Shruti Haasan’s day in the sun

Shruti Haasan is finally back in Bollywood, and with two releases! I saw her last in the movie Luck (2009). The movies wasn’t  impressive, but Shruti had touched me. It was her first major role, and I thought to myself what a pity her debut was overshadowed by a mess of a movie, poorly written and executed. She showed promise tho, I thought,  and then I hadn’t heard about her anymore. Not that she hadn’t been active.  She is also a singer and a composer, and she appeared in a few South Indian movies, (those that hardly ever get shown here in the US).She had a small role in Bhandarkar’s movie Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji. But nothing commensurate with her talent.

Shruti had some corrective cosmetic surgery done, more plainly: a nose-job, but surely the size of a nose doesn’t determine if one can act or not. And acting she can! She is sublime. There is an ethereal quality to her. Her eyes are magnetic. She has a wonderful screen presence. I haven’t seen Ramaiya Vastavaiya but I saw D-Day yesterday. And again, she stood out and left a mark as Suraiya, victim of abuse, turned prostitute. There is some stillness in her amongst the turmoil of the unfolding story. Again, it’s her performance that touched me. The eloquence of her eyes, her voice. I love this girl. I am almost tempted to watch Ramayia Vastavaiya, in spite of the negative reviews.  I would watch it just for her.

Born into an elite acting household, daughter of legendary South Indian actor Kamal Hassan and Sarika Thakur,actress in her own rights, she must have eaten filmi rootis for breakfast every day. She was probably immersed in all aspects of film from an early age on. As a matter of fact, I learned, she started out as a singer.

Read up more about her on her Wiki Shruti Haasan


I hope we are going to see more of her in the future!

Real-life Bollywood love triangles: prem kahanis gone south, kismet.

Happily (N)ever After. For some…

Bollywood actors are writing the best but  sometimes also the saddest love stories themselves.

Amitabh, Jaya and Rekha.

A prem kahani anthology of Bollywood actors is long overdue. Just off my mind, there is dashing young Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya and Rekha… Jaya won. Happily married. Two kids and a couple of grandchildren later, they will not even remember what all the emotional fuzz was about…. Rekha, on the other hand, probably will.

Mahesh Bhatt, Lorraine Bright and Parveen Babi.

googled image.

Bhatt opened up about his tragic love story in a revealing interview  in 2006:

…….”Nostalgia is pain. The day Parveen died, I realised that despite the claims I made to myself, her memory had not withered within me with the passage of time.”

Talking about her illness he said: “Praveen’s breakdown is an old story. But I wonder if anyone could imagine what it is like to live with a person who is going mad.

“The morning I left Parveen’s house before it all began comes back to haunt me. She was off to her shoot for Prakash Mehra’s film… and she kissed me good-bye. Little did I know that it was the last time I would see her as the Parveen that I knew.

“How can I ever forget that heartbreaking image of her, when I walked in to the house that evening, and found Parveen, in make up and a filmy costume, cowering in a corner, with a knife in her hand, shivering with fear?

“She looked like an animal, one that I had never seen before. ‘Close the door Mahesh,’ she whispered. ‘They are coming to kill us. Close the door quickly!’

“And with those words ended my days of love and splendour, sin and passion with Parveen. I was looking into the eyes of madness and the face of death. Because the person that I knew had died, and with that our relationship, as we had known it, died too.”

read more here: interview with mahesh bhatt on

Obviously, this was too great of a burden for his relationship with wife Lorraine.
Guru Dutt, Geeta  and Waheeda Rehman

Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) starring, Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman, singer Geeta Dutt

Pyaasa (1957) starring Guru Dutt,  Waheeda Rehman, singer: Geeta

This love triangle turned deadly for the extraordinary filmmaker and actor Guru Dutt, who died of an overdose or suicide at age 39. His wife Geeta died a few years later at age 41.

Waheeda prevailed, she got out of this unhappy relationship unscathed, it seems and married later on, had two children. She remains the grand dame of Indian film until today, beautiful as ever.


Dev Anand, the romantic hero of the 40s and 50s, his romance with Suraiya, his marriage to Kalpana.

