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Essay In Hindi On Diwali Mela Cupertino

HINDI FILM REVIEW:
Masala Thriller: Wanted


Rating: **1/2 (Mediocre)

Wanted
Directed by: Prabhudheva
Music:
Sajid-Wajid
Starring:
Salman Khan, Ayesha Takia, Prakash Raj, Vinod Khanna, Mahesh Manjrekar and Govind Namdeo, with cameo appearances by Anil Kapoor and Govinda


(Above): Salman Khan in “Wanted.”

The good thing about the film is that it is not as bad as the typical Bollywood potboiler. And yet at heart it is the classic Bollywood potboiler of yesteryear.

Talk about killing with faint praise.

Speaking of killing, that’s one thing this film has in spades — goons kill each other with giddy abandon, and in gory, innovative ways, too.

The basic premise of the film has a kernel of truth — Mumbai is a film noir-ish morally bankrupt netherland — cops are crooks and tyrants, thugs slug it out in violent bursts of mayhem, and the judiciary and law enforcement are hopelessly hamstrung by legal niceties and the criminal-political nexus.

The thug ruling the roost from afar is Ganibhai (Mahesh Manjrekar). He has a rival in another gangster Datta Pawle The new police commissioner, Ashraf Khan (Govind Namdeo) has vowed to rid Mumbai of gangsters without fear and favor. Good luck with that. (Bollywood is in politically correct secular mode—both the main villain and his adversary are Muslim.)


(Above): Salman Khan and Ayesha Takia in “Wanted.”

Enter Radhe (Salman Khan), a fearless thug with — you guessed it — a heart of gold. He is seriously busy with his day job — which generally involves killing assorted lowlifes in innovatively bloody ways, but takes a break when he gives his heart (or whatever is left of it) to a gorgeous babe, Jahnavi (Ayesha Takia).

Welcome to the yesteryear world of Bollywood, when the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna and Dharmendra fought evil with a robust show of force and sharp, cutting repartee.

In the opening scene, Radhe is surrounded by 8-10 men ready to take him on. (So what’s new?) When he is mocked about being alone, he retorts: “Swine hunt in groups, but a tiger hunts alone.”

No prizes for guessing who wins the ensuing fight. And so it goes. Like all Bollywood superheroes, it appears that Radhe is blessed with 360-degree eyesight. He can casually point his gun behind him and shoot without looking, with perfect anticipation and aim, of course.


(Above): Salman Khan in “Wanted.”

Radhe doesn’t quite romance Jahnavi, who also is a bit cool at first. But after he saves her from the lecherous, corrupt cop Inspector Talpade (Mahesh Manjrekar), she gradually softens. As love blossoms, they are off to Greece for a song-and-dance routine in classical Bollywood tradition. Not literally of course, but that’s where the sequences appear to be shot.

Of course a gory climax between Ganibhai and Radhe is inevitable in a film of this sort — so let’s not belabor the obvious.

The storyline pays obeisance to many a Bollywood cliché, but to give the devil its due, southern filmmaker Prabhudheva adds some neat tweaks that spice up the film.

He brings a particularly nimble touch to the romance, with Radhe in two minds about actually getting into a relationship, and Jahnavi torn between the fact that Radhe is a murderer and the growing realization that she loves him nonetheless.

“He is a hoodlum,” Jahnavi’s kid brother says. “He may be a hoodlum, but he has a good heart,” she replies wistfully.


(Above): Ayesha Takia in “Wanted.”

When Jahnavi wishes Radhe to accept her love, Radhe has a moment of soul-searching in one of the most touching moments in the film. “I want you,” he tells her. “But I don’t deserve you. I am a really bad person.”

Late in the movie, the film has a wonderful plot twist that turns the film upside down.

The first-rate cinematography, the razor-sharp editing and vivid, impressive action scenes make the film more compelling than it has any right to be, because the basic premise — that no matter how many people are attacking him, Radhe always comes out on top unscathed — is as silly as ever.

With such impressive production values, you would hope that the storyline would defer just a bit more to logic.

You hope in vain. The janta has spoken: The film is raking in the moolah like nobody’s business.


(Above): Salman Khan in “Wanted.”

CONCERT:
Music for Polio: ‘Ehsaas Hai?’


The Rotary Club of Cupertino presented a concert featuring flautist Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia to help eradicate polio from India. A Siliconeer report.


