Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want To Ask Me Today? And Question For You, What is A Gossip Story that Will Not Die?

Happy Monday!  I am on a plan for the middle of the morning, so I may not answer as quickly as usual.  But I would still love to hear from you!

As always, you can ask me anything you want from the personal (“which movie will you watch on the plane?”) to the specific and factual (“which movie is available on your plane?”) to the general discussion question (“which movie should be watched on a plane?”)

As always, the only rule is that you have to let me answer first, because the conversation goes better that way.  But once I answer, feel free to leap in and join the discussion.

Now, question for you!

Yesterday I mentioned two gossip stories that just refuse to die.  What are your least favorite of these stories that you just want to die, and what are your most favorite that you really hope turn out to be true?


I think my least favorite is the PC-SRK affair.  There is just no way that looks good on any of these people, and I want it to just die down and go away.

And my most favorite that I really like the (still not confirmed) Hrithik-Shweta Bachchan relationship rumor.  I just like the idea of them both having found happiness after divorce.  Call me sentimental, but there it is!


19 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want To Ask Me Today? And Question For You, What is A Gossip Story that Will Not Die?

  1. Maybe shweta bachchan hr one.
    Hr and abhi are childhood buddies so shweta must also know hr from childhood so it would be sweet.
    Have you watched kaala and dhadak trailer.
    Kaala was a true paisa wasool movie with seeties.
    Dhadak I felt lot underwhelming. They took a regional superhit and ruined it trying to make a launch vehicle for star kids.
    And I don’t want to bring the n word but kjo is getting lot of backlash for choice of his stars and his statement they are here not due to it but due to hardworking is getting lots of trolling.


  2. I also want the PC-SRK affair thing to go away. It looks worse for her and it’s not a good look for him at all. I usually don’t care about the who isn’t talking to who stories either (and especially made up feuds between women…I do think it’s more likely that the big ego heroes are being catty with one another than the women).

    I can totally get behind the Shweta/Hrithik thing!

    Question for you: tell me again where you get your Indian DVDs online? I won’t use Bhavani anymore and only occasionally will do a big order from Induna. And then Amazon all the other times. I really want a good source for Telugu and Malayalam movies. I still like the DVDs on my shelf.


    • I go into a lot more detail in my book:

      But for a simple answer, I was always a film buff my whole life and I sort of vaguely knew about Indian film (my parents had Indian friends, we had an ACK comic book growing up, we knew about the movies existing), and I’d even seen a couple of them (Lagaan and Rangeela). And then when I was in college, I was spending every weekend going to art theaters and watching movies and I ended up seeing DDLJ on the big screen as part of a festival and it changed my life. I fell completely in love with Shahrukh, and Indian film. I was going to school at the time at a university with a massive desi population, I was literally one of 3 non-desis on my dorm floor. So it was easy for me to learn more about the movies just sort of by osmosis, talking to everyone around me and stuff. I spent college watching 5-8 movies a week and asking all my friends everything they knew about the movies, and Indian culture and history and so on. That was my basic grounding. Oh, and I also minored in film, but none of my film classes covered India, it was just a general grounding in film.

      And then I graduated from college and kept watching the movies and staying on top of movie news and so on and eventually decided to go back to grad school. It took me 6 years going part time while working full time, and I also had to kind of design my own program. Again, there was no coverage of India in the official program (that’s when I started saying “don’t call it Bollywood”, because none of my teachers or classmates really respected the Indian film industry, they thought of it as some kitschy weird thing, which was reinforced with a kitchy weird name. “Indian film” gets a much more respectful reaction). Anyway, I took all the required core classes and whenever possible did my optional projects on India related topics, and I was able to some optional seminars on religion and Orientalism and stuff that was more directly related to India. I did my Master’s thesis on non-desi fans of Indian film, interviewing over 100 people, and then after I finished that and got my degree, I found a wonderful tiny little press that let me write a book. And then after I wrote the book, I got bored again and started blogging.

      And that’s it! A very long answer, but it boils down to “I fell in love with SRK, and separately (after a lifetime of studying film) I find Indian films and the Indian film industry higher quality and more interesting than any other film industry”.


      • Really a nice story, one of the reasons I like your blog, that you respect Indian cinema, unfortunately this is rare, the exaggeration of the 1970s and 1980s does not allow people to see how the industry is developing and the good quality

        The rumor that I wish to die the PC-SRK affair, whether it is real or fake, I don`t think it is real at all, even if it was, still just a mistake, no real love there or good feelings.

        I do not know about Hrithik-Shweta Bachchan relationship rumor, We must learn from our mistakes first, to find our happiness, Did Hrithik Learn from his mistake? we wish


    • Dont worry, it will, once Quantico is over and PC is back in India. The BH article with the PC “source” pretty much said that, the relationship is “convenient” while she is in America, but it won’t last once she is back in India.


      • I’m hoping it lasts. How long can she keep piggybacking off SRK stories? It is completely ludicrous considering that he avoids her like the plague. There’s a limit to how much anything can be stretched. I was hoping the Jonas stories were an indication that she’s finally realized that.


  3. How has your vacation been? What movies did you watch with your sister? What movies did you watch on the plane?

    When I read this post quickly, I thought at first you were asking what constitutes a “gossip” story vs a “news” or a “serious” story. Which would be really hard to answer! I agree with your “long-running soap opera” thesis, and it is really important to care about the characters. In the early/mid 2000s I enjoyed a couple of fairly mean US/UK celebrity gossip blogs–think D Listed–but pretty soon most of the people being gossiped about were reality TV personalities. I don’t watch any reality TV, not even things like the voice, so I had no idea who any of these people were, and didn’t really care what they were up to. Part of it was also aging out of new actors and pop stars also. So there was a big entertainment vacuum in my life that SRK and then Hindi movies more broadly filled!

    I don’t like gossip that tries to shame people for their choices about sex, and I don’t like gossip about non-famous relatives of famous people. That’s about it. I’ll read speculation about which famous person is doing another one, and which famous people are fighting, and who got passed over for a hot invite or job vs who got it, until the cows come home. As long as there is some initial reason to care about the famous people (like at least moderate talent, looks, and body of work).


    • The vacation was great! We watched Raid, Godha, Fidaa, and then MCA. The first 3 I’ve been wanting to watch with her for ages, the last one was just a relaxing silly palate cleanser after Fidaa. And on the plane, I ended up just watching Kimmy Schmidt, because the flight goes faster when broken down into sitcom chunks.

      This is why I stopped reading People magazine as much! They started doing a lot more with “respectable” reality TV people (like, a couple that flips houses or whatever, not just over the top Housewives stars). And I don’t know any of them so I had no investment and it felt like turning on a soap opera halfway through the season without knowing the established storylines. I assume that people who are famous for being famous are a lot easier to get access to than the ones who do other stuff, so the gossip press goes to famous-for-being-famous people just out of laziness. I don’t watch reality TV either, or documentaries. I always feel like I have to add that to explain it’s not that I am snobby or something, I just like fiction better than non-fiction of whatever kind it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I would prefer that a gossip-story kills itself by over-exposure and blatant lies (like the Kangana- Hrithik thing). As for ShahRukh and Priyanka, it’s clearly in her interest to keep hinting. I deeply doubt that they ever had sex (although I bet she would have liked and did try to get ShahRukh to give her more than a tender friendship) and I also doubt that ShahRukh’s PR was involved in the ‘making of’ the relationship-story. Nevertheless I think that ShahRukh was attracted by something Priyanka was able to give him he probably needed at a certain time and he got somehow protective of her. Unfortunately – for her, in the end – she ‘milked’ the gossip and got increasingly indiscreet.


    • Unfortunately, I still run into people who believe the Kangana-Hrithik story, despite such obvious things as “but, he’s never been to Paris as proven by ten gazillion items of public record”. But the Kangana-Hrithik story does seem to have died down, at least a little, once it began to actual sabotage films

      I agree about Priyanka, I’d even say that originally there was probably a close caring relationship developed through filming together, and that was used as part of the promotions (the same way SRK and Dips or SRK and Anushka or SRK and Kajol or any of his other female co-stars promote films together). We all love watching Shahrukh flirt with a woman and seeing celebrities joke together and so on. But I can’t see it turning into an actual affair (obviously, anyone is capable of cheating, but Shahrukh doesn’t seem like someone who would do it lightly and I don’t see that kind of connection with PC), and I also can’t see the SRK PR team, or even the Don 2 PR team, going so far as to imply more than a “special relationship”. That’s where it got out of control and ridiculous, and probably without SRK’s permission.

      On Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 8:21 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  5. I really want to watch Sairat, especially now that Dhadak is coming out, but everyone says how sad it is. Which is OK, but I need to plan my viewing. Like, do I need to watch it and then immediately watch Chasme Baddoor or can I watch it by myself and go on with my life? So, without spoiling it can you tell me if it is just sad like a run of the mill sad love story (say, Lootera) or is it sad like everything is awful and nothing will ever be all right again (say, Anurag Kashyap levels of “everything sucks,” can’t think of a specific example). On a scale of 1 to 10 in which 1 is Makkhi/KKHH/Happy Baag Jayegi; and 5 is Lootera/Sanam Teri Kasam/KHNH and 10 is Badlapur/Ugly/Aligarh where is Sairat?


    • Sairat is a mainstream Marathi movie-in that it has happy songs, romantic songs, dancing songs etc along with super cute, funny, romantic moments in the first half. It’s definitely not all sad. Also the real sad ending strikes very unexpectedly in the very last scene. So in a way I felt the director did it for a shock value or it could be the harsh raw truth of the dominance of caste divide over everything else. I would rate it a 5 on sadness scale but then I grew up watching fuck-the-whole-human-race kinda Malayalam movies. So this was pretty mild for me.


    • As Meenakshy says, most of the film is not sad at all. True, the main couple have to face various adversities (some of them violent) but it’s no more sad than your average mainstream Hindi movie, and there are a lot of funny and happy times, too. Especially as we watch the couple handle and overcome their adversities, the main feeling is one of happiness and triumph on their behalf.

      Most people are only referring to the ending when they say it’s a “sad” movie, but it is supposed to come as a shock, therefore there is nothing in the preceding scenes that is in any way sad. Now it didn’t shock me, mainly because I could see it coming for at least 15 minutes, and it seemed tacked on and unnecessary to me, but then other people online have said it is realistic and the suddenness of it is the point. Now I’ve probably taken away its value for you. But basically overall the movie is not what I would call sad. Maybe people are saying that because it is done in a very realistic manner, so maybe there is greater emotional connect with the characters than in an average Hindi movie, where everyone and everything always feels rather “artificial” to me. I could certainly go on with my life after watching it.


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