Sunday, December 21, 2008

Surinder Sahni ne bana diya Hit!

Saw RBNBDJ today and came back totally impressed by the king khan's performance. In a weird manner he has acted his best as Surinder Sahni and also his worst as the
overthe top character raj who flirts with Tanni(anushka sharma in the movie)

Surinder's character played by the king khan is simply brilliant..he has done a class act in this one..He plays the part of the simple, frugal, loveless Suri to perfection.

You will love everything about this character-his hesitancy, his overtly simple clothes, his adoration for his new wife, his happiness at little joys like getting a tiffin from his wife

There was this little kid sitting next to me at the movies and he liked Suri's charcter so much so that whenever Raj was on screen, he would bellow, "But Mom suri kahan hai?"(mom,where is Suri?)..I think the whole audience was asking the same question whenever he wasnt on screen..For 'Surinder Sahni' Rab ne is a must watch...Just like Punjab Power he lights up the screen whenever he appears on it..

In the end, just one correction..the song in the movie should have beenhaule haule sabko 'surinder' se pyar ho jayaga..

P.S. On a side note I feel that Aditya Chopra has tailored the look and the role of Surinder based on himself. He is a lot like that character apparently in real life.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Surya and Jyothika-The reel to real life couple

Surya and Jyothika make such a cute couple. The adjoining picture shows what a happy family portrait they make.
I saw this pair together for the first time when I watched 'Kaaka Kaaka'. The movie was okay but what really stood out was the chemistry between the lead pair of Surya and Jyothika.
In that movie Jyothika goes all out to woo Surya who plays a honest-to-goodness cop, who tried his best not to fall for her. Of course the matters of the heart cause him to eventually capitulate.

Kaaka Kaaka starts off with my most favorite song "Oyire Oyire". It has an extremely infectious beat and of course Surya :) The movie also had the other really catchy song, 'Onra renda asagal' something like that which was used as the 'Zara zara ' track in the Hindi movie 'RHTDM'
I read somewhere the couple had a bit of a filmi love story with both sets of relations not agreeing(???) to the match. So they had to somehow over the years(5 yrs) convince their close relatives that they were pretty serious about each other.

Today they have a 1 year kid and it feels really good when such love stories culminate in marriage. Though it still beats me why Jyothika's parents or someone would have reservations to the prospect of such a good looking guy like Surya marrying their daughter..hmm..

Saturday, December 13, 2008

CHild actors-How long do they shine?

Anandi of 'Balika Vadhu' is extremely popular so much so that she has won the top ratings amongst all the shows. Its a different matter that I think her friend 'Phooli' in the show is way more cuter :)

Once not so long ago there was another very famous kid in the movies.Does anyone remember the child actor Baby Guddu? She appeared in dozens of hindi films in the late 80's. No one knows much where she is now.

I used to read a lot of magazines and there was this magazine that carried a partial
interview of how child innocence is lost in the movies. The interviewer spoke to the parents for the majority of the interview stressing on whether the kid was losing out on a normal childhood being in the movies and all. The parents said that that was'nt the case but were highly agitated nevertheless.

At one time the interviewer asks baby guddy do u like pets? And baby guddu answers(completely innocently): I like pets but mom and dad dont like pets so I will get pets after mom and dad die.

It seems that the parents were sitting around and when they heard the child's remarks they got angered and took the child away and asked the interviewer not to publish that. But the magazine did publish that nevertheless.

There was this Rasna girl also who was very popular. It's another story that today she
is a Tollywood actress and not so innocent anymore.

Reminded me of all these child actors who acted in old Hindi movies(Raju, Mayur,
Baby Guddu,Alankar)....Wonder where they are now and how has life treated them so far..that would be interesting to know.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Rab ne bana di jodi-God has chosen the pair

The promos of the 'Rab ne bana di jodi' show the king khan prancing around supposedly in the bylanes of Delhi for the Haule Haule song . He looks really thin in this song-extreme weight

The other songs don't seem to be very good in contrast to the norm of having outstanding music for Yashraj movies and that too average music in a movie that has been directed by Aditya Chopra? Seems strange. One smart move by Adi is that he has not released too many promos of the movie so the audience does'nt know what to expect.

The plot looks like the kinds in which Shahrukh can play dual roles like Amol Palekar did in Golmaal. The clothes in Rab ne are quite nice with the pathani suits and all(which shud become a rage soon). Rab ne has some actor in a surprise element also but I forgot who that is.
I did'nt like the actress(Anushka Sharma) when I saw her for the first time but she
seems to have done a decent job. She is at least far better than Shahrukh's previous costar debutante(Deepika) who could not act for nuts.
Lets wait and watch how it all turns out. It shud do very good business but I think Ghajini will be a far bigger hit than this.
Time will tell.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Keys to Your Heart

What Are The Keys To Your Heart?
The Keys to Your Heart
You are attracted to obedience and warmth.In love, you feel the most alive when your partner is patient and never willing to give up on you.You'd like to your lover to think you are optimistic and happy.You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.Your ideal relationship is open. Both of you can talk about everything... no secrets.Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.You think of marriage as something that will confine you. You are afraid of marriage.In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You'll do anything for love, but you won't fall for it easily.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Saif and Kareena Kapoor

Two wrongs make a right(now) and the two lived happily ever after.
Enuf said.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tere Bin(Besides you)

I got the "Tere Bin" song lyrics by Rabbi Shergill in a forward today and it’s made me so happy. I keep listening to this song over and over again. The song is from a very non-descript movie called Delhi heights. The movie sank but the song rocked.

The lyrics have so much meaning and they are the most profound lines of the mushy-gushy type but said in a Zen like manner :)

tere bin / sanu sohnia /koi hor nahio labhna /
besides you my love; i shan't find another
jo dave / ruh nu sakun / chukke jo nakhra mera /
who'll give peace to my soul and indulge me
ve main sare ghumm ke vekhia /
i have gone and seen it all
amrika , roos, malaysia /
kittey vi koi fark si /
there wasn't any difference
har kise di koi shart si /
they all had some condition
koi mangda mera si sama /
some asked for my time
koi hunda surat te fida /
some were fascinated with my face
koi mangda meri si vafa /
some demanded my fidelity
na koi mangda merian bala /
none wanted my demons
tere bin / hor na kise / mangni merian bala /
besides you no one else
wanted my demons
tere bin / hor na kise / karni dhup vich chhan /
besides you no one else
shall shade me in the sun

jiven rukia / si tun zara /
(the) way you paused slightly
nahion bhulna / main sari umar /
i shan't forget all my life
jiven akhia si akhan chura /
you said, looking away
"rovenga sanu yad kar" /
"you shall weep in my memory"
hasia si main hasa ajeeb /
i laughed a strange laugh
(par) tu nahi si hasia /
but you didn't
dil vich tera jo raaz si /
you had a secret in your heart
mainu tu kyon ni dasia /
why didn't you tell me
tere bin / sanu eh raz /
besides you none shall tell this
kise hor nahion dasna /
secret to me
tere bin / peerh da ilaaj / kis vaid kolon labhna /
besides you what druid
has the cure to my ills
milia si ajj mainu / tera ik patra /
i found today a note of yours
likhia si jis 'te /
on which you had scribbled
tun shayr varey shah da /
a varis shah couplet
park ke si osnu /
upon reading which
hanjnu ik duliya /
a teardrop fell
akhan 'ch band si /
what was locked in the eye
seh raaz ajj khulia /
was revealed today
ki tere bin / eh mere hanjnu /
that other than you
these tears of mine
kise hor / nahio chumna /
won't be kissed by
none else
ki tere bin / eh mere hanjhu /
that other than you
these tears of mine
mitti vich rulnha /
will wither in the dust

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Home they brought her warrior dead-Major Sandeep

At school there was this extremely sad and touching poem about a woman whose husband's dead body is brought home after he dies fighting as a soldier for his country. The woman is so bereft with grief that she has absolutely no tears to cry. She simply becomes a lump of stone and refuses to cry no matter how much the neighbors plead with her. At last someone brings her child and places it on her lap and seeing the innocent who will never know his father anymore, she breaks down and cries.

