Jab Harry Met Sejal – Just Like That


 

Director – Imtiaz Ali

Writer – Imtiaz Ali

Players – Shah Rukh Khan , Anushka Sharma , Chandan Roy Sanyal

 

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who admire Shah Rukh Khan and the zombies. Oh, you are hurt… As if I care…

Jab Harry Met Sejal is a coming of age romance and one of the most honest performances by the lead cast. Shah Rukh Khan once again weaves magic on the 70 mm and Anushka Sharma proves that she is definitely one of the best leading ladies of the Hindi Film Industry.

Jab-Harry-Met-Sejal-New-Poster

Storyline

Fuck you 😀 I won’t tell you. It is the Bollywood’s answer to The Lord of the Rings without Sam, Frodo and Sauron. Imtiaz Ali delivers one of the uninteresting plot lines ever.

Songs

Why Imtiaz Ali Why? You could have paid decent script writers with all the amount you invested in making such lame songs. Ok Ok, they have been forced upon the script and mostly upon the audience. Well except, Beech Beech Mein..Because the film glowed only beech beech mein.

 Acting & Characterisation

Shah Rukh Khan is Badshah of Romance. He is the God. This film (actually all the films ) belongs to him. You will just love him for his effortless acting skills. Forget Raj, delete Rahul from your memory, Harry is real and hard-hitting. Are you sure SRK that you are not Punjabi? The accent, the mannerism and dialogue delivery- well you are just Chak de Patthey. Most of the men are like Harry, they like to play it rough and sleep with any one but lonely at heart. Harry is the next-door boy who is confused and perplexed with life. That is why Imitiaz Ali cannot be ignored, as he comes up with some of the most honest characters in Hindi Cinema.

shah-rukh-khan-anushka_640x480_71497960944Anushka Sharma …you are savage. I am fortunate enough to rub shoulder with few Gujju Baa, Bahoo and Ben..and you have provided one of the most honest portrayals of a Gujarati Woman. They are rich, they show-off a lot but they are very good and brave at heart…just like you Sejal. Chandan  Roy Sanyal ‘s portrayal as a Bangladeshi Immigrant is funny and gory at the same time. Sadly you have been over-looked by Bollywood directors.

I couldn’t see any other people on the screen. Jab Harry Met Sejal gives you the honest meaning of Star Cast.

Other

Imtiaz Ali is an honest film maker ..but he has given an above average performance in this film. Cinematography and background score is commendable. The film has some of the finest European locations, excellent acting and commendable characterisation. Enjoy the heart to heart conversation between Punjab da Puttar Harry and Gujju Chokri Sejal.

Do not miss the scene where Sejal provides legal advice for Harry’s break-up with his hot European Blonde. The film has been dragged behind limit…again why Ali why?

This could have been a great romance. I repeat…could have been. By the way, Harry and Sejal will be in your heart for ever and ever. At least this is a practical love story not the Utopian out of the world Bollywood romantic flicks. Lastly,  SRK can romance a rock and make it go weak on his knees..toh fir audience kya cheez hain?

Pros

SRK, SRK , SRK , SRK…………….

Excellent characterization

Awesome acting.

Comic timing of Anushka and SRK

Cool cinematography

Great Editing and on-screen chemistry

The kiss…

Cons

The length of the film.

Songs in the film…

Weak Story-line.

Weak direction…

Lame origin story…

 

Ratings – Bhaag..it is SRK’s movie.

Verdict – Something different..something new

Trailer dekh le

 

 

 

Disclaimer : Images from the internet…

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Kishore Kumar -Melodies For Life..


Abhas Kumar Ganguly is still regarded as one of the most talented singer of our nation. Mohd Rafi is a singing genius , Manna Dey is the Badshah of Classical and Semi-Classical gharana…well Kishore Kumar belongs to the aam admi and it is important to respect the taste of the mass also. Kishore Kumar is known for churning outs romantic tracks , peppy numbers and heart-wrenching songs. mainly . But this blog post focuses upon those songs which are aimed at life in general . So no Jhumroo and Hum to Mohabbat karega over here.  Some songs are contextual while some are for life. After all nothing is more important than life itself. Check this out.

1.  Gaadi Bula Rahi Hain , Dost (1974)

This is my favourite and motivates you to move forward just like the mighty trains which overcomes all the blockades in its track and keep moving on with fire in it’s heart. Dharmendra ‘s silence is so beautiful. This is a must song for your travel playlist.

Favourite Line :  Aggey toofan , peeche barsaat ..upar gagan pe bijli

 

2. Zindagi Ek  Safar hain Suhana , Andaz (1971)

This song doesn’t need any introduction , just enjoy the long road known as Life. This was a philosophy simplified of the concept known as Carpediem. Life life , make merry …do give a damm about others. Also it reminds you that life is vulnerable and might get lost at any time.

Rajesh Khanna’s lovable friendly appearence and Hema Malini’s smile makes this one a treat to watch. Mohd Rafi did a sad version of the same song but it was Kishore da winning the brownie point the end. Check out Bombay in the 70’s..

