38 Years of Kaala Patthar

kaala patthar

Kaala Patthar” (‘Black Stone’ in English), released in 1979, is a movie based on a 1975 actual mining disaster at Chasnala (near Dhanbad, Jharkhand) in which 372 miners lost their lives. The movie truly encapsulates how people from various walks of life come together to show true courage and character to fight the forces of nature.

The screenplay is penned by Salim-Javed and the movie produced by Yash Chopra. It has an amazing star cast comprising Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Rakhee, Neetu Singh, Parveen Babi, Prem Chopra, Poonam Dhillon … The music is composed by Rajesh Roshan, with the background score by Salil Chowdhary.

I also believe that Salim-Javed must have listened to Jimmy Dean’s 1961 song “Big Bad John” before writing the screenplay. “Big Bad John” is a country western song about a mysterious miner who earned the nickname Big John because of his height, built and strength and how he ends up saving the lives of various miners in an accident. This sounds like Amitabh Bachchan’s character, doesn’t it? Listen to the song and then watch the film.

Ek Rasta Hai Zindagi” is a perfect song for a long drive. It has many variations and is beautifully rendered by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. It starts with women singing “Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene…” – this is lifted from Dolly Parton’s hit “Jolene”, the rest is Roshan’s magic.

Bahon Mein Teri” is one of the most romantic songs to come from Hindi Cinema. It’s a duet by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi. This song was shot by Ramesh Talwar who was assistant director to Yash Chopra and is now a director himself.

Jagaya Jagaya” is a simple Punjabi ballad that oscillates between slow and fast rhythms. Yash Chopra’s wife Pamela Chopra has also lent her voice to this song sung by Mahendra Kapoor and S.K. Mohan.

Dhoom Mache Dhoom” is a song about celebration and is sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi, Mahendra Kapoor & S.K. Mohan. It later inspired Aditya Chopra who whilst watching this movie got the idea for franchise Dhoom & the anthemic Dhoom Machale”.

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge! It’s time for some trivia:

    • A beautiful duet by Usha Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi “Mujhe Pyar Ka Tofa” was dropped  from the movie.
  • This was also the last movie Sahir Ludhianvi penned for Yash Chopra.
  • The background score during the fight scenes of “Kaal Patthar” is also used in Anil Kapoor starrer “Mashaal”.
  • Dialogues of this film became very popular, especially Shatrughan Sinha’s “Teesre Baadshan Hum Hai”.
  • Though it was nominated for 8 Filmfare Awards in 1980, including Best Story, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Film, it didn’t win a single award.
  • This was the fourth association between Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor and Yash Chopra; the first three being “Deewar” (1975), “Kabhie Kabhie” (1976) and “Trishul” (1978).
  • Ramesh Talwar started his career in theater and then went on to assist Yash Chopra in “Ittefaq” (1969) and assisted him in 7 films till 1979. Talwar’s first film as a director was “Doosra Aadmi” who won him several Filmfare Award nominations. He went on to direct 7 films but, only “Zamana” and “Baseraa” were successful and eventually he went back to directing plays.
  • Amitabh Bachchan was not comfortable with Shatrughan Sinha (both were good friends at one time) being part of the film.
  • During the launch of film in Leicester’s Natraj Cinema, UK in 1979, Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan both went on stage to during the opening credits and the audience had ball.
  • Also interesting to note that “Kaala Patthar” stared Amitabh Bachchan and “Dhoom” starred his son Abhishek Bachchan.

Truly a masterpiece by Yash Chopra, the entire soundtrack of the film is beautifully composed. “Kaala Patthar” remains one of the most underrated movies of Hindi Cinema. I give this OST 4/5 and film 4/5.

Leaving you all with beautiful rendition of Jolene by Dolly Parton & Miley Cyrus

 

Take A Bow, Queen of Pop

madonna

This living Pop legend is known for her constant reinvention as a singer, performer and actress. Born in Bay City, Michigan on 16th August 1958, she’ll be 59 this year (really?!) and she is still giving her contemporaries a run for their monies.

Born to parents Silvio “Tony” Ciccone and Madonna Fortin, Madonna’s father was the first to go to college, since his grandfather had migrated from Italy, where he earned himself an engineering degree. Her mother was of French Canadian descent; she was an x-ray technician and a former dancer.

Madonna was the third of six children – from an early age she learned how to handle her role as a middle child. Her mother was a great influence on her. When she was 5, her mother passed away due to cancer. Because she was pregnant with Madonna’s younger sister, her treatment had to be delayed until the baby reached full term, but till then the cancer had grown too strong. She died in 1963 at the age of 30. The loss of her mother significantly affected Madonna during her teens, haunted by the memories of her mother’s sickness and passive behavior during her last days, Madonna was determined to make her own voice heard.

