Sep 17, 2014

Khooni Raat: Stylish Chudail, Deranged Dancer

Veerana. Dak Bangla. Purana Mandir.  My earliest memory of shoddy, horror movies dates back to the 80's and 90's when undisputable Ramsay Brothers ruled the genre with their one-of-a-kind cult hits and concoct sleazy, stomach-churning, and sometimes slightly wanton horror delicacies one after another. No cousin gatherings were complete without  late night horror movie screening on the home VCR. To this date, I flip through channels at odd hours to check if  Zee Cinema or the likes are telecasting any of such movies, much to my delight. Evidently, while the male ghosts had bulbous, hideous faces which looked like whipped cream or mutton chop with several fleshy undulations and eyeballs with no cornea,  the lady ghost liked to frolic around wearing a " Tide Ho to White Ho" saree, crooning the same eerie song after every 30-minute interval. Such was the fondness for this bloodcurdling, hair-raising genre that one of my friends very fondly reiterated the plots of these movies, although citing them like they were his own personal experiences  rather than giving credit to the talented horror purveyor, the Ramsay duo.

I have had this 'horror' keeda deeply embedded inside me since time indefinite. Sometimes I am so poorly throttled by boredom and crave for "thrill" that I end up humming The Zee Horror Show theme while winding up every day, mundane chores. Yes, I know that time beacons that I should get married or at least go out and make some new friends rather than seeking solace in the arms of Ms. Pointy Teeth or Mr. Beefy Muttonchops. But I am still popular amongst my friends as the " Horror" lady. My younger sister shakes her head in resignation whenever she sees me downloading another horror movie from the internet. And yet her exhilaration knows no bounds as she knows that she is about to witness another fun-packed night watching such monstrous movies with me. My mother pulls her hair out in despair realising that her miserable daughter spends most of her weekends watching such abominable movies or googling about them on the internet. Although, I would like to add that I do have a decent collection of likeable, well-appreciated and successful horror movies and sheepishly, I am sort of proud of it.

However, there is this one particular D-grade horror movie, Gyanendra Choudhry's brainchild, Khooni Raat which  I particularly enjoyed watching. No classics like The Exorcist, The Shining, The Orphanage, The Others or current triumphant movies like Insidious, The Conjuring or The Awakening can contend with it in terms of technicalities or the storyline.  Ladies and Gentleman, here's presenting a review of the classic movie " Khooni Raat" . Please pardon the lack of brevity involved while appreciating the movie.  

I would like to add that I take my job very, very seriously and did not treat this assignment as a snooze fest. I saw this movie twice on YouTube and was awake till 5 in the morning because buffering was sluggish and me and my younger sister (who swore revenge to me) had to take breaks in between as our partially suppressed laughter would wake my mother up, who would dart murderous looks and spurt cusses in turn. 

The film begins with random shots of cows grazing in grasslands. I believe this could be mainly because we Indians treat cows as mothers and no venture is successful without our mother’s blessings. The USP of the movie is a homeless man with ESP (Extra Sensory Perception) !!! Yes friends, this chaddi-clad fellow gets premonition of each of the murders and he gets it astonishingly right EVERYTIME !!!!

The ghost lady,"chudhail" is a very well-dressed, elegant and methodical lady who wears a Tide-white saree, starched, ironed and scrupulously worn with multiple safety pins. She has vengeance in mind and wants to whack down the bunch of insolent, lecherous scumbags who raped her (including a shiny baldy fellow).(Refer to Fig.2) .This ghost lady was a girl called Ruchi who had gone to arrange blood for her comatose brother and was kidnapped and killed by the goons whose leader was the brother of another girl who loves the dim-witted boyfriend of Ruchi. In her words, " Uss Daayan ne Meri Bagiyaa mein AAG laga di (though not Ram Gopal Verma waali AAG ) !!! ".

                                             Fig. 1 Bloody Night Poster             Fig.2 Tide white lady                                                                        

Apparently, this practice is followed every night before the dawn breaks and each murder is embarked upon by singing the song " Baar Baar dil bekaraar na hota" as the lady crosses the woods. The song appears in the movie 7-8 times (every time the stanzas are included!!) and is responsible for 1/2 of the movie's duration. Unfortunately, the lady is doomed with a deafening, cacophonic voice, thus, not making the situation any better. Along with the song,  there is also a insipid, recurring footage of a car driving aimlessly, at full speed along an empty road, with background instrumental track stolen from some english movie.

