A pink taxi

A pink taxi

December 22, 2010

Bollywood Vignette

A few years ago, one of my cousins played a very funny practical joke on me. I had invited  him over for dinner, and was planning on ordering in from my favorite Indian restaurant Gazebo. As a nice hostess, I also asked him if there was something special he wanted to oder. 
- "Sure", he said, "how about some Aishwarya Rai?"

- "How do you spell it?" I asked and carefully jotted down each letter.
Later, when I placed the order with the restaurant, I asked:
- "Before I forget sir, do you have any Aishwarya Rai?"

The waiter, offended, said "No!!" and hung up the phone.

How my cousin laughed when I told him that his dish wasn't available!

For all of you who are not familiar with Bollywood movies, Aishwarya Rai happens to be a green-eyed beauty and movie star, who has acted in countless Indian movies.

Despite my ignorance of movie stars' names, I have always enjoyed Bollywood movies. I am predisposed to liking them because I am familiar and comfortable with Indian culture. I grew up in Dubai after all!

Till a few days ago, I hadn't found a volunteer to see "My Name is Khan" at the movies. My girlfriend complained that it would be too long.

However, here in San Francisco, my brother-in-law and nieces, who had seen it before, didn't object to watching it again on their 120 inch TV. In fact, it was the perfect movie for my mother -in -law as well. We were in for a five hour marathon.

All Indian movie buffs know Sharukh Khan well. I admired how he captured the life of a Muslim living in post 9/11 America, with a second handicap, a real one: autism. "My Name is Khan" turned out to be "Rain Man" meets "Forest Gump" with the length of "Gone With the Wind"!

I may have sharpened my Bollywood trivia by watching "My Name is Khan", however I doubt I will spared future embarassing moments like the one mentioned above. My cousins will always manage to find my weak spot!!


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