Book Review: The Laundrymen (1995)

I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay – Ain’t it sad
And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me – That’s too bad
In my dreams I have a plan
If I got me a wealthy man
I wouldn’t have to work at all, I’d fool around and have a ball…

Money, money, money.. Must be funny
In the rich man’s world
Money, money, money.. Always sunny
In the rich man’s world
Aha-ahaaa
All the things I could do
If I had a little money
It’s a rich man’s world

Yes Yes you were so true in your wisdom Frida!! Money is indeed so funny in rich man’s world. Whereas for poor, it is a gateway to coronate all evils as Mark Twain once said: “The lack of money is the root of all evil.”

Anyway, it took me almost 11 non-serious months to seriously squander my thrustful desire of reading a thought-provoking book “The Laundrymen”. It is written by international bestselling American author, Jeffery Robinson, who famously wrote acclaimed biography of former Saudi Oil Minister, Yamani. 

Written in 1995, the 16-Chapters and 300-Pages book is the inside story of the dirty world of ‘Money Laundering’. It reveals many a secret and undresses various politicians, lawyers, bankers, bureaucrats and tycoons who chessed the money transaction and accoladed their efforts. Robinson also pens how underworld under-whirls the money and hides the true nature of money.

Anti-Money-Laundering-in-the-Philippines

The book starts with Watergate Scandal and ends with Agha Hasan Abedi’s BCCI. Between the two unfairy tales lie many controversial moments when money was washed and business was done peculiarly. There are Borodianskys, there are Shakarchis, there are Schaffers. The games were played in 20th century and laws were made/changed by the peacekeepers. The book also deals with the bloodiest of drug trafficking organized ravishly in South America specially Columbia. So when I say black money of Columbia, then expect the stories of crime daddies like Pablo Escobar and the Orejuelas.

The book is too good in sketching Swiss Secrecy Laws and nexus of Swiss accounts to criminology. Few of historic scandals like Iran-Contra affair in Reagan’s era and de-functioning of Roberto Calvi’s Banco Ambrosiano are worth reading.

Robinson wrote it in 1995 but the truth is that history has no age or period. This remarkable masterpiece insists the fate of illness to prolong a vanquished desire in money making. The blood circulation of dirty money will abide you to gimmick the filth under a subtle way whereas the trojan game of “Catch Me If You Can” will limit to those who will graduate as ‘Laundryman’.

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @saminaik_asn

46977

Ratings: 6/10

Advertisements

Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

So it seems to be that Peter Jackson is never going to disappoint me when it comes to transform J.R.R.Tolkien’s book into a movie. He is a directional phenomena.

After an excellent trilogy of The Lord of the Rings over Frodo’s quest of Ringing, now it’s about a Hobbitual experience about Frodo’s uncle Bilbo which stages 60 years earlier of LOTR advents.

The-Company-of-Thorin-Oakenshield

Bilbo is about to celebrate a ‘nelson’ and makes up his mind to pen his own adventure for Frodo. He begins to ink with a place called ‘Lonely Mountain’, where Dwarf King Thror clements a welfare state. This is the golden period in Lonely Mountain, when it’s people are gay and wealthy, where no darkness empark until the arrival of Smaug, the dragon. Smaug occupies and forces the dwarves to settle out of Lonely Mountain. King Thror’s grandson Thorin watches the army of Elves standing nearby but not coming to rescue them which makes him hideous of Elves.

Enters the writer, half a century years old uncle Bilbo, living in Shire. He meets the wizard, Gandalf the Grey but is unpleasant to see him. Gandalf hosts a dinner party at his home to Thorin and his dwarves to his surprise and without his permission. Gandalf reveals the mystery of all this on Bilbo is to recruit him as ‘burgler’ in Thorin’s army of dwarves to fight and enter the Lonely Mountain. First, he refuses but later on accepts the offer. This is Bilbo marching towards unexpected journey where many adventures welcome him like their horses captured by the Trolls, fight of Misty Mountains, and battle against the Goblins and the Azog. 

the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey

Famous filmmaker Guillermo del Toro was roped in as the movie’s director but later on Peter Jackson replaced him. The principal photography (shooting) of this first installment of The Hobbit began from March 2011 and ended in July 2012 with a filming period of 266 days. The whole movie is picturised in New Zealand.

