Browsing "Bollywood"
May 25, 2014 - Bollywood, Politics    1 Comment

Narendra Modi, channeling his inner Jeetendra

Fear not Gujaratis, your state will now be famous for things other than Dandia in every Sanjay Leela Bhansali film and a comic relief character in Karan Johar’s. The state has produced a politician who will be swearing in as India’s newest Prime Minister on May 26th 2014.

Apart from the fact that the newly elected PM will get to rule sorry serve over one-seventh of the world population, India’s growing power makes that person very important on a global scale. A lot has been said about his role in communal riots, his economic policies, his tea boy past and rags to riches story and why Indians across the country decided to vote for him. Among other things, his sartorial choices have also been discussed. His multicolored kurtas invoked many comments, some even about his sexuality (the fact that he lives with his mother and has been separated from his wife after a brief marriage also contributes to it). It is not just his kurta, his tailor has also been covered by national and international press. People have seen him in kurtas of every color imaginable but for me, the look that must’ve sold some of Bollywood inspired voters is the one where he was channeling his inner Jeetendra.

Modster nodi kurtas big hit

Imagine Modi Sarkar strolling down the gardens of White House, like a boss, for a joint press conference with President Obama in his glorious white suit and pink shirt and those glasses that were probably worn by Shahrukh Khan in Don2. What a fine mix of iconic styles of Jeetu ji and Shahrukh Khan, now that would be one fine example of life imitating art.

NM white suit

Apr 22, 2014 - Bollywood, Books, rant, romance    No Comments

The Taliban Cricket Club – a book that ticks every Bollywood cliche known

Life in Kabul has become a sellable literary genre of its own. The success of hauntingly beautiful The Kite Runner opened the flood gates and there is no stopping since then. From fiction to nonfiction to memoirs, if the book mentions Kabul, women abuse and Taliban, chances are that it will get a publisher or two with some decent marketing budget. If a book as shoddily written as Kabul Beauty School can triumph at international best seller lists, then The Taliban Cricket Club should be considered a master piece but boy, is it a bad book or what!

I generally have no love lost for all things Afghanistan and Kabul, probably because I have lived too close to most things described in those books and also because I have been to Afghanistan and I always find the book version of Kabul very unreal and caricature like. I picked up The Taliban Cricket Club at the local library during the T20 World Cup when I was feeling homesick and missing cricket and live tweeting and cursing with my friends and fellow compatriots because that’s always so much fun (and heartache when your team lose). The book, however, turned out to be a major disappointment.

For starters, the introduction of Rukhsana as a spirited young journalist ticked just about every cliché that ever existed about spirited young female journalist. For a person who has been that spirited young female journalist, I found it to be majorly yawn inducing. When we are young and spirited, we do not think everything through like Rukhsana, we do things because we believe in ourselves and the power of written word and the naivety that it can bring about the desired change, but I digress.

The plot is simple. Taliban are ruling Afghanistan and things are awful. One day, they call all journalists, including our brave protagonist Rukhsana, to announce that they are keen on developing an Afghan cricket team. There would be a local tournament with local teams and the best of the best would make up for a national team which will first travel to Pakistan to get trained and would then tour the rest of the world. According to the book, no one in Kabul knew how to play cricket except for Rukhsana, which is the biggest bull shit ever because Pathans from both sides of the border have been mingling each other for long to not know about cricket.

How does our heroine know so much about cricket if she grew up in Afghanistan and living under Taliban? Well, for starters, her childhood friend and betrothed had friends in Lahore who taught him how to play cricket and he in turn taught Rukhsana and then played with her in their compound. Secondly, she went to college in India and played for her college team in Delhi which apparently made her an expert on the game. Rukhsana comes up with the plan to teach her teenage brother and her cousins to play cricket so that they can escape Afghanistan and brutal Taliban regime.

Apart from the rather weak story line, there are things that irritated me to no end about the book. One was this four page long tirade about how cricket is a genteel game that epitomizes fair play and equality. I wonder if the writer is not familiar with competitive sport that is cricket these days. What he wrote about is an afternoon friendly match in a rural England after Sunday lunch where everyone is bit mellow after food and a pint or two of beer. It is not the game where Hansie Cronje lost his life, Mohammed Azharuddin lost his reputation and young Mohammed Amir lost his career but I digress again.

