Wednesday, 28 March, 2007


Ke batao me? I am so gone. But not in a Wizard-of-Oz-"I think we are not in Kansas anymore"-way. India feels like home. Staying at Arambol right now- which is probably the best kown Hippy-meeting-point in Goa. Good carma managed a nice little 200 Rupi-appartment for us, including wonderful people and (I still cannot believe it-) a fridge. W a h. But indeed there is something i miss- stupid me forgot my Nithin Sahwney CDs, what a crap. And somehow I forgot to kidnap Babasko and bring her here. I am so sorry. Here are some Saif-Chips for you, meri jaan. Please be nice and share it with the other Bollywoodbloggers.

Teek hai. Now I have to start writing immediately. Not cause I am an online-junkie but because so many nice things are happening. And at least I would share some of them. Arambol is really a crazy place which I rushed through on my last journey (2004). Finally now I am taking a closer look at this strangely commercial (halfbaked-) hippies paradise. Well, Its nothing for real hippies. Please ask the Hippy next to you, if he or she would really stay in secondhand-Babylon, with techno-music and bargainers everywhere you look, and a plastic-crap-landscape at the backside. But I can clearly see that some people really like this place. And once it is offseason it is really smooth.

I saw a documentary about Arambol (“Shanti Plus”) the other day and would like to confirm the description of Dorothee Wenner, when she was saying, that Arambol is an “in-between-world”. And despite it is not what I would call a paradise, it is an island for all the ones who want to spice up their holidays with spirituality. Sort of “cheap and best”. And besides... Osho, Che, Shiva and Shah Rukh- they are all here... being sold on bags or t-shirts and doing now satsangs with some dreadlocked spiritourists.

The local Newspaper “Travel-Talk” says about Goa that it is a “door opened to the discovery of the inner resources of every human being. When coming to Goa bear in mind that the true seeker will find his way there toward his self-realization.” What a funny and clever formulation. Former-Goa-traveler may please confirm.

But by the way I found also some extraordinary good qualities here. Not only in the many exorbitant friendly locals or f.e. in the wonderful food they are doing here. There are also very high-standard Yogaclasses one could try. But for now i am too busy with other things then becoming a yogin… like singing Bollywoodsongs with the locals, playing guitar on the beach and drinking chai with differentdifferent people and slowlyslowly really arriving in india. Tomorrow I will have my first tabla-guitar jamsession with two nice indian fellows. But I think you are more interested in the next story I want to come up with: There was a camera-team on the beach today.

Hehe. Lucky me. But I barefoot-stepped into dogshit the day before- so you see I also had to pay for this good carma. Round twenty people, one model and one producer were involved in this shootings. Everybody seemed like hopping just right out of a pictures book.

Well, sadly it was no movie but just an tv-advertisement for a “Wellenbad”, some will start in the mountains. But the shootings of the spot was really funny. The models name is Madhu, and she was saying here something like: ” Hi, I am Rhea and believe it or not…blablabla”. She had the same voice and behaviour like Preity Zinta in “Salaam Namaste”. The Producer was giving her the text right in front of my eyes and and kept saying motivating stuff like “Smile” and “good energy”. Was fun.

By the way- I will see “Namaste London” day after tomorrow, in case none of you guys keep me away of it. One of my many new friends here, Mahadev, translated the Indian newspaper (including the cinema-schedule from Mapusa) for me. Actually he was here when “Dhoom2” was shot near to Arambol and he saw also godess Aishwarya Raj. He told me that filmmakers don’t have to pay taxes for shooting here, and this is one of the many reasons why so many movies are actually made here.

Also our adorably nice taxidriver (Babban) - who brought us to Arambol on the first day - had lot to tell about the Goa-shootings. And by the way he already got Amitabhs Darshana. When Babban realized that I can do some hindiphrases he started to babble like a waterfall and meanwhile constantly came up with new words and local sayings, which he ment to be usefull for me (f.e “achibathe”- which is a nice saying of “very good”). In summary I was happy to still know the phrases I had already known before. But what a nice guy. He really liked us. We had really a perfect arrival.

