A review | Don

October 31, 2006 at 5:35 pm
Well, almost a good movie!

Farhan Akhtar tries an Indian James Bond but why did he have to choose a script of an old Indian blockbuster for this purpose? Maybe he consulted his father Mr. Javed Akhtar to write such a script and he said why not pick up one from my old tried and tested ones! And in 2006, you are treated to a film that is based (well, almost!) on a script written in the late 1970’s.
“Don 2006” is stylish and is twisted and convoluted beyond the recognition of the 1978 Don. Any resemblances to the original should be considered purely coincidental in fact. That’s the way in which Farhan Akhtar has adapted the script. Any comparisons to the original will only make you feel worse having watched Don 2006.

 

So, let’s steer out of comparison mode but not totally. The story, atleast the major part, is based on the Don 1978. Don is caught by police (DCP) and replaced with a look-alike “Vijay” to infiltrate the group and pass on information to the police. Then in a rare turn of events, the DCP dies and Vijay is left alone to fight it out all alone. So far so good and even Don 2006 sticks to this. Well, almost!

Farhan Akhtar brings in his intellect here. He hasn’t considered the Don 1978 script to be sacrosanct. He has made massive changes to make it interesting. And succeeds to an extent too. But then, it raises so many questions in your mind that when you are out of the theater you are busy debating certain things with everyone around you that you are not exactly thinking whether the movie was good or not. Now, I don’t think that’s the way one would want to end this movie after so much of effort to make it more interesting.

The Kareena cameo is not choreographed well enough. Farah Khan can do good work to party songs and dance numbers. She is not your person to do “seduction” numbers. I mean Kareena danced like she wanted to make Don dance with her and not sleep with her! The Farah Khan ability comes out very well in the “Khaike pan banaraswala” song combined with Shah Rukh Khan’s energy, the song is a pleasure to watch. (Utterly out-of-situation, but as Farhan Akhtar says, “Don would be incomplete without the song” and I agree)

The movie could have been shot better. The blurry look doesn’t help the slick image that Farhan wants. Paris (the action sequence to introduce Don was shot here. Why? You ask? Because Don is an international criminal!) was shown in such a hazy light that I was rubbing my eyes to believe what I had seen! If you want the movie to look slick then please hire a good cinematographer. A Ravi K Chandran or a Santosh Sivan would have done very well. Who is Mr. Mohanan? All people with names ending with “N” don’t make good cinematographers! (P.C. Sriram for example) The worst piece of cinematography I have seen is of that sequence on the Petronas Towers.

The editing, the scenes jump from one to another. Especially the scene involving DCP, Don and Roma where revelations are made and suddenly next scene is Don is in the school. Looks like a rearrangement of scenes in the hindsight. It is definitely a very amateurish attempt to cover up the twists and turns. At many other places too, the movie jumps. Not at all a good sign of editing a movie. If I had to rate editing alone, I would have given it zero stars.

The direction, considering the potential of Farhan Akhtar, could have been better definitely. Personally, I didn’t like the way he had characterized “Don”. Don is a womanizer (that tilted head with winged hands caricature of the ballet rehearsal at Paris was enough to establish that) and he drools over girls dressed in bikinis. He is a courier boy who goes to deliver his own stuff to seal business deals. He is a criminal wanted by the Interpol and only 5 cops including two old cops are on this search. The police have no photo of the enemy (Vardhan) of Singhania (Don’s boss) but have a shot of Don with which he could have entered a modeling contest (Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai tho Vardhan ko Don bhi nahi pakad nahi paaya! Ab uske bare main socho!) Finally, Don is a small-time arms dealer who grew big because of the disintegration of Russia. Why is this required at all?! If he could have worked on his characterization a bit more, such stupid things wouldn’t have been necessary to convince us of the gravity of the situation. Anyways, Farhan Akhtar fails completely in characterizing Don – his main character, but succeeds in keeping us glued to the seats till the eternally long movie ends. (Is there some rule that all SRK movies need to extend beyond three hours or something like that?)

