July 22, 2007

Sounds Like Power guestbook

I probably should have done this weeks ago, but when I first started this blog - actually today is the first monthiversary - I didn't know how long it would last, or if anyone would care. But now I can see from my logs that one or two dozen people are stopping by each day, and apart from the handful of you I know about, the rest of you disappear without a trace.

I'd love to know who you are. So, if you feel like it, drop a comment - tell me where you are, what brought you here, your favorite of Shabana Azmi's films, whatever you like. I'm curious to know who is out there on the other side of the computer screen.

Oh, and just to avoid having a post without any Shabana Azmi related content at all, here is a smoldering gratuitous screencap from Ek din achanak. Very pretty!


Beth said...

I signed SLP's guestbook! I signed SLP's guestbook!

So here's where I should admit that I think I've only seen three Shabana Azmi movies: Fire, Umrao Jaan, and Fakira. How can that be?

Beth said...

Oh and also Parvarish and Amar, Akbar, Anthony! How could I forget htose?

Filmi Geek said...

Beth, here's what I think happened: When you got to Fakira, you started thinking about it, and you got on some kind of Shashilicious high that shut down your brain.

Anonymous said...

I'm responding to your desire for more feedback on your new Shabana Azmi web site. Just wanted to let you know that i greatly enjoy both your filmi geek and Shabana sites. My discovery of Shabana Azmi and foray into hindi cinema is similar to yours, although I was already a fan of Satyajit Ray and Mira Nair. But I'm having great fun working my way through Shabana's filmography as well as many of the classics. Thankfully, I have a long ways to go!

I use your sites as a reference, both for film reviews as well as for ideas on what to watch next. So thanks for your hard work, insightful comments, and well organized sites. The graphics are nice too, a big plus!

P.S. Think I read on your filmi geek site that you are an African music fan, as am I. If you don't already have it, check out Senegal's Orchestra Baobab's "Specialist in All Styles."

Filmi Geek said...

Thank you thank you! I am so glad that you find my comments useful. And I will definitely check out Orchestra Baobab - I think I have something of theirs on a compilation album - the name rings a bell.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE YOU PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I used to think that I was the only Shabana fanatic...thank goodness!
For starters,I am a 14 year old Muslim Keralite (my name often makes me appear as Hindu Gujarati) girl living in Dubai/Sharjah. I DO NOT know hindi..Igave up learning after 4 years...it was too hard(switched to french).
Till date, I have seen 15 Park Avenue,Morning Raga,Masoom,Fire,Umrao Jaan,Tehzeeb,Sati,Honeymoon Travels and Amar,Akbar,Antony.
Since these are the only movies I have access to-I have watched them at least a dozen times!
Do you think you could upload some of Shabana's movies on youtube????PLEASE!!
I'm dying to watch Godmother, Arth, Ankur and what not...
I LOVE this site!!
Keep it up!!


Filmi Geek said...

Neha, you are the best - I love your enthusiasm so much. I want you to see Arth and Godmother and Ankur and whatnot too, but I can't upload them on YouTube. We will have to find another way for you to see them. Have a look at this post on Filmi Geek and see if anything is useful - if not drop me an email and maybe we can come up with some ideas.

Filmi Geek said...

Oh, and Ankur and Mandi do appear to be available on YouTube, though who knows how long that will last, and I don't know whether they are subtitled.

Shabana said...

Ive just seen the blog and am delighted with it! thanku so much for doing this.Believe it or not Ive only just started using the computer! Is there stuff you wud like me to send u? shabana azmi

Filmi Geek said...

Kya baat hai!

I do hope you can forgive me a dollop of skepticism.

I would be delighted beyond words if Shabana ji were to find this blog and be pleased by it.

If you indeed are she, then I thank you with all of my heart for your visit, not to mention for all of the wonderful movies and the constant inspiration.

And if you are not, then haha the joke is on us, but still - thank you for reading.

Anonymous said...

JOKE ON US?????????????????????????
If it is really you(my childhood hero).............................
If it is you......................
then I would like to say : YOU ROCK!!I LOVE YOU!


Filmi Geek said...

As always, Neha says what is truly in my heart even though my typing fingers won't let me say it. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my heart-it is broken...
the foolish hope that it just MIGHT be Shabanaji....so foolish.
Still,one can hope.
oof-it's just soooo miserable.
I have an idea-you have her e-mail id right?So just send a mail introducing yourself and with a link to the site-maybe she'll really check us out.:)
And if it is really Shabanaji who commented....SAY SOMETHING!!
My heart can take a few more cracks.
PS-you'll have to prove it IS you.;)


Anonymous said...

