IPL In Another Nation

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Two weeks ago I picked up newspaper
And turned to the sports page
And what I saw as headline there
Filled me up with rage.

On that page there was Lalit Modi
And he was looking full of dejection
That is because IPL
Was postponed because of election

But Modi assured, “Dont worry,
IPL will not be late.
In few days only we will be
Announcing the new dates”
But now new news has come
And it is not sounding too great

Apparently our politicians
Have played some tricks like magician
And that is why IPL ka second season
Is being shifted out of India
For security reasons

But I can’t help but laugh
At the irony of situation
Whatay funny no?
Indian Premier League
Is now in some other nation!

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4 Students You Don’t Wanna Sit Next To For Exams

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For the theme of this humor piece, I couldn’t choose between examinations and elections. Confused, I decided to seek the sagely advise of our Editor Arjun, who as always, made the choice clear with his Yoda-like advise. “Two very good options these are. For opinions expressed by authors, JAM is not responsible, our disclaimer says so. Cool?” he said. So without further bakwaas, here’s presenting the different types of student-personalities that you are likely to encounter at examination- halls. Hey don’t look at me like that! I can’t afford a lawsuit with my pay!


1) Pappu Pass (Out) Ho Gaya Personality:
This type of student is perhaps the easiest to spot. Before the exams begin, it is likely that you will find them surrounded by a small army of relatives each of who take turns to utaaro aarti, feed mithai, lagao tikkas and give aashirwaad. When the time comes to get inside the exam hall, our brave hero, with his forehead almost completely crimson and nearly half his arm covered with lucky charms, bids a teary farewell to each of the relatives. Once inside the exam hall, Pappu unpacks a mini-medical dukaan containing everything from khatta-meetha candy to glucose water and energy bars. Our dear Pappu then proceeds to pray to the mini-mandir he has assembled inside his compass box, takes a deep breath and begins to write his paper. Three hours later when the warning bell rings, Pappu panics and breaks into a cold sweat and starts feeling giddy. On nine out of ten occasions Pappu then falls face down on the desk with a spectacular thud. The invigilator then rushes to Pappu and tries to revive him, which gives the other students to copy to their heart’s content for the next ten minutes or so.

2) The Ghajini Personality: The name for this type of students comes from the research evidence that suggests that these kinds of students have a 15 minute memory span like Aamir Khan in Ghajini. Interestingly, these students use the same strategy as Aamir to cope with their memory limitations. Before the exam begins, it is likely that you will see them furiously scribbling away on tiny bits of paper which they later fold and hide in unmentionable locations. Before the invigilators hand the answer sheets, these students inform them that they are suffering from a case of explosive diarrhea, which as we all know, nobody questions. Midway through the paper, these students excuse themselves to the bathroom and write with a vengeance for 15 minutes or so after they come back. The process is then repeated as many times as possible. Sadly, though, they are likely to forget what answer they were writing each time and may therefore end up writing the same one several times over.

3) The Stationery ki Dukaan Personality: While most of us may think that two working pens, a pencil, a sharpener, an eraser and a scale are all the stationery items one could possibly require during an exam, these kinds think otherwise. Not one to leave anything to chance, these students pack enough stationery for all the students at the exam hall, but will snap back with a defiant ‘NO!’ if you politely ask if you could borrow something. Obsessive Compulsive as they are, they are likely to spend the first half an hour drawing multiple margins on each page of the answer sheet and the last fifteen highlighting important points with sketch-pens of different hues. Considering the fact that moderators like search-engines look for keywords alone while correcting papers, it is unsurprising that these students often end up becoming All-India toppers.

4) The Marathon Writer: Often dressed in sweats and sporting disheveled hair, these types of students inconspicuously enter the examination hall armed with nothing but a single working pen. When the answer sheets are provided however, they go into a sort of a trance and turn into different creatures altogether. Oblivious to everything around them, they nearly set the answer sheet on fire with their sheer speed of writing and are likely to ask for their first supplement before you even finish writing your name on the answer sheet. Strangely though, when the final bell rings, they, like Pappu mentioned above, tend to lose it and are often found pleading with the invigilators to give them ‘five more minutes’ to complete their last answer. In the unlikely event that the invigilator grants this request, they are likely to ask for ten more at the end of the five minutes. What follows then is a tug-of-war for the answer sheet between the invigilator and the student which on rare instances results in the answer sheet being torn exactly in half. On an unrelated note, research suggests that these students would fare extremely well as charge-sheet writers with the Mumbai Police.

Remember To Vote For Me – Forget all Else

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Forget about the present
Forget about the past
Forget about the promises
In the election before the last

Forget about poverty
Forget about our flaws
Forget about everytime
We flouted all the laws

Forget about the temples
Forget about the mosques
Forget about the churches
Forget the lives lost

Forget about economies
Forget about recession
Forget about the crashing stocks
Forget about inflation

Forget about your freedom
To act as you please
Forget about each time
We let loose the moral police

Forget about the murders
Forget about the rapes
Forget about corruption
Forget about sting tapes

Forget about all the lies
Forget about hypocrisy
Forget about the last 5 years
Power to democracy!

