Showing posts from 2006


A Pakistani/Indian/Persian/Danish artist named Aneela has remade* the craptacular "rap" song "Informer" by the Canadian "artist" Snow. Now, as you all know, I like Indian pop culture, and I like Canada, but this does not compute. You can see the video for "Chori Chori" in the usual places or just listen on her website. Oh, right, that's where the Bollywood connection comes up - she does"Say Na Say Na" from Bluffmaster , and she has another song that sounds just like it on her site, but I think it's got different words in parts, but what do I know - this is getting into levels of remixing and sampling that make my brain hurt. This song was brought to my attention by my friend Jason, who does counter-terrorism for the US Navy, whose offices apparently have muzak, and their current station of choice included this. Jaosn, ever attuned to international pop culture trends, alerted me pronto. Which is only fair, considering the drea

a tag from the true north, strong and free

Sharon tagged me to write about what I learned in 2006. It's over here - but I should warn you, there's not a single Bollywood reference in it (though it is cheesy as all heck).

like the Eros ads, except in reverse

Bollywood seems to be taking me places - or at least making my name pop up in new and unusual settings. (The bottom link in the list of today's features may look familiar to regular readers of BLB....)

only for Akshaye: Aap Ki Khatir*

* with apologies to Babasko , who thought of this sort of title first. It's not uncommon for me to watch movies in multiple stages, but this one really pushed the limits. If I had been liveblogging, it'd have to look something like this: Tuesday, 7:10 pm: movie about twenty minutes in and I can hardly keep my eyes open; realize I would rather be watching a Gilmore Girls repeat Thursday, 9:27 pm: movie about thirty minutes further in and I can hardly keep my eyes open; realize I would rather be asleep and that a Kevin Sorbo-guested episode of The OC is better than this could ever be and I should just quit while I'm ahead Friday, 9:30 am: a morning movie, even an "enh" one, is a good idea; I've had worse accompaniaments to a bowl of cereal Friday, 4:53 pm: the lasagna is in the oven and my parents are supposed to arrive at about 6:00, so I can just finish it if I don't keep pausing to laugh at the subtitles Friday, 5:30 pm: parents early Friday, 8:38 pm:

awww...they're so cute when they're asleep

Sweet dreams, FPMBF. ( Aap Ki Khatir , 2006)

quite possibly the only way to make insurance more interesting

This morning's fifteen-minute research project is to track down information on - and preferably footage of - Bollywood-inspired commercials for Metlife Insurance aimed at the South Asian-American (do I need another hyphen in that?) community, complete with music by Eshaan and Loy. Two of them won some sort of award. You can see at least one of them here , but this is clearly not one of the ones described in a review of the project here . So maybe there are three ads? Anyway. I'm all for them. On another note, I heard that now that Google owns youtube, there is going to be a bit of a crackdown on the latter's hosting of copyrighted material. I've long been wondering how that was legal, since it all seemed a bit Napstery, and I never felt entirely comfortable with what youtube enables people to do with copyrighted stuff, but for me to comdemn it would be hypocritical, largely because I do use and enjoy it.

21st-century girl: Bobby

Like Seeta aur Geeta , Bobby was something I read about but thought I'd never get to see, as neither my local video store nor the Indian grocery store had it. But during a quick stop at the latter on Saturday, while looking over other shoppers' heads at the Hindi shelves, scanning for Shaadi se Pehle , which is mysteriously always out, lo and behold! Another classic and my education continues. I consider both of these finds auspicious, and I can't wait to find out what other older gems he has for me. Anyhoo, you know a movie is going to be fantastic when you get to say "Woah, dancing on the ceiling!", it has a young Farida Jalal with a really creepy doll, the hero's house looks magical mystery tour through several previous centuries of furnishings and architecture (why do Bollywood's rich families always have such gigantic main rooms, especially with grand staircases? Is this an ideal house form in India? I can see how it's good f

