Saturday, December 31

Beete Lamhe...

As we step into the new year, here’s a quick personal recap of the highlights in the decades gone by…

1985 – Graced the Rathi household on July 23rd; made this planet a better place.

1987 – Joined the Abhinava fraternity as an entrant in Mini kg. (Can’t remember much about this phase, but my report cards and pictures look adorable, so I was obviously a wonder child.)

1991 – Enrolled in the first standard at Abhinava Primary School in June. Started the Academic Excellence award-winning series, and went on to stand first (or next to first) in class every year until Std 7. Did not win the scholarships in std 4 and 7 though, and felt quite depressed, but did become Head Prefect in std 7 to close primary school years with a bang. Fairly morose times now and then, but overall a pleasant phase.

1998 – High school years, quite merry. Started discovering myself. Learnt a little German, and started cycling to school.

2000 – My first trip abroad ever, courtesy Abba-Ammi. Visited Africa and enjoyed the safari.

2001 – Passed 10th. Missed the merit list, and majorly hated myself. Little comfort drawn from the fact that nobody from my batch made it to the wall of fame. Planned to tread a different path, and not join the herd of engineering-and-medicine-smitten flock. Arts beckoned, and Fergi welcomed me with open arms. I was right at the top of the first list that was released for admission! Whoever heard of intelligent people pursuing Arts? Setting new trends was always my style… Got a lot of flack from friends and family, but no regrets then and none at all now… Met Deepti, Lally, and some other cool folks, fun times!!

2002-2003 – Stepped into the world of modelling!! A shocker to everyone who knew me, but my face and body was plastered full frontal on the cover page of Pune Times. Enjoyed decking up and flaunting myself and the offerings of various boutiques for newspapers and magazines, did some shows and shoots, had a gala time and then bowed out. Just wanted to check out this glamorous and notorious field, did not intend to stay for long anyway!! Did some other marketing promotions and earned decent pocket money all through junior college. Financial independence rocks!!

2003 – Passed HSC (12th) and surprise surprise, stood 11th in the merit list! Such is life… When I put in 200% effort and dearly desired to come out tops, I was deprived (SSC – 10th), and this time with barely any sweat, I had managed to become famous! Thoroughly enjoyed the attention, though!

2004 – Took up Bachelor in Arts from FC and simultaneously completed a diploma in travel and tourism management from Tradewings, Pune. Started my first job in May at a software solutions company called Optimos. Terrific experience, unforgettable days. Nitin Moody, Roopa Karayi, Sumant Jena, Samir Karandikar, Mr. Sanjay Puri, Gurpreet Singh… shall never forget them… Quit Oct 2005 to focus on final year in college.

2006 – Graduated with top honours in Psychology from Fergusson College. Joined Masters in the same subject at the University of Pune. Working had become a craze, so took up a Language Instructor post at inlingua. Good money, great learning for 2 years. Meenakshi Iyer – the person who refined my language skills and introduced me to the world of blogging. Salut! Learnt how to swim, and freelanced with Chrysalis and Speakeasy. Prepared for SNAP (MBA entrance to Symbiosis institutes) and met dashing Mr. Param at the TIME institute. Got shortlisted for SIBM and SIMC but gave it a pass. Decided to take up MA Psychology instead.

2008 – Topped the Psychology department at the MA level, and started working with Alchemy, a private consultancy that gave me a bird’s eye view of the HR and OD training domain. Experiential training enamoured me, and I knew there was no looking back… Attended the basic lab at ISABS, Goa and met Bhanu, Snigdha and a whole lot of other beautiful people.

2009 – Yellowbox Consulting beckoned. Handled the training department on my own. Did not learn much, but made a friend for life – Ameya Gupte. Tried to snatch an MBA seat outside India, but destiny had other plans. Fell flat on my face despite scoring excellent marks in GMAT (700/800) and TOEFL (118/120), both without any coaching. Gave up plans to study abroad.

2010 – Fantastic year. Paid a visit to my dream destination, Pondicherry in Feb – the same month that my darling nephew Bhoomik was born. Then, in May, IBM happened (lucky month to join, I guess, ditto Optimos). Met some wonderful people, and learned something new everyday. One of the best things that happened to me, both personally and professionally… Anuradha Umalker, Natashya Phillips, Rakshith Shetty, Pushpal Machra, Shrivatsa Murthy, and so many more…

2011 – Here we are… Bad year. Made horrible by a failed lasik eye surgery and unpredictable, exploitative people. Did enjoy a few marvellous vacations though – Binsar and Ladakh, and a Mahabaleshwar escapade. Joined Spanish classes at SIFIL.

