Monday, June 29, 2009

AN ENCOUNTER IN A LIFT...

Ever wondered what would happen if 10 Bollywood A-listers got into the same lift and embarked on a very slow journey from the ground floor to the top floor of the Bollyworld Building? Well, this rather unlikely event happened in one of my recent fantasies… and this is what ensued...

I am leaving out the names of the protagonists… you get to guess who said what…


No. 1 (on her cellphone): Aarrrgghhh!!! I am so stressed out… my schedules have been so hectic! I’m so tense!!! I really need a break. I was thinking about a fabulous shopping spree, or maybe a spa break, but No. 3 says he’d rather go skiing! Skiing? Can you imagine? I’m like, skiing frantically up and down some booorrrrinnng resort is the last thing I need right now!

No. 2 (shaking her head with disgust): Keep it down yaar! We don’t care about your shopping trips or spa breaks or whatever! Spoilt brat! And if you’re going to yak on and on like this when we start shooting soon, I might have to consider pulling out of this film… although I would really hate to do that to my darling No. 4…

No. 3 (adjusting his bandana): And also, No. 1, would you mind not complaining about me to your friends? And right in front of me too?

No. 4 (holding out his arms in a very ‘spontaneous’ pacifying gesture): Come on guys, we are all members of the same film fraternity. We love each other! And No. 2, you know you won’t pull out of my film, darling – you and No. 1 will be dynamite together on the big screen, darling, and you know it!

No. 5 (practising her poses in front of the mirror): I don’t know why you think anyone would be interested in seeing this film, No. 4! I mean, these are actresses of the older generation. They are like aunties to me. People want to see younger, trendier people on the big screen – you know that, right? People like… me. Even my dad always hides his age and pretends to be younger than he really is for this same reason. But please, although I know you must now be regretting casting these two dinosaurs, do not even thinking of casting me in your film. I only do films I strongly believe in and work with genius directors… not commercial suck-ups like you.

No. 2 (lifting her eyebrow): If that dinosaur thing was a dig at me, No. 5, don’t be so na├»ve. There are very few actresses that have the longevity that I have – that can go away for a few years and then come back and have a superhit film. The world appears to be at your feet now, but very soon you’ll be forced to eat humble pie. Just look at….

No. 6 (flexing his pecs): Me. Just look at me. I can’t believe I have to work so hard for recognition these days. Once upon a time, I was the toast of the industry. Now I have to engage in fights with other guys in the industry, make up fake relationship troubles, randomly hop on auto-rickshaws after weddings, even do the whole TV-show-host thing in a bid to get more airtime….

No. 7 (fluttering her lashes): Speaking of which, No. 6, can I be on your show, please? Please?? I love you so much… I’m your biggest fan… in fact, your super-sized posters are all over my bedroom…. And you know I am now a bona fide star in this industry, everyone is comparing my performance in my Hindi film debut to No. 2’s performance in….

No. 2 (rolling her eyes): Chup! Shut up! You are only a pale imitation of me at the moment. You certainly have potential, but if you spend all your time following No. 6 around (much as I love him and have always enjoyed working with him), you’ll end up with a boring, unchallenging career… kinda like….

No. 8 (trying hard not to look at No. 6): Hey, don’t say it. Please! Don’t ‘take her name’! Please watch what you say about my friend – we really bonded during our recent film together. I mean, with all due respect to you, she’s so much more than just a pretty face.

No. 6 (taking off his shirt in a fury): Kya? Why are you defending my girlfriend? Are you saying I’m not man enough to stand up for her? Are you spoiling for a fight, you idiot? Don't you remember what happened to the last guy that took me on? His career has gone down the tubes! Come on, let’s take this outside!

No. 4 (managing just in time to restrain himself from touching No. 6’s bare chest): Come on No. 6, come on guys. We are all part of the same Hindi film fraternity. Even when we fight, we love each oth—

No. 6: Shut up No. 4, what gives you the right to talk? I’m pissed off at you as well. Ever since my fantastic performance in your debut film, you haven’t cast me in anything else. Don’t you know I am a much better hero than that loser, traitor and fraud you keep using over and over?? And this idiot No. 8? Trying to pass him off as the latest hot and shirtless young stud in your last production was the ultimate insult to me….