I was reminded of this poem seeing Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan's mom cry next to his dead body. He was killed in the Mumbai terrorist attacks. His father could barely control his emotions when speaking to the reporters about his son. After 2 days the Kerala CM went to visit the family and he was sent away from the house (quite rightly so) by the major's father who is grieved that nobody from the Kerala gov showed up till now.

I read at that Sandeep had married his childhood friend and classmate Neha, but their relationship was strained. So he leaves behind his widowed wife too.

The picture shows the major's father as he stoically holds back his tears and helps his wife reach out to touch her only son for the last time. It's a picture that breaks your heart.

It is indeed a very sad day.

Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead
- Alfred Lord Tennyson

Home they brought her warrior dead:
She nor swooned, nor uttered cry:
All her maidens, watching, said,
'She must weep or she will die.'
Then they praised him, soft and low,
Called him worthy to be loved,
Truest friend and noblest foe;
Yet she neither spoke nor moved.

Stole a maiden from her place,
Lightly to the warrior stepped,
Took the face-cloth from the face;
Yet she neither moved nor wept.

Rose a nurse of ninety years,
Set his child upon her knee--
Like summer tempest came her tears--
'Sweet my child, I live for thee.'

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Face of terror-Mumbai under siege

21 year old Azam Amir Kasav walking around with a gun at CST station was one of the earliest images of the Mumbai terror attack. The picture was clicked by Sebastian D’souza, one of the Mumbai mirror reporters who had rushed to CST to get the details when he saw one of the two terrorists walking around at CST, spraying bullets at the people.

Ironically Azam Amir Kasav is also the most infamous with his pictures plastered across the web and the newspapers in relation with the Mumbai attacks as the face of terror. He holds the dubious distinction of being the only terrorist captured alive after the stand off. He has reportedly spilled the beans on the details and planning of the attack but more information is awaited. What’s interesting and unbelievable is that he now wants to be alive as reported in the Mumbai Mirror.

There are some images that are burnt into your consciousness long after the related events. This is definitely one of them.

Let’s hope we get all the evidence this time to build the most effective case against terrorism. Enough is enough.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai in mourning-Still reeling after the attacks

It has been the 3 most sad days for Mumbai. Terrorists attacked my beloved city and killed people indiscriminately. The first attacks started on Wednesday night and since then the body count has just been on the rise. All of us here at Mumbai are shocked, dazed, sad and very angry. This kind of terrorism has been happening to our Mumbai city over and over again. And still in spite of so many attacks we have never taken any harsh action against terrorism.

The news channels are reporting that the intelligence agencies were aware from many days now of suspicious activity. It is very sad that in spite of having prior information nothing was done to prevent this tragedy. Politicians do a lot of talking, there is a bit of discussions, huge reports are written and then all is forgotten.

I agree with what the panelists said that we need terror specialists in every city and a very effective crisis management in place. Also we need to have a separate court for dispensing justice in terrorist activities. The need of the hour is to make sure that we give the harshest punishment to terrorists. No one should ever terrorize us again.

Thankfully this time nobody praised the spirit and resilience of Mumbai city. And this is fittingly so because there is no so called spirit of Mumbai. The only spirit we were showing was because there was work to be done and so we always went back. But now we are tired of being abused and laid low in the manner by the cowards who attack us.

No one can understand the pain of a young child who lost both his parents or the pain of scores of people who have to now bury their dead after facing such an enormous tragedy themselves. We have lost the bravest officers and many people from all walks of life-rich and poor. The image of the Taj hotel burning is extremely traumatizing. These past nights have been the most harrowing time of our lives.

Please give the highest punishment to the people who have killed my Mumbai city. The common man is completely heart broken and cannot bear any more pain. May God give all of us here in Mumbai the courage to face this tragedy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Maine Pyar Kiya - It's all about winning the parents

‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ is really a saccharine sweet movie from the late 80's. It was released sometime in 1989 to be precise. I remember the headline for the review of the movie by Khalid Mohammed in the Times of India was titled 'Vague Entertainment'. I didn’t know the meaning of vague then so I assumed that it should mean something good. Don’t ask me why I remember such nonsensical things but that’s how it is with me.

Anyway I digress from the main point which is that when the movie was released it became such a huge hit and a rage everywhere. Every girl wanted to be like the stunningly beautiful Bhagyashre. Young guys had a new idol to look upto-the lean-mean and overtly good looking Salman Khan.

Many girls stitched clothes like the simple salwar kameezes worn by Bhagyashree. What's really amazing about this diminutive actress is that she still looks as young as she did, 20 years ago. Of course the fact that she sacrificed everything and bid adieu to movies to set up her family on her husband's diktat (who didn’t approve her acting with other co stars) is probably the sweetest thing done in the name of love.

Salman of course went from strength to strength after this movie and he is what he is today. Our now famous comedian Raju Shrivastav I believe had a small character in MPK as a servant or something. The very talented and good looking Mohnish Behl (Nutan's son) got relegated to playing the bad guy in every role after this. Laxmikant Berde got stuck playing the hero's sidekick and unfortunately died a year or so back due to some health issues. Alok Nath and Reema Lagu continued to play the role of harried parents for another million years.

The one cute thing about Maine Pyar Kiya was that it brought friendship back into fashion (no... not the-i-dont-know-u but will u be my fren like on orkut) but the simple uncomplicated friendship that should be the basis for love. And that brings us to yet merchandise made popular by the movie-Friend caps. I didn’t purchase the ‘Friend’ cap though I saw it selling like hot cakes everywhere.

Dialogue time-
Ek ladka aur ke ladki kabhi dost nahi ho sakthe(Boy and gurl cannot stop at being frens)
Nahee ho sakthe hain, agar ladka ya tho ladki dono main se ek thakela ho(No they can still stop at being frens if one of them is a loser) Just kiddin :)

MPK started the trend of saaf suthra Barjatya family romances set in Wankhede stadium like houses with an assortment of servants. Kabootars got a new lease of life and suddenly love was in the air. Everyone appreciated the basic premise of the movie which is that you don’t need to elope for your romance; you can work it out and win your love and parental approval.

What simple times were those... I try and watch some scenes of MPK even today when the movie is telecast on some channel. It is interesting to see romance as it once was.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Priyanka and Kangana - Friendship bites the dust

So the other day I was reading this news article about a ugly spat between Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranuat. What seems to have transpired is that Kangana has not liked the fact that critics have praised Priyanka so much for her perfomance in Fashion, and the former seems to think the same.

Now this got me thinking as to how bold Kangana Ranuat really is.

I mean if one looks back the Ranaut girl seriously has guts and gumption to give Priyanka the cold shoulder. Its been hardly any time since she has come on the movie scene(albeit with scorching performances in gangster,metro and Woh Lamhe). But instead of blending into the spotlight she is giving Priyanka who is her senior in the industry all of the attitude she can muster in her little frame.

She even did not publicize 'Fashion' or pose together with Mugdha and Priyanka anywhere for the movie. I dont know what will be the outcome of all this but I sorta like her brash attitude of I-m-better-soidont-give-a-darn-abt u. But Kangana definitely needs a break from the messed up characters she plays.

On the other hand you can learn a lesson or two in positivity from Priyanka. She has had 4-5 major back to back flops till she got 'Fashion' and 'Dostana' but she still didnt lose her chirpiness along the way. She did admit that when Lovestory 2050 tanked at the box ofice, it did break her heart. Although it is still beyond me as to why she was expecting anything good out of the 2050 disaster. Her performance is pretty good in the second half of 'Fashion' leading to the ice cold vibes with her co star Kangana.

Another filmi dosti goes kaput.

Friday, November 21, 2008

'Zen stories to tell your neighbours'

I just finished reading 'Zen stories to tell your neighbours' and I must say that I enjoyed it very very much. It's got almost 50 stories along with their explanations and almost all of the stories are centred around philosophy.

Every story has a bunch of reactions from lay people as to what they thought about the story and its meaning. And that's what makes this collection so meaningful cause you have so many view points about the same fable that makes you smila and ponder
at the same time.

Here is one of the stories from that book-
The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life.

A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.

This made her parents very angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.

In great anger the parents went to the master. "Is that so?" was all he would say.

