Month: January 2010

Celebrating 60 years of being a Republic

Happy Republic day to all. The post comes late in the day cause I was at work. When you are abroad, one of the perils is being at work on Independence Day and Republic Day. Missed the parade again. I remember running from school after the flag hoisting ceremony to catch the parade live.

However, luckily got to attend a short but lovely ceremony at DIFC, Dubai. SBI Dubai organized the program for all.  While we sang the National Anthem along with the clipping below; as always my heart swelled with pride, got goose bumps and felt a tear in my eye.

India is special undoubtedly, and it pinches me real hard to be staying away from her. My mother, my beloved country. Saluting her indomitable spirit and leaving you all with two of my favourite renditions of our national anthem.

Jai Hind

Video 1 : Rendered by India’s finest vocalists.

Video 2 : Rendered by India’s musical geniuses.

Takeover of memories is not possible!

I know and fully understand there is a certain reason for the takeover. Let’s not get there, the next few days we will see loads of stuff being written by the investment analysts, economists and the business barons. So a novice will not venture into that territory.

For an MBA grad, this will go down in the syllabus as another case study. I do that analysis a lot in my offline world and have studied numerous business cases during my B-School days. Objectively assessing M&A impacts – marketing strategies, the way forward, re-branding, goodwill value, brand value, balance sheet analysis, asset growth, debt obligations, impact on personnel, job losses, etc. My post is not about the technicalities – I leave that to the experts.

My post is from a common man’s point of view.

One who has been an ardent fan of this brand, the products and the adverts.

One who never stopped admiring and was in awe of the famous office at Peddar Road. That lovely CADBURY name embossed in purple-coloured huge letters on the building. I watched it every single day when I travelled to school and later to my B-School.

One who was elated when Cadbury returned to her B-school campus for recruitments after ages; but was completely heart-broken when it had positions open only for marketing buffs and not her chosen finance field.

Yeah, Cadbury had a huge influence in my life. When I was happy, I would go down to the store and grab a Rs5/- mini-bar. Sheer pleasure in simple things! Guess youngsters these days may not identify with these little joys we experienced while growing up. Memories that stay put in your mind even after decades pass by.

Even today, every single time I go to the hypermarket or grocery store, MDH finds me looking at it so lovingly that he cannot help but pick it up; despite my big claims of going off chocolates and cakes. When we were dating he would get me one every single time. He still wonders how this mini-little thing brings so much joy to my face.

No occasion in my life has gone without the presence of this amazing chocolate bar. I love its basic form. The simple plain Cadbury Dairy Milk bar in all shapes and sizes – the mini-one which had different animals and the medium-sized one with mini-cubes. I loved the amazing Cadbury Nutties too. I never shared them with anyone, it would pinch to spare one to anyone – it still does, though now I’m courteous enough to ask others when I’m hogging them away to glory.

There used to be times in college when I used be so hungry, tiffin was empty and trying to resist eating canteen food, I’d hop over to a grocery store or my canteen, pick up a mini-bar or the nutties pack, and it would help! Seriously help. The tummy would be full and I’d be relaxed.

I don’t eat foreign chocolates a-la Ferrero Rocher, Toblerone, Hershey etc. I know Cadbury is a British Company but it does not taste the same everywhere. So for me it was the company’s India arm that made those products with delicious taste.

The reason this chocolate charmed its way into our hearts was because of its remarkably simple advertisements. They depicted emotions – emotions of real people, like you and me. Situations you and me found ourselves many a times. We identified with them. The ads had the most hummable jingles – jingles that remain memorable and will never be forgotten.

For the people behind the brand and the company, the creative heads behind those amazing commercials that touched our hearts – A Big, Big, Big Thank You. You have assured that even though Kraft gets ready to takeover the Cadbury Brand , it will not be able to takeover our memories of you.

Yeah all you finance geeks and M& A experts try valuing our memories of Cadbury, we can bet that Kraft cannot afford them, at least in this lifetime because they are priceless.

