Film Review - The Next Three Days

So, the last night, I saw this film on Netflix. Called The Next Three Days, the film is a remake of a French film Anything For HerNo, I have not seen the original. 

The film is a story of John, a community college professor whose wife, Lara is accused of a murder that she did not commit and is jailed for the rest of her life. The professor tries all legal, moral, ethical, by-the-law routes. And fails. The wife tries to commit suicide, something tips in the professor and plots an escape path for her. And while he does that, he ends up becoming what he never was - a criminal. Oh, and there is a young son, Luke that adds to the drama. 

Without a doubt, The Next Three Days is among the best action-thriller-suspense films I've seen. There is not one thing that I would add or remove from the film. Even though the film is more than 2 hours long, I was hooked. One time I had to get up to pee and I did not want to. The writer and the director have done that great a job. 

To plot the escape, the professor starts with research. He talks to a person that has escaped from jailed seven times, charts the escape route meticulously, sells whatever he can to raise the money, gets mugged while trying to acquire fake identities, to get his wife of the jail, he plans the escape plan meticulously, gets mugged, sells his belongings, gets a gun, gets embroiled with drug dealers and does things you and I would probably not.

The writing is tight. Not one character is out of place. Even though I have seen my share of crime and suspense films, there are so many times when you go, "oh faaaak" during the film. They had to actually dumb down things for the audience at multiple points in the narrative. I would not lie but I can recall a couple of places where if they did not tell us about the suspense, I would've missed it! 

Apart from John and Lara, even the smallest character has been written well.

For example, there is this drug runner in the film that appears on the screen for like 30 seconds. Even though he is a bad guy and has three lines in the narrative, in those three lines you realize that he is not a bad guy and doing it merely because he grew up in a wrong neighborhood. 

Then there is John's brother's wife. She's apparently a pain in the backside in the first scene of the film. And when she reappears after an hour or so, she is still the same. And all she does is complain about coffee. 

Liam Neeson comes for a brief bit and as expected does a Neesony job. 

John's parents play a parenty role - caring, reliable and all. As John is planning the escape, there is this nod, handshake and a hug between him and his father that tells that the two men haven't had the most cordial relationship and they've buried the hatchet. 

There are multiple cops in the film - the one that was investigating the murder charge on wife, the one that's leading the investigation into the drug chase. Each is gritty, meticulous and working towards closure. They are great adversaries in the cat and mouse they play with John! 

The characters have been made to work hard to get what they want. There are roadblocks and lucky breaks. As with life, hundred roadblocks and just a handful of lucky breaks. The cops have had to navigate politics, inefficiency, laziness, and ingenuity of John. John is like you and me - uses YouTube to learn how to break locks, get into cars, fake reports, etc. He practices, takes small risks at first, works harder, stumbles again and then gets lucky! You know, like a typical never-say-die dude? No wonder you feel for him and you root for him! 

The lead characters - John and Lara - they are such a perfect couple that it is impossible (I guess this is the only problem I have with the film - couples can be that perfect!). They've been married for ages, have a kid and yet they are attracted to each other physically. When the wife is jailed, the husband visits her at every opportunity that he gets - he is the only one that believes in her innocence. When they know that she is not getting out, each other tries to console the other. The wife lies to nudge the husband to move on. The husband continues to paddle hope to his wife. Even when another woman makes a pass at John, he politely refuses the advances. When John finally manages to get the wife out of the reach of the cops, Lara being a moral, righteous citizen initially wants to conform to the cops and refuses to leave. She moves when John tries to tell her that they are at a point of no return and their son will be left alone if they do not run. 

No, such couples do not exist. They are unreal.

As a family, with the kid, they are, again, unreal. They have so many of these familiar traditions - souvenirs, nicknames, photos, and whatnot. And they've shown those without exaggerating. Or without hyperbole. While watching the film, I was jealous that my family had none of those!

As an audience, there are so many points in the film where you find yourself rooting for the family. You laugh with them, cry with them and you share their despair. You get your hope up and then all of it comes crashing down. The film is as roller-coastery a ride as you'd imagine.

