And finally fulfils the promise made of posing in the nude if KKR win the IPL5
Its now SRK’s turn to go down the Howrah Bridge and ride on the Hooghly with the trophy!
Wish you all a very happy and prosperous Holi. This is one of the most important festivals for us as it marks the victory of good over evil. Yes, Dussehra/Diwali are not the only festivals celebrating the end of sin/sinners; but Holi also is celebrated for the same reason. If we go back to mythology, Prahlad sat on the lap of Holika, the evil sister of Hiranyakashyap, on the pyre and she was burnt to death while Prahlad was unharmed due to his devotion to Lord Vishnu. We still re-play this in the form of Holika Dehan.
Hiranyakashyap had been granted a wish that he would neither be killed by man nor creature, neither in the day nor night, neither inside the palace nor out, neither on sky nor on earth and neither by knowledge/debate nor by weapons. Vishnu then appeared as Narsimha, and killed Hiranyakashyap at dusk with his clawed hands, laying him on his lap with each leg on either side of the mukhya-dwar.
Ok, now that we are through with mythology lets get down to films. Although the festival is marked with wonderful colors, its usage in our cinema has always been as a dark plot or as a turning point. The cheerfulness around is lost due to some gruesome incident, its probably the air which does it. People are so high on emotions that they end-up being a part of some life-changing events.
The most disturbing Holi sequence I have seen was in Damini, where a bunch of rich-spoilt-brats rape the maid-servant of the house. And although Damini[Meenakshi Sheshadri] is a witness to this horrific incident, they try to shut her up to maintain the dignity of the family, khandan ki izzat ka sawaal. What an irony, if they did have some dignity to begin with, such an incident would not have occured. From hereon, the whole movie revolves around this event and Damini’s fight for justice. Some of the sequences in the movie are repulsive, like the court-room sequence where the opposition lawyer Chadha[Amrish Puri] asks awkward questions to Damini.
Silsila was another movie which had a brilliant Holi sequence. The song Rang Barse is legendary, and any Holi is incomplete without this song. The song is a part of the narrative and brings out beautifully the relationship that Amit[Amitabh Bachchan] and Chandni[Rekha] share, which otherwise would have been difficult to disclose. The song penned by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, is so suggestive:
Bela chameli ka sej bichhaya
Soye gori ka yaar, balam tarse, rang barse
Rang barse bheege chunar wali, rang barse
It might have taken lots of scenes and dialogues, but this one song did the trick. The body language of all the characters involved in this song is marvellous; Jaya Bhaduri and Sanjeev Kumar as the helpless spouse, Amitabh as a poet lost in their celebration of love, and Rekha caught in-between the reality of the situation and the fantasy world of endless love.
Another Amitabh Bachchan movie Baghban had a lovely Holi song holi khele raghubeera awadh mei holi khele raghubeera. The song was sung with great gusto by Amitabh himself, but what followed the celebrations was heart-breaking. Amitabh’s children decide that the aged couple must live separately with each of the brothers for a period of 6 months, thereby helping them reduce the financial burden. The happiness of the moment is marred by the heartless call taken by the very kids he brought-up with such love and affection. This culminated in him writing a book, and changing the course of their lives.
Of course nobody can forget Gabbar Singh roaring Holi Kab Hai? Kab Hai Holi? He plans an attack on the Ramgarh village on that day, spoil the festive mood, and to teach the villagers a lesson that Gabbar se tumhe ek hi admi bacha sakta hai, khud Gabbar! His plan is thwarted, but not before some action, some gunshots, some cleverness by Amitabhsome cleverness by Amitabh and some blood to add more colors to the already colorful day.
In stark contrast with the many hues of the festival is the presence of a widow in a white saree. This has been captured many-a-times in movies like Kati Patang, Mohabbatein and Sholay. Holi is the symbol of free spirit and boundless joys, and film-makers have juxtaposed this with the colorless world of a widow who is constrained by society and she has no freedom whatsoever. In Sholay, this festival is showcased twice; both with a marked difference. While the first Holi was shot with Jaya Bhaduri making merry on the occasion and sparing nobody; the second Holi was a colorless bland affair as she was a widow then. These contrasting images stay with us for a long time.
