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Showing posts from June, 2013

Correlates of Happiness

Shared from a BBC News Report which is based on a University of Rotterdam study - comments are mine.

Studies collated by the database say you tend to be happier if you: Are in a long-term relationship- 25 and counting!Are actively engaged in politics- I wish i'd thought of this.Are active in work and in your free timeGo out for dinner- I am going out today.Have close friendships (though happiness does not increase with the number of friends you have). 1500 on Facebook and fifteen in real life. And there are some surprising findings: People who drink in moderation are happier than people who don't drink at all.- Thums Up!Men tend to be happier in a society where women enjoy greater equality. I doubt this.Being considered good looking increases men's happiness more than it does women's. Who's complaining?You tend to be happier if you think you're good looking, rather than if you actually, objectively speaking, are. Easy to do! Will follow this diligently!Having chi…

Compassion Day? You must be Joking

What is this with 'Days' ? It was fine when limited to Valentine's Day, which we fell in love with, as did card and chocolate companies. But Compassion Day? What gives, here?

When you run out of compassion, (Jab passion kam ho jaye) what will it be? Here are random thoughts-might land a consulting job with a card company one day.

Dhoortta Diwas- Cleverness Day, but don't you try to be too clever!

Moorkhta Diwas-Foolishness Day. Well, we'll find a way to differentiate it from April Fool's Day. After all, they say a fool is born every minute.

Anokha Abhiyaan Diwas - Do Something Different Day. You must not do anything that you did on the previous day, except of course, the essentials.

Rant Against the Boss Day- This if done every day, increases your stress levels. So do it vigorously only on this day. You can send him a rose like Munnabhai sent to his foes.

Love Thy Enemy Day. Before this would be Make a New Enemy Day, so that you can learn to love him later on.

B-School Leadership- Alumni Relations

Alumni Relations These could be the most critical of the relations an institution may have. I am not joking, but dead serious. The brand of their alma mater is carried by each alumnus/alumna for their career and the rest of their life after! Therefore, the institution or its office-bearers need to have a plan of action on roping in the natural goodwill that alumni feel for their alma mater. All great institutions in the world have active alumni support in terms of words and deeds. In India too, some of the better institutions, public and private, have a wonderful alumni network.
What Can be Done In the pre-internet and mobile phone days, getting in touch and keeping in touch was difficult. Now, it is not. There must be a full-time body or committee headed by a faculty member of the institution to take care of alumni affairs- or relations, if you prefer that word to ‘affairs’. There are several things one can do to make the alumni a vibrant and connected force. But you must remember to th…

Chorus Girls

There is a large number of songs in Hindi films, in which there is a chorus of some sort. Usually a girl chorus that sings la, la, la, or something similar. This lends a unique dimension to some songs, like the Jhinga la la hoom chorus in the song   'Hum Bewafa Hargiz na the'   from the film Shalimar.

Some other songs that I can recollect off-hand, that employ a chorus are-

Main chali, main chali dekho pyar ki gali mujhe roke na koi, (film: Padosan) which has a chorus singing la, la, la, meri jaan dekho jaana na wahan, koi pyar ka lutera ..

Hai preet jahan ki reet sada, ..from Purab aur Paschim, a Manoj Kumar film

Woh pari kahan se laun teri dulhan jise banaun ..is sung extensively by a chorus, again in a Manoj Kumar film called Pehchan.

Qawwalis often have a chorus that repeats the last line or word sung by the lead singer.
Example, Hain agar dushman, dushman, zamana gham nahin....koi aaye koi aaye koi hum kisise kam nahin..







Visa Madness

This is related to the stamp required to travel from one country to another, and not to the credit card or debit card by that name.

Britain has set the cat among the pigeons by hiking the asking rate for visas to some 2.7 lakh rupees, taking care to call it a 'deposit' that is refundable. I have a few views that I wish to express on this visa diplomacy that threatens to rival all other kinds of diplomacy that preceded it.

My first doubt is, who in his right mind would want to visit the U.K. with or without the 2.7 lakh deposit and fingerprinting and all the other accompanying nonsense? I have survived close to 53 years without having gone there, and I am quite certain I can live out a few more without having to fork out a fortune to do the needless. So can all the others, of any age.

