“Zindagi Ek Juaa” Madhuri as drug fiend!

In honor of Maduri Dixit’s birthday, first I’d like to wish her one:Ardent Madhuri Dixit fan, Gaja Gamini, from Bollywood-ish Blog, declared it Magic of Madhuri Week.  My little contributions are some shocking images of Maduri from Zindagi Ek Juaa  (1992) (Life is a Gamble)

The first image of the film is of  ye olde Central Jail, so right off you know there’s trouble. Maybe one day I’ll make it Film City or whatever movie studio houses Central Jail.

Now a bit about the film:

After saving the life of his employer, Jagjit Singh alias JJ (Anupam Kher), Harikishan (Anil Kapoor) is promoted with a wage increase that he had only dreamt of.  Anxious to please his employer Harikishan agrees to have his name changed to Harry, and does anything that he is instructed to do.  Soon Harry realises that he has been aiding his employer in illegal activities.  When he tries to break away, he is told that his mom (Asha Sharma) is and will be held captive to guarantee his cooperation.  Harry must now come up with a scheme that will guarantee his safety as well as the freedom of his mom, and at the same time save himself from being arrested by the police. (source)

But there’s so much more, and that’s the part about Madhuri’s character Juhi, called Baby by family and friends. Anil Kapoor’s  Harikishan ends up falling for the boss’s daughter when she comes back from Europe and dazzles him with her carefree performance at her birthday party.

 

Very soon after her first meeting with Harikishan, Baby/Juhi becomes the aggressor and makes her lustful feelings very clear:Harikishan is puzzled by her romantic overtures, so the Bollywood cure of the tight slap to the face is used to bring him to understanding:Enjoy Maduhuri’s dance of seduction in  Dil To Dil Hai  featuring the music by Bappi Lahiri and playback singer Ahsa Bhosle:

One thing leads to another, Juhi ends up pregnant, they get married against her father’s wishes, but Harikishan has to handle some of the illegal drug business in Hong Kong, see  you can tell he’s in Hong Kong by the room itself, all oriental in its styling, with the bonus of the awesome cordless phone:Hari’s best friend (Shakti Kapoor) tries his best to watch over Juhi while Hari’s away, but please take special note of the Whitney Houston poster on the wall, as it serves as an ominous warning to what could happen to Juhi. In case you haven’t heard, Houston has fallen on the path of drug abuse, which is the same fate that awaits Madhuri’s Juhi. Eventually she finds out about Hari’s business dealings in illegal drugs, and sends him packing right after she gives birth to their son.  Of course after telling him off she has a huge headache and at that moment, she’ s offered some medicine by an evil friend, Mr. Lal:And just like THAT she’s hooked!

So Juhi has sent her husband packing and quickly becomes addicted to her nose candy.  A police inspector  played by Suresh Oberoi goes to Juhi to find out more about what she knows about Harikishan and  notices Juhi’s addiction, meanwhile, I ignored most of that scene and just noticed this great subtitle ripe for a screen capture:

Harikishan realizes his estranged biwi has pushed him out of her life, and decides to soothe his anguish with music, but he’s shocked even more when a drugged up Juhi makes an appearance.  Staggering and stoned Juhi plays the trumpet stopping only to smoke. What an entrance!  Watch Kabhi Kuchh Khoya with playback singer Kumar Sanu,who incidently I saw in concert with Akla Yagnick  a few yers back when I was too new of a Hindi cinema fan to fully appreciate.

Watch here and at about 1:40 the drug fiend Madhuri enters.  Pay special attention for her crazy drugged trumpet playing while smoking at 2:09. When Anil’s Harikishan sees that it’s a COMPLETE buzz kill and he realizes, “I married a drug whore! My dealing of drugs brought this all about! The mother of my son uses coke!”

I’d like to bring up Whitney Houston again, who just this week was banned from Prince concerts due to her drug using antics and trying to get on stage with Prince in her altered state. Houston  has since gone into rehab.  This makes me wonder if that’s how Harikishan felt when Juhi trid to play trumptet while he was jamming with his friend in  Kabhi Kuchh Khoya. Poor Juhi did not make it into rehab. She realized her problem, made arrangements to have her son cared for: Then she goes down the self-destructive path of drug abuse.But then there’s a knock at the door!Harikishan pleads with Juhi to stop her drug use.

