Monday, September 24, 2007

The Serenity Prayer

In my post "A Change in Attitude...and Fortunes", I had presented a slightly belligerent, albeit restrained and respectful, attitude of the speaker.

However, what put things in perspective was Ravi's comment. "It's not just one way traffic." Although he seemed to be more in agreement with me, I was somehow reminded of The Serenity Prayer. And I do not know why but I prefer only the shorter version of the prayer, which goes thus...


God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

If we were to remind ourselves of this simple prayer before every major decision, I'm sure we would bring about a whole lot of maturity into our decision making.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Amitabh speaks Angreji

Namak Halaal (1982) is one of my favorite Amitabh Bachchan movies. In many way, this is a typical '80s Hindi film. This Prakash Mehra film had all the elements of a blockbuster then (and even now, perhaps). Comedy, drama, love, songs, murder, good-wins-over-evil...

And a stellar star-cast to boost. Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman, Parveen Babi, Smita Patil, Om Puri and Ranjeet.

The following scene from the film is brilliant because Amitabh, the superstar, decides he will make himself a buffoon. He isn’t scared to make the paying audience laugh at his expense. (In fact, he's already done so earlier in the film, when he does the 'Pag ghunghroo baandh Meera naachi thi' number).

The scene unfolds thus. Amitabh, the country bumpkin, has come to the city to get a job. His friend has put in a word to the manager of the hotel (Ranjeet). But in order to impress him further, the friend advises Amitabh to speak like a champion and thereby impress the manager. Amitabh, the village simpleton, takes this advise most seriously and proceeds to try and impress Ranjeet.

The following is a transcript of the scene. I tried searching for the transcript on the Net, but couldn’t find a single site where the transcript was correct to the letter. So, I downloaded the scene and played it over and over again to write down the dialogues bit-by-bit. The result is well worth the effort, I feel.

Here we go…

[Amitabh and his friend enter the hotel manager’s (Ranjeet’s) chamber]

Ranjeet (to Amitabh’s friend): Oye, tumhara dimaag kharaab ho gaya hai, yeh kis cheez (points at Amitabh) ko le aaye ho tum?

Amitabh: Lo kallo baat. Babuji, hum cheej nahin hain. Maara naam Arjun Singh vald Bhim Singh vald Dasrath Singh hai. Lakhanpur gaav ke rehne waale hain, Inter pass hain, gaav mein sabse avval number aaye the. Maare gaav mein, maare daddu aur main hi sabse zyada padhe hain, baaki koi chauthi pass nahin hai. Shaher main aane se pehle maare daddu ne humko teen baatein sikhayi…pehli baat, paraayi aurat aur paraayi daulat pe haath nahin rakhna, haan. Doosri baat, jiska namak khao uski namak halaali karna. Teesri baat, anyay ke saamne sar nahi jhukaana. Bolo, maare daddu ne theek kaha ki nahi kaha??

Ranjeet: Tumhaare daddu ne bilkul sahi kaha. Ab tum sheher mein aaye ho, aise hi baatein karoge ya tumhe English vagera bhi aati hai?

Amitabh: Lo kallo baat ! Arre babuji aisi English aave that I can leave Angrej behind!! You see sir, I can talk English, I can walk English, I can laugh English because English is a very funny language.

Bhairon becomes Baron and Baron becomes Bhairon because their minds are very narrow. In the year nineteen hundred and twenty nine sir, when India was playing against Australia in Melbourne city, Vijay Merchant and Vijay Hazare they were at the crease and Vijay Merchant told Vijay Hazare, “Look Vijay Hazare, this is a very prestigious match and you must consider this match very carefully.” So, considering the consideration that Vijay Hazare gave Vijay Merchant, Vijay Merchant told Vijay Hazare that, “Ultimately we must take a run.” And when they were striking the ball on the leg side, sir, the consideration became into an ultimatum and ultimately Vijay Hazare went to Vijay Merchant and…”

An exasperated Ranjeet, who has been drowned into silence by this volley of English from Amitabh, shouts: OH SHUT UP !!!

Amitabh continues: …similarly, sir, in the year nineteen hundred and seventy nine when India was playing against Pakistan in Wankhede stadium, Bombay, Wasim Raja and Wasim Bari they were at the crease, and Wasim Bari gave the same consideration to Wasim Raja and Wasim Raja told Wasim Bari, “Look, sir, this ultimately has to end in a consideration which I cannot consider. Therefore, the consideration that you’re giving me must be considered very ultimately.” Therefore the run that they were taking, Wasim Raja told Wasim Bari, “Wasim Bari, you take a run.” And ultimately both of them ran and considerately they got OUT !!!

