Monday, November 28, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 83

Before entering the film Industry, 'X' was an avid sportsperson.

'X' is a Black Belt holder in Taekwondo, and has won a Silver Medal in Taekwondo, at the National Games.

'X' has represented India in two different games. She represented India in World Korfball Championship held at New Delhi in 1995. She also represented India at the International Taekwondo Championship, held at Hong Kong in 1996.

In 2008, a games development company signed an agreement with 'X', to develop a first-of-its-kind Java based 3D mobile game.

The game, titled 'X' - The Alien Killer, is based on a unique game story and revolves around 'X', the lead character, killing different aliens.

Besides being a trained marshal arts expert, 'X' is also a trained Kathak dancer and a vivid basketball player.

Identify 'X'.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 82

'XY' was born in Amritsar, to a painter mother and an academic father. After her schooling, her father gave up a well respected job of the Head of the English Dept. at Hindu College of the Punjab University; left Amritsar and migrated to the United States.

He left for the U.S. with no security or promise of a job. The first year was hard, as he had to work as a librarian by day and as a watchman, an ordinary guard of a building, by night. That one year was a traumatic time for him and has always remained as an inspiration for 'XY' throughout her life. Her father struggled day and night to be able to accrue enough money to send air tickets for his family to join him in New York.

When 'XY' reached New York, the first thing she did was to start working as a typist, so that she could pay for her own tuition. She worked 9 to 5, and then went to night school at Hunter College in Manhattan. 'XY' was educated at the City University of New York and received her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at Hunter College in Manhattan.

Her father wanted her to go to Paris for further studies, but she wanted to pursue a career in Acting, something she kept a secret from her family. As a little girl in Amritsar, when she went to the movies, she intuitively knew that one day she'd be there, emoting.

Her parents weren't pleased with her decision to return to India to pursue a career in acting. They asked her to get married and then do whatever she liked, but she decided to follow her heart.

Following her heart, 'X' found success in films and is a well known name today. 'X' also happens to be a Writer, Poet, Photographer and Painter.

Her first collection of poems in Urdu and Hindi, titled "Lamha-Lamha", was published in 1983, followed by an English collection "Black Wind And Other Poems", which was published by MapinLit in 1994.

In 1996, she held her first solo exhibition of paintings titled 'One Woman Show', at Mumbai's Jehangir Art Gallery.

Two years later, she exhibited her photography of Ladakh in a show titled 'In Search Of Another Sky'.

On 30th October, 2011, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan released XY's latest book "The Mad Tibetan" - Stories from Then and Now; a collection of semi-autobiographical short stories.

"The Mad Tibetan" - Stories from Then and Now, is a collection of 11 short stories, published by Amaryllis, an imprint of Manjul Publishing House, Delhi.

'XY' has Written, Produced and Directed a feature film called "Do Paise Ki Dhoop Chaar Aane Ki Baarish". The film is set in the Mumbai monsoon and stars Manisha Koirala, Rajit Kapoor and Milind Soman. The film premiered at the market section of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and is slated to a commercial release in 2012.

XY's third book of poems, 'River' is under publication. It will be published by Amaryllis, Delhi.

Identify 'XY'.

Additional Trivia :

XY's father, Dr. Uday C. 'Y', retired as a Professor of English from Lehman College of the City University of New York. He taught English as a foreign language to generations of immigrant students from all over the world; mostly from Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Dr. Uday C. 'Y' obtained his PhD. in Linguistics, at the age of 65, a full 45 years after completing his M.A. degree at age 20.

Earlier in India, he authored a Hindi book "Kaarya Jaanch Kyoon Aur Kaise", the first-ever Asian publication on the management technique of 'work study'. He received a letter of appreciation from Prime Minster Jawaharlal Nehru. The personal letter, dated July 10, 1962, was addressed as 'Dear Professor Y'.

Dr. Uday C. 'Y', along with Dr. Soofia K. Hussain, has authored another book titled "Striped Zebra" : The Immigrant Psyche. It's a book about immigrants and is an extensive and significant study about the migration factor all over the world. The book has been published in India by Rupa & Co., Delhi.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 81

Arun Shourie became the Executive Editor of 'The Indian Express' in January 1979. He uncovered corruption in the highest echelons of the Government and exposed several major scandals.

In the early 1980's, Arun Shourie, as Editor of 'The Indian Express', broke the big A.R. Antulay story, ‘Indira Gandhi as Commerce’. The expose revealed that the then Maharashtra Chief Minister, Abdul Rehman Antulay, had started an organisation called the ‘Indira Gandhi Pratibha Pratishthan’, through which he collected illicit funds from builders.

