Saturday, August 11, 2012

First Photo Competition - Whitestone Photo Contest

I feel proud to inform all of you that one of my photographs has been shortlisted amongst Top 3 in the Whitestone Photo Contest.
To view my entry for this competition, kindly click here.
Also if you feel this photo is good enough or by any chance you want me to win this competition, then kindly LIKE this photograph on Facebook.
Also I would like to thank my wife Rachita, who actually encouraged me and also pushed me to send an entry in this competition. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The 57th Filmfare Awards 2011: Nominations

The following are the nominees of the 57th Filmfare Awards 2011 and the ones which are in bold font are my personal choices for this year awards…

Best Film
Delhi Belly
Don 2
No One Killed Jessica
The Dirty Picture
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Best Director
Abhinay Deo - Delhi Belly
Farhan Akhtar - Don2
Imtiyaz Ali - Rockstar
Milan Luthria - The Dirty Picture
Raj Kumar Gupta - No One Killed Jessica
Zoya Akhtar - Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Best Actor In A Leading Role (Male)
Ajay Devgn - Singham
Amitabh Bachchan - Aarakshan
Hrithik Roshan - Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Ranbir Kapoor - Rockstar
Salman Khan - Bodyguard
Shahrukh Khan - Don2

Best Actor In A Leading Role (Female)
Katrina Kaif - Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
Mahie Gill - Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster
Priyanka Chopra - 7 Khoon Maaf
Vidya Balan - No One Killed Jessica
Vidya Balan - The Dirty Picture

Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Male)
Abhay Deol - Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Farhan Akhtar - Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Naseeruddin Shah - The Dirty Picture
Pitobash Tripathy - Shor In The City
Vir Das - Delhi Belly

Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Female)
Juhi Chawla - IAM
Kalki Koechlin - Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Parineeti Chopra - Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl
Rani Mukerji - No One Killed Jessica
Swara Bhaskar - Tanu Weds Manu

Best Music Director
A.R.Rahman - Rockstar
Ram Sampat - Delhi Belly
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy - Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Sohail Sen - Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
Vishal-Shekhar - RA.One

Best Lyrics
Gulzar - Darling - (7 Khoon Maaf)
Irshad Kamil - Nadaan parindey - (Rockstar)
Irshad Kamil - Sadda haq - (Rockstar)
Javed Akhtar - Senorita - (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara)
Vishal Dadlani & Niranjan Iyengar - Chammak challo - (RA.One)

Best Playback Singer (Male)
Akon & Vishal Dadlani - Chammak challo (RA.One)
Mohit Chauhan - Jo bhi mein (Rockstar)
Mohit Chauhan - Sadda haq (Rockstar)
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan - Teri Meri (Bodyguard)
Shafqat Amanat Ali - Dildaara (RA.One)

Best Playback Singer (Female)
Alyssa Mendonsa - Khwabon ke parindey (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara)
Harshdeep Kaur - Katiya karu (Rockstar)
Rekha Bhardwaj & Usha Uthup Darling (7 Khoon Maaf)
Shreya Ghoshal - Teri Meri (Bodyguard)
Shreya Ghoshal - Saibo (Shor In The City)

PS: What are your choices this year do let me know...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ganpati Festival in Tokyo

Ganpati Festival always excited me, especially after coming to Mumbai. I don’t know why and also can’t figure out any rational behind it…

Somehow I always wanted to see and to be part of Ganpati Puja & Visarjan; and this wish came true in Tokyo. I couldn’t have imagined, even in my distant dreams, that I would get such a chance to be part of Ganpati Puja in Tokyo; when I didn’t get any in Mumbai.

How it started? One day, Tarun-san said that he’ll organise Ganpati puja this year, in his house. I don’t know how serious he was at that time. But his wife, Rakhi insisted that once he committed, he should definitely keep Ganpati. And this was the beginning…

Finding a Ganpati Idol: Now the question was how to get a Ganpati Idol, which should be made of clay / mud. Available options were to get one from India through courier or to search in Tokyo itself. The easiest option would have been to get from India, but the risk associated with it was that courier company wasn’t ready to give any guarantee for safety of idol. So Tarun decided to first search in Tokyo. Later he and I went to a Japanese store selling Indian handicrafts and believe-it-or-not we found the Idol in the 1st attempt itself. So first milestone was achieved…

Implementation: 11th September 2010, the Ganesh Chaturthi day. Preparations began from morning, house cleaning and decorations were done, stage was set and the wait was only for Ganpati to come.