When the child was born, the parents brought it to the Hakuin, who now was viewed as a pariah by the whole village. They demanded that he take care of the child since it was his responsibility. “Is that so?” Hakuin said calmly as he accepted the child.

A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth - that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket.

The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back again.

Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: "Is that so?"

Please do download a copy of that book from the below link .

Its truly worth your time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mumbai Meri Jaan(translated 'I Heart Mumbai')

Mumbai-the land of opportunity, the city of a million dreams, hopes and fears. They say that once you come here, you can’t leave this place and it can’t get truer than that. The city’s inhabitants are mad about her. They love her; they hate her but just can’t help falling in love with her.

Mumbai as everyone knows wasn’t Mumbai so long ago. Bombay was rechristened to Mumbai in 1992 and most people know it by one name or the other. As Shakespeare said ‘What’s in a name?’-the new name hasn’t diminished its popularity one tiny bit.

The metropolis is a melting pot of so many cultures that no one person can lay claim to the city as their own. You have the Gujarathis, the Bengalis and the South Indians all conversing in the common language popularly known as ‘Mumbaiya Hindi’. It’s Hindi with a generous sprinkling of bindaas ‘bole tho’ tapori talk. The Mumbaiya Hindi is a mish-mash of popular terms from all the Indian languages to make up a very unique dialect.

The trains are the city’s lifeline ferrying millions of people to and fro. A typical morning in the city has its millions of office goers kick-starting their day with the general Olympics. The railways stations give you a ringside view of the myriad tests (read pushing, pulling, hanging on for dear life etc) that the common man has to face to reach his destination. There is a popular saying that you don’t need to iron your clothes, when you set out to travel in the local trains. The rush is so much that by the time you alight from the trains, your clothes are pretty much ironed out.

The ladies compartments in the trains throb with a life of their own, where you can see people do everything from knitting sweaters, cutting vegetables to catching up on the latest in their favorite Saas-Bahu drama. But the major fun starts if one lady jostles or pushes another lady by mistake. What ensues then is a free for all, with the warring ladies eventually involving all the onlookers in the verbal duel. Of course when the station arrives, the ladies get down and it’s just been another day in the life of Mumbai.

If there is one thing that’s a trademark of the city it is the ubiquitous vadapau. This humble dish is one thing that’s filling as well as a staple diet of most people on the move. It’s been consistent in its position on the people’s popularity charts retaining its humble ‘avatar’ through the years.

The night life of Mumbai is very famous and truly lives up to the adage ‘the city that never sleeps’. So come nightfall, you have the party animals frequenting the very happening clubs, lounges and impromptu ‘Page 3’ parties. You learn a thing or two about energy levels from people who sometimes attend as much as 2-3 parties in a night and still not call it a day.

There is no denying that there is a gaping class difference amongst the city’s populace. The affluence of Pali Hill bears a striking contrast to the depravity of the largest slum in Asia-Dharavi. Finding a home in this concrete jungle is very difficult so most people end up living in cramped quarters that could barely qualify as houses. Everything is borne with a smile on the face in the hope that one day they will earn enough moolah to own a decent accommodation in the city.

It’s said in Africa when dawn breaks out, every animal is running-from the king of the jungle to the smallest creature-it’s the basic rule of the jungle. The aforesaid example so aptly describes the madness of Mumbai-a concrete jungle where the only thing that matters is the survival of the fittest. If you have to describe Mumbai in a word it would be ‘fast’. Here people have so much to do and so little time, that life is just a never ending race against time.

The magic of Mumbai is an undeniable element that attracts people from all over the country. Once you reach here, you become a Mumbaiite forever. Everyday thousands of people land here clutching on to their hopes of making it big. Life here is tough but its one hell of a joyride. As the famous Hindi number goes, “Ae dil hain mushkil jeena yahan, zara hatke, zara bachke, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan”.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kabhi alvida na kehna - A love hate list

Today I watched “Kabhi alvida na kehna” which is another one of Karan Johar’s lavishly created movies. I had hated it immensely the first time when I had seen it two years back.

This time around I guess I was really paying a lot of attention ‘cause I happened to notice that somewhere in the middle of this messy story, there are some very meaningful lines like these-

• If you don’t go searching for love, you won’t find it.
• What kind of love are you searching for; the kind that exists in good books and bad films?
• Sometimes marriage takes the place of love and then there is no room for love left
• You are nothing but a wafadaar jamadaar and so on….

KJo wanted to make a movie on extra marital affairs but somehow he forgot to flesh out the main characters. The end result being that the audience liked the other couple (Abhishek and Preity) more than Rani and Shahrukh which did not bode well for the movie.

Rani’s character is pretty warped up which explains why she liked Dev(Shahrukh) who is nothing but a big pain (in the **). Preity does not get into her element till the closing of the film when her character realizes the truth after which she takes her hubby to task and how. Abhishek was just a prop (why did he sign this movie?) while Shahrukh got all the best dialogues (which were few). King Khan as usual went overboard and hammed all over the place which should have been prevented.

Now a list of my top love-hate reasons for KANK-
• I love the song ‘Mitwa’ and its beat and the way the singer has sung it makes the song very special for me. I loved the feelings of happiness and enjoyment that the two central characters are shown to be having in the Mitwa song. It was almost as if their inner happy self had found its way outside.

• I loved the New York background and beautiful locations used throughout the movie. I fell in love with each of the locations that Kjo has taken us to and I thank him for that. I hope KJo writes a post on his blog as to why he loves New York so much.

• I loved the color blue for Rani as the outfits in that color made her look like a dream. Rani looks a vision in all the sarees she has worn which suit her way more than any western outfit. BTW the dress designer for the movie did a very good job as everyone looks their best throughout the flick.

• I hated the fact that the movie was neither here nor there. At times the actors themselves don’t look much convinced about their characters and the dialogues but are doing it nonetheless.

• I hate that there were no dialogues that tickle you something on the lines of ‘Kal ho na ho’ which was a serious movie peppered with very humorous dialogues-why couldn’t we have had something like that in KANK?

• I loved the small things that Karan tried to show-chiefly the fact that you could have the best looking guy/gal as your husband/wife but the marriage will suck(if there is no chemistry) and no one will know that except the people involved.

• I loved Amitabh’s dialogue at the dinner table when he sees through Shahrukh’s character. Also the time when he asks for a drink at the ballet scene when he sees the foursome trade barbs at their messed up lives.

• I loved the way Abhishek screams at Rani after discovering her infidelity. I mean if he hadn’t done that I wouldn’t have believed his good-goody character any more and boy was I fed up of his pati-parmeshwar act.

• I loved Preity’s reaction when her philandering husband confesses to her about his affair. She slaps him and asks him to leave which was like wow-a breath of fresh air to see a modern women reacting the way she should and quite appropriately.

• I love the underlying theme of the movie that if you don’t love someone, don’t be stuck in that just for the relation’s sake. Go on and liberate yourself and your partner.

‘Kabhi alvida na kehna’ means don’t say Good bye and I have to quote Richard Bach here because I think his lines make plenty of sense in this reference-
Dont be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can
meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for
those who are friends.

India's moon mission is a success!!!

India's moon mission is an outstanding success. Sometime after 8.30 p.m today, the MIP probe painted with the Indian tricolor landed on the moon!!!

What is amazing is the fact that India has achieved this at a fraction of the cost at which other countries have done their similar space missions.

India rocks on children's day with its success sending all of us Indians literally over the moon.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The spirit of Shahrukh Khan-the Actor rocks!!!

Shahrukh Khan is unparalleled in his devotion to his work and cinema. I was watching the trailor of his latest movie, 'Rab ne bana di jodi' and could'nt help but notice that he has aged a bit. I mean that shoul'nt be odd as he has been around for so long. But he is an icon for all that he has accomplished in all these years.

Shahrukh loves to talk about his movies, about life and about anything that the audience wants to know about him which is evident in all the interviews he gives to the magazines. There are many qualities of his which have made him the heart throb of a generations. But one very very inspiring and little know fact about Shahrukh khan is his never-say-die spirit.

I read a short bio about him in which he talks about the death of his father and mother and how that one incident affected his family profoundly. His sister became very unwell and never quite recevered and Shahrukh says that at that very painful moment in his life he had 2 options-Either perish and go down or to fight back and win in life and he chose the 2nd option. The King Khan's life is the most amazing success story ever which people will only come to know of whne they see the man behind the persona on screen.

