Tag Archives: Film Review

Practically A Movie Review – Happy New Year


The ONLY reason to look forward to Diwali this year

The ONLY reason for looking forward to Diwali this year

There have been a few occasions in the history of India when the entire future of our great nation has hung precariously, and then toppled over to the wrong side. Like the time centuries ago when both the British and the French wanted to stake their claim on our land. But then Le République lost, dooming us into becoming tea and rusk eating philistines when we could have been la wine and la cheese connoisseurs instead. Or, when Pandit Ravi Shankar discovered the Beatles, brought them to India and turned them into hippies swaying to ganja tokes sitar notes. The wily fox then, instead of beseeching the Liverpool Lads to stay on and absorb our culture, decamped with them to the Evil West. Imagine the possibilities had the Beatles chosen to forgo Notting Hill for Pali Hill, and become Bollywood music directors instead – the best heroines of the times, from Asha Parekh to Madhuri Dixit, might have swayed their wide hips to the tunes of Lennon-McCartney instead of Laxmikant-McPyarelal.

Of course, there have been other times when a national tragedy was so catastrophic that even God sought to redress the wrong He had instigated. One such calamity had occurred a couple of years ago on the sidelines of a major awards function when a Biiiiiig Star (who is not called Raj or Rahul in real life) exchanged blows with a film-director-husband of a choreographer-turned-film-director. That unfortunate episode had instantly transformed a Karan-Arjun-type blood-bond into a Godfather-like feud where the two parties (including their spouses, friends, servants etc.) exchanged venomous barbs like – ‘His six-pack has six times more acting talent than the rest of his body parts combined’ and ‘No one has ever walked out of a movie theatre unimpressed with his film because, well, no one went inside in the first place’ in gossip magazines.


Well, you can imagine the ramifications the ShahRukh Khan – Shirish Kunder War sought to wreak on Bollywood, nay the entire nation. Hostility between them could mean only one thing – that the country was now doomed to a protracted phase of collaboration between Kunder’s wife Farah Khan and their other favourite Akshay Kumar. Remember Tees Maar Khan? (Of course you do. No one ever forgets their first prostrate / gynae exam) What if that was just the tip of the iceberg, the start of a string of sequels, the next being Untees Maar Khan? Then Atthais Maar Khan, then Sattais…? By the time we would have hit Shoonya…

Such disaster, and that too so soon after India had just eradicated Polio and Kamaal R Khan!

Anyway, like I said, God the Merciful slapped Himself into His senses, and SRK and SK kissed and made up. Farah Khan immediately booted Akshay Kumar out of her psychedelic dance floor and signed back ShahRukh instead. And, so, here we are, a few short months later, with a brand new film called Happy New Year. Scheduled to be prematurely ejaculated two whole months before New Year.

The dazzling promos are all over YouTube. Clearly, the film is a remake of Sholay, though no one is saying the obvious in as many words. The trailer is absolutely unfunny, because it would be laughable to make a funny one about an unfunny subject – the revenge of a man who has lost everything.

Here is the plot –
Thakur Baldev Singh, known as BS (played by SRK) has lost two things most essential to live the life of a normal man. No, not arms, for those can be easily replaced with prosthetics in the 21st century. BS has lost much more than mere limbs – he has lost his Looks and his Senses. Understandably, he is super pissed about it, and so he tries to keep his mind (whatever little of it is still functioning) occupied by working on his 8-pack, streaking his hair blond, crinkling his forehead, and dancing like Miley Cyrus. Classic symptoms of a mid-life crisis, even though BS is no more than 32 years old in this film.

One day, Daku Gabbar Singh (or GS, played by Jackie Shroff, f/o Tiger Shroff) lands into BS’s village in his helicopter, and walks around in slow motion wearing a very expensive suit and a very smug smile, as if he owned the place. Ramgarh, thanks to corrupt ex-dacoits-turned-real-estate-developers like GS, has transformed into something that looks like Macau (it’s a small town in South Africa) now, where poor villagers are still forced to go and deposit their hard earned cash at the feet of the Roulette and Blackjack dealers sitting inside casinos built over flattened ravines. Obviously, no one is happy to lose money, despite the momentary joy one derives in anticipating that, maybe this time, their luck will change and the dealer will not only return them all their money, but also give them some more by way of goodwill (and interest). Alas, that is never to be.