The action is fast - keeps you on the edge all the time. At each point, I was guessing what would he do next thing that'd happen. And more often than not, I was wrong. They have planted so many Red Herrings, so fast, that you would miss the subtlety if you are not paying attention to the film. And no, you can not, NOT pay attention. It is that good!

The background music could have been better. There is not one riff that I recall, a night after I saw the film. I do remember a scene where the car does a cartwheel - the background sound design at that moment does add to the drama. But apart from that, I cant seem to remember the music.

The film is a MUST WATCH.

Oh and the film raises some questions that no one film has made me think about. How far are you willing to go for your family? Where do you draw the line on conforming to society and authorities? What if the society is wrong and you know you are right, would you fight them off? And to what end? If everyone stood for their beliefs and started to use guns, will we not descend into anarchy? And how you do leave behind all that you have stood for and become a criminal? And where do you escape?

In one line, how do you become an anti-hero? Well, he wasn't an anti-hero at all - he never felt like a bad man. Ever. I mean, I've seen my share of "family-first" films and dramas. From Prison Break to Godfather to Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam to more. While each of these is a masterpiece of cinema, they did not make me question myself about the extent to which I'd go for my family. 

Those stories are distant. They looked like the ones that would happen to someone else. Not to me. The Next Three Days could have easily been my story. One of my family members could get framed for a crime that he did not commit and even when evidence is stacked tall against him, will I continue to be on this side? Will I sell whatever I have? Will I leave my life behind? Would I pick a gun?

I am not sure. 


RIP Kobe. Thank You, Kobe!

So last night, I was in the zone where I was sad and angry and depressed. About things and life in general. To a point where I was questioning the meaning of life and all that. I was whiling away time on Twitter and Instagram and other things that you use to kill time when you are sad. No, I do not enjoy human company when I am in a mood like that.

And while on twitter, I saw this tweet.

Now, I don't know Kobe. But I knew of Kobe. I do not follow Basketball per se but I do know of his name. And Magic Johnson, Pippen, Iverson, Malone, Shaq, and lately, Lebron James. I know of these guys as athletes that have worked hard. For years. Relentlessly. With an ethic that is impossible to match!

And because these guys are in America, they are so much under scrutiny that they can NOT fuck up even once. I have always had mad respect for such people. I mean despite all the success that you get, how do you maintain a sane head? I've seen film stars and cricketers here in India and their head is so up their backsides that they can't see anything but themselves! 

And because these guys are from communities that typically do not get as many opportunities as others, even more respect for these guys. I mean they did not crib about the disadvantage that they were faced with. They did not falter along the way. They did not digress. They kept their aim and continued to work on it. Year after year. For so long. Even when they missed the mark, they would've got sad but would have come back to the grind. And then worked their way up!

So, when I read last night that he's died in a crash, along with his daughter (who was all of 13), I was sad. Not heartbroken per se. Not devastated. But plain old sad. I started to read about who he was and where he came from (it's funny that you read about a person when they die; and not when they are around).

And while I was reading and as the news was spreading, the tributes and comments started pouring in. From people that I respect and follow (investors, businessmen, celebrities, marketers, etc.). And it started to sink in what a big deal the guy was! His life was a life that gave hope to so many like him. He gave joy to his fans. His friends had the most heartbreaking reactions - can tell what a guy he must have been!

To make matters worse, he went with his daughter (and another father-daughter duo). More than Kobe, my heart goes out for the two young girls that were probably going to be playing at larger levels. It is plain unfair. Life, is unfair. And, may I say, a bitch!

And is fucking funny. You know how? I'll tell you how.

A few days ago, Clayton Christensen passed away. The guy was a big inspiration to all the great movers and shakers of our times (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, etc). Again, I did not know much about him, except reading the iconic book that he wrote. And this speech (also read this if you are keen). And of course, his influence was limited to the business community (though the impact those business people have made is immeasurable), the eulogies were muted, professional succinct, devoid of emotion.

Kobe's are another world. He belonged to, like I say, the masses!