The music of the movie is a highlight that keeps us interested. Mainly because the songs are recycled from the past and made to suit today’s sound. But I have a problem with the title song. Shaan’s voice sounds too hollow to be a Don’s voice. A voice with slightly more gruffiness in it would have done the job better. Maybe Shankar Mahadevan himself should have moderated his voice around a little bit and sung. Naresh Iyer would have been a great choice for this song. The background music is catchy. Giving the movie a James Bond feel is the background music.
The stunts and the special effects department could have done better in the Air drop sequence or for that matter the Petronas towers sequence. Both of them fall flat. Like “Lakshya”s war sequences most of the stunts here fall flat. First, because there is not a strong enough concept behind it and second it is shot badly. Very badly. An out-of-context thought here: What was the white villain doing in the prison and the aeroplane? Why was he required? To tell us that Don is an international criminal? Why couldn’t Farhan Akhtar move away from the clichés (that usually surround a Salim-Javed script) and give us a convincing version of the original? Well he tried. And it worked. Well, Almost!

Shah Rukh Khan does his part. After “Swades”, he has tried a non-mushy mushy movie for which we should nominate this film to the Oscars. There is no trembling voice here. No smiles and teary hand-waves showing ‘tatas’. Probably, not having seen him in such a role for a long long time I thought he was about to change into the Karan Johar wardrobe any moment. No slow motion running. (He would be dead in that case! LOL!) Good pair of coolers he wears. Makes quite a style statement by wearing his tie inside. The only person who could have carried all this off was Govinda. Sad to see SRK substituting for Govinda. But no, credit where it is due. SRK isn’t as irritating as he is in his other movies. And so he has done his part.

Let me not talk about other performances as I would tend to disclose the plot in that case. Let me just say that Bomman Irani is not wasted while Om Puri is given nothing short of shit. Priyanka Chopra is pleasant. Kareena tries in vain to be sexy and dies in the process. Arjun Rampal limps his way for a fight scene with SRK. The cast is irrelevant in Don. Well, almost!

Rating: ***

Legend:
*Stay at home
**If you have the time to kill, go ahead, but not recommended
***Watch if you are a film buff!
****Go watch it on the big screen!
*****Don’t miss watching this one on the big screen! Avoid piracy!

India: Injured before the war

October 28, 2006 at 3:23 pm

The injury list before our match against Australia:

  1. Munaf Patel
  2. Ajit Agarkar
  3. Yuvraj Singh

I am not much bothered about Ajit Agarkar, good riddens in fact! But I want both Munaf and Yuvraj to get back into the squad. Neither Kaif nor D. Mongia is a good enough replacement for this talented young chap.

Sreesanth is replacing Agarkar. That’s a great move. But do we really have place for this Kerala fast bowler? Depends on the pitch. Based on my 11, we will have to go with Powar if the pitch assists spinners or with Sreesanth otherwise. In any case, I feel Sreesanth is a good prospect for India. A potential spearhead of our pace attack. With Pathan repeatedly biting the dust, he would be the ideal partner to Munaf with the new ball.
————————————-

Pakistan, as expected, did play to their lowest potential. Makhaya Ntini bowled amazingly well at the beginning though at the end he was predictable with his deliveries pitching outside the off stump and coming into the batsman at chest height. Umar Gul showed Ntini what was wrong.

I didn’t understand a word of what Younis Khan spoke at the post-match awards function. Why couldn’t they speak in urdu/ hindi? I mean it was Rameez Raja who was compering, it would have been nice to know what Younis thought of his batsmen. Beats me! English needn’t be the de facto standard.
————————————

Today’s match: Eng-WI.

I would love it if England thrashed WI. Considering the present form, it looks highly likely that the vice-versa will happen.

