Monique Rhodes


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At the movies - Hindi style

I went to the movies yesterday. A Hindi movie called Agneepath. It was fab.

I went gold class. Wow, that was an experience. Gold class in the west is awesome. You get a reclining lazy boy chair, a waiter and as much food and drink as you want to order. It's a real experience. I knew India was not going to be quite like that however when we got upstairs to the gold class waiting area and I saw the very dressed up Indian families, aside from feeling a little shabby as I did get to the cinema on the back of a motorbike, I also felt some anticipation that these beautifully groomed people knew what they had got dressed up for.

We got into the theatre. I had been told that gold class meant we were on the top floor with the best seats and we would also receive a Pepsi for our trouble. The best seats resembled something out of an old bus seat graveyard. They were in dire need of a makeover, no that is being too generous, they all needed to be given the heave ho into the tip! Many had huge holes in the seat or chunks out of the backs. I was relieved to be shown my seat and see that it still was intact despite the fact that the springs were completely gone. I was delighted when it sort of reclined but unfortunately it reclined in a way that the bottom part of the seat slid forward, like the airplane seats on a budget airline, and I had to straddle the seat as there was nowhere for my knees to fit between the seat and the one in front.

I settled in for the movie. True Bollywood drama, magnificent. The acting and storyline were so dramatic that there was no need for me to be able to speak a word of Hindi. It was all very obvious as to what was going on. Villains and good guys and a few beautiful women doing amazing dancing. It would seem that to become a Bollywood star you need to be some sort of physical freak of nature. The main "actors" are stunning to look at, nothing less.
There seems to be few rules in India and the cinema was no exception. Phones ring and people yell into them over the top of the movie. The little guy came round with not a free Pepsi but a small plastic cup of sprite. No one cares as he walked in front of us all and blocked the screen continuously. They were too busy yelling with delight when the hero fights the villain and clapping when he did something unbelievably superhuman.
The movie was so long, 3 hours, that we even got the old fashioned interval. The one thing I found totally hilarious was that when there was a scene with a character smoking and suddenly a health warning came onto the screen about the dangers of smoking. It was brilliant. I suddenly realised I had not seen anyone smoking here in India. These health warning must work!

In the end the hero overcame the villain. When the second the villain died the lights of the theatre came on and people started leaving. But the movie wasn't over. In their minds, it was.

I'm coming back for more. Bollywood, I'm hooked!


Beautiful India...

Beautiful India - the mountain where Buddha practiced for 6 years in a cave Beautiful Indiabefore he came to Bodhgaya where he achieved enlightenmen.






This is Koncho. Each night I sit with him while he sings the most exquisite chants in Tibetan at the stupa where Buddha attained enlightenment - Bodhgaya, India





Tibetan prayer flags - Bihar, India





Not only do beggars throw themselves at you in India but in the case of this woman it seems that goats do too - Bodhgaya, India




Beautiful little boy...

...I have just met who was very keen to show me his dinner - Bodhgaya, India



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