Around 3:45 pm JST puja started. Ganpati sthapana was done with Panditji reciting Mantra over a VOIP call, from India. Later our own pandits, Hemant & Tarun read few more mantras from Internet and Puja was completed. During Aarti, “Jai Dev Jai Dev” and “Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh Deva” were played on YouTube. Later in the evening, we saw live Puja in Tarun Mumbai’s home, participated in Aarti and recited Ganpati Morya, over a web-conference call.

The delicious Prasad / Bhog were prepared by Manu Bhabhi; it included Modak, Besan Laddu, Gari ke Laddu, etc. For lunch and dinner, we had Poori Sabji, Kachori Damaloo and Chole Poori, prepared by Manu Bhabhi & Tarun; other significant contributors were Hemant, Puneet and Puran.

Night was the time when everyone was tired and feeling sleepy too, but someone needs to be awake since Diya should continue glowing. So we started playing cards to pass time; we also slept but in shifts of few hours each.

Next morning the series of Puja, Aarti and Bhog started again and continued till evening. After doing 5 Aartis and Bhogs in one and a half days, time came to say goodbye to Ganesh Ji, that is, Visarjan.

Tarun’s family, from India, participated in pre-Visarjan Puja through a web conference. Then we did a small Puja on the doorstep of Tarun’s house and also at the canal / river side. Later in midst of slogans of Ganpati Bappa Moriya, Ganpati had to be submerged in water. Two days of festivities came to an end…

An unforgettable weekend passed with Ganpati’s bhajan in the background, doing preparations & Puja, time pass and playing cards. People who participated in this Puja were Tarun, Puneet, Manu Bhabhi, Krunal, DevD, Hemant, Puran and I.

Thanks to Tarun-san for organising the Ganesh Puja at his home…

Ganpati Bappa Moriya,

Pudhchya Varshi Lavkaryaa !!!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A month in Japan

Recently I completed a month in Japan, so thought of sharing some of my experiences and observations with you all. These experiences couldn’t be new to you but were definitely new to me or excited me in some manner.

  • Apartment: The first strange experience was when I reached B-Site (my accommodation) in Tokyo. I expected that atleast a guard or front desk person would be there; but to my surprise no one was present in the building for supervision. Everything was self managed from collecting the keys to finding the room, etc. The apartment was compact but nice studio type apartment; it had almost all the necessary items required by an individual. In fact, till date I haven’t seen any guard standing outside any residential building.

  • Toilet: Just to inform my readers, after experimenting for few days and watching 3 videos on YouTube, I came to know, how to use Japanese Toilets (commode) properly. So all those, who are planning to come, my suggestion is kindly watch those videos online, it would be of great help.

  • People: First day in the city and lost my way from station to my apartment. I was trying to confirm the correct route from people, who didn’t understand a single word of mine. And vice versa, I too didn’t understand a single direction from them. Finally managed to reach the apartment in an hour, which was hardly at a distance of 10 minute walk. But Japanese people are really very helpful, even they don’t understand your language, they’ll try to help you as much as they can. Once I went to a bookstore and wasn’t able to find the English books section, so asked at the counter. The lady at the counter went with me, almost to the other corner of the store to show me the book section. Unlike India, people here aren’t required to know English language in order to succeed in their respective career.

  • Juices: Another strange thing which I experienced is that a small bottle of mineral water is costlier than 1 liter tetra-pack of fruit juices. Even 1.5 liter bottle of cold drink is costlier than juice packs.

  • Sewage Bill: Recently came to know that we need to pay sewage bill also with water bill. The authorities calculate the amount of wastage done by every household and then bill accordingly. Just imagine, if someone has loose motion then he’ll not increase his medical expenses but also his sewage bill; so please take care.

  • Travelling: According to me, the most common mode of communication is Tokyo would be trains followed by bicycle. The local train network here is very different from what we have in Mumbai. In Mumbai all trains move from North to South or vice-versa; but here there is no. of different train routes and that cover almost the entire Tokyo.

Like others, I too drove a cycle for going to a friend’s place; it was amazing as I was riding a bicycle atleast after a decade. Although here there are rules for a cycle driver; rules like: driver should carry the registration papers for that cycle, the cycle should have a headlight, and you can’t park a cycle in No Parking zone else they’ll tow it.

