In India you have to be single to rule…

modi-7753158_1280Jawaharlal Nehru was Prime Minister from 1947-64. He was a widower. Kamala Nehru died in 1936.

Indira Gandhi was PM from 1966-77 and 1980-84. She was a widow. Feroze Gandhi died in 1960.

PV Narasimha Rao was PM from 1991-96. He was a widower. His wife Satyamma died in 1970.

AB Vajpayee* was PM from 1996-96 and 1998-2004. He was a bachelor.

Sonia was Super PM from 2004-14. She is a widow. Rajiv Gandhi died in 1991.

Narendra Modi is a bachelor/single, depending on how you look at it because he was a victim of an illegal child marriage which did not go forward.

That covers about 65/77 years of India’s Independence.

*The run up to 2004 was interesting because Vajpayee was PM, bachelor APJ Abdul Kalam was President and Sonia was Leader of the Opposition.

Why do UK-France have a UN veto and not India?

un-3414137_1280India is the most populous country in the world. Recently Forbes released a list of the most powerful military powers of 2023 and in it India came fourth. It’s the fifth largest economy in the world.

Population rank: 1
Military rank: 4
Economic rank: 5

So a simple question, why is it not one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council?

The US is way ahead.
Population rank: 3
Military rank: 1
Economic rank: 1

China comes second.
Population rank: 2
Military rank: 3
Economic rank: 2.

India would probably come third with this kind of ratings system.

Population rank: 9
Military rank: 2
Economic rank: 11.

Population rank: 21
Military rank: 5
Economic rank: 6

Population rank: 23
Military rank: 9
Economic rank: 7

A simple question: What are the UK and France doing in the Top 5 of the UN nations? Why aren’t they being kicked out?

Either these should be the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council:
America, China, Russia, EU and India.
Or this Top 5 concept should be done away altogether.

Random musings about Bollywood’s Rs 500 crore club

nature-3047449_1280Baahubali 2 – The Conclusion in Hindi made Rs 511 crores at the box office in 2017 thereby creating the Rs 500 crore club. But it was a Tollywood movie. Bollywood had to wait till 2023 to enter the Club and it did it with style with 4 movies in a year: Pathaan, Gadar 2, Jawan and Animal.

Some random musings about these…

Shah Rukh Khan got 2 movies in this Club: Pathaan and Jawan.
The Deol brothers (Sunny and Bobby) got 2 too: Gadar 2 and Animal.
Manish Wadhwa had two releases this year, both where he played an evil Pakistani General villain and both made it to the Club: Pathaan and Gadar 2.

Three films had an on screen father and son angle:
Jawan: Shah Rukh Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.
Animal: Anil Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor.
Gadar 2: Sunny Deol and Utkarsh Sharma.
(Incidentally Utkarsh’s father Anil Sharma is the director and this all is a repeat from the original Gadar).

When it comes to the global gross, the Top 2 movies are:
Dangal (2016): Rs 2024 crores.
Jawan: Rs 1148 crores.
The common factor to both these movies is Sanya Malhotra.

Shah Rukh Khan superhit pairing used to be Kajol:
Karan Arjun, Baazigar, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, My Name is Khan, Dilwale.
But now all his movies with Deepika Padukone are blockbusters:
Om Shanti Om, Chennai Express, Happy New Year, Pathaan.

Also listen to…

New Zealand is our Nemesis

flag-6326894_1280In large tournaments that have been called World Cups or mini World Cups, we have won the following knockout matches and finals against the following countries…

Australia (4)
1. 1998 ICC Knockout Quarter Final
2. 2000 ICC Knockout Quarter Final
3. 2007 T20 World Cup Semi Final
4. 2011 ODI World Cup Quarter Final

Pakistan (4)
1. 1985 Benson & Hedges World Series Final
2. 1996 ODI World Cup Quarter Final
3. 2007 T20 World Cup Final
4. 2011 ODI World Cup Semi Final

South Africa (3)
1. 2000 ICC Knockout Semi Final
2. 2002 Champions Trophy Semi Final
3. 2014 T20 World Cup Semi Final

England (2)
1. 1983 ODI World Cup Semi Final
2. 2013 Champions Trophy Final

Sri Lanka (2)
1. 2011 ODI World Cup Final
2. 2013 Champions Trophy Semi Final

Bangladesh (2)
1. 2015 ODI World Cup Quarter Final
2. 2017 Champions Trophy Semi Final

West Indies (1)
1983 ODI World Cup Final

Kenya (1)
2003 ODI World Cup Semi Final

There is only one major country missing from this list.
New Zealand.
We have never beaten them in a crunch ICC match.

In the 2000 ICC Knockout Trophy final, they beat us when Tendulkar & Co were at their peak.
In the 2019 ODI World Cup Semi Final, they beat us and spoiled Dhoni’s farewell party.
In the 2020 World Test Championship Final, they beat us when Kohli & Co were at their peak.

Is this the end of Disney?

disney-world-226721_1280In 2012, The Avengers was the world’s top grossing movie.

Since then it’s been Disney all the way, which also owns the MCU, Pixar and Star Wars.
In 2013, it took the following positions at the box office:
1, 2, 7, 10.
The domination continued.
From 2015-19 it was virtually unbeatable.
2015: 1, 4, 7.
2016: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9.
2017: 1, 2, 6, 8, 9.
2018: 1, 2, 4, 7, 9.
2019: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9.
So in 2019 they were invincible taking the Top 5 and 8 out of the Top 10.
But since then it’s been downhill for them.
In 2020 they drew a blank in the box office thanks to Covid, where there were hardly any big releases.
Since then they have been around but not that dominant.
2021: 1, 7, 9.
But that Top position was Spider-Man, which is in association with Sony.
2022: 4, 6, 8.
2023 (Till October): 4, 6, 7, 9, 10.
So for 2 years in a row they may not make it to the Top 3 when they had the complete Top 5 before Covid.

There are reports that their parks are not doing that great and Disney+ is under performing.

Is this the end of Disney or will they make a comeback?

The Lost Years of Shah Rukh Khan

The Lost Years of Shah Rukh KhanSRK is India’s ultimate superstar. Self-made. A Man of Destiny. A Game Changer. He made the transition from TV star to Bollywood superstar seamlessly. He ruled the 1990s and peaked in the 2000s. He virtually created the NRI market. He had a slump in the late 2010s and now he’s back, at least at the box office. This is a collection of columns that take a look at those lost years.