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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

3 Idiots

I finally saw 3 Idiots. After reading so many reviews about the movie by some renowned reviewers and listening comments of close by friends, the movie had become an important issue and I was dying to watch this movie. So, the one chance I got to see the movie, I grabbed it.
So much has already been written the movie that it virtually leaves nothing to write. But among these, only one review was “jara hatke”. (http://shobhaade.blogspot.com/2010/01/so-who-is-idiot-huh.html). And I totally agree with the initial lines. “Okay. I saw it. And liked it. Liked. Not loved.”
I can give many reasons for that.
One foremost reason, may be, I had too high expectations. But of course one must keep high expectations with a movie that earns 300 crores in just 10 days!
Now I will point out what I didn’t liked and what I did.

The name itself is not correct. There were no 3 idiots. The movie was all about one idiot. Right from beginning to the end, there was only one, Aamir Khan.

The ragging session was bit absurd. Only one senior in charge and rarely any other senior in view! Looked like juniors were doing their own ragging sessions as if it was an assignment. Do you remember any senior fellow actually looking at the James bond act of Chatur. I guess nobody. I found it less of ragging session but more of mental asylum scene.

Making juniors remove all their cloth is I guess the favorite ragging method known to the Bollywood director. We saw the same in Munnabhai MBBS. And I know the director of 2 movies is the same person.

Giving shocking treatment to senior to avoid ragging was interesting to watch. But showing the use of same trick in the end was totally unnecessary and I guess it was boasting idea on kids and young guys.

Zip, unzip to define machine might be acceptable in case of a student, but if a faculty repeating the same act in front of whole class is not. I feel the faculty still is a respectable person in India and doesn't do such acts in class. At least I haven't seen it.

I am still looking for a college, institute where any student directly approaches the Dean, Director, Principal just to ask the date of convocation so that his father could book the tickets in time. He should have contacted the office. Poor guy would have lived few more days and completed his project.

Suicide definitely has become a center point of the movie. Talk about 3 suicides (if I haven't missed any else). I guess only Sharman Joshi's mental situation was understandable to take decision of attempting suicide. Rest two, I guess were unnecessary.

Instead of himself trying and giving surprise to “Joy” with his completed project, Rancho should have been shown helping the guy doing his project in some or the other way. If the guy had so much self respect that he committed suicide just because Virus said he won’t graduate and showed no interest in his project, then I guess he would have discouraged more knowing that a junior without much prior knowledge about project could easily finish his project which he failed. I guess he would then have committed suicide in a worse manner then what he did.

I wonder when these people will stop showing Professor, Principal as an eccentric guy.

I am yet to see a Principal who gives introductory lecture in hostel.

I wonder how Virus must be making use of time he spends in loo, when he tries to use the short span of seven and half minutes of nap for doing unnecessary work. Also, I am yet to come across a professor who shaves in his office. Aren't all these eccentric things shown unnecessarily?

The scene between Madhavan and Parikshit Sahani was a repeat of scene from Lage Raho Munnabhai between Jimmy Shergil and again Parikshit Sahani.

The runaway bride was again a copy of Dil Hai ki Manta Nahi. It did fit well there but definitely not here.

I was thinking what they tried to tell by making guys remove their pants every now and then, anywhere. I just hope I don't witness any such act in real life.

I didn't expected the effect of “All is Well” shown in Delivery scene in Aamir Khan's movie. That was the worst of all above points and brought the movie down to normal level from the perfectionist Aamir Khan's standard.

Ranchoddas Chanchad( Is it a right name), is a Gujrati (as Karina Kapoor mentioned) who has pushtaini jamin and haweli in Simla!!!

Is it possible to just drag computer and take it near the pingpong table without any wiring issue. Was it all wireless? I spend nearly an hour arranging the wiring if I wish to shift my computer from one corner to another in the same room.

I guess I can continue with some more points. But instead now I will put some (actually very few as compared to above list) points that make movie worth watching.

The movie has a better story as now a day’s seen in many movies.

The movie is well made and keeps you watching.

It doesn’t lose the grip.

No issues about acting skills. Although movie is all about Aamir Khan, still Sharman Joshi, Madhavan, Karina Kapoor and others have done well in their less important roles.

Most appealing part of the movie was the shooting in Ladakh. That was the welcome treat for the eyes and I tried to store every scene in my mind. Ladakh is beautiful.

Rancho teaching how to teach. A very good point made in a very short time.

