In hopes of gathering a little more information on the epidemic that plagues me and many other American Born Desi girls, Saheli shall now bring you the tale of Suitors series.
This story begins with a call from Mother early in the AM.
“Hi daughter, I wanted to let you know you might be getting a call from a boy. Do you know XYZ uncle, their friends somethings something someone’s son. He’s a doctor and lives nearby, so you should meet and talk to him. Ok Bye.”
The day progresses and by 6-6:30pm, there’s a call from some “Delaware” phone number. Ok I think maybe this is the guy mentioned by Mother; mother isn’t very good with details after all. I am busy so I use my handy-dandy iPhone’s auto response to tell the phone number I am busy and will call back later.
A few minutes later I look down at my phone to see a text message saying ok I want to introduce myself, my name is “mysterious doctor”. I think ok that’s nice. I guess this is the guy. I message back I am “Saheli” and give me 10 minutes and I will call you back if that is ok with you.
Eventually I call back Mysterious Doctor. After a few awkward seconds we start talking he pretty much grills me asking me what is special about me or what is unique about me. I try to pitch in some questions every now and then but it is just weird and I am not really sure about this. In hindsight, he was more prepared or practiced for this call than I; Lesson: you need to have questions ready! After a decent conversation we say goodnight. I start first with an “I guess we can talk again later” and he’s a little awkward but eventually says yes. Should a girl be straight? Or are we required to “play the game”?
The next day I get a text message from Mysterious Doctor; just general chit chat. We chit chat a bit all day. This goes on another day. Then I get a message hey I cannot find you on Facebook I want a picture so I know who I am talking to. Understandable even I am a bit curious. I tell him my name on FB and then tell him I do not really have pics on FB (which is true) because I am a bit paranoid (I am even considering removing my FB account). Eventually he says OK I will email you a pic of me and you can replay back with a pic of you.
He sends his pic. I send mine.
He has lighter eyes which I guess by Desi standards makes him pretty. I don’t. I’m not very pretty, I’m about average.
End of the tale of mysterious “doctor.” Mysterious doctor has not spoke, texted, emailed, etc. since. That is OK but a little rude.
My Lesson: Step # 1 should always be to exchange pictures, because why waste time.
Thanks to Namrata Shirodkar for finally saying what has been bothering me for quite a while! The sad sad state of Bollywood Actresses. Sadly we really lack talent esp when it comes to the the “leading ladies” department. It’s sad and scary. What happened to actual talent?
The male department is pretty secure. But a recent movie that really highlighted for me Bollywood’s lack of a female talent (I shouldn’t say lack because we have a few and I mean a very very few actresses left with talent or the promise of talent) is Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. I don’t which “actress” was worse. It was pretty much a competition of who can screw up Hindi the most and look the most foreign?! (You decide for yourself)
Sadly if we keep encouraging such talentless ladies I fear we are taking a step back. In yesteryears leading ladies could sell movies on their own talent. Look at Sridevi, Madhuri, Kajol, and even Rani just to mention a few. Today movies are all about the Actor and the girl simply has to look good, wear skimpy clothes and say a few words in Hindi the rest its ok if we convert the dialogues to English?! WTF?!
I’m sorry but I can’t stand it. Bring back TALENT! Stop degrading women by only “promoting” or encouraging, essentially, bimbos! (Note: I’m not calling these talentless women bimbos, but the roles they are given and their use = as bimbos)
SAVE BOLLYWOOD!!!!! PLS!
One Line Review: Finally a good, entertaining family film!
One Word Review: Super!
USP: Family relations. This film talks/shows a common dilemma/issue today in families, esp families living abroad (be that in the US, Australia, London etc.). It very nicely shows the differences in family members and how kids sometimes/oft-times have issues with their parents; find them dorky, weird, lame etc.
SRK is phenomenal as expected. He plays his roles excellently. Both characters are memorable, and played very differently and very well. Heart. :)
Armaan executes as the stubborn, opinionated, weirded-out, and innocent son.