Already WI is 75/1 (16th over). A good total of around 250+ will give them the much-needed batting practice ahead of their semi-final with New Zealand at Mohali.
————————————

The Indian squad to South Africa will be announced at Mohali after the Ind-Aus match on October 30th (Cricinfo is carrying an error in their headline). Good chance for the youngsters to prove themselves and come up trumps. An additional carrot to perform well apart from the fact that they will sail into the semis if they can beat Australia. My pick would be this:

  1. Rahul Dravid
  2. Sachin Tendulkar
  3. Anil Kumble (Please pick him. He needs some match practice before the WC ’07)
  4. Virendra Sehwag
  5. Yuvraj Singh
  6. Suresh Raina
  7. Dinesh Mongia
  8. Mohammed Kaif
  9. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
  10. Dinesh Karthick (He has proved himself in the domestic matches)
  11. Harbhajan Singh
  12. Irfan Pathan
  13. Munaf Patel
  14. Sreesanth
  15. V.R.V. Singh
  16. Zaheer Khan

Champions Trophy | India Vs. themsleves

October 27, 2006 at 10:50 am

“India were defeated by West Indies but not disgraced”, to quote my favourite Mr. Sidhu. We didn’t lose the match when we scored only 223. We didn’t lose the match when Raina dropped Gayle. We didn’t lose the match when R.P.Singh misfielded what should have been a single. We didn’t lose the match when Lara hit his solitary boundary. We were in with a chance when it was 6 needed off 6. And it was all on one man – Mr. Agarkar. Why on earth would anyone bowl a ball short and wide on the offside without having a sweeper in place? Stupid. This man bowled as if he had no match experience at all.

Anyways, it would be very stupid on my part to blame this man alone for this defeat. I should in fact blame WI for bringing me to blame my bowler of the last over of the innings, whereas this match should have been over within 40 overs itself! If we take Bhajji out of the equation, then I guess we would have seen that happen. If Dravid had instead persisted with Irfan Pathan to complete his spell, we would have seen the match end within 35 overs itself! Our new (or is he old now?) #3 batsman and #1 bowler failed on both accounts in this match. To me, this was the crucial link that led to the failure of the chain.

With Pathan being persisted at #3 by the coach and captain, the point to be noted is that: we understand you have your reasons behind doing it, but then it is not yielding the desired results. It is not that he has performed exceedingly well and India has continued to lose because of other technical reasons. His average at #3 is 24.93 [Source: Yesterday's extraaa innings programme (number of "a"s correct?)] and for a #3 batsman that’s quite embarassing. He has been given 11 chances at that position with maybe two or three fifties. Not really worth the effort. Please get back to using him as a trump card, not as a regular step.

Thinking of it from another perspective, that of Chappell-Dravid combine, I guess they are thinking of the “sacrifice”-trap that is used in chess. “Sacrifice”-trap means to sacrifice a piece of yours to open up the defence of the opposition and then attack with all your force. With due regards to the experience of the duo I think that kind of moves should be restricted to board games and mind games like chess. Please don’t sacrifice an excellent bowler and a decent batsmen like this. A rethink is suggested.

There have been fingers raised at Sehwag. But that’s the way this idiot plays. And I think he was going good against the Windies when one came back sharply and kept a little low. It’s not the kind of delivery you expect the only-Indian-batsman-to-have-a-triple-hundred-to-his-name to get out to, but then he is going through a bad patch and I strongly feel we need to persist with him. 18 months since he scored a hundred is fine. In fact, we don’t need him to score a hundred. If he can score a quickfire 40-50, we are off to a flier and the stage is set for the likes of Yuvraj, Dhoni, Raina and Pathan to come in and consolidate a 300+ total.

My team against Australia would be this:

  1. V. Sehwag
  2. S. Tendulkar
  3. Yuvraj Singh
  4. R. Dravid
  5. D. Mongia
  6. S. Raina
  7. M.S. Dhoni
  8. I. Pathan
  9. R. Powar
  10. Harbhajan Singh
  11. Munaf Patel

(The fifth bowler can be shared among Sehwag, Tendulkar, Yuvraj and Mongia)

I have dropped Agarkar. You could drop Pathan as well and keep Agarkar. But the Aussies would really cream Agarkar. Especially Ponting (who is due for a big score) loves Agarkar’s juicy half volleys bowled at a pace that is really not life-threatening. And Pathan can atleast swing a bit. So, that’s a gamble. I would have loved to have Anil Kumble against the Windies as well as Australia.