BS, devastated to see the incessant looting of his people, decides enough is enough. He must destroy GS’s Evil Empire. The only way to do so is by dancing his way into Senior-Tiger’s den, a la Mehbooba-Mehbooba in the original, and destroy it from within. Sadly, since Helenji has now retired, BS decides to do so himself (after all, he does know how to dance like Miley). He hires two sidekicks in his battle against GS. (Remember, he can’t do ALL of it himself – he has lost his Looks and his Senses, plus he has just spent thousands getting that bleached blond streak too). Enter Jai and Veeru, played by Abhishek Bachchan and Sonu Sood, two actors who have honed their skills over decades to play Sidekicks to perfection. Both are masters of serious and comedy, even though they are most comfortable in scenes that require acting like baboons. (No offence meant to any member of the ape family)

Then there is Basanti (played by Deepika Padukone), the key motivator for BS, Jai, Veeru etc to rise and shine each morning. After Chennai Express, Finding Fanny and now Happy New Year, men all over India are bound to fall in love with her delightfully weird accent again, almost as much as they would want to take her Cleavage (OMG!!) home to meet their mothers for ashirwad. As everyone knows, endless tales (both on Twitter and in newspapers) have been written about the Beauty and her Bust.

The film also stars Boman Irani, who plays either Ramu Kaka or Dhanno the horse, it is not absolutely clear which. Plus, even though absent from the trailers, it is assumed that the film also has Kirron Kher because, let’s face it, a loud Punjabi Woman is a must in every movie script these days.

Together, Sensible BS and his team wage a war over Evil GS. They must use every tool in the Bollywood arsenal in order to win this fight – song and dance, emotions, song and dance, music, song and dance, comedy, song and dance, dazzling locales, song and dance, slow motion walks towards the camera, song and dance, and song and dance.

So, who wins in the end? Your guess is as good as mine. Though one thing is clear. Now that Farah, Shirish, their triplets, her brother Sajid, and SRK are one big happy family again, Happy New Year is bound to make more money at the box office in its first weekend than all of Africa makes in a year.

And deservedly so, too.

Why Raj Kapoor Must Have Hated Zeenat Aman….or Satyam Shivam Sundaram

So, what happens when friend, guest blogger and fellow Bollywood aficionado Achala Srivatsa traipses into her living room, pours herself some red wine, kicks off her high heels and settles herself down on her comfy couch that’s pointed towards the telly? Well, read on to find out her story…

Film poster stolen from some website or the other

Film poster stolen from some website or the other

While surfing channels on a lazy Saturday afternoon, I suddenly happened upon SSS which, as anyone born before 1980 knows, was Raj Kapoor’s Magnum Soft Pornus – where an excruciatingly coy Zeenat Aman manages to produce one of her most hilarious roles yet.

In the interest of providing life improving information to my readers (mainly friends, relatives and acquaintances who feel duty-bound to read my stuff) I decided to watch this absolute gem of a movie, or rather skim through it in 10 minutes. Here are a few highlights that prove my point – If I have missed out any important detail, feel free to correct me.

First off, here is a woman whose face has been horribly disfigured (HD) by a fire or some such and has, therefore, taken a cunning vow to conceal half her face BUT reveal all her body so that everyone’s attention is drawn to the two bits of loin cloth and the laughably itsy bitsy blouse cut to her navel. By the way, her name is Rupa (Get it? Get it?) As an aside, let me say – ZA, the jasmine in the hair… what were you thinking?