Holi marks the breaking of shackles in the song Aaj Na Chhodenge Bas Humjoli where a gushing Rajesh Khanna sings to Asha Parekh in Kati Patang. The sorrow and loneliness of a widow is brought out well in the simple words of Anand Bakshi as Lata Mangeshkar sings the following lines:
Apni apni kismat hai
koi hase koi roye
rang se koi ang bhigoye
koi Asuan se nain bhigoye
Holi brings the winds of change in Gurukul of Mohabbatein where it was never celebrated before. SRK adorns Amitabh Bachchan’s forehead with a tilak and its followed by a Holi song Soni soni aankhiyon wali. Here, the widow played by Preeti Jhanghiani is caught-up in the persuasion of playing Holi :
Gam ho ya koi khushi, Purva ka jhonka hai.
Ek aaye ek jaayega, Kyon dil ko roka hai.
Is dil ko humne nahin, Hame dil ne roka hai.
Koi bata de zara, Kya sach kya dhoka hai?
Ye duniya saari, Badi hai pyari,
Yahi ek sach hai, Ye sab rang bade suhaane hain.
The movie Darr also has a famed sequence involving Holi where an obsessed lover is trying to get a glimpse of his beloved, wants to share the happiness and joy of Holi with his object of affection. Rahul, played by SRK, takes up the challenge of showing himself up at Kiran’s door and smearing gulaal on her face. Juhi Chawla, playing Kiran, is totally engrossed in the festivity; while paying money to the bandwala guys, Rahul applies gulaal on Kiran’s cheeks and wishes her in his menacing words KKKKKiran. There begins a chase where a furious Sunil, played by Sunny Deol, is after Rahul. The scene which starts with gulaal, ends in blood with Sunil smashing a bottle on SRK’s head.
Holi ke din dil khil jaate hain, rangon mein rang mil jaate hain
Gile shikwe bhul ke doston, dushman bhi gale mil jaate hain
Although the above lyrics were from Sholay, it was totally justified in the case of Saudagar. The two friends-turned-enemies, Veer Singh played by Dilip Kumar and Rajeshwar Singh played by Rajkumar, get back together on Holi festival. Rajeshwar declares that nobody dare throw color on him, thats when Veeru takes a handful of gulaal and hurls it at him, thereby ending ages of hatred between them and brings them together once again.
The above sequence is what I wish for everybody around, heal the world. Lets take this opportunity to make love, not war; win friends and not create enemies; that’s the true spirit of Holi.
This post was first published on PFC
I had no plans of watching this movie. So, all of Friday evening and Saturday morning I kept looking for tickets of Ishqiya and Valentine’s Day; so I could celebrate love on that day. But thanks to the ‘n’ number of prints of MNIK, other movies hardly had any good show-timings. I left it at that and just shutdown the laptop.
Come Sunday morning and something had to be done, we drove round the city from Koramangala to Marathalli, heading for Forum Value Mall. But soemthing inside made me take a right at this junction and stop at Innovative. I wanted to quickly run-in and check if Ishqiya was still available but no, I was a bit late for that. With no choice left, I picked up 2 tickets for MNIK for 3pm.
2.50pm, and we were outside the auditorium. We walked in quitely and sat in our seat. In a few moments I was beaming with pride. Fox-Searchlights presents… wow! Fox presenting an Indian movie, that really felt nice. The movie had hardly begun and SRK had already mouthed the lines ‘MNIK, and I am not a terrorist’. Quite a few people turned up late for the show, but they did not miss a thing. The movie was far too slow for that.
Within 50 minutes I was yawning and did not know where to rest my head, on my shoulder or in my palms covering my eyes. The movie was nauseatically manipulative. When a director makes the audience feel for the character, it works well. But when he tries to force something down the throat, all we can do is puke. Here, I did not feel anything for the character because there was no build-up. We could easily see-through the motive, and how contrived it was; just to get the audience to react emotionally. The message was nice, there are just good and bad people. But they went on and on with it; not sparing a sinlge opportunity to use this line to effect.
