Monday, November 10, 2014

Dawat- E- Ishq

It’s a Sunday afternoon and it is snowing A LOT! If I glance outside of the window of my living room it looks like I have suddenly been transported to "Hundi" - remember how Gupi Bagha went there by mistake. I can't see any other colour than white.. but you know what? I'm happy.  

"Tu Meri Mannat" from Dawat- E- Ishq has been playing on repeat on my laptop! My better half keeps offering me a headphone.. apparently 20 times on repeat is enough for him.. but I can listen to it for a few 100 more times. It's just not the song, it is how the combination of the song and the video made me feel is what I try to capture and recapture. He just doesn't get it!! Check it out at the link below:

So as you can tell, I watched Dawat- E - Ishq this weekend and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

I just can't get over the songs.. it is romantic and magical and it transports me to a different world. Kudos to Jatin - Lalit. It show cases Lucknow, the food, the simple people.. above all the character of Tariq - his simplicity, his capacity to love,  his ability to win people over really stand out.

It is a love story - what a surprise! Right? But this one of those films that you are not going to judge every second and think "really! ?" in your head . You are not going to try to be logical.

The story is fresh. Yes there is still your hero, heroine, dancing around the Lucknow( it is Bollywood after all) but the villain is the age old traditions and customs and not the father of the daughter or some goon in the village... which is very unique.

So, I have a habit of watching a movie and then if I like an actor or a character they played, I youtube their interviews that they gave to promote their movie. Why? Just to see how much are they like their character in real life. Do they speak differently than the character? And generally I always see a pattern and in my head I picture - okay this what the person is like in real life and blah blah.. if you are a fan of Friends, you might notice Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston talks the same way in real life like they did in Friends... Okay you get my point right?

But Aditya Roy Kapoor.... totally did not fit this mould.. I loved his character . However, in the interviews he seemed to be a completely different person. So he is either a fantastic actor or the director is fantastic.. I can't tell.. and he must have lost a bunch of weight right after the movie, because I kept looking at the movie promotion stills and the songs and he looks very very different!! Check out this photo of Parineeti Chopra and Aditya Roy Kapoor promoting this movie! Crazy right??

Okay here check out another still froma pormotional event :
Seriously is this the same guy? Did he stop eating after coming back from Lucknow?? Why?? Someone please tell him he doesn't need to be this skinny! 

Parineeti Chopra is kinda of the same on and off screen. She has that " laraku" personality that comes out in the movie.. or may be she just chooses to do roles that are like a "phataka" - in any case I like her. She looks real to me. She is not like one of those fake unattainable girls that we see on Bollywood movies.

Anyway.. I really liked the movie actually. My expectations were pretty low when I started watching it and was amazed! only complaint - I wish there was more Aditya Roy Kapoor in the movie, he doesn't come on until 40 minutes into the movie... Dislike!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ramdhanu- (Rainbow)

Watched a really good Bangla movie after some time! It is called Ramdhanu.

This movie examines the process of admission to English Medium Private Schools (EMPS) in Kolkata for kids under the age of 5 years! No it is not another boring documentary.. it is more of satire..  it gives us a glimpse of the irony prevalent in a society I grew up, masked with humour.

I have never experienced this madness and for the first time in a long time I felt glad that I was born a long time ago (no, I'm not letting you how old I am! just know it was a longgg time ago)

So it starts off with parent's education level, their bank balance, their status in the society.  Cars driven,  last vacation destination are all taken into consideration to gauge their status. So basically, what it comes down to is - if you slacked off in school and your mark sheet from grade 10 and grade 12 reflect that - your kid's future is F-I-N-SS-E-D!

So if I had kids, my kids would never make it to any prestigious EMPS in Kolkata.. oh but wait, my achievements does not matter that much - I can cook and clean, and that should be good enough. Dad has money rolling in and good education right??.. that's the ONLY thing that matters. So much so that if someone is a single mother, she might have to hire a fake dad to go to the interviews with her. Just to show she has a man who can take care of her! Oh makes me MAADD!

I bet you are thinking getting into a MBA program is a lot easier.

So basically the message of this movie is best summarized in the movie poster above. Focus on a good wholesome education, not just the best school. 

The directors drive the point home and does it in a wonderful way. The comic timing of the male protagonist, Laltu Dutta ( who is the co-director), owner of Dutta Medical Hall is brilliant. His portrayal of a middle class medicine shop(pronounce SOP) owner is very relatable - you see the once para r morere changra chele who has settled down in him. 

Notable mention is Khwaraj Mujherjee - he is simply awesome. He plays the character of a non- Bengali ( possible Marwari) businessman who "helps" your kid get into a good EMPS at a small fee. 

Mitali and Gogol played by Rachna Banerjee and Akashnil Mitra is very natural. No overacting, no nekami that is so common in Bengali commercial movies. As you know in the Bengali masala movies if you are the female protagonist you are either extra neka .. .  or you are rude with an attitude issue.. why else would our heros fall for you?? Din't you know according to the commercial Bangla movies a girl can't be intelligent and sexy at the same time! too much to handle aparently..You have to match the hero's intellectual level after all.

