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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top 10 Bollywood Movies of 2014



10. Kya Dilli Kya Lahore



9. CityLights




8. Filmistan




7. Miss Lovely





6. Highway




5. Finding Fanny




4. PK




3. Ugly




2. Queen




1. Haider




Honourable Mentions: Mardaani, Dedh Ishqiya, Mary Kom, Holiday, Amit Sahni ki List, Hasee Toh Phasee


Friday, December 12, 2014

25 awkward moments for every comic book/ movie fan



1. Quick Silver married his sister, Scarlet Witch, and they had a kid together (Godzilla)

2. Lex Luthor robbed Alfred and framed Lucius Fox (Now You See Me)

3. Joker and Robin went to High School together (10 Things I Hate About You)

4. Black Widow dumped Robin (Don Jon)

5. Nick Fury and Star Lord worked at Jurassic Park

6. Robin was close friends with Green Hornet (50/50)

7. Gambit and Hulk are brothers who wrestle (Foxcatcher)

8. Captain America, Punisher and Superman tried to kill Scott Pilgrim (Scott Pilgrim vs The World)

9. Ironman and Batman solved a noir case (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)

10. Mystique and Batman were married. They, along with Rocket Raccoon and Lois Lane, tried to take down Hawkeye (American Hustle)

11. Batman, along with the Hulk and Gwen Stacy, tried to put on a Broadway show (Birdman)

12. Bullseye and Hawkeye fought each other while Nick Fury was their leader (SWAT)

13. Joker, along with Penguin, Doc Brown, and Chucky, hung out in a crazy hospital (One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest)

14. Nick Fury along with Hartigan tried to stop Alfred from stealing gold (Die Hard with a Vengeance)

15. Wolverine banged Dejah Thoris and still John Carter helped him to defeat Green Lantern (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)

16. Bullseye was in love with Joker as well as Gail (Sin City) and Odin narrated the love saga (Alexander)

17. Whiplash killed Frodo (Sin City)

18. Jane Foster and Black Widow were sisters (The Other Boleyn Girl)

19. Antman had an affair with Nova Prime (Fatal Attraction)

20. Lex Luther and Gwen Stacy killed zombies (Zombieland)

21. Obi Wan Kanobi banged Black Widow (The Island)

22. Green Hornet and Harry Osborne tried to kill Kim Jung Un (The Interview)

23. The Riddler fell in love with Obi Wan Kanobi (I Love you Phillip Morris)

24. Batman and Hawkeye kidnapped Maya Hansen while robbing banks and Carol Ferris wouldn't leave Batman alone (The Town)

25. Deadshot went back in time to save Thanos from being killed by an alien. Thanos grew older and became Two-Face (Men in Black 3)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Book Bond- Meet and Greet with Ashwin Sanghi

It’s not every day that one receives a phone call to attend an exclusive meet with a national bestselling author, least of all the same author who had judged your story and found it good enough to be published. The author is none other than Mr.. Ashwin Sanghi who has churned one successful book after another, namely The Rozabel Line, Chanakya’s Chants, The Krishna Key and Private India (co-authored with James Patterson).

The meet with the author was organised as a prelude to the fifth edition of ‘Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest’ which is scheduled to be held from 30th October to 2nd November in Mumbai. The venues of the event are NCPA, Nariman Point (Oct 30 – Nov 2) as well as Prithvi Theatre and The Easel in Juhu (Nov 1-2).


The Book Bond- Meet and Greet with Ashwin Sanghi was organised on the 20th of October at Taj Vivanta, Cuffe Parade. Apart from the fantastic venue, the event even boasted of hosting Mumbai’s finest bloggers. The Tata Group needs to be given credit to bringing together such versatile bloggers under one roof.


The event started with the host Mr. Anil Dharker, who is the festival director as well, enlightening us about the Lit Fest. He went on to speak about how this year’s LitFest was bigger and better than the previous four editions. Mr.. Sanghi kept nodding in agreement; he added that the Tata LitFest was the most authentic literary festival in India with multitude of people actually standing in long queues to attend the festival.