Can I even compare the two people? How do you measure one person's life against another? What about all those thousands that die every day? Some 50 people have died infected with coronavirus died cos of no fault of theirs. I don't even know how many people have died in India protesting against CAA / NRC. What about all those innocent people that were in that Ukrainian plane that Iran shot down?

It's unfair. It's pointless. And it's meaningless. And, it's fucking funny.

Want to know another funny story?

Well, on Saturday I wrote this long tome about the shortness of life. In it, I talked about how our lives are short. While I wrote it, I did not mean that we'd die abruptly at the age of 41 or 13 or whatever. I meant that in general, the 70-80 years that we get to live here are not enough to explore it all. There's so much to do. But when shit like this happens, you lose faith. I mean look at his daughter. She was training to be an athlete. And probably putting in so much hard work and effort and all that. To what end? She did not even get a shot at it! If there is indeed God above, may I ask him / her / it, what was Gianna's reason of existence?

And here's another funny thing.

For some reason, thanks to Kobe's accident and the emotional outbursts, I am more determined than ever to make my life count. I called up my parents (they live in a different city). I spoke nicely to my friends (that I haven't spoken to in a while). I knocked off so many things from my to-do list that its, well, not funny.

I am more determined to not succumb to the vagaries of life. It's been tough last few days months. I am at the end of the rope with a lot of things. But I plan to hang onto it. And make it work. Kobe made it despite where he came from. I am far more privileged. I can at least try.

I am more determined to do more. And get more people to do more. Thing is, this difference between Clay and Kobe, while unfortunate, is such a telling one. An artist, an athlete, a performer, a speaker, someone that belongs to the masses, inspires the world far more with their action (and inaction) than a businessman.

I am more determined to not while time on things that are not important to me. For, I don't know what is my expiry date. For, time is all we have.

I am more determined to become more human. Which means I am going to ensure that I am a lot more present for people that get joy when I am around them. Of course, I can count the number of such people on just half the fingers of my left hand (may be not even that).

That's about it I guess.

Kobe, you left too soon. Thank you for your life. Thank you for inspiring me. And others. You are in a better place.

PS: You know what would be the funniest? That I die tomorrow without doing a single thing that I've planned to do with my life!

The Sleepy Syndrome

Yesterday I had to stay up to finish a thing I was working on. And it was tough. No, not the thing that I was working on. But staying up.

So tough that I roamed around like a zombie in the house.

I have this friend who's shacking up with me for a few days. And since this is a Mumbai house, he's using the hall as his bedroom. The guy told me that I sort of scared him with all the feet that I was dragging along the entire night.

I just could not stay up. Despite my earnest efforts.

And it sucks. Suck so bad that I am blogging about it.

Thing is I have always taken pride in my ability to get by with little sleep or food or other such worldly comforts. I do need a lot of safai, water, and access to a clean loo. But lately, since I've got on the sleep-more bandwagon and have become that boring old man that sleeps at 10 and wakes up at 5, I am used to spending 7-8 hours on the bed. What I do there is anyone's guess but I do try and be on the bed for that long.

Now, yesterday, when I had this important submission, I was initially unfazed. After all, I haven't needed a lot of sleep. I thought it would be a cakewalk. And to make matters easy, I loaded my ref with Diet Coke, Diet Chiwda, Diet Air and Diet BS. Who could stop me?

Well, myself!

Thanks to my old age, I just could not focus on the task at hand. I would doze off even while I was walking around. I was bouncing off the walls. Literally. I drank I don't know how much water and I don't know how much I peed but I do know that by the end of it, I was so sick and tired of all the visits to the loo that I parked myself outside. And while I was parked there, I dozed off as well.

Thankfully, the work I was doing was a writing gig. And I remembered that if you are a writer, you do not let the piece make you its muse. Rather you make it your bitch and belt it out when you feel like. So, I decided that even though all odds are stacked against it. And I promised myself that I would not sleep unless I do it!

Just that my body clock and age had decided that they would make it tough for me.