Madonna was a rebellious child. Her father remarried and she couldn’t get along with her step mother, who always made Madonna look after her younger siblings and ensure she wore full-bodied clothes she hated. She would turn up with revealing outfits, would visit gay nighclubs and rejected her religious background. This is what we see in her music videos too.  She balanced this side of her personality with her drive for perfection. She was good in her studies and other curricular activities, including dancing. In 1976, she got a full scholarship to University of Michigan in their dance program. During that time she was awarded six-week scholarship to study with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City, followed by a rare opportunity  to perform with Pearl Lang in 1978. She later dropped out and moved to New York to pursue her dance career, where she did odd jobs that paid her rent. She started dating Dan Gilory, one of founding members of ska influence pop-punk band called Breakfast Club. He introduced her to head of vaudeville review in Paris and she spent her time in the city  working as a show girl. It was during this trip that she fell in love with the combination of singing and performing. When she returned to the States in 1980, she joined Gilory’s band as a drummer and later became lead singer. She went on to form several different bands, including Madonna & The Sky, The Millionaires and Emmy.

In 1981, Madonna decided  to go solo as a pop singer. She became an overnight sensation in the then male dominated music scene of the ‘80s. Within a decade she had 21 Top 10 hits in the US and had sold more than 70 million albums internationally. She became the “Queen of Pop”.

And there’s no way Hindi Cinema could stay away and not get influenced by this rebellious diva.

Jurm” (1990) directed by Mahesh Bhatt, starring Vinod Khanna and Meenakshi Sheshadri with music by Rajesh Roshan: “Marne Ke Dar Se Mere Dil” is a duet sung by Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Aziz – this was directly lifted from Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita” from her third album “True Blue”.

Dulhan Banoo Main Teri” (1999), produced and directed B.Subhash, starring Faraz Khan and Deepti Bhatnagar with music by duo Raam-Laxman: “Pyar Se Hi Pyar Milta” sung by Hema Sardesai was directly lifted from Madonna’s “Frozen” from the album“Ray of Light”.

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge! It’s time for some trivia:

  • “La Isla Bonita” was written for Michael Jackson but he turned it down as he didn’t like the title. The songwriter and producer Patrick Leonard went to Madonna with the song; she rewrote some lyrics and added her own touch to the song.
  • “Frozen” was banned in Belgium in 2005 as it was copied from a song by Salvatore Acquviva. The ban was overturned in 2014.
  • Madonna has written and produced most of her songs with many of them reaching #1 (Like a Virgin, Papa Don’t Preach, Like a Prayer, Vogue, Take a Bow, Frozen, Music, Hung Up and 4 Minutes.
  • Madonna married twice and both her marriages ended in divorce, Sean Pean (1985-1989) and Guy Ritchie (2000-2008).
  • She has two kids daughter Lourdes and son Rocco. She had adopted two Malawian kids David and Mercy and it is said that earlier this year she has adopted two more Malawian girls, Esther and Stella.
  • She has also starred in films: Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Dick Tracy (1990), A League of Their Own (1992) and Evita (1996).
  • She won Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for Evita.
  • She is also a successful business woman. She found her own entertainment company Maverick which also has a music label by the same name. She’s also in fashion design, film making, health clubs and has written a children’s book.
  • Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide.
  • According to Forbes, Madonna is the wealthiest woman in the music industry.
  • She has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the best-selling female recording artist of all time.
  •  As per Billboard, Madonna is the most successful solo act after The Beatles on their Hot 100 singles chart.
  • She has also been in Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Artist of All Time and the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.
  • Madonna till date remains the highest-grossing tour done by a solo artist (over $1.31 billion) in concert gross reported to Billboard Boxscore since 1990.

Leaving you all with beautiful renditions of  Madonna songs by:

Frozen: Jeff Scott Soto with Tailsman

Like a Prayer: Postmordern Jukebox giving it a swing and jazz touch to this iconic song of the 80’s

La Isla Bonita: System of Down always hum this in their concert before playing their hit Bounce

Crunchy Granola Suite

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Granola/Granula is a healthy & tasty snack. You can have it for breakfast or as a snack in between meals. It consists of nuts, oats, honey or other sweeteners and at times you can add puffed rice too. All these are to be baked until crisp and golden brown in colour.

Since granola is light weight and nutritious, it’s an ideal snack for trekkers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Granula was invented by Dr. James Caleb Jackon at Jackson Sanitarium in 1863. During that time John Harvey Kellogg also came up with a similar product and initially called it Granula; he later changed it to Granola to avoid legal issues with Jackson.

Over time (in the 60s) the snack saw some good development: nuts and fruits were added to make it a health food which gelled with the hippies and now it has become a popular snack, similar to muesli and oat bars.

There is no need to buy granola off the shelves. You can easily make it at home. And you can also vary the ingredients, depending on the taste & flavours you’re seeking.

