Thursday, June 30, 2011

RIP lover boy!!!

It’s not every day that I start with heart shattering news. But this news article did make me drop my jaw, raise my eye brows, and sulk while trying hard to control my tears. Last time I felt so when Rohan Gavaskar announced his retirement from test cricket.

The legendary actor of tinsel town, Uday Chopra has decided to hang his boots after his next film Dhoom3. It was second such shock within a few days – first came when the Shamita Shetty announced her retirement to pursue her career in interior decoration. How ironical that both of them made their debut in the romantic horror – Mohabbatein.

I first heard of Uday in 1994 when he was producing Yeh Dillagi. Entire nation was swept away with euphemism when it heard that a 21 year old is producing a movie.

“Wow, we have really young and amazingly budding talent” commented Yash Chopra.

Yeh Dillagi was a love triangle where Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar were fighting over Kajol. The movie did turn out to be a hit but Uday was disappointed.

“According to the original script, the bone of contention in the love triangle was Saif Ali Khan. Akshay Kumar and Kajol were supposed to be fighting for him. Damn censor board. They cut all the love making scenes between Akshay and Saif. They made us change the story. The movie looked as if bone of contention was Kajol” said Uday in an interview. The movie might have been a hit but being a true worshipper of art, he was disappointed as his art had not come out the way he wanted.

“Is it? But Kajol was the heroine, no?”

“It was Saif you moron. Have you even seen the movie? Tell me the most feminine character in the movie? You find Kajol feminine, really? Go watch Gupt and then come back to me.”

“Oh. Damn censorship”

“Yeah, damn it. Saif looks so beautiful. I had tough time controlling myself”

“What? You fell for Saif

“No you idiot. I had tough time controlling myself when censor board was clipping my film.”

“But why did they do so? They didn’t want a gay movie?”

“No. They thought it was a lesbian movie when Kajol was flirting with Saif” said a sulking Uday.

The time moved on. With his looks, Uday could not have hidden behind the camera for long. He made his debut in the world of acting. His first movie Mohabbatein was his home production. His family didn’t want others to cash in on his looks which were pretty similar to Saqlain Mushtaq. The movie was a multi-starrer romantic horror, the first of its kind. Uday played the lead role among the backdrop dancers. Entire nation was awed by this dude who fulfilled the criteria to the fullest – tall, dark and handsome. Uday’s co-star Shamita Shetty was tall, Uday looked really dark, and everyone else other than him looked handsome.

His next movie, Mere Yaar ki Shadi hai was a killer romantic thriller. Everyone was thrilled expecting Bipasha to shed cloths. Uday killed that romanticism by shedding cloths more often than Bipasha did.

His next was Mujhse Dosti Karoge, another movie flooded with romanticism. While Uday acted like a true thespian, the leading Lady Kareena Kapoor in the movie showed her preference for whites in the movie. She “accidently” showed her underwear (careful) in the movie. Her act, sheer out of insecurity that Uday’s acting might snatch away all the limelight, is the only memento stitched in the memory of everyone. Uday’s acting in the movie was unfortunate to face the curse known as “obliviate.”

Uday was done with the romanticism. So he did Charas, an action thriller. But the movie flopped solely due to the laws in the land which are unfair to true art. “As the name goes, people would have understood the movie only under the effect of Charas. But government did not allow us to sell it in the cinema halls. Quite unfair it was. Can you enjoy a 3D movie without 3D glasses?” said a source associated with the movie.

Uday was nominated under the category of Filmfare’s best supporting actor in his movie Dhoom. “Well I was just a factor in the movie, so nice of them to consider me as an actor” said humble Uday. Uday was casted against Dharmendra’s son Isha Deol. Isha played the role of Mohammad Ali in the movie whereas Uday played the role of Mohammad Ali’s punching bag. Abhishek Bacchan played the role of boxing ring and Rimi Sen played the trophy.

After so many multi-starrers, Uday was ready to carry the burden of a movie on his shoulders; it was time for a solo –hero movie. Hence Uday did the epic saga - Neal 'n' Nikki with Tanisha Mukherjee. Tanisha played Shaquille O'Neal (Neal) whereas Uday played Nikki Aneja (Nikki). It was yet another love story as for Uday, he was born in a house which was brimming with love stories. He believed in “cum, fall in love,” hence this movie was all about coming and falling in love. The concept of the movie was extremely unique and never told before. The story may never be told in the future also. The story went like this - Neal is an Indian boxer settled in Britain who wants to play carom. Nikki is a TV actor. They meet accidently again and again, fight with each other, and fall in love after few raunchy scenes. What an inspiring story it was. Although movie flopped badly at box office but the blame has to go to bad marketing strategy. Everyone thought it was about a never told romantic saga between star basket ball player Shaquille O'Neal and Indian actress Niki Aneja (better known for mixing bikini and Saree in Anil Kapoor's Mr. Azad).

Failure of this movie shocked Uday and shattered him deeply. People said that he just cannot be a romantic actor – too macho to play a romantic role.
Uday accepted the challenge and reinvented himself in his next flick – Pyar Impossible. Even the name was apt for the challenge. If the name says Pyar Impossible, the last thing you expect is it to be a romantic movie.

