The News Makers of 2009

2009 is on his way out. Here is my take on the 10 most featured and most discussed news makers of India in 2009. Remember, this is only my take on the people, places, parties and things. Enjoy!

  • Ajmal Aamer Kasab: A guy like hi needs no introduction. Unlike the others who accompanied him through the sea route, created a havoc on Mumbai on 26/11/2008 and died for their cause, Ajmal Kasab was captured alive and looks all set to very much remain alive for the year 2009 too. The shoddy governance and the inability of the police to frame the case means Kasab keeps doing the U turns on his confessions and enjoys a protected stay, savoring Chicken Biryani. Shame on us and our judiciary system.
  • Chandrayaan: This has been a major boost to India’s mission to moon, or should I say ISRO and its space programs. After already spending close to some $ 80 million on the project, the shuttle final entered the Moon’s orbits and boy, what a job it did. The ISRO scientists not only claimed but proved that indeed they found water on moon. It came as a shock initially to every other nation. But later it was confirmed and accepted even by NASA. Chandrayaan 1 has made us a lot proud. Chandrayaan 2 is already in progress and slated for a launch in Dec, 2013.
  • Sonia Gandhi, Dr. Manmohan Singh and Congress: It makes me wonder, why is the Congress government elected time and again? There are many people like me. But none have the answers. So I have no choice but to accept the good performances by Dr. Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi yet again. Despite the terror attacks and the instability, Congress managed to come back to power and is very much likely to stay. AT least we have a stable government. I’m happy.
  • Sachin Tendulkar and the Indian Cricket Team: Indian team and Sachin Tendulkar were both in the news for long time this year. Although they could not repeat the success of the T20 championship they won two years back, they did scale new heights by convincingly beating almost all the teams they played against (including Australia) and captured the pinnacle of test cricket rankings in November after they beat Sri Lanka. Sachin Tendulkar surpassed the world record of being the highest run scorer in test cricket beating Brian Lara and also completed his 20 years in international cricket. I think he might have easily surpassed the definition of a Legend as well.
  • Large Hadron Collider: I simply dont know what to comment on this one. It simply created a lot of furore and panic around the world. But nothing really happened. The had scheduled a second run in November. I’m sure it was successful. But what was the end result of it? Has it answered the fundamental question of the existence? WIll it answer in future? I’m sure we will hear more of it in future.
  • Stock Exchanges, Dr. Y V Reddy and Dr. Subbarao: That name Dr. Y V Reddy appears there in the heading because I think he was largely responsible to prevent India and Indian banks from going down the recession drain. Dr. Subbarao, who took over from Dr. Reddy as the governor of RBI had himself acknowledged the fact that it was difficult for him to match what Dr. Reddy had done. But he indeed matched. The stock market did plummet to 8 thousand some thing, but bounced back and thank fully doing well. India is credited today for largely keeping the economy stable despite difficult economic conditions. All credit to Dr. Reddy, Dr. Subbarao and and the financial planners
  • Tiger Woods: Again, need I say more? A person who redefined golfing also went ahead and redefined the serial monogamy. The stories of his casanova acts are dominating the world news papers today. And there are so many, it might even over shadow Giovanni Jacopo Casanova, the original one 🙂
  • The Copenhagen Summit: Climate change is the prime concern today and will remain a prime concern unless we dramatically or radically change the way things are. The summit was attended by the UNFCCC member countries. They did arrive on an ‘agreement’ drafted by US, India, China, Brazil and South Africa, named as ‘Copenhagen Accord’. However it was only recognised and not accepted. This becomes another reference and another conference, meaning Climate change issue will resurface soon.
  • Shiney Ahuja, Ruchika, Jessica Lal, Aarushi: All of them have been criminal cases, some recent and some long pending. Top story earlier was the denial of bail for Shiney Ahuja, who is accused of raping his minor maid. Recently the Jessica Lal murder case and the Ruchika molestation case has been reopened. The debate still goes on. The talking point, in my opinion is, there are many other Ruchikas and Jessicas around us. We need to reopen them all. This is why most of the common people do not believe in Indian Judiciary.
  • The bollywood flops: There have been many. Consider this, 138 films have been released in 2009, and only 4 of them can be classified as hits. Sorry state, isn’t it? Bollywood was not even helped by the ongoing feud between the distributors and producers as well. But that remains the story. It started with Ghajini (released in Dec 2008), then we saw Love Aaj Kal, Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani, New York and finally 3 Idiots. And all of them have been differently made movies. I think the KJo’s and the Chopras of Bolly world need to under stand this. The viewer is short of patience. SO dont show us another Kurbaan or a Dilli 6. Dont teach us… entertain us!

So thats me Mayur signing off 2009 on a happy note. Happy new year to you all. Ta!

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Ratatouille

My new found temporary bachelorhood has paid its first dividend. I have a new member now staying with me in the big apartment. It is a RAT. 🙂

It is not the first time I’m dealing with a rodent in a house, though I must say this is certainly the first of its kind I have encountered with. Rats are notorious for creating a ruckus and damaging things at house, especially food grains. The last time a rat was inside our house, he had chewed off a part of the sofa, a towel and even nibbled the buttons of the TV remote control! Not to mention the filth he would spread inside the shelves, drawers and other places. Such hooliganism is seldom tolerated and then you have no choice but to catch him and throw out or worse, just put him to permanent sleep.