The other thing that got my beef (no pun intended) was Rukhsana’s mother asking her to get vegetables for ‘quorma’. As a person who has cooked ‘quorma’ innumerable times, the only vegetable used in that dish is onion and that too to make gravy. The writer should’ve checked quorma recipe if he really wanted to include that in his book, it would have been better if he had not named the dish or just called it a stew. I know it has absolutely nothing to do with the plot but I do get irritated with lazy writing like that.  Is it too much to run a google search when you are writing a book?

If there is a protagonist in the story, there has got to be an antagonist. Zorak Wahidi was that villain – at times so cartoonish that I ended up picturing Teja and Crime Master GoGo instead of this fearsome bearded Taliban minister. When summoned, Rukhsana went to see this minister of vice and virtue with her teenage brother and her cousins. The whole scene where he killed a couple for adultery in front of them and how some other Talib dudes ogled at her brother had me rolling my eyes instead of feeling the terror and muster sympathy for them. As if random killing was not enough, the villain had to seek our heroine’s hand in marriage because that’s what evil villains do, seek hand of fair maidens in marriage when they get a break from killing random people.

Like a true heroine, Rukhsana is not without her share of better suitors. There is Shaheen, her well mannered, well educated, banker childhood betrothed living in USA. He is perfect on paper and Rukhsana kind of knew that she would end up with him but she declined a formal engagement not one but four times because her heart belonged to someone else – an Indian dude – a documentary film maker named Veer. I mean seriously? Have we not all seen Veer Zara already?

The chapters about her learning cricket and them dating in India were meh! Their first kiss was bleh! There was a page long text about Rukhsana’s awakened sexuality and maturity with that one single kiss in the back seat of a cinema in Delhi at the ripe old age of 17 and it was so corny that I wanted to scream like a banshee. I mean Hello! That Veer guy missed an opportunity to bottle and sell the essence of his kiss and becoming the next Ambani.

Among other things, the book tells us that Pakistanis are generally bad people. I know that there is not a lot of love lost between Afghans and Pakistanis but the way it was written, it was clear that it was not written with an Afghan perspective but an obviously Indian one. A good writer needs to find a voice for his or her characters, not force his own voice onto them. Mr Murari – the writer – obviously failed to do that.

In the end, it was the Indian love interest Veer – the man with magical kisses – who came to Kabul to save the day and win Rukhsana’s  team the cricket tournament which enabled them to get to Pakistan and then run away to other parts of the world. As he was an NRI, he had a wad of Benjamins to help the poor Afghan cousins of the heroine to get them to their desired parts of the world. The fact that the captain of the opposing cricket team was named Waseem (the bad guy of course) and had played for a club in Rawalpindi was not lost on the readers.

The writer Timeri N. Murari is apparently a big writer in India but this book was absolute shit. I can totally picture how he came about the plot. It must have been one long weekend when he watched both Lagaan and Veer Zara on TV and then some news about Talibaan and had some bad idli and sambar and thought, I too can write a saga comprising of various countries and escape from Afghanistan and become next Khaled Hoseini. I mean it has cricket, inter faith cross border romance, Taliban and a feisty heroine, what else would the public want? Errr how about some originality, research and some heart. Honestly, it was one of those stories where you end up rooting for the villain which in this case was the Taliban minister for vice and virtue. Yes, this book made me root for a Talib and that is quite a feat.

I would give this book half a star for the effort it must have taken the writer to sit down and write all 336 pages. The story is clichéd and predictable with boring uni dimensional characters ad really bad narrative. You want to slap the hell outta the protagonist by the end of it.

Queen – ruling hearts

Queen-Hindi-Movie-Hd-Wallpapers

More often than not, Bollywood fare comes with masala entertainment, paisa vasool hilarity and a ‘leave-your-brains-at-home’ kind of fun. I decided to give a slew of such recent releases a miss, but ended up checking out Queen on the insistence of a friend. And am I glad I did.

