Bollywood Insider from Feburary, 2009…yes it covers Slumdog Millionaire.

I admit it, I’m a hypocrite. Just yesterday I wrote “Slumdog, Bas!” I’m not really a hypocrite though since I liked the movie and I’m happy over the film’s success, and love Anil Kapoor and Irrfan Khan. I just don’t like the Bollywood confusion from the film’s success, or rather the film being mistaken for Bollywood. So brush my hypocrisy aside, as I often do, and enjoy Suzi Mann with Bollywood Insider’s latest chugli reports:

2/27/09: Bollywood Insider Slumdog Oscars party exclusive! We interview Anil Kapoor and Danny Boyle at the Slumdog Oscars party, fresh from scooping 8 awards:

“Dil Hoom Hoom Kare” from Rudaali (1993) & Amjad Khan’s last role

I watched a parallel cinema film from 1993 last night directed by Kalpana Lazmi called Rudaali.  Like parallel cinema is supposed to do, it dealt with a serious topic: professional mourners, known as Rudaali in Hindi. I was happy to hear great music by both Lata and Asha throughout the movie, a feature not always present in the parallel cinema.  I had a whole stack of Hindi movies from the library waiting for me to watch them, and I was in the mood for some personal, professional mourning, as the night before a ferocious hail storm ruined my garden.  I knew I loved my hosta plants, but this destructive storm only confirmed this attachment.  What in the past I would have described as golf ball sized hail, and now refer to as ladoo sized hail, fell from the sky at high speeds and in minutes ruined my garden. These aren’t my hosta pictured here, I found the image online, (if you click on the picture you’ll see they belong to a math professor from the University of MN) but I believe mine would have looked like these if the storm taken a different path:

 

Ahh, the power of Shiva! I wanted to weep at the loss, and briefly hired myself as a professional mourner.  Afterwards, I had to accept it, tip my hat to mother nature’s shakti, and seek peace through a movie. I was in the mood to mourn and had the perfect movie in front of me so things were already looking up! Here’s a bit about the movie: 

Rudaali is a 1993 Hindi film directed by Kalpana Lajmi, based on the short story written by Mahasweta Devi. The title is a reference to a custom in certain areas of Rajasthan where women are hired as professional mourners after the death of a male relative. These women are referred to as a ‘rudaali’ (roo-dah-lee),literally translated as female weeper. Their purpose is to publicly express grief of family members that are not permitted to display emotion due to social status. The film is set in a small village in Rajasthan, India. It tells the story of a woman named Shanichari, who was abandoned by her mother shortly after her father’s death. Bad fortune follows as she marries an alcoholic, who leaves her with little hope of a brighter future for herself and her son. Throughout Shanichari’s lifetime of misfortune she has never cried. This creates great difficulty once she is called to become a rudaali until Bhinkni, an experienced mourner, enters her life. But Shanichari is simply led to more misery that will surely bring her to tears. Dimple Kapadia won a National Film Award for her role of Shanichari in the film. The film also features Raakhee, Raj Babbar and Amjad Khan in one of his last films. Amjad Khan had died before the film’s release and the film is dedicated to him at the beginning of the film’s credits. (wikipedia)

Read more on the film at Philip’sfil-ums, rAjOo, and alternate movies.

Here’s my progression of Amjad Khan viewing: Sholay (1975), Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978), Qurbani (1980), Lawaaris (1981)  and last night I saw Rudaali (1993).  In the beginning Rudaali  you see this:

I then realized Amjad must have died around the time of the movie’s release.  I was thinking that maybe he wasn’t in the movie, but rather that the movie simply was dedicated to him. So when someone who looked like a MUCH BIGGER Amjad Khan appeared…

I couldn’t believe it was him. I remember seeing Khan in Lawaaris and thinking how chunky he’d become and how fitting since that character started out in the film as a pig of a man. Khan’s character appears in Rudaali several times and he’s on his death bed, trying unsuccessfully to die. Ironic that it was one of his last roles to play a dying man. 

