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Sunday, November 25, 2012

India's Capital

While browsing I came across this video on youtube:

What do Americans know about India? Find out


I am not sure, but I did not liked the use of National Anthem in the beginning score of the video.

Anyways, two answers in the video which caught me off the guard and stumped me were:

Q: What is the capital of India?
A: Bangladesh

Q: What is Bollywood?
A: India's Capital

Well, not knowing other country is quite normal,so, nothing wrong there.

But the above two answers were way out of my imagination.

Enjoy the video. Well, not really.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ajmal Kasab

One news today morning took every Indian by surprise. Ajmal Kasab was hanged till death in Pune's Yerwada Jail today early morning around 7.30 am. There was nothing in air about this incident to happen in near future,so when people heard this news today, it changed the mood altogether.
Who was Ajmal Kasab?
He was member of terrorist group who attcked Mumbai on November 26,2008. He was the only terrorist captured alive out of the 10 who attacked different places in Mumbai. His main target was CST and the neighboring places.
It was one of the biggest terrorist attacks on India since 1993 bomb blast. 166 people lost their lives. These terrorists started firing blindly at anybody and everybody who came across them. Apparently one of their main targets was the Taj hotel which is known for hosting foreign tourists mainly from USA and European countries. But at the same time they also targeted   public places like CST. It only suggests there was no discrimination and only intention was to kill people, as many as possible.
It was one of the shocking day in the history of India. Every Indian felt this  attack. Those who lost their beloveds in this attack were totally devastated. Those who experienced  the situation still feel tormented. All others who witnessed it from long distance are still full of rage. It took almost 4 days to bring situation under control. Many policemen and defense personnel lost their lives. Only 10  terrorists carrying AK-47 and other weapons held Mumbai on gunpoint.
Ajmal Kasab was of those 10 who opened firing at CST and went on rampage with AK47 in his hand. Probably he was not content with the number of people killed there, so, moved out of CST and started firing people in open, on a near by hospital, policemen coming across and what not.
Police managed to catch Kasab alive while his partner was killed in counter attack.
It took 4 years to put charges on him, prove them,  again prove them in higher courts, finally get consent from President against his mercy appeal and then hang him till death on this very day.
People were getting more and more anxious with every passing day and started condemning the Government for the delay blaming it of  doing Vote bank politics. They lost the confidence in Government over this and were sure that Government will never take this big step. Even today when the news was disclosed, they started claiming that he must have died of Dengue fever and just to save their skin, government is declaring that they hanged him.
On internet, people openly appreciated the move and congratulated in spite of the fact that it actually involved a death of a person, which normally is not a case with Indians.
This is a big day in every Indian's life. Though, the news has been followed by some counter warnings from some terrorist outfits. I hope India learns its lesson from the mistakes it made 4 years back and remain prepared for any such attack, so that Indians won't have to turn blunt enough to celebrate the death of  a person.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

BalaSaheb Thakre: End of an era

BalaSaheb Thakre died yesterday afternoon. His death made us realize that he was not just another politician, but a phenomenon that had a much bigger effect than one can expect.
Personally, I hadn't experienced much of his effect. I grew up outside Maharashtra and in days when either newspaper or Doordarshan were the source of information. The local newspaper had no reason to print news about him and Doordarshan news were never interesting enough to sit and listen unless it mentioned Cricket. By the time, I became a part of the Maharashtra and started understanding the regional politics, I guess, Balasaheb had started handing over his power to the subordinates and his Son.
All I know about Balasaheb was he was a very good Cartoonist, an artist at his heart and a very great Orator. I never heard him but I see a glimpse of what he must have been when I see Raj Thakre talks who accepts Balasaheb Thakre as his mentor.
He started his political career in a time when there was no one to listen to what middle class and lower middle class Marathi people are complaining about. He gave a voice to these people and talked about their problems. And when people realized that there is somebody who is speaking exactly those words which they have in their minds and hearts, they unknowingly started following him. That is how, Balasaheb Thakre started creating base of his political party. He plucked the right chords at he right time and that made all the Marathi people his Fan.
Two things which are openly told about him were, he never did and never supported any Caste based politics and he never restricted himself to his party. At times he even supported the decisions of an opposing party leader. Recently, he openly supported the candidature of Pranav Mukherjee for the President position although his allies of NDA had their own candidate.
It was surprising to listen to the comments of some of the politicians who sound quite genuine while sharing their experiences with Balasaheb Thakre.
Outside politics also, Balasaheb had a big impression over people. Then they may be singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Businessmen like Bajaj, Actors like Amitabh or Sanjay Dutt or players like Sachin or Harbhajan.
I experienced his effect over people in last two days, when there were people openly crying and trying to wipe their tears on listening the news of his demise. It gives you goosebumps when you read that within 24 hours, almost 2 millions or 20 lakh people gather to participate in his funeral without invitation.
I had known about only one another Indian politician who made such a mark on Indian people and that was Mrs. Indira Gandhi. I believe after Indira Gandhi, its only Balasaheb Thakre who has reached such a stature. May be there is some leader in South India like Karunanidhi who is respected and followed to this extent, but otherwise, I do not see anybody anywhere close to this level to move people after they stop living with them. May his soul rest in peace.

