Nevertheless, it still could have ended up quite poorly. For the fact that it ended up being palatable , it makes my top 10.

 9 ) Peepli Live :-
In a lot of lists , this flick figures way up. Not in mine though. May be I have  not watched as much “world cinema” to earn my stripes. Or, just because this is India’s Oscar entry, it should figure way up. May be to my non-intellectual mind , some metaphors still seem more like jargons.  Whatever, but for me its humour originated from some crass abusive lines, which somehow did not go well for me. It somehow seemed an extension of Slumdog Millionaire to me. And I did not have a very good opinion about Slumdog either. But Peepli scored because it projected that message well which it set out to. That of a farming not being a lucrative  livelihood option for many in several parts of India. Add to that some believable performance coupled with some really good characters, made Peepli a decent watch.
8) Rann :-
By now, I have glossed over around 6-7 lists on the net similar to mine and nowhere I could find a mention of Rann. Don’t know why, coz it was released in 2010. 29th January, to be precise.  Some called it ill-researched. Wonder what they had to say about Slumdog Millionaire. Well, ill researched in my book is as bad as half-baked research. Rann was irritating at points but all RGV movies are irritating at points. But, at points it was brilliant too, as again all RGV movies are . But what puts it into 8th position for me was that the brilliant points comfortably outnumbered the irritating points.   

7) Dabangg:-
Kamal Karte ho Sir jee. Dabangg ko hi bhool gaye ??
 Dabangg and Wanted have been probably the least pretentious movies of the Bollywood so far. What you see is what you get.  You can love it or hate it . But then there are millions of Salman fans out there who can only love a movie which is full of Salman. It was polar opposite of something like Tere Bin Laden (yes, I am classifying Dabangg as comedy),  but still quite a joy ride.   And then there was Sonakshi. Well, I repeat that  I am still wondering that how do these macho men of yesteryears like Shatrughan Sinha  and Anil Kapoor keep producing such beautiful daughters. 

6) Ishqiya :-
After I came out of the theatre, if somebody had told me that it would find 6th  place in my year end list, I would have gone , “Naah… 9th or 10th may be, if we are unlucky for the rest of the year.” That it comes at No.6 is a proof of the absolute drivel Bollywood has served us all year. But let that not take anything away from the movie Ishqiya was. Three things pulled it into top 10. Dialogues which were both crackling and cracking as if written after having smoked Charas, Vidya Balan and Dil To Bachha Hai Ji. Add to that an opening disclaimer which actually claimed that the movie is “almost” fictitious. All that was enough to make Ishqiya pull its weight in what has been a largely barren year for Hindi Cinema.

5) Phas Gaye Re Obama :-
The only thing I did not understand about this movie was what Obama was doing in its title. Some sort of metaphor , may be. Or it was just destined for me that Obama and Osama will rule this year’s comedy scene. Farah Khan , please watch this. This is how you pull of a heist. Akshay Kumar, please watch this. This is how you make people laugh. And everybody, please watch this. Because, it deserves to be watched. And yes , please ignore Neha Dhupiya. She is just there to reiterate the fact that nothing can be perfect. 

 4) Udaan :-
A father like Ronit Roy was not the only thing unbelievable about this. Add to that a plot set in Jamshedpur which has only two things- TATA and XLRI, the younger cast all of which were completely unknown except Manjot Singh (Young Lucky In Oye Lucky Lucky Oye) who got all together a screen space of 10 minutes. And a screenplay if called rebellious will probably be the understatement of the decade. To put it in perspective , one senior person I know termed the movie malicious , misguiding, disrespectful and a stigma to our culture if viewed widely. But at the end of the day Udaan emphatically proved that any movie which is made with its heart in the right place, strikes the right chords. One thing which struck me throughout the movie was its innocence. Be it the protagonist Rohan, his cute younger brother, his Uncle when he is accused by his father to be a “fat loser”, even the scene where Ronit Roy asks his son to smoke in front of him and to top it all the scene where a drunk father explains to his son that he actually did visit him once only to back off because without him he looked happy. Precious.

3) Tere Bin Laden:-
Set in Karachi,  Pakistan . Isn’t that is the country which perpetuated 26/11 ?? Starring Ali Zafar , again from Pakistan. Sorry, but Ali Zafar, WHO???  And with the theme as the world’s most wanted terrorist , Osama.  A Bollywood movie made on these!!! Chances  it being liked ?? Hahahaha!!!! But not quite sir, and thanks heavens that movie making is not quite politics. I liked Main Hoon Na, Heyy Baby and Golmaal 1 . But this movie and Phas gaya re Obama proved that subtlety lasts and only subtlety lasts. In a year when some “comedies”, if you can call them that, almost wanted to smack your head , pierce open your eyes and tear open your jaw while employing these very antics in order to “ order” you two laugh, these two almost gave you democratic choices . Not that it mattered anyway. Armed with a super script and brilliant acting, this movie showcased that Osama can be adorable , cute and amazingly funny.

