Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Best day for learning for Indian contingent at Rio Olympics 2016

It will be 8th August 2016 

Last 24 hours in Indian non-cricket sports (people outside call that Olympics) were best if you see scope of learning from them. Technically, we can learn so many things - like faster release in archery, controlling the pace in last 5 mins in Hockey (Indian Hockey Team have lost 10 matches inside last 10 minutes in last editions of Olympics), etc. And professionally, we certainly lack poise, much needed in key pressure moments. So, what happened on 8th August 2016 in Rio. 
1 point in last set for Indian archery team could have taken them to S/Fs, 
3 seconds less would have put us in comfort for Hockey Q/Fs, and 
a few decimal points in shoot-off could have ended a career of only-individual Olympic Gold holder for India, with a worthy farewell 

And the learning is not just for athletes but also for viewers like me. Which is too accept defeat and loss even if you have given your best. Watch the awesome grace in accepting fate and lets-move-on moments by Abhinav Bindra. History is being made in this video - as he becomes one of few Indians to come fourth after PT Usha (who missed Bronze by 1/100th of second).     

You don't have to justify yourself. You did your attempt, you tried honestly, you fought, you lost. Accept the fate with Chin up. Cheers

ps: In other news, tweeter Shobha De won a Gold in fiercely competitive lets-cash-on-here held in Tweeting Area (@DeShobhaa). It is expected she will wear that medal in all her page three parties and also showcase the medal while performing Produnova . She will be the eight athlete to do so after Dipa Karmakar. Munnabhai has already sent her roses... 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Movie Review: Kabali, or say like the God himself says "Kabaaali Hai Ye"

Disclaimer: I have no clue of Tamil cinema but I love Kamal Hasan, AR, Dhanush and Rajini anna. My respect for regional cinema has significantly increased post my stay with Tamilian roommate during my Bangalore stint. And hence I have guts to see FDFS of superstar’s Kabali. 
Kabali review follows -
Story –
Cliché right! Don (Rajini anna) is a mercy lord for Tamilians in Malaysia. He goes to jail for a quarter of century. Comes back , finds wife (played by Radhika Apte) is dead and now he pledges revenge. Story here is an adapted chapter from story-writing curriculum of a film school. They should not play the writers. Also, the pace is often broken by disjoint set pieces and songs.

Actors & Gods –
Radhika Apte and rest of the lot acted in a satisfactory manner. Viewers who follow Bollywood or Hollywood will find Southern acting style a bit over-dramatic but that’s fine if it adds to entertainment. 
The movie is saved by God – Rajini anna. Actually the bias to see him is so heavy that you just cannot Not Think of him. It is like eyes have a mandate to follow him. Dialogue delivery and style is unmatched. Killer stuff. Ekdum kolaveri di

What works – the hype around the God, the Superstar, the Kabali – his grey beard and black side parting hair styles, everything. And the way he say “Kabaaali”
What not – Hindi dubbing, cliché story, it looks like a revenge drama and not a revenge thriller, pace could have been better
SPEAKing PICtures’s verdict – movie is less of meaning, more of style. Less of a movie, more of an occasion. Enjoy it. 3.5/5

ps: I was away for writing for more than 3 years. I am at my personal low. So, I thought to take some inspiration from an ex bus conductor to one of the God of Indian cinema. I saw a line which compelled me to return – he was once a bus conductor selling tickets, now people die for his tickets. Rajini anna, you give me hope and inspiration. Thank You. 

Monday, April 01, 2013

"G.I.Joe: Retaliation" – trailer exciting, movie disappointing!

Disclaimer – writer was an ardent follower of G.I.Joe characters/guns/tanks/missiles at the time of his childhood.

I have personally shared various posters of this movie on my Facebook wall, assessing the risk even after witnessing the first part. When you like something, you start with a default value of acceptable trust. Sad to say this time, this Joe movie has made me regret my sharing and posting. With a heavy heart, I give this one 2/5.

