bollywood · mumbai terror · story

2009: Super hero is coming – But Not

Background 1:

I have grown up on a regular diet of Bollywood, Kollywood and popular Hollywood movies and am an unabashed fan of Big B and Super Star Rajnikanth.

In Baasha, the Mumbai don turned auto driver reneged on his promise to Dad Rangaswamy. Maanik Baasha went back to his violent ways and crushed the evil Mark Anthony’s wicked revenge plans. Amitabh Bachhan’s shake of the mane in a crowded bus stand in HUM transforms him from good Bada Bhaiyya back to Tiger. Accompanied by awesome background music that scene was a treat to watch! I am sure Chiranjeevi and Captain Vijaykanth and Mass Nagarjuna have all had similar scenes that drive up adrenaline levels! Whistle whistle!!
We like punch dialogues, so much so that even T Rajendran’s king kong dance and accompanying song cum dialogue – “Vaa daa en machhi, vazhakka bajji, un udamba pichi, poduven da bajji” was first row whistle stuff but did carry an appeal for the simple reason that Words were followed by Action.
Rough translation is: Come on my brother in law, Green plantain fried snack, I will pluck your body parts and make fried snacks!
See, all effect was lost in translation 😦 – this dialogue probably inspired Prabhudeva to show Vadivelu getting thrashed in Pokkiri by just showing the cutting of vegetables and their conversion to fried snacks followed by Vadivelu in a pitiable state with torn clothes and a displaced weird hairdo 😉
Imagine, Pokkiri Vijay saying, “if I decide once, I don’t change my decision” and then going off to sleep along with Papa Nasir. Or Annamalai Rajni going to a homeless shelter and becoming a small time milkman after bellowing a punch dialogue that ‘you have patted and woken up the lion that was sleeping inside me all these years.” Imagine, if Baasha’s sister fell on his arms with blood on her face and Thalai trying to negotiate with the baddies or keeping quiet instead of commanding his police officer kid bro to “Go inside!”

We can think of infinite examples from scores of movies that small time to great actors like Dharmendra, Vijay, Akki, Ajay Devgan, MGR, Die Hard Bruce Willis, Ethan Hunt Cruise, Rambo, Arnold, Mithun da etc etc have graced on the silver screen.

In short, all these movies appealed to the basic logic that action has to follow punch dialogues. We cannot tolerate Dharmendra yelling, “Kutte, main tumhara khoon pi jaaoonga” and dance he may, with Hema running from one tree to another but pardoning the kutta. The bad dog always got beaten to pulp. Poor Amrish Puri or Raghuvaran or Nambiar or Ashokan but good always won over evil. Ramayan, Mahabharat – weren’t these the foundation stones of our belief systems, mental architecture?

Background 2:

Now, let me also take you to a particularly funny yet irritating habit we developed at my second year in college. It was called the ‘But Not’ game. Karthik, a wingmate, I think, started it all. To give you an idea about this habit or game, let me give you an example.

Saandman (another wingmate) is frantically looking for his notes about 2 am in the night for an exam at 8 am in the morning.

Saandman: Hey Fido (we used to call Karthik, Fido due to his resemblance to Fido Dido), Mera notes dekha kya?

Fido would say “Yes” …. Followed by a long pause … Saandman’e eyes would light up with excitement …. Then Fido would add “But Not” – that meant no!!
The “But Not” virus spread like wildfire and we stopped using the term “No” for a while.
Did you go to class? Yes, but not.
Lunch khaaya? Yes, but not.
A, B and C discussing in hostel wing at 515 am: Hey send that first year akdoo bachaa to Reema (hot daughter of the prof who dared to give their wing topper bad grades). Make him say to Reema,” I love you …. but not” Abbey, paagal ho gaya, she is my new girlfriend …. But Not!

I encountered another variant of “But Not” when I was at Trivandrum. Jeeva, a dude from Nagercoil, another Thalai fan and a colleague cum room mate years ago, would have told Saandman:
“Yes” ….. followed by a long pause … Sandman would have got excited ….. then, jeeva would have said, “Appidi solluvennu nenacheengla? Adhu thaan illai!” – meaning, “Did you think I would say that – that’s not the case, ha ha”

Saandman and Fido encounters always had the same ending. Saandman was strong: hence the name, but Fido was equally cool. He was just a shade slower than Milkha Singh and before Saand could react, Fido would fly away. Saand would laugh it off.

