Ajinkya Madhukar Rahane : The Pursuit Of Versatility

As the name suggests,”Ajinkya” which means invincible;this Marathi boy is an insightful talent when it boils down to discipline and professionalism.

Calm,focused,introvert,gentleman and steady like an impregnable fortress,Rahane is an ideal Dravid prodigy. Ajinkya,with his technical eminence and stalwart demeanour has cemented his spot in the Indian line (both Tests and ODIs) with extreme delicacy.

The perfect straight drive.

The perfect straight drive.

Rohit is injured. Can you open ? YES!

Yuvraj is out of form.Can you reinforce the middle order ? YES!

The team is crumbling overseas.Can you bat at number 3 and anchor the innings? YES!

Slip cordon looks vulnerable.Can you stand at slips and pull off blinders? YES!

Team needs some buoyancy.Can you carry drinks? YES!

Within no time,the nifty right hander has evolved as the most faithful name in the Indian cricketing household and indeed Rahane is the epitome of a modern day versatile cricketer.

Epitome of versatility- Rahane

India’s current batting brigade with Rahane as the most versatile batsman

He has a subtle blend of timing ,artistry and aggression which not only has helped him flourish in the sub-continent but overseas as well,where others did struggle in the recent times.Till date I have not seen Rahane slog,exactly the way his mentor used to play.

With the mighty Australian tour lined up,his skills would come handy especially facing Mitchell Johnson. If he can shield the team from his wrath and try inspiring the team by sticking on the wicket,our young guns might turn out to be formidable.Also,Virat is sort of back in the form. Hence, I strongly believe that the duo of Rahane and Kohli have the balls to turn the tide this time. Hoping to witness a good show and #InRahaneKohliWeTrust trending in the Kangaroo land.

Rewinding a bit,Rahane incepted his vintage form from being called as The Night’s Watch for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL season 6. The boy had become a man back then.He scored 560 runs at a scintillating average of 40 from 16 games at a strike rate of
130,which included two classy knocks of 98 and 103* as well.

Tendulkar’s retirement proved a blessing in disguise for Ajinkya.He was offered a permanent berth in the Indian side at number 4.Finally,his patience paved off and that meant NO MORE BENCH for him.

Without seeking much of stardom,Rahane silently started putting some runs under his belt ,that too on the foreign soils.Right from 51* and 96 in Durban to 118 against the black caps,Rahane always kept his head high and did his job meticulously.Subsequently,his rock solid technique fetched him a ton at the Mecca of Cricket as well.That knock of 103 at Lords marked the dawn of a new phenomena – a phenomena of trust,hard work and consistency.He carried that momentum and scored a vintage ton at Birmingham in the third ODI in the same 2014 England tour.

A moment to cherish. Ton @ Lords.

A moment to cherish.Ton @ Lords.

Effortless straight drives,mighty pulls and a chip over cover are the prime ammunitions in his armoury.It’s a treat to watch him bat when he is on a song.But it is equally disheartening to see him throw his wicket after being well settled ,the way he did at
Dharamsala recently.The effort that he had putting scoring those 68 crucial runs went in vain.He certainly needs to work on that bit.

But let me tell you one thing very clearly.Whether it is Rahane ,Kohli or Pujara these lads should never be rated against the veterans.It is unfair for both the camps.Those legends belonged to a different ball game altogether.They played under different circumstances,under a different leader with a different mindset.Give them some time to explore,to struggle,to loose and to fight back.Trust me,you will eventually start looking up to them as well.

On a positive note,with the kind of form he is in both personally(just got married) & professionally,if he continues this sort of maturity for another year or so; I definitely see him steering team India to the paths of glory.

The Diary of a Filmy Kid

I don’t have a plan for the day. So,let’s just draft down some of the Bollywood movies that I admire and love watching over and over again.The cinema which has impacted me,taught me things and has made me enjoy my life till 24.That way I can keep a track of the evolution of my taste if I stumble upon this document 30 years down the lane.

So,here is my list –


Dil Chahta Hai(2001)

The movie was released at the time when Bollywood was in a dismal state,producing one catastrophe after the other. DCH was like a breath of fresh air.Original .No villains.No fighting sequences.No melodrama.Plain.Simple.Refreshing and youthful !

