Archive for July, 2007

July 31, 2007

Rang De Basanti (2006)

Since I finally watched it a few months ago, I have been trying to figure out why I didn’t really like Rang De Basanti. The other day I came across this interview with one of Gandhi’s great-grandsons, Tushar Gandhi* and it set my brain off again on the subject:

Q: What did you think of “Rang De Basanti”?

A: Though I liked the film the conclusion was inapplicable and problematic. It just offered an emotional eruption. The parallels between the freedom fighters and today’s youth were interesting but inaccurate. I appreciated the parallels between history and contemporary times. I thought it was a technically brilliant film.

Q: So, are you saying it trivialised history?

A: I’d say so.

July 30, 2007

Tired, deaf, happy

The Police concert at Fenway Park last night completely rocked. We had great seats in the general vicinity where Manny spends his time during games. Since they aren’t making a new album, they just played their hits — and they have a lot of them! I had sort of forgotten how they ruled the airwaves 25-odd years ago.

Maybe they have reunited so that Sting can afford a new guitar:

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July 30, 2007

Hinjew wedding…

Uncles in yarmulkes:

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A white girl in a sari (with the beautiful “Miss Neesha”):

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Sarita and David are married!

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July 28, 2007

Blog abandonment

Between my friend Raju’s visit, my friend Sarita’s wedding festivities, the new SRK biography, the new Harry Potter book, and various and sundry other activities (like my job), I have not had any time to watch any movies, or do anything anyone else would find even remotely interesting (although I will be near the front row for the Police reunion concert at Fenway Park tomorrow evening :-).

Busy, busy, busy.

In the meantime, here are some photos of the bride-to-be’s mehndi:

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July 23, 2007

My word!

Pagalicious (adj.): Deliciously crazy, as in “my dog is pagalicious.”

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and also: “Gemma finds David pagalicious.”

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July 19, 2007

Parsi Gara embroidery

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I consider this the prize of my sari collection. It’s an antique silk Parsi Gara sari made in China, probably around the end of the 19th or early 20th century. On their travels to China, Parsi tradesmen from Gujarat fell in love with traditional Chinese embroidery and began to have saris embroidered there. They brought them back and sold them to wealthy Parsi women. This trade stopped after the Chinese revolution, and there have been no true Parsi Gara saris made since about 1950. There are very few whole saris left, and most of those are family heirlooms. The majority have been cut up and the borders preserved, while the silk body of the sari disintegrated.

July 18, 2007

Starter movies

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People are always asking me what movies I would recommend to them so they can become more familiar with Hindi movies. Of course, that’s like asking what Hollywood movies one would recommend*; obviously it depends on personal preference for genre, etc. but I’ve done my best to come up with a “one size fits all” list. These are not here just because they are favorites of mine (although they all are), but because I think they are also easily accessible to the western sensibility while remaining true to the culture they come from.

July 16, 2007

QOD

“Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre,
but they are more deadly in the long run.”

-Mark Twain

July 15, 2007

Sahir Ludhianvi

There is a nice article about the great Urdu poet and film lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi in today’s Mid-Day (Mumbai) newspaper. I fell in love with his lyrics watching the 1958 movie Sadhna starring Sunil Dutt and Vijayanthimala. Fortunately for me, the songs were subtitled — and subtitled beautifully, I might add! (The major reason I really need to learn Hindi/Urdu is so that I can comprehend and appreciate the poetry of songs from older movies without having to depend on subtitles…but anyway, back to Sahir Ludhianvi.) By all accounts, his life was unhappy and he was considered very arrogant and difficult to work with. But he was a genius, and he knew it. Bless him!

July 14, 2007

“Borrowed” from Hollywood

I watched Aamir Khan’s movie Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin yesterday. It is an obvious remake of Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night and it got me thinking, not for the first time, about why I prefer the Hindi film version of some of my favorite Hollywood films. The Hindi film industry is often accused of stealing entire plots without acknowledging (or paying for) copyrights held on their Hollywood counterparts. And to be sure, a movie like DHKMN should acknowledge Frank Capra’s work as its direct ancestor. What I don’t understand is why so many people hold these remakes in contempt and use them as examples of how Indian filmmakers lack creativity. After all, Hollywood itself remakes its old films.

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