Category Archives: Mumbai

Ra.One Review : You burn Raavan so many times because you can’t kill him

First day first show of Ra.One . Thank my lucky temporal cosmologies that it released during the Diwali holidays

Purpose of such expensive movies

I now believe in a certain theory about a direct correlation between mega budgets and positioning a visual treat as the foremost USP of a film.

The most expensive Indian movie made to date (surpassing the budget of the previous topper, Enthiran) gives what such a mega-budgetory extravaganza promises …. a visual treat which in itself is a thing of awe for the average Indian movie-goer. ( Talk about the Indian success of Enthiran or Avatar, for example)

Anyway nothing wrong in it. How else do you justify , what else can you possibly contrive with super budgets other than have tons and tons of special & digital effects 🙂

One important conceptual point  😉

G-One (the good digital guy played by SRK)  and Ra-One (the bad digital guy played by Arjun Rampal …yes! Ra.One is Rampal , not SRK as some gullible chaps might be strutting around thinking!!!) are digital manifestations made of optical fibres or electromagnetic rays coalesced into tangible manifestations of energy; whatever! I don’t really know ! But mind you ! They are not robots or any sort of mechanical beings made of metal…

The plot

Ra.One = Major plot from Terminator 2: Judgement day  + Hero powers & special effects of Iron Man + Villain’s creation-idea from Virtuosity

Bien sur!  The whole virtual man protecting the kid  idea is straight out of Terminator 2.

The HART concept about a high-technology core that resembles a human heart embedded  into both G-One and Ra-One,  is a direct lift-off from Iron Man. The whole optical fibre shit from where the AI filled gaming characters come out into the real world , is Virtuosity…

The special appearances and gimmicks

The kid’s dream featuring  Priyanka Chopra and Sanjay Dutt (as Khal Nayak) in the opening scene . And even the three imaginary Chinese ladies called Uski -Lee (lol ! ) , Teri-Lee (Rofl !)  and Sabki Lee (Lmao!)! All these are there only for the whole SRK-Ego-trip phenomenon which we are getting to see more and more these days  (For a similar observation, watch the Don2 trailer with the slogan, The king is back 😉 )

Well ! Well ! But me being a fan and all , I wouldn’t really crib too much about it . The gimmickry in question was actually pretty visually breathtaking (SRK fighting Khal Nayak ((Sanjay Dutt)) with the latter rapid firing punch-dialogues that would make your laughter nerves itch )

Action -sequences

They were good very good. For an Indian movie, the effort and soul put into the action sequences and related effects is quite visible.Sometimes you might wonder what’s the point ?  But this is an action flick and thats how action flicks around the world are ….

The real Ra.one stands up

Arjun Rampal is amazing as the villainish Ra.One with his whole voice, his physique and sense of random alacrity. He was good ! Perhaps they should have given him a little more air-time rather than focus on G-one’s  goofy doofy humor  in the second half.

Chammak Challo

I don’t need to analyze this 🙂 But I had to mention it 😉

My verdict

Here are some more reviews to look at… TOIimdbrediffDC

As for me, I like it ..not as much I would like a brilliant movie, but the way I would like a popcorn-fare!  Though the concepts have all been borrowed , re-hashed and jumbled up from Holly wood sci-fi movies, the execution of the movie shows the effort and the heart put into the movie. And for that , my appreciation! Anyway, whatever the SRK-bashers might be tempted to say, nothing is going to stop the movie from becoming a profitable venture (for all we know, it probably had already recovered its money from distribution sales even before the movie’s release)

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Operation Korigad

The Trek:

Korigad , 20 km from Lonavla on the Pune side. It had one of Shivaji’s forts. It was supposed to be an easy trek but the difficult part in the whole trip was to convince the bunch of guys to go there.

Anyway aginst all odds we made it last Saturday on the 23rd of July 2011 🙂

The Trekkers:

El Papa the (in- , dis- , un- )legendary El Mariachi duplicate, Uncle the ancient one , Landy the loose cracker , Nippo the doped one and of course, the crazy ol’ mental me ….