 Finally I figured out that this was indeed Amjad Khan:

After I got over my shock about Amjad’s apperance, I was free to enjoy the film.

For today’s video, listen to Dil Hoom Hoom Gare” (My heart beats with fear) which is about Dimple’s character’s sad life, but reminds me of the hail storm I’d just survived.  I am dedicating to this song to my plants harmed by the storm.  It’s sung by Lata Mangeshkar, picturized on Dimple Kapadia, with lyrics by Gulzar, and music by Bhupen Hazarika:

Dil hoom hoom kare, ghabraaye

My heart is gasping, it shivers in fear

Ghan dham dham kare, darr jaaye

The clouds are thundering, my heart becomes afraid

Ek boond kabhi paani ki mori ankhiyon se barsaaye

A drop of water sometimes flows from my eyes

Dil hoom hoom kare, ghabraaye

My heart is gasping, it shivers in fear

More Lyrics HERE.

Thanks to Dimple, for her excellent acting, for crying over my injured hosta, for being the Rudaali of my hail storm.

Video of the Day: “Baithe Hain Kya Usike Paas” from Jewel Thief (1967)

If the last 2 numbers featured from Jewel Thief (1967) I posted here don’t make you want to see the movie, this one will. Two days back there was the heartfelt Rula Ke gaya Sapna Mera,” then there was the upbeat Raat Akeli Hai.” I posed the question about who you think Dev Anand, the jewel thief, should choose: super spunky Anju (Tanuja) or sensitive Shalu (Vyjayanthimala)? Well now there’s another lady in the film to consider:

Helen, queen of the nautch girls!

Once again here’s playback singer extrodinaire, Asha Bhosle, and music by S.D. Burman with the madcapped, over the top,“Baithe Hain Kya Usike Paas.”

Warning: this video is hot!

Thanks to crandallmcgee for the video.

 

Video of the Day:USA fan club dinner meet – Dr. K.Chaudhry’s message

Here at the Bollywood Food Club, we LOVE Dr. K. Chaudhry.  He has uploaded many (500+!) fine videos and leans toward covering Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar tunes. We haven’t posted one of his cover tunes in a while, and stumbled upon this tonight.  Obviously others in the USA have a love for Dr. K. and started a fan club.  How do I sign up?  Where was this dinner? Here’s what Dr. K. Chaudhry says:

Hi friends in USA
About 310 of you inauguated fan club on April 5, 2008 with a musical evening. Parnav, Varun, Mathews and you all have always been sacrificing their sleep to call me during my day time. Just after 17 days you are celebrating dinner meet at a restautrant.That cannot be described just as a sentimental relationship between a man in Delhi and some hundreds in America. That is a carry forward relationship from some past lives. I remained away from you for 63 years. Now we shall remain together until we live together.

 Enjoy Dr. K Chaudhry:

Video thanks to drkchaudhry

More of Dr. K. Chaudhry from BFC here.

Video of the Day: “Bhaage Re Mann” from Chameli (2003)

I had the pleasure of escaping to Puerto Vallarta again this year from Minnesota’s extra long winter. During my recent trip I met a lovely Indian couple from Michigan, Sheela & Chaitanya.  I saw a man several times in the hotel’s lobby who looked like Sanjay Dutt.  Of course it wasn’t him, but when I saw this couple I knew they would perhaps understand my glee.  “Hey, have you seen that guy who looks like Sanjay Dutt? It’s not him, but he looks a lot like him!” They kindly tolerated my Bollywood obsession, and never once called me a pagli gori. I asked Sheela-ji for her movie recommendations and upon her advice I watched Chameli.

Chameli is the story of a prostitute, (Kareena Kapoor). Aman Kapoor (Rahul Bose) an investment banker, lost his wife in a car accident on a rainy night. Neha was pregnant with their child. The accident left him depressed and lonely. He drowned his grief with alcohol or smoking. Chameli was sold to a brothel by her uncle when she was young. She is now a tough, street smart girl. On one rainy night, Aman and Chameli, two strangers, meet each other in Mumbai. The story shows how their relationship develops and how each other’s lives change. (wikipedia)

Kind hearted Chameli sponsered a little street urchin and upon finding out he was chewing tobacco, she threatened to give him the “tight slap to the face.”

