Katti Batti [2015]: A Fiasco

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Imran Khan [Maddy] gulps Phenyl accidentally as it was kept next to his beer bottle…. This is how the movie begins. 45 minutes later, the movie fails to convey the Story/Screenplay/Idea/ or the purpose of getting the country’s most sought-after star “Kangana Ranaut” paired up with the country’s most “Gauche”/wooden Actor “Imran Khan”. The actor is a failure on-screen and like most of the times we have witnessed off late, he is worse than having ‘Pinnochio’ portray the plight of a heart-broken lover.

Maddy meets Payal in college & they decide to live together. [but when? How? Why? We will never find out]. After 5 years Payal leaves him. Maddy is love-sick and misses Payal [but he is hamming most of the times]. He takes us to Payal in Flashbacks but it’s like watching a silent movie a la “Pushpak” in its most deteriorated form. We don’t see any bonding or intimate moments between the two; we are clueless about what exactly they share or shared. Why were they together? [5 years??] : You won’t fathom till the end credits roll in what led to Maddy falling hopelessly in Love with Payal. They don’t seem anywhere close to being emotionally/Romantically connected as they do not display any chemistry. He holds her as if his mother is stalking them with a hidden camera. She seduces him and he appears as if it’s the beginning of his “Juvenile years”. Where is love? What exactly is driving Maddy closer to self-destruction? As an Audience, till about the interval approaches, these are the questions pondering in our minds because we fail to receive a visual treat- love is an evergreen topic which drives us to the cinema-halls, am I right?

Kangana Ranaut is wasted in this movie. There is a “Devdas” scene where Maddy is Drunk and unconscious. His parents are about to reach the premises of his hostel room and his friends try to save him of the embarrassment. Payal pretends to be Paro and the sleepy Maddy is repaired to face the situation. Imran khan fails yet again and is hopeless as a ‘mannequin’- his friends carry him and he rises twice to speak a line & goes back to aberration. This horribly enacted scene is worse than a stage 2 kid-group theatre performance. And to make it even more miserable, the supporting cast [the Entire supporting cast in the movie] is below the “Nukkad” standards; there is no familiar face besides the lead pair and each one of them has nothing to do with acting. Imran does attempt to speak and act when he tries to retrieve Payals no. from her friend but her infant son performs better than him [he ends up smiling and crying convincingly]- Imran cannot even haphazardly appear panicky. We reach the interval and have no clue what the debate is about. We just know that everyone around Maddy hates Payal and are screaming and yelling at him for being her slave. His bond with his sister and friends appears equally artificial [He has a pet tortoise “Milkha” with whom he shares his tears].

And finally to our relief- the break up is revealed. He was watching a cricket match cheering for Tendulkar[?] to complete his century with his friends and Payal was pissed off. Then he happened to get angry with her [o god! He is trying to appear angry and his pout is repulsive coz he doesn’t look a bit different from his Devdas avatar] and they split. All this he is narrating to Foslas [a group of frustrated one-side lovers association – who sell tortoise food and sing Sufi songs and ride in trucks]. Payal is getting married to Ricky and they disrupt it in the most disgusting way. Payal slaps Maddy and…………….Payal has cancer. She is dying. All this drama was to make him learn to live without her. Bravo. What a brilliant script. [“Cancer” used to be the most widely adopted medium to kill the lead actor/actress in 1960s- please be innovative & progressive for once Mr Advani!]. Maddy decides to marry her and spend every moment together till the time she dies. And she does- [we don’t see any of her parents at all in the entire Drama] but I am still waiting for those 20 minutes where “Aamir Khan” supposedly cried the entire time and needed a towel to wipe his tears. This was the main reason [apart from “Kangana Ranaut”] which made me buy the first day first show tickets.

The movie has a bleak/shady story. Every character is sloppy & creates confusion besides delivering a coherent performance. It’s a dud by Nikhil Advani [who has failed to surprise us in the past] – his second in a row[in a single week]. A huge Disappointment as an ardent Kangana fan. Imran Khan badly needs his acting workshops rehearsals. Don’t waste your precious time & money over this “fiasco”.

My 15 Favorite English Movies on Home Video in High-school/College.

The VCR was the most precious commodity in the late 80s and early 90s. English movies were available as Home Videos for rent and so were the Video Cassette Players. I was deprived of the luxurious Cinema Halls that played latest/old releases and spending entire pocket-money on hiring the ones available was my favorite “weekend activity”. Here are 15 of the most cherished Movies during High school & College.

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1.TOP GUN: [1986]

With the opening scene, where Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell [Tom Cruise] flies his plane upside down and snaps a picture of the enemy pilot – Tom Cruise arrived as every girls “Dream Lover”. He played a young Navy aviator. Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Blackwood [Kelly McGillis] played the civilian Top Gun instructor. Its amazing Soundtrack [“You Take my Breath Away”; “Top Gun Anthem”] was a Gem for the walk-mans, car stereos and two-in-ones. There was hardly a teenager whose room didn’t show off the Top Gun Posters. After the release of this movie, the US Navy stated that no. of young men who joined the Navy[ wanting to be Aviators] increased by 500%.Boys flaunted the “I feel the need, the need for Speed” stickers on their bikes attempting to recreate the mania off-screen. This movie remains the all-time favorite for my friends; allegiance to Tom Cruise is hard as nails even today.

Famous quote:

Maverick: “I feel the need…the need for Speed.”             

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2. PRETTY WOMAN: [1990]

The sweetest “most” innocent Love Fable of our times. The Suave/Handsome millionaire Edward [Richard Gere] meets the Attractive/Smart Vivian [Julia Roberts] and both decide to spend some “paid” time together. Richard Gere [with his “salt n pepper” look] was charmingly Shy; Julia [with a natural-born talent to draw audience] was humorously Confident and they both swept us away to the Boulevards of Hollywood. “Oh Pretty Woman” [Roy Orbison] song is hummable decades later. We learnt the values of true love & dignity over money, subtly, while dreaming of our own “Price Charming” pampering us with Dresses, Strawberries and Jewelry before he chased his new-found love in a “convertible” loaded with Flowers. Pretty Woman is my All Time Favorite “Love Story”.

