BANG! BAAJA! BAARAAT!

Remember Chetan Bhagat’s novel Two States? Or atleast the movie? IF you don’t, then don’t try to. Because there is a new kid on the block, and he is well on his way to being the sheriff.

Just to jog your memory, Two States chronicled (that seems incredibly formal…given that the book was way more informal) the love story of a Punjabi boy with a Tamil Brahmin girl (I won’t say South Indian, because frankly, I am South Indian and I know we are too diverse to be categorized under one heading…). It goes through the troubles they have of convincing their orthodox parents and making them get along. But that was set way back in the ’90s, when even cell phones were just coming up. Ever thought what would it be like if it took place now? In the ultra modern world? Well, I know how it will be and I have three words for you…

Bang. Baaja. Baaraat.                                                                                  

Bang Baaja Baaraat is a web series launched last week by Y films, the youth wing of the famed Yash Raj films. It tells the story of a traditional Brahmin boy “Punnu” (Ali Fazal) and a modern Punjabi girl Shahana (Angira Dhar…cuite!!!), who meet at a… well…you guess it…( Clue: There is a BANG in the title…) and fall in love. They keep their relationship super-secretive and and inform their parents only when they actually decide to get married. What follows is a culture clash that is too funny to behold.

I am not saying much, I will let you see it and be the judge. I will say this, this web series is incredibly funny, modern, has quite some… bang…shall I say…and can give romantic comedies a run for their money. So please do go and watch it and be entertained…

(Oh… and Angira Dhar…she is so cute!!! I can’t stop looking at her…I mean huge fan…huge fan!!!)

Links:

Episode 1

Episode 2

Y films channel

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Chocolate Currency

Early man used quite a few things as currency. They used stones, leaves, animals and what not. But as time progressed, we wanted something much more standard and efficient. Lo and behold, we started using coins and paper cash. Even though this is the de facto standard across the world, in some corners (hell, it isn’t even in remote corners) of India, there exists another system of exchange. And it exists parallel to the coin and cash system. There is no proper name for it, and it has not been documented at all. It just exists. People follow it, and so it exists. For all practical purposes, lets call it chocolate currency.

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The name ‘chocolate currency’ originates from the simple fact that chocolate is used as the medium of exchange in this system. As I mentioned, this system is by no means a replacement to the worldwide accepted system. It is rather a backup system which comes up when the standard system fails.

Hey, hey, hold on a second !!! The standard system fails??? When does the cash system fail???

Simple…I buy something for Rs 38. I give a 50 rupee note to the cashier. But as luck would have it, he doesn’t have Rs 2. Maybe he doesn’t have it in, or maybe he is lazy to search for it. Either way, the system fails. He wont give me the 2 rupees, and I won’t let it go. Then comes the alternate system of chocolate currency. The change I get is Rs 20 plus 2 chocolates of 1 rupee each.

Nice, right???

But the problem that I have with the system is that it doesn’t work 2 ways. Suppose I try to give two toffees to a store, or in a bus. The guy will just kick me out. Come on now, a system is supposed to work both ways…

Now I didn’t have a problem with this in the early days, because I was a kid, and ate toffees a lot. But now, not so much, I’d rather have the 2 rupees, which I can use in a bus. In fact, the toffees just sit around in my room, until someone comes along and eats it, or it goes bad and I throw it out.

And there are certain designated toffees which are used. Mostly it is either eclairs or milky bar or nowadays, Kopiko. If the change come upto about Rs 5, then dairy milk, perk, munch, or 5 Star works. But for these high end chocolates, we are usually asked first.

” Shall I give you a dairy milk for Rs 5?”

Okay, maybe. And mostly, we oblige, because otherwise, we lose the money. Some of us fish around in our pockets and come up the change, others just let it slide.

Either way, chocolate currency is a way of life, and it ain’t going away.

By the way, I have 2 chocolates. Care to exchange them for Rs 2?

Do you have such interesting systems in your country??? Let me know !!!

