Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me This Week?

Happy Monday!  I slept and slept and slept, and now I am back at work all bright-eyed and bushy tailed.  And ready for questions!

As always, you can ask me anything from the personal (“what movie do you watch when you need to sleep and sleep and sleep?”) to the specific and factual (“why are there so many lullabies in Indian films?”) to the general discussion (“what is the best song to listen to to put yourself to sleep?”).

Only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  The discussion just goes better that way.  But once I answer, feel free to leap in with your own ideas.

 

 

Now, question for you! A variation on marry, shag, kill.

Best Friend, Enemy, Partying Friend

I’ll start us off with some basic groups of three, you can answer below and give your own suggestions too.  My answers are in parentheses.

90s heroines:

Madhuri (Partying Friend)

Sridevi (I guess she has to be enemy)

Juhi (Best friend, no brainer)

 

Beauty Queens:

Priyanka (Partying friend)

Aishwarya (Enemy)

Sushmita (Best Friend)

 

Classic Heroines

Madhubala (Partying Friend)

Nutan (Enemy, too mean to her mother for me!)

Meena Kumari (Best Friend by default)

 

Southern Heroines

Sai Pallavi (Best Friend)

Nithya Menon (Partying Friend)

Anushka Shetty (Enemy by default)

 

Current Heroines

Anushka Sharma

Alia Bhatt

Deepika

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38 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me This Week?

  1. Deepika is your enemy because you fancy Ranveer? Good Lord M! All that crying about him being high energy & too much to handle was a case of sour grapes hiding mad passion for Ranveer?😉😉
    Trisha/KJo would be my partying friend. Hope she brings along Rana.KJo has bring in his full Bollywood crowd. Best friend -nah.. don’t trust any of them. Nayantara maybe. Learn some marketing & self preservation tips from her. Enemy would be Pooja Hegde or any of those generic skinny model type girls who should just leave the films, once & for all.

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    • No! never! Dips is my enemy because, being limited down to the top 3 actresses, she is the one I could see myself enjoying the least.

      How about you? If limited down to only those 3, which would be your friend, which your enemy, and which your partying friend?

      On Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 7:33 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Anushka Sharma-friend. I could get some box seat tickets for the IPL matches, get free goodies from her brand. But she announced today that she became a vegetarian. So not sure how to work around that. I can’t live without my meat.
        Dips will be the partying friend. Not so much for her but for Ranveer. He will make things interesting. And that leave Alia to be the enemy, which is fine. I won’t have much in common with her.

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          • Oh btw have you seen this?This vid has surfaced recently & kinda answers why they never worked together. Man, Salman does hold a grudge & good escape Juhi!

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          • Although, she could have married young pretty Salman….. And then I guess traded him in when he started to show some wear and tear?

            On Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 7:59 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • You think Salman takes kindly to being traded & dumped?She would have become another addition in his list of abused, bullied girlfriends. And the sparkly Juhi that we know may have been lost.

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          • The anchor introduces him as Salman & he says ‘no, Aamir, Salman is at the airport’. The anchor insists he looks like Salman & he repeats ‘Aamir’. So she asks if the studio audience is all cheering for Aamir. He says ‘maybe’ and finally leaves the joke & settles for sharing the applause(guess the rivalry was going strong then). The anchor also mentions about the girls in the audience who are cheering for him & if he can see them. He says if the lights are on, he can. Then something about the anchor telephoning him & him being asleep at 6am. Finally she asks him to talk about Juhi & then about Divya(Bharati I think).

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    • Great question! I don’t hate-hate her as a person, but I hate-hate her as an actress. As a person, I just dislike her. Which I guess is related to why I don’t like her as an actress. I never feel like I am seeing the real person enough to truly love or hate her. Obviously, I’m not going to ever know the real person of a celebrity and wouldn’t expect to. But I do expect them to be better at faking it in real life, and definitely better at faking it while acting. I went from just being mildly disappointed to see her in a movie (knowing that it meant there would be a lack of passion in the role), to feeling actively unhappy about her as I watched more and more films and interviews.

      She is also someone who is “safe” to make fun of a little in that way. Because I don’t think there are many people who passionately love her either. I’m not going to make Rani my default punching bag partly because I actually like her, but also because I would get massive blowback from people who truly love her. It’s something I learned way way back when I was first getting into the movies in the early 2000s, all the desi girls could bond over loving Rani and sometimes Kajol and Preity, and poking fun at Aish and Priyanka.

      There’s also a bit of a “punching up” factor in it. Which Aish and PC have invited on themselves by playing up the perfect powerful everything ideal part of their life. I can make fun of Aish for wearing purple lipstick at Cannes, because she is so untouchable in terms of her looks and her international fame. And I can make fun of Priyanka for getting a nose job, because she was obviously equally beautiful before and after.

