Monday, December 22, 2014

Script of the first Ugly trailer spoof

Ugly spoof

A Keyrun Rao original inspired by this:

Opening: Gfx
Darawna Motion Pictures

Fuh se fuck you

Fade in.

Scene 1
Abhishek to Matthew on phone:
Ek narration ke liye jaa raha hoon, chalega kya saath?
Nahin to main Kartik ko bula loonga

Scene 2
In car
Abhishek to Matthew:
Yaar 2mins ruk, chashma banwaane diya hai… lekar aata hoon

Matthew spots Abhishek’s latest script ‘Nakli’ on the car’s backseat

Scene 2-A

Cut to:

A frantic Abhishek looking for Matthew around Araam Nagar / Yari Rd. asking people

Ek kaala aadmi meri script lekar bhaag gaya… aapne dekha usey? Kurta pehna hua tha…

Scene 2-B

Cut to:
Abhishek spots a kurta wearing guy with a script in his hand… He chases him like a maniac. He finally manages to catch him, punches him only to find out it was somebody else…

Close up of the mistaken guy’s script titled ‘Doga ka kya hoga?

Scene 3

Cut to FWA (Film Writers’ Assn.) office, where Abhishek has come to complain about absconding Matthew

FWA chief / officer to Abhishek:
Bahut bada hero hai… unregistered script ko aise hi gaadi mein chhod ke jaata hai…

Naam kya hai tera?

Abhishek to FWA chief / officer:
Abhishek Pandey

FWA chief / officer to Abhishek:
Yahaan toh Sadabahaar likha hai

Abhishek to FWA chief / officer:
Sir industry ke log aise hi karte hain, ghar pe ek naam aur parde ke liye doosra naam…

FWA chief / officer to Abhishek:
Kyon? Amitabh bachchan ka kya hai naam ghar pe?



Cut to:
Phone rings
Voiceover: Script waapas chahiye toh 12 hazaar ka intezaam kar…

Scene 5
Cut away shots of a worried Abhishek who then calls his friend:

Abhishek to his friend on phone:
Yaar hum kisi se 12 hazaar udhaar nahin le sakte kya?

Abhishek’s friend replies:
Dekh hum writer log hain, apne ko kaun udhaar dega? Woh tera co-writer hai na, Kartik, usko bol, who ya toh paise dega ya Matthew ko kahin na kahin se dhoondh nikaalega… BKFPL mein hai na who?

Enter Kartik
Cut away shots of a worried Kartik twirling a ciggy in his fingers

Abhishek & Kartik are sitting in their study room, too brain fucked… Abhishek’s phone rings… Kartik picks up

It’s Matthew on the phone

Tera script tujhko waapas chahiye to 12 hazaar


Screen splits where producers offering peanuts for their script.
1st guy: 3 hazaar
2nd guy: 5 hazaar
3rd guy: 7 hazaar
4th guy: 10 hazaar

Random montage shots of tired Kartik & Abhishek looking for absconding Matthew

Scene -8

Cut to:

Kartik-Abhishek’s work-space

Kartik to Abhishek
Paise tere ko hi chahiye na saale? Pichhle mahiney ke rent ka share due hai

Kartik then pushes Abhishek off his chair & Abhishek falls sloppily

Montage shots of heated argument between Kartik & Abhishek

Cut to:

Kartik to Abhishek on phone:
Tera script hai to mera bhi script hai bhenc**d


Producer to Kartik:
Signing amount le li hai, script kab doge tum log?

Worried Abhishek driving around in his car

Text on screen:

When the writer getS desperate

The desperate writer gets nasty / creepy / evil / monstrous / lonely / miserable / greedy


Fade out.

Friday, December 19, 2014

राजकुमार हीरानी जी का PK देख के लगाया littil littil लिखा littil littil

Let me begin with a confession: I didn't like the trailer of Raju sir's PK one bit. Call me a cynic or whatever else, I just couldn't stand Aamir's look. I thought he was trying too hard for my liking. Add to that the fact that I am a HUGE SRK fanboy for life (And that remains unchanged).  Perhaps the planets changed their positions or some such, and I decided that I will watch PK. So what if I don't end up liking it, and waste a few hours of my life. Not that I am achieving legend-like-status by trying to save whatever little time that I possibly can. It's just that I hate rotting away at the Juhu signal.

