Sunday, December 21, 2014

PK @ Schools!

PK @ Schools!

There are genres of cinema and then there is this Raju Hirani genre which keeps things pretty simple for all of its patrons. Raju has completed a decade since when he delivered his first directorial masterpiece in Munna Bhai MBBS & had directed just 3 of them in all before conceiving his current offering.

Like his name, all of Raju's work is always effortless and soothing. It never fails to dial the 'right' number with the audience and there never is a dull moment throughout the entire length of his brand of 'Panchatantra' stories. Seldom would they be laced with cinematographic brilliance or special effects that other less accomplished filmmakers (are obliged to) inject in their otherwise substandard works.

PK is yet another superbly cured wine from this simpleton's winery which took no less than five years of ageing in the casks before being finally found worthy of getting served to its restless connoisseurs! Its smooth blend hits you hard when you are still relishing its sweet aroma while sipping it gently like there is no other nectar that could enbalm your wounded nerves!

I am not for star / hero worshipping and for all his well advertized (and even better paid) works for social causes I in fact started doubting if there is any genuine intent behind them but thankfully that dilemma just can't take away the merits in Aamir's portrayal of any of his characters on silver screen. He has indisputably been the finest 'commercial' actor for the last quarter of century. In PK also, with his 'gaped' eyes, protruding ear lobes, unabashedly donned clown-like wardrobe and never seen before mannerisms he brings the alien to life and makes him so realistically believable.

It was a real pleasant surprise to find one of the finest actors of yesteryears Parikshit Sahni making his presence felt in a small yet powerful role. All others including Sanjay Dutt, Sushant Singh, Saurabh Shukla & Boman Irani play their parts with elan but Anushka managed to surprise for the simple reason that she didn't get to enact such light yet sensitive roles ever!

Though it might look more than merely inspired by "Oh My God!" PK stands out in originality quotient for its script which glides the viewer on its feathery narration.

Only a Raju Hirani could afford to crack jokes on condoms and downplay an otherwise not-so-aesthetic looking (and sounding) visual as "dancing car" without making a mother least uncomfortable while her young kid is going insane over the interwoven comedy. Just don't miss this unmistakably delightful pudding. I won't mind treating myself with another helping.

Now, if I were to be PK for just one day I would undoubtedly like to review the security apparatus of the schools. I am sure that they are not so callous anyway but the last Tuesday's tragedy across the border has numbed even the heartless souls and if ever there was a need to make wholesome changes in the way our young generation's temples of learning ensure their impregnability, it is NOW!

While I don't wish to sound pompous on the subject for my knowledge of the subject (security @ schools) is zilch I strongly believe that for the sheer unpredictability of any unenvisaged horror it is mighty impossible to render a fool-proof status to the security of even a school that charges top dollar from its patrons.

Given the underlying practical & logistical challenges while protecting our hapless children from the onslaught of any evil powers it is worth while to explore means and methods to minimize the damage should such a heinous eventuality were to ever unfold anywhere. A labyrinth like access (Chakravyuh of Mahabharata) for the school premises is the need of the hour. For all the routine inconvenience it might entail there is no better way to keep a better vigil on the surroundings than to have a single entry point (of course the exits have to be as many as is possible). Once this is ensured the next line of defense is to make the advance alert mechanism as swift & efficient to cover the last mile connectivity in a seamless manner.

Some food for thought to ponder (or laugh) over!

(C) Rits Original

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hey, Murph!!

Hey, Murph!!

"Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light!!"

It's been ages since a celluloid prophecy has caught my imagination so much to have a profound impact on my very being! It's the above universally popular 'Interstellar' quote that sums up the crescendo I have so painstakingly been building over the last 2085 days since 11th March 2009 when it all started. And yes, today (24th Nov. 2014) was the day when it's all over! (Or is it?)

Global warming notwithstanding the last six summers have felt excruciatingly painful (and sinful) like they did never before. All the intervening monsoons couldn't help douse the burning fire from within all this while for it indeed was the morphine-soaked 'dead' wood which would give the illusion of some spark somewhere. It would be an understatement to say that the usually not so harsh Mumbai winter nights would keep inducing a shudder in my spine out of nowhere and the fear of unknown wouldn't allow its intensity to recede for one moment.

All this while I would keep myself pumped up by feeding myself with a mind bug (like they have song bug) to reinforce the recently turned famous 'Cooper' dictum that Murphy’s law doesn’t mean that something bad will happen. It means that whatever can happen, will happen.

It did help to have an absolutely endearing breed of well wishers around who would keep egging my spirits on by showering me with their ceaseless stream of words of wisdom. I don't have enough words to express my gratitude to such unconditional support and unadulterated affection I have been privileged to receive in bucketfuls from them in my hour of crisis. To all those guys, if you are reading this I just wanna tell you that today it's not me who stands victor but it's indeed your faith in my adopted 'approach' and the chosen 'instruments' that have eventually stood through the test of time. Hats off to you all of my honeys! Just remember that if ever you jumped off a bridge, I wouldn’t jump with you. I’d be at the bottom waiting to catch you idiot.

There were lot of 'doubters' who would care as much for me but would always try to intimidate me with the consequences if I didn't go the tried (and possibly 99% tested as well) way to get myself 'freed' from the clutches of the cruel time which is mercilessly agnostic to any human emotions. I would gently snub them while being equally thankful for their concern for me. To them all I can now proudly claim that afterall I haven't let them down.

Even mythology is inundated with references of sea monsters having sharp teeth and I am referring to a real life scene! It's bound to have at least few of them who quite scarily would camouflage their fangs in muslin cloth. To them also I have only a word of gratitude since it's their (often brutal) cynicism only that my "alter ego" would relish as a parasite and but for their below-the-belt hitting I wouldn't probably have gone the full distance. Respect guys!

(C) Rits Original

P.s.: I do sincerely apologize to all those who are still struggling to bridge the gap between fiction and reality. Just a humble spoiler for them, pls don't rush to extract your wisdom tooth as yet for it's not really worth the attendant pain ;)

Oh DDLJ, come back just for one more time!

Oh DDLJ, come back just for one more time!

20th October 1995, the entire day's proceedings is still as unobtrusively etched in my mind as that of the hour which just went by!

It was the freshers' day @ MBM Engg. College, Jodhpur and after over two months of 'entertaining' our seniors from four different batches (yes, there was an 'old' final year too!) It was the day of emancipation for 320 young souls.

The stage was set as early in the evening all of the class made merry on their newly found "self respect" which indeed ceased to exist all this while (not sure if today's generation still is subjected to such systemic customs) in the sprawling lawns and right in front of the majestic Mugnee Ram Ji's bust.

Nobody was in a mood to let the fun n frolic dampen by leaving the scene any time soon but it also happened to be the day when the most awaited DDLJ got released and 300+ young guns dancing on its oh-so-mesmerising sound track would have just made for a custom package!

'Kohinoor' was the lucky theater to have the privilege of screening this epic but it certainly was not ready for a psunami that was taking shape for the day's night show!

I was one of the few lucky early entrants and could find my seat somewhere as it got apparent that the management had over booked for the show (poor airlines, they didn't start the trend of this menace of eating more than they could chew) and very soon we were staring into a chaos!

Within no time I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw couple of dozen of my classmates dancing like they would do on streets in their best buddy's wedding. I used to be quite a 'recluse' in those days so even as after the initial 'shock' I too secretly longed to join the fun I couldn't muster the courage, both out of my self-imposed 'sanity' & the fear of possibly getting roughened up by the management besides my name getting reported to the dreaded Dean Saab!

Patrons couldn't have enough of a carelessly prancing Kajol with gay abandon to the still humming Jatin Lalit melody "Mere Khaabon me Jo Aaye" and had to console their sunken hearts once she had to return to normalcy after the great Anand Bakshi ran out of steam to feed the awe inspiring Lata Ji's voice. Then the unthinkable happened as the screen went blank and we realized that there was some commotion in front of the projector room.

Next few minutes could have brought the parliament down as just about everyone got berserk with this totally uncalled for interruption. But... The screen lit up and we had to rub our eyes in disbelief when we noticed SRK in his famous "slow motion run with the ball" and Kajol playing with her towel, yet again!!

Everybody was like, "what the heck this is?" but was there any idiot to complain? One more opportunity to bring the house down and was I to let this God sent privilege go, again! Ah, what merry and what jubilation that was! Even those with their families, after their initial scorn of course, joined the fun for the next three hours.

Later we got to know that some of the 'well built' Dil-jale's who had made a late entry indeed were to be thanked for this windfall (oops, another on-screen rainfall) that none of us would be able to forget during our life time.

Gone are the days, gone is the spirit! Long live the DDLJ team for what you had unwittingly done to an entire generation. Respect!

(C) Rits Original

Sunday, November 9, 2014

My experience with Uber

My experience with Uber

After reading through how RBI perceives its lack of two factor authentication while directly charging its registered customers' credit cards, like many others I was also suspicious and jittery in giving Uber a chance (fearing an imaginary fraud on my "stored" credit card somewhere). So even as I had downloaded its app and had my credit card also verified by its servers I didn't bite the bullet until recently and when I reluctantly did, what awaited me was an absolutely pleasant surprise!

Within municipal limits of the cities where Uber is present (and I realized that it's there in most of the metros while steadily increasing its footprint in all the tier-2 cities as well) you just don't need to plan for booking your cab unlike the days of the likes of the utterly disgusting Meru which even after taking booking in advance won't care to inform that half of the time they won't "like to" honour the commitment made (obviously for want of a "farther" customer). I could NEVER rely on any of them & barring exception on a countable instances almost always ended up cursing myself for having put my faith where there was no propriety in the first place!

Now Uber makes it easy by being available to you virtually anywhere in the city at merely a click! Just tap on to your app few times as n when you wish to make a move. Lo and behold! It's there for you, mostly in about the same time you would end up engaging a cabbie running his black and yellow one.

As it claims, Uber is indeed your private driver. Some of the unique features of Uber are as under.
- Request a ride using the Uber app and get picked up within minutes. On-demand service means no reservations required and no waiting in taxi lines.
- Compare rates for different Uber options and get fare quotes in the app. Pay with Google Wallet or PayPal, or add a credit card to your secure Uber account so you never need cash on hand.
- Easily set your pickup location on the map, even if you don't know the exact address. Get connected to your personal driver and check the progress of your Uber at any time.
- Sit back, relax, and go anywhere you want. Uber will email you a receipt when you arrive at your destination.

An entirely new and modern way to travel is at your fingertips.
Follow Uber on Twitter at
Like Uber on Facebook at
See if Uber's available in your city at

Aha! This time besides doing some social service by sharing my good experience with you all I inadvertently have an inbuilt vested interest. By spreading the word about Uber both you and I could get rewarded! Just sign up on Uber with the code "6b12q" and you will receive Rs. 300 off your first Uber ride. For each of you that takes a ride using this code, I would also get a credit of Rs. 300 in my Uber account! It's the ultimate Uber win-win!!

I know that you are struggling with the thought of a gift on my birthday tomorrow i.e., on 10th Nov. Well, as you could see I have made your life easy already by giving you a gifting idea. Just take your first Uber ride using my code and you have gifted me without breaking a sweat (if there is no catch in this referral scheme)!

Issued in public (and ostensibly personal as well) interest.

Ritesh Garg

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Diwali Musings!

Diwali Musings!

They say, "Diwali is a festival of infinite lights & we celebrate it with gay abandon to commemorate the famous victory of good over evil (as it finds its maiden reference in the Hindu mythology when on the occasion of Lord Rama returning back to his constituency Ayodhya after a hiatus of 14 years and immediately after conquering the all mighty devil king Ravana his folks got jubilant and made merry while unleashing all their quota of fun which was suppressed for all these years).

To me it is an opportunity to purge our whole beings of all the impurities we have so (in)voluntarily stuffed in our systems in the past one year. It is also a chance we give to ourselves to let bygones be bygones and make wish for a fresh beginning. For some of us who have had a remarkable last year we celebrate our happiness by bursting fire crackers & by distributing sweets among our near & dear ones. For others who didn't exactly have a noteworthy outing out there it is another fresh dawn today full of promises for the next twelve months (or so) allowing us to get the monkey off our shoulders and make a resolution that we shall strive hard to set the record straight as we bow our heads with uncompromised faith in front of the elephant God Ganesh & Goddess of wealth Lakshmi.

This is also one such festival which helps bonding the losen strings as all family members make it a point to rush to a common reunion joint, mostly their parental homes. No matter where they are across the globe they engineer their plans in such a way (months in advance) that on this day they get to greet each other.

To all those who couldn't find a reason to cherish today, "Go, find your happiness in the smallest pleasures of life. Just don't sulk or wander about with no purpose. Life is so full of surprises, and i am sure you can easily find at least few pleasant ones to bring a cheer to your sombre mood. If not anything else, read this post at least once again along with the never ending archives of the author on his blog but please...." and yes, make merry but do responsibly top it up by making it peacefully rocking!


Festively yours

(C) Rits Original

Monday, October 13, 2014

Anatomy of the "BigBillionSale"!

Anatomy of the "BigBillionSale"!

It's been over a week since the mad rush n frenzy the entire nation was held hostage to got over. After the "real time" venting of frustration on all possible avenues of social engagement by "most" of the e-commerce patrons (there still were few, who ostensibly finding themselves among the rarest of the rare breed of victors, championed the cause of this sham so very self righteously crowned as "The Big Billion" sale and dared to shower encomiums on the blue eyed protagonists against the popular sentiments) this piece might appear a tad little late in the day. Now that even the government has "seemingly" taken a note of the fiasco and has "promised" to intervene in due course of time to set up some form of regulation over the industry, following could at the best be discounted as merely another rhetoric.

Seriously, it was nothing more than a fraud-gate which warrants a thorough investigation as to how could a handful of e-tailing wizards riding on investors' easy millions (and the naive public sentiments / foolish expectations) have the audacity to take a country of over a billion for a royal joy ride! Goodness gracious me, it was a public holiday in most of the regions or collectively the nation would have lost as much of its productivity that even a zillion of such (Whatever)karts wouldn't have been able to compensate in their life time with all their valuation gimmicky. Phew!

I never had any doubt whatsoever that the entire act and also the climax (of a self fulfilling apology) was very well scripted by someone just too good with Indian law (or the lack of it) and someone who is a master of mind game. Period.

How I wish there was an RTI for privately held cos. which are riding on investors' truckloads of money, public apathy (obviously or nobody in their wildest dreams would dare weave such a plot) and last but certainly not the least, helpless legislations! By RTI in this context I mean scrutiny of granular details of what all that got advertised on ends in every nook n corner of the country. Did any or all of it exist in the first place? And even if it did (obviously to show our law one of the fingers), in what measure?

