Small Things#23 – Trier is the best!

Have you heard of the word Trier? Probably not! The word Trier is rarely used in conversations. Why? Because we are so obsessed with tags like ‘Winner’ or ‘Loser’ that ‘Trier’ has been pushed out into irrelevance.

The word got new perspective after watching the latest Hindi film ‘Chhichhore’ with family. The older one watched with interest while the little one cosily slept on papa’s lap.

‘Chhichhore’ like Aamir Khan’s ‘3 Idiots’ presents all shades of college life. It juxtaposes past and present of the main characters (team of losers in a hostel) to underscore the importance of trying. It is an emotional, fun film with a message that ‘Trying is more important than winning or losing’.

The older one got excited about the film and created a way to express the message (check the image above). And appreciation from his teacher was icing on the cake.

And it got me thinking – why is winning so important that trying does not count? What is wrong in losing? Losing is important for learning, right? And for experiencing life? Why do we push our kids harder and harder that life becomes nothing but a competition? Why don’t we simply say to our kids – Be A Trier instead of Be A Winner?

So many kids as well as adults would not take drastic steps like committing suicide or getting into drugs, if obsession with winning ends.

Not only kids, ‘being triers’ work for us too. It kind of reminds me of the powerful concept of Nishkama Karmayoga ie desire-less action!

I guess we should try working on ‘being a trier’ and then probably the word will find its way back to relevance and conversation.

Masala Dialogues of Hindi Films!

Mere paas ma hai! This morning, #Twitter is abuzz with ‘bhari bharkam’ cliched, melodramatic dialogues of Bollywood that were once created to inspire intense emotion, nostalgia and ardent admiration. But these days the audience get tickled and chuckle at the excesses! Replying to Tara Deshpande’s Tweet about sharing favorite Bollywood dialogues, #Twitterati reacted with enthusiasm. Sharing some of my all time favorites!

 

Those iconic dialogues are tadka of our masala films. Whistle, whistle and more whistles for these!!! Which is yours? (To read, what Twitterati has to say – go to @Tara_Deshpande

(Images courtesy Google)

Who cares for superstars when masses are celebs!

Who cares for Katrina Kaif’s rosy pout when the girl next door looks like a goddess in her digitally enhanced sun-kissed selfie? What is great about Arijit Singh’s renditions when the paanwala seems to sing better than him on StarMaker?

There is nothing exotic about filmy naach-gaana anymore when Indian marriage functions on YouTube present world class song and dance performances. Move away, Bachchans, Khans and Kapoors, for the glamour power is now in the hands of the masses! The public is rising again, this time, dismantling the carefully manicured images of film stars and seeing them as human beings rather than ruling gods.

Post independence, after the end of royalty in India, film stars slowly gained popularity and came to be worshipped owing to the heroics and glamour surrounding them. Their impenetrable, glittery and unapproachable aura made them rule hearts.

But today, surfeit of information about their life has stripped them of the glory. Every other person can abuse them on Twitter, judge their style sense on Instagram and form an opinion on their films and arts in a blog. They have become approachable and thus, very, very vulnerable! A popular saying in English holds so true here – ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’. The celebrities are so approachable and so deliciously dissect-able by anyone who wishes to do so.

And real stardom has been ceased by the masses – your crooning teenager or the dancing street urchin or the neighborhood shopkeeper or the average homemaker… everybody holds the power to stardom… all thanks to the revolution called – INTERNET.

The general public has apps that can make them beautiful and present their dancing, singing, acting, directing, creating… any talent on the world stage. Bloggers like us, who would have been secluded diary writers a few decades back, are now self published authors! It is a very curious age we are living in!

As of now, the masses are copying the celebrities but very soon originality will take over.

But the question I am interested in is – when each one of us becomes superstar, who would be the fan? Who would we look up-to? Who would be the new class of rulers? Seems like a riddle but for now, we are living a dream – where anyone from anywhere could be a star!

(Images courtesy Google)

Indian Beauties in Soap Ads

Soap advertisements (especially Lux) have showcased Indian beauties of all times in the most glamorous light. Here are a few of my favorite ones, who is your favourite Soap Beauty?

Ebullient Madhubala!

Elegant Waheeda Rehman

Stunning Suraiya

Charming Asha Parekh

Gorgeous Hema Malini

Sensuous Helen

Striking Saira Banu

Cute Tanuja

Mysterious Rekha

Beautiful Sridevi

Radiant Aishwarya

Charismatic Katrina

And of course, Desi Girl Priyanka Chopra!

(Images courtesy Google)

Listening to Sonu Nigam at Minneapolis concert!

PAGE-SANKARA-SONU-NIGAM-SAN-JOSE-CONCERT-03-DSC_0721Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin – when Sonu Nigam crooned this song at a concert in Minnesota, the crowd went still. The singer’s voice had an amazing melody and depth that soothed the over enthusiastic, frenzied crowd and made them listen, intently. Before the singer’s entry, the concert was average, where upcoming singers mostly performed on the latest, peppy Bollywood remixes, but he transformed it into something special. When he sang, it was clear, he did not need additional accompaniments, suggestive dance moves and props to spice up his performance, his voice had it all!

Even when not singing, his voice, carried the same melody. And he did miracles with his song – lifting, lowering, extending, shortening, pausing – unpredictable twists that made the audience respond with thunderous applause. At one point of time, during the concert, the audience went so overboard that they blocked the fire exit, the singer had to make a request to restore order. The security had a tough time containing the crowd who had come to listen to one of the most well loved singers in Bollywood.

