Hibernation and a poll

I have always felt that bears have the right idea for winter and apparently this year I am joining them. I’ve been watching movies, but the writing part of my brain is AWOL. Hopefully I will be inspired by something soon, but until then I have a favor to ask all of you.

Do you have two or three favorite posts here? I am thinking of compiling the most popular ones to create a book but don’t feel I am the best judge of what the “most popular” are (not being objective in any way, shape, or form). If you do have some definite favorites please leave them in the comments—I will sort through them all and make a list with those that get the most votes!

And let me know what you think of the idea too (please be polite, but honest!). You can select more than one answer, too, but try not to contradict yourself.

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81 Comments to “Hibernation and a poll”

  1. All of the above Greta. I am preordering the book, inshaallah!

  2. Yessss! Make a book out of your posts, Greta.

    You know how much I love your writing and your sense of humor! So even if you pick from your existing content, I’d be happy to pre-order. :-) So I clicked on the second button.

    And oh, I also clicked on the last one. :-) Just had to. Too tempting to resist. :-)

    Lots of posts I love – will go through them again to suggest a few.

    One that I remember off the top of my head was Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki.

  3. Greta, I think it is a great idea (like Raja, I clicked on the last button because it was too tempting to resist) but yes, new content absolutely. Some of your fantastic reviews-of-films-you-do-not-want-to-watch (and ones you do!) coupled with some of the more indepth bios of people-you-never-get-to-read-about. Add the reviews of the really old films from the 40s – people don’t know about them. To me, that last two would actually make more sense. They are the struts on which the film industry rests, and there is precious little that one knows about them. You have been doing a yeoman service in shining the spotlight on them. Why not go an extra step?

  4. Don’t forget Dulhan. That’s a must-include. :-)

    I don’t know what is involved in creating a book out of your blog but would it be worth considering including all your movie reviews in the book, instead of having to cherry-pick? Why WOULDN’T you do this? Just asking.

    • There are plenty of bad posts around here that I wouldn’t include. They are not all created equal, like most things :) It needs some sort of theme, but I thought I’d see what people like the most and work around that.

  5. Well, I would like you to discuss various actors and directors and their work. For eg: Dara Singh, a list of his movies and the ones you like best, and also the ones you did not like.

    Something like that?

    Or do you want to publish the blog as it is? Even that is a good idea.

  6. Memsaab you are a great inspiration for me and I’m not a film buff. For so much of passion and dedication for something in life that makes life worthy of living. You should really go for the book, you already have a treasure here but book is very interesting idea. You have a unique way of going in detail of things that are overlooked. I see the book in volumes already but not sure era wise or film making components, personalities. How you care to know so much about the other artists than the main leads…. I mostly enjoyed your reviews on 70’s movies that were labeled as C’graded.

  7. Definitely – you should definitely start a book! My personal favourite posts are the ones about Edwina as they give us an insight into the ‘real’ industry, however all of your film reviews are fantastic! Coupled with your sense of humor – this book, if you decide to do it, will surely be a bestseller…I say ‘go for it, Greta!’

  8. I would definitely buy your book! Your celebration of these wonderful films and the artists who crafted them is unique, and uniquely informed.

  9. Absolutely! As Anu mentioned, I would want mostly reviews of older and more obscure films that a casual DVD shopper would be unlikely to find and your work on the Artist Identification Gallery/bios of those less well known performers. And as a bonus – a selection of your best ‘bad’ film reviews :)

  10. Phew tough ‘un but…
    Artist Gallery a tough task crackin the ‘codes’ bole toh names
    Articles and research yu have done on artists who have always been there but never got the dues like Edu and her pals, Nazir Kashmiri, Shyam bhai and we can add 1001 more wonderful people
    And maybe how wonderful our Companies who release the phillums have a knack of cutting, chopping, scenes and songs, the kwality we get to see…… they never bother to reply or acknowledge our queries, no interaction at all. A write up may just wake them from their slumber :)
    Cheers n gd luck G :)

  11. That’s tough. You write so well, and knowledgeably, that even the ‘bad’ ones’ are good. But if you had to choose, I’d go for the 70s, as someone else suggested above. So much fun.

