Wednesday Watching: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking This Week?

Happy Wednesday!  Padmavati comes out in 2 days (maybe), and December starts (definitely).  And I am going to finish my Christmas presents on time (almost definitely maybe).

This is the place for us all to talk about what we are doing this week, the sort of general discussion that doesn’t fit anywhere else.  I’ll start!

Reading:  I am determined to finish Dilip Sahib’s autobiography by his birthday!  Even though I am now entering my December brain fog that makes only light weight romance novels appealing.  But no!  I will get through this!  Anyway, I’m coming up on the Madhubala section, which is extremely similar to a light weight romance novel.

 

Thinking:  Thinking about figuring out my December scheduling.  Family in town weekend after this through to January, off and on.  Need to juggle aunt, cousin, sister, brother-in-law, Grandpa, and of course Salman.  And finishing Christmas gifts, teaching Sunday School (thank goodness only one lesson in December), and everything else.  Thank goodness I already put up all my trees on Sunday, so the decorating is done at least.

 

Watching: Along with a handful of Salman movies (preparing for Salman week), I have FINALLY caught up on Downton Abbey, like everyone else in the world.  Mostly it is nice background viewing, because I don’t actually like all these people.  Partly because I am American and I can’t stand all these people who don’t actually DO anything with their lives!  And also Julian Fellowes is just the worst at inserting the most egregious Marty Sues.  All these noble middle-aged men with young women fawning over them!  Anyway, I’m not that emotionally involved, but it is very pretty.  Oh, and Mary=Deepika, Edith=Anushka, Sybil=Alia.

 

So, what have you been up to?  And am I heartless for not caring about all these pretty wealthy people who occasionally have mildly bad things happen to them that are still not as bad as what the vast majority of their society is suffering from?

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58 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking This Week?

  1. I’m still watching JHMS and discovering new joys in it with each watch.

    I’m reading a fascinating book called The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan, who is the Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research at Oxford University. It’s an enlightening and fascinating revisiting of world history from about the 1st century CE to include what happened east of Rome and Greece. I’m still just at the beginning but Frankopan is a gripping writer with the head of a scholar and theheart of a poet so it’s a fun read! Full of interesting facts such as: silk was actually used to pay Roman soldiers. And: the term ‘Silk Road’ was coined by Ferdinand von Richtofen, who, in addition to being a geologist, happened to be The Red Baron’s uncle. I love books that are scholarly (footnotes and all) but are also entertaining.

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    • More importantly, I just looked up Peter Frankopan, and he’s very handsome! Also, there is some odd thing with his family claiming a Croatian title that they are not entitled to.

      On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 7:29 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. My Kumar Gaurav marathon is still on.I’m starting to understand how great a phenomenon he was in the 80s. Shahrukh named his character in Fan Gaurav as a tribute to him after all.The movie Star is about him being a passionate young singer at a club who’s on the way up, when he loses his voice in an accident caused by a rival club owner.The story is nothing special and the BGM is terrible.But oh my god, the songs are fantastic.Full of 80s discoey goodness.

    “Muskuraye ja (Smile on) ” says Kumar Gaurav to the children on the beach.” And your pain will fly away” No:1 feel good song in my playlist.

    My favorite from Kumar G’s Mahesh Bhatt trilogy has to be Aaj.It’s Akshay Kumar’s first movie and he got his nom de plume from the character played by Kumar Gaurav’s character Akshay. And he also chose to keep the ‘Kumar’ part of KG’s name.Kumar Gaurav is sweet and diffident as a young man searching for his missing sister Smitha Patil.He’s a bit simple and doesn’t recognize that the police are giving him the go around.He runs across our hotshot journalist heroine Anjali who promises to find Smitha.Well, Smitha turns up abandoned at a government hospital,paralyzed, and still trying to shield her brother from what happened.The rest of the movie is about the journalist’s conflict of interest when the truth comes out.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think it was a crime that I didn’t realize Kumar Gaurav was such a huge thing in the 80s.He brought the disco into fashion much before Mithun.To be honest I wasn’t into Hindi films that much in the 80s.Had to depend on my relatives’ kindness to see whatever they chose to back from their colleges outside Kerala.Availability was a huge issue.By the time my cousins went back, the video cassette would have passed half a dozen households.But everything changed in the 90s.Cable TV, video parlors,Shahrukh.A lot of things changed at the same time.

