Phooling Around

Hindi films are replete with songs which have phools (flowers) of all kinds. As an expression of love, beauty and a few other good things such as fragrance. Here's recounting a few of those.

Phoolon ke rang se, dil ki kalam se.

Phool tumhe bheja hai khat mein, phool nahin mera dil hai..

Phoolon ka taaron ka sabka kehna hai, ek hazaaron mein meri behna hai..

Ai phoolon ki rani, baharon ki malika, tera muskurana ghazab ho gaya..

Phool ahista phenko..

Baharon phool barsao, mera mehboob aaya hai..

Phoolon si mehak kaaton si chubhan ..kahin aaj kisi se mohabbat na ho jaaye..

Many film titles also had a phool in them, such as Ajay Devgun's debut Phool aur Kaante, Ek Phool Do Mali, and Mehmood's Do Phool.

Bellampalli Memoirs

Bellampalli literally means Gud-gaon. Gud as in jaggery. We lived there for around 7 years, from 1970 to 1977. I was a teen then. It's a small mining town in Adilabad district.

It was a one-horse town, and I will concentrate on the merchants there.

We had a cloth store. It was run by a sweet-talking Marwari called Banwarilal. His patented dialogue, once you selected something to buy, was "Hum aapko purane rate se deta hai. (I will give it to you at the old price)."

Then there was a tailor, Laxmi Tailors by name. The proprietor's name was Mondi. We went and sat in his shop to collect clothes left for stitching, and it usually was a fairly long wait, because the clothes had gone for ironing, or for fixing buttons.

And then there was Jeetmal Moolchand Chitalangi, where we got our monthly groceries. In a narrow lane, the shop was badly lit. But Mr. Jeetmal was always bright, and made good conversation with us, his customers. Maybe we got a free toffee once in a while, or a cold drink if we were lucky. All in all, a pleasant experience.

There was a movie hall, Rama talkies, where I remember watching Haathi Mere Saathi, Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Saawan Bhadon, Navin Nischol's debut film.

Why You Remember People

There is a lobe in your brain, located in the upper left, I am kidding. Let me get down to brass tacks.

I remember people who are nice to me (Dale Carnegie, are you listening?). I remember even more, those who are nasty to me (Dale has no business here).

I remember students who do well in class, by asking good questions, and preferably, answering them too.

I remember those who can tell a good joke, or at least forward me a good joke (I am grateful to all those who provide me with fb fodder :)

I remember those who ARE a joke too. I won't tell you who they are, of course.

I remember those who fake an accent- particularly a Yankee accent. (Been there, done that)

I remember people who are creative, or like chai, pan, (not chai-pani), Single Malts, Golf, books, travel, Hindi films and music, those who read my books, those who generously like my fb posts, pics, comment on them, or have nice DPs..guys/gals who karaoke are Ok too.


Novel Product Placement Ideas

Bond driving an Aston Martin is passe. We need new ideas for changing times. Here are a few ideas-

MPs who plan to beat up people with chappals should be identified, and you can give them a branded chappal to beat up people with.

The selfie-taking crowd should be asked to take them at an angle where the brand of watch they wear, or the brand of bag they carry should be visible. The smile (only if their teeth are white) can be sponsored by a toothpaste brand too.

Traffic jams can be sponsored by Netflix, who can screen short (or long) films through a drop-down holographic screen wherever the jam would be a happening jam, and people may not want it to end...

Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan can focus on the brand of WC being shown in the ad.

Convocation Toppers can wear arm-bands sponsored by laptop and mobile makers, or pen-makers (if they still exist).

Once placed, a student can carry a halo-gram of the company that will show around his head, which could be termed 'the halo effect'.

Creating Nicknames

Nicknames are always interesting. Chhotu and Motu are the garden variety ones, but if we exercise the grey cells, we could come up with newer, gooder- err, better-ones.

Example- Bhatinde ka tinda.

Here are a few names that my batchmates were called. (It seems as if there were many people fully occupied in coining nicknames rather than doing their MBA!)