Dil Chahta Hai - Chapora Fort

Dil Chahta Hai – Chapora Fort

Maintaining a vivid yet tranquil pace throughout,Dil Chahta Hai is woven around the love and life discovering experiences of three Mumbai lads.”What your heart wishes,just go with it” is a sort of theme that persists throughout the film.It has everything. Comedy, drama, great songs, love stories,exotic locations and some truly heart touching moments, which we tend to ignore at times in our real lives.

DCH  just floats along like an opera and the FRIENDSHIP part takes you on a song.It’s more of a character driven cinema rather than the script-driven and they end up staying in your system forever. Farhan’s directorial rawness and the unharnessed energy engages the audience to perfection for 3 long hours.The movie did mark the evolution of a new era in the Bollywood.

I have seen the movie more than 100 times and I can admit the fact that every time the music “Just Turn Around”plays I cry with joy every single time.The only reason I visit Goa every year is because of this movie.The best of my college life memories revolve around Fort Chapora. Best Dialogue –

Haan waise bhi perfection ko improve karna mushkil hota hai.


Gangs of Wasseypur(2012)

Centred on the coal mafia of Dhanbad(Jharkhand),GOW is an epic tale about fidelity,crime, lust, betrayal,politics and vendetta. A cinematic chef d’oeuvre !

Gangs Of Wasseypur - Sardar Khan

Gangs Of Wasseypur – Sardar Khan

Anurag Kashyap has put his soul into each character and that is visible from every frame of the movie.The direction ,the bloodshed,black humour,witty characters, adultery, bullets,vengeance and the slangs have truly given it a cult status quo. This is India’s Pulp Fiction.

The one thing that truly holds out for me are the dialogues. They are sharp and as close to reality as it can get. Manoj Bajpai has proved once again that he is the patron in the business especially,when it boils down to this kind of honest cinema.The screenplay is well structured and the music by Sneha Khanwalkar has added a new dimension to the movie.

Overall,It’s a masterpiece .Respect to all those who had watched it at Cannes,the entire 5 hour long movie Give it a chance and you’ll never look at Bollywood the same way again.Best Dialogue –

Hamare abbu ko marat hai.
Hamare abbu uski gaadi mein baith ke uske saath gaye they.Kabhi laute hi nahi.
Hamari zindaggi ka ek hi maqsad hai. Badla !
Ramadhir Singh ko budhappan ka seedhi chadte hue dekha nahi jaata.
Us haraami ko humein mitana hai.
Goli Nahi Maarenge Saale ko,Keh Ke Lenge Uski !
Usey uski aukaat batayenge.Dheerey dheerey uska sab kuch chheen lenge,apne aap hi mar jayega madarchod.


Queen(2014)

Queen is story of a naive middle class girl living in Rajouri Garden(Delhi),who decides to go on her honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam alone, when her fiancé dumps her two days prior to the wedding.

It is a journey of discovering oneself. Kangana Ranaut is the real Rani in the film .She is a delight to watch especially when it comes to acting and portraying the real life emotions on the big screen.She is spectacular and steals your heart with her innocence,confidence and simplicity.

The Queen of Hearts

The Queen of Hearts

Ranaut always seemed like a misfit in the mainstream Hindi cinema;a stunning but strange creature who belonged to a different ball game, but now our movies are beginning to catch up with her. Kangana carries the film on her shoulders throughout the 2 hours 30 minutes run time with such grace ,that the moment you step out of the theatre you start admiring her vividness not only for her on-screen character but the sort of person she is in reality. Candid and emphatic ! The movie will definitely make you a better human being at heart.Best dialogue –

Mera haal na Gupta uncle ke jaisa ho gaya hai. Gupta uncle ko na cancer ho gaya .
Unhone kabhi sharab nahi pi, cigarette nahi pi, phir bhi cancer ho gaya. Isse accha toh pi hi lete.


Andaaz Apna Apna(1994)

More than the commercial or critical success,the movie has done wonders to the 90’s kids,has made their childhood awesome by offering such epic one liners.
Salman Khan is hilarious. But Aamir Khan steals the show with his witty dialogue delivery.AAA is a comical genius.

