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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Flotsam & Jetsam

Isn't it odd how a counselling session throws back things at us? 
Things that we least expect....
things which we think are not that important....
things we do not consider as blockades....

This is what a psychological counsellor, dismissively called a shrink, may say:
"I want you to take a few moments to imagine something you really want to happen
and then use your imagination to follow it through in your mind's eye. 

What is it you are dreaming about? 
Who is involved? 
How does it play out?
Now let's think about the direction your imagination took.
Did you focus on the positive aspects of your dream or did you end up
thinking about the things that could go wrong?"

If we find that we had a constructive mental process,
our shrink is likely to say: "My hat goes off to you!

On the other hand,
if our imagination turns our dream into a disaster,
we are asked to focus on the reason for the same....
why that happened.... without being down on ourselves.

I have been told that so many of us are in the habit
of actually imagining the worst as opposed to the best,
unless our thoughts are directed differently.

It is said that energy flows where the attention goes,
and this is the key to getting positive results in any situation.

When we can visualize exactly what it is that we want,
isn't it such an elusive quest, well, we might streamline our thoughts to the basics, for starters,
hence we fuel the energy of our creation by seeing all the wonderful aspects
of it coming into reality.
We can see ourself experiencing our desire in detail,
imagining the events, sights, smells, and feelings around it.
And, if a negative thought does creep in, we can simply erase it,
replacing it with thoughts of what you want to have happen instead.

In addition to visualizing, other things can help reinforce
the positive outcome we desire.
We might be asked to keep a daily journal and write what we desire
to happen in your life, anytime in the near or distant future.
This is a very good way to keep our focus.
Another technique is to make a picture page with images of what we want,
along with good things that are part of our dream.
We can cut out photos from magazines or draw pictures.
When our little poster is completed, put our page in a place where we will see it frequently, given that we have our own private space of display.
Just seeing these visual suggestions regularly is likely to stimulate our imagination.
By making a point to imagine on a regular basis the positive things we want
to bring our way, we'd draw wonderful things into our life with surprising frequency. Not only we shall experience more success in our life, but you we'll also feel more confident & prepared to meet life's diverse challenges.

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Monday, July 26, 2010


kahani khatm hai
ya shuruat hone ko hai
subah nayi hai ye
ya phir raat hone ko hai
aanewala waqt
denge panahein
ya phir se milenge dorahein
khabar kya
kya pata

Yet another coming of age story? That's what I asked myself when I learnt about this movie called Udaan making waves at the Cannes. As Anurag Kashyap was backing it - he even said that he wished that he had himself come up with this project on his own in the first place - I had to watch it in the very first weekend of its much awaited release here.

I came out of the screening completely overwhelmed. I was absolutely moved by the storytelling, the performances, the visuals, the music simply mesmerised me.

As the film opens we are gripped by Rohan's character and his discomfort. He is the trapped teenager. Battling odds. Of all kinds. He gets chucked out of the high profile boarding school where his disciplinarian dad with an 'I care a damn' air had conveniently had him relegated. Rohan has to come home now, but the saddest part is that neither his home is what it is meant to be, nor his dad make it easy for him to grapple with his self-discovery. Rohan finds a release in the brilliant poems that he composes, and in carving himself out stealthily from the predetermined choking routine of a life. Rohan soon learns that not only has he to actualise his creative aspirations that are obviously threatened opposition and obstacles, but a rebellion against his emotionally blunt, bully of a father is also the toughest to put up undauntedly. The small town milieu of Jamshedpur, the steel town is breathed to life as brilliantly as the flesh and blood characters. Rohan warms up to his much younger step brother, Arjun, and he finally grows up when he feels responsible for Arjun who is in an even more vulnerable state than him.

Debutant director Vikramaditya Motwane, who has penned the screenplay of the film with help from Anurag Kashyap himself, has done a marvellous job.
The edgy feel is bound to get the viewer thoroughly hooked.
Anurag Kashyap deserves a special pat for having produced this little cinematic gem.
The depiction is magical thanks to a wonderful cast and crew. The editing is crisp, the music has a freshness and a sublime feel to it. The camerawork by Mahendra Shetty is exceptionally fluid.

