Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome 2009 !

By this time, you must have woken up to the second morning of new year, got over the fervour of the celebrations, turned a lot sober and got on with the life. Life, that means going to work every morning, shopping and watching movies in the weekends and eating to stay alive. Oh ! don't talk all that as I am sure you also have a whole lot of resolutions this new year which ranges from losing weight to saving a lot more to going on that long awaited holiday tour. Wish ALL your dreams come true ! No, really I mean it - from ALL my heart.

I am glad all the 'Ghajini' hype is now over and Aamir and team is happy that it paid off। It was getting nauseating watching that 'takla' hairdo splattered everywhere and reading a hundred times over what it was all about. I finally did watch it last weekend and I thought it was pretty hard on the nerves and the bones and flesh as well.

It was great watching my kiddo making cards for the new year with great enthu। Yes, the real ones ! It made me recall my own childhood when I, along with my elder brother used to sit with Dad by the last week of december and make all those cards with scissors, glue and hard paper scattered all over. Thanks to our kids, we still know what pencils, pens, crayons, erasers, sharpeners, paints, brushes, scissors, Fevicol etc. look and smell like. Else, we would be happy typing away on our keyboards and sending messages at the cliched ' click of the mouse'.

I have been hearing a lot of Ghazals lately। I have observed that I tend to get into a 'zone' as far as the kind of music I listen to peridically। I am sure it happens with you as well. A song or two that takes over and rules your heart and mind and lips day in and out for a week or two until another one takes over. A few ghazals that are ruling my heart at the moment are:

1. 'Aah ko chahiye ek umr asar hone tak' - Jagjit Singh
2. 'Ranjish hi sahi' - Mehdi Hassan
3. 'Aap jinke kareeb hote hain' - Pankaj Udhas
4. 'Hosh waalon ko khabar kya'- Jagjit Singh
5. 'Kisi Ranjish ko hawa do' and 'Ek na ek shama andhere mein' - Chitra Singh
6. 'Aahat si koi aaye' - Bhupinder Singh
7. 'Kaun aayega yahaan' - Jagjit Singh
8. 'Karoge yaad' - Bhupinder Singh

One reason why ghazals are playing in my jukebox is my 7 year old is away on vacation at his grandpa. When he is here, 'Pappu can't dance saala', 'Bhool Bhulaiyya', 'Mauja hi Mauja', 'Singh is Kinng', 'Dard-e-Disco' etc don't allow anything else to even make a guest appearence. I am missing him a lot and so is his mom. When he returns, he will a whole lot to narrate I am sure. I can't wait for that moment!

Wish you all a very happy new year!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The best of times, The worst of times...

It has been long since I posted here. A lot has happened since then. Festivals have come and gone. Recession has grown bigger and even the most optimistic 'expert' is talking like a rotten cabbage. At work, people still don't know what will happen next. For one, everyone is either having 'team meetings' for nothing or a training programme to improve skills. Don't know when these skills will actually get used. There has been some good news in Cricket with India winning the Australian series at home convincingly. In India, the politicians are busy with their poll gimmicks. In the US, Obama promises to turn around the economy. In many ways, he is being looked upto as the saviour and the King of bad times. Poor Obama. It took so many of the best brains and business tycoons and financial experts to create this recession and we expect just one poor soul to turn it around and clean the shit.

I pity Saurav Ganguly. No, not because he retired or he had a bad phase before the new selection committee under Krish Srikanth wrote his swan song in the most fashionable way. I pity him because the guy is almost everywhere. And has answered almost the same questions on every news channel and in every newspaper and every magazine. In earlier days, say in 80s, when a Gavaskar retired, DD National ran a small documentary on him, a few national dailies wrote a farewell for him. Gavaskar dabbled in a few things before he soon found a foothold in the 'expert' columsn and commentary boxes as the new cable era and mushrooming media presence. Nowdays, its easy for even an Atul Wasson or some Tom, Dick or Harry who played a few International games to sit in the newsroom of any obscure news channel and tear the game apart which millions and billions of fans anyway do in their own way, sitting in their own drawing rooms. Its an era of 'too much' of everything. One thing happens and there are hundreds and thousands of experts giving their views as if we survived on them. Can't blame them though. They need to eke out a living and if speaking sh*t about a hot thing brings ration to their homes, why not!

There haven't been any great movies released off late. I haven't seen "Quantum of Solace" and I am not a big fan of Bond movies anyway but from what I hear, its the worst and the most thanda Bond movie of all times. A friend told me, 'Golmaal Returns' is a horrible movie, plain stupid but it still is a SUPER HIT. Its like selling junk food on the streets. If you have your luck and a 100,000 people eat your food and fall ill within minutes of your opening shop, you've done your job, even if those 100,000 people are ailing in the hospitals with a case of food poisoning. In a country where a pot pourri like 'Om Shanti Om' can become the biggest grosser of all times, anything can happen!

I am finding ways to rejuvenate myself in these sad times. If you too are having some innovative ideas which worked for you, lemme know!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Life isn't all that bad mate...!! :)

There is always light at the end of the tunnel
And some oil left at the end of the funnel
Life isn't all that bad mate... There maybe custom checks, but there is also a GREEN CHANNEL!