Leaving you with some of my favourite Cadbury moments:

  1. This is my ultimate favourite of the ads that ran over decades. Obvious reasons – pick my first love and combine it with my favourite chocolate. It remains ‘Bahut Bahut Khaas’ (Very Very Special). Video
  2. Whenever I saw this ad – I identified with Omang Kumar – numerous times when I was walking home alone and eating my chocolate bar- the exact same thing happened with the exact same expression! Video
  3. I did not try this on my mehendi day – there were no chocolate bars lying around! Thank god for that – I agree with her, you cannot resist it! Video
  4. Cadbury replacing coconut for auspicious occasions – Yummy. Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye. Video
  5. The delight of reaching school on a rainy day and discovering it is closed for the day! Video
  6. And as a gift for Rakhsha Bandhan – why not. Rishte Yeh Pakne Do! Video
  7. When the postmen visit our homes for Diwali we think of the ‘special bonus’ we need to give them, this ad showed the reverse – how they gifted us an even more special bonus – a bonus of double the joy that comes from being together and sharing happy moments. I love Sulabha Deshpande’s reaction though! Video
  8. If this one won’t bring a smile to your face, tell me what will? Tell me secretly weren’t you elated when the grandpa managed to rip the young bloke apart – literally! Video
  9. You will always need a reason to be sad or angry, you will never need a reason to be happy, just happy. Think of the million times when you were happy without a reason and thought “Mein Khush Hoon Aaj Khamaka Yaaron! Video

A friend’s FACEBOOK status said – “CAD-BURIED”. He is right about the company but not the memories associated with it – those will never die and be buried.

Stubbornness is Hereditary!

Mumma is here since 2 months and will return to Mumbai on Saturday. In her last three trips to my house, no not house, let’s focus – my kitchen, in Dubai; she has had one complaint that my food processor does not grind dry spices/mixtures.

I make do with a mini-chopper which grinds it coarse and not fine. However mumma-the perfectionist, refuses to accept that coarse mixture. From the day she has landed, her only aim has been to find me a mixer that is similar to the one we get in India a-la Sumeet type.

The region known for famous brands in electronics and home ware appliances does not seem to have the kind of mixer she wants. So finally after a month of hunting, we came close to buying a Kenwood one which resembled the one she had in mind.

It was taken,brought home and inaugurated. Much to her chagrin the arrangement of the blade and the grinding vessel was exactly reverse to the one she had in mind.

So now it has been a further one month and she has still not stopped complaining. Her sole aim remains to buy me a one that can grind dry spices/mixtures. Well I’ve not given up either – trying to convince her that she comes here for 2 months in year and it’s fine not to have those kind of curries done, I manage to survive with my arrangement.

An Aquarian and  a Capricorn are at loggerheads over a mixer and people wonder why I’m stubborn! Well now you know – it is in the genes – it is hereditary! So all of you, who know me – stop complaining – the stubbornness  is not going away even if I try!

What draws a fan to watch the game..

Not the star players, not the big names, not the international stage, not the corporate franchises, not the big auctions, not the coloured clothing, not the half-clothed cheerleaders, not the millions spent on marketing gimmicks, not the shortened versions but the most basic need – “An equal contest between the bat and the ball.”

The match I’m referring to lacked the big names – Tendulkar, Dravid, Zaheer, it was not an international encounter, it was not the IPL. It was India’s premier domestic league – the Ranji Trophy final match between the best two teams in the nation. The Karnataka Vs Mumbai final in Mysore. The 5 day contest – the one which is termed boring. The one which Mumbai won by 6 runs amidst a million heartbroken Karnataka fans.

The most heartening aspect was the crowd turn-out and the spectators glued in to the internet from all over the world. The crazy cricket buffs- the true fans of the game – the ones I know who revere the 5 day game -were totally glued in. This brought a smile to my face. Who the hell says test cricket or the the 5 day contest is boring? Take the recent test matches in SA and Aus, and now this amazing final. Boring, you call this boring? Compare the viewers glued in to Idea Cup – the international tri-series competition and the Ranji Final. The latter will win the honours hands down.

