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

Happy Wednesday!  Totally forgot to put up a Monday post, because it was Christmas.  But now it is the real world again, and here I am with my Wednesday post.

I’ll start!

Reading: Archie Comics!  Because my sister got me a new one for Christmas

Thinking: Dogs!  I have officially visited two shelters.  Neither of them had a dog even close to what I need (old, female, small), but the second one was very encouraging, they get new dogs all the time and are right in my neighborhood, so I can stop by whenever I want and see if there is something for me.

Watching: I finally saw the new Star Wars!  With my Dad and my sister.  Okay, is it just me, or was it obvious that Leia and Poe were having a thing?

 

So, how are you doing?  How was your Christmas?  What have you been watching?

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61 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching: What Are You Reading and Thinking and Watching Christmas Week?

  1. Good luck on your dog shopping.But why not a puppy? They’re so adorable.Who’s your favorite Archies character? I confess to sifting through the whole digest just for that one Sabrina The Teenage witch story.

    Before Christmas I managed to watch Janam (Birth) one of Mahesh Bhatt’s autobiographical movies.Yet another movie dealing with the relationship between young Mahesh and his father and should be watched together with Zakhm.Mahesh or rather Kumar Gaurav is surly,resentful and insolent.He doesn’t know why his mother still worships his father Anupam Kher or rather “the man without a backbone”. The latter isn’t paying the rent on time,their phone gets cut, while his father’s legitimate family lives in comfort.He resents his mother sending him on errands to their house where he’s routinely insulted.Matters come to a head when his half-brother calls him a bastard in public and Mahesh brings his girl friend home only to be kicked out by his father.The rest of the film deals with the furor when he decides to make his first film about his parents’ relationship titled ‘Autobiography’ and how he ultimately grows up and makes peace with his father.The movie does have some powerful dialogues like
    KG: Ma, why do you still behave as if he’s the director of your life and you are still an extra?

    (When he’s leaving home)
    KG (to his father): You have lost the right to tell me not to leave.
    Ma: But I still have the right to tell you,don’t I?
    KG: Ma, if you had only known the meaning of the word ‘rights’ this day wouldn’t have happened.

    Or Mahesh’s girl friend telling him off “Yes you have been dealt a wound.But these days you are begging for pity like a begger exhibiting his wounds for money. Don’t come to me for pity.My life is more terrible.I’m an orphan and a charity student.If they kick me out I don’t have one inch of space outside to call my home”.

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    • Have you ever had a puppy? They are a NIGHTMARE!!!! Pee and poop everywhere, and when they get sad or lonely, they throw up, or eat all your stuff, or eat all your stuff and then throw it up. Plus, it’s just cruel to get a puppy if you live alone and work, like a decent shelter wouldn’t even give me one. Puppies need constant attention and cuddles and stuff. I’d feel sooooooooooooo guilty having a puppy and leaving it home all day. Luckily, I am such a dog person that I find all dogs adorable, even boring adult ones, so it’s easier for me.

      What I love about Mahesh’s autobiographical movies is that he is so honest about himself. He doesn’t make himself the hero, or the victim, or the villain. He is just human and makes mistakes, like everyone else. And often the focus of the film is on someone besides himself, like his first wife in Arth.

      On Wed, Dec 27, 2017 at 8:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Oh yes, Mahesh does not flatter himself in his movies.Here his character finally grows up and realizes that there are no heroes or villains in life.But the movie veers away from real life at the end towards pure wish fulfillment.Maybe it was easier for Mahesh to be magnanimous at his success.I wonder what it’s with Mahesh and the name Rahul? This movie has the hero named Rahul as well.I found it interesting that while the stepmother was nice in Zakhm, here she’s a very nasty piece of work.And since he’s his mother’s only child here, there’s no need to grow up and be responsible early (In Zakhm he has a full brother).

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        • I find it really interesting the way he keeps returning to his own life, but finding different universal themes and focuses for each film. Like, in Arth, he was mostly interested in the effect of his marriage falling apart on his wife, so he got rid of Pooja in that story, and Parveen Babi was primarily there to create a contrast with how his wife handled herself and her life, and it is the story of a woman learning to define herself without a man. But then in Daddy, he changes the story of his marriage a bit to make it simpler, and focuses on his relationship with Pooja above all else, and it is the story of a difficult father-daughter relationship and alcoholism. And in Khoya Khoya Chand, it’s all about him and Parveen, and it’s a story about love and mental health.

