Wednesday, August 31, 2005

IQBAL,the believable hero next door?

“hello, ladies and gentlemen,its my pleasure to introduce you to the most happening player of the indian cricket team,within a matter of six months,he outplayed all ranji records to claim 123 wickets in 12 first class matches, at a staggering 10.2 wickets every match,and now having donned the indian blues he is the newest face ,having reached our hearts not with the “kookaburra” ball,but with his histrionics,on screen,with help of his evergreen mentor,nagesh kukunoor,I present , “ the kolipad express” to you, “iqbal khan”

Sounds something very normal, may be,but yes he is something special,that something special,which creates a rush of blood, in every “indian boy next door”’s heart. There are innumerous tiny tots in the “gullies and koochaas” of hardcore india and as a matter of fact even in Pakistan, who even in these days, want to become a Virender Sehwag or even, a Salman Butt. But, when I go back to those days, when cricket was everything to me, I tend to laugh back on my wild aspirations and so called “dreams” then,but I am happy for here is a great film maker,who feels,exactly like these innumerous, hardworking, Sehwags of tommorrow feel. There are very few film-makers in india who, have got there,hearts and brains in right places,(no offences intended Mr.bhatt,Mr.david dhavan!). for that sake,ashutosh gowariker, and nagesh kukunoor have got a lot that I should appreciate,not because,they both have made films on cricket,but for the fact that,they go ahead with their projects,irrespective of its “ HASHRA” on the box office.
If ashu, made ‘lagaan’,nagesh made ‘teen deewarien’, and if ashu,yet again comes out with a touching ‘swades’,nagesh,surprises us with ‘iqbal’’,I could sense this joy hidden in his heart,when he said that he is making a film on cricket,in an interview with a wry smile. Yes, ‘ iqbal’’ is a welcome sigh of relief when,mangal pandey, failed to arouse the masses, and cinematic experience for us indians is in a state of transition,with shoddy,sex potboilers,read,murder,zeher,fareb,kasak,bachke rehna re baba, and ……,,, I don’t care what, becoming coming attractions at a cinema theatre near you.
I don’t have anything against showing sex on the screen and cashing on the bikini clad (pathetic) out of shape babes, but when I see,moveis like swades,iqbal, not doing well,I feel the liking of the indian audience is apalling.forget this all, and lets come back to the point.
“Iqbal” is a story about a deaf and dumb,boy,in a fictional village called “kolipad”,in rural Andhra pradesh. A son, of a poor farmer,who is sensible enough of judging cricket as a foolish game,wants to donn the indian blues,some day. The story is all about the imminent challenges created by his handicap,and the high handedness of societal elites,when it comes down to selection in a cricket team. According to me,its rather “in your heart” saga,than being a “in your face” thingy. I appreciate the director’s detailing with the locales,cast,dialogues,story line and above all,the control of underplayed emotions,of its characters,especially,shreyas talpade,who plays,iqbal. The fictional village, is as endearing as Malgudi,or even, Adilabad for that sake. The research work is good ,and it shows the passion,the director himself holds for the game. Music is given by sukhvinder singh and somebody else,but its amazing. Kk is again on his way to become a motivational crooner,after “yaaron”, “tu hi dil hein…”,the songs are good and inspiring,here I am looking out for its cd at the nearest Crossword. As for its cast,shreyas,as I told is excellent,I knew he is good, as I am regular watcher of his marathi serials,he is quite a hit among pyts of mumbai and poona already,naseerji,hum kya kahein,ab to bas aap hi sunao,this man deserves more than what he has got,more on him later, Shweta prasad,as kid sis is very endearing,and, Pratiksha lonkar as iqbal’’s cricket crazy mother, is just perfect.Girish karnad,is as usual good,so is yatin karyekar. All in all, a great clean sweep,towards,the deep leg in my heart as well as other cricket loving folks. There’s just onething that I feel should have been different,instead of his induction,in our current team,nagesh could have taken the story a few years back,when we really had great “physically challenged” player like,Erapalli Prasanna! Mind well,he is till date one of the most successful indian spinners….and towards the end,a great cinematic experience,go watch it,friends, and ask Mr.Ganguly to accompany too. My rating-**** and half! ‘coz nobody is perfect not even Mr.S.R.Tendulkar?

there's something about leather and willow!