The corruption scandal forced A.R. Antulay to resign. He resigned as Chief Minister of Maharashtra after the Bombay High Court convicted him on charges of extortion, on January 13, 1982. The court ruled that A.R. Antulay had illegally asked Mumbai area builders to make donations to 'Indira Gandhi Pratibha Pratisthan', one of the several trust funds he had established and controlled, in exchange for receiving more cement than the quota allotted to them by the Government.

This caused the eventual resignation of the Chief Minister, and a great embarrassment to Indira Gandhi and her ruling Congress Party.

Arun Shourie's exposes resulted in a prolonged labour dispute at the Mumbai offices of the Indian Express, where a labour organizer with ties to A.R. Antulay, encouraged workers to strike for a minimum wage double than what was paid at any other newspaper in India. It also resulted in a Government crackdown that included a host of legal cases launched against 'The Indian Express' by various agencies. In 1982, the paper's owner Ramnath Goenka fired Arun Shourie as a result of the continued Government pressure.

This real life story was made into a controversial Hindi film. The 'uncomfortably authentic' political drama ran into trouble when film distributors and television refused to run the film, though later it went on to win three National Film Awards.

Identify the film.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 80

Wing Commander Yogesh Suri flew fighter planes in the Indian Air Force for 20 years.
During his career, he flew several types of aircraft, including the MiG 21 and MiG 25.
He was one of the first four pilots to fly the MiG-25, in the 102nd squadron in Bareilly.

Mig 25 Foxbat - The legendary fighter aircraft.

Wing Commander Yogesh Suri (2nd from right), along with fellow Indian Air Force officers.

Mr. Yogesh Suri is also a qualified Cosmonaut. He almost made it as the first Indian in space.
He was one of the four finalists in the selection of candidates for the Soviet-Indian mission. He was shortlisted and was the standby trainee Indian astronaut for the country's first-ever space flight, along with Mr. Rakesh Sharma.

Mr. Yogesh Suri retired as a Wing Commander because of health reasons. Also, he had to switch to slower planes, so he called it a day, by taking voluntary retirement in 1992.

He then took up broadcasting as an FM Radio Jockey and worked for a radio station in Delhi, and hosted shows on Radio One in Delhi for 5 years. In 2002, he worked as the Director of the radio company "Green Channel".

He also started his career as a trainer, teaching young people the art of public speaking, as well as training them in the art of Radio.

After working for Radio channels, he changed his field once again, for what he calls his "final calling"; a stint in Hindi films.

As an Actor, he has worked in films like 'What's Your Raashee ?', 'Veer', 'Kites', 'Lamhaa' and 'Aisha'. So far, his most popular role as an Actor, has been that of 'Bairam Khan' in 'Jodhaa Akbar'.

The Question is, by what name is Retd. Wing Commander Yogesh Suri better known as ?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 79

'X' grew up in a lower middle-class family in Delhi. His father worked in 'The Claridges' hotel. He went to Blue Bell School, a small school in Jor Bagh. Small means the school would upgrade every time the students crossed a class; as they were promoted to Class V, the school added Class V and so on. This went on till Class VIII. Then 'X' switched to Bal Bharti Air Force school, now Air Force Bal Bharti school.

'X' was a state level swimmer and the captain of the Delhi Swimming Team, which earned him a seat in the much sought after Delhi's Sri Ram College of Commerce in the early 80's.

His first day in college left an indelible mark on his psyche. Students were asked to introduce themselves, and read out their school leaving marks to the professor. While everyone had over 90 per cent, he had just 56.6 per cent. The professor looked shocked and said it was because of students like him that the reputation of the college had been tarnished. 'X' never attended that professor's class again.

While his classmates joined management institutes and big companies after completing their college education, 'X' started his career as a door-to-door salesman for Eureka Forbes vacuum cleaners in Delhi. He was paid a meager salary of Rs 415 a month. But he was always good at one thing; while other salesman went from house to house convincing housewives of the benefits of their vacuum cleaners, 'X' approached hospitals and airports. He was able to sell 20 to 30 machines in one go. A few years down the lane, he joined a friend to start a garment export company. They bought a shut down factory in old Delhi and in just a few months they were able to set up three factories. After about 18 months in the business, 'X' decided to get into Advertising.