Favourite line : Hasste gaatey Jahan se guzar

3. Jeevan Ke  Safar Mein Raahi Milte Hain Bichar Jane ko , Munimji (1955)

The song highlights the fact that life is lonely and we are alone .You will have some people at some point of your life and you will part away with all of them..except with life. Dev Anad with his infectious smile ….hard to resist.

Favourite Line : Tanhayee mein tarpa ne ko

 

 

4. Zindagi Ki Yahi Reet , Mr.India (1987)

What is Life ?- It is triumph and defeat. It is being happy and being sad…..Brilliant use of metaphors. Anil Kapoor proves his mettle as an actor.If you ever feel depressed , listen to this one…

Favourite Line : Har naya paal naya geet hain

 

 

 

5.Thoda Hai Thode Ki Zaroorat Hai , Khatta-Meetha (1978)

No philosophical mumbo-jumbo over here.It is about the aspirations of the Indian middle class.Some of us need money , some of us need love , some of us need fame.Blatantly originial and hardhitting.

Favourite Line : The whole song..

 

 

6. Aane Wala pal , Golmaal (1979 )

The beauty of time and the crudeness of the same. Life is all about the little precious moments , try to live it.Simple and classy-that is Kishore all about.

Favourite Line : Ho saakey toh isme Zindagi Beeta Do

 

 

7. Musafir Hoon Yaaron , Parichay (1972)

Gulzar’s lyrics about the evergreen traveller ,who wanders across the land with only one aim , no aim . It is about the restlessness , it is about freedom .. and most importantly it is about the wanderlust of life. Bohemian spirit de-coded.

Favourite Line : Mujhe Chalte Jana hain..

 

Disclaimer : Images from the Internet

Raag Desh-The Raga of India’s Heroes


Raag Desh- A Movie Review

Director- Tigmanshu Dhulia

Writer -Pramod Singh , Tigmanshu Dhulia

Players – Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh, Mohit Marwah, Kenny Basumatary, Kenny Desai

Let me tell you something about myself , I am from the metropolis of Calcutta-home of one of the most charismatic hero in World History , Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.I have supported the concept of non-violence against the intruders. It was and it is always by war. You name the book , I have been through it . You name the documentaries  and other creative works on Netaji and INA , I have gone through all of them. Thus  there is no fooling over here  ,Tigmanshu Dhulia ‘s Raag Desh comes up with brilliant research work about INA and Netaji.

The story of Raag Desh is so detailed that you tend to stand up and salute to the research team of the film . Few years ago Shyam Benegal made an endearing biographical film Bose-The Forgotten Hero which ended with the staged Taihaku flight accident of Subhas Bose(read the reports of Mukherjee Commission) and the trial of INA officers. Raag Desh picks up the story-line from the famous Red Fort trial (1945)of the three star studded men of Azad Hind Fauj.

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Dhulia has been successful in extracting  some of the career defining performances from majority of the actors. The three leading men Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh, Mohit Marwah doesn’t leave any room for complain. I wonder why Kunal Kapoor and Amit Sadh have been missing from action , dear Bollywood please use them properly . Mohit Marwah’s voice and body language is hard hitting on the 70mm. Kenny Basumatary, as the supreme leader of INA and the bravest leader of all time(yes yes Subhas Bose ) manages to leave a mark on the  audience. Kanwaljit Singh is as good as ever in his empathetic role in the film.However it is Kenny Desai as Bhulabhai Desai who steals the laurel of acting department. Loved it the way you articulated your character on the screen.Look out for the journalist in the film(yeah the bad mouth Delhi ka launda in Pink)..you will love him.

As usual no spoilers about the film’s story-line . But there is a weak point in the narration, Dhulia employs excessive to and fro jumps between past and present scenarios in the film and it is tiring at times.

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The film falls flat on some of the shoddy fight sequence but manages to compensate it on the court-room scenes in the film. Music is average over here , but the background score is rather very compelling . INA’s theme song Kadam Kadam Baraye Ja is a treat to the audience.

Raag Desh is not the usual loud screeching Bollywood patriotic films. It has been carefully crafted by Tigmanshu and his team. It is satirical  and it is free from any kind of jingoism. It is a tragic story of a failed army who dreamt big and worked hard to gain freedom. Subhas Bose appears in flashes but his ideals of  hitting the enemy hard reverberates across all the members of INA in Raag Desh. Ironically many Indians also fought against INA soldiers across the North-Eastern front of India , Raag-Desh portrays the dilemma of the INA soldiers shooting their own countrymen(British Indian Army ). It is one of the most heart-wrenching moment of the movie. The film will remind you of court room dramas like Shaurya, A Few Good Men and Twelve Angry Men. But Raag Desh is original and brilliant in its own accord.

When Bollywood is caught up with making ghisa- pita love stories and southern rip off , Raag Desh is a bold move and almost a an epic execution. Watch the movie to know the real heroes of Indian freedom movement. Watch it for real information and real life characters of our nation . Don’t miss this one. Lastly this is not Dunkirk(much behind it) but this one will go down in history. Tigmanshu Dhulia, take a bow. There is only emotion that is love for the nation…it surpasses religion, Raag Desh proved it and didn’t pester forced nationalism and secularism. IMDB gave it 9.1/10 by the way… 😛

 

Pros

Excellent Research Work

Top notch acting by the cast

Strong screen-play

Brilliant Direction by Tigmanshu Dhulia

Satirical and Intelligent tone

Cons

Editing is weak.

