ABCD (Any Body Can Dance)

ABCD (Any Body Can Dance)

As Anji is passionate about dance and everyone in my house enjoys dance, it was a given that we would go and watch ABCD.  It had my favorite Dharmesh & Salman along with India’s best dancer Prabhu Deva – how could we miss it?
Going into the movie, I had expectations of not enjoying the movie for anything else but the dances.  What surprised me though was Remo!  As horrible as his movie “Faaltu” was, this movie was just as nice.  By the time you came out of the movie, you felt GOOD!  But then again, who doesn’t root for the team that has EVERYTHING going against them?  It’s a movie that every body who has ever had a dream or been passionate about, can relate to. 
What Remo did well in this movie, was sticking to what he knows best – dance! 
The things I liked about the movie :
1. Prabhu Deva as a dancer, Prabhu Deva – period! (He’s not a great actor but what he can’t do with expressions, he still has a great way of conveying through his dance and his body language.)
2. The dancing!  The choreography! (Remo is a much better choreographer than I had given him credit for.)
3. The songs! (Especially Bezubaan – totally heart-wrenching!!)
4. Kay Kay Menon! (He’s a great actor anyways and he was equally good in this movie playing a manipulative villain.)
5. Dharmesh, Salman, Ganesh Acharya (What a treat to get to watch these powerhouses along with Prabhu Deva, all in one movie.)
6.  Surprise packet of the movie – Puneet!! (Not only can he dance, he can ACT!!! He emoted do beautifully in the movie that he left me spell bound with his performance.  Oh and for the girls, he’s definitely giving the eye-candy, Salman, a run for his money there too! 🙂 )
Things I did NOT like about the movie :
1.  Lauren Gottlieb is a talented, semi-good looking dancer.  I get that Remo wanted her as one of the leads in the movie but, what was the need to make her be a “desi” girl in the movie?  The movie already has some videshi talent, she could’ve been one of them.  
2.  The editing in the second half could have been tighter. 
3. Predictability – though you leave the theater having enjoyed the movie, you can predict what’s going to happen next with each scene. 
Scenes that stick out in my mind :
1. Vishnu vs. Jahangir showdown in the beginning – I’d love to give Kay Kay Menon a standing ovation for his performance. 
2. Chandu’s accident scene … the girl who plays Shania (not sure of her name) was fantastic!
3. Dharmesh and his father’s interaction following the song Bezubaan.  I’d like to give my Dharmesh sir a big hug and a huge round of applause! 
My favorite Tracks :
But, MOST of all – I am currently OBSESSED with :
All in all, if you enjoy dancing and have ever had a dream, go watch ABCD and come out feeling motivated and inspired!!

LinkedIn Endorsements!

Back in September, LinkedIn rolled out what they called Endorsements.  I was unaware of what endorsements were until one morning I woke up and checked my email where someone had endorsed me.  At first, I thought it was just that someone had written a recommendation for me but, when I logged on, I learned what Endorsements really were – in a nutshell, it’s like clicking like on Facebook, for what your skills are. 

Initially I was very excited about the Endorsements feature because it was a great way for those who are busy to write a recommendation, to still “recommend” what you know and are good at but, in about a week, to put it bluntly, it became an irritating nuisance. I started getting notifications from people I barely knew endorsing me.

As a recruiter, I spend more time on LinkedIn than your average LinkedIn user.  I use LinkedIn heavily as a networking and recruiting tool and one of the things I look at anyone’s profile is their recommendation.  It tells me that if someone took the time to actually write a well thought-out recommendation, they must think very highly of this person.  That to me is valuable!  The problem with endorsing people ended up becoming just a big exchange system.  Many people are endorsing me in hopes that I’ll endorse them back and they are very clear about it because they will flat out ask for it. 

One of the reasons I don’t like the endorsements much is that, if someone is on a job hunt, they’ll try to rack up as many Endorsements as they can.  Therefore, I’ve started to look past the Endorsements in my decisions on if I am going to reach out to someone or not. 

As LinkedIn puts it, “There’s no rule that you have to endorse someone who’s endorsed you.” This is true because I do not endorse anyone unless I can truly speak to their work, but it seems like the polite thing to do.  

