The Common Man Speaks


Review: Asa Mee Ashi Tee (Marathi Movie)

Director: Atul Kamlakar Kale

Producer: Usha Satish Salvi for Shree Swami Samarth Pictures

Writers: Sachit Patil, Atul Kamlakar Kale and Ashish Raikar

Cast: Sachit Patil, Pallavi Subhash, Mansi Salvi, Atul Kale, Bharat Dabholkar, Shoma Anand, Anuja Sathe

Music: Amitraj

Genre: Romance/ Drama

Rating: * * *

By: Keyur Seta

Story Outline: Siddharth aka Sid (Sachit Patil) seems to be living a happy life with his son Mihir (Atharva Bedekar). But deep inside, he is trying to come to terms with the loss of his beloved wife Rhea (Mansi Salvi). Fate brings Akshara into his life through a business venture. Slowly, their relation becomes less professional and more personal. Unknown to Sid, the heavenly custodian of fate Shambhu Maharaj (Bharat Dabholkar) and his disciples are having a constant look at each and every turn in his life.

Review: Judging from the title, director Atul Kamlakar Kale’s Asa Mee Ashi Tee appears like a typical boy-meets-girl saga. However, that is not the case as the title has no relevance to the film’s story. It has a plot quite similar to the Hindi film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai with a dose of supernaturalism. While the love story works, the supernatural element isn’t completely convincing. Still, the film has enough heart-touching moments to watch it once.

It doesn’t take long for you to realize the story’s similarity to the Hindi film. So, if your story is predictable, you need to make sure the audience enjoys the predictability. Thankfully, this happens with AMAT most of the times since the majority of important scenes or events are handled very well. Examples: Rhea’s birthday party, the sequence about Adesh Bandekar’s TV show Home Minister, building of an emotional bond between Mihir and Akshara, love story between Sid and Akshara and a proposal scene.

The film also has an important supernatural angle about fate. Although it appears unusual, it was important to portray it so elaborately so as to explain to the audience. But on some occasions, it does go onto an unintentionally hilarious level. Plus, the way the mystery is solved isn’t completely convincing.

Amitraj’s music is melodious and it suits the situations. ‘Maula Maula’ is the song that stands out. Coming to the technicalities, the background score, camerawork and editing too go with the theme.

Sachit Patil provides a mature performance as Sid. He plays a father and a lover convincingly. After her debut Premsutra, Pallavi Subhash once again impresses; this time even more than her first film. Mansi Salvi too is first rate in a supporting role. The character of Shambhu Maharaj is tailor made for Bharat Dabholkar and he does full justice to it.

Atharva Bedekar does well as Mihir. The actors playing disciples of Shambhu Maharaj perform their job well. Anuja Sathe, Atul Kale and Latika Gore provide decent support. Intentionally or unintentionally, Shoma Anand is too loud.

Overall: Asa Mee Ashi Tee is a one-time watch if romantic films are your taste. The film will succeed at the box office only if it receives a strong word-of-mouth.






Review: Mangalashtak Once More (Marathi Movie)

Director: Sameer Joshi

Producer: Renu Desai

Writer: Sameer Joshi

Cast: Swapnil Joshi, Mukta Barve, Sai Tamhankar, Kadambari Kadam, Hemant Dhome, Vijay Patwardhan

Genre: Romance/ Drama

Music: Nilesh Moharir

Rating: * * ½

By: Keyur Seta

Story Outline: Married couple Satyajit (Swapnil Joshi) and Aarti (Mukta Barve) are going through a troubled phase due to the former’s target-oriented job in a radio station. Although they love each other, there are constant fights between them, due to which they are also not able to bear a child. After their relation reaches a new low, they are separated. But are they separated forever?

Review: Sameer Vidwan’s effective and mature romantic flick Time Please – Love Story Lagna Nantarchi was released just less than four months ago. If you have seen that film, you won’t be too impressed with Sameer Joshi’s debut Mangalashtak Once More since it is like a not-so-convincing remake of the former. If you haven’t, the Swapnil Joshi and Mukta Barve starrer can be seen once for some appealing moments and, of course, the lead couple.

