Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Punctuality Curse!!!

‘Be punctual’ was one of the many mantras that my father, may he rest in peace, had taught me. He had practiced religiously what he preached so profoundly. One of the memories that I hold dear to my heart is of my dad standing near the school gate waiting for my school bus to return from the ten day trip to Mussoorie. This was the first trip I had taken without my parents. I was in 8th standard then, so I am talking of something that happened almost 11 years ago. The reunion with my parents was to be a dramatic one and the emotional heaviness was palpable. My dad the sentimentalist that he was (I get the tag of being an emotional fool from him as a legacy as well) was standing there with a beautiful red rose in his hands. After a decade I have no idea where that rose withered too or where the smell vanished away… but the memory stays and today by writing about it I make it immortal!

Well this write-up is not about roses or re-unions. It is about the curse of punctuality. So the main point of the story that I was narrating earlier on was that the first thing my dad told me was “your mom n I have been waiting here for the past 2 hours!” that to me seemed odd considering we had driven back in good time and were at school only half hour late than the scheduled time. When I was alone with mom I asked her in a whisper, “why 2 hours?” My dad heard this and that was the first time I remember being given the decree that was to prove a curse over the years. “Always! Remember always reach before time. Its better to be 5 minutes early than even 1 minute late.”

This was just not a piece of advice that was given to me. I believe with all my heart that it was a moment when the celestial powers had said in chorus--- so it shall be! Till this date no one who has met me will ever tell you that I was late for an appointment. I reach at weddings before the venue is fully decorated, the relatives and the hosts have arrived or even the waiters are in proper dresses. This is my plight. My friends have been teasing me about reaching earlier than the scheduled time for ages. But the event that pushed me to blog about this curse is the realization that dawned on me in the past two days. The effect state borders have.

For the last two days I have had to go to Gurgaon for some work. Unfamiliar with the place I had called up friends and asked for directions, best route to take, and the estimated time that these frequent travelers would know it takes to reach Gurgaon which is practically another city for someone like me living in Central Delhi. The wise souls left no stone unturned to scare the hell out of me and telling me to move out of my house atleast 2 n ½ hours before the scheduled meeting time. I took the five minute margin into consideration as usual. Just as my luck would have it, the traffic to Gurgaon was not only smooth it was unfashionably fast to the point that the DTC bus commuted me to Gurgaon in 25 minutes flat. The cycle rikshaw driver who I had instructed to go at the slowest speed humanly possible was in a mood to pay no heed to me and compete with the British Airways jet flying overhead. So he managed to cover the distance in 10 minutes flat. Adding the total time of walking upto the bus-stop and then signing in the visitor’s book came to a grand total of one hour. Hola!!! I was 1 and ½ hours earlier for an appointment. A record for me as well!

When asked by my dear friend Gurneet as to what in my opinion was the reason for this extra-ordinary phenomenon I candidly replied, “Crossing the state border between Delhi and Haryana has an enhancing effect of my punctuality curse.”

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bond Bollywood Ishtyle

With my last blog I had many friends shedding a tear with me. They say making anybody sad is an easy task, making someone laugh is tremendously difficult. But what’s a challenge if it’s not conquered or at least an attempt is made to conquer it. So ladies and gentlemen as I have often said and will be saying it again and again over the days, months and years--- I am filmy to the core.

Hindi films and icons are very dear to my heart. So any global phenomena I choose to see from Bollywood colored glasses. With the release of Casino Royale releasing world-wide today I thought who all from our own Mumbai film industry could vie for the role and how would they portray it without loosing their essentially trademarked qualities that have come to be associated with them over the period of their careers.***

Seniority wise I should be starting with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. But my affinity and almost bhakti bhav towards SRK forces me to break the seniority rule this once.

The Bond played by SRK will have to change his Christian name from James to ever popular Rahul or Raj with the due blessings of Yash Chopra and happy and gay consent of Karan Johar. Hamming away to glory Rahul Bond will have no problems in dishing out quality one-liners and double meaning jokes with suave innocence. The only clause that this Badshah of Bollywood will highlight (in bold) in the contract with MGM and Columbia Pictures will be- “no kissing the Bond girl because I love my wife too much.”

Amitabh Bachchan
Men and wine better with age. Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan has the voice and the personality to match and even as many would agree the persona larger than any lalu panjoo Daneil Craig. Romancing twenty year old sexy bomb-shells is no trouble for this charismatic legend, a mandatory requirement for an eligible Bond. Health of Mr. Bachchan or Babuji as me and my friends like to call him is not too well. On this account a special weapon shall be created by hiring Siddharth Basu to tackle the lack of physical stamina. The villains will have to answer questions which will have four options to choose from. Now isn’t that the great marriage of TV and films. The only question that the producers of Bond have to ask is “bol Bachchan Bond banega?”

Salman Khan
Bond or no Bond, license or no license, this dude with the firang accent without doubt knows how to kill. With his killer looks the Bond beauties will surely be mesmerized. With so many court cases against Salman Bhai, a permission to shoot (pun intended) will have to be attained. And a sidekick of Bond will have to be introduced because Salman for sure will not be able to drive the Ashton Martin the world is talking about.

Hrithik Roshan
With Greek God looks, the muscles that have women of all age swooning over him with every flex, the looks, and the charm to carry off Bond with panache. Not too bad an actor, Hrithik's safety clause will want papa Rakesh Roshan directing the action flick starring Jadoo in a special role to create Jadoo…oopsie daisies I mean magic at the box office.

John Abraham
He has the looks and the locks. Won’t mind bearing all, yes girls all, but only if the script demands. Most importantly Bond girls will for sure not mind getting a piece of what Bipasha has. The only problem is that when John mouths a dialogue I can bet everything I own that a tree trunk could do a better job. Making a silent sci-fi movie where the Bond of future is shown. An era when humans are extinct and robots rule the planet well that’s a script that suits this yum to look at non-actor.

Abhishek Bachchan
He is the perfect nomination from the industry. He has good looks as a vardaan, abundant talent and the vote of all the ladies I know. But alas the Baby of AB is busy maaroing Aish with the Bollywood films he has lined up for the next couple of years. He has no time for Bond babes… and Bond films as well.

***This is an attempt to laugh at myself and my extreme devotion to Indian film stars. Nothing said in this article should be taken too seriously or as my real feelings towards the honored stars. I sincerely believe that the role of Bond is not interesting enough or masaledar enough for the Bollywood stars to waste their time on.