Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Social Network, again. I continue to be fascinated by how they did it.

I swing between regarding Sorkin as a genius and someone with no respect for the medium of film. Film should be a healthy marriage of show and tell, visuals and talk - his writing is almost the exact opposite, the extreme end of too much talk. But, the words work so well together that  you can close your eyes and just listen to the dialog. So, either Sorkin just wrote the way he did, without any respect for the grammar of cinema (which is what most hacks do) or he understood it so well, saw it so clearly that he could play with it the way he wanted to (it almost always takes a genius to do that). Whichever way you look at it, it is very clear that directing material like Sorkin's is a very very tough job. His material has led to invention of film-devices like the "walk & talk"! (BTW: would you call it a "trope"? It's more like a narrative device, but, for film...ah! forget it) Here is a great sampler from 30 Rock where they do the walk & talk with Aaron Sorkin himself in the cameo - "We don't need two metaphors, that's bad writing, not that it matters..." - comedy gold!

I had seen Mike Nichols' Charlie Wilson's War and that made me think "How could Sorkin write something so big, so grand in scope and still be meticulous enough about the small moments?" However, all in all that film did not have as big an impact as The Social Network did. Maybe it was some nuance in the writing or maybe it was the director. I'll go with the director there. (please don't misunderstand me, I think Nichols is a great director in his own right, Closer is proof and so is The Graduate, Catch 22 etc.)

So, Sorkin material is tricky. Which is why I feel that Sorkin should only work with people like David Fincher, who can carve a fiercely visual experience out of his words. Somehow I think Fincher is a lot more fierce, emotional and personal about making his films. He tries harder, fights harder, goes nastier and so on. And I feel that it shows.

I keep going back to Zodiac for David Fincher with the same kind of awe that I felt for CWW and Sorkin. How did he do it? How could he be so grand in scope, yet so mindful of the smallest details? Also, I keep watching The West Wing, Studio 60, Sports Night for Aaron Sorkin's writing, trying to make sense of it all.

Then I see The Social Network.

We can all get into arguments about the events around Facebook were not as big a deal as the events around Afghanistan and that that would in turn affect the film that got made, but, it would be a moot discussion. The point is that regardless of the subject, Fincher and Sorkin have always been able to treat it (the subject matter) well, break new ground and deliver gold. And to do that well you need to know you stuff really-really well.

And that, is genius.

So, when in this interview I heard Sorkin talk about the mechanics of doing it, how he came to write The Social Network, how Mike Nichols and David Fincher treat his work (and what they bring to the table) and how they worked with the actors on the material, I was, as I said before, fascinated.

At the time of this post, embedding is disabled on these videos, therefore I'll directly link to the videos (that'll open in a new tab/window). Here we go:

  1. Part 1 of the interview,

  2. Part 2 of the interview,

  3. Part 3

  4. and Part 4.

Fascinating! :)


Friday, May 20, 2011

The Marvel Way!

How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way!

Stan Lee's books, Richard Williams' books, Andrew Loomis' books and The Illusion of Life.

These were some of the books (in increasing order of preference) that fascinated me when I used to do 3D and computer graphics. What little I can draw, I learnt from these books. I remember buying The Illusion of Life for 2,500 rupees when my salary was exactly cannot-afford-it-at-all per month. These books, they were glorious, brilliant, great!

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Richard Williams (The animator's survival kit) and Stan Lee had also done instructional video versions of their books! Where was I? Why had I not seen this before?

The Richard Williams set is a little expensive today (when has that ever been an excuse?...hehe)

Happily enough, the Stan Lee set is available as a set of videos on YouTube. :)

Stan Lee and John Buscema made this video in 1988! Makes for really interesting viewing. :)

Here's the complete set of videos:

  1. The Tools and The Terms of The Trade! 

  2. The Secrets of Form! Making An Object Look Real!

  3. The Power of Perspective!

  4. Let's Study The Figure!

  5. Let's Draw The Figure!

  6. The Name of the Game is ACTION!

  7. Foreshortening! Drawing the Figure in Perspective!

  8. Drawing The Human Head!

  9. Composition!

  10. Draw Your Own Comic Book Page! 

  11. The Comic Book Cover!

  12. The Art of Inking!

  13. Credits! 

I am not sure if I am within rights to put these videos up. No, but as long as they are available on YouTube I figured there's no harm in linking to them right? 

Cheers to Stan Lee and all the ones with a charmed pencil :)


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Winter Queen (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #1)

Cover Art of the BookI finally am done with this one! The going was slow, I blame it on the bad bump I had hit with the previous book. But, in the end it was very good! Read on...

I was reading 'Not a Penny more, Not a Penny less' earlier and I had a nasty hunch that the book would take away a lucky streak of good books that I was running before that - The Angel's Game, The End of Mr.Y, The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Quite Ugly One Morning.

It did. The plot was a wafer thin, see through deux-ex-machina. Totally broke the rhythm. I started this book after 'Not a Penny...' in hopes of starting another good run.

