GOLMAAL AGAIN – REVIEW

Disclaimer:  To all who are reading, this is my opinion only.

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We, the masses generally hear Golmaal and jump for joy, this time we also heard Parineeti Chopra in Golmaal Again and cried with joy whilst jumping.  Like the majority of the people in my generation, including Parineeti, we have literally grown up watching Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal movies so having someone of our generation be a part of this legendary franchise is awe-striking.  Now all who know me, know that I’m a seriously crazy Parineeti fan so naturally more emphasis was paid to the movie and so was attention to detail.

When a hear Golmaal, we’re instantly reminded of extreme bouts of laughter and the many memorable discussions around the films, we’ve had with family and friends.

Golmaal Again is DIFFERENT!!!… Not entirely, but mostly!!!  We all loved the super cars and the action that came with previous movies of the Golmaal franchise, lest to say, it’s absence in this movie was not missed.

Director:  For me, Rohit Shetty is an incredible man!!! To be able to handle a cast and crew that’s so huge, takes someone really special.  His vision for such large scale, maasi movies is unfathomable.  When you watch Golmaal Again, it’s evident that Rohit knew exactly what he wanted to achieve and what he expected from each of his cast and crew.  There was a steady flow to the movie, it was smooth and clear.  This can only come from the direction of someone who himself is so clear about what he wants.  Golmaal Again was extremely well directed and coordinated Rohit.

Story:  Most unexpected story for a Golmaal movie!!! Totally unconventional.  Though certain historical concepts of the film franchise remained intact, the story of Golmaal Again was certainly a breath of fresh air.  I felt that from the beginning to the end, the story was clear, however, the “twists in the tale” made for an even more interesting watch.  Without giving away any surprises in the movie, sparing the ones who’ve not watched it yet, I think by now, everyone is aware that the movie has a haunted, “ghostly” angle to it and this was really the turning point for the Golmaal Franchise.  The script was really well conceptualized. To the person who wrote the dialogues, hats off to you!!! The humour was hysterical, witty yet nonsensical, but a scream nonetheless. The more serious dialogues too were well thought off.

Characters:  I’m not being cliched when I say this, but each and every character was brilliant!!! Their deliverance of their roles were faultless.  Shreyas Talpade, for me was superb.  I felt that he was just something else. Tabu played her character with much grace and she looked stunning to say the least.  Ajay Devgn, Tusshar Kapoor, Kunal Khemu, Arshad Warsi, Johnny Lever,  Sanjay Mishra, Neil Nitin Mukesh and all supportive characters too did a spendid deliverance of the characters they brought to “life” or “death”, so seemlessly.

Parineeti Chopra:  Again, I’m not being biased when I say this, but Rohit Shetty made the best decision when he chose Parineeti to be a part of this historical franchise, especially after fans of Golmaal have waited 7 years for another installment.  She was “Unbelievable”, pun intended, in the way she performed.  She gave a solid performance and plays the most pivital role in the movie. Like in reality, shes the “heart and soul” of those she’s around.  Though I felt that the first half could have focused a little more attention on her, the second half definitely made up for that.  Parineeti Chopra may be young and just 7-8 films old but the girl has talent that will rival many who’ve been around for decades.  What reflects so brightly is her dedication to whatever she’s doing.  From facial expressions to body language, silence to raising her voice, laughter to tears, the girl is incredible.  You will love her in the movie. Well done Parineeti, you have matched up to the legends on their own playround!!!

Overall Review:  The film was an all-in-all entertainer from the beginning to the end.  It was enjoyable and easy on both the heart and mind.  It was refreshing and full of “life”.  It’s a movie that you can keep going back to.  The songs were beaty, colourful and “naach-mastii” type, with a nice touch of nostalgia which leaves us with a great music album as well.  The love for the movie and it’s overwhelming response and box office collections reflect the purety of it and crowds worldwide are  still queuing up to get their tickets to watch the movie.  It’s worth every bit of money you pay and it will leave you wanting to go back.

I rate Golmaal Again 🌟🌟🌟🌟/5.

For those who have not yet watched the movie, I suggest that you do, it’s the best thing you’ll do this weekend.

*** Thank you to SterKinekor – Suncoast, Durban. South Africa for bringing India to us NRIs by showing each movie that releases in cinemas in India, here too***

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MY ANSWER TO MR NICE GUY ON HIS 18th BIRTHDAY!!!

I vaguely remember seeing a direct message from someone called Parineeti.Chopra.My.Heartbeat sometime in December 2016.  Due to being inundated with DMs, I do not usually “allow” messages. The name obviously caught my attention beacuse it had Parineeti in it, that comes without saying for me.  I read the introductory message but replying meant I’d have to allow the chat, which at that stage I wasn’t ready to do.  I smilpy smiled to myself and thanked God that my Pari was finding her way into more and more hearts.
 
