17 monday

Tip tip barsa paani

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The rainbow has seven colours, the dancer on stage portrays eight roles, life offers nine emotions and the Hindu deity has ten avatars. Have you ever wondered how many shades exist to monsoon?  Hindi films portrays a million moments of this romantic season. In the coming days, I will unfold some mesmerising moments of the Monsoon Magic and will also share one favorite song and scene of the magical season.

My favorite song for today is Tip tip barsa paani


My favorite scene: Nargis fighting to save their crop and field in Mother India.

For more on the #MonsoonMagic tune in @927BigFm Monday- Thursday all week.

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Movie Review: Jagga Jasoos – Detective loses the plot

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Film: Jagga Jasoos

Date:   14 July 2017

Writer/ Director: Anurag Basu

Music: Pritam

Stars:  Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Saswata Chatterjee

Ratings: 2 stars

I have often wondered why a film that has been in the making for too long somehow never appeals to the audience. Does the film get delayed because the people making it lose interest or does the delay become the cause of the loss of interest among those involved? It is a mystery I have never been able to resolve. One thing is certain however the audience always senses the vibration of a film they somehow always know instinctively what’s going to work for them and what’s not.

Jagga Jasoos is the story of a lovable orphan raised in a hospital, until one day he finds a Godfather/ Bagchi who brings him home and fills his life with care.  The paradise is short lived because Bagchi/ Saswat Chatterjee has a secret mission to fulfil and admits Jagga into a boarding school promising to fetch him soon but never comes back. Months roll into years and now Jagga is a big boy/Ranbir Kapoor who has a nose for mystery and his friends call him Jagga detective.

At the onset, it has to be said that Jagga Jasoos is not a regular film. It is scripted like a play and shot like an opera where characters break into a jig and song every time they need to express themselves. Initially, it is all very attractive and we are drawn into the meadows and the melody, the yellow fields, the singing birds, the grazing animals and the mesmerising nature but after a while, the one-dimensional characters and the monotony of the treatment become a tedious watch.

When Jagga does not receive his annual courier from his father he sets on a distant journey to find him and accompanying him is his new friend, accident prone journalist Shruti Sengupta/ Katrina Kaif. The second half of the film travels to exotic locations and combines action an adventure but we are not entertained because the narrative is dull and far from engaging.

As Ranbir’s father Saswat Chatterjee delivers a convincing performance but the normally dependable Saurabh Shukla has no scope to shine. Katrina Kaif looks visibly disinterested and Ranbir Kapoor mysteriously lacks the zing! Just a few years ago director Anurag Basu and Ranbir Kapoor together gave us Barfee that we have yet to recover from. Now they bring us Jagga Jasoos after a three-hour watch I have yet to recover from!!

Watch Jagga Jasoos only if you are a Katrina- Ranbir fan so that you can resolve the mystery what went wrong and why. I failed and therefore rate Jagga Jasoos with 2 stars.

13 a

Mr Dhokla (Day 1134)

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Driving from the venue I realise I have not tasted the dhoklas brought for me because Parthiv Gohil’s musicians have finished them backstage. I feel deprived and call up Sohan Kalsariya. He promises to bring a parcel for me at the hotel in the morning and as promised arrives with neatly packed different types of dhoklas. Utpal Bhayani and I are tempted to carry the boxes with us to Mumbai and even though our bags have no space, Hitenbhai helps us to adjust the boxes amidst our clothes.

Over breakfast served at the hotel restaurant, we discuss the plus and the minuses of last night event. All good organisers must do this in order to retain the quality and content of the show. It is am and time for us to leave for the station. Hitenbhai cannot take the risk of me finding the bogey on my own and escorts me to the station. There is still time for the train to arrive and I am excited to notice coolies eating/ drinking/ washing face in exactly the same way that Manmohan Desai had projected Amitabh Bachchan in his film Coolie. Close to the bridge on the same platform I spot a shoeshine boy and think that so many years have gone by but Salim Javed’s Deewar but the character is still visible on the streets even today.

