The Common Man Speaks

23Apr/1127

Happy Birthday Sachin. A Poem For You!

By: Keyur Seta

Over the years, Sachin Tendulkar's huge number of fans, including me, have expressed their respect and gratitude towards him in every special manner on April 24 each year. Hence, I ran out of ideas to express my respect for him on his birthday. So, I decided to pen a poem for the God of cricket.

In the poem I have stated how fortunate we are to grow up along with Sachin's career. Here it goes:

Unki Karamaton Ne Kiya Jawan

Jab se paon sambhale humne zameen par,
Unhone paon jamaye khel ke maidan par,
Chalne lage hum duniya samajne,
Ve chalne lage apni takdeer banane,

Hue bade to museebaten badhi,
Unhe bhi tikaon ki badhaen nadi,
Bhagwan dilate humen museebaton se chhutkara,
Unhone tikaon ko balle se de mara

Apekshaon ke boj se jab hum thak jate,
Un par ladi sau karod apekshaon ko dekhte,
Ve jab dete apekshaon ko hathiyar mein badal,
Prerna lekar hum karte us par amal

Hue hum jawan unke vikas ke samantar,
Rahega is baat ka garv humen jeevanbhar,
Usi garv se dete hai aapko varshganth pe salam,
Vishvabhar mein ooncha rahen sadaiva aapka naam

22Apr/115

Dum Maaro Dum Movie Review

Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu, Rana Daggubati, Prateik Babbar, Aditya Panscholi

Director: Rohan Sippy

Music: Pritam, R D Burman

Producers: Ramesh Sippy Entertainment, Fox Star Studios

Ratings: * * ½

Let’s face it: there is a dearth of quality crime thrillers in Bollywood since very long. But with the arrival of Dum Maaro Dum and its impressive promos, it seemed that the vacancy will be filled. The film has an interesting story and is gripping most of the times only to mess up in the climax. Hence, the vacancy is still not filled.

In Goa, Lorry (Prateik) fails to get a scholarship at a US university but his girlfriend gets through easily. Lorry is eager to be with his girlfriend in the US but is way short of funds. So he agrees to deliver a drug consignment in the US in order to earn a thick sum in a short time. Lorry is forced by his friend Joki (Rana Daggubati) against walking on the dreaded path but to no avail. Long before that, Zoe (Bipasha) had unwillingly become a part of the drug mafia as she had agreed to deliver drugs in order to fulfill her dream of becoming an air-hostess.

Meanwhile, ACP Vishnu Kamath (Abhishek Bachchan) is given the task of uprooting drug mafia from Goa. Kamath comes face-to-face with a big name in the field of drugs – Lorsa Biscuita. However, Kamath doesn’t have a proof against him. He soon gets to know that the man behind the whole scene is Michael Barbosa. But who is Barbosa? Nobody from the police force has seen him.

Director Rohan Sippy deserves praise for the way he has filmed the story. Sleek style, apt colour print, fast narration, jazzy camerawork, witty dialogues and a powerful background score make for an interesting viewing. However, it’s Shridhar Raghvan’s story and the screenplay (in the second half) that’s not up to the mark.

The scenario is build up very well in the first half but the writing loses some grip in the second.  Also the re-appearance of the characters’ dark past wasn’t needed. But those aren’t the biggest problems. The biggest letdown is the climax where Abhishek’s character is sidelined and it is not revealed how the mystery is solved! Even the suspense about Barbosa is far from satisfying.

Pritam’s music is nothing much to talk about. The most important title track, a classic from R D Burman, is ripped apart in the remix by adding some ugliest of words possible. Even Deepika Padukone’s forced hot avatar doesn’t help it.

Abhishek Bachchan is having a dreadful run at the box-office but has been giving good performances. In DMD, he gives his best performance in a long time. He shows concrete toughness as an ACP and at the same time is wonderful in emotional scenes. Clearly an under-rated actor in today’s times!

Rana Daggubati makes a confident debut. Although an actor like him deserves a meatier role, he manages well. Bipasha Basu achieves perfection playing a troubled character. Prateik Babbar shows maturity but his character just doesn’t look like a 17-year old. It’s a joke!

Aditya Panscholi is good as a villain and so is Govind Namdeo as Abhishek’s assistant. Muzammil S. Qureshi, another debutant, does well and has a good sense of humour.

Overall, Dum Maaro Dum fails to make use of the opportunity of being a quality crime thriller. At the box-office, the film has a chance of earning well in the metros.

