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Dancing the Munna Michael way!

By Sukanya Verma
June 13, 2017 15:50 IST
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A 1990s Bollywood album.
Ranbir Kapoor as Balraj Sahni.
Dimple Kapadia's Crowning Glory days.
Agha-Mukri-Kesto's fun, fabulous, forgotten friendship.
Sukanya Verma's super-filmi week was a complete blast from the past.


When I was in Class 6, my needlecraft teacher assigned us to embroider a cushion cover. Saying I was inept at sewing doesn't even begin to describe how hopeless I was.

Around the time of submission, I panicked because my handiwork resembled a jumble of coloured threads.

I begged my mom to intervene. She relented and created the perfect motif.

It was tidy and tactical in a manner that made my mess look unique than it actually was.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui reminds me of that flaw-minimising design as I watch him make a deal with Tiger Shroff in the new Munna Michael trailer.

Even at his most rambunctious, his cheeky vigour is more eye-catching than all the cuts on Tiger Shroff's brawny physique.

Despite the over-the-top tone of the masala, there's something curious about their banter.

And it's because of the Nawaz factor.

The Gangs of Wasseypur actor may not be the conventional, popular image of a star, one that is prone to grab headlines, magazine covers or brand endorsements, but he has elevated the calibre of the best of them by masking their monotonous creativity with artistic guile.

Be it opposite Salman Khan in Kick and Bajrangi Bhaijaan or Shah Rukh Khan in Raees, Nawaz's fervour is what regales viewers the most and revitalises worn-out superstars to the extent we start seeing them in a new light.


Every decade has something to whoop about.

But it's the nineties I feel closest to; when I was gullible enough to not let my wisdom come in the way of my wonderment.

Recently, I read a delightful column by writer, lyricist and stand-up comic Varun Grover on how the 1990s changed the way we watch movies.

A piece after my own heart, it's triggered my nostalgia so furiously; I've started compiling an album of its most enduring imagery.

Here's a glimpse:


One of the most drool-worthy moments in Jon Favreau's Chef is the one where he delicately prepares a grilled cheese sandwich for his son.

I don't know if the kid appreciates the effort and details his father puts in making that buttery slab of gruyere, cheddar and parmesan heaven, but even writing about it makes me wish I had a cheese toast by my side.

The new still from its Hindi remake starring Saif Ali Khan shows the star, surrounded by steel and spice, working up a wok.

It's hard to tell what he's cooking, but could this be his take on the afore-mentioned scene?

Despite the disappointing absence of mouth-watering elements in the visual, I am eager to see the foodie quotient of this desi Chef.



Bobby Braganza is a senior citizen today!

I wasn't born when her debut released, but enthusiastically tagged along with my mum and brother to witness Dimple Kapadia's silver screen comeback in Saagar and embarrassing transformation from lustful seductress to accursed goddess in Paatal Bhairavi.

Through her topsy-turvy career, the gorgeous actress has delivered many powerful performances, but two of her equally significant attributes are her glorious mane and free-spirited fashion sense.

As a kid I adored her hair so much I nagged mom endlessly to dump the traditional Shikakai for Crowning Glory shampoo soap -- an erstwhile Godrej product from the 1980s endorsed by the star in a glamorous commercial -- convinced I'd turn Rapunzel in no time.

While everyone has a gushing word for those golden tresses, Dimple is quite the unsung fashionista.

Easily switching between edgy and ethnic, there's an ahead-of-its-time quality to her style that is cutting-edge even today.



There is an uncanny likeness to the Friday releases this week.

Both Bollywood's Raabta and Hollywood's The Mummy contain:

  • Characters running helter-skelter to save their lives.
  • Women with sharp cheekbones and flat midriffs.
  • People from ancient, exotic times not quite dead as presumed.
  • Underwater scenes that lead to much horror and heartbreak.
  • An unabashed love for grisly make-up.

The grimmest of these similarities is that they are both terrible movies that take more than a weekend to recover from.



Looking at the creativity of 'Fake Posters We Wish Were Real' posted by the entertainment Web site GamesRadar+ inspires me to come up with one as well.

Now the idea is to design a poster of a hypothetical project that sounds promising, but isn't officially in the works.

Balraj has been on my wish-list for a while.

Some years back, I read Balraj Sahni's autobiography and was fascinated by his brutal candour and insights that reveal a man far more complex than his sorted-out, on-screen composure.

In good hands, the events of the late legend's life would make for a gripping, genuine biopic.

I know Ranbir Kapoor is already playing Sanjay Dutt in Rajkumar Hirani's upcoming drama, but I would love to see him as Raj, Balraj.



I've mentioned this before, but I like to catch on an old Hindi movie on Sundays to revel in 'Doordarshan's Sunday Movie' nostalgia.

This time, it's Basu Chaterjee's breezy Piya Ka Ghar, starring Jaya Bhaduri and Anil Dhawan.

It's about a newly married couple's growing frustration at the lack of privacy inside Mumbai's matchbox abodes unfit to accommodate a growing joint family scenario.

Forty-five years after its release, its thoughts on the city's real estate grievances continue to strike a chord.

As does this commonly held belief voiced by Paintal's character, 'Hum Hindi picture dekhtein hain. Humein sab maloom hai.'

Piya Ka Ghar may centre around the newlyweds, but it's Agha, Mukri and Keshto's rib-tickling chemistry as the chai and cards hooked troika that ensures the film doesn't slump into typical melodrama.

My favourite bit of their camaraderie is when the three, representing the groom, mollify the grouchy uncle (Raja Paranjpe) of the bride:

Mukri: Aap humara saath aake do haath taash ke nahi khel sakte?

Uncle: Main taash nahi khelta.

Keshto: Toh phir chai pijiye. Khaali peeli thandi ho rahi hai.

Uncle: Main chai nahi peeta.

Keshto: Lijiye beedi pijiye, toph chaap.

Mukri: Yeh zamindar hain. Yeh teri tarah beedi nahi, yeh toh hookah peete hain hookah.

Uncle: Main hookah nahi peeta.

Agha: Aaj toh khushi ka din hai. Gusse ko thukte jaaiye.

Mukri: Main samjha budha yeh kahega ke thukta bhi nahi.

Never a dull moment around these three.

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Sukanya Verma in Mumbai