First, let’s come to the plus points. The clash between Satyajit aka Satya’s personal and professional life is handled with maturity through some realistic scenes at both fronts. Scenes inside Satya’s office deserve special mention as that is exactly the case in today’s target-oriented era.

But the film has two major problems. Firstly, the main issue of Satya throwing Aarti out of his house isn’t convincing since problems between the couple hadn’t reached such a high level. One can’t ignore it as ‘just a scene’ because the entire story is based on it.

Secondly, as stated above, the story is very similar to Time Please minus the delightful character of Himmatrao. But what is more surprising is that the pre-climax twist is also the same in both the films and that too involving the same actor – Sai Tamhankar! If it’s a co-incidence, it’s a huge one indeed! Apart from this, the scene between Aarti and a watchman appears unwanted.

Nilesh Moharir’s soulful music suits the situations well. The same can be said for the cinematography, background score and editing.

Swapnil Joshi and Mukta Barve performance is one of the biggest plus points. Swapnil displays various moods of his character with ease. Mukta shows maturity both while portraying helplessness and happiness.

Although Sai Tamhankar’s character is very similar to the one she played in Time Please, she succeeds in bringing a different take to it. But why is her supporting role listed as ‘friendly appearance’ in the credits? As Barve’s best friend, Kadambari Kadam plays her part well. Hemant Dhome is hilarious while Vijay Patwardhan and the rest of the actors offer decent support.

Overall, Mangalashtak Once More is an above average fair. The film has a taken a good opening and is expected to do well, mostly due to the lead pair.




Review: Tendulkar Out

Director: Swapneel Jaykar

Producers: Sudha Productions and Zee Talkies

Writer: Yogesh Vinayak Joshi

Cast: Santosh Juvekar, Sayaji Shinde, Vijay Maurya, Aniket Vishwasrao, Sai Tamhankar, Neelam Shirke, Atul Parchure

Music: Amar Mohile

Rating: * *

(Review taken from the website Halti Chitre.)

By: Keyur Seta

Story Outline: Three men, Nayar (Santosh Juvekar), Abbas (Vijay Maurya) and Lefty (Aniket Vishwasrao) have taken up the task of finishing off Sunil Tendulkar (Sayaji Shinde), maker of B-grade films. He always makes films with his favorite actress and concubine Velvet Manisha (Sai Tamhankar). On the other hand, Tendulkar’s wife (Neelam Shirke) also has an extra-marital relationship with Dhanu (Atul Parchure). Will the trio succeed?

Review: As expected, Swapneel Jaykar’s Tendulkar Out has nothing to do with the cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, despite the title and the fact that the film released on the day the Master Blaster played the very last innings of his career. But the real reason for the film not working is a poor story or rather, hardly a story. It is only due to some hilarity here and there that you manage to sit through it.

The film does start on a promising note though. As the trio goes about trying to execute their task, you are treated to some genuinely funny moments. The running cricket commentary to describe the situation of the trio works very well indeed and becomes the biggest plus point of the film.


But you soon realize that the story isn’t going anywhere. You anxiously wait for something to happen but it just doesn’t until the last few moments. Although the final culmination is somewhat interesting, it doesn’t amuse you since the journey towards the climax hasn’t been a pleasant one. Apart from some silly moments, a big reason for this is the sub-plot about Tendulkar’s wife and Dhanu. Barring one rib-tickling moment, it doesn’t offer much. Also, the way they have tried to induce humor through Tendulkar’s wife’s labor pain appears a bit sadistic.

The film also suffers from being historically inaccurate. The entire movie centers around the 2003 World Cup match between India v/s Pakistan. However, the characters are seen using smart phones of today’s times. This is not all. They have shown the aforementioned match going right down to the wire. But in reality, India had won very easily.

The songs (Amar Mohile) are forgetful while the technical aspects (cinematography, background score and editing) fall in the above-average category.

Talking about the performances, Santosh Juvekar underplays his character well and succeeds in expressing anger, tension and frustration. It’s good to see him after long. Vijay Maurya too plays his character well while Aniket Vishwasrao isn’t bad. Sayaji Shinde fits the bill but we have seen him do such things many times before.