Queen’s storyline may not seem much on the surface: it is essentially a coming of age story where the protagonist overcomes adversity by the end of the film, but what makes it unique is its refusal to tie up all loose ends neatly. It takes the bold step of leaving viewers with a sense of freedom seldom associated with Bollywood.

Queen is the story of Rani, superbly played by Kangna Ranaut, a young girl who is looking forward to her big Punjabi wedding in Delhi to her engineer fiancé. Her monologue voiceover, a peek into Rani’s head before her big day, retrospectively turns into a commentary on marriage in desi culture, where the wedding itself becomes the be-all and end-all of the process. The innuendo-laden pre-shadi hilarity along with Queen’s breakout hit song ‘London Thumukda’ nudge and wink at the impossibly glamorous idea of the ‘honeymoon’ with all its attendant promise of exposure to a world of sexual intimacy and travel. But before Rani can taste any of these hitherto forbidden fruits she is jilted by her fiancé two days before the wedding day. In her first flush of deep despair she decides to leave for her ‘honeymoon’ on her own. Thus begins, not just Rani’s journey of self-discovery, but a new-age alternative to the honeymoon, the single woman traveller who can taste both physical pleasures (within bounds acceptable to an Indian audience, of course) and the pulse of the outside world all on her own.

In Paris, she learns how to pronounce ‘Champs Elysses’ correctly but much more importantly manages to outlast a bag thief by tapping into deeper reserves of courage the pre-jilted Rani would never have dreamed possible. Outside of her comfort zone she makes friends with people who are superficially different but so alike when you peel the upper layers. Lisa Haydon, who plays Vijay Laxmi, a free spirited Parisian woman Rani befriends in France, is a lot of fun to watch. Not only she is beautiful and glamorous, she walks off with her head held high in a supporting role.

After a few days in Paris, Rani catches a train to Amsterdam and bids adieu to her friend. What Paris did not teach her, Amsterdam does. She ends up in a youth hostel with a bunch of racially diverse men as her roommates and after a hiccup or two she became really good friends with them.

As a South Asian woman, I hardly ever come across fictional characters I can relate to. The Western characters belong too obviously to a different cultural framework while the characters produced by our entertainment industries seem stuck in time. Rani is unique in the sense that I could relate to so many of her fears, heck I have even lived some of them. Even though the first time I stayed in a youth hostel, I shared my room with girls, but it was no less traumatic for me because of my sheltered upbringing and a very private life. I could relate to her hesitation in trying new food or going to places that she had never been before. Even when you leave your restrictive environment behind, you take your cultural baggage with you even when you are in a city like Amsterdam.

As a long time consumer of Pakistani television dramas and Bollywood, my biggest grouse against both is that most female characters either annoy me to hell and back or make me feel sympathy for them. Queen did neither.

The end cements the rest of the movie’s good sense by refusing to indulge in chest beating histrionics or loud declarations of independence from patriarchy. It just leaves the audience with a subtle awareness that Rani’s life is her own as viewers partake in the joy she experiences when she realizes that she is truly free at that moment.

There is no masala here, no copying of formulaic romantic comedies (Had it been one, she would have found a Raj, Rahul or Prem by the end). It is honest storytelling around a major life changing incident in a girl’s life and how just one decision – of not wallowing in self pity and going ahead with the plan – turns her into a much braver person.

Kangna Ranaut delievers a top notch performance. Her Rani is endearing. She changes, but the change is subtle and intangible. She does not turn into a drastically different person but a more open and courageous version of herself who is ready to embrace life at her own terms. Her changes are not validated by her finding romance with a new man or even the old one.

The film could’ve done with some serious editing in the first half and the characters of Taka, the vertically challenged Japanese roommate and Rukhsar/Roxette, the Muslim stripper with a heart of gold, were clichéd and reminiscent of less subtle cinema of the 1980s, but I could not find fault with much else.

I am a sucker for coming of age films that reaffirm my faith in life, people and humanity in general, so I had the biggest grin on my face when I came out of the cinema. Five stars for honest storytelling with a lot of heart and some stellar performances.

Originally published in The Friday Times

Sep 6, 2013 - Bollywood, Politics    5 Comments

Satyagrah tries everyone’s patience

 

This is not a film review, this is basically a rant. If you want to read a review of this film, try New York Times. Yes, Bollywood now gets reviewed by New York Times.

