Friday, August 20, 2021

A Lorry in Lords- Watch Kutti Story

 

A Highly popular series when India travelled down under, a series that not many believed India would not be able to last the distance, But the belied expectations and bought the Gavaskar Border Trophy back home. At the same time, Ashwin was creating sounds of a different kind via his youtube channel. I have come to realize that Ashwin besides being the worlds best off spinner is a story teller par excellence. His Kutti series was highly popular and much sought after when he toured Australia. As soon as I heard that Kutti Series was making a comeback this time from England, my ears were all cocked up. I knew that all of us would be in for a visual treat.

Historical win at Lords done and dusted, the next big thing that I would have wanted to know what actually transpired behind the scenes those five interesting days. I did not have to wait for long as the Kutti Story series was back again. Lots of emotions had been exchanged on the field, Lots of mind games and obviously a lot of skill on show. Joe Root seemed to be carrying the expectations of the entire series on his shoulders, while the other batsmen around him seemed to collapse like nine pins. 

So what transpired on the fifth day that riled up the Indians so much. It was quite evident that the Indians were on fire. The point is this, when you have your backs to the wall, then even a piece of straw seems like a last resort when you are drowning. Added to it Anderson and Butler had a lot of words to say to the Indians. Its been oft reported that Virat Kohli has a few extra rounds of arsenal added to his aggressiveness, especially when the opponent indulges in sledging. His arms are raised, his eyes extra large, gesticulating to the crowd to get more vocal and all of it pumps him up.

What was said on the field was a different story but it changed the script a whole lot on the final day. There are elements of fun and Humour laced into Kutti Story. When it comes to telling a story especially when it is a Jugalbandhi it becomes very important for your sparring partner to be as vocal, as humorous and as engaging as Ashwin himself. Sridhar, Indias fielding coach matches the tonality that Ashwin brings into the show. Mind you these are not rehearsed shows but as impromptu as it can get. Lots of moments when you can get into peels of laughter moments. The way Ashwin mimics Rajini, The runaway Lorry on Lords Cricket Ground,(You must watch the Kutti Story to understand who it is a reference to.) Batting coach Vikram Rathore scribbling something on a piece of paper during tense moments of the game. You must watch the segment where Ashwin Talks to Shami in Tamil, it will leave you in splits.

Then of course you have the Dumble and Bumble moments on sky, a reference to the ear pieces that the English crowd have taken to in recent times. Radio seems to have made a huge entry once again into the game of cricket and with telling effect. Just when you think that the Kutti Story is coming to an end, Ashwin comes up with the idea of the Sanju-Manju Radio idea, leaving you to hold your sides aching in laughter. Obviously Dil Maange More and it will not be long before the next Kutti Story comes up, and this one hopefully from Leeds. Overall a highly entertaining 20-25 minutes from Ashwin.....These Kutti moments of joy that you are dishing out for your fans are pure gems.... To watch the Kutti Story click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cnbxf6-ILGk

Friday, August 6, 2021

India's Bravehearts-India's Queens






Mirabai Chanu 

No path to Tread, No Roads to follow, just dirt and gravel all the way

No means, No Pence, struggle on the face, pain in the heart, smiles all the way

Water Buckets for weight, legs so sore, arms that pain, distant glory I hope and pray.

No power day and night, sweat is all that matters, breeze gives calm

Paining limbs cry out loud, Menstrual Blood flows, no medical aid, no balm

A Mothers tear, a Fathers Toil, A Towns delight and a Brothers Calm

Village to Town, Town to City, City to skies and yonder land

A Goal so Distant, a Hope Light years away, No kith, No kin, Just Hope and Prayers

A Million Hearts, a Weight becomes plain, a silver to Gain, Mirabai Chanu, a Road to your land in Mizoram

Lovlina Borgohain

Loves in the name, Land of the great Bhramaputra, daughter of the soil

Tiny village in Assam, Bruises and cuts, a maidens face

Take punches galore, swell with pain but pride intact

Walk Miles and Miles A bus sometimes, A Food skipped but a Punch added

A Male bastion, a Female roars, A Tigress Awakens, India Roars

Silver, assured Gold Beckons, she goes valiantly takes punches with pride.