13 b

My journey back home is as comfortable and I spend time observing people on the trains, most of them are either sleeping or reading, some are on the phone discussing GST what else. I am hungry but I will not open my dhokla box in front of strangers, so wait patiently to drive home…



12 c

Yours Sincerely (1133)

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The English publishers usually release their books without any fanfare but the Gujaratis have a culture to combine a literary event with entertainment and the audience loves it. All of them organise a new release with drama and music, some sher-o-shairis from the anchor and some terrific word flow from sparkling speakers. Image Publishers are a front runner in this genre and make a star of an author overnight. All their events are innovative and a house full, not surprising that their members eagerly look forward to all Image events.

11bToday, the auditorium is packed with the who’s who of the city and everyone is prepared for a larger than life release. A 6feet tall book cover is wheeled on stage which I am expected to unveil.  It is a mammoth task and I include author Ajita in the process, we open the cover together housing many copies books and present them to all on the dais. It is time for group pictures, more smiles and more poses.

Finally, it is time for the author to make her speech, to tell all of us what made her turn into a writer. “I have everything a woman can ask for but there was something missing, something I could not define but it is called an identity beyond the many roles I play in life and I was searching for an outlet when came this opportunity and I grabbed it”.

Ajita is nervous and has a prepared speech so that she does not make a mistake. Hesitantly, she begins to tell her story, how the idea of the book came about and how her friends encouraged her to share her thought process. She remembers to credit everyone who made this dream possible, her team, her immediate family, her friends and finally, then the speech is over, Ajita looks visibly relieved.  She can finally heave a sigh of relief and enjoy the concert performed by Parthiv Gohil and his team.


I don’t wait for the concert because I have food on my mind, more on this tomorrow…


Sanjeev Kumar Auditorium (Day 1132)

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As our car drives inside the Sanjeev Kumar Auditorium, I recall all my meetings with the actor and suddenly feel emotional. If he was alive today he would have felt so proud of this hi-tech, fully equipped with the latest technology auditorium built by the BMC in honour of their Surat celebrity. There is still time for the show to begin and I am introduced to the Mayor, the MP and the minister of the state. I am told that no function in Surat begins on time because the business community packs up work late and never leaves home without dinner.

11 aAt 9:30 Finally, the evening begins with a mono act based on the book to be released today. This is just a trailer for the larger picture to follow but before that, some formalities have to be observed so all the honoured guests are invited on stage and what follows are speeches. The minister makes a diplomatic speech, the motivator packages a social presentation and as the chief guest, I entertain my audience with stories from the film world. The topic for the evening is women and I pay tribute to all the women in the film fraternity who have influenced my worldview as a journalist.


It is imperative that I speak about the author Ajita Italia who has courageously penned her intimate thoughts as a diary in the form of a book. It is not as simple or easy as it seems. I’m curious to know what made her write Yours Sincerely, curious to know her conflict and anxiety during the process and curious to know what she is feeling at the moment but for that, we have to first release the book and for that, you will have to wait till tomorrow…




Bhuj Express to Surat

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I am invited by Image Publishers to inaugurate a book by a debutant author in Surat. I realise it is not as simple to travel by train because all the roads are dug up and it takes an eternity to reach the station. I am scheduled to reach Borivali at 3 pm for my 3.30 train but at 315 I am still navigating the suburban traffic. Hiten Anandpara the organiser of the event is aware that I am not familiar with travelling by railway and has sent his expert assistant, Sejal Pondaa, writer and an actor of repute to facilitate my travel. Sejal warns gently that there is a possibility that I may not be able to get on to the train and we need to think of travel options. At 3.20 by a stroke of luck, my driver makes it to Borivali and Sejal rushes me on the bridge and then the platform to almost run to find our waiting bogey. I make it just in the nick of time.

10 a
It is a comfortable three hour drive to the city of diamonds and I spend time looking out of my window, reading and also sleeping. At Surat Station another assistant of our host, Naveen has come to fetch me and drives me to the hotel. We have some time before the show and I decide to have tea with Parthiv Gohil who is performing at the show. In his room, he introduces me to two dynamic boys Vishvesh Sanghvi and Shaival Desai has revolutionised digital media with their super successful portal called CityTadkSurat. I tell them I have a craving for dhoklas and they immediately phone a friend.

10 b
By the time Parthiv and I have changed to attend the show, CityTadkaSurat friend MrDhokla is waiting in the lobby for us. More about him and the event tomorrow.

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