Monday Morning Questions Post: What Post Do You Want to See?

Happy Monday!  And happy day 11 of my massive sudden slide in blog views!  Stupid holiday season keeping people busy in the real world instead of the internet world.  Oh well, I will see this as an opportunity to do some experimenting.

As always, you can ask me any questions you want from the personal (“what have you been doing in the real world instead of being on the internet?”) to the specific (“what is the scheduling of the American holiday season that we are working around?”) to the general discussion (“what is it about holidays that keep people offline?”)

And the only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  The discussion just goes better if I start it off.

 

Now, question for you!  What should I put up that will get people talking?  It’s not so much that my number of visitors has gone down, as that you all aren’t coming back over and over again.  Which is what comments do!  They get you to keep coming back.  So, what do you want to talk about?

Opinion piece?  Another Starter Kit?  Fanvids?  Songs post?  Random Hindi film review?  I’m desperate, I’ll try anything!

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60 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post: What Post Do You Want to See?

  1. Oh,definitely more reviews.And all the rest.I’m not much of a fan of fanvids though.When does your Christmas preparations officially begin? I confess I postpone mine to the very last minute.In fact last year we hung the Christmas star only 2 days before Christmas.After the demonitisation, nobody felt much like shopping.Not that we have the tradition of exchanging gifts for Christmas anyway.Except at work.More importantly do we have any Hindi films with Christmas scenes at all?

    Liked by 1 person

    • My sister and I started making handmade gifts for all the relatives when we were 6 and 8. So ever since then it’s been a two month process. We start thinking of gift ideas around Halloween, make a final decision a little before Thanksgiving, and then work flat out for 6 weeks to get it all done.

      I started doing Christmas cards about 10 years ago, to hand deliver them to all my friends takes over a month, so I usually design and order them a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and then try to make time to meet up with friends one on one over the next several weeks.

      There’s my parents’ holiday choir concert, the church cookie sale, my annual quilting group party, all of that stuff is squeezed in to the beginning of December. And then the relatives start arriving from out of town about a week before Christmas.

      I decorate my apartment around Thanksgiving, but that’s more just to give me a little lift to get me through all the other stuff.

      I can’t take credit for this comparison, someone else came up with it, but the way my family does Christmas is kind of like the way a desi family would do a wedding. It’s a lot of work in a lot of different areas, but the end result is something fun and wonderful and worth doing. But it does last an entire 2 months of working in every spare moment to pull it off.

      On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 7:09 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Goodness your schedule sounds exhausting.I’m amazed that you still find time to write.I love the idea of a real Christmas tree with real candles.Here we mostly use fake trees which personally creep me out.

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        • We had real trees while I was growing up, even cut them down ourselves a few years. But now we have compromised, my sister and I have small fake funny looking trees and my parents have the real tree. But we haven’t done real candles since the 30s I think, when electric lights came in.

          3.25 handmade gifts finished as of right now, only 5.75 left! 2 more cards delivered at work today, and another 2 will be done on Thursday when a couple friends come over. And I’m skipping the family outing to the Christmas Carol on Sunday afternoon which will gain me a few more hours.

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  2. I’m still waiting for sparknotes style SRK film reviews. Seriously!! SRK Sparknotes. Like the scene by scenes. Which makes us think. Honestly it was the bahubali scene by scene that made me addicted and kept me coming back. More brain food, please!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll try! The problem is, I have way way way too much to say! That’s why I do scene by scenes so I can remember every little moment and every little thought. Trying to boil it down to just “this is the main theme and here are a few examples of how it works” would be super hard.

      Oh, and the other thing, it would need to be something that enough people had seen to be able to have a real discussion on it. And I am very bad at figuring out which films those would be. Suggestions?

      On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 7:34 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Sholey
        Mother India
        Guide
        Disco Dancer
        Maine Pyar Kiya
        Darr
        DDLJ
        QSQT
        Mughal e Azam
        Border
        Three Idiots

        Basically, once you have a format down, you can do whichever ones you like the most and then move onto whichever ones that stood out for you.

        As always, with format posts, you’d find your sweet spot about a dozen articles in.

        Liked by 1 person

        • But I already did most of those and got no views!!!!! Especially Guide, no one cares about Guide. Poor Dev.

          On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 10:20 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • It’s difficult to read about Guide, in particular, and most of these films, in general, when they’re not in a particular format. Complex films require the layers to be revealed systematically. Within context. With tiny details.

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          • Blech, systematically! I like my nice stream of consciousness where the thought occurs and my fingers hit the keys with no stop in the middle.