Once the bloggers were informed about the LitFest, Mr. Dharker went on with his discussion with Mr. Sanghi. The various topics discussed included the present and the future of Indian literature, challenges of getting published in the Indian market, authenticity of history and mythology, present state of poetry, and the discussion concluded with words of advice to the aspiring authors by Mr.. Sanghi.



Ashwin’s Reading Addiction


Mr. Sanghi spoke about his initial days as a “book-keeper” and the influence his grandfather, an avid book-reader himself, had on him as a kid which enabled Mr.. Sanghi to devour books one after another. He confessed that he cherishes each book given by his grandfather and has them even numbered.


‘The best gift a parent can give his child is introducing him/her to the world of reading.’





Authenticity of History and Mythology


Mr. Sanghi questioned the genuinity of history. It was news to me when he said that almost 200 versions of Ramayana had been written. He further said that the first book on Chanakya was written 900 years after his death. So history is the co-existence of facts and fiction.

‘I had once happened to come across a temple of Amitabh Bachchan. The saadhu was offering his prayers to a huge photo of Amitabh Bachchan. It was only when I stepped outside and saw the Amitabh Bachchan Chaalisiya being sold outside, did I realise that the saadhu was chanting the same incantation. Now if more of such temples come into existence, then 500 years down the line, Amitabh Bachchan would be treated as nothing short of a messiah. Perhaps the same has happened before.’


Traditional v/s Self-Publishing

Ashwin Sanghi’s ‘Rozabel Line’ was rejected by almost all the traditional publishers, forcing him to self-publish under the anagram Shawn Haigins. Since ‘Rozabel Line’ received critical acclaim, Mr. Sanghi decided to try to get the book published again in India. And this time, Westland publishers obliged.

‘Self-publishing is the easiest way to get yourself published. A literary agent may help you get past the initial hurdle and approach the traditional publishers but unless the content is worth reading, it’s very difficult to get it published by the traditional publishers; whereas in case of self-publishing, the content never matters.’

Advice to Aspiring Authors
  1. Always keep a peg of Whisky alongside you while writing.
  2. Market your book shamelessly.

Mr. Dharker announced the shortlists for three coveted Book Awards – Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year (Fiction and Non-fiction), Tata Literature Live! First Book Award (Fiction and Non-fiction) and Tata Literature Live! Business Book Award.

The highlight of the evening was the autograph session wherein Mr. Sanghi showed his humble side as he signed personalised copies of ‘Private India’ (I got all his four books autographed) and answered numerous questions by the bloggers.




The spectacular event was just a sneak peak to the four days LitFest.



Friday, October 3, 2014

Chapter 19: New World Order

A tale from one of the members of Team Supernova

Read the previous part of the story here


 “Bastards!”

Sarit Ray’s voice bellowed in the empty cabin on the 23rd floor of the Indiabulls Finance Centre as he pulled his hair in anger and frustration. It had been over a fortnight since his team had managed to get exclusive news. This didn’t bode well with his boss, who blamed him for the incompetency of his team. Tara, his go-to person in such situations, hadn’t contacted him since morning, and her phone was also unavailable.

Sarit felt naked without Tara. He didn’t feel like leaving his office. Picking up his phone, Sarit dialed a number.

‘Banerjee. My office in two.’

Sanchayan Banerjee, a tall guy with a frail body, entered Sarit’s office. His breathing was shallow. Clearly he had run all the way from his workplace till here, upon his boss’s beckoning.

Sarit was in no mood to acknowledge Sanchayan’s dedication towards his work. Instead, he decided to give Sanchayan a piece of his mind.

‘How did the interview with that slimy pervert Mathur go? Did he answer your questions or was he being a dodge ball?’

Sanchayan shifted his weight from one leg to another uncomfortably.

‘Answers. I need some bloody answers Banerjee.’

‘Sarit, Mathur had an early meeting with the home minister. So he postponed the interview. But I was able to interview his assistant regarding Mathur’s stance on anti-feminism.’

‘I was born at night but it wasn’t last night. You think you can bullshit me? You had been given one simple job and you managed to fuck that up as well. What am I supposed to do for tomorrow’s cover story now?’