Needless to say that our batting needs to get its act together. Hoping (as ever!) for a Sharjah-repeat by Sachin Tendulkar against the Aussies.

—————–

Coming to today’s match of Pakistan Vs South Africa. The quarterfinal of the other group.

Betting on Pakistan would be stupidity. They are so mercurial in their temperament, that I had rather call mercury as being Pakistanial! Their performance against SL was as professional as unprofessional it was against NZ. If they can keep their batting steady against the SA bowling, then I guess they will score an easy victory. But their batting is what will decide who will win or lose. If you ask me, I don’t want the South Africans to win. I just don’t like the arrogance of that team despite being a distant second to Australia in everything. If they think that chasing 434 is enough for lifetime arrogance, then they are wrong.

Pakistan should go with their medium-pacers and spinners spearheading the attack. The SA’ns are good at playing fast bowling. Unfortunately they have no spinners worth talking about in their squad. And with a depleted fast bowling attack, they have no other option but to rely on medium pacers like Abdul(r?) Razzaq to do the job. Shoaib Mallik with his off-spin could be useful too.

This will be another match with scores in the range of 200 – 250, but unless you have the steely resolve of Windies to give the spectators’ their money’s worth, you should see SA coasting along easily.

My bet? Heart says Pakistan. Brain says South Africa. Let’s see.

About Champions and Narcissists

October 23, 2006 at 1:47 pm

So far…
Yet another dismaying performance from England. After all the talk about Ashes and the build-up to it, they caved in so meekly that you were left wondering if it was an Australia-Zimbabwe match. Now after the NZ-SL and Eng-Aus matches, the average of the teams batting first has come down to 190. Must be an all-time low for a tournament on the Indian sub-continent. It must be something to do with the pitch. These teams cannot continuously take the average down.

Tomorrow’s match…
SA-SL. It’s a quarter final for SL. If they lose they will find themselves on an early flight to Colombo while If they win, then they will have to wait for the Pak-NZ match on 25th and Pak-SA match on 27th and hope that Pak beats both NZ & SA. Instead of getting into more confusion let me just say the group is still open.

For the SA-SL match, I am backing the Sri Lankans yet again. Motera is a pitch that is traditionally known to take some pace in the beginning and spin later on. If that happens and SL win the toss and elect to bowl, then they are set for a victory. Handling Murali on the turning track with a dew-covered ball is going to be impossible for the inept SA batting line-up. Anyway, as Sidhu says If “ifs” and “buts” were “pots” and “pans” then there would be no tinkers! (If anyone knows what it means, do let me know. I used it because it sounded good! But I know that it talks something against this compulsive use of if’s and but’s to predict one’s own desire as the most practical outcome!)

And yesterday…
I watched this tamil movie called “Vallavan” which has Silambharasan acting and directing the flick. For the first time in my part-time career as a film critic I have come across someone who is more narcissistic than Kamal Hassan. Now, I don’t want all of you to pounce on me and say it is good to be a little narcissistic that’s when you can do great work. Well, I totally agree to that and for that I will quote every Kamal Hassan movie as proof (except maybe “Alavandan”).

Now coming to Narcissism gone haywire, welcome to the world of self-acclaimed Little Super Star Simbhu. He is mad. Crazy. Demented. He has just shot this movie to imitate Rajnikanth and Kamal Hassan and prove to himself that he is a divine combination of both of these. Also to take dirty below-the-belt potshots at S.J.Surya. [I am now shaking my head thinking of how Mr. S.J.Surya will now react to these!] “Vallavan” has been made so that Simbhu may kiss and fondle his ‘supposedly’ real-life sweetheart Nayanthara (who is stunningly beautiful after losing that extra flab around her waist!). I don’t think she even allows this guy with an oversized head near him otherwise! Why was sweet-faced Sandhya needed? And why was Reema Sen made to look like a tramp even in a school dress? I pity producer Mr. Thenappan for investing on Simbhu and totally support him if he hasn’t paid Simbhu 40% of his fees. This movie will not run beyond the first 4 days and there is a possibility that Simbhu’s house maybe stoned after this!

