Tag Archives: SONIA GANDHI

NOW SERVING – SHAKESPEAREAN OMELETTE WITH INDIAN CHUTZPAH !

A successful director, a yet-to-prove-himself actor & a Kashmiri journalist as the script writer along with generous support from Shakespeare, have combined to create a critically acclaimed but controversial Bollywood flick – “Haider”.

“Haider” is an adaptation of the Shakespearean classic- Hamlet. Set in the militancy ridden Kashmir of the 1990s the plot has betrayal, love and revenge intricately woven together. Adapting it to Kashmir in a particular period is a challenge well met. Revolving around the revenge that the wronged son seeks for his father’s betrayal and death, from his uncle, the lead characters Shahid Kapoor (Hamlet), Tabu (Queen Gertrude), KK Menon (Uncle Claudius), Irrfan Khan (Ghost), Shraddha Kapoor (Ophelia) have rendered power packed and committed performances. The ability of Vishal Bharadwaj,the Director, to get the best out of the cast is amply showcased as well.

It’s a satisfying finale for Bharadwaj, as with “Haider”, he has successfully (commercially as well) completed his Triology on Shakespearean plays – Maqbool (Macbeth) & Omkara (Othello) being the other two.

“Haider” portrays the rigours of daily life in a strife torn Kashmir way back in the 90s.Its setting and the depiction of the Indian Army’s (IA) role in the conflict in light of the sequence of the destruction of the house while smoking out militants, alleged custodial disappearances as also the supposed torture methods has tended to portray the Army in a negative and controversial shade by the script writer,Basharat Peer.

Some have even lamented that the Indian government “imposed 41 cuts” on “Haider”, through the censor board. Well, 35 of those have been imposed by Bharadwaj himself for getting the length right!

I think the next project that these India baiters and conscience keepers should take up can be a flick on the strife torn areas under the Islamic State (IS), where they will be filming as embedded journalists (without bullet proof jackets- BPJs) and depicting the barbaric nature of the IS fighters and their excesses. The IS has kindly consented not to cut the film short through its censor board (unlike the Indian government!). Instead they have decided to cut a head from the production unit each time they find something objectionable. So, Basharat, Vishal & Shahid would you like to take this on? No censor board.Liberal enough, right?

And why no BPJs? Because the IS made up its own deficiency – so to hell with the film unit!

Okay I made a difficult offer. Why not film in Swat on the dangerous liaison between the ISI and the Taliban. An issue worth taking up( like the supposed excesses of the IA). FYI, Geo TV tried this and their license was withdrawn and offices ransacked ! So, game for it? No?…..Why? After all no censor board, just the Taliban and the ISI…AND YOUR LUCK!

By the way a word about the Pakistan Censor Board. They banned Ranjhana as it showed a love story between a Muslim girl and a Hindu boy (?)! Then they banned Khiladi 786 as the use of the number could hurt religious sentiments (??). Banned Chennai Express as it was against the business interests of the Pakistani film industry (???). And also Agent Vinod because…wait…well that wasn’t way off the target and their Indian counterparts should have done it for the sheer torture it inflicted on the audience!!!

I have a few themes in mind too.

To begin with, an Indianised Charlies Angels as “Subramaniam Swamy’s Angels” starring Jaylalita, “Madame ” Gandhi and our very own Mr Kejriwal.

Then “The Wolf of Raisina Hill” directed by Kapil Sibal designed to expose the guile and cunning of one man who has jettisoned the Grand Old Party into outer space.

Adaptation of “Hum aapke hain kaun” to have a climax in which the dog (as in the original) entrusted with handing over the letter of support from the Shiv Sena (Madhuri Dixit) to the BJP (Salman Khan) mistakenly hands it over to the NCP (Monish Behl).Unlike the original there would be no union between Madhuri & Salman but Monish will do all he can to keep Salman away …oops..confusion…to keep the Shiv Sena away!!!

Not too sure if these will pass the Censor scrutiny though.