Howard Shore, who produced one of the most excellent music scores of the last decade in LOTR Trilogy, returns as the leading musician for The Hobbit Trilogy. Few actors reprise their LOTR roles, most significantly 91-year-old Christopher Lee as Saruman The White.

The first installment has grossed $1 billion. The movie was nominated in 3 Academy Awards and BAFTA Awards each. The Middle-Earth story will proceed on December 2013. 

Rating: 7/10

 

When Batting Woes… When Batting Foes….

4th of June, 2013 | cricinfo.com 

William Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” 

By: Iain O’ Brien, Sharda Ugra, Jarrod Kimber and Jonathan Harris-Bass

Why: They said PAKISTAN ARE FAVORITES for ‘ICC last CHAMPIONS TROPHY’

Wait, let me wipe my glass or rub my both eye-balls…. oh that heading says PAKISTAN ARE FAVORITES (NOTTTTTTTT)

 

Within 165 hours……………….

PAKISTAN OUT OF COMPETITION losing both group stage games against Roach Indies and Hashim Africa.

 

11 Days Later…………..

Oh hang on! Pakistan actually lost all 3 games. India defeated them. (tough predictions innit?)

 

HERE THEY COME!!!!

Now players are returning back to where they belong and reminds me the metamorphic incidents, when the same team arrived to the airport from the very same country from also an ICC recognized tournament almost 14 years ago and were received by their supporters so warmly that the players became temporary hostages at their own yard :P 

That time, they reached the Final. This time, hmmmm okay so worst scenarios are about to be trolled as to ‘mother of God’ kinda incidence that both the tournaments I mention were played in Nawaz Sharif’s era :P So the weapons are planned to attack every single player from top to bottom at the airport.

But before you get so senti-mental to be forced to use the weapons, let me clear you that according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the price of tomato has increased by 61% by January against December and if I am not wrong, than the price per kg is sold at Rs.72 till March. Also back in December 2012, according to The Nation, eggs prices reached Rs.130 per dozen, I repeat… Rs.130 per dozen!!! Keeping the prices in mind, how many dozens of eggs and kgs of tomatoes are you going to weaponise on Green Army *cough*.

A country hit by 7.1% inflation by January and recent results of general elections of May, it is better not to consider using weapons of mass frustration on them. Oh by the way! petrol price per liter has been increased by Rs. 2.18 with immediate effect since June 1. Nayyy that is also not a solution.  So just leave it, and take it as a ridiculous heritage of unpredictable cricketing history. 

Either the king delivers his speech or cheetah runs over a deer, don’t :S at me. All I meant to say is either we bat first or try to chase the target, the team will remain in inflation and depression. Inflation??? Yeah the rising of adrenalin, an increase of required run-rate, the breaking of patience… Depression??? Nothing but your F.O.W. (Frustrated of World OR Fall of Wickets). 

1010750_611726708838297_1403071041_n

PAKISTAN TOUR TO ENGLAND!!!

It seems that the team has established a tradition of making the England tour unforgettable, memorable and even disposable. 1992 England tour reminds you British press accusing ball tampering over 2-Ws and umpire Palmer throwing sweater on Aqib Javed. 1999 World Cup features unarguably the best squad of Pakistan ever played but horrors of Finals might not escape from memories. 2006 England tour is about Yusuf’s heroics but more in history will memo you Inzi-Hair controversy. 2009 will be Pakistan’s finest moment in England with WorldT20 title but in next 12 months returning England, Pakistan faces their worst nightmare of Spot-Fixing Controversy. And now they are out of group stage….

Pakistan-006

PAK-INDIA BATTING ANALYSES!!!

