Posts Tagged With: Salman Khan

Hindi Night in Paris: Cinema and Restaurant

Article only available in French.

Turban legend...

Turban legend…

Categories: A Piece of Myself, Cinema, Kitchen | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zee Tv: Discover the Surprising World of Indian TV!


French version here.

I’ve subscribed to Zee TV and Zee Cinema Channels for only, well, not so only, 15.99 euros. For that price, thanks to my Freebox, I can watch the worst best Indian soap operas in which mothers-in-law, daughters-in-law and aunts have cat fights and make nasty faces to each other. I can also have collective yoga courses given by hairy gurus in orange shorts and I can endlessly watch Bollywood movies that most of us have forgotten.



For instance, yesterday morning, I was surprised at seeing charming Aamir Khan playing the electric guitar before a pagal audience, dressed in a skin-tight black undershirt and wearing a green rapper-like cap. Believe me or not but I hardly recognized him! ( Akele Hum Akele Tum, 1995 )

Akele Hum Akele Tum, 1995

Akele Hum Akele Tum, 1995

Later, I was wallowing on my sofa after a hard working day, watching in an in-between doze a trembling school teacher being metodically beaten up by a bunch of naughty गुंडे , when suddenly, Amitabh Bachchan in his forties and in his marvellous grey flared trousers appeared as a miracle to save the poor man. (Khoon Pasina, 1977)

 I’ll spare you the details about the funny strip-tease performed by red-underweared Sohail Khan in Heroes as well as the stunning black turban worn by his famous brother in the same film.

Sohail Khan (on the right) in Heroes

Sohail Khan ( right) in Heroes

Now, I can pride myself on knowing everything about food-brand Taj, White Pearl Basmati rice and I can sing the insurance company’s slogan « don’t delay, claim today » by heart! However, the commercials which regularly interrupt the films are not so bad since movies usually last nearly three hours and one really needs pee breaks, coffee breaks or chocolate cookie breaks between two clingy-jean-superheroes’ fights.

 All the same, you quickly become hooked to this kitsch atmosphere, to the choreographies which are always spotless whatever the quality of the film is, you’re hooked to Amitabh’s hoarse grunting, to the punch battles and their inimitable sound effects, to the Hitchcock-violins during the moments of suspense

 And, what? Isn’t there any better way to study Hindi than watching Hindi films?  ज़िंदगी, इंतेज़ार, कभी कभी, मैं तुमसे प्यार करता हूँ , मेरा नाम विजय है, मेरा दिल तेरे लिए , oh! मेरा भाई , oh! मेरे बापू , oh! मामा , oh! चाचा , oh! मेरी बेटी, and so on, and so forth!

 But above all, Zee Cinema allows you to discover some « pearls », some real good movies, the beautiful Hindi films in which there are no simpering girls, no He-men rolling on the ground without ever spoiling their blow-dry! It often happens at around 9 pm.

 And sometimes, there are magical moments; these moments when Salman Khan starts to cry and becomes really moving, moments when Karishma Kapoor finally plucks her eyebrows and stops playing the innocent little virgin, moments when Abhishek tells Aishwaria that he feels like a bee caught inside a lotus flower…

 That’s the way it is on Zee TV!

यह कौन है?

यह कौन है?

Categories: Cinema, Media | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Do You Wanna Dance with Salman Khan? Mashallah from Ek Tha Tiger…

Isn’t he sweet?

(Click here for French version)

You have probably noticed that I have had salmaniac tendencies, these days. This guy has got a lorry-driver haircut, he isn’t really good-looking, he isn’t really clever, – or at least, he doesn’t always show he is -, he has been accused of the worst things on earth by gossip papers, he spends three hours a day lifting weights to look like a kind of Rocky Balboa in his fifties but strangely enough, I can’t help finding him funny, fascinating and even attractive.

Although he makes art-house cinema goers puzzled, Salman Khan is a superstar in India and in the Middle-East. He has got many fans despite all the fishy stories he has been involved in and his scandalous love failures with different Misses or actresses. That’s certainly the reason why so many people admire him. He is different from those typical Bollywood actors who are always concerned about showing they are perfect and finally end up top of the polls as the role model of the year, like Shahrukh Khan in The Hindustan Times. When I read Amitabh Bachchan‘s blog, I sometimes wonder: but how can he be so tolerant, so sensitive, so generous, so serious, so well-balanced, in a word, so perfect? This is not human!

