Wasted Sunsets

December 5, 2009

Venue: Palace Grounds
Date : 30th Oct 2009
A concert has been organized by Maruti Suzuki A-Star and the rock band ‘Parikrama‘ is called to perform with a guy who is Javed Akhtar’s son. Did I say Javed Akhtar’s son? Apologies for the incomplete intro. He is the director of a movie. Incomplete intro again. He is the lead hero of a movie. Incomplete intro again. Oops, sorry! He is a ‘rock star’ dude 😉

Rock On… Hai Ye Waqt Ka Ishaara
Rock On… Har Lamha Pukaara
Rock On… Yuhin Dekhta Hai Kya Tu
Rock On… Zindagi Millegi Na Dobaara…

Farhan Akhtar croaks, stretching his vocal cords. Few of the frenzied women, going gaga over the ‘rock star’, try to breach the security to go up the stage. Many guys are head banging and smoking joints. Auntyjis (and few uncles as well) are screaming “Farhan, Farhan” as he sways his mike like Ian Gillian and a fake smile is seen on Nitin Malik’s face (The vocalist of the rock band Parikrama) who seems to wait for his turn, collect the money from the organizers, gulp couple of beers and happily go back to his hotel room thinking why he wasn’t born to be a ‘rock star’. Parikrama seems like playing in ‘Ma bhagwati vishal jaagran‘ (which is organized by the ‘mohalla kalyaan samiti‘ during Holi in North India) where the vocalist keeps chanting – “bolo saachey darbaar ki jai” and the bhajans are sung to the tunes of ‘Dil to pagal hai‘ and the real devotees become high on ‘desi tharra‘ (country liquor) whole night and the Sari clad auntyjis are seen only in the morning, pushing each other, breaking the queues, to grab loads of ‘halwa‘, prepared in desi ghee that is served as prasad.

“How are you doing Bangaalooore?”. He asks and blows air kisses. The hallucinating babes scream and rest of the janta is just too happy after the celebrity darshan. A-Star guys are happy as well and they show their happiness by illuminating the back stage by sparklers and flying rockets that were perhaps bought on very cheap price from Hosur or Sivakasi during the off Diwali season. I mutely observe the hysteria and with so much ‘fun’ going around me, start to think – Am I normal?

rock_on

But the rocker doesn’t stop there. U2 is next and Beatles is massacred as well. An ultimate obituary is paid to the legendary band!
After 20 minutes of divine performance, the rocker eventually bids goodbye, much to the disappointment of the females (babes and auntyjis included 😉 ) and the long wait of Nitin Malik gets over as he finally gets hold of the mike. As soon as he starts singing “Highway to Hell”, the Bengaluru cops, determined to preserve the sanity of Indian culture, enter the scene and stop the concert citing high noise levels. The concert is called off and we curse the cops for their Prem Chopra attitude. Though exasperated, I find solace in the fact that we got inside through a free pass and it didn’t hurt much, at least in terms of money 😉

I slowly move out towards the parking lot and in a sub conscious mind, start humming –
Chilla Chilla Ke Main Ye Sabse Kehdoon
Rock On… Hai Ye Waqt Ka Ishaara

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Victim of changes

September 5, 2009

This post is dedicated to all those who stay in big cities, witnessing the enormous changes in their life styles, but still remain non-city slickers in their hearts.

I am neither a movie buff, nor do I own a TV (or more appropriately, I can’t afford it) and I am unaware of the cable TV bliss that the more fortunate ones enjoy. I belong to a generation that had a single TV channel at their dispense and it was called “Doordarshan”. That black & white Uptron TV (Of the “its on, its on, its Uptron” fame. The model name was Urvashi and it came with a shutter and a lock to be used frequently during our examination days) which made Master Haveli Ram a household name and Deepika Chikhalia a MP, (courtesy her Sita Mata role in Ramayan) remained the only source of information of the upcoming movies. Then there were couple of other sources like “Punjab Kesari” newspaper and magazines like “Mayapuri“, but those could be found only in the barber’s shop (nobody knew the word saloon) and were read by the curious customers based on a strict rotation policy 😉

Well, let me not digress and to say that I was dragged up to the theatre to see a movie last month would be an exaggeration. Not much persuasion was required as soon as I realized that it was a Gulzar-Vishal Bhardwaj combo flick. (Mind you, I am not writing the movie review here. The name wouldn’t have mattered much to me even if it would have been called Kuttey, Kameeney, whatever). Gulzar was reason enough for me to head to the theatre, but I am almost always reluctant to see a movie in a multiplex, for two reasons. First, the tickets are obscenely costly, and second (the more profound of the two) it doesn’t give me the liberty to whistle when the lights are turned off ;-). People here give me a disgusting look, if I do so.

