10 Trends we should bid farewell to in 2017

1. Show Middle Finger to Middle Name.

Dear Ladies, I know it’s your choice but I have to say it’s a horrible one. Adding your husband’s name in the middle on Facebook seems to be the new fad in 2016. Every other person I know (friends, relatives) seems to be doing it post marriage. On one hand, we have women keeping their surnames same even after marriage and on the other we have women who go one step ahead and add their husband’s name too. Personally, I find it regressive and patriarchal. Have you asked your husbands to do the same? Or has the thought of adding wife’s name to theirs even come across to husbands? I guess, No and that explains it all. I seriously don’t understand the joy behind doing this exercise. Hope to see the trend fading away in 2017 or at least husband’s catching up with it too.

2. Arvind Kejriwal should stop being a troll

I know it is wishful thinking and may be even God cannot help me in this but can we please have a well behaved Arvind Kejriwal? In other words, can he start behaving as a Chief Minister and stop blaming the Prime Minister for every damn thing in this universe?  From calling the PM a psychopath to supporting a convict like Lalu Prasad Yadav, he has become nauseating now. There have been times when I had to read his tweets twice just to check if it is him or his troll account (which by the way makes more sense).  Arvind, even Najeeb Jung has resigned now, please be a little tolerable!

3. It’s not about loving our Soldiers

I am no ‘liberal’ but the growing use of bringing in the country’s soldier for justifying everything silly done in the country should just stop RIGHT NOW! Lecturing people to boycott or ban films that star Pakistani actors because our soldiers are protecting us at the border or telling people that they should not crib about standing in bank and ATM lines because soldiers stand at the border for days without complaining is plain stupidity. Can we please stop this false equivalence and let the soldiers be out of the politics? We can love our soldiers & at the same time criticize demonetization or enjoy watching Ae Dil Hai Muskhil. May better sense prevail!

4. Muslim kids & Fancy Dress

Even Lord Krishna and Jesus would have been fed up by the ‘secularism’ shown by Indians. This is an annual ritual when pictures of Muslim parents carrying their kids dressed up as Krishna or Jesus start floating on WhatsApp, Facebook and every damn place you can find. In fact it isn’t Janmasthami or Christmas till we have seen the picture. While I appreciate the multi culturalism and pluralism of our country; we need not be reminded of it every year. Let the kids dress up and leave them. Please don’t shove it in our face. Just chill. BTW, idea courtesy @NameFieldmt

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5. Close the Open Letters 

While I have written some of them myself, I think it’s high time we stop this drama of Open Letters. I say that because let’s be frank, no one is reading them; especially, the one to whom we are addressing it. I don’t have a problem with the format but of late there have been a bombardment of open letters (most of which make no sense) for every little thing that happens around us. Also, let’s face it that most of us are not aiming towards staring a dialogue but it’s just a bitch fest to get more hits on our blog and get some publicity. We should rather write a letter to our loved ones which they might actually read & may be make them happy because nothing beats the old world charm that hand written letters carry. BTW, this was suggested by KarnikaKohli

6. Ramzan vs Ramadan

Again, I have been party to the crime but if I reflect back, I feel this is one of the most pointless debates of which I have been a part of. Ramzan is one of the most important festivals of Muslims and it is called ‘Ramadan’ in Arabic. In India, as Urdu & Hindi have been the language of communication, it is called ‘Ramzan’. Most of us grew up learning it. I of course had issues (still have) with the growing Arabization as Indians started using ‘Ramadan’ but many say that I am over reacting & it’s just going back to using the ‘authentic’ name which is in Quran. So, let’s just close this debate and enjoy Haleem & Sheer Korma without getting into the spelling.

7. ‘Recreating’ old songs

As if remaking old Hindi films was not enough, we now have film makers ruining the old classic songs by ‘recreating’ them. Some of them like Kaala Chasma (Baar Baar Dekho) or Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le (Dear Zindagi) were not that bad but most of them have been a let down. The recent recreation of Rahman’s Humma Humma (OK Janu) was the final nail in the coffin. Can we just compose some original music in 2017? @ThePuccaCritic did a good piece on the same.

8. Who is the best Khan?

Let’s just settle it this year and agree that Shah Rukh Khan is the BEST Khan. We must stop this annual ranting of telling SRK that he should do more films like Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, Swades & Chak De India. He is a brilliant actor and he was bloody good even when he did DDLJ, KKHH, Veer Zaara and Fan. No one can do a Raj or Rahul like he does and even now when he opens his arms, he creates magic on screen. Yes, even with that hamming. He has style, class and substance. He is THE KING. PERIOD!