A good performer like Sai Tamhankar is wasted. Neelam Shirke and Atul Parchure are decent but, as mentioned before, their sub-plot doesn’t work.

Overall, Tendulkar Out is let down due to the writing. It looks like the makers, like many others, are trying to cash in on the retirement of the great cricketer. The film stands no chance at the box office.


Sachin’s Farewell Speech!


Even for the greatest writer ever, it would be impossible to describe Sachin Tendulkar's farewell speech in words. All I can say is that it was something even non-cricket lovers would want to see again and again. There is a motivating message not only for budding cricketers but also for people from all professions. In fact, it can even be labeled as a crash course in humility. Thank You SACHIN!

So here goes the video of one of the greatest speeches in the history of mankind :-

Video credit: Star Sports Channel on YouTube


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Sachin’s Last Inning: Why so emotional?

By: Keyur Seta

Sachin Tendulkar walking back to the pavilion to a rousing applause from his home crowd after playing his last ever innings of 74 runs will surely be one of cricket’s most memorable moments, if not the most memorable. For me, that scene is on par with India’s World Cup triumph at the same venue – Wankhede Stadium. It was an emotional moment not only for Indian cricket lovers but for cricket fans all over the world as they won’t be seeing their earthly God bat again.

However, as surprising as it may sound, I am feeling uneasy after reading the whole lot of over-emotional comments on social media after the Master Blaster got out. Although I too am an ever-worshipping fan of Sachin, I think we are going overboard by emotions. Let’s face it – he had to retire one day. The poor lad has been playing for 24 long years. How much more do you expect from him? He is a human being after all, although we prefer to address him as God.

Instead of the emotional atyachar, we should thank God (real one) for our timing on earth. We have got a chance to witness his entire celebrated career of 24 years. In other words, we have received lessons of inspiration in the most enjoyable manner. I don’t mean inspiration only for budding cricketers but for people from all walks of life; such has been the magnanimity of Sachin!

But apart from inspiration, the reason why Sachin stands out from the rest is his humble, down-to-earth nature. How many of us would retain their humbleness even after receiving such Godly status? Very few! This lesson of humanity is another message that Sachin has indirectly given us always. This is Being Human in actual sense!

Lastly, thank you Sachin for showing us an ideal example of a perfect human being!

(To see the memorable farewell speech by SACHIN, click HERE.)

Sachin walking back to the pavilion after playing the last innings of his career

Sachin walking back to the pavilion after playing the last innings of his career


Here's a poem I had written for Sachin on his birthday in 2011:

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


Sachin’s 200 test ticket fiasco not surprising!

By: Keyur Seta

There is shock and outrage among the Common Man over the non-availability of tickets for Sachin Tendulkar’s 200th test match. But although I am eager to watch Sachin’s last match, I am not at all surprised by the turn of events, forget being shocked. This is simply because of the terrible history of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).

This is not the first time that the Common Man has been deprived of watching a cricket match in the stadium. For as long as I know, the MCA has always been favoring affiliated clubs and, of course, the so-called VIPs and VVIPs whenever there has been an important match held at the Wankhede Stadium.

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So, to me, it doesn’t come as a surprise whatsoever to see them do the same thing during the most important match ever in India; maybe on par with the World Cup Final. Just imagine – out of 50 or 60 thousand tickets, they kept just 4500 tickets for common public. However, even such tiny numbers of tickets were not sold to the public. The excuses given about law and order problem due to the sale of large number of tickets on stands and other issues are plain laughable!

Due to such excuses, they decided to sell those 4500 tickets online but how many did they actually sell? I had predicted beforehand that even the online sale of tickets is just a sham so I didn’t even try. The website owners said the site crashed as too many people logged in. And when the site finally opened, all tickets were already sold. Then the website walas created fake Twitter IDs for praising their site for their work in selling the tickets. You can’t fool as all the time!

