Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Review - " Mumbai Meri Jaan "

In India, still, there is no scope for Off-beat films comercially. "Mumbai Meri Jaan" is another such film which went unnoticed because the public here prefer to watch the 'Mallika Sherawat' and 'Rakhi Sawant' stuff. Anyways, this film portray the life of its characters during and after the serial bomb blasts that rocked our Business Capital, Mumbai on 11th July, 2006. The bombs were placed in the lifeline of the city i.e. the local trains and within eleven minutes, seven bombs exploded. The death toll crossed 200 and hundreds of others were left injured and crippled.

There are five main characters in the film. Soha Ali Khan is a reporter in a TV Channel. R. Madhvan is a software professional in one of the MNCs. Irrfan Khan is a tea-vendor. Paresh Rawal is an elderly policeman who is going to retire soon. Lastly, K.K. Menon is an unsuccessful computer salesman.

On the D-day, Soha's fiance is killed in the bomb blast, leaving her broken. The otherwise shrewd reporter who can do anything to raise the TRPs of the channel is so traumatised by the incident and the fact the that her boss wants to exploit her situation and wants to cover a programme on her tragdey (which indeed she was also doing before she came to know that she is also being victimised).

Madhvan, a person who thinks that Mumbai can be made a better place if he doesnot use a personal vehicle and prefer to travel by train, escapes a near life threatening blast when he travels in II class and his friend loses his right hand in I class where the bomb exploded. After this incident, Madhvan is afraid of travelling in the train but is forced to travel because his wife is in labour and the taxi driver refuses to take him to the hospital because of traffic.

Irrfan Khan, a poor tea-vendor is thrown out of the mall with his family because he tried one perfume. Feeling insulted, he makes several hoax calls to the police stating that there are bombs in different malls, creating chaos among the public and the police. Due to this chaos, an elderly person suffers acute cardiac arrest and is being hospitalised. Later on, Khan realises his mistake and goes to see the old man and presents him a flower.

Paresh Rawal is an experienced policeman and knows that the system is so tangled up that one should be realistic and not idealistic in dealing with it. A junior fellow (an idealistic one) is pissed of the system but Rawal explains him from time to time to be calm. Later on, because of blasts and the junior, Rawal also realises that his thirty six years of department service is a waste as he has not done a single big thing in his career.

K.K. Menon is a hardcore hindu and thinks that every muslim is a terrorist. After the blasts, he even chased one muslim lad in suspiction. His encounter with Rawal(who has changed by now) forces him to rethink on his agenda and then he realises that there is nothing correct in hatred. Thus, he ends up in friendship with that suspected guy.

The film basically describes that the people are really fed up and terrorised by these terrorist activities but are so helpless, that they cannot stop living their lives the way they were living before the blasts. Their helplessness is often mistook as the "Spirit" of the city but in reality it is not so. It is often said that "Life doesnot stop for anybody" and "The show must go on", but seriously, people should give it a halt and rethink about the whole scenario. It is portrayed in the film in the end as all of the Mumbai pays homage to the killed by keeping silence for two minutes. The film ends up with the famous song "Aye dil hai mushkil jeena yahan, ye hai bombay meri jaan" in the background.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Vo (वो)

"उस" को समर्पित ।

जीवन के किसी मोड़ पे,
मुझे "वो" मिली थी ।
हमसफ़र बन कुछ दूर तलक,
साथ "वो" चली थी ।

उसकी हर हरकत सुनहरी,
हर अदा मस्तानी थी ।
तन का सौन्दर्य तो था अनुपम,
मन की बात ही निराली थी ।

उसकी मुस्कुराहट में नशा था,
जिसे देख मैं उस पर फ़िदा था ।
उसकी बोली में थी ऐसी मिठास,
जिसे सुन मैं बावरा हो चला था ।

उसकी आँखों की चमक, उसकी साँसों की महक,
उसकी पायल की खनक, उसकी ज़ुल्फ़ों की लटक ।
उसके कानों की बाली, उसके होठों की लाली,
बिन उसके दिन थे सूने, मेरी रातें थीं खाली ।

एक पल को थी वो यहीं,
न जाने फ़िर कहाँ ओझल हुई ।
मुझे लगा जैसे मेरे,
जिस्म से साँसें अलग हुई ।

कल ही सपने में आयी वो,
मैनें पूछा तुम कहाँ गयीं ?
उत्तर में अपनी आँखों से,
वो कुछ आँसू गिरा गयी ।

-प्रत्यूष गर्ग Pratyush Garg

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dard-e-Dil (दर्द - ए - दिल)

