Monday, October 26, 2009

Blew - The Inside Story

Location: 250 feet from Chinchpokli Station


Ensconced in a private resort under the blue skies and relaxing on a beach with their drinks in hand and eyes scanning the beach. That’s how you’d expect the cast and crew of the latest extravaganza Blew to be living, isn’t it? But we found them in a dinghy and shady hotel called Majestic Diamond, near the Chinchpokli railway station.


As soon as I enter, director Anhonee Diffusa issues a statutory but polite warning, “Please, no jokes or puns on the colour blue. I’ve had enough.” I agree (of course crossing my hands behind my back) to not crack any jokes there (and having said nothing about the piece I’d write). One look at the man and one could never believe he’s the one who’s directed the English version of Maano Ya Naa Mano and many a music videos.


So how has life been, post Blew? “Don’t ask me a question, and I will tell you no lies.” I reminded him that I already had. He answers, “Life’s been tough. When I started shooting for Blew, I had everything in life. Now even my wife refuses to recognise me. I’ve had to move to this place now”, he says. I turn to Producer saab to ask him about the film, but he doesn’t speak at all. Anhonee says, “He’s in a trauma currently. Uski poori kamayee barbaad ho gayi is picture mein. He’s had to sell all his cars, homes etc. He’s come down to usal paav and kaanda bhajiya from trouts and shark soup.”


Finally Producer saab decides to talk.


“We spent so much money on the sets and underwater shooting and all those kind of things that we actually forgot many things that were equally important”, he opines. Is he talking about the script? “Ba*****, jale pe namak mat chidak” is the angry retort. I decide to move on. While the promos were on, one could hear the strange chorus in the title song. What’s with all the “Balooo”? There came the revelation. Anhonee replies, “Actually, when we signed Khiladi, Enjoy Dutt, Lawruh and Rahman saab, we had no money left to get any good playback singer. So we had to get the best we could for the money we had left. The song is sung by Dayashankar Tripathi, a famous Bhojpuri singer of yore from Jaunpur, who had to drink 5 bottles of energy drinks before he sung the song, because he was so old. Ab hinterland ka koi banda gayega, to uska accent to hoga hi na?” How many takes did the song take then? “To be fair, it took only 9 takes. So that’s a total of 45 bottles. That’s still cheaper than getting an established singer”, calculates Producer saab. Infallible mathematics that.


What about Zayeda Khan? Producer saab says, “Oh, he came for free (thankfully). He said no one was giving him any roles, so he just asked if he could join in. Usne bola sir, mereko lelo, mera vacation bhi ho jayega. Biwi bhi qafi din se keh rahi hai, chhuti pe le jaane ko aur main bhi beach gaya nahi kuch dinon se. Anyways, he is used to such stuff. After he did that Mission wala filim, who will take him?”


Khiladi Kumar decided to open up, “When we doing this film, I very…..” I say, “You can speak in Hindi. No issues.” Relieved, he says, “Maine is film mein kaafi mehnat ki hai. Sabne ki hai. Khatron se khelna padta hai, nahin to kuch mazaa nahin. We all become Khatron ke……” I interrupt him politely asking, “Coming to reality shows, how was it on Biggg Busss?” He replies with a shudder, “Very scary. What is happening, bahut… (Hindi, I remind him) Kaafi daraavna tha. Aur mein jab gaya tha toh Jaya Sawant already out ho chuki thi. Rohit Verma ko dekh kar toh main qaafi confusion mein aa gaya tha…Thanks God, film last year nahin release hui. Nahin to Rahul Mahajan, Rakhi Sawant ek saath! Anyways, qaafi ro chuke. Hain ji, life mein up down to hoti rehti hai. Has lo thoda, hain! Lets all dance to Chiggy Wiggy!” The mood lightens and everyone dances, and since there is no Kylie, everyone watches Lawruh kick up the fifty year old dust on the carpet and awaken the various forms of wildlife in the room. Khiladi and Zayeda dance to the very end. After the impromptu performance, I ask slyly, “Aap thake to nahi na?” hinting at his age. He says, “Arre abhi to mein jawaan hu. Punjaab da gabru jawaan. ” I hear a soft “Hai, meri kamar” follow but I ignore it while covertly handing him a pain relief balm.