I am not giving away any spoilers of the film in this post. The makers have been driving in a suggestion, that #PKaana, but for some unfortunate reason, I couldn't go watch the film under the influence of alcohol. I was sober as a sage, but now that I have watched the film, I thought, chalo yaar, 'littil littil' will not do much harm. RGV's Satya fanboys will grin wide when they read 'littil littil,' the rest of you in Ramgarh, Badlapur and thereabouts - keep guessing. I have watched PK, and I have also had 'littil littil'. If you still want to read ahead, you've been warned.

As promised, I am not telling you about what happens in PK and for what; I am just sharing some very personal thoughts that are cropping up in my 'khopdi ki jhopdi' as I type. My 'nana' was a renowned 'purohit ratna' in his village and used to helm many religious poojas and havanas. After the thread ceremonies of his grandkids, he used to tag us along as 'advaris' (Asst. Directors in cinema parlance). I remember he had taken me once for a 'Naaga pooja' after which the client's wife would be bearing a child. Being the ass*&^$ that I was, I was humming Backstreet Boys' 'I wannit that way,' instead of the mantra I was instructed to repeatedly chant.

Few years later I got to know that the aforementioned client's wife actually DID bear a child.

This was perhaps the first time I questioned the holy thread (janeyoo) I was made to wear for a good part of my pre-post-teen years. My nana passed away a few years ago, but I never brought up this little fact that only I was privy to. I don't think anybody must have thought that I was humming Backstreet Boys' 'I wannit that way' instead of the mantras that I was ordered to chant. Over the years I have began to believe in 'love' more than any other form of religious practices. Watching Raju sir's PK just made me feel that I was headed in the right direction.

One more thing - I am a huge believer in Sai Baba, and I think he is the right guy to ensure that my prayers / calls to The One do get answered. Sai Baba and Piya Haji Ali. You might find it strange, but I find more peace at Haji Ali than at Shirdi, the only reason being the fact that the Shirdi shrine has so much gold all over the roof and walls. The donations that the Shirdi shrine gets on a daily basis can perhaps finance a Karan Johar or even a Sajid Nadiadwala film. Haji Ali on the other side just gives me endless bliss and hope. Aren't we all beggars at the end of the day?

Blessed as I probably am, I have never thought that I am being cheated or somebody is trying to take advantage of my genuine kindness. I give away when I have - whatever that comes to my hand. There have been days when I have felt that I have what I do, just so that I can give it all away. It could be a beggar at a traffic signal, a dear friend, or even somebody I don't know of. One thing I learned early in my life is that you show up here and TAKE - all the time. What is important is to give back. At least that is what Bombay taught me, every single day I have been here.

World cinema literates will perhaps have a million things to say about why PK didn't work for them, but I was one of those guys who didn't bat an eyelid before clapping, cheering or shedding a stream of tears throughout the entire runtime of PK. I watched the film at Chandan - a place which is more of a Haji Ali, and not a Shirdi. Where you don't get preference if you have booked your ticket online or you have bought the tickets in black. Every worshipper is treated similarly. The popcorn and cold drink you get might not be the best you've had, but the 'sajda' moment will be just as gratifying.

Just because I wrote about my tryst with my Gods and Demons, Raju sir's PK is not about that. At least not JUST that. There are many layers to be peeled, and may be one viewing might not be sufficient enough. PK is a subtle reminder that please don't construct your Gods, The Creator is already there… just stop trying to build fences and restrict the goodness of your God to your sect. He has made us all, and he loves us equally; he has planned our journeys and our destinations. Remember to be good and have fun, while the journey is still on. Whatever is within your means, just GIVE BACK.

Don't just TAKE all the time.

Give back.

Love, kindness, smiles, hugs… whatever it is that you've been blessed with, to give away.



Saturday, December 13, 2014

Met the boy that I once was, a thousand weeks ago…

We live in amazing times… Not only can many of us boast of having watched Sholay on the big screen, a lucky bunch of cinema-lovers has even enjoyed ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ and ‘Chashme Budduur’ at the theatre. 

Don’t even get me started about those who recently watched Gulzar Saab’s ‘Libaas’ at a recently held film festival. I am writing this piece after coming face-to-face with the boy I once was, while watching DDLJ in a theater, after a thousand weeks of its release.

As a shy, under-confident and a chubby-tubby boy, one doesn’t really know what love is. I was still in the process of growing my first moustache, and the little I knew about this emotion called love were basically stories (usually a bunch of lies) that I had heard from friends who were manlier then, than what I think I have become now. Young lads fighting each other, over their respective GFs wasn’t a completely unheard of scenario, especially in a small town like Indore.

Aditya Chopra’s ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge,’ was my first formal introduction to ‘love,’ and to be honest, I still feel the same way about the feeling almost two decades hence. As the line from the film’s publicity material goes, After Raj met Simran, love was never the same. The QSQT & MPK generations of lovers were fading away, and an entire new breed was waiting for a film that could redefine love for them. DDLJ was just what this new bunch was waiting for.

