Monday, December 22, 2014

On My Sleeve: The Tattoo Story

Mourning bands are traditionally tattooed in memory of the dead. But the one's on my left forearm are for people that are still very much alive. They do represent the dead though - dead relationships. Does that make me a dark person? is that vengeful? is that a wrong thing to do - to bear a mark for a life time that reminds you of your relationships past?
I don't think so. Not when you look at it the way I do.

The average relationship story is that people fall in love, promise happily ever afters, break up, curse each other, find new happily ever afters and continue the chain. This is called SERIAL MONOGAMY.
Lets take a story here.
Rahul falls in love with Rebecca. And vice versa. They are a monogamous-monoandrous couple pledging undying love to eachother. Sometime down the line reality strikes and the relationship ends. Now they hate each other, curse themselves for not being able to see what a 'bitch' she was and what a 'bastard' he was. All promises go down the drain. Three months later - presto! Rebbecca has a new happily ever after story with Mark and Rahul has a new story with Robin. They hate their exes and love their current match and all is happily ever after - till yet again a little time down the line.
But yes, you have to take into consideration that women are much more likely to keep convincing themselves that all is well in happyville.
That is serial monogamy.
And that is pretty much the norm today. It fills in the void people have of the need to feel special and at the same time takes away the guilt of not being truly committed in the first place.
Its very convenient.

Genuine monogamy is extremely rare and factually speaking, close to impossible. But yet, it is the most touted form of relationships thanks to romanticizing novels and movies and media that sells on the very basis that people need to be made to feel special.
But anyways, this note is not about my perception of love and relationships. So i will get to the point.

My bands are to remind me of the death of my previous relationships. being a person who can never unlove the people he has loved, i find it necessary to remind myself that though i will always treasure and respect and love these people from my past, the relationship is dead. And is to be treated as such. These people have in a way been a contributing factor to the person i am today - and i am incapable of hating them or blaming them or cursing them or whatever - coz they will always be a part of me. The only change is that it will never be a 'relationship'.

Death is not the end. It is the end of a material form. that's all.
Its the way i see relationships. The love, the respect, the fondness, the admiration stays. But all the material ties that are attached to it, die away. And we need to respect that. Its like closing the gap and burying the dead so that it may rest in peace. Always to be remembered with gratefulness and fondness for the time it lived and nurtured your soul.

"What about relationships in your future? How will they feel having to live with these bands on your arm?" a friend asked me. Well, if someone who is 'close' to me, cant understand how i am as a person, how can they be WITH me? If they cannot understand the very basic fact that i come with close to 100% honesty and that i am incapable of hating the people i love, they wont last with me anyways. So infact, this simplifies my relationships for me. Only those who can really understand the way i see life and people, stay. And that may not be a whole lot many, but i've always kind of preferred a strong bunch of few to the wavering, mindless multitudes.

So, That's the way i see it. That's the tattoo on my arm.
3 mourning bands for 3 dead relationships I've treasured.
Wearing my heart on my sleeve in a way. Literally.

- Pushkaraj S Shirke

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Last Cuddle

For someone who doesn't believe in 'happily ever afters' and binding people to 'relationship slavery' for life, a dog is the closest sense of permanence as a concept. And when time runs out on the canine child, it's a turmoil of emotions that find themselves as lashing waves in the human mind of the parent.

Honestly, i have never bothered much about humans. I probably am incapable of doing so. Or maybe I connect way more to animals than I ever can to humans and the human connection just seems too frail compared to the animal one. In a life full of constant changes an unpredictability, Diego, my dog son was the only constant. And now he's gone. Thankfully, in his sleep and painlessly. And after having been with me one last time. But it still hurts. It still reaches beyond my logical self and Into the side I avoid acknowledging. 

