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a blog on 'life' and other popular four letter words...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gaadi, Zindagi aur Sawari

By Gaadi.com
(The dreamy times) Its sinuous curves shaped his childhood dreams. Ever since he was a kid, the red shiny car adorned not only his bedroom walls but also his heart and mind. The Ferrari is ‘the’ racing car, with its continued amazing success in Formula One.  Ferrari cars and its logo – the prancing horse - are seen as a symbol of speed, luxury and wealth.  And all his childhood, Ferrari was the one race car with which he wanted to race ahead in his open life. 

In his passenger seat, he saw his dad, his hero. 

For he knew that a car takes you from one place to another; but what makes the journey worthwhile are the amazing looks that only a Ferrari can give.

By Gaadi.com

(The roaring 20s) College came and he needed to go from A to B. And sometimes to D but come back to C while still going to E – basically a lot of driving to be managed within his meager pocket money. His pocket money could only afford such a car – his Maruti 800. And it was also his first car, his first love; that taught him how to drive, that gave him amazing mileage and was low maintenance. Other aspects that mattered to him were the resale value, widespread service points and affordable parts. 

In his passenger seat, he mostly took his mom to the temple every Sunday, and his friends every other day. 

For he knew that a car takes you from one place to another; but what makes the journey worthwhile is the amazing affordability that only a Maruti 800 can give. 

By Gaadi.com

(The wild 30s) After college, he got his job. The job consumed him and he worked and toiled hard to get ahead. And he partied equally harder. He had tons of friends, with whom he went for long drives, weekend getaways and night outs. His Honda Brio was his alter ego – it reflected his style and his car was his image. The world famous Honda quality and fuss free ownership made sure he spend more time on the roads than off it. 

 In his passenger seat, he took his lady love with whom he made plans for their life together – she, he and their Brio.  

For he knew that a car takes you from one place to another; but what makes the journey worthwhile is the style that only a Honda Brio can give. 

By Gaadi.com

(The glorious 40s) At 40 he was his life’s boss. His time was money and his money was time. He knew that a man is known for the company he keeps, the strings he can pull and the car he drives. His ride was no longer about transportation but a social statement about himself. His car had to behave like him, move like him and be like him. Something his Skoda Superb with its German build quality, great engine and top notch comfort added superbly into his lifestyle. 

In his passenger seat, he happily took his family, away together from the grind of city life for the weekly much needed ‘us‘ time.  

For he knew that a car takes you from one place to another; but what makes the journey worthwhile is the status that only a Skoda Superb can give. 

By Gaadi.com

(The better half) As his life took greater ups and turns, his family had their own rides to take them to their dreams. While he brought home the bread, his wife put the butter. While he made the palaces, she decorated them with love, warmth and joy. She too needed her wheels to add wings to her wishes. And she found a home away from her home within the sturdy and muscular comfort of her Toyota Fortuner. The Fortuner blended into their lives with its safety, luxury, style and sportiness.  

In her passenger seat, she took the kids for ice cream, shopping and their school cricket matches.

For she knew that a car takes you from one place to another; but what makes the journey worthwhile is the security that only a Toyota Fortuner can give.

By Gaadi.com

(The lil ones) And when their kids grew up, they had their own roads to travel. For the kids and for the environment, they got themselves the Reva, an electric car that boasts of zero emissions truly saves the planet with each drive. What adds to the charm are the super low running costs, great maneuverability and dent resistant body. 

In its passenger seat, they kept their pride in helping saving the planet by taking one polluting car off the street and replacing it with a nonpolluting one.  

For they knew that a car takes you from one place to another; but what makes the journey worthwhile is the sense of green responsibility that only a Reva can give. 

By Gaadi.com

(The glorious 50s) And then he had arrived in the world and he needed a car as big as his accomplishments. He had achieved most of his dreams and ambitions, met a fantastic woman, raised a beautiful family together, and had done his part for society. He was a big shot and his car-time now was mostly back seat. He owed to himself only the best that life could offer and his S Class was a validation of that. Considered to be the best car in the world, the S Class paid attention to the most minute details, had enormous emotional connect and had its own distinct scent. 

