Saturday, April 03, 2010
A sixer is a DLF maximum, a catch is a karbon kamaal catch and pretty much anything qualifies as a citi moment of success, including the time Ganguly tried to take a quick single and was run out or Laxman attempted a hoick over long leg six and was caught at first slip.
In fact I would not be too surprised to hear commentators say this next.
Ultratech cement number 4 attempts a dlf maximum but a superb karbon kamaal from mountain dew number 23 has given the royal challengers a citi moment of success.
Whats next? Tata nano singles, Run out Reliance, victoria's secret bouncers, even the government might jump in with GOI ducks, Ford stumped and so on...perhaps a viewsandabuse hit wicket.
I have heard rumours of commentators taking special orientation classes to unlearn IPL lingo for other cricketing series. One cannot have Ravi Shastri at the Oval during the Ashes saying "thats a citi moment of success." Especially when its sponsored by Barclays!
While drinking at "The Old Goat' pub the other day, I overheard Danny Morrison and Ian Bishop (respect) saying that there is a box of lights in the commentary box, each pertains to a different sponsor capturing the moment and lights up to remind the commentators to use these phrases.
In fact one would not be surprised to know that the commentators get extra bucks everytime one of these phrases is used. This is how Harsha Bhogle kicked Michael Kasprowicz in the nuts and had his woven hair ripped out.
And Laxman Shivaramakrishnan needs to pay off those gambling debts it seems. Reminds me of a line in Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye, where a reporter keeps saying sansanikhej over and over.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
What connects them all? Why their love for money of course, no Ram-Lakhan or Laila-Majnu scene happening here. All this set in the backdrop of a horse-racing empire, there are two horse races in the first 10 minutes and none after.
Saif is the older, assured elder, head honcho and Akshaye is the younger sot, tired of playing second fiddle all the time. The plot thickens with one hatches a plot to bump off the other for the insurance claims, but thins out since everybody bumps into each others buns ever so often, with several poorly timed songs with spine-busting choreography. All set in in Durban, South Africa.
As one hacks through cliched dialogues and philosophical and devilishly charming one-liners all heard before, one wonders why they would even need the money, Saif owns a prestigious stud farm and cheats to win horse races and blows away treacherous jockeys. Akshaye drinks beer for breakfast and they all have 007 gadgets at their disposal. Such is the opulence that the brothers change expensive cars more often than MLAs shift political loyalties.
Amidst this swirling family maelstrom are three damsels, each playing their own diabolical part to imperfection. Kaif is Saif's secretary with love in her eyes and burgeoning dialogue delivery skills, Bipasha Basu is the supermodel reincarnation of Nefertiti, with enough kohl in her eyes to rival the dead queen and Sameera, sigh, Sameera. All three seem draped in a spastic designer's tanturms.
Enter Mr. India himself as a detective in the second half after one sibling dies mysteriously. Kapoor sprouts a new look, dual earrings and several lines on his face, which mirth did not cause. Kapoor hounds the live brother suspecting foul play and eating fruit all the time. A characteristic quirk for laughter relief. Not the first time a quirk is used, but the first time fruit actually causes gas.
There are more twists in the plot than on a screw driver, but the execution at best is boring. There were times when the movie actually surprises you with a 180 degree shift, but that is offset with the above mentioned songs. The camera work is slick at times and some locales quite breath-taking, but no major effort needed there, South Africa is that way.
The car chase scenes are typical; hastened on computers, with mindless, illogical explosions. No sci-fi explanations given. The lesser mention of the songs the better.
Race is for crash test dummies.
Laudable: Katrina Kaif, only when she speaks English; three sentences.
Laughable: Saif-Bips love scene. They seem to keep licking sweat off each other in a barn.
Delectable: The cars...ohhh BMWs, Porsches, Aston Martins and a couple of horses as well.
Deplorable: Cheap comical relief, an overacting Anil Kapoor and Sameera as a "bimbo".
Sunday, March 30, 2008
To start with a few examples. Ice Cream. At least leave this product to the children, but no…even ice cream has to scream eros. I always thought ice cream was meant for children…I mean I feel this craving for sub-zero milk slithering down my throat every time I see an Amul, Joy, Dasprakash or Vadilal sign. Ice cream has that quality…but to bring sex into this I thought was weird…People are meant to drool from their mouths at ice cream ads…not feel bulges some where else.
