Thursday, 11 December 2014

Meet Maratha Mandir Ke Popcorn Wale Uncle

In the last 30 odd years, not much has changed at the prestigious Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai. Their seats, their ambience, their architecture, their canteen and Lalji Yadav.
We’d all picture him as the popcorn wale uncle at Maratha Mandir.

POPCORN WALE UNCLE…

Meet Lalji, a staff member at the Maratha Mandir canteen.
It’s been over 30 years now, since Lalji has been a staff member at the prestigious Maratha Mandir theatre. He’s seen the theatre evolve over time, a generation of moviegoers transform into another. He’s seen the transition of the cinema-audience relationship. And he’s seen the magic that movies have on people.
I went Maratha Mandir a few weeks ago to gauge the audience of DDLJ. There I met my popcorn wale uncle-Lalji dada. At the age of 58, he was the most pro-active staff member at the great theatre, and welcomed me with a smile. As I began picking my choice of snacks, dada happily served me, and the conversation began. Dada was more than elated to share his experience of 30 years, in an unrealistic span of some multiples of 30 seconds time. On what keeps him hooked to this place for over 30 years, the answer was promptly shot back saying that it was the enthusiasm that people have for the movies and their happy faces that makes him a happy man here...  Read More

Courtesy: Cinemawali Twist

Sunday, 17 August 2014

@Cinemawaali's #100filmydays Challenge!

Being a cinema lover, a movie buff or an enthusiastic cinema goer was not enough. There was a need to understand cinema by adopting a dedicated idea towards the same. That is when Farhat (@juzinquistive) who was following the #100happydays exercise popped the idea of #100filmydays. And yes, I was sold to it! So Farhat, Parichay (@parichaymehta) and I, signed up for the #100filmydays challenge.

-100 films to be watched in 100 days.
- At least 70 unwatched films and 30 repeats was the set ratio.

And the challenge began! We were not to watch a film a day necessarily, but to watch 100 films in 100 days was the target. Yes, this was the most interesting challenge set, more than anyone for myself.  I was enthusiastic about watching films which were long due on my watch list but I hadn’t watched before.  And then the window of 30 repeat films was left to give the space for re watching a film which makes you happy to lift your spirits.

"You’d be surprised to see names like Swades, Andaz Apna Apna, Deewana, and many more on the list. But this list also includes those many films that I had watched only a part of while channel surfing. With this challenge I also watched those special films from the beginning to the end roll credits for the first time.  And then, there are also some really trashy names like The Xpose, Gunda, etc. Take my word; there is a lot that a bad film can teach you. A LOT. Plus, it’s always fun to enjoy trashy stuff too!"

Here’s a list of my 100 films watched during the #100filmydays challenge:

1.    In Pursuit of Happyness
2.    Breakfast At Tiffany’s
3.    Jolly LLB
4.    Malegaon Ka Superman
5.    Chashme Buddoor (Old)
6.    Andaz Apna Apna
7.    The Amazing Spiderman 2
8.    Ghost Writer
9.    Kaagaz Ke Phool
10. Zero Dark Thirty
11. The Little Black Book
12. Ragini MMS
13. Ek Duje Ke Liye
14. Revolver Rani 
15. The Truman Show
16. Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (Repeat)
17. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
18. IPS Vishwa Pratap Singh
19. The Bridge To Terrabithia
20. City Lights
21. Bridget Jone’s Diary
22. The Purge
23. Heropanti
24. Choti si Baat
25. Lost in Translation
26. Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman
27. Edge of Tomorrow
28. Satya 2
29. Samrat & Co.
30. The Towering Inferno
31. The Beach
32. Filmistaan
33. The Xpose
34. Holiday
35. Mere Dad Ki Maruti
36. The Internship
37. Hotel Transylvania
38. Saving Mr. Banks
39. Deewana
40. Abraham Lincoln and the Vampire Slayer
41. Maleficient
42. Sirf Tum
43. Devil Wears Prada
44. Pancham
45. Yes Man
46. Transformers: Age of Extinction
47. The Grand Budapest Hotel
48. Sex And The City
49. Sex And The City 2
50. Bobby Jasoos
51. Chaudhavi Ka Chand
52. Balak Palak
53. Bride Wars
54. Rocket Singh: Salesman of The Year
55. Hawaa Hawaai
56. The Fault In Our Stars
57. The Message
58. Maqbool
59. Khosla Ka Ghosla
60. Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya
61. Ek Villain
62.  We’re The Millers
63. Shree 420 (Repeat)
64. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (Repeat)
65. Masoom
66. Youngistaan
67. Kanoon
68. 15 Park Avenue
69. My Fake Fiance
70. Aaye Din Bahar Ke
71. An Evening In Paris
72. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (Repeat)
73. Khoobsurat
74. Saare Jahan Se Mehenga
75.  Aaye Din Bahar Ke
76. Heera Panna
77. Sujata
78. Salt
79. Jab We Met (Repeat)
80. Tomorrow Never Dies
81. Troy
82. The Amazing Spiderman
83. Dharam Veer (Repeat)
84. Kung Fu Panda
85. Around The World In 80 Days
86. Yeh Dillagi
87. Lai Bhaari
88. The Roman War Machine
89. Yuva
90. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (Repeat)
91. Bhoot Bangla
92. Tere Mere Sapne
93. Swades
94. Kaalia
95. Delhi 6
96. Cinema Paradiso
97. Argo
98. Saaransh
99. Making of The Mahatma
100.              Prometheus
101.              Gunda