Lot of things were loud, as expected in Karan Johar movie. But I would not like to blame him entirely. SRK was the co-producer and he must take blame for the bad product too. Let me shed light on some of the glaring and obvious over-statements of the movie. All through the movie SRK is in blazer and trouser and other essential casuals. But during the 9/11 homage, he turns up in a blistering white pathan-suit and with a skull-cap. WTF! Why did he suddenly go out of character? And if that was not enough, he suddenly starts chanting verses from Quran, only to exaggerate the Islamic-phobia. That was a dis-service to the the community, more harm than good was achieved and Karan stereotyped the faith. All through Rizvan’s childhood, they neither showed him offering namaz; nor did he ever witness his ammi offering one. But conveniently they slip him into namaz mode only because they happened to write a golden line ‘namaz neeyat se padhi jaati hai’. Intentions are good, no doubt; but over-exaggerated, trying hard to pull every string of human emotions.
Another point of contention is Kajol’s addressing of SRK. Pre-marital mode, she called him Rizwan; but suddenly after marriage she starts calling him Khan. Who calls their hubby by their surname or last-name? But no, Karan Johar cannot cinematically drive home a point; so he has to drill it down by way of dialogs. So, we know that Khan caused the problems and not Rizvan. And last of my complains is with meeting-the-Prez scene. It was shown that SRK did not like shaking hands and he just says a ‘Hi’. But when he meets the Prez, he shakes his hands. No problem with that at all, special situations call for special greeting. But, he says ‘Salaam Walekkum’ to the Prez and not a ‘Hi’. Why? Why in the name of Lord would he do that, if not to show an Islamic pride. I would not have minded this, if he had greeted everyone in the movie with ‘Salaam Walekkum’, but he chooses that moment to say it. How suggestive is that?
As already mentioned before, the movie was long drawn and boring. Kajol’s wailing scene was overdone, reminded me of Karishma’s screech in Fiza; but Fiza at least deserved that scene. Here its done only to make sure that Kajol walks away with all the awards. I am quite sure SRK will also win awards and accolades for it, and not just Indian felicitation but international awards too. Karan will have some more trophies to adorn his showcase. But, do they deserve it! That’s the question they should ask themselves.
Rizvan Khan could have been a simple man with simple needs and how he reacts to post-9/11. But they chose to make him autistic because it suited the purpose of trying to show the inherent innocence of the character and his lack of knowledge of the way this world works; thereby seeing people in black or white with no shades of gray. I felt Jimmy Shergill’s character should have had a better progression than SRK’s, simply because he has done all the hardwork and obtained a scholarship, he has been loyal to the country and still his wife comes under fire. So, his charcater should have grown more and some substanial points should have been made through him. But Karan used Jimmy as a prop, that was a wrong move.
I have one last issue to bring up. Instead of first tackling and speaking about how muslims are discriminated in US, shouldn’t SRK see that back-home in India, in fact in western part of Inida, there were 2 major riots; Gujarat riots and Bombay riots. So, first let us solve our issues and douse the fire at home, then talk about the problems that muslims, not just Indian muslims, face in US. But they don’t have the balls to do that. Firstly, the movie may have got stuck with censors and if not, then the people on other side of the fence would have opposed the release of the movie. So, they took the more convenient path of blaming all ills on the general intelligensia and taking liberty in showing FBI’s iron-fist and tough security measures at airports; thereby generating more sympathy for the character. I would rather watch a stark portrayal of the after-effects of riots in movies like Parzania, Firaaq, Aamir than watch a glossed up and emotionally manipulative movie like this. These guys should just stick to candyfloss stuff rather than take such serious issue and make a mockery of it. By the way, can anyone tell me what was khan’s SSN number and what kind of visa was issued to him?
Let me say in the very beginning that I am not a follower or a sympathiser of Shiv-Sena. I hate their brand of divisive politics and this post has nothing to do with Shiv-Sena’s tirade against SRK.