Amidst all the action, the story isn’t something to remember. G.I.Joe cannot get a worse introduction for its characters as done in the movie. The movie’s first half engage Joes to acquire nukes from Pakistan and post that we see some good blasts in order to eliminate Joes. Cobra infiltrates the White House and orders of elimination directly come from Zartan (who transform himself to the President of United States, thanks to nanobytes). Post the elimination exercise, only three Joes are left alive – Roadblock, Flint and Lady Jaye. The limelight shifts from Joes to Cobra. Storm-shadow and Firefly free the Cobra commander, a delightful prison break se

quence. Post that, the best part of this movie comes – all thanks to silent commando Snake Eyes. Post intermission, we see a brilliantly done mountain fight/stunts and NINJA work by Snake Eyes (the best part in the whole movie).
The three Joes unite and plan to take revenge from the guy who tried to eliminate them – Zartan/Cobra Commander. And enters the General (Bruce Willis) for help. Also the Cobra Commander wants to bomb everything and in an absurd roundtable conference, all big nuke nations (India featured prominently) fire, abort nukes. Climax is about blasts, more blasts and something which is done in a hurried fashion. Disappointing.

Roadblock – played by if-you-smell-what-the-Rock-is-cooking – he is one person who saves this movie from a catastrophe. His biceps, weaponry, style of firing guns, aggressive, all impresses you immensely.
Lady Jaye – played by Adrianne Palicki – sexy and the only glamour quotient of the movie.
Snake Eyes – played by Pay Park – the hero of the movie. Ninja man literally sprints on mountain slopes. Nice.
General – played by Bruce Willis – man! What a disappointment. Featured hardly for 5 mins, but impresses in that too.
Firefly – most disappointing (especially his Make-Up)
Cobra Commander – voice worked like a villain. Satisfactory.
Storm Shadow – played by Lee Byung-hun – was just too senti for me. The Cobra’s Ninjaman is generally ruthless, aggressive and stubborn. This movie portrays him in the opposite manner.   
Weaponry in The most admiring aspect of Joe’s entertainment. You won’t be disappointed here. From stylish guns, heavy machine guns to light tanks, sniper rifles – man they are really deadly.
But artefacts DO NOT make a good movie. Director, editor and story-writer have done a pathetic work. I wish the G.I.Joe franchise gets a better director. The Joe franchise is potent multi-billion fetching series (like Star Wars, Transformers), sadly no one seems to get it right!

What works – weaponry, Snake Eyes, bombing sequences (especially the UK bombing), ninjawork@mountain slope, action
What not – plot, editing, some characters (like Flint, Firefly), attachment to the Joe franchise, you never feel tense, there are very less WoW mood.
SPEAKing PICtures’s verdict – the movie limits itself to a number of action set pieces without any good storyline. Watch it on TV, PCs but remain a fan of G.I.Joe franchise. Hopefully, future ones will be much better.

ps: the trailer offered so much. I sincerely hope Hollywood isn’t going the Bollywood way for making fantastic 2 min trailers and bad 2 hour movies!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Places to eat in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh

So! In the quest to taste the diverse famous delicacies of India, some people will go even in places where there is high adulteration and nothing really special in food. But because of my two-year stay in this zilla (district) called Ghaziabad, I had to find time for one road trip dedicated to its food. Thanks bansal saab for the company and driving Ghaziabad’s local boy Bahu-Balli’s public transport (Activa). Other participants include Emraan #me, Chota Bheem.
In no specific order, some of the ones which can generously put under “known foods of Ghaziabad” are here.

