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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Masala Zindabad

Originally planned as a book, Masala Zindabad is a series of conversations within a far-flung community of Bollywood bloggers who we hope will join us - "us" being Amrita of Indie Quill and Beth of Beth Loves Bollywood - on this (ad)venture. These podcasts are an affectionate and thoughtful look at the broad range of themes that define Bollywood and make Bollywood defy definition.

As a test run, we chose Gaddar (1973) - a movie recommended by our friend Memsaab. It was every bit as enjoyable as promised, from Pran riding around in his American boat of a car in an early montage to the post-climax shot of Vinod Khanna kicking an iron chest full of cursed money in deep frustration.

In the coming weeks, we plan to discuss everything from the latest movies to B-films you may have never heard of with (hopefully) some of your favorite bloggers. We hope you enjoy it.

The latest podcast is displayed above and all episodes should be visible in your reader if you subscribe, but you can download here if you prefer. Caveat: we know the quality of the audio in this first episode is bad, and we're working as fast as we can to learn how to make it better. Please forgive our ignorance!


  1. Love your work ladies! I'm always up for a Ranjeet wardrobe moment, especially when combined with general bad-assery :) Amrita you have a wicked laugh which is exactly what I expected.

  2. Yay Temple! So happy you're our first commentor! We're still figuring things out but it ought to get better. (more ranjeet! we note)

  3. Hey, great start and congratulations! I loved how your enthusiasm for the movie comes through. Also loved the lack of snark - even the sarcasm was done in good humor (as an aside, I stopped listening to the Salon podcast for just that reason - too much snark).

    A couple of suggestions on the sound: you could consider use a sound leveling software to normalize the sound. Beth's voice was consistently high and yours too low, so I ended up moving the volume up and down.

    Also, the "Amrita on left speaker, Beth on right" thingy is no good if you are listening with only one earpiece (I sometimes listen that way to podcasts on my phone) - so you may want to make the sound stereo all the way through. I am sure listeners can figure out who is who. :p

    As you both know, podcasts require a big time commitment - wish you both the best of luck in keeping this going!

    I am constantly looking for new podcasts to add to my list, so I will definitely be adding this one to the list. Thanks.

  4. Good to see podcasting finally taking off in the filmisphere -- looking forward to future episodes.

    I second the recommendation of not having each voice hard left and hard right -- you can, however, mix it so one is a little left and the other a little right and it'll still sound like a conversation, but it'll be a little easier to follow.


  5. Wish I could have been there too :) Am finally sounding less like an old man with emphysema and more like a human. Can't wait to hear this ;)

  6. Here's what I would have said if I'd been there (WARNING: more *spoilers* here!):

    LOL@Rekha Lite! so true! I liked that there was no romance in the film, it wasn't necessary and would have interrupted the flow. Also, I think that Pran burned the money not because he didn't want anyone else to have it (although that may have been part of it) but because he needed the heat to help clear his breathing---earlier he is next to a fire and begins coughing and does the same thing with a stick he pulls out of it.

    With regards to Padma's character, what I loved about her is that you discover at the end that she isn't dead, and was "acting" through being beaten, knowing that Vinod's character was a CID officer. So she was actually a pretty tough cookie to put up with being hit, and risked her life too---if the others hadn't trusted Vinod's character to "kill" her it could have been a bad outcome for her. And I didn't mind only 3 songs either, there wasn't room for more and I love the restraint of not pandering to tradition :)

    LOL too at "it didn't look like they were snowed in"---I thought that too! The roads were so well plowed! But the snow did add such a claustrophobic intimacy to the situation, what a great observation :)

    And finally, yes Apradh, and yes, Oscar---and I disagree that he was a spurious slave to choose! I think he is SO totally HOT! Along with Ranjeet :D And a huge YES to a female version of this! Make it happen, universe.

    Hope you don't mind this endless comment...but listening I felt so SAD that I wasn't there! Although I would have just been coughing like Pran :)

  7. It would be much easier to follow, if you don't talk or giggle both at the same time.

  8. Lovely idea and great movie to pick as a start for this blog.
    Liked it a lot - already knew about the enthusiasm you guys have for masala Bollywood movies but it comes out even more strongly on this podcast. Pity memsaab couldn't make it for this one but am sure we will see (or rather, hear) more of her in future episodes.

    I saw Gaddar ages ago as a young boy. Agree that diluting it with romance would have spoilt the script. And yes, a female version - with the likes of Aruna Irani and other character artistes of the 70s - would have been a great idea.

    Thanks for this episode. Looking forward to the next one.

  9. Is this podcast going to be made available via iTunes (it's not in the UK iTunes store)?

  10. @Bhel - Thank you! And those are great suggestions. Although you give my non existent sound engineering skills too much credit in supposing I *meant* to have stereo sound like that.
    Actually, we had no idea what we were getting into with the time investment. I honestly thought it was going to be easier because I is le dumb like that. I have been schooled!

    @Katherine - thank you! We're going mono from the next podcast. I couldn't figure out how to convert stereo to a single channel so this was just the easier option for now.

    @Memsaab - really? Oscar floats your boat? LOL! I'm so sad you weren't able to make it but there's always next week!

    @Anonymous - the giggling is unfortunately beyond control, but we will try not to talk over each other.

    @Raja - thank you! And yes, there will be Memsaab -full episodes in the future. The very near future as a matter of fact.

    @Pennywhistler - ooh, that's something I meant to look into. Yes, starting the next epi, the official launch shall we say?, it will be available on iTunes. The main one anyway. I assume that means it will show up on the Brit site as well. Thanks for the reminder and for listening!

  11. Fantastic! I loved your discussion.
    And yet another film to add to my (ever increasing) pile.
    This looks great - plenty of excellent actors finally being given free rein to show their many talents and all subject to the whims of the wardrobe department - must find a copy!

  12. I'm a little late here...fashionably late, I hope. Nice work, and Gaddar sounds like a blast, although I resent being put in the position of having to go find something I heretofore never knew existed.

    Please feel free to giggle away, and don't feel self conscious about talking at the same occasionally. It sounds perfectly conversational.

    The tech part will be easy to master, and I personally had no problem understanding every syllable. It was perfectly listenable.

    I'm looking forward to the next episode.

  13. red42 - That's it exactly! I think you'll love it and I hope you won't miss the lack of whacktacular songs.

    Steve - Okay first, are you a Steve that I already know but masquerading sans last name, or do I have the pleasure of making a delightful new acquaintance?

    I feel your pain about the film - that was my reaction as well. Fortunately it's an easy pain to cure. Do not suffer a moment longer under dard-e-Gaddaar! We appreciate your approval of giggling - I think our basic philosophy is that if we cannot giggle about a topic at least occasionally, it's really missing something. And I'm happy to report that we've been getting some great advice from people about recording, so fingers crossed the next release is better.

    Hope we see you again!