He was a tiny, welping, soft little puppy when I had got him - happy to eat up everything in my room, from paintings to CDs to books to pillows. His tiny paws finding their way into my shirt to sleep at night. Diego grew up into a life of adventure - being kidnapped and found again by a miracle, having lived through many homes and 3 cities and finally having lived in an open jungle home that would be a dream for any city dog. Diego was the calmest and most composed dog I have ever known. He taught me whatever little I know of peace and calm. It is Diego that made me realise that what attracts me most even among humans, is nothing materially gauageable, but a sense of peace and calm. He taught me a lot many things as he grew up as my child and out grew me in maturity much much faster into a wise old man who was still always a child to me. 
The last time I met him, it was certain that he didn't have long. So I had the opportunity to pet him and feed him and love him as much as I possibly could. We cuddled and took pictures together, shot portraits of him and pet him all day long. I had arranged for him to be brought back to Mumbai so that he could live under constant medical surveillance, but he passed away before that - which in a way is good. He is now buried in my village backyard with my fav childhood dog. And all I can do is hope that he was happy to have been my son and hope that I was a good dad to him. He's the first and probably the only son I will ever have... Which is why it's no surprise that it takes no genius to tell that the one picture of our last cuddle together is not beautiful for any photographic quality, but It is what it is because it is full of love. The only true and genuine love as I have ever known. It's all there, poured in, deep into that one last cuddle. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

INTERSTELLAR: What makes it the greatest film of our time?

Films have the potential to not just entertain, but to tell the story of a time, instill an idea, reaffirm a belief and evoke emotions that could lead to a change in people and society as a whole. That is what makes me love film as a format - or rather, cinema. And interstellar conquers all that and more.

monkeyrating: 10/10
this movie has beaten my favourite movie of all time - The Shawshank Redemption, to become my new favourite.

waddabout: As the human race is nearing imminent extinction, a group of brave space explorers have to undertake an interstellar voyage to find a new planet outside of our solar system to sustain life.

Let me go over it segment by segment:

Story and Screenplay: its perfect. it is well written to tell a story that is painted on a massive canvas and yet holds its heart - the core story of the relationship between a father and his daughter. There are no visible loopholes in the story. the writing is scientifically quite accurate - ofcourse its not 100% accurate, but then this is a sci-fi movie, not a documentary. The creative liberties taken are well justified.
Cinematography: Amazing. Spell-binding. Incredible. Not just are the wide panoramic shots cinematically beautiful but they also deliver a meaning - comparing how small we are to the expanse of the universe - and imax truly justifies this experience. In the story telling scenes, the angles are perfect, the shots are concise and the camera movements always add to the story. No scene is there in the movie just for the sake of it. though that credit also partially goes to the editing.
Editing: Flawless. Despite the jumps in timeline and space and a story that moves at a frantic pace, the story is always moving just at the right pace and conveying the entire range of emotions and layers of story that it is meant to. What is even more spectacular is the editing and sound combinations playing between music, sound, and silence so beautifully that it feels larger than life.
Sound and Music: The music is incredible. Instead of going overboard and spacey like it could have been, its stayed grounded in the emotion of each scene as per the need of the scene. Hans Zimmer has outdone himself once again.
Performances: Matthew Mcounaghey delivers yet another oscar worthy performance proving why he is the best actor of our times. the entire cast is perfect to their characters and are entirely believable in their performances.
Direction: Nolan is the GOD of film. And if this movie doesn't win an oscar, my faith in the oscars will be lost forever.

This movie affirms the need for exploring the frontiers of space and the need to demillitarize and work together as one race. It tells of the true problems that face us and hope we will have to deal with it as a race - and in that way, it weaves the path for the future. It is inception - inception of the road that needs to be tread for the future of humankind.

and that is why this movie transcends just being a movie and becomes lot more than that.

- Pushkaraj S Shirke

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dracula Untold

monkeyrating: 7/10

genre: action, drama, fantasy

waddabout: Vlad, a young prince with a murderous past is forced to wager his soul for a power that could save his family and his kingdom from the ruthless Turks.

i say: amazing story! this was the retelling that i always hoped the Dracula legend would get, and i was not dissapointed. BUT the film does carry the pros and cons that come from being directed by an ADVERTISING FILM DIRECTOR:

1. The action and cinematography is splendid. It has the advertising finesse, the wow factor and the attention to detail in post production and vfx.

