Monday, March 27, 2006

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa! sponsored by LULU Hypermarket

24th March, 2006 - the day when I got 2 free tickets for the live recording of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, the Indian singing competition show played on Zee TV, the day where the true colours of typical Indians once again flashed on my face and also the day when I ate KFC for the first time in over a year. I took Romit along with me, because he was my closest friend who knew atleast something about Sa Re Ga Ma Pa.

Okay - you know how much I despise Indian Television, so I need to clearify why I went - I went because I was curious to know what happened behind the scenes. As in the 'Talias', the outakes and the ever prominent mistakes. Basically I took it as a learning curve, but it was more of farce, quite honestly.

Poor organisation, poor performances and extremely extremely irritating audience which, unfortunately Romit and I were a part of, but please note that we were not even close to the major contributors of irritation.

Firstly, inspite of having Very Very Important Person (VVIP) tickets, we were seated in the row furthest away from the stage, an area which didn't even come close to making the television frame. Later, when we did make it to the front, we were not too surprised to see people with the passes for the wrong day in the front row, after all it was an event organised by us Indians.

After every imaginary commercial break, Shaan started the program with a rather animated 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa- Middle East Ka Mukabla, sponsered by Lulu Hypermarket' - as if we, and the eventual television viewers, were retarded. You know what, maybe we were, because our retard-ness was emphasized when a few of us joined him in a truly 'wonderful' chorus. However this intro had more energy than all the participants combined - so that's good in way, isn't it?

I completely agree with Romit who said that the eventual dull and uninteresting winner will only end up as a back-up singer, for some sidey melodramatic hindi soap opera. All of them lacked, completely lacked star quality. They were like boiled eggs who couldn't move and who didn't even know the words to the songs they sung. One of the participants sung one of his songs twice because 'he forgot the words'. And guess what, this 'forgot-the-song-words' guy was the evetual winner. Uptill now, it was all a drag. After the intial fascination, all that followed was sheer boredom and apathy. Only one of the performers, Paresh, was decent. He was the crowd favourite. But, guess what, he did not win. The words-forgetter won. It was at this moment that things got exciting. The crowd was up in rebellion. The uncles, and aunties and Ali's Bhainji's all stood up and started screaming and taunting the TV producers - 'give this man chance one more!' And instead of ignorance, Ismailji, the gangster looking, bearded, long haired 'music' director, added coal to the fire and confronted the audience. At this point it got hilarious. Only after Paresh played the good boy and accepted his defeat did the crowd quieten. That was the end of the semi-finals.

The producers tried to get some order in the auditorium, and asked all the NON VVIP people to vacate the front row seats. Obviously this didn't happen. The co-ordinator then announced that saving seats was not allowed. But, he forgot that he was speaking to Indians. So instead of the stopage of this practise, the ambivalent public thought that this obviously meant that more seats needed to be saved. That was the explanation to the scattered empty seats in a supposed full auditorium.

From the last row, we tried to get into the first few rows. This was a difficult process, as more and more people were trying to get into the already front Sheikh Rashid auditorium. We, well we wanted to be on TV, and we were considerably large so we made into the first section. There were 4 empty seats next to us, so a man innocently came and sat there. A couple of minutes later, uncleji and auntyji came and told him to get up from their seats. They were like these are our seats, we were sitting on them earlier. The young man didn't know what to say. Then uncleji was like, 'Leave these people alone, they don't understand manners'. Hello, freak! Uncleji, don't you get it! Saving seats is not allowed, hell you had not even saved them. Don't you dare go on about morals and manners - people - ahh!

The supposed 15 minute break between the semi-finals and the finals strected to about 3 hours, which is not that bad, considering Indian standards. We obviously didn't wait. But my parents, who had also come along, were also there and they waited.

The canteen had its own story. It had some food, so there has to be some chaos. And there was, people were fighting for food, which did not look too good, as if they had never seen anything like it. Pushing, throwing and yelling for a useless burger and a Pepsi gave me a picture of savages fighting for food to survive.

We exited, and advised a few people outside, that it was not worth it. We then walked to KFC in Khao Gully, and I relished my first scrumptious leg piece. The genius combination of deliciously fried skin and well marinated meat, provided saliva for my mouth, that made me consume every bite like it was the last.