Not so much a love triangle because I believe that his relationship with Suraiya had ended before he fell in love with the equally ravishing Kalpana.  This story ended bad for Suraiya, as she was Muslim and her grandmother would not allow her to get married to a Hindu. A secret on-set wedding was planned, but Suraiya got cold feet. The relationship broke and the beautiful actress tragically made good on her promise to then never get married. Dev and Kalpana on the other hand seemed to have built a wonderful life together until death parted them in 2011 when Dev passed away.

Dev and Kalpana, Nau Do Gyrah,1957

Dev and Suraiya, Shair, 1949

Yeah. Love is a powerful drug. Anything is fair in love and war. Isn’t that the saying?

Run to see Milkha Run

Once you get to the theater,  you can relax. The movie is 3 hours long. Even long by Bollywood standards,  but you will discover you got the stamina of a long-distance runner. There is not a dull moment in this heartfelt biopic. Farhan Akhtar delivers a lifetime performance as yesterday’s Olympian sprinter and sports sensation Milkha Singh.

For preparing for this role alone he deserves an Oscar. And probably his trainer should get one too.  And OmPrakash Om. Accolades to the director of the movie.

Rakeyesh Omprakash Mehra, who gave us Rang De Basanti and Delhi-6,  has validated himself again as one of the  best contemporary directors of Indian cinema.

The movie had an excellent supporting cast.Sometimes it’s a weakness of Bollywood productions not to give enough weight to the supporting cast. This one was superbly chosen. Kudos to the casting director and team.

Sonam Kapoor had a relatively small but important role, as Biro, Milkha’s first love. However, she vanishes too fast, never to be seen again. I would have preferred to get a glimpse of her whereabouts to get a sense of closure. And even if it was just seeing her ONCE cry watching her sweetheart-lost on TV… :-)

I wish the movie had some live-footage  at the end, and donning us with a little bit of Milkha Singh info before the rolling credits. So, first thing I did after coming home was reading up on Milkha Singh. (Farhan really looks a little bit like him).

wikipedia page Milkha Singh

link for Ibn interview: Milkha Singh on Milkha Singh

Srk’s bundle of joy, AbRam.



Amidst all the noise that has been going around, the sweetest is the one made by our new-born baby, AbRam.

He was born prematurely by several months but has finally come home.

Gauri and our whole family have been dealing with his health issues for a long time now.

As a family our silence on this subject has been because of the personal nature of emotional strife that we have been going through due to his health.

We wish to make a special mention and thank Dr. Jatin Shah for his expertise and contribution. We also wish to thank all the other doctors, nurses and medical staff who have made his life possible. As trying were the times, we never lost hope that life always brings with it.

Just to put the record straight there was no sex determination for our child. The baby was born much before the speculations of ‘sex determination’ and other ‘issues’ pertaining to the same were being raised in the media by some organisations.

Suffice to say his coming home puts to rest completely false and at times insensitive claims of sex determination and alleged illegalities.

We also apologise to all those other doctors and hospitals who had to face unwanted scrutiny and questioning by some parties.

Our son is a surrogate baby and the entire process is bound by strict confidentiality. We would appeal to all, to allow us to cherish this private moment as a family.

It seems unfortunate that I have to explain/clarify so many aspects for our new-born baby. Wish it were just a simple message of happiness on behalf of the family.

They say a baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on. Post this statement, I hope we all move on too.



I have been too busy apparently watching the movies  to keep check on sensational Bollywood news, such as this. Shahrukh and Gauri welcoming a surrogate baby.

When did THAT happen? how? is the birth mother related to either of them? did they have to shop for a surrogate? is the baby half Srk’s or half Gauri’s? Where have I been, on Mars?

However that may be, I understand the longing for a baby when you start hitting middle age. Young children keep you young in spirit, mind and physically fit (running after them 24/7) Babies rock. They are symbols of hope, of future, testaments of love, sharing, giving.

Mubarak to Shahrukh and Gauri, welcoming baby joy AbRam after much worries into their home and hearts. At the end of the day all DNA questions are irrelevant. A new life emerged and a boy is going to be loved and cherished in one of India’s most illustrious families. May AbRam grow up healthy and happy! The road ahead of him is already shining in the limelight.

And the kids must be ecstatic too.


Madras Cafe

John Abraham has been gradually morphing into a major player in Bollywood. He is juggling his cards right with a mix of commercially viable films and independent ones. As a first time producer he hit gold with Vicky Donor.