Now, Pakistan has played 791 ODIs in 40 years, winning 423 games with success rate of 55% (still better than India and West Indies). But when it comes to batsman’s conversion of their 50’s into 100’s, they are too lazy, or too aggressive :P In 791 ODI games, Pakistan has so far produced 155 individual hundreds. So Pakistan takes 5 ODI matches to witness an individual batsman scoring a century which is not healthy at all. If you compare their conversion with India’s batting, the difference in stats surprisingly is not that large enough. India has 203 individual hundreds in 820 ODI games, which means that India has to wait 4 ODI matches to see their batsman hitting a hundred. If you apply this in current scenario, you will understand that we obviously witness more Indian hundreds than Pakistani hundreds, and still not a large difference in stats. Since 2009, Pakistan hit only 14 hundreds as compared to India’s 41. So Pakistan was somewhere enriched with huge batting talents somewhere in the middle of  past cricketing era where Pakistan surely scored a lot of hundreds. 

You can make a simple guessing as when Pakistanis ever hit so many hundreds. Top 5 Pakistani centurions have 4 players belonging to almost same badge (Saeed Anwar 20, Ijaz 10, Inzamam 10, Ramiz 9). So this shows a consistency and selection of batting line-up sought to be in 90’s.  This wasn’t seen in 2000’s as the 3 major names in batting line-up we ever knew were Inzi-Yusuf-Younis. Fluctuations in batting order was widely seen, many a time game plan was changed. Saeed Anwar himself had opened with more than dozens of openers. India, never suffered this dilemma as their batting order framework plan was pretty mature. They boosted their master batsman Sachin Tendulkar to bat at no.4 in Test in almost whole of his career and open the innings in ODI with most mature and talented names in Jadeja, than Sidhu, than Saurav dada, later Viru and sparingly Gambhir. Even hundreds in them had no single era, their top 7 centurions all belong to both decades. 

Pakistan amazingly has 19 instances of 2 batsmen hitting hundred in same ODI inning (as compared to India’s 23 :S ) So when did Pakistan ever hit 2 hundreds in same inning so often? Because nowadays we don’t watch a lot of Pakistani hundreds. Between the period Dec.1982-April.1994, there were 13 instances in ODI cricket of 2-hundreds an inning, in which 8 belonged to Pakistan and only 1 to India. You may understand, how things changed since Sachin brought up his 1st ODI hundred in 80 ODIs that same year 1994 and he and India never looked back.

With greater strength towards hundreds is required, ducking your inning shows inconsistency in any batting order. India has suffered only 385 duck outs in 820 ODIs, which means Indian batting card has a batsman dismissed on nought after every 2 ODIs. But Pakistan is worthless in scorecard when it comes to ducks. They have 479 ducks in 791 ODIs, so Pakistan is close like 1.65 ODI inning to launch a ducky. Infact Shahid Afridi (29) and Wasim Akram (28) sits at no.2 and no.3 respectively in most ODI ducks in career.

2672

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ONNNN??

Too many records and history speaking right!!!! The point to depict the real problem in the team is not only the lacking of batting strength. It requires a lot of grooming and potential which becomes a tradition of producing your finest batsman with the blazing blade in his bat. You don’t fully justify a boy who dreams to play for his team, and after few failures, he is thrown out no matter how much immense quality his batting can gift his team to an extent of winning.

Domestic infrastructure is the need as your home is your backbone. You have to make more stadiums and frame them to international cricketing standards. Alright international cricket is not returning which do hurts but at least you can introduce your brightest prospects to the outside world by selecting them and give them a chance they deserve. In last few years, Pakistan has marketize their batting talents telecasting them on private channels. Now we know our domestic cricket more than before. So we are more capable of arguing the improper system of selection. Pakistan still has 2 years in upcoming World Cup and selection committee still have time to come back to senses.

Things may go wrong if most important steps are not taken right now. After a disastrous Champions Trophy, PCB should either fire the whole selection committee or warn them to make selection of squad on merit. My personal opinion lies entirely different from the basic cricketing systems availing presently. If I was in cricketing board power, I would make the Captain of the team, the Chief Selector. The reason is simple, only the Captain of the ship knows how to handle the pirates. To broad the concept of captaining, ‘leadership’ is what polishes a man from immature to maturity. It is the Captain who should select the squad, because he know his men are what capable of. 

 

WHAT SQUAD SHOULD PAKISTAN SELECT?