Anyway the reality that Mitali deals with really struck a chord with me. The over inquisitive "friend" who wants to constantly know if her son got into a good school or not, the constant questioning of the neighbours about the status of little Gogol's application... all too familiar!

I have to point out some side story lines used to drive home the point that was not necessary - Mitali's brother's Memsheb girl friend learning Bangla. As if that wasn't enough - she actually asked oh how come you guys are trying to teach your son English and I'm trying to learn Bangla here.. too obvious what tactic you are using.. didn't need to be so blatant! 

Anyway.. great movie, great entertainer that leaves us with something to think about, even try to take baby steps to make the process better, maybe?? 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Game – He Plays To Win!!

So this weekend I thought, instead of writing off the "commercial" Bangla movie completely just by watching the trailer I will actually watch one before I dole out my judgement.
 So after listening to "Tui amar Tatka Priya Marie re" a few times, youtube suggested I watch Game... Wait what?? You don't know anything about Tatka Priya Marie?? Click the link below and check it out right now.. you are missing out!!

Yes- Jeet is wooing this girl - saying that she is like is fresh Priya Marie Biscuit that he would like to dip in his lemon tea!
.....I have never been courted by anyone like this so I don't really know how I would feel if someone told me that I was a fresh biscuit.. but the girl in this picture seems perfectly happy, so are her white friends who also decided to join in her celebration!

This was probably the phone conversation between the girl and her white friends:

" OMG you guys! he finally told me that he wants to dip me in his lebu - cha"

Anyway, catchy tune.. very Durgo Pujo e para's dance song like...

Modern lyrics too :  " Likhe Dilam Love you Shona Check koro Facebook"!

Anyway I started watching Game

 I was very much into the movie only about 10-15 minutes into it. It was an action/suspense thriller type  movie. I was even saying to myself commercial Bangla movie has come a loong loong way! I remembered Proshenjit's Jamaibabu Zindabad or Swami keno Ashami and felt happy that the movie is actually making sense.

Granted there was chorom nekami by the heorine and heavy doses of overacting in the hero/ heroine Premer scene but I was very excited about the movie.

I started discussing this movie with my family and told them it is a must watch. Then I started doing some research and discovered that this is remake of the Tamil movie Thuppaki starring Vijay and Kajal Agarwal!

I told myself, that okay so we basically took the essence from this Tamil movie and then used our creativity to make it completely Bangla and possibly more awesome! So I started watching the movie in Tamil without subtitles! Well, I didn't have any other choice I was on a quest - turns out it was a scene by scene copy ... oops I meant to say remake.. did I say copy out loud? Sorry!! I mean CTRL C & then CRTL V!  Oh then I found out that there is also a Hindi version starring Akshaye Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha called Holiday.

So basically Tamil movie industry comes up with solid scripts, make movies and then the rest of the country  just copy pastes in their regional languages!

So in light of this, I have decided that I will save myself the trouble of watching all these versions. Instead go straight to source and watch the Tamil movie instead! I know I don't speak or understand language but I'm sure I will figure it out from the partial English phrases and then within the next few months when it comes out in Bengali or Hindi, I will just watch that and get the rest of it !!  Solid Plan, right???

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Chotushkon: My Preview and other observations...

So Parambrata's new movie is coming out this Pujo (September 26th) and he is playing a character by the name of Jayabrata - a film director. Interesting right?

Facts  about the movie :

1. This is Srijit's new venture after the National Award Winning "Jatiswar".

2. Music by Anupam Roy - loved the Boshonto Eshe Geche and the Boba Tunnel track.

3. Check out the Trailor here :

4. Cast : Prambrata, Aparna Sen, Chrinajeet, Gautam Ghosh, Kaushik Ganguly, Koninika, Payal Sarakar, Deblina Dutta among others.

5. Genre : Triller

My Observation :

Before I tell you about my true observations, let me make one thing very clear, I am no movie critic! I am an average movie goer who loves watching intelligent bangla movie.. that's all .. I thought I needed this disclaimer before freely expressing what I really thought!

So the trailer was really obscure! I watched it three times.. Twice before watching the interviews and once after watching the interviews in youtube. I didn't really understand what the movie was about.. except maybe that it was about something dark..may be even something supernatural.. May be it it meant to be Atel.. Anyway, you have to remember this is Srijit's first movie after the National award so pressure to perform at the box office and the national award level is pretty high... . although he claims he wrote this movie long time ago, right after 22nd Srabon. But he had to tweak it a bit since he catered the script to the people playing the characters.

So what is interesting is, they said that each of the 4 main character are directors and their parts of the story are shot in a way they themselves would have shot/ narrated their movie..  I can't wait to see what Param's style would be.

I thought the cast was rather arrogant and show offy during the interviews.. one claimed there was no one else in the industry who could have done this role. Okay may be true.. but is modesty dead?