Anyway, while flitting lightly along the road, she sees our Fair Hero (FH) and promptly jumps into a waterfall with him – ostensibly to scrub his back…no, really… to scrub his back. They quickly get entangled in the bushes as Lata Mangeshkar sings some of the worst songs of her career (all the while closely covering her face with her ghunghat –important point that).

Needless to say no one realizes that ZA is HD until fairly late into the movie. By everyone, of course, we refer to Shashi Kapoor, whose brain has evidently been so addled by her fashion statement that he cannot read between the lines of deeply inscrutable statements like “If I were horribly disfigured would you still love me?” Who’d guess she was dropping a hint as heavy as a brick? Evidently everyone except our FH.

Interwoven are his and her fantasies where ZA changes her regulation loin cloth for a pearl embedded one and then tries out a Bharat Natyam style dance which will go down in Bollywood history as one of the most awkward dances ever seen on screen. The song will be remembered, or forgotten as the case may be, as one of Mukesh’s worst ever – the poor man’s loyalty to RK being the only reason he took this up no doubt. I have seldom watched anyone embarrass themselves so thoroughly and elaborately –although the endless scenes where ZA weeps copiously wrapped around an embarrassed Shiv Ling come close.

Meanwhile the wedding takes place and the groom discovers the grand deception. Clearly hoary sayings about beauty being skin deep / beauty is as beauty does etc. were not drilled into his head at his mother’s knee, and he goes into an apoplectic rant – “What? Her? But … she’s horribly disfigured!! But she’s got this thing on her face!” She responds with ”Please don’t send me back, my Baba will die!” Evidently, Baba’s house rules on dressing are pretty relaxed (nothing over half a meter) but married beti cannot return to her father’s house.

But wait, there’s more – Our FH thinks there’s been a switch! That the lady with the scar is a stand-in for the real beauteous ZA. Now once ZA figures out that the love of her life has the IQ of a pebble, her plan falls into place. She meets him secretly as the Rupa of his fevered imagination – with a coy ghunghat drawn across half her face, while she holds it in place with her teeth. You’d think FH would demand to see her face, but nooo. Long story short – pregnancy, disbelief, drama, reconciliation.

Now if these highlights don’t make you want to DVR this movie and watch it every week, I don’t know what will. But to get back to my original point – why did Raj Kapoor hate Zeenat Aman?



Practically A Movie Review – ‘BOSS’ Starring Akshay Kumar

Several months ago, there was joyous dancing in the dark and lit streets of the United States of America. No, it was not because President Obama had just concluded a historic tour of India in which he had actually heard our Prime Minister mumble almost three whole words. (“Honey, that felt awesome but still not as good as when I heard Mr. MacMahon Sing say ‘Hello’,” Obama had confessed to wife Michelle after a particularly steamy roll in the White House bed). The celebrations were not even because the US Navy Seals had finally got Osama bin Laden hiding under Musharraf’s kitchen sink. Nor could the nicely resurgent stock markets explain the unabashed street euphoria. And while you may assume, and quite rightly so, that it was a great time to be born in the USA, what with rock-solid marriages like Sandra Bullock’s, wholesome children like Miley Cyrus, and iconic upright sportspersons like Tiger Woods, the real reason for the incredible mood was something else. The real reason for this all-pervasive mass jubilation was that America was finally about to conquer the last bastion of indomitable excellence – Bollywood. After all, their most iconic star was India-bound to break the biggest and only glass ceiling that really mattered – The First White American Hindi Film Hero.

“I will go to church to break my fast there for 21 consecutive Sundays if this comes true,” Hilary Clinton had declared, clearly siding with the belief that an American Hindi film hero was way more desirous than having a silly old woman as President. This mammoth dream was so imposing that not even Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. had dare dream it.

Sure there had been the occasional Tom or two in the past but they had hardly Altered the Hindi film landscape by their presence. There had also been the stray blond desi-foreigner (remember Karan Kapoor?) but they were hardly the real thing either. And the last ‘foreign’ Indian film Shalimar was so bad that even Ram Gopal Verma was not interested in going for a remake of it.

