Anyone travelling to India, will agree, that no visit to India is complete without visiting its maximum city, MUMBAI. Obviously, for any visitor the usual tourist spots like the Gateway of India or the Elephanta caves or Haji Ali Dargah are on the list,but ,if you are a tourist, who wants to feel the vibe of the city or wants to experience something,that only this city can offer, then here is the list for you :
Mumbai Local Trains:
If you are from USA or UK or any other western country, then am sure, you would have experienced the peak hour rush while travelling on the Undergroud in London or Subway in New york. But, when in Mumbai ,do experience the fun (and not so fun for many) of travelling in the mumbai local trains. One big difference s , that Mumbai locals are not closed unlike the underground or the subway. Trust me, the crowd on a non peak hour , will still be much higher than peak hour rush in any other country. My sincere advice is, no non Mumbaikar should try travelling at peak hours, just for the fun, visit just the station at peak hours and you will know what i mean.
Catch a Bollywood Movie:
Catching a Hollywood flick at Piccadily circus or a play at the West end or a musical at the Times square might be a routine for some of you, but watching a latest bollywood release in Mumbai is a very different or dare i say a better experience. I firmly believe, that movie going experience in mumbai in way better than most coountries in the world. The luxurious theatres, awsome services, never ending queue of patrons makes is so much fun. So , next time in Mumbai, do catch a bollywood flick on a Friday or a Saturday evening at one of the plush theatres near you.
Enjoy an IPL game:
For beginners , who do not follow cricket , let me just inform you, that cricket is India’s number 1 sport and Mumbai is one of the most important centres of the game. IPL (Indian Premier League), is Indias premium T20 Cricket tournament (similar to EPL ) but is played only in the months of April and May. Even if you dont understand cricket, visiting the Landmark Wankhede stadium for a game ,just for the experience ,will be well worth it. 33000 screaming fans, never ending energy,deafening sound, its difficult to match up anywhere in the world.just make sure, that you book your tickets well in advance.
Ride an Auto Rickshaw :
Public transport ,across the globe comes in various shapes and sizes, but nothing like an auto rickshaw. People ,who have traveled to Thailand, might find it similar to tuk-tuk’s , but auto rickshaws are much cheaper and easily available,do take a ride.
Visit a Ganpati Pandal:
Though, India is a country of festivals, in Mumbai, nothing compares to Ganesh chaturthi. If you are around during this festival (around aug-sept every year) , a visit to a local Ganpati Pandal will be an experience of a lifetime. The beautiful decor, courteous people, awesome mithai (sweets) distributed as sweets and long queues of devotees , makes it one of a kind. When in lords city, do visit him, its enriching.
Mumbai offers world cuisine and wherever you are from, you will find your food. But, mumbai street food is one of its kind. You should surely sample Vada Pav ,Pav Bhaji and Pani puri in Mumbai. Though, maker sure you make a request for a non spicy one.
The last thing you should buy in Mumbai ,are brands. you can always buy them in your home city. Mumbai, offers huge amount of street shopping right from apparel to books to beauty products to everything. If , you can bargain well, you will end up buying a whole lot of stuff, whithout causing a hole in your pockets.
It is that time of the year,when almost everyone is gearing up for the New years. There are folks,who have been making never ending plans. There are some, who are trying to shed the extra kilos. Some are still hunting for ‘that’ stunning dress they gonna wear and then there is me (or people like me) who don’t have a plan for the new years eve and we do not intend to make one.
Its not, that I have not done that ever.In the growing up years, as a teenager , we used to get all excited about the new years. Wanted to see the glam parties and the stuff that goes on.But, that attraction and interest didn’t last long and here are the reasons.
You might be in the middle of the most chaotic time in your personal life or might be going through the worst appraisal at work, but you still need to party.
If, I ask why?
Dude its 31st, how can you not party, the whole world is partying. Lots of people end up at parties so that, they do not feel alienated. you party ,when you want to or when you are really happy, and not just for the heck of it.
You enter any party venue, and then there are a million people stacked in there. These events are always oversold and not to mention the gate crashers. I always felt that at least 30% crowd at such bashes are actually gate crashers. With such a sea of human flesh around, you start feeling suffocated in those small and closed venues. The dance floor is non-existent, there are never ending queues at the buffet counters.we Indians are any which ways never short of crowds. Be it trains,buses ,metros or even streets, please spare me at a party at least. I am here to enjoy!!!!
Free Pass hoarders:
Come December and everybody starts looking for a free invite or a free pass to some new year bash. Lots of people manage to get those and you can actually look at them and recognize when they arrive at the venue. These are those, who are trying to make the most of the opportunity .At times, ill behaved ,loud and in a herd.
