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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sumthing of JNU


It’s not everyday that a book comes, about an institution that has fed people’s fantasy for as long as they remember. It’s about an institution, which enjoys a near sacrosanct status, like an impenetrable fort; its disciples shrouded with a bizarre aura, painting them almost like mythological characters, placing them higher then ordinary mortals.

And then, this audacious book that reveals the ages old hidden secret - that the institution is just like any other, with its share of ingenious philosophy, its glorious and not so glorious history, upside down geography, multi-hued sociology, melting pot of a culture etc. That its disciples are like any others, with their share of weaknesses and strengths.

That this institution too isn’t really different from others.

But the book also narrates about the temperament of this institution, about the undying spirit, which doesn’t kneel down, no matter what – the positivity remains intact.

That’s the reason why the institution and its disciples enjoyed almost mythical status in the minds of ordinary mortals.

And coming from an insider, we tend to believe every word of it, despite being author’s frivolous natured writing.

JNU is the institution in question and the audacious book I referred above is Soma Das’ Sumthing of a mocktale – At JNU where Kurta fell in love with jeans. The misspelt words are neither printer’s mistake nor poor proofreader’s. They are intended – first to conjure up a frivolous atmosphere before the reader flips pages and secondly to dissuade eruption of serious thoughts, while reading the book. But in fact, the misspelt words say a lot, even before you read acknowledgements.

Soma Das, being a research scholar, got to spend a lot of time in JNU, one of the premier institutes in India, often hailed as Harvard of the third world. The book unfolds like a chronicle of her life in this august institute. She picks tit-bits from around her and weaves a story, about a bunch of students from JNU. She has friends, no best friends; foes, no temporary foes; philosophers and guides, literally. She presents JNU, as transparent as possible; in black and white. She narrates situations that are as real as the can get and as fictional as they may appear.

Life at JNU looks funny and serious at the same time. It is about abundance of joyousness and unfathomable grief simultaneously. It is about witnessing a few winners and a bunch of martyrs. It is about JNU as we know, and JNU as it is.

The book may not be a page turner but is an interesting read at times; gets little dragging at times but survives the mid-book hiccups and turns out to be quite a fair affair for a 206 pages long book.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The maverick tiptoes again

Recent hip-hop sounds, which captured the shelf space as sound tracks for some of the latest movies, left me completely dejected and I decided not to look at film tracks for my dose of music. Its not that all were bad; some of them were bearable enough, but after a certain time, they all sound like a cacophonous crescendo, especially when every radio station in town is in a mad race - who blurts them out more.

But as they say, ‘ignorance is bliss, not always’, which I learnt a tough way. Just the other day, while swapping TV channels, I discarded a sight of disheveled looking Siddharth Koirala in a rather unimaginative film promo, apparently for his new film, Anwar. Now I always had a fair share of skepticism about his acting prowess. Thus I must confess I wasn’t expecting anything from the movie, despite the fact that it’s another directorial venture by Manish Jha, who made critically acclaimed Matrabhoomi. It must have been something which prompted him to rope in such an unimpressive and weak cast, comprising of Koirala siblings, Nauheed Cyrusi, Hiten Tejwani, Vijay Raaz, Rajpal Yadav, Yashpal Sharma etc.

Human mind has such a short attention span and it is proved because what initially started as a discussion on recent music scene, took shape of a film’s criticism. So without being out of focus much, I return to the native – my intentions to write a review for Anwar’s music. Now I picked this one up despite my newly acquired irritation for film music because a friend informed me that Anwar’s soundtrack is designed by Pankaj Awasthi – my old favorite.

For the records, Pankaj Awasthi is a homegrown singer and music composer and has an album named ‘Nine’, a fascinating piece, to his credit. He also crooned the title track, ‘Tera hi karam’, for a film named ‘Karam’. Incidentally, I also have a CD, which has some of his unreleased, equally amazing, work.

