Lest we forget…

30 08 2007

I was off to Pune for celebrating Rakhi with my sisters. It was the first time in almost 16 years that the three of us for together for the occasion but the event was dented by the twin bomb blasts in Hyderabad. Even though it hurts me when any part of India is under proxy attack but I feel enraged when it happens in Hyderabad (a place I have come to consider as home). Being a hardcore North Indian (and for all my regional sympathies) I find Hyderabadis specifically and Andhraites in general probably the most easy going, and tolerant denizens I have come across. They assimilate everyone and anything with open arms and open heart. And an attack at the most secular canvas of India is heinous to stay the least.

However, not just Hyderabad but why does India as such proves to be such an easy target for terror attacks? I would like to put up an excerpt of my post on the Tolmolbol.com Hyderabad Bol section that provides a few of my thoughts.

“…why India is a soft target is mainly to do with the policing strategy and administrative inertia. Policing strategy in India is barebones, reactionary and defensive….

…Huge acts are voted in but even a basic framework of counter-terrorism is not put into place…

The only point I may not be able to blame security agency for is profiling of possible terror elements. This is a genuine problem. In west even though they lay tall claims like “Enemy Within” their so called enemy is usually foreign and the profile of such enemy is very unique and distinguishable. In India the problem is similar to UK’s problem with IRA, the terrorist do not have a largely distinguishable front.

…There is glory in being resilient and in living life normally after such an event. And it is to Indians that we do not let anything derail us. However, not heeding to numerous attacks right in the heart of our country is being foolhardy.

We have to stop our knee jerk reaction and we have to stop acting like a soft target…”

I hope the aftershocks of Hyderabad twin blasts do not go along the same lines as the ones before. I hope the immovable bureaucracy shows some signs of action. I hope that there are finally some learnings from this tragedy. Finally, I really hope we do not see another 25/8 in India.

My condolences to the families of the people who died in this attack. My heart goes out for their losses. Lets not ever again be a soft target.



Des mere…

17 08 2007

Time flies bye. It seems just yesterday that I had posted my “Desh ke Naam Sandesh” on the 59th Anniversary of Azad Bharat. And here I sit again into the 61st year of our independence. This year I was laid low with a bout of fever and cough but got a chance to watch the Independence Day Special on Discovery channel.

Also got to listen bits and pieces of PM Mr. Manmohan Singh’s speech. The speech was unfortunately very very ordinary, I have grown used to these speeches now. The agenda remains same, the script sounds eerily familiar every year. However, the the optimism of a roaring economy is in the air and on every news channel – Indian and foreign alike.

India is fast redefining its image and India of Gregory David Robert’s Shantaram sounds like one from a different lifetime, eventhough I grew up in that India. I never imagined even in the year ’97, that in ten years I would be sitting in my house with a laptop connected to internet through a wireless switch and typing away at this blog entry.

I remember reading a definitive commentary on Indian culture and heritage – “The Wonder that WAS India” by A.L. Basham. Even as the book was amazing in its content, the “WAS” in the title was quite damning in itself of the fact that India had become a pale shadow of its glorious past. Its unfortunate that Mr. Basham is not with us anymore, else I could see him writing a sequel to the book and call it “The Wonder that is India”. The paradoxical economy thrives. Umpteen regulations, countless cases of corruption, politicians devoid of vision and commitment, anarchy rules. And even in anarchy its the common Indians who drive this country in face of numerous challenges.

This post is dedicated to INDIANS. To our hopes and to our ambitions. To our tribulations and our perseverance. To our marvelous & haunting past, to our ascending present, and to our glorious future.

So what if Sensex crashed 660 points today, tomorrow it would rise a 1000. Optimism is all around and I can not help it rubbing on to me.

Jai Hind!

Do you really want a partner?

9 08 2007

Not only did Eros and K Sera Sera produce a pathetic lift off, and an excuse for a movie called Partner but they now stand to face a $30 Million lawsuit . David Dhawan directed Partner was a direct rip-off of the Overbrook & Sony co-produced blockbuster Hitch. So its of little surprise that Sony Entertainment, who have already set shop in India, are ready to make waves or may I call it Tsunamis in Bollywood.

I could probably ruin my whole night if had to just put a list of copied movies here. Still here are few I can think of:

A megaflop rip off of Disclosure

Satte pe Satta
A BLOCKBUSTER copy of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I think Satte pe Satta would have outdone SBSB on business.

