Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Thank You

Thank You Aymangla villagers (Bangalore-Pondicherry Highway) and Mr Nitin Tonpe of Cummins Engg Oil for seeing P and me safely back home after the horrible accident we met on our way to Pondicherry, last year, this day.
Thanks to all those people who helped me out of the car and ensured that I was safe and unhurt. I don't know their names, but I remember their faces all too well. In case I ever run into them I will thank them.
No thanks to that reckless, sleepy driver of the truck we hit into.
And, no thanks to the cops who fleeced both the driver (who was responsible for the accident) and us for a few thousand bucks.
Should I be remembering the bitter memory? I guess so...because I am still alive. I can't forget the fact that we did meet a few good souls too.
So thanks again villagers of Aymangla and Nitin Tonpe.

Monday, 12 December 2011

I Wish...

I wish I had a chance to meet Mario Miranda. It has been my earnest wish for fours years now to meet him and wander in the rooms, attics and verandas of his 130-year-old house.
Maybe I can still get a chance of wandering in the house, but I wonder if it will be the same without nursing the hope of bumping into the creator of Miss Fonseca and Nimbu Pani.
I happened to read the online edition of Gerard D'souza's coffee table book on Miranda. And, since then I was dying to own a piece of Miranda. When I got the book I felt I was truly lucky and blessed.
Many nights when I was unable to sleep I used to leaf through the pages and chuckle at Miranda's wicked sense of humour and gape at his acute portrayal of life as he saw it.
I have reread his family story - the story of the house and the well which stood in the compound.
I wish I could see the house. I wish I could have met Miranda. Even his silhouette by the window would have been enough.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Reason and Religion

Watched Umesh Kulkarni's Deool on Sunday.
I didn't like the movie. Yes, it was topical and relevant. And real - the commerce that goes hand in hand with religion.
I have spent half of my life in small town so I have seen the sudden upsurge in economy, and the playing up of religious factor.
But what ails the movie or in my opinion makes it one-dimensional is the strangulation of the voice of reason or rationality.
Dilip Prabhavlkar's Anna is the rational voice in the movie, who suddenly packs up and goes off to his son in Bangalore.
He's the counterfoil to Bhau (Nana Patekar) and his brigade of itching to do something young men. But while Bhau says building the temple is the way of development, Anna doesn't offer any convincing argument or observations or alternatives to the path of development to be forked out.
We all have enough Bhaus in our midst and we all can see the effects of their development. But not enough Annas. Perhaps the movie could have been different and given rationality a voice, some thought to chew upon. Sadly, it doesn't.
PS: What was Naseeruddin Shah doing in the film?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

What if's, When and How

Mere sawal, aapke jawab.
Sorry, this isn't the title of some corny Hindi movie, but maybe you really really have an answer to these rhetorical questions which trouble me night and day.
1) What will happen when Amitabh Bachchan dies? (I often think of this when I see the contestants of KBC and their relatives gushing at him. Will there be a riot or a stampede before his house? Will one of his myriad admirers also end his life?)
2) What will happen to Bachchan Bahu, AB's Baby and Jaya ma when Big B is no more? (Oops, I forgot the grandchild)
3) Can the Saifeena's (the name sucks) wedding details and the wedding itself be pre-poned and finished with before it becomes the wedding godzilla? (I for one don't want to know what is darling Saifu and his darling Bebo going to wear on their big day.)
4) Why can't I dream of hogging on marble cake without worrying about the calories and how they will sit pretty on my hips and tummy? (Oh well! I would like to eat all that I can without it showing on my physique - this isn't a dream I am dreaming of, by the way)
5) Do 5 rounds around the park amount to 3km walk?
6) Why do I force myself to sleep for an hour when the sun rays and my conscience are pushing me to sit up and pull on those sneakers and go for a walk?
7) When can I cut my hair? Why aren't they growing? Will I look good in a short hair cut? What about the chubby cheeks then? Will I look like a behenji if I tie my hair in a plait? Why, oh, why can't I decide how I want to look?
8) Why do I dream of shopping when I don't have the money in my pocket?
9) Why can't I chuck what I am doing now and do what I really, really want?
10) Why don't I have the guts to do it?
11) What am I afraid of?
12) Where are my friends?
13) Why do I have to hang around with 40+ ppl?
14) Why are their kids in 20s or maybe even younger?
15) Why don't I fit in either age bracket?
16) Why have I stopped doing things I really like?
17) Why do I always crib?
18) Why does that man stare at me?
19) Why doesn't he go waste his moony-eyed looks on someone else?
20) Why does she go on and on on her phone without us having to hear about the insipid details of her life?
21) How come she has the time to yap away?
22) Doesn't she have any work?
23) I wonder if he has gone for the test?
24) What if he hasn't?
25) Will there be another fight?
26) Will it help if I sulk?
27) What if I can sleep for the entire day?
28) Will such a day come?
29) Will I be happy with only one such day?
30) Will I get an answer to all these questions?
PS: I am not PMSng. I am just thinking and questioning.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Peeping Tom

