24 – Remade in Hindi

24_Anil_Kapoor

The Indian remake of 24 (and mind you it was an official remake and not a plagiarised one, which we are so used to) recently ended it’s run of 12 weeks. For once, this was a series that I watched fully – be it recorded or on TV but bottom line is I followed it and I didn’t sleep during any of the episode. Knowing me, a sleepy head who has slept in every possible movie, this is a huge huge achievement. The first few weeks were very taut and would really hold the audience spell-bound. After that it began to slacken a bit and far too many plots and subplots began surfacing. The star cast was impressive with Anil Kapoor in the lead role (despite being 57). No points for guessing who is the producer of the series:-) But Anil Kapoor enacted his role with aplomb. His wife Tisca Chopra’s character was vague. She was estranged and yet got together. Never understood the nuances of their relationship. Their daughter’s role was dumb or maybe the actress was or both. I never fathomed her stupidity especially going after that guy when she was being rescued. On another note, whatever happened to that guy ….? Orphan links in the story? All in all, Anil Kapoor’s family was shown as dim-witted. Mandira Bedi (Nikita on-screen) was the sole glam element in the otherwise un-glamourous ATU!! Anupam Kher in a brief appearance was good but Shabana Azmi was superb in her bitchy role. The PM candidate, Aditya played by Neil Bhoopalam has a good character much against what reality is unless you look at the new CM of Delhi 🙂 (But well only time will tell how he is) Anita Raj, (seen her after ages) as Aditya’s scheming Mom was always conniving with someone or the other for political gains. The list goes on but after about 8 weeks ie 16 episodes you just had to get to the end of it. It was far-fetched and then came the ending which was a complete wash out. Honestly, they lost the plot completely in the last episode and it was a disaster.

But well give the devil his due…. Anil Kapoor did make an honest attempt at recreating or rather Indianising the original. Season 2 I believe is coming up and I do hope they learn from their mistakes of Season 1. Will have to record all episodes and watch at a go like I watch some of the American series.

The rains are here with a bang

Rains

Mumbaikars were screaming their throats out for some respite from the heat and looks like the Gods sure heard them loud and clear. The past week Mumbai has seen quite a few spells of heavy showers and today, Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 1915 too, the rains show no sign of abating. Yesterday in particular, was extremely heavy and traffic went bonkers. At times like these, policemen too can do little honestly but watch the traffic and the drivers slug it out in the automatic mode. Every driver seems to break any and every law with impunity and this only leads to extreme chaos and it was evident yesterday. Thankfully my car is out for repairs and even if not with a broken wrist there isn’t much driving that I could do. Forecasts too don’t look like a Sunday we could be spending out of home so sit back and enjoy at home. And yes once it begins to pour the first casualty is the Satellite TV so no entertainment either and today is an India Pakistan cricket match too. Let us hope for the best.

No TV….

Yesterday, I came across this forward from Sriram which shook me up:

The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set —
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotized by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink —
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK — HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY … USED … TO … READ! They’d READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

by Roald Dahl
I had decided to do something about this and last night at 9.15 pm I switched off the news on TV and said to Kavya let us go in and read. She wanted to play a game so we arrived at a compromise that we will read first and then play a game. We ended up reading a short story on some snail race which was part of her Reading Club that she attends on Saturdays. After that I began telling my own story on Lord Krishna (I am pathetic at mythology and honestly kids correct my faults which is embarrassing to say the least). She then wanted to know what she had done as a child. Questions like did I ever throw your glasses down when I was small? Did I ever touch dogs when I was small? Simple innocent questions and I went on answering them. We chatted like this and spent more than an hour after which she was fast asleep. Time well spent. Thanks Roald Dahl and Sriram for opening my eyes.