Goes without saying that I am a HUGE SRK fanboy, and it’s slightly unfortunate that of late the only good thing to come out of his films are the interviews that he gives. Coming back to DDLJ, and the special screening that Rani took me along for - there were murmurs that SRK might drop by during the interval, and there was a general sense of electric excitement in the air at Maratha Mandir. The theatre itself was decked like a ‘dulhania,band-baaja-baraat, all in tow.

The audience comprised of mad-screaming-hyper-charged fans of DDLJ, SRK and Kajol, alike Rani and moi. As it happens with any film with a loyal following like this, one had to strain the ears to hear the lines; it actually seemed like the fans owned the film, not the makers. On cue, the audience would repeat the lines, clap, whistle and cheer, borrowing energies from each other. There were two kids sitting in the row ahead of mine, they were dancing to every song!

It was one crazy experience. And then, somewhere towards the interval, SRK looks at Kajol and says –

Main nahin aaoonga…

I felt sad for Raj and his Simran – That moment reminded me of all the girls whose marriage invitations that I had politely declined. Or at least those who I wished would invite me to their weddings, and I would hopefully, politely decline them. Happy-sad moment it was, and there onwards one doesn’t think of Raj as a bratty rascal anymore. He is a nice guy after all, just like all of us. Wink. Before stepping into the theater I wasn’t sure if DDLJ will still remind me of the boy that I was, way back in 1995.

The DDLJ gen has now made way for the ‘Dev.D’ and the ‘Jab We Met’ bunch of love-struck teens, but last night I was reminded that I am not alone. When Raj says, “Palat,” the grin is still as wide. The ‘chhoti baatein in bade-bade desh,’ still continue unabashed. The patience to sit through a three-hour film might have slightly worn out, but the magical moments of DDLJ still remain, just the way they were, when we first watched it. The entire theater erupted when Raj drops Simran on the dance floor after ‘Ruk ja o dil deewane.

I remember giving up practicing ‘Papa kehte hain,’ on the guitar because playing the DDLJ tune was much easier, and the girls would gather around me immediately.  That’s all it took for an introvert like me, who was a part of an imaginary group called – ‘United Against Girls,’ to become the center of their attraction. I owe that to you, SRK! Thanks to Set Max, I have continued to watch this eternal love story at every given opportunity. Just that I don’t like it when Simran gets a scolding from her dad for falling in love.

As a staunch believer in the Yash Raj School of Romance, I pine for those love stories that have now made way for the 'Gundays' and 'Kill Dils' of today. Perhaps I am getting way too old for my own good. By the way, SRK did drop by during the special screening – the wit and pompous-with-a-self-depreciatory-tinge of humor seems to have developed some visible cracks. The edginess is missing; perhaps he is ageing too. SRK now mostly talks about his growing kids and respecting women. Not that it isn’t the right thing to do; at least not at his age…

For all I know this could be the beginning of my own sweet mid-life-crisis, or I should attempt to write a new love story that will resonate within the hearts of an entire generation or more. In an era when there is almost no taboo left, what will I write that hasn’t been already attempted? I heard that an enthusiastic filmmaker has bought the adaptation rights for DDLJ. Wonder how will it turn out – obviously none of my business, that too at this hour…

Just a parting thought: Time is such a strange thing; it evokes different feelings when measured in different ways. Two decades, twenty-four months and a thousand weeks. Though they are technically the same thing, and the same span of time, thousand weeks sounds like the masterstroke moment of some ace marketing whizkid. These silly outpourings be damned, I did manage to meet the boy I was, back in 1995 – a hopeless romantic and that still remains!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Laga jaise maut mein abhi waqt hai...

A Keyrun Rao original, dedicated to Sriram sir's 'Badlapur'

Maut ke maayine jaise roz badal rahey hain,
Tere saath zindagi hai, tere bin jaise maut hai;
Maut kya hai mujhe ab samajh bhi nahin aata,
Ya toh zindagi laal hogi, ya maut kaali raat hai.

Marne mein kya badi baat hai, bas saansein rok lo,
Jeene mein hazaaron dard hain, dekho zara jee ke;
Marr ke sab sukoon hai har taraf, jahan bhi dekho,
Khul ke jiya tha pehli baar, tere pyaar ko dekh ke.