While the entire media and section of Bollywood rallied behind the star, SRK, in support of his statements; he was amiss. When all fans and film fraternity is trying to get the movie to release in Mumbai, SRK is busy with its premiere in Abu Dhabi. That’s one of the biggest reasons why Mumbaikars should not watch the movie. While the fans are standing by the star, he is not to be seen. I expected SRK to be in Mumbai and urge the crowd to come, watch the movie with him and thumb-down Shiv-Sena etc. But instead, he has chosen the easy path of twittering and making statements. This is general apathy shown towards his genuine fan and I would hate to watch the movie for this very reason.
Another fact is the kind of publicity stunts he is pulling to get maximum eyeballs. Since most of us know the theme of the movie, he is swaying towards Dubai, Pak and Mid-East so his movie is well received in those places; thereby taking Indian audience for granted, WTF!
His chest-thumping statements after IPL auction was ridiculous, to say the least. He said that he would have picked up Pak cricketers in the auction, had he been there. What??? In this day and age of communication, and with SRK being brand ambassador of Airtel and Nokia, could he not have been in-touch with his co-owners during the bidding! Could he not have sent a word to the KKR representatives that so-and-so Pak player is worth his salt and should be picked. But NO. He chooses the easy path of crying foul after the entire event is over. Thereby keeping his fan-base in Dubai and Pak happy and satisfied. He does not want to lose the fan-base there, for obvious reasons. How else is he gonna dance in lavish weddings in Dubai? The irony is that, these very guys will be circulating pirated cd/dvd of the movie.
Coming to the part of his false claims and statements, another publicity for his movie. He recently made a mention of full-body scan in an airport in Uk and autographing the print-out of the scans! The airport authorities came out strongly against this vicious lie stating that they ‘only scan’ and ‘do not have printers’ in the scan area. Hence, his scans could not have been printed at all.
A few months back, he cried hoarse about security measures in US, when he was detained for questioning. The Prez of India did not make an issue when he was cross-checked, Kamal Hasan and Mammooty did not cry foul; then why was our King Khan pissed. Simply becasue he saw an opportunity of bringing his movie into limelight and drawing maximum mileage and cheap publicity; to keep the movie alive in people’s minds and of course to drive home the theme of the movie.
This movie is very important to SRK. Firstly because he has co-produced it and so a lot is at stake. He knows that by angering the Shiv-Sena he can gather maximum publicity from it. Secondly because his numero-uno position is being challenged, Akshay’s and Aamir’s movie have earned more than his movies in the last 5 years. And lastly, his IPL venture and his tv-show have been a mega-flop and he needs to prove himself again.
Anyways, I just wish that his blind-fans can see through this facade and trash his movie. So, Indians in general, and Mumbaikars in particular, please don’t watch the movie for SRK.
In a strange turn of events, all 4 Khans’ of bollywood have come under fire from different quarters. While Shiv Sena took on 2 khans’, Aamir and Shahrukh over the IPL issue, the other two were lambasted by different communities of Rajasthan for their irresponsible behavior.
Shiv Sena, in their mouthpiece ‘Saamna’, is outraged by SRK and Aamir statements over IPL. While Aamir bore the brunt because all he said was that merit should have taken precedence over nationality while selecting players for IPL, SRK went overboard in sympathising with Pakistan and said that he felt “humiliated” that no talent from Pak was picked. SRK made ridiculous excuses that he couldn’t attend the auction of players. What an excuse! He is the brand ambassador of Nokia and Airtel, all he needed was to be in touch with his represntatives, but he chose not to. And now that his movie ‘My Name Is Khan’ is ready for release, he wants to win back his fans in Pak and Dubai. He is only serving his self-interest, as he is the co-producer of the movie and he wants to protect his fan-base in middle-east. That also serves the purpose of him dancing in lavish Dubai weddings. SRK’s stand was purely a business-minded decision, and not an emotional one. The irony is that, these very people are gonna circulate the pirated cd/dvd of his movie. SRK was calling for trouble, when he went out of his way in support to Pak. Shiv Sena has called him a ‘traitor’ and torn down posters of his movie. I am sure they will cause problems during release of the movie too.