‘Sarit, Mathur’s assistant did say something interesting- “Here is one thing that will never be equal. If a woman asks a stranger in a bar or street for sex, the success rate is 50-90 % but if a man does, the success rate hovers around 5 %. If the system is set up for men, how come it’s harder for men to get laid than it is for women? I thought women wanted equality? Now they want enlightenment as well? Do they also want men who can make a great cocktail, recite a Rachmaninov piece and do the full Kamasutra?” How is this for your cover story tomorrow?’

‘Did Mathur’s assistant really mention Rachmaninov? You have an explosive story with you. I need you to write it and proof-read it twice before sending it to me. Leave.’

At the stroke of midnight, there was a knock on Sarit’s door.

‘That was fast. Come on in, Banerjee,’ barked Sarit. ‘For your sake, I hope you better not have fucked up this time.’

The watchman entered the cabin with a package.

‘Sir, this box arrived for you right now.’

Sarit eyed the package, which was labeled “Private and Confidential”, with curiosity.

‘You may close the door on your way out.’

Sarit ripped open the package. It contained a file, a notebook and a letter. Sarit picked the letter.

Sarit,

Every day I contact the courier guy and if I fail to do so, he has been given instructions to deliver this package to you. Since you’re reading this letter, it means either I’m dead or my family is in grave danger and we’ve gone underground.

I’ve been researching a group of hackers that goes by the name of XOMBIE. Perhaps you haven’t heard of XOMBIE but you’re no stranger to the crimes that they’ve been able to successfully pull off.

Their first major heist was shutting down Tokyo which resulted in the cancellation of share orders worth hundreds of billions of dollars in the Tokyo Stock Exchange. They embarrassed Japan. This was at a time when Japan openly condemned India for the labour problems faced by the Japanese companies like Suzuki and Honda in India.

Nobody can forget their second attack wherein they hacked into the Swiss Banks and collected the details of all the account holders. This was at a time when Switzerland had refused to share the list of Indians, suspected to have stashed unaccounted black money in Swiss banks, with the Indian government.

The last major XOMBIE attack was on USA when they took control of the Lockheed Martin satellites. And coincidentally this had happened when India objected to the US spy satellites which were meant to track nefarious activities in the Asian subcontinent.

All these attacks lead to one conclusion only- XOMBIE is a group of Indian hackers who are either too patriotic or working for the Indian government.


I began to actively use TOR to track XOMBIE’s moves in the last few months.

TOR is short for The Onion Router and it enables people to browse the internet anonymously.

The TOR network disguises your identity by moving your traffic across different TOR servers, and encrypting the traffic so that it isn't traced back to you. Anyone who tries would see traffic coming from random nodes on the TOR network, rather than your computer.

You just need to download the TOR browser to access the network. Everything you do in the browser goes through the TOR network and doesn't need any setup or configuration from you. That said, since your data goes through a lot of relays, so you'll experience a much more sluggish internet than usual when you're using TOR.

The TOR Library is full of interesting and hard to find stuffs ranging from conspectus files to manuals to pretty much everything else.

It was while browsing in the TOR network that I first read about The Kingmaker. The Kingmaker is supposedly the best hacker alive today and the leader of XOMBIE. He was able to bring together hackers from different nations to work under him. What intrigued me was the mention of Kingmaker in the numerous illegal websites like those of gambling, recreational drugs and child pornography.

The Kingmaker is a smart guy who has hired hackers from all around the world and can create havoc worldwide. The only mistake that the Kingmaker made was inadvertently revealing his identity. We now know that he is an Indian who has a vendetta against the countries that consider India to be inferior to them. Though he has not been known to get himself into conflicts, the latest rumor in the TOR message boards was that the Kingmaker was planning to bring about a sinister New World Order.

The notebook contains all my findings on XOMBIE and the Kingmaker. It also contains the detailed reports of all the XOMBIE attacks and their consequences. That’s not all. The file contains the identities of all the Indian hackers, living and dead.


Sarit, you’ve always known me to be a thorough professional who does her research, and believes only in facts and not rumors. Trust me, something big is going down and the whole world as we know may end, if nothing is done to stop XOMBIE.

Sarit, you’re the only person I rely on; I’m counting on you to do what needs to be done.

Tara

Sarit read the letter once again. After going through Tara’s notebook and file, he picked the telephone receiver.

‘Banerjee, we have explosive Breaking News. My office in two.’