Sonu Nigam and Neha Kakkar, the two biggies of Indian Music Industry, are currently performing in a number of cities in the US and Canada. And we had the good fortune of attending one of those concerts in Minneapolis on Saturday, with our lovely family friends. It was a night to remember in amazing company!

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Now talking about remix queen Neha Kakkar –  she definitely had the crowd eating out of her hand, as she wriggled and danced akin to Shakira, but was not melodious. She had a shrill and powerful voice, that entertained, but did not really touch the heart. It was her latkas and jhatkas that entertained more!

Coming back to Sonu Nigam, his dedication to music seemed real, palpable and fame seems to be just one part of it. Small wonder then that he has held his own for decades despite a crowd of eager, fresh singers striving in Bollywood and changes in music style. Plus the guy doesn’t seem to age at all! To my great joy, someone in the audience requested to sing ‘Bijuriya’, and he sang with an amazing alacrity, giving it a perfect end with the famous ‘Moonwalk’ step!

If you ask for my personal favourite from his bunch of songs that included – Suraj Hua Madham and Hans Mat Pagli, I would say the song mentioned in the opening line of this post – Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin. That song was sublime!

As I watched the singer’s performance, one thing seemed sure. He did not belong to that rising group of people, who do passable work for instant fame. Unfortunately, the ‘chalu’ type of work has invaded all arts across the world. Integrity, dedication and hard work increasingly replaced by quick something for social media fame. Thankfully, the singer seems to belong to a select, small group of people, who practice art for sake of art!

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I have been listening to Sonu Nigam’s songs right from my teenage years and have always liked him. But it was a different experience to hear him live. In between the songs, the singer paused and remarked – ‘when I’ll die, this song will be played for sure.’ And he sang – Har Ghadi Badal Rahi Hai Roop Zindagi from ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’. Well, none of us would like that to happen, ever. May he continue to enthrall us all with his soulful singing!

(First Two Images courtesy Google)

My Meetings with Film Actors

During my stint as a journalist, I had the pleasure to meet many bigwigs of Indian Film Industry. It was always fun to observe and analyze them in person. At that time, I had thought of putting all that in writing. Today, I have managed to write about some of those meetings. Read on!

Amitabh Bachchan ( Book Launch event) – He was charismatic, humble but closed. I saw Amitabh Bachchan, the hugely successful actor rather than Amitabh Bachchan, the person. It was difficult to see beyond his carefully polished demeanor – typical Libran trait! What was really nice about him was his gallant, charming manners. Considering his family background…it’s expected from him! But the most outstanding thing was the awe he inspired and the connect he had with crowd. Also, it appeared that he did not take success for granted. He seemed truly grateful for the overwhelming attention. Or was it all just an act?

Aamir Khan – He was the first celebrity we interviewed at our office. He had come to promote one of his films. And I was on cloud nine for the opportunity to interview him. Unlike Amitabh Bachchan, his personality was not amazing. He looked small and approachable. But what was really wonderful about him was intelligence. Nothing escaped his eyes as he scanned the studio and studied everything in detail. Some of our questions took him by surprise, but he maintained his composure. His focus was to promote his film and that was it. He smiled politely, talked gently and looked far younger than he was but…one got the feeling that he was a real tough guy. His brain was working overtime exploring opportunities while he exchanged pleasantries.

Kareena Kapoor – I met her during an event promoting a cosmetic brand. And what an event it was! She looked better in person than she looks onscreen. The first feeling I had on seeing her was that she really believed that she was a queen, destined to rule hearts. A wave here, a flutter there, reveling in adulation and admiration, but hungry for more. But one rude question from one of the journalists, rubbed her the wrong way. Her rouge stained red cheeks, colored even deeper, eyes flared and hair got tossed even more. She gave her piece of mind there and then. The best thing about her – She is always Kareena Kapoor no matter what! The event came to an end soon after as she left fuming.

Katrina Kaif – Well, when she entered the office for a film promotion, there was complete chaos. I saw gentlemen behaving like gully boys to catch a glimpse of the diva, who wore a business suit to perfection. She was beautiful undoubtedly and oh so, professional. The masque of professionalism never left her face. She hardly smiled and answered in a matter of fact way. Attention stayed on her looks and people had no interest in knowing the person.

Sanjay Dutt – What was striking about Sanjay Dutt was he had no pretenses about him. He was friendly and easy going. I really wondered why this non complicated looking person lived such a tumultuous life. Probably the upcoming biopic (Sanju, Ranbir Kapoor as Sanjay Dutt) would unravel some of the mysterious about him.

Vidya Balan – I did not met her directly but transcribed her uncut interview. She appeared wise, witty and intelligent. In those days, she was dealing with criticism over her figure and dress sense. And she still had to prove her acumen as an actress. Now that I see her, I think she has finally accepted her body type and developed her own dress style.

Kangana Ranaut – Again I did not meet her in person. But her uncut interview did make me think about her being quite flighty. Her answers were immature and vague. But now when I see her on TV, it is a huge transformation. Somewhere along her career, she has found her confidence and the courage to speak her mind.

I also met a lot many actors but not as famous as the above mentioned. And then there were quirky, fascinating authors too. Someday, I’ll write about them. Meanwhile, if you enjoyed reading kindly share the post.

Images courtesy Google

Sridevi – My Muse

When I was a kid, Sridevi was my favourite face. The actress was everywhere – on magazine covers, newspapers and advertisements. And how I loved to draw her! My sketchbook had a lot of rough sketches of the beauty. She was an artist’s dream with large vivacious eyes and gorgeous demeanor. Her sudden, accidental death by drowning has left all her admirers in deep shock. Now, after so many years, I sketch her one last time as a tribute to her. #RIP Sridevi