Yet again, Plagiarism !!

Dilip D’Souza brings to light the latest MSM copycat [Via].

Dileep Premachandran wrote this column, From potential to performance, a note on Yuvraj Singh on Cric Info. A columnist from DNA had copied it and changed a few words, the next day. Its such a screwed up state of ignorance, when people look at their contemporaries for copying stuff. They for sure under estimate the reach of internet and blogs. While its good to write something nice for your paper, you should be wary that copying could cost your reputation.

P.S – Sorry to digress but remember the dude whom I thought was copying reviews from here has recently got into another ‘innovative’ way that proves he is certainly a full-time plagiarizer. Devuda Devuda Ezhumalai Devuda !!

How to meet KamalHassan in the US of A ?

vv_kamal
[Pic – Srikanth]

Srikanth Meenakshi sent me an email with an URL pointer to his tamil blogpost. The post started and proceeded with lots of suspense. Srikanth, in the blogpost, writes that he never knew that meeting Kamal would possible include one day of travel back and forth, five hours in blazing cold and eating burrito’s for dinner. Finally they met him, the KamalHassan on Kollywood who was shooting Vettayadu Villayadu in the east coast.

Should email Gautam Menon (?!) to find if there are any plans of shooting in the Seattle Downtown. After all, burrito‘s for dinner isn’t my dinner schedule.

The GYM Diet !!

The latest meme in blogosphere, is among the techies. I’m sure they are the last people to jump into such childish memes but this one isn’t child’s play. So what is the GYM Diet meme ? Can you keep yourself from blogging about the GYM trio. GYM ? Yep !! Google , Yahoo and Microsoft. If you can, you are GYM free. I know it doesn’t apply this blog as only Google gets featured often.

BTW, the GYM Diet is a brainchild of OM Malik and a bunch if bloggers are already into this. Are you GYM Free ?

The Return of Teakada

teakada teakada

The time of the year, when Hemanth and me are in same building, we walk out for a evening coffee and eventually endup in the Star of Bucks. As we keep rambling, commenting and yapping on the subject which bridges me and him, the cinema, Hemanth said that he was planning to bring back Teakada. But this time with Puthiya !! Niram, Suvai & Thidam.

Teakada was originally a weblog Hemanth had started back in 2003 that would aggregate news on kollywood and cinema. The naming of teakada is got from our roadside nair kada where people of various walks of life walk-in for a single chaaya. As they dip the butter biscuit in that single strong tea, they keep rambling on the latest happenings in the city. This is where new dimensions to common news usually takes birth. Even if not for new dimensions, news that you have missed which is readworthy are often discussed.

While Hemanth was writing essentially on everyday kollywood he also started to include news and some superb commentaries on news, politics and anything concerned with Chennai. Not just that, Teakada was also aggregating blogposts from the Chennai based bloggers. When it was on a all-time high, he put it to rest to concentrate on other things.

Now, Teakada 2.0 is back with more energy and a refreshing look. Its been two three weeks now since Teakada is brought back and the request from me is to go have a look at it and suggest changes if any.

Teakada also wants more speakers-ya-bloggers who can write on anything about Chennai / Tamil Nadu / Kollywood/ Politics/Music/Literature and so on. Just about anything. The spicier, the better. There are no rules except for the arduments and postings need to be logical. Leave a comment on Teakada or send a note to Hemanth at hemanth.kum[at]gmail and he should able to set you up soon. Already a fiery bunch including Ravages, Nilu, Tilotamma, Karthik and Boston Balaji are brewing tea there. Hop on if you are excited.

Over to Teakada 2.0.

Shashi Tharoor's Bookless in Baghdad

bookless in baghdad

I write, as George Bernard Shaw said, for the same reason a cow gives milk: it is inside me, it is got to come out, and in a real sense I would die if I could not – Shashi Tharoor in The Hindu dt September 16, 2001.

One would think what an self-absorbed writer Shashi Tharoor would be with those lines comparing him to Bernard Shah or even thinking about him on the same lines as the bearded great. At least I was offended when I read this on the newspaper, back in 2001. What next ? I started to read his subsequent columns. Ever since, the only time I got a little bored was when Tharoor started delving into Mahabharata. I actually enjoyed reading his columns on a Sunday Hindu. It even led me to read his books Riot and The Great Indian Novel. By now, I’m absolutely sure that Shashi Tharoor is a gifted writer. Not only he writes lucidly but he also makes his point loud and clear. One could sense the sides he takes, even during the beginning of a column.