Chemical Burger @ Kavi Nagar –
Man! The name itself ignites that curiosity in you – what on earth are its’ ingredients? These burgers can give quite a stiff competition to branded names. Yours truly once waited 30 min to get a couple of them. The preparation is quite simple (click on the pic for better view) –
Switch on the stove for a metre diameter pan. Melt some butter and fry the red (pink/purple) coloured filling. Keep on mashing the filling, melt some more butter (Do this iteration atleast 2-3 times). Keep aside the filling. For buns, melt bricks of butter and with specialized artistic skills start the assembly line for producing these chemical burgers. Butter should be added as when required. Garnish with a paneer slice, a tomato slice and jaate jaate squeeze some lemon over it and pour some purple coloured liquid! Jai ho! Utterly Butterly delicious...
Now a lot of people including yours truly are quite sceptical about the red/pink/purple coloured filling. Some even honour it by chanting ‘The Dirty Burger’ (still in their hearts they love its taste). The maker says it’s the natural colour of beetroot but dil hai ki manta nahi. The end product is quite popular and tastes awesome.
The name ‘chemical burger’ is a courtesy a child who quite cutely ordered “bhaiya ek chemical burger”.
Place to be found – Kavi Nagar market, opposite one of India’s best MBA schools. Rate Card – Rs 20 per burger.

Lalman Lassi Wale @ Old Ghaziabad Bus Stand –
Just behind the Old Ghaziabad bus stand, you will find this shop. Surprisingly, it IS a full-fledged cement shop and NOT a lassi stand (Ghaziabad is not famous of milk products; rather it is quite notorious when it comes to availability of pure milk here). The sweet lassi @ Rs 20 is very standard and I can’t find any motivation with me to have it again. No comparison with lassi available at Kota/Amristar/Banaras. Better than ones sold in Chandani Chowk (Old Delhi) just because of a thicker malai layer! Shop is opened till late night. 

Pastry @ Madhurima Bakery –
Madhurima Bakery, Ghaziabad

One of best located eateries I have came across till date. It is damn famous (everybody we asked was able to tell the place). It is situated near Ghantaghar on the side of Vijaynagar. You will need to show some special effort to find this place. It is located inside a motor service station with blacksmith, carpenters using their tools with full Decibel impact. Even then, people will encourage you by saying ‘wahin hai, aage’ (its there, ahead). And all you see is a door – welcome to Madhurima bakery. Bakery is actually a wholesaler and manufacturers bakery products in bulk. Consequently, many line up for their bulk daily purchase.

Courageously ask the guys behind the counters for pastry and they will ask you numbers – 6,8,10 (A.P. series with a = 6 and d = 2). I bought a trial pack of standard Pineapple ones @ Rs 35 (6 piece). Pastries are standard and the taste shows the economies of scale motive in it. Keeping the taste! By its shear popularity among locals and business volume, it can be visited. I like the way he tells you his popularity being a wholesaler in the Ghaziabad district. 

Pahalwan Dhaba, Ghaziabad
Parathas @ Dhabas –
Throughout North India, they are everywhere. Even in South Delhi, they emerge in an ad-hoc fashion at nights (Yusuf Sarai, Moolchand, IIT D Gate). Paranthas in North India are staple. For their makers, its preparation is easy, fast and requires very less working capital. Ghaziabad has few famous ones (Pahalwan Dhaba, Shubham Dhaba).
I suggest you go to Shubhams. Parantha are pretty much the same but the real USP and the taste lies in Dahi Fry. Dahi Fry – it is a mixture of curd with tomatoes, onions boiled with adequate quantity oil. Paranthas are served with eraser-sized butter bricks and are a delight to eat, especially in winters. God bless the man/woman who invented the circular disks.
Location – 2-3 kms from Old Bus Stand

Madan Sweets, Ghaziabad
Madan Halwai –
Nice neat AC place located quite far from Old Bus Stand. No extraordinary dish I can think of. Pyaas Khachori will be my only recommendation. Among its peers with similar ambiance (Gulab@Kavi Nagar, etc), Madan is the cheapest.

More in the Zila - Don’t know much about non-veg items. One of them is Zaika rolls @ Kavi Nagar (right opposite Chemical Burger stall) - decent enough (hearsay). Then, stalls selling Chole Kulche outside Kachari are also popular (I recommend to avoid them). Nearby RDC too has many QSRs (nothing exceptional though, every city/town/zila have those AC chambers).

Places suggested by gamer n coder Vineet, native of Ghaziabad who went on to become a Gold medallist in his & mine graduation.  

