Badlapur – Movie Review

Bollywood has got in Badlapur a defining thriller. The movie is intense all through its length. It is a mix of meaningful flashbacks amid ongoing narration. The script impeccably narrates what it sets on to tell. All actors played their part well; there is apparently no visible weak actor in the cast. Storytelling is fast paced for it never sidetracks into unnecessary spheres. The music scores in evoking emotions, laudable for its essence. Good direction along with excellent performance from lead actors brings synergies which are defining elements of the film.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is spectacular; he is complemented well by Varun Dhawan who is playing intense role for the first time in his career. While Nawazuddin is the Character for the audience, Varun is at times caught trying to be the character; although this is not often and is less noticeable. Huma Qureshi spices up the screen, has got a reputation for it since Gangs of Wasseypur. Divya Dutta, in her supporting role of defense lawyer delivers as usual.

The opening scene sets up the movie, with the camera not moving as the robbery unfolds. Sriram Raghavan shows promise in the first few minutes and lives up-to it throughout the 135 minute film. And then there are Nawazuddin’s puns & mocks. One particular scene has him threatening the guy who is seeing Huma Qureshi (his love) he ends the threat with a Good Night. There are a handful of such scenes.

Badlapur is all about revenge and its inability to satiate the avenger. Vengeance at times breeds one more monster, bigger than the one who triggered it. Varun in the movie unknowingly becomes one.

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Kejriwal – The Catcher in the Rye

I firmly believe that Indian Politics need Kejriwal. This starting statement might result in people not reading the entire piece and that’s not something I care about. This is written not to reason with unreasonable people.

AAP is an alternative to these long standing substitutes BJP and Congress. By virtue of being an alternative AAP should be given a chance (a second, a third or a fourth may be; how many have we given to Congress and BJP???). The chance was given the last time Kejriwal became the youngest CM in Indian history. They ruined it, paid for it. Now they are back and back with a bang.

Look at the series of events in the run up to the Delhi elections. It is evident that the Modi wave has receded as the vote share of BJP has declined steadily in the recent assembly elections. Facing this decline, plus popularity of Kejriwal, irrelevance of Dr. Harshwardhan and the not so promising leader in Satish Upadhyay the BJP decided to rope in Kiran Bedi(Reminder- yes she didn’t tow Indira Gandhi’s Car) as CM Candidate. It backfired.


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To say the least, Kiran Bedi is just not the right person for the job. Her comments, demeanor and lack of diplomacy do not reflect political maturity. Follow this to see her blooper remarks.
Least I write about the Congress the better (as if I have something to write about). They have accepted defeat even before fighting elections. Their campaign was never spirited, nor convincing. All Congress is left to is an ‘also ran’ in the race for elections in country’s capital. Bravo to Ajay Maken to have taken the meaningless position of being the face for the party. He is indeed a willful scapegoat. Let’s not get into Rahul Gandhi, he is perhaps busy in increasing his party’s failure tally.

Well, doing away from the Over Confident Ones (BJP) and the Also Ran ones (Congress), and coming back to the (Common) Man of the moment. I am in awe of him since the time I saw his interview with Barkha Dutt on NDTV, here’s the link. Look at this man clad in red sweater, regular pants and a muffler wrapped around neck and ears; neatly branded as Common Man. His answers are logical, he does not shy away from questions, and neither does he run away from interviews. He is resilient, rational, sensible and gutsy. When did the last time you saw a politician who was all this? (There are a handful of those but they belong to an ideology, an already existing party) Don’t presume that I mean he is the ideal one. All I am saying is he is the best of the rest in Delhi.

From being virtually written off after resigning from Power in Delhi, AAP has shown commendable spine to stand up to the so called Modi Phenomenon. For the reason that it will not be easy for BJP to swipe Delhi, for raising itself back from doldrums, for standing up for its cause; the Kejriwal Campaign deserves applause. It is plausible that AAP has stood up and successfully offered a challenge. If not the mandate of people, AAP does deserve praises for what it has achieved so far. Whatever may be the result on 10th, this should be remembered.

