Author Archives: Abhi

Theek Hai? Asks the PM

No, it’s not Theek Hai dear PM. Certainly not on Twitter after your address to the nation.

Tweeples did not take your Theek Hai question lightly sir, and they have their own reasons.  You addressed the nation on Monday and #Theek Hai is still trending!

Jotted down a few tweets with the hashtag Theek Hai-

Chetan Bhagat ?@chetan_bhagat

Madam, madam sorry madam, maine aise hi pooch liya #theekhai? Aage se will stick to the script. Theek hai? Oops madam, sorry..hello? hello?

Karan Johar ?@kjohar25

Silence is truly golden if the spoken word is rusted and needs drastic polishing!!! #theekhai

Vikram Chandra ?@vikramchandra

In most countries these days you can only lead if you are a good communicator. Look at Obama. In India, #TheekHai.

SUHEL SETH ?@suhelseth

When will #TheekHai and Valdmir Putin meet? At the PM’s home or on a Whiteline bus?

Sudhanshu Verma ?@Sudhanshulogy

I love this hashtag #TheekHai at least some credit to MMS for a change 😛

6 @rahulbagati: Ofcourse @PMOIndia made a blunder. He missed the “MADAM” after #theekhai

@digvijaya_420 ?@diggyleaks Spine doesn’t grow on trees. #TheekHai

Ronnie Screwvala ?@RonnieScrewvala

#Theekhai. A lackadaisical attitude isn’t going to pacify an angry country. We must act as a whole to make India a safe place for everyone.

@sonalkalra: First the govt blocks roads, then suspends ppl for reaching late. Dimaag #TheekHai?

10 The UnReal Times ?@TheUnRealTimes

That #TheekHai thing was on purpose. Dr. Singh wanted to bring a smile to people’s faces and dissipate the tension.

11 Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) pointed out: “If sabTheekHai, there’d be no reason for you to speak @PMOIndia. Wish words seemed as if they came from the heart & not from sheet of paper.”

12 sudhir tailang ?@sudhirtailang

#TheekHai ? My PM cartoon. #DelhiGangRape

(*img source – Hindu)

We don’t care anymore!

Mumbai, October 20, 2011 at 10:30 pm: Keenan Santos, his girlfriend, Reuben Fernandez and a few other friends were returning after having dinner at a regular restaurant when a few local goons started harassing the women in their group. Keenan and Reuben protested but they didn’t know that these goons would come back with 17 other men carrying knives, bamboos and daggers. They mercilessly stabbed Keenan and Reuben, no not in some remote or isolated locality but in front of 50 eye witnesses who did nothing to stop the goons.

Guwahati, July9, 2012: A mob of 20 men molest a teenager in the heart of the city in front of a large crowd who stood like statues doing nothing but watching the heinous act. Then there were those who shot the incident and if reports are to be believed instigated the crowd to molest, beat and tear apart the girl’s clothes. After shooting the entire act for 30 mins they uploaded it on the web and ran the news on their channel.

West Bengal, Aug 27, 2012 – A man was beheaded on a train by 4-5 armed goons. They pounced upon the victim with sickles and beheaded him. The panicky passengers pulled the chain and fled. The head was recovered from below the seat.

It’s no question that the people who committed these heinous crimes should be punished severely but what about those who stood by and did nothing? If you ask me I would say punish them as well. Just imagine if a couple of bystanders in Mumbai on the night of October 20 would have mustered some courage and took on those goons then may be Keenan and Reuben would not have lost their lives. And what about those who watch a girl being molested and shoot the entire incident and then upload it on Youtube?

 

Call it bystander effect (which predicts that the larger the group of people who witness a crime the less likely it is anyone will take action) that prevents people from intervening to help someone or the sadist attitude that makes the crowd join in and escalate the incident. I find my cortisol level shooting through the roof every time I read about gruesome crimes committed in public view. Some blame it on the modernization of the society that teaches people to strive for independence and stay out of other people’s business. To this, I disagree.  What about gang rape of women in the remotest villages or the attempted sati in rural Rajasthan which is untouched by the modern world?  The only reason I blame modern world and science is not able to find cure for the worst evil i.e the apathy of human beings. Some say that onlookers don’t want to get involved because they fear the after-effects.