But this guy, the new one, is surprisingly well behaved. He doesn’t eat off the towel or the remote control. In fact he has not even ventured in the shelf where food grains are kept. He is hungry, but a connoisseur. He savours on the cooked food only. It is hard to believe but true. Few days back, the maid had cooked Paranthas for me. I had some in the morning and left 3 of them so that I could have them later in the afternoon. But I left the house and didn’t return till the evening. So when I checked the Paranthas, they were only two of them left. The lid on the ‘dabba’ in which paranthas were kept was also well placed. On further inspection I found the half eaten Paratha under the basin. Then two days back I coincidently left the pack of biscuits on the table. Next morning I found it properly opened and 2 biscuits were missing. Hmmm… ratatouille.   🙂

Now would you want to kill a rat like that?

Movie Review: 3 Idiots

I’d personally like to thank Chetan Bhagat for the two sensible things he did since becoming ‘the popular guy’ in India amongst the youth. One, writing and converting his immensely popular novel ‘5 point someone’ into a movie script and then choosing (or rather getting chosen by) Rajkumar Hirani to direct 3 Idiots. For this movie is sure to become one of the greatest hits in recent times. This movie, although having a ‘bollywoodish’ touch to it, does strike a chord deep within. I so much remembered my two other favourite movies in recent times, Rock On and Guru while watching the movie. No, 3 Idiots doesn’t even have a slightest of resemblance with any of the two. But like the other two, it not only makes you think, it makes you act as well. I always believed that a movie should be a work of art. It should take you on a journey of your own, within you. 3 Idiots sufficiently manages to do that.

There is a difference between getting educated and becoming knowledgeable. A dialogue in the movie says, we should learn and study to become worthy and not to become successful. Success should automatically follow. And I believe, to be a knowledgeable person, some where within you need to have that rebellious attitude. An attitude that has a capacity to challenge the ‘as is’ and invent, innovate or evolve into some thing more, some thing new and some thing better. I remember during my engineering days, me and my classmate Sanjeev were struggling to get a paper presentation topic. There was a contest at IIT, Chennai and we HAD to get selected and participate. After many futile attempts at trying to learn the already presented brain heavy papers on structural engineering, we decided to do some thing on our own. We ended up presenting some thing that caught even the IITians unaware, a most economical way of building the stone columns in a marshy land. Although we didn’t win, it did receive a special mention in their record books (I suppose it is still there and has been researched by now). I cant explain the surprised look on the faces of our teachers back in our college when they learnt that two guys, one with average grades (Sanjeev) and one with non-mentionable grades (me) could do this. It was that rebellious attitude to do the difference that has carried me through all these years.

Anyway, coming back to the movie. 3 Idiots is loosely based on the novel by Chetan Bhagat, 5 Point Someone.  Loosely because the theme, the characters and the premise is the same but the story line has been altered a bit to suit the Bollywood audience (which is actually not so good). Unlike the novel, which revolves around 3 main characters, 3 Idiots revolves around 1 lead and 2 sub lead characters. Aamir Khan plays a guy called Rannchhoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad, a rich and brilliant guy, who has a central tailored role where as R. Madhavan and Sharman Joshi play Farhan Qureshi and Raju Rastogi respectively. They are all studying in Imperial College of Engineering a.k.a. IIT Delhi, headed by Dr. Viru Sahastrabuddhe (Boman Irani). The rest of the movie is about how Rannchhoddas or Ranchoo’s rebellious attitude and out of the box thinking often lands the three best friends in a soup, and as always, how every thing gets turned into a happy ending. After all, in the end ‘Aal Ij Well’. The story here bears a striking resemblance to Rajkumar Hirani’s earlier protagonist, Munnabhai MBBS. In fact, there are few sequences where you feel as if Raju has served the old wine in a new bottle. Ranchho’s altercations with the dean, his love angle with the dean’s daughter (Kareena), his overwhelming generosity, his out of the box solutions… every thing looks like ditto Munnabhai.

Coming to performances, except for the 3 Idiots and Boman Irani every one else has a short role to play, including Kareena. But all of them have done well, especially Chatur ‘Silencer’. They ensure that there is never a dull moment in the movie at all. Music by Shantanu Moitra is good. In fact ‘All is Well’ is topping the charts already. I’ll not be surprised if it has surpassed the popularity of ‘M bole to…’. If there is a healthy dose of funny moments and good songs, there are also some grey overtones where you almost feel for the characters. Raju has effectively tried to deal with the suicides and the excessive pressures of studies. The film in fact tries to give us a message, a message to follow your dreams and not some one’s expectations. It may not be strong enough to challenge the ‘Doctor ya Engineer’ typecast society and education system in India. But it sure asks questions… in fact plenty of them. Go and watch it for sure, even if you have the answers or not…

Ajmal Kasab…

… Should have been shot at Girgaon Chowpatty itself. More than 50 lacs of public money has been lost on account of managing that ill brain washed dumb head.

Darn!

POW: KIDA

The pic was taken using Macro

Location: Do you really care? Time: Dont remember. This is a product of stupid imagination

The Wishing Well

Are you asking where is it? It is RIGHT HERE. Yes, exactly! This post is your wishing well and the comments section is where you got to put your wishes. I know this sounds funny. But it is good to be funny and stupid, is it not? How else will you justify the happy living then?

Anyway. Although this might seem like the eternal chain mails with Angels, Jesus to Sai Baba pictures making your wish come true. I’d still urge you to scribble some thing. It wouldn’t harm you if you decide to put a wish down here. I’m a strong believer of the ‘Law of attraction.’ So I believe writing your wish list and reading through it every day acts like a catalyst to your efforts put in achieving the goals (read wishes). In any case, you’ll be spamming my blog. So dont worry and go ahead… rant some thing.