- Walls ice cream: The strawberry one. Romantic music. Woman leering into the camera. Her beau trying to understand why Rupa rejected him. Sly smiles. Coy looks exchanged. Legs wrapped around beau. Music tempo hastens. A delectable lick on a ice cream cone. End.
Alright…I’m traversing back in time to when I was a kid. If I saw this ad then, I would go yeeeeaaaccckkkkkk. And of course Walls believes the urban young male who see this ad and go, hey forget this chatting, orkutting business, I wanna get an ice cream and attack women with it.
2. Walls brought this nonsense in some years ago, with that ice cream is actually a phallus ad. Some half nude morons are standing with their hands on their crotches, and this dame pretends, maybe actually does don’t know, to check the size of their, umm members. In the end she picks a guy who raises his hands, which are ohh…wowo…holding a foot long bar of ice cream.
Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
The only upside of this proliferation of women into the ad scene is the employment factor, strictly according to me. I have seen several people (male and female), friends, cousins and others flocking to Mumbai to get a job, which exploits their bodies and sometimes their acting talent. But the women by and large seem satisfied as there are always some ads that randomly require a skimpily clad lass. The men have Rupa and VIP … see Jockey and Hanes use only white six packs and glutus maximuses.
This is also known as the-rake-your-libido-up-to-extreme-heights-so-you-wanna-run-screaming -out-of-your-house-and-buy-that-damned-product-to-bring-it-to-a-climax.
A few examples to exemplify the above.
Breath mints. Now I do agree that breath mints are sometimes needed to attract the opposite sex. but in these ads...breath mints only bring the sex.
The cos seem to believe their target is the urban male youth. What about older males, who ned a shot of garlic morning, noon and night, what about the toddlers who eat everything in sight, what about women, old people; they need no breath mints. Oh wait...I get it...their libido does not go into overdrive every time they gaze at the opposite sex. FYI have you ever been woken by your dog in the morning when he wants to fertilize the trees outside? I keep a supply of tic tacs by my bedside to avoid being gassed to death. But no...its only the colts who deserve the white stuff.
1. Fresh mint: This has to be the ad that destroys the cerebral cortex and replaces it with bubblegum. In the ad is this peeping tom who runs around doing the most bizarre things in an attempt to scope out women, and gets belted each time and everytime. Sometimes he falls of high ladders, vehicles ram into him and he falls into creeks with boulders. The ends up in a hospital where he eats a fresh mint and viola! Rakhi Savant (the pin-up girl for nasbandi) strips from a doc coat to some green hellish looking thing and purses her lips like she licked 14 lemons, while sucking on cottage-cheese. The guy recovers...so go eat fresh mint. The only connection between the mint and all the above nonsense is that the mint is green and so is nasbandi's hellish costume.
2. I forget the name of this product, but it has to do with the weather changing every time this dweeb opens and closes his box of breath mints. In the end some woman sitting yards away from him walks towards him, they hitch up and end up in divorce soon.
3. Wrigley's chewing gum. This takes the cake, mousse, souffle and pickle. Another guy roams around eating mint and catching women falling trees, planes, oxen, goats, buildings and what not.
Now im thinking fine, mints get you women. But what if the woman has bad breath? None of the ads show women even needing mint. Women like the smell of mint from guys, but don't need it themselves.
The funny bit of this minty series is that the objective is completely lost. Whats the point of parading hapless fellows in an endeavor to get women and it is mint that helps you.
Heres an equation that could help. mint = kill bad breath = helps cover smoking, meat and garlic = immature impotency.
I liked the polo ads. beta sweater peheno. it made no sense, but i like the accent and voice. One will always remember the ad. As for chlormint the green stuff now just reminds me of the nasbandi dame
Saturday, March 29, 2008
The recent Bajaj Pulsar is all about taking that mean machine to the max and veiled riders take it to all sorts of places, some which are not even showcased in Mithun or Rajni movies. The stunts are enough to ensure a straight ticket to the X Games..a good idea...now that the Hockey team is out in any case.
However, However the ad starts with a rider (pun fully intended)...The stunts in the commercial to follow are performed by trained personnel, do not attempt these at home or even on the road.
OK lets get something straight...WHY SHOW THE STUNTS IF I SHOULDN'T FRIGGIN ATTEMPT THEM.
The damned riders do things on screen with machines...some of which are actually CGI, which even Optimus Prime wouldn't do without complete insurance.
Bike ads are becoming increasingly inane...another prime example being..the one where some engineering graduate attains Nirvana at a construction site and drops a foreign job to take the Indian one. Mein Aah Rahan hoon India...Toh hum kya kare? aur yeh ghatiya gaadi aur tumara connection kya hain? Aur tumare bakwaas gaadi ke peeche woh paanch vaddi gaddi kiske hain?
Hows about a bike ad where there's this biker sipping on whiskey, gets into a fight with other bikers and belts 'em in a race. oh wait Thums Up already did that.
Lewis Black, the comedian came up with a good one. Three rabbits are sittign on a log and one of them goes home and commits suicide. "Buy a bike".
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Domestic air travel has become more turbulent with customers now having to flash a photocopy of the credit card used to buy the ticket at the check-in counter, failing which fliers have in recent times found their wings clipped. Credit card con men have been given a shot in the arm since all they need is the credit card, no secret pin or password. If scams are popping up all over, credit card security could be slightly improved, but instead customers have to carry photocopies of their credit cards as well.
While flying once, I lost the all-important credit card photocopy. On landing, an SMS told me I used Rs 2 lakh from my card in the last one hour, ‘thanks for using our bank.’ I now fly with a Rs 4 lakh worth finger-print analyser, retina scanner, DNA tester security folder (available in gloss and suede), in which I securely keep the credit card photocopy.
It started with the E-Ticket. Book it online, take a photocopy, memorize the PIN number of the booking and of course, photo identification. Now, all airlines advise passengers in bold and italics to carry valid photo identification. I guess that means I can’t use my Wimbledon Club Card to get on board the plane, I might lob a few tennis balls in the cabin, thus a security hazard. So In my case I use a driver’s license, which was made 15 years ago. The card and I have become older though.
Check-in counter lady: “Sir, who is this in the photograph? We ask for valid photo id.”
Me: “But that is me albeit 15 years ago and no regional transport office would like to work hard to update my photograph.”
“You could be impersonating the customer and a threat to flight security.”
“But I’m eighty years old and need two assistants to help me to the bathroom.”
“You could have sleeping gas in your ventilator, maybe even Sarin nerve gas. Security get this man out of here.”
“No No…I have an appointment with my heart surgeon and my 18-year-old wife waits for me…”
Soon airports might become a nation’s security hub.
At the kennel: “Oh you bought a Doberman you say, have you registered it with the airport’s special dog cell?
At the octroi: “Ah! Are you transporting thirty tonnes of fertilizer? It could be used to make a bomb. Get it scanned at the Airport secure manure department.”
At the toy store: “Hey you with the baby rattle! Take that contraption to the Airport’s hidden-in-what-you-least-expected division and get it registered.”
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Set in London and then briefly Punjab, the story weakly follows the travails of the poor confused BBCD (think ABCD) Bimbo, who flits from guy to guy for no apparent reason and wants to stay with her parents as long as they behave like she does not exist. Only later will it dawn that most of the guys she sees are men her father has conspired to get her married to. The opening scene with whatsisname Deshmukh witnesses Kaif in a Punjabi colourful, yet acidic salwaar kameez who guzzles vodka shots by the half-dozen measure, and randomly likes reciting her true-life erotica to strangers. But wait. She's not like this (India mother - big brother), she's doing this only because she wants to get married to a Briton and not an Indian, bad luck Kamal Hassan.
"I've been brought up here (London). School, friends etc are all British, I sing God Save The Queen with my hand on my heart," she says. Her expressions and body language had me saying God Save My Sanity with my head in my hands and feet scraping restlessly on the floor. SO Briton she wants? The Briton she gets in the form of a character who's a combination of a Charles Shultz's fertile imagination and a three-time divorcee and her boss in the movie, who is richer than Prince Charles. Yes her boss's name is (get this) Charlie Brown. Want to drown? There's more the first time Kaif dates her Brown Boss, the duo are out for a spin in his latest Ferrgini or Jagroyce and they have a delightfully charming conversation about Jazz music.
Looking through the corner of his eyes, Snoopy's master: "I love Jazz music." Shot to show Kaif's legs, which immediately move to her face, Kaif (coyly): "I love men who like Jazz." Or something equally ludicrous. More leg scraping and teeth gritting follows. Oh Kaif's name in the movie is Jasmeet or Jazz. Coincidence?
Kaif is warned by her India Mother type colleague, whose role in the entire movie, while showing deep cleavage and classically tanned shaved legs, is to warn her friends who stray from the righteous veda path. And when her friends realise the truth about India and even Pakistan. She claps happily putting the energiser bunny to shame, while showing all 32 teeth colgate and close-up have already started fighting for. But who listens to advice anyway, especially if you have an ethnicity cum cultural confused pea-sized brain. After several arranged marriage boys flops, aging, rotund yet constantly bemused Rishi Kapoor, who plays Kaif's father decides to give her a taste of India. Meaning, major tourist spots shown in their splendour, while the family flies in a helicopter or tilt rotor aircraft. Did I mention, Kaif's family are also stinking rich?
Now come some of the more bearable scenes in the movie with that little bit of humour, a la three boys she sees for the marriage before Kumar comes along. The first seems to think he's Rabbi's incarnate, the second is some unfathomable intellectual who wants to graph the compatibility between Kaif and him, while the third lives in a make-believe Kabhi Saans bhi Bahu Thi world. I love anyone who pokes fun at those shows.
Enter Akshay Kumar. Trumpets, ram horns and two stones. He who wears pink and rides a bullet, he who can milk a cow and fixa car engine, he who speaks English but pretends to be an idiot and he whose hair changes colour throughout the movie from black-brown, to brown, to broen-auburn to auburn. Wow hail to thee Pharaoh Kumar. I will zip along for the sake of whomever, Akshay Kumar in a pink outfit helps the family falls in love with Kaif. Kumar's father - Kaif's father - old friends. Challo marriage is set. Ding ding ding ding ding, walking around fire put garland. Lo Kaif and Kumar are married.
Scenes cut from the final release. Kapoor who is constantly seen enjoying milk products in Punjab suffers a heart attack and is rescued after Kumar given him CPR and other things.
Mummy, daddy, and the newly weds go back to London, where Kaif smirks and tells them the law of London will not recognize the marriage with Kumar. She really wants Charlie Brown; probably fell in love with him when she read about his baseball exploits, or his sarcastic beagle.
Now the roles are reversed, hurrah for women's lib, cause the guy has been gypped by the gal. Watch out future Romeos. But India Mother is in his blood and he tells a wracked Kapoor. "You're here there's nothing I fear, but my heart will go on." The movie is a disaster or titanic proportions I realise.
Time jump again. Brown challenges Kumar and gang to rugby match. Englanders vs sub-continent people. The sub-cons have a flag of India and Pakistan painted on their cheeks (who needs you Manmohan and Pervez) and some othere Punjabi mundas remarkable similar to the off-spinning Bhajji.
Kumar has watched many movies and likes Forrest Gump, for he is a man possessed on the rugby pitch. Just give him the ball and he runs like something anti-India mother is following him. Score after score, team sub-con win. A few scenes later, Kumar overhears a Brit talking about India being a land of snake charmers and BPOs. I laughed so much I swallowed my tongue. The comes Akshay to the rescue, and spews facts and statistics about India which made the entire audience erupt with roars of approval. How many newspapers, magazines, languages, etc etc etc. India mother can be seen giving goo'boy Kumar an Éclair chocolate for his stirring speech. Kaif claps and all but still wants Brown, must like his tan I suppose. But umar persists with never-fail dialogues like, "I will call you 4565564 years from now and ask you about if you're happy, if you're not we'll get together again." One original dialogue stands out like a 3 cm radius pimple on a nose, "I fell in love with you the first time I saw you." Tears stream down my cheeks as the soles of my shoes have eroded and bubble gum sticks to my feet.