One of my colleagues told me “Do you know why people don’t help when they witness an accident? Because when you take an accident victim to the hospital, you will be the one whom the hospital staff and police will bother the most. You have to keep on visiting the police station until and unless the case is closed, face grueling questions and much more. So, why get involved at all.” Then I told him “put yourself or one of your family members in the victim’s place and then think about the bothering part you just now uttered.”

Then there was someone who said “you can’t live with hatred and anger…it’s better that you forget what you witnessed and stay content thinking that you couldn’t stop the crime just by yourself”. Yeah! It’s all about forgiveness and peace when it comes to others…when it comes to witnessing 5-6 goons beheading a man in front of you…when it comes  to men hitting women in streets. But what happens when it comes to you? This quote from Martin Niemöller could be the answer –
When the Nazis came for the communists,I remained silent;I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,I remained silent;I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,I did not speak out;I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,I remained silent;I wasn’t a Jew.
When they came for me,there was no one left to speak out.

 

 

(img source-blog.lib.umn.edu)

 

My First Toastmasters Speech

Sorry for not updating the blog regularly! Today thought of sharing my first toastmasters speech with all of you. So, here it goes

Hello Everyone! Today I will be talking about myself. But I don’t want it to be boring by saying I was born in Kolkata, I am a KVite, I did my BA in English etc etc. You can get all this information on my resume or on my Linkedin profile. Today I will be talking about Me and how this real ME is at work.

I have been working as an editor for the last 4 years which is 1460 days. So, basically for the last 1460 days I have been sitting with a pair of scissors and cutting out the fluff and telling my writing team that punctuation saves lives. For example, let’s eat grandma and let’s eat, grandma! Courtesy to this job, I now think I am becoming a grammar Nazi. But Nazi isn’t something that I would like to associate myself with. So, I believe I am someone whom god has parceled from heaven- packed in a beautiful cardboard box, taped it well and labeled as ‘ Open Only If you Know the difference Between Who’s And Whose Or Else It Might Be Dangerous To Open’.

Jokes apart, today I am about to tell you a secret that’s related to all the writing I need to do at work.  It’s a dark secret and no one knows about it. I trust you guys so I am sharing this secret with you hoping that you won’t update it on your facebook.

My job involves writing, editing, rewriting, re-editing but in between these I try my best to inspire my creativity. But inspiring creativity is not an easy job. It’s like someone is piling heavy weight on you…like big concrete blocks one on top of the other and you have to keep  holding them no matter how tired or strained you are.

Some of the greatest poets, painters, novelists are known to rely on drugs and alcohol to get inspiration. So, why should I be left behind? I am also addicted to drugs…they are bright colored pills known as –

 

1)      Zany Pills – sometimes when I am writing I get stuck in the middle due to lack of new ideas. The first thing I do is I stop writing. Then I try to touch my nose with my tongue, move one eye in clock-wise movement and the other one in an anti-clock wise movement, tap my fingers on table and make them move like a wave. I know these are all weird ideas but when the going gets tough the weird get pro.

2)      Tom Cruise Pills – Day dreaming is the best source of inspiration. Unfortunately or fortunately my day dreams start and end at Tom Cruise. I often think about bumping into him in street. The thought itself is rejuvenating. Seriously, if you ask me I don’t know what I will do if I really meet Tom Cruise one day. Probably my eyes will turn googly, my heart will  leap from my chest and may be I will have a mini heart attack! And Mr Cruise won’t even be bothered.

Ok enough of Tom Cruise now! On a serious note, you never know where a super idea will come from. Inspiration is everywhere you just need to sharpen your antennas to detect them.

A quote to sum up what according to me creativity is –

“Creativity is working tirelessly to conceive a great idea then courageously smashing it to bits later reassembling it  using fewer pieces with each attempt until genius emerges.”

 

The Death of a Bus Conductor/ Ek Bus Conductor ki Maut

 

 

Once there was a bus conductor, who was very rude to his passengers.