Sarit, in his excitement, failed to notice the red dot that had traced a path from his heart to his forehead.


By the time, Sanchayan entered Sarit’s cabin, the wind was howling against the open curtains and Sarit lay dead with his brains splattered on the cleared out table.


The next part of the story is continued here


"Me and my team are participating in Game Of Blogs at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Chapter 2: Kick-off

A tale from one of the members of Team Supernova

Read the previous part of the story here


Tara Dutta’s mind was bubbling with various conflicting thoughts as she stepped out of her office, into the parking lot. Why did the Principal of St. Mary Girls School request to meet her at such a short notice? What could it be? Had Roohi’s disobedience gone beyond the acceptable limit? The Principal had sounded tired on the phone and this worried Tara.

Earlier in the morning, Tara had been busy covering an unfortunate mishap. A Churchgate fast local train had rammed into the rear of an Andheri bound train. Over 110 people were killed in the accident. The Home Minister was livid in the press conference and had announced that investigation was being carried out as they spoke. Tara’s team had come up with numerous possibilities, from negligence of the motorman to even a probable terrorist plot. Tara was annoyed at the incompetency of her team as none of them had remotely suggested the possibility of a signaling error. The call from Roohi’s Principal just agitated her further.

Tara ran towards her Ford Ikon; the driver was ready with the engine and air-conditioner on, and held the door open for her to get in.

The driver wasted little time and soon the car had crossed CST and was cruising along the JJ flyover. The cruise was short lived as the driver was forced to bring the car to a halt. A pulling cart had hit a motorcycle, which in turn, had come under a BEST bus, leading to pandemonium.

Tara didn’t like the sight she witnessed and cursed her luck. ‘These useless ghaatis should know better and follow the traffic rules. They are drawn to Mumbai like a moth to the flame. How I wish the city was rid of such vermin. Waiting here for the traffic to clear would be futile. Driver, doosra rasta ley lo.’

After twenty minutes of periodic start-and-stop motion, the vehicle left the flyover and was zooming past other vehicles in no time.

Meanwhile, Tara was lost in her thoughts.

At an early age, she had lost her parents in car accident. Her mind had blocked almost all memories of the orphanage. The only memory that she remembers vividly is of the day when her best friend was adopted by a young couple, leaving her alone. She had taken a pledge. She had decided that she would win at any cost; therefore she would win. She had no second thoughts about it. She basked in the small victories of her life until she met Shekhar Dutta.

Shekhar made her feel humane and played an essential role in transforming her from an ambitious and a self-centered girl into a compassionate and an understanding woman. Being with Shekhar, Tara had felt carefree and alive for the first time in her life.

After graduation, Tara joined a media house. It’s easy to get into media business. What’s hard is to get out. Tara knew she would control her destiny if she stood alone. Her work became her livelihood. While others took time to become acquainted and fraternize with one another, Tara wasted no time in her quest to become the best. Her competitiveness and will to win came back to her naturally; it had just been in hibernation and was lying dormant. Tara Dutta soon became a name to reckon with among the media professionals.

Tara’s success may have overshadowed Shekhar’s achievements in his work field but he wasn’t envious. Shekhar and she were like oil and vinegar; they went together but never mixed. They both adapted simultaneously to each other’s lifestyles without any complaints whatsoever.

Shekhar was on a trip and Roohi, as usual, had become unmanageable in her father’s absence. People are often dealt a bad hand. They have to struggle on and make do with what they’ve been given. Roohi would resort to numerous antics to get Tara’s attention. Tara knew her daughter very well to realize why she had been called to the school today.

Tara’s train of thoughts was interrupted at the sight of St. Mary Girls School. Tara exited the car and ordered her driver not to leave the vehicle as she would return soon to go back to work.

Being the mother of a notorious child, Tara knew the way to the Principal’s office having being summoned there numerous times but never under such a mysterious circumstance.

The door of the Principal’s office stood ajar which surprised Tara as the Principal was a disciplinarian and she always insisted that people inculcate the habit of knocking on a door before entering. Feeling a bit odd, Tara glanced inside the office and the scene before her left her speechless.