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  3. I’m watching Sholay right now, I would like to watch some of the classics with Amitabh Bachchan.
    I’ve tried some Salman Khan but it’s not really my thing, or maybe it’s not the right moment.
    I’m reading a lot of graphic novels, mostly of italian or european authors.
    I’m thinking a lot about my job, if it’s the right one for me or it’s better if I quit.

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    • You’ve probably already seen this, but here is my starter post with Amitabh suggestions:

      https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2017/11/15/starter-kit-for-hindi-film-stars/

      I would add Zanjeer, Trishul, Silsila, and Kabhi Kabhi to that list. There are loads of others too, his filmography is kind of over-whelming, but those are the really big ones, Oh, and Anand!

      I have a horrible habit if quitting jobs just for that wonderful sensation of having quit. I’m jealous of people who are able to sit down and think about whether or not to quit instead of just impulsively doing it.

      On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 8:46 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • That’s true! I’ve had 16 jobs since I left college 10 years ago, and what I learned from them all, is that it just isn’t worth it to be miserable. Of course, I can say that because I am young and have no dependents, so it’s only myself that would suffer if I quit.

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    • Does it continue the same story and the same characters? I really liked Jayasurya’s character in the original film and I wouldn’t mind finding out what happened to him next.

      On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 9:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Watching:

    Jab Harry Met Sejal (Yes, again. I now have the DVD and streaming access so I can watch it anytime, anywhere.)
    Baahubali 1 and 2 (I introduced my son to part one as part of a family movie marathon on Thanksgiving and then watched part 2 with my husband the next day) Also better with every rewatch, which I think is the mark of a great film.
    What We Do in the Shadows (My son’s contribution to the movie marathon, a New Zealand mockumentary about vampires — funny! The same director as the recent Thor movie, which I now absolutely must see, just for that reason.)
    One Heart (A.R. Rahman concert documentary now on Netflix. Just beautiful; I will have it running again as I work today.)
    Om Shanti Om (By request, for a friend. She really enjoys the most masala of masala movies, preferably with objectified, shirtless male leads.)

    Reading:

    I am finishing up American Fire for my book club discussion next week, and also listening to A History of the World in 6 Glasses, which is about beer, wine, coffee, tea, and cola and the roles they played in world history. Fascinating! It might be the sort of thing for ericablueyz)

    Thinking:

    Lots of little fun projects are getting in the way of my major book project, but am having trouble focusing on the big thing. So, intellectual snacking. I am also trying not to think about Ivanka Trump meeting Shahrukh. I am sure he would be polite and respectful, but she doesn’t deserve his attention.

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    • I was just thinking about Bahubali 2, the section of DDLJ that I am working on now has some little bits that are similar. I have been debating watching One Heart, I did actually see Rahman in concert, and I kind of don’t want to cheapen the “real” experience by watching a video of it. On the other hand, it was a more boring concert tour, very different from the big stadium thing that I think One Heart is based on.

      Tell me if your History of the World thing mentions the Chicago beer riot of 1855!

      Shahrukh has met many many people who are equal to Ivanka Trump in every way, I think he is used to it. All those rich people weddings, all those meetings with politicians to get them to stop protesting his movies, heck, meeting Kate and Wills! Who are lovely people, but whose family threw Shahrukh’s father in jail.

      On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 9:14 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Speaking as an American~ivanka Trump is most definitely NOT someone Shah Rukh should waste a minute of his time on! I sent her a copy of MNIK shortly after her father became the president and asked her to watch & understand it and then to pass along its message to her father. I received no acknowledgement but what can you expect?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This week I have time to read (the thriller Life or Death by Michael Robotham), to browse the net and to watch some movies from my list (among others Naam and the ensemble film Kaante – both with Sanjay Dutt and interestingly also with Kumar Gaurav).
    Erica, would very much like to know some of the “new joys”…still have JHMS in my emotional system 🙂
    I doubt about Padmavati releasing soon (read that Bhansali had promised to not release the movie overseas on 1st of December). There is a rumour of a February release.

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    • Setting aside everything else, I think February is a better release date. I suspect it won’t hurt to have more time for post-production. And Febuary will give them a nice long while with no other big film coming out, instead of having to make way for Tiger Zinda Hai in a few weeks. December 1 kind of made sense as a date, since it gave them into the December season which would be good for the international market, and it was kind of an open period, but February makes more sense.

