Search This Blog

Monday, November 22, 2010

Slumdog Billionaire

The Donate-A-Word campaign kicked off on September 8 which was, by the way, International Literacy Day. We collated some 250 items comprising pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks and all things sweet to donate to the slum kids handled by the NGO Adarshmay on Children’s Day. But since 14th November was a Sunday, we decided to celebrate it on 17th November instead. 17th November happened to be Eid as well as my276 husband’s Birthday! So it was more like a triple celebration for the kids. That and it turned out to be one of the most celebrated event of our lives.

Ashish Pawaskar, who runs this NGO, met us at the Govandi Signal from where we were guided inside the little bylanes of Shivaji Nagar. This is where he runs this private school for some slum kids. When he came in his vehicle, jam packed with the kiddos, they were more than just excited to see us. We were warmly welcomed by the all-decked up pack of 11 girls and boys with some happy ‘Hello teacher! Hello miss and Hi Didi’ greetings. My husband Rahul was almost swept inside as they took him in by hand and shook them vigorously to wish him a Happy Birthday. If we were trees and they were monkeys, it would have been a one big happy family!

308The school’s White Board wished us Eid Mubarak and A Happy Birthday to the Birthday boy. We met with Ashish’s wife and the volunteer, Vandana who have been kind enough to lend their lives to this cause. The kids surrounded us, smiling and pushing each other to shake hands, but not even once misbehaving themselves. ‘Teacher my name is Arshad’ said one. I looked up and smiled a Colgate smile. I felt how a Tom Cruise would on the Red Carpet. Elated, touched and all that.

312 The group leaders pulled up a mattress where they all squat – like a choreographed symphony – girls on one end and the guys seated on the other. Then one by one, some came up to showcase their singing or dancing skills. They sang the Scout & Guide bhajans, some Bollywood hits, and got playing Passing the Parcel. I digged the very dainty very cute Thumbelina-like girl who enacted a Fruit Salad poem....guess can’t really recall her name yet. We were on a complete roll. It was touching to see Ayesha, Muskaan, Arshad, the very little Sania and the other 20 plus paltan on a celebratory mood.

 328Finally, before we departed we donated their little kits to them, from the Donate-a-Word campaign. And in turn they donated to us their love, their respect and their favourite toy – Bluey (we just christened it), the big blue beautiful Dolphin. Now that made us feel like Billionaires. Bluey is now ensconced comfortable in our car boot. How I wish the kids were all that lucky too. But they did get a little ride that day in our car, a scarce privilege for them.

As we said goodbye, they again shook hands and waved out. It was touching. Memorable. Made you want to stay back. And when we sped on our way out, it made me feel enriched. Happier. Like some Slumdog Billionaire.

Monday, October 18, 2010

LOL to Khichdi

After almost 10 and a half supposedly funny films ( I walked out during one of them), I finally was in splits when I watched the 'world-best' Khichdi. It was probably the funniest 2 hours I have spent cackling away now and then. Whether it is the 'all-Parminder' family standing in line to recieve a phone or the Farah Khan shoot scene, the film has stayed true to its flavour.
Made into a full fledged film after a huge success of the teleserial Instat Khichdi, what I liked about the movie is that the script has retained the original flavour of the characters. It is always a risk to adapt an original masterpiece into a different format - whether it is the adaptation of the Mahabharata by Rajneeti or Instant Khichdi for Khichdi. The success of the film means that the fans associated with the film as much as they loved the original teleserial. And they way it has been crafted in a breezy,unconventionally Khichdi style, without getting crass, is simply delightful.
When the half-baked Parekh family goes to fulfill Hansa's father's last wish, the entire Chakravyuh of comical chaos turns loose. Himanshu is about get happily married when he realises that his wish is have a dramatic filmy the family, under the leadership of the ever-scheming Jayshree, conspire to villainise their own man in the eyes of his fiancee (Parminder),her brother (Parminder), her Bhabhi (Parminder), her Dadaji (Parminder), and the rest up and down the family tree, so that they break the marriage. And in the end they would reunite like the typical hero and heroine do in most sagas. Thus begin the ludicrous plots, cracker dialogues, headless hollers and timely humour.
Mind you, if you are not a regular viewer of Hansa and Praful's idiocacies, or Himanshu's culinary capers, you might find this a tad silly. Otherwise Khichdi is a complete riot. Wonder what if your uncle booked you wedding venue in China instead of your own city, just because the name was the same? Or he turned an experienced lawyer into a confused Sunny Deol? Imagine a Hansa playing dumb charades as a lawyer to defend  her brother from a murder case. Andof course, imagine singing a 'Beedi jalaile' spoof bhajan in a Funeral meeting All this can only happen in Khichdi. And enjoyed. Suppak comedy Boss!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Name is Bond. Ruskin Bond.

