Tag Archives: India

Slacking off…on my terms

For past few months, my activity on the blog has declined. I literally have made like 10 posts in over 6 months. A lot of fact is due to work and I’ve become obsessed with Netflix lately. I have to say I have caught up a lot with TV dramas that I missed out on during my college years.

I’ve joined meetup groups to meet professional individual like myself. Been to few meetup events that has been quite fascinating. One thing that hasn’t changed a bit is my love for attending live concerts. I’m due to attend another 6 shows till the end of the year. The biggest regret I have had is that I never kept myself up for reviewing shows that I’ve been to recently.

If you follow up my blog, you’d know that I’ve a YouTube channel dedicated to capturing live videos from the concerts I’ve been to. It’s my open library for everyone to approach me. My hope is to get invited on tour with bands to follow them around, and create a documentary on their tour.

I’m slightly off the topic here but I assure you I’ll be writing album reviews soon, and won’t have sporadic postings.

Till then, Ciao!

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Matrimony

When we are not married, the whole idea about marriage is to find someone to love, care for and be taken care of. Once we do find that someone, it is all about getting married. Frustrated and desperate we sigh and moan and long to be together with the loved one. We are disillusioned into believing that once we are married, living with our loved one, sharing a house, a roof, a room, somehow everything will be fine. We believe it will be like the fairy tales of living happily ever after.

Without sounding too sexist, I must admit that it is women who generally hold such beliefs. I hope it is not the popular mass media & movies from India that emphasize so much on the pre-marriage aspect of life. But it is true that Indians and Pakistanis trick their youth in believing that somehow the wedding day is the pinnacle of happy life and life after that is all rosy and smooth. It could be said the same thing about Western Culture

As a matter of fact, married life is about adjusting to live with another individual and at times with another family. It is about learning to sleep while the other snores, to realize that blue is not everyone’s favorite color and that curtains are a good investment. It is about figuring out who will make the bed in the morning, walk the dog or do the laundry or vacuum the floor and how often & at what time. It is about mood swings, remembering the little things about the other, fights over remote, cleaning the bathrooms and about where to go and when. It is about grocery shopping, budget, paying the bills and being expected to act all mature, responsible and diplomatic.

And then … your first child is born.


Ghulam

Directed by: Vikram Bhatt
Music: Jatin Lalit
Lyrics: Sameer & Indeevar
Genre: Foregin (Indian)
Starring: Aamir Khan and Rani Muhkerjee
Running Time: 165 minutes

Bursting to the seams like an overstuffed grab bag of 50’s film nostalgia, Ghulam spills over with nods to territory from On the Waterfront to the Wild Ones to West Side Story and finally to a Shane like showdown. With the long sideburns, motorcycle gangs, leather clad beauties, youthful angst and games of deadly chicken the film revels in its retro feel like a greasy diner hamburger and surrounds itself with a thick explosive level of Indian melodrama. Like many Indian films, it shifts quickly from a light romantic beginning to a dramatic action packed finale, but what really pulls the viewer along throughout are the energetic and highly personable performances from Aamir Khan and the dreamily beautiful Rani Mukerjee. Their dramatic and musical scenes shimmer with sweet chemistry and underplayed sex appeal.

Aamir (Siddharth) is a carefree scamp and a small time thief who makes merry with his small band of followers – like grown-up Artful Dodgers – who sing and dance their impudence on the streets of Bombay. Sometimes though a reluctant Aamir is brought in by his brother to help the ruthless neighbourhood crime boss, Ronnie, by using his fast fists to intimidate certain people. Aamir doesn’t really like this side of his life as it conflicts with the humanitarian message that his now dead father tried to impart to him – but his loyalty to his brother makes it difficult for him to say no. This moral conflict will widen and become too painful to ignore as the film progresses.

A run in with a motorcycle gang headed by Deepak Tijori and his tight leather attired glam girlfriend, Rani (when she takes off her helmet and shakes her hair it is one of those movie moments), leads to a game of chicken in which Aamir and Deepak run head on at an oncoming train to see who jumps first. I am sure it wasn’t as dangerous as it looked, but somehow they made it look incredibly real with Aamir barely getting out of the way of the train – and it is shown from two angles ala Jackie Chan. His courage wins the respect of the gang but even more importantly some quality time with Rani – who turns out of course to be slumming from a wealthy family – and when he climbs up to her penthouse window from the outside – she is as good as his.

After her drunken father expresses his rage, the two of them go for a walk outside and Aamir cheers her up by breaking into “Aati Kya Khandala” that is a classic song and dance number (which Aamir actually sings as opposed to a playback singer). It’s a wonderfully simple but effective number – just the two of them alone on the street at night kept company only by the streetlights above – and they sing back and forth to one another and break into a playful jig, a waltz and other dance styles.

Things don’t stay light for long as Aamir is pressured to throw a boxing match (I could have been a contender) by his brother – and stubbornly takes an undefended horrific beating in the ring and then is forced by circumstances to stand up to the ex-boxing champ and now major thug Ronnie for his honor, his pride and to save his neighborhood from his tyranny. In a drag out knock down brutal mano y mano fight with the town’s cowered citizens looking on, Aamir fights for his life and for his love. Much of the film may seem cliché driven, but it’s done with so much verve and good spirits that it is difficult not to get sucked in.

Though “Aati Kya Khandala” is the outstanding number, all the songs are very solid but what I most appreciated about them was Rani’s absolutely alluring presence – as she sizzles, soothes and gives off sexual vibes in a number of the songs. She has rarely been lovelier than she is in this film and though her role comes and goes during the film, it is Aamir’s understandable fascination with her that drives his moral change.