And in his passenger seat, he kept his many, many accomplishments.  

For he knew that a car takes you from one place to another; but what makes the journey worthwhile is the sense of accomplishment that only a Mercedes S Class can give. 

By Gaadi.com

(The unsettling twilights) And then came the stage when it hit him and hit him hard – he had done everything he needed to do in life and started becoming aware of how short life really is. He had already retired from active work, his kids had moved on and he needed to do something to save himself from the boredom. The Porsche was his answer to reclaim his faded youth. The wind hit his face and his life glided past in his rear window. The Porsche’s high performance engines, outstanding handling characteristics, and classic design gave him a sense of control over his scheme of things.  

For he knew that a car takes you from one place to another; but what makes the journey worthwhile is the power that only a Porsche can give. 

(The dreamy times) Then came the day which descends on even the most liveliest of men. He didn’t know where he went or which road he took. He didn’t feel the power, the control or the drive. In the driver’s seat, there was none but the shoulders of the ones who loved him as much as he loved them. They lowered him gently into the ground, spoke good words of him, put handfuls of soil respectfully onto him, buried him and wept for him. 

But he closed his eyes happy.  

For he knew that life takes you from one place to another; but what made the journey worthwhile was what he put in his passenger’s seat. 

So what do you put in your passenger's seat?

This post was written for gaadi.com (Link here). You can research new cars, check car prices, compare cars, buy and sell new and old cars at Gaadi.com.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bollywood's Movie Guide 2014 - the Hottest, Juiciest, Biggest, New, Must See Upcoming Movies

Behind the glitter and the glamour of Bollywood, there lurks a well-hidden secret.

That the lion’s share of total Bollywood grosses is shared just between 4-6 people – the superstars. So if Krrish 3 and Chennai Express made 500 Crs, in reality, all that money mostly went back to two people – the stars who were also the producers. Bollywood is a very unique play where the big stars monetize their star power by making forgettable movies and fill up their own pockets without any sort of commitment to the art. In 2013, each blockbuster broke previous records. But if you closely study the blockbusters, they were just marketing successes – that is , movies that made all their money in the first two weeks and after that, were done with.

To make movies we’re proud of, we should let more committed producers into play – which is considerably difficult now since the superstars have already blocked their dates and theatres for their own sub-par work.

And that’s where ’14 could be different.

The previous all-time hit – 3 idiots – was a good movie; people flocked to theatres to watch them over and over again (notice the powerful words “over and over again”). This concept of the strong ‘repeat business’ was not a factor of any of the ’13 blockbusters. Many folks watched these blockbusters just to confirm if it really was as bad as it was said to be.

The ‘3 idiots’ team of Rajkumar Hirani+ Aamir Khan is back in ’14 with ‘PeeKay’ – it already has the big star +big marketing+ big release – which the ’13 biggies had; but what they didn’t have - and what Peekay could have, that could ensure repeat business, is ‘big story’ – as Hirani has proved with all his earlier amazing movies.

But our Hindi movies will continue to find the right money making marketing moves– so you’ll see movies releasing in maximum number of screens, on long holiday weekends and getting ‘em released in the international markets with sizable Indian populations. Of course, you’ll also see sneaky moves like falsified reviews, delaying bad reviews, higher ticket pricing and fighting for the big weekends to monetize the first week.

Each of the superstar has his own big movie in ’14. Hence prediction - 2014 could turn into the biggest year for Bollywood ever!

Here’s a dekko of the new year’s offering: 


Salman Khan

No Bollywood box office record is complete without the Aam Aadmi’s hero. When his fellows stars were breaking Bollywood records in ’13, Salman did not have any releases in ’13. But he still managed to get into our homes every night with Bigg Boss 7. While a section of fans complained about Salman’s alleged unfairness on Bigg Boss, he still got a lot of visibility that could help his two releases in ’14– ‘Jai Ho’ in Jan and ‘Kick’ in Eid. Somehow ‘Jai Ho’ looks a little lazy an attempt, but Salman is all bout star power, so u never know how things will shape out. Also, if it’s a great story, then it’ll be boom time again. I’m more excited for Kick, considering it’s releasing in the Salman time of year – Eid.

