Showing posts from September, 2017

Newton- Film Review

A full house for a film with no Khans or Roshans is in itself a great thing. Not to take away from star charisma, but there are other films which deserve a viewing. This is one of them. Please avoid it if you want masala entertainment.

But if you want an honest look at what may be happening in relation to social issues in a place such as Chhattisgarh (could be anywhere, actually), then you may want a look-in. It reminded me of two films that I have seen earlier- Govind Nihalani's Aakrosh, and the more recent Peepli Live.

It is produced by Aanand Rai. The director's name was new to me (he is a kar-Masurkar!), but he has handled a difficult subject very well. The casting is perfect- Rajkumar Rao is brilliant, and so is his counterfoil-the army officer. The tribal girl's character has some meaningful dialogues too. The editing (my favourite punching bag) is spot-on.

Good, meaningful cinema, which cautions you that social problems are solvable, but solutions are not easy. In …

Hrishikesh Mukherjee- Birth Anniversary Tribute

He was, in my view, one of the finest directors of films. His sense of what worked on screen was impeccable. Watch any of his classics, and you might agree. Anand, for instance, is forever etched in my mind, though I first saw it in the early 70s when it was released. Every scene is a lesson in film-making. The dialogue, the acting, and everything else seems perfect. He was minimalistic, and no scene stretched beyond what was needed.

It is no joke to make a comedy. It was not one, but many that he made, in a fashion I have not seen since then. Gol Maal with Amol Palekar in a "double character" (and a manic Utpal Dutt) can make you roll on the floor. So can Chupke Chupke. He was also good in serious cinema, like Namak Haraam, or Abhimaan.

His early films, like Biwi aur Makaan were good, though not as popular as his other films. Satyakaam was one about a man who never gave up his principles in life-played very convincingly by Dharmendra. Bawarchi was a later film about a warr…

Pukar Revisited- Film Review

This is a review of the film Pukar written in 1983, still vivid (!) and readable. The film literally comes alive, as if on screen in 70 mm. First published on the wall magazine at IIMB. Re-published with permission.

Why I am a Dev Anand Fan

It is because of his attitude towards life. In a word, carefree. Or if you prefer the hyphens, happy-go-lucky. In Hindi/Urdu, zinda-dil.

He was an actor, producer, director. What may not be so well-known is that he and Guru Dutt were good friends who started in the industry around the same time. But of course, they took different paths, Dev Anand a much longer one but to my mind, no less distiguished.

His film persona usually matched his real self- he was debonair, self-confident, incurably romantic (his autobiography is titled Romancing With Life too). Some of his characters were unforgettable. The guy who sang Main zindagi ka saath nibhaata chala gaya, har fikr ko dhuen mein udaata chala gaya in Hum Dono. Or Yeh dil na hota bechara in Jewel Thief.

Hema Malini's first big hit, many years later, was with him in Johny Mera Naam. O mere raja is a great hit from the film. He would also sing another duet with her in Shareef Badmaash- Neend Churake raaton mein, humne baaton baaton mei…

Why We Do What We Do

This is my own take on motivation, so all the behavioral scientists please put away those guns.

I am assuming that we have enough food to survive. If we don't, we will of course, beg, borrow or steal. That's not what I am talking about. The higher order things, is.

Read a book- because we know it will transport us to another world, which is either better than ours (romance, true love, chivalry, equality, utopia), or a temporary escape (murder mystery, Harry Potter,..)

Watch a Film- I mainly watch it for entertainment, but sometimes to understand things better. It's a different medium, and it's great to try and understand anything that the director is trying to convey visually, even if you disagree with the pooint of view. I have (mostly) stopped watching a film for an actor/star, because most of them are actually disappointing, or too stereotyped.

Travel- I still find travel is one thing where I learn a lot. Combine it with a meeting with a friend, and it's the ic…

Amazing Blog Stats

Startling Stats

For some reason, there was a spike in this blog's views yesterday. While the usual daily views are around 100 plus, yesterday they went to 1,769. Not sure why, but maybe I will find out in due course. Anyway, enjoying the spike while it happens. Today of course, we are back to a more normal and down-to-earth figure.

Sep 16, 2017 3:30 PM – Sep 23, 2017 2:30 PM

Pageviews today 94 Pageviews yesterday 1,769 Pageviews last month 8,145 Pageviews all time history 440,552 Followers 116

Global Fashion -an Update

Fashion is the new constant-I mean change is the only constant, and fashion is about change. Don't get it? It's OK, neither do I. So I'll just get on with what I was saying.

The current fashion in these countries/states/cities seems to be-

North Korea- celebrating Diwali by firing rockets over Japan.

USA- Building walls (a fashion started by Facebook, which has since moved to Timelines)

Mexico-Shaking it up

Caribbean countries- Sending hurricanes to the U.S. coast.

China-trying Gujarati food (Dhokla-m?)

Gujarat- banning Sunny Leone ads

Mumbai- trying to become Venice

(These are not countries, but have populations bigger than some.) Fb, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp,..- trying to be like each other.

Innovations in Flying and Elsewhere

This was a Business Class like no other I have been in. Individual seats that can go horizontal. Was on this flight where I got upgraded, and looks like it was the right one to get upgraded on! Comfortable, so that even the half-hour delay circling over Mumbai did not seem like much (on a one and half- hour flight). Why don't they make all seats in an aircraft like these? Isn't that what innovation is supposed to do?

