Sunday, August 12, 2007

Chak De !

Stepping out of the hall, I casually asked my mother , “Kaisee lagee , ma?”.

Usually, asking my mother this question after a movie tells me how it is going to end up doing at the box office. She says ‘Theek Thaak’ and the movie is an average grosser. She says ‘Tu hamesha bekaar picchur hee dikhaata hai’ and the movie is a flop.She says ‘Chal iski ticket ka refund maangte hai’ and the movie is a mega flop with a high probability of the director's wife leaving him soon.

Getting back to the question posed earlier this day. “Acchi lagi. Sacchi mein dil kar raha tha ki humari team jeet jaye!” , she exclaimed, almost as excitedly as a teenaged tamil girl in the middle of a dinner date with Rajnikanth.

That was the moment when I knew this movie is going to be a hit. I mean, when a movie can make a 52 year old woman, with a spirit burdened by the strains of bringing up a son like me, say something like that, it sure can cause a young India to pump out adrenaline enough to fill up all the overhead water tanks in my colony.

It was only after my sister explained to me that I was turning into one of those work junkies who spend their lives changing column sizes on excel sheets and are finally found dead slumped on the keyboard by the office boy one morning, that I decided to take my mother and sister to ‘Chak De India’ at Metropolitan Mall in Gurgaon. Of course, my sister predicted other details like how no girl would agree to marry me if I continue to neglect human relations, but then , let us skip the gory part.

I attribute it to my innocence and ignorance of the female mind that I expected shopping would not be a part of the outing. When two Indian ladies step into a mall, evading shopping is like a cyclist trying to avoid being hit when caught in a race involving blueline buses. My consolation remains that in spite of a season ending sale on at most stores in the mall, there was enough space in the car for all of us and the shopping bags on our way back.

But coming back to the movie, I think King Khan underlines the fact that he can deliver a powerful performance with an unshaven face and without the overexcited romantic antics. It was refreshing to find a bollywood movie sans the girls-rotating-on-steel poles and muscular- guys-with-guns routine .It could have been a shade better if the guy sitting to my left could have used a more society friendly deodorant instead of the one he was wearing which smelt like the underpants of a pizza delivery boy on a hot sticky day. But notwithstanding that, I enjoyed the movie.

The story is as much a secret as Paris Hilton’s night life, so you don’t spend the movie all twitching in your seat and biting your nails till they cease to exist. But the pace of the movie, the normality of the team characters and the sheer spirit of an underdog taking the pants off their disapprovers carries it through.

No wonder that when our girls hit the winning stroke, many in the hall leapt to their feet, whooping in joy like schoolboys who find out the next class is not happening because the teacher has been diagnosed with chicken pox*(See Note).I suspect some of the overweight middle aged Punjabi aunties threw up their flabby arms too. Even the strange smelling guy next to me let out a gritty ‘Yesss’ , though that does not enhance my respect for his tastes in deodorants in any way.

*Note-Talking of unavailability of teachers, my fondest experience remains when our standard VII chemistry teacher got pregnant and the school could not find a replacement for us. For three happy months, we guys spent chemistry classes talking about girls and playing trump cards when we should have been memorizing the periodic table. Seldom has the birth of a child marked the death of happiness for so many children.

I particularly liked the part when the girls beat up a bunch of eve teasers. Due to some unexplained reason, I feel good when I find a girl beating up a guy. Though not that good that I would not walk up to a girl and say “Hey, please punch me. I have not felt good since morning!”.

Also, It must be particularly tough on the guys playing those eve teasers, even if it means starring in a Shahrukh movie. I mean, I can imagine the guy’s proud father watching the movie and pointing out to the people around him ‘See!See! That’s my son there! No, not the one being kicked by that bunch of Manipuri ladies. My son is the one in the yellow shirt, who was just thrown across the table by that Punjabi girl!’.

So even though I doubt the movie will spark off some kind of revolution and seven year old kids all over Punjab will start selling off their toys to buy hockey sticks, it is a decent experience. Dhoni posters will still sell like hot cakes and kids will still believe a hairstyle like Dhanraj Pillay’s is a punishment . Wishing three hours would revive a sport is as ambitious as wishing I would act in Dhoom 3. So nothing great in here,but maybe you will like it. My mother did.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Happy Belated(Ouch!) Birthday!

There are some moments in life when your mind feels like the inside of a salwar kameez store full of Punjabi ladies during the annual discount store . There are some moments in life when you wish your leg was flexible enough to curve back and land a sunny deol-ish kick on your own behind bad enough to render your morning rituals ineffective for three months . There are some moments in life when you wish you could rewind life and clean up all the mistakes you did.

It hit me when she sent me a very comforting “I will kill you” on gtalk some time back and I blurted out a ‘Shit!’ so loud , all the babies in the neighborhood soiled their chaddis.

I know I sound like I have done something as bad as becoming an unwed daddy of twins , but what I have done is worse than that – I forgot
Sunshine’s birthday.

For those of you ‘jinhone apne TV set derr se khole ho’, Sunshine is a friend so close, we get any closer and the Shiv Sainiks will go berserk. I mean , the word ‘friend’ seems as weak as an A K hangal when it comes to what she is to me . Along with my family , she is one of those very few people who I know will be around all life. And even as I type this , I can’t believe I forgot her birthday. And even though I can write her a mail about this , I want this blog to know how special she is.

Sunshine , I know I have been as insensitive as a paralyzed cucumber at times , but you are one person with whom I share too many fond memories. Meeting up at the Rabindra Sadan metro station. The aimless chatter over pizzaz (Kitna khaati hai tu..) .Your mock proposal which still makes me blush. The day we spent in the science park watching a 3 D underwater movie and huge clay dinosaurs . The CD selling plan we chalked out in that park .Your insistence of not taking a cab and my insistence on not taking an auto ( You gareeb..) .The ‘NDTV’ office on campus. Nandan cinema ( Wasn’t bad..) .And obviously , the timeless classic “shey jey…!”. I guess they can make a seventy episode soap opera about our time together.

So now to make it up to you , I will get the date of your birthday tattooed on my arm in permanent ink even if it makes my arm look like a reminder pad . I will go around telling everyone you are a Miss India finalist even if you put on weight . I will buy you a huge exotica pizza and that disgustingly fatty ebony and ivory ice cream you like when you come to India even if you don’t want to eat . I will be there on every special day of your life from your next birthday to the birthdays of your grandkids even if I have seven meetings lined up on the day . I will tell my wife your smile is dazzling enough to light up all the metro stations in Calcutta even if she goes green and calls up her lawyer. I won’t regret writing all this even if G rearranges all the bones in my body.

And I am so sorry for being so stupid even if you say you are not angry.

Happy Belated Birthday !!