The Amul ad/ topical on the movie Haider depicts a scene from the movie with a caricature depicting Shahid Kapoor’s character sitting in the snow with the Amul Girl filling in for Shraddha Kapoor’s character. The detailing is good with the protagonists being shown in the same attire as in the movie complete with the chequered kurtas ,the pink scarf, the umbrella and the facial resemblance.

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The Tag Line….Try with Haider Bread or Rotiis clever play on the ubiquitous acceptability of the Amul butter with any kind of bread or roti (flat bread)as well as on the name of the movie itself.

The Punch Line.. A Modern Day Classicis a subtle way of showcasing the quality of the Amul butter by using the expression that can best describe the cinematic effort that went into creating a critically acclaimed movie.

Lastly, to those who have felt aggrieved at the negative depiction of the IA, be rest assured it’s an institution with intrinsic strength and cannot be swayed by its depiction in a movie. The IA’s actions are there to speak for itself. It is one of the few armies which has not hesitated in taking the harshest actions against its own in order to right a wrong. In a conflict there are many situations when shades of grey emerge, but over time the IA has been able to discern through these too and made sure that its impartial and just image and ethics are upheld at all times.

By the way, the Lion King too was an adaptation of the “Hamlet” (Simba=Hamlet & Scar = evil uncle) and Lion King II…an adaptation of “Romeo & Juliet“!

Shakespearean omelettes always taste good and to make them better add some Chutzpah…yes you can..in India.Other places?Well…they may shoot first and that too to kill !!!

POST SCRIPT

3rd February 2015;In the recently announced 60th Filmfare Awards 2015 winners list saw the Bollywood movies ‘Queen’ and ‘Haider’ sweeping the field with a whopping six and five awards respectivley.

The Amul ad/topical on the Filmfare Awards shows the Amul Girl with the runaway winners of this year’s edition.It shows two caricatures depicting Shahid Kapoor in a tuxedo as he wore on the awards night and Kangana Ranaut in her famous “girl-next-door” attire in the movie “Queen”.They are both shown holding the “black lady” which they have won for the Best Actor and Best Actress roles respectively.

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The Tag Line is in the form of call out boxes with the Amul Girl making an overt attempt to let the readers know about the identity of winners in terms of the movies and the actors themselves.They translate into “Haider-tea is here” and “Kangana-have a bun”.

The Punch Line…Always in a Leading Roleis a take on the awards won by Shaid and Kangana for their leading rooles in the two movies  discussed above and once again subtly promotes the leading status of Amul Butter and the brand in general.

Queen is a 2014 Bollywood comedy-drama starring Kangana Ranaut and Lisa Haydon and Rajkumar Rao in supporting roles. It is directed by Vikas Bahl and produced by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane.

The plot revolves around Kangana playing the lead role as Rani, an under-confident girl who suffers as her fiancee calls off the wedding at the last moment.Shocked and hurt,Rani decides to proceed alone on her pre-arranged honeymoon.Here she rediscovers herself in the company of staranger.She eventually returns with her fears conquered and inner demons exorcised for good.The fiancee ,Vijay, also learns his lessons when he attempts to make amends.

The movie premiered at the Busan International Film Festival,had received wide critical acclaim for its unique story line,writing,direction and Kangana’s performance.Produced at a cost of Rs 12.5 crores it earned Rs 98 crores at the box office.Previously nominated in 13 categories at the Screen Awards it won three of them including Best Film and Best Director.At the Filmafare Awards 2015 the movie won six including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress for Kangana Ranaut,Best Editing, Best Cinematography and Best Background Score.

‘Haider’ was a close second with five awards including Best Actor for Shahid Kapoor , Best Actor in Supporting Role (Female) for Tabu, Best Actor in Supporting Role (Male) for KK Menon and also for Best Costume and Best Production Design.

The Filmfare Awards are the Oscar Awards equivalent for Bollywood and have had its share of controversies and ups and downs.These have been attacked for their poor or biased choices in the past but off late have been able to make justified choices more often than not.

