Sunday, 30 November, 2008

Mumbai Terror Strike : Ranking of Politcians.

November 29, 2008, Saturday, Mumbai

Mr. R.R. Patil showcased once again the insensitive side of an Indian Politician – The Citizens of India feel that today there is nothing wrong in generalizing any politician as Insensitive or selfish. Selfish to make bucks, selfish to get mileage out of any grave incident. Though there are many exceptions to this type, but the same is too less to change the generic perception. Mr. Patil – You are right to handle Dance Bars and Drunk Drivers only, so better you stay limited to it.

Mr. Patil on Saturday said "small incidents like this do happen in big cities" while referring to the Mumbai terror attack. When asked at a press conference whether the terror strike was an intelligence failure, Patil said in Hindi: "Aisa nahi hai. Itne bade shahar mein chhota hadsa ho jata hai. To total failure nahi hai. (It is not like that. In big cities like this, small incidents do happen. It's is not a total failure.)"

One such statement left behind other Politicians behind in the Rank, even Raj Thakrey. If we look at the Mumbai Terror Strikes in the last 3 days – here goes the Rankings of Politicians in the parameters of (1) Selfishness(2) Insensitivity and (3) Ruthlessness.

So here the Ranking of the Politcians during 26/11 goes as below : The TOP 5 Politicians !

(1) Mr. R.R. Patil – Cares a shit about these attacks which are called India’s 9/11. As Mr. Prahlad Kakkar stated in the recently held chat session, the whole defence operation till the NSG / Army came in was direction less and without enough planning and capacity, which caused the loss of lives of our policemen including Hemant Karkare, Salaskar and Kamte. And above all he dares to call this a “Small Incident”. Hope you travel with your Z security, else someone may pelt a stone (no one will waste and egg) on you.

(2) Mr. Shivraj Patil –or we call him Mr. Failure or Mr. Whocares – as these phrases means Shivraj Patil and Shivraj Patil means the same. Well, why the intelligence has failed is a no brainer and what has happened under his leadership is very well known. Not just once, but repeated ! This head will have to roll, else the Congress will face a lot of dent.

(3) Dr. Manmohan Singh – The most impassionate speech I have ever heard in my life. The street side wannabe politicians are much energetic ! And it was very clear that Dr. Singh was reading out a script written by a strategist and vetted by Ms. Gandhi. The speech has left behind a very poor perception worldwide on the passion, anger, aggression a leader should have at this time, if not emotional. Look at Bush, Gordon or even Osama ! Another instance to prove that not necessarily an economist can lead the country in times of such criris (even in economical crisis, the feeling is same). Well, Indians have ahabit of giving all a second or third chance, we give it to the terrorists you saw…. So, people of India will see (1) how you handle the situation now (2) How aggressively you take up Pak (summoning and ISI chief is not enough) (3) How do you create Security System to protect further 26/11 – All this will decide your and your Party’s fate in the time to come…

(4) Mr. CM – Deshmukh – As Suhel Seth said, he would be more visible in his Son’s Movie Premier. If we all remember, the News Channels were off the air as per the DGPs instructions on Friday and were forced back on air, as the CM wanted to deliver a speech…what non – sense ! As it was debated in the chat show, if ML crashes the CEO has to take responsibility and resign as a gesture, some socialists are hell bent on the same being implemented in case of a state too.

(5) Raj Thackrey – No need to say more, but am sure all of us have received those innumerable forwards asking for Raj Thackrey’s and his peoples number so that they can be intimated that NSG and Army who are non – Maharastrians were fighting for the Mumbai and he and his team was missing. The Citizens have now made it quite clear that they would no more tolerate the non-sense of divide and rule and politics of religion and caste.

In fact, though not in Top 5, there were various politicians who started dropping by to – “take a feel, or jaayaza”…..diverting the security focus for them which was not at all required. What feel did you get and what are you going to do about it ? All the citizens have a question in mind. Is it something concrete or announcing a free bee of a few crores that to be thrown back on the face.

Thanks to these incidents and media, that the citizen of India is becoming more literate to know who matters and who does not and what to expect out of a politician, set their goals, do appraisals ( through opinion leaders in the media chat shows) and rate them (in the elections). Gone are the days to buy votes against Biryani, T Shirts, Saaris and Liquor. (Stoves, TVs, and more down south )

Thanks to the citizens like Shobha De, Suhel Seth, Rahul Bose, Arjun Rampal, Farooq Shaikh, Prahlad Kakkar, taking the lead. People may feel that they had nothing to loose and hence they came out in open and the most needed the Corporate Citizens / Industrialists are still behind – as they will need the politicians to function their machinery. Some like Kishore Biyani etc came but were quite diplomatic – as good as not coming out….There are clearly 3 types of people - all have their own areas to act upon,but it needs to be a coordinated effort who, only TOGETHER can make a change :

(1) The Opinion Maker Citizen ( The Educated, well to do, networked, not neccesarily rich )
(2) The Industrialists / Corporate Citizens ( The CEO's, Business Leaders, the Fund Holders )
(3)The Common Man (Aam admi - the lower class, middle class minus religion, caste etc.)
We would ideally be a mix of 1 and 3.

Till the time all 3 types of people would come out TOGETHER, things will not change and 26/11 will repeat itself… . And the Media who is playing a role of the Change agent will have to stand by ! Else, the same situation would continue as it is today and the masses will get used to the same… would be a normal scenario where people will get aggressive for a while and again come back to normal, forgetting and forgiving everything – with the so called “Spirit of Mumbai” – Thanks to Mahatma Gandhi …… Hope people try and follow – The Bhagvad Gita and “Krishna & Arjun’ for a change too !

Thursday, 27 November, 2008

Mumbai Terror - 24 hours plus !

Its now 24 hours, I am compelled back to visit my blog to share some unsettling thoughts - Its now 24 hours to the bizarre terror strike, let me rephrase this as PROXY WAR at MUMBAI as Mr. Manmohan Singh was reading out of speech written by his secretary, vetted by Ms. Sonia Gandhi, the ONLY feeling which is coming to anyone I am speaking to – be it any SVP, businessman, college youth or a watchman is that Administration has failed (nothing new) miserably – giving the citizens of India an only feeling that if India goes on for a War, surely we will loose as we have failed to control this strike for 24 hours with so much of Police, Army and Navy Support. The List of failure tops with many politicians – I would not name anyone particular, actually there is no point !

Here’s some analysis / thoughts :

What went wrong :

(1) Low Equipped or No Equipped : The ATS and Police went ahead to fight the terrorists without any proper gears. They are responsible for the death of the 3 stalwart officers and the state government and central government should be ashamed to proportioning so much of the tax payers money to Security, and they have balls to give away loan benefits to the farmers who are the voting bank….

(2) Intelligence or Fools : The high failure of intelligence and private security of the Taj, Trident Oberoi where so many terrorists could have used the back doors, kitchen areas of the Hotels – how did they knew about the map, the Mumbai police does not have a map yet ! As Mr. Advani said this is a well planned and coordinated attack based on an effort of 2 months – were the Intelligence and Police day dreaming all this while and focusing on making brownies in front of seniors for Drunk and Drive Case, closing of Dance Bars, looting poor two wheeler, taxi and car users for any possible reason to pocket their booty or over achieve their targets.

(3) Limited or No Capacity : All our force not even apt for a handful of terrorists ? How will we ever fight a war ? The only hope was the Army, navy, the commandos, but 24 hours of efforts, with more policemen killed than the terrorists is yet another shame, proving that Mumbai is as unsafe as Noida, Ghaziabad or Azamgarh.

(4) Slap on the face of the Administration :
The well planned assault by the terrorist , more effortful than 9/11 - especially hijacking the Police Vehicles have made the statements, hope we learn something from this costly mistake !

What is worth appreciating :

(1) The Media for keeping the administration on toes by building the necessary pressure. Not just the great journalists, cameraman, speakers and all behind the scenes.

(2) The Efforts from the Police and Army though not much result as they are not to be blamed for the unequipped strategies - where is our tax money going, Mr. Home Minister ?

(3) The efforts of the Hotel Staff (those who are not hand in gloves with the terrorists) for managing and bearing the pressure…

(4) The spirit of the citizens affected and all their relatives. 2 MBA passouts of 2007 batch from a premier institute passed away and got to hear the entire story through a close friend.

Some Questions which remain unanswered as of now :

(1) Where are the Power bearers ? Where is the PM, HM ?? Why have they not yet reacted on this as compared to the parliament attacks ? Is there something more important than this ? Deshmukh gave an interview and as Suhel Seth said in Arnab’s show in Times Now, Mr. Deshmukh would have been more visible in his Son’s Movie premier ! The only leader I saw initiating a speech was Mr. Modi !, though Mr. Advani and Mr. Jaswant Singh ( was looking as if he was forced to come along and his wife was weeping ) made an appearance.

(2) Did not see the same “Spirit of Mumbai” this time as even was shared by Suhel Seth, Farooq Shaikh etc on Arnabs Show ( I don’t know Arnab, matured people like you have to get some female in your show for glamour factor – Shefali Shah (Chaya) this time ? In what capacity ?? ) Offices were empty today as people and their families are worried and if the netas and leaders can stay back home, the citizens can also have their rights. But am sure the city will soon rise back, though taking a little while this time. As the physics law, bounce will come – every action(read by leaders, administration) has a reaction, but if there is no action, who would react ? But, the citizens would react – in a few days by being back to work with the same spirit and in the long run - hope in the forth coming elections too.

(3) Why do we sleep on these issue as always ?
Why don’t we have balls to take drastic action against Pakistan or is it that there are many pass backs ! One should settle the scores for once and all.

(4) Time to prove the difference between a Boy and a Man : And Mr. Manmohan Singh, its time to come out of the shadow of your god-mother and prove that you have turned from a boy to a man! There is so much you can do from just sacking Mr. Shivraj Patil, whom God could also not save this time.

Well, all said and done, one would feel – gyaan dena to asaan hai, kuch karna mushkil- and that is a fact, but even trying the former is an effort or a thought and the latter would follow, has to…. if not during these 24 hrs (bumping into this would have added to more confusion) then later - Many injured would need blood and otherwise - every and any smallest initiative or control to ensure security at home, workplace, nearby areas would be worth a contribution. And only thing which I can do is pray right now for the end of this crisis at the earliest (it has to, but hope these 24 hours don’t go to 36, 48...) If this goes long, the administration will showcase, they will have to have some reason for it - that they saved so many “x” lives and that’s why took so long, no one will speak of the lives lost...and no on will speak of the loss of revenue the country had in the last 24 hours ?

Mumbai Terror Strikes : Yet another Intelligence Failure

26th November, 2008, 9:40 PM Mumbai hits the global headlines for being attacked by the terrorists openly firing at the Public. All news channels carrying bizarre scenarios of the firings and blasts (40, expected to reach 200, which officially might be quoted the half) in number till 12:44 AM) were heart sinking – Some channels showed beheaded bodies and brutally injured citizens. An innovative strategy of the terrorists moving from Masses to Classes (Retail to HNI) showcasing immense courage by attacking a new area – the Urban Mumbai by targeting South Mumbai (Oberoi, Taj, Cama Hospital and CST Station ) and also Centaur (Sahara Star) at Vile Parle- Santacruz and JW Marriot - This clear strategy of crippling Mumbai’s Financial Capital Image and targeting the High Society Area, Diplomats, Tourists (Security Failure at the Two Big Names of the Indian Hotel Industry – Taj and Oberoi) will definitely leave back a Big Dent.

This was yet another blow on the face of the Vilasrao Deshmukh’s semi crippled government (Narayan Rane has got his 5th Chance to run to Sonia Gandhi and complain against his colleague), especially when one heard Mr. Shakil Ahmed, the Minister of State for Home Affairs behaving irresponsibly with the Media and disconnecting the call and running away from the situation as always. Mr. Shakil- Have some shame atleast, the injured could be some of your relatives too…..Its 12:44 as I am writing this blog and neither Mr. Deshmukh nor Mr Patil have issued any statement or appeared for any audio / visual interview reinstating the fact that they are not interested and their strategists are off for the day and once they rejoin tomorrow, they will be able to issue any statement.

Only one question which comes up to the mind of the citizens of India and Mumbai especially is the repeated failure of Mumbai Police (read Intelligence and not On Ground) and the State Government and all other the Intelligence Agencies to track and control any terrorist movements. All what the Mumbai Police is interested in is catching people drunk and without proper traffic rules and that is only what the Police is capable of doing and ofcourse creating unnecessary hype around Pragya Thakur and low important (compared to Mumbai) Malegaon case.

The Best part was the Terrorists running away from the Metro Cinema site hijacking / stealing a Police Jeep – This is the most shameful part of the incident. I don not understand with what standing do people accuse Bihar and UP Politicians, who are much better than the ones here.

The main is yet to arrive as the Media confirms some 40-45 Hostages in the Oberoi and much more to come for sure. But, the whole incident would prove 3 THINGS ofcourse at the cost of deaths of so many (20 till now at 12:44AM) and injured and estranged citizens :

(1) The Success of the New Strategy and Innovation by the Terror Groups giving them their job satisfaction and motivation of raising the bar with more in future (They are successful, since our Intelligence is failure)

(2) Failure of the Mumbai Police (Intelligence, not ground) and the State Governement and to an extent the Central Government too – Mumbai Police not the ones of the Ground who are doing the best possible job but the ones sitting in the AC headquarters calling themselves Intelligence and actually the Fools ( It was intimated by Hyderabad Police some days back that there are 50 Militants / terrorists entering Mumbai with a Plan)

(3) The Spirit of Mumbaikars – which will forget the incident in a few hours, slapping on the face of the terrorists and getting back to the normal life, showcasing the “Never say Die Spirit” – That’s the only thing Mumbai is still Mumbai else the first two factors would have made this place an Azamgarh in no time.

The only worst things which can happen now is (1) Mumbai Police killing some innocents claiming that they were the Terrorists. (2) Mumbai Terror Relief Fund coming up (3) Some celebrity trying to encash this situation and supporting the cause for the image management purpose (4) And the Best (for them - Terrorists) is Afzal Guru being conferred a Padma Shree which would have surely happened if the Parliament would have been in Mumbai.

Hope the Army comes in time and controls the situation and the Ground Mumbai Police showcase the best possible with the limited resources available (service revolvers for eg. against the AK 47s) - Its a chance for them to prove and change their image. And well, Mumbai is matured enough not to ask for the CM or HM or Mr. Shivraj Patil to resign, Mumbai will answer back with its Spirit – It’s a matter of time !

Saturday, 15 November, 2008

Dostana Moview Review

In one line if someone wants to summarize the experience after the 1st Day Last show of Dostana would be “Whims and Fancies of a Gay Man (Karan Johar) put together into a 2.5 hours of bull shit with a super wastage of super stars and strategy to fool around the innocent audience in the opening profits of first few days till all are aware of the trap”

Singh is King followed a similar strategy – 21 shows in 1 day in Fame Adlabs – one show every 20 minutes and what an opening – but the movie had something to offer – Akshay, Katrina and some comedy stuff and a few good songs too. But “DOSTANA” has literally nothing much to offer – I did not get till the end that, why was it named “Dostana” in the first place itself.

A super waste of Talent like Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra & John Abraham (I don’t know under what obligation were they required to sign this film) and the only guy who badly needed this film at the moment was Bobby Deol as he is not getting much work. And also what a waste of senior talent like Boman Irani & Kiron Kher.