This leaves you with one question – whether to endorse someone because etiquette demands it or endorse only because you can vouch for it.

Where do you stand on this?  Do you endorse?  Have you endorsed those you don’t really know? 

Pyaar ke Saaton Din …

Pyaar ke Saaton Din

Teri Yaadein Kabhi Mujhe Chutti Nahin Deti
Unse Kaho Pyaar Ka Bhi Ek Shaniwaar Hona Chaiye …

Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays!!

From our family to yours – we wish you a VERY Happy Holidays and an even happier New Year!!






Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

It’s that time of the year again – happiness is in the air.

Eat, drink, be merry and spend time with those who matter the most!

Happy Holidays and best wishes to you and yours  from the Chauhan Family!


Happy Holidays from the Chauhan Family!

The Dirty Picture – Vidya Balan owns it!!

The Dirty Picture

Ever since I saw the promos of The Dirty Picture, I was keen on watching the movie.  I was skeptical about Vidya Balan playing that type of a role and carrying it off flawlessly and can I just say that BOY was I SHOCKED!!!!

Not only did Vidya carry it off flawlessly, she OWNED it!  She took on her character so briliantly that on screen Vidya totally disappeared and all the audience saw was SILK.  Never in a million years had I imagined she would be so comfortable in her own skin, with the display of the sex, sexiness, sexuality along with her one size too tight clothes. 

In the male dominated world (a message that you get in the movie as well), it is Vidya/SILK who truly emerges as the hero of the movie and everyone else just becomes a backdrop for SILK to unfold and let us into her life. 

So without giving away everything about the movie, here is my opinion on some things about the movie ….

Things I like about the movie :

1. Vidya Balan, Vidya Balan and VIDYA BALAN!!!  (before this movie I had thought Priyanka Chopra had done the bravest performance by far in 7 Khoon Maaf but in The Dirty Picture, Vidya blows her out of the water!  Would not be surprised if she wins all and every award for this movie!!)

2.  The dialogues – take a bow Rajat Arora (though the story did have some holes – the second half seemed to be rushed whereas the first half was beautifully built up) 

3. The direction – take a bow Milan Luthria (after once upon a time in mumbai, he has proved himself again however, he did seem to falter in the scene SILK wasn’t present and did the best of his work with her)

4.  The way the story unfolds and gives us an entry into SILK’s life! (though the end felt abrupt and kind of rushed)

5.  The transformation of Reshma into SILK

The things I did not like about the movie :

1. The costumes – they seemed post the 80s when the movie was supposedly set

2. The unnecessary melodrama in the 2nd half of the movie

3. Anju Mahendru being wasted – she is such a fantastic actress but I feel she was slapped with a very cliched role of a journalist.

4. The placement of my favorite track “Ishq Sufiyaana” – it should have been the ending credits as it cuts into the build up of the movie unnecessarily. 

Nothing else much that I can say I disliked about the movie. 

I feel like I need to watch this movie once again to fully understand Silk’s character and psyche.  The scene where she reacts to Naseeruddin’s comment to her when he’s handing her the award made me feel that the Silk I understood wouldn’t have reacted in that manner.  The end left me wondering why exactly someone like SILK dressed like a bride before killing herself … was it because she finally really fell in love because as she said “Haath to bohot logon ne lagaya hai lekin chuaa kisi ne nahin hai” … makes me wonder if what she wanted was to marry Abraham but felt like she couldn’t?  I was left wondering if that feeling was awakened when she was forced to hide in the bathroom as Naseerudin’s wife comes to the farmhouse at night and was left there until the early morning to tiptoe out while they are asleep … (BTW awesomely portrayed by Vidya … very poignant)

Anyways, if I talk anymore, I’ll give away everything about the movie but while ending, I will leave you with some of the dialogues in the movie that stuck with me and if you haven’t please do take the time to watch THE DIRTY PICTURE for nothing and no one else but VIDYA brave BALAN!!

