Court

Like when you wait for your turn at a barber shop, you do notice a lot of things. You notice it, because you are doing nothing but just waiting. You notice that the barber just went outside and blew his nose, and then he’s back massaging some guys head. You watch some random telegu channel, which you have at your home too, but never ever stopped at it. But you now watch it in the barber shop because you have nothing better to do than wait. The guy next to you is on the phone speaking to his uncle about some sick relative of theirs in a language that you dont understand but you strain your ears and try and figure out the story because you have nothing better to do in that barber shop than wait.

Court is an incredible incredible documentation of just observations. Observations that are so accurately translated back to cinema.

c o u r t_0If every road, every street and every room in the country had a cctv camera, and if one incident were to be covered in its entirety by only using footage from these cameras, the result would be something like court.

Court makes everyday life more exciting than fiction. Court throws the spotlight on everyday mundanity and makes it steal the thunder out of the most bizarre fantastical dream. Court creates superstars out of nobodies. Court makes you sit up and take notice of everything happening around you, and makes you believe that your life is not mundane. It makes you think that you could actually be amidst the most engrossing story ever.

Court opens up your mind to a new topic. A mundane life. And it has the sexiest stories hidden underneath.

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Mr Big B, Khush toh nahin hai hum

(This is a very old post of mine, that suddenly went missing from my blog. After a lot of searching…..I have unearthed it from somewhere. I cannot backdate it, and so I have no other alternative than post it right up here. Read it, if you already haven’t.)

Mr Amitabh,

Give me the real Bachchan.

I admit that you are one of the few actors to have evolved so finely. But I cannot help but miss the Bachchan who walked into theatres amidst deafening whistles.

amithabh_bachchan_deewar_20070521The Bachchan who triggered a frenzy even before the censor certificate appeared. The Bachchan who kicked us out of bed to rush to the theatres and join a snake long queue. The Bachchan who made us sacrifice the popcorn during intervals. The Bachchan who kept us glued onto the seat even if our bladders were bursting. The Bachchan whose films were reserved to only be screened during Diwali on Doordarshan. The Bachchan that made us aware of theatres we never knew existed. The Bachchan who made us grin and bear the shaky lines that appeared and reappeared in the rented VHS tapes.  The Bachchan where nothing else mattered as long as it was Bachchan.

If I had to pick up a poster of you to adorn my walls, it would still be from the pile of your earlier films.

If a Rajni can still do a Sivaji, why not you?

How can you enter the screen without background music anymore? Why is there no grand revelation to the God on screen? Why does the camera not take its time to scan you from toe to head? Why is there even an inch of space between you and the edge of the screen? Why are your opening lines not drowned in the din of the audience? Why is there no reverb to your baritone voice when you utter those first golden words? Why do you not do things that a Naseer or Om Puri can never dream of doing?

There are a hundred actors for us to go ‘wah wah’ about their acting skills. But there is still only one Bachchan to imitate in front of the mirror. So why have you stepped into those easily replaceable meaningful roles? Why have you retraced your steps to being an actor again?

kalapathar_amitabhIf all this is an attempt to cater to the new generation that wants ‘Bollywood’ to resemble ‘Hollywood’, then what happens to the crores of front benchers like me? Who do we turn to? How long do we rerun those pirated dvds? How many more dvds will you make us buy, by just changing the cover? When do we see you with DTS put to full use? When do we see the seats of multiplexes ripped apart? When do we buy in black again? When will you give us new fodder with which we could spend a few more years happily trying to imitate? When will you stop breaking the formula? When will you surprise us with a cliche that’s now rare?

‘Vijay Dinanath Chauhan…gaon Mandwa……’,

“line wahin se shuru hoti hai, jahaan hum khade hote hai’

‘Ae kancha, bandookh bhi dikhatha hai aur peeche bhi hat tha hai?’

‘Aadmi aisa do heech time bhaagtha hai, olympic ka race ho ya police ka case’……

Don’t you miss saying those lines anymore than competing with mere mortals who are hiding in the shadow of realism? Specially, when you’ve unanimously been granted the license to leap far out of it.

Don’t worry about the New Gen. After all, they are a giggly lot, laughing at silly MTV spoofs of your masterpieces, with no impact of the original on them. Moreover, there are sufficient people who’ve been put in the business to keep them happy. There are enough ‘thinking directors’ catering to them, engaged in remaking foreign flicks or inspired renditions of them. That should keep them busy in comparing it with the original. They have a good understanding going on between themselves. Leave them alone to enjoy that nonsense.show_fpicphp3

In the meanwhile, please spare a thought to forgotten front benchers like me and wake up the sleeping Salim Javeds, Kader Khans and Tinnu Anands, and let’s start from where we left off last….

Was it Hum?

Bhaktavar…Mein aaaa raha hoon…….tan tan tan tadang taaaaaaaaaannnnnnng…

Now go.

Me and my Jhankaar beats

It’s strange that every time I sit back to think about incidents in my life, songs from Bollywood always make their way into the memories. After 33 years of uneventful existence, the only thing I can proudly showoff, is the shitty deep association I have with Hindi songs.

And they don’t include any Gulzar or Burman’s work of genius. I am one of the few who remember songs from inane films like Tum Mere Ho, Phir Lehraya Lal Dupatta and Bahaar Aane Tak.

As I think about my past, ear shattering tunes with a thousand violins reaching crescendo automatically form background score.

I used to stay in a locality where Bollywood was like Hollywood. In the sense, it indicated refined taste. In my colony, you would rarely hear a Hindi song blare in the neighbourhood. Devotional tracks and Kannada music were the only cassettes people possessed. Hindi was cool, irrespective of what it was.
In this ambience, an electrical shop, “Kathyayini Electricals’ in my locality decided to make Bollywood tapes available to this part of civilisation.

The optimistic fool, also stocked titles like the ones mentioned above, with a hope that once people covered the basics like QSQT and Tezaab, they would eventually stoop down to such trash.

He made a grand showcase and displayed Gulshan Kumar’s garbage in them.

Nothing of such sort happened. All the money he made by repairing fans and geysers, he lost on T-series. Slowly, the bright coloured Cholis and Lehengas of these heroines on the cover turned sepia with dust.

He decided to do away with them, and dumped them in a huge cardboard carton box of Cosmo switches or something like that, and scribbled with a marker ‘All cassettes Rs. 5/- only.’

This was a splendid chance to improve my collection of Bollywood tapes. To increase it from a disgusting number of 9 to above 50. To me it never mattered what the songs were, who the singers were or who penned the lyrics. All that mattered was that it was Bollywood.

I bought all of them. Maybe I left one or two behind, as the covers were unattractive. I disliked combo tapes as the pictures of the heroes and heroines were reduced by half.

So there it was, a new collection that included unheard titles like Habiba by Bappi Lahiri, English translations of Hawa Hawa performed by Babla and Orchestra, Trinetra, Runa Laila, Baap Numbri Beta Dus Numbri, Baaghi and stuff like that.

I connected two bright green ‘Meenu’ speakers to my flat National Panasonic Tape Recorder and belted out numbers like ‘Narangi Musambi kuch bhi pila’ or ‘Neeli neeli aankhen’ or “Super Dancer’ with extra jhankaar beats, every afternoon.

When I finally joined Christ College with this enriched knowledge on music, I found no gang worthy to belong to. Everyone had wasted their childhood listening to trash like Dylan and Floyd.

Oh Shit!! I had to make a start again.