Laga jaise maut mein abhi waqt hai, galti ho gayi yaar,
Yaar se yaari bas abhi hui thi, sajda baaqi reh gaya tha;
Sar utha ke dekha to bas andhera chhaaya tha mujh par,
Na thi gehri raat, main akela tha, aur kuchh dhuaan sa tha.

Jeene ke maayine bhi roz badal rahey thay jaane kyon,
Jeena tujh se seekha tha, marna bhi sikhaa deti kisi din;
Tujh se mil kar marna hi nahin tha kabhi bhi mujh ko,
Bhool gaya tha ke yahaan sab hi ko marna hai ek din.

Phoolon sa din jiya tha tere saath har roz, ye kya ho gaya,
Roshni ke pyaar mein ek taara toot kar kahaan kho gaya;
Andhere mein roshni jiyegi kaise koi ab mujhe bhi bataao,
Maut mein abhi bhi waqt hai, mere pyaar ko bhi to bataao.

Laga jaise maut mein abhi waqt hai, zindagi mil gayi jab,
Maut ke baad shaayad sab khatam hai apni kahaani mein;
Zindagi ko to bas aisa tarsa hoon tujh ko mil kar main
Jaise chaandni raat mein ab suraj dhoondhta hoon main...


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dost bahut hain mere aaj...

A Keyrun Rao original...

Jab chhota tha, toh main akela rehta tha,
Sach mein koi dost hi nahin tha mera;
Shayad main achcha tha ya woh burey,
Ab toh pata bhi nahin kya chal raha tha...

Barson lag gaye mujhe ek dost banane mein,
Ek gaana tha bechaara, kisi ne suna nahin tha;
Ek kitaab bhi thi, sharmeeli aur murjhaayi si,
Ye donon dost baste hain aaj bhi dil mere mein.

Lagta hai dost bahut hain mere aaj sab jagah,
Woh toh aisa hi samajhte hain hamesha se;
Kya main bhi un ka dost hoon, kaun jaane?
Kitaabon aur gaanon se yaari hai ab is tarah.

Raah chalte koi naam pukaarta hai mera,
Kehta hai wo jaanta hai mujhko achche se;
Na toh main usey jaanta hoon, na khud ko,
Khush hua jab mila us ajnabi ko achche se.

Ek gaana tha, aur ek kitaab thi mere paas,
Duur tak saath they mere, koi sawaal nahin;
Thodi khushi, kuchh aansoo saath baantein,
Phir bhi aaj tak koi bandish ya khalish nahin.

Ek khushboo chal padi mere saath raah mein,
Kehte hain Rani hai us jaadugarni ka naam;
Dard ke kissey bahut peechhey reh gaye ab,
Bas usey khoob pyaar karna hai ab mera kaam.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sabse chheen loon tujhe

A Keyrun Rao original

Saath hue jab se hum
bas ek manant hai meri,
Sabse chheen loon tujhe
Main hamesha ke liye,
bas meri ho kar reh
Itni bhar bas dua hai meri

Tere saaye sang baat karoon,
Teri hansi ke sang naachoon,
Chaahe chali ja kahin bhi tu
Tujh sang bitaaye huye pal
Har pal main wahi sochoon.

Duur lagta nahin hai tu mujh se
Jaane kahin bhi tu chali jaaye
Tujh mein hi rehta hoon main
Yeh raaz jaane chhupega tujh se

Teri rooh pehan kar mujhe neend aati hai
Teri baatein dohraata rehta hoon main
Yaar tu jiye hazaar saal mujhse zyaada
Aisi mohabbat zindagi mein kam hoti hai

Sabse chheen loon tujhe
Tujhse tujhko duur kar doon
Mujh mein mil ja dua ban kar
Tera saaya bhi tujhse chura loon 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

HAIDER: Who knew a tragedy like this could be THIS gorgeous?

It has just been a few hours since I watched Vishal Bhardwaj's latest offering - Haider. I am still spellbound by what I watched. To write or not to write was the question for a long while, but there is no other way I know to restore my sanity, than to write about it. As always, this isn't a review of Haider, but some thoughts of mine that have been making me crazy since the moment I stepped out of the screening earlier this evening. My current state of mind is like that of a flooded Kashmir. So many thoughts waiting to burst out and make sense at the same time. As difficult as making a film like this, don't you think?

Me with Vishalji, I am the guy in the
white shirt with hands in my pocket.
 I have not read Shakespeare's Hamlet, but I have just ordered for it on Flipkart, now. The genius of Vishalji is that it didn't matter if I have read the source of his masterpiece. It just didn't matter. Just like it didn't matter when I came out after watching Omkara and Maqbool. Frankly speaking, I really don't get the language employed by beloved 'Shekhu uncle'. But I do understand the universe Vishalji creates every single time. Before watching Haider I just had a vague idea of the sorry state of affairs in Kashmir. But tonight I shall weep for all my Kashmiri brethren.

