Dec 13, 2009

Song of the Day (Southern Sundays Edition)--Konjum Mainakkale

Konjum Mainakkale 

Film:  Kandukondain Kandukondain (I Have Found It)
Starring:  Tabu, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Abbas, Mammootty, Ajith, Pooja Batra
Music by:  AR Rahman

Lest anyone think that Indian cinema is all about the big brash Bollywood hits, on Sundays I'll be headed south for the Song of the Day feature.  Konjum Mainakkale is the opening song from the Tamil film "Kandukondain Kandukondain," which is an entertaining take on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.  Featuring Aishwarya Rai in one of her earlier roles, the film also stars the gorgeous Tabu (Chandni Bar, The Namesake, Cheeni Kum), Abbas, Mammootty, and one of my favorites, Ajith.  The film is beautiful and all of the songs (save the title song "Kandukondain Kandukondain") are stunning.  Be sure to also check out "Yenna Solla Poigirai."


konjum mainaakkalae konjum mainaakkalae en kural kaettu onru koodungal (2)
ada inrae varavaendum en dheepaavali pandigai
inrae varavaendum en dheepaavali pandigai
naalai verum kanavu adhil nallennam varum
naam nattadhae roajaa enrae pookkanum

konjum mainaakkalae konjum mainaakkalae en kural kaettu onru koodungal

pagalil oru vennilaa...
pagalil oru vennilaa vandhaal paavamaa
iravil oru vaanavil vandhaal kutramaa
vidai sol sol sol manasukkul jal jal jal (2)
konjam aasai konjam kanavu ivai illaamal vaazhkkaiyaa
nooru kanavugal kandaalae aaru kanavugal palikkaadhoa
kanavae kai saera vaa

konjum mainaakkalae konjum mainaakkalae en kural kaettu onru koodungal

en paeraich cholliyae kuyilgal koovattum
enakkaetra maadhiri paruvam maarattum
baradham dham dham manadukkuL daam doom dim (2)
poongaatrae konjam kizhiththu engal muga vaervai poakkidum
naalai enbadhu kadavuLukku irRu enbadhu manidharukku
vaazhvae vaazhbavarkku

konjum mainaakkalae konjum mainaakkalae en kural kaettu onru koodungal
ada inrae varavaendum en dheepaavali pandigai
inrae varavaendum en dheepaavali pandigai
naalai verum kanavu adhil nallennam varum
naam nattadhae roajaa enrae pookkanum

Isn't My Husband So Handsome?

Isn't my husband so handsome?  I don't care how awkwardly he dances or what anyone thinks of his acting, my love for Abhishek Bachchan is eternal.  <3 <3 <3

Dec 11, 2009

Gossip Roundup--Dec 11

Priyanka Chopra at Miss World
Priyanka Chopra, a Miss World winner in 2000, has jetted off to Johannesburg, South Africa to serve as a judge for this year's pageant.  The 2009 Miss World Pageant begins December 12.

As an aside, I get that Priyanka is a former winner and that it isn't unusual to have past title-holders come back to judge, but is it possible for maybe one day to go by where Priyanka doesn't try to further peg herself into the "fashionista" slot?  Now not only are all of her roles in the fashionable-fashiony-fashion designer vein, but her real life is too?  Please please expand a bit Priyanka.  Please.

Aishwarya Rai to Star Opposite Ben Kingsley

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been cast opposite Ben Kingsley in the 2011 release "Taj Mahal."  Kingsley, an Academy Award winner for the 1982 hit film Gandhi, in which he portrayed the title character, will play Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who ruled Northern India in the 17th century.  Aishwarya naturally has been cast as his wife, the beautiful Mumtaz Mahal, for whom Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal.  (Interestingly, Sir Ben's real-life wife has been cast as the Emperor's first wife, Khandari Begum.) Kingsley's own production team is helming the $30 million project, with shooting scheduled to begin in July. 

Irrfan Khan Too Shy to Dance?

In this installment of "news that makes me love Irrfan Khan even more than I already do," it seems that Irrfan was too shy to film his dance sequence in front of co-star Kangna Ranaut.  He had to ask the director to get her to leave before he could bring himself to pull off the moves.  How sweet!