One day a beautiful young girl, of around 18 years tried to board the bus, but he didn’t stop the bus. Unfortunately the beautiful young girl came under the bus and died on the spot. Angry passengers took the conductor to the police station, who in turn took him to the court.

The judge was not at all impressed with him and gave him capital punishment.

He was taken to the electrocution chamber. There was a single chair in the center of the room and a single banana peel at one corner of the room. The conductor was strapped to the chair and high voltage current was given to him. But to everyone’s amazement, he survived. The judge decided to set him free, and he returned to his profession.

After a few months, this time, a good looking middle aged woman tried to board the bus but the conductor didn’t stop the bus. Unfortunately, this time also, the good looking middle aged woman came under the bus and died on the spot.

Again angry passengers took him to the police station, who in turn took him to the court. The judge took one look at the conductor and gave him capital punishment. The Bus conductor was taken to the same electrocution chamber where there was a single chair in the center of the room and a single banana peel at one corner of the room. He was strapped to the chair and high voltage current was given to him. This time also, to everyone’s amazement, he survived. The judge decided to set him free, and he returned to his profession.

A couple of months later, an elderly gentleman tried to board the bus.

This time the Bus conductor, remembering his earlier experiences, stopped the bus. Unfortunately the elderly gentleman slipped and died due to his
injuries. The conductor was taken to the police station and then to the court, to the same judge. Though he hadn’t done anything wrong, but considering his past record the judge decided to set an example and gave him capital punishment.

The Bus conductor was again taken to the same electrocution chamber where there was a single chair in the center of the room and a single banana peel at one corner of the room. He was strapped to the chair and high voltage current was given to him.

This time he died instantly !!!!!!!!!!!

The question is why didn’t he die on the first two occasions, but died instantly the third time??

Try to solve it yourselves. This is rather interesting and answer is perfectly logical. If necessary read the puzzle once again.

Still couldn’t? Then see below………

Think hard

C’mon ………….

Tired….?

Wanna know the answer????

Ok…….. here is the Answer…………

During the first two times, the conductor was a Bad Conductor, therefore electricity didn’t pass through him. But during the third time, he was a good conductor, so electricity passed through him freely and he died !!!! 😀 😛

(Received this via email)

Kindle is Kind & Amazon is Amazing

Last Sunday at 11:30 am my life was divided into two parts – life with kindle and life without kindle. It all happened when my handbag fell down. The bag was unzipped and the kindle was in it. And then came the sound – the sound of broken glass. I picked it up and saw the screen. It was broken. Yes, I knew it but still tried to restart the kindle several times hoping that it would get OK. But every effort of mine was wasted as the screen did not return to normal.

With a gasp I kept staring at the kindle. I had no clue how to fix the screen! Several questions popped into my head – how do I replace the broken screen? How will I send the kindle to Amazon for the repair? Will Amazon repair it? And the last big question – Why did I leave the bag open?

With all these questions churning inside me I logged into my Amazon account and emailed them. When you are having a bad day, you are really having a bad day. With my mind completely absorbed into fixing the broken kindle screen I completely forgot about the egg curry I’d left on the gas. So, my Sunday was not so funday with a broken kindle plus a half burnt lunch.

Anyways, on Monday I got an email from the Kindle Support Team asking me to call them. I phoned them but the number was of Amazon’s UK team. The person from the support team listened to the problem and transferred the call to the US team. Well, it’s because their US team handles all the global problems/queries whereas the UK team is only for the UK Kindle owners. Well, there were a few times when the phone line at my end got disconnected but at the third attempt I could talk to the US Kindle Support Team.

I explained the problem to them – the top half of the screen showed portion of a screensaver and the bottom half displayed the text. The text was getting updated when I turned the pages but the top half was showing the screensaver. (As you can see in the pic)

Amazon’s entire process of handling the problem was very organized. My Kindle was covered by warranty and the support team said that they would send me a replacement in a week. Well, they sent me the replacement in 4 days…from USA to India! One word to describe Amazon’s service is – Amazing.  Now all I have to do is to send my old Kindle back to them.