Here is step by step guide on how to make your healthy snack at home:

Serves 20 granola bars: Prep time – 10 mins: Cooking time – 30 mins: Total time – 40mins.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of Rolled Oats
  • ½ cup of Flour
  • ½ tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1/3 cup of Butter
  • 1/2 cup of Honey
  • ¼cup of Brown Sugar
  • ¼ tsp of Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups of mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts & pistachio) and dried fruits (raisins, dates, apricot, prunes, blueberries, cranberries, etc.)

Method

 1) Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C; line a 20*20cm square baking pan with butter & then parchment paper.

2) In a large bowl combine the oats, baking soda, cinnamon, flour. And mixed nuts and dried fruits. Set aside.

3) In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook together the butter, honey and brown sugar, bring to a boil and turn the heat off. Add the vanilla and mix it in.

4) Pour the wet mixture over oat mixture and mix everything together to combine.

5) Pour the mixture into prepared pan and make sure the mixture is evenly spread out.

6) Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes.

7) Cool completely for about 3 hours, cutting into bars.

Note: The granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.

bmd

Screenshot_20170811-083446*Using MyFitnessPal

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge! It’s time for some trivia:

Below are some health benefits of Granola

  • Gives relief from constipation and excess flatulence
  • Prevents you from overeating and aids in managing weight
  • It aids in digestion and diabetes management
  • Reduces risk of cancer and anemia
  • Beneficial in reducing blood pressure
  • Effective in reducing harmful LDL Cholesterol
  • Boosts energy level and cognitive functions in body

Source: Organic Facts

Leaving you with Neil Diamond’s track Crunchy Granola Suite

Bachelor Boy’s Influence on Bollywood

Don’t worry today’s article is not on Salman Khan, Bradley Cooper, Leonardo DiCaprio or Gerard Butler.

It’s on the original Bachelor Boy, Sir Cliff Richard OBE (born Harry Roger Webb) who was born in India on October 14, 1940 in Lucknow. India was a part of the British Empire then. His father was a manager for a catering contractor who serviced the Indian Railways and his mother was a matron at the La Martiniere Girls’ School.

Post-Elvis Presley and pre-The Beatles, Cliff Richard was the Biggest thing in British rock ‘n’ roll and even years after The Beatles, he was never far from the top of the UK charts. His musical career spans more than 55 years and in these many years he’s the only artist to have more than 130 singles, albums and EPs in the UK Top 20. He’s the only artist, along with Elvis, to make it into the UK singles chart across six decades (1950s-2000s). He is the only artist to have a #1 single in the UK for consecutive five decades (50s – 90s).

Around this time in 1961 “The Young Ones” song was recorded and there was no way Bollywood couldn’t get influenced by this charmer.

Do Chor” released in 1972, produced by Raj Kholsa, starred Dharmendra and Tanuja in lead roles. R.D. Burman composed the music. “Meri Jaan Meri Jaan Kehna Mano” sung by Kishore Kumar was inspired by Cliff Richard’s “Fall in Love”.

Des Pardes” released in 1978 was produced and directed by Dev Anand. It starred Dev Anand himself and Tina Munim (her debut film) along with Ajit, Pran, Bindu, Amjad Khan, Prem Chopra & Mehmood. Music was composed by Rajesh Roshan, who was nominated for Best Music Director for Filmfare Award. The film was a hit at the box-office. “Nazrana Bheja Kisine Pyar Ka” sung by Kishore Kumar was  lifted from Cliff Richard’s “Young Ones”.

 Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahi” (1991) was produced by Gulshan Kumar and directed by Mahesh Bhatt. It starred Aamir Khan and Pooja Bhatt in lead roles and it also starred Anupam Kher and Deepak Tijori in supporting roles. Nadeem-Shravan composed the music. The movie was a massive hit at the box-office, boosting Pooja Bhatt’s career and  firming Aamir Khan’s stardom in Bollywood. “O Mere Sapno Ke Saudagar” sung by Anuradha Paudwal was lifted from Cliff Richard’s “Bachelor Boy”.

 Lage Raho Munna Bhai”, released in 2006, is a National Award-winning film. Vidhu Vinod Chopra produced it with Rajkumar Hirani on direction. It stars Sanjay Dutt who plays the titular role of Munna Bhai and Arshad Warsi who plays Munna’s sidekick, ‘Circuit’. Vidya Balan plays the female lead. The film also stars Boman Irani, Dilip Prabhavalkar and many others. Shantanu Moitra has composed the music and the lyrics were penned by Swanand Kirkire who won a National Film Award for Best Lyrics. The movie was a Blockbuster Hit and it popularised the term “Gandhigiri”. “Pal Pal … Har Pal” a duet sung by Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal was lifted from Cliff Richard’s “Theme For a Dream”.

