Tag Archives: Karan Johar

The Good Old Khan Market

The Real Khans (Image from Google Search)

The Real Khans
(Image from Google Search)

The year is 2038, that is, twenty five years from today. The world looks very different. TV serial Pavitra Rishta is finally about to end its legendary run on Zee TV. Prime Minister Rahul Gandhi is expected to lose the next General Elections amid widespread perception of incompetence and fraud, the new multi-coloured  1-Crore Rupee note is the new buzz in town and already in short supply, and Sachin is expected to announce his retirement imminently.

The only thing that hasn’t changed much is Bollywood. Cutting edge movies continue to be made, Item Songs are as raunchy as ever, and Abhishek Bachchan is still waiting to give his first solo hit since his debut 40 years ago. Oh, and one more thing – The Three King Khans still rule Bollywood!

They are meeting today at Shah Rukh’s swanky mansion called Jannat. (Gauri stayed on at Mannat after the divorce) The old boys are reminiscing about their years in the industry over beer, fried boneless chicken and Gelusil.    

 

Salman Khan : Yaar, Arbaaz is forcing me to do Dabanng 14. He says this new one will be better than all the previous ones.

Aamir Khan : How so? When you fart in this one, will it be for real this time?

All of them laugh.

Shah Rukh Khan : Oye Arbaaz, I think I know the real reason why you are making this film.

Arbaaz Khan : What’s that, Bhai Jaan?

SRK : (impishly) Your begum is feeling like doing an item song again, right? Basically, all you are doing is building an entire movie around her item song. Just like the previous 13 Dabanngs!

Aamir sniggers at the suggestion, and Salman and Arbaaz look sheepish now that their secret is out.

Aamir : Abey, haven’t all your heroines retired already? Even Katrina has now, after that awful Mother India remake debacle.

Salman : (genuinely surprised) Oh, you didn’t like it? I thought she was really good! Who else could have played an NRI Mother India so convincingly?

Aamir : (with contempt) Hmpf! Saale, itne saalon mein you couldn’t teach her any acting?

SRK : Sallu Mian teaching acting?

All four laugh again.

 

The doorbell rings. Since only Aamir has fresh batteries in his hearing aids, he is the only one who hears it.

Aamir : I think there is someone at the door.

SRK hops on his motorized scooter and drives to the main entrance. The other oldies follow suit on their scooters. At the door, they find Saif Ali Khan with his daughter.

SRK : Oye, Hello? What are you doing here, Saif Ali?

Saif Ali Khan : (mildly angry) Khan. Saif Ali KHAN. How can you have a Khan meet and keep me out of it?

Aamir : Saif Ali PATAUDI. You are not a Khan, you fraud! You never were and you never will be! Now scoot before I release my 2 Idiots – Sharman and Madhavan – after you.

Saif : This is not fair! I have been as successful a Khan as the bloody three of you, yaar! And look…

Quickly fishes out his visiting card from his wallet.

Saif : Even my visiting card says – Saif Ali KHAN. From Pataudi.

SRK : Aww…that’s cute, Agent Vinod. And don’t think I will not unleash my Ra.One on you just because you show up here hiding behind your daughter, ok?

Saif : Daughter? That’s Kareena, you geriatric idiots! Put on your fucking glasses!

The three real Khans laugh very hard and then immediately break into old man coughing spasms. Saif and Kareena leave the premises in a huff.

 

The men are back in the den, slowly chewing on soft chicken nuggets. Each has been advised by his dentist to be careful about the dentures.

Arbaaz : Bhaiya, tell them about the heroine of the new Dabanng!

Salman digs out his mini iPad from his bag which is also carrying his hot water bottle, emergency hair fixing cream and Viagra.

Salman : Boys, meet my new heroine!

SRK : (observes the picture in the iPad and frowns) New heroine?

Aamir : Abey ullu ke paththey, someone is playing a joke on you! That is Reena Roy. She used to be one of those Nagin type actresses from the 1970s. When we were all in our nikkars!

