Saturday, August 25, 2012

Vicky Donor

Release date: 20th April, ’12
Director: Shoojit Sircar ,             Genre- Rom Com
Cast: Ayushman Khurana, Yami Gautam, Anu Kapoor

Beat the heat with a refreshing movie from the team of Shoojit Sircaar which marks a good– neat family entertainer sans sex comedy or censored issues. “Vicky Donor” showcases a na├»ve concept of sperm donation which is not well accepted in India.This movie is the debut from John Abrahim's production. 

The protagonist Vicky (Ayushman Khurana) is a good looking and fun loving Punjabi Boy in search of a respectable job. His super active widow mother (Dolly Ahluwalia) runs a beauty parlor in South Delhi and looks after a family of three including an aged but modern mother-in-law (Kamlesh Gill ). Long unemployment and much coaxed by Dr. Chadhha (Anu kapoor), specialist infertility, Vicky donates his sperm in return for money, which soon becomes his regular source of income. Dr Chaddha makes a fortune by utilizing his sperms for families who are ready to shell out anything for a tailor made child. However Vicky’s own marriage ruins when the secret donation goes public and his wife also learns about her own infertility.

An out of the box concept, Vicky Donor proudly says “I am a sperm donor”.  Ayushman is spontaneous and carries his character effortlessly. Vicky’s girlfriend turned wife (Yami Gautam) is a breath of fresh air and justifies her role as a Bengali girl. The cross culture clashes between Punjabi and Bengali families fit into the situation so well, hence making it more than humorous and real. The lively (Grandmother) definitely tickles your funny bone with her witty statements and modern outlook, who shares drinks with her daughter in law and stands by Vicky each time. Anu Kapoor is at the best, acting as the desperate Punjabi Doc, adding punches here& there and infusing life in the script.

After 'Surrogate Mother', a worrying issue of nation – scarcity of sperm donors in India- could have been highlighted. However, social responsibility was not the targeted issue of the movie, so this makes it a complete family entertainer. The film keeps you engaged throughout and the peppy music adds to the charm of it. Strong editing and effective dialogues make 'Vicky Donor' an excellent package.

The movie would indeed be close to Delhi-ites, with scenes shot at Lajpat Nagar, CP and Old Delhi. Go for the humor. Watch how a “Waste sperm” makes lives useful for childless couples and the sizzling characters playing the real life roles, so close to you.

My rating- 4 out of 5

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dor- Movie review

Directed by - Nagesh Kukunoor
Story- Nagesh Kukunoor and Mir Ali Hussain; Music- Salim Sulaiman
Cast- Gul Panag, Ayesha Takia, Shreyas Talpade, Girish Karnad

Yeah, it’s quite late to review a movie in 2012 which was released way back in 2006. Though better late than never, I wonder why not I had watched the movie before. Dor, meaning a thread in Hindi, symbolizes connection in this film. Friendship, nuptials, enmity, love, and above all humanity are linked to each other with a DOR, which if pulled correctly can either bond people together or else drift them apart. DOR is a story of two women, brought up in different cultures and places, not known to each other, who get associated with the DOR of their fate, post an unfortunate accident.

Zeenat (Gul) is an independent Muslim woman from Himachal Pradesh, who lives life on her own terms. She is open minded, head strong, confident and much aware of her rights. She marries her love interest Aamir (Rushad Rana) a day before he leaves for a job in Saudi.
Meera (Ayesha) is a traditional woman married to Shankar (Anirudh Jatkar) in a remote village of Rajasthan. She is bound by cultural restrictions and hence confines within the limits timidly, with her cheerful and lovable husband, with whom she finds solace and hope of freedom. Shankar too goes to Saudi for a job, taking the responsibility to play a good son and give his family a good life.

As months pass by, the men keep sending money to their families with a promise to return soon, when the unexpected news of Shankar’s death hits Mira’s debt burdened family. The worse, Aamir is accused to have murdered his roomie  Shankar and is sentenced to death penalty. The world falls apart for Meera forcing her to stay secluded in gloomy rooms and wear colorless attire of a widow. Zeenat is informed that according to the Saudi Law, Aamir could escape capital punishment penalty only if Shankar’s wife pardons him.

