The Last Action Hero

As it turns out, apart from being the World ‘We did it for Sachin Tendulkar’ day, 2nd April is also Ajay Devgan’s birthday.

There was a time in the early nineties during my formative years(though the quantity of formation that happened in those formative years is debatable) when I was a die-hard Ajay Devgan fan. I mean, after mom convinced me that I cannot possibly be Sunny Deol ever, even if they feed me Complan intravenously. Those were tough times and I needed a new  hero, a new idol. And Ajay Devgan dirtbiked into my life.



(Classy since 1990)


For a scrawny teenager with a before-fairness-challenges complexion and side-parted hair, Ajay Devgan was the perfect idol. When Jigar released, I was regularly practicing fake jujitsu in the shower, throwing boiled eggs in the air and karatechopping them and fighting neighbourhood kids with blindfolded eyes. All this without a promise of a Karishma Kapoor. Not only did this boost my self-confidence, it also helped me lose all those milk teeth.


(Last Action Hero)

But my devotion for Ajay Devgan steadly increased. He was after all a rage. His wikipedia page will tell you how he won the Filmfare Male Debut award for Phool aur Kante. I can tell you that two of my friends lost their groins while trying to emulate his bike stunts. He was the alpha and the omega at that time. All the angry young men in the industry were getting old and Ajay and others were quickly replacing them, taking action to another level. In those times, one of the most challenging roles in the industry was that of Ajay Devgan’s sister, what with all the Mohinish Behls of the industry running after them. And while he suffered huge losses on his family side(taking adequate revenge during climax), he continued to romance the best of the industry. Raveena Tandon, Sonali Bendre, Karishma Kapoor, Madhuri, Madhu, Sonali Bendre, Twinkle Khanna, Manisha Koirala, Sonali Bendre, Aishwarya Rai. You name them and Ajay Devgan had them behind a few trees and flowers.

Of course then he went on and did one brave thing after another. Like marrying Kajol. Imagine that shrieking voice early in the morning. I have trouble believing that Veeru Devgan is still alive and has not died by death-by-repeated-calls-of-Bauji. Or when he decided to make Raju Chacha. Ajay Devgan was a pioneer in the true sense of the word. There was a certain subtlety to his ways, the way he did his romance or the way he did his action. Or the way he danced.

Ajay also did the Antakshari playing world the greatest service ever by giving them the Tha Tha Tha song. He brought pride to the name ‘Raju’, which until then was reserved for Chaiwallahs and raddiwallahs. He is one of the few Bollywood actors who can act both with and without a mustache. We all know what happened when Anil Kapoor tried acting without a mustache. Kumar Sanu almost owes his entire career to Ajay Devgan.

Ajay Devgan was one of the best things to have happened to Bollywood in the 90s. Till he developed an aversion to vowels and started acting in movies like Rascal.

But here is wishing a very happy birthday to Ajay Devgan of the 90s. The way I’d like to remember him.



A few days ago, @chuck_gopal of #project72 fame wrote a post about ‘Gadgetophilia’. Being the avid gadgeteer that he is, Chuck had listed all the gadgets that he has owned or owns. ‘I haven’t regretted ANY of my gadget purchases’, says Chuck. That touched a nerve somewhere. It did more than touch. It burnt my insides. It made my blood boil. Let me tell you why.

I have regretted ALL my gadget purchases.

Well, almost.

If you’ve been through the about me page, you’ll be familiar with some of the stuff that I have bought in the past. If you are not, by the end of this post you’ll definitely be(unless you have the attention span of Ranbeer Kapoor). To keep this blog post as #pritam as possible, we’ll structure this exactly as Chuck’s blog post is. So here goes, a tragedy of errors.

Audio Products:

My dad has a fetish for some audio products – Radios and audio cassette players to be precise. At any point in time, our home has close to 12 radios and 5 cassette players(no exaggerations here), including stuff like Takai and Soni. I had my first walkman(an actual Sony Walkman) when I was 13. My first cassette was called ‘Hot Stuff’ and had a bikini babe on the cover. It had songs like ‘Here comes the hotstepper’ and ‘Iko Iko’. I once paid 90 bucks for getting a cassette recorded that had songs like ‘Mera dil le gayi oye kammo kidhar’. You get the drift.

