goa, fried fish, and other heavenly tales


So while I have just about unpacked my bags from my long trip to Bengalaru, I get ready to pack them again for Goa.

So while I am not looking forward to staying in a hotel room for another 10 days, I am sure I can live on scrumptious fried fish at the Ritz without complaint.

So while I pack my laptop and camera, determined that this time round I will blog every day about the festival, I think I will just vanish into the cinema hall every screening and emerge for light and food and sleep and do nothing more.

Though I’m always secretly hoping that one day someone will invite me to write officially about the festival, and I will have a press card, and say bye-bye to queues and frisking and getting laptop and camera expounded from my bag before every screening, the same with food and water, and get invited to all the big parties, even if I don’t want to go to them.

But that hasn’t happened yet.

So while I will walk by the river on my way to the festival from the hotel, I will rarely catch a sunset there, because I will be watching yet another film.

So while I will smile at friends and festival regulars, I will steer away from invitations to meet up, go to the flea market in Anjuna, and do the various interesting things people do in Goa, because I would rather be watching yet another film.

I have been called ‘Party-Pooper’ by the higher-ups.

In the meanwhile, in my beloved Bumm-Bumm-Bhole-Land, I’ve managed to get my video rental queue working again after my informal arrangement at Bangalore, where a voice on the phone took pity on my exile in Attibele and kindly sent me 7 DVDs at a time to get over the ‘outside delivery area’ loophole.

Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan‘ was largely forgettable except for a very pretty Saira Banu in delectable Bhanu Athaiya costumes, and a plot that centers around Sanjay-Rajendra Kumar dying because of the mistake of a newbie Yamdoot, going to heaven and being sent back to occupy another Rajendra Kumar body conveniently vacated by the evil TK.

Apparently, the skies have to bow down before Sanjay’s love for Priya, who meanwhile sings romantic songs for him in Calcutta, unaware that he is dead. Teja and I have missed the moments when Priya falls in love with Sanjay who has until then been harassing her, so we find their heaven-touching love a little inexplicable.

David plays an upper level Swamiji who manages heaven, and Sanjay’s descent to Earth after his heavenly sojourn. Needless to say, heaven is made up of lots of smoke machines. Sanjay and Swamiji come down to earth, with one hand raised and pointing up and the other pointing down, like vertical Supermen. Since the journey is made in a jiffy, I do not understand their aerodynamic poses.

Teja and I inform Dhanno that Rajendra Kumar was known as the ‘Golden Jubilee Star’ on account of the hits he delivered. He also had the nubile Saira Banu crazy about him.

Teja says, “Maybe 50 years later, people will wonder why Shahrukh Khan was such a huge craze. I mean, the way Dhanno and you like him so much, there must have been women who adored Rajendra Kumar.”

All of us stare with concentration at the screen trying to decipher the man’s secret with the ladies.

Cannot dance. Cannot smile. Cannot fight. Is not good looking. His Punjabi accent slips through every now and then. Cannot act.

Nope, don’t know why he was a big star.

I do catch a glimpse of his sincerity though, and say OK, maybe, that’s it.

Oh, I forgot the rosy-cheeked Prem Chopra who looks exceptionally handsome in this film. He plays TK’s ‘evil-ler’ brother.

Now that’s a popularity I understand.


  1. I remember watching Jhuk Gaya Aasman on TV decades ago. I can’t remember much now except the typical 60s fare songs. What I do remember is that I didn’t at all understand the big words on the newspaper, which laud the new TK. I think it was the lines of capitalist becomes socialist.
    And No, I don’t can’t understand Rajendra Kumar’s popularity or for that matter of Bharat Bhushan, Raj Kapoor, Biswajeet, etc. He looked good, when he was hurt, like in Dil ek Mandir. My mother would say he had good stars and planets in his horoscope.
    Yipee, you are going to Goa and that also for a film festival. Looking forward to your reports from there. And wishing you a press-card soon. They must be loony not to give you one!

        • Oh Harvey, I missed the Raj Kapoor in your comment. Though I’m not a big fan of his intense acting, there is no denying that he was very good looking, had a tremendous understanding and flair for music which made him graceful, and he could be very romantic. Bharat Bhushan is again an unsolved mystery, but Biswajeet can be cute at times.

    • “And No, I donโ€™t canโ€™t understand Rajendra Kumarโ€™s popularity or for that matter of Bharat Bhushan, Raj Kapoor, Biswajeet, etc.”

      Or Raj Kumar!๐Ÿ˜‰ Actually, the only film in which I found Rajendra Kumar bearable was Mere Mehboob. He was rather subdued through most of that, and not being melodramatically tragic.

      But Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan had a couple of nice songs – I like the title song, and wasn’t Unse mili nazar ke mere hosh ud gaye also part of this film?

      • Yes, Dusted Off, he is quite OK in ‘Mere Mehboob’.

        Raj Kumar, though, is a character, and one can imagine his being liked simply because of his over-the-top eccentricity.

        Yes, ‘Unse mili nazar ..’ is a part of this film. Lovely song.

  2. I love this post because it reminds me of conversations with my mother when she’d try desperately to make me understand the brilliance of Rajendra Kumar. I just wouldn’t get it and she would be so disappointed. Maybe if she wouldn’t get all teenage-y and flustery when talking about it, she’d have made her point better.๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Really… Rajendra Kumar…totally one of the unsolved mysteries of the universe. SRK’s effect on women, on the other hand, is obvious๐Ÿ™‚ Meanwhile you really couldn’t resist the lure of another hotel in another city๐Ÿ˜‰ I wish you luck. Hopefully Swami David up there in Heaven will balance your karma account ledger properly this time against your recently accrued suffering.
    PS: And what’s the problem with punjabi accent hain?

    • Nagaraj, a Punjabi accent is fine, specially considering that most of the time he really did well with his Urdu diction, which was a must then. Unlike our stars now, who make no effort at all.

      I’m hoping for some good karma too on the hotel front.

  4. Cannot dance. Cannot smile. Cannot fight. Is not good looking. His Punjabi accent slips through every now and then. Cannot act.
    Laughed so much at this, Banno. My sentiments exactly. But I can explain why he was such a big hit (or I can try) in two words. Mohammed Rafi.

    My personal complaint about Rafi is that he was responsible for inflicting us with the most goddawful ‘heroes’ of the time – Bharat Bhushan, Biswajeet, Manoj Kumar… they became ‘hits’ only because Rafi sang such soulful songs for them.

    I’m so jealous that you’re getting to go to the film festival in Goa.๐Ÿ˜ฆ Like Harvey, I wish you get your own personal invitation / press card soon.๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy.

  5. have fun at the festival…i want to do what you do for a living, seriously!
    as for RK, I think Anu Warrier hit the nail on the head. i bet it was rafi’s magical voice that made people forget about RK’s lack of everything!

    • Sukanya, thanks, I will. I wish I was doing more for a living, but anyway, that’s a different story.

      I think Anu is right about Rafi.

  6. Oh youre coming to my neighbourhood for IFFI! I hope you have a good time. I’m sure we will cross paths at some point and not even know๐Ÿ˜› I will be there some evenings.

    • Sorry, hAAthi, I made the announcement too soon. My daughter didn’t quite recover, and had to cancel plans for IFFI this year. But I’m sure you will have a great time. I like your blog a lot, by the way.

      • Oh no that’s too bad. Hope shes all recovered and feeling better now. And like I say, there’s always next year. To be honest, I’m not very kicked with the IFFI line up this year.. I’m probably going to go more for the cheap beer and food๐Ÿ˜›

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