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Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

January 23, 2011

I happened to watch this Bollywood movie Johnny Gaddaar last night and most of you Bollywood fans may be wondering, “Hello, Tera Kya Hoga Johny release ho gaya aur yeh bhaisahab ab tak Neil Nitin Mukesh (NNM) ke pahele film par atke hue hai.”  But you see, the former movie released at a time when I was still coming to terms with the intricacies of Graduate life and a lot of good movies made their way unnoticed by my erstwhile filmy eyes.

So yesterday as I perused through my portfolio of potentially good movies that I perhaps may like, I decided on watching Johnny Gaddaar, which as per Wiki has been hailed widely as a path breaking film in the Hindi movie industry. The film begins with a dedication towards Vijay Anand and James Hadley Chase and works of both personalities make their presence felt as the movie progresses. But, I feel the movie is also an ode to Big B. The introductory music piece is very Don-ish and the plot keeps referring to Parwana – one of Big B’s pre-Zanjeer movies. Its amazing how Big B’s movies are still a source of inspiration for the Bollywood fraternity. Be it Farhan’s version of Don or the soon-to-be-remade Agneepath. In fact the night after the Philadelphia marathon, we were having dinner at a desi dhabhi-like place close to downtown. And in the sitting area, a tiny TV-VCR was setup showing Big B’s Hera Pheri. I was reminded of Shanky’s famous dialogue, “All the way you came here to do what – sit in a dhabha and watch Big B’s movies’ on VCR.”

All in all, I was highly impressed with Johnny Gaddaar. There are a few flaws and assumptions but the movie moves swiftly from scene to scene and one is sucked into the plot through some wonderful performances by Vinay Pathak, Dharmendra, Zakir Hussain (not the table maestro) and last, but not the least, NNM – playing the protagonist. I was in fact surprised by the veracity of Johnny’s character who has to make impromptu decisions as he makes his way through crime and commotion. It reminded me of the game Mafia that is so popular at most pot-luck parties.

There is one scene that I particularly liked where NNM asks Dharmendra, “Sir, itne paise ghar par rakhkar aapko darr nahi lagta, aapki umar bhi toh… ?” but before he can complete his statement Dharam twists NNM’s hands behind his back making NNM go into spasms of pain. Dharam in his inimitable style says, “It’s not the age, it’s the mileage.

The movie also briefly flashes scenes of the Pune Railway Station and the Pune Airport bringing back some sweet memories of both. For there was a time where my life revolved around transiting between Pune and Hyderabad, be it by plane, train or bus.

The fifth and final ODI is about to begin soon. Will India create history by winning it’s first ODI series in SA? Will the Weather Gods make their presence felt again? Or will SA triumph coming back from a 1-2 deficit? For the sheer love of the purity of sport, I hope nobody knows yet – Na Tum Jaano Na Hum…

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Vitalstatistix

November 15, 2010

I can’t believe the weather in State College is what it is. Sunday evening,  mid-November and a half- sleeves T-shirt is all I had on. (I had my Jeans on obviously). Needless to say preparing for the 8K run has become the cry of the hour for the last Coupleofwix. Many must be thinking that I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon Justforkix. But that’s not true. The State College Run-for-India team is dedicated towards its cause, and, as my manager would say, ‘is pushing beyond the boundaries’ of State College. I guess, one of our team-members, who is preparing for the full 26 mile marathon, would have to peregrinate [Barrons et al.] well beyond SC into the neighbouring towns.

Onto other things, Harbhajan scored his third successive fifty* against NZ. With due respects to Bhaji, the undercover agents within the NZ team seem to be Uptonoendoftrix. India tours SA next month. That would be the ultimate litmus ‘Test’ on our already-much-debated-about Test cricket ranking. It would be interesting to see who calls the shots there. (Too many puns na…)

2011 is around the corner and people who are looking to purchase their set of annual calenders do check out this link. The calendars cost 200 rupees each and the money is directed towards an NGO in Pune. Hopeitclix for them.

* Bhaji went on to score a century …

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Paanch

November 4, 2010

Paanch… My fifth blog of the year and what better an occasion than Diwali to get back to blogging.

Looking forward to the 5th of Nov and the weekend leading up after it.

In the mean-time, AID Penn State is again participating in Run for India this year. So signed up for the Philadelphia 8K run happening on the 20th Nov. The world’s fastest timing for a 8K run is something like 22 minutes. I am clocking close to 50 min now. Not too good me thinks. Need to pull up my socks (hehe). I’ll be posting my latest timings on my ‘Run for India‘ webpage. Please do visit the site and donations are more than welcome. All for a good cause. As the saying goes, “Neki kar neki paa…”

Addendum: Just to go with the flow of the whole  ‘Paanch’ punchline, here’s an advertisement that hit off pretty well a few years ago.


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Miss Calling

June 12, 2010

It was a hot summer afternoon. Monsoon had yet not set in. Class was going on – Engineering Maths II. Half the class was wondering what the other half was upto and vice versa. Maama, on the other hand, was sitting on the first desk, and trying hard to concentrate. Suddenly, his cell-phone began to ring.