  12. I need some time to decide. there are too many good ones to choose from. But that’s a good idea!
    Hope you come back rejuvenated from your hibernation!:)

  13. wow.memsaab.r u serious??.if yes…….Last option is the best but neccessarily the book needs to cover only positive aspects – 1) the films which one must see of these actors and should not cover those films which you reveiwed and found it to be a spoiler/bad/not recommendable. exxample teengaers of 2000 era may have never seen Kismet, Redrose, Chupa Rustom as they are not screened in TV nor much DVD is available but they are great to watch……2) Next thing would be – Artist Gallery .especially images of actors whose names we do not know but have repeatedly seen in many films of 1966-1994(like the doctor in Hum Apke Hai Kaun or the person who asks Ye Suicide Kya hota Hai in Sholay and the one who replies to it etc…) and offcourse the side actors from 1930-1985. 3) third thing would be many information has been provided by readers of your blog – compliling them – offcourse only those which r worthy…..

  14. In case memsaab u didnt understand….which option i selected …i mean i would encourage u to make that book and above comment only contains suggestion as to what should b in book to make it interesting and what should not be as its not worthwhile to include (the films which u found bad)….Book would also fetch u royalty and make you more n more famous…u wil b a legend.on par with say Naipul…………..

  15. Hi Greta, I would recommend you write a book that contains totally new content. Once its successful, you can compile popular posts from here and convert that to another book. Making the best of both the worlds :-)

  16. Dear Memsaab

    you can write two books. one is a quiz book based on your quizzes and posts. two you could compile a directory of the lesser known faces of Hindi cinema and share lesser known facts about them. these would appeal to an indian audience. from a firang (NRI) audience perspective, you could give lists of recommended films to view with reasons. you could also give lists of favourite songs on various topics and artists. these would not appeal so much to a resident indian audience (north/west/east indian) because they could rattle these off themselves.

    but whether you write a book or not; for god’s sake continue writing. and your tommydan/edu project is another great thing. please keep it going.

  17. sorry forgot. a book on locations. films based in delhi vs films based in mumbai. favourite locations in delhi/mumbai. non delhi mumbai based films. how a location in an iconic song looked in 1950 then in 60 and how it looks now. or how iconic locations looked in songs (known unknown over the years). if copyright is not an issue you can issue a dvd along with the book for clips of those songs and links to full songs on youtube. and make sure these books have an ebook option as well.

  18. I love your writing style and your sense of humor so much and sinceI have not had time to go thru even half of your posts, I would say go ahead and include all in the book.
    If you had to choose, go for the 70s.
    And while you are accepting suggestions, any luck with getting @Suhan to start a blog on RK? I read her posts on RK forum and just love them (describing Salma Aga as ‘That block of wood” nails it for me)

  19. Memsaab, the book’s good idea, although I am not sure about the economic perspective, or the lasting influence angle. I mean, now you can self publish (what with Amazon and all), and maybe 10 years ago, one would have needed a book to leave a legacy, but I am not too sure about that now; I believe the blogs would last. However, a book would be a lot easier to push under somebody’s nose, (as I am tempted to, during a lot of discussions), as a lot of people simply won’t go near a pc/laptop to resolve an issue. Also, (the best part), this would be the “Coffee Table Book” (and I speak non-pejoratively): Fun to read, but not superficial, venerating only the movies, and not the stars (I hate to go near most of the stuff about the demi-gods), and priceless for it’s trivia.

  20. Memsaab, the idea is good. Include “Baburao Patel’s posonous Pen” and ” Edwina and her pals”.

  21. Why stop at one Memsaab? Your content here is ample for several books…. e.g.…..
    1. Evolution of Indian cinema starting with Kaliya Mardan and the deterioration [or progress :-) ] to Katilon Ke Katil and the up down up down graph thereafter
    2. Favourites – Dara & Helen and their movies
    3. Oh Why did this happen …….. did not happen????? HUH & DHUH of Hindi Cinema in other words!!!!!
    4. One for each decade … the good the bad and the ugly of 60’s, 70’s etc.
    5. The must NOT watch list… the head bangers and intolerable even when dead drunk list
    6. The wonderful subtitles of Hindi Cinema!!!!!! (Guaranteed best seller)

    Tell me if you want more ideas…… Would love to read all and anything you publish and I think you are the BEST

  22. Oh please, please, do write a book.

    Although I clicked the 2nd and 3rd options, I’m now at a loss for suggesting which of your posts should be included. I’ve approached this blog at different times in different ways – once in chronological order, when all the pre-30’s films were a major revelation to me, but by the time I reached the 60s it became too much work (seriously, how many films have you reviewed?); once following every internal link to ever more hilarious posts; using tags; searching for specific actors, and so on.