Salman Khan is different! His hopeless attempts to look perfect have sounded fake, he has no wife, no children, he doesn’t try to hide his riotous way of living, he has the life that many people dream of. And it feels so good! It is a sweet breath of cathartic air in the stainless Bollywood world.

Even if you don’t like Salman Khan, you will like this song and its arabic style and I know you won’t help following the heroine’s sensual hip movements by rolling your shoulders. Indeed, Katrina Kaif is breathtakingly beautiful in this video and Salmanji has a new pink scarf he can wear with indisputable virility.

So, let’s dance, now!

PS Paris dwellers, this film is shown in le Gaumont Saint Denis. Further information HERE.

Categories: Cinema, Fun! | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

One Day, Two Mothers: Independent India and Virgin Mary

Indian Madonna

Today  is an important day because it is the day when Salman Khan’s new film Ek Tha Tiger is out. No, I’m joking! Today is an important day because the world celebrates two mothers: Mother India and Jesus’s Mother, Mary.

My Name is Marie:

 On the 15th of August, Catholics celebrate Mary’s Assumption; she was taken to Heaven after resurrection.   It is a really important day for the Catholics, especially in Corsica, my childhood area where I go on summer holiday and where religion used to be very important. By the way, many women have their names starting with Marie there: Marie-Pierre, Marie-Françoise, Marie-Jeanne and so on.  Myself, my first name is Marie-Laetitia. But for my blog, it’s Marilay.

So, yesterday, I went to the church because we celebrated Mary. Strangely enough, I wasn’t christened when I was a baby, so now I am considered as an atheist. When your parents are Hindu, you become Hindu naturally as soon as you are alive. In Catholicism, it’s different. Of course, I can join the Catholic Religion but I have to study for two years before being allowed to be christened. So, you must be very motivated! I can also choose another religion like Islam or Buddhism. But my culture is Christian and my parents are catholic, so I sometimes follow them when they go to the church.

I have no religion but I love religions. That’s why I love India because there are plenty of religions and believers. Spirituality still exists in India and it is part of people’s lives. In France, it’s different;  I sometimes feel that religion can be practiced only in churches, mosques, temples… But once you are outside, religion is nowhere to be seen.

 Some people say that religions are bad but I think they’re wrong. People are bad, but religions, never. Religion is a tool; human beings have to use it the proper way. That’s all. I wish I were religious. But it is difficult to believe in God when you have never been educated in religion. I remember this quotation by Mohandas Gandhi: Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into. I totally agree with it!

So during the mass, yesterday, I read a text from the Bible: I was really nervous because I was alone before the village people and the priest and I had to read a complicated text about resurrection and it was the first time I had done that. I also sang in the chore with the ladies from the village. It wasn’t very good but what is important is to do something for the village. It is not X Factor!

So today, it is Mary’s day. It is my day. My relatives are supposed to kiss me and give me presents. So if you are called Marie, Mary or Maria…, I wish you a good day!

Independent India:

I also wish a good Independence Day to Indian people, of course. This day in 1947 when India became free from the British is celebrated everywhere in India and in the media.  I didn’t know how to celebrate this event apart from publishing a Youtube thing or flags or anything else. There are so many things about Independence Day everywhere! So, I have found this picture of a sculpture by Philippe Ramette: The Installation (Inner Public Square), 2011. I took this picture at the famous exhibition at Beaubourg ( Paris-Delhi-Bombay). It is an Indian young woman who is climbing up to a pedestal. I found it was a great symbol of independent India but also the symbol of the status of women in India which is changing; the woman is climbing slowly to a place where only men used to be; the woman is climbing to independence and to freedom from the patriarchal rule.

Categories: Religion | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

No Slumdogs for the Millionaires

Seven years ago, I went to Genevillier’s SPA Shelter, near Paris, and I adopted my cat. He was three years old, he was black and white and very big. But he is the sweetest cat I have ever had, he gives me love end tenderness every day. He does not judge me; he never criticizes the way I dress and does not make any remark when I eat a third piece of cake. His adoption cost about 100 euros. For only 100 euros, I had my sterilized and healthy best friend and I have given him a happy new life!

On Holiday with my Pet!