Madras Cafe looks like a movie you don’t want to miss.

Besides John, the movie stars the Sri Lankan beauty Jacqueline Fernandez from Housefull2  and Nargis Fakhri, who we remember from Rockstar. Critics didn’t, but I liked her.

Madras Cafe is directed by  Shoojit Sircar. (Vicky Donor)

hits the theaters August 23rd.


Lootera, enchanted.

Get ready for some arresting, beautifully filmed images and songs that will melt your heart away.

Sonakshi Sinha has never been more charming and Ranveer Singh makes us fall in love with him all over again in Lootera.

Not only does the movie take place in 1953, it gives you the feeling  you are watching a movie of that era. It flows easy and gently through the first half, a romantic lullaby. It picks up drama and temporarily pace, only to level out again. The last quarter is quiet and introspective. No great Dabanggs here. Inner turmoils. A tale of redemption, of love conquers all and makes wrongs right.

The movie is set in West Bengal and captures the essence of Bengali films. It reminded my of the quietness of deep mountain lakes. You jolt a stone and it will create gentle ripples on the surface whilst it cuts through the deep waters, never to touch bottom.

Sonakshi Sinha graces each frame with her quintessentially Indian beauty. She conjures images of goddesses. As if somebody rubbed an oil-lamp, releasing a genie. She is greeting you from old paintings of a bygone era.  Sonaskhi is so beautiful you want to freeze time to keep her that way forever. I will always want to see her draped in colorful saris, not in skimpy Kareena outfits. The role of Pakhi was written for her.  I was glad to hear that she quit her agent over the refusal to take part in “Welcome.”  She is a character actress like Vidya Balan, a powerhouse, wasted on dumbed down movies. She should be weighing carefully her roles and remain true to herself.

Ranveer Singh plays his character Varun with depth and complexity.  Not to say I was surprised. I loved his nonchalance, energy and charisma  in Band Baaja Barat. This role as Varun,brings out a new side to him, the turmoiled, torn, emotionally charged.  Ranveer reminded me of Ralph Fiennes in The English patient, when he opened the door of his room to Pakhi. Or Ruldolfo Valentino in The Sheik. I bet every woman’s heart stood still for a moment.  This movie is heartbreakingly beautiful. I savored each minutet. Maybe it’s also the nostalgia of going back in time, before computers, before cell phones. A movie without the gadgets of our time felt so good all for sudden. Life seemed so different then.

If you want to spoil it for yourself, read all the reviews and storyline upfront. Or don’t ready anything about it and let the movie do its magic.

In a nutshell, a young archeologist, Varun Shrivastav (Ranveer Singh), comes with a friend  to excavate a temple site situated on grounds of a local Zamindar. He gains his trust and confidence of the kind Zamindar’s , whose most valuable asset is his daughter Pakhi (Sonakshi Sinha). Her feeble health is of great concern to him. From the first encounter  Pakhi feels increasingly drawn to  Varun and falls under his spell.  He is not what he seems to be though and things take an ugly turn.

If you are a guy, who loves action movies, don’t watch this movie. If you suffer from attention deficit disorder, don’t watch this movie. If you haven’t slept in days, bring a comfort pillow.

It’s a good date movie, if you want to reach out to the woman of your dreams. You might get lucky.

Writer/director Vikramaditya Motwane is a filmmaker after my heart. He has shown his talent with Udaan and DevD. He has worked on Devdas (2002) as associate director, as the choreographer in Water (2005)  and it must have inspired him. This movie is ripe with the tone and color of those two films, but Lootera is his masterwork.

I hope the movie makes it to the Oscar’s.

Awesome trailer of Chennai Express


I thought I had worked through my long-standing obsession with Shahrukh Khan, but watching the trailer of Chennai Express, the flame rekindled.

I remembered all for sudden that I heard he got injured on the set. Poor Srk. He has been always taking risks and paid for some of them dearly. For some reason I always worry when athletes or movie stars get injured. They often get pumped up with highly addictive painkillers, just to finish the movie, the run, the challenge…

Baby on board of Chennai Express

I heard that Srk will also get a baby delivered via Express. A good summer for him and Gauri, who, I bet, has forgotten by now how to change diapers. But luckily that’s like riding a bicycle, the knew-how memory comes right back to you.