I have often used google (we all do) to check up facts, stories and other random stuff. Sometimes I have come across bits and pieces about friends and acquaintances - some profile somewhere throwing up some unknown facets. At times like these I have often felt like voyeur - that I am reading something which I SHOULDN'T BE. Some things ought to be private.
I then tried to wash off the guilt by telling myself that nothing can't be private and personal in today's age and after all I wasn't out on a snoopy trail.
Imagine my surprise and shock when I came across my own marriage profile posted on some unknown site. I knew I hadn't registered myself on this site when I was on a groom-hunting spree.
And, yet today when I googled myself, my name, I found this profile. Complete with my name, details and what was I looking for in my-to-be.
I tried hard to find their address/email id so that I could wipe out the profile. I did get numbers and I will call them and do that.
But I wonder if it will actually get deleted.
Fifty years later maybe my grandkid would find a marriage profile of his granny. Hahhaa. Perhaps not. The Internet system would have crashed (or a new superior one would be in place) and all my signs of existence would be truly wiped out!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Ever Wondered...

I suppose signboards reflect the changing times. But, I can't help wondering how a single apartment block becomes an international school.
Earlier, every English medium school HAD to be a convent school, even if it was in outskirts, in some non-descript village and even if it didn't have the jesuits/nuns/fathers teaching or running the school.
Now, every school HAS to be an international school. Even if the word International comes after the noun Saylee or Ryan or Vimal.
Likewise, when you have a tooth ache, you don't go to a dentist or a dentist's clinic. You go to a dental studio! A rootcanal procedure in these studios must be called as "shining touch to the molars and pre-molars."
Who said only photos are clicked at a studio? You can fix your teeth, hair, smile and even nails at the various studios scattered around your neighbourhood.
Thank God...the kiranamalache dukan is still the same...until it goes international and calls itself "Kiran's grocery studio".

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Remembering PC and Ackamma

I was lucky enough to meet PC Alexander and his wife, Ackamma, at Raj Bhavan. I was an intern then and the then Governor and his wife were to meet kids who were suffering from Cancer. I think it was on the occasion of Children's Day.
I remember running from the gate number 1 of Raj Bhavan right down to the State Hall, not even pausing to look at the helicopter whose blades were still whirring. Someone had just landed or someone just took off. I didn't care. I was getting late for the event.
When I reached the hall, all the kids and members of Cancer Patients Aids Association were waiting in hushed silence. The Ex-Governor's press secretary and his aides were also there.
And, then entered Alexander and his wife.
While the gentleman quietly fussed over the children, the lady was effusive with her affection. She went hugging and kissing the kids gathered there. The kids looked a little dazed.
On my way back, I paused a bit to look around the Raj Bhavan estate. I wasn't sure when I would get the chance to visit it again. I haven't as yet.
Ironically, Alexander passed away three days ago because of cancer. RIP