After this Kindle episode and the way Amazon’s Kindle team dealt with it I am now an out- and-out Amazon fan!

Why Did God Create Arnab Goswami? The Nation Debates On Twitter !

Why God Created Arnab Goswami? The Nation Debates On Twitter

God created Heaven and Earth. Now, the nation debates on Twitter why did He create Arnab Goswami. Take a dekko!

After creating this complex world, GOD was worried that who will decide what is right and what is wrong? So, HE created Arnab Goswami. – Shailesh Mahanta

I hope the next episode of Satyamev Jayate focuses on how Arnab Goswami has been terrorising the country for years. – Lindsay Pereira

‘Why? Why? The nation demands an answer!’ — Arnab Goswami to waiter at Shiv Sagar, after being told the idlis are over.-
Lindsay Pereira

Arnab Goswami was created to balance Manmohan Singh’s silence – Frootifer Vajpayee ?

If Arnab Goswami and Dolly Bindra get married.. Their kid would be d most advanced sound system ever built on d planet, noe? #Zoke – SS Sodhi

Arnab Goswami is trending.. ‘Why? Why? The nation demands an answer!’ – Ebin

Ecological Balance : One Manmohan Singh for every Arnab Goswami – Against_Pseudos

Arnab Goswami calls Vishwanathan Anand Czar of Cricket World, in chess you call that ‘Check-yourknowledge-Mate’ – SHAWNN ARRANHA

Arnab Goswami should change his twitter Bio from ‘Fearless’ Journalist to ‘Hearless’ Journalist. #EnoughSaid – Eccentricandhow

Arnab Goswami has decided to keep ‘maun vrat’ on 30th Feb. The day would be observed as World Peace day – Ramesh Menon

Annu Mallik and Arnab Goswami are long-lost bros. #Ramesh-Suresh #Ram-Shyam. – Jerry Tommy

If you ever see a picture of Arnab Goswami with a closed mouth, that camera has a good sutter speed and #YouKnowItsMadeInChina – Prakhar Gupta

Arnab Goswami ko CID mein dalo. “Times now investigates” – Blahhh

Wish there was an android app to keep arnab goswami quiet… wud be bigger than saving battery life or angry birds – Mind wellness mantra

Rajinikanth once completed his sentence in an Arnab Goswami interview. – Archana Dalmia

Breaking News: Arnab Goswami insures his throat and neck for 50 crore rupees – Faking News

To calculate the longest Arnab Goswami has ever paused, Mathematicians r working on a device that can record time in nanoseconds – Vikram Bhalla

Petrol Price In India – What Are Facebookers and Tweeples Talking?

Yesterday after the steepest ever hike in petrol prices ( by Rs 7.54 a litre) the social media networking sites were abuzz with photos, tweets and FB posts – all in their own way protesting the hike and whining over the badti mehengai .  One of the social networking sites had people sharing all kinds of funny, weird, sarcastic  or whatever you like to term it- pictures over the petrol price hike.

1

After the petrol hike Batman rides over Superman!

2

After a Rs 7.50 /litre hike petrol bharvana = kuch daring karna. You know just like the Thums up ad!

(img source- roflindia)

3

A future prediction on how the way we commute is going to change.

4

In the near future SBI will start offering petrol loan!

(img source- Aminotfunny)

5

Not sure as diesel hike is next on the cards!

6

Kya karey petrol ka bhaav maar dale!

(img source- thehindu)

7

8

9

(img source- autojunction.in)

10

11

Petrol in Sachet! The future?

(img source- clubauto)

12

Vin Diesel Vs Petrol! After the petrol price hike obviously it’s Vin Diesel 😀

13

Donkey run on petrol – an alternative mode to commute.

14

15

After the petrol hike, it won’t be car thieves but petrol thieves bothering us!

16

Petrol price hike and the engagement effect!

17

Birthday gift after the petrol price hike.

Tweets on Petrol Hike

  • Sid Mallya says out of court settlement with the molestation victim wasn’t financial in any way. Maybe they paid in #petrol.

