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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Comedy: Competitive Corruption!

Of late corruption has become a highly competitive phenomenon. It depends on the partaker to call it healthy or unhealthy. But definitely, it has a bonanza of benefits for all the corrupt irrespective of profession caste creed ilk language or anything.

Now, you need not take instant decisions on quitting even if you are caught red-handed. You look at your adversary straight in the face and announce, ‘You have done it too! On a much bigger scale! You resign first, and then only I will see!’

Some unfortunate corrupt souls ultimately had to land up in jails. One of them recently said that he was suffering from dementia or memory loss. Apart from the fact that all corrupt have to be demented, ‘memory loss’ is open for speculation. If it’s ‘short term memory loss’ or more specifically ‘till-I-get-the-bail term memory loss’, the affected should do what Aamir Khan did as the hero in a huge Hindi movie called ‘Ghajini’. The method has instant benefits. You are really transparent with your physical body bearing the brunt of your corrupt deeds. It helps you too to remember which money of which deed you put in which bank. A big plus, you are likely to be the hero too! Nobody would bother you with right to information queries.

Corruption competition has become so rampant that you can have very amusing situations enacted for you. Suppose one political party in power announces one fine morning, ‘Corruption is very bad. We condemn corruption.’ The opposition party that had to oppose anything uttered by the ruling one would retort back, ‘You have no moral right to say that! We condemn you! Corruption is very good!’

Well, if you are not corrupt still or not to the desired level, you are missing a great opportunity to partake indulge and prosper in the great competition.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Delhi Belly! Smart Little Shit Film!

Normally we express our agitated emotions in multiples of ‘Oh shit!’ After watching Delhi Belly where we confront real shit we go to absurd limits of our shit expressions! This has been such an astounding reality of human existence that even Aamir Khan, the beloved clean hero of India, had to realize it at last! In addition to the shit the film also offends us in several other details which we prefer to keep under the blanket safely, untold. The civilized hypocrites that we always are, we tend to ignore the biological aspects of our lives. Delhi Belly scores heavily by presenting these details in an uninhibited explicit (call it realistic) way which throws vulgarity out of the window. Biological humor, abuses etc are not uncommon to Bollywood movies, but they are always loud crude and vulgar.

Produced by Aamir Khan Productions, written by young newbie Akshat Verma and directed by Abhinay Deo, Delhi Belly is a very well made film with beautiful shot compositions, brilliant takings and fast paced narrative. The film flows naturally with nothing being done forcefully and is absolutely without jerks. The plot revolves around three working bachelors Tashi (Imran Khan), Nitin (Kunal Kapoor) and Arup (Vir Das). Tashi had to deliver an important courier package, but due to tie-ups with his fiancée he asked Nitin to do so. Nitin, on his extra-curricular ventures, ate tandoori chicken from Delhi street sides and suffered an unstoppable bout of diarrhea. So, Nitin entrusts the job to Arup along with a second package containing stool sample for the clinic. Now, Arup made such a mess of delivering the packages that the local Don, expecting a packet of precious diamonds, finds shit on his table. The film gets into a mad rush of chases, encounters and weird situations that seem logical, believable and almost realistic. Meant as a comedy the film is hilarious throughout and at places, screamingly funny supported by competent restrained performances all around. Delhi Belly is mature entertainment for adults.

The film is good news for Bollywood too, because a mainstream film, can even call it a blockbuster due to Aamir’s association, on a totally off-beat theme becomes a super hit. This also defeats the theory that we need spicy or masala films to entertain the Indian masses. Indian audience has become mature and you can now make your films for your target audiences. If it’s a good film it will definitely reward your investments. 

The questions are doing rounds everywhere ‘How can someone like Aamir Khan do this?’ ‘We never expected this from you!’ ‘We are shocked!’ Well, my advice to you is this: Aamir Khan is a damn good businessman, a creator and someone who knows India. Second, this is only natural that Aamir too has to have a bad stomach sometimes! His item number at the end of film only highlights the movie's theme!

Enjoy the film bindaas!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Terror Hits Mumbai Again!

The terrorists just cannot leave Mumbai, the sparkling business hub of India, in peace. After the 26/11 attack in 2008 the terrorists had been venting their venom inside Pakistan making blasts the order of the day in an already devastated country. Now, they have managed to hit Mumbai again.

Today at around 7pm when people return home or sip a leisurely cup of tea or shop a little, three blasts went off in a well coordinated serial attack. The first one of high intensity blasted the congested jewellery market, Jhaveri Bazaar. The second one at the diamond district of the city, Opera House. And, the third one near Dadar railway station on the western side. Fortunately the third one was of low intensity, otherwise it could have created havoc at Dadar, the busiest place in town where commuters, shoppers and vendors congregate in huge numbers particularly in the evening. Nearly twenty innocent people have died so far with about hundred injured.

Terror has come back to haunt Mumbai and possibly India again. Nobody knows where these enemies of people are hiding lurking and waiting to kill more innocents. High alert has been sounded in Mumbai and in all other major cities of India.

Let's pray for peace and help the government defeat the Enemy once and for all. Let's pray for the Mumbaikars who have again fallen prey to terror.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Tale of Two Teams!

There are two Teams you know all about. One Team lacked its usual stalwarts and was happy to get what it achieved. Maybe a little more effort, a little more risk. But the team leader did not even come out to take charge.