It is Summer holiday in France, which means hiking in the mountains, basking in the sun, swimming in the sea, travelling, visiting family and in the meanwhile… Paris gets empty!

But it also means that many families will abandon their pets. Each year in France, more than 60,000 animals are abandoned by their selfish masters who prefer to go on holiday leaving the shaggy burden behind. Once they have been found, the pets are taken to animal shelters where they wait for a new owner…or for death!

Hopefully, the animal welfare « Résistance » does not give up. Associations like SPA or Brigitte Bardot campaign against abandoning and shelters set up adoption days in which many celebrities take part. Average Joes can act effectively too: The Internet has become a perfect way to find someone to keep your pets for the holidays; animal lovers offer to look after your animal at a low price and the elderly who need company and do not go on holiday, stick some ads in animal hospitals and local bakeries.

Despite all this willingness, bastard dogs and European cats struggle hopelessly against the trend of pedigree pets who are bought in shops like a It Bag or a new video-game. After Christmas, have you ever noticed all the children walking proudly outside with a puppy Yorkshire or a young Labrador frolicking clumsily on a leash?

The Farangi Doggy tendency

This problem also exists in India even though it is different.

I think I’ll never be tired of Salman Khan!

In big cities, having a pet has become really popular but despite the high number of dogs in India, wealthy people order pedigree cats or dogs to foreign breeders. Having a pet at home, is a symbol of financial success. The more the dog is expensive -up to 6000 dollars!-, the more the family’s status is high! Luxury accessory pet shops and pet salons are booming in India’s big cities. Pet owners do not hesitate to pay hefty amounts of money for a Gucci collar or a body massage for Whiskey or Lassie! -Luxury dogs always have American names, I don’t know why…- India’s pet industry is valued at around 45 million dollars annually, according to research firm Euromonitor, – but 40 billions in the US!-,( article from AFP.).

In Bollywood -which is often a good barometer to know the current trends among well-off people – actors and actresses have no cause to be envious of Paris Hilton’s Chihuahuas: Shah Rukh is a real dog lover and his dogs are pure race: Maltese, Japonese, Labrador… whereas Shilpa Shetty likes to display her white protruding-eyed Pekinese dog. Believe it or not, but it is rumoured that Salman Khan’s monst...well…Dogues de Bordeaux, have their own chef who follows them when they go on a trip.

So, what? You might say. People do what they want with their money!

East or West, Indian dogs are the best! (PETA)  

And yet, there is a problem; the streets of India’s cities are plenty of stray dogs – 500,000 in Delhi – which survive by eating the waste or the food left by the local residents.

So, the dog war has been declared in the streets:

On one side, even if it is strictly forbidden by the law, some people don’t hesitate to kill stray dogs in ways I cannot describe here. But, although this idea sounds shocking, we must understand that dogs can be real vermin in some parts of India. If you can see them submissively snoozing in the shade during the day, they gather in packs when the night comes and then, they become the kings! According to the WHO (World Health Organization) 20,000 people die of rabies every year in India and dogs are the source of 99% of the cases. Thus, some people are legitimately scared or irritated but killing stray dogs is not the best solution.

On the other side, charities struggle to save slumdogs. First, birth control is essential and animal welfare organisations such as CUPA pick up animals to give them anti-rabies vaccination and to sterilize them. The second point is to convince people to adopt puppies from the streets instead of buying their pets to breeders. Unfortunately, keeping a common mangy doggy at home seems to be inconceivable to many Indians.

A young Canadian woman called Anna has experienced this on her blog Bombaysun. I like her respect and love for animals:

« The pic above is  a puppy i’ve named Babe and she is part of two stray families living in the building next door. There are 5 puppies and they are about 3 months old now. I’ve been feeding them daily, cooking rice and veggies and meat. I’m most likely known as the crazy dog lady now by the watchmen and our neighbors but i’ve learnt to not give a f*** what these people say, these dogs need food and love. (and i love them!)

I’ve made sure they’ve all got their vaccinations and de-worming. Sadly i have not been able to find a home for them; the preferred breeds as pets here are imported so called “”pedigrees”.  The indian breeds seem very intelligent and sensitive, a perfect pet, i just wish more people would realize this…. »

Nevertheless, a few stars have involved into this struggle. Actresses Kalki Kaechlin and Trisha Krishnan have taken part in a campaign for PETA .