Since it is a sleazy, D-grade movie, the slaying usually take place inside the dirty bathroom of the scumbag's apartment. The ghost takes up a different avatar each time and seduces the men before butchering them inside the bathrooms which are shoddier, grimier  and dirtier than the loos at ISBT(s). Chronologically(Refer to Fig.3), This implies that, Eq.(1) is

Car on the road + Chudail song + Seduction inside Bathroom= Murder …(1)

Fig. 3 How murder takes place
Technically, the movie is based on Time Division Multiplexing Principle between three scenes: Driven Car, Chudail Singing, Murder with a few other random scenes (outlying signals) thrown in here and there. (Fig.4)

Fig. 4 Time Division Multiplexing of Khooni Raat

The movie came under limelight for its immortal, blockbuster song, " Jab se hui hai mohabbat". The dancer is a real humdinger and in my opinion, can put  Hrithik Roshan, Prabhu Deva and Shahid Kapoor to shame. Some of his moves:
  1. get up/sit down
  2. Do some kick-ass somersault and butterfly strokes
  3. spread arms like SRK (looks more like PT exercise routine)
  4. go round and round
  5.   Search for something in the bushes.
  6. Grab the lady in a tight embrace as she tries to break free(ironically , it is  a love song).Stifle/choke her to death.
  7. lie down; snooze for a while; wake up with a jolt.
  8. Give a sullen, lost, dazed, dumb (or whatever fancies him ) look throughout.
  9. Repeat
Fig. 5 Dance India Dance
Apparently, a scene was cut from the movie. But being a true " Khooni Raat" fan, I somehow downloaded the original uncut version. A crazy, sari-clad aunty dashes in the room, calling out "Shibu…Shibu….kahan gaya yeh ladka? " I don’t know who the hell Shibu was, I don’t know where the hell he went  but I do know that the aunty was angrier than the "bird" and staring so hard at the camera and giving a gory, reproachful look that both the cameraman and the viewers must have fled in fear lest aunty beats the crap out of them for kidnapping Shibu.

P.S. : Please don’t judge me. My choice of horror movies is a lot more sophisticated and refined than Khooni Raat. My curiosity aroused when I bumped into the link : . We swore to ourselves that one day we will sit through the movie, come what may and then write a review for it in tribute to the D-grade Hindi Cinema. 

Sep 3, 2014

Badhai ho, you are 27 now

9 December 2013: The day when I got fewer birthday wishes and more of unsolicited matrimony-related advice from relatives, friends and acquaintances .Also, the day I turned 27.
21-2                           Badhai ho, you are 27 now.
If you are only 'wretched' sheep in your flock who has not taken the marriage vows yet, chances are that you will be  subjected to a deluge of amusing and yet insensitive comments about being single. The very same friends, with whom you have shared the finest moments of your life will make life miserable for you by questioning your preferred choice of living, now that their own minds are enriched with newly found marital wisdom. For instance, one of my friends, who recently got married, went on and on for hours about a situation light years ahead wherein how, if I tie nuptials late, then I would be too old and hardly of any assistance to my kids in their own wedding preparations.
This, in turn, has affected my social life to a great extent because it is gut-wrenching to be around people who incessantly grieve about how my supposedly commitment-phobic, extremely picky or exceedingly ambitious nature might make me doomed to an uneventful, lonely life of spinsterhood and despair. Since my answers, in general, are mostly acerbic, I end up dodging them.
As much as I enjoy basking in the glory of my single hood, it is exasperating to explain to people every now and then that I might be alone as per say , but I am not lonely.  It is a pleasure to acknowledge that my friends are enjoying their respective idyllic marriages, but this fact never makes me feel any less privileged. So, when one of my closest friends from college uninhibitedly asked me if I was planning to "die alone !!!", I decided to write about this vortex of  ' Bothersome Questions & Comments' which I inadvertently  get trapped in, every now and then. Accompanying them would be my honest answers & opinions. Some of them might be quirky, so take them in a light stride:
images (1)Be Single, They say...Die Alone, They say...