It was, however, different when he shifted to Mumbai and took to advertising. He started shooting television ads for Indian companies and multinational giants then entering India. Hero Cycles had recently come to India and was going to expand in a big way. He Directed an ad for them and went on to make many ad films for Indian and international clients such as Coke, Pepsi, Toyota, American Express etc. He established his company 'Flicks Motion Picture Company Private Limited' in 1986.

As a Feature Film Director, his first film, considered to be much ahead of its times, bombed at the box office. An NDTV documentary "Coffins in Tricolour" inspired him to make his second film which turned out to be a blockbuster and catapulted him to the big league.

The film went on to find a nomination, and was among the five entries in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards (BAFTA). It shared the honour with Mel Gibson's 'Apocalypto', Paul Verhoeven`s 'Black Book', Guillermo del Toro's 'Pan's Labyrinth' and Pedro Almodovar's 'Volver'. The award in the category went to Guillermo del Toro's fantastical saga 'Pan's Labyrinth'.

His third film too bombed at the box office. The makers came up with the idea of having a a mirror on the Audio CD cover of the film. According to 'X', the film tells us to look at ourself, and so it had a mirror on the CD cover.

'X' then Produced a film which was released in 2011 under his banner. The film was initially titled 'Mad, Madder, Maddest', but the title was later changed to a more suitable one. The film faired poorly at the box office.

'X' is an adventure-loving person and has a special affinity to under water diving.

'X' also has a culinary interest. Along with his elder brother Rajan, he owns the famous "Bauji Ka Dhaba" restaurant - in a Gurgaon mall and in The Garden Of Five Senses, near Saket in New Delhi. His father had started the food chain after working for 'The Claridges' for 45 years.

Baujee Ka Dhaba’s "Baujee" name arrived from X's father Lt. Shri Om Prakash, who was popularly known as "Baujee" in old age. In the year 1998, the name "Baujee Ka Dhaba" was brain stormed by X's niece Tisha.

The Dhaba not just serves good food, it has also won an award from the Ministry of Tourism for its ambience !! The Madhubani paintings that adorn the walls of the Dhaba have been etched by National Award winning artists.

Identify 'X'.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 78

'Rang De Basanti' (2006), had a controversial horse riding scene featuring Aamir Khan. The scene in question is about a traditional festival of a sect of Sikhism, which features a horse race.

This has been banned by the Animal Welfare Board and therefore, this scene had to be removed from the movie.

The banned scene shows a ritual of the 'X' sect of Sikhism. The word 'X' means 'Crocodile' and was introduced into the Punjabi language from Persian.

The term owes its origin to the Mughal historians who noticed that these brave armed-monks fought ferociously like crocodiles. Traditionally known for their bravery and ruthlessness in the battlefield, they once formed the 'Guerilla Squads' of the armed forces of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Identify 'X'.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 77

"az kufr-o ze-islâm berûn, SaHrâyê-st
mâ-râ ba-meyân-é ân faZâ, sawdâyê-st
`ârif chô ba-d-ân rasîd sar-râ be-neh-ad
nay kufr-o na islâm, na ân-jâ jâyê-st"

This is the original Quatrain no. 395, a poem by the Persian and Sufi poet Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Balkhi.

The world knows this person by a descriptive name, which he got because he lived most of his life in an area once ruled by the Eastern Roman Empire.

A Hindi translation of this poem, called "The Meeting Place", features in the soundtrack of Imtiaz Ali's "Rockstar", which has Music by A.R. Rahman.

Identify the poet.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 76

X's father Kakubhai was an astrologer and mother Rita was a housewife. There was a difference of seven years between 'X' and his elder brother Hemant.

One day, Hemant jumped into a river to save a child from drowning. Hemant saved the child, but lost his life.

X's family never had enough money, so he had to look for work, instead of going to college.
He found work as a Ticketing Assistant with Trade Wings, a travel agency.

One day, while he was walking down the road, an executive of a modelling agency spotted him and offered an assignment. His first modelling assignment was for 'Centurion'.

With a very basic level of education behind him, and with no knowledge of English, 'X' acted as if he was the serious sort, who rarely spoke. Unfortunately, people misunderstood his silence with arrogance !!

'X' first saw 'Y' in her school uniform, hanging out of a bus. 'X' was on a bike, and when the bus stopped, he introduced himself : "Hi, I'm 'X'. What's your name ?"

For him, it was love at first sight !!

Then, when he was buying records in a store, he spotted 'Y' again, went up to her, and asked : "Can I help you ?"

Soon 'X' and 'Y' started going steady.