The Self-Persuasion:

This part is akin to the tumultuous and cumbersome due-diligence phase that usually precedes a merger/acquisition – lots of brain storming (not where to go or when to go but why to go ? 😛 )

If at all we had decided to go there was the question of logistics …not only the physical but also the psychological and mental (Boy! I must be making a little hill like Korigad, sound like Mt.Everest !). For die hard adventurers, it is no mean deal. It’s probably like going for a casual Sunday picnic. But for wee city lads such as the ones under current observation, psychologically preparing to move butts from Mumbai to the city’s outskirts and physically transitioning the body from a hung-over Saturday morning state to an excited Saturday-trekker state is a Herculean task.

The Car and the road trip:

Landy boy’s got a new Nissan Micra in the orange color. The car’s selling points for the trek:

  • We don’t have to take a train or book a taxi to reach the base village.
  • In the road trip, Landy would drive the 200KM+ distance (wouldn’t let us touch the steering wheel of his new car anyway, leaving us to blissfully get lost in dreamland)
  • It is orange colored! So stands out in the monsoon fog of the Western Ghats! God bless landy’s car …truly the hero of the story!

Anyway, so there we went. The Plan was to leave at 6 AM on the 23rd of July. Dutifully adhering to the lazily cultural and boringly traditional best practices of the Indian Standard Time, we did manage to leave not before 7:30AM.

We picked up Nippo on the way (finding the route where we had to pick up Nippo caused enough delay to give in to taking numerous smoke’n’tea breaks)

The highlight were the extra-cheese infested but totally lip-smacking burgers we managed to gobble at McDonald’s on the Mumbai-Pune highway. That was just the breakfast!

The climb

For all those who thought this was a huge killer operation with never say die shouting Rambos scaling unimaginable mental odds and physical hurdles, a colossal Hahaha at you 😀 !!!  It was a little thing, more like a walk up a hill with stairs (though the acromegalic stairs do screw your knee caps a bit)

landy - uncle - baba

landy - papa - baba

At the top, there was a fog driven hither and thither by the monsoon winds. There were other people, which motivated some of the more lecherous among our group to delve in stealthily appreciating the ladies among the other trekkers. Big bada Boom  was the little harmless CA (chick-alert ) war-cry ! Anyway, apologies for the digression …. Back to the story …

At the top, I do opine that most of the other trekkers were a mightyless bunch of in-depth pansies. Besides being on an easy trek, you don’t go around playing ringa ringa roses  on the top of a hill (boys and girls alike). So we decided to set some trends  ….true maverick macho groovy style

The trend-setting

Nippo

We took off our shirts (oblivious of contributing too much cognition  & recognition towards bellies, body hair and everything else) and jumped in the big lake on top of Korigad. Much to almost everyone’s delight (perhaps a little disgust)  that finally there was some amusing action on Korigad.

who are the men eh ??? 😀

Other strangers followed suit by jumping into the lake too…. 😉

The Return

We ate at a food court on the highway after descending the hill and driving a few miles. Some of the more lecherous among us were at it again at the food court, staring here and there, whispering big bada boom  and laughing  a**es off. And then  we hit the road again when we chanced upon the old man …

The old man

There was a car in front of us. There was an old man in the car with his family. There was a minor traffic congestion in a narrow lane. So a medium-sized queue of cars was piling up. Someone kept honking from behind much to a lot of annoyance …then it happened …

The old man in front of our car, suddenly got off his car in a fit of rage (perhaps because he wrongly thought we were the ones unnecessarily honking) and stared at us. He then noticed there were 5 buffalo-like guys (Well Landy is a  feather weight , so 4 buffalos + one baby buffalo! 😛 ) in our car. Landy made a “Aah! What !”  expression with a rooster-like swagger of his head. The old man silently went back to his car. Drove us to a state of hysteric laughter ….

