Rock on Review: Magik is brimming

Farhan Akhtar rocks! This should sum up the entire review about this intriguing movie. Since I’m a fan of bearable rock music, I loved the way movie is made. After a long time I’m writing a review that is so much unlike any other movie reviews I have written or read till date. And I must admit I’m giving all credit to Farhan Akhtar, Purab Kohli, Abhishek Kapoor and Prachi Desai. After “Taare Zameen Par” this is a movie that has left a humble feel good taste on my mind.

Watching the movie reminded me of my engineering days when we friends used to gather on a rooftop of a friends house and sing songs. Those were the days of dreams, aspirations in our big eyes. Little less than a decade over and I’m still struggling with my ‘so called stable’ job. Following your dreams is important. But some times you never know when and how you are going to cross path with a long lost friend who was once a part of your starry eyed dreamy world. The movie made me to go back to my shelf and read ‘The Alchemist’ again.

“Rock On’ is all about four guys, Aditya (Farhan), Joe (Arjun Rampal), KD (Purab Kohli) and Rob (Luke Kenny) and their quest to make it big in the rock music world. With matching aspirations, they come together to form a amateur band ‘Magik’ with a dream to make it big. However their quest to hunt for ‘that one big chance’ demands too much and hit the dead lock. Magik fails to cast its spell and with all the sacrifices made, they take up different lives in different directions. Having spent 10 years ruing their missed luck, they meet again thanks to Sakshi (Prachi Desai) Aditya’s wife for four years. And the Magik starts brimming again.

Frankly speaking I wouldn’t have watched the movie if some one narrated me this story. However the way its been made, you ought to fall in love. I particularly liked the sensitivity with which the story is dealt. Impeccable timings of songs and rivetingly emotional portrayal of characters by the actors make this movie a must watch. Music is suitable to the sequences and you will like it if you like rock. Almost every actor has done really well. Special applaud to Farhan, Prachi and Shahana since its their first movie.

I’m not rating this. Its too emotional. If you guys know what it is to see a dream and if you have faced the agony of letting it slip out of your hand… If you let your eyes loose because you had to sacrifice some thing… If you were a team that crumbled like a pack of cards… You will relate to Rock On.

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Opinions, Criticism and Stupidity

I had a healthy debate with one of my friend and a blogger today. The topic was expressing opinions and criticism. While we didn’t start this as a debate, all I was trying to do was offer him a friendly advice. There is a very thin line difference between expressing opinion and lambasting some one (read criticizing). I tried hard to explain, demonstrate and convince him about how he crossed the line almost every time and why he should be less critical about people around him that are not his responsibility or interest. I know him as a man with possessed intelligence, and I made an honest attempt to advice him to be a little more considerate. In the wake of argument, he pointed out that I had written a post regarding commercialization of god by Swaminarayan sect. He said I was no different at being critical at things too. So I thought this needed clarification.

Let me clarify that whatever I say or write here are my individual opinions. I don’t believe in taking unnecessary digs at people unknown and unrelated to me. I wrote about the swaminarayan temple because I thought the money ($ 19 million) could well have been used for a better purpose. I don’t mind people collecting money in the name of god as long as they are being put to good social use. I have realized that being critical without being helpful is actually delirious. I’m sorry to all the people whom I have criticized. Let me tell that in future if I’m going to raze people in future, I will also make sure I will have a solution or advice for what I think is missing.

2000

Its the number of visitors my blog has clocked since I started blurting out my thoughts about 3 months ago. I wrote a post 1000+ hits on 6th August. Today is 28th and I have managed to double the visitors in 22 days. Although it doesn’t really bother me as I’m not writing because I want my blog to be popular. Neither I have a mission or a vision. I don’t think my blog needs that. I just write what I feel like and what I want to tell those who like to listen (rather read) me.

Having said that, it feels nice to know my writing is being appreciated. Thanks! 🙂

An Idea is changing lives

I have been watching the new Idea cellular campaign with Abhishek Bachchan in lead for quite a few days now. I must say that they are really good. Idea’s focus on masses and taking up the issue of educating children has been very well received. Believe me, some times I look forward to the ad break so that I could see what new ad is making its way to our television sets. The advertisers have very intelligently portrayed the outreach of Idea network in the rural areas while highlighting the best possible social use of the speaker phone in a mobile. Not only they are reaching out to customers in the rural areas, they are effectively highlighting the problem of education in the rural areas. And boy, they do have an innovative solution.

Even in the past they ran an ad campaign opposing racism and caste differences that was well taken too. Hats off to the creative guys who have designed these ads. Hats off to Idea too for taking up social issues and boldly bringing them ahead. Whether its getting them new customers or not is a different issue (at least I have not yet migrated), it is surely winning them praises all over.