I just saw Masoom-AGAIN.
I started crying the same moment Shabanaji did.
Its become a habit-like thing.
SHE IS TOO GOOD A ACTRESS!!No one else on TV has been able to make cry!
One of the cushions is all wet..


ANGELES said...

Guys, I have two things to say: Shabana knows about SLP (she told me herself) and nothing is imposible with her. After getting to meet her and being the happy amazed recipient of her attentive kindness... I do believe that she does CARE about people. What can I say, I'm still moved ( and will be for a good while...)

secretchamber4 said...

Hey Guys...

Nice to meet you... This site is very interesting.. I learnt alot about hindi movies and about Shabana from this site... Thanks for the advice ... I use your sites as a reference, for ideas on what to watch next.
If you want any movies of Shabana let me know... If I have them I can upload it in U tube....
Keep up the good work...

maru said...

Carla,very nice site! I like both filmi geek and this one and you're doing a great job with both. This one in particular invests the term fan website with dignity. I usually run from those because it is often about blind adoration, while this is about considered/reasoned adoration and of course a blend of thought and emotion is a sure shot way to appeal to me!

Love your reviews and look forward to your recommendations even though I do share the same level of enthusiasm for all things Shabana :P

maru said...


I meant to say don't share the same level of enthusiasm for all things Shabana, but perhaps even my fingers hesistated to do that!

Filmi Geek said...

maru, no worries - dissent is tolerated! :-) thank you so much for your kind comments.

Anonymous said...

You won't believe how unlucky I've been!!
I dunno if u know; but the Dubai Intl.Film Festival just got over some time back.I was having exams throughout but it got over just in time for the LAST SGREENINGS for AIDS JAAGO and LOINS OF PUNJAB!!!!
The AIDS film was unsubtitled so we figured it would be a waste for me...so we decided on Loins...when we called them up...IT WAS COMPLETELY BOOKED!!......and there goes my chance...
But the good thing is that my friends felt sooo bad for me that they promised we'll go for every Shabana-film that might come out!!:)


Melinda Barton said...

Hey, just got your comment on my blog. I think we'll have to fight over just who's "imaginary girlfriend" Shabana is but... Love the site. I think she's the greatest living actress and am constantly trying to find more of her films here in the States. I've seen a few of them over and over. Godmother must be the best film EVER! By the way, are all American Jewish women obsessed with Shabana or is it just us? haha (Well, I assume by the name that you're Jewish. Forgive me if I'm wrong.)

Filmi Geek said...

Neha: stay strong! You'll get to see the films eventually. I haven't seen *Loins of Punjab* myself yet, nor *Dus Kahaniyaan*. Patience is required! Nice to see you converting your friends, though. :)

Melinda: the nicest thing about FPMSOs (Fake Pretend Movie ...) is that there is always enough to go around. I should have been more generous about that this morning! Shabana's movies have become much easier to find in the States than since I first started looking. Netflix now has a pretty good selection. And check out nehaflix.com as well; they are responsible for most of my DVD collection. Read my reviews at Filmi Geek for some biased advice on which ones to see. :D

Filmi Geek said...

Oh Melinda - I almost forgot. There is something to the demographic - setting aside religion, more of my readers than I might have expected seem to be American women in their 30s or older. There seems to be a shortage of women like Shabana ji in our own culture. Yet another topic for an essay post in the future. (I'm already working on two others ...)

Now as to religion, I'll just say this - it's surprising and wonderful to me that this idol of mine is a Muslim. As an American and a Jew I am susceptible to all kinds of prejudices about Muslims, and my regular exposure to Shabana ji (and to Indian culture generally through its films) reminds me constantly to challenge those prejudices before they take root.

Melinda Barton said...

Filmi Geek,

Thanks so much for the references. I'm going to be right on them.

As for women like Shabana ji in our culture, I agree. I'm very big on modesty, dignity and grace and find them unbelievably attractive. American women are often anything but modest and most fellow lesbians tend to find me a bit prudish and too vanilla for their taste.

I was very fortunate to have Muslim friends at a very young age. It didn't hurt that I had a huge crush on an Indian Muslim friend named Miriam in high school. Breaking fast with her family for Ramadan and having long discussions with them about Islam are some of my fondest memories. I also dated a Turkish Muslim woman briefly in 2005. I have now a very good Indian Muslim friend at work who keeps me happy with gifts of curry and other delightful Indian dishes. Getting to know so many wonderful Muslim people personally helps to fight off the prejudice that could so easily seep in, especially since I was in NYC on 9/11.

