Blockbuster Review: Bajirao Mastani

“Bajirao ne Mastani se Mohabbat ki hai…..Aaiyashi nahi…………!”

Epics usually have an attachment of legacy and grandeur with them, and they bring a riveting sense of watchable-ness with them. Yes, Bajirao Mastani does that with ample to say but it isn’t the greatest of such marvels made in the silver screen.

The story of a warrior, his love for his community and his obsession for Mastani – that’s precisely Bajirao’s tale in this SLB creation. Bajirao isn’t your fairy tale hero of dreams and symphony, he is outrageously brave, a passionate husband, a voracious lover and is plagued by demons of his emotions and prerogatives. Adored by Kashi, caressed by Mastani and hailed by his peers – Peshwa Bajirao Ballad is the pride of the Marathas who has valiantly conquered half of Hindustan. He is palatial warrior of tentacle dimensions, a patriot of the true kind. Yet, he succumbs, not to wounds but for deep rooted love.Bajirao-Mastani-wallpaper-1For an era and a generation that lives and swears by it’s flings, this is an unbelievable yet colossal story of a largely forgotten hero.

SLB’s films are created with passion and driven by powerful performances. BM is no different. Priyanka Chopra delivers a restrained yet watchable performance. Deepika Padukone hogs the limelight as the second lady in Bajirao’s elusive cordon and gives a matured performance (her Ram Leela act was more of a I love-I die syndrome). Uncompromisingly, she looks stunning in every frame. Ranveer Singh creates a space of his own in this epic portrayal of the frolic warrior and is undoubtedly, the soul of BM. The key moments in the film goes to him and he packs quite a punch in the stellar scenes – his sequences with his wife and mother are usually staggering.

SLB’s proven strength are his visuals, and without a hitch, Bajiao Masani is exquisitely shot. Songs are passable except a couple of them – my pick is Albela Sajan and Aayat. Pinga does remind you of Madhuri-Aishwarya duel in Devas but the choreography impresses.

At a time when valuable scripts are seldom written or watched, this SLB movie brings some respite, to eyes and ears.

moving past, and fast

Yes, truly forgotten. Rather, beloved and forgotten. 

 An army distinguishes itself from an individual who is a hero. If it’s vice versa, then we witnessed a created history that was never seen. This is one such moment of pride and anguish. #historyoflight

As good as it gets

Grand Slams happen every year, champions get crowned, the vanquished gets paranoid before embracing normalcy and the next year is ready to come.
But for one that swears fascinating blend of charisma and top notch performances, a grand slam seldom braces such menace in abundance. That’s Wimbledon for you.

I dont recollect my last outing when I watched a men’s Wimbledon final at the imperious All England Club, thanks to my prophecy of withstanding priorities. Yes, truly, and indeed, I loved Wimbledon since my younger days and could give any statistician a run for his money. Perhaps, I will come back to this a bit later.

Watching Djokovic demolishing Federer today, for me, in a way, is the beginning of a new generation and end of yet another glorious era. I spoke of the same eulogy when Federer ended Sampras’s reign as the numero uno of tennis world, way back in 2001 as a curious yet talented 19 year old chap. World moves on, so does tennis and so inevitably does Wimbledon.
I know Federer did say that he loves the game and will continue but as they say, the strings wont produce the same music and not sure if we will see him in next year’s final. Yet, fingers crossed.

I dont think Federer played terrible tennis, though his 10+ unforced errors and blemished first servers were an indication of the man who wasn’t at his best, your body cannot respond with the same reflexes and vigour after 17 grand slams and 14 years at the top of the world. I just thought Djokovic was brilliant. His madness from the baseline, his accurate and powerful first serves, the passion to dominate the nets and his demeanour of furious collage – I saw all the makings of a future champion. And, sure to stay.
Some of his return of serves were bullet hits breezing past a giant of a player, and couple of passing shots will hit through me till next June. He was a bit ruffled when he lost the second set, I thought Federer fought back like a lion but a player of his stature cannot rest on missed opportunities. And, as anticipated, he came back roaring. In fact, he was never quite in danger of losing his serve and always looked towering enough to break Federer each time he pledged to retain his serve.

