Saturday, December 30, 2006

MEMORIES… A POST HEAVILY ‘INSPIRED’ (IN TRUE BOLLYWOOD FASHION) BY MAJA

I’ve just been over to Maja’s blog, and she has some wonderful retrospective posts (with, as usual, awesome pictures) about what this year has been like for her, in terms of both Bollywood and blogging.

As it’s the end of the year and I’m feeling a bit warm and fuzzy today (must revel in it while it lasts), and also because I think Maja’s idea is absolutely brilliant (and the best tribute to a good idea is to emm… ‘borrow’ it), I’m going to do a little reminiscing and recapping of my own… although, needless to say, this post will be much more uninteresting and less cool than Maja’s.

2006 is my first year as a blogger, and I’m still fairly new on the block. I’ve been blogging for a few months now, and my last post was my thirtieth on this blog. I’ve really enjoyed blogging, it’s been a lot of fun (and a huge learning experience). I think my Bollywood blog has enhanced my love for and delight in Bollywood movies. I crack myself up, remember things I’ve really loved (or hated) about the movies I’ve seen, talk about my observations with others, and generally just have a lot of fun. Another really cool thing about becoming a ‘Bollyblogger’ has been the opportunity to discover and read brilliant blogs by other Bollywood-lovers.

I had just set up my other blog while, in the course of wandering aimlessly around blogworld, I stumbled upon Akshaye’s girlfriend’s blog. I’d been there before, in its infancy, when Beth had seen only a few Bollywood movies, and was thrilled to see how much it had grown and how much Beth really does love Bollywood. After reading some of her posts, I thought to myself, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to have a Bollywood blog dedicated to your current Bollywood favourite person, Dharmendra?’ So Beth, thanks for the inspiration. (Do I have NO original ideas of my own?)

Beth (via her sidebar) turned me on to other fantastic blogs which have now become frequent pitstops for me: Hrithik’s girlfriend’s blog, Abhishek’s girlfriend’s blog, Jhaji’s blog, Sheetal’s blog, Aparna’s blog and others. From that point, I discovered many other brilliant blogs – see my sidebar for my full (and ever-increasing) list of faves – most recently the-Shabana-Azmi-fan’s fantastic site. It’s been a lot of fun – but I think I’ve said that already. I love reading these bloggers’ news, reviews, views and impressions – both when they are similar to mine (sometimes uncannily so) and when they’re totally different (like: "What? You really don’t like….? I love it/him/her".)

It’s been a big Bollywood year for me – I’ve seen a LOT more Bollywood movies than I did last year, and I’ve learnt a lot more about Bollywood – although I’m still pretty much an ignoramus in many ways. I realise that there’s a lot about Indian film that’s inaccessible to me because of language and cultural differences (although I’ve found some parallels between my culture and Indian culture). While I’m a big fan of the whole ‘so much of our human experience is universal’ idea, I also recognize and enjoy the existence of that wonderful, complex thing called diversity.

Sometimes I wonder if I sound shallow and dumb (and quite possibly irritating) to any ‘authentic’ Bollywood fans (people who see the ‘big picture’ and appreciate all the contextual background stuff) who may stumble upon my blog. It’s something I wonder about now and again – have I become one of those annoying people who try to fit in ‘by force’ (Nigerian-ism for doing something ‘at all costs’, even when it’s not even working), and who then proceed to turn into insufferably arrogant creatures who think they know more about the lay of the land than its inhabitants? (A guy I met during my studies in England who’d spent a year working in Africa, and proceeded to spend over an hour trying to convince me that he knows more about Africa than I do, readily springs to mind…he was such a prat!)

Well, if I have fallen into the trap of becoming an ‘irritee’ on this blog, I guess my only defence is that it was unintentional. The aim of my blog is to express a very particular perspective on Bollywood – that of a Nigerian twenty-something (with certain personal preferences and probably a few unacknowledged prejudices) who just happens to adore Bollywood. I’ve tried to keep things as light-hearted and 'me' as possible, and to own up to my high level of ignorance (I’m just a Bollywood fangirl, enthusiast, aficionado and addict – I’d say I was a ‘buff’ too, except I hate that word. I’m definitely no connoisseur). Anyway, please do forgive (and feel free to correct in future) any slip-ups I may have made in this area.

In her post, Maja put up her 5 favourites ('hall of fame') and 5 least favourite ('hall of shame') Bollywood movies for 2006. I tried to do that, but it was too hard! I was coming up with like 10 movies in each category. So, being a lazy girl today, I’m going to do only one each.