ALL HAIL MARY KOM -THE UNBREAKABLE ‘BHARATIYA NARI’ VER 5.1.1.1

She was just 18 and was going to church on a Sunday. Wearing a traditional wraparound dress she took a rickshaw.Suddenly the rickshaw puller caught her hand and tried to molest her.A kick and a punch later he was lying flat on the ground.The girl had saved herself.And destiny had played its card to give India its future Boxing World Champion – MC Mary Kom aka Magnificent Mary!

Born in a poor tribal family of Manipur, Mangte Chungneijang (MC) took up  boxing after Dingko Singh’s gold at the 1998 Asian Games and adopted the name Mary (her deep faith in God) & Kom (tribal title).Practising punches late into the night, her goal was simple: to lift her family out of poverty and live up to her name.

Women’s boxing had not come off age in India in the 1990s & early 2000 when Mary took up the sport.From fighting poverty,facing her father’s ire for making an unconventional choice to over coming her disadvantage of height and reach she braved it all and eventually came out on top.Mary was a multiple World Champion by 2006.Mary then gave birth to twin boys and took a two year break to raise them.Against all odds she once again won the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in 2008 & 2010 and a Bronze at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. 

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Now the five time World Champion set her eyes on an Olympic berth and was the lone Indian woman boxer for the London Olympics 2012 where the sport was making its debut.Mary Kom won the Bronze and was the lone Indian boxer to win a medal.The fact that she was a mother of two only enhanced her reputation and people recognised the sacrifices the “super mom” had had to make to achieve her dreams.

Amul commemorated the feat with a fitting and odious ad depicting Mary Kom’s medal winning feat and her twins shown playing with the medal.

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Taking a break and giving birth to her third child Mary soon went off the boxing map.In 2014 the sport made its debut at the Glasgow Common Wealth Games (CWG) and making a comeback Mary  lost to Pinky Jangra in the trials who went on to win the Bronze at Glasgow.

The daggers were out and the critics had written off Mary and some had even grudged her for promoting the biopic ‘Mary Kom’.In the final round of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games trials “the comeback girl ” once again fought Pinky Jangra.And Won!And the rest is history.

At Incheon Mary won the first ever Gold medal for an Indian women boxer at the Asian Games in a closely fought Fly Weight final. The legend of Mary Kom just got bigger- the Super Mom had now become the Unbreakable Wonder Woman.

This is where I come in with some hard facts.

A word of caution for the boyfriends of the MC Mary Kom Boxing Academy graduates- while on a date please carry head guard, gum shields, abdominal guard for the family jewels, insurance papers and a slip giving out whom to inform if found knocked out! And yes maintain distance- outside hooking range-when getting too mushy!

Amitabh Bachchan (Big B) will now need to be approached for re-shooting the famous song “Mere Angne Mein Tumhara Kya Kaam Hai” which extols the virtue of various kinds of wives – “Jiski Biwi Lambi,.Patli..Choti…” (tall,slim,short) – to add “Jiski Biwi Boxer…. uska kamre mein kya kaam hai”- obviously its better to sleep in another room than getting punched for snoring or for changing the TV channel without warning!

Infact with a “Boxer” wife most in-laws related issues are also likely to be resolved “amicably”.

I was wondering that its a good way to resolve political rivalries too.Boxing requires same height -weight opponents.So the line up for the marquee fights in the Indian Pollitics Boxing League for Women could be Jayalalita versus Mayawati, Sushma Swaraj versus Mamata Di, Uma Bharti versus Vasundhra Raje & Sonia Gandhi versus Aambika Soni.

Since Jayalalitha is jailed she can be matched up with Om Prakash Chautala as well (Learning of the prospect Mr Chautala immediately sought bail). For same “political corner” opponents, Arvind Kejriwal shall refer the bout , this way the opponents can atleast punch the referee and avoid a no contest!  And to resolve disputes the adjudicator shall be Suresh Kalmadi, for his impeccable record of integrity.

