Tag Archives: Shahrukh Khan

Yes We Know Its Time For #Sachin, Yet We Want Some More

Sachin Tendulkar

By Ankush Kumar

A spider and its climb tirelessly inspired a king to fight again. Victory was still not guaranteed but the fear of failure did not act as a deterrent to the man’s attempts. Great warriors have died in the lamest fashion, but none are remembered for their end, history still talks about their life and their efforts to conquer the world.

Tomorrow modern age heroes will adorn pages in different textbooks, they will inspire generations, but for many they will just remain a reference point. Nothing more and nothing less.

Yet for some bizarre reason we still want to cling on to a few of them forever. Why are we not ready to come to terms with the fact that ‘All good things come to an end”. Is it our insecurities or is it the fear that we do not have too many people who will inspire us again?

I guess its a bit of both worlds. The few good men, who have entertained us, given us a ray of hope, have made us believe in ourselves, in the process have learnt nothing but that. Shahrukh Khan has said it umpteen numbers of times that his biggest fear is that ‘one day he will get up and the arc lights wont be around’. He still is in a profession where his fans can get entertained at 70. But what about heroes who play on the field? How can they entertain us till death separates the genius and its soul?

The bitter reality is that they cant. Beyond a point defying age is stupid. Yet the fans that want to see Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar bat again outnumbers the critics who don’t. So what does he do now?

Imagine how tough it must be for the man itself to think of hanging the boots if its so tough for the fans. There is a entire generation for whom cricket has started and ends with Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

Few good men like him can adorn roles of mentors or coaches or teachers, but the reality is great sport stars make very average coaches. So how will the man entertain us? The answer is he wont. Once he walks back to that dressing room one final time, an era will be over.
Maybe the time has come, yes the BCCI has possibly squeezed in one tour before the SA series, maybe money was their priority, but then for once fans like me are not complaining. Maybe it will be his last test, maybe in bradmanesque fashion he will end his career, but that one chant ‘Sachiiiiin Sachiiiiin’ will reverberate through the roof of Wankhede this November.

Bruce triumphed, his failures are stories of folklore, warriors won, their battles are part of history, sport stars have fallen, lost, yet the only stories that are remembered is the number of hearts they have won.

His recent failures, have given a chance to his cynics to prove that he is Human not God, his fans knew that long back, its just that GODS were made by action and deeds and Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar falls in the same category. One part in me and possibly many others will go numb when he will be gone. But till then let’s savor each run the legend scores as possibly even we know that the time is up.

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5 Reasons Why Chennai Express is Houseful Despite Pathetic Film-making Compartments

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Google Chennai Express and you will find pathetic review headlines like the one pasted above for the film. If Box Office is to be believed all these reviews have gone for a toss. The film is set to breach 200 crores and is almost certain to beat 3 idiots for the record. Just goes on to show all that hype we create around only good movies irrespective of the stars working is just hype, nothing else. Anyways, here are five reasons we thought Chennai Express is houseful despite a pathetic storyline and script.

1.     Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone: You might bomb me here saying the last two films of SRK has bombed big time so I am wrong in putting this as my first point. Wait, let me bring forth my thought. I mean how many times have you seen Shahrukh Khan doing a comedy with someone like Deepika Padukone and failing. Does anyone think that Om Shanti Om had a plot. The film though still was massively successful, wasn’t it. Same reason.

2.     An audience that is masses: So you thought someone reads the reviews and then watches films. You are right but you are absolutely wrong with the numbers of such folks. They can be counted on your fingers and on most occassions even they do not agree to reviews unless they see themselves. Plus movies like this do a world of good outside metros, especially in Hindi speaking states and this one of course even in Tamil Nadu. Go and see the kind of whistles Lungi song would have got in the hinterlands of UP as well as in Chennai.