So there! Harishchandragad ! You are next 😉

~Ghost Runner

————-

Greeting card pic from Korigad:

what exactly was stinking ?

3 SECONDS

DISCLAIMER: Chuck the foreword below if you have  a not-so-long time window! Screw the introduction below too if you have tiny time window! But if you are jobless, read through ….

Foreword: Prof.Srinivas , my +2/12th grade mathematics lecturer was good at teaching mathematics, especially the probability and derivative puzzles.Talking of derivatives, the author need not say that their definition evolves from limits.   Now in this post of the author, let there be  a variable x that denotes clarity of thought and t denotes time. If the rate of change of x and rate of change of t are very very small, it can be denoted by dx/dt which is nothing but the rate of your thought  (has correlated theories from the Inception  logic; but that we shall leave for another day)

Introduction 

By the above logic, if there is an isolated moment where your mind gets oblivious of the surroundings, your thoughts might last longer to your brain than they are in absolute time. (Has a complex and more accurate explanation in relativity; but that we leave for another day)

The main (and simplest) part of the post

It was MMA coaching at * the academy *at Khar.A sparring session was going on.  Neck crank was being executed to near perfection on my …well! …neck (Obviously! Its called *neck crank*)! In that moment of asphyxiated pain, the surroundings went into oblivion and memories became clear and long though within a span of only a few seconds …

THE FIRST SECOND…

‘It was all due to religion oriented culture’  I told Dad…. ‘I mean look at it this way. Christianity was there for two millenia and it did have its share of orthodoxies. But the western world , most of it came out of it to lead a modern existence. So it took them two millenia but they managed to get out of irrational doctrines!’

‘But look at India! Hinduism was there for nearly 4 to 5 millenia. And even then we had hardly got out of many of our irrational doctrines. Why ? Are not persons supposed to get wiser and more mature with age ? So isn’t Hinduism supposed to follow the same logic!’

‘Its not that simple!’ said dad in his usual Donnie Darkoish way.

…. back to present ….. 

I twisted ! The hold on my wind pipe was deflected.I harboured the hope  of getting out of the hold. But then, the well trained opponent of mine wound his legs around my torso to strengthen the hold. And so the 2nd second in mental isolation began  ….

THE SECOND SECOND …

Halley was presiding over a discussion about the education system, economy , and what not on his facebook wall .

The fb status started it all

“The more he invests in religion the more he loses himself” ..
“The more the worker produces the more he loses himself” ..
‘How could one person get so many radical ideas ??’

There was a comment saying *Gen X!* Simply and tersely put!

But that ain’t enough was it ? We had to get **** global**** on this 😉

So there was globe-loving-gratiano-style  that followed ….as shown below 

Anyway I was living and chuckling at this fruitless discussion …

back to the real world ….

I twisted again …. the opponents’s foothold got less firm. He was probably not a big master of stamina though his technique was impeccable. But then he tightened his hands around my spine and neck. Then I went into the third second of asphyxiated painful mental isolation

THE THIRD SECOND  …

It was a phantasmagoria of thoughts and memories. There  was no definition absolute. The surroundings seemed more surreal, like in a dreamy state as opposed to the earlier visions where I saw seemingly realistic memories of isolated incidents.

*The Indian military men got carried away in a fucking garbage truck.Is this the way we treat our martyrs ?? *

*Females get killed at birth because of our existing social systems of dowry,  male chiavunism, patriarchal imbalance, etc.*

* If there are somethings which can be described as **beauty queens of Indianism filled ridiculousness ** you find them in overwhelming abundance(Indians paying surgeons to turn girls into boys) *

*Honour killings in rural India*    

*The country being the world’s hair supplier*

*The industry of spiritual Godmen*   

.....It was starting to get annoying!

back to the real world …

Three seconds done and I was going to go completely out of breath. Out of that desperation and the prior-generated annoyance, I did a full body twist, broke the hold this time and got into a side mount  and threw an Ude-garami to which he tapped to submit.

