Monday, June 05, 2006

short notes on an enjoyable weekend.

They're short. They're notes. It's Monday morning.

(Of dal fry, Franka Potente and Fanaa.)

Friday night: Neighbourly gossip, tomato Maggi (again) and reading. Fall asleep at two, per nightly routine, but without guilt or self-pity as tomorrow is Saturday.

Saturday morning: I can cook! I am the best cook in the world! One of the secret order of magical ladies with whom rests the world’s most precious culinary secret, namely that of tea, toast and scrambled eggs. I am mystikaaal and luminous. How’s that for lembas, Galadriel?

I float around in my old Beatles tee-shirt and shorts and half-watch The Bourne Identity. That is to say, I watch Franka Potente. I watch Franka Potente swearing in German. I am compelled to believe that this may be the hottest thing EVAR. I try, Galadriel-fashion, to get her to swear more by sending her powerful all-shall-love-me-and-despair mind-waves. But everyone in this film is afflicted with lockjaw and she seems to have talked herself into a corner whence escape is onl possible by affecting interest in Matt Damon. Oh hot Eurotrashy women, why do you let yourselves be so exploited? Scheiss, I say, to all that.

Lunch is dal fry and jeera rice, a weekend staple. As I wend my way through deathly sun-baked traffic on Road #1 Banjara Hills to collect it – no restaurant delivers to my home, to describe which I must include the words, ‘Take the sixth right from the main road…’ – I notice that there exists not a single spot along its upper-middle-to-working-class expanse (the really posh shopping is in Begumpet and Panjagutta, about ten minutes away), not a speck of -shoppe or -bazaar or -mart or –corner in or outside of which someone sells a newspaper. Hyderabad’s premier residential area and there’s not a bloody newspaper stand anywhere along it.

This place, gah.

Saturday evening: One of the inevitable wtf’s of life. I am eating dinner at a restaurant known for its pure Hyderabadi – meaning meat-filled – delicacies, eating a vegetarian meal. How civilisation makes fools of us all, et cetera.

Saturday night: One of the year’s best so far. I finish a beautiful, brilliant book called The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and go to bed in love, with a new addition to my list of favourite novels.

Sunday morning: Snuggle in late, still feeling happy about book. Flatmate goes to church. I wake and perform the tea-toast-eggs miracle again and switch on the telly. I’m just in time to catch a romantic comedy called Maid in Manhattan in its entirety. For reasons obvious to anyone who has read an average of three of my past posts, I watch. Of course, it’s very stupid, and poor Rafe is stupid in it. He looks bored and sheepish. It isn’t detestable or anything. It commits the usual Hollywood crimes, making shallow cues out of racial and class conflict, trying to reflect liberal sensibilities and blah-blah even though one of its central sequences involves an entirely white rich crowd swaying to the tunes of an entirely stereotyped black band. Rafe and J-Lo have so little in common even as actors – one is, the other isn’t – that watching them kiss is like watching a fish and a bicycle getting it on, only more inspid and less intellectually stimulating. But also, if you think about it, nothing close to as gross. Altogether very much in the it-could-be-worse category. No, take it from one who in her misguided youth tried watching Monster In Law.

Sunday evening: Watched Fanaa. Well, if you can call holding face over palm for a good third of the film out of sheer embarrassment for the actors, the art of cinema and most of all for self watching. Definitely not RDB-outrageous, though. The music and dancing and jingoism is all creaky, an almost deliberate attempt at trying to update some blockbuster from 1970’s Bollywood with political relevance and so on, and ending up as a caricature of itself. It kept putting me in mind of those old and elegant and hideously outdated Shammi Kapoor films in which he plays a prince-in-exile character who comes to Kashmir, reclaims his heritage and gets the girl. It's lovely to hear Urdufied Hindi on screen again. And Tabu! I love Tabu. For some reason I thought it was a Farhan Akhtar film until the opening credits rolled. Well. It wasn’t. That’s the least unkind thing I can say about it.

Three things of note in the pre-show ads. A puzzling Yashraj production called Kabul Express, starring L'Abraham and the undeserving-of-French-article Arshad Warsi. I can't figure whether this is meant to be comic or not. But then with those two, it generally ends up being one.

A new Karan Johar film is opening sometime this August. Shock and awe, no pastels and bubblegum colours, no dancing puppies, no irritating kids. People talking about sex! But still with the idealised New York and wobbly-lipped Shah Rukh Khan. Sometimes it isn’t the mockability that changes, just the nature of the thing to be mocked. Oh, well. I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised.

And the Adidas 'who will you pick' ad with the Latino kids and ‘Beckenbauer’. Is it possible not to love a well-done football ad? Well, when you consider that kids the age of the child actors in the advert are spending their lives making those shoes in the Philippines.

current musix: panic! at the disco: the only difference between suicide and martyrdom is press coverage.


  1. Yes, indeed. Tabu? Really? She's outperformed by a dying cockroach in this film. (Though maybe the dying process just makes a convincing actor out of anyone)

  2. And yes, I spent the first 20 seconds of the Kabul Express trailer giggling reflexively because I was convinced it was meant to be a Munnabhai Meets the Taliban sort of film. But soon I realised it's a Serious Movie with important things to say about the state of Afghanistan and John Abraham's hairstyle, so mustn't laugh.

  3. @ mitz: Yeah, 'speshal' appearance. There's a lot of those in the film.

    @ jai: Haha, notice how I didn't say 'I love Tabu in this film.' I'd be just as embarassed to compete with a cockroach if they gave me lines like the one about Aamir Khan making his outfit as clever as CIA, KGB and Mossad. Head meet popcorn.

    And the Osama OK! feel of Kabul Express - indescribable. Someone should go watch this film.

  4. Ok Im sure that Kabul Express is going to have a great part filled with cheesiness (complete mebbe). However, I thought that the concept is nice and am hoping that the movie is good. Btw Id rather watch Warsi rather than Abraham :) The only movie where Abraham did well was in Zinda and thats because he didn't have to act much :D On another line of discussion, given the characters in the Korean movie Old Boy, I think John Abraham was an excellent choice for his role.

    As for the Karan Johar movie, my sis told me its based in Paris when I started arguing as to why such movies can't just be based in India. Me thinks it is probably going to be a ripoff of Closer or as they say
    'inspired by it'.

  5. I loved Kavalier and Clay too. I had a funny reading time line with this lovely book. I read the first few pages, got interested, but don't read further. Then I picked it up 9 months later, and finished it in two days. Go figure:)