Kareena plays a very cool Mom well and looks amazing. No complaints.
Arjun is not in the film as much as I would have liked or as much as I believed he would be in the film so that was a bit disappointing. However, the part he got he plays very very well. He’s a super sexy villain!
Choreo = a bit diappointing. Chamak Challo is great. It all makes sense in context although when I first saw it I was freaked out. I have costume issues with this song too (particularly the girls skimpy outfits considering what the party is all about) but I can let it go. Criminal is just disgusting. I’m sorry I don’t what people where to parties in India but at least in the US we don’t dress half naked like that…maybe in brothels. But it’s not just the attire it’s the vulgar dance moves I find disturbing. It saddens me because I used to love Ganesh Hegde…I know he’s super talented but I think he’s lost his mind a bit. :?
Music: Vishal and Shekar have created a very very smart album. No matter what you’re original thought, the songs are catchy and grow on you the more you listen to them.
SFX = mind-blowing esp for a Bollywood film. No other and I mean NO other B-wood film delivers such levels. Ra.One has definitely upped the SFX requirements in B-wood for me.
Overall, a beautiful film. Highly entertaining, not as cheesy as I feared, excellent SFX and supporting background music. A MUST watch for sure! And I can’t wait to check it out again but in 3D!!!!!
Film Grade: A
One Line Review: Cute film with a fabulous ending.
One Word Review: Cute
USP: Karishma & Kareena. Salman is Salman. He does what you expect from him, and enacts the role well. Kareena along with her Big Sis Karishma make this movie though. Their combined work make this film work. While Bodyguard may be about Salman, the Bodyguard, the whole movie really is Kareena’s story and she plays the role very well. She looks lovely - personally I want pretty much every outfit and hairstyle of hers. Karishma as Chaya is wonderful and Kareena acts according to her sisters voice well, otw this could have led to a major flaw. So great “teamwork” I suppose.
The secret impact in this film comes from the actor who plays Salman’s son. He does a great job as a little kid.
The action is fantastic.
Aditya Pancholi, Mahesh Manjrekar, and Chetan Hansraj do their parts well, though they really don’t have much to do.
The comedy is OK. Nothing ROFL, at most you get a smile from it. Most of it I found too over-the-top.
Overall, the movie is good. Definitely worth a 1X watch, though I’m not sure you really need to see it again, maybe for the ending. The real highlight of this film is the ending. Whereas most Hindi films go downhill at the end, this film ends superbly.
Film Grade: C+/B-
“Dating is about finding out who you are and who others are. If you show up in a masquerade outfit, neither is going to happen.”
- Henry Cloud, How to Get a Date Worth Keeping
Internet Dating is a somewhat new trend/phenomena/issue. There are clearly advantages and disadvantages from this way of meeting people. The obvious advantage is you have the potential (theoretically at least) to meet pretty much anyone anywhere; i.e. you have a larger pool to fish from. The obvious disadvantage is the greater potential to be frauded. When you don’t have face-to-face contact and you rely on a person’s word (information) clearly you have to trust all they say to be the actual truth. While you could be fooled by someone posing as another this problem seems to be more easily do-able by a fraudster online. However, as Henry Cloud says, this is an issue you have to deal with while Dating, not just online dating.
But I don’t want to talk about the pro’s and con’s of Internet Dating. I want to talk about the way Internet Dating is viewed.
There are roughly 3 basic types of views on this: (1) I’m going to try everything out there (2) Ahh I’ll put up a profile because everyone else is doing it but I don’t really care (3) No way no how, I’m anti-Internet Dating!
Now the first category is where you find people who are completely legitimate and where you find complete fraudsters. When I say fraudsters I’m talking about people who out and out lie or “stretch the truth” a bit too much. Those who photoshop or use old pictures. When I say completely legitimate I mean they are pretty honest and open about who they are and what they are looking for. They want to show you as much of who they are as they are comfortable revealing on website. You also get the TMI folk in this category.