‘DON – THE CHASE BEGINS AGAIN’: Seeing ‘Don’ (2006) was the high point of my Bollywood year, NOT because it was the best Bollywood movie I saw this year (it wasn’t – but don’t ask me which was), NOT because it stars one of my favourites (although I do love my SRK), and NOT even because I really, really enjoyed it (although I did – I absolutely loved it – but I enjoyed a few others more). It’s the high point because it marked a number of ‘firsts’ for me. It was the first Bollywood movie I’d ever seen on the big screen, which is a whole different experience from watching DVDs at home. It was the first movie (of any kind) I’d ever seen in a Nigerian cinema, which was long overdue. It was also the first time I met my fellow Nigerian-fan-of-all-things-Indian, which was very cool, because she’s a sweetheart. It was a very memorable afternoon, and I look forward to others like it in 2007.

‘INSANIYAT’: Watching the first 5 minutes of ‘Insaniyat’ (starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sunny Deol and just about everyone else in Bollywood) was pure torture – and hence the low point of my Bollywood year. I just couldn’t watch any more of it… which is very unusual for me, because I HATE to not finish a book or a movie. But after just 5 minutes of watching a tired-looking Amit-ji kicking bad guys’ behinds in ‘Insaniyat’, I completely gave up and NEVER plan to continue. It was that painful. So ‘Insaniyat’ joins ‘Pyaar Kya To Darna Kiya’ on the illustrious list of Bollywood movies I’ve been unable to finish. I usually ‘never say never’, but… NEVER!!!

So, it’s been an interesting, educative, and most of all a FUN, FUN, FUN (till my Daddy takes my T-Bird away) year in Bollywood for me… to sum up:

I’ve seen some really good movies
(And some awful ones)
I’ve ‘met’ lots of cool people
And read lots of cool blogs
I’ve had (more than) my fair share of crushes
And I know this is a very crappy poem so I’ll end it here –
All that’s really left to say is: ‘Bring on 2007!!’


(PS: My copy of ‘Chupke Chupke’ just arrived…yayy!)

8 comments:

Maja said...

Happy New Year :) May 2007 be an even better Bolly-year for us than 2006 was!
I'm glad someone managed to do the whole retrospective thing properly, I - as usual - ran out of time, I was going to do at least one more post before 2007, but oh well ...

Also, it might be lame, but I looove being referred to as "Abhishek's girlfriend" *giggles* Thank you and please, do feel free to do it again at any time :D

carla said...

Hey, thanks for mentioning me. I do like other actors too you know! ;-) I've even seen some of their films. :D I guess my loyalties are a tad on the transparent side - perhaps I should have followed your lead and gone for iloveloveloveshabanaazmi.net instead of filmigeek.net . :)

I've been blogging for a while but I only put up my Bolly-blog a couple of months ago, and the best thing about it has been the expanding circle of thoughtful Bolly-blogs it has helped me to discover - like yours! Thanks for the fun and have a prosperous and joyous 2007!

Beth said...

Aside from getting to be referred to as Akshaye's girlfriend - by others, if not by the man himself - I am in complete agreement that meeting other people and discussing movies with them (and making new friends in the process, of course), is by far the best part of the written face of my filmy love. Happy new year to one and all!

Oh, and making your blog "you" is the only way to go - none of us would read anything if we all sounded like anyone else! :)

Aparna said...

A very happy new year to you...and a cool list that was..thanks for mentioning my name :)
'See' more of you this year...

Daddy's Girl said...

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Angela G. Skylar said...

I love Kajol and Shahrukh together too. And they really are good friends in real life. Have you seen them on Koffee with Karan, they have such a good time together...if you havn't seen the show, youtube it, I'm sure you'll enjoy it!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a Nigerian. I applaud your diversity in your choice of films. Kudos! I like your take on the various movies of different cultures.
I actually stumbled across your page while trying to reminisce over Ann Patrice ferrar

Daddy's Girl said...

Angela G Skylar - Missed that comment until now, and you probably don't come here anymore, but on the off-chance you ever do, I miss your blog! The translated dialogues were awesome!

Anonymous - Thanks so much, reading your comment on this post really took me back to when I started this blog... seems like light years away! But definitely good times! So much has happened since then, but I still love my Bollywood movies. Thanks for stopping by.