Producer Pramod Poddar was making a Hindi version of "The Blue Lagoon" (1980). Both 'X' and 'Y' tried out for the lead roles, but 'X' was rejected as Director Umesh Mehra found him too skinny for a role which required a bare-body show. Also, 'X' didn't know how to swim !! Finally 'Y' and Mohnish Behl were finalised for the lead roles in the film titled "Teri Bahon Mein".

Film maker O.P. Ralhan had advertised for a fresh face for his film "Ashoka The Great". 'X' and 'Y' went to a photo studio, and posed for some photos and went to meet O.P. Ralhan. Nothing came of this meeting and eventually, the film never got made.

But this investment marked the beginning of X's efforts. He met Suneil Anand at an acting class and was soon introduced to his father Dev Anand, who was looking for new faces to cast in "Swami Dada".

Dev saab had seen 'X' on the poster of a cigarette ad and offered him the role of the villian's henchman. All 'X' did was stand behind Shakti Kapoor in two shots !!

But this experience changed his life; another famous filmmaker spotted 'X' in "Swami Dada" and offered him the lead role in his next film 'Z'.

The film 'Z' went on to be a 'Superhit' and as they say, the rest is history..
'X' went on to become a star in his own right !!

'X' and 'Y' got married on 5th June, 1987.

Identify 'X', 'Y' and 'Z'.

Trivial Pursuit 75

Mr. Madhusudan Vallabhdas Thaker was born in Jamkhambhalia, Jamnagar district, in Gujarat in 1942. A Gujarati writer who grew up in Kolkata, and later shifted to the U.S., he assumed the pen name "Madhu Rye", as an affectation he picked up in homage to Mr. Satyajit Ray.

Madhu Rye's Gujrati novel "Kimball Ravenswood" was first serialised in "Gujarat Mitra" daily, and there have been two hard cover and four paperback reprints so far. The novel was made into a TV series ''Mr. Yogi'' (1989) by Mr. Ketan Mehta. It was also adapted into theatre as "A Suitable Bride" by Mr. Naushil Mehta.

The Hindi film 'X' was also based on the novel "Kimball Ravenswood". 'Y', the Director of 'X', claimed to have bought out all available copies of the novel, before his film's release.

Identify 'X' and 'Y'.

Additional Trivia :

Kimball and Ravenswood are local train terminus in Chicago, around which there is a heavy concentration of Gujaratis. These are also the novel's locale.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 73

Famous Hindi writer 'X'.

X's husband Mr. Rajendra Yadav, eminent Hindi writer and Editor of the famous literary magazine 'HANS'.

X's daughter Rachana Yadav, a professional Kathak dancer.

'X' along with her husband Mr. Rajendra Yadav and daughter Rachana.

Identify 'X' and connect her to the following films.

'Rajnigandha' (1974) was based on X's short story "Yehi Sach Hai".

'X' wrote the dialogues of 'Swami' (1977).

Additional Trivia :

'Swami' (1977) was based on Sarat Chandra Chatterjee's book 'Swami' (The Husband).

Sarat Chandra Chatterjee was awarded the Filmfare Award for 'Best Story' for this film.

'Samay Ki Dhara' (1986) was based on X's Hindi novel "Aap Ka Bunty".

Additional Trivia :

'X' had to file a case against the makers of "Samay Ki Dhara" (1986).

'X' Vs. Kala Vikas Pictures Pvt. Ltd., (Mr. Dharmendra Goyal), was amongst the first cases to discuss an author’s moral right of integrity. The appellant, 'X', held that the movie "Samay Ki Dhara", produced under assignment of filming rights of her Hindi novel "Aap Ka Bunty", was a mutilation and distortion of her work.

The court's verdict said that changes that did not "distort" the storyline (but were necessary for adaptation to a new medium) should be made and the title changed, and only then can the movie be screened.

But, a settlement application was moved by which the respondents submitted that they regret the changes made in the film and will delete the name of 'X' and her novel “Aap Ka Bunty” from the credit (title com- mercial and publicity), of the picture "Samay Ki Dhara".

The copyright for the novel "Aap Ka Bunty" were reverted to 'X', and she too, relinquished any claims for the movie "Samay Ki Dhara".

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 72

Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan a.k.a. Mirza Ghalib

Complete this Mirza Ghalib couplet to get the name of a Hindi film.

"Hui muddat ki Ghalib mar gaya par yaad aata hai..
Woh har ek baat pe kehna ke ___________________ .."