Delhi-6 Review

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del6‘Conservative’ is the last thing you can call Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Despite the fact that the audiences largely failed to understand his debut effort Aks, Mehra has never been one to dumb his products down; a quality that few possess in Bollywood today. What is also noteworthy about the man is that he, with each subsequent film, tries to raise not only his standards as a filmmaker but also the collective standard of film-making in India. In a land where the masses swear by No Entry and Masti, his Rang De Basanti was one of the rare instances where intelligent cinema received an almost cult following. The pressure to deliver was immense when it came to Delhi-6; but Mehra in all fairness meets and even exceeds expectations, at least for more than three-quarters of the movie.

Having already struck a chord with the young masses last time around, Mehra could so easily have repeated the hit formula like a certain multiple National Award-winning director. Instead he chose to experiment with a cryptic narrative structure the success of which required the audiences to keep track of multiple parallel story-lines and decipher not-so-obvious metaphors. In this regard at least, Mehra pulls off what most may consider a recipe for disaster without breaking a sweat.

From start to finish, each second of screen-time has been used purposefully, right from the opening credits where Raghubir Yadav (in top form as a Ram-Leela narrator) announces the forthcoming arrival of Lord Rama to battle the evil on earth. The next instant, the scene cuts to a car in New York where Roshan (Abhishek Bacchan) announces to his parents that he will take his grandmother (Waheeda Rahman) to India, where she wishes to spend her final days. To a discerning viewer this subtle hint predicts the rest of the film while for those who fail to negotiate this curve-ball, the analogy becomes more than apparent as the story progresses. Once again the credit goes to Mehra and his team of writers.

When Roshan and his Grandmother arrive in India, Mehra introduces the audiences to the Kala Bandar or Monkey Man, who we at the surface can laughingly consider an absurd figment of an irrational India’s overactive imagination. Metaphorically though, there’s much more to the Kala Bandar; which some may find too much to swallow. One can however excuse this because the script more than justifies the use of this unconventional metaphor.

The genius of Delhi-6 however lies in the manner in which Mehra tackles the cliches such as forced arranged marriages, family feuds, and discrimination on the basis of caste and religion. He treats each of the above mentioned with a fresh approach by fully exploiting an ensemble of Bollywood’s finest. One can’t help but marvel at his casting choices particularly Divya Dutta as the untouchable kooday-wali, Jalebi and Vijay Raaz as the bent policeman. The veterans such as Prem Chopra and Rishi Kapoor too have parts that tailor-made for them.

With the help of his unconventional narrative and fine performances by almost everyone, Mehra delivers a breezy, light- hearted first half which sets up a grimmer second. When the film resumes after the intermission, the friendly banter between the religiously and culturally diverse characters soon begins to border on racism and superstition and irrationality take on ugly proportions. Roshan the inquisitive, do-gooder, NRI is now perceived as an unwelcome intruder, a popular sentiment towards Americans in this part of the world. In terms of scene-lengths as well, the second half is a distinct departure from the first. The blink and you miss it, tongue-in-cheek satirical sequences from the first half are now replaced by slower and lengthier scenes which turn preachy more often than required. And that’s when the movie begins to grate.

Previously unnoticed flaws – such as Roshan’s fake accent and his tendency to make one too many smart alec comments, now stick out like sore-thumbs. In a disappointing usage of Rahman’s ‘Masakalli’, the ambitious and effervescent Bittu (Sonam Kapoor) too allows her dreams to be crushed by patriarchy and is soon tied down by tradition. Screen time which could have been used to further develop any of the promising storylines is instead disproportionately directed to the leitmotif – the Kala Bandar.

As the chaos reaches a climax towards the end, the wheels literally start to come off. Amitabh Bacchan’s inexplicable cameo hammers the final nail in the coffin for Delhi-6. To be fair however, the ending would not have appeared as disappointing as it did, had Mehra not delivered a spectacular show for nearly two hours before it.

Mehra alone knows why he went ahead with the ending that he did, or why some of the most beautiful compositions from the soundtrack such as ‘Arziyan’ and ‘Rehna Tu’ receive such little screen time. But all said and done, one has to credit the man for undertaking an almost impossible challenge and nearly pulling it off. To quote Abhishek Bacchan in his strange accent: “Delhi-6 works. The people make it work!”  Well almost!

Rating: 3 out of 5

What the Ratings Mean:

0 – Terrible Beyond Imagination
1 – Mostly Pathetic
2 – Strictly OK
3 – Good
4 – Very Good
5 – Bow Down and Worship!

5 Things That Are Getting Too Much Publicity

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5) Pointless Facebook Campaigns

The success of a Facebook campaign usually results in more annoyance than good. In simpler terms, every successful Pink Chaddi Campaign, is bound to aspire half a dozen SPAM-heavy, unsuccessful ones such as “Save the Green-Tailed, Diurnally Blind, Migratory Cockatoo Initiative”, or the “Let’s Boycott Facebook Because they moved the Inbox button by three-quarters of an inch to the left”. As if throwing sheep at, licking, sucking and biting people you barely know wasn’t bad enough already!

