Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Plug for Jet, and Chupke Chupke

If you’re traveling to London from Delhi or Mumbai anytime in the next 2-3 months, I strongly recommend Jet Airways. The service was excellent, the food good and best of all was the in-flight entertainment facility. Large choice of movies and music albums to choose from; I spent half a flight listening to REM’s Around the Sun, The Best of Asha Bhosle and The Carpenters’ Greatest Hits (if you’ve never heard that lovely song “Yesterday Once More” during a takeoff, please arrange a trip expressly for the purpose) and the other half watching films, including Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s delightful Chupke Chupke (which I last saw when I was maybe eight) with the great Dharam paaji. (Really, it’s high time someone wrote a thesis about the superb chemistry between him and Amitabh; they were so much more effective together than AB’s two-hero stints with Vinod Khanna, Shashi Kapoor or Shatrughan Sinha.)

Also saw Hum Tum (much better than I’d expected – had thought it would be overly hip and gimmicky in the way that so much of New Bollywood is) and Batman Begins (so-so; self-conscious, trying way too hard to be a Serious Superhero Movie).

Of course, there is such a thing as being over-enthusiastic about providing good service. The pilots turned the descent to Heathrow into a leisurely tourist show, asking us to “please look out of the windows for a beautiful view of the Thames”, and generally gliding this way and that for optimum effect instead of just getting the damn bird down fast. The view was beautiful to be honest, but personally I prefer touchdowns to be relatively quick once we’ve broken through the clouds. As it is, it’s such a busy airport and it's enervating to see other planes below taking off in your general direction while you’re still 12,000 feet up admiring Westminster Abbey.

(By the way, the reason I’m being conservative and recommending Jet only for the next 2-3 months is because having just started operating along these routes it’s predictable that they’ll have their best wing forward in the early days. I have no idea if they’ll be able to sustain this level of service - if they do, well, serious competition for Virgin, British Airways and especially Air India.)

P.S. Everyone who’s watched Chupke Chupke knows what a fine comedy it is but I was surprised at how frankly sensual a couple of scenes were – especially the one where Dharmendra, masquerading as a driver at his wife Sharmila Tagore’s family house, sneaks into her room for the night and it becomes obvious that she finds this role-playing exciting and wants to engage in some driver-malkin banter even when they’re alone together. Sexual role-playing and kinkiness where you’d least expect it. Ross and Rachel and the Princess Leia gold bikini fetish had nothing on this.


  1. hi jabberwock, in ur post about dharam paaji, u did not mention chupke-chupke. i had referred to it in the comments hoping for ur take on that film, one of my all time favourites. and now i know why there was nothing on it. since u have posted on it, let me ask u again to do a detailed post on that, if u find the time.

  2. enervating
    adjective FORMAL
    causing you to feel weak and lacking in energy:
    I find this heat very enervating.
    (definition from dictionary.cambridge.org

    Surely you didn't find jumbo jets taking off in your genearl direction...enervating?
    Terrifying, petrifying, scary even.
    But enervating?

  3. try and visit London's Chinatown off Picadilly/leicester Sq if you can ... don't miss out on the quaint eateries if you are a foodie, of course ....

  4. Puranjoy: yes, when you made that comment I didn't have a solid memory of the film. But most of it came back to me when I saw it again. Incidentally, I just picked up the DVD today!

    Kaashyapeya: A thousand apologies, O Erudite One (Shrabonti, hope you're reading this)! Guess I associated the word with 'nervous'.

    Bonatellis: I'm back now. There was no time to get out anywhere on this trip. Had visited Chinatown last year. Missed out on the quaint eateries though.

  5. and then of course I noticed I'd mis-typed 'general.' But nonetheless, let me have my moment in the sun and say, 'muahahaha' in a distinctly duck-like fashion.

  6. I noticed that too - The roleplaying bedroom talk between Sharmila and Dharamji was quite a revelation when I saw the movie once again.
    Any idea who the dialogue writer is? He am amazed at how he brought off such a sexy(for the absence of a better word) conversation while within the extremely stiff limits of desi middle-class propriety.

  7. Flew by Jet back to London myself this month and we circled the city for some time too (we even flew over my home-making me want to jump down right there!). As it was a clear night it was a lovely view, but I thought we were doing the rounds because we hadn't got the go ahead to land in Heathrow. The service is excellent, particularly the fact that the stewards help stow your cabin baggage! It helps when you don't measure more than 5 feet tall.