The only grouse against Shahrukh is that the actor in him sometimes goes overborad and he tends to ham which is not all that good. He is the quintessential 'always-stealing-thegurl-from-someone-else' romantic hero and it is this role which suits him the best though he has tried to do other kinds of movies with moderate success. No other jodi has ever had the kind of success that the Shahrukh-Kajol combo has had at the silver screen.

All said and done, he is India's most favourite actor. I hope he succeeds and continues to entertain India for many many years.

The Zahir--Paulo Coelho

Love is the history of a woman's life; it is an episode in man's.
---Germaine De Stael
“The Zahir” is a bad book. Period.

It had a very interesting premise which has been executed very badly as the story progresses. The reader is introduced to a marriage of ten years, torn asunder by the sudden disappearance of the wife. The husband has numerous questions about the disappearance of his wife, who has left without any explanations and these questions turn into a "Zahir” or an obsession for the author.

Take it from me except the plot outlined above, there is hardly anything interesting in the book. To put it simply, the book is a drag.

The whole story or the lack of any sense further in the plot has to be read, to be disbelieved. Granted that the author has written other good books like The Alchemist, Veronica decides to die etc. But with Zahir, the author has committed a huge mistake. Throughout the book, the one dominant theme is that of an egoistic author talking about himself, his achievements and the narcissism is just too much for the reader to bear.

The protagonist of the book is none other than the author Paul Coelho himself although he does not admit to the fact out rightly, it is left to the reader to "read between the lines".

As the story progresses, Coelho(the husband) hams about his new celebrity author life style in which he has plenty of money, fame, respect but he still feels lonely inspite of all the adulation. His wife or rather his 2nd or 3rd wife in the book, Esther is a war correspondent is frustrated with her husband who hardly has any time or feelings for her anymore. One day she gets fed up and sets off leaving a trail of strange clues behind. And then the husband starts searching for her since now he understands that she was an integral part of his life. Sheesh! Why do people always realize when it’s too late? But then again you don’t sympathize or understand the protagonist of the story because he starts having random affairs with other women while searching for his wife, how strange/putting off is that?

While searching for his wife, he meets these spiritual, mystical people from the Steppes including his wife’s so called lover, Mickail. Mickail takes him into various private meetings and a lot of humbug spiritual enlightment situations that will bore you to tears. By the end of the book or rather with more than 100 pages still left, you start getting frustrated and kinda identify with the wife who must have got similarly fed up of her good-for-nothing husband-the author.

Coelho also does not let go of the opportunity to express his views on Christianity and his disbelief about certain things associated and the book simply serves him as a convenient, secret platform to express his views. It would be nice if Paulo Coelho sticks to writing stories like ‘The Alchemist’ instead of selling his autobiography/personal opinions to the public in the guise of a spiritual enlightenment book

I don't like being a non conformist but I don't understand as to why people praise something when they just don’t get it. If you read the book and think that there is some deeper meaning, forget it. There is no deep thinking needed at all unlike "The Alchemist" in which there was a lot of hidden meaning in the fable.

Take my advice and read the above review three times but do not venture out to get "The Zahir" because the book is a huge waste of everyone’s precious time. I didn't even buy the book, just took it from the library for 25 bucks as reading charges and I am venting, so you can understand how disappointing the book was. You have been warned.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Prayer-Simply talk to Jesus

“Come to me all who you who are weary and find life burdensome, I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me: For I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest” (Mt.11:28-29).

Jesus wants to come into our lives and for this he enlists the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit creates situations in our lives whereby we have to, someday or the other, turn to Jesus. In fact from the moment that we were born and all the way up to our adulthood, Jesus has been eyeing us and waiting for an opportunity to speak to us. Prayer provides that medium whereby we can talk to Him without any inhibitions. “The Father will give you whatever you ask of Him in my name” (John 15:16).

Prayer is your personal chat to God. He does not want you to meaninglessly babble lines in the form of long prayers if your heart is simply not there, in what you are saying. Rather He likes it when you have a simple heart to heart talk to Him. God does not want only your spiritual side but he also wants you to share your problems, your sadness, and your happiness with him. The Word of God says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you” (1 Peter 5:7).

It is said in the Bible that God knows all your heart’s desires and wants even before you express it. However He likes it when we ask for something specifically because only then we will realize what we want and be happy and thankful when God grants our wishes.
Also if possible try and intercede for others in your prayers. Jesus likes it when we pray for others and we will gradually realize that our own prayers have been answered.

Many people assume that prayers are simply a way of asking for things or discussing your aspirations to God. But prayer is much more than that. You can praise Jesus with all you heart when you pray and He will be much pleased. There are many retreats and special prayers held in our churches where you can praise Jesus at the top of your voice. Your Father in heaven will be very happy to know that you like him so much. The Scripture says, “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6, 7)

Remember to ask Jesus to send the Holy Spirit’s anointing on you. Jesus will send the Spirit’s help especially to the people affected by the evil charms of the Devil. We must remember that the Holy Spirit can easily defeat the unwanted Devil and end his tyranny on the people.

When you want to pray, try to choose a place where there is very little disturbance. Even when Jesus wanted to pray he left his house and his followers and retreated to the top of the mountains so that he could talk to His father in private. Although we lead busy harried lives if we can find some time in our busy schedule to talk to God, we will feel instantly refreshed. Moreover Jesus is waiting to continue the conversations with you through the words of the Bible.

The Bible provides us with all the answers to questions that we didn’t even know how to ask in the first place. If possible we should try and read at least one passage from the Bible daily. The passages of the Holy word are filled with inspiration and knowledge to renew our broken spirits. The Bible can help us build more trust in Him and also the Holy word is like a counselor who is 24/7 for your help. The proverbs chapter especially has a ton of useful sayings that help us follow the right path in our life.

The Bible has more than 50 promises by the Lord our God, made to us on different occasions. He has said, “I give you My word. If you are ready to believe that you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, it shall be done for you. When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly father may in turn forgive you your faults” (Mk. 11:24, 25).

Prayer is like a game of chess played between Jesus and you. The game of chess can only be played between two people and with the utmost concentration and dedication. Similarly Jesus will make the first move towards us but he also expects us to continue the game by our second move. He will verify our dedication and our determination by putting us to the test. If we get fed up and not respond to him, he will not be able to help us. But His rewards are great for people who adore him and stay true to his ways.

Moreover there are many times when we are so overcome with the troubles of our life that instead of prayers, only tears flow unabashedly from our eyes. In such situations we feel sad that we have not been able to pray to Him. But God understands that our tears are also a kind of prayer-liquid prayer. Also it’s good to remember that when a person with a pure heart weeps, even God stops and listens to his pleas.

Jesus has promised us wonderfully of his help with these immortal words, “Ask and you shall receive, search and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”. If we want something and we feel that we truly deserve to get it, we just have to ask for it from our Father in heaven. Jesus has said, “If you ask something in my name from the Father, it will be surely given to you”.

Finally when you pray, do not hope for instant gratification. The Lord has His time when he will reveal the plans he has in mind for you. Your current wish may/may not be in line with those plans so pray but let Him take the final decision on whether you should get what you want.

Talk to Jesus as soon as you can. He is your best friend and he is waiting to hear from you. Remember what He has promised us, “I will never turn away anyone who comes to me” (John 6:37).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Love Quotes!

If it is your time, love will track you down like a cruise missile.
-Lynda Barry American Cartoonist, Painter, Essayist

Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable.
- Henry Ward Beecher 1813-1887, American Preacher, Orator, Writer

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.
- Bible Sacred Scriptures of Christians and Judaism
Love is love's reward.
- John Dryden 1631-1700, British Poet, Dramatist, Critic

Love possesses not nor will it be possessed, for love is sufficient unto love.
Kahlil Kibran 1883-1931, Lebanese-born Poet, Philosopher, and Artist

He is not a lover who does not love forever.
- Euripides BC 480-406, Greek Tragic Poet

Help the elderly, aged in India-helpageindia

I feel very strongly for the elderly and the aged who have very little resources to support themselves at this stage in their lives.

