Sunday, January 31, 2016

Rocket Singh—Salesman of the Year: Of Spiderman, and Ramayana

I really don't know what prompted me to watch Shimit Amin's Rocket Singh—Salesman of the Year again. There are many films which on re-watching bring a new perspective. Released in December 2009, I remember watching it and liking it a lot. I was just a few months in my very first job, with no experience of how companies are run. Now, nearly six years have passed, and with some experience of working in different organizations, I wanted to see if I could understand better the inherent message of the film. 

Rocket Singh—Salesman of the Year is the story of Harpreet Singh Bedi (Ranbir Kapoor) who stays with his grandfather P.S. Bedi (Prem Chopra). He gets 38.72% in his B.Com, and is quite satisfied with it, and has no intention of pursuing an MBA. He wants to be in sales. He gets a job as a salesman at At Your Service (AYS), a firm that sells assembled computers. Brimming with idealism, he goes to meet a client, who asks for a bribe for giving the order to AYS. Harpreet refuses and instead submits a written letter of complaint against the client for asking a payback. His bosses at AYS are furious with him, and humiliate him for taking this step. Dejected by the constant ridicule of his colleagues, and the unethical practices encouraged at AYS, he secretly starts his own firm Rocket Sales Corporation while still working for AYS. He promises excellent customer service to his customers, and within a few weeks, starts grabbing the market share. Of course, AYS' boss eventually gets to know, and then problems ensue for Harpreet.

There is a lovely moment in the film when Harpeet and his grandfather are watching the scene of the battle of Rama and Ravana in Ramanand Sagar's Ramayana. Essentially, a similar battle is fought between Sunil Puri's AYS, and Harpreet's Rocket Sales Corporation. Rama started all alone in the jungle with no resources with him to fight his battle with Ravana, but he made friendships, and partnerships with people, such as Sugreev and Hanuman, along the way to Lanka, and was able to defeat the giant Ravana. Rama's victory is hailed as the victory of good over evil. Ravana was one of the smartest and most knowledgeable persons ever in the history of existence, but his arrogance became the cause of his downfall. Likewise, Harpreet starts off all alone, but along the way he makes partners, such as Koena, Giri, Nitini, and Chhote Lal, that help him start his firm. His firm does not engage in evil practices, and thus, its victory is symbolic as that of good over evil. He is able to grab the market share from AYS because of his superior service, whereas AYS seemed to have no idea what customer service is all about. Its arrogance that no one can defeat them became the cause of its downfall, even though it used all the resources at its disposal. To extend the argument further, one can argue on the ethics of Rama's battle in taking the help of an insider Vibhishan who knew all the secrets of Ravana; in a similar fashion, Harpreet starts as a firm while being an insider in AYS. Though he follows the rule of ethics by noting down all the resources of AYS that he used for starting his firm, but this action of his is certainly illegal. But the thing is that the film does not try to condone his illegalities, rather it duly punishes Harpreet for them. In this, David versus Goliath battle, Rocket Sales emerges as the winner over AYS, like Rama did over Ravana. 

When Harpreet is constantly humiliated by his colleagues, they throw paper rockets at him. Harpreet is on a call with a new client, and a rocket lands at him. On an impulse, he names his firm Rocket Sales Corp., and then, he throws back the rocket at his colleagues, who are surprised that he threw back one at them. Later, when his friends advise him that he is taking a big risk, he responds by saying, "Risk to Spiderman ko bhi lena padta hai. Main toh phir bhi Salesman hoon." Actually, it was not Harpreet who said this line for the first time. It was Nitin who had taught him this line, when he took Harpeet along on his first client visit. When Nitin interviewed Harpeet, the room had a poster of a Spiderman as the salesman with the tag line—There Whenever You Need Him. When Harpeet launches his own firm, he promises 24-hour customer service. Thus, the true champion of the Spiderman poster was not Nitin, but Harpreet who took a big risk, and promised the same service as that mentioned in the poster. Harpreet was the Spiderman. At one point, Giri says, "Tu jo lagta hai vo hai nahi, jo hai maloom nahi", as if Harpeet channels his ordinary Peter Parker persona into that of a Spiderman.  