Here people walking on foot get preference over the car owners; policeman will stop the cars and let the people walk. First time in my life, I saw the proper use of the Zebra Crossings; unlike India, here they’re very effective and convenient too.

  • Shopping: On my way back from my friend’s place, I shopped for groceries (mainly vegetable & fruits) at 3:00 am in the morning; and believe me, I wasn’t the only customer at that shop. In India, I couldn’t have imagined buying potatoes or onions at 3 in the morning.

  • Garbage: Few days ago, I went to the basement of my building for dumping the garbage. The garbage room was so huge that I can’t even describe, it was definitely 4-5 times bigger than our flat. Here normally people throw garbage in 2 different containers, one for combustible items and other one for non-combustible items.

I’ll keep adding more items to the above list, as and when I find something interesting enough…

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Kurbaan is a romantic movie with terrorism as the backdrop. But you shouldn’t compare it with Fanaa or New York, the basic theme of all these movies are totally different from one another. Although, there are few similarities between Kurbaan and Khuda Kay Liye, the widely acclaimed Pakistani movie.

Kudos to Renzil D'Silva, the director of Kurbaan, for choosing such a topic for his debut movie. After seeing the movie, one thing I strongly felt was that this guy knows his work, his treatment of the subject, camerawork and other technicalities are better than most debutante directors. Rensil is also the co-writer of the story, alongwith Karan Johar, who is the producer as well as. I would also like to praise KJo for producing such a movie. The story and screenplay are the major USP of this movie; the movie is well written, where a love story between a couple and the story of Islamic fundamentalists have been shown in parallel. There are few flaws in the script but overall it’s worth watching.

The camerawork and the editing is good. I really liked the way, how the cameraman has captured the monuments of Delhi and also how they have shown some parts of New York, especially the Tube stations. The background music by Salim-Sulaiman is fabulous, complimenting the screenplay at every point and this is what makes the movie a real thriller. Although I feel that songs of the movie, done by the same composer duo, could have been better; my personal feeling is that unlike other KJo movies, the songs of this one won’t rule the chartbusters for long.

Now let’s come to the other important factor in making any movie a hit or a flop, that is, its Actors & their performances. Saif Ali Khan, gives another solid performance, looks equally cool and dashing. Kareena Kapoor was not as good as she was in Jab We Met but definitely far better than Tashan and Kambaqt Ishq and for all her male fans, she is looking stunning in the initial portion of the movie. The couple “Saifeena” look great onscreen.

Vivek Oberoi, after a long long time did a good job, audiences might have forgotten him but this movie could prove to be his comeback film. Om Puri, as usual, is brilliant. Kiron Kher acts more or less in the same way as she has been doing in her recent films, except in the climax where she too is good. If I’ve to dissect the performances of the actors in one sentence, I’ll say that every actor has done played his or her part beautifully.

People going to the theatre should remember that it’s not a normal Bollywood or Karan Johar movie but it’s an intense movie. Overall Kurbaan is a good movie to watch, I’ll give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Four Years

Today’s date (7th November) was, is and will be very important for me always; four years back on this date, I got my first (till date the only) job…

For me, today I not only completed four years in a company; but lot of other things which how small or big, matter to me in some way or the other:
  • Most importantly I’ve gained four years of professional experience. It’s not that I was waiting for this landmark to take any further action but I’m happy to do so.
  • Four years back I made some friends and needless to say we’re still good friends . Infact in the due course, our friendship have become better and matured too.
  • Since last four years I’ve been living in Mumbai (city of dreams); actually it was sort of a dream-come-true when I got a job in this city.
  • Four years of financial independence.
The above mentioned four points are the ones, which I can remember without thinking. In the coming as this count of years will increase, I want to do lot more things but only God knows that where I'll go from here...

Saturday, July 04, 2009

New York

New York is a movie on a concept, which film makers in Bollywood haven’t tried much. The story starts with the friendship of 3 friends but mainly revolves round the aftermath of 9/11.

Aditya Chopra, the writer as well as the producer of this movie have taken a bold step by making this movie. Also as a director, Kabir Khan does a good job in his second film and had made an entertaining movie while maintaining the essence of the movie.. The good thing is that these people have chosen a concept which is different from normal Bollywood movies. Firstly, this is not a romantic movie unlike the trademark of Yash Raj Films. Secondly, this movies tries to bring out the other side of the story of the 9/11 attacks, brings out the effects of those deadly attacks on the normal people and their lives.

