Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC) Instinct

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You cannot turn on the TV nowadays without being bombarded by trailers of Basic Instinct II with a 48-year old Sharon Stone trying to reprise the role of femme-fatale Catherine Trammell , the hypersexual novel-writer with a propensity for ice-picks and cigarettes and a queer affliction of restless-leg syndrome from the cult classic, Basic Instinct (1992)

Incidentally, I cannot rid myself of the feeling that in some dark corner of the world, Dev Anand is chuckling to himself—Sharon Stone at 48, me at 84. Both sultry sex symbols.

Over the years, Basic Instinct has spawned so many B-grade wannabes [identifying characteristics: 1) blurb inevitably contains one or more of these stock words “Dangerous”, “Passions”, “Dark”, “Obsessions”, “Twisted” , “Lust”, “Seduction” and “Double-cross” 2) cover art consists of shadowy bodies or a skimpily dressed lady with a gun/knife in her hand.] that I doubt a sequel can promise anything new either in terms of story (really who cared) or in terms of shock.

But even then, I will still go to watch Basic Instinct II—-simply to pay obeisance to the phenomenon of the original.

Before Basic Instinct (BI for short), Indian teenagers languished in the age of ignorance. There was no internet and cable TV was just in its infancy. For the average teen, erotica (or “hot scenes” as they were known as then) was defined in terms of buxom ladies getting wet under a waterfall. The “bad boys” went a bit further peeping at dubbed Mallu soft-porn –a world inhabited by people who looked like the “Before” picture in weight-loss infomercials. And the real demented ones tried to sneak into film festivals for uncut Swedish movies by growing a moustache.

In all, total hormonal misery.

And then BI came. Like manna from heaven. The memories of those days: hushed whispers in the boys room, missed tuitions, the knowing smiles from the black marketeers when, clutching your school bag, you whispered: ” 1 Basic Instinct please”.

BI opened up a new world for us—globalized our sexual desires so as to speak. For the first time, we realized that we had been living, like frogs in a well, satisfied by drenched women and the likes of Neetu Singh and Asha Parekh while fires raged on all around us.

But not any more.

Because now, thanks to BI, we knew. We knew about strobe lights, underground discos, bodies pressing against each other, bumping and grinding, threesomes, girl-on-girl action, domination, bondage and other assorted kinks that we had no idea existed.

And most importantly, we knew that there existed a world out there, where you need not run around trees and swear undying love in order to get laid.

You could just walk in and start shooting.

The question that defined our grandfather’s generation was:

“Where were you when Mahatma Gandhi was assasinated?”

For our fathers (in Bengal at least) it was:

” Did you ever have Naxal sympathies?”.

For us it was:

” Where did you see Basic Instinct?”

So where did I see BI? Aaah there’s a story behind that.

I had first read about BI in Time magazine and needless to say my interest was aroused. It came to Calcutta unannounced but in a very short time, through “word of mouth” publicity, it had become quite a rage. Everyone in school was going to see it: of course surreptiously. It was the only topic of conversation during tiffin breaks. I needed to see it quick so as to not become a social outcast.

My mother is extremely liberal (in comparison with mothers of the same socio-cultural milieu) and always asked me to be “honest” and “upfront” and ask for permission for each and every activity. She also commanded a lot of fear for which I knew that if I tried to do something secretly and got caught—well let’s leave it at that.

So like a good kid, I asked her: “Ma can I see Basic Instinct?”

Now this is not as bizarre as it sounds: a year or two ago I had scandalized my friends when, from the street, I had shouted to my mother 3 stories up:

“Ma can I go to see “Pretty Woman” with my friends?” [“Pretty Woman” was very risque in those days]

Coming back to BI, my mother was okay in principle but then she asked my father. No was the answer: his son was not going to see a movie of debauchery until he was an adult.( My father is the conservative guy in our family: he didnt take kindly to me seeing ‘Three’s a Company’ when I was 10 years old. [This was in Ithaca where I spent a part of my childhood].)

As a result of my father’s decision, while my friends gushed about Sharon Stone’s shenanigans, I sat stone-faced, burning with teenage angst at the detrimental effect of my fear-induced honesty.

And so the day I turned 18, I again asked my parents: ” Now do I get to see Basic Instinct?”

