Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Leaky? No, that's not right...

Lekha Washington, image from

The rather glaring omission made by the mad cricketer in his post on commentators is (in retrospect) explained easily. Categorisation, however, proved harder. That's not Leaky Washingstone, by the way.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A spirited (hic) PJ

Came up with this one while sipping on a Mojito last Friday evening at Take 5.

Q : What do you call it if you clone a person with infinite capacity for alcohol 8 times ?

A : "Nau"tanki

For the uninitiated, aforementioned person is usually referred to as "tanki" (As in a tank, not to be confused with the LC tank.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The commented become the commenters

It is the season of the IPL, with all the cheer in the air what strikes a discordant note an extremely amplified one at that are the people who at one point of time had their moments of glory unfortunately for our well being on a 22 yard stretch of clay a.k.a as the pitch. And to compund our agony they have not gone mute as yet.

(Photo Courtesy : HT)

Here is a sample of some of them:

Exhibit A: The Improviser

His biggest claim to fame is that once upon a time he would walk out to bat with a person whose batting I would admire more than most.

Sample his commentary:

i. Bowler bowls a dot ball : "This is what a bowler MUST do in 20-20 cricket, vary his pace and improvise".

ii. Aforementioned bowler gets carted over mid wicket for a six : "This is what a batsman MUST do in 20-20 cricket, improvise and hit boundaries"

Our comment : We should improvise and collect all the bowler hats on earth and try and smash them on his vocal chords.

Exhibit B : The Italiciser

His biggest claim to fame is that once upon a time he bowled on a rough patch outside the leg stump of what the rest of the world thinks is the best batsman on earth. (We of course believe we qualify for that honour)

Sample : That was exquisitely timed. The bowler really has to get his line and length absolutely right. And the captain has to ensure that fine leg is really fine.

Our comment : He really ought to stop italicising all his statements before some ex-leg spinners who are excellent commentators decide that he is spoiling the reputation of the clan and decides to do something drastic.

(Photo Courtesy : The Age)

Exhibit C : The Ominous one

Now this man's biggest claim to fame, is err well he has none.

Sample : Gilly has not fired so far this tournament, those are Ominous signs for the bowling team. Shane Warne has really not done anything great in this tournament so far, ominous signs for the batting team.

Our comment : When this man says ominous, the signs are ominous for our physical well being.

P.S : To quote Jane Austen in the times of IPL "It is a fact widely acknowledged that a man in search of a hug from Preity Zinta, on not getting it, cries openly on the field"

P.P.S : If you still insist on watching IPL without muting the idiot box, maybe it is better to listen to this at the end of it so that you do not end up being a homicidal maniac.

P.P.P.S : Our suggestion to SRK that his next show should be titled "Kya aap in commentators se acchi commentary kar sakte hain ?" I think it will be a big hit since almost anyone who gets picked will win!!!!!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Loaves of Others

Sometimes, a batsman hits a century in 24 balls. Sometimes, a director makes a movie so poignantly beautiful that my stock phrasebook of negative statements (most of which are machine translated from the original Dot) seems woefully inadequate to pan the movie. The Lives of Others is one such movie.

That paragraph above ought to be enough to encourage you to go and watch this movie, particularly since it's been rerereleased in Das Vaterland by the Bulla and Ch- sorry, wrong movie, that would be BharatBulla, er, BharatBala Productions, who were also apparently running an online fillum contest related to this movie.

A recent weekend back, yours truly, the cricket mad fiend, and another anonymous person goose-stepped our way to the local, highly expensive tent house to watch this movie. We interrupt the proceedings to remind you that local tent houses in the Pensioners Hellhole charge enough for the privilege of sitting in inflexible chairs with wobbly backs that it tends to attract our favourite breed of two-legged ape originating from the north of our favourite Carcinogenic line across the globe.

For no good reason, we will ignore the differently volumed people who tend to somehow get the seats to the edge of the rows in which the cricketer's good efforts to book tickets well in advance place us. After all, personal attacks ought to be made only on people who can help being what they are. And the bloggers, and the banjo players. And the old lady in (but you get the idea.)

For some reason, I actually had the foresight to take the seat between the two other unfortunates who accompanied me to this movie, which means that instead of having to actually listen to the thought processes of alien movie watchers, I was surrounded by popcorn, which is the sort of auspicious happening that makes me immediately suspect that the movie has a special appearance by Corrino K to balance things out. As it turned out, however, the cricketer had to spend an hour each time listening to edifying statements before he could run to the safety of the rather large and low-ceilinged restroom, while I could enjoy the movie more or less undisturbed. For my own amusement, and to test your patience, the usual nebulous statements about the movie will be interspersed with pearls of wisdom from the couple next to us (conveniently named H and S, for He and She.)

The movie opened auspiciously enough, with "Captain" HGW (no, not that Captain, who shall not be linked to in an effort to keep PageRank from dropping even more) teaching a class of aspiring Staatssicherheit officers how a person is to be interrogated (O Wilt, Wilt, wherefore art thou, Wilt?)

Naturally enough, once this successful demonstration commenced, we (for once, not the Royal we) were apparently treated to the following statement:

H: "Oye, is movie me sub taaitul hain"

We refrain from further comment, and merely observe that it is clear that the language of one Vaterland has inspired an official language of a Vaat-er land to do away with the Neuter gender, leading to much aggravation when we actually had to pass exams for such things.

