Posts Tagged ‘Jail’

This is a work of fiction. However, any similarity to persons living or dead is purely intentional πŸ™‚
There was a lot of commotion in the women’s barracks in Tihar Jail. The first class rooms were being cleaned and cleared. There was a special guest arriving.
Not that it is unusual for Tihar. Except that this was in the women’s section. There are not as many such special guests in the women’s quarters. Most of the other special guests were men.
Well, there WAS that one lady, who had been there for a while. Ah, finally she will have some company.
In fact, the lady also seemed excited. She was making unusual chatter with the women guards. There was a wide smile on her face. Almost childlike.
And then they heard the noises outside. The cavalcade of cars stopping one after the other. A rush of personnel heading towards the gate. To catch a glimpse of the Rajya Sabha MP making her way into Tihar. Some went to welcome her, some to escort her inside.
After her concierge completed the paperwork and formalities, she was finally escorted to the first class barracks.
Where the other lady was eagerly waiting for her. Constantly looking out in the direction of the door. Almost chewing her nails out. “When will she arrive? Why is she taking so much time?”
And finally, the door opened.
And NR saw Koi waiting at the door. And she almost jumped in joy. The grin on the face was from ear to ear.
And she ran towards Koi, and Koi ran towards NR. There was screaming and shouting, like teenage girls.
And they hugged and gave their air kisses to each other. Muah.. muah..
And they looked at each other, like long lost friends having been reunited.
Oh, what a scene. The female guards who had come to escort Koi into the barracks could scarcely believe the scene they had just witnessed.
And then, after the initial brouhaha had simmered down, NR escorted Koi inside, and they sat down and started chatting.
So many things to talk about, so many things to catch up on.
Koi: “Soooo, how have you been? How’s jail treating you? You seem to have lost weight?”
NR: “Oh, it’s okay. The first few days were tough. Missed my bed, my car, my team, my phone, my office. But slowly, I have got used to it.”
Koi: “But what’s with this weight loss? Don’t they have good food here?”
NR: “No, re. They have a great gym here. And since there are fewer calls to handle, I get all the extra time. So finally managed to do regular work outs that I was never able to do outside. Does not hurt to get into shape, while I am here, no?”
NR: “Don’t worry about the food. There is good choice, and you can order what you want. Some privileges of being in the first class barracks!”
Koi: “Ah, thank God. I need my rasam and idlis. I will die without those.”
NR: “But I am soooo glad to have you here. I was getting thoroughly bored.”
Koi: “You are saying you wanted to see me in jail?”
NR: “No, no.. not like that. I am just glad to have your company. I don’t wish you, nor me, nor any of my loved ones to be here. But now that we are here, we are here. May as well be here with a friend, than with a foe. What say?”
Koi: “Yes, that is right.”
NR: “And we can talk to our heart’s content. After all, there is not much else that we can do here, anyway!”
Koi: “And we don’t even have to worry about tapped phones.. ha ha.. “
NR: “Don’t remind me about that. In fact, pleasssssee don’t mention tapped phones. I have just about come out from regular nightmares about phones and tapping.”

After some more idle chatter, the talk moves on to more serious stuff. Like work!
Koi: “So tell me N, how’s work? While you are here, has work stopped or what?”
NR: “It’s pretty bad. RT and MA want to keep safe distance now. I don’t blame them, you know.”
Koi: “Too bad. Your big two.. wow. That must be tough.”
NR: “I know. Nobody wants to touch my agency with all this baggage.”
Koi: “So.. have you laid off your team or something?”
NR (with a smile): “NO! I manage to stay busy…”
Koi: “But you just said that no one wants to touch your agency..?”
NR: “Well let me answer this the filmi way. Β I know you watch only Tamil films, and that too, mostly the ones starring someone from your family. But I am sure you remember the Yash Chopra classic, Dil To Pagal Hai…”
Koi: “Yes, I do remember. But in response to my question on work, you are giving me an example of a romantic film of Yash Chopra?? Hey N, did you find love in the jail or what??”
NR (laughing heartily): “Nooooo… no such thing. But I like the thought!”
NR: “As they say in that film, there is someone out there meant just for you. And you will find that person/s… “
Koi: “Oh.. that way? Ok.. so whom did you find?”
NR: “Well, you know, due to my tough times, the MAs and the RTs of the world want to keep a distance. Those are the kind who do not want to touch our agency at this time.”
NR: “But then there are others, who need our kind of help, and NO agency is willing to touch them, at this time.. “
NR: “Makes for a perfect match, doesn’t it?!”
Koi: “Ah.. I am sort of getting the idea. So tell me what kind of new work you have picked up?”
NR: “Well, there is SC who wants my help to mediate with his Norwegian partners.. to let him hang on!”
NR: “And there is SB who wants my help to reach Dubai, for some rescue act for him and his partner. After all, his Godfather, SP is also in trouble right now, and not much help to him..”
NR: “And then there is the toughest assignment of all.. “
Koi: “Oh, which one is that?”
NR: “The one who is not even in yet, SK. He needs me to tap my journalist friends, to persuade the GOP to stop now. They have already expelled him, and he wants them to stop there, and not get him here! Although he had “played” sports all his life, he is not really that fit to handle a jail stint.”
Koi: “So why is it that tough?”
NR: “For one, I do not have any journalists friends anymore. No one wants to talk to me, on phone or otherwise! And with so many state elections coming up, the GOP wants nothing to do with SK, and wants to make him the big sacrificial lamb.”
Koi: “So what will you do?”
NR: “Well, they don’t call me the best for nothing, you know. I will figure something out!”
Koi: “Hey, you seem to have your hands full with work, then? Hope you have time for me!”