On 31st December 2016, I saw another message from the same person.  This time it said “Hi Ma’am, wishing you a very Happy New Year… Ma’am my exams are near, please pray for me, please please”.

How could I not allow that chat?!! He obviously got my attention and so I allowed the chat.  It was the best descicion I made as I ended 2016 and embraced 2017.

As I started to reply to his messages, randomly at first, I got to know that his name is Arbaaz Khan from Jammu but who lives in Mumbai for study.  He was seriously very sweet and his passionate, unadulterated, pure love for his super star Parineeti Chopra was incredible.  I’m the sort of person who checks out who I’m talking to and so I naturally scanned his posts and statuses regarding Pari.  They were amazing.  

I later learned that he loved to write, something I love too, and poetry at that!!! By now he had my full attention.  We started following each other across social media sites and eventually ended up exchanging mobile numbers for Whatsapp. 

By now, his “Ma’am” had turned to “Didi” and when the happens, the person is stuck with me for life. Liking and retweeting each others posts became a thing and tagging each other came with the territory.  We both shared other common “Online Friends”, 2 of whom we both are particularly close to.

The four of us started a group and we call ourselves the “Pari Warriors”… Parineeti Chopra is our focus and we all bond on many levels due to her.  She is a part of everything we do and everything we stand for on the media front. 

Getting back to Arbaaz, his poetry and wisdom, his intensity and internal pain, his caring nature and constant need to want to make others happy reminded me of myself so much… It was like me in another person.  Arbaaz and I became closer and then one day, some 2 months ago he asked me, “Didi am I a worthy somebody who can be trusted? And if you say No, I’m okay with it beacuse you’re my sis and I know you’re honest “.

This puzzled me, not the question, but the need to ask that kind of question, especially knowing the fact that if he was not any of those, I would NEVER be entertaining him.
Lest, I tried to avoid answering the question, not to be rude but to try and decifer why he would ask this. 
To add to my dilema, Arbaaz kept asking for my answer.

Finally I told him that when I do something, I do it to the best of my ability and so when I gave him an answer to his question (which may sound trivial to others), I wanted to give him one that he could reflect on and learn from.  The God’s were good to me, Arbaaz had stopped asking!!! Maybe he thought I was not interested or perhaps I didn’t know how to tell him he’s so despicable that I want to scream… whatever he was thinking, I was just glad he stopped asking so I could give him his answer properly.

Today, on your special day, your 18th birthday, I want to give you my answer to your question Arbaaz, in 18 points which signify how I see you as a person, as a man, as a brother and fan.

1.  KIND – I have come across alot of people on media, 90% of whom are there for their own glorification and needs.  Arbaaz is one person who falls into that 10% group of rare people who are there to genuinely and wholeheartedly care about others.


2.  CARING
– Earlier this year I was critically ill for about a month, Abraaz never failed to message me, a good few times a day, to remind me to take my meds, to look after myself and that too, he did it with Parineeti memes which he edited for me.  Arbaaz your love and prayer daily, definitely helped me heal.  I couldn’t thank you enough.


3.  SELFLESS
– Again during my illness, I was in depression but it was Arbaaz who encouraged me, who made me laugh, who sent me edits of what he thought Pari would say if she were there… he just never let go… he stayed by my side and tolerated me till I was stable again.  All this time he was going through his own pain and troubles but never allowed that to take precedence over me.  He does this with all the people he cares for. 


4.  RESPECTFUL
– Gosh respect is something that’s flown out the door faster than a man who has a hard poo on board… It’s something that will soon belong to the same category of dinosaurs…EXTINCT!!!
If there was any hope of finding a guy who was so respectful that he put you yourself to shame, it is Arbaaz.  He exudes respect and loses his mind when someone is disrespectful to someone he cares about… I’ve witnessed this first hand. 


5.  STRONG-HEADED
– Oh God, this guy is one hard nut and trying to crack him once he’s made his mind up about something, is almost impossible… unless you’re his Didi of course 😉
Seriously though, Arbaaz is focused and keeps to his word.  If he says something, he delivers and if he’s decided about something of someone , the deal is sealed permanently.  This has it’s perks and it’s disadvantages too.  Though I haven’t had the need to say it to him, I do believe in second chances so maybe if the need does arise, he would listen to what I’d have to say.


6. TRUSTWORTHY
– The truth be told, I would gladly place my life in his hands and not give it a second thought.  Arbaaz, I speak for myself when I say this, but really, you’re one of the very few people in my life who I actually open up to about personal things.  I trust you blindly and I pray it remains that way forever.


