Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bring back the bad old days!!!

One of the most awaited movies for me has gone the court room route – Deshdrohi. There were so many reasons because of which not only me but lot of my friends were also looking forward to see it –

     1.  A look at the hero of the movie gives me a lot of confidence that even at my fragile frame and horrendous looks, I can dream to get some space on silver screen – all I need is a bit of moustache and shoes with sole thickness of 6 inches. Who knows, I might get to romance with the former love interests of a few cricketers. Just on screen that is. Off screen, all the young women in this world except one are like sisters to me.

2.        Watching few promos of the movie made me believe that finally the legendry cult status of Gunda might face some challenges. You won’t get it if you are one of those stinking intellectuals who go mad about Pulp Fictions or Kill Bills and do not watch bollywood movies because they are sub standards. FYI, we India did produce mother of all cult movies in 1998 – Gunda.

I have not seen deshdrohi because legally I am not allowed to see it in the state I reside. Some Mumbai police bigwigs had a look at it and decided to ban the movie as it might hamper peace and harmony of the city. With due respect to them, this is unfair. They had their share of fun watching the 5’4”, 51 kg common man banging below the belt regions of heavyweight political hooligans and left us to enjoy the peace and harmony of Mumbai Locals.

Anyways, I will wait and definitely watch.

Coming back to the movie – I am just sick of watching chocolate faced, six packed heroes playing 18 at the age of 40 and wooing females young enough to be their daughters and dress in cloths big enough to be my month old son’s underwear.

They would be residing somewhere in Miami or London or some US/UK paradise, wearing the entire designer Eastman colored cloths, every second scene would have mountains covered with snow if it’s a day or Times Square if it’s a night in the background. Only bad thing in their life would be a confusion regarding their love interest – “Yeh pyar hai ya dosti?” (Is it love or just friendship?) And that would be the only thing in their life. No revenge of their father’s murder, no sister to save from a rapist, no lost brother they would be searching for in the entire movie, no mother who would lose her husband in the first reel and would be saving her Ijjat for the rest of the movie from the neighborhood grocery seller. Gone are those days. Life is too rosy in movies now.

It was not like that always. To my memory, it all started with Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. The movie was a trendsetter in two ways – one, the video cassette of the movie was not released for quite sometime after its release and in absence of the Kazas and torrents in those times, you had to go to the cinema hall to watch it. Two, people were sick of B grade movies sold in the package of vulgarity with U/A certificate. They wanted a clean movie which they could see with their family. They got it. Very soon DDLJ came, the SRK good boy movie that has a rich father in London. The recently dead euphoria of economic boom was just setting in. We Indians, still suffering from colonial hangover, wanted to see how snow looks without risking our pocket (if you want to travel abroad to see it) or our life (J&K obviously), how life is without dust, how one feels when there are no cows on the roads or in nutshell how a rosy life is. DDLJ provided it to us with an Indian dose in the second half. In addition, a large chunk of the population was in THAT age of 16-25 when you prefer to sleep at night and dream during the day. At least I was.

Slowly, the locations started shifting to the beauty lands of Alaskas or Burns or like that. The problems started shifting from revenge to holding on to the girl who is hot, young, modern but virgin and you’re her FRIEND. You have been friend for ages, keep hugging, cuddling with each other but getting laid is a thought that never ever crossed your mind. Like Jane tu ya jane na – The hero has a hot friend and they are just friend for 7-8 years. All he is showed doing in college is singing for the heroine as she is terribly sad – her pussy cat just died. Once college is over, her dad offers him a job. They don’t love each other because they don’t know they are supposed to. They try searching a partner for each other but eventually end up marrying each other. Biggest problem in their life was – THEY COULD NOT RECOGNIZE TRUE LOVE. Whoa!!! Do you buy this? Is this scenario possible? Well yes if you have stayed all your life in south Bombay, if a look at Page 3 of TOI and Bryon Adams performing in India means India shining for you, if your day starts with a café latte in bed and ends with Fosters in Hard Rock Café. You are a big town guy.

For rest, it doesn’t happen. One, if you have known a hot girl for so long – you would either be fancying her or farting about her over a drinks with a friend or two.

Again coming back to the movie – Director, producer, actor, dialogue writer, cameraman, spot-boy of the movie and the rest, Kamal R Khan seems to have adopted the ICL formula. He has gone hired the talented lot who has been rejected or have no hope of making it big in the main league. Result – you get quality stuff at a cheap price. Plus, you get to romance with four beautiful divas – one is an ex of a current super star of bollywood whereas other three made their debut in big budget movies or with superstars. One of them debuted in Amir Khan’s venture, other one debuted in Yash Raj’s super hit Mohabbatein and the third one made her debut alongside SRK in Ashoka.