Though I am a non-drinker but, have friends who do drink and I have been out with them on multiple occasions. Drinking to enjoy the drink and drinking to get drunk, are two different things. I fail to understand why, but lot of times, even affluent people ,tend to lose their mind ,when they are offered unlimited drinks. They try to gulp a gallon down before the twilight. As the night progresses, these dancing drums of all possible spirits , start with their un describable dance moves and then graduate to throwing up. These sights are unbearable.
Over hyped :
Over the years, I realized all these parties are just over hyped. They are all the same. The themes ,which are used for marketing purposes are ridiculously untrue. From the Russian theme party to the Brazilian samba to moon and back and what not.They just don’t justify the sales pitch.
Any invite to a decent venue is priced from 5K onward ,and the for a 5 star event , they start at 10K. Even the hotel rooms are priced atrociously.Remember, they are exactly the same facilities which are sold at 5 times the price.Honestly, I never found a party,which was actually worth the price we had paid for the invite. In fact, the same hotels and venues offer much better services and quality on the other days.
New years eve , and how can I not mention the traffic. From the by lanes to the highways everything is jam packed. Every car in town is on the road and so are all taxis. The traffic ,starts to build up from early evening and remains the same through the night. The millions walking on streets or near beaches ,start jay walking bring the traffic movement to a crawl.
So what do I do on New years eve?
Well, for me its like an everyday evening. Just that, I don’t go out. Am home and that’s about it.
Let me start by getting into the minds of the cricket fans in India. We live all our childhood playing gully cricket and at the same times following everything that has got something to do remotely with bat and ball. Forget international games, we spend lot of our time in our young days playing and watching local tournaments ,box cricket tournaments and school tourneys on gymkhana grounds.
At some stage in our lives everybody has wanted to be a Gavaskar or Kapil Dev or a Tendulkar. For us they are not just cricketers or just stars , we all see a part of them in ourselves. It might be an absolute illusion, but that’s why the words ‘CRAZY’ & ‘FAN’ always go together.
Most of us will know the statistics of these heroes and their performances.we have heard experts & commentators discussing and analyzing their techniques a thousand times. So at least we feel that we know a lot about them, but obviously that is not true.
When Sachin tendulkar’s restaurant called TENDULKAR’S had opened in Mumbai, I went their time and again for dinners, this inspite that the food was pretty average.The reason was simple, I never went there for food, I went their to see the memorabilia that he had kept there. His bats,jerseys,trophies etc. we were thrilled looking at them from close ,as it made us feel that we are in touching distance of our hero. That’s how the fans think.
On Thursday 29th Sept , I was at PVR ICON, Andheri ,Mumbai to catch another movie and was thrilled when I got to know that M.S. Dhoni, himself was present in the audi for the premiere of his movie. Not that, we got any special treatment, but , just that he was in the same campus as I, it made my evening. That’s how the fans think.
The list of Bollywood releases for the year 2016 got sports fans really excited ,as the list mentioned AZHAR , M.S.DHONI and a movie on SACHIN slated for release. The IPL fever was at its highest when AZHAR finally released, no points for guessing ,I did watch it and sadly walked out of the theatre very very disappointed.
Today I walk out of M.S. Dhoni (the movie) and I am disappointed again.
The so-called biopics that Bollywood makes, have always been a disappointment as first and foremost they have to be politically correct. These movies talk about those aspects of their life or career, which are known to all the fans.Add to that, all the masala that is added to make it a commercial success.
We go into the movie hall, wanting to see and know the ‘OTHER’ side of our heroes, but unfortunately that is non-existent. Also, apart from the struggle , we want to know about the feelings that they went through when they made correct as well as incorrect decisions. The world talked about it, but what was it within their minds. If the unspoken has to remain unspoken, why have a biopic??
What I Got to See in M.S. DHONI, the movie
- His early childhood ands passion for the game.
- Hurdles he faced on his way up.
- The steps he climbed on the way to the top.
Apart from point no 1, I guess the fans knew the other 2. So how is watching this movie different from reading the daily newspapers.
What I (as a fan) wanted to see in the movie.
- His childhood
- What was he told when he was handed over the captaincy. (remember , it was in very controversial scenario)
- What was he thinking when he handed the ball to Joginder sharma in the penultimate over of the 2007 T20 world cup.
- What was the reaction of yuvraj, when suddenly Dhoni decided to bat ahead of him in the 2011 WC finals.
- How did he feel to be ‘AUCTIONED’ in the IPL in its inaugural year.