Song of the Day--Tere Bina (Guru)

Tere Bina

Film: Guru
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Madhavan, Vidya Balan
Music by: AR Rahman

If I had to make a list of the top-5 most romantic Hindi songs, Tere Bina would be on it.  The picturization is absolutely perfect; the choreography is alternately sweet and teasing, and Aishwarya looks absolutely adorable in this.  Her facial expressions range from childlike and bemused (and who wouldn't be bemused at Abhi's awkward-yet-cute dancing?) to adoring.  I have to admit I've never cared much for her, but the devastated and hurt look in her eyes as she stares at her husband over the train tracks at the beginning of the song?  That won me over.  The emotion she conveyed in that simple look blew me away.  Mani Ratnam certainly knows how to bring out her best performances.  Abhishek is, of course and as always, divine.

As soon as this movie came out I said to myself that if I ever deigned to get married, it would be to a person who is as moved by this song as I am.  So boys, keep that in mind.

Dec 9, 2009

Song of the Day--Radha Kaise Na Jale (Lagaan)

Radha Kaise Na Jale
Film:  Lagaan
Starring:  Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley, Paul Blackthorne, Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Music by:  AR Rahman

This is one of the most beautiful (and beautifully choreographed) numbers I've seen in any Indian film.  Lagaan, which I'll review in length later, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002, where it sadly lost out to No Man's Land.  In this scene, Bhuvan (Aamir Khan) and Gauri (Gracy Singh) enact the love story between Radha and Krishna, which plays against their real-life love triangle; Gauri is in love with Bhuvan but fears his eyes may have wandered to the pretty English woman (Elizabeth, played by Rachel Shelley) who has come to the aid of the villagers.  'Radha Kaise Na Jale' translates to 'how can Radha not be jealous?'

(Side note:  fans of Showtime's "The L Word" will recognize Rachel Shelley as the conniving Helena Peabody.)


Madhuban mein jo Kanhaiya kisi gopi se mile
Kabhi muskaaye, kabhi chhede, kabhi baat kare
Radha kaise na jale, Radha kaise na jale
Aag tan mann mein lage
Radha kaise na jale, Radha kaise na jale

Madhuban mein bhale Kaanha kisi gopi se mile
Mann mein to Radha ke hi prem ke hain phool khile
Kis liye Radha jale, kis liye Radha jale
Bina soche samjhe
Kis liye Radha jale, kis liye Radha jale

(O, gopiyaan taarein hain, chaand hai Radha
Phir kyoon hai usko biswaas aadha) - 2

Kaanhaji ka jo sadaa idhar udhar dhyaan rahe
Radha bechaari ko phir apne pe kya maan rahe

Gopiyaan aani jaani hain, Radha to mann ki rani hai - 2
Saanjh sakhaare, Jamna kinaare
Radha Radha hi Kaanha pukaare

Oye hoye, oye hoye
Baahon ke haar jo daale koi Kaanha ke gale
Radha kaise na jale, Radha kaise na jale
Aag tan mann mein lage
Radha kaise na jale, Radha kaise na jale

Mann mein hai Radhe ko Kaanha jo basaaye
To Kaanha kaahe ko usse na bataaye

Prem ki apni alag boli, alag bhaasa hai
Baat nainon se ho Kaanha ki yahi aasa hai

(Kaanha ke yeh jo naina hain
Chheene gopiyon ke chaina hain) - 2
Mili najariya, hui baawariya
Gori gori si koi gujariya

Kaanha ka pyaar kisi gopi ke mann mein jo pale
Kis liye Radha jale, Radha jale, Radha jale

Radha kaise na jale
Kis liye Radha jale
Radha kaise na jale
Kis liye Radha jale, kis liye Radha jale
Radha kaise na jale
Kis liye Radha jale, kis liye Radha jale
Aah, aah, aah, aah...
Radha kaise na jale - 3

Dec 8, 2009

Gossip Roundup

Deepika Endorses Fairness Cream

Deepika Padukone has become the new brand ambassador for Neutrogena Fine Fairness Cream.  According to Deepika, "it’s not about using a product and suddenly becoming fair. The fairness creams are used to even out your skin tone and protect your skin from pigmentation due to harsh sunlight."

Fairness creams are popular in India where a light-colored complexion is often seen as the highest beauty standard, and ads for them are as ubiquitous as those for makeup or shampoo.  Some stars have taken a stand against endorsing such products, most notably Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, as they believe that fairness creams help perpetuate discrimination against those with darker complexions.  Some fairness creams are little more than bleaching agents, and have been known to cause damage to the skin.

I say shame on Deepika.  Surely her natural beauty could be better put to use endorsing less offensive products?