The pitch was a fine example as to what the BCCI needs to build at all venues in the country. This will avoid dull draws and prepare the batsmen better to face green tops and give the bowlers confidence to do well on the bigger stage. Keep it equal, I’ve had enough of batsman hitting bowlers all over the park and run-rates of 6 an over seeming low. You could well not have any bowlers and put those bowling machines in if all you want to watch is batsmen get runs. Please get rid of that.

There is no need to re-format the shorter versions, making bikinis from business suits. When you need limited fun put the swimwear and go to the beach, when it is serious business – devising strategies, chasing targets and beating the competition- get those business formals out. Don’t you dare change test cricket – none of you who are sitting in ICC and BCCI. It does not need any change – get good pitches and the crowd will come in on its own. Stop driving the world crazy with your stupid marketing gimmicks – invest instead on the budding players and grounds. Ensure good cricket will be played and fans will step in automatically. A true fan of the game looks for what he knows best – a good contest between the bat and ball.

Let the ball seam, let it swing, let it bounce of the deck, let it be short and let the batsmen pull, hook, duck, sweep, and earn some applause for a delivery well left rather than well hit. Yeah give me some of that!

Let’s have some pure unadulterated fun. I did not get to see the match live cause there is no telecast here in Dubai, but from what I read; the Karnataka and Mumbai pacers bowled extremely well on a pitch that had something for everyone. The batsmen with grit would survive and Manish Pandey showed what to do with the pitch. I’ve seen the bloke in the IPL and he seemed a good potential for the future, 144 of 151 balls chasing 334 to win on a good pitch is proof enough what this bloke can do!

At the end, it turned out to be the kind of game where one would feel heartbroken and elated at the same time. 6 runs was the victory margin, 6 runs, it was not a game for heart patients! Sigh!

Once again – kudos to the teams, kudos to the curator and more kudos to the crowd who thronged the stadium to watch – what we all know – CRICKET – The real 5 day game!

Best of the Decade – Indian Test Bowling Performances

This one was due 10 days back! Reasons for delay not being reported here cause I don’t want to spoil the mood as we go down the memory lane again.

Even though it is the batsmen who rule the roost, I’ve firmly believed that to win a test match you need to take 20 wickets. That’s the basic rule of test cricket, bowling is often a thankless job but it is by far the most important one.

So here are my picks of the decade:

1. Anil Kumble: 14-5-29-1 Vs WI, Antigua 2002

If you do not understand why this figures on the top of my list, you have just insulted India’s most affable cricketer. A lion at heart,a true fighter, the man who can replace the word “Gentleman” in dictionary.

I’ve seen people run away from the field with the slightest of injuries, this man bowled with a broken jaw. Takes guts, takes great courage and takes a truck load of patriotism. His 619 wickets and awesome hundred at Lord’s can be kept aside. This one act of his, puts him in World Cricket’s Hall of Fame.

Hit by Merv Dillon in the first innings it looked unlikely he would bowl. Despite no result in sight, he did not shy away. Stepped out with a bandaged jaw, bowled consecutive 14 overs and scalped Lara – and Jumbo won a million hearts all over again.

2. Ajit Agarkar: 16.2-2-41-6 Vs Aus, Adelaide 2003

No cricketer has disappointed me as much as he as. We had too many hopes pinned on him. But this one bowling performance of his will always find a place when the best bowling performances are listed.

Aus batted for 2 days and hit 550+. Dravid-Laxman came together, put up a fantastic effort, and India batted till morning of day 4 falling short by 30 odd runs. The match looked all set for a draw until Agarkar came onto bowl and turned the tide. Used the short ball to perfection and swing to his fancy, never giving the Aussies any reprieve, bagging 6 wickets in the process with the key wickets of Langer, Ponting and Katich.

