Tag Archives: List

The 10 Bollywood Films We Would Kill To See In 2013

With the remarkable benchmarks that Bollywood set in 2012, it is only obvious that we, the audience, would peg our expectations from our stars in 2013 even higher. True to style, they look unlikely to disappoint, if one were to go by the 2013 new movie releases list.

So, as a modest attempt to do my own “creative pay-it-forward”, here is my list of movies that you should watch out for this year. I can already see you nodding you head in wholehearted agreement. Here goes –


Jeans XXL – A worthy sequel to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s debut film Jeans, so what if it is coming 15 years later and 15 pant sizes wider? Just like the original, this one, too, is expected to bear an incomprehensible storyline but with lots and lots of expensively mounted songs filmed in foreign locales. Rai Bachchan, having given up her futile tryst with the gym for good, now has all the time to focus on her gigantic comeback. And unlike the boring one-dimensional though svelte characters that she has played in the past, this time she sinks her teeth into playing a well-rounded, khaatey-peetey ghar ki healthy ladki. There is already plenty of buzz around this being India’s nomination to the Oscars this year, just like its predecessor was.

Bharat Kumar – As a true desh bhakt, Aamir Khan has decided to follow up on his Lagaan, Mangal Pandey, Rang De Basanti, Satyamev Jayate success with the ultimate patriotic ode. In his next film, he stars in and as Manoj Kumar, the greatest Indian ever born in Bollywood, as has been repeatedly demonstrated by films from Upkaar to Roti Kapda Aur Makaan and everything in between (and by that we mean Clerk, Santosh, Kraanti, Om Shanti Om etc.). As part of his exemplary training regimen to get into the ‘skin of the character’, Aamir is only ever seen in public these days with his hand covering his face. Such obsession with perfection can bode nothing but box office gold. Already, people are wont to bursting into the national anthem at the mere mention of Aamir’s name – such are the colossal expectations from his new film.

Rajputana Rifles

Rajputana Rifles

Ek Tha Blue Whale – Frankly, film makers have run out of movie titles that symbolically signify what a gargantuan deal Salman Khan is. Hence, this new film, because there really is nothing bigger on earth left for Salman Khan to play. In this sure-shot blockbuster, Salman plays a rich Rajput named Ha-Whale-y Ram from Jodhpur (you see the connection to Blue and Whale now?). Once, while waiting at a traffic stop on his camel and simultaneously dancing to an item song with hundreds of street urchins, he comes across the beautiful Cham-Cham (played by Asin Ileana Diana Rumbha Ileana Asin) who he unabashedly eve-teases romantically pursues, not realizing that she is a clandestine spy from Pakistan! (But she is a good spy, so it is all ok). Then, lots of other bad spies also materialize and everyone chases everyone else across all of Jodhpur and many, many international locations across the seven seas (Blue Whale, you see). It all sorts itself out in the end with Salman bashing up 400 ISI spies to pulp with his bare hands. Oh, and we discover he is a closet CID agent too, the best India has ever produced. The film is expected to be Salman’s 100th film in the 200-crores club. And there are already hints of a sequel called White Whale – to be filmed in Antarctica.

Superr Duperr Housefull. If after watching this film, you happen to leave the theatre with a belly ache, it might be due to the consummate humour of this new Sajid Khan – Sajid Nadiadwala comedy. Or it could just be bad popcorn. But most likely, it may be because of the rich star cast of this film. After all, the marquee names include – Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt, Anil Kapoor, Mithun Chakravarty, Bobby Deol, Kangna Ranaut, John Abraham, Paresh Rawal, Arbaaz Khan, Randhir Kapoor, Shreyas Talpade, Tusshar, Asin, Genelia, Jaqueline Fernandez, Zarine Khan, Mallika Sherawat, Mahesh Manjrekar, Nana Patekar and many many more. This delightful comedy has been penned by none other than Farah Khan’s triplets who are almost 5 now (keeping it all in the family, you see). Oh, and did we forgot to mention Chunky Pandey? Yes, he is in the movie, too, making it instantly repeat-viewing worthy.

Joker Tu – (Tu, as in, the Hindi word for ‘You’). Shirish Kunder strikes again with the sequel to Joker. Featuring Akshay Kumar. Enough said, except that the joke’s on you if you miss it.