Bookless in Baghdad is Shashi Tharoor’s latest book. Its a collection of essays primarily on literature and writers. And its arousing to read a writer’s take on other writers. Not just that but also the political and social commentaries keep this book afresh. Though this book should have been clearly named anything other than Bookless in Baghdad, the book delivers all your would expect as a reader. Bookless in Baghdad is the name of a column which describes Tharoor’s wandering in Baghdad. The title of the book is more of a sales pitch than a perfect title. So we can forgive the publishers for the want of more sales than an eternal title. Some of the selected columns have been written for Hindu. And this was the special book that I never disclosed but mentioned in a previous post.

The essay that moved me is the analogy of India in comparison to the epic Mahabharata. As mentioned earlier for someone like me who was bored by his lectures on Mahabharata, this was a cool take. Shashi Tharoor, to what I’ve read from his novels and columns, believes and makes you agree that the plurality of India is it’s biggest strength. This is clearly reflected in this essay and makes one feel proud about the land he comes from. I am sure this is not cheap patriotism selling but a realistic analysis on India’s strengths and of course it’s weaknesses. If you are the type of dude who thinks India is loud and laughable, this is dedicated for your, departed soul.

In essays about books & writers, I just couldn’t say how much I’m impressed with this man’s prodigious talent. Even the first essay details books, childhood and his growing up with books. From Enid Blyton to Hardy Boys, Shashi Tharoor has grown up exactly the same way you, me or any middle-class Indian would grow. You would be instantly attached to this book just after this first essay. It certainly brought back my childhood memories and made me yearn for those read-like-crazy days. Thats probably one reason, I was feeling lost and rambling about not been able to read books as before.

Heck !! even if you are not a PG Wodehouse fan you would appreciate the heights of stardom PG enjoys in India. An essay centers around PG Wodehouse and his everlasting books. Not to mention the special interest of Shashi tharoor on PG Wodehouse. Shashi Tharoor seems to be a big fan of Salman Rusdhie and has been covering most of Rushdie’s books and appearances whenever he gets leisure time. His essay on Salman’s re-appearance after fatwa and the aftermath was just gossip to me. His tribute to RK Narayan was at its best. Even as a staunch hater(!!) of RKN, Tharoor writes about the loss of RKN and how the literary world would miss him. I didn’t find myself at ease in this essay but I’ve to say its one’s choice. Also I found Shashi Tharoor to make some fairly arguable arguments on the old man’s writings.

Though I couldn’t relate too much to the essay, or I should call it a boast, on St Stephen literary skills, I think it was one essay which Tharoor was wanting to get out for a long time. It was an attribute to his college and we can excuse that as a trade-off for his classy narration of Neruda’s poems.

If you are an aspirin or aspiring writer/reader, start here for Shashi Tharoor. Not only you would chance on a guy so prodigious also you would harmonize that he possibly be one of the best writers from India, for a long time to come.

Sivakasi – Okkamakka Kalakks !!

Vijay in Sivakasi

The process of creating a successful potboiler lies in the art of creating an interesting storyline. While a successful film stops there, a super hit goes into unraveling the interesting story with lots of twists thereby doping the audience. Though how much ever Perarasu sounds completely crass and cliched when they display a title, Story Sceenplay Dialogue Lyrics Direction – Perarasu, has managed to create an acceptable masala that is certain to end up as a Super HIT.

Sivakasi is coming together of a divided family and this ain’t new for kollywood for we have been witnessing this since Kudiyirundha Koil. As a change, the movie starts in the Ranganathan Street of T.Nagar and travels to the village for a climax. Offlate, the stories from villages come speeding towards a city, this story actually is a relief as the second half is set in a village. The speedy second half would actually cover-up for the comedy drag in the first half and when the people come out of theatres, they would certainly look at Sun TV cameras and repeat, “Sir, Padam Super”. The winner is actually AM Ratnam. While a successful movie always reward nearly everyone, AM Ratnam manages to get a super hit from every alternate movie.

Exactly on the fifth minute, an iron door is cut with a gas burner and an image walks out. The camera pans in wide angle from the shoe to show the face. The camera wantedly shakes and a loud harmony of Oh !! Oh !! continues in the background. Few minutes later, the mechanic kid says, “Anney!! Oru anju thadava turn pannunganney”, our hero actually turns five times with a ready-made music of vishk vishk vishk. Irrespective of your movie philosphies, you tend to enjoy just these supremely exaggerated shots and willing to watch this angry young man in action. By the time, our hero reaches for the kumkum plate and make a thilak on his forehead, you are sucked into an idiosyncratic world of Super Stars. With Vijay, An HEIR to the Super Star arrives.

Heroism in kollywood terms, comes easy to Vijay. He is graceful, cool and is on his best when the story requires him to display heroism. This is the third of Vijay’s good movie in the last 3 years. After Thirumalai it was Gilli and now its Sivakasi. Vijay has nearly perfected the rajini pattern and infact I should say he says that loud in few scenes like when he is throwed onto the throne as in Rajini Muthu. Also when he pronounces, Unmaiya Sonnen while vishking his finger. With the boy-next-door looks and a typical dravidian face, Vijay will be celebrated like Rajini. Vijay who is 30 has an advantage of starting early. Vijay is here to stay provided if he doesn’t get carried away in doing ‘different’ movies. I only wish those crappy dialgoues on ‘how to be a girl’ are most avoided.