7.  LOVE
–  When Arbaaz loves someone, it’s forever… so far I’ve experienced his undying love as a brother and I can bare testament to his love for Parineeti as a fan.  I know that he’s a one woman man and so when that lucky girl becomes a part of his life, she will be treated better than royalty… speaking of royalty, the word loyalty rhymes, but is also a character trait in Arbaaz that I’m in awe of.  He’s so genuinely loyal, sometimes I wonder if he’s real. 

8.  DEEP – Poetry, the need to make people happy, allowing pure love to flow like wine without any expectations speaks of someone who is deeper than meets the eye, who’s pained and hurt so never wants the same to happen to someone else.  His knack of writing the most beautiful poetry is amazing. He writes Parineeti a new poem or two daily. 
Arbaaz gives 500% of his self to others and never asks for anything in return.  This puts the majority of us to shame. 


9 to 18 – PARI WARRIORS LOVE YOU –

Arbaaz, I mentioned that I will give you your answer in 18 parts to signify 18 years of your existence… Points 1-8 could be explained.  Points 9-18 just cannot be justly explained as they are filled with love, adoration, respect and affection for you from me and the other 2 Pari Warriors.  
Words could never suffice to explain what you mean to us.  When you’re sad, we are worried beyond, when I know you’re unwell, I feel like I can’t breathe, when you’re angry, we all are on tender hooks… when you’re happy, we are all more zealous about everything and we strive to live up to being someone as wonderful as you are.
You are more special than you could imagine Arbaaz !!!

***A NOTE FROM KRITI DUTTA***

Arbaaz Khan, some people know him as a Parizaada, some know he’s a Shayar, some have him as a friend. I know him as a person (I think I do). I’m glad to have him as a friend. I’ve not seen any guy like Arbaaz !! He is a true fanboy, a warrior… Someone who can fight with anyone for his love, Parineeti!!! He’s ever ready to help everyone but never expects anything in return. He’s one of the best people I’ve met on social media. Even I don’t remember how many times he has helped me in past 6-7 months!!!

So now you are turning 18… May God bless you with happiness and success. Bhagwan se yehi dua hai ki tumko tumhari BINDU jaldi mil jaaye!!!… Oops sorry, I mean “Khatarnaaak mixture of BINDU + MEETA + ZOYA”

Aur haan, please for God’s sake, start smiling!!!
Always remember there are 1000 reasons to cry, to be sad… But all you need to do is look for 1 reason that brings happiness to you!!! Stay Blessed and Healthy…HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHAYAR SAHAB!!!


*** A NOTE FROM TAIYABA QURESHI ***

Everyone has a good friend, but my friend’s name is ARBAAZ!!! He is such a wonderful guy!!!

For Me Friendship Meanz
-respect
-a good listener
-does what is hard to do just for you
-will give you a smile whenever you are sad…
Arbaaz trust me, you have all those qualities!!! You are such a great  soul Arbaaz. You’re always teaching me the right way whenever I go wrong and for that,  am thankful to Allah, for giving me such a good friend like you.

Good friends are like stars, you don’t always see them but you know they are always there!!!
You’ve helped me alottt Arbaaz, especially when I started my Fan Club for our Parineeti Chopra!!! 
I remember no one was there except you. You had suggeted to me the things I should do and you’ve been tolerating me and my stupidity for the last 5-6 months!!!

Thank you so much for being with me and last but not the least, I want to say keep smiling, stay happy and I wish you loads of love & happiness!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR KHAN!!!
*** A NOTE TO YOU FROM MY MOM ***

A very happy birthday to you Arbaaz, although I have not met you, you are a very dear member of our family as Riona speaks so highly of you. I am extremely proud of you.  Continue doing what you are doing becuase only good things can come to someone with a beautiful heart like yours. God bless you Son.

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So Arbaaz, I hope that you are satisfied with my answer to your question!!!… Sorry that I took so long but I wanted it to be as special as you are.  YES YOU ARE A TRUST WORTHY PERSON!!! But much more than that too!!!

The reason I call you Jigar is because that’s exactly what you are to me… MY JIGAR KA TUKRA!!!

Here’s wishing you only good things in life Mr Nice Guy, may you never know any more pain, heartache, disappointment or hardship… I pray that from here on, you just keep rising!!!

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 18th BIRTHDAY ARBAAZ KHAN – Yours Forever: Riona Balgobind, Kriti Dutta and Taiyaba Qureshi
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… MERI PYAARI BINDU …

A very rare sort of film which takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions as it portrays to us a side of love that we all experience but which has never been capture and illustrated quite like this before.

The film is, as cliched as everyone’s description of it has become, “nostalgic”.  You cannot help but be sent back in time, mostly that of the 80’s and 90’s. 

Meri Pyaari Bindu is not a fast pased film but neither is it slow… It’s pased well enough to allow for viewers to live the lives of the main characters Bindu and Abhi and probably relate their own stories to it as well.