26 years gone by… and I can say with pride that I’m a far better person than most others I’ve known or met.

What next?

Happy New year 2012 fellas… Wish you many incredible decades to come!!

Cheerio!
Princess

Saturday, December 24

Jingle Bell Time!!

Season’s greetings!!

Those of you who’re painting the town, country and world red by vacationing around the globe… I envy you.

Those of you who’re stuck here like me, voluntarily or involuntarily… Get a life!!

LOL. Just kidding.

Christmas, to me, means holidays and Santa Claus. Of course, I enjoy looking at the decorations that people put up, and I relish the snacks and sweets that signal a festival. But, I never really dug deep into the culture and traditions.

Here’s some trivia for you and me! Hope you enjoy reading it!

I was wondering what "The Twelve Days of Christmas" meant. I kinda knew it was a song, a Christmas carol, in fact, but I did not know what it stood for. While the English carol enumerates a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas, the actual 12 days of Christmas is the period between Dec 25 and Jan 5, and this period is also known as Christmastide and Twelvetide. These twelve days and nights are celebrated in widely varying ways around the world. For example, some give gifts only on Christmas Day, some only on Twelfth Night, and some each of the twelve nights.

Did not manage to find more about these 12 days, actually didn’t research it further coz the carol caught my attention and fancy…

So, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is a cumulative song - each verse is built on top of the previous verses. (You know, like the songs we sang in school – sort of a memory game where you gotta keep adding one thing to the list and continue singing… Used to be fun!)

There are twelve verses, each describing a gift given by "my true love" on one of the twelve days of Christmas. How exciting! One, having a true love, and two, getting gifts from that individual. Wow, some people have all the luck in the world ;-)

So, what precisely are these gifts you ask?

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... a Partridge in a Pear Tree. (=that stands for Jesus)

*Note – Some websites say my true love “sent” to me. Pls do verify before singing!

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... 2 Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. (=signifies the Old and New Testaments)

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... 3 French Hens, 2 Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree (=the three theological virtues faith, hope and love)

This continues right uptil the 12th verse… and it goes like this…

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
Twelve drummers drumming, (=the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed)
Eleven pipers piping, (=the eleven faithful Apostles)
Ten lords a-leaping, (=the Ten Commandments)
Nine ladies dancing, (=the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit)
Eight maids a-milking, (=the eight Beatitudes)
Seven swans a-swimming, (=the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments)
Six geese a-laying, (=the six days of Creation)
Five golden rings, (=the Torah or Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament that give the history of man’s fall from grace)
Four calling birds, (=the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists)
Three French hens, (=Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues)
Two turtle doves, (=the Old and New Testaments)
And a partridge in a pear tree! (=God/Jesus)

Speaking of which, do you know the ten commandments? Goes without saying that they would be a lot different had I written them. The above gifts as well, for that matter. But lets keep that for another day, shall we? For now, here are the ORIGINAL ten :-)

1. “You shall have no other gods before Me."

2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.”

3. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”

5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”

6. “You shall not murder.”

7. “You shall not commit adultery.”

8. “You shall not steal.”

9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

10. “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.”


Wowow... Good, eh?!!

Merry Xmas then and have a beautiful 2012!!
May all your DECENT dreams come true in the coming year :-)
Be good, and do all the good you can... It'll never go waste.

Saturday, December 17

YOU... El Perfecto

Perfect men don’t exist… or so everyone says.

It’s true that people appear perfect when you know them a little, and then once you get closer, their flaws and vices seem enormous and unbearable. So much so that you wonder how and why you’d found that individual “tested and ok” just for you… “Tujhe zameen pe bulaya gaya hai mere liye” types…

It’s happened to me. Being charmed and then disenchanted. It happens to everybody. That’s what makes us human, the ability to feel different things for the same person at different times.

But you…

You are the most wonderful person I’ve ever known. It’s amazing to know you.

I would be lying if I said that you’ve got it all – mindblowing genius, stunning looks, great pedigree, all the success, luxuries and money in the world. But your attractiveness, simplicity, honesty, humour, sensitivity, capability and decency more than make up for what’s not excellent. When you smile, your eyes glistening with mirth like an innocent child, I forget everything that is not right. Your warmth make me lose myself.

I wonder how God made a person as pure and loving as you. It’s unfair. But, I am not complaining! After all, you’re mine…

You sometimes falter in knowing exactly when to say what to who. But you know when I need a hug. Anything I say is a command that you fulfil like a genie without a moment’s doubt or hesitation. I have to occasionally shut you up when you are about to land in a soup, but your voice is the music that rings in my ears and makes me feel divine. No surprise then that I love you. Coz you are you.

