बधाई हो!

पिछले साल जब नीना गुप्ता ने ट्वीट लिखकर कहा था कि उन्हें काम चाहिए, तो थोड़ा यकीन सा नहीं हुआ था कि उनके जैसी कलाकार को काम की कमी है। और अब जब उन्हें ‘मुल्क़’ और ‘बधाई हो’ में देखा, तो थोड़ा और भी मुश्किल होता है ये समझना कि हम इतने अच्छे कलाकारों को एकदम भूल कैसे जाते हैं। लेकिन छोड़िये उसे, हमारी याददाश्त ऐसी ही है। फ़िलहाल बात करते हैं फ़िल्म की, जिसने हँसा-हँसाकर जबड़े में दर्द भी कर दिया, सचमुच, और आँसू तो हमारे हर तीसरी फ़िल्म में निकलते ही हैं, तो इंटर्न के डि-नीरो के कहे अनुसार रुमाल तो हम लेकर चलते हैं, लेकिन अक्सर अपने ही लिए।

पढ़ना जारी रखें “बधाई हो!”

Top IMDb Films to Watch on Netflix India

So you have a Netflix subscription, and are browsing endlessly through the titles, but don’t know what to watch? Well, How about looking for some highly rated films from IMDb top 250 chart? But which of these are there? Well, I may help a little with that.

Here is a list of some top movies which are there on Netflix, and feature in the IMDb top 250 chart.

The Godfather: Well, if you haven’t watched The Godfather yet, I think that’s a good place to begin. In fact it’s streaming on both Netflix and Amazon Prime. One of the most popular and critically acclaimed film based on Mario Puzo’s bestselling novel of the same name, it’s something everyone loves to watch.

पढ़ना जारी रखें “Top IMDb Films to Watch on Netflix India”

SBI Swift BIC Code for Adsense Payments

This was a small issue I was facing, which would have been big had I not got the solution. If your branch doesn’t have a SWIFT code, you can use nearby branches’ code, or so I was told.

I did that, and things were working okay, until one fine day, Google told me: “Automatic Payment Cancelled: Wire Transfer to bank account xxxx-xxxx for $X.” This was almost ten days after the payment was issued from Google. Apparently there was something wrong on the bank’s end. Somehow the SWIFT thing was not working fine.

So I checked with my father who is an SBI employee, and at the same time kept on Googling, and a couple of days later, the two of them told me the same thing. There is a Foreign Exchange branch in Kolkata which is responsible for USD to INR transactions.

Not sure if that is the exact case, but it’s something of the sort. What mattered for me is that I tried using the SWIFT code for the Foreign Exchange Branch, that is SBININBBFXD, which is quite different from all the other SWIFT codes and has no numbers, and it worked, and has been working fine since.

So if you are in doubt as to what SWIFT code you should use for Adsense payments to your SBI accounts, or if your payment failed because of a SWIFT code issue, you can use this one. As long as the Account Number and the IFSC code are correct, I hope there should be no issues.

Disclaimer: This post is based on a personal experience and written because of the problems faced while looking for a solution. Author is not responsible for any losses incurred because of the usage of the solution mentioned. Please double check the solution mentioned for your own safety.

How to Write Captions for Photoblogs

Do you have a photoblog? Or a website where you publish photos? I hope you are writing about those pictures. Aren’t you? Because it not only helps your viewers enjoy the pictures more, it also makes your blog more reachable, because search engine can read that text and get you more visitors.

Now, the next step is how to write an interesting caption. I was writing some captions for a friend a few days ago and he liked them. Then he started writing captions on his own, but they were not as good. Finally I decided to write some guidelines for him, and thus started this article.

Also, before we start, what this article is not is how to write captions for those newspaper/magazine photos where you just have to mention who all are there in the picture. It’s when you want to be a little creative and are in the space where you have that freedom. There, let’s begin.

पढ़ना जारी रखें “How to Write Captions for Photoblogs”

Tamma Tamma Loge Meaning

Have you ever tried to find the meaning of tamma tamma loge? If yes, let me resolve this first thing for you. The words tamma tamma loge really don’t mean anything. At least tamma tamma really does not mean anything in Hindi, or probably any Indian language, though one can’t exactly vouch for the latter.

So what are the words doing there? Well, let’s go a bit deeper into the story. If you have heard the original tamma tamma loge, you might know that there is another song ‘Jumma Chumma’ which is very similar sounding. Guesses? The story is that both the songs seem to be ‘inspired’ by Mory Kante’s popular song ‘Tama’, which goes something like ‘tama tama gnogonte, tama tama gnogonte tama’ (gnogonte sounds much like no-dey to me). In probably a try to not do much work on it, OR to pay the original a ‘tribute’, they have kept the words tama tama, or tamma-tamma, and just changed gnogonte to something more Indian.