The DNA of batting shall be changed ASAP. The hurdles should be erased now. I strongly condemn of keeping players like Iron Fart, Shoaib Mirza, Kam-run Khatmal in the team. They are good for nothing. Out of these 3, put Shoaib’s name only in T20Is. Hafeez-Jamshed pairing is suitable for one-dayers with Ahmed Shahzad as 3rd option on the bench. You have 2 good names for no.3 and they are Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq. Pick any one and reserve the other on the bench. Our RobinHood Panday, the captain should promote himself at no.4 with hugely talented Haris Sohail and all-rounder Hammad Azam to be compulsorily encouraged at no.5 and no.6. Then comes wicket keeper, so Umar Akmal can be utilized. Last 4 positions are all regular bowlers and it’s time to groom left-arm spinner Raza Hasan for near future who will presently assist Saeed Ajmal. The remaining fast bowlers should be Irfan-Junaid.

So the four benches!!! 3rd opener Ahmad Shahzad and no.3 Azhar or Asad should sit. Team should give one more chance to Fawad Alam, who resembles as same profile performer as India’s Ravindu Jadeja. Both were criticized in initial phase of their career but India explore the wonders in Jajeda and framed him in regular line-up with orthodox spinning and brilliant fielding, he is now capable of winning matches. On other hand, Pakistan is yet to treasure his talent. 4th bencher should be a fast bowler, where Pakistan has various options in Ali’s like Asad, Anwar and Rahat or Ehsan Adil. Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul should concentrate in T20Is.

My Squad: Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Misbah-ul-Haq (C), Haris Sohail, Hammad Azam, Umar Akmal (WK), Raza Hasan, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Ahmad Shahzad, Fawad Alam and one more fast bowler.

 

Sleeping time. Wanna join Green Army??? Contact these guys below…

545560_370043409742592_1854774576_n

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: Aashiqui 2 (2013)

Aashiqui (Do Number) is about a rise and fall of voice between the lovers. It is like Keith Urban losing his edge for Kree Harrison to convince she is the winner but not Candice Glover. The movie concept is loosely based on Charles Chaplin’s Limelight.

So there is a sharaabi Rockstar JJ, oops I mean RJ (Rahul Joker), who is losing grip on his sensational singing career, losing the audience, losing fans but gaining the attention of a bar singer Arohi. He falls in love with her while drunk, and his brain is too alive in the morning to remember he has to release her from bar manager to start a new singing career he has promised to help her.

Then is understood what is gonna happen next. Rahul makes her successful, she signs a contract with his uncle’s T-Series. More typical scenes are obviously expected to follow, she gets nominated on her first musical awards night and supriiiissseeeee!!! guess who wins??? obviously who else then Arohi. Then jotshi baba Mr. Happy Banana of Delhi Belly predicts the turnout of careers of both lovers.

aashiqui-2_1366348475

Then the reversal of fortunes like Priyanka-Kangana’s Fashion as Arohi’s career touch heights and Rahul suffers serious downfall but Devdasful commitment with daaru remains fix. Their relation fluctuates with time. 

A pretty ordinary script with less-then-average performances. Aditya-Shraddha as Rahul-Arohi don’t even look a charming on-screen chemistry altogether, their acting is like a premature student put on test in medical exams. A mouth-quarrel between Rahul and his friend Vivek in a party scene is enough evidence of expecting a hot-temper bursting scene but falling below than expected.

Somebuddy should ask why Mohit Suri termed the movie as a sequel to Aashiqui as there was nothing to continue and was framed with a new package. The climax of the movie was much understood after noticing all recent Bhatt intense romantic movies. Music of the movie is what makes the movie a blockbuster and “Tum Hi Ho” is Mithoon’s one of finest numbers of his musical career. But the musical comparison of both Aashiquis may come to debate but my humble opinion is that score of original Aashiqui was way way way better.

Aashiqui_2_1_zmepy_Indya101(dot)com

Movie Status: Drinking alcohol and loving a girl can never work together… Go to hell, you are drunk!!!!