Circa 1997. I am trying to kill time in the scorching heat in the by-lanes of Lajpat Nagar in Delhi. I was staying at a cousin’s place and forgot to collect the keys. Left with no option, I find a movie theatre somewhere near to the market. Luckily, the show timings are just 45 mins away and I get ample time to grab my lunch. Bun-samosa, half plate chowmein and a glass of “ganney ka ras” (sugarcane juice) costs me 14 Rs. I get inside the theatre premises and stand in a queue for the cheapest available ticket. It is the second running week for the movie “Betaabi” and there are hardly 10 of us in the queue. Neither Chandrachoor Singh nor Arshad Warsi could attract the janta and it was perhaps left on the leading ladies to show off some skin to somehow make it totter till the second week. The ticket is priced at Rs 15 and I get my seat in the second row from front. There isn’t a single female in the whole theatre. The guy sitting right to me, makes himself comfortable by keeping his stretched legs in the front chair. The other one, sitting towards my left, is already excited and has started spitting the juicy beetle leaves that he is chewing near to my feet. I make my guess, it could either be Rajdarbaar or Talab or even a Manikchand (all different brands of guthka) or it could be desi jarda or khaini with mysterious names like “Nevla” or “Kuber“.

The lights are turned off and Jackie Shroff emerges in one of the Red & White cigarette ads. “Sachchey log, sachcha anand” he says and a strange frenzy prevails, followed by countless number of whistles. I get excited as well and participate with utmost sincerety. After couple of advertisements, the movie starts and we all settle down. The movie seems insipid to me, but people are glued to their seats. During interval, the spitting guy breaks the ice and says a single sentence – “Bhai, filum to badhiya hai” (The movie is good). I seem puzzled but dare not ask him reasons for badhiya. He swallows the whole new packet of guthka again, but I fail to see the brand. I curse myself for my poor vision and move out to buy a 2 rupee popcorn. Post interval, enter Mayuri Kango (the leading lady in the second half) with her thunder thighs and the hall goes live again. This time it is not only the whistles trying to outplay each others decibel levels, but also the choicest expletives that come out naturally from a typical Indian male when he sees an irresistible babe. Arshad Warsi too gets his share of swears for being able to do a sensuous song sequence with the lady 😉

betaabi

The movie ends in a typical Bollywood style happy ending and we all move out of the theatre, well contented with the paisa vasool feeling. Three hours, with food and entertainment had cost me just 31 Rupees.
Back to 2009. A Bangalore multiplex, movie ticket is priced at Rs 180, for the same front rows and the price of popcorn nearly gave me a stroke.

Image source: Internet


Final countdown Part 2

June 1, 2009

This post is in continuation to one of my previous post.

Manoj Kumar has one more fan. The workouts suggested by this great son of Bharat mata have finally paid off. I have scrambled inside this cool category and somehow managed to run (oh really? Ok, 70% run, 30% walk) my first 10k marathon successfully on Sunday. The inspiration behind this run was there as well and she cheered me when I touched the finishing line. Well, the last sentence was a lie 😉

We waited outside the stairs of the main entrance in the Kanteerva stadium to run along with her. She came, she saw, but she didn’t run. What a farce, a lie and heartbreak for most of the Shahrukhs in making, who memorized the lyrics whole night and were ready to sing – “Aankhon mein teri, ajab hi ajab si adaayein hain“. She remained elusive amidst her monstrous bouncers and the Shahrukhs were thoroughly disappointed.

Instead of Deepika, I decided to chase one more hero.
“Sir, can I have a photograph with you”?
“Oh sure, why not”. And Prakash Padukone happily posed for the photograph along with me. After the photo shoot, we shook hands and exchanged pleasantries and wished each other goodbye. I have been a sports buff and though I never saw him winning the All England championship, I did read a lot about him in quite a few sports magazines. I have been his fan for his badminton prowess and not for the obvious reasons known to lesser mortals (for begetting Deepika, of course :-))

And that was a lie again.
“Sir, can I have a photograph with you”?
“No. I am leaving now”. Pat came the reply.
But I was determined and decided to chase him through the aisle. I managed to walk along and clicked one, with my left hand in the air. I was careful enough, not to walk very close to him, for he gave me very daunting looks. He obviously looked very peeved with this gesture of mine and would have broken my camera perhaps. So I decided to make a move from patli gali.

