Happy birthday to Indian cinema

Cinema has done a Sachin Tendulkar and this year celebrates 100 years of being in the business of selling the most expensive tub of popcorn. Which of course means that Bollywood (since there is no other kind of cinema) is going all out.

At the Lakme Fashion Week, designer of chiffon saris and flashy lehengas, Manish Malhotra showcased a collection commemorating 100 years of cinema. Ergo ALL of Bollywood and their alter egos showed up.

Anuya and I too squeezed into the standing-room-only venue where I watched most of the show through a guy’s iPhone. But it was absolutely worth it. For all the ranting and whining we do around here it was nice to hear veterans and young guns talk about their passion for the movies.

Bombay Talkies directors

Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap give us the ‘direct’ stare

Manish divided the show into eras starting with black and white then moving on to the 60s and 70s and finally to the 90s and 2000s. Bombay Talkies directors Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee and Zoya Akhtar opened the show dressed in black and white. Anurag looked quite badass in his fitted bandhgala.

Manish Malhotra Bobby

Dimple Kapadia would have been proud

Then, just as the iPhone Guy’s hand began to tire, out came models in plunging polka dotted Bobby-esque tops and palazzo pants. With flowers tucked in their hair they wore clingy saris and large shades too.

Siddharth Malhotra

Siddharth Malhotra is also wondering what all the fuss is about

Manish did a great job of representing the 90s and the 200os in flowing kurtas and jackets. A squeal of a thousand women filled the claustrophobic venue as Varun Dhawan and Siddharth Malhotra strutted down the ramp in light jackets. A woman almost dug her talons into my shoulder in ecstasy.

Kajol and Karisma Kapoor

Kajol and Karisma Kapoor show how the pros do it

Though Kajol was not a part of the show, she walked the ramp for the shutterbugs at the end. In a simple sari with a peek-a-boo blouse, she nailed the look with her poise and elegance.

I, on the other, went into hyperventilation mode and even rode the elevator twice just to breathe the same air as Dibakar.


Firangi tadka

Whenever Bollywood goes international (though, I’m not sure that the production of Salman Rushdie and Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children is strictly Bollywood) they have this intense desire to wear their Indianness on their sleeve, bandhgala and sari. So this is what they wore to the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of the strictly-not-Bollywood film Midnight’s Children. 

Shahana Goswami in scarlet

I know that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is a veteran at these international festival thingies but that is no excuse for Shahana Goswami to steal her look from Guzaarish. I highly doubt that she’s wearing an actual sari. It feels more like a ghagra choli with a very long dupatta. The colour is nice and bright, a little in your face but that’s ok. Hold on, now she looks like Rani Mukherji from Saawariya. Is Shahana sending Sanjay Leela Bhansali a coded message?

Shriya Saran and Satya Bhabha have nothing on Siddharth’s awesome dhoti

Shriya Saran, on the other hand, is definitely wearing a ghagra choli, a look she’s worn more times than Barney has said ‘legendary’. It’s bright with heavy work and exposes all her assets. In short, the perfect way to perpetrate the West’s ideas about Bollywood. But let’s talk about the guys. To the right is actor Satya Bhabha (no really, that’s his name). He is British-American but also Indian. I’m confused. He’s wearing a good enough suit with shiny shoes. Whatever. Look at Siddharth! He has on a bandhgala with a dhoti. A dhoti! And he’s wearing the hell out of it. I love a man who can rock a dhoti and not trip over it or curse his luck.

Anita Majumdar has a fan under her bust but Samrat Chakrabarti and Rahul Bose don’t mind

That’s Canadian-Indian actress Anita Majumdar and she’s in the film too. She’s this crazy talented woman – an award-winning actor and a playwright and she’s dated a playwright too (I Googled her so this is absolutely true). She too is wearing a concoction of a sari. This one also of the ghagra choli variety. Frankly, I’m disturbed by how easily they bastardize a sari. But wait, she’s got a fan attached to her blouse. Does she know that? What purpose does the fan serve, only the good Lord knows. She looks sexy fierce, though. There’s also Rahul Bose and Samrat Chakrabarti (seen in Lions of Punjab who looks a lot like another lion, Makunga from Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) in bandhgalas and shiny shoes. Let’s move on.