  • " So…..when are we hearing the good news? " : About what? My marriage? My promotion? My babies? Or the fact that I have finally decided to clobber you black-and-blue so that you stop looming around and asking such meaningless questions??? Please be specific. And also, run for your life…
  • " Awwww… Are you not over your Ex-? " : I am sorry, which one are you talking about? Because, you know, I am very promiscuous !!!
  • "Is the delay because you want to pursue higher studies? But you can always study after marriage" : No, I can't. I wish I was as adept and proficient in juggling as my primate buddy, Minky The Monkey.
  • " Don't you feel lonely at home ? How do you kill time? " : No, No, not at all. I have an imaginary friend " Gudda", with whom I share my apartment ( Don’t be freaked out…). Every day, we conspire plans to make life miserable for people like you. The latest plan being, not getting married and annoying the hell out of you.
3530216384_voices_xlarge         Yeah, I will not marry and freak you out

  • " But, everybody in your friends circle is married." : I know. I polished off platefuls of sumptuous biryani in their weddings, remember? Can you see all this blubber gleefully encircling my waist? It is a consequence of my ravenous instincts coming alive while enjoying the wedding feast.
  • " It is really strange that your parents not looking for a suitable match." : No, it's not. Most of my father's time is spent in looking for his lost glasses. Most of my mother's time is spent is looking for my lost books and files and my father's lost glasses!!
  • "You should try and lose some weight too. That will help you get a good catch " : Oh yes, All these years of my life as a fat cow and yet, I couldn’t figure out that this was the main glitch in my matrimony profile. Enlightenment from a bigot like you was all that I needed at this hour .
  • ""Maybe your poor eyesight is the reason. Do something about it." : YeahI wear contact lenses but transform into a superhero and become eerily bespectacled after 2200 hrs. Do you know that I have started seeing some black spots lately? Maybe I have glaucoma too.
  • "Oh Darling! Please don’t be so picky " : I am not being picky. (Suddenly I am serious…) But I have as much right to choose my life partner as a girl a couple of years younger to me. A lousy marriage is way worse than no marriage at all. With time, the frustration and anguish cascades down to your kids as well. So, I would rather be single and sane than marry an incompatible person in haste and have an unhappy, conflict-riddled marriage.
main-qimg-171482e27ebfc7e262bfbabeb07b9ece (1)
  • This is my personal favorite…" But you are 27. Really… 27 !!!!! ". : Yes, yes, Sherlock Holmes. Thou art right. But, I know that. I have been devotedly attending each and every birthday celebration of mine till date. Also, I am adept in counting years.

Dec 25, 2012

Of Malls and Murders....Examining My City

What can I say about Delhi? It is a city of myriad types of dispositions.  It is a city of nonchalance which embraces people across the country as much as it shuns them away. Even though its skyscrapers, flyovers, malls and metro continue to awe strike others, the unlawful, scandalous incidents still shudder them.

In the past three years I have spent in different cities, all that I craved for was to spend a weekend with my family in Delhi; perhaps go shopping in lajpat nagar , meet chums nearby or visit gurudwara bangla sahib simply to savor the ‘kada prasad’ with copious amount of ghee dripping from it. Being born and brought up in New Delhi, I have spent 23 years of my life here; So, one can simply understand my romance with the city.  However, now I feel petrified of it. The city is sweltering with pretense, rage and malice. People tend to lose patience at the drop of a hat. They will push each other aside without apologizing while walking on the road, there is unnecessary honking by people behind the wheel, too much of ‘middle-fingering’ , too much of testosterone oozing out of men and what all has happened in the city lately, a walk in the colony even at seven is jeopardizing to life. Everybody think that they rule the city; even the cleaning lady or the ‘ raddi wala’ will easily acquire the knack for terrorizing others. All that I have been doing since past few days while talking to my gal friends, is to request them to be safe and back home on time. I have been alone and completely on my own in different cities since past three years but never have I felt so scared of anything…Ghosts, perhaps ( :( ) but robbers, rapists, and frenzied people behind wheels…Never!!! As much as my parents are worried about me, I am equally worried about their well-being, given the city is zeroing in to mayhem.

Seriously, how ‘inappropriate’, ‘easy’ or ‘loose’ would a girl be to land in the arms of such perpetrators, to be subjected to such a heinous, abysmal act of brutality, a lucid re-enactment of all the psycho movies we saw in childhood. I have literally put aside my newspapers since past one week and didn’t read it, not because I didn’t have the time to read or was uninterested but because I didn’t have the nerve to read the painful ordeal the girl had gone through, raped and pulverized. In the city where people fly into a rage over spilled chicken tikkas and bumped cars, one wouldn’t expect anything else.