Zeenat, without a clue of Shankar’s residence, covers a difficult journey from Himachal to Rajasthan, to locate Meera and seek pardon for her husband. Unable to reveal her intention, Zeenat befriends Meera to win her confidence first. Meera starts liking her company and enjoys the break free from her prison each day for some time with Zeenat. Two women, poles apart, get connected by a frail DOR of friendship, show rays of hope to each other.
When the harsh truth uncovers, Meera despises Zeenat, turning down the latter’s pleas of pardon. Does she pardon her husband’s murderer? Does she choose revenge over somebody’s life? Watch the award winning movie DOR, showcasing an inner turmoil of a lady and the bewilderment of choosing between right and wrong, the outcome of which affects the others’ destiny.

Ayesha and Gul, are outstanding in their roles. Girish Karnad delivers an excellent performance in the character of Meera’s father-in-law. Shreyas Talpade adds humor to the script and the dull journey of Zeenat. Nagesh Kukunoor appears in a cameo effectively.

Salim Suliman’s music is commendable. The song “Ye Hausla” acts like a USP for the whole movie, actually extracting the worth of the story. The background score is marvelous, specially the folk “Kesariya Baalam.”
The story of the film is based on the original story written by T.A.Rasak. Sure, our hearts does not make room for others so easily but it seeks the presence of others, connecting to them in some or the other way. DOR depicts that connection magnificently; leaving you with welled up eyes and high on emotions.

I rate the movie 4 on 5.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Shanghai- Movie review

Cast: Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin, Imran Hashmi, Farooq Sheikh
                                      Direction: Dibakar Banerjee              … Released on 8th June,2012  

What was common among the movies- SinghamGangajal and Wanted? No, not the Khakhi uniform silly, but “One man against the corrupt political mechanism, trying to clean it”. Shanghai is on the similar line minus the khakhi uniform and attempt to set things right, till the second half at least.

A political party in Bharatnagar begins a development phase to modernize the town and generate employment. The new township IBP which is supported by a party leader and CM of the state (played by Supriya Pathak) promotes the industrial development besides her chances to win the elections. On the other hand, a messiah of the common suffering man Dr. Ahmedi (essayed by Prosenjit Chatterjee) lands from the US to oppose the IBP movement, for the farmers and land owners who would lose their lands. (Remember a similar “Nano” incident a couple of years ago?) Minutes after addressing a ralley, Dr. Ahmedi is run over by a van. While the opposition tries to shut the case terming it an accident, his supporters (including Kalki) demand an inquiry for the attempt to his murder. In walks Krishnan, an honest IAS officer with a clean record, to investigate the case. The new developments during the enquiry leave him shocked. Sandwiched between responsibility and politics, much to the audience surprise, he chooses the former towards the end of the movie.

Kasam khoon ki khaai hai, sheher nahi Shanghaai hai” may answer your question of the reason being the name of the movie. This is what the politicians promise to make of the state, if elected. No, the film has not been shot in Shangaai, as what many expect, going by the name. The promos look promising enough to create curiosity among the audience. But what happens when you see it on the big screen? Does it still hold you till the last scene? You experience witnessing brilliant performance though the pace is not engaging but slow.
The first half of the movie is slower than the second half. The actors have portrayed their roles with great poise; even the small town goons wonderfully get noticed. Abhay Deol definitely deserves a big round of applause who has paid attention to every detail of his character. Be it his Madrasi accent, the grave expression on the face of an IAS officer during inquiry, the shock from the reality, the panicky look on being attacked, Deol outshines everybody. Kalki did not have much to offer besides her blank looks and wide open eyes. Did I miss Imraan Hashmi? Oh, he plays a porn movie cameraman and earns his living by shooting functions or selling pirated DVDs. Hashmi helps Kalki and Deol crack the case with a recorded tape. For the very first time, Hashmi grabs the lime light sans a single kissing scene! Surprised? Well, another round of applause for his complete desi make over with a pot belly and tobacco stained teeth. Farooq Sheikh plays his part like a cake walk.

