We talk about minorities in India but are strangely unaware of the existence of the same in neighbouring Pakistan. Even before Independence Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Jews and Christians existed in undivided India. There was large scale migration/exodus post partition (gadar) on either side. Despite being unofficially classified as ‘terror state’, where cricket with India is played on a war level and religious tensions abound (even among Muslims like Ahmediyas, Baha’i, Muhajirs and Shia-Sunni), there is a section among minorities that has carved out a niche for themselves and contributed to the making of Pakistani state and bringing it honours. The country too has honoured them.
“Hindu” is derived from Sindhu (Indus river considered holy) in Pakistan. The land has played an important part in the origin of Hinduism. Hindus may be small numerically (once 20%, now they are mere 1.85%) but Pakistan has fifth largest population. Sindh played an important role in Mahabharata. Legend has it that Lahore city was founded by Luv and Kasur by Kush (both sons of Ram). Cities Peshawar and Multan have Sanskrit roots. Hindus’ contribution towards the making of Pakistan can never be negated.
Bollywood actors like Prithviraj Kapoor (Samudri, Faislabad), Raj Kapoor (Peshawar), Dev Anand (Shakargarh, Gurdaspur, Punjab), Sunil Dutt (Khurd, Jhelum, Punjab), Raaj Kumar (Balochistan) were born in Pakistan. Indian politicians Manmohan Singh (Gah, Punjab), IK Gujral (Jhelum Punjab) and LK Advani (Karachi) too were born in Pakistan. Cricketer Lala Amarnath was raised in Lahore.
Recently Kareena Kapoor (great grand daughter of Prithviraj Kapoor) set a new benchmark by being the modelling face of Pakistan. She charged a cool Rs 3 crore to Firdaus Cloth Mills to launch their lawn summer collection shot in Dubai. Money makes her face west to her ancestors’ birthplace. Even Bollywood movies have paid their own tribute to Pakistan apart from the war and sports sagas. Consider Lahore (1949, Nargis, Karan Dewan), Lahore (2010) and Shoot On Sight (2008, Om Puri). Pakistanis too made Khuda Ke Liye (2007, Naseeruddin Shah) and Ramchand Pakistani (2008, Nandita Das).
The founding fathers of Pakistan had their ancestral roots in Hinduism, who were all converts from Hinduism. M A Jinnah (71, I Governor-General of Pakistan) was born to Mithibai and Jinnahbhai Poonja, who moved from Gujarat to Sindh. His grandfather was Poonja Gokuldas Meghji, a Hindu Bhatia Rajput from Paneli village, Gondal state, Kathiawar. Jinnah's ancestors were Hindu Rajput who converted to Islam.
Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s (60, national poet of Pakistan and writer of Saare Jahan Se Achchha) father Shaikh Nur Muhammad was a prosperous tailor. His grand father Sahaj Ram Sapru moved to Sialkot after conversion to Islam.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (51, PPP founder, 4th President, 9th Prime Minister) was born to Khursheed Begum née Lakhi Bai and Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto. Sir Shah, the son of Ghulam Murtaza Bhutto, was born into a Rājpūt family that had accepted Islām.
Minority Hindus have played a significant role in making a name for themselves and bringing laurels to the country historically, culturally and politically. Anop Ravi (cricketer), Bherulal Balani (politician), Rana Bhagwandas (former acting Chief Justice Of Supreme Court), Krishan Bheel (politician), Ashok Chandwani (India-born, Pakistan-bred, Canadian journalist), Anil Dalpat (first Hindu to play test cricket), Brojen Das (East Pakistan first Asian to swim across English Channel four times), Dhirendranath Datta (East Pakistan lawyer politician), Sobho Gianchandani (social scientist, writer), Khatumal Jeevan (politician), Jogendra Nath Mandal (first Minister of Law & Labour), Danish Kaneria (cricketer), Lal Kumar (cricketer), Amar Lal (Prime Minister’s advisor to minority affairs), Ramesh Lal (PPP politician), Deepak Perwani (fashion designer), Naveen Perwani (amateur snooker player), Rajesh Ramesh (cricketer), Haresh Sharma (playwright, born in Singapore to Pakistani parents), Rana Chandra Singh (politician), Rana Prasad (Soda Rajput ruler) and Surendar Valasai (first journalist in English).
Harcharan Singh is the first Sikh officer to be recruited in the Pakistan Army on 27 October 2007. Raja Tridev Roy is a former raja of the Chakma tribes Chittagong in Bangladesh and a Pakistani writer, religious leader and politician. He is a federal minister for life and lives in Islamabad and leads the Pakistani Buddhist community. Prominent Parsis, who have contributed towards Pakistan are Byram Dinshawji Awari (businessman), Minocher Bhandara (businessman), Ardeshir Cowasjee (columnist), Aban Marker Kabraji (biologist, scientist), Jamsheed Marker (diplomat), Deena M Mistri (educationist), Dorab Patel (former Justice of Supreme Court), Bapsi Sidhwa (author) and Godrej Sidhwa (religious instructor).
Pakistan's first Christian Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court was Justice A. R. Cornelius. Distinguished fighter pilot in the Pakistan Air Force is Peter O'Reilly. Cricketer Yousuf Youhana has recently converted to Islam and is called Mohammad Yousuf. In Britain, the Bishop emeritus of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali is a Pakistani Christian. Anthony Theodore Lobo (bishop), Joseph Coutts (bishop), Joshua Fazl ud Din (bishop), Jia Ali (model, actress), Martin Bashir (journalist), Cecil Chaudhry (fighter pilot), Michael Chowdry (businessman), Alvin Robert Cornelius (Chief Justice of Supreme Court), Antao D’Souza (cricketer), Gulshan Esther (author), Rachel Gill (model, actress, TV host), Mekaal Hasan (musician, record producer), Irene Perveen (singer), Esther John (nurse), Suneeta Marshall (model), Michael Masih (footballer), Wallis Mathias (cricketer), Mervyn L Middlecoat (fighter pilot), Indu Mitha (Bharatnatyam exponent), A Nayyar (singer), Julius Salik (activist) and Duncan Sharpe (cricketer) are other prominent Pakistani Christians. Karachi synagogue’ leader Abraham Reuben became a councilor on the city corporation in 1936.
Did it ever strike us that both countries could unite and be one just like before Partition. (Just a humble thought away from war and towards peace.) Remember, Germany was once divided but finally unified. Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai. Hindu Muslim Bhai Bhai. Hai Naa.
They make a name for themselves on TV serials. We all remember the characters they play. Their faces register but not their names. The next step for them is to transform into Bolly actors. They do get movies too but in inconsequential roles. And finally they realise Bollywood is not their cup of tea. Most return to the small screen.
Why do these TV actors not able to carve out a niche for themselves barring Shahrukh Khan. He is the only true King of Bollywood and TV. He performs and is liked on whatever platform he is on. He is truly universal.What does the new breed of telly actors lack or need? When they have all the glamour and acting skills, why does Bollywood reject them?
When Bollywood accepts regional cinema stars (Sridevi, Jayaprada) or NRIs (Katrina Kaif) on even international stars like Kylie Minogue and Sylvester Stallone, a model like John Abraham can become a top star, why the step motherly treatment to these talented stars from TV? Is the reason that TV stars get a set image and the viewers cannot accept them on silver screen? Does their image is their killer?
It is a fact one role gets them typecast and even if the same actor appears on TV in another role, viewer still calls them by their popular role name. Money is good on TV and even popularity is gained but Bollywood remains elusive. So, TV becomes the deathbed of these talented dynamos.
While newer TV actors find an identity for themselves with the serials, they get trapped in that identity and it is difficult to come out of it. They come from ad world or from theatre or from modelling or are just raw. There are so many new faces that many hardly register or make connection with the viewers. Some are mere beef hunks and glamour dolls.
