Tag Archives: India

Tuesday Talkies – Shamitabh

Shamitabh
Shamitabh

Amitabh Bachchan, who doesn’t know what a powerful artist he is…. Artist and not actor, because I think he is not merely an actor, he has proven himself to be much more than that. He is Art.

When you are making a movie to accentuate every aspect of this superstar; its bound to raise expectations to an overflowing level. But, alas, the movie ‘Shamitabh’ rests on a much below ground than is expected.

Shamitabh

Shamitabh, is a drama Indian Film, which is a loose satire on Indian Film industry. This movie is written and directed by the talented, R. Balki, who has earlier made films like Paa‘, ‘Cheeni Kum‘, and English Vinglish‘; all near about close to masterpieces in themselves.

Shamitabh
Shamitabh

Shamitabh stars Amitabh Bachchan, Dhanush and Akshara Hassan in lead roles. As a matter of fact title of the movie – Shamitabh, is taken from lead actors names; SH from DhanuSH, and AMITABH from Amitabh Bachchan off-course; making it Shamitabh; which Dhanush cleverly explains in the movie as ‘sh..sh….. as in Silent Amitabh. Silent as in mute…. dumb; which is Dhanush, playing a dumb movie buff, whose sole objective is to become a movie star.

Shamitabh

Lets delve into story of Shamitabh. Dhanush, is a mute, who wants to be a Hero. Despite his disability, he is positive that his talent is much extraordinary to be wasted in a small village, driving a local bus. Come first opportunity and he runs to Mumbai, the dream city for movie buffs. He gatecrashes studios, vanity vans of actors, and, every possible place where he could meet his favorite directors/producers. On one such attempt, he strikes a gold, when he comes across Akshara; an assistant director; who sees potential in his talent and tries to help him.

Shamitabh

How can you become a Hero, when you cannot speak? Comes science and technology. Although the technological solution shown in this movie seems absurd at first, but you will easily ignore this feeling and move in with the flow of movie. Now, Dhanush can speak; but, he can speak only borrowed speech from someone else. After searching a lot for a perfect voice for Dhanush, they come across, one drunk homeless guy – Amitabh, who was also an unsuccessful struggling actor.

Shamitabh

Contract is signed, and now, Dhanush is speaking in Amitabh’s voice. Whatever Amitabh speaks, comes out of Dhanush’s mouth. Dhanush is complete, his talent is complete. He even changes his name to ‘Shamitabh’, Silent Amitabh. Shamitabh rose above all and becomes a superstar. While Dhanush is riding the wave of success, his voice, Amitabh is in the background, treated as a valet to the superstar Shamitabh.

Shamitabh

Ego game starts between the two. Amitabh of the belief that it is his voice which is the real power in Shamitabh’s success; while Dhanush believing that it his talent and his acting which is terrific on its own and voice of Amitabh is just an add-on to Shamitabh’s whole persona; and there is nothing more to it. Ego clashes; they fight; they demean each other; they repulse; and they go separate ways to figure out who the real Shamitabh is, actually.

Shamitabh

Whole concept of this movie is excellent and unique, and with a star cast as powerful as this movie has; there is nothing topping it. It is the best recipe for a masterpiece movie. But, is it a masterpiece?

NO.

it is not. Reason being, when you are telling a story of two great Egos clashing against each other, you have to first make them great; you have to make them equally compelling forces. You have to give them equal space for growth and character development. Problem with this movie is that it is more of an Amitabh Bachchan’s movie than A Movie. Scale of affection is shifted to Amitabh’s way, by R. Balki, tilting whole movie’s direction towards shouting to everyone, how great of an actor, Amitabh Bachchan is.

Balki, you don’t have to scream. We know already.

ShamitabhThere is an opening scene in the movie, where a young Dhanush (a child artist), enact a scene of his mother’s death. That scene is so powerful and so intense that you perceive adult Dhanush character having the same depth in his acting. But, when the time comes to showcase his acting, Balki, shows Dhanush in doing ‘Lifebuoy’ and ‘piddaly’. There is no scene as powerful as that one. Dhanush is a terrific actor and he has proved that he can act without saying a single word. If only there would be more of him in this movie.

ShamitabhAmitabh, as I have said in the beginning, need n introduction. He is an encyclopedia in acting. But, as too much of anything, degrade it’s value; so is the case with his presence in this movie. Balki’s fixation of keeping Amitabh in almost every scene possible has cost him making this film a phenomenon. Too many scenes of drunk Amitabh….. repetitive dialogues and references. Dull. 😦

Shamitabh

Akshara is awesome. She has the looks and talent both, from her gifted parents, Kamal Hassan and Sarika. She has stood out in this movie on her own. She looks beautiful and elegant and portrays a strong character. All her scenes are wonderful; specially the ones with Dhanush alone, they are so funny and satire is bang on. Way to go girl!!!