2) Love, Sex aur Dhokha
To put it simply , Dibakar Banarjee is the best director we have in film industry. Because, I simply refuse to believe that any other director could have picked a motley bunch of people and turn them into the most impressive ensemble cast of the year. And I simply refuse to believe that any other director could have extracted such level of performance from everyone in a cast the names of any of whom have never been heard before. And I refuse to believe that any other director could have made a movie which ends so haphazardly but still leaves not even an iota of inadequacy in viewer’s mind. And I simply refuse to believe that any other director could take shock, shock and shock and then term it Love,  Sex and Dhokha and all the while make the translation entirely plausible. And I simply refuse to believe that any other director could have made Ekta Kapoor produce a film which has no  cruel Saas, but a brutal Sasur. And , to put it simply, I simply refuse to believe that anybody but Dibakar Banarjee could have made this film 

1) Band Baaja Baarat:-
There will be people who might take it as a reflection of the poor year that the Bollywood had in 2010 that a flick like Band Baaja Baarat is at the top of the table. But if I am asked to compile a list of best rom-coms of Bollywood in past 25 years, this movie will surely find a place in top 3.  A good rom-com should leave you with happiness in your heart and smile on your lips. This surely did that and more. It filled you with hope after TMK and Ravan that good writers are not yet dead in Bollywood. It made you believe that for making an authentic movie on a city , you do not have to be some Danny  Boyle descended from wherever to research on our own place  to show us that how shitty and bad our own country is . If you want to make  a movie on Delhi, having a proper dilli ka dil  in the right place will do wonders. It made me wide eyed that Anushka Sharma can actually act. And it made me shrug  the notion that only Hugh Grant or Hugh Grant- ish  actors can light up a rom com . A Ranveer Singh who at the first glance looked like an ordinary lampat Jatt  ready for a fisticuff can prove to be a worthy match , if not better. And it did all that while having and letting us all have some good old fashioned our own Mauj.

 Awesome Mention Of the Year:-

Tees Maar Khan:- 
It was such an awesome movie that all theatres , awesome or not raised their ticket prices to  awesome levels. And I was such an awesome fellow that I spent an awesome amount of money, patience and guts to watch this awesomely awesome film. Just imagine , what can be more awesome to have every character in the movie awesomely copy bonafide awesome antics of awesome Akshay Kumar. 

 Top 10 Songs :-

10)   Lehrein ( Aisha) :- A beautiful song which again emphasised to me that Javed Akhtar , if and when he wants can be a brilliant writer, though that sadly is not always is the case.

9) Des Mera ( Peepli Live) :- Though Mehangayi Dayan  garnered more publicity , I could hardly see how it actually fitted in the premise of the movie and ultimately that song seemed to be included for just that , to garner publicity. On the other hand , for a change Indian Ocean came up with an upbeat song. And they were just as good with this as well.

8) Main Jiyoonga (Break Ke Baad) :- A vastly underrated song , it shared the same fate as the whole album did. But the lyrics were apt , music good. A tragedy that the song was not included in the movie as the movie had a plot which was perfect for this song. 

7) Tum Jo Aaye ( Once upon a time in Mumbai) :- It was more a case of selecting one song out of the best album of the year than anything else. And I go with this . The Rahat Fateh Ali Khan version to be precise.

6) Jaane Kiske Khwaab (Guzaarish) :- For me , the best song  to paint an appropriate picture of what the movie is going to be like.

5) Surili Ankhiyoin Waale (Veer):- The only good thing about Veer was that this song featured thrice in the movie. In full.

4) I am in love (OUATIM) :- One song out of OUATIM was never going to be enough. It was too good an album for that.  

3) Naav Chadhti ( Udaan) :- The most inspiring song of the year. Enough said.

2) Dil To Bachha hai Jee  (Ishqiya) :- The list could not possibly have been complete without Gulzaar coming into it , isn’t it? This song had the most simple , most striking ,  and the most identifiable lyrics and was one for the ages.

1) Shaam (Aisha) :- The most soothing, most sweet and the most serene song to come out of Bollywood in may be last 5 years. It was.

  Top 5 Albums:-

1)      Once upon a time in Mumbai :- Even a song like Baburao made perfect sense in the movie.

2)      Aisha :- One song was crap, one was so so , but rest three   were so good that the album is right up there. 

3)       Guzaarish :- It is the best album you can find to listen in a particular mood and in particular setting. To find out which mood and setting I am talking about, you have to listen toi the album.

4)      Udaan :- The movie was different . The music was no different.

5)      Break ke Baad :- All the songs were similar in mood , even the sad ones. But I am not complaining now. 

  Special Mention :-

Cinematography in Ravan :- 

I was ready to watch this, yes this piece of absolute drivel for a second time just to see the scenes once again. The work of Santosh Sivan and V. Manikandan was cinematographic orgasm unfolding on screen. 

 Happy New Year to all. And here is just wishing that this New Year is good for Bollywood too. It did not have even an average 2010 which made our year a bit less good in its own way. Cheers…