Month: August 2006

Badi Suni Suni Hain…

My parents always complained when I was a kid that there weren’t any clean family movies around. (This when I was in school and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun was yet to hit the screens.) So I landed up catching most of these ‘old’ films (most released before I was born) on video at home and saw myself watching them a million times again. By some coincidence most of these lovable films came from a man by the name of Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

Simplicity and real believable characters were always the highlight of his films. Probably why they always struck a chord with the people as they always identified with his characters.

  • Anand with his cheerful approach to life even though he knew he would not be around for long
  • Mili for her naughtiness, her innocence that made everyone around her love her
  • Guddi for her infatuation and film fascination
  • Subir and Uma’s trials and tribulations in Abhimaan affect us as much as them
  • Bawarchi’s Raghu is one cook we all would love to have in our family and till today an inspiration for many Hindi movies
  • Dr. Parimal Tripathi and his challenge to his wife to fool his brother-in-law in Chupke Chupke is still unsurpassed with its closest competitor being Ramprasad Sharma’s twin trick on his boss Bhavani Shankar in Golmaal
  • And finally my favourite: Manju’s battle with Nirmala in Khoobsurat.

His movies always had melodious songs and with a lot of meaning. Here are some of my favourite ones:

All of them family movies. All about simple people who were leading simple lives. Movies woven out of day-to-day happenings, movies that made us smile and made us think as well. Movies that still cheer me up when I watch them. Movies that will never bore me or go out of style. Movies that will remain firmly etched in memory; with all moments that make me cry, make me smile, make me laugh my heart out and make me want a family just as those families there.

Hrishi Da you have left a void that no one can fill

Aapke bine yeh film industry badi suni suni ho gayi hain…

May you rest in peace and we will always miss you.

K-Jo will you ever say Good Bye?

I finally saw KANK. I don’t think Karan Johar is an exceptional director-producer. He is pretty much a little above average; for his films carry a classy look and he makes his actors look great even while they are sobbing most times.

  • I liked his first film Kuch Kuch Hota Hain for Kajol alone
  • K3G was nothing but 3 Kg. of sentimental crap
  • Kal Ho Na Ho was my favorite K-Jo film and you know why; because it was one movie where not only did SRK not snatch the girl from someone else but also died! Awesome script!
  • Kaal: For heaven’s sake let me not waste my blog over it
  • But I will for KANK.

A lot has been written on this movie so here are my two wise cents as well. So before I dissect it, I will first put up what I liked about the movie, there were parts which were good but, they are not worth spending your money in the theatre for it.

Abhishek Bachchan: He was awesome in the movie, the only one whose character was well defined. I loved his outburst scenes and he was the only one who brought a tear in my eye in the whole movie. Go watch it for him; he has style, charisma and panache. Way to go AB’s Baby.

Preity Zinta: She probably should’ve got more screen time. I quite liked her as Rhea. I also thought the scene in which Dev reveals about his affair with Maya, her reaction was dignified. No ‘Rona Dhona’ (crying), no hysterics, controlled, mature, restrained and at the end a well-deserved tight slap. Well done woman!

The Songs: Well choreographed and well picturised. I loved Rani’s sans jewellery look in ‘Tumhi Dekho Na’ and the stars were dressed very well except Big B.

The Dialogues: A dialogue that caught my attention. Rani discloses her affair to Abhishek; he reacts hysterically, only to ask her later, “Did you sleep with him, Maya? How was it, was it fun for you?”

I did not see this coming in an Indian movie. We see it often in English serials and movies but not as a serious dialogue so upfront in an Indian movie. It was such a natural reaction on the part of a husband who has been waiting for his wife to love him back.

Finally I simply loved the dialogue Amitabh says on his death bed to Abhishek. It just stuck in my head, “Any message for mom?” That was beautiful.

And now let the disappointments begin:

The concept was interesting, the execution disappointing. K-Jo is not Ekta Kapoor in whose serials every man has to have two wives atleast and every woman two husbands at least. Brothers exchange wives and the kids that come in after leaps and leaps could create a whole new show for Ekta with the title ‘Guess My Parent’. If we tolerate her crap then K-JO’s movie is so much more sensible, I’m just giving a perspective.

