Category Archives: About Movies

Similarity between Kishore Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan

This thought came to me when I was listening to Darde dil, darde jigar, dil mai jagaya aapne – a Rafi song from the film Karz that became a hit in the  mid-70s. This song explains why Mohammad Rafi’s career had begun to recede while Kishore Kumar was still doing great. Rafi not at all sounds good in this song. Listen to the song:

He sounds bland especially in the lower notes (not to sound boastful I can sing this song better). Compared to that listen to this Kishore Kumar song from Mr. India:

Kishore Kumar must have sung Kaate nahi kat-te almost after 15 years Rafi sang Darde dil and still, he sounds sizzling, just like Roop tera mastana from Aradhna. Kishore Kumar knew how to adapt and still sound classy. Although I’m a die-hard Rafi fan I think after a certain period his singing lost relevance and he was still trapped in the golden age of Man tarpat hari darshan ko aaj and Kuhu-kuhu bole koyaliya – renditions that only Rafi could deliver, of course. Savor both the songs:

Rafi was no doubt the playback god of Indian cinema but his singing style couldn’t adapt to the changing times. Kishore Kumar did this with great ease and was a successful singer till his last breath. He even sang exceptionally well for those cheap Jitendra flicks produced by south Indian producers.

This is exactly what Amitabh Bachchan does when all his contemporaries have vanished into the oblivion. In the 70s and 80s he hit the right cord and became a mega star. Even these days his roles are as contemporary as it gets. So what’s common between Kishore Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan? The ability to adapt.

Adaptability can help you in any sphere of life. When you can easily and quickly adapt, you can survive under any condition.

Leela Naidu

I accident saw her in a YouTube video and was struck by her beauty. When I showed the video to Alka she told me that she’s Leela Naidu. I generally don’t like the profiles of Indian film actresses (except for Madhubala) but Leela Naidu was/is a stunner. Once she was declared one of the top 10 most beautiful women in the world, and I’m not sure about the others, she could easily be among the top beauties. It was nice to know that she didn’t die young, like many other extraordinarily beautiful people.

Leela Naidu

[tags]leela naidu[/tags]

Random Thoughts

I haven’t written here for a long time; I want to write but have no idea what to write about so I’ll write about random things that have been happening in the world.

Taslima Nasreen

I’ve been reading the small news snippets for many days that the central government is making an all-out effort to make life hell for the author whose misfortune is that she has decided to take refuge in India. I wonder why she is still here when she can get shelter in some other, more liberal and democratic country. First she was thrown out by the West Bengal government and now the central government is putting pressure on her to keep a very low profile if she wants to remain in the country. She has been in a virtual house arrest — she cannot go anywhere, nobody can visit her, she cannot call anybody, and nobody can call her. Of course she has contacted every newspaper and TV news channel to pour out her heart and our external affairs minister was looking really upset when he talked to the reporters regarding how she is not heeding to the government’s advisory.

What stumps every freethinking person in the country is how the complete government machinery can be cowed down by a handful of fundamentalists? If nothing else then to just prove a point she should have been provided full security and she should have been allowed to move unrestricted. Why should the fundamentalists decide how a person should live in our country? It is utterly shameful for a country as big as India. We want to have the independence of possessing the nuclear warheads but we cannot ensure safety of a single person; isn’t it ironic?

IT people in Bangalore

A few months ago the people in Bangalore had a big problem with the poor street dogs and now they have a problem with the people working in the IT industry. The last week’s issue of the Outlook magazine talks about how the Bangaloreans hate the way the outsiders are sullying the original culture of the city. I think they should be left alone and all the other people and dogs should move out of the city. For all you know it could turn out to be a matter of life and death. Is it some city in India or Saudi Arabia/Iraq?

Shooting in Gurgaon

Recently two teenagers shot dead their classmate in a Gudgaon school. They were both I think 14-year-old and the main culprit had stolen his father’s revolver who in turn had been given the revolver by a neighbor who in turn, I think, had obtained the weapon illegally. I’m sure a lot has been written about the gun culture arriving in India and the teenagers emulating their American counterparts. Just like in America, the problem is not with the guns, it is with the society, the screwed up societal fabric that we are weaving. The father of the boy had himself taught him how to use the firearm. Violence is constantly glamorized and justified in the media especially in films and on television. I recently realized how immune we have grown to violence around us when they showed a Sri Lankan woman entering an office and blowing herself up. I wasn’t shocked for even a second. Perhaps I have seen too much blood and gore on TV. But yes in many cases the availability of the weapon makes a big difference; the unfortunate boy would have been alive had the other boy had no access to the gun.

In this particular case the other problem was the bully culture; it is said that the dead boy used to bully the boys who shot him. I think bullying should be taken very seriously both by the school authorities and the parents and the children should be taught how to handle bullies without resorting to catastrophic means because by the end of the day you want a reformed bully and not a dead bully.

The recent movie we watched

A couple of weeks ago we watched “Om Shanti Om”. It is a movie you wouldn’t want to spend your money on, I mean it is not dull but it is not a well-made movie considering who all have acted in it. Deepika Padukone is a stunner as long as she doesn’t act and Shahrukh Khan looks stupid throughout the movie. They have tried to make fun of the stars of the 70s era but they have only succeeded in making a pathetic show of themselves. The script is drab, the acting is boring, and even the direction is immature.

This reminds me — a few days ago I was watching a Rajendra Kumar song and was just wondering how old those actors used to look: he always looked like a hero in his 30s and he often acted like one and that made him look graceful. Watch “Sangam” to know what I mean; the two male heroes and the heroine all look so mature. These days our heroes cross their 40s and still act like demented teenagers. But I would quickly like to add here that actors nowadays are far better than their older counterparts as far as the acting skills go.

