Category: Bollywood Page 1 of 4

Hawa Hawai – The Queen who Ruled our Hearts!

It was the winter of ’88 and it was our first overnight school trip to Nasik – few 8-year olds attempting to master the steps of Hawa Hawai. Mr India had taken the country by storm and Sridevi with her dancing skills and 1000 expressions had stolen every girl and boy’s heart. Her expressive, lovely doe-eyes, her graceful movements, her impeccable comic timing, her fearless attitude – all combined in that 6-minute number, put us all in awe of her forever.

Little did we girls know then what a fine actress she was; we were not really exposed much to the world of Tamil and Telugu cinema, where she was already an established actress. I had watched none of her previous films or probably have minimal recollection of watching any before Mr. India.

Mr. India is a movie that will always remain close to my heart for many, many reasons – the kids, the story, Anil Kapoor’s innocence, Satish Kaushik’s memorable Calendar, Amrish Puri as the most favourite villain Mogambo; but over and above all – for Sridevi’s stunning portrayal of reporter Seema. It was a multi-faceted character –  a fine example of how a woman should be – fearless, independent, and compassionate. There was no doubt why she was such a hit amongst the kids, especially girls.

As I became her fan, I started to watch more of her movies and few years later ended up watching Sadma, the first time in Tamil (Moondram Pirai) – thanks to the awesome films that DD National showcased on the Sunday afternoon slot at 1:30 p.m. I cried like crazy and kept asking my parents why won’t Viji recognise Cheenu, he took care of her when she had lost her memory, someone get her memory back, make her get off from the train and remember him. The irony dawned on me many years later, when I was old enough to understand. Sadma was one of the most heart-breaking films I have ever watched; the credit for that rests with Sridevi and Kamal Hassan for their outstanding portrayals of Viji and Cheenu respectively.

I ended up watching many of Sridevi’s hits before Mr India, well after the release of Mr. India, thanks to VHS rental libraries in those days.  Then came Chalbaaz and Chandni, and though the latter is not one of my favourite films, I can never forget how beautiful she looked in those gorgeous chiffon sarees which almost became her trademark. Remember the song – Tere Mere Hothon Pe

Chaalbaaz was a complete riot and Sridevi single-handedly overshadowed a star cast boasting of Anupam Kher, Rajnikant, Anu Kapoor, Shakti Kapoor and Rohini Hattangady; hell, she even managed to get Sunny Deol to dance! Na Jaane Kahan se Aayi – The song stayed on top of the charts only cause of her amazing dancing skills and expressions!

In 1991, Yash Chopra gave us a path breaking movie in Lamhe. The movie was well ahead of its times and probably why people could not digest the plot line; but I loved it the first time I watched it and l Iove it even now. The star cast was excellent, the script and dialogues simple, yet poignant and it showcased love in innumerable forms. I cannot pick a single favourite song from the album – all numbers equally hummable. I can’t recollect the umpteen number of times we performed to ‘Morni’ at various occasions! Sridevi again pulled off the impossible – she outshone all the heavy-weights in the star cast that included Waheedaji. Her portrayal of Pooja stole your heart and you kept cheering for her to win her Kunwarji’s love! And even in that serious storyline – the comedian in her struck gold with an equally fantastic actor Anupam Kher; the result was a laughter riot in this medley from the 50-60s.

Her comic timing was exemplary and probably her most underrated talent – just watch this Charlie Chaplin act she pulled off with ease in Mr. India or her hilarious act from the song in Chaalbaaz; you will know what I mean.


As much as she was known for her fine acting skills, she was an extremely accomplished dancer and I will just let you all watch a few snippets from her ‘Tandav Nritya’ performances in some of her films.


She did not give any major hits in the late 90s and then took a sabbatical. I tried watching some episodes of Malini Iyer but I could not continue beyond a couple of episodes; as I did not want to lose any memories of her that were so ingrained in me while growing up.

I made my peace that she had retired for good because not every superstar can reinvent themselves like Amitabh did later in his career. How wrong I was about her! Come 2012 and she came back with a bang as Mrs. Deshpande, aided by a lovely cast, terrific script, fresh director and superb soundtrack; Sridevi took me back to my childhood days. As I watched her dance to the beats of Navrai Majhi, she had wooed me back! I realised that the kid in me had never left and I was back in being in awe of her!

I watched English Vinglish – First Day First show in the Theatres and realised how much I had missed her in the movies. Madhuri was/is my favourite (and there is a loads of Marathi bias in that fandom), but I loved Sridevi to bits and her playing a Marathi lady from Pune was the ultimate icing on the cake.

Since then I have been eagerly waiting to see her in new roles and redefine her career as Amitabh did; and then suddenly out of nowhere, the news of her demise hit me on Saturday night. I can’t quite understand how someone you have never met can bring that feeling of emptiness in you once they are gone. Sridevi was such a huge part of my growing up – especially made those late 80s and early 90s so memorable. Her death brought back all those lovely associated memories and I realised after all these years, I can still recollect most of them vividly.

I still cannot believe she is gone. For the next few weeks, I will go back to browsing YouTube for her videos and movies, and listening to Hawa Hawai in a loop – and when the song plays, that memory of us 8-year olds trying to master the dance step (5:44 onwards in the clip above) from that song will keep coming back.