Parambrata wasn't arrogant - he was asked numerous times how does he feel to do a role that was originally scripted for Rituparna Ghosh.. he fielded the questions brilliantly I think! He acknowledged he wasn't the first choice and then quickly went over to narrate the story of how Srijit approached him for the movie and he had to say yes because it is Srijit after all!! Nicely done!

I really don't know what to expect from this movie. I feel like it feel be either super hit or will vanish into obscurity pretty quick. This will not be an average movie for sure. Unfortunately the marketing strategy employed has not been able to pique my interest! But I wish the movie all the best, hope it does really well.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Adventures in the near shore Motherland!

So I took the summer off from blogging!  And now I'm back!

I want to tell you all about my latest trip to NY.. well on second thought everyone knows what New York is all about.. right? Wall street, Statue of liberty, Central Park, Manhattan sky line, expensive shopping - you can google it or even better Youtube it. Seach for "What to see in NY" and you will be flooded with thousands of videos. So let me tell you about the hidden gem that is New Jersey- specifically Jersey City.

After being in there I have decided I no longer need to buy super expensive tickets and fly for 22 hours to visit the motherland. I can just visit Newark Avenue in NJ. Don't believe me? Fine take a look at the picture below:

.. Yes it is not some gali in Mumbai, Kolkata or Delhi this is Uniter States of America.

The sights, the sounds and the smell reminded me of India... my cousin took us to this amazing biriyani place called the Paradise Biriyani and the moment we stepped in, we knew we were teleported to Biriyani Paradise. 
We ordered Chicken Biriyani, Mutton Biriyani, Mutton Chap and something else...  and off course Thumbs Up to wash it all down.. 

We ordered so much food because for some weird reason it felt like doom's day is upon us and we need eat as much biriyani as we can! Pictures you ask? In our frenzy to chow down this Regal dish fit for  BadShahi courts I forgot all about documenting it. 

Don't you dare start talking about carbs and all that!! When you are pretending to be in Shah Jahan's court you don't care about your carbohydrate intake.. 
First of all you have been transported back into the 1600s, people don't know about the Atkin's diet or carbohydrates and secondly you already made it to the royal court.. who cares about how you look?? Anyway.. no regal meal can be finished without paan. So off we went into our Indian street into a store called "Mithai" which had paan and they even had the expensive silver foil thing that you see in expensive mishtis back home. Check out the expression of my fellow travellers by just the smell of paan.

Next morning started with Masala Dosa and Masala tea with finger licking good coconut chutney and sambar. They had more delicious food just looking at us from the show case - stuff like pakora, vada, lots and lots and lot colourful mishti.. although the choices seemed to be infinite, my stomach's holding capacity is finite.. well, I could have packed it.. However, I was supposed to do all the touristy things in New York right after and carrying sambar around isn't that easy. However, I did not leave Newark street without some paan from the store that actually looked like a pan store - tiny store, that you can't get into. The shopkeeper was standing at what looked like a window and you had to yell out the order in a very typical Indian style and he would make the fresh paan right in front of you eyes. 

It felt like we were visiting Kolkata during Durga Pujo! 
It was like India had made a near shore support centre for the Street food deprived Indians who live out side of India. It was in essence my near shore Motherland!!!!! Jai New Jersey.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hickory Dickory Dock!

Last Sunday Rita was getting ready for bed! It was about 10:30 at night! She is slowly inching towards the dreaded age of 30 and so she has made a personal vow of getting into a skin care routine..
She never cared growing up but age is finally catching up and photoshop (if you are a regular user like her) can only take you so far. Hence the attempt to make her skin look FLAWLESS!!
She was half way through her routine, when she suddenly heard a rustling noise! Chill ran down her spine.. was there someone in her apartment? And there was some movement.. armed with her moisturizer bottle and some cotton she slowly started following the noise.. what could it be?

 She kept telling herself.. she is brave, she is empowered and she can face anything in this world.. she wasn't quite sure where the hell she was getting all this confidence.. oh that's right her phone was right in her pyjama pocket- just a quick call to 911 would have multiple modern day knights in matte armour and helmets come over and save this damsel in distress.

The noise was coming from the pantry.. she switched on the light and she saw this was something much bigger than a thief or robber it was a mouse!!!

And the mouse kept running back and forth.... She had no idea what to do.. She was so petrified that even her flight or fight response didn't kick in. She stood there dumb founded for what felt like hours... she slowly stepped back while still keeping her eyes on the mouse.

She read somewhere that when dealing with bears you are supposed keep eye contact and step back so that they don't attack you.. or see you as a threat
Yeah bear and mice are not the same .. but Rita's brain told her that some how they are genetically linked.. DNA.. Genetics .. This is EXACTLY why she studied Neuroscience..
four years and  more than $20,000 tuition fees was finally paying off

So bear and rat and somehow .... distant cousin or some thing and so obviously this was the best course of action... Oh she felt so smart.!!. this is called application.. Mom and dad would be so proud to see their investment in Rita's education finally being fruitful.