what I learned from Munna Bhai MBBS

Update to post (December 27, 2006): First, a warm hello to everyone who came here via India FM . Second, please ignore the word "sequel" in this post and mentally replace it with "next installment of the fantastic adventures of Munna and Circuit." After I wrote this, the comments people sent me prompted me to consider more thoroughly whether Lage Raho Munna Bhai was a sequel or an installment in a serial, and now that I've thought about it further, I'll go with the latter. To get them out of the way first, the two things that really bugged me in this movie: 1) What the hell happened to his family for the sequel? I'm so confused. Was there an explanation for this 180 in Lage Raho Munna Bhai that I don't remember? Like a quick exchange at the beginning, with Circuit saying "Yaar, it's a real bummer your family was all killed in that fiery autorickshaw crash" and Munna says "Yeah dude, but I'm over it, now that I'm back in

shut it

Okay, Mr. Eros Entertainment announcer, let me tell you something: though I happily lump myself in the category you call "hey you Bollywood freaks" - and I'll assume you don't mean that pejoratively - I've just about had it with your endless commercials. You go on and on and on, telling me things I already know, advertising movies I have either already seen, already have on my list to see, or would never in a million years watch. And you never let me FF. I'm a loyal customer who believes 100% top A-1 in your product, and still you hold me captive. What gives? Oh, and the one name that's responsible for spreading Bollywood worldwide for the last 25 years? It's "Amitabh Bachchan." You're welcome.

Seeta aur Geeta

My Bollywood history is shaky - and all my reference books are downstairs - so I just have to ask: did the whole world fall in love with Hema Malini after this movie came out? Because it should have. She rocks. Most things I touch are turning to "enh" today - a colleague described a graphic I designed as looking like vomit-covered baby poop, and she wasn't wrong - so I don't think a full response to this delightful film is in order. Just watch it. It's fun. And it has roller skates. Also, the clothes are fantastic. 60s/70s in all the right ways, such as above. Nary a fug to be found.

surprisingly lackluster: Commando

In a recent discussion about 70s Bollywood, mere dost over at Teleport City mentioned that he was looking to combine two great tastes that taste great together: Bollywood and ninjas. I've believe I've mentioned my tendencies towards the researchy, and this is the kind of query that keeps me up past my bedtime. Fortunately, it took me less than 30 seconds to find Commando and send the recommendation on its merry way. And though ninjas are not something I ever seek out, I figured that they were likely to correspond to things I do enjoy, such as spies, villain lairs, or crass, fake-pretend Japanese elements; when a little more research revealed that the star was Mithun "I am a disco dancer" Chakraborty, I gladly hopped on board. Bad idea. Commando could have been so much more. Somehow the people in charge of this project managed to squander the following rich resources and wound up with a mediocre, half-arsed, unengaging snooze: Mithun as a nation-saving soldier who

hugging my earphones

Thanks to a tip-off from alert reader icy, I'm now listening to the Salaam-e-Ishq soundtrack and it is nine kinds of wonderful. I'm on the third repeat of the title song, which I love so much it makes me squish my earphones to my head so I can get the maximum amount of happy from the sound. (If anyone walking by in the hall saw me, they'd probably say I look like an over-eager backup singer in an incredibly low-budget recording studio, but never mind.) Also in Salaam-e-Ishq 's favor, my FPMBF showed up to the music launch looking slick and sane, if woefully underutilizing his ability to look fabulous in a rainbow of colors ( pink , perhaps). I do wonder what has happened to his hair, though. Is he actually balding, or is this just another in a series of too-close haircuts? Kinda makes me miss the mullety days of Taal . (thanks, IndiaGlitz) Update to post (later that day): Gah! Thanks again, icy, for filling me in on Akshaye's tango with the razor. (Thanks to b

file under "enabler"

Thanks to Trivial Matters for this gem when I asked him "What's new in Mumbai?" What's new is that DVD vending machines are rolling out in the city. (IS that Tara Sharma in the picture?) The impatient filmi junkie in me loves this, rife with peril as some conveniences can be, their availability making it all too easy to choose poorly. Imagine: one is on one's way home from the pub, bubbly-headed on giggling and rum and coke, and one somehow gets it into one's head that one wants to - needs to - see a Govinda movie right that very minute. Hours later, one wakes up on the couch, completely confused, then looks up in horror to see the tv screen alight with animal-print pants and wild bugging eyes and dopey grinning. One is filled with regret. Maybe you can put blocks on your account: "Under no circumstances, not even for mockery or point-and-laugh, will the bearer of this card be allowed to rent Kyon Ki ."


