A big thanks to Beth from Beth Loves Bollywood for giving me a shout-out the other day; all I can say is "aw shucks," since her blog is very fab.
The little promo reminded me that I've installed a stat counter here, which I rarely check, and a scan through it led to some interesting discoveries. I think people really do go to the Internet seeking information as much as they do entertainment, since many of the keywords either contained or implied actual research, and sometimes, outright questions. Since I work in a library, my first thought was, "why do I so rarely get asked about such cool subjects there?" (although it does happen, and it always makes my day).
My second reaction was the compulsion to address the questions wherever possible, even though the askers are certain never to appear again. But just in case, the answer to "Amrish Puri in Indiana Jones how did that happen" is: because he's AWESOME.
I'm fairly confident that "the movie where aliens was turning people into balls of light" was Strange Invaders, although it's possible I'm forgetting a movie with a similar effect.
"What is Maa Meldi?": yes, I could have talked about this in more depth than I did in chatting about "Chalak Chalak." First off, I'd go with "Who is" rather than "What is." Sometimes her name is written as Meladi, and with Mata or Mataji attached, instead of Maa. Here's a picture and an introduction at http://groups.msn.com/Jaiambaji/meldimata.msnw.
A lot of people want know where they can watch Purana Mandir online, but I can't help you with that, because I bought it. And speaking of that movie's crazy vampire action, someone came in from Kuwait via the search phrase "Saamri and Moses," which boggles the mind.
That did lead to some research on my part, in which I learned that the Old Testament golden calf thing is also described in the Quran (20: 85-98). In the Muslim version, the instigating idol-worshipper is someone variously transliterated and translated as Saamri/Samiri/the Samaritan/the Samarian. For a weighty discussion on some of the controversial nomenclature issues, check this out: http://www.islamicbooks.com.pk/books/ThePureTruth/Huwa.asp.
In Jewish scholarship, the name is also associated with Samael, "Prince of the demons, and an important figure both in Talmudic and in post-Talmudic literature, where he appears as accuser, seducer, and destroyer. His name is etymologized as ... 'the venom of God,' since he is identical with the angel of death." (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=106&letter=S&search=samael). Actually, that whole entry is very vivid, and worth reading from a horror fan point of view.
Obviously, the name Saamri wasn't chosen at random. See how educational it is to have a blog?
As a side note, I also discovered that there are (mainly Christian) Bible scholars devoted to finding historical inaccuracies and internal contradictions in the Quran. I believe there's a verse about the logs and motes in one's own eye and in one's neighbor's, but that's for another day...
No disrespect meant to any of the above religious systems, but this quest for factual information in spiritual texts is a fairly recent development. The whole point of scriptures is to describe intangible things in a way earthbound physical beings can understand. Or at least that's what the prophetic voices tell me.
Apart from the quest for knowledge, absolutely, nothing even close, the #1 search that brings people to my blog is the phrase "pain of disco" and variations thereon. You'd think that would be an awful lot of sites to wade through, but nonetheless, it's still bringing them here. Which leads me to believe that a few stragglers are actually turning up in the right place.