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Love you Bagwati

"Love you Bagwati"
"Dilon me tum apni betabiyan leke chal rahe ho,to zinda ho tum..."
My google status mssg is alternating between these two lines since I watched Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. 
I was in a wretched, wound-up kind of state before I saw the movie. And, after watching it...I am smiling all the time and you know about my status mssgs!
Watching the movie is like meditation (Sorry Laila for borrowing your expression). I mean, aren't we all tired of rushing around, crackling with energy and being constantly on the move? That's why just being along to glide along with the movie is such a blessing. I could actually feel all my knotted organs unwinding themselves. Uggh...the metaphor isn't very appropriate. But that's what I felt.
I laughed, giggled and grinned at the "inane" jokes. I soaked myself in Imran's sheer magical imagery of words. And, of course the beauty of Spain mesmerised me. I wish I had the money and friends, who could drop what they are doing at the moment, to hop into the car and glide along.
I remembered Asawari, a friend from college, while watching Zindagi..
She has that "gliding along" effect on me. I often meet her when I am tired and angry with the world, unsure of myself and abilities; and just being in her presence helps me relax and laugh and smile with my eyes. She has that soothing and calming effect on me. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

My version of Proust questionnaire

a) What is your idea of happiness?

Sleeping; Lying on the bed and reading a book with a plate of munchies by the bedside. Summer mornings and evenings, winter mornings too. Flowers in full blooms. Giggling and talking with friends. Writing letters or long mails. Digging into SBDP and ice cream. Watching movies. Looking at old photo albums. Rereading old letters or notes.

b) What is your greatest fear?
Losing my Dad. Becoming financially dependent on hubby or parents.

c) Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Ahilya Devi Holkar, who gave the Peshwas a good fight.

d) Which living person do you most admire?
Aamir Khan, Rajanikant and Sonia Gandhi. Aamir for his astute business sense and “selling” himself so well. Rajanikant for being comfortable in his own skin away from the arc lights. He looks the man he is – in 60s minus his wig. (I don't know his age. I am just guessing). Sonia Gandhi, well, she had everything against her starting from her foreign origins. But, she is firmly ensconced in her position.

e) What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Losing my cool very quickly
f) What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Self-obsessed and full of themselves. Those who yap Duracell batteries.

g) What is your greatest extravagance?
Books. Photography.

h) What is your favourite journey?
Getting into someone else's shoes – Main wahana hoti to kya karti!
I like travelling by trains a lot. And, I simply swear by the Lal Dabba (ST) buses. They haven't ever let me down when I travel in them from Point A to Point B.

i) What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Honesty. No one is ever completely honest or true to oneself.

j) What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I have made peace with the fact that Fat is a shape – round one!

k) Which living persons do you most despise?
Those who spread terror in the name of religion.

l) Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Chayla! Chyamari! What the hell? Just go away.

m) What is your greatest regret?
That I have two left feet. I wish I could dance.

n) What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My family home and the flowers/trees in my mother's garden – mogra, jaswandi and ananta.

o) When and where were you happiest?
In my family home and in my mother's garden.

p) What is your present state of mind?
Impatient and sulking.

q) How would you like to die?
Maybe in my sleep. Haven't really thought. But, somewhere where there are flowers.

r) What is your favourite motto?
Give it some time.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Bal Gandharva

