Monday, September 22, 2008

Dear Aniruddha Bahal, It's Not Funny

Dear Aniruddha Bahal,

Not a week passes in my life without I mentioning strongly recommending Bunker 13 to people I come across and who seem even remotely interested in reading among those. If I were deeply religious, one would have observed that I go back to Bunker 13 more often that I go to the religious texts. Of course, one needs the kind of madness that made MM the man he was. When I die, I will be glad that I introduced you and your writing to a lot of people around me. While I most eagerly look forward to another Bunker 13 and another MM from you, I really can't understand the need for you to invent Tony M at this moment. Yes, we Indians are starved for quality humour and what we are being served now does no justice to our discerning intellect, but I will remain skeptical of this attempt of yours till I watch the said show and find out if it really deserves you. Tehelka was excellent work and I admire you not only for what you brought to the rot to light, but also how you withstood all the persecution that followed. I really admire Shankar Sharma and Devina Mehra for the same. Please convey my best wishes to them and to Tarun as well. One need not look beyond you guys for inspiration on how to fight back in the face of all odds and come back and come back doubly strong. You started Cobrapost much before those of us in the web 2.0 infected world starting throwing about terms like RSS feeds and news aggregators. For all we know, Cobrapost might just take off and make a strong comeback if you spend more time on it that trying to humour us by being Tony Bhasand. And what is this? Is this what Aniruddha Bahal has become?

Is your absurd sense of humour your forte?

Humour is not the fort. If the truth in the joking then the peoples laughing and spreading all over out from the Naini fort on the river.

I really hope you and your publisher are working on another Bunker 13 and you won't disappoint your followers and readers. Maybe your following is a billionth of that of Sharukh Khan and you are not Arundhati Roy, reading whose work kids think they become intellectuals overnight and go around telling the entire world about it. We are you fans by choice, not by the lack of it. Hope you know that.

Maybe I'm over-reacting just on the ten questions you answered for the Outlook interview. But I hope you understand that you are at your best when you are either stinging or you are writing. And please don't meet Vipul Shah or Akshay Kumar, otherwise we'll soon be watching a movie titled Stingg is Kinng, with the unnecessary extra alphabets and there is also the threat of them wanting you to write the script.

Hope to see you back to writing soon.


PS. I must mention here that I immensely enjoyed reading A Case of Exploding Mangoes. Just a note that you now have some competition in fiction writing about military, politicians, war, spying and espionage in the sub-continent.

Image Credit: Outlook

Friday, September 19, 2008

Welcome (to) Ashok Mishra

Just when we thought no one except Gulzaarsaab, Javedsaab, Kirkireji and to a certain extent Neelesh Mishra could write enjoyable songs for Hindi movies, we have a welcome addition to this honoured club. Let's extend a warm welcome to Ashok Mishra. Ashok Mishra debuts as a lyricist with Welcome to Sajjanpur. Forget all this nonsense about how the songs try and put the cool back in the gaon, or how the songs try and show that it's all happening in the hinterland, or even how the album really tries hard to bring out the latent “gaon-waala / gaon-waali” in all of us. Just sit back and take a good listen to the songs and I'm sure you will come round to appreciate the talent that Ashok Mishra is. And it definitely doesn't harm one's chances if he's in the good company of Swananand Kirkire and Shantanu Moitra and moreover for a Shyam Benegal movie. If I were to start writing songs for Hindi movies, this would be my dream team to start working with.

You can listen to the songs here or better still, buy the CD. Or download the songs and make sure you at least ten people around you listen to each song! My picks are Sita Ram, Aadmi Aazad Hai and Ek Meetha Marz De Ke.

PS. Found out that there was no Wikipedia entry for Ashok Mishra. Here's the page I've created. If you more information about this talented lyricist, please go ahead and add it to the page.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Real Hero of Rock On !!

None of the following are the real heroes of Rock On!!

Farhan Akhtar

Arjun Rampal

Shahana Goswami

Prachi Desai

Javed Akhtar(Only he can write both - Zehreeley Zehreely Kaale Neele Peele and Jo Tum Ho Toh Hawa Mein Bhi Mohabbaton Ka Rang Hai with equal ease. Yes he wrote Dard-e-Disco.)

Jason West (He's the cinematographer)

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (As Ehsaan mentioned, it was just another jam session for them. Western music comes naturally to Ehsaan and Loy and I'm sure if ever there's a Rock On!! 2, they'l do much much much better.)

Ritesh Sidhwani (He does remain a hero for me, not only for this movie but also for the way he and Farhan have carried their friendship and passion to this level)

And not Purab Kohli, Luke Kenny or even Chakravyuh!

To me, the hero of Rock On!! is Anu Malik. Why, you ask? Because it takes something to play yourself in a role in which you know you are being ridiculed. Well, almost. Some of us know it as the ability to laugh at oneself. Perhaps that's Anu Malik's idea of laughing at himself. Hats off to you Anubhai!

PS. Hats off definitely, but I don't know about the wig inside the hat/cap!

Image Credit:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Who Cares What Obama Says...

...when he makes an entry for his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention with City of Blinding Lights. Turns out he's been using this song to open his performances since 2007. Yo! Bama, shall we say then?

Koel - Kahaan Gayi Teri Boli?

[Promise to myself - This is the first and last time that a post is entirely about a celebrity]

Maybe this post was supposed to be about Rock On!! Or it was supposed to be about my our music story or about Vajra, our college band comprising of Mrinabh, Joji, Chinsi and Shubam which I briefly managed during our final year. No, it's about none of them. Instead, turns out that it's about Koel Purie. I'm no style or fashion expert for I still don't understand all the brouhaha over Vidya Balan's sense of dressing or even the apparent lack of it and surely will never understand it. But I can definitely see how worn down Keol appears now, compared to her Everybody Says I'm Fine days.

Dear Koel,

Congratulations on your new TV show - On the Couch with Koel. Definitely helps when you have a father like him,, doesn't it?. If you are listening, can you please clarify this for us? Were you drunk or high on drugs while interviewing Salman Khan on your show? And what's with that forlorn look in Rock On!!? For God's, discerning viewers', your followers and my sake, you looked like Purab's mother in the movie! Did Niharika Khan have some evil designs for you?! Please take care of yourself and your appearances in forthcoming TV shows and movies. We are watching you. Hope you are listening to us.


PS. Rock On!! is good. And sorry guys, I downloaded the songs. But then I have the lyrics of all songs except Zehreelay by heart and have made at least ten people around me listen to at least two songs each from the movie. Hope that makes it up for downloading the songs. I'd have been really glad if you guys made the album available for free download and recovered the money on the music by touring across the country and performing with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. That perhaps wouldn't be BIG money, but you'd have done more than your bit to promote good music in India and encouraged other musicians to try and work towards a better solution to end piracy.

PPS. Technically, this post still remains about Koel, right? Post scripts aren't considered a part of the main post, are they?