Tuesday, December 04, 2007

India: Bollywood-related stuff

The first Bollywood-related thing that I did in the course of my trip to India in October was the inflight entertainment I enjoyed on the plane. It was a long-ish plane journey, so there was plenty of time for me to be entertained by filmi stuff. So I watched one thoroughly forgettable film starring Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar (so forgettable I can't remember what it's called), then I watched a little bit of the classic mystery-movie ‘Gumnaam’ (I fell asleep partway in), then I woke up and watched Rishi and Neetu Kapoor (with Rakesh Roshan) in ‘Khel Khel Mein’ (which I liked for the most part); and then finally I watched a collection of filmi songs – the theme running through them was that the songs all featured the beautiful voice of Kishore Kumar. One of the songs I enjoyed in this collection was this one from ‘Sholay’, which I’d actually quite forgotten about:


There was quite a bit of Bollywood-related stuff to see and experience on this trip…. On our second night in Delhi, we strolled around Karol Bagh in search of a SIM card. We walked into a little mobile phone shop and saw this poster:



SRK was everywhere on this trip, really. (Which was great because both Uzo and I absolutely love him.) Here he is again in Delhi:

Our ‘closest encounters’ with King Khan, however, took place (quite fittingly) in Mumbai… but more on that later…

Another favourite we were frequently confronted with was the very cool Abhishek Bachchan. Abhi is fronting a huge ad campaign for the Idea Group, and there were many variations on this everywhere we went:

Abhishek is also doing an inspirational campaign for the Times of India – I forget what it’s called but it’s all very youth-driven and stuff… I really liked the TV ads and billboards:



On the same theme, I was intrigued to see that the Times has nominated Rahul Bose for ‘Mumbai’s Lead Indian’. I don’t like Rahul for some reason – something about him just rubs me the wrong way (for now, anyway), so I was really interested in what it was that made him a candidate for this title – and what kind of title it is, anyway – it sounds a bit strange… funny enough, I completely forgot to look it up until now…



Back to the commercial stuff, I’m not a Bebo fan but I must admit she looks absolutely amazing in her ads for Globus…


… and Katrina looks pretty in her Kodak ads…



… and of course Hrithik is still hot hott hottt stuff playing it cool for John Players…



Also very filmi were the cinemas… down the street from our hotel was the lovely Eros… we never got past the lobby but it looked very nice…



And then there was the renowned Raj Mandir cinema in Jaipur…


…which looks like this at night…


…we heard that the Raj Mandir is beautiful on the inside as well, but we didn’t go in… we did have a rather interesting experience there on our last night in Jaipur, though…. We had just alighted from our auto when we saw a young lady in a strapless top walking into the cinema with a few of her friends. Nothing unusual about that, you might think… but wait for the ‘interesting’ part – this young lady was followed by a horde of no less than 20 (I kid you not) young men wolf-whistling and shouting rude-sounding words after her. I was stunned by the aggression of these guys…. In fact, were it not for the way her friends surrounded her and hustled her into the cinema, well... I really don’t know. It was really quite disturbing to watch the reaction of those guys to a bit of exposed flesh….

As soon as the lady entered the cinema, these young lads just milled about the place looking a bit wild and leering at the women in the vicinity… so although what my friend Uzo and I were wearing could not be regarded as risqué by ANY standards, we didn’t hang around… we ducked into the Mickey D’s next door, grabbed some dinner with the quickness, and went back to our hotel (now the ride to the hotel was quite something – the craziest auto-rickshaw ride we had in India for sure – but that’s a story for another day)

Ok, so I couldn’t leave India without picking up some magazines for all the hottest celeb ‘gist’… I got Stardust, Filmfare and Hello! The Indian edition of Hello! is still pretty new and the content could be better, but my, did it have some very pretty pictures!! Here are a few of my faves…

… the Lara Dutta spread was gorgeous…


…there was a nice dignified piece wishing Amit-ji a very happy birthday…


… and this was my fave spread – lovely pictures of the stars of ‘Saawariya’, Sonam and Ranbir Kapoor; with their starry parents Anil Kapoor and Neetu Singh…


…there was some gossip on Bollywood’s hottest new couple, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor…



Speaking of Saif, here he is looking ultra-cool for Provogue…



… incidentally, another hot Provogue model is Esha Deol. And my dear Dharam’s daughter is currently fronting a massive ad campaign for L’Oreal’s latest fairness cream…



… and wow, is fairness a booming industry in India or what? I was somewhat bemused to catch this ad for skin-bleaching cream in Stardust (I thought it was quite clever to place it next to a picture showing Preity’s naturally fair skin – a little free extra advertising for the product - although Preity obviously was born with it)…



…and this ad for 9x (whatever that is, I’m pretty sure it’s not a skin-lightening cream though – the ads for the products are very varied but are really all about change and improvement) I found quite telling… the message of this one seems to be that ‘brightness’ means youth, fairness, happiness and Caucasian features… (Ed. thanks to Nirvana for letting me know what 9x is all about and to Alan for letting me know this particular ad is actually a spoof on the skin-lightening phenomenon).



… but back to Lara Dutta, she’s doing an ad campaign for Pantaloons and I loved the ads…



…Bobby Deol is also one of Pantaloons’ models, and I think he looks really good in his ads as well… like this one from Stardust…



… ok, this is getting really long and I haven't even gotten into our Mumbai 'activities', so I guess I’ll finish it off in another post…

9 comments:

Uzo said...

Oh my...Finally you put this up....

I am so excited with this post cos it takes me down memory lane.I remember all this except for the Hello! India spread since i didnt get that but the pictures are almost replicated in Marie Claire, Masala and some others i got...

Cant wait for the next post...

Filmi Geek said...

HOW could Dharmendra's number one fan forget "Koi haseena"!

;)

Looks like you had a wonderful adventure!

Nirvana said...

9X is a new channel on Cable TV

Regards

Nirvana
at
http://www.nirvana73.blogspot.com/

Daddy's Girl said...

Ahhh... thanks Nirvana! It all makes sense now!

Alan said...

Great post! I enjoyed the pictures of the signs and billboards.

There is a video on YouTube made by 9X television for "9X Fairness Cream". It's a pretty good spoof on how silly the whole idea is. I found two blog sites that linked to it. One site knew it was a parody and thought it funny. The other thinks it's real and is all up in arms about it.

Daddy's Girl said...

Alan, it's good to know it's a spoofy fun idea... they had a lot of different concepts for their billboards (Uzo had one on her blog) and they were really original.

Sanket Vyas said...

Lovely post! The beautiful voice of Kishore Kumar - hmm - I can relate to that ;) We saw 'Salaam Namaste' at Raj Mandir last year when we went. Cool cinema - we sat in the balcony with our "Platinum Tickets" which gets you nothing more than not having to interact with the people in the lower section.

The Mickey D's next door... we ate there and decided to buy a Veggie Burger for a street child & her sister. We gave it to the older one & told her to share - instead she ate the whole thing & made the little one cry! The mom came running up & explained that it was nice of us to do but that the Rs 23 we spent on the burger could have fed them for 2 days. You live & learn...

Daddy's Girl said...

Thanks Sanket... that's such a moving story about the veggie burger... sometimes it's hard to know just what to do to help... like you said though, we live and learn.

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