Why watch - For being the quintessential Bollywood hero – jhatkas, matkas, the rang, birang man, Salman. 

Aamir Khan

The only thing better than Aamir Khan is two Aamir Khans. Or not. But anything Aamir Khan touches is platinum – after redefining ‘mega’ with ‘Dhoom3’, Aamir’s outing in 2014 is ‘Peekay’ – this blog thinks that it’ll turn into a 3 Idiots kinda hit – the all-time hit which people can actually be proud of. I cringed everytime I had to tell my firang friends that the biggest hit in my country was Chennai Express. Aamir changed that with Dhoom 3 but my cringe still remained - hopefully Aamir would change that too with PK. Also, second part of Satya Meva Jayate rolls out in ’14 making Aamir a much (more) loved man in ‘14. 

Why watch - For being Aamir, the unique one. 

Shah Rukh Khan

SRK has a thing for Chennai and curd– in Ra.One, he showed that Chennaiyates eat noodles with curd and in the aptly named ‘Chennai Express’, lassi inside coconuts. After staging a marketing coup by shrewdly dedicating the desperate-to-be-funny ‘Lungi Dance’ to the Rajni, it was no surprise that it just went all ‘Ready, Steady, Po- kran!’ SRK is often the quietest of the Khans, maybe cos we don’t see as much of him as the other Khans (read – he doesn’t have a successful TV show). But when he does come into the limelight, he comes things like Chennai Express and we wish that he had just remained quiet. In ’14, expect to see more of him with IPL 7 and of course in YRF’s ’Fan’ and Farah Khan’s ‘Happy New Year’ 

Why watch - What's Bollywood without the SRK, eh?

 Hritik Roshan 

In 2003, HR took a major career decision. It was the second year in succession that every Hritik movie had flopped and he was described as ‘finished’. HR took a sabbatical and then took the gutsy decision to break from industry standard practice of overlapping film shoots and focus on only one single film at a time. The first movie after his decision was ‘Koi Mil Gaya’, that year’s biggest grosser and a resurrection of HR the superstar. It’s a strange twist of fate that today, a decade later, Hritik’s ‘Krrish 3’ is a sequel of that career defining movie. Too bad it’s not even a patch on the prequel.

Watch HR launch his new clothes line and his two movies – the ‘Knight and Day’ inspired ‘Bang Bang’ and ‘Shuddi’, rumored to be take on ‘The Immortals of Meluha’ 

Ajay Devgan

Ajay Devgan climbed to the top the hard way – with oodles of talent, he struggled and transformed himself from action hero to actor to a very successful producer today. And got himself married to the top heroine of his day.  His ‘Singam’ brimmed with so much masala that it’s hard not to catch it everytime it plays on tv. 2014 is a masaledhaar year for Ajay with the second helping of Singam 2 and another spicy movie by the King of Masala, Lord Prabhu Deva himself, called Action Jackson. And for a change, this time Lord Deva is not remaking a Southern blockbuster and is developing ‘original script’, if there exists such a concept in movieland. 

Why watch - Versatility, thy name is Ajay Devgan.


Ranbir Kapoor  

Besharam will remind RK that not everyone can pull off masala. Maybe it’s a sign that not everyone should do masala. The great grandson shines in movies that make sense and should simply leave the nonsense. And the man described as "the most bankable actor of his generation" has some pretty interesting stuff lined up in 2014 – ‘Roy’ where plays a thief (out in June 20), a 'Sherlock Holmes-meets-James Bond-meets-Mission Impossible' movie where RK plays a teenager alongside Katrina, named Jagga Jasoos (Oct 2nd), and the ambitious start of a trilogy, ‘Bombay Velvet’ (out on X Mas), the story of how Bombay became the metropolis Mumbai. Karan Johar plays prime baddie for the first time.

Why watch - Well, there isn’t quite anyone like him in his age group really. 

Akshay Kumar

Another masala man who met his match. 'Boss' did not really go the way it intended, in spite of surprisingly decent reviews. But Akshay’s back with more of the same again this year too with ‘Its Entertainment’, ‘Holiday’ (a remake of the tam ‘Thuppakki’) and Sanjay Leela produced ‘Gabbar’, another south remake.

