Sunday, September 30, 2012

Goodbye IIMB

It may sound "un-cool" to a lot of people, but it is a little hard not to get emotional when you realize that you have to let go of something that has been an integral part of your life (infact, that has been your life itself) for as long as you can remember. As my airport-taxi pulled out of the gates of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore(IIM-B), probably for the last time,  it was almost as if I was leaving a part of me behind.

Although I wasnt fortunate (and/or accomplished) enough to study at IIM-B, I was lucky to be associated with the IIM-B community for 28 years, 5 off-campus and 23 on it (I am counting years only from the time I was old enough to understand what was going on around me). During this time, I met and interacted with some amazing people and was part of a culture and environment that has influenced me in many ways, professionally and personally. 

But all good things must come to an end. It was a good 28 years and, hard as it is to accept, its time to move on. I wish the institution and every member of the IIM-B community nothing but the best in future. I will miss IIM-B

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Barfi - A breath of fresh air

There are movies which are pure, mindless entertainment. There are those which try to build awareness about societal issues. There are those which portray cruel reality for what it is. And then there is Barfi. It is difficult, almost impossible, to box this movie into a genre. So I wont attempt to. I would just describe it as an goofy, funny and extremely endearing portrayal of  the twists, turns, emotions, challenges, situations and circumstances that life is full of.

Whether its the charming deaf and mute Barfi, the autistic and extremely sensitive Jhilmil, the portly inspector getting the wind knocked out of him chasing Barfi, or Shruti who is at war with herself multiple times...they all strike a very unique chord. There are quite a few instances in the movie where it becomes a little difficult to hold back a tear or two (and I saw a few people who actually couldnt). Even so, whats wonderful is that it doesnt leave you feeling melancholy.

What I liked best about the movie is that, despite the protagonists playing characters which are deaf-and-mute and autistic respectively, it doesnt focus on the whole "differently abled" cliche. That is just another fact in the movie. While there is no deep message of any kind being conveyed (atleast not overtly), the movie does, in a very touching manner, tries to bring out the fact that 2 people who truly love each other will always be happy in life, regardless of the external circumstances, difficulties  and  personal shortcomings.

I always liked Ranbir Kapoor as an actor. Ofcourse, the Kapoor genes in him have played their part of endowing him with a performing ability that comes with charming ease. That said, there is a versatility about his acting which is quite refreshing. As far as Priyanka Chopra is concerned, I think this is her best performance to date. I dont know too much about autism and cant comment on the accuracy of character she has portrayed. All the same, she's come a long way since Fashion which was her other decent performance. Leana D'Cruz has also done a good job, although I think Priyanka ultimately stole the show. There are subtle bows to Charlie Chaplin and Raj Kapoor which make the whole thing all the more appealing. Music is wonderful.

The only negatives that I can think of is that its a little too long and sometimes just a touch too confusing with all the flashbacks. Other than these, its a movie that is very very hard to not like.

Hats off to the entire Barfi team and hope Anurag Basu has a few more aces like these up his sleeve

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Its only after watching grey's anatomy did I truly wake up to the fact that what i am doing for a living is complete crap. But the fact is, its crap that pays me decently. So there are 2 things I can do

(a) Keep cribbing about the fact that I am doing complete crap for a living
(b) Treat this as something that I need to do for money....and do what I really like on my own time.

Im going to try and work on option (b). Its not gong to be easy. There are enough people I know who will make it difficult. To be fair to them, they do it in complete innocence...rather, they do it because its what they do. But I think I can do better. And Im surely going to try

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Republic

What does the word mean? No, not what it means to an esteemed member of one of our houses of parliament. Or to the politicians, or bureaucrats. I ask what does it mean to you, to the citizens of this country?

Does it mean that its OK for honest people to get killed trying to do their job?
Or does it mean that is OK to helplessly watch as philistines roam free, pillage, plunder and rob?
Does it mean that its OK that voices against injustice are mercilessly muted?
Or to casually speak of scams over tequila shots and lament a nation being "notionally" looted?

Does it mean that its OK for the guilty to go scot free just because they are powerful?
Or does it mean that its OK for thousands to starve, while some always have a mouthful?
Does it mean that we shamelessly litter streets and spit on side-walks
Or jump red lights, cut corners and scream "India rocks!!"

Does it mean that its OK for hundreds to get slaughtered in the name of religion?
Or does it mean its OK for justice to be denied as our courts take years to make a decision?
Does it mean that its OK to live with inadequate power and roads riddled with pot-holes ?
Or does it mean that we dont give a damn about what we achieve, and go on setting goals?

Does it mean that we always have to grease palms, to get what we deserve?

Or does it mean that its OK for our "system" to work against those it was meant to serve?

Does it mean that its OK for us to still be called a corrupt third world nation?
Or does it mean that we learn to adjust, no matter how bad the situation

These are but some of the questions, I can think of many

If you ask me for answers, let me be honest, I havent any
There are no easy solutions, I know, if change has to come it will be at a cost
But come it will, and come it must, before all is lost

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dhobi Ghat - An attempted art film

The first question that occured to me after watching it..."Why?" I mean why would somebody make a movie like this..neither mainstream cinema..nor documentary...stuck somewhere between the two. And doing justice to neither. A slightly diffuse story-line. Could'nt really figure out what one was to take away at the end of the whole thing. There was the feeling of something something left unfinished. Nobody in the movie gets what he/she wants in the end. Which is OK (better than the overly mushy, happy ending drivel), but it couldve been a little less abrupt.

Not much of an Aamir Khan movie. So if you're going there expecting an Aamir Khan starrer, you're going to be disappointed. Its shot really well..the whole old mumbai picturization thing is done well. One of the few..or rather the only strong positives of the movie. Some of the stills shown in the film are quite amazing as well. But as a movie, it lacked for a lot. Lots of people were comparing it to Peepli Live. Havent seen that so cant comment.

All in all, disappointing, IMHO. A desparate attempt at making an art film, but falling short by quite a bit. You'd rather spend the money on a beer or 2 at Mondy's.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Its strange how you suddenly wake up one day and start walking down memory lane...

Reliving days that will never come again

An old t-shirt, a song you sang when you got drunk, a picture of someone who'll always be beautiful

Reminiscing silly episodes, of a life left far behind, care-free, peaceful

Moments of joy, or sorrow

Of a time when we lived like there was no tomorrow

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Work Ethic

Under commit, over deliver, Dont make any promises at all
Theres no point tryin to be a hero and finding youself up against a wall
Promise a little less than the earth, when asked for the moon
Never fall into the trap of speaking too soon

Dont be political, always stay aloof
Just do your thing , and make sure you're always weasel-proof
At meetings and lunches better listen, uness you're told to speak
Never indulge in gossip, never be the source of a leak

Never suck up, never flatter, never be a yes man
But then its good to feed egos once in a while, if you can
Idiots with authority sometimes need to feel superior
If that makes them leave you alone, its worth being branded as inferior

Stay away from controversey, avoid conflict
The deeper you go, the more damage you inflict
Fighting never helped anyone, it only gets people under your skin
But then as Sun Tzu says, if you have to fight...then fight to win