I am happy to report that The Winter Queen did bounce me back. However, there were a couple of things that kept me from going as high as the last good run. Maybe it'll get better with the next book I get my hands on.

Unlike 'Not a Penny...', the language and the plot construction here is very good! Boris Akunin sets the voice a little sarcastic of the extreme formalism and of the red-tape that symbolize any "for the people" communist government (also representative of the management echelons of any modern day corporate house). He brings out humour in the most unusual situations and makes you smile in new and interesting ways, all through maintaining a language that sounds faux-heavy and mockingly self-serious.

** spoiler alert **

Fandorin, the detective protagonist works for the government, a "public servant". He is a black sheep in a system, where its a taboo being one! And despite all the bother of his situation, Erast Fandorin, through a series of humurous events, manages to make glorious progress (in his career). It really had me rooting for the protagonist in a very refreshing way.

The hook of the book, that involves solving small mysteries which lead to the main one works very well! It kept my interest alive till about half the book, by which time I was totally hooked! A very well executed plot indeed.

Now for the small bother I have with the book. It became a little run-of-the-mill mundane in a couple of places. In a book that is this new and innovative, these situations stand out like Fandorin's mustache in London. Cultural idiosyncrasies carry a lot more weight than dramatic escapades when our Russian hero is out locking horns with evil in London, a place he's never been to before.

The other trifle-stifle is the denouement of the mystery. It almost led me to the resumption of my disbelief. A dangerous situation. I attribute it to the translation though and to my lack of cultural understanding of the Russia the novel talks about. The end is meant to inspire awe and make one marvel at the enormity of the Goliath our David was facing. It falls a little flat and tests the reader's suspension of disbelief a little too hard. I suspect it is the English translation of things that causes the book to loose it's whip.

But, at the very end, the very end when Fandorin says goodbye to his youth. It turns to solid gold again. I have purchased three other Fandorin mysteries, in hopes of similar, if not better enjoyment. There are so many possibilities! :)

Also, on a related note, I feel confident that with a sharp eye and a happy heart, this novel can be transformed into a very engaging film.



Sunday, May 8, 2011

David Fincher - The 10 Part "Director's Dialogue" Interview

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="385" caption="David Fincher Mosaic by Charis Tsevis"]Original Artwork by Charis Tsevis, used under the Creative Commons license.[/caption]

I loved David Fincher's "Director's Dialogue" interview. I saw it on Trailer Addict some time before "The Social Network" was to be released in India.

Then I saw it again and thought "I really like this interview, let me put it up as a post so I can watch it again when I want to..." It was posted in 10 parts of about 5 minutes each, a little cumbersome to watch.

What I wanted to do here is link all the 10 parts in this post, so it's a little easier viewing the next time I want to watch it.

I really liked Mr. Fincher's easy humour and the way he can be lucid without saying much ("perfume commercial, perfume commercial, perfume commercia... condom comercial, perfume commercial..." etc.)

There's other things I liked about it, but first, here are the 10 parts:

[Update: Fuck!Fuck!Fuck!Fuck-ity!Fuck! Stupid WordPress does not allow embedding of videos from Trailer Addict - I keep regretting moving to this platform from Blogger...the move back may be tedious, or maybe! FUCK! For now, all this post has is a link that opens the relevant Trailer Addict page in a new tab/window. Sheesh! Grow the fuck up WordPress!]

  1. David Fincher, Director's Dialogue Interview, part 1

  2. David Fincher, Director's Dialogue Interview, part 2

  3. David Fincher, Director's Dialogue Interview, part 3

  4. David Fincher, Director's Dialogue Interview, part 4

  5. David Fincher, Director's Dialogue Interview, part 5

  6. David Fincher, Director's Dialogue Interview, part 6

  7. David Fincher, Director's Dialogue Interview, part 7

  8. David Fincher, Director's Dialogue Interview, part 8

  9. David Fincher, Director's Dialogue Interview, part 9

  10. David Fincher, Director's Dialogue Interview, part 10


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

a new mobile

It's Dec 2010, I've got a new mobile.
Being a mid-range-dual-touch-android-eclair-upgradable-to-froyo it's not a big deal but quite a mouthful nevertheless. It's also slick and I really like it. Making the first call on it (In front of Haiko, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai) reminded me...

It's been seven years since.
I am fatter than I was, my hair unusually gray, I am as un-presentable as always and it still felt good buying stuff for myself.

The mobile may be working finally, but now, the car is broken, the house needs repairs, the cooking gas cylinder is nearly empty, my feet hurt and I need exercise. There are more promises to keep than there ever were. Like always, some will be kept and others will just end up as my character flaws. Life is moving on, I need to follow suit.

Wherever this goes, there will always be a promise that I'll strive to keep. Promise!




Sunday, November 28, 2010

What could be good about a palm tree that has had most of its leaves hacked?
Dirty stubs forming a pineapple pattern on a cylindrical trunk. Nothing interesting there right?