Some of my favorite dialogues :

1. Filmein sirf 3 cheezon se chalti hai – entertainment, entertainment, entertainment aur main – entertainment hoon!
2. History utha kar dekh lo 2 cheezein hamesha common rahi hai – mardon ka zamaana raha hai auraton ne aake aafat ki hai!
3. “Aaj se tera naam silk”
      Aur tumhaar naam Keeda Das – keeda hi to hai jo silk banaata hai
4. Hero koi bhi ho, har kahaani ki VAMP main hi hoon
5. Jab sharafat ke kapde utartey hain tab shareefon ko sabse zyada mazaa aata hai – Jab shareefon Ki sharafat utarti hai to mujhe bada mazaa aata hai
6. Mujhe mere maa baap ne nahin paida kiya – Silk ko camera ne janam diya hai (this one might be a bit off as I saw it on Friday night … )
7. Kuch logon ka naam unke kaam se hota hai – Mera badnaam ho ke hua hai
8. Heroine ki zindagi is like an elected govt – 5 saal tak party, uske baad support
9. Ye ladki aise hi aag lagaeigi (HOW APT IS THIS FOR VIDYA IN THIS MOVIE!!!!)
10. Woh item number ki guitar thi – main sufi gaane ka ek taara
11. Silk bani hi mazaa dene ke liye hai
12. Tere chaahne waale na saamne ke 4 rows me baithte hai – peeche ki 40 rows meri hai
13. Public samaan dekhti hai dukaan nahi
14. Aurat rainbow ki tarah hoti hai – kisi ko lagti hai lottery ki tarah lag gayi to kismat khul jaati hai – kisi ko hoti hai mohobat ki tarah ho gayi to jaan atak jaati hai – mujhe to chadhi zeher ki tarah ki ab paani bhi peeta hoon na to aag lag jaati hai
15. Mujhe jo chaiye uska mazaa raat ko hi aata hai (watch Vidya in this scene – she pulls it off without looking vulgar at ALL!!)


Tere jaane ke baad …

Tere jaane ke baad

Jaane kyon log kehte hai apno ke jaane pe gham hota hai
Hum to apne janaze se guzarti teri baraat me bhi naache hai …

(written on November 18th)

Tanha tanha yaha pe jeena … ye koi baat hai …

Tanha tanha yaha pe jeena

 Jal gaya daaman jab aansuo se nikli aag
Dhul gaya kajal jab aansuo pe daali khaak
Khaufnaak hai ye akelapan jal chuke hai khwaab-o-khayaal
Baithi thi hui maayoos par tere aane ne kiya hairaan

Pakistan : A Strategic Relationship

Pakistan : A Strategic Relationship 

As a person from the Indian origin, I agree with the general sentiment in India that Pakistan misappropriates the financial and military aid that it receives from United States of America.  At the same time, as an American, I stand by wholeheartedly with critics of the US foreign policy including many Indian politicians and general public who claim that the United States of America is self-interested in supporting Pakistan.  The Indian media rallies its viewers in denouncing the US aid to Pakistan, and to call upon the US Congress to hold Pakistan accountable in how it uses such aid.  Knowing that the US aid to Pakistan is strategic in nature and within the sovereign rights of a nation to protect its interests, I disagree with such media experts, as holding Pakistan responsible, is the job for the international community collectively.

      Pakistan became a sovereign nation on August 14, 1947 after its independence from the United Kingdom, and partition from India.  As stated by the Department of State in “Pakistan”, the United States of America established its diplomatic relations with Pakistan on October 20, 1947 (n.p).  Pakistan is a major non-NATO ally of United States of America and has served two major purposes in US foreign policy:

  1. Historically, to contain the Soviet Union’s expansion into the Middle East via Iran, Iraq and Turkey.
  2. Presently, to help United States in its fight against terrorism.

Nevertheless, ever since the establishment of the diplomatic ties, the relationship has been characterized as “rocky” and unstable. 

As mentioned by Gannon in “U.S., Pakistan Struggle with ‘unhappy’ Alliance – Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq – Army Times” according to U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the U.S. State Department and foreign operations, “There’s always been tensions in the relationship. There’s been tensions with the military, the defense, and even on development aid.” (n.p).    