Laddoo Sing! – The sensitive Ranbir Kapoor is back with his realistic and sensitive portrayal of Laddoo, a simpleton with a heart of gold. Living in a quaint town that is referred to in the film as Shimla but looks nothing like it, this sensitive simpleton’s only dream is to become a famous singing rockstar and win the heart of sensitive Ruby, the quintessential girl next door (played to Anglicized perfection by Katrina Kaif, quite sensitively). However, Ruby realizes around the interval mark (after leading on the sensitive Laddoo all this while) that she is in love with someone else, and also has cancer, plus she hates rock music anyway. That leaves sensitive Laddoo totally crumbly and ready to drop out of the singing competition that he is oh so very close to winning. What happens in the end? Does love conquer rock music? Does love at least trump cancer? Watch Laddoo Sing!, sensitive Ranbir Kapoor’s new sensitive film. It’s realistic too. Plus, the songs are to die for.

Mawaali Rascal – Prabhudeva is back with another Hindi remake of a South Indian box office masala smash! This time, it is Ajay Devgn who plays the bare chested mustachioed cop masquerading as a mawaali. Crooks and cars fly in his presence – quite literally, when he goes dhishoom-dhishoom like the good old films from the 70s! In fact, for this one, they have even managed to rope in Helen to perform a saucy cab-ray song like she used to 40 years ago – that should make the boys throw chunky 5-rupee coins at the multiplex screens. The film stars Reena Roy Sonakshi Sinha as the Heroine –the impish but bholi village belle in backless blouses, making a smooth transition to an item-number-type dancer for the latke-jhatke songs, or a damsel in distress in the last reels, as required.

Kabhi Kal Bhi Toh Kuchh Khushi Ho – Karan Johar’s new magnum opus musical extravaganza, featuring ShahRukh Khan, Kajol and Amitabh Bachchan. This eternal love story has been filmed in the choicest foreign locations where everyone speaks Hindi, like in Milan, Vienna, Melbourne and Miami. The story is about an extremely rich and well dressed family where no one seems to need to work (and they commute in helicopters and live in chateaux type homes). And yet, they are emotionally unstable and unhappy. However, by the end of the film, after a lot of singing and crying has been accomplished, they become emotionally stable and happy. Perhaps because by then they realize how bloody rich they are.

Asdfghq Wertyx Cvb – Yes, you guessed it right. This movie has no coherent title. That is because it is Vishal Bhardwaj and Vidya Balan’s brand new experiment. It has been observed that regardless of what they do, the audience will go watch their films. They know that Asdfghq Werty Xcvb is sure to be a cutting edge story with mindboggling performances and brilliant direction. Oh, and we have been told that Vidya Balan wears a full burqa throughout the film. You can’t see her face. Moreover, it doesn’t even sound like her either. Yet, somehow, that has succeeded in making people even more excited about the film. Talking of the sheer draw power of raw talent!

And finally…

Untitled Soft Porn Horror Musical No.24 – At the time of writing this article, the Bhatt Factory (Mahesh, Mukesh, Vikram, Pooja, Soni, Alia, their dog etc. etc.) had still not settled on the final title of their latest Japanese/Korean remake absolutely original work. This one just might be called Jism Ka Raaz. Suffice to say, the film stars Emraan Hashmi, Bipasha Basu, Sunny Leone, with Dino Morea in a special appearance. If that hasn’t already made you put all your 2013 outstation travel plans on hold in anticipation of the film’s release, we don’t know what will. The Bipasha-Sunny kissing scenes? In bikinis? In Fiji? But that’s a given, anyway.


There Is No “NA” In HARYANA!

Watch it! It’s my state you are talking about!

Screaming News Channels. Extremely Large Font-Sized Newspaper Headlines. Angry Blogosphere. Noise, Noise, Noise, I say! Amidst all this Hulla-Ballu over its supposed toxicity, it is really up to the proud residents of the glorious Dominion of Haryana to rise up and stop its gang balatkaar. Since when did mere trifles of Rape, Khap, No Law-and-Order and the absence of Roads, Bijli, Paani and other Infrastructure define this state, when there is so much else to be proud of? So, all you Prophets of Jat Doom, read and learn why David Dhawan would choose Haryana as the Hero if he ever were to make a film called Rajya No. 1.