            But yeah, I know what you mean. I just hate having to sort things out in advance instead of throwing it in one big mushy pile.

            On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 10:41 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Well you’ll still have your regular posting schedule for that.

            And I hate to be saying it for the nth time– I loved the pain of disco video! That’s exactly what I want. I know you know what I mean!

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      • Or maybe you can do “an introduction to” for actors, directors, writers and banners.

        This blog is also very much a resource for new and old Indian film fans and perhaps it’s time to build it up like a resource too.

        It would be nice to have one post where one gets the ins and outs, context etc for the names one is likely to recognise. I guess for non Indian fans it would be hard to distinguish between different languages or states and what it means when a non Bombay person is an actor and so on. Like a wiki but much less obnoxious

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        • Well, I kind of already do that in my book. And I feel like I’ve already done that in a few posts in the past. But that goes back to the idea of reposting older posts in a way that makes them easier to find.

          On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 10:25 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yup. I’m actually imagining an introduction to Shahrukh Khan

            Thus would have everything from his parents name and ancestry to where and time if you have those details

            Where he grew up, what school he went to, his first theatre project, selected films, other ventures. Like a completely lowdown on the guy in 3000 words or less! Or more! You’re the expert!

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          • And then you just know I will get distracted for 2000 words on something like “the meaning of the pronunciation of his name” and completely lose track that this is supposed to be superficial.

            But I can try!

            On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 10:43 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I would prefer that you get distracted by a certain point and give your thoughts than doing something I could read on Wikipedia. I really like the flow of your thoughts the most.
            You cannot do everything at the same time…and I wonder why you are so desperate about the view counts. It’s like high and low tide. Please, do just like you enjoy doing!

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          • It’s not so much the view counts themselves as that it makes it really really hard for me to write if I’m not getting comments/views. It just doesn’t flow as well if I don’t have some kind of feedback telling me people are reading. It went from joy to torture to write posts over the past few days, and I hated that!

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  3. Isn’t it time for an end of the year review? Or almost? There aren’t many openings left, right?

    Do you have a mental list of your top five movies for the 2017?

    Oh, and I am all excited about JHMS being on Netflix because the subtitles are so much better in this version! And I am also really, really excited because interlibrary loan just came through with the 1955 Devdas and it isn’t due until the middle of March!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Wait, what? JHMS is on Netflix? EEEEEEEEE how did I miss it? I go to Egypt for a week and all hell breaks loose (to use our not-so favorite idiom from the movie). Oh, my husband has no idea what is on his viewing schedule tonight (rubs hands together gleefully).

      Liked by 2 people

    • I second the request for an end of year review. Also maybe an analytical piece about why it was a crap year for movies around the world.

      I’ve been craving formal assessments of the big stars, like a Western film critic’s analysis of their careers, their public images, their films and the impact on the culture and industry. Indians don’t seem to be interested in that kind of analysis which I find fascinating.

      Reporting back on Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and I didn’t like it. I watched the whole thing so it wasn’t boring but the soapiness was so bad. What redeemed it was the performances and how good looking everyone was, including Sr. Bachchan who was delightful playing a lech. This is the first film where I found Jr. Bachchan appealing, so there’s that.

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      • It is a really uneven film, I agree. There are a few really scenes, and the use of music in some places is outstanding. (The mashup of the spouses celebrating while Rani and SRK go to a hotel is brilliant. Also hot.)

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        • So hot! And hot in a way that I’ve not seen in any other Hindi film. It’s the only outright sex scene I’ve seen so far. There’s sort of one in Fanaa but Kajol is so wrapped up in a comforter it’s a miracle Aamir got in there to get her pregnant. 😂

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          • I wish I could give you a list of sex scenes, but they are few and far between. That was anything counting against this movie, it was breaking a lot of boundaries to actually show the act. There’s a lot of scenes that sort of dance around sex without getting super explicit. For instance, these two songs:

            On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 3:24 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Karan Johar in his autobiography said it is the one movie he wishes he could remake. Because he held back, he went commercial. When he should have made it into an art film, no big songs no big scenes, just a story of infidelity. He was too scared to do it, thought he had to put in the commercial stuff to make it profitable. And that’s exactly how it feels to me watching it, the scenes between Shahrukh and Rani and some of the other moments could be put right in an art film, and then there is the strange comedy and the big song and dance numbers that don’t fit at all.

        Hmm, I’ll have to think about big star analysis. I’ve done that, mixed in with autobiography, in some of my older Hindi Film 101 posts (the Kapoors, Rekha, Meena Kumari). But I haven’t really done it with the present day big stars.