मोहब्बत के इस मौसम में,
तकदीर का ही सहारा है ।
वर्ना नाकाम आशिकों का जनाज़ा,
बड़ी धूम से सजाना है ।

मौसिकी भी अब पुरानी हुई,
साज़ो-सामान का अब क्या काम ।
हमारी आवाज़ भी उन्हें नागवार लगे,
कैसी बेवफ़ाई का ज़माना है ।

अब हमसे कुछ ना पूछो,
कि आखिर क्या खता हुई ।
शायद हमारा जीना भी उनकी,
नापसंदगी का निशाना है ।

कभी मुलाकात हो तो पूछेंगे,
आखिर हमने क्या गलत किया ।
मोहब्बत ही तो की थी हमने,
नफ़रत का क्यों नज़राना दिया ।

-प्रत्यूष गर्ग Pratyush Garg
२०-८-२००८ 20-08-2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Michael Phelps - The Greatest Olympian Ever

For those who STILL don't know who Michael Phelps is, let me tell you that he is a 23 year old lad from Baltimore, USA. His family history is not great like that of Abhinav Bindra, for whose one gold medal there is so much hue and cry all over the country (No offences please). Phelps comes from a broken home in Baltimore. His policeman father Fred and school teacher mother Debbie separated when he was only seven. Elder sister Whitney, also a swimmer, has written that she used the swimming pool as a refuge from the yelling. Michael Phelps was just eleven when his coach Bob Bowman called in his parents for a serious talk about their son's future. He told them the boy could become an Olympic champion if he just applied himself. Now, as a result, his career Olympic tally goes to whopping 14 gold medals (5 more than anybody else) and 2 bronze medals. (6 gold, 2 bronze in Athens, 2004 and 8 gold in Beijing, 2008).

The thing which makes this achievement even bigger is that, before landing in Beijing for the Olympics, he claimed that this time, unlike Athens, he will bag all 8 gold medals in every category he will take part. Mark Spitz, the legend from USA, currently having the record of 7 gold medals in one Olympics (total of 9) mocked his claim as "It is impossible for any living being to even equal my record of Munich, 1972". Now the same Spitz, after Phelps' feat exclaimed "Epic Performance!".

"It's been nothing but an upwards rollercoaster but it's been nothing but fun," Phelps said at his moment of triumph. "The biggest thing is nothing is impossible ... With so many people saying it couldn't be done, all it takes is an imagination.". What a sportsperson he is. All theories failed infront of him.

Now, let me tell you the secret of his success... In order to fuel his body for a gruelling six-days-a-week, five-hours-a-day training regime, the 23-year-old devours a whopping 12,000 calories per day, six times the recommended intake for a normal adult male. He claimes that he has not even taken a break from the training schedule even for Christmas for 10 years now. Same schedule for the last 10 years... and Yes !! it has paid off well to him. Evidently, Phelps recently told NBC that all he does is, "Eat, sleep and swim," he wasn't lying!

Atlast, for all those chaps who think the main reason for Indian Athletes not bringing home any medals, is that they don't have rich fathers (like Abhinav Bindra), Michael Phelps is a living example. Hats off to this young legend, and he is only 23. No one knows how many Olympic golds are waiting for him in future. Lets wait for the next Olympics... :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Raj Kapoor - "The Real Show-Man"

It’s foolish to introduce Raj Kapoor, if you are an Indian or Russian. Ranbirraj Kapoor was legendary, in true sense. If anybody introduced the so called Indian Cinema (Bollywood) to the world, it was him. Born to Prithviraj Kapoor and Rama Kapoor on December 14, 1924 in Peshawar (now in Pakistan), he had all the skills of film making inherited through genes. He was not interested in studies and knew from the very beginning that he is born to do something extra-ordinary.

Raj Kapoor is appreciated both by film critics and ordinary film fans. Film historians and movie buffs speak of him as the "Charlie Chaplin of Indian cinema”, since he often portrayed a tramp-like figure, who, despite adversity, was still cheerful and honest. His fame spread world-wide. He was adored by audiences in large parts of Africa, the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, China, and Southeast Asia; his movies were global commercial successes.

I can go on and on talking about the filmmaker. But, the best way to really get to know Raj Kapoor is to see his films. Here is of what I consider his greatest films with a brief summary of their fascinating plots. He made (and acted in) so many movies, in so many moods – that it is difficult to really name the very best!