2. it LACKS the emotional depth necessary in key transition moments that are compelling and actually carry the soul of the movie/story. Having rushed through key moments in which the protagonist makes key decisions takes away from the emotional intensity of the film and rushes it into an action flick.

3. the music and costumes and production design itself is all brilliant and surreally beautiful.

4. the character names and certain segments of the film have been worded very immaturely and without conviction - for eg: the name LORD IMPALER. Yes, its very graphic in thought, but it does not really fit into the story or time and language of the film. yes, people in the time were named for their deeds, but the names were gruesome sounding and had a great reverb to them that translates beyond language: for eg: Ashoka the great was known as CHAND ASHOK translation to ruthless ashoka during his massacring days.

5. the end has a typical screenwriting flaw, but most ad film directors that turn to feature film tend to make it. so i'll forgive that one here. and also not disclose it as a spoiler for those who havent seen the movie yet.

but all these things taken into consideration, the film is still genius and i expect amazing stuff for Gary Shore in the future. This movie is just the beginning for this amazing director and its awesome lead actor.

i say go watch it. 

- Pushkaraj S Shirke

Thursday, October 16, 2014

HAIDER: A Perfect Indian Adaptation of Hamlet


Monkey Rating: 8/10
1 point cut for pace, which could have been a bit choppier. Though the stretched pace is very 'hamletesque' in fact. As an adaptation, that's one thing that could have been let go of.
1 point cut for cinematography and dialogues - which i felt were good, but could have been much better and definitive.

genre: drama

waddabout: A flawless adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

i say: Hamlet is one of shakespeare's most performed plays till date and is the second most 'remade into film' story. BUT still, Vishal Bharadwaj's rendition is worth a watch and is an absolute treat as a movie. Haider, as an adaptation is not just a retelling, but is a true 'adaptation' - keeping the soul of hamlet's conflict alive and placing it in a modern day situation and kindling it with prevalent conflicts and issues. This, is what a great adaptationist does. And Vishal has a mastery over this by now - Haider being his third adaptation of a shakespearean classic and by far his best. 

The music is amazing - very modern day and gripping and very well placed - mixing languages and genres within it while maintain the Shakespearean balladesque touch at the end with the three grave diggers. 

The cinematography is good and scenic and gives no room for complains BUT it could have been much better. There are points in the film where the camera is just moving and not adding anything to the scene. I understand that its shot to give it the au-naturel look, but what i expect out of great cinematorgraphy is layering and storytelling with the scenes, which in this case, was missing. 

AND YES - HAIDER is better than the Hollywoodian HAMLET by Kenneth Branagh. So finally, Vishal has outdone hollywood in a way. 

The performances are phenomenal - Shahid could do better though. He has evolved a lot as an actor, but still has a long way to go. Tabu and Kay Kay Menon are the performers to look out for. FABULOUS PERFORMANCES by them both. 

The dialogues are linear and at times forced to show the kashmiri manner of speech, but ofcourse, it is bound to fall short when you directly compare it to shakespearean dialogues. But there should have been an attempt to keep up with that level. which i guess is missing. 

Vishal Bhardwaj was brave to touch a topic and issue that not most people are comfortable touching - yes, the kashmir issue. But he handles it well and honestly, without polarising and taking sides, he shows the common man's pains in the conflict-torn region and does it efficiently. 

All in all, HAIDER is a phenoimenal movie and one of the best to come out of bollywood in a long long time. And Vishal Bhardwaj definitely deserves a standing ovation for this one. 

If i meet Vishal, i'm definitely asking him for a signed DVD of this movie. Definietly a collectors item.

- Pushkaraj S Shirke

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Your Fitness Club: #LIVEFIT - Gym Advertising Campaign.