16Apr/113

Taryanche Bait Movie Review

Director: Kiran Yadnyopavit

Cast: Sachin Khedekar, Ashwini Giri, Ishaan Tambe, Asmita Joglekar, Shubhangi Joshi

Music: Nandu Ghanekar

Producers: Friday Filmworks, Ekta Kapoor and Neeraj Pandey

Ratings: * * * ½

By: Keyur Seta

Ever seen a father urging God to make sure his son doesn't come first in the class? Such is the novelty in the tale of director Kiran Yadnyopavit’s Taryanche Bait that it bewilders you but at the same time also moves you because of its hardcore simplicity.

This simple tale is about a simple man called Shreedhar Surve, working as a clerk in the gram panchayat unit of a village. Although he is not rich, he leads a satisfying life with wife Indira (Ashwini Giri), two kids – Omkar (Ishaan Tambe) and Meera (Asmita Joglekar) and his mother played by Shubhangi Joshi. Shreedhar’s office duties compel him to visit Mumbai frequently.

For one such prolonged trip, he takes his wife and kids to the city. Over there, Omkar becomes adamant in staying in a five star hotel but, naturally, Shreedhar can’t afford. After returning to their village, Omkar asks Shreedhar whether he will take him to the five star hotel if he tops the examination. As Shreedhar is sure Omkar can never top the exams, he agrees for it. This motivates Omkar to study hard to such an extent that he actually tops in the class, leaving Shreedhar in a pickle.

A well made simple film is always rich in story (Saurabh Bhave) and Taryanche Bait is no exception. Plus, the screenplay by Bhave, Kiran and Shailesh Dupare hooks you to the story right from the very first scene. All the small nuances of village life are taken care of beautifully. There are a number of sequences that will stay etched in your memory for years to come. Some of these include:

  • Shreedhar’s interaction with the idol of Lord Ganesh.
  • Shreedhar promising Omkar to take him to a five star hotel in Mumbai.
  • An over-excited Omkar revealing to Shreedhar about him topping in the exams.
  • Shreedhar’s struggle in fulfilling his promise.
  • Pre-climax and the climax.

Although the climax appears perfect and touching, it could have been framed in a different way. Nevertheless, it works well and is appealing.

The writing coupled with Kiran’s direction makes the movie a well furnished product. He also makes the whole cast deliver top-notch performances.  In fact, looking at the mature way in which Kiran has handled the subject, it is very difficult to believe that this is his debut film. After earning a name in the Marathi drama arena and as a film writer, he is sure to excel as a director as well.

The editing also deserves special mention for the tight length of the film (less than two hours).

Sudhir Palsane’s artistic cinematography captures the village with perfection while Nandu Ghanekar’s tuneful music and some simple yet powerful dialogues also add to the plus points.

Sachin Khedekar is one of the respected names in the Marathi film industry and he lives up to his image in this movie. After Mee Shivajiraje Bhosle Boltoy, he once again delivers a performance which deserves a standing ovation. The way he shows helplessness and tries everything possible to fulfill his promise shows the class of a genius. In my personal opinion, he is one of the finest actors India has ever produced.

Ishaan Tambe is wonderful in the role of an adamant kid while Ashwini Giri, Asmita Joglekar do well too. Other supporting actors Kishor Kadam, Jaywant Wadkar, Vinay Apte and Shashank Shende offer good support.

Overall, Taryanche Bait is one of the most touching and simplest films to have come in a long time. At the box-office, the film will surely earn good collections.

16Apr/112

So Much Turmoil For Justice!

A wave of joy and relief went through the people of India when social worker Binayak Sen was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Friday April 15. This is a reason to rejoice as there had been lots of people protesting against the life imprisonment granted to him. But is this really a matter of pride for us?

First and the foremost, Sen should not have been arrested and worst, should not have been charged wrongly for sedition. The whole fallacy throws a lot of questions on our judiciary system and our so-called democracy. It took hundreds of social workers, NGOs and common people to come together in order to grant justice for Sen.

Just last week, the Jan Lokpal Bill got a green signal but only after the whole of India supported Anna Hazare and showed its protest against the government in all possible ways. And we still remember the kind of huge protests that were required to punish the culprits in the Jessica Lal murder case, which was about a murder that was witnessed by around 300 people.

And coming back to Sen, he has just received bail. I am wondering what kind of protest will be required to drag Sen fully out of the mess.