Salman : (angrily) Arrey kameeno, this is not Reena Roy. This is Heerakshi, Sonakshi Sinha’s daughter. Bloody Assholes!

The other two oldies readjust their reading glasses and have another look. They nod their heads at each other.

SRK : (doubtfully) Helluva resemblance, I must say. (Does not sound completely convinced about the woman’s authenticity)

 

The doorbell rings again. This time the boys decide to race their motorized scooters to the main entrance. Aamir wins the race.

Aamir : (surprised) Abey, who are you?

Fardeen Khan : Fardeen Khan, son of Feroz Khan, requesting permission to join the party.

Salman : Abey, tu pagal hai? We just let the dogs after that Pataudi fellow, but at least he was in films. Have you even worked in films? You look like you run a Halwai shop or something.

SRK : (nodding in agreement) Yeah, he does look like a Halwai. (Calls out loudly for the maid servant) Vimla, did we order any mithai?

Fardeen : (extremely offended) Heyy Baby, Khushi, Jaanasheen – all major box office hits, you bloody pompous assholes!

Aamir : (pretending to think hard) Oh yeah, yeah, I am sort of remembering him now…

SRK : You are?

Aamir : Yeah, he had another film…what was its name again? Oh yes, yaad aaya – NO ENTRY.

The door is slammed shut.

 

Later, after several beers. 

SRK : (wistfully) Yaar, I have had enough of Yash Raj. No more. I can’t play Rahul anymore after the flop.

Aamir : (consolingly) Not a very wise choice for Aditya Chopra to remake his father’s old classic. Is it any surprise that it bombed?

SRK : Well, I think it was because of the title – Jab Tak Haddiyon Mein Hai Jaan. I don’t think people took that to be very romantic. Why couldn’t he just call it – Jab Tak Hai Jaan Mein Jaan – or something like that, like sane people would?

SRK silently takes a swig of Gelusil Liquid.

Salman : (changing topic to lighten the mood, turns to Aamir) I hear your new one is very cutting edge? Planning another trendsetter film?

Aamir : (excitedly) Yes, yes, it’s a psychological science-fiction adult comedy.

Arbaaz : Hein?

Aamir : You remember my old films Talaash and Delhi Belly?

Arbaaz : Yes.

Aamir : So, imagine kind of a rehash of those two genres.

SRK : (finding the mixing of ‘psychological’ and ‘adult comedy’ genres quite strange) And where does the science-fiction part come in?

Aamir : It’s based on the Lunar Mafia. Parts of the film will be shot on the Moon.

SRK : (unconvincingly) I see, I see.

 

The doorbell rings again. By now, the men are annoyed by the constant interruptions.

Salman : (as he opens the door) Oh look what the cat dragged in. It’s Paan Singh Tomar.

Aamir : (gruffly) What do you want, Paan Singh Tomar?

Irrfan Khan : I heard there was a Khan gathering today?

SRK : So, how does it concern you? This is for real, bona fide, Khan heroes only. Not character actors like you.

Salman : Yes, real achievers. Like us!

Aamir : What have you achieved, Pi Patel?

Irrfan : Oh, I guess nothing by your standards. No one is willing to give me romantic hero, or rebel hero, or action hero roles at 70 years of age, that’s for sure.

Salman : Yes, so scoot!

Irrfan : Actually, that is what I came here to tell you. You see, even if you invited me today, I wouldn’t be able to join you. I am off to Los Angeles.

SRK : What for, Billoo Barber?

Irrfan : For the Oscars, na. Didn’t you hear? I am nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award this year. The buzz about my winning the trophy is very strong.

The man bids adieu, slamming the door on the ‘real’ Khans faces.

 

Aamir : (mildly annoyed as he makes a u-turn on his scooter) You know, who cares about the Oscars?

Salman : Yes, who wants worldwide recognition as an actor? I am just happy that people from Bilaspur to Bhatinda idolize me as their God! I am thinking of patenting my pelvic thrust.