20 Aug 2010: : As a kid, The Rain in the Mountains is one of the first books of Ruskin Bond which I gobbled up during a Summer vacation. Then came the Train to Deoli, One Night at Shaamli, The Room on the Roof …and ever since I devoured these, it has been a childhood dream to meet this Man who writes this beautiful. And when I met him in his fair flesh and blood at the Vodafone Crossword Awards 2009, I was thrilllllllled. His ever-smiling face, the rotund belly, the gentle persona makes him even cuter. As the chief guest and judge, his presence completely awed the daylights out of me.

It’s not just his books which get me to love him, but the fact that its his inspirational soulful writing which kindled the passion for writing in me. And today, I am a writer. If Gandhi was the Father of our Nation, I hold Bond as the Father of Writing. His simple smoothie style, the play of words, and the disarming humour he manifests in his style make his works simply yummy. Till date I have never hurried to get a celeb autograph in my life – nope, not even Aamir, when I was younger. But it is Ruskin who is the real Bond. So then from the last rows of NCPA where I was seated, I rushed towards the stage, almost ignoring the other people smiling at me, as they walked by…I approached him amidst the other eager fansm handed him my little handmade paper diary and thankfully he obliged. Wish he could have struskin bond0001ayed longer, and the people accompanying him were a wee lesser possessive of him :) But what matters is those two words he scribbled in my book which I shall treasure all my life – Ruskin Bond’ 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blogging for Change

The IndiMum blogger meet today did well for us. For bloggers, un-bloggers alike. The agenda could have been tighter involving more people to talk, but the debate about ‘blogging for the next level’ brought some meat.

The good thing about blogging is that it has comfortably slipped in line as a new dissemination medium. We recognise blogs and bloggers and their written word. We take us seriously. The debatable issue about ‘blogging versus journalism’ is quite like that endless Indian law trial, so we choose to leave it at that. What’s important is now taking this phenomenon of blogging to its rightful cadre – as a powerful medium of change.

Blogging as 3 advantages to it:

a) It is a youthful medium, the medium of tomorrow

b) It travels lightning fast, without commercial influence

c) The written word is more powerful and permanent

So, as a blogger community, keeping aside the journalistic tendencies, I believe we have the power to influence people at an individual level, then at a society level. It is a medium of interactive conversations, debates, opiniating – thus INVOLVEMENT of the reader. And if the reader is involved in forming the opinion, he/she might as well be the evangelist.

Most importantly, whatever we write about, we mean to influence readers. We mean to make perceptions, form opinions. So as a blogger if you are empowered to do so, why not use it for a positive change? Writing about relevant issues and translating these into ACTION down the line.

Feel for the Bhopal Victims? Well, blog about it, create a community and fight for justice with your readers’ support. Mad about CWG? Post your opinion, garner support and send out your letters to the Ministry. Maybe go meet them. Hate those potholed roads? Talk to those car owners, pedestrian friends and other spirited friends through your blog and unify them through an offline campaign targetting the administration.

The power of blogging is immense. As responsible, tired and frustrated citizens, its time we channelise the energy into Action through our words. And the first step is blogging about it. So, my dear blogger friends - Keep Blogging.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Peoplee Live

A good watch on the eve of Independence Day. Peepli Live, is a lash of heavy sarcasm on the people of India. On her junta, her politicians, her media and their myopic materialism which leaves the nation in shreds.

The plight of an Indian farmer expressed through the lens of fitting humour. The plot contains the self evinced suicidal plans of a farmer, in lieu of compensation, which catch the fancy of the political and media clowns. Thus emerges a circus of overdramatic journos, bureacratic babus and pathetic police people being used by the narcissistic netas for vested interests.  The naivety of a meagre land owner – Natthu - who has almost lost his land owing to debt, stands out bizarre as the conniving opportunists try to make hay as well as get the sun to shine, where the hay is the benefits of TRPs and vote banks, and the sun is the suicide. The over sensationalising of everything – right from Natthu’s shit to his suicide is used as a breaking news story and to pass the buck.

