The Fun In Funeral

“When I die,” she declared, “you’ll understand why there is ‘fun’ in funeral.”

Carefree words spoken laughingly by a teenager.

Sixty years later, I was standing at her funeral.

I caught snippets of formal conversation.

“Aye, she was a lovely woman. Always had a kind word for everyone.”

“She lived a long and fulfilling life, God bless her soul.”

A solemn looking boy stood up. He must have been about fifteen, with sorrow making untimely creases on his face.

“My grandmother had a last wish,” he spoke, as everyone in the room perked up at his voice. “Would everybody please gather around the ice-box please? I’d rather tell it all to you so that she can see…” Here, he sniffed and wiped his nose with a tissue “…I kept my promise.”

Many obliging murmurs now. Piqued, I followed suit.

“Here, in this box, lies the best woman I ever knew. And her last wish was…”

He was cut short by a sudden onslaught of…was that blues music?

And was that coming from the ice-box?

“I want to break free! I want to breeeeak free!”

I wasn’t able to hear the rest of the song as it was muted out by the shrill screams of fear coming from the younger women in the room.

It hadn’t sunk in yet to the older people in the room. Their eyes had just popped out, their jaws were slack open, and they were shaking in fear.

Judging by the pandemonium, I could safely say that we’d probably be needing a few more ice-boxes soon.

The ‘solemn’ boy was crying his eyes out in laughter.

“Did you see that, Mom? Best thing I’ve done all my life! Oh, Grandma would’ve LOVED this!”

Well, at least I had expected something of that sort here. She wasn’t someone who would go back on her word, however casually made.


A few weeks later, I visited her house again. Things had pretty much sobered up there after her prank with the ice-box. It was a memorial service today.

The officiating priest had already begun speaking.

“Despite her light-hearted nature and her unfortunate impulse to play pranks on people…even when she was dead” Here, he glared at her grandson, whose laughing eyes were just like his grandmother’s, “…she was a wonderful lady and will be remembered. Peace be with all of us.”

A few sniffs were heard. Some heads shook darkly at her irreverence. Death was no laughing matter.

“Consolations can be offered at the lemon tree beneath which her ashes are buried,” a professional-looking woman showed the way.

A few of us rose to offer our prayers to the departed soul. She was our childhood friend, after all, and who could tell whether I’ll have the chance to come here again?

“May your soul rest in peace, my dear” I said, and stepped towards the tree, as the tangy smell of lemons overcame me. In her typical fashion, she had an X marked at the spot where her ashes had to be buried.

Oops.

Music blared from all the trees.

“Ha ha ha ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive! Ha ha ha ha, stayin’ aliiiiiiiiiiiive!”

Well, she definitely had fun at her funeral.

Can’t say the same for the woman who fainted at both the occasions though.


So hey, that’s my lame attempt at a comeback after months of silence. School sure can get tiring!

Oh, and the songs? “I Want To Break Free” is by Queen and “Stayin’ Alive” is by the Bee Gees. Lots of love to you if you see the connection.

Liked it? Hated it? Just meh? Let me know!

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#1 Music Monday

Girl Power!

Girl Power!

So, I fell in love with Bridget’s Music Monday, and though I’m pretty late, I’d like to make my contribution.

1.Roar by Katy Perry

2.Blank Space by Taylor Swift

3. Firework by Katy Perry

4. O Gujariya from Queen

5. Jiya Re from Jab Tak Kain Jaan

What are YOUR favourite Girl Power songs? Let me know in the comments!

Queen: A Royal Treat

 

Director: Vikas Bahl

Production: Viacom 18

Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Rajkummar Rao, Lisa Haydon

Kangana does a brilliant job as Rani Mehra, aka Queen, the girl who is dumped by her fiance Vijay (Rajkummar Rao), on the pretext that he has changed too much for her in the last couple of years.

The distraught Rani comes from a traditional Indian conservative family, and is always accompanied by her younger brother everywhere. So when her world comes crashing down in this fashion, she does the unexpected: She decides to go on her honeymoon…alone.

So now we come to Paris, the city of love, where a girl is trying to move on with her life. Kangana portrays Queen to perfection. She proves her mettle in acting every bit the innocent, simple girl we tend to imagine Rani as.

Rani then meets the bubbly Vijaylakshmi, aka Vijay (Lisa Haydon), a waitress with French/Spanish/Indian origins, who manages to shock the naive Rani with the Parisian culture.

Vikas does a commendable job of showing Paris. The discos, bars, pubs, hotels, streets, graffiti, and its colorful people are portrayed brilliantly. Hats off to him.

From Paris, Rani visits Amsterdam, where she is forced to share a room with three men: the cute Oleksander (Mish Boyko) from Russia, Timy (Joseph Guitobh) from France and Taka (Jeffrey Ho) from Japan. Not to mention Rani’s heartthrob, Marcello (Canadea Lopez Marco), an Italian chef who challenges her to prove her culinary skills.

These four actors collaborate well with Kangana.  They play excellent supporting roles, but maybe more back story should have been developed, and more limelight should have been thrown on them, to add more content to the story.

These four constantly call Rani ‘Queen’ ( a name that once her fiance used to call her affectionately) while Rani persists in calling Oleksander ‘Sikander’. These make up some of the light moments in the film.

As Rani lives with them, she understands that everybody has to overcome hurdles at some part of time and that it is no use moping over them. She decides to forget and forgive Vijay and move on with her life.

So what she does when Vijay (her fiance) calls up to make up with her forms the reminder of the film.

The music by Amit Trivedi goes well with the film. London Thumakda especially stands out. The music videos are a treat to watch.

Queen is not just about Paris, Amsterdam, fun, life, love and joy. It is about rediscovering oneself and developing self-confidence, and just trusting your heart that sometimes, it is just best to let it go.

I’d recommend this film to anyone who’d like to recover from any heartbreak or something of that kind. And also for those who’d like a desi twist in an out-of-the-box Bollywood film, which not only was a commercial success, but received rave reviews too.

Queen is indeed a royal treat to watch.

 

 

 

 

Upcoming This Month

Now that my (not so) terrible examinations are over, I’m back to blogging everyday. Here’s a list of what nonsense is gonna be put on my blog for the next fifteen days:

  • The Irony: Part 3 and The Irony: Part 4 will be mostly published in a span of one week or so. No promises, though.
  • These vacations, I’m dedicating myself for watching one movie per day…and review them. Sneak previews: Expect Queen, Finding Fanny, Daawat-e-Ishq, and a comparison between Khubsoorat (1980) and Khoobsurat (2014).
  • For those who are frankly not interested in my lousy Bollywood reviews, we have also got book reviews. Thankfully, I’m better at books than Bollywood. Preview: Expect O.Henry’s short stories, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women series and Ruskin Bond’s novels.

That’s it for now!

🙂