Anonymous said...


you have put together a lovely website on Shabana Azmi. I really enjoyed going through it. Kudos for your great effort.

I live in Nasik and as part of my search for an online Urdu dictionary I came across your wonderful site.

Good Luck!!
Have a great year


Filmi Geek said...

Thank you Sophia - I hope you will come back and visit again. I just read a little bit about Nasik and it seems like a lovely city.

My favorite on-line Urdu dictionary is this one:

Its transliteration system is a little imprecise but it has all the words one commonly encounters in poetry and songs - and it's great for me, since I haven't yet mastered Urdu script ... :/

maajhi said...

Sophia, Carla: The best Urdu dictionary in my opinion is: http://www.urduseek.com. You can search for both E->U and U->E translations. You do need knowledge of Urdu script though, but that's trivial to learn, if you buy books like "Let's Learn Urdu Script" and "Basic/Beginner Urdu Reader" (available online from places like indiaclub.com).

maajhi said...

Also, forgot to add that the site makes it very easy to enter Urdu text to search for translation, and imo the fact that it uses sript and not transliteration makes it that much more precise, given there's no transliteration standard for Urdu.

Filmi Geek said...

Thanks Maajhi. I must say that I have found learning Urdu script anything but trivial, and I consider myself to have a better than average aptitude for such things. I learned Devanagari in two weeks; in the same amount of time I was not even able to make sense of the first two chapters of *Teach yourself Urdu script*. I may need to try a different book.

Maajhi said...

I'm genuinely surprised that a person of your linguistic calibre should find Urdu script difficult. There are some points you need to keep in mind that differentiate Urdu script from other scripts you may know:
1. Each consonant has four shapes depending on its position in the word: standalone, initial, middle and final. A Devanagari analogy is the way vowels have two shapes/glyphs depending on whether they are initial/standalone or modifying the sound of a consonant.
2. There are two main styles of the script: Naskh where all letters are at the same height, and Nastaleeq, the more beautiful style, where words are written in a downward sloping style.
3. The direction of the script (and pages and books) is from left to right. If you know Hebrew, this should be easy to grasp.
4. Vowels are exactly the same set as in Devanagari and their middle and final forms are usually written as diacrtical marks above or below the consonants. As you progress and read advanced texts and get familiar with basic words or shapes of words, middle vowel marks get dropped off. This is the main difficulty with Urdu script that makes the reading learning curve steeper.

Other than that, it's a simple alphabet based script. What exactly did you find hard about learning it from the book I suggested? Here's a website that covers some basic Urdu script concepts: http://www.ukindia.com/zurdu1.htm. They might help you get on board with that book.

Maajhi said...

Typo: script direction is right-to-left.

Filmi Geek said...

Maajhi, I don't know what to say to you. There's nothing particularly mysterious in any of the aspects of the script that you note; I was aware of all of them before I started to try to learn it, and nevertheless my first attempt was a failure. I learned Devanagari (with the aid of a "Teach Yourself" book) by getting a notebook and filling it with Devanagari characters and words. Because "Teach Yourself Urdu Script" did such a terrible job of teaching me how to write the characters, and only gave me a handful of sample words to work with in each chapter, I was unable to use that same strategy, at least not without some feedback from a human being about whether what I was writing was correct.

I'm not sure if we're talking about the same book; if we are, the problems with the book I used included: (a) not enough exercises, so I didn't feel I'd mastered all the permutations of the characters introduced in each chapter before moving on to the next chapter; (b) letterforms presented inconsistently, especially in the segments that were supposed to be teaching how to write the characters - the stroke instructions made no sense; (c) where diacritics were used, it was often impossible to tell the difference between them.

I found I could not distinguish where one character ended and another began; I don't know how else to explain this. As I said, more exercises might have solved this problem; working with a tutor (who could have shown me more words) would have solved them as well. For example, a chart purported to show me what each character looks like in its initial, medial, final, and isolated forms. But since in all but the isolated form it's not supposed to stand by itself, standing by itself in the chart it looks really different from how it looks in words. And so I had great difficulty adapting what I saw of each character in the charts to what I would see in actual words; the book's pathetic collection of exercises was not nearly enough to facilitate that transition.

Finally the co-existence of the nastaliq and naskh forms essentially doubles the work; I desperately needed a source apart from the lousy book I was trying to use, but all on-line sources used naskh while the book used nastaliq. So I could not find a ready supplement for the crappy little book.

