A news clip that has changed my life forever

Contributed by Amit Ghugre

I do not know how much of it is still remaining. But a small news snippet, unnoticed by most in the era of breaking newsmakers, Ramdev and Anna, is going to change rest of my life forever. This was about Uday Chopra announcing his retirement acting in Bollywood.

I know, most of you will ask the question ‘WHO is Uday Chopra?’ For some who know who he was, this news will sound similar to Joginder Sharma announcing his retirement after none of the IPL teams bought him.

Let me elaborate more on the importance of this news. Uday Chopra is son of the legend Yash Chopra and nephew of B R Chopra who need no introduction to anyone who has even basic knowledge of Bollywood. Uday Chopra debuted in a multi starrer ‘Mohabbatein’ featuring SRK and Big B. The movie worked and Uday probably took it as a sign that people have accepted him. I don’t remember if he also managed to bag some ‘best newcomer’ award. His hope would have translated into belief after Dhoom 1 and 2 became big hits. It sounds ridiculous to link success of these movies to Uday. But from his perspective, it is not unfair to assume. How many times in our corporate careers do we believe that success is due to our contribution and failure is due to someone else?

However, if you try to recollect any movie where he was the single Hero, it will be difficult. In short, all his other movies flopped. No one wanted to sign him up. It was not long when he realized the issue. That is when he leveraged the strength of his house brand (Yash Raj films) and decided to produce the movie for himself. He may have found it difficult to get story writer, director work for him. At that time, he showed a true character of a leader. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going! So, he decided to write the script and direct the movie himself, apart from being the Hero and producer.

This is how ‘Pyar Impossible’ was born. I have reviewed this movie here ,so don’t want to stress myself with the agony again. But the reality was that audience was not as tough and hence they were not going to movie theater. The public once again showed their maturity and discretion power. As a result, the film bombed.

It is after a period of 10 years that the reality finally seems to have struck him hard that he does not have any career in Bollywood. Definitely not as an actor. Being born as the son of Yash Chopra, middle class mundane worries like finding means of living are anyway  not important for him. Rich also have lot of options. He can open a dance academy, hotel, bike servicing centre or designer brand shop. I wish him best of luck for his career.

I also want to sincerely thank him for choosing to retire from Bollywood because it will simplify my choice and spare me from an accidental situation wherein I am forced to watch him again in some new movie. I will not have to worry and despair about how diagonally opposite a father-son combination can be. I will not spend time on writing movie reviews featuring him. In short, he has touched and improved my life with this decision to retire from Bollywood.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.

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Pyar … Impossible

Contributed by Amit Ghugre

Pyar Impossible! This is the name of the movie I decided to watch on my way back to Singapore after a holiday trip. It turned out to be the biggest blunder as all ‘Nasha’ of the Bali trip evaporated in flat 2 hours.

People do lot of crazy things for their kids, sometimes, at their own peril/reputation. Yash Chopra is one such person. It must be some kind of ‘poetic justice’ that Uday Chopra is born to the legend who has given us classics like Trishul, Deewar. It seems story, screenplay, and direction of ‘Pyar Impossible’ (PI) is by Uday Chopra, and he, also, is the film’s Hero. Possibly, because no one else will dare to work in such a movie or that Uday can be Hero only in his own production setup.

It has a very ‘original and exciting’ story plot. Hero can not express his love during college, but as the luck would have it, he happens to meet the Heroine after 7 years. She is still ‘available’ due to divorce, but with an additional liability of a 6-year old daughter. Very clearly, after getting expelled from college, she wastes no time in getting married, and having a child within a year.

A reputed software company gives her job in Singapore as PR manager. She is a rash beauty queen of her college days, a drunkard, ameer baap ki beti, etc., who does not notice the Hero even when he saves her from drowning while in an inebriated state.

But, our Hero still loves her (Beauty matters!). After 7 years, he finally manages to win his true love with help of his would be step daughter. Thankfully, this person, unlike other heroes, has the need to do some work for living. He is a techno geek.

I am not going to elaborate the story further but will try to list some insights gathered from the movie.

  • Each movie nowadays has to have an English tagline (like our rallying cry). One for this goes something like ‘ A Beauty, A geek….(meaning) Pyar Impossible’. This throws some interesting conclusions. A beauty can not marry (at least love) a geek. Hence wife of a geek is unlikely to be beautiful unless they have love-less marriage. From my own experience of not being a geek, I can conclude that the converse of above is not true.
  • The name is inspired from ‘Mission Impossible’. There is also a very adventurous scene in which Hero is able to break security system of server of his company to access software code. He, being a Desi Hero, does not need anyone else unlike poor Tom Cruise who needed 3 more people in his mission.
  • My 7-year old son, probably, needs to go to the special school for the dumb (if there is one) when I compare his abilities with the wits and maturity of 6 year old daughter who brings the couple together. I had seen a similar exceptionally talented girl in ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. This girl is probably smarter, because she is not even enlightened by her mother’s annual birthday gift of letters. Just to give some more proof of her wisdom – she decides to stay at  her friend’s house so that the couple can meet in peace. She tells mom over the phone that she is watching ‘Sex and the City’ while mother tries to tell her that ‘Hannah Montana’ will be fine. She is better in judging people than her mother (that is why she selects Hero Vs Villain as her prospective father).
  • Misunderstanding is very common in movies. In this case, it reaches a new level. Hero comes to girls’ house for talking some software piracy issues but she thinks he is ‘Nanny’ for her nasty kid who has track record of ousting 6 of them in last 3 months. And Hero cannot clarify the purpose of his visit and accepts the job! He can not do any household chores and hence outsources the work to a 3rd party – heroine continues to think she has got a very smart nanny. Just a coincidence.
  • The most hilarious scene in the movie (there are many, so this decision is not easy and probably unfair to some other deserving scenes): Hero (in Nanny avatar) is expected to serve guests at Girls’ home, one of them being the villain from whom he wants to hide. So at every occasion he plays a ‘trick’ to avoid villain’s glance. Not once or twice but 4 times. One of those tricks is to serve with your posterior facing the guest while serving the Thai food presumably because it is a ‘Thai tradition’ to serve that way.
  • Daughter’s school has an annual function in which the teacher entrusts responsibility of setting an entertainment show to this 6 year old genius – some people have knack of spotting TDCs at a very early stage. The daughter is helped by our Hero, who has been given complete authority and access to setup the play. The Hero must have watched the movie ‘Karz’. He uses the song to remind the Heroine her past story (Ek Haseena Thi type) and that is how finally our lady gets enlightened.

Final conclusion: Unsure if it is a result of my long service in a multinational firm or general upbringing, but I have developed immense patience to watch such movies and still not lose my balance.

Gulzar: The Lyricist, Bharadwaj: The Director

I’ve always associated Vishal Bharadwaj with Gulzar, who gave him his first chance and then collaborated with him with great success.

It was interesting to find out that neither wanted to be what they are best known for today:

  • Sampooran Singh Gulzar, the amazing lyricist (adapted from Wikipedia): Bandini marked the debut of Gulzar, who was working as an assistant director on the film, as a film lyricist, initially having refused Bimal Roy on the offering saying that he didn’t want to become a lyricist. Gulzar relented only after film’s music director S.D. Burman convinced him so.
  • Vishal Bharadwaj, the amazing director (adapted from Wikipedia): Vishal Bhardwaj came to Mumbai to become a music composer, he took to directing movies only to create the opportunity to compose music.
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