          It makes for much better films, to keep that tight focus on one issue in each narrative instead of throwing in bits that don’t fit.

          On Wed, Dec 27, 2017 at 10:53 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Oops, missed the second question! I’m a Betty person. The nice supportive kind one, who wouldn’t like her? Plus, she is a blue-eyed blonde like me.

      Although I am also fond of Sabrina, she definitely had the most interesting life.

      On Wed, Dec 27, 2017 at 8:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I’m home in the US at my sister’s house not doing anything in particular but read and take naps with cats (jet-lagging). We finished off Big Little Lies which I’ve been wanting to see since it’s set in Monterey where I used to live, and we also saw The Big Sick which has Anupam Kher. I’m taking advantage of US Netflix and watching the series about movie legends hosted by Javed Akhtar. I’ve seen the first two episodes—S.D. Burman and Meena Kumari. It’s a bit too much talking head, and most of the time they just focus on Javed in the chair. Of course, he knew all those people and has interesting anecdotes, but it would be better if they showed a picture or something.

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    • Older dogs are the best! I mean, there is something really special about raising a dog from a puppy, but I feel like I got that already with my childhood dog. Now I am more excited about taking home a dog that will be kind of relaxed about things, a no pressure sort of dog.

      Plus, my childhood dog that we had since she was a puppy died about 18 years ago, and I still haven’t recovered and I’m not ready to risk that kind of heartache again! I want a dog that I can keep a mature emotional distance from.

      On Wed, Dec 27, 2017 at 1:33 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • It’s fine to grow up with a puppy but I also found it very ‘rewarding’ to take older dogs from the shelter even though they may have some special habits because of their former experiences.

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  3. Oh, I have two questions: One, what is the ceremony called where someone greets a visitor with a tray that has a candle and incense and some other items I can’t ID and they put a red mark on someone’s forehead? It’s in every movie and I have no idea what’s going on.

    Two, this is sort of a general question for folks: where do you draw the line on an actor’s personal life influencing how you feel about their work? It’s something I’m struggling with lately.

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    • The ceremony is just sort of a general giving of a blessing, I believe. It’s the same thing you would do before someone goes on a long journey, or sometimes just in the morning before they leave the house, or after they are married, or before they go for their first day at their job, or anything like that. The tray usually has incense or a burning wick, sometimes a swastika marked in it, sometimes rice, sometimes some additional powders, and the red powder for the tika. The blessing is given by circling the person’s head with the tray, sometimes also fanning the smoke/flame towards them, and then putting the sacred mark over their third eye. Sometimes that is just the red powder, sometimes it is yellow or white powder plus red powder plus a piece of rice or something else in the center. Sometimes you might also shake incense water on them or some other variation. Sometimes you might say a little blessing over the person. And then the person would reach down to touch your feet. There are all kinds of regional variations, or just variations household to household, but the circling the head with the tray, putting the mark on the forehead, and touching the feet is pretty consistent. It’s a nice thing for guests, to indicate that you are blessing them into your home, building a bond right away. You wouldn’t do it for, like, the milkman, but just someone you care about.

      It’s done by the women of the household and one thing that has always seemed awkward to me, if you are on your period you are considered “unclean” and therefore can’t give the blessing. So if a guest comes to the household and you are sitting in the corner while your daughter-in-law or someone else does the blessing, then everyone knows you are on your period. Ewwwwww! I don’t know if it ever actually happens like that, but that was the first thing I thought of when I heard of that restriction. I don’t want everyone to know when I am having my period just because I’m not giving the blessing!

      On Wed, Dec 27, 2017 at 1:36 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • The touching the feet thing shows respect from the touch-er to the touch-ee, in whatever situation (even Filmfare Awards ceremonies!). And, there’s always this gracious, “Oh, you don’t have to do that” motion from the touch-ee.

        I love the scene in K3G at the mall where Kajol secretly touches Amitabh’s feet without him realizing it.

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    • Oh, and for the second question, for me it is an instinctive thing. I’m not strong enough to cut myself off from enjoying an artist because of something in their personal life even if intellectually I feel like maybe I should. John Wayne, for instance, did a lot of crummy things, and yet I can’t stop watching Stagecoach.

      But there are some artists that I truly cannot enjoy onscreen any more. It’s not a decision that I am making, it’s just something about their personal story that is so disgusting, it makes my skin crawl just seeing their face. Shiney Ahuja is my big one in Hindi film. It’s not that I sat down and decided “what he did was so bad, I will boycott his films”, it’s that his face shows up onscreen and I get the heeby-jeebies so bad I can’t concentrate.