The story might not be appealing; it’s been said and heard million times now. The audience is mature enough to sense the dirty political trash. Watch it for yet another intense power packed presentation by the actors. An admirable camera work and effective editing make Shanghaai flawless. Yeah flaws like Dengu Malaria do co-exist in the country, yet we are supposed to say “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. Isn’t it?

Kudos to Dibaker Bannerjee, for directing an outstanding movie after Khosla ka Ghosla, Oye Lucky Oye, Love Sex aur Dhokha.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Book Review: Of course I love you, till I find someone better

Authors: Durjoy Datta and Manvi Ahuja
“Of course I love you...” is a story set in Delhi around the protagonist Debashish Roy, a boy next door and an engineering student of a prestigious college.  The not so bright Deb claims to have been in relationships for a number of times but never found “True Love”. Given his age, he is immature to understand true love or probably grows sick of relationships soon and longs to look for somebody new. While dating a cute Smriti, from a Medical College and satisfying his physical desires, he meets a bold and beautiful Avantika. Soon he finds himself getting attracted to her. In pursuit of true love this time, he ignores everything in his life, namely his best friends, Smriti, studies, CAT, job and makes life messy for himself, with Avantika leaving him towards the end of the story. Read on further to find out how he pulls himself out of the muddle which he had created for himself.

The story is not complicated, and you might just want to go with the flow. Lock your grey matter somewhere and take off your thinking caps, else it may annoy you. The authors have made an effort to pen down stories of college days, affairs, late night parties, behaviour of hostilities, so called relationships and the never-ending list of the youth’s desires, which may seem to be a replica of everybody’s college life. The climax will make you smile, for two reasons. One, it’s a happy ending like in Bollywood movies. Two, the tedious book ends, without creating a pressure on your minds!

The language is candid; most of the lingos are often heard in Delhi campuses. Since this is a book for the youth, or let’s say college teens, they would feel close to it.  Deb and Avantika look like “Today’s youth”.

Seems, all engineers are trying to clone Chetan Bhagat. Not even once do they think that excess of everything is bad.  At an affordable price of INR 100, this book claims to be a best seller with over 4,00,000 copies sold.
Read this novel if you don’t have anything else to read or if you think you miss your college days. Though the freshness is missing, yet a light hearted story would not be bad to kill few hours of your idle time.

Rating: 2/5
About the AuthorsDurjoy Datta is a young alumnus of Delhi College of Engineering and has penned other novels like “Now that you are rich” and “She Broke Up, I Didn’t! ...I Just Kissed Someone Else!” for the youth. He has been critically appreciated for his dark humor and lucid writing style.
Manvi Ahuja:  The pretty Co Author of this best seller, is a graduate from SRCC and post graduated from IIM K.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Book review- I too had a love story

Four close friends meet few years after college life and discuss about their future for the first time. No, it wasn’t job, but about getting married to settle down. Influenced by this discussion, the protagonist Ravin registers on a matrimony portal and finds his soul mate Khushi. She is a pretty girl from a middle class family residing in Faridabad who has strong values imbedded within her. Khushi’s good looks and mature, polite behavior impresses Ravin. The latter is an IT professional at Infosys, who was brought up in a small town in Orissa and currently stays away from his parents in Bhubaneswar. The similarity in their respective professions and personal interests instantly creates a magical bonding between them. They gradually fall in love without having met each other. The love story sails smoothly, crossing the limits of caste, religion or distance. They decide to get married in the company of their supportive parents by their side, until one day, when an unfortunate incident changes their lives.

This is the story of “I too had a love story” by Ravinder Singh, another Engineering graduate and a budding writer. This novel was released in Dec 2008 and made its way to the hearts of the youth. The touching novel is still on the shelves and liked by many.

The book takes you through a series of sweet love and family bonding. But at the same time, it talks about the fact that all love stories do not have a happy ending. The title of the book is catchy enough to create interest in the readers. It justifies the love tale with a tragic finish. If you are in love or have been through a “Puppy love” affair, this would certainly appeal to you.

