Sushant Singh Rajput: An affable star who talked about Science & Shiva!

It was in 2010 while i was preparing to start my career in journalism that my mother introduced me to Sushant Singh Rajput saying that this boy is really good in TV sop Pavitra Rishta. I found him likeable and started watching the show but couldn’t survive beyond few episodes of the drama. However, SSR stayed in my mind.

When i saw his first film on laptop, as a movie-buff i repented why didn’t i go to cinema hall to watch #KaiPoChe. He was earnest and gave a solid performance in his first film. Thereafter i made sure that i watch all his films in theatre. In #ShuddhDesiRomance, he proved to be a charmer with a loveable performance. One of my favourites is his #DetectiveByomkeshBakshy. His act in MS Dhoni biopic needs no introduction. I missed watching #Raabta & #Kedarnath in theatre. The day i got my Zee5 subscription, the first thing i did was catch up Kedarnath where once again he proved that he was here for a longer run.

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25 Years of Khiladi: The Rise & Rise of Akshay Kumar

If you type ‘Akshay Kumar Film’ in Google search box, the second suggestion shown is ‘Akshay Kumar film Jaanwar’. This may surprise you but not many of the film buffs and box-office experts. The 1999 film directed by Suneel Darshan ran for over three months in a theatre in Purnea in Bihar and was declared a hit. Jaanwar was one of those few films in late 1990s with which Akshay Kumar began his bid to change his image of an action star. Not to forget, Jaanwar was made on a budget of Rs 4.5 crore, it garnered over Rs 12.5 crore, almost 300% returns to producers. In the same year, he had also done Sangharsh which proved he can do serious roles and that too with an ease.

Akshay Kumar has come a long way since the days of Jaanwar and Sangharsh and is in a phase where he can almost do anything. From playing a special officer in Baby to a village simpleton in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, he never looks out of place. He is currently the most consistent Bollywood star in the industry. And you know why, because the last time Akshay’s films flopped was in 2013 – Once Upon ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara! and Boss. Since then, even a mindless entertainer Singh is Bliing too became an average hit, riding on stardom of Akshay Kumar.

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The story of SRK is far from over

Once writer-lyricist Mayur Puri had said that any story has three parts- beginning, middle and end. Same is the story of enigma called Shahrukh Khan. His beginning was humble as well as crackling with middle-class cinema films like Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, revenge-thriller Baazigar, Darr, Anjaam, all-time superhit DDLJ and so on. The middle was marked by Dil Se, Devdas, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Yash Chopra classic VeerZaara, my all-time favourite Swades, Farah Khan’s debut Main Hoon Na, Paheli, Don and sports drama Chak De India.

I would like to believe that end of King Khan is still quite far but the phase from 2008 has seen more disappointments than hits and has not been kind enough. He has done more experiments lately but sadly most of them have failed to generate the results as everyone would have expected.

Ever since Jab Harry Met Sejal released, critics and fans have been asking Why Harry met Sejal? According to me, this one line summarises the recent choices of films of Shahrukh Khan and their box-office collections. Why SRK chose those films and why did they fail to garner collections?

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Fresh Take: Numbers too have a story to tell

Pic courtesy:

On May 7, 2017, epic drama Baahubali 2 became Indian cinema’s first film ever to gross Rs 1000 crore box office business worldwide within nine days of its release. Both the parts of Baahubali had collected close to Rs 1700 crore globally by second week of May 2017. This is historic and unlikely to repeat in the near future.

But what if I tell you that Vinay Pathak starrer comedy Bheja Fry (2007) is the most successful film in last 15 years and on the second position is Aashiqui 2.

Looking at Rs 1000 crore it would be easy to say that Baahubali 2 is the biggest film of Indian cinema in terms of business but is it the most profitable film? If we tweak the parameter of success a bit, we can get the real picture.

In the business analogy, it is often said that the success of the business does not depend on the money it earns but the returns it gives on investment. The same applies to movie business as well.

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The first part of Baahubali was made at the cost of Rs 150 crore and the second at Rs 280 crore. Against the estimated investment of Rs 430 crore, both the films together earned a little over Rs 1600 crore (by 2nd week of May) giving a return of over 372%. Remember Rs 1600 crore is gross collection including that of overseas and not net collections (still counting). Now consider Bheja Fry, the Indianised version of a French film earned Rs 12.6 crore worldwide and it was made at shoe-string budget of Rs 1.5 crore, giving a whopping return of 739%.

Continue reading Fresh Take: Numbers too have a story to tell

Elections or Movies: Voters, Cinegoers and Numbers Don’t Lie

India is a diverse country and just by surfing Facebook or Twitter we can never understand our nation and its people. The results of recent elections (UP, Manipur, Goa and Punjab) are testimony to it.

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I will give you a small example. On February 24, Vishal Bhardwaj’s much anticipated & Kangana Ranaut starrer #Rangoon was released with average 4-star ratings from almost all critics and got much appreciation among certain section of audience. The film made on the budget of ₹60 crore by Sajid Nadiadwala was sold to Viacom18 for ₹67 crore. The film made around ₹20 crore in first weekend & by second week it was almost out of theatres & was even struggling to get screens. Cut to March 3, an action movie #Commando2 starring Vidyut Jammwal and few other non-famous actors was released. It was made on budget of around ₹16 crore & was bought by Reliance Entertainment for around ₹20 crore. The critics gave it maximum 1.5 stars ratings. But guess what, it made ₹15 crore in first weekend itself and by yesterday it had crossed ₹20 crore.

