Silly Sunday Sequels for Rani! Chalte Chalte, Talaash, Bunty Aur Babli, and Chori Chori Chupke Chupke

I’m excited!  Lots of fun options here!  Not just epilogues and alternative endings, but straight up separate movie plots following up on the same characters.

Chalte Chalte 2: the Struggle for Children

At the end of Chalte Chalte 1, Shahrukh and Rani had weathered the worst period of their marriage so far. But the strains that they had survived didn’t completely go away, would never really go away, Shahrukh was a poor boy made good who was always going to worry about money, and Rani was a rich girl who was always going to have a hard time understanding why Shahrukh felt the need to work so much and so hard.

There was one strain on the marriage in Chalte Chalte 1 that was only addressed obliquely.  A shared desire for children, and yet no child present, years after marriage.  They came together again in the end partly because Shahrukh reminded Rani of that desire.  So, the obvious sequel would deal with their struggle to achieve this dream.

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(After all, they need a sibling for their stuffed dog)

Shahrukh is now working for someone else, which he hates, but a sacrifice he made for the marriage so he can have more regular hours and be less stressed about work.  Rani gave up her occasional work as a fashion designer as part of a similar sacrifice, planning to be a full time stay at home Mom for the first few years for the child they are anticipating.  But, months after making these life adjustments, there is still no child.  Rani can’t take up new jobs in this uncertain state, Shahrukh is resisting the urge to start another business because he promised he would be an involved father, and can’t risk the money when they will need it for a baby.  Finally, they take the step of going to a fertility doctor for testing.  They are told that it is not impossible for them to conceive, but it will be very very difficult.

They start the high stress process of fertility treatments.  And they start to pull away from each other as they both attempt to put on a brave face for the other.  Shahrukh complains to his new friend at work about the massive expense, all the money he planned for school fees and everything else for this child is draining away to medical bills.  But he can’t say anything about it to Rani, just keeps smiling and signing the checks, because he doesn’t want to worry her.  And Rani is dealing with the guilt over not being able to give her husband a child, the anger at her own body, the feeling of being broken somehow.  She talks about it with a fertility support group she found, but hides it from Shahrukh, even hides the fact she is going to a group.

It comes to a head with Shahrukh thinking Rani is having an affair because of her unexplained time away from home, and Rani fearing that Shahrukh has lost all interest in her because he doesn’t seem to want to have sex with her any more.  All of this fueled by Rani’s out of control hormones and emotions thanks to the treatments.  They have a massive fight, Shahrukh learns Rani is dealing with huge insecurities that she is hiding from him, Rani learns that Shahrukh is dealing with massive stress over the job he hates which he can’t leave because they need the money for fertility treatments, and that is killing his sex drive, and then they have make-up sex.

(We know make-up sex is where this couple shines)

9 months later, we see Shahrukh get a phone call and rush away from his new company that he has started with his work friend (no longer an employee, but with a partner to share the burden so he won’t work as hard), with his friend telling him jokingly “don’t come back without your child!”.  We see him rushing rushing, talking to Rani on the phone, telling her not to worry he is almost there, we see Rani panting and anxious and telling him to be sure he is on time, she can’t do this without him.  And then, TWIST.  Rani bursts through a door, apologizing for being late, saying her husband is on the way and sorry she is out of breath, the elevator was broken and she had to run up the stairs.  The woman she is talking to says not to worry, and if she would like to come along, her daughter is waiting to meet her.  Rani goes into a nice brightly lit nursery with attendants around, the social worker she is talking to points out a little two year old girl in the corner and says “that’s the one, all her paperwork is in order, the agency approved you for temporary guardianship, you can take her home today if you like while you wait for the formal adoption process to be completed”.  And then we cut to Shahrukh walking in as the music swells, and he looks over to see Rani sitting playing with the little girl and starts to cry and smile, and then Rani looks up, sees him, and points to him and tells their daughter “see Daddy?  That’s your Daddy.”

HAPPY ENDING.

(Disclaimer: no judgement on couples who choose fertility treatments, or surrogacy, or anything like that.  But however you choose to grow your family, it is a very stressful time.  And the “happy ending” you find isn’t a one size fits all answer, I like the idea that Rani and Shahrukh’s happy ending is to just stop doing the thing that is making them miserable and switch to a different plan)

 

Talaash 2

At the end of Talaash 1, Aamir and Rani had finally come together in grief over the death of their son, instead of pushing each other away, helped by their individual experiences of the supernatural and life after death.  And, incidentally, Aamir the police officer had gained a greater understanding for the victims of society and the hidden injustices of the city.

Now, where do we go from here?  There are a lot of threads to pull on, the husband and wife coming closer together, the supernatural now being open to them, or even just a straight cop picture.  But ideally I want something that brings them all together.

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How about, Rani wakes up in the middle of the night from a terrifying dream.  She saw a little girl, tied up, scared, crying for her mother.  Aamir tries to comfort Rani, but she cannot be comforted, she is sure this wasn’t an ordinary dream.  Aamir doesn’t completely discount her, but also gently tries to suggest that she can’t be sure.  Rani goes to talk to the neighbor who serves as a medium for advice.  The medium asks her some questions, if she could smell in the dream as well as see (for instance), and determines that she thinks it was not a dream, but a vision.  And now Rani has a responsibility to find what it is a vision of, something in the present or the past or the future.

Rani starts walking the city, looking for clues from her vision, and finds a building that seems right.  She calls Aamir and insists on him using his police powers to search the abandoned building.  He goes along with her, but is gently critical when they find nothing there, suggesting that perhaps Rani is looking for a purpose in life, maybe that little girl she is seeing is her desire for another child?

