Movie review : Gully Boy

 
Oh boy ! This movie lives up to the Hype !

I usually don't watch movies in halls, leave alone write about them. But this movie. It is so different from the usual riffraff that it was refreshing ! I don't know if everyone will like it, but I think everyone will agree with the sentiment "Apna Time Ayega".

I also see some places where it is being compared to Rang De Basanti - and I kind of know where they are coming from - as it is about being a rebel and following your dreams. But while RDB left you sad and thoughtful, this leaves you happy and thoughtful. It's an inspiring film.

Not everyone is into Rap/HipHop. But the main story line is so well written and the direction/editing is top notch. Every character is a study in itself - too many movies just concentrate on the main hero. But here there are so memorable characters that if I had to decide on who was the best actor, I would go crazy. Although the story is around Ranbir (Murad) taking away any one character would make holes in the film. Even his grandmother - though a very minuscule role - fits in so well, that to think of the movie without her is unthinkable.

The movie is based on the lives of real rap artists Naved Shaikh (Naezy) and Vivian Fernandes (Divine). So, after the movie I had to look up about the movie and it was an eye opener:
- All other rappers during the battle scenes are real rappers from the Indian Rap World and not actors.
- Film was shot in slum areas of Dharavi in Mumbai where a huge set of slum was erected on an open ground.
- Divine makes an appearance in the song Apna Time Aaega in the climax.

I really don't know about the underground Rap scene in Mumbai or India, but I am so happy to see Indian films which take a diversion from the usual love stories (though of course there is a love element - but that feels to natural that you don't think about it much).

Final words: A must watch, even if you are tone deaf.

Test Ride #2: Suzuki VStrom 650

For my 2nd test ride, it was the Suzuki VStrom.

The guys at the Suzuki showroom were really great. They arranged the ride at my location - unlike the other showrooms which say I have to come there. It was the best test ride experience so far as I could test the bike on the roads I know.




This time, I mixed it up a bit. I got my GoPro Hero3+ working again. So, I have a few videos to share.

#1: The Pre-ride discussions


This goes over the various settings on the bike and how to change them.

The one thing that I could not quite figure out ( of course I thought of this question later on) was the tank range. The tank capacity is 21 lts. However, the guy said I would get only 220kms range. Which seems to be an average around 10kmpl. Is it this low ? Need to check with these guys again. 




#2: Riding in slow traffic


This bike handles very well. The video below shows me squeezing past a bus. It was surprisingly easy as this was the first time I was riding this big a bike in such traffic.



#3: Riding on Bad Roads


Oof ! This was a bit rough. The suspension was very hard. Only later on ( don't have a video for that as the GoPro stopped in between), it was explained that the suspension has 3 different settings and it was actually set at the hardest. Make your own impressions.



Overall Impressions:


Pros:

  1. Very comfortable handling. I was going over the entire gopro video ( boring for most so I have editing out the bits which made sense for a review) and I have mentioned it 4 times ! My current bike is a Karizma, and it handles pretty much like that. I can flick the bike in and out of traffic. Slow speed movement is spot on - feels very planted. See the videos above for Riding in Sow Traffic, and Riding on Bad Roads. 
  2.  Very balanced bike. The bike does not feel like its going to tilt over. Either when going over potholes or leaning into turns. 
  3. Great tank grip. The interceptor that I rode a few days back is pretty bad in this department. This bike on the other hand just feels like a part of you. 
  4. Braking is smooth. Even the engine braking is very predictive and you can use it mostly in the traffic to control the bike speeds instead of relying too much on the disks. 
  5. Has the Cell charger socket built in.



Cons:

  1.  My biggest issue with the bike was the seat height. I am about 5'8", and I was on my toes when the bikes stopped. Since it was test bike, I was also a bit scared about if the bike tilts over. But the balance of the bike is pretty good, so that did not happen ;)  
  2. Range is a bit of an issue if it really is around the 200kms mark. That's going to cause range anxiety. 
  3. Not available in black. Sigh. 