The simple everyday language void of complicated jargons adds to the flow of reading. Despite the fact that the story is conventional and predictable, with nothing new to offer, yet people with love in their hearts, would love it. There are neither twists n turns nor suspense to reveal, however, the feeling to be in love, the urge to hear each other’s voice, talking till late night, hurting unintentionally to apologize later, showing concern and whispering sweet nothings, dreaming to be together, making marriage plans and so on, pulls you into the depth of love. Even if you don’t like the story, you would definitely like the feeling to be in love.  You might find your eyes welled up at the end of the story.

Ravinder Singh might have written his own story which has been heard many times. “I too had a love story” is not a master piece of literary work; neither sets an example for new writers. However, the efforts to write such a sort are appreciated. Recommended as a one-time read, it is not for thriller fans certainly.
Book price: INR 100
Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Riskesh adventure

“Mountain Dew cannot help me overcome my fear ”! I thought, standing atop twenty feet cliff above water. According to the sources, the river bed was eighty feet deep. Rahul, my team mate, who had jumped in before me, screamed from the river asking me to dive in. The thought of scaling hundred feet, scared me to hell and I stood unmoved staring at others who took less than five seconds to jump into the shimmering green water of the river. I wasn’t there to promote Mountain Dew or any adventure movie. I was there on an adventure trip to Rishikesh with a group of twenty. While river rafting was so much fun and thrilling, cliff jumping was equally scary.
Ready for the punge
On the white sand

I had visited Rishikesh many times with my family since childhood.(The perks of birth place Uttarakhand) However, this was the first adventure trip I had dared for. At last, my dream of white water rafting materialized. I have never been scared of water despite not knowing swimming. But trust me, when I boarded the raft wearing a helmet and safety jacket, I started feeling butterflies in my stomach. Our 20-something instructor, Rana, made us learn the commands to follow while rafting. Coordination is the most important thing while rowing and one should not panic even if he falls off the raft or gets caught in a rapid (That’s what the river currents are called). Wall, double trouble, center danger, roller coaster, golf course – These are the names of the rapids which we went through, in the 21 km stretch, with roller coaster& golf course being the riskiest and highest rapids.

Rana asked us to jump and I took less than a second to jump into ice cold water. Swimming with the current along the raft, is an out of the world experience. I was more than happy to enjoy the adventure.
Thankfully, our raft didn’t flip over, unlike our neighbor raft, which threw people in a rapid after losing control & coordination. No casualties reported of course (No body drowns because of the safety jackets you are made to wear). When a rapid hits the raft and inclines it at 45 degree, you either feel scared or excited. I felt something else. The roaring high waves lashing against our raft, reminded me of Samudra Manthan and I felt like a descendant of Bear Grylls. (Though I know I don’t even match to one-tenth of his skills, but imagination has no bounds you see! Hehe!)   The excitement and the thrill concentrated in my stomach somewhere and “Aawesomee!!”, I screamed my lungs out. The view was breathtaking with the waves trying to engulf us. We braved all the rapids and carried home a lifetime memorable experience.

My left thumb and shoulder are now in pain due to aggressive continuous rowing. I looked at my body bruises later at night during bonfire.

Skillful rafting however didn’t give me the courage for cliff jumping. I regret not overcoming that fear though being the only girl to volunteer at the 20 feet cliff. Darr k aagey jeet hai? Well I guess yes.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The much needed break

Up from the bed at 9 am, a late breakfast by 11 am, watching TV  or reading novels, doesn’t matter the time of taking a shower, lazily have lunch and a quick nap till 6pm may be, kill time by sending texts to friends or disturbing those who might lend ears to a bored-to-death person, and wait to sleep again..

No……this is not the kind of life I wanted! Nevertheless, what else can a person do with an injured knee and strict instructions from the doc to avoid any strain on knee, lifting weight or climb stairs? I have been on bed rest for more than 2 weeks precisely; and trust me, it’s killing me now! I mean, how much time one can spend sleeping the whole day? I fear getting bed rashes if my knee does not recover soon.