Shamitabh

Second half of Shamitabh, is terrible, dulling the movie. Editing is bogus. Direction is confusing and scenes are predictable and too long. Sometimes when you try to over simplify something; you confuse it and make it more complex. Balki has done the same with this movie. If only he could have thought of his audience as intelligent enough to grasp the essence of the film, without detailing every stupid scene for whole half hour; it could have been a better crisp yet critically magnificent film. Here to oversimplification …..

Shamitabh

Don’t forget to watch Rekha’s cameo in this movie. Marvellous.

 

 

How Indians Select Their Bride

How Indians Select Their Bride
How Indians Select Their Bride

Ever wondered how young Indian men select their brides in an Arranged Marriage??

 

Read my article –Β How Indians Select Their Bride, here.

Feel free to leave comments and let me know how you feel about Arranged Marriages.

Leaving you with some fun images on Indian Arranged marriages. Enjoy! πŸ˜›

How Indians Select Their Bride
How Indians Select Their Bride
How Indians Select Their Bride
How Indians Select Their Bride

 

How Indians Select Their Bride
How Indians Select Their Bride

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

Live your life. Make your dreams come true. Turn your dreams int reality. Live your dreams.

Sounds familiar?

Too familiar?

You must have seen/heard these lines in so many motivational/inspirational posters and speeches. For 10 seconds or a minute, while you are reading that motivational line; you will feel a positive boost to your life and then, either you will sulk knowing your reality is different from your dreams, or you will feel good about living your dream life.

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

If you are living your dream then you must be elated about your life; and must be dreaming some new dreams. Carry on!!!

But, if you are not living your dream; have you ever given a thought, whose dream are you living actually?

 

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

If you are an Indian, there is a very good chance, that your life is a manifestation of your parents dreams. You may be a doctor, or an engineer, or a civil servant, or even can be a sports person; but there is a high probability, that you are, what your parents wanted you to be. Infact they must have decided it the moment you were born, or went to your first school, or college.

 

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

Every parent in the world, wants their children to do good, but it is not enough for Indian Parents. They want you to do better than their neighbors kids. So good, that they can boast of it later in front of whole social circle and relatives.

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

 

How they doΒ it?

They will fill your brain with only one thing – that is – to be that someone, who they aspire you to be. If they want you to be doctor; they will make no conversation end without pointing it out to you, that how disappointing it would be, if you don’t become a doctor. You can be a total disgrace to family, if you choose to become something else. You became a Manager in a company, not good enough, your parents wanted you to be a Doctor. What a disappointment you are.Β Slap!!!Β 

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

God forbid, you are an Indian girl; your parents are more worried about your marriage than your career. I remember the time when I had to fight my own parents, just to get education of my choice, and not do B.A. and get married. You have to fight so you do not get married, You have to fight for education, for career, for marriage, for everything in your life; irony being, you are fighting not with society but with your own parents and close relatives.

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

How many of us has the courage to speak up and fight for our dreams? It’s hard to stand up and fight your own parents, but it is worth it, when you achieve your dreams, and live life of your choice.

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

 

I respect those who live life on their own terms, regardless of what their parents, or relatives, or society, think of them.

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

 

Your dreams can be the same what your parents have dreamt for you. You may also want to be a Doctor, like your parents want of you; but what matters is have you dreamt of being a Doctor?

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

Remember ultimately you are living your life, and no one else can do it for you. So, better start living your own dreams, than following others.

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

 

 

AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast

AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast

AIB’s Knockout Roast!!! What a Roast and what a bold new step in Indian Comedy.

If you have still not seen the AIB’s Knockout Roast of Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor, then….. I guess, you must be lying. You don’t have to tell me or anyone else, okay. Don’t come out of the closet. It’s okay, like they said in the Roast, β€œWhy are they talking in public, what we talk in parties”. πŸ˜›

AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast
AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast

AIB is a comedy group of Indian comedians, co founded by Gursimran Khamba and Tanmay Bhatt, along with Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya. The event that has generated a lot of interest in them, and their group, is a Comedy Roasting event where AIB, along with Aditi Mittal, Abish Mathews, Raghuram and RajeevΒ Masand; roasted Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh.

AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast

It was special, because it was the first time that a no bounds roasting is done in an Indian comedy group, and that too with Roastee being a celebrity present there.

images (1)

 

Roasting is like an insult comedy, where you trash your guest verbally by making fun of him/her in a best satirical way possible and the guest along with his well wishers present there, take all these insults in a good humor. If you want a more desi explanation – it’s more like in ladies sangeet of Indian Marriage where in some special songs, other party of marriage, is trashed in an abusive language.

AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast
AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast

Karan Johar was the perfect Roast Master and I would like to say, that he was at his best in the show. He was witty, with a perfect timing and, boy! He was sporty. Infact some of the best jokes were told on Karan’s expense. A big thumbs up for you, Karan.

AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast
AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast

What was interesting in all this was to see our female celebrities, like Deepika, Alia and Sonakshi, not only present there but also taking a lot of roast on themselves, in a very good way. Specially Deepika, seriously, thanks for taking one for the team. Alia baby, baby baby baby…. what were you doing there? Poor you! My bachcha…. beta, stay at home, these type of shows are for adults only.

AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast

Roasting was great, it was all in good fun, sometimes too offensive but when you compare it to Roasting comedy shows done internationally, it was not up to par with them. Where they lack was – content, few members trying too hard and off-course poor editing of the show.

AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast
AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast

Comedy Central’s Roasting shows are always a great fun to watch for. My favorite among them were those of Charlie Sheen and Joan Rivers. What made these shows fun was not the use of offensive language but the satire and witty one liners.

AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast

 

Content is the king. Some members like Tanmay, Khamba and Aditi were fresh in selecting their jokes and creative too. The best out of all the panel was Tanmay, who clearly is abundant in his talent too. Other comedians too were good but they became too much repetitive after some time. Most of the jokes look stale. Raghuram and Rajeev Masand were seriously not a good choice as the member of Roasting panel.

AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast
AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast

Specially Raghu was still on his Roadies set, and looked like he is trying too hard. He was stiff and abusive unnecessarily. Best rule of roast comedy is to roast someone in a way that as if you are toasting them. You don’t need to shout, as Raghu and Masand did, but infact you have to be satirical; which both lacked.

What did the most damage to the whole show, was its editing. It was like scrap of pieces joined together to make a comedy show. There was no continuity and flow. It was edited so much that it looked like the Roast of roasting panel than of the Roastees. Poor Rajeev Masand was highly edited, I don’t why, but it was like he said hi, and bye in a single shot.

AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast

 

To be honest, the Roastees, Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh did a far better roast than the roasting panel. Arjun too, looked like he is trying hard to look cool with the wholeΒ idea, but he can’t look cool, not when he is in company of Ranveer Singh.

AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast
AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast

Ranveer stole the show. He was the best. Let it be his mimicry of Rajeev masand, or his take on Raghu’s abusive private life, he was The Best. Karan scored just next to him. For the rest, you need to up your game.

AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast
AIB Knockout – A Toast to the Roast

 

It was not the best, but it is big step for Indian Comedy indeed. Kudos to the whole AIB team for tackling this Elephant in the Room. πŸ˜›

Mouthwatering Monday – Oven Baked Mathri

Oven Baked Mathri by Jyoti Singh
Oven Baked Mathri

Mathri and Namakpaare are the most eaten snacks in India. My husband love these salty snacks; only problem – It’sΒ not a healthy snack.  😦

To overcome this problem I tried the oven baked method instead of frying them in oil.

Oven Baked Mathri by Jyoti Singh
Oven Baked Mathri

 

Ingredients

Method

  • Preheat your Oven to 350 F.
  • Mix Flour, cumin seeds, cumin powder, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • Add melted butter/ghee to it and with the help of water knead into a dough.
  • To make Mathri, make small balls of dough and place them on baking sheet; just like you do with cookies.
  • To make Namakpaare, flatten the dough and then cut it into elongated rectangular shape with the use of a knife.
  • Spray some oil and put Mathri and Namakpaare on baking sheet.
  • Bake them in Oven for 20 minutes, turn them over and again bake for 15 minutes.
  • Oven temperature varies so just make sure that your Mathris are light golden brown and are crisp.

MathrisΒ and Namakpaare are ready to serve. You can team them up with coriander or mint chutney, or ketchup. Best served along with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Oven Baked Mathri by Jyoti Singh
Oven Baked Mathri

Enjoy!!!

P.S. My cooking is experimental. You will find many similar and different recipes, but the idea is to explore your food and do experiments with it. Enjoy Cooking Experiments and Experiences πŸ™‚