A profoundly deep and interesting conversation with Romit and his company was the only useful thing that illustrious day. My belief of the deficiency and discrepancy of Indian Television was further amplified. It was a memorable and learning experience - how not to be and how not to produce a television show.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Kishanji, Namaste

The above tiny man, with the mike in his hand and the camera next to him, certainly seems out of place. But guess what, they will soon say that he is the 'Speilberg' of Bollywood. This new director, has so much potential, it's unbelievable. Well, after all he is only 10 years old.

Yes, Kishan Shrikanth is only ten years old and his first film is due to be released this April. Though it looks ridiculous, this kid is a supposed 'genius'. Having acted in 1000 Kannada Soap Opera episode, and 24 regional films, this experienced kid does indeed show a lot of promise.

Kishan's first venture is going to be a Kannada film, C/O Footpath, and guess what, he has co-written it too.

But, as usual I am going to be critical. 10 years old, he has made a career in acting, why the hell does he want to start directing? And who in the right mind would invest 8 million rupees on him? According to me it's a publicity stunt. It has everything that media wants, youth, weirdness and intrigue. The only thing it doesn't have is sex-appeal. Hey but wait, Hollywood might be inspired by this and Paris Hilton might be paid to direct. And hell she does have it all.

Anyway, even BBC has been seduced by this stunt. It is definitely smart, but how long is it going to last. This BBC article about Kishanji is worth reading. I bet the producers, and the master-minds behind this are praying that their 8 million rupees is worth.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dubai Desert Rock 06 Rocked!

Friday, 16th March, 2006. We lined up at 11:30 am, four and a half hours before the actual start of this 'mega' event. And deservingly got to be in the first row, yes the first damn row! As we were not real hardcore heavy metal rockers, we did frustrate a lot of long-haired men, who especially attacked Ali because he sported a 'Metallica' t-shirt in a 'Megadeth' concert, and that is quite daring, because Metallica and Megadeth don't really get along. Actually they kinda hate each other. Anyway that's Ali for you.

The first few minutes made us feel like we were in Hollywood - hundreds (ok not really, maybe like 5 or 6) of cameras flashed upon our faces, and we all gave poses and 'horn-fingers' and 'rocker-like' expressions (please see above). We were probably the gayest rockers there - but we bloody well enjoyed. As Ali says (who wore a 'Metallica' t-shirt, shorts, socks and floaters), 'It's all about the music, you need to feel it...' and bla. Anyway, our gay apparel was not so bad as we made it into quite a few papers such as the Emirates Evening Post, and City Times.

After the 'red-carpet' experience, the extravaganza finally started with 'Mannikind' - a local band. They weren't bad, but the lead singer was hilarious. He was considerably stout, and was jumping and head-banging like a freak, not to say he was only 17. For those 'Modernite's' who cannot imagine, picture Manish (no offense dude, you rock), with longish braided hair, jumping all over, and moving his head in an up-down motion, and screaming into the microphone. Scary, huh?

Then came 'Testament'. They were ordinary, not that good. We did not know their music, and maybe that's why they were not so exciting. But from experience (as in watching Sepultura last year), I can say that they were quite dry, but we were in the first row, so it was still fun! This concert was characterized, by this Iranian dude's white nose hair and constant stabbing motions. In his pursuit to push us away, and get into the first row, he gave us both entertainment and pain. He desperately tried to get between Ali and me, and guess what, he did eventually succeed, but that was only after giving us outrageous laughter and a view of his white nose hair. As expected, Ali was first to notice this. Anyway, this dude did not know proper english and did the following things:
1. He screamed(literally - those horse screams, like the one's of Brad Pitt in Troy when he's killing someone) for no apparent reason.
2. He showed the finger to everyone around for no apparent reason.
3. He shook his head so vigorously, that we thought it might come out.
4. He tried to hit on some school girl, by constantly giving her his hand and trying to let her come next to him in the first row, but I obviously didnot allow that.
5. He was not that bad though, because he made friends with security people in front of us and gave us free water.

The next band was Reel Big Fish. They played ska-rock. They were funky and hilarious. Great performers, who won the love of Harry. The band was basically a mix of hard rock, and trumpets and trampones. So it was quite different and fun.