The reason this cause is close to my heart is because I feel that for children as well as other non privileged sections of society, someone or the other may come ahead and support them. But for old people its all the more sad and upsetting for them after they have spent the best years of their life caring for their children and others. I remember reading this story about an old man who was treated badly by his son and how his grandchild makes his father realize that no one is exempt from getting old and treating parents well is most important. The feelings of loneliness and being neglected are especially more pronounced for the old people in a busy city like Mumbai where people have very little time to be with their families.

There are several celebrities that give huge donations in countries like US and UK for different charities. I wish someone would let them know how much their donations would be appreciated for these charitable organizations in India who do a lot of amazing work.

I especially like the fact that Salman Khan- the Bollywood actor (who gets a lot of negative press for his bad boy behavior) incidentally makes it a point to donate for various charities whenever he can. I hope many more celebrities in India can also emulate his generous acts.

Helpage India as well as several other philanthropic organizations in India work for the care and support of the elderly. Any donations that can be given to these organizations will be a huge support in this initiative for the aged people in our society.

Here are some of the links to these institutions that help the aged and other causes like the children, disabled etc-

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Lord says-Amazing lines of inspiration

I read these beautiful wordings of the Bible from somewhere and they are very inspiring. Here is the article I found on the web-

For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has a positive answer for it :

You say: "It's impossible"
God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired"
God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me"
God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 13:34)

You say: "I can't go on"
God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians
12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: "I can't figure things out"
God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: "I can't do it"
God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)

You say: "I'm not able"
God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it"
God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28)

You say: "I can't forgive myself"
God says: I FORGIVE YOU (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage"
God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians

You say: "I'm afraid"
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated"
God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

You say: "I don't have enough faith"
God says: I've given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)

You say: "I'm not smart enough"
God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone"
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

The three biggest mistakes of my life-Chetan Bhagat

This book has to be the 2nd biggest mistake of the author's(Chetan Bhagat's) life after his first mistake, "One night at the call center"

ONATCallcenter was very very bad. It was cheesy and was like a HIndi potboiler film almost as if Chetan wanted someone to adapt the book into a movie. And believe it or faint production houses in India actually fought for the rights of that bad book.

This one has the same third person narrative of the protagonist as his first book. Only this one touches upon -religion and cricket -the opium of the Indian masses. The language is in Chetan's trademark kind of writing for the general public-simple and street-style.

The three biggest mistakes of my life is no better-let me correct that is just marginally better. I have no idea why but I am quite confident that inspite of this book being as bad as it is, it will still become a best seller in India.

I want my money back and I am not waiting for Chetan's third mistake now :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

'Unaccustomed Earth' -Jhumpa Lahiri

I just finished readin Jhumpa Lahiri's book 'Unaccustomed Earth'
Out of all the stories the only one that I liked and which stood out for me was Hell-Heaven. The rest didnt quite make an impact for me for whatever reasons. Maybe it was because I had very high expectations after reading the other collections of short stories by the author-The Interpretor of Maladies.

Hell-Heaven was nice with a very unexpected confession at the end. It was about adults gaining a different perspective on people from their past.

The common theme of Jhumpa's stories are characters(migrants?) slightly adrift in foreign lands as they grapple with multiple identities, finding themselves belonging neither here nor there.

I wouldnt recommend this book although I would highly recommend the other one-The Interpretor of Maladies.

This current book really has nothing much to say with the exception of one story-Hell heaven. All the other stories are strictly so-so and I dont get it why people are praising this book as there is nothing else to salvage the stories. I found most of the stories in this one boring as well as quite adrift as the characters themselves. I am for one very dejected as I had expected Jhumpa to write a collection as good as her other book-The Interpretor of maladies.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More Quotes!!

Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees."

Your pain is my pain, is that love?

A single thought has the power of destroying a string of well thought,beautiful plans.

"They say that fear can drive a man to do anything, but people will gladly face any danger, any fate, and anything standing in their way when they are blinded by love"

When the solution is simple, God is answering.
--Albert Einstein

Any person capable of angering you becomes your master. He can anger you only when you permit yourself to be disturbed by him.

You cannot be mad at somebody who makes you laugh. It's as simple as that.
--Jay Leno

A man who works with his hands is a laborer. A man who works with his brain
is a craftsman. But a man who works with his hands and his brain and his
heart is an artist.
--Louis Nizer

"But Oh! The blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearless on any subject; with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away."
-Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

"There are countless things that I can face on earth, but life without you, well that part I just don't know."

"The greatest gift you can give to somebody is your own personal development. I used to say, ‘If you will take care of me, I will take care of you.’ Now I say, ‘I will take care of me for you if you will take care of you for me.’" -- Jim Rohn

"A goal without a plan is just a wish." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Have you ever loved someone so completely that you did not save a piece of you for yourself?

Inside every older person is a younger person - wondering what the hell happened?

My dreams looking at me said to one another: “This life has let us down.’’

Love is an unusual game; either there are 2 winners or none...

"The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread." -- Mother Theresa

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want

to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of

meeting your heart's longing.


"Life is like a combination lock; your goal is to find the right numbers, in the right order, so you can have anything you want." -- Brian Tracy

"There are countless things that I can face on earth, but life without you, well that part I just don't know."
--submitted by Tshepo Mokoteli

People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.
Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)
Writer and physician


I love random lines-Quotes-Here are some o f 'em

Be careful of what you want; you might get it

'life ek race hai, koi morning walk nahi'.

~No good deed goes unpunished~

~Most problems in life stem from saying yes too soon and not saying no soon enough~

“Learn how to separate the majors and the minors. A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things.” - Jim Rohn.

The sincerest love is the love of food.
Bernard Shaw

How can you have a future when your past is still in your present.

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, October 24, 2008

List Of My Fav Hindi Songs

I am writing about my all-time favorite Hindi songs that make me happy or sad or whatever. Basically they just put me in the groove that I want to be in. Now everyone has a different list of songs that they like and this is definitely not an illustrative list but I have made this compilation so that if you haven?t heard these songs you must get them from somewhere and listen to them pronto.

Spunky-getup-n-start dancing-working-songs...
# ’’Chale jaisi hawein sanan sanan ’’ from Main Hoon Na..
The song is picturised on Amrita Rao and dude with a bad haircut (Zayed Khan). The song is zesty and it rocks big time when I listen to it. I couldn?t have picked a better entry song for these youngsters in the movie. Listen to the song and get up and go...

# ? Kehdoon tumhein’’ (Deewar The Return of Daddy mix song)...
This song with very nice retro feel video is super cool. I don?t like too many of the remixes which are being churned out but I like this one a lot. It?s much better than the old version. Someone has to be lauded for the amazing video and the whole effect of the it again...
# ’’Tujhse naraz nahi zindagi’’ from Masoom(1983) -The male version : I somehow don?t like the female version of this song even though its sung by Lata.
jeene ke liye sochaa hee nahee
dard sanbhaalane honge
muskuraye to, muskuraane ke
karja utaarane honge

# ?Dhal rahi sham hai Zindagi, dard ka doosra naam hai Zindagi?from Saaransh-Probably the only song in the whole movie but a very meaningful song. ?Saaransh’ was India’s official entry for the 1985 Oscar awards.
# ’’Jab bhi yeh dil udaas hota hai na jaane kaun aas paas hota hai’’
Sung by Rafi (I don?t know which movie this song is from..But I would love to know)
# ?Khatra Khatra? from the film ?Ijazat?-
I couldn?t understand the lyrics very well but the song has a nice melody to it.