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9. The Coke Studio Debate

With a heavy heart, I have to say that Coke Studio Pakistan is a notch above ours. Let’s just accept it guys that ours is still very commercial, Bollywoodish and to an extent wannabish also and we haven’t come up with something that is even close to the magic of Coke Studio Pakistan. So let’s just enjoy the music and keep the who is better debate aside because I just told you who is better!

10. Year End Posts! 

So tired of these year end posts telling us the top moments, the top films, the best shows, the worst actors and all that. Oh wait! Okay. It is still 2016 and I can write one  🙂

On that note, Happy New Year!

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1000 Weeks of DDLJ: Come Fall in Love!

I was in Standard Fourth when Aditya Chopra’s ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaenge’ had released. Most of my cousins and friends in the school had seen it and they couldn’t stop raving about it. I remember coaxing and nagging my father (who isn’t a movie enthusiast) for the tickets and he obliged after a couple of weeks. Those days we didn’t have any vehicle, so mounting on a cycle-rickshaw with me sitting on my mother’s lap in the chilling winters of Jaipur we went to ‘Rajmandir’ for the night show. I saw the film again in Bombay with my cousins in the 1996 summer vacations. I saw it yet again in 2006 in Noida when the multiplexes re-released it for some reason. And I see it again every time it is aired on the television. Such was the euphoria of the film that more than our school lessons we grew up by hearting the famous dialogues from the film and even today we have this silly competition of ‘Who remembers the exact dialogues before the actors in the film speak’ every time it is played on the cable.

Most love stories made in those times often saw the hero & heroine defying their parents and running away, either to get married or to get killed by the parents. DDLJ came with a breath of fresh air where neither the lovers fought against the entire world nor did they succumb to the bullets in slow motion; here the lovers submitted to the older generations’ authority and made a strong moral case which they eventually won!  DDLJ was also the ‘coolest’ ever film to be made and that too at a time when India was at the cusp of globalization and liberalization. From Shah Rukh’s leather jackets to Kajol’s halter neck gowns; from Tang to Strauh’s beer; from Yamaha bike to bullet trains – everything about the film was trendy and cool.

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The brilliance of DDLJ lies in the fact that it blended tradition with modernity till one could hardly distinguish between the two. Here, we had a wife who fasts for her husband on Karwa Chauth (traditional) but she is also a mother who is strong (modern?) enough to go against her husband’s diktat and ask her daughter to elope. We had a Simran who is engaged but she dares and falls in love with someone on a trip (modern); however, the thought that she had sex with him freaks her out (traditional?). We also had the lover boy Raj who falls in love with Simran but is not game towards the idea of eloping without the blessings of his lover’s parents (traditional). The film depicts this battle between the past and the present, and between individual desire and societal customs. Hence, I respectfully disagree with folks who argue that the film was ‘regressive’.

One of the many reasons I love the film is because of the old world charm it has. Had it been made today, Raj & Simran would have had sex the moment Simran knocked off after sipping Cognac. But, here we had a couple who never even say the ‘3 magical words’ to each other but love each other unabashedly and passionately. In fact, Raj & Simran singing ‘Tujhe Dekha Toh’ in mustard field is greater than an bloody sex scene in movies. Aah! The magic of Shah Rukh and Kajol who became the eternally romantic onscreen couple after this and even today there is no one who can match their chemistry both on screen and off screen.

I wouldn’t be wrong if I say that it taught an entire generation to fall in love. Shah Rukh of course made it difficult for boys like us as every girl expected us to be ‘Raj’. However, it gave us hope.  If a girl in college made an eye-contact with us then we all would turn to God and say ‘Palat’ because if she did then it somewhere meant that she liked us. We all wanted to impress the mothers just like Raj helped Simran’s mother because it clearly meant that half your battle is won. “What if you have fallen in love, with someone like me?” The hypothetical situation was many times enacted whenever we wanted to test our chances with someone. Oh! And how can I forget keeping ‘Karwa Chauth’ fast just like Raj did for Simran?

DDLJ is a film which has heart at the right place. Even after watching the film umpteenth number of times, I still can’t hold my tears when Farida Jalal talks about the sacrifices of women with her daughter and I can’t stop smilling when Simran finally hold Raj’s hand and boards the train.

DDLJ is the bible of onscreen romance in films. It is like an old wine whose taste has only become better with each passing year. 1000 weeks? Give me 1000 more!

My favorite moments from the film: