Monday, September 22, 2008

The Weekend That Was

Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless – Calvin

When it comes to weekends, I think I am one of the biggest followers of Calvin. But this weekend wasn’t that great, as I spent it doing few things that weren’t ‘completely’ pointless.

After a long long time I spent sometime sketching, it was great to be back (after almost six months) to my otherwise ignored sketchbook and doodle. (I am planning to upload some of my recent sketches here someday despite a friend suggesting me not to do so.)

Besides sketching I saw two great movies over the weekend.


It was a pleasant surprise to find a DVD of T.P Agrawal’s 1996 Classic- ‘Return Of Jewel thief’ in Mumbai’s Landmark (they have an amazing collection of films, not so long back I bought Joginder’s Masterpiece Pyasa Shaitaan from Landmark).

The cheap looking poster on the DVD Cover made me nostalgic (as a school boy I had seen ROJT in New Basant Theater, Bhilai),this rare DVD is my prized possession now.

Return of Jewel thief, directed by Ashok Tyagi is a sequel to Dev Sahab’s film Jewel thief (1967) directed by late Vijay Anand Sahab. The story of ROJT starts exactly 27 years after its predecessor, when Jewel thief Prince Arjun comes out of the jail and we are astonished to see a well organized gang waiting for the boss after 27 years. (looking at the gang you can easily make out most of the gang members must be toddlers when Prince Arjun was sent to jail)

Evergreen Dev Sahab plays Vinay Kumar once again, Vinay is still ‘young’, ‘dashing’, ‘charismatic’ ‘energetic’ and ‘SINGLE!!!!!’ (whatever happened to Tanuja and Vyjayantimala from Jewelthief) Vinay is still one of the ‘MOST ELIGIBLE BACHELORS’ which is proved with this brilliant scene in which Rajkumari Vishakha (Anu Aashiqui Agrawal) tries to seduce him further after a seduction song, and Dev Sahab says in his inimitable style ‘Humne Ye Dil Abhi Tak Na Jaane Kitni Hasinaaon Se Bacha Kar Rakkha Hai Raajkumari, Agar Aapne Isey Churane Ki Koshish Ki To Kahin Aisa Na Ho Ki Haseenaaon Ke Beech Third World War Shuru Ho Jaaye..

It was a treat seeing three “self-proclaimed” evergreen superstars, (who have refused to age eons ago)- Late Evergreen Star Ashok Kumar, Everyoung Dharam Paaji, and Main Solah Baras Ka Dev Sahab together on screen and then there were Shilpa Shirodkar (looking at her in the film one can make out what blown out of proportion actually means) and Main Nashe Mein Hoon Jaggu Dada dancing to ‘Hum RD Burman Banna Chahte Hain’ Jatin-Lalit songs like – Aye Meri Jaanam Pyaar Karein Hum..Mausam Bada Hai Chulbula…Gulgula Gulgula Gulgula..

As the film is called Return Of Jewel thief, there are gems scattered all over, whether its the performances by the legends or the music or the dialogues, they all are gems… classic in every sense.

Some dialogues deserve a special mention so here they are-

Drunk Dev Sahab to a drunk Dharam Paaji – ‘Main Ab Se Tumhe Tuffy Bulaunga Tuffy…’

Dharam gives him a confused look…

Dev clarifies himself further – ‘TOUGHHH….Tum Toughhh ho Isliye Tuffy…’

Ashok Kumar (His men have abducted Jackie’s Girl Friend)to Jackie – Agar Tum Chahte Ho Ki Tumhari Ladki (??) Sahi Salamat Rahe Toh…..Chup Chap Baith Jaao…Waise Naam Kya Hai Uska…

Jackie – Soni

Ashok – Aur Tumhara Naam Mahiwal?

Jackie – Nahin Mera Naam Johnny Hai..Johny Mera Naam……(He plays Johnny ALA Dev Sahab’s Johny in Johny Mera Naam)

I was really impressed when Villain Jukasso (Sadashiv Amrapurkar) is introduced in the Adalat as a jewel thief ‘Jiski Talaash 34 Mulkon Ki Police Kar Rahi Hai’ (Don se poore 23 Mulk Zyada, its an achievement)

His Waqil knocked me for six again by giving a daleel in the Adalat that his Muwaqqil Jukasso can’t be put up in the jail as he is suffering from…Hold your breath - LYMPHOSARCOMA of the INTESTINE (the most trendiest disease in Bollywood since its debut in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1970 classic Anand).

Ashok Tyagi deserves a round applause for making this multi starrer unforgettable by casting Ram Sethi (he has a page dedicated to him on wikipedia), as the sleeping Bar Manager in Gulgula song. Sethi sahab (commonly called Pyare Laal ji) was one of the most glorified extras from 70s & 80s Amitabh Bachchan Films. Remember him singing Kaun Kisi Ko Bandh Saka in Kaalia..Kaalia..Kaalia (1981).

I’ll highly recommend this film to all you TRUE Bollywood Fans out there. Do watch ROJT and trust me Gulgula song is gonna top the play count on your iTunes and iPods like it has topped mine. Click here for THE song.

Second Film I saw was Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (1969)After seeing Return Of Jewel thief..I find nothing worth mentioning or remarkable in this Paul Newman, Robert Redford starrer. The film has won 4 Oscars (including one for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Material Not Previously Published or Produced)..It has wonderful cinematography, brilliant performances, great dialogues, amazing editing...and Ranks 147 in IMDB’s Top what?? Can it beat the Bollywood classic ROJT?


Anyway by the time I finished watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the Sunday was over.

Edit: Paul Newman passed away on 26th Sep. RIP Mr.Newman

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bhai Tum Sign(ature) Karte Ho Ya Nahin??

(A cartoon I made long back for an old embarrassing story)

Prologue: After delaying it for almost a month, I bought a new mobile connection and a cell phone last week.

Getting a new phone number esp. if you are going for a Reliance Connection (like me) is a big headache because you have to buy a new handset for the connection and you can’t copy your contacts directly to this new handset as it doesn’t supports any other SIM but only the Almighty Reliance SIM. Now think about the efforts put into copying all the contacts manually (not to mention one by one) from your old cell to the new one and then informing everybody about the new number. Tough…isn’t it?

Anyway the number was yet to be activated and being more or less jobless over the lazy Saturday afternoon I decided to explore my new phone…a loyal Nokia user (have never used any other brand ever) I went through the cool and some not so cool features of this new LG Handset of mine.

And this is when the story starts. I was going through the very different looking Message features and this thing called SIGNATURE caught my eyes. (Hardcore Narcissist that I am) I wanted to check the length of a SIGNATURE and typed in My Name, there was still some space…I added Detailed Designation…I could see some more space…typed in the company’s name…there was still some space but I got bored and started exploring other features.

Sunday the number got activated and I typed a message informing everybody about my new number and sent it using the cool send to all function, which saved a lot of efforts. I was happy oblivious of the fact that the message went to almost 400+ people on my contact list with the same Super Obnoxiously Narcissist Signature that I typed there on Saturday.

Once I started getting replies (some sarcastic and some full of winking smilies) Congratualting me on the Post/Designation etc etc from some close friends, I realized the blunder, but it was too late, as the message was delivered to almost everybody by then.

Epilogue: Mon. 15th September 2:30pm

I IM-ed a friend asking if she got my new no.

‘where u’ve signed off with a huge signature’ she replies.

‘Ummmm…that was a silly mistake actually…’I typed sheepishly.

‘Ohh really…what mistake’

I narrated the story to her and I could actually see her laughing out loud when she typed lol.

Another friend IMs me- ‘Oye Bhai Congratulations! Naya Number Mubarak Ho...’

‘Shut up yaar!!’

I again narrate the whole story (A big thanks to the man who invented ctrl+C, ctrl+V)

‘Who sends a message with such Signatures…’ I type.

‘Ya exactly no one would do that except you...’ (I know he is having fun at my expense…even m smiling)

‘aisi cheezen hoti rahti hain yaar zindagi mein’ He adds.

‘Magar Har Baar Mere Hi Saath??’

‘Cummon…once i was typing one sec pls to a girl online and by mistake i typed one sex pls… and you imagine what i had gone thru’ He shares his brief moment of shame.

‘Ohh that’s nothing…once I was chatting with a girl and I had to type- Are U busy
By mistake I typed- Are u busty, because T & Y are adjacent keys on keyboard..’

‘ROFL’ he types ‘so you want to be awarded???’

Giving it a second thought I won’t mind an award as I am hands down winner when it comes to True Embarrassing Stories. What do u think?

-Alok Sharma,
Most Embarrassing Moments

P.S. Don’t forget to check out Saumin’s Blog, which he updated recently with the amazing comic book pages he did for Virgin Comics.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Humari Film : The CanMan

The Directors

Hum Manoj Kumar Sharminda Hain

As promised earlier, here is our first attempt at film making. Though we wanted to re-edit it, add some deleted scenes and do lots of touch ups before putting it on a blog or youtube, but I think we can show you the cut submitted for the competition. So here it is...

Ladies & Gentlemen presenting....

The CanMan

Monday, September 1, 2008

Finall - E

Finally they released Wall-E in India. The film has become a classic within a week after its release (ranked # 29 in IMDB's Top 250 List). No point talking about the story or the animation bit of it, we all know Gods at Pixar are The Master Of The (Animation) Universe. Its of no use to talk about the movie either, as anybody can Google 'Wall-E' and find more than 53,000,000 entries (in 0.2 seconds) going gaga over Andrew Stanton’s masterpiece. As far as Pixar guys are concerned, one can’t say ‘They’ve done it again’ simply because Wall-E is so astonishing that they’ve never ever even come closer to create something as astounding as Wall-E..forget ‘doing it again’ !!

Story :Wall-E (which stands for Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth Class), is a cute benevolent bot (one shouldn't call him a robot) and ….. Phew....Sorry I am in such awe of the film that I won’t be able to talk about the story. Just go and watch it guys..JUST WATCH IT!!!

Characters: Wall-E has a bunch of delightful characters who will sweep you off your feet with their mannerisms. Hal (Wall-E’s roach pal, the name I guess is a tribute to vintage comedy producer Hal Roach) is so adorable that girls are going to fall in love with cockroaches and then there is a fauj of cute-bots (I personally find cleanliness freak M-O (microbe obliterator) the cutest of the lot)

Wall-E & M-O

Wow Factor: Everything esp. voices conveniently replaced by sound effects.Wall-E’s voice is created by legendary sound designer Ben Burtt. (Burtt is the man behind celebrated voice of R2D2, Darth Vader’s heavy breathing and Lightsaber sound effects in Star Wars. He also provided the sound effects for Indiana Jone’s swooshing whip and more recently the twittering sound of crystal skull in the latest installment of Indy adventures.)

Dos & Don'ts

Dos: Join the fun filled roller coaster ride with Wall-E and before you realize you will be rooting for him & his gang.

Don'ts: Please don't watch it in Gold Adlabs,Kalyani Nagar (Pune) or any theater/multiplex which is not showing Pixar Short 'PRESTO' with Wall-E. And before you book the tickets please check if the theater has that outdated sound system like Gold Adlabs (because they aren't worthy enough to play Wall-E's musical sound effects).

Presto (unauthorized youtube video)

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