Day: June 27, 2005

AB’s Baby Rocks the IIFA Awards…

Caught the IIFA awards on Star Plus yesterday. Now what was I doing home on a nice Sunday evening?
Couple of reasons:

  • It’s been pouring cats and dogs in Mumbai for last few days, and these are the times when home seems the best place on earth.
  • I wanted to catch Abhishek Bacchan’s first stage performance, the promos looked very catchy. Before I get into raving about him (I’ve been a ‘loyal’ fan since his debut!) a few things about the awards nite!

Why is it the International Indian Film Academy Awards? Only Bollywood comprises ‘Indian’? Do we not have films in Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, and Marathi? Do they not produce films as good as the ‘Hindi’ ones? Apparently for the last 6 years no one has questioned this and none has bothered to address this issue.

It was indeed appalling to see movies like Mujshe Shaadi Karoge to be nominated for best film. Priyanka Chopra for best actress for Mujshe Shaadi Karoge! Do we need to have 5 nominees? Can we not cut it down to 4 if there aren’t movies worth to be nominated! The movie might have been a hit but it need not classify as one of the best films that year!

The award ceremonies (I’ve lost count of them) have become increasingly monotonous, with all winners stating this means a lot to me! For a change, tell us which one does not or which one means the most!! And I was bored, irritated of that ‘I love you Amsterdam, I’ve never had such a rocking time in my life (We should note that, every award ceremony or show everyone says nothing like this!!), I Amsterdam!’ bit.
Enough of sucking up to people ya! Enough!

These ‘n’ number of award ceremonies have simply reduced the worth of getting an award. If Rani gets Filmfare, Preity will bag the Zee Cine, and someone else the Screen. Cool everyone is happy! And the viewers are made fools!

I think people tune in to the award ceremonies more for the performances rather than the excitement of who will win. Most performances are also becoming similar, add a dash of Shiamak’s troupe, or troupes of famous dance directors, plug in a few recent hits, oldies to get nostalgic and there you have the show set!

And in these boring, monotonous award ceremonies Abhishek’s performance came as breeze of fresh air. The last year has been great for him: Yuva, Dhoom, Phir Milenge. He is going great guns as an actor. Sarkar to watch out this year and if it means anything, Ram Gopal Verma has gone on record to say that he is a better actor than his father. Wow. The Best compliment ever!!! All actors would die to have anyone say that to them.

This confidence reflected in his performance; having overcome being in the shadow of his illustrious parents, he stood his own ground and carved a place for himself. He is not the best of dancers like Hrithik, does not have a fan-following like Salman (whose every awful steps were hugely applauded!) or the aura of Shahrukh Khan but there is an amazing like-ability factor to this man!

He danced with ease in his own unassuming manner, and showing a hint of his dad in his expressions and dance steps.

The ‘Kajra Re’ number at the end with the father-son duo on stage enthralled the audience. The number could have done without Ash. Her whole Miss Sweet as a Saccharine image gets to me and her plastic expressions and dance steps are even worse! Let me not get to her accent at all! What did she say on Oprah ‘My living with my parents is such a Taahpic!’ Not Topic..but ‘Taahpic’. It did not sound American, or Brit, or Indian! It sounded ‘Hinglish’!!!

Amitabh Bachchan continues to amaze me. When his contemporaries are living quietly in their retirement, when people his age cannot think of climbing more than two floors, he matches dance steps to his 29 year old son, we are left wondering who is the younger of the two! His enthusiasm is priceless, and the aura he still has on the people is unmatched and will remain so forever!
No wonder he is and will always be “The Superstar” !

This blog chapter was to be more about Abhishek Bachchan and his Super Star Dad’s performance, also turned out be a IIFA bashing blog, but what the heck I don’t mind;-) I think they’ve asked for it.

P.S: The advertisement breaks were the limit, every break they would have the promo of the Kajra Re number saying ‘Coming Up’. Yes it sure did come up quickly after 3 ½ hrs of the show, right at the end!!!

Black Week for Indian Cricket

First Mushtaq Ali then Eknath Solkar. Two stalwarts of India Cricket passed away within a week. The latter took fielding (The most neglected aspect in cricket) to new heights even before the likes of Azharuddin & Rhodes came onto the scene.

The quartet of our spin bowlers that played the most important role in our victories against WI and England in 1971 always gave Solkar his due credit; for were it not for his awesome fielding abilities they would’ve never bagged the wickets they did. In an era where there was no protection and helmets around, Eknath Solkar stood close to the batsman in the dreaded forward leg position and took some of the most stunning catches.

Sadly, India did not produce his class of fielders consistently cause there is no ‘glamour’ attached to the job. Most find it a thankless job. The fielding was brought live again by Azhar and Rhodes and its importance realized only after the emergence of Aussies and SA as the teams to beat in ODIs, who easily saved 20-30 runs due their fielding alone. Just as crowds flocked to see Jonty Rhodes for his fielding alone, same was the case with Solkar in those days.

An incident I recollect which I had read in one of the sports magazines a long time ago. So much was Solkar known for his fielding abilities especially at the forward short-leg that it has sent alarm bells to a great batsman like Vijay Manjrekar. In a local match where they were pitched up against each other he said to Solkar in Marathi
‘Eknatha tu tikde khadda khanun ubha rahilas na tari tula me majhi wicket denar nahi’
which in English meant
‘Eknath, even if you dig a hole there and sit all day, I will not give you my wicket’

It was not a gibe at Eknath but it reflected the respect Vijay Manjrekar had towards his fielding!
May he inspire more to pick up his art. May his soul rest in peace.

For more on the man read here and Harsha Bhogle’s tribute here.

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