From successful TV actors, expectations run high. They themselves start seeing dreams of repeating the success on silver screen. One or two flops later they realise their folly and land on terra firma. They either continue doing character actor roles/second lead heroines or are back to square one – TV.
Whereas the other way round (from Bollywood to TV) it is all rosy. Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan. Akshay Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan have all lent glamour and TRPs to their TV shows. Their enigma and fan following grows with each episode of their shows.
1. Shahrukh Khan (44) – Dil Dariya (1988); Fauji (1988), Circus (1989); Deewana (1992); My Name Is Khan (2010)
2. Ram Kapoor (36) – Ghar Ek Mandir (2000); Karthik Calling Karthik (2010); Swayamvar 2 Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega (2010)
3. Eijaz Khan (34 – Kusum (2001); Meerabai Not Out (2008); Bhaskar Bharti (2009)
4. Rajeev Khandelwal (34) – Kya Hadsa Kya Haquiqat (2002); Aamir (2008); Sach Ka Saamna (2009)
5. Amar Upadhdhay (33) – Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (1999); Dahshat (2000); Dhund The Fog (2003); LOC Kargil (2003); Bidaai (2009)
6. Ayaz Khan (31) – Dil Mil Gaye (2005); Hide & Seek (2010)
7. Ali Asgar – Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki (2000); Joru Ka Ghulam (2000); Bingo Game Show (2010)
8. Bakhtiyar Irani (29) – Bigg Boss 3 (2009); Love Ka Tadka (2009)
9. Bobby Darling – Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin (2003); Apna Sapna Money Money (2006)
10. Karan Singh Grover – Dil Mil Gaye (2007); Bhram (2008); Jhalak Dikhla Ja (2009)
1. Saakshi Tanwar (37) – Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki (2000); Coffee House (2009)
2.Sandhya Mridul (34) – Swabhimaan (1995); Saathiya (2002); Ustadon Ke Ustad (2008)
3. Smriti Zubin Irani (33) – Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (1999); politics and back
4. Ketki Dave - Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (1999); Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa (2001); Nach Baliye Season 2 (2005)
5. Gracy Singh (29) – Amanat (1997); Lagaan (2001); Munnabhai MBBS (2003)
6. Anita Hasanandini (Natasha, 28) – Kabhi Sautan Kabhi Saheli (2002); KrishnaCottage (2004); Dancing Queen (2008)
7. Nausheen Sardar Ali – Kkusum (2001); Three: Love, Lies, Betrayal (2009)
8. Prachi Desai (21) – Kasamh Se (2006); Rock On (2008); Life Partner (2009)
9. Hansika Motwani (18) – Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand (1999); Aap Ka Suroor (2007)
10. Avika Gor (12) – Balika Vadhu (2009); Morning Walk (2010)
The most awaited movie after Avatar (2009) opened to a tremendous response. Director Tim Burton has made an extension to Lewis Carroll’s (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) novels Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland (1865) and Through The Looking-Glass (1871). It combines live action with animation and was released in 3D, IMAX 3D and regular theatres. Most of you have read the novels so the story is already familiar to you except Burton has taken literary liberty that lends the movie a charm of its own. It presents the 21st Century Alice.
Alice Kingsley (19, Mia Wasikowska) attends a Victorian party after her father Charles’s (Marton Csokas) death. Alice’s mother is Helen (Lindsay Duncan), Imogene (Frances de la Tour) is her delusional aunt and Margaret (Jemma Powell) her sister.
Twins Faith and Fiona (Eleanor Gecks and Eleanor Tomlinson) reveal to Alice that Hamish will propose to her. It turns out to be her engagement party to wed her into (Hamish) Ascot family, who now own her father’s business. She flees and follows White Rabbit, Nivens McTwisp (Michael Sheen). Falling into a rabbit hole she reaches the Underworld.
Iracebeth of Crims, the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) has captured Underworld from her sister Mirana of Marmoreal, the White Queen (Anne Hathaway). It is Alice’s job to kill Red Queen’s guardian Jabberwocky (Christopher Lee) the dragon. But Alice is portrayed in wrong light by Absolem the caterpillar’s (Alan Rickman) words. Red Queen’s army captures McTwisp, Uilleam the dodo (Michael Gough), and Tweedledum and Tweedledee (Matt Lucas) but Alice escapes. The Knave of Hearts, Ilosovic Stayne (Crispin Glover) informs Red Queen about it and she wants Alice captured.
Chessur, the Cheshire cat (Stephen Fry) finds Alice and takes her to The Mad Hatter Tarrant Hightopp (Johnny Depp), Thackery Earwicket the march hare (Paul Whitehouse) and Mallymkun the dormouse (Barbara Windsor). Stayne captures Hatter, who is taking a shrunken Alice to the White Queen. His hat and Alice are left behind. Bayard Hamar the bloodhound (Timothy Spall) helps Alice get into the Red Queen’s palace to rescue the Hatter. McTwisp offers her food that makes Alice large sized. She introduces herself as Um from Umbridge to the Red Queen. Hatter has now become the queen’s hat maker. There is also Tall Flowers (Imelda Staunton).
Alice learns the Vorpal sword to kill the dragon is hidden in Bandersnatch’s den. Mallymkun has already removed his eye but Alice restores it so he favors her. He flees with her and Bayard. Chessur saves Mallymkun and Tarrant from execution and they too flee. Alice hands over the sword to the White Queen and regains her normal size.
Absolem reminds Alice of her earlier Underworld visit and encourages her to fight the dragon. On Frabjous Day, armies of White Queen and Red Queen face each other. Alice fights the dragon and kills him. The While Queen defeats Red Queen and regains her crown and banishes Red Queen and Ilosovic to the outlands.
Alice returns home after drinking the dragon’s blood. She refuses Hamish’s (Leo Bill) proposal and gains employment with his father Lord Ascot (Tim Pigott-Smith). His wife is Lady Ascot (Geraldine James). Alice then sails away on a ship with a fluttering Absolem (now a butterfly) over her shoulder.
Mia as Alice will scale new heights in Hollywood. She has arrived. Johnny Depp never fails to surprise us in new get ups. He lights up the screen as Mad Hatter. Red Queen and White Queen are charming in their roles.
Avril Lavigne has sung the lead single “Alice”. The soundtrack album has 24 tracks. You will end up humming the lead. It is sheer magic to watch this fairytale in 3D. It has been critically appreciated and is minting mega bucks the world over. It has broken the records of Spider-Man (2002) and Avatar (2009). Disney has also released a video game based on the movie for Wii, Nintendo DS and Windows PC.
This summer is not hot considering the hot AIW is melting us like ice. It may be an adventure in wonderland but what it does to our imagination leaves us stunned. Words fail me to describe the awesome scenery. It is a combination of technology and creativity. If you can’t go to the theatre, no worries. 3D TVs will soon flood the markets (except watch out for your inflated electricity bill). You don’t want to miss out on the fun? Right! So head where the action is. Enjoy!
From My Name Is Lakhan (Ram Lakhan, 1989) to My Name Is Khan (MNIK, 2010) is a moving story of changing times. It reminds you of the famous line “Name is Bond. James Bond.” But there the similarity ends.
If a major event happens in a first world country, it can create havoc in a common man’s life and shatter many lives. And when a 9/11 terrorist attack happens in America, its aftermath left many innocent brutally killed and ensnared in religious controversies that still persist.
Can such happenings leave us unaffected? NO! So, how can they leave the movie makers, who are troubled incessantly to find answers? And here is just the beginning.
MNIK now in its fifth week of running has had a glorious run with none of the later releases giving it any competition. It has set many records in the US, UK and the Gulf countries. It makes people think. If someone causes harm, why should innocent be answerable for them? But them one rotten apple spoils the basket. 3 Idiots (2009) and Veer (2010) not withstanding, MNIK is carving a niche of its own and how?
