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Going Red

From 1 to 30 June 2010, Sunny Days is hosting the Red Marker Blogathon. If some word/phrase/idiom/spelling/syntax/punctuation incorrectly used drives you up the wall, blog about it.

The only rule is that you must explain what is wrong with the usage that it bothers you so and you must also explain the proper usage.

You can blog about any language you like, there is no need to restrain yourselves to English.

***

I’m really not that big of a grammar Nazi unless somebody’s pissed me off. Typos happen; not everybody is a nerd. And I personally like to take liberties and experiment with grammar and spelling when I blog. That’s really one of the main things I do here, actually. I just try not to come off as illiterate when I do it. The only time I start rolling my eyes is when people use SMS-ese when they have no reason to.  Every time someone tells me they “cnt”, I wonder why they’re calling me names. That said –

Why is everyone in India now promising to revert back? I appreciate the amount of dedication it takes to “get back to back” but I think it’s perfectly acceptable if you only “get back to” i.e. “revert” once.

Are you speechless I said that? Then why are you speaking? If ever you tell someone you’re speechless, remember you have to now stop talking. This is why I’m rarely speechless.

Did that make you loose your mind? Let me know when you tighten it up. Unless you’re one of those people who let their guts do their thinking for them – go ahead, invest in a good belt! Just make sure you don’t lose it.

Irrespective of your feelings, “irregardless” is not a word. You see how I used the double quotes there? That’s how you do it. Unlike these.

If only the above was needless to say, I wouldn’t need to say it.

I know what you’re thinking – you could care less. Well, let me know when you couldn’t care less.

Don’t thanks God. I haven’t finished yet. You can thank God when I’m done. If He’s a particular friend of yours or if He’s done you a favor recently, then please, say it with the proper punctuation – “Thanks, God!” See? So much more friendly.

Are you LOL-ing right now? Maybe you’re ROFL-ing. That’s fine if you’re trying to express yourself on the internet but in real life it is still permissible for you to open your mouth and laugh out loud the old-fashioned way. You don’t need to say, “LOL!” There are still people out there who recognize the meaning of those loud sounds coming out of your mouth. Trust me. If you feel the need to add emphasis, you could even roll on the floor laughing – providing your floors are clean and you’re unhinged.

Now this is more of a verbal tic that I notice but… I try not to preface any comments by informing the other person that I’m going to tell you the truth. If this is one of your favorite phrases, make sure you use it sparingly because the more you tell me you’re going to tell me the truth (implication: this one time), I have to wonder if you’ve been lying all the other times.

Is this quiet a long list? Well, since it contains no audio, yes it is very quiet. It is also quite a long list for someone who doesn’t really think about this stuff.

Do you notice how this post is easy to read? That’s because I use paragraphs. I now give you the power. Use it well, my friend.

I suppose you could riff off of this post, but I would really much rather you riffed off this post.

 
26 Comments

Posted by on June 16, 2010 in Life

 

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Lekin…

Khanna-o-Rama has, justifiably, thus far been obsessed with Masala Vinod – the sneering, brooding, hunk of raw animal appeal that keeps its inner violence tethered on an excitingly thin leash. But those very qualities found him a niche in the world of a filmmaker leagues removed from the kind of cinema that set petticoats on fire.

As a director, multi-hyphenate Gulzar worked with Vinod Khanna in five movies: Parichay, Meera, Achanak, Mere Apne and Lekin. Each of them are fine movies but hardly ever get the attention reserved for the movies he made with Khanna’s contemporaries – Jeetendra (whom he directed three times – Parichay, Kinara, Khushboo), and the man most consider to be Gulzar’s true blue-eyed boy, Sanjeev Kumar (in Koshish, Namkeen, Parichay, Mausam, Aandhi, Angoor). Given that, I should perhaps have chosen to write about the only movie in which he cast all three – Parichay. It is a fine example of the wonders casting to strength can achieve in filmmaking.

