Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A thousand times "Yes" to Inkaar!

Sudhir Mishra does it yet again! After Yeh Saali Zindagi, Sudhir Mishra comes back with yet another intriguing drama set against the backdrop of an advertising agency. The story of ‘Inkaar’ is truly what every working individual can relate to. Casual flirting, flings, being attracted to your colleagues, office gossip, competition, politics, you know you’ve been there and seen it all! These are the many themes of ‘Inkaar’ and Mishra intelligently brings out all these aspects as the film progresses.
The story is set in advertising agency, the CEO of which, Rahul Verma is played by Arjun Rampal discovers Maya Luthra (Chitrangadha Singh) at an advertising festival in Goa. Arjun Rampal, soon teaches her the traits, tricks and what it takes to be successful in an ad agency as we witness her transformation from a copywriter to a more confident national creative director of the company. But what transpires between the two that Maya accuses Rahul of sexually harassing her forms the crux of the story. Sudhir Mishra cleverly portrays both the sides of the story and leaves you guessing the true side of the story. Who was right? Was Maya really harassed by Rahul? Was Rahul innocent? Is there something else to this turn of events? And what happens when their colleagues are equally confused and forced to take sides?
In terms of screen presence, one can simply not take their eyes off from Chitrangadha. Like always, she not only stands out with her powerful performance but also dazzles the screen with her confidence. As Maya Luthra, she beautifully shows her transformation from a naïve copywriter to a successful career woman. But who truly steals away the show is Arjun Rampal! This is undoubtedly one of Arjun’s finest performances till date. He fits the bill of Rahul Verma to the hilt, is casual, comfortable and it is a treat watching him in the scenes where he is clearing the air and defending himself from the allegations made against him. Arjun Rampal and Chirangadha Singh are two immensely striking and attractive people and as expected their chemistry is worth looking out for. The lead pair is marvelously supported by the supportive actors colleagues and actually make us believe that we’re watching actual office politics transpire on screen. Vipin Sharma in particular is worth a mention as the outspoken and sarcastic colleague. What makes the movie all the more impactful is the soulful music by Shantanu Moitra its supported with. The best part about a Sudhir Mishra movie is that you don’t have the lead pair singing songs and dancing around trees, even if he wants to portray a romantic moment between the pair. There is a song for every situation that plays in the background and creates drama. The movie is being told by Chitrangadha and Arjun as they accuse each other and defend themselves before Mrs Kamdhar (Deepti Naval) and their colleagues in the conference room due to which the screenplay can be a little difficult but nevertheless is impactful.
‘Inkaar’ comes in as a breathe of fresh air, specially since there simply has been no movie that as portrayed human emotions so beautifully along with showing what happens behind the closed doors of your office cabins and conference rooms so well. I only wish that the ending of the movie could’ve been a little edgy rather than opting for the same happy ending cliché. However, if you miss this movie, you’re missing out on not just some intense performances but also a rather gripping story set against a backdrop which has never been chosen in the industry, an advertising agency.
Its 3.5/5 for Inkaar from my side! As I said, you’d be making the biggest mistake by saying an ‘Inkaar’ to ‘Inkaar’. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

How to not get raped: A quick and easy guide for women.

Statutory warning: Don’t read the post if sarcasm is not your cup of tea. I don’t want to go to jail. Thank you.

What is it that Nirbhaya/ Damini/ Amanat/ the Delhi brave heart should’ve done to avoid getting raped? Who would want their daughters, their mothers, sisters, friends or any lady they know to meet such an end? Being a woman myself, I thought it’d be a noble gesture if I list down a set of rules or guidelines as to how they can avoid getting raped, more so I thought I should be a responsible citizen and spread the words of wisdom our leaders have been imparting.

Here’s how you can avoid getting raped:

1) So you’re likely to be raped if obviously for starters, you’re a Mahila and that too a Sundori mahila who is highly dented and painted. You are free to assume or find the exact interpretation of “dented and painted” for Abhijit Mukherjee has withdrawn his statement and rendered 'apoulogy'. So there, you’re likely to be raped if you’re attractive woman. Throw away all the cosmetics I say, you’d not want to entice a man by wearing your favorite lip gloss or mascara. That’s just promiscuous! Theek hai?