Awara (1952): A story much deeper than it appears to be. When judge Prithviraj Kapoor pronounces dacoit Jaggu guilty merely on the grounds thathis father was a thief, so he too automatically must be a thief”, the dacoit swears revenge. Jaggu kidnaps the judge’s son (Raj Kapoor) and trains him to be a criminal. Raj, the awara (loafer) grows up and falls in love with lawyer Nargis. A crime he commits, lands him in the court where his father is the judge.

Shri 420 (l954): Tramp Raju whistles through his travails, with his theme song "Mera Joota hai Japani" (which became a giant hit in India and Russia – and remains till date, Raj’s signature tune). He falls in love with a simple schoolteacher (Nargis). But, he meets Maya (Nadira) who entices him with the bright lights of the city. Which side will win – high morals or his baser desires?

Anari (1959): Simpleton Raj shares a mother-son relationship with his landlady, Mrs. D’Souza (Lalita Pawar). He falls in love with Nutan, who hides from him the fact that she is the daughter of his boss. Her father’s factory is manufacturing spurious medicines. When one of the bogus drugs claims Mrs. D’Souza’s life, Raj sets out to expose his boss – but the cunning boss frames Raj instead!

Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hain (1961): Simpleton Raju stumbles on the hideout of a gang of dacoits and tries to reform then by love and reason. He made this movie after his split with Nargis (she was his love interest for a long time) and it became vital to show the world (and her) that he could still make great movies without her!

Mera Naam Joker (1970): This one broke the showman’s heart – this autobiographical musical melodrama that did not click with the public but acclaimed heavily by critics. The songs "Aye bhai jara dekh ke chalo", "Jeena yahan marna yahan" and "Kehta hai joker saara zamaana" have become immortal favourites.

Kal Aaj Aur Kal (1971): The film stars Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor and his son Randhir Kapoor and describes the relationship between three generations. The so called “Generation Gap” is exhibited in its basic and classical form.

There are many films which could not make to this list because I did not get the chance to watch them. But believe me, some of them are real classics and were the examples of the true genius of Raj Kapoor. Please comment on the post if you think any film is left which deserves to be in the list. The consideration is for only those films on which Kapoor Saab acted (not the ones he merely produced or directed).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Are we really Independent?

"At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awaken to life and freedom. A moment comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance... We end today a period of ill fortune, and India rediscovers herself again."

These were the words with which Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru addressed to the people of India and to the world, when finally, after much efforts India got independence at the midnight of 14th-15th August, 1947. Though seemed correct, Pt. Nehru made a horological mistake. The world was not sleeping when India was being made independent by the East India Company(British Empire). For example it was broad daylight in New York.

What I am trying to tell that it all started with a mistake. The mistake, which was made by our leader at that time. And today, 61 years after committing that mistake, we are at the quandary and trying to still believe… Are we really independent? Does this Independence really mean anything to the people of our country? Do the people feel that they are no longer bounded to the shackles of bondage? There is a series of unanswered questions which should be answered by someone. By someone, I refer to the people who take pride to state that they govern (rule?) this country and also the people who are governed by them.

Actually, the problem lies within us. I know it is hard to digest for some of you and some might think that I am sounding rebellious, to them let me tell you that Yes, I am sounding rebellious. I know it is really difficult to accept our own mistakes. It is, believe me. I also don’t easily accept them. But now, it’s high time that we should leave this old habit of ours and try to accept the hard fact that the whole problem of the system lies within us. In fact, we are the System.

Let me explain the whole point with an example. If something wrong happens, everybody blames the other person. If the garbage of our city has choked the sewer line, then the public blames the municipality for not taking proper actions, the municipality blames the state government for not releasing funds to clean up the mess, the state government blames the central government for not issuing special package for the state, the central government again blames the state government that it has not properly utilized the funds which were made available to them. And this crap goes on and on and on. Finally, the real problem i.e. the garbage was forgotten by all of them, and they start settling their personal scores with each other.

In the nutshell, if we really want to change the scenario, we should first change ourselves. We have to be independent from within ourselves. We have to realize that it’s our responsibility to accept the challenge to change the larger picture, by changing the smaller picture within ourselves. We have to prove the independence of our country through our independent lives. Before, thinking what is right for us, we must question that is it right for the country? Or else, forget about everything I just told, live life the way you were living it until now. But then please don’t complain for anything ever again.

Comments invited.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What Does India's Independence Day Mean To Me

I can remember as far as when I was two and a half years old. There used to be a small kindergarten school in our locality and my parents admitted me to that school in play group. At that time, 15th August and 26th January for me, as for any other play group kid, meant a box of four laddoos and a steel plate (iff you have performed well in any exam or sport). After the flag hoisting, early leave from school and playing whole day after that. One more thing, as my grandfather was the most respected personality in that locality and a great friend of the principal, he used to hoist the tricolor every time and I used to accompany him and felt special.