O god, there were so many more smart conversations. Bas. I keep also the “unwritten-indian-rulez-stories” aside (maybe for my necglected german blog)and close this legendary first India-posting with some more Bollywood-related perceptions.

Imagine you are passing a restaurant in Arambol where a Hollywoodblockbuster is screened. Visualize the exclusively white audience. Count around 30 halfbaked-hippypeople. The exorbitant big TV-Screen is showing a not ending 5 minutes tonguebreaking kissing scene. Visavis you have another restaurant with the same amount of indian people. They are not giving a look. Somehow they are seeming outstanding busy…So this is what intellectuals mean when they talk about cultural clash and disjunctures, I guess...

Later in the same night I had some thoughtfull walk through Arambol and while understanding slowly that I already lost orientation I by the way explored Bollywoodscreenings all around- in cafes but also in private houses with open doors. So I slowly followed this good vibes and so then found home easily (dramatized).

So then we had “Krrish” the next morning for breakfast. Again no other tourists in the cafĂ© despite us seemed to have any interest in this cable-tv-screening without subtitles. Somehow all this experiences made me felt like you wonderful Bloggerguys out there where with me and therfor I enjoyed it.

But the obvious truth is that India has more to offer. And Bollywood is actually just a very small but colourful and spicy part.

Friday, 23 March, 2007

Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

Hoooooraay. It´s Travel-time. Very lucky me had some wonderful Goodbye-celebrations in Vienna and now am ready for takeoff. Time to celebrate freedom and explore this so called "offline reality" some keep talking about...

Tuesday, 20 March, 2007

seriously- Wah!

Please read this superb interview with Shah Rukh Khan, that journalist Mehru Jaffer did back in 2004 during the shootings of "Swades" for the monthly indian politic-magazine "Hardnews". So then confirm that you liked it and feel free to leave a comment.

The Pictures are published here with permission from the author.

Questioning the Questioner:

Umananda: "Did Shah Rukh Khan came up with the anwsers very fast (When i understood it right, there was never a moment of irritation...) ? Was he getting nervous sometimes? Was he smoking all during the interview or just in certain moments? How did you experience him?

Mehru Jaffer: "I was very impressed at how mature and poised the young man is in real life. A thorough gentleman. He asked for the recorder I was fiddling with and inserted the tape the right way. Not for a moment was he irritated or annoyed at the questions and spoke spontaneously without any pause.
Although he is a chain smoker he was not smoking when he was with me. Being a thorough professional he allowed me to perform my job as a journalist while he did what he thought was his job to give straight answers without any 'nakhra'." (in english nakhra translates as humming and hawing).

Sunday, 18 March, 2007

staging indias einstein

A Disappearing Number

“A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns….”
(G.H. Hardy)

"An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God." (Ramanujan)

Press release:
Simon McBurney, who debuted in Vienna at the 2002 Wiener Festwochen with The Noise of Time, incessantly invents alluring, complex theatrical worlds where memory and the past play key roles in illuminating the present. His new work, which will be premiered in London in April 2007 as a Festwochen co-production, is centred on the outstanding Indian mathematician Ramanujan, whose “civilian job” was that of a Madras post-office employee.

A self-taught spare-time mathematician, he was considered one of his era’s most brilliant mathematical thinkers by the international academic world of the early 20th century. An Indian physician and a man dreaming of India round off a cast of characters whose story explore the dreams of our new global migration society. This is a theatrical meditation on the dialectics of knowledge and power, on communication and loss.

“Successfully navigating the apparent divide between avant-garde experiment and a popular mainstream, Complicite has become known internationally for the physical dexterity and darkly comic inventiveness of its collaboratively devised work.”
(Fifty Key Theatre Directors, 2005)

Nitin Sawhney is widely regarded as one of the most creative talents in music today, a music pioneer who has collaborated with many of the world's leading international artists, orchestras and music producers.