Thanks to shrenik3 for the video clip.
Now playing: Deewaar Intro
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cricket and Hollywood

Is it just me or does Kepler Wessels actually look a bit like Charlton Heston?

Kepler Wessels

Charlton Heston

A Change in Attitude…and Fortunes

She: Why did you have to do that? You must learn to adjust to the circumstances and accept things as they are.

He: Sorry, I disagree with you. If we continue to accept things – to adjust to the circumstances, then circumstances are only going to stay as harmful as they already are, if not get worse.

Moreover, what’s the use of a brain if we are to only ‘accept things as they are’…we might as well be brute animals. It is up to you to decide whether you want to be a product of your environment or you want the environment around you to be a product of you.

Now playing: Roobaroo
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Twenty20: A Bowler’s Game

Anybody who saw Chris Gayle and Herschelle Gibbs plonk the white ball to all parts of The Wanderers stadium at Johannesburg on Tuesday night might want to disagree with the title of this post. Let me explain why I respectfully disagree.

The thought struck me when I heard Ian Chappell mention a basic fact of the game, viz. a good batsman is a good batsman, period. Likewise, I thought, a good bowler is a good bowler, period.

It doesn’t matter if he (the bowler) is hit for many more runs in a particular over as compared to what he would have been hit for in a ODI or a Test match. What has changed is the definition of a good over. Whereas in a 50 overs game, a good over was one where the batsman could not score more than 4 or a maximum of 5 runs, in the 20 overs version of the game, this will become 7 to 8 runs.

This is where the bowler’s skill comes in to play. He now has to be more cunning than ever and use the sleight of hand in order to ensure variations in line, length and the pace at which he bowls. And that can get him great results, like it happened for Daren Powell who had figures of 4 overs, no maidens, 3 wickets for 4 runs in a warm-up game.

I disagree with those who say it is purely a batsman’s game. If the game has become uni-dimensional for anybody, it is for the batsman. All he has to do is think about tonking the next ball out of the park.

Yesterday, of course, it was great fun watching Zimbabwe beat Australia in a nail-biting finish. I couldn’t get to see the Australian innings, but the highlights package showed what a good fielding side the Zimbabweans were. They had thrown themselves at everything and had taken some good catches in the outfield, an area where, I am sad to note, India hasn’t done well of late.

Pros of Twenty20:

- Weaker-looking teams can do well in matches against ‘stronger’ opposition, since there is very little time for the ‘stronger’ team to recover if they fumble even once.

Cons of Twenty20:

- Watching the inaugural match (South Africa vs. West Indies) gave me a headache, what with so many sixes being hit, so much noise and very little time, as a viewer, to grasp the nuances of the game. [I know some might argue that this is a sure sign of ageing, but then…]

- Too many girls wearing bright-red sports bras (I don’t care what they’re said to be, they look like sports bras) and bum-hugging short chaddis while shaking their things on TV. Watching Twenty20 at home might be a problem.

Now playing: Sukhvinder Singh - Chak de India
via FoxyTunes

Monday, September 10, 2007

'SHARK' tag

If Houdini were alive, methinks he would have hopped on to the next flight to Calcutta, driven down to my house and have personally congratulated me for having done my disappearing act over the last few days. I haven’t been online of late and have been careful / silly enough to have neglected the phone to miss calls from friends. Just as well that I haven’t been shaving over the last couple of days - my beard *might* help me to escape unharmed. I say this since a couple of weeks ago, I met a school-friend after a gap of 6 years, and he recognised me without any trouble at all as he said my “face is just like it was back in class 12”.

In other words, I might be closing in on 25, but I still have the face of a 18 year old. Hmm…

Well, I have been busy reading books (I have already completed two in the last two days and am on the verge of finishing a third), watching movies (almost 6 in the last 4 days) and the CDs of the old TV program ‘Chanakya’ (remember Chandraprakash Dwivedi as the wily and astute professor of politics at Takshila University who single-handedly brings down the Nanda empire?).

Anyway, just as I find out that Motee has tagged me, it turns out she has also tagged Arpz who, in turn, has also tagged me!! Talk about being in favour with the ladies. ~proudly pats himself on the back~

Enough of wayside talk, on with the tag.


- Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
- When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.
- At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.
- Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged.


Here’s the tag, as filled in by Shekhar ‘Shark’.

S – STORIES. As a child growing up in a building full of grown-ups, Mom introduced me to the world of books, and thereby, to the world of stories. Life has never been the same since then. Whether it is in the form of books, films or conversations over a cup of steaming hot tea, I love listening to (and sometimes, narrating) stories.