Please note: Ghaziabad in the article is ‘Old Ghaziabad’ only!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Alwar - a perfect weekend destination

The Indian traveller is back and this time he went to Alwar. Now! even in the wildest dreams, Alwar (a small city in Rajasthan) cannot be judged as a tourist destination. But then, how can (dare) you predict that. India is diverse and you can’t predict what diversity would look like. Before I start Alwar’s description, I must thank my college peers – Bansal sahab, Emraan #me, Analyst Ganga, Sadolia, Chamak Challo, Sankat, Shubohit, Chota Bheem and a-Viral. Thanks to them and Alwar’s beauty, this short trip was indeed a unique adventure (read here for more trips - Goa, Manali, Roorkee, Lucknow, etc).

Alwar is a small town in Rajasthan which has buildings having a maximum of two floors. Big houses and ample parking sample, Alwar is adjusted on the sides of a 4-5 km stretch with Aravalis as backdrop. The flat city is very peaceful and the commuter avg speed is around 30 kmph. A light (pronounced as ‘lyyyteee’) city.

So, the college trip was a regular one - full of twists and unplanned nuisance with a lot of happy and not-so-happy surprises. Courtesy of that, you are reading this blog. Here it goes –

We 9 (yours truly, Emraan #me, Analyst Ganga, Sadolia, Chamak Challo, Sankat, Shubohit, Chota Bheem and a-Viral) loaded ourselves in two cars. Car 1 ran on Diesel (powered by Chota Bheem, Navigator – Analyst Ganga, backbenchers – Sankat, Sadolia, Emraan #me). Car 1 candidates were chosen with utmost care as all of them are freshers and haven’t seen much life. Car 2 ran on much expensive fuel ‘Petrol’ and the man who rolled the steering was a-Viral with navigator Shubohit and backbenchers - I and Chamak Challo, who also insisted to take his pet Black Dog. We started obviously NOT on time and then thanks to Analyst Ganga, Car 1 missed all crucial turns and deviated like a mad buffalo on Delhi roads. He was so0O much excited about Rajasthan that when he was instructed ‘don’t turn left’, he turned left. Experts say this is an acute symptom of Loveria. His disease also affected Chota Bheem and Sankat. Bheem lost his mental balance, missed U turns, took roads of high traffic density as if he was literally Bheem. Meanwhile, Sankat became an ATV machine (ATV – any time vomit). Car 2 driver was smart to divert his car towards DPS RK Puram to buy medicines for puke and C-doms to avert the ‘aane-wale Sankat(s)’. Obviously, the DPS DNA in him knew a lot about such scenarios.

All was fine untill we got a phone call somewhere near the Gurgaon border. Call was from Analyst Ganga. He unapologetically told me that they have left Sadolia on National Highway for us and instructed to upload him into Car 2. So what was the reason for downloading Sadolia from Car 1? Initial statements from the Analyst were quite absurd. For eg – he got down in front of a MNC, which is due to come for jobs, to piss in front of their office. Obviously, his superficial NULL hypothesis## was rejected and the real reason came from Emraan #me. Our insane Sadolia got down @ Gurgoan to eat roadside Puri(s). I know it sounds like an unbelievable thing, but ya its true. Legendary men have strange interests (the least I can say). A-Viral picked him up into his car. Later post Manesar, Sadolia was handed over to Car 1 in the custody of Chota Bheem. Sankat too took a break from his puking iterations. Engines zoomed again.

Indian highways are sometimes not a spectacular place. Especially when small cars kiss trucks, bike are thrown in farms by overtaking trucks, tree-banging incidents, divider cutting tin boxes, etc. We too were a part of this but managed to overcome the hurdles (thanks to our fantastic MBA education). Crisis management and effective business communication were never put to test with such effectiveness and practicality before this.

