Thursday, September 30, 2010

Taking a pause.. in the journey of life.

I am becoming 35 next year..and really dont know if I would live till 70 with all the voluntary and involuntary pollution that I subject my body to. Half my life is almost about to be over.

Isnt it quite a milestone? Time has come in life when time is suddenly appearing to be short in supply. Every day that I would wake up, live through and sleep off, would become that much costlier. And the cost of every passing day would only grow exponentially.

Does it mean that I need to do everything faster and accomplish more things within a day? No, of course not. Thats would be crazy. But it surely means that I cant afford to let go of days frivolously as I have been living till date. It simply means that I need to pause and rethink about living the remaining half of my life.

I may either decide to live the same way, or decide to change it. The most important thing I felt that I should definitely take a pause. Time is now to really dig deep and do things that will make me smile, proud and happy... and unrepentent."

I am smiling, proud, happy and unrepentent about the 34 years that I have lived, but  at 34 years, I dont have the same plans and ambitions that I have had when I was 17/18 years old? The variables of life have changed. My interests, passion, aptitude, strengths and weaknesses are more clear to me. I have a larger arsenal of knowledge and experience.

The decision or direction that I decide to take is not important in this public forum. Its more about the means and the significance of a pause in living life. Its difficult especially in a fast paced fuzzy life of Mumbai, but if you want the most out of your life, you have to take a pause, rethink, and re-prioritise.

Clearly and expectedly perhaps for me, time is to change how I live my time.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dabangg - Highest first friday collection at 14.5 crores

This is one case study that I would like to request the authors of Superfreakonomics - Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner to research. It would also perhaps interest the 'Tipping Point' maverick Malcolm Gladwell.

It was July 23rd when the promos of Dabangg got released and like the wind Dabangg just got into everybody's nose. I felt it was a viral campaign of the physical world. I didnt meet a single sole who was not waiting (or desperate) for the movie to release. Desperate, I say, because all of us wanted to catch it on the first show or on the first weekend. Nobody was waiting for others to give review.

I was not wrong. Dabangg released to a biggest response in 2010. Taran Adarsh tweets, "As per initial trends, 'Dabangg' will be competing with just one film – '3 Idiots'. It is expected to cross 13 crores that '3 Idiots' did on a opening friday. 'Raajneeti' - the biggest opener of 2010 did Rs. 10 crores.

Dabangg is about crazy bollywood masala and wholesome entertainment. It has comedy, action, typical hero-villain antagonism and item numbers. To dig a bit deeper, the movie has the hero having an idealist mother, a father-son relationship which is sour at best, police that are funny, pot-bellied and corrupt and a villain who has an akhara (village gym) and men with guns.

What clicked for me was the consistent characters, the dance moves and partly the dialogues. Salman Khan was the angry young man in every scene of the movie. Sonakshi Sinha (acted really well) was the shy but mature village girl, who dotes on her father and would not marry till he is alive. Even after her marriage and during the songs, she is shown to be shy. Arbaaz Khan played the idiot brother who is not serious about anything in life, but his girlfriend. Throughout the film, he takes wrong immature decisions.

Yes, the film is a must watch, but how did we know about it so much in advance? How can we explain the hysteria before the release of the film. All the multiplexes enjoyed 'never before' advance bookings for Dabangg. Even the share price of Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision, co-producers of Dabangg, have jumped 40 per cent in the last one month before the movie was even released.

What was the tipping point for the movie? Was it the promo? Was it Salman Khan? Was it the dialogues on the promo? Was it the dance moves on the promo? Was it Anurag Kashyap (brother of the first time Director - Abhinav Kashyap)? Was it the Zandu song (or the balm!)? 

I dont have the answer but it was indeed a great sociological phenomenon nevertheless. It seems to me that the 'connectors', 'mavens' and 'Salesmen' (of Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point) came together to like the movie and promote the movie to make it an instant opening hit.