Think of opportunities, of possibilities, of pretty colors and then, look at it again, preferably in early morning sunlight:

The Pruned-Palm trunk

Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai.

They seem like the neatest, upwardly mobile area in the suburban Mumbai.
The cluster of buildings look really nice, with their yellow arches, domes and ornaments. Right? Ummm...

Architecture-wise, they are a horror show, a road show and a circus act mixed together. Elements that have been haphazardly put together, with a lot of yellow colour and no semblance of aesthetics. However, when you see this place as a whole, you anyways feel impressed.

My guess is that this may be because of a phenomenon Barney Stinson (NPH, How I met Your Mother) calls 'The Cheerleader Effect' (google it!, UD, even FB!).

There are too many tall buildings around you that all look and feel the same. The sheer volume and detail overwhelms you into believing that it's all good work.

A (relatively) new entrant on this cruel and unusual exhibition of neatly-aligned-eyesores-in-cement is, this fountain. In the middle of buildings that are a mix of Gothic, Baroque, Greek, Roman and plain old Stack-o-Boxes styles of architecture, comes this fountain that has five Polynesian tiki columns mounted on a pile of concrete - no reason, just five tiki columns and a set of water jets. The whole thing looks plain weird and thoughtless.

Last night was different.

The Tiki-Con Fountain

I found a way to look at the ugly with a glint of pretty in my eye.

These images tell me that in everything ugly, there is a hidden angle, a perspective, that can make it look pretty.
A point of view. A point of contradiction. An Irony. A Con.

N.B. On a lighter note, it seems to me that the bloody spot is jinxed... Before this fountain was built, Amrita Rao, shot for a forgettable film called 'Pyare Mohan' with Fardeen Khan and Vivek Oberoi (whatever the spelling of his name was, at that point of time) in the exact same spot. Sigh! there are still somethings you can't find a good way to look at, no matter how you look at it. :P

Saturday, November 20, 2010


The writer of such plays as 'चूंती टोंटी', 'महकता नलका', 'काँच की बगल' and 'मटकी का तोपची' died accidentally and fatally in an accident today.

Taking note of this event, a bill was passed in the parliament, commissioning this day as a national holiday called "Thank God! day". Noted parliamentarians noted that the significance of such a holiday symbolizes our commitment to free speech, even if it comes at the cost of celebrating such authors.

Tomorrow being a Saturday, people are gearing up for a long weekend in the wake of this unexpected holiday. Youngsters across the nation are praising the author for his timely demise. Is it not said that "the true value of an artist is only known after he is gone"?

The postmodernist expert playwright who wrote the great play 'दरिन्दे का दिल' and it's even-better-sequel [sic], 'दिल का दरिन्दा' said "यह सब क़िस्मत का खेल है. I am writing a blog post about it. Also you can follow me on twitter and like my page on Facebook." Touché!

Amidst all this tension a group of French linguists from New Delhi have expressed their intense interest in the study of Hindi in Hindi plays and consequently in the works of the deceased. Fortunately and miraculously all of them are vampires and thus have nothing to loose anyway. We will write a blog post about it.

Also, you can follow us on twitter and like our page on Facebook.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Off we go!


"The ball is round, a game lasts 90 minutes, everything else is pure theory. "

- Josef (Sepp) Herberger (1897-1977)

This line is also a part of the sequence that opens Run Lola Run (w./d. Tom Tykwer, 1998).


The film however open with another Sepp Herberger quote:

"Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel"

After the game is before the game.

Before this game there was another one. After this game there will be another one.

Some say that the complete "ball-is-round" quote was: "The ball is round so that the game can change direction..."


The ball [earth] is round, a game [life] lasts 90 minutes, everything else is pure theory.
The ball is round so that the game can change direction...
After the game is before the game.


Once, in the film a desperate Lola asks "What should I do? What should I do?"
...and eventually answers herself "I'll just keep running..." [...for it's the best she could do.]

Life's getting tough, the ball is round, before this game there was another, after the game is before another, what should I do?

The best that I can.

So off we go!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bad Monkeys: A review

Some see this as an allegorical tale of good vs. evil, some see parellels with Phillip K Dick, yet others call it Matrix-y pulp trash.

To me this is just a really really good book. A work well done. A work that I really like.

I had earlier put this review up on goodreads and now it's here.

This book came up on my radar again. Shelf cleaning, book sorting and such like. I went through a quicky refresh across it today and my lofty head wished I get to make a film on this someday. A humbled me watching a film based on this book is far far more probable in the near future though. I have been following Matt Ruff's blog after reading this and it makes up for a pretty interesting read all by itself! Do try it! Am still searching for Fool on the Hill so I could buy it and try it, but till then, this review (almost) sums up what I think of Bad Monkeys. :)

The organization, the troop, the NC guns and the X drugs... the one word that kept going thru my mind was cult, cult, cult, cult...Probably because this was printed on the cover of the book. Probably because it really is cult!