SRK : Well, thank God it wasn’t me who got nominated. I don’t want to go through any airport security where they don’t recognize my world famous face.

The men return to the den. They are quite wistful. There is silence, except for Salman’s farts which no one hears anyway. Strangely enough, they are too lost in thought to have even the smell bother them.

Aamir : (finally breaking the silence) Saalon, we have been hares all our lives, running after glittery things that mean nothing. And that kameena kachua just pipped us to the post.

SRK : Yes, yaar, bande mein talent toh hai.

Salman and Arbaaz merely nod.    

Suddenly, Karan Johar’s voice booms on the Public Address system all around the mansion.

Karan Johar : (over the PA) Boys, food is served. Come and get it!

The announcement breaks their reverie.

SRK : (looks at Salman) Ah, anyway, tell me more about Heerakshi. Yeh bata saale, will she play your wife or granddaughter in that film?

The boys laugh and drive their motorized scooters to the dining room.

 

 

No motorized scooters were harmed in the writing of this fictional story. I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013. The theme is SEVEN. This story featured seven people who happen to have the same last name.

 

A Fond Farewell

Over the past year, I have made several friends in the blogging community. One of the nicest and friendliest persons I have come across is Akanksha Dureja. Several weeks ago, she asked me to write a guest post for her blog – the charming Direct Dil Se. I had been mulling over the right topic to choose for her, which was a trifle difficult task given the eclectic choice of subjects that she chooses to write on.

And then, I heard the happy-sad news – Akanksha was moving to the UK for work for a year, most likely longer. The news made me, as I am sure all her other friends too, happy because it is always nice to see your friends flourish in their careers. But sad, too, because it is never easy to part with them. My guest post for her is my way to say Au Revoir, Akanksha – until we meet again.

I know what most of you are doing now – planning your next holiday in the UK, right? After all, no more worries of booking expensive hotel accommodation or paying through your nose for pricey meals! (Oh, did I mention that Akanksha is a great cook?)

 

Do read my post on Direct Dil Se. My first attempt at writing a modern day fairy tale. With the hope that the reality for Akanksha will be even more joyous and eventful than the one I have described!

Akanksha Dureja : The London Diaries

 

See you later, Alligator!

See you later, Alligator!

The Bollywood Mutiny!

Vote for us! We are not just a pretty face.

Vote for us! We are not just a pretty face.

Bollywood was in an unforgiving mood. It had had enough of these godforsaken politicians. After all, how much more nonsense could anyone sane endure? The government, the opposition, in fact all these damned politicians needed to go! Scoot! Vamoose! And Pronto!

As a replacement, the members of the Bollywood fraternity had decided that it was time for India to be run by them instead. This answer had been staring at them in the mirror for a while. Quite literally, actually, because they did like to stare at their mirror often and for extended periods. 

To take this discussion further, an emergency closed-door meeting was taking place at Jalsa, Aaraadhya Bachchan’s swanky crib in Mumbai. The entire film fraternity was in attendance. This was too important a meeting to let egos, personal bickering, camps, height, box-office results, clubs, accent, fisticuffs etc. come in the way. Moreover, the return-gift goody bags that had been promised to all attendees after the meeting, prepared by master artisan Karan Johar himself, were already the talk of the glitterati circuit. Obviously, no one was even remotely interested in staying away from this shindig!

 

Manoj Kumar, Chief Guest : (finally winding up his hour-long speech, in which he had recited poetry and dialogues from deshbhakti films such as Upkaar, Kranti and Clerk) And therefore I say, enough is enough! What have these politicians given us anyway? Same old boring ghisa pita story lines of corruption and violence! No more! It is our turn now! Jai Bollywood! Jai Hind!

The audience starts applauding slowly, after having been woken up in haste by determined elbow kicks from the stray folks who managed to stay awake through the Chief Guest’s discourse, possibly due to pill addiction induced insomnia.

Aamir Khan, Convenor : (stifling a yawn and rubbing his swollen red eyes) So, Friends, fellow Mumbaites, Countrymen, it is, therefore, time for us to wrest control of our nation from these bloody politicians. Guttersnipes, all of them!