Bas phir kya tha, main chal pada
Un rasto par, jo jaate the unke ghar
Vo rastey tere aur mere humsafar

Darugheda, Bhiwadi, Galipur, Tartarpur – all went by and we moved across. Slowly half-constructed skeletons turned to yellow-flowered farms. The green became greener as city pollution decreased and mountains (Aravallies) started to emerge. Speed rose, air became chilly and the desert Sun started to fade. Car 2 and Car 1 were heading together with a-Viral and Chota Bheem showcasing an awesome chemistry while driving each other to pleasure.
Post a hectic ride, we entered Alwar. Analyst Ganga was guiding us through some technology (through his aath hazaar ka Samsung). Not surprising our first, second and third attempt all went to dead ends. A-Viral was smart enough to pull off a brilliant comeback and we were again on right track. Finally we landed at the right place, just before our host friend - Bansal sahab dance performance.         

Dinner was shaadi-wala types and students like us love it (for more – please watch 3-idiots). Rain did try its luck to stop food from going into our bellies but then we have survived MBA life. And if you have survived that, you can do just anything…anything. However, life is NOT justified for some, especially if they are drivers of cars who drive all day to know that they will be returning in another 3-4 hours. Chota Bheem had to depart due to some unavoidable circumstances. Another couple meanwhile were coping with the task of essay writing (topic – “how do you spend your night?”). I tell you these are legendary recruiting questions. Two people involved were also legendary: a-Viral and Sankat. A-Viral was as usual confused what to do and Sankat was assisting him by asking him what to do. But then these are smart managers. They outsourced their problems back to our campus friends who pain-fully took Zephyr’s help in documenting this late night question. Besides these small-small issues, post dinner was another ecosystem. Ek alag hi mahaul tha. Chamak Challo with his Black Dog generated some black magic which brought out the unconscious behaviour of some souls. Analyst Ganga reached that cult state of trance. In short, love was not just love, it was sex.
This Night was a bakar full night which also saw Bansal sahab coming all the way at 4 AM to greet us. A special mention needs to be given to Bansal sahab’s bakar cousin, who created the hostel-like environment in a shaadi-wala ghar. “ Yahi hai Rasjasthani maizbaani – in Sadolia words”. Lastly, all good things come to an end. Aane wala ko jaana hi padhta hai (People who come, have to depart someday). Some depart just too early. With hand on heart, we all said adieu to Chota Bheem and wished him lady-luck for his return voyage to Delhi ALONE is his Car 1. Bheem even with this awesome late-night alone adventure sounding roadtrip was as usual emotionless. Car 1 was dearly missed.  

Next morning we had to encounter the common Indian problem. High population and low count of restrooms. But then, we are MBAs. We handled this too. I congratulate all except Chamak Challo who took 30 minutes to entertain himself in the geyser-wala restroom doing some strange shit. I guess his cross-border trunk calls were just to0O long.  

The real entertainment starts now. Morning morning, pleasant morning. All through the night, we discussed what to do-doing all sort of analysis, etc. Sariska, the famous tiger sanctuary which reported a tiger count of zero was the plan initially, but safari timings were all odd.
Sariska is around 40 km from main Alwar city and will take around 40 mins to reach. Sariska safari timing – 6:30 AM to 10 AM and 2:30 PM to 5 PM.