Soon enough, HGW accompanies his facial-hair endowed superior officer to a play by "Laszlo"[1], where we meet our heroine (or is it heroin? No matter) of the drama. One thing leads to another, and HGW is put in charge of investigating "Laszlo" for whatever form of thoughtcrime it is that Type 4 artists are supposed to indulge in. Aided in this noble endeavour by the great minister Schlumppf (no, Hempf), a listening post is soon established over "Laszlo"'s residence, and HGW and Sarge Udo settle down to listen in to our officer.

In what ought to be a characteristic of such situations, Schlumppf is apparently in lust with our very own Christa (who is, of course, the previously unnamed heroine of this movie), which is why the HGW's sharp instincts that suspect "Laszlo" of, shall we say, unwanted tendencies to put pen to paper, are allowed free play.

For reasons of his own that have no doubt to do with the listening to advanced classical muzique over telephone wire, a precursor of the modern and holy system of being put on hold by customer disservice, HGW lets "Laszlo" get away with quite a bit of stuff that he might have, with profit, shown to his boss.

S: "ooh he has started liking them"

We also discover that Christa has this annoyingly stupid habit of popping pills:

H: "What medications is she taking?"
S: "For depression" [Prozac in the eighties, of course. Very advanced,
these germans]

Which naturally leads in to a good reason as to why she would be unreasonably susceptible to blackmail. When the inevitable blackmail happens, we get:

H: "Bitchhhhh"

Ah well, the rest of the story need not be told, and while it ought to be worth the watch, you might perhaps choose a more congenial theater. Or, in normal countries, to buy the DVD. It's rare to see a movie that does not exactly go overboard with mawkish sentimentality when speaking about the triumph of humanity uber alles (if such a triumph does happen, you might be entitled to string together a coherent thought or two of suicide.) Instead, this movie sets the right note, and even though it could have profitably have ended about five minutes earlier, does not follow in the footsteps of the Melodious Monkeykar to screw it all up with a sermon at the end. In case you haven't realised already (and have actually had the patience to sit through disjointed ramblings to reach this point, I consider this the best movie of 2008 (er, no, 2006) so far. Which might actually be amusing, were it not for the fact that we watched Anthony Con Hai some time before watching this. And while watching Minissha Lamba might be distracting, we'd rather encourage the cricketer to put a large picture of Amrita Rao in the previous post.)

Of course, there only remains one unanswered question at the end of all this: What would H and S say if they watched something by E I Bergman?

[1] sz z? Zzz!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Shaurya kya hai ?

Long long ago there was a movie named after some behemoth buses that run in Bangalore. One of the scenes that one remember about this movie is one involving shall we say S**T packaged in a perfumed box. Most new Bollywood movies actually remind me of this scene and it is nowhere more truer than the one that any person of even Forrest Gumps IQ by now would have guessed we watched over the weekend (Hint: Please to read the title).

Shaurya seems at a first glance to be a rip off from that Hollywood Movie which stars the intolerable guy who made shades popular. But there are such basic errors as calling
the same Army regiment Rashtriya Rifles half the time and the other half metamorphosing into the Rajputana Rifles. And for some strange reason the director thought that putting a nose stud on Minnisha Lamba (yeah the same one who played a super girl and in the process almost disproving our hypotheses that no role can be essayed any worse than what Rakhi Sawant can) would somehow give her a rugged tough journalist look, well one-nose-stud-no-the-maketh-a-jodi-foster.

There is Rahul Bose (RB) who is supposed to be defending an army man accused of shooting his senior. Javed Jaffrey (JJ) handles the prosecution, and Kay Kay Menon (horribly over-rated as an actor in our opinion looking at his recent performances)is supposed to be playing a brigadier and to mouth:

"You wanna know the truth you cannot handle the truth!"

That seems to be the story. Now to the other things that go up in making the movie, we must say they are all so uniformly mediocre that we think that the producer is an idiot and if he is still alive be a living proof of the adage that "A fool and his money are soon parted". So we first started by saying that the director has no idea of using long shots, then the person next to me said that he cannot use close ups till about half an hour into the movie we concluded that he handled the camera with as much ease as the way the room-mate of TAM did his march past at the turn of the last millennium. Then we get to the sound track, there are songs that pop up like ghosts in one of those dark room of horrors and leave you feeling the same way, cold and physically afraid of the next one. And the music at some places is as inappropriate as a Sanjay Leela Bhansali shot without any hint of ostentatiousness.

But as Manasi Sinha used to tell us long back, go beyond the obvious look at the deeper meaning. Maybe this was a tribute not to Hollywood but to that great man Francois Truffaut and his movie Jules and Jim. There is definitely gay bonding between RB and JJ, nothing more demonstrates this than when both are drunk all JJ can come up with is that RB looked more handsome than him in some attire. Plus when JJ is posted to a different place, the escapades that RB described that the two of them had together we really have to now think of another Bollywood classic Dharam Veer. Maybe at a later time this movie might be called as the harbinger of love triangles where the love vectors add to zero (a.k.a JJ loves RB who loves Nandini who loves RB, by the way Nandini is supposed to be married to JJ).

We must say that the only whiff of fresh air during this whole process of masochistic indulgence was Amrita Rao who looked oh-so-desirable in a white saree.

Some piece of trivia : The Hollywood movie talked about led to a change in a George Michael video where he wears Ray Bans, whether it made him look any cooler is debatable but for sure you can see the camera in one of the close ups in the video.

Finally to answer the question that is the title of this post, Shaurya for us was to spend 200 bucks and since there were 5 of us close to 1000 bucks on a venture such as Shaurya. (Yeah right we know we are idiots and are hence further living proof of the adage we so cleverly bought into this post)