Shah Rukh Khan : (excitedly) Hear, hear!

Katrina Kaif : (looking confounded) Eh, but what about Countrywomen? What do you want us to do?

Vidya Balan : (shaking her head) Oh you poor Firangi Phool, by ‘Countrymen’ he meant everyone in the country. Men and Women. But mainly strong, intelligent women like me.

Priyanka Chopra : (looks around pointing to Katrina) How did this foreigner even get into this meeting anyway? Isn’t she from Southall, London or someplace? What is she doing here (breaking into a song) In My Citaaaay! Go back to where you came from, you British Bitch!

Begum Kareena Kapoor : (turning sharply toward Priyanka and tossing her dandruff free hair almost toppling her tiara) Shut up! You mind your own accent, I mean, business!

Shah Rukh Khan : (raising both hands) Ladies, ladies, be quiet. Important matters are being discussed here. Let’s take these petty squabbles outside later so even I can join you!

Aamir Khan : So, as I was saying, Bollywood films have consistently breached the 100 crore mark. That’s more than the GDP of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh put together! Obviously, we are doing something right!

Akshay Kumar : (butting in) Excuse me, but some of us have even breached the 2000 crore mark. Oh wait, not some…only one person has! Me!

Dimple Kapadia whistles from the audience followed by a loud “Woo Hoo!”

Salman Khan : (hisses) Yeah, yeah, we know. We are no bloody Jokers, are we? Some of us are Tigers.

Akshay Kumar : Or Wanted? By the law?

Aamir Khan : (ignores the two and labours on) So, all that is left to be done now is the appointment of the leader of our party – the Bollywood Overseers Of Bharatiya Society. As you know, the leader of the political party that wins the election becomes the Prime Minister.

Sunny Leone : (interrupting) Are you certain that’s the party name we are keeping? “Bollywood Overseers Of Bharatiya Society” or BOOBS for short? And if so, have you chosen a mascot yet? A party symbol?

Aamir Khan : (annoyed) That name has been chosen after careful market research conducted by Mahesh Bhatt Sahab. And please don’t interrupt. Once our leader has been chosen, we will get to the business of selecting the right face to go with BOOBS. Now, talking about the party leader being Prime Minister…

Sonakshi Sinha : (interrupting) Really? Is that how it works? Then how come my father never became PM? He is the most important leader of his party!

Amitabh Bachchan : (turns curiously at her) Hah! Says who?

Sonakshi Sinha : Says he. In our house! All the time!

Reena Roy : (looking at Amitabh) Typical. (Both shake their heads incredulously)

Before Aamir is able to resume, a voice from the back calls out authoritatively.

Ekta Kapoor : (speaking boldly as she walks up front) I should be the Prime Minister. I run the country from 7 pm to 11 pm every day, anyway!

Sajid Khan : (angrily) Ekta Kapoor, you bloody insect from the TV world! What are you doing gatecrashing a Film People Only event?

Shilpa Shetty : (joining in) Yes, we can’t have you small time TV people come here and tell us what to do. Next thing we know, Alok Nath will want to be PM!

Ekta Kapoor : Arrey, I am the lifeblood of this nation!

The whole room erupts into loud guffaws. People have tears of laughter brimming in their eyes. Tiku Talsania is seen rolling on the floor, quite literally.

Ekta Kapoor : Khamosh, Fools! Half of the population of this country – that is, ALL the women – are in my Louis Vuitton handbag! I rule that vote bank! Don’t you forget!

Prem Chopra, Rajneet and Shakti Kapoor, the statisticians in the BOOBS team, are seen to quickly huddle into a whispering tete-a-tete with Mahesh Bhatt. After discussing for a few minutes, Mahesh Bhatt looks up and addresses Ekta Kapoor directly.