      On Wed, Dec 27, 2017 at 1:36 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • We need a hindu to answer, but isn’t this blessing called Aarti?
        And talking about blessings, I always find interesting this one made with money around somebody’s head (usually after the person sang a song ot something) like in Hum Saath Saath Hain (durning Sunoji Dulhan) and in many many others. My favourite is in Tanu Weds Manu Returns.

        2. Good question! when there is somebody I don’t like, because I have heard about bad things abut him/her, I just stop watching his/her movies. E.g Kareena Kapoor. I have read some thing about her, watched her interviews and talked with people who saw her on set, and I thought: she seems to be very mean person. From this day (I think it’s 5 years now or more) I stopped watching her movies. Yeah, I know she hasn’t killed anybody, but I just don’t like her, so why watch her work? I can make an exception when the movie is very good or special (like Udta Punjab). Oh, and now Kareena’s husband is on my list too, for his stupid eugenics comments.

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        • The money thing is a sadka/vaarna. It’s a mixture of warding off the evil eye, showing you can give up your material comforts for the happiness of the person you’re doing it to. During celebrations, especially on celebratory occasions where people are dancing and there are professional musicians there, you do a sadka to the person/people dancing or bride/groom/birthday boy or girl and give it to the musicians.

          Sometimes, when you meet someone’s child for the first time or someone’s child cooks for you for the first time you do a sadka ans give to the help. Sadka is like shagan/shagun except shagun is money you give directly to the object of your blessings while a sadka is a blessing that ends up in the hands of the domestic help or someone from that station.

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    • It’s called an aarti. It’s a formal welcome. The movies overdo it. The formal welcome only applies to newlyweds entering the house for the first time as a couple. It has been commercialised as a “welcome to India” thing like the hawaiian welcome with the garlands I guess.

      Sometimes you get the formal welcome when you’re back from a feat (long travel, doing great on an exam, winning something, being back from the front line when you’re in the army, etc)

      The aarti is a part of the Hindu prayer ritual and is offered to the idols of your chosen deities twice a day or once a day in the morning.

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    • Part two of your question: well, if an actor is outstanding, they make you forget who they are in real life with the sheer force of their skills. If you’re watching a film and you’re still thinking about the actor as a real person you know of, they’re not really good at their jobs are they?

      That would be exactly why I HATE Salman and hritik. Also SRK a bit.

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      • See, my problem is I really like Salman but then I read bout his legal problems and holy crap, especially the witness to his DUI turning up dead. And now I’m all conflicted about enjoying his movies.

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          • 😂 it’s like watching my 18 year old cousin who acts like an 11 year old around us grown ups!

            But I guess it’s better than watching Shraddha trying to sound grown up and intense and sounding like she’s high on really solid downers!!

            In general, I don’t think our film industry has actors that talk honestly in interviews. Most are still in character in public. And that character is them as megasuperstars around whom the whole universe revolves.

            The only time I’ve seen actors act “normal” is on this NDTV India show called Yeh Film Nahi Asan which has the host walking with the actor often in their homes and they’re allowed to tell their stories. Because they have to host to talk to him and the camera is “walking”, they break out of their roles. I just watched Shakti Kapoor on it and it was such a refreshing, almost a self narrated docu-interview.

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  4. Reading: Harlan Coben…I really like his thrillers 🙂
    Watching: with the kids (Czech fairytaile movies, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Pippi Longstocking movies, Mary Poppins, Ice Age)…no hindi movie
    As for being influenced by the personal life and behaviour, it really depends on the person and the kind of behaviour I get to know (know, not gossip)…and there are many, many actors and actresses I am just not interested in beyond their work on screen.

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    • Mary Poppins always scared us when we were little for reasons we couldn’t quite articulate. Maybe an early distaste for Dick Van Dyke’s bad accent? Anyway, your children are made of tougher stuff, I can see.

      I know what you mean about just not being interested. Kangana, for instance, I pay attention to her personal life because I am running this website. But otherwise I wouldn’t care. She disappears so completely into the skin of her characters that I don’t feel like they are connected to Kangana-the-person at all. On the other hand, someone like Kajol, her personal charm shines through so much in her characters that I just want to know more about her as a person, beyond what I am seeing onscreen. Or rather, somehow I already feel like I am getting to know her as a person through what I am seeing onscreen.

