Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Week of Katrina’s Birthday?

Happy Monday! I have been busy busy busy, the double birthday this weekend takes a lot out of me (although more out of my father, his wife turning 70 was very hard on him, the pressure for a Decade Birthday Worthy Celebration was enormous). And today I have to have more pre-surgical tests (keep a good thought for me that I pass and can have the surgery) plus do work-work.

Here is where you can ask me anything at all, what’s the latest on Amitabh, how sick is Amitabh, where is Amitabh staying, and so on. Or other non-Amitabh concerns, if you have any. Just keep swinging back to this post all week as you think of things!

Now, question for you! Gonna lean into the current climate and ask, what is your favorite Amitabh performance?

Oh man, this is SUCH a hard question! Deewar is the most unique performance, Sarkar is the most pure charisma, Piku is so sweet and human. But I think I’m going to go Zanjeer, because I am a romantic, and the way he falls in love with Jaya in Zanjeer is irrisistable.

Revisiting Prakash Mehra's Zanjeer: The film that made Amitabh ...

35 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions: What Do You Want to Ask Me the Week of Katrina’s Birthday?

  1. Please welcome me back from my holiday. I walked around outside and did a lot of wildlife spotting but now I’m back with all of my Amitabh opinions.

    My favourite is actually in Saudagar, a movie you’d never in a million years think I’d like, but which achieves the right level of extremely mundane yet also horrifying and has all slow detail I like in a depressing realist movie. All three leads are so perfect I cannot even imagine better performances.

    Most attractive is a tie between Faraar and the first Sarkar movie (shut up). I’ve found like him best when he’s quiet and glowering.

    Most homoerotic is between Hera Pheri and Suhaag. There’s a bit where Shashi starts to slip off the helicoptre and Amitabh grabs his hand to hold him up that just KILLS me.

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    • Welcome back! I hope it was wonderful. I am up at my family’s lake house again, it’s amazing what a difference it makes to mental health just to see new places and be in nature. I don’t know your regular life, but mine is pretty concrete and small apartments, so this is a nice break.

      You confused me with Saudagar, because I thought you meant the Subhash Ghai movie which is exactly the kind of film I thought you would like. But no, you meant the Amitabh 1973 film, which is NOT the kind of film I thought you would like! You are correct! Does anyone even have a boa in it?

      no shade for being attracted to Amitabh in the first Sarkaar! Obviously Abhishek is even better, but Amitabh is noble and ethical and has crazy charisma, and a “I go my own way” kind of fashion sense.

      I’ve seen Suhaag but you are making me think I need to rewatch it if you think it can compete with Heri Pheri. Although I have to point out, Shamitabh are brothers in Suhaag, so the romance is a harder sell for me.

      On Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 9:23 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yeah, it was great to be in a totally different environment and do totally different things. I live in the ctity too and it’s great to see nothing but trees.

        Nobody has boas in it, but it has my favourite lesbian song in hindi cinema, so it has that going for it. It’s a great film about male privilege and Amitabh is an annoyingly attractive fuckboy with mlllion dollar legs in it.

        All the Shashitabh movies are homoerotic in their own way, but I like Suhaag and Namak Halal best because of the character dynamic of Shashi being a cool dude Amitabh looks up to. Then in Suhaag, Amitabh is always touching him, and Shashi has his leather suit, and there’s the helicoptre hand holding. It’s so endearing. Hera Pheri is more an explosive and lustful fling and Suhaag is a passionate marriage, if you see what I mean.

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        • They are totally married in Hera Pheri!!!! Vinod prays for him and everything.

          On Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 2:58 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That’s very true, but I mean the kind of homoerotic tension more than the relationship. lol Vinod is such a housewife in that movie, albeit a hot trophy one in the world’s tiniest shorts.

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  2. I’m going to be boring and say Deewar. He was simultaneously the most masculine man who ever beat the shit out of a room full of thugs while also being vulnerable to the point of breaking.

    Meanwhile, I was so amused by this gossip headline I saw this morning.

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    • HA! And meanwhile, in the Indian press, she has magically transformed to “the Bachchan Bahu” and nothing else.

      On Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 10:36 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I read that “30 staff members“ of the extended Bachchan household are being tested. They had THIRTY people going in and out? All of them can’t live there. What is up with that. Carol and I only speculate about Shah Rukh’s house and we’ve assumed anyone who is there is live in… hope we are right. Mpollak

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    • Yeah, 30 sounds about right. Figure 5-6 live in, maybe, mostly household staff. Amitabh and Jaya and Abhishek and Aish’s close administrative staff who bring them papers to sign and so on, one each. That’s 10. 5 outdoor staff for the grounds, 15. 5 extended admin staff, lawyer or accountant or so on, that’s up to 20. And then if Amitabh was shooting an ad, that’s an easy additional 10 people.