Village connected, All Roads lead to Baromuthia village, agog with happiness, silverish joy

Rani Rampal

Yet another of Indias Queen this time from a Tiny village in Haryana

Impoverish conditions, a family to care & less nourishment

Five Plentiful Litres of Milk a Day was the coaches diktat

All the queen could do was mix up water and milk equalsome

Missed bronze by a whisker

Grabbed Hearts by the Trillion

Rani Rampal an inspiring story all Rani Jhansis of India

Stories like this are plenty, a part of folklore….future children be inspired by our motherlands daughters

 


Thursday, July 29, 2021

Mimi-A Whiff of Fresh Air- Letter to the Star cast

 

Dear Laxman Utekar,

Thanks for giving us that whiff of Fresh Air called Mimi. I watched it yesterday night on Netflix. I loved it to the bits and found the entire movie to be quite entertaining. In this age where the showbiz business is clearly dominated by the macho heroes, you chose to be daring enough by placing your punt on a Heroine dominated story. Kudos for that. India is still relatively taboo to topics like surrogacy and you have presented it in the most light hearted manner. Just when I thought that it is going to take a serious turn you introduced elements of humor in the right mixes thereby ensuring that the movie carries on. The songs were a good break, short and sweet, and pleasant on the ears. Has to be with the legend ARR involved. The ambience of a small Rajasthan town adds to the aura of the movie. 

Dear Kriti Sanon,

Where were you all these years. I must admit that I am simply awed by the screen presence that you have shown in this movie. With due respects to your talent, I have not seen any of your movies so far or rather my bad luck that the movies you featured in skipped my attention. Its a given that going forward I will try to look out for the movies that you act in. Coming back to the movie, your act was just brilliant. You had to carry the entire movie on your young shoulders and you have done it to telling effect. From being a fun loving ambitious Mimi who craves to make it big in Bollywood to the Surrogate mother, a plethora of emotions. I loved the scene specially where you tell the Doctor "Why do people think that aborting a baby in its womb is not a crime, while outside of it is a crime"  You come off in the initial stages as a chirpy, bubbly, loveable character to a mature loving mother later on in the movie. In the movie industry where it is between BigB, The Khans, Hritik and more recently Tiger you have proved that women are no less when it comes to world class acting prowess. By the way a hint of SRK in the movie with Raj thrown in. A lot of slapping around with you slapping Pankaj Tripathi first and then the guy on the motorbike, did you slap for real? looked very real to me :)

Dear Pankaj Tripathi,

You have come a long way indeed  From Mirzapur to Mimi, From Hating you as the sly underworld don to loving you as the private cab driver, you have offered to us a wide variety of characters. However I seem to love you more in your lighter, humorous avtaar. Your scenes with your wife Rekhu and your mom left me in splits. Quite a laugh riot. Once again your scenes with the Maulvi was laugh a second kind of scenes. The act where you introduce yourself as Naseeruddin to the pavement shopkeepers and then the camera pans to your car where there is the Jai Shri Ram sticker, the expression on your face is priceless. The ten times Namaaz to a query by the Maulvi as to how many time you practice Namaaz in a day, and then immediately changing it two five times in Two Days, outstanding. Quite some emotional quotient drawn in with you telling Mimi that as a Taxi Driver it is an unwritten rule that you do not drop passengers half way in the journey but accompany them till they reach their destination. Telling effect.

Dear Sai Tamhankar

Brilliant act. There is one thing about you, You have the most expressive eyes that emote differently under different situations, from sadness to happiness to anxiety the transition in your eyes is very spontaneous and worth a watch, a hundred times. Do keep entertaining us.

Dear Manoj Pahwa & Supriya Pathak

As Mimis loving parents you both have essayed brilliant performances right through the movie. Supriya ji, you as a worried mother and Manoj Ji as that protective loving father, no one better than both of you to play the roles to perfection.

Dear Raj,

You as the Firang child born to Mimi. Apt choice for a baby born to Mimi....I will not say more as that would be a show spoiler. All I can say is well done Team Mimi. Watch the movie only on Netflix...

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Write...Sashi Tharoor is not watching you write

I write for the love of words and not for anything else. Writing is my passion and gives me immense joy. Its all about finding the time and the right frame of mind to pen a few words. Yes Technology has evolved and people have moved on to Video content but still there are takers for blogs. There used to be a time when I would just devour books for breakfast, lunch and dinner but over time I felt and urge to write, to put into practice all that had been stored in gray matter as words. 

yes you heard it right, practice in any field will make you closer to perfect, if not perfection itself. Practice writing a few sentences, make a few mistakes, learn from them and you will become better each time you write. Writing is like any other specialization or art form, the more you indulge in it, you will become better. There is a story that each one has to tell, its just about giving a form to that story, replete with emotion, drama, and above all passion