Today:
I am reminded of the above backgrounds because of the current situation in India after the Mumbai attacks. Pranab, Manmohan, PC are all in desperate need of a generous dose of Bollywood / Kollywood action movies. After delivering punch dialogue after punch dialogue,
“Main tumhaara aisaa bajaa daloonga, ki roney ke liye tumharey paas aankhey nahin rahegi” (I will beat you so badly that you wont have eyes to shed tears!”), (thats my masala dialogue! never mind 😉 )

“The attackers will be given a ‘fitting reply’” – Maybe the movie crazy Indian population assumed Soniaji’s remarks as a war cry (like ‘dayeeeeee’ etc that our heroes bark before pouncing on the villains). Who imagined that a fitting reply only meant an email to Zardari debauchee with a cc to Condoleezza Rice from Rahul Gandhi’s laptop? That piece of IT work can get outsourced to a Tier N Indian IT company using Gandhi kanakku (read free)

Politicians from both India and Pakistan have always loved the ‘But Not’ game. Abdul Rehman Antulay used Karkare as a political snack thrown to woo Muslim voters. It pains for a simple movie fan like me to see a brave dead officer like Karkare turn into Hemant Kurkure by the political class! Will Karkare or Salaskar be reborn like Alex Pandian or but not? While Zardari has been harping on state and non-state actors, Sharif showed bewilderment as to why Zardari was trying to deny Kasab’s Pakistani citizenship. After all, nobody expects Kasab to carry a stamped passport or a ration card while he was going trigger happy at CST! Sharif’s statements made our media celebrate prematurely and it seemed like we could leverage Sharif and win international sympathy to prove our point. What we didn’t realize was Sharif was playing the But Not game. He said, “Now show us a proof and I shall personally send a mail without outsourcing the work to anybody and request Zardari to take action”
LeT boss is arrested and thrown into a prison. But not – he is under house arrest. He has access to Internet, uses google talk (that may be another news item in the media soon, just like ‘terrorists used google maps’ made headlines earlier) but wait, Pakistan has now said, But Not.
He has not been arrested at all. Dawood is in Karachi. But Not! He is not in Pakistan at all.

Manmohan had said that we want economy to thrive, hence no war. We wanted war – but not. War hysteria is not good for anybody, but not! We had thundered and given a month’s deadline to Pakistan to show ‘action’ against terrorists, no … not terrorists, just “terrorism supporting elements”, state or no state and it is 26th December, almost!

Meanwhile, South Africa and Australia are going to play the second test match, Lee and Haydos are woefully out of form. India has won the series, Tendulkar has given a gift to Mumbaikars, Yuvraj has made strong statements with his bat, Rajni is shooting for Endhiran and dancing in Peru with Aishwarya ….. It is ironic is that the common Pakistani and Indian man both love Bollywood.
– And Life goes on?? No, but not!

I can imagine the terrorists laugh and say, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, ‘But Not’!!

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5 thoughts on “2009: Super hero is coming – But Not

  1. Rangaraj,

    BTW, did you mean Collywood now instead of Kollywood? The keralites claim the Kollywood Title.

    That leads to the question:
    So does that make Gujju movies Gullywood? (gully=road in the woods)

    I’ve watched a fair share of Bollywood movies growing up. A number of them seem rather ridiculous when re-seen now & makes me think – Did I really like that stuff? Maybe the tech is outdated or the stories so preditable or maybe my perspectives in life have just radically changed. Themes of lost at birth then reunited (by a song they all happened to know or a convenient birthmark) & the “Maa-ka-mamta” (the holy grail) dialogues. And of course pardon that “kutta’s blood”. Superhuman strength even if the hero is a real puny dude (aka Kumar Gaurav). Then the villain always had a den with a vivid “red” background. Hari and I watched Baasha movie on SunTV today. Its been shown a few times this but each time, I’ve only managed to see bits and the ending. It was quite entertaining, all said and done. Especially all of Rajni’s signature actions. I had of course seen Big B’s HUM but that was lo..oong time ago. Hari summed up Baasha in one line “Gangster reformed and trying to stay that way, but his past catches up.”

    Aaarti was quite the Rajni fan when growing up. During of our trips to India, there was an argument between her and Sangita about who was better. Sangi was for all for Kamal and Aaarti for Rajni. We had just come on the same flight as with Kamal and his wife. At that time, I had no idea who he was (oops!) and I was wondering why a lot of other people were agog at his presence at the airport.

    Pardon my interpretation, but isn’t “Maachi” now used for addressing just about anyone in the movies & not specifically brother-in-law (almost like “buddy”). And why does that term always bring the image of a fish (“machli”) to my mind.