Like everyone else, I have been following news diligently and expectantly since past one week.  Lame statements by the government like “We are trying our best ”, ” we have daughters too.”, “ we will pray for her speedy recovery”  are like blows on every woman’s face.  To her, it can be roughly translated to, “Hey Lady!!! You
dress up smartly, stay out till late, are independent, hence, you shall be raped and shall be held responsible, directly or indirectly, for the consequences. And the prosecution of such perpetrators shall be so difficult; you will give up and go into exile. You shall be stigmatized by the society, no employer will ever take you back, no guy will ever marry you and you and your family will become social outcast. But we are giving you enough options:  poison, rope or pistol. Or maybe,  a slow, torturing death.”  The girl has been on ventilator since past one week, her daily dose of nutrients, aka “food” is given intravenously. The only food that she has tasted since one week is water or perhaps juice. There are talks of intestinal transplant, fast-track trial etc but those promises seem to have been put aside. The rape has been termed as “rarest of the rare” but government says that laws cannot be amended in a jiffy. So, what shall we expect? A few unscathed years in prison or the criminals let loose again because of no forensic evidence. On top of it, self-proclaimed reigning kings like baba ramdev emerge out of nowhere to gain public appreciation, by supposedly supporting the cause but creating digression and menace.  As usual, the opposing party will blame the ruling government for incompetence in maintaining law and order. And already, the whole issue is being replaced by other major public concerns like Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement and cricket matches. Is that the only level of social or political stir we can expect?

Whenever my colleagues threw accusations on my city, I would vehemently answer them back. Now I feel like a mother being paraded in front of the teacher and shown the red-marked notebook of her child; all that I can think of is my head hung down in disgust in front of the teacher.

I want to feel safe in my city again. I want to defend and support my “child” in front of the accusers. I want to experience pride on my day’s hard work at office after I reach home late rather than be scared of the lust-infested minds watching me on my way back, and most importantly, I want parents to feel happy and proud on birth of their girl child rather than feel terrified of her being subjected to this level of cruelty once she blossoms into a strong, confident woman. That is one of my ideas of a pristine, heaven-like place on earth. I hope that I wouldn’t have to wait for an “Armageddon” for something like that to happen.

Oct 10, 2012

After the rain...

Beautifully crafted umbrella with lacy border and pretty, cheerful flowers as the backdrop…one glance at it and I start missing monsoons. I couldn’t help buying it (and also the fact that my face has become ten shades darker than my body due to tanning). So, what’s with the dehradun monsoons? I have a love-and-hate relationship with them. And why not, when there’s daunting, bloodcurdling thunderstorms throughout the night, upturned umbrellas due to intense downpour, thick dirt splattered all over my clean jeans, getting stranded for hours in the middle of the journey and finally, broken sandals v/s umpteen cups of coffee at god-knows-what hours, frequent runs to the nearby samosa vendors, scenic splendor to the sore eyes, enthralling greenery at the backyard and needless to say, intoxicating monsoon fragrance wafting from the soil….

It surprises me how the basic elements of life: earth, water, air and fire can create the most spectacular natural wonders!!! No wonder we all have forgotten to lay back and enjoy all this as relaxation and rejuvenation seem to have become forbidden these days… There are umpteen times when I feel terribly homesick at dehradun but certain things always recompense the pain I go through:  clouds afloat so low that you can actually touch them, many mesmerizing rainbows in a row, vintage houses build on the distant hill tops, bike rides along the twisting contours of Mussoorie amidst the hushing trees and whistling winds, walking barefoot in the cool, gushing , crystalline river streams with my feet touching the cold, hard bed of rocks with an empty cola bottle in my hand, trying to catch the school of tiny , psychedelic-colored fish swimming past my feet, Little, cherubic kids with rosy cheeks and stout nose, perhaps from the villages straddling the hills, giggling at me ( and sometimes just for fun, hurling stones at me , :)  ) .

 No wonder that I suffer from serious adrenaline rush in monsoons as I feel utterly dreamy and romantic and wholly depressed to have nobody around to coo with. So, sometimes, I end up getting cosy inside my house, drinking countless cups of tea and watching random sitcoms or doing other random things on my laptop. My laptop, ah….it has literally become my only confidante these days and I get mind-numbingly anxious that I will end up marrying it one day. 

