Mmmm, Mumbai

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My love with Mumbai is through Hindi movies. Every time I come here I am awe struck by the fact that I am walking the streets of a city where great actors like Amitabh Bachhan, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and many more share the Mumbai air with me.

Yesterday my daughter showed me the hallowed gates of Mehboob Studios as we were rolling along in an auto-rickshaw in prime time traffic, headed for a view of the sea from Band Stand in Bandra?

Wonder if this Bandstand seen in this song still exists in this area?-

We sat there on a bench and watched an angry sea hasten its waves in greetings towards us. People walked by in casual charm. To me they were extras in my movie. I am movie crazy. Life is just a big movie set for me. My roles have changed over the years from a hero I have ascended to the part of an ageing father. I love it. I am still the hero but my make up is so good that people think that I am really old.

I have not physically been to Mumbai many times but visited the place thousands of times through movies. I have stood there as a character among the crowds watching stars acting in song and dance routines. I am everyday in Mumbai financially too trading in the stock market and watching the many Mumbai based broker/experts on television. That is entertainment of a different kind.

My wife too is an unwitting fan of Mumbai watching with awe those soaps on prime time TV. These too are shot somewhere here in Mumbai.

I know I would have been a different man if I had not met all these people of the screen like Raj Kapoor, Dharmender, Shashi Kapoor, Dev Anand, Rishi Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, Biswajit, Bhagwan, Johnny Walker, Dara Singh, Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore, Waheeda Rehman, Nutan, Sadhana and many more who shaped our lives with their acting and the movies they acted in. Each dedicated film goer is a family member of this vast clan of Bollywood.

Last evening we took a long walk on the beach before heading for Bandra. Well, My Chowpatty has changed a lot from the uncluttered pani poori serving times of forty years ago. This is different. Dynamic, surging, crowded and young. This is new India.




Video Pirates Movie Script-Shoutout!

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Hi Guys,

Just to tell you. I have published another eBook — ‘Video Pirates Movie.’ It is available on Amazon. It is about two ageing Bollywood actors in Mumbai who make a movie and face stiff competition from video pirates selling unofficial DVDs of their movie.

They find a unique solution for their problem.

This is my second eBook.

The first being ‘Maree and the Prince.’

Both are available on Kindle and Amazon.*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Ad Infinitum for Mr. Bachchan

English: Illustration of a "bullshit grin...
English: Illustration of a “bullshit grinder” created on 11/4/2006 by Matt Strauss and Matt Harter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Uneasy Crown for Mr. Bachchan


The mantle for making pained and sad faces belonged to Nazir Husain generally as a father in old Hindi movies. I think the crown is worn now by Mr Amitabh Bachchan in his sad spiel for various causes. I remember there was a rumor that Mr. Nazir Husain chewed on an analgesic to make that pained face. I think in the case of Mr Amitabh Bachchan in his ads it is a mixture of quinine and a powerful laxative. Please Mr. Bachchan enough is enough. Please desist. That wig too is atrocious. Everyone has the right to grow a beard like Dr Manmohan Singh. Everyone has the right to aspire to being regarded as a pillar of honesty.


I am an avid fan of your talents as an actor. Please Mr. Bachchan some people consider you to be a God. I hear there is a temple devoted to you in Kolkata and perhaps many other places. Be fair to your believers. Stop being a hypocrite. Don’t hurt their faith by promoting rotten hair oils, doomed projects and false politicians.


At least my heroes should remain heroes before I die.


Love Child of Hindi Movies

The movie dvd cover poster for Hindi movie: Aw...
The movie dvd cover poster for Hindi movie: Awaara (1951) / 呢個就喺印度電影流浪者嘅海報版面 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a child of the movies. My father has bequeathed this love to me. Of course all Indians are movie-buffs but my Dad has somehow managed to instil a love in me for movies like Boot Polish, Awaara, Half-Ticket, Chalti ka Naam Gaadi and Jaal (Dev Anand.)

My morals are movie morals. My Dad suffered many losses early in his life because he followed the honest innocence of Hindi Movie heroes of the fifties and sixties. He trusted everyone. He learned the difficult way that the silent suffering hero who does not speak much will never win in real life. In the movies the heroine goes for the Awaara or Shri 420 but in real life girls go for the man with the gift of the gab and the latest model Audi. The silent type and the party wallflower is the loser.

Can you believe that in the north there are some people who have not seen Sholay?  I would say you have to have seen Angoor, Pyaasa, Sabib Bibi aur Ghulam, Junglee(Shammi Kapoor) and Waqt to know your movie roots. We have an iconic silent type in Manoj Kumar and Dharmender—Poorab aur Paschim and Anupama (Dharmender and Sharmila Tagore). Dharmender of course morphed into the jovial (and well dressed in Blackmail) Punjabi hero who will always get the girl and has all the funny punch lines-remember in Sholay-(mausi say kaun shaadi karega saalo?)

Of course my dad still is a big Amitabh Bachhan; I am too by default but the Daddy-O of Bollywood has oversold himself in television ads—I still can’t figure out his biscuit line—‘badiya hair aur behtar bhi’—somehow it makes me laugh every time at the additional behtar. Behtar than what?

I would put Jaagte Raho right up there in classic black and white Hindi movies with Raj Kapoor searching for a drink of water throughout the night and inadvertently revealing the nefarious activities in a Mumbai building. His simpleton version of a Sardarjee and the two songs ‘Zindagi Khaab hai’ and ‘ teh ki main koi jhooth boliya –Aawon oohoon, aawon oohoon.’ I love the lines, ‘Dekhe pandit gyani thyani daya dharam dey bunde, raam naam japdey tey khaande gau shaala dey chande—tey ki mai jhooth boliya?’