Satyamev Jayate

This is the name of a popular TV show hosted by Aamir Khan which kicked up a storm of sorts right from Day 1. Oh before I start off, the words means Only the truth prevails. Aamir Khan is known for his eye for the minutest detail and it showed in the very first episode. I did not watch it on that appointed hour (was peacefully dozing) but had set it for recording (which now is the entire series) and so can watch it without the unnecessary commercial breaks. Distinctly remember that when I woke up around lunch time that Sunday, the first thing I did was check twitter from my phone and it was as if the world had nothing else to discuss. Sat down to watch the show which was on female foeticide about which I have blogged in my own way. I had always believed that it is the illiterate in India who are killing the girls for the boys. But I was taken aback when that myth was busted on the show. All of us at the Dining table were dumb founded that afternoon. The only regret I will have is why he did not highlight the cause of adoption? Would have given the public at large another idea to look at as well.

I have yet to watch the controversial episode on the Doctors in which they had highlighted the rampant malpractices in the field of medicine. Doctors and their associations have not taken kindly to the whole episode (who would like to kill the goose that gives the golden egg?) and have gone to the extent of demanding an apology which obviously Aamir has refused.

I don’t know if the tempo continues as the last episode on the marriages I thought was a dampener of sorts but the causes that he has picked up so far are common and are rampant too. So just hope he can make a difference of sorts. Wish you good luck Aamir.

Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai

I am not a TV soap buff in that sense but must admit that the re runs of Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai have got me hooked. So much so that I am recording the episodes on the DVR. The episodes were aired in 2005 (so says Wikipedia) and somehow I never watched them then. All about an upper class family with the mother in law (fabulously enacted by Ratna Pathak Shah) being so snooty and the daughter in law (played with a straight face by Rupali Ganguly) from a middle class background who is always looking for discounts and saving money. Then there is the patriarch being played by evergreen Satish Shah and character called Roshesh who is Momma’s boy (literally) and who writes the funniest(!!!) poems on earth. Sample these. (Don’t know what I would ever do without Google). Then there is Madhusudan Fua who is deaf and makes a mess of words as he speaks. And his USP is his “hain” whenever anyone speaks to him. The background score is also so typical – Oh My My as Maya takes a dig at Monisha or then the gun shots as they head for a showdown. All in all one hilarious show which in an absolute must watch. If you haven’t yet done so grab the DVDs and watch. Worth your money spent in gold.

Zor ka Jhatka – an insult to your senses

Yesterday was the launch of Zor Ka Jhatka on Imagine TV based on the show Wipeout which comes on AXN. I was not going to watch it as I detest Sharukh Khan save and except maybe a DDLJ. However Kavya knew all of it in terms of timing, host etc. I asked her how she knew so much and she said it was being advertised on Pogo. Talk about the power of advertising and how much influence kids wield these days in the house. So the show kicked off and 10 minutes into the show and I was ticked off.

  1. Sharukh Khan you need to act you age. You probably look 10 or 20 years older than you might be. And if anyone thinks you are a good host, he / she is pulling your leg.
  2. What is the reason of your being in the studio when the others are on the field? Maybe you don’t have the guts.
  3. Honestly I would prefer Takeshi’s castle any day – Now this is a show that comes on POGO or some such kid’s channel with Javed Jaffrey voicing over. The good thing is Javed does not show himself as he is not needed. You ought to know that you don’t impose yourself on the audience. I thought you would have learnt your lesson after that ludicrous show called Paanchvi Pass something.
  4. Raja Chowdhary, the wife beater with such a dubious record of drunken violence as a contestant??? You must be kidding…. I will never expose my child to this. Hope your children also are keeping away from the show for this mad man.
  5. And Shahrukh, no sense in your stupid double meaning jokes (Big Balls etc.). YOU WERE ATROCIOUS AND SO WAS THE SHOW. Period.

Guys have a heart… Watch India TV news or even Sun TV or Surya TV or such even if you don’t understand a word of what is being said. It sure will make you feel better than the misery heaped by this jhatka which was a super jor ka on Day 1 for 10 minutes that hence forth it is out of question.