Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Himesh, you little Devil!

Sample this from the Financial Express,
"Bollywood may have stood up for Aamir Khan, but it doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance when it comes to revoking this “ban”. So Himmesh Reshammiya’s hit number 'Jhalak dikhla ja, ek baar aaja, aaja...' may set feet tapping at discotheques, but in Anand district’s Bhalej village, it seems to have set alarm bells ringing.
Why? Residents claim that the lyrics are an invite to “ghosts” who then possess residents. The person possessed - some put this number at five, others at 20 - run a high temperature and behave in a strange manner. Rationalists and others may dismiss the idea as silly, but the 10,000-odd villagers are so worried that they’ve decided that the song - picturised on serial kisser Emraan Hashmi - won’t be heard in the village. What’s more? They’re seeking divine intervention: approaching the maulvis as well as planning visits to neighbouring temple town Dakor. Majid Malek, father-in-law of sarpanch Saira Malek, speaks about the problem “plaguing the village since last fortnight”. “Since the last 15 days, we’ve noticed this problem. There have been about 20 such cases since then,” says Malek. Mushtaq Thakore says there have been around five such cases, including that of a newly wedded girl Sartajbanu.
“The lyrics are such that they draw the attention of the ghosts, after which the person starts screaming and also runs a high temperature. The only way out is to seek divine help. Muslims go to maulvis, Hindus to their godmen,” Mushtaq says. Incidentally, the ghosts also have a particular spot where they choose their “victim”. The graveyard adjoining the lake.
After realising that the song could be the “root cause” of the “possession problem”, the village has decided to clamp down on it. The song may be a hit with wedding parties, but not in Bhalej. Allarakha, a musician with Rahi Music Band, says, “We get many requests to play different numbers, but we are asked by villagers to avoid this number.”

I never liked the song anyway, now I'm certainly not going to play it. It even gets the ghosts annoyed enough to leave their happy abodes and possess hapless humans! Himesh, perhaps you shouldn't have sung this one.


Sunday, May 28, 2006


Huge expectations are associated with any Aamir Khan film. Even more so if it happens to be Kajol's comeback vehicle. And perhaps even more so if it happens to be under the Yash Raj banner. But expectations of course don't guarantee a good cinematic experience, just a few 'house full' posters on friday, saturday and sunday, after which the product must fend for itself on the basis of its own merits.
'Fanaa' is strictly ok, perhaps even decent, but a step down for Aamir. I felt Mangal Pandey (minus the average second half and the barrage of songs) and 'Rang De Basanti' were better films. The film centres around the love story of Rehan, seemingly a brash and flirtatious tour guide and Zooni, a blind Kashmiri, who is only starting to live life on her own terms. Rehan and Zooni fall in love almost immediately and Rehan shows her the side of life that she has been missing for so long. Her experiences are new and invigorating. She immediately decides that he is the man for him. Deciding to marry her, he also arranges to restore her eyesight. Here is where the story takes a turn and leads us into the dark murky world that Rehan actually comes from from. He is a terrorist fighting for the independence of Kashmir. There is a bomb blast in which Zooni believes that Rehan has perished and lives out seven years in the belief that that the only man she's loved and never seen, is dead. Cut to seven years later where Rehan is on yet another mission for his terror outfit. He is wounded and seeks asylum in during a fierce storm in a small village and as fate would have it, lo and behold, Zooni opens the door along with a small boy, who is of course her child that she had with Rehan many moons ago.
Here's where the film gets interesting. The film now starts focusing on Rehan's realization that this is the life he wants, and not the life of a foot soldier for a organisation such as his. Zooni, discovering this guest's true identity (first that he is her Rehan, and second that he is in fact a terrorist) of course has to deal with the dilemma of turning him in versus making up for seven years of lost time and finally settling down with her one true love and the father of her child. How these parallel themes progress and pan out is the focus of the climax of the film.
The first half of the film is run of mill. Boy meets girl, girl can't see boy, boy is charming and gives girl a tour of Delhi. Love blooms. The first half is pure formula, complete with a multitude of songs and funny sidekicks. Quite disappointing actually. The second half is marked improved and the novelty of the plot and the decent treatment come to the fore. However here as well, things could have moved faster, but the director, Kunal Kohli takes his own time to let things unravel. Performances are good. Aamir is patchy in the first half and in form in the second. And it is such a pleasure watching Kajol after all these years. The lady can still dazzle the screen with her smile! The chemistry between Aamir and Kajol is good but Kajol-Shahrukh or Aamir-Juhi were better together. Supporting crew is decent though. Rishi Kapoor, Kirron Kher and Tabu are competent, though the choice of Tabu for the role of the Anti Terrorist Squad officer is quite puzzling. She mouths rhetoric and cliched dialogues. Wasted completely. Music is strictly average. What was expected to be Jatin-Lalit's swan song in their last film together, turn into an average album with a couple of good songs like 'Chand Sifarish' and 'Mere Haath Mein'. Watch out for Ravi K Chandran's camera work though, brilliant. Of course, filming in Poland helps.



Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The one in which rings get exchanged...

To put it simply, I got engaged. Don't ask me how I feel and other such things, as I don't think its sunk in as yet. Yes, there is the knowledge that now I shall have to refer to the erstwhile 'girlfriend' as 'fiance', 'would be', 'betrothed' and other such funny names...but apart from that not much has changed...yet. I guess long distance relationships can do this to you. I do know though that the ceremony and the formal exchange of rings has brought us a little closer, in the sense that the feeling of belonging has increased (which is funny because I was never one for ceremonies and formal exchange of rings). Its still a little bit of a blur, so watch this space for more clarity. Well, moving on to the minor details of the event. The venue was the venerable Bengal Club on Russell Street. Representatives from both families turned up in their best and brightest. 'Aashirbad' by elders commenced soon after and was accompanied by some 'ullus' (a traditional Bengali wedding yell/yodel). If my Marwari in-laws were alarmed by such a sudden increase in decibel level, they sportingly did not show it. Gifts were received and blessings were sought. The 'aashirbad' by elders gave way to the formal exchange of rings and a photocall which was enjoyed by everyone. The highlight of the evening for me was the way the two families extended goodwill and warmth to each other. One doesn't get to see Maru-Bong weddings everyday, and I must say that they shed their initial trepidation (and at a community level, years of business and cultural hostility, heheh) to support and partake in the festivities as best they could. It might as well have been a same community affair... A heartfelt thank you to all of you. Dinner was served after which much mingling ensued. The whole thing wound up by 11.30pm. It was a likeable affair in all, I mean what's not to like, good food, lots of gifts and pretty women all around...oh, and just in case I forgot, also the realization that you finally have the woman you love.

The holy man blesses...

The exchange of the rings

A photo - op with good friends 'Shots' and 'Sam'


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Quiz Time Again - Answers

1. The only song the two have sung for films together is the classic duet, 'Ei jo hethai kunjochayae' from the film 'Luko Churi'. Music was by Hemant Kumar.

2. Fairly simple one, Superman's earliest description.

3. Freddie Mercury was the only musician quoted in Kobain's suicide note.

4. - Mithun Chakraborty
- Cary Grant
- Jeetendra
- Whoopi Goldberg

5. All clocks show the time 4.20 pm.

Looks like Sougatada takes this one hands down! Well done.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Quiz time again!

Hello all, its been long since I've put up some questions to test your knowledge of all things artistic. Here is the second set of questions for you. Answers will be up next week!

1. Kishore Kumar and Ruma Devi (his first wife) both came from artistically gifted families. Both had impressive singing careers. However they sang playback together on only one occasion in their entire lives. Name the song and the film.

2. A 1940 radio serial described a character as "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound". Who were they talking about?

3. Kurt Kobain's suicide note went "I havent felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music along with reading and writing for too many years now. I feel guilty beyond words about these things. For example, when we're backstage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowds begins, it doesn't affect me the way in which it did for ______, who seemed to love, relish in the love and adoration from the crowd, which is something I totally admire and envy." Fill in the blank...who was Kobain talking about?

4. How do we better know te following celebrities
- Gauranga Chakraborty
- Archibald Leach
- Ravi Kapoor
- Caryn Johnson

5. In the Tarantino classic, 'Pulp Fiction', all the watches shown in the film are stuck at one particular time. Let's see if you guys noticed when?

Answers up soon...


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

When numbers conspire...

Number of days left till engagement: 10

Number of cigarettes smoked since yesterday: 10

Number of deliverables at current attachment: 10

Number of dollars left in wallet: 10