She backed up quite a bit, hit the wall and did what any rational and logical person would do.. she grabbed her passport and her expensive face cream and left home!

Next day Rita narrated, the night before's incident to her friends expecting them to be astonished by her courage, application of science and technology in real life and her ability to think on her feet ... instead they broke out into fits of hysterical laughter..Umm, whatever!
One friend even said..  you know they have mice in other countries as well.. so your passport wouldn't have helped you that much What??
The only reason Rita took her passport was because.. umm. for some very important reason.. that she didn't want to discuss... Whatever! People have no appreciation for intelligence these days!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Drop Dead Diva

So if I died.. whose body would I want to come back in and what would I do? Well, don't call me morbid.. TV is making me think like this! Don't believe me? Fine.. read the quote below from the opening credits from the TV show drop dead diva and you will know for yourself!

" See that aspiring model out there? That was me Deb, until the day I died. I thought I would go straight to heaven but there was a bit of mix up and I ended up in someone else's body. Now  I'm Jane - - I'm a super busy lawyer with my very own assistant. I got a new life, a new ward robe and the only people who know about it are my girlfriend Stacy and my guardian angel friend. I used to think every thing happened for a reason.. I sure hope so"

..... Any rational thinking person would not take this seriously! Then again who makes rational TV or movies any more.. You don't agree? 
Okay let's look at some Hollywood blockbusters.. Spiderman? Superman? Transformers? Are they rational by any means? They are larger than life and pure fantasy. And this is somewhere in the middle! 

This is a feel good show- she wins every single case! But would I like it if she didn't? Probably not. I think really great escapade at least for me.. it sort of tells you everything will be alright all the time, even if you drop dead.. literally.. you can come back from the dead and suddenly make a huge money by becoming a lawyer. Uh Ha.. you can.. but why would you want to die in th first place.. well shit happens, okay! 

I'm just trying to imagine this in a bollywood  frame work  or a balaji show framework.. it would probably be called kyunki Deb bhi khabi Jane thi.. (because deb was once jane) and the think is.. it will be much more dramatic.. 

If you think Drop dead diva is cheesy think about what it would be like in a balaji series.. there will be songs, there will be dancing in the rain and Jane will have a perfect figure .. although people around her will be calling her fat directly/ indirectly.. See bigger people in Indian movies are only used in a comical role or not at all.. I"m not saying you shouldn't be healthy and all... you should try to shed the excess pounds but I don't think you can make it into TV in India if you are a bigger person, not without a whole lot of criticism any way. Look at Parineeti Chopra and Sonakshi Sinha.. people in the media call them curvy... are you serious?? Do you even know what curvy really means?? 

Well any way back to my kyunki Deb bhi kabhi Jane thi.. oh I bet Sunny Deol will make an appearance and have his famous dialogue in there..  Tariq pe Tariq ...  Who would be cast as Deb and Stacy and Jane? 

I would cast Katrina Kaif as Deb - so she will appears in the credits but that is pretty much it!  Stacy will be Sonam Kapoor - she will fit right in to Stacy's character - haha I think you know why.. Off course I'm referring to her fashion sense.. what did you think?

Who will be Grayson? Well I had a couple of choices but I think the clear winner is Gautam Rode- he is a TV actor yes! but I think he will fit in perfectly! 

Kim Caswell will be Ashwairya.. she has this annoying thing going on - she is annoyed with everything in the world.. she gives smart ass answers, she is good looking and she thinks she is very smart!  Thank God, the show will he in hindi.. otherwise her fake accent wold have killed everything. 

Okay, so all we need right now to make a call to Balaji and convince them to take this on.. I even have a title with K in it picked out!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

What does Sine curve and 22 Jump Street have in common?

 IMDB  has a 8.1 rating from 13,000 voters for 22 Jump Street. There is so much chatter as to how it is so much better than the previous movie, but I'm sorry, I disagree!

 Now, now, I am a grown up and I just don't like a movie because it has Channing Tatum in it. I have sound judgement now and Mr. Tatum had no role to play in my decision making process to watch this particular movie. I swear.. I mean look at his face..  you think his smouldering good looks can convince me?
Well okay, may be a tiny bit, but that's it!

But seriously though, I was disappointed with the movie. Don't get me wrong, it was funny and in some instances hilarious - but it wasn't interesting. As in the story didn't have any meat. They focused way too much on being funny and way too less on the story line.

I compare the movie to a sine curve - it was good and then it was bad and then it was good again and it was repetitive.. just how Wikipedia defines sine curve!
There were some sub plot line whose significance I failed to understand. It didn't take the movie forward, it didn't really see how it contributed to the story other than proving a point that it is different than last time.