Son of Sardar

Two movies Son of Sardar (SOS) and Jab tak hai Jaan (JTHJ) were released on the same day, recently. There was some controversy over the booking of theaters by Yashraj films producing JTHJ. But that is not the topic being discussed here.
Over the weekend I wanted to see a movie and it was a big question which one to go for. On one side JTHJ is produced by big banner Yashraj films, with it becoming the last movie directed by Yash Chopra, on the other side, all I know about SOS's director is that his last movie was Atithee kab jaoge.
While the star cast in either movies is strong, the story of JTHJ was known to be a romantic but there was no clear idea about SOS's story. I used to like Shahrukh Khan's movies earlier, but none of his recent movies have done well to impress me. I have never been a fan of Ajay devgan's movies. Although some of his movies have been hard hitting with an impressive acting, but I could never blindly follow his movies.
In spite of all the facts, I don't know what inspired me to choose SOS over JTHJ. And I think my decision never was so right earlier. It was totally a fun time watching SOS. Agreed it faltered a lot on the laws of sensibilities and also physics, but who cares if the movie entertains you. Moreover, after a long time I guess, a movie can be considered as a family movie. It will be really difficult for one to find an awkward scene in the movie.
To begin with, Ajay Devgan fits perfectly as a Sikh guy. I think after Sunny Deol, his portrayal of Sikh was believable. He pulled very well different aspects connected with Sikhs like being very strong and at the same time very funny. The scenes like him helping Sonakshi getting in the train, or in the scene trying to get the Coconut inside window, have turned hilarious.
I am not sure what is it with his entry in a movie always, that many a times he has been shown arriving as standing on things, either 2 bikes, 2 four wheelers or on 2 horses as in this movie. I don't know about Ajay, but the two horses appeared little uncomfortable running parallel and so close to each other. All the time of Ajay's entry, I was only watching at 2 horses.
Cameo by Salman Khan was unnecessary, or may to pull some of his fan crowd to movie, or to justify his appearance in end of movie song “Pon Po Po Po Pon'.
Sonakshi Sinha was OK in the movie, nothing great to act in the movie for her. But she has overused the words like “Chal Jhuta” or “Kutte Kamine” in the movie and after an interval starts irritating you. I am not sure if she on her own did the bike stunt, but she appear to be fit to do that stunt.
Most interesting make over in the movie is of Sanjay Dutt. He has really pulled off a fantastic character once again in this movie. I never liked him as a hero, but since the time he has shifted towards doing other roles, he appears to be doing great job. Whether it is the “Kancha China” of Agneepath or the character played in this movie, his get up has been awesome and he really made those characters look actual and real. I believe, Sanjay Dutt has now started growing as an actor and he should really explore more of such diverse roles.

Another interesting character in the movie is Juhi Chawla's. She seems little old here, but still looks beautiful. It was good to see Juhi in this movie.
Overall the movie was well made. It makes you laugh. Though the stunts are way over real to believe, you won't mind. You know that a back sack carrying some property related documents is not a good weapon to hit people hard enough to throw them in air, but, that's OK. 

Songs are OK probably, may be listenable, but I did not took efforts to give an ear to those. There was some cry over the song “Pon Po Po Po Pon” I read about. But it was OK, considering it was at the end of the movie, with no connection to movie, and with Salman Khan appearing as main act, who normally pull off such songs with some ununderstandable acting skills.
At times,the movie slightly reminded of another Punjabi family related movie “Jab we met”. Other characters like Tanuja, Vidhoo Dara Singh and Mukul Dev also take credits for some good moments in the movie. Overall, the movie is refreshing and enjoyable. I would suggest, although it can be a family watch movie, it will be more interesting to watch with friends in theater.