The plot is well executed, truth concealing a lie, a lie is the key to another truth and so on... facts dance around facts till the final page. There is enough imagination, enough invention in there to keep pages of fan fiction coming over the years. The simple, good old "Good fighting evil" plot is presented in such style and panache that you cannot help but be charmed.

The author never slows the pace. Even at the risk of making the story seem like it is all falling apart. It seems hard to believe in places and there is actually a reason for it! If you can believe in Hobbits and Harry Potter, why question high tech sci-fi drug junkies out there fighting evil in Las Vegas' casinos?

For the ones looking for a payoff, the end may seem like a let down at first, but, seriously, try it again, read slowly, it is really is worth it! I cannot think of another way this would've ended. It starts with a punch and ends with another. :)

The one thing that most fascinated me was the idea implicit in the book. That truth is subjective. That lies are subjective. That good and evil are subjective. And what you choose to believe in changes the way you perceive all of it. What is really interesting is the way this idea is presented. A quote in the beginning of the book sums it up: "Conscience: the inner voice that warns us someone may be looking - H.L. Mencken"

All the science-fictioney inventions and high octane chases are gimmicks that totally add to the glory.

There are flaws, but, then again, to me they are inconsequential. I am a fan. I sit with the Bad Monkeys. You should too, if you ask my opinion. ;)

A note for the language prudes: This book is well written enough for me, like a film can be tightly edited. If you do not agree, go read your eighteenth century "literature" while you pick your noses at night. :P

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Chicago Diaries 02 - teaser

The Chicago Diaries 02 - teaser

The next one is coming up...
I cheated, I finally stole enough time to prepare for the next one.

No output for the past 2-3 months. Nothing new. This tends to create a lot of gas in the brain.
And as we all know, brain gas is very bad for the stomach. So finally, even if its bad, it's still a release.

feeling light already. :)

Hopefully, you'll like it.
Hopefully, I'll like it too.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

STAGEPLAY(Hindi): "रफ़ीक़" COLUMBUS M.B.A.


The Introductory Note

Empty Stage, with a Single Table and a Chair. Queen Isabella is sitting, filing her
nails. The
सूत्रधार walks in.


(Addresses audience)

In 1491, Columbus sailed the seas in a bid to discover a "THE SHORTEST ROUTE" to India. He landed in America. This is the story of what went wrong. DISCLAIMER: None of the characters in this play resemble anyone at my office, If someone tells you otherwise, don't believe it.

He is about to leave the stage, stops...


(Leaving the stage now...)

We start with the sales pitch at the chambers of her excellence Queen Isabella of Spain...

Exit सूत्रधार.

The Sale and the Start

Queen's phone rings. She picks up...


(sounds bored)

Oh! all right! Send him in...

Columbus enters stage, smiles, glib. Struts up to Queen Isabella. Gives a flourishing


(keeps running fingers thru the hair on his head, like a filmi hero)

Your Highness. मेरा नाम है Columbus. प्यार से लोग मुझे "रफ़ीक़" कहते हैं...And I, am an "M", "B", "A".


Her Highness Queen Isabella कहतीं हैं के...इरशाद baby!!!


Okay, My Queen. I have a PROPOSAL for you. हम Arabia से "Spices" बहुत मेंहगे खरीदते हैं. I'll discover "THE SHORTEST ROUTE" to India.

Queen looks lost. She has no clue. In addition she is bored.


फिर अपना direct connection, और market पर अपना ही राज! पैसा ही पैसा!!! बहुत profitable venture है. बस my Queen, एक बार हाँ कह दो.

"पैसा" is all Queen understood. She is interested, but still confused. Without thinking much she utters...


हाँ???? Uh!


Oh! Thank you so much My Queen. You won't regret it. क्योंकि मेरा नाम Columbus है, और लोग प्यार से मुझे रफ़ीक़ ऐसे ही नहीं कहते...hehehe...

Columbus exits stage. Queen is confused, picks up the phone, says...


इस sailor का नाम क्या था? रफ़ीक़? Columbus? Yah, yah okay...whatever...

She gets up and lazily walks away, off the stage. From the opposite end, सूत्रधार starts walking in again. Behind him, the TEAM and Columbus walk up to the table and settle...waiting for the सूत्रधार to leave the stage...


एक धमाकेदार sale close हुई. दो दिन बाद थी (marks these words in air quotes) "THE SHORTEST ROUTE" की kickoff meeting...

सूत्रधार walks off stage.


The Project KickOff Meeting

Columbus is looking excited. Walking up and down the stage. Sometimes, sitting, sometimes standing up and pacing around again. The rest of the team is standing around the table (or somewhere close...)in anticipation. All are really excited.


मालामाल हो जाएँगे!!! मस्त
opportunity मिला है! We have to discover "THE SHORTEST ROUTE" to INDIA!!!

Hearing this the entire team gets excited, and start talking to each other, all speaking together, expressing their initial excitement. Columbus watches on...