It is the moving story of Rizwan Khan (Tanay Chheda, Shahrukh Khan), who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome that makes it difficult for him to socially interact. But in many other fields he is extra gifted.
He lives in Borivali, Mumbai along with his mother (Zarina Wahab) and brother Zakir (Jimmy Shergill). Zakir resents mother’s showering extra love on Rizwan. The mother always reminds Rizwan that there are only two type of people – good and bad.
Zakir later migrates to San Francisco. When the mother dies, he sponsors Rizwan to the US. And here the movie progresses. Zakir’s wife Haseena (Sonya Jehan, grand daughter of singer Noor Jehan) takes care of Rizwan and recognises his disability. Rizwan becomes a herbal salesman and in the course of promoting them, meets Mandira (Kajol) at her beauty parlour.
Mandira is a divorcee with a young son Sameer/Sam (Yuvaan Makaar). She has faced many challenges in life but has made a good life for herself. Rizwan falls in love and proposes to her. She accepts and they get married. She takes his surname and becomes Mandira Khan.
Life is good till the news of 9/11 breaks and Muslims in general are branded terrorists. Ill feelings develop and tensions run strong. People, who were friends once, suddenly find themselves sitting across a border. And this border cannot be crossed except causing more bloodshed.
Mandira’s friendship with the Garrick family is put to test. While Mark (Dominic renda) is a journalist, Sarah (Katie A Keane) is friends with Mandira and their sons Reese (Kenton Duty and Michael Arnold) are friends with Sam. Mark goes to cover war and is killed. Hatred runs high and friendship between Reese and Sam turns to racial hatred. It leads to Sam being beaten to death.
Mandira blames Rizwan for Sam’s death saying, “he died only because his last name was Khan.” She refuses to stay with him. He cannot bear it and asks what he should do to rectify the matters. And she suggests, “Tell the people of the United States, and the President that your name is Khan and that you are not a terrorist.”
This becomes the mission of Rizwan’s life. He travels across USA to meet the President. He is detained at the airport, comes across religious fundamentalism in the form of Faisal Rahman (Arif Zaakria) and performs selfless human deeds that cut across petty religious lines.
He is suspected and is arrested. In the jail, psychiatrist Radha (Sheetal Menon) believes in his innocence. A sustained campaign by Indian reporters Raj (Arjun Mathur) and Komal (Sugandha Garg) and Bobby Ahuja (Parvin Dabas) get him released. Rizwan goes ahead to help hurricane hit people in Georgia especially Mama Jenny (Jennifer Echols).
Reese informs Mandira about the boys, who led to Sam’s death. She informs Detective Garcia (Benny Nieves) and justice is done. She realizes she had been unfair to Rizwan and joins him in Georgia. She saves his life. Rizwan’s dream is realized when he meets President-elect Barack Obama (Christopher B Duncan), who assures him that he is what he proclaims.
There is Vinay Pathak as Jitesh and Kavin Dave as a hacker.
The movie works on a humanitarian level. No religion preaches violence but that is what is happening today. Do we interact with others as human beings or on account of his religion? If we can truly answer this, the world would be a better place to live in.
Shahrukh has moved several notches up as a gifted special child. If normal human beings spread hatred, one would wish there were more of such special people around. His chemistry with Kajol is intact. They sure light up the screen. Child actors are apt for their roles. Songs especially Sajda is soulful.
Notwithstanding the political controversy and security checks at airports, the movie stood its ground. It made a simple statement “the world is made by the people and not just by their faith.” Hope everyone believes in it. A new world order has taken place.
Let’s be proud of our names and identities away from the faith they denote. Doesn’t matter whether My Name Is Khan or Kevin or Karamjeet or Kunal. Am I a human being? And there rests the matter.
Thank God! It’s over. It’s finally over. Before most Indians burst (at the seams), the drama ended. Rahul Mahajan finally garlanded Dimpy Ganguly (21) and soon thereafter married her. (Thank God for small mercies. Remember Rakhi Sawant broke up even before marrying Elesh Parujanwala.)
The other two finalists – Harpreet Chabra (20) and Nikunj Malik (25) were left high and dry (nothing to do with alcohol, sillies!) They should thank their lucky starts that they escaped easily. The SHOW is over. The reality is past and the unreality of the real life begins in right earnest. And our ‘imagination’ takes a beat that raises many pertinent questions.
There were a host of invitees along with groom’s mother Rekha. Sister Poonam was conspicuous by her absence. (Wonder what’s the catch here?). Dad Pramod was giving his blessings from the photo placed there.
So the divorcee got remarried at a five-star hotel and plans to register his marriage in Bandra on Tuesday March 9. And then wishes to fly off for their honeymoon in Maldives and Ireland. For that he has applied to the Court to release his passport (remember there is a drug case pending against him.)
But there is a slight hitch. To match his court case, the bride Dimpy was issued a show cause notice from Gladrags agency of Maureen Wadia. It appears Dimpy was on 2-year contract for not appearing on any other show. (This is truly show biz like nothing before.)
And if Rahul had Payal Rohatgi and Monica Bedi, Dimpy too had Neel (Neil) Shah. So, hisaab barabar.
And the interviews have begun in right earnest. Dimpy wants her husband to pursue politics a la his father Pramod. (!!!) To this Rahul replies, “I’ll first manage my home and once that is settled, I’ll manage the country.” (Grand plans indeed.) "It’s a great feeling. I am both excited and nervous. I really believe marriages are made in heaven and this time I'll give whatever I have to make my wife happy. It is going to be happily ever after".
Dimpy claims she knows to handle media better. I suppose, she can use them when later she gets battered. (No pun intended).
Rahul has future plans too, “Politics is in my blood but entertainment is my livelihood. You don't get paid that much as an MP. Showbiz is a huge business and I am looking forward to exploring it. Be it TV or films. Moreover it has a mass appeal and gives me an opportunity to get connected with people." (This is the way the cookie crumbles! God save India and Indians!)
To take the matters further, what would the couple discuss on their honeymoon? Something like, “Let’s have a joint (not the hip joint, sillies!) together. Let’s drink away to glory (!!!). Smoke and be marry (sorry merry). Let’s flirt – you with him, I with her or you with her and I with him or…never mind. I am confused”
And soon he will have drug withdrawal symptoms and Dimpy will rightly turn into a nurse (or psycho). Till now she has been dancing. Then she will run from pillar to post. Verbal and physical abuse will soon follow (It will seem like old times for Rahul.) Finally when better sense will prevail over her, she will follow Shweta Singh (Rahul’s first wife). But that’s for later.
Reminds me, it seems Rahul invited Shweta on the show as he wanted to remarry her. (!!!) She politely refused. I suggest he could have married all the three girls (a la male Draupadi). Two is company but three is awesome (and not crowd, sillies!). The Krishna with his gopis. All in the family, I suppose.
And if there are kids on the way, their role model father will advice them, “God made pot. Man made beer. Who do you trust?” or “Cocaine is God's way of saying you're making too much money.” or “I've never had a problem with drugs. I've had problems with the police.” or “Drugs have taught an entire generation of Indian junkies the metric system.” or “Don't do drugs because if you do drugs you'll go to prison, and drugs are really expensive in prison.” or “I don't do drugs. I am drugs.” or “Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but my scripture says love your enemy.” or “I kissed my first girl and smoked my first cigarette on the same day. I haven't had time for tobacco since.” or “It’s not my fault that I fell for you, you tripped me!”
Well, that is all for saner times. This brings us to the heart of the matter. If today a junkie is being promoted as if he is the role model for the country, then tomorrow we will have a Veerappan (bandit) or a Chhota Rajan (gangster) or Dawood (smuggler) or Charles Sobhraj (killer) or Ajmal Kasab (terrorist) or Chandramukhi (sex worker) or Adnan Khasshogi (arms dealer) using media to promote themselves and their trades claiming amnesia from their ill-deeds.