Nitin's character was an equally interesting one. He is exceptionally smart, and he had the same idealism, like that of Harpreet, when he started, but due to the nature of corporate world, he gave up on it, and became like the others. When Puri finds about the scam, he throws all members of Rocket Sales Corp. out. At that point, Nitin is sitting in front of a job portal with his daughter in his lap. It is the circumstances of feeding his family that might have caused him to change earlier also. I was reminded of Subhash Ghai's Taal, where Vikrant had this two sets of principles. One from his ma, and one from his mama. Following his mother's utopian principles landed him nowhere, while following his uncle's practical principles gave him instant success. It is hard to judge Vikrant's success, because he did try to follow his mother's principles. It is the harsh reality that coming-of-age movies often ignore. Doing what you really want is easier when you have the cushion of something to fall back on, but for people like us, making ends meet is also equally important. In Wake Up Sid, Sid fails in his exams, but he has the luxury of living on the credit card of his father. He moved out of his father's house, and then the reality confronts him that he needs money. In many ways, Rocket Singh—Salesman of the Year could be a middle-class version of Wake Up Sid.  

The film is painstakingly detailed and is meticulously researched. Nitin's tricks that he teaches Harpreet, such as putting the tie in pocket while eating, the ability to read upside down, and never leaving one's real name in the entry register, show the extensive research. Harpreet's friends call him HP, which at times remind of the computer company HP. In the end, Puri comes to meet Harpeet at a Croma store. The store seems to have a specific context. Croma is owned by TATA, a group known for its ethics and service, and it is in that store that Harpreet finds a job. When Harpeet, Koena, and Giri are making their plan in the dhaba outside their office, Duniya Mein Logon Ko from Apna Desh plays in the background. Even that film is based on the honesty of a young man, that becomes a liability to his corrupt superiors, like in the case of Harpeet. 

Shimit Amin's previous film Chak De! India became a case study on leadership. There is a lot to learn from Rocket Singh—Salesman of the Year, too. At one instant, we see there is a poster of the famous Peter's Laws The Creed of the Sociopathic Obsessive Compulsive. A similar poster can be created based on learnings from the movie. 

Peter's Laws
  • Money cannot buy everything. Thori conversation, thori persuasion, thori negotiation can help in winning over someone.
  • Customer service is of paramount importance. As someone who works in a similar firm where this is Gospel's truth, I can totally relate to this aspect.  
  • Sales hi aisa ek field jahan numbers se zyada akal chahiye hoti hai.
  • Treat employees as partners, and then, they will put in their best effort. Never treat them like they do not matter. Even Chhote Lal can assemble computers, and all he craved was a little respect from his colleagues.
  • Think of people, and numbers will automatically come.
  • Even zero has a value. Puri ridiculed Harpeet as a zero in front of everyone, but in the end, that zero proved his immense value.  
  • Never forget those who helped you out when you had nothing. They took a risk on you when you had nothing, so don't betray their trust. As Shah Rukh Khan beautifully summed up in Luck By Chance, "Unhe mat bhoolo jo tumhe tab jaante they jab tum kuch nahi the, bas yahi hain jo tumse hamesha sach bolenge."
  • Every person has two types of qualities, those that take him up, and those that bring him down. The ones he uses more will show where he ends up.
  • Aaadmi ek baar bik jiye, toh dusre hamesha use bikau samajhne lagte hai

Harpreet is genuinely a nice person that Koena has to tell him that if he can't disturb people, how will he become a salesman. It is his niceness that becomes a problem for him to survive. At one point, his grandfather admonishes him for his act. He responds that he did not teach him how to do a thief's work; if he'd taught him, he wouldn't have to become a thief. It shows how important an effect of upbringing is on a person's actions. His screensaver is a picture of Guru Nanak. When his grandfather prays in front of Guru Nanak to give him blessings, Harpeet feels guilty of stealing an order, he cancels the pizza order, and goes back to eating daal. It shows this belief in a higher entity that is watching us all. He is so calm even when his boss shreds him to pieces in front of a client, I felt like why doesn't he hit back? It is, then, he realizes that his boss is ridiculing him because he is letting him, and he wants to teach him a lesson. In spite of all this, Harpeet never has any anger towards his boss when he comes to visit him in the store in the end, and gives a spiel. There are really very few people like Harpreet these days. Even his girlfriend has to tell him to use her.