TEELU ख़ान

INDIA? YAY! INDIA!!! मज़ा आए गा!


sss बेटे की! INDIA!!! सही है!!! ख़तरनाक!!!

जोड़ तोड़


मानसिक दिमाग़

INDIA!!! INDIA!!! INDIA!!! अबे यार!!! INDIA!!! INDIA!!!


दोस्त! Idea दो! देखना अब तुम सब क्या famous हो जाओगे! और मैं क्या अमीर हो जाऊँगा! दोस्त! बस अब मुझे IDEAS दो!!! क्या क्या करने का है... (looks at each one, while saying..) Kyon Teelu ख़ान मेरे दोस्त!, चमकदार! कुछ सोच ना!, मानसिक! क्या बोलता है!, जोड टोड! सबकुछ चलना माँगता है!

Team members speak one after the other, no one listening to anyone else, just putting in their bit of excited ideas. (Note: They speak in quick succession, but not together...)

जोड़ तोड़

MAN! Test Driven Development करेंगे. As a Tester, MAN!मैं क्या बताऊँ क्या क्या मस्त ideas आ रहे हैं MAN!

TEELU ख़ान

आबे चुप! अपने क्या चाहिए मालूम है क्या? कम fuel लगे, और speed ज़्यादा मिले...


हाँ! हाँ! मैं एक नया engine बनाता हून! और Ship भी मस्त redesign करतें हैं...


(moving a little away from everyone...)

अबे तुम लोग मेरा allocation देख लो हाँ! पहले बता देते हैं...


(totally ignoring मानसिक)

हाँ! मज़ा आ रहा है ना? YEAH!


और हम लोग हैं ना, एक compass भी लगाएँगे ship में...


(abruptly, interrupting everyone...)

अच्‍छा "Accessibility" क्या-क्या होगा?

Suddenly the team enthu drops a few degrees...

TEELU ख़ान



अर्रे भाई! Queen का Law है! अपने को अँधा पब्लिक भी चाहिए ship पर! उन लोग Indian spices सूंघ के बताएगा!

मानसिक दिमाग़

(shaking his head)

अकल के अंधे...



देखना पड़ेगा, मैं engine में modifications कर दूँगा.

TEELU ख़ान

(trying to impress Columbus)

हो जाएगा!
हो जाएगा!



Everyone starts saying YES!! YAY!! again, looks like the enthu is coming back, when...


(business like)

तो अपना arrival date कभी है?


Arrival date? पर पहले मेरा engine...

is interrupted by Teelu ख़ान

TEELU ख़ान

Arrival date? अभी क्या पता की हम India कब पहुँचेंगे? अभी तो कोई planning भी नहीं की है...


तो let's plan!

The Planning Game

Team leaves stage for a short second and brings chairs with them, these they put around the table, and go into a silent animated discussion. In the mean time the सूत्रधार peeks in from the side of the stage, says...


And... so we come to the planning game...

and leaves immediately. At the same time Columbus enters Stage from the opposite end and starts meeting...


हाँ तो Guys! I am sorry, I am late,पर तुम लोग time से आया था ना! okay! tell me! कहाँ तक पंहुचे? क्या estimate है?

TEELU ख़ान

(counting on fingers, like a small businessman)

दो महीना r&d, चार महीना design, आठ जाने का, आठ आने का, और दो महीने का documentation, almost दो साल लगने वाला है!


OOH! AAH! HMM! It's big!

जोड़ तोड़

It's a big one man!


(again abruptly cutting everyone out)

Okay, Abhi, Queen ko दो हफ्ते में final report चाहिए, मैने commitment दे दिया है.

मानसिक दिमाग़

पर हमसे पूछना था ना!!! ऐसा कैसे???

Columbus totally ignores मानसिक again...There is a general uproar, eveyone starts making noises...

TEELU ख़ान

Too less time! सिर्फ़ travelling में एक-डेढ़ साल जाएगा!


क्यों? यह तो "THE SHORTEST ROUTE" है ना?


पर दो weeks? अभी तो मेरा engine भी नहीं बना...


(assuming mock sobriety, as if he cares - he doesn't)

Guys I hate to say this, but, We'll have to work on the weekends too.

There is general silence for a second...everyone was dreading this...


In fact, 2 weeks mean 14 days and 14 nights, मतलब we essentially have total 28 days...देखा! आराम से दो का चार! चल अभी दो की जगह चार हफ़्ता दिया...मुझे तो मस्त लग रहा है...

मानसिक listens to Columbus with growing dread

TEELU ख़ान

और लगभग 300 expert resources...


(doesn't let Teelu finish, shows mock aggression, anger)

आबे चल ना, 30 fresh new freshers दिया, यॅ resources-resources रोना बंद के यार मेरे सामने...

मानसिक listens to Columbus with growing dread, and then faints...

Everyone is Silent, when सूत्रधार reappears.


And the planning game still goes on...

सूत्रधार does not exit, he just turns and keeps watching...


अपने को किस direction में जाने का है?