By Faking News

  • Ashish Nehra’s parents have exchanged him for 4Lts of Petrol. By Fake IPL Player
  • Remember the car in Back to the Future? Accelerate, reach 88 MPH & it goes back in time. Then you can fill it with cheap petrol & come back.

By Rajneesh Kapoor

  • Petrol up Rs 7.5 : Pump attendent – ‘Kitne ka daloon ?’ ! Mumbaikar – ‘2-4 rupye ka car ke upar spray kar de bhai, jalana hai !!’

By Amitabh Bacchan

  • I am told Arnab Goswami wants BJP to roll back petrol prices hiked by Congress. He desperately needs time off.

By Kanchan Gupta

  • People are dying because of Petrol price hike and going to heaven but Abhishek Bachchan is not leaving them in peace there also.

By Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

  • Petrol is now so costly Bappi Lahiri is replacing all the Gold on his body with bottles of Petrol

By Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

  • Breaking: Mannapuram to come up with new product Mannapuram Petrol
  • Loan #petrol

By Unrealtimes

  • Like Mary Antoinette, the Queen would say, “If these desis can’t afford petrol, let them buy champagne”.

By Kanchan Gupta

  • Please do not smoke at a petrol pump. Your life is cheap. Petrol isn’t.

Mihir S Bijur

  • May ur Happiness incrse lyk the Petrol Price. ur Sorrows fall lyk d Indian Rupee. & Joy fil ur Heart lyk Corruption in INDIA.

By Mohit

  • Sardar ji, petrol ki price ek bilan choti kar do.

By Rashmi Dadlani

  • “Drink and Drive” should not be a problem now. After all, how many will be able to afford alcohol and petrol on the same day.

By Maninder Virk

  • Chennai Super Kings and Petrol both are trending on Twitter because nobody wants them to move up!

By Preet Jain

  • Beti:- Mom He Is Just A Friend.. Maa:- Humne Duniya Dekhi Hai Beta, 2 Litre #Petrol Jalaake Ghar Aanewala Just A Friend Nahi Hota!

By Abhijeet Patil

  • Ladies!!! Dreaming for a man to come riding on a white horse? Thanks to the #petrol price hike. Now, that is possible!

By Ashish D’Souza

  • Dear Father-In-Law, Deeply Regret taking a Car in Dowry, Plz Take Your Daughter or Car Back. Can’t Afford Both 😛

By Sshail

  • The Monk who sold his ferrari knew about the petrol hike..

By Ranvijay Singha

  • Amazing India ,we have the world’s cheapest car and the world’s costliest petrol

By Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

How much fairness is required to be confident, good looking & happy?

Beauty is inside! That’s what we are supposed to believe. But how far this inside is? Till your private parts, is it? A 25 second TV commercial for  Clean & Dry Intimate Wash – a  hygiene product that keeps your private parts clean , dry and makes it brighter gives the adage ‘beauty is only skin deep’ a new perspective.

The TV advert that shows a depressed couple – the wife with a worried face passes the chai to her husband who doesn’t even look at her as he’s busy reading/ pretending to read a newspaper. She’s lost in her thoughts and then just like the fairy godmother who transformed Cinderella into the belle of the ball, Clean & Dry Intimate Wash transforms the drab and unhappy couple to a happy and loving one. You see the wife jumping on a couch, grabbing the car keys from the table and very seductively putting the keys inside her shorts! And what next? The husband takes her in his arms and they live happily ever after!

Yes, that’s what fairness creams are supposed to do! They are supposed to make your face, hands & neck fair, lovely and beautiful, but now they can lighten the skin tone around your private parts as well.

I have no problems with a TV advert that markets a hygienic product designed to keep your private parts clean and infection free.  What I oppose is the additional benefit of brightening the darkened skin around your private parts.

A poll conducted by online matrimonial site shaadi.com in 2009 showed that skin color is one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a partner. So, it’s not just men looking for fair brides but women also want their husbands to be fair and handsome!

My Question – with the introduction of Clean & Dry Intimate Wash would men now look for brides who have fair private parts? And will that be a criteria mentioned in the matrimonial ads! Something like – Wanted Fair Bride With Fair Private Parts! And in near future are we going to see something of this kind that would cater to the male consumers as well?