H – HERO. This might seem like an extended lecture on Vedanta, but ever since I read Swami Vivekananda’s works, I’m convinced that within each one of us there exists a hero and that it is our karmic duty to unleash this hero to the world.

A – AMBITIOUS. I am as ambitious as the guy living next door to you. I too make up lists of things to be achieved and deadlines by when they should be achieved. Achieving them is where, as the bard would remind us, lies the rub.

R – RAIN. There was a time I absolutely loved rains. I enjoyed going up to the window and watching droplets from heaven rushing down to kiss a planet that God so obviously loves. Even better would be taking a drive in the rains; I enjoyed the soft hum of the car AC as the rains washed the world which I passed by.

K – KOLKATA. (Before anyone raises their eyebrows, ‘Kolkata’ is in fact the official name now.) A city with which I have a love-hate relationship. There is much about the city that I adore, much that I miss when I’m away. At the same time, there are many memories, images, emotions which cause nothing else but pain.

~hat-tip to Mini~ If it weren’t for you, I would’ve never figured out that there lived a SHARK within. :)

And no, I don’t tag any one.

Now playing: Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone - Original
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Last week, when this blog suddenly saw a flurry of posts, I missed out on another milestone that this blog went past.

Ladies and Gentlemen: This blog has now crossed 200 posts.

And this is post no. 202. :)

And since this blog, like any other diary/log book, is like a record for memories, both sweet and sour, I thought I would share a beautiful song with my readers.

Film: Yaadein
Director: Subhash Ghai
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi

Nagme hain, shikwe hain
Kisse hain, baatein hain

Baatein bhool jaati hain
Yaadein yaad aati hain

Yeh yaadein kisi dil-o-jaanam ke
Chal jaane ke baad aati hain

Yeh jeevan dil jaani, dariya ka hai paani
Paani to beh jaaye, baaqi kya reh jaaye

Yaadein, yaadein, yaadein

Duniya mein yun aana, duniya se yun jaana
Aao to le aana, jaao to de jaana

Yaadein, yaadein, yaadein


There are melodies and there are complaints,
There are stories and then there are words.

Words are forgotten,
What remain are… MEMORIES.

Memories are all that remain
After a beloved person has left us.

This life, dear people, is like the waters of the river
The water flows on, what stays behind are…


You come to this world and after some time, leave it.
When you come into this world, what you bring along with you...
And when you leave it, what you leave behind are…


Saturday, September 01, 2007

What a row

My good friend and I decided to go for a movie today. As we entered the semi-darkened hall, popcorn in hand, the usher guided us to our seats. “To the left, sixth row, first two seats from the aisle.”

As my friend and I walked down the stairs, I noticed that the row of seats to our left had just four seats in each row, as these were close to the left wall of the auditorium. My friend, who was a step ahead of me (Obviously! She wasn’t the one having to do a balancing trick with the popcorn paper bag which is always one size too small) walked to where our seats were and promptly seated herself in the seat next to the aisle.

“Hey, why don’t you occupy the next seat and I’ll take the aisle seat so that you won’t get disturbed every time someone walks by,” I said. Who said chivalry is a forgotten concept?

“No,” she replied promptly. “I’d much rather sit here, for you don’t know what kind of fellow occupies the seat next to us.”

“Suit yourself,” I shrugged and occupied the second seat from the aisle.

A minute later, two pretty looking young girls walk down to our row and gingerly walk past us to occupy the seats to my left.

“Thank YOU,” I whisper to my friend in glee. “You’re like my BEST FRIEND EVER..!” I promise her. My friend just chuckles at the stupid grin I have on my face.

~sigh~ Just too good to last, wasn’t it??

Not a minute has passed since I had showered praises on my friend when the sweet lady to my left turns around and asks me, “Err…what row is this? In fact, can I have a look at your ticket?”

Now, even before yours truly had an opportunity to enquire further into the nature of trouble that the pretty woman was having, and perhaps follow that concern with a friendly question of whether she and her friend would like to join me and my friend for lunch (which obviously would have ended in us having a great time together and realizing that we two shared the same interests and also that we thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company, et al…you get the picture, don’t you?), my friend decided to proceed and display to the world at large how well her kindergarten teacher had taught her the alphabets of the English language.

“Row F,” she said. “This is row F.”

“OH!” says pretty-lady-to-the-left and motions to her friend. They both get up and walk right past us and seat themselves in the row behind us.

"Brilliant," I muttered to myself. "Just brilliant!!"

My friend couldn’t control her laughter for two minutes running even as I sat fuming.

How rude is that???