I lost my faith in ‘Audio products’ when one of my ‘walkmans’ ate my Westlife cassette. It had cost me 150 bucks. I was infuriated, devastated. Later one of our Weston antiques developed an appetite for our audio cassettes. I had lost all hope(and songs).

My next audio product was a computer. Audio product because at that point in time, it did nothing more than playing songs of ‘Major Saab’. Aveseq01.dat used to be on a loop with Sonali Bendre dominating the scene. Then I became a bit adventurous and decided to buy decent speakers for my computer. ‘Chip’ magazine(now known as Digit) was bought, speakers compared and it was settled between Altec Lansing and Artis. I went ahead and bought something called ‘Decibel YAK’.

I have never had the courage to buy a speaker system after that.

When I was in college, I wanted an MP3 player. Again after painstaking research, I went ahead and bought a Transcend T. Sonic 610. It was pretty #decent and HAD FM RADIO.

Three years after that, I won an Apple Ipod Nano on a Twitter contest(I didn’t have much of a life back then too). I plugged the iPod Nano earphones into the Transcend(I am cheap like that) and all of a sudden it started sounding like a #decent music player. Now my ears aren’t calibrated well enough to distinguish between good ‘sound’ and ‘bad’ sound but that day I realized the importance of good earphones.

I used to consider Apple earphones to be state-of-the-art till wiser souls on Twitter told me about ‘Sennheiser’ and other brands.

After much consideration, I’ve now bought a ‘Sennheiser PX 80’ – the one meant for us around-poverty-lines types. I bought it in Bangalore and took it to a temple in Chennai. A month later I forgot the case(which is the coolest thing on earth) in a Jet Airways flight. That put an end to the flaunting and I now use it only for listening to music.

(I also have a set of in-ear headphones by Philips that sound awful but come in a beautiful case)

Audio-creation tools:


I am musically challenged. Which is a curse considering my dad is very gifted when it comes to music(and we are bengalis).

At any point in time, you’ll find at least 3 guitars, a mouthorgan and a keyboard at our place(again, no exaggeration. This is based on 25+ years of data). Once upon a time we had a mandolin too. Dad got a Casio keyboard for me when I was in my pre-teens. After several sessions of playing(rather trying to play) Jingle Bells, Vande Mataram and ‘Saare ke saare, gamma ko lekar gaate chale’, we gave up on each other. After that I’ve never really give audio-creation much thought. Though I am planning to buy a guitar, to take it around with me wherever I go. Like 78% of my college mates.

Image Capturing devices:

Ah. *deep breath*

My first camera was a Yashica. And I loved clicking pics. I remember carrying it to a three-day trip in Agra where the last day was spent in developing four full camera reels. That #cheapthrill that I used to get when the extra photos(after the usual 36) came out perfectly, is still unmatched.

In 2002, I bought a UMAX Astrapix A380. It cost a whopping 4500(#middleclass you see) and we had a Gollum-Ring kind of a relationship for a while. It doubled up as a webcam and had a software called Photo Fantasy(aptly named) bundled with it which allowed me to morph images. Teenage happened again.





I took 2500+ pics with that camera. It was/is a very unique camera. Despite being digital, it had a very non-digital feel to it. It had a capacity of only 40 pictures and there was no LCD to preview the pic. You had to press a button 10 times to delete a picture. 5 times to enable Flash. This made life really exciting and adventurous. For a while. By the time I entered college, it had become an embarrassment. It was very pre-Y2Kish and didn’t age well. After a while, I lost it somewhere on my desk.


*deep breath* I am planning to buy a DSLR now(it has been an year since I started planning). *deep breath*

I want to add Avid-Photographer-Enthusiast-Flickerer-Naturalist-Phile to my twitter bio. I visit Flipkart twice each day, check out the latest prices and close the window. I have 25 Rs. in my savings account as of now and I intend to buy a DSLR before #Rapture. Yes.

Mobile Phones:

I have never bought a mobile phone in my life. All of them were gifts.

I got my first mobile phone in college. It was a Nokia 1100. My mom uses it now and I will start using it again in 2013 if the world doesn’t end. It had the softest keypad EVER and a TORCHLIGHT!