2) If you’re a man, don’t listen to Yo Yo Honey Singh. Worse. If you’re a woman, don’t be around a man who listens to Yo Yo Honey Singh. Boycott that New Years Party that has the artist performing or playing his music. You rather step out of the New Year venue, in the middle of the night surrounded by drunk and creepy looking men. At least that way you can be assured that you did your part by stepping out of the vicious, dangerous, menacing and highly provocative music of that Punjabi rapper whose videos have been getting a million hits on Youtube.  Theek hai?

3) Throw away that packet of Chowmein at your place and if you plan a trip to Haryana, you definitely don’t want to be caught eating Chowmein there. Ladies! Stop cooking Chowmein for the men of your house! You’d not want to arouse your brothers, fathers, husbands and uncles, would you? After all, a hormonal imbalance caused due to junk food, specifically chowmein is all it takes to let out the horny beast in a man and find his prey in every woman he passes by! Moral: Stop Chowmein, stop rape! Theek hai?

4) Stay in your limits, lady! And let Kailash Vijayvargiya decide those limits. If mythical Goddess Sita had to pay a price for crossing her limits or the supposed Laxman Rekha, don’t blame a man if he harms you since you clearly did not lock yourself in the house and wait for a man’s order to step out of the Laxman Rekha at your doorstep. Be what the society wants you to be to avoid getting raped, theek hai?

5) Starting living in Bharat and not in India and I shall get back to you when I’m able to decode the statement myself. Theek hai?

Moral: Everything irrelevant like Chowmein, Yo Yo Honey Singh and makeup are the reasons why women are raped. Theek hai?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A fairy tale so real

