Thursday, June 08, 2006

The movie freak

Only a few hours separate me from wishing a soft 'Goodbye' to the CNBC TV18 offices here in Lower Parel, Mumbai. The summer project is almost over, the field work is done, only the tabulation of data and the final project report now remain to be prepared.
My regional boss seems to be glad to get rid of a vegetarian, non-smoking - non-drinking summer trainee like me who quietly sipped his Coke, while the other colleagues greedily eyed their pitchers of beer when the boss gave a treat at a pub. "What a waste!!", the guys would say at the office canteen when my onion uttapam would arrive, while they ravenously polished off their butter chicken. "Actually," my boss remarked, "you would've done much better had you had your summer training at Varanasi instead of Mumbai. Much better for a guy like you." "But why Varanasi? I hear Hardwar is equally pleasant at this time of the year," I retorted.
(But of course, I must hasten to add that my boss is really a nice sorta fellow. Well, you see, I'm yet to receive my stipend for the last two months, so...)
So, I just sit back and type away to glory after having accompanied another colleague for a smoke to the smoking area behind the canteen. While he puffed away on his Gold Flake, I sipped my coffee while shyly stealing glances at the beautiful girls in their colorful tees and jeans who'd taken a breather from their work to recount to their friends how they'd been "Like sooooo drunk at xxx's party" (the triple 'x' was unintentional, and therefore, doesn't beg any untoward attention).
Back in the office area, I sit back on the chair which I've maroed from the neighbouring cubicle (Really!! When will these large companies be able to make an inventory of the no. of people in their offices and get the adequate no. of chairs?) and think back on the last 2 months at Mumbai.
Let not the reader of this post be under the impression that I while away time day-dreaming and introspecting in a professional capacity; it is just that I wait for my boss to make a reappearance, the gentleman having left for some field work where duty calls.
Hence, while I have the opportunity to bore the reader to death, let me gladly grab this opportunity with both hands and proceed to recount some of the wonderful movies that I have seen during my stay.
Well, what shall I say....I AM A MOVIE FREAK !!
And the summer internship was a great time to catch up on movies. DVD wallahs at the Andheri station have made a killing, and I find myself the proud owner of movies ranging from Lethal Weapon to Pakeezah.
A few weeks ago, I'd intended to write about the time I saw "Madhumati". Those of you who just went "Whaaaa??" really need to educate yourself about the time Dilip Kumar ruled the roost in the Hindi film industry. And like I found out, the most haunting tunes that you might have often unknowingly hummed yourself happen to be from that movie. Remember "Aaja re pardesi" by Lata Mangeshkar; or "Suhana safar aur yeh mausam haseen" by Mukesh, for that matter? Yes sir. Madhumati is the movie where you'll find these gems embedded. There are a number of other tunes too, but you must watch the movie to enjoy 'em.
Then of course, I watched the Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts romantic comedy, "Notting Hill". I absolutely love this movie, in spite of all the "masculine" adrenaline-pumping movies that I continue to enjoy at the same time. I went the complete movie-buff way and made myself some Act II popcorn at home while watching the movie for the umpteenth time, and once again found myself appreciating the beauty of Julia Roberts (Mini, like many others before her, has recommended that I finally watch "Pretty Woman"). And if you haven't seen "Notting Hill" till now, go watch it...if only to hear the beauty of the simple lines "I'm also just a girl...standing in front of a boy...asking him to love me". Songs like "Ain't no sunshine when she's gone" and "You say it best, when you say nothing at all" make it all the more worthwhile watching the movie (don't miss out on how the entire song "Ain't no sunshine..." seems to be a single shot and how well a passage of 10-12 months is shown in a matter of a few seconds).
And finally, the BIG DADDY of films is here. "The Godfather" is a movie which has captured my imagination ever since I read the book by Mario Puzo. The book is absolutely fabulous, and those of you who would've read it would know about the brilliant character portrayal of Don Corleone. The dark, brooding intensity of the film can captivate any silent observer and transport him/her into the world of the Corleone family. And also, there is the haunting background music which refuses to be shut out of my mind. Even as I tried to, someone's mobile phone in the office rang, and guess what?? The ring tone was the same signature Godfather tune. And that is what led me to write this post. Go, for heaven's sake, and watch the Godfather trilogy. Even if you didn't know that it was Sofia Coppola (the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola) who played Michael Corleone's daughter in Godfather Part III, you must make it a point to watch ALL three parts, for it is an education in film-watching.


Rose said...


Gues uv got a gud glimpse of corporate life.. Iv turned into a perpetual passive smoker.. Ugggh!!

Me luv movies too.. Me fell in luv with 'Notting Hill'.. Me luv Julia Roberts.. Pretty Woman is one of my favs..

Liked the buk 'Godfather' better though.. But yes.. Marlon Brando was incredible in the movie..



Shikha said...

Classics like 'Madhumati' are definitely a breather from gen now stuff and drag us to an era which expressed simplicity in its purest form.

Himanshu Jain said...

checking your blog after a loooooooooooooooong time..
regarding movies.. i just watched two movies which i would recommend to everyone..
1. Barbarians at the gate.
2. Remember the titans...

shweta said...

oyee sirzee ...sachi batao pehle ..sachi nahi dekhi ...notting hill kya ..
its one of my favs too ...i jst love it ...nd see it till the last ...nd hve well uptil now seen it lets say at the max ..12 times ...cant resist this movie ..
nd yupiiee....yahan ki palika bazar ka yeh hallat hai ..kaash yahan ke railway station par bhi ...movies bikte ..mast hota ..newayz ..tke care ...nd yaar so gaye kya orkut pe log kar ke sheply naa ...

Shekhar said...

rose: //perpetual passive smoker

Mat pooch yaar..sometimes I'm left wondering whether it would've been better to start smoking because I'm inhaling so much smoke anyway.

shikha: Completely agree with you. Somehow, the simplicity with which the tales are narrated make the impact of the story that much more stronger. Madhumati and Devdas (the Dilip Kumar one) make the point brilliantly.

himanshu: Hello sir, really really long time, huh? Good to see you back.

shweta: Arre, kal raat yaad kiya tha tujhe...English/Hindi 3-in-1 DVDs outside Andheri (E) station at 50 bucks !! Balle Balle.

Himanshu Jain said...

ya.. wasn't very active online in the past.. but now i m back..

ShallowOcean said...

me too a BIG time movie freak....have watched back to back 7 movies in a day.....

i hope you can easily undersatnd the power of the great movies...
do recommend me some...
i'll make sure to watch them if i haven't till now :D:D


Shekhar said...

shallowocean: //back to back 7 movies in a day...

Wow!! We 2 must get together someday and compete for the 'Most Vella Person' Award. ;)

And as for some great movies, I just saw 'A Beautiful Mind'. Go watch it if you haven't already.

panjandrum said...

just stumbled upon ur blog fact was just listening to aint no sunshine and i love it too....amazing blogs u write mate

Shekhar said...

panjandrum: Thanks dude.