Now, coming to Saif Ali Khan, his involvement on ‘black buck’ hunting case has caused some discontent among sections of Rajasthanis who felt that he should not have been awarded the Padma Shri. Since he has not been proven innocent in the case yet, and he isn’t the most deserving candidate for the award, his effigy was burnt.
Lastly, theatre screens acorss cities in Rajasthan were ransacked duty to wrong portrayal of the ‘rajputana’ clan in the movie ‘Veer’. Hence, the mischief mongers smashed glass windows and tore down posters of Salman Khan.
Lady Limelight is a jealous lady. She wants all of your attention. You don’t have any time to think of anything else but Lady Limelight, because pretty soon that light will be shinning on somebody else. So you better do it while you can.
– Buck Owens
Yesterday I was seeing a news bulletin about Shilpa Shetty wishing to meet Jade Goody, and she was telling the media that she is hoping for a miracle to save Jade Goody. She hadn’t completed the sentence yet and I laughed out loud. How fake was she! I have always felt that she is so superficial and yet successful at portraying the apparent shallowness.
If you see her filmography, you will observe that in the last 10 years in Bollywood, she has not given more than 3 hits. In 2000 she had just one hit in Dhadkan, then next 5 years were barren. Then, in 2005 she was part of the success of Dus. And her last hit was Life-In A Metro which released 2 years ago. So, she has only 3 movies from the past decade to boast about. But still, she continues to hog the limelight and be in the news. I am just amazed at how she manages to do it, make public appearance at all the events possible mainly because she is invited to them. What makes her a part of the guest-list?? No cinematic achievements, not a supermodel, not a sports personality, a mediocre actress, not venturing into politics and yet, you name the event and she is there.
Apart from the goodwill gesture shown towards Jade Goody, her last impactful action was buying a 11.7% stake in the IPL team of Rajasthan Royals, in partnership with her boyfriend/fiance Raj Kundra; following the footsteps of Preity Zinta.
Shilpa started her film career with a bang. Her first movie Baazigar hit the silver-screen in 1993, which starred SRK and Kajol was a superhit and her song Kitaabein Bahut Si Padhi Hongi Tumne and Aye Mere Humsafar was quite a rage. Though her acting was nothing to talk about, as the movie gained popularity due to SRK’s anti-hero portrayal, she gained a lot from it. Her next big hit was Main Khiladi Tu Anadi which released in 1994 and had Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan. She played a dual role in the movie, and the song Churake Dil Mera became an instant hit.
After this she lost her track, got romantically involved with Akshay Kumar. Stardust magazine had printed a story about her alleged affair with the actor and was quite disparaging. Shilpa sued the magazine claiming that it had caused her immense loss in terms of movie offers and the ensuing finances, as well as mental strain and emotional drain-out. She won the lawsuit in 2000, successfully.
Around the same time, she did a quick belly-jig item number Dilwalo Ke Dil Ka Karaar Lootne, Mai Aayi Hoon UP Bihar Lootne in the movie Shool. This was a sort of comeback vehicle for Shilpa as she was almost forgotten by the public. She then signed on Dhadkan with Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty, directed by Dharmesh Darshan. This movie was a re-launch for her career and gave her a new lease of life. The songs of the movie did well, and the hype around the movie helped it at the box-office. Shilpa Shetty was back in all her designer wears and wedding collection garments, but her acting was really-really bad. All she did throughout the movie was sulk.
I don’t think this is worth mentioning, but becasue she was nominated by Filmfare for Best Supporting Actress in the movie Rishtey, I am writing about it. This forgettable movie released in 2002, and starred Anil Kapoor and Karishma Kapoor. Shilpa Shetty played a fisherwoman Vaijanti, and it was over the top acting, total ham-scam. She later went on to do a few Kannada and Telugu movies.