So, we headed to Bala Quilla (which is a fort on top of overseeing Aravallis which circumscribe Alwar). Then to baat hi lag thi. With one Car and 1 Bike, we adjusted ourselves. Car 2 (driver – a-Viral, navigator – Shuboit, backbenchers – me, Chamak Challo, Emran #me). And our stud bikers were Analyst Ganga and Sankat (pillion). Insane and meany Sadolia too left us for the day as he went to Café Chocolade (his taste-buds belong to a different civilization). The way to Bala Quilla starts from just outside the population of Alwar. Keeping in mind our past travelling experiences untill now, the car and bike had to maintain a lot of coordination which Analyst Ganga obviously did not follow. Consequently, he and Sankat went ahead into the jungle like a valentine Ranbhir-Deepika couple with no disturbance from telecom sector. Meanwhile, Car walo ki phatti padi thi. India does NOT allow gay marriages and a-Viral (who incidentally was Analyst Ganga’s ex-sleeping partner) was quite rightly contemplating about the bike couple intensions. Chamak Challo, who comes after a 2 yr stint in telecom sector, guided us to give the biker couple a missed call. That reminded them to have a look behind. Analyst Ganga did his spot analysis and quite rightly drew the managerial implication of being lost in the Rajasthani jungle. Jaane wala bhi ek din aata hai, to ye kiss khet ki mooli hai (One who goes come back, then whose farms does these radishes’ belong to!). Jo Ganga ki maari hai uske baad Shubohit ne [Oho class]. Ganga got his due treatment. Sankat specified that no harm was caused to him and that he was still untouched (pure virgin). Then we entered the right route to Bala Quilla with a No Entry message. Road in India are really bad but they seldom stop you to move ahead in life. This wasn’t the case here. The forest rangers informed us that the road to fort is really bad and that we cannot move ahead. But he also gave us the short cut. That was a 2 km trek through a museum and the city court (see picture). Car & Bike show moved ahead. 
We parked our vehicles in the city court parking and went on with the intention to trek to Bala Quilla. The city court resides in a traditional Rajasthani yellow-coloured building which itself look like a tourist destination. Some clicks, we moved on the building higher floors which accommodated museum (see pic). With an entry ticket of Rs 10, we went on to see what you can easily call bullshit. Seriously, how will you react when there is an ancient soap tag written besides a lifebuoy soap. What a waste of time, space and money [MBA skills everywhere]. Over this museum experience, the police guard informed us that the trek is Not allowed and all you need is a DCP (Deputy Commandant of Police) approval to take that previous road. So we headed towards the police control room. But wait, why hurry. While the Car moved, the bike stalled. Initial investigation hinted that Analyst Ganga and Sankat went just to0O far in the morning run and might be low on fuel. Chamak Challo tried. I tried but Shubohit was the man who finally identified the missing part. Someone took away the power plug. The famous Indian juggad was applied and somehow Analyst Ganga managed to set the ignition apparatus right [Later he shared an interesting fact which could have led to this state of bike. He parked his bike in city court’s car parking; the parking guy also complained later about his space loss for approx. 2 cars. Phew! Analyst Ganga just increased the fiscal deficit. Kuch nahi kar sakte uska]. We then moved into Alwar Police control room to take permission for Bala Quilla and were later told by oldie policemen that the ASI people are redoing the monument and kuch nahi ho sakta (is desh ka aur ghade-ki-pooch-se-likhi-gayi kismet ka).

We then decided to test our luck on any random bet. There was a lake whose name popped up a couple of times, but we never considered it seriously. Obviously, bright MBA minds are less likely to visit a lake in a state of deserts. But still, we went on and on and on and missed the cut to lake and moved on and on. It was then Analyst Ganga overtook us and told us that he saw the board to the lake but deliberately chose to ignore it. The biker couple knows best. Readers can speculate.

We finally were on right track. A-Viral, our driver was becoming too irritated with Alwar and honestly, expectations from lake were close to 0. Everybody imagined some water in their heads as lake and had zero happiness for it. We were all driving our curiosity [“we should see atleast something in this stupid city to justify our ROI”].
Slowly the route became greener and structures (Aquaduct) started appearing [see Aquaduct in pic]. Our mentally exhausted driver, a-Viral went mad over these structures. Our navigator Shubohit was briefly in a fix what to do with him! Everytime 5 mins, a-Viral use to shout “Aquaduct! Oye hue awesome”. Terms which could have saved for a female were used on lifeless British era dead structures (sexy). God! Save him and his car.