3.    The entertainment quotient: For the majority of the audiences, filmmaking doesn’t matter the most as long as it entertains them for the time being. Chennai Express may not have the great content in terms of a script but it does have those elements to entertain and that not many can debate. One of our authors who to us is the most prudent film person also liked the fact that you could keep brain outside and watch this flick. Frankly, in a daily life that is too bugged with serious issues the maximum that is needed is a good time-pass two and a half hours. He says Chennai Express comes well on that point.

4.     Marketing: How can we forget marketing in today’s filmmaking business. Especially in an SRK film who personally if you take my opinion knows the best ways to use pr and media coverage in his advantage. The way he toured promoting the flick even at time when he was unless spoke volumes about the kind of extent the filmmakers where going to create an impact. The film had to do well after this, the only surprise was the doing as good as it has done till now.

5.     Let’s not forget the fans: These one brought together a huge chunk of fans considering at stake where three big stars, SRK, DP and not to forget the blockbuster as I call him, Rohit Shetty. The fan power spoke of itself when no one spoke of them and showed the reviewers their real value. SRK’s fans again re-instated him at the top and he would be definitely cherishing this after a couple of duds in the last couple of years.

Let’s cast no doubt over the fact that Rohit Shetty’s films are meant for fun and nothing else. It was upto the audiences to make up their mind and watch the film which they did in huge numbers. We have the option to keep our intellectual eyeglasses on or simply go as someone with whistling skills; good and bad films come later.

66 Years Of Bollywood Since Independence: Why The Show Will Always Go On

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Ankush Kumar brings back 66-years of the Hindi film industry since Independence

“Awara hoon, ya gardish mein hoon, aasman ka tara hoon”. This Raj Kapoor classic sums up the journey of Hindi cinema in the last 100 years. A name that is not just a poorer cousin of its western counterpart, but also is behind its regional competitor, ‘Bollywood’ has reached an age of celebrations. Bevinda Collaco, the veteran journalist and Amit Khanna, a film maker both have staked claim in coining the term, that now appears even in the Oxford English dictionary ‘BOLLYWOOD’.

Ever since India gained independence in 1947 Hindi cinema has taken baby steps forward and today in 2013 we are ready to cater to global audiences. In the last 66 years Hindi cinema has seen some great periods of entertainment and some really low phases when the audience were treated to utter nonsense and stupidity. Today lets look back at the industry of entertainment fondly known as ‘Bollywood’.

“Dekha ek khawb, toh yeh silsile hue”
This song defines the era of post independence Hindi cinema. The fifties and sixties was the golden period of Hindi movies. A few good men saw the dream of making quality cinema and entertaining the audiences at large. Guru Dutt, Satyajit Ray, Raj Kapoor redefined the perception of Hindi cinema and brought a cross cultural appeal to it. Hence the films of that era, even today are considered timeless gems. In a poll conducted by BBC Asia for the top hundred songs in Bollywood, a whopping 46 percent of its music came from this era. At the dusk of the sixties, and dawn of the seventies, Hindi cinema witnessed the birth of a legend, that too purely ‘Luck by Chance’.

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The angst a common man had in him, was beautifully portrayed by the then generation of film makers and Hindi cinema made way to classics like Sholay, Deewar, Trishul, Zanjeer. This was the same era when film makers like Hrishikesh Mukherjee showcased the struggles of an underdog in a light humorous way.

Bollywood smashed box office records in this era. Legends like Amitabh Bachchan were born, and the world had begun to take notice of cinema from the east. The era of the seventies can be best summed up by this awesome dialogue ‘Mogambo khush hua’!

Its quite an Irony when it comes to Bollywood in the eighties. Back then when India won the cricket world cup in 1983, or when Delhi hosted the Asian games in 1982, or for the matter of fact when our hockey team won gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, our cinema saw a huge slump. The period between 1980 and 1988 is considered the darkest hour of Hindi cinema.