Sonam Kapoor Won't Star for Zoya

Has Sonam Kapoor lost her marbles?  She's just turned down a chance to work with Zoya Akhtar, the critically-acclaimed debut director of Luck By Chance.  Zoya's second film follows a to-die-for cast which includes Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, and Abhay Deol as they roadtrip through Spain.

After her debut in Saawariya and her adorable and well-played turn in Delhi 6, has Sonam decided to only do commercial films?  Let's hope she changes her mind--any semi-attractive Barbie doll can star in a few Bollywood hits, but this is Sonam's chance to claim some ground in the growing success of India's independent cinema scene.

A R Rahman Gets Two Grammy Nominations 

Tune in January 31st to find out if A R Rahman's Slumdog Millionaire momentum can carry him to two Grammy Awards!  The Jai Ho-wallah is nominated for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media and Best Song Written for Motion picture, Television or Other Visual Media.  Best of luck maestro!

Song of the Day--Fanaa (Yuva)


Film:  Yuva
Starring:  Ajay Devgan, Abhishek Bachchan, Esha Deol, Kareena Kapoor, Vivek Oberoi, Rani Mukherjee
Music by:  A.R. Rahman

Per Danielle's request...nay, demand, here's a great dance number from the film Yuva.  Yuva has an all-star cast and a fantastic soundtrack by AR Rahman (Oscar-winner for his work on Slumdog Millionaire) which is worth owning in its own right.  Want another tie-in to Slumdog Millionaire?  Towards the end of the film people are seen dancing to a music video.  The music which plays is Aaj Ki Raat, from Don, but if you look closely, the actual video in the background is this one.  You can clearly see Kareena dancing on the screen.  Speaking of dancing, who let Vivek anywhere near choreography?  And are those red velveteen pants?!  Oh my.

Five and Dime

If it's Tuesday then it's time for the Five and Dime, where I give you India's top five at the box office and top ten on the radio.

Top 5 Films
Week of Nov. 20-26
(box office receipts come in two weeks off)

1.   Kurbaan
2.   Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
3.   Tum Mile
4.   London Dreams
5.   Jail

Top 10 Songs
Rankings courtesy of  Radio Mirchi

1.   Jaaneman (Radio)
2.   Tera Hone Laga Hoon (Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani)
3.   Tum Mile (Tum Mile)
4.   Shukran Allah (Kurbaan)
5.   Rishte Naate (De Danadan)
6.   Al Iz Well (3 Idiots)
7.   Ajj Din Chadiya (Love Aaj Kal)
8.   Iktara (Wake Up Sid)
9.   Man Ko Ati Bhave (London Dreams)
10. Mudhi Mudhi (Paa)

Dec 7, 2009

I Discover Bollywood

This probably should have been the very first thing I posted.  Why the obsession with Indian films?  Unlike so many people for whom these movies mean so much, I wasn't raised with them.  I have no fond family memories of sitting around the tv watching Deewar, or of being one of the hundreds of millions who saw Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge in a crowded theater.  I came late to the party, without an invitation and without any connections to these films or the culture which celebrates them.

I saw my first Indian film before I knew what an Indian film was.  In high school, bored and flipping through the channels late at night, I caught a brief glimpse of a man staring in perplexed disappointment at a canopy of marigolds, petals showering down as he yelled over the phone.  Though I changed the channel that night, the film--Monsoon Wedding--later became the one I love best.

Fast forward to my sophomore year of college, when my grandparents, for reasons I still can't fathom, suggested we see Bend It Like Beckham at a small theater in Greenbelt.  When the film ended, one thing stood out: an intensely overwhelming desire to experience more of what I had just seen.  The actors, the music, even the food in the film became my new raison d'etre.  I purchased the soundtrack, forcing my roommates to listen to encore after encore of "Jind Mahi" and "Tere Bin Nahin Lagda Dil."  I hunted down Indian restaurants, and became jealous of the time my grandparents had spent in Calcutta and Darjeeling, decades before I was even born.  I craved India.  A year later a roommate offered me use of her DVD collection while she was away on spring break.  The only film I saw on her shelf was Devdas.  I watched it every day.  I was in love.

Starting a blog seems the most reasonable thing I can do.  I'm long past the point where my friends will tolerate my need to listen to nothing but film soundtracks, or my spiels on Saif Ali Khan's script choices.  I need a place where I can get everything out, where people can take it or leave it without hurting my feelings.  I want to share the things I love, the films and songs that I find beautiful and which make me, above all else, indescribably happy.  This is my way of sharing my passion with the great big world, and if even one person takes away from this the idea that this "stuff" is worth watching, I'll be overjoyed.

