Monday, December 31, 2012

Dil Chahta Hai

Note 1: For those special few people.

Note 2: 'Dil Chahta Hai' is very dear to me. Its organic quality has led my movie's interpretation to evolve as have I. I doubt anything else comes even close.

Agar mai tumse kahoon ki mai tumse pyaar karta hoon, tab bhi nahi?
Mai tum se aur sirf tumse pyaar karta hoon. Meri har saans, meri har dhadkan, mere har pal mai tum aur sirf tum ho.
Mujhe yakeen hai ki sirf isliye janma hoon ki tumse pyaar kar sakoon, aur tum sirf isliye ki ek din meri ban jao.
Tum meri ho, aur agar tum apne dil se poochogi to jaan logi ki mai sach keh raha hoon.

College was great. Sleepy days, crazy, sleepless nights. Nothing could stop us, and we could face everything. We were the world and we needed nothing else. It seemed complete. The balance had been achieved.

Mai kabhi soch bhi nahi sakta tha ki hum dono kahin aise baith ke baatein kar rahe honge.

We set out on our own individual paths, trying to make our own destiny, fighting our own fights, running our own races. Along the way, maybe we had left the things close to us far behind. Struggling, really. Without a clue about what hit us and when. Without realizing that time didn't run as slowly as it used to. And irreparably so, maybe. Maybe. Life happened?

It wasn't complete, and the balance wasn't perfect.

We all have, or eventually will, meet someone. And we will know we have met that someone when:

1) An 'I hate you' from her, to which you can reply with a smile, 'No you don't', comes second only to a 'I love you too' when you say 'I love you' to her.

Tum bhi naa, daraa diyaa naa bechaare ko.
I hate you.

Or, 2) 
Swarg ke darwaaze pe khadaa hai, magar andar nahi jaana chahta
Wo khuda se ek din maang raha hai, Cressida se aakhri baar milna chahta hai
Wo use bataana chahta hai ki wo usse kitna pyaar karta hai.
Agar use wo ek din mil jaaye, to use hazaar maut aur kabool hai.

Or, 3)
Agar wo mere saath hoti, aur kisi ne aisi waisi harkat ki hoti,
to mai use jaan se maar deta.
I would've killed him.

2), 3), must not be taken literally, of course, on account of it being too extreme. Anyway.

Imbalance, incompleteness, imperfection leads to balance, completeness, perfection. Full circle, if you may, stronger, surer than before. Imperfections made us complete. The sum was always greater than the parts, double, even more. Some, perfect, parts, not so much.

The beginning will be the end, the dream still kicking and wildly alive:

Agar mai kahoon ki mai tumse pyaar karta hoon
tab bhi nahi?
Mai tumse aur sirf tumse pyaar karta hoon
Meri har saas,
Meri har dhadkan
Mere har pal mai tum ho
Aur sirf tum ho
Mujhe yakeen hai ki mai sirf is liye janma hoon
ki tumse pyaar kar sakoon
Aur tum is liye ki ek din meri ban jao
Agar tum apne dil se poochogi
To jaan logi
Ki mai sach keh raha hoon

Dil Chahta Hai...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rajdhani Express (from Rajdhani Express)

Note 1: I am posting this from Rajdhani Express.

Note 2: I realised that since I have come to Bangalore, I have not done any train journey at all! Specifically Rajdhani Express, it's been almost 8 years since I boarded one. It is the one thing that the Indian Railways gets right after-all (apart from Palace on Wheels, I suppose). I used to absolutely love the experience as a kid. They used to serve soup-sticks with soup. Soup-sticks! On a train! Must have that experience again. I am on an epic 34-hour journey from Delhi to Bangalore. On Rajdhani Express.

I reached the Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi well in advance. I went to my platform, my train was waiting for me. How sweet! I checked the passenger chart pasted beside the entrance of my coach 'B8', not to confirm my name on the chart, but for a more customary glance to scout for 'F22' to 'F26' "fellow" passengers. This is the reason I had booked a 3rd AC ticket as against a 2nd AC ticket. You have 5 fellow passengers in 2nd AC, but 7 fellow passengers in 3rd AC. I was merely hoping to tilt 'Law of averages' in my favour. If it worked, imagine a cute girl sitting next to you with nowhere to go and no-one to talk to but you for 34 hours. Thirty, four, hours! I could have then let my charm do the rest.

