I *heart* Bombay (and well..Boston)

I'm urban..in the way other people are mountain-people or tunafish junkies. I love city life...something about dreary concrete blocks and grumpy people totally gets my juices flowing. Ergo, this will be a blog about me, my two favourite cities (Bombay and Boston), my addiction to Vietnamese coffee and my views on Gregorian chant and it's efficacy in curing some types of tympannic membrane rupture. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

An evening with Shashi Aunty (Meenu's post)

Last night, along with my adorable fiancé A., I was able to go to the world-wide premiere of Akbar Khan’s Taj Mahal- An Epic Love Story. A. is a budding film (fillum) star waiting for his big break in Hindi films. He had been cast in the role of a messenger and had approximately two or three lines. Being the devoted fiancé and star-struck NRI that I am, I was quite jazzed to go to the premiere. I dressed in a sexy black dress, puffed my hair and pouted my lips- who knows, maybe I would be ‘discovered’. Kidding. Kind of.

Before we arrived at IMAX Wadala, I told A. that there will be some ginormous mausoleum version of the Taj there. Of course, there it was, looking worse than my 7th grade world history project (in which we made the replica of the Taj out of three refrigerator boxes). They had some dudes dressed up in armour, while the ladies looked like they belonged in a Meena Bazaar or maybe Chor Bazaar.

We walked in on Kabir Bedi giving an interview with his daughter, the ever-drag-queen-esque, Pooja Bedi to Zoom TV’s Suchitra Pillai. And as we walked in the other stars begin to arrive: Randhir Kapoor, Shotgun Sinha + Wifey, Pooja Batra (gorgeous), Kim Sharma (hello Roswell), Akbar Khan, and random tall dudes with beards and scruffage. We schmoozed for a while downstairs and saw Meera (of Nazaar de-fame) and my eyes set upon the funniest woman I have seen in movies- Shashi Aunty (i.e. Kamini Aunty of Monsoon Wedding, Kal Ho Na Ho, and other moti-jolly aunty parts).

For those who know my and the Vikster’s fascination with Shashi Aunty will recall lines like the unforgettable “Aaj mera gala kharab hai”. And “Mere bete nu duffer bolday ho? Onjvi, he doesn’t know India”. Therefore, it was a great gift to run into her. Well, much to A.’s dismay (I think), we spent the rest of the evening with her. She was getting pissed because the premiere was 2 hours late with no sign of starting anytime soon. She kept fanning herself and passing comments about people walking by (Vikster: That is SO Shashi Aunty!)

"Oh god, I am getting claustrophobic”.

“Even the director looks lost here”.

“I don’t want to sit now because I have to sit for another bloody 3 hours”

“Where is the lift, I am scared of the escalator”

“Should we get some cocktails?”

“That Kabir Bedi can drink anyone under the table.”

Then we looked over and Zulfi Syed had officially arrived with his co-star- Shahwar Ali, um, I mean Sonia Jehan. Wow, this woman is gorgeous. They have a total role reversal thing going. Sonia looks manlier than Zulfi any day. Zulfi, by the way was looking amazingly well for someone who’s car had just flipped on the way from Pune 5 days ago. Slightly suspect.

Anyways, after them came the slew of the Khans of the Industry. Zayed walked in with jeans and a white jacket with sparkling white shoes (Kab tak safaid rehe ga?). Arbaaz Khan with son and Malaika Arora Khan (she is bootylicious like J-Lo!), a pregnant and cute Suzanne Roshan, Amrita Arora with cricketer boyfriend, and Sanjay and Feroz (looking quite stiff!), and various other Khan-danis I did not recognize.

FINALLY, at around 9.15pm the magnum opus begins. We start with when Aurangzeb is about to kill his brothers for the right to be Shahen Shah. Arbaaz Khan does a decent job, but his fake mole is too distracting. Kabir Bedi and Manisha Koirala start off and then the flashback begins. I admire this guy’s effort, but he really used some cheesy computer effects that took away from the timelessness of the piece. Also, I believe there were some historical liberties taken (who doesn’t in Bollywood?). I really thought Pooja Batra did a fantastic job as Noor Jahan- but was she really getting hot and heavy with Mahabat Khan, the advisor and betrayer? Maybe you historical buffs can help a sister out. Kim Sharma really overdid it, the acting that is. She really looks like an alien and I can’t stop thinking about it. Also, even in her ‘classical Urdu’ she sounds like she is talking to that guy from Mohabattein.

Sonia encapsulates a classical beauty that you don’t see in many actresses these days, so I think she might have a hard time breaking into the current genre of anorexic babes who aren’t really that interesting. Also, she maybe a little butch for some of the more feminine male co-stars out there. Speaking of masculine/feminine, Bobby Darling also did an appearance there and had a teeny-tiny role in the film. By the way, Nigar Khan the Deported made a cameo as the Queen of Iran and DAMN is she nasty! Sorry to be critical, but I had to avert eyes immediately when there was a love scene between her and Zulfi. I am sure Shahwar Ali was jealous. It looked like gay porn. Not that I’ve seen that many. It was really bad; someone should tell her she looks like a duck. (Vikster: I wouldn't mind seeing Zulfi and Shahwar in some gay porn..I've already seen them making out at Out of the Blue)

By the end, we realized A.’s role was cut out. He said that was ok, since it might flop; but I am sure he was a bit disappointed, I know I was. My man is a good actor!

Anyways, Shashi Aunty’s part came before the interval so she left for home in Powai. The movie finally ended at 12.15am and A. and I headed home to thaw ourselves. Although the magnum opus is truly nothing in front of the old “Taj Mahal” or “Mughal-E-Azam”, I will always remember my night with Shashi Aunty. Oh, and I got her to give an autograph for my Vikster.

Onjvi, we are fraaands, no?

(Vikster: OMG! Meenu! Best gift EVER! Next time? Pack me the delish Aussie cousin played by Randeep Hooda to go!)


  • At 11:32 PM, Anonymous kestrel said…

    "Meenaxi outshines vikster"....maybe its got sashi auntie to do..

    i never had a sashi auntie:(

  • At 11:35 PM, Blogger Vikster said…

    First of:

    I refuse to watch any Hindi or Angrezzi movies that are "history-based". It's so mangled it hurts me (as a historian wannabe) almost physically with the liberties they take.
    Ergo, this review is about all I'm gonna know about this movie.

    Secondly, How awesome is Shashi Aunty? I want her to be my lovable auntie. I've always wanted a gol-matol type relative!

    And thirdly, no one knows the ins and out of Bollywood like star-struck NRIs..(Meenu, I mean)

    *happy cause I have my Shashi Aunty autograph*

  • At 11:48 PM, Blogger Vijayeta said…

    Randeep Hooda? U like him too, Vikram?
    And Meenu, u are nasty! Loved yr comments and wise-cracks about the guestlist! And u're also the ONLY person i know who's seen THAT film! The promos are bad enough for me! It'll definitely flop! And i'm sure bigger, better and more wonderful things await A, and he can look back fondly at this film and smirk smugly!

  • At 2:24 AM, Blogger bluegreenflysplat said…

    arre, i love those shashi aunty types.. sometimes naa i think apna closettalk is exactly a shashi aunty. other times, i don't think...

    Randeep Hooda is so hot. so beyond hot. i think i'll link you sometime.

  • At 5:16 AM, Blogger Hob Gadling said…

    @bluegreenflysplat that's Manara in your avatar! And you like Pratt and Nick Drake and Massive Attack! (Gulps. Stutters. Doesn't know what to say next.) Er.. me too.

  • At 7:58 PM, Blogger Selma Mirza said…

    omg. I was there too :-)


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