He leaves, only to return another time…

to find an overdosing Juhi.

What happened to Juhi?  Watch the movie if you dare to see, or ask me in the comments and I’ll tell you.  Let this be a warning to you, don’t do drugs!  Thank you for reading this post, but now, with all due respect, all I have to say is…

 Report to  Bollywood-ish blog  for Magic of Madhuri Week‘s  FULL LIST BLOG POSTS.

Lagaan: Elizabeth, More Than Just A Gori Extra

Elizabeth (Rachel Shelley), She’s more than just a gori extra.

With the encouragement of theBollywoodFan, I decided to contribute to his Lagaan Week to celebrate the 9th anniversary of the release of the epic film.  In order to develop something that would resemble a worthwhile blog post, I knew I had to re-watch Lagaan, since it had been a couple of years since I’d last seen it.  It was my third time seeing Lagaan, and I enjoyed it even more than I did the first 2 viewings, which I believe speaks to the quality of the film.  In case you don’t already know, Lagaan is about Indian villagers challenged by some British imperialists to a game of cricket, and if the villagers win they would not have to pay the Brits the unfair land taxes, known as Lagaan.   Captain Andrew Russell (Paul Blackthorne) is a one-dimensional scoundrel, and this cruel man offers a wager he believe the Indians will never win.  His naive, yet kind-hearted sister, Elizabeth (Rachel Shelley),  arrives to India and begins to take in the scenes with a curious and open mind.  I love seeing  white people pop up in Indian films, since I can pretend they are me!  I can also think  hey, I can one day break into the Indian Film Industry, see, there’s a white person too! So with this delusional thinking, naturally I was fascinated to see Elizabeth.

Despite not knowing Hindi, she quickly sizes things up and all too soon she witnesses her brother’s  maniacal ways.

I do enjoy seeing the word “Whitey” it the subtitles, so I show it to you a lot in this post, here’s a start:

Lagaan (2001) is the movie that taught me about cricket, a little game I’d previously called gilli danda back in my village in India.

Wait, sorry, no village, no India, I keep loosing track that I’m from America and am not Indian, please pardon me.  When I was in contact with theBollywoodFan about Lagaan week, I said I’d like to take the angle of writing about Elizabeth (Rachel Shelley), the gori extra since I’m always making note of my white sisters surfacing in Bollywood films;  theBollywoodFan, wise beyond his years, calmly replied, “She’s more than a gori extra,” and I realized he was right!  She is more than your typical gori extra, she not only plays a bigger role, but she also serves to bridge the cultural gap between the different groups, and helps us think, Hey, wait just one minute, not all these Britishers are so bad after all.  When the villagers are watching the game of cricket, Bhuvan ends up catching a ball out in the field which leads to a confrontation with some of the British players, that ultimately develops into the bet being made over the cricket game and the land tax.

Elizabeth realized this bet is unfair since the villagers are sure to lose a game they don’t know when pitted against people who have a full understanding and longtime experience with the game, not to mention endless leisure hours to play since the Indians are toiling away to make them rich.  She sets out to try to right her brother’s wrong by helping the villagers understand the finer points of the game.

So the teaching and leaning begins…

Recruitment: Initially Elizabeth teaches a small group the game, but there’s still the obstacle of establishing a full team who will be up for the extreme challenge.  Finally a diverse group of people are gathered from the village and surrounding areas since they have a common interest in eliminating the unfair tax by their common enemy, the British.

I learned all I need to know about cricket here:

Jealousy: Gauri (Gracy Singh) is a young village woman who has her eye on Bhuvan so it follows that she starts to get concerned about all the time he spends with the white memsahib.

Cultural exchange: Elizabeth helps to teach some of the finer points of cricket to the villagers, and in turn Bhuvan teaches her something about the Hindu legend of Radha & Krishna.


Elizabeth is enamoured by the festival and is even further taken in by Dandiya Raas number  Kaise Na Jale with music by A.R.  Rahman, playback singers Asha Bhonsle,  Udit Narayan, Vaishali.