Ratings: 3/10

 

Movie Review: Kai Po Che (2013)

Dil Chahta Hai, Rock On and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara all buddy movies had one thing common. All were urbanized. Abhishek Kapoor, who himself directed ‘Rock On’, used Chetan Bhagat’s novel ‘The 3 Mistakes of my Life’ as center-base and produced 3 middle-class Gujrati friends to mark a highly exceptional movie with an inspiring bond of friendship with a passage of time running with a limit. UTV Motion Pictures rocks again with ‘Kai Po Che’.

????????????????????????????????????????

First, what is ‘Kai Po Che’? This is a Gujrati phrase that ‘I have cut the kite’. There is the only kite cutting scene where a friend roars up the title name of movie otherwise the name itself doesn’t really justify with the story at all. 

The movie is set in Ahmadabad, Gujarat back in 2000. The core characters are 3 childhood friends; Govind, Omkar (Omi) and Ishaan (Ish).

  1. Govind is the smartest of all, educated and well wit in accounts and plans for a business venture of sports accessories.
  2. Ishaan is highly ambitious cricket lover who suffered his cricketing time due to politics but want to produce highly talented cricketers from different districts.
  3. Omkar is the middleman between the two who is a source of financing their dreams into reality.

kai-po-che6

Omi is nephew of Hindu politician Bittu mama and convinces him for a loan to get a place to open the shop. They get a shop for a business and a ground behind to train cricket to young lads. Ishan finds a richly talented hitter in a Muslim boy, Ali, belonging to a father running his political party in their community’s interest and in rivalry of Bittu mama’s party.

As the business grows, they open one more shop in a commercial mall. Meanwhile, Ishaan convinces Govind to teach his sister, Vidya, maths as exams are close. The teacher-student fells in love but hide their relation.

2001 is the year of a massive tragedy of earthquake in Gujarat where they lose their newly acquired shop in commercial mall. Ishaan is so much in Ali’s family and his community that he helps them find their shelter after their heavy loss. Whereas Omi begins working in his mama’s party and dedicated fully on Hindu’s interests. Ishaan and Omi’s friendship hits on communal issues.

kai-po-chemanav-kaul

The Gujarat elections begin and Omi goes busy in mama’s politics. Ali’s father surprisingly wins elections over Bittu’s party. During political campaign, Bittu sends kar sevaks to Ayodhya to Ram Mandir which includes Omi’s parents. Then news of Godhra Train Massacre hits all over Gujarat with a conspiracy that large no of Muslims burnt the train with all kar sevaks alive.

This news coveys a message of bloody riots to happen in Gujarat between Hindus and Muslims. The bond of Govind, Omi and Ishaan hiccups in 2002 Gujarat riots with Vidya’s love and Ali’s cricket in the cradle of justice.

The movie is a remarkable storytelling and pacefully directed by Abhishek. Raj Yadav is one acting name with a lot of talent who got popular movies like Love Sex and Dhoka, Gangs of Wasseypur 2 and Talaash in the beginning. With role of Govind, he do justice. Amit Sadh and Sushant Singh Rajput, both marks debut as Omi and Ishan respectively and comes surprisingly from soap operas. Amrita Puri  who was Sonam’s friend in ‘Aisha’ makes a good role as Ish’s sister and Govind’s love interest.

Kay_Po_Che_4_zlcpo_Indya101(dot)com

All the cast justified their role but I will rate Sushant and Manav Kaul’s roles as Ishaan and Bittu high as both were brilliant. Stage actor is terrific with a balance of his justification with pros and cons. Songs are well picturised and background score is tuning. The novel-based movie is of no nonsense but widely realistic and acceptable e.g. Indian cricket kits used in 2000 or Ishaan’s own cricketing skills make you think if he really is a player but he got 4 months cricket training under 2 coaches to make his role perfect. All homes are real where the characters lived showing simplicity of Gujarat life.

Movie Status: One of best Hindi movies of 2013

Rating: 8.6/10

Movie Review: Vicky Donor (2012)

John Abraham’s debut production venture is ‘Vicky Donor’ which has a tagline “I am a sperm donor”. A Hindi movie introduces a rare and daring subject in 21st century modern-social South Asian society moviegoers but thought-provoking simultaneously.

