My Bollywood Top 10!

I must say this post was due for a long time! I admit the products that are churned out from Bollywood can’t be call intellectual stuff exactly and many would say there are better ways of killing time. All said and done, I’m still a Bollywood fan and hope that the song-dance sequences,the cheesiness and all other things that are so part of our movies remain so, for years and years to come. All we ask is an iota of logic….

Well then,to the topic, I would not so much say all my favourite movies are gems,but I guess we can safely say they are among the few very entertaining & watchable ones. Now lets start, DrumRoll Please…..
(this post may get a lil lengthy. Feel free to skip the boring parts.I’m afraid there are none)

10.Guide : This movie is the only one in this list earlier than the 90’s. I have seen this movie only once years ago, and the images are still stuck in my mind. The inspirational theme of the movie, ‘evergreen’ Dev Anand’s earnest performance and super melodious songs are the highlights. Gottu watch it again.

9.Andaaz Apna Apna : Arguably,the best comedy of our times. The humour was pedestrian. Utterly slapstick. The brilliance of it was that it was all intentional. So brilliant the audience then could not appreciate it and the movie actually flopped ;). Has anyone met any person who doesn’t like this movie? :D

“Mein hoon Crime Master Gogo, aankhen nikaal ke gotiya kheloonga!”
“Suno, suno duniya ke logon! Sabse bada hai Mr. Gogo!” ……………………. LOLz

8.Dil Chahta Hai : I guess lot of people would be irate DCH is so low on the list . If Farhan Akhtar would have made this movie even in 2050, he would

Aamir Khan as Akash and Preity Zinta as ShaliniImage via Wikipedia

not have had to change even a single sequence. That’s because of the ageless theme of the movie and the way its been handled. Kudos to Farhan Akhtar(his debut) for all those subtle emotional sequences sprinkled throughout the movie. Brilliant and path-breaking!

7.Lagaan : Any guesses on the biggest highlight of the movie??? Its the pre-release promotion, in which the ‘Genius’ Khan (debuting as producer) didn’t let the masses have an iota of hint what this movie was all about. And when the movie released, people came to know the movie had a full length cricket match in it! And what helluva entertainment it was! Bhuvan all the way! :D

6.Pardes: I’ll admit this movie is in this list because of my SRK bias. But I assure you,this movie has one of Shah Rukh Khan’s finest performances (Seriously, no hamming, no making monkey faces :D). It has some great Bollywood-sque dramatic sequences and of course you’ll remember the mind-blowing music score. Watch this movie and you’ll know Mr.Ghai is(was?) called the Showman of Bollywood. Suggestion :Just ignore the America bashing (or enjoy it ;))

The Top 5 now!

5.Taare Zameen Par : Aamir Khan the director, debuts and how! Awesome,awesome movie. Sensitive and intelligent filmmaking as never seen in Bollywood before.This movie has more ‘goosebumps’ sequences (you know?) than any movie I’ve seen in a very long time. And to top that with commercial success! Now that’s genius. I have seen this movie only once, so as of now its at number 5.
(Ponder: I guess Aamir knew this movie is gonna rock. Maybe thats why he didn’t spend much on the pre-release promotion,unlike himself. People weren’t very interested before it released)

4.Ghulam : Its kinda sad people only remember Ghulam for ‘Aati Kya Khandala’. The most inspirational hindi movie ever, IMHO. The movie had a great story and screenplay and a mind-blowing performance from Aamir Khan. Never got bored watching this movie! Totally recommended!

3.Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa: SRK has been awarded Filmfare Critics’ Choice Best Actor Award only twice until now. The first one was for this gem of a movie (and next Mohabbatein). Another very under-rated movie. Shah Rukh’s realistic, adorable portrayal of the lead character Sunil with all his vulnerability,innocence and even grey shades instantly makes you identify with the character and vouch for him . King Khan through and through! If you watched this movie when you were a kid and have forgotten it, I recommend you watch this one again :)

2.Kal Ho Na Ho: Another path-breaking movie , for all the gay jokes and making KantaBen a household name :D . Sheer entertainment value, SRK-Saif-Preity Chemistry,the title song,the then-innovative camerawork, dollops of emotions etc etc. make this movie such a delightful watch!

Now to The Numero Uno, the Baap Of All Entertainers, my all-time fav :)
1. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge(DDLJ):

Raj agar yeh ladki tujhse pyaar karti hain to yeh tujhe palat ke dekhegi
(Raj whispers… And so do the entire audience in the movie hall) ‘Palat! Palat!
And then Simran palats with a smile….

This sequnce is just one of the several magical moments that make this movie. Cinematic Magic at its amazing best! Enough can’t be said about this movie. Or too much has already been said. SRK-Kajol’s crackling chemistry, the great-Indian-wedding sequences which were a craze then, the snowy Swiss Alps in the first half to the lush green Punjab in the second half, the NRI factor, the songs etc etc.. Apparently nothing went wrong for this movie when it comes to entertainment value. I shall refrain from saying its a once-in-a-lifetime movie ;)