I should start this non review with the declaration that I only watched Satyagrah for Arjun Rampal.

I don’t watch a lot of Hindi cinema, heck, I don’t even watch all Arjun Rampal films but I wanted to watch this one. There is no doubt that Arjun Rampal is the best desi eye candy out there, but a kurta clad bhaiyya accented Arjun Rampal  (a la Raajneeti) is positively lethal and the best thing since the advent of soft round chapattis. Sadly, he was barely seen in the film, I mean the director had the temerity to plaster his pretty face on the poster but he only had three and a half dialogues and four close up shots and fans like me were left wondering how can anyone who is not visually impaired give more screen time to Ajay Devgan or Amitabh Bachchan or his behen ji type daughter-in-law when they had the oh so glorious Arjun Rampal at their disposal.

Ajay-Devgn-And-Arjun-Rampal-in-Satyagraha-Movie-Poster-Image-Photo

satyagraha

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Arjun Rampal in all his orange kurta glory

Ajay Devgan looked too old and too fat and far too plebeian to pull off the ameer naujawan role, the most tragic part of the film was that he actually used the phrase “Hum naujawan” (Us youth). I mean who uses the world naujawan after leaving university anyways? What added insult to the abuse of the term youth was a dialogue in the penultimate scene, where a 45 year old Ajay Devgan asked a 41 year old muhalla leader Arjun Rampal to form a political party of youth which will bring about the desired change. The Indian youth should totally sue the writer/director for that transgression, especially in case of Ajay Devgan who is sporting a paunch in this film and looks closer to pension eligibility. Thank God Arjun Rampal kept quiet and did not utter a single naujawani related dialogue because that would have surely dampened my decade long infatuation.

The Ajay Devgan romance with Kareena Kapoor’s journalist character was also forced. Perhaps the writer/director wanted to present yet another interfaith romance – Ajay Devgan was a Manav and the journalist lady was a certain Ms Ahmed – which resulted in a series of yawns. They first met in a party, then had chai at a dhaba during a dharna (extremely romantic setting), next thing you know, Ajay Devgan is calling her to some tiny town in UP/Bihar to cover some small time protest and she leaves a trip to Japan with the prime minister to go and cover that. As a former TV journalist, I know it for a fact that NO ONE will ever pull off that stunt, and especially not for Ajay Devgan. Then he went missing and turned up two days later, she screamed at him for not informing her about his whereabouts and how worried she was, he silenced her with a kiss and before you can blink an eye, off they go to a bedroom in someone else’s house (it was Amitabh’s house where he lived with his behen ji vidvah bahu) and boom, they sleep together. As if that was not awkward enough, the copy I caught on Jadu Tv had Shahid Afridi’s name printed below an amorous Kareena Kapoor and Ajay Devgan. (Jadu TV is like Desi Netflix in North America, I have a feeling that most of the content on that is not really legal but I digress).

SA

Shahid Afridi is omnipresent and so is Ajay Devgan’s paunch

 

The saddest part of the film was that Ajay Devgan lived, despite receiving bullets in his body. For a minute I thought that they may go in that direction where they take risks and hero dies but it did not happen. Even though he got shot thrice in his torso, he miraculously sported a plastered left arm afterwards. I hate when film makers give such super human powers to any character played by Ajay Devgan. I think it is just plain cruel.

Despite his miniscule role, Arjun Rampal with Bhojpuri/bhaiyya accent, his orange Kurta, chador, jeans, joggers with brightly colored socks (yes, I notice everything about Arjun Rampal – how can you not) was the only thing to watch in an otherwise very mediocre film.

There was no story, no plot and no narration in the film, watch it if you are a masochist or an Ajay Devgan fan which is synonymous in my opinion.

For Arjun Rampal fans, I recommend that they should wait, a gentle soul will soon upload all his 3 ½ dialogues in a Youtube video which we can later watch, minus Ajay Devgan of course.

AR

Added this photo in the end because why not.

