Monday, August 25, 2008

Air hitting reality


An adrenalin rush was what we experienced from the moment go. And it certainly wasn’t due to watching a nail biting Indo-Pak cricket finals. The infamous traffic in the maximum city seemed to surmount its usual tenor. This delayed our journey to the airport by a good half an hour and extended the usual one and a half hour one from South Mumbai to a two hour relapse.

It was with much anticipation that we looked forward to a rather thrilling vacation in Rajasthan over the long Independence Day weekend. Little did we realize that this break would commence with such over excitement that would result in excess cardiovascular activity giving even a heart patient stiff competition. Our hearts seemed to be ticking at a faster pace than the seconds hand in our watches as we looked at the sluggish traffic in dismay. After what seemed like eternity, we scrambled off our car seats and rushed to the check in counter.

Our faces flushed deep red depicting the similar shade of the clouds during the time of the sinking sun. Even more apt as our situation we faced led to a sinking feeling equaling us to hit rock bottom on hearing the unavailability of seats. This was despite having confirmed tickets. What seemed worse was the fact of our predecessors in line grabbing seats with ease and an unfair treatment meted out to us. Directed towards the duty managers we strutted across like school children being asked to see the principal.

A stupefied silence followed when the concerned authorities expressed a solemn “I’ll try’ my best “. Waiting with bated breaths we watched her walk out of her room and trying to work out something for us. Numerous pleadings interspersed with indignation and panic with the airlines staff only seemed to win us sympathetic looks with the repeated words of flight being ‘overbooked’. Statements like “we should have come on time” were met with vehement retorts stating we were 45 minutes before the actual take off. And it was unfair of them to give up seats to the waiting list passengers for no fault of ours. More passengers with the same treatment and weeping expressions added fuel to the fire as minutes ticked past furiously.

Our trip to the dunes almost went up in fumes when an unexpected turn of events occurred. It almost seemed like a divine intervention when the crew rushed to tell us that two seats were managed to be found ‘available’. A sigh of relief followed as we rushed through the normal proceedings and thankful to our ‘travelling light’ policy which didn’t add the ‘burden’ of a check in process.

Running helter-skelter much to the amazement of the airport staff propelled them to ask us to return to normalcy. Indeed it would been surprising to see two individuals running as though they were being chased by bearded dacoits with knives that could give the butcher an immense inferiority complex. And finally we found ourselves seated in the aircraft unsurprisingly tired and weary when it was just the beginning.

The scenario seemed no less than a Bollywood flick with high intensity drama; the only difference that this one being a real scene instead of a reel one.

Unfortunately this seems to be the new problem that has cropped up in the airline industry. Many seemed to be facing a similar crisis with this latest fad of flights being overbooked. A recent article in the newspaper carried the agonies and disappointment of passengers who possess confirmed tickets and yet are forced to remain grounded as they watch their respective flights take off in distress. This causes a huge disappointment for those looking forward to a great holiday or sometimes the emergency in the situation in which one has to travel. It has proved to be a rude shock to passengers and requires precautionary measures to be taken to avoid anxiety during travel, especially during peak season.

One has to ensure to report as early as possible and avail their boarding pass, in which case the chances of being bumped off are nil. Even if it means spending a few extra minutes lingering in the lounge. This would surpass the time being spent in rushing about from pillar to post cutting a sorry figure before the stern faced officials. The other option would include in doing a tele or an E check which would equally be beneficial.

However while such cases seem possible in domestic travel, it’s the international travel that causes a prime concern in combating these demons and hurdles. It is time that while the airlines authorities take some measures, we need to be a step ahead and combat this hard hitting reality or rather an air hitting reality in this case. After all it’s only the case of where sky is the limit at least in this case.

Written for www.msn.co.in

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Monday, August 11, 2008

‘Singh is Kinng’: A ‘royal’ treat

-By Swetha Amit

http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=8e57d88a-b3d4-405d-99c3-94af617756b5
Finally the long wait is over. And this doesn’t refer to the film to complete its three hour duration. In fact Anees Bazmee’s Singh is Kinng, the most awaited commercial release of the year certainly looks to live up to a ‘hysterical’ hype. Considering the plight of the earlier blockbusters which failed to set the cash registers jingling this year, it is indeed a pleasant surprise to see a streak of positivism in the latest.

Numerous flicks portray the theme of a lad from small town entering into the big bad world like a little bird which is opening out its wings to begin its first flight. Yet this one is unique with its ingredients of that of a ‘Khichdi’ only this time with a different aroma or rather aromas. A treat from the serious cinemas being portrayed off late, Singh is Kinng proves to be that break which falls under the ‘wholesome’ entertainer category.

This is a story of a boy from a village of interior Punjab. Yet his background and upbringing doesn’t deter him from displaying a large heart with even generous attitude that manages to ultimately win over the dark world of crime.

Happy Singh (Akshay Kumar), true to his name is a happy go lucky chap who manages to exasperate everyone with his impish antics. Tired of his non stop clowning, the villagers decide to send him on a mission to bring back one of their residents Lucky Singh (Sonu Sood) who resides abroad. Vowing to make his residents proud, Happy sets off with his village counterpart Rangeela (Om Puri) along with a contagious positive stance.

The rest of the narrative depicts Happy’s tryst with foreign soil, romance with Sophia (Katrina Kaif), the underworld gang which Lucky as formed comprising of Mika (Javed Jaffery), Raftaar (Sudhanshu Pandey), Udhas (Yashpal Sharma), Guruji (Kamal Chopra) and Julie (Neha Dhupia), a minor accident leading to Happy becoming the King temporarily and a change that affects everyone in a positive manner.

The film solely belongs to Akshay Kumar who plays a true blue Punjabi to perfection. His dialogue delivery in Punjabi is a delight to his fans along with his comic timing which has won him a million fans all over. The characters contagious gimmicks are supported by his Supporting cast who play their part with utmost conviction. Javed Jaffery especially sends peals of laughter with his solemn expression and hearing aid. Katrina Kaif doesn’t have much to do except look pretty. Kirron Kher, Sonu Sood and Om Puri stand out in their unique manner.

Music composed by Pritam is lively with the title track being among the current chartbusters. The film is knotted well with due credit going to the direction by Anees Bazmee.

It is to be duly noted that one compulsorily needs to leave their cerebration mode behind safely and avoid contemplating for any thing close to logic. The theme of the flavor is that of a laugh riot and circus tactics meant for nothing but a roar of appreciative laughter. Considering the latest occurrence of the not so pleasant events and the accompaniment of the grave tensions, Singh is Kinng is what was needed to tickle the funny bones of the viewers acting nevertheless as a stress buster. This is probably why it showcases its stance to be a ‘royal’ treat and eventually takes over the audience mind after slipping in the initial parts. Just like the first scene where the protagonist is seen chasing the hen only to find it clinging on its back.

Written for wwww.msn.co.in

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