I choose instead a movie that has long fascinated me – Lekin... (But…)

Produced by Lata Mangeshkar and featuring an outstanding soundtrack composed by her brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Lekin… begins with the arrival of Sameer (Vinod Khanna), come to Rajasthan to take inventory of a long abandoned haveli. Once there, he bumps into the hauntingly beautiful Reva (Dimple Kapadia), a mysterious woman from the desert who wanders in and out of his life at will.

A friendship of sorts grows between the two, Sameer’s curiosity about Reva fitting into her odd desperation to share her story with him; their interactions with each other escalating by degrees to an emotional point as baffling to the audience as it is to Sameer. Shocked at his rapidly deteriorating mental and physical appearance as he is sucked into Reva’s hallucinatory world, Sameer’s friends (who include Amjad Khan) convince him to solve Reva’s mystery before it consumes him.

It’s a story packed full of drama featuring villainous rajahs, beautiful dancing girls (Hema Malini), heroic father figures, helpless damsels, heaping amounts of depravity and evil – and yet delicately told, its entire structure balanced on the atmosphere built by Manmohan Singh’s desert cinematography.

The lonely sand dunes, windswept and barren, are a setting made to appeal to the supernatural. Few in Hindi cinema can beat Gulzar’s record as writer of the female spirit who is as haunted as she is haunting. Although Reva draws immediate comparisons to that other Dimple Kapadia-starrer Rudaali (also written by Gulzar), she is in fact a character he has visited time again in movies as diverse as Namkeen, Ijazzat, Khushboo and Mausam to name just a few off the top of my head.

It is the character of a woman stuck in a specific window of her history, unable to unchain herself, seeking her freedom through the love of a man. She is an odd sort of succubus, sympathetic while being poisonous to varying degrees; she is only terrible in the way a drowning victim can be – she means you no active harm, just obeying her survival instincts.

In Reva, Gulzar makes the metaphor literal by making her a restless spirit who needs to have her story heard so that she can finally “cross the desert”. Sameer, more than half in love with her and fully cognizant that his is a love that was doomed before it ever began, is the man who pours his soul into guiding her in the right direction.

The best part of Lekin… for me is that I don’t think I can explain it beyond this point. For a movie that has all the ingredients of the kind of Rajasthan-based masala potboilers that were all the rage in the 1980s, Lekin… is satisfyingly ethereal and personal. There are loose ends and lyrics and panoramas that defy a standard reading.

If Gulzar hadn’t chosen to close the movie as he did, in fact, I would have been perfectly content with the interpretation that Sameer had a psychotic episode of some kind.

Papa Khanna continued and, indeed, continues to be steadily employed but Lekin… gets my vote as the last great movie he made.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on May 13, 2010 in Celebrity, Entertainment, Movies, Review, Video

 

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The Khanna Element

The Khanna Element

[From Qurbani: Earth, with Wind, on Water, facing Fire]

What kind of woman are you, asks this vintage ad. This Khanna-o-Rama the question to be asked is: what kind of Khanna are you?

EARTH – sensual, elemental, and in touch with reality.

Dude. In a pink jumpsuit. Also in daffodil-yellow, brick orange, dusty blue and spangled capes. With the gayest swordsmaster since Errol Flynn disappointed Truman Capote in bed. And still finds a way to roar. You know how? Coz that’s the only way the Alpha rolls.

By the time he met up with the original Mogambo of Hindi filmdom though, he’d got the hop under strict control.

WIND – setting things in motion, light and airy!

Aww! He’s like a little kid at dance camp with his favoritest star! Look at him skipping along the side of the road with Mads Dixit in her safety-first reflective gear.

But as you see from the above, all it was doing, was setting the stage for this, the greatest Khanna dance vid ever shot.

RAIN – gentle, softly stated and refreshing!

Yes, that is the famous Elaan – a movie that brought together John Abraham, Arjun Rampal, Lara Dutta, Amisha Patel and Kama Khanna… and then made them dance to a song called “Anderloo Manderloo, tu rota why?”.

File this under “shit you couldn’t make up if you tried”. I could watch this movie all day long. Not to mention Rahul’s dancing. :mrgreen:

FIRE – melting the ice, lighting up the place.

And how.

Demonstrating the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree (although it’s taken a few diving lessons):

[Ad via Jezebel]

[Pic via The Most Delicious Indian Twitter]

 
7 Comments

Posted by on May 10, 2010 in Celebrity, Entertainment, Movies, Video

 

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Mum’s the Word

Mum’s the Word

For the Mother’s Day that falls this Khanna-o-Rama, I talked to a filmi Maa or ten on what it’s like to mother a Bollywood hero:

Waheeda Rehman (Chandini)
I hate it when people don’t appreciate my son! He’s good-looking, rich, sensitive, we have a beautiful home and he’s so ready to commit! And now some brat he met while traveling is about to run off with his fiancé. I told him to knock that tubbola’s teeth out, but in addition to all his other qualities, he’s also honorable and he says his fiancé prefers that hypothermic drunk. He can’t even walk down stairs without stumbling! I hope she enjoys knitting him endless sweaters for the rest of her life.

Nirupa Roy (Deewar)
I wish I had problems like hers. I’m a single mom from Mumbai and my two sons just can’t get along. The elder one constantly yells at the younger one who never looks him in the face and instead just stares over his shoulder. I try not to be preferential, but it’s hard when my firstborn buys me a house and a washing machine, while the second brings me his laundry and his insecurity.

Read more tales of motherly woe here.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on May 8, 2010 in Celebrity, Entertainment, Life, Movies

 

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Alpha, Beta, Kama

Alpha, Beta, Kama

The major fun of Khanna-o-Rama for me is that I get to trawl through tons of Khannatastic pics and videos. And when I do, I always wonder: who did it better? My kneejerk response is “Vinod!” but the Khannas play on such different fields (mostly), I thought that was unfair. Here then, is a chance to compare and contrast.

All dodgy mathematics are my own.

Debut

Alpha: Man ka Meet (1968)

The Huh: All I know is that IMDB says this is the movie in which Vinod made his debut. (+0)
The Yay: Look at the cool stuff going on with that song! A very young Leena Chandravarkar with oblivious musicians in a fez hat in the middle of a tastefully appointed dancing hall with a lady bartender. (+10)
The Nay: Som Dutt is the hero and not a glimpse of Vinod in sight. Boo! (-1)
Total: 9

Beta: Himalaya Putra (1997)

The Huh: Uh. Stuff? (-10)
The Yay: “I’m a bachelor, I’m alone and I’m sick. I want a girl who says she loves me. With black eyes and swear words on her lips, that’s the kind of girl I can’t wait to meet,” Warbled the snaggletoothed Akshaye. Could Jane Austen come up with words this immortal? I think NOT. (+200)
The Nay: Anjala Zaveri (remember her?) is just blah. But she gets Akshaye in a swimsuit! (-10 + 10)
Total: 190

Kama: Earth (1998)

The Huh: Religious strife is bad. As is stealing Aamir Khan’s girl after killing all the women in his family (+10)
The Yay: He’s sort of charming in a mute way. (+1)
The Nay: Did I mention the mute part? (-10)
Total: 1

Selling Soap

Alpha: Running with horse

The Huh: He’s a beast. Rawr! (+10)
The Yay: Look at him leaping through the waves, bursting with virility, his wild mane giving that horse an inferiority complex, expending the hotness so he doesn’t set his tux on fire. (+100)
The Nay: Comments on Youtube – “Vinod Khanna runs like LION”; “Nowadays it would be considered gay.”  (-1000 to Youtube commenters)
Total: 110

Beta: I’m Better than That

The Huh: Akshaye Khanna is an artiste. He doesn’t do ads. He does PSAs. On film. (+10)
The Yay: He got Upen Patel off the screen. (+20)
The Nay: It’s still 36 China Town (-100)
Total: -70

Kama: Soothing Muppets

The Huh: He’s a good daddy to an adorable little booboo. Aww! (+10)
The Yay: My ovaries! (+200)
The Nay: Will he know what to do with my ovaries? This has always been my sticking point with Kama Khanna (-10)
Total: 200

The Pain

Alpha: This is How We Do It

The Huh: If you haven’t seen Achanak and are spoiler averse, don’t play the above video (+0)
The Yay: He goes from lighthearted to heartbreaking in two seconds flat (+20)
The Nay: Where did the happy go? (+10)
Total: 30

Beta: Sure, I’ll Give it a Shot

The Huh: He screwed up. (-10)
The Yay: Awww, look at that sweet little face. It says, “Love me”. (+20)
The Nay: He’s a heartbroken rollerskater (-10)
Total: 0

Kama: Why You No Love Me?