I find the two pictures fresh and optimistic even though the cat looks a bit flabbergasted. By the way, can anyone tell me why Kalki has a string of blue lights spread over her legs?


Categories: Society | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Who is the Greatest Indian after Mahatma Gandhi?

Salman is everywhere!That is the terrible question you are asked on this site. This historical poll (they say it is historical, by the way, their slogan is: « Cast your vote, Make History! » Hou! Hou! What a responsability!), is organised by Reliance Mobile and TV channels CNN-IBN and History-TV18.

That is the Gordian knot! Which man or woman in India can compete with Gandhi? The Mahatma has influenced so many great men like Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela! Which sportsman or artist can stand on the second step of the podium? Rabindranath Tagore, maybe? Oups! The Greatest Indian must have lived after the independence!

This vote was all the more difficult for me as, of course, I did not know most of the Great Indians from the list. Dev Anand, Kapil Dev, RK Laxman…who are those people? Sometimes, the names themselves did not ring a bell to me but once I read the short biographies provided by the site, it was like « Oh, yes, this guy! I see.. » So, my choices have been really subjective.

First of all, I won’t vote for yogis or gurus because, well, I am a Paris dweller, my only religion is shopping and my only practise of yoga is when I strech my arm to turn the TV on…to be short, these people may have many qualities, they are not my cup of chai.

Secondly, I will avoid voting for someone like Indira Gandhi. She is fascinating but she did so many controversial things! But, after all, does the greatest Indian have to be morally perfect? In that case, what should one think about Sainte Mother Teresa who has been highly criticized for refusing birth control and, still according to critics, providing inadequate treatment to her protégés?

I could have voted for painter Maqbool Fida Hussainwho was chased from India and who died in exile because he had personified her as a naked woman but I do not really like the paintings I have seen so far and which are a bit like a poor mixture of Matisse and Picasso to me. It is the same about MS Subbulakshmi, a carnatic singer who got the Bharat Ratna, but whose way of singing freaks me out.

I could have voted for Amithab Bachchan too, but could I seriously vote for a man who played the Genie in the film Aladin? Yes, I could. I love this classy actor!

But, I had to make three choices, like in Aladin ( Well, actually I didn’t have to but I did it!):

So, Marilay’s Greatest Indians are:

Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhai Tata: To me, he is the symbol of modern and wealthy India; he was one of the first Indian pilots and I like old pilots like Charles Lindbergh. He is the name you can see on lorries in traffic jams, he is Nano’s daddy and I want a pink one, and he has been praised for considerably improving his employees’ work conditions. In addition, he was born in Paris, and his mommy was French, I know, that is not a good argument but I indulge myself this shameful and chauvinistic little pleasure! Oh, yes, and I have read on Wiki he was buried at the Père Lachaise Cimetery! If one day I feel like having a walk among graves, I will go and take a few pictures to show them to you on the blog!

Satyajit Ray: This Bengali director is one of the most famous Indian artists ever. He is extremely admired in the cinema industry. In short, he is a Master. I have not seen all his films yet, since French TV programmers always prefer broadcasting The City of Joy and Slumdog Millionnaire again and again but I love the perfect beauty of The Chess Players and Hirak Rajar Deshe made me die laughing.

Bhimrao Ambedkar: He is not very popular outside India but he is the father of India constitution and Indian democracy. He himself was an « outcaste » and got over it thanks to education. He was against the Hindu Caste System and is often considered by Indian people to be even greater than Mahatma Gandhi.

Voilà! And you, who are you going to vote for?

Click on the photo to see where they are from.

Categories: Media, Society | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bollywood Quiz: Yes, you Khan!

Are you a Bollywood specialist? Answer these 20 questions about actors called Khan by writing the answers a, b or c on a piece of paper. 

I have been struggling to find a site to make my own quiz but that was too complex or impossible to publish on my blog. After all, it is just for fun!

You can find the results just after the photo showing the three Khans.

1- Who is the youngest one among these Khan actors?

a- Shahrukh Khan

b- Aamir Khan

c- Irrfan Khan

2- What is Shahrukh Khan’s nickname?

a- King Khan

b- Kind Khan

c- King Kong

3- Who has never acted in a film by Sanjay Leela Bhansali?

a- Salman Khan

b- Shahrukh Khan

c- Aamir Khan

4- It is the slogan of a famous American president:

a- Do it if you can!

b- Yes, we can!

c- It’s in the can!