DIRECTOR:

Akshay Roy, the Debutante Director has created a masterpiece with this film.  What comes across so evidently through out the film is this man’s mindset of being “unconventional”.  He never gives away the full story, he will keep you guessing, he forces you to think “out of the box” and he just doesn’t stop the film from entertaining you.

Unlike other thousands of movies, Meri Pyaari Bindu leaves you guessing, thinking…

Perhaps it was a love story, perhaps it was friendship, understood, misunderstood, told, untold, realised or in denial… The film keeps you wondering.  Akshay Roy has a knack of making you almost pre-empt what’s about to happen and when you’re right there, he pulls the rug from under your feet.

Often audiences are geared up for the typical “soppy” love story, of course with its unneeded heaps of “glitz and glam”… Meri Pyaari Bindu is the opposite!!! The film stays true to reality and allows you to appreciate the raw beauty and talent of its characters, with the correct dose of sparkle.
Bollywood can surely do with more minds like that of Akshay Roy.

BINDU SHANKAR NARAYAN

Parineeti Chopra brings this character to life.  She is outstanding in her portrayal of the role.  When you watch Parineeti Chopra on screen, you feel as if though the film was scripted just for her. 

Parineeti Chopra’s acting is so flawless, so seemless, so natural.

Bindu will have you in hysterics when she laughs, you will not be able to contain your emotions nor your tears when she cries.  She is larger than life, passionate, fiesty, demanding, naughty yet so sweet and innocent.  Bindu’s confused, undecicive mindset in the film will make you love her and despise her. 

She is what, a lot of girls are.  She’s real, hard-core, far from pretentious and she is so beautiful that she will have you fixated on her as much as she had Abhi. 

ABHIMANYU “BUBLA” ROY

Ayushmann Khurrana’s deliverance of his role in portraying Abhi deserves a bow.  He was just so impressive.

Without giving away details of the film (spoilers), Abhi is the most endearing, honest and real “Hero” to date.  He gave, probably what woud be remembered as a “classic act” throughout Meri Pyaari Bindu. 

Ayushmann Khurrana’s calm, stable character in real life is surely seen in Abhi in “reel life”.  Abhi’s vulnerability, his dry sense of humor, timid “bholepan” character will make you love him from start to finish. 

Abhi’s character exercises the right amounts of everything Bindu’s character needs, therefore making him holistically, the perfect guy…. And yes!!!, everyone wants an Abhi in their life.

MUSIC

The highlight of Meri Pyaari Bindu was its music, what a solid sound track.

Unlike the typical hip-hop, rap, loud music of current, most of which have meaningless lyrics and cheesy chorus lines, Meri Pyaari Bindu transports you back to the days of melody, meaning, “clean fun”, no “dirty dancing” but pure appreciation and respect for music. 


MAANA KE HUM YAAR NAHIN

What a song!!! What a voice!!! What meaningful, heart-wrenching lyrics, such a soothing melody… the song that sums up Meri Pyaari Bindu in 3 minutes.

Parineeti Chopra made her debut as playback singer with this song.  Standing ovation is a must for her.  She has sung Maana with so much emotion, such clarity… what a clean song!!!  No auto-tuning or voice ehancements were used.

When Parineeti Chopra sings, the expressions in her voice, the change of tones and pitches will give you goosebumps, it will make you tear with a lump in your throat and yet still there are parts of the song where you can hear her voice smiling and you will smile too.

A sterling debut release from Parineeti Chopra.  MAANA is definitely a song which belongs to Bollywood’s wall of “classic and most appreciated songs”.

Just to add to the incredibly beautiful single by Parineeti Chopra, there is a version of the song in the film in which you will hear a duet bewteen Parineeti Chopra and Sonu Nigam.

AFEEMI is the “Love Song” of Meri Pyaari Bindu.  It’s a song that just like you did with Bindu, you will do with it, “Fall in love instantly”. 

HAAREYA is a soulful song.  Yes it will have you singing along but it’s also a very real part of Abhi’s character in the film. Haareya is song that lingers on in the mind, long after its over.

KHOL DE BAAHEIN focuses on Bindu and her reflection on her life.  A painful, somewhat bitter-sweet song which has a Bengali tune to it, coupled with a few Bengali words. 

YEH JAWAANI TERI and ISS TARAH are more beaty and vibey with a very nostalgic, retro base to them.  Fun songs to watch and they will have you shaking a leg to them, perhaps clapping your hands even (3 claps for appreciation).

The entire sound track is the kind of one that you’ve not heard in a long time, it’s a real treat for those who’ve grown up listening to the legends of the 80’s, 90’s and prior to that. 

Amazing accomplishment by music directors Sachin-Jigar.