Even scenes with potential are spoilt in the name of some non-existent style. For eg., the scene where Simbhu walks upto some guy (who looks like he has fallen off from some RGV Factory’s movie set) and advises him on how love should be treated and induced in a girl by love but not threatened. One thing I didn’t understand amidst the hundreds of screwed up things in the movie is: Why do the sidekicks always make this puking sound while being pulled around by the rope after being hit by our Little Super Star (my foot! little super star!)?!! I am actually surprised he didn’t name it “Simbhuvan”!

To top it all…
I watched this movie in a drive-in theatre in Chennai.

  1. For starters, this guy doesn’t seem to have a cap on the capacity. He will allow as many cars as possible. And they will park themselves wherever they find it comfortable. There is nobody guiding these cars and I guess he never stops issuing the tickets.
  2. The canteen is of no use. He has bhel-puri, cutlet, paneer roll and veg roll. Period.
  3. I agree that as a theatre you have no control over lights that are lighting up the background behind the screen, but please switch off those lights (Ladies Toilet lights, canteen lights, etc.) or atleast find some way of covering it up so that it doesn’t disrupt the cinema-viewers experience.
  4. Can you please strictly check the cars of those coming into the theater for alcoholic drinks? The car next to us was having beer and smoking away to glory. It (Beer can smell awful and the smoke made it claustrophobic) made our experience much worse than Simbhu intended to.
  5. The sound system is pathetic. The Auto Drivers’ Stand next to my house hired better speakers for their Ayudha Puja celebrations. The frequency of sounds generated by your speakers would have been better intercepted by owls and bats! Save us, we are human beings!

Sathyam Cinema wins hands down on all accounts!

Champions Trophy | Batsmen need to turn it on

October 20, 2006 at 10:44 am

Champions’ Trophy has turned out to be an absolute cracker of a tournament. Australia were the hot favourites and South Africa were close second. India and Sri Lanka were considered to be the next in line considering their familiarity with the conditions. Pakistan, New Zealand, England and West Indies were given the least chances in that order!

England alone has stood upto the honour reluctantly though! Every other top favourite has failed. South Africa, as always, are bad losers. They have begun complaining about the pitch after they failed to negotiate the off-spin of one Mr. Patel – a third rung spinner of the New Zealand side. The gap between the bat and pad was like as if I could have driven my pulsar through it. Why don’t they learn to gracefully accept that they lost to a good team? Useless buggers.

I am digressing. This Champions Trophy is interestingly poised. With everyone in with a chance of making it to the semi-finals. It would have been really boring if Australia had a winning streak and they beat some flash-in-the-pan finalist. As of today, Australia – theoretically – has the second least chances of making it to the next stage. But we know the Aussie mindset. They will rock back like no one else can.

Pakistan has a cricket board without a chairman. The same fate awaited their captaincy too. Two of their main bowlers went home for ‘doping’ (a largely unheard of event in cricket and only the Great Shane Warne has done it once before the World Cup). The present captain had once refused to take up captaincy. They were literally down in the dumps. But then, nobody (not one cricket observer) wrote them off. Pakistan is know to rise like a Phoenix and they did it. Stopping the Sri Lankan lions in the midst of their winning streak!

And on the other side, there was this West Indian team whose fortunes seem to be linked to the BSE Sensex. Just a couple of days back they were playing the qualifiers to qualify for the tournament. And a couple of months back they had beaten the World’s #2 ODI team India 4-1 in a 5 match series at home. A day before they were all our for a total score of 80 or something, their lowest ever against Sri Lanka. And here they beat Australia with ease! [I have a feeling Australia will drop Micheal Clarke for their next match against traditional rivals England. His run-out of Gilchrist was the turning point for me]

How much more unpreditable can this game get? As an ardent cricket follower, I love this kind of tournaments where everyone is doing their best and even the best is challenged at the job they do the best. It didn’t start off with so much promise though.