Too much jumping jack between past and present.

Rating- 4.5/5

Verdict – Jai Hind ….

 

 

Disclaimer – Images from the internet.

 

Film Review : The Ghazi Attack


The Ghazi Attack

Direction -Sankalp Reddy

Writer -Azad Alam

Screenplay – Sankalp Reddy,

Cast –     Om Puri,Kay Kay Menon, Rana Daggubati,Atul Kulkarni,Taapsee Pannu , Rahul Singh

 

War films in Bollywood mean Chetan  Anand’s Haqeeqat , J. P Dutt’s Border and LOC Kargil with fuelled up patriotism, study of personal relationships of the soldiers and some unforgettable melodies. Afterall who can forget Mohd Rafi’s Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathio or Sonu Nigam and Roop Kumar Rathod’s Sandesey Aatey Hain. All of them were great films but suffered one fatal flaw – too much distraction from main war and dragged up a length of the film.

This is where Sankalp Reddy’s trilingual war epic The Ghazi Attack scores 100 % marks for its focus on the core subject ….the WAR between India and Pakistan. This movie is actually the prologue to what we have seen in J. P Dutt’s Border.Border sums the legendary battle of Indian forces at Longewala against the Pakistani army …this movie shows why the Pakistan army declared war against India on December 4th, 1971.Watch…the battle of Indian navy.

No way I am going to reveal the story line..This movie chronicles the voyage of an Indian Navy submarine S21 along the northern waters of Bay of Bengal.

Kay Kay Menon as Captain of S21 does an honest job as the captain of the Indian submarine ,his penache for violence and to hit the enemy vessel is very well etched out. He represents all the defence personal and Police persons who want to hit the enemy at the first instance without waiting for the orders of headquarters.

Ranna Duggabati as (Arjun Varma) Lt.Commander of S21 is the smartest man on duty and one of the most brilliant characters of the film who displays qualities like honour, justice and tactics through his acting skill throughout the film. Well, you could have shaved your beard. Keep it up man..you are perfect.

Atul Kulkarni did the most difficult job as a navy officer being torn up between the law abiding officer and the daredevil captain of the sheep….your experience as an actor shows in every frame.

Tapasse Panu did a decent job as the East Pakistani refugee, so does Om Puri and the other team of supporting actors.

rahul-singh

But the man who steals the show is Rahul Singh as the Commander Razaq Mohd Khan of Pakistani submarine Ghazi. It is very common to overlook the counter-narrative approach in a war film , Madras Cafe did some justice on this aspect but The Ghazi Attack provides enough space for the drama inside the Pakistani Submarine.Rahul Singh delights the audience with his expressions and radiant acting skills…You will hate him for his anti-India dialogue. You will love his tactics as a Submarine captain and his frustration when he speaks out:

“Commander hain yaah liftman..upar neeche upar ”

The editing is perfect and not at all over the top.Indian audience enjoyed the interiors of Submarine after Shyam Benegal’s Bose – The Forgotten Hero.  There were no melodramatic scenes, the dialogues were crisp and the screenplay is world class to the core.The film scores in building up cinematic thrills and tension across its course of narration and delivers a highly engaging piece of Cinema.Thanks to the special effect, it was beautiful seabed across 70mm.No doubt it has got an 8.7 rating on IMDB.This is one type of film which makes you stand up and salute the unsung heroes of our nation…and it proves that War is always between great minds and it is won by courage, knowledge and the spirit of patriotism.
A must watch ….

Cheers to our soldiers

Cheers to honest film making .

 

The film is  partially inspired by the book  The Blue Fish

Enjoy the trailer

 

Disclaimer : Images from the internet

Mohenjo Daro : The Film Review


 

mohenjo-daro-new-poster-latest-still-1000x509Director                  – Ashutosh Gowariker

Story                       – Ashutosh Gowariker

Cast                         – Kabir Bedi , Hrithik Roshan , Pooja Hedge

Genre                      – Epic/ Fantasy / Historical Action Adventure.

 

Historical tales have always baffled me and I am a hardcore history buff since the first history lesson in my school .It was Chapter 1 “ Indus Valley Civilization” , thus when I came across the news that  Mr Ashutosh Gowariker was making a film on the oldest civilization on earth …I was dam excited and thus a large screen show was a must watch.

Now you need to understand the basic difference between History and Literature ….(Film is a visual literature ). History provides us with the fact of past and build some theory out of it .While Literature tells us what might have happened  during that time …it never claims that the exact thing happened and a historical fiction lies somewhere between them.

Ashutosh Gowariker being a master storyteller and and epicurean researcher weaves a fictitious saga of Hero ( Hrithik Roshan), on whose deeds depends the fate of an entire civilization.I will say an Epic Saga ,it has got a magnum setting and elaborate narration.

