Life's Like That

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Love Love Love

The year was 1988. A podgy bespectacled 9 year old first laid eyes on a short fresh faced young man. And fell in love. A love that has lasted 21 years. That has survived some truly tough times and emerged stronger every time. A love that is, alas, completely unrequited and one sided. As one of the two principal charecters in this unfortunate love story, I think my undying love and passion and loyalty needs to be rewarded. My loyalty, especially, has been severely tested many many times in these last 21 years. Who be this lucky man you ask? Behold, the object of my affections, the love of my life :
Siiiiiiiiiiiiigggggghhhhhh. I have seen almost all his movies. Except Holi and Raakh. Was'nt easy you know. My parents did not approve of a 9 year old frequenting cinema halls to watch Hindi films (oposhonshkriti jotoshob). They did not approve of popular Hindi movies of the time. The only things they approved of were movies dating back to their college days...stuff they called classics, and intellectual Bengali films. Oh and Goopi Gayen Bagha Bayen type of stuff. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak was an aberration that happened thanks to some visiting teenage relatives who had brought with them a VHS tape of QSQT and insisted that we all watch it. I cried buckets when Aamir died. Romeo had nothing on Aamir. I was in love. I demanded to be allowed to watch Hindi movies, much to my mothers utter horror (she still does not watch Hindi movies). I cried, I cajoled, I threw tantrums. A compromise was reached. I could watch only Aamir Khan movies at home on the VCR. I was happy with this arrangement since this meant I could keep the tape for a few days, watch the movie at least 5-6 times and then return which time I would have learnt the dialogues and the songs by heart.

I've watched Dil 13 times. Forget the dialogues, I even know Madhuri's costumes by heart and in order of appearance. Dil Hai ke Maanta Nahi...considering I still drop everything and watch this everytime it comes on tv, I must have seen it well over 20 times by now. Isnt he absolutely adddooooraabbblllle in it? Raghu Jaitley, why could'nt I meet a man as cute as him? (Ok embarassing confession...I would watch a film and then day dream for days about being in the heroine's place and romancing Aamir). Andaz Apna Apna, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar ke, Sarfarosh Dil Chahta Hai, Lagaan, Taare Zamein Par even Afsana Pyar ka..rank amongst my favourites.

Not all his movies were wonderful day dream inducing material though. Love Love Love, Awwal Number, Isi Ka Naam Zindagi, Tum Mere Ho, Daulat Ki Jung, you name the dud and Ive seen it. I even sat through Mela and more recently Mangal Pandey. Voluntarily. I actually paid money to see Mangal Pandey. And even found something good to say about the movie :" Ummmm. Errrrr. Aamir did act well no?"

Have any of you seen Daulat Ki Jung? Aamir has photographic memory. He sees a treasure map and sets out to find the treasure along with girlfriend Juhi. They are caught by bad men..namely a bunch of buffoons headed by Kader Khan, whose preferred mode of transportation is to lie down in a coffin tied to a horse and get dragged around in it through the forest. Aamir memorises the map and then eats it to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Mind numbing adventures follow. Have you guys seen Tum Mere Ho? There are flying snakes in this one. They fly from tree to tree with hoods a sitting position. There's child marriage, avenging snakes, ichchadhari naags, saperas, good snakes, friendly snakes, evil snakes...oh my head aches to remember this monstrosity. But I sat through this and others like it. I watched with interest and dedication. And I never EVER admitted to anyone that these movies were torturous. Most recently I paid 350 bucks n watched Ghajini. NOT my kind of movie. Definitely not. But I watched it because it was Aamir.

Thankfully, over the years the man turned into some sort of filmi genius and started giving us some pretty awesome movies. Fanaa, Ghajini, Raja Hindustani, Mann, notwithstanding. He did seem to have gone slightly mad a little while back, what with naming his dog SRK and those nasty unwarranted sound bytes about Shah Rukh, but thats ok. I understand that he is human and these things happen. I don't love him any less for it. I am not quite able to understand the logic behind the ongoing promotional strategy for 3 Idiots (what does his showing up in different cities in different disguises have anything to do with the movie?) but hey, it seems to be working right? Its so nice when the man you love is a widely aknowledged genius.