Anwar has nine tracks and that makes me wonder, does Pankaj have something for figure 9. In Anwar, Pankaj shares the stage with Mithoon, but predominately, it’s Pankaj’s baby. The opening track, Muala is sung by inimitable Roop Kumar Rathod in his melancholic voice and style, which has become his signature of a sort. It is composed by Mithoon on Sayeed Quadri’s lyrics. The track is a fusion between Sufi styled renditions on a beautiful classical fabric. The song captures the very mood of film and sets the tempo right. Initially a slow number, it grows slowly on you, and the effect gets denser as it passes. I don’t doubt if the local lounges play it with a slight arrangements on turn tables.

The next is Dilber mera, which incidentally is a track from Pankaj’s album Nine. Those who have heard it in Nine are in for a treat. Without losing on the songs hypnotic quality, the music and lyrics has been tweaked a little. So it’s just another great version of an amazing song, a typical Pankaj Awasthi song. Shyam Ravindran wrote the song, who is Pankaj’s partner in crime, err...musical journey. The number is sung and composed by Pankaj himself. A transcending experience, this song takes you beyond – beyond the unknown; a wonderful mix of electronic and traditional sounds.

Bangla khula is the 3rd track. Here Sayeed Quadri has tried to do a Gulzaar and attempt is laudable. It’s sung by Megha Sriram in a husky tone. This track seems to confirm that item numbers have become an integral part of Indian films. It has a very rustic feel to it and reminds us of some of the raunchiest item numbers in the past.

A flute piece is called Anwar’s dream, is next. A very soothing and relaxing symphony by Pankaj keeps up the mood and paves way for something which is next to come.

5th track Jo maine aas lagayi starts with a distinctive haunting alaap by Pankaj Awasthi, a typical of him. The track lasts for two minutes, which is enough for Pankaj to inspire pathos and agony; composed and performed wonderfully by Pankaj himself.

Into the black is the 6th track. A semi instrumental and partly vocal track, it’s much on the lines of psychedelic trance, an evident trend that film music too is undergoing an experimentation age.

Mela sounds like an extension of the previous number, carrying forward the spirit Into the Black evoked. There is something with Pankaj’s voice. It fits into the bill, whenever he steps closer to microphone to croon. He executes it with certain fineness, only he mastered it. He mustn’t be a master vocalist but he surely knows his music.

8th track is the remixed version of Bangla Khula. Nothing much to say about it because the track doesn’t offer you much besides some hip shaking. But an item number, a remixed version at that is nothing about but jiving crazily, after all.

Last track is Tose naina laagey re by Mithoon on Kamal Hasan’s lyrics and sung by Kshitij & Shilpa Rao. A perfect song to seal the album, it is infused with Sufi spirits and haunting voices, heavily impregnated with classical texture. It talks about the metaphysical, the sublime love and its implications on human life. The track expresses the predicament of two souls in love with each other. True, the most beautiful songs in this world are the songs of love, pain and death.

The album may not become a hit, but it surely has a discerning audience. It’s a much shift from Pankaj’s previous work and those who put Nine and Anwar in the same league would be disappointed. But Anwar does have a distinct quality.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Omkara meets Othello

Once there lived a band of daredevil outlaws on the outskirts of a society, far from the ordinary mortals and urbane lot.

And there was one Omkara with benign yet piercing eyes, the king among the equals.

And there was one Langda Tyagi, the menacing beast, the undeclared lieutenant, the 2nd in line, the hair to Omkara’s regime which meant terror to the area and surrounding.

And there was one Kesu Firangi, the kid among the men but no less in valor, a ladies’ man with a grin of a lover.

And all hells break loose when Omkara declares Kesu, instead Langda Tyagi, the next to wield power, unleash terror, rule the gang.

And there was one Dolly, who was Omkara’s beloved, who left her father’s house to go along with her love for Omkara.

And then there was Lagda Tyagi’s scheming mind, his instigations, his exploits of the gullible Kesu and Dolly and Omkara.

And the dénouement sees betrayal, bullets, bloodshed bringing the world of Omkara to an end.

This is the plot Shakespeare wrote a play about ages ago and this is the plot Vishal Bhardwaj decided to make a film about today. The penchant for Shakespeare’s work which Vishal carries is reflected in his work. Previously, with his protagonist Maqbool, Vishal brought alive the Macbeth and his pain to screen. And this time, he has brought Othello and Desdemona live in Indian mainland.