The production design is epic in every scale , be it the grand city of Mohenjodaro or the armoury used in the fighting scenes. Just like the set of Mohenjodaro and Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Je , Mohenjo Daro impressed me with its set build up.

Now let me talk about the character build up. The hunting scene with the crocodile illustrated the immense courage of the hero .The idea to follow his dreams ( read Unicorn dream ) and the urge to know the unknown and see the unseen revealed the Ullysian spirit of the protagonist.The screenplay provided enough instances to showcase the honesty of the central character.

The same goes with the main antagonist ,Gowariker takes his sweet little time to build up his character and he is impressive in every scene.

I came across Nitish Bharadwaj ( apna B. R Chopra’s Krishna ) after a long time , he was good in his limited screen time. Kabir Bedi dazzled as a big time villain but Arunodoy Singh underplayed himself.His baritone was indeed a haunting experience.

The man of the hour ..Hrithik Roshan proved his mettle as an actor in every scene. From being a small time farmer  to a hero of the  race , Roshan shines very brightly. Keep it up Hrithik with your star performance like this.

Pooja Hedge  is a treat to watch…with or without the headgear.You have a long way to go..keep up those innocent looks. :D.. Acting skills can be improved.

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pooja-hegde-Mohenjo-Daro-71

There have been few historical inaccuracies but owing to the quality of art ,it can be overlooked.

The costume design is at par with the international standards…the same thing goes for the music ,background scoreand the fight sequence.

 

Ashutosh Gowariker is a visionary director and it is visible with the uncommon choice of music and glittering choreography in the narration.Thank God ,we have some one who can come up with such a brilliant larger than life narration.Do look out for the symbols on the Harappan Seals and the sequence inside the Great Bath .

Though the first half is bit tiring but it builds up the momentum for the extraordinary second half.

Now the climax sequence is one the most extraordinary sequence in Indian Cinema.Gowariker as a narrator takes up one of the most famous theory regarding the destruction of Indus Valley civilization and  with astonishing brilliance of artwork paints it on the silver screen. The audience cheered while the hero was doing his best to restore the human life.Yes I was able to relate the Great Bath, the underground drains and the statues with my history lessons.

This film is meant for big screen . My 250 was worth watching this visual extravaganza on the 70mm.Thank You for showing the greatest Urban Civilization from the history books.

Don’t miss it ..Remember Gandhi ,Troy , Gladiator, King Arthur all were full of historical inaccuracies and took the help of imagination….the result was magic. Mohenjodaro does have its share of flaws but it is indeed a piece of magical experience.Don’t miss it.

Pros

1.Provided something new.

2.A Magnum opus with the heart at right place.

3.Hrithik’s fighting scenes, hunting sequence and amazing screen presence.

4.Excellent VFX usage..which synced well with the script.

5.Haunting background score.

6.Detailed production design and costume design.

7.The cinematography is delightful.

8.Visually appealing.

9.The freshness of Pooja Hedge

10.The reference of Horse,the ancient time calculating device and the connection with Mesopotamian Civilaztion.

Cons

1.Problem with language ..(how the language can be Sanskritised Hindi ? Aryans came later)

2.Except the title track , other songs could have been avoided.

3.The first half was way too long.

4.The dance sequence of Hrithik…not at all necessary.

Ah I would give it 8.5/10

Enjoy the trailer.

Disclaimer – Images from the internet

 

 

 

FILM REVIEW : FAN


Cast-Shah Rukh Khan

Directed by-Maneesh Sharma

Produced by YashRaj Films

 

“Jab tak Sooraj,Chand rahega..Shahrukh tera FAN salamat rahega”

Debraj Moulick

 

Story- I am not Wikipedia

 

Characterization

Gaurav aka Junior Aryan Khanna dazzles the screen with his stalker like approach and an obsessed eccentric fan personality of a fictional movie star Aryan Khanna (read Shah Rukh Khan).He is just an ordinary Delhi boy with an extraordinary penchant for his superstar,his idol Aryan Khanna.He lives his idol,he breathes his idol..in one word he exists because of his icon.

While many people told me that ShahRukh as a reel life superstar couldn’t match up to his onscreen personality as FAN,I would strongly disagree.In word of Devdas Mukherjee “Objection Overruled” (SLB’s DEVDAS).He received a tailor made role of a superstar in this film  and unlike his other onscreen superstar spree in Om Shanti Om and Billu Barber,he keeps his acting just within rule books.Once in a while he shows his attitude and at times he plays it through a safe zone as conscious Public figure and a protective family guy.Keep it up Sirjee,you are way ahead of your time..you know how to underplay yourself so that your other self (FAN)shines throughout the 70mm.

 

The Enigma Of Fan

 

Now let me tell you a secret,I enjoy Shah Rukh Khan.My father tells me he has been watching him since the days of “ FAUJI” and my mom tells him he is a romantic star…but I never had his poster in my room,nor I have watched every first day first show of his movies.

It was the year 1996,I was in  my relative’s house when suddenly my elder brother and my uncle came home after a matinee show of a particular movie,they  collected almost 200 rupees(audience were throwing coins for each scenes) from the movie hall(consisting on coins).The show was of DDLJ and the star was SHAH RUKH wait for it KHAN,yes that was the craziness of Shahrukh’s film twenty years back in a sleepy moffusil town in Bengal and living in Mumbai at present, I get the same vibe.