The film, I am sure, will be talked about for many, many years.... by viewers - young and old.

The cast includes:
Rajat Barmecha (Rohan), Ronit Roy (Rohan's dad), Ram Kapoor (Rohan's uncle), Aayan Boradia (Arjun), along with Manjot Singh, Anand Tiwari, Raja Hudda, Varun Khettry, Sumant Mastkar, Akshay Sachdev, and Shaunak Sengupta.

Written by: Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap
Cinematography: Mahendra Shetty
Music: Amit Trivedi
Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya
Editing: Dipika Kalra
Production design: Aditya Kanwar
Associate producer: Vikas Bahl
Co-producers: Aarti Bajaj,
Siddharth Roy Kapur,
Deven Khote ,
Zarina Mehta ,
Ronnie Screwvala ,
and Sanjay Singh
Executive producer: Dipa Motwane

Let Udaan (means Flight in Hindi) help us all fly without wings.... let us all take flights of creativity,
let our films be realistic,
let them speak of our real fantasies.... and of brave fights in support of our braver pursuits.
And that applies as much to the protagonists, as the makers.
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Monday, July 12, 2010


A goal is the only method of scoring in the game of football and the just concluded 2010 FIFA World Cup did leave us Kolkatans, who are known to be crazy about football, yelling "goal-goal-goal" seated in front of our television sets, way past midnight for all this while! And we did get our thrills and chills witnessing the brilliant goals all through the World Cup matches that saw 32 nations fighting for the ultimate honour of emerging the world champions. As much as the exultations, and the ecstatic screams, there were the heavy sighs, the tears and the chuckles too, whenever we witnessed the near misses at scoring the all-important goals.

Like every other World Cup, this time too there were the surprises and the upsets, the controversies and the challenging hurdles, be it for the teams or for individual players, or for the tournament itself. This time the tournament was held in South Africa, the Rainbow Nation - which meant the carnival-like atmosphere at the matches, with the vuvuzela drone making us extra-jubilant or working as an irritant, depending on one's preference. The Jabulani ball that was used in the matches also made headlines as there was much fuss over its unpredictable spin and many blamed it for the deficit of goals.

Our favorite star players like Messi (Argentina), Kaka (Brazil), Rooney (England), Vella (Mexico), Ronaldo (Portugal), and Torres (Spain) couldn't shine to their fullest. They left us fans disappointed. Many of the players seemed jaded, especially after their earlier stints in the various league matches prior to the World Cup.

However, Vincente del Bosque's Spain are deservedly the new world champs.
In the final match, the Euro champions, Spain, beat the Netherlands in the extra-time, with the sole goal being scored by Andrés Iniesta. Iker Casillas, the goalkeeper-captain, and his brilliant teammates David Villa, Xabi Alonso, Cesc Fabregas, Puyol, Ramos, Carlos and all others became the Spaniards-in-our-discussions, as football-mania gripped us completely.

Our hearts bled for the ouster of Brazil, Argentina, France, Italy and England.
Kolkata demonstrated its bias for Brazil and Argentina, as Kolkatans largely seem to be polarized between these to nations that boasted of some of the best skilled footballers.

However, Germany's not making it to the finals was perhaps the biggest setback for us in the later stage.
Thomas Mueller (Germany)being crowned the Best Young Player, and also the winner of the Golden Boot, has made us very happy though.

We were also privileged to witness the rise of several stars who became household names overnight; they include Wesley Sneijder (The Netherlands), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina), Miloslav Klose (Germany), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Arjen Robben (The Netherlands), and Lucio (Brazil) to name just a few.

Other than the players, two names that made it big as headline-hoggers were definitely Howard Webb the English referee, at yesterday's final match for his stern stance as the boys in orange went ugly in their tackle tactics,
and, last, but not the least (one of the BIGGEST, in fact!), Paul - the Oracle octopus, its 100 per cent correct predictions with respect to each game and team made it the biggest international celebrity during the World Cup.