My mother said: “Okay now you are fine. Go to the video library (Neha video library for any of you oldtimers) and get it.”

But I was not finished.

I said :” But this time, Baba has to come with me to the Video Store and I shall get BI with him—he had prevented me from seeing it the first time, this time he shall take me there.”

Yes it was tough being my parents. Actually it still is.

So that was it. My 18th birthday. Baba and I went to Neha Video Library. I took BI and proudly walked upto the store-owner and told him to make an entry into the book.

The video man was aghast. He called my father aside and whispered to him in a state of catatonia:

” This is adult stuff.”

My father told him: ” It’s okay. I know. He has turned adult today.”

Back home, after my parents had gone to bed, I popped the video into the VCP. And through the horrible camera print, the muffled dialogues, and the unacceptable video noise at “those” places which have been rewound over and over again, I experienced my first whiff of official adulthood.

The world now lay before me like a supine Sharon Stone.

My basic instincts had been unleashed.

[Update: Do read this rocking account of the BI experience from yourfan2]

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49 thoughts on “Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC) Instinct

  1. Though I am yet to watch Basic Instinct -One, I do remember the hushed whispers in the school bus. The other movie that inspired such awe amongst the hormonally challenged in the school bus was “Blue Lagoon”. Unfortunately I missed that one too….was busy racing my bike when the colony kids rented and watched it on the sly in some nice, approving bhaia’s room. Oh! Deprived Childhood of Mine!!!

  2. You spent your childhood in Ithaca! This place is so interesting..
    (actually, now I understand why you are what you are..)
    Anyways, now I can associate with you even more.

    Desi, PhD student at Cornell, Ithaca-NY.

  3. Arnab,

    Ah, this reminds me of my family experience regards to films of such nature. Now, being from a true film-wallah family, sad owners of the oldest cinema hall in the city, my uncles and father used to consider themselves as self appointed NYT critics; wait, it was more of the London Times meets International Herald Tribune film critics. Of course, such pretensions were bound to lead to some unmitigated catastrophe.

    Such an event occurred with that forgotten classic, mentioned by Anyesha, “Blue Lagoon”. My oldest uncle, (boro jetha, to deliver the depth of seriousness) informed my cousins that this is a glorious movie: A National Geographic documentary about oceanic life in the South Pacific (I added the South Pacific bit, but Digha would suffice). So, the kids and him go to New Empire or Light House; the rest is history…

    It gets better as one gets old and family secrets are revealed. Presumably, after the release of “Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram,” my granny and the elderly women (imagine a battalion of devout Hindu widows), asks the uncle who was managing our business: “baba, chobbi ta kemon?” My uncle is perturbed (their parental relationships were locked in the Aapni-Tumi scenario). My uncle replied that the movie was great, religious, etc.. Little did he know that grandmother would make a block booking. Presumably, as the cars had not arrived to take them home, all the widows and devout Hindu style women sat through the whole movie at Roxy or Tiger.

    Great article, absolutely fantastic both in humor and content,

    Vasabjit Banerjee

  4. Nooooooo! You didn’t do that!! You couldn’t have done that to your dad!!! 🙂
    It is really wonderful to have parents like that, isn’t it? The kind who have the ability to build the character and principle in their children to the point they can trust them, in collaboration, with (even) their adulthood that early. I know my parents couldn’t, with me (they “enforced” things, though that was effective too but didn’t make anything “mutual”… they were “over there” and I was “down here”… if you know what I mean… I loved them, don’t get me wrong, but that was how it was), but I see my youngest sister and her daughter and I can kinda relate to your story. And… I have a lot to learn, ‘coz that’s where I wanna be. It is tough, though.
    You are very fortunate!

  5. That was a great story, Arnab. By the time I came around to realizing the importance of such movies, we had The Internet – you know about the network built for distributing porn and soft-porn movies, don’t you? – so I never had such fun renting videos. Every screening of Basic Instinct was a big hit in our hostel, though.

  6. I am surprised you waited till you turned 18 to watch an adult movie. Parents would love such a kid.

    Incidentally, I saw BI quite late…actually watched it for the plotline because I had already seen “other higher level” stuff. My parents unfortunately used to think of me as a seedha-saadha baccha (they still might).