I'm not saying I can't learn it; I'm just trying to explain why my first attempt to do so failed.

Zippy said...

Great Blog,its like you have read my mind and created a blog all about my obsession! Thank you, saves me having to do it.

My top five favourites are :-
1. Fire
2. Ankur
3. Mandi
4. Nishant
5. Saaz

Here is a list of Shabana films I have seen. The first one I ever saw was Ankur.

1974 Ankur
1975 Nishaant
1976 Fakira
1977 Parvarish
1977 Karm
1977 Amar Akbar Anthony
1977 Shatranj ke Khilari
1978 Junoon
1978 Swarag Narak
1978 Atithee
//Atithee is a horrendously boring film, almost unwatchable,skip it//
1982 Arth
1983 Mandi
1984 Kamla
1985 Khamosh
1988 Pestonjee
1988 Main Azad Hoon
//Fell asleep watching Main Azad Hoon//
1991 Ek Doctor ki maut
1992 Dharavi
1992 Adharm
1993 In Custody
1996 Fire
1997 Mrityudand
1997 Saaz
1998 Side Streets
2002 Makdee
2003 Tehzeeb
2005 15 Park Avenue
2006 Umrao Jaan
2007 Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.

Filmi Geek said...

Oh no Zippy - I think you've seen one or two more than me, I'd best get back to work! :D

Welcome, I am so glad you found us and I look forward to your comments and contributions.

Marbs84 said...

I became a fan of Shabana because of her niece Tabu. And after seeing some of Shabana's movies, I now understand where Tabu got her acting talent. I see alot of Shabana in Tabu's acting. She's very expressive and the choices of movies she does, mostly art houses films, is very much like her aunt. Emotions are apparent in their eyes. I know how proud Tabu is when she's being compared to Shabana but she also feels that she isn't deserving to to be compared to her yet. I hope, one day, Tabu and Shabana could be in the same movie and directed by either Mani ratman or Mira Nair or maybe even Deepa Mehta.

There are some movies of Shabana I'd love to see but unfortunately, I can't find them here or even online. I'd like to see Godmother, Paar, Arth, Masoom, and Khandar. I saw Ankur but the last few chapter of the DVD was corrupted and it stopped playing. I also saw Hari Bhari and unfortunately, the last chapter of the DVD was also corrupted. I went to an Indian videostore and they hardly ahve her movies. As for Tabu, I've seen alot of ehr films, but the hard ones to find are the Tamil, Tellugu and Bengali ones. Right now, I'm looking for her movies "Iruvar and Abar Aranye".

I wonder if there's any way I could get copies of these movies becasue I really want to see them.

Filmi Geek said...

Marbs, welcome! I am glad you found your way here.

I don't know where you are located, but if you can order DVDs from a U.S. supplier then some of the movies you mentioned are readily available on DVD. *Arth*, *Masoom,* and *Godmother* should be pretty easy to get, and so should a decent copy of *Ankur*. These films are in print and suppliers like Nehaflix generally stock them.

*Paar* and *Khandhar*, sadly, are not available as far as I know. They may be available from VCD suppliers in India but I haven't yet tracked them down myself.

Souren Basu said...

Sister, this is Souren from India, Kolkata another blind admirer of Shabanaji. When I discovered your blog I was just astonished because Shabanaji though finest actress, great activist but I find very less so called fans here, may be some are silent. According to Me if I call you Fan then it is wrong, you are blind admirer of MRS.AZMI like me. You know much much and more and more about her than me. In your blog you have large collections of her photos. I have seen the great kissing scene of Immaculate Conception in the video uploaded by you. When I was in my 20s I made an album on her. I have a plan to modify it with many photos. I have also one blog: www.sourenbasu.blogspot.com. My email id is souren_basu@yahoo.co.in.
Hope to hear from you.
With regards,

Filmi Geek said...

Thank you for the kind words, Souren ji, and it's a pleasure to have you here.

I like to think my admiration for Shabana Azmi is not blind, but rather rational, considered, and objective. But perhaps I am fooling myself. :)

Anusha_Siri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Souren Basu said...

after a long time somebody written something to me through your blog. i am so excited as usual finding so many unknown photos of DIVA Shabanaji...but she never write to me though i follow her...its so amazing no ? we are following someone who never turned back...we follow because we love her...i have already purchased four cds of her film for which she received national award...another one i mean the 5th one is yet to purchase....stay fine.