The old order was still adamant then, be it the actors or the directors or the musicians hence the end result of the movies were tacky and useless. Legendary directors like Manmohan Desai who had popularized Kumbh melas in the seventies did not find takers of his brand of cinema in the eighties. Legends like Amitabh Bachchan were the only who still managed return on investments; otherwise mostly films were a dull affair.

The advent of the nineties brought a sea change in Bollywood. The Chopras, Barjatyas and Johars dominated proceedings. Stars like Salman, Aamir and Shahrukh Khan were born. The new order of technicians and actors managed to erase the dark era of the eighties. Romance as a genre helped Bollywood make its mark in European and American markets. This was also the decade where Bollywood stars made rapid strides in the world of publicity and advertising.

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“Dekho 2000 zamana aa gaya” the dawn of the new millennium saw the birth of two sons of legendary actors, the Khans continued to dominate the decade. But some very inspiring comebacks made the difference. Bachchan Sr, Sanjay Dutt made a comeback of sorts, so did Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit. This was the era when new age cinema found their calling. Our movies went to prestigious fests and made a mark.

The copyright act meant plagiarism wasn’t a choice anymore and yet adaptations of western classics were made. Directors like ‘Vishal Bhardwaj’ captured literature from the world beautifully. Dark cinema was equally entertaining. But the decade of 2000 will be best remembered for ‘Lagaan’. A movie that made it to the academies final five. There is a section of society that thinks Oscars are equivalent to our Filmfare, but that has never been the case. They respect and celebrate cinema of the world, we have narrowed it down to just Hindi cinema.

Today as we enter sixty-six years of independence, Bollywood is ready to cut its hundredth cake, many milestones have been achieved, some have been missed, some legends have transcended into a better world, some are still wielding magic. One line that defines the spirit of Bollywood is “The show must go on”.

Disclaimer by the author: Editors have a way of thinking. He gave me just 600 words to cover 66 years of cinema. His expectations is for another day. Today I just want to say ‘there have been several names that do not make the write up, but their contribution to our cinema is equally important.

Chennai Express – Is A Full Paisa Wasool Journey

chennai express shwetha

By Shwetha Kalyanasundaram

All set to board the Chennai express?!? Vaango…ukkarango (read: please come…please sit)!!! Is the journey worth the ride?!? Read on.

Full credits to SRK and the moviemakers to have the name of the female lead displayed over the male counterpart! This drew loud raptures from the crowd and what a way to start the two and half hour odd train journey.

Back again as Rahul (naam toh suna hoga), a planned trip to Goa changes track to Rameshwaram, as he comes across Meenamma, who boards the Chennai Express in typical DDLJ style. As the train chugs along, there are definitely some funny gags which have you in splits. A la Rohit Shetty’s ishtyle, the movie serves comedy and action in equal dosages – flying cars and bikes and colorful sets, for a change, we got to see some action involving steel buckets too!

The movie does have its share of rough patches. Deepika’s twang was lousy, despite being a southern belle. Her Hindi was fluent in certain places, while in most of the other scenes, her dialogues were laced with the southern accent. How’s that even possible?!? Gal, you ought to have gone in for a dub-artist. SRK keeps referring to the power of the common man in the movie. Now, how many common men wear or for that matter can afford a Dolce & Gabbana vest today?

A major portion of the film had Tamil dialogues – for a moment, I was confused if I was watching a Hindi movie or a Tamil flick. The female lead, aptly nicknamed Ms. Subtitle serves as an interpreter whenever the need arises. As much as the important bits were translated, it’s obvious that some portions were lost!

SRK’s screen presence is mind blowing and has you begging for more. He tickles the funny bone, makes you shed a tear and packs in quite a punch in the action scenes. Deepika Paduone was a complete stunner and surrenders to her character completely (albeit her southern accent). The veteran southern star Sathyaraj leaves a desired effect but his role was down played that had me a tad disappointed. The villain Niketan Dheer looked menacing and fit into his role perfectly (but even the villain couldn’t speak good Tamil!). Rohit Shetty travels the full mile to deliver an action packed comedy with all the tried and tested ingredients of the genre he is known for.