Mahesh Bhatt : (firmly) Well, we have confirmed that it isn’t half, as you are falsely claiming, you liar! The sex ratio of our country is already down to 800 and falling fast. Pretty soon, much of your audience will either die out or settle abroad. So shut up. And Get Out of this room!

Ekta Kapoor recoils at the backfire. An old man with jet black hair and pure white shiny shoes gets up agitated and rushes to her side.

Jeetendra : (yelling) Stop shouting at my daughter! (With that, he takes off one of his white shoes and flings it towards Mahesh Bhatt)

Suddenly, there is pandemonium in the room. Unable to bear Jeetendra’s outburst towards his uncle Mahesh, Emraan Hashmi springs out of his chair, picks it up and flings it towards the aging Himmatwala in true Gangster style. This causes everyone to rise to their feet and start tossing whatever objects they can get their hands on. It’s a free-for-all. Microphones, Blackberrys, iPhones, mirrors, hair brushes, compacts, sandals, wigs and toupees, Bentley and Land Rover car keys, nothing is spared. When Salman Khan can’t find anything to lunge and toss, he tears off his ‘Being Human’ t-shirt and flings it across the room barely missing Shah Rukh Khan by an inch.

With great difficulty, order is eventually restored. It is only possible because Karan Johar offers to distribute two return-gift goody bags to each person instead of just the one as earlier promised. That calms people down.

The meeting resumes and Madhuri Dixit gets up to make her case.

Madhuri Dixit : For PM, I have a laat of wourrld experience naao. Efter awl, I have bin living in Amairrica, but have nao returrned to Baambae to rool everything and everybaady. I am in everry rreality TV show. I haiv evolved as somewaan rreelly sooperiur. I am a Regenerist and my pimples are gaan! And my husband is a daacterr! Plus, look at mai teeth! (She pauses to flash her smile exposing ridiculously perfect white teeth)

The audience is unmoved. Possibly because they haven’t understood a word of what Madhuri has just spoken. Some ask for a translator but that request is quickly turned down in the interest of time.

Shah Rukh Khan : But why should we (tosses his index finger at himself, Aamir, Akshay and Salman) look for an old retired actress like you? We already have Hemaji, Rekhaji, Jayaji…wouldn’t we just choose one of them as our PM then? (Looks around searchingly) By the way, where are they? I can’t see those original Lux Beauties anywhere.

The audience repeats his gesture. Everyone looks around searching for the older actresses mentioned.

Salman Khan : (pointing at a dimwitted-looking man with floppy hair sitting by the door) Hey, Darbaan, where are they? Jayaji, Rekhaji, Hemaji? Didn’t they come for this meeting?

Vivek Oberoi : (extremely pissed) I am not the doorman! I am Vivek Oberoi!

All attendees look around quizzically, not knowing who that is. Some wonder if there has been a security breach. ‘Have they just allowed anybody and everybody into this room?’, ‘Who?’, ‘Nonsense, how can he be an actor – just look at him!’ is heard murmured loudly. Vivek Oberoi leaves the room in a huff.

Unperturbed, Salman Khan looks at the other homely-looking young man sitting near the door.

Salman Khan : Sorry, Darbaan, so I was asking…

This time, it is Tusshar who gets up and leaves the room in disgust.

Aamir Khan : (interjecting) Wait, I spot someone who can answer that question. Zeenatji?

Zeenat Aman : (in unbelievably perfect English – the kind that has never been heard in India before) Let me tell you, boys. Those beautiful ladies that you have just alluded to are already in politics. They are all MPs! Obviously, they didn’t want to be a part of this meeting! We are the actresses of the 70’s and 80’s. We have very high morals and dignity!

Aamir Khan : But how about you yourself, Zeenatji? We could all build consensus around you!

Zeenat Aman : Oh, no thanks, my dear friends and fellow fraternity. You see, I may already be taken. Since I may or may not be getting married soon, I will have to decline the offer. But, thank you anyway!

The discussion is back to square one. Just then, someone big and bulky in nothing but chaddis bursts into the room.

John Abraham : Sorry, I am late. I was at the gym. Did I miss anything important?

