Archive for the ‘Wifey’ Category

(Written by my wife Rajlakshmi Ghosh)

Words from the Gallery…

That was an era when MEN ruled the screens, both on and off it. And Vinod Khanna was a part of that rare tribe, breathing a machismo and charm that made Mills & Boons heroes seem ever so life-like. If they looked more Vinod Khannaesque in our mind’s eye—the hard jaw, hair carelessly tousled, dimpled chin, tall dark strapping figure with a larger than life presence–can the women of the species be blamed? If you didn’t go for Amitabh Bachchan’s angry man image in the Seventies and Eighties, there was always Vinod Khanna in a cast and style all of his own. He was a natural actor whose look and sheen was far from skin deep, radiating a maturity that gave depth to his cinematic characters.….dappled in shades of grey which made them seem all the more real. Today, when I think of tinsel town’s heroes, aren’t they more boyish and lean? And if machismo is all about muscle and brawn, look up Vinod Khanna’s tall, dark chiseled persona for reference… an animal magnetism that made women go weak in the knees.

It is hard to think that Vinod Khanna is no more. A memory in the chimera of images that keep flashing past. But to a whole generation of women like me, he was the epitome of masculinity….they don’t make them these days, a la Hollywood Gregory Peck mould.

In an age when there were no gyms to create that six pack abs or specialists to cover up every glitch and flaw, Vinod Khanna was the true hero whose likes you are not likely to find in any acting school.

Queen of Hearts….

Posted: September 15, 2016 in Hindi films, Wifey, Women in cinema

(written by my wife Rajlakshmi Ghosh)

They are a SMART and RAVISHING lot. And everyone—from eight to eighty—can’t stop RAVING about their beauty and poise. DELVE deeper, and you find they are beauties with a MIND of their own. It is not easy being Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Anushka Sharma or even Sonakshi Sinha in B-town: the spotlight is constantly ZOOMING in on their lives. A lot of hard work and grooming go into being an actress that counts and all of these damsels have taken Bollywood by storm.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…..

Deepa lays her BETS on Anushka when she says that the actress “has a good personality and great acting skills”. Quiz her further and she adds, Anushka is close to achieving the same stature as Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra. “She did such a good job in ‘Band Baja Baraat’ and I am also looking forward to her latest flick ‘Ladies vs Ricky Bahl’,” says Deepa with stars in her eyes. Move on to Avinash Kaur, a BTech student, and she has the same words of praise for this former model and Yash Raj Films favourite: “Anushka is a good actress and a consistent performer. I liked her in ‘Band Baja Baraat’—where she looked so pretty as a Punjabi girl–and ‘Badmash Company’.”

But then, Deepika too has a fair share of loyalists. Shivam, a XIIth standard student, only BOTHERS himself with Deepika’s films. “I haven’t seen the movies of the rest of the lot. But Deepika looked stunning in ‘Karthik Calling Karthik’, ‘Om Shanti Om’ and ‘Love Aaj kal’.” Pooja, a student of Ryan International, is quite FASCINATED by Deepika’s “height and dusky colour—I just love it”, she says. The rest, she feels, “are dumb. Sonakshi is fat. Perhaps, Anushka comes a close second to Deepika.” Her best words are for Deepika in films like ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ and ‘Om Shanti Om’.

But Gajinder Singh, a B.Sc student, believes there is none to MATCH Sonakshi. “She is a great actress and has all the skills to make it to the top. I liked her especially in ‘Dabangg’ and can’t forget her role.”

For sure, these actresses have the ‘it’ factor. In the make-believe world, they are well and truly the Queen of Hearts. And given their huge fan following, little wonder these divas have given many a box office hit!


Bollywood Beauties….

Deepika Padukone: The daughter of badminton ace Prakash Padukone, has had a string of successful films under her belt. Be it her debut Bollywood film ‘Om Shant Om’ or ‘Love Aaj kal’ with Saif Ali Khan, Deepika has made her mark as much for her looks and height as for her acting skills, poise and charm.

Anushka Sharma: She is the girl to watch out for, after Kareena and Katrina. The ‘Band Baja Barat’ girl had a dream debut with Sharukh Khan no less in ‘Rab Ne Bana de Jodi’. Since then, she has moved from strength to strength with a hit like ‘Band Baja Baraat’ as her crowning glory. Now that ‘Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl’ has hit the theatres, Anushka, it seems, is truly on a roll.

