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Posts Tagged ‘Sunny Deol’

http://sajablogs.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451dd1469e20105361b738b970b-800wiFor time-pass I watch a lot of movies and I also read books.  I suppose it’s normal to find stories about films in books about India, since the film industry infiltrates the culture. Even in this anthology on the serious subject of AIDS,  I was able to find a bit of very uplifting Bollywood material.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is pleased to announce the publication of AIDS Sutra: Untold Stories from India, a landmark collection of essays that presents a complex and gripping picture of the disease. Sixteen of India’s most well-known literary writers go on the road to tell the story of people affected by the epidemic and the stigma that surrounds them. “This book reveals the human side of the disease,” write Bill and Melinda Gates in their introduction to this groundbreaking anthology. (source)

Bhoot Ki Kahaanian by Jaspreet Singh references Taare Zameen Par (2007).

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Return to Sonagachi by Sunil Gangopadhyay presented a delightful dilemma: where on earth do we hide the whisky?  I bet it was Johnnie Walker.  Read on to see how the dilemma reminded me a bit of Umrao Jaan (1981) and (2006):

 

 

 

 

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Now here’s the Umrao Jaan-ish part:

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(p.158)  

See!  A poetry writing prostitute with a heart of gold, just like Umrao Jaan.

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Love in the Time of Positives by Nalini Jones baghban00 describes how Baghban (2003), and in particular the part played by  Salman Khan, ended up saving someone’s life.

On the day he planned to die, he decided to spend his last afternoon at the movies. Basavaraj described the film he saw at great length-a family drama starring Amitabh Bachchan called Baghban. It is the story of loving parents who give everything they have to their son and look froward to a happy old age.  But their children have grown selfish, caught up in their own concerns, and the parents are left destitute until an unlikely saviour, a street boy the couple had adopted and educated, comes to their rescue.  Sitting alone in the theater, Basavaraj began to worry about this own parents. He realised he was their only son, their best hope for ‘a good old age’. He wanted to be like the adopted boy in the film, the only one who doesn’t forget what he owes his family.  Basavaraj went home, threw out the pills, pored away the alcohol, and cast himself as the unlikely saviour- the son who is secretly HIV positive. (source p.320)

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So if you’ve seen Baghban, I suppose the credit would go to Salman Khan  for saving the life of Basavaraj! Who would have thought!?  I wonder if Salman-ji knows about this.

 

The Daughters of Yellamma by William Dalrymple includes an Amitabh Bachchan siting!  In some parts of India young girls are “married” or dedicated to the temple goddess as prostitutes.  Dalrymple interviews one of the women and she recalls the time she lived in Bombay:

I ate fabulous biryani at the Sagar Hotel and once when I was in the streets I saw Amitabh Bachchan pass by in his car. (p. 226)

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As much as I enjoyed to Sunil Gangopadhyay’s piece, I enjoyed The Last of the Ustaads by Aman Sethi which both mentions and pays a great tribute to Gadar, Ek Prem Katha (2001).  Maybe I loved Sethi’s piece so much because Gadar is one of my favorite movies.

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Questioning the plight of truck drivers in India and their higher tendency to have HIV than the general population, Sethi interviews a truck driver:

Is it just ‘modern life’? When finding answers to sudhcomplex questions in a country infested with faux holy men, one must turn to the sole oracle of truth—Bollywood super hit film Gadar: Ek Prem Katha(Gadar: A Love Story), Tara Singh the truck driver, played by trucker demigod Sunny Deol, is asked a poignant question by Partition refugee Sakina, played by Amisha Patel.  ‘Tara Singhji,’ she asks as sh expertly ties hi turban, ‘why don’t you get married?’ Tho this, Tara Singh shakes his turbaned head, and gives her an answer that made practically every truck driver in India nod his head approvingly and say ‘Wah!’ ‘Madamji,’ says Tara Singh, ‘I live in Khana Buddur; today my truck is parked here, but tomorrow I might  be in Delhi. After that why would anyone want to marry a truck driver?’ Thought the movie is set in 1947, Tara Singh’s question touches upon an issue that is relevant even today.  Truck drivers aren’t particularly discriminated against when it comes to marriage partners; but some of the younger drivers I spoke with said that finding partners was becoming harder and harder.  I watched Gadar on the recommendation of Sanjay and some of his friends Played out against the backdrop of the Partition riots in 1947 in the border states of India and Pakistan, Gadar tells the tale of how a heroic Jat-Sikh truck driver rescues a wealthy Muslim girl from a rampaging mob; wins her trust, marries her, rescues her once more–this time from her rampaging father–and finally settles down, in a happy ending. While several films have had their heroes careen up and down highways in trucks, the heroes. are rarely truck drivers;l the truck just happens to be the closest vehicle at had to make good their escape, rescue their lovers, or run over their enemies.  Gadar is perhaps the only mainstream hit in which the protagonist is a truck driver who proves to be a good husband, father, patriot, and all round nice guy.  Unfortunately, Gadar  too starts with Tara Singh accepting that fate has dealt him a poor hand by making him a truck driver.  He obligingly sings and dances and plays the part of the happy truck driver, but he understands the distance between him and the object of his desire.  As he says, ‘Even if I wanted to, I can’t touch the moon, can I?’ The rest of the plot is a story of redemption–of proving that truck drivers are honourable, powerful , and patriotic.  Why does truck driving lack izzat?  Why are truck drivers victims of negative stereotypes?  Is it class? Is it their association with a high-risk behavior group? Does, in fact, being categorised as  a high-risk group stigmatise them even further? From Gadar to their portrayal in the Indian press, truckers are regarded as rough and ready and reckless, dirty and dissolute.  Prone to drink, driving accidents–and now disease. (p. 306-7)

For more about the book,  read a review  from The Telegraph, Calcutta India, and another from The Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. Listen to the NPR Podcast on the book: ‘AIDS Sutra’ Challenges Widespread Denial In India’

Also, if you want to get filmy with it, here’s something else.

The AIDS Jaago (AIDS Awake) project is four short dramatic films which aim to dismantle myths and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. These films were funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and made by acclaimed Indian filmmakers Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding; The Namesake), Vishal Bhardwaj, Santosh Sivan and Farhan Akhtar. Designed to use the immense power of moviemaking to wake people up about AIDS, the project was the brainchild of Mira Nair and was produced by her company Mirabai Films. (source)

Watch for Free on Jaman HERE

other Bollywood Movies on HIV

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I’m still working on uploading my photos from my recent trip to Mother India and I’ll post a link to them soon. In the meantime I’d like to share the filmi related photos from the trip. This first photo I’ve included here may not appear too filmi, yet it is and I’ll tell you why. Have you seen the classic film Deewaar? If so, wouldn’t you think of the wild factory fight scene from the film if you found yourself in any type of factory or warehouse in India? I know I did! In case you need to be reminded, here’s that scene:

india0809-3412 Here I am touring Noni’s factory in Ludhiana. His favorite actor is Sunny Deol. Noni spoke of high thinking and simple living and did not attempt to fight me in the factory, which is always a possibility for any fan of Sunny Deol, who is really a fighter on screen. Instead of fighting, he was a very gracious host, yet after seeing so many fight scenes in factories in Bollywood films, I had to be prepared. I look all peaceful here, but if need be, I would have taken him down along with all the workers! Believe that! O.K, not really.

The Bollywood star who I saw the most on billboards during my trip was Abhishek Bachchan. He was advertising a cell phone company and these billboards were everywhere:

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 Sometimes there were just billboards of Abi scowling, like this one. Grrrrrrrr:

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Karisma (look hard and you can see her in the top left of the photo) and Kareena, were also being used to endorse beauty salons and crackers, as in the small explosive devices. Somehow I don’t think the Kapoor sisters were aware of their images being used here.

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Finally, I found Shilpa Shetty selling Vodka. Isn’t that rather racy for India? From afar I thought it was an ad for perfume, or maybe some kind of energy drink, but closer inspection revealed it was for vodka! Can a nice Indian girl endorse liquor?

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Back with the newest Bollywood chugli is Bollywood Insider’s Suzi Mann. Here’s what I found going on in October, 2008.