Well jokes apart, a major chunk of India’s population is super obsessed with fair skin! The high value of fair skin has resulted in the market for fairness creams and bleaches touching Rs 2,000 crore. Of this, fairness creams account for approximately Rs 1,800 crore, while bleaches make up about Rs 200 crore of the market pie.

There’s a market hence there’s a demand for the product! It’s not as if these companies are forcing us to buy fairness creams. The demand or prejudices for fair skin was already there…it’s just meeting with the demands. So, why blame the companies or the fairness ads that show beauty and confidence aren’t beyond colors.

Or is it that these adverts are deliberately playing with the insecurities that we already have and are constantly throwing messages that ‘fair is beautiful’ at us; or may be deep down inside we believe that fairness =handsome/ beautiful;  fairness = a way to become successful in life etc etc?

Fairness Cream TV Ads That Say Dark = Ugly & Lack Of Confidence

Do you remember a Fair & Lovely ad with the tagline ‘Fair & Lovely – Ab Manzil Saaf Dikhen’, featuring Aditi Sharma? After she starts using the fairness cream she wins the cycle competition and becomes the brand ambassador of a sports company or whatever. What does fairness has to do with winning a cycle competition? Seriously how much shit can a viewer take?

And who can forget the derogatory Air Hostess Ad. It shows a father regretting having only a daughter single handedly providing for the family and still not earning enough. Then we see the daughter – a dark skinned girl wearing shabby clothes! The idea was to portray the fact that the girl was dark and hence could not get a decent job. The girl then uses Fair & Lovely and gets an air hostess job and makes her father happy! After a lot of row the ad was taken off the air.


Fairness Creams For Men


Why should girls have all the fun? Right! So, comes the fairness creams for men. Yes, gone are the days when women used to dream about tall, dark and handsome men. Nowadays women don’t even look twice at men who are dark skinned!! That’s what Shah Rukh Khan wants us to believe! It all started since the metrosexual trend kicked in. Men started taking care of their appearance – going for manicure, pedicure, eyebrows, facials, spa and yes the desire of having a light skin tone. Which is why one can see a huge list of fairness creams particularly for men – Emami’s Fair And Handsome, Hindustan Unilever’s Fair and Lovely Menz Active, Nivea for Men Whitening Moisturiser and Nivea for Men Multi-White Whitening Facial Foam, Elder HealthCare’s Fair One Man Cream and Garnier India’s Men’s Powerlight range that also includes a face wash and moisturiser.

I am quoting from a 2010 newspaper report – According to a report, the men’s fairness products market is estimated at nearly $40 million and is growing at a rate of 25 per cent, while the women’s fairness market is growing at 7 to 8 per cent.

Why do men want to be fair skinned?

They think women like fair men? Or do they think fairness equates to good looks which enhances one’s confidence? Academics like socio-psychologist, Prof Shallini Bharat, from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, speaking to the BBC recently, revealed that this complex among men of some Asian countries could be a legacy inherited from the colonial rulers or dating even further back in time, to the Aryans. “Our rulers have always been fair, be it the Aryans in the early centuries or Europeans in later years. Fairness is equated with superiority, power and influence, therefore the preference for lighter skin.”

So, are these fairness creams an ideal solution to end the misery of the people who are dark skinned? Is fairness equal to beauty? Is fairness = superiority? If you ask me, I would say NO! I refuse to endorse and embrace ignorance! But sadly there aren’t many who can see beauty in all skin tones.

Darjeeling – Films, Romance, Songs and much more!

I have a favorite song for every situation! When I am driving particularly in heavy traffic or on hot days when waiting for the traffic light to change seems eternal I love to listen to “Kasto Mazaa hai railei ma”. The song has a breezy and a real retro feel to it and it makes me want to get out of my car and hop into the toy train Saif was travelling in, chugging through the gorgeous mountainside, taking in the scenic wonders of Darjeeling and feeling the cool breeze in my face.

