Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bollywood in polite company

I spent a very nice evening today at something called Penguin Spring Fever (sounds like flu!), which had a Bollywood Quiz.
Now, I am very scared about discussing Bollywood in polite company since my enthusiasm for the subject makes me feel a little plebeian in front of gentry. Quizzes on Bollywood is something I steer clear of (unless Nilendu is involved) because the average Bollywood knowledge is so poor that 'What is the full form of DDLJ' is a legitimate question in most of them.

This quiz was a lot better though still so easy that the winner was decided not on the basis of who answered the most but who missed the least!
Of the approx 55 questions asked (15 prelims + 40 finals), I did not know the answer to 7 questions. Usually in Calcutta quizzes, the equation was the exact reverse. I used to feel good if I managed to know/guess 4-5 answers in an 8-round quiz!

One great realisation of the evening was my Bollywood Reflex hadn't withered away in disuse. I answered at quite a few questions purely on instinct, without really remembering/knowing the answer. For example, a song from Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega (of which I was required to identify the hero) evoked a reflex action of imagining Salman's slightly-crouching-feet-steady-top-half-swaying dance movements.
You hear the opening strains of a song and a chain of thought starts. Marching song. Army film. Electronic orchestration. Not old film. Many voices. LOC: Kargil. People get happy over simple things in life. That I executed this kind of chain 2-3 times during the evening was quite satisfying.

Also, I realised that - exactly like 'a little knowledge' - too much knowledge is also a dangerous thing.
After playing the LOC: Kargil song, the quiz-master asked which world record this particular song held. I, immediately, went into the cast, crew and location of the film and felt pleased when I answered, "It has been filmed at the highest altitude". But realised soon after that I was being too ambitious and silly. There is no way on earth a world record can be made on the number of singers or location of shooting. It is too damn difficult. The LOC song held the simplest record. At 12 minutes, it is the longest song ever.

For the information of all well-wishers, I finished a joint second (among four finalists) and was awarded 1500 bucks worth of books and a crown (literally) by Bob Christo. I picked up Sea of Poppies (by Amitav Ghosh) and Memory's Gold (an anthology on Calcutta, edited by Amit Chaudhuri).

For the information of obsessive, compulsive trivia buffs, here are other five questions that I missed.

1. This one was such a sitter, because my brain froze and I stopped thinking. Apart from Baazigar, Kuch Kuch Hota Hain, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and My Name is Khan, which is the only other movie in which Kajol and Shahrukh have acted together (as the lead pair)?

2. To whom is the 'Ram' in Ram Teri Ganga Maili referring to?
Hint: Rajiv Kapoor's name in the film was Narendra / Naren.

3. In Mohabbatein, Amitabh is shown reciting the Gayatri mantra. This seemingly positive scene evoked the wrath of right-wing activists, who asked for a ban on the film. What was the fuss all about?

4. Which young exponent of classical and fusion music composed the music for Mujhse Dosti Karoge? (audio clue)

5. Two hit films have opened with a scene of playing cricket. One was K3G, where Hrithik Roshan hit a six off the last ball of the match. Which was the other film?

That's it, then. Will post the answers in a couple of days.
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