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge! It’s time for some trivia:

  • Cliff Richard has sold more than 250 million records worldwide.
  • Cliff Richard has sold over 21 million singles in UK.
  • He is the third top-selling artist in UK, after The Beatles and Elvis Presley.
  • He was never as successful in America as in the UK.
  • Bachelor Boyis the only self penned #1 song of Cliff Richard.
  • The art direction was so good that when “Des Pardes” was released in London, many people thought that the pub shown in the film was somewhere in East London. That pub was actually made in Mehboob Studio in Bombay. T.K. Desai won an award for Best Art Director for the film.
  • Dev Anand signed new music director Rajesh Roshan for “Des Pardes”. Roshan had just made his music debut with film “Julie”.
  • “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” was copied from 1956 Bollywood film “Chori Chori”, which was inspired from 1934 Hollywood classic “It Happend One Night”.
  • Anuradha Paudwal won a Filmfare for song “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” in 1992.
  • “Lage Raho Munna Bhai” won four National Film Awards.
  • “Lage Raho Munna Bhai” was the first Hindi Film to be screened at the United Nations. It was also screened at the Tous Les Cinema du Monde part of the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

Today also being International Beer Day and it also happens to be Kishore Kumar’s birthday, leaving you with one of my all time favorite celebration Hindi film song ” Tu Pee Aur Ji “, it’s from “Des Pardes“. Cheers!

Making Chicken Dum Biryani: My Way

“Whenever I enjoy a dish, I always wonder about the elements that would have gone in it: the ingredients, the pinches or liberal showering of spices, the origin of those elements and how they have made their journey from the farm to our plate, the method and the process, the textures, colour, the waft of aroma, the innovation, how a dish finds unique representations in different parts of the world and the patience to wait out a dish so that its true flavours are revealed. Knowing this my friends is what I call ‘The Art of Cooking – One World Plate.’

Biryani: A rice dish slow-cooked with spice condiments and meat (only vegetable option possible for vegetarians). It is very popular in the Indian subcontinent. The exact origin is not known, but the word ‘Biryani’ comes from an Urdu word from the Persian Language. As per historians, people especially in Central Asia started adding meat (of cow, buffalo and goat) to rice around four thousand years ago, thus resulting in a dish that over the years came to be known as Pulao and in modern times Biryani. It’s the most popular dish in India. And tastes even better after a few days of cooking.

I recently made this recipe on a rainy weekend afternoon & I’ll say that my family was left finger-licking (and lip- smacking). You can make your own yummy Chicken Dum Biryani, just follow the recipe below:

Note: Chicken can be replaced with any other meat.In case of red meat, boil it prior following the steps.

Prep time-30 mins: Marination time-3 hrs: Cooking time-1 hr: Total time-4hr 30mins

Ingredients

  • 500gm Skinless Chicken especially breast cut into chunks and leg pieces
  • 250gm Basmati Rice
  • Rice Barn Oil or any other Cooking Oil
  • 2tbsp Ghee (Clarified butter)
  • 2 Mid-size Onions
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup thick Yogurt
  • 3/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Lal mirchi (red chilli powder)
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp Biryani Masala
  • 1 finely chopped Green Chillies
  • 1 Cup Fresh Coriander chopped
  • 1 Cup Mint leaves chopped
  • 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 4 Bayleafs
  • 2 Black Cardamon pods, if not then 4 green cardamon pods
  • 4 Cloves
  • 4 Peppercorns
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 4 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 1/2 Cup Saffron Milk (add 2-3 strands of saffron to milk)
  • Dough to seal
  • Add salt as per your taste

Method

Marinate the chicken first.

  1. Finely slice onions and in saucepan fry them in oil till they are caramelized/dark brown, put them aside once done.
  2. Take chicken in a bowl, add lemon juice and a little bit of salt. Rub into the pieces and set it aside for 10 – 15 mins.
  3. Next, for the main marination, in a bowl add thick yogurt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, biryani masala and a little salt. Mix well.
  4. To this add green chili, 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves, 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves. Mix everything together.
  5. To the chicken pieces, add ginger garlic paste, half of fried onions (balance to be used later) and the entire yogurt marination.
  6. Rub everything into the chicken pieces and make sure all the pieces are coated with the marination.
  7. Let it marinate for 3-4 hours minimum.

To Cook Rice

  1. Wash Basmati rice and then soak in water for 30 mins.
  2. In boiling water add the soaked rice, then add 2 bayleafs, 1 star anise, half cinnamon, 2 cloves, 2 peppercorns and 1 black cardamon pod if not then 2 green cardamon pods and salt as per your taste.
  3. Cook rice till its 3/4thdone/al dente. Strain the water before the rice is cooked completely.