Andaaz Apna Apna

Andaaz Apna Apna – A laughter riot

There is not even a single dull moment,villains for that matter are humorous. Shakti Kapoor as crime master Gogo and Paresh Rawal as Teja are simply awesome.Right from the first scene to the last, your giggles won’t stop .It’s a story of two conmen competing for a girl and how they end up landing in goof ups .It is a very underrated piece of cinema but for me this is the best comedy movie made in Bollywood.In case you are ever feeling low,switch on Andaaz Apna Apna ! It’s comedy is the ultimate remedy.Best Dialogue-

Crime master Gogo naam hai mera … aankhein nikaal kar gotiyaan khelta hoon main. Gotiyan ! Kahaan hai tumhara boss Teja ? Mera paisa lekar bhaag gaya.


Black Friday(2004)

The film is based on the journalist Hussain Zaidi’s thoroughly researched book,Black Friday;on the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai.You need balls to show such a controversial issue so blatantly and Mr. Anurag Kashyap has done it with chivalry and brevity.

Black Friday

Black Friday- March 2,1993 Mumbai (formerly Bombay)

The film definitely exposes some old scars but only to find the root cause of it ! Only to find the cure for them ! Only to make sure they are eradicated and are never resurfaced .

Black Friday has given a new direction to the realistic cinema by referring to the real names, real incidents, and real people.Take a bow Mr. Kashyap ! It tries to make a point that how some evil souls make their business out of our religious sentiments, at the cost of human lives. The trauma not only affects a specific religion,rather the entire humanity.Technically too, the film is impeccable. Everyone has acted beautifully in the film but Badshah Khan, Asgar Mukadam,and Tiger Memon stand out of the league.Music by Indian Ocean, is in sync with the theme.Despite the length of the movie(the same case with all his movies) the director never loses the plot and that’s really commendable.

Black Friday for that matter, is amongst the greatest films Indian cinema has ever produced. Watch it NOW ,in case you have missed it.But within an open mindset. It’s not for the faint hearted !
Remember it. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind MK Gandhi.

Best Dialogue-

Bakwaas kar rahe ho tum ! Allah kabhi begunaho ko nahi maarta.
Har sachche aadmi ke saath allah hota hai.Unka bhi wahi bhagwan hota hai.
Woh farq nahi karta. Farq tumlog karte ho saalo.
Aur is baar allah hamare saath tha.Hamare saath tha isliye tumhe woh Maruti van wahaan chhodni padi.
Hamare saath tha isliye do mahino mein humne do sau giraftaariyan ki.
Agar allah tumhare saath hota to tum yahaan nahi hote.Humein koi saboot nahi milta.
Tumhare saath tha Tiger Memon jisne tumhare gusse ka fayda uthaya.
Pehla bomb lagne se pehle hi nikal liya.Apne pariwaar ko lekar.Chhod gaya tumhe.Bhugatne ! Danda khane !
Usne tumlogo ko chutiya banaya.Jaante ho kyun ? Hmmm.kyunkii tum chutiye ho.Dharam ke naam par chutiye ban gaye tumlog.Aur bante rahoge.
Tumhe maarne wala woh har hindu banta rahega.Har woh aadmi jiske paas kuch nahi hai karne ko,dharam ke naam par chutiya banta rahega.


Udaan(2010)

Whenever I hear this word,it gives me the zeal to achieve something significant in my life.The movie is based on a teenager’s journey to freedom and pursuing his dreams. Even before I write anything on the script,direction or even acting;let me comment on it’s music.By far , this movie has produced the best poetic songs and soundtracks in the history of Indian cinema.Amit Trivedi,tohfa kabool karo !

Udaan- Give wings to your dreams

Udaan- Give wings to your dreams

Coming back to the crux, Udaan is a story of a teenage boy,Rohan(who comes back home after 8 years,after getting expelled from a boarding school) who rebels against his cocky father to work in his factory and runs away to become a writer along with his younger half brother.It is an anecdote of Rohan’s struggle with his loneliness and desperation. It is not a commercial cinema but the film has got a lot of soul.

