Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Hotlist

I am in love with Gul Panaag. Last evening, giving in to tremendous persuasion by wife, I sat down to watch Dor. A movie with a name like Dor is not exactly my idea of spending the evening. I would prefer something like Chor -- a name that promises all the thrills of the 1970's. But the very first scene of Dor shows Gul Panaag resolutely hammering a nail on the window of a wooden house, and I could not take my eyes off the TV after that.

Her grace, gait and mannerisms set her apart from everyone else in filmdom. And till I saw the movie, I did not even know what she looked like! -- even though I had heard her name. Perhaps some credit for the way she acts in the film should also go to the director, Nagesh Kukunoor, but she is undoubtedly awesome. She now figures in my hotlist along with Tabu and Sandhya Mridul. Oh yes, there is someone else too.

Vidya Balan was like a fresh flower in Parineeta: a flower that is fresh because it has been plucked just a few minutes ago and not because its chopped stem is dipped in water. This evening I saw Hey Baby, and she still looks as fresh in many of the scenes. But what made me fall for her is the opening scene in Salaam-e-Ishq, where she wakes up wearing just a white shirt, teasing the audience with her nearly bare, ample thighs. At first I thought she was one of the new heroines, but the moment I realised it was her, the white shirt scene assumed an erotic value. It is a different matter I did not watch the movie beyond that first 20 minutes -- it is the stupidest film I have ever seen. No wonder the VCD cost only Rs 38!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Not Far From Khandwa

Today, August 4, is Kishore Kumar's birthday. Am sitting in Bhopal, not very far from Khandwa, where the singer was born 78 years ago. In other words, Kishoreda, had he been alive, would have turned 78 today. He would have been an old man, shrivelled and without many of his teeth, and yet hummed some of his old songs for TV channels whose determined reporters would not have left this recluse alone.

But TV channels celebrate only the dead. An old man, long out of spotlight, is no news. Maybe that is why Kishore Kumar chose to die young, at 58, so that he would be celebrated forever. It is impossible to imagine an old, doddering Kishore Kumar -- even his name means someone who is doubly young.

Presenting a song that is my all-time favourite. It is from the flop film, Anand Aur Anand, which Dev Anand had made in the mid-eighties to launch his son Suneil. In this song, Kishore Kumar lends his voice to both Dev Anand and his son; and if you listen carefully, you will notice that in the second half, Kishoreda modulates his voice to suit that of an older man, that is Dev Anand. The music has been composed by R.D. Burman.

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