The F Word

Let’s just be very clear about one thing – ‘Feminist’ was never a very popular label to begin with. Since the first wave of feminism, feminists were labeled as men hating, religion shunning, morally ambiguous beings challenging the social order of the day. Though some things have changed since then – women suffrage is almost universal and most constitutions grant their female citizens basic civil rights – quite a few remains just as tough and the stigma attached to the label ‘feminist’ is just as clear and present as it was at the turn of 20th century.

While this abhorrence of the term feminist is quite commonplace, there is a new trend emerging of late. Female celebrities are getting up and denouncing feminism and declaring in the loudest possible voice that they are NOT feminists.

Why this regression in thought? Once upon a time we have had female celebrities who were headstrong and had no qualms about ruffling a few feathers and coming out as strong and independent women – be it Mae West or Dorothy Parker. Now everyone from Beyonce Knowles to Taylor Swift to Gwyneth Paltrow to Madhuri Dixit is at pains to declare it to the world that they are not feminists.

Just mention it to a female celebrity that she is considered a strong woman by her audience and perhaps she is a feminist and chances are that you will end up facing a deluge of words telling you that they are ‘oh so not a feminist’.

On one end you have someone like Lady Gaga who made absolutely no sense when she said, “I am not a feminist – I hail men, I love men. I celebrate American male and beer and bars and muscle cars,” because frankly a five year old – if he or she could articulate – would tell you that appreciation for beers or bars, loving men and demanding equality among genders are so not mutually exclusive. On the other hand you have Gwyneth Paltrow who distanced herself from feminism by stating that feminist activist Gloria Steinem wouldn’t approve of her lifestyle, having chosen to compromise her career for her family and relationship. Since when the approval of one woman – no matter how iconic a feminist she was – defines feminism and what it entails? Someone needs to tell Ms Paltrow that liberty of choosing a certain lifestyle is one of the basic tenets of feminism.

As late as earlier this year, Beyoncé in an interview stated, “That word [feminist] can be very extreme … I do believe in equality … But I’m happily married. I love my husband.” Somehow Ms. Knowles is under the impression that being happily married, having a family and loving your husband do not make one a feminist.

Demi Moore also joined the idiot bandwagon when she said that she finds the term feminism obsolete because the world does not need it any more. “I’m a great supporter of women, but I have never really thought of myself as a feminist,” she said. “I think clearly times have changed and women have made their mark in many different areas.”

Closer to home, Madhuri Dixit shunned the word feminist quite vociferously. “I don’t think I’m a feminist. I am independent and strong, which is what women should be like.”

As far as homegrown Pakistani celebrities are concerned, there has been no mention of the word feminist or feminism in any public discussion or media interaction – probably because our discourse is so religion heavy, it does not leave any room for non religious debate on anything, most certainly not on feminism.

It must be noted that despite eschewing the term feminism, these celebrities also try and tell the world that they are strong women who believe in equality and fair play because who would want to be called submissive, pliant and weak, right? Well newsflash for them because if they believe that women should be strong and independent and have the same rights at home, workplace and in the society then they too are feminists, they are just too much of a chicken to align themselves with the word and admit it publicly.

Why this rejection of the word feminism? Is it because of the all the misconceptions related to the word which basically says that all feminists are argumentative, dour faced, men hating lesbians (though in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with being either dour faced, argumentative or lesbian)? Is it because the celebs fear that by associating themselves with feminism, they will lose their popularity? Is it because we live in the social media dominated age where celebrities are constantly interacting with their fans and know what is expected of them and act and say the things accordingly? Or is it because these feminism shunning celebrities have given someone else the power to define what is acceptable (and feminism is not) and label themselves accordingly?

It is perhaps all the reasons cited above and more. Celebrities like Demi Moore and Lady Gaga rely on their popularity for their success and financial gains and are afraid to use the F word but it also drives home the point that there is no level playing field for women if they have to come out and say that they are not feminists, if anything it tells us that the world needs feminism and its feminist icons and role models.

Feminists do not hate men in general. Most of the women who label themselves as feminists like men just fine. In fact, they may state it more openly than their patriarchy endorsing sisters but that is not the point here. The point here is that they may like or dislike people for various reasons and they can be both men and women.

