Showing posts from September, 2016

Missions Impossible?

Missions in life are becoming impossible. I am beginning to think Tom Cruise had it easy. Let me illustrate.

First, the mission was to find a Joke to forward on email.

Then it was to find a good-looking pic of yourself for fb..

Then a Selfie-good looks didn't matter, pouts did.

After that, it was to find some 360 degree pic/ panorama.

Then we migrated to GIFs, and one had to figure out how to get those.

Now, it's Videos that are the rage..

No wonder, I call them Missions Impossible!

War and Peace

It is hard to say this under provocations of the kind that Pakistan keeps throwing at India regularly. But it needs to be said. War is never a great idea, for the victor or the vanquished. It may be necessary in self-defense or extreme provocation, but shaming, sanctions, or any other way (proxy, covert or guerrilla war) is always better than war. It results in destruction on both sides, with many lives being destroyed-innocent lives too, in addition to those of soldiers-those are also unnecessary losses, by the way.

Look at any ongoing or recent war around the world- Palestine/Israel, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, etc. and you will find misery on both sides. We are unaware of the casualties that India suffered in 1971, though Bangla Desh was liberated and Pakistan defeated. Just because the military complex in Pakistan has no better ideas, India does not have to engage in full-scale war at a cost to its civilian population. It could try many other options.

Pink- Film Review

Reminded me of some courtroom dramas that B.R. Chopra specialised in. A serious film about a serious issue, and well-made. No distractions, except perhaps the scenes with Amitabh's companion who has no relevance to the story.

When is a molestation a molestation, is the question that the film raises, but in the process exposes many of our wrong attitudes. Also does not show up the police in good light (films rarely do), nor the politically connected classes who bend the law. The judiciary is one which shines, here.

The ageing Amitabh Bachchan pulls off a pretty tough role, barring some unclear dialogues he mumbles early in the film. But in the court scenes, he comes into his own, despite a worthy competitor in Piyush Mishra (recently saw him in Happy Bhag Jayegi-he was brilliant there).

The MCP crowd may not like it, but it's like a sucker punch aimed at their jaw, so it's Ok. The rest, you must watch it. Taapsee Pannu is very good, and so are her two flatmates. The wrong …

Condensed Books

No, the books are not physically condensed. The stories are, to make them palatable to a new generation.


Ram weds Sita, goes to the jungle due to step-mom's shenanigans. Inveigled by Ravan in the form of a deer, goes to Lanka after a kidnapping episode with Sita, to get her back. Kumbhakarna is sleeping (for a few months), but wakes up when the war between Ram and Ravan starts. Hanuman (his tail plays a big role) and his army of monkeys help Ram defeat Ravan. Laxman, Ram and Sita come back to Ayodhya. Ram rajya prevails.


There are 5 brothers (Pandavas) who have a hundred cousins (the Kauravas). They fight over their kingdom constantly, while the elders look on. Arjuna wins Draupadi in an open archery contest, but his Mom inadvertently makes her the wife of all five brothers. The fight continues between the cousins (Duryodhana is the bad guy), and in an eighteen day war, aided by Krishna, the Pandavas win. Bada Bheem is one of the heroes in the battle. But they …

Purpose of Life According to..

There was a book titled The World According to Garp, many years ago. This is an attempt to define the purpose of (your) life according to.. get married and "settle down" (meaning unknown). pay taxes.

Boyfriends/ give them your undivided attention. Looking at other specimens of their kind strictly forbidden.

Civil engineers.. to build bridges with them.

TV channels- to switch off. adopt a few zillion cats/dogs/gorillas..

Modi-bhakts.. to praise him for sleeping 4 hours a day.

Rahul Gandhi admire his dimples, and..let's not get there.

Kejriwal get into a scandal to make HIM look good.

MBAs- to do your bit to increase the supply of consultants and investment bankers and reduce all jobs that make your hands dirty.

Politicians- to vote for them, regardless..

Bankers/credit card companies- to take loans beyond your capacity to pay in this life.

Spouses.. no purpose at all, except to fight with them…

Parallel Governments, Judiciary, et al

That we don't as a nation have much respect for the rule of law is quite well-known. Violation of traffic rules is a small symptom, though wide-spread. Lawless behaviour extends into other areas too, sometimes life-threatening (honour killings, for example).

But what keeps happening with regularity is violence based on some excuse-any excuse at all- where all sanity seems non-existent, and mobs rule our roads. I have seen too many such instances over the years, though personally the most chilling was the 1984 riots in Delhi, because I lived there at the time. Right from the ones at the time of our independence (partition, Bengal etc.) til date, we have not been able to control the urge to settle arguments on the road. It's similar to the need that the U.S. and a few others seem to have, to go bomb someone somewhere when the urge becomes uncontrollable. The excuse does not really matter.