Famous quote:

Vivian: “I want the Fairy Tale.”

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3. DIRTY DANCING: [1987]

Baby [Jennifer Grey] is spending the summer in a holiday camp with her family and she falls in love with the camp’s Dance instructor Johnny [Patrick Swayze]. This movie changed the way we looked at dance and introduced the Dirty “Boogie” dancing which left us spellbound. Swayze’s pretty boyish charms [and the way he moved] were “hot”. Every girl/woman desired the re-enactment of the final scene every damn day in her life. It is till date the largest selling movie on DVD. Watching it was taboo in those days, yet “Dirty Dancing” became a true Fantasy.

Famous quote:

Johnny: “Nobody puts Baby in a corner…”

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Starring Johnny Depp & Winona Ryder, the film is the story of an artificial Man “Edward”- an unfinished creation, who has scissors for hands. He is taken in by a suburban family & falls in love with their daughter Kim. It was a modern-day Fairy tale which depicted the story of an uncommonly Gentleman. Edward learns to use his scissor-hands to create & is forever in pain with the fear of hurting his beloved. The chemistry between the two was fiery enough for many to “whimsically” Fantasize for Edward. Depp fell in love with Ryder crazily enough to declare “Winona is my everything; my soul; my love; my girl; my wife to be; my baby’s mom; my leading lady.” This movie became the pet “new-fangled” saga for teenagers.

Famous quote:

Kim: “Hold me.”

Edward: “I can’t.”

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5. GHOST: [1990]

The potter-wheel scene where Patrick Swayze romances Demi Moore became a “cult” moment. The movie is the story of a man who is murdered and has to come to terms with being a Ghost along with saving his lover from the villain. Whoopi Goldberg played the medium who communicates with him through her psychic powers [An Oscar-winning performance]. The love theme “unchained melody” by Righteous brothers gave us goose-bumps and Swayze became the most “adorable” Ghost all over the world.

Famous quote:


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The future comes hunting for John Connor [Arnold Schwarzenegger played the good “Terminator” this time]. Robert Patrick [the Mercury man T1000] is on a mission to kill Connor and no matter what action is undertaken to stop him- he doesn’t get disturbed and pulls himself together to be on the move. The exemplary special effects were loved by all and sundry; it seemed like fun for a kid to have his own pet “Terminator” who becomes like a Father figure. 25 years later this movie can be watched with equal zest.

Famous quote:

“Hasta la Vista Baby!”

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7.HOME ALONE: [1990]

A bratty 8-year-old Kevin McCallister [Macaulay Culkin]is left home alone after his Mother mistakenly leaves him locked in the Attic. This movie evoked all sort of scary Nostalgia we all go through at-least once in our lifetime- the fear of being left alone. Kevin became a household name globally; we adored this naughty kid when he did all that his parents stopped him from doing. We cheered for him when he booby-trapped the house to fight the goony Thugs. It definitely tickled our hearts when he outwitted them. Culkin’s mischievous Smile is embedded in our hearts forever.

Famous quote:

Kevin: “I don’t want a new family. I don’t want any family. Families suck!”

Temple1 dvd_jones still-of-nizwar-karanj-and-amrish-puri-in-indiana-jones-and-the-temple-of-doom-(1984)-large-picture8.INDIANA JONES & THE TEMPLE OF DOOM: [1984]

Professor Indy [Harrison Ford] came to India [though the shooting was held in Sri-Lanka] this time to retrieve precious Gems. Every scene in this movie was like a roller-coaster ride with its extravagant Visual effects. Amrish Puri was able to re-create the terror he evoked on Indian screens in the role of Mola Ram [the blood thirsty priest]. The elegant dinner laid at the palace of a local sinister “Raja” where it was obligatory for all to eat what was served [The chilled “monkey brains” for dessert] and the enthralling Climax were the Highlights of this Adventure Flick.

Famous quote:

Mola Ram: “ Maaro Kaato Peelo Khoon..”

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9.THE EVIL DEAD: [1981]

5 pals hike into the woods to a cabin & find an audiotape that releases demons & spirits. This movie was notorious for its outrageously “gory” effects and was banned initially. But it was widely watched and genuinely loved by all viewers. It was the first of its kind with its scary & spine-chilling special effects. Many sequels followed along with movies on duplicate theme but “The Evil Dead” became synonymous with horrifying “Madness” in the name of Entertainment.

Famous quote:

Voice of Evil Force “Join Us….”

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10.E.T :The Extra-Terrestrial [1982]

A gentle Alien is stranded on earth & befriended by a boy Elliott [Henry Thomas]. The alien is named E.T by him and his friends. This was an exciting sci-fi Adventure Movie with a remarkable portrayal of childhood by Steven Spielberg [director]. In an age when the whole World seems like a big mystery, this homesick Alien connected magically with all of us.

Famous quote:

“E.T go home..”

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Story of a high-school teen Marty [Michael J Fox] who endures the acrimonious relationship between his Parents. His eccentric Scientist friend Doc [Christopher Llyod] builds a time-machine and accidentally sends him back to be with them in their Teens. This movie seemed familiar to all of us going through the same tussle at home. The concept of sharing school/college with your own folks seemed exciting & this movie became an all-time favourite to watch sitting at our dining tables.

Famous quote:

“Where we’re going we don’t need roads.”

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12.RAIN MAN: [1988]

Charlie [Tom Cruise] learns that his estranged father is dead and he returns home to his autistic elder Brother Raymond [Dustin Hoffman]. Motivated to get his father’s money, he sets on a road trip with him. We saw a mean/selfish/self-centred version of the global “heartthrob” [Cruise] on-screen along with a brilliant piece of acting by Hoffman. Raymond’s innocence & honesty evoked multiple emotions & this funny yet memorable journey of two brothers was touching.