Long story short, tamma-tamma doesn’t mean a thing, so dance to the words without a worry as to what they mean.

The Changing Road

In earlier days, the only medium of communication was road. There was no post, no telegram, and of course no phones or short messaging services. If you wanted to send someone a message, you or your messenger had to hit the road, and go and deliver the message to the concerned person.

It was in such time that post came up. But back then, Airtel et al. didnt exist, and even for those who were the stakeholders of roads, there werent much road taxes to earn. Moreover, the new service, the Post, was owned by them, the govt, so they had nothing to worry about, with respect to the concern that less people would use the roads now that The Post was here.

पढ़ना जारी रखें “The Changing Road”

Book Review: Kaal Kothari by Swadesh Deepak [Hindi Play]

It was a small book. I picked it up in the library because I wanted to finish it in one sitting. I didn’t know if I’d find time to come back and read the book again, though I never thought anybody would get it issued in the meantime. It just doesn’t happen with many Hindi books in a city like Bangalore.

But still, thanks to libraries like JustBooks, and some readers of course, Hindi book sections exist, and survive too. They seem to, as yet.

So the small green book I picked was called Kaal Kothari. It was written by Swadesh Deepak, who, I found out, is an author who writes in Hindi as well as English, and has masters’ degree in both the languages.

पढ़ना जारी रखें “Book Review: Kaal Kothari by Swadesh Deepak [Hindi Play]”

Bangalore Literature Festival 2013 Photo Gallery [Day 2]

Here is a small picture gallery from Day 2. For full size pictures, click on the pics.

Koi aur Baat Chale
Koi aur Baat Chale

Bangalore Literature Festival 2013 – Day 1

This was the first time I went for this festival. I got to know only a few months ago that last year Gulzar Saab came to Bangalore, gave a public appearance, and I missed it. So this time I had decided to finally see him. Yep, that was the first and foremost reason for going to the literature festival.

Anyway, the reason told, here is some idea of what I saw on day one.

The day had to begin at ten in the morning, but I was a little early. Deliberately, though I had no plans as to what I’d do there. Things were slightly late too, and the opening ceremony began something around 1020-1030.

There, after the Dollukunita dance, Chandrashekhara Kambara, a Kannada poet-playwright presented a small good-wish speech, while Nabaneeta Dev Sen objected to the use of word ‘bhasha’ as just regional languages in India. Ramchandra Guha gave a little Tamil-in-Bangalore lesson and Ashok Vajpeyi tried to keep the mood light with his short-light talks. Finally when Christoph Bertrams was selling us some Seagull books after Vikram’s someone-even-postponed-his-wedding-for-this-event story, we decided to take a round of book stall, with my G-Mitra Mohit Kataria there too.

After finding and not finding some books, we sat for a few minutes to hear the panel discussion on ‘Vision for India’ but heard only some views of Mohandas Pai, before we were out for something again. And then around 1245 it was Sri Sri Ravi Shankar whose full session was watched. The session was okay, but some of the questions from the public were so ordinary that they made Sri Sri look like a genius there.

Farhan at BLrLitFestAround two, it was Bollywood time. Rakeysh Mehra, Prasoon Joshi and Farhan Akhtar were there for a session and Bhawana Somaaya had a good time talking to them, as did the audiences, where Rakeysh said Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was ‘not a true blue biopic’ but an inspired story. Prasoon talked about things that would have been as shown in the movie, had they been at all, taking the example of the scene where Divya Dutta wears Milkha’s India jacket, and Farhan even had to sing four not-so-sureelee lines with an to-the-core besuree audience. It was Rock On title song, if you must know.

Flipkart: Time to Do or Die?

Flipkart vs Amazon: Will FK Survive?A few years ago, say beginning of 2011, I became a Flipkart fan. Not the Facebook one, but one who bought something every month at least. 2011 was when I bought from them extensively. Especially after an order that was worth Rs 101 and was sent to a relatively remote town in UP via two registered posts, without any delivery charges then.

Then times changes and they upped their minimum free orders to Rs 200 and soon 300.

One day soon after that, I told my then girlfriend (and now wife) while passing a Flipkart office that FK had just moved their Rs 30 delivery charges to a minimum order of 300 and I thought they’d make it 50 and 500 in some time.

In 2012, I was checking indiabookstore.net regularly for who gave the books cheapest, and most of my books began to come from Homeshop18. Though most of the big things are still coming from Flipkart. Except my Galaxy Note, where I saved a bit by buying from Infibeam.

[I believe that’s what they wanted. To give small orders to small websites and keep selling the big ones. But once people got good with other websites, they bought from them as well. Not with as high expectations as from Flipkart, but expecting two days extra for a delivery.]

A couple weeks ago I got an email. Flipkart flyte music store was closing, and I should download the songs before a certain date.

