Tuesday, March 24, 2009

There can only be one explanation for it. Vipul thinks giving me flowers is a leading cause of cancer. I cannot imagine why else he refuses to indulge in the practice in public places, wrinkles his nose when anyone else does, and then retires to the balcony alone when I ask for some.

Of course, it is hard to believe that anyone could suffer from such a delusion. But then, we are talking about Vipul, a person who voluntarily sees cricket matches that extend for five days in the expectation that they will be exciting and that India will win.

Me: Can we go buy a new chair for the corner next to the table which will become free after we move the chair at the opposite corner to the middle and put the cushions currently in the corner in its place?
Vipul: *silence for the 5 seconds it takes the bowler on TV to run up* Amazing! You saw that? Awesome, no?
Me: No. Can we go
Vipul: Go? Go where? We can't go anywhere! It's Hong Kong versus Bangladesh!
Me: How come you have time for cricket but no time for buying me flowers? How come
Vipul: There's a great view from the balcony

Really. It's not like I asked for a bouquet of poppy flowers. And even if I did, it's not like poppy flowers are intoxicating. And even if they are, the point is my asking for something and not getting it can be a leading cause of accidents.

Yes, the balcony has a great view. And great dropping height too.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Yes, I loved Delhi 6. So sue me!

I once bumped into Prasoon Joshi. This was long ago, when Vivek Oberoi was upcoming and attractive, when Urmila Matondkar was still sought after by Ram Gopal Verma, when I had just started my journalism career as an intern with Mid Day.

I was covering an anti-cigarette smoking event at the Taj Hotel. Being a newbie, I hadn't yet mastered the technique of elbowing through the throngs of cameramen and news-channel reporters that surrounded the stars. Instead, I dawdled at the sidelines with a politeness totally unworthy of a Pg3 intern and waited for my turn to arrive. Joshi was there standing beside me. At the time, he wasn't someone who mediapeople thrust their questions and microphones at. So we both whiled time looking at the circus in front of us.

In a bit, we introduced ourselves to each other and he inquired if I knew him or his work, a question which under normal circumstances implies that his work is something I should have been aware of. But, he hadn't asked high-handedly or in a full-of-himself way, so I easily admitted ignorance. Turned out, the unassuming thin man was behind the Thanda Matlab Coca Cola campaign. Impressive!, thought I.

But those days Pg3 was pickier about whom it quoted, which meant anyone who needed to disclose his name/qualification to be recognised was a no-no. Besides, Vivek Oberoi's face started becoming visible to the naked eye, so I had to excuse myself to go and get a quote from that beaming teen heart throb.

Yes, how things change.

Anyway, I recall this useless little episode everytime Joshi steps up the ladder, which as it happens, is a very regular occurence. I thought Rang De Basanti had fabulous dialogue, and turned out it was Joshi's debut handiwork. He's written quite a few songs I love [Shobha Mudgal's ab ke saawan and man ke manjeere]. And, even though the world seems to disagree, I believe Delhi 6 is another feather in his cap.

The characters in the movie are so Delhi - and their dialogues are so spot on. Where else do people rattle off the names of their shops when they introduce themselves? Where else do they spend hours in supernatural discussions?

Okay, okay, Delhiites don't give pravachans when surrounded by a mob, but c'mon, it's Bollywood fare which by law requires some fairy tale parts.

And really, the Kala Bandar is NOT overdone. I remember visiting my extended family in Dilli 6 during those days - and I can tell you that the discussion of the monkey's identity overtook recipe talk amongst the women. sigh, it was such a welcome change.