Tag Archives: Zoya Akhtar

Bombay Talkies!

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Bombay Talkies!

Recently Indian cinema celebrated its centenary! A lot of people said and did many things … some gyrated to the old and new item numbers, some created documentaries and some noted director’s made short stories.

So here’s my item number!

All this came back to me when I saw “ Bombay Talkies” a recent tryst by four great storytellers. I simply enjoyed the short stories presented by Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar …raison d’être … I simply related to each and every story…anyone who lived and celebrated Bombay in the 70’s could not help but relate to them!

We all have seen the street urchins singing in the local trains … and now when I think back even I had my favorite … I use to call him Jr. Altaf Raja! He nasaled the famous pardesi song each time I entered my 8.45am Andheri fast from Dockyard Road. I often use to chat with him and I also once lost my gold earning on purpose so that he can find it and sell it to pay his little sister’s medical bills.

 Today with facebook and twitter being a hangout zone even we had ours … at the community tap in Amchiwadi… all neighbor’s chatted and checked on each other while washing and cleaning at the taps… precisely at 6.30pm when the taps hissed and whistled, the municipal corporation decided to grace us with our daily supply of water.

 My favorite story was Zoya Akhtar’s were the little boy Vicky dances all dressed as Sheila! on the item number by Katrina Kaif! Well a lot of critiques have flaked and ridiculed Zoya… for her story that talks about gender and sexuality but for me it was simply a blast from the past! All I can say is that it did not matter whether Vicky was a cross dresser, gay … anything ! It just meant that he simply enjoyed dancing on female item numbers like my childhood neighbor Bandu!

I had completely no memory of Bandu until I saw this one!

Bandu my neighbor was frail thin normal twin boy of 10 years … he did not walk like a girl, he did not have any animated hand gestures but yes he had a great smile and grace. One day Bandu took the whole Amchwadi with surprise when he stepped on stage (the annual six day long Shiv Jayanti celebration). Bandu all dressed in an Amrapali (hired from Maganlal Dresswala) with along fake plate danced on the Dafliwale song from Sargam (1979). We are all spellbound when we saw Bandu. From that day Bandu was our item girl! Bandu would always be there with his dance moves! He was so gracefully and awesome that I once took training from him when I had to perform a solo dance.

I remember going up to him and asking him to teach me the dance steps of the song Nach Mayuri from the famous Sudha Chandran Starrer. Bandu readily agreed and would come everyday for the evening practice sessions where he would dance and I would simply sit and enjoy his moves… how I felt jealous at times that I could not move like him. I won the first prize but still could not match up to Bandu’s grace!

Today when I called up home to ask mom about our neighbor Bandu she was surprised that how on earth did I remember him after 26years! And guess what Bandu still lives with his family in that small 10×10 room in Amchwadi.

He is an Interior Designer but not married as yet! (Must be 36 years now) …

I wonder why?

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