Prakash Raj actually increased the value of the film. With his role similar to Gilli if not the same, he out performs most of others in the movie. As they say, only when you have a Nambiyaar, MGR can become a hero, Prakash Raj is a must have for such movies. Asin is the heroine. Asin is the heroine. Asin is the heroine. Nothing much about this girl who even laughs in malaylam. The comedy gang spear-headed by the ‘hari-giri’ Chittibabu does a neat job. Prakash Raj’s sidekick, the guy with the beard is actually funny. And as many believe, the director just ensembled the hit characters of the recent commercial hits and brought them together in one movie. The songs and dances are certainly cool and reminding me of Dhill, Gilli, Dhool and Thirumalai.

If you are all out for the movie, you will enjoy, clap hands and whistle along with the crowd and I did miss watching this movie in Kamala among numerous Vijay fans. Have a mighty timepass !!

Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamaana…

hahk1

Oh !! yeah. I just completed watching Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. Certainly this is not the first time. It was probably nth time but its been atleast 5 years ever since I watched it. When it was released, it was Superhit Muqabla that announced the arrival of HAHK to me. And all I saw was Salman trying to hit Madhuri’s back with a catapult while chewing something very exaggeratedly. Cut. The guy in the audio store told me, “Sir, super paatu ellam. totally 14 songs sir.All top class”. Cut. My philips recorder repeatedly plays HAHK casette which I bought for 20 bucks. I still have it. Madhuri and Salman in a black dress on yellow background, the costume they wear during the song, Dhiktana Dhiktana. Salman’s leg raised upward and Madhuri to his left in a similar pose. Whoof !! What memory you should think. There are several movies, I couldn’t forget. Hum Aapke Hain Kaun is one of the topper in that list. Ask my sister and she would nod YES, alongwith me.

Noone could possibly write a review on HAHK. It isn’t a movie. It’s a musical and has all the ideal items to be packed in a commercial movie. It never pretended to be a movie elevating the artistry of cinema. It was just an hyperbolic version of a North Indian family. I had an ideal mom, ideal dad, ideal uncle, just a little not-so-ideal aunty and idealistic etcetras. The movie was idealistic to India. Indian films for many years have been hypocritical and idealistic to a large extent. We don’t like to have an incest uncle or a gol-maal daddy. Everyone are just as expected. Sooraj Bharjatya just ensembled those idealistic characters in one movie and presented it. We loved it. There was no villain except the stairs and the bad aunty. The stairs make Renuka Shahaney slip and she eventually dies. The aunty keeps jumping to sky in ego until our maama gives her/us a surprise slap. She is silenced after that like a bharathiya naari. Not just ideal human, even Krishna(our lord krishna) makes a cameo. Except for the magical ray from Krishna’s idol to the dog tuffy, they ring the bells and play a devotional BGM when the dog runs to collect courier from Madhuri which serves as the twist for the climax. These miraculous event knocks off the word kaun from Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and plesantly completes the movie as Hum Aapke Hain !!

Well, if you are thinking, I’m subtly mocking at the movie, I am. But I love it. I am pretty sure of my liking. Some people don’t like to accept they like Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. Its like reading Sidney Sheldon all along and concluding him to be a trashy writer within friends. Infact, I have no idea to write anything more about the movie. I have enough to boast of about my HAHK experiences than talking about what size of banian Salman was wearing in the song, Pehla Pehla Pyar Hi, when he was effortlessly lifting Madhuri from the billiards board.