When she stopped mattering to Bollywood, out of the blue came a case of her familial linkage to the underworld. In brief, she had signed a 3 crore deal with Praful sarees and she was reportedly paid just 50 lakhs. So, she allegedly used underworld links for extortion of the remaining amount and threatening the owners of Praful sarees. Mumbai police even arrested her father on such accounts and that case is pending in the court.
After her brief disappearance and few more trashy movies, came Phir Milenge, in 2004. The movie had Salman Khan and Abhishek Bachchan, and was a rehash of Philadelphia. The movie wasn’t all that good, but AIDS awareness was the in-thing back then, and this movie rode on the waves and did decent business. But, as far as acting was concerned, she came a cropper. All the glycerin shown through, and it was kind of horror show because she had no make-up on; that itself made her thinner by 2kg.
In 2005 came Dus, where she played the Indian version of Lara Croft, with all those body-suits and fight stunts. When she made an appearance in Big Brother, she called herself the Angelina Jolie of India; wonder what gets into the heads of these celebrities, they just start flying. Anyways, in the same year, 2005, came Fareb, with her younger sister Shamita Shetty and Manoj Bajpai. Another painful watch, I kept wondering how Manoj must’ve handled the torture.
Then came the year of reckoning for Shilpa Shetty, 2007 was the year that entrenched her in people’s mind forever. She appeared in the celebrity edition of Big Brother and from then on, she has not stopped making headlines. I am still wondering as to who proposed her name for the show to be held in UK. Not many in UK would have known her, she was not among the best or top actresses in Bollywood and yet she was invited to Big Brother. Pure luck, fate, destiny, what else?
Anyways, she made it to Big Brother but she was unconvincing. Finally, the moment had arrived, the racial slur against her, which turned the tables in her favour. The racial abuse caused a nation-wide stir and became a part of prime-time reporting. An unknown Indian actress was suddenly occupying tv-space, web-space, space in print-media, and she gained popularity. The tv channel, Channel4, started receiving complains and protests demanding an apology, and in no time the votes in her favor kept piling on. She eventually won the reality show, and it was like a moral victory for all Indians.
Barely had she regained composure that Richard Gere took her breath away, literally. Shilpa Shetty and Richard Gere were on a AIDS awareness campaign, thanks to her involvement in Phir Milenge, and Gere was merely demonstrating that AIDS does not spread by kissing. He casually took Shilpa in his arms and planted a kiss on her cheeks. That was enough for the moral brigade to raise a furor and seek apologies from her. Shilpa may have forgotten the kiss, but she would definitely remember the protests against her. This was not her first brush with the self appointed custodians of culture. In 2006, she was summoned by a court in Chennai over a PIL filed against her for posing indecently. She and Reema Sen had posed for a photo-session in navel-revealing costumes and that irked the conservative narrow-minded culture-vultures.
Back to 2007, her movie Life-In A Metro released and it was received very well by the audience. Her demure portrayal as a housewife who is wronged by her chauvinist husband, played by Kaykay, got her some rave reviews. And in the same year she was signed up by Vijay Mallya to become the brand ambassador for Romanov.
Still riding on the success of Big Brother, she was made the host of the 2nd edition of Big Boss to be telecast on Indian screen in 2008. As usual, she looked glamorous, but was pathetic at hosting the show. She had limited Hindi diction and whatever she spoke in English too, was totally depending on the teleprompter, there was no spontaneity unlike Arshad Warsi who had hosted it so well in the previous edition.
Shilpa’s last screen appearance was in the Shut Up And Bounce song of Dostana, sandwiched between Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham. Prior to this she featured in a Yoga video too.
Its 2009, she has just stepped into the IPL scene and I am not sure what we can expect from her. But whatever maybe the case, she will be the focus of every event she attends, she will be in spotlight and she will continue to be a media-savvy person, she will continue to appear glamorous and somehow make it to all the headlines, cover-photos of magazines and to the guest-list of all the events and parties. Tum Dil Ki Dhadkan Mei Rehto Ho Rehto Ho …
This post was first published on PFC