Movie Review: Jodhaa Akbar

Jodhaa Akbar When the name is “Jodhaa Akbar” what you shouldn’t expect is a 90 min short story. What you should expect is a condensed 52 episodes of the tale of one of the greatest Mughal Emperors, Jalaluddin Mohammed Akbar and his reign over India from the mid 16th century and the historic alliance with Rajput Princess Jodhaa Bai. And of course, this would mean the movie to be expanded beyond proportions (the length is a good 3 hrs 40 mins). But I do not have any problems with it as far as the length is concerned. More than often, epic storytelling has demanded the pace to be at ease and so is the case here. Ashutosh Gowariker’s “Jodhaa Akbar “is another edition to that list of epic movies, but does it pass the test of epic storytelling? I still have my doubts. Of course, it is easy to look at everything with an eye of criticism and just start evaluating the faults and the shortcomings, but for once, I’d stand and applaud at the sheer magnitude of the canvas that Ashutosh Gowariker has tried to paint and presented it with so many radiant hues.

Of course, we are reminded that such historical epic stories are always associated with controversies. Let’s clear this doubt: This is not a documentary. History tells us Akbar had many wives, not to mention concubines, invented his own religion Din-i-Ilahi, and was as megalomaniac as all other Mughal Emperors. But the golden rule of bringing period pieces to life remains: It is the legend which stays alive. (more…)

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Somewhere Back in Time – Mumbai GIG in Pictures

If you are one of those lazy bums who just can’t sit through the 1285 words of my previous post on the Maiden Gig in Mumbai, this is for you. And for those Maiden Maniacs like me, this is definitely for you. And for those who missed it, burn , burn, burn in ENVY!!!

The Story in Pictures .

The Pass

The Pass

The Prophet


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Metal Mayhem Mumbai Maiden-Somewhere Back in Time

Somewhere Back in TimeIn the beginning, there was darkness. And the Devil said,” Let there be Metal”. So Sir Winston Churchill speaketh, “…. we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,” and the cymbals hit hard with the guitars riffing. Mumbai screams in unison, the bass commands us to Jump, the lights go haywire, and Bruce Almighty jumps out of nowhere , over the monitors in his army cargos, and orders

“Run, live to fly, fly to live, do or die
Run, live to fly, fly to live. Aces high.”

I was there. HELL YEAH! I look around to see only one reaction, the headbanging, the fingers closed perfectly to show the devil’s horn and the music taking control. IRON MAIDEN ripped us all apart. And when you just wanted to take a breather, the shredder reveals another killer with the drums rolling to the Anti-War Anthem “2 Minutes to Midnight”. The crowd goes frenzy, and chaos prevails. My first bruise, my first kick on a guy’s back (now his T-Shirt reads the mirror image of Size 9), and even more jumps and pushes. Ladies who were expecting some sort of courtesy and ahem, respect, got the unexpected answers. Hilarious it was, when a lady started to roam around searching for her lost boyfriend, and my pal told her, Auntie, you won’t be able to manage yourself in the first row. It took her not more than two minutes to realize that.

Aces High

Track 3: The very AC/DC-ish Revelations. The crowd responds as Bruce commands and that’s what you expect at a Maiden gig. Personally, not one of my Maiden favorites, and add to that, the great fall of Sujoy. I do a “Konhi to Konhi” (elbow to elbow) Dance to stand up, to be pushed down furthermore. And before I could even realize, I was at row 10 from the barricade. I somehow managed to get a breather when Dicksinson engaged the crowd with his English English. My dear neighbors thought I had passed out , I replied , not yet!! Yeah right! Unaware of what was coming up next. Track 4: “The Trooper” (more…)

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4 hours to Maiden

Iron Maiden MumbaiPrelude: It all begins at the Volvo stand of Pune, near Nandu’s Paratha house, on Jan 31st, the day before the gig. Or is it, umm, Jan 21st, Planet M, MG Road, when I bought the tickets? Screw it. The excitement all began with the first rumors that emerged on various online forums that the Devil’s Official Children-Iron Maiden were coming, yet again, to make our ears bleed and reign our souls with their Metal-this time, not so far from here. I reached Mumbai on the 31st at 1:00 am, thanks to Neeta Volvo’s extremely “relaxed” pace.

Feb 1 Morning:10:00 am. Shit!Shit!Shit! Waking up to a Stomach Upset on a Maiden Concert day. Things weren’t as “green” as I wished they were. I mean the day. I had to rush for breakfast, coz I wanted to reach the venue ASAP. Had Chole Bhature for Breakfast cum Lunch and two glasses of water. Took a Bath, got into the Auto, oh yeah! got dressed, not in that order. Auto Waala was Shaana and knew that I didn’t know squat about Mumbai. So he took me for a RIDE. Ghatkopar West se Bandra Kurla ke beech main 3 flyovers paar kiya. ( He crossed 3 flyovers from Ghatkopar West to Bandra Kurla). And so I reached BKC somehow, amidst all the chaos of Kurla. The Namaaz was going as usual; the Mikes were playing the usual Himmess. And the crowd as busy and lost in the hustle- no one with any idea of the Mayhem that was about to get unleashed. But then, as I approached the venue, things seemed a little more familiar. Auto Rickshaws, Cars, and People Walking towards a Banner that read- To Iron Maiden Concert Venue. And before I knew, I had my devil’s horn on my right hand. (more…)

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