I watched Bal Gandharva this week-end.
It's a lovely movie - extravagantly mounted with no expenses spared. Much like the man who strove to appeal to the senses of his audience. Spraying expensive scents/perfume when they walked in to watch this musical plays, giving the ladies a reason to shop for expensive, rich and exquisite sarees, shalus and of course jewels. Who can forget the creative, imaginative and innovative props for Bal Gandharva's plays?
And, of course the music. Bal Gandharva alias Narayan Shripad Rajhauns is music.
All those who watched the movie knew this. In almost every Marathi household, the elders have to swear by Bal Gandharva. His plays enacted by the younger generation of actors still run housefull. Of course the elders and those who had the pleasure of hearing the original, pooh-pooh the attempt.
Therefore, when people like me who have been brought up in such households decide to watch the movie, can't help but be disappointed.
We have heard so much of Bal Gandharva - man and his music, but we know very little of Narayan Shripad Rajhauns who was given the title of Bal Gandharva by Lokmanya Tilak after listening to the small boy sing in Kesariwada in Pune.
There was a slide in Marathi and English about Bal Gandharva's origins - where he was born and other details. Unfortunately, it wasn't there on the screen for even half a minute. You blink and you miss it.
There are several factors and people who shaped Narayanrao's life - Deval Master, Shankarrao Kirloskar Gadkari Master (Ram Ganesh Gadkari) and Ganpatrao Bodas. In this movie, they are just caricatures.
Perhaps a voiceover in the beginning of the movie would have helped in identifying and relating with so many characters. Of course we can wiki and google or even read the literature on the man and his Gandharva Natak Mandali. But, when you are making a movie on a legend, who is still remembered, you can't compromise or crunch so many details in  2 hours.
However, the two moments from this film will always stay with me.
One is when Subodh Bhave in the title role of Bal Gandharva, makes an entry on the stage after an argument with Shankarrao Kirloskar (owner of Kirloskar Natak Company) over the mounting expenditure on the drapery and props. Dressed in white sari as opposed to his usual rich exquisite garments, Bal Gandharva mocks Shankarao, who is standing in the wings, with his his demeanour of an offended, wounded and stung lady. Incensed at this Shankarrao and Bal Gandharva have another argument which results in Bal Gandharva quitting the Kirloskar Natak Company to form his own troupe.
The second scene is when Bal Gandharva abruptly leaves the shooting of his first and only movie, Dharmatma, to sing to a crowd of peasants and pilgrims on a river bank. As the song nears its end, his voice reaches a crescendo and he turns towards the bank with his hands aloft as if seeking divine intervention.
Subodh Bhave as the legendary female impersonator of Marathi theatre and singer par excellence, is wonderful. Unfortunately, Vibhawari Deshpande as his wife has nothing new to offer. She has already performed similar roles in Harishchandrachi Factory and Natarang. In fact, the child who essayed the role of a young Bal Gandharva, was also seen in Harischandrachi Factory.
But, I would still say, go and watch the movie to have your own memories of Bal Gandharva.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Blowing my Trumpet!

Aai....this is for you!
I won second prize in Bal Sahitya (senior) category. The contest was held by CEE on behalf of Environment Department, Maharashtra Govt. The title of the story is "My Mother's Garden".

Friday, 3 June 2011

Barish in Headlines

It's the second day of pre-monsoon showers. The dark clouds are gathering, coming closer and closer. Soon, they will start rumbling accompanied by lightning and opening up of skies.
For some rains means garma garam bhajji and hot tea laced with ginger. Some see poetry in the pitter-patter of rain drops. A sight to be enjoyed by sitting by the window or getting drenched in rains.
I, however, wish to differ. I bring to you 'Barish in Headlines' (for the next three months or till the monsoon lasts)
In the first few days of the monsoon, your news will be:
On Page 1 (LEAD): xxxxx (fill in the name of the city) lashed by rains. The story will be accompanied by photos of Wet Girls (yes, this was actually the caption given by an intrepid photographer who shot girls caught unawares in the rain), traffic snarls, a sweet kid holding an umbrella over his head and jumping up and down in the puddles, a small crowd taking shelter under a shed covered by blue tarpulin etc etc
On Page 1 (DC): Water levels go up in xxxxx (fill in the name) dam
On Page 1 (Single Column): Weather watch. Met department predicts medium to light showers for the city.
On Page 1 (Anchor): Corporation's level of preparedness or the lack of it.
Inside pages: Photospread of uprooted trees, water-logging in some areas of the city, pools formed in dug up roads and people queuing up to buy raincoats, umbrellas and rainy footwear.
In case there's heavy downpour, these will make the news:
1) Building collapse
2) Landslides
3) Floods (The only Indian river with a male name, Brahmaputra, comes into news with, "Brahmaputra rising" or "Brahmaputra crosses the danger level)
4) Snapping of electricity wires, telephone lines
5) xxxx TMC water released from xxxx dam
6) Veggie prices drop. Housewives sigh!
7) Corporation chief says, "We have enough water till November" or "Catchment areas full"
8) Nullahs choke
In case, the heavy downpour is followed by a dry spell, these will be in the news:
1) Met official says xxx belt formed over Western Maharashtra. Dry spell to continue
2) Corporation chief says water level in the xxxx dam worrisome
3) Dengue, chikungunya claims xxxxx lives
4) Where has the rain disappeared?
5) Villagers pray for rain; woo for Varun (not Gandhi. Varun, the God of Rain)

