A Walk Through Jadavpur University


Getting out of a numbered parking lot (essentially places in the dirt under trees with signs) in Jadavpur University, my old “alu matar”, I immediately had a knot in my stomach. It was then I told myself “No silly, you dont have a class test today. That was eleven years ago.” Conditioned reflex. I tell you.

The last time I had been here at Jadavpur University had been 1999. Salman was seeing Aishwarya, Buddhadeb was still considered a Communist and Azharuddin was our knight-in-shining armor idol. So yes I was anticipating a whole lot of changes.

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Kolkata May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss Roundup


On March 19th, in Elgin Road Crossword, May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss had its Kolkata launch event. With Bipasa Basu’s alma mater nearby, one could not but feel overwhelmed by the intellectual shadow cast by memories of her presence, in the same manner that one is overawed when in Shantiniketan. Helmed by Rimi Chatterjee, the event went off excellently with attendance being so considerable that the manager of Crossword said she had not seen such a crowd for a book event in that store. Ever. Not the kind of crowd seen at one of Bipasha Basu’s “Beeri Jalaile” lit-events on New Year’s Eve but still quite good.

Questions were varied and interesting with my favorite being “Why are Bengali men so bad at approaching women?”  Now I dont know when I became the expert on analyzing the pick-up techniques of Bengali men, but my answer was on the lines of “Bengali men are mortally afraid of being rejected. Hence they find it tough to start a business or approach women.” What I didnt mention was that Bengali men also lack good pick-up lines since “Why don’t we go to my place, say Hello to my mum and have some lau-sukto?” somehow have stopped working in recent times. [Telegraph coverage of event, (HT also covered the event but HT Cal doesnt go online)]

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Love Sex Aur Dhoka—the Review


Voyeurism and modern society’s obsessive interest in the lives of others has been a recurrent theme in cinema, having been explored in classics like Blow Up and Rear Window as well as in countless trashy exploitation flicks from Sharon Stone’s Basic Instinct knock-off Sliver to Navina Cinema’s eternal favorite Bedroom Eyes since it provides an opportunity to insert sequences of women undressing as part of the plot.  Handicam “reality” footage, a technique inspired by cinema verite, has also been extensively used in many Hollywood blockbusters in recent times—Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield and last year’s sleeper hit Paranormal Activity. And episodic movies with interleaving story lines as an alternative narrative structure has been flogged to death recently by both Hollywood as well as Bollywood.

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UV Radiation


IPL 3.0 really came to life in the match between Chennai Sooperr Kings and King’s macho XI when Yuvraj Singh, the prince with a paunch, reverse-swept Murali for four, took the smile off the face of Chennai’s sexiest cheer-leader Krishnamachari Srikkanth and then shouted to the world, like a raging bull in full cry,  “Today I am finally getting some !!!”  while in the background, lesser lights like Chawla were seen asking, with an earnestness bordering on sadness— “Aur mere liye?”

It’s this kind of  Nityananda “entertainment ka baap” moments that we want from IPL —-not things like Murali Katrik using loop and flight to prevent Dravid from going inside-out kind of crickety stuff.

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A Royal Pasting


It was somewhere around the fourteenth over that “Bad” Hodge walked up to Dada and said, ” This pitch is getting real slow. I think if I stick around till the end, we can get 135. That will be a winning score here.”

Dada, struggling himself like an old Dadu searching for his dentures in the dark, replied “What the eff are you saying? The opposition has already scored 168 runs. We are chasing, not setting a target. Don’t tell me that’s why you have been batting like this for so long.”

Hodge ran his hands through his graying hair. “Bloody hell, mate I think I am playing the wrong match. I must have forgotten my London ki goliyaan again. Uiii Maaaaa main kitna Baad hoon…”

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May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss Kolkata Event


The “May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss” launch event in Kolkata is on March 19th at 6:30 at Crossword Elgin Road near to the place (Bhowanipore College) where Bipasa Basu studied. I will be in conversation with Rimi Chatterjee . Please feel free to attend and bring along a friend or two. And no need to RSVP as per above poster.

On March 21st, at Cafe Coffee Day (CCD), Park Street at 4 pm, I want to do a blogmeet/tweetup/ where as promised before, the interactions will be of a more “personal” nature (interpret that as you wish). Originally my plan was to do it at T3 but it seems T3 has closed down. To coordinate, my cell number is 8981122343. [Map here]

Chennai Uncle Massage


Rohan Rohan,
Yes Papa?
Bowling over?
No Papa.
Scoring runs?
No Papa.
Open your mouth and have some mishti doi.

Kolkata Knight Riders had been on a winning spree. That is a state of being as unstable as a supersaturated solution and it was only inevitable that just like IPL 1.0, the KKR would have its juggernaut brought to a screaming halt.

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A Visit To Eden Gardens


There were three huge notices on the top of Gate No 9. One was the ICC’s anti-racism statement. One was a picture of Ajit Agarkar having an expression of pure terror on his face, as if he had just came face to face with his doppleganger. And the third was a statement as to how seriously the IPL took ambush advertising and what horrible things would happen to people who bought in an ad for a competing product.  Considering the different rights the IPL authorities wished to impose on the paying public, as codified on the back of the ticket (They own the images of people in the stadium, audience members are not allowed to take pictures, the IPL is not liable for any damages etc) I think from next year they should put up another notice saying that they own the organs of people entering the stadium and have the right to remove a kidney anytime they wish.

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The Show Gets On The Road


Watching Extraa Innings without Mandira Bedi’s comforting presence and sharp cricketing knowledge is akin to experiencing spring without the koel bird, or more accurately a nuclear holocaust without radiation burns. Which is why when I saw Sameer Kochchar, the star of new-age movies like Bold and the international sleeper hit Ek Se Mera Kya Hoga (reportedly Shane Warne’s favorite flick), I felt a tightening of my neck muscles. Perceiving Navjyot Sidhu, the Adolf Eichmann of the English language, sitting next to him did nothing to lessen my sense of dread till presently my eyes alighted on the third person in the room, Arun Lal. He was looking serene and peaceful, almost like I imagined Lord Buddha, verily a teardrop on the cheek of time, dispensing zen-like knowledge as is his wont. It was then, especially when Sidhu and Arun Lal started getting into banter about pulling down trousers, that I could relax on my sofa. All waz well.

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Shuru Ho Gaya Mamu


Driving in from Netaji Subhash airport to South Calcutta, in between posters of Konkona advertising real-estate, my eyes were assailed by gigantic cut-outs of the great King Khan, wearing KKR’s new purple jersey (tough luck to all the suckers who spent moolah buying their black jerseys), cut out of the same lingerie cloth as their old uniform but with a kinkier color, having the suitably pithy slogan “Luck De” (which I initially read as “Lick De”). Suitably seduced, I leaned back, closed my eyes and thought to myself—-Oh to be in India now that IPL is here. Front page of newspapers replaced by a gigantic advertisement for the tournament. IPL countdown clocks on every channel.The stench of money, greed and cheap thrills.

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