Now, the elephant in the roomPuri. He is a terrifying figure. He is cunning, and can read people very well. He himself started as an entrepreneur. He has adapted to change well. He started with typewriters, then moved to fax machines, and finally, sells computers. His motive is profit at any cost. He paid bribes and engaged in unethical, and possibly, illegal practices. However, I won't judge him for this. Running a business in India is nearly impossible with its humongous red-tape, and license raj. Even if one tries to be ethical, the clients won't let them. They would demand a share as happened in the case of National Chemicals. Even for getting a simple fire safety clearance, one has to grease palms. Of course, there are businesses that are absolutely ethical, but it is difficult to look at them in isolation of the business environment, which is why there is a big brouhaha on the ease of doing business. Puri did well in establishing his business, but he lost the human aspect of treating employees and customers with respect, dignity, and fairness, which he needs to course correct. There is a thoughtful moment in the film when he is standing in front of his numerous awards. He would have disrupted the market when he started, and now, a new player with a completely new business model has come up disrupting the market. That is the way innovations come into place. 

Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, based on the concept of objectivism, described its four principal characters in terms of what a man should be. It said, "Howard Roark is the man who was 'as man should be,' who lives for himself and his own creativity, indifferent to the opinions of others. Gail Wynand is the 'man who could have been,' who rises from the poverty of his youth into an extremely rich and powerful position, but uses his superlative talent not to create for himself, but to control others, which leads to his own demise. Peter Keating is 'the man who couldn't be, and doesn't know it,' who wants to achieve as well as make a name for himself, but lives off the support and condolence of others, which is what leads to his demise. Ellsworth Toohey, is 'the man who couldn't be, and knows it,' who sets out to destroy others through guilt and altruism, because he knows that this is the only way he can accomplish anything." In some ways, the description of the four characters could be mapped to the characters of Rocket Singh—Salesman of the Year. Harpreet is the idealist as man should be. Nitin, his boss, who was like Harpreet when he started, but lost out on so many promotions because of his idealism, hence, abandoned it, and became like the others. He is the man who could have been. The other salesman in the office, who have no idea that they are being used, and are fighting among themselves without any idea of what they stand for personify the man who couldn't be, and doesn't know it. Finally, Sunil Puri, the owner of AYS, the much feted and popular leader, is 'the man who couldn't be, and knows it, as he comes to realize that even after he has purchased the brand of Rocket Sales, he cannot provide the same service as them. 

Rand's hero Howard Roark is a selfish man in the positive sense that he is true to his values, to his convictions, to his thinking, to his mind, to his self. To be true to his self, a man must first have a self. She argues that the ultimate moral value, for each human individual, is his or her own well-being, and she believes that selfishness is a virtue. At many times, Harpreet tells us that he is only doing this for himself, "Apni hi to parwah kar raha hun." That is the ultimate goal that we all should aspire forto take care of ourselves. After all, if we won't, then who will?

Dialogue of the Day:
"Uljhe nahi to kaise suljhoge,
Bikhre nahi to kaise nikhroge."
—Pankho Ko, Rocket Singh—Salesman of the Year

P.S.— Sell the pencil was quite like the pen scene in The Wolf of Wall Street

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, and Tamasha

Hindi films in the past have often explored the theme of two different persons with the same face. In Yash Chopra's Lamhe, Viren Pratap Singh (Anil Kapoor) falls in love with Pallavi (Sridevi); after her death, Pallavi's daughter Pooja (Sridevi) falls in love with Viren. A conflicted Viren is struggling to understand if he is in love with Pooja or Pooja's face that is a carbon copy of her mother Pallavi. In Anand L. Rai's Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Manu (Madahavan) splits up with his wife Tanu (Kangana Ranaut), and meets Datto (Kangana Ranaut) who has a striking resemblance to his wife. He thinks that he is in love with Datto, but it is somewhat clear that he is in love with Datto's face that reminds him of his wife. In Rakesh Roshan's Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, Sonia (Ameesha Patel) summed it up perfectly when she said that she feels tortured when she sees Raj (Hrithik Roshan) as his face reminds her of her dead lover Rohit (Hrithik Roshan). 

Interestingly, there have also been films with the concept of two different personalities of the same person. In Hrishikesh Mukherjee's comedy of errors Gol Maal, Amol Palekar takes us on a joy ride by creating two versions of himself to dupe his boss. In Vijay Lalwani's Karthik Calling Karthik, Karthik (Farhan Akhtar) suffered from a split personality disorder where he called himself in the middle of the night. These films are often comedies, or psychological thrillers. A few days ago, Aditya Chopra's Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi completed seven years of its release. I had recently watched Imtiaz Ali's Tamasha, and was still in the thinking temporal zone that an Imtiaz Ali film leaves us with. Curiously, it struck me that not only that both these films have the same theme of two different personalities of the same person, but also have many other similarities. 