To make the movie looks interesting for viewers and worth-profiting from viewer’s middle-age pockets, and also to reduce the establishment of kingdom of boredom towards less-bearing serious subject, the director chose the romantic-comedy flavor to convey the message in stimulating way…

By intending to watch, you think it’s a naughty B-movie about sex and sperm, but watching this movie will in fact propel you to do bad things in good way for others. (I say bad thing in a sense that from religious sense, masturbation is unlawful in my religion, Islam)

Vicky-Donor-Hot-Yami-Gautam-Ayushmann-Khurrana-WideScreen-HQ-Wallpaper-09

Coming back to movie, Vicky is a Punjabi munda who is jobless but not colorless. His widowed mom Mrs. Arora runs a beauty parlor. Vicky is caught in fertility doctor Dr.Baldev Chaddha’s eye and offers him money to donate sperm. He refuses the offer and after his many efforts, Vicky finally agrees. Meanwhile, he finds his girlfriend, a Bengali banker and marries after convincing their cultured conservative parents. Watch yourself now to whom will he donate the sperm? :P

Brilliant direction from Shoojit Sircar after 7-year comeback from 2005-movie ‘Yahaan’. Very impactful dialogues penning by journalist Juhi Chaturvedi. Movie see 2 superb debuts; popular TV presenter Ayushmaan Khurana & model-come-TV actress beautiful Yami Gautam. Simply awesome acting and good acting prospects. One more cast is important to mention who was the main cast, culprit and life savior at the same time, Anu Kapoor showed his versatility in acting like always. ‘Pani Da Rung’ was obviously the best number, in fact the movie is one of best I have seen in 2012.

38938260_700x700min_1

Sometimes the story is everything. A mere 5-crore-rupees movie earned 50 crore rupees due to a rare subject on which film makers dare to make film due to less attraction of viewers and low profits.

Movie Status: Gives social message “masturbate for others” ;P

Originally written: 2nd of Nov, 2012

Rating: 6/10

 

Film Review: Nanjing! Nanjing! (2009)

City of Life and Death is a 2009 Chinese historical drama based on ‘Battle of Nanjing‘ and its aftermath which is famously known as Nanjing Massacre. The battle was fought in 1937 between Japan and China during 2nd Sino-Japanese War. When Japanese invaded the Nanjing city, they showed no mercy on Chinese as massacre began in next 6 weeks which included mass murders, human tortures, slavery and most specifically war rapes.

1_city-of-life-and-death_foto-pelicula_1102

A German businessman and Nazi party member, John Rabe, ran Nanjing Safety Zone, where thousands of Chinese women, children, elders and wounded soldiers took refuge. This safety zone was created by International Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone. Despite all the efforts, the Japanese soldiers forcefully entered the zone for raping Chinese female refugees. This was repeated numerous times as women later on decided to cut their hairs and dress like men to save their lives. Later on the Japanese officer ordered at least 100 women to join Japanese camps as ‘comfort women’. And the massacre moved on…

734173_473415872738678_1950248962_n

John Rabe got orders from Germany to return and stop his activities of running the safety zone. His secretary Tang left his daughter to die and sister-in-law rape. While leaving the zone, Tang, at the last moment decided to stay and let his wife move in order to make way for a Chinese soldier. Tang’s wife revealed she was pregnant and later on, Tang was executed.

Can’t believe that Chinese cinema can be up to a merit of amazing cinematic substance as brilliant direction and realistic screenplay saw the movie meeting commercial and international success. The movie won many international awards in film festivals. A terrific period masterpiece.

Rating 7.6/10

 

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life – Monty Python

MemsaabStory

I watch obscure (often bad) movies so you don't have to

The Seventh Art

"Cinema does not cry. Cinema does not comfort us. It is with us. It is us"

Jeddah Blog

Discover the best of Jeddah!

Ben Manning - Author

Literary musings and creative artistic leanings meets a Cricket enthusiast...

Jack Vittles

My musings on life and sport (but mostly sport)

Middle Eastern Voyage

Arabian adventure at its best

Slighty Mad And Insomniac

Much Ado About Nothing

Quran Guide موجه القرآن

INSTITUTE OF DIVINE WISDOM معهد الحكمة السماوية

%d bloggers like this: