Friday, 18 May 2007


Tired of work and people and places, last weekend I commissioned myself to voluntary house-arrest. Ok, ok, I’ll be honest. I didn’t really move from the TV couch – and to my surprise discovered that reading, watching telly and eating are a pretty exhausting combination, therefore I was forced to space them with a dose of sleeping here and there :)
I ended up watching the only movie that seemed remotely interesting - Octopussy. Bond undoubtedly kept me entertained - what more could I ask for than to be a part of an attempt at world domination involving a Faberge egg? When I went to Moscow last year I did see the intricate Faberge eggs at the Kremlin, and I thought how thrilling it would be to be caught up in a chase involving them.
Faberge eggs aside, the story was quintessentially Bond: the Russian official who got tired of playing comrade and defected, bits of East Berlin, a Swastika or two, threat of nuclear warfare, Bond’s almighty watch, the beautiful women that he always seems to attract, the car chase, the gripping flying incident, and the sea of destruction he characteristically leaves behind.
What I loved the most (aside from the cheesiness factor, that is) was that it some of it was set in India, hence the classic Indian formula was applied through and through: fortresses in the hills, heartbreaking beauties, pilgrims bathing in holy rivers, jasmines in hair, beggars, traffic-stopping cows, arched corridors leading to nowhere, heavy-lidded eyes lined with kohl, beautiful bougainvillea amidst lush palms, and draped windows with veiled women peering through.

Craving for the local flavour, Bond rode around in an auto-rickshaw and gate crashed a local village festival of fire-breathers, hot coal-walkers, snake-charmers and sword-eaters; before braving the Indian jungle in his perfect white suit, where he was hunted by an elephant, a Bengal tiger and a crocodile, but still came out unscathed and with every strand of hair perfectly in place.

My favourite scene was undoubtedly the one where the vampish Miss Magda, after stealing the Faberge from Bond’s pocket, delicately tied the pallu of her saree to the balustrade, leaped over the balcony and exquisitely twirled out of it, to be received on the ground by an exiled Afghan prince who wrapped a silk robe around her shoulders and whisked her away. Wow.

Somewhere in the film our exiled Afghan prince, Kamal Khan declares: Mr. Bond indeed is a very rare breed, soon to be made extinct….

Naturally he realized the folly of that statement, and not long after, he remarked: You (Bond) have a nasty habit of surviving.

Oh yes he does. And with lots of saddies like me rooting for the eternality of Bond, I think he will thrive for a long, long time :)

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