Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bob's Your Uncle!: My fave scene featuring Bob Christo

The lovely Beth of everyone's favorite blog Beth Loves Bollywood has organized a 1-day celebration in honor of the one and only late Bob Christo. Who is Bob Christo, you ask? Well if the phrase "Nahin Bajrang Bali, Nahin Bajrang Bali, Mera Bajrang Bali ..." doesn't ring a bell, then hop on over to Beth's list of links about the fabulous firang gentleman himself.

As for me, I can't say I've followed his career all that closely, but I DO remember him, and appreciate his fine work in getting beat up by our many heroes over the years. And though the Bajrang Bali scene from Mr. India is the one that most people remember him for ... MY Favorite scene starring Mr. Christo is from the wacky Jaani Dost. I've already stated my total adoration for this movie, warts and all. Yes, I know it's absolutely ridiculous. But I still love it, and mostly because of scenes like this.

Here we have the two heroes and their lovely heroines, being attacked by the terrible goondas (enter Bob Christo!! APPLAUSE!). A typical scene, and yet in this film it's given a fun, whimsical sort of feel. From Dharmendra dancing to tabla rhythms atop the bad guys to a conversation about "where the relationship is going" being staged in between fighting, this entire sequence is lighthearted and entertaining beyond the dishooms. And come on, Sridevi beating up the bad guys as Karate Rani Shalu? Priceless.

I particularly like the moment at about 3:59 where Parveen Babi tries to beat up Bob Christo ... his reactions are just amazing. Also, how fun is it that BOTH Bob Christo and Tom Alter played goons together in this movie?

Enjoy this scene - with subtitles!

Song of the Day: Happy Easter from Big B!

Needs no explanation ... the best Easter song ever:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Rampwalk Remo!

ARGH. So I totally suggested to all my BollyBlogging friends that we should do Vikram-posts on Sunday April 17th in honor of his 45th birthday. And then in the midst of traveling home to visit my mom in Michigan, I wasn't able to do a post yesterday. There were some fabulous tributes to the brooding, masculine, sexy Vikram yesterday which you should definitely check out:
My friends, I failed you all yesterday. And it's not from any lack of Vikram lust love. I absolutely adore Vikram ... as evidenced by my earlier Primer on Chiyaan Vikram. In it I describe my favorite Vikram movies, and a little about his incredible appeal.

Since there's no time to do a full movie recap or anything very deep or profound (Mom's household means non-stop guests and dance classes going on), I will leave you all with this intense moment from Kadhal Sadugudu which I ALWAYS think of when I think of Vikram ... mmmm ... (how jealous am I of Priyanka Trivedi???):

Happy birthday John Kennedy Vinod Raj aka VIKRAM aka RAMPWALK REMO aka RAINBOW REMO, you sexy beast you!

Picspam time!

He's even hot in drag! (from Kandhasaamy)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Song of the Day: Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram (Bolly Style)

Happy Rama Navami! On this day Hindus celebrate the birth of Lord Shree Rama - the 7th incarnation or Avatar (not the blue CGI kind, although I guess some could be blue ...) of Lord Mahavishnu, the Preserver. Rama was born on Earth to destroy the wicked King Raavana of Sri Lanka, which he did with the assistance of his brother Lakshmana and the monkey God Hanuman. Want to know more? The Ramayana Epic is available in the Kindle Store at, or you could watch one of the fabulous mythological movies of India (my personal favorite was the one where Jaya Prada played young Princess Sita). If you are really dedicated, you can watch the entire detailed series by Ramanand Sagar in which Arun Govil plays Rama.

Anyway, I was singing some bhajans (Hindu hymns) this morning and then I started laughing to myself thinking of this song from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1999), which is really a tragedy when you consider how beautiful the original bhajan is, but it's still kind of funny. Especially the little cameo by maestro singer Shankar Mahadevan himself as an annoying hippie singing in Shah Rukh Khan's ear.

Incidentally, there is also a great, soulful, moving version of this song + "Vaishnava Janato" in the movie Gandhi (1982) that was sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Beautiful!

Have a great Rama Navami all!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award - Because mein sab kuch karti hoon Shaan Se!

The ever so fabulous and sweet Mette of Lime Reviews has kindly added me to the list of *STYLISH BLOGGERS* floating around the net - which I'm completely grateful for as I'm fairly new to the BollyBlogging scene and I am constantly amazed by the graciousness with which I've been embraced. This is just a great network of passionate and fun-loving people who GET the ridiculous jokes that were always floating in my head when things in life got ... ahem, FILMY. Unfortunately the ABCDs that generally comprised my IRL friends in college never understood, and the "FOB" (though I hate that term, really) friends I had in  my years as a young, working professional just shake their head at me and say, "I can't believe how INDIAN you are when you were raised here!" -- just imagine what they would say to my countless friends of every which race and geographical location if they knew the depths of their filmi knowledge!