The worst part is I have to skip gym. O God! I’d look like a balloon in absence of exercise or any physical activity. Boy! How much I miss those works outs at the gym!  All my hard work has gone down the drains now. People suggest me Yoga, but my lazy bones refuse to wake up early morning. Imagine, reading novels becomes a target and then you realize excess of anything is bad. When your eyes hurt to look at the TV or computer screen, naturally you cut down on the number of hours for “Facebooking” or chatting.  Within a few days, I grew tired of painting too.

My restless mind started seeking something for inner peace and I found myself testing my culinary skills in the kitchen. It was a look alike of Bengan Bharta one day, not even close to the original taste, and thankfully a successful attempt to cook Cheela the other day.  “Enough of Experiments”, my super lazy bones warned me, observing the ruined kitchen. Yet, I can’t even resort to a short cut dinner with Maggi, owing to my injured knee, which demands a good healthy diet. Now where on Earth does it exist when you stay alone?

The number of movies I have watched in this month or the frequency with which I have sneaked out of house ignoring my doc’s advice (to watch plays, be with my lovely dogs or meet friends) is considerable. Surely, you get that mental peace and much needed break from monotony, if not “That diet” at least.
Either, I wish I could be with my family in my hometown or I had never hurt my knee like this. This is not a good idea of a much-needed break, really!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Paan Singh Tomar

Released on 3rd Feb

This is a movie inspired by a real life character Paan Singh Tomar, a soldier of Indian army and an international athlete who turns a dacoit under forced circumstances. Don't watch Paan Singh Tomar if you are in search of a philosophical story. Watch it only for performance, specially by the prodigal, the brilliant Irrfan Khan. Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, Paan Singh Tomar showcases the sad plight of the unsung sportsmen in India.

The story runs back to 1950 when Paan Singh Tomar was recruited in the Indian Army and had a peaceful happy family. A good stamina and even better appetite opens a new avenue for him- Athletics, where he excels and gets international fame. However, family disputes and deep sense of helplessness forces the balanced Tomar to resort to violence. Tomar becomes the most wanted Bandit of Chambal. His claim; that the country which did not care when he represented India at an International platform, suddenly seems to recognize him when he has picked up a gun; is sadly a true scenario. Paan Singh Tomar might be a wake up call for those authorities as well who neglect our sportsmen and ultimately the sport loses its grace.

Based on strong research and facts, the movie ends with the names of those who died of poverty and hunger despite contributing much to their fields.

It is Irfan Khan's power packed delivery which keeps you engrossed through out the movie. Strong dialogues sway you away and so does the screenplay. Sets of the movie and the background score happen to be very apt and the action scenes have been quite well shot.

Every character in their small roles has justified his presence in the movie. Be it the coach played by Rajendra Gupta or Tomar's wife essayed by Mahie Gill. Irfan carries the movie on his shoulders spectacularly and this one can fetch him an award.

A must watch for those who have been waiting for something substantial. Paan Singh Tomar is your food for thought

Friday, February 17, 2012

The forgotten real moments

If I dive deep into time for the “real” experiences I have had, there are countless of them from my childhood which are quite fresh and crystal clear in my mind. And it was not only my parents but my school as well, to contribute to the noble cause.

Unlike the modern times where kids are glued to computers & video games, we were forced to go outdoors. Our exposure to computer/TV/indoor games was limited to a maximum time of an hour. At school, P.T classes were given more weight-age than computer. I still remember my summer vacations projects (popularly known as holiday homework) wherein the major tasks were to collect seasonal twigs or leaves and stick the dried ones on a scrap book. I am not surprised to see my young cousins surfing the images on internet and finish the holiday homework instantly.  However, they would never get the feel of visiting natural places and seeing the seasonal/rare twigs for real. They would probably never know how is it to climb trees or to run in open farms.  Surely, they are missing the real experience which will be rare times ahead.