My reading

For many months — yes, now it takes not days, not weeks, but months — I have been reading “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas, an exceptional 19th-century French author. It is a big book, I mean, you can easily fit three novels in the amount of paper and text the book has used. In fact, while reading it I switched to another book “The Inheritance of Loss” by Anita Desai, and for a change I read the book almost in a single day. I wonder why “The Inheritance of Loss” got the Booker — it is nowhere near the other Booker books that I have read for instance, “The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy and “The Midnight’s Children” by Salam Rushdie. Maybe they didn’t have a better writer this time.

Coming back to “The Count of Monte Cristo”: it’s basically a revenge saga, and I’m not reading it because I’m in love with the protagonist and the plot. I’m simply reading it because the author has written it exceptionally well and with lots of detail. He has turned his protagonist, the Count of Monte Cristo into a preternatural genius who falls into a mammoth fortune by chance. Okay, not completely by chance but still it sounds quite tedious sometimes. The plot moves very fast and the person who has written the introduction has rightly called Dumas the John Grisham of that time.

I haven’t been reading much newspaper these days because after getting up I’m always in a hurry to do my vocal music practice and after that I start working.

Click

Sometimes my days just fly-by and I don’t even realize how many days of the week I have skipped; for instance last night I thought it was Wednesday but when I checked the calendar on my computer I discovered, to my great surprise that it was Thursday. I had no idea where the Wednesday had gone. This happens quite often — I skip one or two days without realizing and it is often on the Fridays that I realize that it is not Wednesday. Life has become so fast that I cannot keep track of individual days.

Yesterday we saw a really nice movie called “Click” featuring Adam Sandler and Christopher Walken. Adam Sandler is a busy architect in the movie and he has no time for his family. He is always preoccupied with completing his various projects and getting promoted to a partnership. He’s always absentminded and in a perpetual state of hurry. There is another thing that nags him constantly: his inability to figure out what remote controls what gadget. One night he gets so fed up that he goes to the market to purchase a universal remote (I have been planning to get one of those but right now they’re really expensive). In one of the stores he meets Christopher Walken — a strange looking scientist who gives him this universal remote control (for free and with no-return policy) that controls the universe. His joy and troubles begin from this point onwards.

He discovers, initially to his great happiness, that he can control every aspect of his life. He can mute people he doesn’t want to listen to, he can switch languages, he can change the color contrasts, he can jump to different parts of his life, and he can fast forward events that he finds irritable. He can also fast forward when he is too impatient to wait for things to turn up. For instance when he doesn’t want to make love to his wife he fast forwards the moment and gets done with the thing quickly. Similarly when he doesn’t want to take a bath he fast forwards himself to a time when he has already taken a bath. The problem is that the remote control has its own intelligence and stores his preferences in its memory, that is, his life fast forwards whenever he tries to make love to his wife or whenever he goes to take a bath, or does whatever he had fast forwarded in the past. Things look pretty good until he decides to use the remote to alter his destiny and afterwards everything goes topsy-turvy.

One day he discovers that his promotion is going to take a few more months. He wants to fast forward himself to that period of his life. Christopher Walken, who appears like a ghost every time Adam Sandler needs support for the remote control, advises him against taking such a drastic step hinting that he may not find what is looking for at that point. But of course he cannot resist and in a moment of passion fast forwards himself to his day of promotion. The promotion happens after a year. So he skips everything that happened during that year which means he also skips the moments that led him and his wife to seek the help of a marriage counselor. His dog too dies during that period. He is so upset with the turn of events that he wants to give the remote back but as is the policy he cannot return the remote. As much as he tries to get rid of the remote, the device keeps coming back to him.

While he is trying to cope with things that happened to him but he didn’t witness them his boss talks about another promotion. Now, since the remote control has programmed itself to fast forward whenever a promotion is on the anvil, the life fast forwards even when he doesn’t want it to. The remote fast forwards 10 years of his life. This way he keeps fast forwarding his life and before he can get the hang of things his life is over. During his last days, to his great dismay, he realizes how he neglected his parents, his wife, and even his children. In just a few fast forwards, he is quite old, his wife has left him and married another man, his children are fully grown, his father is dead, and he himself is going to die. In the hospital, almost on his deathbed, he sees his grown-up son, a very successful architect who is ready to skip even his honeymoon to attend to an urgent business call, and sees the history repeating itself. Totally terrified, he runs behind his son to tell him that when it comes to business and family, the family should always come first. He tells this to his son while taking his last breath.

The universal remote control is a great metaphor in this movie and I think at one point or another we are all using this psychological remote control to skip days and even months in order to pursue careers. In this pursuit we forget that we have families and other passions. I know the money is important, and in fact it is very important for the happiness and financial security of our loved ones but sometimes even when we have crossed the threshold we don’t realize when to stop and this is then we start losing the life trying to get it.

Moments spent with your family and friends are priceless and in fact they are the most important aspects of your life; but of course this philosophy cannot be applied universally. It depends on what matters to you — there have been great writers, painters, politicians, social workers and scientists who couldn’t have achieved what they have had they opted to spend more time with their families and less time doing what they wanted to do. The plot of life is quite complicated and there are no simple solutions or black and white deductions. One should just do the right thing.

For Those Who Love Salman Khan

Some years ago, actor Salman Khan and his friends went hunting for a protected species of deer called Chinkara. He shot at a doe, hit her legs and then, as she dragged herself to escape, he chased her and slowly slit her throat. He left her there. Some days later, he shot another deer and kept on repeating the crime again and again. [ link ]

So to those who love and support Salman Khan I can only say, “Chullu bhar pani mai doob maro.” (how do you say it in English?)

[tags]salman khan, animal cruelty, chinkara hunting, bollywood[/tags]