Filmi Escapes – A Book Review

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I have travelled the world on the wings given to me by my dreams…

…and my wings and dreams have been fuelled by the movies – Anon.

Here is a screenplay for scene in a movie;

A lifelong film buff called Vijay Shrivastav is talking to Rita Kapoor in a travel agency. Vijay is an angry middle aged man and Rita is curvy. When Vijay walks in Rita is lolling against her desk filing her nails, a ceiling fan is whirring above.

Vijay Shrivastav in an angry voice – Do you know where I can find Shakaal?

Rita Kapoor dripping ice– Nahin ….

VS – I want an appointment with Mogambo and Dr. Dang …..ABHI !!!!!.

Rita Kapoor getting a bit agitated – Nahin ….Abhi nahin …..Kabhi nahin.

VS – Ok at least tell me where I can find LOIN?

Rita Kapoor, melting and slinking into VS’s arms – Darling, tum ho asli Filmi, yeh lo Lonely Planet ka new guide book, Filmi Escapes – Travel with the Movies, issme aapko sare answers mil jayengi … ye lo … lo na ….

VS with a nirvana expression – WOW ! Ye hoi na baat !!!!

And the curtain falls and then err ….reopens to reveal.

Filmi Escapes

Sorry, this is supposed to be a book review but .. mere andar bhi ek film hai sir.. so maine suna di.

Anyway, this is great effort from Lonely Planet and seems to be written because it had to be, rather than to just sell copies. I read it like a thriller, mostly on the Delhi metro and I got a lot of “looks” mostly because I would suddenly start chuckling, or get a distant look in my eyes, or start humming a song (now that’s a BAD scene [Gandi Baat], as my wife knows well) or i would  suddenly start mumbling a “dialogue”.

The images created by the author are vivid and often had me with a smile on my face. The effort to keep things contemporary does show from time to time but then it is easily lost in the obvious love for the silver screen.

Some locations get a “Triple Khan” rating – Loved that idea and the fact that Raj, Rishi and Ranbir have all romanced in the same garden was the paisa vasool moment of the book. I started thinking about rating some locations as “Super Star” which would mean that Rajeshjee, Amitjee and Shahrukhjee would have shot there.

I did feel bad that the entire category of the “Muslim Social” was given a miss while on the subject of  Lucknow.

Why … Lonely Planet WHY ???? Tell me … warna yeh 2.5 kilo ka Haat !!!!!

Pity they did not go all the way and make this volume as FAT as their India guide because surely the author can delivery enough material for that to be possible.

And now I am waiting for the sequel …Filmy Journeys Part Two – Indian Films shot aboard.

From …An evening in Paris…. to…. New York.

By Rajesh Baruah


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