The Principal was bent over Roohi and was feeding her a bar of Snickers. Upon seeing her mother, Roohi jumped off the chair and ran towards her. Tara’s was amazed at her daughter’s sudden display of affection and she gave a quizzical look to the Principal.

‘Ma’am, if you could please settle down first.’

Tara made herself comfortable in the armchair beside Roohi.

‘That’s better now. There was an abduction attempt on your daughter.’

Tara couldn’t believe her ears and the colour drained off her face.

‘Ma’am, please listen to me before getting too worked up. The abduction attempt was foiled, courtesy our watchman. He had seen Roohi being accompanied by an unidentified man towards a van. Sensing something suspicious about the entire episode, he created a ruckus by howling at the passersby about a possible kidnap attempt. The chaos was enough to scare the kidnapper away. Your daughter wasn’t harmed in the incident, though she keeps insisting that the rogue was her father’s friend. Such traumatic experiences can take a toll on a child as young as Roohi. I request you to take Roohi to a doctor and bring her back to school only when she feels better.’

Tears welled in Tara’s eyes as the realization hit her that her daughter was almost taken away from her. She couldn’t thank the Principal enough. The Principal was right. Taking care of Roohi was her utmost priority. She cannot lose her composure now; she has to remain strong for her daughter.

Carrying Roohi in her arms, Tara headed towards her car. The driver was nowhere to be seen. Normally, she would have lost her cool, but at that instant her mind was preoccupied with the task of returning her daughter safely to home.

The driver’s number was unavailable and despite waiting for him for around ten minutes, there was no sign of him. Tara couldn’t wait any longer and decided to drive Roohi to home herself. She would deal with the incompetent driver later.

Once inside the car, an excited Roohi talked about the trick that she had played on her classmate. Her enthusiasm knew no bounds as not only had she left school early that day, she was also getting to spend extra time with her workaholic mother.

Seeing a hysterical and blissfully happy Roohi calmed Tara’s nerves. Looked like things would soon go back to normal. Little did she know that she was driving her daughter in a death machine.

The next part of the story is continued here

"Me and my team are participating in Game Of Blogs at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us."

Friday, June 6, 2014

Loss of Innocence

The truth I beheld is no more around,
The movement of wings is on the other way bound,
The young eyes which watched the little ants moving on a trail,
The adult pride has lost the craze.

The flower with crimson peals,
The butterfly standing akimbo on the pollen;
My eyes don't see it anymore,
Dishonesty and distrust is what I see even more.

The rosy picture which everyone showed,
The lovely smiles which everyone sparkled,
The words of endearment and love proclaimed,
Was as if just for the visible face.

My soul was strained by the continuous shattering of promises broken,
The innocence was lost,
Innocence in eyes which smiled,
Innocence of words which were said when meant.

The child round the corner,
I beg you to fill the air again with the clustering laughs,
To bring back the innocence,
Which we as adults have lost.



Published in the anthology 'Confessions of a Heart'.

Monday, May 26, 2014

My Role Model: NaMo

The country has a new leader and role model in Narendra Modi. The way he led the campaign has set new standards not only in politics but also in the areas of leadership and organizational performance. As individuals and as an organization, we can draw a very large number of lessons in leadership studying the way he has conducted himself. I will list out some ten things that Narendra Modi has become my role model for. I am sure you will find many more such things that one can take away from his style of leadership.



Thought Leadership: From his early days as Chief Minister, Narendra Modi has focused on bringing in new thoughts and ideas –in governance and on India and its people. This thought leadership made him the natural leader for the party and now the nation. His extensive travel and interaction with people at every level helped him gain the pulse of every section of society. In turn, it helped him look at India from a very unique perspective and when he spoke, he touched every single individual by focusing on professional groups, language groups and age groups individually.

Hard work, passion and dedication: Narendra Modi proved that there is no substitute for hard work and hard work is always rewarded above anything else. He also proved that age is never a constraint. He sleeps barely for three or four hours. His commitment is only to the nation – and everything else whether it is his family or his own pleasure is inconsequential. He will become a role model for hard work and dedication and it will influence all of us to put in more hard work, commitment and effort in everything we do.