No. 4 (quivering with equal measures of fear and excitement): So sorry No. 6… y-y-you know how much I respect your talents and….

No. 9 (snapping his fingers ever so coolly): Yeah, No. 6, come on, take a chill pill. You’re really scaring No. 4 and No. 8. You know, we really do all love you. Even I have never had anything but love for you, despite the fact that you emotionally, mentally and even possibly physically abused my wife back when you were dating… I’ve got nothing but love for you, dude!

No 10 (closing his eyes in ecstasy and running his fingers through his wig): Speaking of love… this is amazing. I mean, I love you all. 100 per cent. I feel so excited and inspired in the presence of all you huge stars. Thank you for blessing me. I feel so inspired – 100 per cent. In fact, I have just composed a song in honour of all of you great stars… please listen as I begin to sing it in humblest of tones…. Taaahhhhhhhnnnnnrrreeeeehhhhhnnnnnn ihhhhhhnnnnnnnnn elllleeeehhhhhnnnnnvaaayyyyyyyytoooorrrrrhhhhhhhhhnnnnnnn.

No. 1 (pounding on the lift’s doors): Waaaahhhhhhhh! Darwaza kholo!!!!


I know... no need to say it... I’m ridiculous. But I actually really enjoyed doing this... see you again soon(ish)....

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

FLASHBACKS AND GRATITUDE... and Random Screencaps

Yay, my 100th post!

It's about time... back in 2006 when I started this blog, it was so great to have a space in which to indulge my fledgling love for Dharmendra and growing love for Bollywood... I 'attacked' this blog with such gusto, pouring forth my thoughts in words that now seem slightly childish (but sweet! LOL), unenlightened and over-eager to me... and I loved it. I loved writing about these movies and people I was growing to love so much, and most of all, I loved hearing from Dharmendra-fans and Bollywood-fans from all over the world. I really treasure the lovely emails and comments I've received from people who are passionate about Hindi cinema and their (and my) favourite hero. What a joy!

Back then, my blog posts were fairly regular, and that continued for most of 2007 as well. In 2008 though, I posted much less frequently, and that trend has continued into this year. While I'm not sure I'll ever get back to the heady, exciting days of '06 and '07, when I just couldn't wait to put my thoughts down after watching a Bollywood film, I'm not quite ready to hang my Bollyblogging boots up, either.

I still love this little spot, and I still love writing about Bollywood and Dharmendra. And even when I'm not actively blogging, I'm constantly keeping up to date on my favourite Bollyblogs, and it's great to see that many of the Bollybloggers who inspired me to start writing about Bollywood are still blogging with as much gusto and enthusiasm as ever. It's also pretty great to see so many awesome new bloggers join the ranks. The best thing about Bollyblogging for me is definitely the sense of sharing and community.

So I'd like to say a special 'Dhanyavaad' to everyone who's stopped by here... thank you SO MUCH for sharing this experience with me, for your comments (always so delightful - enlightening, funny, challenging, inspiring, fun, informative), your emails, and just for taking the time...

... here's to my next 100 (and let's hope it doesn't take almost 3 years to crank 'em out!)

And now to an idea I borrowed from Veracious, whose cool and fabulous blog ...So They Dance, is one of my faves... this young Finnish blogger is smart, witty, insightful and always fun to read... she once did a really cool post with random Bollywood-related pictures from her computer... so I thought it might be fun to share some of my thousands of screencaps and say a little bit about them... so here they are, selected by the highly scientific method of eenie-meenie-manie-mo....

Neetu Singh in 'Chorni' (recommended by Memsaab Story)... I love Neetu... she is so gorgeous - I love her eyes, and she is always so watchable. She is really great at comedy, and this is why 'Chorni' is such a great watch. It's a shame her career was so short-lived, but I'm glad she left behind gems like this one. She still looks rather fabulous these days, when, as opposed to talking about her acting talent, everyone's talking about her thinly-veiled comments on Deepika Padukone's unsuitability for her darling Ranbir....

