Monday, 17 August, 2009

Hulla

Two levels humour. Seven floors. Fourteen society members. And one nutty watchman. A film that is as refreshingly candid as well as courageous to take on a subject many would deem trivial.

With a cast full of familiar faces from Indian television as well as Bollywood, except the unknown mad-as-a-hatter night watchman (who changes his age as conveniently as he changes his tune to get some sympathy), perform their parts to perfection in a film that explores the travails of a tired, misunderstood and sleepless man because of a shrill whistle that is supposed to scare away thieves, only manages to make his sleep disappear, night after night.

Raj (Sushant Singh), a stock broker by day and his wife Abha (Kartika) move to a new place (from the looks of it, seemed like Oshiwara, but I'm digressing) and apart from handling the barbs from his ever-unsatisfied, acerbic father-in-law at their weekly dinner-dos ever so politely, life couldn't be better. He is a star at his broking firm. The wife is successful too. DINKS with a Santro to boot. Actually without a boot. Couldn't resist that.

Hell begins as soon as night falls. Shrill whistles, a scared-as-a-cat Watchman and an uncompromising building Secretary, Mr Janardhan (Rajat Kapoor) ensure that night after night Raj can't get a wink logged on to his name. And every day, when logging on to his stock terminal, he starts feeling the effects of the forced insomnia.

Soon enough, Raj goes from bleary eyed to teary eyed.

His wife refuses to believe that a whistle or a stick could be keeping him away, after all, she is not a light sleeper. And to add to that are the sharply created characters staying in the building who add to the Hulla. Their home decor, mannerisms, accents and dialogues written to perfection. Haven't we met them all, sometime, somewhere?

The day is full of barbs, PJs and funny repartees, guaranteed to evince a guffaw from everyone. The night time is full of underplayed dark humour. Guaranteed to evince a wry smile at the frustrating situation that Raj finds himself in.

I saw this on DVD, unfortunately, when it could have been more enjoyable in a theater. But so it is.

Friday, 14 August, 2009

TED India



Mysore, India, 4-7 November 2009. Even if they deigned to let me in, unfortunately, all sold out.

23.09.09: Oh well, there are a few places, but where do I get the dough?

Les Paul R.I.P.



Lester William Polsfuss, was born on June 9, 1915, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA. In the 1930s he began experimenting with guitar amplification, and by 1941 he had built what was probably the first solid-body electric guitar.


More info here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/14/arts/music/14paul.html?em

Human Resources

When it is called 'Human Resources' why shouldn't I be suspicious? If we call it something else, would it be any different?
It's like Ministry of War called Ministry of Defence after the World War. Same thing, but with less aggressive posturing.
What would be a better name that stands up to the intentions, or is all the posturing that they are actually about caring for the people who work in an organization a front for the obvious?
Is the HR department caught in a bind, since they are employed by the employer to make the organization's resource happy?
So can the HR function be outsourced to make it truly impartial and be a balance between the employer and the employee? Is that a business opportunity?

Thursday, 13 August, 2009

Vuclip


If YouTube is for your desktop, vuclip (www.vuclip.com) is for your phone! Watch and share videos on your phone. With Vuclip.com you can search for, play, and share user-generated video from popular Internet sites on your mobile phone.

And as Naiyer says: "Interestingly enough, one can register and set one’s preference on news and entertainment videos and sms alerts.If set to on, VUClip sends SMS to your phone daily or weekly whenever the new videos from your preferred news sites comes live. Further,the video search has been pretty simplified and improved. Now you can search videos from a particular website and watch or stream it directly via VUClip. Pretty neat and concise, particularly on mobile. And yes, as you might already know, it supports the major video formats with no device-based bias to resolution."

Wednesday, 12 August, 2009

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

TED Talks rocks. Specially 'Do Schools Kill Creativity'

Bob Geldof

www.viddler.com/explore/petterjensen/videos/1/

Thursday, 6 August, 2009

Vote For...

Instead of a political party or an ideology, why can't we vote for the person best for the job? Where have I heard it before?

Monday, 3 August, 2009

Public Shyness

Why are people shy of publicizing their blogs? Isn't it an oxymoron so to speak? You write in a public space, and then you really don't want to go hammer and tongs after letting all and sundry know that you do.
I confess, I am one of them.

Saturday, 1 August, 2009

Love Aaj Kal

As you settle down in your seat you get this unsettling feeling: is your money going down the drain, yet again? Well let's just say that the 1st 10-15 mins are spent showing Meera (Deepika) and Jai (Saif) smile hug smile hug poke touch dance kiss kiss hug make out in rapid succession - all this in lieu of showing a meaningful relationship. Point made that Love Aaj is vacuous.
Cut to a moment of realization that they are now 'boyfriend and girlfriend'.
Enters Sardar paaji cafe-deli owner with a heart as large as he is. A man and restaurateur of fine taste who drives a Jaguar but has this habit of prying and sorting out modern loveless relationships of convenience - the 'friends with benefits' types.
Saif plays the younger Sardarji too back in the 60s through multiple narrative flasbacks. We figure that the two men are quite similar and the older one tries to then teach the younger one that love is life. And that Love Kal was cleaner, simpler and truer.
Meera leaves for Delhi to follow her career path and so does Jai after amicably and logically breaking up over a Break Up Party.
A year and respective new partners later Jai and Meera meet again only to realize how much ever they may deny it, they still miss each other. What follows is the Bollywood drama that manages to tie up loose ends and shrug off inconvenient girlfriends and the only-in-Bollywood sane, understanding and all-sacrificing husbands very conveniently removed as the 14-16 reels spool to a close.
Well, at least for me, Rishi Kapoor and his story made it bearable, played well by Saif. The sweet girl Harleen Kaur (played by unnamed, secret girl) does her coy, shy and wide-eyed simpering really well. The art direction in the flashbacks, showing Kolkata (Calcutta?) and Delhi is really well done. And of course, Deepika Padukone, who makes watching inane, hashed plots somewhat worthwhile.