I hail from the beautiful town of Dehradun where natural beauty and surroundings were abundant. My family never had to book holiday packages for exotic locations for picnics. I have been brought up amidst real things; to name a few are the Sulphur Water spring of Sahastradhara, the snow clad hills of Mussorie, the green Eucalyptus belt of Dehradun, heavy rainfall of Autumns and the list goes on. Water parks were unheard of, so were play houses for kids. I have enjoyed the real moments which today’s generation kids are not far from.

Talking about “real” things, food cannot be left behind. Tinned/packed foods were a strict No- No! The practice of squeezing out Sweet Lime juice manually from the small portable juicer was a common sight during summer afternoons. This was when we kids refused to chew the lime pieces.
My siblings and I grew up in the lap of nature surrounded by “real” luxuries. Be it the morning walks in parks or seeing the sunrise/sunset every day, we have had our best share during childhood. Changing life styles and modern technology brings everything close to you in a click of a mouse. But how would a child of today’s generation know what does a vegetable or fruit market look like? Accompanying grandparents to the market and seeing them pick out the best fruits would seem strange to a kid today who has either has never been any where else but air conditioned supermarkets or has ordered groceries over the phone!
Vegetable market visit with kids
Even writing letters have lost their charm in the world of emails/sms. Sending festive greeting cards and letters to distant relatives were the most exciting part of “real” growing up experience. Our school syllabus covered letter writing those days. I wonder whether they have switched to “Sms/ Mail writing” now? From bed time stories of grandma to painting sceneries on canvas while looking at them, the real moments are inseparable from my memories. Sadly, technology and virtual world has overshadowed those experiences these days.

Written for Indibogger Kissan Real Moments.
Second image source-

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Foster home

I spotted him on the road one evening, cold, hungry and shivering in the chilling winter , while I was returning home from work. The first thing which struck my mind was that his mom must be around. To my surprise she wasn't. I wondered weather he lost his way or was abandoned by his mother? How could a mother do that, if latter was the case. Finding nobody around him, I did not have the heart to leave him on the road to die. I brought him home.

My heart was pounding loud with the thought of bringing him home as he was too young and I had no idea what to do next. My room mate was super excited to see him. I was happy to see the acceptance and joy on her face. She instantly named him Minchi. I wanted to keep Minchi but I know my constraints. Staying at work for 10 hours would leave me no time for Minchi and to add to it, he was too young to be left alone at home. I decided to give him away to the PFA cum dog shelter on weekend.


I will cherish his short stay with me always and never forget the way he slept on my shoulder. He is hardly few weeks old and needs full attention which I would be unable to give. Feeling sad to part with Minchi, but atleast he will have a home now, a foster home in PFA, if not mine.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bliss through my diary

July 2009 was the first time when I had started Diary writing. Today when I read the old pages which I had written, it feels...I dont know, a mixed bag of emotions I guess. Life is a roller coaster ride and one feels the highs and lows of the same. When you look back into time, you can judge ,what have you gained or lost or how much mature have you turned. This habit of writing diary is like a leaving footprints on sands of time, testifying how much have you been through. You cannot lie to urself in your own Diary at least. I looked into the mirror again after a long time through my diary and kept smiling throughout the pages :-)

Weekend trips to places around Delhi, Festivals break to meet family, parting with close people and coming together for reunion, spending time with room mate or siblings, bad mood after a quarrel with neighbour, week’s efforts for shopping to attend weddings, jumping red lights and smiling with victory, bugging water problem at home, bunking office, a fractured foot prior to an event, long calls with dear ones, praying for results of a friend, hanging out late night at eating joints and complain of stomach aches next day, failed attempt to prepare new dish in the kitchen, crying in someone else’s pain, watching a favourite movie the Nth time, playing with strays, searching for new jobs… and so on…..

Life has so much to offer and it’s a new experience everyday. Each expression is what we see after how life treats us and vice versa of course. It’s a pure joy and blessing of life.
I am sure there is a never ending list for the above. Feel the joy live life with a smile irrespective of your problems. Problems are just an add-on or lets say a testing pahase. If life gives you many reasons to cry, show life the reasons to smile.

Dedicated to my diary which I confide in always. It has stored precious moments for me tirelessly.