Later on, after time jumps, because my brain has become mush I missed about 12 songs and Kumar is her best-man at her wedding with Brown. Skip to Runaway Bride and Kaif says no at the altar and chases Kumar all the way to Punjab, where they go for long rides on his bullet.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
To my advantage and several others across the subcontinent, the concert dates were announced a month before, which made it wonderful for us all. I, for one, managed to get airline tickets for the price of an A/C train ticket from Vadodara to Bangalore; only I had to board the flight from Mumbai. Hey, who's complaining?Sleep was next to impossible on the train to Mumbai from Vadodara, when in lesser than 20 hours, I was going to witness Iron Maiden. Live. Oh the delirium. I couldn't stop my pessimistic brain from conjuring images of some mishap that would prevent me from attending the concert.
Arriving at the Chhtrapati Airport was like a scene before an epic battle. Armageddon? With Maiden playing it could be possible. Men, women and children, of all ages donned black shirts, each depicting Iron Maiden's iconic mascot Eddie, doing something nasty and violent to either himself or his aggressor. Perfect. I thought it was going to be a lonely wait till my flight took off at 8.30 am, but with these guys and girls in black, talking over heavy metal music, I was going to have the flight of my life.
After the usual post-9/11, airport security nags, I had my boarding pass, now only had to stop the same brain from imagining something horrific on my flight in three hours, but till then I had unlimited company.
Scanning left and right, I spotted a bunch of fans, long hair, straggly beards and dangling cigarettes, discussing Maiden's latest album, 'A Matter of Life and Death.' One was software professional, another claimed to be an RJ, while three others were engineering students. None of us knew the other, but Maiden, metal music and Mumbai airport made us seem like old friends. "It is more Maiden than the previous album, 'Dance of Death' with all the electronic sounds," said one, while another replied, "How does it matter? They all sound good." Yippee!
We moved into the airport, the RJ's flight was boarding. It was 6 am. The flight had about 15 Maiden fans aboard. A half an hour later, the software pro left with another 20 black clad revellers. And Till my flight at 8.30 am, each flight had about 15 fans each, not many Mumbai Maiden fans were going to miss the concert. And neither were those from Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and even Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Arriving at Bangalore we all felt on top of the world, nothing could come between the show and us, except for Force Majeure. But it was a beautiful, sunny Bangalore day. Typical.
After a dramatic and non-tearful reunion with long lost pals, we were headed for the concert arena, we had be right in front near the guard rails. The gates opened at 3 pm, but we took no chances, we were there at 2.30.
Now came the hard part, the waiting. The eager and charged up fans would have to wait an agonising five hours, before Maiden delivered us. After an impatient three hours, the show opened with Pune-based KTN, followed by Parikrama and then Lauren Hallis, a UK rock band. The hours flew past and the crowd grew impatient, till at last Hallis's performance was done, and we knew what was next.
The arena suddenly goes pitch dark and a church organ's ghostly strains tears through the air. The 25,000 strong crowd screams, they been waiting nearly a decade for this. Seconds later the lights kick in throwing a devilish red glare on the stage, centring on a backdrop with battle tank driven by a skeletal apparition and his minions. The screaming is now frenetic. The beast had arrived in India and Iron Maiden would leave their impression on us all for years to come.
The power chords assaults us while the deafening drums reverberates across the arena. Maiden's front man Bruce Dickinson does not stop prowling around the specially designed two-layer stage, and as he sings his familiar and distinct vocals seem to grab my insides and shake them about. All around the fans have their hands in the air, while other just stare awe-struck at the gods in their realm and keep bobbing their heads.
From the minute Dickinson entered the stage and began their first song 'Different Worlds', the audience became his. For the next two hours, we are his puppets, and do his bidding without question, whether it is to chant a few lines of a song, or compete with the other side of the crowd in a who-can-shout-louder match. The reward from Dickinson: "You guys are much better." Our side won. 'These colours don't run' follows', but not many in the crowd know the song. The slow haunting lilts of 'Brighter than a 1,000 suns' begins, it is song about the atomic bomb and the power used and abused by nations who own it.
Dickinson laments as he sings, "Burying our morals and burying our deadBurying our head in the sandE equals MC squared, you can't relateHow we made God with our hands."At the end of the song he trails off, "Holy Father, we have sinned."Makes you think.
