Disclaimer. This is a somewhat stupid post because I’m suffering writer’s block so I can’t be bothered to write about ‘proper travelling’. I was just going to gloss over my last day in Aurangabad, but here we are. Back to scheduled normalness tomorrow…maybe. Or possibly in a week.
I had checked out of the hotel in Aurangabad the morning after Ellora, but my train to Hyderabad didn’t leave until morning so I still had a full day to kill in a town with not a great deal of tourist attractions. My options seemed to be limited to the following:
*(yeah, can’t work out how to insert bulletpoints with the app)
*Daulatabad fort. Yep, did that yesterday.
*Aurangabad caves. I think I’m pretty much done with caves. No thank you.
*A monument described as ‘the poor man’s Taj’. Perhaps a bit of a let down after the actual Taj.
*Carnival! On the way to Ajanta I passed what looked like a travelling fair being set up. Went back 2 days later and they were still setting up. So no carnival. Stupid inefficient Indian carnies.
*A garden with a watermill. Actually did go there. Turned out to be a pond. Managed to stretch out a full 2 hours there, purely because I found another Westerner to talk to. It was still only 11 by the time I left.
*Spa. Of course I did this. But I’m going to struggle to make a massage last until my train home.
Soo…looks like my only option is the cinema. Which is showing one movie, in Hindi, with no subtitles. On the plus side I paid 60p for premium seating. I think I vaguely understood the plot…for your amusement and edification I present:
A Condensed Besharam for the Hindi Impaired
Leading Man as potentially Babli, if I heard that right
Leading Lady as potentially Tara, ditto
Sidekick as… I have no idea what his name was, so I’m going to call him Sancho, chiefly because I’ve been reading Don Quixote and therefore can’t think of any other sidekick names
Policeman as Mr. Plod
Policewoman as Mrs. Plod (yes, they’re married)
Big Scary Crime Boss as The Boss
Leading Lady’s fat comedy mother as Mama
Also featuring neighbourhood children, armed police, criminal goons and many many dancers
Babli: Ah, we’re so dashing and irresistible.
Sancho: Yes, and we do look damn good in suits. Hey, do you think Mrs. Plod just noticed this was the stolen car they were looking for?
Babli: Quite possibly. Time for a high speed car chase past Delhi’s most famous landmarks old chap?
Sancho: Only if we can end up in a nightclub wearing gold lurex tracksuits singing the title track.
Babli: Indeed. Onward my man.
Tara: Yay, I have a shiny new plot point! I mean car!
Mama: Aie, why must you drive so fast?
Tara: I’m a wealthy, successful young woman, I can do what I like!
Mama: You had more respect when your father was alive.
Tara: Why do you have to bring that up Mama?
Mama: It’s your character introduction scene dear, I have to give all your tragic history.
Babli: Time for my character introduction? Behold! I am not merely a good looking car thief. I am now playing football with the local, possibly orphaned children for I am a Diamond In The Rough.
Sancho: Time for work Babli, let’s go and pretend to be valets at a posh hotel so you can fall in love with the leading lady and try to impress her with more dance moves. I recommend that you leave the gold suit at home this time.
(the morning after)
Babli: Ah Sancho, I have met my life’s dance partner. We shall make beautiful Bollywood routines in the sunset together. Do you think I’ll ever see her again?
Sancho: Who knows? Maybe in some freak coincidence her mother will faint at the price of some vegetables, conveniently tearing your shirt in the process, then offer to give you a new shirt if you help her carry her shopping home where you will bump into her daughter while still shirtless and therefore irresistible.
Babli: You think?
Sancho: Yeah, why not. Just don’t start a dance routine in her street about how much you love her. She’ll think you’re an asshat.
Tara: Hey asshat! Stop dancing in my street!
Boss: Grr. I am intimidating and obviously quite evil. No one is quite sure why a nice young chap like Babli would get involved with me, but there we are. I will probably string him along as my puppet minion for most of the movie. That is all.
Tara: Hey! Did you just bribe your way into my office?
Babli: Yep. I’m here for the boyfriend interview.
Babli: Here are three convincing reasons why you should be in love with me. Number one – we look great in a dance routine together. Number two – check out my roguish smile. Number three – If you don’t love me I’ll steal your car.
Babli: If you don’t love me I’ll console myself in a bar.
Tara: Oh. Well, no thanks. I inexplicably hate you for some reason so you should probably leave now.
Sancho: So did it work?
Babli: No, she inexplicably hates me for some reason. Let’s steal her car. We can sell it to the Boss’s weird weedy looking goon.
Sancho: Are you serious?
Babli: I’m not sure why, but yes, apparently so.
Tara: Help! Police! My car’s been stolen! Probably by that big scary crime boss who everyone conveniently knows about.
Mr. Plod: Oh, I’m not sure we should get involved in that.
Mrs. Plod: Are you serious? If we break this case we can finally afford to buy that microwave oven!
(no seriously, I swear I heard her use the words ‘microwave oven’)
Sancho: Hey dude, why so down?
Babli: Well, I’m beginning to think stealing the car of the woman I love might have been a bad idea. Especially since she’s now talking about going to take on the boss.
Sancho: Well, does she know it was you? Why don’t you offer to go with her? She’s going to need a driver anyway.
Babli: Ingenious! This plan can’t possibly backfire! Fire up the montage mobile while the interval’s on!
INTERVAL: Let’s all go to the lobby, let’s all go to the lobby, let’s all go to the lobby to buy ourselves some snacks.
Babli: A moving vehicle down the only road in India with no potholes, no rubbish and no cows. What a perfect place for a song and dance. Do you love me yet?
Babli: How about now?
Babli: How about now?
Tara: Hmm….give me a chance to sing about it….Ok, now I love you.
Babli: Ugh, well I’m tired of waiting for you now.
Tara: Dammit. Well, shall we shake the film up with some silly action scenes instead?
Babli: Sure thing. Fetch me a sari and a bucket of white face paint so I can fight in disguise and I’m your man.
Boss: Um. What the hell just happened? Did someone just steal my car by headbutting my goon with a motorbike helmet?
Inconveniently timed phone call: Hey there! It’s Babli! We just stole back the car and it has a craptonne of money in the trunk! We’re off to celebrate with another dance routine before I head home. Which in case you’re wondering is located at Only Weakness Orphanage, 123 Obvious Plot Device Road, Dehli.
Mr. and Mrs. Plod: So…I’m not quite sure how we did it but we’ve worked out that Babli is the car thief. He’s in jail now, because we’re really only here to get in the way of the real storyline.
Tara: Oh. I see. Well, I don’t look remotely surprised so maybe I already worked that out. Anyway, do you fancy a ridiculously large bribe?
Mrs. Plod: Wow. Think of the microwaves we could buy with that.
Mr. Plod: I’m not sure how comfortable I am taking this bribe. Wife, would you be at all worried if I changed my mind at the last minute and suddenly stood up for myself, thereby forcing you to do the right thing?
Mrs. Plod: Whatever, when is that situation ever going to arrive?
Boss: Bwah hah hah hah, I have kidnapped all your orphan boys and will probably do something nefarious like dangling them over a shark tank if Babli doesn’t give my money back immediately.
Mrs. Plod: Well, nuts.
Babli: So. Everyone up for another silly action scene?
Mrs. Plod: In a sari? You betcha.
Babli: Huzzah! Through the ancient martial art of sock wielding the day is saved! My boys are back, I got the girl, and I will probably lend Mr. and Mrs. Plod just enough money to buy a microwave. You know what this calls for? ANOTHER DANCE ROUTINE!
I’m not convinced I quite got all the subtle nuances of my first Bollywood movie. Since the film was apparently a flop maybe the rest of India didn’t either.