R2D2 (Star Wars character), Tintin, UFO, Dangler, Gadfly (real name Gadkari),

Dede (inspired by a prof whose last name was Lele), Bond 003(this was a girl),

Shah of Kiraan (Kiran was his first name), Jerome K. Jerome (Jayram), Toddler, Bhau,

Mandrake (for Manglik), Gothix, Fu Manchu, Marcus Gundolius (guess who?)

Bishop, Thalaivar, Henry Fayol (for Srikant Payal), Dancing Queen (for a guy who danced his way into our hearts), Captain Haddock,

POM I, POM II and POM III (after a course called Production and Operations Management, which was not exactly the most liked. The OM stands for Old Man.

Endearing Film Characters

The two profs in Chupke Chupke are not professorial at all, and are funny in the extreme. Dharmendra and Amitabh in  roles that paralleled Sholay in quality, for me.

Sunil Dutt as Bhola in Padosan, Saira Banu as his haughty but music-loving neighbour.

Mehmood as a Charlie-Chaplin look-alike in Aulad. He sings "Jodi hamari jamega kaise jaani, hum to hain angezi, tum ladki Hindustani"with Aruna Irani in the film.

Om Prakash as Jijaji in Chupke Chupke, a lover of Shuddh Hindi.

Ramesh Deo and Seema Deo in Anand. Very real, and beautifully portrayed.

Jaya Bhaduri in Mili-slightly over-the-top, but her character was like that.

Keshto Mukherjee in all his films, playing a drunkard.

Soorma Bhopali aka Jagdeep in Sholay.

Pran as a Pathan in Zanjeer. Yaari hai imaan mera yaar meri zindagi, he sings in the film, and how!

Rajesh Khanna in Bawarchi-the goodness of his character comes through in each frame.

Deven Verma and Sanjeev Kumar in Angoor. Fabulously innocent.

Naseer and Ravi Baswani in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. Satish Shah in the same film.

Saeed Jaffrey in Chashme Baddoor.

Zeenat Aman in Hare Rama Hare Krishna, as the girl who gets into drugs.

Shreyas Talpade in Iqbal.

Circuit (Arshad) in Munnabhai MBBS.

Aditi (Genelia D'souza) in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na played an easy-going teen. Reminded me of Ayesha Takia in Socha Na Tha.

Abhay Deol and Diana Penty in Happy Bhag Jayegi impressed me a lot.

The two girls in Dangal were great.

Kangana in Queen was also one of the best.

Phillauri- Film Review

I really hate to see good acting talent (Anushka and Diljit) being wasted because of a lack of understanding of the medium among key people. In this case, the director and scriptwriter-probably more of the latter.

Cinema is a medium that needs a strong screenplay, if it is to make an impact. This one moves too slowly, and is unimaginative, and the film badly edited. So it tests your patience. Most scenes should have been around one-third their length.

The story is mildly interesting, the period atmosphere is Ok, but it is all excruciatingly slow-moving. Unless you are a director who can make that riveting with emotion or some other peg, the result can be disastrous. When interest picks up for a few minutes, at the end, it again meanders through to a very slow last scene. Really stretching it.

Avoid if you can, is my opinion.

My Assistants Over the Years

I have had lots of them helping me do my job as a faculty. I was one in the U.S. too, assisting faculty with research. RAs or TAs by whatever name are a great help. These were the ones in the last five-seven years, who I am grateful to. From preparing material to some part of the grading when needed, they all increased my effectiveness.

At PESIT, I remember Anusha Narayan helping out with odds and ends.

Rachna Mittal was briefly my assistant at IMT Nagpur. She helped me with a leadership session that I had to prepare, for an executive program, among other things.

Tripti Srivastava and Abhinav Chandel were instrumental in running a Goa Case conference which we had run when in Nagpur IMT. Both were wonderful, and as I once told Tripti, did the work of five people (at other conferences we saw) single-handedly.

Abhishek Mandowra was my first AA here, and assisted me through a few courses taught to the EXec PGP and regular PGP (MBA by another name). Did a good job, without showing any stress.

Saumya Sharma was great with technology, and enthusiastically helped out on downloads for PPTs, case and empirical research. She was (is) also very nice to get along with, and upbeat. Went on to work at Hansa Research in Bangalore.