However, I persisted and finished the piece. The lesson I took away from that is that as I age, health has started to become an increasingly important component. Thankfully I am a little stable in the head (I think) and thus I have been able to survive. Need to do a lot more work on my physical fitness. Will make 2020 about fitness. And that means food and working out. Things that I have traditionally ignored.

Will work on starting now! Wait and watch!

About 12 hours after I caught some sleep, I am still reeling from the effects of not sleeping. Even this piece is not the best that I've written. I HAVE to fix things! 

The Happiness Equation

I wake up really early. To a point that I am often the first one on the roads, the first customer at the local Starbucks, the first person in the office, the first person to use the loo (I drink a lot of water) and so on and so forth. And thus I often get to see people and things that others miss. Like there is hardly any security at any office complex at 7 AM. The loos inside these office complexes, malls, and other places stink like fish markets because there is no one to clean those overnight. The staff at Starbucks is more concerned about getting the display right than serving the customers.

Today was no different. I came in at 7 AM. Said hi to the security guard that did do a customary check on my bag. The Barista made my coffee without me even placing the order. I had some 120023 glasses of water. And when at around 9 my bladder was about to burst, I ran to the loo. And there was this young boy, probably from the north-east cleaning the toilet. And may I say he was doing a kick-ass job at it. I mean I have seen my share of blue-collar work and my never-ending complaint is that most blue-collared workers do not take pride in what they do. They do because they do not have any other opportunities per se.

This guy was doing what Will Smith said about laying bricks. Each brick to the best of his ability. This guy was cleaning each inch of the place to the best of his ability. And I love people who do their jobs well. I made a mental note to look for him and hire him when I am able to. And I moved on.

Fast forward a couple of hours. I rushed to the loo yet again (yes I drink a lot of water) and I saw the young boy howling. He was surrounded by a couple of other workers from the mall. These older workers were consoling him. I tried to overhear but I could not understand the reason for commotion there. By the time I decided I want to intervene, a small crowd had gathered there, mostly made of staff at the mall. And I decided to not. I suck at handling mobs, crowds, and other such gatherings.

I peed as fast as I could, did not want my bladder to burst. And in the meanwhile, the guy had gotten quieter. Thank God for that. I should've asked him but I did not have the heart to go and even ask why was he crying.

I wish I had the balls to. I wish I had the resources to make him happy again. I mean I know that life's purpose is to not chase happiness (well, I can debate) but I also know that the ones like me that are divinely discontent are ok with this discontentment in our bones. But the aam aadmi may not be. Most people I know seek peace, happiness, and other such things. And I think if they are not as fucked in the head as I am, they are well within their rights to seek happiness. And as someone who believes that the purpose of my life is to enable others to do better, I must be able to intervene and give them what they seek. Even if its happiness! 

That's the sad part of being human. There are 7.5 billion others around you. And each is in a different place on the continuum of sadness and happiness. Some are bang in the middle - at equanimity - but they are few and far between. I really wish I knew where is my default state on this continuum. I think I am around equanimity but I lean to the happiness side. I know of people that are equanimous but lean to sadness. And that is ok!

Brings me to an interesting juncture. And the entire point of this post.

I have realized that I tend to avoid even knowing about what makes other people sad. I can give numerous examples to substantiate this. When I am on the road and I pass by an accident, I do not look at the site. I simply turn my head. I don't want to look at the gore and tears and all that. I don't see films that showcase pathos. Like this recent film that came out where Deepika Padukone is trying to highlight the plight of the acid attack victims, despite angry skirmishes with a very dear friend, I could not bring myself to watch it. A friend suffered from a brain surgery a few years ago and she wanted me to see the pics of the operation, I could not. When someone suffers or is at a hospital, I don't know what to do about it. I want to be around, comfort them but I don't know how to do it without getting affected myself. A few days ago when a friend had a meltdown, I went in a shell for a few days. I am weak like that. I am not a good friend at such junctures. I HATE those WhatsApp forwards and videos that show accidents and gore. And I have friends that revel in sharing those. I know they get pleasure and these are intriguing. But these things make me suck in the gut.