What if fairy tales were real? What if there was actually a Snow White or a Cinderella? What if the things that can happen with us were capable of happening with them? Why are we taught to live with the belief that to be a Snow White or the protagonist, you need to be as pretty and spotless or that you need to have hair as long and vanity as great as Rapunzel to find your Prince Charming? Suppose it’s a parallel universe! The fairy tales are not fairy tales but real life stories of girls named Snow White, Rapunzel or Cinderella.
Picture this. Long long ago, in a land far away there lived a girl named No White. Yes, not Snow White but No White. She had skin as dark as coal but a heart very clean and pure. She longed for a man to accept her for who she was and how she looked for she believed that love was skin deep. But little control did she have over that fate of hers. She hoped for love, from a man, from her family, from the society but all she got was rejection and criticism. Who’d want to be associated with a girl that dark? Who was to be blamed? No White, for being born this way? The people who couldn't accept her for who she was? Or those silly advertisements about fairness creams that led No White to believe that a woman is truly intelligent, talented or attractive only when she uses a fairness cream and becomes gorgeous over night. Whatever happened to talent, skills and knowledge! She was tired of being presented like a showpiece by her parents before all the men and their families who’d come to ask her hand for marriage, sip the many cups of tea, reject her and walk away since they wanted a ‘fair-skinned’ wife for their son.
As for Rapunzel, she was certainly not in a happy state too. Rapunzel who once used to be the talk of the town for her long and luscious locks was losing all her hair. What happened to Rapunzel all of a sudden? What happened to her hair? Well, Rapunzel was suffering from cancer. Thanks to the grueling sessions of chemotherapy, Rapunzel was beginning to lose her hair. If the fight against the disease was not taxing enough, she was losing her self-confidence too. Rapunzel feared dying, but losing what used to be her biggest asset slowly wasn't easy for her either. No, she wasn't materialistic or beauty conscious. She feared that she’d drive away all the people around her, her fiance  her family, and her friends, with her balding head. She thought they’d not want to be around her. How would you feel if one day you begin to lose what’s very dear to you and you have no option but to accept the fact, live with it and struggle to get it back? Rapunzel also felt the same way. She knew she was not well. She knew chemotherapy was her only hope to survive. It was making her lose her hair, she had no option but to accept the fact, live with it and struggle to fight against cancer and get everything she lost, her hair, her health and even her people.
Remember Cinderella? Yes, the one who lived with her two ‘beautiful’ step sisters? All her childhood, Cinderella lived under their shadow. Why did she? Did the beauty of her step sisters overpower her goodness and her intelligence or did her appearance simply didn't let her come out of the shadow? After all who would notice a girl dealing with anorexia, dark circles and over sized spectacles over those eyes? Cinderella’s sisters were beautiful. One of them had long hair, her skin shone like gold, her doe shaped eyes were enough to captivate any man and her long legs were every girl’s envy. The other had short hair, maybe because she didn't want her hair to hide those adorable dimples on her cheeks. She was slim, had light brown eyes and fluttering eyelashes that made it simply impossible to ignore her. Cinderella probably didn't even look at herself if she stood with them in front of the mirror. But yes, one thing her eyes always searched for was that guy from college she’d liked for two years. He was in her class but he didn't even know that Cinderella existed. All his attention was reserved for Cinderella’s beautiful elder sister, the one with long hair. Cinderella had no option but to watch him woo her sister while Cinderella remained the silent watcher and hoped that someday she’d get noticed.
Did I just ruin your favorite fairy tales for you? I guess we've probably got so accustomed to expect perfection from everything that we've forgotten that imperfection is also beautiful. Fairy tales don’t want us to believe that life is good only when everything is perfect, only when Rapunzel has the perfect hair or Snow White has the perfect skin. Fairy tales want us to believe that no matter what happens and how it happens, eventually things fall into place, and eventually there is a happy ending. So, you don’t have to be Rapunzel to be pretty or Cinderella to find your Prince. Also, for all you men, you don’t have to be the knight in shining armor  Who says that a man has to carry around his armor at all times? You never know what he’s capable of doing until you've given him a chance. Burst the bubble and look beyond.
Since, we all love happy endings so much, how can I leave these stories without giving them their endings? Do you not want to know what happened to No White, Cinderella and Rapunzel? Well, No White is a writer today. Not only has she written the bestseller of the year but her book is also being adapted into a movie. Her instant fame and popularity have flooded her house with calls from prospective suitors, some of which had even rejected her. Rapunzel finally won the battle against cancer. Though she hasn't grown those beautiful locks back, she has started loving herself all the more and is proud of making way for herself and emerging as the survivor. She is currently working in a foundation for cancer patients and has also been donating generously for their treatment. And Cinderella? Well, she’s finally found her love. In the long ongoing attempt to win over the guy she’s always liked, Cinderella neglected her Prince Charming, her best friend who’d always been by her side and loved her unconditionally. She finally realized how much he loves her and they all lived HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The happy ending

 It was never going to be an ordinary day. She woke up when the sunlight peeped into her room from the curtains through her window. The sun rose at the same time it rose everyday. The light fell in her room exactly the same way it fell everyday through the same window. Nothing about her room or her had changed. She woke up at the exact same time she woke up every day. But today was different. Today was going to change her life forever.
Even before she’d hardly woken up she felt butterflies in her stomach. Her heartbeat had never been this fast. Blood was rushing through her veins faster than it usually did. There was a slight smile on her face, with a hint of nervousness as she blushed. She blushed even more when she read a text message from the love of her life. It read “Today is the day. Are you ready?” accompanied with a cute emoticon. Hardly anytime after she was ready, she was hounded by all her friends and family, congratulating her, teasing her, some giving her little words of wisdom while some simply wishing her luck and happiness. She had to look the best today. Nobody could steal her thunder. Nobody in the house had the time to sit even for a minute. The women wore the priciest clothes and jewellery while the men made sure the flowers and lights were exactly where they were supposed to be put. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, she looked like a lost puppy. Not any longer, her female friends took her to her room where all the women where waiting to dress the lady in red. The costliest ornaments were lying on the bed, waiting to shine on her hands that smelt of Mehendi.
Exactly two hours were left before THEY arrived. Her eyes were set on the clock, as she sat in front of the mirror. Beyond the music and dance, the cheerfulness and pomp sat her parents, getting nostalgic about their little daughter, realizing how soon she’d grown up.
The moment finally arrived, the very moment that made the day unordinary. As she walked towards the love of her life, he couldn’t get his eyes off her. He patiently looked at her as she walked. He knew she was going to be his, forever. She was going to be his wife.  Exactly after 7 rounds around the Sacred Fire and exchanging of vows, she looked into his eyes while he tied the Mangalasutra around her neck. They were now in a relationship that would last till eternity. Happy about her new and lifelong union but equally grieved about leaving the side of her parents, she hugged them as tears flowed down their cheeks. Moments later, she sat in her ride with her man to accompany him to a land away from hers. This was the day she’d never forget for she always knew that this was never going to be an ordinary day.
This post is part of the contest It was never going to be an ordinary day.. on

