Jab Jodhaa met Akbar

In every civilized society which cares for individual sentiments there is some law for protection of certain heritage sites and buildings since these are considered to be the collective property of the humanity and there is a recognition of the fact that every one has a right to share the unspoilt beauty of an architectural monument or a natural formation in an unaltered fashion. Unfortunately there is no legal protection in respect of an icon of history whose image cultivated over generations is mercilessly butchered by a buccaneering film producer unrepentantly and with the simple excuse that it is merely a work of fantasy and has no historical basis!

Aushutosh Gowrikar of Lagaan fame has done precisely that to the image of Jodha Bai a Rajput Queen of middle ages and the Mughal King Akbar who is remembered as one of the few benevolent despots who have given this country a symbol of administrative reforms and spirit of religious tolerance .

Having failed to meet success at the oscar nominations for his period film Lagan , Gowrikar has come out with a more calculated assault on the Oscar battlefield through Jodah Akbar romance which the film claims is not reported in history ( the name of the princess and her relation ship with Akbar is also doubted) but the expensive film with lavish squandering on objects of visual pleasure appears to be attempting to become a historical magnum opus. Nobody wishes to join the issue of historical credibility with Mr. Gowrikar but pray Mr. Gowrikar why did you thrust this plastic beauty of Indian screen to wipe out the memories of Jodha Bai so powerfully projected by the legendary Durga Khote. And your Akbar…although young , but can he ever be expected to adorn the throne occupied by powerful personae of Prithviraj Kapoor in Mughal-e-Azam which is etched in the memory of generations of cinegoers .

A good documentary for Rajasthan Tourism or chalu stuff for a good tear jerker TV serial to be watched by Saas Bahus in the afternoon , or a modern presentation of Vikram Betal stories is what you have produced Mr. Gowrikar with so much fanfare. Your bundle of mini stories of religious hysteria , Saas bahu tussle ,wimpish Rajpoot princes , plotting brother-in-law, fanatic ulemas and incognito visits of young emperor to see the status of his praja could have created a long running TV serial because each episode is a mini thriller but not the part of a story of any interesting substance. The only tears which come to the eyes of an intelligent cinegoer are due to strain of spending 200 minutes in the theatre for witnessing your mediocrity.

And there was a feeling of relief after coming out of the hall for one more reason. That was for the realization that the romantic excitement of Madhubala, Dilip Kumar pair in Mughl-e-Azam would remain beyond the reach of producers for all times and the movie would remain the true Moughal amongst the movies as tribute to the genius of it’s producer and Director.

Madam Ashwarya Rai may now try her luck with some other fake piece of history because this one again seems to have floundered like remake of Umrao Jaan…despite the hidden support of dad-in-law by way of unworthy praise of a dance sequence filmed on Hrithik Roshan. Cinegoers having seen the Mughal movies like Anarkali and Mughal-e-Azam will have to recall the emotional thrill of “Pyar kiya to darna kya “ dance number performed so tantalizingly by Madubala and the Quawalis of the films produced in sixties when they want to think of a piece of art which is highly entertaining and also intellectually satisfying , while the likes of Aishwarya and Aushotosh will fade away from the scene in no time.

And now last but not the least, the latest news  reports say that Mayawati Ji Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has chosen this occasion to garner some votes from Rajput community by placing a ban on the movie (just two days after the MP High Court quashed a ban of similar nature and under full realization that hers would also be a short lived ban). The scenario is a bit  comical in the sense that Akbar the great warrior of middle ages has come to the rescue of another damsel in distress in modern times by helping her recover some popularity in Rajput community .

Kumble joins the 600 plus league

Eight years after having joined the company of all time great leg spinner Jim Laker with a ten wicket haul in an innings in the New Delhi Test in the Indo Pak series of 1999 , Anil R Kumble has now leaped in the exclusive club of bowlers having crossed the 600 wicket mark. Anil shares the company of Shane Warne and Muttaiah Murlidharan, both of whom are way ahead having crossed the 700 wicket tally .

Having started his career in the year 1990 Kumble crossed the first milestone of taking 100 wickets in the year 1993 in a matter of 21 test matches and moved on to the magical figure of ½ K i.e. 500 wickets in test matches in March 2006.