Bipasha Basu : (dryly) It’s ok, we didn’t even notice you were away. We are just electing our Prime Ministerial candidate, that’s all.

John Abraham : (sounding relieved) Oh, in that case, I am just in time. I’d like to throw my hat in the ring. (He raises his right hand to the back of his head and crinkles his forehead trying to strike the standard pose of a Softhearted Hunk)

The room immediately breaks into loud guffaws again. Everyone laughs hysterically – exactly like they did when Ram Gopal Verma came to them to offer a role in his Sholay remake. This time, Tiku Talsania doesn’t just roll on the ground but even has a massive heart attack while rolling and laughing, and dies. No one notices as his body quietly rolls to the side on its own.

Vidya Balan : (angrily) Stop that Dirty Picture pose, John! We are not talking entertainment, entertainment, entertainment. This is politics, politics, politics!

Aamir Khan : (extremely distressed at where the meeting is going) How the heck do you even consider yourself fit for Prime Ministership? Ok, tell me, do you even know the meaning of ‘Satyameva Jayate’?

John Abraham : Oh come on, stop pulling my leg! Isn’t that just a made up name of an old film? And then you just used it for your reality TV show? Lots of film directors use made up names. You tell me – does ‘Boom Boom Shakalaka’ mean anything? Or ‘Kai Po Che’? They are all made up!

Hritik Roshan : (derisively looks at John and then flexes his own muscles) You fool – ‘Kai Po Che’ is a Gujarati slang! Do you know nothing?

John Abraham : Really? So ‘Satyameva Jayate’ is also a Gujarati slang? I had no idea! (looks around sheepishly)

Hritik and Aamir roll their eyes.

John Abraham : But how did it get so popular? (Suddenly, his face lights up as if a bulb just went off in his head) Must have been coined by Narendra Modi ji! That man is a genius! What a catchy phrase he has created – ‘Satyameva Jayate’. It almost sounds real!

Amitabh Bachchan jumps to his feet at the mention of Narendra Modi and starts applauding loudly. Clearly, the Gujarat CM has connected well with the youth of the nation, including the eternal Angry Young Man.  

Aamir pulls his right hand up to his forehead, draws it in the shape of a handgun and shoots himself.

Taking a cue from the youthful sprightliness of Amitabh, another ‘youthful’ actor rises from his seat to make a case.

Rishi Kapoor : I say, this coveted Leader position belongs to the youth of the country and no one else.

Deepika Padukone : Hein? Uncle, you may have been the original chocolate hero lover boy of Hindi cinema. (Adds politely) But don’t you think that the chocolate is past its expiry date now?

Rishi Kapoor : Oh no, not me! I nominate my son Ranbir for the PM post. After all, the Kapoors are the first family of Bollywood!

Sanjay Dutt : (angrily) Bloody dynastic politics! We have no place for that in our country any more. Look at me, Uncle. I could have followed my dad’s footsteps and become a minister too. But did I? No! And you know why?

Ajay Devgn : (cheekily) Because of your love for AK-47s?

Sanjay Dutt : No, you idiot, because body building is a full time profession, that’s why!

Salman Khan, Sunny Deol and Dharam Paaji spring from their chairs and give a standing ovation for this sterling answer. The 3 sets of hands, each weighing 2.5 kilos, keep clapping until they realize no one else has joined them. That makes them stop and settle down into their chairs a wee bit sheepishly.

Ranbir Kapoor : (makes an angry face and looks at Neetu Singh) Mummy!

Neetu Singh : No, don’t worry, my little Laddo, my pyaare Barfi, we will get you something else!

Meanwhile, noticing that Amitabh has still not stopped applauding after the original Narendra Modi comment, Aamir addresses him directly.

Aamir Khan : (determinedly) Amit Uncle, you are the most senior, most well respected man in this room. Why don’t you take the mantle as our leader?