      For the actual reasons I dislike Aish, it’s similar to why PC bothers me. Back in the 2000s when Aish was pushing hard for an international career, she really threw Indian women under the bus to get it. Lots of interviews about how she is sweet and innocent and expects an arranged marriage, and never diets, and never dates, and dresses modestly, and on and on. Playing up the fantasy of the educated career woman who really just wants to be a wife and mother. No conflict between the two. And no conflict between the way she was obviously aggressively going after an overseas career and trying to get the heck out of India, and all of her talk about how she loves Indian culture and religion and blah blah blah.

      You see the problem? If I am arguing that Indian women should have more freedoms, and so on and so on, someone can just point to Aish and say “well, what about her? She is this beautiful successful movie star and all her interviews are telling me she is happy living with her parents and not dating and having an arranged marriage and never wants to leave India. Indian woman are fine I guess”. And if you are an Indian woman, you are watching Aish and thinking “well, she manages to be beautiful and confident and successful without any sexual desires or selfish desires or feeling trapped by Indian culture norms, I should smush down all my unpleasant feelings and try to be like her”.

      And of course it was all an obvious LIE!!!! She was dating Salman and then Vivek during this same period, and had actually kissed onscreen while she was telling the western press she hadn’t, and so on and so on. So there was a conscious choose there to erase certain parts of herself in order to create a non-threatening image of herself and all Indian women.

      On Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 10:08 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • It’s also possible that she just looks like that. Going back to her very remote public persona where I never feel like I am seeing the actual person. At least, that’s what I tell myself, because I want Abhi to be happy in his marriage too.

          Oh, and there is this. Although all of these images are kind of old:

          On Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 2:38 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Agree with everything you say onthe fake persona during her cross-over attempt. You forgot her affected accent & mannerisms which were totally cringe worthy. But just to play the devil’s advocate, consider this-PC & Ash entered the industry in early 2000s when faking hadn’t become an art yet as is today. The industry itself was all about the Khans & actresses where more or less dependent on them. Ash had fallen out of favour with all the Khans & like PC today, she may have tried to move out to get away from the messy relationships & bad press. She was equipped with international looks-an almost rare thing about Indian women,(except among super models like Meher Jessia), when the exotic & exploring Indianness hadn’t become a thing yet. So distasteful as her attempts were about presenting a ‘good Indian girl’, I guess she was just going with the market requirement. Anyways I give credit to Ash for sustaining so long when most of her more talented contemporaries like Preity, Rani, Lara Dutta, Sush etc have practically non-existent careers. Rani married smart, so she may come & go in occasional roles produced by hubby. Women like PC, Ash & Nayanthara have survived for long despite their images taking a beating after failed public relationships,bad acting, poor choices in films etc.
            All part of growing up,yet they haven’t done anything as drastic as hit&run, keeping crates of assault weapons(I know the official line is ‘one’)etc. Appearing too cold/calculative seems to be a part of their ‘queen’ persona which helps them survive & the power equation is tilted to their side in a romantic relationship(Deepika & Anushka are worthy successors who have avoided both the pitfalls smartly)both of which may not be easily acceptable to the general public I would rather side with them than entitled kids like Alia who had everything handed over on a platter for her to succeed or the ‘generous’,’loyal’ bad boys with golden hearts just to cheer for their will to survive & sustain.
            Ash is consistently good in all Mani Ratnam & most Bhansali films. Maybe she’s a director’s actress who needs inputs to perform. Also why is everyone saying she appears unhappy in the marriage. At least by the public posts & pics, they don’t look any less in love than say SRK-Gauri or Aamir-Kiran. So what am I missing ?

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          • I agree about the 2000s, but I will flip it and say that the 90s were a good time for actresses, it was the 2000s that was the worst era. Because the international model looks were now the requirement and the acting talent and natural likable persona had fallen behind. The 90s gave us Dushman, Dil Se, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Kya Kehna, Pardes, Dil To Pagal Hai, all kinds of movies where the heroine had strong interesting roles. Yes, they were love interests, but they were love interests with meaty scenes and famous dances and so on and so on. And you can see the continued popularity of those actresses today, they may not be offered many parts, but we still talk about Juhi and Madhuri and Preity and Karisma even if they haven’t worked in film in years. And then in the 2000s we have Priyanka playing the straight woman in Bluffmaster or Mujshe Shaadi Karoge while the boys have all the fun, or Aishwarya passively moving between Ajay and Salman in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. I mean, we can see it in Vidya Balan’s career. She struggled to even get a job, and then after an amazing first performance in Parineeta, no one really knew what to do with her until Ishqiya in 2010. She wasn’t the kind of actress people were hiring back then, she didn’t fit in the kind of passive love interest roles they needed.