Hmmm.... assume कर लो. बाद में compass में देख लेना. Compass लगाने के बाद direction भी सोचना पड़े तो compass का फ़ायदा क्या? Actually compass should also do accounting on the ship.

TEELU ख़ान

और क्या लगता है, कितना दूर होगा India?


फिर वही बात! "THE SHORTEST ROUTE" है, कितना दूर हो सकता है? Assume कर लो! C'mon guys! Don't give me problems... give me solutions...

Again everyone falls silent, सूत्रधार turns to the audience...


And the planning game still goes on...

सूत्रधार does not exit, he just turns and keeps watching...


Why do we need a new ship? Where is REUSABILITY??? Let's reuse our old one.Let's use Noah's ARK.

जोड़ तोड़

Noah's Ark के लिए compass अलग से testing करना पड़ेगा...


(Picking up मानसिक, who is feeling better...)

Par... Noah's Ark में तो सिर्फ़ 15 जन ही आते हैं? अपना crew तो 30 freshers का है...काश 300 experts...


तो shifts में काम नहीं कर सकते क्या?

TEELU ख़ान



Shift में आधे Ship पर रहो, और बाकी पीछे पीछे swimming करते आओ...

मानसिक faints again...

सूत्रधार turns to audience and says...


And as I just said... It just goes on... and on...

This time goes off stage...

TEELU ख़ान

और पब्लिक का खाना पानी  संडास वगेरह...???


(cutting him short too...)

अर्रे ए भाई! अपने इधर IDLE TIME का कोई कॉन्सेप्ट नहीं है. वो पानी वाले पानी में क्या करेंगे? संडास बातरूम सब पानी में करने का.

जोड़ तोड़

(risking another suggestion before meeting breaks..)

But I need to test the ship man! and I need to test the compass too...


अर्रे ए! PROTOTYPING नहीं सुना क्या! Ship क्यों test करना है? सिर्फ़ bathroom की बाल्टी में लख़्ड़ा टेस्ट करले...दरिया मैं चलना चाहिए...और सुन..

Suddenly T.J. barges on to the set in a lot of urgency... No one is expecting him, he walks straght up to जोड़ तोड़ and grabs his hand...(जोड़ तोड़, who in real life is Sid-iddharth, attends cruel super late night calls for the "BFW" account with T.J.)


Sid, चल यार ज़रा अपना BFW का कॉल है. बाद में देख लेना, अभी client बुला रहा है.


(Shashank gets out of character to become the real life project manager for a second)

अर्रे T.J. भाई वो play में है... कहाँ लेजा रहे हो...

T.J. mumbles a non committal reply, but, takes जोड़ तोड़ with him...


अब tester के बिना क्या करेंगे...?


(out of frustration...)

C'mon guys! Don't give me problems... give me solutions...I don't know when you will learn to take up challenges!!! Quality is just an overhead!!!

Columbus waits for a second and then pats Teelu ख़ान.

TEELU ख़ान

(snapping to attention, time to set the team straight...)

Okay guys! तुम लोग planning और setup में ही सारा time बर्बाद कर दोगे... चलो, get to work...

Everyone gets up and moves off stage...


दोस्त! मुझे एक RISK लग रहा है! अगर मुझे कुछ हो गया तो project डूब जाएगा. और मेरा काम तेरे बिना नहीं चलेगा...

TEELU ख़ान

Oh! अब क्या करें!!!


मुझे लग रहा है के, हुमको यहीं रुकना पड़ेगा. Team को ship पे भेजते हैं, और अपन लोग यहीं से remotely manage करते हैं.

TEELU ख़ान

Wow! आप मस्त solution सोचते हो!!!


(doing his fingers in his hair thingy again...)

hehehe... मुझे लोग प्यार से रफ़ीक़ ऐसे ही नहीं कहते...

They walk off stage smiling, while the सूत्रधार walks in again...


पर planning eventually ख़तम हो जाती है... and after some more time we come into PRODUCTION!!! EXECUTION!!!

सूत्रधार walks off stage.


The journey

We see Columbus and Teelu ख़ान sitting on the table. Columbus' legs are propped on the table.


(totally relaxed, as if the last two days have been nothing but अइय्याशी)

Aahh! "Pure Management" में होने का यही तो फ़ायदा है!

Teelu ख़ान looks up to listen to more management gems...but,


मेरे को भूख लगी है, तू कुछ लेगा क्या खाने को?

Teelu shakes head.


चल मैं अकेले का order करता हूँ, अच्छा...

buthe cannot finish his statement, as जोड़ तोड़ comes running to them...

जोड़ तोड़

MAN! It's perfect! It works so well.

He has something in his hand.


(back as Shashank for a second)

What happened. आ गया तू वापस. call का क्या हुआ...

जोड़ तोड़

(totally ignoring Columbus' comments)

MAN! यह compass एकद्ूम मस्त चल रहा है. सारे tests पास हो गये!

TEELU ख़ान

आबे compass तेरे पास था?!?!! तो ship पे क्या लगा है?


