Monday, 30 April 2007

Spider-Man 3: Net-works???

Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man 3 hit the screens in India with a record 588 prints on the 4th of May 2007। Of this, the number of English prints is a mere 162 compared with the dubbed Hindi version being released with 261 prints, followed by 78 prints for Tamil and Telugu। While 3 prints have been released in the IMAX format, 6 prints have been brought out for the privileged Bhojpuri masses। (Source: Economic Times) Two successful sagas, historic box-office collections, two vanquished villains, spanking brand rejuvenation, and plenty of anticipation – Spider-Man 3 had to surpass the unmatched precedents of its antecedents। It sure has more to offer than before; 3 horrendous villains, a longer movie, two costumes for Spider-Man, lot of drama, and of course - a double-chin for Tobey Maguire। It lacks the quick narrative of Episode 1 and ends up being a lot like Episode 2 – dry and drab. The movie is peppered with refrains of feel-good dialogues and dilemmatic discourses. Spider-Man 3 packs in more drama than the quintessential punch and ends up being a 3 hour sermonizing session. The English version didn’t appeal to me personally. I opine it would be more interesting to watch it in the regional languages. What would the villains be called? Green Goblin or Hara Haiwan, Dr. Octavius or Doctor Ashtabaahu, Sandman or Retibandar, Venom or Vish-wanaath. According to ‘Mumbai Mirror’ with the inimitable Ravi Kissen dubbing for Toby Maguire in Bhojpuri, this is what Spider-Man would sound like – “Hum maakad maanav hain. Hum udkar aayab aur tohaar tetuva dabaa deb!”(I am Spider-Man. I’ll come charging at you, and throttle you to death.) I am sure that would be worth watching! Here is my conjecture, what the Hindi version would be like: Uncle Ben’s (Banwari Chacha) distinct – “With great power comes great responsibility” in Hindi would be something like this: Jis tarah Suhaagan apne suhaag ke bina adhoori hoti hai, Usi tarah apaar shakti zimmedaari ke saath hi poori hoti hai! “It is about making choices” - This is what Spidey would be saying to himself in Hindi, Musibat mein apne dil ki suno, Aur phir sahi paryaay chuno, Bhagwaan se yehi duaa ha ki, Tum hameshaa shaandaar jaal buno! Sony Pictures could cash in on the Spider-Man franchise. Corporate franchises would be an economically viable option to market the web weaver’s merchandise. Dedicated outlets catering to Spider-Man related paraphernalia would make for a successful commercial investment. The stores could be innovatively christened ‘Web World’. These would sell toys, outfits, t-shirts, DVDs (regional, too), games, books, posters, coffee mugs, etc. all based on the web-wonder. The catch-line of the store could be – “Jaal ki baazi lagaane waale ko JAALBAAZ kehte hain!” Finally, for the song-fanatic audience, the following item number could be thrown in at the end of the movie. It would have girls gushing over Spider-Man as he swings around the city to save damsels-in-distress. The tune is courtesy the song “Mirchi re Mirchi” from the movie “Jurmana” starring Mithun Chakraborty and Rambha. Makda, oye makda, Kamaal kar gaya. Dil ko churake mere, Bura haal kar gaya! Or maybe models singing paeans of praises by rendering the following song set to the tune of ‘Kajra Re’, from ‘Bunty aur Babli’ starring Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai! Makda re makda re, Mujhe tune kyun pakda re? Jakda re, jakda re, Baahon mein kyun jakda re? I am sure, with such value-additions; Spider-Man would continue to cast a spell on the worldwide web of people. Any other suggestions?

Friday, 9 March 2007

A Tribute to Women.

I read my friend Vivek reddy's blog - Ode to Minerva. It was a fantastic piece, aptly written to coincide with International Women's Day, and truly a literary masterpiece (It is okay to exaggerate at times!!!). I thought, even I should write something about Women. So here it goes, a compilation of quotations that embodies the quintessesntial unflagging spirit of Women. (Only the last four are original.)

Women are from Venus, but Men are just down to earth

What a strange thing man is; and what a stranger thing woman. -Lord Byron

A pessimist is a man who thinks all women are bad. An optimist is one who hopes they are.
-Senator Chauncey Depew
Brigands demand your money or your life; women require both.
- Samuel Butler

One of the most difficult things in the world is to convince a woman that even a bargain costs money.
- Edgar Watson Howe
Despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, I have not been able to answer... the great question that has never been answered: what does a woman want?
-Sigmund Freud

A woman's mind is cleaner than a man's -- That's because she changes it more often.
-Oliver Hereford
Woman was made at the end of the week’s work, when God was tired.
Behind every successful man is a surprised woman. -Mary Pearson

What is better than wisdom? Woman. And what is better than a good woman? Nothing.
-Geoffrey Chuacer, The Canterbury Tales
Women have a wonderful instinct about things. They can discover everything except the obvious.
-Oscar Wilde

Men are born, Women are to be borne!
It is said that the Army prepares you for the harsh realities in life.
Men who can’t join the army, get married!

All good things must come to an end. Maybe that’s why God made man, and then woman!
Days have been conceived not for commemoration or felicitation but, to remember the forgotten – for instance Valentine’s Day, Friendship Day, and I forgot the main one “International Women’s Day”!

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Jaan Tere Naam...

The general perception about my nick of the woods is that it is a village, a place made only for a country bumpkin like me! Well that’s exactly what I am going to disprove.

Today, while I was setting out for my office, waiting at the bus stop (Ya we have buses, gone are the days of bullock carts!) I kept looking at the watch. I was getting late. (And Ya, there is no time difference between Panvel and Mumbai. Although looking at it, you’d feel it ought to belong to different times.)