Even Uday said prior to the release “As the name suggests, it’s not a romantic movie. It’s a suspense thriller.”

“Oh is it? What is the suspense in the movie?”

“You will again be thrilled to see me in a romantic role. That is the suspense” said Uday with a wink.

Uday not only acted but also wrote and produced the movie. The movie was super hit in its premiere show. Rumor has it that Tom Cruise thought that it was a pirated version of his movie Mission Impossible. Hence he threatened Uday to sue him. Just to avoid controversy, Uday made an offer to Tom. Uday couldn’t have called back the prints already distributed across the country but he made a nationwide appeal to the people for not watching this movie. Everyone obliged and the movie flopped.
But it seems like Uday wants to take his revenge from Hollywood superstar. What is the best way to do it – cut through Tom’s biggest asset i.e. his fan base. These days, Uday is in US stealing Tom’s female fans. Recently he was caught by the police when he was trying to impress one of Tom’s female fan by taking his shirt off. Police needed to intervene when Uday took his shirt off. Thank God he did not take his pants off else CIA might have needed to flex its muscles. I know his critics would be saying “Why didn’t they take his head off?”
Anyways, the legend has decided to hang his boots. There may be worldwide protests opposing this, India may blame Pakistan for this, Pakistan may say that they will also be a victim of this event, stock markets may crash and US may come up with QE3. But we need to learn that life moves on. The show must go one. Let him go. RIP.

PS: This post is a work of facts stolen from internet and fiction rotting in my head. If you are thinking of suing me, please remember what Uday's dad has said once – someone somewhere is made for you. I am not someone. I am no one.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Spirits!!!

Or the ghosts - Do they exist? Or it’s just an imagination of mind? Have you really seen them? Or it was just a friend trying to play a prank on you? It has been one of the most talked about discussions ever. I have read Geetha which says something on the lines of – “A spirit cannot be seen “or I believe that the book says so. Hence I don’t believe in the fact that spirits or ghosts exist.

But I have heard from a lot of people that they have seen a spirit or a ghost– from people within my family, from friends and from others. I have had a couple of experiences myself which made me doubt my belief.

My mother always tells us her experience of seeing a ghost when she was a kid. We always laugh whenever she tells us that story. She always looks scared while telling that story. She has maintained her stand “It was a ghost. I have never seen anything so scary” Even though decades have passed but the fear in her eyes remains the same about that incident.

I have been told by a friend who, along with his friend, saw a spirit in the valleys of Nainital. “All of us saw the same thing and fell sick for days after that. Two of us couldn’t recover for weeks” he told me. When I said that he and his friend must have been too drunk, he responded saying “10 drunken minds cannot independently see the same vision at a single time”

There was a time in 2006-2007 when I often used to feel that a white light had just flickered near me. It happened many a times. Initially I thought that is was my cell phone’s light. But one day I forgot it at home and still felt the same light flickering near me for couple of times. It continued to happen for weeks. May be it was all in my mind but consistent occurrences of the event made me think that it was something more than that. I tried to reason it out but failed.

“Some things in life do not have an explanation. Leave it at that” a friend advised. I agreed. It stopped after a few weeks.

But there was one incident which is still pretty much fresh in my mind. I could never find the reason for it.

These days not having a maid to help in household stuff is considered to be unimaginable. But during those days, a maid was considered to be a super luxury. Housewives normally took care of all the household work. My mother was no different. And the simple reason for not having a maid was that we couldn’t afford one. So when we finally decided to have a maid, my mother was joyous.

Our maid, Laxmi, did reduce mom’s workload to great extent. Mom took good care of her and regularly doled out gifts/Bakshish to her. Mom use to say “People often complain about their maid like they steal stuff or don’t come one time or take too many off. I don’t have any such complains with Laxmi. Hence I don’t want her to leave.”

I was almost 8 years old then. It was the month of May – a really hot month in the northern part of the country. When the temperature crosses 45 degree during the summers, all you want to look for in the sky are clouds which bring rain. But clouds don’t arrive before the first week of June. So till then, you bear the heat which is unbearable.

Laxmi, who was pregnant, was having a tough time too. She was due in few weeks’ time and a hot summer was really making her life difficult. She was planning to go to her village very soon for the remaining period.

That night there was a regular power cut. So all of us, in the compound we lived in, were sitting out of our houses. Kids were playing. Elders were busy discussing the state of the country. And we all were desperately waiting for the monsoon.

Suddenly I saw a white light entering my house. I thought the power was back and shouted in joy. As soon as I did so, I saw the same light leaving my house. The joyous shout was silenced immediately by the thought that power was gone again as soon as it came back. It all happened within a second. My dad also saw it happening and so did my mom. Our neighbors also witnessed it. We were all perplexed. We started talking about it, “What was that?”

Did the power come back and was gone again? But we didn’t have any tube-lights in our house which emit white light. All we had were yellow bulbs. The light that was seen was white. And even if power did come back, why only my house saw the light? Why not other houses? Another thought was about it being lightening. But a lightening can only strike during a cloudy night. The sky was as clear as possible - we could possibly have counted all the stars in the sky. We talked about it till midnight when the power was back and went back to sleep.