The beautiful Bipasha Basu in 'Aetbaar'... now this was such a horrendously bad film... everyone in it sucked (yes, even the Big B) - don't even get me started on John Abraham's awfulness in this film (bloodshot eyes, sweatiness and forced trembling do not an obsessed villain make). Bipasha was totally and hopelessly miscast (and I see she is yet to learn her lesson - why oh why did she ever think that doing 'Aa Dekhen Zara' opposite Neil Nitin Mukesh (talk about a match made in... the other place) was a good career choice??) I do love Bipasha, she's gorgeous and so charismatic, but I really wish she picked better roles - roles that suit her dusky, exotic looks and her bold, in-your-face persona (as in 'Corporate' and 'Omkara' - and to a significant extent, even 'Bachna Ae Haseeno')... but then again, perhaps the pickings are slim....

The stunning Shabana Azmi in 'Arth'... what a great performance! She owned her role in this film and grabbed my attention from start to finish with a gutsy, visceral turn... there's only one Ms Azmi.... Filmi Geek, the ultimate Shabana fan, recommended this movie, and I love it....


Shashi Kapoor, in his bhaiyya Raj's film 'Awaara'... how cute was he? I wonder if he ever thought back then that he would become a movie star in his own right? I love 'Awaara'... Raj and Nargis were tremendous... I need to watch it again soon.


Abhishek Bachchan, looking too cool for school in 'Bluffmaster'... I love this film - Abhishek and Riteish are fabulous. Boman is pretty good too... and Piggy Chops, well... she doesn't ruin the movie or anything. Abhishek is so great at comedy... love him in fun films like this one and 'Bunty Aur Babli'....


Umm, who is this? in 'Chori Chori Chupke Chupke'... I honestly don't know who she is, but she looks gorgeous, doesn't she? Hence the screencap. Anyway, if I remember correctly, she played the dulhan, Rani's friend, at the wedding where Rani and Sallu Chacha meet for the first time at the start of the movie... and sparks fly! I remember the fabulous song 'No 1 Punjabi' from this wedding as well... I had to find it and listen to it again after watching the film. 'Chori Chori Chupke Chupke' is a weird film - I thought the storyline was ridiculous and disturbing, and I'm not sure I could watch it again, but I also think Rani, Preity and Salman all did a pretty good job in it... if I recall correctly, Preity even scored a couple of awards....


Madhuri Dixit proving she still had 'it' in spades in 'Dil To Pagal Hai'... I adore Madhuri - she is an absolutely divine dancer, such a professional, smart, articulate, and stunning to boot! I LOVE her. Anyway, here she is with one of her landmark roles of the 90s... while I think she did a very good job with her rather straitlaced (and actually quite boring) character in this film, for me the real star of DTPH was an energetic, fiery and determined Karisma Kapoor... Lolo heated up the screen for me... even Madhuri couldn't keep up (although that dance-off was FIERCE - both Madz and Lolo won, in my opinion)... and SRK was the weakest of the trio (I love him, but he was).


Another of my all-time favourites, Jaya Bhaduri, in the oh-so-charming 'Guddi'... 'Guddi' is one of those films that it's impossible for a Dharam fan not to love, but it really is Jaya's film from start to finish. I love this woman's acting so much, and I could watch her all day... I loved her in this scene - the lively young girl subdued, awkward, on the cusp of something strange and new....


And finally...
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'... back when Ash and Sallu were still on speaking terms... if you haven't read Filmi Girl's fantastic two-part write-up on HDDCS (first part here), you're missing out on something wonderful... it reminded me of all the good things about this movie, and one of them is Sanjay Leela Bhansali's really lush, luxurious, gorgeous aesthetic... I want a bedroom just like this one!

This was fun... I might do it again sometime - I have an almost embarrassing number of screencaps and these aren't particularly the ones I love best... which one of the above was your favourite?