I am a huge fan of Mr Sashi Tharoor's English and the way he gives life to words. Extraordinary speaker and well read. Each time there are a few words added to my dictionary from the Tharoor repertoire. Learn from the way people write and speak. Pick up new words each day. I make it a habit to read as much as possible. Write in your own way and style. Each person has a distinct personality that comes out in the way you write. Grammar yes important but then there will be the odd sounding false notes. After all who learnt playing the guitar in one day, no one does. Write for yourself and immerse yourself in what you write. Write....Sashi Tharoor is not watching you write. :) 

In the initial stages pick up familiar turf, topics that you are at ease with in expressing yourself. It could be movies, cookery, politics, sports, art or just about anything under the sky. Remember the cardinal rule applies, write about something that you love. Once you have written a few pages, run it by someone for their feedback, can be anyone a friend, a parent, a sibling. Take feedback seriously and read your notes, correct if needed. This is what I did when I was picking up the threads.

I do not claim to be a good writer but I love certain aspects of my writing. I love the play of words that I bring to the fore. I write with a lot of passion and thought. It is very important to love yourself and the work that you produce. Feel one with the words that you write. Relate to them and the action that they produce. There has to be a fizz that the audience needs to experience, bring in a wow factor and let your mind run free when you write. 

Yes good writing can bring you fame and money but that is never my intention. Writing is just like watering a sapling. Intention is to grow that sapling into a plant and then into a huge tree. End Result if that tree yields delicious apples, I am very happy as a gardener. I would be only too happy sharing the handsome spoils of the produce with those who deserve it. That's the end result of writing, the ultimate goal of any art form, to share your learnings and experiences without any expectations. Write....Sashi Tharoor is not watching you write.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Toofan


Toofan premiered today on Amazon and I watched it being a fan of Farhan Akhtar. My expectations of him have arisen especially after watching him emote brilliantly in movies like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. And I am not at all disappointed by Farhans acting skills. From the movie it is very clear that Farhan has had to put in a lot of effort besides his own histrionic skills. Putting on weight, then loosing all of that must have been quite a daunting task. For his diehard fans all the impressive abs, six packs were on show. The boxing ring scenes were choreographed very well and looked natural. Looks like Farhan had to take quite a few punches in his stride.
This is what I love about Farhan. He gets into the skin of the character and lives the role. Here it was Aziz Ali a street fighter turned a professional boxer. But then the transition from an ordinary slum dweller to a professional Boxer, it was super quick, this is a movie and there are obviously few things that you learn to ignore when you watch. Mrunal Thakur as Farhan Akhtars love interest-Ananya in the movie is a plain jane doctor and has nothing much to offer other than inspiring the hero into turning a professional boxer from his unkempt, uncivilized ways. There is a religion tonality that gets thrown in but only for a brief while.

Paresh Rawal as Nana Prabhu, Farhans boxing coach has played his part in the movie and shows his class. Wish he would do more movies and has a lot to offer to Hindi Cinema. A wonderful actor like Mohan Agashe is wasted totally in the movie as Paresh Rawals close friend.

Movie itself has nothing new to offer. Its the same old wine in a new bottle. Hero is the underdog, gives up his wrong path, after being inspired by the young lady doctor to turn into a professional boxer. However falls prey to match fixing/betting to lose his boxing licence. How he redeems himself and becomes the National boxing Champion forms the rest of the story. A movie thats a tad bit long, drags on a little too much. My score : 5 out of 10, a Time pass watch for once, given that there has been a drought as far as movie launches are concerned. Wish a class actor like Farhan is kept away from doing formula movies like this.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Love & Spices, the right combination-A Mothers Formula

 

Have you frequently come across the saying that there is nothing like a Mothers cooked food. Have you ever wondered the reason why? Another statement, There is nothing like chutney and spices ground in stone and pestle. The taste is different, more fresh, more natural, more tasty.

The sense of food sets me on new adventures each time I venture into the kitchen. Two things that I am extremely passionate about, my love for food and experimentation and my fondness to play around with words. This playfulness has transformed into a new hobby where I feel the urge to cook up something new each day. I have observed my mother from very close quarters and have learnt quite a few tricks of the trade. She is happy cooking it up for her family and nothing pleases her more than seeing the sparkle in my eyes when the tongue makes the first contact with the first morsel of food. 