The movie looks like full of what the real common man of this country, not the one that we assume, want. He wants to see good winning against evil, he wants to see bad guys being thrashed and thrashed badly by a man made of the same background where the common man resides, and he wants to see him saving the country from corrupt politicians. He cares a damn about hero’s confusion about pyar ya dosti. He would rather see hero’s sister getting salvaged by him when she is surrounded by a dozen hooligans led by a Gulshan Grover or Shakti Kapoor.

This is what Deshdrohi supposed to be doing. It brings back the common man’s dream of seeing himself as a hero, venting out all his frustrations in life by killing of the mighty villain, romancing with a lady in locations where Indian Railway can get him rather than the locations which seem too beautiful to be true (All Yash Raj’s Karan Joihar’s locations), he wants to see his friend sacrificing his life for him rather getting stabbed on his back when the same friend snatches away his love interest, he would rather see a mother in a body covering Sari rather than cleavage revealing tops (Like Vidya MAlvade in Kidnap).

All in all, he wants a masala movie which is definitely not real world, but he would love to imagine the imaginary part of it. He doesn’t want to see romantic confusions of Kabhi Alvida Na Kehana for sure.     

Sunday, November 02, 2008

First of those One by one!!!

During the last leg of our student lives, there is just one topic to discuss - ''Soon, it is going to be over". But it's only when you board the train/flight to your home with all your luggage packed & couriered, you realize - "Yes, it is actually over". And you realize the lull, get drowned in nostalgia, think about the unforgettables in past and try to move on. 
With the breaking news flashing on my favourite news channels - Kumble ka aakhiri, karnama I switched on to the match just to find out that he actually declared his retirement. Fare enough!!! He had done his bit, body was giving up, not much to achieve, little time left and someone has to take the baton from here. Infact it was the first honourable and well deservedly celebrated retirement that I saw in my 19 years of cricket viewing. We all know how Kapil dragged his last days, Azhar's career was cut short by controversies, no one really bothered when Sidhu retired and rest who are worth mentioning, went out of dressing room un-noticed. Kumble was given the perfect guard of honour.

But with his retirement, the inevitable has started. We all have been talking for so long about how these Fab 5 will bow out. Today, it started. Its like you have been busy hunting for your soulmate and the process looks like fun. But as soon as you are committed, you realize the scare hiding inside you. Remember Akshay Khanna in Salam-e-Ishq or Rahul Bose in Pyar Ke Side Effects

Now, we will no longer be seeing those "push back - push back - firey flippers" or "leg spin with hardly any turn still getting caugh & bowled" or "a fielder often diving over the ball" or "that disappointed yet aggressive face after every ball that does not take a wicket" or there could be so many....

Next would be dada in Nagpur and we no longer will see those lofted sixes over long on, those square cuts, those most determined batting efforts, those most uncomfortable sway-aways on short balls, those singles when an Andrew Symonds might have run three and so many....

For those who like test cricket, it will surely be different once these 4 apart from Kumble also go - Sachin, Dada, Dravid and Laxman.

If India did well, I logged on to Y! and chatted for hours with my friends on how Sachin clipped Brett Lee's bouncer over the slips or how Dravid was unfazed by Akhtar's pace or how Laxman flicked Warne against the spin or how Dada kept finding gaps on the offside or how Kumble's so very accurate. It went on and on for hours.

If India did not do well, I discussed with my friends on how Sachin never scores when he is most needed to or how Dravid's slow batting gifts away our chances or how Laxman is still surviving because of just one innings of 281 or how Dada finds his way into the side because of his political nexus or how Kumble is actually not a spinner and should have retired in 1996.

But I could not give up watching cricket even after the match fixing scandal in 1999 which is supposed to have turned away many a fans. One of the biggest reasons were these five. I had grown up with 2 of them Sachin amd Kumble, on of my heroes Azharuddin had suddenly taken the image of a villain and 3 others were taking shape. 

Like you wont mind ditching your casual date on a trivial issue like you called her dad a fat-pig-who-eats-shit but you will go miles to placate your wife in case you called her dog, well a dog. 

Yeah, the game will go on. India will win matches in future also and it will lose as well. But, there would be a difference. The difference between these 5 and the current generation is same as any genius who secures a rank in top 20 of IIT JEE and an average student like me - who gets passing marks if he studies else he comes back next year. The former will have absolutely no qualms about his achievements in life yet he would be so brillient. The later will go jump from the moon with even a little bit of success in life. 
But for Dada (there are reasons for him being so controversial), all these four are almost perfect role models.   

I cannot say the same about the current generation of players. If our test team doesn't do well in a few series', may be I will stop following test cricket. Mostly because, unlike earlier days, one - there is too much of cricket doze in so many different varieties and two - the real cricket (read test cricket) will not have guaranteed entertainment. 

Certainly new heroes will emerge. Certainly new records will be formed by breaking older ones. Certainly the life will go on, may be in better way. But as of now, today was the beginning of end of the greatest era of Indian cricket.