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Aaditya and Me by Aditya Joshi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

FIFA at the convo hall

About my experience watching a football match screened live in Convocation Hall, IIT Bombay

Half of my friends are going to fall off their chairs at the first sentence itself - considering the fact that I am as related to sports as Rakhi Sawant is to sandpaper manufacturers of the world.

So here I was with four friends, in the auditorium where the match was being screened. Pramod exclaimed, "Oh, bahut match baaki hai!" And I murmured in his ear, "What is the duration of a football match?"

Obviously unaware of the depths of my ignorance, he looked at me like I had asked him to give away his right eye (and his CSRE identity card.) and said, "90!"

We sat down to watch the match. The scoreboard said that the match was a BRA against a PRK. While I guessed 'BRA' would be Brazil, I heard Shobhit say, "Barcelona" when I thought that's what BRA was for. For 'PRK', I kept guessing. From the players, I could make out that they were East Asians - but there was no country that I knew that had those initials.

While my guessing game as to which match I was actually watching was on, someone hit a goal and Shobhit shouted. Totally unaware, I looked around like I had been slapped by an invisible ghost - finally I could see the goal again in slow motion. The coach's and the players' expressions in slow motion were so Shahrukh-Khan-like. I almost thought they were imitating hamare-apne-King-Khan. (Notice the inverse mapping?)

Later when I noticed that there were 'ohh moments' (Missed goals, etc. in the game where the audience goes 'ohh') in the game, I shouted 'ohh' at regular intervals - with no support from the audience. I chose to keep quiet after some time.

Finally, when the ninety minutes were over, another timer appeared on the screen. I so wanted to ask Pramod how long this timer goes for - but I was genuinely scared of being knocked down. Hence, I chose to remain quiet.

The match ended. The lights of the auditorium were turned on and we walked out of the auditorium.

I was proudly singing the Wavin' flag song. So what if I had not understood much/anything, I had watched a football match today!

Monday, June 07, 2010


Way back in 1984, thousands of innocent citizens choked to their deaths while over a lakh equally unfortunate ones lived a life of pity, of deformities and diseases.. with no fault of theirs whatsoever.

Twenty-six years later, a Rs.5,00,000 fine has been imposed on UICL. The eight convicted the case got a punishment of, hold your breath, two years which was overridden by a bail of Rs. 25,000. The chairman (notice the uncapitalized 'c') of the firm, an American citizen never presented himself in the Court.

The incident was an incident of neglect, of apathy towards security.

The price was deaths and diseases. And two years. And 25,000Rs.

The city choked in 1984. A country choked today.

However bad it is to say this, but occasions like these put a question mark on my patriotism and my belief in the country I belong to.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Raajneeti - Movie Review

So much hype about Rajneeti being based on Sonia Gandhi's life - and so no truth in it. If you want to watch Rajneeti because you want to see Katrina playing Sonia, you could watch only fifteen minutes of the movie. That too when she delivers a five minute childish speech. And then so many characters in the movie die through the movie that I thought that by the end of it, the only people left would be the twenty-odd strong audience in the cinema hall.

On a serious note, the movie is a loose adaptation of Mahabharat - there's a Bheeshma (who, here, is not sleeping on a bed of arrows but is paralyzed.) and there's a Karna (the Raani maa's illegitimate child which was sent away and later raised by the family driver).

The strong point of the movie is the performances. Nana Patekar as the highly intelligent guide (the Krishna of the story) is AWESOME right from the beginning. Ajay Devgan emotes through his facial expressions - he gets the body language perfect. He is awesome. Arjun Rampal and Manoj Bajpai are both very good as the two wicked men. Arjun Rampal gets the cocky politician very well. Ranbir and Katrina, I felt, are just about average - as compared to the other actors. And it is, of course, not very surprising. The film is shot in and around Bhopal which looks apt for the setting of the movie. It was surprising to see Shruti Sheth in the kind of role that she has in the movie - especially since I have seen her in many of her candyfloss roles on TV.

However, there are some dialogues which look slightly strange/out of place - and one thinks whether the dialogue writer actually wrote dialogues for the TV serial Mahabharat. ('Yeh mera jyeshta putra hai.' is not something I hear in my day-to-day life.) The story becomes predictable once you get the Mahabharat connection. It drags in parts in the second half. The climax is quite ordinary. Also, I do not quite remember ANY of the songs right now - the item number is there just for the sake of being there. Katrina looks very good in the song though. By the way, Nasiruddin Shah is hardly there for ten minutes in the movie. (Side note: Katrina's saris are way too low for 'Sonia Gandhi/lady politician' image that she portrays.)

So basically, don't watch the movie for Sonia Gandhi rendition of Katrina. But that shouldn't deter you from watching the movie for it has many other strong points: Great performances by the actor ensemble and entertaining plot.