It was 2013 for goodness’ sake! Man had already landed on the moon and Woman at a Dior store in Delhi. These were supposed to be unthinkable fantasies only a few years ago. The time for making history was already upon us.

And so, with the hopes and aspirations of over 300 million Americans (and some 74% of them morbidly obese) resting on his broad shoulders, Bruce Springsteen showed up at the Hindi film location for his first Hindi film audition. The film was going to be based on his life story. It even had his moniker as its title. It was simply called – BOSS. After all, everyone the world over knew him as that.

Bruce 'The Boss' Springsteen, singer, song writer, Bollywood actor?

Bruce ‘The Boss’ Springsteen, singer, song writer, Bollywood actor?

Bruce was given the traditional Indian welcome of aarti and tilak and made to sit on a shaadi-wali plastic chair in a corner. His name on the seatback was misspelled in customary Indian fashion – Biru’s Springs Team – phonetics winning over any need to reference documentation for correct spellings. The setting was an actual village. There were cows roaming past. Happy children shat around a nearby drain. Bruce took photos of all this for his photoblog.
Momentarily, an Indian peasant, tall and imposing-looking, came and sat in the empty shaadi-wali plastic chair next to him.

“Who are you?” the gruff villager demanded.

“I am Bruce Springsteen,” Bruce answered extending his hand. “I am a singer, now aiming to be an actor,” he added helpfully, as the villager shook his hand smugly. If there was recognition, the man didn’t show it.

“You are here for the audition, too?” Bruce asked making polite conversation.


“For which part?”

“Yours,” came the pat answer.

The Boss was baffled. “The man is clearly delusional,” he thought to himself. Just then, the film’s director Anthony D’Souza joined him.

“Sar, any prollem finding locashen, Sar?” Anthony asked in his charming Malayali accent.

“None at all, thanks! But I am a bit surprised. I thought we were going to start the film by showing my early life – my humble beginnings in a small village in Indiana?”

“Very right, Sar, this is small village in India, na?”

“Oh, I think you misunderstood me! I meant…”

Arrey, Sir,” interjected the tall rustic, “if the fillum is shot in abroad, only NRI audience will interast. And NRI audience only wants to see richness – like helicopter, like big foreign palace, like other CEO-type NRI. Like a Yash Chopra fillum. Even humble foreign village they are not interesting,” he continued. “They only want Landan. New Yark. Not village. Only desi audience wanting village.”

“Well, Sar, he tell totally correcta,” Anthony affirmed.

“Yeah, so ok, maybe we can show my earlier humble life for a few minutes and then quickly move to my successful life. We can show me doing huge shows in places like Central Park in New York, or the Wembley stadium in London.”

“Where item song you will show?” the peasant demanded. “In stadium?”

“Item song? What the hell is that?”

The two Indians looked at each other and shook their heads with a mixture of surprise and sadness.

“Sar, Item Song is very important part in film, Sar. Like, if Hindi film is womana, the Item Song is her 2-2 breasta. People are looking there only, Sar. What is womana without breasta, Sar?”

“What the fuck!”

“And where you will fight villain?” the peasant further asked. “You have bad man in your life story?”

“Bad man?”

“Yes, like Police Inspector who killed your Papa or Politician who destroyed your dhanda? Who you will kill in last reel?” persisted the rustic.

Bruce turned at the director looking quite alarmed.

“What the hell is the man saying? Do I have to kill someone in the film?”

“What to do, Sar. Hindi film, Sar. You are only Boss, but audience is King, Sar! They demanding killing.”

“So, basically, you are saying that my life story – called BOSS – must be filmed in an Indian village , must have an Item Song, and must have me killing some kind of a villain in the end of the film?”

“Very right, Sar! Box office superhit, Sar!”

“Oh damn!”

“And Sar, can you drive car?”

“Drive a car? I am American, of course I can drive a car!”

“Means, drive and jump out of exploding car from 150 feets height, Sar?” Anthony explained.


