Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Day I Meet My Nephew?

Well, now I am getting all nervous about jinxing things. The baby’s going to get a cold! The flight will be delayed by weather! I will have temporary spontaneous blindness! Something is going to keep me from seeing this baby for real, instead of just in ten million photos/videos.

Anyway, questions! You can ask me anything you want about anything. If you wonder about a particular Hindu holiday, or the history of an actor, or anything else, this is the place to ask. And also to bring up random other topics you like (at least until Wednesday, when the Wednesday Watching post is the place to bring up random topics).

Now, question for you! This is kind of confusing question, I hope I can phrase it right. I am finally watching Prime Suspect and having the strange feeling of “oh, this is the origin of all that stuff I saw in other later shows”. What Indian films have you watched early on in your journey and then gone back to later and realized you got the wrong end of things, saw the imitation before the original?

Well, Saathiya is an obvious one for me. I still love Saathiya, but it’s frustrating that I saw it so long before I went back and saw Alia Payuthay.

And in a more general sense, I saw Amitabh first in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham and Mohabbatein before I went back and saw him in Sholay and Deewar. And Sanjay in Munna Bhai MBBS before Khalnayak.

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46 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Day I Meet My Nephew?

  1. Oh sorry to hear about your trip.
    Congrats on being an aunt. Give the baby my best wishes. Don’t worry the minute you see your nephew you’ll forget all the problems you faced on your trip.
    As for movies, Saathiya i don’t know never liked the movie at all but songs are actually good. Munnabhai well it is a movie you can watch anytime but i don’t think you would want to watch it while traveling. Oh you should watch Dil se or Raavanan(tamil) a vikram movie.

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    • Manichtrazhu, I think that’s the only one. Hulchul is my favorite Priyadarshan movie and I don’t really want to watch Godfather for fear it will ruin it for me.

      On Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 9:27 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. K3G is the bassackwards film for practically every star who appears in it. Hrithik & Katrina when they couldn’t really act, Kajol being super annoying, SRK being weirdly neutered in a lot of it and of course Amitabh not being terribly charismatic, K3G in general is such a weaksauce disappointment when you have other films to compare it to.

    Have fun with your nephew! The bestest thing about a new baby is reclining in a rocker and holding them on your chest while they’re sleeping and taking whiffs of their head because new babies smell delicious.

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    • I have been told that this baby will only sleep when being held securely half upright by a person who is not moving. Which is bad if you are his full time caregiver (because then you don’t get to sleep ever), but sounds great for aunts!

      On Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 9:43 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I was reading your Motwane essay again, and- I have to ask- do you plan on doing a similar article on Rakeysh Mehra? It’d be interesting to see what you make of his work.

    I’m also moping over the fact that Vishal Bhardwaj’s Netflix adaption of Midnight’s Children seems to have been permanently shelved. Not only was he the perfect fit for the material, I’ve been itching to see Priyanshu Painyuli (who he’d cast in the lead role) on (digital) screen again.

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    • Oh, that’s an interesting idea! I’ve seen all his stuff except for Aks and Mere Pyare Prime Minister, and I love his work. Just the movement from Rang De Basanti to Mirzya is fascinating.

      I did the Motwane essay as part of a theme director’s week, I’ll keep Mehra in mind if I want to do another director’s week.

      I was one of the few people who saw the Nair version of Midnight’s Children (in theaters!) and it was soooooooooooooooo bad I am not surprised people are cautious about trying another version.

      On Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 12:08 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Honestly, I haven’t watched Mere Pyare Prime Minister, either. But do watch Aks! It ranks very highly on my list of favourite Amitabh performance.

        Also, the 2013 movie was directed by Deepa Mehta, not Mira Nair (who I assume you were referring to). The now-canned adaptation was supposed to be a series a la Sacred Games, so pacing would’ve been less of a problem

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        • Thanks for the 2013 movie correction! Yeah, that film was a disaster. Pacing, sure, trying to fit way too much stuff into a little time. But also the pure visuals, I have never seen Dal Lake in Kashmir look that hideous. I know they didn’t actually film there, but they could have filmed somewhere else and made it look pretty instead of scummy.

          I somehow have seen all the Aks songs without seeing the actual film, and I love the songs. So I would probably love the film!

          On Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 12:51 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Did you watch the USAmerican series or the english one with Helen Mirren (latter is the ‘mother’ of the lot. I think it was even a start to give women the leading role in following crime series.

    Btw. what did you choose as Thriller reading? Something of Michael Robotham, too? Or Val McDermids (Carol Jordan-Tony Hill)?

    You can work (black) magic???!!! You’re the one I need (*chuckle*)!!!

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    • English one! And there are so many little things I’ve seen in later serieses from The Closer to Scott and Bailey. It was very strange to realize how important this show was.

      I’m trying Elizabeth George for the first time, and I’m not sure if I love it yet, but I am also only a little bit in to the first book in the series. So we will see how it goes.

      On Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 12:21 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Explain Diwali to me please! I work in a school where the Indian population is so high that we get next Monday off for the holiday, and I want to be educated.

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    • Ta-da! Diwali! https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2018/11/07/diwali-songs-post-lets-let-the-light-in/

      More specifically the way it is celebrated now is cleaning your house (sometimes painting too), buying new clothes, sharing sweets with friends and neighbors (meaning everyone goes around house to house giving sweets) and sometimes buying presents/new appliances. And lots and lots of lights, electric lights outside, diyas by your shrine, and firecrackers to celebrate in the evening. The firecrackers are such a big deal that it is a serious air pollution issue and now there are compeigns for “silent” Diwalis. And, my favorite tradition, reports on star rankings based on the popularity of the firecracker sales (the boxes have star photos on them, will Katrina or Alia or Anushka sell better this year????). It’s all about welcoming a new era of light and joy and goodness in all those various ways. And also, appliance sales.