The other Team had all its stalwarts, but still did want to achieve what it could have achieved. A few points would illustrate this further:
  • If someone does excellent in the job assigned to him, you are very right to promote him. But after promoting him you certainly do not want to deprive him of the job itself. Maybe you want him to excel in another important job, but at the same time you must give him time to finish the first one satisfactorily. 
  • If somebody is corrupt, he will be at it whatever job you assign. First you must make sure that he had given up corruption permanently. So, it does not make any logic to put him out of one job and assign another. Better put him out permanently of any job.
  • If you have to bow to pressure, you must do so consistently too. In one case you punish someone for being insensitive. But in another you bow to the dictates of the culprit's mentor. Means X is provided by Y and you punish X for his wrongdoing despite Y's protests. But then you take in Z who is again proved by Y. So, you remain Y's servant.
  • Yes, old members are always powerful and they always resist change. But if you basically want to change your Team you must bring in the new young elements boldly. Otherwise what do you achieve out of all your efforts? 
Well, what is common to both the Teams?  Both do not want to take risk at all. And, both want to safely maintain the status quo.  

If you want to build your team make sure first what you want!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Who Says Mumbai Is Heartless!

There were two long queues for local train tickets at Wadala railway station in Mumbai harbor railway line segment. I was in a lot of hurry, but there was never any option but to join in . Then I saw something.

A poor man (let’s not call him a beggar) was sitting on the floor in front of the counters. His little son, very pale and weak, was stretched on his lap. There were some x-rays and documents scattered around him. The man was muttering amidst tears, ‘Please help me get some treatment for my ailing son. He may or may not be saved. But please help me do something for him.’ As usual, busy as ever, Mumbaikars hardly seemed to be noticing the father and son duo. But what followed moved me in my innermost soul.

Everybody, I mean one and all, booked his/her tickets and deposited whatever change s/he got with the poor man on the ground. It was ten bucks or more for some, five bucks or less for some others. But they followed the same routine. Mumbaikars, irrespective of age or gender or any other differences, gave the change to the poor man and ran to catch their trains. I did the same when my turn came and hurried off for the platform with tender emotions filling my heart.

Yes, Mumbaikars are mechanically busy, materialistic and always struggling for competition and survival. But still, they have lot of humanity left in their hearts. That’s the good news. Memories of the incredibly humanistic scenes witnessed during the 26/7 deluge in 2005 flooded my mind causing emotional high tides that did not submerge, but calmed me overpoweringly.

Just thought I should share this with you all. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mani Kaul (1944-2011): Ode To A Great Indian Filmmaker

Mani Kaul was one of the pioneering Indian filmmakers who contributed to the evolution of Parallel Cinema in India. Trained in the Film and Television Institute of India Pune, when Ritwik Ghatak was the chairman, Mani Kaul took cinema as an intricate method of expression. His Uski Roti (1969) was a revolution in Indian cinema bringing in an intellectual and intuitive approach to film-making (Filmfare critics award, 1971). Instead of obvious portrayal of emotions he made the audience study and understand every frame of his creations. If you are not attentive you may soon lose the thread of the narrative.

Rooted to realism Mani Kaul could hardly differentiate between his masterful features and documentaries. He won his first National Award for his feature ‘Duvidha’ in 1974 for Best Direction and won his second for his documentary ‘Siddheswari’ in 1989 for Best Documentary. His musical masterpiece ‘Dhrupad’ (1982) showed his deep understanding of Indian music and rigorous training under a guru. With profound understanding of life he also took the bold step of adopting Fydor Dostoevsky’s ‘The Idiot’ (1992) as a Hindi television serial and later a film for which he got the Filmfare critics award, 1993. In all, he got four Filmfare Critics Awards.

I met him several times when he was associating in the organization of the first and second Bombay International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films (now MIFF) during 1990-92. Last time I met him on a long drive which was also several years ago. His liberated mind and sense of humor made him great company, always.

His death at 66 marks the end of an era. Maybe an incomplete one. Mani Kaul died at New Delhi in the early hours of 6th July, 2011 after a prolonged illness. We condole the demise of a great filmmaker and pray for the eternal bliss of his soul.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

How to Cut Wasteful Expenditures!

One imposing stern-faced snobbish bureaucrat showed an innovative way not only to control but to altogether cut away wasteful expenditures recently.

A team of experts were visiting his company to assess performance and productivity of various faculties and departments. There was everything official about it and the officer had no risk of spending a penny from his pocket. Now, due to links and sub-links the visiting team did not necessarily remain limited to only the experts and naturally expanded into a bigger one. Other company officials had to join too for various reasons. Anyway, there were no problems and the big team went on visiting.

The last stop was an interactive session with high tea. This time the imposing stern-faced snobbish bureaucrat put his assistant at the hall entrance and started screening people selecting specimen from his dear clan mostly for entry. So, many justifiably linked members of the team were effectively debarred from the last session…specifically the tea! Just imagine how much money saved thus!

Next day there was the report giving meeting at a posh hotel. Experts and key officers got seated inside the executive room. But a whole lot of linked members had to linger outside in the hotel lounge. Meantime preparations were made at the counter for serving tea. The imposing stern-faced snobbish bureaucrat told his assistant to oversee that tea was served only to those seated inside and not to anybody outside.

What a revolutionary way to cut down expenditures. The best thing is that it can be adopted by any officer in any office. So, next time a colleague or visitor comes down to your room deny him the tea! If you deny it to at least ten persons a day you save at least thirty bucks a day (taking into account the subsidized tea prices in offices) for your company. If you multiply by the number of working days in a year you save nearly nine thousand bucks! Taking into account the normal service years of 36 you stand to save a whopping three hundred thousand bucks.  If all serving officers adopt this innovation the savings would run into billions.

The method is almost foolproof. A particular imposing stern-faced snobbish bureaucrat would only have to ensure that he himself is not denied a tea on occasions when he is on the visiting side.

What a novel tea(r)ful way to cut down wasteful expenditures!

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