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is the story of Surinder Sahni (Shah Rukh Khan) and Tani (Anushkha Sharma). Due to death of Tani's fiancé on her wedding day, Surinder is asked to marry Tani. After they get married, she tells him that she will be a good wife, but she can never love anyone again. To get back her old happy Tani, Surinder plays the role of Raj as Tani's dance partner. Somehow, by the grace of rab, she cannot identify that Raj is Surinder only. Tani decides that she wants to love again, but is not sure whom she is in love with—Raj or Surinder—even though they are the same person. 

Tamasha is essentially the story of Ved Vardhan Sahni (Ranbir Kapoor). The story begins in Corsica. He meets Tara Maheshwari (Deepika Padukone). They decide to spend some time together, without revealing their true identities as to who they are in real life. He says he is Don, while she says she is Mona Darling. They decide that they will not meet again in their life. Whatever that will happen between them in Corsica will stay in Corsica. But as it happens, Tara falls in love with Ved. Four years later, she looks for him in a cafe hoping that she will bump into him. She does. He introduces himself as Ved as a product manager in a firm. They agree to go out, but soon Tara realizes this is not the Ved she fell in love with. The point of conflict between Tara and Ved is this dual personality of Ved, where Tara is in love with the Ved whom she met in Corsica, while he thinks he was only playing a role then. She breaks off with him. She tells him that he is suffering from a complex. Then begins his journey of self-realization. About finding who he is really is.

In Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Surinder is mousy, and timid. He works in Punjab Power, but there is nothing powerful about him. He has always been a good boy, and someone who actually fits the description of an ideal child on those kitschy aadarsh balak charts. He goes on his mundane job daily, but as soon as he sees Tani, he falls in love with her. In order to make her feel happy, he takes up the role of someone who is his exact opposite—loud, brash, and fun—Raj. I wonder the ease at which he is able to take up the role of Raj, perhaps, he always has this side to him, but her never showed it to anyone. Likewise, in Tamasha, Ved's daily job is like Surinder's. He is a lakeer ka fakir. He wakes up, brushes his teeth, eats the same breakfast everyday. He gets nervous during presentations. His routine is so mundane that he holds the elevator door for the same lady every single day. In contrast, Ved's alter ego Don is an exact opposite of Ved. Don is free, no one can capture him, he talks to the mountains, he drinks water from the ponds like an animal. When Surinder watches films in theaters, he identifies the characters on the screen that are like him. Ved, on the other hand, is fascinated with stories, and imagines himself to be in those stories. In the end, Surinder and Ved's alter ego triumphs. I don't think either film is advocating that any side is necessarily better, but the essential message of both the films is to learn to be comfortable in your skin, and not lose your identity in the process. At one point in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Surinder says that he can change himself completely to make Tani happy but he will not change himself to get Tani's love. He will not be someone who he is not. Ved learns that he does not need to be a lakeer ka fakeer if he feels suffocated, and he can follow his passion of telling stories. At another point in Tamasha, Ved runs out on the streets of Simla, and meets a procession, and starts dancing like a dervish, immersed in his new found freedom. A feeling of letting go, where he seemed to have finally found his dil ki aawaaz.

I am in no way saying that both Suri and Ved have the same motivations. Suri is unable to express his love for Tani. At one point, he puts a rose with a note he wrote for Tani, then hesitates, and keeps it back. His alter ego Raj helps him express that love and he openly flirts with her, that she has to tell him to not flirt with her. While in the case of Ved, he has this side to him, and Tara helps him embrace that side. She acts as a catalyst to help him reach his full potential, else he would have been stuck in the same mundane existence of his for all his life.  

It is strange that not only the theme of duality of its lead roles is common to both the films, but there are a number of similar elements in their screenplay. Surinder's alter ego is named Raj Kapoor, while Ved's alter ego is named Don after the Amitabh Bachchan's eponymous character in Don, but he takes the most inspiration from Dev Anand. Both Surinder and Ved find refuge in Hindi film heroes for their alter egos. Surinder and Ved have the same last name—'Sahni'. In Rab De Bana Di Jodi, there is a tribute to the heroes of Hindi cinema, including Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, and Rishi Kapoor, in the song Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte. In Tamasha, there is a tribute to Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand in Matargashti. The lyrics of the song refer to Dev Anand's films Tere Ghar Ke Saamne and Prem Pujari, and Ved copies Dev Anand's signature moments. The song also refers to Raj Kapoor's Chhaliya and at many points, in the film, the scenes of Tara and Ved are quite reminiscent of Nargis and Raj Kapoor. Both Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte and Matargashti refer to the same Dev Anand song Dil Ka Bhanwar Kare. Thus, both the films have a sort of commonality of Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand. 