When cash dries and hankies become wet
When system admins sit on Firewalls and block your net
When you don't get tickets to your favourite show
And when the maid doesn't report 3 days in a row

When a flat tyre greets you while you are already getting late
And when your Girlfriend plays dutch on a planned date
When the going gets tough and the tough gets going
When you travel by a train while dreaming of a Boeing

When the party has a bad DJ and the drinks taste like soup
When bad grades in college keep coming in a loop
When life seems dull and worth living no more
Remember what I said before you begin to snore


There is always light at the end of the tunnel
And some oil left at the end of the funnel
Life isn't all that bad mate.There maybe custom checks, but there is also a GREEN CHANNEL!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I have been tagged by P and here I am answering these questions. Thanks P for tagging me with my maiden tag and telling me what its all about!

RULE #1: People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by them.

RULE #2: Tag 6 people to do this quiz and they cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by. Continue this game by sending it to other people.

1.If your lover betrayed you, what will your reaction be?
I would sing sad songs on the first day, drink heavily on the second, cry buckets on the third, befriend my adversary on the fourth, dine with him on the fifth, secetly watch them fight on the sixth and sit back and chill on the seventh and the rest of my life!

2. If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?
If we only had weekends , we never needed to work for the rest of our lives.

3. Whose butt would you like to kick?
I would like to kick my own but God wants us to serve humanity. So, anyone else would do.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Considering the fact that US dollars are melting as fast as ice-cream nowadays, I will quickly put all of them in a huge refrigerator.

5. Will you fall in love with your best friend?
I would ask Karan Johar . I always take his advice in such cases.

6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
Loving someone automatically blesses you with it in return.

7. How long do you intend to wait for someone you really love?
Till the movie gets over maybe. Or, till the restaurant closes.

8. If the person you secretly like is already attached, what would you do?
I would let the secret out.

9. What takes you down the fastest?
A free fall.

10. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
Sorry 'P'. I loved your answer and would like to borrow it. A mirror should be just fine.

11. What’s your fear?
My wife returning home before everything is in place.

12. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
She is an absolutely lovely person who shall make it to the next pulitzer prize if she thought of writing a book herself rather than reviewing ones written by others.

13. Would you rather be single and rich or married but poor?
Again 'P', I loved your answer here too. So, I borrow it again. Married and happy. Money will come and go!

14. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Look at the clock.

15. Would you give all in a relationship?
Yep. A relationship needs everything to keep it afloat.

16. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously, who would you pick?
I borrow from P for the last time. The one who loves me!

17. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?
I forgive people easily. I like to move on.

18. What is your idea of the perfect vacation?
Movies, Music, Long drives, Opening my eyes at a new destination every second day.

19. What are your three most important expectations in love?
Trust, Faith and Love in return.

20. List 6 people to tag
6 people! I would just think of them..BRB ;)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Whose language is it anyway!

While English maybe the dominant blog language over the Internet, I discovered that I could also type in Hindi! So, here I am just rambling..I am not sure how many of you actually get to read 'Hindi' devnagri script nowadays..I recently had been to Delhi Book Fair and picked up quite a few short stories in Hindi!

I tried it yesterday on my alumini memoir blog based on my engg college hostel days nostalgia and I just lovvvved the way my ideas flowed!

Lemme be honest..Though I love the English language for its flexibility and adaptability to different languages, and its vast repertoire of synonyms, its puns and more such factors, there is a certain belonging and ease I feel wrt Hindi...I have lived down south in Trivandrum for almost 4 long years and now I am here in NCR for the last 5 years..Both the places have their own charm, but lemme confess that being able to communicate freely in a language everyone around you understands - right from the office colleagues to the rickshawallah to the neighbours - makes you gel well with your surroundings...

Without ridiculing or being rude towards malayalam, I would just say that at Trivandrum I didnt feel at home simply because it wasn't my mother tongue ...The same way many south indians wont feel at ease in north india..Language is immaterial here..It could be chinese in china, indonesian in indonesia, cuban in cuba, italian in italy, french in France...Knowing the language of the place you are in makes a hell lot of difference!

The following are some of the attempts at poetry that I have tried in the past..some of you may already have read it..but maybe reading it in hindi lipi make a li'l difference!
सेहर आते ही उड़ गए घोसलों से,
परिंदों के पर भर गए हौसलों से,
हवा का रुख हो आज किधर भी,
मिल ही जायेंगे वो मंजिलों से!
(written on a morning i was feeling low and suddenly i watched the birds of a feather in the morning sky coming out of their nests, in search of their daily destinations and targets!)

सर्द हवाओं की गुजारिश है ये
गर्म जोशी से हो सामना
है तुम में वो बात अगर
खुले बाहों से उन्हें थामना
(written on a chilly winter evening in delhi)

बाज़ आया न बाज अपनी उडानो से
कश्तियाँ टकरा ही गयीं आज तूफानों से
साथ मिल ही गया मुझे अब अपना ही यारों
उम्मीद नहीं अब कोई अंजानो से
(Just wanted to convey that if one has the power of 'self', he/she doesn't need approval from people around for all the things, incl his/her own happiness!)