You will continue to rule our memories dearest Sridevi, even when you are long gone, because you were the only Queen that ruled our hearts!

Review : Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani

(Warning: Spoilers ahead)

Yesterday  I wrote the music review of the film and mentioned that I hope Ranbir does not disappoint – Ranbir did not disappoint but Ayan Mukherjee did while Karan Johar lived upto expectations.

The movie is too long – seriously Bollywood you need not drag a script for 2.5 hours – there is no such mandate and what can be told eloquently in 1.5 hours should be told in 1.5 hours. Too many irrelevant scenes – painting people as stupid does not generate laughs. Having too many forced songs does not help either however good they might be.

Ayan dealt with the relationship of Sid and Aisha beautifully in Wake up Sid his first movie but I did not find any such build-up to Bunny and Naina’s love story in the movie – Ranbir and Deepika’s sizzling onscreen chemistry made up for the complete lack of script.

The story is all too known by now – how 4 friends go on a trip , have fun, enjoy, let go and discover themselves. Move apart , live their lives – some grow up , some don’t. Some move on while some get stuck in a time warp. All too familiar, all too seen and heard before – Dil Chahta Hain, Rock On, Zindagi Na Mile Dobara, bring in the DDLJ romance, bring in the tomboy turned lady a-la Kajol from Kuch Kuch Hota Hain, bring in the irritating Poo like character from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham , the affluent families, the lavish weddings, trekking in mini shorts and denim skirts (only in a KJO movie)

I had thought Ayan Mukherjee would continue to be in his Wake Up Sid zone.  He did in fact for quite sometime in the movie – when he made Naina’s character extremely real and believable – I’m not a Deepika fan but she was good in the movie. Full credit to Ayan for being able to get this girl to actually act. Her expressions were controlled, did not seem forced, she seemed comfortable with the character. Balanced, rational , today’s girl who understood her priorities. Her Naina was believable – geeky, boring, falling for the guy who was not her type.  She had the courage to realise the relationship would not work as they wanted different things and she had the sanity to not lose her mind over him, value his friendship and treasure those moments. That was as real as it can get. I could completely identify with her character. And even when life offered her the second chance she was practical and sane enough to not leave her medical career and go along with her vagabond love.

Kalki as the tomboy turned lady did justice to her part but not to the dancing (No seriously Kalki please don’t dance – my eyes hurt). She was the only reason that the 4 friends came back together. Thank god they did not twist her character by getting her back with her old crush and not going ahead with the wedding. Adtiya Kapoor as Avi was an utter disappointment – he was the worst of the 4 friends who never got his life together. Aditya failed to depict Avi’s bitterness or the hurt he felt – of losing his friends or not getting his life in order like the other 3 did.

Ranbir as Bunny was superlative – I’d go for a movie just to see Ranbir on screen. He brought alive Bunny’s character – he wanted to be free, he wanted to see the world, he wanted to follow his dreams and he did. He had a few regrets but he wasn’t to blame for it. He was brilliant in that last scene with his father Farooq Sheikh before he leaves for America and then later with his step-mother Tanvi Azmi after he comes home – 3 years after his father passed away. Those two scenes were the highlight of the movie for me. Bunny’s mom gets Bunny rid of all of his guilt of not being there for his dad when he should have been. The one scene with Farooq Sheikh when Ranbir is leaving for the USA for future studies was the best scene of the movie – those 4 lines from Farooq sum up the definition of perfect parents that every child craves for.

And then I thought it would be a nice end to the movie – Bunny sets off to get his dream job finally free of all his guilt & regrets, Naina moves on and maybe finds love again – because the fact is that in real life you do. More often than not you do. Sometimes some relations are not meant to be. We don’t always have picture perfect endings and I would have really liked to see Ayan keep it real like Shakun Batra did in Ekk Main Aur Ekk Tu, but he didn’t. So the movie ended like it would in the KJO world.

The reason I felt a bit disappointed with the ending – was it felt lame and out of the blue as the movie did not focus on Naina-Bunny relationship as much at it should have – it felt a tad disconnected  and rushed at the end. And given how the whole relationship played out – I found it difficult to digest that a guy so crazy about his dream, who was lucky enough to have folks supportive of him,  just gave it all up one day. Maybe people do – but in the movie it felt completely out of character for Bunny.

If Bunny had chased his dream job would you have termed him to be a villain? Naina understood him, I wonder why the director did not and made him do a complete U-turn. Think about it!

Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani

Have I told you all that I’m a Ranbir fan – He is a fabulous actor and a great dancer. The latter bit quite under-rated in my opinion. Watch Badtameez Dil and you will know what I’m talking about. When I first caught the song on TV I was not surprised that Ranbir had rendered a fabulous performance – and done great justice to Benny Dayal’s singing (who by the way I completely mistook for Mohit Chauhan when I first heard the first few lines of the song) and Pritam’s foot tapping music. My dance classes begin in 2 weeks time and I can’t wait to dance to this song!


It was Badtameez Dil and not Balam Pichkari that caught my attention and I went hunting to check out how the rest of the album was. Needless to say I was not disappointed. Never been a Pritam fan – knowing how well he lifts his numbers but he has managed to deliver three hit albums in a row now.