There is technically nothing wrong with the film – a heavily sarcastic treatment of the common problem of India – over-materialism, politics and mass corruption, using the background of farmers’ suicide. Good actors, simple storyline, a plug in of humour makes the film an interesting watch.

Though, it fails to re-create a Lagaan or Rang De Basanti – both films with a greater purpose. Peepli too had the potential to strike a bigger message home, to put fire under our asses, to inspire us enough to act on it – but somehow it ends a bit bland and less dramatic. But yes it does provoke us to think what kind of a nation we are, what kind of people we are.

Just hope that we all take back something more than just a few giggles on funny situations. Farmer suicides are not a joke, mind you.

Reporting for Peepli Live. Over.

3on5 for this film.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

5 Secrets of Good Writing

What drives a writer to write? The greatest pleasure of writing is in the appreciation. But are we really doing good enough to earn their applause? Creativity without appreciation is like a word misspelt- it feels incomplete, it feels wrong. Passion is not the only thing BROKEN PENCIL needed to write nowadays. Neither is talent. It is the channelisation of these aspects, with a fine balance of a few secret ingredients which help in making your writing look good. Here are some secrets to Good Writing which I would like to share:

Secret #1: If you enjoyed writing it, your reader would enjoy reading it.

Secret #2: Write not with the heart, but with fire in the belly

Secret#3: Focus on adding value, not vocabulary

Secret#4: The right spirit is more important than the right language

Secret #5: Respect the language you are writing in. If you don’t like your name being spelt wrong, why spell any word wrong?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I Hated Love Stories - A fugly film

I am much calmer now. I lost my balance (of kind) in the first precise 3 minutes of the film reeling.

If I have to describe this joke of a film, it would be ‘characterless’. It felt that the filmmakers got up every morning, decided the script for that day without a shower and set out to shoot. So much so that the film now reeks of narcissism. A mish-mash-mush of his own, and Yash Chopra’s, Farhan Akhtar’s erstwhile pink-red films, this unbearably hackneyed plot is a shocking revelation of Kjo’s low IQ on good stories.

What the film shows - Guy doesn’t believe in love, sees girl  likes her, girl is almost engaged to someone else, guy flirts with her, she falls for him, he is confused, she is heartbroken, decides to get married to the original fiancee, he realises overnight he loves her, rushes to tell her, she is now confused, decides to turn down her fiancee and finally the 2 meet. I think except in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kal Ho Na Ho, Hum Tum, Mere Yaar ki Shaadi Hai, Dil Chahta Hai, Dilwale Dulhaniya, Dil to Pagal Hai and just a few hundred dozen other films, we haven’t seen a story so enchanting elsewhere. And of course, the yummy mummy who rescues the adult sonny from dopes of depression with an emoshioanlly touching ‘go-get-her’ filibuster. How original. Maybe he wanted to take a take at the typical love stories. Instead he ended up taking a take on himself?

Ok, here’s another hilarious touch to the film. The radio ka love guru’s continuous references to ‘sex’ as a solution for love. Funny na. No, ‘fugly’ na? Of course, sex is a 3 lettered word which gets children in giggles, so since we are 6 year old’s chewing popcorn watching the ‘con’, this is bound to be mightily funny for us. Please do not forget to laugh for courtesy’ sake..they have researched day and night on that one with the youth of India. Ah ah and the part where homosexual humour is used as a punch. I think everyone except KJo were straight….- faced then. That’s because he won’t have any face left na after the film bombs na. What? No…I didn’t mean that…tch. Though what is his obsession with SRK? He turned a charming Sameer Soni into a proxy Khan.

No complaints about the actors. They managed to make a copy paste film seem different.

The other good thing about the film is it works as a good food guide – with so many parties and watering holes and eating joints being thrown at our face. Enough to send Jughead in a tizzy.

Dialogues - Dev Anand’s film score more.

Music – appealing some places.