Anyway, let's leave that to high-flying innovators and concentrate on our job. What have we innovated lately?

Learnings from Current Turmoil

I was struck by what one of the participants of a recent conference said. A music CD was sold at 12 to 14 dollars at one time, with a huge margin. Now, they are forced to make 4 cents per streaming of the latest music coming out. High volume and low margins.

Another participant said that they now assess businesses based on intangibles and give them loans (start-ups is what he was talking about), insead of asking for land and machinery as collateral. Just goes to show how things change within our lifespans.

I grew up on analog photography, and it's digital now. I grew up on the vaccuum tube/diode, and it's all chips today. I grew up on letters, and it's not even email today-mostly, people use messaging services.

Not to mention GST, Aadhar, ...and all that the businesses have to go through in terms of unexpected things that happen.

Movies, that used to run for 25 weeks for a silver jubilee, now are considered a hit if they run into week 2. Records, cassettes, CDs, DVDs and …

IFIM B School- Conference

This was a place I had earlier worked in. I visited for a conference recently, and enjoyed the feeling of deja vu. Some of the old colleagues and staff were around, and a couple of surprises too. I was moderator of a panel on Management 2022 among other things.

The institute is a neighbour of Infosys, in electronic city. The company which has seen a lot of turmoil in recent times, after being the bellwether of Indian corporates for many years. In my brief stint there, I enjoyed the corporate ambience, and also did an MDP for the Oterra Hotel at Yercaud. The hotel has changed hands since then.

Also visited an old haunt, The Bierre Club, and met a couple of old students from IMT Nagpur and KIAMS. Just after a training program at HPCL's Pune facility (pics below-with Ranjeet and Ghosh, colleagues from IIM Indore, at Pune)

Simran- Film Review

Simran is a name that became immortal in Hindi cinema after DDLJ. This film is Kangana's show all the way, and she does not disappoint. Though not as good as Queen in terms of viewing pleasure, it's a decent watch. It subtly makes a point. The hero is trying to be independent, while the heroine already is!

Parents don't like independent children, so the final scene of the father trying to strangle his daughter is quite apt. Most parents here think that way (unfortunately), and that leads to many unpleasant consequences for the daughters (sometimes the men in love with them too).

I think with tighter editing, the film could have been better, but I am not complaining, if we get to see more films about free-spirited women who can go to Las Vegas and gamble away their life savings, and punch a big guy and force him to call the Security- Go for it!

Pune Lit Fest 2017

Attended a session at the Pune International Literary Fest that had a lot of fireworks. Gems like "Authors don't have a clue about what they are doing" and "Why aren't people walking out? Most readers are kind and forgiving" were flying around through the session, thanks to Shatrujeet Nath. I forgot the books that he has written - I think some fantasy about Vikramaditya Gathas is one of them. But the session was great fun, with the authors ranging from serious to the comic. (note I said authors, not their books. I have read only one of the four, Harimohan Paruvu -spelt wrongly in the leaflet!)  Anyway, this was my debut as an attendee at any lit fest, and I must say you can learn something from attending one. For one, it's free, and you get to see a variety of people, from the celebrities to the intellectuals to the pretenders (and some real authors too). The hall was packed, and some might say it was due it being air-conditioned, but they could be wro…

Surprises Big and Small

Life throws surprises at us fairly regularly. Here are some that I like-

Finding a good book while browsing at a book store. I still do it the old-fashioned way, and may continue till the last book store on earth operates.

Meeting someone unexpectedly. It's great fun to catch up, and as I have said before, this happens to me with students from various B schools I have taught at- some recent ones that I encountered without warning have been Vishal Tibrewal, Animesh Jain (IMT Nagpur), Jimmy Jain (IIMK), Sowmyashree Gonibeedu (PESIT), Mrunal (PESIT), Bhuvneet Raheja and Sapna Patni (IIM Indore), Viju Varghese, Shreya Sengupta (also from PESIT, different programs), ..and of course, planned ones too, like Anupriya Pandit, Sheetal Garg, Shafique and Pallavi (IMTN), Jogeswari, Savitha, Achint, Vidya and Swapna Gurijala (KIAMS), Ratnashree, Shraddha, Divya Singh, Nikita, Meghna, Manjari, Supriya, all from IMT Nagpur.

This was not a surprise, but surprising-or maybe not. I joined a music …

Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan- Film Review

Good film, and enjoyable for most part.

It stars the wonderful pair of the expressive Ayushmaan Khurana and the lovely Bhumi Pednekar (from Dum Laga Ke Haisha), and takes you through an Online Arranged-cum-Love match, and both are excellent. In my own view, Bhumi is a shade better in this one.

Everything is hunky-dory with the match until he discovers he has a "Gents Problem," in his own words. The world calls it erectile dysfunction, mostly. The angst that both feel, and how the rest of the universe conspires to either help them along or force them to break up forms the rest of the story. It has many ups and downs, and keeps the audience sympathetic most of the time. The rant at the end by Ayushmaan was probably unnecessary, but the rest of it is a cute film touching on a somewhat touchy (or rather, unpsoken) topic. The support cast is decent too, and keep the movie light through their comic dialogue. The 'Alibaba reaching the gufa' dialogue is the funniest in a lo…

Managing a Business School- Alumni