Monday Morning Questions Post, the First One of February!

A new month!  How exciting!  Hopefully better than the last, which began not great and continued in the same vein.  At least, for me.  Anyway, it’s Monday Morning now, time for Questions! (you can find all past Questions posts here)

As always, you can ask me something that you wonder about me personally (“have you considered writing another book?”) or a specific fact that you want to know about the films because you just got into them (“are there any other books you would recommend on Indian film, besides your own?”) or just a general discussion type question (“what’s your favorite book on Indian film and why?”)

Anything is fair game, the only rule is that you have to let me answer first.  Otherwise, it’s no fun for me!  But once I put in my answer, please feel free to add on to my response as you feel like it.

20 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post, the First One of February!

  1. Can I just steal the questions you listed as examples because I’m genuinely curious? I know it’s lazy and I’ll try to come up with a better question later on. Are there any other books that you would recommend on Indian Cinema, particularly ones that are easily accessible? Also, do you have any plans to write another book? I think your Hindi Film 101 series would make a great one! My favorite parts of your first book were the personal stories that preceded the chapters. Would you consider writing an entire book with that sort of a slant?


    • The best book (besides mine!) is Tejaswini Ganti’s Guidebook. It’s a great intro, and it’s super easy to get (it’s on kindle and at most bookstores). If you want something a little more “fun”, scandalous star bios are always an easy read. I’m reading Karan Johar’s now, and it is excellent. And I think you can get it on Amazon. I just finished Rishi’s, it’s not as fun, but it does give you a little more of a look at the Kapoors. If you really want to go heavily into the Kapoors, Madhu Jain’s book on them gives the whole history of the family. It’s a slightly harder read, but not really.

      I also just read Rekha’s unauthorized bio, which was great fun and completely unreliable. Meena Kumari’s unauthorized bio, which was zipped out like within months of her death back in the 70s, was recently re-released and is also quite fun (although it takes a bit to get used to the writing style).

      I’d love to write another book, as you can see from my posting schedule, writing stuff is never a problem for me. The problem is promotions/publishers/etc. The first book just kind of happened, if I get serious about writing another one, I would need to “make” it happen, which, blech! If you happen to know someone at an agent’s office or a publisher house that does humorous non-fiction, let me know!


      • I just bought Karan’s book (well, the Kobo version) yesterday, after I noticed it was only nine dollars through Chapters. I looked into an actual hardcover copy but it would have been about 40 dollars with shipping (plus all the Amazon sellers were newly opened shops and that’s always kind of sketchy). I’m excited to start reading it, hopefully later on today!


        • I got it pretty cheap, probably because I was getting it shipped within country through Prime. I’m guessing my copy came from some little Indian storefront that ordered a bunch of copies cheap from India through their wholesaler, and then turned around and sold them to Americans and shipped them in country.

          On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 9:42 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s not February until tomorrow. Wait, I’m being geographically chauvinistic. I guess it is already February in a large part of the world.

    Anyway, are there any rumors about steroid use by male Indian actors? Particularly in regard to the older guys, it seems obvious that there’s some drug-assist body work going on.

    And isn’t this going to result in eventually health issues (not to mention SRK’s smoking)?


    • There’s definitely rumors. Rumors to the point of just being kind of accepted as fact by certain segments. For me, I actually suspect it more with the younger actors. Well, mid-range actors now. Hrithik and John Abraham and that group. The real older ones, like Shahrukh and Salman and Sanjay and Akshay, they’ve been working on their bodies for decades now, and they are more about removing fat than adding muscle (well, not so much Salman, but certainly Shahrukh and Aamir and Akshay). But if you look at the group that is slightly younger, they have this crazy bulk going on.

      And then the real younger crowd, Varun and Ranveer and Ranbir, it seems like they missed the steroids/steroid influenced trend. No need for huge muscles, happy to just work out for a couple hours a day and trust to their metabolism.

      Of course, they could all be using steroids to a greater and lessor degree, I have no way of knowing, but somehow John’s bulk seems more-fake than Varun’s muscles, or Aamir’s in Dangal.

      As for health issues, they already have SO MANY!!! Every major star has all kinds of aches and pains all over. Steroids aren’t great, but neither is doing your own stunts for 20 years.

      On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 1:28 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



        • Yes, that is correct, you are superior to me! Although, this is the Monday Morning Question post that will be taking us through the week during which it will turn into February.

          On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 3:41 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  3. I also easily got Karan’s book, brand new, through Amazon Prime. Its a fun read even though so many juicy quotes have already been out. Can we have a full blown discussion on it when more of a critical mass of people have read it? Not sure that counts as a Monday question, but there it is. I have LOADS to say about Raees but I need to gather my thoughts first. (4th viewing was last night. Spoiler alert: it gets better and better)


    • I was thinking about doing a whole post on Karan’s book, but I was worried I would miss something important or forget my favorite thought or something. A “review” feels so formal, like it has to be perfect!

      But maybe I just put up a quick summary of my thoughts more as a space for us all to talk about it? I can do that in a few weeks I think.

      On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 1:37 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



        • Hmm. I think I will have it finished by the end of this week, if not in the next few days. Of course, the nice thing is I can put up the post and you can come and comment on it at your own speed as you finish. But it would be nice if it lined up with a bunch of people finishing at once so we could all chat.


          On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 2:06 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • Sounds great! I didn’t have a chance to start yet but I’m sure it will be a quick read once I get going. I have a fair amount of lulls in my day while my son is playing or watching Daniel Tiger and Sesame Street, so I can usually breeze through books.

            Amazon Canada really stinks for ordering stuff like this: the sellers were all from India and it would have taken over a month to arrive. I probably could have ordered through like you guys, but the shipping and exchange would have been brutal. I’m just happy that I’ll be able to read it. Thank goodness for my Kobo!


  4. Since you’re in Chicago, have you been or do you plan to see Hamilton the musical? I’m a huge fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda and everything he’s ever done. My wife and I were pretty close to spending way too much money to see it in New York a year ago, just before they performed on the Grammy’s and the ticket prices really went insane. I regret not going (our bank account is happy) but I’m hoping it comes to Toronto in the next few years.


    • I really do want to see it, and I have been avoiding “Spoilers” of hearing the soundtrack or any specific details. But it’s still really hard to see it in Chicago! We’ve had “residence” shows before, and it’s usually pretty cheap and easy to see it once the first month or so is over, but Hamilton is still impossible. Hopefully in a few more months. I did get to see some of the cast perform at the local Women’s March, but it wasn’t like I could really hear anything 🙂

      On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 6:14 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • I just saw Hamilton in Chicago at the beginning of January. It lives up to the hype. I would urge you to download and listen to the soundtrack, because it’s essentially the entire play. Also, if you can watch it on demand, PBS did a documentary about the making of the play, that has performances of some of the key songs in the play by the original cast. That documentary is definitely worth watching.

        The staging is very spare — the music and lyrics are the essence of it.

        Here’s one from the Tony’s, too:


        • It’s so amazing! And that documentary PBS did was fantastic (they did a really nice one for In The Heights as well, years ago, which is still the footage of that musical I’ve ever seen, other than bits and pieces on youtube). It was great to see how a bunch of the songs were staged. They filmed the entire show back in June (maybe late May) just before Lin and most of the original cast left and hopefully that will get released one day. The documentary is a nice holdover until then. I am so jealous that you were able to see it in the flesh!

          Moviemavengal, do you have the Hamilton: The Revolution book? It’s another fantastic work of art that really goes even more in depth about the process of putting the show together and all the incredible people and stories involved.


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