# ’’Yeh tera ghar yeh mera ghar? from Saath Saath..
In fact all the songs of this obscure movie starring Farouque Shaikh and Deepti Naval are really fabulous?
# ’’Tumko dekh tho yeh khayal aaya? from Saath Saath
# ’’Tumhein hona ho mujhko tho itna yakeen hai’’ from Gharounda.-
I like this song a lot. All the songs of this film are cool.
# ’’Tu is tarah se meri zindagi main shamil hain’’ from Aap Tho Aise na The-
The film has two versions of the song (a ghazal one,a party song). My favorite is the party version which has a little faster tempo than the Ghazal song.
# ’’Jhalak dekhake kar gayi diwana’’ from Manzil Manzil ?
I really like most of the singer Shailender?s songs and the remaining tracks of this 1983 movie.
# ?Mere pyar ki umar ho itni sanam ,tere naam se shuru tere naam se khatam? from Waris
# ’’Suno na’’ from Jhankar Beats-Sung by Shaan; a good slow song.
# ’’Yeh hawa kehti hai kya’’ Aryans.
# ?Pal pal dil ke paas tum rehto ho? from Blackmail-Lyrics,Lyrics,Lyrics say it all.
# ’’Kahin kahin se har chehra tum jaisa lagta hai’’from Jagjit Singh, Asha Bhonsle and Lata Mangeshkar?s album.

luv-hurts-theme -songs
# ’’Tum bin’’ title track of the movie-Song is very nicely written; its kinda sad .
# ’’Hum bewafa’’ from Shalimaar(1979)-I heard this song many times in a television serial and its been remixed too. Lyrics are by Anand Bakshi and music by R D Burman.
# ’’Chalte Chalthe’’ title track of the same movie.
# ’’Teri galiyon main’’ from Hawas..
# ’’Pyar ke liye char pal kam nahi the, kabhi tum nahi tho kabhi hum nahi the’’ from Dil Kya Kare-The lyrics and the song say it all.
# ’’Kasam ki kasam’’from Main Prem ki Diwani Hoon-Awful, awful movie but nice meaningful number.
# ’’Ab na jaa’’ by Euphoria-The video is so apt for this mellow song about unspoken love and remembrances.
# ’’Sajna aa bhi ja’’ by Shibyani Kashyap from the movie ?Waisa bhi hota hai-part 2?
# ?Pal? from KK?s album by the same name.
# ’’Mann ki lagan’’from Paap-sung by Nusrat Ali Khan?s son, very little musical instruments used in the song composition but amazing tune nevertheless.
# ’’Hum Tum’’ title track-Song has an amazing start and good lyrics.
# ’’Durr’’ by Strings-I like the haunting vocals in this song. This song was in Bilal and Faisal Kapadia?s comeback album released in 2000.
# ’’Bin tere sanam’’ from the film Yaara Dildaara(1991)- The last song is my all time favorite song. It’s sung by Udit Narayan & Kavita Krishnamurti . I really liked a lot the songs of Yaara Dildaara (?Bin tere sanam?, ?Koi chahe na chahe?) which were not too appreciated when the film was released. ?Tum hi hamari ho manzil my love? ,? ?Woh jo kaha tha maine who kar dikhaaya na, baazi who aan dil ki main jeet laya na.? are the other two songs that I like from this movie.

I may have made mistakes in some of the details associated with the songs so please do comment on whatever you feel about this list. I really enjoy listening to all these songs coz they make me happy and that?s the purpose behind these songs, right?

Caroline in the City Review

History of the sitcom:
Show Life: September 21, 1995 - April 1999
Running Time: 30 minutes

Background about the series:
Caroline in the City was the #1 new primetime series when it made its premiere on NBC in the 1995-1996 season. It has since then become one of the top-selling U.S. comedies worldwide, airing on leading foreign broadcast and cable networks.

Lea Thompson, Eric Lutes, Malcolm Gets, Amy Pietz

Characters in a nutshell:
Lea Thompson as Caroline Duffy
Eric Lutes as Del Cassidy, Caroline’s ex-boyfriend and fiancĂ©
Malcolm Gets as Richard Karinsky, Caroline’s new colorist
Amy Pietz as Annie, Caroline’s best friend and neighbor
Andy Lauer as Charlie, Del’s really funny messenger person
Tom LaGrua as Remo, proprietor of the neighborhood restaurant which all the other characters frequent

About the story:
Caroline in the City is a comedy based on the life of Caroline Duffy, a young cartoonist living in a neighborhood of New York City. ’’Caroline in the City,’’ the strip she has created, is a huge hit spawning an array of products. The strip is based on her own life, and the people in it. At the beginning of the show Caroline has just split up with Del; her boyfriend who has commitment problems. She has an on-off romance with Del that confuses her further. Her personal life is a mess but that does not stop Annie(her best friend who has an amusing dating life of her own) from arranging all kinds of dates for Caroline. The next important character is that of Richard a struggling, brooding artist who pays his rent by working as her cartoon colorist. Initially he views the going ons in her life in a very cynical, detached way but he slowly gets involved as he gets attracted to Caroline. He is the best part of the show for me thanks to his sarcasm. It’s a situational comedy and every episode deals with the personal problems and eccentricities of these characters.

A little more info about the characters:
Caroline in the City is all about Caroline Duffy (Lea Thompson, Back to the Future) and her oddball friends. Caroline plays the part of a naive girl trying to make some sense of the world around her. She is constantly searching for true love, happiness and some material for her comic strip (not necessarily in the same order).

Caroline’s employee Richard Karinsky(Malcolm Gets) colors the cartoons for her and is at loggerheads with everyone around him (including her cat!). On the surface he appears to be cold and indifferent which is just a pretense to avoid too much contact with the world. His sarcastic remarks are the funniest points of the show. He works in Caroline’s in-house office and is easily irritated by the different characters who walk in to meet Caroline. His shy, cynical nature makes it difficult for him to profess his love to Caroline. She is unaware of his love and in the episodes that ensue there develops a romantic triangle between Caroline, Del and Richard.

Del Cassidy
Del Cassidy (Eric Lutes) is the president of the company that makes the Caroline in the City greeting cards. He is kinda self-centered and thinks that women find him irresistible (which isn’t so). Although his relation with Caroline has ended, he still hangs around her apartment all the time. Del has an assistant Charlie who is totally berserk and strangely travels everywhere on roller-skates.

Amy Pietz is Annie, Caroline’s best friend and next-door neighbor. She is a professional dancer who works in the stage musical ’’Cats’’. She is extremely blunt and often makes Richard the target of her acid tongue albeit in a very humorous manner. Although it seems as if she is looking for her ideal man, she often finds herself in temporary relationships. A very confident woman, she is quite the opposite of Caroline.

Charlie is Del’s bizarre messenger/delivery person enacted by Andy Lauer. He is Del’s assistant who has a penchant for stupid comments and observations.

Reason you should watch it:
This is a very humorous and pleasant sitcom with sharp and witty dialogues. Take a sampling of these:
Annie (trying on shoes): They fit fine! All I need is a shoe horn.
Caroline: You need more than the horn, you need the entire brass section.
Del: What do you mean? You’re going to give up 200 dollars just because you’re a little embarrassed? I’d walk down the street naked for 200 dollars.
Caroline: You’d do that for 15, we already determined that last Halloween.
Charlie: ’’I thought I saw God for a second, but it was just the light from the bathroom.’’
Caroline: And for my next trick I’m going to make my boyfriend disappear. I say the magic words. Opera.
Caroline: I’m fine.
Richard: Oh, please. You don’t have to be proud in front of me. I’ve seen you eat M&Ms off the floor.

When can you catch this show :
In India you can watch the series at 11 on Zee English. I have spoken to several people and they seem to be unaware of this good sitcom. I hope my review convinces you to give this series a try.

Shallow Hal

Shallow Hal is a very entertaining comedy because it deals very beautifully with the fact that most of us are superficial when it comes to judging people. We want to meet and date people who are only superficially beautiful and anyone not meeting our beauty standards is automatically rejected. What the movie tries to tell us is that we should not go by the external facade of the other person but rather give everyone a fair chance or we might miss out on some fabulous people in our lives who are not so beautiful.

The crux of the story is that Hal (Jack Black ..extremely funny)and his best friend are guys who only like to date thin, good looking women. Intelligent women who are not so presentable are ignored totally by these guys. It?s a different issue that these two guys themselves are not drop dead handsome or something. They meet a new age speaker who casts a spell on Black and makes him see the inner beauty within every person. A string of incidents happen in which Jack even meets the love of his life. But the only problem is that although she appears gorgeous to him; in reality she is really fat. How Jack learns the truth and overcomes his superficiality forms the rest of the story.