Pushkaraj S Shirke : Your Fitness Club: #LIVEFIT - Gym Advertising Camp...:

Brand: Your Fitness Club
Advert title(s): #LIVEFIT
Advertising Agency: Pushkaraj S Shirke, Mumbai, India

Creative Director, Copywriter and Photographer: Pushkaraj S Shirke
Art Director: Pushkaraj S Shirke
Pushkaraj S Shirke
Design: Surabhi Cholkar

Published: October 2014

Everyone who comes to Your Fitness Club is not an athlete or a professional bodybuilder - most of them are people like you and me, simple people with common lives, who want something more out of life - which makes it their reason to come to the gym and put in that effort to #LIVEFIT so that they can pursue their passion and live the life they want.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A One Take Music Video for RedBus: Featuring Shreyas Talpade

The best way to know if something is amazing, is to see it and wish you could have made it. And funnily, that's hopw my new ad film made me feel when i saw it - only to be over joyed by the fact that 'HEY! I made this!'. And if ever there was an example of great team work on a film, this film would be it. 
So this is for my team:

Fabulous job on shoot day everyone. 
Thanks Shreyas, for proving me right that choosing real 'actors' over 'stars' is the first key to a great performance film! you were chosen for this film and you delivered a performance i could have only wished for! a one take perfection within 7 rolling takes is an incredible feat and you achieved it! 

Pupa brothers- Ajay and Vipin, sexy show! The entire art and props crew rocked the shit out of the shoot - the coordination an energy of the entire crew was freakkin amazing - Bohot Mazza aaaya bhaaai!  We finally ended up shooting what we had first visualised we wanted to do - and that was amazing. 

Rubais, thanks for going beyond just the fab light and camera work and driving the production towards getting exactly what we had wanted the film to be in the first place - and needless to say, fab work with the light choreography and thanks for bringing in Kapil onto the team for the crazy hard camera work. 

Snow, fab work with the costumes that stood out so well yet blended In so perfectly. 

Chirantan, without the foot tapping music to set the pace for all of us from day 1, wouldn't have been possible - so thanks a ton. 

Producer bhai log - Raviraj, Darshan, Sodhiji and Kireet, thank you for pulling all the strings needed to make this vision come to life like it did yesterday - I know it's difficult to adjust with the monies, but as you can see from yesterday's shoot, it was all worth it.  

Shrey, thanks for ensuring I don't lose my voice on set and being my hands and voice beyond the monitor. 

All in all, thank you all for this fucking fantabulous film and if ever  there was an example of great teamwork in one film, this one was it. Loved it totally! Hope to make way more greatness on film with this awesome team we have in the days to come! 

And last but not the least, thank you Aman and Prakash and the RedBus team, yes, the clients - for having put faith in the imagination of a writer-director who isn't backed by an agency, looks and talks like a teenager, roams around in a torn denims and tees, and sounds hyper excited like he's on drugs all the time. Thank you for believing this was possible when he narrated it and from that point on, it was our greatest pleasure to have made it come true! 

Watch the One take Ad film for executed by Climb Media from script to screen:
Rap sung and performed by SHREYAS TALPADE. 
Written and Directed by Pushkaraj S Shirke.

Client: – Prakash Sangam / Pallavi Chopra
Creative Director: Pushkaraj S Shirke

Production House: Climb Media
Producer: Kireet Khurana
Script & Direction: Pushkaraj S Shirke
Exec. Producer: Darshan Gokani
D.O.P: Rubais
Steadicam: Kapil Verma
Art Director: Ajay/Vipin (Pupa Set)
Music: Chirantan Bhatt
Associate Exec. Producer: Renuka Khekade
Line Producer: Gurmeet Sodhi (Shoot Essentials)
Costume Designer: Snower Sania
First Assistant Director: Shrey Oberoi
Second Assistant Director: Hamza Rahim
Make Up: Satish Kadam
Pre-Production & Design: Prashant Shikare / Raviraj Kumbhar
CG: Arvind Shirke

A one-take film is one of the greatest challenges in the craft of film-making - and the new redbus adfilm was one such amazing feat! 
Check out the 'making-of' of the film and what it took to choreograph a theatrical style music video with one artist, 4 co-stars and a 30 man art crew.