Around the same time, I found there was a 66-67% off sale on a lot of books on Amazon.in. After much haggling with myself, I ordered only five of them. The bug that bit me – Amazon was ready to deliver even a single book for no delivery charges. As of now.

Next day, I found out Amazon was selling 66 Kindle books for rs 66 each. I bought 2 of them. Then after three days 2 more, and finally 2 more. Total 6.

Besharam – Lalit Pandit [Yeah, that’s Right] n Ishq-Shree

Besharam title song, for which credit is shared by the singers Ishq-Shree too. The song is anyway fine, though the trailer version looked more promising than the original song. Maybe it’s a victim of a little too much of experiments. Still, a fine background for the movie, if at all this movie keeps anything in background [Not talking of the song].

Besharam is a cocky film, and its item number has to be cocky. But the Hum lut gaye ainwayi aake tere Mohalle is Cocky in a literal sense of the word, as it begins with a sound that is a bit like roosters’ calls, musicalized of course. Anyway, Abhinav Kashyap – Lalit Pandit combo seems to work here, as the song sounds the closest yet to Munni. Not as good as Munni, but not as far as most of such songs have been. Worth a listen. Rest will be clear when it’s on TV.

Zanjeer Music Review

The opening song of the album, Chirantan Bhatt’s Hum Hain Mumbai ke Hero is an addictive tune. But the lyrics of the song are so bad that using Amitabh Bachchan and Pran’s voices in the same song sounds bad to the legends. Anyway, Mika’s singing in the song is better than Priyanka’s acting, who, as pointed in a GIF, gets almost …

See the GIF on next page. Or if you think Priyanka might be NSFW, well, skip to Page 3.

Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola: Music Review (Vishal Bhardwaj)

Vishal. Means Big. So he is, and this time, so is the soundtrack. Literally and figuratively.

The man who brought us rock way back in 2003 and Kalinka in 2011 (as Darling) is this time here with a soundtrack of no less than twelve songs, ranging from Prem Dehati’s renderings to Zulu.

Of course, you get the taste of Gulzar’s pen in the album.

The album begins with the heard-by-everyone title track, that does nothing but makes you dance. There is a madness in the tune, and Gulzar’s lyrics maintain that madness. My guess is that you would have danced to it already. If not, do that, cuz you need not be a dancer to dance to this tune.

The second song of the album, Khamakha Nahi has a foreign element (I dunno which country really) in the beginning chorus, and then it gives you a taste of something like Bekaraan. The romantic track has some simple lyrics by Gulzar, which one can almost identify as his. Loved it.

Oye Boy Charlie, sung by Rekha with Shankar Mahadevan and Mohit is one lovely piece from the album. The song has an English title, desi Gulzar’ed lyrics, desi music and earthy voices. To top it all, the visuals are quite interesting with a comic element. Listen to it. Watch it.

The next track, Hatt Lootnewale, has some lyrics against oppression, and the music isn’t too attractive. But the song has got the best of the singers, as Sukhwinder Singh and Master Saleem, something that may change the listeners’ perception in due time. The popularity of the song will depend a lot on the story/picturization and publicity.

Next comes Shara-ra-ra. A small, one n a half minute track, sung by Prem Dehati. The song is a earthy track with the music, lyrics, and even the brass-band based arrangements being village type. However, this doesn’t sound like Piyush Mishra earthy. So, good, but not exceptionally so.

Badal Uthya ri Sakhi. That’s what the best song of the album is called. The track, sung by Rekha (and later by Prem Dehati in Reprise) is ma’am singing in a full classic-folk mood, with minimal music, and a Sitar ruling the background. The song is actually an old folk song from Haryana and quite popular there. So you know what it is. Do listen. And listen. And let it grow on you.

The joke was, after his debut in Mausam, this guy gets two songs in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola. His name is Pankaj Kapur.

Pankaj sings the next two tracks of the album, which are fun, but would be enjoyed actually when the movie comes out, or at least the video comes out. Pankaj’s singing shows you one side of theatre artist that has hardly been touched by cinema. Try the tracks, or wait for the videos.

The next track is a first in India. It’s called Nomvula, and it’s Zulu music, sung by Umoja [Umoja means Unity in Swahili]. Even the lyrics of the song have been imported, without any Hindi/English being added to them. The music is nice, but I guess an adaptation, maybe something like Kalinka, would be better.

The end of the album comes with a reprise version of Badal Uthiya by Prem Dehati, and a small one for Lootnewale, sung by Sukhwinder. Badal Uthya is ‘almost’ as good as by Rekha, and Sukhwinder’s Lootnewale sounds a little more less noisy than the original version.

