Saturday, October 25, 2008

I think not

I usually think online quizzes are totally accurate and dependable, but every once in a while I have to wonder. Consider, for instance, the "What Spice Are You?" quiz. Here's what it says about me:

You Are Basil

You are quite popular and loved by post people.

You have a mild temperament, but your style is definitely distinctive.

You are sweet, attractive, and you often smell good.

This is clearly untrue. If post people really loved me, they would actually deliver packages to me and not just leave attempted delivery notices every time. But such is not the case.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


As previously mentioned, I watched my first Hindi film last December, and I was completely hooked. I started buying movies online in February, when I realized that the public library's selection of Hindi movies apparently consisted of all the rejects from someone's personal collection. To decide what movies were worth buying, I began looking at and then religiously following several great blogs on Bollywood films. I've found these blogs to be an invaluable resource for me, as well as a lot of fun to read. Now that I'm not such a complete newbie to Hindi films and have finally figured out how to take screencaps, I've decided to do a bit of film blogging myself. So as not to bore those of you who aren't interested, I've created a new blog specifically for this purpose. Join me there if you wish. It's

I'm starting with Mehndi Lagi Mere Haath, a 1962 film that's apparently too obscure to have a rating on IMDB, wherein we learn that the prejudice against girls who wear glasses reaches across cultures and decades.

So come take a look if you'd like.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

And even the disguise kit.

You know you're immersed in 1970s masala films when:
  • you can follow the plot of a masala film even if your DVD doesn't have subtitles. ("Okay, the girl is working for the criminals, but she's played by Hema Malini and looks to be the love interest, so she must not want to be a criminal. Oh, yep, she and her mom are both crying and explaining something. And they just said the word for "father." So the bad guys must have taken her dad captive and are forcing her to work for them to keep him safe. Oh yeah, that guy in the dungeon must be the dad, and here the bad guy is taunting him about the daughter and about how he's committing crimes in the dad's name. Here the two long-lost brothers are meeting for the first time for several years but don't recognize each other, so I bet the dialogue is full of infinite irony. And this is the part where the brother on the wrong side of the law changes his ways and starts working with the good guys to help free the girl's dad and set everything right. And it all ends happily. Fabulous.")
  • people give you funny looks when you quote your favorite movies.

  • you finish watching a movie and think, "I don't know, that might have been too realistic for me," and then you remember the part where the heroes ran through machine gun fire unscathed because they were carrying holy books, and all the parts where they dishoomed lots and lots of bad guys at once, and the unrealistic legal proceedings, and that really bizarre scene where the disabled soldiers started dancing with crutches to prove that they were capable of taking care of themselves, or something. But after further thought, you remain convinced that the movie was still too realistic.

  • you think modern actresses look unhealthy and anorexic, and you realize that your body image has improved a great deal.

  • someone walks into the room when you're watching a movie and says, "Wow, that's a crazy outfit," and you realize that 70s fashions look completely normal to you now.

  • you try to decide how you'd design your villain's lair if you became a smuggler or black marketer (the careers of choice for bad guys in India in the 70s, apparently).

  • you're surprised when a good guy on a TV show doubles over in pain after he's punched in the stomach, instead of doing a backflip in the air, landing on his feet, and dishooming the villain back.
  • you wonder why you don't have a selection of handy disguises ready at hand like everyone else seems to.
  • you expect every movie you watch to be made of awesome -- and as long as you stick with 70s masala, you're usually not disappointed.