    I like the themes suggested by CMK here, and would only offer one suggestion – whichever theme you pick for your compilation, please make sure the collection will include Dulhan (1958). IMO that’s among the most hilarious movie reviews, not only on this blog, but of all movie reviews ever written.

    Some more favourites:

    – Your write-ups on Shammi
    – Gora aur Kaala
    – Nahin!! face gallery
    – Kaatilon Ke Kaatil
    – and… I don’t know.. EVERYTHING on this blog and then some.

    Another suggestion:
    How about you just go on a Fearless Nadia spree and review like ALL her movies – that would be some delightful reading as well as a precious reference work on one of the gems of our cinematic history.

  23. Two conditions:(1) You must add a picture of your own, at the top of every page, wearing your gorgeous smile in each of them(and a sari, if you like as the lead actress in that movie, or western dress, whatever!)
    :(2) Skip the ones with Raj Kapoor and the post 90s movies
    ALL THE BEST, MEMSAAB. We are all better off being crazy if the sane world finds enjoyment in bloodshed, vulgarity and politics.

  24. Dulhan definitely, Disco Dancer, the one about with the alcohol poster

  25. Ha! I thank all of you for your ideas and support but one book is going to be hard enough! The two posts I immediately thought of (as interestingly did my pal Raja) were Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki and Dulhan (which is one of my personal favorites, not least because of the reaction it got from some stuck-in-the-past men). The galleries will be mentioned, for sure, although they are so big it is probably best to leave them online :) I’m seeing a trend for my beloved B-movies (Dara, Fearless Nadia) and early films (Kaliya Mardan through the 40s?). I’m also quite fond of Robin Hood and his Bandits, with its early demise due to a “Burning Problem”…

    Anybody have any more specific ones?

  26. Of course you’re crazy, that’s why we love you. And I vote that you should do whatever you want! I love all your reviews, but the “Red Mist” ones tend to be my favorite…they make me laugh and laugh.
    :-)

  27. I voted for the book even if it has the same content. And at the risk of sounding dull and uncool, I don’t think you are crazy. You’d do the lovers of Indian cinema a service if you publish a book.

    For the record I too think the blogs are here to stay but there is a certain satisfaction of keeping a book you like at the shelf to reach out from time to time.

    My all time fave review of yours is Mard. Actually your review was more entertaining than the film (to me).

    My suggestion is to go for the late 60s and 70s reviews.

  28. Yes!!! I’m always thinking you should write a book! Now, practicalities: new material is a selling point. My thought would be roughly chronological, just because it provides a historical narrative, and that takes the pressure off you to create a narrative.So once you have the “must-have” reviews, probably a mix of most-loved and most-mocked films — :) — you can put them in date order, and then have some “sideline” essays, roughly chronological (like features on people: Shammi, of course; Dara Singh, Nadia, Helen, PRAN, and Baburao Patel.) And hopefully along the way some new-to-the-book stuff will grow out of it. My biggest advice is something I just read in a business book (don’t ask why I was reading it; that way lies madness), which is very useful for writing: the guy said you should never say “yes” or “no.” You should say HELL YEAH, or you should say no. In other words, it should be about the movies and the people and the stuff you really love, and really want to talk about.

    Now I have an excuse to browse through all your old posts and pick out some faves! So I’ll get back to you on that.

  29. Please do include the story about how you unearthed the mystery of “the room” . And all the articles about the room, too.

  30. Great idea :-)
    I think the reviews of 70s films,
    About Edwina and her brother Richard.
    The mini reviews definitely.
    Baburao Patel’s poisonous pen.
    And of course something new.

    All the best!!! :-)

  31. Mard is my favourite review as well!..It had me in splits the first time I read it…..I sometimes go back and read it again for a laugh. ‘Dulhan’ and ‘Disco Dancer’ are also fabulous and are must-includes…but it is difficult to choose as there are so many hilarious one-liners sprinkled throughout your reviews. I think it would be great if you would focus on new content though….could potentially be a memsaab bollywood history?….full of observations that other people have failed to make, or neglected aspects of bollywood history… (stuff that u deal with on your blog all the time)…it might be a bit of waste if a lot of the content on your blog is replicated in your book….people who have read the above reviews in your book are sure to come to the blog for more… new stuff please! :)

  32. Bari Behen

  33. It’s a fab idea! And you could pick some of the best ones from here and include new stuff too. You have sooo many great posts, but ROTIIII is one of my all-time faves. Thought that one was delightful. Will be back to post more though.