PROPS & STUFF

Through the entire movie, Bindu and  Abhi are seen in normal, everyday kind of clothes which makes their characters all the more authentic and aesthetic.

The creation of sets, background design, filmatography, editing and over all theme of Meri Pyaari Bindu were all on point, all in sync and packaged beautifully.

Special credit needs to be given to the team who created the trams and “Kolkata in Mumbai”… it was marvellously done.

FINAL TAKE AND RATING

With all honestly, the movie may not be understood 100% by all audiences as it requires one to, like I’ve mentioned before, “think out of the box”…  However, Meri Pyaari Bindu is like my Mom (who’s not a big fan of Bollywood) said, A GEM of a film. 

Meri Pyaari Bindu is crisp, fresh, clean and seriously, with all pun intended, none like you’ve seen.  I’ve had the priveledge of watching the film almost the same amount of times as the fingers on both hands and I’ve just appreciated it’s beauty more with each watch.

Meri Pyaari Bindu is an entertainer, there is not point in the film where you want it to just get over with already, on the contrary, you will be so engrossed that the 2 hour long film ends so soon… it’s a climax like no other and you just can’t get enough of Bindu and Abhi.

There are lots of surprises in Meri Pyaari Bindu, especially from Parineeti Chopra, so for those who have not watched Meri Pyaari Bindu as yet, please do so, you’re missing out on such a magnificent film and a beautiful part of the making of Bollywood’s next “classic” hit.

Go get your tickets now and meet the divinely beautiful, vivacious Bindu and the naive but the perfect, every girl’s dream kinda guy Abhi.

My rating for Meri Pyaari Bindu is ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2 out of 5. 

SUPER-MOMS DO EXIST… HERE’S AN ODE TO MINE ON HER BIRTHDAY!!!

The first time I opened my eyes, I looked up at her… today 30 years later, through the many bends, bumps, ups and downs that life has dealt us, I still look up to her!!!

She was stern in her upbringing, ruled with an iron fist when it came to the education of my brother and I, she loved us incredibly. Birthdays, special occasions, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa were all part of our very fun childhood… we were naughty as anything and boy did we get dealt with for that, but no sooner than later, there she was to pacify us.  Bedtime stories were my favourite part of the day; she would sit in bed with me and read my favourite stories from my treasure chest of fairy tales.

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I hated school and I was a really rebellious kid (don’t think much has changed ha-ha) and I would deliberately slouch over the breakfast table in hope that I’d get late enough for school so I could stay home instead, my school tie sipping the milk in my cereal bowl before I did… After a good few attempts at talking to me about my behaviour and the importance of school, the voices would rise, and then finally giving me the hiding of my life was her only way out… I tested her patience relentlessly … BUT she’s never given up on me.

Before long, life had hit us with a tragic blow and that meant that she was solely responsible for raising and parenting my brother and I … A task so daunting, that when I think of it in retrospect, I myself shudder with what she had to go through.

“SHE” IS MY MOM!!! SHE IS MY SUPER-MOM… A title she’s earned and which she wears with pride.

Life was hard, very hard, but she’s never allowed our circumstances to consume us. She always taught my brother and I that if we studied hard enough, we would empower ourselves to get out of the situation and lifestyle we were in.  When we studied, she studied with us, just to make sure that she understood what we were learning so she could correct and test us, guide and support us.  Mom expected us to know our work pat off and dare we make a mistake by getting even a word wrong, there came our book flying right back at us so we could relearn.  When we wrote exams, she was always more stressed than we were.

As a Mom, she was the coolest… She always allowed herself to be a friend to us, to see life and the world from our eyes. She afforded us the opportunity to make our own decisions and to live with the choices we made.  She guided us and cautioned us but handed us the house and car keys and said “Do as you please kids, I’m just not ready for grandchildren”.  All she wanted in return was for us to give her our Degrees in its due time and to strive at being good human beings.

She never compared us to our cousins, friends or other children; in fact she would rather side with them. She never gloated over us to anyone and we would often get annoyed with her and ask her why?  She always said some day you will understand. That “someday” is here today and when I see how many of the kids of our generation, those much more fortunate than us turned out, I understand why my Mom was so afraid, perhaps of the embarrassment she’d face if we messed up in some way like the others did.  Where would she have put her face then?!!

Mom was and is our Dad as well… She’s never allowed his absence to stifle us or for us to use the fact that our Dad passed away whilst we were still kids to gain sympathy or as an excuse not to do things the proper way.

It’s been a long, hard journey for her… My brother and I are adults now, both Degree holding professionals with amazing jobs… My brother is about to get married and we’ve never given Mom a reason to be displeased with us, though we made our fair share of mistakes along the way.