Shalmali Kolge of the Pareshaan fame is fantastic in Balam Pichkari – it’s a nice foot tapping number and will get its place in all time hit Holi songs. Be assured we are going to bombarded with it once Holi arrives next year. Vishal Dadlani rarely fails to deliver in foot-tapping numbers and this must count among his best ones.

Ranbir movie and no Mohit Chauhan? How is that even possible? Mukesh was Raj Kapoor’s voice and since Rockstar I have felt that Mohit Chauhan’s voice suits Ranbir the best! Amitabh Bhattacharya is fast climbing the charts as the number one lyricist – the lyrics of Illahi portray Ranbir’s character (from what I’ve read in the previews of the story) to perfection.

Khaanaabadoshiyon pe hi jaane kyoon
Ilahi meraa jee aaye aaye

I don’t know why in nomadic ways only I find my heart interested, O Lord.

Sreeram’s voice is quite soulful in SubhanAllah – but the song isn’t one that will leave a lasting impact. Nice to listen to but not the one that will keep playing a loop on your ipod a million times. That will go to only one song from the album – will come to it at the end of this post.

Dilliwali Girlfriend will probably play at most marriage sangeet parties this year and will be forgotten the moment a new chart-topping number hits the scene. Sounds like every other punjabi song that hits the pop scene. Not impressive at all.

You get Madhuri to do an item number and Rekha Bhardwaj to render it – the perfect ingredients to deliver a hit that could go and stake a claim with Kajre Re or Beedi on popularity charts and all that we get is a dampener in Ghagra. Did not click at all. I also thought that the whole Via-Agra bit was completely intentional in the song – fool to think otherwise right?

Rekha Bhardwaj is definitely one of my favourite singers – Namak, Ab Mujhe Koi and the very recent- the phenomenal “Phir Le Aaya Dil” – it would have been quite a disappointment if she had not got a better number than Ghagra in the album – and here is where you thank god for the endearing sufi number “Kabira” by her and Tochi Raina. This is the kind of song that will play a million times in a loop on your iPod. There is another version by Harshdeep and Arijit but that sounds very run-of-the-mill wedding song unlike this one which is meant to be played when you are out at night on a long drive!

Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani overall does not disappoint – I’m pretty confident it will earn nominations next year at all the award ceremonies. Off to see the movie tomorrow – not too high expectations just hoping Ranbir does not disappoint.

P.s: Listen to the first 14 seconds of Kabira and then to the first 15 seconds of the Title Track of Kuch Toh Log Kahenge (never watched the serial – love this number though) and tell me if you notice any similarities 🙂


I have edited out the sentence where I mentioned that Pritam was running into good form of his Jab We Met & Metro days – I was genuinely unaware that Pritam had lifted most songs in these two albums – until a friend @adityeah pointed out on twitter. I really liked those two albums – and my apologies for my ignorance about this bit. Have corrected the sentence as it seemed contradictory.

That one defining song…

Yesterday at the Mirchi Rocks Live concert of Sunidhi Chauhan and Shankar Ehsan Loy,  I heard Raman Mahadevan sing Tanhayee. Raman is a very good singer and this song from Taare Zameen Par is proof enough but  he was not able to capture the brilliance that Sonu Nigam had depicted in his rendition of Tanhayee.   I have also heard many singers attempt this song in  reality shows and I’m absolutely convinced that this song was made only for Sonu. He must have been in a god-level zone when he recorded it for Dil Chahta Hain. The pain in his voice cuts right through your heart – listen to it and you will know what I’m talking about.



I tried to think which is that one defining song for other favourite singers of mine from the current lot – that one song which no other singer can attempt or sing the way the original singer did.

Here are my picks – what would be yours?


What a soothing voice and so many of his numbers tread on the light-hearted , romantic genre. And this one although still romantic has a lovely classical bent to it. To me it is by far his best song (Forgive the choreographer for the picturization – he/she has ruined what could have been a splendid song visually to go with the brilliant composition)



Many will disagree with me on this one I guess. Tadap Tadap was KK’s big breakthrough, and Pal his identity but to me this lovely underrated number from Om Shanti Om really stands out as his number – his voice captures the awe, the hesitation and the love that Om feels for Shanti. Hitting the right low notes, the perfect high pitch, the smooth transitions – it is one of the most beautiful romantic numbers I’ve heard.


Shankar Mahadevan 

Breathless gave him his identity and every time I listen to his rendition of Maa I have a tear in my eye but for me the song that defines Shankar is Yenna Solla Pogirai – because if you listen to him and watch Ajith perform – I can guarantee you will fall in love with both the men!



Maybe in the next post I’ll attempt my picks from my favourite female singers –and I can already sense that it will be a tough one!

Melody Overflow

I was wondering if 2012 has been one of the better years for Bollywood music in recent times. The 21st century has been witness to some excellent numbers – new voices, new music directors, experiments with fusion music, mixing genres, all sorts of stuff. As I was going through my playlist since 2000 – I felt this year indeed had some classic melodious numbers of different genres and albums with good variety.