Chennai Express is a typical family entertainer – full paisa vasool journey!!

Chennai Express: Finally an SRK film with a story

Chennai Express: Finally An SRK Film With A Story

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By Ankush Kumar

The last interview I read on Shahrukh Khan, he said two things. One ‘ Deepika Padukone is the soul of Chennai express’. Two ‘ he wants to be remembered as an actor who constantly tried’.

Chennai express is an example true to his latter statement. The man has definitely tried. SRK has always been your boy next-door actor, whenever he has tried hardcore action, the Baadshah has looked stupid. But here in this journey he has balanced the genres of romance and action perfectly well.

Add to this the comic elements Rohit Shetty style and ‘you would want to get on this train baby’! His former statement that ‘Deepika is the soul of the film’ also holds true. She plays a South Indian girl whose dad is a don and gets the accent and mannerisms spot on.

Rahul played by SRK gets on a train and witnesses the death of a ticket checker, hence Deepika escorts him to her house till matters calm down, and how Rahul escapes the clutches of the goons forms the crux of this Southern sojourn.

The cameraman has captured picturesque Kerala beautifully. The editing of the movie though is a huge let down. The first half of the movie is crisp until Deepika and SRK escape from her home. Post interval though the film drags on endlessly. 

Every time a Rohit Shetty film is filled with amazing car related action sequences; this is no difference except for the fact that Ajay Devgn possibly looks better doing those stunts. As long as SRK plays the quintessential lover boy Chennai express is a joyride, but beyond that the movie falters!

The saving grace though is that the movie atleast has a story, and for a change the item numbers have the fun element than the vulgarity.

I am going with 2.5/5 stars with this movie; die-hard SRK fans relish the character of Rahul yet again. Till then Eid Mubarak!

Rise Above Criticism, Stereotyping and Judging People

By Anuj R

Tibetan spiritual leader in-exile His Ho

The first line that strikes my mind is, Can only holy people like Dalai Lama rise above criticism, stereotyping and judgement? I just give it 30 seconds gap and realize that it’s possible for every human to do so. I have seen those rare people who initially shun away from these three actions or habits and finally develop an ability to be silent. Yes, these are just 1 in 100 persons and this quality is definitely worth the admiration.

“(Stereotyping) is only for those without the imagination to see people as they are instead of being like someone else they understand.” ― Tom Clancy

Stereotyping is taking a shortcut. People like to classify based on appearance, skin, colour, age, caste, religion etc. It ranges from most silly thoughts to some serious ones. If we think that stereotyping is a small thing, let us go one step backwards to realise that it has caused the greatest atrocities (Believing all Muslims are extremists which is one of the most ridiculous thought process).

It’s good to be mindful of the fact that each person is unique and generalisation creates barriers. If an effort can be made to know people as individuals and rejoice in the differences that make us individuals, it will slowly remove stereotyping.

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“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” ― Aristotle

The ability to criticize is indeed a positive quality when used in right context at the right time and place. Criticism needs a review considering the frequency at which people have been criticising everything over the years. Millions of people criticise Sports, Government, Law, Movies, la vie quotidienne (Daily Life) and there is a never ending list. Considering the lack of action by our own people, it’s better to empathise rather than criticise. And again there is this rare category of people who simply don’t reprimand whatever happens. Such people really deserve appreciation only if they have altruistic personality traits. It’s quite easy to be selfish and avoid censure.

“If you judge people, you have not time to love them” – Mother Teresa.

What a quote! I just can’t stop wondering at the brilliance and depth of this quote. Judgment creates discrimination, predetermined mindset, leads to stereotyping, increases conflict and breaks the harmony. To be in the realm of peace, we need to rise above judgment.

