Monday, June 03, 2002

Tamarind rice, kheema and a movie

One of the things I always missed from the Wal*Mart super store in Athens, GA was the mashed turkey tubes that I could buy and cook in a jiffy. Tasty and addictive too. Well, on my recent trip to Athens, I managed to get a few sausage tubes and proceeded to cook one yesterday. Harish joined me and cooked tamarind rice, his debut in our kitchen. Smoke and spicy fumes aside (some houses never enjoyed the benefits of an exhaust vent), dinner was great. Mahesh joined us too, still green at the new home and blue for the old.

Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar aka JJWS was the movie for the night. Yes, we had all seen it before and yes, we all wondered why the film flopped considering there was so much heart in it, competent performances and enjoyable songs (including the dulcet Pehla Nasha, innovatively choreographed by Farah Khan, who was only 17 then). RD Burman-inspired composer duo Jatin and Lalit (the last name is Pandit, but more about that in a moment) had a lot to live up to (director Mansoor Khan's previous film, his debut venture, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, was a monster hit as were the songs by composer duo Anand-Milind). They lived up to every expectation, churning out appropriate songs bearing stamps of their RD Burman influence (Shaher ki Pariyon owes a lot to "Jeena kya aji pyaar bina" from Dhan Daulat (1980)) and the occasional foreign influence (watch out The Who's Pinball Wizard in 'Yahan Ke Hum Sikandar'). There's a little motif running through the film, which sounds like Nino Rota's Speak Softly Love. Small consolation: It picked up the Filmfare Award for Best Film and one more for Mansoor Khan for Best Director. Who won that year? Deewana was the big winner, with Sameer walking away with the lyrics trophy for Aisi Deewangi, Nadeem-Shravan chalking off another Filmfare award, and Kumar Sanu walking away with the Best Male Playback Singer trophy. The only grouse: Whoever mastered the DVD botched things up with a pan-and-scan.


* The film drew inspiration from the 1979 Peter Yates film Breaking Away

* Look carefully at Sanju's (Aamir Khan) friend Maqsood/Ghoda. That's Aditya Lakhiya (who also starred with Ashutosh Gowariker in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa also scored by Jatin-Lalit and featuring Deepak Tijori), now famous as Kachra in Lagaan

* Lalit Pandit (co-composer) cameos as a bass guitarist (even playing out the opening riff) for the team from Xavier's college as they belt out Humse Hai Saara Jahan. In the same song, Jatin appears on stage/screen singing for himself.

* In his début film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (also the directorial début of JJWS director Mansoor Khan), Aamir's character Raj is a student of Rajput College. In JJWS the rival school headed by Shekhar Malhotra (Deepak Tijori) is Rajput College

* Holding the RDB umbrella high, Jatin lends his voice to three songs, including the touching solo Roothkar humse

* Vijayeta Pandit, who joins Udit Narayan for Jawan ho Yaaron is sister to the composer-duo, as is Sulakshana Pandit (who lent her vocal talents to their other Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa). Vijayeta made her acting debut along with star son Kumar Gaurav (remember Cricketer?) in Love Story, scored by the late R D Burman.

* Amit Kumar, who belts out Naam Hai Mera Fonseca (and also lends his voice to Jatin-Lalit on Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa and Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman) was launched by R D Burman in Balika Badhu with Bade Achhe Lagte Hain (although technically he had sung a song for his father earlier in Door Ka Raahi)

* 1992 was a good year for the composer duo with Khiladi and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (although the film made it to theatres only in 1994). If you listen closely Naam Hai Mera Fonseca you can discern traces of Khud Ko Kya Samajhti Hai from Khiladi

* Girija (hot from her success in and as Mani Ratnam's Geetanjali) cameos in Jawaan ho yaaron (apparently she was signed on and the song was filmed before she vanished to make way for Ayesha Jhulka -- this explains why Ms. Jhulka is not to be seen for this song) {thanks to Renu for this tip! -- Oct 04, 2002}

* Apart from the ones it won, JJWS also garnered Filmfare Nominations for music, lyrics (Majrooh for 'Yahan Ke Hum Sikandar') {???}, and Pooja Bedi for supporting actress. Pitiable!!

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