In the last 12 years, every year had its stand out one or two movie albums. I thought 2009 was a fantastic year in terms of the albums released – Delhi 6, Dev D, Wake Up Sid, 3 Idiots, Kaminey, Love Aaj Kal, and the odd song or two from Rocket Singh (Pankho Ko),  Kurbaan(Shukran Allah) , Raaz 2 (Soniyo),and New York ( Tune Jo na Kaha)

As 2012 comes to an end I can’t help but think that this year probably matched  2009 in terms of the variety on offer and the new voices as well as music directors that trumped the charts. This despite the fact that the most awaited album that had the winning A R Rahman-Gulzar partnership was one of the worst to come out this year.

The entire albums of Ek Main aur Ek Tu, Ishaqzaade, Barfi, Cocktail (crap movie but good songs), Kahaani, English Vinglish and Talaash. I never got hooked onto the Gangs of Wasseypur phenomenon but guess it would be injustice to not mention the album and the only female music director Sneha Khanvilkar who created her own cult of followers.

The odd song or two from Ferrari Ki Sawari ( Maara Rebecause every time this song plays only Sachin’s image comes to mind), Agent Vinod ( Raabta – 4 versions of it and all equally delightful), the underrated song from London, Paris, New York (Voh Dekhne Main ) ,  the sensitive song Paani Da from Vicky Donor which took Ayushman to top of the popularity charts and the two lovely numbers to come out of Aamir Khan’s show Satyameva Jayete ( O Ri Chiraiya and Ghar Yaad Ata Hain Mujhe)

Amit Trivedi definitely stood out among all music directors without a doubt! 5 albums this year and 3 hits!

Among the male singers I’d pick Arijit Singh as my absolute favourite singer this year! 4 soothing, romantic, tender, passionate numbers – Raabta from Agent Vinod, Yaariyan from Cocktail, Saawli Si Raat Ho and my favourite of the lot – Phir Le Aaya Dil. He made the song his own – as painful, as stirring as Rekha’s rendition but yet having a different identity. In a year where he had his biggest hits – he seemed to have matured into a fantastic singer with this number.

Not able to pick my favourite female singer at all this year – not even venturing there. Who would you pick?

Shreya dazzled in Jhallah Wallah – she stepped out of her comfort zone so beautifully singing this rustic, sensuous , mujrah number that I’ve listened to it a million times and am still not able to get over her voice. And those 4 lines at the end of the Ishaqzaade title track – that bit where you realise how gifted she is and makes you want to take a bow.

Shalmali for that recklessly fallen-in-love rendition of Pareshaan in Ishaqzaade – don’t lie to me – all that you wanted to do when you first heard the song was to run to the rooftops and sing your heart out! Not to forget her other hit – the delightful Daaru Desi from Cocktail.

Rekha Bhardwaj for that soulful , heart wrenching Phir Le Aaya Dil – a song about love lost, a song about wanting that love back.

Shilpa Rao – For Aahatein cause it got me all teary-eyed every time I listened to it and Gustakh Dil –  because her voice haunts you – the agony of love, the dilemma that comes along with it and her calm, deep, unconventional voice that echoes in your head long after the song is over.

Sona Mohaptra – For that touching rendition of Ghar Yaad Ata Hain Mujhe and showing further sparks of brilliance in that classical-modern fusion song Jiya Lage Na from Talaash.

Sunidhi Chauhan – How can she miss out ? Yaariyan from Cocktail and then the endearing Navrai Majhi from English Vinglish which had a fine mix of voices – of the old granny, of the American accented Hindi gal, of Swananand Kirkire  and yet Sunidhi shone. Her diction of the Marathi words in the song was flawless and she made that song her own!

My pick of the year – actually all the albums and songs mentioned because they played endlessly in a loop on my iPod this year. Anyways I’m now going to be a bit biased and pick one – it was heartening to see Amit Trivedi and Swananda Kirkire produce a classic Marathi number in Hindi. The beats, the tune, the sounds, the dholkis, the words, the classic rhythm of most Marathi folk songs – perfect picture perfect! It is going to be the most loved wedding song for years to come. It was the one that I danced to the most while listening to it. I simply can’t wait for my cousins to get married soon; so that I can deck up and dance my heart out even more, just like Sridevi and the Deshpandes and their multi-cultural gang did! Bring on all the dhol-tasha, sanai !

Relive the feeling of Love with Barfi!

Here is the test: Your best friend or your one true love makes you stand in front of the lamp-post, he cuts the lamp-post and he knows how far it will fall down, but he won’t tell you and you are there standing with him seeing the lamp-post fall down towards you – what would be your first reaction?

Normal folks – that’s what most of us are who are born with all their senses working great and have no disability – physical or mental of any kind. We the ones who can think rationally and consider ourselves superior to the disabled – our first reaction would be to save ourselves from the falling lamp-post.  That’s the rational thing to do – but Jhilmil the autistic girl does not leave Barfi’s (who is deaf and dumb) side – she is the only one who passes his test. Neither his best friend of years and nor his first love Shruti stand beside him, not trusting his judgement of where the the lamp-post will fall . That scene summed up the entire movie for me – love is all about trust and belief.