- What he felt about the failures that he faced as a TEST captain overseas.
These are just some of the questions, the list can go on and on.
The movies don’t present both the sides of a coin. I am not mentioning AZHAR at all, as it was a disaster from the first scene to the last one.
DEAR MAKERS, WE WANT TO SEE THE PERSONALITY OF THESE HEROES FROM WITHIN THEIR REAL MINDS.
What they appear or do superficially is known to all of us.
If 3 hours is not sufficient to do justice to all aspects, why make it?
HOW ABOUT A WEB SERIES??
WE FEEL CHEATED AFTER WATCHING SUCH BIOPICS.
As I recline my seat and make myself comfortable for watching the latest Bollywood release in a nearby Multiplex, I am surprised when the multiplex plays a trailer of a to be released Marathi movie. Am impressed with the promo, the plot looks good and so is the treatment of the subject, but though I appreciate the promo I don’t make any plans of catching that movie the following week.
As my Bollywood pot boiler unfolds , my disappointment increases with every frame as the movie goes from bad to worse and I just wait for it to get over. Well, I am not surprised thou, as I had fair idea that it was not going to be great and honestly I just came in as it was the most promoted and talked about big banner release with mega stars. Also this was not the first time that I was watching a big banner bull shit, where the makers had succeeded in luring me into their film.
Now as I walk out of this much hyped ,zero on content melodramatic nonsense, I start questioning my sensibilities as too why on earth are we awestruck just by Bollywood, when the regional language makers are churning out a more sensible stuff.
We the people of Maharashtra (me included) have been always guilty of going for the glam quotient without giving a proper thought to the Marathi options that we have. I feel that it’s time we start giving Marathi Movies their due and I have 5 reasons to do so,
The Marathi releases that we have seen in recent past have been great in content, where the writers still hold the forte and are given the due importance. Unlike Bollywood, the emphasis is not just on the scale but also on the story that needs to be told.
It’s a known fact that most actors in these movies are from theatre background and hence are tremendous performers.From Sachin Khedekar to Swapnil Joshi to Sonali kulkarni to Atul Kulkarni and many many more. These are brilliant performers and essay their part with so much ease and are so convincing. These guys don’t need over the top dialogues or reactions to put across their stuff.
Grey cells come alive:
Lot of times these movies touch upon sensitive topic that they actually make you think. We are more often than not worried about the world issues rather than issues closer to the home. These movies remind us about them once in a while.
These movies are not always about billion dollar business magnets or an army basher individual super hero, but most times they are about people like you and me and our lives. Looking at characters you can believe that they exist and you might bump into one of them any moment in your life.
Reading through the write up, if you thought that these movies are less of entertainment and more of a documentary, let me warn you, you will be pleasantly surprised at the lively treatment of the subjects. Good music and locales are part of all these movies off late. So never low on entertainment quotient.
FINALLY: I don’t want a diktat from Shiv Sena or MNS or someone else about the number of shows or timings etc. all of us who understand Marathi should give good content a chance to grow. Am sure if we do, the industry grows , so does the language and most importantly we have great content to keep us entertained.
GO BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As the ICC cricket world cup 2015 came to a close, the indian team, though having lost the semi final,still made the country proud. The team undoubtedly performed way above the expectation and dominated almost every team till they ran into the rampaging Aussies.
The success of the Indian team was attributed to the captain cool, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the media went all out praising the best Indian captain ever. Though, I am a die hard cricket fan and love to see Dhoni when he gets going but I am still not a diehard MSD fan. Also,I firmly believe that he might be the most successful Indian captain ever but not the best captain that India has ever had. Well, here is my argument,
- Test matches
Agreed that Dhoni has an enviable ODI record, but the true test of a captain is the test matches.In alien conditions against top notch opposition Dhoni’s Win/Loss ratio is something that is best forgotten.All other previous Indian captains too had an impotent pace bowling attacks.
Dhoni Overseas Tests:
Number of matches :30
- Home conditions:
Dhoni is at his best when slow bowlers are tightening the noose around the batsmen and the ball is difficult to get away.that is why he has a tremendous record at home.On foreign soil ,where this formula doesn’t work, he is at total loss of ideas.
Dhoni ODI record-outside asia
- Test batsman:
We all know what a fantastic player Adam Gilchrist was and even in tests he would walk out to face the second new ball and destroy the opposition. How many times has Dhoni done that?? .Also it is a well known fact that Dhoni is susceptible to good fast bowling in swinging conditions. As a test batsman, he has never been a threat to the opposition.