Aus was bowled out for 196 and India went to record its first win in Aus since MCG 1981

Adelaide 2003 remains a jewel in the many victories that this Indian team brought us. Along with Dravid and Laxman, Agarkar deserves the credit for it.

3. Harbhajan Singh: 37.5-7-123-7 & 30.3-8-73-6 Vs Aus, Kolkata 2001

The series could not have begun on a more sorry note. Bad loss in Mumbai and no Kumble/Srinath for the series. India practically had no bowling attack – Zaheer was no where close to the bowling he does today and Prasad was not the most helpful bowler on Indian wickets.

In Mumbai, Harbhajan Singh had showed glimpses of what he could offer, but Kolkata was his platform to let go. The first hat-trick in test cricket for an Indian bowler and he had the Aussies reeling at 291/8 at close of the first day’s play. What transpired over the next 4 days is well-known.

Kolkata 2001 will always be Laxman’s test, but let’s not forget that if the young bloke, all of 20, had not spun his magic – the match could have well been drawn. Until tea on the final day Aus looked good to save the match; but Bhajji with little help from Tendulkar triggered the Aus collapse to give India a memorable victory. If not for Laxman, Bhajji could well have been the man of the match.

 4. Anil Kumble 30-10-72-6 Vs Pak, Multan 2004

He is responsible for majority of the Indian team’s victories. There have been very few times when he has been called upon and not delivered. It was only fitting that he deliver, in what would be one of the finest moments in Indian Cricket.  Just as he had the Pakistani batsmen in a trance in that match in Kotla in 1999, he proved to be their nemesis yet again.

On their own home ground, the batsmen found it difficult to read Kumble’s deliveries and kept getting beaten by the flight. It was only appropriate that India’s war horse guide them to their first ever win in Pakistan.

5. Anil Kumble: 22.4-3-78-6 Vs WI, Sabina Park 2006 

After sparking an unlikely revival, ably supporting his captain and long-time friend on Day 1; it was only appropriate that he would script the victory for India in 35 years on the Windies soil.

In one of the most low-scoring matches, the pitch seemed to offer more assistance to India’s spinners than WI pacers. Bhajji bowled the WI out for 103 in the first innings with a 5-wicket haul enabling a comfortable 77 run lead for India. Any score above 250+ in the final innings would be tough to get and India managed to make the target 269.

Kumble came onto bowl and despite resistance from the young Ramdin and Bravo, Kumble ran through the WI line to gift India a much deserving series win in WI.

6. Harbhajan Singh: 28-2-63-6 Vs NZ, Hamilton 2009

If the pacers showed the way in the first innings followed by a brilliant knock by the maestro, it was only fitting that the this young sardar bowled us to victory.

Many of us have been critical of the lad – for not being consistent enough but he has bowled when it mattered and how. Post Kumble, Harbhajjan has shouldered the responsibility fairly well and yes, occasionally he does drift but it does not take long for him to come back! And as my cricket expert friends (with whom I rarely debate) say – ‘If Bhajji gets to flight the ball and vary his pace he can be a tough nut to crack.’ This match proved the theory yet again!

A little bit of assistance from the pitch and Bhajji can work wonders just as he did in 2001.

His 6 wickets ensured India ended another drought and now that leaves only the shores of Aus and SA to be conquered in the coming decade.

7. Zaheer Khan: 21-5-59-4 & 27-10-75-5 Vs Eng, Trent Bridge 2007

After not so great previous seasons and having been kept out of reckoning, Zaheer Khan redefined himself on this tour. After an uninspiring show in the first test, he came out firing from all cylinders against the Poms.

A 4 wicket haul and classic display of swing and seam in the best conditions, Zaheer gave India a great start where England was found reeling at 169/7 and eventually getting bowled for 198. India lead the charge with 481 runs.

The jelly bean prank backfired, since an agitated Zaheer came back in the 2nd innings spitting more venom at the England batsman. His spell with the second new ball wrecked havoc; swinging the ball both ways and giving a torrid time to the batsmen. Sadly we do not have statistics that reflect the number of times the bowler beat the bat , if we did Zaheer would be topping those statistics.