Sonakshi Sinha: Ever since she came into the spotlight with Salman Khan’s ‘Dabangg’, there was no looking back for this vivacious actress. Shotgun Shatrughan Sinha’s daughter shows great promise and what with her filmi background, is bound to make it big.

Sonam Kapoor: Another star kid, the daughter of Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor, first made heads turn with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Saawariya’.  Since then, this fashionista’s career has been mostly on the upswing. With ‘Delhi-6, ‘I Hate Luv Storys’ and ‘Aisha’, her foothold in filmtown seems firm.



Piku: For the Motion..

Posted: September 22, 2015 in Hindi films, Wifey



This time I beat my husband to it—by quickly writing a review and floating it for the world to see. What I am going to say isn’t earth shattering and its probably been said to death, but who cares, we Bengalis like to talk about ourselves, our culture,our drama, our literature, blah blah, blah and think we know it all. I am not the kind who flocks to multiplexes since I just hate to watch a film alone and my better half seems bitter about this whole experience of wasting money watching inane films (well, we don’t get to see a ‘Tahader Katha’ every season which leaves us with too few choices). But when it’s on TV, it’s a kind of a free for all and then my hubby is content to keep his brains on the back burner. Intellect can of course fly out of the window!

I seem to have lost the point completely but I am itching to write about ‘Piku’, a film that I had the fortune to see only yesterday. Did I like the film? Yes and no, simply because my Bong Puritanism is saying one thing, while the more contemporary side of me says it’s kind of cute, dressed up in a way that is a treat for the eyes. Look at the aesthetics of it all, the pretty-as-a-picture house in Chittaranjan Park, the old colonial mansion which seems freshly painted and white washed for the film shoot (though the characters claim it is in a state of disrepair), Deepika Padukone oozing charm in a dishevelled kind of way, vignettes of Kolkata fusing the old and the new which appeals for reasons of nostalgia, yes I was lovin’ the whole spread.

But the storyline seemed faulty in parts –isn’t that entire bowel syndrome far too exaggerated? After all, we Bongs may take pride in our ‘acid attacks’ and ‘constipated chatter’ but is that what really characterizes us? I remember my own Mama drawing up the ‘pathology’ of people’s lives, illiciting squeals of laughter (he was a master on the subject) but jokes apart, had it not been for Soojit Sarkar, we Bengalis may not have forgiven such idiosyncrasies portrayed so unabashedly Bollywood style.Come to think of it, does a ‘Madrasi really enjoy being panned for his thick accent or a Sardarji for his lack of common sense? But we Indians, for lack of originality, love to draw stereotypes. I quite agree with the script where it says we are an argumentative lot –just give us an issue and we will be exercising our vocal chords to the hilt, since drama (or is it jatra ) comes naturally to us. Medicines and medical history fascinate us like no other topic of discussion. The film seems to have done reasonably well on that score and that bit about being paranoid (remember where the father-daughter duo discover the knife in the car and jump to conclusions!) is so very true since we love to create hype, and yes, make a mountain out of a molehill. Amitabh Bachchan gives us a convincing portrayal but both he and Deepika seem disconnected in parts(is it because they are not of Bengali origin and needed tutoring for their parts?).The storyline seems concocted though old people tend to be stuck in their ways and a road trip seems like an inevitable fallout. Irrfan Khan is his natural in-your-face-self and helps to ignite the chemistry between Piku and Rana, but you can’t just clap with one hand and it takes two to tango. So what is the other half doing? Only fretting about Baba? What we are left with is just a whiff of a romance, but in the West, they would have given us a more full blown account. Here, there is just a hint, since the emotion has been invested in the motion and there is too much of it everywhere. It’s only in the end that the dust really settles but by then there is no storyline. All we are left with is anticipation: wish the movie had more to say. Why, oh why the abrupt denouement?

Sen and Sensibility

Posted: June 30, 2015 in Mrinal Sen, Wifey

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My wife’s article on Mrinal Sen which was published in The Telegraph Graphiti sometime around 1990s…