  8. Re Hum tum - When Harry Met Sally was better. Trivia. The lady who says "I'll have what she's having" was director Rob Reiner's mother. Writer Nora Ephron later made some wonderful films. She was Mrs. Carl Bernstein once upon a time. [I'm sure you know all this.] Another bit of trivia - Michael Scorsese used his mom in GoodFellas. She acts as Joe Pesci's mom. And we all know Coppola and his family of actors. :-)

    Re Chupke Chupke..

    James: Baloan mein khilenga gulab. Saqi ab pilaade pilaade pilaaade...ihheehee..kaafiyaa nahin mil raha.

    Paaji: Pilaade, Pilaade, Pilaade, sharaab

    James: Nahin, yeh to Ghalib ka shair hai. Mujhe khud, khud..likna hai.

    Paaji: Tik Hai..Sochne de..Sochne de...Saqi pilaade, pilaade, pilaade, ek gilass julab..

    and later.
    Paaji: James, tu light band karke so jaa mein sochta rahoonga.

    Arguably, one of the funniest drink-related scenes in all of Hindi cinema.

    What is amazing about Chupke Chupke is like most Hrishkesh Mukherjee films, it is a well written one. Whenever I see his comedies, I get this feeling that PGW would've been proud of the writing.

    And people just don't give enough credit to Om Prakash. This was his film as much as anyone else's. He is masterful even in Alaap.

  9. Chupke Chupke is one of my all-time favourite movies, too. And talking about sensual scenes, pay attention to the lyrics of the song Abke sajan saawan mein. That there can be so much sensuousness in a song that's essentially meant as a comic one... amazing.

    As for mantle of eruditeness, it is now officially passed on to the mighty Kaashyapeya. But it's a rolling trophy, so pull up your socks, you enervated soul!

  10. And Quizman, thanks for that awesome bit of dialogue. Time for a re-re-viewing of Chupke Chupke, I think.

  11. Traveller: the screenwriter was Gulzar! He did some wonderful work with Hrishikesh Mukherji.

    Mumbaigirl: Oh yes, the air traffic over Heathrow. Sigh. It'll soon resemble something out of Star Wars, or that Bruce Willis film The Fifth Element. London is the one place where I've looked up and seen three planes in the sky at the same time. (And it wasn't even a cloud-free sky at the time.)

    Quizman: you trivia-hound! But when it comes to movies I can match you nugget for nugget. That's Martin Scorsese, by the way. And don't get me started on acting families.
    Damn right about Om Prakash.

    Bagchi auntie: sorry, no more rat races for me!

  12. hey forget movies n music...what bt inflight entertainment..how r the hostesses? how short r they skirts? can u get a peek-a-boo at their panties if u bend over?

  13. I feel the pilot did a good thing by effectively converting a "traffic jam" into a picnic for you. I had a similar experience while landing in Taipei last week. We had started the descent, then they announced that landing would be delayed by about 15 minutes due to congestion at the airport. We kept circling the city till we had clearance. The view was nice of course; in your case the pilot actively encouraged you to enjoy the view.

  14. hrishi da's movies rock and I was 'bout to mention that song 'ab ke sajan saawan mein' when I realized that The Marauder's Map ne 'mere muh ki baat cheen li' :)

  15. Just thinking about Chupke Chupke, puts a smile on my face and Yesterday Once More never fails to leave me with a song in my heart. Thanks also for the insight on Jet Airways. I am about to fly on it for the first time in a couple of weeks, and was a bit nervous -- it being a new airline and all that.

  16. Jabber,

    Sheesh..I meant to write Martin Scorcese and for some reason wrote Michael. Yikes. But I am getting close to 40.

    Regarding trivia - you are way more knowledgeable than me. I have this stupid habit of writing comments when I come across an article I like, that's all. :-)

  17. On a related note, before Munnabhai, the last good HF comedy was Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega. If you've not seen it, do.

  18. I found "Hum-tum" pretty juvenile - my review at :


    And speaking of comedies, there's nothing to beat "Jaane bhi do yaaron". Of course that was in the 1980s. There were some good comedies in the recent past like "Hera Pheri" etc. I do agree that H.Mukherjee was a master in his genre - for good, clean comedy, there was no one better.

  19. though not as good but another HM movie which not too many mention (and I happen to love) is Jhoothi... Chupke Chupke is superb.. i mean one remembers characterisations and quirks and whatnots... sign of a good film or wot!

  20. For those interested in finding full filmography of HrishiDa