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Lol yes Mom, we’ll always be your super annoying “kids” who you still cook for, pick up after, take to the Doctor and Dentist, attend job interviews with to give us courage and that really maddening couple of siblings who still fight like we did from the start.  Thank you for tolerating us, for mothering us with kid gloves even now and for loving us unconditionally.

Thank you Mom for being my “go to person” when I need to discuss a case, a patient, a relationship issue or when I just want to chill out. Thank you for our really intense conversations on the odd accession and all the wisdom that I get from them.  Thank you for being my Prayer Partner and educating me on the Bible more and more each day. Thank you for accepting the choices I’ve made in life, even the really bad ones and for never judging me but educating and supporting me.  Most importantly Mom, thank you for being my best friend, my movie buddy, my partner when it comes to restaurant hopping and my shopping associate!!!  You’re everything to me Mom.

Today Mom, on your birthday, I thank God for you. I thank Him for every smack, every punishment, every study session, every hard lesson learned that He allowed you to use on us, because today, through your actions, I am the person I am.  I thank God for you Mom, for without you, I have no backbone, no pillar of strength, no support… And yes I know you’ll tell me “But Rio, all those things you will find in Christ… Don’t look to mere humans for this”.  But I want to say Mom, that in you, I find my Christ… My peace, my security, my safety and solace.  You are a blessing to both Amir and I Mom and without you, we would be nothing.

Dear Lord, I want to thank you for my Mom and I ask of you in prayer, in total submission to You, that you bless her with a long, healthy, prosperous and peaceful life. Guide her and lead her to continue doing great things in the world.  I ask that you continue to bless her that she can touch more and more lives through your work.  Bless her with rest Lord for the past years have been those of toil by the sweat of her eyebrow.  Grant her peace and comfort Lord and bless her with many many more birthdays to come.

I hope you enjoy today Mumma and that the year ahead will be kick-ass in many ways!!! Here’s to new ventures this year, new plans and hopes. Amir and I love you incredibly Mom and we hope that we can continue to make you as proud of us as proud as we are to have a SUPER MOM LIKE YOU!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!

*** With Love and Adoration from Riona & Amir Balgobind For Our Mom, Innera Balgobind – 15/01/2017 ***

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I LOVE YOU TO THE SQUARE ROUTE OF INFINIITY … SANAM TERI KASAM

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I am an avid Bollywood supporter, watching Bollywood movies from the time I can remember myself. Regardless of the cast of a movie, its budget or its promotions, I watch all movies and judge and rate them on my own and for my own knowledge mostly.

Okay, so I am a real soppy romantic at heart and therefore I am automatically drawn to love stories and rom-coms.

Earlier this year, a little after its release, I found myself at the cinema, deciding what to watch. Now being a NRI, living in Durban, South Africa (which is literally a mini-India), most Bollywood movies are screened here.  Being the Bollywood fanatic that I am, I had watched all the movies on the now-showing list, except SAMAN TERI KASAM…

I had seen the trailer of the movie on YouTube and then again as rushes when I went to see other movies. Somehow it just didn’t grab me.  The trailer looked confusing and somewhat all over the place.  Perhaps this was the reason I hadn’t watched it as yet.

I booked the tickets for the movie, none the less!!!

The movie is based on a young Tamilian girl who’s an assistant librarian, raised in a very orthodox family and her neighbour, a ruffian, whose father is a famous lawyer. He was in jail for a crime he did not commit; after his release from jail, he lived a life of gyming and leisure.  He dated a famous fashion designer.

Saraswati (Saru) was in love with someone who didn’t love her back. She had numerous wedding proposals rejected due to her very “old fashioned, nerdy” appearance.  Her sister’s wedding was placed on hold until Saru (being the elder sister) got married.

Promising her sister that she will make sure she gets married, she goes to her neighbour Inder (the ruffian) commonly known by the residents as “bees bata baawan” for help in the hope that his girlfriend would do a makeover on her, making her attractive enough to find a guy who will agree to marry her.

In the meantime, Inder was totally in love with Saru, from the beginning. He would visit the library and leave her notes in the books he borrowed.  Being oblivious to it all, Saru never read them.

Saru is caught in a compromising position (actually trying to help treat a wound Inder had) as her father walks in. Her father immediately rights her off and arranges to perform a “kriya karam or pindedan” (death ritual) for her.

Devastated and alone, she turns to Inder who helps her find accommodation. He had broken up with his girlfriend and was getting closer to Saru.  Seeing how unhappy she was, Inder did everything possible to make her happy.  He even went to the extent of finding eligible suitors to get her married to.  He gets her a complete transformation done, making her unbelievably beautiful.  Finally the guy Saru loved, falls in love with her and asks for her hand in marriage.

Her fiancé needs to relocate to Turkey after the marriage and both he and Saru have to do routine medical tests as procedure would have it when moving to another country. From the blood tests done, it is discovered that Saru has Meningioma (a tumour deep in the brain). Subsequently the wedding is called off as his parents would not allow their son to marry a girl whose parents have already performed her death rights.

