Monday 21 January 2008

Halla Bol

A movie about how an actor forgets when his acting stops and life begins...a movie about our everyday fears...and doubts about whether courage pays off or not.

Halla Bol is the story of Jessica Lal...ofcourse with lots of fiction. But it manages to question the very root of our actions..fear. Fear of being implicated by the system, fear of losing our 2 pence of security and fame, fear of standing against a raging crowd....it's very easy to be courageous when you are standing in a group and have people behind you....it is equally tough doing it alone...

The movie made me wonder what an ordinary person like you and me would have done. Sameer Khan (Ajay Devgan) was still a hero...someone who had money and could pick up the phone and call the commissioner. Would I have the same courage? Would I be able to put my family at risk for the victory of truth? It is not something that I can answer in this blog...it is a strength that I would need to find in myself if god forbid, one day I need to.

Ajay Devgan has acted fairly well...but risks the danger of being typecast. He has done too many of these angry man against the system kind of roles and needs to experiment a bit now...In all fairness, the movie belongs to Pankaj Kapur. I had forgotten what a brilliant actor he is...he can take a scene and raise the bar like nobody's business!

What the film lacked though, was a good set of dialogues. The script allowed for some very potent dialogues to be used but they were forsaken for extremely ineffectual ones. Pankaj Kapoor in a very volatile scene saying "Tumhare bete ka character badal gaya hai" was a complete disaster for one!

All in all, movies likes this force us to think once in a while, they shake us up and question the bubble of our existance. An excellent attempt.

Rating - 3 out of 5

Thursday 17 January 2008

The Blue Ocean that Nano swims in

Ratan Tata unveiled the realisation of his dream and his promise to India at the Auto Expo last week. The Tata Nano is all that he had promised, it is compact, doesn't compromise on style, gives brilliant mileage and sticks to the magic figure of Rs.1 lakh.

My take on the Nano:
1) It should be targetted towards three sections of society. Firstly, it should target young families-couples with 2 young children who till now could not afford a car and thus have been driving precariously on their Bajaj Scooters. These are the people who will value the car as it will protect their children from the harsh weather and also give them a status symbol in their community. B-towns would be the best place to target this group.

The second section it should target are parents of college students. Parents are ready to shell out Rs.40000-70000 on two-wheelers for their children but are constantly worried about their safety. The Nano will be a safer option and will also not allow very high speeds.

The last section is retired people. Their need is a car that is low in maintainance, should not guzzle fuel and should not be too heavy to drive. The Nano will give them all this at a very affordable rate.

2) Critics are sceptical of this launch with the logic that the Indian roads are not yet geared for such an increase in 4 wheelers. Frankly, this is a wake-up call for the government. A growing economy means that the consumer has more choice at affordable rates. But providing the infrastructure for him to excercise this choice is a task that the government needs to take on and fast.

3) Though Auto Rickshaw and cab drivers are looking at the Nano as an alternative, Tata Motors should avoid this at any cost. Once a car becomes associated with a public transport vehicle, its perception doesnt allow retail consumers to flaunt the same. Indica and Qualis are good examples of this.

It is very easy to be critical of this car. It's only 624cc, the wheels are too small and thus cant take rough roads, it doesnt have boot space and on and on. But think of this from the perspective of that middle aged supervisor who needs to drop his children to school in the rain or from the perspective of an aged couple who have to brave public transport as 2 wheelers are too dangerous and 4 wheelers too expensive for them. Ratan Tata has done something phenominal here...he has caused a shift in the market scenario. Instead of competing in the red ocean where all the big sharks are busy outdoing each other with new luxury cars, he has gone and created a new market itself. This, my friends, is the best example of Blue Ocean Strategy in our times.

Saturday 5 January 2008

So laments my pitiful heart...

A part of me died today....it's withering away as we talk....I never knew that it is possible to love someone so much that the absence of them from your life can hurt so much that it seems like someone pulled your heart out of your body. Love is a strange thing...it hits you when you least expect it and you can never be whole again! But for all the pain it is capable of causing....one thought of him..one whisper of his voice makes it all worth it...

It's strange that we are the ones that make ourselves vulnerable...put our happiness in someone else's hand. Allow the person to make you smile or cry at the drop of a hat...

But then again what is life if lived for yourself...if there is no one in your life who can affect you...you can not be a fool in love..the only fool is he who has not loved.....