Final Stage: Cooking Dum Biryani

  1. Heat the Aluminium/Clay pot, add ghee and then add oil
  2. Add the remaining whole spices (bay leaf, star anise, cinnamon, cloves,peppercorns and cardamon
  3. Once they get darker, add marinated chicken pieces and cook for 5-7 mins on medium flame. In meanwhile heat Tawa (flat fryingpan) and place the cooking pot on top on the tawa(for slow cooking).
  4. Add mint leaves, add coriander leaves to the mix and then layer it with cooked rice and spread it evenly.
  5. Then pour the saffron milk in spiralmode.
  6. Then garnish with the remaining fried onions, mint and coriander leaves. Cover the pot with plate and seal it with dough and let it cook for 40 mins.
  7. Carefully remove the seal and serve it hot.

chicken biryan myfitnesspal

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge! It’s time for some trivia:

  • Always follow the ratio of 2:1 (i.e., if you are cooking 2kg of chicken for biryani, then take 1kg of rice) while cooking meat and rice together.
  • Traditionally most of the Indian dishes are accompanied by naan/roti/chappati (bread). Of course, rice is one of the basic products of Indian cuisine as well.
  • Indians are also big fans of homemade white cheese called Paneer.

I believe life is all about Eat, Love and Play in repeat mode with your loved ones.           Life is short and no point regretting what should/could have been done.                         Learn to enjoy the moment.

Leaving you Frank Sinatra’s classic My Way

Mann Handled

Ma_An_Lo

Mann” (‘Mind’ in English) a 1999 release, is a romantic drama and one of the biggest hits of that year. Directed by Indra Kumar, it is a scene-by-scene copy of “An Affair to Remember” (1957), starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. This film itself was a remake of the 1939 classic “Love Affair” starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer.

“An Affair to Remember” is considered to be one of the greatest romantic films of all time. “Mann” copies the same theme & story: two young people promise to meet each other after six months to express their love. The girl meets with an accident which leads to her losing her legs, post which she avoids meeting the man she loves. Aamir Khan reprises Cary Grant’s role and Manisha Koirala that of Deborah Kerr. Both actors have put in exceptionally honest performances. This is their second movie together after “Akele Hum Akele Tum”.

The music, like the film, is an absolute copy of music from around the word. It is put together by debutant duo (brothers) Sanjeev-Darshan, sons of music director Shravan Rathod, who was one half of Nadeem-Shravan.

Chaha Hai Tujhko” a duet sung by Udit Narayan and Anuradha Paudwal is a direct lift of “Etho Oru Paatu” a song from 1998 Tamil film “Unnidathil Ennai Koduthen”.

Kehna Hai Tumse” a duet sung by Udit Narayan and Hema Sardesai is lifted from song “Liquid” by Christian rock band Jars of Clay.

Kali Nagin Ki Jaisi” a duet sung by Udit Narayan and Kavita Krishnamurthy is lifted form song “Ya Rayah” by Algerian singer Rachid Taha.

Khushiyan Aur Gham” a duet sung by Udit Narayan and Anuradha Paudwal is lifted from song “Come Vorrei” by Italian pop group Ricchi & Poveri.

Nasha Yeh Pyar Ka” sung by Udit Narayan is copied from “L’Italiano” by Italian pop singer Toto Cutungo.

Tinak Tin Tana” a duet sung by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik is lifted from song “Sedang Sedang Saja” by Malaysian singer Iwan Yang.

Kyon Chhupate Ho” a duet sung by Udit Narayan and Anuradha Paudwal, the mukhda of which is supposed to have been reworked from Laxmikhant-Pyarelal’s “Hawa Chale Kaise” from “Daag”.

Mera Mann Kyon Tumhe Chahe” a duet sung by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik, seems to be lifted.

La La Lie Li La La” this instrumental track has been lifted from one of Khaled’s songs. I’m trying to put a finger on which one. If I can, will share it with you. Or if you know this, please do share with everyone on this forum.

 For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge! It’s time for some trivia:

  • Aamir Khan and Manisha have starred in two remakes of English movies.
  1. Akele Hum AkeleTum”(1995) = “Kramer Vs Kramer” (1979)
  2. Mann(1999) = “An Affair to Remember” (1957) and “Love Affair (1939)
  • Aishwarya Raiwas offered the lead role for the film. Due to prior commitments she declined and this role went to Manish Koirala. “Hum Dil Chuke Sanam” starring Aishwarya Rai released at the same time and it became a Super Hit.
  • Rani Mukerjidoes a guest appearance in the song “Kali Nagin Ke Jaisi Zulfain”.
  • This is the only time when Amir and Anil Kapoorworked together in a film.
  • Role of Aamir was first offered to Akshay Kumarwho turned it down.
  • Nandita Dasand Tabu were also more or less on board to play the lead role. Nandita Das was not comfortable playing the lead in a typical Bollywood masala film and Tabu was rejected, apparently due to her height because she is 2 inches taller than Aamir.
  • The same year of the release of Mann, “An Affair to Remember” was also made inTelugu “Ravoyi Chandamama”, starring Akkineni NagarjunaAnjala ZhaveriKeerthi Reddy and Jagapati Babu.

