Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Aajkal ke naujawano ko dekhkar mujhe badi mayoosi hoti hai bade baabu...

A cinematic luminary has passed away. Hrishikesh Mukherjee was perhaps Bollywood's cleanest and simplest story teller of the last century. His films have delighted us time and time over. Some of his films will be remembered as classics. He was not Ray, Ghatak, Sen or Gopalakrishnan. Neither was he in the Johar, Chopra mould. He was the quintessential man in the middle. His stories dealt with the joys and sorrows of the middle class. No one understood this class better than him and Basu Chatterjee. I remember reading an article which said that Hrishikesh Mukherjee's films are like our fondest photographs in our picture albums. How true. I'd frame them.
Of course, Mukherjee's body of work did have blemishes. He did get repetitive in theme at times and made some average cinema with films like "Kisi se na kehna" and "Jhoot bole kauwa kaate", where you could tell he was trying to paste Amrish Puri onto Utpal Dutt, Anupam Kher onto David and Anil Kapoor onto Amol Palekar. He also got a little too ambitious with "Bemisaal". However, one doesn't really care about the blemishes of the man who gave us "Anari", "Anand", "Guddi", "Abhimaan", "Golmaal", "Anupama" and "Naram Garam". His films were all about normal people in abnormal scenarios. The joys and foibles of people like you and me. He was our film maker. They don't tell stories like this anymore. I'm sure if he saw today's big budget, candy floss, music video cinema he would repeat Utpal Dutt's classic line from Golmaal.

And now the answers from last post's Quiz -

1. RD Burman and Swapan Chakraborty sing 'Golmaal hai'. Amit Kumar was also in the recording studio at that time, but I find it hard to figure out his lines in the song.

2. Amitabh is shooting for 'Jurmana'.

3. Mukherjee used the same green and white school uniform to dress up 'Guddi'.

4. Gulzar, Bharat.

5. That Bhawani Shankar is Bengali in the film is clear from the slang phrase 'Daat kelani bancharam' (teeth bearing/laughing idiot?) which he uses twice in the film.

6. Swami Vivekananda.

7. There are a total of 8 sportsmen mentioned in the film: 2 Pakistan Hockey players (Samiullah Khan and another I cannot remember right now), Pele, Sunil Gavaskar, Vishwanath, Amarnath, Bedi and Chandrashekhar.

8. In the scene where Deven Verma wears make up (mustache) the mustache curls upwards. However, when Amol Palekar has to make the excuse and introduces his twin brother to Utpal Dutt, the flashback to the same scene shows Verma pasting a mustache curling downwards.

9. Kishore Kumar and Amit Kumar.

10. 15%, but only 12% passed.

Commendations to Gaurav for his fine attempt. Well done sir.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Great 'Golmaal' Quiz

A classic comedy indeed. Uptal Dutt, Amol Palekar and Hrishikesh Mukherjee got it just right in this one. I know loads of people who have seen this film millions of times. I know people who know all the dialogues and can recite them backwards. This is one of those films that has continued to gain monumental popularity years after its initial release. But how well do you actually know 'Golmaal'? Take the quiz and find out! Answers in the next post.

1. In the first song of the film, 'Golmaal hai', who takes up the playback responsibilities?

2. In the scene where Deven takes Ram Prasad to Mohan Studios to get him a 'kurta payjama' for his interview, they meet Amitabh Bachchan, who is shooting for one of his films. Which film?

3. In the same scene (mentioned above), Amitabh is then accosted by autograph hunting school girls who are in their uniforms. This identical school uniform was used by Hrishikesh Mukherjee in another of his well loved films. Which?

4. Fill in the blanks - "Bacchu, pehnoge sirf dhoti kurta to lagoge Mr.____, tum pehnke dekho dhoti, kurta aur jacket, tum lagoge Mr._____.

5. Bhawani Shankar (Utpal Dutt) uses a Bengali slang phrase twice in the film. Can you identify which one?

6. Bhawani Shankar has the bust of which famous Indian philosopher/social reformer in his office?

7. Bhawani Shankar hates the fact that the youth wastes itself in sports and other related activities. How many sportsmen are mentioned throughout the length of the film?

8. There is a serious continuity problem in one of the scenes of the film. Did you notice which?

9. Who sang the song 'Sapne mein dekha sapna'?

10. What percentage of candidates were expected to pass the Chartered Accountancy Final examination the term Ram Prasad appeared for the exam?


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Happy Birthday to you...

Well, its been a year since this blog started and boy, hasn't time flown! When I started off, I didn't see it this far into the future, quite frankly. Congratulations to me and Happy Birthday to the blogspot.
As a new year resolution perhaps, I would like to be more regular with my writing here. I had almost lost touch with the written word after school as college and B-school don't really stress on natural writing skills and ability; they tends to promote business writing more than anything else. Natural self expression gets limited opportunity. This space gives me scope to write as I want, about the stuff I want to write about. Perhaps I also need to broaden my horizon a little bit in terms of subjects...perhaps diarise it a tad. Lets see.
For now, I'm just glad I got this far.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006


The fish-loving Bengalis will be deprived of their favourite Hilsa this year owing to a paltry catch even in the peak of the Hilsa season. “Though an unpalatable truth, the supply of Hilsa to the city markets is low this year. We blame unfavourable climatic conditions for the low catch,” Mr Kiranmoy Nanda, state fisheries minister, said. He said that owing to frequent depressions and cyclonic conditions in the Bay of Bengal, the fishermen, who venture deep into the sea for fishing, had no option but to stay anchored. Also, he said, this time the onset on monsoon was not accompanied by any easterly breeze ~ which is responsible for the diverting the shoals of Hilsa to move from sea to the river for the purpose of breeding.This year, supply of Hilsa from Bangladesh has also been as low as 574 metric ton till July as compared with the 3,375 metric ton supplied during the same period last year. He said that even Bangladeshi fishermen had had a bad season this time around.

Bugger! Anyways...I haven't had a decent meal of 'ilish' maach in more than two years...atleast this year I won't be alone in my misery...

Allen Heckard filed a lawsuit in Hillsboro, Ore., in June against Michael Jordan and Nike founder Phil Knight for $416 million each, charging that they are responsible for his "pain and suffering," and his "defamation," in that nearly every day for 15 years, people have mistaken him for Jordan. Heckard admits to being a pretty good basketball player (though 6 inches shorter than Jordan) and to wearing Air Jordans, and in fact curiously told KGW-TV that, all in all, being recognized as Jordan was a "positive" thing. He said he arrived at the "416" figure from multiplying his age by seven (though he appears to be in his 30s, not 59). (Needless to say, Heckard filed the lawsuit without benefit of a lawyer.)

Umm...what do I say, they've been weirder lawsuits!

Stressed-out Chinese can now unleash pent-up anger at a bar that lets customers attack staff, smash glasses and generally make a ruckus, a Chinese newspaper reported Monday. The Rising Sun Anger Release Bar in Nanjing, capital of the eastern province of Jiangsu, employs 20 muscled young men as "models" for customers to punch and scream at. "Customers can specify how they want the models to appear -- they can even appear as women -- and then they are free to give them a sound beating," the China Daily said. The bar charges from 50 yuan ($6.25) to 300 yuan for the pleasure. If violence does not work, counselors - students from local universities - are at hand to dispense advice, the newspaper quoted the owner of the bar, Wu Gong, as saying.

Can we do something similar at work??