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Posts Tagged ‘Bollywood’

Chick lit meets crime fic, with a dash of fun

Normally I’m a little sceptical about this whole new chick-lit-meets-crime-fic genre that seems to have mushroomed recently. It either winds up being really angsty (tough female heroine has never found love and is treated badly) or really cliché (she is saved in the nick of time by her handsome, studly supervisor) or just unable to stick to a genre (skipping wildly from here to there in the attempts to be Agatha Christie meets Marian Keyes.) Anything that is ‘something meets something’ is usually a book you should avoid. Remember that advice. It’ll come in handy someday.

But, I’m always happy to change my mind. (Isn’t that one of the very fun prerogatives of being a woman?) And so when Piggies On The Railway landed on my bedside reading pile, I picked it up with interest, but not much hope. And boy, was I wrong. This book made me eat my words….Read the rest of it.

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It’s five o’clock on a Sunday and we’re sitting in Olive. We have good food and drink in our bellies, time on our hands and a strange reluctance to call it a day. What better way to spend time than watching a movie? Everyone wants to go for Iron Man but I veto that. The next choice is It’s a Wonderful Afterlife which we all agree upon. F wants to go for it because she’s Gurinder Chadha fan. A wants to go because he doesn’t want to watch Iron Man and he doesn’t want to watch Badmaash Company. Me, I just wanna stare at Sendhil Ramamurthy and drool.

Even though we arrive at the choice of film with minimum dissent, it is still six thirty by the time we leave. So we drive to Globus where there’s only a single screen and that’s screening Badmaash Company. Onwards to Suburbia where also they’re showing Badmaash Company. We drive to some four multiplexes and all that’s running is Badmaash company. By now we’re wondering if it is not the universe telling us something. “If by universe you mean Yashraj Films, sure,” A retorts.

We got to Gaiety-Galaxy as a last resort and all that’s running there is, you got it, Badmaash Company. Defeated, we bow down to Yashraj Films’ superior marketing, buy the tickets (only 75 bucks for balcony!) and walk in during the first song.

That is twice in two days I’ve missed the beginning of a film and I’m wondering if it doesn’t augur something. Turns out it does, that the film is crap. Although to be fair to Parmeet Sethi, he has tried to address the logical issues that invariably crop up when you’re trying to make a film like that.

*Someone please tell him that insider trading is illegal, though.*

The premise of the film is simple. It is early 1990s. Boy live in chawl, boy has ambition. He want become rich, not slave away in dead end like dad. Unfortunately for boy, boy’s father think all businessmen capitalist pigs. Boy goes ahead anyway and set up Friend’s & Co with three other friends, one being squeeze. Friends & Co business model import duty evasion on Reebok Shoes, duniya ki sabse badi shoe company. The largest shoe company in the world.

Enter Manmohan Singh and duty rationalisation. Overnight boy’s business go bust. He then decide to move to the US of A. He decide this because he want grow bigger and better. But mainly he decide this because it is Yashraj Film and Yashraj Film always shoot abroad. In the US of A they make plenty money and spend plenty more. And then, since it is Bollywood film and not Catch Me If You Can, it is only matter of time before his life catch up with him.

In Parmeet Sethi’s defence, while the story may not be much and the editing is choppy in places, the film doesn’t drag. In terms of performances, Shahid Kapoor tries to act like SRK which is funny because SRK can’t act. But he’s still better than the others which says a lot about the overall acting levels in the film. Anushka Sharma looks slim and svelte and has the requisite wardrobe but doesn’t have the looks for sexy.

Yikes! Enough time and money wasted. No more films for me. With the exception of Kites. And that also only because of Hrithik Roshan and the associated drool factor.

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Guys, in case you’re wondering where I have disappeared to these days, let me tell you, it’s not Goa (sadly). Well, not totally, although it may account for three days last week.

By now some of you may be aware that Piggies on the Railway is doing very well. Commercially, we sold the entire first print run (5,000 copies) in three weeks flat, and critically, we’ve had more good reviews than bad. So, I think, I can exhale now. Phew!

This success is bringing with it its own share of pressures. For instance, my publicity person is now exhorting me to write the next book ASAP. She calls me up to ask me how many words I’ve written so far. And she does this EVERYDAY. Ever had someone who does this to you every day? Wait a minute, I forgot, most of you have jobs. So you know the best way to suck joy out of something is to make it into a job.

And if that’s not enough to rob me of the will to live, my maids have taken off to their respective villages for the duration of the summer vacation. While I’m quite content to live in an inch layer of dust, eating out is proving to be a problem. A drinking problem.

I can’t help it. Ever since I graduated from college, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten out sans booze. Well, there was this one evening bang in the middle of something stupid the Maharashtra Govt observes. A Gandhi birth week during which they force prohibition down our throats (I would’ve have punned here but I can’t think of a clever punch-line to the set-up). But that was only out of ignorance. Usually I’m pretty up to speed on dry days but somehow that one escaped me. Must be ’cos I was new to Bombay.

In any case, I don’t think it’s that big a deal but my friends seem to think that Margaritas in the afternoon are a sign of alcoholism. I tell them it’s not alcoholism, it’s melancholism. I’m drinking to drown my sorrows. But they’re not amused.

I’m also writing a screenplay for an animation movie. I’m doing this because it’s a friend’s project and also it’s a huge amount of fun.

I’ve got my life somewhat under control now. Not totally sorted but managebale. And I hope to be able to post more regularly from now on. Ciao.

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Private investigator Kasthuri Kumar, the narrator of Smita Jain’s Piggies on the Railway, is a kick-ass heroine. She does interior monologues in the style of Philip Marlowe and other hardboiled detectives in 1930s crime fiction. But this being a book that – improbably but successfully – combines a detective story with chick-lit, Kasthuri (also known as Katie) has more on her mind than just solving the kidnapping case assigned to her…Read more

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