Finally my messiah came, driving a Tata Safari, wearing an orange bandana and those spectacular goggles. He was driving toward my office and offered me a lift. I happily jumped in, with an opportunity to “rub shoulders” (The car was jam-packed you see!) with 9 more people.

Here comes the exciting part. There was an LCD (I don’t know what it is called, so am faking it) screen in the Sumo. And you won’t believe it – the movie being played was “Jaan Tere Naam”. Eat your heart out guys. I was the fortunate one, ensconced firmly in the back seat and gifted this Godsend opportunity to watch this path-breaking movie! Ask any child about two things that he/she remembers about 1992 – the reply will be 1) Pakistan won the World Cup, and 2) Jaan Tere Naam was realeased.

So for all my unconversant friends, “Jaan Tere Naam” was one of those epochal movies of the early nineties, which changed the life of every person who saw that movie. (It just made them more miserable? NO WAY) It touched their lives in a unique way.

It starred Ronit Roy (the current Big B of the small screen) and Farheen. Here goes the plot, poor boy meets rich girl in college. They fall in love, due to circumstantial encumbrances, the girl ditches the boy. Boy falls into the rut of depression. He learns that his girl is going to get married to someone else. That is when our hero dons the bright colours of band-walleh and goes marching along with the band into the girl’s marriage place and breaks into a jig.

Now, please read carefully... The following lines have been penned by expert lyricists. Please do not try this at home!!! (I am sure this is where Gulzar got inspiration from for his “Humko maloom hai (Jaaneman)”) Do not lose the essence of the song while getting lost in appreciating its literary value.

“First time dekha tumhein hum kho gaya
Second time mein love ho gaya!

Ye akhkha India jaanta hai, hum tumpe marta hai Dil kya cheez hai jaanam, apni Jaan Tere Naam karta hai. Tere se marriage karne ko main Bambai se Goa aaya. Pan mere ko Father ne tere Red Signal dikhlaya. Father se tere kya lena mujhe, Tu chahe mujhko main chahoon tujhe! Ye akhkha India jaanta hai, hum tumpe marta hai Dil kya cheez hai jaanam, apni Jaan Tere Naam karta hai…”

WOW! Whatever happened to the days of writing intelligible songs!!! It was vintage Kumar Sanu, at his nasal best! At times it sounded nasal, but most of the times, the voice seemed to be originating from some other orifice. I was on cloud nine when it began. The bristling of the hair on my hands had begun, I started nodding, tapping my feet, and even gyrating to the beats. People had strange expressions on their faces I guess they can’t appreciate cinema at its best. It does not get any bigger or better than this movie!

There are many more gems in this movie – the sensational songs, the amazing acting, and most of all a sense of belonging with an era that has gone by. I would recommend this movie to anyone who would want to relive those wonderful moments. I also plan to request my friends to learn this song. It would be a befitting tribute to our college to sing this evergreen melody at our next alumni meet!

Ye akhkha India jaanta hai, hum tumpe marta hai
Dil kya cheez hai jaanam, apni Jaan Tere Naam karta hai…

The car halted, I got down. I was a changed man – a fulfilled man. Not everyone gets dropped to office and gets to see “Jaan Tere Naam”. All thanks to Panvel! I guess, I am destiny’s child!!!

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Current Affairs

Yesterday was Valentine’s day. With no one to spend my day with, I decided to plunge into dreamland (wearing psychedelic clothes and the inscrutable pencil-moustache) to sing romantic duets with my heroine from South India. But then, as happens in all movies – the villains buzzed their way into the scene. It was a host of “bloody mosquitoes”. The time was 1:30 am – For the nth time, it was a power cut (till 4:00 am)!!! Maharashtra’s energy minister, Mr. Dilip-Walse Patil says there is no power-relief till 2008. Hurrah! To meet the shortfall of 5,700 MW(megawatts), the State Government plans to borrow power from captive power units run by companies. It also has plans to get the Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Ltd. (RGPPL) operating at its full capacity of 2,100 MW per day from November-end. The big question however is ‘Where to get the fuel for RGPPL from?’ This inevitably will come at the cost of the consumer, as the State Government has been threatening to buy fuel at an exorbitant price. Load-shedding is not the solution. In commercial establishments, people have changed their work timings to adjust to this bizarre scenario. The net result is the same – the same amount of power consumed. The way to tackle the problem would be to educate the public about the power crisis, prevent power wastage and pilferage. People must take the initiative to save energy, be it at offices, public places, or their homes. Mumbai might enjoy uninterrupted power supply today, but if their seemingly callous attitude continues, it won’t be too long before they too are in the dark! The bottom-line is – A watt saved is a watt earned! God said let there be light – and MSED(Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution) played spoilsport. Well not exactly! All our festivals have been celebrated with great fanfare since time immemorial and the trend continues. Mega-watt decorations and blaring bhajans have always received preference at the cost of the common man. Let us not forget the cacophonous and fatuous campaigning of our political parties organize during elections. These “Power Derangers” (I have taken the liberty to coin the word Deranger from derange) have paralyzed the state with their petulant “Power Plays”. To paraphrase what Dave Berry said – “The only reason why I believe that electricity exists, is because the electric company keeps sending me astronomical bills for it.” Whatever be the case or the cause, we definitely are “light-years” away from interminable electric supply. Well on a “lighter” note, one good thing is children from areas like Amravati, Kolhapur, and Panvel will definitely be the indisputable champions if Blind Man’s Buff is organized at the National Level. Also, couples no longer will have to pine for those rare and romantic candle-light dinners. “Groping in the dark” has now assumed a totally different meaning!!!