        On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 9:50 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I was thinking of doing my 2017 sum up in January, when nothing new is coming out and most 2017 stuff will be streaming. And when I am not desperately trying to finish 8 (or 12, depending on whether I decide to give couples individual presents) individual hand crafted gifts.

      Can’t wait to hear what you think about Devdas! I seriously recommend that you read my Devdas posts for it, because the film is one of those that is consciously in conversation with other earlier versions, plus the novel.

      On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 8:03 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Well you could a Monday question about out end-of -the year predictions, because you know we all have predictions. We could have creative categories, like most disappointing, movie I missed in the theaters but can’t wait to see streaming, best guilty pleasure…

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  4. I especially enjoy box office analysis, news round-up, silly/TGIF/fanfic/fanvideo, and any SRK-related posts (obvi). I enjoy your Hindi movie reviews but don’t always read them or comment unless I’ve seen or really want to see it. The starter kit and Hindi film 101 posts I find interesting but generally don’t feel I have anything to add to the discussion other than–wow, that was interesting!

    I have really enjoyed the back and forth on all the JHMS scene by scene threads, but I notice you don’t get that kind of discussion on the DDLJ scene by scene threads. As you said at the time, there was an unusual, small but very passionate fan-base for JHMS, with not many places to discuss it. Not sure how many films you review and analyze would generate that?

    I’m wondering if you might do a “Best of DCIB” kind of thing where you re-post a post from your golden oldies which generated a big response at the time? For those new readers who don’t obsessively read back through all of your archives like some people I know *cough-me-cough*. No idea how much time that would take or if it would generate more new discussion though.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Maybe a “best of” would work. I don’t remember what all I’ve written, but I could always go back through the archive and pull the ones that seem worth reposting. Bonus, it wouldn’t require me writing anything new!

      On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 10:22 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. I will definitely not be able to visit as much in the next month or so, but it will probably still be a lot:)! I like to read your Starter Kits, new Hindi film reviews (are there any from this year that you’ve seen but haven’t written about yet?), and I especially like to read the gossipy NEWS posts and your take on things. I’m also always a fan of lists, so I’m looking forward to your end of year wrap up, too…but understand why you want to wait until you’ve seen Tiger Zinda Hai at least.

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    • News posts, okay, I can do more of those. If people start covering fun stuff and stop obsessing over every meaningless detail of the Padmavati backa nd forth.

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  6. The post I like the most:
    -reviews
    -opinion post
    -box-office /news
    -Hindi movies 101
    -TGIF

    I think that reviews and post with your opinions are your forte. I came here because of Om Shanthi Oshana review and stayed because I found your opinions and your writing very interesting.
    How about doing one in a month random review of some other industry movies – kannada, bengali, punjabi, marathi. There are many good films in those industries, but not many people who write about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Boy a once a month review is tempting, but tricky. In order to talk intelligently about those industries, I would need to do a lot of work in advance. On the other hand, I know it’s a good way to build an audience, to bring in those industries that don’t get enough coverage.

      The easiest reviews for me to write are on Hindi classics, or even slightly older releases I didn’t cover before. Because I’ve already seen them, and I have plenty of background on the topic. Only, those are also consistently the posts with the lowest number of views. So it’s tricky, I can either do reviews that will get more views but will take so much time that I will have to cut down somewhere else, or I can do reviews that won’t get many views but I can throw them up very quickly without affecting anything else.

      On the other hand, setting aside Sunday or Saturday for a kind of “editorial” post every week, that I could try. Those are very hit and miss with views, if the right person finds them and retweets them, they can do very well. But other times they just languish, unnoticed. Like, for instance, the Christmas post I just put up a few minutes ago, we will see how it does.

      On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 12:17 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. My favorites are your Hindi film 101 and your socio-philosophical-political think pieces.

    I actually like your stream of consciousness style of writing, because IMO *you* are the resource, so I come to read what you have to say – intelligent, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. The sort of commenters you attract are intelligent and eloquent like you, so the comments discussion is just as much an attraction as the posts themselves. Finally I tend to listen to your blog posts instead of read then -I use the VoiceAloud mobile app to do this- so I can listen while driving or doing chores. Thus the stream of consciousness style of writing is more engaging than a formatted style to the audio listener.

    I also read your film reviews and news posts. I don’t really read fan fic, though. Fan fic is to blogging like horror is to films and country is to music – for most people it’s the one genre they avoid, but for many people it’s the only genre they like.