      On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 9:38 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Well, Kumar Gaurav and Sanjay Dutt are best friends and brothers-in-law in real life.It’s a treat to see them together.I envy you the experience.Plus there’s Sanjay’s real mom Nutan playing his reel mom.And the movie definitely has some elements from their real life in it.It should definitely be seen before the new Dutt movie comes out.

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  6. Not much to report really since the holidays are upon us and I also lose valuable movie watching and reading time. I will also be focusing on a family heritage scrapbook thingy for my mom for Christmas and will probably be watching a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies and rewatching favorite films while doing that.

    Over Thanksgiving, I did watch Dabangg with my mom and dad (my dad’s first Hindi film). I probably should have gone with Omkara. My mom has seen several Hindi films, like Dil Dhadakne Do, Jab We Met, Bang Bang and ZNMD, and she generally likes them. So the turn to masala wasn’t successful for her and my dad didn’t seem to like it much either. Oh well. I also prepared the beef keema recipe and gobi mattar from the great new Bollywood Kitchen cookbook for them and that went over slightly better.

    More successful was introducing my nieces and nephew (ages 9-14) to The Princess Bride. They all seemed to like it! And I rewatched John Wick 2 with my mom (who loved the first one). It’s not as good as the first one but it sets up the third well.

    Still haven’t finished a new book in ages. Still reading Gaskell and started When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandya Menon. It’s not bad so far…the characters are well drawn and the setting of a web app developing seminar for young people is perfect for the YA audience. The desi stuff is flawlessly integrated and it happily has included some non-translated Hindi dialogue (which a non-speaker could identify by context). The romance is completely predictable but I’m reading it for the generational conflict and the modern take on youthful romance.

    Thinking about how I’m going to get through the holiday season with lots to do at work, all the holiday socializing, the gift buying, the scrapbooking project, and dealing with the constant barrage of infuriating current event news.

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    • Starting at the end, I have just given up and started crafting at work. It’s the only way to get everything done. Thank goodness, this years gifts are more mobile than last year, which it would have involved bringing the entire sewing machine in to the office with me.

      I have a BIG BIG recommendation for you! I was waiting for you to comment so I could bring it up! I just re-watched Lucky: No TIme For Love since it’s on Netflix now, and I was watching it thinking “wow, this is a lot better than I remembered, especially in terms of ridiculous swoony romance”. And it’s the same directing/writing team as Sanam Teri Kasam!!!!! You should definitely watch it. Plus it’s all wintery and Russian, so that’s sort of seasonal.

      In non-Indian, both Christmas Kiss 1 and Christmas Kiss 2 (on Netflix) are entertaining fun movies. Christmas Spirit is ridiculously hilariously bad. Christmas Belle is just boring bad (I also spend December in a Christmas movie haze).

      You are reminding me that I think my sister and brother-in-law haven’t seen John Wick 2 yet. I showed them John Wick 1, which of course they loved (although they had to leave the room for the sad bit that sets off the revenge).

      On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 9:59 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I don’t think I could get all of my scrapbook stuff in and out of the library in a stealthy manner:)

        I just put Lucky on my list. I haven’t even heard of it before! I’ve never even thought to look up more films by the STK team…duh!

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        • Oh, and I have too many favorite cheesy Christmas movies to count…I really liked A Crown for Christmas because I love Rupert Penry-Jones, The Christmas Ornament with Kellie Martin, A Nutcracker Christmas with Amy Acker, Love at the Christmas Table, Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and A Princess for Christmas.

          But my favorite Christmas movie of all time (beyond the popular ones like Holiday and Love Actually that I also love) is Hi-Life from 1998 with Campbell Scott, Daryl Hannah, Eric Stoltz, and Moira Kelly. It’s definitely not for everyone because it’s kind of a dark comedy but it’s set on Christmas Eve in NYC and it just reminds me of the years I spent living there around the same time the movie came out. There’s even a really odd but sweet romance in it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0132213/

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          • Oh man, I want to watch ALL of these! I’ve already seen Love at the Christmas Table and love it, which makes me think I can trust your judgement on the others. I haven’t had cable for years and I don’t miss it, except for December. Because it is so great to be able to just let Lifetime and Hallmark and ABC Family play all day and switch between them. Hunting for the holiday options on Netflix and Amazon and so on is a lot less satisfying.

            It might be worth it to try one of those new streaming TV options just for December.