So the obvious question is – Will justice be done only when the whole of India madly protests against the culprits or the system? If the answer is yes, may God bless our system, which cannot give the basic right of justice on its own.

10Apr/112

The war is not over, it’s just begun…

I always wished I was born much before the 1980s so that I could have witnessed our great leaders fighting against the British for our country’s independence. Not just witnessing, I could have even taken part in the battle. I always felt deprived of the actual feeling of fighting for the country. I knew I could never experience this.

However, an act of bravery by a 73 year old Anna Hazare, of fasting unto death for the passing of Jan Lokpal Bill, and the way it awakened the patriotic zeal in the whole of India gave me an experience of our freedom struggle. The stubborn way in which the senior citizen stood up against our villainous government and the subsequent support it received from people of all walks of life, made me experience the feeling I always longed for.

It also proves that all you need to fight is rock solid determination instead of a toned muscular body. Such was his determination that it shook the Congress government and gave them sleepless nights.

It was indeed a triumphant moment for the nation when the government accepted the demands of Hazare. Truly a victory for Hazare and the common man of India. However, I am a bit taken aback by the celebrations that took place in almost each and every part of India. The way jubilant supporters went all out on the streets celebrating made it look as if corruption is wiped out entirely from India.

We should not forget that the Jan Lokpal Bill is yet to be passed. Although Congress has assured about it, you just can’t trust them at face value. We will have to make sure that the bill is actually passed before August 15, 2011. After that, even a bigger challenge awaits us – to see that the anti-corruption act is implemented and the corrupt leaders and politicians are awarded the strictest of punishments.

So right now, we have just won the first round and the actual war against the blood-sucking government has just begun. And if the people of India show the same determination and zeal they have shown in the last 6 days, the war will surely have fruitful results for us. I say surely because it will be fought by the common man, who can be deadlier than any weapon of mass destruction!

10Apr/112

First Film Titled FALTU Released in 2005

Vashu Bhagnani's youth oriented film F.A.L.T.U starring Jackky Bhagnani and debutant Pooja Gupta and directed by first timer Remo D'Souza is making waves because of its unusual and faadoo title. However, hardly few people remember or are aware of the fact that this is not the first film with such a title. A film titled Faltu had released in 2005. Unfortunately, because of the arty subject and a lack of publicity, the movie just went unnoticed. But I still remember watching the promos of the 2005 film many number of times.

The 2005 film was Bengali filmmaker Anjan Das' first Hindi film and it starred Yash Pandit and Manjari Phadnis in the lead. Well-known Bengali actors Soumitra Chatterjee and Indrani Haldar were also a part of the cast. The film was based on well-known Bengali writer Syed Mustafa Siraj's novel Ranirghater Brittanto.

The story deals with a 20 year old boy called Faltu (Pandit) from the village of Ranirghat who is in love with Tuktuki (Phadnis). Faltu was born after a series of men raped a mentally retarded woman Suri Khepi (Haldar). A census order by the government forces Faltu to search his father. Little did Faltu know that the truth with shatter his as well as Tuktuki's life forever.

A look at the posters of both the movies:

8Apr/110

Thank You Movie Review

Thank You Movie Review

Rating: 2 out of 5

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Irfan Khan, Bobby Deol, Suniel Shetty, Sonam Kapoor, Rimi Sen, Celine Jaitley

Director: Anees Bazmee

Music: Pritam

Producers: UTV Motion Pictures, Hari Om Productions

 

Expectations from Anees Bazmee’s Thank You were limited because of the extra-marital affair theme which is done to death in Bollywood, promos which failed to create much excitement and lastly because memories of Bazmee’s last flick No Problem, which was a dud has still not disappeared from audience’s minds. And as expected, Thank You doesn’t succeed in being a non-stop interesting entertainer although some well-written witty dialogues and Irfan Khan’s lovable performance make it a watchable affair.

The central idea of the movie is based on just one premise – all men are dogs who can go any heights to cheat their wives. In this case, they are Raj Malhotra (Bobby Deol), Vikram (Irfan Khan) and Yogi (Suniel Shetty), close friends and colleagues who are habitual in cheating their wives Sanjana (Sonam Kapoor), Karthika (Rimi Sen) and Radha (Celina Jaitley), and having fun with other girls. After suspecting Raj for having an extra-marital affair, Sanjana hires Kishan (Akshay Kumar), who specializes in exposing cheating husbands and solving an extra-marital affair. What follows is a crazy turn of events which leads onto an unexpected climax.