Lately I’ve noticed that there are eunuchs who are sometimes prostitutes in many of the Bollywood movies I’m seeing: Jodhaa Akbar, Water, Ek Chalis Ki Last Local, and Raja Hindustani to name a few. Chameli had one too!

The Kapoor dynasty magic! As Chameli, Kareena is so strong, yet so vunerable:

So on a rainy night, I watched this movie of a rainy night and was particularly fond of the tune “Bhaage Re Mann” with music by Sandesh Sandilya and lyrics by Irshad Kalimby. The fantastic playback singer is Sunidhi Chauhan,  and the song is picturised on Kareena Kapoor and Rahul Bose

Lyrics in Hindi.  English lyrics are included in the comments below.  Many thanks to TheBollywoodFan.

For more on Sunidhi Chauhan, read Dr. Mandar’s article at cinema sangeet.

Video of the Day: “Chal Chal Mere Saathi” from Haathi Mere Saathi (1971)

Elephants are my friends! I was inspired after seeing this elephant. Don’t you want a pet elephant now too? Haathie Mere Saathie is a cute little movie and was the first movie I saw that starred Tanuja. It’s an orphan movie, which always makes for a good plot.  Raju and his elephants were so misunderstood!  Over at Memsaab’s blog, haiku has been dedicated to this fine film.

Haathi Mere Saathi  (1971) is an Indian film and a favourite with children in the early 1970s. The movie has a Disneyesque appeal with an Indian twist. Orphaned Raju, (Rajesh Khanna) in the company of four elephants, has to perform with them at street corners, in order to keep alive. Slowly he amasses a fortune, and is able to build his own private zoo, housing tigers, lions, bears, and of course the four elephants. He treats all the animals as his friends. He meets with Tanu, (Tanuja) and both fall in love. Tanu’s dad, Ratanlal, is opposed to this alliance, but subsequently relents, and permits the young couple to get married. Tanu is unhappy with the amount of time Raju spends with his animal friends, and this causes some bitterness between them. Things do not improve when a child is born, as Tanu fears that one day the child will be harmed by one of the animals, and hence Raju is told to make a choice between his animal friends or his wife and son. (wikipedia)

Chal mere saathie and enjoy Kishore Kumar’s playback singing of the Laxmikant-Pyarelal tune, “Chal Chal Mere Saathi.”

Lyrics

Bilkul Pakka!

bikulpakka2jpg.jpgI bet you may recognize this woman.  Allow me to explain how she’s been an inspiration to me. I look forward to the day when I finally am able to travel to India. I envision myself at the customs counter in Mumbai, Kolkata or perhaps Chennai, and my passport along with my travel visa are being scrutinized.  It is then that I plan to use my Bollywood vocabulary learned from the Tilda rice commercial.   You know the one, where the mom tells her daughter to get the recipe to work she must be sure to be “bilkul pakka!”  This seems to mean, “just right” or “absolutely correct.”   It is THIS phrase that I will very confidently say in India, to the customs agent when they are pausing over my documents: “Sir-ji (or memsaab-ji), everything should be absolutely correct. (pause) Matalab, sub kuch bilkul pakka!” He or she will then look up and say, “Where did you learn to speak such absolutely perfect Hindi?” I’ll just tell them I learned from Shamaroo and Eros Entertainment and of course the Tilda Basmati Rice commercial.  Which reminds me, I really should get a book to learn some Hindi.

bikulpakka1jpg.jpg

Too bad I couldn’t find the commercial I was talking about, but here’s another, it doesn’t say “bilkul pakka,” but it’s sort of cute and counts towards building up the “food” in  Bollywood Food Club.

 

Here’s another version of a Tilda commercial.