      On Wed, Dec 27, 2017 at 4:18 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • At least there are actors/actresses I have the feeling that they show quite a lot of the own personality in the characters they play.
        It may seem strange but I react first with my feelings and then with my mind and intellect. So, if I don’t get a feeling for the actor/actress, I may have a certain interest in the work but would not like the actor/actress and probably the person neither.

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  5. Watching:

    Makkhi (rewatch, with friends who loved it!)
    The Dirty Picture (What an amazing performance from Vidya, but the whole cast is great. Hated the ending, though.)
    Premam (ok, I definitely get the Nivin love now!)
    The Big Sick (so good!)

    Reading:

    Reading: the latest Louise Penny mystery. Another small village where people get murdered all the time, but in Quebec.

    Thinking:
    Cooking, baking, crafting! I made two little music boxes for my grandson, who is a fan of Beatles songs and machines. One plays “Hey Jude” and the other plays “Yellow Submarine”.

    I am with Margaret about puppies vs older dogs. We have had five dogs in our 47 years of marriage, but only one puppy: the first one. We have adopted dogs as old as 8, and it was a wonderful experience for them and us. We’ve been dogless for the last two years because we needed a break from the responsibilities, but I can imagine another older dog or two in our future, especially once we slow down and don’t gad about so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t remember, have you seen Ohm Shanti Oshaana yet? Nivin is wonderful in Premam, but he is just dreamy in OSO.

      My sister and I just watched Murder She Wrote together, after finishing Father Brown, and we decided that Cabot Cove must have been settled by British villagers, who brought with them their tradition of murder and amateur detectives, and their isolated community has never lost touch with the traditions of their homeland. Like those little enclaves in the Appalachians that still speak old English. I assume the same is true of this village in Quebec.

      Your hand crafted gifts sound much better than mine this year. Now that Christmas is over I can reveal without ruining the surprise that I made crocheted hot bowl holders for all my relatives. It was a fun pattern the first two times, but by the time I got to the 7th one, I was pretty sick of it.

      On Wed, Dec 27, 2017 at 5:45 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Sorry I haven’t been around a lot but I’ve kinda lost interest in movies and gone back to my “first love” which is football. Whenever I have free time, I’ve been reading sports stuff rather than watching movies. But that has lead me to pick up a few books again and I’m currently reading Relentless which is a memoir of New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman.

    The thing is that I’ve been at home for the past two weeks which means that I’ve been watching lots of movies with my parents. We’ve seen Fidaa a couple times, we watched Ghazi and I really enjoyed watching it a second time. I showed Spyder to my cousins and they liked it quite a bit. I got to see Nani’s new movie, MCA, which was a nice timepass movie. I also saw Hello with a few friends and I really enjoyed it! It’s a nice feel good love story which I think you would like. Check out the album of Hello, it’s really good!

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    • Hello is the launch movie for Nagarjuna’s second kid, right? I had very low expectations for it, since it was a star kid launch, but if you say it is good, that gives me hope!

      On Thu, Dec 28, 2017 at 1:56 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • It’s actually his re-launch😂
        Akhil, Nagarjuna’s second kid, had a star launch in 2015 when he did a movie called Akhil – The Power of Jua. It was a huge disaster and Akhil kind of went into hiding. Then Nagarjuna announced that he himself will produce a movie to relaunch his son. They spent a year to look at scripts and Nagarjuna was able to convince Vikram Kumar to do a movie with Akhil even though he was supposed to work with Allu Arjun next. There are parts of the movie that make it seem like they are there just to show off Akhil and his talents. There honestly wasn’t really any need for action scenes in the movie. But I really liked the movie overall. Akhil’s not really a good actor and this character seems tailor made for him so it worked in this movie. The heroine, Kalyani Priyadarshan, was someone who really impressed me. She was really good especially since this is her first movie! Overall, I wouldn’t say Hello is a movie you need to see right away but it’s my suggestion if you want to see a Telugu movie this weekend.

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        • I just wanted to mention that the re-launch doesn’t seem to be as successful. Nagarjuna underestimated Nani’s star power and decided to release Hello on the same day as MCA. It says a lot that people are preferring to see MCA before Hello just because it’s a Nani movie even though Hello got better reviews than MCA. The word of mouth on Akhil is that he has improved his acting but he’s still not really that impressive.

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          • Well, now I am torn, because of course I love Nani, but I also don’t want Nagarjuna to be sad.

