Monday, October 11, 2010

The New Kaun Banega Crorepati

Well, saw Kaun Bangega Crorepati (KBC), the new season or version, whatever. Bachchan-ji doesn’t seem to age, while I feel so old and decrepit myself. The voice, the charisma, the humour, it’s so easy for him. Yes, he makes it seem easy, which it’s not. Performing before the camera is hard and tough. The charm is still intact, it’s difficult at his age, but he manages it so well.

Last night I dreamed I met Rajesh Khanna in person. I used to be a great Rajesh Khanna fan before he faded from superstar-dom. That was before I became a fan of Amitabh Bachchan. Rajesh Khanna lit up the screen with his looks, his mannerisms, his animal presence; while Amitabh lit up the screen with his voice and his air of cool but slightly offended air of sophistication. His is unique looks, tall gangly and handsome in a dark way. These two stars strode like giants, each one accomplished in their own way, doing movies, advancing their careers, making themselves into legends. They don’t make like them anymore. Compared to them the Khans are muscularity and acrobatics. They aren’t in the same romantic mould as Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh.

The first full-length Hindi feature film I saw in a theatre was Aap Ki Kasam. Indeed it was the remake of a Malayalam movie, but the mood was electric and Rajesh Khanna just sizzled on screen with Mumtaz. I still remember all the songs and the various sequences. The tragic end drove me to tears and utter disbelief. That was the golden age of Hindi films when the Bengali directors infused art through their inspired direction into their hatta-katta Punjabi actors. Where are the Bengali directors? I can’t see even one around. Instead, there are Punjabis, Punjabis and more Punjabis. The Bollywood film industry is crawling with Punjabis. Is it because of the pernicious influence of the underworld, whom only a Punjabi can handle with his guts and bravado.

As usual got carried away from the original subject, which is KBC. Can’t say I like the new format. The questions are all Hindi oriented, not general-knowledge oriented as before. A person from the south would be nonplussed about Hindi sayings and idioms. Anyway, personality will pull the program through. That’s for sure.  

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