Friday, February 24, 2012

What do you do with a mother like mine?

I was entertaining myself today by posting silly Bollywood questions on Twitter and Facebook as an impromptu Friday Quiz.
The first question was very Google-able (since I did not know the answer myself). 
Who played Shukra in Satte Pe Satta? 
IMDb informs it is a gentleman by the name of Indrajeet (who's a very familiar face from 70s-80s Bollywood) though Pavan Jha (whose knowledge of Hindi cinema & music is ball-freezingly scary) thought it was Vimal Sahu and I usually side with him on these matters - IMDb or no IMDb!
BTW, you can check out Shukra in the picture (third from left) and add your comments.
And for future weekday-based quizzes, I have now prepared a cheat-sheet.
The second question was a little more Google-resistant. 
Chunnu chhabiley, Munnu hatiley, Chhotu rangeele, Gattu gathiley... who are these people?
The answers came thick and fast, though. For old people who know names like Shankar, Jaikishan, Rafi and Shammi, the answer is honking in the wind. For others, there is always YouTube.

The last question was impossible. Nobody attempted it, let alone even guess. When a dear friend's wife declared even my friend doesn't know, I decided to reveal the the answer to the question: In which film did the number 7396 play a pivotal role?
And I promptly got a scolding from my mother on Facebook "I knew the answer. Why did you give it out so fast?" Damn... of course, she knew. We saw this movie together and her memory in these matters is better than mine. 

Which reminded me of some of my past conversations or SMS exchanges with her.

SMS from me: Aradhana on Zee.
SMS reply: Watching MPK.

Mom: I thought Adnan Sami was married to Zeba Bakhtiar. Who is this Sabah now?
Me: He was first married to Zeba. This is his second marriage, which is now breaking.
Mom: Poor boy. Has a rather nasty luck for marriages.

Me giving her a copy of a new film magazine – Star Week – to her. After a while…
Mom: This is like Stardust of the olden days.
Me: This magazine is also from Nari Hira’s company.
Mom: Filmfare is rubbish. Except for their Awards issue, not one issue is worth reading.

Mom: Somebody slap Vijay Mallya. He is now maroing line on Katrina Kaif.
Me: Salman probably will.
Mom: But Salman and Katrina have split, I hear.

SMS from Me: Hey, there’s a show on Shakti Samanta happening on Times Now.
SMS reply: Oh yes, Total Recall. I know. About to switch on the TV. 

What, you still don't know the answer to 7396? Here, check it out. 7:00 onwards.
If my father had been around, he would have said, "7396 is square of 86. Who cares what film?"

Monday, February 20, 2012

Never Miss the End-credits

Just found out a treasure-trove of trivia from studying the credits of:

Om Shanti Om
We all know Farah Khan played an 'aggressive junior artiste' on the supposed sets of Karz. Apart from her, there were a host of technicians from the film who played bit parts.
Om's dead father (who only appeared in a picture in their shanty home) was Nakul Kamte, the sound designer.
The 'director' of the South-Indian 'Mind It' sequence was V Manikandan, the cinematographer.
A doctor on the sets of the burning village was Sabu Cyril, the production designer.
The director of Apaahij Pyar (the film in which OK played the triple-handicapped, Dard-e-Disco dancer) was Mayur Puri, the dialogue writer.
The screenplay writer (and SRK's hagiographer) Mushtaq Sheikh also appeared as a roadside sleeper, who interrupted SRK's passionate Filmfare-style drunken speech
And of course, the director of super-hero film (Mohabbat-Man) was Vishal Dadlani.

A whole lot of stars appeared unbilled in the scenes where Guddi was given a tour of the sets.
In the credits, Rajesh Khanna, Pran, Om Prakash and Ashok Kumar were mentioned for 'friendly appearances'. I even found Nitin Mukesh among the Assistant Directors.
But the real star power was in the unbilled roster!  
Amitabh Bachchan was shooting a scene for Parwana.
Naveen Nischol was not shooting for Parwana (as I assumed earlier) but for something called Nadaan.
Shatrughan Sinha and Vinod Khanna were shooting for Mere Apne.
Biswajeet and Mala Sinha were shooting for an obscure film called Phir Kab Milogi (also directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee).
And if you are super-aggressive, hyper-obsessive trivia hunter, even dialogue director Biren Tripathy had a cameo (though I am unable to figure which one)!