“Dil kabootar khana hai…”

And then Sonu’s voice melted into silence.

Missed call.

Our Math’s professor, Nikam turned around with chalk in hand just like James Bond would have turned with a gun in hand.

“Yes, you. Stand up. Get outch”

“But, Sir…”

“Outch”

Our cat-sound-emanating specialist beckoned towards his call of duty.

“Meow!!!”

Distracted, Nikam turned to where the noise came from.

“Yes…  Anyone  else wants to get outch.”

Silence.

Nikam continued, “Aise hi aate ho aap class mein?”

Andy quipped from one of the back-benches, “Nahi Sir, tiffin leke aate hai.”

The whole class erupted in laughter and giggles.

Amongst the pandemonium, poor Maama was left standing, cursing himself as to why he had not kept his cell on silent.

How I miss those days of missed calls. Pranks played in class like calling up a person who had forgotten to switch his cell-phone off.

Another cell-phone prank that became very common was to switch phone numbers in the contact list of another guy.

Girlfriend’s number – xyz to abc

Girlfriend’s brother’s number – abc to xyz

Not tough to hazard a guess what happened next.

The one prank that yours truly is still remembered for is, while playing the annual department cricket tournament, every guy who won the man of the match award received a message from an unknown number signed “Secret Admirer” saying how wonderful his performance was and whether he would be willing to meet up over coffee.

I evidently found most parts of me bruised once my team-mates found out that I was their “Secret Admirer”.

But there were times when missed calls came really handy too. When you have Rs.2 balance on your pre-paid card and you desperately need to talk to your friend. Time for Mr. missed-call. Or when you need to inform your parents that you reached your friend’s place safely. Missed call.

Well, onto things of the present. World Cup fever has begun. Shakira is singing Waka Waka and K’naan urges all to Wave their Flag.

May the best team win.

And by that I mean Argentina.

P.S: People, do visit the site http://anonymoussmiles.blogspot.com/ A noble cause to spread cheer through handmade postcard greetings.

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Formula One

May 3, 2010

I was reading IndInMan’s blog on ‘Learning’ the other day and I couldn’t help but think that sometimes you just need some wise guy with a philosophical bent of mind to come and tell you the right thing, however much you may not like it.

Bham! In the face. Here is your answer.

And immaturity might come in the way of understanding the true meaning of the words, but sooner or later one understands.

Harsha Bhogale talks about talent and hard-work in this fantastic speech at IIM Ahmedabad where he gives an apt example comparing SRT and Vinod Kambli. Both talented, but today they stand on different pedestals of Indian cricketing history. HB ends the speech with the famous Urdu lines,

Khudi ko kar buland itna, ke har taqdeer sey pehley,
Khuda bande sey poochey, bata teri raza kya hai.


(Raise thyself to such heights, That God Himself may Ask-
What do you wish me to write in your fate ?)

On a lighter note, yesterday I was listening to a recording from Udayan Kanade’s DSP lectures and I was joyfully taken back into that crammed class-room of BMCC. While UK delved into the concepts of convolution and filter kernels, I was enjoying the occasional wise-cracks coming from the class. As the class drew to an end, I recognized a few of the voices discussing the class. These were apna VIT/Vincent’s paltan (P, A of PANGS, WNIB and AT). Sheer nostalgia. Click below for the conversation.

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Guy Talk – Part II

April 10, 2010
The weather in SC continues to stay consistently mercurial, but there was a brief period last week when the sun shone down benevolently on Happy Valley. Spring was in the air; there seemed to be a broad smile on every person’s face you met on the road and very few clothes on the women you saw around Campus.

My mind jogged back to those lazy summer days when I used to devour any Archie comic that I could lay my hands on. The world of Riverdale High School with its teenage characters never failed to tickle my sense of humour. The red-haired, freckled guy who kept juggling between his two girl-friends, his pal who couldn’t find a way to satiate his appetite, the conceited dude who thought three-much about himself, the studious and sincere student who only lived for his experiment and the dumb but strong athlete possessively in love with his gal, all had me ‘lol’ing quite so often.

I used to especially enjoy their short one-line comic strips aptly named like ‘Snow Woe’, ‘Blame Game’ etc. There was a recent conversation between two guys that seemed straight out of one of those one-liner strips. I think I can call it “Girl Twirl”. Here is how it went:

Dude 1 (D1) : Dude, there is this girl.

Dude 2 (D2) : There is always a girl.

D1 : We are good friends.

D2 : Thats always the case.

D1 : Will you shut up and listen!

D2 : Ok. Continue…

D1 : A lot of my friends ask me for her number, which obviously I dont give.

D2: Hmmm, seems you are interested in her. You thinking of asking her out?

D1 : No yaar, she is too good for me. Single, really beautiful and down-to-earth. Shes done her MA (BA bhi kiya hai usne). I am nothing in front of her. Pappu hoo mein, who cant even dance.

D2 : All single guys think like that. Opportunity is all that one needs. You have the opportunity dude. Do something.

D1 (highly irritated by now): Oh really? So what have you been doing?