Concept and director: Simon McBurney
Music: Nitin Sawhney
With: David Annen, Firdous Bamji, Paul Bhattacharjee, Hiren Chate, Divya Kasturi, Simon Pandya, Saskia Reeves, Shane Shambhu
Production Complicite, London

Shows: 29, 30, 31 May, 1 June, 7.30 p.m., Hall E at the MuseumsQuartier

Discussion with the audience, free admission, 30th May, following the performance. Hall E at the MuseumsQuartier

Information and Tickets:
Festwochen Service Phone (+43-1) 589 22 22

Thursday, 15 March, 2007

Passages to Bollywood

Finally we have a Bollywood-introduction-hand-book in german language. Author Claus Tieber has done some interesting university-courses about Hindi-Movies in Vienna since 2004 and has now published a book which discusses indian dramaturgy, ways of production and aestetics of commercial Hindi-movies. This books yearns to "destroy" some of the cliches and prejudices about Bollywood "in a sustainable way", as Mr. Tieber said.
He himself has by the way obviously a special worship for superstar Amitabh Bachchan and the 70s movies. The book deals especially with Hindi-Films since 1947 and ends more or less with "Kabhi Khushi Khabie Gham". First of all the book portrays the historical view of Hindi-Mainstream Movies, but there are some sidetalks about NRI-Diasporafilms as well.

"Passages to Bollywood"
has all in all arround 180 pages and a 2-pages forword of Yash Chopra. I just snooped for one hour into the book and have to confess that i didnt buy it or read it fully yet (thats cause i am what we call in austria a "bettelstudent"- and spent my last money for the Hepatitis-injection for my india-journey just the same day).

Mr.Tieber was presenting his book in Schikaneder-Cinema in Vienna yesterday. It was a huge success with arround 50 or more people participating. The announced "surprise-movie" was "Kaala Patthar" (1979, starring Amitabh, Shashi and Rakhee). Audience seemed to like it and i think Bollywood made some new friends in Vienna.

"Kaala Patthar" is one of the maybe less known Yash Chopra-movies subjecting the cruel exploitation through the indian coal-industry. Amitabh is playing the "Karna"-like angry young man. Adorable young Shashi Kapoor plays the morally obliged architect of the incredible hair-reasing dangerous coalmines. Just in short i would point out that the movie was a good choice in ascpects purchasing Mr. Tieber´s book. "Kaala Patthar" had some great (sometimes endless) dialgues and in ways of cinematography it really made me dizzy. But thats ok. Its Bollywood. But it´s a pitty that there was no intermission.

Richard Kisling, the Speakersmen of "Lit-Verlag", who published the book, articulated his excitement about the book, with the word "Wahnsinn", which is a austrian way of saying "Wah-Wah"! The first 300 Books are already sold (within the last 3 weeks). And thats in spite of "Lit-Verlag" didnt have the chance to promote it accurate yet. "This took us completly by surprise", Kisling said. "We had no idea that the Bollywoodcommunity is that huge- and that they are so much interested in scientific books."

Well. They are. And if you follow the forum-discussions it would have been no surprise at all. Western Bollywoodfans in the germanlanguaged aera obviously just where waiting for something like this. I confess this makes me confident for my own book (which deals with the Bollywoodtrend in Europe since the Millenium). But i will be in india, when my book will be published (which should happen in April) -- and if there will be any discussions about my book i can decently hide myself there.

But i have one more thing to write: Mr. Tieber´s first introduction page is a decent refusal of the Bollywood-Trend in europe. He is telling that "the numbers" (he doesnt quote any- but at least i know that he meant the ones which i researched for my thesis) are showing that there is no european Bollywood-"Boom" (which media tried to construct) that "some should take serious". He writes that this is just a lifestyle-Hype. I contradict partly - in so far that i suggest that we should take it very serious. And ironically the succes of his own book is a objection to these words themselves.

Plus: Actually DVD-Numbers are declining (there are no more Top30 Hits in Germany since the last months) and on the other hand there are Hindi-Movies who had (if you ask me) major impact to a non-indian community (f.e. "Veer-Zaara", "Krrish" or if you take "Water" for a Hindi-Movie then also this Oscar-nominated, canadian production in hindi-language).