Confession: As it turns out, Gauri wasn’t far off on her women’s intuition because Elizabeth, who has managed to learn Hindi in a few days, confesses her pyaar love for Bhuvan.  Luckily she’s able to save face since the part where she really lays it on the line is in English, so Bhuvan doesn’t understand, yet I think he may suspect it.

Fantasy: The tune O Rey Chori,  (playback singers Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Vasundhara Das) includes Elizabeth’s fantasy of what it would be like if Bhuvan was in her British world, or if she was in his Hindustani duniya.


Elizabeth is caught: A double crossing villager with an ulterior motive  informs Captain Russell that his sister is helping the villagers to learn cricket.  With shame, I admit I did find Captain Russell quite handsome, despite his evil deeds. Do you?

If I can answer for Elizabeth here, I’d tell her brother that it would be the delicious food and the Indian Film Industry that would allow her to turn against her brother, but I suspect she may say something about the cool Dandiya Raas dances and doing the right thing in the face of injustice.
The BIG Game: The stakes are high, and Aamir Khan’s Bhuvan conveys this beautifully here.  I believe Khan is very talented and expressing emotion through his eye, and this is a perfect example. Dekh!  I bet you’re even crying looking at the photos.  I am.



Elizabeth watches the game, worried about the outcome, rooting all the while for the villagers.  I suppose in Indian English one would say she was chewing her brains and taking much tension isn’t it?  In case you haven’t seen Lagaan and don’t know the outcome of the game *SPOILER ALTER*

There are winners and losers. Elizabeth sees the joyful embrace between Bhuvan and Gauri at the end of the match, and instantly understands that her fantasy will never be a reality.

Bittersweet ending: She can’t have Bhuvan, but she can play Radha to his Krishna.

Finally, you may be wondering how all those gori cheerleaders made their way to India, and I’m here to tell you that  Bhuvan and Lagaan are the reason.  When Elizabeth returned to England, she started the  first cricket cheerleading squad, and there after tradition has held that all IPL cheerleaders are to be white only.

And speaking of Lagaan and the IPL, Did you see A. R. Rahman perform at the 2010 closing ceremonies?   

After exploring the part of Elizabeth in Laagan, I am tempted to do a series on the pantheon of gori extra patron saints of Bollywood.

My personal favorite is the character Christina ( Barbara Lindley) from  Purab Aur Paschim (1970).

Opps! sorry, she’s been objectified as only a gori cold be, let me get a better picture of her….Ah, here, that’s better!

And then there’s Katherine (Antonia Bernath) in  Kisna: The Warrior Poet (2005)-yeah, I admit I saw it! So WHAT!?!

Sue McKinley (Alice Patten) of Rang De Basanti (2006); and most recently Sarah (Sarah Thompson) of Raagneeti (2010).

And like all good Bollywood films, allow me to leave you with some inspiration, courtesy of Bhuvan…and the moral of the story is:

This post was so long, time to roll the credits…

For more on Third Annual Lagaan Week: Ninth Anniversary Special, click over to theBollywoodFan-ji’s blog.

Boot Polish (1954) Orphan Power!

Orphans Unite!

Slumdog Millionaire (2008), step aside because Boot Polish (1954) has trumped you by delivering more tragic orphans frame per frame than your film and possibly any movie ever…well in any movie I’ve seen.

Boot Polish is a 1954 Hindi film directed by Prakash Arora and produced by Raj Kapoor. It won Best Film at the Filmfare Awards and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Belu (Baby Naaz) and Bhola (Ratan Kumar) are left to the care of their wicked aunt Kamla (Chand Burque) when their mother dies. She forces them to beg in the streets and grabs all the money they get. A bootlegger John Chacha (David) teaches them to lead a life of self-respect and work for a living instead of begging.
They scrimp and save to buy a shoe-polish kit and start shining shoes. Kamla finds out about what they have been doing behind her back, beats them and throws them out of the house. John Chacha gives them shelter, but then he is arrested and the kids are left to fend for themselves. When it rains and people don’t get their shoes polished any more, the children are in danger of starving. But Bhola believes that he will never beg anymore but on one rainy night, a man tosses him a coin and he rejects it, but Belu takes it as she is very hungry…(source)

Brother and sister, Bhola (Ratan Kumar) and Belu (Baby Naaz) are abandoned in the slums in Bombay.  The siblings get slapped around by their cranky and evil auntie  Kamla (Chand Burque) and though I love kids, I kept thinking what a fun part that must have been for Burque to play with its over the top wickedness.