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Those priceless things called memories!

Just about two hours back before I began writing this post, I was in one of those moments where all you want to do is sit with a huge tub of ice-cream, plug in your headphones and face the blues. Someone like me, for whom mood swings are the commonest affair, needs to resort to books like The Secret once in a while for that little pep-up session and motivation. Just as I was done browsing my cupboard for the book, I happened to stumble upon my school slam book and thank God!

Though I’ve been contemplating to write something about my school life for ages now, I guess it had to be this very moment. As they say, when it’s right, it’s right. I passed out from school 3 years back, yet I won’t have a hard time in remembering each and exactly every event I experienced in school. We all left school with the promise that we’ll stay in touch. Let’s face it, doesn’t quite happen all the time. Coming out of school is no less than a butterfly shedding its cocoon. All of a sudden I felt thrown into this huge world. Honestly, I was quite aware what I wanted to do next and had it all planned, college seemed like a whole new adventure. It sure was but a year of college passed and then struck me the realization that there’s nothing that can match up to the school days. Moments like these when I chance upon reading my slam books, year books or stumble upon old images uploaded by my school friends on Facebook is when I realize what we’ve come to. My school life was nothing like the high school movies we have, it was so much more! When I think about all the drama, the gossip and the fights I’ve had in school, I can’t help but simply laugh about it. Also, I wonder why I came up with the comebacks I used during my school days. It’s ironic. When I was in school, being linked up to guys who you didn’t even have a crush on and being teased in the tackiest and cheesiest of ways was one of the major issues of your life. Now when I think about it, all I can do is laugh and say “What were we thinking?” New academic year at school meant new crush, new books, new schoolbag, new teachers and a new YOU! Come 8th grade and all of a sudden, you’re grown up. I remember all the girls gathering in one washroom during the breaks just to dab on the kohl pencils and lip gloss. Those well-spent two minutes in the washroom would actually make us girls feel like divas! Now, all I can say is “School uniforms, two plaits and all that vanity? What were we thinking?” Personally, I don’t think there’s one person from my school I can hate. When you pass out from school, you realize that life’s too short to for hating that many people and before you know it, you’re dying to get a glimpse of those very people from your school. It’s not an easy thing to leave a place where you did most of your first things like the first swear word you mouthed, first crush, first boyfriend, first camping trip, the first time you held a pen and so much more! We all have that one teacher we feel always bears a grudge on us. But it is very likely that during the school farewell, you click the maximum amount of pictures with that teacher and also happen to miss her the most!

All of us wonder what we were thinking while we did all those silly things in school. Well, we weren’t thinking anything! It was simply not required. How else would we have moments like these? Moments like these are what memories are made of. I thought about all these moments and it took me no time to smile and be myself again. I figured why I should depend on Rhonda Bryne to tell me what to do when I’m low if I have more than 1000 people who can show me the path without even asking me to do anything.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What's your Raashee?