Rani goes to the medium for support, but she has left to take care of an ill relative, leaving behind a note telling Rani to believe in herself, even if no one else does.  Rani is conflicted, because Aamir is also being super sweet to her, suggesting they investigate trying to have another baby, he thinks he wants that, if she wants it.  Rani goes along with this, but while leaving the fancy doctor’s office where she went to get checked out, she sees a photo of the girl from her dream in the wallet of another woman at the office.  She follows the woman home and gets her address, and then begs Aamir to check out the family.  Aamir resists, but finally goes along with it when Rani says she will never bring it up again, if he just goes to the house and makes sure there is nothing suspicious.  Aamir goes, and is awkward.  It is a very wealthy old money family, they are polite and appropriate to this police officer who has suddenly shown up for no reason, but clearly confused as to why he is there.  Aamir is about to leave, his curiosity satisfied, when he notices a photo of the little girl holding her favorite toy, the exact toy Rani described from her dream.  It makes him ask a few more questions, and notice that the family suddenly seems uncomfortable talking with him.

Aamir keeps investigating and Rani keeps having dreams, it becomes clear that the little girl was kidnapped in revenge for illegal business her grandfather (who is also her guardian since her parents died) was doing.  Her family has chosen to keep the kidnapping secret and sacrifice her safety for the sake of their public reputation.  Her aunt by marriage, the one who had the photo in her wallet at the fertility doctor, is the only one who is torn up about this, partly because she sees in this little girl an echo of the female fetuses she has been forced to abort by her husband who wants a son which is why she was at the fertility doctor, but she is also terrified of her wealthy abusive husband and therefore not able to do anything about it.  She is eventually killed, Aamir begins investigating her “accidental” death, Rani is still pushing him to focus on saving the little girl but Aamir has to tell Rani the little girl is most likely dead by now.

In the end, Aamir finally confronts the grandfather, the source of all the evil, and secretly records his confession, at the same time that Rani follows her visions and finds the little girl.  She is in danger from the kidnappers, but is able to use the knowledge gained from her visions to escape, tricking them into stepping on the weak places of the floor and falling to their death while she and the little girl escape.

In the end, Aamir is debriefing his supervisor.  The grandfather and the abusive son who killed his wife have both been arrested, the gangster enforcer who worked for them and kidnapped the granddaughter has agreed to testify against them, all of the family’s money has been siezed by the state.  The only loose end is the little girl, the hospital says she is ready to be released, but there is no family to take charge of her and no money for her care.

Cut to Rani in a dream again.  In a sunny room, laughing and smiling with the little girl laughing at her too, and then Aamir joining them and picking the little girl up and tossing her in the air.  Rani wakes suddenly to the sound of a knocking on the door.  She goes to open it, and finds Aamir standing outside, holding hands with the little girl, looking a little nervous about her reaction.  Rani pauses for a moment, and then kneels down and opens her arms and the little girl comes running into them.

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(Disclaimer: feels repetitive to have two happy ending adoption stories in a row, but I feel like both films were going there, Rani and Aamir don’t need a “replacement” child necessarily, but they also clearly enjoyed being parents in the past, and Rani’s character has a special bond with children, seems like that would be the happy ending, so long as both Aamir and Rani were ready for it.)

 

Bunty Aur Babli 2

In Bunty Aur Babli 1, Rani and Abhishek were young people who ran away and became conmen, stealing from the superficial rich and sharing with the other struggling poor.  Then they had a child and retired to a life of safe boring respectability, with the blessing of Amitabh, the cop who pursued them.  Until, years later, Amitabh tracked them down and recruited them to help him in an anti-fraud unit.

So, Bunty Aur Babli 2 is already set up!  Rani and Abhishek working with Amitabh in an anti-fraud unit.  Pretty straight forward where they go from here.

They have a serious of successes with minor frauds, the kind  who prey on the helpless not the wealthy, door to door scam artists who take money from the elderly, fake chit funds, that kind of thing.  But they get word of a big target, a wealthy man who runs multiple massive land scams, getting people to buy and then revealing they bought unusable land.  An older retired man just killed himself after spending his entire savings on nothing.  Rani and Abhishek and Amitabh are determined to get him, but their first plot fails, and Amitabh is threatened by his superiors for bothering such a powerful man, but Rani and Abhishek stand by him.  Until their son is threatened and they are forced to scam Amitabh, setting him up so he will be fired.  Amitabh is furious and disappointed, everyone is unhappy.  Amitabh declares he will continue the investigation on his own, and ends up in danger.  Rani and Abhishek leave their son safely hidden and then go and rescue Amitabh and finally get the evidence against the Big Bad.

The happy ending is all of them receiving offers to come back to work for the police fraud unit, and turning them down, saying they have decided to “retire”.  Only to leave go to the bank, where they pull off a scam to get access to the Big Bad’s safe deposit box where all his wealth was hidden.  Over the end credits, we see all the people he scammed getting mysterious checks replacing their money, and Rani and Abhishek and Amitabh starting a new scam against another big corrupt target, having become freelance avengers working outside the system.

 

Ghulam 2

In Ghulam 1, Aamir was a local tough who no one had any faith in except his tough female public defender, and his girlfriend Rani, a rich girl from a messed up family who clung to him as the one person who really seemed to care about her.  By the end of the film, Aamir had lived up to the faith his public defender had in him, taking a stand against the local gangster/politician, and Rani and he were united.

Image result for ghulam aamir rani

So, sequel!  Aamir and Rani and their neighborhood ended in a good place and I don’t see them getting into a bad place right away, so let’s set it years and years later.  Aamir has followed in the footsteps of the public defender who believed in him and replaced the corrupt local leader he destroyed, he is a public defender and an honest independent local politician, the one everyone goes to when they are in trouble.  Rani is his loving supportive wife, his most faithful follower and the one who helps him when he feels down.  Although we see that he helps her in return, she struggles with alcoholism as her father did before her, Aamir comes home to find her drunk and cleans her up and puts her to bed, and the next day they talk about it and it comes out that she is mostly sober but struggles with temptation and has the occasional relapse, followed by Aamir supporting her as she fights her way back.  And they also talk about her “blue” periods, implying that sometimes she struggles with depression, going to a psychiatrist for it, but not something Aamir or she talk about outside the house.  It’s why they never had children, Rani wanted them but Aamir was afraid it would be too much for her, something terrible would happen.

Things change when a new tough arrives in the neighborhood, a young group of Hindutva extremists, their leader wants to challenge Aamir in the election so he has sent in his young men to do the dirty work.  Aamir confronts them and tries to convince them to think for themselves, it doesn’t seem to work, but the leader (Amit Sadh would be perfect) is shown later thinking over what Aamir said.  They cross paths again when Amit is arrested for vandalism and Aamir is set as his defender.

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(Oh right, Amit already played this role in Kai Po Che, that’s why it feels familiar)

Aamir gets him released with Aamir as his probation officer.  He takes him home to Rani, who treats him kindly and like her own son.  They awkwardly form a little family, Aamir giving wisdom and direction to Amit, Rani giving him love and worrying over him.  Aamir helps Amit to get a job as a delivery driver for a pizza place and Amit starts a flirtation with the waitress who works there is well, shyly getting advice from Rani on how to win her over.  Things seem better, until Amit’s evil leader comes to find him at the pizza place.  Amit can’t help talking to him, and somehow let’s slip something that reveals Rani’s alcoholism/depression (he came home one night to find her drunk and depressed and talking about her brother and wanting Aamir, he stayed with her until Aamir came home and helped her to bed, and Aamir sincerely thanked him and explained that it is something that “just happens” sometimes).

The evil politician starts a smear campaign about Rani, and she attempts suicide.  Aamir saves her but she slips into a coma.  When Amit comes to visit her in the hospital, Aamir throws him out, hits him (the first time he has resorted to violence in 20 years) and tells him that he is dead to him.  Amit doesn’t know what to do, talks to his girlfriend about it, which is also when he admits how much he loves her by explaining that he can forgive Aamir everything, because he would kill anyone who drove her to suicide.  The girlfriend suggests that he should try to make it right, and Amit ends up recreating Aamir’s ending of the first film.  He leaks the information he has about his leader’s corruption to the media, and then goes to confront him in his office, in one final battle beating him physically and breaking him in front of his followers so they lose all respect for him.

The end of the film is Amit taking his girlfriend to meet Rani in the hospital, where she has finally awoken from her coma, and asking for her blessing as his “mother”.  He is afraid to ask a blessing from Aamir, sure he hasn’t earned forgiveness, but the girlfriend is braver, going over and asking Aamir for his blessing as her father-in-law, and Aamir can’t resist, blesses her, and then embraces her and Amit, implying that this little family of misfits has found each other, Aamir and Rani have a son and daughter-in-law, and these two young people with no family have found supports.

 

Chori Chori Chupke Chupke 2

This movie is INSANE!!!!  Rani loses her fetus, and her uterus and ovaries, in a terrible Cricket accident while pregnant.  So she and Salman decide to secretly hire a woman to sleep with Salman and carry their child and lie to everyone they know that it is Rani’s baby.  They hire Preity Zinta, a prostitute, she and Rani and Salman form a tight and happy threesome, Preity falls in love with Salman but Salman is still in love with his wife.  Preity briefly considers leaving with the baby but ultimately gives it to Rani and Salman, instead leaving alone and saying she will always love Salman.

 

Well, I HAVE to do a sequel because this is such a frustrating ending!  Poor Preity will never find love or happiness because she is remaining always faithful to Salman.  Poor Rani and Salman have to lie for the rest of their lives about who the biological mother of their baby is.  And poor baby will never know its true biology.

Obviously, 18 years later, Baby has to find out the truth.  I was sure we knew the baby was a boy at the end of the first film, but I just checked the plot summary and it seems like maybe we don’t know the gender?  So I will make Baby a girl because the plot works better that way.

Baby is a happy confident young woman, desperately in love with the nice bright young man (the boy next door she has known her entire life) she is engaged to and planning a happy wonderful life.  But then, while preparing for the wedding and the Visa she needs to travel with him overseas, she learns she has a rare blood disorder.  It isn’t dangerous in any way, but it does mean that it is biologically impossible for her parents to be her parents.  Baby is shattered.  At first she is furious with Rani, thinking her mother must have cheated and had a baby with someone else, because that is the logical solution.  Rani is torn up about what to do, Baby makes a big scene at the engagement dinner when Rani gives a speech about how much she loves her husband and Baby calls her a lier, Salman slaps Baby for the first time in her life when she insults her mother, and finally tells her the truth, that Salman is her father but her biological mother is a woman she has never met who used to be a prostitute.

Baby is conflicted and confused.  She calls off the wedding, even though her fiance says he doesn’t care, because she feels like she has to figure this out for herself.  Finally, she decides what she really needs is to meet her other mother.  She tells her parents this, ready for them to object, but they surprise her by supporting her decision, admitting that they always felt like they cheated Preity by not letting her see how wonderful her daughter turned out, and cheated Baby by not letting her meet her other mother who was a truly good person.  Salman and Rani and Baby start traveling, looking for Preity.

(Reprise!  But this time Rani and Salman and their daughter)

We finally get to see Preity through flashbacks as other people talk about her.  She stayed at a woman’s hostel at first, then got a job as a secretary at an ad agency, which she was terrible at but everyone at the office liked her and helped her.  Eventually she was promoted to write ads because she had such a unique voice.  Her boss really liked her and proposed, but she gently turned him down, saying that she was already married although she couldn’t live with her husband.  After 5 years at the ad agency, she was given the account of an NGO that worked with former sex workers and after suffering through a lot of ill informed ugly humor in the office, stood up and gave an impassioned speech admitting that she used to be a sex worker, that these women are human and deserve a better life.  Everyone was impressed by her speech, but she still left the job, choosing instead to work full time with the NGO.  Which brings them to the present day, they find Preity in the hills of Shimla, running a rescue home for child sex workers, staffed by former adult sex workers.  She uses her marketing abilities from her years at the ad agency to help raise funds.  Baby goes to meet her, not sure what to say, and Preity assumes she is a new potential resident, too embarrassed to talk directly.  To help her with her presumed embarrassment, Preity sympathetically tells Baby her own story, how she worked in the sex industry until a nice man and his wife took her away from that and in return she gave them the best thing in her life, her baby.  Baby, in tears, admits that she was that child.

And then there is the final part of the plot.  Baby and Preity and Salman and Rani bond and everything is wonderful in Shimla.  But then they return home with Preity for the wedding and Baby is firm about introducing her as who she really is instead of pretending she is just an “old friend of the family”.  The fiance’s family is furious and threatens to break the marriage, Preity is ashamed and upset and tries to leave as she did at the end of the first film, to just disappear from their lives so they can be happy.  But this time they don’t let her leave, Baby and Salman and Rani track her down and Baby gives a big speech with her parents supporting her about how she doesn’t want to get married if all 3 of her parents can’t be there, and if her fiance can’t understand that, then he isn’t worth marrying.  They return home together to find the fiance waiting, he says that he has been in love with Baby his entire life, he knows her better than anyone else alive and she knows him, and nothing will ever change that.  He told his parents that he is getting married in a week and he hopes they will be there, but he is getting married whether they are there or not.  Not to worry, it was a false ultimatum, he knows they will come around.  And, wedding!  Baby gets married with Preity smiling and blessing her in the background.  HAPPY ENDING.

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47 thoughts on “Silly Sunday Sequels for Rani! Chalte Chalte, Talaash, Bunty Aur Babli, and Chori Chori Chupke Chupke

  1. Talaash 2 looks a bit like Mardaani!
    😂

    Ok so maybe at the beginning of Talaash 2 we see Amir having taken voluntary retirement from the force and him and Rani move to some small hill town maybe dalhousie and they own a little bookstore. They’re getting therapy and Rani is getting better. To the point where she even helps source old used books from people around the area looking to donate their collections. During one such trip, she meets this frail old lady who lives in a cottage on a vast estate. This lady invites her in for tea and since she doesn’t get many visitors she and her staff are happy to host this young lady from Bombay! The conversation itself sounds like mumbled gibberish.

    Rani returns with a trunkful of books and begins restoring them in her home studio before they can be put up for display at the bookstore. During the restoration, something falls out of one of the books. It’s a picture of a young, suave looking guy and it looks like the picture is from the 80s. The inscription on the back is written in a handwriting that sue can’t entirety read. So she keeps it aside and works on something else since this book would require some special equipment.

    But she can’t shake off her curiosity. She needs to know who that guy is. So, thinking that the picture may hold some sentimental value, she returns with it to the estate. The old lady is delighted to host Rani again but the moment rabi hands over the picture, her face loses color, she shakes, and sternly hands the picture back to rani saying she doesn’t know who the boy is and that she’s had all daughters and granddaughters and since she moved to the hills after her kids moved abroad, none of them have even been to this place so it’s highly unlikely that they’d know the boy either. She says she doesn’t even know why this house had so many books and claims that it was decorated by a designer who died in an accident a while ago so there’s no way to know where the books came from now. And then she abruptly signals to her Ramu kaka who hurriedly tells Rani that the old lady needs to rest up before she makes the trip to the doctor so she must excuse them.

    Rani leaves politely but she can’t shake off the feeling that all this was way too strange. Amir had a book reading for the local kindergarten so Rani doesn’t have the chance to talk to him about this till they get back home.

    Amir agrees that there’s something fishy about it all. But he needs to leave for a book fair in the south in the morning and he tells her to find out what she can on her own without putting herself in trouble and he’d help her investigate more when he’s back.

    After amir leaves, Rani goes looking for the book in her home studio. But it turns out that she’d left a window open and the fragile book was now all over the floor. It was a teeny gothic romance by the obscure English novelist and whatever she manages to read from the loose pages is too trashy and badly written.

    She’s barely a few chapters in when she hears a knock on the door. It’s richa chadha in a cop uniform. She tells Rani that amir called her in to help her with the matter.

    She takes a look at the picture and comments that the guy is probably not a local since she was a local and nobody dressed like that in those parts. She googles something and says the guys clothes could be hand me downs since she’d seen the same jacket on an insta beauty blogger’s vintage line a while ago. And this brand was only available in New York very briefly.

    Rani says maybe the guy is someone who lived in new York back then for studies or something. Richa says that’s unlikely because the rest of his outfit is from small vintage brands from places like Korea, Brazil, Sweden etc. She shows them pictures of the same items on instagram.

    Rani says that in that case, it is likely that the guy was someone who was eifher too rich and well travelled or someone who never went anywhere and received gifts and hand me downs from people who were rich and well travelled.

    Richa and Rani go over the pages of the book and find nothing. Also, they’re disappointed by how badly written the book is. They take a drive to the estate and richa says she’s got a bad feeling about the place. The guard at the gate stops them and tells them the lady is unwell and won’t be able too entertain visitors that day. Before Rani can say anything, Richa, who’d spilled coffee on her uniform and had to borrow rani’s clothes, tells the guard she wanted to take a look at the old car that was up for sale. The guard phones someone and then opens the door and lets them in. Rani asks how did she know they had an old car on sale. Richa says places like these always have an old car or two up for sale.

    By the garage, Ramu kaka and another better dressed man show them the car. Ramu kaka acts stiff towards Rani when she asks about the old lady.

    Just then richa spots an old mountain bike and asks if that was up for sale as well. Ramu kaka says yes but before he can say anything else, richa exclaims cool, I’ll just take it for a spin and makes off with it. The trio left behind engage in awkward small talk and Rani tries asking questions about the car. Meanwhile richa is all over the huge unkempt lands of the estate and stops by the small cemetery and reads the epitaphs and stuff. The old lady is watching richa from a top floor window and she looks displeased. Richa looks at the grades, then looks over at the house and sees the old lady look at her and cockily gives her a wave while chewing her gum very exaggeratedly.

    Next part of the story in the next comment!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Next part

    Richa comes back to the trio and she acts all excited and asks for selfies. And tell them she got so many nice selfies that day and she would get a gazillion instagram followers. Then guy in the blazer asks her about the car and she says oh I’ll have to ask my dad because he’s the one that’s going to be paying for it and says she only has the money for the mtb. She bargains hard like a college girl and buys the bike for 1500 bucks only. Driving back, Rani laughs that though she’s a cop, she sure acts like a college girl! Richa laughs and says she manages to get a lot more information out of people acting like what they believe girls act like. Rani asks if she’s really going to the pictures up on instagram and richa says just the one with the car in it. All the other selfies she took was just to collect evidence without them getting suspicious. Back home, the ladies are having a drink and it’s evening and richa has already sent the picture to her junior at the station and it’s returned no information. She asks to see the picture again and when she reads the writing at the back, she notices that it’s in ball point and it’s a little smudged. She tells Rani that there’s a good possibility the picture was kept in another book and it fell out and was kept in another book. Rani says if it was in another book, the smudge should be in one of the pages. So the ladies spend the rest of the evening looking for smudges in the pages of the books they brought. It’s nearly past midnight when Rani finds the book with the smudge.

    She hands the book over to richa who looks at the title and the name on it and goes “shit! This is worse than I thought!”

    The book has the name Rahul written on it in pencil and in a child’s hand. It’s a kids’ mystery series.

    Rani asks what she means and richa just frantically searches through the books to find more books from the series.

    She looks over all of them and finds that there’s a coded message in it. Richa and Rani are able to find the words help meet at midnight at in the books that they look at.

    Richa says that the books were very popular with school kids in the entire region and all the schools kept them in their libraries.

    Rani says she’s got a bad feeling about this. She says she wants to tell amir about it. And that she’d facetime him in the morning. Richa okays the plan and leaves.

    The next morning, Rani facetimes with amir and he scolds her for putting herself in danger and for ignoring the doctor’s advice about not stressing herself out. He says he’ll talk to richa about what she’s done and how dare she put Rani in danger. Rani calmly explains to amir that getting to the bottom of this is important to her and if a crime has been committed, they have a responsibility to bring it to light. Amir relents but tells her not to do anything risky till he comes back and that when he comes back, he will work on this with richa.

    Richa comes by the store in the day and tells Rani that amir had called her and expressed his displeasure. Rani apologizes to her for it and richa tells her to never apologize on behalf of her husband ever again. She says he’s a grown man and he should acknowledge that you’re a grown woman who can make her own decisions. Besides, she says, it would be good for her to have things other than her therapy to think about. Rani is taken aback that richa knows
    And she just tells her to relax. That its a small town and it’s not uncommon for people to know such things.

    I’m too sick to write the rest of it but the suspense is that Ramu kaka is the boy in the picture. He was the old lady’s lovechild who was given to the lady’s aunt to raise and she brought the child up as an orphaned servant who was sent to boarding school on the old lady’s insistence. At school, he used to receive letters from his “mother” who promised him she would come get him one day. But her abusive husband and in laws never let her. After her daughters got married and moved abroad and had kids, the old lady insisted on telling everyone about the boy but the husband and in laws were against it. So she murdered them and ran off to the hills. The guy in the suit was her lawyer who helped her escape charges by faking the dates of the sale of the estate and he was also the one that advised her to keep up the ruse of her son being a loyal servant who would be left the estate for his faithful service.

    Richa and Rani decide to take their knowledge to the grave with them to honor the talaash of the old woman who spent her life looking for her baby and the boy who grew up motherless and found her so late in life and spent the rest of it posing as a servant just to take care of her without ever knowing he was going to inherit that estate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwww! That’s a really sweet ending! And, weirdly, slightly related to the Malayalam film I am watching right now. Once again, we are teh same person!

      On Sun, Mar 25, 2018 at 8:47 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I like both your versions of Talaash 2 (or is it 3? Is the Akshay movie related?)

      In Margaret’s I like Aamir and Rani, supernaturally-aided crime fighting duo. But let’s skip Aamir being patronizing. He’s learned to take Rani’s insights and visions seriously–since she was much more resilient after the death of their son, a a better partner to him than he to her, AND correct about the supernatural stuff. I’m glad they stay in the corrupt city and take evil families with bad bad secrets down together.

      I love the new characters, the mystery and the details in Asmita’s. Generally I like how it’s so woman-centered. A little more Aamir would be an ok thing though–can he have a little ark?–maybe even something he finds out at the book fair that contributes to solving the mystery. This would be such a pretty and dreamy movie. Yet heartbreaking too.

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      • I don’t think Aamir being patronizing exactly, more like Aamir will listen and do what she asks with an open mind, but also use his own judgement, if she sends him to an empty warehouse, he will search it, but come out thinking maybe there is a different explanation for her visions if the evidence doesn’t match. Maybe he suggests that the visions could be in the far past, or future, and that perhaps Rani was open to them because she wants a daughter. Not patronizing (ideally) but more offering an alternative explanation. Even when she sees the photo in the wallet at the doctor’s office, he could point out that she doesn’t know who the girl is, if she is long dead, or was rescued years ago and the story is already over.

        For your suggestion for Asmita, maybe Aamir at the book fair learns about the home where the secret son was raised? Finds another children’s book with similar writing and tracks it down to there or something? So he comes back looking for the son at the same time that Rani has finally figured out what is going on with the mother.

        On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 11:23 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • It could even go both ways, Aamir learns about this little boy who cried for his mother every night, who ran away from the orphanage declaring she was looking for him and needed him, who turned into this grown man that spent every spare minute searching for clues to his identity, and then Aamir finally traces him to the same hill village and they realize that at the same time his mother was looking for him, he spent his life looking for her, and they are both finally happy now that they are together, even if it cannot be acknowledged.

            Which is so sad!!!! This is why I never watched Philomena.

            On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 11:42 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • The more I think about it the more I hate the idea of Amir having an arc in it. Richa is amazing. And Rani is Mardaani didn’t need a hero. These women wouldn’t need Amir. And Amir would be useless as anything more than a guest appearance. Also I watched Wonder Woman (finally!) today (well, only attentively till they decided it needed to the go the Captain America way! 😡) and I loved the idea of no men in the film (not majorly anyway)

        Have you watched Mardaani btw? Or any of the Richa Chadha films? They’d be amazing together!!!

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        • Hey, it’s your story. Can we keep the little Aamir ark where he is at the book fair, and comes across a little scrap of info that helps Rani and Richa move their inquiry forward? Like the role detective wives often play. 😉 That would basically be a guest appearance. Did you say who should play the old lady and the servant/son?

          I loved Mardaani. Rani just looked like such a real person while being a total badass. I don’t know Richa. What should I watch of hers?

          I enjoyed all aspects of Wonder Woman. Favorite line when Diana reminds Chris Pine that men aren’t necessary for pleasure, just for procreation. Got a big laugh in the theater!

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          • For Richa, just watch Fukrey!! She has a very minor role in Gangs of Wasseypur. The old lady should be Zohra Sehgal. Ramu kaka should be Ram Kumar. Or Vinay Pathak.

            Yeah, that was funny. But overall, I kept comparing it to the physicality of the leading ladies in Black Swan. Their bodies looked like those movements were trained. I specifically hated the action sequences. Like, seriously, we have fitness bloggers all over our instagram and athletic women look and move differently. Like the kickass aunty that dies or even the Queen of the Amazons or even that smoking black amazon fighter chick!! Diana (I keep forgetting her real name) looked tiny and oh so fragile in comparison.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I haven’t seen Wonder Woman yet, but I have seen the lead actress in a couple other action movies. She’s an ex-soldier from Isreal in real life, so she should have the strength and body training to pull off the moves. But I’ve also heard your complaint from other people. I don’t know what went wrong, but it certainly wasn’t the casting! Former soldier whose resume is exclusively action films sounds just about perfect.

            On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 12:20 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Ex soldier like compulsory military service for a couple of years. Not ex solider like ex special forces with advanced martial arts training. It’s not even about what was on paper. The other Amazon warriors had the perfect look. You need to look muscular. She looked frail and starved. She’s pretty yes, but in the same film we saw at least five other women that looked and moved a gazillion times better than her. Also, no muscle tone on her. I wonder if she was asked to lose weight for it. As for action films, well, there are 80s hindi films about female cops that are apparently about action and apparently even Tom Cruise does “action” films. There’s a difference between stunt films and action films. And even with stunt films, you can look and move the part. Like ScarJo and her Black Widow. It’s all stunt action. But whatever parts she’s done herself, it looks like she could do it. Also, THE OTHER AMAZONS!! 😂

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          • Robin Wright (kickass aunty) in Wonder Woman is my bae. Huh, Gal Gadot (WW) famously was a combat instructor for the Israeli Defense Forces, and she was 5 months preggers when she shot the action sequences in WW. I thought everyone looked pretty good, for once actually looking like they are fighting, not trying to look pretty or hot while fighting.

            re: Black Swan, ballet is such a weird form of body discipline and I’m not sure it compares to much else. Watched some clips from White Nights (bad 80s movie which I LOVED as a teen) with my daughter the other night just to compare how Gregory Hines (amazing modern/tap dancer but not remotely a ballet guy) and Mikhail Baryshnikov moved while theoretically doing the same steps. She couldn’t get past the bad music…

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          • That woman is a combat instructor???? What kinds??? Those stunts were awful!!!! Even by the standards of superhero movies!!

            Aaah Robin Wright!! I thought she looked familiar!! Man, what a kickass guest appearance! I suppose this is what an experienced actor does even with a small role!

            I don’t have an issue with girls looking pretty when fighting. As long as they look like they’re fighting and they can. I don’t know what they did to her arms. I hope they didn’t fix her in post production. She looked anorexic. Again, comparing her to the muscular women in the same film.

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          • Haha, I have no idea what kind. In January I started taking Krav Maga classes in my quest to find some kind of exercise, besides walking and gardening, that I don’t hate. Krav was developed by the Israeli security forces, so maybe she taught that? Would be interested in what you think about the fighting in Black Panther if you see it.

            And–apparently there was controversy because the Amazon armor was at least reasonably armor-like in WW, but in Avengers, Infinity War, where the Amazons show up again, their armor is showing much more skin.

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          • To be honest, the Amazons are Mediterranean. Why would they even need covering clothes?

            I haven’t watched Black Panther. I’ll see if some of the fighting sequences have made it to YouTube yet.

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          • Armor is to prevent people from piercing you with arrows and swords and thingies. Hence the need for skin covering. So, either go full skin, no armor, or armor that is somewhat functional. That’s my perspective anyway. 🙂

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          • That’s what I thought about 300 too! But to be honest, if you’re a poor army or a resource poor nation, you’re probably caught between feeding and training your soldiers and giving them chainmail.

            Also, those things were heavy. All kinds of armor is heavy. If you’re woman, and you can only physically carry half your bodyweight, would it be a shield and a sword/bow and arrows, or armor that also restricts movements?

            Men can carry twice their bodyweight and that’s why it makes sense that they’d have armor plus weapons.

            I think I read somewhere that armor/no armor thing also had something to do with offensive and defensive styles of combat. Like an offensive strike is less likely to have armored solders because they need to be swift and take the enemy by surprise and defensive positions used more armored soldiers to wear the attackers out. I don’t know if I trust reddit knowledge too much though.

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          • I think it’s more important to cover areas with organs and big veins/arteries close to the surface. So arms and legs showing are ok (except the back of the knees).

            I think leather or reinforced cloth would be pretty cheap (at least if people keep/eat animals) and not as heavy as metal. Interesting about the fighting styles though.

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          • Well one cool thing about comic-book Amazons is they don’t have to worry about scarcity. They live in a Utopia. So they get pads, cups, whatever they want–and armor! 🙂

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          • Of course a real super power would be to not have periods at all!! When I was in the 11th standard, my school library had a running subscription to Cosmopolitan magazine and I used to read that so religiously. And this once it featured an article on how you can choose to only have four periods a year by going on the pill and simply omitting the no pill days. I used to fantasise about being old enough to go in the pill and not have periods! So maybe one superpower all female comic book characters should have is the ability to not have periods! That would be cool!

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          • First, that pill thing is now possible, there are several pills that are such low doses, you can take them 365 days and have no periods at all. It’s legal and available in America, don’t know if it is in India. You know, assuming your doctor doesn’t think there is a health risk involved for you in particular etc. etc.

            Second, in theory the Amazons could be period free, right? I mean, they never had kids and lived forever, maybe part of being an Amazon is not having a reproductive cycle at all.

            On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 11:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Oh man–one of my fave sci fi books is called Gibbons Decline and Fall. In it, an advanced species (who has remained hidden from humans since we’re so dangerous) offers a group of women friends different options to change how human reproduction works. If I recall correction, option 1 is to stop all reproduction and write the species off, 2 is to make it so that no human is fertile til age 30, and the other is so that women can decide whether to allow conception to happen from any given sex act. Sort of like rabbits do now.

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          • Yep. Except for the last option, which places the locus of control with individual girls/women. One of my favorite things about the book was that we know that the group of friends picks one option, but we don’t know which one they pick. Which one would you pick? I’d pick the age 30 one, I think, because individual women could be coerced into choosing to become pregnant. At least with fertility starting at age 30 it would limit people’s lifetime # of kids–across the board in a non-discriminatory way–and people’s brains will have developed out of adolescence before they start having kids.

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          • And the gender power dynamic in couples would be addressed, less of a need for young wives with fertile bodies for older husbands.

            On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 12:10 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • In a perfect world, abortion would become extremely safe. And teen parents could be sent to workhouse jails for underage child having should they “choose” the baby so that they focus on nothing but earning enough for the baby. Like a college debt! A baby tax!! Which cannot be paid through allowance received from parents etc.

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  3. Gah! Will have to read these (and Asmita’s version of Talaash 2–or is it 3?) in the comments as I can. Reaction to Chalte Chalte though–I like it, but I like my fantasy sequel better–the one where Shah Rukh and Rani have teenagers or young adult kids–for two reasons. One is they can both play the roles now, at their current ages, and two is that it would keep the same ensemble feel as the first one. Can’t you imagine Satish Shah and Jayshree T (I had to look her up) as the sympathetic neighbors whom their teenage daughter goes to when Shah Rukh is driving her crazy over exams and future career plan And Lilette Dubey as the cool, practical aunt whom their 20 year-old son goes to over his confusion around his sexual identity (he’s not interested in girls, or sex at all, really–is he gay? asexual? Anna Mausi tells him it’s ok not to know, ok not to be sex-obsessed, there is time, and his parents will adjust and love him when he’s ready to talk about it with them)?

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    • Is your job making you do work during work hours? INSANITY!!!! Tell them to stop that, you have blogs to read!

      I like your Chalte Chalte sequel idea, I think I’d put a couple twists on it. I’d want the kids to be twins and super close, and the start of the film is when they begin college and suddenly are separated for the first time, at least a little. She is off in an all girl’s school with really high academic standards, he is at a co-ed school that is good but not The Best Ever. They both still live at home and are day students. She is over-whelmed with school work and beginning to fail classes for the first time ever and is hiding it from her parents and her brother because the family keeps talking about how proud they are of her and all of that. He is suddenly getting a lot of pressure from his friends to ogle girls and watch porn and stuff he’s really not comfortable with, and similarly doesn’t want to talk about it at home.

      I’d have the opening being that they finally move to a larger flat so the kids get their own rooms instead of sharing, and Rani and Shahrukh have a little more privacy too. Rani and Shahrukh are dealing with trying to make friends in this new place, Rani begins to discover that she doesn’t have as much in common with the rich neighbors as she thought she would, after 20 years of marriage to SRK and living their middle-class life. Shahrukh discovers he gets along really well with the husbands of the building and starts spending too much time with them, drinking on the roof, as he finally feels like he is accepted by the upper classes. They are closer to Lillette Dubey’s apartment now, she is around a lot more and she and Shahrukh have a kind of teasing battle that hides how fond they are of each other. She keeps wanting to take the kids out for “fun days” like when they were little, but the daughter is so pressured now she keeps avoiding it, so she goes out with the son instead, and the son starts showing up at her place after school asking to spend time with her and her lady friends, and then lying to his parents that he was out with his friends so they won’t know he doesn’t like his college gang. The daughter lies she is out with friends too, but is actually hanging out at Satish Shah’s coffee shop (I can’t remember what he did in the original, but whatever it was he could have retired and opened a coffee shop) studying every second of every day while Satish looks at her worried and fusses until she eats something.

      It comes to a head when they find out the daughter is on academic suspension, Shahrukh yells at her for wasting time and not studying enough, she runs out, Satish has to tell Shahrukh that she has been studying to exhaustion and keeping it from them. And her brother is the one who finally finds her and tells her that he misses his best friend, he isn’t really “too old” to hang out with girls like he told her he was, he is lonely and miserable too. Shahrukh and Rani have their own fight in the meantime, Rani admits that she hates it here, she has no friends and all of the women are shallow and awful. Shahrukh says that he has been hanging out with his new friends but he would always rather be with his wife. And then they go on a family vacation and rebond and are happy again. And when the return, they put the kids in the same school again and in the same room, and make the extra room into Rani’s work room so she can spend more time at work instead of being lonely all day. And Shahrukh starts telling his friends he can only drink for an hour, or not at all, because his wife is expecting him.

      I feel like there needs to be one more conflict and then a definitive happy ending but I’m not sure what it is. Maybe one of the son’s scuzzy friends starts flirting with the daughter, and when the son finds out, he finally tells off his friends for being scuzzballs and says he isn’t like them and he is happy that way? Maybe Rani wins over the building ladies when they find out she is the designer that works with their favorite boutique? Something like that. I know I want the ending-ending to be them going back to the old building and seeing a young family in their old flat, another bickering young married couple with two energetic kids, and realize that the circle of life is continuing, they can’t just go home again and start over, they have to accept their new place in life.

      On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 8:48 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • That’s where I was last week. Thank goodness for Rani’s birthday, letting me do a day of reruns.

          On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 9:39 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. B & B 2–Love it! Who should do the music? Can there be a budding romance at work with Kirron Kher which confuses Amitabh and amuses Abhishek and Rani? A mini KANK reunion! Then, Kirron plays a role in Amitabh getting fired. There is drama but Abhi and Rani help Amitabh see that he should give Kirron another chance, because he’s a better and happier grandpa-type to their son when he’s around Kirron, and their son get’s a bonus awesome grandma-type into the bargain. In the end, Kirron is also disillusioned with the system and quits the anti-fraud unit. Last scene is all 4 of them kicking off the next scam.

    It could be called Bunty aur Babli aur Dada aur Dadi. BBDD for short, haha.

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    • YES!!!! To all of this!!!!! I want Kirron to be the aging office person who is desperate to finally see action after being shoved aside to “women’s” jobs for the past 30 years. Amitabh at first is grumpy about her joining their unit, but Rani insists because they need an older woman for their latest scam. And then Kirron does such an amazing job that Amitabh falls a little bit in love with her because of how smart she is. He ends up going to bat for Kirron and insisting she stay with the unit. And the Kirron gets soft on him and starts making special sweets just for him on the stake outs and fussing over how he should wear a scarf when it gets chilly out and stuff.

      When things go bad, Kirron takes Amitabh’s side against the kids in public, but then in private tells him that he should trust them more and try to find the real reason. And her encouragement is part of what helps bring the team back together.

      Oh oh!!!! Cute ending tag! We see them with headsets on talking about the plan and timing and how this is the most important mission of their lives and they just want it all to be over and who has the “package” and so on. And then it turns out that what they are trying to set up is Amitabh surprising Kirron with an engagement ring and a proposal.

      On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 11:31 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. M and P, well ladies, after our conversation on the dark theories, do you think SRK should do an exact remake of American Beauty? I would so love him in a remake of 1308!! No woman arc to distract from his story. Just a straight up showcase of his skills. Whadya think?

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    • Trying to get my mind around the American Beauty thing. It would REALLY depend on the director and script. As it was that movie walked a line between poignant and gross. Now full gross to me knowing what we know about Spacey.

      I don’t know 1308. 1408, the movie based on the Stephen King story? Shah Rukh would be a great lead in many Stephen King stories. Stu in the The Stand, any of the novelists–Secret Window, Misery, Lisey’s Story, the priest in Salem’s Lot and the Dark Tower novels, the ex cop in the Mr. Mercedes trilogy. He could totally do Walter/Randall Flagg also.

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      • Oh yes 1408! God I watched it so many times when it first came out. I used to get really sucked into thriller films back then or maybe they were just better acted and less clichéd then.

        My two other thriller favs to feature SRK in would be Devil and Mirrors. IF he can and if Farah directs it, Grave Encounters. I think it has the perfect blend of comedy and then bam! Creepy shit!! And some of my favourite horror tropes!

        It should be a film that just has a motion poster release. Nothing else. No promotion. And the audience goes to watch it and bam!! It’s a horror film!! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s how some of the newer Malayalam horror movies have been set up. Happy romance, young couple, sweet sweet sweet, BAM! GHOST!

          On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 10:40 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Now I want SRK and Salman in a film together where they try to solve a mystery with a ghost in this new cottage they’ve bought in khandala and have plans to set up as an Airbnb. Only it turns out that SRK had murdered Salman on their very first night in the place when they got stupid drunk. Just SRK and Salman together. And unexplainable phenomenon happening in this crumbling cottage in the middle of nowhere.

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          • Oh, that’s brilliant. And if we want to get really cheeky, at the end Aamir shows up as the new owner, watched by Ghost Salman and Shahrukh as they prepare to kill him and have him join them.

            On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 10:49 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • No Amir is the first airbnb guest that shows up in the end credits.

            SRK doesn’t kill Salman on purpose. It’s an accident. Dying Salman knows it and he even jokes about SRK burying him discreetly by the compost pit at the far end of the organic vegetable garden they’re planning on the property. And that’s what drunk SRK does. When he sees Salman in the house the next day, he assumes he dreamt that up. He slowly unearths clues and finds the body and promptly shoots himself and falls in the same pit. It’s a dark and stormy night and an old tree falls on the dug up grave with the two bodies and the first guest, amir, is booked for two weeks later. And a housekeeper is already hired. So when he shows up and something rolls out from under the bed, that sets up the plot for the sequel.

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