Veenus Tiwari assisted me for a while, and was competent at her work. She is now running a marketing area conference for us in July this year.

Sarada Mahanti is currently on the job, and I am quite relieved with all the back-end help in the massive class sizes that we deal with.

Machine- Review of the Hindi Film

Abbas-Mustan have made a comedy. It's just that they don't realize it yet. When the critics start comparing this to cult comedies like Gunda, they will.

Just watch the last ten minutes of this film (preferably free) to get what I am saying. No rhyme, reason, and brains. Lady meets her murderer who threw her off  a cliff, and instead of shooting him, listens to him spewing crap about 'love' for 6 minutes, accompanies him to another cliff, listens to him for four more minutes before he throws himself off, tired of waiting for her to do it. DON'T miss the ending, even if you miss everything else.

A mish-mash of Baazigar, Race and a few more films (wih inferior actors), and songs from yet other films, all badly mixed-up, makes up the rest of the story. Johny Lever is the only genuine piece of intended comedy. Actors are like zombies- sorry, machines. The cars used in the races have more emotion in them. They should all go to acting school.

Very funny, if you don't miss the end. Otherwise, somewhat..

Simple Joys

A smooth, well-used Hawaii chappal. When we lived in the U.S., this was a premium item that we carried from India, because the so-called flip flops sold there weren't Hawaiian-comfortable, I mean.

A belt which has enough holes in it to adjust to your changing waist-size.

A shoe that fits, and is comfortable to wear for a few hours.

A room at the right temperature-particularly, an airconditioned one.

A fan/light switch one can reach without getting up from bed. With all the technology around, why isn't this mandatory?

Passwords that remember themselves- biometrics, anyone?

Fog-clearing machines at airports-not so simple?

Not so simple ones- publishers who publish (and not argue about WHAT to publish), customer service people who serve customers, Indigo air-hosts/hostesses who serve you more than 10 ml. of water in a glass at slow speed, students who have no excuses, news channels that report news instead of hyperventilating, ...well,..this is going to take a long time. See you after a break. 

Jetsetting and Shopping Spiced Up

SpiceJet is to open retail stores, according to a headline I just read. I had seen online shopping, and on-board shopping before, but this brings me back to earth.

I have a few suggestions for them.

Have the same selection process for shopping assistants as they do for flight stewardesses/stewards.

As you enter the shop, they give you a warning to leave your senses behind, and shop till you drop. If you do drop, they have a first-aid kit that they demonstrate how to use. The mask drops down from above where you have dropped,...

Drone delivery is free, if you use the self-billing kiosk.

Makemytrip can offer pick-up and drop service for customers if they promise to buy goods for 2000 bucks.

You can shop in one town and have SpiceJet carry it with you as free baggage allowance to another.

A Man Called Ove- Film Review

A Swedish film, nominated to the Oscars for foreign film. Very different from the usual Hollywood fare that we see routinely. Worth watching.

It is about a simple boy from a poor background, who grows up to be a bitter old man. Why, is the subject of the film. And how he redeems himself. Although he contemplates suicide several times, he is saved in the nick of time, unwittingly, by a couple next door- the Iranian wife and her kids, in particular.

He narrates his own story to her one day, after they are drawn into an affectionate relationship over time. His own short love story that culminates in marriage and a lot of fights with the establishment over the rights of the handicapped, is a large part.

There is also a friend who is forcibly being sent to an old home, and that brings out the fighter in our hero once more. His fights with the friend over his choice of a brand of car (Volvo, when he is a fan of Saab) are funny, and there is a lot of tragi-comedy. The Iranian woman (Bahar Pars) and the romantic lead (Ida Engvoll) are both key characters, and well-played. But above all, the cranky old man (Rolf Lassgard) is beautifully portrayed. Very realistic.

Shakespeare Updated 2017

Applying the timeless quotes from Shakespeare's works.

He came, he saw, he conquered- Modi in U.P.

To be, or not to be- RaGa as the face of Congress.

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.- The wal of Kejri.

