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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Damn the Indian Railways

Now you know why I hate the Indian Railways so much? Nah! How would you know? Let me explain.

My cousin is getting married this Monday in Jaipur. So my parents decided that we all attend it. We planned that they fly from Vizag to Delhi on 27th December (today), and I would join them at the airport travelling by train from Lucknow. Initially I was sceptical that I would get bored all morning in Delhi as my train was scheduled to reach at 8AM in the morning, and their flight was scheduled to land at 2PM. Six long hours in Delhi.

Thanks to Ahen, we decided that we could meet up and spend the morning chatting. Awesome, I was eagerly waiting. 6hours well spent, and then right in time to the airport to carry forward with journey till Jaipur.

But well, thanks to Indian Railways, I miss my date with Ahen, and now I am also forced to ask my parents to wait at the airport rather than me waiting for them (which was supposed to happen!!). I am sure m brother would mock more at me. He is 2000 odd KMs from Delhi, while I am just 500KM away. But in spite of starting out last night, and he just having started at 11:30AM, he has reached earlier than me. Air travel! And damn the Indian Railways.

Thankfully I am in 3rd ac, and quite comfortable comparatively. I just shudder to the thought of people in sleeper class. They must have frozen to death by now. What I don’t understand is – Lucknow to Delhi takes about 7hrs by train. So, starting at 11:30PM last night, we were supposed to reach at 6:30Am (the right time was 8:15AM). Cool agreed! It is 2PM now, and the train I hear is expected to reach Delhi at about 3:30PM. That makes it a 16hrs travel. Assuming that the night journey was slowed down by the fog, and starting at 7Am in the morning, it should have reached by 2PM (7hrs journey). What was the train engrossed in all night? Dating and mating with another train, while all its inmates were dead sleeping? Well, if that was the case, I should say quite a silent affair it was. Huh!

Totally frustrated!! Now I hope the expectations are not changed again. Please let me reach Delhi by 3:30PM. Luckily I don’t have any flight to board, or thanks to the low cost airways (my general carriers) and the Indian rail, I would have forfeited all my money. But yeah, I still have important stuff to do. It is my parents’ anniversary and I don’t want them to spend it all travelling – Air and then Cab till Jaipur!!!

Down with the Indian Railways!!! When would we get the EU rail kinda thing in India?

Wanted to blog about my weird experience at VLCC, but well I guess with this mood it would not come all that funny!

Also, a Merry Christmas to all my reader. A little belated though!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ghajini Movie Review

The South has always made better commercial movies than BollyWood, and many of them have been remade in hindi. Ghajini adds on to the list, and excellent it is.

One interesting fact is the name of the movie, which makes it one of the few movies which have the Villain's name as its name.( Can't recall any other movies with the villain's name as the name of the movie, but i guess there sure should be some!).

Saw the movie today in the premier how at FUN. We booked our tickets in the morning itself, and later read about the controversy. We were skeptical if it would actually release or we would be forced to watch Rab ne bana di jodi again (I don't mind though!). Thankfully the courts allowed it to be screened without allaying to the claims of the original producer who was trying to make some quick money.

The case goes simple. A little-known production banner, KBC Pictures, had filed a case in the court Monday, claiming that producer Madhu Mantena had infringed upon its copyright as it had acquired the right to re-make 'Ghajini' in Hindi. In other words, the Tamil producer (who originally made the movie) claims to have sold the rights to Allu only for the telugu version. And now he is after Allu daring him to reason his quest in making it in hindi, when he was already in the mood of making Kahani Ghajini ki!! What? Did he want to make a serial soap or something??

And the timing of filing the case just seems apt. Did the complainer not get affected by the massive marketing done by the producers spending over 140 million rupeer.

Having seen the Telugu version, comparisons were bound. in spite of initially believing that Surya was a different kinda actor, and Aamir would not fit into his shoes, Aamir has given his full as always, and it shows. be it his physique (which by any standards is huge considering the Aamir look that we have been seeing all these years), his look as the traumatic person, posh look of the flashback character - he excels in all.

The review of the movie from real Bollywood

Sanjay Singhania (Aamir) after being hit on head suffers from a short term memory loss. He cannot recollect anything beyond 15 minutes. He has various phone numbers and names tattooed on his body all hinting at one thing, seek revenge for the murder of his girlfriend, Kalpana (Asin). The only clue he has is the name that he remembers his dying girlfriend uttered in his ears - Ghajini. What obstacles Sanjay encounters in his hunt for Ghajini forms the rest of the film.

The film is a perfect masala film, a revenge thriller, a genre which was very popular in the 80s. But what sets the film apart from a typical pot boiler is the way the screenplay has been structured, oscillating between flashbacks and present time. There is also a good balance of romance, suspense, action and comedy. Plus the biggest asset – Aamir Khan! The story has two major flashbacks, but unlike many films where flashbacks do nothing for the film itself, this one actually aids in building the character and adding intensity to them. Having seen Sanjay’s past life, you see reason for his current actions. The film at no point justifies the actions but it does give you reason to go with the flow.