Bazmee uses his old formula of presenting exotic foreign locations, creating slapstick humour in crazy situations, adding jazzy music and background score and adding lots of spice (exposure) in order to create large doses of entertainment. In Thank You, his formula works but only in parts. Although the writing (Bazmee, Rajiv Kaul, Rajan Agarwal, Nisar Akhtar and Ikram Akhtar) gives rise to a number of jaw-dropping sequences, it loses grip regularly, especially in the last 30 minutes where emotional scenes are thrown up which just don’t gel with the nature of the film. And the mystery about Akshay Kumar’s character appears silly.

Dialogues here are the biggest strong point and they act as a saving grace. Ravi Yadav’s cinematography is another plus point. Pritam does a decent job as a music director by providing tracks like Pyaar Do Pyaar Lo and Razia.

Irfan Khan deserves thumbs up for a mature comic act which even succeeds in keeping the interest alive even when things aren’t that interesting. In fact, his is coming is the backbone of the film. Although Akshay Kumar has appeared in a number of comic capers, he gets to do something different here. His act will satisfy his fans. Bobby Deol’s performance ranges between good to average. Suniel Shetty succeeds in being funny but looks uncomfortable in few sequences.

Of all the three actresses, Rimi Sen impresses the most and also looks beautiful. Sonam Kapoor grows as an actress although she doesn’t achieve that much perfection. Celina Jaitley’s character mysteriously disappears after the interval. Anyways, she was just forgetful.

The big relief with Thank You is that it is anytime better than No Problem. Watch it if you have nothing to do and just wish to while away time. At the box-office, the movie has some chance as such mindless comedies have had a good history at the ticket window in recent years.

7Apr/110

Government Apathetic at Hazare’s Condition?

It is a matter of deep shame for the government that 73 year old Anna Hazare is forced to protest by fasting unto death for the approval of Jan Lokpal Bill, something that is highly in favour of the people of India. The bill gives the power to the people to prosecute politicians and bureaucrats without the permission from the government (Wikipedia). The bill can be the common man’s answer to corruption

Poor Hazare is into his third day of fasting. So, why the Manmohan Singh led Congress government isn’t accepting the bill if it is so much in favour of the people? Ironically, the fact that the bill is so much in favour of the common man, as it can give him the power to prosecute any corrupt politician, is precisely the reason why the government isn’t passing it. It is obvious that if the bill is passed, the Congress itself will feel the heat since all of us are aware of the level of corruption in congress.

Having said that, it will be wrong to think that only Congress are in it. Not almost but all political parties are deeply into corruption and they all can face the heat if the bill is passed.

With support for Hazare coming from people from all walks of life including the common man, filmstars, corporates, cricketers, etc, the whole of India is waiting in anticipation as to what will the government do. If the government agrees to pass a revised version of the bill, Hazare will not accept and rightly so. And if the government agrees to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill as it is, it will be one of the most defining events in the history of India.

And God forbid if anything happens to Hazare, there will be such an outcry that the government can’t even imagine in their wildest of dreams. So in both ways, Hazare has trapped Congress government and we all are with him. After all, he is doing it for us, the youth of India!

7Apr/112

An Open Letter To Shahid Afridi

(Not dear anymore) Shahid Afridi,

Your anti-India statements have triggered uproar in India against you. Although I am also angry with you, I also found your comments funny. Funny because it came from someone like you who has never been a wholehearted human being. Your antics on the field are a proof of it.

You have immense batting talent. Your world record of fastest century in one-day internationals is a proof of it. However, you got badly carried away by the success and started believing you can hit every ball for a six. This started your downfall as you started gaining more interest in hitting sixes, in your personal strike rate rather than your team’s victory. If you were really a wholehearted person, you would have batted according to the need of your team instead of just going out there with the only mission to hit sixes and in the process making a fool of your batting talent. In 90% of your innings, you have just needlessly thrown away your wicket. With the bat, you average just in the early 20s.

Over the years, as a bowler, you have started having an illusion that it is absolutely impossible for a batsman to hit you for a four or a six. Whenever a batsman does that, you react in a manner as if the batsman robbed your house. People around the world have witnessed you abusing batsmen after they hit you around the park. If you were truly wholehearted, you would have got the batsman out using your bowling skills rather than getting furious on the batsman and being a spoilsport.