I am often told by colleagues that my negotiation skills suck and I often leave a lot of money on the table for others. I am told that I go out of my way to make everyone happy and in the process get fucked myself. And I am told that even when I see that people are taking me for a ride, I play along, get hurt and make large, terrible losses. I once lost all my savings and 2-3 years of life because I was way too empathetic to say no to a bad idea. I often get into trouble when I poke my nose into the affairs of strangers on the Internet and try to offer them advice and inputs. I have been called a creep and psychopath and all that. At traffic signals when those beggars come and flaunt their disfigured bodies, I am unable to look at those. There is this restaurant here in Mumbai where the waiting staff is deaf and dumb. They may have the best food but I can not bring myself to ever go there. They may claim to give employment to people that need it, but I really think they are paddling pathos to profit from it. Or may be not. The point is, I can not bring myself to consume that.

Thing is, I can't help but try and help when I know that things could be better. I feel compelled. You know, how people cant control?

No, I am not a pushover. No, I don't seek acceptance. No, I don't want approval. Rather, I want to be rich and connected and all that and I don't know if it's possible without being able to tramp on others. But I do know that I cant see people that are sad. And if while negotiating someone plays the sadness card, I let go.

Coming back to the young boy at the mall. I don't know what made him that sad. But I do know that his tears have given me the inspiration to do more. To be able to reach a point where I can give away material things if those tears were induced by the want of something like that.

Over and out.

PS: If it's an emotional turmoil, I don't know how to help. May be become a guru or something.

PPS: I know it is not my problem and I don't need to help everyone. I know people don't even want help. And definitely not from me. And I know that people find a way. And I know time heals. And etc etc.

PPPS: As a kid, some 20-25 years, I saw a video of an American journalist's throat being slit. Slowly. deliberately. With patience. Without any remorse. Even though I saw it at a friend's place, on a grainy computer screen, the scene often plays in my head. And every time it does, I get fucked. As I write this, to be honest, I have this funny feeling in a pit at the back of my mind and I may just throw up. Later! Typos and formatting can wait.

The first five days of 2020

Today is the fifth day of the year / decade / whatever you want to call 2020. And I know that these 5 days haven't been the greatest of them all. I have been unwell since the 28th and today it's the 8th day when I've had something or the other affecting me. Its nothing serious (I hope). Just some cold, cough, sore SORE SSOORREE throat, choked nose and general lethargy that the Bombay weather has brought upon us. Oh, I slept in the wrong position and my entire left side is hurting like a bitch. You know, when you are suffering how things compound? And on top of that the ones that I want to be loved by, they seem to have time for everyone but me. Guess its a phase and it will pass.

Thing is, as I kid I would rarely fall sick and in the last 3-4 months, I have caught something or the other, including Dengue. I did what I've never done - taken meds, of allopathic, homeopathic and ayurvedic kinds. I even took meds to help me sleep better at night.

No, it is not work-related. It is not the best time but I've seen such times in the past. And when I am on my bed, I do NOT think about work. So that can't be the reason.

No, it is not about motivation. As I write this, its 7:36 AM on a Sunday, and I am at a Starbucks. If it were motivation, I would be curled up in my bed.

No, it is not food. I've never eaten healthy, except the times when I was on Keto. I eat whatever is the right combination of money, time and convenience. Food has been like that for me. Maybe I need to change that? May be.

No, it's not the new place. I mean the new locality I am living at is a lot more noisy, dusty, disorganized, messy and all that compared to the older one. But I think I sleep well. I even get some dreams - just that I don't remember them anymore.

No, it's not about relationships. Most of mine are functional. And like food, convenience-based. I don't want anyone to do anything for me that makes them go out of their way. I have trained myself to learn that relationships are superficial for most people - they just don't acknowledge it. Yes, this is a controversial and unpopular opinion but that's how it is.

No, it's not about me being careless. I am wearing enough clothes to cover myself. Like I am inside a store and wearing a warm jacket - the kinds I would not wear even in Delhi! I am even taken meds as I said earlier.