Turning adversity into an opportunity: Narendra Modi was able to convert every challenge into an opportunity, every unfounded criticism – including the reference to chaiwalla – into an advantage.  In the face of criticism, he never tried to defend himself. Instead he made his action speak for himself.

Planning, meticulous execution and discipline: Looking at the results it is evident that every single detail was looked into, every scenario was imagined and accounted for and every step was meticulously planned and executed with the maximum discipline.

Team work and decentralizing execution: As a leader, he was able to attract some of the best brains, identified each one’s strengths and built together a team that multiplied every effort of his. He relied on them, trusted on them and decentralized and delegated adequately to achieve the maximum potential.

Believing in one self and in India: As a leader he showed conviction and confidence in his own abilities. His belief in the idea of India, the potential of India and in the Indian values and culture has made him dearer to everyone.

Simplicity in thought and communication: His campaign focused on the basics of communication rather than complicated messages. His message was all in one-liners – aab ki baar…, acche din aane wale hain, Congress-mukt Bharat etc, was easy to understand and even easier to replicate into memes that moved from person to person. His heavy reliance on symbolism – whether the selfies or contesting from Varanasi, and the high sense of aesthetics – from his dresses to the ad campaigns, transformed the discourse of the election in every single way.

Agility and nimbleness: Before anybody could expect, Narendra Modi and his team would react to every single development during the campaign. Even though it was meticulously planned, his team always retained the ability to change course, take advantage of a development or amend the strategy before anyone else could.

Being relevant: When it came to ideas, technology or social media, he was willing to learn from the best in the world and adapt fast to be relevant in the current context.

Power of the youth: The ten crore young, new voters possibly made one of the biggest difference in the outcome. And Narendra Modi possibly believed in the power of the youth first and more than anyone else. He was able to understand and utilize them.

This election and the emergence of Narendra Modi as a national leader could well be a turning point for politics, society and economy of our nation. I see a new era beginning, a nation that much more confident of itself and therefore more open to change. For example, I feel that Hindi and Indian languages will gain prominence over English in national discourse, a lot more people from very diverse economic and social backgrounds will gain leadership roles in society, hard work will be much more valued, a new sense of pride and self-belief in all things Indian will emerge and positivity and optimism will take our nation to new heights. It is an opportunity for all of to learn from his leadership and gain from it.

I am writing about #MyRoleModel as a part of the activity by Gillette India in association with BlogAdda.com.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Top 10 Six Word Stories

I'm writing a 'story' post after a seven month writing hiatus. But let me tell you beforehand, these stories are not mine. Instead of penning down stories myself, I've been reading a lot lately and I was amazed by the brilliance of the following stories.


1. Strangers. Friends. Best Friends. Lovers. Strangers.

2. The smallest coffins are the heaviest.

3. 'Just Married!' Read the shattered windshield.

4. An only son. A folded flag.

5. "Passengers! This isn't your captain speaking."

6. Brought roses home. Keys didn't fit.

7. Jumped. Then I changed my mind.

8. "It's our fiftieth, table for one."

9. "What's your return policy on rings?"

10. I met my soul-mate. She didn't.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Book Review: Supertraits of Superstars by Priyanka Sinha Jha


Author: Priyanka Sinha Jha
Publisher: Rupa Publications
ISBN: 978-81-291-2978-9
Price: 195 INR
Pages: 186

Blurb:

Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Vidya Balan, Karan Johar. Each of these celebrities are adored and looked up to by millions who aspire to emulate their success stories. But what is it that separates them, and other Bollywood stars, from the rest? Which is that one defining trait that makes them stand out, and how can you benefit from knowing it?

In this one-of-a-kind book, Priyanka Sinha Jha looks at eleven luminaries from Bollywood, and the attribute that is perhaps most responsible for their success. She details their stories; their struggles, their efforts to overcome setbacks, and what it is about them that made them not just reach the top of their game, but stay there. Be it Amitabh Bachchan’s discipline, Aamir Khan’s perfectionist nature, Salman Khan’s generosity, John Abraham’s enterprise or Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s grace—each star has one unique quality that others can imbibe to reach greater heights in their own lives. With pithy observations and inspirational conversations, Supertraits of Superstars will show you how to live life star-size.