Based and woven loosely around Western UP’s brand of politics and consequential social turmoil, Omkara is no less than a modern day epic. And to capture it on celluloid required courage, undying determination and the flavor of the soil on your taste buds. Vishal had all three.

And he had a great cast to act upon an equally great screenplay set in the complementing milieu.

Omkara is Ajay Devgan and Saif Ali Khan limps as Langda Tyagi. Viveik Oberoi is naive Kesu Firangi. Kareena Kapoor makes a perfect Dolly. For the first time, she impresses in a movie. Naseeruddin Shah, as flawless as ever, plays the local clout touting politician and the God Father of Omkara.

But the viewer’s delight is not the havoc langda Tyagi wreck in Omkara’s life or Dolly’s unconditional love or her grave sacrifice. Or Langda Tyagi’s betrayal fuelled by his ambition and jealousy. The viewer’s delight is the craft of Vishal Bhardwaj, the manner in which he adapted the Shakespearean tragedy into an eastern epic and pictured it in the dusty, rustic locales of the rural India, the way he got his actors act like true characters and the way in which Langda Tyagi blurts out vernacular and his mannerism reminding us of the great Gabbar Singh. But there is more to Omkara. It has Konkana Sen Sharma, playing Indu, the wife of Langda Tyagi. If Saif steals the show as Langda Tyagi, Indu is no less. She plays her character with such spontaneity that you tend to forget that she is a Bengali girl who played a Tamil woman in Mr. & Mrs. Iyyer and a page 3 journo in Page 3. She is the one to watch for.

Music for the movie has already made waves and remains people’s favorite for days now. Bipasha has a small role and two item numbers. She does what she is best at, oozing glamour. The cinematography, the screenplay, the dialogues pack together a show which sees the masters stand up and take notice. If Othello is immortal, Langda Tyagi belongs to the same clan.

Vishal has a winner as Omkara and after Maqbool he delivers much to people’s expectations. People walked in the theatre with Maqbool in mind and couldn’t leave Omkara behind when they left the hall.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Omkara – Return on the native

The one word which describes Omkara’s music is Rustic and all the 8 tracks in album live up to the word. Omkara’s music has a folk flavor, the kind of music we either listened in folk music fests or lately it has been adopted in hindi films as item numbers. Vishal himself has composed the music and while he was working on the music, he knew that only a certain genre of music would suit his film shot in a rural backdrop. He has set the milieu, the tone and hue for the music – inspired by his film. His music compliments the story. The music may not become an instant hit with the masses, a phenomenon with Himesh ‘Nasal’ Reshamiya. Instead, Omkara’s music will slowly grow on you, will remain for some time and then calmly fade away to return once again when you’d watch the movie again after few years. The music may not see a record breaking CD sale but it surely will grab your attention, if you prefer better music.

The lyrics is typical of Gulzaar, the poetry laced language of a commoner – the kind we get to hear in small towns and villages. The Kajra re effect lingers on and why not when the story demands it. Vishal has used varied singers. Omkara’s music doesn’t see much of the experimentation.

The title track Omkara sung by Sukhwinder Singh exudes the energy the story promises. It unleashes the soul of the film and you can’t stop yourself going back again to listen to it one more time. The lyric is folksy, music rustic and treatment is larger; as if Vishal painted a colossus canvas with a riot of colors. The track gives you a sneak peak into the story and raises the excitement to a level where you can’t wait to see the film.

O Saathi re is the 2nd track sung by Shreya Ghoshal and Vishal Bhardwaj. A slow number, it’s a love ballad. Classical in approach and touching the sufi territory, this one tastes different. For the first time in the album, Vishal has dropped his rustic, loud milieu and chose to subdue. The track is an amalgamation of sublime rhythm and unconventional poetry.

