Gulaal— The Review

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Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream

Anurag Kashyap evidently does not share Longfellow’s aversion for ultra-pessimism. Which is why his movies are usually “Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hain” and “Pyar bhi jhoota yaar bhi jhoota” monuments to doom, gloom. betrayal and death.  A certain demographic worships Kashyap for this fashionable “angsty-ness” as it contrasts sharply with the mainstream “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” everything-will-fall-into-place-as-per-Yash-Chopra’s supreme plan kind of escapism. However what Kashyap’s nihilism does is that it makes him predictable—- you know more or less as to how the story arcs are going to end.

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Hum Paanch

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The story going the rounds is that Shahrukh Khan was cooking when John Buchanan, accompanied by Gayle, Mccullum, Hodge and Ganguly came in and said “Look Master what have we brought.”

Shahrukh Khan, too busy with the stew, did not turn around and just said share whatever you have between you.

Then he glanced back and saw that John Buchanan was standing with the “captaincy” golden helmet with him.

And so it came to pass that Kolkata Knight Riders had 5 captains. This is also the reason why rivals would taunt KKR by calling her  “Paanch patiyowaali”.

This story would have become true (kind of) had Buchanan been allowed to have his way.

That however with SRK’s latest pronouncement (at the time of writing) is not so sure right now.

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The New London

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March, Year of the Lord 2009. [Link]

“If Trinamool Congress comes to power, we’ll show what is called development. Tell me why East Midnapore’s vast coastline, Digha, cannot be turned into Goa? Or northern Bengal cannot be developed like Asia’s Switzerland, when we’ve all resources available in these regions?” Mamata told a press conference in Kolkata.

“Kolkata is an international place and it will be transformed into London, if Trinamool Congress comes to power,” added Mamata.

March, Year of the Lord 2013.

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What Goes Around

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In the famous movie “Bhairav”, Prabhuji Mithun-da plays “double M. Com” “amazingly bhola” Shankar who metamorphoses into ruthless vigilante Bhairav in order to punish three women who falsely implicated him in a murder so as to get themselves off the hook (One of them had accidentally pushed the villain down the steps of a shopping mall after he had tried to molest all three of them at the same time. When the police came, they protected themselves by blaming it on an arbitrary person Shankar, whose admit card to the CA exam, they discovered lying around at the scene of the crime.)

After seven years in jail and after his family is wiped out by a big chocolate bomb, Bhairav comes back for baadlaa. The first girl he seduces and sends to a hotel while he goes to buy her wedding dress. But instead he calls the cops and gets her arrested as a call-girl. He barges into the wedding of the second and pretends to be her abandoned husband, thus also ruining her life. For the third woman (who actually committed the murder albeit accidentally) he disguises himself as her husband, gets her to make the obvious mistake and gets photographic evidence of her kissing him.

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Reversal of Fortune

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The cliche of the old Hindi movie weepies was that of the tartar mother-in-law making the life of the bahu miserable. Of late that stereotype has been turned on its head by a new Saas-bahu formula where it is mostly the scheming bahu who humiliates and dispossesses the saans (maybe the serial-makers have figured out that more saans-es are watching their stuff than bahus) and the husband’s family rather than the other way round.

In the political scene, there has been a similar reversal of fortune over the last few decades. Where once regional parties were treated with condescension and contempt by the national parties, now it is the small local players at whose door the national parties have to stand, plate in hand, for left-overs. Be it Naveen Patnaik giving a tamacha to the BJP or Laloo and Mamata entering into seat-sharing alliances humiliating for the Congress, the writing is clear on the wall—-the “national parties” are national only in name with the real power resting in the hands of small regional power-brokers.

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Ab Kya Missile Doon

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Dinga Dinga Dinga Dinga Dinga Dinga Dinga Dinga Dee !

So finally our great Mujahideen-turned-Pakistani-intellectual Hamid-bhai has been vindicated!

The Zionist-Hindu axis responsible for Tsunami, Mumbai 26/11 and other assorted acts of malfeasance has finally stepped out from the shadowy backrooms into the spotlight. And they have done so in the most sensationally uplifting “Jai Ho” style possible.

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The Best Indian ODI Batting Lineup ?

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Sachin Tendulkar says that the current team is definitely the best batting lineup he has ever been part of (and boy has he been part of several).

Though it very well might be an off-the-cuff remark made by Sachin Tendulkar without serious deliberation, something that is only to be expected after a glorious display of raw batting prowess from himself and the team, it is the kind of statement that starts off a generational battle between the old-timers and the young guns and leads to much impassioned activity on bulletin boards and Orkut communities.

As a not-very-objective sentimental old-timer myself, my first reaction was one of “Really?”Surely a batting line-up that had the Sachin of old, Sourav, Dravid, Azharuddin, Jadeja sounds much more formidable than the one of today. The Sachin of today, with still the ability to bring a ODI 150 out of his bag, is not a spot on the Sachin of yore. Sehwag it may be argued is the new Sachin but there still will always be a difference in class and reliability. Which leaves Gambhir, Yuvraj, Raina on one side and Dravid, Sourav and Azhar on the other and a person-by-person comparison between the two, in terms of achievement and reputation, is a rather damning win in favor of the oldies.

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In the Future

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Commentator 1: Welcome to the first game of the Kalashnikov cricket World Cup, 2015 brought live by the Lashkar e Toiba, who proudly tell you to “Live and LET die”. We are at the Kasab stadium in Karachi and the atmosphere I have to say is just electric.

Commentator 2: Who would have thought that after the whole world stopped touring Pakistan on the basis of some unfortunate minor incidents involving players from Sri Lanka in 2009 that we would be hosting an event like this—the World Cup? Of course India, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Australia, England, South Africa have declined to come and the ICC has refused to recognize this as a World Cup. Just like the world refuses to recognize what our textbooks tell us—that we defeated the Indian army totally in the 1971 Bangladesh war and that India is responsible for terrorist attacks in Pakistan and that India is a failed state. But really who cares what they say? It is the World Cup if the avaam say so.

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The Question of Compensation

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One of the simplest ways of explaining to people why they and their successive generations have been saddled by the biggest credit card debt in human history is to just shake one’s head preacher style and say “Human greed”—-greedy black suits on Wall Street and dumb-ass investors hoping to make thousands on the back of the housing boom essentially gambled away your grandson’s college fund while everyone from Manhattan to Washington DC, being in on the take, looked the other way.

This explanation is comforting mainly because it is simple and understandable while at the same time by and large true.

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