Saturday, September 23, 2006

The guy's not bad

Never thought I would write that about someone from the Deol family.
Abhay Deol has talent. Not in bucketfulls, as is quite evident in the case of Abhishek B, but compared to Dino Morea and Emraan Hashmi, he is simply divine. And its refreshing to see him not waste himself in the "Kutte / Kamine" roles popularised by his uncle and cousins, but tread off the beaten path in "Socha Na Tha" as well as "Ahista Ahista". Maybe no one is offering him those "dhai kilo ki haath" roles in the first place (its heard that Bobby D is not getting any for sometime), but lets give him the benefit of doubt, shall we?
Its also helped, that the scripts of these two movies did not have anything expect their lead actors. The story was simple in the case of the first one, almost bordering on ludicrous in the second. But to see Abhay D trying so hard to fit into the roles of regular guys makes you glad. And just compare this with say, Shahrukh trying to be an average jerk in KANK, with a footballer demigod past !!!
Then maybe I am just biased with "Socha Na Tha". I remember recommending the movie to countless friends. Its definitely not pathbreaking like "Munna Bhai MBBS" or even "Dil Chahta Hai". But it shows clearly what a simple idea with honest execution can do, when the lead pair is concentrating on their character in the first place rather than trying to look too cute. The film is surprisingly good even on the second viewing and has a number of endearing moments. Abhay D fits like a glove to his role of a confused 24 year old who is out of his depth in most matters of his life including career, love, marriage, family etc. And to his credit, the guy makes it looks effortless.
Its that spark in Abhay which made me watch his second movie. "Ahista Ahista" starts of with a much more serious premise and Abhay's character is quite complex for a Hindi Movie hero. And this is a movie trying so desperately to be different that it bores the audience to death. The director (the same one as the earlier movie) loses the plot mid-way and the music director (the unwashed denim jacket guy again) loses his head with that soul searching "Love You Unconditionally", but in the middle of all this mayhem, Abhay D steals your heart with his honest attempt to essay a role, which would have been a challenge to anyone.
Too bad no one else saw the movie.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Father to Son

About twice a week, my kid wakes up crying in the middle of the night from what we (knowledgeable adults that we are) think are nightmares. Coming to think of it, what could be a typical nightmare for a two and a half year old? Some evil uncle stealing his favorite pink crayon? The horrible cablewallahs taking POGO off the air? The battery running out in his new car?

Whatever they are, the "nightmares" seem to occur with pin-point accuracy, at a gap of 3-4 days, around 2:30 am and the reaction persists for about 10-15 seconds. Why do I know so much about it? Because I remember waking up before it occurs at every instance. Its almost as if I knew it was coming.

Yeah, I know, there are myriad explanations ... It happens every night, I only remember the ones which I have seen, I sleep through the others etc. But what is curiouser in this respect, that my wife hardly remembers any such event. Which means, I can proclaim that there is this strange psychological tie that exists between me and my kid which results in my mind anticipating his nightmare and waking me up to comfort him. Heh ! Sounds crappy to even myself.

However, this is the best I can do to show that, I have been a valuable part of my kid's life. The bugger does not of course give any such indication. He seems to consider his dad as a minor irritant at most times - The person who joins up with mom to bother him with such brainless tasks as eating, drinking water and sleeping, while all he wants to do is to determine just how much impact stress mom's watch is going to handle before it reveals its operating mechanism - The slightly weird guy who insists on talking to him in English, when he speaks to his mom in bengali - The one who tries to be cool by watching the Cartoon channels but gives himself away by watching the wrong toons!

This does not mean that I am royally ignored by my kid (at least not always). He knows which results are better achieved with dad rather than risking a stern stare from mom. The ones involving banging his tri-cycle against walls and running over dolls, watching silly men beating each other sillier @ WWF, bouncing and balancing books on top of each other to figure out complicated torsional characteristics etc. Sometimes I almost get the honored place of a junior accomplice in his wicked scheme of things. But that is usually short-lived, the spell broken by the mom entering the room with yet another meal. This usually involves a lot of running away / catching up and severe feigned illness, in which dad's role is somewhat ambiguous.

