A warm welcome to all friends visiting the site with a loving invitation to read my personal expressions on movies, music, poetry and life.

Music and Movies are like Ears and Eyes to me and if you also feel the same, then you are going to enjoy every moment spent on my works here, for sure.

Do send in your valuable comments and suggestions as they would be my guide for all the future works.

ENJOY!

ANAARKALI OF AARAH - You praised Amitabh teaching the meaning of a woman's NO in the court, now praise Swara doing the same in a differently authentic manner. (Review By Bobby Sing).

PHILLAURI - It's a confusingly conceived Punjabi film made in Hindi, based on an interesting but inspired idea with the only merit being its emotional climax. (Review By Bobby Sing).

TRAPPED - Post an unconvincing start, it fairly keeps you engaged as a praise-worthy off-beat attempt featuring an impressive solo act and some notable merits. (Review By Bobby Sing).

This Friday's One Line Reviews by Bobby Sing for making your weekend movie plans..

KONG SKULL ISLAND (English) - Though lacks an emotional pull and the original charm, it's still an incredibly made entertaining comic-book adventure to be experienced in a well-equipped theater. (Review by Bobby Sing).

BADRINATH KI DULHANIA - A unique case of the makers returning with the same lead pair, a similar title, identical looks and the same old premise of a wedding, mocking at the viewers patience & choice. (Review by Bobby Sing).

LION (English/2016) - An emotionally uplifting film which once again depicts INDIA in a bad light and we know the westerners do have a fascination for such dark representation of our country since decades. (Review by Bobby Sing).

ANUPAMA (1967) - Its touching emotional climax and DDLJ - By Bobby Sing.

COMMANDO 2 - Focusing on suspense instead of action, Vidyut gets no support in this poor and so casually conceived film unfortunately. (Review By Bobby Sing).

LOGAN (English/Hindi) - You will make faces, tighten your fists and do several things going through this brutal, cold blooded must watch thriller for sure. (Review by Bobby Sing).

 
 