As luck would have it, most of my co-passengers are > 'M45'. Worse, there is a family travelling with an ever-curious 8-year old kid travelling ALL the way to Bangalore with me. The annoying kid began asking his dad weird questions, which apparently pissed off his dad, even. The kid wanted to know a real-time answer to "Papa, train ki speed kitni hai abhi?", asked every two minutes. The geek in me made me tell the dad that there was an android app which he could install on his phone which tells the exact speed using GPS. Indirectly, my way of telling the kid to STFU. Thank goodness for the invention of GPS. One annoying kid shut up. And as if fate hadn't already had all the fun with me, there were two cute girls, my age, sitting bang in the next compartment. I smiled at them, they ignored me, life moved on. I realised that my coach was a bait rather than a 'B8', and I had fallen into its trap.

The clock struck 8:50 PM, and the train moved. Woah! ON TIME?! Like I said, the one thing Indian Railways gets right.

As soon as the train started, the staff jumped to action, and oh boy, first up, soup with soup-sticks! Paisa wasool already! While sipping my soup, I realised that a train journey is so much more comfortable than air travel. You have ample space to sleep, eat, stretch, relax. Plus, for people who smoke, there are two excellent smoking lounges (read: toilets) on both sides of the coach! If only the staff who served food looked like their Indian air-travel counterpart:

So, after a proper three-course dinner, I took out my laptop, and aptly for the moment, decided to watch a romantic comedy - 'The Princess Bride'. Nothing much about the movie, except that I found parts of the movie mildly annoying. It did though answer something for me which I have been thinking about since I started watching 'Sherlock'. Remember the pilot episode? In which the cabbie has pills in two containers in front of him, one of them poisoned and the other not, and our hero has to deduce which one is poisonous and has to make his pick. Well, the case gets solved, cabbie is killed (apologies for the spoiler), but we never find out which was the correct choice. The exact same game is played in 'The Princess Bride', with a solution that is both plausible and mind-boggling, even in the context of 'Sherlock', which made the movie worthwhile.

Another equally awesome discovery I made on this trip was Alpenliebe Mangofillz, which they served with the evening snacks. Oh. My. God. I haven't had a candy so full of joy in a LONG time. Smooth, delicious, filled with raw mango awesomeness! I am going to buy me a jar as soon as I reach Bangalore!

About 12 hours of my journey to go, which includes a movie or two, and another awesome dinner, until Bangalore...

Rajdhani Express (from Rajdhani Express)...

Sunday, December 09, 2012

7 types of dancers at Indian weddings

Note 1: With the wedding season on, here's to The Great Indian Wedding.

Note 2: I am most interested in weddings for the food.

Indian weddings are so much fun! And dancing. Dance is an integral part of the weddings. Baraat. And the relatively recent development - "DJ". The types of dancers, not an exhaustive list, typically found -

#1 The good dancer
They have no agenda and just enjoy dancing. They really don’t care what anyone else is doing. Often, this includes the prettiest girl around, and you cannot help but be smitten by such grace. Often the bride's sister, or her best friends.

#2 The performer
They need a stage to show the people how great their dance movies are, and treat dancing not as an expression of happiness at weddings but as a full-blown stage-performance, often at the risk of it being not fun anymore.

#3 The moves copier
They are not the best dancers around, but have seen enough videos on the TV to know the exact moves. They will eagerly wait for their song, and become unstoppable once it does. Often, these are the same people who will try to pull the by-standers to the floor and try to make them dance alongwith them, resulting in the 1-minute teasers.

#4 The 1-minute teaser
This is the person who is usually a by-stander, gets pulled into the mix by someone, gives us a 1 minute display of awkward dance moves, usually coupled with a lot of clapping. Then, obviously embarrassed, but trying very hard to not let it show, sheepishly goes off, until, of course, someone else drags them again soon enough. They, in turn, also drag a few other by-standers with them to share their embarrassment.

#5 The Bhangra dancer
One move fits all, irrespective of the song played. Punjabi or not.