A heartbroken, devastated Saru (still unaware of the test results) turns to Inder who, himself is shattered from the fact that his love Saru was about to get married and leave the country. Saru and Inder go to her already booked Honeymoon suite.  Saru is a wreck and asks Inder to spend the night with her.  Inder does not want to hurt her anymore and resists, saying that in the morning she will hate him.  They spend the night together anyway.

Inder wakes up in an empty bed… looks out the window and sees Saru in the arms of the guy she was supposed to marry. Inder receives a text message from Saru saying she was sorry and that she had to leave.  Inder is beyond devastated.

Eventually he finds Saru and learns of her illness, he discovers that she’s dying. Inder finds out that Saru’s ex-fiancé knew of the illness but was bound by a promise not to reveal it to him.

Inder loves Saru immensely… Fighting all odds, doing everything possible to make Saru happy and keep her safe, Inder asks her to marry him. She refuses his proposal as she feels he’s doing it out of sympathy.  Eventually whilst going through the books she had recommended to Inder at the library, she finds all the notes Inder sent her and realises that he had always loved her.

She asks Inder to marry her. Inder goes to her parents to inform them. Her father, still infuriated, chases Inder away but they pitch at the registrar’s office as Saru and Inder are about to get married.  Remembering Inder saying “I can kill for her and I can die for her too”, Saru’s father realises that there’s no one better for Saru and blesses them in marriage.

Inder and Saru get married and Saru gets ill. Her parents find out and they are beyond consolation.  Saru has just a few hours left.  In that time, her parents make peace with her and she gets Inder to forgive his father for not helping fight his case.  Saru also tells Inder that she wants to be buried under a beautiful tree.

Saru dies. Inder and his father make peace with each other. Inder buries Saru under an oak tree in the garden of their mansion.  Inder becomes a successful lawyer and goes daily to the oak tree to meet his Saru.

The movie was directed by Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru, produced by Deepak Mukut under the Eros banner. The songs in the movie are full of meaning, painful yet lovable enough to make you cry and laugh at the same time.  The music was produced by Himesh Reshammiya and sung by Ankit Tiwari, Neeti Mohan, Palak Muchal and Arijit Singh amongst others.

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The story of the movie was not one that was not seen before but what made it so painfully beautiful was the scintillating acting of Inder, played by Harshvardhan Rane and Saru played by Mawra Hocane. This was a Bollywood debut movie for both Harsh and Mawra but gosh, their acting was so brilliant that it will touch you in ways that you will never forget.

The justice Harsh did to the character of Inder Parihar was stupendous!!! He made Inder so real, so lovable… A tough guy, who’s such a softy at heart and extremely rare. The effort, dedication and hard work he’s put into Sanam Teri Kasam are commendable… From his really intense emotions to his physique which will make you drool, his speech to his gait… All on point!!!

An actor that has shown such potential in his first Bollywood movie is sure to cause waves with all his future movies and projects.

The way Mawra Hocane brought Saraswati Parthasaty to life is laudable!!! For a Pakistani actress, the ease with which she played the role of a Tamil girl, the way she changed her pronunciation of words, her accent to match her character too, was commendable!!! For being a model, the way she pulled off Saru’s ungainly gait was amazing!!! The emotions she put into her character and how she brought it all to life will leave you at a loss for words!!!

Mawra too, has shown so much potential… Definitely one who will be a really fine actress.

Sanam Teri Kasam is a heart-wrenching movie; it will tug so hard at your heart strings that the impact feels like jolts.

I have purchased the DVD and have watched it close to 50 times now. Regardless of the number of times you watch Sanam Teri Kasam, the impact is the same.  I have cried buckets of tears each and every time.

For those of you, who have not yet watched the movie, please do. And for those of you who have watched it, you know exactly what I mean in this blog.

Do keep an eye out for Harshvardhan Rane and Mawra Hocane and their upcoming projects.

Kudos on a job well done to Harsh and Mawra and the entire cast and crew of Sanam Teri Kasam.

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THE EMPTY BOOK SHELF…

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She was sitting at her desk way after work was done, just to catch up on the piles of paper work and reports she needed to complete. The door was locked from the inside as she was the only one in a double story building which was lying vacant for a few years.  The only activity there came from the three offices used during working hours.

The building was a dormitory styled one with vacant rooms on either sides of long passageways, some forty plus rooms. Previously the building was used for accommodation but had subsequently been vacated.

Now the office in which she sat doing her work had a door with the bottom half of it made of glass so one could clearly see through it, whether from the inside out or from the outside in. Twilight came with sudden darkness on this bitingly cold day and an eerily deathly silence pervaded the building.  In the distance, down one of the passages, the sound of a leaking tap could be heard.