Yes, it's troubling me enough that it has made it to my blog!

And I guess this is what growing old is? Unexplained illness, visible frailty, irritable mood and all that. No, I don't like this. No, I did not sign up for this.

I think that's about it. I hope I get well soon. I hate it when I am like this. I become a non-functional human being and a jackass to be around when I am unwell.

Pray for me.

And 2020, please get your act together. I have high hopes from you!

Notes from Riyadh

So, a few days ago, I was in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. And this was my first trip there. And these are some notes observations from the trip, in case anyone is curious.

First things first.
It is safe. Probably safer than in India. I walked alone for miles and did not get uncomfortable at all. People are VERY friendly, simple and helpful.

Most speak some degree of Engish. It is not tough to get around with local taxis, Ubers, and Careems. No, there is no public transport. They are making a metro but it will only connect a limited part of the city. And it will take a while before it is up and running.

Even though I found it cold, dusty, gloomy at first, it grew upon me as I spent time there.

Yes, it is an Islamic Country
What this means is that the lives run around their practice of religion. Stores (even at malls) shut at the time of prayer. Restaurants don't take orders. Offices have an area demarcated for prayers. It is absolutely normal to find a clean, respectful place wherever you are and offer your prayers.

No, it is culturally not very open
Continuing with Saudi Arabia being an Islamic county, they practice their traditions with all the seriousness. This means it is rare to see women without their Abayas. The only time I saw a woman without one was when I landed. And the flight I was in had one Brit lady that wore denim and a flannel shirt.

But if my conversations are to be believed, it is changing. I spoke to a lady there and she said that her niece (who's 12 right now) may not grow up to like wearing an Abaya. But then this would remain an urban phenomenon. The smaller cities and interiors would retain their culture for a few more years at least, if not decades

No, you can't take photos without permission, if there are people in the frame. 

Yes, the internet is controlled and censored. But for someone like me, who had to use a lot of Google and GSuite, things were just fine. No, I did not try to search online for casinos, gambling, alcohol, pornography to see what results are thrown at me. 

And yet, the country is thriving! 
There is a lot of economic activity. There are malls, stores, coffee shops and everything else that you expect from a modern city in a thriving economy. Businesses operate from 8 AM and while office time ends by 5 PM, malls are open till 1030/11, local businesses are open till as late as 2 AM.

They have traffic jams, especially at office hours.

They have skyscrapers. I mean, of course, they'd have. Why would they not have? They are among the richest countries in the world. Just that sitting here in India, reading reports from western media, you tend to create a mental image. I mean look at this building...

I was later told that this twisted tower design is a common one in the entire GCC region.

And yes, it's safe. Very. In the time I was there, I don't think I saw one cop. Of course, there are cameras and sensoring and each activity is tracked and all that but in general, as I said, it's safe to walk around.

There is Starbucks! Must give credit to the way they've got the service levels right. Even though I went there all of two times, the Baristas remembered my order!

There is even Benihana of Tokyo (junta from MDI would relate to this). There is all the big brands - Virgin, Nike, La Senza, Victoria's Secret and some homegrown ones as well.

Coming back to activity. If you stood by a highway there and took a shot of the cars passing by, the number of cars, the make and the speed with which they are driving past, you'd never guess you were in Riyadh!
This is from a highway on a random day at a late hour (post the office rush). Ignore the bottom half of the photo. Look at the top half. 

In terms of food, even though I am a vegetarian, I was ok. Riyadh has enough options that it is NOT tough to find vegetarian food. If you eat eggs, you'd not have any discomfort at all.

And things are opening up. 
I have one word for this. Qiddiyah.
If you want more words, there is Riyadh Seasons.

And further, every person I spoke to - cab drivers, clients, prospective clients, businessmen, businesswomen, employees, restaurants, waiters, professionals and everyone in between wanted to work.

They even made this mosque that does not look anything like one. I can't imagine any other religion giving one of its religious icons such bold shape! Hats off to the person that thought about it and then the person that gave approval. I can't imagine that happening here. Especially in the environment that we live in!