            Aish was definitely of her time, the era when heroines were expected to look stunningly beautiful and not cause any waves. That awkward era between the totally natural full access film magazines, and the almost-but-not-quite natural era we are in now (because if you are constantly followed by cell phone cameras, you can’t be completely natural). I don’t blame her for that, it’s definitely a right time-right place issue. But I do find her someone I don’t like, because she seemed, and seems, so willing to live her life like that. Dia dropped out, Sush could barely handle keeping her mouth shut during the pageant and became a rebel immediately, so many other actresses have either been unable to stop some reality from breaking through eventually, or just gotten tired of that game and left. And like you said, the new era of actress who grew up with this has found a new way, a kind of more honest sort of lie. More than that, a lot of them seem aware that they are crafting a persona and that persona has the possibility of doing good in the world. If Anushka is talking about her marriage and relationship, I think she is very aware that she is a role model for young women and she needs to make the marriage sound great so that working wives with supportive husbands becomes expected. I don’t feel like Aish ever quite thought that way, considered how what she was presenting could effect other people. She just keeps going with what works for her.

            On Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 12:34 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • We all have our punch bags. Ash & PC are yours. Alia & Kangana are mine(I thank your blog for letting me put that in writing without the fear of being lynched).

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh yeah, at least you can complain about Aish and (to a lessor degree) PC without people getting furious at you. Alia and Kangana, that’s a controversial brave opinion!

            Just curious, what bothers you about Kangana? I know Alia because you just said, but why Kangana? She’s not my favorite either but I am curious if my reasons are different or the same as yours.

            On Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 7:55 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • In between the ‘I’m a victim, while world is out to get me’ & ‘im so great, wonderful, accomplished & no one deserves to even stand next to me’-I get confused. And pissed off that since Queen & TWM2(both well written & directed films), she hasn’t been able to entertain me with a good performance while the off screen performances are scaling heights(lows). The fans keep mentioning three time national award winning actress, but then let’s also mention that two of the three times she won had a Bollywood director as head of jury. I thought she made a smashing debut in Gangster & full respect for all her struggles & where she reached today-if only she was a little more graceful about it & did something more productive with her experience. What’s your take ?

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          • Oh yay, we agree! It’s difficult (as I am sure you have run into) because a lot of the reasons I would criticize Kangana sound like the things people say to minimize women. She is “unruly”, “difficult”, “demanding”, and so on and so on. Which leads into another thing that bothers me a little, by Kangana waving the anti-nepotism flag, or the feminism flag, it kind of minimizes anyone else who might make that argument. Crazy by association, if you see what I mean. Or alternatively, not “really” feminist or anti-nepotism or whatever, because they aren’t behaving like Kangana does.

            But I think you expressed my feelings perfectly with “if only she was a little more graceful about it & did something more productive with her experience”. It’s not productive to give a lot of interviews spouting philosophy and positioning yourself as better/different from everyone else. And it also isn’t very graceful, isn’t behavior that makes people want to listen to you and work with you. And most of all, I look at what other people in the industry are quietly doing to raise up unheard voices, female producers taking risks on female lead films, directors trying to reach out to unconnected talents, even people like Sonam Kapoor who is using her connections to help other people without connections get a break (Dulquer in Hindi, Rajkummar Rao, Fawad Khan, Dhanush in Hindi, Swara Bhaskar, Shiksa Talsani, and on and on), and I get frustrated by Kangana not really doing things in the world.

            But then I also have a hard time with my feelings about her, because I do sincerely think she is struggling with some form of mental illness and so I may be judging someone for behavior they can’t entirely control.

            On Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 9:02 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Oh very true! I just wish she took herself a little less seriously & let others in(other than her sister)& did something where she doesn’t have to talk about it. I don’t judge Alia too harshly either. Its not so much the person/actress Alia who I resent than this brand that was carefully chosen,constructed & maintained & then hailed as the best. Angie had many comments on how Karan repeats her in every single film of his. What I realise is that the whole purpose of her existing as an actress is to serve KJo & his films or any ppl, brands that he chooses.its not a bad position to be in but by association, I tend to view anything coming from her with a bit of suspicion. Like what trick is KJo up to now with Alia as the face. the recent linkup with Ranbir is an example.

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          • KJo has always had this tendency to build people up as he wants them to be. But most of them resist and pull free. Kareena for instance, she turned down Kal Ho Na Ho and it ended their closeness for years. It came up in her first Koffee appearance and she brushed it off as “I’m not even sure why I did that”, but maybe she just wanted a little breathing room? Shahrukh and he have their odd little power struggles too. And him and Kajol. But then SRK and Kajol were equals or superiors when they met, Karan was never going to have total control.

            But the 3 SOTY kids seem to be willing to let him direct them. Alia the most, which makes sense since she was so very very young. But Sid and Varun too, I am sure most of their career moves are happening with strong Karan guidance. Maybe in a different industry, he would have found his place as a talent manager/agent instead of as a director.