In goes the oil, add mustard fenugreek, Red Chilly. The oil splutters with excitement as a natural aroma scanters across the room. Some Curry Leaves add in more flavour. Its all getting heated up in taste. The smoke sets it up. Mother dear mothers hands are needed to chill down the hot dudes. So some tamarind mixed with cold water is added to cool down the boiling run rate, more smokes fill the room, yet a tangy one this time around. More colours as Mothers eyes soar with a nod of satisfaction. Red chilly and Turmeric Powder are in the mix of things. A splash of yellow and red makes it tantalizingly tasty. Freshly ground pepper, coriander, all mixed up and smashed to powder at home. Mother does not believe in picking up something off the supermarket rack. She feels that these commercial powders are lacking an important ingredient and that is oodles of love that only she can fill in. More redness and ripeness in the form of sliced up tomatoes. Pepper went in but whats pepper without salt, thats what salt and pepper does to a dish, gives it a macho look. Once more a smiling approval from Mother means hot, piping rasam is ready to be consumed. 

I guess that mothers all across the country bear the same certification, love, spices and affection. Up North its dear oil in the saucepan, followed by soft and well ground ginger garlic paste. Immediately the freshness fills the air with a omnipresent smell of the paste getting fried. In goes potatoes and cut vegetables. More freshly ground spices like cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, star anise, constitute what is popularly known as Garam Masala. Add red chilly powder, turmeric powder and Mr Salt who is the finisher of things. Once again that loving glance from dear Mother means that the cooked dish to ready to be splurged on. Love & Spices- The Right combination- A Mothers Formula.

How many of us have gone on those long tours, stayed in the best of hotels across the world, tasted some gastronomical delights yet have missed the Home cooked food by dear Mother. It has a seven sigma taste, seventh being love. We talk so much about TQM techniques but ever wonder how she gets it perfect each time, every time she steps into the kitchen. There is a routine that she follows each time, a set of steps that she follows as described above but each time the delight the tongue experiences is most beautiful. Mothers hands cook up a new wonder of the world each time. Note that while what you experience in a restaurant is a commercial experience what drops out of your mothers hand is a Divine experience.

There are so many mothers in the world who have had no education at all. no degree holders, no fancy hotel management or home sciences certification, yet the combination she cooks up in the kitchen deserves praise of the highest order. No knowledge of chemistry and mixes yet the powders and mixes go in one after another in an order of preference and proportions that is best known to her. Why then is food cooked by a Mother the best ever. One simple reason All Ingredients put together plus Love, Affection and Humility. Next time you step into the kitchen please don a mothers apron and what you will churn out will be the world best dish.....

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Oosi Podu First Schools Next



The Customary habit first thing in the morning is to glance through the newspaper. I am now trying to make it a habit of making notes as I read matters of interest and then pen my thoughts about it . Writing is such a passion for me. You can liken it to watering plants or simply watch as the sapling grows. I keep making these small, tiny pledges only to Falter after some time. 

Flying drones from the other side of the border even as our bravehearts BSF Jawaans chased them away. These technology mosquitoes are becoming quite a menace and need to be squatted away. 

Another Indian Legend Yashpal Sharma returns to dust, his heroics on the field a distant memory. I still recall a six off Bob Willis in a world cup match against England. A shot that can be only replicated by another Legend, Viv Richards. Rest in Peace Yashpal Ji.  The Class of 83 will definitely miss you.

However, coming back to my blog today, I read in todays paper about the Tamil Nadu government looking into the issue of opening of schools. Pondicherry seems to have already gone ahead with opening schools in the region. The point that needs to be considered are the following:

1. What is the percentage of population that has been vaccinated in the state and the UT?

2. Most Important. The age group that needs to be vaccinated, below 17(This is the age group that goes to school)-has not yet been considered for vaccination. Now here is some data to impress on the state government how important vaccination is for this age group. More than 40% of the Indian Population consists of this age group. Census of India: Age Structure And Marital Status (censusindia.gov.in) . Now as per reports including those from WHO have stated that the third wave of Covid 19 which is imminent and unavoidable, will affect mostly children and young belonging to this age group. Oosi Podu should be the priority before even considering sending them back to school. As a parent of a fledging youngster I am definitely worried about having send my son to schools/coaching centers.

3. When will people learn and understand that the fight against Covid 19 is not really over until it is over. Please mask yourself when you step out of the confines of your home. Please use hand sanitizers. Please maintain social distancing. Masking up will now be a part of parcel of everyone's lives. It is as good as wearing your shirt or brushing your teeth. 

4. Schools both Central and State need to consider Vaccination Camps for their students on a priority and war footing basis. This will give confidence to the parents and the students to return to school. Oosi Podu First, Schools Next 

I definitely feel that children are missing out on a critical part of their childhood by not being able to go to school. But what counts most important right now is their well being and good health, nothing else. The Mantra has to be Oosi Podu First, Schools Next 



A Lorry in Lords- Watch Kutti Story

  A Highly popular series when India travelled down under, a series that not many believed India would not be able to last the distance, But...