Saturday, 28 June 2014

GALAT PICCHAR - SHOLAY

Today, I present to you the first post in a brand new series. It is aptly titled 'GALAT PICCHAR'. 'Galat' in Hindi means 'Wrong' and 'Picchar' is the Desi word for 'Picture' or a movie. So no prizes for guessing what 'Galat Picchar' means. Believe what you read here at your own risk.

Most Desis are film buffs. We know our 'Hum Aapke Hain Kauns' and 'RaOnes' 'DDLJs' by heart. But with almost half the population being born in the 90s, it would be a tad unfair for to expect everyone to have watched or even have heard about movies of the 70s, even if they were classics. Hence, it becomes a duty on the part of us veterans pre-1990ers to bring these wonderful movies to the poor novices. Today, I proudly give you the most accurate synopsis of the evergreen classic...*drumroll*...SHOLAY.

The movie actually shuttles between real time and flashback sequences. Because I'm too lazy to type For simplicity in narration, I will present the story to you in proper chronological order. For easy comprehension, I am also attaching images, wherever necessary.

Most fans of the movie will argue that Sholay is an action-packed tale of unconditional friendship, loyalty and the ultimate revenge saga. However, it is also the story of a power-struggle between a 'connoisseur of art' dacoit and a village Thakur with a strange obsession with male hands.

The actual story begins with the Thakur (who by the way also happens to be a former cop) hunting down a hairy Daaku - Gabbar Singh. At the very beginning of the sordid tale, we are greeted by the sight of the wicked Thakur harassing strangulating Gabbar.


To add insult to injury, Thakur gets Gabbar imprisoned and sentenced for unlawful assembly and for promoting obscenity (read: enjoying ganda naach gaana with his merry men). What's more, Thakur chose to put only Gabbar behind bars, and not his 'unlawful assembly' or the vulgar dance troupe. Some personal vendetta!

Anyway, before he is led to prison, Gabbar vows revenge against Thakur for his 'Misbehaviour', 'Suppression of Art & Creativity' and 'Moral Policing'. In other words, he vows revenge on Thakur's 'Dhoblegiri'.


Soon enough, Gabbar escapes from jail. He blocks Thakur's newly-acquired android phone using the IMEI number.

His ego badly hurt, Thakur sets out to put Gabbar in his place. He pays no heed to Ramlal's prophetic words. Ouch! That was soon gonna cost both of them dearly.


Ramlal should have been a little more aggressive with his convincing. It was in his own best interests after all. Alas, very soon he was going to have to face the consequences of his lethargy...for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, Thakur acts like a dhedh-shaana, and confronts Gabbar, in his own lair. He also falsely claims that Gabbar has stolen his handsfree device. Gabbar responds with an amazing display of black humour, and sends him back home....hands-free.


Not one to be done in so easily, and also because he was beginning to enjoy this game of 'badla-badla', Thakur hatches a plan to get back at Gabbar. He sends for Inspector Bajrang Pandey.

The original plan was to book Inspector Pandey's railway ticket directly to the village station. However, a steep hike in rail fares makes Thakur resort to a 'super-value-saver' plan of booking the rail ticket for only half the distance, and then forcing Pandey to cover the remaining distance on 'horsepower'. Here's recorded footage:-


Inspector Bajrang Pandey is clearly not amused with Thakur's kanjoosi austerity measures. He makes known his feelings.


Quickly smarting from his faux pas, the Inspector seeks to know why he was called. The answer he gets makes him realise that his reservations about Thakur's orientation had been well-founded all along.


Jai and Veeru. Petty criminals. And yet, the quintessential Bollywood 'good-at-heart' heroes. When they're not burgling someone's house, these 'friends' move around aimlessly, painting towns pink with their antics. Check out their vintage Spicegirls-esque dance moves.


They're always focussing on giving 'stiff' competition to other criminal brothers.


