Archive for August, 2010
Every once in a blue moon comes a film that reinstalls my faith in Indian cinema, a film that tells a story without boorish subplots, bad acting and embarrassing attempts at humour. Based on a true story, Antardwand has come at the right time, when movies are being made mostly for the purpose of making the filmmaker and the already overpaid actors (sorry, I meant superstars) richer, irrespective of how poor the film may be.
Raghuvir (Raj Singh Chaudhury), who studies in Delhi, wants to marry his pregnant girlfriend, and comes home to a village in Bihar to inform his mother and seek his father’s permission. The father (Vinay Pathak, superb) has other plans; he has already found a suitable bride for his only son and is busy turning down other offers. He pooh-poohs Raghuvir’s wish, and the angry son leaves for Delhi early next morning.
But Raghuvir doesn’t reach Delhi; he gets abducted by Akhilendra Singh’s goons and is confined in a small house temporarily, where he is beaten up and tortured in other ways at regular intervals till he agrees to marry Akhilendra Singh’s daughter.
Are you shocked? You better be. This isn’t a funny movie, it’s dead serious. Raghuvir is forced to get drunk on local liquor on his wedding night, which he fumbles through in the stupor. Refusing to accept Akhilendra Singh’s daughter Janki as his wife, he remains upset and makes his young bride miserable. Heavily pressurized to consummate the marriage, Raghuvir gets very drunk one night…
Antardwand does not seek to entertain; it is a drama that will leave you stunned. Antardwand is one of those rare films in which the script and actors do complete justice to each other. It is not a commercial movie, but it isn’t even a boring artsy flick; it may not have a point to make but it has a great story to tell.
At last, some real cinema… and really good cinema.
Bostan means “The Orchard” and is the name of a Moghlai restaurant in Jogeshwari West on SV Road. I’m guessing it has been named after the book by the famous Persian poet Saadi, as there used to be a restaurant called Gulistan (“The Rose Garden”, another book by Saadi) on SV Road in Santa Cruz. Bostan has a cult following thanks to its Butter Chicken and Tandoori Chicken (which isn’t always good) and is no place for vegetarians.
The first thing you have to have at Bostan is the Mutton Soup, which has lots of garlic and ginger and strips of mutton. This nutritious soup will open up passages you didn’t know existed. Avoid the biryani and pulav; the rice dishes used to be great but not a lot of effort goes into preparing them these days.
Stick to the gravies and you can’t go wrong. I heartily recommend Mutton Green Masala (it’s boneless) and of course, Butter Chicken. The butter chicken here is red (and not orange like at most other eateries) and finger-licking delicious. I’ll go as far to say it’s the best butter chicken I’ve had. Also, don’t miss their chai after your meal. The old menu had some absurd rules like “do not play transistor”, “do not comb”, “do not flurte [sic] with companion”, and “do not sit for long time.” The last one means you have to leave in 15-20 minutes irrespective of whether your food has arrived or not. Kidding. Go to Bostan.
Andheri East has got itself a neat place in the form of Spirit Kitchen & Bar. It’s where you go when you want to sit around drinking for a long time and want to eat reasonably priced food. Families sit downstairs in the brighter section; upstairs is a not so lit but snazzy section where groups of young people get drunk.
This place has a lot of food: Punjabi, Mughlai, Chinese and Thai, but how the food turns out depends entirely on your luck (or the chef’s mood), for I’ve been overjoyed with the starters/main course here a few times (the chooza kabab!) and disappointed a few. For a change, I don’t mind taking the gamble because there is so much food to check out. And Spirit Kitchen & Bar is a great place to drink alcohol at for people of all ages.
With that name and a taste that could make a guy give up drinking, Stud Premium Lager is a brew entitled more than any other beer to be called ‘horse piss.’ Available only in certain regions of Maharashtra, and this stuff actually sells quite a bit out there.
This tiny restaurant near Natural Ice Cream in Juhu serves really tasty Punjabi dishes. Just go for any non-vegetarian gravy with naans/parathas/rotis because the biryanis and vegetarian food are not that good. Still have to try the fish and prawns here, but the chicken and mutton dishes are excellent and the portions are large. Punjabi Rasoi has only five tables, doesn’t serve alcohol and is open till midnight.