The peasant looked at the director almost admonishingly. “But, Director Sir, that is so common now. You need something more dhamaak-e-daar! Like exploding trucks!” Then looking at Bruce, “You know truck driving?”

“What are you people?” The Boss said, his facial expressions teetering the fine line between incredulity and tears.

“It’s ok, Sar, it’s not only exploshuning and song singing. We will be comedy also!”

“Oh thank God!”

“Sar, you can slap peoples?”

“Slap people?!” the respite that Bruce had felt at the thought of doing comedy vanished immediately.

“Yes, Sar, we do comedy when hero slaps peoples. You will slap many, many peoples. Audience is laughing so much that eyes are leaking!”

“Oh dear Lord…”

“But, no fear, slapping is for bad men only,” the farmer tried to assuage The Boss whose face was ashen and eyes moist. “Girl no slapping.”

“Yes, Sar, girla you only eve teasing. But we not even calling eve teasing because firsta few times, girla verrry angry with hero. But latera, girla in hero’s lap. What is your Mrs. name, Saar? We give heroine same name,” Anthony added earnestly.

Bruce was pretty much speechless by this point. He stared at the two men but said nothing.

“Don’t worry about heroine, Sar. We get someone half from your aging! Just 2 songs and finnish. Whole story rotating around you only, Sar!”

That was about all that Bruce Springsteen was prepared to take. He slowly got up from the shaadi-wali plastic chair.

“I think I might have seemed overeager about this project. On second thoughts, I don’t think I am such a great fit for this film.”

“Oh no, Sar! Why saying so, Sar? It’s box office superhit, Sar!” said the distressed director.

“I think it’s the only wise decision. In fact, why don’t you take this villager to play Boss instead? I think he will be a much better fit!” said The Boss looking encouragingly at the peasant sitting next to him.

“Villager, Sar?” said the surprised director. “Oh no, Sar, that’s our 7th biggusst hero of Bollywooda, Sar, after Aamir Khan Sar, Salman Khan Sar, Shah Rukh Khan Sar, Ajay Devgan Sar, Hritik Roshan Sar and Ranbir Kapoor Sar. Meeting Akshay Kumar Sar, Sar!

Akshay Kumar extended his hand to The Boss again. The two had a firm handshake.

“But what will I do now without hero??” cried Anthony. He turned his gaze at Akshay and pleaded, “Will you be my Boss, Sar? I will change the entirea scripta to suit your need, Sar!”

“Fit hai, Boss!” Akshay said smilingly, not even taking a minute to consider the poor man’s request.

“What does that mean – ‘fit hai’?” Bruce asked enquiringly.

“It means 100 crores, Sar! I means audience throw coina at screena , Sar! Children singing film songa, Sar!”

“It means all that?”

“Yes, more or less, Sar!”


The Boss left India taking the next earliest flight out. He knew that he had dashed the hopes of millions in his country. He hoped that he had it in him to explain to his simple countryfolk why it wasn’t going to be so easy for an American to win an Oscar for a Bollywood movie anytime soon.

Meanwhile, Indians all over the world wait with bated breath for 7th biggest Bollywood hero Akshay Kumar’s latest 100-crore hit – BOSS! DO NOT MISS IT!


Fit Hai, Boss!

Fit Hai, Boss!


I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013. The theme is SEVEN. This post is about my 7th most favourite actor in Bollywood, Akshay Kumar. I have watched his film Joker at least a 100 times in my head. 




When Steven Spielberg Endorsed Himmatwala

Khan and Nadiadwala, the two Sajids responsible for giving us Himmatwala Redux got a letter of appreciation from Steven Spielberg recently. ‘Hmpf!’ we say, ‘as if the film needs a firangi filmmaker’s positive reinforcement. We already know it is the greatest film ever made, thank you very much!’

The question is not whether you will see it. The question is – how many dozens of times will you see it?


Let the Ta-Thaiya-Ta-Thaiya begin!