क्या फाल्तुगिरी है... phone कर. status report माँग.

Teelu ख़ान nods.

In the mean time जोड़ तोड़ keeps standing there...

TEELU ख़ान

Hellow! चमकदार! क्या चल रहा है! किधर जा रहे हो...


Sir! हम समंदर में हैं, और, बिल्कुल सीधे जा रहे हैं.

TEELU ख़ान

और तुम्हारा compass कहाँ है?


Sir compass की testing पूरी नहीं हुई थी. poor quality compass से हम wrong direction में चले जाते. सो हमने compass लिया ही नहीं.

This frustrates both Columbus and Teelu ख़ान, bloody developers, they always take the crucial decisions without informing their seniors. They both look at जोड़ तोड़, who shrugs.


Bloody Developers. They always take the crucial decisions without informing!!!

TEELU ख़ान

(trying to manage the situation)

कोई Landmark दिख रहा है?


Sir! हुमारे सामने sunrise हो रहा है!


Abe! वो! लगता है east में जा रहे हैं!!! उन्हे u-turn लेने को बोल!!! बोल west में जाने का है!!!

TEELU ख़ान



Okay Sir!


और Sir! हम थोड़े थोड़े नीचे की तरफ भी जा रहे हैं! लगता हैं Noah's Ark में कुछ leaks थे...

TEELU ख़ान

क्यों! Noah's Ark की testing किसने करी थी...

जोड़ तोड़

(interrupting the conversation)

मैने Noah's Ark के लख़्ड़े की टेस्टिंग करी थी...


करी थी?

जोड़ तोड़

हाँ, अपने bathroom के tub में.

TEELU ख़ान

अबे समंदर में जाके देखना तो था!!!

जोड़ तोड़

(shrugging, matter of fact)

Client call पे जाना पड़ा था...

Both Columbus and Teelu are feeling the strain now. Columbus is not playing with his hair. Teelu is not sitting...


Sir! Boat थोड़ा और नीचे चला गया.

TEELU ख़ान

Ship से वजन कम करो. पाँच आदमी को बोलो boat के पीछे बाकी 15 के साथ swim करें.


Okay sir!


(screams to his

5 aadmi boat खाली करो!!! Okay sir!

TEELU ख़ान

Noah Ark's की maintainance किसने करी थी...


Sir! मानसिक दिमाग़ ने. वो faint हो गया था... सो हमने उसे development से support में shift कर दिया था...

TEELU ख़ान

(to जोड़ तोड़, urgently)

मानसिक ने support team join करली?

(imitating Columbus)

क्या फाल्तुगिरी है...जल्दी मानसिक को भेजो!

जोड़ तोड़ exits in a hurry, and in a short time, मानसिक enters, sulking, lazy...

TEELU ख़ान

मानसिक! Noah's Ark में leaks थे?

मानसिक दिमाग़


TEELU ख़ान

तो! fix क्यूँ नहीं किए?

मानसिक दिमाग़

मुझे किसी ने नहीं बोला...

TEELU ख़ान

(totally furious)

किसी ने नहीं बोला? Functional Specs कहाँ हैं? चमकदार! Functional Specs कहाँ हैं!


Sir! शायद आपके पास हैं. हमें तो कभी मिले नहीं.

At this मानसिक starts smiling and skipping like a kid. Watching the frustrated managers is giving him great joy...

TEELU ख़ान

(looks and realizes that the specs are with him. quickly hides them under the seat)

तो क्या हुआ! इतनी obvious चीज़ें समझ नहीं आती...!!!

Columbus realizes that things are getting out of hand. He takes over.


मानसिक, support team इनकी क्या मदद कर सकती है?

मानसिक दिमाग़

मुझे पहले Queen से एक mail भिजवओ!

Now ignoring Columbus, मानसिक starts moving off stage!!!


(screaming after मानसिक)

पर mail servers तो down हैं!!!!

मानसिक moves off stage. still skipping.

सूत्रधार comes back on stage...


Sir! boat में अभी भी पानी भर रहा है!!!


चमकदार! चॅमकू! मेरे दोस्त! ऐसी situation में मैं तुझ पर ही depend कर सकता हून. और 15-20 लोग पानी में भेज दे...


Uh! Okay! sir 15-20 तो अब बचे भी नहीं!!! Uh! anyway sir! okay sir! (shouts orders to colleagues)

but the boat is still going down...


Sir! boat अभी भी नीचे जा रहा है!!!


चॅमकू! मेरे दोस्त! Crisis में हर manager को अपने हाथ गंदे करने पड़ते हैं! तू भी समंदर में कूद जा! सब मिलके boat को धक्का लगाओ!!!

Columbus quickly cuts the call.




Bloody चमकदार, भूतनी का!!! साला crisis में प्यार से बात करके काम निकलवाना पड़ेगा.

Both Columbus and Teelu are now really tense and keep talking animatedly, but we can't hear them much, at this time, Sootradaar enters again...