Endnote: It pains me to note, just as many of my fellow citizens, that despite our enthusiasm for football we are still rungs below the international standards of football-playing nations; isn't it high time to re-evaluate our goals as we attempt to develop and groom local talents?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dhoni!

Mahendra Singh Dhoni
(popularly called Mahi) has always been my favorite
amongst the contemporary Indian cricketers.
Here's wishing him a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY,
and also a happy married life... as he has tied the knot
with his childhood friend and girlfriend of two years, Sakshi Singh Rawat
just three days back!

And now,
for the readers of my blog, here's
looking at some of the Dhoni facts:

As a youngster, Dhoni excelled in badminton and football
and was selected at district and club level in these sports!
In his student days, he used to be the goalkeeper for his football team
and, as luck would have it, was sent to play cricket for
a local cricket club by his football coach.

Based on his performance at club cricket, Dhoni was picked
for Vinoo Mankad Under-16 Championship Trophy and he performed well.

He debuted for Bihar in 1998-99 season.

Subsequently, was selected to represent India-A in 2004,
as right-handed batsman-cum-wicketkeeper.

Made his India debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka in December 2004,
and, in 2005, against Sri Lanka, he set a world record for the highest score ever by a wicketkeeper.

He became No.1 ODI batsman on 20 April, 2006, replacing Ricky Ponting.

Was named ODI vice-captain of Team India, on tour of England in June 2007
and on September 2, 2007, he equalled Adam Gilchrist’s record
of most dismissals in an ODI (5 catches, 1 stumping).

He became the captain for Team India for the World T20 in Sept 2007,
and with his spirited leadership, boosted India to the ICC World T20 trophy, in South Africa, winning over Pakistan in an intensely fought final.

Mahi made his Test captaincy debut against South Africa in April 2008.

His latest cricketing triumph as the skipper has been
laying hands on the coveted Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, last month.

May he win many more laurels in the days to come.

And here comes more Dhoni trivia:
Dhoni was born in Ranchi, Bihar (now in Jharkhand), and his paternal village is Lvali in the Lamgarha block of the Almora district of Uttarakhand.

He has a sister, Jayanti, and a brother, Narendra.

Dhoni happens to be one of the most popular sports icon in the country whose popularity can only be rivalled by that of Sachin Tendulkar - the 'master-blaster', and Sourav Ganguly, in cricket, Leander Paes in tennis, and Vijender Singh, in boxing.

He has been hailed as a youth icon of the nation, and his flamboyant hairstyle gets special coverage in the tabloids!
Initially, he used to sport long hair, that received a special mention by the then Pak President Pervez Musharraf!

Dhoni has a great camaraderie with almost all his fellow teammates, especially Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, R. P. Singh and Zaheer Khan.

The tabloids went abuzz with the rumors of Dhoni dating actresses Deepika Padukone and Lakshmi Rai in the past, but it seems, in retrospect, that those matches were hardly meant to be.

He loves bikes, much like his current buddy John Abraham, the actor.
He supposedly has a Hummer alongwith the four cars, and 23 high-speed motorcycles, already parked in his garage in Ranchi.

He endorses about 20 brands - from clothes to soft drinks!
No wonder, he was named as one of the highest income-tax payers last year.

He is a self-proclaimed fan of Amitabh Bachchan and Lata Mangeshkar,
apart from his cricketing idols Adam Gilchrist and Sachin Tendulkar.

A renowned dog-lover, Dhoni is too fond of his pets.

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Friday, July 02, 2010

Peepli Live

Whenever Aamir Khan presents a film, it is special.
And, this time, he is here with PEEPLI [Live]
that has been produced by him, under his own banner Aamir Khan Productions.

It is directed by first-time director Anusha Rizvi, who has also penned the screenplay.
Distributed by UTV Motion Pictures, the film is scheduled
to release on August 13, 2010.

It takes a satirical look at the predicament of a poor farmer who creates a media frenzy when, beset with debt, he announces that he will commits suicide so his family can receive government compensation.