D2 (suavely): Yeah, there is this girl who I briefly met and found interesting.

D1: And then?

D2: Opportunity. I dont have opportunity. Also I think she is already seeing someone else.

D1 : All single guys think like that.

And with that D1 had the last word.

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Life is a Beach – In Miami

January 10, 2010

Dhan te nan !!! A road trip planned to Miami for New Year’s eve. State College to Miami – over a 1000 miles drive one-way. Well, we (Enjoimaadi gang) had already done it once earlier in the year. Unplanned, and an unexpected adventure it was, from getting locked out of our apartment en route, to finding out that one of us had a driving license that had just expired and then finally reaching our destination at 5:30 am in the morning only to realize that we forgot to buy a birthday cake for our host.

But this was different. It was New Year’s. In 2007, 5 of us guys spent New Year’s eve at Times Square. And this time, Miami was where we were heading. Go Miami!

But as it usually transpires in all long trips, this one had its share of adventure, misunderstandings and extravaganza. We reached Florida without much ado and spent a delightful evening in Naples watching the beautiful sun-set on the beach. The next day we traveled further south into the Keys right up to Key West. On the snorkeling cruise that we embarked upon, yours truly ended up having sea-sickness and puked his guts out all over himself. Yucky you say. Yucky I felt.

I needed coffee, badly. Its funny, whenever I am in such dire straits, all I can think of is coffee. I guess something to do with caffeine and stress. Anyways, we got off the boat, a few of us itching with salt water all over and me stinking with puke all over. After coffee I felt much better, but a few of us felt that most of us needed a shower. Any guesses why?

We were miles away from our hotel. Where on earth (Key West) would we get shower facilities? The beach !!! So we headed over to the beach. It was well past 8 pm and it had started to get chilly. Now, for the uninitiated, these showers I am talking about are open showers. There is this 8 foot pillar with a nozzle attached at the top of it, and one just stands underneath it and takes a shower. I got out of the car, removed ‘most’ of my clothes and raced towards the shower. As I made my way towards the open shower I couldn’t but help remembering an antagonized Shanky’s remark, “All the way he comes from home to college, why… to go back home.” All the way I come to Florida… why … to take a shower at 8 pm in 10 degrees Celsius. Gah!!! But the shower did wonders to my appetite. We went to this awesome restaurant called Carolines and I ended up gobbling up a nice tasty shrimp delicacy. Bery tasty.

The next day was New Year’s eve. The disc that we had bookings for was very close to the beach, so we spent the entire day on South Beach, had a quick bite at a MacDs, changed into our evening wear and walked into the pub ready to rock the party that night. All of us hit the dance floor, for mid-night was fast approaching.

The DJ played Tonight’s going to be a good night just before the countdown to 2010. We all began to groove to the music. One beer later, I started doing the step SRK does in ‘Yeh Tara Woh Tara’ – the one where he hops around in ghoda-ghadi style. Most of the people quickly escaped from the dance floor. A second beer later, a ‘Main aisa kyon hoo’ step was attempted, only to find all the women disappear from sight. I stopped dancing and headed towards the rest-room to take some rest. Dancing can get exhausting.

It was time. I needed coffee. I needed to get out of the disc. I dashed out telling my friends I was going to get coffee. But, the problem with these dance pubs is that once you get out you cant get back in. Game over. Phitoosh.

So here I was sitting on the side-walk outside the disc, sipping my beloved coffee, contemplating on what to do next. I couldn’t get back in, and my friends were not getting out of that place. “Never confuse the unusual and the impossible”, was what Psmith always lectured about. Well, I had done just that. I made the mistake of assuming that all my friends would want coffee at the same time I wanted coffee. I had no option but to sip on my coffee while I waited for everyone to come out.

“Wake up Sid!”, I suddenly saw Mox standing next to me. Everyone was finally out. I got up and started to look for a cab that would take us back to the parking lot where our car was parked. Not a single cab stopped for us. They were already booked. All of us anxiously started ringing up local cab offices. But this was not State College. We were in Miami and it was New Years. The whole city was looking for cabs. It took us about an hour to get one cab. Half of our paltan got into the cab. The rest of us waited on to find another one. Half an hour later we were comfortably settled in a cab that zipped its way through the Miami traffic. We stopped at a pizza place to get some grub. I downed another cup of coffee too.

We finally reached our car in the parking lot. It had been a tiring day. I dozed off at the back of the car. We reached our hotel in the wee hours of the morning. The sun was rising. A new day was about to descend upon us. A new day to a new year. 2009 ended with vigour and in the end ‘All izz well… that ends well.’

Addendum (10th Jan 10):

Have recently started watching the series ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and today was watching the episode ‘The Limo’ where Ted organizes this awesome New Year schedule for all his friends in NYC. The story is fast-paced and I love it so far. The episode ends with Bob Saget (the future Ted) solitarily announcing that ‘Not every night has a happy ending but all of it is important, all of it was leading somewhere, because suddenly it was 2006 and 2006 was a big one.’

So bhaiyya … in the end ‘Aall izz well…’

Happy New Year.