Direction – you cannot Cover your Ass by directing a bad script

In a nutshell this film can contest with RGV’s Aag or Mayawati’s bra-g to tell the junta –‘jaag’. We ‘hated’ his love story as much as Johar Jr hates good scripts. And then his unit makes a clown of itself. A bad clown which make people frown. Then when the box office crowns thorns, they will pout like a lunatic mahout. That wasn’t a joke now. Makes no sense? Exactly. You got the point.

PS: Didn’t i tell you? Of course, the girl’s name in the film is Simran.

Score: Negative.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Roaches, rodents and Writers

The only similarity these 3 creatures manifest is their nocturnality. I just coined this word dear reader. When a writer types furiously at a recently upgraded laptop in the dead of the night, she can almost coin anything. Including new countries.

So what is this fetish of a writer sitting up into the darker times of the day…probably trying to ‘feel’ like a real writer, or maybe just spinning the yawn- er the yarn…what gives? I for one really prefer the late night shifts when only the Air Conditioner whirs a whir. The little screaming autos, pompous trains and screeching brakes are enjoying eighty winks. The dog barks occasionally when it picks up a funny scent. The International flights roar into the almost black sky. Else everything is quiet enough to write out a book. Or watch a lot of porn. Or email people for work so when they hit their desks at 9 am, the ball is in their court, while you are resting your tired self.

It’s 2.56 am to be precise. Just staring now at my post. And wondering if I  need to relearn the art of writing…or upgrade myself…my writing seems neo-classical already? Ho-humish? To myself though.

So as I write, and try to focus hard, a dozen thoughts attack me….zanier than the scientists of baghdad. Who were they anyways? And a twitching noise gets me…I refuse to pay attention. But the noise gets weirder. Louder. And unnerves me. I look around. Under. Under the chair. The desk. ‘twitch twitch. Twitch Twitch.’ then a slight whisper…is it my imagination or is it for real? Is it because I am writing this or is it that someone ..something…

Anyways, i decide to continue to write. I am a writer after all. And words need to flow like the canary’s song. Smooth. And when they do, all I feel like doing is work the night away. Like all rodents and roaches.

(you know guys, I really got the goosebumps while writing the para before the last one…so i left it at there…i felt a spooky something around me….so no more horror stories at this time of the day. Nope.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

IIFA initiates Celebrity Charity

As the IIFA Award Ceremony draws closer, the green carpet is ready to roll on which will fall the footsteps of our Bollywood Bigwigs. The unpretentious glitz to which every cinema-lover succumbs to, has spread the limelight of Indian cinema around the world. Like say, the Cannes or the New York film festival, the IIFA Awards has surpassed the domestic cinema awards, taking Indian cinema beyond its conventional realms.

This year spells something quite ‘heartening’ about IIFA. As Sri Lanka gets ready to host this mega-magical event, IIFA takes a beautiful gift for them, like any gracious guest would.  IIFA has established a Charity initiative to raise funds for adopting and rebuilding a refugee village to rehabilitate the locals in Sri Lanka and look after their literacy as well. A charity celebrity cricket match is on the anvil in association with the Sri Lankan Cricket Board to collect funds for the child soldiers – quite a smart idea, knowing that cricket is a common thread between the two neighbours. Salman is the ‘wanted’ ambassador to the charity initiative- clap clap.

So the power of glamour and cinema synergises to bring forth a positive change and transform the lives of many poor people,who are currently living in dismal conditions. The conditions brought about by the terrible violent situations where the residents lived a life of hell and anger. How a simple idea can be made so powerful - a beautiful thought to showcase the beautiful side of Bollywood.

From Sri 420 to Sri Lanka, IIFA encapsulates the entirety of Indian Cinema and presents it on the global stage for the world to watch. So watch out again for the IIFA Award this year as the curtain raises in June 2010.

For more details, here’s the link for a dekko:



What I yet don’t understand is why does Bollywood do a merry go round everytime they make a film? They go roundabout in colourful circles and return to the same point. What is so new about 2 people realising they love each other and cheat on their respective fiancees and run away (thrashing their chances of inheriting millions for true love – double bah) leaving a scent deliberately to be found. Is this generation really this stupid? Love apart, there is a smarter way of eloping.

Kites is a dino’soar’us film based on a super cliche theme with a ludicrous close to the saga. A ‘what could have been a better’ film gone waste – good actors, beautiful locales, good direction, lovely cinematography, a svelte new heroine – all down the Bollywood drain…just coz the story was made like a Chinese Kite flying on an Indian manjaa – it will never bear the weight and there goes the film – snap!