Here is one more pic that I clicked on the way. It is the Vidhan Soudha (known as Vidhan Sabha in other states) of Karnataka. I know most of you have hypermetropia, so I would read out the biggest democratic joke written on this building, just below the tricolor. It says – “Government work is God’s work”

vidhan soudha


Final countdown Part 1

May 9, 2009

Time: 9:30 am
Place: Traffic signal at Richmond Road

I see Deepika Padukone.
Well, almost.
OK, not really 😉

So, there is a big hoarding next to the signal and she is the brand ambassador for Sunfeast, and they are organizing a 10k marathon run.
It says – “I will run for Bangalore, will you?”

I look at her, see looks back at me. I look up again and she is still staring. I grin and she freezes. In the midst of this emerging romance, the light turns green. The game is still on, but my reverie is broken by the Beep, beep, peep, peep, along with the infinite adjectives that follow in different languages – Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, English, Hindi. I could feel the essence of few of the swear words. Yeah dude, Bangalore is truly cosmopolitan and we have at least different varieties of gaali to choose from 😉

I move ahead and reach office. Deepika is gone, but those words still linger in front of my eyes – Bangalore 10k run. I have never been an athlete in my life, but somehow these words catch my fancy. Not sure why, but all of a sudden I decide to bring that Kranti in my life and take the first step.
Yes, literally.
By the time I reach my desk at 6th floor with that silver colored monster called ‘Dell’ over my back, I have climbed 152 steps, each almost 10 inches high and I am panting heavily. Woosshh. It would take a couple of hours for recovery. I think of those days when I could trek for 20 kilometers in one go, with almost 8-10 kilos of backpacks. Yes, I have done that quite a few times in Garhwal Himalayas. Breaking your fingers in front of the computer screen and getting myopia are not the only rewards of working in an air conditioned environment. Added to that as a bonus are backache, headache, toothache, nose ache, whatever.

Kranti“!!
I need Kranti in my life! Manoj Kumar comes up again and the hot blood flows in my coronary artery.

kranti

Manoj kumar is now inspiring me to get up early (yes, 6:30 is early for me) for my morning jog and Citibank is happy enough to lend me 215 Rs for the registration. Yeah, I have registered for it. Not for the open run though, but for the category called ‘majja run‘ which is meant for shallow people like me. The Hanes, the Crocodiles and the Adidas have already been obliged.
Come 31st May and I shall be there, perhaps chasing Deepike Padukone.


November Rain

December 15, 2007

If I were to select an Indian contingent for the Olympics, I would definitely pick up my newspaper guy for the javelin throw. Every morning, the newspaper travels like a bullet and bangs on my neighbor’s door without missing its target. Rolled up like a scud missile, it looks like an extremely potent weapon of mass destruction and if at all it happens to deviate from its intended trajectory to hit any unfortunate soul during its aerial journey of three floors, it could probably cause mayhem. But, the guy has a pinpoint accuracy and has always hit the bull’s eye. Looks like he has done an intense research on projectile motions and has beforehand calculated the effects of gravitational forces. Boy, that would have made Isaac Newton proud for sure. I even feel that he should be an integral part of our space research programs where he could impart his hands on knowledge to some of our scientists in understanding the nuances of successful satellite launches.

Fortunately, I live in ground floor and the missile doesn’t hit my door. Instead of a scud, I get an innocuous 20 page sheaf which gives me a dose of usual insipid stuff – The parliament walkouts, bomb blasts, quotas, infinite cricket debates and the two inevitable S – sex and sensex. And after almost 20 minutes of digesting this crap, it becomes a potential contender for my additional source of “income”. ( Yes, even though I spend 110 rupees a month on the bill, I still get a child like pleasure when it gets weighed at 5 rupees per kg 🙂 )

But, today was different. There was some news today that came as a surprise to me. BBMP had decided to spend 330 crores to fill potholes in Bangalore. Probably some BBMP official had witnessed my last night “stunt” on Honda Unicorn (which is indeed a monster to handle for a lightweight soul like me) when one of the potholes obliged me with its utmost hospitality. The tyres slipped, the monster fell towards my left and I headed towards my first holy dip in Bangalore. I have taken several dips in the Ganges at Haridwar, but the feeling of this dip in the muddy waters at Marathahalli was no less divine. I bet, you too would have enjoyed it for sure 😉

And then came the toughest part. My pair of jeans looked hopeless with all possible layers of “natural sediments”. Gosh, why there isn’t a concept of disposable clothes, I thought. And I soon remembered the surf excel ad- “Daag achchey hain”.
What crap! Ask those poor souls who do their laundry themselves 😦
Sheepishly, I consoled myself with a quote on positive attitude. When a flying bird shits into your eye, you don’t cry, rather you say – “Thanks God. At least cows don’t fly 😉 ”

Two months have passed since then and there isn’t November rain anymore. Seasons have changed and the potholes have been covered. But my ‘Lawman’ still lies in the bathroom and I am still contemplating on buying a washing machine.