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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,

 

Great Content

                  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.

 

Tremendous performers

                              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.

 

Realistic:

                  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.

 

Feel good:

                  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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Cricket Buff…but not a Dhoni fan

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

Won:5

Lost:15

  • 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

Captain Mat Won Lost Tied NR Win %
SC Ganguly 68 39 27 0 2 59.09
MS Dhoni 57 25 22 3 7 53.19
M Azharuddin 63 23 36 1 3 38.98
  • 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.

Watsapp Group – Lets Get together

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.

The Rise of the MUFFLER MAN

10th Feb 2015 is one such day that everyone has found a reason to be happy. The phenomenal rise of the AAM AADMI , the common man has made even the biggest of the critics to stop and take notice. But, as I keep looking at the visuals flipping the news channels, I am slowly realizing that this election and its results have given all of us a lesson. We the AAM AADMI, the non political breed can actually incorporate a lot of lessons from these elections in our day to day life. I am ecstatic, that I have got a day in my life, where we can actually take positives and life changing lessons from our political class.This is what I learnt from the great Indian political drama today,

LESSON 1 : Have an Opinion and take a stand

                                                                Rewind a few years back and all we can remember are the shamble that the country was in. Suddenly there comes an uprising that will someday make a good read in history books. An old man and his associates stage a protest which goes on to become a national hysteria. One of them realizes that just protests are not working and you have to enter the system. This little man had an opinion about our system, he believed in it decided to launch AAP.

                                                                                                                In our lives also lot of times we have our opinions but end up either shutting up or taking politically correct stands. This is purely due to the repercussions that we might have to face. We need to respect our own opinions and have the courage to stand up for them, people may or may not agree, but what is correct is always correct.

LESSON 2 : Take that big bold step

Here we have a man who was the Income tax commissioner, took a plunge into political dirt and came out pure. Most of us are ‘ALMOST’ people. We almost did a lot of things in our lives. The fact is , being almost there can ever be the same as actually being there. Time and again we have raised a leg and pulled it back thinking whether this step is too big for me. TAKE that bold first step, it might pull you back initially but might just give you the leap of your life.

LESSON 3 :Take people along,Be a team.

The success of AAP was never possible without the contributions of the foot soldiers or the other members.The members who believed in each other. Success can be bigger when a team looks for it. We need to learn to be a team man first and then when we become the leader the earlier team man will draw the huge respect from his current team. Arrogance and dictatorial nature can never lead to sustainable success.

LESSON 4 : Make Mistakes

We all have been brought up saying ‘Learn from others mistakes’ but we can never grow without making our share of mistakes. If we keep looking at others mistakes, we might end up achieving what they did, but will never explore our own horizons. Go, Try, Fail and try again. Take mistakes as commas and not the full stops in life.

 

LESSON 5 : Apologize

It cannot be ruled out that when we make mistakes, intentionally or otherwise, we might end up hurting lot of other people. ‘I Don’t give a damn’ attitude is the weakest response. Once you realize, go out and apologize. It might not correct the past mistakes but will help in restoring the faith. Yes it is true, that uttering the word ‘SORRY’ takes maximum courage and only the men of steel have that. 

LESSON 6 : Keep working at the grassroots

Lot of people, irrespective of whether they have succeeded or failed tend to move away from the grass roots. To be continually successful you need to keep working at the grassroot levels and keep trying to gauge the changin g nature of the dynamics at the lowest level. These little changes can bring about a paradigm change in the system.May be this is what the congress didn’t  do, during its 15 years of rule in Delhi.

 

LESSON 7 : Be loyal and reward loyalists.

Private or corporate jobs are more about switch today. But the age old adage of favouring the loyalist always pays. Imagine the plight of shazia ilmi, poor girl saw an opportunity and jumped, only to realize that she is in the wrong boat. On the other hane a certain Kiran bedi did not go down well with the old party loyalists. In an organization loyalty must be appreciated and appropriately rewarded.coz, u always need the people who know your organizations pulse. 

LESSON 8 : Be Humble

When over the moon, the most important thing is to have the feet grounded. Only someone who has the ability to stay calm under crisis and be humble in euphoria will reach the pinnacle.

LESSON 9: Make a style statement (of your own)

Lot of us try to be somebody and lose ourselves. A muffler  which was joked upon is slowly becoming an icon. A style statement, a piece of cloth that is today highly respected. Be what you are, wear, work and behave the way you want. Once you succeed, the walk , the talk that you made ,everything will become iconic.just be yourself.

AIB ROAST—– @#@$%#$$#%#^^$#@@

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…

 The Concept

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 Adaptation

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’

The Content

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.