The plot does get interesting in bits and pieces and the film is not a bad make, but after all that hoopla you do not want the film to fall flat in the end. Like Hrithik soaring downward into the waters, the film’s end too falls flat – nosediving the climax to a funny ending. No wonder people literally laughed and left the theatres even before the credits appeared.

Not trying to give the movie away – so though I did not like the way it all ended, I cannot say it’s completely a bad film – but nothing new to expect..its a typical love-story –cum- chase film…gets gripping at some places but no novelty.

Look out for a the good chemistry between Hrithik (he looks like a dream) and Barbara. Them falling in love without knowing each other’s language is a nice add but grossly underused in the film- what could have been one of the key plotpoints has been completely overlooked. Music is strictly okay – but the Spanish background score is decent and used well at places.

Action sequences are okay, but the texture of the film is inconsistent. The screenplay is good, but hey- where’s the story?

All I can say to the filmmakers is  - ‘ Go fly a Kite’. 2.5 on 5 for KITES.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Power.ful Event Pitch

PPT is a bad word in the Event Industry. But it fetches business. Almost half of our careers are spent in scratching our heads as to which word to use in the 4th line of the 35th slide. After a lot of brainstorming and seat warming, when we trundle to the client’s office for that Big Pitch – struggling to meet deadlines and still punching in ideas minutes before the meeting – the momPresentation Killsent of truth dawns. Either we make or break the pitch.                

It is not just beautiful ideas and competitive costs which make a pitch. It is the ‘presentation’ of the ideas which is equally important. How much effort and thinking has gone into it, have you been lazy or worked hard around it? 

What makes a good PPT? Ask yourself the basic questions:

  • Is your PPT well structured or haphazard?
  • Are the thoughts flowing in logical sequence?
  • Is it equipped with relevant visuals and designs?
  • Is it too short or too long?
  • Does it have relevant content explained clearly?

….and the list goes on.

Why is it important to have a good Powerpoint?

  • Simply because a good PPT is quite influential in getting an entry into the consideration set of your potential client while he is shortlisting his choice of agencies.
  • The Powerpoint is the first impression you portray about your company, its values, its thinking abilities. The neatness of your slides tells a lot about how your company executes the event. The clarity talks about the planning skills. The brevity depicts the efficiency.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


May 12

What I really like about Iron Man is its believable logic of superhuman tendencies - viz technology. And the way the world is turning towards a tech-era. it wont be long before the globe can use technology to run on its own axis!

IRONMAN With glam gizmos and holographical  calculations, Iron Man 2 is a perfect example of a neo-technological revolution which makes your fantasies run wild, but believable. Artificial intelligence combined with chemistry makes for perfect logic. Though the plot is outstretched and less gripping than its predecessor, it has evolved. Stark's character makes the film worthwhile. The awesome situation of the Grand Prix is a thriller, but that probably is the best part of it all. This one has too many little plots weaved in to create a climax - unlike part1 which focussed on that one big climax.

The role of IronMan as the hero was quite diminished as Stark got more limelight. His stakes in this film are minimal, except his Father's oracle of making everything possible using technology. The plot thins out otherwise. Dialogues are smirky. The action is decent, though less thrilling.

All in all, if you fancy the techno-hero, IronMan tops it all. The concept in itself is so powerful that a lesser plot might not do much damage. We all wait for Iron Man 3 now.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

+or once i decded to try postig sumthung from my flashy new N97. it is soemthign else for a wrieter who tyupes at a sped of .. er... ok a very high speed, to be hoding the 6inch screen and trying to type with the same panache. with the finegrs falling all over the place n trying to keep pace with the pressure of posting this in nxtfive mins. coz i got a film to watxh now. so typos are forgiven. anyways its the sms age. plus v are quite hybrid at languages. wow igot tht right smiley. symbols r a pain to type in. ScoZ evry smiley is 4keys puunched in.SO tHEN OOpS THE CApS LoCK "bHAVES ABNORMAL.  NoW WHT DID I JUST PRESSS SHUXKS. SO tHATS  THT NW I GTG. ALL FOR THE wORLD. GOTO FIGURE THIS ONE OUT.MAN.
blogger template by arcane palette