Johnyy Gaddaar…

A bunch of con men get together for a job which goes horribly wrong as one of them turns a traitor and thus begins a dark spiral of deceit and betrayal.

A character in the movie is shown reading a James Hadley Chase novel. The book represents both an apt metaphor and a notifier which tell you exactly the kind of movie you are getting into.

Johnny Gaddaar is a thriller but not gangster or a murder mystery although there is a murder which sets the movie going. The characters are con-men but they cannot be called goons.

Five cons get together for a big job- each has to raise a huge sum of money and put it together to make a handsome kitty. One of them turns traitor leaving a bloody trails of bodies in his wake.

The movie also was a debut for actor Neil Nitin Mukesh who gave a memorable and promising performance in the movie. Dharmendra also plays and interesting character who is a thief but not a cheat. His gang respects him immensely. Every character in the movie is given an interesting quirks, habits, companions. They are who they are because they like the color of money and not coz of any mitigating reason for being the way they are.

The movie nails the feel of a James Hadley Chase novel where everyone is either bad, greedy villainous, plain amoral or simply a combination of all of them. It is Neil Nitin Mukesh who stands out in the movie by blending innocence with a chilling gift for killing, making it one of the most memorable debuts of its time.

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Kuch Kuch Hota Hai…

A modern day college romance with designer sets, preppy jokes and brightly colour coordinated clothes. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (KKHH) gave the film industry a director/producer who changed the course of film making – mixing old with new, blending traditional with modern, exotic locations, hummable music, catchy youthful dialogs and introduced trend setters.

KKHH was a movie that could be watched with friends and family…which made you happy and sad equally. KKHH changed the manner in which friendships were forged and created a fashion wave every college goer wanted to ride. Friendship bands were a rage post the release of the film and have since then become symbolic of Friendship Day. Shah Rukh Khan’s T-shirts inscribed with the words ‘POLO’ and locket that read, ‘COOL’ flooded the markets. Kajol’s short blunt cut also became a trend and stylists had to style thousands of mane in the same style post the release of the film not to forget the hair bands.

The good part of KKHH is that there are some true moments in the movie while the three friends fall in love.

Kaha na pyaar hai…

A boy and a girl fall in love… He’s poor. She’s rich. There’s a conflict between rich and the poor.And then, suddenly on the day he’s about to taste success, he vanishes . She’s heartbroken. Will they find each other? Will true love triumph over tragedy?

The movie Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai (KNPH) released in 2000 and turned out to be a monster blockbuster for a long time. I still remember very vividly the time the movie was released. I was still in school, but the craze it had developed had everyone talking only and only about the around around the time.

It was the start of the new millennium and so was only perfectly appropriate that a new star was born with a film which used one of the oldest tricks in the book – a double role! A brand-new lead pair, new exotic locations, a new look – KNPH had it all. We could safely call it “The first new millennium Hindi movie” which was genuinely and irrefutably new.

And this is where my first major rather all time celebrity crush started. The hazel-eyed Hrithik Roshan shot to the zenith of dizzying success that most new entrants could only dream of. He was tall, slim with matinee idol looks and oodles of sex appeal. Although he resembled his father a lot, he had that extra something which his father lacked and which set him apart from the rest. I can just go on and on and on about Hrithik … 😉

Coming back to the movie, the plot was carefully and very well plotted as to showcase Hirthik in all ways possible. The first half had him as  an innocent ordinary young man from an ordinary background. In the second, he is an NRI wearing leather, large shades and attitude. Both Hrithiks have something in common- they check all boxes of a leading man who is good at everything he does.

The leading lady, Amisha Patel too was appropriately new-agey. With a cute sounding Hindi, although she wore modern clothes, like all good Indian girls, her first love was her only true love.

Hrithik also had one other thing that set him apart from other heroes who had been launched the traditional way of introducing new faces i.e love stories, was that yes, he could act. But his moves, oh my god, he danced like a dream! His dance was electric and very different from the regular jhatkas that characterized heroes before him. No one could ever get enough of him. His dance in ‘Ek pal ka jeena’ with his baseball cap worn backwards, a transparent black vest showing off his chiseled abs and his black pants, stopped both the leading lady and us, in our tracks.

KNPH gave us a new age hero who was both tough and soft, hard and vulnerable, who moved like a dream and also fought for his rights. Hrithik’s Greek-God looks and brilliant acting skills made the audience fall in love with him!

Principles of PR…

Public Relations, begins with psychology. A part of PR is about building and maintaining Reputation. Reputation in simple terms can be described as my perception in your consciousness.

For perception to be established, start with awareness.

Ensure the client always stays alive even when the organization’s ability to grow stops.

Effectively assess ROI and ROO.

Always be perennially prepared.

Share stories contextually and occasionally.

Analytically correlate conversations to client space.

Be energized to share them always.

Art of storytelling…

We all love stories, be it listening to or narrating one. We all have that one person who always has awesome stories to tell. Din’t we all want to be one?

Now that I’m in a profession where everything is all about storytelling and keeping it engaging, it is very important to be able to come up with interesting unique and creative story idea. So, what makes a good story which interests people?

Here are 10 tips to make a story interesting:

  1. Practice writing regularly. With practice comes perfection.
  2. Keep take away’s in mind.
  3. Keep the story short.
  4. Everyone loves stories about challenges and conflicts.
  5. There should a beginning, middle and end.
  6. Have an element of human interest- Have a protagonist in mind.
  7. Be creative!
  8. Ensure good grammar, good language and punctuation.
  9. Try and incorporate stories that go with graphics and images.
  10. Keep stories authentic!