Go, Exchange your Girl Child

PLAYYY TIME A lot of times , just a random discussion effects and teaches you so much that you realize how good your life has been or how lucky you are. Having a random discussion with my wife about her friend did exactly the same. A successful doctor himself,he had a baby boy a few years back. All was ok , a happy family till the parents realized that the child was autistic.

once the parents realized, it started a long and lengthy war for them and their child from this condition.for them life was never the same again. considering the negligible number of doctors or hospitals helping such kids in India, fathers routine now involved travelling four hours a day for therapy sessions hoping that they bore the desired results. With not much improvement , its time for some other therapy and so on. life now goes on trying to find the best possible treatment for the child. needless to say the huge expenses and little time for work now will make managing finances very very difficult.The worst part or the bigger trauma is that you dont know whether all this will ever work or not. its just following advices and treatments blindly. Honestly. they dont have a choice.

I dont understand the medical terms or complications but when i think of the parents i end up asking myself, WHAT EXACTLY DO THEY WANT??  The answer is simple, they just want their child to walk , talk and behave like the millions of other children in this world. they want him to bombard them with questions all the time. They want him to play , scream and shout and misbehave in the theatres or malls or everywhere. they want him to maker their life tiring but in a healthy way, thats what all they want.

Now to our own lives, whatever i mentioned above, is a norm in our household. how bugged are we at times with our children for the mess that they create at our homes or how embarassed they leave us at public places or for the never ending demands that they have.

The fact is , we don’t realise , how lucky are we to have such troubles at home or embarassments at public places. Ask the parents of these autistic children, and they will barter everything that they have for these embarassments. We got to realise and thank GOD, that we have children who are just the way should be. A happy healthy child is what all parents need.

Its very unfortunate, that those who are gifted with beautiful normal babies find issues like gender of the child or the skin colour. How shallow are we ,when we even think about the gender or the colour or even the star sign of the chlid. Autism, a simple google search reveals that 1 in every 68 children suffer from this disease and how easily we forget that our child could have easily been that 1 child.

I find it very unfortunate that we still have to preach people against aborting Female fetuses or the government needs to implement laws to prevent the killing of the girl child. People, lets just be thankful that the baby is what we expected it to be wthout any surprises from the God.

All those who are bothered about the gender and still take a girl child as a liability, may God give them a baby with special needs, then will they realise how stupid they have been. I dare them to GO, EXCHANGE THEIR GIRL CHILD with a kid with special needs , only then will they know what life can throw at them.

BE THANKFUL , BE HAPPY…….i got to leave,my son wants me to play cars with him. Thank you almighty and please give strength to all those parents who are not as lucky as me.

 

Junaid Khateeb is a proprietor Of Khateeb Engineering classes in Mumbai.

 

 

The ‘Other’ You

eeeks its 9 am again, rush ,rush, am getting delayed for the office,oops children need to be dropped to school. ah, time for my yoga class. Oh,i Got that Shitty submission today, yaar today is the deadline, yet again am not completing my targets…as the es thoughts and the seconds hand of the clock race ahead….STOP !!!!

As you read this, lets just take a pause in our lives for next few minutes, nothing matters for next 4 minutes, just you and me. Remember those slow motions in movies, now take a deep breath and in slow motion rewind your life as much as you can and try and remember watever you can ( i told you slow motion)…now you might have reached your younger days, may be adolosecent, now a little further away you childhood. am sure you now remember those lanes and their memories where you spend your childhood. your school mates and their funny ways. your colleges and canteens. ok now, pick up a day (from school or college) that you cherish the most…u got 5 seconds.

is it the day that you did your exam very well, or scored great grades or topped the class…NA, its something which by worldly ideologies is STUPID. it could be the day  you  played a great prank on your friend or the day your princi caught you doing stuff that was nonsense or may be just a day when you roamed around doing nothing.

but these STUPID,NONSENSE & NOTHING  things are your most cherished memories…. Are we making the same mistake again???

when in school, getting good grades was the most important thing everything else was irrelevant. today professional ambitions are the driving forces ,rest is irrelevant. do you think it will matter to you 20 yrs down the line??

agreed schooling was important and so are our professional responsibilities, but   remember that they are not ‘THE’ most important things.in fact let me ask you , how many of us are actually into jobs that  we like ?? or how many of us are doing what we had set out to achieve?? . Except for a fortunate few , majority is a resounding NO.

so what do we do,simple, each one of us has a secret (dont tell me u dont). That little poem which you wrote long back, that one click which you had got with your hot shot camera, that one lovely tune on your guitar that you had composed, or one beautiful swimming stroke that you had mastered. guess what , its STILL there inside you, each one of you.

Its never too late to begin, i am told Boman Irani started acting at the age of 44, and what an actor he turned out to be. we all saw what a Pravin Tambe , a 42 yr old leg spinner could do .Jk Rowling’s Harry potter took the world by a storm and yes Rowling was 32 when she penned it down. so go, grab your pen, your new poem is waiting to happen, go pick up your camera, there has never been a better day to shoot, go take one more dive in that pool again.and in times to come make sure these extremely irrelevant important things are not just a part of your past, make sure it becomes your today and everyday.

so no more excuses, get up you lazy bum , make time to do what you always wanted to do. in the hustle and bustle of this life, dont lose the ‘OTHER’ you , the REAL you.