            On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 11:09 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I got really interested when I looked them up. It’s a man and woman creative partner team, who have only done two movies (I think) but also do song sequences. They have worked with Salman a few times for songs, and then for Lucky. They also did “Tere Mast Mast Domain” from Dabangg, which makes sense since I think that is one of the most beautiful romantic songs ever. I can kind of see how they started from songs, they have that big emotional sense of things which could really shine in little 3 minute song sequences even if they didn’t do any other part of a movie.

          For a taste of Lucky, here’s the big romantic song (also, Salman doesn’t look half bad in it!)

          On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 11:02 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. ” And am I heartless for not caring about all these pretty wealthy people who occasionally have mildly bad things happen to them that are still not as bad as what the vast majority of their society is suffering from? ”

    I started reading Karan Johar’s An unsuitable boy this week and your words are exacly what I thought while reading. When he compares love failure to brain tumor, I was all like – does this man even know what he is saying? Will try to continue but, I’m a little discouraged.

    Watching:
    Kutty – tamil version of Aarya. Watched it for Dhanush, but I’m disappointed.
    Then I discovered that a malayalam movie called 7th day exist, and had to watch it for Prithviraj and Tovino. There wasn’t subs, but I watched it anyway. Film was ok, but it definitely would be better with subtitles.
    And yesterday I have seen Charlie and I fell in love with this movie.

    Other things:
    I have a new hobby – decoding malayalam movie titles. Great way to familiarize with malayalam script. I know, it’s like the most usless hobby ever, but how rewarding 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Karan is a bit dramatic, it’s true.

      I found Aarya the original okay, but not that rewarding. I can’t imagine watching a remake! Although Dhanush is perfect casting.

      On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 10:03 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. `
    The latest Trump stuff is driving me back under the bed. I can just barely watch The Great British Baking Show — although it is almost too hard-hitting for my weakened condition.

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  9. Greetings!
    I finally showed my coworkers Bahubali 2, and they were not pleased at ALL. They found Devasena to be too brash, and arrogant. Amarendra and Kattappa was everybody’s favorite, and definitely had to fight over a few coworkers that Prabhas belongs to me. hehe
    I was definitely suprised that Devasena wasnt accepted as most people did. Could it be a cultural thing, as most of them were Hispanics and Whites?

    Reading: Calc Test in 5 hours! Lecture Notes awayyyyy
    Watching: I really really want to watch oopiri but there is no subtitles to be found. They dubbed it into malayalam and it is horrible. *cries. Anxiously waiting for Richie and Bhaagmathie
    Thinking: College Apps are due tomorrow and I haven’t even started. Should I just board a flight to Mumbai/Chennai/Trivandrum/Hyderbad and try my luck in films, where math and science is just a subject, and not torture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you go back through our B2 comments, especially on the Devasena character post, there is a minority opinion that she is rude and the cause of all the problems. But I think your theory kind of makes sense, Devasena and the way she interacts with her family and her mother-in-law and all of that is so satisfying if you have been dealing with the way women are usually treated in Indian films/culture.

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  10. Reading: Bollywood Twitter and Meghan Markle news, which is light and fluffy and completely inconsequential, which is what I need right now. Can’t deal with real news, esp. because my job requires me to keep up with at least some of it. Once I’m off the clock it’s all pretty Bolly and princess fantasy.

    Watching: Nothing except for Bolly music videos because after my two month movie rampage I need a breather to clear my brain. I will likely rewatch movies for a bit though I seem to have another shot at Bangalore Days through Einthusan.

    Thinking: About my job and disability rights and all kinds of too heavy things, which is why my reading is so trivial.

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    • Very important to take breathers! Those first few months of trying to get everything straight, it’s like studying for an exam or something. And we all know that steady cramming doesn’t work, you need to learn things, and then sleep on it and process it slowly over the whole semester, if you want to actually remember things.

      I love music videos, because it lets you keep your hand in without needing to focus or think too much. Speaking of exams, I spent all of college with music videos in the background while I studied. So studying wasn’t too depressing.

      On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 1:00 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. I’ve mostly been watching stuff in Japanese because I have a proficiency test on Sunday, but did take time for a couple of Indian movies. I’ve watched about half of Kaalia, which is a ton of fun; and all of Madaari, which is not. Kaalia is so far Amitabh punching people; Parveen Babi has just entered the picture. It’s my first movie with her, so looking forward to that. Madaari was of course a big downer but Irrfan was terrific. I’ve been disappointed in the last couple of things I saw him in (one was Haider, can’t remember the other), so it was nice to see a good performance. But what was with the unbelievably precocious kid? What eight year old knows what Stockholm Syndrome is? I don’t know; I don’t know any kids. Maybe they know all about various psychological problems these days.