  7. Nice story there.
    When i was in the 10th, one of the girls, a more tomboyish one at that, asked us guys, “Hey what does BP mean?” and we were all red in shock and surprise. We couldn’t believe that the other variety of this species would know about the existence of something we thought was the secret of men. I had only known what BP or Blue Films meant had never seen one. My access to media was highly challenged with only DD and vcr was what u only found in other people’s house.

    I was then rather backward and lived in the darkness of ignorance and lack of education where classmates wondered if condom was a pill, “What else could it be then?” Then came 12th standard and the first day of biology everybody in the extra special coaching class was made to illustrate the genital organs and from then on began the crusade against ignorance. Then came internet and I fear if it has killed the wonder in all enthusiastic children. Oh! How I love the internet.

  8. I was not allowed to watch BI when it came – I was 11 years old then.
    A whole aura about the movie was created at that time mainly because the most daring thing shown on TV was a show on drug addicts (even that was shut down). TV then was like a typical PSU – Govt. propoganda and programmes made without even thinking whether viewers will like it!!

    I watched the movie when I was 21 and I was like, “wht is the big deal?”

    Yup, it was like any normal erotic thiller. Differance was, it was he first one we heard about and that we just did not know how to deal with it.

    Also it is funny that I was gonna post abt the movie. But my post is to be about the rubbish being written about its sequel and Sharon Stone’s decline. So, please do not think am plagarizing you:)

  9. I don’t recollect watching BI, but it was definitely someyears before turning 18. What I distinctly remember is watching my ‘first’ porn movie. Muscular men and buxom ladies, both extremely well endowed randomly squirming all over the screen. What followed next was guilt and fear, guilt for doing something shady and fear because the guilt written all over my face.
    I also remember watching ‘Pretty Woman’ on the sly, but never quite understood what was so erotic about it. BI was a peep into the fantasy and all things thereafter have failed to live up to the heat the first peep generated.
    BI-II will be watched, to experience the sheer exhiliration once again that BI-I generated years back.

  10. @ Arnab:After reading your post I too feel like sharing something.

    I wasn’t old enough to watch Basic Instinct -1 when it came in the theatres. As a class-VI student I used to hear about it in school and used to feel jealous of the privileged few who could somehow get into the theatre by virtue of looking older and/or lay hands on pirated videotapes. Not that I hadn’t watched adult movies or porn at all but for some reason I just couldn’t get a videotape of BI-1.

    Many years later, when I was in the XIIth standard and became an adult, I somehow gathered the courage to go to the Video Casette and CD parlour in our neighbourhood and asked for the original print of BI-1. I was so excited about it that I waited till 1 o’clock in the morning to make sure that Ma and Baba had fallen sound asleep. Then I watched it. I felt heartbroken. I was brutally hurt. It was the censored version, only about 2 hours and 50 minutes long, while I knew the uncut version was more than 3 and a half hours long. In utter disappointment and anguish I had returned the tape to the parlour-owner and asked him shamelessly if he had the uncensored version. He didn’t have it so my desire remained unfulfilled.

    About a year later, when I was in the first year of engineering, I came home from hostels in a weekend and was just browsing through all the TV channels. I don’t know how many of you know about it, but there was a Russian channel called ‘PTP’ at that time. I don’t even know whether this channel still exists or not but it was on air at that time. The speciality of this channel was it used to air one foreign movie from exactly 11:30 (IST) at night on friday and saturday. English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Swedish, Chinese, Japanese, Finnish, Danish, Portuguese and even Indian (Hindi, Tamil, even Bengali) movies used to be aired by them. I saw the uncut version of BI-1 on this channel. Although it was dubbed in Russian, there were English subtitles so the dubbing didn’t make much of a difference to me. I thoroughly enjoyed it (goes without saying, doesn’t it?). A desired, nurtured and unfulfilled for so many years, suddenly was fulfilled.

    By the way, later also I had seen some real beauties on this channel. Not just for the ‘adult’/’erotic’ content in them but for the sheer quality of work, the foreign movies aired on PTP were good pastimes for me in the weekends.