I cannot think of any other point in support of the movie at the moment. It definitely is not a movie that should break all the records and earn so heavily as it is doing but it definitely is worth watching once. Moreover the message is very loud and clear if understood well:

Follow your Heart and pursue your dreams

Monday, January 18, 2010


I am staying in a flat that belongs to an old 76 years old lady Ann Marie. You had a glimpse of her in one of my earlier posts (http://drkaustubhjoshi.blogspot.com/2010/01/cocktail-party.html). Its some time now that I know the lady. Someone had arranged for my accommodation before I arrived in Paris, so I didn’t know till I met her. I was standing outside my present apartment with my friend waiting for a lady who comes originally from Vietnam, can’t speak English really and is 76 years old. I was not sure how she will come, in a bus, taxi or somebody would drive her to the house. To my surprise a lady came driving a BMW a very old one in a style, parked it close to us , came out and asked in a French, Vietnami mixed English if we are the one who arrived from India. My friend, who is here in paris for last 4 years is aware of general etiquettes needed to be followed while initiating conversation with French people, took initiative and tried making conversation with the lady. The lady considered him as the one who has rented the apartment and took him by hand and started dragging towards the entrance. I was just a viewer seeing my friend in a bit funny situation and taking first lessons analyzing the lady and thinking about what all I would be experiencing in coming days. Very soon she realized it is me who has taken the apartment and my friend was released from her grip being replaced by me.
That was the beginning. I had to meet her many times in coming days for some or the other reason. I started knowing her more and more in spite of the fact that our conversations always lost the desired directions thanks to the mixture of three languages.
I found out that she has many such places which she gives on rent. It was her major source of income. In her house she had given three rooms to 3 Indian guys who work for Infosys nearby. That brought to my notice that in such a big house she is the only one from her family. Her mother died when she was 30 years old. She also lost her father very soon. I could not understand much of the details, but her arrival in Paris had some links with the Vietnam War. Her husband who was a professor of mathematics died many years back. She used to work as an assistant under one of the doctors in a hospital.These are bits of pieces of her history
I found her a very kind and generous lady. As normally is the case, she is a family oriented lady who likes to have lots of family members around her. She has two sons. Younger one is studying in a university and stays elsewhere. The elder one....., married a French girl and stays very close but still very far away from her. Once, while telling her family story, she said, “I don’t know why French girls want their husband to be just theirs. They don’t want to share them”. She tried hard but couldn’t avoid her eyes getting wet. May be that’s why she tries to find a family in people staying with her as tenants. I do not stay in her house, but those who stay in her house experience grandmother’s love. Even I experience the affection. She do interact professionally! but with a tint of love and affection. I personally feel she tries to give much more than what the tenant deserves. In return I guess she expects some moments shared. I try to do that and listen to whatever she is telling, even if it does not interest me at times. I share a cup of tea with her which has no sugar, at times close to no tea, no milk but just boiling water. At times I manage to drink 2 to 3 cup of such a tea just because she feels I liked and keep pouring it as soon as my cup is empty.
I realised she makes a bond with every person who comes in contact with her. I saw that 2 Indians who stayed hardly for few days at her home, while leaving, presented her a nice gift.
I see that she has grown old. She spills half of the orange juice on floor, a bit on me while pouring it in glass to offer me. I see that she can’t write the rent receipts ending up telling me what I should be fill in which section of the printed receipts, just signing in the end. I see her taking efforts in getting up from floor, because she has broken her bones many a times, in absence of anybody around, trying to tell her pains in funny manner as possible.
I had no plans to write this post. But after her yesterdays visit I made my mind. She revealed another chapter of old life when she was kid or young. She comes from family having six kids. I guess she is the eldest one. The poor condition made the family divide into 3 parts with 4 out of 6 in a group of 2 each had to take shelter at their relatives place. She being elder one had to behave as responsible one. She used to Jovial and showing enjoying all the fun and being happy while people are around. But use to weep once in the bed. Just imagine a 76 years old lady telling you the entire story with all the actions to convey her real feelings. I could read it because I saw her eyes getting wet and she tried to hide it making funny faces. The struggle was not over even in later years when she had to work in 3 shifts at different places allowing her to sleep for hardly 1 hr a day and that too in a bathroom. I can’t imagine how difficult her life must have been and which way will it be going in coming years. With growing age definitely her life is not going to be better, but a bit bitter.
This is our Ann-Marie.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A cool music piece: Conquest of Paradise

I heard this group while moving around in La Defence. There was a fair orgainized in there and in one of the corner shop these 2 or I guess 3 people were playing beautiful music piece. Well and that was most crowded area in the fair. I managed to record a small piece of it. Really can't remember which one is it, but I liked it and so posting it here. Updates: I searched around and this music piece is known "Conquest of Paradise". 1492: Conquest of Paradise is a 1992 music score by Greek electronic composer and artist Vangelis. The film, a recount of the voyage to America in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, was directed by Ridley Scott.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The cocktail party!

I attended a cocktail party recently.
I don't drink but since it was arranged by Science Accueil, an organization that helps Scientists visiting France find accommodation, I was suggested to attend it to get acquainted with fellow foreign scientists.
Since my house owner who is connected to organization for many years, was also invited, we planned to go together.My house owner is an old lady of ~78 years old and of Vietnam origin settled in Paris for last many years. She picked me up from the station. We had decided to meet at 5.30 pm at the Station gates.
But I guess even French standard time runs like Indian standard time i.e. everything runs late than expected time. So, as I had expected as usual I reached 20 mins before time and she reached 30 mins late.So for a total of 50 mins I was standing outside the station in cold chilly shivering wind.

Since the party was kind of introduction for foreigners in France, who don't speak one language it started with putting tags to every person with the details of their name and the language they speak.
So, I had a tag:

Kaustubh Joshi
I speak English!

It then started with a talk which went on for some 20-25 mins. They were telling about all the activities organized by them for the foreginers. The talk was initially in French later translated to English by another person.
We were standing in  a big hall with no chairs to sit, apparently considering the later arrangement for the party. So, it was all standing and listening to what two people on dias were speaking for over an hour.

Finally, all the talks were over, and it was the time to begin the cocktail party.
Champagnes and Wine bottles were opened, corks were flying everywhere in air and everybody started rushing to pick their glass.
I had no reason to rush so was standing behind but my house owner, a 78 years old lady jumped into the crowd.
and she brought 2 glasses in her hand offering me one!
I told her I don`t drink!
but it was so crowded and so noisy she was not able to understand. It was all getting chaotic with she putting it deliberately in my hands and me trying not to touch it.
To add to that everybody around started looking at whats happening between us.
That made me feel odd and just to avoid any situation coming up I accepted the glass.
I have heard so much about this red wine that it would have been a crime if I would not have tasted red wine even after visiting Paris. In fact I had to hear words like, "You haven`t tasted red wine, oh, you have all this time living in heaven and not having fun".
So, I thought, "let`s give it a try".
The first sip itself said all.
Forgive me all wine lovers, but I feel it is one of the rubbish tastes I ever had in my life. And you can not justify saying it might not be a good one, because this cocktail party of Science Accueil is quite famous in the area.
I just wanted to spit it out. but couldn`t.
The owner was I guess on high by now and was hitting her glass with full enthusiasm on mine saying "cheers"!!!!!!
         Fortunately these people do not fill glass full as I have seen back in India.
I tried measuring the content with eyes. It was not more than say 10 ml, that is roughly the amount of diluted Benadryl, the cough syrup we take. So, it was just one more sip I had to en gulp.
I hold my breathe and dumped the remaining in mouth and kept the glass on the table with a bang (i felt like imitating the love shattered bollywood hero who bangs the glass on table finishing all the alcohol in one go).
But yes i have had one glass of wine and definitely this act can never happen again. I wonder how people like to drink it one after the other glass !!!
I tried to change the taste with coke, orange juice etc etc, but the bad taste overpowered all others.
On the other side the owner had geared up totally. She was in full flow. The lady serving wine was her friend and so was easily accessible to get her glass refilled.
Very soon she had finished 3-4 glasses. She then asked me "Do you want to drink anymore?"
Well "NO" was the prompt and the quickest answer I would have given in recent times.
Once done with I guess some 7-8 glasses she decided to go back home.
The future was looking gloomy to me.
It was dark and raining heavily outside.
To add to that the Paris roads are very narrow, hardly wide enough for two cars to cross and they mostly run with 2 way traffic.
The owner, now the driver had just finished drinking 7-8 glass of wine and she is a 78 years old lady.
Her glass (spectacles, in case u misunderstand) were not good on this particular day as she informed while leaving the party venue, and she probably will have some vision problem while driving back home.
When we reached for the car,all the window and front glasses were covered with a heavy layer of due, so nothing was clear.
For a moment the driver of bus in movie Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban lingered in my imagination.
The effect of alcohol was soon clear when she tried taking car out of parking, it hit something which i could not see at all, and i guess she was not even aware of!
With the help of people around guiding her with obstacles on way, she finally managed to get the car on track.
I was in no better situation than a scared rabbit worrying about the cloud about to fall on its head.
The task was difficult because it was a long run of ~10 kms passing through a big stretch of highway.
To add to it, she told me, she is not sure about the way back to home.I realized it when on highway, she tried to suddenly turn right making guy behind apply emergency brakes and then again realizing it not being the right turn returning to the highway almost in the same speed, making the guy behind again apply emergency brakes. That was the first I heard somebody blowing horn in Paris.
I realized I can not see anything in front of me because of the layer of due on glass and the vapors condensed inside.
I took a cloth and tried to clean it. Only then did I came to know that this is big road with all the vehicles running at speed of 100+ kmph speed.
To my astonishment, the owner asked me to clean the glass infront of her also because she was also not able to see anything!!!

I started praying for no more shocking news coming my way.
With God`s grace nothing happened further and we safely reached home.
That was the fortunate end of the journey teaching many lessons on the way.