Of the many thousands of young people trying for their break into Bollywood, there are few as charming and talented as newcomer Priyam Galav. A member of the first batch to graduate from Whistling Woods International film school, Priyam has already starred in one feature film, last year’s amusing romcom LOVE EXPRESS, and has some exciting projects lined up for the future!

As the broken hearted Priyanka in Love Express, who meets her former lover Chirag (Vikas Katyal) after many years while both are travelling by train to an ill fated wedding, Priyam delighted audiences with not only her beauty, but also her dramatic range. Filmgoers are sure to be seeing more of this gal in the near future!

Want to know more about Priyam? Then just keep reading!

Scene from LOVE EXPRESS: Left to right: Priyam Galav, Sahil Mehta, Vikas Katyal.

Having just graduated with a degree in philosophy from Mithibai College, and heading out to continue her career on-screen, Priyam was kind enough to take time out to answer a few questions for Pedro(the Ape Bomb) blog.

Mike Barnum: Where were you born and where were you raised

Priyam Galav: I was born and raised in New York for the first 10 years, before moving to India. Here, I studied at Mayo College, a boarding school located in Ajmer, Rajasthan. I have lived in Mumbai ever since I passed out.

MB: Aside from acting, what are your other interests and hobbies.

PG: I love dancing…Contemporary and Indian Classical… travelling, watching movies, reading and listening to music.

Her first film Love Express gives Priyam (center) an opportunity to indulge in one of her other passions; dance.

MB: What possessed you to want to become an actress?

PG: During my childhood years in New York, Hindi films were my main connect to India. I was obsessed with watching Indian cinema. Back here [in India] I happened to attend an interview of Aamir Khan, where he was promoting and talking about his experience of working in Lagaan. Seeing Aamir’s passion, attention to detail and methodology internally changed me. As he spoke, it was an instant connect for me. That was when I knew that this is what I would love and had to do.

MB: Are your family and friends supportive of this career choice?

PG: I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive family. I would not be in Mumbai pursuing my dreams had it not been for them. My school friends too, have always supported my dream to become an actress and their positive reinforcements have always given me strength.

MB: How exciting was it to first see yourself on the big screen in Love Express?

PG: It was nerve wracking. I personally don’t enjoy seeing myself blown up on such a large screen. My excitement came with other’s getting excited seeing me on screen.

Priyam, with her leading man, the handsome Vikas Katyal, no doubt saving their seats early for the premier of their debut film LOVE EXPRESS.

MB: What did you find most surprising or challenging in making your first film?

PG: I believe that no matter how many acting classes one may ever take it does not fully prepare you mentally for your first film. There are so many emotions attached to it, excitement, anxiousness, nervousness. Love Express for me was all of that; and having to perform in spite of all that was very challenging.

MB: How was working opposite fellow newcomer Vikas Katyal?

PG: Vikas and I were from the same batch of Whistling Woods, hence we had done a lot of work together and spent a significant amount of time with each other. We were each other’s support system.

On the set of LOVE EXPRESS with costar Vikas Katyal.

MB: Who were the most fun to work with on LOVE EXPRESS?

PG: Everyone. From our director [Sunny Bhambhani] , to producer [Subhash Ghai], to the entire cast and crew. Everyone brought their own element of fun to the sets.

MB: Your role in Love Express was both dramatic and comicalWhat types of roles do you hope to play in the future.

PG: I loved Kiera Knightly’s role in Atonement. I’d kill to portray such a character. Besides that, I’m a sucker for romantic comedies and period drama.

MB: Who would be your ideal leading man?

PG: In the Indian Film Industry it would be Ranbir Kapoor. I think he is super talented. In Hollywood, I am spoilt rotten for choices. There are just too many people to choose from.

MB: Are there any yesteryear stars you are a big fan of?

PG: I’m a huge Guru Dutt fan. Besides him, I love Madhuri Dixit, Madhubala and Waheeda Rehman. In Hollywood it would have to be Audrey Hepburn and Meryl Streep.

MB: Who are your current favorites?

PG: My favourites keep changing. But presently its Ranbir Kapoor. In Hollywood its Meryl Streep all the way.