Today’s match of NZ v/s SL is going to be damn interesting. It would be even more interesting if SL can pull it off against NZ. If SL loses this match, they are (more or less) out of the tournament. So, it’s a do-or-die for them. The Sri Lankans are good players of spin. All these Patels and Vettoris (I know I cannot write him off like that, but then I feel he cannot battle the left-handers dominated batting line-up) cannot shake the steady line-up from Jayasuriya to Sangakkara. I would drop Tharanga for this match. Yes, I know he has two hundreds (against Bangladesh and even worse Zimbabwe) and is in good nick. But if you saw the way in which Edwards got him first ball and Abdur Razzaq’s harmless delivery which he edged. He is not the kind of player you want to go with against quality teams. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh is fine. But Sri Lanka please don’t give away your first wicket quickly again. My money is on SL for today!

Another interesting aspect of the tournament has been that, all the games played so far have been low scoring and slow. Generally, you expect high-scoring and quick games on the sub-continent pitches. Just have a look at these scores of teams batting first (I have ignored the qualifying part):
1. England: 125
2. New Zealand: 195
3. Sri Lanka: 253
4. West Indies: 234

The Average score of the team batting first in Champion’s trophy is: 202.

And that’s shocking to say the least. You expect the average to hover somewhere in the range of 250 – 275. And what we have now is a good 50 runs below.

Come on batsmen! Turn it on! Don’t whine like the South Africans about the pitch. Learn from Flemming (89), Morton (90*), Lara (71) and Gilchrist (92)!

UPA – Blog Star

October 19, 2006 at 4:40 pm

Recently a compeition was announced by UPA, Hyderabad. I found the announcement on Kiruba’s blog. I entered my blog link there and then forgot about it.

Today there was a mail in my inbox informing me that I was a winner. You can also check out this link to see the announcement!

I am now a “UPA – Blog Star”!

Thanks UPA! And thanks Kiruba for letting me know about the competition!

I am supposed to put up a logo on my site saying that I won this competition. It will be up in a short while! I am also going to get a certificate and a trophy!

THE BEST…

October 17, 2006 at 4:10 pm

[via email from Sandhya]

…HEADLINES OF 2005 -2006
(Note that these are ACTUAL headlines)

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
[No, really?]

Crack Found on Governor’s Daughter
[Imagine that!]

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
[Now that's taking things a bit far!]

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
[What a guy!]

Miners Refuse to Work after Death
[No-good-for-nothing' lazy so-and-sos!]

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
[See if that works any better than a fair trial!]

War Dims Hope for Peace
[I can see where it might have that effect!]

If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
[You think?!]

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
[Who would have thought!]

Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain; PoliceSuspect Homicide
[They may be on to something!]

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
[You mean there's something stronger than duct tape?!]

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
[Weren't they fat enough?!]

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
[That's what he gets for eating those beans!]

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
[They taste like chicken?]

Local High School Dropouts cut in Half
[Chainsaw Massacre all over again!]

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
[Boy, are they tall!]

And the winner is….

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
[Did I read that sign right?]

‘Jeevan’ se bhari, teri aankhen, yeh tag kiya hai maine sirf tere liye…tere liye! :)

October 16, 2006 at 10:30 am

Jeevan dedicated this tag to me. I accept it humbly. Here it is.

1. Are you happy / satisfied with your blog, with its content and look?
# I am happy with my blog. Satisfied? Well no. I don’t think I will ever be satisfied with it. I am always finding some area for improvement somewhere. Sometimes, I am not happy with the content, sometimes it’s the look. Recently I changed the template of my blog because I just wanted a change.

2. Does your family know about your blog?
# Yes. My wife rarely reads it. But whenever I tell her that I have written something about Surya or some such personality she really likes, she makes it a point to read.
My father, mother and brother regularly read it. And sometimes I do get some brickbats from them. For posts like this one, I even got phone calls saying what the $#&*%^ are you writing?
My Father-In-Law keeps in touch with this space sporadically and we discuss a few of my posts too.