And when the channel claims high TRPs for this program, let me make something clear. Most of us watched in horror. Pre-teens, teenagers and twenty/thirty something find it a way to showdom. Their thinking is shaped by what they see on the Idiot Box. And if this is the way marriages are, they would want a similar thing tomorrow. (Remember marriages in mid-air, ship, train, etc).
Forty/fifty+ watched it with apprehension, sixty/seventy+ with unease and ninety+ with complete horror. (As far as 100+ goes, they are turning over in their graves, as far as I know.)
My mom said, “If he is the groom, I will want my daughter to remain unmarried.” Unfortunately Dimpy’s father was absolutely thrilled by the match. (May his thrill remain intact. He wouldn’t have found such a rich match with all the popularity. Never mind if tainted groom.)
Isn’t it the responsibility of the Information & Broadcasting Ministry to do a reality check on such shows and put a stop to them? What is the credibility of Rahul Mahajan? What has he one for the country or its citizens? (For that matter, what has his father done? May his soul rest in peace as his 2000 crore is being put to good use by salvaging Rahul’s image.)
By any remote chance too, we don’t wish Rahul to be in politics. The waters there are already murkier. His entry will totally pollute the scenario. An entire army of junkies will follow suit. The nation will have a junky party (Not a bad idea. That is the state of matters to come.) And we the gullible fools will be gaping with mouth wide open.
Tomorrow on TV channels for discussions, instead of luminaries like Manmohan Singh or Amitabh Bachchan or Sunil Gavaskar, we will have Rahul Mahajan, Shiney Ahuja or Ben Johnson. Is broadcast/electronic media to be abused both by its owners and such disgraced characters just for TRPs, popularity and money? Where are the ethics, social and moral values?
No doubt we are living in modern times. But does that make us animals and non-thinking zombies? Don’t we eat what we like, don’t we wear what we like, and don’t we do whatever we like. Then why do we watch what some debased channel is popularising as modern culture and negatively influencing impressionable minds, whose dreams will crash when the show is over.
Why should we tolerate such channels and shows when we pay for quality stuff? Isn’t it time to think and raise our voice? One rotten apple spoils an entire basket. So before that can happen, let’s stop this menace in its budding stage. Let’s say NO to Rahul Mahajan type of non-entities (just like drugs). This is just too much to tolerate.
My head is spinning (and so is an entire nation’s). We have to draw a line somewhere. The I&B Ministry, the TV channels and the other media promoting the show have all made their money. The viewer has been taken for a ride. Can all viewers afford such crass swayamvars or even dream of it? And there lies our answer.
A junkie will proceed on his honeymoon leaving many thinking if he can do it why can’t I? But then he is Rahul Mahajan which you and I are not. He lives in his dream world, we on real ground. The show is over. The reality is before our eyes. After a month the 3 idiots will show their true colours. The proof of the pudding lies in its eating. The love birds will either coo or boo. Let’s watch and wait.
Let’s wish them all the best. (They sure do need the entire world’s good wishes.) After all, it will be too much to bear each other when the cameras are off, the viewers disappear and the smiles slip. Nice show, eh!
This is the coming of age of Indian idiot box. Let’s say cheers to the Big, Fat, Indian Wedding. (Eeeks!)
There is Rahul Gandhi (39), a politician; Rahul Dravid (37), a cricketer; Rahul Bose (42), actor; Rahul Vaidya (22), singer; Rahul Bhatt (20), fitness trainer/aspiring actor; Rahul Khanna (37), actor; Rahul Roy (42), actor but none to beat Rahul Mahajan (35), a who-body.
Jab miya biwi raazi toh kya karega kaazi
(When husband wife agree, what can anyone do?)
Alas! That is the irony of Rahul Mahajan’s life. He is ready but the girls, who responded so eagerly, are getting cold feet. Even before there could be a possible marriage with the bride-to/may-be, the divorce has already taken place. Now you would call this the eighth wonder of the world. I won’t, considering the groom, who needs (social) grooming.
Toh Baat Pakki! Nahin. Kachchi. The joker (no pun intended) in this entire farce is Rahul Mahajan himself.
The three finalists: Nikunj Malik (25), Dimpy Ganguly (21) and Harpreet Chabra (20) are coming to their senses and are realising what they are getting into. Till the time it was all fun and jokes with no commitments, it was alright. It seemed a show (there was no talent to showcase!) to launch themselves before the viewers and garner publicity. That done, they stepped into the finals to be one among the three to garland Rahul.
And the Shakespearean tragedy began to unveil. The girls used to cavorting to Bollywood song and dance and getting used to limelight are getting cold feet. Nikunj Malik in an interview to national English daily has said, “He’s put me off. I am not keen to marry him anymore.” Here the drama begins and spice gets spicier.
Malik, graduate of NIFT, Delhi and a fashion designer, is on record saying Mahajan must quit smoking and flirting with other women! (Holy cow!) Malik is not on the show out of her own free will but because of her mother’s insistence. But she nails the issue saying even after marriage she will not stop working and will maintain her independence. She is planning to launch her fashion label soon, with or without Rahul.
Wow! That’s a brave woman, who has spoken her mind. But (obviously) without consulting Rahul. Shaadi se pehle hi talaaq ho gaya! Or so it would seem.
Imagine what will happen on March 6, when the D-Day arrives and the finalist is chosen to marry? Will it be shaadi ke mandap se dulhan bhaag gayi? Poor Rahul will be left twiddling his thumbs (down).
This is not to say he does not have noble ideas (except there is nothing noble behind them). On February 28 2010, he claimed he wanted to be like Gandhi. (And Malik accuses him of openly flirting with other women and smoking!) God forbid! Our father of the nation wasn’t anything like this and would squirm if he comes to know of this highly inequitable comparison. (May his soul rest in peace.)
Another noble idea was to buy a heart-shape (oui!) solitaire ring for his may-be bride on February 25, 2010. Nothing bad about that except the bride(s) are getting cold feet. It won’t be difficult to imagine that in just three days all three finalists would disappear like the proverbial horns from a cow’s head (not highly improbable.) On February 7 2010 he claimed, “I am getting MARRIED!” Noblest idea indeed! And he wants ‘non-itchy wear for his swayamvar’. (Couldn’t have asked for better.)
The worst part is ‘moonh dikhayi’ of the girls. When they are already visible to the entire world on this reality show, what is this farce all about?
What’s so great about a divorcee shouting from TV channels about a (future uncertain) second marriage? Wonder why the girls are in their twenties and not in their teens or better still in cradle? Imagine then they can call Rahul (by mistake, of course) pitaji or chachaji or mamaji instead of patiji! Had he been married at the right age, he would be a father of a 10-year old. Think about it (but don’t waste your brains on it.)
And the (un)noblest episode was a complaint filed with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for the immodest portrayal of women on this show. Nothing could be further from truth. Marriage is a holy process. No one should be allowed to make a mockery of it.
And a slight impediment to the farce of the century: Pravin Mahajan (uncle, who killed Rahul’s father Pramod) expired on March 3 2010. Will this stop Rahul from tying the knot as the family would be in mourning? Doesn’t seem so.
I remember a saying: doli na kahaar, banno baithi taiyaar (There is no horse or its puller but the groom is ready). Poor Rahul! Being on a show enjoying the fun is easy. In real life, it won’t be all song and dance. The question is will he get married and how long will the marriage last?
As mentioned, Nikunj Malik is an aspiring fashion designer planning a professional life. Will she be able to devote time to a married life with an equally demanding husband, whom she has already accused?
Dimpy Ganguly has as yet not spoken her mind. She is getting along famously with the groom. And why not considering she is a model and an aspiring actor. What do they say about birds of a feather, flock together.
Harpreet Chabra, (model, anchor) from Delhi is on record saying, “Rahul can marry Dimpy. My life won’t stop.” (This is highly uncharitable considering Rahul may select her. Hmm). This is the state of matters just three days away from marriage.