Famous quote:

Raymond: “Of-course you can’t have pancakes without maple syrup.”

Charlie: “Bet your butt?”

Raymond: “Bet your butt.”

when-harry-met-sally-movie-poster-1989-1020470291  When Harry Met Sally


A journey of college graduates Harry [Billy Crystal] & Sally [Meg Ryan] where they argue whether a man & a woman can ever be truly/strictly platonic Friends or not. It was a funny Love story with a flawless blend of love & laughter. The dilemma carried for 11 years and we happened to see them together, finally. Many were infatuated by the “Dreamy Eyed” Ryan & Crystal struck a chord with all, thanks to his perfect Comic timing.

Famous quote:

Sally: “Women are very practical. Even Ingrid Bergman, which is why she gets on the plane at the end of the movie.”

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14.DIE HARD: [1988]

It’s Christmas in L.A when Policeman John McLane visits his estranged wife. He joins her at a party in a high-rise building Office which is taken over by Terrorists. A true 100% “Action” bonanza, where McLane wins the battle single-handedly, bare-feet, & without his shirt. A typical “Good cop shoots all the bad guys” movie. Its sequels enthralled us equally.

Famous quote:

John McLane: {McLane watches fire trucks approach the building} “C’mon baby, come ta’ papa, I’ll kiss ya’ fuckin’ Dalmatian a&$@.”

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15.BATMAN: [1989]

Gotham city’s saviour Batman/Bruce Wayne [Michael Keaton] must protect the dark city, his Identity & his love Vicki [Kim Basinger] from Joker [Jack Nicholsan]. We all grew up reading Batman comics and to see it come alive visually on-screen was a unique Experience.

Famous quote:

Joker: “I’ve been dead once already. It’s very liberating. You should think of it as, uh…therapy.”


“Shaandaar” 2015 – The most awaited Wedding Extravaganza.


“Shaandaar” starring Alia Bhatt & Shahid Kapoor is slated for a Dusshera release this October. It is supposedly Bollywood’s maiden “Destination Wedding” Film. Shahid & Alia are the Crowning “TEEN” icons today who represent the modern contemporary youth of India. Both have tasted critical as well as popular success last year in the form of “Highway” & “Haider” respectively. They bagged the prestigious Filmfare award in the leading category and seem geared up for this “full on” entertainment Baggage; a slight deviation from the Intensity they presented us with last year. Alia pairs with her childhood crush Shahid for the first time and the Posters released so far present an electrified Chemistry between the Two. This “Hot off the press” pair has elevated the expectations of Bollywood aficionados. They have built the rapport with the future audience already [with their regular “insomniac” tweets] and are active in the promotion of this fanciful Bonanza based on the all-time favorite “sweltering” theme – “Shaandar Shaadi”. [They interestingly play Insomniacs in the movie.]


Alia Bhatt is a Sweetheart. Her chirpy, jaunty, adorable, slightly “legally blondish” personality [on screen of-course] has won the hearts of movie lovers with a mere offering of 4 releases. In “Student of The Year” [2012], she arrived as the replica of Kareena Kapoor’s Avatar in K3G. She amazed & stunned the critics/movie moguls with her astonishing performance in “Highway” & gathered acclaim for her portrayal of a girl who develops a Stockholm syndrome. Bagging the Filmfare award in the prestigious “Critics” category as “The best actor [female] in a leading role”- so early, is a rare achievement. One can say that she effortlessly immersed herself in the character of “Veera”. Her extremely “Raw” performance left every member of the audience emotionally invested in the role she played. “2 States” presented a complete transformation of Alia where she acted with finesse & it became easy to accept her as “Ananya”. Her transformation from a high school/college teenybopper to a mature IIM graduate was smooth & praiseworthy. She appeared convincingly “Headstrong” in the movie and contributed majorly in its success. Right from the beginning of her career she has been synonymous with the word “Dumb” with numerous jokes floating on social media affixed with her name. She has taken them in her stride and has never once retaliated. This young actress has the mettle of being a powerful Actor and I can easily put my money on her calibre. She is extremely photogenic and strikes a chord with young girls, thanks to her babyish/innocent charms. It helped her re-incarnate “Simran” of DDLJ in “Humpty Sharma ki Dulhaniya” where she surprised us with her Romantic “Carol” as a bonus. She has acting in her genes and has a bright career in the offing. Alia Bhatt is the main reason behind my excitement while awaiting the release of Shaandaar.

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Shahid broke the tab of being the “Most desirable bachelor” by finally getting “Hitched” this July; but his cuteness Quotient is consistent. It doesn’t prevent young girls from going bonkers over his charisma even today. He made his debut in 2003 with “Ishq Vishq” and after a series of unsuccessful/mediocre films; a jackpot named “Haider” and 12 years of a prosperous Journey in Bollywood- Shahid Kapoor is constantly ranked amongst the “50 Sexiest Asian Men” in the world since 2012. His mass appeal lies in his enamoring personality & his million dollar Smile. He is extremely popular amongst the children & is an idol figure for all those kids who want to pursue dancing- thanks to his seasoned expertise in the field of dance. He has delivered his own best in “Jab We Met” where he didn’t let Kareena’s boisterous Role overshadow him while he portrayed a young, troubled business-man with accuracy. He was outstanding in “Kaminey” in his double role [one with a lisp- the other with a stutter] before he shunned the critics & swept the audience with “Haider”. It was one of the finest performances delivered on screen in recent times and it would be unfair to deprive him of the appraisal. “Hamlet” happens to be Shakespeare’s Most “Complexed” character and Shahid Kapoor displayed the madness/intensity with perfection. He is labelled as “friendly, chirpy, affable, frat-boy type” whose boy next door persona is his own trademark & has kept him in this list forever now. After a regular appearance in “Jhalak Dikhlaja Re-loaded” this season, his prolonged “Bearded” look & “Gleaming with Happiness” face has won my heart once again.