The Huh: Never date any of these people. (-10)
The Yay: He’s cute when he cries (+5)
The Nay: How many times did I want to slap him upside the head? (-50)
Total: -55

Bring the Sexy

Alpha: Slurpee

The Huh: Nayakan in Hindi. (+0)
The Yay: He’s old, he’s saggy, he’s clearly past the glory days of his swim trunks. But the man can sell it. Way better than his kids too. (+20)
The Nay: From the discerning Youtube commenter – “Babajee, kuch bhagwan ka khauf karo.” Um. I want to hate on him but he’s got a point. Mads is, like, painfully young in that flick. (-10)
Total: 10

Beta: I Want My Mommy!

The Huh: A half-baked remake of Send Me No Flowers. Like Rock Hudson hadn’t suffered enough. (-150)
The Yay: This clip is fairly representative of the genius of this film. Watching Mallika and Akshaye together is like the most fascinating of trainwrecks. (+50)
The Nay: Not even snark can carry you over half an hour of this movie. (-100)
Total: -200

Kama: I Take Suggestions

The Huh: People in ancient times liked to have sex too. (+10)
The Yay: You just knew he’d be a sensitive lover. (+20)
The Nay: Aamir looks like he’d be better. (-10)
Total: 20

[Thanks to Roswitha for the title :mrgreen:]

[pic via]

 
10 Comments

Posted by on May 6, 2010 in Celebrity, Entertainment, Movies, Video

 

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Amar Akbar Anthony

<i>Amar Akbar Anthony</i>

Balle! Balle! Bunny ears.

Vinod Khanna thinks Amar Akbar Anthony is prime remake material. I think: “Nahiiiiiiiiiin! Yeh paap hai!”.

But what if this were to happen? Retouched for the new generation?

Amar Akbar Anthony, the story of three upper middle class Mumbai stoners (just look at those mugs!) who like to dress up in drag and play in a band. Kind of like Hedwig and the Angry Inch but without the castration.

Balls! Balls! We'd like to keep 'em.

Amar is the sensitive one, who comes up with dreamy songs about girls in sundresses, cranberry Smirnoff kisses, the existential angst of 30-year-old teenagers, soulmates and other random shit that the other two think is absolutely fucking genius but only because they’ve never listened to his lyrics when they were sober. Someday they will and boy, are they gonna be mortified about their repertoire. And then Amar won’t have any friends.

Akbar is the angry one. He’s an artiste but the world won’t let him be great so in the meantime he rails about the system to all the groupies he bangs and then strums the shit out of his guitar, often in keys and to tunes that have very little to do with whatever it is that the rest of the band is playing. He doesn’t know it but his bandmates are secretly laughing about him behind his back. If they weren’t so high, they’d have been pissed and beaten him bloody but they’re way too mellow to care. He’s going to be very depressed when he finds out. He might say as many as two cruel things to his mom that day.

Anthony is the self-professed player who “knows people”. He often tells whoever didn’t ask that he’d have left these two losers a long time ago but that whiny kid Amar and that funny one Akbar really know how to draw in the chicks. He’s been there, he’s done that and one day soon he’ll go someplace and do something that’s going to get him kneecapped. And that’s if he’s lucky.

Baby boy Baabby, mole nahin to kuch nahin!

When the sinister Boom Box Bobby, an unsavory musician who hates Bollywood music, runs off with their demo tape and threatens to tell their mothers what really goes on in Akbar’s basement when his parents think he’s “practicing” unless they keep quiet, Amar, Akbar and Anthony must unite with their loved ones to fight his evil intentions.

Your butt is precious to me.