The Generous Gender Gap. Haryana is, potentially, the global leader in so-called “skewed” sex-ratio. Like the foolish scientists who complain about global warming (why, wouldn’t you want to be able to visit Kashmir all year round, you tell me?), some misguided people are fretting over the 877 females per 1000 males population. Does no one remember the good old days when Sita got to choose her Man from a bunch of dhoti clad princes? Or Draupadi and her 5 Keeps? Stop this chatter about the Haryanvi Abla Naari. If anything, it’s the Men of the state who are suffering – look at the competition they face! Wisely, the state is making every effort to hold on to Pre-history. 21st century, no, thank you, you can wait indefinitely.

The Maul. Haryana pioneered the Mall Culture in India! What better way for Indians to spend every waking hour of their spare time than in confined spaces where every brand label and every store is conveniently priced out of reach? The Malls of Gurgaon – where folks go to get their Aloo Tikki McD burger, and also to get inspired to work even harder for things that they can’t afford today. Or tomorrow, for that matter.

The Chowk-a-Block state. Chowk, a glorious piece of city topography that draws towards itself humans in implausible numbers. Humans in their many, many cars, scooters, buses, rickshaws and tempos. Some might tactlessly liken this coalescence of seemingly chaotic human activity to a “traffic jam”. Let’s call it “Extreme Vehicular Plurality” instead, shall we? EVP is a sure sign of development and modernity. While Delhi has the occasional Chandni Chowk and Lucknow something singularly named Chowk, it is Gurgaon that pales everyone else with its preponderance of these exalted chowks – the beacons of prosperity. There is one every 500 yards! There ‘s a Shankar Chowk and a Rajiv Chowk. Heck, there are even chowks with corporate sponsorships attached – Hero Honda Chowk, IFFCO Chowk, DLF-Robert Vadra Chowk, Pepsi Chowk, Bee-tex Mull-hum Chowk etc. With millions and millions of folks sitting quietly in their standstill vehicles, going nowhere very slowly, mulling their wonderful lives – it’s a sight for Lord Buddha to behold!

The Queen. Mallika Sherawat. Haryana’s gift to Mankind! Of course, when I say Mankind, I really only mean Man.

Miss Haryana. Forever.

Go Pal Kanda, Go! A state where people with a “Kan Do” attitude thrive. If you are a child at heart (e.g. love toys like automatic guns and imported SUVs), indulge in playful jest (e.g. write cheques that bounce), are enviably social (e.g. have deep political connections), can charm the ladies (e.g. chase air hostesses till they give in, or give up, or check out), and still have feet firmly placed on the ground (and by ground, we mean land – lots and lots of real estate), SKY is the limit for you in Haryana!

The Khap Panchayati Raj. The coveted Moral Police that the rest of the country craves for but only fortuitous Haryana is endowed with. Aside from preventing the grave depravity of inter-caste liaisons – e.g. a Haryanvi – Bengali marriage (Really, Bajra ki Khichdi followed by Sandesh? Have you no shame?), these Guardians Of Distinguished Thought also protect Haryana’s Men Folk from the overreaching jurisprudence of the Indian State. Pooh-pooh, thank you very much! The Khap makes its own decisions and if you can’t agree, you can go swing (hang?) from a tree. The Haryana Women Folk might appear to be unfortunate collateral damage of these Wise Decisions, but hey, it is noble to sacrifice oneself for the larger good, no?

Saddi Marutti. The state that gave the country its first automobile! Something that Chunni, Babbi, Dolly, Vikky, their Mummy Papa, and Tommy, the dog could finally be proud to be seen in. (I am sorry, but by just taking off its iron-tracks and slapping on 4 tyres instead, and giving it a chic name like The Ambassador cannot alter reality. So what that it has existed since 1955 – a battle tank is a battle tank, not a car. Like they say, it doesn’t matter if you put lipstick on a pig – it’s still a pig)

Gaali Gaali Mein Shor Hai. Ah, the infectious charm of the Haryanvi tongue! Even if two Haryana Jats were only sharing notes on something as innocuous as the horsepower of their tractors, a non-Haryanvi passerby might mistake it to be an exchange on the coital habits of Mothers and Sisters. Let us be very clear – A for Aandal, B for Bose-DK and C for Choo Tee Ah – is NOT a part of the Haryana Education Board syllabus. While it may be true that no literature was ever penned in Haryanvi, it is still the most charming sound of the soil. And you know what makes it sound even more charming? A lath in your hand. You must try it!