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March 29, 2017 Wednesday     

Bambukat

Last year when I gave a much appreciated high star rating to ANGREZ, then I was pretty sure that this kind of subtle, realistic and impressive lovable period drama would be too hard to surpass by any talented team of Punjabi Cinema in the near future. But the makers of ANGREZ only proved me wrong within the next year itself and they came back with another ace up their sleeves as BAMBUKAT, which is once again a period family drama that simply wins your heart in the very first minutes and then calls for a repeat viewing too, bringing along all the family members.
CINEMA as I see it means fresh-innovative stories presented before the audience contributing into the growth process of the makers as well as the viewers together, and BAMBUKAT is a perfect example of the same unarguably.
An emotional yet entertaining take on 'Saandu /Saadu Comparison' that has been rarely adapted as the main subject of any Punjabi project before, the film deserves more praises for its producers who thankfully found the courage to support and finance a take on such potential yet highly unconventional theme believing in their creative team of writers, actors and the director.
For friends not familiar with these regional terms, SAANDU/SAADU is the name given to the relation between husbands of two real sisters who always face a comparison in every culture, region or community. And BAMBUKAT is a lovable name given to A BIKE or MOTORCYCLE in the local Punjabi slang, which was more famous in the past decades before the 70s.
Beginning with a very fine jail-sequence giving you the feel of a period film, BAMBUKAT makes an impact right away with all the marriage sequences of the times when marriages were fixed without asking the couple or any meeting arranged. Continuing with its culturally rich, impressive content without any dull moment as such, the progression transforms you back into the 60s through its well-written entertaining dialogues, a supportive background score and the songs inserted intelligently that don’t pinch or break the flow of the movie as usual. For instance the first song comes after 25-30 minutes into the film as it ideally should be, though the melodies were much stronger and relatable in the team’s earlier venture ANGREZ.
Post intermission, director Pankaj Batra successfully manages to hold the grip by including a racing sequence and a sudden twist that beautifully lifts up the film bringing in the emotional quotient. And then post some cliched or filmy insertions, the team returns with a lovable climax getting smiles back in the theatre and people walking out of the venue feeling immensely satisfied.
In reality, there are four key features that turn BAMBUKAT into a clear winner, which I could easily sense/predict in the mid of its first early morning show itself on the last Friday (as mentioned in my FB/Twitter posts).
Firstly it’s the core subject having a certain magnetic pull focusing on the machine itself that is widely considered as a dream-machine/ride among the youth of Punjab and the northern regions since many decades.
Secondly, the film has a highly entertaining comic feel throughout, depicting the social status competition between the two Saandus/Saadus, a tricky relationship most of the viewers can easily relate to.
Thirdly it has all brilliant performances put up by the entire star cast in both their big and small roles contributing in the overall impact.
And fourth is the theme of ‘a suppressed underdog’ winning the game that actually works 8 out of 10 times in our Indian cinema, with every person sitting in the theatre making an instant connect with the character recalling his own life. In fact that is exactly the reason why you hear whistles, shouts and cheers in the theatre when Channan and his wife surpasses the Railway station officer, riding their new Bambukat just before the intermission. In other words that is the very moment, when every person sitting in the theatre feels like a winner himself.
Apart from these four features, as a film BAMBUKAT also makes an indirect yet strong comment over the social status/caste/colour and other discriminations still widely practiced in the region in a highly influential manner. However, contradicting their own vision, the makers themselves support the same in a short ‘unnecessary’ scene that is specifically mentioned in the few downers stated ahead in the review.
Applauding the entire cast, the project clearly belongs to Ammy Virk, followed by Binnu Dhillon, who pleasantly presents himself in a different avatar moving ahead of all his ‘similar’ performances. Continuing with the same thought, though Ammy also reminds you of his ANGREZ act at times, still the singer-turned-actor yet again proves that he is here to give competition to all the big names of the industry and would soon be standing along with them on the top having a good sense of dialogue delivery, screen presence and the required magic winning all the young hearts. So this is the one man, Diljit, Gippy and more need to look upon with respect as well as admiration.
Among the girls, both Simi Chahal and Sheetal Thakur are fine, with Simi getting more scope to showcase her talent as Channan’s wife going through various tense situations facing the competition and the unexpected decision towards the end. Plus it was good to see everyone acting perfectly in the supporting cast without making any typical over the top efforts, featuring the veteran Nirmal Rishi, Sardar Sohi, Anita Devgan, Hobby Dhaliwal and more.
Coming to the downers, once again here we have the traditional marriage proceedings becoming the base of all likeable sequences (that can be ignored in the film’s favour). But the one scene that wasn’t really required is the 1-2 minute railway station sequence featuring two Sikh Bhaapa characters (denoted by printed Pagdis) revealing the same old discriminative and SICK divisive mindset behind the inclusion. (For more details on this ugly division between JATT & BHAAPA existing within the Sikh community itself, do read my long write-up on film ARDAAS with many clear references by clicking here.)
The sets and locations keep generating the feeling of Deja-vu as they are all similar to the ones earlier seen in film ANGREZ and then the second marriage decision coming all of a sudden without any legal or logical justification as per the Indian law and traditions, isn’t that convincing and hard-hitting as it should have been.
Lastly it was quite sad and unfortunate to find another old hit composition of Sh. Charanjit Ahuja sung by Kuldeep Manak as “Goli Maaro Eho Jahe Banuati Yaar De”, copied yet again in the film’s title song as “Koi Virla Hi Launda Note Bambukat Te”, post the similar undisclosed act in Diljit’s SARDAR JI 2 just a month back. Interestingly both the films have a common music director as Jatinder Shah. (But please do let me know if the makers have anywhere mentioned the original source in the credits following the right path.)
Addressing the industry people,
When there are no BIG STARS working in a film looking at their co-actors from 'an assumed elevated platform'……!
When everyone in the team is simply interested in making a good film together and nothing else without any ‘ego-hassles’ or ‘creative intrusion’ and
when the producers find the much needed 'blessed courage" to adapt a fresh, innovative STORY instead of a safer, routine comic plot full of all cliched stuff,
then we get to see a superfine, entertaining film as BAMBUKAT made effortlessly representing all the love and hard work put in by the entire team.
Having said that, yes the film does have some technical flaws, but these are not what the general public is actually concerned with. So in all possibilities you are sure going to have a good time in the theatre watching the two entertaining Saandus competing with each other. So do watch it supporting great Punjabi Cinema without any Diljit, Gippy or more names you always go for.
Plus watch it essentially to welcome A NEW STAR on the block as ..... AMMY VIRK.
Rating : 4 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for its courageous producers for backing the unconventional storyline saving the sinking Punjabi Cinema infusing a new hope.)
(Note : When the Punjabi title is written in English then it has to be BAMBUKAAT with two A’s generating the right sound.)
Tags : Bambukat Review by Bobby Sing, Bambukat Punjabi film review by Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
 
 
30 July 2016 / bobbysing /
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We obviously don’t expect a crime thriller showcasing some solid (logical) investigations revolving around a celebrity kidnap in a film directed and enacted by Dhawan brothers. But we truly expect a complete entertainer with many enjoyable moments, funny dialogues and good songs in the two hours bought for a ticket, which sadly isn’t there in Rohit Dhawan’s DISHOOM shouting out loud in its wide-spread promotional campaigns run over the entire media.
Beginning and ending with two songs specially made as ‘attention seeker’ item numbers to be used for promoting the film, DISHOOM keeps going at a fast pace adding one absurd sequence over the other right till its weird climax. And getting the much needed support from cameos played by Mahender Amarnath (as the manager/coach), Akshay Kumar (as a gay), Nargis Fakhri (showing off her assets), Parineeti Chopra (in an promotional song) and Satish Kaushik (as the voice on the phone), the film fails to offer even one worth mentioning sequence that can be called thoroughly entertaining or enjoyable as per the promises made.
So we have absurdity clearly visible in the lady politician (resembling the persona of Sushma Swaraj), the decision makers in the cricket authorities, the dislocating shoulder, the kidnapper videos (with Urdu subtitles), forcibly written dialogues and the manner in which two cop-buddies go on investigating the missing Indian batsman taking along a girl (Jacqueline) who is a petty thief. Where the first hour still has some moments providing the ‘hard to find’ entertainment, the second half treats the viewers as granted and goes on inserting many more weird elements of childish humour into the film featuring a dog, lions and an Afghani/Arabian kind of city too hosting the third item number of the film added just for nothing.
The music is a letdown from the ‘hit machine’- Pritam except a catchy key phrase ‘Sau Tarah Ke’ and the picturisation of “Jaaneman Aah” straight away reminds you the way David Dhawan used to have songs like ‘Sarkaye Lo Khatiya’ in his films with all those Oooos, Aaaahs and suggestible postures. The background score and cinematography remains unable to lift up the film made on a pretty ordinary or rather pathetic (predictable) storyline, vaguely trying to include patriotic flavor towards the end quite desperately.
In the performances, where Varun tries his best to evoke some timely laughter, I really didn’t find John acting in even a single scene and also couldn’t spot the merit Akshaye Khanna found in the film’s script selecting it for his comeback after a long gap. In short, it seems as if fast-pace was the only thing Rohit and his writers were concerned about while making the film. But frankly that isn’t anything for which this poor and casually made product can be recommended for.
Rating : 1 / 5 (and that too for the visual richness and the funny cameo of Akshay Kumar- which was actually a clearly forced one too.)
[Note : Where the film follows the hit format of cop-buddies as earlier seen in BAD BOYS, LETHAL WEAPON and more English films series, one of the film’s poster has some acute similarities with the poster of Robert Downey Jr.’s DUE DATE (2010)]
Tags : Dishoom Review by Bobby Sing, Dishoom Movies Review by Bobby Sing, Inspired Posters, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
 
 
29 July 2016 / bobbysing /
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Toba Tek Singh - Review by Bobby SingIf you are in any way related to India and Pakistan, but yet unaware of a legend called Saadat Hassan Manto, then allow me to say that you haven’t really experienced one of the most blessed and brutally honest story tellers belonging to both the nations yet. And probably haven’t felt, read or known the actual, hidden reality behind three key subjects of life namely - a human’s eternal struggle with sexual lust, the sad state of woman in our sick-biased society and the unimaginable-horrendous bloodbath seen in the years of Indian partition around 1947.
In fact any kind of study about Indian Partition can easily be considered as ‘Incomplete’ if the person hasn’t looked into those times through the deep, sharp and straightforward expressions of Janaab Saadat Hassan Manto.
Among the most famous characters created by the maestro is of Sardar Bishan Singh, also known as Toba Tek Singh by the name of his native land, and this one story has been adapted several times before by various writer-directors of different eras since its origin post the Indian Partition. However after watching this latest adaptation by Ketan Mehta and his team featuring Pankaj Kapur, I haven’t got a slightest of doubt in rating it as the best ever film made on this particular story till date …….. that is sure to remain THE BEST looking at the present scenario around in terms of thoughtful filmmaking.
The above expression might sound ‘a bit exaggerated’ to many, but there is actually more than one reason for such praises articulated in the descriptive heading above, explained in the following points.
Adaptation – The present version of the story TOBA TEK SINGH excels as an adaptation since it rises much above the level of mere presenting the story as written by Manto, following a quite descriptive and innovative narrative never seen before in any other adaptation of the subject till date.
Interpretation – It has the rare merit of interpreting the original idea of its writer in the most authentic, meaningful and heart-touching manner that was more or less missing in all the previous attempts made by the various directors. May be because, they were just sticking to the famous storyline without trying any innovation or reaching its actual depth in absence of any gifted artist to play the lead role of Sardar Bishan Singh.
Visualisation - Though having a short duration of around 70-75 minutes, Ketan Mehta never visualizes it as a short film and shoots it exactly like a full length feature with a brilliant art direction, splendid camerawork and a perfect casting. Plus it’s the background music that truly enhances its overall impact on the viewer exactly like ‘a period drama’ shot at a decent scale. Having said that, I personally did feel the much required heart-piercing melody missing in those traditional verses & alaaps added just at the right moments in its various important sequences.    
Expansion - The most important and exclusive feature of Ketan’s TOBA TEK SINGH remains its highly appreciative, well thought of and pleasantly creative expansion given to the story idea by Ketan as the writer too.
And why it’s exceptional?
Because (hold your breath), Ketan adds the character of Saadat Hassan himself in the script as the Officer-In-Charge of the mental asylum, who has a passion of writing short stories. So he narrates the whole story of Sardar Bishan Singh and his inmates through the eyes of Saadat only that truly deserves a great unanimous applause indeed. 
Amalgamation - The second exclusive feature of this unmissable venture is that its just not the presentation of a single story of MANTO, but an amalgamation of more than one famous works of his, beautifully interwoven in the narrative giving a sudden unexpected shock to the viewers (as always there in Manto’s last lines). But maintaining ‘the exclusivity’, I will not like to ‘OPEN’ the name of that other prominent story featured in the film as a significant addition.
Toba Tek Singh - Review by Bobby SingEnactment - A film like TOBA TEK SINGH can never be made by a director alone, even if he has an outstanding vision in his mind to present a particular script idea. A director always remains dependent upon a team of equally talented actors who can enact his vision on screen in the most accurate manner. And to give them their much deserving credit, this particular gem could only become possible due to three highly talented and blessed artists namely Pankaj Kapur (as Toba Tek Singh), Vinay Pathak (as Officer Saadat Hassan) and the actor playing the role of asylum’s old caretaker. Together these three simply transport you into that painfully tragic era when even the decades old friends suddenly turned into two deadly enemies.
Individually where Pankaj gives another powerful, career best performance as Sardar Bishan Singh; Vinay very subtly plays his assigned role of Saadat Hassan with an adorable elegance and the old caretaker simply wins your heart with his constant smile and well written one liners right from the first scene itself.
In fact post experiencing this magnificent film, one is forced to accept the ugly fact, that how in our country we do not recognize and honour the blessed masters of their art in their given lifetime and always try to present them as the most loved and respected achievers of their field when they are already gone.
Sharing my personal viewpoint, the moment I read the story of TOBA TEK SINGH in the early 90s, I had only two actors in mind who could authentically portray the tough character on screen with their own conviction. One was Virender Saxena, who played the role of an eccentric, thin-bodied Sikh in the widely acclaimed TV series TAMAS, and two – Pankaj Kapur who could easily slip into the body of Sardar Bishan Singh knowing the language, tradition and region at a personal level. Luckily the role reached the most deserving candidate after almost three decades and the result is finally here proving my assumption right.
On a concluding note, this ‘lesser known’ gem should soon be released by the producers (Zee) either in the selected theaters or on any of their TV channels at the earliest, since TOBA TEK SINGH is not only a film with the power to transform hearts at both sides of the wires installed ...... but its also a rare masterpiece created by a blessed, visionary team that ideally should not be kept away from its starving audience for long.
(Note : The film has been made as a part of the Zee’s Zeal of Unity initiative wherein renowned directors from India and Pakistan are brought in together for making some thoughtful films.)

Rating : Movies To See Before You Die
(Make sure you do watch the film (when available) as well as read MANTO as the ‘next urgent task’ of your life and stay blessed.)
Cheers!
Tags : Toba Tek Singh Review by Bobby Sing, Toba Tek Singh Short Film Review by Bobby Sing, Manto's Toba Tek Singh by Ketan Mehta, Films made on Manto's stories, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Movies To See Before You Die, Must Watch Hindi Films, Unmissable Films made on Manto's stories.
 
 
27 July 2016 / bobbysing /
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When we consider the term ‘Professionalism’, then at one end it specifically means strictly not disclosing details of any ongoing project to the others, particularly to the ones working in the similar profession. But at the same time, the term also means that if a second project is offered to an actor, quite close to the one he has already done in the past or is currently involved in, then ideally that needs to be clearly conveyed to the writer/director making the offer, leaving the decision on him that whether he still wishes to continue with the same or decides to drop it.
Toofan-JaadugarA few recent Hindi releases forced me to think about these two ‘tricky’ meanings of the word sharing it honestly and the subject once again took me back to the late-80s controversy between two famous duds of Amitabh Bachchan namely TOOFAN and JAADUGAR releasing in close succession in the same year of 1989. Based on a common unconventional subject revolving around magicians, both these films did have Amitabh playing the key role of a Jaadugar (though with completely different story plots), which was exactly the point raised by Prakash Mehra that his leading man didn’t tell him about the similarity during the entire making. Now how and why the fact didn’t get revealed in time avoiding the messy clash cannot be guessed rightly. But the truth remains that both these film actually got made, released and rejected too (at the same time with TOOFAN releasing first) for the very reason of similarities apart from the mediocre making.
Ironically even Amitabh’s SHAHENSHAH releasing a year before in 1988 had a similar theme like TOOFAN focusing on a super-human kind of figure fighting the evil at night and another similar looking character playing the comical part in the daytime entertaining the viewers (though it wasn’t the case of a double role).
Adding another worth mentioning fact about MKD films, just like COOLIE (1983), TOOFAN is also mostly quoted as a Manmohan Desai film, whereas the first was directed by Prayag Rag (sharing the credits with Manmohan Desai) and the latter was the second directorial venture of his son, Ketan Desai.
Wazir-Te3nComing back to the present, the recent example is of two major films releasing at the gap of 4 months namely WAZIR and TE3N in the first half of 2016 based on a similar theme. Interestingly in this case too we have Amitabh Bachchan only playing the lead role in both the films as an old man who has lost a girl in the family to an unfortunate event and now is willing to take his revenge from the known killer. Despite being contrastingly different in the mystery involved and its treatment, amazingly both WAZIR and TE3N have Amitabh only as the main conspirator behind the games being played like a shrewd criminal fooling his close associates Farhan and Nawazuddin respectively. Now was this acute similarity actually known or conveyed to the respective makers or not (working simultaneously) is certainly a backstage mystery to be solved by asking the makers themselves.
Admittedly many a times two or more films do get made on a similar theme by different directors. But the mystical question is that when a same lead actor is doing both these projects at almost the same time, then does professionalism allows him to remain silent and hide this crucial fact from both the makers or it rightly demands to reveal the truth at the earliest and let them decide for the rest.