Many films on my watch list still remain untouched. But I’m glad that I completed the challenge and have developed a further sense of regularity towards watching films. Also, films in various languages- Hindi, English, Marathi, French, Korean were watched. This helped in removing linguistic barriers from the cinematic experience. Nothing better than worshipping your dreams, isn’t it?

And now I shall watch more films (which definitely includes Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings marathon). But what is defining of this challenge is the lesson turning into a belief.

“There is nothing like cinema. It swaps your worlds; it teaches you the unthinkable, reinstates faith, amazes you with the impossible and takes you through an extremely different journey of life. And if you look through the still waters, you’d know that more than reflecting or emulating life, cinema teaches you about life and beyond.”

Stay filmy! Stay happy! :)

PS. One of the best part of this challenge was, the regular twitter updates on the films being watched inspired even more people to take up the #100filmydays challenge. Yes, you can take it too, by starting this very moment.

As for me, I might return with #100filmydays Version2 soon!

Love,
Parampara (@cinemawaali)


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Goodness on the run!

The countdown for New Year 2014 has begun…
In spite of the social fuck ups, like stooping lower political advantages, SC’s decision on Section 377, humiliation of Devyani, or the Hrithik-Sussane split doing the rounds of social networks, we have already spent a larger part of the year in ranting. And many people might just take all of this too critically!
But hey! There’s a lot more happening too. This wintery December, the warmth of goodness has gradually blanketed the social networks.
While there is a lot of negative criticism back there (Be thankful for the freedom of speech we enjoy), there some good Samaritans doing wonders, spreading smiles!
I’m talking about the Mumbai Secret Santa on twitter and the Standard Chartered Good Deed Marathon on all social networks!
Whoever said goodness exists no more, raise your hands and open your eyes!
While Secret Santa is all about spreading cheer in the festive season, it’s actually quite awesome. So this activity on twitter had people who wanted to participate, fill in their details; and were assigned to some stranger to be their Secret Santa. For almost a month now, a lot of Santas send amazing messages and gifts to people who they barely know (except for their stalking skills that they put to use!) So much effort to make someone’s Christmas delightful? And then there are more Santas in Delhi, Pune, Chennai, Banaglore and some more cities. This club of Santas does quite an amazing job passing messages and helping to spread the cheer! Everybody is talking about the #SecretSanta. And well they have all good reasons to do the same! KUDOS team and the Mumbai Santa @VelvetRhyme! We love you, Secret Santa! J This is the Merrier Christmas!
And then the best initiative online that I’ve seen in a while has to be the Standard Chartered Good Deed Marathon- An online campaign that encourages people to share their good deeds with people. And that with the realization of how every little thing you do matters. It is a moment of pride when people acknowledge it, even better when they are inspired. Some inspire you, set examples and spread the spirit of goodness.
This definitely has to be one of the finest and the most positive initiative to encourage goodness, and when so many people are out there sharing their goodness, instilling the belief that no matter which way we go, there’s still a lot of goodness within us all!
And here are a few examples of all the good deeds,  that people have been talking about! How little things make a difference is quite remarkable!

I do remember that Airtel and Vodafone had made all calls free during the 26/7 flooding and also set up helplines! #GoodDeedMarathon

Donated blood on my birthday & toke four frnds along with me 2 donate blood #Cancer_patient #GoodDeedMarathon @iCanSaveLife"@BloodDonorsIn

@WeAreMumbai Saw a father with his 8 year kid on a bike. Both were wearing helmets. Made sure to compliment both of them #GoodDeedMarathon

@WeAreMumbai Helped a blind man to board a Mumbai local from dadar and he blessed me & I almost cried . #GoodDeedMarathon

No cab took me in on exam day.Told a driver I have an exam,he readily dropped me to SoBo from Bandra,also wished me luck! #GoodDeedMarathon

@R_T_K: @WeAreMumbai Helped my maid with getting her Ration Card #GooddeedMarathon"
@WeAreMumbai Planning a Christmas special celebration at the boys orphanage. Secret Santa, presents, food & goodies! #fun #GooddeedMarathon

@aatifsumar it does not ruin them. #GooddeedMarathon, is about generating ideas for good deeds. Seeing what makes people feel good.

@Photokatha I must admit today #GoodDeedMarathon tweets really made me happy I'm proud of each n every person's deed Gr8 going

My first visit to Jaipur and had bought a big pack of grains for the birds :) Amazing feeling it was to feed. @Photokatha #GoodDeedMarathon

How may of you know ? He packed his bags, moved to Bangladesh to teach less fortunate kids not good but the best!

Let’s just say these aren’t even 1% of all the good deeds, but they still reflect the power of goodness through every little effort!
Yes, this is my Mumbai shining!

Hats off to Standard Chartered Good Deed Marathon! And to all those wonderful entities and people who are a part of this. *pat your backs*
If you love this idea and haven’t been a part of this yet, register yourself for the #GoodDeedMarathon right away!
Here’s the link- http://bit.ly/1bqAJBL

It doesn’t take anything more than genuine efforts to do a good deed, cause it’s not about big or small but about doing something good which benefits others and not you!
Be good, do good and encourage others to do better!

And if you have any good deed of yours or others to share, mention it in the comments! You never know you might just inspire someone else to be good. (Yes! Another good deed :D )

Till then,

Proud Netizen!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

And they lived happily ever after!



Before you start reading this, answer this-
“DO YOU THINK HAPPY ENDINGS ARE OVER RATED?”














Cinderella, Snow white, Rapunzel, The Sleeping Beauty…

We all grew up to fairy tales that were used to make believe in the most popular conclusion of all times, “…And they lived happily ever after.”
Nobody knows what happened to Snow white after she met Prince Charming, did Cinderella gain acceptance from the royal household and the people when she met the Prince of her dreams, nobody knows if the Sleeping Beauty was never again troubled by the Dark Fairy! And back then, these questions never bothered us nor did we think beyond the concept of ‘Happy Endings.’
May be we don’t realize the trivial nature of reality unless we come across its harsh exposures.
While there were no more stories being told, we entered another magical illusion, the cinema. Like most people in this country, movies were the quintessential entertainers, stress busters and escape from reality. So whether it was Basanti and Veeru’s chemistry in Sholay or Raj and Simran’s love story, you grew up knowing, goodness would triumph and the film would end on the note ‘… and they lived happily ever after.’
Yes! We did grow up to believe that. Not just in the love stories but in any story. Be it the battle between the good son (Shashi Kapoor) and the villainous son (Amitabh Bachchan) in Deewar or the Don and his look-alike Vijay in the original DON (1975). Not all, but most films until recently believed in ‘happy endings.’
In spite of all that predictability, we have always rooted for everything to end well. To sum it up in a dialogue, “Humare filmon ki tarah, humarai zindagi mein bhi end tak sab kuch theek ho hee jaata hai. Happies endings. Aur agar theek na ho, toh who di end nahi; picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!” (From Om Shanti Om)
We have always been taught moral stories and all the right values. Like I always say, Indian society highly believes in preaching morals and idealism. All of this in the hope, that whenever in life need be, we shall take the right lessons, stick to our morals and ethics and follow the path of goodness hoping for it to end well. And who knows, had it not been for these stories, we would have easily given up for an easy compromise with the convenient ways!
And well, don’t we do that now? While everybody has been busy debating whether cinema influences society or reflects the ways of society, let’s just say it is a combination of both. Our entertainment reflects our culture and introduces innovations in our way of living.
I earlier referred to the triumph of good over evil, portrayed in DON, I get back to the modern remake and sequel of the film, where it s not about goodness, but about being the smarter one. May be earlier, we didn’t live in an exactly ideal society, but today we have learnt to accept and give in to the ‘Dark side’ too in the name of ‘being practical.’ And yes, it is alright to break relationships that don’t work, unlike the olden days when people strived harder to make relationships work when they didn’t. It is fine today to choose your career over everything else. I say this without sarcasm, but with acceptability. This is how, we have learnt to live. And maybe, this too shall change.
Irony is, that over the time we have developed a misconception, ‘To accept a theory, you have to reject another.’ And guess what! People have just begun to discard the idea of happy endings by terming them to be myths! How cynically hopeless can we be to lose hope even without hoping?
No! Let’s keep the faith alive…
It shall all be fine!
“Happiess Endings with a wide eSmileee”


 J

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Review: VithU App

With the rising tolls of crimes against women, if technology could contribute with some helpful measure, has been a long thought query! Being a woman, it has been more of a necessity to be as much possible equipped and prepared for any unfriendly situation.
And then, in my constant search for a perfect helpline I was recommended the use of the VithU app in my Android device which sends out danger alert messages to the pre-set emergency numbers. With it's attractive presentation, the app looked intriguing enough to try and check if it solves the purpose. And it indeed does.


Using VithU was an easy task by okaying not more than a couple of permissions as per my phone settings and the app kept sending emergency texts along with my satellite location to my set SOS numbers till the time I deactivated the alarm.
Share your story and alerts for the crime reality show 'Gumrah' do a great job in spreading awareness regarding crimes in society and create a sense of alertness.
While the app has made it to my instant widget, it's permission seeking for GPS use and activation could be seen as a worry some angle. Also the constant need of internet access and good network are the major barriers that can be seen as an issue, not with immediate solutions though.
 
Nothing like a single press app could work wonders.

However, VithU is the least you can have to gather instant help through difficult situations. Make sure you have it on your phone and on your daughter's and sister's too! 

Here's the link to download this app for Android users:

If you think you have come across a better app for the same purpose, share your word (pref with the link) in the comments section!

Be Alert. Be Safe. Be Happy.

Live in a better society!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Mumbai Dreams

Remember that kid in class VII, good in studies, karate, cricket, dance, singing… and his parents would send him everywhere, for all the classes…COMPLETELY EXHAUSTING the poor little kid! His life had become an event. But the point is, “Where is it eventually heading?”

Similar is the case with my city, Mumbai. The very mention brings forth innumerable thoughts and emotions. City of dreams, international city, city of hopes, city of glamour, maya nagri, city that teaches you life… and the list of synonyms for this city are endless. However, I’d say Mumbai is an emotion. Being the Financial capital that provides funds for the healthy functioning of different states and their welfare. What really does the city get? More dreamers coming here to fulfill their dreams, lesser space to accommodate all, stiff competition, rising prices, polluted air, unhealthy surroundings and scores of overlooking people lost in their own world!
While the onlookers will notice the crowd, the glam and the glitz of the city… a Mumbaikar, will always eventually swear by his love for the city. Once a Mumbaikar, life will never be the same anywhere else. There is something very different about of this city, one like none.

However, you will often hear a local complaint of the weak monsoon preparations, of the endless traffic and crowded locals, of the street side eateries and sky kissing properties… and all of the other negatives, he is sure to curse the BMC for a million valid reasons, that remain unchanged!

Over the years, Mumbai has seen a lot. The lot is not a comparison with the rich culture of Bengal or the heritage, yet well developed Delhi or the incessantly delightful Bangalore. Mumbai has its own taste, a taste which is the blend of all. The blend of various cultures, styles, people, events, leaders, revolutions and circumstances, today, enable us to boast of the ‘Spirit of Mumbai’. A spirit that goes beyond any other state in the country- the spirit of a fighter, the spirit of a humanitarian, the spirit of an achiever.
My city, my janma bhoomi & karma bhoomi, lacks nothing but development. I mean planned development. 
“Comparing most of our lives with the city, most tempting things are up for grabs!”
But, for the reputation that it has been carrying around for ages, my city, by the expectations of the world, should possess every advanced amenity- bullet trains (at least a Metro like Delhi), well maintained airport, good transport system, high standard of living for the people, better bridges and highways… and no the list won’t end any sooner. Cherry on the cake, the BMC, some builder/ developer or some public figure comes up with proposals that bring him easy money and claim to fame with a new bridge, building or area being redeveloped by him.
And there ain’t any plan for the development of the city! That, giving you enough reasons to get stuck in traffic thanks to the 10 year long Metro construction process, potholes and road constructions. Of course! We’ll blame the BMC. Because, no planning only short term goals.

Such is our life. Unplanned, unthought and often aimless. Lets hope to make it a story that will be for its subtleness remembered. Too many cooks do spoil the broth; too many things, most unwanted only add an extra bit of clutter. Good things happen out of aimlessness too, after all life has its own plan for you. But don’t let your dreams fade away, may be your dreams are a key to something better. Live your life by your standards and not others demands and wishes. Doing something extra is not a waste, but at the cost of not doing something important is loss.

Mumbai’s biggest gift to anyone is that it teaches them the way of life.
To cope with the where, what and how’s of life.

To brave every situation and to keep going.

It teaches you the "Never Say Die" attitude.

It teaches you to DREAM. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. CHASE YOUR DREAMS. LIVE THEM.

It teaches you… whatever you can learn from it!

And yes, it teaches you to LEARN.

Hoping that my city for all its right glory and our lives, for all the right reasons get the ‘desired direction’