Phew! I won again, my 16th succesive victory in combat sports…but the country doesn’t seem to be on the winning side 😦  Because of which I don’t feel like a winner as my questions in those three ‘hyper thought rate’ seconds remain unanswered …. 😐

-GhostRunner

The hakka warrior and the horses of death

FOREWORD

Dedicated to Baba Ramdev!

Not for the (un)successful phenomenon related to his political, moral, philosophical or social drama, but for his ability to go hungry for long durations.

THE STORY

He strode into his home … messy, dark and claustrophobic …

He was sweaty, tired, sore in the muscles and felt like Edward Norton’s character in fight club. Courtesy the kickboxing class.

He tried to sleep …but could not. His stomach was rumbling like horses trotting in an ancient blood bath in the colloseum. The trot promised to acoustically mutate into a full fledged battle-hungry gallop if he didnt do something about his raging hunger.

He decided to cancel the dinner-cancellation plan. The dread of the thought. The thought of the  horse-galloping sound of his  hungry stomach. He dragged his feet to the fridge and all there was an old packet of hakka noodles.

‘Blast! I forgot to re fill the food supplies in the house’ he cursed himself .

The hakka packet stood there , tempting him like Helen of Troy. He was no Paris.In fact he considered himself more on the lines of Hector. Oh pas de quoi …

So he drew the battle lines. It was like the battle of red cliff (the very Chinese movie playing that same moment on TV in English with a weird dubbing in an Indian accent!!)

Now the thing about cooking hakka noodles out of a hakka noodles packet is that it is not like cooking maggi noodles. It is not that easy. No wonder there is no 2 minute noodles  campaign with the hakka noodles packet.

The mutation in the stomach began! The horses were no mere horses anymore. Their rumbling in his stomach thundered at that moment. With a strength akin to causing lateral reverberatory pounding on his already injured ribs. Already injured courtesy the kick boxing class

Anyway he set about doing it the maggi way. It took long in the micro wave maybe too long, like the good guy and military general  Zu *what the fuck ever* in the then playing Red cliff movie waits for the South wind (makes his army’s arrows reach the enemy army’s ships) way too long. Way too long in the final *how the fuck* epic battle

Finally they cooked.They looked like this

‘Not bad’ he thought.’It would taste like paper or papyrus which ever tastes worst. Something is better than nothing. Better puny and lightly armed pikemen fight the galloping-horses than puny unarmed lungi men!’  He re thought his analogy and scoffed at it. He was going nuts. Courtesy the  galloping-horses.

And then it dawned. Like the South wind finally blew in the climax of  Red Cliff, like Gandalf came with the Roherriem in the climax of the The Two Towers(LOTR 2), like Rocky Balboa got up for one more round throughout the Rocky series, like Xiao Dre stood up for one more time in The Karate Kid, he saw this in the fridge in a corner, long forgotten …

Even the mother allusion on the sticker supported his allusion of the messiah arriving. So he mixed it up with the papyrus (hakka noodles) in the bowl.

Then, finally, it tasted ok! The horses had been sent in retreat. The battle had been won

xxxxxTHE ENDxxxxxxx

The moment of superstardom

FOREWORD: A tribute to the little one who actually exists …

It was 4 30 PM of a hot sultry afternoon in the Bandra Kurla Complex by the turn of Wockhardt towers. The kind of concretized shadeless place which would send even the toughest of folks packing away.To evade the harsh nature of the Sun, setting away, but making a defining farewell statement with its rays.

She was walking by the signal, the little one, in crutches.Hardly ten, she wondered why she was walking in crutches , considering that the only one she knew who walked in crutches was the old lady who lived nearby who apparently had no legs.

But she had legs. Even then, why the contradicting utility!

It will make you a better actor. In the long term, some movie director from Mumbai will pick you up for your excellent acting ! In the short term, you get to drink cold clean water every Sunday

Chachaji’s  wise sounding words echoed through her head.

Chachaji  is always right !  she thought. He must be . He was a good man according to her though her little heart urged her to think otherwise, of a different possibility of Chacha ji’s character.