Rahul’s future shaadi strongly dangles between abadi and barbaadi. He needs to decide what direction it should take after the nautanki is over.
The luckiest of girls got eliminated. You would ask – why lucky? That’s a very bold question after reading the entire story. You won’t need a psychiatrist (forget astrologer) to predict the future of this marriage. The answer lies in your heart. As for Rahul, I wish him all the best with a rider: jiska kaam usi ko saajhe, aur kare to danda baaje.
This is instalment 2 of swayamvar 2. Please wait for instalment 3 when matters will be settled for good. So stay tuned till March 6.
Fatima Begum (1892-1991) – Bulbul-e-Paristan
Jaddanbai (1892/1908-1949) – Madame Fashion
(1936), Hriday Manthan
(1936), Moti Ka Haar
(1937), Jeevan Swapna
TP Rajlakshmi (1911-64) – Miss Kamala
(1936), Madurai Veeran
Shobana Samarth (1915-2000) – Hamari Beti
Vijaya Mehta (76) – Rao Saheb
Sai Paranjpe (71) – Sparsh
(1979), Chashme Baddoor
(1997), Bhago Bhoot
(2000), Chaka Chak
Prema Karanth (1936-2007) – Phaniyamma
Sadhna Nayyar (68) – Geeta Mera Naam
Tabassum Govil (66) – Tum Par Hum Qurban
Aruna Raje (64) – Shaque
(1988), Patit Pavan
Aparna Sen (64) – 36 Chowringhee Lane
(1995), Paromitar Ek Din
(2000), Mr. and Mrs. Iyer
(2001), 15 Park Avenue
(2005), The Japanese Wife
(2010), Iti Mrinalini
Hema Malini (61) – Dil Aashna Hai
Vijaya Nirmala (60) – Puttinti Gowravam
(1996), Yes Nenante Nene
(1994), Collector Vijaya
(1987), Surya Chandra
(1985), Amayakudu Kadhu Asadhyudu
(1983), Bezwada Bebbuli
(1983), Lanke Bindelu
(1983), Antham Kadidi Aarambam
(1981), Chattambi Krishnan
(1981), Hema Hemeelu
(1980), Ram Robert Rahim
(1980), Sangham Chekkina Silpalu
(1979), Devude Gelichadu
(1973) total 42 films directed
Deepa Mehta (60) – Sam and Me
(2002), The Republic of Love
(2005), Heaven on Earth
(2008), Cooking with Stella
(2008, co-director), Midnight's Children
(TBA), Komagata Maru
Kalpana Lajmi (56) – Ek Pal
Pratibha Parmar (55) – Nina’s Heavenly Delights
Sooni Taraporewala (53) - Little Zizou
Mira Nair (52) – Salaam Bombay
(1988), Missisippi Masala
(1991), Kamasutra: A Tale Of Love
(1997), Monsoon Wedding
(2001), Vanity Fair
(2004), The Namesake
Gurinder Chaddha (50) – Bhaji On The Beach
(1993), Bend It Like Beckham
(2002), Bride And Prejudice
(2004), Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging
(2008), It’s A Wonderful Afterlife
Neelima Azeem (49) – Nawab Nautanki
Suhasini Mani Ratnam (48) – Indira
Soni Razdan (47) – Nazar
Farah Khan (45) – Main Hoon Na
(2004), Om Shanti Om
(2007), Tees Maar Khan
Tanuja Chandra (45) – Dushman
(1999), Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar
(2001), Film Star
(2005), Hope And A Little Sugar
(2006), Zindaggi Rocks
Revathy (43) – Mitr My Friend
(2000), Phir Milenge
(2004), Kerala Café Makal
Dhvani Desai (41) – Manpasand The Perfect Match
Nandita Das (40) – Firaaq
Leena Bajaj-Yadav (39) – Shabd
(2005), Teen Patti
Pooja Bhatt (38) – Paap
Zoya Akhtar (35) – Luck By Chance
(2009), Running With The Bulls
Nisha Ganatra (35) – Junky Punky Girlz
(1996), Drown Soda
(1997), Chutney Popcorn
(2003), Fast Food High
Shona Urvashi (33) – Chupke Se
(2003), Saas Bahu Aur Sensex
Meghna Gulzar – Filhaal
(2002), Just Married
(2007), Dus Kahaaniyan
Avantika Hari (30) - Land Gold Women
Soundarya Rajinikanth (26) – Sultan The Warrior
Nandini Sikand – The Bhangra Wrap
(1995), Don’t Fence Me In
(2001), In Whose Name?
Reema Rakeshnath – Mohabbat
Shashwati Talukdar – Snake-Byte
(1997), Tahini and Tears
(2003/2004), Mahasweta Devi
(2003), Acting Like A Thief
Suma Josson – Janmadinam
Parvati Balagopalan – Rules: Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula
V Priya – Kanda Naal Mudhal
(2005), Kannamoochi Yenada
(2007), Herova? Zerova?
Eisha Marjara – The Tourist
(2006), Lolita Diaries
Rajashree – The Rebel
(2006), The Connection
Bhavna Talwar – Dharm
Reema Kagti – Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd
Sonali Gulati – 24 Frames Per Day
Madhumitha – Vallamiai Tharayo
(2008), Kola Kolaya Mundhirika
Loveleen Tandan (co-director) – Slumdog Millionaire
Madhureeta Anand – Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye
Can’t ‘imagine’ a RDLJ taking over DDLJ. Can’t imagine a Rahul taking over SRK! This Rahul is not the heartthrob of DDLJ but a druggy, a wife beater and a divorcee. With a laughter that would scare the wolves away (forget attracting ‘brides-to-be’) Rahul Mahajan is neither a (role) model nor a star actor. An over-aged ubla hua aaloo (boiled potato) is out to make a mess of a sanctimonious process. After all, the crores made by his father can be used to refurbish his druggy image. Claiming to be an aspiring politician and entertainer, he is out to find a bride for himself in a traditional manner.
NDTV channel Imagine has come up with Swayamvar Season 2 with the infamous (but popular!) Rahul Mahajan. The channel appears desperate to garner TRPs what with the earlier Swayamvar of Rakhi Sawant. Sawant selected Elesh Parujanwala to be her ‘husband’. Sadly, the news is she has broken up with him. (So what was the farce all about!) Then came Raaz Pichhle Janam Ka, where secrets of past life were revealed. It was a fight between superstition and science. It was soon off the sir. And now another farce – RDLJ.
Rahul Mahajan, 35, is all out to get married. You would say, he is a little overage to get married and that too on a TV channel in a swayamvar. His dad Pramod Mahajan had allegedly fathered the murdered journalist Shivani Bhatnagar’s child and was accused of having a hand in her murder too. From being a poor school teacher to a tech savvy crorepati politician, Pramod raised many a eyebrow. He owned the debacle of 2004 elections. And then on May 3 2006 he met with a bullet-riddled end.
Rahul was supposed to take over his father’s political career (a la Rahul Gandhi). And then came the shocker. Exactly a month after his father's death on June 3, 2006, Mahajan was hospitalized after an alleged cocaine overdose mixed with drinks (partying in a government bungalow with close friend). He was arrested by the Delhi Police on charges of drug possession and consumption. Political hand saved him.
In July 2006, he got engaged to Shweta Singh someone he had known for 13 years. The wedding took place on August 29. There were serious allegations of wife beating/verbal abuse. The marriage lasted for two months. Shweta filed for a divorce on 13 December 2007. On 1 August 2008 they were divorced by mutual consent.
From then on Rahul has been on an over-drive on image building. He appeared on Bigg Boss 2 where he was openly pawing and kissing Payal Rohatgi, who ignored him. He did the same with Monica Bedi and was meted the same treatment. It was like langoor ke moonh mein angoor. He had not faced life in entertainment media and couldn’t handle it.