Here is why I think the movie fails to capture the audience’s vote. The foundation for Dev and Maya’s drift from their respective marriages and attraction towards each other is weak. It felt like a college attraction where I’m seeing a guy but, I’m not sure if I love him. So, if I find my soul mate I can bid him good-bye! Marriage is the same as some teenage love? I like blue, do you? Yes you do; let’s get together because we are soul mates. We do not feel empathy at all towards the main protagonists Dev and Maya.

Dev is a grumpy old soul and it should’ve been Rhea divorcing him in the first place for the crap he kept dishing out to her. Love can make you do silly things and that is why Rhea chose to stay in the marriage with Dev! SRK was his irritating self. The only times I liked him was in his first serial Fauji as Abhimanyu Rai (What a heartthrob he was for us school girls).Then Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ( He brought Raj alive and that year I did not mind Aamir’s Munna losing out to him at the awards). Of late Swades, I caught that movie on TV here in Dubai and I could not stop raving about SRK. His portrayal of Mohan Bhargava was so real. But he has to come back to his irritating self and that’s what he was doing again in KANK! Sometimes I wonder if he is the same person.

Maya and Rishi’s marriage was a big mystery to me. Here is a guy you chose to marry; no one forced it on you. Here is a guy who loves you no end and yet you feel nothing for him. What’s worst she is not even keen to try to make her marriage work. Rishi is right when he says, ‘All that you keep thinking about is leaving and me about staying in this marriage’. Weak, weak, weak! Maya’s character was the most weakest of the four. Simply no premise for her disappointments in life or for the actions she took later. You take an actress like Rani Mukherjee and give her a Maya, boy you are making a mockery of her, especially after Black. And did I read somewhere that her role in KANK surpasses the one in Black, whoever said that was ‘Definitely on Drugs’!

I’m not mentioning anything about Amitabh Bachchan because I was extremely disappointed with him. What made him take up this role? If he still loves his wife so much then what’s with the skirt chasing act? Never mind, most of the things that occur in the film have little or no explanations.

So here is my take, I have strongly believed that divorce is not a taboo and if a marriage is not working, walk out before it ends you; but only after both have tried to really make it work. In KANK, there were only two people who wanted to make an effort for their marriage to work and they were not married to each other. Dev and Maya had nothing but only a negative attitude towards it. I don’t think KJO managed to pull off that every person is grey with pros and cons, I felt at the end that Rishi and Rhea came out more positive than the main protagonists Dev and Maya.

If Dev and Maya felt they were stuck in wrong marriages and were doing the right thing they should’ve come clean to their spouses and not feel ashamed of their deed, be forthright, seek a divorce and get together. But KJO stuck to his traditional roots and made them suffer and think they were wrong. Another weak link in the story. So much that they punished themselves for three whole years and moved ahead only when their respective spouses had found a new life. Rhea and Rishi on learning that their exes were living unhappy, lonely lives went ahead and got them together. Man that was too much for me to digest. Too much of a happy ending which does not always happen in real life! Maybe he could’ve opted for Rhea leading her life along with her son and being highly successful. Why the need to show that companionship is a necessity in life? Such experiences could also throw people off marriage, it happens in real life.

But that’s KJO and he has to see everyone happy right, be with their true loves….

Phew, as you can see I’m relaxing at home and hence the time to pen down a long review. I was terribly bored for more than 3 hours yesterday, so can I not share it with you all?

Finally, did someone tell me this was the most awaited movie of the year? I think not.

Two people who made India smile and keep doing it everytime they come on TV; are back again to make us laugh a whole lot more. I’m dying to see this one this week. That’s how movies should be; light hearted with a message. We lead such high tension lives these days that we do need a Munnabhai and Circuit to make us smile. KJO, we really could do without crying:-) Think about it…

Chaat Fever and a Farce called Dahi Wada …

Being away from Mumbai the one thing you miss the most is the roadside food. The ‘Chaat’ by which I mean Bhel Puri, Sev Puri, Pani Puri , Dahi Batata Puri , Ragda Pattice and Mumbai’s lifeline the ‘Vada Pav’.

