December 25, 2008
“We have been doing music together since we were six years old – as long as I can remember,” says Haniya Aslam, as her cousin Zeb (Zebunissa) Bangash sits beside her.
“It started out as a fun thing at family functions.
“Music was very much a part of our family set-up – my father was an aficionado and all my uncles could play an instrument.
“Our grandmother was also a big influence – she was a poet and was fluent in three languages.”
While certainly not a typical Pakistani upbringing, it’s hardly exceptional among educated urbanites.
December 22, 2008
Film industry in small Indian textile town of Malegaon makes low-budget parodies of Bollywood smash hits with a lot of heart, local flavour and ingenuity. Rama Lakshmi in the Washington Post:
The making of Hollywood spoof "The Superman of Malegaon."
Past a narrow alleyway filled with sleeping goats, water tanks and women washing clothes, Shaikh Nasir’s modest home is a landmark. This is where he thinks up new ways to make the people of this grim textile town laugh.
Nasir is the father of a homegrown film industry that is famous for its parodies of blockbuster movies from Bollywood, India’s Hindi film capital. For Malegaon’s power-loom workers and others laboring long hours for low pay, his wild and wacky movies provide some relief from bleak lives interrupted by frequent sectarian clashes and bomb blasts. In September, a motorcycle bombing killed six people and injured more than 100 here.
November 16, 2008
In The Times of India, Avijit Ghosh profiles wrestler Dara Singh on his 80th birthday
Dara Singh as Hanuman in the TV serial, Ramayana
He could slaughter fire-spitting giant lizards with a kitchen knife, twirl the biggest monsters like rag dolls before tossing them aside, chase villains to the moon much before Neil Armstrong was spotted there and stop an aeroplane with his bare hands. Ask anyone who grew up in the 1960s — impossible was nothing when Dara Singh was around.
Long before the Great Khali was born and much before pretty-boy superstars started to flaunt six-packs, Dara Singh was the real testosterone-charged McCoy, the original Singh who became King.
Even now, as he turns 80 on November 19, the rugged masculinity endures in popular consciousness. That’s why he looked perfect as the patriarch in Jab We Met. It may also be why even red-hot Akshay Kumar wants him for a film tentatively titled, Patiala House.
November 7, 2008
Its critics called it regressive and an affront to the dignity of women, but Ekta Kapoor’s show on Star Plus, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi changed the face of primetime TV, sparked off a countless copycat shows and even launched the political career of its lead actress, ‘Tulsi’ Smriti Irani. But now, after over 1,800 episodes and a run of close to eight years, Kyunki with its endless twists and turns to the Virani family saga is finally coming to an end due to falling TRPs. IANS has the story [via Sify]
It has changed the face of primetime Indian television viewing. After logging more than 1,800 episodes in over eight years, Star Plus’ epochal TV serial Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thhi…, which triggered a flurry of similar saas-bahu sagas, and spun improbable plots around the emotions of love, joy, anger, anxiety, contemplation, grief, fear and terror – even amnesia, death, rebirth and murder – bids adieu after losing a court battle to Star Plus.
The twisted saga of the traditional Gujarati family of the ‘Viranis’ had kept audiences across India as well as in Pakistan and Afghanistan glued to their television sets from 10.30 pm to 11 pm from Monday-Thursday since its launch in October 3, 2000. Now, fans are wondering how to fill the vacuum.
August 14, 2008
From The Guardian
Jade Goody, who was at the centre of last year’s Celebrity Big Brother race row after being accused of bullying Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, is to appear in the Indian version of the reality TV show.
And in a further twist, the Indian version of the reality show – called Bigg Boss – will be fronted by Shetty.
Goody is set to fly out to Mumbai today in preparation for the show, which begins at the weekend. She will be paid £100,000 for her appearance, according to today’s Sun.