As if above coincidences were not enough, there is more, and this is my favorite one. Both Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Tamasha have a Japan connection, and both films end in Japan. I have struggled for days to come up with a satisfactory explanation for Japan link, particularly in the context of Tamasha. No film director would take an entire crew to Japan for one scene if there is something that he is not trying to tell us. In Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Surinder fights with a Sumo wrestler, and wins tickets to visit Japan. In the end, they visit Japan, and we witness one of the best ending credits in a film, when Surinder describes his pictures from Japan. In Tamasha, Ved and Tara went on their first date to a Japanese restaurant. The waitress had offered them different varieties of water. "What a brand, Japan. Companies are the latest countries, and countries hare the latest companies," said Ved. In the end, Ved and Tara meet in Japan at a tea conference where the building's board says Oracle. Japan—a place known for its robotic mechanization, and efficiency. Perhaps, that has something to do with it. While Surinder fights a Japanese wrestler to prove his love, Ved fights his inner demons. In both cases, they are at peace in Japan and have found love in Tokyo. 

An interesting thought comes to mind. If Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was made by Imtiaz Ali, would Rahul realize that the Anjali who he he was friends with eight years ago, is not the same Anjali that he is getting married to now? That's discussion for some other day.

Dialogue of the Day:
"Pyaar to rab ki meherbani hai, toh pyaar me kaisa dard."
 —Raj, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015—Of Some Unforgettable Moments

A year ends, another one begins. Life remains the same, except the date changes, and for us—the mortals—the time remaining on earth gets shortened by one year. However, a change of year gives a good opportunity to look back and reflect on the year gone by. The moments that deeply impacted us, the moments that gave us a sense of exhilaration, and the moments that stayed with us. After all, when the dust from the sepia-tinted memories will be wiped, it is these moments that we will remember as the story of that year. As the ever-so-wonderful MJ Akbar says, "History, sometimes, seems to be an accumulation of moments."