Example :
Channing Tatum being a jock ! Okay you are trying to portray that high school was awful for Jenko and college was awesome but how did that help us catch the drug dealers? They didn't really get to the drug source. Yes he became really good friends with the football players and that gave us some hilarious moments of Schmidt trying to fit in but that was not unexpected funny!
I thought it was very used and abused real life -fat-guy-is-not-as-fit-as-a-jock kinda obvious funny which is very last season funny.

What I think we liked about 21 Jump Street was the fact the not so popular wannabe Slim Shady of a decade ago was instantly popular with the cool kids of today! The audience wasn't expecting it. The punks and the drug dealers weirdly cared about the environment and the nerd kid of the 90s actually blended in really well with the popular ones!

But 22 Jump Street had nothing like that.

They latched on to "bromance" that they started in the previous movie - "Will you go to prom with me" and just went on and on to  the point it lost it's novelty and was no longer funny!

Summary of the movie : The "partners" fought, they made up and they kicked the gangstar's ass! THE END!

Before I sign out for today let's just talk about the action sequences shall we?

Was this a big Hollywood break for a struggling Bollywood action director? Or was it a cruel joke played on a poor Bollywood action director who thought he made it in Hollywood, only to find out the only reason he was picked was to enhance the comedy factor in the film !

 Channing Tatum doing Dhisoom dhisoom was fine.. But Channing hitting the Gang-sTaz with the legs of a drunk girl who was sitting on his shoulder.. really?
Channing Tatum jumping on to a helicopter after being hit by a bullet in his arm from the top of a building? REALLY?

Let me make one thing super clear here folks! Only and ONLY Akhshay Kumar has the right to do that and nobody else!
Ridiculous! You are just going to watch a Khiladi movie, get inspired by our super awesome stunts and as a hard core Bollywood movie fanatic we would just let that slide? In "Didi"'s words NEBHARRRRR!!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Why Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania will be a hit!

Dharma Productions's Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania (HSKD) is all set for release on July 11. Will this movie be a hit?

Offcourse! Have you noticed the marketing efforts they have put into it? No? Okay let me  break it down and tell me if you disagree:

1.Karan Johar movie: That brand name alone will get all the hardcore Masala movie lovers all excited!

2.Macro to Micro : I like this strategy of creating interest in your audience

First there was a poster -see above. With nothing else.
Then there was a "home video" of the actors saying that they are trying to make this video secretly before the trailer comes to out to tell the audience what the movie is about... Almost giving you a secret insight..

My question here is does anyone really fall for it? Unless you are 10 off course.. may be the intent is not to make you believe it is real.. but to make you feel like you had a chance to be a part of the celebrity's life outside of the movie, even if it is for 2 minute and 15 seconds

3. Filmy style trailer launch in YouTube. 

Fun Trailer - very next gen type dialogues, more direct flirting .. no running around in chiffon sarees in snow capped mountains. Just running around in normal clothing around Delhi. Catchy tunes, defining who the hero and who the "vedesi" villain is! I liked the presentation of the trailor. Check it out by clicking the link below :

They actually have titled the video filmy style trailer launch.

4. Using Social Media to it's fullest :

They have a FB page, a twitter account. But what is important to note is Karan Johar tweets about how HSKD trailor has had 1 million views. 1 million views is an achievement in it self. But when KJO tweets about it - the impact doubles.. why? he has 3.9 million followers and even if 1/3 of them view it, there you go another million.

Varun Dhawan, has changed his name on Twitter and it read Varun Humpty Dhawan - I like this promo strategy as well.

5. Using television to promote it:

Okay this is sort of an old strategy in Bollywood now, but a strategy that works! The cast and director/ producer come on to these various talent shows as the judges and in turn promotes their movies!
They have even satrted scripting parts in very popular soaps in India like - Bade Achhe Lagte Hain and the like to promote their movies. Annoys me .. but you know what, it works.

What about the story you ask? Since when has a Bollywood Masala film need a story line you can follow? The packaging matters the most and it has all of that!

 - Good Looking actors - check
- Big banner - check
- Lot of unique promotion techniques - check

Okay if you really want to know about the storyline this is what I gathered from the promo :

Story based in Delhi. Girl meets boy in college/ neighbourhood. They become friends. Boy is a fun loving guy , girl is a diva but sweet at the same time . Don't forget it is a KJO movie, the girl has to be a diva! (Did you forget "PooH" in K3G?)
Girl's parents are trying to get her married to NRI (non - resident Indian).
Boy gets drunk with girl one night and realises he loves her. But now the NRI guy is in India to marry girl... boy has to do something to win her back AND surprise surprise he finally does!!!  ANd they live happily ever after ... Again as I mentioned not important!

I'm predicting Anupama Chopra will give it a 2.5 star and audience will give it a 4 star! And the movie will be a hit!! Will be part of the so called "100 crore" club!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Watching Koffee with Karan? You are helping science!

- Salman Khan is a good person, but he doesn't choose the right company.
-  I know! He is always surrounded by these people that use him as a ladder in the film industry and then throw him away.
- Which is exactly why SRK chooses to keep in touch with only a select few and keeps to himself.
- Arey, SRK needs time to relax, reflect and rest after working almost 16 hours a day!