Luck By Chance
You simply lose count of the stars in the interminable list  that follows 'Very Special Thanks'.
Manish Acharya, the writer of Loins of Punjab Presents, appeared as 'Junior Corporate' in Luck By Chance - one of the few people of the film fraternity who did not play himself in the film. He was the one who insisted that 'content in king' in Hollywood and wanted to look at 'properties'. ("Hollywood mein scripts ko property kehte hain...")
In a very cool sequence, the entire Bollywood brat pack spoke to the camera on why they couldn't accept the film Rishi Kapoor was producing.
Abhishek Bachchan said it would generate unnecessary controversy if he stepped in after Zaffar (Hrithik Roshan) moved out (and ended the meeting with "Dad said hi"). Viveik Oberoi said he has just done three dramatic roles and wanted to do something light. John Abraham wanted to do 'something experimental, you know' (which he did. No Smoking was directed by someone who had another cameo in LBC - Anurag Kashyap)! Ranbir Kapoor told Romi Rolly (Rishi Kapoor) "you are like a father to me" and agreed to start the film as soon as he had dates. In 2015.
And Akshaye Khanna never spoke. He thought and thought and thought...

Apart from these, you - of course - know that Salim Khan played Shammi Kapoor's friend in Teesri Manzil.
And Karan Johar made his acting debut in a television serial called Indradhanush (about a group of kids and the time machine they make).
Or Imran Khan has played the junior versions of his uncle in two films - QSQT and JJWS.
And a very slim & trim Subhash Ghai played Rajesh Khanna's friend in Aradhana - whose name was Prakash and his opening line "Pehle Prakash aata hain, phir Suraj nikalta hain" paved the way for Rajesh Khanna Mark II to appear in a blaze of glory. (Hey, did you guys read this?)

I wonder if there's any book where things like these are compiled. *nudge nudge wink wink*

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Zebra Stars

Recently, my friend Nilendu (whose blog is now defunct and cannot be linked to anymore) and I exchanged a few quick DMs on a subject that matched the usual standards of our eclectic standards. He suggested I do a post on white-striped wigs of Bollywood female leads. And while at it, I might as well throw in a couple of male leads as well!
So, here you go...
And before our wives ask, where the f*** do we get these ideas? I mean, really!

This has got to be the strangest 'zebra' with Amitabh becoming old with a solitary strand of white in his black mane
In one of her two roles, Madhuri Dixit played the elderly patron of dance while the younger MD was blind and pranced around on a nautanki stage. The elder MD was made to look distinguished with a 'dusting' of grey.
When this film was made, Kabir Bedi must have been in his late-40s and Mukesh Khanna in his mid-30s. Kabir Bedi played father to Sanjay Dutt (in his early 30s) and Mukesh was Dyaaad to Feroze Khan (in his late 50s).
While Feroze and Sanjay sported snazzy, pitch-dark hair, Kabir and Mukesh were saddled with classic zebra wigs!

Mala Sinha wasn't the lead in this heist-caper of a film but her tufts of grey were too memorable to exclude!
Aruna Irani commandeered this film almost completely, matching Madhuri Dixit move for move, line for line. If she hadn't been handicapped with old age (as exemplified by her 'zebra'), she would have probably done a Dhak dhak as well!  
And finally, we have the most famous 'zebra' of Bollywood that could possibly be the most famous in this country's entire history as well. When Suchitra Sen played a charismatic woman politician, we couldn't think she played anybody else except...
Hell, even the name of the film rhymed with the famous surname!

Follow Nilendu on Twitter. He's currently on a mission to follow the '100 Smartest People on Twitter'. He does follow me but he pointed out his #Smartest100 is not with retrospective effect. Sigh.