3. Do u feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog or you just consider it as a private thing?
# No. Never. In fact I keep marketing my blog wherever I go! ;)

4. Did blogs cause positive changes in your thoughts?
# Yes. Definitely.

5. Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or you love to go and discover more by yourself?
# I do open blogs of those who comment on my blog. I think that’s the barest minimum I can do for those who comment on my blog. If I find myself reading their blogs then I too leave a comment telling them what I felt.
I rarely search for blogs on a random basis. I have done that once or twice in the past but don’t generally find the time for it. Instead I would like to read the archives of the known bloggers so that I can know more about them.

6. What does visitors counter mean to you? Do you care about putting it in your blog?
# Frankly, not much! In fact, when I started blogging I didn’t have a sitemeter/ hit counter on my blog. Then I began copying a few other bloggers and thought that it was a basic element on a blog. Though now I have a completely different outlook about it, I don’t want to take it off. Call me lazy if you want! ;)

7. Did you try to imagine your fellow bloggers and give them real pictures?
# Sometimes I do. But don’t really think about it much. If they have put up their pictures it’s fine. Otherwise I don’t really bother. I have come to have certain ideas about certain bloggers and the way they post or comment. But that’s it. Nothing pictorially gets formed in my mind. I guess my mind is also as lazy as I am! ;)

8. Do you think there is a real benefit for blogging?
# Well, I don’t know if there is a real benefit for blogging, but I think there is definitely a benefit that we bloggers derive out of blogging. Sometimes it may be tanglibe sometimes it may be intangible. Can’t really put a finger on that.

9. Do you think that bloggers society is isolated from real world or interacts with events?
# Mostly yes. Except for stray events like BlogCamp, nothing really happens that connects the bloggers to the real world.

10. Does criticism annoy you or do you feel it’s a normal thing?
# I like and desire to have constructive criticism. I keep asking people to give me critical feedback about my blog. Sometimes there is criticism that gets personal and I don’t really react to such stuff but I do make a mental note of it that such & such a person is capable of making personal attacks. But that’s it.
Many a time, I have criticised a lot of bloggers and they have responded too. We have had discussions and arguments too. But never has anything ended in bad taste, because rarely did we lose perspective of the issue.
Sometimes, I lose my cool and get personal. But I do apologize. I don’t like people who don’t apologize for their mistakes.
There was one person called “Aatma” who used to comment regularly on my blog sometime back. His comments used to really make me think and I used to take his feedback seriously. I don’t know where he is today, I hope he comes back and takes his unspoken reserved place as my partner in an endeavour to blog better. Oh yeah Aatma, wish you a very very happy married life mate!

11. Do you fear some political blogs and avoid them
# I would like to read a few political blogs to know what stuff they write. As of now, I have no opinion because I don’t know of any such blogs.

12. Did you get shocked by the arrest of some bloggers?
# Arrested?!?! That’s news to me! The worst I heard was a blogger was forced to resign his job for cricticising some management institute. That really shocked me! Is it wrong to have an opinion and put it up on your blog? What else are blogs for?

13. Did you think about what will happen to your blog after you die?
# Nope. Never thought about it. Let me think now: It’s an avenue of expression for me. After I am gone, I don’t think i will want it to be there. In any case, no one will have the password to it na, so it will become dormant. And once it’s dormant in this blogsphere, it will die it’s own death.

14. What do you like to hear? What’s the song you might like to put a link to in your blog?
# I like to listen to A R Rahman’s music. There are so many songs that I would like to link through my blog that it’s tough to pick one. Since I have to do it, it would be this song:
“Dil Se re…” sung and composed by A R Rahman (from Dil Se…)

Now it’s my turn to dedicate this tag to three more people:
1. Pavan (Because I love his sense of humour and sarcasm)
2. Shastri (Because he has stopped blogging for a long time and I hope he gets back to it with this tag!)
3. Vijay (Because his posts are so interesting, I would like to know his thoughts on these questions)

A R Rahman begins another era

October 12, 2006 at 4:31 pm

This article had to be on my blog. For two reasons: One, I love A R Rahman and Two, about Shah Rukh Khan the less said the better!