Enter Tejas' 3 Doors Down. The most 'poppy' of the bands, they were the one's we wanted to watch the most, but they were the one's that nun of the heavy metal hard core rockers wanted to watch, who couldn't wait for Megadeth. They behaved like such losers, because they kept booing them and constantly chanted 'Megadeth'. They compared them to the 'Backstreet Boys' - and that was weird. And when the lead singer came into the crowd, these same rockers were like, 'I love you' and felt him up. Such hypocrites, and as Romit would say, 'Losers, man'. Anyway, Tejas knew every single word of every song they played, and as we were all in the front row, the lead singer Brad Arnolds obviously noticed, and thus began the great love story. Tejas' Brad almost came into the crowd and almost jumped on Tejas - literally. He shook his hand and then made continuous eye contact. At one point he also gave him the fingers, as in the horn fingers. It was then the turn of Tejas to go insane. Love must be reciprocated, so his constant 'Oh-My-God's and groans and wows must have made Brad proud. Anyway, Brad certainly made Tejas' day, and he certainly made ****** jealous (I don't think I am allowed to mention the name). Personally I enjoyed 3 Doors Down the most, because I knew some of their music, and generally prefer their sort of music to heavy, heavy-metal.

Then the main event - Megadeth - were okay. We took a step back to save ourselves, and save Tejas who would have definitely been squashed by the 'metal-hungry' rockers, who were basically drunk and insane. Ali enjoyed, and more importantly survived Megadeth because he fought like a brave soul and stayed in front. Where as the rest of us found them to be average, I actually fell asleep at one point. But that was maybe because I was too tired.

All in all, it was an extremely memorable day, and a day I will not easily forget... (add all other cliches please)

I feel concerts are the epitomes of entertainment. The amount of joy and pure energy that a good band can give off is amazing. This only refers to popular good bands, and not any other side show. So what I basically want to say is, see as many concerts as you can - because they are loads of fun and great memories.

Rock on!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

We Are The Arsenal!

The historic victory against Madrid loomed over Highbury as the Gunners took on the 'Champions of Europe' in their second premier league meeting. And well, Arsenal lived up to their billing and pulled off a 2-1 victory with two goals from Henry, but what should be highlighted is the Gerrard howler. Gerrard was caught unaware, and a careless back pass let lose the gallant Henry - and there was only one result.

Liverpool have been pushed aside. But what I want to highlight is the sheer determination and youthful exuberance with which Arsenal are playing at present. More than the Liverpool game, the 2nd-leg home fixture againt Madrid was a showpiece of the grit and passion of the Arsenal team. A young team, missing the likes of Cole and Lauren, battled it out as if their lives were on the line. Tackles flying in, unbelievable blocks, and non-stop running propelled the Arsenal to the quarterfinals of Europe's premier tournament.

Besides Henry, players worthy of a mention are Hleb, Fabregas, Reyes, Ljunberg, Eboue and Toure. The energy with which they played against Madrid was not only laudable, but was also a moment of pride for the Arsenal fans. The hearts of the Arsenal faithful were thumping with joy as they heard the final whistle at Highbury on that memorable Wednesday night.

Arsenal have progressed, but only to stumble upon the Italian Chmapions, Juventus. Viera is coming back to Highbury, but this time in a black and white shirt. The fixture is mouth-watering. Don't count Arsenal out yet. With able leadership and an Arsenal team brimming with confidence and dedication, the Turin team will definitely be asked questions, afterall it was only an unbelievable, last-minute goalkeeping blunder that put them into the next round.

My previous Arsenal posts have almost been bad-luck charms, as the highs mentioned by me have been followed by terrible lows. But I don't believe in such kind off luck, let's just wait and see if I should.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Widening The Blogosphere

Ok, I am going to be a very good blogger and do a bit of advertising. As our exams have ended, most of the people I know, will probably be sitting and doing nothing - so here is just something intriguing + funny.

Let me give you a few blogs to visit, and believe me each one is special. All are not good, but are still special.

1. Newley Purnell - This guy inspired my sister to blog, who in turn inspired me, and the chain has continued. His blog is quite interesting - worth a read! A voracious blogger, he expresses the strangest of happenings in the world, and himself is an ardent traveller.