Not just that, you always come up with all kinds of unsporting methods like excessive appealing to disturb the rhythm of the batsmen. And who can forget your worldly infamous ball chewing incident? (Still talking about wholeheartedness, Shahid?)

After your team’s sad exit from the world cup (when they lost to India in the semi-final), you were seen with a broad grin on your face during the post match presentation. In fact, your smile was wider than the winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. This speaks volumes about your wholeheartedness as it shows that such an important loss doesn’t mean anything to you.

Time and again, whenever anyone receives a backslash from the world, he or she blames it on the media. You did the same thing after receiving criticisms from Indians and even Pakistani ex-players. Hence, you have made a bigger fool of yourself by making a U-turn for your comments.

I have some very good friends in Pakistan. By interacting with them, it is evident that the common man from your country has high respect for Indians. I advice to get some piece of mind from your countrymen.  The above mentioned point openly proves your wholeheartedness. Hence, you, a ball chewer, are not at all eligible to comment on Indians.

4Apr/110

World Cup 2011: Important Part of our Lives’ Summary

All of us who are born after 1983 or were too young to remember anything of that period, have only heard stories from our elders about India’s remarkable World Cup victory in that year or at the most, have seen footages of the final between India and West Indies.

Although by listening to the stories and watching the highlights years back, we were able to imagine the triumphant feeling that the country must have experienced back then but we were devoid of the actual feeling of the live moment when the country achieves the feat of lifting the World Cup.

Come April 2, 2011 and we were able to have a firsthand experience of what it actually means to rule the world when Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit Nuvan Kulsekara for a six over his head. I jumped out of my chair like I have never jumped before ever (Thank God for my height else my head would have hit the fan!). And that’s not all. I even clapped on the table few times. The scene gave a jolt to my family as I have always been someone who controls his reactions, but who the hell cares? We have the cup that counts! I am sure even others, like me, will have fond memories of what they did when the six was hit.

The final victory, twists and the important happenings of the match, players’ performances, tension when India lost two openers and the rest of the matches of the series are going to be a part of our discussion for the rest of our lives. The visuals of our team celebrating after the victory, Sachin being lifted on the players’ shoulders and the celebrations across our countries are going to remain permanently in our eyes forever. Unintentionally, we might even by-heart the scorecard of the final (see below).

In the future, no matter how many important events happen with us or how much we achieve in our lives, many years later if we ever decide to write the summary of our lives, India’s 2011 World Cup victory will be an important part of it.

 

Scoreboard of the ICC World Cup 2011 Final: -

 Sri Lanka innings
 U. Tharanga  c Sehwag b Khan            2
 T. Dilshan  b Harbhajan Singh          33
 K. Sangakkara  c Dhoni b Yuvraj Singh  48
 M. Jayawardene  not out               103
 T. Samaraweera  lbw b Yuvraj Singh     21
 C. Kapugedera  c Raina b Khan           1
 N. Kulasekara   run out                32
 T. Perera  not out                     22
 Extras (b 1 lb 3 w 6 nb 2)             12
 Total (for six wickets; 50 overs)     274
 Fall of wickets: 1-17 2-60 3-122 4-179 5-182 6-248
 Did not bat: L. Malinga, S. Randiv, M. Muralitharan 
 Bowling: Z. Khan 10-3-60-2 (1w), S Sreesanth 8-0-52-0 (2nb),
M. Patel 9-0-41-0 (1w), Harbhajan Singh 10-0-50-1 (1w), Yuvraj
Singh 10-0-49-2,  S. Tendulkar 2-0-12-0 (3w), V. Kohli 1-0-6-0
 India innings
 V. Sehwag lbw b Malinga                  0
 S. Tendulkar c Sangakkara b Malinga     18
 G. Gambhir b Perera                     97
 V. Kohli c & b Dilshan                  35
 MS Dhoni not out                        91
 Yuvraj Singh not out                    21
 Extras: (b-1, lb-6, w-8)                15
 Total: (for four wickets, 48.2 overs)  277
 Fall of wickets: 1-0 2-31 3-114 4-223
 Did not bat: S. Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, S.
Sreesanth, M. Patel.
 Bowling: Malinga 9-0-42-2 (2w), Kulasekara 8.2-0-64-0,
Perera 9-0-55-1 (2w), Randiv 9-0-43-0, Dilshan 5-0-27-1 (1w),
Muralitharan 8-0-39-0 (1w)