Archive for the ‘Movies’ category

A True Star

February 13, 2008

Aamir Khan is a genius!!! I don’t think he can be described in any other way. He should not be clubbed in the elite group with Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, and Shahruh Khan. He is so much more. He will eventually have his name etched along Latha Mangeshkar, Raj Kapoor and Satyajith Ray.

From the cute faced acting in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak to the brilliant directing in Taare Zameen Par, Aamir Khan has always excelled. The fact I like about him is that he is extremely choosy. And to be choosy, you have to be really good and you need to know that you are that good. For the most part, he has picked the right scripts and right movies. His topic selection is varied, colorful and intense. It is quite hard not to accept the park roaming romantic hero roles all the time and be successful in bollywood.

I watched Taare Zameen Par recently. What amazed me was the depth and intensity in the movie. The kid Darsheel has certainly done a tremendous job. But, Aamir Khan gets a lot of credit for making the kid do such a fantastic job. A fine story line and a real problem has been portrayed with so much sensitivity. Of course, Shankar Mahadevan‘s rendition of the song ‘Maa’ is above the World.

The only thing in the movie which was far from truth was Aamir Khan’s clothes. Which school teacher in India wears torn and worn low-rise jeans showing off his underwear band and shakes his bum every other minute? I thought that was the staple diet of IT folks in California!!!

And, I don’t think I have mentioned this before. Aamir Khan is a close relative of mine. He is my cousin’s wife’s cousin’s second cousin’s husband. To put it simply, my brother-in-law. Or easier, my older brother. Oh well, we have so many things in common!!! 🙂



February 7, 2008

I was writing an article about my father, and it occurred to me that Devanand played such a big part in our lives. Here’s the story:

As a kid, I hated to comb my hair. I would just run away at the mention of the word comb. My father was totally frustrated. He loved the fact that I had such thick wavy hair and he was scared that I would become bald at a very young age. I mean how can the hair survive without seeing a drop of coconut oil, it toally beat him. So, naturally he was very concerned. No amount of pleading or prodding helped.

Finally he came up with a brilliant idea. He called me and said “DS, come over here, I will comb your hair and make you Devanand”. I had no idea who or what Devanand was. But, from his tone, I assumed that Devanand must be something or someone big. I instantly wanted to be like Devanand. Without a word, I obliged. Needless to say, he was thrilled and poured an entire bottle of coconut oil on my head.

This continued for several years. he would call me to “make me look like Devanand”. And, after oiling and combing my hair, he would look at me and say “DS, you look exactly like Devanand”. I was thrilled, still having no idea what or who Devanand was.

After a few years, I did find out who Devanand was. Whatever the reason was, I became a huge fan of Devanand (no, not the combing, I think it’s the music in his movies which caught my attention!). And, I still am a big fan of Devanand.

As you can guess, once I started going to college, my father’s Devanand trick stopped working. I was back to my old self and made sure not a drop of oil touched my hair. My father managed to catch hold of me sometimes and poured oil liberally on my head. Forget the college years, he even did it when I went back to India for vacation now.

Beautiful memories!!! As for my hair, it’s still thick and full, inspite of hardly seeing any oil.  I bet it has something to do with my father and his prayers!!!.

A Tribute To The Dead Flower

December 11, 2007

smita_patil.jpgsmita_patil.jpgsmita_patil.jpgsmita_patil.jpgsmita_patil.jpgsmita_patil.jpgsmita_patil.jpgSmita PatilFrom the past few days, she has been bugging me. It started without any reason. I didn’t realize why. Wait, I do realize why. It’s almost 21 years since her untimely death.

Be it “Bhumika”, “Manthan”, “Chakra”, “Mandi”, “Arth”, or “Ardh Satya”, she ruled the screen. I liked her in “Shakti” as much as I liked her in “Mirch Masala”. I was, let us say, surprised by the grit and dazzle in “Dance Dance”. I liked her in the Kannada movie “Anveshane” as well.

Smita Patil is certainly one of the best things that happened to Indian cinema. The dusky beauty had captured millions of hearts, and minds, within a short period of time. A little less glamarous than Rekha, but a much better actress, she defined parallel cinema and took it to new heights.

Ask my wife, she will tell you that Smita’s biggest rival during her times, Shabana Azmi, is no match to her. I won’t go to that extent. I think Shabana is equally talented. But yes, Smita Patil had that uncanny attraction.

As for her personal life, I won’t comment much. I feel bad for Raj Babbar’s first wife, just like I felt bad for Boney Kapoor’s first wife. So, I probably would have hated Smita Patil if she was my friend or relative. But, she was not. So, I choose to look at her as an actress.

She died tragically during childbirth on December 13th, 1986. I remember watching Doordarshan news. They covered the story very well, for several days. I hope her son Prateek realizes how great an actress his mother was.

Smita Patil was a genuinely talented actress. She came in a decade which saw the rise of “art” movies. Her immature death is certainly one of Indian cinema’s greatest tragedies. Smita, we miss you. We will always cherish you!!!  

Sound Of Music

September 5, 2007

It was quite boring to watch Djokovic drub Del Potro and Jankovic overcome Bammer in the US Open. I was changing channels fast and instantly stopped when I heard the ever romantic “I am sixteen, Going on seventeen”. We had half an hour before our friends were going to join us. I knew the time was so much more well spent listening to

“Raindrops on roses and Whiskers on kittens, Bright copper kettles and Warm woolen mittens”.

I certainly have a different set of “My favorite things”. But, the song was good enough to suddenly make a gloomy evening, a very bright one.

And lucky me, just before my friends came in (and that’s when I had to switch off the TV), I got to listen (and sing along) Do-Re-Mi. Now, isn’t that a classic?

Do – a deer, a female deer

Re – a drop of golden sun

Mi – a name, I call myself

Fa – a long long way to run

So – a needle pulling thread

La – a note to follow So

Ti – a drink with jam and bread

and that will bring us back to Do!!!

I hope I have the lyrics right (wasn’t too keen to google). If you haven’t listened to the songs of ‘Sound of Music’, you have to. If not, you are missing out on something. So, go grab the CD or the movie. Until then, Que Sara Sara (oh well, some other time!).