Getting back to the thoughts Haider triggered in my head. My previous landlord was a loaded guy; perhaps one of the richest I have met. His daughter was a paraplegic and so was his wife. His son didn't have a job. But he (the old landlord with squint eyes) had lots of cash. I used to think what's the point of having all that money, if you have such a miserable existence? All I had was Rani's love, and I was the happiest bloke in Andheri West. The landlord on the other hand… And then while I was vacating that house, the landlord decided to dupe me of roughly 8K from the deposit I had paid. I never bothered to get back the lost money, but my happiness was still intact. It actually grew manifold after shifting to the new pad. New writing gigs… new friends...

Haider reinforced my thought that an ugly soul can only beget sadness of all kinds.

One thing that saddened me the most after watching Haider was that the people living in the most beautiful state of the country, were perhaps the saddest. I don't think I will ever visit J&K. I don't understand the irony of life. Why is a place as gorgeous as J&K full of such sad stories? What have they done to deserve the wrath of everybody, mother nature included? I can't even imagine being in a place like that - where I have to prove my identity at every other turn on the street. I just about manage to tolerate the frisking at the malls and multiplexes, without losing my marbles. How do my brethren tolerate this kind of atrocity in 2014?

I am a happy camper - I JUST can't stand sorrow. I tend to flee from sad scenarios. Haider was another zone altogether. From the word go, we know what we are headed for. That's when the genius of the maker kicks in. When life is like that, why can't cinema resonate it? My films are not getting made, I am broke most of the time, but that doesn't mean that I sit in a corner of my room and cry till things change for the better. I still am happy. My brethren in Kashmir go on with their lives, perhaps just like how I do. May be they have found peace amidst the shellings and killings. May be they have their own in-jokes about these morbid happenings around their lives.

In a recent interview, Vishalji said, "Mujhe jo lagta hai, ki jo abhi tak hamari filmein mostly Kashmir pe bani hain, humnein almost always baahar se jaa kar dekha hai." This is the thing about Haider I also loved. We as an audience feel like them, not as an outsider on a tourist visa or some such. I could actually see people being rounded up in Oshiwara police station for no reason and being beaten up for no fault whatsoever. Haider makes you feel like you are right there, in the thick of things. The beatings and killings hurt you. They hurt you deep.

Being the overt 'sentimosanal' guy that I am, I feel crushed to even come to terms with the fact that the things up there in our country are so screwed. Just imagine what a person must have gone through to stone the army guys who are coming for rescue after the floods. Haider is an important film and I hope that one day I do feel free to visit J&K, without being scared for my life. At this moment I just feel like taking a impromptu trip to the so-called 'paradise on earth', but I will not, at least not till I am dead sure that I will come back alive. Pardon the word-play.

 A bit about the film, without giving away any spoilers. This is Shahid Kapoor's career best. I will not be surprised if he wins ALL the 'Best Actor' awards for 2014.  Basharat Peer has co-written what I think is the most gorgeous tragedy film that I have watched till this date. The casting by Mukesh Chhabra is legendary, and in my book it is his career best as well - though he may disagree. A special mention for the DoP, Pankaj Kumar - he has made Kashmir more stunning than the KF calendar makes the bikini babes look like. Kulbhushan Kharbanda sirKay Kay Menon and Tabu are stellar and no words can justify their presence in Haider.

Gulzar Saab holds a God-like position in my entire existence, so I will not make a fool out of myself by rating his contribution to this film. The original background score of Haider by Vishalji is another highlight in this film - it elevates the film to a divine space. Haider is as close to life as life can get. I cannot stop gushing about how overwhelmed I felt while I was watching it. The ovation came naturally to everybody in the audience. I cried a few tears when the character played by Shraddha requested the one by Shahid to cry. 

The concluding song in the honey-soaked vocals of Rekhaji lends hope and fulfilment to Haider. To  quote Vishalji, "Banane kahaan dete hain, bataiye? Indira Gandhi par nahi banni chahiye film? What a graph! What a beginning, middle, end! Bananey denge? Nahi bananey denge. Phir hoga ki jaise woh chahte hain, waise... Take Nehruji ki story. Kitni colourful life hai, kitni committed life hai. Aadmi swaraj ke liye fight kare toh kya colourful nahi ho sakta? Lekin you can't make a film like that - yahaan toh laathi utha kar maarne ke liye pehle taiyyar rehte hain!"      