Coming to the Amul ad/ topical on Mary Kom.It depicts the release of the biopic ‘Mary Kom’.The scene is a take on a poster of the movie showing Priyanka Chopra (PC) as Mary Kom, attired in a similar sports gear and throwing a punch.The Amul Girl is shown as a second or a sparring partner holding the punching bag and wearing protective gear .The movie has been critically acclaimed and is aSanjay Leela Bhansali production, directed by Omung Kumar.

The Tag Line…Kombatant !… is a play on the name of MC Mary Kom and is a fitting expression for the boxer who has had to combat many a odd to reach the pinnacle of her sport.It also doubles up for denoting a fighter, which all boxers are.

The Punch Line..Everybody’s Favourite Box..is a subtle hint for the not so discerning that the strip is about a Boxer and ofcourse endorses the primma donna status of the Amul Butter as being the favourite butter box for all!

Before I sign off.A word for the “home minister” Onkohler-Mary Kom’s husband- Keep up the good work and you are as much an inspiration as your wife!!!

Lastly,Alia Bhatt should represent India in boxing to avoid Sarita Devi type judging and refereeing controversies.A walkover is a better option for her opponents – better than being alone with her for four rounds!!!! 

And my title is tribute to the unbreakable spirit of Mary Kom who has recast the image of a “Bharatiya Nari”.

The ver 5.1.1.1 – 5 World Championships, 1 Olympic Bronze Medal & 1 Asian Games Bronze & Gold Medal each!

The movie needs a sequel…2016 Olympics…Mary Kom…Gold! A PERFECT HAPPY ENDING!!!!

 

PAPA KEHTE HAIN PAPPU BADA NAAM KAREGA !

Once Rahul Gandhi had been seen as the future of a youthful India & his 129 year old Indian National Congress (INC) Party.Soon,he led his party to disaster at the hustings and mutated from the biggest hope to the biggest dope -aka Pappu! To compound issues, he was found sleeping through (oh so blissfully) a heated debate being led by his Party men on the Railway Budget to corner the Narendra Modi led NDA government.

Wwy would Rahul Gandhi ,the designated “Gladiator” of the Congress Party ,doze off in parliament & expose himself to the daggers & sarcastic barbs of his rivals?How could be he so dumb?Did it happen?

The answer to all of this is a big & hilarious – YES!..and it happened while he was sitting right behind the party colleague making an impassioned case against the government! Rahul probably emulated a certain Arvind Kejriwal, that it pays to be in the news,somehow, for good or bad reasons.So he conjured a controversy! This is sacrifice in the best Indian traditions.He sacrificed himself for the Party as otherwise who would notice the 44 seat rump of the INC in a humongous 544 seat Indian Parliament. Mommy Sonia Gandhi, of Italian ascent, had sacrificed the Prime Ministership in return for a zero accountability position as the Puppeteer in the UPA dispensation headed by a mute puppet named Manmohan Singh!!!

Rahul Gandhi probably slept to escape the misery of his actual life.In his dreams “impossible is nothing”.

He dreamt that his mother had finally allowed him to chase his ambition..of being a gardener in the Parliament lawns…in a dhoti & gamcha and his Venezuelan girlfriend bringing him a spartan meal of chapatis & onion (what else would a gardner eat after the UPA government’s legacy of price rise!). He also found the secret of dealing with his nightmare Arnab Goswami, hidden in jack fruit ! In his dream, uncle Manmohan had a tongue & it was recovered from the deepest vaults of the kingdom of Psycho-fancia, ruled by an evil Queen (any guesses?). Furthermore, uncle Digvijay Singh is seen having a zip lock on his mouth which is configured to open in 9999 AD.

But in his dream he still had his bad moments.He dreamt that he was plucked from his gardening pursuits by a Robert Vadra when the latter bought the garden to develop a Pub!

Where’s sister Priyanka Gandhi?She was still campaigning in Rae Bareilly & Amethi & exhorting the people to vote out (!) her brother & mother!