So you see, trying to justify the importance of your existence in your kid's life can be terribly "trying" at most times. And the ridiculous thing is that, you want it so desperately ! Sigh ! I am sure our parents never fell into this trap.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

All you wanted to know about books ...

...... and then wondered why?

The title is self-explanatory. I have been tagged by our resident gushy parent. I am sure the world looks just like Calvin & Hobbes' very last panel to him just now.

Later on he would notice that this singular feeling is caused simply by sleep deprivation. Ecstasy and cocaine are said to have the same effects, but then what would I know?

And no, I am not trying to be more cynical than I actually am. It’s only that reality has a habit of creeping up on you when you least expect. Maybe, tomorrow.

Anyways, here it is. I am sure millions would be just dying to know this.

One Book That Changed Your Life

Catch-22. Before reading this, I used to think only I find the world warped. After going through this, I realized its more warped than I thought.

The Book You Have Read More Than Once

The entire “A Song of Ice and Fire” series by George RR Martin. Albeit, encouraged by the fact that countless maniacs at the Westeros forum were doing the same. It was worth it. Firstly, I figured out a lot of things which I missed on the first read. And more importantly, it reinforced my belief that, Martin is simply the best pure fantasy writer, ever.

The Book You Would Want On A Desert Island

The complete Asterix collection, which I threaten to buy at every Crosswords sale. However, only end up buying such important and character building specimens as, ABC with Animals, Shapes and Colours, 32 vegetables/vehicles/fruits/birds etc. See how serious I am about parenting?

One Book That Made You Laugh

Practically all of Terry Pratchett. Mostly his Night Watch / Death books.

One Book That Made You Cry

Mammaries of the Welfare State. Why oh why, Mr. Chatterjee?

One Book That You Wish You Had Written

Mahabharat. All those pre-marital and post-marital affairs and kinky sex, mmmm. Some experiential learning would have also helped quite significantly.

One Book You Wish Had Never Been Written

The autobiography of Natwar Singh. I mean, who cares?

What? That has not been written till now? I am sure its on the cards.

One Book You Are Currently Reading

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Yeah, somehow never managed to till now.

One Book You Have Been Meaning To Read

The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay. The guy comes heavily recommended.

For those who are with me till now and have not died of boredom, here are the goodies ... two free sites for reading SFF stories on the net.

Baen's Free Library

Free Speculative Fiction Database

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Legend of BCFS

This one is a private joke written at the request of Dipta, so please excuse.

A long, long time ago... I can still remember.
How the morning fag used to make my life.
And I knew if I didn’t have my fag.
I might as well be packed in a body-bag.
And delivered to the doctor with the knife.

But Jampot made me shudder,
With freaky cold that freezes your bladder.
Needed that fag more than ever;
Hoped Dadu’s gonna do me that favour.

So I can’t remember if I was surprised,
Or did it hurt my wounded pride
When the smoke to me was denied
The day FAGSTEAL arrived.

So bye-bye, GF Kings good-bye.
Should have shouted then,
But the damn throat was dry.
After whole night of drinkin’ whiskey and rye
The stolen smoke burning in my eye
And the smoke stealer always nearby.

Why didn’t I deliver a kick backside?
Why didn’t I strip his fucking hide?
Why did I bloody just let him go?
Oh, I do believe that it was fate.
Though none of us then would have taken the bet,
In hindsight, that’s how life’s meant to flow.

Now the whole world’s in love with him.
`Cause they are of course, oh so dim,
They love those borrowed reviews.
Why only we are so bemused?

Now we can only watch awestruck.
While Big Chief FAGSTEAL runs amuck.
Should have known we were out of luck.
The day FAGSTEAL arrived.

We started singin',
So bye-bye, GF Kings good-bye.
Should have shouted then,
But the damn throat was dry.
After whole night of drinkin’ whiskey and rye
The stolen smoke burning in my eye
And the smoke stealer always nearby.

We started singin' .... we started singin' ....

Inspired shamelessly from Weird Al Yankovic's "The Saga Begins". Lyrics here.