And why was Enjoy baba so silent today? “I’m a bit tired today.” Shooting? No, he says. He has just gotten back from breakfast. But it is lunch time. Yeah, that’s right, he adds, with a slight embarrassment. I press on, “How was it working with all the kids, especially Lawruh, who’s almost your daughter’s age?” “What kids? Except for Lawruh and Zayeda, everyone else is of my age! But I did have a lot of fun, especially the underwater shoots.” Did the paunch help him stay put in the water? “Yes it did. It really added to the dynamics of swimming. Actually it wasn’t really supposed to be shown. When we got Tharak Kumar as a cameraman, we gave him strict instructions to capture full body shots of only Lawruh and the sharks. But I think he had a gay moment and shot me too.” We agree on the point that full body shots of others would have been scary and the audience would have died of shock. Baba’s judgement of the audience is exemplary.


Lunch arrives in the form of oily sabji and paapadesque chapaati. I refuse and move on. Khiladi says, “Yaar. Sab itna serious kyun ho gaye. Tumko pata hai? Main aur producer saab ne jab pehli baar Chuggy Wuggy suna tha, to humein laga yeh Gujarati logon ke bare mein hai. Aur Kylie ka naam bhi aisa hi hain, ji?” It can happen to anyone, I add. The song name does stir up an image of two Gujjus in their star studded shirts and red jeans with intricately woven embroidery. But that is a different matter. What about Lawruh? “I enjoyed it thoroughly. And since I have already got my fees, I couldn’t care less what happens to the film”, she adds with a whisper.


As a final word, I ask everyone what their future plans are. Lawruh will continue with her comedy genre with Govinduh. When you have a co-star twice your size and half your height, it makes you look four times hotter, doesn’t it? Khiladi also has similar plans, mostly with Cutreena. And what about baba? He doesn’t have any plans of retiring yet. He has plans of opening a School of Rock. But more about that in the next edition. Zayeda is looking for newer avenues to enter. Producer saab wants to produce a film of the type Reshma ki Jawaani, Khooni Haseena etc. His Raat ki Kali Subah ko Khili is already being shot with Rockhee Sawant. I suggest he change the “Kali” part to something realistic. I at least have hopes of recovering my money, he says. I have to agree with him.


And Diffusa? He plans to make a serious hard hitting drama film, this time on land, and costing one fourth the budget of Blew. And who will be the producer? Sohell Khan, he informs. So there will naturally be Dullman? I guess, he says.


I wish him all the very best, and leave instantly to dying strains of “Abey, tere ko fir se doobna hai kya?” from the ever youthful, Khiladi Kumar.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ladies Special

The title is a JAM hangover. Don’t bother. I just witnessed an astounding cat fight (*evil satisfying grin*) at Dadar station a few days ago, at the door of the second class ladies compartment of the 19:14 Karjat train. Now when it is a Karjat train, most know to avoid getting in, since it is hopelessly crowded. Here is what happened.

19:14


I just reach platform 4 at Dadar.


19:14: 28


Train arrives at station.


19:15


Two women, amongst the many, (try) to get down while double the numbers of women try to get in. Hair gets pulled and feet get stamped.


19:15:30


Woman # 1: Beats the hell out of someone with an umbrella and her purse.


Woman # 2: Assists above with bare hands and her deadly claws.


19:16


Victim retaliates by pulling hair of assailant.


Timeline unimportant anymore


Train starts to leave.


Woman # 1: Saali, kutti, kameeni, neeche aa. Dikhati hoon tere ko.


Woman # 2: R***i, baal kheechti hai! (Enquiring, my dear lady?)


“Victim” (from the door): Bhikari ki aulad!@#$% (Sadly fades away)


Woman # 1 (with double the vigour): Saali, doob maregi tu. Tera poora khandaan jal ke raakh ho jaye! Khaadi mein gir ke mar ja.


Woman # 2: Bi**h. Chhod yaar. Chal jaane de.


Woman # 1: Baal kheechti hai saali. Phir kahin milne de. Usko to leti hu main baraabar se.


I was completely shocked. For a minute, I was just staring at the spot where all this happened. I just wondered if this had happened in the men’s compartment, what would have happened. No wait, this happens every day.