Barfi as a movie is by far the best I’ve seen this year (Kahaani and Ferrari ki Sawari my other favourites, and yes I’m not a  Gangs of Wasseypur fan ) – it narrates a simple tale of love lost and love won. That there is no love if there is no trust. Barfi born deaf and dumb and brought up by his dad is loved by all in the small town of Darjeeling. The town inspector is perpetually chasing him for the pranks he keeps playing unknowingly or knowingly. Shruti – the lovely doe-eyed rich girl moves into the town with her parents one fine day and Barfi falls in love with her at the first sight. Shruti is engaged but still starts falling for Barfi’s innocent charm – who wouldn’t? When her mother comes to know about her feelings, like any mother would , she advises her daughter about the perils of the relationship – Barfi is not only handicapped but also very poor. Shruti moves on and gets married but never finds love again. She then meets Barfi again in Kolkata after 6 years but this time he is with Jhilmil – his autistic childhood friend and seeing them both together Shruti realises what true love is all about. How Barfi gets together with Jhilmil, how he loses her, and how Shruti helps in him getting back with Jhilmil is what the rest of the movie is about.

There is no great story in the movie – it’s fairly straightforward but the best story-tellers can make the simplest of stories enthralling and you must give Anurag Basu credit where due. He takes us through the lovely locales of Darjeeling, the mini trains, the greenery, the Kolkatta of 70s and you fall in love for the first time.

Then we are introduced to Shruti – Illena gives a stellar performance in her first Hindi film. Her eyes (despite the highly irritating fake eyelashes) do all the acting – she expresses so beautifully through them that you do not feel the need for any dialogue from her end when she is communicating with Barfi. Her dilemma and confusion is heartfelt and not even once do we feel that her love for Barfi is out of sympathy for his disability. I don’t know if you agree but I found an uncanny resemblance between Illena and  Manisha Koirala of the 90s when she had made her debut – in movies like Saudagar and 1942 a Love Story – Illena’s innocent face and more importantly her eyes make her the perfect fit for playing Shruti.

I’m no Priyanka fan – if people are going to head to the theatres expecting that she has pulled off what Sridevi did in Sadma, please be prepared to be disappointed.  Of the 3 leading actors, Priyanka was always going to be the weakest link and she did not disappoint me on that aspect. Her portrayal of the autistic girl was a tad overboard, but I’m not complaining as she did well within her limited acting capabilities. In fact in couple of scenes she did manage to hold fort – especially the one where she gets Barfi back and stands in front of him not letting Illena come close to them or the last scene where she pats Illena assuring her that all will be well.

The supporting cast – especially Saurabh Shukla in the role of the inspector, Barfi’s best friend, father, and Roopa Ganguly as Shruti’s mom do a good job. Some might feel the movie drags in some places but the scenes have been shot so aesthetically and the characters speak less and emote more that I really did not care if it slacked a bit in pace.

But Barfi is really about Ranbir – it rides on his shoulders and he sails through with great aplomb. He pays a fine tribute to Charlie Chaplin in many moments in the movie and makes you smile and cry at the same time. He excels in each and every scene – be it comedy or tragic. When he first proposes Illena, when he learns that she is his engaged and goes back to asking her to be just friends, his every attempt to steal a glance of her, his constant pranks on the inspector, his attempts to get the 7000 Rs to pay for his father’s surgery be it the kidnapping or the bank robbery, his reaction to his first kiss, his realisation of why he will never be fit to be Shruti’s husband – that scene where he outrages – the only time that the ever hopeful guy feels he is hopeless is par excellence – Raj Kapoor would’ve been very very proud of his grandson. His attempts to entertain Jhilmil , taking care of her, and eventually falling in love with her and going to all lengths to find her. Ranbir as Barfi epitomises love in every sense of the word – his innocence is so endearing that you wonder why on earth would any girl not want to be with this guy despite his disabilities. The beauty of Barfi’s character is that his disability is incidental to the film and not the core plot of the theme – the movie is about love – falling in love, losing it, and winning it back.

Pritam has given a fantastic score that helps the movie move ahead – when I first heard the songs 3 weeks back only one song kept playing in a loop on my iPod

I did not give the rest a listen but after seeing the movie yesterday the entire album is playing in a loop on the iPod especially two numbers:

Sawaali Si Raat where Ranbir entertaining Jhilmil, helping her get over her fears & getting back her faith along with  Arijit’s rendition soothes your heart like no other song can.

I rarely rarely cry in my real life so forget crying at movies but Barfi had me misty eyed throughout. I literally broke down during the scene when Barfi gets Illena home and introduces her to Jhilmil. You can feel Illena’s heartbreak and Barfi’s joy when Arijit’s version of Phir Le Aaya Dil plays in the background. If you loved and chose to lose it and then saw him/her move on when you realised you wanted them back; you will identify with Illena. If you loved and lost and then found the one true love you have been waiting for; you would identify with Ranbir’s joy. I did not take to Arijit’s version of this song earlier but after seeing the scene in the movie it is playing in my head and on the ipod in an infinite loop!

I can hardly recollect any dialogue from the film but I can recollect so many scenes that touched my heart. The characters talk to us – through their face and through their eyes. You feel their pain and you live their joy.

Barfi is just so pure – yes in every aspect the film overflows with simplicity and purity and that is so rare to find these days in Bollywood films.

If you have experienced love – go relive it again with Barfi, if you have not fallen in love go watch Barfi to know how beautiful and painful it can be !

Why I shouldn’t have watched Cocktail!

This is my space to rant. So if you liked the Cocktail (Hindi) Movie don’t bother reading this post.