2. New York Hack - This female is a New York Cab driver by day, and blogger by night. Her gifted writing has won her more than 140,000 hits a week, and she has been covered in 'The Times' and in 'Gulf News'. She writes about her experiences with her passengers and is quite frank and outspoken - is a fascinating read.

3. 'My Dirty Little Secrets' - Ok, this is a funny stupid one. I was using the 'visit random blog' option at '' and I came across this site. A 16 year old CRAZY female who writes aboslute shit on her blog. It's quite funny, and she is quite conceited - thinks she's damn good looking. Dream on, girl! :P - Its quite funny - go check it out. However crap it is, it's won my attention - so hell it can't be that bad.

4. Vinita Bharadwaj - Does the name sound familiar? Well it won't but just check out the Gulf News tabloid. She is one of the journalists, and a good friend of my sister. It's a decent blog, and it's interesting for us because we can relate to it - as in the fact that she's in Dubai.

5. Elite Football Talk - All those people who think they have decent football knowledge, do visit this site and express yourselves - they are very good at replying and host very healthy football discussions and analysis.

Enjoy - all are worth visiting.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

A Blog Chain (:-P)

Believe me, there has developed some sort off a chain blog post, that I am forced to follow. My maha sister has passed the 'tag' to me.

But before I do so, let me first express my dogmatic approach to chain mails - absolutely pathetic. Death threats (if you don't forward this, then u will die), stupid jokes, name lists (:S), friend threats (I find this one particularly bemusing - 'oh, you will be come friendless, if you don't forward this'),love stories, personality tests (this I despise,especially when people try to judge you with your favourite choice of colour) and what not! I don't even read half of them, it's called 'untouched disposal' - straight into the trash can. Yes there are some exceptions, such as when the twins and Gomezzz hit it off about elephants and trumpets. Those are quite entertaining, even the miss velocity one was quite hilarious - and it also gave us an 'MI' period from you know who.

So my message to these 'forwarders' is that please avoid forwarding void stuff to people because of superstious beliefs or plain boredom, believe you me, there is a lot more to life. (:P)

Ok, now I am going to be a hypocrite. But wait blog chains don't count - they are not that annoying, and I am almost forced to do this because my sister is the one who has 'tagged' me. So...

Four jobs that I’ve had:-
2-week-voluntary work at Ten Sports/Prime Sports as an 'Assistan Producer'. (:P - honest!)

Four movies that I could watch over and over:-
The Matrix
Rang De Besanti

Four places I’ve lived in:-
Amravati, India - well I was born there, just that, but it's important.
Aurangabad, India
Dubai, UAE
Dubai, UAE

Four TV shows that I like:-
American Idol
Everwood - call me 'gay' if you want - but that show rocks!
Does an Arsenal Premiership match count?

Four places where I’ve vacationed:-
Australia - Darwin was the best, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast
England - Manchester United Soccer Schools, Yarm, London
Turkey - Istanbul
Bhandaradhara - A semi-hill station town in Maharashtra, India

Four of my favorite dishes:-
Chinese all the way! - Chicken Lollipops - yeah I know it's a common favourite
Pav Bhaji (:P)
Thai green curry
Pooran Poli - a Maharashtrian sweet chapatish roti.

Four sites that I visit daily:-

Four Bloggers that I’m going to tag with this:
The 'Serious' Thinker
The Verbose tall-person
The 'Twins' Irritator

Once again I apologize for the hypocrisy.
Blog On!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Best Of The Best Of Bush

Respected President of the United States Of America, World 'Leader', Mr George Bush,

We bow at your stupidity, and the fact that you are one proud jackass. Forgive me for the profanity but the truth is the truth.

Every single one of you has to watch both these videos:

This one's called "George W Bush's Best Hits'

And this one is called "George Bush's Top Ten Moments".

His own country ridicules him. The President of the most powerful country does have a, uhm 'funny' side.

I wonder how Bush handles the pressure, actually I know how he handles it, he just doesn't seem to care. He doesn't care about his image, says the stupidest things, and takes the worst decisions. How the hell is he still President? It's unbelievable. He is, as the twins would say, 'deplorable, and goes against everything that modern stands/holds for'.

Let's hope America doesn't get it wrong again, as in after the Bush era. Comment on.