To put things in perspective, did anyone care to ask these "Billion" bulls how many of Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 they actually sold at 10% of the MRP (or was it indeed a fluke to play its spicy part to the whole of propaganda)? Will the governmental probe go to the extent of corroborating with "real life" customers (and not the imaginary ones likely to find their names n cities among the list of lucky draw winners) so as to look into how deep this muck was (and going by the trend which only looks likely to grow in more colours, with in fact more variety of bells n whistles)? I doubt over the very approach, if and when it will be taken!

There is absolutely no issues with doling out the easy money one has but when the very purpose of that is to befool an entire nation by sort of hallucinating them it's analogous to funding "corporate terrorism" (forgive me if I have stretched my imagination far too beyond).

Call me a cynic but I would put all my money on the time of the penultimate version of "the apology" being fine tuned before 8:00 AM on 6th Oct. itself for the "final assault" the following day (the one all of you "registered" users would also have received in your mail boxes on the evening of 7th Oct).

I mean if I am hell bent on "staging" an apology nobody can stop me from doing so! At the end of day I won't lose on anything though I might just be lucky enough (with more than better chances of it being so) to earn a sympathy wave in the bargain! Finding it a stupid joke? Go, check out on the barrage of press over "CEO's with social consciousness" in the last one week alone. Though two entirely unrelated spheres of public engagement, like in politics in transaction business too the "consumer" memory is short lived and is prone to let the biggest of scams be taken in its stride should it find its gullible self convinced about what "might" lie ahead.

Some food for thought! Or merely another form of verbal diarrhea? I rest my case.

(C) Rits Original

p.s.: Above is merely a work of fiction and any similarity with any living individuals and entities could be attributed to serendipity alone ;)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

#Modi@Madison - Dawn of a new world order?

#Modi@Madison - Dawn of a new world order?

I don't actually concede that I have two left feet for the simple reason that I never feel shy of shaking more than just one of them at merely hint of an opportunity. At the same time I can never claim to be any virtuoso when it comes to accepting a dance challenge from anyone in my neighbourhood.

Still, I am sure that many of you would agree with my assessment of today's dance performances @ The Madison Square Gardens as being merely enthusiastic (not the kind that N. Sreenivasan sees his son-in-law as) and amateurish at the best. Their choreographers would have earned a serious rebuttal if they were staged in front of any of the routine Indian dance reality show "pseudo" judges. But please spare a thought for these poor souls who don't have regular access to any of Shiamak Davar or Sandeep Soparikar classes in their neighbourhood to hone their skills on popular Bollywood numbers. It probably was their maiden exhibition in public.

That the poor audio feed on the local broadcasters didn't help the cause is also I would like to live with. As I am writing this line Mr. Modi just rotated his index finger to a thunderous applause with an implied air of self approval in, "None of you would have slept here on the day India's recent general election results were announced!"

That performances of these so very excited young NRI kids won't be able to draw any critical acclaim or a nomination to "America's got Talent" is not the point. That what all of the daily "prime time" usual suspects (including the Barkha's, the Arnab's n the Rahul's) have been boasting about the number of rooms booked @ Manhattan for their respective crews for the past few days is also besides the point. That a certain Rajdeep could still (stage) manage to get himself hackled amid all the festivities and thus got trended on Twitter more (yeah, albeit briefly!) than the guest of honour himself is also going to be reported as nothing more than a footnote in the massive media reports on Monday.

What truly leaves indelible mark on the intelligence of both a discerning listener and over the common jurisprudence is much beyond the now established (beyond any doubting Thomas's) trade mark charisma and impromptu oratory skills of the country's "first" worker. In the 67 minutes he gave to himself (the audience world over wouldn't have minded if he chose to double the dosage) he not only successfully touched the emotional cord of the Indian diaspora but also took some "on the fly" (to the best of my available info) decisions to make their lives easier with just one stroke of his pen! That's the power a true leader manager is expected to weild. Quite unfortunately, our politicians of the yester "era" (hopefully with a new era now emerging we have the luxury of calling that one) believed in one dictum only, "Power corrupts & absolute power corrupts absolutely!"

This indeed was a master stroke for not only did he oh, so beautifully mocked fun of his own Visa (status) being denied by the US authorities but indeed discounted it as something that shouldn't be restricted for any of the attending (PIO) audience. I am sure that it would keep reverberating the consciousness of the scores of present US Congress representatives half of which would in some way have played a part in that decade old decision over which better sense prevailed, just in time. That's what is called caning a tiger in his own cave!

If I were to handpick just one key take away from this "presentation" without a PPT it would be the fact that quite a sizeable target audience, both physically present at the venue and the wire-listeners, would love to find itself having sold over this sales pitch for "India", the product with a deadly concoction of three D's i.e., Democracy, Demographic dividend and Demand. I won't be surprised if the entire event, its built up, the brouhaha & palpable excitement, ultimately leading up to the opera like performance by the "Maestro" gets included in the Harvard's curriculum shortly, of course with the intended objectives having been already achieved by then.

Yours truly had earlier composed the following piece on 20th May this year and it indeed sounded music to my ears today when after "the speech" got over one emancipated young listener at the Madison Square did indeed compare it with the "originally famous" Narendra's Chicago speech over a century ago.

Do I stand redeeming myself today, 130 days after having dared to commit some form of a blasphemy? The jury is already out on this and it only bodes well for our great nation.

I never was an atheist but have been shunning idol worshipping since long. Is it too late for me to convert again? Not really! And it wouldn't dent my ego one bit to embrace a new form of theism openly.

Vande Mataram!

(C) Rits Original

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Khoobsurat - indeed!

Khoobsurat - indeed!

There are few words which convey absolutely the same meaning universally. No matter which language you speak if you could get their translation, localized to your own dialect right they would evoke similar emotions cutting across such man made barriers. 'Khoobsurat' indeed is first among such equals. We might not get overtly ecstatic on hearing this mundane word which might lack any of literary aristocracy but one must be in complete disarray if s/he doesn't get a more than barely noticeable contortion between his or her lips and a twinkle in eyes on observing some khoobsurat phenomenon around.

This weekend's reincarnation of the Bollywood's way of portraying civilization's khoobsurati was a mighty and bold adventure for it ran the risk of being labelled its worthy predecessor's illegitimate child. Ah! I am referring to the obvious recollection any one could have i.e., of the Hrishi Da's sumptuous original offering in 1980 (and not the 1999 version which at the best could find its mention in film journals' footnotes) which my generation first relished few years after it coming to life thanks to the omnipresent (and omnipotent as well) Doordarshan. Then of course we didn't mind helping ourselves with its extra servings as and when we were presented with them.

Circa 2014. This is the age of even the older generation using Skype to connect with their folks in the hinterlands of Rajasthan. The nostalgic Lambretta makes way for the convertible BMW. But the thoughts and traditions of the royalty still remain firmly itched to the colonial times. It requires the chutzpah of the careless physio to disturb the equilibrium and challenge the cohesive strength of "goontha hua aata"!

This is a feel good delicacy all through its 130 minutes of running time. There never is a dull moment and for all its over the top characterization where everyone is sort of competing with each other, treading in a risque mode of eventually rendered marginalized in the process they all are surprisingly believable! That's the result of a heady concoction of a tight screenplay and restrained (read mature) performances of the leading protagonists.

