In the 90s, Vijay Dinanath Chauhan epitomised the fallacy of a celebrated gangster. It was touted as THE film of the Shahenshah and famously earned him the national award for an iconic performance.

21 odd years and we have Kancha Cheena rocking Mandwa with his ubiquitous aura. Rauf Lala becomes an aid for Vijay to avenge his father’s death and reclaim the little picturesque near the sprawling Mumbai.

For me, KJOs Agneepath is a far cry from what his dad crafted with Mukul Anand at the helm. Vijay was the consortium of an outcry in Kancha’s devious motives. He topples his empire with ferocious charm and flaunts a heart of gold. The latter is visible in the Vijay of KJOs but the former is completely gone. And, that for me, relinquishes the very soul of Karan Malhotra’s Agneepath. With few notwithstanding, Kancha Cheena, the Bollywood baddie is back rocking and Lala will remain etched in me for sometime to go.

Again, this version survives on splendid performances from its lead actors who are the antagonist. Like the original, the ladies have nothing to cash in on, though Madhavi was a critical leaf in Vijay Dinanath Chauhan’s blood-immersed life of goons. Kaali, is hardly there (except in the song and dance sequences) and her frames with Vijay lack the desired chemistry. Zarina Wahab falls prey to the script she was handed over and does justice (Rohini Hattangadi as Vijay’s unapologetic mother was an irreplaceable venture). Om Puri as Gaitunde was ordinary, and one of the finest actors in our country has been wasted. Katrina does the stealer act with ‘Chikni Chameli’ and leaves quite a few hearts famished.

You could easily blame me for rekindling past a bit too much, but then, nostalgia defines the roots of our lives in a mysterious fashion. I missed these sorely: the confrontation between Vijay and his mother on his ways, her constant attempts to keep him away from his little sister, the delicate relationship between Gaitunde & Vijay and above all, the camaraderie of Vijay Dinanath Chauhan and Kancha Cheena. And, how could I ever forget the ferocious talent of the abusive ally in Tinnu ‘Nathu’ Anand? I will always miss when stamps are bygones.

Sanjay Dutt is my favourite devil here and gives a knock out performance. He is back and look how! The muscle baldie with lingering tattoos of the ‘Shaitan’ is a look borrowed straight from hell and I adored it. Rauf Lala’s inclusion is the biggest saving grace of this Johar remake and Rishi Kapoor deserves an ovation for his stand out feat as the wrecker in chief amidst the Vijay – Kancha despair. His exit post interval took the sheen away and I had to wait till Kancha comes back for the penultimate. The dialogues fitted the bill of the need but Kader Khan’s rendition in the ’91 classic was powerful and remains undisputed.

I don’t believe in comparisons, but I revel in legendary moments. The cash registers are singing the swan song and Dharma Productions will certainly take that. But I am sure KJO will lose the reins over a cup of coffee with his dad at the outcome. And, I would, by all means, take the senior Johar’s side.

# The first day of 2012 was just another day, and not surprisingly, the ones that followed suit replicated the former. Phew! It’s so agonisingly hard to believe that things would venom upon its itself and alter to take a shape of fervour goodness. I trust and always have, that I, as human, cannot remain indispensable for the most of what this planet subscribes to.

# I came across couple of invigorating and sparsely written articles that count amongst the finest of 2012, as equations stand today. A flashback like endorsement for the inimitable Mohd Rafi was not always required, but at times, to rekindle the past could be of such palatial pleasures. I loved every frame and revived the golden era of playback rendition.

‘Unsexing Marilyn Monroe’ was an astonishing document of unravelling facts. Her mystique, stunning beauty and the blatant controversies have intrigued me for long, and this was worth a sublime read.

Scanned many others, but significantly, few could grasp my attention with trance.

# Indian cricket’s dark moments have loomed large since the whitewash in Thame waters, and the annihilation down under has only reinforced the tame truth: this playing eleven might not be capable enough to win a 5-day battle overseas. Failures are apart of this mercurial game, yet the manner in which the most vaunted brigade has faltered in the last 7 duels in the 22 strip has to be a lot more than mere coincidence. I am shocked at our gameplay, and I am not ready to point fingers at one entity. Neither am I terse to proclaim disaster by relegating few legends of the game to tatters. Yet, BCCI has to bridgett much more than minting frivolous cash out of the celebrated IPL and gorge some focus on the fundamentals of a playing eleven which has forgotten to essay its role in the longer and authentic version of the game, which for me, still breathes test cricket as oxygen.

# Ah! Films quote statements. And trademarks slide away for such notes. Couple of Tamil films impressed me and watched ‘Nanban’ with dialysis of the known. Guy Ritchie’s ‘Sherlock Holmes’ was a visual stunner and Rohit Dhawan continued his father’s legacy with a dud-dish ‘Desi Boyz’ which was a poor rehash sans Chitrangada Singh (I have got used to the leggy Padukone now ;)) who stole the squib show with élan.

Not quite impressive but then you can expect me to have rugged weeks with less pomp.

Not wonders, but hoping for the next few weeks to embrace with perfidious nonchalance. Again, I chose restraint while over-boarding appears vicious.

As events come to a close with 2011, I have been quite evasive in introspection (though it has never been a forte). Me, to remain as I, has been a conflict of sorts with battling aspirations.

I am denying a dud of a 2011 but have my reservations to claim it as an accomplishing one. Fighting yourself is a greater challenge than fighting tangible components of physical influences. Your capabilities slew away from your inhibitions to confront questions of meagre yet astounding nature. Few, I answered. Few, I am struggling to. Many, I cease to avoid with timid corners.

With all the cordial occurrence in close quarters, I got to know myself better. I suffer from self inflicted supreme chaotic syndrome, and honestly, bear this possession with titanic pride. Moreover, realised that PPP (patience, perseverance, potent) have become my ferocious allies with seldom prick. I battle, get down, again battle, fend but not brood (I am guilty of not acquiring this attribute in it’s infancy) and decide to have faith in abilities with the right compass.

As 2011 eclipses and 2012 surfaces unsurmountable desires, I prepare to get myself equipped with instincts of my own.

As I enter the memphis amidst self, I take the onus on me to wish all my readers, a courageous and phantom 2012!