He was the key architect of the Indian series victory packing a neat 18 wickets off the series.

8. Amit Mishra : 26.4-8-71-5 Vs Aus, Mohali 2008

In the absence of Anil Kumble due to injury, one wondered who would assist Bhajji in the spin department. The young Mishra was called and how he delivered, making us forget that he was making his debut.

If persisted with, he and Pragyan Ojha will make good support for Bhajji. Hopefully the selectors persist and the bowlers continue to deliver.

Mishra did not get much turn but he was not afraid to challenge the batsmen by tossing the ball and that spoke much of his attitude in his first test.

To ensure we did not miss Kumble, was a master achievement and for this effort he makes it to my favourite list.

India eventually amassed a huge lead and landed Aus its biggest defeat in a long time.

9. Laxmipati Balaji 19-4-63-4 Vs Pak, Rawalpindi 2004

Wonder why one time wonders are on this list? Well am not comparing the best bowlers – I’m just listing the match/innings based performance, so today L.Balaji may be in obscurity but recall the famous Pak win in 2004 and you will never dissociate his name from it.

His contribution made a difference to that win and so he earns a mention in the decade best list. Selected ahead of Ajit Agarkar, the inexperienced Balaji justified his selection by lending a great support to Pathan and Nehra in the series. The trio ensured that India would not miss Zaheer and Bhajji.

Balaji had his limitations as a bowler and he bowled well within those; to the extent that he did a swell job swinging the ball. He did lose his way in between but came back well when he stuck to his line and length and made the batsmen play his deliveries.

The result – 7 wickets in the final test sealing a fantastic series victory for India – her first in Pakistan. He undoubtedly was the find of this tour but sadly disappeared soon due to injury.

But his contribution cannot be forgotten and is engraved in the history books forever.

10. Irfan Pathan: 26-3-80-2 Vs Aus, Sydney 2003

Not a match-winning performance, not a one that ripped through a batting line-up. In fact Pathan started miserably with the new ball in the Aus innings. So what is it doing here superseding Ishaant’s and Zaheer’s efforts in NZ.

The reason is the Gilchrist dismissal in the last over of the day. A perfect yorker. Remove Irfan from the frame and just watch that delivery – you will tell me it is Wasim Akram bowling. The young lad, all of 19 then, on his debut series, made everyone sit up and take notice of him with that one delivery.

Gilchrist left the field a shocked man. The ball had rattled his stumps and he must’ve looked up to convince himself that it was not Wasim he was facing.

Oh yeah and Irfan had also bagged Steve Waugh’s prized wicket – this was Tugga’s farewell test.

Sometimes results don’t matter – moments do; and Irfan has given one such moment to treasure that will last a lifetime.

Cupcakes or Games?

Creativity at its best!
Have your game and eat it too:-) Robin Dahlberg is a genius
Mommies on my list are gonna love this – planning one for your awesome kiddos?

55er: Start to the New Year-Decade

Confusion, dealing with needlessly egoistic relatives, tolerance levels giving away, realizing which people really matter, determination to pursue a passion ignored for long, pending blogposts , renewed faith in justice, inability to cope up with dimwits, missing close friends who moved to India, loving every bit of having mom and in-laws at home in Dubai!
P.S: Go ahead tell me about yours but in 55 words only!

The Best of the Decade – Bollywood Movies

Picking just 10 movies is a god-damn tough task, especially in a decade where we saw the directors mature, the story-writers blossom and some ingenuity flow in.

I’m therefore going to try and walk on water by restricting my choice to only 10 best of the decade – my favourites in no specific order of preference. Not the best hits, not the top grossing ones, but movies I can watch a million times again and again on my DVD player without getting bored. So here goes my list.