Akele Hum Akele TumKramer vs. Kramer.
Thankfully AHAT had some very good acting to do justice to the award winning Kramer vs. Kramer.

Khotte Sikke For a Few Dollars More.
This was pretty hilarious spoof of the original. Oh Shit! My bad. It was not supposed to be a spoof.

Zalzala – McKenna’s Gold.
Useless copy of a great adventure movie, but hey! I am not complaining. I was a fan of Dharam Paaji and I thought its absolutely awesome how Dharam paaji finds the sone ki ghaati. For a long time I believed that such a valley did exist. I even watched Tehelka just because of Dharam Paaji.

Angrakshak – The Bodyguard
Heights of plagiarism. Even the name is not original.:)

A movie whose plot was “only inspired” by Reservoir Dogs. “Only inspired” because Kaante’s director had to fill in the gaps left in unknowingly by Quentin Tarantino in The Dawgs. Apart from those gaps the storyline was copy. Oh! Also except the songs which were very entertaining. Chhod na chhod na chhod na re… chhod na bheja phod na re.
By the way, does Quentin Tarantino sleep while they edit his films? In Reservoir Dogs his editors just put in a black screen and put “Mr. Blonde”, “Mr. Orange” etc on it to fill in the gaps. In Pulp Fiction they were so damn doped that they didn’t even know which scene was to appear when. Quentin thought “What the hell, I will release is as it is and then call it Jagged storyline for art sakes.” I hate these low-budget, mindless directors. 🙂

Not seen Oldboy but found Zinda wicked.

Awara Pagal Deewana
A direct lift off from The Whole Nine Yards. Amazingly funny character names (Guru Gulab Khatri, Yeda Anna) but a very serious comedy movie. The only comic relief in the whole movie was Johnny Lever as Chhotaa Chhatri.

Sarkar – The Godfather
Dharmatma – The Godfather

We have a fetish for Godfathers but don’t have a Marlon Brando to show how its done.

The Phight Kilab – The Fight Club
Note the first movie name has knowingly been misspelled, so that reader may know which one was Hindi. 🙂 Urban fighting gangs in Navi Mumbai, believable!

And a special mention to the two most outstanding copies of all times:
The hand that rock the cradles. Why it needs a special mention is for the simple fact that it was so blatantly copied that even the details were overlooked. In a scene Jeetender (Jumping Jack Flash of Indian Cinema) lies waiting for goons to come to his house, and when they appear, Jeetu promptly reaches under the bed and fishes out (Hold your breath) a BASEBALL BAT. And this was in 1993, an average Indian would not know what the round thing was supposed to be. He could have taken out a hockey stick or a cricket bat. No, but that would not satisfy the Director because that is going away from the plot. He has to take out a baseball bat because the original movie had a baseball bat.

Next up Shahrukh Khan’s magnum opus Badshah. Truly an epic in only one sense and that is the number of movies it has been inspired from. The base story line is taken from Johnny Depp starrer Nick of Time. Climax has been lifted off from The Rush Hour. Fight scenes have been copied from Mr. Nice Guy. Getting Badshah mistaken for another person (and that too a police officer under cover) has been inspired from If Looks Could Kill. With a song choreographed very similar to The Mask. This has to be one of the most delicately and finely stitched movie of all times, even Scary Movie franchise have never fitted in so many movies in a single spoof movie. This also turned out to be an unmitigated disaster at the box office.

Now returning to the main topic. What does it mean for Indian Film Industry? Well this means that no more direct lift off of plots anymore. Not even lifting and then calling it inspiration as has been the norm. This may be the first time ever an Indian movie might be pulled up in the court for plagiarism but would this be the last one? Aage aage dekho hota hai kya…

**Updates September 10th, 2007**

In 2005, producers of “The Oldboy” – ShowEast were mulling over a court case against Producers Sanjay Gupta. As per ShowEast statement:

“We’re looking at the similarities between the two films, but since we don’t have a final product we can judge, we’ll just have to investigate a little more into what kind of relation the films will have. Since we never experienced something like this, we couldn’t really set up a concrete plan. But if we find out there’s indeed a strong similarity between the two, it looks like we’ll have to talk with our lawyers.” 

Nothing came of it though.