Teacher Teacher, Can you Teach Me?

Well, it's official. Tomorrow my 5 year old son will step over the threshold into his Grade 1 classroom. Gone are the days when I get to let him sleep in (thus procrastinating my wake up time). Gone are the days when I can steal an afternoon cuddle. Gone are the days when the only homework is to practise saying Carly's kangaroo is cute. I guess at some point you have to hope you have done a good job in their most formative years and hand them off (at least temporarily) to their teachers to continue teaching them all the stuff you've forgotten about in your adult years.

Anyway, amongst all the back to school shopping I got thinking about teachers. There's really all kinds and I've experienced everything from the kind that sits you in the front of the class for giving an ill-timed whoopee in the middle of fractions to the band teacher that you had a serious crush on in high school to the distinguished professor who you looked up to and drank beside in college. Here's a look at the teachers that Bollywood has offered to me so far.

Sushmita Sen - Chemistry teacher, Main Hoon Na
I think if all chemistry teachers looked like Sushmita, we'd have a lot of really stupid chemists in the world. This was the first movie I saw Sushmita in, and, while I don't think she solved a single problem on the blackboard, she sure had a lot of chemistry with an equally sizzling Shah Rukh.

Ability to mold young minds: 1/5 Unless we are talking about the "saree factor" lesson! Girls listen up, look like a lady to catch that guy with the greasy hair you secretly lust after.
Teaches by example: 0/5 Experiments and laboratories have no place in this teacher's world. I'm pretty sure she carried some books though.
Experiences life altering lesson from students: 0/5 None that I can recall unless it's okay to date students.
Hotness factor: 5/5 Like I said, Sushmita is over the top sexy in this film. I think even I would lose myself to daydreams in class.
Overall teaching score: 1/5
Do they give chemistry degrees at the school of "Next Top Model"? Sushmita's sex appeal, however, is enough to make anyone's "beaker" explode!

Shah Rukh Khan - music teacher, Mohabbatein
Raj Aryan Malhotra arrives at all boy school in hopes of changing the views of one very strong willed headmaster through corrupting the sex-starved minds and bodies of three young, very impressionable men.

Ability to mold young minds: 4/5 So minds are taught to love, not learn, but it's still molding no matter how you look at it.
Teaches by example: 2/5 Did anyone actually learn to play an instrument in this film? I saw Raj teaching I'm pretty sure, but the lesson inevitably lead to flashbacks or lessons on love.
Experiences life altering lesson from students: 0/5 I think if any lesson should have been passed on to Raj it should have been only love that which you can touch (though I imagine lusting after a ghost would result in lots of touching of another kind).
Hotness factor: 4/5 Well, the hair is perfect, the face is perfect, the body is perfect, but I want to take a whip to Shah's costume designer. Turtle necks and over the shoulder sweaters belong on the rich snobby type in the Hamptons on a cool fall day not on Shah ever! Karan if that was you, tsk tsk!!!
Overall teaching score: 3/5
Shah can teach me anything, anytime of any day as far as I'm concerned - I promise to be a very willing and open student!

Aamir Khan - art teacher, Taare Zameen Par
Admittedly, it's been a while since I saw this, but it was my very first Aamir Khan film and I remember it being a beautiful and especially heart warming film, though to be honest it's Darsheel Safary that gives the movie it's heart and soul. But what would a student be without a teacher?

Ability to mold young minds: 5/5 Molds minds young and old in this one.
Teaches by example: 5/5 Ram practises what he preaches for sure. Just don't follow his dancing skills.
Experiences life altering lesson from students: 0/5 I don't remember him learning anything. All the lessons were on the other end.
Hotness factor: 3/5 With his faux hawk, pointy ears and eyebrows, Ram is a peculiar looking man, but I still find him strangely attractive sometimes. I guess it's not all about looks sometimes.
Overall teaching score: 4/5
Ram Shankar Nikumbh is the quintessential teacher, modern in his thinking and approach to his students. He cares about the welfare of his students over all else. So he dresses like a weird troll-clown every once in a while. Everyone has their fetishes!