For those who love the 70s will argue that Saif’s mom who sat by the window of a toy train and was wooed by Rajesh Khanna who was in a jeep and was chasing her singing “Mere Sapno Ki Rani Kab Aayegi Tu” was more romantic, melodic and catchy.  BTW if you didn’t know- Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna were not even in the same frame or same city while they were shooting this super romantic number. Sharmila Tagore couldn’t make it to Darjeeling, thus, only Rajesh Khanna’s portions in the song were shot in Darjeeling showing him driving the jeep across the hills. (img source – tehelka)

And for the 60s fans the ultimate toy train romance song would be the peppy number “Main Chali Main Chali” picturized on Bollywood’s ultimate romantic hero Shammi Kapoor and Kalpana in the movie “Professor”. The majority of the rom-com flick was shot in the picturesque town of Darjeeling.

The Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila’s toy train romance reminds many of  the evergreen romantic hero Dev Anand, singing “Jiya o Jiya o Kuch Bol Do” from the roof of a car moving alongside the toy train to Darjeeling, to woo Asha Parkeh, who is on the train.

It’s kind of difficult to zero in on any particular song and term it as the most romantic toy train song shot in Darjeeling! But there’s one thing that every fan would agree – and that is Bollywood loves Darjeeling!

The latest hype around Mahesh Bhatt’s interview where he said that he might shoot parts of the sequels to blockbusters Jism and Jannat amidst the breathtaking natural beauty of Drajeeling bears the testimony to what I said – Bollywood loves Darjeeling and it just can’t get enough of it.

Recently Anurag Basu shot for his upcoming flick Barfee starring Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra in Darjeeling. The locales include Tindharia, Bhotey Bustee, Hotel Windamere, Chowrasta and the Planters Club in Darjeeling.  A big budget film of this sort starring mega stars like Kapoor and Chopra will undoubtedly play an important role in boosting Darjeeling tourism.

For Kapoor, it appears that he fell in love with the place. “Darjeeling is an excellent place. I am loving it here” said Ranbir Kapoor in one of his interviews to a leading newspaper in India. The shooting in Darjeeling also gave the young heartthrob to gorge on Tibetan delicacies including Pork Momos, at a local restaurant “Kungas” in Darjeeling. (img source- reviews)

Well, Ranbir Kapoor isn’t the first one from the Kapoor khandaan to fall in love with ‘Queen of Hills’. Dadaji Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor  and dad Rishi Kapoor had shot in Darjeeling as well. Raj Kapoor’s Barsaat which portrayed the love stories of two couples – Raj- Nargis and Prem Nath- Nimmi was shot in the hills.

Shammi Kapoor’s China Town in 1962 also used the beautiful misty locales of Darjeeling. Barsaat ki Ek Raat starring none other than Big B and Rakhee extensively shows Darjeeling and its magical ambience as the story was based on tea gardens. It was shot in Darjeeling Tea Gardens, Tiger Hills and Kalimpong.

The romantic flick Aaye Din Bahar ke (1966) with Dharmendra and Asha Parekh did wonders at the box office and Darjeeling as the backdrop added to the charm of the film. Baharon ki Manzil (1968) amnesia thriller starring Dharmendra, Meena Kumari, Rahman utilized the exquisite scenery of Darjeeling to the most. Mausam (1975), the poignant love story starring Sanjeev Kumar and Sharmila was also shot in Darjeeling.

Bengali Movies Shot in Darjeeling

It’s not only Bollywood but Tollywood is also enamored by the romantic and idyllic locales of Darjeeling. Satyajit Ray’s Kanchenjunga had this magical place as the backdrop. BTW when Ray was shooting for Kanchenjunga Mr Lekh Tandon was there to shoot for Professor starring Shammi Kapoor.

(img source- omarsfilmblog)

The Professor’s unit shared the location with that of Satyajit Ray’s Kanchenjunga. Lekh Tandon reminisces – “I wanted to shoot the song Aawaz de ke hume when it was cloudy, but it didn’t happen. Ray was at the same mountain but jab woh shoot karte thay, badal apne aap aa jaate thay aur hume sooraj milta tha.”

Other Bengali movies been shot in the astonishingly beautiful locales of Darjeeling include – Titli, Darjeeling Darjeeling, Sei Gorkha Chelata, Rono and Vicky, Nine Miles et al.