Everything happened a little too soon for him – father’s death, drug case, engagement/marriage/divorce. Then tryst with media. And now a swayamvar. It is all a little too mush for (poor) us to handle.
Now coming to the show proper. It is compered by Ram Kapoor, who compered the Rakhi Sawant swayamvar too. Enough brauhaha is made to make Rahul appear the most eligible bachelor (!!!) The initial response came from nine jail inmates, who showed keen interest to be his bride but were rejected. It is a puzzle that there are no divorcees as contestants or that would be an interesting point.
Out of the 15 brides-to-be, Swati Augustin, Priyadarshani Singh, Sonia Kour, Rupa Khurana, Rashmi Ravani, Twinkle Mukherjee, Charmy Chauhan, Mrinal, Rajshree Mishra, Tanu Bhatia, Mani Thakur, Devinder Sidhu, Shanti have already been eliminated. Mrinmai Kolwalkar, Harpreet Chhabra, Nikunj Malik, Dimpy Ganguly remain. Dimpy’s ‘chances’ are bright. There were reports that he has already been engaged to her.
The show is nothing short of village nautanki with the girls dancing, singing, and displaying their histrionics. The worst is one can see him openly pawing, flirting and kissing the girls. If (as he claims) is a traditionalist, then none of his family members especially his mother is there. He is having a gala time like a spoilt prince. Seems like the effects of drugs have not left him.
As each contestant is eliminated, she ends up criticizing and cribbing about the remaining contestants. The bitching goes on. With so much negativity, it doesn’t reflect well on them too. The girls’ makeup and dresses are another eye sore. They look more like publicity-starved village belles. The set itself is garish reflecting old palaces of bygone era of maharajas.
An average Indian is still old school. No matter how advanced the world becomes or how many live-in relationships increase, one still goes for mother’s approval and girl next door. A total family picture with an ideal son and an ideal bahu. Sadly none of these standard.Indian features are in this show.
As for Rahul Mahajan, he needs a nurse instead of a bride. Instead of living in fantasies, he should come out of drug-induced hallucinations and face the real world. He should register with a drug-rehab and cure himself of the after-effects. He should also see a psychiatrist to let go of past ghosts. He is no role model for anyone. If he can be on TV seeking bride, tomorrow a smuggler/terrorist/murderer too would take recourse to build up their image.
Considering how a whole lot of young impressionable minds get affected by these easy escapist solutions to the biggest decision of life, the TV channel should go easy. Can a reality show be an answer to real life relationship? I guess not. It is OK to watch it as a TV fictional show. That is what it ends up as.
Will you want a husband like Rahul Mahajan for yourself or your sister or daughter? That should answer that. The rules for courtship haven’t changed. We still want someone to share our entire life with love. Period.
It will be interesting to know how this show ends. Will Rahul ever be blissfully married for good? Will the bride face a future unlike Shweta after the initial euphoria dies? Will it be happily married after? Very good questions indeed! Watch and wait. The result is not very far. Aa ha!
National Bingo Night is the new hourly TV show being hosted on Colors channel from January 16 2010 at 9 pm and produced by Fox TV Studio and Idea.
The show is based on an international format of similar name Bingo. As show is already popular overseas, the same has been repeated since its launch in India. To gain more popularity, its format is simple. The contestant, the audience and even viewers at home can participate simultaneously.
Bingo (lotto or keno) actually is a game of chance played with cards. But for the TV show, bingo has been formatted slightly differently. The contestant has to guess a number (higher or lower) and if that is so, he wins a score. He can win as high as Rs 25 lakhs.
Everyone loves money and we Indians even more. So if moolah is there to be made easily (with no strings attached) then people will rush towards it in large numbers. And that is what the reality shows of today boils down to. Indian TV shows are vying for viewers’ eyeballs and new concepts that immediately click is actively pursued. The added bonus is roping in of the Bollywood stars. And viola! A pot purée is ready.
Who will not wish to make money along with being entertained? I for sure wouldn’t even care for a star host if I could make lakhs in less than an hour. No job can assure that but if a TV show can so why won’t viewers rush to it? Money hai to honey hai bhai. So this has nothing to do with the host (even the host is there merely to make money and gain popularity. After all he too has to survive, hai na). This show actually doesn’t need a host.
Well, I didn’t view the first episode as neither I am interested in gambling nor in family shows (read Bachchan family saga.) I gave it a pass. But to my surprise (as to countless others), the media reported that Abhishek Bachchan debuted show got the highest TV ratings of 5.1 (!!!)
Consider this: Abhishek has been “credited” with having piped past Shahrukh Khan (4.6, Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain, 2008), Amitabh Bachchan (4.6, Bigg Boss 3, 2009), Akshay Kumar (4.4, Khatron Ke Khiladi 2, 2009), Rakhi Sawant (4.1, Rakhi Ka Swayamvar, 2009), Shilpa Shetty (2.5, Bigg Boss 2, 2008) and Salman Khan (2.2, Dus Ka Dum, 2009).
While Shahrukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan are audience based actors (earlier in his hay days Amitabh Bachchan was), Abhishek, Amitabh, Shilpa Shetty and Rakhi Sawant are money and media made stars. They are projected by the media for which the media is paid well. But their movies die a natural death in the movie halls as they are a no show. They perform well at press conferences but unfortunately do not connect with viewers.
Coming back to the show: The tallest wooden plank (Abhishek Bachchan) debuted on TV with Bingo. The strategy to gain popularity is simple. Choose a foreign show that is already popular (remember Amitabh hosted Bigg Boss 3). Make it family business (all Bachchans appear together and promote it). Get the advertisers (Idea already uses Abhishek) and promote it aggressively (that was done in Bigg Boss 3 and Abhishek Aaram Classes) and bingo! the halwa (read a new show) is ready.
Minus his famous surname, Abhishek will be a mere WHO? Till date he doesn’t know to act (for sure), can’t dance (two left feet) and has the most wooded expressions (beats Kishan Kumar of T Series non-fame hands down). He joins the ranks of Puru Raj Kumar or Mimoh Chakraborty minus his father’s push and money.
When industry outsiders like Jackie Shroff, Akshay Kumar, Shahrukh Khan, John Abraham or Kunal Khemu made a name for themselves (even Amitabh Bachchan was an outsider), why does Amitabh need to make his son appear as an actor when he is far from it. Even insiders like Sunny Deol, Sunjay Dutt, Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan have proceeded beyond the initial push and carved a niche for themselves.
In Abhishek’s case, he needs a push each time. His presence requires a media circus without which he will not survive. If Amitabh had spent his crores on his company ABCL and promoting other promising actors (Arshad Warsi) probably his monetary gains would be greater.
The episode I watched was one of Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan. The participants made the show interesting. There was Ali Asghar, the jester bafoon (poor man’s Rishi Kapoor), who provided with some laughs and took attention away from a looking for a way out Abhishek. There was Rashmi, who told about the numbers. And the viewers had the eyes fixed on the lolly. (That is why they were there.)
Abhishek had all the C grade actors’ expressions (if you care to watch Bhojpuri movies or earlier DD serials). His attempts at raising laughter fizzled out. His dialogue delivery was not cohesive. His act could well compete with a tantrum throwing child. How long will he survive (it is a daily show) and the show maintains its ratings remains to be seen.
This is not a criticism of Abhishek. He is beyond it (!!!) Will any company sponsor a show of Abhishek minus his famour surname? And there rests the whole story. Only time will tell where this show leads?