Anyway, the fun thing about this award is that we are to state 7 Facts about ourselves, and then pass along the torch to 7 other bloggers.

So here we go!

1.  I am absolutely 100% terrified of ghosts. I don't think they are going to do anything to me, I am just afraid of seeing one. I couldn't sleep for 3 nights after seeing The Sixth Sense. I am also afraid of loud noises - so I hate fireworks and balloons popping. If there's a balloon in the room I will be extremely tense, waiting for it to pop. And I always cover my ears during fireworks.

2.  I love to dance, but came to the horrible realization several years ago that I'm really not that good at the thing I love most in the world. I have all the tools to be a great dancer, but simply never pushed myself to excel, and now after all these years my body lacks the precision and athleticism it should have. And those that cannot do, teach. So I have come to love teaching.

3.  Anytime everyone seems to be obsessed or in love with a single person, I automatically develop an aversion to them. This has been the case since elementary school.

4.  I am a magnet for people who want to tell me over and over how beautiful and talented they are and how many people are in love with them. Gag.

5.  I used to want to be a dance choreographer for Bollywood movies, but after college I re-discovered classical dance (Bharata Natyam) and how amazing it is, and after that Bollywood stuff just felt like empty calories. It's still fun and all that, and I don't mind doing a light dance for a friend's wedding or something like that, but the idea of choreographing and/or performing a filmi dance for a stage is not as happy-making as doing a Thillana or a Varnam.

6.  I absolutely hate talking on the phone and avoid answering my phone as much as possible. However people can always reach me via email or facebook/twitter. Or texting.

7.  I actually hate any and all nicknames that people call me by and really wish people would call me by my name (Anandini. Ah-nun-the-knee. Anandini. Is it really THAT hard?). There is no cute or sweet-sounding nickname for my name. Who wants to be called "Nun" or "Nandi"? Not me.

Now the second part of this fun award is naming 7 other blogs that you admire! It's incredibly tough to narrow down my favorite blogs (there are SO MANY), and most of my favorites have already received this award from other bloggers. But nevertheless, here are 7 blogs that I truly admire:
I also need to mention that it was the amazing and talented Beth Loves Bollywood that drew me into the world of BollyBlogging (and she is probably on everyone's list of favorite bloggers, which means she's been nominated for this award many, many times!). Also the fun-loving, inclusive and amazingly creative Kay of Totally Filmi, Ness from Shahrukh is Love and Kara from Filmi Girl! are writers that I consider my BollyBlogging Gurus and inspiration! And of course, you must check out Mette's Lime Reviews: Confessions of a Bollywood Addict -- it's wonderful!

Me trying to be all Stylish and Bollywood!

Friday, April 8, 2011

What's in a Name?

Since I was walking around singing "My Name is Sheila" from Tees Maar Khan all week, I started thinking about songs that reference names and all of a sudden a list started developing in my mind (because I am insane and these are the things I think about). And so of course as the list in my head grew and grew, I realized a blog post was a-brewing.

So here's my list of Hindi movie songs that either state "My Name is ..." or "Naam Mera ..." or "Mera Naam ..." or the like:

1. My Name is Sheila - Tees Maar Khan (2010)
My obvious starting off point. This started my entire thought process because I was wondering why this girl can't freaking remember her own name. Katrina Kaif is not my favorite working actress, and this video is an example of why. She just is so ... awkward and lifeless. Not a natural dancer at all, and I can practically see her counting in her head. And her expression always drops in transitions. Still, she obviously worked really hard, so I'll give her credit for that. I hate the English parts of this song, but the rest is so damn catchy.

2. Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo - Howrah Bridge (1958)
One of my favorites! Helen is so fabulous, and the song is so super fun. We have a picture of my mom performing this onstage in 1950s Bombay -- before stage performances of Bollywood dances were a popular thing. Also when my sisters and I had a band in the early 90s, this was always one of our biggest hits on the dance floor! (I love the sudden, magical costume changes in the 2nd verse! And isn't Ashok Kumar so devastatingly handsome and brooding?)