ऐसी कई कड़ी रातों के बाद एक सुबह आई...जब चमकदार का एक बार फिर call आया...और...

सूत्रधार walks off stage.

Columbus and Teelu are sitting on the table, heads down, totally dejected.


Sir! good news sir!

Both sit up and take notice!

TEELU ख़ान

हाँ! हाँ! चॅमकू! मेरे दोस्त!


हाँ! दोस्त! मुझे good news दे!


Sir! हमको लॅंड दिख रहा है!

TEELU ख़ान



Excellent!!! this is very good news!

Teelu for the first time in his life takes a decision, without Columbus' help

TEELU ख़ान

Aur humare Blind Navigators ka kya kehna hai!


Teelu मेरे दोस्त! क्या फाल्तुगिरी है! Blind लोगों को land कैसे दिखेगा!!! This is great news!!! I am going to give this news to the Queen!!!

TEELU ख़ान

Sir! Sir! एक minute! one minute only sir...

but Columbus excetedly exits stage, while Teelu continues to pretend to talk to चमकदार.

सूत्रधार re-enters.


Time आ गया है के हम Queen से एक बार फिर मिलें. कहानी जहाँ से शुरू हुई थी वहीं पर पूरी...

Interrupted by Columbus he again waits on stage, as Columbus re-enters.


Her Highness इन लोगों से ASAP मिलना चाहेंगी. चमकदार को बोलो की Noah's Ark छोड़ दे, और swim करके वापस आ जाए!

TEELU ख़ान

पर Sir, एक problem है! हमारे blind navigators को pizza और burger की बास आ रही है, spices की नहीं. लगता है वो India की जगह America पहुँच गये. अब Queen को क्या बताएँ?


(in deep thought...)

HMMM!!!... Let me think.... (waits for a min...then...) मेरे दोस्त! एक idea है! लोग मुझे प्यार से रफ़ीक़ ऐसे ही नहीं कहते!

They animatedly discuss the idea but we cant hear it, सूत्रधार turns to the audience again...and while he speaks, Columbus and Teelu walk off stage...


So finally चलते हैं Queen के चेंबर्स में, जहाँ कुछ दिनों बाद, पूरी team her highness Queen Isabella of Spain से एक बार फिर मिली...

The Queen of all Resolutions

Empty Stage, with a Single Table and a Chair (just like the opening scene). Queen Isabella is sitting, filing her nails. Queen's phone rings. She picks up...


(sounding bored)

Oh! all right! Send him in...

Columbus enters stage, smiles, glib. Struts up to Queen Isabella. Gives a flourishing bow.


(keeps running fingers thru the hair on his head, like a filmi hero)

Your Highness. मेरा नाम है Columbus. प्यार से लोग मुझे "रफ़ीक़" कहते हैं...And I, am an "M", "B", "A".


Her Highness Queen Isabella कहतीं हैं के...इरशाद baby!!!


My Dear Queen. हम लोग अपनी जान पर खेलकर "THE SHORTEST ROUTE" discover कर लाए!


Please bring your team here...

Team walks in...


So अब हम अपनी "spices" directly खरीद सकते हैं? Market पर राज! पैसा पैसा???


(sure of himself)

उसमें थोड़ी देर है. हमारा "SHORTEST ROUTE", shortest है, पर India के जगह America जाता है.




My Queen! yes we did everything! There was intense planning! The execution was flawless! The leadership was amazing! but It's too early to say what went wrong...


So I have lost so much money for nothing?


Not for nothing My Queen. We attacked the American savages, and lost our great Noah Ark in the battle. But we managed to win a Feast, only fit for a Queen.

Columbus signals the team. With great fanfare, मानसिक passes a box to जोड़ तोड़, who passes it to चमकदार, who passes it to Teelu ख़ान, who brings it to Columbus.


My Queen, we, after a great battle with Americans brought you a Pizza!


(obiviously impressed)

Hmm... maybe we can discuss this project again sometime.Keep the pizza here...

She turns back to filing here nails, the team starts to edge away, but Columbus is still standing there...smiling.

Queen notices this...


You are still here! Hmm..! So tell me Columbus what else do you have for me except for this pizza? Her Highness Queen Isabella कहतीं हैं के...इरशाद baby!!!


(cocksure, smiling, hand in hair)

My Queen, what I have for you is...

he looks at the team... who is alarmed...


Another, Proposal...

the last we see before the lights dim is the team running wildly away...while Columbus stands there smiling... सूत्रधार enters stage.


(in dim lights)

By the way... In 1492, 1491 के इस (air quotes) "project" के बाद, Columbus sailed the seas in another bid to discover "THE SHORTEST ROUTE" to India. This time he DID land in India, but discovered "THE LONG ROUTE" instead. But THAT is another story...

Lights come back on again; everyone comes on stage and takes a bow.


download pdf: RafiqColumbusMBA

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'twas A Dark And Stormy blog by Shaurya Agarwal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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