Undecided:

  1. Hard suspension - but that's probably just the setup. The Suzuki representative assured me that it can be set softer.
  2. The handlebar is much better than the Interceptor, but still it was a bit far. I understand that this being a test bike, it was just set standard. 
  3. Heating of the engine. Right now it is winter in Delhi. The engine heats up at the traffic lights, and I did feel a bit of warmth on the legs when moving off after a 1 min stop. I don't know how it will be during summers - but since I feel the heat even from the karizma engines - I am sure its gonna be a bit uncomfortable.

Test Ride #1

So, I decided its been a long time since I test rode bikes. The current motorcycling scene in India has undergone a change in the last 10 years with a lot of new bikes coming in.Time to check them out - what say ?

The first test ride of the season has stated with the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650. This is a new bike from the RE stables, and after years of speculation, RE released a twin cylinder bike.

Enough of bike sites are regurgitating the same stuff about the specs etc ( written in prose format - making for very difficult reading TBH). So, I am not going into the specs here.

This is a ride impression.

But first - I want to talk about the guys in the showroom. This has been the best experience that I have had for a bike test ride. The showroom guys were very curteous and set up the ride fast. They also let me ride out alone - which is a big change from someone or the other sitting pillion and not letting me get a real feel of the bike.

The bike is actually a bit smaller ( or should i say slimmer) than the normal RE. The seat height is lower than the himalayan and so more comfortable for me to get on. The seating is less wide than the machismo and the classic models - your knees are not pointing out like someone carrying bamboo sticks on the bike. All in all, sitting on the bike is quite comfortable.  The ride though --- that was a bit uncomfortable - see below.



As you can see, i have my foot easily on the ground.

So, lets start the bike. Like all the recent bikes, this also comes with an electric start. The switch assembly is the same as other RE bikes - i could not really see any difference. A touch, and the bike rumbles on.

The sound is quite different from the normal REs. If your impression of getting a RE bike is the 'dug-dug-dug' sound - forget it. This bike has a growl. Nice if you ask me.

The bike moves and feels quite planted. The tyres are pirellis, so the grip should be good. However, these are spoked wheels, which means, even though technically the tyres are tubless ones, you have tubes in this. Hey RE - please fix your wheels.

The gear pattern is like most modern bikes. 1 down, 5 up. Since I usually ride a karizma, its easy for me to use it. However, the gap between the gear shifter and the footpeg is slightly narrow, which meant, with my boots, the toes would sometimes not get under the gear shifter easily.

BTW, No False Neutrals !

The bike pulls. It's got power with the twin cylinders coming in at 47bhp, and it shows. The bike wants to leave you behind as you twist up the throttle. Its unnerving. Especially as the tank is slim and the thigh grip does not work at all. Add to it, the handlebars are way ahead ( see the side pic above), so you are reaching out to it. This lead to a most uncomfortable riding position for me. Ride ergonomics is not good.

The speedo is tiny. Sure, when the bike is stopped and you look at it, it looks ok. But when the bike is moving, and you want to quickly check your speeds - naah. Its too small. Its unreadable as you are moving around in traffic. Maybe it was because I am not used to it and I could not quickly read my speeds.

The speedo assembly - via Autocar website


The handling is pretty good. Its like the RE Continental GT in terms of handling. You can flick it in and out of traffic. The bike leans and rights up as you direct it. Unlike the sluggish nature of the classic RE bikes, this is a great improvement.

One of the things that people said when the bike was launched was this is unlike any RE. I agree, its not like the usual RE bikes you have. Its much more refined.

Its an impressive bike by any means, and the cost ( on road price is a tad below 3L in Delhi) is also pretty sweet.

I am going to be test riding a few bikes in the next few weeks. Lets see how this holds up with the other bikes that I am planning on riding.

--

After thoughts: At the end of the day, when I was returning back on my old karizma, my bike felt a lot under powered :D :D :D 

India: Major events ( first cut)

Triggered by a post on FB, I started looking at the major policies and changes done by governments ( including some not so good stuff) over the course of Independent India. Below is a quick list:

The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.
- William Shakespeare

-- Nehru Era --
1961: Indian Army liberates Goa from Portuguese. It becomes a UT
1962: French ruled Pondicherry becomes a UT of India

-- Indira Gandhi Era --
1969: ISRO Founded
1971: India Pak war. Bangladesh formed.
1974: Pokhran 1
1975 - 1977 : Emergency
1980: BJP formed.
1984: Assasinated

-- Rajiv Gandhi Era--
1985: Anti defection law passed
1985: Shah bano case set the precident for alimony for Muslim women.
1986: MTNL & VSNL created
1991: Assasinated.