In case they have not heard it yet, the Sun has set on the British Empire, a few decades ago. The only export that people still want from them is produced in Scotland, and it's known as Scotc…

Feroz Khan- Our Own Cowboy

Feroz Khan was a handsome Pathan who gave us some stylish films. And some good songs. Apradh, from the seventies, had car-racing as its background, and some good songs. Two of them that I still remember, are

Tum mile, pyar se, mujhe jeena gawara hua..

Hamare siwa, tumhare aur kitne diwaane hain.

In the film Dharmatma too, there were some good numbers like

Tere chehre mein woh jadoo hai, bin dor khinchaa jaata hoon..

Kya khoob lagti ho, badi sundar dikhti ho, with the expected response from the lady...phir se kaho, kehte raho, achcha lagta hai.

Tumne kisise kabhi pyar kiya hai..

Qurbani also had some path-breaking songs such as Laila main laila, and Aap jaisa koi meri zindagi mein aaye, which introduced Nazia Hasan (singer) and Biddu, the music composer, to us.

Yodeling

The form of singing with some yoo hoo type stretch on some words, requires a special ability.
Kishore Kumar had it in him, and therefore came up with unusual sounds that added magic to some of these songs-
Nakhrewali, dekhne mein dekh lo yeh kaisi bholi bhali..from New Delhi that has a line or two of yodeling after each stanza.
Tum Bin Jaoon Kahan..the Kishore Kumar version...Pyar Ka Mausam was the film.
Paanch rupiah, barah anaaha, marega bhaiyya, nanananaha.. from Chalti ka naam gaadi
Chala jaata hoon, kisiki dhun mein...fiilmed on Rajesh Khanna. fantastic road song.

Zindagi ek safar hai suhana..odlari odlari ohu..another fun song, from Andaz with the Khanna and Hema Malini on a bike. The Asha Bhosle version is not that good.

Labels- Uttarakhand and Other Tragedies

Is it a man-made disaster, or a Natural one? Was it the Congress or the BJP that was responsible for letting construction happen? Did we ignore heavy rain warnings and delay the evacuation of people?

The act of trying to label things and pin the blame quickly on anyone or anything is not an adequately thought-out response, in my own view. And I could be in a minority. There are several things that contribute to a tragedy of this proportion. Primary among them are a sudden natural occurrence (such as a tornado, a tsunami fuelled by an earthquake) or an industrial accident (Bhopal, Chernobyl and so on). Other reasons are the population there, including the transient variety (floating population). Blind belief in worshipping specific idols rather than praying anywhere is another major cause, in this case. Building broader highways in hilly regions is not going to keep the fragile hills made of soft rock stable for too long.

Prevention is not easy, but sensibly thinking about it can help…

Leela- Book Review

This is an amazing autobiography (with some contribution from Jerry Pinto to it) of Leela Naidu. She is not known much to this generation. I had only heard of her, because she was from an earlier period. Maybe seen a couple of her songs from a film called Anuradha.

She seems like a warm, caring human being, and dabbled in many things, including making documentary films, and acted in films too. But more than the skin deep beauty (she was listed once by Vogue among the world's most beautiful) of her radiant face, it is the radiant prose of the book that impressed me. It is indeed a chronicle of a life lived well, partly in India, some parts in France and Switzerland, and lots more travelling everywhere. From slaves in Africa to naxalites in Kolkata, she has met all varieties of people, and freely expresses her views.

Her observations on societies and humankind are generally spot-on, and I found myself agreeing with her on most. And that is a rarity, let me assure you. I rarely agre…

Before Sunset- The Sequel

This of course, is the sequel to the film called Before Sunrise that is a saga of two young, lost souls who remain lost after a one-night interlude in Austria, reviewed earlier. The same two people meet ten years later, again for just a short while. The guy (American) has written a book based on his experience of that night disguised as fiction. The lady (French) happens to read it, and appears at his book reading in Paris.

What follows is a couple of hours of conversation, about their lives, the environment, and a few other things. They understand that they have possibly lost an opportunity to fall in love, but then, that could be the result of fate, at least according to her. They also discuss what is happiness, and marriage, and after an attempt at blaming each other, fall into a state of awareness of their own dissatisfaction at how things have turned out, and make peace with each other.