Murugados’s direction is terrific and the master story teller that he is, he just doesn’t give the audience a moment to think even in 180 minutes running time film. Technically it definitely stands amongst the best films of 2008. Superb editing (Anthony), excellent camerawork (Ravi K Chandran) and amazing sound design (Resul) take the film to an altogether different level. The action by Peter Hains and Stunt Shiva keeps you on the edge of your seat. But some action sequences have turned out a bit too gory and not meant for the faint hearted. But with Aamir giving his everything all out in them they end up being a treat to watch. A.R. Rahman’s melodies are a treat to watch onscreen having been excellently picturised. Also, none of the songs hamper the proceedings.

Amongst the sequences that stand out are Aamir’s first encounter with Asin, Aamir visiting Asin’s boss’s party, Aamir’s outburst in the hospital, Asin’s murder sequence and of course the action packed climax where Aamir for a moment forgets what he is fighting for when he comes face to face with the villain!

In an author backed role, Aamir has outperformed himself, making us fall short of words in his praise. He is not only utterly convincing as a killing machine but he is extremely loveable in the romantic comedy sequences with Asin. South starlet Asin in her Bollywood debut leaves a lasting impression. Jiah though fits the part somehow pales in comparison to Asin. Her accented Hindi irritates. Pradeep Rawat brings back to Bollywood, the true villain that was missing since long time. He is menacingly good.

Ghajini does live up to the hype it has generated and is a must watch for Aamir Khan fans and also for debutante Asin and the latest addition to talented filmmakers of Bollywood, director A.R. Murugadoss.


Overall, a nice time pass entertainer. The producer is in to rake in the moolah taking advantage of the extended weekend barring friday, and the soon to follow new year.

After getting back from the movie, headed for the StEX committee meeting, and form there straight to the gult wing for Absenthine bought from France by Charan. Ah! it feels bliss, on spite of just two pegs.

Now in the room, juts trying to get over the insomnia. probably i should download Ramgopal varma Ki Aag from DC, and then watch it, for it to act as sedatives. Sleep!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Life at a stand still

PPO from Cadbury. I have not yet announced this to my Collegian readers. Yes people, i have got a Pre Placement Offer from Cadbury India Limited - the place i interned last summers.

My two months in cadbury were very eventful and i enjoyed every bit of it. It made me a frequent flyer with KingFisher, and am also the prowd owner of KingClub Card. I was also made rich by 50K during the course of two months, and had a chance to visit the choicest of the places in India( Vizag - Home!!, Delhi and God's own place - kerala). Also, i had the chance to reside in the best of the hotels and live life to the fullest.

tangible things apart, it was quite an enriching experience. The people there were quite friendly and inspite of the huge age differences, everyone was so amicable and easily approachable. The Power Distance (picked up this word in the Advanced Oral Communications (AOC) class today) as such did not exist at all.

On the whole, my two months in corporate life, my first ones for that, were like the ideal setting for the perfect work experience i wanted. i always believed i worked really hard during those two months, and the PPO just added the cream to all the cherish able moments.

Needless to say, with my weakness for chocolates, I have accepted their offer and have signed out of the campus placement process.

All this happened in November first week, during Summer placements. I was given three days to accept, or reject the offer. These were like the most confusing three days in recent past. Accept?? or Reject?? (And chase my dream of PnG, HUL and likes??). After lots of consulting, talking to family,friends, seniors, teachers and everyone possible i just could not resist the tempting offer.

Cadbury is THE BEST FMCG company and no doubt i always so wanted to join it. My only consideration and the reason for confusion was - What would i do for the rest of my tenure at L? Till then i was busy day in day out preparing for various competitions, participating in all extra curricular events, etc.. Now after the PPO what would be the motivation level?/ Would i still keep myself engrossed with these? Or would i have to search new avenues? Finally i decided - Enough of this mad rush and blind follow the herd mentality. Follow my own dream, nurture my own stature without any kind of Peer pressure. pursue all those activities that i always wanted to do, but could not find the time for..

After seeing the movie Dasvidaniya i made my own MBALIST (Something like Bucket List with a list of things i would like to accomplish before completing my stint here for MBA). i have made a list. And hope i reach each one of them. hope i be able to tick away on successful completion each one of them. Would disclose my MBALIST very soon, after it is completely drafted.

Btw, I hav joined Salsa Classes here at Lucknow to learn shake my hops more better!!

So till i learn shaking my hips to the Cuban tune, have fun watching the new Khan flick Ghajini. Have a look at the poster of Ghazini or Gajodhar..



p.s.: Going to jaipur, Rajasthan, this Saturday to attend my cousins wedding.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brand Equity Ad agency Reckoner

While it shows in these times of recession and slowdown, that even malls are causing frustration among the people, and i am back from my trip to Manali and well into term 6, the best way to pass time is to watch ads.
It is time again to award those who build brands. The ad agencies and the people behind it.