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One for the Title: I am here drawing analogy with the words of JD Sallinger, author of ‘The Catcher in the Rye’. Kejriwal is the Catcher in the mountain of (Rye) corruption, unscrupulous political environment, bureaucratic red tape, crime and the perils people face in day to day life.

P.S. – I hope Delhi at least does not give itself another fractured mandate.

Yours Truly


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2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Movie Review: Ugly

Mind You: Spoilers Ahead!

Ugly Movie Review

The film tries to showcase a bunch of opportunists who would not leave a chance to get their hands on easy money. A 10 year old girl gets kidnapped, instead of interrogating backgrounds of the obvious suspect who dies on the run, immediately after shrouding the girl; the police goes awry. During the opening 15 minutes of the film there’s a stretched scene, where the protagonist and his sidekick describe the incident of kidnap to police. Its almost like the scene should have ended minutes ago but all you see is the same people talking the same shit. Arouses urge to fast forward, the bar is already set low. Damage control begins when Ronit Roy delivers as usual, playing the tough, unemotional policemen, impeccably.

The story lacks purpose, it is Ugly because there are only few who are willing to find the girl but also people looking for ways to make money out of it or avenge past scores or both. A couple of scenes have uncontrolled cursing, which is evident of Anurag Kashyap. Some scenes are appreciable but overall the film lacks. It is short on substance. For instance, the policemen in Ronit Roy can easily tap the phone of his junkie wife but can’t for the usual suspect, his wife’s ex-husband. Another one is towards the climax when the money is to be handed over to the supposed kidnapper; the police can’t tail a car properly. A cake walk, dream job for any felon.

It is unimpressive but grapples, involves much guessing, asks too many questions in too little a time and reveals too late. The interest is dead already. Performance wise, Kashyap’s star cast knows to act which is a winner. Character portrayal is decent, apt. The emotions are showcased aided by the direction. Anger, frustration, pain and helplessness to name a few dominant ones.

2.5 Stars on 5

Yours Truly

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Dhoni’s Mysterious Retirement

Yesterday, I got back home from office and opened my phone to read this tweet by Harsha Bhogle:

Like the rest of cricket fans, I was taken aback by his out of the blue decision to retire amidst an already lost test series. A draw is the best India could get in Australia and he possibly didn’t think he will get another chance in Sydney. But his decision raises questions.

Well, he has captained longest, has commendable record while doing so, but retiring in the middle of a series is like leaving a sinking ship. The captain goes down with the ship- as goes the idiom, remember Titanic. What was Dhoni thinking? he could have played one more and retired then.

All his cricketing career he has been unemotional, pragmatic. He does not invoke emotional response from fans which other greats did. His test retirement thus justifies the manner in which it happened. No fanfare, no retirement speech, no statement. It was abrupt, indirect (through BCCI) and unexpected. Unlike him, the decision looks controversial.

Adam Gilchrist realized he was past his best when he dropped VVS Laxman, and decided to retire. I wonder what was Dhoni’s instant – an argument with Kohli, an impending Supreme Court Judgement on conflict of interest in IPL, a pathetic test record abroad. We shall keep guessing until the man himself decides to tell us.

Yours Truly

My Remarks on Twitter:

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My Year 2014 Reviewed in 12 Words


My Year 2014 in Review _12 WORDS_Shafique Gajdhar_Blogger

12 Words to express and summarize a complete year. Succinct, limited but still says a lot.


Yours Truly

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I Kept Moving

Two incidents in the same day had me turn, change sides in bed trying to sleep. All day long, I kept moving amidst chaos, meetings, appointments, commitments & every God Damn thing. Until I came to a halt when I was in bed, about to sleep which eluded me. I chased, ran after it. Could not get hold of it, pondered with a childlike guilt about the two events. Regret is the dessert you are served after having done with the main course of mistake. You are not to leave without having savored regret. It is the terminating stage, like dessert its impact is lasting. Yeah! that was my dessert, regret.

