Sunday, September 7, 2008

Oh Kolkata!!

Remember the contoversial musical that was called 'Oh Calcutta" and featured frontal nudity for the first time at the hallowed Westend ? Well.... each time I visit my sasural I'm reminded of that electrifying theatre experience, which was considered soooo avant garde and shocking when it debuted a few decades ago. Today, nobody blinks at a show of ANYTHING! But Kolkata itself remains strangely caught in a coy and languid time warp, which could be termed charming were it not as frustrating.
I plan to see lots of movies this week, including Rituparno's 'The Last Lear.' I told Ritu when I met him on the set of his talk show 'Ghosh & Company' last week that the posters of 'Lear..'were up and I thought he had cast Muzzaffir Ali in the title role.Ritu giggled naughtily and said, "Oh my God! saw the resemblance!" Apparently, Ritu had sent a reference pic of Muzzaffir Ali to Amitabh Bachchan , for the Big B to get an idea of the character, especially the long hair Ritu wanted for the role. Mr. B had the wig styled exactly as per the photograph of Muzzaffir - and voila! the character of the Shakespearean thespian was born.
I also want to see 'A Wednesday', since it features two of our most competent character actors, Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher. Next on the list is 'Mamma Mia' for the second time. The first was far too lonely an experience in distant Stuttgart, minus my beloved bachchas. This time I plan to take the lot along. It also happens to be Aditya's birthday eve, and how better to usher it in than with a delightful, heart warming, entirely enchanting, exceedingly sentimental movie like this one?? I remember watching the musical on Broadway with my sister Mandakini who lives in New York. Both of us were crying, laughing, hugging and singing along... bonding wonderfully and feeling so connected. Perhaps for the last time...I really miss her and those rare moments we shared. The terrific meals we savoured. My first taste of a Cosmo was thanks to her, and that was much, much before it became the 'It' cocktail for worldly women. This was in the lobby bar of the Plaza on Fifth Avenue,before Donald Trump acquired the historic hotel and it still retained its slightly tattered old world glory. What a great time we'd had that night recalling forgotten family jokes with fondness and nostalgia. I was pretty tipsy as we jumped into a cab, three Cosmos later. She tucked me into a comfy bed in her apartment... and made fragrant tea (Darjeeling) for me the next morning. We chatted as only sisters do... or can. What a distant memory.... but still so poignant, precious and sweet. May Ganpati bless Mandakini. That is my fervent and sincers wish.


ek-ladki-anjaani-si said...

De' Belated Merry Ganpati Chaturthi! As far as your last post is concerned regarding Salmaan, will have another FATWA issued against him soon. Didn't that happen last year to him? Yet another controversy about to come!

Now as far as discrimination... I wonder if you have ever visited Chicago... Heard of Devon Ave.? Well, Devon is a stretch of road - one side is called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Road, and the other side is called Mohamman Ali Jinnah Road, both sides populated with desi stores/restaurants etc. Devon is divided by our own version of LOC... Western Avenue. The eastern part of Devon is a muslim majority, and western is hindu. Unfortunately, even as western as a place as US we experience discrimination. If you are an Indian, and end up on the wrong side of the street, you are bound to experience it.... What's new with that? We have just learned to live with it, as old dogs cannot be taught new tricks here.

I have learned a new trick though... you call in a carry out order to your favorite restaurant for those mouth watering kabobs, just drive by and pick 'em up and enjoy at home. Hell why should religion come in the way of my food fettish?

Anonymous said...

Areeey what happened to... never on a Sunday? And I was just squeezing oranges for my "ShobhaaDde less Sunday" mimosas to comfort myself! Chalo theek hai. Aap ke liye bhi banatey hai! Lo! Sorry, no cosmos to offer you but fresh squeezed Orange juice mixed with anything is more fun no?

Mamma Mia is such a delightful movie! I even took the kids to see it. I know, I know, adult theme and all. But they really were so enchanted by the song and dance and the Greek Island scenary that it was all ok. The actors really looked like they were enjoying themselves. And the men... aaahhhh. I like me a tongue in cheek Pierce Brosnan and Mr Darcy (Colin Firth)... just SWOOONNNNN.

Everyone above the age of 30 was singing along with every song. The song Mama Mia is now the Family anthem d'jour! Yeah even my 4 year old knows the words. So much fun!

Everyone who remembers Abba's heyday... go see it.

I remember going to see Abba the movie as a very young teen at Sterling cinema chomping on Vithals bhel. (Do either still exist?) Agnetha and Annifrid swinging thier hips in thier white daisy duke shorts and gogoboots. Bjorn and whatshisname all scruffy looking and inneedofa wash but singing so devinely! Fun times!