Just remember only two things get better with time one is Sharab (Wine) and another one is .. SHAH RUKH KHAN.

The so called intellectual fan of Aamir Khan taunted me so much because they said Shahrukh doesn’t act,he is a pure Businessman. Well I would say “ BITCH PLEASE”..

Gaurav is the screen stealer, he gets his body language correct,his expression to die for and his insanity deserves an applause…It is his fixation for the superstar that makes him so endearing that you become puzzled who is the real star over here.. The FAN or the ICON ?

 

I am a proud kid of 90s,but I have never seen the younger  ShahRukh of Dewaana and Baazigar on the bigscreen( I was too small to visit a theatre ),so thanks to YRF for bringing that Shahrukh onscreen.

 

Movie critics criticized him for his eccentric acting method, his constipated dialogue delivery and his baritone laughter style..but Shahrukh never bothered..he delivered in manner and twenty years down the lane they are the most incredible traits of his acting.

Regarding the script,well in one word it is lousy and yes it is not a  copy of a Hollywood flick of the same name.Cinematography and background music has been very apt to the tone of the film..one of the negative thing about the script is that,it was bit predictable..but who cares it was Shahrukh all the way.

GURU TUMI CHILE..TUMI THAKBE

Hey you Jackass..Shahrukh doesn’t need promotion and item numbers.  J

What happens when you get a combination of  KKkkkkiran Obsessed Shahrukh(DARR), love labor lost Shahrukh (Kabhie Haan Kabhie Naa) and a V for Vengeance Shahrukh (Bazzigar) with a little bit of exothermic reaction called superstardom…you have a FAN.

Got my point ?

Rehne de,tu nahi samjhega

PROS

1.Acting

2.Location

3.Obsession

4.Dialogues

5.Some scenes gives you goosebumps…

A.The Last Fighting Scenes B.The sequence in Rajdhani Express C.The last scene of the movie.

6.No unnecessary songs and dance sequence

7.It shows you that one should appreciate the hard work of the self made superstar..not only the Glitz and Glamour.

Cons

1.The screenplay could have been bit more engaging.

2.No Jabra Fan anthem.

Disclaimer : Images have been taken from the Internet.

BOOK REVIEW : COlOR ME RICH


 

BOOK REVIEW

Color Me Rich very authentically portrays the aggravation of an artist who is unable to come up with good quality art. It also showcased the cons of getting into a hasty matrimonial alliance .Deep provides us with some authentic episodes of marital discord with tinges of sensual romance.

Deep’s Color Me Rich comes with a neat plot and some forgettable characters. Yes among the characters like Zenobia,Suma,Pran and others only two characters  named Bollywood Aunty and Akash shines. Somehow the art of characterization falls flat.

However the psychological array of Akash provides a good read.His presence simply envelops everything. Deep deals with various issues like the theme of isolation, the class clash and of course the notion of creative block.

 

The storyline travels from Mumbai’s western suburbs to the posh Cafe Parade and finally to Harbor’s Panvel Farmhouse. Now Deep very genuinely deals with the life of Akash Saigal,his struggling days and of course troubled marriage life.Zenobia seemed to be an eye candy and yes a hot beauty no doubt. The concept of muse has been finely dealt through the hellenic bond between Suma and Akash.Deep enlightened me with the in-depth knowledge about the history of portraits in India,his knowledge in the field of painting surely deserves an ovation. The struggle which most of the wannabe artists have to go through gets a factual representation in the narrative.

But what makes this book immensely likeable is the narrative technique and off course a gripping plot.  Mohan shuttles between the present and the past like a seasoned filmmaker juggling with the flashback and contemporary scenes.His usage of  “Yesterday’s” and “Today’s” are  laudable.

It will be interesting to watch a Bollywood adaptation of this sensational narrative.Now the plot resembles the tragic story of the artist Hema Upadhay…there has been a recent suicide in the B-Town…which can also be a part of another shocking plot.Let us wait and watch.

Now let me provide with the Positive Sides.

1.Engaging Plot

2.Psychological aspect has been finely dealt with.

3.Excellent research on Paintings,J J School of Arts.

4.Good study of Parsi Community.

5.Special mention about  the knowledge(of Mohan Deep) regarding Portraits .

6.A good juxtaposition of the Prolepsis and Flashback.

7.Excellent Climax build up.

Cons

1.Characterization of the minor characters.

2.Suma …a bit more was needed.

3.Small end notes would have been great,since there has been usage of Marathi,Parsi and Hindi Words (exclusively for the Occidental Readers)

Verdict- 7.5/10

Now grab a copy of  Mohan Deep’s Color Me Rich.

Color Me Rich 

by 

Mohan Deep 

Blurb 

A sensitive love story of a handsome and talented struggling painter Akash Saigal. What happens when he marries an extremely rich and beautiful artist and art investor Zenobia Taraporevala?

Prologue

 

J J School of Art, Mumbai.