Before we set out opening Youtube or google (now that it has reached 72% market share, i can safely assume that google is THE search vehicle), i guess it makes sense to take some time out and salute the people and agencies behind these wonderful ads. Why not? When we can adore Karan johar and ShahRukh Khan for hours, why should the ad people be left behind? i am sure many ads there are more fun to watch than the Dostana of karan johar (Except maybe for the venice scene where Aby excelled!!)

yes i am talking about the annual Brand Equity Ad agency Reckoner.The annual special edition, to be out today (Am awake waiting!!) has, over the last five years, emerged as one of the most-anticipated issues of Brand Equity (Economic Times on Wednesdays). Packed with power lists, rankings and analysis, the Agency Reckoner is a concise guide to India’s most admired creative and media agencies. And a reliable barometer for the hottest names in the business.

The question that’s foremost on many lips is whether Ogilvy will be able to hold on to the numero uno position for the sixth year running. Or will the successes of some agencies at Cannes — and the marketplace — see the rise of a new No 1? There’s also curiosity over which agency will top the Media Agency rankings — Mindshare, Madison or Starcom? And will there be dramatic changes in the Most Influential People lists? All we can say is there are surprises galore.

For the first time, this year’s Reckoner has also ranked agencies in three new verticals — Brand Promotion Companies, Digital Agencies and Design Specialists. This is in recognition of the emerging trend in marketing communications, where advertising spends are slowly but steadily being diverted into specialist channels. As always, Brand Equity is ahead of the curve in acknowledging the dynamics of a changing communications environment.
Source : Economic Times

The thing that has really caught my eye is the way the edition and the event have been marketed, with these innovative ads. If not anyone else, probably the agency behind these ads should be given away the prizes. Subtle, made with low cost, but in line and very effective with an underlying humour. All speaking out the truth about the ad industry. probably Fashion conscious Madhur bhandarkar can get inspired and go on make Ad-War-Teasing (Sourced from PRISM - The marketing cell of IIML). Have a look at the award winning ads. Er! I mean the ads on the awards.





So, while i have a look into the latest scandal to hit the US markets and wait for the ET copy, do have a look around. Also, Hold your fingers close for my new blog on leadership Discovery as a compulsory part of my elective with the same name. it is being taught by Professor Debashis Chatterjee. He was described as one of the "thought leaders" of the world by Professor John Kotter of the Harvard Business School for his contribution to the theory and practice of leadership. So looking eager for more classes by him.

Also, soon to come is my post on my trip to Manali last weekend. So till then, have fun and look for your Rab arranged Jodi!!!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

VelaGiri

Heard of a lot of RGGIRI when i entered IIML. how rampant it is? How it creates rifts between friends? and the dreaded outfalls of it. BUt never ever thought i would get involved in VelaGiri - Process of doing nothing fruitful and wasting all the time on hand.

Something that i wrote in my diary last night - "Wasted the entire day, without opening the book for a single minute. 12 midnight now, royalstag bottle lying on the bed seductively, and yesterday's hangover still looming large in the head. 'anger Management' movie ready on the lappy and have just completed 'Sorry Bhai'.Ah! Now this is how hectic IIM life is!!"

Especially after this PPO thing i have become quite laid back in life. not interested in anything, be ready to rebel anyone, don't care attitude. Doing everything which i am actually not. Why? joblessness!! they say it right " An empty mind is the devil's workshop", and amm sue the devil is having a gala time in this workshop. Very active indeed.

Have an exam tomorrow, and have still not opened the book. Initially i had thought that i have two days of holidays before the exam and would complete the entire text twice and even practice problems on the software. now i doubt if i would even be able to complete the text half way through. Huh! VelaGiri!!!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Now Assam

Where is India headed??

Still when the Mumbai terror war is fresh in the minds, and the city is still in state of reconciliation, there it is - Bomb Blasts in a train in Assam

From the south west state to the north east, the terror engulfs the whole nation.
This is what the Indian Express has to say about the assam blasts:
Three persons, including a child, were killed and 30 others injured on Tuesday in a bomb blast suspected to have been triggered by a militant outfit in a passenger train in central Assam's Karbi Anglong district.

Police sources said the bomb, kept inside coach number 8209 of 901 Lumding-Tinsukia passenger train, exploded around 8 am as it entered Diphu railway station.

They said they suspected militants belonging to Karbi Longri National Liberation Front (KLNLF), which has given an indefinite call for economic blockade in the Karbi Anglong region in Assam from this morning to press their 10-point demand, to have planted the bomb.

However, no one has claimed responsibility yet.

But coordinated bomb blasts in Assam in October, which killed at least 77 people, were blamed on Islamist militants from neighbouring Bangladesh.


After 9/11, travel by air became unsafe, and trains the next option. stay safely in hotels, but then the Mumbai blasts don't allow you that. And now the trains..

is staying at home the only option?? Not exactly!! Not heard about Earthquakes, or maybe the criminal assualts and robbery and stuff?

So, the end conclusion - YOU ARE NOT SAFE ANYWHERE.
On a lighter note i would say the terrorists need some kind of co-ordination. Harm all places, leaving one, and then by law of human nature, the whole population would shift there. So is pakistan (nothing against the country, just needed an example) safe?? nah! Remember that blasts in the hotel, quite recently.

In all this turmoil, i guess my room no. 1053 in the IIML campus is the safest place, except for the assault by Himesh Reshamiya songs, and old flop hindi movies which my neighbours have to put up with.