Possessive? Check. Sometimes jealous? Check. Moody? Check. Inexpressive? Double check. And you've just been introduced to a Scorpio or as I would like to put it, me! I'm sure I don't hate myself, I pretty much top the list of my favorite people. I remember telling my best friend one evening that there are only few people who can manage to claw their nails and crawl into my life without me minding it. She's surely one of those privileged people. Why? Well, she's a Piscean! Not that there's nothing else good about her that make me like her but I know I have this amazing chemistry with every Piscean I know, chemistry as good as that of Rakhi Sawant and controversy! (bad example, but you sure get the drift) How uncanny a coincidence can it be that the people I'm closest to are all Pisceans! Call me cynical or way too astrologically bent but I totally swear by the amazing Scorpio-Pisces chemistry! It's a straight 10/10 pair. There's absolutely nothing that can go wrong between me and a Piscean. I think I've almost figured out why things between me and a Piscean friend work out so bloody well. For starters, Pisceans and even Cancerians are the most sensitive people I know. You know you can always cry your woes in front of a Piscean and they'll be all ears. Even an inexpressive person like me wouldn't think once before confiding into the trustworthy and comforting Piscean. Another reason why I love them? They're never judgmental. Never. I can tell any of my Piscean friends anything, be it about my bitchiness, my nastiness, guilt or simply a mood swing and I know I would meet a reaction like "That's okay. You'll have it all figured."Another thing I truly admire about Pisceans is their capacity to love. While the Piscean men or rather man I know might be a quiet and shy soul but is indeed a great friend with whom I quite predictably share an amazing rapport, the ladies are mushy and how. Be it cooking for their men or sharing friendship bracelets with me, they sure know how to keep people around them happy, especially the people they love. Now, most girls wish to have a gay best friend most of the times, I'm happy to have my precious bunch of Piscean friends.
Before I end this, let's get some perspective people. I do have people in my life I love dearly and they are NOT Pisceans! So if you're my friend and not a Piscean, don't worry, I still love you*wink*. As far as my Piscean friends are concerned, stick with me till the end :

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Real-life Slumdog Millionaire

This post is not written by me. But I found it worth sharing. We all know of the recent KBC winner, Sushil Kumar who has bagged a jackpot of Rs 5 crores. Though it's heartening and truly inspirational to see somebody's dreams come true, a well deserved win for sure, I came across a blog post which has a different perspective to it, would like to share with y'all.

Sushil Kumar from Bihar just won the Rs 5 crores jackpot (Rs. 50 Million) on the fifth season of Kaun Banega Crorepati. (For those who do not know KBC, this is the Indian version of Who wants to be a Millionaire)

Sushil Kumar will not receive the entire Rs. 5 crores, the tax department will eat up about one third of his jackpot leaving him with about Rs. 3.5 crores; that's still a sizeable amount.Let us see how it can help Mr. Sushil Kumar - a post graduate in philosophy and an IAS aspirant - in his life. He is currently a school teacher earning a meager Rs. 6000 per month.

In an interview Sushil Kumar revealed that he has some obligations that need to met first before he invests the rest of his money

  • An elder brother who wants to set up his own business
  • A younger brother wanting to quit his 'piddly' Rs. 1500 per month job and also wants to start a new business.
  • His parents will want a nice big house - befitting the 'crorepati' son's status
  • Sushil Kumar himself plans to quit his job in order to concentrate on his IAS exam.

Sadly, along with a big amount of money God does not gift one with 'financial wisdom' - not even the wisdom of knowing that he needs unbiased financial advice. I can see a tomorrow and, therefore, find it difficult to rejoice in his success.Why you ask? Here's why

Even in his small village there will be a lot of people chasing him — "investment consultants" There will be greedy hands pulling from all sides:Namely, LIC agents, mutual fund agents, bank managers, other life insurance companies, pension providers, brokerage houses and bankers.

It would be really interesting to track his life over the next 10 years on a year to year basis to see how much this money is scaring him, helping him, torturing him and helping him to meet his goals.

The author P V Subramanyam is a Chartered Accountant by qualification and a financial trainer by profession. Writing being a passion he also regularly pens his thought in his blog