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A ‘fly-catching’ art

A far-off relative of mine is an expert at,you guessed it, fly-catching. Swatting mosquitoes is way too common, but as far as my knowledge goes, fly-catching is an unique art. Years and years ago, when the world was ignorant about animal rights (or more precisely insect rights in this case. Sure Maneka Gandhi wouldn’t mind even now???) and people were too naive to care about the poor fly, this man’s talent was a huge hit with us kids. He would be just sitting there as laid back and as relaxed as …George Bush speaking to an audience of chimps (???) . We would be waiting with a heart-in-the-mouth tension for that blink-and-you-miss move(literally!). Zap!There it comes! …Dead silence…. Of course, you missed it (Not to bother, he always showed us the slow motion later) We would all hear the buzzing and wriggling sound of the fly inside his lightly closed fist. Then with a momentary smile he would open his fist and then the fly is free to fly! Applause all around… Mind you, this is a zillion quadrillion times non-violent than mosquito swatting. As you already know by now, the fly is alive and its a happy ending, but of course…

Curious how he mastered the art ? Quoting the man himself, what we are seeing now is the fruit-bearing of years and years of drudgery. ‘An art like ’tis don’t come easy’ he says with a solemn look on his face as the kid-me listened to him,awestruck. ‘I ain’t going to school,’ he would yell simultaneously howling in pain when his father smacked his hind side with a smooth cane non-stop ‘until I catch a 100 flies today ‘. It was his passion. Its no surprise today there’s no better goddamn fly-catcher in the whole wide world (He’s the only one as of now,but that a totally irrelevant point and out of context). I can as far as go and say I drew inspiration from him, I mean not in fly-catching (he advised me not to get into it as I never had the fire-in-the-belly passion to catch flies), but in everything else I did. I cannot with all my heart say I haven’t tried my hand at the trick a couple of times or more, but as I found out, I was not meant to be.

Well,coming back to that far-relative of mine, the truth is that the guy never got any tangible gains from his unique talent. Nobody called him to their house to perform his feat, nobody at weddings cared for him (except we kids that is) when he caught multiple flies at a single flick of his arm, nobody even acknowledged the greatness of the art. Even Tusshar Kapoor will envy his no-success story. But then, what was so evident and palpable on his face was his contentment, his happiness. I met him after many years recently at a wedding, ( and while we were trying to make conversation, (zap!) he lazily flicks his arm. Then I remember, and ask him curiously,”Innu siktava (Do they still get caught) ???”. In slow motion, he raises his fist to eye-level, opens it, and as I watch with open-mouthed wonder, a fly bursts out and flies off into the air, gradually bringing wrinkled face back into focus, smiling proudly at me. He wistfully adds, ‘Ain’t no enough flies to catch these days. Maybe they should file for extinction’ . I couldn’t bring myself to tell him he ought to stop this now….

Kudremukh Trip – Part 2

The next day morning,all of us got up early and started getting ready when around 7 am Praveen’s Uncle suddenly comes in saying “Good morning! Get ready fast! I’ve got the jeep to drop you to the trekking point”.We owe him many a favor.We got ready fast reached the forest office, got permission for the trek and were assigned a guide too. Next we went to the hotel/house/mess and had breakfast (idli). We packed lunch for our trek(jowar roti,chick peas curry, chatni, pulao, bananas – yeah, we were planning to feast on the peak :P).Now we had to go around 3 km in the jeep before the trek starts. Horrible path(there is no road), to say the least. We started around 9:40 AM with a guide to help us through the trek as it was a forest area

And as expected, 30 minutes into the trek I was seriously lagging behind. Blame it on my interest in photography or inability to trek fast or the fact that my friends were under the illusion that they were running a marathon. Whatever it is, I had no plans of hurrying through the trek and reaching the top huffing. Thankfully, there was another group passing by and I joined them for the rest of my trek, more specifically 3 of them. Funny part is, they were even slower than me, by choice and by situation. So we just went on at a calm pace, taking 10 min breaks for every 1o min walk , me taking pics and sometimes simply sitting and enjoying the unending view of the hills around, drinking water from the cold streams of water intercepting the path from time to time. The hills stretched as far as your eyes can see.Layers and layers and layers. And it was quite hot too. Finally, I reached the peak a good 45 minutes later than my friends ( they had come down from the top to some shade). Nothing special about the peak. It looked the same as, say, 2 hills below.There were 2 guys from the other group there. Got few snaps of mine clicked and joined my friends for lunch.

After the lunch it was time for way back. The other group which was nearby, said that they have lost their guide and they would be coming along with us. So at around 2:45 PM ,we started as one big group. And as expected, within 15 minutes of the trek, all my friends and our guide went far ahead and I was again with these guys :D . Somewhere in between, we found their guide waiting for them (they wanted me to translate all the swear words to Kannada and pass on to them). Even though we were walking at a brisk pace,the return trek seemed never-ending. I finally finished the trek at 6:30 PM and joined my friends waiting for me, who received me with me with an ovation. I bid farewell to my new friends there (it seems someone was saying I was their only ray of hope..Gee ;))and we started off in a jeep to the main road and from their to Kalsa in a bus to Praveen’s uncle’s place.

A sumptuous dinner was waiting for us there. We told about our day’s experience and then we sat there talking about random topics till it was time for us to catch the bus to Bangalore. We thanked Uncle and Aunty for the awesome reception they gave us and went to the stop. We boarded the bus around 10:30 PM and reached Bangalore by 6 in the morning. Before I end the travelogue, some interesting points during the trip – Manju’s constant comparison of KP and Kudremukh, Praveen pointing out everytime Karthik opened his mouth that its a PJ, my theory of how better phones have 3 pins in their charger while lesser phones have 2, Praveen’s uncle suggesting Manju to become a actor and giving him Doddanna’s contact number, Karthik never actually getting to see Ambateertha coz he got network coverage somewhere on the way etc. Rest has leaked out of memory as of now :). That’s about it guys, till we meet the next time….

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