      On Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 5:36 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. By now I’m assuming that nothing went wrong and you had a perfect meeting with your nephew and he immediately recognized you as Auntie Margaret, nonverbally.

    I think I’ve written before about watching Charulata and suddenly realizing why any movie that’s Bengali adjacent has to include a swinging scene to show they’ve been in love since childhood. And, I think it’s not what you mean, but I watched Salaam e Ishq very early on and so much was lost to me before I did a rewatch a few years ago. Salman and Priyanka are basically spoofing their public personae. And it was a time in Vidya’s career when it was ok to have her in a coma for almost the whole movie.

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    • Yes! That’s exactly what I meant, that Salaam-E-Ishq feeling of finally getting hold of the right end of things when you came back to it. I used to agonize over watching things in the wrong order and not understanding them, but now I have come around to that just being life and it evening out in the end.

      Baby was super cute, I am trying to get publication permission for some kind of photo so I can do a post! Albie Dog was very excited and upset about the whole thing and had an accident in the hall.

      On Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 8:23 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Oh, I am the queen of agonizing over watching things in the wrong order. There is a modern Bengali version of Shaheb Bibi Golaam which I want to watch but have put off forever because I haven’t watched the older Bengali version of Shaheb Bibi Golaam, with Uttam Kumar, yet. I have watched the Hindi version of Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, as well as Sahib Bibi aur Gangster (1 and 2), but those don’t count. I’m also pretty positive that when I do get around to watching the modern Bengali SBG it probably won’t be that great.

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        • I killed myself to read all the Lord of the Rings books in 3 weeks (plus The Hobbit) so I could finally watch the movies in time to see the last one in theaters.

          On Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 9:49 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I remember you made a post about different romantic tropes (friends to lovers, love at first sight, enemies to lovers). Would you be able to make a post of your favorites/recommendations in each category (hopefully including films from hindi, Tamil, telegu, and malayalam). Would be wonderful to see !!

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  8. Devdas!
    I think majority of western bollywood watchers saw first SLB’s version of Devdas, and only later other ones and the book. I have only seen SLB version when I started waching Indian films, and Bimal Roy’s one many years later. And while watching the latter I was thinking: yeah it all makes much more sense here.

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    • So proud of myself for forcing myself to watch all of them in order! Because yeah, by the time I got to Bhansali it just wasn’t that impressive.

      On Tue, Oct 22, 2019 at 2:23 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. This just dropped. I’m not an SRKian but he’s so funny and charming in these clips, I think I’m going to have to watch this.

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  10. Like Angie, I saw Bansali’s Devdas before the others. I would still love it, but would have rather seen the other adaptations first.

    Also, I saw Shah Rukh’s and Saif’s bromance in KHNH before seeing Amitabh’s and Dharmendra’s, or even better, Amitabh’s and Shashi’s, in multiple movies.

    My question is, in Hindi movies, what differentiates a cameo from a special appearance? Is it to do with screen time, or centrality to a plot point or theme? Or is it just a judgement call on the filmmakers’ part? I wondered because Vijay Sethupathi is billed as having a special appearance in Imaikkaa Nodigal (very uneven but kind of fun, mostly because Anurag Kashyap plays a psycho killer with gusto). He’s in the movie for maximum 15 minutes, but is pivotal to the plot.

    By the way, he is extra cute and chubby in this appearance–maybe for a role, or because he was between major shoots and relaxed on the diet and exercise a bit. Makes me like him even more! Oh, and I found out he’s 41, so I’m within acceptable age range of fancying him. Here’s the song he’s in from Imaikkaa Nodigal.

    Oh, and one more one more thing, I’ve decided a kink of mine is Indian movie songs and scenes where a husband/boyfriend/brother/son is nurturing a pregnant or ill wife/girlfriend/sister/mother. Does me in every single time. On multiple levels.

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    • I think the link is wrong. Did you mean this song?

      I watched this video last year durning my post-96 high, and was shocked how different Vijay looks. I was like: where is my man? His haircut in this song is atrocious and I couldn’t focus on romantic scenes.

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      • It’s the same song, but the link I used opens and closes with the movie title and graphics–all red and black and scary looking.

        Ha, post-96 high is such a good way to put it. Mine comes and goes. I agree–terrible hair, but he’s supposed to be kind of a lovable schlepp in the movie, so it works for that. And it looks very soft and touchable.

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  11. Just noticed on Access Bollywood that Kal Ho Na Ho, KKHH, and K3G are expiring on Amazon this week. Those are Dharma, right? Could the end of the Amazon exclusive era be arriving sooner than we thought?

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  12. Is it too late to ask a question? It is Wednesday already, but want to sneak this in before the 25th.

    David Letterman will obviously have done extensive research on ShahRukh before their interview. Which 3 films should he have watched to give him the best all-round picture of him – his style, character, ability, beliefs, etc? If 3 is too hard, how about 5?

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    • Oh wow, great question! I may steal it for a discussion post. Right now, without thinking too much, my first instinct is DDLJ, My Name is Khan, and JHMS.

      On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 1:01 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  13. As you meet your nephew, I want to ask what do you think of lullaby songs in Hindi/Indian cinema – are you aware of and do you like any specific lullaby song, even if it is not for a baby, but for a woman from a man like the one in Geethanjali or from Sadma –

    Or the all time Telugu mother/lullaby song –

    Or dad to daughter –

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    • Lullaby songs are so specific, I think I would end up naturally singing the ones that were sung to me (so, not Indian). Although the baby does sleep very well to Yo Yo Honey Singh recordings.

      On Thu, Oct 24, 2019 at 8:26 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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