Men at some time are masters of their fates. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” -- U.P. voters

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. -  Applies to a lot of people strutting around in our lives. (You can have a go at applying it.)

Pankaj Udhas

I always wondered why he had a sad-sounding last name. He seems to have faded from public memory now, but I used to listen to him a lot at one time. He has a silky voice, and sang ghazals very well. We also called him India's answer to Punk Rock. Some of his ghazals that I liked were-

Ae ghame zindagi, kuch to de mashwara, Ek taraf uska ghar ek taraf maikada. (we used to joke about maikada by turning it into mai gadha among friends)

Choom kar madbhari aankhon se gulabi kaaghaz, usne bheja hai mere naam sharaabi kaaghaz

Sabko maloom hai main sharaabi nahin..

Raat ghatayen khushboo, un zulfon ke naam..

Chandi jaisa rang hai tera ..

Yeh alag baat hai saqi ke mujhe hosh nahin..

 Mohe aayi na jag se laaj main itna zor se naachi aaj, ke ghungroo toot gaye..

An incident I remember from his live concert we had gone to in Atlanta, USA. The sound was too loud. And when we went to the sound guy and asked him to tone it down, he asked us "Kabhi Michael Jackson ka gaana suna hai? (Have you ever heard a Michael Jackson concert?)" and continued with the setting he had on.

Raving About Ra

Ra is at the start of many historic things.

For one, Raga is an important part of Indian classical Music.

Rain brings us our food, and begins with Ra.

Rails are what trains run on..a great way to see the world.

Raatkali ek khwab mein aayi, aur gale ka haar a favourite song.

Rap is a form of music that keeps us young.

Radical change is needed to take us forward.

Rastafarian Bob Marley is the musician I like. Particularly "Buffalo Soldier.."

Radio is one of my favourite love for music began with this, and continued through records, cassettes, CDs,...and back to radio along with Youtube.

It's just incidental that my name begins with Ra.

We are Creatures of Habit

Habits form early, and we are rarely able to get out of these.

I had a habit of reading. The books changed, but the habit remained. I still read a lot. A little less of the neswpapers, and fiction, and a little more of other things, but read I must.

Writing is a habit I formed a little late in life, apart from school assignments. But now I am almost addicted to it. Blogging (which a few read), to writing text books (which not many read!), I have tried it all, even writing an autobiography when I was all of 48!

Creative things like photography have always been of interest, and I do indulge a bit, but more often, I appreciate what others are doing- like my Nice DP Oscars! (which people do aspire for, I think)

Songs (Hindi film) are an enduring passion, and we as a family have had singing sessions galore (a la the Von Trapp family from The Sound of Music). Listening too, it goes without saying.

Small-sized get-togethers are what I like best, though I have also been a part of bigger ones that were fun, now and then.

Sports too, were a habit from school, where I played cricket regularly, and home, where Badminton was a staple. Graduated to Golf a little late, during my Harihar days, and then Nagpur days.

Names Derived From Places

We have a lot of names or surnames derived from places. An example- my surname is derived from a small town called Nargund in Karnataka. Javagal is a town in Karnataka, and so is Padukone. This (adding a 'kar' after the name of a place to create a surname) is a common practice in Maharashtra- so you have Solapurkars, Chalisgaonkars, and Punekars.

Atal Behari Vajpayee may or may not have been from Bihar, but maybe S.H. Bihari, the lyricist was. Lyricists have this trend among them of naming themselves after their place- Sahir Ludhianvi, Rahat Indori, and Hasrat Jaipuri are examples.

In Andhra, where I grew up, the village name is used as an initial, if not the family name-sometimes both are initials.

You could call this the game of the name.

Shake it up baby..

Shammi Kapoor was the Sheikh of all Shakes. If you don't believe me, take a look at this song-

Aaj kal tere mere pyar ke charche.....

Or this, Aaja aaja main hoon pyar tera.

or this,..Badan pe sitare lapete hue.

Another- Kisko pyar karun, kaise pyar karun (unusual dilemma).

and of course, the junglee we all love..Yahoo..chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe.


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