- Team building:
We all know, what was the state of Indian cricket team when Sourav Ganguly took over. In comparision ,Dhoni inherited a team which was well settled and trying to win by playing aggresively. A feature that was never in built, but was installed by SOURAV GANGULY.
- IPL Effect:
Dhoni has been helped a great deal as all his team members have played IPL. They are used to high pressure situations and have been there and done that.They are used to crowds and have played against top class players. So,when they are picked up for national side,they are never intimidated by the occasion. All previous captains got players ,who had just played Ranji games and maybe in front of 100 odd spectators,they took more time to find their feet in international arena.
- Selection policy:
I have always felt that Dhoni’s Indian team has too much of CSK influence. Jadeja was groomed (though still not fit for games abroad) but not enough chnces were given to amit mishra or a rahul sharma or so many others. Even when ashwin was not performing well, no other spinner was picked up. I still don’t believe that Axar never got a game ahead of Jadeja in the WC2015.
- Cool as a Cucumber:
Yess, that’s a tremendous trait, but if we look at the most successful captains in the past, say an Imran Khan,or Steve Waugh or an Arjuna Ranatunga, they were cool, but occasional reactions from them kept players on their toes.Remember, How Sourav Ganguly got under the skin of the Aussies ,just by delaying the toss, isnt that an aspect of captaincy.
- ICC events:
Am happy that India has done so well in the ICC events in the past few years, but I feel I is the collective gain from many of the previously discussed factors. True, Dhoni also is responsible for this success, but its not entirely Dhoni.
For Dhoni, numbers might be in his favour,he is a great ambassador for the game, But for me ,the best captain that India has ever had is SOURAV GANGULY.
He redefined Indian cricket and that’s what we love him for.
It just cannot be denied that Facebook and Watsapp have done wonders in bringing back lost contacts into our lives. Old friends ,family members, classmates,college mates, the train gangs , you name it and you have a group for it. Being part of a dozen groups is pretty normal for even the least social souls.With these groups ,there came the idea of reunions and organizing meetings with old pals. An occasional outstation trip or just a mere dinner ,its discussed exhaustively in every group. The restaurants , the hotels ,banquets etc. are not complaining, but before the gala event happens, the biggest hurdle is to get the gang going, this is when the organazing team bumps into the following members in the group.Go on,read it and identify yourself.
- The Ever Enthusiastic :
Every group will have a member(s), who are constantly trying to organize a get together. They are available 24X7, 365 days and are always ‘IN’ for a trip. Be it for a trip to local panipuri wala or the Alps, their bags are always ready to go.
- The Busybee:
Now, this guy/gal is the busiest person alive. Even if you plan a trip on 30th Feb,this member will have a prior appointment and needless to say it cannot be cancelled. At times you feel that it is easier to accomodate Barack Obama in your schedule than this Busybee.
- The Budget maniac:
If you offer this member a Mumbai- Delhi return flight at 500 Rupees, he/She will find it overpriced and will demand a better pricing.Nothing in the world can convince them that the trip cannot be made at a price lower than that, and more often than not they will never have better options to give, so just bug the group.
- All in a Family:
Yaar Mummy-Papa /In Laws/Spouse allow nahi karenge. These kinds need to patao their family for travelling from their bedroom to the living room.They are constantly looking for a friend who can bell the cat at home.But lot of times the other members make sure that they stay out of it.
- Early Bird:
No no, its not the person who arrives early. This member will arrive at the get together seated in a car coming in for a pit stop. The only thing that this member will talk about is, that He/She has to leave early and the 229 reasons for that. Other members reaction ‘YE AAYA/AAYI HI KYUN’.
- Last Minute Jerk:
Am sure this fellow is the most hated member of the group. He/She has a reputation of cancelling or dropping out of the plans at the very last minute. Something so urgent has to come up (Always) that they don’t have an option but to cancel. Everyones resolution, and messages on personal chat says “WE WILL NEVER INVITE THIS FELLOW AGAIN EVER”.
- Queen Bee:
This is the most popular /prettiest gal in the group. Attendance of lot of members (read guys) depends on her presence at the gathering.If she doesn’t confirm early, a lot of replies will see ‘I will Try’. The moment she confirms, those tries become affirmations.
- The Dead :
Every group will have members who are just readers. You might at times get replies from tombs but not these guys. They are silent readers who wont even bother to even acknowledge any references made to them. They definitely top my HATE LIST.
- The Awkward one:
This now includes those members who really want to join in, but are scared of the awkwardness that he/She might have to deal with.Coz,amongst the members planning to attend are the Ex’s or friends turned foes or that one face you were happy to have forgotten.