This urge for violence towards a fellow human (sometimes family, as in honour killings), i…

Epic Terms Old and New

Epic - not to be confused with The Odyssey, or the Ramayana, this is just an expression that expresses that something (anything) is very good!

Bestie- this is not a beast, but a human you like. Confusing part is, there could be more than one best, and grammar takes a best, sorry, backseat.

Bro- it's unisex, and is derived from brother, a term commonly used to describe brothers in early 21st century. Some centuries ago, Pardner was a similar term (in the Cowboy era in the US of A).

Awesome- this could be an ice-cream, or a chicken tikka, and does not necessarily have to be a view of the Alps.

Awww-  this term is reserved for exclusive use by the fairer sex. No one knows what it means, but we suspect it means cute.

You can add more, and improve the General Knowledge of the general public.

Asha Bhosle Turns 83

She is an amazing artist. I am not sure when I learnt to recognise her voice, but it had a magical quality. I was not much into female singers, what with Kishore Kumar occupying centre-stage in my choice of film songs, but she was so good that I paid attention. Some songs that may have attracted me initially were- Parde mein rehne do, parda na uthao.. from Shikaar, Haal kaisa hai janaab ka (Chalti ka Naam Gaadi) and Ga mere man ga (from Lajwanti), a couple from Mere Sanam and Jewel Thief (Raat akeli hai, bujh gaye diye, filmed on Tanuja), and later on, some duets with Kishore Kumar.

Jaane jaan dhoondhta phir raha from Jawani Diwani was a great number, and so was Dum MaroDum, the iconic song from Dev Anand's film Hare Rama Hare Krishna.There was a steady stream of seductive songs she sang for Helen, like Piya tu ab to aaja (Caravan) and Yeh mera dil pyar ka deewana (Don), or Simple Kapadia (Jab chhaye, mera Jadu, koi bach na paaye, in Lootmaar). Pyar hua hai jabse, mujhkko nahin ch…

New Ways to Die

Who says the last inventor was Thomas Edison? We as a species have always been inventors. It's in our blood- or at least in a couple of us, like Zuckerberg. But I am not talking of dating inventions that went out of control here. I am talking of new ways to die.

In the good old days (just a turn of phrase, can't guarantee they were ACTUALLY good), we could only get a good old heart attack (by whatever name called), or drown in  a river.

Gradually, we invented car crashes (after cars were invented, of course), air crashes (likewise), and a sundry collection of such methods. Some went so far as to crash a Space Shuttle too, but that was rare.

Now, since  9/11, we have turned our attention to the dying process, and have turned innovative. Some top favourites are-

A selfie on the edge of a cliff- talk about LIVING on the edge!

The doctor leaving his scissors in your tummy. A scissarian section?

Driving while you text. What, you say it's too graphic? Text can't be, it'…

Treebo and Creative Posters

The hotel I am at has a lot of funny posters.

1. What did Narendra Modi say when he checked in at Treebo? Achche din aa gaye.

2. What did Gabbar Singh say when asked about clean rooms at Treebo Hotel? Iski guarantee milegi. Baraabar milegi.

3. The stay at Treebo  is so memorable that even Ghajini remembers!

4. Sign at the bar. Guys without a shirt. No Service. Girls without a shirt. Free drinks.

5. Rates for our Bartender's answers to your wife's phone call.

    He's not here. $ 1.

    He just had one drink. $ 2.

    He never came in today. $ 3.

   Never heard of him. $ 5.

6. What did Leonardo DiCaprio say was the difference between Treebo and the Oscars? Trrebo did not make him wait.

7. In case of a fire, use the staircase, not the lift. And Do NOT stop to take a selfie.

8. What was Mogambo's reaction to a stay at Treebo? Mogambo khush hua

Ten Motion Arts and Digital Marketing

I am writing a case on Digital Marketing done by Ten Motion Arts, a company that also makes films. Founded by Abhinav Kamal, they were an early entrant into the Digital Marketing space, and have done well for themselves. They offer a package deal, doing both promotional films and digital marketing for clients, which gives them an edge over rivals who can do one of these, not both.

It's always a pleasure to see what entrepreneurs are up to. This entrepreneur now has a second company called MyTingli, which vets information about colleges and promotes them among aspiring (engineering/management) students. They use a drone to shoot videos of campuses, giving good aerial views in addition to usual shots at the ground level. They recently acquired a vest-based shooting camera called a steady-cam, which makes it easy to shoot moving objects, action, without a tedious set-up of camera movements. Sports and thriller/action sequences are usual applications.

Also, on the side, met a few of …