Beedi is a potential item number. It does to Omkara what Kajra re did to Bunty and Bubbly. The track surely would be the most popular track after the title track. Sung by Sukhwinder and Sunidhi, both known for the silken voice they render to a song. The number is charged with high energy and for the first time you don’t want to wait to see Bipasha Basu gyrate on the screen. This one sets free the riot.

Jag Ja is the 4th track and sees Suresh Wadekar handling the microphone. A lullaby, this one has beautiful imagery. It comes as a melodious change when all we can hear is noise, termed as music. Vishal does a little experimentation here with infusing classical beats with western rhythm.

Namak, the 5th track reminds us of the mujras of 70s minus the digital instruments. The rustic form is intact and you might confuse about its form as it oscillates between qwwaali and mujra. Sung by Rekha Bhardwaj and Rakesh Pandit, this one is in the league of Beedi. Rekha proves her versatility in this song as previously she mostly sang sufi ghazals.

The 6th track is Naina sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. This one’s purely sufi rendition – the lyrics, the mood, the hue; everything is laced in the sufi cult popular in Bollywood these days. The song has a tragic tint to it and acts as a prelude to what story has for us.

Rekha comes back in Laakad, the 7th track. She does a Tere Ishq Mein with this track and this time she doesn’t surprise us. She has a powerful velvet voice which is perfectly suited for numbers with sublime quality. The lyric is lofty and music is powerful mixed with the background effects.

The Tragedy of Omkara is much like denouement in the film – an instrumental piece of music, this one surely acts as a finale to the album.

Omkara as an album may not make much money but that’s not its purpose. Vishal has made music to compliment its story; not to sell it and rake moolah. The album may not be played at the clubs or discs until we see its remixed version; and if a remix version comes up, it may kill it. Omkara is a no mood album. Just push and play when you want to listen to good music. The earthy flavor reins and remains intact from the beginning till end. The music has raised expectations and now the film is very eagerly awaited.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

NINE – A Mystical Journey

When everyone around is busy churning out remixes, courtesy few classics by the previous generation musicians and dishing out bhangra-hiphop, courtesy ABDC (American Born Desi Singers) and Rappers, who act as if they are struck by a fit of paralysis as soon as they appear on camera to croon, NINE, by Pankaj Awasthi cuts the ice and brings much needed freshness.

The 9 tracks album is the debut work by Pankaj Awasthi, a self-styled composer, song writer and singer. Now this chap is a typical Rock and Roll guy in your neighborhood - long locks, unconventionally suave looks, with a strange uneasiness, yet paradoxical calm, floating on the face.

But all this is not essential to be a rocker or is it.

NINE as an album has tip-toed in the lounges and social circuit who prefers music with a difference – a hint of mysticism in it. It’s not a music which appeals to mass. Far from the obvious cacophony of Bollywood-ish crescendo and remixed distortion, it’s a fine blend of mystical lyrical ballads and haunting beats and rhythm.

The tracks are well organized and complement the totality of the album. NINE maintains a consistency all through the listening yet proves to achieve certain versatility as each track unfolds its characteristics to the listener.

Nine is an album which takes the listener to a different world – the world of soulful music, weaved through lyrical genius. The album captures an essence of a time, and thus, it’s a journey, taking you to a different surface.

NINE has sounds which may remind of you of Junoon and the likes who fused Rock Music and Sufi essence together, but it’s distinct too at the same time. While the previous fusion works were purely mystical, it has a heavy dose of enigma with it, which induces you and slowly grows on you. The after effects remain for quite a time and take you to a trance.

NINE is also an ode to Pankaj’s love for music, his toil for years, his dedication, his undying spirit of perseverance and his self-belief. It’s also an ode to his city, Mumbai. Pankaj’s talent reflects in his music and love in his melancholic voice.

In NINE, Pankaj talks about love, humanity, spiritual elevation, selfless-self, inspiration and hundreds other emotions. And this is perhaps what makes NINE click with its audience. There’s no particular time to listen to NINE. Driving, lounging, contemplating, showering and many other activities will only get better with NINE playing in the background. A must for those who love some serious, soul stirring, thought invoking music.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Bluffmaster – All skin, no meat.

