Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Fanaa yesterday, which I found to be neither very good nor very bad, but best approached with very low expectations.


I particularly liked the chase in the second half. Terrorist Rehan parachute-drops from a plane on to snowy slopes of Poland-as-Kashmir and skis away as the Indian army gives chase. Good-looking top shots of the monochrome silver-white landscape and a racy sequence.


Rishi Kapoor seems to have carved out a niche for himself as Bollywood’s resident lush. And so he is here rarely seen without a drink in hand, being slurred and charming.
His character makes the same mistake many others on celluloid have made: that of approaching a deadly villain with gun in hand and then engaging him in conversation and worse, moving within an arm’s length of aforesaid villain with only a slack hold on aforementioned gun. His daughter makes the very same mistake ten minutes later, confirming that lack of good sense runs in the family.


Subhan Allah sounds a bit like the notes in Desert Rose, nai? whatever… it’s pleasant enough.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Pick one

Choice of you shuts up that peacock-fan
The future was, in which temptingly spread
All that elaborative nature can.
Matchless potential! But unlimited
Only so long as I elected nothing;
Simply to choose stopped all ways up but one,
And sent the tease-birds from the bushes flapping,
No future now. I and you, alone.

So for your face I have exchanged all faces,
For your few properties bargained the brisk
Baggage, the mask-and-magic-man’s regalia.
Now you become my boredom and my failure,
Another way of suffering, a risk,
A heavier-than-air hypostasis.

-Philip Larkin

Only so long as I elected nothing.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Dheemi aanch pe tu zara ishq chadha

My immediate reaction to Rang de Basanti was severe disappointment. So swayed was I by its theme, the build-up of the first half, the immense potential of the story, I was bitter at its eventual derailment. I didn’t dislike it so much as disapproved. Strongly.

Some time has passed, and with it comes moderation. I must admit that my aversion to the experience hasn’t eclipsed the beauty of Prasoon Joshi’s poetry in the film. Fresh, vigorous, spontaneous and so very evocative.

Listening to the songs now makes me realise that the filmmakers were completely seduced by the idea of spilling blood. There simply had to be deaths, multiple deaths, massacres. They were convinced: young alpaayashoos, insane moths flying into the flames; flickering licks of fire roaring into tall flames, young vehshis feeding it with their own selves, offering everything they possess to make one glorious blaze.

aye saala
abhi abhi hua yaqeen
ki aag hai mujh mein kahin
hui subaah, main jal gaya
suraj ko main nigal gaya
roobaroo roshni hai

I’m taken with the images in this piece. The bemused awakening, ‘ki aag hai mujhmein kahin’ is soon put in perspective – this is no ordinary fire in the belly, our young martyrs have swallowed the sun. And of course it will soon consume them:

aandhiyon se jaghad rahi hai lau meri
ab mashaalon si bhad rahi hai lau meri

In Khalbali:
ham lapakte saaye hai
ham sulagne aaye hai
ghar bata ke aaye hai
hai khalbali

we have come to burn,
we have left word at home…
there is no turning back.

Sacrifice, the colour of blood, self-immolation are recurrent themes: jin mein ho junoon junoon woh boonde laal lahoo ki…. Had I heard these pieces with any attention before I saw the film, I wouldn’t have blinked at the bloodbath that ensued.


Aside: AR Rahman who simply gets more and more brilliant with each composition is also a man who knows precisely what he wants. Naresh Iyer, who sings Roobaroo with Rahman, was a contestant in Channel V’s Super Singer. Rahman was one of the judges on the show, and in a very amusing twist, dropped him from the contest and offered him this song. He didn’t sing well enough to make the cut, but he had exactly the voice the composer needed, so that’s that and what’s what.

Monday, May 22, 2006


No tickets to Gangster, so made do with 36 China Town. Not bad actually - acceptable time pass.
No smoking in movies, say the powers-that-be, and Abbas-Mustan find a way around that. hyuk yuk.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Body art

How creative we are being, mon amis, you have no idea – our summer holidays are being spent in genteel pursuits. We are being very much like a cross between kids at summer school and English ladies of yore, who used to occupy their time setting delicate stitches and painting watercolours.
Humble self has made pretty shaded butterfly exactly copied from Vikas’ Learn Watercolour Basic Painting – 1 and 2. As you see, we are still finding Vikas a very reliable instructor in these matters.

And then in what we really consider a triumph (for we are not artistic), mehendi! The hand is reasonably steady and the lines acceptably bareeq! Check out this masterpiece we executed on Shweta’s foot. The head of the peacock as you see is imperfectly done, and we hardly need to tell you this is Shweta’s handiwork – we took a break to have chai and she decided to do her own thing. Oh, and design credit goes to Rupal Pinto.

We have now become very ambitious – scanning the net for more and more intricate designs and have conned children next door into submitting their palms for some posh body art. Next week, we will be knotting fringes and making tapestries, we believe.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Pramod Mahajan (1949 - 2006). Much sadness.
Rajesh Pilot, Madhavrao Scindia and now this man. What's this, a hex on our younger leaders? Dynamic, well-rounded, intelligent, interesting men gone.