  34. The survey questions are slightly skewed.
    Compiling a set of published articles into a book is, and has been, a viable idea, so long as there is clear rationale for both the objectives.
    So, you can certainly use one parameter of feedback form the survey. But the respondent like me, who wants to respond , but would not like to opine – whether most commented be selected or only new ones be selected etc.- that Do Publish – a book – if all external and internal parameters of evaluation say so, has to resort to writing a (long) comment like this.

  35. Greta,

    You know what would be really cool? If your book was more like a graphic novel. I don’t mean a traditional comic format but more like the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series where you can post your screencaps and share your love for pretty/sparkly/shiny stuff.

  36. Choosing a few from this treasure trove is actually a tall order, but for the moment I have made my choice for the preface of your book – it is ‘Stereotyping and Ignorance’. Not sure whether you will agree with me but I feel since this book is about Hindi films, that article of yours was an excellent defense of Hindi films. This sentence- ‘But my journey into Hindi cinema with an open mind has rewarded me in ways I never dreamed of, and for which I will be eternally grateful.’- from that article sums it up and that is why I feel this should be the preface. If not the preface, I would love to see it feature in the book.

  37. ‘Dulhan’ for sure is one of your best.

  38. my favs are the red fog curtain (?) film reviews!
    AND
    I love your comic strip reviews like the one for Shikar!

  39. Hi! I’d read anything you write :-) I’ll call and bore you with what I think.

  40. Season’s Greetings Memsaab! Have a merry Christmas and a merrier 2013!

  41. WISHING YOU A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS, MEMSAAB, AND BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY, MEGA MOVIE-STUDDED 2013. I can see you now in the skies, riding on a sleigh carried on by caribous bearing the name tags of Hindi movies and you in a lovely red dress and cap, and showering on us the greatest gifts–love, and of course, your reviews. Hopefully next year one more gift will be added–copies of your book.

  42. Whatever moves you, I guess. I am an infrequent visitor, and generally enjoyed the posts that I read, found them charming humorous, sly etc and a nice personality shnies through all of them. I guess that blogs tend to run out of steam after a while and questions of what next pop up. I say whatever you like. Thanks for many posts which lighted up some of my days.

  43. Regular reader, first-time commenter. I voted for option two but would love to see some new content too. So really, a mix of options two and three.

    My favourite posts:

    The Room: http://memsaabstory.com/2011/02/14/the-room/
    Feel the Love – Asha: http://memsaabstory.com/2009/08/14/feel-the-love-asha-parekh/

    The first one because this was such an eye-opener for me. I started noticing details in movies after reading this post. Frankly, Hindi movies were always considered de trop when I was growing up; it is only a few years ago that I’ve pushed aside the bias and realized the immense significance of our cinema, particularly the older movies, to not only entertain but capture a snapshot of an era and ethos that is poorly documented. Some of your posts are as valuable as NFAI archival data.

    The second one because, like you, I adore Asha Parekh, both the actress and the public persona. You put into words just what i love about Asha.

    Oh, and your writing is brilliant and engaging. You are a fabulous reviewer. I’m missing your reviews these days.

    • I think I might be on the verge of writing a new one :))) Saw a pretty hilarious Kamal Hassan film last evening which defies description in some ways, and I always like that challenge! And thank you for your kind words :)

  44. Happy New Year memsaab!

    I don’t really watch a whole lot of movies but I love the reviews here. And I love all your posts that have to do with old movies – like Fearless Nadia, Light of Asia etc. if only because its so difficult to come by anything related to old films….and as a bonus find an entertaining review of them!

  45. I love so many of your reviews, that it is impossible to mention all of them. But the ones that immediately come to mind (because they made me laugh so much) are, Red Rose, Hawas, Maha Badmaash, Double Cross, Milap.. All the best!

  46. Memsaab, are you ok? Is there something you’re not telling us about you? Its been too long that you have not said anything. If you are not well, I hope you do get better soon. I do miss you.

    • Awwwww, that is so sweet. I am fine Raj, honestly, I have just been distracted by a busy job and other things, and I just need a break after five and a half years of blogging :) I am beginning to feel ready to come back to it though, thank you for your patience!

  47. take a good break dear memsaab, and return in a new avatar. I missed you too. Thanks Raj for asking and bringing the answer to other readers. Realize the virtual character of internet at such times. You have to just wonder, guess and hope everything is ok. take care :)

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