St Paul’s School in Darjeeling – Popular Shooting Location

Speaking of shooting locales Darjeeling has much to offer – the beautiful hills, dooars and the terai region, the toy train exuding a vintage sort of vibe and much more. The list, however, would not be complete if I don’t mention the revered St Paul’s school.

(img source – exploredarjeeling)

What’s common between  the school scenes where Raju (played by Rishi Kapoor) of Mera Naam Joker gets his first taste of adolescent love and the college scenes showing all the camaraderie, fun, romance and the songs Chale Jaise Hawaein and Kiska Hay Ye Intezaar in Main Hoon Na?  They were shot in St Paul’s school.

The King Khan of Bollywood who starred in Main Hoon Na while shooting in Darjeeling got all nostalgic as it was the same place where he shot for his first Bollywood break – Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman! Remember the song “Dil Hai Mera Deewaana” bidding adieu to Darjeeling riding on a Toy train.

For those who have a special fondness for offbeat movies will remember Bada Din starring Shabana Azmi, Tara Deshpande and droolworthy Marc Robinson. Well, some parts of the movie were shot in St Paul’s school. The school scenes in the movie Do Anjaane starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha were also shot here.

Well, St Paul’s School Darjeeling’s connection to films is not just limited to Bollywood! The beautiful and famed Hollywood actor Vivien Leigh, who played Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, was born in the school campus, in a place which is now known as Dawkins.

Update: Among the latest films Yaariyan starring Himansh Kohli and Rakul Preet Singh was shot in St Joseph’s School, North Point. In an interview the director Divya Khosla Kumar says “The film is set in a boarding school. While researching boarding schools across India, I found the best boarding school in Darjeeling (St Joseph’s School, North Point). I couldn’t take my eyes off that building.”

If you know of any other film shot in Darjeeling then do let me know! I will include it in the post.

Friday the 13th – Fashion Horrors

When I think of Friday the 13th one image that instantly crops up in my mind is of a zombie looking Jason slaughtering teenagers. Gloomy, grim, sinister, bad omen, dark, horror and paraskavedekatriaphobia (which means fear of Friday the 13th) – are the words of this day.

There are typical Friday the 13th Songs and not to forget Friday the 13th horror movies. No, I am not going to list all the mind-numbing, silly horror movies and songs you should watch or listen on this dreaded day. Instead I have something freakier than horror movies for you.

And it’s Fashion Horror! Fashion is good but when it goes wrong it becomes a horror. Don’t believe me then take a look yourself!

(img source-ndtv)

Christina Aguilera you have got everything right! A right body, a right guy then why so wrong gown? Well, she was seen wearing this lacy gown at Grammy Awards 2001.

(img source-msn)

White shoes and the horrendous pink dress reminds me of Govinda. Is Kangana drawing inspiration from Govinda’s sartorial style?

(img source- celebguru)

Lindsay Lohan! LiLo I so liked you in Freaky Friday! But I am not at all liking your freaky too-short shorts. And what’s with the torn top or whatever you want to call it! Didn’t you earn in millions? My 2 cents- spend some money on buying clothes girl.

Britney Spears and the lace dress+body suit. An eye sore!

(img source- zimbio)

Preity Zinta what were you thinking!

(img source – Cosmopolitan)

The name is Erin Wassson, a super model and she doesn’t wear clothes!!

(img source-busybeeblogger)

Sandra Bullock is astonishingly amazing. A great actress, super looker and has a right sartorial sense most of the time (check the image below). But somehow her sartorial style went haywire here.

Rani Mukherjee undoubtedly looks good in sarees. However, she’s also carried out western dresses with elan but not this one.

Lady gaga…do I need to say more?

(img source- ndtv)

(img source- indiaforums)

The parrot Green saree Aishwarya wore in Cannes was ridiculously disgusting.


(img source – posh24)

What’s wrong with Rihanna! The jump suit, gold accessories or the hair color -what’s wrong? I say everything!!

(img source-posh24)

Is Mallika planning to murder us by shocking us right out of our brains?

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