-- Narasimha Rao Era --
1991: Economic Liberalization. Manmohan Singh is Finance Minister.
1992: Babri Masjid demolished. Kalyan Singh (BJP) was CM.
1992: SEBI act
1993: Bomb blasts in Mumbai
1994: NSE setup

-- Vajpayee Era : NDA --

1998: Pokharan 2
1998: Lahore bus journey.
1998: National Highways Development Project
1999: Kargil War
1999: Kandahar. Kathmandu flight hijacked. Terrorists released for passengers.
2001: Tehelka sting operations on BJP and NDA members accepting bribes.
2001: Attack on parliament.
2002: Prevention of Terrorism Act
2002: Godhra (Gujrat) massacre

-- UPA 1 & 2 --
2005: RTI act enacted.
2005: RTE act enacted. Lead to a decrease in primary school dropouts.
2005: SEZ ( Special Economic Zones) enacted. This was crucial for the rise of India as a software power as investments in SEZ were separated from the normal investments.
2006: NREGA . Though opinion is divided on this one.
2007: Modernization of Delhi and Mumbai airports.
2008: Mumbai Terror attack
2011: MNP ( Mobile Number Portability). Now you can change carriers without changing number.
2012: Elimination of Polio

-- Narendra Modi Era --
2014: Planning commission scrapped. NITI ayog instated.
2014: JanDhan Accounts.
2015: FDI Reforms. FDI Cap on defense increased to 49%
2016: Demonetization. 86% of money in circulation was pulled out.
2017: GST.
2018: Electrification 100%. Remaining 26,296 of the unelectified villages (total: 5,97,464 as of 2014) connected. 

I plan to make this into an infographics. If you have ideas as to what to incorporate, please leave in the comments below.

Playing around with a word counter

I write bits and pieces of code on the side, even though it seems that people find it hard to believe that managers in India can actually code. Most of the code is usually small tools I write to automate parts of my work. But sometimes, I write code which should be ok for use for other people also.

Recently, I decided to put one of these code pieces online. This is the word counter and you can get it on the github gist at : https://gist.github.com/vibhurishi/3d4793e60e24af8ebb9ebd9c547b8222

As a test text, I was looking for something that would be of relevance. Since we just celebrated our 72nd Independence day, I took Jawaharlal Nehru's epic speech on the night of Independence and ran it through the word counter. Below is the result.