I only hope and pray that Vishalji continues to make the films that he believes in. I also hope to write or make ONE film like the ones that he has made. I will die a proud bloke. 


P.S.: IRRFAN in Haider got as grand an entry as superstar Salman Khan in a Salman Khan film. Full taali-seeti moment happened!  

Friday, August 22, 2014

"Passport ka mujhe kya karna hai?"

Ever since I first lost the chance to go for a trip abroad (Back in the call centre days), my mother has been behind my life to get a passport. I don't know when or why it started, but I had developed an allergy for everything sarkari. Every time my mother brought up this dreaded topic, I would either change the subject, or hang up pretending network disturbance or some such.

There were many phases in my life, where I was told by friends and well-wishers that I should get a passport made for myself. My only answer to them was - "Passport ka mujhe kya karna hai?" Thanks to the fact that how insignificant my existence was, it strengthened my resolve to not get a passport for myself ever.

Forget about leaving the country, I had decided that I wouldn't even leave Yari Road. Now things have come to a stage that I don't even leave my study, till it's a matter of rum or cigarettes. Passport? Naah. One of my ex-colleagues had once conned me into getting a PAN Card a few years ago. I hated him. I even lost the PAN Card… twice. After a while I never even bothered to get it reissued. I didn't even need it. As it is I don't make more money than those at the traffic signal, and if they don't bother to have one, why would I need one? Fair enough? Rani didn't think so.

Of late, mostly all good things in my life have happened whenever / wherever / however Rani was involved. One fine evening, she thought that I really needed to get my PAN Card re-issued. She convinced me that REALLY I needed to or else bad things would happen. Just before she could tell me that my Sholay DVD would be eaten by a lizard, I succumbed.  She dragged me around a bit, thankfully Rani filled the forms… Lo & behold… even before I could spell 'Ramgarh', I had a shiny new PAN Card. I hated the damn thing. My pic on it was horrible. I looked like a love child of Gabbar Singh & Kaalia in it. Shudder!

Anyway, life moved on and I successfully managed to hide the shiny new 'sarkari' acknowledgement of my fiscal existence under the carpet. Till one day my parents and Rani decided that I should get a passport for myself. KABOOM! That was that. Since that day, Rani's only concern was that I should get a passport. Initially I did the usual - the sulking, the bickering, the sobbing etc. But how long will Basanti not dance in front of Gabbar? I succumbed again, this was two years ago, one unfortunate evening; I agreed. I told upfront that I am not filling any forms and not standing in any queues. Hah!

Our girl being the 'pro form filler' that she is, filled the forms before the 'Ye dosti' song ends in the beginning of Sholay. But I had not played raw bullets; I did everything in the book to avoid going to the wretched Passport Seva Kendra (PSK). I kept postponing it till very recently. I managed to avoid this whole passport affair for more than two years. Till now I had lost a bunch of opportunities to fly away from India, so what if it was for a holiday or a location recce even. The dreaded 'Passport' made a comeback into my otherwise peaceful life.

So my first trip to the PSK was short - the guy at the counter looked at me, told me, "Passport ka aapko kya karna hai?" and politely asked me to bugger off. Second trip was shorter - The security guys sent me back because I was eight minutes late. Deep down inside my joy knew no bounds. I could fake such short trips to the PSK and nobody would even know. As they say in French, "Dil dehlaane ke liye Ramu ye khayal bahut achcha hai." Rani decided enough was enough. I overheard her talking to some Mr. Modi and threatening him of dire consequences. Last I heard her screaming to that man on the phone, "KEYRUN NEEDS A GODDAMN PASSPORT *beep*!"

Yeah, so a few days later I am told by Rani that I have an appointment at the PSK. It happened on the sly. I didn't even have time to prepare excuses etc. I even tried to fake a seizure, but by now Rani knew me far too well. So I was sent off to the PSK one more time, and this time nobody judged me as they usually did. Not the security guard, not the guy who checks the documents. On the contrary they were all very nice to me. One of the staff members even offered me 'Jalani jaljeera', which I politely declined.  All I had to do the whole day was sit pretty, twiddle my thumbs, play games on my phone, look around and judge people, and feel sad for the bawling kids who came attached to their parents.

So that was the story of the day. I came out of the PSK with a piece of paper which read: Passport: granted. I didn't know to laugh or cry.  I called my mom, and she sounded very pleased by Rani's accomplishment. Huh? What? I stood / sat / sulked / yawned / burped / gallivanted at the PSK for a good six hours of my life doing NOTHING AT ALL & the credit went to Rani?  That easy? Fokat ke poore pachaas hazaar? Just HOW is this FAIR? You guys tell me! Tell me oh khuda!  Somebody?