Song of the Day--Babuji Zara Dheere Chalo (Dum)

Babuji Zara Dheere Chalo 

Film: Dum
Starring: Vivek Oberoi, Diya Mirza, Yashpal Sharma, Yana Gupta, Atul Kulkarni
Music by: Sandeep Chowta

This song was on one of the many Bollywood Hits-type DVDs that Eros throws away for a buck or two on their website.  I haven't seen Dum yet, though it's on my 'list of things I must see due only to the fact that they star Atul Kulkarni.'  Surely Dum is most popular for 'Babuji Zara Dheere Chalo,' Yana Gupta's startlingly well-done item number.  (If you've seen Bunty aur Babli you may remember Amitabh's character asking a stammering tuba player what the season's most popular wedding number was--this is the shaky song he plays.)

Dec 6, 2009

Song of the Day--Aahun Aahun (Love Aaj Kal)


I first heard this song a few months ago when the Love Aaj Kal soundtrack was reviewed on Love Bollywood.  Since then I haven't been able to get it out of my head.  I'm not much of a fan of the promotional video that goes along with it (Saif's dancing hasn't improved much since Dil Chahta Hai I'm afraid, though I hold the choreographer more to blame than him) and since Eros disabled embedding on their videos anyways,  I thought I'd post this nice slideshow someone has put together on Youtube.  Give the song a listen, I can't recommend it enough.  It'll definitely get you dancing!

For those of you who, like me, learn a bulk of their Hindi through song lyrics, here they are.  A few tricky spots but easy enough to learn. :)

kaddi te has bol ve, na jind saddi ron ve - (2)
tu aaja dil jaaniya, de kar meherbaaniya - (2)
aa saanu teri rod ve, na jind saddi ron ve

(mohabbat muskil bhaari, badi hi mast bimaari
you wanna let it goin on
mohabbaat lambi yaari, bina permit ke jaari
but getch u ride it on yeah, com on) - (2)
oh... dil ne dil mangana mangana, ishq mein rangna rangna
jite ji isane hai rab nu milaana
ankh lad jaana, mar mukh jaana, ekko ek kahaani bas badale zamana
(aahun aahun aahun, aahun aahun aahun
aahun aahun aahun aahun aahun aahun aahun) - (2)

mohabbat dislan baaji, puraani hokar taaji
you never see it going on
mohabbat se rab raaji, dilon ki saude baaji
before you know it ur heart is sold
naino ne ladana ladana, panga bhi badhana badhana
jhadge mein naino ke yeh dil lut jaana
ankh lad jaana, mar mukh jaana, ekko ek kahaani bas badale zamana
aahun aahun aahun, aahun aahun aahun
aahun aahun aahun aahun aahun aahun aahun
kaddi te....
kaddi te has bol ve, na jind saddi ron ve - (2)

nishaaniya na khoni hain, soni hai saanson mein pinori hai baate teri
hairaaniya halaton ki raaato ki teri mulakaato ki baato ki
baaton ne chalana chalana, raaton ne jagana jagana
jalake mohabbato mein phir jut jaana
ankh lad jaana, mar mukh jaana, ekko ek kahaani bas badale zamana
(aahun aahun aahun, aahun aahun aahun
aahun aahun aahun aahun aahun aahun aahun) - (2)
kaddi te has bol ve, na jind saddi ron ve - (3)

Who Am I? Let's Ask the Transliterator...

I love the Google Indic Transliterator. I initially started using it to practice my Hindi (transliterating the lyrics to my favorite songs and singing along in hopes of learning to recognize the words) and now I spend...well...more time on it than any person really needs to. In that spirit, I'd like to introduce myself to you. My name is...



What's yours?

Dec 4, 2009

The Who What Now?

After years of resolving to start an Indian film blog, I’ve finally done it. No more wasting my afternoons on other peoples’ blogs (though let’s be honest, I’ll probably still do that) and wishing I had a platform for expressing my thoughts on my favorite (and least favorite) films. From now on, the internets are my oyster. Or something like that.

The bulk of The Bombay Talkies will be devoted to reviews and thoughts on mainstream Hindi films, but if it’s made in India (or thereabouts), it’ll get mentioned here (rejoice, fellow crazy Tamil film fans!). Be on the lookout for awkward screen captures, lyrics to my favorite soundtracks, and updates on new films and your standard Bollywood gupshup.

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