But however. I wish Mr. Tieber all the best for his book. Its like he himself writes in "Passages to Bollywood" somewhere: It makes even more fun to consume Bollywoodmovies if you have some background-knowledge. Thats so true. And if you are interessted in Bollywood-Backgrounds you will find them in this handsome and well-written book (except the word "Schnödipus" in context with the bollywoodian oedipus-complex, which confused me a little to be honest).

Well. What more to say? Go and buy "Passages to Bollywood". So then have double fun with your bollywoodmovies. And if you want to learn more about the reception of Bollywood arround here (including various facts and numbers) i suggest you will risk a deep look in to my upcoming book ("Faszination Bollywood", Tectum-Verlag).

Saturday, 10 March, 2007

peibbm/live blogging

The ultimate Bollywood-Blogger Meeting in Vienna has begun. Means Bollywoodmaniac people doing Bollywoodrelated stuff, and we all love each other. hehe. I am liveblogging on my german weblog- please go there for updates.

+++listen to original bollywoodbloggerlaughter during our "Main Hoon Na" Filmsession and "shake your booty".

+++ listen to koi playing the violin during the "Main Hoon Na" Intermission. Wah!

Friday, 2 March, 2007

The world is not ready for Dhoom2

Reading some shattering german reviews of "Dhoom2" i have come to a terrible point of view. Mera metlab hai: "Dhoom2" (2006) is uncompromising entertainment and western audience seems to be just not ready for it. Most of the Bollywoodfans in the germanlanguaged room seem to hate it. Additionally "Dhoom2" is nominated for the annual "green ladoo" at the ACEBA´s (the price for the most dissapointing movie). Tsts. Unbelievable. We had great 152 minutes-chuckling-time with this movie and absolutley would like to recommend it to people who just like to giggle. Here are some reasons why you should watch it:

1) Forget all your daily problems (including logic, gravity, etc.) and giggle.

2) see Hrithik Roshan constituting and oiling his muscly body.

3) see Abhishek Bachchan doing magnificent mindwork to fight the "coolest and most intelligent thief ever."

Personally i didnt expect anything else, than i got from this sleeky movie, which misses no chance for arrant overacting in every sense of cinematography, special effects and narration. I think it is perfectly clear why this action-movie had become a blockbuster in india. It has astonishing bolly-effects and bolly-ideas, which nobody in Hollywood would ever dare to try. And it is pathetic in a way, that make Tom Cruise and co. look very poor and boring. Take for example the scene where Hrithik Roshan is unlocking a rope form a train after duneboarding - He is waving his arms in the biggest possible radius arround and is ending this performance with his toughest possible glance:

"Dhoom2" develops a new idea of what coolness is all about. It is a sort of very sexy movie with superbombastic and unbelievable unrealistic actionstunts. Song- and Dance-sequences are unfailingly very naughty ("uhuhuh, touch me...") and do not broadcast further wisdom. But they are well choreographed and designed.

"Dhoom2" offers a (bollywood-at-its-best-sort-of) artistic autonomy which is adorable and this is why i dare to give this movie ten out of ten points. And why not giving an extra point for the quoting of the "Krrish"-brainscripts which are cogently re-activated with music-elements and stunts:

It has tradition to quote other movies in Bollywood- so i dont see why anybody is upset with Hrithiks superpowerstunts. Comeon- it is ok. He played superhero "Krrish" (2006) and therefor there is no logic problem with that. Did you really expected "Dhoom2" to be realistic? Teek hai, in that case...muhje mansur. But don´t blame it on the Chopras. They have done a great job with this high-entertaining movie.

Edit: Where do i get a Winch6000? Next time i yearn to catapult myself i want to do it with style - and in less then 8 seconds...

Thursday, 1 March, 2007


Please compare "Subah Subah" (Bollywood-Soundtrack "I see you") with "Love Generation" (Bob Sinclair, WM 2006 hymn) and confirm that this would be a great match. I suggest the similarity is no coincidence...
Subah Subah - I See You
Bob Sinclar - Love Genaration

Is there anybody out there who is able to create a carambolage-remixversion?
May i remind you of the brilliant remix-version of "Loose yourself" and "Mundian To Bach Ke":
"Eminem vs. Punjabi MC".

Its defintely possible - and it simply rocks to mix east and west...