In the features:
1) Here's how to look cool in the rains
2) Fashionistas outline their rainy look
3) What to do in rains? Celeb tells us
(I can't resist the attempt to be cheeky and barge in with "Stay at home and not get in the rains."
"If I have to go out, carry an umbrella or wear a raincoat." Keep it simple, celebs. I wish some newspaper tells us how to quickly jump aside when a four-wheeled monster is coming towards me to avoid getting drenched from head to toe in muddy waters ruining my rainy look. Any ideas?")
4) Nutrition in the rain
(Damn...I would love to dig into kanda/khekda bhajji. Nutritious food be damned.)

Coming up next: Winter in News and Summer in News

The Complete Beauty

FAT! Ummmmm...BIG....FAT

Arun murmured these words critically appraising her figure before the mirror. A few minutes later she plonked on the bed and sighed deeply. Then she looked at the black and white photo on the side table and murmured, “Thank you YOU”.

Eighteen-year-old Arunima (or Arun as she preferred to be called) was smart, sassy and always ready to smile. But, alone, before the mirror, she was fragile and vulnerable.

“Come on 18-going on-28, move your BIG BUTT and get going,” she told herself, sitting up on the bed.

She slowly moved towards closet and pulled out denims and paused. Arun looked longingly at a short tee.

“No point...” she reminded and instead pulled out a long Fab India kurta.

“Kurta...naaaaaah....kurti. Who cares? I look like a behenji no matter what I wear,” Arun thought out aloud.

Her eyes glistened with tears when she remembered Kunal and Anjuli's biting comments. That day she had chosen to wear a short tee which fitted her snugly.

She met Anjuli at the door of the lecture hall.

“Wow...ARUN. BIG ONIONS,” Anjuli remarked in her loud voice.

Arun could feel the red creeping over her cheeks. She turned a dark shade of red when Kunal turned around to look at her, said, “Onions are really scarce these days, especially BIG ONIONS.”

Arun, head held high, walked past Anjuli whispering, “Don't be J, Small Onions. In few years, you will go under the knife for-you-know-what.”

Though she just about managed to claw at Anjuli, Arun was hurt. Arun's looks, the way she walked, the way she spoke and the way she slept, were carefully dissected. By Arun.

Arun couldn't blame more attractive elder sisters for her inferiority complex. She was a single child brought up by a single parent. Arun was broad-boned. She had tried everything since 13 (when she started growing BIG) to look small, delicate and slip into something comfy, snug without grabbing anyone's eyeballs.

Balls. Arun had those. And, how she hated the attention, the crass attention, the wolfish looks, the checking out and then the lingering gaze on the “assets.” She was a school-going bacchi with “curves”.

While someone else might have thrived in the attention, Arun wasn't the demure, sophisticated adult to ignore the attention. At 18, she wanted to be like a regular girl, to fit in like the rest and not stand out. Though she appeared carefree, deep inside she was hurt and sulking. Because of her mother.

Arun's mother passed away when she was six. And, since Arun didn't look like her slim, trim Dadda, then she had definitely inherited her mother's figure, she concluded.

There were not many colour photographs of Arun's mother, so whenever she was upset and angry with the world, Arun would stare at the grainy, black and white images and reproach her mother.

“Arunima, Mau's coming,” said Arun, her Dadda.

“Sunaina Mau's coming. WOW!” squealed Arun.

Sunaina Mau (short for mausi) was Arun's mother (Nima's) younger sister. She was fun!

Mau was Arun's confidante-cum friend-cum mother-cum the best-friend, she always wanted.