Cricket,………………………….how does it feel? For me these days, this passion of mine is taking its last breaths,had I been an Angrez, I would have been proud of my national cricket team,but for me,cricket,sounds like a foolish word now. There are a few reasons, for me having chosen,this out of the “BLUE”, issue today. First of all, few questions,regarding Indian cricket, was Ganguly’s reign the best streak of Indian cricket?,why is Sachin’s career coming to an end so evidently, and so fast?,will it(Indian team) be a one off memorable performance in years,for the team? When will media stop playing with emotions of this cricket crazy nation? When will we have sachin, again dancing down the wicket, and hitting the red cherry,(as a matter of fact, I prefer test cricket, above one dayers) out of the stands? Will India ever win a world cup again? And, ……..? it seems there’s no end to my questions,’coz I was a person,who used to eat,drink and sleep cricket,but today is a different story altogether, I am not surprised whenever India loses,or even,wins,as a matter of fact.

I was always waiting to ask these questions to a faceless person,who perhaps knows everything about cricket,but as pundits say,you can never predict a game of cricket,the current Ashes, is testimony to this cliché.
Last proud moment,I guess, was when kaif snatched a victory from the angrez in the natwest trophy. I just got to hear commentary of the last few balls on the radio, and I could not resist pumping my fists in the air. Was the 1983 world cup win a fluke,or the teams performance in 2003 world cup? One of my close friends always reiterates a statement,when we sit down, chatting over this national hysteria, “it pinches my heart,when I realise the fact that sachin tendulkar would never win india, a world cup”,he is right. With,the much talked about “tennis elbow”, sachin is the not the best batsman in the world now. I relish watching, kevin pietersen, or even flintoff rather. Papers are gung-ho about indo-pakistan clashes not holding that thrill now, after so many regular ties, every thing appears so predictable. I blame the effervescent politicians of the indian sub-continent for this,in a bid to improve the bi-lateral ties between, two wary neighbours, they have killed the mother of all sporting extravaganzas.i will rue this fact for whole my life?
Friends, aren’t you astonished over my pondering thoughts,but I can’t help it. You may say, a passion of old is ignited again, no,baba,I am not taking to the field again,but yes,somebody has triggered my thoughts,like an old cannonball is reignited after a long time,though this blast is a lot subdued,you will keep hearing it over and over again,as of now,in my nex blog,I will introduce you, to my latest,cricket hero, “IQBAL KHAN”!

Saturday, August 06, 2005


Rains,Rains, stop a bit, come again some other day.Apologies for this lovely rhyme of our nursery days,but, this year’s rains have been great teaching force.To begin with,I will put down few things, which I went through.I left Mumbai on the th of june,it was rain quite well,mere drizzle,you see.Rains had taken a break of 2-3 days then,and I had heard that it was raining well in Gujarat,my home state,I was heading to.I took a noon time train to Baroda, and as the train chugged through the vast plains of southern gujarat,I could see all the fields water logged,all the rivers swollen,all trees battered, all the peasants along the track side a worried lot.I didn’t for what,in fact they should have been happy for it was raining well, but for us, urbanites,their parameters are different mathematics altogether.I reached home and the next day again started off for Navsari, my new work place.Being on a pick up as they say, I was allowed to run away ealy from the work.But the next day was unusual in may respects.That day broke various myths,many fantasies, and many images of rains,I had grown up with, and also romanticised a lot.

Next day,the train,I took,got stranded at a nondescript station called Nabipur,the scenario was grim and I was getting ready for the path I had never took.i ‘tinkied’ in the stuffy compartment with oldies for a while,that is 5 hours, and then I lost it. I called up home and asked my mom should I come back? Mom affirmed, and then it was a journey I would never the locals would have already sensed they were ready with vehicles to move,us stranded passengers, at meagre amounts.the old man left us on high way, and after trying a bit, we got into an open truck,going towards Baroda.the rain was battering like ice bullets were being shot at us. I saw that most of the fields throughout the highway were flooded and the water passed through even a small nullah like it would take away anything that comes in its way.some how I managed to return home safely.

After couple of days the state was declared flood hit and then after a gap of 11 years our area got flooded.6 feet high level of murky water engulfed our entire area of around 500 homes.though I was in navsari,I was in touch on the cellphone,I was worried,and wanted to runback home.i did having taken the consent of my officials,but when I reached Vishvamitri I was told not to venture inside the society,as the currents were strong ,and I would easily drown.i obeyed and moved only next morning.that night was the most troublesome night I have ever lived by.mornign arrived and I reached home to see,it submerged,helpless and deserted.thank god my parents had a shelter in the home of pradhans.two days later the waters receded and left along a mark on,let alone,on our homely walls, but on our psyche.heavy downpour now evoke a sense of fright,what could be done if this happens again.simple,tie all your valuables in “potlas” and put them on the higher spaces of your home.if at all our minds were “potlas” we would not have learnt so much from such an incident.