3. Naam hai mera Fonseca - Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)
Augghh! I used to HATE this song from JJWS - especially cause I thought Pooja Bedi was so annoying (and tranny looking, honestly)! But then her "Sorry old dear" verse used to get stuck in my head too. Deepak Tijori is awesome though. I'm bummed that I didn't go to a college like Model that had these kinds of competitions. The CLOTHES are reason enough to watch this video (which I couldn't find on YouTube, but here it is in some language I don't recognize!).

4. My Name is Anthony Gonsalves - Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)
All I have to say is "The coefficient of the linear ... is juxtapositioned ... by the hemoglobin in the atmospheric pressure of the country!!!!"

5. Naam Kya Hai Pyar Ka Mara - Yeh Dillagi (1994)
I was obsessed with this mid-90s Bollywoodized version of Sabrina starring Kajol and the very mullety pair of Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan. I could still watch this movie a million times. And it's one of the few movies where I could actually tolerate Akki. But anyway, Kajol's frilly sleeves and poofy skirt are wonderful. This was back when Saif was seriously a TERRIBLE actor too. He has crazy improved!

6. My Name is Lakhan - Ram Lakhan (1989)
What can I say about this song? It's so much more than a song. It's an ANTHEM. Songs like this make me want to be a guy so I can THROW DOWN and do this kind of robust, joyful dancing without trying to be pretty and graceful. Anil Kapoor is ADORABLE as Lakhan, and check out the super young Madhuri too!

7. Mera Naam Hai Jamila - Night in London (1967)
This is one of my more recent discoveries. Helen is fabulous, as always, doing her cabaret thing. Biswajeet and Johnny Walker sure seem to appreciate Jamila! I'm trying to figure out if her shirtless backup dancers are in blackbrownface or not. Anyway, Jamila is everything Sheila WISHES she could be. Helen is so expressive!

8. Naam Mera Premkali - Chaalbaaz (1989)
I always kind of hated this song although I loved the movie. Sridevi is practically dressed as Michael Jackson. I mean really, they went a little crazy on the Soul Glo here. And then she turns into Linda Ronstadt or something. I don't even think they were trying to make the picturization suit the song. Because nothing suits the disco-light-up-dance-floor like a giant tulle ballet skirt! Still with all the craziness, Sri is so uber-cute! And she always works it, no matter what they throw at her!

9. Naam Mera Mango Dolly - Quick Gun Murugan (2009)
I have no idea what is going on here, but clearly I need to see this mess. And Rambha honey? Blonde is not your color.

10. I am Krishnan Iyer MA - Agneepath (1990)
I still can't believe they are going to try and remake this movie. What the heck. Can you remake awesomeness like this??? It's not possible! Mithun is too amazing, and I love Neelam! Also, this is what people used to sing to me when I told them I was South Indian. I also miss SPB's voice.

11. Main Hoon Jhumroo - Jhumroo (1961)
I love this song soooo much. We used to perform it with our band and there was a guy who sang EXACTLY like Kishore Kumar. It was uncanny. And he was a great yodeler too.

12. Main Hoon Khushrang Henna - Henna (1991)
Such a lovely song sung by Lata. I haven't seen this movie since 1991, because it was so sad and traumatic for me at 14 years old, but this song has always stuck in my head, along with many others from this soundtrack. Gorgeous. Whatever happened to Zeba Bhaktiar and Ashwini Bhave anyway?

13. Ya Ali Ya Ali Mera Naam Hai Ali - Ajooba (1991)
Oh, Shashi Kapoor's directorial venture ... poor dear. But I liked the Rishitabh bromance in this movie!

14. Naam Abdul Hai Mera - Shaan (1980)
I love this song. Mazhar Khan is just so joyful rolling around town with his back projection. And the subtitles on our VHS copy of Shaan was awesome: "My name is Abdul What? Oh, my name is Abdul, I keep news on everything!"

15. Mera Naam Hai Chameli - Raja aur Runk (1968)
This adorable number by Kumkum is definitely memorable, but always reminds me of the medley from Mr. India ("Mera Naam Hai Calendar ...")

16. Romeo Naam Mera - Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1993)
Ah another expensive flop! It had some great moments that are totally not PC in retrospect ("Chini Mini Ching Chong") but that we loved at the time. This song was Anil Kapoor's chance to show off. Sridevi also had a solo item "Mein Hoon Roop Ki Rani" ...

So I'm going to stop here because that's all I could think of off of the top of my head! And these endless song lists have got to be annoying. I just LIVE for making song lists. Seriously. It's a weird obsession to have, I know. But really, my themed mix tapes were famous.

Did I miss any fabulous iconic ones? Or just one of your favorites? Let me know!!!