Thakur stalks them around town. When he finally manages to grab their attention, he spills the beans.


Thakur and his raging hormones...sheesh!

Anyway, he tells Jai and Veeru about his plan to capture Gabbar - ALIVE. In true-blue Indian corporate style, he promises them ample growth opportunities, job satisfaction, perks, free transport, work-life balance and salaries as per industry standards. And they fall for it! Haha! Suckers!

As expected, they arrive at the village taxi stand...at their own expenses.

With no taxi in sight to take them to Thakur's 'mansion', they decide to travel cattle-class.

They hire Basanti's tonga. Basanti is the village chatter-box. Her hobbies include exercising her vocal chords for no rhyme or reason and boring people to death. Her horse's name is Dhanno. Both seem to have a bad reputation, because apparently, everyone in the village had taken a ride.

For reasons more suited to primates, Veeru has the hots for Basanti. He engages in a very enriching one-way conversation with her. Jai is not amused with the new development. 'Maybe he's looking at the prospect of free transport facilities', he thinks. Insecurity creeps in.


Finally reaching Thakur's office after an extremely torturous one-way chat session in the tonga, Jai and Veeru have a formal induction. They quickly undergo 'on-the-job' training. They also get to hear a gazillion horror stories from Ramlal about Thakur giving crap.

Their personal lives, however, are not sailing smoothly. Veeru is slowly but surely drifting away from Jai and spending more time with motor-mouth Basanti.


Finally sensing that his relationship with Veeru is as good as over, Jai begins to seek whiter greener pastures. He spots Thakur's always-in-white widowed Bahu, Radha.


In a matter of hours, the romantic tension that was just a spark in the morning had soon turned into a forest fire. The whole village could tell that Jai was smitten.

It wasn't hard to guess. It was all so obvious.


Soon, Jai can't handle his desperation. He wants to take this relationship with Radha to a different level. With Veeru having smoothly sailed through the beginner's level with Basanti, Jai feels he needs to act fast. He decides it is best to skip the 'intermediate' level and take his relationship directly to the 'expert' level without wasting time.


One day, Gabbar sends three of his collection agents, led by Kaalia, to Walmart the village to fetch his gang's monthly ration. Ramlal, who also doubles up as the village watch-tower manager, sees them coming and quickly warns the villagers. All of a sudden, the gaanv-waaley swing into action and act busy. They ignore the collection agents' demands. Having exhausted all their energy, the trio turn back. Jai and Veeru (who till then are hiding like snipers and smoking their beedis) decide to play target practice with them as they gallop away, just for kicks.

Of course, Gabbar is left fuming at his collection agents' performance. Since it was performance appraisal time, he decides to cut his wage costs by gunning them down laying them off (without severance package, gratuity and other benefits). Of course, in Indian Corporate style, he pretends to take his HR Manager's advice before taking the step.



Wasting no time, Gabbar immediately decides to organise a recruitment drive in the village to fill the three vacant positions in his gang. He tells his HR Manager to choose a 'holiday' for the same, so that candidates wouldn't have to compromise on their current work commitments to make themselves available for the interviews. But Samba doesn't hear Gabbar too well (what do you expect when he's always seated so high, out of the audibility radius), and chooses HOLI-day for the recruitment drive.

But Indians love their HOLI-day. After all, we men can't just let a one-day no-holds-barred license to get wicked naughty with the ladies slip out of our hands so easily, can we? So the villagers give Gabbar's interview calls a miss.

This incenses Gabbar so much that he comes to the village himself, with a more aggressive approach. There, he bumps into Jai and Veeru. Sensing an opportunity to hire skilled labour for cheap, he gives them job offers that he doesn't want them to refuse. But to his utter disappointment, they say no thank you. After all, girlfriend izzat naam ki bhi koi cheez hoti hai!

Disappointed, Gabbar goes to an open-air dance bar to drink his sorrows away, and to enjoy a DANCE performance.