MB: Just for fun, list for me your top 10 favorite films.

PG: All in random order and subject to constant change:

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

Atonement

The GodFather films

Rang De Basanti

Rockstar

Love Actually

Casablanca

Blue Umbrella

Kaagaz Ke Phool

Finding Neverland

MB: Since making Love Express, do you find yourself being noticed on the street by people who saw the film?

PG: Sometimes strangers look at me as if they recognize me, but I don’t know whether it’s because of the film or because of some other reason ( LOL ).

MB: Do you have any projects coming up?

PG: I do, but everything is at a very nascent stage.

MB: What do you hope for in your career?

PG: I hope to be an actor who bridges Indian and International films. The world is becoming a smaller place, and with my back ground having lived in both worlds, I would want to be a part of this merger. For me a film of high budget is not a factor, but it has to be of great quality and content.

My thanks to Priyam for sharing a bit about herself. I hope you will all join me in wishing her the best in her career. She is truly a delightful new performer!

I have long had a love of lamps, the mid-century modern, futuristic looking lamps, that is. The kind that most of us grew up with or our grandparents still had when we were little.  Coveted by collectors and interior designers alike, they have a look that never goes out of style, with classic lines, popular 1950s/60s colors, and some of the most creative lampshades imaginable.

While we take a breather from Bollywood, let us have a look-see at some fabulous examples of mid-century atomic design lamps, starting with my own, of which I have several stationed around my fourth floor 1950s era apartment.

This pink, rocketship shaped number is my prized possession (lamp-wise).

I found this lamp in the mid-90s at the semi-annual antique show held here in Salem. The seller actually had a pair, but at the time I could only afford to buy the one. Up to this point most of my mid-century items had come from haunting the Goodwill and other area thrift shops, but I just could not  pass up this beauty and dug into my savings to the tune of around $30.00…a lot of money for someone who, back then, was working a low wage retail job.

The lamp shade is not original to this lamp. Rather I have traded shades from another of my lamps, as this one was a tad brighter and fitted the room’s other decor better. I have no idea the make of this guy, but I do often wonder who now is enjoying its twin.

This floor lamp I picked up two years ago when I moved to my current apartment. It was on sale at a downtown antique shop and the pink color went so well with the above lamp, that I knew it would be perfect for the opposite side of my living room.

The lampshade on this floor lamp is the original to the pink table lamp. I think it looks quite nice on this one.

This fantastic chartreuse ship was a find at Goodwill just a few years back.

It was on the shelf for just $12.99 and I snatched it up and plunked it into my cart the minute I saw it. I kept wondering why it was so cheap, and when I got home I discovered that one of the parts that sticks up, at either the bow or the stern, had broken off and been glued back on. However, it is barely noticeable (I certainly did not notice when I was in the store) and doesn’t bother me a bit, especially since I paid so little for it!

Here is one of my earliest finds, this Oriental or Asian inspired TV lamp.

This design was obviously very popular as there are millions of similar TV lamps everywhere you look! I don’t think you could go through an antique mall without spotting at least a dozen of these in various colors and decoration. They are certainly cute! Purchased at some thrift store (I think) back in the early 90s, I no longer use this lamp as it needs to be rewired. But it still looks attractive sitting in its cozy little corner of the kitsch kabinet.

For you creative types or those who like to mix modern with vintage, this lamp is a both.

The base is new, purchased from Target, while the shade is vintage and was found at an estate sale. I’d had the shade for several years before I found a suitable base. I think the sleekness of the lamp contrasts nicely with the swirly-ness of the shade. I keep this one in my office/guest bedroom.

Now, in my bedroom I keep not one, not two, but three lamps. Not that I like to keep it that bright or anything, it is just that I have no place else to put them all.

This nifty green number is one of a pair (the other one sits on my desk at work) that I found at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop around 3 or 4 years back. Again, a great find that I just lucked onto.

Back in the 80s and 90s, finding these in thrift stores wasn’t all that uncommon, but getting into the 2000s they get snapped up quickly, when they can be found. I think these two lamps were around $7 each…quite a good buy!