On his own, what are Abhishek’s achievements minus his father’s push? He has manhandled two journos. The case was settled out of court courtesy Amar Singh. He got highest UP award for arts courtesy Mulayam Singh. That raised a controversy. He married Aishwarya Rai after being rejected by Karisma Kapoor and Jaya rejecting Rani Mukerji. Does he hold any degree or work experience? Can he claim anything to be truly his own except his father’s name? Money can surely make a pole look attractive. It can make wood “act” (I never doubted it). Has anyone seen him bare chest as other heroes. How will he flaunt his body when he has nothing to show (I am being mean for the reason of being mean). Is he gay as there were rumors of his grandpa being one? Why don’t he and his wife have children even three years after marriage? His dad has earned enough for him to do aaraam for life? He doesn’t need to make a fool of himself before an entire nation. He looks more like a goon from UP (polished of course!).
Naach na jaane, aangan teda. Langoor ke moonh mein angoor. Khuda meherbaan to gadha pehelwan. Gadhe ki peeth par kitabein rakh do to woh ghoda nahi ban jaata.
Should we tolerate fools just because they have loads of cash to buy media and make a show for (read fools of) us? The Bachchans can only show how to use media effectively to promote themselves and remain in the limelight. They have set a precedent in how to abuse/misuse media for personal gains. National Bingo Night is an extension of it.
Welcome to another episode of Bachchan media circus. (EEEKS!) And certainly this is not the last episode. (afsos)
Neither it is Lagaan (2001) nor is it Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005). Neither is it an Asoka (2001) nor a Jodhaa Akbar (2008). It is Veer, a movie totally belonging to Salman Khan. There is no history or geography here. There is only Salman Khan, who with his biceps and triceps (and multiceps) is out to conquer the world (read British) a la Sunny Deol in Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001).
Here we don’t need to talk about facts (real) as it is purely fiction (reel). This is not for history lovers as history is being created with this movie (!). The real Indian Pindaris of yore may die (again) of shock if they watch how their reality has been tampered with. Pindaris were the companions of Maratha chiefs in the 18th century India. They were a mixed clan of many races. They looted and plundered until the British countered them. But definitely they were brave.
Veer has nothing of the real Pindaris but definitely it is about bravery. What else would you expect from Salman Khan except brute force countering brutes? And he does justice to it in no uncertain measure. And to hell with history or even chemistry.
Salman was definitely inspired from 1962 movie Taras Bulba (1909, 1935, 1936, 1962, 2009) that was based on Nikolai Gogol’s historical romantic novel of same name (1835). A father (Taras Bulba) and his two sons (after studying abroad) set out for Ukraine, where they meet Cossacks and go on war against Poland.
We saw Dharam Veer (1977), Veer-Zaara (2004) and we know about Veerappan. Now it is time to know about Veer. It is a tailor-made role for Salman Khan (where he doesn’t need any clothes forget even a shirt). So we find ridiculous costumes but our hero shines even in them. Please don’t even compare it with Gladiator (2000) or Troy (2004) or this or that. That will be like showing light to sun.
But Veer is a different movie. As different as chalk and cheese. For many times while viewing the movie you will end up with “say cheese” (internationally or otherwise). It is Wanted Part 2 (2009) for the dynamic action and superb fight scenes.
Let’s go to the story. British had enslaved an entire nation called India. Everyone caved in but not the brave Pindaris. Pindari leader Mithun Chakraborty has two sons – Veer (Salman Khan) and Sohail Khan, whom he send to England for further studies to counter British with their own ways (lohe ko loha kaat ta hai!)
Veer meets Princess Yashodhara (Zarine Khan) there and both fall in love. But she is the daughter of evil king of Madhavgarh Jackie Shroff, a sworn enemy of Mithun. It gets increasingly difficult for Veer to choose between love and duty. But duty reigns supreme and love follows.
Veer returns to India and has to fight against both enemies (British and Jackie). He teaches them superb lessons. Snarling rage and heaving chest become second skin to him. Swords clash but none to match Veer’s. He kills with a finesse that will put butchers to shame. He knows the weight of the flesh (ouch!) that he tears with his bare hands.
To go with the Republic Day spirit (January 26) he delivers perfect freedom speeches too that will definitely inspire today’s generation of Sallu’s fans (not for patriotism but for frantic Sallu entertainment). The dhuandhaar dialogues are a new beginning (from where Wanted ended.)
He can dance on one foot and put Michael Jackson to shame. (India mein bada talent hai, bhai.) He can sing love ditties (Surili akhiyon wali) repeatedly till love blossoms (not on trees but in the bosom of Yashodhara.) He rides a horse like a pro (after all he is a cloth horse!). He puts other princes to shame (so what if he is a commoner). He can do what no one else does (that is our hindi fillum hero, bhai!)
He conquers over the enemy by brute killing. He is Veer. He is Salman Khan. And there ends the story. For Veer is for the die-hard fans of Salman Bhai. It is a one-man show and it rides over his strong shoulders. Don’t ask for anything more (for there is nothing else in it.)
Salman does what he is best at – action. You can’t fault with him on any score. Mithun is definitely another highlight of the movie. Jaggu Dada (Jackie Shroff) sleep walks through the movie. (Probably he is not sleeping enough during the night!) Zarine is cute in her own way. Don’t compare her with Katrina Kaif. Who knows in future references may be other way around?
Nina Gupta is strictly OK as Mithun’s wife. Sohail can apply for the title of Bolly joker (ha! haa!! haaa!!!) The less said about Puru Raj Kumar and Aryan Vaid, the better. The others are merely fillers.
The songs are melodious. Cinematography is breathtaking. The fight scenes are stunning and engaging. Characterisation is appropriate.
The drawback of this movie is its length (over two and half hours) that becomes boring and a drag. Costumes are atrocious and playing with historical facts doesn’t go down well the viewers’ throats (but then it is for Sallu’s hardcore fans, bhai/behen!)
Veer is definitely worth watching once (it is paisa vasool). Whether it gains teevragati (high speed) or veergati (flops) at the box office, only time and his fans can tell. Had there been bravehearts like Salman Khan during the British period toh angrezon ki jaldi chhutti ho jaati. Alas, Salman only role plays now. (What a pity!)
The critics have called it a miserable flop (who cares!) But going by the single screens, it stands second only to 3 Idiots in terms of first day collections. Even at plexes it holds its own.
Don’t expect too much from the movie. Leave your brains at home and head for the theatre only for entertainment Sallu ishtyle. You won’t be disappointed. Sardi mein thodi garmi to chahiye, bhai!
The movie couldn’t have arrived at a better time. The world is changing at a faster pace and is becoming a global village. The differences between the Whites as a race and the Natives are diminishing fast. So much so that it results in a great movie Avatar. It is a slap in the face of materialism and bonding with the nature.
No matter how much the humans advance in technology and become addicted to materialism, their final return is to the nature. The movie ends on that note. It is a victory of the Natives, who have been oppressed in their own land and have led a strangers’ lives as their land traditionally is captured by the Whites. Take the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand for example.
Cinematic justice is done. The Natives have won. Who knows it will result in actual victory for them in their own lands, where they are till today fighting for their rights against the occupier Whites.
James Cameron’s Avatar, a science fiction epic holds significance for the Indians too. It is a Hindu word meaning another form or descent. Also there is Dileep Rao, an American Indian actor, who acts as Dr. Max Patel, a scientist who works in the Avatar Program. The movie is also dear to us if we keep in mind British occupation of India. No one likes an oppressor.
The movie is set in 2154 in Pandora, a distant fictional planet. Humans (Whites) arrive there for mining precious mineral. Blue-skinned Na’vi (Natives) race of indigenous humanoids resist their colonisation. The colonists threaten the very existence of the Na’vi and their ecosystem. It is the clash of materialists with the nature worshippers.
The movie’s title actually refers to the genetically engineered body (Avatar) that looks/functions like A Na’vi body but has human (White) mind. The Whites thus use Avatars to interact and control the Na’vi (Natives).
Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi) begins mining operations and employs former marines as security. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) joins in as scientist trained to be an avatar operator.
In an operation to interact with the Na’vi, Jake is separated with his folks. Lost in Pandora jungles he is rescued by Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). She brings him to her clan Omaticaya. Her mother Mo’at (CCH Pounder) gets interested in Jake’s avatar form.
Jcek’s stay with the Natives brings him on close touch with Neytiri and a deep bond of love develops. He now prefers Natives over the Whites. He makes home with the clan.
Faced with his abandonment, the Whites have only one option – to destroy the Native land Hometree and the clan Omaticaya. Jake reveals his true identity to Neytiri. The Whites imprison Jake and destroy Hometree. Neytiri’s father Eytucan (Wes Studi) too is killed. Jake escapes from his imprisonment and wins over Na’vis and regains their trust.
Jake then assembles an army of Na’vi. They fight the Whites and are faced with defeat. In the nick of time, the animals attack the Whites before they can destroy their religious base. Jake is released from his avatar and his human form is exposed to Pandora’s atmosphere.
Neytiri and Jake finally meet and become one. The humans (Whites) are expelled from Pandora. Jake becomes one with the Omaticaya clan. This is truly the return of the Native. Peace prevails finally. The day of the underdog had arrived grandly.
The story is simple and may have been read and heard many a times. But the presentation is simply superb with newer technology (2D, 3D, IMAX 3D) taking it to explore newer heights.
With the movie already crossing $ 1 billion mark and still raking in, it is the acceptance of win over the oppressors. The world likes a fighter and justice done. The movie adheres to it.
Avatar stands third to Titanic and The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King in terms of highest grossing movies.
The music and soundtrack especially the theme song “I See You” has been very well received.
With a grand success comes all the paraphernalia like books, video games and action figures. Avatar is seeing it all. The movie’s marketing has been top notch. There has been positive critical acclaim. The viewers have embraced it like second skin. Money is the buzzword for this movie and awards are soon to follow.
Reminds me of our own 3 Idiots. If Avatar is the fight for the rights of the Natives, Aamir too fights a decayed value system that has to be given up and a new world order to take its place. Are we ready for it? Are we ready to do an Avatar and an Aamirian Idiot to restore our value culture against materialism, corruption, et al? Are we?
Happy viewing friends. Blue is in.
Well, well. 3 Idiots could well be labelled “3 Intelligent Monkeys” (don’t hear bad, see bad, speak bad). Will that matter or make any difference. NO! The movie is way past all the inanities in just 10 days of its release.
Raj Kumar Hirani has continued the saga of Munna Bhai if not in a medical college then in an engineering institution. The fun express speeds away and takes shape of a tornado that has shaken the Indian box office and overseas ones too setting new records. It has clean bowled every release worth its salt barring Ghajini and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. (see figures below)
The story is one of 3 musketeers (yup!), who are armed with situational funny muskets that charge at anyone and in any situation.
Farhan Qureshi (R Madhavan) and Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi) are in the august company of Ranchhoddas Shayamaldas Chanchad “Rancho” (Aamir Khan) who thinks out of the box. Their engineering college ICE is thus literally set on fire with the mediocre vs the intelligent (idiot!) students.
If Rancho is considered an idiot by all Professors including Viru Sahastrabuddhe “ViruS” (Boman Irani), his opposite bookworms like Chatur Ramalingam “Silencer” (Omi Vaidya) is lapped up and lavished with praise. It turns out to be a race between the rabbit and the turtle. Here the rabbit is the bookworm and the turtle witty. The result is known from the word go. Watch Chatur’s vulgar speech written by Rancho scene. It set us all on fire in ICE.
Aamir sparkles with his witty replies that drain the professors. ViruS with his Vajpayee style of lisping and bird-braininess is the but(t) of arrows (literally) with maximum bull’s eye hits. (He could do with few more for sure).
In walks ViruS’s daughter Pia (Kareena Kapoor), a medical student. Rancho and Pia fall in love. It turns out to be campus love. Something you, me and our parents (even grandparents et all) have seen and indulged in. What happens in our day today campus life is presented ditto on silver screen. One can identify with it. One is ommersed in one’s own real life love story.
It is the story of you and me unfolding on the bigger canvas. So how can we be not involved and have fun. We have fun and the things we cannot do (out of fear of discipline and politeness in college) we appreciate in Rancho, who goes about fearlessly exploring the limits of disciplined set-up around. Wish we all had broken those rules and let our hair down.
It is this “brave” unconventional spirit of Rancho that we pay tribute to. When we watch the movie, we secretly desire why we couldn’t do what he does so effortlessly. But then most of us are bookworms or pass by copying. Rancho is a soul apart. He is setting a trail worth following and that is what is flocking people of all ages across the world to the cinema halls.
Rancho then disappears with the promise of meeting after five years. The D-day arrives but there is no sign of him. Chatur is now rich and sets in search of Rancho with Raju and Farhan. Pia too joins in. Will they find their lovable idiot? Foremost why should they find him when he has broken his promise of meeting them?
There lies the tale of friendship, frolic and fun the memories of which can never fade away. They lie deep in the heart from where no one can erase or snatch them. They evoke in us similar emotions. It makes us look for our long lost friends on social networking sites.
Suddenly newspaper columns like “Lost And Found” have come alive. Emails and SMSs are occupying our major time. We want to keep in touch with out school or college friends. The bonds long loosened have come alive with the tale of Farhan, Raju and Rancho. There is a Farhan, Raju and Rancho within us. They have made us realise and rediscover our friends.
This movie is a celebration of friendship. With the festivities of New Year, it has rekindled all our bonds. There is nothing precious than bonds of love. So, three cheers to that feeling. Three cheers to the movie. And of course, three cheers to Farhan, Raju and Rancho. The story is told in flashback just like our own memory does a flashback to the golden years of carefreeness.
It makes us forget the mindless controversies created to seek attention. After all, the movie is the biggest hit in the cinematic history of India. It shows ragging but does not encourage it. It silences pseudo writers like Chetan Bhagat out to derive mileage out of it but end up with muck on his face.
The movie is a self-discovery. It is an exploratory journey where you want to do what you wish and not what the world dictates. You have always wanted to do it. So you do it in the dark of the cinema halls with the characters (you are still not ready to face the real harsh world.)
Never mind. Your visits to the cinema have sealed the deal. This is what you want. This is what sets the cash registers ringing. The movie does not belong to Aamir alone. It belongs to all of us.
Rest nothing matters. Songs (they are topping the hit list), cinematography, et al. They come with the territory. They enhance the product (here emotions). The deal has already been sealed.
Aal Izz Well. We want more such idiots. Lage Raho Idiot Bhais. This New Year has that special zing. You can whiff it in the air.
3 3 Idiots Rs. 80.00 crore
12 Love Aaj Kal Rs. 66.35
14 Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani Rs. 63.18
18 Wanted Rs. 60.54
30 De Dana Dan Rs. 47.98
1 Ghajini Rs. 114.80
2 Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Rs. 86.78
10 Singh Is Kinng Rs. 68.48
16 Race Rs. 61.68
19 Jodhaa Akbar Rs. 59.03
21 Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na Rs. 56.41
23 Golmaal Returns Rs. 51.69
4 Om Shanti Om Rs. 79.42
8 Welcome Rs. 70.75
11 Chak De! India Rs. 67.69
15 Taare Zameen Par Rs. 62.48
17 Partner Rs. 61.19
28 Bhool Bhulaiyaa Rs. 49.74
5 Dhoom 2 Rs. 78.86
6 Krrish Rs. 73.47
7 Lage Raho Munna Bhai Rs. 72.21
22 Fanaa Rs. 54.79
24 Don - The Chase Begins Again Rs. 51.43
25 Rang De Basanti Rs. 51.15
9 Gadar: Ek Prem Katha Rs. 70.00
29 Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham Rs. 49.00
27 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Rs. 50.00
26 Raja Hindustani Rs. 50.00
20 Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge Rs. 58.00
13 Hum Aapke Hain Kaun...! Rs. 65.00