When Abhishek Bachchan hit the TV screens, crooning or rather saying a song, we knew that we were heading for a surprise. And it surely did surprise us. The next thing we knew was that this song topped the charts instantly and had become the flavor of the month sorts.

The stylish look and the sensational appeal did serve as a prelude to a pizzazz of a film which boasted of a cast as versatile as Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Ritesh Deshmukh, Boman Irani and Nana Patekar, with the rest of the gang. But seemed that Rohan Sippy, the director, knew that he had a loose script in hand with a climax so premature and tad that it wouldn’t last even seconds and perhaps that’s the reason of an overtly stylish film called Bluffmaster.

Let’s see where the film falters and where it scores.

First, the cast. Nothing and nothing could have been a better cast then the movie has. Abhishek Bachchan, playing the conman Roy – stylish and suave, though he has tried to carry this image way too hard on his shoulders and he would have marred it by overdoing it but thanks to his dress designer, his “herculean efforts” didn’t get much notice. Priyanka Chopra, played his love interest, as Simmi. As usual, Bollywood doesn’t have much to offer to its leading lady and this is being proved time and again. Bluffmaster is no exception. A heroine is just an eye candy to the viewers in Hindi movies who can gyrate seductively or cry buckets of water for hero. Simmi too doesn’t have much to do here in film, though she is the only thing in Roy’s life, he can kill for. She is there to justify Roy’s antics. We see tad too little of Priyanka’s acting prowess, if she has any.

Boman Irani is duly used, as Dr. Bhale Ram who has a quite an inspiring sequence in the mid of the movie. Good inspirational lines written and delivered but since the whole film is packaged so racy, the sequence and the inspirational aspect of it fail to register in viewer’s mind.

Nana Patekar is flawless with his role. I wish his role was written equally flawless.

Ritesh Deshmukh comes as the most surprising element, totally unpredictable. When you enter the theatre, you expect Abhishek to shine, Priyanka to dazzle and Nana to act but Ritesh steals the show in the last. Though he too minces his words and fails to deliver on some occasions but there is certainly an iota of improvement in him.

Now the plot – Roy is a conman and for him impossible is nothing. He is a master of his trade and seems he is doing good at it for the lavish lifestyle, designer clothes, fast cars and expensive apartment he keeps, he mustn’t be a mere thug. He specializes in his profession and like a learned scholar he has theories to support and formulae to adopt before he plans a dupe act.

He can and we see that he can dupe anyone of one’s belongings, usually moolah.
But luck doesn’t always favor the brave too. This time, accidentally, he dupes Simmi’s film producer uncle, played by Tinu Anand and spills the beans.

And there goes the love story the usual way. Roy pleading Simmi to come back in his life for he vows never to take to duping again. But Simmi, a truthful girl, decides to move out of his life.

Dejected yet he follows Simmi everywhere and one day encounters Dittu (Ritesh Deshmukh), a small time crook who is a wannabe big time conman. While Dittu succeeds in duping Dr Bhaleram aka Boman, Roy saves the Doc and helps him get his things back from Dittu.

Dr. Bhaleram owes this to Roy and promises to help him, of course by treating him of any ailment for free. What else can you expect a Doc to do.

Dittu is furious on Roy and full of respect for him as well for he finds him the ultimate conman and pesters him to teach him the art of cheating people. Roy agrees, though reluctantly, because Dittu helps him in a situation where he faints and takes him to his digs.

Later Roy is diagnosed with a brain tumor, the apparent reason why he faints often and here he is helped by Dr. Bhaleram, who diagnosed the disease and upon this fills him with a renewed vigor to live life, whatever life he is remained with – 3 months to be precise.

So here goes our Roy, playing a teacher to a contrasting disciple who doesn’t spare a chance to mess up. With great difficulties, Roy manages to teach a few tricks to Dittu, and in between tries to get back Simmi and fails miserably at both.

Meanwhile Dittu reveals that he wants to take revenge from Chandru, Nana Patekar, as he cheated his father of a massive sum of money and consequently his father lost his mental balance and Dittu took to duping people. Dittu wants Roy to dupe Chandru and take his revenge.