This tripod style floor lamp is another that I have had for years and while it was in my living room in my previous house, and before that my apartment, it is now in my bedroom in my current place.

If I recall correctly it was at an estate sale that I came across it. I don’t recall if this shade was with it, or if I bought it later, separately. I had to stop using it recently, as the wiring at the plug has started to crack and fray. One of these days I will take it in for rewiring.

Because the floor lamp by my bed is not in working order, I have this cute little guy on my dresser in the event want to read the latest copy of Filmfare magazine while lounging in bed.

This lamp is a bit plainer than my others, but I am just fascinated by the glass globe part. I don’t know why, but I love that. The globe does not light up, which would have been awesome, but it does give the piece a nice space age look.

Lastly, we have this newer lamp, which I purchased at Ross’ Dress for Less. It has a nice retro look and sits upon my fridge…..

…and I use it often because I am way too lazy to walk all the way to the dining room to flip the switch that turns on the ceiling light that the kitchen and dining area share.

Ok, now let’s take a look at lamps that I do not own, but wish I did!!!

Just look at these two beauts…sigh…just fantastic! You almost expect a flying saucer to whiz right by!

Here is a nice, but odd pair. The lampshades are to die f or, but I am not so sure about the lamp bases….hmmmm.

You can’t go wrong with turquoise. I would be more than happy to give this lamp a home!

Talk about your space age design, this little desk lamp looks as if it is about ready to blast off!

Similar to the two up above, this zig zag lamp is of the type I would love to get my hands on some day!

A nice little desk lamp that would brighten any student’s dorm room!

I actually put a bid on this next lamp on Ebay. Was outbid very quickly, however.

Simple and attractive with its bolt of lightening design, which I kinda like.

A fiberglass lampshade will improve the look of any lamp base, as you can see here.

A stunning design…

…which looks even more awesome lit up!

One more look, close-up (because it is really just that wonderful!)

And because I just can’t get enough of turquoise…

Love this lampshade!

Iif black is more your color, how about this pair?

This seems to be a fairly common design, but nice. Maybe not as bold looking as I like.

And speaking of bold, here is ‘my most wanted’!

Another black number. Very nice shade.

Oooh!

Aaaahhhhh!

The little swatches of green on this shade are a nice touch. But I would most certainly be finding me a different base for it to sit on.

What can I say, I like this style!

Some day, when my time comes and they tell me to “go towards the light, Michael.” This is what I’d better be seeing!

Imagine the fun of searching for a lamp base to match up with this shade!

This would look awesome in my boudoir.

The green version is not too bad, either!

This one is perfect for a room done up in Danish Modern.

Unique. Not sure if I like it or not, but the red shades sure make it interesting.

Ah, a very, very nice little bedroom lamp. Dig the crazy shape of that shade!

If I actually had room on my office desk, among all the clutter and piles of stuff, this desk lamp would certainly look nice on it!

If coveting something is wrong….well, I am in a load of trouble ’cause I really want this one!

Pink versions of the lightening bold design. I am pretty sure I have seen this in several different colors, in fact. Hmmm….wonder if there are green ones?

This floor lamp leaves me speechless. I want it!!

Oh, wow……

A nice, simple tripod design.

This one certainly is majestic.

It took a lot of guts and luck to come up with this winner!

This desk sized lamp is sort like a little pagoda.

This one is just so unusual, you just have to love it!

More zig zag, anyone?

No need to even bother looking  up at the starry sky when you have this lamp. Here you have the stars, the sky, and a satellite or two.

This little number is sort of cute. I like the little antenna like things on the base, and the design on the shade is cool.

Ah, now here is a real good looker. Don’t you love the round shade on the base!

I am pretty sure this one is straight from The Jetsons!

Somewhat different  from the rest, but still interesting. The Egyptian lady twirls around, from what I understand.

The base is nothing to write home about, but that lampshade would do any lamp proud!

What an awesome pair!

Now this is a file holder I could use at work!

Another wonderful floor lamp.

More of the best.

And one last example of modern design.

I hope you enjoyed looking at these lamps. I will post more as I find them!

