Thursday, July 27, 2006

If I Were the Bollywood Bada Badmaash

Having come across this now really famous list - “If I were the Evil Overlord” (look for it at the “Evil Overlord” Wikipedia entry), I thought this one out. When you really think about it, Bollywood Badmashes are at an all time low, considering how cheesy and ineffective their men, weapons, plans and overall establishments have become. So here’s a guidebook, for all Bollywood Baddies:

(1) My name will be something with as few syllables AND initials in it. The KKs, JKs, DKs and MKs all got killed, as did the Pralaynath Goondaswamis, Madanlal Prakash Singhanias, Jagadmohan Oberois and Devendra Raj Khatris. Nor will bizarre, semi-mystical or pseudo-foreign ones like “Jugraan” or “Dyson/Jackson” be required. Something simple, like Arjun Singh, or Nakul Sood will suffice.

(2) My name will not come with additional titles or sobriquets, like “Daatha Guru”, “Bhai”, “Dada”, “Mauth ka naya naam”, “Baawa – Kisi ko bhi maar saktha hain” etc.

(3) As a special corollary to the above, I will not allow any use of names such as Sher Singh, Sher Khan, Tigerr, Billa etc. Big cats are highly endangered, as will be people named after them.

(4) I will make it a point to have a large and diverse wardrobe, drawing from several clothing styles. You become easy to recognize if you’re the only fellow wearing a suit, a Jodhpur outfit, a banyan and lungi, a sherwani etc.

(5) I will not have a pronounced Bihari, Punjabi or Madrasi accent, nor will I repeatedly toss characteristic English one-liners in between prolonged Hindi speech – these things only add an ill-timed comic effect. Consistent fluency will make for a much more refined and precise Badmaash.

(6) Seeing as I have the money, I will surgically rectify all squints, eye defects, hunches, twitches etc at the beginning. Tall, upstanding men make more frightening Bada Badmaashes than deformed, sickly, maniacal freaks.

(7) Before setting up my operation, I will make it a point to read The Godfather and watch the film trilogy, each at least 5-10 times

(8) My dear, beautiful, innocent daughter, whom I prize above all else will not be sent any “College” in my City, or even the country. She will first attend a Convent School, and then go to Harvard.

(9) Rather than wait for my daughter to fall in love, and then force this whole daulat vs. love thing on her, I’ll make her double major in Engineering and Philosophy, with emphasis laid on Hegel, Sartre and similar existentialists. She’ll never fall in love.

(10) My daughter will be trained to the Black-belt level in at least three martial arts. She will not jhaapad the hero – that leads to hand-catching and eventual romance. She will kick him hard in the nuts.

(11) If after all my effort, my daughter does fall in love with the poor hero, I will not attempt to separate them, throw blank checks in his face or send goondas to beat him up. I will discreetly have him placed in a Bangalore call-centre job with an executive title, tripled salary and solely night-time responsibilities. The IT revolution will take care of their relationship.

(12) My son will be taught the importance of hard work, even to someone in my position. I will not tolerate his loafing around college with thuggish friends. Nor will he go to a “College” college. It will be an IIT for him.

(13) Rather than face the inevitable task of covering up the case every time my son rapes a college girl, I’ll simply send him to an Ivy League university and enrol him in a sorority house there.

(14) I will set myself up as a star promoter/godfather, of the likes of Shakti Kapoor. This will be a simpler way to bring beautiful women willingly into my grasp, compared to going about raping every other female I see.

(15) My underlings will be taught that guns come with sights, which should be used to take aim when firing at a hero.

(16) When dealing with a running/driving/cart wheeling hero, I will aim at a point ahead of him, wait for him to reach it, and fire precisely. Spraying bullets all over the place makes for noisy fireworks, but does not do the job

(17) I will deliberately aim 3 feet higher when firing at a moving hero. This will cause the bullets to hit him, rather than ricochet around his feet.

(18) My underlings will undergo regular training in marksmanship. Anyone who can’t hit a moving target at 10 feet will be shot dead.

(19) Captured enemies will be instantly shot in the head. There will be none of this “dheere-dheere se, tadap-tadap ke” stuff.

(20) When I’ve captured the hero, I’ll shoot him unceremoniously. I will not take him to an open courtyard to be beaten to death, torn apart by animals, crushed by a bulldozer etc. while his family looks on.

(21) I will keep an armory of up-to-date automatic Kalashnikovs, Heckler and Kochs, M16s etc. Neither I nor my men will be using those useless scooter exhaust-pipe things.

(22) When my hit man is aiming at a hero, he will take such precautions as to hide at a secure, elevated point. He will also be instructed to wait till the hero stops moving, and to fire only when he is sure nobody – especially not a girl the hero recently met – is going to approach him and turn his head at a crucial instant. Too many assassination attempts have ended as exercises in shattering glass.

(23) My men and I will be careful and polite with inspectors, however familiar and contemptuous we may be with sub-inspectors, constables and commissioners of police. You can never tell which one is a hero-in-waiting, or the friend of one.

(24) Any inspector whose investigations are becoming taxing to my operations will be discreetly assassinated. He will not be publicly discredited and jailed.

(25) I will not kill the hero’s honest, senior Judge/Commissioner/Politician/Civil Servant father and establish it as a suicide. That will only infuriate the hero and make trouble for me. I will kill the hero, and the old man will die of depression and cardiac arrest.

(26) I will be a practicing Buddhist. This will give me some spiritual counter when the hero’s wife/mother appeals to Rama/Krishna/Kali/Allah/Christ/Sai Baba etc in the action climax. As a bonus, it will enable me to mingle freely with Richard Gere and Steven Seagal.