Gradually, with teachers teaching about all the history stuff and the importance of the National Anthem which was sung every morning in the assembly, I realized that it is much more than just two days of break from school and lots of kites flying high in the sky.

Then came the time when many curiousities arose in my mind and heart, about the Indian freedom movement, the national leaders, Mahatma Gandhi and fellow freedom fighters, Indian revolutionaries (especially Sardar Bhagat Singh), and of course the Indian tricolor. Then again my grandfather was the best source to fulfill my curiousity. He told me almost everything I asked him about the past and the present. The sense of patriotism began to develop inside me at a very young age because of this very reason. And needless to mention the weekly episodes of "Param Veer Chakra" and "Fauji" which used to come on National Televison and they were my favorites.

After that, the worst part began after I passed fourth standerd. The Autorickshaw Wallah will demand leave on 15th August and 26th January, but the attendance was made compulsory by the school management. My father grumbled (really !) to take me to the school on the scooter and it turned out to be really hell of a day, everytime. At that time, really I wished the attendance should not be compulsory. The interest developed in young age seemed to be diminished.

But thanks to the History teacher of mine, Ms. Neelam Bajaj, who reinstigated the feeling of patriotism once again (Actually, I had a crush on her :P). For three years , sixth standerd till eight standerd, she taught the Ancient, Medivial and Modern History and I was one of very few students in the class who really enjoyed her class and didnot yawn, neither stared at the wrist watches for the period to get over. I liked Modern History the most. I began to take things in a broader way and started reading from other sources as well apart from the text book (reading newspaper and books are my childhood hobbies). I still believe, if Ms. Bajaj would not have been there, things would have been a lot different for me.

Now, skip the next 5 years as nothing much different happened. Just that I loved to go to school on 15th August and 26th January, unlike other friends and classmates of mine.

Finally, talking about the college days, after two years of observation, whenever flag hoisting takes place in college, forget the day scholars (some of them have to travel long distance across Delhi, which otherwise they can afford if they have to roam about in the campus with the people of opposite sex ), very few hostellers are seen on the field. Many of them are first year students and they are also there because of the fear of management, as the notice is displayed on the hostel gates that they all have to be there in time in proper uniforms. Very few seniors (sorry for any offences) are seen there. Some of them come after J.P. Gupta sir had hoisted the tricolor. Sorry to mention, but this attitude towards the National Festival is pathetic, knowing that we constitute the present and the future of our country. I feel really offened and sad, after observing the scenario.

Some of them, to whom I asked to accompany me to the ceremony are of opinion that Patriotism is not displayed just by standing there and singing the National Anthem. Tell me, what else did you do to show respect and Patriotism towards your country the whole year? The question remains, sadly, "Unanswered". There is a saying, "Your character is displayed not by what you think, but by what you do".

Whatever it is, I will go to the flag hoisting ceremony on 15th August, 2008 as always and wish that all of you, after reading this post will join me there.

Happy Independence Day. Jai Hind !

Chilman (चिलमन)

उनका चेहरा नज़र न आया,
चिलमन जो उनका वफ़ादार था ।
सनम के दीदार की ख़्वाहिश,
दिल में ही दफ़न हो गयी ।

कितना तरसाया चिलमन ने,
रह-रह के तड़पाया चिलमन ने ।
मेरी मोहब्बत की चिंगारी भड़क गयी,
जब कहीं से हवा का झोंका आया ।

खुदा की रोज़ इबादत की हमने,
कि कभी हम भी खुशनसीब हो ।
न जाने हर बार कैसे,
राह में वो चिलमन आया ।

एक रोज़ हम पर इनायत बरसी,
जब उन्हें हमारा ख्याल आया ।
उस चिलमन को राह से हटा,
उनका हसीं चेहरा हमें नज़र आया ।

-प्रत्यूष गर्ग Pratyush Garg
१३-८-२००८ 13-08-2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dastak (दस्तक)

गुज़रे वक्त ने जब दस्तक दी,
तारीख तब बदल चुकी थी ।
हम कहीं से शुरू हुए थे,
ना जाने कहाँ आके रुके हैं ?

बुलंद हौसलों की दरकार थी,
इसी कोशिश मे लगे रहे ।
हम कहीं से शुरू हुए थे,
ना जाने कहाँ आके रुके हैं ?