Jaal Saaz (1969)

M. H. Films

Dir: Mohd. Hussain

Cast: Dara Singh, Bambi, Madan Puri, Shetty, Randhir, Ulhas, Paro, Agha, Samson, Sunder, Damuanna, Kamini.

As the film opens, Secret Agent 004 is being tortured to death by India’s enemies. They are attempting to learn from him, and his lovely co-secret agent…

…where the microfilm is hidden.

Despite the electrocutions, 004 won’t turn against his country, leaving the bad guys no choice but to off him.

Now, it is the girl’s turn to talk.

When asked where the micro-film is she gives some silly answers….

…but this lady secret agent is not the dim bulb she pretends to be, as she tosses an inkwell into the goons face, grabs a machine gun and shoots and karate chops her way out of danger…

..or so it seems, until one enemy agent also grabs a gun and shoots her down.

The End?

Not on your life, this just the beginning…and it all turns out to have been a crazy dream from the fertile mind of the detective-novel-loving Meena (Bambi)!

Meena’s mom is completely at her wits end with her espionage obsessed daughter.

Of course, having a flighty daughter is really the least of the widow’s worries. There is also son Bunty to be concerned with. The youngster needs a medical procedure that will cost 25,000 rupees! With only Meena’s meager office clerk salary supporting the family, it is difficult enough just making ends meet. In fact, they are already seven months delinquent on the rent, as their landlord (Sunder) is ever ready to remind Meena of.

Gosh, even the snackwala wants money from her!

At the office, Meena’s coworkers, who refer to her as ‘Lady James Bond,’ are entertained by accounts of her most recent dream.

Unfortunately, the boss man, Seth, is not a fan and when he once again finds Meena keeping his staff away from their work, he fires her.

To top this off, Bunty is sent home from school because his fees are four months in arrears.

How could things get any worse for poor Meena and her family?

A rich man named Ranbir Singh had been witness to Meena’s firing, and he offers her a job. He wants Meena to help him find his brother who has become missing in Bombay after hooking up with some fiendish businessmen from Hong Kong.

All she has to do is impersonate his brother’s daughter, Sonia, who he says she resembles, and seek out information on his whereabouts. Meena is weary of taking such a job, but when Ranbir offers to pay for Bunty’s doctor bills, plus all of her family’s household expenses, she agrees.

Randbir sends Meena to meet up with reformed underworld don, Ashok, better known as Black Shirt (Dara Singh), who now is the proprietor of The Golden Heart Club.

This of course means a lively nightclub number is in store for the viewers, which Madhumati supplies!

Meena, disguised as Sonia, arrives at the club looking just delightful dressed in Hong Kong style.

She asks club manager Abdullah (Agha) if she can meet Mr. Black Shirt…

….but Black Shirt refuses to see anyone.

So what’s a girl to do? Meena sets in motion a commotion by tripping a waiter, who spills food all over a customer, causing a fight which becomes a riot, which in turn forces Black Shirt down from his office.

As Black Shirt works to calm things down, Meena sneeks up to his office. Now able to meet the man she came to see, she convinces him to hire her as a singer at the club.

Later, Meena also explains to Ashok/Black Shirt that she has come all the way from Hong Kong to search for her (or rather, Sonia’s) father who has evidently been kidnapped. What with Black Shirt being a former don she figures that he would know all the criminals in Bombay, and she hopes that he might help her.

But now that he is on the right side of the law, Black Shirt informs that he no longer knows any of the local hoods. He is charmed, however, and is willing to assist her as best he can.

The two get the ball rolling by calling on dacoit Jaggu (Habib), informing him of who they are searching for.

Jaggu in turn reports to Madanlal (Madan Puri), a top underworld figure.

Back at the club, and after a lovely musical number by Meena and a club dancer, she meets with Mr. John who claims to know the whereabouts of the man she is looking for.

Just as he is about to spill the information a shot rings out and Mr. John breathes his last.

Later, the beautiful Rosy, Madanlal’s secretary,  telephones Meena, pretending to be Mrs. John.

The ruse results in Meena being kidnapped!

Uh, oh!

Will Black Shirt be able to find the kidnapped Meena?

Or will Meena have to come to the rescue of Black Shirt?

And will Ranbir’s missing brother ever be found?

To know this, and much more, see JAAL SAAZ!

JAAL SAAZ is bound to please any stunt film/Dara Singh fan (it most certainly pleased me!), and our favorite Punjabi is in fine form as the handsome reformed criminal, Ashok, a.k.a Black Shirt….

…but truly, this is  Bambi’s movie all the way! In fact I would not be at all surprised if this feature had been planned as a showcase for the new actress, who showed great potential in a short lived career; a darn shame given her excellent comedy skills and versatility.

So, I ask, whatever became of Bambi?

This is a question I’d love to answer, but I cannot. In fact I haven’t a clue as to why she left films or where she is now…and if anyone can fill me in, please don’t hesitate to do so.

Finding any kind of  information on this actress has been virtually impossible. However, I did find that I am not the first to appreciate her thespian skills. Writer Girija Rajendran, in the May 25, 1971 issue of Star & Style magazine had this to say about Bambi’s starring role in the 1971 drama PHIR BHI:

Both the roles of the mother and the daughter were equally important and were treated as such. With the scripter giving legitimate footage to both the characters, the heroine Bambi and Urmila Bhatt as her mother, came up each with a compelling performance.

Still, like the role of Richard Burton in “Becket”, I thought the more complex one was Bambi’s. For it was she who had to portray the intricate and highly involved feelings of an abnormal girl who, for all appearances, is normal. This is an introvert personality in the film, so much so that not even a glimmer of a smile is allowed to play freely upon the face of the heroine.

Bambi–and those who saw her maiden film, MAIKHANA, will bear me out– is well equipped to put any extraordinary character across with telling effect.

From what little I can find out, Bambi was discovered by Kidar Sharma and she made her debut in his social film MAIKHANA (1967). And because of her delicate looks and elfish charm some referred to her as the Indian Audrey Hepburn. There was also some criticism in fan magazines that she was far too thin, and needed to put on a few kilos if she intended to become a leading actress.

MAIKHANA, though critically liked, was a loser at the box office, and that surely did not help the girl’s career any. Her role in the film is described as bubbly and full of comedy, quite the opposite of her role in the more serious PHIR BHI.

Also in 1971, Bambi appeared opposite Kishore Kumar in the dramatic DOOR KA RAAHI which also featured Ashok Kumar, Tanuja, Abhi Bhattacharya, and  Amit Kumar. In this film she portrays Karuna, the love interest of Prashant (Kishore Kumar), who chooses to travel life’s road rather then commit to marriage.

According to director Hrishikesh Mukherjee, who was duly impressed by Bambi’s performances, after a handful of Hindi pictures she left Bombay to settle in Ahmedabad, thus, apparently, ending her film career.

Of course, Bambi and hero Dara Singh are not the only great thing about JAAL SAAZ.

Comedienne Agah plays a good role as Ashok’s assistant. He manages to get in a few pretty good lines…

…and Master Shetty has a meaty role as an evil smuggler out to do away with anyone who gets in the way of his devilish dealings….

And as if that weren’t enough, there is Bela Bose…

…and Bhagwan…

…both making friendly appearances.

So, if you need a fun time filler and also want to see a new face, pick up a copy of JAAL SAAZ. You won’t be sorry! And if nothing else, you can watch this musical number over and over, like I do……Hai Ram, how I just love Bambi’s bullet hair-do in this picturization (and am wondering who the dancer is…anyone know?)

Juicy, Saucy Entertainment…now there is an ad-line certain to fill theatre seats!

Also known as LAL BATTI, this 1947 thriller was directed by Nari Ghadiali, a prolific, but overlooked film maker who was busy churning out low budget action films throughout the 1940s and 50s. With titles like  VANARAJA TARZAN (1938), JUNGLE KING (1939), PISTOLWALI (1941),  KHAZANCHI KI BETI (1943), ROYAL MAIL (1946), LAHERI CAMERMAN (1944), EVER READY (1946) SPEED QUEEN (1947), HAMARI KISMAT (1949), and JUNGLE KA JADOO (1955) to his credit, it seems he should have the same kind of following as Homi Wadia. In fact Ghadiali directed Wadia favorite Fearless Nadia in a number of stunt films including JUNGLE GODDESS (1948),  BILLI (1949), and FIGHTING QUEEN (1956). Most likely he was best known, during his heyday at least, for directing many of forgotten action star Benjamin’s films of the 30s and 40s.

Benjamin was a popular stunt film star of the 30s and 40s.

Hopefully, one of these days, a few of Nari Ghadiali’s films will will be dug up and released on DVD and we can see just how his films stack up against the Wadias. I have no doubt they would make for enjoyable viewing!

Nari Ghadialia stunt picture LIEUTENANT 1944

A very nice example of art deco design on this advert for KON KISI-KA (or Kaun Kisi-Ka) starring Shobhana Samarth, Padma Devi, Khursheed, and Nazir.

This is also a reminder of the era in which actresses often took top billing. From at least the 1930s through the 1960s, the majority of Hindi films gave top billing to the female lead, as well as supplying women with good, meaty roles in most films, regardless of genre (even including the action or stunt films). The 1970s seemed to put an end to this practice, however, as male dominated films became the norm and film violence seemed to take front seat on movie screens, moving the social driven plots to the side-lines.

Here is another ‘needs to be found’ movie which I think would make an ideal double feature with GOGOLA.

Notice that the already awesome cast, which features Azad, Nilofer AND Helen, also includes this blog’s namesake, Pedro (the Ape Bomb). Pedro, of course is the little monkey on the poster, not the big one…unless of the plot of TARZAN AUR GORILLA has Pedro turning into a giant ape by ‘jadoo’ or some mad scientist’s evil doings, which would would push this film to the top of any must see category!

“It’s the Funniest Thing that Ever Happened”….I like advertising that gets straight to the point, as this one for the 1955 comedy SHRI NAQAD NARAYAN certainly does. And, as it features Motilal, Majnu, and Om Prakash in the cast, it is quite possible that they had every right to brag. I am also a sucker for Hindi movie posters where the actors faces are attached to little cartoon-like bodies. I don’t get the floaty ghost head, though.

Interestingly enough, all sources list I.S. Johar as the director of SHRI NAQAD NARAYAN, while this ad shows K. D. Mehra. Perhaps there was a switch of directors somewhere along the line.

Whistling Woods Institute is fast supplying India’s entertainment industry with a fresh crop of talented film artistes each year. New among them is up-and-coming actor Anil Mange whose work in two recent comedies has already gotten him noticed. In Manoj Tiwari’s HELLO DARLING (2010) Anil plays Asish Singh Chaudhary the young love interest of beautiful Gul Panag, while in Sunny Bhambhani’s LOVE EXPRESS (2011) he essays the role of Sujaan Singh, the middle aged father of an unwilling bride. Anil proves outstanding in both films!

In addition to Bollywood features Anil has also kept busy in independent cinema, tackling a variety of roles in several soon to be released short and feature length films in which this “man of a thousand faces” is showing his versatility and grasp of characterizations.

As busy as Anil Mange is with acting and traveling (something of which he is particularly fond), he was nice enough to take the time to answer a few questions about his career, how he got his start, and where he hopes the future will take him.

MB: A bit about your background, please.

AM: I come from a business class family where the children are expected to take over the family business after completing their required education. Though I was born in a small town, Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh, I had an early dream to travel the world and explore as much as possible. I did my schooling from my home town and then moved to Pune, Maharashtra for my further education. I was raised by my parents, but I can say I was partly raised by my parents and partly by brother in Pune.

MB: When and how did your interest in acting developed?

AM: Everything I do is being passed on to me by my brother. I remember he used to bring comic books home. I never used to read the whole book but looked at the pictures for hours and tried to get into the character’s thinking, his feeling, sometimes dialogs. After that I used to go to an open field with my friends, creating stories and playing the parts till sunset. That was the time when somewhere back in my mind I knew where I was heading, but I still didn’t have clear idea of my final destination.