This flick has wonderful acting by Black and is ably supported by the very pretty Gwyneth Paltrow and Seinfeld actor (don?t know his name..sorry). There are so many beautiful moments in the flick, which give you the message in a very humorous manner. I hate movies that are you know the ’’preachy-preachy’’ types but what I liked was that this one makes us understand the message in a very subtle manner.

There are so many hilarious scenes like when the hero’s girlfriend takes a jump in the pool and the disastrous after effects of ’’the jump’’; when they share a drink romantically and the super fast way in which she finishes it all alone and many more. Also there are very touching scenes especially when he visits the children?s ward of the hospital the second time and when Black sees his girlfriend the way she really is(and not thin as he had always imagined and seen her). Note his first words on seeing her.
The film has lots of humor thanks largely to the fact that it is a Farrelly brothers creation. Their movies have so much of laff-a-minute humor that it is really enjoyed by people of all age groups.

Though their movies tend to have somewhat loud humor; in this one they are restrained. Mind you this is not a sappy romantic but a movie that belongs to the ’’funny romantic’’ genre so I daresay people should like it. Personally speaking the way in which Black acts is really funny with his deadpan style of dialogue delivery. His friend also excels in supporting him.

’’Shallow Hal wants a gal’’ is really the whole catchphrase of the movie so ?You my pal should watch Hal? bad rhyming but watch it if you can anyway.

Doctors-story of wounded physicians

Doctors (1988) is one of ’’the’’ best that I have read in a long time. Erich Segal’s enlightening work of fiction is both a love story and an eye-opening study of the training and practice of America’s most elite health professionals. The author, a graduate of Harvard himself has crafted a powerful and moving account of the 1962 batch of Harvard medical school. We experience the trials and tribulations that doctors go through, to be what they are.

What we understand is that doctors are as flawed as normal people but due to the nature of their work they are elevated to a demi-God status. The book leads us through the various incidences that the med school graduates encounter (demanding hours of internship, facing and overcoming your worst fears, hours of research and residency) which transforms them into the doctors they eventually become.

The central characters of the book are Laura Castellano and Barney Livingston; best friends who attend Harvard Medical School together. It takes many years filled with scientific celebrity and disappointing affairs for them to finally to realize that they have something more than friendship for each other. The stuff they do for each other remind you of your own friendships in life. Its very touching that no matter how badly messed up in life they both get, the other friend is always there to brighten the day.

Laura Castellano?s character is truly an inspiration to women folk everywhere. She achieves success in her work but at the cost of her personal life. She relies on Barney whenever she is in trouble and he helps her out no matter what. Barney(who goes on to become a psychologist) makes it a point to help Laura not lapse into self-deprecation. After a particularly bad relation he advises her in a beautiful one liner, ’’One complete person deserves another complete person’’.

An important character is that of Bennett Landsmann; a Black youth who does his best to overcome racial discrimination. He becomes one of the first colored persons to graduate from the med school. The best part is that he never lets his work suffer inspite of facing trying circumstances because of his color. The Jewish aspect also comes up in the story as Bennett’s adopted parents are Jews.

The Jewish people and their issues is a common factor in the storyline here, as in most of Segal’s other books like ’’The Class’’ as well as ’’Acts Of Faith?. The Judaic flavor that runs through Segal’s books could also be attributed to the fact that Segal was the first of three sons born in a Jewish family to Cynthia and rabbi Samuel M. Segal. Segal’s got an amazing vocabulary, which is hardly a surprise because he teaches literature at Yale, Princeton and Harvard. In fact if you plan to prepare for the GRE Verbal, you could pick up a lot of words from the book.

There are other characters like Seth, who helps in euthanasia rather than watch his patients suffer in extreme pain. Laura?s parents who let her down and go their separate ways. Some characters undergo a great behavioral change e.g. Palmer (Laura?s husband)- from a nice guy to a complete rogue without much of an explanation which mystifies the reader.

The book mentions that doctors have higher suicide and drug addiction rates than the rest of the population due to the rigorous demands of their profession. We learn that many wannabe doctors give up their lives (or end up demented), as they are unable to cope with the intense pressure of their work. We learn the inner secrets of what happens when doctors goof up in their practice and the politics that affects even this profession. Concepts like euthanasia and doctor’s ethics are touched upon, not to mention the adrenaline of the operating room. There is a lot of medical knowledge to be found here and many exciting hospital room scenes.

A long book ? its over 600 pages but it is very captivating and can be finished over a couple of days. I found the initial part of the book a tad slow but the speed picks up once Laura and Barney enter med school. In fact distinguished people of medicine recommend a reading of this book ?Doctors? to anyone who is interested in going to medical school which speaks a great deal about the value of the book. The book is a wonderful read and I would highly recommend it. You wouldn’t want to put this one down once you start it--make it a part of your classic collection!

Really cool movie!

Socha na tha’ is like a breath of fresh air. It’s funny because most of the people who walk in to watch the movie don’t have too many expectations. By the end of the movie though the audience is delighted with the outcome. Most of the Indian films tend to go over the top with loud characters, hamming actors and so on. So it feels great to watch something that’s zara hatke. The director has wonderfully narrated a simple story and managed to catch the viewer’s attention from the very first frame.

We are introduced to the 20something, urban characters of Viren, Aditi, Karen and their respective families. Viren is hiding from his family about the love of his life: Karen. Somehow he manages to convince his family about accepting the Christian girl when things go for a toss as Aditi enters their lives. Viren and Aditi meet up several times and end up being very candid about their respective lives to each other. Somewhere along the line they realize that they have fallen in love and therein lies the problem. The pair now has the daunting task of convincing their respective families who are at a war of words with each other over a non-issue.

The surprise of the film is definitely the latest Deol on the block, Abhay who has hit the bull’s eye with this movie. His endearing mannerisms and dialogues are a treat. His portrayal of the character is sweet enough to convince you to like him, inspite of his wavering nature regarding the affairs of the heart. He has tried his best and it shows. Ayesha Takia is a total natural and completely at ease with the camera. She has as a good flair for acting, which makes us really care for her character. Sandya Mridul is wasted in a good for nothing role and makes you wonder if her role was chopped off on the editing table or what. Other actors like Suresh Oberoi, Ayesha Jhulka and Rati Agnihotri ably support the newcomers.

Sandesh Shandilya’ s compositions border on the average to the pleasant. Love stories need a good superhit score, which is sorely lacking here. If nothing the songs are a good means of generating interest about the movie amongst the public. Over here the songs are good but are not hummable enough to create an impression. ‘Abhi Abhi mere dil main khayal aaya hai’ is picturised rather well. However once you are out of the theatre, the tunes are out of your mind. I guess the director could pay a little more attention to that department next time around.

The movie could have done with better marketing and promos so that people don’t miss out on good clean family entertainment. One thing that could have been done without was the hero’s atrocious hairstyle that resembled his brother Bobby’s long locks. I hope he does not follow his brother’s footsteps and end up doing the “dishumdishum” roles. I guess his strength lies in playing characters like these.

The story has been greatly appreciated by the young college going crowd but I am sure that this is something that anyone will enjoy. The likeability quotient of the youth towards the movie can be attributed to the college situations depicted like the group picnics, parties, bahanas etc.

I read somewhere that Subhash Ghai, was so impressed after the screening of ‘Socha na tha’, that he personally congratulated the director (Imtiaz Ali) and has supposedly offered him a Mukta productions venture to direct. The storyline is very simple but it’s the treatment of the plot by the first time director that has made all the difference.

Although the film was long in the making, thankfully it does not have a dated look. There is an air of joie de vivre throughout the story. In fact after watching the film, I agree with what another MS reviewer has commented that socha na tha movie itni achi hogi. Using MTV parlance, the one thing that you should do now is see ‘Socha na tha’ and ENJOY!

Mindless movie of the year award goes to....Bewafa

B for Boring:
Bewafa has to be one of the most boring and slow films ever made in recent times. Everything about the movie is jaded from the storyline to the acting and the dialogues. I suggest that anyone suffering from ’Insomnia’ should be prescribed this film. By the end of the flick or rather should I say halfway through this nightmare; you should be sleeping soundly.