- The unknown member:
There is this member (from school,college) who no one remembers , but is the most vocal on the group.People respond to this members remarks just to be polite , followed by a series of msgs to their best friends personal chat, “Yeh Kaun Stupid hai,I don’t even know Him/Her”, and guess wat the other person is as clue less.
- The Travel monster:
To this member the venue is always an issue. A 15 minute Rickshaw ride is way too far and always wants the place to be little closer.The best way to tackle this member is to send a Dominos home delivery.
As I Sit down to write this on my breakfast table, I know tat I am seeking audience to two completely different set of readers. AIB-Roast with Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh , the talk of the town for the past two days, has generated two extreme responses. First, the ones who loved it for its COOL quotient, and the others who got a cultural shock looking at the concept it self.
Personally, I went to you tube to figure out what exactly was the noise about, bumped into links where the entire thing was divided in three parts and I made it a point that I go through all three videos. At the end of it somehow I could not convince myself to like the ‘COOL’ nature of the show and for me it was anything but cool. Now,Now, before some of you get into the roast mode and throw all those expletives at me for being the typical desi and an out of sync and mind individual, I will give you my side of the story…
As a starter, the roast as defined by wikipedia is
‘A roast is an event in which a specific individual, a guest of honor, is subjected to good-natured jokes at their expense intended to amuse the event’s wider audience. This type of event was created as a mock counter to a toast. Such events are intended to honor a specific individual in a unique way. In addition to jokes and insults, such events may also involve genuine praise and tributes. The implication is that the roastee is able to take the jokes in good humor and not as serious criticism or insult, and it is seen by some as a great honor to be roasted. The individual is surrounded by friends, fans, and well-wishers, who can receive some of the same treatment as well during the course of the evening. The party and presentation itself are both referred to as a “roast.” The host of the event is called the “roastmaster.” Anyone who is honored in such a way is said to have been “roasted.”’
Aping Hollywood blindly has been the favorite inspirational activity in Bollywood since its inception. I do welcome the idea of learning and being inspired from everywhere including Honolulu and Zambia, but the question is what should inspire you and what should not.India has seen so many horrific adaptations of Hollywood in Bollywood and we still refuse to let it go. The fact that the American society lives works and thinks in a different way altogether makes lot of things fairly normal to them. So when they do it, they are being themselves and hence they manage to carry it off well.We on the other hand make a mockery of ourselves just by trying to be them.
The concept of Roast includes being truthful and this also includes some genuine praise.AIB, never had any, may be either the people being roasted had never really done any good or may be the makers didn’t want to include it in the show and make it less filthier. Somewhere the makers made a statement that, in our society more the filth ,more it sells. Now if thats the mentality that’s ‘FILTH’
Well good writing has never been the key issue for our makers, but for AIB guys pretending to be creative,I feel they are far from it .Every writer will agree that writing humour is the most difficult thing to do, but writing outrageous things is not. These guys failed at that too. All their jokes were one dimensional , the only difference was the expletives and metaphors.for instance,
For Ashish : All jokes were on his skin colour.
For Tanmay : Everything started and ended with the diameter of his waist.
For Rohan : That he was cute with no credentials. Etc..
Even for the guest,
For Karan Johar : on his sexual preferences (..and that is something which has never been joked upon before)
For Arjun : I wish he had cleared his 12th grade….then at least they would have thought about something else.
For Ranveer : Women……. Deepika…… Women …..Deepika….and yes women.
The Cool Quotient
Agreed that the society needs to open its mind and stop being touchy about everything. Agreed that expletives are a part of day to day vocabulary and am not complaining about it. But using them just for the heck of it is definitely not COOL. We need to get out of the perception that being half western is cool. They have not become what they are by being someone else. If your upbringing has been like that, then it reflects in you all the time, you don’t need to pretend, and if you need to pretend, then…you know what I mean.
Finally…My two cents
Guys , yess we need to have an open mind and if needed learn from west, east or elsewhere but there are so many issues where they are light years ahead, all we do is pick up the ones that need least effort.Cant we have a similar show, where truth is spoken , good or bad without the stinky humour. Cant an entertaining roast be made without a mucky recipe?? But for that to happen ,we need seriously creative writing which we have failed to unearth. Its when the content is weak you need all the masala to make it interesting and that’s what humour today is all about. I absolutely fail to understand what the show aims to achieve or prove.The funniest part was ,that it was for charity. Well well, people I guess have done much much bigger charities without being cheap.
I belong to the same generation as you , but for me still, Hrishikesh Mukherjee style humour is far more COOLER than those cheap Ekta kapoor comics.