Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Revisiting Pardes Mein Des

So this past Saturday was India Night at Assembly Hall and the production value was incredible for a student production. The sound and lights and shear number of participants (200+) blew Heat 2006 out of the water...although Heat did have Saif and Preity, which you just can't compete with. There were several inside jokes about the poor quality of UIC shows and I wonder if they were reflecting on that.

I love funny take-offs of the Matrix and this production had it in spades. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. The skit was about the strict rules on when you should leave the library and involved guys completely in black with ski masks helping people "fly" across the stage and were the force behind the weaponized calculator that the engineering student was gifted that allowed it to hit its target and return, like a boom-a-rang
. Vera vera funny. It is perhaps a little more funny having studied in said library. Main Hoon Na has several Matrix-esque scenes...maybe that is why it is one of my favorites. The Matrix is just a little ridiculous and making fun of that makes me laugh. What really made the show for me was the dancing. Unbeknownst to me we have some champion dance squads on campus. The I-Bhangra team was unbelievable. My next project (post-graduation) will be committing myself to learning how to Bhangra. The team came out in orange and blue shimmery satiny finery. I still can't believe that I live in a town with people that can dance like that.

Of the people in the audience, Beth and I were again the most drably dressed. There were all kinds of beautifully adorned men, women and children. The colors of the fabrics and all the beads and jewelry were wonderful to look at so at intermission we made a lap and just people watched, which is always entertaining, and were able to get up close looks at what the performers were wearing. I was very pleased to hear selections from movies I have seen and ones that I haven't, such as Bluffmaster which I will be watching very soon. I find myself already thinking about next year's show and what it will be like.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bollywood...The Gift That Never Stops Giving

This past weekend was the Heat 2006 concert and it was FANTASTIC. Words fail me. Beth Loves Bollywood and I took my sister and another friend of ours to the event to show them a little of the culture of Bollywood, and it did not disappoint. The back-up dancers were amazing and the costumes outrageous, to say the least. Preity was always well dressed but who ever did the fashion for her dancers really needs to reconsider the pale pink pleather chaps with garter belts, knee high black boots, and hot pink and yellow bikini tops. And was that shear fringe? I mean really reconsider. That might have been the worst get-up I have yet seen in Bollywood, and that's saying something. I have been thinking that if school doesn't work out for me I might become a back-up dancer myself but am having second thoughts if I have to wear such a misuse/abuse of fashion...on the other hand maybe I could help them avoid such situations. And the rhymes for introducing the next act. Despite this blip, the dancers really made the show what it was, I feel, and it was great.

Poor Saif. The last scene was him and Preity doing a little bit of Salaam Namaste in which he was wearing a white tank with his name across his chest that you could see his bandage through. At the beginning of the show he had explained how he was disobeying doctors orders in continuing with the show and how he would never let us down by not performing. I fully appreciate this, but he should not have been lifting girls with a tear in his abdominal wall while he was so obviously in pain! The burgeoning doctor in me wanted to urge him to respect his many doctors' wishes or he will never heal...but I did enjoy getting to see him dance even just the little bit he was able to do. My friend and I went down out of our seats to get closer to the stage just as he was calling girls out of the audience, some of which were holding up a sign that said "My Dil Goes Mmmm 4 U Saif" so I leaned over to the 13 year old girl next to me and said "My dil goes Mmmm for him more! Saif is my favorite!" and she said "Mine too! We should get to go!" My friend and I got in a little trouble from a man sitting on the side so we went and sat down a little way away to watch Saif sing a little more and pulled out the binoculars that she brought (they were more diminutive than the ones I brought) and a little girl in front of us asked to borrow them and got a real kick out of that, as did her parents. I could not believe the number of small children (one of which my sister helped to find his parents) that were in attendance. Their little ears must have been hurting, I know mine were. You could understand better what was said if you plugged your ears it was so loud.

Beth Loves Bollywood and I spent the night at my sister's place and went shopping in the morning for soundtracks and Bollywood movies ~ there was only one store open, but it was a treasure trove. They had photos of Saif and Shahrukh and Preity and Aamir and so many more. Some stars together, some by themselves. I bought the soundtrack to Bluffmaster, unseen, and it is now the background soundtrack for my life, such as it is ,and I have now ordered a copy of the movie to see if it can hold up to the music.

A wonderful, whimsical weekend. If I could find the back door to the make-believe-land-where-all-that-is-wrong-turns-right-in-the-end that is the world of Bollywood, I would enter and not look back, at least not for a long time.