Coming back to my obsession with Wimbledon.
I can safely say that I grew up watching players like Sampras and Rafter. Honestly, I still keep saying that there will never be another ‘Pistol’ Pete to shoot the temperatures up. In fact, a notch higher and loved watching Boris Becker (his collaboration with Djokovic is reaping dividends) play. An era of the serve and volley, players like Borg, Lendl, Mcnroe, Becker, Edberg were great exponents of the skilful game. Its a dying art today, but thought the game kind of revived charm with likes of Sampras, Agassi, Rafter, Ivanisevic (probably the wild one of this lot). Still remember Sampras finals with Ivanisevic and Agassi, even Rafter. If one was raw power, the other was precision and grit. Agassi, was a combination of craziness and gloating talent. Such was the enormity of players then, though I admit that have not been following the contemporary quite frivolously as I would have loved to. Reliving them after all these years kind of brings the ‘me’ in me.

This year, gloriously, has been rewarding for the Indian scene in Wimbledon. 3 back to back championship titles in 2 days for Leander and Sania, was thrilled to see the young lad come up trumps in the tussle of Boys. Leander has been our warhorse for years now and his accomplishment is one for those great Indian sporting stories we would like to talk about, often and more. Pleasing sight!

Ironic to say, when I visited Wimbledon couple of months back and was basking in the place reminiscent of some great following of the sport and its history, I was kind of disappointed that we didn’t have much of Indian presence to rave about. I thought India as a nation is boggled with enormous talent and sporting abilities, and this is one place we would like to stamp an authority on. In fact, the lady we got as a guide quickly exclaimed that they would love to see an Indian Champion soon, not sure about hers but my prayers have been answered, would love to visit her again and pay the compliments with due usherness.

In Wimbledon, it only gets greener every year.

I see an era of extinct moss..

Greats in all fields reign supreme and flourish with blemishes of floundering magic. I have seen and admired few, and continue to revel upon couple of them.

Yet, such characters become an inevitable part of our lives, and in sport, we call them legends.

2012 has been one of those years that epitomized solo goodbyes (adding on self to a listless juggernaut :)). Cricket, amongst all, indulged in few classic ones.

When Ponting called it quits, a feeling crept and was descriptive in its own backyard. When VVS and ‘Wall’ hung up their boots, saw a vacuum that was felt as a self obsessed cricket nation would. Rightly so! Alright, Strauss left too but honestly, with all due respect, his was more conventionally drawn and pasted.

Neither do my eloquent first liners hand over a certificate to Punter’s on field exploits. Personally, and dramatically, I have never been a great Ponting maniac. In fact, I have often dismissed his own with lesser known struggles of his self confessed career strokes. A more significant reason ought to be the fact that we have been his most desired nemesis and I have some painful memories that were a cause of immense damage to our winning ways.

To be precise, some of his majestic innings have eluded famous victories that could have been ours. The most disgusting of all was his knock of 140 in the 2003 World Cup final; it was ours, almost, till Indian hopes eroded with a savage innings from Ricky Ponting and we were destroyed. Not that I loved his 242 and 257 in Adelaide and MCG in December 2003, that was probably the closest we had ever approached towards a first ever series win in the Australian soil. But it was not to be. Ponting was sitting in zenith and was determined to deliver guns against one of the finer and fighting Indian sides to play Cricket in the last 20 years. He did so, and I remember those knocks with soiled eyes (Sorry Punter!)

Out of his 71, 14 masquerading tons came against India. Evidently, he loved smacking us and from my side of the pitch, it was a misfortune to acknowledge few of those splendid innings that I have seen in the last 20 years of competitive world cricket.

Coming back, I still feel robbed. Lara left, Kumble and Dada progressed to script a different route for themselves. Still, was content enough to witness a phoenix act. Muralidharan and Jayasuriya hung up, and so did the menacing combo of ‘Hayden & Gilchrist’ and ‘McGrath and Warnie’. VVS, Andrew Strauss and then Dravid put the nail in the right places of the coffin. With Punter gone, Cricket feels a touch poorer.

Yup. I realize that here we are, in the age of ushering talent and hungry youngsters, and Cricket will bloom again. But I was stitched to an era that gave and spent Cricket’s moolah with elegance and master class. We still have a few torch bearers left; yet felt squashed before I sat to pen this down.

As I await the glory ahead, I feel gobbled with the food of vintage and vernacular past that still dances around with those beautiful toes.