Saturday, July 24, 2010


Suljhi hui zindagi ki tamanaa hai,
uljhe huye sawaalon ke pehrein mein

Shaanti aur sukh ki khoj hai
ek bechain mann ke mele mein

Garam dhoop ki khawish hain
baarishon aur saridiyon ke mahino mein

Sookoon aur santosh ki chah hain
ek bheed se badi mehfil mein

Ghoomte ghoomte, chalte phirte
har roz ki zindagi jeete jeete

Kabhi muskurate, kabhi aasoon bahate
isi tarah, kisi mod pe kahin

Jab ilm na hoga, chah na hogi,
Jab hosh na hoga, talaash na hogi,
Jab aakhen dhoondna band kar lengi,

us ek lamhe mein,
Sab dikhega saaf,
aur phir na rahegi koi pyaas

Tab tak us pal ka hai intezaar
Lekin pehlein us pal ki tamanaa ko karna hoga faraar

Kyon ki jab dil mein nahin rehti hai woh aaas
Tab hi woh chahat khud chal kar aa jaati hai paas

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Top Ten Love Stories

1) Pride and Prejudice- There is no love story as magical, wonderful and real as Lizzy and Darcy's. Has to be first on the list.

2) Qayamat se Qayamat Tak also known as QSQT- my all time favourite Hindi movie. I know, I’s as cliché as cliché can get. But I can’t help myself. I loved Aamir then, and love him now. And I have lost count on how many times I have seen this movie. QSQT is to me what DDLJ is to other girls.

3) Pretty Woman- classic! Who can create magic better than Richard Gere and Julia Roberts? (I absolutely refuse to believe that he is gay as many gossip sites claim). Its also one of the first movies I saw with friends in Eros during Junior College days. Beautiful memories!

4) Maine Pyar Kiya- sigh! Blame it on my age. I was 15! But it has happy memories so I will not watch it now and ruin them. The movie was also responsible for the catch phrase "Dosti ka ek asool hai madam, no sorry, no thank you".

5) Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se- loosely based on Erich Segal’s Love Story. (best romantic book ever by the way- even Sonam Kapoor was reading it in ‘I hate luv storys’). It starred Sachin (so cute!) and Ranjeeta (even cuter!) and it had a sad ending, which only made me like it more. And the title song is the one of most romantic songs ever.

6) Saath-Saath- A Farooq Shaikh-Deepti Naval starrer (one of the best on screen couples till date). It gave us one of Jagjit Singh’s best ghazals “tum ko dekha to yeh khayal aaya”. And it showed what happens to love after marriage. A true portrayal of a love story leading to marriage but with miraculously a happy ending.

7) Sleepless in Seattle- Meg Ryan is the rom-com queen and I can watch this movie multiple times over.

9) Only You- Marisa Tomei’s search of her soul mate since she was a child and a fortune teller at a carnival tells her she is destined to marry “Damon Bradley”. Of course as fate should have it she falls in love with a Peter- played by the devilishly handsome Robert Downey Jr. who just pretends to be Damon. What’s in a name? I will take RDJ even if his name was Bhola Prasad (ok may be I would get him to change his name first)

10) Chandni- Most Indian girls would be seriously offended that I did not count DDLJ, Dil to pagal hai, Kuch Kuch hota hai and other “Raj-Simran” type of movies in my top ten. Sorry! SRK just ruins it all for me. But I am a fan of the older Yash Chopra movies. Could not decide between Lamhe and Chandni and settle for the latter as I kinda like love triangles where the girl has to pick between 2 guys. And Sridevi never looked better!

11) Sailaab (the TV series not the movie)- Though I do feel that Madhuri’s item number in Sailaab the movie in a navari “Hum ko... aaj kal hai... intezaar...koi aaye... leke pyaar” is the best item number in the history of Indian cinema. Ok I digress... (And yes I know this is no. 11 and it says “Top 10” but I didn’t think anyone’s counting, and it’s my post, so live with it). Sailaab is the 2nd best TV show ever made in India (first one is Trishna). Sailaab aired in 1997 on Zee and starred Renuka Shahane (Madhuri’s sister from Hum apke hain kaun who dies), Sachin Khedekar (Tabu’s impotent husband from Astitva), Prajakti Deshmukh (who no one except me probably remembers) and Mahesh Thakur (plays cameos in many movies nowadays and was the dad in Shararat). Sailaab demonstrated a sensitive portrayal of love in an extra marital relationship between Shivani (Renuka) and Rohit (Sachin). But it is the Gaytri-Rohit story angle to watch out for. Very poignant and beautiful. A production by Ravi Rai- wish he would give us some more of this.