 

Taking a charcoal pencil, Akash Saigal started drawing the wood-and-stone structure, popularly known as ‘Kipling Bungalow’. He was sketching sitting on a bench on which, in another era, K K Hebbar, M F Husain, Syed Haider Raza, Sadanand Bakre, V S Gaitonde, even Dadasaheb Phalke had sat with their sketchbooks, sketching the house where the author of The Jungle Book was born.

 

Ganpat Gupte appeared along with two of his gang. Gupte was the nephew of a minister, or so he claimed, and had the arrogance that comes with power.

 

“Ae Akash, kae karto?”

 

Akash looked up at the trio and said, “Nothing much. Just a drawing.”

 

“Okay. What is the day today?”

 

“Monday.”

 

“I should have known.Tere ko blue shirt hai na?”

 

Akash didn’t get the connection, but Gupte’s chamchas laughed knowingly.

 

“Didn’t you get it?”

 

“What?”

 

The three boys sang in unison, “Monday, blue shirt. Tuesday, black shirt. Wednesday, blue shirt. Thursday black shirt. Friday, blue shirt. Saturday, black shirt. Sunday…laundry!”

 

If Akash was hurt, he didn’t show it. He laughed sheepishly and continued sketching the bungalow.

 

But he would never forget this.

 

Today 

 

The elevator zoomed up, taking Akash directly to the penthouse on the 60th floor of Apollo Towers, and stopped with stomach-curdling smoothness. The door slid open to reveal his luxuriously done-up lounge.

 

He came out of the lift, turned down the passage, and walked over the deep-pile rug to the lounge.

 

He had returned from the salon.

 

He felt cleaner and fresher after his bimonthly facial – only Tanveer could give him a satisfactory shave – and pedicure. He liked to have his moustaches- like John Lennon’s – done like in the Sixties, and he liked sideburns.

 

His head was still heavy from drinking until the late hours, but he looked much better than he felt. His studio was to the right, almost hidden behind the lavish bar facing him as he entered.

 

Perched 550 feet above the city of Mumbai, he could see the Queen’s Necklace and the World Trade Centre. From Zenobia’s bedroom, the Gateway of India and the high dome of the Taj Mahal Hotel.

 

Pran smiled at him.

 

Akash returned the smile, picked up the bottle of Blue Label and poured himself a stiff drink.

 

“Isn’t it a little early for a drink?”

 

Without saying anything, Akash smiled, and switched on the TV.

 

The TV screen flashed a story over a video shot of Zenobia with him in happier times, followed by a shot of the Mumbai Police Commissioner’s heritage Gothic-style building and a subtitle: ‘Mumbai Police give clean chit to Akash Saigal.’

 

The newsreader said:

 

“Based on the findings of the forensic department and investigation, the Mumbai Police has declared the death of noted artist and socialite Zenobia Taraporevala suicide. It may be recalled that a year ago, Zenobia died from a fall from her 60th-floor penthouse. There were questions about her death. Was it a suicide, or an accident, or was she pushed to her death? Her husband, the famous artist Akash Saigal, was under a cloud all these months. It has now been established that tired of being confined to a wheel chair after a car accident, a depressed Zenobia committed suicide.”

 

Pran jumped out of his seat, still listening to the newsreader with open-mouthed amazement. He shouted: “Wow!”

 

Both the men hugged.

 

A shot of Prime Minister Narendra Modi now flashed on the screen, as the newsreader continued, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Singapore….”

 

Akash smiled tiredly at Pran.

 

“You already knew about it?”

 

Akash nodded and absent-mindedly picked up an envelope. He took out the card, glanced at it, and pushed it back. It was an invitation to his own function.

 

“Boss, when do we leave?” Pran asked.

“We have lots of time. The inauguration is after three hours, and the ministers never come on time. Agar aa bhi gaya toh hamari woh Fareeda baithi hai. Sambhal legi. Dad will take care of it. Chal baith, tu bhi le.”

 

“No, not me. I’m driving,” Pran said solemnly.

 

Akash knew that this was not the time to drink. He shouldn’t appear sloshed in front of the entire world and the prying media. He took another sip, and changed the news channel. 

 

And found himself staring at a picture of Zenobia on the screen. The still picture changed to a video shot of Zenobia and he at a party.

 

The newsreader was ranting:

 

“In India, the law mandates that the husband be questioned for cases involving the death of a woman within seven years of marriage. Akash and Zenobia had been married for barely two-and-a-half years. And Zenobia had died under mysterious circumstances, falling from the French window of her penthouse! The police always look for ‘the other woman’ in a case like this.”

 

The TV showed a shot of Suma, followed by a video shot of Suma and Akash emerging from the JW Marriott in Juhu. The newsreader went on: “And they found her in Suma. Suma Malkani, the beautiful ghazal singer.”

 

The State Minister for Cultural Affairs, Nanasaheb Palekar, was to launch the art school, named after Zenobia Taraporevala-Saigal, that evening at Powai. There had been several protests because of the controversy over her death, but the minister ignored them all.

 

A protest was planned for the same day by Kapila Khandelval’s NGO. It was unclear whether the NGO would go ahead with the protest or cancel it in view of the clean chit given to Akash by the police.