Dubai serves excellent food in all cuisines but what I miss the most is my Mumbai roadside food. Yes I’ve suffered from over eating out too (jaundice struck in the second year of MBA) but you simply can’t resist it!

Ours is a neat group of 5 couples here who get together every weekend and most of the times we go out trying out new restaurants. However this time around we decided to be home and have a nice ‘Chaat’ evening. The menu was:

My mouth was already watering when we were discussing the menu. I took up to prepare Vada Pav cause I had my grandmom’s recipe for it and which is as good as the ones you get in Mumbai. Each family picked up a dish or two. We all were done and gathered at one of the couple’s place for the night. We knew this would be a night to remember but for me it really turned out a night that I will remember for the rest of my life.

I’m new to the group as I’ve recently moved here and H had all along kept bragging about how he makes the most amazing Dahi Wadas in this world. Dahi Wadas are my weak point so everytime we met; and he brought up the topic, I used to pester him to make it once. Since this was a ‘Chaat’ evening he decided to put to test his culinary skills on us as well.

As we were getting ready to set up the goodies H insisted we try the Dahi Wadas first. I was keen we have it as dessert later but he insisted that if you find them good I can make more later as I was not sure how they would turn out. Now I could not resist this offer and I said fine serve it first. Anyways I’m dying to eat them, I had caught a glimpse in the fridge and they looked delicious.

I was the first one to try it, I wanted to have a little bit first but he insisted I take up the whole Wada. So there I obliged again. I put in my mouth and suddenly it seemed different, why was I not able to chew the god damn Wada and why was it tasting soggy. The other two ladies were trying to break the vadas into small pieces but could not. Now, the nice little thing that I’m, I did not say anything at the first instance thinking H might have made some mistake and it would be so rude to comment on his favorite dish in his house.

But then again I saw his wife S smiling and I knew what it was, it was no Dahi Wada it was a god damn cotton ball!!! Out everything came and I kept shouting its tissue, its paper, and the other ladies who had not tried it held their hands back and everyone burst into laughter.

Now everyone there had been the victim of this trick and since I was the new entrant I was the latest one! I wish I had clicked a snap to show you all how delicious they looked and how atrocious they tasted!!

I’ve had many a pranks played on me and been quite a target in my college days with my friends one cause I was really naïve and secondly cause they thought I was pretty sporting about it in the endJ, but this one really took the cake and the icing and everything one can think of!!

I did not stop laughing the whole night and kept pulling H’s leg over it again and again by checking twice whatever he offered me to eat. Others joined me too and by the end of it H commented, “Minal I think you are so shocked now that even when you are dying I think you’ll refuse water from me and cross check it before drinking it!”

Well H & S I don’t think I will do that, but I did learn a few things yesterday.

  • Things are not what they seem to be
  • Greed never does anyone good
  • Friends like you all make me miss my home and family a little less
  • The next few years here in Dubai will be enjoyable ones cause I have you all around

Cheers to a fun evening and many more to come…

Featured in DNA India…

A little bit of recognition is always welcome:-)And if they pick up my favourite topic and my favourite sportsman its like an icing on the cake for me;-)

DNA featured my article on Sparing Sachin here.

You bet I’m happy:-)

A night to remember the Great Mohd Rafi…

One of the advantages of having your husband in the marketing field is that you get invited to various events. I was lucky this time around to be with him and go for a lovely musical evening.

A local radio channel here plays only old Hindi music from the golden era of 50s-70s. Everyday you get to hear the lovely melodies of Lata-Asha-Geeta Dutt-Rafi-Kishore Kumar- Mukesh-Manna Dey- OP Nayyar-SD Burman.