Lagaan…

Lagaan is many movies rolled into one!

It is hard to quantify Lagaan. Lagaan is about a sport, where a win is crucial not just for self-respect but also for sheer survival. It also gently blends issues of casteism, patriotism, nationalism and freedom..

A cricket pitch created at the rain starved Champaner becomes the battleground. If the residents win the match, the angrez laatsaab will forgive them the lagaan and if they loose, the lagaan would be extracted at twice the going rate. The game becomes a stirring metaphor for winning and loosing.

Lagaan is a glorious heady entertainer powered by brilliant performances from every character. Aamir played the challenging role of Bhuvan, the playful villager ready to go head-on with the mighty Britishers effortlessly.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge…

Raj Malhotra, a young, rich and privileged, lives in a swank London mansion with his jovial father. Simran Singh, young pretty and also a Londoner, lives in a polar opposite universe. And then the two meet!

“Bade bade deshon mein aisi choti choti baatein hoti rehti hai!”

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) is a London based movie. It about a young pair, Raj Malhotra and Simran Singh played by Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. They meet, they fight, they fall in love and as is with the other Yashraj movies, finish up with each other after a series of tears and dramatic sequences.

DDLJ is a simple story, simply told with some nice touch ups and smart dialogues. Shah Rukh and Kajol bring out the best in each other. Credibility is one of DDLJ’s biggest strength. Especially the first half of the movie feels so real that it could almost make us believe it was a true story of two real people.

Some movies are destiny… They change everything. And DDLJ is one of those movies. DDLJ made Shah Rukh Khan what he is today and also gave Bollywood its evergreen romantic pair – SRK and Kajol.

 

Top 5 favorite eateries in Bandra

While I can’t stop talking about the zillion eating joints in Bandra, I do have a few favorites around here.

5. Punjabi Rasoi, Linking Road– No matter which corner of the world you are in or how sophisticated you try to be, just the mention of Butter Chicken and all the Indianness will start flowing. These are my go to guys for butter chicken and roti days.

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4. The J, Carter Road– The most amazing and yummilicious varieties of french fries you’ll find ever. Its worth cheating over! ❤

3. Sheron, Hill Road– This is the place to go for anything chicken!

2. Theobroma, Linking Road– “A party without cake is just a meeting”. Not just any cake, the red velvet cake here is worth dying for. The only place which introduced me to red velvet cake and left me wanting more every time. Although the service here can kind of tick you off, the first bite of the cake will erase it all off.

1. Coffee by Di Bella, 24th Road– My most favorite dessert since I’ve moved to Bombay are the Waffles at Di Bella. I can have them at any time of the day. And the friendly staff here make the whole waffle experience better even if its the 100th time you’re eating here. I can’t think of what would I do if and when I move out of Bombay or for that matter any area even in Bombay which has no Di Bella outlet!

Just Bandra things…

Every city has that one place or area we consider as above all… Like I’ve had friends who thought of Koramangla as the centre of Bangalore city. For them everything else was based on Koramangla as the central reference point. And of course, the air around people living in either Koramangla and Indiranagar is so high and mighty, even if they lived in an area smaller than the local Kirana store!

Anyways, coming back to Bombay, its just the city that has changed… Not that attitude… And the difference is, here I’m one of the people I was just complaining about in the start of this article. 🙂

Although its been just a few months since I’ve moved to Bombay and Bandra to be specific, I already feel like a typical Bandra-ite (minus the money and the fancy cars and houses!). I can’t think of living in any other area coz I feel its too overcrowded for me. Infact, even the roads of Bandra somehow seem more motorable than the rest of Bombay. 😀

What I like the best about Bandra, atleast from my experience here is that any and everything is just around the corner. Wanna enjoy the sunset, there’s Carter Road and Band Stand… Confused about what to eat, you’ll find a restaurant at ever second step you take. Infact there’s a whole line of them at Carter Road. So that’s like enjoying the sunset and dinner so you don’t have to rush back home to cook. 🙂 Travelling tomorrow but you forgot to carry something for that annoying little sister who won’t let you enter the house without a gift? Well thank god Linking Road and Hill Road shopping markets open until atleast 10 in the night!

You even experience small rounds of mini treks in Bandra. The whole of Pali is so hilly that a walk around the area is almost like going on a trek!

The sea link also starts from Bandra(depending on which side of it you’re on).

And yes, Bandra also has the highest number of crows I guess..! 😦 The only one thing I do not like about the place.

While Bandra is an expensive or rather extremely expensive place to be living, I still would rather stay here than any other area. Keeping all other reasons mentioned above aside, just for the fact that I feel its a very safe place where I can walk even at 12 in the night the same way if it was 4 in the evening!

Excuses… Our lifelines

Forced to attend a family wedding – you suddenly remember that very important forgotten assignment to complete… Deadline to submit the assignment and suddenly very mysteriously that bottle of mineral water you had, almost puts you on your deathbed… Had someplace to be but leave home only at the time you were to reach there, and the whole country’s traffic decides on take your route…You name it, and there’s an excuse ready for it… 😉

Although some times it really is the universe and Mr. Murphy conspiring against you, most of the times they’re just plain excuses to avoid situations you don’t like or want to be in. In the words of my father, girls have a thousand excuses ready for every situation. I strongly disagree with him coz this trait is surely not gender specific. Guy and girls both are equally talented when it comes to giving excuses. :-/

So I got this idea of writing this article from a comment made by one of my instructors recently when he said I could write a blog just from all the excuses I’ve given so far.While I’m not very proud of being said that to and that was mentioned very sarcastically, I thought it would actually be interesting to write about it.