She screams at them and hits them and send them out to beg and demands their earnings when they return to her hutment each night.  Yes, I used the word hutment, and I’ll use it again, since I’ll have the chance.  Chacha John played by David, is a  hutment bootlegger dweller with a  heart of gold who instills in the orphans the desire work rather than beg for a living.  Easy for him to say.  He spends a lot of time doing the sign of the cross and praying to a picture of Jesus sporting the flaming  sacred heart with the thorns around it. To beg or not to beg, that is the question.

Just when you think things can’t get worse for these orphans they get a break with a little song and dance. Let song writers Shankar Jaikishan, with playback singers Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhonsle lift your spirits here with Nanhe Munne Bachche Teri. I couldn’t find a video with the lyrics translated into English, but the message of the song is that we hold destiny in our fists.  I’ve screen capped much of the song below and you can find it translated into English over at Dances on the Footpath HERE.

Uncle John has a strong hold over this group of orphans, convincing them to not beg, and to also cheer up through their starvation, since a better day is coming. I can’t even imagine that starving children would dance happily, but they do here, so don’t feel too sad for them, see:

I get crabby if I miss a meal or a snack so I don’t know how these orphans do it. Things can’t stay too happy for too long and the siblings get separated one night at the train station during a raid.  Belu, delirious with a fever, ends up on the train where she’s discovered by a rich couple.

The rich folks adopt her and despite the comforts of her new posh lifestyle and new loving family, Belu is distraught, missing her brother.

Bhola is picked up in the raid and sent to an orphanage.

Now both kids are at least in better conditions materially, but they are not content since they are separated and don’t know the whereabouts of each other.  Then one day, Bhola hears Uncle John’s voice through the window, runs to find him, and invites him in to her new home.  She’s happy talking about all the material comforts, but then remembers how much she misses Bhola.

Uncle John sets out to search for Bhola while newly rich Belu and her family are  preparing to take an extended leave from the city.  It seems as if John will not meet the deadline to reunite the orphan siblings, but, BUT, BUT, as Belu is about to board her train with her new family, a young orphan boy begs for some money and she hands him a coin…

Only to look up to see her long lost brother, Bhola!
Bhola has a rush of shame seeing his sister and knowing he is a hypocrite, having demanded they never beg for money, no matter what. In his eyes he’s been caught and exposed, which caused him to spiral into a flashback of slapping his sister for begging.  I enjoyed seeing the tight slap to the face in a flashback form, with images superimposed on each other:

Bhola runs away in shame.  Belu chases him and looses him in the crowd. Uncle John  appears and hobbles along  on his crutches after Bhola, but in his attempt to catch up to  Bhola, he’s hit by a car!  Spoiler Alert! So  that sequence plays out like this: Happy! Happy! Shame! Run! Run! Sad! Hope! Run! Sad! Hit! SAD! Wait, not sad, HAPPY!

The rich people adopt Bhola too, and all cleaned up, fed, safe and happy, they go off to school.

Thus in the end, Raj Kapoor managed to make a light-hearted movie about tragic poverty, starvation, and orphans, and that’s Bollywood yaar.

Now head over to Bollywood Deewana to see his write up of Boot Polish.


Aaina (1993)

Did you ever get a movie with the same title, expecting another?   I once thought I was ordering Kalyug (1981), but instead got Kalyug (2005).  Such was the case for me with Aaina.  I think I intended to get the 1977 Aaina:

aaina%20old%20dvdAaina is a 1977 Indian Bollywood film starring Rajesh Khanna , Mumtaz in the lead roles and A. K. Hangal, Nirupa Roy, Lalita Pawar, Kamal Hassan and Madan Puri in support roles. The music is given by Naushad. The film is directed by famous director K. Balachander. He had filmed the same story before: the Tamil film Arangetram(1973) with Kamal Hassan. It’s about a Brahmin girl becoming a sex worker to support her mother and siblings. (source)

Aaina%20CoverThat sounds pretty great, but instead I got the 1993 version of Aaina.  For a full synopsis of the film go HERE, but I can tell you it’s basically a story of two sisters, one evil (Amrita Singh), one sweet (Juhi Chawla).  The sisters fight over a fancy businessman, or as they frequently say in Bollywood, a rich industrialist, played by Jackie Shroff. It turns out that Reema (Juhi) has long been a fan of Ravi Saxena (Jackie) who is not only a fancy business man, but has also published some things she’s read.  She runs into him in a book store.  Can you find the pictures of Madonna and Michael Jackson in this photo?


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Alas, Ravi falls for the evil self absorbed sister, Roma, instead of the sister who has long pined for him.  The evil head case sister, Roma (Amrita Singh), eventually looses Ravi’s love since she’s more focused on being a top fashion model and ignores the realationship. Ravi marries the nice sister instead, but then Roma decides she wants him back and tries to manipulate him with various crazy antics, like pretending to kill herself.  Pagli!

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Singh does a great job acting like a psycho and won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her efforts.   Eventually her many manipulations pay off and she wins back Ravi, but Reema is on to her sister’s evil plotting and finally grows a spine and confronts her.

aaina.juhiThe sisters have a dance off at a lavish party over Ravi!aaina.amrita.juhi.jackieThere’s even a tight slap to the face!aaina.tightslapThe song Aaina Hai Mera Chehra with real life sisters and playback singers, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle picturized on Amrita Singh and Juhi Chawla, pretending to sing, and pretending to be sisters.  If you don’t want to spend time watching the entire film, this item number sort of summarizes it: behen vs. behen for the pyar of a man.

And real life sisters out there, please don’t fight over a man!  Have you seen either of the Aaina films? Which one did you like more?

Parichay (1972) and Baby Pinky

parichay

Parichay (1972) is inspired by The Sound of Music (1963), except for it’s splendidly Bharaticized.

Jeetendra is sent to teach Pran’s five grandchildren, the eldest of whom is played by Jaya Bhaduri. Their father Sanjeev Kumar, a talented musician, died after his wife’s death, so the children were sent to live with their paternal grandfather. The children have driven away their previous tutors and in turn, get corporal punishment by their aunt. After Jeetendra comes, the children play tricks on him too, but his gentle manner and patient methods win them over. He and Jaya Bhaduri fall in love, and the end credits indicate that there will be a wedding between them. (source)

I found this Parichay poster pictured below in Karen’s gallery. I wanted to include it to ask you if you’ve noticed in a lot of Jaya’s earlier work how she sticks the tip of her thumb and finger to her teeth and lips in an attempt to look coy and bashful. I don’t think that’s too cute, and once I noticed it, I kept noticing it. Look! If I ever meet Jaya, I’m going to do that myself while looking at her and see how she likes it.

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You get your Pran, Jeetendra, Jaya and cute kid fix with this film, but my favorite performer of all was Baby Pinky!

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Jeetendra’s character is called in to straighten up and teach Rai Saheb’s (Pran) unruly and orphaned grandchildren.

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I’ll go out on a limb and say the grandchildren may be acting up because their parents are DEAD and now that they live with grandpa, they’re treated like this:

parichay.pranand like this:

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Enter Ravi, who meets the cute kids:

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Look at the especially cute Sanjay (Master Raju) and Meeta (Baby Pinky):

parichay.kids

Now let me indulge you with more of Baby Pinky. Good thing this is an old movie and I’m in the USA, because I’m telling you, if I were anywhere near Baby Pinky during the time this film was made, I would have kidnapped her! Who would you kidnap from the film?

Please note in the photo below that Jaya is holding Pinky:

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She has to clamp Pinky down, because if she does not this is what happens:

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I can’t get enough of Baby Pinky:

parichay.babypinky.dance.2 parichay.babypinky.dance

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I know you’ll enjoy Sa Re Ke Sa Re with music by R. D. Burman, lyrics by Gulzar and playback singers Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle. Be sure to watch Baby Pinky’s super dance scene 2 minutes into this video.

Thanks to yuanyuanyuanyin for posting this video. Stop by her youtube channel for many Hindi treasures.

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Extra credit:

Watch the Do Re Mi clip from Sound of Music to compare it with Sa Re Ke Sa Re.

You can watch all of Parichay online HERE.

Now go  see  Memsaab’s Parichay review.

“Kati Patang” (1970) Nahin! Amputations, and Bindu’s “Mera Naam Hai Shabnam”

kati

kati-patang

Finally I’ve gotten around to seeing Asha Parekh in a film with 1970’s Kati Patang. I even love the title, which the subtitles translate to Guideless Kite. I know I feel like a guideless kite a lot of the time, so that title spoke to me. How about you? I loved the film right off the bat, since within the first few minutes there’s lots of drama. Lovely Asha is just about to get married when she opens the gift from her former flame and reads:

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Now how great is THAT? Way to guilt trip her! Plus even better, should the future bring me a situation where I’m in love with a Hindu man who is just about to walk around that marriage fire 7 X with his new bride and not me, his true love, I can easily plagiarize that for my own dialogue. “But when you go around the holy fire with your wife, think this to be a funeral pyre of my love. Yours, and all the best! Sita-ji.” I don’t want to spoil the movie in any way, but let’s just say some stuff goes down shortly after this wedding scene which results in seeing the big nahin. Another reason to love the film for me. I love hearing nahin screamed as much as I love to be surprised by seeing a tight slap to the face.

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Yet another thing I like in Hindi films is to frequency of limb amputation. Remember that Sholay, Lawaaris, and Mother India all have double arm amputations, which always makes me think of insurance dismemberment clauses. You may also remember the limb amputations parodied in Om Shanti Om. I know I’ve seen other Bollywood films with limb amputations, but I can’t remember others right now, so I welcome your comments if you remember any others.

kati-patangamputatedlegs

Then for even more pleasure, I get to be simultaneously repulsed and attracted to Prem Chopra. I am grossed out by Prem’s character, yet also strangely attracted to the sleaziness, evidenced by the his open shirts, chest hair and large medallion. Yuck! Yet I must see more! See his effect of Bindu’s character? She just hangs on him. She can’t help it. In addition to his medallion, his glasses are noteworthy.

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I’m seeing what I like in Kati Patang, the same stuff I see repeatedly in these Bollywood films: the drama, the big nahin, sleazy bad guys and gals, amputations, misunderstandings, and coincidences. Then there’s the requisite item girl number with outlandish costuming and suggestive choreography, but this time I am startled more than usual. I invite you to watch Bindu in the scary and captivating number Mera Naam Hai Shabnam, with music by R. D. Burnam and playback singer Asha Bhonsle. The choreography is by Surya Kumar. Surya, hats off to your work. Unfortunately, the only quality footage I could find from this song for now is rather short, so see the entire film with the complete song, which involves Bindu rolling around on the ground a lot. Now dosto, I dare you NOT to have the same expression and reaction that Asha Parekh’s character has when you watch Bindu’s dance, because I know I shared Asha’s response, “I can’t believe this is happening. NO WAY!”

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This ARTICLE states that, “Overnight Kati Patang turned Bindu into the hottest dancer in movie town.” I can certainly understand why that was true. Now if you’d like to read more on the film, head over to memsaabstory.

I’m Going to India & Those Wacky Bollywood Balloons in Hum Kisise Kum Nahin.

I’m thinking about flying to India on a bunch of balloons.

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I’ve already declared my love/fascination for the balloons I’ve seen in Bollywood movies.

While watching Hum Kisise Kum Nahin (1977), I was delighted to see Bollywood balloons playing a huge part in the Yeh Ladka Hai Allah number.

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Enjoy the  music by R. D. Burman, lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri and playback singers Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Rafi, and picturized on Tariq and KiranKaajal:

I’m leaving tomorrow for my first trip to India!  I’ll be in Delhi, Ludhiana, Agra and maybe Amritsar too, but not Bollywood. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to see a movie being filmed. I’m taking a plane but in my heart I’m flying to India with those balloons. I’ll see you in a couple weeks blog dosto! Phir Milenge!