Overall, the album has a lot in terms of variety, and some tracks are wonderful; Khamakha, Oye Boy, and Badal Uthya to name the best. But then a few elements were missing too. Both the songs by Rekha are good, but Sukhwinder this time doesn’t seem to have got his fair share despite the number of tracks. When the album was over, I even missed Suresh Wadkar who’s been there for most of Vishal’s albums, including 7KM.

So yes, the album is good. Vishal has done some good work. And it’s worth listening to. But the thirst that came with the big size, isn’t quenched.

Dabangg 2: Music Review [Sajid-Wajid]

Dabangg 2 seems to be beginning where Dabangg ended. Don’t know how much of Abhinav Kashyap’s magic is going to be there with Arbaaz, but at least music seems to tell you very clearly that it’s nothing other than Dabangg 2.

Dagabaaz re, the first song of the album is almost an extension of Tere mast mast do nain, though doesn’t go that high on notes. However, the combination of Salman, Sajid-Wajid and Rahat, and even Shreya, keeps things a lot in Dabangg mood. Lyrics are simple, nice, and in the mood with the music. It’s not mast-mast do nain, but the song is an okay sequel to the superhit track.

Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana: Music Review (Amit Trivedi)

Kikkli Kaller di. Hatt gayi heer di. Ranjha kare cheat ji. Kare heer kya!

If you know what Kikli kaleer di is, then may be you already know what’s up in the song. But if not, let me give you an idea. Kikli kaleer di is a ‘traditional’ dance game for little girls. You can guess what’s happening there when this is what comes out of a traditional thing. And after this, there is standard Amit Trivedi, the singer, singing with very visible stress on certain words.

And if this was not enough, there is Yo Yo Honey Singh saying Main tera Raja Hoon, Tu meri Raani Hai, Baby suraksha hi Saavdhani hai.

Amit Trivedi. All fun.

The second song is called Motorwada. I mean Motorwala. I mean, I can’t give that mix of L and D in English that Haryana uses for their motorists. But then Tochi Raina totally knows how to say it, and how to sing this song. Trivedi goes a little too experimental in interludes, but that’s what makes him what he is. Love it again, though not as impactful as the opening track.

Amit Trivedi makes a simple, melodius Punjabi track next as the title song of Luv Shuv tey Chicken Khurana. So let’s see how he goes.

1. Brings the real, earthy Punjabi voices: Shahid Mallya and Harshdeep Kaur.
2. Makes a simple tune and pours in the superb, lovely, even touching, lyrics of Shellee.
3. Keeps it simple, doesn’t do any Amit Trivedi stuff. Not even average composer stuff of today, just the basics.
4. Brings in some dhol towards the end.

Makes it perfect. Taste and let us know how you liked it.

Looni Hansi. Another earthy song gets the electronic touch that Rahman used to give, to say things like Sasural Genda Phool. Don’t know why I can’t remember an Amit Trivedi song for example, though it sounds very typical of him. Btw, don’t expect genda phool here, it’s not that dance-y from the base itself. Well done Harshdeep, again.

Makkhan Malai by Dilbahar. OK don’t ask me why I say so, but this suddenly sounds like a song of early ’90s. No, not even late ’90s. Maybe would have liked the song, but haven’t been able to remove the ’90s effect from the song and see it outside that. I can still see number of dancers doing PT exercises behind the hero. Sorry for that one, cuz the lyrics sound kinda interesting.

And with Farukhabaadi, we’re back. OK let me take a new angle. For the non-Punjabi, the song would go like this. Sound of girls laughing. Some traditional Punjabi things, some wedding songs maybe. Second line is on, wait, did they say FO? Continue, Teri maa-behen ki ma-behen ki kar doon main jay jay abhi. OK, they WERE saying FO. This is interesting.

Well, that was for someone who knows almost no Punjabi. And if you know the language, it definitely cannot make the song less interesting. In fact from then on, it’s Labh Janjua who is in the lead, but the girls, credited as chorus, the unheard-of-nowadays people, leave a strong impact. In the beginning as well as end.

What do you take from the song after listening to it once? ‘Teri ma-behen-ki-ma-behen-ki’ something something. And you get a music for that. 😉

And then there is an instrumental piece. Somehow Amit keeps it very simple, but still very intriguing, not allowing me to forward it. Great work I’d say. Loved the iktara there. And Rohwit tells me it was Rabab that they’ve used there.

Devender Singh’s version of Luni Hansi is nice, innocent. Not as good as Harshdeep, Devender sounds a little nervous, like he could do better, going by his performances I have seen. Still, worth listening to.

The end of the album comes with Kikkli Kaleer Di, Punjabi version. The song, despite my love for the Hindi version which I have heard numerous times, sounds more natural, lovely. The only thing I miss here is ‘Baby Suraksha hi Savdhani hai!’

Overall, Amit Trivedi is here. Not throughout in his regular colors, but the colors he is wearing are almost all nice. Better than some of his recent works.