 

This project had been his baby and Zenobia’s dream. The government had given the land and the Taraporevalas had put in the money. Fareeda had inserted a business angle even in this dream project of Zenobia’s. The Zenobia-Akash Saigal School of Art had become the Zenobia-Akash Saigal School of Art and Business Management. She also had plans for a Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in an annex. The minister had given the nod for that, too.

 

Akash’s mobile rang.

 

He looked at the screen and let it ring.

 

Taking a sip of his drink, he moved towards his den. He stepped into his room, and before he could shut the door, the phone near the bar table rang.

 

“Boss?” Pran said. “Fareeda is on the line.”

 

Fareeda would be having kittens without him. Akash’s association with the project had given it respectability and even a cultural cause, and got the plot at one-eighth its market value, and all the permissions.

 

“Fuck her!” Akash said, but he answered the phone anyway. 

 

Fareeda seemed frantic.

 

“The media will be here in three hours. And the minister, too.”

 

Akash said, “Fuck the media!” and hung up.

 

The TV newsreader went on:

 

“Before Akash Saigal hit the big time, he lived in a small apartment in Adarsh Nagar, in the western suburbs. His paintings didn’t earn him enough to buy a decent vehicle. He travelled by buses and cabs. While Zenobia almost took a sabbatical, Akash shot to fame with his mixed media and three-dimensional installations after marrying her.”

 

Leaning against the soft, cool leather of a luxurious sofa, Akash said, “Cigarettes?”

 

Pran was already sliding open the glass door of a cabinet. A carton of Marlboros had just one packet left. He gave the packet to Akash, grinned, and threw the carton in the trash box.

 

They might have been sharing the same flashback, the same past.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Mohan Deep, is an Indian author, painter and Feng Shui Master. Mohan Deep is the author of ‘The Mystery and Mystique of Madhubala’ (1996), ‘It’s My Life’ (Novel) (1997), ‘Simply Scandalous: Meena Kumari’ (1998), ‘Eurekha!’ – an unauthorized biography of Rekha. (1999), ‘Four Options’ (2000), ‘Feng Shui for the Bold & Beautiful, the Rich and Famous’ (2001) and ‘Nehru and the Tantrik Woman’ (2002). After a sabbatical of a decade, during which he touched upon the lives of people as a Feng Shui Master, he was back with The Five Foolish Virgins( 2013). Mohan Deep is arguably the only Indian author to write what is often described as controversial, unauthorized star biographies in India. Columnist-journalist and former editor of ‘Illustrated Weekly of India’, Khushwant Singh called him ‘a truly gifted gossip writer’. “The maverick writer”, like columnist-reviewer-poetess.

Tara Patel described him has also been called William Goldman of Bollywood’s stars (By Behram Contractor, the Editor of Afternoon Despatch & Courier) (Source) Kitty Kelly of India (By R K Bajaj, the Editor of ‘The Daily’). Interestingly, almost every book he has wrote/penned has invited controversies for its bold content.

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Mohd Rafi-You are a Legend


It was the 15th August1996  in Kolkata and the local sound box in our para(read Mohalla) were tirelessly playing all the patriotic songs.Songs like ‘Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyo’,’Ae Watan Ae Watan Humko Teri Kasam’ and ‘Woh Bharat Desh Hain Mera” appeared in repeatative mode. I was enigmatically drawn to the unique voice of the playback singer.

My elder brother has been a superfan of Mohd Rafi,we still have the HMV Golden Collection Cassettes in our home.It is Christmas Eve today and also the birthday of the singing Legend..let me share some of my favourite tracks of Rafi Saab.Today it is his 91st birthday…..

It is impossible to pick up the favourite ,unless I opt for the genre wise selection.He was a multidimensional singer. Bhajan, motivational, patriotic,pop sensational, romance Rafi Saab excelled through all the genres.

Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan

(Haqeeqat -1964)

The setting of the song was the disastrous Indo-China  War of 1962, where India suffered a heavy casualty. Rafi’s song became a rage…it talked about the sacrifice of our brave soldiers.One of the most popular army song other than Sandessey aatey Hain(Border).

Favourite Line..”Fateh ka jashn,,iss jashn ke baad hain..zindagi maut se milrahi hain gale”.

 

 

Sar Jo Tera Chakraye – Johnny Walker, Mohammed Rafi, Pyaasa

One of the most tragic cinema of Hindi Film Industry, this song was a comic relief. It has become immortal, be it in hair oil commercial or Pain balm reliever ad-Sar Jo Tera entertain you at any moment. Johny Walker brought it alive with his innovative onscreen Jest.

A very essential song for the ever busy generation.

Favourite Line- ‘Lakh dukho ki ek dawa hain..’

 

Yahooo! Chahe Koi Mujhe – Junglee 

Once Tennyson wrote,”Break,Break,Break”…. this song broke all the snobbish way of romance..to hell with symbolism and veiled expression..Shammi Kapoor emergeed as a star,Rafi became a youth icon.A tribute to the testosterone pumping lover..unlock the beast.