Nobody could have essayed the "devil may care" role better than the bubbly Sonam. She is vivacious and doesn't think twice before speaking her mind (and heart) out. Her raw energy is well complemented by the suave Prince charming played by the import from across the border, Fawad and what a debut he has made! Kirron Kher has copyrighted the Punjabi mother's role over the last decade and Ratna Pathak Shah, with her snobbery adds tadka to this delectable curry.

Soft & peppy music keeps sprinkling itself (without any interruption in the smooth flow of the narrative) like chilli flakes on the even otherwise tempting cheese pizza. And make no mistake. It's a pizza that could be shared by all the family members while superseding individual choices yet not compromising on the normally elusive after taste that stays with you for a long while.

For its extremely universal acceptability potential it gets a perfect ten on the REndex. Just go for it even if you haven't hit a nearby screen in ages. I bet you won't curse me. If you do so, I accept the eventuality of public ridicule in advance.

(C) Rits Original

Friday, August 15, 2014

YES, I am the Change!

YES, I am the Change!

Aha! Today is 15th August! It's the nation's Independence Day. Like every year all the festival like celebrations started since early morning as I woke up to the awe-inspiring speech given by our just 80 days old, dynamic Prime Minister from the majestic Red Fort.

Let's make the most of today, I whispered to myself and was up on my feet in a flash. I grabbed a toasted sandwich and harried to catch a "Rick".

Today, yet again all of them seemed to have something against me up their sleeves as they nonchalantly zipped past me without even a trace of willingness of accommodating my 74 Kg mass.

After waiting for over 10 minutes during which 20 of them must have went past me I now started getting into an agitated mode with the resolve of forcibly occupying the next one coming. I had already thought of an enabling move (read strategic jump) to time it perfectly. Here it comes and the counter goes...10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5....."Sir, kidhar jaayenge?" The chain broke and thus also my concentration as I was certainly not prepared for this welcome change! Change it surely was! 'Coz the voice was unlike any other I have been used to all these years. It was a "She", a female rickshaw driver! OMG, since when Mumbai has opened its arms for them? "Powai. ....Hiranandani Gardens", I mumbled. "Please come and sit", pet comes the soothing and reassuring guidance.

I set inside the rickshaw and found an instant likelihood for its comfortable seating and well maintained interiors. Wait! It's not just any other neatly kept old piece of public transport. There seems to be lot more to it as I moved my eyes around in disbelief.

I looked in front of the seat and there was a tiny 7" television set! The driver had put on the broadcast from the national channel which was obviously playing some familiar patriotic Bollywood songs to commemorate the occasion.

There also lied a small first-aid box snugly kept beside the TV. It had cotton, dettol and some medicines of routine usage, enough to keep a common cold or a body ache or a headache at bay.

If just this was not enough for me to have realized that I was indeed in a special vehicle, on looking around I discovered some more amusements. There was a radio, a fire extinguisher, a wall clock, a calendar, and few pictures & symbols of all faiths - from Islam and Christianity to Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism! There also were pictures of the heroes of 26/11- Kamte, Salaskar, Karkare and Unnikrishnan. All of this paraphernalia had an absolute place holder for them.

To say that I found my experience until now nothing less than remarkable would be an understatement as I soon realized that not only the vehicle I was sitting in, but also its driver was special. I started chatting with her and my initial sense of skepticism & disbelief gradually diminished and as a matter of fact it got converted into an unparalleled sense of admiration for her self-belief.

I gathered that she had been driving an auto rickshaw for the past 8-9 months after losing her job in a major IT firm over some "inter-personal" issues with her colleagues. I gently probed as to what kind of these relatively innocuous sounding put-offs would have forced her to take that drastic decision of chucking a well paying corporate job behind and choose such a difficult life for herself in bargain!

She stopped the rickshaw after safely maneuvering it to an earmarked parking place, turned her back towards me and handed over a piece of paper to me while requesting me to read it. Following is what was scribbled on the paper.

"Rape ho gaya aaj to!!"

"Kya ho gaya bhai? Kyun subah subah dimaag ki dahi kar raha hai?"

"Abe! Suna nahi tune? Tere us hero celebrity writer ka balatkaar kar diya junta ne aaj"!

"Kiski baat kar raha hai mote?"

"Abe wohi jo aaj tak yehi samajhta hai ki usne apni life mein bas teen-heech galtiyaan ki hain".

"Oh, haan suna maine. Ek number ka gadha hai woh! Kab kahan kya bolna hai chamakta nahi hai usko. Ek na ek din to uska rape hona hi tha. Aaj khudne apni ***** li".

With heavy heart n moist eyes I just overheard this coffee table conversation of two of my male colleagues while pushing my poha plate into the microwave. They were obviously completely oblivious of my presence around. Or actually, they might not be!! Working with an equal opportunity employer in an intense n camphor-like volatile environment does make you immune n indifferent to such jocular n casual chit-chats.

On any other day I might have wryly smiled on this. If I were spirited I might have actually cracked a joke on it myself. Worst, I might just have shrugged it off thinking about my own deliverables in next one hour.

But not that day!! Even as the microwave's heating plate had started its noisy n rhythmic rotation for next sixty seconds or so I felt like reliving those brutal n soul crushing moments over n over again which in all earnestness I won't even dream of cursing upon my sworn enemy!!

Like another aspiring young professional I was full of jest while still in my internship with my potential employer & had indeed took it on to me as a challenging assignment which not many were really excited about. I wanted to prove that I was up for it no matter how it looked like to any one else.

That evening, very enthusiastically I was all set on my mission when my remaining life was forcibly pushed into a living hell by those half a dozen rotten eggs. Their otherwise normal looking outer shells didn't even remotely give me any inkling of how disgustingly smelly & pukish their inner yolks would turn out to be!! I just can't get my thoughts away from those few minutes of absolutely incomparable torture no matter how hard I try to feel strong about my will power n my resilience. It certainly helped that all of my family members stood like rocks beside me all this while. Goodness had it that in those unimaginatively harsh moments of agony I didn't see any of my near & distant, dreaded mausis n bhuajis who I thought would be only deriving pleasures of their lives by mockingly deriding me.

I gathered all my courage to start afresh & that day was supposed to be my first "post rape" day at my workplace! While coming to the office I couldn't believe my eyes when I read in the day's newspapers that those very same outfits which otherwise are perpetually at diagonally opposing views whenever in public domain have tightly maintained a studied silence over a 72 year old rapist who in all likelihood had killed the very self of a poor girl who might indeed be younger than his great granddaughter!! Such a bunch of eunuchs! Our political parties, which won't lose grip on even the sand flowing out of someone's fists but on this day all of them were showing what dog poop you are made of.

Why do people around me have to reignite memories of those not-so-cherishable moments which I just wish could be washed away by a Gajini? Why can't they just discard one word in their vocabulary for good? Why can't people find themselves accomplished in coming up with some other really witty or sarcastic metaphor? Why should they always be programmed to feel that this government has 'RAPED' our economy? Is it too much of an ask?

"Madam ji, poha garam ho gaya hai." I saw Param (our pantry boy) sensitizing me. Within next 15 minutes I had decided that this is not where I should aspire to make a career and I should in fact sensitize the society at large by doing something in public domain where I would get better opportunities to share my thoughts with the learned class through some routine work.

As I completed reading it she said, "And here I am to interact with people like you!" I felt so very unaccomplished in front of her. I didn’t know if I should console and/or admire her for her grit. With a lump in my throat I continued my worldly discussion with her.

She had two school-going brothers, and she would drive from 8 in the morning till 10 at night to make the ends meet for her family. I realized that I had come across a personality that represents Mumbai – the one having the spirit of resilience, that of work, and that of excelling in life no matter what hardships life throws upon.