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    • I will if it comes out here. But I’m not getting my hopes up since all the other Malayalam movies have been soooooooooooooo delayed.

      On Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 12:42 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • If/when it comes there, please do watch and share your review. Because you’re the reason why I enjoyed “Angamaly Diaries” so much. And that review of yours was amazing.
        Anyway, Geetu Mohandas had this to say about this film:
        “At the wake when bigger the budget better the cinema is the norm when actually it’s the same crap in a different pot, here comes Lijo’s film..EE MA YAU…silently conquering and captivating us with the plot, characterisations and tonality of the film. This film pulls at your heart string , transcending regional, language and cultural boundaries to become what could possibly be and accepted internationally as well. It’s a joy to watch actors rising above as their respective characters and cinematography just enough to support the story telling. Thank you Lijo for this treat”

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      • Also teaser for Prithviraj’s Christmas release ” Vimanam” (Plane) released. It is based on true events and the real life person was on of the guest in Hritik Roshan’s Discovery Channel Show Real Life Heroes.

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  12. Watching – Baaghi is turning out to be more and more addictive and now we finally got to see Osman Khalid Butt in it and we just can’t have enough. Started watching Alif (the urdu version of the Turkish series Elif) which is about a village girl who clears her medical school entrance but the Dean of Admissions is a burqa banner and the girl is pro-hijab and there’s a good young solider who’s fiancée’s aunty is the wicked dean who is also the birth mother of the village girl. Super addictive so far!

    Also watching, the news. Elections are barely 10 days away!!

    Reading: well more like writing actually. Had to write a couple of petitions appealing the local MLA to have a road constructed in the village where my warehouse is.

    Doing: a bit of craft. Turning mom’s old metal trunk set into two coffee tables and a couple into seating. Also going to board up a large ventilation window and turn it into a framed artwork. Golden mirrored hexagons on a matt black background.

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    • Your crafting sounds more fun than my crafting! Which is more about cursing at little bits of yarn while I try to struggle through 8 identical projects for Christmas presents.

      My parents use my grandfather’s old army trunk for a coffee table. Both because it looks cool, and also because they are in an apartment with minimal storage, so it’s handy to have a trunk full of clothes in the middle of the living room.

      On Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 8:01 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  13. Reading – nothing fun sadly. Mostly school related. Although, I’ll have more time once this class ends and I’ll get to head to the library and load up on some fun books. (I should not get this excited about the library but I really am!)

    Watching – I got to visit family over Thanksgiving and we wound up watching some old 60s-70s Tamil movies. Some of which were good and some really not good. But it was pointed out by someone that the older movies had a lot more plot. Everyone got at least some backstory or their own little story which made for some long (and sometimes rambling) films but the films also seemed more invested in their characters. I saw Ethiroli directed by K Balachander and starring Sivaji Ganesan (an odd combo I didn’t realize had done a film together).

    Thinking – About the Weinstein effect happening which is incredibly difficult because I know these things happen but the sheer scale of it all is heartbreaking. But I am glad it’s coming out in the open, people feel comfortable talking about it and they are believed. And it’s satisfying to see (at least in some cases) these men facing some consequences at least.

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    • I still haven’t recovered from the school reading schedule! That’s why I suddenly feel like reading romances in December and children’s books in the summer. Because it’s what I used to do in college, I wouldn’t let myself read for pleasure during school, and then I would read the lightest happiest stuff once it was vacation. What was really great was when I was in grad school and still had access to the University library over break. I requested all these terrible books that were justifiably obscure just because I vaguely remembered reading them as a child and I wanted to see how they ended.

      I need to get back to K Balachander at some point. I went through a little mini-phase with him, and then moved on to more modern stuff, but his films were just so good! And he was so prolific, I could watch one a week for over a year and still not be done.

      The Weinstein effect makes me so happy! I just assume that sexual harassment is present in every industry in every place, so the revelations don’t upset me, it’s more of a “woo-hoo! this stuff that I kind of just assumed was happening did happen, but now something is being done about it!”

      On Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 9:46 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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