So yeah, if you guys want anything done, you know who to call. And I am not talking about Mr. Modi.

Chalo now somebody fly me out to someplace exotic…

Thanks in advance.

Chance pe dance.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ek khwaab maara kal...

A Keyrun Rao original

Ek khwaab maara kal,
Toh thodi si zindagi jaagi,
Bujhi hui saans se meri
Prem ki nayi dhun laagi.

Fateh ka shauq raha nahin
Sab aur dhadkanein bhaagi
Jab haar diya tha sab maine
Prem ki ek nayi dhun laagi.

Ek dost maine maara kal,
Nafrat mein mohabbat jaagi,
Thandi padi uski laash mein
Bas akela roya main abhaagi

Yaari ka shauq ab raha nahin
Dekh li maine sab duniyadaari
Kandhon par laashein uthti hain
Us laash se hain aansuein bhaari

Ek muskaan maine maara kal,
Un honton par dehshat si jaagi
Marr gaya maarta hua wo qaatil
Poori soyi thodi aankhein jaagi…

Bahut hans liya aisa lagta tha
Kitna jiya tha, dil sulagta tha
Qatl kar ke dil halka hua mera
Us pal se sab ujaala lagta tha...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dhuein se rishtey ab nahin hain...

A Keyrun Rao original

Baadalon sa dhuaan chhaaya hua tha
Us pyaar se woh ghabraaya hua tha
Sach bann ke barsa wo baadal us pe
Us din woh akela ghabraya sa hua tha

Pyaar ke mausam se dara hua wo pyaasa
Lahu se gaadhe aansoo baha raha tha
Ishq ki garmi bhi thandi ho chali thi ab
Dard mein ab aasraa paana chaahta tha

Dhuein se rishtey toh ab rahey nahin hain
Uske sapne aag mein jal rahey nahin hain
Hansne ka ab bada mann karta hai uska
Apne maut se bhi usko koi darr nahin hai

Chaandni mein dhula rishta badal gaya usko
Gehrey andheron ne barson paala tha jisko
Aaj khush hai, bewakoofon si muskaan hai
Har kisi ne hamesha hi tha thukraaya jisko

Wo badnaseeb ek nayi ghazal likh raha hai
Apne liye wo ek naya khwaab dekh raha hai
Aaj phir uski band aankhon ko tum na kholo
Nayi ek raah par woh banjaara chal raha hai

Dhuein se rishtey toh ab rahey nahin hain
Us ke sapne to aaj nikhar-sawar gaye hain
Ek baar phir aaj hansna-muskaana hai usko,
Uski bas khwaabon si zindagi bachi hai...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Taaron ki jamaad bann gayi...

A Keyrun Rao Original.

Tum bheed se bas nikle hi they shaayad
Har roz meri nayi kahaani bann gayi
Ek din tum jo zaraa jamm ke chamke
Saari hi qaaynaat ab sharaabi bann gayi

Ab toh taaron ki jamaad bann gayi hai
Aasmaan  aaj sharaab bann gaya hai
Ek ghoont tum utaar kar dekho saaqi
Sawaal  bhi aaj jawaab bann gaya hai

Dekha tha bas kuchh pal ke liye tujhko
Teri aankhein ab meri jaan bann gayi
Tujhsa dekha nahin hai aur koi maine
Teri raahein ab meri toofaan bann gayi

Saans lo kuchh aur pal, aur thoda jee lo
Tere hone ki baat nahin bachi shaayad
Koi meethi si baat aaj tum bhi kar lo
Sard lamhe aaj mere bhi yaad kar lo

Tum bheed bas nikle hi they shaayad
Har roz jaisi meri kahaani bann gayi
Teri muskaan itni pyaari thi kya kahoon
Ab mere jeevan ki nishaani bann gayi

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dhadkan be-awaaz hai tere bina

Jeena mujhe ab jeene jaisa nahin lagta
Akela hona akela hone jaisa nahin lagta
Tanha pehle bhi tha ik zamaane mein
Ab tanha rehna mujhe achcha nahin lagta

Dhadkan be-awaaz hai meri ab tere bina
Zindagi se fariyaad hai mujhe tere bina
Tu na mili hoti toh aisa na hota shaayad
Ab kaise muskaaoon bata main tere bina

Dil ko mere ab sukoon kahin bhi nahin milta
Mere chaman mein koi phool nahin khilta
Banajar hai khayal saare, sooni galiyaan hain
Jaise kisi sharaabi ko maikhaana nahin milta