            On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 1:18 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I have a question!!

    My Indian movie marathons have been a huge hit with my friends, and one has requested an all-comedy marathon. I have been wracking my brain for three funny movies where the humor translates well for Americans. I think rom-coms and crime dramas work better cross-culturally; humor is so culture and language specific. Or maybe I should include one that an Indian audience would find hysterical but western audiences would not get at all, just to make my point.

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  3. HOW DID DHADAK DO IN THE BOX OFFICE!!!
    That’s my question ^^^

    I am a Kavya Madhavan gal, and no new actress will ever come close. So, she will be my ultimate and only choice 🙂

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    • Haven’t had a chance to look at box office figures. I am seeing stuff like BEST FILM (of newcomers during the summer when it is kind of rainy out and you are standing on one foot and squinting). So I am guessing decent but not spectacular.

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  4. My question: How is your hindi going? I mean you were talking about joining language school, and I’m curious how it ended.

    My answers:

    Beauty Queens:
    Aish- enemy
    Dia Mirza – friend
    Lara Dutta – party friend

    90s heroines:
    Sridevi – friend
    Madhuri – party friend
    Juhi – enemy (or better no-friend)

    Souther Heroines
    Parvathy – FRIEND (I love this woman)
    Sai Pallavi – other friend (I love her and wanted add her as party friend but she doesn’t look like partygoer)
    Nayanthara – enemy

    Random actresses:
    Kareena Kapoor – ENEMY! (she looks like the opposite of what I want in a friend )
    Preity Zinta – friend
    Kriti Sanon – party friend (no reason, I just like her)

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    • Still no luck on the language school! haven’t heard back from them and haven’t gotten around to reaching out again. I still walk by the store front sometimes when walking Dog Hazel, but I haven’t been brave enough to bang on the door and say “Hey! Hindi classes?”

      I would also make Dia my friend, she seems really nice. Why is Juhi your enemy? What did she do?

      I would make Preity Zinta my friend too. You and me and Dia and Preity should hang out together some time.

      On Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 2:05 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I have nothing against Juhi, but I like her less than other two, and somebody had to be the enemy. The same with Nayanthara. Kareena is my only real enemy.

        And for language school – Do it! ask for the lessons!

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  5. Ooh, fun! I think for 90s actresses and beauty queens my answer would be the same as yours, except maybe Priyanka is my beauty queen enemy.

    For classic heroines: Madhubala is the party friend; Nargis is the best friend; Meena is not so much the enemy as the emotional vampire friend who always has a crisis and needs your attention but has a date when you need emotional support.

    Today: Party friend is Deepika; I agree with everyone who says she can bring Ranveer. Enemy is Katrina. Best friend is Vidya or maybe Konkona. (I thought of making a separate category for parallel cinema, but besides Konkona as my bestie I can’t think of a party friend or an enemy).

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    • What we need is a section for middle-aged actresses.

      Kirron, Ratna Pathak, Shefali Shah? Who is friend, who is party friend, who is enemy?

      On Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 12:07 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Well, Kirron obviously has to be the party friend. Shefali is always really sympathetic, so that means Ratna Pathak Shah has to be the enemy.

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    • Ratna would make a very exciting enemy, I suspect she is very determined and also wiley.

      On Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 10:18 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. Question for you… Why did kat and ranbir split? There seems to be precious little on the internet explaining this.

    The question is because of your other contemporaneous post about alia ranbir and marriage, with rishi saying that ranbir can marry anyone he wants but that he should marry soon, which seems odd since ranbir’s move toward marriage two years ago was met with tepid familial support.

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    • My memory of the Ranbir-Kat break up is that they were publicly obviously living together, even through a house warming. And rumors were flying of a marriage. And Kat was seen going in and out of the family home (although no big photo spread like with Dips). and then all of a sudden Ranbir moved out and went to live with his Grandma and Kat was alone in the apartment. Either because Ranbir was the one who moved out, or just because he was the man, the assumption seemed to be that he was the one who ended things. And there was a ridiculous rumor floated that it was because of Alia, but that didn’t really go anywhere at the time.

      So, I got nothing! Except a bunch of possibilities to choose from:

      a) Ranbir fell passionately in love with Alia at first sight, no other woman could measure up, he went home to Kat and broke things off and then waited, heart beating out of his chest with love, until Alia finally returned his feelings, over 3 years later.

      b) Neetu didn’t like Kat and cancelled the engagement

      c) Ranbir is a commitment-phobe and it was all getting too real and he backed out

      d) Ranbir and Kat just realized they had fallen out of love with each other, the way couples do

      e) Kat realized she was still passionately in love with Salman and has been patiently waiting for him to say something to her for the past 3 years

      On Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 10:53 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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