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Kurbaan and My Name is Khan

I am an NRI, translated into: no-real Indian. I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears. I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati and other languages.

On the menu today is Kurbaan directed by Rensali D’Silva and My Name is Khan, directed by Karan Johar. I had the honour of seeing the last two in a real cinema, pop corn and all.

One word for Kurbaan, bone-chilling! I haven’t been that tense in a movie for a long time. Pure cinema, where you just don’t know what will happen next! Movies based on the bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York, on September 11, 2001 (9/11) conjure up images of planes and buildings exploding, mangled bodies full of blood and relatives placing hands on their heads in anguish.

Ehsaan Khan, played clinically by Saif Ali Khan has a cause, one he shares with other people…

One million original films

I’m a cinema nomad in search of at least one million original stories, not re-makes or sequels of past films, or beating what used to be an original story idea such as twins separated at birth, to death. One of the reasons why I parted ways with Hollywood, were stories around the FBI and the witness protection programme. It is like gum that has lost its sweetness and I refuse to chew it. That is how I ended up being a student of Indian cinema and Hindi films in particular.

I periodically endure amusement painted on faces of men and women who are supposed to sell me cinema tickets. ‘It’s a Bollywood movie,’ they warn me. This does not deter me from my resolve to find just a million original stories, to learn a little bit about other people, find something in common with them like ancestor worship and lunar mythology and enjoy the waterfalls and mountains of India seen in films such as Taal, directed by Aarif Shaikh.

Just when I was just about to bid Indian cinema au dieu, because …