Monday, December 13, 2004

Who's your favorite hero, saar?

Sounds like a routine question. At least in our country where there are fortunes made and unmade every week, in fact every day, in the movie industries across India. There are bollywood crazy cities like Mumbai and Delhi. There are people going crazy over Rajnikanth or Madhavan or Ajith in Madras. Same about Chiranjeevi in Andhrapradesh. So I was not at all surprised when this question was hurled at me out of nowhere. But the consequence was quite interesting!

I was waiting y'day in a saloon nearby my home to get my hair cut so that I'd go home and plan for rest of the day. But this chap is not letting me go. First there is the fact that it is Sunday and everyone is out there in the saloon. So first I wait half an hour browsing through latest Filmfare admiring sensuous Bipasha. Then after a while I am summoned up to the chair. The conversation that follows, as it is.

Hair stylist(lets call him S hereafter): (says something in Telegu, I hope. It could have been Kannada for all I know.)

Me: Medium on top, small on sides.

S: Telugu illa? Hindi?

Me: Hindi.

S: Telugu nahi aata?

Me: Nahi, Hindi, English, Marathi.

S: Marathi humko nahi aata.

Me: Telugu humko nahi aata.

S: laughs heartily at my joke (?)

Meanwhile, the TV is showing some analysis of Tendulkar's batting and S is clearly not interested in Harsha Bhogle's figures. He switches the channel and now it is showing someone else's figure. Few moments pass in silence.

S: (suddenly waking me up) Saar, saar .. ye song suno. (The song is Pacchai Nirame from Alaipayuthey -- which was remade as title song of Saathiya in Hindi) Bahot achchha song hai. Ye movie original Tamil hona. Baad mein Hindi mein banaya.

Me: Yeah. Pata hai.

S: Aapka favorite hero kaun hai?

Me: Koi nahi, sab log mujhe achchha lagta hai.

S: Lekin sab se achchha kaun hai?

Me: (resigned) Amitabh Bachchan

S: Maine hero poonchha. Uncle nahi!

Me: (amused) Uncle!! Are yaar, wo to sab se achchha hai.

S: Shahrukh Khan achchha nahi lagta tumko?

Me: Nahi. Hritik Roshan maybe.

S: Shahrukh achchha kyon nahi lagta? Wo muslim hai isliye?

Me: (man! what reasoning!!) Nahi yaar, aisa kuchh nahi. Aamir Khan achchha lagta hai mujhe.

S: Hmm Aamir Khan humko bhi achchha lagta. Salmaan Khan?

Me: Hmm, ok types! (never argue with a man with scissors!)

S: Shahrukh Khan ka naya movie dekha?

Me: Nahi. Ye batao, tumhara favorite hero kaun hai?

S: (With a despairing look clearly suggesting an urgent need to work on my general knowledge and in a tone that would suggest I've asked something like "Tumhara naam kya hai Basanti?")Chiranjeevi.

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