Boman Irani - college dean, 3 Idiots
The one thing I have to give credit to Boman for is he is a master character actor. He is just about perfect as the autocratic tyrannical Virus. Students either mock him or fear him and it feels just right.

Ability to mold young minds: 1/5 for perfecting the kiss ass
Teaches by example: 0/5 Unless the example is how to suck the life out of your students, literally
Experiences life altering lesson from students: 5/5 There's nothing that a handmade labour vacuum can't do!
Hotness factor: 1/5 I think sometimes power = sexy, so that's Virus' only point, though some could be into the tight little afro and chest high pants look!
Overall teaching score: 1/5
Virus' only salvation is that, like any good self-delusional teacher, he does experience a breakthrough it the end that could only be delivered by a lesson delivering man-boy.

Shahid Kapoor - dance instructor, Chance Pe Dance
Okay, so I'm really stretching it here, since Sameer just kind of ends up temporarily falling into a teaching position, but when all is said and done he does end up leave some impact upon his impressionable dance deprived youths, if only how to do a step ball change.

Ability to mold young minds: 2/5 You won't be made fun of if you do something well and in shiny clothing
Teaches by example: 5/5 If I wanted someone teaching me dance, it would probably be Shahid. He's got the moves for sure!
Experiences life altering lesson from students: 2/5 Nothing like helping a bunch of kids you initially hated to make you realize you need to reach for your dreams too. Think of them as little stepping stones on your way to stardom!
Hotness factor: 5/5 The hotness level is off the charts for Shahid in this film. It was really just a matter of time before the shirt came off and those delicious abs were on display in full view. mmmmmm.... excuse me while I cue up Pump it Up
Overall teaching score: 3/5
An awful high score for someone who didn't want to be a teacher in the first place. If Sameer was played by, oh let's say, Bobby Deol, it probably wouldn't have been so generous.

So to all the parents out there sending kids to school this week, I raise my glass and say thank god summer is over!!!

Shah & Gauri sitting in a tree...

When I heard that Shah and Gauri were going to be starring together in a commercial for D'Decor, I have to admit I was not one of those fans that squealed in delight. Honestly I find Gauri cold and impersonal, which probably suits her in real life (Lord knows it's got to be a hard job being the celebrity wife of someone so entirely huge as Shah), but can she warm up to the camera? Who knows. I guess we'll see when the commercial for D'Decor home furnishings finally airs.

In the mean time, here's some pics from a recent press conference.

Gauri showing some kind of emotion! She looks very pretty and engaging in these. Maybe there's hope for this commercial after all.

Have a great Thursday!

He's Back with a Dabaang!

Stop the presses!

Lord help me, but I am excited about Salman Khan's new production Dabaang, which is completely uncharacteristic for me since it's not a secret he's not one of my actors of choice. However, I can recognize that there's really only a handful of today's Bollywood men that can successfully pull off the brawn that's required in a good action packed masala flick. Even though I wasn't on the "we love Wanted" bangwagon, I can see some of Salman's funny charm coming out in this role as Chulbul Pandey, which is surely going to be as epically good and Veer was epically bad.

The awesome trailer...

While I don't consider Sallu the best dancer, his moves sure do entertain! Mallika Sherawat and Salman, as he attempts to bring a buff Village People look to the big screen. What's not to love!

And the newest song promo...

Once again, I will be waiting to see this on dvd, along with so many others that have come through the theatre. Moving to the city sure does sound enticing some days!

Sallu bhai I salute you!

Happy Independance Day!

I adore India and all I've learned about it in the last 2 years, the good and the bad. While I've yet to actually visit, the piggy bank is filling up and I know that I will make it one day! In the mean time, I relish all that I get to experience via film, music, the web and friends. Join me in wishing India a very Happy 63rd Independence Day.

Jai Hind!!!


