Sunday, June 27, 2010

Drinkin in the Rain...

"Its drizzling, there's an amazing breeze, and i can see lots of boats out on the lake behind my house.  I'm standing in the balcony with mild spray on my face and a large of neat Chivas in my hand.  Couldn't get better!"

I just put up this FB update.  One peg and i was content typing on my phone.  Two, and i just had to switch on my laptop.  haha  :-)

What a combo....rains and booze....must have been one of the Eureka moments for God, like the time he invented boobs.  Well that one was on the top of the list anyways, dunno why he had to go on and make moobs!   @*&%#$...

I guess i've always had a soft spot for the rains, like I've said before.  But all that's multiplied when you gimme a drink when its pouring.  Aaaaaaah!  Sorry for the inappropriate sound, but the feeling is indeed, semi-orgasmic.

I guess its because of my earliest drinking memories.  I started drinking very late, was in my TY then (i know...its embarrassing), in july 1999 to be precise (thats more than a decade ago....FK i'm old!).  A couple of good buddies and i used to sit in The Den in Santacruz west.  It was a dingy old place, practically empty till around 7pm, when all the depressed uncles used to start walking in, to sit alone and down a quarter or two before heading back to life.

We used to reach by lunch time.  :-)  The place had an antique juke-box in a corner, which played old Rafi and Kishore blues, 2 songs to a rupee.  Those were days when money was really really scarce and it was great to have a juke-box that was 10x cheaper than the other places.  The super-eccentric parsi owner used to pass his time kicking his pet Pomeranian under the table and screaming mother-sister expletives at the lone waiter. 

But still, it was the most amazing place.  I've gone there with lots of great pals (soham, vaibhav, my bro, shabrya, ashish, shadab).  We used to sit for 6-8 hours at a stretch lining up bottles, cocooned safely inside while the mumbai rains thundered down outside.  Those conversations, carefree innocent passionate, just cannot be brought back now.  An age gone by.  Sad.

Since then, June-Sept has always been Whiskey time!  Whether on a trek, or at Lonavala in a car filled with half naked rowdies, drenched to the core or watching the showers in some cosy shelter trying not to shiver because of the chill.....that golden liquid has warmed up our insides like only a good drink can.  Sure, the brands have changed over time.  I now heartily recommend Laphroaig Single Malt to anyone who cares to listen.

The only prob is, its all been too tame, the last few years.  Now that i've managed to get out of the soul sucking corporate rigmarole, its time to do something different.  Sure, i cannot pull off a Gene Kelly (Singin in the Rain - the1952 musical), but I solemnly pledge that the next time it rains heavily, i'm gonna walk around my colony soaking it up and carefree as hell, sipping on a couple of stiff drinks mixed in an empty bisleri bottle, just like the good old college days.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Movie Review: Raajneeti

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Many of my friends who had seen this movie hated it and told me not to waste my time on it.  But i also got some fierce recco's from two or three others, which made me go try it out.  I really liked it.


The direction was quite good overall.  Narrative flowed quite well, despite the complex plot and long list of main characters.  The director built a good atmosphere to depict the political fued, kept it intense throughout, but succumbed to bollywood-giri with some unnecessary melodrama in the second half.  I find that pardonable to some extent because we Indians are all quite a melodramatic lot anyways...

Reminded me of a couple of other good movies by Prakash Jha, viz. Gangaajal (2003) and Apaharan (2005).  


By no stretch of imagination can the plot be called an original one.  The writers have generously borrowed from  The Mahabharata and The Godfather, with a sprinkling of the Gandhi clan story.

The Mahabharata linkage is obviously intentional; rather that is the underlying theme.  A little different, yet in ways similar to the linkage shown in RDB.  But i fail to understand why we cant move beyond the Godfather. Countless bollywood movies have been inspired by the Puzo masterpiece (Nayakan, Dayavan, Sarkar, etc etc).  I worship the original, hence direct lift-offs really bug me.

Some common stuff:  the incapacitated Head (Vito Corleone / Bhanu Pratap), the hot headed elder son who is killed (Sonny Corleone / Prithviraj Pratap), the sophisticated younger son who is studying abroad, completely uninvolved with the political situation and yet somehow is the one who takes charge effortlessly (Michael Corleone / Samar Pratap), the foreign girlfriend (Kay / Sarah), the car bomb killing (Apollonia / Sarah & Prithvi)......

I'm sure the Mahabharata piece must have been irritating to many.  I guess i'm not slamming it because i feel it wasn't overdone.  I dont understand why it was necessary though; could the movie have been as good without those connections?

Despite all this, the plot was quite well adapted.  Some twists were really nice.  I especially loved the rally scene where Ranbir Kapoor totally screws Bajpai, and Nana's dialogue "ise kehte hai din dahaade sen maari"!  :-)  

The best part was there were no songs.  Even the romance was cut short to two abrupt and short love making scenes.  It was all politics.  Good fun!  Would have been better with around 20 minutes lesser though, especially towards the end.  They could have ended the movie with Kat taking the oath, but for some reason, dragged on..


Some great acting by Ranbir Kapoor.  He did to Rajneeti what Ajay Devgan did to Company in 2002.  He brought in levels of dark intensity which added the depth needed to change Rajneeti from just another political movie to something much more viewable and gripping.  Even one powerful performance can drastically change the fate of a movie (remember Bhiku Mhatre in Satya).

Nana was amazing.  Gone were the shouting and loud gestures that we saw in movies like Krantiveer.  Here he was a man in control, composed & shrewd.  Arjun Rampal was also quite satisfactory.  He's got a great presence and he also managed to throw in some decent acting in softer scenes.

Two people who fell short according to me were Manoj Bajpai and Ajay Devgan.  Bajpai over-acted most of the time, though there were a couple of decent scenes.  Ajay Devgan was most disappointing.  All he did was frown, frown and frown.  I think he has acted better even in Gol Maal!

Katrina....what should i say....i absolutely love her and am perfectly willing to overlook all acting deficiencies.  She looks gorgeous in every movie.  And to be really honest, i actually felt she acted well in this one.  It was funny that between Ranbir and Rampal she eventually gets just one night of sex before she has to wear a white saree and play Sonia Gandhi... hehehe

Shruti Seth was the surprise element.  She was deliciously slutty in her hot pallu-drop scene with Rampal.  The bad boy in each of us wants a girl like that!  Come on, admit it!   :-)   All the girls thinking their guy is not like that are grossly mistaken.  :-)))


Overall, a decent movie.  Not really an amazing work of art.  Cant be compared to movies like Satya, Company, Omkara or Gulal.  But definitely a ray of hope in the shit that our industry has been churning out by the dozens.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My poor car...

My Honda City met with an accident in mumbai last week.  My cousin was driving; mom & dad were with him.  By Gods grace nobody got hurt.  While on the way to pune, at the chheda nagar signal a truck collided from the right. 

Luckily both vehicles were at very slow speeds, otherwise the result could have been very different.  Also, nobody was sitting on the rear right seat.  Mom was on the left.  All of us were left really shaken up by the incident though...

We keep reading about accidents in the newspapers but it always feels so distant.  Just another piece of the shit we are fed every day through all news media.  Its only when it happens to near and dear ones that makes one realize how vulnerable all of us really are.

I guess there's just too many people and too many vehicles out there.  This is bound to happen sometime!  Feel really sad for my car though.  She's a beauty (much better than the later versions of the City) and has been with my family and friends on countless trips.  Will make sure that she looks sexy again...

Safe driving, everyone!