Hey here come the people!   she sidelined all thoughts as she saw the vehicles approaching the signal. She dragged herself on the crutches, taking extraordinarily well acted care not to let her feet use their muscles. You have to convince them that you are lame! Chachaji used to advise. She went to a taxi, asked for alms and was shooed away.

She stepped back, waited for a few breaths and went back to the same taxi, but from the other side where the shooing man’s wife was sitting. Maa Bhookh lagi hain! she said with the best expression of grief she could possibly conjure up. It worked … the lady took pity and gave her a 5 rupee coin.

 One more triumph! This Sunday, ice water guaranteed ! She thought. She was about to throw her crutches away and dance like that tall beautiful lady she saw on that thing called TV, while hiding under Chachaji’s bed.  What did they call her? Haan ….Katirna or was it Kartina ?? Well ! who cares! Someday I will beat her level of fame …hmmph!  She was victorious! She need not care about insiprations . She was sure she was an incredibly dextrous actress and will continue for that day. She should not be satisfied with one 5 rupee coin. What if she gets three of them or maybe four???

Then three ice water glasses ???  No! She couldn’t be so ambitious. Become like Katirna ? Maybe! But three ice water glasses in one Sunday is impossible. She bit her lips to stop thinking of what she thought were things only the Gods can get. She cursed herself for thinking such things!!

Then she thought of Chachaji, the person who saved her and many kids when they were babies. She didn’t remember her parents at all. Ungrateful people ! Insipte of having such a talented actress for a daughter, they couldn’t take care of her and abandoned her! Only Chachaji the clever person recognized her talent. So did he recognize the talent of other such kids.

All of them would be actors someday.And all of them were to do different roles…. of a blind boy, of a dumb girl etc. And her of a lame girl. The moment passers by gave you coins…. Chacha ji used to say …. it means one more person could nt see through your acting … see thats the way to do it.

To reward the deserving the 15 kids at chachaji’s place used to get a glass of cold water on sunday if they fooled more number of people that week. Which suffices to say they got Chachaji more number of coins.

Suddenly she had a flash. Why give all these coins to Chachaji ? Are not these coins valuable ? And why did Billu the 8 yr old new boy in Chachaji’s acting school lose his eyes last week, when his collection was low, (like in that stupid but famous movie I heard of ) ? The other kids said Billu was so disappointed he couldn’t act like a blind boy properly and hence, gorged out  his own eyes to realistically get into the role play.  But whosever heard of a 8 year old mustering that sort of guts ??? Rumour has it Chacha ji punished him for notbeing able to act ? Oh God ! Is Chachaji good or bad ? Is he just exploiting us with impossible dreams ??? Oh no …

Just then, a car pulled over nearby. A foreigner  who was very tall and pretty looked out. The girl did the crutch act fabulously , perhaps, in her head, even more tragically than a real lame person with crutches. The aura of tragedy must have been perfect in those moments. And these foreigners cetainly have lots of money. Perhaps   the girl thought, I transcended all the barriers of acting perhaps I reached a God level! Perhaps I actually can wish for more glasses of ice water in one Sunday ! Hahaha ….

At that moment, the foreign lady , for lack of any coins on her and for not being used to the coldness of a regular Indian crowd  (who are used to seeing so many beggars) felt an over whelming pang of pity for the lame kid. She took out a 10 rupee note, the lowest denomination she had in her purse and gave it to her with a smile.

I am a Goddess now  she thought . She never caught a 10 rupee note in her life. She could count 1 to 10 in the numbers. Thats pretty much the extent Chachaji taught her. And now she has the highest denomination she could possibly recognize. Only superstars get highest. I am heavenly. I am immortal. I can get three glasses of ice water. Oh no! I am going to burst … she thought.

Then she saw the foreigner tell the driver.The signal is green now. lets go. And then, in what was the funniest way of speaking Hindi (according to the little girl), the foreigner said, Jaldi !Jaldi !! 