To name a few, I feel Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Shahrukh Khan have been criticised a lot. To be at the receiving end of non-constructive criticism and maintain a calm demeanour is truly extraordinary. So I felt, it’s good to sign off by remembering these wonderful people.

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A Gentleman’s Game. Why Question Now???

Pak Players

Ankush Kumar talks how irresponsible talks and books only take away the interesting and unpredictable factor away from the game. This one is as straight as it gets and we hope it reaches Ed Hawkins.

Bookie update… India will bat first and score over 260, 3 wickets fall within the first 15 overs, Pakistan will cruise to 100, then lose 2 quick wickets, at 150 they will be 5 down and crumble and lose by a margin of over 20 runs.

I happened to read the book authored by Ed Hawkins. For people who don’t know him, you have Google. For those who know him very well, Read On!!!

India beat pakistan

Mr. Ed Hawkins ‘you’ have been awarded the prestigious sports betting writer of the year award. You know what? It is like our filmfare awards, when Shahrukh Khan cannot win the most coveted prize; we honor him with the power award.

It has possibly become a fashion statement to criticize every good performance by Team India in cricket matches. And for writers like you and many others from the west, it is pretty easy to post such scandalous blogs and taint our glory forever.

‘The only source of defense the book has perhaps is that ‘this information was passed on by an Indian source/bookie/punter’. Can the author tell us one thing, how do you trust such people when the law of the land says that they are doing illegal activities?

If you look at that script very closely ‘Sir’ (pun intended) such predictions are made by kids galore in different parts of India every day. And trust me quite a few actually get it right. So does that makes all these people fixers?

If this script is going to be a benchmark for you to ‘SELL’ your books (and people like me buying it). I can give you better screenplays, that can actually fetch you the most ‘coveted prize’.

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The first script dates back to 1999. The Australia vs South Africa world cup Semi final. Oh Boy! It was a pot boiler. Australia’s top order crumbles, Steve Waugh’s catch is dropped, and he goes on to say possibly the finest line in cricketing history ‘Mate! You have just dropped the world cup’. South Africa starts their modest total chase in a brisk fashion and then Warnie spells doom. Lance Klusner gets them to the finish line and they still lose the spot in the finals. Isn’t that quite similar to the above script? There is a difference though, this one had dialogues too!!!

The generic defense I am sure will be ‘Oh South Africa’ is a jinxed team! Maybe the jinxed factor can be used to good effect and we can have a potential story!

World Cup 1996 Semi Final: Australia v West Indies

The second script dates back to the 1996 World Cup semi-finals. (Must say semis are a big bet). Australia make a lowly total of 208 on a flat batting surface, thanks to batting efforts by Ricky Ponting and Stuart Law, West Indies make heavy weather of that chase, once again Warnie weaving his magic and Courtney Walsh getting bowled attempting a big heave when Richie Richardson was on the other end. Was this one fixed too?

Authors around the world might argue that it was not, because Australia was firm favorites to win that match. India were favorites too, to win the semi final against Pakistan in 2011. In fact we were tournament favorites to win the championship and we did it pretty well.

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There are numerous other examples you have mentioned in your book, that ‘suggests match fixing’. ‘Sir’ the only problem is that you have very conveniently forgotten the ‘Ireland v/s England match’. I believe it was on pure merit that the Irish won that match, but since you have said it through your book ‘that cricket won’t be watched without suspicion again’ I have raised my doubts here.

With due respect to all the people who have questions on their minds, ‘when Team Australia won the world cup nobody raised any questions, when Sri Lanka an island nation won it for the first time nobody raised any questions’. It is time to respect the fact that ‘Team India won on pure merit and nothing else’.

Cheap talks will linger on for time immemorial but this is where ‘respected’ people like you and others come into play, rather than believing what an irrational idiot says for generating eye balls to 24 x 7 media channels, we should applaud the efforts of cricketing nations.

P.S: The jinxed factor has a potential story ‘Sir’, and the ‘coveted prize’ is all for the taking.