On the story side – well there was not much – only Abhi & John act as gay to get an apartment and that’s it – Its not even a story surrounding a cause or area but its purely fantasies of our Gay man Karan Johar to play Homo Homo game. If some one critically needs to evaluate the cost benefit of each penny – it could be a few songs, the backdrop of Miami (that was not extra ordinary), for the ladies – John’s physique and for boys – Priyanka’s body, that’s all. If one needs to rate – Andhe mein kaana kaun for acting– it could be Abhi.

But net – net waste of time and money. Please do not waste precious time and money at the multiplexes or even when the movie comes on cable / tv. Rating – 1/5 Star and if Taran Adarsh or Mr. Masand rate this above 2 or 3 (Industry izzat), understand there is some affinity to KJ. I saw Sanjay Dutt’s EMI last week and thought it was not worth a line in my blog, but looking at Dostana, feel it could have well fitted in. God save all !

Tuesday, 11 November, 2008

Recount - The US Elections in 2000.

On the eve of the US Presidential Elections, seeing Obama winning over Mc Cain was indeed a joy from a perspective of a Marketing guy comparing the same with new product like “Dove” in the hair care segment stealing away the mind share and the market share of the more experienced and stalwarts like - “Head & Shoulders, Pantene ” in the opposition camp and “Sunsilk” in the own camp. Would share my thoughts on the same a little later – I feel it was simple Marketing strategies focusing on Segmentation, branding and other marketing mixes.

Amidst the Obama victory and his speech flowing all over, I was recommended by one of my Professors to watch –Recount (HBO Movies) to experience the same over 90 Minutes at the edge of one’s seat. This is a story on 2000 US Elections where all eyes were on Florida which would decide the fate of Al Gore and George W. Bush.

The Story is amidst the tension in the Democrats and Republicans lobbies with a focus on the lead character – Ron Klain (Kevin Spacet) who is a Former Chief of Staff to Al Gore, the then Vice President trying his best to prove that Gore can still win.

Al Gore’s character was shown of a docile guy least bothered about the business and while already given up and on his way to announce concession to Bush, was forced to retract the same as there was some issue sighted at the Florida – Palm Beach County where there were issues of “dimple chads” – improper hole punchings on the voting cards. All TV Channels had declared Bush the winner, but on insistence of Ron, despite of his Boss, a senior advisor falling cold, keeps on insisting in Manual Recount as he and his team believes that Al Gore has won. The recount begins and stops, begins and stops, begins and stops at various instances with some judge approving it and some court staying it, building on further thrill.

Ron is not sure whether he likes Gore or not (Gore had not given him his dues) but still fights till the end, builds up an amazing team – each one in the team are equally passionate and devoted to prove that recount can change things and each tries his best possible strategies – The fight becoming though Bush vs Gore, but actually it was Ron & team and not Gore. Ron and team fights for their passion and conviction and not any party or boss per se - finally the spineless Gore gives in to Bush, and Ron has to Stop. That’s the end.

A brilliant act put in by Jack Baker, Former US Secretary of the State, Bush’s The Man, who has also shifted fences earlier in life and is a strong guy and also Michael Whouley, Chiel Field Officer of Gore’s lobby and Katherine Harris, the Palm Beach County Secretary. A Brilliant direction by Jay Roach. Worth a watch !

Tuesday, 4 November, 2008

Golmaal Returns Vs. Fashion : Not a difficult choice.

Last weekend was a relief post the pre-Diwali once as far as the movies are concerned with someone even thinking of going to a multiplex to try his / her luck at the latest flicks – Be it “The Golmaal Returns” or “Fashion”, which I would say is worth trying.