My wisdom and knowledge of Bollywood industry will have you convinced that I have made it big in Bollywood and hang out with the A-listers often.. 

But let me share a secret, it is a TV show called Koffee with Karan (KWK). It is a celebrity chat show hosted by Karan Johar who also makes Hindi movies for "Indians globally" (read NRI, Officially: non- resident Indians aka Not-required Indians).

K.Jo. Introducing me to his Talk show!
I used to be a binge watcher of this show in my younger days, when I didn't relaize the value of time and how time is money.. (Now I'm older and wiser!)

I knew I had a problem, so being the  sensible student I was, I always set limits on my self.
"Okay," I used to tell myself, "It is only 7 pm, I'm going to watch this ONE episode and then seriously buckle down and study for my test on Monday." Then this is how that plan went down:

 One episode comes to an end. YouTube, then gives you suggestions on what else you could watch--> related videos that is... Now, if YouTube is telling me that there is other things to watch, can I ignore the request? the answer is Obviously, No!

( See how social media is to be blamed for the wrong choices young adults make?)

Anyway, so I watch another and then another and another.. and then finally at around 12 am I glance at the watch shocked! Where did my 5 hours go???

I tell myself, calm down - student life is all about gaining knowledge about the world around you and all I did in the last 5 hours was immerse myself into Indian Cinema studies. This will be useful one day! My parents always told me that do something you like and then work will be enjoyable and you will be successful! I'm a good girl and I always have listened to my parents and why should this be an exception?

But other side of my brain wakes up and tell me..
 Umm ..that is all fine and dandy but the test on Monday is on Stats and your major is actually Neuroscience & Psychology so how is cinema study going to help you on Monday?

Well, First of all.. you have to look at the bigger picture and not just Monday.
 This is all linked you see.. I can always study the effect of Karan Johar's talk show on the brain and what kind of  neurotransmitters are released.. essentially an addiction study.

 I could be the sole subject a, get research grant to do this study and Bingo!! I get paid to watch Koffee with Karan!

.. I can clearly visualize, Karan Johar introducing me
" Our next guest tonight is a pioneer, linking Bollywood with Neuropschology, please welcome, the dashing, the ravishing, the talented beauty with brains, the none other than....  "
I start day dreaming some more... Then I can't help but imagine what the rapid fire round would look like

KJo shocked and surprised at my answers!
Very quickly then -
-Janelle LeBoutiller or Konstantine Zakzanis, which researcher would you collaborate with on your next project"
- Dr. Zakzanis! He is a genius and he is cute! Sorry Dr. LeBoutiller..
- Neuropsychology or Biological Psychology, where would you like to see your next paper published?
- Neuropshycology, hand down!

It wouldn't be so scandalist in Bollywood but you trust me it would be super scandalist in the scientific community and it would raise eye brows all around!

I glance at the clock again and it is 1 am! Now that I have convinced myself that I'm actually dedicating my life somehow to science and Hindi cinema, I feel very calm! It is very important to be honest to yourself.. and then I start watching the next episode.. all in the name of science.

Before you judge me remember I was an young adult back then, with an impressionable mind that could be easily molded by tv and Hindi cinema (Remember, I mentioned when in doubt blame Hindi movies to be the root cause of problems in a previous post? It always works!)

Anyway, Johar is now in his 4th season of his show. SRK has made about 10,000 appearances. K.Jo has gone from flip cards, to Samsaung tablet to Samsung phones for his rapid fire rounds and I just binge watched 4 hours of KWK!

Well this time I'm blaming it on Canadian media.. if only this show was telecast here on a regular basis I wouldn't have had to binge watch the show, my adult responsibilities would have been taken care of. My house would have been sparkling clean, I wouldn't have had  popcorn for lunch!! Just saying... am I wrong?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Letter to my 16 year old self

Dear Ms. Nayak

I am a much older self of yours from the future trying to tell you what life is going to be like in the next 10 years.

I know you are enjoying snow in Canada. The flurry you saw last weekend was amazing right? Enjoy while you can. In the future you will get sick of this snow and hope to hope to the warmest part of Canada. Believe it or not, you will be looking forward to summers and not winters!!

You go to school and you are actually pretty good in math here.. I know, you sucked at math in India, but here you love the teachers and the way it is taught and you actually think Geometry is interesting. You have 3 math courses in grade 12! You graduate from an amazing university.. So stop worrying!!!!

Yes.. Yes, you have a boyfriend ! God you couldn't wait to hear about this, huh?You date him for 5 years , fall madly in love and then get married at quite an young age... Can you guess who that person is?
  Remember that tall boy from Garfa who couldn't really play cricket, had a cute smile , sorta nerdy and tried to show you how to light fireworks during Kalipuja 
Yup you guessed right.. same chap! Nothing has changed much in 10 years --> he still can't play cricket, he still has a cute smile, still nerdy and still thinkshe knows how to light fire works better than you.