-Pushkaraj S Shirke

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The stupidest FITNESS ADVICE you can ever get

There are shit loads of people who think they are absolute experts on fitness - whether they are random gym rats, steroid junkies, tv serial actresses, wannabe models or even your daily doodhwala. Fitness is a topic on which everyone has an opinion and presumably a high-and-learned education from fitness magazines, newspapers and conventional wisdom - which together can be summarised as BROSCIENCE.
So i put up a status to ask for all these crappy pieces of 'wisdom' are are passed to people - and what followed had me laughing for hours!

Here goes:

What is the stupidest piece of advice you have heard about bodybuilding and fitness ? in the gym or at the panwallah or anywhere. preferably a single sentence - i want to doodle out stupid advices on a single artwork .
guys, write down ADVICE you get. not OPINIONS. like when people talk like they know shit and are experts of some kind. those people jinkey dada 'bodybuilder' theyy ya jo salman bhai ke saath train kartey hain. you know what i mean.

  • bhai, creatine steroid hai!

    poder ki body mat bana, be 'natural'!

  • Bhaai Ek baar gym chodega Body utar jayegi

  • Tumne jaldi weights uthana chalu kar diya hoga... Isliye height short hai..

  • Bigger bicep? arnold curl maaar bro!

  • Protein powder khane se pathri hoti hai
  • Sweat your fat out. more sweat = more fat loss.

  • there are exercises to increase height. like stretching.

  • you should take fitness advice from mickey mehta.

  • Whey Protein se side effects hota hai! Chawanpryash se body banta hai....

  • Model ban na hai TOCHAN daal !!

  • preworkouts cause impotency. just have coffee.

  • If you leave gym then u will gain more weight ..

  • Do yoga for complete fitness.


  • size banana h to beer start kar !!!!

  • bhai langot nahi pehna toh goti satakk jaayegii!

  • Girls can't build muscle so there's no point that you lift intense...

  • weight uthane walo ka dick chota ho jata hai.....

  • lifting heavy will make you HUGE. lifting light will keep you lean bro!

  • Shock your muscles. do functional training bro! its the next level shit!

  • Recently heard this at d gym - "bhai pehle upar ki body bana.... fir legs maarna "

  • babes, do pec deck to make your boobs bigger!

  • sweetie, do side leg raises to reduce your love handles!

  • do abs everyday brah!
  • bhai cardio se sex ka stamina badhta hai!

  • Hit biceps everyday..atleast two sets bfore leaving d gym

  • doll, if you do 2 hours cardio everyday, you can eat whatever you want!

  • Workout on forearms...everyday

  • Avoid junk food and eat home mode dal, Sabji and chapati to build muscle.

  • that bodybuilder hero is all vegetarian and natural bro. i saw it on tv. you should also learn from him!

  • 2 hrs workout is must or more dan dat to build good muscle

  • quality se farakk nahi padtaa. bas protein daal! koi bhi protein!

  • 7 din mein wajan ghatayein warna paise wapas

  • If you want to build body & get into shape, you must have to take ROIDS.. otherwise you can't.. WTF

  • Don't run/lift/do anything active because your legs will get bulky and muscular..
    Ew, why do you lift weights? You're gonna get huge like those female body builders. Just do cardio.

  • Don't eat Bananas. They're highly acidic and dissolve your muscle.

  • Pet kum karna hai toh crunches maar

  • #beer marne se mass chadta hai

  • Why do you need to go to the gym? You're already fit!

  • dont work out, just have nimbu paani with honey - its ayurvedic secret. it just makes the fat melt!

  • Cardio mat kar..pump chala jayega

  • Don't work your triceps, if you work only your biceps you look ripped, if you work your tri's you just look fat.

  • Bhai zyada reps maar cutting k liye

  • Lifting will cause erectile dysfunction. Hilarious.

  • I want to like each of the comments above. All awesome! Haha.
    I've heard lose 5 kgs in 10 days; work out thrice a day.
    We will make you lose weight for sure in no time.