Adios 2013, Bienvenido 2014

I’m in full Spanish mode, but let me clear the air by saying that the only Spanish words I know are ‘adios’ and ‘gracias’. The rest is all Google. And ‘bienvenido’ apparently means welcome…

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Well, well, 2013. How would you rank as a year to remember? Sadly, I have no list of best and most memorable years where I can put you, but if I had, you’d probably be at the very top. Because 2013 was for me an unbelievable year, with lots of unforgettable and classic spots, a lot of trips, a lot of enjoyment, and one unforgettable, humongous crush.

2013 was for me a year of trips and tours. I’ve had 4 trips to holiday destinations and metropolitan cities across India with my family. All of them were a complete blast, and I enjoyed each of them completely. No international tours this year, sadly, in fact, I’ve never gone abroad. Maybe 2014 or one of the years to come will sponsor that !!!

As far as studies go, this year we received two semester results. One of them I got fairly good marks, and the second one, which I received a few days before Christmas, I received the lowest marks in my life, But strangely I was  not sad. I was not dejected. Because I have grown and matured enough to realize one very important lesson, that getting top marks, being the topper and everything don’t matter so much as we are made to believe. The important thing is that you put in all of your effort. The important thing is you do not lay down. You fight. That is all we need to do, and all that we can hope to do. As it is said in School of Life,

“Don’t worry about what you are doing. It doesn’t matter. Worry about who you’re being”

Then there’s the department of Love Affairs which worked remarkably hard in the latter part of the year to get me a girlfriend at last. But needless to say, when your rational brain rules your heart, you rarely get a girlfriend. Add to that a dash of cowardice and “good-boy” image, it is a perfect recipe for being single throughout your teens and twenties. But again, I am mature enough to deal with that. Because I’ve had my heart broken so may times and it is still working, so why fear? And as a dialogue from the Hindi movie Gori tere Pyaar Mein (starring Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor) :

“Kisi aur se pyaar karne se pehele khud se pyaar karna seekho. Long term mein yahin kaam aayega”

Meaning: Before you love someone else, learn to love yourself. This is what matters in the long run.

( I don’t know why, I just felt like I should mention this quote…)

So that’s it. This was my 2013. Heartbreaks and Triumphs (Sorry Shawn…), Partying and Lonely Pondering, Joy and Gloom, it always comes in pairs…but that is the Voyage of Life.

66 Years of Independence

15 August holds a special place in the heart of every Indian. This marks the day when we put an end to over a hundred years of British rule and made a step towards independence. At midnight our first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru made his famous “Tryst with Destiny” speech to announce India’s independence. This speech summarizes everything that independence means for our people.

“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”

What is most striking about our independence is that it came out of wholly non violent agitation. Championed by the Father of our Nation, Gandhiji (known simply as Mahatma meaning ‘Great Soul’), our measures of resistance included non-cooperation, a move to use only Swadeshi goods, and satyagraha. Incredible as it seems, these non-violent protests bore fruit and India achieved independence on 15 August 1947. 66 years after Independence, India still upholds the values of non-violence (ahimsa).

Today we salute those who laid down their lives for our country, who died so that we could live as free individuals, proud of our country’s legacy, people who gave up their futures, so we could have ours.

A special mention must go to our brave soldiers who stand guard at the borders, braving the incredibly hostile climate. People who give up their sleep and comfort so that we can have ours. We salute you brave Jawans.

And to every single of the crores of Indians living in our country or abroad, Happy Independence Day. Be proud to be an Indian.

Congrats to Aditya Singhal, India’s Best Dramebaaz…

 

On 25th May 2013, Zee TV’s show India’s Best Dramebaaz came to an end with Pune’s Aditya Singhal emerging the winner. The grand finale witnessed the likes of Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, promoting their new movie “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani”, along with the star panel of judges, Anurag Basu, Sonali Bendre and Vivek Oberoi.

While Aditya emerged the winner, Nihar Gite became the runner up followed by Praneet Sharma. Another favorite to win the contest, Mehnaaz Mann had to contend with a fourth place.

But the finale apart, many of the star contestants were eliminated in the Super Six. I honestly believed Honey Khilwani and Sayuri Haralakar to be so wildly talented enough to win the whole thing. Special mention must go to Ravneet, a standby contestant brought in at the last minute but who genuinely amazed us with her talent.

Congrats to Aditya, but Kudos to every one of the performers. You are all winners…