  11. Basic Instinct. Ahhh… 1994, Class IX where we all bunked class to go to Chanakya to watch the movie. I had loosies after eating too many Momo’s and the movie was well…. censored and the bastard hallwallahs had cut out all the ‘exciting’ bits.. Damn!
    The memories, the memories….

  12. I was a full fledged adult when BI was released, around 24 years, and in my home town of Vishakapatnam, the movie was a sensation. BTW adult stuff was not new to me, my Dad was quite a conosseuir of this, and we used to have some of those casettes with us. Of course i would see them, only when none were at home, keeping a watch. My dad and one of my uncle were Hollywood addicts like me, and they watched it in a morning show, and came back raving about it. Sooner or later,watched it, and from then on became a Sharon Stone fan. I loved her sizzling scenes in Sliver,Specialist. Unfortunately all that has been cut on TV, dont feel like watching em. Sharon is not a bimbette though,she has a very high IQ , and mind u she is classy. There have been many Sharon wannabes, but to me 3 females can never be replicated as far as sex appeal is concerned Sharon Stone, Zeenat Aman and Catherine Zeta Jones.

  13. YOURFAN writes:
    @GB: The word “satisfied” (“satisfied by drenched women and the likes of Neetu Singh and Asha Parekh”) is a relative word – isn’t it? One can say that your experience of feeling of “like frogs in a well” could also apply to people of older generation in our country or even to the ‘us generation’ of some very orthodox countries. But I don’t think any of that group is missing out or missed out on “anything”. I don’t think they claim that they are less “satisfied”. It is all about exposure. If you don’t get the exposure, you are happy. So should my point be counted against globalization or for globalization? I am confused!!

    I think that there should be restrictions on children till they grow up. But I don’t believe in any exact cut of year for that – it should be child specific.

    Your lists of questions for three generations are hilarious. As usual the post is hilarious.

    Anyway, it is really surprising even for us to know in 2006 that one can demand from one’s parents whether he can watch the BI!!

  14. Dear patron,

    The decennial review of our logs show that you have not yet returned the copy of Basic Instinct you rented in 1995. The rent charges plus fines, interest and other assorted overheads come to 843.75$ (adjusted to infation) as of the fiscal year 2005-2006. You are to make the payment and return the abovesaid copy within 30 days, failing which we have no course but to resort to legal action. If the copy in question has been lost, an additional amount of 19.99$ will be charged.
    Thank You.

    Regards,
    Neha Dupeia,
    Neha Video Emporium, NJ, NY, Chicago, Dallas, LA, SF, Calcutta.

    PS: We accept Mastercard and Discover.

  15. I saw BI when I was 19. Pirated DVDs rule. By the time i saw it, however, i was not overawed by it. I do think that some of you experienced the joy more fully than others because of the taboo aspect. It is something i will always rue. Being born in the mid-80s and not having broken enough social norms and being seen as an outcast. hehe
    Yours is a wonderful story.
    I have one like this for Monopoly – The game. Nothign to do with taboo or being underage but just being able to get what was apparently beyond me.

  16. I had seen this movie both censored (only the hot scenes) as well as uncensored version. I had seen the censored version 10 times. When i saw the other version, i liked the narration so much that i skipped the hot scenes. Ofcourse everything happened during my college scenes.
    Ratnakar – u r of my ilk. I whole-heartedly agree that she is the best. Even now she looks hot.

  17. Wonderful post. And thanks for bringing sweet memoirs of those days.
    I saw BI when I was 17. And in a quite adventurous way. That was a puja vacation, and I was waiting for my parents who was going to some relative’s place for Bijaya Dashami. When they actually left, it was too late to catch a bus to reach Esplanade to attend the noon show at 12:30 (b’coz I had to return home within 17:00). BI was running 2nd week in Globe and nowhere else in Calcutta. My friends who already saw it exaggerated a lot. And I was high in adrenaline from then. On a desperate attempt I grabbed a taxi, paid Rs 70 (quite a lot during those days) to the taxi driver, again paid Rs 28 to a ticket blacker for a front row seat, and grasped every second of the stuff stone hard.
    Again saw BI on VCR few years later. But couldn’t find the same charm of the first discovery of Stone’s crossed legs.

  18. the very thrill of watching a porno is doing so on the sly. The forbidden fruit, as they say, is the most appealing 😉

    I would believe, that getting the parents´consent for watching an Adult movie, would take the joy out of it..

    anyways, to each his own..