Your birthdays does get dull every year. You don't have Baba- Ma every year with you. You live in different cities. But wherever you are they still send you a card, with Baba' signature artistic handwriting and the year inside the card. The years that you are together you still get so many gifts you are overwhelmed and it reminds you of your younger days.  Ma makes you payesh every year, without fail.. 

Dida eventually stops writing a poem especially for you on your birthday because she decides to leave you and this world. In her last conversation with you, she actually tells you to prepare yourself to deal with her not being there. But you never can, so you strategize to think you had fight with her and you are not calling her. Lal dadu's calls you almost very year on your birthday and then eventually stops as well. You greatly miss them, especially on rainy days like this!

You finally have a friend who was born on the same day as you and you guys instantly become best friends. Your other best friend, is from the country whose poetry and language you always admired.. No they don't eat biriyani all day.. And no they don't all dress like Akhbar and write poetry all day long... They have a life!! You best friend from school is still the same.. Still an idiot and still Doesnt call you enough but you eventually grow up and learn how to deal with him. He starts living very close to you but still doesn't visit you.

You work. But you work in something that has nothing to do with what your degree was in! So stop worrying so much about your career and such... Everything is okay!

Enjoy Toronto you are not going to be therefor ever. Explore the city, get to know it...

You think now that it was silly that you were so worried about your career, education, having a boyfriend. You got all that!! But guess what you still worry about career, education  in a different aspect... Well you have a husband now!!! 

Dida and Dadu are gone, no matter how much you tried to hold on to them...

So what I'm saying is you will always worry about something, life will be transient and you will have to leave people behind as you move forward, no matter how hard you try to stop it, you can't. So enjoy today my dear, stop worrying so much about what will happen tomorrow! You can only put your best foot forward and then wait and watch the magic.

Your much older self!

Monday, May 19, 2014

My Bangla Pride

When I lived in Kolkata this whole Probashi Bangalis (Bengalis living outside of Bengal) didn't impress me much. To me they were wannabe Bengalis and not as cool as me!
Whenever someone uttered the word "probashi" images of my relatives living somewhere deep in MP/UP who only surfaced during biye season or durga puja season, came to my mind.
 The Mashi/ Pishi (s) generally had perfect Bangla but their kids or my cousin's Bangla used to be atrocious.
Phrases like "tui amar choto bon achish" or "tora duRRga pOOjyor somoy kotto ta anondo korish" - bengali with a Hindi accent were common which made me impatient.. it was like watching a movie with a subtitle.. finish your sentence already damn it!! Remember I was a Kid! Don't judge me.

I gave them props for trying though.. or at least I pretended to. You were not allowed to laugh at them or you will see you mom's big eyes getting even bigger singnally you to stop immidiately and if you continued.. "thash thash" kore chor!
However,  my "probashi" cousins were always considered "dudhe- bhathe"... and we didn't really take them super seriously especially if they were younger.

I didn't have any close relatives living in so called "Bidesh" so never really experienced North Americanzined Bengali. But one thing I was sure of was my Bangla language skills although I went to a English medium school.. go figure!

12 years later.. Here I am .. recounting my probashi experiences! Life I tell you can be a bitch! Or rather karma is .. What goes around comes around.

So when I go back to Kolkata/visit Kolkata  I am always afraid people will categorize me into the same Probashi Bangali category I hated so much! So my strategy to deal with it?? Over compensate by speaking in Suddho Bangla..  But in doing so I tend to go over board and alienate my own cousins.

Example :

Me to my Cousin : Shon,  amake durobhash shomapto karjer r dorkhasto joma dite hobe. Tui ki jabi amar shonge?
( Listen, I was to submit the application form to cancel our phone line. Did you want to come with me? in a very Bengali text book way)

My Cousin gives me a stunned look... as if I just time travelled from the medieval Bengal and burst into her drawing room.. and then says

" ki bolli, dorkhasto?? She abar ki?"
(Dorkhasto what is that??)

Okay,  time to reevaluate my linguistic skills... did I use it wrong?
Okay, too old fashioned?
That must be it! But obviously can't admit that in front of my younger cousin.. so I say,

" Dorkhasto mane application.. You kids these days.. have no respect for your your language and culture deshe r j ki hobe?"

Then I add in a very Dida/ Kakima / Jethima style :

" Toder moton boyeshe amader Bangla Bhasar kodor onek beshi chilo.. ei shob oi hindi chobi r dosh!

When in doubt blame Bollywood.. always works in typical Bengali household.. baje result? math e  kom nombor, khele dhuloye haar, kom boyeshe depomi kore prem?? whatever it is blame it on Hindi Cinema... works every time!

Also, who cares she is only two years younger than me and the fact that two years ago I didn't even live in India. Minor details, Minor details.. as long as you are super confident in what you are saying, people tend to believe you.

My fight for when in Kolkata only speak Bangla doesn't go that well with random strangers either.. Example??