    Regards
    Arya (Cupertino)

    Ranga: Actually, Bengali film industry is called Tollywood and refers to Tollygunge plus Hollywood, Bollywood is Bombay + Hollywood, now they may have to change to Mollywood after Bombay became Mumbai! Gullywood – aha, can be used as G could stand for Gandhinagar as well 🙂

  2. BTW, did you mean Collywood now instead of Kollywood? The keralites claim the Kollywood Title. So what does that make Gujju movies Gullywood (gully=road in the woods)?

    I’ve watched a fair share of Bollywood movies growing up. A number of them seem rather ridiculous when reseen now & makes me think – god did I really that that stuff? Maybe the tech is outdated or the stories so stereotyped & repetitive or maybe my perspectives in life have just radically changed. Themes of lost at birth then reunited by a song they all happened to know or a birthmark & the “Maa-ka-mamta” dialogues. And of course pardon that “kutta’s blood”. Superhuman strength even if the hero is a real puny dude (imagine Kumar Gaurav beating up dozen baddies). Then the villain always had a den with a vivid “red” background.

    Hari and I watched Baasha movie on SunTV today. Its been shown a few times this but each time, I’ve only managed to see bits and the ending. It was quite entertaining, all said and done. Especially all of Rajni’s signature actions. Hari summed it up quite neatly “gangster reformed and wanting to stay that way, but his past catches up” . I had of course seen Big B’s Hum but that was loo..ong time ago and that movie was most famous for its Kimi Katkar Chuma song.

    Aaarti was quite the Rajni fan when growing up. During of our trips to India, there was an argument between her and Sangita about who was better. Sang was for Kamal and Aaarti for Rajni. All in good fun. We had just come on the same flight as with Kamal and his wife. At that time, I had no idea who he was (Oops!) and was wondering why a lot of other people was agog at his presence at the airport.

    Pardon my interpretation but isn’t “Maachi” now used for addressing just about anyone in the movies now (kind of like “buddy”) & not specifically brother-in-law. And why does that term always bring the image of a fish (“machli”) to my mind.

    Arya (Cupertino)

    Ranga: Kollywood refers to Hollywood of Kodambakam. Maybe it is Kollywood for Malayalam movies as well. Aarthi vehemently denies having been a Rajni fan … ha ha ha. She was, is and shall always be a SRK fan only. Yes, you are right, Machi has become a loose term and is referred to address anybody now. By the way, machi actualy means fish in Bengali (pronounced machhi). The one liner on Baasha was fantastic! And thanks so much for your comments. How did you land up on my blog? It is a very pleasant surprise 🙂

  3. >Aarthi vehemently denies having been a Rajni fan … ha ha ha. She was, is and shall always be a SRK fan only.
    It’s been a long time & she was probably small then (78′ or 81’ trip), so maybe her allegiances have changed. Hey, even I went from totally disliking Govinda to finding him quite humorous.

    >The one liner on Baasha was fantastic!
    He has a treasure trove of oneliners and more. He is quite the writer. You should look up his blog journal4hari.blogspot.com

    >How did you land up on my blog? It is a very pleasant surprise
    There I was meandering my way across the big old w.w.web.

    I had been getting all these mails from ‘orkut’ for months now, which I kept marking as spam. How do these people think they know me anyway that they were presumptuous enough to put entries in “my scrapbook” (whatever that was!). After getting yet another random mail from a ‘Bejugama” (what a name?) I finally thought, let me see what this ‘walnut’ is all about.

    Well, I click on a few links here & there and find that it was giving me suggestions on who should be ‘my friends’ including Archie, my sis-in-law Anu and a few other Indians I know. Hmmm!, No mention of this Bejugama anywhere!.

    I click on a few more links and land up on your blog. It struck me initially that it could be my cousin Rangarajan in Ohio (you too are kinda cousin now, of course) who has been off-radar (kinda like me) for many years. Then I find references to Aarthi, a 3 yr old dd, newly moved to Pittsburg & other clues.

    Voila!, I deduce it’s you guys.

    Regards Arya

    Ranga: Power of the Internet! Anyways, good to see you here. I have been visiting Hari’s blog – after following a link from Archana’s blog earlier. And now I know who Hari is. His writing rocks!

  4. Ha, read it finally!!
    The.. “Ille.. appadi nu solluvein nu nanaicheengala” dialogue is so famous, and so make-you-want-to-punch-the-deliverer!
    The last para was uber-cool! I didnt foresee the write-up building up to that crescendo!
    I, like Ti, have been a peace loving person majority of my life! But I was hoping fervently for less-talk, more-action at least after this mumbai attack! But Not.
    keep writing jiju.. and keep coming online too!

    R: Thanks, Archi. I am also planning to write shorter posts 😉

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