I hope just three assaults are enough for a post! Thanks for bearing with me:)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bollywood ki Heroines !

Bollywood extracts a lot out of its heroines. They need to look good. They need to dance well. They need to act well too. But even if they can’t act well, they can afford to attain moderate success if they look good even if it maybe at the cost of being an ‘item girl’. How many of the heroines of the past make you exclaim – “Wow! She still looks hot!” ? Many perhaps.

Now, how many of them you still yearn to watch even though they maybe plain janes ? They never fail to impress when it comes to acting. And no matter when you watch them, you cannot help but admire their acting skills. Sad, they go down into the annals of cinema history as someone who was ‘an art house product’ or someone who was more of a ‘behenji’ than a sexy siren.

While Padmini Kolhapure maynot have been a dreamgirl, she had her fair share of success with films like ‘Prem Rog’, ‘Who saat din’, ‘Souten’, ‘Pyaar Jhukta Nahin’ and some more. While she wasn’t a great actress, she still had that quality of being a plain jane next door girl and many a times the ‘bechari dukhiyaari’ type sacrificial lamb that cinema of that age demanded.

A Deepti Naval or Supriya Pathak were fine actresses. They never really made an effort to shed clothes and put make up as they knew they could impress with their acting skills. So these plain janes flourished thanks to the art cinema revolution which was launched as a tirade against the mainstream formulistic cinema. Many of these heroines nurtured an inherent desire to be as popular as their mainstream counterparts. And while some of them made attempts to cross over, the fact is mainstream cinema never really had space for them. That was primarily because they didn’t look ‘grrreatt’. Period.

It was an age when star kids were still in their mother’s wombs or toddling around. It was an age when Miss India contestants while mouthing ambition to be the next Mother Teresa to win the crown, knew that nothing would get them more money, fame and success than a splash in bollywood. Thus began the age of Miss India turned actresses or model turned actresses. If you looked good, you were in. Acting could be learnt on the way. So, while the gloss and technical finesses made audience lap up even mediocre products, the real actress – one who didn’t look drop dead gorgeous but could still act were relegated in the background.

Worse happened as time progressed. The star kids had started kicking hard inside their mother’s wombs and lay their claim to inherit the throne of Bollywood. They couldn’t act. They couldn’t even speak the language well. You don’t expect kids coming out of convent schools and foreign B- schools speak chaste Hindi. There were exceptions of course. But the fact is the audience had to bear the assault of watching them as it knew it had no other choice.

I remember how much of a hype surrounded the entry of Ashwini Bhave into Hindi cinema. She was supposed to be a hot property of Marathi cinema and many thought she would replicate her success in Bollywood too. That was not to be. While everyone acknowledged that she acted well, she was pushed aside as someone who could at best be a bhabhi or didi. Poor girl didn’t have the oomph.

As years rolled on, many of the Miss Indias and star kids still survived despite their pathetic show. They were marketed like anything. Their Mummys and Daddys made sure they ate into cinematic fabric like termites. Some of them had talent anyway and did fairly well due to their own merit. But scores survived just because of their surnames.

A Gracy Singh happened with 'Lagaan' but poor girl had a double misfortune of not being a star kid and having plain jane looks. No wonder, she lost steam soon. Someone like Konkona Sen Sharma who with due respect is an okay actress but hyped as a ‘great’ actress, gets to attend celebrity shows and finds mention in gossip columns as well eats up the space which she isn’t really worthy of. After all, she is Aparna Sen’s daughter. It has to be in her genes, isn’t it?!

I am really confused and sad. Confused because I do not really understand who is bad and good. Many a times, I am forced to accept a dabbling in acting as a superlative performance. Also, many a times I wonder why someone is just doing a supporting role and cameos despite being an astounding actress. It has to do with their genes maybe. They were twice unlucky with it. They didn’t have good looking parents nor were they born with a ‘bollywood ka ticket’ in their mouth.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Of French fries, French sandwiches and French Beard..

If women can play with their hairstyles by keeping a pony tail on Monday, followed by a bun on tuesday and then a free flowing hair on wednesday, there is something only men can do. They can decide which part of their facial lawn they wish to mow down and which part they wish to harvest.

I am amazed to see that there are only a few worthy contenders of being a 'real mard' if you go by Bhawani Shankar (the inimitable Utpal Dutt) of 'Golmaal' who measured the mardangi of a male by the choice he made : To keep or not to keep, that is the question...

Enter the French beard !: I decided one fine day to flaunt a french beard. Okay, the shaving cream went all the way along the cheeks and the chin was spared. With the diligence of a saloon barber, I maneuvered the razor and as the little bunch of hair lay there after the mission was over, I just glanced at myself in the mirror. "Wow! not bad.." - I told myself. But the first approval had to come from someone who was to bear the pricks in some ways ;) So, I gingerly went to wifey and asked : " do I look?" Contrary to what I had expected, she gave an admiring look and said : "Good!".

I needed no further approval. I felt as if my visa for my foreign tour had been stamped. :)