#6 The Shady Casanova
This man wants to dance with each and every pretty looking girl on the floor, except, the pretty single girl on the dance floor is perfectly happy dancing with other pretty single girls on the dance floor. They often include the groom's best friends still single, who, under peer-pressure coupled with quarter-life crisis, feel they have to take matters in their own hands, right then, right there.

#7 The Hipster Uncle
The cool-dude uncle who think he's "still got it". Usually the one who dives in head-first, often after 5 pegs of McDowell's, and does not seem to want to to quit. On an already crowded dance floor, this uncle, by some miracle, clears a 2-meters-radius space around him.

7 types of dancers at Indian weddings...

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

7 girls who I'm glad are my age

Note 1: About 3 years ago, around the time I really started posting, I did three blog posts - '7 girls I wish were more famous', '7 Indian girls I wish were more famous', and '7 girls I wish were less famous', with a promise and hope that at some point, I would complete 7 posts in the '7 girls' series. This is the 4th post in that series, which I will hopefully complete. Although, considering my current pace, it seems a decade would pass by the time I would be able to do that.

Note 2: 2012 has been a good year for Indian cinema, and with that, have emerged new, fresh faces in the industry. This is my tribute to a memorable year for Indian cinema.

My age is a good age to be. I am making enough money to have a good lifestyle, so life doesn't suck as much (money-wise) as it did when I was in college. There are limited liabilities, and no real "worries" in life. Life's good. The best part about being this age is that most of the beautiful girls we see on-screen are also around this age. This, might be happening for the first time in our lives, when they take a very real form in our head, and the probability of our running into them randomly (at a pub, maybe, or at the airport, and so on) and our picking up a conversation with them and "hitting it off" increases. Albeit minisculely, still. I mean, I can imagine running into one of these girls somewhere and picking up a conversation with them with a "Hey, you know, I wrote a post about you.", and if it doesn't creep them out, I can imagine how awesomely we would get along and have so much fun in the subsequent 4 hours, and maybe a lifetime of togetherness.

So, the girls on this list are around my age, +/- 2 years (remember lifetime of togetherness?), and should have had atleast one release during 2012 (since this is a tribute to a good year for Indian cinema). 

#7 Sonakshi Sinha (25)

She stunned in Dabangg, and I am hoping she would manage it again this year in Dabangg 2. Yes, she's on this list despite the jokes about her forehead.

#6 Shruti Hassan (26)

A singer and a music director too, I'm not sure how her 2012 release 3 performed, but she makes her presence felt in just a few glimpses in the video of the blockbuster song from that movie, Why this Kolaveri Di.

#5 Prachi Desai (24)

I hear Bol Bachchan is a terrible movie, still.

#4 Ileana D'Cruz (25)

What's with the cute persona of South Indian actresses?! Anyway, playing a not-so-likable character in her Hindi debut Barfi!, she manages to hold her own alongside power-packed performances by the leads.

#3 Priya Anand (26)

Yes, she played that very likable (albeit a little cliché) character in English Vinglish, plus she gets bonus points for her name. She looks great in this ad-film, if only we got to see another movie or two which exploit her girl-next-door looks fully.

#2 Yami Gautam (24)

So glad she got a break into movies from doing soap operas such as Yeh Pyar Na Hoga Kam and Chand Ke Paar Chalo. I suspect Vicky Donor's success had nothing to do with a good script or a clever story. At least I wouldn't have enjoyed a movie about a sperm donor which did not have her. Her next Hindi release is going to be 'Hamara Bajaj', with the same production team as Vicky Donor. Can't wait!

#1 Huma Qureshi (26)

If there is one girl on this list I want to randomly meet somewhere, pickup a conversation, leading to a lifetime of togetherness, she would be the one! Such grace, poise, beauty, and talent! Who needs "size-zero"?! She is just so... real. After two critically acclaimed releases this year (GoW,  Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana), she has two declared upcoming projects, including one to be directed by Vishal Bharadwaj. I don't understand why Ray Ban hasn't signed her up to be the face for their brand in India!

I might have missed considering a few people for this list (à la Nargis Fakhri, Parineeti Chopra, Alia Bhatt, etc.), but that's because I haven't seen them on-screen yet.

7 girls who I'm glad are my age...