I’m to blame, I never learn. I let my friends do this to me – take me out for a movie I know is not going to be my money’s worth in the pretext that maybe I’ll find it timepass/enjoyable with them around. Twice now it has not worked – first Bodyguard  & now Cocktail.

Why should I even be excited about a Saif-Deepika film with an addition of Diana Penty? I did not like Love Aaj Kal – Deepika cannot act, talks in the same tone – be it a happy scene or an emotional scene and I fail to understand folks who call her an “actress” – she is drop dead gorgeous and it ends at that. Diana Penty – don’t tell me you don’t see the similarities she shares with Deepika, they’ll pass off in a twin sisters role any day. Saif – there are days that I like his movies, there are also days when his same old KHNH act gets repeated oh- so-often that it does not seem “cool” anymore.

You all know the story by now, you all have raved about how fabulous Deepika and Penty looked – yeah yeah I get it. What I don’t get is if I have to go and watch two ladies look good ( I’d rather watch a Fashion Show – which by the way has to be one of the most boring events ever conceptualized on this earth); why on earth would I watch them in a movie where they don’t know the basic thing that makes up a movie – good acting.

The movie did not have a storyline, crappy dialogues and characters that made no sense. The only believable character to me was that of Deepika, whom they completely ruined by transforming her into a sati-savitri, the girl-type that any Indian boy will love to take home to his parents. I would’ve given it to the director, if he had let Saif & Deepika be themselves and continue the “no strings attached” live-in relationship by not succumbing to parental pressure or the “true love” nonsense. That transformation from the hip-cool-modern to the eventual HAHK type was totally out of character. We don’t keep it real because we want to cater it to an audience across age-groups. I therefore give it to Shakun Batra of Ekk Main or Ekk Tu fame – he did not have Kareena fall in love with Imran, there was no conclusion to the story – because that’s how it is in real life. Love is not always reciprocated but yet people mature and remain friends.

I did not get Meera’s character at all – apparently a simple, middle class Punjabi girl, duped by the husband, lives with a stranger in an unknown land, does not like the idea of the best friend and guy having a fling and sleeping with each other, and then falls for the same characterless guy, and if that’s not enough seeks help from the husband who duped her to get away from the guy she is madly in love with! Which sane woman with a reasonable stable mind will do this? There wasn’t a single scene that showed the transformation of Meera’s hate towards Gautam to falling in love with him. A few crappy dialogues such as, ‘Every guy must be wondering what lies beneath all the clothes you wear, your pretty waist and smile were enough to woo her over?’ Or wait, was it the motherly affection showered by Gautam’s mom in giving the traditional bangle to her to-be- daughter-in-law that changed her mind. Marry the mom not the guy then!

As for Gautam let me not even get there – he hits on the client with that stupid line about love at first sight, and she succumbs to his lousy charm? No sensible woman (and she must be one since she was the boss in a firm) will do that – hand over a project cause the guy charmed her. Get real!

I enjoyed the movie only when Boman Irani and Dimple Kapadia were on screen. Those 10 minutes were a huge relief but not enough to save the disaster I was watching. The songs were good especially loved Daru Desi and Tumhi ho Bandhu – on a loop for quite some time on the iPod, but good songs don’t make a good film – take Delhi 6  for instance.

It took me sometime to believe that the guy who gave us “Being Cyrus” dealt such a low blow in the form of Cocktail. The movie was neither here nor there, driving home the same age old Bollywood crap about how sticking to tradition is the good thing, and how the party-crazy, alcohol drinking, one-night stand gal must reform if she needs a guy and marriage and all that is termed as the “good life”.

Blah – heard that before, seen it way too many times – give me a different Cocktail please – this combination has been done to death with!

The Rollercoaster Ride – Ferrari Ki Sawari

I have been an absolute sucker for Hrishida’s films. I don’t recollect the number of times I’ve watched his films – the classical common man, his struggles, his attitude to see the positives despite those struggles, the ever smiling characters, the films that epitomised that humanity is the strongest of all bonds in this world.

I grew up in the 80s and 90s where movies were a bit of disaster, then there was the KJo wave – the gloss, the glamour, the action movies got to me – the horror ! And then the 2000s saw some refreshing cinema hit the screens – dark movies, intelligent films, real films and then came the Rajkumar Hirani-Vidhu Vinod Chopra movies.

They are my generation’s movies that come close to HrishiDa’s genre of films. The Munnabhai Series, 3 Idiots and now Ferrari Ki Sawari. They are feel good, they are light-hearted, they are emotional, and they remind us of the simple middle-class folks whom we have forgotten exist in our world – we are chasing brands, we are chasing exotic vacations, showing off our fancy possessions, we are chasing the big bucks and job promotions, getting caught in the crazy rat race.

The simple common man is still chasing his small dreams and still knows the value of every little joy that life has to offer.

These movies take me back to my childhood and teenage days. I come from a simple Maharashtrian family where my parents strived hard to give me the best life. Being a late child I never really saw their early struggles, but when they did tell me it made me swell with pride seeing them in the place they got to from where they started. And though I may have done reasonably well now – the middle class roots help me keep grounded. There was joy in the simplest of things and that joy can never be bought even if you have millions of dollars.

