Mukti

Stranger things

Posted in Bollywood, culture, movies by jrahman on January 22, 2017

If Shakespeare was writing it today, Hamlet might well have said to his friend Horatio that there are stranger things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy.  Strangers in strange lands, that is how many of us feel about the world we live in.  Being a quantitative, analytical person using well established frameworks and models to make sense of the world, I can not possibly think of a stranger thing than the reality of President Trump.

No.  That’s not right.

I can think of far stranger things.  Stranger things that are far more uplifting than politics.  What is strange but that which is difficult to explain?  What is then stranger than how people fall in, after failing in and falling out of, love?

Falling in love, that’s dime a dozen, though romantic tragedies are bigger hits than happily-ever-afters.  Falling out of love, that’s rarer, definitely not quite your standard traditional Bollywood fair.  Love outside loveless marriage — that only used to happen in arty stuff starring Shabana Azmi.  Except for that Big B vehicle to extricate himself from a real life triangle, how many mainstream Bollywood pics  about extramarital affair can you think of?

Of course, traditions change.  Bollywood changed forever with Dil Chahta Hai.  And what better way to show that than through how love and marriage are treated in two Karan Johar directed Shah Rukh Khan starrers named after yesteryear hits?

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The love song

Posted in Bollywood, movies, music by jrahman on June 7, 2016

Love stories tend to be boring because they tend to end in rather predictable ways.  And yet, from Radha-Krishna and Laila-Majnu to Romeo-Juliet and, because we aren’t unaffected by Bollywood, Amitabh-Rekha, our imaginations are captured by love stories.

Yes, that last sentence is a derivative of something from Midnight’s Children.  Salman Rushdie, of course, drew inspiration from the famous Bollywood romance for his infamous Satanic Verses filmstar-gone-crazy who was haunted by his jilted lover Rekha Merchant.  Then there is the Shashi Tharoor novel about the rise and fall and apotheosis of the matinee idol Amitabhshok Bachchanjara, with a many pages on his off screen romance.

It’s fitting then that the last movie to star Bollywood’s most famous couple is a tale of socially ostracised love, which also happens to have one of the best love songs to come out of Bombay.  The Bachchan monologue — I often wonder with my solitude what if you were here — tells us that it’s a sad song.  But it’s the multiple possibilities and nuances of the female perspective — rendered sublimely by Lata Mungeshkar — that makes the song what it is.

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Old school spy flicks

Posted in action, Bollywood, movies, thriller by jrahman on February 2, 2016

Tired of the Batmanisation of the genre?  Well, we have had a couple of old solid gold old school spy movies of late.  Last year there was the Guy Ritchie version of a 1960s TV show.

And before that we saw the screen version of a British comics.

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A more innocent time…

Posted in Bollywood, music by jrahman on January 5, 2013

… when I used to only listen to these songs, and had never watched either.  The first one turned out to be nothing like what I had imagined, but the second one was exactly as I thought it would be. 

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সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.  Well, bonus holiday edition of 20 trashes.

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সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

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Watching Aamir Khan

Posted in Bollywood, comedy, Drama, movies, romance, thriller by jrahman on December 4, 2012

I planned a post on Aamir Khan playing a college / post-college kid over the years — from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander to Dil Chahta Hai to Rang De Basanti all the way to 3 Idiots.  That was nearly three years ago, after I had just watched 3 Idiots.  That post never got written.

I watched Talaash recently, prompting me to write this post.  I don’t remember what I was going to say three years ago.  But hey, it’s a blog, not the New Yorker, so I can just jot down some rambling and link a few songs, right?

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Qurbani style

Posted in Bollywood, culture, movies, music, society by jrahman on October 27, 2012

(Content may offend religious sensitivities).

The Qurbani Eid never seemed the real thing to me.  Fasting or not, it’s undeniable that Ramadan has an impact on the life of anyone remotely associated with Muslims.  So there is a month-long build up to the Eid.  That doesn’t happen with Qurbani.  And I am not into slaughtering and gluttony anyway.

And yet, sitting alone in a hotel room thousands of miles from friends and family, I find myself missing Qurbani.  Hence this post.

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সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

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সাতকাহন

To compensate for the recent hiatus — caused by microcosmic organisms with evil side effects — a double edition of trashes collected by the senses.  Normal ramblings should begin soon.

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