"Bollywood stars, Malaysian ministers to play football" . Does this remind anyone else of the Monty Python skit in which German and Greek philosophers have a match ? Just imagine. We'll have our boys on one side in their shiny shirts and pleather pants, all choreographed in perfect formation, flinging their arms out while they wait for the loudspeakers to blare music for them to start lip syncing, and then they just look around confusedly when they realize they're still on the soccer field and not in the Alps; the Malaysians might be too busy to notice as they debate trade agreements and tax bills.

lunchtime poll #3: all in the family

Because the recent ice storm and cold snap find me buried under a tv-on-DVD wave, with dozens of episodes of the Gilmore Girls , the OC , and DeGrassi Junior High (both old and new school) (yes, I love teen dramas, and no, I can't explain why) piling up, I don't have much to say these days, Bollywood-wise. But I miss being here, as it were, so instead of me boring you with yet further thoughts on my rewatching of 36 China Town , I'm going to take up a suggestion from alert reader Aspi , whom I like very much even though he mysteriously finds himself needing to chuckle at the thought of my FPMBF, but never mind. Aspi proposes that we examine Bollywood parent/child pairs with regard to various factors (the first three are his ideas, and I added a few more): child who most let down parent child who did/is doing better than parent "What was Dad/Mum thinking?" (I'm not sure what this means, exactly, but you may interpret as you wish, or Aspi can post in to clari

signed, sealed, delivered

In the mail this weekend I received a nicely designed and very academic-looking newsletter from the University of Chicago South Asian Studies Center , the lovely and whip-smart folks who organized our pre-Fulbright seminar orientation this summer. Now look how the newsletter was addressed. Somebody, somewhere, likes me.

I wonder if anyone has written a thesis on this? Amar Akbar Anthony

This movie is a hoot. It's got such a gleeful mix of everything I hardly knew what to expect next - except, of course, that the family would be reunited, since it was clear from the get-go that there was heavy moral order going on here. You don't dump your kids off at the feet of Gandhi on Indian Independence Day if you're going to be noncommittal about how things wind up. Since there's no possible way that I have anything to say about this movie that hasn't already been said, I'll just say that it's really fun and everyone in it is great and then share a few of my favorite things: Vinod Khanna is so cool he can snap on the interrogation lights. This has got to be my favorite Amitabh fight scene ever. And this might just be my favorite Amitabh scene of any kind ever because he's so very, very funny. On second thought, wait. I do have something else to say - or, rather, ask. For reasons that are still not entirely clear, even after a solid 24 hou

we always hurt the ones we love; or, a turkey a day early

So awhile back I was on MTV Desi 's "The Big Picture" to talk about Aap Ki Khatir . My handler was off that week so I had to get ready for the show all on my own, and since it was on an MTV channel, I figured, hey, why not do what all the American kids - and that Britney Spears girl's husband, he seems happenin' - seem to do these days: put on something vaguely hip-hop and an I'm-so-cool-that-I'm-bored attitude. Voila! The all-white and the chains and the Caesar hair are all that and a bag of magic masala chips , na? I know Beth has a new outlet for her opinions on what I wear and all , but I figured since she doesn't even have cable,* she'd never spot this one. Anyway, what does she know about being a movie star making promotional apperances? Nada. It pains me that because of this outfit I can actually compare him to Britney's ex (and well played, Britney, actually).** He looks like a Saturday Night Live parody of George Clooney prepping