In this way, the MCA has indirectly announced that such matches are only for the rich and elite class comprising super rich businessmen and Bollywood celebrities. The Common Man, who has solely helped in taking cricket and Sachin to such enormous heights, has no right to bid farewell to the legend! They have shown that for them, we cricket lovers forming the masses can be treated like dogs because they very well know next time, when there will be an important match at the Wankhede, we all will queue up again!

It also doesn’t come as a surprise to see such high level of black-marketing of tickets. In fact, such corrupt activities take place before each and every important match just below the nose of MCA authorities. What does this mean? Please read between the lines.

So the question remains - what can we do in such a terrible situation? One option is to dissolve not only the MCA but the entire Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The other is to stop buying tickets not only in black but also in normal rates and refuse to go even if you get them from any of the affiliated clubs. Empty stands will open their eyes! I am well aware that both these possibilities sound almost impossible. But there doesn’t seem to be any other option.


Campa Cola Issue: Common Man about to be strangled!

By: Keyur Seta

I am shocked with disbelief at the happenings outside Mumbai’s Campa Cola Compound in Worli. Hundreds of families have been staying in it for around 25 years. They bought their houses from their hard earned money. Plus, they have been paying regular taxes all these years. But now Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to demolish their houses just because of a shoddy crime committed by the builder and the politicians.

Picture Source: Mid Day

Picture Source: Mid Day

Just try to imagine this – The builder plays a game of crook with the politicians to earn huge sums of money by constructing three illegal floors in the buildings. Oblivious to this fact, a number of families buy flats on these floors. They keep paying taxes for 25 years with the BMC having no clue about the scam.

Now after 25 years, the BMC somehow get enlightened about the scam. So what do they do? They forcefully try to vacate the innocent residents from their home sweet home. They are not provided with any other option or compensation whatsoever! They are common people like me and you. Where will they go now?

How justifiable is to torture the Common Man for the shoddy crime committed by the builder-politician nexus? Where the hell are we heading? I am not sorry to say that the British Raj was better!

These poor residents are literally begging to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan to intervene and help but the he has no time for them. Of course, he has all the time to attend Sachin Tendulkar’s felicitation!

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What’s more annoying is how scams worth thousands of crores are being allowed in our country. These criminal politicians are roaming scot free while innocent residents are turned into beggars. Also, we all know the extent of corruption in BMC itself. Despite spending hundreds of crores for better roads and other welfare of Mumbai, hardly any work is done. One doesn’t need to be a genius to realize that this is nothing but shoddy corruption. Why no action against any such terrible crimes? Will law be used or rather misused only to punish innocents in such a terrible manner?

As I write this, the poor residents of Campa Cola Compound are struggling and begging for their homes to be returned to them. At any moment their shelter can be snatched away from them for no fault of theirs!

Now all eyes are on the happenings at Campa Cola. If the Common Man is strangled now, it will be proved that we are living in a lawless land!

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Interfaith Dialogue: We have the same flesh & blood!

By: Keyur Seta

All over the world, human population is divided on the basis of religion. There are a large number of religions practiced universally and people from each one consider someone from another religion as different from him or her. But if we look at it closely, we realize that we all fall under the category of human beings; that we all have the same flesh and bones; that we all feel happy and sad at the same things. This universal truth was presented at the event Interfaith Dialogue for Modern Era in Mumbai by Ramakrishna Mission and Math, Mumbai. The Interfaith Dialogue was a part of the 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda, whose message was also spread widely at the event.

There was dialogue and interaction by religious heads of various religions -

  • Christianity by Father Joshua
  • Zoroastrianism by Lion Yazdi Panthaki
  • Baha'ism by Dr Mangesh Teli
  • Buddhism by Prof. Sudhakar Arjun Pawar
  • Jainism Dr. Bipin Doshi
  • Islam by Maulana Syed Athar Ali
  • Sikhism by Mr. Harpal Singh
  • Judaism by Mr. Ralphy Jhira
  • Sufism by Mr. Sami Bubere
  • Hinduism by Swami Atmapriyanandji Maharaj

After listening to each one of them, it wasn't hard to realize that all religions preach the same message of humanity, oneness, equality and love for all fellow beings.

Some pictures from the event:

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