MB: As you were growing up were there any particular entertainers that inspired you?

AM: When I was kid I heard one name before I ever saw him, people call him God….king of pop…Michael Jackson. There are several other performers whom I love, but Michael Jackson was the first one :)

MB: You recently played a major role in the romantic comedy LOVE EXPRESS directed by Sunny Bhambhani.

AM: I played the character of Sujaan Singh, who is a father of the bride, a very sophisticated and family oriented man. Relationship means a lot to him, which can be seen in the friendship of Sujaan and his childhood friend Chadda. His only goal in the film is to make sure everything goes well in the marriage and that everyone is happy.

Roobie and Anil Mange as the bride’s parents in LOVE EXPRESS

MB: Was it difficult to play a character who is so much older than you?

AM : Being born and brought up in Punjabi family, I have seen and observed people like Sujaan Singh. Half the work was done with makeup and beard, plus there was a lot of help from Sunny and Subhash-ji (Ghai) for creating the character, so the whole character was developed with everyone’s help. I am very thankful to Mr Subhash Ghai for trusting me with this character and it was his trust which has shown up on screen.

MB: The delightful actress Roobie played your wife in LOVE EXPRESS. What can you tell me about working with her?

AM: She is a gem of a person and opposite of what she played on screen. In real life she is very happy with everything around her, calm and composed, and very down to earth.

MB: How was your experience attending Whistling Woods Institute? What made you decide to go there?

AM: Since the beginning I was always fascinated by performing art schools, mostly seen in Hollywood films. When I was in Pune I used to order brochures of international music and film schools and dreamed of joining one, but I didn’t know that a brick of international standard film school had already been kept on Indian soil. When I came to know about Whistling Woods Institute, through a friend, I knew this was the place. I showed it to my brother and he said first to fill out the forms and then we will see about the fees, and after two months my dream of studying in an international school came true.

MB: Prior to LOVE EXPRESS you had appeared in the film HELLO DARLING.

AM: In HELLO DARLING I played an NRI sardar named Ashish who happens to be a boyfriend of Gul Panag. In the film, Ashish tries to convince his girl friend for marriage but due to work pressure and her over ambitious nature she says no.

Anil with Isha Koppikar and Gul Panag on he set of HELLO DARLING

MB: For this film you were actually picked to replace another performer, is that correct?

AM: I got to know about this after two days of my selection. I came out of my room and my friend who was reading the newspaper told me “Bro, you have replaced one actor”…otherwise no one in the production spoke to me about this and neither I dared to ask. So in the end it was just news through a newspaper.

MB: The Internet Movie Database lists you as appearing in a short film titled KALAPAANI last year. Can you tell me about that?

AM: KALAPAANI is a diploma project done in Whistling Woods Institute. A film based on the customary practices of the rural panchayats in Haryana.

MB: One of your latest projects is the intriguing short film STARING UPSTREAM directed by first-time film makerSidharth Mishra.

AM: STARING UPSTREAM is set in the late eighties, in an insignificant town in northern India. It tells the story of a marriage that suffers from guilt, loyalty, and sexual deprivation. On the day the husband decided to confess his criminal intentions against his marriage and his wife, we stand witness to the carnally starved lives of the couple. The character that I play, Viraj, deals with his guilt of almost committing a crime against his marriage which keeps him from displaying physical affection to his wife, Suman.

Suman, though clueless about her husband’s state of mind, deals with her own sexual cravings and her attempts at satisfying the guilt-ridden temptations. The film is about the ugly persistence of the “Institution of Marriage” in Indian society; the trauma and hysteria that accompany it.

 

 

 

MB: Thinking ahead to future film work, if you could play lead against any actress, who would it be?

AM: Oh God, there will be a long list but mentioning a few, I think Kareena Kapoor and Vidya Balan will be my first choices.

MB: And do you see yourself playing hero roles or character parts?

AM: Every actor in a movie is a character whether it is hero or a cameo role, but yes I see myself as a lead actor in coming years, and want to do some realistic and meaningful cinema.

MB: Would you find negative roles to be something that you would enjoy doing?