NR reaches out and gives Koi a nice hug.
NR: “I will ALWAYS have time for you. You are my most loyal client. You were there with me when I was outside, and you have followed me in here, and continue to be with me. Can I EVER abandon you??”

And then, its time for lunch.
The buffet beckoned..

I refer to M/s. Kalmadi, Sheila Dikshit and company!!!

The extent of disaster that we keep seeing and reading about, with regards to the Commonwealth Games, even as we inch closer to the starting date, are a matter of extreme national shame. The country has been led to become a joke in the eyes of the world. It is a different thing that we should have not ventured out to hosting such Games, when we are clearly not capable of doing so. But having taken on the onus, we should have executed satisfactorily.

However, with the humongous budgets having been spent, and yet, all aspects – from sporting facilities, to equipment purchase, to Games Village facilities, to collapsing bridges – it is one shocking embarrassment after another.

It is a national disaster! It does as much damage to the country’s self-respect as someone burning down the country’s flags, or snatching away some part of the our territory, or worse situations of that kind.

And what will happen to the concerned persons? On account of their political clout, will they remain out of limelight for a while, wait for public memory to fade, and come back to power and their corrupt ways??!

In China, if the country’s image had been hurt anywhere like this, the concerned people would have been executed. Perhaps in public too, just to send out a clear message to others.

We are not China, and we cannot do something like this.

But can we do the following to begin with:

1. Put Suresh Kalmadi in jail, for causing extreme damage to the country’s image (even while corruption charges get investigated and established, so that he can stay behind bars for many many years!)

2. Dismiss the Sheila Dikshit government, and make it clear that she has been asked to resign due to pathetic performance

3. Various other ministers concerned, like the sports minister and others, also be asked to resign

Further investigations against many other key officials be done, by a speedy court, and the strictest punishment be given to the people, for causing pain to the entire nation, and damaging the country’s reputation no end!

We need to demand this kind of justice to ensure that we do not have such types of national disasters over and over again!

In the course of my elaborate explanation of eating a Rajdhani Thali, I did share the fact that we saw two movies, back-to-back on the Sunday. Let me quickly share my views on these movies.

I was seeing Jail with a fair bit of expectations, given my general respect for Madhur Bhandarkar, and the type of movies he makes, where he goes deep into a subject, and makes it very informative and usually engrossing also. While I had no doubts that Madhur would give us an excellent understanding of what Jail life is all about, I was hoping that there would be a good story behind it as well. In the past, I have appreciated his Chandni Bar, Corporate and Fashion for having a good mix of both – information and story – but found Page 3 to be more of a documentary. So I was going into Jail with that question in mind.

As it turned out, I was justified in my concern. As expected, Madhur does a fantastic job in showing us the realities of jail life. Far different from the glamorous views of jails that we might have seen in other movies (Angrezo ke zamane ke jailer, Dr. Dang ki thappad ki goonj and many others come to mind!). Unless you are a celebrity inmate like Ketan Parekh or Ramalinga Raju, the real jail that you are likely to see if God forbid, you have to land there some day, is more likely to be the one that Madhur shows us in Jail. And which is extremely crowded (inmates packed like sardines), largely uncaring, poor barracks, hopeless sanitation, terrible food and the like. Not to speak of the elements around.

So one thing that Jail will succeed in doing is to make people shun all kinds of crime. You really don’t want to land up in a jail like the one seen here!

So this part of Madhur’s agenda is successful. The information sharing.