  19. Well, I watched it last year (at 22!) because my (then) boyfriend was a bit staggered that I’d grown up with ever having so much as seen a trailor.

    I was a bit disappointed, but he assured me that New Empire was showing a censored version, so I suppose that explains it. In which case, I still have not seen the real Basic Instinct yet.

  20. Your poor parents. I’m still wondering why you were such a “good boy”.. other than the moment of being able to take your dad when you go to rent Basic Instinct 🙂
    I lived with clips for the longest time. Somehow, at one point, the movie didn’t matter as much. Took me until recently to actually realise how much more the movie is.

  21. BI opened up a new world for us—globalized our sexual desires so as to speak.

    Well said ! BI came around the same time cable TV with its Star Movies, Fashion TV (in pre-censorship era) was starting to make its way into Indian homes. The beginning of liberalization ?

  22. Arnab,
    Like you I also first came across BI in Time mag. BI was shown in the 1993 Jan film festival in Delhi (or was it 1992 Dec?)
    BI opened in Calcutta during the puja holidays of 1993 at Globe. We were in class XII then and half the science section had gone together bunking the tution. Ofcourse 2 guys were refused tickets at Globe counter as they were presumed underage and per person can buy only 2 tickets at a time. You bring back such fond memories. Ahh!! gotta go home today and take out the DVD.
    Sure will see BI-2!

  23. They say each generation has a rite of passage. ‘Basic Instinct ‘was mine. I saw it for the first time in 1999 when I was 16. A friend screened it in his house(of course the elders were on a holiday). The Ice pick still gives me a chill.

    P.S:

    “I had first read about BI in Time magazine and needless to say my interest was aroused.”

    You sure it was just your (ahem) interest?

  24. this is just phata-phaati … and i particularly liked your choice of words … in particular “total hormonal misery” …
    and it did evoke a lot of memories … like going to the video parlour to ask for a print, pushing a friend in front and telling him “ei tui cha na”, and nervously looking around to see if any of the neighbourhood kakus were lurking somewhere 🙂

  25. hee… hee.. this is a really good one. Brings back so many old memories. Days of my school.. when we use to watch and almost worship those guys who had the guts to bunk a school day to go and see the BI. Then he will tell us his adventure in the tiffin break and we all will listen with awe. Well I first saw the BI in my MStat years in ISI and needless to say for a long time Sharon Stone was in my mind during my various daily activities..:)). Unfortunately I couldn’t get much peep into the BI2… hopefully I will catch some trailer of BI2 soon.

    cheers

    sounak

  26. Let me put it this way, it was the first mainstream, relatively big-budget, raunchy movie that I saw.

    So seeing Michael-Zeta-Douglas jump and hump like ‘pronstar’ and Sharon Stone riding like Jenna Jemson was a gladdening revelation. 😛

    Having said that, the movie as a whole, has no aesthetics, lacks repeat value and was successful primarily due to its notoriety.

    There are a lot of better pictures that combine tasteful filmmaking/story-telling with generous doses of shocking sexuality.

    Try these:

    Irréversible
    Y tu mamá también

    BitTorrent can help you find them if they are not available for purchase at your neighbourhood video library. 🙂

  27. GB…when you write posts like this, you surpass even your own high standards. This post…just like the Desibaba post….i dunno how to describe….but they have the effect of making one feel ‘stoned’, in more ways than one.

    Simply magnificent. Let me share with you my experience of the movie. i watched it when I was in Class 9. Those were great days indeed with a great gang of school friends. At that time when there were no internet, our sexual fantasies used to be satisfied with small road side books, sunday telegraph magazine cleavage photos, and the occasional copies of Debonair(visual) or penthouse Diaries (print but more powerful as it allowed one to visualize). There was one guy in our class who used to get copies of Debonair from time to time and we used to feast on it during lunch times. Life was nice with after school football and cricket matches, mixing rum in Thums up bottles in parks after tuitions , addas and the new cable channels on TV. Then one day a female classmate who was incidentally the daughter of the bengali teacher decided to play spoilsport. Now you know how these kinds of girls are…yeah the long skirt…tying hair in ribbons and wearing keds types. One effeminate guy told her about our activities and she in turn told that to her mom. So one day we were all detained after the PT class while our bags were searched and a few copies of sleaze came out. As usual we were subject to a tirade of chi-chi from the teachers and long lectures on morality which culminted with ” with boys like you guys , this country is going straight to hell ” stuff. parents were called and told about how their son’s futures were doomed. This resulted in stricter vigilance at homes which meant that there were no more after dark movied. In short life became dull and flat…like dal and bhat.