The concept is terrific, the acting original, and both characters are very believable. The fil…

Warm and Fuzzy- New Batch Comes to Town

A warm and fuzzy feeling envelops those that see a new batch of youngsters come in to an academic institute every new year -in academics this happens around June. So it did this week, with a new batch of IMTians entering Nagpur, and seniors returning after summer projects. Mr. Warendra Sinha, MD of GIC Housing Finance, inaugurated the new batch, sharing his views about management education.

This year IDBI Federal gave us a lot of internships, and many students did well in them too. Keeping the tightening job market in view, IMT Nagpur has entered into some new areas such as analytics (where we have tied up with IBM) and some more, like creating new courses or new methods of doing them. One such is built around the Bloomberg terminal which we have installed. Students will get assignments where they use live trading and financial data (global), and that should land them some good jobs as specialists trained in the use of the terminal.

We are also embarking on AACSB accreditation for IM…

Chupke Se

Some nice songs using using the word Chupke.

Koi chupke se aake, sapne dikhake, mujhko jagake bole, main aa raha hoon...kaun aaye yeh main kaise jaanoo...a wonderful song by Geeta Dutt, from Anubhav.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR-2xq6q5KA


Chupke chupke raat din ..the classic Ghulam Ali rendition of this ghazal is so good, you can listen to it every day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNA9qb8IHZA

Chupke se dil dede nahi te shor mach jayega...a duet sung by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar, from Maryada, an old Hindi film starring Rajesh Khanna.
http://www.dhingana.com/chupke-se-dil-dede-song-maryada-hindi-oldies-31b80b1

Pal, Jeevan etc.

Some of my favourite Hindi film songs that use these words, Pal meaning moment and Jeevan meaning Life.

Jeevan se bhari teri aankhen majboor karein jeene ke liye, a rich, poignant song because it is sung by a terminally ill Rajesh Khanna in the film Safar (not suffer).

Ek pal ka jeena, phir to hai jaana from Hrithik Roshan's debut film, tuned by Rajesh Roshan and sung by Lucky Ali, a singer that I like a lot- no idea where he has disappeared.

Aane wala pal jaane wala hai, a classic Kishore Kumar song from Gol Maal (old, the only one I recognise). Great philosophy.

Pal bhar ke liye koi hamein pyaar kar le, sung on screen by Dev Anand in his inimitable style (unhinged neck et al), wooing a gorgeous Hema Malini in Johny Mera Naam. Kalyanji Anandji were at their peak music-making, apart from Don and Muqaddar ka Sikandar a little later.

Yeh jeevan hai, is jeevan ka, yehi hai, yeahi hai rang roop, thode gham hain, thodi khushiyan...absolutely beautiful, lyrical, soothing.


Someplace Else

Landed up at a pub in Park Hotel Kolkata called Someplace Else. A little noisy, but enthusiastic band tying out their act was a highlight. The hotel has three or four different bars, apparently, with Trinca's and Tantra being the other two. Saw a bit of the unwashed match between Pak and India too.

Met Siddharth Agarwal, a Kirloskar alum from Kolkata from a decade ago, and took a little tour of some places with him. Kookie Jar, a pastry shop on Rowden Street being one stop. A South Indian joint called Jyoti Vihar near the American consulate was the other.

The weather was decent, with rains making intermittent appearances, but not heavily. Also explored a Crossword near the Forum Mall (yes, like Bangalore, there is a Forum here too). Bought some Bill Bryson books along with a biography of Leela Naidu. First time I will read about an actress whom I have never seen on screen except a song here and there. Appears to have been a beautiful woman.

Before Sunrise- Film Review

A lovely film, after a very long time. No idea why I missed it, seems it was made in 1995.

A young man meets a young woman, on a train in Europe. He urges her to get off in Vienna, before her destination. She agrees. They spend a night roaming the streets of Vienna, and talking with each other about their lives, views about life, and such. That is the plot. They part, confused about whether to meet, and whether they are in love.

I loved the movie, and wouldn't mind watching it again sometime. It is simple, uncomplicated by too many characters except when referred to by these two. There are some cultural references to the French and American stereotypes. He is American, and she is French.

The dialogue, the script, the cinematography, and the music, all are top-class, and hold your attention. There is also an old-world romantic feel, and a longing that the two actors portray, that you start wishing them well. Great feel-good stuff, and I am going to watch the sequel soon. There is o…

Compendium of IPL Jokes

Once all arrests are done by the Mumbai and the Delhi police, they can
 start a tournament with two new teams - Arthur Road Indians and Tihar
 Daredevils!