Amitabh Bachchan : Oh me? Oh no, who has the time? I have a Binani Cement shoot this week, then I fly off to Maldives to shoot for No-Corn Hawaii Chappal ad. As soon as I am back, it’s Hajmola Churan. Next month, Reid and Taylor, followed by Kajrare Kajal, where I am joined by my son and bahu. Then a guest appearance in KJo’s next film, then the next season of Crorepati, Balki’s next film….. (the list continues for the next 17 and a half minutes.)

Some people go off to sleep during this narration.

Amitabh Bachchan : …and some other commitments that we have not firmed up yet. So, looks like I might be free in 2019, but only in the second half. Does that work?

Aamir looks heavenwards, realizing this meeting is not going anywhere. He takes a decision.

Aamir Khan : I am afraid we will just have to adjourn this meeting to a later date. In the meantime, if anyone has any other thoughts on how to dislodge the politicians, do log into www.BIG-BOOBS.reliance.in. As you know, this event is sponsored by Reliance Industries and Big Entertainment. (Looks inquiringly at Abhishek Bachchan who nods back)

Abhishek Bachchan : Ladies and Gentlemen, food has been served at the back lawns. This way, please!

Abhishek leads the assembly towards the assigned area. As he gets there, he sees most serving containers empty and the scared staff shaking their heads and pointing to the woman sitting in the centre table ravaging a chicken tangdi.

Abhishek Bachchan : (incredulously) Where is all the food, honey?

Aishwarya Bachchan : (giggling, as she normally does) Oh, sorry, you people were taking so long in your meeting, I just couldn’t resist starting lunch by myself!

Lara Dutta and Shilpa Shetty look at each other and cluck their disapproval.  

 

 

La Zawaab Film Awards 2013!

Come January each year and the poor Indian plebeians are swamped by a deluge of film awards of all shapes and sizes. Right from Filmfare, Screen, Lux, Zee, Sony, TV Guide, Star Dust and down to Sitara, Manmohak, Charlie, Pappu and their aunt, everyone has their own version of the “biggest and most coveted ever” film awards. Complete, of course, with glittering award functions where identical dance routines are performed to the exact same Bollywood hits.

Amidst all this glamorous vomit, one has to spare a thought for the poor film folks who had the misfortune to be part of successful films of the past year, and who must now bear the brunt of this overenthusiastic adulation. The same names are repeatedly nominated for these zillion awards. For each award function that they deign to attend, there are scores of others that they must find creative ways to wriggle out of.

Here is one such sad story.

We are at the Office of the Organizing Committee of the 2013 La Zawaab Awards, sponsored by the makers of Paan-e-Khaas Paan Masala and Khajana Boutique. The award ceremony is only two days away. The preparations are ongoing but decidedly not very well, going by what is overheard of a conversation between two of the main organizers.

This dialogue has been poorly translated from Gujarati to English.

And the winner is....whoever is available.

And the winner is….whoever is available.

Kokila Behn hangs up the phone dejectedly.

Ramess Bhai (Organizer No.1) : So who was it this time?

Kokila Behn (Organizer No.2) : Vidya Behen.

Ramess Bhai : Let me guess, she can’t make it either. What is her kahaani?

Kokila Behn : You are right, she can’t. But her reason sounds genuine.

Ramess Bhai : What is it?

Kokila Behn : She says she has put on too much weight. The saree she bought especially for our awards function has become too tight. She has nothing to wear now and so she can’t come. I feel too much bekdis with butter she is eating.

Ramess Bhai : Oh no! Can’t she get another saree? Like a XXL size or something?

Kokila Behn : I suggested the same. She said there isn’t enough time. She said her fashion designer Sabji Bhaaji was in Calcutta for Puja.

Ramess Bhai : Puja? Durga Puja? In January?

Kokila Behn : Maybe those Bengali lok do it twice a year? I have never been to Calcutta myself.

Ramess Bhai : Hmm…sounds like an excuse to me. And who is this designer Sabji Bhaaji?

Kokila Behn : Who knows. Aisa hi kuch bola usney. She said she only wears his clothes.

