Saturday, January 17, 2009


I'm back even sooner than I thought I'd be, to talk about something that's been on my mind... that thing being the moment when I recognise the 'hotness'... the moment when I look at an actor and realise that he's not just good-looking, he's very, very hot! I'm laughing at myself right now... such frivolous subject matter, I know, but it feels like it's been a while since I've been utterly frivolous around here (and even if it hasn't, humour me, please).

'Hotness', I think, is such a subjective, flimsy thing - so many people in Bollywood are good-looking, sometimes exceptionally so... but I don't always find them hot - and usually right not off the bat. One notable exception to this rule was Dharmendra (of course) who totally had me at hello. But it's more usually the case with me that I see a particular actor in a few films before I see him looking a particular way (whether it has to do with wardrobe, styling, physique, or even just his demeanour - the way he stands, speaks or walks) that just strikes me as hot. Another notable exception to this rule: Ajay Devgan, whose hotness I've raved about before, in near-embarrassing detail (now if only he'd lay off the hair dye...).

But back to my point about it usually taking a minute for me to 'recognise the hotness'... let me provide a few cases to illustrate (who am I kidding, this is just an elaborate excuse to look for pictures of hot men and put them on my blog so I can smile at them later)... I've always thought John Abraham was an extremely attractive young man (those gorgeous brown eyes, that beautiful smile!), but I didn't feel even a flicker of hotness where he was concerned until 'Salaam-e-Ishq' (yup, I didn't even feel it in 'Dhoom' - felt Abhishek totally pipped him to the post in that one) - and that flicker only burst into flame with 'Dostana'.

There are two reasons why I finally find John hot (and no, the massive muscle growth isn't one of them - it's not really my thing).

One is his haircut - the man has always had great looking hair (you almost want to touch it), but he hasn't always done great-looking things with it. I was elated when he cut it short for 'Goal'... am SO loving him with short hair, I hated that floppy cut he had in his awful 'Aetbaar' days. The second thing is the confidence and comfort he seems to slowly be developing onscreen - John seems more relaxed these days (although I feel he still has a ways to go), and that's very appealing. I used to feel such a disconnect between the laidback, ultra-cool guy I saw in interviews and this stiff, contained, over-eager, overly-serious person he seemed to be on screen - now he seems to be streamlining the 'two Johns' into one, and I am loving it...

Now, I love John with short hair, but it's the other way round with Arjun Rampal. Once upon a time, I found him very pretty but also rather bland and/or boring to look at (Exhibit A: 'Dil Ka Rishta'. Exhibit B: 'Yakeen'), but then he grew out those locks for his role in 'Don' (2006) and I had to do an about-face and look again... and again, when he played the sexy bad guy in 'Om Shanti Om' (they kinda ruined his character in the second half, but he was still pretty hot); and now, even though I haven't yet seen 'Rock On' (can't wait though), the pictures of him with all that hair... well, let's just say, kabhi khushi, kabhi khushi, khushi, khushi....

Speaking of kabhi khushi, there's Shahrukh Khan... where to start? My first encounter with SRK was with his annoying Raj in 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge' - and although I ended up enjoying the film, I wasn't feeling the hotness at the time at all... since then though, I've felt it, many, many, many times... at the moment, my favourite is his lean, rangy, angst-ridden, stubbliciousness in 'Chak De! India'... swoon.

Bad 90s fashion aside, I even find him hot in a lot of his older flicks. Really, I could go on and on, but yeah, suffice it to say that I now think he's seriously hot.

Well, I think I've given enough examples of recognising the hotness for one day (and have looked at enough gorgeous pictures in the process)... other names spring to mind - Vinod Khanna (he very nearly stole my heart, but Dharam beat him to it), Amitabh Bachchan (most especially as the bad boy in 'Deewaar'), Dilip Kumar (yes, Dilip Kumar), and even Shahid Kapoor (I blame 'Jab We Met'), and oh my goodness, I haven't even mentioned Abhishek or Hrithik.... but I think I feel a fever coming on - with all this talk of hotness, I'm burning up - and so I will depart now and (hopefully!) come back with something suitably grown-up next time....

Friday, January 16, 2009


At the end of 2007, I made some resolutions for the year 2008 on this blog. I took action on most of them, but came up with one glaring deficit... with regard to my resolution to do more blogging on Bollywood in 2008. That one I really fell down on, and so there will be no embarrassing resolutions of that kind for 2009! I can’t help but say, though, that I have a feeling that I’ll do a lot more ‘Bolly-blogging’ this year than I did last year. I’m not sure why, but I think I will be more inspired.

2008 was not quite as much fun as 2007 when it came to Bollywood movies. I watched quite a few Hindi films, but was underwhelmed and uninspired by a lot of them. On the bright side, I made a fabulous new Bollywood-movie-watching friend. The really cool thing is that we see each other almost daily, and get along unbelievably well, so we spend many hours together, talking about a wide range of subjects, among them Hindi films (of course).

She’s very opinionated, and she’s also amazingly knowledgeable about Hindi movies (she knows about a gazillion times what I do about Bollywood). Interestingly, there’s very little that we agree upon (she can’t stand SRK! She thinks the gorgeous Rani is quite ordinary-looking! She isn’t fond of films from the 60s and 70s! She detests the big B, and is singularly unimpressed by the immensely talented Jaya Bhaduri! In short, we are almost polar opposites).

Despite our rather pronounced differences, we:

· have incredibly stimulating – and sometimes very silly – discussions about Bollywood (I don’t think there’s anything we haven’t touched, from writing treatments of our fantasy Bollywood scripts, to creating our dream (and nightmare) jodis (real life and fictional), to endless debates on relative hotness, to coming up with elaborate conspiracy theories on every new development in the industry);

· go to see movies together (she loved 'Ghajini', was mildly amused by ‘Singh Is Kinng’, found ‘Race’ as ridiculous as I did, thought ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ was highly irritating, and, despite her strong dislike of Ash, enjoyed the epic scope of ‘Jodhaa Akbar’);

· watch DVDs together at home (and now the cry ‘Koola Laaka Vellari!’ is indelibly imprinted upon my brain); and

· make fun of people like Himesh Reshammaiya, Luv Sinha, Rahul Bose, K-Jo and Sonam Kapoor together.

It’s been such great fun! We always have a laugh, and getting to know her was definitely one of the Bollywood-related highlights of my 2008. There were others, some of which I did find time to blog about in the course of the year, and I’m definitely looking forward to many more this year. One very, very extra-special one will involve a real-life wedding, an utterly stunning bride, glowing with happiness beside her handsome groom; and a rendition of a beautiful song from a Hindi film... I can’t wait!

I will be back soon... until then, ‘hum hain rahi pyaar ke, phir milenge, chalte chalte’ (such a shame about ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’! It just didn’t hit the right notes!)