As far as the characterization is concerned, the story revolves around 4 people: Irfan Khan, John Abraham, Katrina Kaif and Neil Nitin Mukesh. It’s always worth watching Irfan Khan’s performance, he fits into every character so naturally and provides an uniqueness to all of them. He did a good job as always.

John Abraham too is maturing by every film now; he too has done a decent job in fact in some scenes he has done a fantastic job but at times he could have been better too… Neil Nitin Mukesh has done the best job amongst all the actors. He is so natural in the film and suits the character. Definitely slowly and steadily he is gaining the ground in Bollywood…

For Katrina Kaif, I think it’s her career best performance in terms of acting. After this movie, filmmakers would offer her more performance based roles instead of the ones she was getting till now. This movie can help her to come out of her Barbie Doll image and may bring her in the league of good actresses like Priyanka, Kareena, etc.

The music of the movie is soulful and few of the songs are already ruling the chartbusters, even the placement of these in the movie is very appropriate. Like all other Yash Raj movies, this one is a visual treat for all the audiences. Another aspect which I found good was the editing of the movie. The editing of the movie keeps it the story moving at a good pace and also intact. The director and editor have remembered to show the Twin Towers in all the scenes which were supposed to have occurred before 9/11.

There are few loopholes in the script, mainly towards the end of the story. This movie, especially climax could have been made in a better way but for me, then too it was a good, a different and an entertaining movie…

Overall I'll give New York, 3.5 out of 5 stars...

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

General Elections 2009: Indian Political Bazaar

The counting of votes for Indian General Elections 2009 will begin today at 0800 hours.

And the leaders of various National and Regional Political Parties have already negotiated with each other, against their parties support to form the Government at the Centre. Still few hours are left before any trend / results come out but these people have already heated up this political market, where governments are not only formed by the peoples’ votes but also by horse trading.

Similar to Cricket IPL, here to the regional parties which are believe to win more seats are commanding better prices and portfolios in the cabinet ministry. JDU leader, Nitish Kumar wants special status for the state of Bihar, Naveen Patnaik of BJD wants to become the Chief Minister of Orissa while Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh of SP , and BSP Supremo Mayawati wants best portfolios for themselves and their party MPs’.

Even this is not enough, politicians like Mulayam Singh, Mayawati and also Sharad Pawar of NCP , who all belong to Regional Parties and their parties have major presence mainly in their respective states, have ambitions to become the Prime Minister of India after these elections. I’m not saying that being ambitious is wrong; but the problem is that anyone of them can only become the PM, only when all of them come together, with many other parties to form the Third Front and form the Government at the Centre. And this to me seems to be a major problem and distant possibility for a stable government.

Anyways let’s wait for tomorrow and days to come to see the final outcome of this Political Bazaar, which is currently going on in New Delhi. And also at the same time let’s hope that any government which comes into the power does something good for the country and its people…

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Do VOTE !!!

On the eve of the third phase of voting for General Elections 2009 in India, I request all my readers and the voters of this country to Vote…

Yesterday I watched a video on YouTube, Kuch Nahin Ho Sakta... This well-edited video, starring lot of young Bollywood actors and actresses, conveys the message to vote in a classical way…

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

8x10 Tasveer

8x10 Tasveer is a different movie, with a unique plot which Bollywood have never experienced before (correct me, if I’m wrong)…

Nagesh Kukunoor, writer and director of this movie, had done a far better job as a writer than as a director. According to me, the ending could have been better; for me it was difficult to digest the correlation used to derive the ending. Screenplay was decent and some scenes were really good. There is only 1 song in the movie and which I believe wasn’t required too; also if the film makers wanted to keep that song then they should have inserted it somewhere before… The movie is shot beautifully at various countryside locations; in the initial parts, except for the cast everything looked similar to a Hollywood flick…

Apart from Akshay Kumar, who does a good job, there are many other talented artists like Girish Karnad, Javed Jaffrey, Benjamin Gilani, Anant Mahadevan and Sharmila Tagore; but all these actors were wasted since neither did they have a strong character nor did those characters’ had much length. Ayesha Takia too didn’t had a great role, unlike to what she had in Dor

A Nagesh Kukunoor movie having a superstar like Akshay Kumar could really have been a delight for the audiences and to some extent, it was… But this combo too wasn’t able to keep the cash registers ringing at the Box Office for long…

Overall I’ll give this 8x10 Tasveer, 3 out of 5 stars…

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