Well, judging on the masala acceptance, this year could be huge or bust for Khiladi Kumar. 


So as expected , majority of the above blockbusters would be masaledar but the real cinema will be in the smaller movies. Following is a list of 2014’s most interesting projects : 

Dedh Ishiqiya – After the immensely likeable ‘Ishqiya’ comes the sequel quirkily named so. After Naseer’s Khalujan and Warsi’s Babban loved Vidya in their own special ways (“ Tumhara ishq, ishq ... aur humara ishq, sex”), this time both have their own leading ladies to shower their individual kinda love. More than crispy dialogues like ‘chutasiyam sulphate’, the sparks this time comes from the ladies - Madhiri Dixit, back after a long sabbatical and Huma Queresi, the new babe in town. Out on Jan 10th. 

Shaadi Ke Side Effects – One of the most awesome moments of Indian cinema is the men vs women scoreboard scene in ‘Pyaar Ke Side Effects’. The incredibly affable urban comedy won many hearts and welcomed the very odd pairing of Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat. The sequel to this cute comedy has another odd pairing of Farhan Akhter and Vidya Balan. The rest of the original team returns. Out on Feb 28. 

Mary Kom - During the Olympics, a cartoon came out showing Mary Kom beating to pulp, a line of opponents, with each win getting her closer to the medal. Even though she didn’t get gold, she won first place in our hearts with her grit, determination and drive. Suddenly, we all knew of a mother from Manipur who fought her way up through poverty and the system to emerge a real victor. So then Bollywood fucked up the whole thing by letting Priyanka Chopra play Mary Kom. Bhansali produces. Last heard from Chopra, “Mary Kom’s story is the same as mine”. The world ends somewhere in ’14. 

Gunday – So how do you offset bad acting, bulging biceps and a bad actress? You bring in Irrfan Khan to save the day. Do excuse my despise for Priyanka Chopra, but Gunday could actually be a good movie. Even though the vibe reminds you of ‘Once Upon a time in Mumbai’, a lead pair of Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor that seem to try to compensate their childlike acting with rippling muscles and Priyanka Chopra’s playing cabaret in the 70’s coal story, you still have the classy Khan doing a Morgan Freeman with the voice over and is the prime beef baddie . Looks interesting already.

Gulaab Gang – Remember ‘The Expendables’ when you saw Arnie and Stallone, superstar rivals of each other in the 90’s, in the same frame? Many people wondered why the hell did they never team up earlier in the 90’s when they were at their peaks? Gulaab Gang is also a similar star pairing with once upon a time superstar rivals, Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla, in one movie. And yes, this is Juhi’s first negative role. Releasing on 7th March.

Chetan Bhagat’s ‘2 States’, Nagesh Kukunoor’s 'Lakshmi', Imtiaz Ali’s ‘Highway’(with Rehman’s music) Saif’s quadruplets - ‘Happy Ending’ , ‘Hamshakals’(where he’s playing triple roles), ‘Phantom’ (with Katrina) and ‘Finding Fanny Fernandes’, Abhay Deol’s ’One by Two’, Ayushmann’s ‘Bewakoofian’, Sunny Leone’s ‘Ragini MMS 2’, Dostana 2, Bhootnath 2 and Hashmi’s ‘Ungli’ complete this list. 

So the other big news from down under are the make-or-break Rajni animation movie ‘Kochadaiiyaan’, Shankar’s horribly over budgeted (Rs 145Cr and counting) magnum opus ‘I’ and Kamal Hassan’s ‘’Viswaroopam 2’, which could create ripples in Bollywood. And in addition to these, expect assault from Hollywood, in the form of sequels to well-loved franchises of Spider Man and Transformers take their pounds of flesh from Bollywood.
So the year just started off and the movies that are being talked about are D3 and 3D Sholay – one movie sucks and the other is a classic. But jo b karvalo, Bollywood will never change its ways - one of them just crossed 500 Cr and the better other stumbled. 

A sign of things to come this year?

Check out list of 2014's Biggest Hollywood movies here.