Let the Ta-Thaiya-Ta-Thaiya begin!




March 18, 2013

14 Sunset Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90099



Dear Sajid and Sajid,

Thank you for the amazing hospitality shown to me during my lightening trip to Mumbai last week. I must say, my spur of the moment decision to come meet you after watching the trailer of the incredible Himmatwala was, by far, the best decision I have ever taken in my life. To you, shorter and fatter Sajid, I must thank profusely for making time for me despite your busy TV schedule. I apologize that I was not able to guest co-judge the episode of Nach Balliye! with you due to the distractions afflicted on me by the Ambanis and the Bachchans – sadly, some people just can’t take no for an answer.

Thankfully, there is always the promise of next time.

Beyond expressing my heartfelt gratitude, I was also compelled to write to you for another reason. That being your magnum opus Himmatwala. Seldom, nay never, have I felt so enthralled by a motion picture before. By choosing to tell the real life story of a man who was part Schindler, part Indiana Jones, part Jaws, part Lincoln, and yet almost entirely E.T., you have reset filmmaking benchmarks so high that they may never be matched. Fortunately, Himmatwala’s story is so compelling that I am confident that future filmmakers will retell it to new generations of audiences every 25-30 years.

I must say that casting Ajay Devgn as Himmatwala, The Great, was a brilliant masterstroke. As you will recall, I had expressed to you my fear that, perhaps, Tusshar was more appropriate to reprise the role that had firmly established his father as the most fascinating actor the world has ever produced. After all, and as amply displayed by his body of work, Tusshar abounds with virtually the exact same characteristics that Jeetendra had – the same good looks, panache, hair, pelvis, feet and talent. But now, after having watched the film at least 3000 times, I see clearly why you chose Ajay over Tusshar. It’s because of the former’s ability to do a convincing tongue-twirl inside the mouth, isn’t it? The kind that Jeetendra used to excel at, especially while doing those acrobatic dance steps that were his forte? Clearly, Ajay matches the legend in practically all parameters.

I was also absolutely thrilled to find Sridevi replaying the same character she did thirty years ago in the original! She still looks great at 50. How she managed to recreate the same magic to flawless authenticity, I shall never comprehend. The mindblowing leather outfits with matching horse whips, skirts the size of postage stamps, a voice that reminds one of caged birds squealing inside a burning shack, an exposed supple belly that undulates precariously and eventually spills up and over the tight saree – it was all done to perfection. Not to mention the frantic eye movements and the tongue thrusts – delightful mannerism, timeless even in this day and age!

I must make a special mention of the film sets, make up and costumes, and action sequences. The village setting, the huts, the flying ox cart, the million drums and pots on a beach and the zamindaar’s haweli were just the kind of Indian touches that a common viewer even in New York can easily identify with. The white cotton saree of the widowed mother, for example, was the epitome of simplistic fashion that the sartorial connoisseurs in Milan, Paris and London are bound to usurp for their next collections. And who can beat the kind of hysterical guffaws that only a Hitler-moustache and an odd wig can yield in a Bollywood movie? By the way, here is my advance alert – when I eventually get down to my Extra Terrestrial Part II project, I am sure to ask for the services of your entire Himmatwala crew. Hope you won’t turn me down, considering we are now underwear-buddies (I googled the translation of chhaddi)!

My wife Kate and I, along with our six children have been ta-thaiyya-ta-thaiyya-ho’ing constantly ever since each of us downloaded the album of Himmatwala on our iPods. We thank the lord that there is finally music that is worthy of downloading on this remarkable invention of my friend, the late Steve Jobs. Though I must admit, I am now on my second downloaded copy. The first digital copy got all scruffy and scratchy due to overplaying!

I shall cherish the advance copy DVD of the film till my dying day – and given the profuseness with which I am watching it, I suspect that might happen any day. If I do, it will still be worth it!

I am looking forward to personally hosting you for the 2014 Academy Awards in Los Angeles where, undoubtedly, Himmatwala will shine the brightest. Do visit with Jennifer bhabhi.  Farah, Shirish and the triplets as well.