Review:

Mumbai is a city of dreams and the city of Bollywood. Every day people from all over the country come here in hopes of ruling the Friday Box-Office one day. But only some succeed. ‘Supertraits of Superstars’ by Priyanka Sinha Jha tells the success stories of 11 luminaries of the Bollywood industry. The author focuses on the traits of each of these celebrities which they have mastered and which has enabled them to reach the pinnacle of glory and success.

Positives:

i. Truly inspirational and easy to relate
ii. A light read and a page turner
iii. Describes how the celebrities overcame their shortcomings
iv. The several anecdotes and interview quotes keeps the book interesting

Negatives:

While the language is crisp and has been written targeting all age-groups, it was a bit repetitive with the author going around in circles. Each of the chapters could have been decreased a bit and instead the traits of more luminaries like Naseeruddin Shah, Kamal Hasan, Rajinikanth, Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit could have been added.

Best Chapters: Vidya Balan, John Abraham and Hrithik Roshan


If you’re a Bollywood fan or you like self-help books, ‘Supertraits of Superstars’ is a must-read book for you.

Rating: 3.5/5

Author Bio:

Priyanka Sinha Jha is a journalist who in her eighteen-year-long career, has written on celebrities, films, lifestyle, business and more. She has been a correspondent for publications as varied as Citadel, The Asian Age and Intelligent Investor. At the age of twenty-six, she became the editor of Society, India's first celebrity magazine, followed by a stint as editor of HT Style and HT Saturday. Currently, she is the editor of Screen, India's foremost film and entertainment weekly. She has also contributed to Outlook, The Week and Tehelka, and has a regular column in The Indian Express: Play.

Between analyzing celebrities and earning her daily bread, she likes to travel to unknown destinations, watch films and argue endlessly on egalitarian issues with friends and family.




[The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve]

Saturday, March 1, 2014

86th Annual Academy Awards (OSCARS 2014) Predictions



ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The nominees:

Before Midnight- Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
Captain Phillips- Billy Ray
Philomena- Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
12 Years a Slave- John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street- Terence Winter

Major Contenders- 12 Years a Slave and The Wolf of Wall Street

Winner: 12 Years a Slave





ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The nominees:

American Hustle- Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine-Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club- Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack
Her- Spike Jonze
Nebraska- Bob Nelson

Major Contenders- American Hustle and Her

Winner: American Hustle





ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

The nominees:

The Croods- Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson
Despicable Me 2- Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri
Ernest & Celestine- Benjamin Renner and Didier Brunner
Frozen- Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho
The Wind Rises- Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki

Major Contenders- Frozen and The Wind Rises

Winner: Frozen





SUPPORTING ACTRESS

The nominees:

Sally Hawkins- Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence- American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o- 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts- August: Osage County
Jane Squibb- Nebreska

Major Contenders- Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong'o

Winner- Lupita Nyong'o





SUPPORTING ACTOR

The nominees:

Barkhad Abdi- Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper- American Hustle
Michael Fassbender- 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill- The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto- Dallas Buyers Club

Major Contenders- Barkhad Abdi and Jared Leto

Winner- Jared Leto





LEAD ACTRESS

The nominees:

Amy Adams- American Hustle
Cate Blanchett- Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock- Gravity
Judi Dench- Philomena
Meryl Streep- August: Osage County

Major Contenders- Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Judi Dench

Winner- Cate Blanchett





LEAD ACTOR

The nominees:

Christian Bale- American Hustle
Bruce Dern- Nebreska
Leonardo DiCaprio- The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor- 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey- Dallas Buyers Club

Major Contenders- Leonardo DiCaprio, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew McConaughey

Winner- Matthew McConaughey





DIRECTOR

The nominees:

American Hustle- David O. Russell
Gravity- Alfonso Cuarón
Nebraska- Alexander Payne
12 Years a Slave- Steve McQueen
The Wolf of Wall Street- Martin Scorsese

Major Contenders- David O. Russell and Alfonso Cuarón

Winner: Alfonso Cuarón





BEST PICTURE

The nominees:

American Hustle
Captain Philips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebreska
Philomena
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Major Contenders- American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity and 12 Years a Slave

Winner: 12 Years a Slave




I hope we all have a gala time watching the 85th Annual Academy Awards.
Have a Nice Day.