So, Shame On You, you elitist folks, for coldly ignoring the virtues of the land that gave us Bhajan Lal, Devi Lal, Chautala, Hooda and Sushma Swaraj. I am sure if threatened appropriately, even Kapil Dev would agree in his delightful Anglo-Saxon-Hissar accent – “Haryana da jawaab nahi!”


Film Review – Student Of The Year. Makes Me Want To Hit My Head With A Soty!

Here is the only movie review you need to read.

High Achievers : The future Prime Minister, Chief Justice and Corporate Billionaire of India.


I feel small and foolish after having watched the trailer of Karan Johar’s latest lollypop “Student of the Year”. Here I was, happily thinking all these years that school days were the best days of my life. Not once realizing how much more fun and glamorous my teenage years could have been had I gone to a school that didn’t look like a bloody cowshed in comparison to what is on display in SOTY. Here are the reasons for my delayed anguish.

  • Did my school have a catchy name like Saint Teresa? And was it established in 1917, when Mother Teresa was a mere 7 years old but had already been identified by the school’s founders as someone destined for greatness? No.

  • Was my school nestled in the Himalayas, with those glorious mountains the backdrop of the school’s assembly hall? Not only that, was my school also a mere walking distance from the most spectacular beaches in the country? Not really.


  • Did my school have the label of “the most premier educational institution of the country”? Not by a mile.


  • Did every student in my school look like she/he had stepped right out of a Vogue (and Vogue Hommes) catalogue? Frankly, I didn’t even know what Vogue was till I saw Madonna’s video of the song of the same name.


  • Instead of being bamboo-pole gangly, pock marked with acne, with bad hair styles and crooked teeth, Dilton Doiley glasses, and a totally uncool school uniform (ours was white and parrot green – serious!), did we, as 16/17 year olds look anything like the 25-year old stars of the film (who are playing 16/17 year olds)? Frankly, if these “kids” were in my class at the time, I would have been tempted to call them Uncle and Aunty, as I used to call anyone who looked older than 18.


  • Did our Head Master look like Rishi Kapoor? And did he wear a dandy beige Armani suit with a neon green tie? Sadly, no.


  • Was our school parking chock-a-block with Harley-Davidsons and Ferrari convertibles instead of rickety school buses? (And did we all have driver’s licenses at 16?) No and No.


  • Did our school have an Olympic sized heated indoor swimming pool? Complete with audience stands that could accommodate 15000 people? Plus, another recreational infinity pool outside from which school kids would emerge in slow motion wearing skimpy swimming costumes? Hah!


  • Was our school completely bereft of younger students, say of Class XI and below? On the contrary, all I remember of school is loud, annoying little children as far as my spectacled eyes could see.


  • Did we have even a single student who looked like a film star and had the brains of Stephen Hawking? Oh, and who was also a total athletic package like Lance Armstrong? Errm, no.


  • Did girls in my school wear skirts so skimpy that the school authorities were left with no option but to make Brazilian waxing mandatory? No, but clipped nails were an absolute necessity.


  • Did my school have a gym so well endowed that it would make Fitness First Platinum look like an akhara? (More importantly, would kids have been allowed to use said hypothetical gym to stay fit rather than toss themselves around in the dirt of the school playground?) Our school was perpetually under construction for all the years I was there! There was plenty of dirt to go around…who needed a gym?


  • During our school days, were we (16/17 year olds who actually looked 16-17 years old) allowed to go sit at the fanciest bars in town and gulp down shot after shot of vodka? (…and still look like a million dollars, not getting sloshed and not throwing up all over the place. But more importantly, could we have afforded to buy anything more than a Pepsi at the time without making our parents go ballistic?) No chance.


  • Was the entire school brilliant at choreographed group dancing, in the snazzy school convention hall (so brilliantly lit that it would put the glitziest night clubs to shame) where the school DJ and band played a remixed version of ‘Disco Deewane’? Not quite, though a few of us had the original Nazia Hasan LP. And a couple of girls were learning kathak…does that count?

So, there – my sad school days story. I feel thoroughly robbed. Now I will have to watch this new film to fully understand what coulda, woulda, shoulda…..


First Of All, I’d Like To Thank….

C.Suresh and BlogwatiG have awarded me The Liebster!

It looks like tagging is alive and well in the world of blogging. I was recently tagged separately by two of my favourite people in the Blogosphere, C. Suresh and Vinita Bahl, also known as BlogwatiG. If you haven’t visited their blogs yet, run don’t walk your fingers on that little smartphone of yours and seek them out.

The rules of tagging are simple, but their execution can seem excruciatingly arduous. Just read them and you will know why I say that –

Section 0 : Rules of Engagement!

If you are tagged/nominated, you have to post 11 facts about yourself.

Then, you answer the 11 questions the tagger has given you, and make 11 questions for the people you are going to tag.

Tag 11 more bloggers (with no more than 200 followers).

Tell the people you tagged that you did.

No tagging back.

Now, do you see my predicament? I kept thinking – One, I am an enormously boring person – there aren’t 5 interesting facts about me, let alone 11! And two, since this game has been on for a while (and I am a new entrant into the blogging world, practically a baby-blogger!), I think everyone I will tag has probably already been tagged a few times!

In other words, EPIC FAIL even before I started!

The good news is, as I later remembered, that I had played the “Facts about me” game a million years ago (February 6, 2009, to be precise). That was another tagging game – “25 Random Facts About You”, which had made its rounds on Facebook a few years ago. So, I have decided that I am just going to copy/paste (plagiarize?) my old responses from there. Except for the fact that I was young and innocent then, living a sinful life in New York, things are not too different today! (If anything, it was very interesting for me to see how my own self-projections have changed in 3 years). So, here goes – 25 Random Facts About Me, of which, at least 11 are probably still sort-of, to-some-extent, more-or-less, pertinent. (I bolded them)

Section I : Facts About Myself (circa February 6, 2009)

1. I am ashamed of my iPod playlist. 
2. I have never owned a camera.
3. I cried when I saw ‘Schindler’s List’. ‘What’s Up, Doc?’ is the funniest movie I have ever seen. And I have seen ‘Sholay’ more than a 100 times.
4. I think ‘love’ is overrated.
5. I will write a book someday. It will be a nice, simple, funny one. And I’ll probably be the only one who will enjoy it.
6. I am amazed at how selflessly my family cares for me.
7. I wish I knew my extended family better.
8. I might be getting tired of New York City.
9. The only places I would want to see as a tourist are the Pyramids of Giza, and Tokyo. But, I hate travel, so this is probably never gonna happen.
10. I stumbled into Market Research (my profession). Talking of a bad stumble.
11. I am a Republican. Mainly because Democrats behave as if they are the Cool Kids in school.
12. I still buy Mega Million lottery when the jackpot gets huge. Hey, you never know.
13 I need to have a big glass of milk every morning. It’s very odd to me that so many people don’t like milk.
14. I think cooking is such colossal waste of time.
15. School days were the best days of my life.
16. I am convinced that Delhiites are morons (except family and friends). They are the only bad thing about that city. Oh, them, and the weather.
17. I believe Coca Cola is the second best invention of Man. (The first, of course, is Air conditioning, but that’s common knowledge)
18. I am done with corporate life. Clearly, I was not born to do this.
19. I wish I was 6 feet tall.
20. I am convinced People and Us Weekly can see the future. Conversely, it ain’t true until People and Us Weekly say so.
21. These days I can say – ‘But I always liked Britney Spears’ – without feeling stupid or embarassed.
22. I am terribly bad at remembering names.
23. I wish I knew Urdu and Punjabi languages well.
24. I hate memoirs and biographies. I’m sorry but no one’s life story is that interesting or inspiring.
25. The last time I voted, it was for American Idol.

I am afraid this list is more than 11. Well, people will just have to deal with it!


Section II

Now, on to part 2. Dealing with 11 questions each from Suresh and Vinita. That makes it 22 questions! Anyway, here is my koshish at honest answers. You can directly skip to Section III if this part gets boring!

Suresh’s questions –

1. What do you think is your best post?

My left profile. Especially when I am pretending to look off-camera, to the right. Chin in my hand. Oh wait, you meant “post” not “pose”? In that case, let’s just say that the best is yet to come!

2. Which of your posts do you think was most under-appreciated?

All of them! How is it that my phone is not ringing off the hook with calls from the Editors of The Times Of India, Indian Express, India Today, NDTV and New York Times begging me to write regularly for them?? I am the future of writing and yet nobody but me seems to recognize that. So strange!

3. What genre are you unable to attempt and wish to?

Poetry. The good news is that I wished to attempt it for all of 2 seconds and then the feeling passed very quickly.

4. What is the one unachieved dream that you look forward to achieving?

The Nobel Prize for Physics. But if that is unachievable for some reason (I think I might need a lab or something), I will peg my expectations a bit lower. The Literature one will have to do.

5. What is the aspiration that you think you can never achieve?

The Miss Universe title. For obvious reasons. I don’t have naturally blue eyes.

6. What is most important to you – Values, Relationships or Money & Fame?

Money, obviously. I will buy the rest of it at the Big Bazaar called India.

7. Which do you prefer – a peaceful life or a life of passion and turbulence?

So, I am an extremely lazy person…and it looks like “passion and turbulence” might involve expending calories. I think I will have to pick “a peaceful life”.

8. Which place in India do you most desire to visit?

A clean washroom.

9. Which place in the World do you most desire to visit?

Burkina Faso. What a delightful name that is! Wouldn’t you just want to tell your friends about all the wonderful things you did when you visited a place called Burkina Faso?

10. What is it that you like the most about India?

Our sense of perhaps misplaced confidence. That, somehow, despite our politics, shambling infrastructure, poverty, educational shortcomings etc, we can still be world beaters.

11. What is it that you dislike the most about India?

The same answer applies here as well. Our sense of perhaps misplaced confidence. That, somehow, despite our politics, shambling infrastructure, poverty, educational shortcomings etc, we can still be world beaters.


Vinita’s questions –

1. Do you think a 3 am friend is a myth?

Hah…try waking me up at 3 am! Or, imagine any of my friends doing that for me at that ungodly hour! As far as I am concerned, yes, totally a myth!

2. Who would you rather be? A celebrity or the Prime Minister of the country?

As a PM, can I ever hope to be invited to live in the Big Boss House? I think the answer is no. So, what practical use is being the Prime Minister?

3. What is the one quality you’d like the older generation to imbibe from the younger one?

My grandmother sadly passed on before the rise of Eminem. I would have really liked her to do rap. I wish older people could be cooler like that. How quickly they forget that they were once young and cool. (She did like Abba a lot, though)

4. What is the one quality the older generation must pass on as legacy to the next?

Patience. We totally lack it! And they seem to have oodles of it!

5. What is your take on beauty contests?

I have mixed feelings about them. For example, they gave us Aishwarya Rai, so I absolutely love them for that. But they also gave us a certain image of Aishwarya Rai which we are loathe to have her deviate from, and I absolutely hate them for that.

6. If there was one thing you could do to make a difference, what would that be?

Work hard to improve, or learn to accept defeat and get out of the way, if you think someone else can do a better job at what you are doing. Just stop wasting yours and everyone else’s time by being average. (I so wish our doddering politicians learn this simple mantra). Of course, I am certainly not implying that some people are born average. All I am saying is that everyone must keep the quest alive to find what they are good at.

7. What has your electricity consumption been the last month? Is it gonna change for the better?

I recently cut a cheque for Rs. 11,500 as the bijli-ka-bill payment. That’s probably lower than what is usual for this time of the year, thanks to the grid failures and ubiquitous power cuts. You see, I am an environmentalist, and thankfully, the Government of Haryana is on my side. We are both working hard at reducing my carbon footprint by bringing my bijli consumption to zero.

8. Who is the one person that inspires you?

My maid, Seema. You’ve got to love her You-Think-I-Care-? attitude. She comes and goes as she pleases, works hard or not as she pleases, is polite or rude as she pleases. And yet, the world of our household is at her feet. Hopefully someday, I shall have the same kind of success.

9. Did you ever go back to school and meet your teachers? Why?

No. What’s the point? The harm’s done. It’s all water under the bridge now. I have forgiven them. We can all move on.

10. What colours would you paint with if you had just two shades to choose from?

Black and white! Because that would give me grey, and that is where I truly flourish!

11. Since I am bestowing the award, what one liner would you write describing me?

So, when I think of you, I imagine a Salvador-Daliesque painting in which there is a Giant Leg kicking a Giant Ass. And underneath the painting are the words – Laaton ke bhoot baaton se nahin maanenge.


Section III

And now, it is time for me to cook up my own list of 11 questions. Here goes –

  1. What do you think is the best invention by humans? Why?
  2. ShahRukh Khan or Aamir Khan? Why?
  3. If you didn’t have a cellphone and laptop for a week, how would you keep in touch with everyone and everything?
  4. Who is your favourite door-ka/ki-risthtedaar that you meet very rarely but would want to more often? Why? And what’s really keeping you from meet him/her more often?
  5. Between Maya, Mamata, Jaya, Sonia and Sushma, who will make a better PM? And will she be better than Atal and Manmohan? Why?
  6. Why do you love/hate Ayn Rand? (I am pre-supposing that you are not indifferent to her)
  7. What would it take for you to pose nude (no fig leaf, please) for Playboy/Playgirl? What will be your pre-conditions and what will they have to give you as compensation (cash, kind, charity, whatever)
  8. Describe the physical appearance of Lord Rama (including attire) based on what you imagine him to be.
  9. What is your definition of a good human being? On a 10-point scale, where 10 completely describes this good human being, what rating would you give yourself? And who is the closest to 10 that you know of?
  10. If you were the President of Pakistan, what would you tell India to change so there is peace in the region?
  11. If your child was an ace mathematics and science student and an ace boxer, what would your career advice to her/him be?


Section IV

Here is my attempt at passing on the torch (and the Liebster Award!) to friends and fellow bloggers that I have come to know in these past few months. Tagged folks, please excuse me if you have already played this game before! I have excluded those who I know have already been tagged by others for sure, and included those who are more-than-occasional bloggers (e.g. those who had at least 3 posts in August) because, hopefully, they will have the time to keep this flame alive! There is also the additional stipulation that says that the blogger must not already have thousands of followers – that led me to exclude a couple of people I really wanted in my list.

So, keeping all that in mind, here goes –

Aabha Midha (http://www.smilewidabha.com)

Akanksha Dureja (http://expressionssss.blogspot.com)

Amit Sharma (http://mashedmusings.wordpress.com/)

Arvind Passey (http://www.passey.info)

Giribala Joshi (http://giribalajoshi.blogspot.com/)

Gv Sparx (http://gvsparx.blogspot.com/)

Ritu Lalit (http://www.phoenixritu.com/)

Priyanka Dey (www.priyankazneverland.blogspot.in)

Subhojit Goswami (http://metheobserver.wordpress.com/)

Subhorup Dasgupta (http://subhorup.blogspot.in/)

The Fool (http://luciferhouseinc.blogspot.in/)


Thank you for reading. And good luck to all those who have been tagged!


Welcome Back, Batch of 19**!!

The ground is shaking under my feet. No, it isn’t a massive earthquake, but the rumblings still portend to something equally epochal. The next ultra-grand High School Reunion is upon us! Indications are that it is to happen on the third Sunday of December this year. Apparently, that is when all our Notable Runaway Indians (NRIs, for short) will be in town for their annual pilgrimage home. Oh, and local batchmates have been invited, too. After all, one needs bodies to fill empty seats and fluff up the background of the inevitable group photo. (In Bollywood, we might be addressed as Junior Artists – the ones who perform acrobatics behind the real dancing stars)

Jokes aside, a high school reunion is some serious shit. Sure, there is that small matter of planning and logistics, but the bigger concern is – Time. For starters, Time has not been kind to us. It has stolen things from us (e.g. hair, some teeth, dimples etc.) while dispensing needless things in return (e.g. pot belly, man-boobs, extra chins etc.). And secondly, there just isn’t enough Time left to have a fair shot at Renovating, Rejuvenating and Resuscitating oneself so as to be Ready for the Reunion. Remember, it is August, which means it is practically December already. I must get cracking with my “Prepare for the Reunion” To-Do List. Here are the items, and how they will play out at the Grand Event.