When Mau came, she couldn't help saying, “Nima! She's growing up to be like Nima, isn't it Arun?”

Dadda nodded.

Arun couldn't help but make a face.

Mau noticed it, but chose to let it pass.

Few days passed happily, but Mau couldn't help notice the way Arun dressed.

Long kurtis, loose fitting salwar-suits, a carefully arrived at sloppy look, the effort to avoid being noticed wasn't lost on Mau.

Next day she surprised Arun with dresses, tees, skirts and stoles.

“Oh Mau! Lovely! Thanks so much,” cried Arun.

“Arunima, wear this blue dress to college today. The colour will just suit you,” smiled Mau.

Arun's happiness dimmed a little.

“No Mau! Not to college. Maybe this evening when we go for dinner. Okay?” smiled Arun.

“Why not to college Arunima?” Mau persisted.

“ won't understand. One more thing, please don't call me Arunima,” she said.

“Why not?” Mau asked.

“Mau...I am not Nima. She isn't a part of me; I know she IS a part of me. But I don't want her in my name,” she said quietly.

Mau stood gaping.

“Sit DOWN. What made you say that? Do you even understand what you are saying?” Mau said grabbing Arun by her shoulders.

“Mau please. I am not a baby,” Arun was on the verge of tears.

“I know, that's why what you said made me see RED,” cried Mau. “Do you know what Nima had to go through to have you?”

Arun stared at her, her dark-brown eyes ready to spill out the tears gathering in them.

“Listen...Nima and Arun were childless for long. She was almost 40, when she conceived. The pregnancy and delivery affected her already fragile health. But she survived on her will power till you were six. And then... How can you even say something like that Arunima? Nima was so beautiful, and you are a CRUEL child,” sobbed Mau.

“ Mau...I'm SORRY. I know I look like Ma. But you don't know how difficult it is,” Arun was also sobbing now.

“Difficult? How?” questioned Mau.

Arun then explained the big factors in her life and the taunts and comments from girls and the unwanted male attention.

“Mau, I am 18, 18 okay. But I look like a 28-year-old. I am so...I just can't handle this. Why can't I be like other girls?” spoke anguished Arun. “And, this is all because of Ma. I look like her. But that was okay for her. I mean she was a woman,” she said.

Mau smiled.

“What? I didn't crack a joke,” Arun growled.

“Arunima, your mother was a woman when she gave birth to you. But, she was also a girl ONCE UPON A TIME. Have you ever wondered how she might have felt and what all she must have gone through?” Mau said.

Arun turned red.

“Thin, skinny, big, broad, fair-skinned, dark skinned etc etc are just adjectives. What X has, Y will crave for it. And, X will pine for what X has. Ignore those stupid floosies in your class. They must be secretly craving to be like you. To become a woman like you. To become a beautiful woman like you,” Mau said.

“Woman? Who wants to be a woman?,” Arun cried out.

“If at the age of 18, you look like 28. At the age of 38, you will look like 28! Reverse aging process, what say!”

“Mau...” howled Arun. “28-38 sounds so ancient. You don't have a solution!”

“You silly goose. Get it straight. Be happy and comfortable with what you have. If there are some problem areas, then there's something good about your appearance too. You have got long, dark hair, your skin is blemish and pimple-free, you are fair, you have nice brown eyes which sparkle with life when you permit them to. What else do you want? If you weren't playing this blame-game hard, you would notice other teenagers cribbing about dandruff and pimples and recommending creams and lotions to turn a shade lighter. What's wrong with you Arunima? You want to blame Nima for this? You don't want her identity? You want to drop her name? that. Let me tell you... you just don't have Nima's balls. She was courageous, brave and sweet and beautiful. You are not Nima's daughter,” Mau finished in rush.

Arun with tears streaming down her face, murmured softly, “I am SORRY Mau. I have been selfish. You can call me Arunima...I am Arunima. I was a pig Mau. SORRY. I will wear that blue dress to college okay. Just wait a sec.

She pulled off her kurtis and denims and pulled on the blue dress in a jiffy.