It has been ages since I did a film review, and just about as long since I saw this one. Chaahat was brought over to me from a wonderful dear friend who lives in the UK. He said it was an early Shah Rukh film that was hard to come by. I had never heard of it, so I had zero expectations but as the credits started rolling but I saw the names Shah Rukh, Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah, I got excited! Also this movie was directed by Mahesh Bhatt, who was responsible for one of my favorite early Shah films Duplicate.

Shah plays Roop Singh Rathod, the musically gifted son to once musically gifted father Shambunath (Anumpam). Melodrama strikes early when we learn that dad is sick and needs medical attention in the big city which is costly. Roop, who loves his father dearly, heads to the big mean city of Mumbai to find a job singing. As luck would have it, he gets hired by the commanding and tough Ajay Narang (Nass), who has a very protective and an almost unnatural love for his sister Reshma (Ramya Krishna). Things are going very well for Roop. He meets the girl of his dreams, Dad seems to be on the mend, and he's got a great gig singing for the rich. Too bad Reshma decides to go all Fatal Attration on Roops ass. What Mahesh treats us to for the rest of the movie is a culmination of sweet romantic moments, crazed jealous bitch fights, and a little Shah dishoom complete with the all too famous mouth blood element.

I loved Shah in this film. There's still quite a few of his early movies I've yet to see, and I imagine there not all great films, but it's so interesting to see where he's came from and how he's grown. Though he's a polished actor now, it's refreshing sometimes to see the young, vulnerable, naive side to him. The dance sequence for Nahin Lagta shows him at his intense best. What I wouldn't give to see him REALLY dance nowadays. His performances on stage lately seem, I don't know, slightly wooden in the boogie down sense.

Nass was so mean in this film, and I'm not talking the evil villainish type of mean like in Krrish, but cold, calculated mean. Like you don't want to piss him off or do wrong by someone he loves if you want to live. Yet, despite the eerie volcanic personality, he comes across as one totally classy guy. Rich, good looking, powerful, and played just wonderfully, like there's ever any other option. Ramya Krishna too was really good at the jealous obsessed lover of sorts. I totally bought her crazy 100%.

Pooja Bhaat and Anupam Kher were just okay for me, with Anupam getting brownie points for being the coolest dad in a film I've seen recently. Personally I think Shah had more chemistry with the horse than with Pooja, but that's just me.

Overall Mahesh doesn't score nearly as high on the entertainment scale with this one as he did with Duplicate, but it is a definite watchable film for any Shah fan. Does true love conquer all? It could, just watch your back.

Top 5 Thursday - Love Stories

Aaw love, sweet love. What would life be without that one emotion that pretty much spawns all the other emotions? Love begets passion, jealousy, romance, frustration, confusion, obsession, friendship. Sometimes we feel love immediately (like when you dig into a delicious piece of black forest cheesecake, or "love at first sight" if you believe in that sort of thing). Sometimes you don't know you're in love until someone tries to take it away from you (Yes, I'm looking at you waiter who tried to take away my cheesecake before I was done). All kidding aside, there have been thousands of movies based on the idea of love and relationships, probably more than any other subject out there, so attacking a subject like favorite love stories may seen daunting. I'm going to list a few of my all time favorites - the ones that I could watch over and over again and still get that lump in my throat when I'm done.

#5 - Moulin Rouge

With it's wonderfully opulent sets, costumes and strangely rearranged music, Baz Luhrmann would have had a beautifully looking movie, but it's the performances by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman that elevate this film to ethereal levels for me. Moulin Rouge isn’t just a love story, it is a LOVE ANTHEM. A cinematic sonnet de amour carried out on absinthe and opium all for your dining pleasure.

*spoiler end scene*

This film pretty much covers the entire dictionary on love. The thrill of it. The joy of it. The danger of it. The inconvenience of it. The pain of it. Every single wonderful tumultuous moment of love boiled into a 2 hour love fest that makes you drunk. Lovedrunk.

#4 - Beauty & the Beast

Not only is it one of the most well known tales of all time, but I think it is one of Disney's very best adaptations. Enchanting and sweepingly romantic, we get to see the gradual love develop between independent free spirit Belle and the once human prince turned emotionally unavailable Beast. Look past the surface and you will see people facing difficult choices and uncertain consequences. When Belle finally reveals her true feelings you don't even care that there's an *ahem* small bestiality component.