      This is just me spitballing with how it can get that high, maybe they do have 30 straight up house and grounds staff. As I said, I’ve been wondering all along about these households. They just have no back-up plan if the large number of staff can’t come in. I’ve got relatives who are extremely wealthy (literaly millionaires) and have a very large house. But their house is designed with lots of high tech efficiency machines, everything from fancy dishwashers to fancy riding lawnmowers, so they can survive without staff. I just can’t picture the Bachchans canceling their grounds crew and getting the riding mower out of the garage and having Abhishek do it instead.

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      • Wouldn’t they reduce staff at a time like this? 30 is excessive. I had seen an interview with Juhi a while back and she had mentioned that they have closed off some of the floors entirely so there’s a lot less work that needs to be done. They are living in a much smaller space than usual.
        The irony is that after shooting that ad, Amitabh had boasted on his blog about how he’s allowed to work when he wants and nobody can say anything about it.

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        • I don’t know. Assuming the 30 figure is correct, I would be interested in the Bachchan’s explanation of why they have so many. They may have chosen to keep them all on in order to keep the income going for the staff. Or given them the option of getting a salary for nothing, or continuing to come in to work, and they chose to work. Or maybe only 10 were working and 20 were coming by once a week to get their salary in cash even though they weren’t working. Or, Jaya and/or Amitabh may be far more ill than has been made public and much of that staff is medical assistants.

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          • Pretty much nobody in India pays their staff weekly, monthly is the standard. Also your lawnmower thing is hilarious- I don’t even think riding mowers are even available in India because hey if you’re that rich you’d just have someone do it for you for a fraction of the price (at least until now). I know very, very well to do people who don’t even own a dishwasher. But yeah 30 is excessive. & I don’t think their ‘grounds’ are that large at their current Bungalow. More like a garden.

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          • That’s what I thought!!!! If you have a house that has a dishwasher and a riding lawnmower and a vacuum cleaner, you don’t need a staff. Heck, how about a microwave and a freezer full of frozen meals? All the rich people I know in America (and some of them are Bachchan rich), have that. But I don’t know if the Bachchan’s have any of that. How do you cook for yourself if you don’t have a microwave and fancy frozen meals available for delivery?

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        • Microwaves are pretty common here in upper class homes. Frozen meals not, because, culturally, freshly prepared food is accepted as healthier. & Definitely not more than 5-6 out of 30 would be live in, for e.g. driver, ironing person, etc. Of course I doubt that the family is coming directly in contact with most of these part time helpers.

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          • Huh. Ironing. I honestly hadn’t even thought of that. Which is exactly my point. All my clothes are wash and wear, so I don’t need an ironer. But if you assume you will have an ironer, then you don’t have anything to wear without one.

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      • Bigger than it has to be, because they need space for 30 servants!

        I think for all the modernization and westernization, India is more like 19th century Europe in some ways than they want us to know. I suspect Dear Zindagi was one of the most honest movies in recent times in terms of household labor, in that a single woman with a two room apartment had a full time morning to night maid.

        On Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 3:06 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • It’s true, I don’t find anything necessarily ethically wrong with it, just different.

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        • True, yes. It’s because of the low cost of labour, I guess. I think also in India it’s a status and class marker, in that if you have servants that have been with your family a long time and who live with you it raises your status automatically like it did in the past in European countries.

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          • Maybe. in a similar way of long term faithful servants meaning old money and class and culture and stuff, while new money and sophistication would be in having minimal servants and a super cool modern conveniences flat.

            On Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 2:26 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I don’t think their house is that big. I think they live in Jalsa, which is where AB meets fans and where the Bachchan parties are held. This is what it looks like from the outside – big but not incredibly so. Nothing close to the size of Mannat, for instance.
        This is what it looks like from the outside: https://static.spotboye.com/uploads/fwice-workers-protest-outside-amitabh-bachchan-jalsa-bungalow_432b98db3e74f446c818294ceae2c6e6.jpg
        They have a couple of homes in the vicinity so it’s possible each home has 5 or 6 staff members. The Bachchans have a bad habit of traveling between all the different houses for different purposes. For instance, their office is one, gym is in another and various things like that. That could be why there was contact with 30 people.

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  4. Seriously doubt this bit – “new money and sophistication would be in having minimal servants and a super cool modern conveniences flat”, most well to do young couples would rather hire help than make do with automated white goods/ DIY appliances. It’s a done thing, and becomes all the more so once kids enter the picture. Even loading the dishwasher or running the vacuum cleaner are considered unnecessary chores.

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    • Really? That’s interesting! It is so outside of my experience, I would assume that the pure appeal of privacy would make people wish for conveniences rather than servants.

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  5. What are the best action films available on prime and Netflix? I wanted to show the my niece and nephew Bang Bang, but I guess it isn’t on prime anymore. Then I thought about Race Gurram, but it too isn’t on those sites. It seems that every movie I think of isn’t available on those sites. Right now they are watching Julayi – they’ve already seen War. The next best I can come up with is Dilwale, but while fun the fight scenes aren’t the choreographed beauties of say Arya 2.

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