My friend Seema was horrorstruck this afternoon when I told her about my love affair with Aamir Khan. Apparantly she did not expect it of me...this sort of hero worship does not gel with my personality she said. Flattered though I am, I am also a little surprised. I thought most of us had that one film star or sports star that we worshipped. (Aside :my mother apparantly worshipped Raj Kumar! I cannot imagine why). Of course one does not continue to hero worship as one grows older, but that star does remain special right? I threw away my Aamir Khan posters and box full of pictures and postcards long ago, but I will still sit through a movie just because it has Aamir Khan in it. Do you guys have enduring loves like this? Who would they be?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Since my last post, I have:

Been to Chandigarh where amongst other things, I had to touch the boy's feet and was told I should wear yellow on Thursdays and informed that I would have 2 sons (the horror!). More importantly, I met my nephew for the first time. I think he likes me, I can tell by the way he drooled all over my hand/ shoulder whenever I was carrying him around. He also blew spit bubbles and babbled as I attempted to feed him, sure sign of eternal louve if there ever was one.

Been to Delhi where we met old friends, wandered around town, almost became a permanent fixture at Dilli Haat, bought curtains, befriended a slightly psycho German Shepherd, patted and played with same German Shepherd, met old relatives and newly related to relatives and learnt to make awesome bhindi. Also, I encountered an endangered species: a nice honest auto driver. He agreed to ferry us from Delhi Haat to Vasant Kunj after being asked just once, he chatted about Delhi then and now all the way there, on being given Rs. 100 when we reached Vasant Kunj, he exclaimed yeh toh bahut zyada hai. We said nahi rakh lo bhaiya. He said nahi nahi and insisted on returning Rs. 20. We had told him to return only Rs. 10. At this juncture my friend fainted and we had to carry her to her apartment and ply her with restorative beverages.

Eaten: Aloo parathas with melting white butter on top, aloo sabzi and puri, gajar ka halwa, tandoori chicken, noodles, momos, tikkis, choley, rajma, kadhi chawal, dal makhani, dum aloo, palak paneer, paneer makhani, gajar ka murabba, gulab jamun, dahi bhallas, fruit beer, assorted namkeen, butter chicken, samosas, kheer, baingan bharta.....I think Im forgetting some more.

Been to Agra and Mathura where we befriended 2 Malaysian girls, one Bangalorean boy, one German boy, one Russian American man. I was quizzed about my caste by German boy in front of a Krishna temple (which apparantly marks the exact spot where he was born...go figure). German boy did not believe me when I said I was'nt sure which caste I belonged to. He said being Indian and Hindoo there was no way I could'nt know. I said well I guess Im a bad Indian and a terrible Hindu and proceeded to eat extremely awesome samosas. Said German boy also did not believe that my parents did not force me into marrying a random stranger whom I had never met before. This, despite seeing me interact with Rahul all day and hearing about how we met. I despair for this German boy.

Been to Chennai where we wrapped up a 33 year old household. We packed 33 years of my in laws life into cardboard boxes to be carted away to Chandigarh. Where will begin a new chapter. We uncovered a suitcase full of old albums with priceless pictures. Which are now with me in Bangalore. Waiting to be restored and scanned and uploaded. I will miss Chennai.

Tripped and stubbed my toe on my way to my car. Uprooted toenail. Called the Boy only to be told to call later he was in a meeting. Driven myself home through a hazy blur of excruciating pain. Thrown the mother of all tantrums upon Boy's return home, displayed bloody toe with remains of toenail and howled some more. Justifiably told him that I have friends who are more concerned about my toe than he is ( you know who you when is the treat at Spiga?

Been forced to attend a client event at 8 a.m. Events at 8 a.m. are a form of corporate torture. Reached venue bleary eyed and yawning at 8.10 a.m. to find the place full of CEO types....bubbling with enthusiasm and energy..raring to go. Realized, in between massive yawns, that I will never EVER be CEO. Amen.

Now I want to sleep. And read. And sleep some more. I don't want to cook or clean or worry about cooking or cleaning. I want food to appear by my bedside magically. I want a soothing backrub. I want clothes to unpack themselves and put themselves away neatly in the cupboards. I want a driver. I want to be on a permanent vacation. At home. Thank you very much. Good night.