On 31st July, the radio channel had organized a night to mark the death anniversary of the great legend Mohd. Rafi. The melody, the romance, the pain, the sorrow, Rafi brought out all emotions so well and I’m not exaggerating when I say there is an enchanting sweetness in his voice. I say ‘is’ because even though he may have left for the heavenly abode 26 years ago, he still lives on among us through his songs.

To pay a tribute to him, the channel had a contest called Echoes of Rafi which invited people to sing their favorite Rafi songs. After multiple rounds and auditions, 5 people were selected as finalists and the final contest was to take place that night.

The place was houseful even though this event was for invitees only. The five people all from varied background, one was a chauffer for a hotel, one worked in private financial firm, one had participated in a singing contest for the very first time.

In addition to these 5 finalists the team members of the channel performed on Rafi’s songs as well. One was the program head, one was the production manager and one was a RJ with the channel. Man are people talented, I mean not only do they do their regular jobs well but to go and sing Rafi’s song as well, I think that is awesome and I really do admire people who are multi-talented.

The contest went on smoothly being anchored by the channel’s most popular RJ and boy was his Hindi fantastic! Mine isn’t that great (I am not proud of that fact either) and I kept troubling my husband to understand a few words that were obviously 1000 miles above my understanding levels.

The first guy started with ‘Pukarta chala hoon mein’, the next three came up with songs that I had not heard before and the last guy sang ‘Tere aankhon ke siva’ If only there was a contest for ‘Guess the winner’, I would have won hands down. I bet with my husband on the first guy and he won! He was a simple man, a chauffer with a hotel and he was so overcome with emotion. The one good thing about these contests and reality shows is they give every one an equal chance. Al that matters is your talent and nothing else.

In between the songs, the channels RJ quizzed the audience on Rafi and sadly the one question to which I knew the answer to, the RJ never saw me lift my hand:-(The loss was huge – A 3Cd pack of Rafi’s hits.

More than my husband, I’m the one who loves musical evenings and henceforth for future shows he doesn’t have much of a choice to not attend them!

The music from the golden era is simply soothing to your mind. You just have to forget the world and drown yourself in the songs. The songs from the golden era have a magical feel about them and you can but help get lost in them.

As for my favorite Rafi no. it is ‘Abhi na jao chod kar’ from Hum Dono. Kishore Kumar is definitely my favourite singer of all times but this number by Rafi-Asha is on the top of my all-time favourites list. It is so romantic that every time I hear it, I lose myself completely. You got to hear it to understand what I mean.

So till I go for another musical evening I’m leaving with you the first few lines of my favourite Rafi number. Would you want to tell me yours?

Abhi na jao chodkar
Ke dil abhi bhara nahi

Abhi na jao chodkar
Ke dil abhi bhara nahi

Abhi abhi to aai ho
Abhi abhi to..
Abhi abhi to aai ho
Bahar ban ke chayi ho
Hawa jara mehek to le
Nazar jara behek to le

Yeh sham dhal to le jara
Yeh dil sambhal to le jara
Mein thodi der jee to lu
Nashe ke ghont pi to lu

Nashe ke ghont pi to lu

Abhi to kuch kaha nahi
Abhi to kuch suna nahi

Abhi na jao chodkar
Ke dil abhi bhara nahi

How could I?

I’m finding it real hard to forgive myself.

Earlier, when I was working and prior to that busy with my studies I always managed to find time to watch the game, if I couldn’t, I managed to pacify myself by saying that I was doing something important.

However to miss these two matches when I’m on a break and at home, is simply unpardonable!!

How could I be so blind!

Are we not done humiliating him?

Now what did Saurav Ganguly do so special that he got through the 30 probables this time? His selection was based on his performance throughout the last year! The reasons the selectors can come up with on dropping and picking Saurav. God give me a break from them!

I really wish the selectors would stop playing with him now. When he deserved one chance they snatched everything from him and now when he has not played well at all, he gets a place in the 30!

As for you Saurav they will never pick you in the final 15, so forget it , quit now with some dignity! Just forget the whole thing and move on!

This is madness….

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