Though the movie and most of its songs were directly lifted, it did well at box office. I give this OST 3/5 and Film 3/5.

Leaving you with a lovely rendition of L’Italiano” by The Gypsy Queens

The Murder of MURDER

Mu_Un

Murder”, a 2004 release, is an erotic thriller and in spite of receiving mixed review from critics, became a Super Hit at the box office. With the success of the film, the producers – the Bhatt Bros.  – Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt churned this into a money-spinning ‘lust-sells’ franchise (Murder 2 and Murder 3) under their Vishesh Films label.

The film itself is a copy of American thriller drama “Unfaithful” (2002), which is an official adaptation of French film “The Unfaithful Wife” (La Femme Infidele, 1968). “Unfaithful” is considered to be one of the sexiest movies ever, starring Diane Lane, Richard Gere & Oliver Martinez. In our Hindi copy, Ashmit Patel essays Richard Gere’s character from the original. He’s a workaholic who is married to Mallika Sherawat. In “Unfaithful”, Richard Gere and Diane Lane are married and though they have a loving relationship, it lacks excitement. In “Murder” Mallika is with Ashmit as her now dead sister was married to him and has left a son who needs a mother. No surprises that Emraan Hashmi reprises Oliver Martinez’s role, the third person in the relationship.

And here comes our King of Rippers, the one and only Anu Malik – he has ‘composed’ the music for the film, which is a superlative success, amidst all its controversies.

Jaane Jaane Jaana” is a direct copy of “Firiye Dao” by Bangladeshi pop band Miles. It seems Miles sued the filmmakers and asked for compensation, only then did the producers remove the song from the soundtrack, but I doubt the band was ever compensated.

Bheege Hont” is a copy of “Menu Tere Naal” by Pakistani singer Najam Sheraz who further copied/was inspired by R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly”. R. Kelly wrote, produced and performed this great inspirational song, it was also part of soundtrack “Space Jam”.

Dil Ko Hazar Bar” is inspired by a traditional Jewish track mostly sung during weddings “Mazel Tov”.

Kaho Na Kaho” is directly lifted from Amr Diab’s “Tamally Maak”.

Zindagi Iss Tarah” sung by Anuradha Paudwal who was nominated for this track for Filmare Award. Seems to be original composition that but only time will tell. It’s male version is sung by Sonu Nigam.

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge! It’s time for some trivia:

  • Diane Lane won the award for Best Actress from the National Society of Films Critics and New York Film Critics for her role in “Unfaithful”. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Actress for this role.
  • Mallika Sherawat got noticed after this film and got the title of being a ‘bold’ actress. She was nominated for Best Actress at Zee Cine Awards for her role in this film.
  • It was a turning point for Emraan Hashmi’s career, he got recognized as an actor and also got the tag of serial kisser.
  • On ‘Koffee with Karan’ TV talk show, Emraan Hashmi shared that his kissing scenes with Mallika Sherawat were the worst in his career.
  • Bheege Hont Tere’song put an end to speculation of lifting tracks from across the border as a legal contract was signed between Vishesh Films and Najam Sheraz as per the singer’s request.
  • It was on Najam’s request Atif Aslam got his first break in Bollywood with ‘Woh Lamhe’ (song from Zeher) by introducing Atif to Vishesh Films.
  • “Murder” was remade in Kannada in 2006, it was called “Ganda Hendathi”.
  • “Murder 3” is the official remake of Spanish film “The Hidden Face”.
  • Kelly won three Grammies for his iconic track “I Believe I Can Fly”, the song apparently is more popular than the movie “Space Jam”.
  • Though Kelly professes he believes he can fly in his song, but in real life the singer has a fear of air travel and he is so scared of planes that he even takes boats when he tours Europe.
  • It was Michael Jordan who asked Kelly if he wanted to do a song for his upcoming movie after hooping together on a basketball court in Chicago.
  • And it was Notorious B.I.G.who told Kelly ‘Oh, B, that’s a big hit son’ while Kelly was writing and singing this song on a piano in a hotel lobby.

The soundtrack of the film went well down with masses, especially the younger generation, it gave all the necessary thrust that is required for a film to be a Super Hit!

I give this OST 4/5 and Film 3/5.

Leaving you with beautiful rendition of “I Believe I Can Fly” by Voice in a Million (also know as VIAM), at the O2 Arena.