    Gym workout karne se aur phir chodne se body badh jaati hai
    Gymming chodne se body aur loose ho jayegi
    Weights karne se body stiff ho jayegi
    Don't have protein shakes or you'll bulk up like a guy
    Only do cardio to lose weight

  • Women should be sleek; muscles should not show

  • Muscle definition looks bad on women.

  • I don't want muscles- woman.

  • Protein shakes will make you huge like guys!

  • Are you crazy you want to lift weights? You'll get "muscles"

  • Bhai deadlift bahut hi dangerous cheez hai... Mat Karna

  • salman khan do workout for 8 hour a day. you should also.

  • Bhai mere KO natural body banani hai... Protein nahi lunga

  • Ek aur.. "Don't train two bodyparts on the same day. Your protein gets confused and doesn't know where to go."

  • Common - bhai yeah muscles wagere agge maintain nahi hote , joints mein taklif ho jayegi 40 ke baad , lol wtf
  •  Do ab crunches (40*3) everyday for small sized 6 pack abs & use weight plate for big sized 6 pack abs. (I don't know what does that mean).

  • Powder le powder. Fatak se banegi body

  • The knees shouldn’t pass the toes when squatting

  • Don't consume "protein" supplements, they are made up of "steroids"!

  • Fat Burner lene se Garmi lagegi

    Fat ko massal (read muscle) mein convert karenge hum ... chalo deeps (dips) maro !
  • Bannanas n beer is the secret of my body....
    Ye powder khane se body nahi banti

  • नमस्कार मारोगे तो chest round बनेगी और dips मारोगे तो square.

  • Generally i get this question... Aap natural ho ya protein lete ho? 😬

  • Your biceps and shoulder is made up of 1 connecting muscle.. So if ur shoulders r huge ul definitely have underdeveloped biceps.. N vice versa.. Lmao..

  • I was just giving a support to a 1 model he have gud musclular body....n woh incilne chest mar raha tha....then 3-4 reps maine support diya then after done bolta hai aapne achse se support nai diya....chest maar raha tha shouldier bhi pain karne laga...hahaha

  • Women' bodies are not meant to push weights.

  • Women should only do yoga and Pilates.

  • A common one: The Best Time to Work Out is Morning/Night..

  • Lean forward on the stair climber if you want a firm butt... (Do this, and I could strain my lower back)..

  • Drink "super oxygenated" water and you'll increase the amount of oxygen in your blood and get more energy.. lmao

  • Don't work out too much. Coz when you stop it will all turn into fat.

  • Leave that gym shym n heavy weights. Just have warm water with lime n honey first thing in the morning. Bas! Tu dekh kaisi patli ho jaegi.
    "My girl, try touching your toes. Your stomach(???) will go pucca. That gymming is a money making racket, I tell you."

  • Have warm water like Mr.modi!! and you can eat whatever you want, sab pighal jaayega, aisa!!
    it's the Indian fat burner.
    Mr.modi ni faand(tummy) nathi!!woh uska kurta aage rehta hain!!
    ane Nehru jacket adds some volume, aina forearms joya te, sakhad lifting manas che modi!
    powder aur namak(creatine) waali body mat bana bhai, baad me baadi(fat)ka dhol ban jaayega!

  • zyaada legs maarega toh goti pet me chali jaayegi, Aur waise bhi apan poora din toh chalte he hain!!
  • Have your post workout shake with hot water as it will increase your metabolism

  • ladki log chest maarenge toh boobs flat ho jaayenge!
    squats se constipation hota hain!
    arms pe dhyaan de bhai, sab wahi dekhte hain,legs pe toh pant aa jaayegi!

    Indian powders lene k like protinex and biscuits like threptin, American powders are made for American body type!!

    p.s. this is talwalkar's in ahmedabad.

  • Machine ki body utar jaati hain. Dand baithak ki body nahin utarti.

  • Powder waali body asli body nahin hain.

  • Kasrat karne se napunsak bann jaata hai aadmi
    .erection nhi hota uss me .
    Dekhne ka reh jaata hai bas wo

  • band karo ye gym vim ka natak chup chap walk maar ...that's permanent .....

- Pushkaraj S Shirke

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