AM: I enjoy doing negative roles too because it gives you an authority to go against the rules and regulations which, in reality, is not possible for a guy like me! And for sure there is a certain power which a negative character enjoys over positive characters, and you get a chance to show your wild side.

MB: I understand you just finished working on a feature film titled MYOHO.

AM: MYOHO means mystic law; what goes around comes around. I am playing a double role in this film and the rest will be seen when the film releases this summer.

MB: Do you have any other projects in the works?

AM: Apart from MYOHO there are a couple of other films which will release this year. One is being shot by Vishram Sawant, who made the films D (2005) and RISK (2007). Others are under production, including one international project.

MB: Is your plan to work in Hindi films only, or would you also like to work in Punjabi or other regional films?

AM: I haven’t restricted myself, especially at this very early stage of my career. I want to explore as much as possible. So, as of now I am open to offbeat cinema, commercial, as well as other language films. If they really excite me, I’ll do them.

MB: Who would you consider to be your biggest supporters?

AM : I think I am really lucky as far as support is concerned and I have got this from the very beginning of Whistling Woods Institute days …from my brother to all my faculty members, all my senior, junior and my classmates. I am really thankful for all the good wishes and great amount of love I’ve received.

A big thanks to Anil Mange for chatting and here’s wishing you all the best in your life and career!

To get a glimpse of  his work you can check out Anil’s show reel here: 

… and if you’d like to see Anil groove to one of my favorite songs – Band Baja from HELLO DARLING - (Anil, you totally rock this!!) just check this out!!

 

With Hindi versions of King Kong, Creature from the Black LagoonDr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Invisible Man, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Nightmare on Elm Street, and even An American Werewolf in London you knew there just had to be, somewhere, at some time, a Bollywood version of Godzilla (or more accurately, Gojira).

…and if there was a Bollywood version of Godzilla, who would be likely to star in it…yep, Azad and Chitra…er, Tabassum! (I often refer to Tabassum as Chitra Jr seeing as how Tabs pretty much took over where Chitra left off, once the star’s career declined).

And the plot…party beach-goers, including Asha and Kumar, sight a huge sea monster rising from the depths of the ocean. At first the police are in disbelief, but when others start seeing the big beastie, they are convinced that the creature exists.

The authorities attempt to dispose of Gogola. Unfortunately, their efforts only manage to anger the monster and, as the pressbook states, “[an] enraged Gogola charges into the city wreaking vengeance by destroying many public lives, buildings and properties…”

Asha’s father is a scientist and he creates a poison which will destroy Gogola. Kumar, being the hero, volunteers to dive below the sea and inject Gogala with the deadly substance, but the evil Lacchoo (who has eyes for Asha) devises a plan to kill Kumar and, at the same time, take credit for ridding the world of Gogola.

So there you are… you have your thrills…you have your suspense

…and you have your what not!

Though I have not been fortunate enough to actually see GOGOLA (I will seriously give a reward to anyone who can locate a copy for me), it is directed by Balwant Dave, formerly of Wadia Films (Hunterwali, Fauladi Mukka, etc.), so it is bound to be entertaining…and who doesn’t love a Hindi film with suit-mation monsters in it!

Habib,Polson, Kumari Nazar, and Rani round out the cast of this most intriguing title, and while we await some intrepid DVD company to release this one, please enjoy a song from the film, the delightful:  Nacho, Nacho Gogola :

FASHIONABLE WIFE, a 1959 comedy with one heck of a great cast should have been something wonderful. I mean, my gosh, Abhi Battacharya, one of my all time favorites, in a lead role, and that opposite the the wonderful Jaymala, or as I refer to her ‘The Indian Yvonne DeCarlo.’ But alas, this movie is one hot mess. It is more annoying than funny, and Jaymala’s ‘wife’ character (she plays dual roles) is so unlikeable, I don’t know how you are supposed to even root for her.

Well, this magazine advertisement is eye catching, and I will just pretend that the film was just as good.

PS: There is a 1938 Hindi film also titled FASHIONABLE WIFE, but how it compares to this atrocity, I don’t know.

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