From Susan Sarandon to Beyonce, despite espousing the principals of feminism, they all shun the word – Beyonce suggested that something like bootylicious should replace feminism while Sarandon thinks humanist is a better word, but is that even the point? Had that been a natural progression of language where one word gives way to another, it would have been perfectly fine but this is not the case here. Female celebrities, who are role model to many, are actively shunning the word because of the negativity associated with it. It is not just a matter of semantics; there is a long history associated with the word and shunning it would mean not only denying that legacy but also dishonoring the struggles of women who made possible the freedoms we enjoy today through their efforts.

Feminism is not just a label, it was a movement – it still is a movement. It is not about the women who turn away from it for popularity but about fighting the fight against injustice for the people who do not enjoy the privilege of equality. The feminist worldview is about fighting patriarchy and creating a more just society for everyone which in turn would benefit everyone – men, women, children, animals and perhaps the environment.

Before these women get up and denounce feminism, have they stopped and pondered that it is feminism that has won us the vote, equal pay – at least in the law, the contraceptive options, property rights, and the right to education among others?

No matter what Demi Moore believes in, we are nowhere close to a world where feminism is not needed. The world is still deeply unequal and women everywhere are victims of discrimination on the basis of sex and it is dishonest to say that a feminism based rights movement is redundant. Even the nature of struggle has not changed – at least in a country like Pakistan where despite universal adult suffrage, there are pockets where women are not allowed to vote and no woman celeb had the decency to raise voice against it.

There was a time when associating oneself with gay rights was considered social hara-kiri. Now there is hardly anyone – at least in the Western world – who would openly say that they are against equal rights for LGBTs and this change happened because some people had the courage to get up and support what they believed in. Feminism needs such champions now. Ellen Page is one of those rare celebrities who wear their feminist identity with pride. She is not afraid of the label and believes that it needs to be out there. “How could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is considered a bad word?” asks Page.

Yes, these celebrities are no gender theorists and expecting them to be well versed in the academics of feminism is unrealistic, but expecting them to not disown feminism because it would mean more twitter followers or more popularity amongst the patriarchy supporting majority is not asking a lot. As famous people with clout, it is their responsibility to impact upon others to strive for a more just world. In any case, human beings are not just defined by one single label. We are complex creature and comprise of multiple identities – liberal or conservative, humanist, conformist or non conformist, democrat, socialist or capitalist and so on. It is about time we put an end to this ban on feminism as an articulated political and social concept and celebrities like Ellen Page, Kiera Knightly and Patrick Stewart (yes, men can be feminists too) who flaunt their feminist ideology will help in mainstreaming the word and the ideology.

Say it now, feminism is NOT a bad word. There is nothing wrong with being a feminist. I just hope that more people embrace it and help in ridding the word of all negative connotations.

Originally written for ViewPointOnlline

Apr 25, 2013 - Bollywood    3 Comments

If ‘Ek Thi Daayan’ does not make the Daayans angry, then nothing ever will

Once upon a time, a friend and I had a late night profound discussion on movies in general and Emraan Hashmi and his sleaze factor in particular. Back then the two of us used to live in two different continents but we made a pact that whenever we meet next, we will watch an Emraan Hashmi film together.  We ended up in the same city a few weeks back and when ‘Ek Thee Daayan’ premiered, I reminded E that we must honour that old pact and watch this film. We dragged another friend –who we shall call A here – along with us because not only E and I value his company and but also the fact that we are poor people with no mode of transportation to call our own. So eager were we to watch the film that none of us bothered to either see the trailer or check out the reviews. All we saw was a poster of Emraan Hashmi with three women and thought it would be a regular slutty Emraan Hashmi fare. Little did we know that we will end up watching a film which is neither horror nor psycho thriller, but pure bullshit.

ek thee dayaan

 

As soon as the credits start rolling at the beginning we saw names like Vishal Bhardwaj and Gulzar, A, who was the reluctant viewer thought that it might turn out to be a decent film but precisely thirty seconds into the film we knew that it would be as crappy a film as we expected it to be when Emraan Hashmi made his appearance in a cage with a hoody as the master magician – a cross between David Blaine and David Copperfield perhaps? Another 10 seconds and we knew that this one is a goner because the master magician was called “Bobo the baffler”. I mean WTF? I wondered throughout Ek Tha Tiger why a self respecting adult man would respond to a name like Tiger, but in comparison with Bobo the baffler, Tiger was a very sane choice.