Haha! that was funny! I am a superstar now. my fears are baseless. I have done the impossible with my acting skills. I can mock anyone . I am all powerful.    And then she shouted after the foreigner who gave her alms, mocking the former , with a supremely confident  aura , Jaldi!  Jaldi !! And that moment was her moment of arrogance ! Her moment of snobbishness! Her moment of superstardom…

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x THE END x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

The Willow-cork resurrection

Well! India has already been on the world map but with this  .... ” , exclaimed the French gentleman, Monseiur. F.Johnson (who  , as the English would say, knows bullocks  about cricket),  then made a gesture with a fist and shook his hand up and down. Usually accepted to be a gesture which indicates that whatever is being talked about , is the next big thing, it was a terse way to reflect what was going on in the heads of  not just a billion + Indians but the whole planet.  (Inspite of the gesture’s enactment coming this time from a Frenchman  who hasn’t an iota of an idea, does he ? :p But this very act from a cricket-illiterate person shows that the Indian victory transcends in impact beyond the boundaries of the cricketing world or of those who understand the rules of cricket)

Pardon the author’s lethargy in writing about the Indian WC victory a tad too late. But it does take a substantial chunk of time to recover from a happy resurrection (read exponential increase of interest in cricket followed by an explosion of pure pristine joy)

It all happened in the finals of the 2003 cricket WC. India vs Australia. Australia batted first , Ponting the captain made a century and India was nowhere near the run chase from the very start of its innings. As the order crumbled, so did my interest in cricket. I was 16 then.

Now 24, I saw the same situation in the quarterfinals. Aussies were batting first , Ponting hit a century. But the difference! India won 😀 And that was the genesis of an individualistic cricket-frenzy that had been dormant for nearly 8 years ….

The semifinals between India and Pakistan , though pre-match-hyped as one of the greatest matches in WC history was edging on ‘predictable’ , at least towards the last quarter. But it was a happy ending nonetheless.  Also, perhaps because the nation’s premiers were present, the players were behaving themselves a little more than I would care to expect 😉 (read , no dhishum dhishum like in the 1996 quarterfinals)

The finals was good. I know I am understating but I need not say further.  The Srilankan wrist players are like the super posh classy personalities of cricket. Subtle, seemingly harmless, zilch show of machismo, but indomitably powerful in their impact. They did contribute to my BP rising. But it was not exactly a nail biting finish. At least to my newly re born cricketing self , the result was obvious while there were still about 20 overs left in the Indian batting. But well ! Perhaps I was showing irrational complacence, which, thankfully, was not disrupted      😛

Glad India won the World Cup. I am very glad

The MUMBAIkar saga: Episode 10 – ‘Owner’s pride driver’s ride’

Its a peculiar phenomenon , this theatre called Mumbai traffic and its many actors .

Consider this event, that happened in two seperate parts:

Day1

So our nice little protagonist bought a new SUV and was driving in the evening on the Shivaji Park road. A tad too many times, excessive driving caution (in this case, due to driving his new car for the first time)  might lead to traffic guffaws too, as opposed to the general case of rash driving. So he almost bumped into a Karizma guy at the traffic lights. The biker bellowed these words,

‘Abey tum madar chod ameer aadmi log gaadi mat chalao!  Tum owner ho to driver mat ban.Driver ko rakh lo madar chod! (translation: ‘ You rich m****r f****rs should not drive. just becasue you are owner doesnt make you a driver. So get a driver !)

Now our protagonist is a sensitive chap. So he took the words to heart and got a driver. The next day…

Day 2

The driver almost bumped into the karizma guy on shivaji park road . The biker once again bellowed,

‘tum madar chod bhikari driver  log gaadi mat chalao! Baap ka gaadi hain kya. Tum sirf ek driver ho owner nahin.Owner behen chod ko chalane do’

(translation: You m****r f****in beggar-drivers! This is not your car. You are just a driver not the owner.Let the s****r f***in owner drive..’ )

……

amusingly paradoxial 🙂

– Ghost Runner