Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Painter from Paris

I could tell he was a painter from the smears he wore proudly on his rags. He recommended the house brew to me before launching into a delightfully one-sided conversation. He was surpsingly garrulous for an artiste.
He said he learned to paint in France because he couldn't speak French. They tied his tongue but freed his hands. As he rambled on like a lumbering locomotive, I couldn't possibly comprehend how Paris kept him quiet. But then it didn't.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The weary old man in the cafe reminded me of my grandfather. He always smelled of books, tobacco and defeat.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fire and Ice

The burning jealousy in the room set off the fire alarm. But is there a compressed chemical that can douse a green-eyed monster?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sharif as Gabbar?

I am in a mood for some reverse colonisation. Suspend reality and let's get some Hollywood heroes to snarl "kuttey kaminey". Who would you pick to play some of Bollywood's most iconic roles. And by that I don't mean picking Anil Kapoor to play Amitabh Bachchan like Boyle did. That's just lame.

Gabbar Singh: Take one part menace, one part lunatic, garnish generously with maniacal laughter. Is there a phirang good enough to play Hindi cinema's most iconic character? The closest I can think of is Omar Sharif in Mackenna's Gold. Sharif's Colarado is not really Gabbar, but close.

Rahoool of DDLJ (or any Chopra-Johar torture device): Only two people in the world who can outham SRK, Tom Cruise and Hugh Grant. My vote is for Grant, he can flutter his lashes and has dimples.

Bhiku Mhatre: RGV got everything right in Satya, except the title, should have called it Bhiku really. Manoj Bajpai has never been able to better Bhiku, can someone in Hollywood outdo Bajpai. Tough call. For my money no one can combine quiet menance with combustible anger like Sean Penn can. Penn for Bhiku then?

Don: Try this in English for size ... "it's not just difficult to capture Don, it is impossible." There is only one man who can deliver that with you not reaching for the barf bag. Who filleth size Big B boots?
Pacino is too short and Brando is dead, so my vote is for the young Clint Eastwood. Rewind to Dirty Harry if you want to take a second dekko.

Langda Tyagi: Tough act to beat Saif's inspired cowbelt Iago. The evil in his eyes, the physicality, the naked ambition, the twisted humour. Saif's brooding, limping presence lifted Omkara to a whole new orbit. Bob Hoskins as Iago in the BBC adaptation pales in Saif's evil glow and Hoskins is no spring chicken. Who then? Only one actor I know who can be anything he wants. Johnny Depp. Can't think of a better man to play Langda Tyagi.

Anand: Couldn't have been written for anyone but Rajesh Khanna. No one can play the lovable tragic like Kaka, see Kal Ho Na Ho and barf into your tears if you don't believe me. Who in Hollywood can sell misery like Rajesh Khanna can. Tom Hanks?

Raju: The joker not the gentleman. Raj Kapoor's Chaplinesque loser requires some affectation and a whole lot of hamming. And a slightly comical screen presence. Jim Carrey in My Name is Joker, for my ticket money.