Showing posts from January, 2014

Bollywood Nation- Book Review

Vamsee Juluri, the author, is a prof. at an American University, and cannot therefore be taken lightly! He does not disappoint, in this take on Bollywood and the role it plays in the life of an average Indian. I have always been a watcher of Hindi (and some Telugu and Marathi) films, and I could relate to what he was talking about in the whole book. Some of my favourite films figure in his discussions, including the Telugu film Maya Bazaar, which I loved as a child, mainly for the role played by Ghatotkacha in the movie.

This is a serious look at Bollywood from Dadasaheb Phalke's times to the fairly recent films. The analysis of an alternative reality that seems to exist in Indian films (mainstream) is done well, and the relationship between Gods and us mortals in the context of film portrayals also seems plausible.

His argument that films as made here uphold some things that we still hold dear in spite of modern life- feelings, relationships, and morality (the good and the ethic…

Saxophone by Manohari Singh

This is inspired by an interview of Manohari Singh I heard on Vividh Bharat, the radio channel. Manohari Singh was a musician who played the saxophone and assisted most of the yesteryear music directors in Hindi films. One of his favourites for the use of his instrument was this song (Main aaya hoon, sung by Kishore Kumar) from the Dev Anand film Amir Garib. He also was part of the duo of Basu Manohari who gave music to Mehmood's film Sabse Bada Rupaiah, if I remember correctly. That had some good songs like "Wada karo jaanam na chhodoge yeh daaman" and the title song, "Na biwi na bachcha...the whole thing is that ke bhaiya sabse bada rupaiah". Enjoy the sax in the Amir Garib number-

Being Interviewed by AG

I can imagine a certain someone who is about to be interviewed by Arnab Goswami (AG, with almost the same firepower as the CAG). If I were to be that one, I'd be quivering in my boots (just a turn of phrase, it could be chappals too). If I may let my imagination loose, it might go something like this-

AG: So, Mr. Nargundkar, you teach marketing, eh?
Me: Uh, (stammer, stammer),..

AG: The nation wants to know, how does marketing as a function contribute to society? If you look at the huge wastage of resources spent in making useless products that nobody wants to buy, and then spending huge amounts of rupees in advertising those, and the rage among the unwashed masses that it unleashes, spilling over into countless,...
Me: (stammer), ...Uh, ..I agree. It's a total waste.

AG: Oh, you do, do you? And what do you propose to do about it? The nation...
Me: ..would want to know, obviously.

AG: And what do you propose to do exactly, Mr. Nargundkar?
Me: (visibly shaken): Mr. Goswami, I …

Jai Ho- Film Review

Actually there is not much to review. Better not to view it is a one-line review.

But there are a couple of minor pluses, one of whom is Tabu. After quite some time, she is a pleasant surprise. A couple of minor actors - Mahesh Manjrekar as the auto driver and his portly passenger- act  well.

The kid has some cheeky one-liners. But on the whole, the good idea of pay-forward gets diluted by the violence and stupid song and dance. Daisy Shah is atrocious, and Salman just about Ok.

Avoid, is my suggestion. Or at least, don't pay to see it.

Jail Bharo Andolan (Fill the Jail Revolution)

Sometimes I get  the idea after watching the mainstream media (or is it 'mainSCREAM'  media?) that our national objective is to jail as many people as possible. So, in line with this new objective, I propose that we invent new 'crimes' that will be treated as non-bailable offences. We can then cancel all mid-day meal and employment guarantee programs, because everyone (eventually) will be in jail either as a criminal or as a jailer watching over that criminal. The new list of crimes would include (the list is suggestive, not exhaustive)-

1. Being unemployed
2. Being sick
3. Having a terminal disease
4. Not being able to afford medicines
5. Being married
6. Having children
7. Being a journalist (ha, ha)
8. Being unmarried
9. Being a Facebook user
10. Being a blogger.

Chow. See you at lunch in a jail near you.

Enchanting Songs 2

Continuing on my pet theme, here is a sequel of selections.

'Hawaon pe likh do hawaon ke naam' by Kishore Kumar...from the movie Do Duni Char (old). Music by Hemant Kumar.

'Koi humdum na raha koi sahara na raha from Jhumroo,' sung and composed by Kishore Kumar.

'Hai apna dil to awara na jaane kis pe aayega' by Hemant Kumar in Solva Saal, picturised on Dev Anand.

'Zara nazron se kehdo ji nishaana chook na jaaye' sung by Hemant Kumar in Bees Saal Baad. A unique feature is dialogue interspersed within the song.

Jai ho for now.

Driving People Up the Wall

Here is a poetic tribute to the goings on in the capital city of Delhi.

There is this guy called Kejriwal
Who does not like working in a hall
And the moment people try and fence him in
He sits on a road and drives everybody up the wall.

His ministers are equally agile
They use all their guile
They order arrests on the go
And they shake up the rank and file.

The law minister is in the dock
He tried giving the cops a sock
So gave him a chargesheet
and are thinking of a key and a lock.

Going forward they think
It will earn them their link
with the lok in the sabha
But methinks they will sink.

People may like anarchy once
and play the dunce
but if it comes to a crunch
everyone would vote for governance.

Club Me

No, this is not an invitation to bash me up. It is the name of a club that I am starting with an easy to remember moniker. Club Me- what could be simpler to remember? After all, life is mostly about me and myself, is it not?

With Club Med and Club Mahindra showing sterling characteristics (I thought about 'properties' rather than characteristics, but it would have been too 'punny'), I am driving into a safe zone. My club will pamper you with all the 'me' things you ever wanted, in all of their properties.

The decor will consist of large photo (shopped) cutouts of yours- from childhood to young adulthood-no older. They will be plastered all over the walls, and will light up at night with fancy backlighting. All mirrors will have cosmetic enhancements built-in to make you look ever-so-sexy, as long as you are looking into them. No need then, to pop the question "Who's the fairest..." to THIS mirror.

There would be a TV with the hero or heroine (as …

Enchanting Songs 1

There are some enchanting songs that I heard over the years, and then lost track of them. Mostly, these were heard on the radio when there was nothing else. One such was this ...'Khoobsoorat sathi, itni baat bataa'- from the film Akalmand.

Another that I heard again recently was 'Ankhon ankhon mein hum tum ho gaye deewane'..a lilting melody from Mahal starring Dev Anand!

Obviously, this list will keep growing ..this is episode no. 1.

Id, Ego and Super ego

Some great psychologist (was it Fraud....I mean Freud?) once proposed that we have these three entities ruling our minds. The question to be asked is-

Does the Id run amok on the  day of Eid?

Does the Ego get adversely affected when we ride the Wego?

Do you feel like Superman when the Superego is in command? Or at least like Krishhhh,..ok, Shaktimiaan?

These questions are bothersome.

Any answers?

Dedh Ishqiya- Review

This is a 'cool' film in many ways. There was also a cold wind blowing across the Malwa region, but that is just by the way. It is a pleasure to watch the lead actors Naseer and Arshad, along with many of the others-Huma Qureshi who looks good, and Vijay Raaz, who plays his role well, in particular. And Mr. Italvi, who claims to be a poet from Italy.

There is some good Urdu poetry in the initial part, but the film picks up pace when the shenanigans of the con artists really begin. I liked the second half for its pace, and the general goofball happenings. But what I liked best were all the scenes featuring Arshad Warsi (after Munnabhai, maybe his best outing) and Naseeruddin Shah, one of our finest actors.

The tale is a kind of mix of The Cannonball Run, It's a Mad, mad, Mad World, Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels, A Fish Called Wanda, with a few wannabe Urdu poets thrown in, and set in U.P.. But it's all fun to watch. There is also a modern twist in the tale, a bow to the lat…

Sholay Revisited

Celebrating 60000 views of my blog (and 900 posts too)..

I first saw it at a grand theatre, Ramakrishna 70 mm, in Hyderabad along with my dad and brother. The effect was mind-boggling. This version was in 3D, and some scenes had an added zing, when objects like bullets or logs in the train robbery sequence flew at us.
But this is a tribute to a legend of a film. The editing is first rate, and won for M.S. Shinde a Filmfare award. Truly well-deserved. Maintaining the tempo for three and a half hours is tough, and he along with the Director, Ramesh Sippy, achieved what few others in cinema have. 
The story is quite ordinary, but the characterisation (with unique mannerisms, accents etc.) and treatment enhance the effect so much that you are engrossed, captivated and cannot take your eyes off the screen. The acting is superb. More so from the first-timer Amjad Khan. What a dream debut he had! Even the bit actors like Keshto, Jagdeep, Hangal, Sachin, and Kalia and Sambha (screen names of Vij…


Sounds quite funny when you split the word as dy-nasty. We will now examine what other fun can be derived from dynasties that we know of.

Ghori sounds gory? Darna mana hai.

Khilji dynasty must have laughed khil-khila ke (tough to translate from Hindi).

Tughlaqs were ... well, contributors to generating a concept- Tughlaqian (crazy) behaviour!

Richard the V was only one up on Richard the  IV.

One Singh dynasty cannot be distinguished from another. But we know that "Singh is King" so it's Ok. m can Maybe some of them can be attached to the place they ruled over, like Mewar or Jaipur. Complications arose when they had prefixes like Sawai (Man Singh) attached to them.

The Parmars had Raja Bhoj from whose times the famous question "Kahan Raja Bhoj aur kahan Gangu Teli" became popular (loosely, it means, what's the comparison between a king and a commoner?). Apparently Raja Bhoj was ruling over these parts of M.P. that I am now living in.

Do we owe the Lodi gard…

Mandu-- Historical Romances

Like the other legendary romances, there was one for which Mandu is famous. The one between a king Baz Bahadur and his queen, a local beauty called Roopmati. The palaces, one of which is named after her, are a visual delight, and one can easily spend a day roaming the ruins. Jahaz Mahal is well-preserved palace-lake complex with a water body on both sides of the building. On the way to Mandu from Indore there is a park with a million year old petrified wood and some dinosaur eggs in similar state. Here are some pics-

My manifesto for 2014 elections

No, I am not entering politics. But politicians are welcome to steal the ideas here. Free.

That the Lok sabha will be used to support aspirations of the average Joe. There will be an invited speaker to voice them, once every week. And no one will create a ruckus while he/she speaks. Like TED talks.

Roads built will be of good quality.

There will be no moral policing of any kind, until the elected reps prove that they have some.

Women (and men) will be respected. Children too.

We will not blindly ape the West. But good governance and civic sense will be aped. Spitting will attract a HUGE fine.

Healthcare will be a basic right, and anyone found corrupt in it will be shot.

PGDM will be renamed MBA, and FPM, Ph.D. The institutes will remain autonomous, and degree granting.


Living life kingsized in the first, with some beer at Nandi Hills. Around 1983, with some IIM Bangalore seniors -Ramanujam Sridhar, advtg. whiz to be, is one of them.

A pic of our batch of MBA wannabes from IIMB at Golden beach, Madras/Chennai. Around 1983.

New Year Begins

It looks a lot like the old year. Yes, I am older by a few days,  and may be (this is debatable) wiser. The days are windier and foggier. I have a Videocon DTH connection instead of the cable guy with mostly the same channels. A pretty good mess (for dining) and therefore, no cooking.

I have new colleagues, and a lot more to teach. Less of PR functions that went with my earlier job. Less things to worry about, in other words.

Same old (extended) family and a lot more potential friends. A new scanner that I intend using to scan a few more pics. What carries on from the old year is blogging, reading, music and good times. And promise of new, unexpected happenings. Great, don't you think?