PS: I’m not advertising Idea Cellular or its services. If I have unknowingly done it, Idea guys, you owe me some fee 🙂

Me and telephonic interviews

I’m not an expert to tell you how well should you appear for an interview. However I’ve given and taken enough of them to list down things that you shouldn’t be doing in interviews. This post specifically refers to telephonic interviews.

Today morning I had a telephonic interview with the GM of Harbinger Group, Pune. I’m ashamed to tell that after a long time, I actually failed to impress a guy on a telephone. Taking a cue from there and also considering my small experience in grilling candidates on phone, I’m listing 5 basic but very valuable tips things. Read and enjoy.

  1. Do not eat, drink or stand in a place that will invite enough noise disturbance. Your voice is your only weapon. So it needs to go fully into the ears of the interviewer. Munching, sipping will drive him away.
  2. Do not narrate stories. Telephonic conversations are interesting only if they are with your loved ones. Keep your conversations short and to the point. If possible, try to make it interactive. Since you can’t see the person’s face, you can’t make out if the guy is enjoying, getting pissed off or even listening to you.
  3. Do not go under prepared and panic. Telephonic round helps you to keep a reference copy handy (a printed document about the company, latest news and some information about the industry). Take full advantage. If you are being called on a mobile phone, use the hands free. (For technical interviews, you can keep your books and notes open.)
  4. Discussing confidential information about previous employer (say clients, projects) is not advisable. Some companies record the calls for security and training purposes.
  5. Avoid negotiating on the phone. (Salary, profile, location etc.) Its better to discuss this in person.

I hope the points were helpful. Good luck to all hopeful.

Addendum: I have posted the exact Harbinger interview on CE. Interested readers can click here to have a look.

Phoonk Review: Worth a kick

If Ram Gopal Verma happens to read my blog, I want to give a serious advice. I want to tell you Mr. RGV, “Please stop making movies. You are not good enough to entertain viewers any more.”

After all the fanfare and hoopla surrounding the movie Phoonk, it turns out to be a total dud. I’m clueless as to what RGV wanted his viewers to see. To talk about the story, well there is an engineer who doesn’t believe in god or ghosts. A couple, who are his friends, commit frauds in his business. Getting angry, he insults, pushes and shoves them out of his life. They decide to take revenge by casting black magic spell on his 10 yr old daughter. In the end, with help from doctors and a tantrik, they manage to save her. The End. 🙂

The entire movie fails to raise hair even once. Most of the scary sequence are either based on The Exorcist or Bhoot, RGV’s previous attempt at scaring people. His tall claims at giving out 5 lacs to a guy sitting alone in a movie theater have fallen flat within 3-4 days of opening. I have seen people actually coming out laughing at RGV or their own fate (having lost in excess of Rs.200)

On the positive side, both debut lead actors Sudeep (as the atheist engineer) and Amruta Khanvilkar (as a doting mother) have done very well. Ashwini Kalsekar in the role of the black magician is excellent. Even the girl Ehsaas as the affected child is good. One thing I like more is the way the movie has been shot. Complicated camera angles and the light effect really raise the otherwise dead script and narration. The background score sounds good but looks like its been lifted from Sarkar (same buzzing clarinet).

My take, see it at your own financial and time risk. I’m in no mood to give any stars to the movie. In fact, I will say “Phoonk! … and the movie goes out of the theatres!”

An email from Ahmadabad

Have you guys read the new book by Chetan Bhagat, “Three mistakes of my life?” I almost lived in Chetan’s shoes last weekend. This is how…

I was about to wrap up and go home on a lazy Friday when a mail popped up on my  CE account. One Devesh Shah (name changed) had written me a heartfelt request. In his mail this guy from Ahmadabad congratulated me on featuring in the news paper. (This was in connection with the suicide of Sandeep Shelke and the discussion we had on CE. Read here.) He appreciated my views and said he was in a similar situation. His employer was exploiting him. He had an option to quit, albeit he was bound by a service agreement (bond… in layman’s term.) He tried to negotiate but they threatened him to hand over to police and ruin his career if he fled. The guy was running out of options and was seeking my help.

The mail left a morbid feeling in my mind. I gulped some saliva and replied asking him to keep cool. I told him to talk to his manager and also offered to talk on his behalf as his elder brother. The guy replied saying he feared the worst was nearing him. In a feat of fear, I also offered to search a job for him in Mumbai. I wrote a lengthy mail detailing various ways of escape including how to break a bond. This guy didn’t reply and I had no other way to contact him. I couldn’t enjoy my weekend. I checked my mails to see if he replied. He didn’t. My nerves were getting colder when finally on Monday, I received a reply. He thanked me for the support and said he managed to negotiate with his Manager. He offered to complete his project in exchange of relief from the bond. (I forgot he was a Gujrati, hence good at negotiation.)

A breather for me, but this guy sure unsettled my nerves.