5- What is the right hindi spelling for « Khan »?

a- खान

b- खन

c- कान

6- Choose the right sentence:

a- My name is Khan and I’m not a terrorist.

b- My name is Khan and I’m not an actor.

c- My name is Khan and I’m not there.

7- Who is not a daddy’s boy?

a- Salman Khan

b- Shahrukh Khan

c- Aamir Khan

8- He is Kareena Kapoor’s fiancé but one day, he will leave her for Marilay. Who is he?

a- Zayed Khan

b- Aamir Khan

c- Saif Ali Khan

9- What can you read on Salman Khan’s tee shirt?

a- « Being human »

b- « Be a man »

c- I don’t know, he is always stripped to the waist!

10- He has not acted in Devdas:

a- Sharukh Khan

b- Salman Khan

c- Sakib Khan

11- Who is always freshly shaven?

a- Sharukh Khan

b- Fardeen Khan

c- Irrfan Khan

12- It is the name of a famous diet:

a- Dukan

b- Makkhan

c- Duncan

13- She is the French wife of the duck:

a- La canne

b- La cane

c- La poule

14- What is the name of the tiger in the Jungle Book?

a- Sher Khan

b- Chair Khan

c- Tiger Khan

15- Who founded the Khan Academy?

a- Salman Khan

b- Fardeen Khan

c- Sharukh Khan

16- Which Khan actors can you find in the film New-York Masala (= Kal ho naa ho)?

a- Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan

b- Shahrukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan

c- Shahrukh Khan and Zayed Khan

17- He was a bank manager and a patron.

a- Dominique Strauss Kahn

b- Albert Kahn

b- Sarba Khan

18- Who was Genghis Khan?

a- The man who founded the Moghol Empire.

b- The man who founded the Mongol Empire

c- The man who founded Bollywood

19- Who presents the TV show called Satyamev Jayate?

a- Sharukh Khan

b- Amitabh Bachchan

c- Aamir Khan

20- He was involved in a sex scandal in a New York hotel. Who is he?

a- Aamir Khan

b- Salman Khan

c- Dominique Strauss Kahn

Check your points: You win 1 point for each good answer!

1/c  2/a  3/c  4/b  5/a  6/a  7/b  8/c  9/a or c  10/b

11/c  12/a or c  13/b  14/a  15/a  16/b  17/b  18/b  19/c  20/c

Look what you have won!  If your number of points is:

20: Bravo! You are a real bollywood fan! You have won a whole night with Shahrukh Khan doing, well, whatever you want! Don’t forget to take photos and send an article to A Message To India!

17-19: Good job! Yes, you Khan! You have won a weight-lifting session in a gym with Salman Khan. Houlala! Sweating with Salman on torture machines! You’re so lucky! Don’t forget your sneakers!

14-16: Not bad! You have won a pile of bootlegged Bollywood DVDs subtitled in Turkish! Very useful to prepare your next holiday!

10-13: That is alright but, really, the questions were easy, and so stupid too! You have won your weight in Mango Chutney! Bon appétit!

Under 10: Houuu! You have won nothing! Down to work!

Categories: Fun! | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Shahrukh, Sachin, Gandhi…and me!

   I have just come back from a trip to London with my fifteen-year-old students. I India-love London because it is the kind of town where you can meet Sikhs driving expensive cars near Covent Garden, women in saris visiting the V&A museum, young Asian businessmen reading Hindi newspapers in the tube or elderly Hindus climbing step by step up to the top of Saint Paul’s Cathedral.

I may be silly, but I envy Londoners because part of their culture is Indian, part of their food is spicy and part of their people have an accent from over there.

This Indian presence is obvious when you visit places like Madame Tussaud’s Museum. Everybody knows this outstanding museum where wax models are displayed.

I was surprised to see that visitors were allowed to take pictures next to their favourite celebrities and even to touch them. It was fun! There, I saw different great « people » like the Royal Family, Margaret Thatcher, Nicolas Sarkozy (we had to hurry to take a picture, he will be replaced very soon, I guess!), Brad Pitt and Angelina Joly, Nelson Mandela or even Adolf Hitler!

But I also met…

Mohandas Gandhi

Shahrukh Khan

Categories: Fun!, Museum | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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