“I am prepping for the New York City marathon next year”. The PRIME requisite if one wishes to not look like a battle-tank at the party is to join a gym. Remember, gym membership is no magic wand, but if you could lose even 2 inches from your banyan-tree-like girth, you might be able to find a pair of half-decent XXL pants at Zara. And that shirt button might not pop out embarrassingly as you stutter while talking to the ex-hottest girl in school! (Plus, how do you anticipate holding your breath, and belly, in for four hours straight?)

“Looking good is all in my genes, really”. Let’s face it – Gravity is a bitch. Your once bright-as-sunshine face now looks like a water-colour painting left out in the rain. Thankfully, Botox and Hair Weaving are a XX-year-old man (and woman’s) new best friends. If you do visit these chums, make sure it’s a few weeks prior to the grand event, else your displaced eyebrows may make you look perpetually surprised at the party.

“Montek and I were discussing the world economy the other day”. To the uninitiated attendee of his/her High School Reunion, it always appears that everyone else but them is doing spectacularly well in life. It might make you wonder if you should have worked just a bit harder in your 12th standard, or attended at least a few classes in college. Anyway, it is a tall order trying to turn the tide on your so-called “career” in the next 4 months. In any case, I am thinking, people might be too polite (or astounded!) to question me if I just told them that I am the President of World Bank. Really, what is left to be asked after that? I am the fucking President of World Bank! I think I shall just stick to that story.

“Oh you have got to visit Ulan Bator!”. I am afraid Hong Kong and Thailand don’t even count as foreign trips any more – they might as well be Bhatinda and Nasik. By foreign trip, one really means swimming with the dolphins off the coast of Alaska, or climbing the Kilimanjaro etc. Since there is no time (I really mean money) to make those trips, I will just have to rely on Wikipedia and Discovery (to learn all the theory part, you see). Oh, and Photoshop, for the Facebook profile photo of me atop a yak in Mongolia. Go ahead, ask me about that funny incident that happened to me in Antarctica.

“Aaradhya looks really cute”. You are a non-entity unless you names-drop. Unfortunately for me, no invitations to Page-3 parties are coming my way any time soon. I might have to do the next best thing, i.e. go to Mumbai and get myself clicked outside Mannat or Jalsa. I can always pretend that I was just leaving after a personal visit to the residents there when the paparazzi got me.

“Aaja meri bohot badi gaadi mein baith ja”. Is your car an Audi Q5/7 or a BMW 7 series? I am afraid anything less than that is just a moped. I wonder what the housing market is like these days? I think this flat might be worth a small Mercedes.

“I can’t tell you how good it is to see you after 25 years! (I really can’t)”. Work hard to be social. It is a 2-step exercise. First, look up and memorize everyone’s names and faces on Facebook. Then, make sure that you have a full stock of trivial yet seemingly important statements that you will gushingly throw around at everyone you meet – e.g. “You look exactly the same!”, “Where is Vijay (or any common Indian name) these days?”, “You remember Keventers?”, “I was so bad at Hindi!”. Make sure you practice aplenty in front of a mirror. Under no circumstances should it appear that you absolutely don’t remember the person you are talking to.

“Of course! SRK performs at private parties all the time!”. Planning a party of this scale is hard. So, you must do your token bit to help out the organizers. For example, you could offer suggestions on the venue. Do make sure that they are highly exclusive and out-of-everyone’s budget range else you might get saddled with the responsibility of actually doing some leg work yourself. For example, you could say –  “Have you tried the exclusive Sky Room Terrace at the Trident? It’s awesome! If someone could just talk to Biki Oberoi, I am sure we can get a deal for under-50,000 per head.”

The list may be long but, by God, it’s solid. However, in case inertia gets the better of you, at least get yourself the latest iPhone (when it launches in September) before you haul your sorry ass to the Biggest Party Of The Year! Maybe that will draw everyone’s attention away from you.