#Akele #Kramer

Akele-Hum-Akele-Tum-and-Kramer-vs-Kramer-Posters

Akele Hum Akele Tum” released in 1995 is an emotional family drama based on Hollywood Classic “Kramer vs Kramer” (starring Dustin Hoffman & Meryl Streep and winner of 5 Oscars, including one for Best Picture). Aamir Khan reprises the role of Dustin Hoffman, that of a struggling working father. Manisha Koirala slips into the role played by Meryl Steep, that of a woman who leaves her family to follow her singing career and eventually becomes a film star. The director has not only copied scenes but sometimes entire dialogues too, of course tinged with our usual ‘Indian’ melodrama. The court scenes were quite subtly handled in Kramer vs Kramer, but in AHAT, you know what to expect.

AHAT has a good supporting cast of Adil Rizvi, Devan Verma, Tanvi Azmi, Rohini Hattangadi, Paresh Rawal, Satish Shah.

Anu Malik, the King of Rippers, yes I call him that because everyone knows how conveniently he does ‘CtrlC-CtrlV’, never admits to copying and never gives credit to the original producers of content. All Anu The Ripper says is that he got inspired. There’s LOTs to come on him from Out Of The Bag in future, do watch out. But for now…

… Coming back to AHAT – besides the movie being copied, most the songs from this film are copied too. Yes! This soundtrack has songs copied from a kid’s classic to a cult classic movie theme, from most iconic pop ballad to a rock masterpiece. Don’t believe me? I am not kidding.

Akele Hum Akele Tum” sung by Udit Narayan & Aditya Narayan is copied from Jim Reeves’s “But You Love Me Daddy”.

Raja Ko Rani Se Pyaar” sung by Udit Narayan & Alka Yagnik is copied from the “Love Themefrom The Godfather by Nino Rita and “Do Not Forsake Me, My Darling” from High Noon by Tex Ritter, but Frankie Laine’s version became more popular.

Dil Mera Churaya Kyun” sung by Kumar Sanu and the Ripper himself is copied from “Last Christmas” by Wham!

Aisa Zakham Diya Hai” sung by Udit Narayan, Shankar Mahadevan & Aamir Khan is lifted from “Child in Time” by Deep Purple.

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge! It’s time for some trivia:

  • Jennifer Winget(popular TV show actress) plays the role of a young girl in the movie. Did you spot her?
  • Shah Rukh Khanand Govinda were first offered the lead role for AHAT. SRK refused because he thought the film was too emotional and moreover he wanted to do only romantic films at the time. Govinda could not give dates because of his hectic schedule.
  • This was Aamir’s third consecutive flop in ‘95 (the first 2 being “Baazi” and “Aathank Hi Aathank” ). “Baazi” laid the foundation for Aamir to play tough cop later in “Sarfarosh”, whereas “Aatahank Hi Aathank” was a copy of “The Godfather”.
  • Director Mansoor Khanand Aamir Khan have also worked together in “Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak” & “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar” which were huge hits at the box office.
  • Deep Purple’s “Child in Time” is a10+ mins track and is actually a protest song against US for their war in Vietnam. It’s also one of Lars Ulrich’s (of Metallica) favorite song. In one of his interviews to Rolling Stone magazine, he shared that at age 9 his dad took him to a Deep Purple show and from there on his life changed. He says, “This is their most iconic moment… I’ve heard it 92,000 times and it never sounds anything less than great”.

Though AHAT was a good attempt by Mansoor Khan in portraying a simple realistic subject of a disintegrating marriage and child custody battles, the Indian audience wasn’t ready for it then. In 2002 “Rishtey” bombed at the BO, same subject broached after 7 years.

The soundtrack of the film did very well commercially and is one of the most hummable soundtracks of the 90s.

I give this OST 4/5 and Film 3/5.

Leaving you with beautiful renditions of The Godfather Theme:

Andre Rieu: A Dutch Violinst and Conductor

Slash:One of the Greatest Rock guitarists of our time

Ventilator

ventilator_ver3

Here’s a movie which should be India’s entry for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category for the 90th Academy Awards.

This coming of age dark comedy on family relationships is the first production from Priyanka Chopra‘s Purple Pebble Pictures and is directed by Rajesh Mapuskar, his second film after his debut ‘Ferrari Ki Sawaari’.

The film has stalwarts from Marathi Cinema and each actor has portrayed his/her character without a fault. Mapuskar has got the best out of each of his actors, not an easy feat when directing 116 actors! In all this, he’s managed to tell his story with fable-like simplicity.

The plot revolves around the Kamerkar family. The entire clan, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandkids, relatives from the village is brought together by circumstance. What starts as a picture of warm cosiness and familial warmth gradually unfolds to reveal deep-seated anger and hurt between family members. There are relatives who veil their true intentions behind family bonds and some relatives who want to just keep the family, the ‘kutumb’ together.