 'Pepsi' is not going to be the sponsor of IPL 2014. The new sponsor is
 going to be 'Whisper' because IPL is going through its worst 'period'!

> Such a travesty...
   While the great Dara Singh represented Hanuman, his son Vindoo Dara Singh
   represents Middleman!

 Innovative ad outside a gynaecologist:
 We charge much less per delivery compared to Sreesanth!

> Raj Kapoor was real visionary. He made Shree(santh) 420 in 1955!

> Ever wondered the reason why IPL comes on Set Max? Because it is already
   SET!

> A towel can make one's career - Ranbir Kapoor
   A towel can destroy one's career - Sreesanth
   One can make a career without a towel - Sunny Leone

>  IPL 6:
The Tata Sky channel number of Sony Six HD for showing IPL matches is 420.
We should have taken the cue of things to come!

> TATA Docomo&#…

Sawan- Songs of Rain

Rain plays an important part in our lives- and in movies. The term most used by lyricists to describe the rainy season is Sawan. In tune with the season (rains have begun in Nagpur), some songs that use the word-

Rimjhim gire sawan, one of the most popular, from the film Manzil.

Sawan ka mahina, pavan kare sor, an old hit from Milan, I believe.

Badra, hai.....aaya sawan jhoom ke, from the film Aaya Sawan Jhoom Ke, starring Dharmendra and Asha Parekh from the sixties.

Sawan ko aane do, was also a film by Rajshree Productions that had a title song with these words..if I remember this right, Arun Govil (played Ram later in the serial Ramayan) was the hero of this film.


Random Thoughts

The IIT Bombay fest will be renamed Mod-i-ndigo if the man comes to power in India.

The Sindhi guy with a lot of money should be called 'Wad' hwaney..wads of cash on him.

If Akashvani had lots of ads, it could be called 'Ad' vani. And its byline would be anything but Om 'Na-mo' shivaay. And it would sulk if anyone mentioned its age.

One can become perspiracious instead of perspicacious by going to Delhi this time of the year. In other words, Delhi is the perspi-ca- city!

What's common between Germany and U.P? Love of potatoes.




Dil Machal Raha Hai

Machal, or machalna of the dil, maybe akin to fluttering of the heart. A word used well in some Hindi film songs, as illustrated by-

Dil machal raha hai, rang badal raha hai..

Machalti hui, hawa mein chham chham hamare sung sung chali ganga ki lehren..

'Machle hue jazbaat, baat hasin hone do', from the middle of a lovely song, Pyaar manga hai tumhise, na inkaar karo..one of Kishore Kumar's best romantic numbers from a vague movie called College Girl. Tuned by Bappi Lahiri. Surprised?

Dheere dheere machal, ai dil-e beqaraar, kio aata hai...after a lot of research, I found that this gem of a song is shot on Surekha and Tarun Bose.(in Anupama)...both look great in this, but I never saw any of them anywhere again, other than this song. Maybe they were Bengali actors, and didn't act in many Hindi films. One of Lata Mangeshkar's best solos, tuned by Jaidev. Also, a female piano song.

Vaada - Promise- Use in Hindi Music

One of the oft-used Hindi film song words is Vaada. Examples of good songs using this word abound.

Jo vaada kiya woh nibhaana padega is one of the oldest I remember. From the movie Taj Mahal, it continues with 'roke zamaana chahe roke khudai tumko aana padega'. A lovely melody.

Vaada karle saajna tere bina main na rahoon ..is another.

Vaada tera vaada was the refrain from a famous Rajesh Khanna song in the movie Dushman, about reforming people who have committed a crime without malice.

Kya hua tera vaada, was a national award winning song by Mohammad Rafi in the movie Hum Kisise Kum Nahin.

A very soft, romantic song tuned by Basu- Manohari (RD Burman's assistants earlier) in Sabse Bada Rupiah was Vaada karo jaanam, na chhodoge yeh daaman..check it out here if you haven't heard it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoD-uSN28F4

Next time, we will look at other words, and recount some other gems..yeah, vaada raha!

Two Agatha Christie Films

Last week I got a chance to watch two Agatha Christie films back to back. Both had Poirot being played by David Suchet, who does a great job of re-creating the detective with his appearance and mannerisms.