Infact, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun wasn’t released in parallel at Chennai. It came after 7 or 8 weeks and you know what, it saw more than 2 Diwalis in Chennai, meaning nearly 2 years. I was just completing my schooling and I went the first time to watch HAHK. All I know then about Surat Bharjaathiya was that he was the director. With violence occupying the bollywood scene at that season, HAHK was a breath of fresh air. It was like heaven to many. Pay 10 bucks, go inside watch a peaceful family. No big fights, no big aderanline pumping suspense, no gyrating manmatha raasa hips and ofcourse no big tearjerker story. Before I saw the movie the first time, I heard all the 14 songs, more than atleast 100 times, saw enough clips on TV and so I was expecting a treat. I got it. Though I felt, which bloody family has a swimming pool and a fountain inside the house, SPB and Madhuri took me by a storm. I couldn’t resist watching it again and again. In the 2+ years it ran, me and my friends used to go for a movie theatre to watch a new flick. Luckily we had some cousin’s friend or some landlord’s brother-in-law’s sister working in every theatre. So we got tickets we wanted. If not, NO PROBLEM. We came back to watch Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. I think it was more than 10 times in 2 years that I watched the movie just in theatre. Its more than 10 times, I’m positive because we counted. On my thoughts, I’ve seen Thalapathi more than 14-15 times in theatre. The last time, me and my friend couldn’t sit through Thalapathi. We knew every single shot, every single syllable uttered, every camera movement and the Mani Ratnam flick had nothing more to offer us. So we came out even before the intermission and handed over the tickets to two rag-picker boys and sent them inside the theatre for free. I saw Roja 8 times, Bombay 6-7 times, Alai Payuthey 6 times, Thiruda Thiruda 10 times[10 weeks; 10 times] and Gentleman 12 times. Why all that, I even saw Evanaairundhaa Enakenna 3 days in a row, in the same Sangam theatre and worse, same seat. I ain’t bragging. I’m positive. I was such a movie freak. Even before friends, I went to movies with noone. I went alone even during my 8th grade. 5 rupees in my pocket and I’m waiting first in the queue from 9:30 am in Shakthi Abirami to watch Anjali. Next day, same 5 rupees, Kizhakku Vaasal. Anjali again the very next day. Thanks to my mom who shed 5 bucks a day and cursed herself for unable to make me stop watching films. Neverthless, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun was something that I could never forget.

Sitting for a matinee inside a hot chennai movie theatre, with atleast 500-600 people, it was only in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, I think I understood the essence of movie making. There are no technical lessons to learn. But I think I consciously started to loose myself for cinema with HAHK. It absorbed me. Transported me to the dreamy world. Threw me out of the teenage worries of school and college. And I owe Sooraj Bharjatya for that. The last few times, we started when Renuka was still rolling down from the stairs. If you always why do people start after the final song is over, they are the repeat audience and I was one with HAHK. HAHK was the talk of the day. Salman and Madhuri were teenage icons and if couldn’t sound the perfect ‘huh huh !!’ to a girl, you are a loser. I never could. But after the 5th time, when every single line of the song lyrics was on my mind, I started watching the other actors in a scene. Lets say in a scene, Madhuri is getting dressed and is the focus of the shot, I would be watching the girl sitting next to her. Because I knew what Madhuri was doing and wanted to know what the rest of the cast was upto in this largely over-populated movie that was a succes in a over-populated country.

My friend used to say, nearly everyone in Delhi saw Hum Aapke Hain Kaun twice. And I think it could be true. Even today when comparing to DDLJ which was another commercial potpourri with the legendary Shahrukh and Kajol, I think the songs and the entire spirit of Hum Aapke Hain Kaun is simply unbeatable. A movie, a classic, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun is.

Selected Reading

Official Website of Hum Aapke Hain Kaun

IMDB entry for HAHK

Memoirs on HAHK – Sooraj Bharjatya

HAHK Box Office – Did 2,341 shows in 847 days of its run at Mumbai’s Liberty cinema. It ran 105 weeks in regular shows and 16 weeks in noon shows.

Hum Aapke Hain Kaun Soundtrack
Maye Ni Maye – Lata Mangeshkar
Didi Tera Devar Deewana – Lata Mangeshkar, SP Balasubramaniam
Mausam Ka Jaadu – Lata Mangeshkar, SP Balasubramaniam
Chocolate Lime Juice – Lata Mangeshkar
Joote Dedo Paise Lelo – Lata Mangeshkar, SP Balasubramaniam
Pehla Pehla Pyar – SP Balasubramaniam
Dhiktana – 1 – SP Balasubramaniam
Mujhse Juda Hokar – Lata Mangeshkar, SP Balasubramaniam
Samdhi Samdhan – Lata Mangeshkar, Kumar Sanu
Hum Aapke Hain Koun – Lata Mangeshkar, SP Balasubramaniam
Wah Wah Ramji – Lata Mangeshkar, SP Balasubramania
Lo Chali Main – Lata Mangeshkar

Cast (in credits order) –
Madhuri Dixit as Nisha Choudhury
Salman Khan as Prem
Mohnish Bahl as Rajesh
Renuka Shahane as Pooja Choudhury
Anupam Kher as Prof. Siddharth Choudhury
Reema Lagoo as Mrs. Choudhury (as Rima)
Alok Nath as Kailashnath (as Aloknath)
Bindu as Aunt
Ajit Vachani as Aunt’s Husband (as Ajit Vachhani)
Satish Shah as Doctor
Himani Shivpuri as Razia (Doc’s wife)
Sahila Chaddha as Rita
Dilip Joshi as Bhola Prasad
Laxmikant Berde as Lalloo Prasad
Priya Arun as Chanda’
and
Tuffy as Tuffy (The Dog)