    You have a lot more content on this blog than is readily accessible or apparent through the menus. There are so many blog posts I discovered only by following ping back links. So if I were to suggest one change, it would be to make more of your content apparent and accessible through the menus. Really, there is stuff here that isn’t getting views because no one knows it’s here if they weren’t a reader yet when it was posted.

    Another suggestion is to add a tag cloud so that we can see all the tags and (by font size and boldness) how often each tag is used. Even if you aren’t consistent in your tag usage, just seeing the tag cloud let’s us know what kind of content is available. Then I can click on a tag that I’ve never explored before and read all the related posts that I want to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had a tag cloud for a while and then removed it for no particular reason, I can add it back in.

      The idea of pulling old posts is actually doable now, because my new WordPress version has the archive option, which is what let me finally do the film reviews list. I couuld always try something like that, a list of Hindi film 101s by topic or something.

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  8. Suggestions for starter kits, ranked by preference.

    1. Auteurs/directors – mani ratnam, imtiaz ali, karan johar, shyam benegal, raju hirani, mohit suri, david dhawan, neeraj pandey, aparna sen, etc.

    2. Art actors and actresses – Konkana, Richa, Huma, Kalki, Swara, Kunal, R Rao, Nawaz, Naseer, Irrfan, Manoj, Kay Kay.

    3. 2000s prolific actors and actresses – rani, priety, alia, kangana, vidya, bipasha, aishwarya, akshaye, saif, hrithik, shahid, john, abhishek, ajay, akshay.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You are still planning on doing the Readers Choice and Editor’s Choice Awards like last year right? You probably have to wait until after Tiger Zinda Hai comes out but that will definitely get people to comment.

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    • Oh yes! That will be in January, hopefully a nice way to bring everybody back after the holiday rush is over.

      On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 4:43 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Based on view counts, it’s gonna be blow out for JHMS in every category. If I were really evil, I would making voting only be paid, I am pretty sure there are some devoted SRK fans who would be willing to put up money to make sure it gets its just desserts, at least in this tiny little awards list.

          On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 4:46 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I haven’t seen JHMS yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens. But to be honest, Hindi cinema hasn’t made any unforgettable gems like Neerja this year.

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          • Wait for it! The JHMS people will be coming for you! But no, sincerely, JHMS is one of those movies that is going to be talked about for years to come. In the same way Rockstar is. It may not have been very commercial, but it’s going to find a cult following.

            On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 4:56 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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            Liked by 1 person

  10. Agreeing with others on an end of the year review, vote, etc.

    Also, a suggestion for your consideration – an end of the month review each month starting January. You can summarize your thoughts on best/worst/favorite movies and performances and controversies, but the point would primarily be for commenters to chime in with their opinions on the same. Then come December it will make for an interesting read to look back through the 12 month-end posts when assessing the year then.

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  11. Another suggestion.How about exploring the archetypes of Hindi films? I don’t mean the disapproving father or the spoiled brat heroine.Those are standard across industries.But what about the Tapori hero? Everyone from Salman to Ranbir has done that. Or the dacoit? They are unique to Bollywood.These architypes come with their own particular costumes and mannerisms.It would be interesting to explore those.

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    • I don’t know what a Tapori hero or dacoit are so I second this request.

      Another idea: what to expect while watching your first Bollywood movie and why it might weird you out (but you should watch it anyway).

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      • Tapori hero, city boy from the streets with a certain swagger and slang. You should DEFINITELY watch Rangeela, Aamir does an amazing Tapori in that.

        Dacoit: rural bandit. They have hide outs in the hills and will threaten lonely travelers or occasionally raid villages. Very common for heroines to be kidnapped by them. Aamir might be playing something kind of like a dacoit in his next movie.

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  12. I love reading your reviews, Hindi Film 101 and the news post!!!
    101s are great – I had no idea about the Kapoor and Kapoors until I read that!

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    • I need someone similarly scandalous/famous for my next 101, and my mind is a blank considering everyone I have already done.

      Any ideas? Sanju Baba is waiting until closer to his film release, and Amitabh I am doing in bits and pieces because he is So Big. Who else is there that is fun to talk about? Or you would like to learn more about?

      On Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 3:46 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  13. `
    This isn’t exactly on point, but I think it’s time for a new background framing picture. I’m getting tired of the fuzzy green mustard field.

    And maybe you could have a contest for new/additional rotating pictures for behind the title frame.

    p.s. – The video ad grab continues . . . .

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    • WordPress sent me a message saying they are really really close to tracking it down and fixing it.

      If/when Santa brings me a new laptop, I will update the background. Once I have more memory and stuff, I can do better screengrabs, so I should wait until then.

      On Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 9:42 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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