Bobo is magician who is troubled by his past and his dead sister. At times he hallucinates during his acts and injures his assistants but because it is India, no one sues him for negligence at work. Bobo seeks help from a psychiatrist who hypnotizes him back to the time when he was kid and encountered daayans for the first time. As a kid, Bobo was a pesky bugger who was into books on witchcraft, old elevators and sported the hair do which can pass as a Jew fro but I digress. One fine day, he was fiddling with his building’s elevator and pressed for the sixth floor thrice which took him to an underground hell. Then a Daayan makes her appearance through that same elevator and before you can say Bobo – the baffler, Bobo’s daddy marries the daayan which results in an unfortunate series of events involving dayaans, pitchal pairy, churails and what not.  The child actor who played Bobo was so freaking annoying that I ended up rooting for the daayans to beat the crap outta him. My friend A, who is not too fond of Emraan Hashmi hated the kid so much that he ended up rooting for Emraan Hashmi.

There is more confusion, more dayaans, a couple of songs and some more magic tricks. The ending of the film should make you happy if you are rooting for diminutive Bobo to triumph over the daayans. But if you are anything like me and were rooting for the daayans (how can you root for a guy who looks like Emraan Hashmi and is named Bobo) you totally want your money back.

Lessons I learned while watching Ek Thee Daayan

  • If you live in an old building with a rickety elevator and if you press for the sixth floor thrice, chances are that you will end up glimpsing hell. In order to see hell, you must reside in a building with at least six floors. How else will you press for the sixth floor, if your building does not have it.
  • One should never let one’s 11 yr old kid buy old books on witchcraft from an old book vendor; it makes them total psychos who spend way too much time loitering around faulty elevators.
  • Bobo’s magic trick with a phallic rope has probably inspired someone somewhere to plan a porn scene along those lines.
  • Emraan Hashmi should stick to the slutty roles he was famous for. He is good at running after babes, running after Daayans is clearly not his forte.
  • Daayans are generally born on February 29th because that’s when they sacrifice little children for their eternal lives. If you happen to know anyone who’s born on February 29th, beware. Just saying.
  • Emraan Hashmi is a tiger in bed and he roars. Nops, I am not making this shit up, it was an actual dialogue in the film.
  • Emraan Hashmi is such a stud that a woman dreams about him in Canada, ditches her boy friend of four years, comes to India and wants to hang out with him even when she finds out that he is married. Not only that, she is rich and buys his old haunted apartment for 2 crore Indian rupees and is so fearless that she sings romantic songs for him in front of his wife.
  • If you really want to freak out your friends, order a set of those huge eye ball covering black lenses that the dayaans wore during sacrificial ceremonies and sing them a birthday song. If they have seen this film, they might get scared, otherwise they will think that you have completely lost your shit and will probably call someone to put you in a straight jacket, or a padded room or both.
  • A daayan’s shakti (power) is hidden in her long braid so women with short hair can’t really be the daayans.  Most daayans have really long swinging braids which makes me think that they go through the shampoo bottles like an average alcoholic goes through bottles of Jack Daniels.
  • A daayan can turn into ashes if someone hacks off her hair – preferably with a dagger.  But the daayans can only be killed if the braid is cut off by someone pure of heart.  Emraan Hashmi can pull off anything but purity of heart!
  • Daayans randomly throw lines like “Shaitan ki qasam” in the middle of conversations. I mean like seriously? Next thing you know, they will start banging their heads to death metal and will make it totally uncool for the rest of the world.
  • Once you do it with a daayan, mortal ladies just don’t cut it for you. Looks like Bollywood is trying to sell Daayan sex like folks in True Blood sell vampire sex. Unfortunately the daayans were not as hot as the vampires in True Blood.
  • Last but not the least; I am the bravest amongst my friends. If we ever encounter any Daayan or even a ghunda  mawali for that matter, I will probably end up saving their asses.

PS: Because the name Bobo baffled me to no end, I managed to catch Bobo’s real name on his wedding register. It was Bijoy which is no great shakes but anything is better than Bobo the baffler.

 

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