My second phone was a Nokia 2600. It will always be remembered for having a Crazy ball game that kept me amused during powercuts.

My third phone was a Motorola C117. It was being away with Hero Honda bikes because people were not buying it other wise. Highs: A Foosball game and a blue screen. Lows: Everything else.

My fourth phone was a Nokia 6300. Super browser. Great Camera. I owe my Twitter dp and strong carpal bones to it.

My fifth and current phone is a – *wait for it* – Lava A9.



Power in your hand. YOUR HAND.

Enough said.


Perhaps the only domain where I score over Chuck, is watches. I have a major watch-fetish. My first watch was a Titan inherited from Dad. My second watch was inherited from my uncle. My third, fourth and fifth watch(es?) were Fastracks. Back in the time when a Fastrack was considered uber-cool(and Genelia Dsouza was no more than a bubbly kid – which anyway, she still is). I also had an HMT once upon a time which was totally cool – digital and all that. Today I have a Swatch Windfall Chronograph(I think). It was a gift from my cousin, an onsite-returned Infoscion(I have rich relatives, yes).

This Swatch is so awesome that its strap costs more than two Fastrack watches. It is partially responsible for the Rs. 25 account balance.

Computer things:

My first PC was an assembled thingy with a Celeron 800 MHz processor. An year later, I upgraded it to a Celeron 1 GHz processor which was my last desktop processor. In 2004-5, when the world was fiddling with P4, Hyperthreading and Multiple Cores, I was busy playing AOE on a Celeron processor. I then used my cousin’s HP laptop for a while, till I bought a Dell Inspiron in 2010. Which was the – as Chuck puts it – Life-changing-turning-point-OSO moment for me. For it was instrumental in maintaining my 14×7 twitter presence(which explains the 3000+ followers just in case you were wondering).

I love my laptop. It keeps me alive. and cribbing. *hugs laptop* *wipes tears* *resumes blog post writing at 6 in the morning*


My life’s first vehicle(that I can remember) was a Tobu cycle. I was(and am) proud of it. My second vehicle was a Hero cycle which I could neither understand nor operate. It had the vintage doodh-wala handle and was shorter than usual cycles. I loathed it. After selling it for some 200 bucks I bought a better cycle which used to take me to the IIT JEE classes(more on that in another post), 10+ kilometers a day.

My next vehicle was and will always be the biggest KLPD in my life.

Gentlemen(and gentleladies), I was the proud(ha!) owner of a limited edition HERO SMART.


(HERO SMART, Bruised in its first accident)

Limited edition, because very limited people actually bought it. It was more than a moped, it was an oxymoron. It was neither smart, nor hero-ish. It was neither a moped, nor a bike. It had four gears and stopped working in the rainy season. It sounded like an Enfield and looked like, well, a moped. You could have removed the petrol tank lid by twisting it a bit and there was nothing I could do about it.  It was single handedly responsible for my bachelor status for 3 long years. The only good thing about it was the 60+ average. After clocking some 6000 Kms on it, I finally sold it for 1100 Rs.


(As it turns out, only Aamir Khan can pull it off)

I bought a Hero Honda CD Deluxe after that(another milkman bike you may say) but haven’t had any reasons to complain about it so far, in a 28000+ kms relationship. At the moment it is stowed away at a friend’s place in Nagpur, like the princess in the tallest tower, waiting for its prince.

Other stuff:

Nothing, really. That is all I have or have had.

I may buy an XBOX in the near future, when I have enough money to buy pirated cds to run on it. I’ll never buy an iPad or a Kindle because I like my books where I can scribble and dog-ear pages. I may buy an iPhone when I have enough money to pay for apps and subscriptions. Someday I’ll also buy a Nikon D7000 and a castle in Scotland. Someday.


This post is a qawalli type response to Chuck’s post. I had informed him about this #pritam-ish effort in advance. If you have read so far, you are now aware of my condition. If you are rich, please include me in your will. If you are poor(like me), please work hard, earn money and then include me in your will.

(P.S.: The Lava A9 is actually an awesome dual-sim phone. Its only disadvantage being its .032 megapixel camera).

(P.S.2.: This post suffers from a lot of parentheses, kindly adjust.)