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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Is CWG preparation really so bad?

The logo of 2010 Commonwealth Games
Image via Wikipedia

Contributed by Pradeep Mittal

It is almost 3 months now a lot is being written about India‘s unpreparedness on the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG) venue preparation. It makes me wonder if things are really so bad on ground or is it that too much is being demanded?

India caters to 1.1bn+ people which is 1/6th population of earth but without having access to 1/6th of resources of earth. This inequality does give rise to income disparity and purchasing power disparity which eventually gives rise to cumulative way of living.

Hospitality sector in India is one of the best but still people prefer to go out for vacation; India has all weather conditions and all types of terrain to enjoy but still tourists are few? Does it mean India is bad…I don’t think so! Today westerners come to India looking for eternal peace and Indians are going across the globe looking for materialistic gains.

CWG games would be done and eventually nobody would even remember what was done in opening ceremony or how many people had to toil to make them happen. Nonetheless corruption is cancer and it needs to be uprooted in every society of world!

Why do Jeffrey Archer’s soaps impress people?

For a long part of my life – about 10 years – Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer was my favorite novel. Then, I read several other books by Jeffrey Archer. He used to, and I believe even now does, have a strong fan following in India; I never understood how that happened.

Recently, I got hooked on to audiobooks. I have listened to books, such as The Millenium Trilogy, Freakonomics, Harry Potters, and The Book Thief. Out of nowhere, I decided to revisit Jeffrey Archer after a long time. I think the last book of his that I read was A Matter of Honour about 5 years back.

Now, I am listening to A Prisoner of Birth.

And I realize I still feel the same way about this author.

He has a unique skill in writing; I feel it is the ability of making a complicated plot very easy to follow. It was amazing how he converts a soap opera – romance, suspense, treachery, family feuds – into a mesmerizing read. You don’t feel like you need to go back and forth. you don’t need to remember anything odd that might have happened in the past. The mystery follows. The story etches itself in the mind of the reader It is almost like the current chapter gives rise to the next one and so on.

The Book Thief

I have had the fortune of reading some good books and these include famous ones, such as LOTR, Harry Potters, the Millenium Trilogy. Those were great stories told in a captivating manner. But, it was the stories that kept me engaged. I continue to be mesmerized by To Kill a Mockingbird for the strong story and the simplicity of the writing!

A couple of months ago, I decided to send a book as a gift to a young girl in India. This time, however, I decided to take a chance, trust my ability to interpret web reviews, and send a book that I have not read previously. Among the many books reviewed on the web, two caught my attention:

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  2. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Journey to Change the World…One Child At A Time – Young Reader’s Edition by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

I sent her “Three Cups of Tea…” and I have not yet read it.

But, recently, I managed to read and listen (audio CD), The Book Thief myself. The fictional story is about a young girl growing in Nazi Germany, meeting many people, and learning a few things about life as she is stealing books to read.

No other book has managed to fascinate me this much in recent memory.

Among many things, this is a thought-provoking book: I think it is about reading; It is about the power of words and the realization of what can be achieved through them.

“”Blood leaked from her nose and licked at her lips. Her eyes had blackened. Cuts had opened up and a series of wounds were rising to the surface of her skin. All from words. From Liesel’s words.”

I was immediately hooked on by the spectacular writing style, an engaging play of words, and the metaphoric poetic language. The formatting is very different – I have never read a book formatted this way. It has one line paragraphs, incorrect (?) sentences –  “The sound of an explosion.”, one page chapters – all designed very carefully and thoughtfully. The cover page with the dominoes is brilliant!

I wished the book never ended.

And it sure makes an enjoyable read if the narrator is Death and he says things such as the following:

  • “It kills me sometimes, how people die.”
  • On War: “A small but noteworthy note. I’ve seen so many young men over the years who think they’re running at other young men. They are not. They are running at me.”

Live traffic feed at blogs

Unaccustomed Earth is a blog written by a youngster (by my standards!).

Recently, when I visited the blog, I noticed that the Right Hand Column shows the locations of the latest visitors of the blog. I have noticed this at some other blogs too.

While it sounds like a good idea, I find it a bit distracting or, perhaps, obtrusive. It seems like part of my identity is being showcased publicly, at least to and by the owner of the blog. If a visitor is from a  place like Delhi or New York, there could be some solace, since there are many people from these areas that visit that blog. But, I am sure there are not many visiting from “Moline, IL”.

I know that this information can be easily had from the backend of the blogging platform. But, displaying such details (location, last arrived) of each blogger feels, for some reason, odd. It is worse if someone wants to respond to a blog anonymously.

What is more important: the person or our religions?

I am not non-religious; I am anti-religious. I believe that the absence of religion will bring more peace and stability to the world. In any case, religion, as a means to ensure  compliance with “good” has lots its significance, with “legal” rules defining governance, in general.

I have seen several “inter-caste” couples, which is still pretty unacceptable for the majority of India. But, personally, I had not seen couples that have had inter-religious weddings.

But, recently, I got in touch with a  friend, who married someone in a different religion. That is even one step farther than “inter-caste.” It seems they did have their religious differences, which led to arguments. But, at the end, she said, “I thought, what is more important: the person or our religions?” And since then, she feels it has been fine.

But, the above approach is hard, very hard. My friend, herself said that it was very hard. I say it is hard, because, I have seen or heard of  parents breaking off relations with their child due to inter-caste, inter-religion marriages. I have also heard of parents breaking off relations just because their catholic daughter decided to marry a protestant guy! Essentially, religious differences and intolerance can sever even a parent-child relation!

So, in some way, I appreciate the approach this couple took! I foresee a future without religion, but if it is even full of people, who inherently believe that people are more important than religion, it will still be fine.

… I hope.

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