Udaan is a coming-of-age movie that you can connect to,because of its probity.Every scene is ingeniously shot.Vikramaditya Motwane’s direction deserves a medal and so does Ronit Roy for being the perfect scoundrel.Rohan has delivered one of the most subtle, yet effective role by putting up a stoic face against the circumstances, yet showing us the vulnerable teenager within.

Udaan is all about chasing your dreams and living your life to the fullest. It celebrates the power of the human spirit, showing us that we can only fly if we dream and do something about it. Highly recommended.!! Best dialogue-

Jo lehron se aage nazar dekh paati toh tum jaan lete main kya sochta hoon.
Wo aawaz tumko bhi jo bhed jaati toh tum jaan lete main kya sochta hoon.
Zid ka tumhare jo parda sarakta khidkiyon se aage bhi tum dekh paate,
Aankhon se aadaton ki jo palken hatate toh tum jaan lete main kya sochta hoon.
Meri tarah hota agar khud par zara bharosa toh kuchh door tum bhi saath-saath aate,
Rang meri aankhon ka baant-te zara sa toh kuchh door tum bhi saath-saath aate,
Nasha aasmaan ka jo choomta tumhe, hasraten tumhari naya janm paatin,
Khud doosre janam mein meri udaan chhoone kuchh door tum bhi saath-saath aate.


Chak De India(2007)

Chak De India is a narrative of a hockey player(Mir Ranjan Negi), who returns to the game as a coach of a women’s hockey team in a process of redeeming himself of the allegations that were put on him when after a disastrous loss to the Pakistan.

Chak De India- A still from the World Cup Final.

Chak De India- A still from the World Cup Final.

Chak De explores religious prejudice, ethnic bias and sexism in the contemporary India through the field of hockey. The movie is about unity in diversity. It urges everyone to put THE GAME above everything.It is real, engrossing and nationalistic without being chauvinistic. Chak De shows hockey not just a sport,as a larger than life thing for the people who have sacrificed so much in their life just to represent India.

There is a storyline.There is no room for big stars,schmaltz,foreign locations and whacky songs.So,if you are expecting it to be another Yashraj film;it is not the movie for you my friend.

For a change,Shahrukh has not over acted and has done a sensible job,incredible is the word here.I believe it’s his only rational movie apart from Swades. The credit of the movie goes to Jaideep Sahni for crafting well etched-out characters and Shamit Amin for his superb direction.

If I’ve to sum it up in three words,Chak De India is -Goosebumps,Adrenalin rush and Patriotism. Best Dialogue-

Sattar minute hai tumhaare paas.shaayad tumhaare zindagi ke sabse khaas sattar minute.
Aaj tum achchha khelo ya bura,yeh sattar minute tumhe zindagi bhar yaad rahenge
Toh kaise khelna hai, aaj main tumhe nahi bataaunga
bas itna kahunga, ki jaao aur yeh sattar minute jee bhar kar khel lo.
Kyun ki iske baad aanewaali zindagi mein,chaahe kuch sahi ho ya na ho.chaahe kuch rahe ya na rahe, tum haaro ya jeeto
lekin yeh sattar minute, tumse koi nahi chheen sakta, koi nahin!!

Toh maine socha ki iss match mein kaise khelna hai
aaj main tumhein nahi bataaunga, balki tum mujhe bataaoge, khel kar.
Kyun ki main jaanta hoon ki agar yeh sattar minute
iss team ka har player apni zindagi ki sabsi badiya hockey khel gaya toh yeh sattar minute khuda bhi tumse waapas nahin maang sakta.
Toh jaao, jaao aur apne aap se, iss zindagi se, apne khuda se
aur har uss insaan se jisne tum par bharosa nahi kiya
apne sattar minute chheen lo.


Jab We Met(2007)

Jab We Met is a tale of instances ,conversations and a romantic journey that transcends from a train after a depressed businessman befriends a carefree,over expressive and alarmingly loud yet friendly Punjabi girl Geet from Bhatinda;in a train.

Jab We Met

Jab We Met – Ratlam ki Galiyaan

One simply does not love the movie unless he knows each and every dialogue by heart and can recite if it’s put on mute.Yes, I can proudly do that. I rank this as my all-time best romantic movie.

If a director has the courage to take an outdated story line and execute it to a perfection,then the guy has got some serious talent.Trust me,only Imtiaz Ali could have pulled off that.His belief and the actors’ dedication towards owning the characters made it such a grand success that it revived both Shahid’s and Kareena’s career completely.The dialogues are sparkling despite being mature. The funny moments are truly jolly and emotions look real. The chemistry between them is absolutely electrifying.

Trust me, the song “Tumse hi” will allure your heart. Kareena’s bubblyness will definitely incite you to fall in love with her.Jab We Met is an exciting space for those who haven’t tried a good Bollywood romcom .Best dialogue-

Toh kisne kahaa tha train se utarne ke liye. Hain ?
Tumhe hoshiyaar rehna tha.Ab kya karogi ?
Jawaani ka josh. samajhti nahi !
Dekho zindagi ek rail ki patri hai, ek inch ka bend aur meelo ki doori hai.
Tumhari chhoti si bhool tumhari zindaggi kharab kar sakti hai.
Haan meri bhi kayi traine choothi hai par un dino mein main mard tha… matlab abhi mard hoon, lekin tum ek ladki ho!!

Akeli ladki khuli tijori ki tarah hoti hai.

Haan. tumhe pata hai tumhare saath kya kya ho sakta hai! Main batat hu.


 Muqbool(2004)

Based on Macbeth, Maqbool is arguably the best adaptation of a Shakespearean play ever,which also happens to be my all time Vishal Bhardwaj’s favourite saga.

muqbool

Muqbool – Macbeth with the Lady Macbeth

The plot is set up in Mumbai,with the underworld mafia as the mainstay. Pankaj Kapoor plays the role of a powerful Godfather like person with Muqbool(Macbeth’s equivalent) as his right hand. Om Puri and Naseer sahab are the corrupt officials portraying the witches. Tabu(the lady Macbeth), the king’s mistress loves Muqbool and seduces him to be the king and plots the king’s assassination. Piyush Mishra as Banquo is equally delightful to watch.As a lead character, Irfan Khan seeps the correct levels of vulnerability and passion.Watching his character react to the highs and lows of his life keeps you equipped. Tabu can be the synonym of a dark evil in the film.Her gradual insanity is heart- wrenching.

The cast is packed by the maestros .The execution of the film is flawless and makes it as a drama of high quality. Muqbool for that matter is a cinematic gold that can be appreciated by anyone, regardless how familiar one is with Macbeth. However, those who have read Macbeth will feel an appreciation that goes beyond a five -star rating.It is a class act.Best dialogue-

Shakti ka santulan bahut zaroori hai sansar mein.


Vicky Donor(2012)

The movie is rooted on Sperm donation with Vicky Arora, a typical young Delhi based,fun loving,happy go lucky Punjabi guy as a protagonist.Despite the concept being a taboo in India,this movie is a family entertainer.Neither does is it cater to any sort of vulgarity nor does it really dwell too much on the sensitive nature of infertility as public message on preaching sperm donation.It’s witty,funny and emotional.

Vicky Donor-Pani Da Rang

Vicky Donor-Pani Da Rang

Lajpat Nagar boy- Vicky naturally glides into the boy next door image. Dr. Chaddha ,the fertility specialist deserves a standing ovation for performance.I think the role was tailor made just for him. Yami looks gorgeous and so does her Punjabi mother in law and granny when it boils down to the business of acting.There is no concept of side actors in the movie. Everyone is a star.Delhi is almost a character in the film. Be it the CR Park and
Lajpat Nagar rivalry, lovers point in Connaught Place or Dr. Chadda’s infertility clinic in a dingy Daryaganj, ‘Vicky Donor’ captures the soul of the capital in different shades. Pani da rang is an icing on the cake. It’s a low budget good hearted package pitched to perfection. Best dialogue-

Yeh kaam legal hai, aaj se hi nahin Mahabharat ke time se. Janaaniyon ke jab bachche nahin hote the, toh rishi muniyon ko bulva lete the. “Baba aulad nahin hai.”

Baba ne “tathastu” keeta aur hogaye.

PS : Main filmy tha,main filmy hoon,main filmy hi rahoonga !

Photograph source-Internet (Glad to see a few good men not putting watermarks. Seriously ! Copyright is for loosers -Banksy)