Hmm. I’d still rather have the old one, methinks.

Catch up on the all-new, all-awesome week of Khanna-0-Rama for more reasons why you shouldn’t mess with the original! Click on the badge to the right (thanks, VLoveMovies).

 
13 Comments

Posted by on May 5, 2010 in Celebrity, Entertainment, Movies

 

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The Essential Khanna

The Essential Khanna

May Day! May Day! It’s here! Khanna-o-Rama 2010. The week of all things Khanna that you didn’t even know you needed until you heard about it and realized that your life could really do with a shot or two of Khanna power. The power of hotness.

Bollywood is a family business. Not only do they all intermarry, but successive generations are more likely to follow in the older’s footsteps than not. Producers raise actors, actors marry writers, writers give birth to directors in an endless cycle that makes trivia buffs do a little dance of joy.

The Khannas – Alpha Vinod, Beta 1 Akshaye and Beta 2 Rahul – are a delightful little oddity in this mix. Whereas most star sons carry their lineage self-consciously on their shoulders, the Khannas make the least fuss about it that I have seen. The fact that they barely do any press might have something to do with it (even though the same characteristic hasn’t stopped the Deol brothers from genuflecting with regularity at the altar of their father) but I think there’s more to it. Like a strong sense of individuality and the fact that they don’t seem to have grown up in a conservative family environment a la the rest of the Bolly Brat Brigade. But that’s their personal business.

From a purely cinematic POV, fact is, it’s hard to look at the Beta Khannas and remember Alpha Khanna. Sunny Deol, Abhishek Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan (hell, even Puru Raajkumar) all share a remarkable resemblance with their famous fathers. The Beta Khannas, on the other hand, barely look like each other, much less their parent.

Alpha Khanna smoldered. Akshaye sulks. If Rahul tries very hard, he looks puzzled. When Alpha Khanna gritted his teeth and sneered, panties dropped across India or so I hear. When Akshaye sneers, Paresh Rawal or Arshad Warsi pop up to complete the comic scene. When Rahul sneers, the girl runs off with another boy. Alpha was most terrifying when he smiled – you felt he was either smiling through a sucking chest wound or else he was an unpredictable drunk. My mother, your mother and mothers everywhere go “awww” when sweet little Akshaye-poo smiles. As for Rahul – he looks like he’s inviting you for some illegal-type sexy times with that grin.

And look at their careers: Alpha spent a considerable part of his life playing dacoit, both good and bad, and even did it with a mooch! The only thing Akshaye and Rahul have ever looted on screen with their smooth-as-a-baby’s-bum cheeks is your cash and your girl.

So as you can imagine, it’s not easy to come up with a satisfactory playlist for this family. There are so many and still so few. Where do we begin and where do we stop? Also, Beta Rahul isn’t exactly prolific. So I thought I’d do a Papa Khanna post and follow it up with a Beta Khanna post. Let me know your recommendations! And do click on the badge to your right for more posts related to Khanna-o-Rama!

Meanwhile, here’s what I’m talking about:

Scene Stealer

This is really a Sridevi-Rishi Kapoor movie but third wheel Vinod Khanna and his lost love (Juhi Chawla in the shortest ever two scenes / one song role) have a much more interesting story. Playing the dignified third wheel who always walks off with the audience sympathy if not the girl is something Alpha Khanna perfected over his career.

Things Not to Do

Do not feed the hotness grass. Things to Do – I think he’s got that part nailed.

In Tights

Forget the Betas, I’d like to see anyone pull that outfit off. I’m not sure he does it :mrgreen:

Shake a Leg

So how do we feel about Moushimi Chatterjee? I read her interviews and I come away charmed because she’s so open and honest in a totally non-skeevy way about her life. And then I see her in a movie and half the time I want to bash her head in with a cricket bat. But she makes sense with the Alpha. It’s like they balance each other out. And she was totally adorable as the crazy mom of Beta 2 in Bollywood/Hollywood.

So Tortured

Sob! Come to momma!

 
18 Comments

Posted by on May 4, 2010 in Celebrity, Entertainment, Movies, Music, Video

 

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