E for Exasperating:
In these times when movie makers are trying new plots and storylines; its sad to see director Dharmesh Darshan putting us through this outdated account. The storyline is very similar to ’Hum aapke hain koun’(1994). A happily in love girl (Kareena) has to marry her sister’s husband (Anil Kapoor) following her sister’s demise. She settles down to a life of domestic drudgery uncomplainingly.

Adding more gloom to her dreary life is her workaholic husband who is battling unsuccessfully with the demons of his past. Whether ?Sufferina/Kareena? chooses to stay on in a marriage devoid of any sentiments or goes back to her erstwhile lover (Akshay) is the remainder of the movie. No points for guessing what our regressive heroine chooses to do.

W for Wasted:
The lead actors have tried their best in their respective roles. What?s surprising is that none of the actors found the time to go through the script before signing on this mess. Kareena does not suit the role of a young mother. In many places she looks lost and her straight haired look does not work for her (maybe the director wanted her to follow the hairstyle lead of her sister Karisma, a la ’Raja Hindustani’).

Sushmita tries to put in a lot of spunk but is bogged down by a very tiny role. Manoj Bajpai plays the character of Dil and hams it to the hilt. He gives tough competition in overacting to Shamita Shetty, whose role could have been made shorter (that would have been a welcome relief!).

A for Acoustics:
By far the only redeeming factor is the music, which is composed by Nadeem-Shravan. They return after a short hiatus to give us some good music. However one of the songs ’’Ishq chupth nahi chupane se’’ has a tune very reminiscent of ’’Tu is tarah si meri zindagi main shamil hain’’ from the 1980 film ’Aap tho aise na the’.

Well, maybe they wanted to refresh that golden song in our minds. But all said and done, it?s a pleasant score.

F for Flop:
The story has no worthwhile dialogues or twists to hold the viewer’s attention. The movie definitely needed a fresh storyline. It is so irritating to see the posters of the movie declaring it to be a super hit. I mean which planet are the publicists living in, Mars? I think the publicist should have given the film better taglines like ?Bewafa: a boring affair? or ?Bewafa: better watch it from afar? etc. If you want to punish someone, do recommend this movie to that poor unsuspecting soul.

A for A headache:
That?s what you are left with after enduring this disaster.

The Boys At IIT

Seen ?Dil Chahtha Hai’? Well if you transport Aamir, Saif and Akshay (a really overweight Akshay, you will know later what I mean) to IIT and prod them to reveal about life in the campus, this book would be the result.

?Five Point Someone? by Chetan Bhagat is a very good account of life in India’s prestigious institute of IIT. Every year there is strong competition amongst the students to get in to the premier engineering college. We get to know the ’behind the scene’ in the lives of the three ?good? students who are kind of ?average? amongst their peers.

The story set in 1995 takes us on a rollercoaster ride through the four years that the trio spends in Kumaon. Three students with totally different backgrounds and thinking get together because they get a five point something GPA at the end of the first semester. And that?s how they end up being known as five point someones.

This was a huge curiosity factor for me because I had always heard of five point something but a five point someone was an interesting play of words. Ryan, Hari and Alok set out to defy the prevalent educational system but end up nonetheless graduating tamely as everyone else. We follow their ?mis?adventures through the Vivas, the classes, the hangout places etc.

Ryan is the typical ?I-don?t-care? about the system guy, who although not very smart, always thinks out of the box. His plans and creative thinking help out his friends at times and at other times lands them in a whole lot of trouble. Hari, the protagonist is someone who has no fixed opinion about himself or the world

He is the kind of person to whom things happen and not who makes things happen. His girlfriend happens to be his professor?s ?beti? whom he falls for in typical Bollywood style. His affair with Neha is the cute romantic sidetrack in the story. Alok’s character although beset with familial problems, has a deep love for food, which sort of runs in the family.

At the end of the book you realize that its not Hari, but Ryan who is the hero of the story because by his actions. He is a practical example of a proper (I guess) balance between books and extracurricular activities. Notice his fixing up a radio in the lab class, the ’’modified screw jack’’ explanation, the squash games etc.

Many readers must have noticed in the story that the author has left many things unexplained (deliberately?). Some of the vague things like the reason for Hari’s blank outs, his family background, and his future with Neha are all unexplained as the story draws to an end. Maybe the author will take their story forward in a sequel to this book or something like that.

Five point someone is being made into a movie by Ritesh Sinha. If he manages to get the cast of ?DCH? back that would be a casting coup. Aamir will ?improvise? the role of Ryan Oberoi (but naturally) and Saif will make the character of Hari unforgettable. But Akshay will have to like, put on 10 kgs to play the character of Alok, who is a little too healthy. I guess the movie could be named ’’Dil IIT Main Masti Chahtha Hai’’.

I liked Chetan Bhagat’s style of writing but I somehow feel that the book is a little over hyped. If you are one of the people who end up loving this story then you must also read Erich Segal’s ’’The Class’’ and ’’Doctors’’. These other two books also talk about more or less the same things as ?Five point someone?. Engineering students can travel down memory lane with the incidents mentioned in the story.

?Five Point Someone? will have you nodding and smiling throughout the book.

Zoom is hot + happening!

Zoom is a very smart move made by the Times of India group of publications. After the stupendous success of Bombay Times, which was mainly due to the page 3 section, the top management has read the signs and launched the lifestyle channel. The channel essentially caters to the up market section of society with the parties, the fashion dope, and everything-glitzy and glam. What I like about Zoom is that it is completely a page 3 concoction and makes no bones about it.

Zoom had a very well publicized launch with billboards all over the city announcing its foray into the television world. As many people know the voice of Zoom is Sushmita Sen, whose voice announces the tagline of the channel ’Zoom, Isko Dekho’ Zoom has a pretty snazzy presentation style, something I believe that has been modeled on the lines of a foreign channel.

The shows on zoom that do make for interesting viewing are Popkorn, Kya Kahein, Price tag (which is a filler actually), and the Manish Malhotra show.
Popkorn gives the entire grapevine about the Indian television industry. It has daily updates on who is in, which serial or personality is out and all the related controversies. The show is telecast on weeknights at 10. A new touch to the show is that nowadays it has a different television personality hosting the show on the weekends. (P.S. last week our made-over gal Jassi hosted it)

Price tag is cool because we get to know the actual worth of the attire of the featured actor/actress. It was astonishing to see Tanushree Dutta (who was last year’s Miss India) whose attire totaled one lac rupees(sheesh..I could buy lots of stuff with that kind of money).

The Manish Malhotra show is somewhat a poor cousin of the Koffee with Karan show. The reason I say this is because although he also gets the A-list celebrities on the show, he finds it very difficult to make them talk on awkward questions. (Manish, run to Karan bhaiya for tips on that ability).

I am not too fond of ’Kosmic chat’, which is hosted by Sunita Menon and Simone Singh. But for tarot card aficionados, this show would be a must watch. It also features celebrities who shuffle the tarot cards and ask questions about their future. Sunita does give some serious believable answers and then again it’s finally up to the viewers to decide. One very irritating show on Zoom is ’Not just page 3 ’ hosted by Pooja Bhatt. The hostess is extremely irritating and guests also look bored on it. She has started another show ‘Just Pooja’ on Zoom that needs to be avoided like crazy.

’Kya Kahein’ hosted by Irfan ‘underrated’ Khan has episodes dealing with the supernatural. Some of the episodes were good and some so-so but it lacks consistency. ‘Page 3’ telecast daily at 7.30 P.M, is essentially the guide to the parties and happenings in town. It is hosted by two PYTs who dish out all the dope on the happenings.

Lately the channel has also started showing crossover films on Saturday nights. Although this is a nice concept, what I feel is that they could also start screening old Hollywood classics that are not seen much on any channels.

The channel also has tie up with E! Entertainment because of which they get to telecast E! Entertainment features like ‘Celebrity homes’, ‘Its good to be’ etc. Both the shows show the lifestyles of the rich and famous people in Hollywood. So if you haven’t had your fill of upper crust ‘phoren’ glamour, this is what you should be tuning into.

If you want more information on the timings of the various programs and more details you can log onto Bombay Times needed a media representation and Zoom has fit the bill quite nicely. To sum it up, Zoom has lots of beautiful people, nonstop party roundups and glamour. Enjoy or rather tune in till the party lasts.