I asked her whether she did anything else as I could figure out that she would not have too much spare time after the day's rigmarole. She said that she goes to an old age home for women in Borivali once in a week or whenever she has some extra income, which she donates to this place by gifting tooth brushes, toothpastes, soaps, hair oils, and other items of daily usage to those senior ladies.

She pointed out to a painted message below the meter in her chariot that read - 68% discount on metered fare for the female or handicapped passengers. Free rides for blind passengers up to the metered fare of Rs.68. "Sir, to celebrate the nation's 68th Independence Day this humble discount is 68% or Rs.68 for the entire week and it otherwise is 50." I heard fascinatingly.

This young lady was a HERO in true sense of word! A hero who deserves all our respect! A hero who empowered herself despite of all the vagaries of life which were more than enough to break any other hippo-skinned human being.

Our journey came to an end. 45 minutes of a lifetime lesson in humility, selflessness, and virtues of human will power.

I disembarked, and all I could do was
to pay her a nominal tip that would hardly cover a free ride for few blind men.

I hope, one day, all of you too get a chance to meet her in her auto rickshaw.

(C) Rits Original

p.s.: Beyond an innocuous reference from a WhatsApp story the above is a work of fiction. All the protagonists featured here are from the author's utopian world and any resemblance of any one of them to any real life flesh-n-bone character could be ascribed to serendipity alone.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Thus spake Narendra!

Thus spake Narendra!

"One infinite pure and holy – beyond thought beyond qualities I bow down to thee".

HE was Narendranath Dutta whose famous quote (from the treasure trove of his admirers' collections) I have reproduced above. You could be forgiven for your bewilderment on this sudden surge of literary blood (that too sighting an ungainly and ordinary sounding name) in my otherwise (self confessedly) not so elegant stream of thoughts. But trust you me if you feign ignorance on hearing the name of Swami Vivekananda you sure would qualify as a front runner in the race to be The (next) Pappu!

It's a fascinating story to read on how this transition from Narinder (as he would be fondly addressed by his illustrious guru) to Vivekananda happened for a young man who at a very young (in fact tender for many) age of 30 mesmerised the audience from across the globe when he thundered in the World Parliament of Religions with an unmatched power of conviction in his oration. His sheer aura and clarity of thoughts in the lectures he delivered shook America and the whole world.

It's been over 120 long years since then and as a fascinated young kid I often kept wondering if indeed such a charismatic personality did ever walk on mother earth! Last year the nation celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of this great visionary and not so surprisingly the modern day Narendra was at the forefront of all the jubilations to pay homage to The Swami.

Today, this Narendra delivered his first speech after marking his maiden entry into the pantheon for all the politicians from across the country in some style. Oh! Was that 5 second head bow at the very first step of his next five years' (the minimum expected) battle zone merely a hog wash peppered with an eye grabbing drama for the shutter bugs? What with that choking with emotions and taking a 'strategic' pause (which seemed to have lasted for eternity) midway through the half an hour long address which certainly was more to the people who were outdoors (and even across far off shores) than to the audience which had the privilege to relish it unfolding like a million dollar block buster right in front of their eyes? And yes, why so much of mushy talks for the same political adversaries who you decimated in 'an eye for an eye' high pitch electoral fight not many nights ago?

Aha! Here comes the modern day Kautilya who knows what he is talking and how each movement of even his eye lids gets translated into at least half of the world's spoken languages, almost immediately. He is well aware of all the national expectations which manifest themselves onto his dreams. He knows that he doesn't have absolutely any margin for error and that the same admirers who have unquestionably uplifted him to the unimaginable heavens would take lesser time to dump him onto the same old, much smaller canvas to reinvigorate the rest of his political life (if at all any such thing still remains for him by then).

His virtue? The entire nation (or just the 31% of it, as so jealously pointed out by a senior 'non-Congressi' Gandhi) wants him to do well for them and they have already paved way for him by giving him a thumping victory over his 'shamed-to-be about' predecessors. He has a reputation for delivering than merely 'offering' (what sham it is to hear about someone offering to resign and their coterie of sycophants crying hoarse over it? You either resign or you don't, simple! What's this self serving path of 'offering' to resign knowing fully well won't even pierce the melted butter, forget it cutting any glacier ice?)

From among the dozens of juicy sound bites from his speech today I particularly liked when he declared with a very child like exuberance that, "I am a very optimistic man and only an optimistic man can bring optimism in the country." Knowing him there shouldn't be many self doubting Thomas' questioning this bold arrival. People have indeed voted for the sense of well advertised yet understated achievement he is associated with albeit on a much smaller platform. Optimism across the length and breadth of the horizon is the least we long for now and nobody, absolutely nobody can hold a candle to him on positivity of thoughts.

For all his reputation as one of its kind of an orator it indeed was a proud moment for the entire country (almost totally unexpected for its high voltage billing having already relinquished its fate to the deaf and dumb genre of cinema) to listen to its manager. Yeah, you read it right. It's going to be a long, steep walk up the hill before he could be promoted as a leader. Until then, he carries a name which doesn't deserve to be soiled. Will the future Narendra's be forced to go back to even more ancient history (than our generation) to look for a role model or would they get inspired by a walking figure on their TV screens stays pregnant in the womb of time. Until then, just bring it on Narinder!

(C) Rits Original

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Manjunath - The Name, the Hero!

Manjunath - The Name, the Hero!

Circa 2005. Barely six months into my first 'job' (that's what most of us end up doing, few choose to define their lives and that of the surrounding ecosystem with their 'karmas') from the campus I heard the nerve shattering news of a senior alumnus from my B-school getting brutally murdered, thousands of miles away from his native place but not very far away from the very institution where he enthralled his buddies with his not so glamorous visage but with his captivating charm & endearing attitude towards life.

I never knew him personally but that handicap couldn't dilute the impact of the 'persona' I had subconsciously weaved in my thoughts over a period of time. "That's the way of leading the life, with clarity of thoughts & purpose that shouldn't wither under adverse or intimidating circumstances." He was a real life hero, for me and for scores of others. If there still was a real world, selfish dilemma over the meaning of his martyrdom merely a recall of the fact of his having roamed around the same hostel corridors and the hang out places in the dead of nights was good enough to restore the semblance.

Eight more full winters went past since that fateful cold evening when even the blood of the 'near' eye witnesses chose to remain frozen as they shamelessly denied having 'experienced' any event as loud as pumping of half a dozen bullets in the body of an officer on duty well past his expected patrolling hours. It was a real life story which deserved to be told to a wider audience. So when I heard about the release of the cinematic adaptation of it I felt like having already adorned fifty six stars and stripes on me (like all of his alma mater would feel) while our politicos are fighting over the measurement of their chest in their bid to woo the electorate of the nation.

What pained me was a bitter realization that when a certain, almost mythical figure which allegedly all the daddies and uncles of today's generation are very much more than just aware of gets a rousy welcome at the box office the real hero doesn't get more than a couple of shows across any of the plethora of multiplexes in and around Mumbai! What a disgrace!

This afternoon I couldn't wait to have a dekko at the reel Manjunath and reached one of such multiscreen theatres ten minutes ahead of the '(reluctantly) publicised' show time. To my horror I was informed that the management decided to cancel the show sighting lack of patrons for the 'movie'! What more, they suggested me to watch some other movie running in their theatre including Mastram! Such an intolerable insensitivity. Not everything in life is guided with just the money making agenda on cards. I gave them a peace of my mind and not so surprisingly none knew about who Manjunath actually was! I didn't feel any bad in putting my foot down and asking them to go ahead with the show. As a last ditch attempt to dissuade me from pushing them against their chosen comfort the manager warned that the money spent on the ticket won't be returned should I later find the movie not to my liking!

That's the state of affairs of our collective consciousness. We choose to be selectively 'conscientious' when we know that our friends are getting notification from us (on FB, where else?) as we express our anguish over secularism or corruption or propriety or blah blah. We also choose to publicly relish opportunities of someone peeping into the private life of a septuagenarian (who is still active in politics) and his couple of decades younger paramour.

Sitting absolutely alone in an auditorium with a capacity for three fifty could be nauseating as it makes one realise about one's eccentric taste but I indeed felt aghast over the lack of sensitivity on part of the cinema owners and more over the missing audience' 'interest'. Common guys! If you could have been lacking the patience while waiting for your fill of that 'Khan' (or 'Kapoor') bummer why can't you shell out half the sum of money and even lesser time to salute the hero who actually breathed in flesh & blood unlike some of the VFX dummies? And why can't the state be woken up from its slumber in making this praiseworthy project tax free?

While we can continue contemplating over some of the above uneasy questions let me share my take on the two hour long cinematic experience.

What stood out during the entire length of the movie was its understated yet profound narrative supplemented with some very fine performances with the on screen Manjunath and his mother (played by the ever so reliable Seema Biswas) taking the cherry. Sasho Sattiysh Sarathy has more than reasonably managed to get into the skin of the character he is playing. His being an unknown entity gives him that much extra edge in portraying a real life character. Made on a shoe string budget all its support cast delivers more than what you would expect them to do. Yashpal Sharma has done a remarkable job in essaying the wiley petrol pump dealer. He says to Manju, "Gandhi har koi chahta hai, magar pados me. Apne ghar har koi Golu Goyal chahta hai." (Every one wants a Gandhi but in their neighbourhood. In one's own house they secretly long for a hoodwink). That pretty much sums up the ethical dilemma most of us find ourselves forced into. There won't ever be easy guidance coming in from inside. Just a name "Manjunath" could come handy. Try it once and see if it makes a difference.

(C) Rits Original

Friday, April 25, 2014

Revolver Rani - I likes it dud!

Revolver Rani - I likes it dud!

Crazy underwear - Chambal dud no.1!

A male phassion parade with this titillating title up for grabs so aptly yet so gently (pun intended) gives you an idea of what all to expect in this desi version of Kill Bill. Ah! Sai Kabir is no Quentin Tarantino but when he has the Queen of the season filling in for Uma Thurman you gotta raise not just your thumb but also hold your head high which shed that pseudo intellectual overcoat in your office cubicle before you revolted against the mocking faces when you declared that you have a date with Alka Singh tonight!

So, who the hell is Alka Singh? (As her name would suggest) Before you jump on to type casting her as any other saree clad Indian politician (who would send all of her 24x7 western outfits to the far away laundry once in every five years i.e., in the one month's period leading up to the coronation day) she declares that she means business, bullet business!

Such is the conviction with which Kangana plays the baddie that you nearly feel like traversing in an alternate universe for it's not many full moon nights ago when she charmed the entire nation as the sweet and gullible Queen.

She is not just into the business of pumping bullets in every single pore of her enemies but she is vulnerable and romantic too! She secretly desires to settle in Benis (yeah, Benis is the new Venice) with her "toy boy" Chamcham (don't expect me to explain what is a toy boy as doing that is not in the scope of this text and it would kill your fun as well) who she blindly loves (and hates to love for his floundering around).

Vir Das gives you an extremely restrained and mature performance while allowing Rani to literally (and figuratively too) taking control of his very being. Hats off to him for allowing himself to be 'used' for better part of the screenplay. Piyush Mishra is still absolutely one 'tunch' (as our Diggy babu aka Digvijai Singh once so famously said about his female party colleague) performer even after 17 summers since he first cast his spell on us in 'Dil Se'.

It's set up in the Chambal region so it's not surprising to keep getting heavy doses of rude yet humorous, violent yet compassionate dialogues from the hinterland. You might not be thoroughbred with this dialect and you would certainly end up missing some of its finer nuances yet you won't find yourself compromising on your understanding of the underlying theme.

As I said in the beginning also, I have put all my money on Kangana the Actor and it looks like that with her absolutely "top of the drawer" performances she won't allow me giving a walk over to the person placing his bets with me. Even as corporates are still declaring just their first quarter results of the calendar year and it's still a long way to go before 2014 gets to a close for finalizing the nominations for best performers of the year it is heartening to see that this young self made unorthodox protagonist is slowly but certainly pulling the rug from beneath the Jimmy Choo's of the who's who among the Bollywood fashionista's.

Good going girl! I am all game for the desi Kill Bill - 2. Go baby, show us some more of your raw madness and whacky humour. After all, we all deserve some sinful indulgence! A word of caution though (damn, it has unwittingly become sort of customary statutory warning all the time from me). While you hit the nearby screen for this dhinchak dekko leave your young guns behind with their governesses or let them have their share of fun at their chosen creche.

As for the REndex is there still any raised eyebrow if I give it a double tenner?

(C) Rits Original

Monday, April 7, 2014

Abki baar Modi sarkaar?!

Abki baar Modi sarkaar?!

Voila! The call that I have been anticipating for the past few months eventually found its way in full public glare hours before the most elaborate electoral exercise any democracy has seen kicks in. The 'king' to be (or is it still too early?) roared as he unabashedly asked for a referendum for 'HIM' leaving nothing to imagination as to how a party's (which had no choice but to anoint him its 'Senapati', much to the chagrin of its disgruntled septuagenarian) fate rides on absolutely nothing but this one man's charisma.

Was it anyway a different proposition for the party's disciples since the first poll bigul blew two summers ago? There have been occasional blips on an otherwise perfectly scripted skit that's been played out on the biggest stage any country could create, the whole of the country itself! Such has been the dialogue writing (including some well timed, self-serving improvisations to add that much genuineness to the whole of this drama) and editing that even the most highly decorated showman of Bollywood famous for dishing out one family potboiler after the other would find himself tempted to adopt it for his next 'inspiration'!

Want a clue to the climax of his Zillion Dollar baby? Hold tight guys. For it's still over a month before the inevitability strikes the conscience of the nation. In the interim (as a precursor to the unfolding events) what more evidence does one need when even 'Aunty' Sam got the marching orders from THE 'Uncle' after she refused to toe the line and chose to be a haughty protagonist dreaming of stemming the tide?

This is truly unprecedented for the voters of the biggest democracy which has traditionally put all its faith in the dynastic rule of a single family which deems it their birth right to govern the country, whether directly or through some very well orchestrated camouflaged way. While it is still anybody's game what with the regional complexities making it almost inconceivable to even think of a single party regime in the foreseeable future what flummoxes me is the fact that slowly yet determinately the nation is truly gearing itself up for a Presidential model of governance. The Senapati hasn't even remotely given a clue to who all would constitute his cabinet and the paradox is such that under the hallucinating aura of this alleged Indian Hitler we seem to be caring little!

Will this blind game plan work? What's running inside the minds of his think tank which would be secretely nursing its own ambitions? Are they going to peacefully accept their master's dictat should we see him taking oath from the constitutional President of the country? How would he be able to take the coalition along since he is a person who is known to be a listener to all but eventually doing what suits his temperament? These are some of the pertinent questions we should be concerned about before taking that leap of faith on the D-day while exercising our only worthwhile right, to vote for our future.