Certain other records to the credit of Anil Kumble need to be recalled. His maiden test century ( 110 no Vs. England in August 2007) came after having played 118 matches and surpassed the record of Chaminda Vaas who could reach the three figure mark after 96 Test matches. His tally of 31 caught and bowled dismissals is also a world record which he shares with Muttiah Muralidharan. He is also the first bowler in Tests to have 150 batsmen out leg before wicket. On more than 30 occasions Kumbley has taken more than 5 wickets in an innings an achievement which has no precedent amongst Indian cricketers. He is also the first Indian bowler to get 100 wickets against Australia . His most memorable performance in ODI is 6 wickets for 12 runs against West Indies in 1993 at Kolkata.

Hailing from Banaglore , Anil is a Mechanical Engineer . His surname Kumble is related to his grandfather’s village Kumble in Kerala . Having started his Test career in 1990 the cricketer made his way to Wisden cricketer’s list in 1996. He was honoured with Padam Shree in 2005. His home town Bangalore has honoured him by naming a traffic Island after him to commemorate his ten wicket haul in an innings.

Kumble’s bowling forte is known as flipper. A flipper is a back spin ball which remains low after pitching. It is deceptive to the batsman who may except wrongly that the flipper will drop and loop like a normal over spinning delivery. The ball which pitches under the bat may result into lbw if not tackled in time.

Kumble who is considered to be one of the ever shrinking group of gentlemen cricketers in the gentlemen’s game is nicknamed as Jumbo due to his long legs.

Nano mania , join the Tata Car lovers club

Nano, Nano and Nano it is Nano all the way . After a long time the latest car launched by Tata with this name tag has given the nation something to be collectively happy about. Cheaply priced people’s car has been a favourite piece of allurement which generations of Indian politicians have offered to the middle classes. The dream nearly died after Sanjay Gandhi the prodigal son of the then Indian Prime Minister hijacked the small car project for personal gains. Several years later with changed management set up in Maruti Udyog Ltd. the first truly small car Maruti 800 hit the Indian markets with a price tag below fifty thousand rupees. Riding on the economic boom following the liberalization of Indian economy , for a substantial period upper middle class families enjoyed the comfort of a car based on latest generation technology and having a stylish appearance as per contemporary standards . With the still growing prosperity of Indian middle class the closing decade of the previous millennium saw the car market flooded with numerous new brands and styles and the people’s car became a forgotten concept . Then one day Ratan Tata returned to the concept with a product which could be affordable to the lower middle class, student or any two wheeler owner. Nano is said to be based on that vision of Tata for this segment of Indian population.

Launch of Nano means different things for different people. While the dissentors in West Bengal are upset over the loss of the agriculture in Singur and want the car to remain invisible which is said to be the Bengali meaning of the word Nano, the Gujrati Bhais consider it as the ideal gift for the their youngsters because in their language nano is akin to nanua meaning the younger one. Bangloreans facing the chaotic traffic which has supposedly gripped the city after the spurt of IT Companies, are a bit shaky with a new cheap car entering the market. The city traffic authorities are gearing up to meet the “ threat” with improvement in public transport system !

Leading Banks have already started the loan campaigns. Three wheeler operators see an opportunity to dump their TSRs in favour of the new product, but they also see a threat to business due to possibility of increase in number of car owners. The dealers expecting jump in demand are also concerned about the low margins.

Outside the country in the US the product launch in Delhi auto expo received huge media attention. Car enthusiasts have grudgingly acknowledged the feat of an Indian manufacturer producing a truly low budget car with latest feature, however the bloggers in Canada seem to be more keen to highlight the supposed adverse environmental impact of the car. Some of them are not willing to accept the claims of manufacturers on security aspect and feel that they would not drive even up to the corner grocery shop in this “pancake” ! In UK Tata’s small car has become the talk of the town in London . It is getting big publicity, being called “……a miracle on wheels, a car a generation ahead of its’ predecessors and a revolution in the small car market.” Europeans are fond of small cars and Nano reminiscent of VW Beetle may turn out to be quite popular.

For the collaborating spare parts manufacturers the project has been a consistent struggle to meet the deadlines maintaining highest standards of craftsmanship. The ultimate outcome may be quite rewarding for them when more car manufacturers join the segment an look out for manufacturers of accessories . However the dedication and vision of Ratan Tata is universally acknowledged as the driving force for the success.