Sunday, July 30, 2006


A few posts ago, I had likened Vishal Bhardwaj to Gulzar. I was a little off the mark. Vishal is a much better story teller than the great man. In his second Shakespearean venture, he exhibits remarkable ease while handling the camera, and every frame is worth its weight in gold. I have very few bad things to say about the film. From Makdee to Maqbool to Omkara...this filmography alone can put him in a league all by himself.
I assume here that everyone knows what Othello is all about. A tragedy filled with lies, deceipt, love and bloodshed. Omkara stays very true to the original, in fact Vishal doesn't include any fictional characters to adapt the story to fit the Indian landscape. And what a landscape it is! Set in political Uttar Pradesh, a menacing, hostile jungle of violence, political intrigue and feuds, with its dusty villages and golden fields, the surroundings keep you captivated from start to finish. The backdrop itself is as strong as any of the characters. Ajay Devgan as Omkara is powerful, Kareena as Dolly is very good as well, Vivek Oberoi as Kesu and Bipasha Basu as Billo don't get much scope. But Konkona Sen takes your breath away with her vibrance in a smallish role. She is a fantastic actress and its frightening to imagine what she could accomplish after a few more years in the business. But all said and done, this is Saif Ali Khan's film. Iago (Landga Tyagi here) is a difficult character to play, but Saif makes the scheming, hurting, jealous lieutenant come alive in a way that you hate and like him at the same time. Award winning stuff.
The music of the film is good as well. 'O Saathi re' and 'Omkara' are the stand out tracks for me. The others are situational and are not bad by any standards. One item song too many though. Gulzar's lyrics are fantastic.
The only possible drawbacks of the film could be the language of the film, which is very UP ite and hence might be difficult to grasp for people not versed with the accent and dialect in that part of the country and the editing, which uses the fade out technique too often, which slows down proceedings considerably. A few expletives could have been avoided, but its not really something I'd whine about.
Dark, brooding, menacing, delightful.
Omkara could well be a classic in the making.



Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Convocation '06: the real story

Aroon!, Spookie, Capt. Suppi, Candy, KK, G2, Santy, Raju Chacha, Sachin, Rishi, Aande, Arun C, Balaji, Ekta jiee!, Sandeep, Bhaagaah, Pranava, Bean, Bawa, Ram, Sudheer, Mayank, Kaiyo, Cuong, Zoltan, Chris R, Chris K, Melly, FM, Wee Ping, Afia, Linh Thy Vu, Emlyn.

I love you guys. Couldn't have asked for better company.
To us.

Ashok - To him goes the best senior award. Thanks bro for being there.
Aroon - Dude. Hate to see you go. I'll see you in Pecos someday. Till then, the memories remain. Brij, Bean, Kayo, Sandeep and Ashwin - Missed you guys!
G2- Thanks for coming sir. Wouldn't have been the same.
Maa, Dad and Stuti - Take a bow. I wouldn't be here otherwise.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Songs of a lifetime - 7

A moment from our lives to remember those innocents who lost their lives in the Mumbai blasts. India, having been a victim of violence for a while now, is used to these kinds of situations. So much so that we don't even cringe at the news. Desensitised, i guess. As usual, all this will soon be forgotten and life will continue as usual. There will be no concentrated results to beef up internal security. Bribary, lapse and the 'chalta hai' attitude will continue. Correct me if I am wrong, but cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata are sitting ducks w.r.t security, high alert or not. One shudders to think what the effects of a similar attack would be, in these areas. In the meanwhile the 'mumbaikar' will steel himself, pick up the threads of his life, mourn the loss of his loved ones in unision and move on. The world will forget soon enough.
A tribute to the great city of Mumbai.

Aye dil hai mushkil jeena yahan
Zara hat ke zara bach ke,
Yeh hai Bombay meri jaan

Kahin building kahin traame, kahin motor kahin mill
Milta hai yahan sab kuchh ik milta nahin dil
Insaan ka nahin kahin naam-o-nishaan
Zara hat ke zara bach ke, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan

Kahin satta, kahin patta kahin chori kahin race
Kahin daaka, kahin phaaka kahin thokar kahin thes
Bekaaro ke hain kai kaam yahan
Zara hat ke zara bach ke, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan

Beghar ko aawara yahan kehte has has
Khud kaate gale sabke kahe isko business
Ik cheez ke hain kai naam yahan
Zara hat ke zara bach ke, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan

Bura duniya woh hai kehta aisa bhola tu na ban
Jo hai karta woh hai bharta hai yahan ka yeh chalan
Tadbeer nahin chalne ki yahan
Yeh hai Bombay, yeh hai Bombay, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan
Aye dil hai aasaa jeena yahan
Suno mister, suno bandhu, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan

Duniya mein nahin dekha tune aise yeh nagar,
Aasoon ki nadiyan hai, par kisko hai fikar?
Bombay ko hai salaam mera,
Yeh hai Bombay, yeh hai Bombay, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan

PS: My apologies to Majrooh Sultanpuri for adding my vile words to his sublime creation!


Thursday, July 06, 2006

The shepherds

Some people to whom I owe a lot to. I wish I could find more time for them. People who shaped my thought process, inspired me, frustrated me and unconsciously helped in nurturing whatever minimal talents I have. You deserve more than you get. A big thank you!