There is a quote attributed to Jerry Seinfeld. It says, "It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper." Any reader of a newspaper knows that the number of pages in a newspaper changes depending on the content availability. Likewise, we always find films to give awards to every year, whether good or bad. Making year end lists is a herculean task. If I was giving awards, I will give one to everybody, just for the effort. Nevertheless, I recollect the following moments from films released in the past year that have stayed with me (in no particular order).
  • Dil Dhadhakne Do—Neelam Mehra eating a cake in front of the mirror. Her philandering husband keeps mocking her eating habits. At the onset, it feels that it was a usual taunt, but only after this scene, we realize, she is compensating the love that she craves from her husband with food. There is no dialogue in that scene, only Shefali Shah stuffing her mouth with cake, and the background tune plays, yet, that scene says so much. "Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear," says Haruki Murakami. True words. 
  • Masaan—Deepak's breakdown after Shaalu's death. One moment, you are planning to spend your life with your lover; the next moment, you are crushing her bones to light her lifeless body in the pyre. Deepak breaks down at the ghaat, after screaming when does this grief ever end? And, we breakdown with him. The light of the fire, the blurb of the light from the windows of a train passing behind, the darkness of the night. His friends rush to comfort him. One tells him that he will hit him if he cries; the other offers him his motorcycle as if trying to placate a crying kid. How do you console a grieving friend? More than the death, it is the unpredictability of death that shocks us. 
  • Bajirao Mastani—Mastani's entry into Shaniwar Wada in Deewani Mastani. I can't get enough of this song. Each scene of the movie is like a painting, but this remains the most exquisite of the lot. Everything flows perfectly in the song. Not a single moment of imperfection. I want to be in that song, even if it is only to be a fly. Immortalized in the walls and the mirrors for posterity. 
  • Tamasha—Tara in Agar Tum Saath Ho. As I wrote earlier, in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, there is a charm called Expecto Patronum. The charm is used to fend off the happiness-sucking dementors, and one must muster the happiest memory they can think of, else the charm does not work. The happier the memory, the better the charm will work. Agar Tum Saath Ho casts a magical spell, but it is a reverse patronus. It will remind of a time of a devastating heartbreak, of a time of a wretched state, and of a time of a numbing hopelessness. The first fifteen seconds of the song are enough to bring back that flood of painful memories. Memories that one thought were purged, but in reality, they were buried somewhere deep in a small corner of the heart. Her inability to not let go of him; holding him tightly, caressing him on the table, to hold him for one more moment.
  • Talvar—At one point, Ramshankar Pillai, the former chief of CDI, tells Ashwin that we all know that the Lady Justice is blind, but people often forget that the Lady also carries a sword in the other hand. Like he talked about looking at both the hands, the film tries to explore the case from all possible sides. The last 30-minutes again explore this theme, with shades of Ek Ruka Hua Faisla. The poetic moment, "Woh afsana jise anjaam tak lana na ho mumkin, use ek khubsurat mod dekar chhodna achchha," from Gumrah, teaches us a lot about the finding a path to closure when we go gumrah 
  • Piku—I was really surprised by how much the film stayed with me throughout the year. I kept going back to listen to the film's sarod tune, which has a deep calming effect. The moment where there is a smile on Bhaskor in his death, as if he finally found the anand that he had forgotten, and the next scene where Piku goes to his room and sits on his bed is almost cathartic. At one point, Rana says, "Par apni roots unko agar ukhad do, toh kya bachega." And, as Piku says, if there were somebody else in her position, they would have done the same because we cannot judge parents. Because howsoever they are, we cannot judge our parents.
  • Tanu Weds Manu Returns—I did not care at all about Tanu and Manu who are plain stupid, but Kumari Kusum Sangwan's poise is something that stood out from the silly shenanigans of the others. If only Tanu and Manu had some sense to learn something from the maturity and the grace of Datto. The scene where Datto runs from her wedding, not showing her tears to anyone, and cries all by herself is something that made us care for her. She deserved better than Manu; and, I am sure she will find happiness in the future. One of my other absolute favorite moments in which I laughed out so loud was when Datto goes to kidnap Komal, and tells the girls something in Haryanvi, "Kal ki mariyo, bahar Saa Rukh Khan aya se." All the girls run out like he actually came. It was hilarious. If this was not enough, the girls come back and one of them says there is no Shah Rukh Khan, people are only making a fool out of them. On seeing Payal unconscious, they say, "Arey yeh to neeche hi so gayi." One has to see to realize the absurdity of the scene. 
  • Badlapur—Elizabeth Kübler-Ross theorized five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Raghu's inability to accept turns him into Joker from Batman. At one point, Raghu and Liak have a fight with each other, and then, Liak goes away, but comes back. He explains that that he lost his cool, and in the heat of moment, he killed Raghu's wife, but what about Raghu? He killed Harman and his wife in cold blood, even when they were innocent; so, essentially, what is the difference between him and Raghu? It is a moment which makes us wonder about the degrees of murder, and the purpose of vengeance. Life is lost in both the cases, but as Animal Farm taught us all murders are equal, but some murders are more equal than others.

  • Bombay Velvet—I understand little about music, but Behrupia was a gem in this spectacular film. I liked it more than Dhadaam Dhadaam. There is something about Mohit Chauhan's lilting voice. Bujhi shama se na dil behla, haath mein aayega tere bas dhuaan.
  • Dum Laga Ke Haisha—The animosity that Prem and Sandhya show towards each other by playing cassettes of the songs of the '90s is a cracker of a scene. It will bring back the nostalgia of growing up as a nineties kid—Kumar Sanu, Anu Malik, Alka Yagnik, Sadhana Sargam, Udit Narayan. Fascinating thing this nostalgia; it makes one feel young and old at the same time. 

  • Shaandaar—Notwithstanding the opprobrium the film received, I loved Shaandaar. If you loved Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, you will love Shaandaar. In his earlier film Queen, Vikas Bahl portrayed Rani who learns that she does not need a man to be happy in life. She goes to her honeymoon all alone, as if she is Alice In Wonderland (as Rani wears a sweatshirt showing Alice). In Shaandaar, we again see an anti-fairy-tale where a girl literally takes out her clothes in her wedding, because her fiancé keeps mocking her for her weight, and then, she flies away in a helicopter. A shaandaar moment. 

I have not watched NH10, Margarita With A Straw, Titli, Phantom, and Jazbaa, films that I look forward to watching sometime in the near future. I know more sad moments than happy ones, but it is the emotional connect that matters, no? 

Dialogue of the Day:
"Har naam pe nahi rukti, dhadkanon ke bhi usool hote hai."
—Humari Adhuri Kahani