It had its first screening at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, a rare honour for an Indian film!
After having been selected for the Competition Section at the Sundance Film Festival, it was picked up by a specialty German distribution company Rapid Eye Movies for a special screening at the last Berlin International Film Festival.

The cast of the film includes Omkar Das Manikpuri, making his film debut, Raghubir Yadav, Nawazuuddin Siddiqui, Shalini Vatsa, Farukh Jaffer and Malaika Shenoy.
The music of the film is composed by Indian Ocean and Mathias Duplessy.
Shankar Raman is the cinematographer for the film, and Hemanti Sarkar the editor.

However, the bad news for the Indian viewers is that, for its Indian release, the film has got an 'A' (adults only) certificate. The makers are unperturbed by the apprehension of limited viewership though; they are supposedly hopeful that the film will find its takers in the niche segment.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Bengaluru buzzzzzzz.......

The first time I had visited Bengaluru (still people refer to the city by its earlier name - Bangalore; though the acceptance of the English expression 'getting Bangalored' does not have a note of affirmation), I wasn't too ecstatic about the city.
I remember having said to a friend that Bengaluru wasn't inviting enough for me.
The weather, the greenery, the branded retail outlets, the eat-out joints and the shopping malls & arcades seemed to be the only attractions.
On the other hand, the traffic snarls, the overpriced goods & services put me off to a great extent.
Well, recently, when I visited Bengaluru for the second time, I found that most of the earlier plus-es were big enticements for me.
Being a die-hard Kolkatan, maybe my perception was too biased the previous time and I might have been closed to the acceptance of the city myself.
Add to it the fact that I didn't get much of a chance to explore the city.
There was also the nagging strain of being in a relationship that kept me on tenterhooks.
This time, I found Bengaluru to be quite embracing.

Being a diverse city, Bengaluru accepts people from across the country,
offering them a busy and fast life, ambient lounges and pubs, hi-fashion stores, luxurious malls, lush greenery and a pleasant weather as huge bonuses.
Culturally, the city is quite booming, in fact.
There are all kinds of happening things capturing the fancy of the city's enthusiastic population.
The temples, the marketplaces, the parks, the libraries - all are so spic & span and so very functional.
The sprawling roads, flyovers, under-passes offer smooth rides.
The new airport (the last time I had landed at the old airport which ceased to become operational from that night itself) is wonderfully maintained.
The entrance to the airport is lined with a vast space for the visitors to refesh and relax.
Bengaluru comes with a host of infrastructural facilities that is surely welcome for the tourists and the Bagaloreans alike.
I visited the Mantri Square Mall which is just humongous! The sheer luxury of shopping there must be a huge draw for the international visitors too.
I couldn't resist catching a screening of 'Shrek 4 - 3D' at the Inox Insignia auditorium there.

Though I wasn't missing out on the delicacies of Kolkata on this short stay
in Bengaluru, my sister and brother-in-law treated me to the finest food
at Oh! Calcutta and Lazeez Restaurant and I could see why.
For the Bengalis there, it was the gastronomical connect with their home!
Not all roads and nooks & corners are perfectly planned or visually appealing, of course.
Luckily, where I stayed, not much distant from the new airport, it was close to perfection. I was hugely impressed with the location.
The one road in Bengaluru that deserves special mention, however, is: M.G. Road,
it is the nerve-centre of Bengaluru, with shops on one side and on an embankment adjacent to the army grounds a lovely walkaway, shrouded by trees and bougainvillea.
The other special mention that I must make is that of the cool FM radio station of the city - Radio Indigo. It simply rocks!
As does its cool RJ Rohit Barker.
Before ending this post,
I can't help sharing with my readers a much-popular comparison between
Kolkata and Bengaluru.... it's funny....
and hence no attempt to be politically correct... just read and enjoy:
How to know which city you are in
same scenario, different reflexes -
Two guys are fighting and a third guy comes along,
then a fourth
and they start arguing about who's right.
You know: You are in Kolkata.

Two guys are fighting and a third guy comes...
he writes a software program to stop the fight.
But the fight doesn't stop because of a bug in the program.

That's Bangalore.... oops, Bengaluru!