    Then one fine day one guy came to school and told that there was some movie called Basic instinct which will turn our heads . As usual the questions followed ” was this exposed …was that exposed?” the guy said all that but there was a bit more. It was a great story too. Theres one more thing , he added in a choked voice, “That female doesnt wear any underwear. ” We were all stunned. Then there were stories of how this cinema hall cut that portion of the film and that there was a sequence right after the interval which was hair raising.So we decided to bunk school one day and go for the movie at Globe . You know GB, there is a great thrill in doing things which a authoratarian society curbs you from doing. As Judas priest, one of the greatest metal bands of all time said in that magnificent song, ‘Breaking The Law’,

    “You don’t know what it’s like
    Breaking the law, breaking the law”

    after 18 i have several blue films but that feeling of thrill associated with doing a thing which you were not supposed to do was missing. perhaps as in all walks of life, the saying ‘familiarity breeds contempt ‘ holds true here too. But that day there were electric sparks in the air. As we approached the cinema hall, we tried to keep our heads down so that no kakus or mamus saw us by any chnace as that was in the vicinity of many offices. The problem started when the gateman would just not let us in. It was like disaster….like how SA would have felt after losing to Aus in 1999 WC. We persuaded but he remained adamant. Just as we were about to do an about-turn one of my friends shouted ” Apni dhukte deben na mane…ticket ketcehi dhukte deben na mane”. His voice had the power of a thousand orgasms and undertones of emotions of all hues. Some guy shouted from behind, “Chere dao bhai” and he slowly moved away. The time it took to pass him seemed like an eternity and my heart was pumping and adrenaline was flowling like anything- the kind of feeling you have when you have cheat papers in your pocket during an exam and you seek an opportune moment to take it out. Indeed we were lucky enough to get in….some guys from Birla High school got in too…but many were turned away. It was a strange surreal feeling as we took our seats and waited with bated breath for the show to begin. The first scene is very crutial , said one friend , as one has to pay undidvided attention to the reflection of the protagonists being shown in the ceiling mirror. Now looking back, I laugh at some comments some of the comments were flying around in hushed whispers. Why reflection? asked one. “abbe e saab hollywood hain…artistic film hain bhai”. Then like as you said, as the guys hands were tied , the grey areas of the mind about terms like discipline domination and bondage which one came across in Penthourse diaries , got cleared up. “See the guy is now powerless …and his pleasure come from just that….kya life hain bhai US mein…” said one guy. But then the ice pick and blood and it all started from there. The thing which made Basic Instinct stand out was that it was not a cheap adult film. It had a nice plot and out of the skin acting of Micheal Douglas and Sharon Stone. Take the scene where Douglas was dancing with Stone in that disc…..so poignant. The background music could arouse even a dead man and the fire and lust in the eyes of both of them were far more sexual than a flick where raw sex with clothes off was shown. It was tantalizing and exciting, and woven with a bit of magic which makes cinema so special. Then the dialogues ” read me my rights and then Ill go downtown , otherwise get the fuck outta here” or ” A cop comes after the girl in my novel and tries to catch her…he dies…she kills her. ” or “What are you gonna do…charge me with smoking?” …I still remember so vividly. The coldness of Sharon Stone with her stunning performance in the hot scenes, the tiger like eyes of Douglas , that catty female with whom Stone did a lesb and the warm femininity of the psychologist who embodied all the characteristics of a warm caring woman was a heady mix. Micheal Douglas, as one of my friends said during the interval, was the luckiest man in the world. Unfortunately a portion of the film was cut right after the interval but that hardly took away anything from the film. i also noticed that the two girls behind us who were with 2 guys had swapped places and very kinda edgy which proved that it was not only school adolescents who got turned on by this film.

    Then after the scene where stone’s bi partner dies and Nick and Cath are in bed, one friend whispered” See these people have sex when they are sad..kash aisa…” and I burst out laughing. Some Dada type guy shouted from behind ” Silence silence”.
    “They fuck like minks, raise rugrats, and live happily ever after.” said Douglas as stone was vigorously breaking ice with that ice pick. At these moments one cannot but conjecture what would happen next. Would she kill her too? We were on the edge of our seats. When the film was over and I came out it seemed a different world altogether. Esplanade glistened under the lights of the fading sun and from the lit bulbs of the shops, but I was still in that dark room in Sharon Stone’s house when she was saying , ” Somebody has to die”. We decided that we had to an encore. Once was good but surely not enough. I also remember the second time very clearly as it was the first time I smoked ganja, which helped to soothe my nerves and appreciate the film better…but I shall not go into that.

    Thank you Arnab for the memories. Your analogies as usual were fantastic and only a blogger like you can bring such a ‘blast from the past’. Basic instinct -2 may come and go, and i will watch it more for continuity than an isolated interest , but heart of hearts I fully know that it will be anything but a deja vu- of that day when like you, my basic instincts were unleashed.

    Thank you again for a moving post.

  28. @Anyesha: Blue Lagoon was just a gentle Adam-Eve lovestory which had Brooke Shields in the buff. Nothing in front of BI.

    @Mail from Ithaca: Yes so I did—Cayuga lake and Pyramid Mall…

    @Vasabjit: Thank you and yes many people were fooled by the “Satyam Shivam Sundaram” name—rather naughty of Raj Kapoor to do that.

    @Debasish: My parents did impose a lot of things: it was just that in this very specific thing my mother was (and is) very liberal. Anything that did not directly affect my studies–my parents were fairly lenient.

    @Eshwaran: That’s exactly what the Internet is for–so that even if a nuclear attack takes out part of the world, those alive can still see porn due to the magic of packet-switching.

    @Patrix: It was more out of compulsion/fear than from the goodness of my heart.

    @Sriram: Let me make a distinction here. BI is not BP. BPs are characterized by a total absence of plot and lengthy fornication sequences: BI did not meet these criteria.

    @Dhananjay: Are you referring to “Subha” ? Salim Ghouse rocked in that serial—it was extremely bold for that age.

    @Hutum: Also never got the deal with Pretty Woman—I guess having a hooker as a heroine and that thing on the piano perhaps?

    @Dev: Stupendous. These Russians I tell you….all those suitcases to the Congress party and to newspapers and then these nice movies for our hormonal gratification: they really took care of our country.

    @K: Hate those hallwallahs.

    @Ratnakar: Your dad is the kind of dad I want to be. Yes Ms Stone is a very smart woman—no doubt.

    @Yourfan: Well I get your point. And yes I also strongly believe in censorship for children but also believe that in today’s world it is nigh impossible to prevent them from being exposed to ideas they are not mentally mature enough to handle.

    @Dear Ms. Dupea,

    I am so sorry. Could you kindly come to my place at around 11 at night and collect the same? Unfortunately due to the fact that I have had this VCD for so many years, I have lost all sensation in my legs and can barely move.

    Thank you
    Patron

    @Nikhil: Did you see the uncut version?

    @Ram: Censored means “only the hot scenes” !! That’s some definition of censorship.

    @Anirban: Thanks for sharing—I just love all these BI stories.

    @Manu: BI again was not porno. Taking parents consent is merely insurance—and I asked because I knew I had a genuine chance of getting approval.

    @Sue: The censored one sucked….

    @SEV: My poor parents is right 🙂

    @BongoPondit: The kind of liberalization even Jyoti Babu likes.

    @Daeboo: Exactly. I had gone pandal hopping on Ashtami and a few of the guy friends skipped out to see BI , not forgetting to call me a wuss for not seeing it with them.

    @Anil: Just the interest. Time didnt have any salacious details. Okay just a little.

    @Bonatellis: And the video store owner would give that “what’s the matter with these kids today” and then ask you for 15 rupees when the rate was 10 just to take advantage of the situation.

    @Sounak: Trailors are all over the Net.

    @Mukul: Yes I have heard about the two.