Famous Line-‘Sote sote zingani ghabrake uthi hain jaag”

 

P.S-‘Yahoo’-the prolific out cry,the chorus singer Prakash Raj did it.

 

 Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho

I like the song for the beautiful rendition of Urdu Shayari..an immortal ode to the beloved.(You cannot miss the beauty of Waheeda Rehman).

Favourite Line-‘ Hoton pe khilti hain Tabasum ki bijliyan’

Khoya Khoya Chand Khula Aasman…Kala Bazar (1960)

Moon has always been the delight of love lyrics..but the phrase ‘Khoya khoya Chand’..is some what like the drug which when induced  brings out the passion and emotion at the same time.

Favourite Line-‘Aisi hi raat bheegi si raat’

 

 

‘Tere Mere Sapne’- ‘GUIDE’

Highly sentimental and a promise of a lifetime..this song sums up Raju’s love for Rosie.Legendary Movie, legendary lyrics and legendary voice.

Favourite Line-‘Lakh Manale Duniya,saath na yeh chutega’

 

 

Jo Wada Kiya Woh Nibhana Padega, Taj Mahal

The film was about Shah Jahan’s epic love story and the song was composed keeping that grand stature in mind. Rafi saab nailed it. Pradeep Kumar’s subtle expression-just wow.

Well the list is never ending…

So i would like to end it over here,but not before providing the most played track list of Mohd Rafi. Here it is..Enjoy pure music.

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer-Links from Youtube.

Shammi Kapoor- The First Postmodern Hero of Hindi Cinema


Like Literature,Cinema also tries to freeze the time..Hindi cinema is sometime ridiculed for being too cheesy and loud..but keeping aside all those hateful terms..yes it indeed showcased the actual pen picture of India (excluding some parts).
Focussing mainly upon the retro cinemas where Heroine only used to wear traditional clothes,Heroes were confined to poetry or Love Ode…for example Raj Kapoor,Dev Anand,Dilip Kumar or Rajendra Kumar. They were all great actors..but they were always within a watertight compartment of TRADITIONS.It was all about the beauty of loving and being loved..where was the youthful flamyboyance of love ?
Where was the kickass energy in their love proposal..more importantly where was the excitement in love ?
The raw exuberance in Love.
Well it came with the rockstar known as Shammi Kapoor.A scion of the filmy Kapoor family..whose young attitude towards love..and rocking eccentricity towards the aspect of being in love engrossed the whole nation alike….Mohd Rafi’s energetic voice and Kapoor’s Rock & Roll avatar(inspired by Elvis Presley) broke all the entaglement of goodboy image of Love..it gave birth to the Yahoooooooooooo feel in love.

He broke all the orthodox aspect of love..He expressed freely..he loved bravely and most importantly he made the audience believe.. “To Love is to Enjoy”… oh yes He was one of the earliest Hero to dance on the silver screen.I consider him as John Donne of Indian Cinema.

I have been always a fan of those great songs..Let us take a look at some of them..I hope you will be able to relate with these Legendary songs.Enjoy Folks.

1.Aasmaan Se Aya Farishta (An Evening in Paris)

The Leading lady (Sharmila Tagore) in bikini..a blue sea with skimpy clads extra…some great deal of aquatic adventure..and the daring angel Shammi arrives in Helicopter to woo his Lady Love..Yeah !.

2.Badan pe Sitare (Prince)

Shammi Kapoor looks angry..and he gives Vyajantimala the ultimatum..Where you are going in those glittery attire ?Do come over here. The authoritative tone is actualy very cool.

3.Yahoo…(Junglee).

Tennyson once wrote “Break,Break,Break “.. Shammi did it..He cried out in excitement..he confirmed that he is the beast…He is the wild fellow..overflowing with love hormone.The silent Saira banu..Prakash Raj’s loud cry “Yahoo”..It is immortal and path breaking.He was the Dewaana .

4.O hassena Zulfowali (Teesri Manzil)

Again… a bitter sweet approach in love..making his beloved jealous..and pairing up with Helen..That famous White Dinner Jacket.Sexy Man…

5. Yeh Chand sa Roshan Chehra(kashmir ki Kali)

Sharmila’s innocent beauty,Shammi’s crazy antics on Shikara..Beautiful in every aspect.. “Main Khoj Hoon Manzil ki..aur manzil pass hain mere “… This one makes you fall in love again and again.Ranbir Kapoor did it again in “Rockstar”.

6.Aajkal Tere Mere Pyar Charche (Brahmachari)

Shammi opnely flaunts his love..Mumtaz dancing with those thumkas..and the jealous look on Pran’s face… Shammi enjoying the moment…Yaba yaba do.

7.Bar Bar Dekho (China Town)

Black & White one…i haven’t seen the movie..but he is asking everyone in the restaurant to take a look at his beloved..I gurantee you..he is the originator of Relationship status on facebook..Yes I am in love.. everyone have a look at my beloved.

8.Aaja aaja Main hoon Pyar Tera (Teesri Manzil)

A bit seductive..but never vulgar..Mohd Rafi was too good as usual..But Asha Parekh(Asha Bhosle) stole the show..it was like “Come over here my love”..and Shammi..yes he was legendary over here.