In all the banter, chatter and family ‘noise’, looms the benign Ganesha, the one key common factor in everyone’s lives. Ganesh Chaturthi is around the corner and all the family members want to be able to celebrate the festival, bring the lord’s auspicious idol home.

Ashutosh Gawarikar acts after a long acting hiatus of 18 years, and he’s not lost his touch. Priyanka Chopra’s plays herself and Boman Irani plays the doctor. Satish Alekar who play Ashutosh’s father, Nikhil Ratnaparkhi, Sukanya Kulkarni Mone and Jitendra Joshi are outstanding.

The music and background score is given by composer duo Rohan Gokhale and Rohan Pradhan also know as Rohan Rohan, they have done a fabulous job and you’ll hear a lot from them in future. Two tracks stand out are:

Ya Re Ya sung by Rohan Pradhan has mumbai flavour to it and is apt for various family and festive occasion.

Babasung by Rohan Pradhan

Priyanka Chopra has sung her first Marathi song with the haunting track “Baba”. which was used as a promotional song with music video.

The film puts a mirror to an Indian family. Any family. Though revealing many of the dark pitfalls that unfold within any family, it succeeds in essaying the value of family, of beating the odds together and deep faith.

Ventilator has won 3 National Film Awards this year for Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Director.

By the way the movie also stars Mapuskar’s sons Utsav and Zeal.

Mapuskar got into the movie business at a very young age, as his family owned a cinema hall. He would clean the hall, do ticket bookings and play the film.

Mapuskar has directed numerous ad films and he has also directed music videos for Jagit Singh, Mika and Sonu Nigam.

It was Rajkumar Hirani who asked Mapuskar to be his Chief Assistant Director for his directorial debut ‘Munnabhai MBBS’ just when Mapuskar was planning to relocate to Bangkok as he was getting regular work from there. Later he became the Associate Director on ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’ and ‘3 Idiots’ under Vinod Chopra Films. Under VCF in 2012, Mapuskar wrote and directed his first film ‘Ferrari Ki Sawaari’, starring Sharman Joshi and Boman Irani.

I think all this while Marathi Cinema has been lacking production quality, mainly because of shoe-string budgets and a lack of support that one sees in Bollywood. However it has never suffered for lack of good content. Of late Bollywood actors and production houses are looking at Marathi cinema seriously, so we should now see more high quality productions from Marathi Cinema.

I give this film 4.5/5

Bravest of the Brave

I ain’t no expert in politics, but this issue has been on my mind for a long time now and after much thought, I am penning it down.

IMG_20151019_073717It is sad that the our country’s view on Gorkhaland remains distorted. Gorkhas are patriots, not anti-nationals as fueled by a possessive Hitler Didi’s (a character from Hindi soap opera) government. They don’t want a separate country. All they want is a separate state that can be created under Article 3 of the Constitution.

The demand for Gorkhaland is not new but one that is more than a century old. It was first tabled in 1907 when the Hillmen’s Association petitioned the British for a separate administrative set-up free from Bengal – the petition was contemptuously ignored.

By the way, just few years back the Gorkha Regiment completed 200 years in service. They are one of the most feared soldiers in the world and they have been integrated into the Indian Forces since 1815. They have played an important role in all the wars. Field Marshal Manekshaw, whose parent unit was 12th Frontier Force Regiment that moved to the Pakistani Army, became a part of the 8 GR; he would later become the Colonel of the regiment of the unit – he once famously said “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gorkha.”

And yet, they are branded foreigners. Why?  Just because they speak Nepali. They are very much Indians like most of us and I think time has come for the Birth of Gorkhaland.

The Hindi film industry has been closely linked with The Queen of Hills Darjeeling – with numerous films being shot in the picteresque town through the 1960s-70s. A lot of mainstream popular singers have sung in Nepali. Below are some examples of how this iconic town and the warm people have inspired Bollywood:

Araddhana (1969) one the best romantic song “Mere Sapno Ki Rani” was extensively shot in the famed Darjeeling toy train, and apparently Anurag Basu started the shoot for Barfee by embarking on the same journey.

Mausam (1975) starring Sanjeev Kumar and Sharmila Tagore was directled by Gulzar was shot in Darjeeling.

Main Hoon Na (2004) first film of Shah Rukh Khan‘s production company Red Chillies Entertainment and choreographer Farah Khan‘s directorial debut film was shot at St. Paul’s School, Darjeeling.

Parineeta (2005) “Kasto Mazza” the toy train shot in this song passing through Darjeeling tea gardens, was the same Darjeeling toy train used in “Mere Sapno Ki Rani” song.

Via Darjeeling (2008) was shot in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Gorumara

Barfi (2012) starring Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra & Ileana D’Curz was extensively shot in Darjeeling
barfi

Leaving you’ll with wonderful songs, one by Lata Mangeshkar and the other is duet between Danny Denzongpa and Asha Bhosle,