Lord Edgware Dies was the first, in which there is a cantankerous Lord who is refusing to divorce a wife who wants one. There is the usual cast of characters, with an actress involved in impersonating famous people (she does a Poirot in her act in his presence), and a few relatives in need of money, and so on.
I was able to guess the ending a couple of minutes earlier than the denouement, but it was still a very good film.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd happens in a supposedly quiet village, which you discover is not so quiet. There is a poisoning which is never discovered, a blackmail, and a man in a noble profession who isn't what he seems to be. The plot is involved, and tough to guess.

All in all, a double treat. I remembered earlier movies I had watched- Murder on the Orient E…

Unusual Songs

There is a song in the film Aansoo aur Muskaan which is a bhajan-with a difference. It lists out a history of the film industry in a funny stanza - last one in the song. Guni jano, bhakt jano.. is the beginning of this song sung by Kishore Kumar. Check it out here if interested.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Etx0Y5YmACs

There is an excellent song in the movie Victoria No.203, itself a nice caper, picturised on Pran and Ashok Kumar that goes, "Do bechare, bina sahare, ...bin taale ki chabi lejkar phirte maare maare.." It is a zesty number. Music by Kalyanji Anandji. Check it out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNG_8ETsiIM

The next is actually sung by Ashok Kumar, long time ago in a movie called AAshirwad. Considered by some to be our first 'rap' song, it goes, Railgaadi...it's right here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcLrPIE_18o

Yet another super Kishore duet- unusual because his co-singer is Sulakshana Pandit. Film Door ka Rahi. Listen to this haunting song at
htt…

40,000 and Going

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Did not think it (this blog)

would sustain this long and be actually read by people. Even now, some of it is the virtual type, I know. But still, happy to have crossed the 40,000 viewers mark. For the blog, I mean. Thanks to you, the readers, might make it to the golden mark. Movies no longer do.

The ones I remember that did (movies, I mean, that ran 50 weeks) were Aradhana, Jeevan Mrityu (Dharmendra, Raakhee), Sholay, and DDLJ (if you don't know what that is, well, you missed one of Kajol and SRK's evergreen romances.

The pics are from Wats (temples) in Thailand. Reclining Buddha and a solid gold one in the other. Don't know why the reclusive, Nirvana-seeker had to be made from Gold. But anyway..

Unusual Business Ideas

In India, we are different. We walk different, we talk different, we spit (yuck) different.

Thus, there is a case for different business ideas.

1. Acid factory for acid-throwers. This is not a game. Serious maiming of face happens in cases of spurned love, or just for settling old enmity. Brisk sales guaranteed.

2. Betting syndicates for any event. Not restricted to games, or racing. What time the boss will come to office, could be bet on. Bosses that defy Murphy's laws (If you are late, he will be early, and vice versa) . Or, there could be bets on who will have a wardrobe malfunction in the next celebrity gathering/award function, etc.

3. Mall development. We believe malls are necessary for improving the GDP, which is not really improving, by the way. But we must keep trying. Never give up. Even if nobody shops in them. Empty ones can always run a B school. Or a nursing college.

4. School for Mobile phone calling etiquette. The students will have only one course to pass- How no…

Comebacks and Go-outs

Comebacks are of different kinds. Some work, some don't. Go-outs are also of different kinds. They always work. Some of the recent ones, summarised for your eyes and ears.

Madhuri Dixit in Aaja Nachle, and a TV show on arranged marriages. Both bombed. But she continues to smile, and another TV show is in the offing. Moral: Be a judge, not a star. After a point, a wise thing to do.

Sridevi, in English Vinglish. Cute film, and it worked. Moral: Play your age. It just might work.

Karisma Kapoor, Mumtaz, Sharmila Tagore, ...what was the comeback?

Go-outs can be temporary, or permanent, as in going to heaven. But on earth, they are usually prompted by non-performance, or super performance.

Deols have been gone for years. Male and female Deols. Better than making people pagla, deewana I guess.

Karan Johar. People wish he was gone, the kind of films he now makes.

Male Kapoors can't actually go out because the doors are too small for the likes of Shashi, Randhir, Rishi etc. So they st…

Garden in Thailand

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The botanical garden called Noong Nooch near Pattaya. It is huge, and you can spend a day there just wandering around. Nice, imaginatively designed. The cropping of trees and shrubs is great. There are artificially created giraffes, and many more creatures. Live cultural shows and elephant shows are a part of the setup.