In terms of the actual film and story and other details, unfortunately, it falls short. By a lot. For many reasons, I think:

1. He has not been able to get a good performance from Neil Nitin Mukesh. I am consciously NOT saying that Neil is NOT a good actor. I think he delivered a good performance is Johnny Gaddar. But in Jail, where he had a phenomenal opportunity with a powerful role, he is only good in parts. In fact, for the first half, he is terrible in dialogue delivery. Like someone reading out a paragraph from paper, and not emoting! He could have done a lot better.

2. The other characters are not built much. There are small flashbacks to few of the fellow inmates in jail, for their stories, but that’s about it. For the rest of the time, those characters just make up the numbers on screen.

3. Unlike Neil, for Mugdha Godse I am feeling now, that Fashion was an exception, and otherwise, she is a poor actress. In All The Best, they tried hard to “hide” her on screen. In group scenes, in dances, she was almost purposely kept in the side frames, or had long shots taken of her. Now we know the reason. Here in Jail too, she shows that she cannot really emote!

4. And as for the mother (of Neil in the film), she is still in her TV soap opera state. Nothing much to write about.. !

5. But the most important factor could be the subject itself. Jail is where life stops. You don’t go out to party, you don’t keep meeting many new people, you don’t have much room to suddenly fall in love and go dancing around the trees, etc. Unlike in a Fashion industry, or in Chandni Bars, or on Traffic Signals, or in a Corporate setting, for example. So the subject is largely limited in its expanse. You can talk about this main character, show a bit of flashback of other characters, show the pitiable life there, and then show the morose faces that go from hope to hopeless. That’ s about it.

So under these constraints, the film at best is an average fare. If you are a Madhur Bhandarkar fan and must see all of his films, please see this one too. If you like to understand different aspects of society, and are interested in Jail life, then also see this one. For the rest, you may comfortably give this a miss, and wait for “Kurbaan” whose preview provides a lot of hope of good cinema!

Last couple of weeks, I have not viewed new films. Wanted to see London Dreams, but then a Facebook review by a friend sealed its fate for me. I wasn’t venturing into that one.

Read the reviews of the relases for the day. Jail, then some long name movie of Ranbir Kapoor, and The Informant.

Although I take newspaper reviews with a HUGE pinch of salt, and if it is by Avjit Ghosh in the Times of India, I completely reject it, but with all that, there is a view of what the film could be like. And Nikhat Azmi’s reviews today are giving me some hints:

1. That Madhur Bhandarkar is doing via cinema, what Arthur Hailey used to do with books. Get deep into a sector and give us the reality view there. We read all of those Hotel, Hospital, Airport and others that Hailey dished out, and which made for compelling reading, and a deep understanding of the business there. And Madhur, via Chandni Bar (the bar girls’ and the bars story), Page 3 (the dirt behind the glitz revelation), Fashion (what the industry is really about) and the like, has been giving us those insights now. And this time, he is taking us inside the Jail. Not the decent Teen Deewarein style jail of Nagesh Kukunoor. But the dirty, overcrowded jails that are a norm in most parts of India. Now if there is a good story too, it might just be excellent cinema. Looking forward to seeing this one.

2. The other thought is about Ranbir. Or lets say Ranbir vs Neil Nitin Mukesh, just for example. Their grandfathers were very close friends and colleagues. In fact, the latter’s grandfather was the “voice” of the former’s! Then, their fathers went different ways. Nitin Mukesh at best, was a moderate success. That is only to be not uncharitable. Rishi Kapoor on the other hand, was perhaps the best Kapoor actor, bar none. Made a lot of films. Danced, romanced. Very popular. But did not win serious accolades for his acting, and in multi-starrers, he was usually the second lead. In spite of his charm and success. In fact, he is delivering some of his best roles in his second coming now, as a character actor. In fact, Rishi Kapoor never won awards, till he was given a lifetime achievement award recently. More like a consolation prize πŸ™‚

I fear that Ranbir might be headed the same way. And it can be his choice, and nothing wrong with that. But if he is a keen actor and wants to also create a good body of his work, then he must choose his projects better. More of these dumb ass fare, and he will get slotted into a romantic hero like his father, while Hrithik, Imran, Neil and others go after the really great roles.

So by the way, you’ll get the picture on what I think about the Ranbir-Katrina flick releasing today. I’ll pass.

3. Finally, The Informant! sounds good. Like a real story, and not some make-believe, out of this world fantasy. I will strive to see this one too.

4. Then there is this film that I want to see, but have no clue if it is playing, and where. Our Oscar nomination for the year, the Marathi film, Harishchandrachi Factory. Or something like that. This story of Dadasaheb Phalke, I am sure, will be an awesome inspiration. People who break boundaries, chase their dreams, and create history, like Phalke did, make for great viewing (or reading), and which is why, I’d love to see this one. As soon as I find out where and when!!

What are your plans for weekend movies?