But spoilsports that they are, Jai and Veeru show up and spoil the fun with sutli bombs and Diwali rockets. Nevertheless, poetic justice is done, when a sutli bomb bursts in Jai's hand.

Having had their fill of cheap thrills, Jai and Veeru get back to the village. Radha wastes no time in tending to Jai's injured thumb nail. Seeing the PDA, Veeru suddenly realises that he has a lot of catching up to do. He promptly resorts to Bollywood's fool-proof "Sing A Song To Ding-Dong" formula to get a promotion from motor-mouth Basanti.


After getting Basanti on board (WTF! How??), Veeru seeks Jai's help to convince Basanti's Mausi to agree to their alliance. Jai does the needful.


The wedding would eventually take place a few months later, much after the end of this movie. Didn't end too well though. The following was the last available footage of Veeru, taken a couple of days after the wedding.


Meanwhile, Gabbar is still sulking about the massive 'iggy' his recruitment drive has elicited. He's in urgent need of procurement officers. So he decides to adopt an even more aggressive approach to hiring, an approach that would make even multi-level marketing guys gawk in admiration.

This is Imam Saheb. He's old and blind (awww). He constitutes the minority quota that is so typical of Bollywood movies. He's an absolute gem of a person. If he was Christian, his name would've probably been Michael, and he'd have been the jolly good owner of a beer-bar.


This is Ahmed. He is Imam Saheb's young son. We already know he is Muslim because of his name and because we know who his father is. But the costume designer still wants to be sure that we idiots don't get confused. So here is how Ahmed is made to look 24x7, 365 days a year.


One of these guys' fate is sealed (read: one of them is about to die) because all Muslims/Christians/Parsis/Sardarjis in a Bollywood movie are brave and sacrificing in nature.

So yes, Gabbar kills Ahmed because he refuses to stifle his career prospects by joining Gabbar's sorry bunch of donkey horse-riding losers.

When the body is sent back to the village, everyone except Imam Sahab is devastated. Why? Because Imam Saheb is from the minority, stupid. We minority peeps groom our kids to become brave and honourable, and we raise them to sacrifice their lives for honour and for the nation. Geddit suckers? Lolz.

Oh, wait, lest you miss an evergreen classic moment, here it is.


Next, Gabbar gets Basanti kidnapped (haha, crazy daring shit).


Why does he kidnap her? Just because he wants to see her dance. Yeah, weirdass stuff.

Veeru finally realises that matters are serious (that's what girls do to you, they make you serious about everything), and sets off on a rescue mission. Alas, he gets caught in Gabbar's trap, because Ramesh and Suresh had made his patloon ek bilaang choti.

Gabbar forces Basanti to dance if she wants a Koffee with Karan gift hamper her lover to live. She obliges and floors everyone with her never-seen-before moves.


While Gabbar and his merry men lay on the floor clutching their bellies and laughing themselves half-dead, Jai arrives on the scene and shoots down a dozen helpless daakus. He also frees Veeru and Basanti, and they all try to run for their lives. A gun battle ensues, in which Jai gets fatally wounded. As he lay dying, he leaves behind a legacy for his dear friend Veeru.


Radha cries bitterly after Jai's death. But Veeru goes metal-thrashing mad. Undoubtedly, Jai was more than a talented harmonica player for him. He goes back to Gabbar's lair and slays all of his men, 'chun-chunke'.

In the end, he grabs Gabbar by the throat and is about to choke him to death when spoil-sport Thakur arrives at the scene to get a taste of the action. He commands Veeru to leave Gabbar to him. Veeru laughs hysterically as he leaves the scene, but you can't blame him for that.

Here's Thakur getting ready for the fight.

  
 
The following fight is a no disqualification, no count-out, no-holds-barred match-up.

In the left corner, from places unknown, weighing in at 330 lbs, we have Gabbar Singh.