Now most people, I think, fall in the second category. These are people who put up profiles and forget about it for some time. Or go on to look at other people for fun, for laughs, out of curiosity. Those not quite sold on the idea of Internet Dating yet but giving a shot even if it is half-heartedly.
Finally, the anti group. This is the group I probably have the most resentment towards (after the fraudsters that is).
Clearly fraudsters are a danger you have to overcome, but honestly (as mentioned before) this is not solely and internet dating problem. In fact, sadly I know of a guy who got married to a girl simply so she could come to the US and run off with her boyfriend!!!! It’s sick but true. So, to those who say I won’t go online because everyone is a liar, I have news for you liars are everywhere!
To the Anti group. I can understand if you are not comfortable going online. If you don’t believe in internet dating or have your reservations about it that is absolutely fine. But what I have a problem with is you be-littling those who do.
I guess this really isn’t an issue of Internet Dating. I can’t stand when people try to force (thop) their ideas and thoughts on others. If you don’t understand someone else, fine. But don’t try to dictate to them what is right and wrong. If you can’t discuss an issue, whether it is Internet Dating or whether a movie is good or not, then don’t talk about it. If you think you are right and anyone with a differing idea is wrong then you need to wake up! Everyone in this world is NOT going to agree with you all the time. You need to learn to see things a different way, that is what life and relationships are all about isn’t it?
Thoughts? Do share your thoughts, comments, critiques!
Disclaimer: I do NOT understand any of the languages of Southern India so reviews for such films are based off of what I see and the subtitles. I’ sure the subtitles aren’t perfect but you get the jist.
One Line Review: It has it all: action, romance, a bit of comedy!
One Word Review: Entertainer.
USP: Ramcharan Teja (who I discovered is the famous Chiranjeevi’s son) is brilliant. This movie is pretty much a showcase of all he can do, and he can do pretty much everything and that too quite perfectly. He dances better than many B-wood stars, he acts well, he can throw punches, kicks etc. with conviction, and he can romance his heroine.
The plot isn’t anything extraordinary but well executed. The visuals are wonderful. The action clever. The romance adorable and even sexy in parts.
I don’t know all the actors because I’m not familiar with South cinema, so forgive me.
The actress Kajal is good, she has a lot of confidence and that is commendable. Honestly they didn’t give her as big a role as she deserved. They could/should have cut out the 2nd “item” song and gave her a song when she realizes… instead. Both actors play their roles as if they own the character and that’s really amazing, something not always seen in Bollywood films (probably because we use models more than actors). The actor playing the villain does his part well because I was totally disgusted by him. Both sidekicks to our hero are decent. They fill the requirements well.
Choreo! The choreography is totally south-style, and I luv it! For those not familiar with “South” choreo - think Wanted, Ready (both are South remakes fyi), but this time the dancer can dance dance not pose. No offense to Salman, he’s great but he is limited you have to admit.
All in all a must see! I’m hoping they do make a Hindi remake although I’m not sure a Bollywood audience would like it because it is a bit filmy. I think it would do well but not sure if it would be as big a hit.
Film Grade: B
One Line Review: Good social message supported with great acting.
One Word Review: Blood boiling! (In a good way for the film)
USP: Amitabh Bachchan, hands down is the USP. Manoj Bajpai is up there too, but the Big B makes this movie.
Aarakshan is a good film, but it would have been better if they kept it shorter. It is unnecessarily dragged out for no reason.
Saif is useless in this film.
Sadly and surprisingly Deepika and Saif have no chemistry! There is some in their first “love” song but thats about it! Weird for sure. Deepika doesn’t play the sad lover well - it appears to fake, her crying is forced. Perhaps I am judging her harder after seeing Sonam in Mausam..?
Manoj Bajpai is good, in fact pretty great. Like I’ve said before a hero is only as strong as his villain and this villain is great.