Alia Bhatt & Shahid Kapoor………… can it get any better than this? They are Young, They are Mad, They are INSOMNIACS & They are ready to fall in Love.

We have seen and immortalized the “Barjatya” style “Wedding Extravaganza” with our repeated viewership; it’s time to re-visit the madness called “A Big fat Punjabi Wedding” in the name of “Shaandar”. Kudos to the most “Priced” theme of Bollywood. Hoping that the Father-Son duo [Pankaj & Shahid] are able to engage us in this promising Forthcoming offering by none other than “The Master of Showbiz” – “Karan Johar”.

Phantom [2015]: Positive & Negative Review.


1.Emotional Barometer is high :

The movie is like a mission, minus the glamour & glitter of a typical Hindi Film. Daniyal Khan [Saif Ali Khan] is an Army officer who has lost his honor due to a mishap at the borders & is living in anonymity. A Youngster [Zeeshan Ayub], along with his 2 colleagues at The Indian Intelligence Agency [RAW], sketches a plan of revenge against the perpetrators of The Terrorist Attacks [26/11] on Mumbai. Daniyal is recruited by the Director of RAW and is sent on a secret mission [known only to the 4] to kill the masterminds of the terror attack. Nawaz Mistry [Katrina Kaif] assists him in the execution of this rancorous operation.

The audiences tend to deviate from their own intelligence while Phantom assassinates our biggest enemies today.It’s the “chutzpah” of a true Indian which takes over as we ignore the technicalities and are rejoiced after witnessing Richard Hadlee, Sajid Mir & Haris Saeed [no need to guess the original counterpart] being eliminated.

It’s like watching every Indian’s biggest dream come alive on screen after the nation was shaken up in 2008. We get to see what we wish should have happened after that horrible day. Though this movie doesn’t satisfy the need to avenge the death of 166 Indians & reminds us how helpless the nation felt that day- yet it brings all sections of audience to one common point – to rise and clap when the mission is accomplished. In-spite of a sleazy screenplay, the movie has a balanced flow of storytelling where no scene seems out of continuity. There is no politics involved in the plot; there are no exaggerated jingles on nationality either. This movie merely depicts the plight of each and every soldier & citizen of India who wishes to be “The Phantom” for our mother land.


2.Realistic Accomplishment is Nill:

The movie is like salt on an old wound. It constantly reminds us of our helplessness & how we were mocked by our biggest enemy on/after 26/11. It disappoints us even further when Daniyal sinks in the depth of the ocean rather than returning back to his motherland Victorious and with Honor. It seems as if we are revisiting the day and shedding extra tears 7 years later. It doesn’t console and re-opens our wounds. The book by Hussain ZaidiMumbai Avengers” is perhaps a good piece to read but as a visual representation, Phantom has failed to match up with the Spirit of “Baby” or even “Agent Vinod”. Katrina & Saif’s characters are questionable as well. It seems easy for them to be on a killing spree, battling spray of bullets in Syria & Pakistan as if they were trained by none other than the MI6. Zeeshan’s “Jingoism” in the end on failed heroism seems useless.

By the end of the movie, we are left with a clutter of emotions within. Phantom or Bajrangi?


Jazbaa [2015]: Will it prove Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s Own?


After a sabbatical of nearly 4 years from the Silver Screen, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is all set for a comeback with Jazbaa. Last seen in Guzaarish[2010], which was a debacle at the Box-Office, she is essaying the role of a Lawyer. The movie is a Suspense-Thriller inspired from a Korean Film SEVEN DAYS. A prominent Lawyer’s daughter is kept hostage & she is asked to fight for the release of a Murderer. Sanjay Gupta, who is known for his Controversial/Popular/Dark Crime Features, is the Director. The Trailer hit the YouTube this week and the movie looks Promising indeed. After Khaaki & Dhoom 2, Aishwarya is attempting the Action/Thriller Genre once more, which seems like a smart move to slaughter the Audience. It is needless to mention that her negative character was the turning point in the plot of Khaaki where she shared Screen with the 3 big Stalwarts of Action- Amitabh, Akshay & Ajay. The impact of her role was Outstanding. She never attempted a negative role after this apart from playing the Bewitching “Femme Fatale” in Pink Panther 2. Perhaps her Rich & Royal looks do not allow her easily to fit in a character having Shades of Grey. I am eager to see her as a “Vengeful” Mother- all set to declare “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.


Aishwarya Rai is a powerful Actress, capable of carrying a Movie on her lone shoulders. She has done justice to many Author- backed roles in the past. She is also, undoubtedly, One of “The most Beautiful Women on Earth”. Having shown her expertise as a seasoned Actress in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam & Devdas [for which she gained acclaim worldwide], presenting a female Protagonist in “Fine Leather” on screen should be a cake walk. She never falters in exhibiting the Director’s Dream vision. Paro & Nandini are immortalised by this Actress who can light the screen on fire- such is her command over the Audiences. She has presented these mighty Women with Perfection – thanks to her Amazing “Drop-dead” Gorgeous Looks and Personality. Though not critically acclaimed for her acting [she has seen debacles in the form of Aur Pyar Ho gaya, Dil ka Rishta, Dhai Akshar Prem Ke, Albela etc ] and often tagged as a mere Showpiece for some of the projects she undertook, it didn’t stop the country’s Biggest Directors from chasing her to work for them. She has been a part of noteworthy movies in South [Kandukondain Kandukondain, Iruvar, Enthiran] and her first Major Hit was Jeans [Tamil & Hindi].