Life was becoming irritating when we saw this awesome place called “Silised lake” [pronounce as “Silly Said”].
It’s gigantic and one of the biggest lake I have seen till date. The best part – it’s still pristine nature. Turquoise blue water (soo much water) with mountains as backdrop. It’s actually unbelievable types feel when you consider comments saying “in Rasjasthan??”. With tourist count of less than 10, it’s a clean place. It’s a place you can’t stop watching into. It like a naked lady, you just can’t take eyes away from her. Nature at its best. There are provisions for boating but due to very less tourist traffic operating cost may not be feasible. There is a passage on the other side from you can sneak inside the mountain and then go down to lake (that side host the bigger version of lake which is a bit less visually appealing than the other side). Yaar aur kitna likhu! Some places demand your presence. Go try and you won’t be disappointed. While coming back, we found another viewpoint of the lake. From every side, she is worth it. Return journey was from a different path. How that was identified, dunno! A-Viral asked a biker couple while on the go for the directions. Male and Female are opposite gender and similar were their directions (later, when we started laughing at this, the poor Male soul was seen being scolded n all…). Anyways, we followed the route suggested by the Male and guess what! we entered through the famous Alwar hill from which Hollywood got inspired (or visa versa).
Big guns went to sleep as soon as they saw bed. Evening time and still shamelessly sleeping. Sadolia who joined us post lunch took the unwanted task to wake us up. Bansal sahab tried a lot over phone but MBA students are really sleepy bastards. We somehow are good at crisis management, consequently we reached the party zone with our old pet Black Dog and….enjoyed, danced, bakar, bakar, bakar…Analyst Ganga with Sadolia tried had to impress girls but ghade chahe kitne bhi achi tarha se saj le, ghode nahi ban sakte (no matter how well dresses asses are, they won’t be horses) Still they tried. Party came to end and we returned to our cold dens. Man! Rajasthan is cold at night, really cold, shivering cold, and when winds are blowing, then to alag hi level pe feel aati hai.

Inside the room, Sairska plan was dropped. Inspite of my motivating them, the gang needed sleep (sad/disappointment). Bakar sessions went on and slowly people started to fade. I was the first one with Sankat falling next. Morning, three left via train (Analyst Ganga, Sadolia and Sankat). Another fact, Alwar petrol pumps are notorious when it comes to air-refilling facilities. We found this roadside labourer who had this juggadu machine and first tyre he attempted was a puncture. Good it happened! Else somehow it would have been difficult for me to finish.

Awesome journey. Thanks especially to Bansal sahab.       

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

One Two ka Four, Keh ke Lenge ye 'Special 26'

Promo said it and indeed it said it well. The heist story of 1980s is beautifully crafted especially in these times of overacting Dabangs, Rathores, Sardar’s son, Khiladis, etc. Heist Score 4/5

Plan –
4 clever guys double up as fake raidSTARs in the wardrobes of CBI, Income Tax, ED and carry out safe ‘facepalm’ types of robberies. Their targets corrupt politicians, businessmen evading tax, etc. Their modus operandi is to go with confidence, posing like men from an enforcement agency and carry out raids & then to take away the confiscated stuff. They work with precision and are delight to watch.
Movie’s first half is slow paced and at one point, the first robbery is re-shown (literally). The movie picks up once Manoj Bajpai (the good cop) enters and then it’s an interesting ‘Catch me if you Can’. Manoj Bajpai adds that ‘fear-of-police’ angle and with his facial expressions, sets up a nice climax. Story ends revealing about the Special 26, which is truly the ‘Keh Ke Leli’ moment.

Star Cast –
Akshay Kumar (plays the planner-con, Ajay Singh) - He is slowly coming back to form. OMG was a booster which rationalized him. He looks cosy and better than his last ‘Khiladi’ flick. Nice to see him back. #TeesMaarKhan_returns  
Kajal Agarwal – looks good in traditional clothing. Limited presence but effective.
Anupam Kher (plays the congaing-lead, PK Sharma) – Awesome. Acted from dil (without any fear). #Shaandaar
Jimmy Shergill – plays the chaman cop, Ranveer Singh. The ‘sahab’ from sahib biwi aur gangster throws a usual performance by his standard which is ‘worth it’. His moustache also supports his personality. Nice!
Manoj Bajpai  (Waseem Khan)– he looks malnourished. His dialogue speaks abuses but the screenplay was written to get a U certificate from censor board. I could sense so0O many instances where he could have easily added core Hindi abuses (keh ke lenge style)   
Neetu Singh (plays Waseem Khan’s wife) – two glimpses. And she manages to impress you. What a find! Consider recent debutants, the new order for these newcomers are
Diana Penty > Yammy Gautam > NehaSharma = Neetu Singh > Kajal Agarwal (in terms of looks)