Roy doesn’t agree on this until one day Chandru crosses swords with him when he tries to be little frisky with Simmi.

And then starts a rollercoaster ride which takes a long preparation and a bunch of crooks with Roy, who helps him dupe Chandru.

And like a typical masla movie, Roy gets to dupe Chandru of 5 Crore. A show down sequence between Chandru and Roy too takes place with Simmi as a hostage.

The climax, at last sees Roy being thrown off a multistory by Chandru. But Roy doesn’t get turned into a slush. Instead he falls on a life saving air mattress. And from here starts the process of Roy finding the cast – Dittu, Chandru, Dr. Bhaleram, Simmi, the gang and in this process he visits all those places where he met them only to find that they all were the locations for film shoots.

And then, one fine day, Roy finds out that he is being fooled as Dittu, actually the son of Simmi’s uncle (Tinu Anand) whom Roy cheated, who incidentally is a film director, plotted this master plan of teaching Roy a lesson, with the help of his film unit.

The End.

A good film, not hilarious, but still a one time watch, not with great lines but still succeeds in raising few laughs, not with excellent cinematic experiments but still stylish, not a director’s movie but a film stylist’s – Bluffmaster is quite predictable. Not the climax, though. And the climax – it’s way too unrealistic. Real life is not as précised as a story. Things are not as synchronized as the series of events unleashed in Bluffmaster.

Things go wrong and they do go wrong in real life. But in Bluffmaster, nothing goes wrong. And that’s what makes Bluffmaster a tad illogical.

Bluffmaster – A one time see.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Kalyug is heavily borrowed from the neighbors.

The soulful melancholic voice of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is what you get to hear for the first time the promos appear on the TV for the movie “Kalyug”, the latest from the Bhatt camp.

Lately Bhatt camp has been highly dependent on our neighbors. Be it Paap or Zeher or Nazar, all had some elements from across the border. Good indeed, the gesture is commendable. One of the advantages is that we get to experience their art, music and talent. More over, we develop stronger people to people contacts. And Mr. Bhatt too gets to speak on and advocate more on such issues like peace and mission and culture-vulture.

But for a while, let’s take a break from political desires and diplomatic tactics and concentrate on the music of “Kalyug”.

Released under SAREGAMA label, Kalyug is directed by Mohit Suri, who directed Zehar and is produced by Vishesh Films, the Bhatt’s banner. The CD says its music is done by our very own Anu Malik. No, we aren’t in for any surprise. Sticking to his guns, Mr. Malik has once again done it. Kalyug is a compilation of songs which are not from his studio. Let’s see how.

The album has total 8 numbers and out of which only 3 has been done by Anu Malik. Rests of the 5 are the compositions done by artist from Pakistan. But overall, Kalyug does give you a good listening.

The first track, “Jiya Dhadhak Dhadhak Jaaye”, is sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and is composed by Rohail Hyatt and Faisal Rafi and lyrics by Asim Raza. This one number takes you back to the days of Ustaad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Rahat Ali proves to be a worthy disciple of a great master. The soulful lyric has been perfectly amalgamated with a mesmerizing voice and the number is already a hit. With a Sufi hint, the number haunts you, inspires your soul and takes you to a different world.

“Aadat” is the 2nd number in the album which incidentally is an original composition featured in “Jal The Band”. Sung by Aatif and music by Goher Mumtaz, this number is re-arranged by some Mithun Sharma. I wonder what does re-arranged mean when we have more than one versions of the same number in the same album. “Aadat” is one hunting, beautiful love ballad, with a fusion of western and eastern sounds. Slow and steady, it’s like a potion which takes time to show its affect and once it has taken you over, you get intoxicated.

“Dheere Dheere” is sung by Alisha Chinai and incidentally composed by Anu Malik is a mix of sensuous and exciting sounds. It starts slow and gradually grows on you. Another good number.

“Tujhe Dekh Dekh”, is an extension of “Jiya Dhadhak Dhadhak Jaaye” which is sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and is composed by Rohail Hyatt and Faisal Rafi and lyrics by Asim Raza. The tale which started with “Jiya Dhadhak Dhadhak Jaaye” continues with “Tujhe Dekh Dekh”.