It's another thing to keep chanting Namo Namo and another to form our opinion on well researched matters of relevance. Myriad tid-bits doing the rounds on social media ending with just one objective of etching the intended bottom line "Abki baar Modi sarkaar" on the collective consciousness of the nation needs to be given as much weightage as you would give to any other forward. Now, whether you truly believe in that shared wisdom has to be YOUR concerned call only.

As for me, I don't mind enjoying a good read and bursting into a laughter every time some well written two liner comes to me with "Abki baar....!"

Everlastingly yours
(C) Rits Original

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Khanabadosh....that's precisely how I find myself summing up the state of my mind for the past few weeks and this state keeps reminding me of my (lack of) self worth every few months (at times couple of years if I have been lucky enough to earn some marginally higher number of bookmarks in my well wishers' good books). Today, on yet another D-day (after 17 months this time) it has me just completely consumed!

Shifting house always evokes an unparalleled low sense of being and makes for nauseating emotions, especially when there is absolutely no one known around to cheer up your spirits. In a house which was never yours after spending few days only you feel like having developed a sense of attachment with even its walls. Then one fine day it's all over as you (most often) HAVE TO call it a day and hope for a new strenuous beginning all over again!

Here I am, juggling with few random & completely unfamiliar faces from my chosen movers & packers. Beyond a point you have to leave yourself at their mercy and give them benefit of doubt for their professionalism and trustworthiness. No choice. Period. I tried being a watchful owner of my house belongings for nearly six hours (even as it's just the packing / loading part of the job and hence for the day's deliverable it's not even half the job done) but then gave up on my luck for being exacting any beyond. For one last time I rather felt like hugging these stones I got so used to.

To cut the above mundane crap, which at the best could be rejected by one and all as a battered soul's desperate attempt to seek sympathy over his helplessness. But to think of it, this is pretty much the case with most living on rented dreams. Isn't it?  Shifting every now and then especially in a city like Mumbai can just drain the last drop of one's body fluid.

Now, after 13 hours of relentless pursuit to get everything done on a reasonably best efforts basis and after having employed the services of probably the most expensive Agrawal Movers and Packers which shamelessly reasons that it charges double from what others do as it doesn't compromise on the service delivery! Such a disgrace. They just shamelessly dumped everything at my new place (without unpacking & doing all or any of what it had promised while throwing its quotation as if to mock me up should I even think of questioning their irrational pricing) and expected me to give them TIP for it! Only our politicians can beat Agrawal M&P when it comes to brazen arrogance. They just rely on the brand name they have created while relying that there would always be fools like me who believe that if the price charged is double than the services ought to be world class! I am now forced into believing that I probably hired an imposter who stole the identity of the industry veteran.

I pity all the lesser mortals like me who are at the mercy of two parties viz. the house owner (the landlord) & more importantly the movers and packers. Try anyone in the business but never ever put your faith and hard earned money in such thieves as Agrawal. You deserve better.

.....any way as always, thou shall pass the acid test today (and in the weeks to come)....hold tight Ritesh Garg....just do it and hope for a welcome change to your eco-system!

(C) Rits Original

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Back from the Dead

6:41 ki Borivali local....

I know this would infuriate many for its cliché / banal sound effect and for it (self admittedly) being a pirated cheap copy of "Ek Chaalis ki Last Local". But how can I not start my memoir with its mention for this 12 coach shuttle has been saving the day almost daily for the last few months and yesterday I so very badly regretted to have missed it by a whisker, quite literally! I was just plain scared to even think about what's in store should I now hit the road instead. Countless occasions of sulky drives back home in the race of porcupines made my heart sink and I could truly relate to a death convict's state of mind just moments before s/he is taken to the gallows.

Ah! Y’day was a lot different. Within 10 minutes my cab had hit the Western Express Highway which otherwise would have taken at least half an hour (that when the day was not too bad). As an afterthought I actually thanked HIM/HER for relieving me the pain of being exposed to a battery of armpit perfume testers in the more humble (but infinitely more reliable) Mumbai local.

“The cab was possibly cruising at over 80 Kmph when I realised (just minutes ago, today!) that all my mental & physical faculties got fatally violated by a crushing truck. Mine and the cab driver's identities could be ascertained only with the help of our Aadhaar Cards and our clothes surprisingly corroborated what UIDAI had on its central servers!” That was the crux of the public advisory issued by one of my great family members (extended one, mind it) at his vitriolic and cynical best, barely twelve hours after the very same Ritesh who he adored like his very own son (for his academic achievements) met with an untimely end. All this while he was restlessly doing a moon walk in the narrow passage between the elevators of our building and our modest 2 BHK rented flat, perhaps waiting for the last rites to get to a start soon and finish that much sooner.

I wryly smiled and walked ahead only to notice this Bhabhi (sister-in-law) I used to respect so very much wearing dark shades (at 10’o clock in the morning, inside my cosy house!) and already donning a designer Saree though in an ostensibly mourning shade of white! I got bemused as to why she would be making a fool of herself in this audience by putting a black aviator on her nose pads. I observe that she is actually trying to conceal her giggle underneath that pair. Lo and behold! I find her secret as she is having a hearty laugh (inside her lungs, obviously) on finally being able to comprehend a Santa & Banta joke sent to her by her kitty party gang on WhatsApp! Her tranquillity got distressed with a sombre call (from my distant buaji I guess), “Arre Neelakshi beta, jara doodh dekh lena jara”.

There in that desolate corner is sitting my adorable darling, my angel daughter. For her evolved IQ (supplemented with a superior EQ) she is tentatively acting to be oblivious to what the ongoing commotion was while playing on her Lego blocks. Innocently & excitedly, she chirps (like the way she always does when in the evening I reach home and before I fully open the door she unmistakably identifies me from behind it), “Papa aa gaye”! But how did she do it today?! I didn’t have any key to put to a shut door which would have her ears sensitized. What did she hear?! Do I need any reasons to stay camouflaged any more with a halo around me? I would be the cruellest person ever born to deprive her of my touch any beyond. I just lift her in my arms and almost involuntarily she plants her trade mark kisses on both of my cheeks and tops it up with one on my fore head. What bliss!

P.s.: It would be only appropriate for me to share few of the most profound (and flattering too) ghost tributes I have received in the last 24 hours since I made my plan to pen this piece public. Thanks to these so very noble souls for their generosity which I humbly believe I don't deserve by miles.

“Ritz *****, the feeling I will have is ki itna pyara insaan tha, such a high energy guy, but ***** duniya bhar ki khujli bhi isi #### mein hi bhari hui thi. Intellectual and emotional, someone who might get weak in the knees and brain once excited, someone who in the obsession of his sun sign may have overridden a part of his natural self. All said and done, I will sob badly!!”

“With me u shall never feel u went for good. No reasons. I shall miss a friend philosopher and a guide. U r not perfect... u hav ur negatives... but we all have.. at least u r human to the core.”

"We'll miss the movie updates and ratings... Lately it had became the yardstick for watching movies in theatre!! Also hope you would had transferred rights of rits original.."

(C) Rits Original

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Jai Ho - Censor Board abolish ho!

Jai Ho - Censor Board abolish ho!

U/A seems to have been one of the most abused licences the Indian filmmakers use to their advantage. It legally or for that matter otherwise also translates into "Universal Adult" which essentially means that the title holder has the 'freedom' to showcase his/her labour of love in an uninhibited manner across the lengths and breadth of the country!