Darr-AnjaamQuoting a couple of examples of the same, PREM SHASTRA and ISHQ ISHQ ISHQ both had the mention of a bold subject of incest with Dev Anand and Zeenat Aman playing the lead, releasing in the same year of 1974 (and none of the two worked). In the mid-90s, Shah Rukh Khan repeated his stalker act of DARR (December/1993) in a much brutal manner in ANJAAM released just a few months later in (April/1994), clearly indicating that they both were into the making almost simultaneously in the year 1992-93.
The above examples are of the films that were being made around the same time - featuring the same lead stars - revolving around the same theme, that’s indeed quite amusing and intriguing to even think about.
However there are other instances when a lead star featured in a film that was quite similar to what he had earlier done in the past too in another venture.
To begin with we have a very recent case of Irrfan Khan playing the lead role in DEADLINE – SIRF 24 GHANTE (2006), JAZBAA (2015) and MADAARI (2016) having an identical theme of a kid getting kidnapped in all the three.
Now in JAZBAA, there is a sequence where the kidnapped girl gets sick and the kidnapper makes a call to the mother (Aishwarya), to bring the medicine at a particular place leaving the packet at a specific spot. An exactly similar sequence is there in DEADLINE too where the kid girl gets an attack of asthma and the kidnapper has to bring in the mother to take care of her for a while. No doubt the sequence is tackled in a much better manner in DEADLINE where Irrfan himself plays one of the kidnappers (in contrast to the inspector in JAZBAA), but whether he recalled or pointed out this similarity to his writer/director of JAZBAA or not remains an exciting mystery.
Deadline-MadaariAmusingly another important fact related with both these films reamins that where JAZBAA was an official remake of a Korean thriller SEVEN DAYS (2007), DEADLINE was an unofficial version of an English film TRAPPED (2002) having an exactly similar sequence like a weird co-incidence.
Talking about the most recent MADAARI (2016), here too it’s again Irrfan Khan playing the forced criminal kidnapping the kid of an influential figure of the society. And the only difference is that where in DEADLINE he kidnaps the daughter of a doctor/surgeon blaming him for the death of his young child, in MADAARI he picks up the son of a Home Minister, who was the key person, passing a faulty flyover causing the death of his only child. However the question still remains the same that did Irrfan honestly inform or discuss these exact similarities with the writer-director of MADAARI or not?
Giving some similar references from the past, in the 80s and 90s, most of the films of Dharmendra and Mithun Chakraborty often generated the feeling of Deja-Vu in a vague manner.
Besides, Rajesh Khanna and Hema Malini featured in two films based on a similar reincarnation theme namely MEHBOOBA (1976) and KUDRAT (1981).
VAASTAV (1999) had its seeds in a similar act by Sanjay Dutt in his HATHYAR released in 1989, with the entire transformation beginning from a road side food stall only.
Anil Kapoor played an innocent adult with an underdeveloped mental state in YUVRAAJ (2008), which was quite identical to what he superbly played two decades back in EESWAR (1989).
And on a lighter note, cannot really guess that while shooting for the last shot of LAGAAN (2001) playing the winning sixer, did Aamir Khan recall that he had earlier played an exactly similar sixer in the climax of Dev Anand’s AWWAL NUMBER (1990) too, though playing modern cricket in a stadium instead of the pre-independence era against the Englishmen.
Anyway the question still stands tall as an unsolved mystery that, whether the lead stars actually spotted these similarities and discussed with their directors too or they just decided to let it go……. posing as some different kind of professionals remaining silent?
Cheers!
(Note : Do let me know if you recall another similar instance of the past that deserves a mention in the article.)
Tags : Lead actors doing similar roles in two films, Inspired Films, Copied Films, Similar Themes, Articles on Inspired Hindi Cinema by Bobby Sing, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Toofan and Jaadugar, Darr and Anjaan, Deadline and Madaari, Wazie and Te3n, Lagaan and Awwal Number, Backstage stories of Bollywood films.
 
 
26 July 2016 / bobbysing /
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