And in the right corner, from Ramgadh village mansion, weighing in at 260 lbs, here is Thakur.


Gabbar starts off on the wrong foot. He tries to break the ice by making a risque comment.


Those would be Gabbar's last words. His sense of humour doesn't go down too well with Thakur, a Taekwondo black-belt as we can see from the following clipping. All it takes is a well-timed and well-directed drop kick from Thakur to kill Gabbar. If India had a few more talented prodigies like him, our crime rates would've been incredibly low.



And from there on, everyone lived happily ever after.

Except for Ramlal of course.


The End.

SHOLAY is and always has been one of my all-time favourite movies. For one, it has Amitabh Bachchan in it. Secondly, it had the right amount of melodrama in it - not too much. It is one the best 'Revenge' dramas and friendship stories every essayed. Jai's dying scene still brings tears to my eyes...sometimes. 

This post is the result of inspiration I got from reading another blog. Tons of applause for IMAANSHEIKH.

Disclaimer: This post does not claim ownership of any of the pictures displayed unless stated otherwise. We do not intend or attempt to offend anyone with this post. It is purely for tongue-in-cheek entertainment and in jest. Some images used in this website are taken from the web and are therefore believed to be in the public domain. If any images posted here are in violation of copyright law, please contact us and we will gladly remove the images immediately.

Cheers

Monday, 23 June 2014

DILON KO JODNE WAALI NAYI 'ZINDAGI' - INDIBLOGGER EVENT


India's premier television network, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), is set to add yet another feather in its cap as its readies itself for the launch of a new TV channel - 'Zindagi'. The brand new channel will go on air from 8pm on 23rd June 2014. It endeavours to provide seamless entertainment that cuts across borders, with content sourced from beyond our geographical borders, and therefore, the tag-line of the channel, 'Jodey Dilon Ko' is very apt. This is in keeping with ZEEL's corporate philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbukam - The World Is My Family'. It aims to bring to us television content from various countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, and many others. The channel kicks off with its first set of TV show offerings from our sister-nation, Pakistan.

On Saturday, 21st June 2014, ZEEL organised a meet for IndiBloggers to launch the new channel. This meet was unique, in that it was being held simultaneously in Mumbai and at Delhi. Also, we were told that we would have a chance to interact with a famous Pakistani Producer/Director/Story Writer over a teleconference line. The Mumbai meet was to be held at The Leela hotel. I was extremely excited on receiving the invite and seeing the agenda for the meet, because I've always had a soft corner for Pakistanis - at least the ordinary people like you and me. In my college days, I used to have a dozen Pakistani netpals, and we'd discuss a plethora of topics, largely music. Thanks to them, I was introduced to Atif Aslam, Fuzon, Ali Zafar and many others, long before they officially took the Indian market by storm. They'd also point out Indian songs that were directly lifted from Pakistani ones, and that was quite a revelation for me then (you'd be surprised at the blatant level of plagiarism that Indian music composers resorted to in the 90s, check them out on Youtube). We'd also discuss lifestyles, languages, food and films (only Indian, coz they didn't have bragging rights here then :p).

Armed with my passport to serve as a photo ID (my PAN card bore a picture of mine with a scalpful of hair, and I didn't want to take chances with security), I entered the hotel well in time to log in my entry. After a scrumptuous lunch spread, we were ushered into a conference hall with elaborate seating arrangements - round tables et al - well placed display hoardings offering a peek of soon-to-be-aired Pakistani TV shows, and cameras. The set-up was truly impressive. Adjacent to the main stage were two large screens, where we could see bloggers from Delhi. Very soon the program began. As always, the hosts, Anoop (Mumbai) and Nihal Lazarus (Delhi) started proceedings in lighter vein, indulging in friendly banter with each other. The tone of their interactions with each other remained the same throughout the meet, which kept the audience enthralled and in good spirits.