Countless times, these monsoons have spilled beans on my plans. Just the very moment I step out of my house to go out somewhere, clouds spew volumes of water on me. It is somehow similar to what you experience during the festival of Holi: kids from floors above throwing bucketfuls of water on you and shouting “Holi Hai!!!” in unison, only that it is worse when you are nicely dressed and ready to go out.  Even those huge umbrellas, big enough to give shelter to the entire DEAL colony, don’t do justice to the drenched souls during those days. So, in the next onset of monsoons, I am going to make a quick visit to the local shop and buy a raincoat (with ducks on them, to add more to fun) .

Nevertheless, monsoons at Dehradun also bring along their very own herd of natural terrors since Dehradun is an endless boulevard of natural diversity and home of myriad species of insects, reptiles etc. Just a few days back, I witnessed long, silvery snakes (alias nagaraaj) gyrating, just outside my office building, two days in a row. It was a long-awaited realization of my dream ever since I laid my foot on Dehradun and no, I don’t aspire for such things anymore!!! Another day, a big, fat pompous spider crept through my bedroom window and only I know how I ran for my life and straight into my mother’s outstretched arms!!! 

Now that monsoons have finally bid adieu to us and winters are almost impending, I am missing all the fun I used to have in the pretext of torrential downpour :( . Hehehe...., I have actually downloaded some sound clips of thunderstorms and rainfalls to soothe my heart-wrenched soul. Boohoohoo,, And I have only one thing left to say:

“Don’t be afraid to lose what was never meant to be
After the rain washes away the tears
And all the pain
Only after the rain
Can you live again…”-

After The Rain
Matthew & Gunnar Nelson / Marc Tanner / Rick Wilson

Aug 27, 2012

Consensual Writing- How social disapproval led to asphyxiation of my thoughts?

“I'm the one that's got to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.” 
 I always carried around this notion that since it is my blog, my page, I can write anything I feel like under the sun. To me my blog is my very own manicured garden where I can promenade as and when I like but where others are most welcome to come and take a stroll around. Lately, I had quite an interesting yet heated argument with a friend of mine over how important it is for us to write consensual, agreeable stuff…A stubborn soul I am, I prefer to blog anything by whose means, people can rendezvous with the real ‘me’, my thoughts, my contemplation. He gave an interesting insight, though: Blogs are passé now, they aren’t in trend anymore and nobody reads them, so, why keep making incessant efforts to update them? In turn, why this sudden urge to express your feelings when nobody wishes to hear them out.
With due regards, I love writing. Of course, I haven’t been blogging since quite long, to my own utter disappointment. Blame it on my work overload, my laziness or my habit of making excuses; I just couldn’t gather all my senses together to write. The actual reason beneath all this facade of excuses, perhaps, is the need for acceptance: The incorrigible need to write something which people would agree to or would not mock at… There are countless issues culminating in my mind about which I would have written in my blog: Relationships, workplace, future plans, needs, abandonment and desires. However, a candid account of such issues seems like a Herculean task to me. I have this innate fear that people would become aware of my fears, peeves, longings etc and I might end up becoming an outcast amidst my own people. Now, isn’t all this exactly conflicting to what all I had been blabbering about in the last paragraph!!!  Trust me, without any trace of diplomacy, I been too outspoken about my viewpoint, neat and crisp, positive and vicious, for certain people and things in the past. However, by the time, the story comes back to me; it is simply a twisted, nasty concoction of what I have told at first place. Weirder than this is the fact that people have this incurable prejudice bred in this heart which forces them to conjecture contradicting conclusions about me: I say something and they take it otherwise.
In my college time, I was very diligent and punctual when it came to updating my blogs…I would spend hours beautifying my blogs, thoughtfully choosing words, themes and applications to add “ chaar chaand” to my page. My elation level would reach soaring heights to find comments on my post each day. However, now blog is bawling like a baby, crying for some sort for revival, not in terms of how it looks but what it says: To speak my mind; to be forthcoming in terms of my viewpoint, to write or say things I actually mean and not what XYZs wish to read or hear…This might jeopardize my readership but I might rise an inch taller for my audacity in the eyes of my own herd of good friends . So, in the end, I dedicate this post to my dear blog...Here’s my toast to the new beginnings!!!