“Mau look!”

“Nice Arun,” smiled Mau.

“Mau, I AM ARUNINMA. Don't rub it in please. I know what they mean by being a complete beauty. Arun and Nima make me complete. I have enough beauty to score over the brawn and the balls. Right?” smiled Arunima.

Mau nodded.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Chasing the Blues

It's a stupid, sultry afternoon. I am sitting in the comfort of a fully air-conditioned office. So I shouldn't be complaining, right? Well, I am not exactly complaining, or fault finding or even griping. I am just ruminating...ah that sound so like a cow who is chewing the cud. I just finished eating dahi-bhat (hence the simile is apt) and now I am thinking of how if I was somewhere else (read...not in office) I would spend the afternoon in pleasurable pursuits. And, for me, that is either watching a movie, reading a book or just curling up and snoring away to glory.
I haven't watched a decent movie in ages, or ate decent food in ages (I am exaggerating) and sleeping...yes I get my beauty sleep of 8 hours, but don't mind stretching it to 10-12 hours on a Saturday morning.
But since I am stuck in office this afternoon, I can just visualise...
Movies: I am an avid movie buff, but I have realised that my choice of watching films on an afternoon like this has narrowed down to few favourites and few scenes/clippings. I am honest, I can watch the same movies with the persistence of Duracell batteries. I can go on and on and on. First is Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. It has been a favourite one since my school and college days. I have watched in 20 times already. At one point I watched it at least once a year - a pilgrimage I had to undertake in my vacations. I think I should resume my pilgrimage!
Then there is Jodha-Akabar. I had put off watching that movie for so long. And, one day in a DVD store I just picked it up. Typically, after watching the film completely once, now I stick to the first two parts of DVDs. I watch the first two parts for two reasons. First, the song, Khwaja mere Khwaja. Love it. One reason why I want to go to Turkey is to watch and meet the dervishes. Hrithik Roshan going in trance is magical. Second, the sword fighting scene between Jodha and Akbar is enchanting, especially, when he takes her unaware by showering mogra flowers on her. I found that incredibly romantic.
Another of my favourite movie is Yuva. I watch it from the end...I like the track of Kareena and Vivek Oberoi and the song Anjana-Anjani. It's played out on sea and I like sea and the beaches. Lovely picturisation. Plus, the dialogues are crackling, young and fresh. Of course Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee in the song...kabhi neem, kabhi neem, kabhi shehad, shehad, are nice.
Swades is another favourite. On hearing its ringtone play on someone cellphone, I go back to the movie.
After having watched it completely twice, I now stick to the first two DVDs and then some scenes in the last one. There are a few scenes in the movie which I watch again and again, because I can't have enough of them. The first one is when Shah Rukh Khan enters the village and is led to Kaveri Amma's house by the boy Cheeku. The background score...Ayo re and the boy matching his steps to it, waving and dancing, and the pedestrians, cyclists and women and children peeking out of their homes to watch the big caravan trundling down the small lanes of the village is played out so beautifully. I have stayed in a small village/town, and I really miss the carefree existence and how I had guided several city dwellers to someone's house.
The second scene is when Kaveri Amma, can't seem to recognise or identify whose hands are clasped over her eyes. And, the third one (this is actually towards the beginning) is in the old people's home, where an old woman dusting the cupboard remarks, "Kaveri bahut naseebwali. Usse tabhi koi lene aya tha, aaj bhi koi aya hai. Warna hum budhon ko kon puchta hai." Every time I hear that dialogue I can feel the goosebumps.
At this moment, I want to watch either of these movies and chase away my blues and boredom.
They are my "comfort movies."

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Some more Pictures

Golden Temple (Tibetan monastery) at Kushalnagar, in Madikeri district. There's a big Tibetan colony here
Prasad at Nalkanand Palace, Coorg
Deer in Kabini jungle

Picture Diary

Kabini Jungle Lodge is known for tuskers. Spotted quite a few. Alas no tigers!
Sun sets at the Kabini lake. Loved the gorgeous colours. An artiste's colour palette!