So I went to South City Mall in Kolkata, and asked a security guard type of person..
-Dada, ekhane osudhu er dokhan kothaye pabo?
- Mam, if you go this way (blah blah) you will find it.
He replies back in English... 
Me replying back in Bangla again
- Achha, mane soja giye odike, tia to?
(oh you mean, I should go straight and then that way, right?)
- Yes man,
- Apni Bangla bolen ebong bojhen to?
(You understand and speak Bangla right?)
He smiles and nods and replies
-Yes mam..
 I glance quickly over to his name tag and yes, just what I thought.. the name was Subhendu Sil.

Did times change? Or did I change? Am I desperately trying to hold on to my Bengali identity and hoping to still be a member of a club where my membership might be expiring soon? Don't know exactly!

I don't speak English like North Americans.. I have an Indian Accent
I don't speak Hindi like non - Bengalis ... I have a Bengali accent
I can't speak in a Bangal Bhasha ... I have a Kolkata accent!

So I can't help but overcompensate when I'm in Kolkata.. no one can say I have a Hindi accent or a North American accent.. My bhasha.. spoken the way it should be..

Friday, May 16, 2014

Aami Sudhu Cheyechi Tomaye - A Preview

This movie was released today but unfortunately I was not able to catch the first day first show. Luckily, however, I was able to watch the HD quality trailer in YouTube. And below is my account of what I think the movie is about ...This movie is a joint venture between a Kolkata and a Bangladesh production house since they want to reach out to a broader audience. 

This seems to be an intense love story between Ankush and Subhasree. Or it could be a documentary on Subhasree's stalker. 

The story goes back to the protagonist's childhood  days. The boy had loved the girl from a very young age and kept yelling I love you to her. But unfortunately the girl didn't feel the same. So she kept yelling I hate you to the male protagonist. 

The guy is unable to deal with the rejection and becomes delusional. He keeps seeing her everywhere. Is the girl dead and her bhatakti hui atma is roaming around you say? No , she is alive.
 So the guy is determined that he HAS to win her heart by hook or by crook. So naturally he starts taking dancing and singing lessons hoping to catch her attention and impress her. He starts going to the same college as the girl and show cases his multi talents. He can slam dunk a basketball while not even facing the basketball court and is instantly popular. Obviously the girl is high maintenance and doesn't get impressed by this. So the boy has to hire backup dancers and start singing song the lyrics of which are directly from his heart. Here is a sneak peak:

Prem paise hayere
Monta tokei Chaye re
Prem er Kira kolje j Lafayere"

Let me attempt to translate this into English

" I want to love
I only want you
Love bugs in my liver are jumping"

He actually flies her to Thailand to present this song and dance routine to her. How do I know it is Thailand I'm guessing it is since there are interesting looking dragons dancing in the background to cheer on the guy.

But unfortunately the girl doesn't get wooed by this international production and show, setup just for her. Obviously the guy can't just give up. His friends are starting to sort of make fun of him now and a " true lubher " like him has to keep trying. 

So next he flies her to Bangladesh hoping that a song in Bangladeshi dialect will melt her heart. He pens another amazing song, the lyrics of which will give Salil Chowdhury or Gouri Prassan Majumdar a complex. The song goes like this: 

"Ore Bangladesher meye re tui
heila duila jaas.
Akbar jei ghuira takas,lage jhakkas.
Podda nodir Ilish khaiya,
Roop khana ki jhokjhoke banas."

I don't even know how to translate that into English. 

He changes t- shirts as well but the girls keeps giving him a very stern, go to hell look.

He is running out of means to try to woo her. In the mean time the girl has had enough. She meets him in an entirely empty library tells him off... She adds that she does not love him! I mean how could she?? All the guy is doing is stalking her, why would that be creepy?? 

The guys is super hurt  and turns badass! He decides to employ a different method to tug at her heart strings this time around. He tries to to make her jealous ... he starts rapping with other really 'hot' girls...Deal with that bitch! 

When ever that didn't work he tries to kiss her forcefully. Because that is right thing to do, when a girl clearly does not like you. No, that is not sexual harassment since it is coming from the "true lubher". When the boyfriend ( or could have been BF) of the girl asks him how did he have the courage to kiss her , he cooly replies, like a perfect badass...

 " ebar kiss korechi ee por love letter debo!" 

( I have kissed her this time, next time I'll give her a love letter)

 What a profound dialogue and what a threat!!!!! I had to pause my you tube video to fully understand the impact of this...

Okay, get this people even after such laborious efforts to woo her she has the gall to like wait, love someone else!! She says right on the guy's face that she LOVES someone else. This breaks our male protagonist... 

Reminds me of the Miley Cyrus's song .. Wrecking ball.. Especially the part breaaaaakkk mee...poor guy!

What happens after this??? 
Does the girl finally lose her mind completely and fall in love with the boy??
 Does the boy get psychiatric help? 

To know you have to watch this movie my dear folks.. It is out in the theaters near you (In Kolkata)... Ami sudhu sheyechi tomaye.