Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai Under Siege...

Aftershock!!! :

Some philosophize in poetry. Some vituperate in words. Some candle in silence, some parade in demonstration. Some brood eventualities, some vocalize in visual. Some conference on strategy, some indulge in exploit. Some weep at loss, some weep at sympathy. Some courage in reconstruction, some repair in caution.

And some… sitting far, or within us, twitter and chuckle on the completion of a dastardly action…!!!

Events that unfolded :

In the last 48 hrs or so, as you must be aware, more than 150 people have been killed in a first of its kind terrorist attack in South Mumbai. It’s a one of a kind urban warfare that’s happening as I write this blog. South Mumbai is a posh area with all hotels and tourist hangouts. It seems like the terrorist had just that in mind while planning this attack. Western media is terming this as 9/11 of India, possibly because residents of their countries are held hostages. And for God's sake would someone tell the media not to repeat the cliched phrase "Spirit of Mumbai"!!! Utter bullshit!!! A few points of facts and news reports that have been unveiled as of now:

  • ·         The terrorists have come directly from the “neighboring” country it seems. They have clearly planned out this sea route attack months in advance and executed it brutally over 100s of innocent civilians.
  • ·         They arrived at around 9:30pm on 26th November and scattered across different locations in the city. They went to CST (Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus) and sprayed bullets over dozens in the waiting room), Cama Hospital where they engaged in a battle with the ATS and Mumbai Police. ATS chief was killed in the incident. The terrorists were finally shot down. Among the other scattered groups, one group sprayed bullets near Metro Cinema, Leopold CafĂ©, and then entered Taj Hotel, one group entered Trident Hotel and another holed up inside Nariman House.
  • ·         Presently a battle is raging on between the NSG commandos, the MARCOS (Marine Commandos) and the terrorist holed up inside Nariman House and Taj Heritage Hotel overlooking India Gate.
  • ·         Trident Hotel (formerly Oberoi) has been freed of all terrorists. Two terrorist have been killed and all possible hostages have been rescued in the morning. Some have been killed, the exact number of which is unknown.
  • ·         Gujrat CM Narendra Modi couldn’t find a better time to spew political propaganda and accuse the Prime Minister.
  • ·         External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee directly accuses Pakistani elements for the attack while Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Quereshi was quick to tell the media that this is not a time for political altercation.
  • ·         PM Manmohan Singh calls up his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani and asked the ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha to come to India and cooperate in the investigations of the Mumbai attack. The Pakistani President has approved the request and also called up PM in this regard. This is a first of its kind direct face to face talk between chief of intelligence of the two neighboring countries on a particular terrorist attack.
  • ·         The whole incident has attracted a lot of media attention all over the world, the reason being that residents from US, UK, Israel, Japan, Canada, Finland, Spain and other countries have been involved in the onslaught. The US terrorist “experts” are quick to point their fingers towards Al-Qaida.
  • ·         Fifteen policemen and two NSG personnel have lost their lives in the anti terror operations, says Maharastra Deputy CM, R R Patil. NSG officer Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan was killed in the operation at Taj Hotel.
  • ·     NSG commandos have blasted the 4th floor of Nariman House. All terrorists are said to have been neutralized. Nariman House encounter appears to be over now. Fate of hostages/injured civilians inside Nariman House are unknown. Meanwhile, Taj Hotel has seen a fierce gunbattle between the security forces and the terrorists.

  • ·     Latest reports coming in saying 5 people have been killed by terrorists at Nariman House. This has been confirmed by the NSG.
  • ·     7:59PM  : Fresh firing has been reported in Nariman House. Clearly there is still a situation out there. Also intermittent firing and blasts are being reported from Taj Hotel.
  • ·     10:17 PM: The operation at Nariman House is finally over, according to the NSG. Five hostages and two terrorists have been found dead inside the building.
  • ·  09:04AM : NSG chief says the 59-hour siege of Taj Hotel is almost over. 3 terrorists have been killed in the Taj operation. 

  • ·     I was watching Times Now all along following the whole ordeal. I would like to applaud the efforts by the news channel especially by Arnab Goswami, the TV camera crew and other reporters. They have been constantly covering the whole incident and reporting Live for the last 48 hrs. Truly phenomenal. Even Amitabh Bachchan appears to have been moved. Here’s an interesting copy from his blog :

     I have been riveted to Times Now and to the incredible anchoring of Arnab. He has been at it non stop for almost 24 hrs; reporting, discussing, interviewing, taking opinion, tirelessly.” 
    Another part of the blog  :
    I am ashamed to say this and not afraid to share this now with the rest of the cyber world, that last night, as the events of the terror attack unfolded in front of me I did something for the first time and one that I had hoped never ever to be in a situation to do.
    Before retiring for the night, I pulled out my licensed .32 revolver, loaded it and put it under my pillow. For a very disturbed sleep.”