This is the jungle lodge we stayed at. Lush greenery.

Sit on the clouds and float away into nothingness. Or perhaps pull out a few wisps and gobble them. This is so ME. Always hungry.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Moments in History

This is not a blog post. But, I felt I had to say something about the recent movements for Democracy in the Arab world. First Egypt and now Libya and Bahrain.
Time's up for dictators? I surely hope it is.
The iron-fisted rules can't withstand the twitter attack....

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


Sisters can be pest,
Sisters can be best!

I know it's a BAD RHYME and not even a verse. But that's what sisters are - pest and the best.
I was a pest for my elder sister. We both love chocolates and as a kid I was always searching her bag for toffees, chocolates, Dairy Milk in secret zipped pockets and finishing them up.
I was always prying. I was always nosy. I was her shadow.
She is elder to me by 9 years - a decade apart. No wonder I was like a spoilt brat rather than a sister she could depend on.
Whatever talks I had with friends have told me that one sister is equivalent of a samurai army, ready to slay the person who troubled their baby. Am I glad that I NEVER had to face a class bully or 'well-meaning'  teachers never came in my way!
But I wonder what happens to the eldest girl? Whom does she turn to in difficult time?
I never bothered to stop and think until today. Whom did my sister go to when she needed to sob or ached for a pat on the back?
For me, she was always there.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

All Ears

I don't eavesdrop as a rule. I think it's slimy and creepy. But sometimes when you hear some interesting tidbits, you don't turn away, right? I have reproduced some tidbits with extra spice.
All ears?
A not-so-old lady (despite what she says): OMG.....I am soooooooooo sorrrrrrrrrrry dear. Sooooooo sorry to let you down dear. I keep forgetting...old age. I will get in touch after I am back from my holiay.
A woman (girl perhaps) wearing a plain, lose salwar suit. Hair unkempt: You know what...the other day... xxxx channel aired the interview I conducted with of Shankar-Ehsan-Loy. My uncle called up after he watched the broadcast and said, "Tuzhe sasarkadche sahishnu ahet bagh. Bagh...mahercha adnav lavayla manai karat nahit. Sahishnuch te!" All this about the sasar....and not a word about the interview, Hrrrrrrmph.
Roving Eye: See, here comes the 'Company Clown'. My God...she is so FOOLISH. Thinks no end of herself. But, humein andar ki baat pata hain...doesn't even clean up after...
Look at her...thrusting out everything. Chee chee!
I hope to write something substantial in my next post. Till then, Ciao! Tata! Bye!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Aai's garden

These photographs are of my mother's garden - her favourite flowers, trees and her final resting place. This is how it looks like in her absence. I have tried to capture various corners of the garden.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Missing Ms Jingle Jangle

Is it Saturday today? Why is there a pin-drop silence then? The usual background voices/sounds are missing...and I have realised it now. I can't see Miss Jingle-Jangle's head bobbing over her work...nor have I met her at our favourite destination – loo.
Our paths cross there almost every time of the day when I go to relieve myself. Our paths cross...but we never ever smile.
In case I miss meeting her, I can always tell if she was there before me – the overpowering fragrance of her perfume and spilled water near the washroom. Reminds me of Archimedes's 'eureka' experience. (I am being wicked!)
Well....Miss Jingle Jangle's braying irritates me most of the times. She is forever on call.
“ I need you to book Mr....X and Y on this flight. He will be returning back on...” Her favourite topic though I can guess sitting on the other side of the aisle is, food.
Nahi..nahi sweet dish toh jaruri ahe. Hum log neeche gaye 5 min, 5 min karte rahein. Humnein toh kisiko chair bhi nahi diya. Par kadhi-chawal lane mein badi der lagi. Waise toh mein roj karela ka juice piti hun. Aur 45 minutes walk jaruri hain.”
Why am I being mean to Miss Jingle Jangle of ample proportion when she hasn't wished me any ill? (You never know...I don't know what she blogs!)
I am thoroughly bored and just thought that I would amuse myself by talking about people who are somewhere in the background when I work.