My mom was waiting for Laxmi next day who was late for work. Mom was surprised as Laxmi had never been late, not even once. In fact, Laxmi didn’t come that day. During the evening Laxmi’s husband came to our house asking for monetary help for her wife’s funeral. Laxmi had died last night. We all were shocked by the news.

Mom said, “Now I know what that light was. It was Laxmi’s spirit visiting us. People’s spirits do visit places they like once they are dead” I didn’t understand much of it then.

But as I was growing up, it kept lingering on my mind. To me it was something very strange had happened on that night. We all had seen a white light entering and leaving our house. Maybe around the same time Laxmi had died that night. So was it really her spirit visiting our place? Or it was a pure coincidence that she died around the same time we all imagined a light moving around?

But can 10 odd people independently imagine the same thing at the same time? Or do the spirits really exist? I have never found an answer to this.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Office humor – Part 4

Hitler –

We were having lunch in office – 5 or 6 of us. We were also blessed with the presence of MPWala guy on the lunch table.

Suddenly he shouted to someone “Arey, Hitler. Divide & rule”

I was perplexed. Hence I asked “Dude, what is the link between Hitler and Divide & Rule?”

“Don’t you know? Hitler was known for his Divide & Rule policy.”

“Was he?” I wondered.

“No no. It was king of Portugal who was famous for it” another guy winked towards me while saying so.

“Yeah it was Napoleon” I said.

“Oh it was Napoleon? May be it was him. My knowledge of history is weak” MPwala guy said apologetically.

Roti -

We were again having our lunch. My female colleague, who is a regular member of our lunch group, came to the lunch table and said “My dabba has not come today so I will be going out. Will you accompany me?”

I nodded.

MPwala guy offered his lunch to her saying “You can have my lunch”

She politely refused saying “No. If I eat your lunch, what will you do?”

MPwala guy showed his unbeatable presence of mind and chivalry - he immediately put his left hand in the pocket of his shirt, took out a bundle of Rotis and offered it to her “No. Please have this”

I  fell down from my chair.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Office humor – Part 3

I was talking to a colleague of mine. She was cribbing about CFA certification – how she had been trying so hard for last 3 years but yet to complete all the levels. I was telling her that she was knocking a door which didn’t deserve the feel of her knuckles. With due respect to the CFA certification, I have no respect for it. I have never tried for it. Call it that I don’t feel that it will add any value to me. Call it that I don’t think I can manage to clear the exam – after all it has three levels and I m sure to flunk in one of them. Call it that I am just too lazy to do anything meaningful. But I do not think that it deserves the importance it gets. Actually one of my ex-bosses had planted this idea in my mind when I asked him whether I should go for CFA or not.

He said, “I don’t think that after being half a decade away from your student life, another certification will add any value to your CV. All CFA will do is to give another topic to your interviewer to grill you just in case you are looking for greener pastures like -why have you done only level 1 or why didn’t you complete level 3 or why did you fail in level 2?”

“Well I won’t write it on my CV unless I clear all the levels” I argued.

“Then life will be even more difficult. He would ask you why you went for it at all. Or he will start asking the questions from its syllabus.”

“I would know it all if I have cleared it, isn’t it?”

“Well, he would be at the other end of the table. He can always ask whatever he feels like and pretend that you are wrong. I am sure you would prefer lesser questions in an interview, wouldn’t you?” he said and I quietly accepted, internalized, and actualized his advice.

Coming back to my conversation with my colleague –

“I think there is no point going for this certification.” I said.

“Well it does add a lot of value to your CV” she argued.

“With thousands of CFAs being produced every year, how do you stand out amongst them?”

“That is true - so many CFAs these days. Even people fresh out of college have this certification.”

“Then what is the point of going for it if it doesn’t give you any additional advantage. Your strength is your work experience hence better leverage that rather than an expensive certification.”

“Maybe you are right”

“It has become a money making machine. People see India is a big market so sell it here. I see CFA as new East India Company. They came in 1600 and looted us. CFA is looting us now”

“Hehe” she laughed.

“Wait. Let me ask him if he knows about East India Company.” I referred to the MPwala guy.

I went and asked him “Dude, do you know about East India Company?”

“No. What is it?” he was clueless.

“Dude, how come you don’t know East India Company, the British giant.”

“Yaar, there are 120 companies in my sector. I cannot know about each and every company. It’s humanly impossible” he looked a bit irritated.

By now my female colleague had also joined the conversation. She asked “But East India Company is a big name, very big”

“Oh Yeah, now I recall it. It’s a very old company, right?” his eyes twinkled.

“Yeah 1600”

“Yes I know, 1600. Buy the stock now. Its price will be 1800 in a month’s time. A big announcement is expected by the company this week” he was back.

May be he was right. East India Company did come back last year and I am waiting for the announcement.
PS: This article is a work of facts plus fiction. Just that the fiction is too small to be seen amidst the facts.