That’s my top 11 :)

Will end this post with a quote I came across recently and it stuck with me “Someday, someone, will walk into your life and will make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else”. (This, believe it or not, came up in an office meeting and I nearly had tears)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I love luv storys

Ok, not the most original title, but its topical, no? Though why would you want a movie title with one typo (luv) and one grammatical error (should be ‘stories’ like the plural of story and not ‘storys’), I don’t know. But might as well go with it...

Ok, so I do love ‘luv stroys’. They offer hope, smiles and more stuff to dream about. And am a huge fan of dreams and dreaming. As Mahi (of ‘Mahi Way’ fame) so eloquently put it “Mere dimag mein na har samay ek naya sapna chlata hai- movies ki tarah- woh bhi Technicolor mein”. (My mind is forever seeing dreams like movies or something to that effect).

I am also a Hindi Film movie snob (as my regular readers- all 9 of them- would know, I condone the use of the term Bollywood). I prefer good Hindi cinema, and usually turn up my nose on commercial cinema- but I watch it all the same. Becoz fluff and frills thy name is escapism.

So I naturally went and watched “I hate luv storys”- first day 2nd show! And enjoyed it (more on that later*). But it did make me think about why are love stories so popular? Any film industry all over the world, any soap opera, any TV sitcoms- love stories reign supreme. And even “serious meaningful” movies usually have a love story element. Which I guess is a given, as love is the corner stone of all relationships and finding your soul mate, janam janam ka saathi, companion, partner, love of your life is what everyone desires- whether they admit it or not. So the fact that there is a love angle in most movies, books, soaps, sitcoms, music videos, song albums, etc is nothing to be surprised about.

But the obsession with love stories per se (and the multi-million dollar industry of chick lit and chick flicks- and yes I am a huge contributor to that) does make me ponder sometimes.

Most love stories or rom-coms (romantic comedies for the uninformed) have one of the below story lines:

1) Boy meets girl (or girl meets boys- it’s all about equality), first comes dislike, then friendship, then passion, then love. Remember “Dil- Madhuri-Aamir starrer”?  Or the ever famous “Love Story” (original title that one). The movie which launched Kumar Gaurav.

Side-bar: till date my mom laments on why he could not make it big. Which does beget some thought- as he was one the premier ‘chocolate boys’, had a rich influential dad, well connected in the industry, was talented (remember Naam- brilliant!) and not bad looking. Which does make me believe that luck, fate, destiny have way too much play in our lives. OK- this is much more than any space anyone must have devoted to Kumar Gaurav since he disappeared into oblivion in the early 90’s. So I shall stop.

Bottom line- first “I-can’t-stand-to-see-your-face” dislike to “I-will-give-up-my-life-for-you” love.

What I question: all the things you hated about this person when you first met him, would those qualities not resurface? Or you believe that you can change a person (HA!)

2) Childhood sweethearts: Awww must say this is one of my favourite themes. Remember “Hum Kisise Kum Nahin”? And the sweet “kya hua tera vada” song? Which Tariq (am convinced he was born with a guitar around his neck and has had one in every scene of every movie he ever starred in- all 5 of them) and Kaajal Kiran who used to sing the song to each other as kids and it was the song that bought them together too. So sweet! Other childhood sweetheart love stories are Devdas (Devdas and Paro; though that kinda is more of a tragedy), Parineeta (lovely! Only movie besides Dil Chahta Hai where I liked Saif) and many others that I can’t remember now.

What I question: in today’s fast moving world where you are popular as your last Twitter feed, how can one person continue to be the most important one in your life from childhood till you die? It’s awfully sweet and all that, but won’t you get bored?

3) Bad Boy-Good Girl routine: I can relate to this one most of all. It’s the classic good girl believes she can make the bad boy good. Err “No sweetie (and yes I am taking to myself now), it ain’t gonna happen!” Bad boys don’t turn good just coz they met you and you influenced them. But yes, I like the archetypical ‘bad boy with heart of gold’ and yes, only I can pierce the cold exterior to uncover his nice, caring side. Case in point Kunal Kapoor (he is such a cutie, second place in my heart after Aamir) in Aaje Nachle played the proverbial bad boy transformed because of the good girl Konkana who loved him.

What I question: how do you distinguish between the actual bad boy and the bad boy with the heart of gold? Becoz in 9 cases out of 10, chances are you are with the former

4) Best friends turn lovers: There is something intrinsically beautiful about that fact that the love you were looking for all your life is actually right next to you as your best friend- only you never noticed. My favourite example of that is Barney and Laura from Erich Segal’s epic novel “Doctors”. They grew up as neighbours and best friends, went to med school together, consoled each other through numerous break-ups and f$%$-ups, only to find that they were destined to be together. Ceclie Ahern’s (author of PS I love you book) “Where Rainbows End” is also about 2 best friends Rosie and Alex and the story of how they ultimately get together.

What I question: what if it does not work out? You lose a best friend in the process. That’s sad, no?

5) Rich boy-poor girl; poor boy-rich girl: Needs no explanation. Every Hindi movie ever made in 1970’s and 80’s had this story angle in some way, shape or form. And Hollywood is no stranger to it either. Remember Tom Cruise’s Cocktail? (It even includes the never-gets-old scene of girl’s father trying to buy the boy off). Jeez! Or look at “For love or money” with Michael J Fox or the desi-adaptation “Yes Boss” with SRK and Juhi Chawla. The ‘twist’ here was that both the boy and girl were poor but ambitious and they had to choose between love and money. Any guesses what won? Yes! Love triumphs all! I really liked one dialogue SRK says in Yes Boss “Doh nakamiyamb log ek kamiyab zindagi nahin bana saktein”. (2 unsuccessful people cannot make a successful life). Of course he does go back on his words, and chooses love. But there is a lot of truth in what he said. Bitter truth, but truth all the same.

What I question: Well, there are way too many of them. As this is least believable story line for me. Seriously! An heiress marries a taxi driver  and lives happily ever after?! Really!? (Raja Hindustani with Karisma and Aamir- only Aamir movie I can’t tolerate!)

Ok enough of “Idhar udhar ke baatein, vegera vegera” (my fav line from “I hate luv storys)- let’s get to the point- love stories are:

• Predictable

• Follow a standard pattern

• Are quiet far from reality

• Stretch the truth

• Make false promises

• And worse of all, show us what we are missing in our real lives

So why-oh-why do we still torture ourselves with them?

I think the answer is simple: at heart we all want to believe that magic exists. We sometimes find touches of this magic in our real lives (yes it exists and it happens) but our eyes are blinded with the realities of life- work, kids, school, responsibilities, bills, gym, kitchen, the list goes on, that we miss this magic.

Hence we pay 10$ for a movie ticket and 8$ for the pop corn-coke combo for someone to show us their version of this magic. And for those 2 or 3.5 hours (if its Hum aapke hain kaun), we believe again, we cry for our heart-broken heroine, we laugh with her when she is happy, we look admiringly at our hero and wish we could take him home, we ogle at him shirtless (Imran Khan was looking way too hot without his shirt and gawd! that is way too ‘cougarish’ as he is at least a decade younger than I am, if not more. And any case, I will take his maamu over him any day).

I cannot end without a mention from a Yash Chopra film- as he is the ultimate romance magician after all- "Kahin na Kahin, koi na koi, har ek ke liye bana hai". And it is this belief that keeps us coming back for more...each time..everytime.

* Well, this was supposed to be a review for “I hate luv storys”. But I have spoken too much and about way too many things. So in a nutshell, here goes:

Watch “I hate luv storys” if you love love stories and for

a) Sonam’s winning smile (don’t care what anyone ones, she is tons prettier than Deepika Padukone)

b) Imran’s sense of humor and great bod and just coz he is Aamir’s bhanja and can do no wrong in my eyes (also don’t care what anyone ones, he is tons better than Ranbir Kapoor- though Ranbir is not bad too)

c) The songs- 'Bahara' by Rahat fateh Ali Khan- rules my iPod now

d) The awesome saris Sonam wears in the “Sadka” song. Chiffon sari with a bikini top- start of a trend here!

e) The dig at all Karan Johar movies from “Raj-Simran” at the start, all the way to a beautiful song on the Swiss Alps- oops it’s was New Zealand this time (kudos KJ for being able to laugh at yourself. I like!)

f) The chance to see magic happen once again!

So take your friend, drag your husband, or bring your daughter if she is old enough and smile with Sonam and Imram as they fall in luv.