How did things come to such a pass for the Gandhi scion that from “Shehzada (Crown Prince)” he transformed into “Pappu” – a disrespectful sobriquet used to describe a juvenile & incompetent nincompoop! Even the Amul ad line had earleir captured the euphoria surrounding his elevation to the post of INC Vice President and the possibility of being named as his Party’s Prime Ministerial candidate.

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Rahul turned out to be a “dud” largely on the back of his bizarre actions.In an effort to connect with the people & their distaste for a controversial government ordnance, Rahul tore the document in a press conference which had been promulgated by his lParty’s PM nominee.This immature behaviour was compounded by his inability to articulate a coherent response to his Party’s defeat in the Delhi Assembly and stressed by his confused choice of words.He gradually lost ground when he refused to take on the BJP & NDA Prime Ministerial candidate,Narendra Modi, in the build up to the elections.As the campaign progressed in comparison to a stuttering Rahul, Modi emerged better prepared,organised & focussed.

The final nail in the coffin was the interview with a famous & aggressive TV presenter,Arnab Goswammy,known for unsettling his guests.In the interview Rahul Gandhi failed to present any substantial views and vision for an emerging India.It was as if Rahul knew the questions to be asked…but it seems the interviewer changed the order & Rahul still answered in a prepared sequence! It was an unmitigated disaster and Rahul came out battered & bruised from the his first ever interview in 10 years.(Sometimes it is better to stay quiet and let the world think…we know the rest!!)Whereas Narendra Modi emerged stronger and aggressive from the same bed of burning coal in another interview with Goswamy.

These and many more incidents cemented the opinion in the country that Rahul Gandhi was just a famous name & possessed none of the abilities of his illustrious family members (Jawahar Lal Nehru,Indira Gandhi,Rajiv Gandhi). He was a political novice in the tumultuous cauldron of Indian Politics and brought nothing worthwhile to the table and was’nt coming up to the expectations of his family and party members

For his immaturity,juvenile behaviour & lack of initiation into politics in spite of 10 years in the arena he earned the sobriquet “Pappu” on the social media & his reputation was ripped & tattered mercilessly day in and day out in a net savvy India.

The featured Amul Strip is amazing to the last detail as it depictis Parliament benches and a sleeping Rahul Gandhi falling over to his right and in the spot light (denoting live TV coverage) while the Amul Girl attired in a combination symbolic of Indian politicians is making a sincere effort in a debate replete with a clutch of notes and has a bewildered and aghast expression while attempting to wake up the Party leader!!!

The Tag Line...Duty Sleep?… is a question asked (almost rebuking) and a catchy spin on the concept of sleep working towards enhancing the beauty and complexion of a person as also a pun intended on the fact that the Gandhi scion was sleeping in Parliament when he should be participating in debates and discharging his responsibilities & duties as a political leader.

The Punch Line is simplistic and simply exhorts Rahul Gandhi to wake up literally and figuratively as well as endorses the Amul Butter by exhorting the readers to wake up to its superior taste and quality and to adopt it as brand of choice.

As I sign out,Rahul Gandhi has done it again.While responding to a visual of Narendra Modi playing drums (dhol) during his Japan visit.Visiting a parliamentary constituency bereft of electricity and basic facilities he quipped to the media (as if alluding to a burning Rome & Nero) that while the backward constituency languishes, the Prime Minister is busy playing the “dhol”.It would have been a perfect sound byte by an opposition politician but for the small detail that the constituency in question was Amethi – represented by Rahul himself since 2004 (!!!!Time to wake up Pappu!!!)and which has been represented by his father and uncle since the 1980s!So how is Modi guilty?????

While this goes to print it is reliably learnt that Congressmen have secretly requisitioned the services of Leonardo di Caprio to carry out Inception in the dreamy and drowsy head of “Pappu” – to convince him to take a solo voyage to the Bermuda Triangle!

But has anyone ever made it back from the Bermuda Triangle??????