अब नज़र में है अपनी मन्ज़िल,
पर इल्म न है क्या-क्या खोया ।
हम कहीं से शुरू हुए थे,
ना जाने कहाँ आके रुके हैं ?

सब कुछ लुटाया जिसकी चाह में,
उसी ने कभी आवाज़ न दी ।
हम कहीं से शुरू हुए थे,
ना जाने कहाँ आके रुके हैं ?

-प्रत्यूष गर्ग Pratyush Garg
९-८-२००८ 09-08-2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Manzar (मन्ज़र)

क्यों हम भूल चुके हैं,
कि हम कभी भाई थे ।
साथ बैठ एक थाली में,
माँ के हाथ से खाते थे ।

कयों आज यहाँ सब दरो-दीवार,
खून की स्याही से स्याह हैं ।
फ़लो के दरख़्तों की जगह हमने,
कयों बबूलों के झाड़ बोये हैं ।

क्यों आज यहाँ की सड़को पर,
भेड़िये शिकार की फ़िराक मे हैं ।
इंसानो में ढूँढने से भी कहीं,
एक अदद इन्सान मिलना मुश्किल है ।

मेरी आखिरी ख़्वाहिश है कि,
ये तमाम मन्ज़र बदलना चाहिये ।
इस उजड़े चमन की जगह,
वापस सच्चा हिन्दोस्तां बनाना चाहिये ।

- प्रत्यूष गर्ग Pratyush Garg
६-८-२००८ 06-08-2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Kashmakash (कश्मकश)

अपने अतीत की परछाईं से मैं,
पीछा छुडा़ने की जुगत मे लगा हूँ ।
पर कमबख्त परछाईं की है ऐसी फ़ितरत,
कि भूत सी मेरे दामन से चिपकी है ।

रात के अन्धेरे में सोता हूँ,
तो नींद से जगा जाती है ।
दिन के उजाले में सोचता हूँ,
तो हैरां सी छोड़ जाती है ।

मेरा कल है मेरे आज पर भारी,
इस शोर में भी खामोशी है तारी ।
साँसो की ज़रा आहट भी डरा जाती है,
धूएँ में ज़िन्दगी की लौ समा जाती है ।

कभी मैं भी खुश था,
हर तरह से संतुष्ट था ।
अब ज़िंदगी की किश्तें तो हैं,
पर हरदम साथ है कश्मकश ।

-प्रत्यूष गर्ग Pratyush Garg
५-८-२००८ 05-08-2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisi (हज़ारो ख्वाहिशे ऐसी)

हज़ारो ख्वाहिशे ऐसी, कि हर ख्वाहिश पे दम निकले,
बहुत निकले मेरे अरमान, लेकिन फ़िर भी कम निकले ।

क्यो मेरा कातिल, क्या रहेगा उसकी गर्दन पर,
वो खून, जो चश्म-ए-तार से उम्र भर यू दम-ब-दम निकले ।

निकलना खुल्द से आदम का, सुनते आये है लेकिन,
बहुत बेआबरू हो कर तेरे कूचे से हम निकले ।

भ्रम खुल जाये ज़ालिम, तेरी कामत की दराज़ी का,
अगर इस तराहे पर पेच-ओ-खम का पेच-ओ-खम निकले ।

मगर लिखवाये कोई उसको खत, तो हमसे लिखवाये,
हुई सुबह और घर से, कान पर रख कर कलम निकले ।

हुई इस दौर मे मन्सूब मुझसे बडा आशामी,
फिर आया वो ज़माना, जो जहा मे जाम-ए-जाम निकले ।

हुई जिन से तवक्का खास्तगी की दाद पाने की,
वो हम से भी ज़्यादा खास्ता-ए-तेघ-ए-सितम निकले ।

मोहब्ब्त मे नही है फ़र्क, जीने और मरने का,
उसी को देख कर जीते है, जिस काफ़िर पे दम निकले ।

ज़रा कर जोर सीने पर कि तीर-ए-परसितम निकले,
जो वो निकले तो दिल निकले, जो दिल निकले तो दम निकले ।

खुदा के वास्ते, पर्दा ना काबिज़ उठा ज़ालिम,
कही ऐसा ना हो, यहा भी, वही काफ़िर सनम निकले ।

कहा मयखाने का दरवाज़ा गालिब, और कहा वाइज़,
पर इतना जानते है कल, वो जाता था कि हम निकले ।

हज़ारो ख्वाहिशे ऐसी, कि हर ख्वाहिश पे दम निकले,
बहुत निकले मेरे अरमान, लेकिन फ़िर भी कम निकले ।