I confess that I am not one of the most ardent "chest pumping and shirt ripping"  fans of the only 'Bhai' Indian film industry has ever produced and I am possibly, at the best, plain indifferent when my entire 'socially networked' groups of acquaintances seem to be quite buzzing with a 'nearly declared won' anticipation for the Salman Khan potboiler / masala entertainer even before its going on floor!

This time was no different when I didn't even bother to see where all "Jai Ho" got screened until late Friday evening when a friend's wife asked us for an "Expression of Interest" for the night show on the day of its release. I left it to the discretion of my home maker and we were set for the show.

Normally, I back myself for almost immediately sharing my own interpretation of the movie I see even if that means I have to burner the (post)midnight oil. This time I forced myself into a deep contemplation shell for the last 48 hours since I finished watching this 'bought' exhibition rights and consciously stayed away from letting my verbal excreta getting the better of me. Some of you would probably be cursing me with "Why now then?" To them I once again very humbly request to kindly close this reading window from their smartphones and/or tablets/PC'S.

I would not have been able to forgive myself had I taken our young two months to three years old baby along. My past one year's experience guided me that 'U/A' issued by the Indian motion picture censor board is actually for adults (or at least for a reasonably mature mind with a relatively stable mental make-up) and possibly when it is forced to issue a minimum no. of 'A' certificates for its political masters it does so for either those mainstream offerings which would undoubtably qualify for at least a 'X X' in the other markets or are being owned by lesser privileged filmmakers!

It's sad to observe that the 'hallowed' name and often feared CBC (Central Board for Certification) has been bought over by the who's who in the film industry. It is no longer an inference but a bitter fact of life. Period!

Agreed that there cannot be a hero with even half the indomitable screen presence that Salman commands. Agreed that he almost single handedly carries the weight of the entire movie on his shoulders with such effortless ease that you feel about him strolling in the park while doing so. Agreed that he is India's answer to the original 'Rambo' and stands out from the rest like the Pole Star. Agreed that no one in the whole of Bollywood can even dream of racking up even an iota of his popularity which only keeps the very concept of "first day first show" still relevant.

In this brute portrayal of an 'Aam Admi' with his daily trials and tribulations while standing up against a corrupt government which has its own nefarious plans to ensure it keeps clinging on to the power he appears very much believable and keeps packing more than merely a punch during the entire 140 min length of the movie.

The rest of the ensemble cast is comprising of the who's who from among the list of the most "flop actors". You name it and s/he was there in one or two frames to fill in the blanks. The new leading lady Daisy Shah has looked a lousy import even as the veteran Danny could find it a very 'unrepenting' role he was offered to convince him making a comeback after ages. He simply lost the plot in his initial few scenes only and could never regain even one inch of his lost turf till the very end. Quite a disappointing selection by one of the finest villains of yesteryear. Tabu inspired some confidence in bits and pieces but again she also could have avoided this embarrassment.

Now comes the most disturbing side of this commercial necessity to upgrade the certification to 'U/A' by possibly doing some under table exchanges with the censor board. How on earth could a repeated crude reference to the male anatomy by the leading lady and a vociferous retort by the young 7-8 year old nephew of the hero by revealing her undergarments' colour could have gone unnoticed by the learned jury? How and why possibly the most loud sound effects (having the potential to puncture a healthy young heart) used in abundance along with the lengthy and gory action sequences could pass the muster? Are all of those qualified but corrupt officials insensitive towards the mental make up of an impressionable young mind? Why would the production houses be compelled by just the commercial success of their work to not evidence their basic propriety and social responsibilities?

With that food for thought I put it to rest with a serious request to all of you who have already seen the movie. Please do not hesitate in sharing your own views. If you concur with my apprehension please come out in open and support this crusade against a corrupt censorship. We are better off without it. Should you find my outburst just too lame and/or emotional lacking any considerable merit I would welcome your bashing me up as well. Let's open this sensitive debate for a possible conclusive actionable we owe to our future generations.

On REndex, I give 10 out of 10 to Salman for his charisma and star power, 7 for his acting in this movie and -10 for his carelessly using "Being Human" when he hardly means it, at least for his young fans.

Jai Ho!!

(C) Rits Original

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rendezvous with Nursery teacher!

Rendezvous with Nursery teacher!

Dear (would be) teacher,

At the onset, I find you quite an affable person & I am more than glad to offer you my hug. If you exude warmth in the process I could actually consider planting couple of kisses on both of your blushes with a smile (which my parents say is one of its kind) between my lips. Of course they are probably programmed to be so very effusive all the time while taking pride in their little doll's astonishing vice-like grip on even the passing breeze.

In another couple of months from now I will turn three and I can see both my mom n dad getting some anxious moments n sleepless nights already what with my admission to a good school's nursery class getting on to their nerves. This disturbs me even as I know that all my teachers in my current play school where I am showering all of my bliss would be heartbroken just with the very thought of parting with me. Such is the strong bond I have been able to form with them & I know that I have been their most favourite protégé for the past 7-8 months. I find myself truly blessed to have earned so much of unconditional embrace by all.

Quite honestly, if you ask them, my parents would love me to spend the next couple of years at home only as they are firm believers in the old dictum "home is the best school and parents are the best teachers". Though after discharging his bread winner's duties through the day my dad devotes considerable time with me (I am fortunate that my mom keeps doing it round the clock) I believe they are merely concerned about my getting exposed to the outside world too soon. I agree that it is understandable also on their part given the early turbulences they had to so strongly hold fort against while I was still just few weeks into this world. But I am sure that at the end of day they'll be the first ones to acknowledge what unmatchable value add & exposure one young baby like me could have just by the virtue of my being party to a methodically selected group (or class) of few kids.

On my part, I also make sure that I do not let any of their effort go fruitless. That's when I surprised them by learning the nine planets' names "in order" even before my dad could do so! Surprised? Didn't it? Not as much because he studied in vernacular all the time and for him it was as unique & laborious exercise as it was for me. Thanks to my mom's ingenuity out of all my subsequent 'indulgences' this planet-o-mania remains the show stopper, for me and for those who so affectionately adore me.

I do not quite get when my teachers fondly call me a "Google Child"! From what immensely cute acts my all other pals perform in my play class I realize that all my parents' teachings keep mesmerizing the teachers. Be it my being able to take names of all the continents, oceans, days of the week, months of the year, our national animal, national bird or national flower with absolutely effortless ease or be it my recitation of the "Johny Johny", "Yes Papa!" I feel so very good while cheering the mood around.

I know that I have few chinks too in my armour like I keep getting stuck at all of twenty nine's, thirty nine's, forty nine's etc. before being sheepishly prompted to thirty, forty, fifty and so on until I reach the coveted HUNDRED and raise both of my hands in jubilation! I also know that I get mischievous while crossing the "Poonam Nagar" in our home address & instead improvise it as "Boongam Bangam"! But I more than make up for it by correctly dictating my dad's mobile no. with all of its ten digits in exactly the same unique order as they are meant to be memorized as.

Now I have come to your door step to explore the possibilities of my making your school my adolescent years' abode of learning. I am sure that by now you have already formed my alter-image in your subconscious mind and that you are as excited to the ensuing "interaction" with me as I am. So what's stopping you from taking that leap of faith in me? If I am more than committed to do it for you I am sure I won't ever let you down if you do so.

Come, fall in fun!

Yours truly

(C) Rits Original