MORAL 1: DO NOT pull a woman’s hair AT ANY COST. Read above for consequences.


MORAL 2: Girls can swear equally well, if not better. It’s a rare phenomenon, and when it does happen, consider yourself lucky to witness it.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Goodbye, Bajaj Nagar Road!

I haven’t quite gotten over the shock that took me when I went back to VNIT. The whole face of the institute has changed.


1. Gone is the continuous buzz that marked the library area, which now resembles a crematorium. I’m not exaggerating. The digital library is finally operational (has to be, since we have left the campus). The Nescafe was totally empty, apart from us fools.


2. To make it even worse, there was the Freshers’ Nite being organised, which in our days meant a huge thing. People rushed from place to place, checking out (girls) and also the auditions. I for one, have always been a part of music auditions (though not actively) for all the four years. Even the music seems to be lost somewhere, what with the new SAC and a lack of proper talent (or at least none have come forward yet).

The function started on time, irrespective of the fact that half the hall was empty.


3. Fashion show is still the same, with the 2nd years advising the freshies on how to strut their stuff (or the lack of it). I overheard a very enthusiastic 2nd year saying, “Attitude! Show it! You rule the stage! Lemme see you own the stage!”

Though his zeal was certainly one to garner appreciation, the end result itself was so disappointing that the whole point was lost. I’m sorry but the show was a real downer. There is an excuse though, since it was on really short notice (3 days), thanks to Mr. “You know what I did in IIT Chennai”. What was put up on such short notice was commendable.


4. Skits and dramas are still made in the MTV style spoofs. Nothing new there too.


5. Dances were the only thing that, to my untrained eye, seemed on the same level as the previous years. A positive there.


6. Swine flu is the most (ab) used reason for cancelling/postponing any event, from what I have heard. Janmashtami pooja happened, with almost 500 people turning up for it. But of course, where there is the lord, there can’t possibly be swine flu, right?


7. DG is going on as I write this (according to original plans). Ganeshotsav cult night is scheduled somewhere in October.


8. Axis is due on 23 Oct, postponed again, due to swine flu. Accommodation isn’t part of the plan apparently, for outstation participants, since VNIT is a premium destination. (“Why do you worry about their accommodation? They will arrange for it themselves.”)


9. Block 1, the most happening block on campus, is now officially dead, due to the same reason. K Wing is now “Khatara Wing”.


10. There is a serious consideration of introducing an in-time on campus. That is an official farewell to dhaba trips and night outs. I think it’ll be around 11 pm.


11. GH still has an in-time of 8:30, which I expected to be around six.


12. The freshers are the new kings on campus and not the final years. They have been given full freedom to complain against whomever they feel like. Some rustication (hostel, college) will immediately follow. According to official sources, “Yeh naya batch problem dene wala hai.” Ragging is an unspeakable word. Mention it and an HR is confirmed. There is zero interaction between juniors and seniors.

As Basu said, “Yaar college to change ho gaya. Sab dude log aa gaye, piercing aur tattoo wale.” One more year Basu, and people shall not even know who you are and what Vighn was.


13. QPC is dying a slow death, according to another source. Another one bites the dust, I guess. Keshav, Vinny, Amar, Ronojoy, Sidharth, Mainak, Muffy, Andy, Big B, Lil B, Kana, YTV, Dick, Sax, Ojha, Dharini, Piraan. The legacy hopefully will somehow continue. Sorry if I have missed some names.


14. The only clubs left active are Prayaas, EO (to some extent) and of course, Club Capture. CC to will soon be defunct in two years, according to my prediction. Let us hope I’m proved wrong.


15. Torrents have been blocked. There is a mallu hub on DC, which provides visual relief :)


16. The canteen is being rebuilt, so the sitting area with the conical roof (the place for all meetings) has been demolished. Chandrama is getting some more seating, the kind you see in gardens with umbrella tops.


The most painful part for all of us was when we were on campus. We wanted to relive our moments in those three days, but we were to be disappointed. As one of us said, “Yaar, college chhod ke kahin bhi chalo. Yahan nahi rehna ab.


I literally have nothing to do with VNIT now, except for the degree which I will be “awarded” by post.


This isn’t how they do it in IIT Chennai.