Movie Maniac goes reviewing : Part II


I had to watch this Salman-Katrina starrer. Not only because it’s a Katrina film, but also since it’s a Subhash Ghai film! The last film of Subhash Ghai was Kisna, an utter flop as I remember. There are a few distinct characteristics of a Subhash Ghai film. All of them are larger than life magnum opus drama with rich families in them. A clear contrast between the rich and poor divide is always shown. Also, in character traits, there will be good characters, perpetual bad characters, and some shady characters who will finally become good. All in all, a film which shows good is conquering over evil after a series of melodrama. The extended family (maama, maami, chacha, chachi, cousins etc) are always shown to be bad! Be it Pardes, Taal, Yaadein or Yuvvraaj, it’s the same common characters there. Although the whole thing is good initially, after sometimes it gets too much to digest! You feel like watching copied scenes from his earlier movies! Change Mr. Ghai, we need some CHANGE! Yuvvraaj thus is a decade too old to be released. The story is all the same, estranged brothers getting together after 12 long years after some over heightened melodrama. One good thing that is common in all Subhash Ghai films is good music. A. R. Rahman certainly doesn’t disappoint you in Yuvvraaj. There are some nice romantic songs like “Tu Meri Dost Hain”, “Tu Muskura” and a fast party number, “Shano Shano”. Almost all songs are pictures amidst beautiful locales in Europe with magnanimous bright colours, greenery, and costumes. Salman, Katrina, Mithun and Boman Irani does an average job. Anil Kapoor does a pretty good job indeed. Zayed Khan seemed simply out of place. I felt like his character was simply thrown into the film in haste! Overall a watchable film, but certainly not a must-watch.


I feel there should have been a serious explanation on the name of the film! The film is absolutely not about “friendship” as you all must have known already. Although there has been discussion on the basis the name was given, by some reviewers like Greatbong. The theme of the film is loosely based on “Kal Ho Na Ho – Kantaben” hangover and the Hollywood film “I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry”. Although Kal Ho na Ho was a blockbuster hit, Chuck n Larry film was a terrible flop but I watched it a few months ago. The concept is basically the same. The story revolves around two men (Abhishek and John) and a girl (Priyanka). Then there is also a proper (and not guest) appearance by Bobby Deol. The film overall does a good job and definitely has some laughable moments. What was that Gandalf look-alike saying in the remix song, “main akaashwani hoon, aur ye sach hain ki aap ka beta gay hain!!!!” The film is definitely not a gay joke or gay spoof film as some reviewers have said. Some people have even said that this film is a pioneer in its category (gay film?)! Bullshit! I would tell them to watch Page 3 again or Fire (I havnt seen it though). The music is average, some good beats to hear out. Watch this film if you want some quick dose of fun filled laughter show.

The Man from Earth

This is a low budget film which possibly came and went by and no one noticed. At least it never came to theatres in India. It’s a semi science fiction movie. Semi, in the sense that this is not a typical sci-fi thriller, and definitely not in the star trek genre. The whole film is shot inside a single room. This is a story about a person named John Oldman (pun?) who claims to have been living for the last 14000 years. There was not possible proof left with John to prove his claim. He tries his best to explain to everyone what it is like to be living for so long surviving illness, and all natural calamities. The possibility of a man living for such a long time is a big debate indeed and hence is science fiction. One interesting thing to note is that the people listening to John curse him when he points out saying that he himself was Jesus! People would believe anything and everything but when you question their faith, it becomes bullshit! An interesting climax ends the film, but a whole lot of questions hover around you after you have seen the movie. A must watch.


Vinay Pathak is the king of low budget films. His simple and confident style of acting simply mesmerizes you and you sit back and watch him in a non glamorous, realistic film. Dasvidaniya is a one man film, almost like Bheja Fry. This one has him in a dying man’s avatar, a simpleton living the life of a hard working clerk. He diligently makes a list of “things to do” everyday. Till one day when he discovers himself having only 3 months left to live. His conscious self confronts him and he sets out to a make a “thing to do” list before he dies. The whole film deals with how he executes all of them! A simple film, told in a simple way minus all the glam-sham. The music is average with good songs by Kailash Kher. Watch this film to know how Vinay Pathak exists in between SRK, Hrithik, Salman and all others.