(Above): In concert (l-r): Shubhankar Banerjee, Rupak Kulkarni, Shyamala Rajender, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Rakesh Chaurasia and Bhavani Shankar. [Sharif Ahmed/Siliconeer photo]

The Rotary Club of Cupertino hosted a fund raiser concert Oct. 11 featuring world- renowned flautist Padma Vibhushan Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia and sitarist Habib Khan to support the movement to eradicate polio from India. The concert was titled “Ehsaas Hai” or “Do You Feel?” and was held at the Flint Center on the DeAnza College Campus, in Cupertino, Calif.

Chaurasia performed along with his nephew Rakesh Chaurasia and student Roopak Kulkarni. Accompanying Chaurasia on the tabla was Subhankar Banerjee and Bhawani Shankar on pakhawaj. A devoted follower of Krishna, Chaurasia created a Brindavani atmosphere by playing a slow aalap and going into the larger raag. He rounded off the evening with Raag Pahari and Raag Malkauns. The pakhawaj was a nice touch to the evening. Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain came to the program to wish Hari Prasad Chaurasia a happy birthday.

Earlier, Habib Khan opened the evening with a jazz session featuring Khan on sitar, Subhankar Banerjee on tabla, David Binney on saxophone and the Carnatic musician Prasanna on guitar. The versatility of Khan as a musician was evident throughout the evening as he started with a slow aalap on sitar and then performed and engrossing duet or jugalbandi with tabla exponent Subhankar Banerjee. Khan wooed the crowds by introducing the artists by singing their names in Hindustani classical style. He closed his session by inviting Hari Prasad Chaurasia on stage and singing Happy Birthday with the crowds to Chaurasia who was celebrating his 70th birthday.


(Above): Bay Area-based Indian Classical music composer and sitarist Habib Khan performing live at the “Ehsaas Hai?” concert. [Sharif Ahmed/Siliconeer photo]

With only four countries are left with a trace of polio today, Rotary is teaming up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to bring the strong final push needed to eradicate the tenacious disease. The Gates Foundation has awarded Rotary International a $100-million challenge grant, which Rotary will raise funds to match, dollar for dollar, over the next three years. Google.org is also focused on the cause of polio in the world. They have contributed over $3 million to Rotary International to help eradicate polio in the world.

The evening started out with Jim Walker, past president of Rotary Club of Cupertino, speaking about the enormous focus with which Rotary has single mindedly made polio its target for elimination. Rotary also invited from Sri Lanka, Thariq Thulba, the district governor from Rotary Colombo, to speak on how Rotary has helped make Sri Lanka a polio-free country.

The concert ended with many prominent Rotarians honoring the artists. There was a VIP party held after the concert to celebrate the 70th birthday of Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia.

Mahesh Nihalani of Jewels in Style and Ram Gopal of Cupertino Bakery, both associated with the Rotary of Cupertino, expressed their hope that this program to help eradicate polio from India. Orrin Mahohey, the out-going President of Cupertino Rotary, called the program a resounding success. Also on hand were Tina Ferguerson, Dave Stearns, Mark McKenna, Lynn Ching and Suresh Venna, all a part of the Polio Plus Committee and committed to the cause of eradicating polio from India. “In Habib Khan’s School of Music we found ideal community partners as they pitched right in with our vision to make this concert a success,” said Nihalani. Khan, who is no stranger to fundraising efforts in the community, felt strongly that even after the vaccine for eradicating polio has been in existence for fifty plus years it is a shame that India still battles polio. If my music can play a small part in helping eradicate polio from India then I am happy to put my name to the cause,” he said.


(Above): The living legends — Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain (l), Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia seen here with Mahesh Nihalani of Cupertino Rotary Club at Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia’s 70th birthday celebrations. [Sharif Ahmed/Siliconeer photo]

The Rotary Club of Cupertino was chartered in 1955 and has over 160 men and women representing a wide cross-section of local businesses and professions. The club focuses its efforts on many local and global issues of importance. Within the Silicon Valley, the club sponsors events such as Operation Snowflake, Dr. Seuss Reading days, the Cupertino Community Services Food Cupboard, and vocational scholarships. Their international focus is spread across many causes, including providing schools supplies to China and Cardiac Care Monitors to Chile.

Rotary is a worldwide organization of business, professional and community leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 33,000 clubs in more than 170 countries and geographical areas. More information is available on the Web at www.rotary.org