With best regards,

Your totally unworthy friend,



Film Review – Student Of The Year. Makes Me Want To Hit My Head With A Soty!

Here is the only movie review you need to read.

High Achievers : The future Prime Minister, Chief Justice and Corporate Billionaire of India.


I feel small and foolish after having watched the trailer of Karan Johar’s latest lollypop “Student of the Year”. Here I was, happily thinking all these years that school days were the best days of my life. Not once realizing how much more fun and glamorous my teenage years could have been had I gone to a school that didn’t look like a bloody cowshed in comparison to what is on display in SOTY. Here are the reasons for my delayed anguish.

  • Did my school have a catchy name like Saint Teresa? And was it established in 1917, when Mother Teresa was a mere 7 years old but had already been identified by the school’s founders as someone destined for greatness? No.

  • Was my school nestled in the Himalayas, with those glorious mountains the backdrop of the school’s assembly hall? Not only that, was my school also a mere walking distance from the most spectacular beaches in the country? Not really.


  • Did my school have the label of “the most premier educational institution of the country”? Not by a mile.


  • Did every student in my school look like she/he had stepped right out of a Vogue (and Vogue Hommes) catalogue? Frankly, I didn’t even know what Vogue was till I saw Madonna’s video of the song of the same name.


  • Instead of being bamboo-pole gangly, pock marked with acne, with bad hair styles and crooked teeth, Dilton Doiley glasses, and a totally uncool school uniform (ours was white and parrot green – serious!), did we, as 16/17 year olds look anything like the 25-year old stars of the film (who are playing 16/17 year olds)? Frankly, if these “kids” were in my class at the time, I would have been tempted to call them Uncle and Aunty, as I used to call anyone who looked older than 18.


  • Did our Head Master look like Rishi Kapoor? And did he wear a dandy beige Armani suit with a neon green tie? Sadly, no.


  • Was our school parking chock-a-block with Harley-Davidsons and Ferrari convertibles instead of rickety school buses? (And did we all have driver’s licenses at 16?) No and No.


  • Did our school have an Olympic sized heated indoor swimming pool? Complete with audience stands that could accommodate 15000 people? Plus, another recreational infinity pool outside from which school kids would emerge in slow motion wearing skimpy swimming costumes? Hah!


  • Was our school completely bereft of younger students, say of Class XI and below? On the contrary, all I remember of school is loud, annoying little children as far as my spectacled eyes could see.


  • Did we have even a single student who looked like a film star and had the brains of Stephen Hawking? Oh, and who was also a total athletic package like Lance Armstrong? Errm, no.


  • Did girls in my school wear skirts so skimpy that the school authorities were left with no option but to make Brazilian waxing mandatory? No, but clipped nails were an absolute necessity.


  • Did my school have a gym so well endowed that it would make Fitness First Platinum look like an akhara? (More importantly, would kids have been allowed to use said hypothetical gym to stay fit rather than toss themselves around in the dirt of the school playground?) Our school was perpetually under construction for all the years I was there! There was plenty of dirt to go around…who needed a gym?


  • During our school days, were we (16/17 year olds who actually looked 16-17 years old) allowed to go sit at the fanciest bars in town and gulp down shot after shot of vodka? (…and still look like a million dollars, not getting sloshed and not throwing up all over the place. But more importantly, could we have afforded to buy anything more than a Pepsi at the time without making our parents go ballistic?) No chance.


  • Was the entire school brilliant at choreographed group dancing, in the snazzy school convention hall (so brilliantly lit that it would put the glitziest night clubs to shame) where the school DJ and band played a remixed version of ‘Disco Deewane’? Not quite, though a few of us had the original Nazia Hasan LP. And a couple of girls were learning kathak…does that count?

So, there – my sad school days story. I feel thoroughly robbed. Now I will have to watch this new film to fully understand what coulda, woulda, shoulda…..