1. Lagaan (2001)

If you follow this blog or know me in the offline world – this is no surprise right? A movie on cricket with Aamir in it, has to be in the list. Well yeah and much more than that – it depicted India in its raw sense, it depicted hope and struggle, it depicted life! Tell me it is inspired and tell me it is copied – makes no difference to me. I’ve watched it a million times, and every time I shout with the same excitement while cheering Bhuvan’s team. If a movie is able to entertain the viewer on repeated viewing – the movie is a class act – no documentary or statistical evidence required. It made it to the top 5 at the Oscars – what more would you ask? A.R.Rahman wove another brilliant score and Lagaan remains our crowning glory.

2. Dil Chahta Hai(2001)

If you have been 3 friends growing up together – you’d love this movie. Farhan Akhtar redefined what a Bollywood film is all about. Quick wit, sarcasm, emotion and a little drama. Fantastic script – well nothing extraordinary actually – just about friends. The real thing, the wise-cracks, the digs we would take at our own friends. My school gang watched this movie on first day together – I cannot forget the blast we had and the way the theatre rocked to the tunes of Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe and Woh Ladki Hain Kahan. Sámeer charmed his way into our hearts(Result – Saif was an instant heartthrob) while we tried hard to get over Siddharth’s (Akshay Khanna) innocent smile and Aamir’s mischievous Akash.

3. Chak De India(2007)

This is my anti depressant. Yeah I watch the movie every time I’m down in the dumps; it cheers me up every single time – the record is still unbroken. Lifted from Miracle verbatim I’m told. And again who cares? I fell in love with Shahrukh’s Kabir Khan decades after falling in love with his Abhimanyu Rai in Fauji and Raj Malhotra of DDLJ.

It’s a movie about girl power damn it – how can you not love it, even if it is copied. The characters immortal – Balbir Kaur, Bindia Naik, Komal Chautala,Preeti Sabarwal , Vidya Sharma stole our hearts!

You cheer them up every time they take the field, you swell with pride when the come close to beating the men’s team, you love them when they bash up the goons at McDonald’s and you drown in tears when they finally win the cup!

Salim-Suleiman gave a priceless gem – Maula Mere Le Le Meri Jaan- I get goose-bumps every time I listen to it.

4. Taare Zameen Par(2007)

What a lovely movie on kids. Could not get better – my eyes well up every time I see Maya flip through Ishaan’s drawing book. Aamir handled the sensitivities brilliantly without getting melodramatic. Darsheel Safary’s Ishaan touched your heart! ‘Maa’ makes me cry every single time I listen to it and Raman rendering ‘Kholo Kholo’ livens up your spirits! Shankar Ehsaan Loy are simply Brilliant.

5. Jab We Met (2006)

I never caught this movie at the theatre and please don’t be surprised that a Kareena Kapoor movie made it to my all-time favourite list. I cannot imagine any other actress portraying Geet. Kareena (though I detest her)was brilliant in this movie and Shahid super cute. I drool like a 14 year old teenager when I watch his Aditya.

There is a line in the movie when Aditya tells Geet “Tum ek unique piece ho, tum khud se bahut pyaar karti hon na?”; to which Geet replies,“Haan mein apni sabse badi favourite hoon!” Without losing a second, MDH turned immediately and looked at me, and said – Yeah that’s you talking!

For this reaction of MDH, that too off a Kareena film and her dialogue; Jab We met makes it to my all-time favourite list of this decade!

6. Jodhaa Akbar(2008)

Forget the lavish sets, forget the exquisite jewellery and clothes, forget the beautiful Jodhaa (You noticed Aishwarya?), forget the story-telling, forget that it is a Ashutosh Govarikar production and one of the finest period movies in Hindi Cinema – just forget all that.

Just think of Hrithik Roshan – just think of him dancing to the Sufi Khwaja Mere Khwaja, think of his controlled mature acting, think of him wooing Jodhaa and then finally think of the bare-chested Hrithik practicing his sword skills. OMG – just for Hrithik Roshan alone I can watch this movie a million times! He is the equivalent of a Greek God!

7. Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na(2008)

It’s a story about us – you and me. It reminded me so much of my college days. Jai and Aditi were absolute delights – the songs even more; and when was the last time you saw a movie with such perfect casting right down to the smallest role, even when it meant acting in a 3X4” frame.

8. A Wednesday(2008)

How many Hindi movies can you recollect, that do not extend beyond 90 minutes, hold your interest till the last minute and have twists and turns that you cannot imagine? A Wednesday is one of the most fast-paced thrillers I’ve seen in recent times with some superb acting from Naseer, Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill and Aamir Bashir. The movie is to be seen, not to be heard or read about in a review. We should consider ourselves fortunate to have lived and watched Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah – brilliant actors both of them!

9. Lage Raho Munnabhai(2006)

The Munnabhai series brings a smile on my face. Arshad Warsi simply rocks the screen as Circuit. Sanjay Dutt is likeable – Raju Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s success lies in the fact that these two characters have achieved cult status.

The script does not seem lifted from anywhere and Abbas Tyrewalla’s dialogues set the house on fire. When was the last time you laughed so heard that you cried? Munnabhai achieves that – more so in the sequel. How many times have we seen a sequel become a bigger hit than the first movie?

The concept of Gandhigiri did not remain restricted to the film and there was nothing wrong in simplifying Gandhism to the masses in this manner. The message reached to a wider audience and therein lay the film’s success.

10. Iqbal(2005)

If someone told you to never give up on hope and you don’t seem to buy the argument, go watch this movie; you’ll walk out of the cinema house convinced 200%. Iqbal is about dreams and making them a reality. It is really as simple as that. Shreyas Talpade’s Iqbal is loveable and Kukunoor manages to build a strong character wherein despite his handicap you never ever pity him. The handicap is merely incidental to the film and no where does Kukoonoor overplay it like Sanjay Bhansali did in Black.

Iqbal to me was a movie about hope & self- belief; the days I seem to lose it – I regain it back by watching this one on my DVD player.

They didn’t make it to my list but still remain absolute favourites (reasons in brackets):

3 Idiots (An engineer’s story – gosh the movie picked pieces of my life and put it up – yeah like Chetan Bhagat did in 5 point someone;-)

Kaminey (3 reasons – Vishal Bharadwaj, Shahid and Dhan Tan Taana)

Monsoon Wedding (Naseeruddin, Shefali Chhayya and a brilliant story told under 2 hours)

Luck by Chance (For the immensely talented Konkana Sen Sharma, oh do I hear someone telling me it’s a Farhan Akhtar movie – sorry the lady stole the show all the way!)

Paa (Vidya Balan, Arundhati Nag, Vishnu and the little Auro)

Rock On!! (Farhan Akhtar and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy!)

Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai (Hrithik Roshan and Ek Pal Ka Jeena – reasons enough right?)

Cheeni Kum (Tabu-Amitabh’s banter and the little Sweety)

Chandni Bar (It’s such a hard-hitting movie – left me depressed for weeks. Honestly can’t watch it again, contradicts my introductory paragraph doesn’t it? But I can’t deny the fact that it is one of the best to have come out!)

Bend It Like Beckham (Funny, football and girl power again – oh come on this one is quite enjoyable!)

Mr and Mrs Iyer (Rahul Bose and was it Kokana’s first movie? Hell see it and you will find that hard to believe)

Pinjar ( Urmila Matondakar was superb in this movie, only one probably, where she did not shed her clothes and came out a winner in an unglamorous avatar)

Khakee (I really liked the story and the twists in it – all the actors except Aishwarya were good in their parts)

Page 3 ( Another Konkana classic – Madhur Bhandarkar did a good job- did not get it much right after this one did he?)

Omkara (Othello’s Desi adaptation to perfection – Saif’s Langda Tyagi is Brilliant – Vishal Baradwaj is a genius!)

The Namesake (Tabu alone is enough – rest of the cast is incidental!)

Munnabhai MBBS ( Do I need to repeat point 10 again?)

Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year (Ranbir Kapoor is the one I place my bets on, for the future – he is sincere and endearing!)

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