“Thi Meri Dastan”, is sung by Anuradha Paudwal and Amit Sana, the runner up in the India Idol race. Music done by Anu Malik, the number is bit slow, with a dragging sound and doesn’t belong to the album. The age factor is clearly apparent in Anuradha’s voice.

Another version of “Aadat” and this time spiced up is next in line. A great number with equally great expressions with a hint of jazzed up sounds – promises to give you a great listening.

Yeh Pal, sung by Nazam Sheraz; this one is the third and the last number by Anu Malik in the album. It may sound repetitive but ultimately ends up keeping the spirits alive as this one’s a perfect club number. Quite groovy at soul, this one is for the foot tapers.

Third version of “Aadat” and this time remixed by DJ Suketu, is the last in the album. Lately too many of them have been following this trend of releasing remixed version of the numbers in the same album and we don’t get to see them on the screen, do we? They are usually made for the promos only. I don’t like DJ Suketu’s work too much and this one wouldn’t have been an exception but since the originality of the composition refuses to die, this one is quite a number and would go a long way.

The album has a considerable age and audience would certainly enjoy it. A must listen for everyone. Go, grab your copy today.

one night @ the call center – a perfect cross over flick substance.

This review comes much later as a result of, partially my busy schedule and partially my laziness to write it. But now I realize that probably this is the most suitable time to write it. I had finished “one night @ the call center” quite a long back. And since then I had been reading others’ reviews – what others have to say about the book.

When I first picked “one night @ the call center”, I was skeptic. Since the hoopla over this new book was subsiding, I thought to give it a reading. And I was in for a thing. Chetan Bhagat was already one book old and had received rave reviews. I was still ignorant about his previous book “Five Point Someone”. And perhaps this helped me to dissect his work objectively, without being in awe of this new writer.

The book is 290 pages long and I really wondered what Chetan had to say about one night in these much pages. After all this was just about one night. But no, this isn’t about a night. This is about the confused, somewhat frustrated, still chirpy youth. This is a story about 6 people who are working together in a Gurgaon Call Center. They have their own lives, so different to each other yet so alike and entwined.

The book opens at different levels. At one level, it is a fast paced story involving 6 people and at a higher level, it’s an inspiring tale, which might give you that push you require to run that extra mile to achieve your dreams. Chetan being a management chap has touched that motivational chord for which these management gurus are known for.

The narrative is, though unstructured, fast and once you pick the book, you would want to finish it in the first sitting – because of the interesting story which keeps you asking for more. The story is about 6 friends who work at a call center as a team. This is a story of underdogs – all of them are fighting with their own share of problems. All of them know that they may lose the battle in the end but the temptation of survival and witnessing the ray of light at the end of the tunnel keeps them going. It’s set in a single night, though Chetan takes de tour at more than one occasion to develop the characters and showing the chemistry between them.

It’s also a story about a love struck couple and their relation, which has broken up after regular ups and downs. It’s also a story which narrates tales of ambitious, restless youth and the compromises on the way to a life style which come with a price tag, a rather costlier one. It’s a story of constant struggle and not giving up.

The characters are such that you’d really want to live their lives, no matter how weak they sound, how wimp they appear. Language – which is actually not at all Queen’s English – is highly induced with slang. In fact, call center workers may feel at ease reading it as this is the kind of language they actually use at their work place. But this doesn’t make this a book strictly for the call center employees. It’s a book which can be read by one and all but it certainly has an age group which would enjoy it. People outside the age group wouldn’t even want to have a look at it. The book’s target audience is confined to an age group of 18 to 25, they’ll love it.

Considering the usual ingredients – romance, flirtations, a sexual encounter, humor, fun, tragedy, melancholy, climax, anti climax, heroism, villains etc. – the story is perfect for a crossover flick with the characters and the way they have been shaped up. I wouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow someone comes up with a film called “one night @ the call center” and I would be writing a review for it too.

A must read for anyone and everyone between 18 to 25.