 

Considering that most filmmakers would give an arm and a leg to work with A R Rahman, it’s something of a shocker to know that King Khan has replaced him with
Vishal-Shekhar (Bluffmaster!, Dus) for his upcoming project. The film in question is Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om, which is being produced by SRK’s banner, Red Chillies Entertainment.

SRK had a problem

The grapevine goes that the deal was scrapped for two reasons. Firstly, Shah Rukh didn’t like the tunes that Rahman had composed. Secondly, Rahman demanded a huge amount as his fee, which Farah refused to pay.

When contacted, Rahman says that he is indeed out of Om Shanti Om, but denies that SRK had problems with his compositions (they’ve earlier worked together in Dil Se and Swades). “The truth is that we had some problems over contractual obligations. That is why I am not doing the film,” he says.

Rahman adds that he wanted the publishing rights of the music to rest with the producer, the lyricist and the composer. But Farah and Shah Rukh flatly refused.

“Actually, Shah Rukh had a problem. He could not come to terms with what I wanted. We were trying to sort this out since the last two to three months, but it just didn’t happen. SRK is a big star and maybe he doesn’t need anybody. I wish it had materialised so that more composers can get their dues in India. Someone has to start this here and I am pressing for it.”

Aamir understood

On the other hand, Rahman has succeeded in getting a share of the publishing rights for Aamir Khan’s next film, directed by Abbas Tyrewalla. “I met Aamir and he understood what I wanted in an instant. It could be because Tyrewalla’s film is a small budget venture, unlike Farah’s, which is a biggie,” Rahman says.

And what of the 2 crore that he demanded as his fee? Rahman says, “I don’t do just the music in the songs, I also provide the background score. So I charge accordingly. But I guess it’s okay. Farah and I went our own ways this time, but we did tell each other that we’d work together some other time.”

‘We love Rahman’

For his part, Vishal Dadlani is glad to be a part of the project. “It’s true that Shekhar and I are doing Om Shanti Om now. We’ve known Farah for nearly two years and have done a lot of work together. She called us ten days back, and we were very happy to do it for her. We got so charged after listening to the story that we’re already ready with four songs,” he says.

The duo is also aware that Rahman was doing the film before them. “We knew that, but didn’t get into the details of what transpired between them. To tell you the truth, we are in this industry because of Rahman. He’s a great inspiration. If we were to make a film tomorrow, we would sign A R Rahman to compose the music.”

Interestingly, quite a few eyebrows were raised when Farah chose Rahman over Anu Malik for Om Shanti Om, considering his music played a big role in the success of Main Hoon Na. Our well-informed sources tell us that before assigning Om Shanti Om to Rahman, Farah had indeed thought of Anu but later changed her mind.

We wonder if the soundtracks of Zindaggi Rocks or Umrao Jaan might have had something to do with that?

Irrespective of this article I knew that A R Rahman is out of Om Shanti Om. I don’t know what the problem was though. Though I might not particularly like SRK, I have come to know him as a professional going about doing his job while the media creates all these images. Maybe the money that would come from the music rights was the only biggest chunk that they thought it could produce! (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one!)

On a serious note, kudos to A R Rahman for standing up and asking for his rights. This act of his stands to benefit the entire community of music directors. We are with you A R Rahman. And we love you as always!

HR Policy | Effective FY2007

October 11, 2006 at 2:30 pm

[Via email from Sandhya]

Dress Code
It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci HOOCHI bag, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Sick Days
We will no longer accept a doctor’s statement as proof of sickness. If You are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Annual Leave Days
Each employee will receive 104 Annual Leave days a year. They are Called Saturday and Sunday.

Toilet Use
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a Strict three-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken. After your second offence, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the chronic offenders category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sanctioned under the company’s mental health policy.

Lunch Break
Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more, so That they can look healthy. Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure. Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that’s all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations,
aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and inputs should be directed elsewhere.

Regards,
The Management
“It Can Only Get Better!”