Kaka: The Retrospective

@ Anand

A story of a terminally ill messiah, Hrishi da’s masterpiece lingers high above all other RK’s blockbusters. Anand Sehgal is your next door juvenile guy who weaves you in to a web of fragrant waves. He brings laughter with a unique sense of magnetism and the people around him revel in his presence. RK mesmerises with a performance of a lifetime and Amitabh ‘Babumoshai’ Bachhan becomes an aid to an iconic character. Gulzar Saab writes magic for Anand and his lines become cinema’s most cherished ones. Mukesh’s songs and Hrishi da’s script gel like it never has. Rest, as they say, was just pure history.

@ Aradhana

RKs first brush with super stardom, Shakti Samanta’s greatest blockbuster became Khanna’s own. A story that SS ideally made for the beautiful Sharmila Tagore, Khanna made it his own with exploits of a charming air force officer wooing his girl with Kishore da’s eternal voice. ‘Mere Sapnon ki Rani’ and ‘Roop Tera Mastana’ are crazy numbers even today and SS saw the peak with the musical that catapulted Khanna to stardom where his career soared with the flagship of a superstar.

@ Bawarchi

Another Hrishikesh Mukherjee classic, Khanna relives God in the shape of a cook who literally does everything. Coming in to a house of splattered relationships, Ramu breathes fresh lease of life in to a bereaved family. People adore him, neighbours envy him and he spreads simplicity with a meaning of life that exists within ourselves but seldom cared to be explored. Khanna’s charm visible in every frame, he carries the film on his own and lives every frame as a portrait possessed of self. This remains a personal favourite.

@ Ittefaq

A thriller from Yash Chopra, this film is a classic that often misses out to be widely acknowledged in the sphere of few others. A genre that Khanna rarely ventured in to, this one stood out in terms of the plot and treatment. A sexy Nanda and a bewildered Khanna embroiled in a smart conspiracy, Ittefaq was a fresh breathe of air in an era that believed in candy floss romance. In an age of feminine innocence where casting women with grey shades was taboo, Nanda’s portrayal was benign class with touch of lustful cacophony. My unconventional RK pick.

Steven Paul Jobs (1955-2011): The pioneer and his legacy..

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Technology became poorer by tons as we lost a charismatic leader and a creative genius who succumbed to cancer on October 5th, 2011.

I have been reading and celebrating the life of a man who lived in his own terms and his acute manoeuvring skills in the field of computing and later, towards the mobile revolution became history. He gave us the ‘i’ syndrome that has taken over our lives in a staggering fashion.

His oratory skills and presentations are revered all over the world and if not anything, Apple will probably never replace his debonair that stood outclassed. I am to believe (rather certain) that Apple will dominate and still come up with contagious products but for consumers, Apple can never sell anything like Steve Jobs does.

From a college drop out to meeting Steve Wozniak in HP to introduce macintosh was a beginning of an era. Getting fired from his own company owing to his provocative clashes with John Sculley was an aberration; he went on create ‘Next Computers’ and gave the world, a marvel called ‘Pixar Studios’ (Disney bought it from Steve and went on to make masterful commodities like ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Finding Nemo’). He was back at the helm of affairs in 1998 and 2001 saw the emergence of a unique introduction that would go on to change the face of the industry forever: The iPod. iTunes, iPhone and iPad followed, and Steve became the undisputed messiah from the Silicon Valley. Amidst, his health took a backseat (diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009). But the Apple juggernaut continued. His belligerent speech at Stanford spoke volumes about the man’s character. Outstanding conviction and awfully inspired.

Jobs’ failures (Lisa, Next, Apple TV) catapulted him to rare state of sublime self indulgence and his comebacks were lethal. Known for his pulsating banters and taking a dig at his competitors during his iconic product launches, he managed to woo them too. “We are here to make a dent in this planet”. Steve and Apple probably lived this dream in style.

My tribute wouldn’t cause a flutter since we all have been glued to his achievements for the past 3 days. But for a person who is an Apple freak and lives with almost every Apple product, I owe Steve an applause of a special kind for lending his inspiration all over.

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be. Because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you. But someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s quite true.” – Steve Jobs

The ‘Yahoo’ man is no more..

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He wasn’t the ultimate legend like Amitabh Bacchan, neither was he a pioneer superstar like Rajesh Khanna. He isn’t a Dilip Saab either. He was a pale shadow underneath the aura of his elder brother and showman, Raj Kapoor. But, by all means, Shammi Kapoor was one of the charismatic celebrities that graced the silver screen in the 50s and 60s.

It’s never easy to belong to the Kapoor clan and expectations could get mammoth if you are a sibling of the ominously talented RK. But his emergence was phenomenal and post ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’, there was no looking back. I have never been a great admirer of his credentials as an actor, but he definitely was cherubic and made his characters look lively. No wonder, he is known by all as a fighter and treated life like an ice cream: enjoy it before it melts.

Cheerful and soulful performances in films like ‘Kashmir ki Kali’, ‘Junglee’, ‘Prince’, ‘An evening in Paris’ and ‘Brahmachari’ made him a youth icon; ‘Teesri Manzil’ hit the jackpot and Shammi was reigning high. His greatest and defining strength was obviously Rafi Saab, and his voice catapulted him to superstar status with his jovial charm. I don’t vividly remember his films but the songs in his numerous blockbusters were aids during my childhood days. They were inarguably, the finest.

One of the recent trivia that caught my imagination towards Shammi Kapoor was his penchant towards possessing tech gadgets and exploring them. He was one of the first in the industry to lay his hands on a MacBook and his fondness towards growing technology was a surprise to many (at least, I am usually famished to hear such updates from the park).

A great enthusiast, Shammi Kapoor lived cinema with honesty and passion.

‘Tareef karoon kya uski
Jisne tumhe banaya…’

The ‘Prince’ leaves abode but his legacy will linger for a long time to come.

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