So will you say that audience is stupid and is it stupid across the country. No, certainly not. Audience is smart. Continue reading Elections or Movies: Voters, Cinegoers and Numbers Don’t Lie

Emergence of TV stars on the ‘Big Screen’

When you get up in the morning and still the thought lingers in your mind about the movie you saw a day before, this means director was successful in conveying what he wanted to say. And for me it was Sushant Singh Rajput’s performance in Abhishek Kapoor’s Kai Po Che which I couldn’t get off my mind. Here was an actor who till last year was ruling the TRPs on the 9pm slot with his role of Manav in Pavitra Rishta on Zee TV and today has successfully made a transition on big screen. He already has 3 films in his kitty including Rajkumar Hirani’s P.K. and a YRF untitled with Parineeti Chopra.


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What goes wrong just before the release?

Kamal Hassan almost wanted to leave India after what he termed as “Cultural Terrorism” stalled the release of his mega budget film Vishwaroopam for 10 days before it finally released on 7 Feb. Demanding some scenes to be cut in the movie, Muslim Groups lodged a protest with the CM and a Censor Board certified film’s release was stopped by Tamil Nadu Government. Hassan went to Supreme Court where one-judge bench ruled in his favour but the decision was overturned by a Two-Judge bench. Ultimately, a consensus was reached between the two parties and the film released with the controversial scenes muted.


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India- Australia Test Series Factoids

Where do the two teams stand and how do they look before the most anticipated series between Oz & Us!!!


India’s narrowest win by both runs and wickets in Test Cricket has come against Australia and that too in India.

13 India won by just 13 runs in 2004 when Australia couldn’t chase 107 on the turning wicket in Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.

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Amravati: More than just a city of names

It’s never easy for any person to know a new city in a short span of time. But for the students of IIMC the ‘Know your City’ assignment proved to be an interesting exercise in exploring Amravati to its best.

Source: Wikipedia

A ride in an autorickshaw from Vidyapeeth to Town Hall, which is located a few steps to the left of Rajkamal square, the heart of the city, revealed that the auto rickshaws here charge per passenger as opposed to the meter. Town hall itself is a small old building where community functions are organised. Continue reading Amravati: More than just a city of names

Is Saffron just a colour?

What comes to your mind someone mentions the word ‘Saffron’?  A colour, a religion, kesar or Indian flag but Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde thinks otherwise, for him, ‘Saffron is the new terror’. Recently Shinde caused a furore with his alleged remarks that BJP and RSS promoted Hindu terror in the country. This was after NIA (National Investigative Agency) declared a list of 10 accused in Samjhauta blasts and other cases. All of them belonged to one particular religion.

Saffron Terror, really?

Is Shinde right in what he says or it’s just a new political move? Let’s take a close look. The main accused in 2008 Malegaon blasts are Sadhvi Pragya Singh and Lt Col Srikant Purohit, Swami Aseemanand was the main conspirator in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast and in much talked about Samjhauta Blasts case, main accused is Dhan Singh. All the three blasts happened in place where one community is present in large numbers. Continue reading Is Saffron just a colour?

The Greatest Ranji Match ever played

This Republic day marked the start of the Ranji Trophy final of 2012-13 season. Mumbai playing in their 44th Ranji final won the Ranji Trophy for mind boggling 40th time against the first time finalist Saurashtra (in the 71 years of their Ranji history). And they won it not because the other teams were weak but because they are the best when it comes to domestic circuit.

Mumbai Team

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Extra Advantages of being a Captain

Dhoni wanted rest before the 4-Test series against Australia and hence opted out of Irani Trophy. Being a captain, he selects himself so he’ll be most probably playing the series but does he really deserve the place on merit? He is having a tough time as a captain, as if overseas losses were not enough, he lost at home too.

Dhoni’s records in tests have been below average. He has played 73 tests, scored 3883 runs at an average of 38.06 with 5 100s. In the 36 tests at home, he has scored 2008 runs at an average of 43.65 with 4 100s, which is good, considering the fact that he comes to bat at no. 7. But his average goes down to 33.48 in 37 overseas tests with only one century.

Source: Reuters

After the 2011 World Cup victory, Dhoni has played 19 tests. In the 33 innings he played, he has scored 958 runs at a nominal average of 33.03 that too supported by some good runs at home against West Indies and New Zealand. In the 9 tests at home his average shoots up to 44.91 with 1 century and 4 50s but the average plunges to just 24.64 in the 10 overseas tests. The worst being West Indies where he scored just 74 runs at a low of 19.40, he did a bit better in Australia, where in 6 innings he scored only 102 runs at 20.40. Continue reading Extra Advantages of being a Captain

Curious case of Waiting Jaffer

Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir are by far India’s best openers in terms of runs scored and average. In 87 innings as openers, they have scored 4412 runs at an average of 52.52 with 11 100-runs and 25 50-runs partnerships. Other than their individual records, (especially Sehwag), this is one of the reasons why they make it into the team despite dismal performance in last two years.

Source: espncricinfo

Since 2011 World cup, Sehwag and Gambhir have opened in 24 innings and have scored 861 runs at an average of 35.87 with just one 100-run and 6 50-runs partnerships, way below their career record (52.52). Their individual form hasn’t been great either.  In 15 tests since India won the world cup, Sehwag has scored 865 runs at an average of 32.03 with 1 century and 5 50s. The only century came in last year against England at Ahmedabad. Gambhir hasn’t been inspiring enough, in last 16 tests, he has scored 787 runs at an average of 28.10 and 5 50s. It’s been more than 3 years since Gambhir scored a century, last being 116 against Bangladesh at Chittagong in Jan 2010.

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