Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The day the Sur died

If you haven't seen the "new" version of Mile Sur Mera Tumhara, you clearly haven't been on twitter or Facebook all day. Both sites have been full of updates lambasting Zoom's attempt to modernise the classic we grew up watching on DD 1 on a regular basis.

I sat through it, all 16-and-a-half freaking minutes of it (which is nearly thrice as long as the original), and have the following thoughts on it:
  1. As I said on twitter, in the original one, you felt you were watching Indians sing about their country. In this one, you never, for one second, are allowed to forget that these are the stars of Bollywood you're watching. I mean, did anyone look at Priyanka Chopra in that suit with the kids and think, "awww, look how sweet and loving she is"?!? And what the heck were Shahid and Deepika doing?!?
  2. Some of the acts were truly cringe-worthy. I love Aamir Khan, but his whole act with the kids was totally uncool. And SRK at the end, with his trademark spreading arms out. Really? What was this, a promo for your next movie?
  3. The original had mixed India's two passions, movies and cricket. This one, being made by Zoom, naturally focussed on move stars and movie stars alone (with a few musicians thrown in for fun). For some reason, however, they decided to then also throw in a few sportspersons at the end, all people who've made it to the papers in recent times. Firstly, the way it was shown seemed utterly patronizing and there-for-the-heck-of-it. Secondly, and interestingly, not one from cricket. What happened, was Lalit Modi not entertaining their calls?
  4. The singing, oh, the singing. The original had Lata Mangeshkar's gorgeous voice for all the actresses. I know she's not singing anymore, but really, could they have at least tried to match the singer to the face? And didn't someone tell Shiamak Davar years ago that he should never, ever sing in public again?
  5. The original had managed to show glimpses of India, the country. This simply couldn't. This was nothing but a bunch of actors being taken to a bunch of sceninc spots, and asked to smile at the camera.
This is yet one more reason why I have no respect for the TOI group.

For some more excellent points on why this new version is such a disaster, you may read the tweets put up by @mojorojo. (Update: He's put them all in one place here, so you may just head there.)

And now, for your viewing pleasure, the old:

And the new:

Tell me you didn't feel like a little piece of your childhood died.

(PS: A modified version of this post was also published on Desicritics.)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

An open letter to Sajid Khan

Dear Sajid Khan,

I am right at this very moment unfortunate enough to be forced into watching the telecast of an awards show not only being compered by you, but where you have also just sang an utterly ridiculous "qawwali" on movie critics.

Amongst other things, one of your complaints against them seems to be that they have no "business sense", because movies they trash go onto do very good business.

I sincerely hope you didn't mean this seriously, because it would mean you are majorly overestimating the intelligence of the average Indian movie-watcher. I mean, come on, they made your movie a hit (what was with those spellings by the way?). Which I was again unfortunate enough to be dragged into watching (no, I really don't know how I find myself in these predicaments), and quite frankly, it was one of the crappiest movies I had seen in a long, long time.

So while critics may be overly harsh from time to time, it really isn't their job to have business sense. They're there to give their take on movies. Whether the public chooses to listen or not is a different matter altogether.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Morning conversations

The princess' days' highlights, other than her meals and naps of course, come from the car rides she gets when the father is dropping me somewhere (no, I don't drive, thats another story altogether, shush now). Sample a conversation that took place this morning:

Princess: *wags tail while drinking milk-flavoured water after her walk*
(she refuses to drink plain water, don'tcha know?)
Moi: Bye mommy, I shall now depart for the day.
Mother: Are you taking the princess with you?
Princess: *ears prick up, turns to look at me*
Moi: Does she want to come with us?
Mother: She's very dignified, she will only ever go with you if you ask her to....
Princess: *bounds down the stairs, and reaches the gate in two seconds flat*
Mother: *mouth hangs open*
Father: The only time this girl is ever dignified is when she is snoozing.

I had no further part in the conversation, I was too busy giggling uncontrollably.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A sense of wonder

Motivations can be a funny thing. What makes anyone talk the way they do, behave the way they do, think they way they do?

While my sense of outrage over the Ruchika Girhotra case is as real and and strong as anyone else, I haven't so far put down my thoughts on it anywhere. But apart from the outrage, I have a very strong sense of awe and curiosity about two key people in the whole messy saga:

The woman who has not only stayed with her ass of a husband all these years, but continues to defend him in court even now.

But most of all, the girl who has continued to fight a lonely and difficult fight in the memory of her friend, for nineteen years.

You have to wonder what makes such women take the steps they choose to take.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Flashback time again

Sooooooooooooooooooooooo... 2010 huh?

Normally, I'd make this year ka introspection, but dudes, it's like, a new decade!!!

In the last ten years, I've given two Board exams, finished school, had the princess enter our lives, lost my Thamma, moved houses, gone through college, made some friends, lost some, and ended up with the most awesome friends in the process, worked with RAHI Foundation for a while, found myself in the process, spent two years doing a Masters which was little or no value-add, got a job, and realised I'm a workaholic just like ze father. Does that sum up the decade for me? Pretty much - we've always known I have a very uneventful life, haven't we?

Closer to the date: 2009. Hmm... let's see: OK, so it wasn't as bad as I had predicted it would be back in the beginning of the year. Could've been better, but could've been a lot worse too.

Highlights of the year? Spending my birthday (which fell on Holi) not only working, but traveling for work. Joining Aerobics classes for the first time in my life - and giving up after a month, very happily going back to swimming instead. The Spain trip, which was pretty awesome, except for the fact that I got robbed - twice.

Grappling with a whole bunch of issues at work throughout the year, including phases of self-doubt. Getting my my first wins for the firm, which can be a very big high!

Spending a weekend in Jaipur with the brother, and getting to know him all over again. Returning from Jaipur to discover the house had caught fire - again - but that things were contained before it could spread.

Falling ill halfway through a very major project, to the extent of getting quarantined for suspected swine flu. Suffering the after-effects of the illness for more than two months, with repeated visits to the doctor. Realising the possible consequences of my workaholism, and consciously trying to cut back a little.

Getting hounded by family - both immediate and extended - on the issue of marriage and future plans. Getting spam mail from shaadi.com asking me to get married because my parents did (I kid you not).

Taking part in the Great Delhi Run to raise funds for RAHI. Walking 12 kilometres in one day as a result - which is more than I usually do in a month.

Going from tweeting regularly to being absolutely addicted to twitter - and in the process, making this my least productive year in terms of blog posts.

Keeping things bottled inside for the longest time, and then finally having things out in two of the three cases mentioned earlier - both of which were complete fiascoes, I might add.

Taking baby steps towards turning my life around. In more than one way.

The first day of the new year was a pleasant, uneventful day. I'm sorta hoping the year follows the same pattern. While I'm being smart and keeping any resolutions that I'll end up breaking within a week, there are a whole bunch of hopes attached to this year. Hopes that these steps I'm taking will bear fruit. Hopes that my family and friends are happy and get their wishes fulfilled. Hopes that I start blogging a lot more - there's always plenty to say after all.

That's pretty much the year for me. I'm very tempted to follow the current trend and also put up a "Best of" list myself - maybe I will.

Happy 2010, all! :)