Sadly This Isn't Photoshopped

Sadly This Isn't Photoshopped

4) Freida Pinto

Now don’t get me wrong on this one; I’m all for Indian cinema being appreciated all over the world, and though I must admit that Slumdog’s soundtrack doesn’t hold a candle to that of even Delhi 6, I’m still as stoked as the next person that Rahman won not one but two Oscars. What I can’t stand for however are pointless celebrities; case in point – Ms. (ya Mrs.?) Freida Pinto. With a track-record of zero films in all before her “Randomly appear at CST station and get kidnapped” part in Slumdog, it beats me how she has managed to get her overly made-up mug pasted on  everything  from Vogue to Cosmopolitan. On second thoughts, America is the same country were Miley Cyrus rivals the all-time sales of Led Zeppelin! Jao maaf kiya!

Seriously, this face? On The Vogue Cover?

Seriously, this face? On The Vogue Cover?

3) Terrorists

Terrorists are a prime example of the lengths people are willing to go to…just to get laid. Think about it! A guy blowing himself to smithereens just because he has been promised 72 virgins in his after-life, is the ultimate form of desperation, if you ask me. Especially considering the fact that no one has ever mentioned whether the virgins are going to be male or female/ young or old/ smoking hot or god-awful. It’s just not worth it! Tell you what Mr. Terrorist, if risk-taking is second-nature to you and you tend to skip reading fine prints, you’re probably better off investing in the stock market, rather than blowing it up!

I Knew There Had To Be A Catch!

I Knew There Had To Be A Catch!

2) LK Sadvani’s Online SPAM-Paign

The way in which we have been swamped with Sadvani  SPAM over the last month or so only confirms that the think-tank at BJP HQ consider the following as axioms –

a)      The youth think that Sadvaniji is awesomeness personified!

b)      The youth love clicking on cheap flash pop-ups.

c)       The youth have a Ghajini-like memory span and need to be bombarded with an ad every 10 seconds.

Experience has taught us that old men who suddenly start spending too much time online are usually creep-bags. Of course I’m not implying that Sadvaniji wants to make fraandship with your beti! But there’s a chance someone else can see it like that no? Just saying!

Kaun si website? Kaisi website? Mere 250 crore kahan gaye?

Kaun si website? Kaisi website? Mere 250 crore kahan gaye?

1) Balika Vadhu

After glorifying adultery, divorce and possible incest over the last decade, saas bahu serials have now found a new social evil to put under the limelight – child marriage! The end of the K-serial era, it seems has left mummies and dadis all over India with severe withdrawal pangs, so much so that they are now okay with just about anything to get their daily dose of saas-bahu sagas! So what’s the harm if a girl is married at eight, is denied education, and faces cruelties at the hands of her in-laws? And who cares if a thirteen year old becomes a widow or if a fifteen year old dies during child birth – the show deals with real emotions baba! See how well the little girls act! What’s that you say? The kids work twelve-hour shifts and miss school for months? Arrey didn’t we just say the show deals with real emotions and sensitive portrayals of a child-bride? Chup-chaap TV dekho na!

If It Wasn't For This Show, I Swear I'd Think Was Illegal!

Thank God for this show! For a second I thought this was illegal!

Back To Square One

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Don’t go home just yet, young one,
The day has just begun.
And though you think you’ve seen it all,
There’s so much more to come.

You may have failed,and learned,and tried.
You may have loved, and lost,and cried.
You may have, known the truth,and lied.
You may be filled with pain inside.

You may not like the things I’ve said,
And try and run away instead.

But there’s no place that you can run,
Let’s start again…
Back to square one!

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Dedicated to the Class of 2009.

Gulaal Music Review

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200px-gulaalAlbum: Gulaal
Music Director: Piyush Mishra
Lyrics: Piyush Mishra
Label: T-Series

If ‘Tauba Tera Jalwa…’ is still firmly lodged in your head, you better make room, because here comes another heady cocktail of madness and musical brilliance courtesy Anurag Kashyap’s next Gulaal.

Composed and worded by Piyush Mishra, the Gulaal OST is diametrically opposite to that of Dev.D. While the key to the brilliance of young Amit Trivedi’s effort  was diversity and innovation, Piyush Mishra achieves just the same by doing the basics exceedingly well.

That is not to say that this album does not have any variety! Featuring everything from the witty political mujra ‘Ranaji’ (Gulaal’s ‘Emotional Attyachaar’) to the chillingly sombre ‘Sheher’, this album revives the yesteryear Bollywood tradition of poetic lyrics.

Add Indian Ocean’s ‘Yaara Maula’ to that equation and what you have is a soundtrack which almost seems like a middle-ground between the Black Friday and Dev.D OST – while at the same time remaining utterly unique.

At the end of the day, though there are many highlights, the real star, at least for this reviewer, is Piyush Mishra! Thank God this one’s finally being released. Now all we need is Paanch!

Rating: 4 out of 5