KAFD Mosque. One of the most stunning buildings ever. 

But, life for a regular Saudi is not as rosy as you would imagine.
Some cabbies told me that they work two jobs to make ends meet. 

In fact, while I was there, talking to people, it dawned on me that it sucks that people have to go far from their homes and people and lives and stories and cultures to make ends meet. Like the cabbie I spoke to, he traveled from Karachi (in Pakistan) to become an Uber driver. There was this Saudi that came from a village in the interiors of the city. And then, there was me, from Delhi, living in Mumbai, in Riyadh to look for opportunities that help me make money. Like Amrish Puri said, "roti ke liye mitti sey door jaana padta hai"...  

I wish I could fix it. For myself. And for the world. 


The other thing that I learned while I was there is the urgency of time. I had about a week there. And that meant I had to squeeze in all my meetings in that many days. And some of them were going to be with people that may not want to meet me. And that made me rush with things like no one's business. 

The things that I did not understand are.
They use and of course, waste a LOT of plastic. It is so rampant that I got sick after a while. They use it in EVERYthing. At restaurants, shopping malls, kiosks, laundry, packing, tablemats at restaurants to shopping bags to wrapping paper to everything else. It seems to be like a way of life in Riyadh! 

The city is full of cats. I mean I felt as if I was in a Murakami Hemingway world. There are cats all over the place. In the alleys, on the roads, under the cars, in the dustbins, heck ever insider the Starbucks! If I were to live there any longer, I would do a Cats of Riyadh Facebook page, if it doesn't exist already! 

The other thing that the city has in abundance apart from cats is abandoned cars. You feel as if you are in a film set where there are gunners hiding behind these abandoned cars.

I mean look at this car...
Shot by Saurabh Garg, edited by Also here.

In the end, 
I'd suspect the people would have a high degree of satisfaction 

In one word, I'd say the trip was more eye-opening than anything else. And yes I would love to come back! May be soon. Want postcards? Lemme know! 

Thanks for reading!

Saurabh Garg,
Mumbai, 2020

PS: Apologies for the quality of the photos. For some reason this trip, all the photos are super bad. To a point that I hate them. But can't go back now. Or may be, the next trip?

Disclaimers. Very very important. Please read.
  • I went there for a few business meetings. And this means that a lot of things were taken care for me - hotel, commute, etc.
  • I was there for about a week. This means that I did not see the entire city and did not experience it in its entirety.
  • I was confined to the Riyadh area. I did not step out of the city.
  • These are things that I observed. These are not scientific or something

Lucky Ali's Biography (The #in2020 Wishlist)

If there’s one thing that I could ask the Universe for #in2020, it would be the opportunity to get to write and direct a film (fiction / documentary / docufiction / any other genre) inspired by the life of Lucky Ali.

His music, words, and life have been an inspiration since I’ve known what inspiration is. I have professed my love for him on this blog multiple times (Dec 2012, Aug 2006, Jun 2004). I infact learned how to use a computer while making a fan-website dedicated to him (I've long lost the code and access and other things, but the site is still archived on the Internet - see here).

Along with him, the likes of Rabbi Shergill, KK, Silk Route, etc. are the ones that I grew up listening to. Each of their tracks has held special place - each track dedicated to a person, a situation, a spot that I've been at in life. 

If I could go back, I would give an arm and a leg. But, for the time being, what I really want really bad from Universe is the opportunity to do the Lucky Ali film!

Come on, universe! Make it happen. After all, it's 2020! 

PS: I was in Bangalore a few weeks ago and I so wanted to go to his house unannounced and request him to meet me and talk to me about his life and all. But then as with other things, I decided by myself that he would not like a desperate fan invading into his privacy. And I left it at that. In the hindsight, I should've gone! 

PPS: The site that I made way back in 2003, I found it archived on the Internet here! Woah! The design is not that bad ;) 

The Nidhi Kapoor Story

Did you like this post? May be you want to read my first book - The Nidhi Kapoor Story.

Check it out on Amazon or Flipkart?