From

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nigahencover.jpgI should have seen  Nagina (1986) first, which is reviewed very well here at the Bolly Blog, but what arrived in the mail was Nigahen: Nagina Part II (1989).  This crazy snake themed movie stars Sridevi, Sunny DeolAnupam Kher, and Pran.  As an extra bonus, occasionally we get to hear the magical voice of Amrish Puri from his look alike statue, but I bet in Nagina he was a lot more than a statue.  I especially enjoyed that Sridevi got to play her own daughter again in this film, just like she did in Lamhe. Stop over to Planet Bollybob for an excellent review of the film.

After the tragic deaths of his son, Ajit and daughter-in-law, Rajni, Raja Saheb decides to educate his grand-daughter, Neelam, in the city. Years later, Neelam has grown up and returns temporarily to their rural palatial home. Raja Saheb would like her to live there, and look after the business, but she refuses. Then she meets with Anand, and everything changes for her overnight. Both of them fall in love, and would like to get married. Anand is introduced to Raja Saheb, and Neelam is introduced to Anand’s mom, Shanti. Both approve of this couple and plans are set for the marriage to take place. When Neelam does not know is that Anand is not who he claims to be – but in reality was a snake kept in captivity by Tantrik Goraknath, who wants to possess a priceless diamond stone called “Mani”, and Neelam is the only one who knows it’s location. And Goraknath, unlike his mentor, Bhairavnath, has ensured that no one will stand in his way when he obtains the Mani. (by rAjOo at IMDB)

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The snake seems to possess Sridevi’s Neelam by doing this:

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Anupan’s character is a real jerk, and was the winner of the Best Male Wig Award, but he is no match for these powerful eyes:

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Watch the snake woman Sridevi in “Khel Wohi Phir Aaj Ti Khela” with playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy, and music by Laxmikant Pyarelal.  Is she more snake than woman, or more woman than snake?

 

Thanks to grotesk55 for the video.

Spoiler Alert:

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Sridevi and Rajnikanth wish you Happy Halloweencb1.jpg with the song “Koi Pataye” from the movie Chaalbaaz. The movie stars Sridevi, Sunny Deol, Rajnikanth, and Anupam Kher. This spooky song is fit for Halloween. Enjoy!

Anju and Manju are twins separated when babies thanks to their mentally retarded nanny. An evil uncle Tribhuvan gets their parents killed in a car accident. He brings up Anju as a coy and easily frightened girl. Manju grows up in a basti as a happy-go-lucky club dancer. After a lot of terrifying days in Anju’s life, one day she runs away from home. On that very day, Manju has a fight with her childhood companion and neighbor Jaggu, a friendly beer drinking taxi driver. With twist of fate, their paths cross but they never meet. They somehow end up at each others place. Sooraj is the love interest in Anju’s life who is actually Manju and Jaggu is… There is the usual confusion of identities. (wikipedia)

 

 

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SatSriAkal! This happy pre-partition jam session, shows Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims and even Catholics getting down to “Main Nikla Gaddi Leke” from Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001) starring Sunny Deol, Amisha Patel, gadar.jpgand once again in the evil role: Amrish Puri.

“Amongst the communal riots that erupt in the city, Tara shelters a wayward Sakina from a crazed mob and a bond that blossoms into love is created. The two eventually get married and have a son. The happy family, now living in Amritsar, gets the shock of their lives when Sakina learns that her father (Amrish Puri), whom she previously believed died in the riots back in Amritsar, is still alive after seeing his picture in a tattered, old newspaper. Upon contacting him, Sakina’s father, now the mayor of Lahore in Pakistan, arranges for his daughter to arrive in Lahore to see him. Sakina leaves for Lahore minus Tara and her son, and upon reaching the city, learns of her father’s plans for her – plans that include forcing Sakina to forget about her family and start life anew in Pakistan. Then begins an extraordinary journey which will lead Tara to cross the border into Pakistan to find his love Sakina.Made at a budget of 18 crores, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha grossed around 70 crore rupees at the box office, making it one of the highest grossing Hindi movies of all time.-wikipedia

Lyrics in Hindi and English from BollyWHAT?

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Watch this video of Bollywood stars when they were kids.

Sorry! As of 3/18/08 this video was removed, I’ll look around and repost if if I find it again. Or if you find that video, please leave the link here in a comment.

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