She “sizzled” as a Thief in Dhoom 2; portrayed Rabindra Nath Tagore’s [manipulative Widow- struggling with her desires]“Binodini” with ease in Chokher Bali; played a depressed Woman in Raincoat & presented the Royal “Jodha”  gracefully with the “Radiance” of her natural Beauty- confirming her Versatility to Movie Lovers & Critics. Aishwarya is Luminous on screen in whatever characters she has accepted to adapt, matching it with equal talent in terms of her acting skills. She outshined her rivals with Taal, where her craft was further enhanced, declaring to the Trade Pundits that Nandini was no fluke. She seems to attack her roles with perfect “Dollops” of innocence. It’s been easy to accept her as SRK’s sister [Josh] as well as his Beloved in the movies they featured together. Her brief appearance in Mohabbatein left us requisitioning “The Yash-Raj” Banner for an extended role. Guru authenticated her calibre to play rural/traditional Indian Woman with  “ELAN”; in Raavan she showed us an agitated/violent version of a simple Housewife tormented by a barbaric Villain.The lady has left us in awe even at times when she has decided to shed the Glamour.

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Who hasn’t been mesmerized & Infatuated with those Magical Dreamy Eyes – when she left a lot unsaid on Screen & conveyed the emotions through them? Is there a single Woman/Girl who doesn’t burn in envy every year  when she walks the Red Carpet at Cannes? A Modern Indian Woman of Great Stature- Aishwarya is a Global Icon.


Aishwarya Rai is also a terrific Dancer. “Kajra re” song is a Hallmark of Good “Item no” performed with “Ada & Andaaz” of a typical Hindi Film Heroine and till date no one has been able to duplicate or copy it with the similar Poise & Perfection. Presenting sensuality with Elegance & Finesse has been her “Forte”. In the previous decade, not a single Popular/Item song could contest with the hysteria caused by her in Bunty aur Bubly. It remains a Classic till date

The fans across the globe are certainly biding their time for her to shed the inhibitions attached with a married Super-Star [Female]. History has testified that in Bollywood, an Actress seldom manages to coin a remarkable comeback after Marriage. I am Optimistic of her ability to substantiate this as a Myth and pray that Jazbaa arrives as the light at the end of tunnel for many of her contemporaries [Kareena] as well.

She was to play “Heroine” [a role essayed by Kareena Kapoor later] but the project fell apart because of her pregnancy. The Audience failed to accept any one else in the title role & the Movie failed to create an impact- so high were the expectations as cinema-goers had conceived only “Aishwarya” in mind as The Heroine.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan – the name itself spells Stardom. It’s a Guarantee that the long wait endured by her fans is unsurpassable today. We want to see this Diva recreate her Spell for many Fridays to come.


The original “Simran” of DDLJ – Divya Bharti.


At the age of 18, hailed next only to Sridevi & Madhuri, Divya Bharti was the best thing that had happened to Bollywood in the year 1992. Unmistakably a “Vivacious” Personality – who could have reigned as the Queen of Bollywood for years to come- Divya was a “rare” Natural Talent. She incidentally started her career in the Telugu cinema. Govinda’s brother Kirti Kumar was supposed to launch her as “Radha” in “Radha Ka sangam” but his Obsessive ways disheartened her and she left the project to head for the South. He replaced her with Juhi Chawla and portrayed her as “Unprofessional, Immature & Rebellious”. The biggest Directors of Bollywood screen-tested her but hesitated to give such a big responsibility to a mere 14-15 year old, who had the potential indeed. Her age worked against her but she hit the Telugu Industry with a Vengeance. “Bobilli Raja”[1991] became a rage in Andhra Pradesh. She gained the title of The Little “Sridevi” of South.


Rajiv Rai finally plunged into her popularity and casted her for “Vishwaatma” opposite much aged/senior Sunny Deol. Very few know that without a single release to her credit, she was signed for as many as 14 Movies. Though her initial movies failed to stir the screens, she was already a Star which surprised her contemporaries. Madhu [Phool Aur Kaante] & Chaandni  [Sanam Bewafa] with their Super-hit Debuts could not achieve what Divya scored after her Initial “mediocre” Films. Her screen-presence was considered Magical in those days.


Divya Bharti hit the Screens with a “Thunder” soon – with “Shola aur Shabnam” & Shah Rukh Khan’s launch-pad “Deewana”. She was highly appreciated for her “Mature” performance as “Kaajal”. Shahrukh-Divya chemistry sizzled the market and was seen as the hottest “on-screen” Pair. She acted in 14 movies which were released between 1992-1993; an unbroken Record till date. Several projects were already in the making. Directors/Writers were penning down “Author-backed” roles for her.


“Love is Blind” they say with Cupid striking the naïve at an unknown time. Divya was all of 16 when she met Sajid Nadiadwala and they both instantly fell in Love. After achieving what many would give an arm or a leg to attain, she took the plunge to get married on 20 May 1992. She converted to Islam and took a new name Sanah. Much after the severe disapproval of her family, she kept it as a secret to avoid panic in the industry. But she seemed restless and her distress was visible. Incidents of arguments with her mother started circulating in the media. She was emerging as the new reckless “Rebel” who was not taking the responsibility attached with her name seriously.

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Her producers were wary for they had invested millions on her. The Senior Directors saw her as the next “No. 1” and were planning big Projects with her. She was almost 80 % through with her role in “Laadla” opposite Anil Kapoor[ a role which Sridevi completed, starting from scratch, after Divya’s death]. Aditya Chopra had conceived “Dilwaale Dulhania Le jaenge” with Divya as Simran[ a movie which re defined the term “Blockbuster” in Bollywood]. Kshatriya was released with the Biggest names of Cinema under a single roof. Divya stood out as a confident Performer amongst the ensemble of Talent. Her personal life seemed messed up as media revealed the turbulence in her life over choosing marriage against a flourishing Acting career.