~Lots of Love~

Friday, November 14, 2008

Movie Maniac goes reviewing : Part I

I watch a lot of films these days. Films which you watch, you should watch & films which I watch & most people wouldn’t watch, terming them a flop. I download a hell lot of movies utilizing my broadband bandwidth to the fullest. I would like to give short reviews for some of the films that were worth mentioning for reasons good or bad. I’m not a professional movie reviewer but just another movie buff. I like watching movies for sake of enjoying! So here goes my reviews :


Now this is a film which came and went by. Nobody noticed. A box office flop! Sure it is but I watched it (at home of course). This is a story of three jawans and their families. The jawans were killed in the Kargil battle and the film shows how the families of these jawans live after 3 years of the jawans’ death. Now why would some director/producer like to make a film on Kargil war! Not that this film shows the war in any way. Still, why would they make this film after so many years. Isn’t it a bit too late for these kind of films?!! No doubt it’s a different kind of approach to the life of a jawan. But people don’t like such celluloid dramas; they would rather watch serials at home! A few things worth mentioning in this film : Salman Khan and Priety Zinta’s Punjabi was top notch, sunny deol’s knuckles were top notch and , sohail khan’s kite flying skills were top notch! Okay now imagine this situation, sunny deol is handicapped and he his limbs are paralyzed. He has to be on his wheelchair most of the time. Yes “most”, not when a bunch of hooligans are trying to dance with his girlfriend! Oops pooh pooh these hooligans. Wooing Sunny Deol’s girlfriend in a film? You have got to be kidding! So when these half a dozen party goers challenge Sunny paaji, he has to say “sab ek saath aana, ek ek karke aaoge to pit jaoge”! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Now here’s a scene from the fight sequence. What you can see is that sunny paaji is punching floor tiles and they are cracking like glass plates! Now where have I seen that before? Did someone say “hulk”?? Oops! So finally Sunny paaji does beat the hell out of these poor stuntmen even when they came as a bunch! Duh! Yes I did watch the whole film. It was worth watching. However I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless he/she has nothing to do like me.

James Bond – Quantum of Solace

What are the five things that come to our mind when we think about the 007? A gun, martini (shaken not stirred), cars, women & style quotient! This film had the first three but the fifth was missing somewhere. Even the fourth (Olga Kurylenko and Gemma Arterton) weren’t really eye popping. The first scene itself is a car chase sequence. The film has lots of actions. May be that’s why some people didn’t like this film. Also another reason could be that some people couldn’t understand the film in the first place. They had no idea of what’s going on. I and my friend had to discuss the events during the 1st part at regular intervals to understand what was going on. This is a film for all Bond maniacs and Daniel Craig fans. This blonde bond has something in him. I have seen him in Munich and Road to Perdition. He is a real gem of an actor. But I guess 007 needs more than that. The action sequences done by Daniel were superb. At one time I was feeling as if I was watching Spiderman! Go and watch this film if you watch Bond films.

The Mummy - Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

As Brenden Fraser was told “You guys are a Mummy magnet”. He may not be a mummy magnet but he sure is a mummy film magnet! I'm a fan of the first two films, The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. They were simply awesome to watch with all the realistic special effects. Coming to this film, it lacked everything that was there in the first two films except the few common actors and the mummy factor. This film has three awesome looking Yetis. I came to know about the living snowman from Tintin in Tibet long back when I was a kid. The Yetis did a wonderful job in this film. Wish the humans would have done better. Michele Yeoh was a complete bore in this film. Special effects were good but not jaw dropping. The terracotta army was given a detailed expressive look. The three headed dragon was a bore. It rarely spewed flames, and whenever it did, it had no effect on our heroes. No doubt it was termed a box office dumb squib. I think you better watch your “mummy” cook in the kitchen rather than getting a bad taste of this mummy film!

The Downfall

This is a German film based on the fall of Hitler and his Nazi regime. I was recommended to watch this film by Atanu, and I wasn’t disappointed a bit. The film is a marvelous drama portraying the last few days on Hitler and his close associates in the bunker while the Russian Red Army was marching into Berlin. Everything in the film was detailed portrayal of the life of the vegetarian, teetotaler Nazi ruler. The film shows how he tried his level best in the last days of the war to order troops and regiments which existed only on paper. The film doesn’t glorify his deeds nor does it slander him. Some raw facts were dramatized as narrated by a personal assistant of Hitler recruited in the last days of the war. This is a must watch movie. There will be subtitles of course to assist you.

I have one question regarding Hitler. This does not relate to the film. Subhash Chandra Bose is rumoured to have close ties with Hitler and the Nazi regime during the hay days of the World War II. Bose as we know is a communist and Hitler had thorough abhorrence for Communists. Then why did the Nazi regime entertain Bose in the first place? Was it just because Bose was fighting against the British? Logic fails to give me an answer out here. May be I’m not thorough with the history. Can someone enlighten me?

I missed the October month completely. I will try to compensate in this month. A post on F1 is long overdue.

~Lots of love~