I made it to both over the weekends and was neither highly excited nor disappointed, as both were Ok types at least not something, which you would feel, is a waste of your money. The masses would feel “Golmaal Returns” is a better movie than “Fashion”, but I would rate Fashion 3/5 and Golmaal 2/5, for the following reasons :

“Golmaal Returns” is yet another slapstick comedies like Golmaal, Dhamaal, Dhol but not as pervert as Style or similar B grade ones; though there are a few double meaning ones too. The Movie has all the old characters except Sharman Joshi who is replaced by Shreyas Tapalade (I don’t know why!!; Riteish Deshmukh would have been a better choice). But nevertheless, Ajay Devgan ( He should understand that he is a fantastic serious actor, possibly someone who can take Big Bs place in terms of acting skill) and not a comedy actor unlike his peers Akshay Kumar who can do comedy well. Arshad Warsi was cool and Tusshar Kapoor was absolutely amazing in his dumb act (The best actor in the movie; if he would not have been around then the rating would have fallen drastically). Chances of nomination as a Best Actor in a Comedy Role…way to go Tusshar.

A disappointment was Kareena Kapoor trying hard to act at something, which she is not too good at (Scripted acting). She is good at spontaneous acting and some typical roles and of course not a role of a bahu fascinated by Saas-Bahu Saga atleast who is called “Ekta”. Amrita Arora (I don’t understand why people take her in a movie, or is it the other way around – she pays for acting ?) and The hot-babe Anjana Sukhani were wasted.

But director Rohit Shetty has done a good job with not so good script, but a decent screenplay, dialogues and act put together, not to forget spoofing and making good of movies like Sawariya, Tashan, Om Shanti Om etc. The audience would have a good laugh on many scenes and dialogues, which may make them, fee that they have some Paisa Wasool.

The Best thing about the Movie was the Cast in-toto and not standalone and the screenplay and dialogues. Someone also from somewhere pushed one Song – a ditto copy from Sivaji the Boss of Rajnikanth. But it was a funny movie like one of those or better than Priyadarshan’s flick, which will not let you miss Paresh Rawal and Rajpal Yadav.

Not a Regret to spend money on if watched in a Theatre and not a multiplex.

“Fashion” – Yet another real life by Madhur Bhandarkar after Chandni Bar, Page 3, Corporate, very well grasping the real life world of fashion.

An excellent script and story with excellent use of glamour, a couple of songs and cool babes like Kangana, Priyanka and Mughda. Kanagana – Compliment her on the best attitude someone could have carried for a role (8/10) and amazing acting too.

Mughda, first I thought has not yet entered the movie till I was told, she was Mughda (Janet- for someone who might face a situation like mine) as she looked quite different than on the Promos, which you see her burning the specific poolside ramp with her sizzling presence– decent job as a new comer.

And Sameer Soni has also done a decent job and Arbaz Khan and Kitu Gidwani was fantastic too. Raj Babbar and Kiran Razdan were wasted (If Raj compares himself with his peers like Om Puri, Rajesh Khanna, etc and despite being an MP and having a great personality) but anyways, audience need not worry on this.

The show stealer (Show Stopper in the terms of Fashion) was clearly Priyanka Chopra, the lead actress who was absolutely superb, proving yet again her fantastic acting skills (better than Kareena and Katrinas of the world) and the Body too (remember she was the Sexiest Asian Babe of 2006). This role was offered to Kareena Kapoor first and am sure now that she would have screwed it up royally than anyone – thank God she did not take it.

The only negative thing was that the movie was a bit long (3 hrs+) wherein the audience may feel bored at times (We thought the movie has no interval) but for a creative guy like Madhur, job satisfaction is more important. And yeah, guess Madhur is too much fascinated with Gays and Homosexuals or the real fashion world is like this with atleast 7/10 men who are Gays.

A good movie to see and see some of the real life character (Madhur’s speciality)like Prahlad Kakkar, Ranvir Shorey, Konkana Sen, Narendra Kumar Ahmed, Achala Sachdev, Leena Mogre and models like Jesse Randhawa, Candice Pinto, Noyonika Chatterjee and Aanchal Kumar and Designers like Shane Peacock, Wendell Rodricks etc.

This too worth a watch from the lens of a critic and a fun time cine-goer.