She fell to death from the 5th floor apartment- right in front of her husband’s eyes, on 7th Apr 1993 leaving incomplete Projects behind. They were executed by Sridevi, Tabu, Raveena & Pooja Bhatt. Her death remains a mystery till date though it seemed like an accidental fall. Her “Legacy” in the world of Hindi Cinema cannot be denied as she broke the myth of age v/s talent once again; after the legendary Sridevi contributed to the same in South. Divya Bharti is a name to reckon with when it comes to the Evolution of Modern Day Female Actors in Hindi Film Industry. She died too soon but lives in a true cinemagoers heart & mind even today.

“One of the saddest things in Life is wasted Talent”- Robert deNiro [Bronx Tale]

My “Favorite” 15 Love-Songs[Hindi] in Recent Times.

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  1. Tum Hi Ho:[Aashiqui 2]

The Incontestable “Love Anthem” of this Decade is sung by Arijit Singh & composed by Mithoon. Its meaningful & appropriate lyrics are like a “carol” for every person smitten by Love since it was released in 2013. “Tera mera rishta hai kaissa, ik pall door gawara nahin…” are simply “Haunting” & Stirring Words. Its soulful rhythm has a Lover sharing his “ode” composed for his Beloved. In the age of Repetitive Beats/average Musical Scores this song is “Hummable” even today.


2.   Galliyaan [unplugged]:[Ek Villain]

An “Exemplary” Version after the Solo [sung by Ankit Tiwari] swept us away. This song lingers in the Heart for a long time simply because of Shradhha Kapoor’s innocent Voice. She has provided depth/soul to the Acoustic Version. The lyrics speak of a Lover’s yearning for the Roads that lead to his/her true Love. A perfect song for long Drives.

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3.   Samjhaawan[unplugged]:[Humpty Sharma ki Dulhaniya]

Beautifully sung by Alia Bhatt, this song has a Classical flavor which blows your mind instantly. It’s an “Impassioned” expression of a Besotted Lover. It brings a surprising twist to the Original sung by Rahat F. Ali Khan as well. Alia has provided a heart rendering “Softness” to this Version.


4.   Pareshaan:[Ishqzaade]

A brilliantly composed song, sung by Shalmali Kholgade in her Mellifluous Voice. It is a perfect Song for a teenage Girl expressing her dilemma over finally succumbing to Love. Its Indian beats have Harmonium interludes which sound Earthy. “Mein pareshan pareshan pareshan pareshan, aatishein who kahan……..ranjishein hain dhuan”. Shalmali’s voice is fresh & intoxicating; Praiseworthy for the numerous Awards she collected for the credits. A “nasheela” song picturized on Parineeti Chopra.


5.   Kamli:[Dhoom 3]

Sung by Sunidhi Chauhan in her unbeatable, “Passionate” Voice & picturized on Katrina Kaif; this one’s a Modern day version of Heer singing for Raanjha. The pulsating Beats & the “Breath-taking” Dance steps by the sleek/fit Katrina add Glamour to this wonderful Composition. “Jhaalar mein sitaron ka, chann warga tu yaaram….” – the Lyrics are dipped in the sweetness of Love.

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6.   Tu hai ke nahi:[Roy]

Ankit Tiwari sings in his signature “Melancholic” style. The Whistle is “mind-blowing” and has a terrific Recall Value. This smooth Song carries a mood of Nostalgia- with Ranbir Kapoor riding his Harley Davidson in the beautiful locales of Lang Kawi. Another “Long Drive” favored Song.


7.   Meherbaan:[Bang Bang]

A refreshing Song crooned by Ash King & Shilpa Rao. Picturized in the heavenly locales of Greece on the “Greek God & Goddess” of Bollywood [Hrithik & Katrina]-this song is a Guitar driven Composition.


8.   Titli:[Chennai Express]

The sheer “Cheerfulness” of this song “Blows” you apart. The “Earthy” beats & Temple Chants bring in the Rural feel. It easily transports us to the Green Havens of Love. With “Traditional” Carnatic beats- it is sung by Chinmayi Sriprada & Gopi Sundar.

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9.   Sun saathiya:[ABCD 2]

Originally composed for ABCD 1, this song shows Shradha Kapoor dancing enthusiastically. This is a favorite Song for kids & “wanna-be” Dancers; depicting silent Love on the Dance Floor. It transfers the “bubbly” Blues & cheerful Aspirations of Teenagers to its Listeners.

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10.   Ang Laga De :[Goliyon ki Raasleela: Raamleela]

A song about “Intimacy & Togetherness”– about “Wait & Pain”– about longing for a Union with the Beloved. The feelings are “Authentically” portrayed by Deepika Padukone with her Magical/Teary eyes.

A True-Classical Love song which gives you Goosebumps.


11.   Maahi Ve:[Highway]

Sung by the “Mozart” of MadrasAR. Rahman– this song is “Marvelous”. A song without Lip-sync; it touches the heart and we allow it to sing instead.


12.   Tere Hokke Raheinge:[Raja Natwarlal]

A typical “Emran Hashmi” song- it is “Exuberant” as you can’t help but singing it aloud. Arijit Singh proves his Versatility as a Singer by keeping the spirit of the song “Lively”.


13.   Jeena Jeena:[Badlapur]

Sung by Atif Aslam in his Trade-Mark  voice- it shows the pain of a man who has lost his wife. A Touching & “Serene” Song characterized with “Mesmerizing” Guitar Chords- Atif’s “Humming” is Infectious & Captivating.

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14.   Teri Meri:[Bodyguard]

Inspired by a “Romanian” folk Carol, this Love Song [with a Sufi touch] is sung by Shreya Ghoshal-Rahat F A Khan. Its high/low pitch Variations & slow motion “Picturization” remain a favorite for the heart-broken Lovers.


15.   Ishq waala Love:[Student of the Year]

A Youthful song for the Teenagers. It carries a Fresh mood & a feel of “maiden” Crush/Love. It is meant for naïve lovers as it has a Dreamy Quotient. “Hota hai jo love se zyada waisse waala love…” depict a typical “college campus” love situation.

The story behind Michael Jackson’s Top 10 Songs & Videos.


The undisputed “King of Pop” has contributed immensely to Music & Dance. A “Global Icon” for over 4 decades, Michael Jackson earned the title of “Style Icon” in the very beginning of his career [in 1971] as a solo artist and became a dominant figure in the World of Music by the early 80s. He had a smooth voice with a remarkable range; he provided vocal hiccups and gulped his breath to promote a certain emotion- [his own trademark]. The music videos of his songs brought a revolution which elevated TV video channels, like MTV, to new heights. His innovative & original dance style [robotics, moon-walking, break-dance] has inspired many Dance forms. A recipient of multiple Grammy awards & Guinness Records, he is the “Most awarded recording artist in the history of Pop”. Despite a controversial personal life, he retains the title of “Solo God” of Modern Popular Music. Thriller is till date “The Best Selling Album of All Times”.

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  1. Billie Jean: [Jan 1983]

Billie Jean was an instant Chart-buster and ranks among “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Times”. It is given the Credit for breaking MTVs “Racial Barriers” as it was repeatedly aired after it was released. With its distinctive vocals [Hiccups] and “The Moonwalk” [which MJ executed during its performance] & promotion through Pepsi Commercials, it launched Michael Jackson in the “Hall Of Fame”. MJ wrote this song with his female fans in mind. Contrary to the rumours, “There never was a real Billie jean. The girl in the song is a composite of people my brothers have been plagued with over the years.”– Michael quoted. With the tagline “She says I’m the one, but the kid is not my son” it was believed to be Autobiographical. A perfect blend of Pop & Dance, its beats have inspired & have been copied by many composers all over the globe.

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2. Beat It: [Feb 1983]

It was a Platinum hit within a few days of its launch. It gained the second title of “The Top 500 Songs of All Times” for a single from Thriller & is “One of the most Successful, Celebrated song in the History of Pop”. MJ wanted to record a song which he wanted children of all ages to enjoy. The song was promoted with a short film where he brought members of rival gangs together with the power of Music & Dance. Its lyrics are basically about real Courage & Defeat. “Don’t be a macho man” was the line he highlighted to express his dislike for violence. The music video launched him as a dance icon as well. He brought around 80 genuine gang members, professional & break-dancers. The video begins with the singer noticing a Gang War as he dances towards them; he breaks the fight and all participate in a dance routine.

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3.Thriller: [Nov 1983]

With multiple sound effects like creaking door, thunder, howling dogs- it has a scary theme & frightening lyrics. Its video is the “Most Successful Video of All Times”. Adapted from “American Werewolf in London”, it’s a 14 min video where MJ leads other dancers dressed as Zombies & Monsters. A bit violent [visually], with groovy, funky beats & “Disco Funk” choreography, this song looks straight out of a child – fantasy Horror Book. The video ends with Mj looking into the camera with his Yellow- Werewolf eyes & Haunting Laugh. It was criticized for being terrorizing but is frequently watched by music lovers of all ages even today.

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4.Remember the Time: [Jan 1992]

It’s a single from the Album “Dangerous” by Mj. The lyrics are about remembering the time you are in love with somebody. The video was marketed as a short film set in Ancient Egypt. It’s an Extravaganza with path breaking Visual Effects. It features Eddie Murphy, Magic Johnson & Iman. It was rumoured to be about his relationship with Debbie Rose but he cleared them by saying that he dedicated it to Singer Dianna Ross. “Do you remember when we fell in love, we were young & innocent then” are its beginning lines which recall a youthful Love Affair. It topped the Billboard charts all over the world.

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5.Who is It: [Aug 1992]

It was severely compared with Billie Jean. Its lyrics refer to the pain over being left by someone you deeply love & betrayal. The singer wants to know over whom she cheated him. The video has MJ singing to himself in a Hotel room with a silver card, with “Alex” written on it. To him it implies that it’s the name of another guy for whom his lover has left him but it is further revealed that it’s one of the many names she keeps for her job as a call-girl. He leaves in despair and she returns to an empty room with a briefcase full of silver name cards. This video is ranked among “Top 10 Sad Love-songs” of all Times.

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6.Smooth Criminal: [Oct 1988]

A song about a woman named Annie– who has been attacked by a Smooth Assailant violently. “Annie are you Ok?” phrase used in this song is in fact the name of a Mannequin, commonly used in CPR training. He asks the same to an unconscious woman. He recorded the video in a typical Gangster Style of the 30s with Mobsters & Machine Guns. He attempted a seemingly impossible “Forward lean” in this song which became his favourite act for his stage performances. In 2009, “Shakira” paid tribute to him by attempting the same for her song “She Wolf”.


7.Black or White: [Nov 1991]

In UK, it was the First song sung by an American singer to go into the singles chart at no. 1 position, after Elvis Presley. The video starts with Macaulay Culkin in a room, rebelling against his parents. It immediately shifts to an African Hunter dancing with MJ following her moves; Native Americans, Thai, Russians, a woman from India following later. He declares “I ain’t scared of no sheets, I ain’t scared of nobody”. The video shows him dancing atop Lady Liberty’s torch with famous world edifices like Taj Mahal, The Giza Sphinx, Pyramids, Golden Gate Bridge, Eiffel Tower. It ends with different people of different nationalities/races morphing into each other. It is a unique masterpiece which has been viewed maximum no. of times by people worldwide.

Very few know that the last 4 minutes of the video were censored, where he transforms into himself after walking out of a studio as a Black Panther. It contained sexually suggestive moves which he said were an interpretation of animal behaviour in men. It is the most controversial video of all times; Seen only at selected times in US and a few countries.