Incident One– Got down the local in haste to reach the office of a client in time. Brisk walking the platform, mistakenly I hit a blind man coming from opposite direction. Immediately I cried ‘sorry’, twice. It was a slight touch on arm which had shaken his cane. I turned back to confirm he wasn’t astray. He wasn’t. I kept moving.

Incident Two– The channel partner (of the company that I work for) and myself had to part ways, it was 5:30 PM, light drizzle was on. We were already drenched partly, Mumbai rains spare no Umbrella user, at times Umbrellas are ineffective. Standing under the tarpaulin of the Tea/ Vada Pav shop we shook hands, au revoir. The very same moment a poor child patted my calf,  gesturing that I buy something from the shop for him to eat. I moved ahead, ignoring the request. I had to catch the local before rush hour began. I am not miser, I was pacing up to save time. I kept moving.

If you come across me, chances are you would find me a fairly just human being. But when I come across myself, at times when in my own company, in solitude, during a hallow dark night; I count my mistakes and feel pathetic about them. I guess that’s what being a human being entails.

PS- Next day, deprived of sleep I was late for office. Instead of bus had to board an auto. Shelled out extra than regular. Should have bought that poor kid something to eat.

Yours Truly



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Random Scribbles

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Yours Truly

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Atheist Vs Theist

Ever since I joined this group named Atheist Vs Theist on Facebook I have witnessed bizarre questions, irreverent answers and what not. I joined hoping to get different perspective, healthy flow of ideas, sharing of thoughts. But I found that even after being liberal I could not express my views on religion without being ridiculed through unsavory replies of my atheist audience. To post was to invite sarcasm, witty comparisons which would end up in – get the hell out of here, I don’t want to see you here, such a moron, douche-bag. There is a limit to invite it as such and then ignore it altogether.

Point is: there can always be a person who thinks exactly opposite to what you think or believe. He might have reasonably valid assertions for them and there is nothing you could do about changing his viewpoint. Only thing you could do is to accept, acknowledge and respect; let go. After all everybody has a right to believe, have faith in whatever one finds suitable.

Actually, when it comes to religion it might be fictitious, irrational, superstitious to some but the matters of faith should be best left unquestioned. There are certain things above reason, where logic does not prevail. Faith or religious belief stand above, over the limits of reason.

So, in order to safeguard my own sentiments, leave alone others, now I have become inactive on the group. Just occasionally reading posts and comments for they come in my news feed. Sometimes I am drawn to comment but I let it go, for it will invite constant notifications when people comment.

PS- While writing the above piece I drew this comparison with the happenings in the movie Robinson Crusoe, where the Master (as called by the Native Islander) played by Pierce Brosnan, tries to convert Friday (the Native Islander) to Christianity. He finds it disgusting Friday worship crocodiles, so he offers him but that results in a rift between them.

 Yours Truly


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Then I Thanked God

In search of a good restaurant out of many in vicinity I looked for an appropriate source of information. Walking on the side of road I took quick steps to walk beside an adolescent boy. I asked him, he looked at me with the corner of his eyes and with a smile on his face indicated using his hands that he can neither hear nor speak.

That smile on his face with the enormity of bearing such a misfortune was inspiring. I got goosebumps and was touched to the core of my heart, it was sublime. I gave him a pat on the back as he walked ahead of me. Clueless of where to go, I stopped, stood, stared for a while. Pondered over what I had just experienced. Then chose a random restaurant giving in to time constraint and a day long fasting stomach.

God has given everyone the fair share of troubles and challenges in life. The first thing I did before having dinner at a nearby restaurant was to thank God for the gifts we have that we take for granted. Be great-full in life, there is a Sufi saying—

“When I aspire to wear shoes, I saw a man who had no feet. And then I thanked God”

Yours Truly

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