tryst.txt
about               1
accept              1
achievement         1
achievements        1
act                 1
action              1
advance             1
adventure           1
afresh              1
after               1
age                 1
ago                 1
ahead               1
allow               1
aloft               1
ambition            1
ancient             1
anew                1
apart               1
appeal              1
architect           1
asia                1
assembly            1
await               1
bear                1
begins              1
being               1
belong              1
betrayed            1
beyond              1
bind                1
birth               1
blaming             1
blown               1
body                1
bold                1
boundaries          1
brave               1
brings              1
brothers            1
burdens             1
cause               1
celebrate           1
centuries           1
challenge           1
cherished           1
citizens            1
clings              1
closely             1
clouds              1
common              1
communalism         1
confidence          1
continue            1
cooperate           1
country             1
courage             1
create              1
criticism           1
cut                 1
darkness            1
dawn                1
death               1
dedication          1
democracy           1
democratic          1
destructive         1
difficult           1
disaster            1
disciplined         1
discovers           1
dwell               1
ease                1
east                1
economic            1
embodying           1
encompass           1
encourage           1
endeavour           1
ending              1
ends                1
endured             1
ensure              1
equal               1
equally             1
eternal             1
ever                1
eye                 1
face                1
failures            1
fateful             1
father              1
fight               1
filled              1
finds               1
first               1
fitting             1
followers           1
forgotten           1
forth               1
fragments           1
fulfil              1
fullness            1
furthering          1
gave                1
generation          1
generations         1
give                1
grandeur            1
grasp               1
greater             1
greatest            1
greetings           1
happen              1
heavy               1
held                1
herself             1
hind                1
homage              1
hour                1
however             1
humanity            1
humility            1
ideals              1
imagine             1
imprint             1
incessant           1
independent         1
indivisible         1
inequality          1
institutions        1
intended            1
isolated            1
jai                 1
join                1
justice             1
knit                1
larger              1
lighted             1
longer              1
lost                1
loved               1
made                1
magnificent         1
mansion             1
many                1
materializes        1
memory              1
midnight            1
millions            1
mindedness          1
motherland          1
must                1
nevertheless        1
next                1
noble               1
obligations         1
off                 1
only                1
opening             1
pay                 1
peasants            1
period              1
petty               1
point               1
power               1
praise              1
present             1
privileges          1
problems            1
progressive         1
prosperity          1
prosperous          1
rarely              1
reality             1
rejoice             1
religion            1
remain              1
remember            1
representatives     1
representing        1
responsibilities     1
rests               1
reverent            1
reward              1
rights              1
rises               1
said                1
send                1
served              1
set                 1
share               1
sharers             1
she                 1
sight               1
sisters             1
sleeps              1
slumber             1
social              1
soldiers            1
solemn              1
son                 1
soul                1
split               1
standard            1
stands              1
started             1
stormy              1
strayed             1
stricken            1
stroke              1
struggle            1
substantially       1
succeeding          1
success             1
suffer              1
suffering           1
suppressed          1
surround            1
surrounded          1
tear                1
tears               1
tempest             1
think               1
though              1
thought             1
through             1
together            1
too                 1
trackless           1
triumphs            1
tryst               1
turning             1
unending            1
unhappily           1
unknown             1
unto                1
unworthy            1
upon                1
utterance           1
verge               1
very                1
vision              1
vital               1
volunteers          1
where               1
whither             1
wholly              1
wind                1
wipe                1
wise                1
without             1
woman               1
workers             1
write               1
years               1
yet                 1
again               2
alike               2
any                 2
appointed           2
as                  2
awake               2
beckons             2
before              2
bring               2
build               2
by                  2
cannot              2
children            2
come                2
disease             2
do                  2
dreams              2
end                 2
enough              2
faith               2
full                2
go                  2
good                2
hard                2
hearts              2
high                2
hope                2
ignorance           2
into                2
labour              2
life                2
make                2
means               2
measure             2
message             2
much                2
narrow              2
nations             2
old                 2
others              2
ourselves           2
out                 2
over                2
pains               2
peace               2
peoples             2
pledges             2
political           2
poverty             2
quest               2
responsibility      2
resting             2
some                2
sorrow              2
sovereign           2
spirit              2
step                2
still               2
strength            2
striving            2
take                2
taken               2
their               2
there               2
they                2
those               2
thoughts            2
till                2
torch               2
what                2
whatever            2
whose               2
also                3
an                  3
can                 3
day                 3
destiny             3
even                3
every               3
fortune             3
free                3
his                 3
live                3
man                 3
moment              3
often               3
past                3
redeem              3
star                3
time                3
up                  3
at                  4
been                4
comes               4
from                4
future              4
great               4
history             4
ill                 4
nation              4
never               4
new                 4
now                 4
opportunity         4
pledge              4
service             4
them                4
today               4
which               4
work                4
has                 5
no                  5
one                 5
when                5
who                 5
world               5
all                 6
long                6
may                 6
shall               6
people              7
will                7
her                 8
so                  8
or                  9
be                 11
freedom            14
our                14
us                 16
india              18
we                 37
('Number of words in the file :', 1099)

Happy Women's Day

Wishing you all a very happy Women's day. Sharing a few tweets that I gathered from around the world.

The Good
















The Bad









The Ugly









North India Polluion


There seems to be an opinion that somehow the pollution is only Delhi centric. This is not the fact. The crops are being burnt in the states around Delhi, but the stupid and idiotic news media shows only Delhi.

Here are a few visuals from other places. The situation is dire all throughout.