            On Fri, Dec 29, 2017 at 1:17 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Akhil is the guy who appares in the end of Manam, right? Oh, he ruined all this movie for me. The scene with the bike was good, and I was curious who is the man who saved grandpa, I was sure it’s somebody super famous, and macho and stuff, so when he took his helmet off, I couldn’t be more disapointed. And this stupid song about how great he is, if he hasn’t done any movies. So istead of being happy and relaxed after watching the movie I was like: Has this family any shame? I haven’t seen more explicit case of nepotism in all my life.

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          • I would have been okay with it if he didn’t get the big hero introduction. I understand the thought of wanting to have the whole family all in one movie for once. But they could have just had him get off the bike and walk over without the slow motion and the background music.

            On Fri, Dec 29, 2017 at 9:42 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yes! they should have made it in more natural way. I’m not against him being in this movie. It was a cute idea, but they ruined it completely. One must have a lot of charisma and work hard to deserve the hero entrance, and Akhil has none so it’s only ridiculous.

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  7. I can understand you wanting to skip the puppy stage – been there, done that 12 years ago with our current fur-baby (she’s an old lady now)…

    I haven’t watched many Hindi films since The Flying Jatt, weeks and weeks ago – Christmas parties, a 5 day journey (including travelling time) to Melbourne for son’s PhD graduation – the hippest graduation ceremony I have ever been to (we were treated to a little Bollywood dancing amongst other entertainments), Christmas preparations and Christmas itself curtailed things somewhat.
    A couple of days before TZH I rewatched Ek Tha Tiger to remind myself of what went before. Then TZH on its release date (to escape Christmas fever for a few hours).

    I really didn’t see much of anything over Christmas, there wasn’t much, Christmas-wise, on TV or Netflix that I wanted to see. Netflix was difficult anyway because we have had a lot of trouble with our WiFi since the Windows 10 anniversary update a few weeks ago. I did manage to catch a couple of episodes of the Indian Detective so will carry on with that when I get a chance. Prior to going to Melbourne I binge watched the second season of The Crown over a weekend.

    Saw the latest Star Wars with other son a couple of days ago. And was supposed to go and see The Greatest Showman yesterday with a couple of friends but I wasn’t feeling well and , more or less, stayed in bed all day and slept.

    Reading – just started Sonali Dev’s latest ‘A Distant Heart’ and, not so much reading but perusing, the Bollywood Cookbook that a friend gave me for Christmas (she has an amazing knack of finding Bollywood/Indian related books for me in second hand shops etc). The recipes for the masala mixes gave me the impetus to ask for a spice grinder for Xmas (duly received) and I have stocked up on the whole spices needed.

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    • Congrats to your son! PhD graduations, in my experience, are the most fun. Everyone is really really happy to be done, and it’s a tight small group that has a lot of fun together.

      I’m debating watching The Flying Jatt with my parents tonight. Probably not, but it does seem like a good family movie, doesn’t it?

      I am very impressed with your dedication to whole spices. I am vaguely aware that freshly ground spices taste totally different and much better, but I’ve never cared enough to try to make my own.

      On Thu, Dec 28, 2017 at 11:10 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Oh boy, a small ceremony it wasn’t. It took place in one of the big sports stadiums – the whole university graduation. More than 7800 graduants plus their friends and relatives in the audience. There must have been 25,000 people in the stadium. It was a very hot day – 38 degrees Celsius outside – and nearly that inside where we were sitting, in the centre of the arena – the PhDs were on a rotating platform slap-bang in the centre. We were encircled by 23 other smaller stages for the students of the different faculties to receive their degrees. Names weren’t called out, they appeared on screens at each of the stages – so there wasn’t a cacophany of names, just funky music pumping out over the speakers. Fireworks at the end and Jessica Mauboy, one of our most popular singers, entertained us for about half an hour after the proceedings. There is even a video on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rVJHgSI3Rc&t=3327s

        Flying Jatt would be an excellent family choice.

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        • What a great idea! To have the names just appear. My graduation from undergrad was huge, and they were smart enough to just give us a card with our information, so we didn’t have to be in a particular order or anything, you just went up and handed the card. I thought that was the height of practical, but I think this might be even better.

          On Fri, Dec 29, 2017 at 4:33 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Ishqiya, Parineeta, and No One Killed Jessica are her other really really good ones. But the rest are a bit of a mixed bag. Some good ones that only have a little bit of Vidya in them (Guru), and some bad ones that have a whole lot of Vidya and are still terrible (Kismat Konnection, Shaadi Ke Side Effects).

          On Sun, Dec 31, 2017 at 9:42 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • And the songs are so good! The soundtrack is really better than the film deserves.

            On Mon, Jan 1, 2018 at 3:01 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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