    @yourfan2: Classic comment. Beautiful, wonderfully evocative. As to those irritating ” i am gonna tell” female classmates—-we had a few ourselves. I always wonder how they turned out in adult life.

    Salaam from one BI-bhakt to another.

  29. Just wondering, yourfan2, wouldnt it be easier if you just came out with a “Arnab Chalisa”…I am sure you can do it…
    😛

    No offence

  30. Arnab

    wow dude…you’ve taken me to April of 2000. Age: 17th
    Yea, thats the time i saw that movie. But i am happy to sey that i saw it in a big cinema hall and i dont think thye censored anything [they showed pretty much every hairgrowth on sharon’s stones body].

  31. Just loved the title…… damn true for a large part of ‘our’ generation. Too many ‘instinct’ive memories flooding to frame a cohesive statement. 🙂

  32. The world now lay before me like a supine Sharon Stone.

    Ah yes. Of course. BUT I SEE YOU HAVEN’T DONE THE TAG! Urmi, take a hatchet to the man, will you?

  33. @yourfan2
    we too had similar experiences with our female classmates. specially those who wanted to tell my parents about my BI venture, or those used to complain class teachers about our class bunks for certain noon shows at certain Pradeep or Khanna or Society or……!! A good friend of mine was actually shown the door by the school authority. Fortunately I used to escape all the odds every time. But once got a serious warning from a teacher after being used the popularmost bengali slang for the first time in life, which was complained to the teacher by some honorable lady (our class monitor). I still wonder today how these femme fatale actually came up in their future life.

  34. It was about 2 guys….I think Subha is the name. Grpping serial…as a kid, have seen my parents shed a tear or two for the protagonists. Put me off drugs forever.
    And what did DD do….chop such a daring out…because they thought that it was not in good taste…

  35. Truly exceptional, Arnab. And yes, BI was a watershed movie for my generation (which isn’t very different from yours 🙂 ).

    But I have my own BI story, which is that I saw the movie in 2004, at age 25. The only reason I saw it was because it happened to be on TV, and I had seen many, more explicit movies by then.

    However, the thing to note is the reason why I didn’t watch it. For me, not watching it was a message in itself – shobai dekhcche, tai aami dekhbo na. So by the very act of stubbornly refusing to see this movie, I made it an important event in my life.

    The same story was repeated for Species – another similarly important movie.

  36. All you guys in UK must have watched BBC Channel 4 yesterday night 10pm. It was good to see the FCUK of the last century & the view to Nebraska 😉

    Guess BI-2 will have the FCUK of the 21st Century 😀

    Anyone seen it yet? I mean the movie 🙂

  37. I had not seen BI up to yesterday. However, inspired by your post, I saw the movie today. Now on I can also join in the discussions about BI in my friend circles…

    Thank You GreatBong!!! 😀

  38. @Anirban- those were the days.

    @baishampayan- wow bengali fonts.

    @Ashit- all reviews are unanimous in that the movie is a big KLPD.

  39. You watched BI when you were 18..:)). Well, we got thrown out of the queue by supposed “moral guardians” when we were 14. However, we stuck around and watched the next show. So much for determination.

    I agree with the symbolic instruction code for most parts. Is it the beginners code coz it’s the first time Indians were introduced to the world of exotic erotica. I thought 91/2 weeks came earlier.

    great post though..:)))

    Peace out.

  40. @Beatnik Baba

    exotic erotica?!?

    arn’t we the indians s’posed to have this here khajuraho!
    high time we had a popular movement “Swadeshi sex only”

    is m.k. gandhi listening? is advani listening? is the RSS evesdropping?

  41. I remember seeing BI at Globe. Incidentally the first film that I bought a ticket in Black. Right after I remember heading for the toilet. One wise crack opined “I am having the Piss of the Century”.:)

  42. BI became a noun unto itself. It is like Dalda and Parle G in the sense that any vegetable oil would be referred by the same nae
    Bhaisaahab wo wala Dalda dena
    and so with many of the Parle G grey market homonymous clones or competing biskuts.

    I happened to watch it after getting into college. BI, Blue Lagoon, Pamela Principle, Maja Mauj Masti became a part and parcel of the talks amongst adolescent apart from DesiBaba which the killer app in it heydays. I am yet to watch all of these except BI.

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