Thursday, June 15, 2006


Today's Vocabulary Review:

Bandh = strike
Fillum = movie
Talkies = cinema
Interval = intermission
Frooty = addictive mango drink

Today I and P and a packed house sweated through three hours of Fanaa, the Hindi fillum that was banned in Gujarat (this would be the state on the middle left of the map where many bad things like earthquakes, riots, etc. seem to happen). Apparently male lead Aamir (Lagaan) Khan offended people's sensibilities by saying something to the effect that the poor people being displaced by a massive Narmada dam project should receive compensation from the government. The other day someone seeing the fillum at a Gujarat talkies started himself on fire during the interval -- thus closing the filllum.

Anyways...... It only occurred to me today, halfway through the fillum, that Mr. Khan is a Muslim -- a fact which may in fact have added fuel to the fire (Gujarat is the state where there were massive riots and killings (Hindu v. Muslim) over a dispute in Ayodhya, a spot that some fundamentalist Hindus say was / should be the site of a Ram temple because it's his birthplace, but which also happened to be the site of a mosque. Long story but it led to thousands of (mostly Muslim) deaths and the nationwide bandh that I experienced in Mysore itself back in March 2002 -- when everything was closed the city was a ghost town). It probably didn't help that he played a Muslim Kashmiri separatist terrorist in the fillum, which kicked ass; it took place in Kashmir (probably shot in Switzerland) and the women did all of the important killing.

Unfortunately Aamir Khan is starting to take on the craggy countenance of a latter-day Tom Hanks. Not a good look, by the way. But his character did kill guys while driving a snowmobile and ate chicken with his left hand -- which sure trumps talking to a volleyball.