This time around Rajesh Mapuskar, assistant director to Hirani in his previous movies takes us on a fun, emotional rollercoaster ride with Kayo and his Dad Rustom. The third wheel in this fun ride is the disgruntled grandpa Behram Deboo. Rustom is a head clerk in the RTO office – honest, sincere, obedient son, and a doting father. His son is his world and his son’s world is cricket and Rustom a.k.a Rusy will do his best to make his son’s dream a reality.

Kayo is the best player in the circuit but Rustom struggles to make ends meet and fund Kayo’s cricket – be it buying him a bat or a new pair of shoes. But the ever cheerful and happy son-father duo always look at the positive side of life and move on. Kayo gets a chance to be selected to a coaching camp in London but the fees are INR 150,000. There begins Rustom’s dilemma  – he wants his son to get the best opportunity but does not know how to raise the money in 2 weeks.

His EPF loan won’t come in quick time – a nice dig taken at the workings of Government and if any higher authorities watch this movie hopefully they take a lesson from this. He has to fight his grumbling dad Deboo who thinks cricket is a waste of time and is fighting with ghosts of his past. In this chaos he meets Babbu Didi – a wedding planner who needs a Ferrari for the wedding of a local corporator’s son. She suggests that if Rusy can get her the car on rent for 2 days she will pay him the 150,000 in cash.

Only one man in Mumbai owns this car and Rustom decides to go visit him and request him for the car – however Sachin Tendulkar is not at home to meet Rusy to grant his request . How Rusy gets the car and runs into a crazy adventure to fulfil his son’s dreams is what the whole movie is about.

The movie could’ve done with a bit of editing and deleting the melodrama at the end but those are too minor points to criticize the movie. Sharman Joshi steals your heart with his endearing, honest Rusy – you sail along with him – through his emotional turmoil, his struggle to to fulfil his son’s dreams, his constant endeavour to get back his father.

Then there is Boman Irani –a permanent in these movies, the villain with the heart of gold. He shines as the grumpy Grandpa, how his grandson’s talent turns him around – the scene is worth watching over and over again.

Seema Bharagava as Babbu Didi, Aakash Dabhade as Mohan the household help and Deepak Shirke as the Security Guard give fantastic performances and are responsible for all the laughter breaks in this crazy ride. The trio eases into their characters and this is probably what they say is “natural acting” – they are perfect fit for their roles  and the characters stay with you even after the movie is over.

But Kayo steals the show – you cheer him when he puts his pads on, you cry in anguish when he falls a run short of victory, you feel like smacking those corrupt cricket officials who won’t let him go ahead cause of politics, you along with his Dad Rusy, Grandpa Deboo, his coach, his best friend, his colony folks want to go to any lengths to get him to Lords.

His smile is like that of SRT – that just sealed it for me and now everytime Sachin takes strike be sure to hear this song play on your TV sets!


There are scenes in the movies that stay with you for long and get you thinking – the one where Rusy breaks the Red signal, the way Rusy gathers his savings to buy the 2800 Rs bat for his son in time for his match , the EPF loan story from Rusy’s boss at RTO, The honest traffic inspector who won’t think twice in towing the “big cars” off the roads, the MCA official Paresh Rawal who reminds us of the dirty politics that exist in the game (One of my best friends quit cricket despite being among the best owing to the politics). Rajesh Mapuskar keeps it real for most parts in the film

I don’t know about you but I identified with the film a lot – the characters & the struggles of a single parent – it touched my heart and it wooed me. I know the plot sounds a bit far-fetched but what the hell the execution is so smooth, you start thinking what if – what if !

I’ll probably hit the theatre again or wait for the DVD to hit the stands – this one goes in my prized collection – I’ll suggest you try this rollercoaster ride called Ferrari Ki Sawari atleast once!

P.S: Vidya Balan in a “lavani” item song is so wrong – if they wanted they could have just asked Amruta Khanvilkar or Sonali Kulkarni!


Has taken over my iPod since the last 2 days! Amit Trivedi as I have said time and again on this blog, is a freaking genius. I did not find a single song in the entire album to find fault with.

Aafaton Ke Parindey  is in sync with Trivedi’s earlier compositions Dilli & Aali Re genre from No One Killed Jessica – fast paced and some hard hitting rock.

Pareshaan by Shalmali will soon be topping the music charts – it is soulful and exhilarating. The chorus after a soft pause and Shalmali’s voice variations during the chorus leave you completely mesmerised

Chokra Jawaan should be a hit among the masses – Sunidhi totally owns the song. Ofcourse the chemistry with Vishal Dadlani is obvious – they seem to have had a ball singing this song.

I always thought Shreya Ghosal did an average job with her Chikni Chameli song and was probably not comfortable doing rustic numbers. She wipes off that performance with a stunner in Jhalla Wallah. The diction, the accent and the sensuous touch – I can’t wait to see the video. A song that fits in with the cult “Kajre Re” number. Listen to the song – the lyrics are hilarious – kudos to Kausar Munir

Amit Trivedi makes excellent use of the harmonium, tabla, dholki, dafli – the simplest musical instruments to keep the rustic tone in most songs – the brilliant use of chorus especially in Pareshaan and  Jhalla Wallah takes the songs to a different level.