Film Grade: C
UGH! So while I try to remain somewhat anonymous, I will admit to being a Gujju (and proud of it) and I need to vent about Garba. Despite being born and brought up in America I am quite “Indian”. That is my ethnicity after all; that doesn’t change simply because of my birthplace (another vent topic for another day). As a kid we always went to Garba and celebrated Navratri the way a Gujju’s should. Which in America would usually be in some high school gym or even a Mandir. I remember when Navratri and Garba was actually about Garba, and Durga pooja. But today! ICK! It makes me sick! I don’t care if more people come, in fact that is great. But don’t mock Garba, don’t insult a religious day and simply turn it into some cheap way to hookup. I have been appalled by the outfits at Garba - jeans, hoodies, sweats! What the *****! Fine you want to mingle no problem, but don’t be stupid, ignorant, etc. about it! Don’t stand in the middle when people are seriously doing Garba or Raas. Don’t show up in inappropriate clothes, and you know just what I mean so don’t pretend. Don’t try and sneak alcohol….just don’t!
It makes me mad and sad at the same time, because it wasn’t aways like this! I don’t know what is wrong with the “youth” of today (I’m still youth fyi but not in that category)! I blame Jersey Shore, Hanna Montana, and all those other ridiculous things!
Vent over! If you can’t vent on a blog, where can you! So don’t take it personally, or do, I don’t care! Grrr!
This is a topic most deal with today. I do not have an answer as to which is better, because it’s not a matter of right and wrong. It’s a matter of opinions. I only aim to bring up the pros and cons as I see them and maybe change your opinion on the issue; or maybe you will change my opinion!
So here we go.
Love vs. Arranged
“Western” society teaches us that love should be all a relationship is based on. In doing so it belittles/looks down on the concept of Arranged marriages as something juvenile and belittling. This is definitely wrong. Just because you don’t understand an idea doesn’t make it barbaric or “beneath you”. I’m not saying arranged marriages are perfect, but just because you bleive in love doesn’t mean if a relationship forms, not necessarily from love, it has any less meaning/value etc. than one from love does.
Indian society teaches us the importance of a strong marriage relationship, and the importance of maintaining a relationship. Something not necessarily promoted in the Pro-love arguments from the west. I’m not saying western culture is against lasting relationships but you have to agree that with a 50% divorce rate western cultures are more accepting to idea of breaking relationships. Notice I said accepting not encouraging.
However, today even Indian culture has seen far more divorces than ever expected. Yet, the difference in the western and eastern views is the stigma associated with a divorcee. Indian culture applies a very negative stigma to divorce so while people are divorcing due to fraud, rushed marriages etc. They are not so easily forgiven for it.
But let’s go back to the ideas of Love Marriage and Arranged Marriage.
The major difference in the two, today, is in how two people decide to get married. In today’s day and age, arranged no longer means setup by your parents without your consent. Today an arranged marriage is where you may be setup by parents, etc. but at the end you decide whether it could work or not. Now while you do have time to decide it is obviously a decision with a bit more pressure from the adults.
I’ve grown up watching Disney movies and Bollywood. So I was completely vested in the idea of my knight in shinning armor sweeping me off my feet. However, I have learned that such fairytales don’t really happen, or happen so rarely. It is hard to learn that and even harder to accept it. I’ve worked on it and have finally nearly resigned myself to the idea. Of course deep down inside I still hope, wish, pray. My point is, society has brought us up dreaming of some perfect magical happy ending which doesn’t happen so magically after all. This has lead me to realize that arranged marriages aren’t this horrible, forceful thing anymore (at least today). To change my views on the idea of love vs. arranged. Does it really matter if you fall in love instantly or after some time? Can you even fall in love “at first sight”?
Thoughts? Do share your thoughts, comments, critiques!
I realized my scoring system is not clear even to me! That is a problem. So I decided to establish a grading system rubric. I will be going back and re-grading films according to this new system.
A+: A true masterpiece. You have to be Nuts not to watch this.
A: Bollywood at its best. Great.
B: Definitely worth it. Good.
C: Ok. You can watch it once.
D: Just tolerable.
E: Don’t bother.