The program began with a fun interactive session between Mumbai and Delhi, with the hosts asking the audience questions and inviting them to debate. The questions asked were as follows:-

1) Which city has the best transport system?

2) Which city has the best street food?

3) Which city has the hottest men?




The purpose of holding this debate, as pointed out by Anoop later on, was to show how two cities within the same nation could have differences in opinions and could indulge in one-upmanship. It therefore follows that two different nations are therefore bound to have aggressive stands against each other. The only way to counter these differences and bond with each other was to have regular interactions, delve into each other's culture and thought processes, and to encourage exchange and acceptance of each other's ideas.

Later, the Pakistani guest, actor Imran Abbas Naqvi entered the room, along with Shailja Kejriwal, Creative Head and Priyanka Datta, Business Head of the Zindagi channel, made an entry. I must admit, when Imran entered to room with his glares on in an air-conditioned room, my initial perception about him was that of a wannabe. But later on, when the glasses came off and he began answering the audience's questions with intelligent choice of words, composure, wit and clarity, this opinion changed for the better. He came across as a well-groomed and smart individual. He also enthralled the crowd with his crooning skills. He shared his childhood experiences about his love for Indian music and films, and about how he and friends back home would try their best to catch signals of Indian channels. Goes to show that film, music and culture were what bound Indians and Pakistanis together, even after 67 years of partition. In response to an audience member's question on whether peace can exist between both countries while there were still an atmosphere of mutual mistrust, Imran rightly said that those who want to create trouble will create trouble anyway, but it is our job to keep trying to foster peace. He said that artistes - actors and singers - could and constantly do play the role of maintaining cordial ties between the two countries. He made a mention of that fact that it was not just Pakistani artistes who performed in India, unknown to many people, even Indian artistes like Naseeruddin Shah, Nandita Das and Kirron Kher have also been performing in Pakistan. By the time the meet had ended, he had visibly conquered a lot of hearts, especially female ones. he was last seen obliging female fans with pictures, selfies and autographs.



Pakistani businesswoman, president of Pakistan's Hum TV network, TV director and producer Sultana Siddiqui (aka Sultana Aapa) had also joined the talk via Video Call. She expressed hope that the channel would help promote exchange of ideas, showcasing of talent and even possible collaboration between artistes of the two nations in future projects.

I certainly agree that the channel is a step in the right direction with respect to bringing out in the open the thought processes and the life of our neighbours. It would go a long way in showing that irrespective of what plays out in the political sphere, at the ground level their people are not different from ours. They have similar lives, similar ambitions and aspirations, similar desires, similar moral values and virtues, similar tastes in some regards, and similar family structures. We were after all, once upon a time, the same country. The key is to accept each other's differences, and come to some common ground so as to promote co-operation and peaceful co-existence. For this, If I had to make a suggestion to the channel, I'd say that they should not just relay tv shows, but also news capsules and talk shows. If we get to see the best and worst of political stand-points in Pakistan, we will realise that for every fanatical anti-Indian jingoist like Zaid Hamid in Pakistan, there is also a pro-Indian intellectual like Hasan Nissar.

Yours truly at the meet. (in shiny skin-head)




The meet was definitely a roaring success, in that we were able to communicate not across cities, but also across nations. However, I need to convey certain observations about what transpired at the meet, both good as well as bad.

The pluses:-

a) The venue was really good. And the food was awesome.

b) The audio-visuals worked well throughout the meet. There were no glitches at all. For this the team needs a special mention of appreciation.

c) The hosts, especially Anoop, were really good, and kept the audience in splits.

d) Some of the questions asked to the guests were really sensible. Some people also shared very interesting anecdotes and personal experiences about Pakistani shows, music, and fashion.