But my favourite song of the album, and in my opinion will probably go on to become one of the cult songs of our generation is the enchanting title track. It starts off with a trumpet, then Javed Ali starts off softly , the tempo rises and comes down again and rises again and this goes on for 3.5 minutes and just when you are getting out of the trance, in comes Shreya for the last minute – striking a low pitch so melodious like only she could and in that one minute transcends all levels of the brilliance we know she is capable of. She with her low pitch and Javed Ali in his high pitch singing Ishaqzaade; I could just replay that last minute in an endless loop for the next few days and never get out of that magical trance.

If you haven’t already tuned into Ishaqzaade and the magic that Amit Trivedi has spun – I suggest you waste no more time and get listening to it right away.

My Mumma’s Chocolate Hero

This post was selected for BlogAdda’s Tangy Tuesday Picks


I called my mumma around 10.00 a.m today to check if she had heard the news. She obviously had no clue as she was her chirpy self when she answered my call. When I asked her if she had seen the news – she wondered what had happened; then I told her that Dev Anand had passed away. She didn’t react for a minute, I heard a sigh and then she said,

“Minu, he was my Chocolate Hero”.

I grew up knowing Dev Anand as the “Chocolate Hero”. It was difficult as a little girl to hear my mum call him that; because for me no one other than my Papa should have been her hero. What did I know of teenage crushes then and how long they lasted – Later I would eventually discover through my own crushes, that they last a lifetime.

I was even more amazed when my Papa joined in praising Dev Anand and his famous puff of hair. My mum tells me that my dad sported a small puff of hair, something similar if not exactly like that of Dev Anand. And yes, as a 25 year old in his black and white snap (as seen here on the left) – Papa would’ve given the Bollywood heroes a run for their money.

My parents were huge fans of the terrific trio – Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand; they who ruled the Indian Cinema in the Golden Era of 50s & 60s. I doubt there is a movie they have missed watching. My parents were also huge music aficionados. Their most treasured possession is the huge collection of Gramophone records and the record player. Mum tells me even today that there is no charm in my Walkman, Cassette, CDs, iPod – nothing beats her Gramophone player. Yes, the real charm lay in her record player.

I was a late child so my parents were almost a decade elder to most of my friends’ parents; the nostalgia they were associated with and I grew up with was different from that of my friends.

I woke up every morning to the voice of Lata,Asha,Kishore,Rafi,Manna Dey, Hemant Da. Morning time was my mumma and papa’s music time – going about the house chores and getting ready to work to the melodies of 50-70s. I grew up with that music and my mom’s lovely voice. It’s a tragedy she never pursued her singing seriously.

So even though I was a 80s kid – the golden era of Indian cinema and music was ingrained in me more than the music of my generation. 70s-80s were full of insane action movies and the romance that my parents grew up with was utterly lacking or missing in those films. 80s were also by far the worst time for Bollywood music – only did the advent of Khans and romance in 90s change that bit.

I’ve not seen all of the famous trio’s films but my parents have. Every time I went about praising the movies of my generation – my mom got back raving about films of her generation and I always lost the debate to her. No one in my family won an argument against my Papa, so me getting to win one against the movies of his generation was next to impossible. They always told me that the films made in the 50s-60s were way ahead of their time, it was a mature  and classy cinema that tackled issues involving all strata of society. Over the years though, mumma and I have come to an amicable agreement that Bollywood has changed and made some excellent movies in my time.

The one thing though I never debated with them was the music of the 50s-60s. The fact that those songs are first remembered while playing Antakshari is a testimony to their popularity across generations. The melody is not the same anymore, it was pure in those days – no digitized voices or mixes – just the true souls of the lyricists, music directors and singers that came together to produce unadulterated melody that has lasted many a lifetimes.

There was no doubt that Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand were all very handsome, good-looking men but Dev Anand fitted the bill of the romantic hero to perfection – the first romantic hero of Indian cinema as Mum always said. He brought alive the voices of Rafi and Kishore on screen. He probably got their best songs and he did great justice to them – romancing the ladies, romancing nature and romancing love itself. Dev Anand epitomized Romance. His mischievous smile, his twinkling eyes, his puff of hair –  how could you not love him?

He gave us so many memorable songs and movies that this post will run into a multiple pages citing them all and the reasons why I’ve grown to love them.

CID, Paying Guest, Hum Dono, Teen Deviyan, Guide, Jewel Thief, Johnny Mera Naam, Kaala Pani, Baazi, Patita,Taxi Driver, Munimji, Nav Do Gyarah, Bambai Ka Babu, Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hain, Asli-Naqli, Tere Mere Sapne – My parents collection in their Gramophone Records  that is today transferred to my iPod. These are eternal classics, they remain an integral part of their teenage and youth and later my childhood.

Among all though my all-time favourite romantic song is “Abhi Na Jao Chod Kar”


No other song comes close to it. Rafi’s voice and Dev Anand’s on screen acting makes you go weak in the knees. I listen to it almost every day – the song remains mesmerizing to this day.

Teenage crushes are tough to get over; when I drool over the chocolate hero of my generation – Aamir Khan, my mum snubs me reminding me that hers was incomparable, that there was and will always be only one Chocolate Hero

Her Chocolate Hero – The First One- The Original – The Evergreen Dev Anand.

RIP Dev Saab – You touched a million hearts across generations!

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