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8.Bad: [Sep 87]

This song was an instant hit “Globally”. The video featured a group of Dancers performing dance routines at a subway station [it featured Wesley Snipes in his early days]. This song was inspired by the cool dance, street scenes of West Side Story. It’s the story of a child & his old neighbourhood. MJ revealed that he based it on a true story; a guy who went to a private school & planned to leave his friends behind to pursue his dreams but is killed by them in jealousy. The video was directed by Martin Scorsese with a street gang dancing in Urban settings. MJ plays the teenager who has completed schooling term at an expensive school.

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9.The Way You Make Me Feel: [Nov 1987]

In this song he is seen pursuing and dancing for a woman. He wanted to perform a song where he could be seen flirting [in addition to his image as a lover]. A Rhythm & Blues song, it begins with “Hey pretty baby with the high heels on”. We see MJ being told by an old man to be himself. He encounters a woman walking down the lane ignoring him. He tries to woo her attention by singing to her. He wore a blue shirt, black pants, white t-shirt & a white belt; its signature outfit.

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10.They don’t care About Us; [Mar 1996]

A controversial composition- it was censored for its anti- Semitic lyrics. He gave multiple apologies and altered the lyrics of the song. Its filming was marred with controversy as well. Shot in Brazil, the song begins with a child singing “Enough is enough of this garbage” & the chorus begins “All I wanna say is that they don’t really care about us”. With haunting clapping, police in the background- it had the state of Rio de Janeiro fearing that the portrayal of poverty might affect tourism and chances of hosting Olympics. The ban was overturned later & the people of Brazil surrounded him in enthusiasm for the making of the video [Though he was heavily guarded by the local guards]. He took permission from the local drug lords to film in their shanty town as well. The song has heavy Samba beats and also exposed the cultural group “Olodum”. For the first time he recorded a second video for the same song- filmed in a prison with cellmates; he is seen handcuffed.

Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation 2015 [Review]

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Ethan & his team are back to eradicate “The Syndicate” which is in turn on a mission to destroy “The IMF”.

The weakest story of the series so far- it doesn’t leave an impression on you as a deserving 5th instalment of the Mission Impossible series. The movie begins with the most awaited stunt of this year; Tom Cruise [Ethan Hunt] hanging from a plane in air but the thrill ends the moment it begins to arrest your attention. There are no bad guys showing off their skills even though they seem well equipped for their mission. Rebecca Ferguson is the saving grace as Ilsa, a femme fatale with a dubious motive, but her true identity is not clear till the end. We get a Car & Bike chase where the action is pulsating indeed but it fails to leave an everlasting impression as the one in Mission Impossible 2 did. Not a single moment witnessed like the previous instalments where we had Ethan hanging with a drop of sweat; the “Burj Khalifa” iconic action sequence or the “Kremlin” operation.


The underwater action sequence is gripping indeed though we wish there was more to it as once again Ilsa saves Ethan after his 3 minutes expire.

Tom cruise looks worn out. He is not funny this time and looks less charming [for the 10 minutes he dons a tuxedo]. Simon Pegg [Benji] & Jeremy Renner [William] are not supporting the way they participated as a team in “Ghost Protocoal”. Alec Baldwin as the CIA Director is impressive but fails to describe the modus-operandi of “The Syndicate” clearly to the viewers. The masks, the glasses, the key code breakers [typical Benji equipments] all seem like fillers. Rebecca Ferguson is impressive in her stunts and delivers the bike chase, the under-water action & the Opera shooting like a Bond Girl wouldn’t.

After 19 years, this one is a massive disappointment for both Tom Cruise & Ethan Hunt fans. The Cool “Theme Mission Impossible” score/tune which brings you on the edge every-time it plays in the background isn’t echoing in my mind this time.

When Parveen Babi featured on “Time”.


Parveen Babi, a glamorous actress of the 70s & 80s, who starred opposite all Major “top heroes”, was a former Model. She was a part of the Major blockbusters [Amar Akbar Anthony, Deewar, Namak Halaal, Shaan etc] and did 13 movies with Amitabh Bachchan. She laid her feet in the industry , breaking the stereotype “Virtuous or Vamp” image of a leading heroine in Hindi Cinema.  She came across as a Charming, Peppy, Sensual & Vivacious Personality with a Chiselled body on Screen. She was a “Fashion Icon” as well, who appeared as a Westernized, Bohemian- Sexy Indian woman, striking a chord with cinema lovers & drawing their attention. Her Anglicised accent & Westernized looks replaced those of a typical Saree clad Conventional Heroine. Her screen presence was over-powering and complemented the “Angry Young Man” image of the Lead Actors in that period. She would appear in the most popular film songs [the item songs were not yet discovered] which were poles apart from the usual “running around the trees” treatment given to them.


Parveen Babi is the first Indian film star to be featured on the “Time” magazine cover in 1976; representing the Modern Face of an Indian Woman. It was titled “Asia’s frenetic film scene”. She gave the word “Glamour” an identity in Hindi films. She was so popular and in demand that producers would line up outside her house to sign her. She was also the highest paid actress, owing to her Stature & Stardom.

She had alleged affairs with Danny Denzongpa, Mahesh Bhatt & Kabir Bedi. Mahesh Bhatt made a semi-autobiographical film about their relationship [Arth]. In an Interview with the Outlook magazine, he said “I owe everything that I am today to my brief association with this magnificent woman.” Kabir Bedi was set to leave the industry for Italy to participate in the famous TV show “Sandokan” and it is rumoured that he forced Parveen to accompany him. She disappeared from the industry in 1983 leaving behind a flourishing career for a spiritual journey and returned to India in 1989– almost unrecognisable. She started to work as an interior designer and became highly schizophrenic towards the end. Her outburst against the big names of the industry [Indian & foreign] and her allegations of conspiracies to kill her were frequent in the 1990s.


She was found dead on 22 Jan 2005. A tragic/lonely death after Diabetes, Gangrene & Starvation. A horrifying “coup de grace” delivered by Time to a Majestic journey.