I love this movie so much I had a set of 4 lithographs framed and I saw the theatrical production which was fantastic. Timeless and classic. There's nothing quite like a fairytale ending!

#3 - When Harry Met Sally

Rob Reiner is the king of romantic comedies for me because of this film. When Harry Met Sally is a brilliant observation on modern life, romance, men, women, friendship, and sex. Kind of like the couple's Sex & the City, but with more heart. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are an absolute perfect pair. Every line is real. Every inch of attraction irrefutable. Nora Ephron crafts a screenplay flawlessly, aligning broad comedy and seasoned pondering so that they spring from the same catalysts. Rob Reiner keenly gift-wraps it for us, with the thematic progress and humor reassured, but it is never disingenuous. When that New Year's clock begin to chime, you know you want your happy ending, even if what follows it is sure to be dysfunctional.

Sometimes fan vids can be almost better than what studios crank out, so check out this "horrific" take on this funny lovable film. Too hilarious!

#2 - The Princess Bride

I read the book by William Goldman when I was in my teens, and though it is way better than the movie (which book isn't?), Rob Reiner did an incredible job translating what he could in the time limit afforded to Hollywood movies. Now this would be wonderful to adapt into a Bollywood film, don't ya think? Now I know it's much more than just a love story and some of the supporting characters have much more interesting subplots (Inigo Montoya anyone!) than the insipid Robin Wright Penn, but overcoming insurmountable odds we find Westley dodging everything from pirates to poison to electrocution to find and rescue the woman that he loves above all else.

#1 - Kal Ho Naa Ho

This movie, though not my first Bollywood, will always be near and dear to my heart because it was the movie where my own love story with Shah Rukh evolved from. What I now know as a typical Kjo movie, KHNH, at its base, has got a sweet and selfless love story involving the kind of man that surely doesn't truly exist, but it's nice to imagine they do. The love triangle between Aman, Naina and Rohit is chalk full of tender and funny moments, and is one of those films that you're not quite sure who you want to see the girl with. I say Rohit is all yours Naina, so I can have Aman all to myself.

So there you have it. It's hard to list a top 5 for a topic like this, there are so many good romantic love stories out there. Other movies that I went gaga over that didn't make the cut include Titanic (which I saw 8 times in the theatre and then made a scrapbook with pics and dialogue nearly line for line afterwards. Yes, I am that kind of fangirl!), Dirty Dancing (again, I think I've seen this movie about 30 times since I first saw it. Who else practiced that last dance over and over until they got it down pat? Not me.), and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge just because it is the ultimate romantic Hindi movie (however, I've really only seen it once, so, as adorable as Shah and Kajol are in it, it will remain off for now).

What are your favorite love stories?

Happy Birthday Kajol

Yes I am still alive.

Some days it doesn't feel like it though, especially last month when I learned that I suffered from gallstones. After spending nearly a week in the hospital, I came home with bruised IV spots on my arms that seemed to take forever to heal and the knowledge that if I had another attack I would need to go back to the hospital and have the entire darn thing removed. Why they didn't just do it while I was there I'll never know (this is the same place that lost the results for my ultrasound for 4 days). But I am a stubborn soul, and have a life to tend to, so I went about my business until a really big attack landed me back for another 6 days and I am now gallbladder free and slowly on the mend. In the mean time, I'm home, and am going to try and get back to my normal life, and that means MOVIES!

So I just wanted to extend happy birthday wishes to one of my favorite actresses, Kajol, who was one of my first lady loves and still has the power to draw me in to her films. I am very much looking forward to We Are Family. I think the female power of Kajol vs. Kareena is going to be stellar!

Though there's a slew of films of Kajol's that I haven't seen, but lots of my favorites include My Name Is Khan, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Fanaa, U Me Aur Hum and Baazigar. It's no wonder I think Kajol and Shah are magic!

So Happy 36th my almost birthday twinsie!