Another song from the new album; ''The Ballad of Benjamin Breeg' and the band moves to their older tried-and-true numbers, starting with 'Wrathchild' which the band dedicates to the late Indian band Moksha's lead singer Leon Ireland, whose death in December last year was mourned by heavy metal fans all over the country. 'Wrathchild' then makes way for 'Trooper', amidst many cheers and everyone joins in the singing. One of their most theatrical numbers, Trooper has Dickinson in a red army uniform waving battered Union Jacks, which are finally flung away in contempt as the song comes to a close. The song seems to draw inspiration from Tennyson's 'The charge of the light brigade' and the way he waves the battered flag, I couldn't help thinking if Maiden were making a political statement here.
The crowd is a deadly concoction of all ages, from us 20 somethings to the mid-life crisis group, the geriatrics living the old days of rock and other hard substances and then the infants (read between 6 to 16). Chee, lets see an Enrique or one of tose wannabes draw a crowd like this. I feel I've blasphemed by uttering his name.
So far the bassist Steve Harris has been typically solid even as he runs from end to end, guitarist Janick Gers not as wild as he is known to be, drummer Nicko McBrain tries to dismantle his set with the thrashing, while guitarists Dave Murray and Adrian Smith seem to have the time of their lives belting out the solos and playing back-to-back with each other. And Dickinson just keeps gallivanting all over the stage.
Trooper segues to the ever famous and controversial 'The number of the beast', in which Dickinson refers to the mystical 666 after which comes 'Fear of the dark'. With a chorus with the same lines, Dickinson only has to scream, "Bangalore" and the crowd joins in perfectly, as if we've rehearsed it a thousand times. 'The evil that men do' came next followed by 'Iron Maiden', '2 minutes to midnight' and 'Run to the hills'. Gers gets into the mood, he displays his prowess with not just playing the guitar as he hurls it a good 30 feet in the air, snatches it out and keeps playing.
Technology amongst the crowd seemed to us at the time to be the biggest problem with crazed fans that did not seem to care about the music and were intent only on capturing a video of the band on their mobile phones which costs a five-figure amount. A sea of blue light obscured the band and stage frequently as they tried to capture Maiden on puny 2 sq inch phones. These mobile phone cameramen even got into trouble at some spots, with disgruntled fans using violence to persuade them to put their sets down.
Now then onto the revered 'Hallowed be thy name', a song without which no Maiden show can end. We knew this was the last one, and used what energy we had in our depleted bodies to sing with all our might.
However, it was not only us who were in awe of our metal gods. Maiden themselves said that we were one of the best crowds they'd played to. He did manage, "We have played a lot of gigs in front of a lot of fans, but never guys like you. This is a very, very special night indeed."
I knew it would be greedy to want more, but I only wished they sang their other epics like 'Powerslave', 'Bring your daughter to the slaughter' or 'Aces high'. Oh well.
But Dickinson would deliver me from greed, especially when he announced, "You have waited 17 years for this gig, for the next one, I promise you will not have to wait even 17 months."
For those of you who missed it this time, start scouring the Internet for Maiden's next gig in India, which could be sooner that we all think. Hope. I wouldn't miss it for all the money in the world. Metal is here in India, only to stay.
The Iron Maiden concert in Bangalore last week signalled the genesis of heavy metal music in India, a phenomenon that has only been growing in the country in the last decade and a half. Last Saturday, Maiden became the first international heavy metal, not rock or hard rock, act to blast fans into a frenzied orgy of head banging and show them the meaning of a true heavy metal concert.
Sure, Bangalore had witnessed a lot of acts prior to this one, Roger Waters, Deep Purple, Bryan Adams, The Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull and Uriah Heep, but none of them rivalled Iron Maiden's display of energy and sheer power, though all the band members are pushing 50. That combined with an elaborate stage set-up complete with a battle tank and a 20-foot Eddie mascot, sealed the show as one of the best ever.
And those who missed Maiden's gig in Bangalore last week may have just missed the first chapter of heavy metal music in India. With the cult-band playing numbers from their latest album 'A Matter of Life and Death' and of course their older, better-known favourites, the Maiden concert was unlike anything Indian heavy metal fans had seen till now.