Some low points:-

a) At certain points, the comments made were unnecessarily cocky and jingoistic. Some were outright nasty.

b) There was a chap who had an American accent. He probably had come down to India from somewhere, I wouldn't know. But as soon as he spoke, almost everyone burst out laughing and giggling. I wondered then that if we couldn't treat one of our own people with respect, how on earth do we intend to respect someone who's not Indian?

c) The hall apparently had an accessible WIFI connection. But the log-in and password were not conveyed to us properly.

d) I might be wrong here, but there seemed to be a faux-pas with respect to the distribution of prizes for the picture tweet contest, with the same person winning prizes for multiple entries.

e) At the end of the debates, one person got back to city-defending mode, even after the host had finished explaining the reason for having the debate. The point of the debate seemed to have been lost on him. Also, it was a shame to know that the Pakistani guests were watching all this happen.

Most fun moment (for the guys):-

This is for all the guys. I'm sure none of the guys were complaining, and simply sat back and enjoyed their inflated egos when the girls of both cities clamoured to state that their guys were hotter.

Overall, however, it was a Wonderful experience! Looking forward to the next meet!



Images courtesy : www.indiblogger.in

Reminder : The ZINDAGI channel will hit the small screens from 23rd June 2014, at 8 pm IST.


Cheers


Sunday, 8 June 2014

SILENCE MUST BE HEARD

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 47; the forty-seventh edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Partho wasn't enjoying the ride, even though he wasn't driving. His car was moving very slowly through the narrow alley that led to the shelter home. But he was a little excited today. He was going to meet the little girl he had been sponsoring for the past three years for the first time today. He had butterflies in his stomach, which he found strange, considering the fact that it was he who brought anxious moments to people who worked under him in his corporation. 'CEO's shouldn't feel nervous', he thought to himself, and tried to brush off the feeling, in vain.

Like most corporate entities that were trying to get involved in CSR activities, Partho's media company had formed an association with a well-known NGO, that was the benefactor for a girl's shelter home. In the past three years, he hadn't found the time or motivation to visit his 'adopted girl child'. This time, however, something that he couldn't put a finger on had somehow gotten him to try to reach out and meet the girl.

Sometime later, Partho's car stopped in front of a rusted metal gate. The walls flanking the gate hadn't been painted for years it seemed. He stepped out the car and entered the gate. A very old structure stood before him. Partho wondered whether this shelter home had ever received financial support from anyone at all - it really needed some major repair work. An old, even more dilapidated man - a caretaker he assumed - sat on a crokked chair right in front of the entrance to the structure.

"Hi", said Partho, expecting a grand welcome.

"Eh?" the old man replied nonchalantly, barely making eye contact.

"This is the girl's shelter home, right?"

"Hmm."

"I'm looking for a girl named Preeti. I'm her sponsor."

"Lot of Preetis here. Wait outside, I'll line em up."

The old man went in and came out with four young girls, all aged between 6 and 10 years old. One look at the collective sight of the girls, and Partho knew they weren't happy living there.

"Which one of you is nine years old?", asked Partho, eager to know his 'child'.

One girl took two steps ahead, without saying a word. She looked much younger, probably due to poor nutrition. Her clothes were very shabby and bore holes in many spots.

"You happy here, Preeti?"

The girl merely nodded her head in the affirmative. Deep inside Partho wasn't convinced. But now that his curiosity had been satiated, he wasn't as interested as he was just ten minutes ago.

"Here, I've bought you new clothes. Take this chocolate bar as well."

She held out her hand and took them from him. All she could muster up was a sheepish smile.

"Like them?"

She nodded in the affirmative again. Partho saw tears forming in her eyes - he couldn't make out whether they were tears of joy or of hope. Not that he cared much anymore anyway.

"Alright then", he said, taking a quick look at his watch, "Time for me to say goodbye. Bye Preeti". He patted the girl on her head and hastened towards the gate, and out into his car, not even caring to look behind at his 'child'.

He missed seeing the caretaker push the girls inside, and fondle his 'child' as he directed her back to his room.

SILENCE MUST BE HEARD, lest innocence fall prey to evil.
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 05

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