The first time I moved in my life was when I left Calcutta to come to the US to do my PhD, having spent almost all of my life in the same house in the same city. I know I should have been sad, leaving home and family, but I was not . I was excited, deliriously so, for I was looking forward to staying on my own, of not having to answer to a million watchful eyes, of breaking free of a strait jacketed Bengali middle class upbringing, and at the very least, for not having to hide my Pamela Anderson pictures in the C-prog-files directory renamed as P0001.dat.
1. D Arcy Short: Not only won’t he score runs, he will run you out if you try to.
2. Gambhir: Seen better times, now fallen on dark days. Bengal’s jute factories.
3. Maxwell: Used to play well under UPA, now destroyed by intolerance.
4. Yuvraj Singh: Looked grumpy throughout, whether it be on the field or on the bench. There are bad times and then there are worse times and then there are times when Manoj Tiwary takes your place.
5. Stokes: When they called him today’s Flintoff, they weren’t off the mark. Ties with Flintoff and Lord Clive as the Britishers who took the most of Indian resources and gave the least in return.
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Sitting in the middle benches where the chemistry teacher does not look, as he drones on like the ancient fan overhead , on the arcane art of balancing equations, and sweat drips down the side of his forehead, you look outside, through the window at the burnt sky, and imagine.
You imagine cricket. You imagine hitting sixes of the kind that only a young boys mind may think of, packed houses calling out your name, you imagine swiveling, dancing out, hooking, pulling, playing the game with the boring parts rubbed out.
ABDV lived that imagination. The kind of batting that should not be and yet was, domination of not only of the full 360 degree of scoring, but also of the full 360 of batting, equally at ease scoring 90 off 45 balls and 45 off 90 overs, equally comfortable at Cuttack and Perth, subtle one moment and the beast the next.
Was he the greatest all game batsman of the modern era? I don’t know but I do know he was the nicest, he was not only the one that you wanted to be, but the one that you should be, who played the game the way it should be played, hard but without rancor, confident yet without arrogance.
Goodnight ABDV. Goodbye old summer dreams.
Tu Chahat Hai
If Side A began with Rahul Roy so must Side B. That is the law.
According to legend, the Roy signed 47 films in just 11 days after Aashiqui (link), in the way a frog lays eggs, and so it was only natural that the 90s would be flooded with his tadpoles.
One such Roy classic is Pyaar Ka Saaya. Pronounced by Bengalis as Pyar ka Shaaya (The Love Petticoat), was a rip off from “Ghost”, with Patrick Swayze replaced by Rahul Roy, Whoopie Goldberg by Amrita Singh, and Demi Moore by Sheeba. If Amish has popularized Shiva in the 2010s, Sheeba popularized Niramish (non-vegetarian) in the 1990s. While I am fine with you judging me for it, I was a fan to the extent that I tolerated Ravi Behl in “Boyfriend” just for her, was possibly the only person in the world who saw “Hum Hai Kamaal Ke”, had the song “Main Naheen Kaheta” from Salman Khan’s Suryavangshi on a mixtape (okay I love the song just for the song) and went to the theater to see “Suraksha”.
If you are one of those who think that the professional T20 Indian league is all about spot-fixing, white lines of cocaine snorted through five hundred rupees, players humping cheerleaders just before they go out to bat, threesomes, egregious sleeping around with the wives of others, greed with a gazillion zeroes, murder, mayhem and very little cricket, then boy, Amazon India’s much-hyped and greatly-reviewed web-series “Inside Edge” is here to confirm all your biases.
“Oh mere sanam, oh mere sanam,
Jal gayee duniya, ek huye hum,
Ek naheen, do naheen, suraksha karo mere saato janam
Suraksha, Suraksha, Teri karenge saato janam.
In the Saif-starrer ‘Surakshaa” (not to be confused with the Gunmaster G9 one), the climax brings together a spectacular team of hitherto antagonistic protagonists and they signal their alliance by singing and dancing.
Justice League, the second greatest Justice film after Jeetendra’s Justice Chowdhury (havent seen the Mithun one), builds off this basic premise, with Sheeba of the muscular Sachin Tendulkar shoulders becoming Batman, Monica Bedi becoming Aquaman (both Aquaman and Monica Bedi have a propensity to stay wet), Aditya Pancholi the dour Cyborg, Kader Khan Flash, and Saif Ali Khan being a dead ringer for Wonder Woman.
Simple things first.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a great interior decorator but a terrible film-maker and I am offended every time he makes a movie, as it offends my religion, namely “good taste”. Which is why I stopped watching what he made after having tortured myself through “Saawariya” (review here), a blue film just because of the way it was lit, and ten years have passed since then, and I am still to recover from the trauma.
However as a firm believer in freedom of speech, I also stand with him in his right to make piles of excreta. In this case Padmavati.