Ramess Bhai : Made up excuse! Like Kareena. Hers didn’t sound genuine either.

Kokila Behn : What did she say?

Ramess Bhai : Dandruff. She says she has too much dandruff and so can’t come.

Kokila Behn : Hah! Who can believe that? Isn’t she constantly applying Head and Shoulders?

Ramess Bhai : How people lie…

Kokila Behn : So, who are we left with?

Ramess Bhai : Well, so Priyanka is out because of she is preparing for Granny awards, and Kareena, and now Vidya. And Sridevi dropped out a week ago.

Kokila Behn : Arrey not ‘Granny’, ‘Grammy’! She only sings Engliss music now. And that Sridevi! I still don’t understand why she was speaking to us in Tamil! You remember when we took her call on speakerphone? I didn’t understand a word she was saying!

Ramess Bhai : Tamil? I thought she was speaking in Hindi!

Kokila Behn : No, it was definitely not Hindi. I think she was speaking in Tamil. Or maybe in Engliss…?

Ramess Bhai : Well, it was definitely not Engliss. Wouldn’t we have understood what she was saying if it was Engliss?

Kokila Behn : Yes, true…

Ramess Bhai : Anyhow, good that you had the foresight to pretend that the line was not clear and asked her to send us an SMS instead.

Kokila Behn : Which she promptly did. With a decline.

Ramess Bhai : How sad!

Kokila Behn : That leaves us with only Katrina Behen who is coming for the awards night.

Ramess Bhai : Which means our Best Actress award will have to go to her.

Kokila Behn : Such a pity.

Ramess Bhai : But what can we do? No option!

Kokila Behn : And on the men’s side?

Ramess Bhai : Well, there’s Akshay Kumar.

Kokila Behn : Arrey? What happened to Aamir Khan? I thought he was coming?

Ramess Bhai : He said he has to go to a village in Jharkhand that day. Or maybe he said Chhatisgarh? It wasn’t Bihar…No, definitely Uttarakhand…he said he was going to Uttarakhand. Or UP?

Kokila Behn : Oh saala! Why?

Ramess Bhai : To judge a kabaddi match! How the hell would I know?

Kokila Behn : You should have asked…

Ramess Bhai :  And said what? Don’t go feed water to the poor suffering farmers of that village, come here instead because we want to give you a prize? Chee! Sounds cheap.

Kokila Behn : You know, he scares me.

Ramess Bhai : He scares me, too! In fact, he was so intense on the phone that the connection broke!

Kokila Behn : Wow!

Ramess Bhai : So the men are out as well – Salman Bhai – court case, Ranbir – because his mummy-papa said no, Ajay Devgn – because Yash Chopra’s accountant was attending the function…

Kokila Behn : And Shah Rukh because he wanted to host and perform.

Ramess Bhai : Too much, this man. Limelight Hogger kahin ka!

Kokila Behn : When we have already selected apna Paresh Bhai to host!

Ramess Bhai : Oh yaarab this Best Actor trophy will have to be given to Akshay Kumar!

Kokila Behn : We should have nominated Irrfan Khan when we had the chance.

Ramess Bhai : Hindsight 20:20 hai!

Kokila Behn : That makes Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar our award winners. The Best Actor and Actress in India.

Silence

Ramess Bhai : Well, certainly better than our choice of Best Director and Best Film.

Kokila Behn : That film wasn’t all that bad, was it?

Ramess Bhai : Well, what choice to we have now, anyway?

Kokila Behn : By the way, Karan has asked for 3 extra trophies besides his own – one each for his 3 stars. He wants them all to be in golden colour, with a platinum top and with diamond rivets going down each side.

Ramess Bhai : Gadhedo saala! Chalo, let’s talk to Mansukh Bhai in Surat then. Let’s see what trophies he comes up with.

Kokila Behn : Has anyone even confirmed that they are definitely attending?

Ramess Bhai : Yes, Zarina Wahab.

Kokila Behn : Ok good! At least the Lifetime Achievement award is all set then.

  

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…..