She continued writing, engrossed in making sure that whatever she was reporting was accurate. From the corner of her eye though, she saw “something” or “someone” glide past… She looked up immediately but couldn’t see anything.  She sat there, slightly panicked as she shook her head trying to clear it and also trying to get rid of the many things she thought she could have seen.  Finally, blaming her over-active imagination, she continued to write.

The building was known to be “haunted” by the many people who had lived there and passed on over the years. From sounds of footsteps, opening doors and closing doors, the toilets flushing on its own to the telephone ringing (you pick up and it still rings). These are but a few examples of what happens in this particular building be it during the day or at night.  Voices of people are also often heard.

This started to play on her mind, all the experiences she’s had in the building started to flood her mind. By now she was riveted to her chair, one hand on her Bible, her mouth barely moving while she said the Lord’s Prayer and asked for protection… All the time, her eyes fixed on the door.  She was way too afraid to open the door and look down either of the passageways or the long windy staircase that led down to ground floor.

The incidents of suicide and restless spirits etc. numbed her. She then started to talk to herself and calm herself down by thinking logically. She finally decided that her over-worked mind was playing tricks on her.

Just as she turned her eyes from the door and started typing the report again, she saw the same thing she did a while ago. This time she was able to see a little more… It definitely was someone (hopefully a human), navy sweat pants with really long legs.  The legs swiftly passed her office door and headed down the opposite passage.

At this point she froze with fear. There was no way she was opening that door, ever.  She thought even if she screamed, no one would hear.  The next building was a distance away.  Then she came to her senses again… she picked up the office phone and called one of the nearest buildings on the property… “Hi, I’m calling from WC Wing and I think there may be someone in my building that belongs to your ward… Can you come over urgently please?”

Although she wasn’t sure that what she has said on the phone was the truth, she was just glad that someone was coming to the building so she could leave at once. The 6 minutes if took for a Senior Sister from the ward to come to the building seemed like an eternity. Sounds could be heard down the passage, supposedly caused by this “thing” whatever or whoever it was.  The building was dimly lit which didn’t help the freakiness of the whole situation.

With her eyes fixed on the bottom glass of the door, she breathed a sigh of relief as she saw a flashlight shine into the building. She immediately knew it was the Sister.  Seeing the Sister, she plucked up the courage to open the door, meeting her half way between the two passages.  She explained to the Sister what had happened and admitted that she may have fabricated that it was a patient from her ward because she was so petrified and desperate for help.  The obliging Sister understood and the two decided to walk down the passage where she saw the “legs” go… shining the light and yelling out HELLO!!! HELLO!!! ANYONE THERE??? HELLOOOO!!!

Then the two stopped dead in their tracks as they came to an EMPTY BOOK SHELF.  They shone the light on the shelves and there huddled in the bottom shelf, in a foetal position lay one of the patients, very much alive but probably just as terrified of them as they were of him.  She asked: “Mr, what are you doing here??? This is a vacant building!!! It’s way passed your bed time, it’s dark and lonely… you should never be in here alone”.  The Sister went on: “You were given your medication and put to bed an hour ago, how did you get out of the ward???”  Both of them asking: “What are you doing in the book shelf???”

He looked up at them, eyes small and shiny, trying to make as less eye contact as possible.   He never said a word.  He crawled out of the book shelf and started to walk away.

It was just after 8pm, it was pouring with rain, and thunder and lightning made the windows rattle as the empty building trapped the deafening sound. All fear was gone now.  All she could see now was him sitting in that book shelf, looking up at her with that pitiful look on his face.  She led him to her office, asked him to sit whilst she explained to the Sister that she needed to speak to him to find out why he was in the book shelf.

She made him a cup of coffee and pulled a chair up next to him… she offered him a little treat and they got talking. He knew her very well and knew he could trust her; he was just probably really embarrassed that she found him the way she did.  He finally started talking about his love for books and how he was always drawn to the books he found in this building (the building became somewhat of a storage place since it was vacant).  He explained that he was really sad that he didn’t find any books tonight.  She explained that the passages were being cleared and therefore, all books were cleared earlier in the day and sent to the library.

She had a set of newly gifted research books that stared at her as she heard him talk about his love for books that came from his passion for reading. Without a second thought she gave him the set of books and told him that he now never had to lurk around looking for books, he had enough material to keep him occupied for a really long time.

His eyes lit up, a huge smile filled his face as he tugged tightly to the packaged set of books. He promised not to wander around and apologised for scaring her so badly.

Though she was relieved that she solved the problem, there was no way she was sitting alone in the building. She packed up, got into her car, thanked God for His protection, put on her really vibey Bollywood song play list and drove straight home.  11pm.