Monday, May 19, 2008

Our National Anthem?

This weekend, my wife and I headed over to the latest 'blockbuster' release Jannat. We were watching it at Gold Adlabs in Kalyaninagar, Pune. The movie was packaged trash. There was promise but it under-delivered.

However that is not what I am writing about. Just before the movie started, Gold Adlabs asks everyone in the auditorium to stand up for the national anthem. We did too. What played was our national anthem only as far as the lyrics were concerned. The tune was changed from a rousing, pride-instilling one to one that was right out of a Jagjit Singh gazal. I have all the respect for the great AR Rehman but tinkering with the tune of the national anthem is not justified.

We have a code of honor for the Flag. No disrespect is allowed in any form. Specially if it is used as a garment. Rightly so. I think there should be a similar code of honor for the national anthem. The code should disallow any modification to the original tune. This is akin to having a Jana Gana Mana remix. I strongly object.

Why stop at the national anthem? It should extend to the national song, game, animal, bird, and monument too. On my part, I have sent an email to Adlabs on this issue. Let's see if there is any response from them.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The lighter side of IPL!

The news channels and the movie channels (SET MAX is classified under movies on Tata Sky) have all focussed on the serious aspect of IPL till now. Be it the controversies or the game itself, focus has been on the ponderous aspects mostly.

Lets look at the funnier side of IPL as well! There has been plenty of action!

1. Sreesanth crying like a baby on camera. What a ham-actor!! Kids by the age of 10 don't cry on being slapped. It was not just unbelievable it was downright funny!

2. Charu Sharma being sacked! Now I like this amicable guy when it comes to comments on cricket, but not as someone who decides a team composition. We would like to see more such corporate lay-offs!

3. Royal Challengers being called the best Test team in the tournament!

4. Vijay Mallya saying he has better knowledge of players and their strengths than Rahul Dravid. Which is sadly true! - But funny nonetheless!

5. I got this quote on Cricinfo. Nitish here has a quite a sense of humor. His comment comes in just after Ganguly dismisses Dravid in the Kolkata-Bangalore match on May 8th.
"I doubt if Dravid will beat Ganguly in anything," writes Nitish from Hyderabad. "Maybe Scrabble.". Awesome Nitish!

For details go over to this and look at the commentary on the 10th over.

Click here for the page.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Great “Mobile Store” Fraud!

Be careful, some slick marketing of fraud offers from “The Mobile Store” can get you to buy from “The Mobile Store”. They are offering an assured gift of a 3D2N package in India or abroad at some of the better travel destinations.

Haha. You should know better! I fell into the same fly-trap. Nothing but a meager offer laced with digestive juices … umm “Terms and Conditions”. Conditions which will ensure that you never avail of the so-called free gift worth Rs. 5000.

Condition #1: You get to choose 3 destinations from amongst a list. Send in your preferred check in dates which are not on holidays or during the peak season. This is where your ‘choice’ ends.

Condition #2: You have to travel to the destination they allocate which is usually your third preference. Could be Timbuktu as well.

Condition #3: You have to travel on the date they say you have to. It ‘could’ be one of your preferred check-in dates. Not guaranteed.

Condition #4: You have to stay at the hotel they choose for you. I randomly looked up some of the so called properties they ask you to stay at. And to my pleasant surprise I found them to be little more shanties in the guise of a hotel. One ‘hotel’ did not even have a phone.

Condition #5: They will confirm your booking only 10 days before your check-in date. Leaving you all of 10 days to buy flight or train tickets, ask for leave and pack.

Condition #6: For international holidays, they will confirm your hotel stay only if you send them a copy of your air tickets within 7 days of submitting your application. This means you have to buy air tickets before your stay in that place is even confirmed.

Condition #7: Lastly you have to pay Rs. 600 to have them take you through all this trouble.

This is the mother of all bogus offers, if ever there was one. My recommendation is to stay clear of “The Mobile Store” when buying mobiles. A cash discount is always preferred over offers like this.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tashan - Sasura what an experience!

The slick promos and the Dhoom-2-stlye posters did do a lot to generate interest in the movie. I was excited about seeing the new-and-improved-99%-fat-free Kareena Kapoor. Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan would have been a great combination too. They would have brought back the glory days of 'Main Khiladi tu Anadi'. I was full of anticipation.

Haha! But Alas! Film-makers in India have long taken the audience to be a cross between an earthworm and a snail in terms of intelligence. But Tashan took it to a different level altogether. Quicksand. You get the point.

I was hoping that I would see returns on the too-damn-expensive movie tickets when Kareena 'shows' up. However even that turned out to be a dud. She looked more like a Chinese famine victim (a male one at that too!) than a heroine. Sheesh! What a let down. I would really not be able to comment on rest of the movie since I could not understand what Anil Kapoor was saying. He was using a potent combination of Hindi and English, something that would have re-wired your temporal lobe. There was nothing in the movie that was not predictable, or in filmy parlance, 'hatke'. All-in-all a very unwatchable movie!

Yash Raj Films must be flush with cash to have produced this. There was just one positive for YRF here. Their marketing is now far better than their production!

16 People = Rs 140

The gruesome accident on the Mumbai-Pune express-way in the early hours of Sunday that claimed 16 lives, has highlighted several glitches in the system. This accident struck a special chord with me because I drive down to Mumbai from Pune as often as 2 times a month.

The official story is that a tempo traveler filled to the brim (and some more) with 19 people was traveling at 130 kmph along the highway when the driver fell asleep at the wheel. Blame has thus been attributed to the overworked driver. Simple, case-closed.

Haha! Balderdash! Firstly, a tempo traveler cannot travel at 130 kmph with 19 people stuffed in it. The indicator being stuck at 130 does not prove for once it was traveling at 130 kmph. I find the authorities at fault on 2 counts.

Count#1: The Tempo traveler stuffed with 19 people should not have been allowed onto the highway for safety concerns. It should have been turned back at the toll booth. Over loaded vehicles risk not only themselves but others on the route as well. The authorities chose to collect the Rs 140 as toll over the safety concerns of 19 people.

Count #2: The trailer with no reflectors (and maybe even a defunct tail lamp) should not have been allowed onto the e-way either. Another example where the authorities chose to grab Rs 750 without heed for 16 human lives.

I have seen numerous examples of trucks and heavy vehicles plying down the e-way without any functional tail lamps or reflectors. In the dark, you cannot see them unless you have a good pair of headlights on your car. To make matters worse these trucks will often venture into the innermost lane for the fun of it.

There can be no excuse for lack of policing. Putting up cameras along a piddly 98 km stretch is nothing. Hiring someone to monitor the cameras will take another piddly nothing. Fines from trucks which venture into the lanes not meant for them, or traveling without tail lamps and reflectors will surely pay for the expenses.

Let the games begin!

Olympics? No Not this post.

Humor (dark or otherwise!) is missing in our lives. Why can't there be a whole newspaper be dedicated to humor? Instead of having so many news channels dedicated to the same boring "breaking news", why can't one channel be deliberately funny? (Some of them are funny by the way!). Why can't there be a computer game that makes you laugh? Why do reviews have to be politically correct? Why?

Lets get dirty!