About Ritu Parno, just hmmmmmm. His movies seem so... ummmm... hokey... so over designed ya know. The effort shows. I wonder how Lear is. I should put it on my netflix list I think.

Another Kiran in NYC

ek-ladki-anjaani-si said...

So I finally saw A Wednesday. What an awesome movie! Finally, after so long I saw a movie comparable to Aaj Tak Chappan.

Naseer-ud-din Shah was amazing, as a no name (face only) common man who has 'sanak-ed' a bit. Anupam Kher - another excellent performance. Even Jimmy Shergill's talent is noticeable in this one. Who is this Neeraj Pandey... He gots TALENTS!

De' forget the Cosmos, Kiran forget the Mimosas, I raise the stakes to my world famous Mohitos garnished with fresh mint! Interested?

Anonymous said...

Ladki..Bring on the Mojitos!

Does anyone have comments on this newstory?

Very intriguing, this increasing provocation and baiting for knockdown, dragout mud wrestling by the Bacchans? Who is making thier point? Bacchan or MNS? And who is succeeding?

Another Kiran in NYC

Arjun said...

KOLKATA .. it's my sasuraal too!!
yep - and I'm not even BONG!!

But i love the food and the Bengali women and their style of wearing the saree...

Just waiting for the Puja holidays and then we shall take a break from this humdrum north indian existence and head east!

ek-ladki-anjaani-si said...

AK - that's another Kiran... Mojitos, Chi-town, anytime!

As far as Thakrey is concerned, its another publicity stunt to stay in the limelight to fuel his political career. Negative or positive, its after all free propaganda for his neta-wannabe desire ;-) Just out of curiosity, why the hell would Jayaji make such a smart ass comment even jokingly knowing all the trouble that causes when any of the Bachchan's sneeze without saying, 'excuse me!' That it'self was ignorant of her, wouldn't you agree? Good news is Thakrey will be issued a gag order to not speak publically to instigate.... question is will he do as told.... I think not!!

If not religion, it's region.... what next to bitch about here?

*Aham* said...

Ritu da, I love his movies too. he is a thinking director.

Mandakini! what a beautiful name... how many siblings are you de? Gautam, Shobhaa, Mandakini and...

Anonymous said...

Ladki, since you asked, here is my take....

Jaya Bacchan has lost her mind or is too clever for her own good. Sometimes I cant decide which it is. The Bacchans have been very rabid and toxic and definatly are looking to bait all comers. What is in thier water? She knows the weight of her words. She knows she should watch what she says and how she says it given thier particular circumstances and apparant political leanings. If they have great adulation, then they have greater responibility. That is a given. She forgets that too much and too soon. And so does her husband.

I watched the clip, it seemed less flip and more deliberately baiting. Ofcourse she will probably say she was joking (has she already?), but to me it seemed very planned baiting under the circumstances. Perhaps she made up the words extempore, but she sure was itching to say them as soon as she could find a situation to spew them out.

Cant say I blame MNS for springing onto that point she made. It is a valid issue for them. Is it wrong? That depends on whether you are Marathi speaking or JUST a Mumbaikar. There is a difference you know. Fact is that geographically Mumbai is in Maharashtra. Yes, lots of people have prospered and made Mumbai prosper, but at the end of the day it is in Maharashtra. A city of energy and opportunity that has encouraged all to prosper doesnt make it a Cultural Identitless place. It does not exist in a vacumm, sealed away from the rest of the immediate region. People forget that.

I think both sides deserve each other. I may agree with some parts of MNS's agenda but I dont agree with thier propensity for violent tactics. Very little to choose between the Bacchans and Raj Thakrey. Both have an agenda.

Another Kiran in NYC

ek-ladki-anjaani-si said...

AK, I guess you are right.... Bachchans are not that stupid to make such comments jokingly. Afterall, those two are the king and queen of diplomacy! I did read in one of the sites that she said it jokingly, per the reporter.

I am neither marathi speaking, nor a Mumbaikar to have a take for either sides. Still, Thakrey's tactics are so left winged that you cannot but get irritated listening to it. The marathi card has been OVER played.

Amen, to both parties deserve each other! I wonder what De' shall say on this one?

Kris Bass said...

My best friend rang me up all the way from Cochin to tell me that 'A Wednesday' is not to be missed! I guess it's going to be worth it. Besides, it has Naseeruddin Shah, one of the few men in Bollywood who really give me the thrills! ;)

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