Dhadkan be-awaaz hai meri ab tere bina
Zindagi se fariyaad hai mujhe tere bina
Laut ke aaja jaldi se tu paas mein mere
Ya bata de kaise rahoon main tere bina

Tere paas hone ki baat hi kuchh niraali hai
Gehri-andheri raaton mein bhi Diwali hai
Khushi ka matlab jaana hai maine tujhse hi
Tere bina chaandni raat bhi meri kaali hai

Dhadkan be-awaaz hai meri ab tere bina
Zindagi se fariyaad hai mujhe tere bina
Phir se mil mujh ko tab dikhaoonga main
Kaise banjar hai mera gulistaan tere bina

Duur na ja mujhse kisi bhi wajah se
Bina tere itna adhoora hoon main    
Jaise koi naami shaayar bina ghazal
Bas sang tere hi aaj poora hoon main

Dhadkan be-awaaz hai meri ab tere bina
Maut se bhi parhez hai mujhe tere bina
Kuchh bhi achcha nahin lagta hai mujhko
Suraj ho ya chaand sab bewajah hai tere bina

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mukesh Chhabra: Kya karoon sab ko aati nahi mujhe film banani aati nahin.

From where I see the way Bollywood functions, the toughest job here is to be a casting director. If you happen to be Mukesh Chhabra, only God or the love of your awesome mother can save you. I had the fortune of meeting the casting whiz, Mukesh Chhabra approx two years ago.

It was a little more than just a brief interview meeting that happened at Chai Coffi for By the end of the conversation, Mukesh promised to cast for my debut film as a writer and I promised to write a film that he might like to direct some day. We were obviously unaware that it was just a dream. Something that happens at such networking places 34 times a minute.

That meeting or interview (call it what you will) meant so many things to me at so may levels.

Here I was sitting opposite a guy who had Anurag Kashyap, Imtiaz Ali and Raju Hirani on his speed dial, and here I was, a rookie nobody who just wanted to make or write films. Mukesh Chhabra is one mad man, one of those who might jump out of an auto rickshaw shouting that the bloody flight has caught fire or some such. You can't make sense of what he said or did. His sense of humour might get him jailed for all we know, but today is his birthday. One of the nicest guys you could meet at Araam Nagar, the doors of his office are always open, no matter who you are.

Having had the proximity to work from one of his office, I can say for sure that he has a gazzillion visitors. Right from those who came fresh from the gym or those who have just stepped out of the set of Nukkad or Buniyaad a decade or two ago. Everybody wants to meet Mukesh Chhabra, if only for a few minutes. Mukesh barely looks at them, as he knows that he will know who to cast for that unsuspecting role. He just knows his craft at the back of his hand. Don't even get me started about his team, it's simply awesome!

Many people come knocking at Mukesh Chhabra's office door… struggling actors, producers, directors and the entire gamut. Even writers like me. He is just a nice guy who doesn't seem to know when to say 'No'. He encourages everybody, he entertains fungi who don't even recognise him. Read the texts he gets on his mobile phone, you might feel suicidal…  The most talented folks who are now out of jobs think that Chhabra will get them THAT elusive break.

I am just feeling lucky that I got to spend some good time with Mukesh Chhabra. He is one of the few people here who ensure that you are not going hungry or you don't have enough money to spend on this Diwali, just because he spent one festive season with just Rs. 50.00 on him many years ago. It is his birthday today and he is known to fight for actors like Rajkummar Rao and make others come to the limelight just because he can.

The talents that he has discovered are now driving around in the fanciest cars in town and are getting awards that actors get when they perhaps are on their death bed.  On his birthday, I just wish that our brother, Mukesh Chhabra continues to get the love and the recognition that his hard work deserves.  While we continue to make jokes about misfit actors being cast for roles they do not deserve, Mukesh Chhabra is going out of his way, trying to cast the best of the lot.

On this awesome day, I just hope that Mukesh Chhabra wakes up to his higher calling. Will Mukesh make films? Will he continue to cast brilliant actors for awesome roles? Will he break out from being a casting director to something that will get him more glory? I have no idea. I am just rooting for a mother who wants her son to be a lot more famous than the prodigies her son has just discovered. I still remember Chhabra's mother recently telling me, "Beta, woh khud ko chance kab dega?"

It is all about being honest to the moment and your craft and that is what I learned from Mukesh Chhabra. He gave me the inertia to type 'The End' on the script that I was writing, but our journeys are different… who knows…   Thank you for being there, maalik…

Let us make that film some time soon…