Neeraj Pandey’s direction is good. Music is on the soft side; consider it ‘soothing’ stuff. An admiring thing about the movie is the setup of 80s. Man! Being a Delhite, I was amazed to see how the shots of Connaught Place were taken. The cars, autorickshaws, everything was mapped to 1980s which really enhanced my experience.

What works – story, acting, 1980s setting, it sails through 2.5 hours, enough twists in the plot to engage you
What not – thrill is limited (though it had the scope but wasn’t stretched), visual effects (really poor)

SPEAKing PICtures’s verdict: Bollywood thrillers are rarely good. This one is. Go for it.  

aasli kaam to ye log kar rahe hai” ~ police in praise of fake raidSTARs

Saturday, November 10, 2012

It’s OK to touch defeat

Only if you have tried. The principle of fighting for 10 failures inorder to gain one success point is so0O very powerful but on a true note, a harsh experience too. You will never want to lose whenever you try. So the question is to decide and form a tradeoff matrix. For you, what is important – the final success or a learning experience. Finance & statistians will say wins (or bottomline) whereas HR & Service-operations will say experience. Marketers will say depends on the degree of value augmentation. The mind will enjoy with success while the heart will be contented with a satisfactory experience.
Now how to decide on parameters of that matrix. Well there is no shortage for that. Factors will vary - Hard Work, Smart Work or controllable factors whereas some will be dependent like competitions. Specially on a macro-level, the trade-off is between confidence in SWOT analysis and confidence in analysis of external forces (5 forces model, etc).

Now analysis too is a damn subjective thing. Here and then, a factor missed out and flip your analysis from positive to negative. That’s where the team comes in. And team can be strong in skills but moreover, team has to be strong in diversity. Think more, Talk more, Teach more, Trade more – all will fetch a comprehensive answer or atleast points. Well the focus is not on analysis but on the matrix.

So, confidence is set and now lets us put that into quadrants. The fourth quadrant is the place where it gives you that shock. Rock bottom is general rule of failure in this while success is accepted with a pre-competing start to it. It’s like a wave which knows it will culminate in a big way as soon as it starts. The diagonally opposite end is where you learn maximum. You start with a try and end with a superior state. You then move to quadrant above where failure hurts moral and ego. You again are thrown back. The experience in this case is a bit more painful. But the most pain lies in quadrant 3, wherein chance of being lost is high in failure. Because it’s difficult to go back and look into internal faults.  

The idea of the matrix is to figure out why are you disappointed. Is losing a primary condition for it? Or something else can result in same. Is there a role of expectations? Or is it expectations are directly proportional to rewards? Is Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta updesh “to work without expectations” only way to cut out disappointment (incase of a failure)? Is this practical? Even a bit!!

Search! Bing! Google. Answer is within me. Getting a YES/NO feel (wow). Actually the writer is reaching that level with every experience now, where answer can be figured out. It’s again a trade-off between too much thinking on a non-value product (i.e. loss) and a personality SWOT. The instincts are working brilliantly. Nothing seems to be stop. The subjectivity is untangled into a straight line (without directional arrows). Don’t know where it will lead but surely it’s useful.

Something has to conclude (I can fake for the benefit of the reader, if he survives till here) - Participation, Expectations, Fall, Rise, Think, Reward, Awesome are just moments to grow experience i.e. one’s diversity. These will NEVER reflect in your cv, nobody will appreciate EXCEPT you. The idea to hibernate into a blanket and type ferociously within a blackout is to make the world a nice place to live (lose).

Failure is mandatory else you won’t appreciate it
Hope is obviously a good thing (added for the sake of rhyming)

(writer is a management student. Dangerous breed!)