The military and financial aid to Pakistan can be characterized as a compensation for the resources that US procures to carry out its goals in the region.  Some of these procurements come in the form of military bases, use of airspace, use of local intelligence, and administrative support of paramilitary organizations.  A substantial – although subjective – compensation may also be viewed as a payment for the loss of life and resources that Pakistan continues to suffer because it supports United States in its War on Terrorism.  A large segment of the Pakistani community views United States’ War on Terrorism as a War on Islam as many Pakistanis in the local tribal regions – especially along the border with Afghanistan – are sympathetic to the cause of Taliban and Al Qaeda.  Such supporters strongly oppose Pakistani government’s support of US interests, and have taken up arms and action against their fellow man.  IEDs [Improvised Explosive Devises] and suicide bombers that are common place in Pakistan today were unheard of prior to Pakistan’s support of US War on Terrorism.  Initially reluctant, Pakistan eventually agreed to support US invasion of Afghanistan if exchange of compensation for the support in the form of debt forgiveness and additional military and financial aid (“Pakistan” n.p.).  Historically and presently, the diplomatic ties between Pakistan and United States have been transactional in nature.  Both nations cater to their self-interests respectively, and such an arrangement is natural for two geographically distant nations with conflicting national interest and priorities.

United States of America is aware that a large segment of the aid that it provides to Pakistan is misappropriated by the local government to sponsor illegitimate projects with the nation, and terrorism in India.  Calls have been made locally within United States and internationally to hold Pakistan accountable to its actions.  Many have advised United States to sever military and economic aid to Pakistan should it fail to heed to such pressure.  According to the United States Department of State in “Pakistan”, “…Pakistani officials assured India that Pakistan would not allow its territory to be used for terrorist activity directed against India. Pakistan also said it would expedite the trial of suspects implicated in the Mumbai attacks” (n.p.). However, many local and international players recognize, in private, that United States of America lacks the capacity to enforce such dictum on Pakistan.

Just as United States is within its rights to pursue bilateral ties with a nation to further its interests, Pakistan is within its rights to use its resources – whether home grown or internationally traded – to further its national interests.  Should the international community find such pursuits by Pakistan to be unfair, unjust, or detrimental to the global interests, then the pressure needs to come from the international community to encourage Pakistan to correct its course.  The aid provided to the Pakistan from United States is made on good faith that Pakistan will be responsible with the resources bestowed upon it through the diplomatic relations.  Each packet of aid from the United States comes with clear instructions, and directions of appropriate use of resources.  In the past, United States has suspended its aid to Pakistan upon violations of the treaties – especially during the 1980s and 1990s as Pakistan developed its own nuclear weapons.

Imagine for a moment that you live in a town with only one grocer.  All the people in the town – whether rich or poor – go to him to buy their milk.  And the grocer – knowing that he is in a strategic position of influence – takes his profit and ill spends it in the community.  This ill spending may be in the form of bribery, prostitution, drugs, etc.  In such a scenario, it is sensible to assume that it is the responsibility of the law enforcement or the entire community to hold such an ill intended grocer accountable for his actions.  If the richest merchant in the town protests alone, the grocer will likely fail to pay attention to the objections of the merchant.  Such is the case with United States and Pakistan.  United States relations with Pakistan are strategic and transactional.  United States provides the aid to Pakistan as compensation for the use of land and air rights in and over Pakistan.  What Pakistan does with such aid is a matter of concern for the entire globe with all its international players and stakeholders.  If US attempts to discipline Pakistan as a lone ranger, then Pakistan will turn to China to fulfill its national interests.  Presently, we already see such a shift in the international community.

Ek paigaam, uske naam …

Ek paigaam, uske naam

Jaane ke baad mere puche to bata dena, paigaam chodh gaya hai uske naam koi
Jab who neend se jaage to bata dena, saari raat uske paas jaaga tha koi
Jab bhi need me haathon ko usne pakda, sharam se khud me simat gaya tha koi
Jab aayi koi muskaan uske hothon pe dheere se, khil khila ke muskura diya tha koi
Jab sarakta tha uske sar se takiyaa zara bhi, apni godh me sar rakh ke sulaata tha koi
Jab woh soya tha yun bekhabar ho, saari raat chaahat se nihaarta tha koi

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