Work and pleasure – you make the best of both, and give both your best. Family and friends – you strike the ideal balance. The lengths to which you go to make them comfortable and happy is incredible. Even though it bugs me sometimes, you do not let that affect your loyalty. And that reassures me that you shall never let me down either.

You admire everyone and see the strengths in each individual. You are as positive as you are charming, and you have the most generous and beautiful mind. I see the way you love and need me, and it simultaneously melts and fuels my heart. Your eyes so deep and moist, they scream to me to take you in my arms. Once there, time comes to a standstill…

I don’t have to guard myself from being hurt; hurting me is more torture for you than me myself. Such dedication! What passion! You know what I feel, and what I want, and you effortlessly make me feel special and accepted for who I am, as I am. You infuse joy and warmth in my life, and you have made me more kind and tolerant. While your own priorities could do with some help, you’ve surely given me a few lessons (unknowingly) on how to be a better person.

At work, you are the flawless professional – friendly, helpful, sociable, approachable and focused. People you like walk away feeling loved and appreciated thanks to you. Those that get on your wrong side learn never to do that again.

At home, I am your queen, and you remind me that through your words and actions. You make me feel like a pampered child, a sensible adult, a doting mom, a satisfied lover, a dear friend, crazy celebrity and partner-in-crime. You make me feel loved and protected in a million common and unusual ways. I am lucky to have you, but you keep telling me you can’t believe your luck at having me in your life, to call your own. I believe you. Maybe that’s why we’re meant to be.

I laugh and you look at me with twinkling eyes wishing I’d never stop. You have all the time in the world for me, and I know I mean the world to you. Nothing matters to you more than my happiness and well-being. As men around fake and sweat to please their companions, you exude a natural desire and ability to delight me. And the fact that you’ve convinced me of all this in barely any span of time is abso-flipping-lutely staggering.

You accept my (rare) shortcomings, though you dislike them heartily. Do you really believe that I am too good for you? You keep saying that, and how you are afraid that I’d go away coz you’re not good enough… Oh baby… You are my angel, and I am all yours. I’d be a fool to go away. Don’t you see how much I am in love with you?!!

You bring to my life romance and care, security and importance, and many more elements of a blissful, satisfying relationship. Any need that I have – material, financial, emotional, mental, spiritual, physical and psychological – is perceived by you and attended to, before or as soon as I realise it. You do all that it takes, without being told, voluntarily, unwearyingly, sincerely, properly… coz I mean more to you than anything else.

When I snap at you, will you hold my hand and not lash back? When I cry with fear or failure, will you hug me tight? Will you forever and ever take me to be your one and only, come rain or snow?

Do you yourself have any demands? I've seen you lose control over yourself under the influence of fury and sorrow. I know you experience frustration and helplessness at times. Yet, you do not ask for anything from anyone. You just want to give, give and give. You believe in yourself and in the goodness of others. You’re a sage in a modern disguise, a fulfilled and complete person… Only expecting from yourself coz you are a self-made man, and reprimanding none but yourself for the things that don’t go right.

You’ve got it all. And you don’t even know it…

If you do, you never boast or strut. Okay, now I’m lying ;-) You do, but you are worth it! I've accepted everything about you, just as you have about me... Your ego, your anger, your immaturity and over-reaction... Had these not been there, I'd have thought that you're an angel come down from paradise...

Simple living, high thinking, appreciable dignity and gratitude - just some terms to describe the magnificent person that you are.

They say no one’s perfect.
You are. In every way.

The ways in which you may not be, I shall teach myself to accept you.
Coz you extraordinary. You’re perfect.

Most importantly, you’re mine…
And I thank you with all my heart and soul…

A heart and soul that is just yours to be…
Forever.

Honoured and fortunate,
Yours truly

Saturday, December 10

Read-a-holic Bliss

“I never asked her to. I expected her to do it on her own. I wanted her to make that decision without my prompting her. When she didn’t, I was hurt and even angry with her. It is only now that I realise how foolish I was. I never told her how much I needed her. It seemed like admitting to a weakness. My face can wear any emotion except that of a needy man.”

Thus ends a spectacular journey, Anita Nair’s “Mistress”

Can’t keep myself from sharing some more lines that held me spellbound…

“There is nothing wrong in making a mistake and admitting it. But it is unpardonable to continue making that mistake.”

“If he can live with himself, who am I to condemn what he’s doing?”

“What can I say to make you feel better? Perhaps it is best that I don’t make you feel better. If you are angry, you will hurt less.”

For those of you who’d like to savor some more “Mistress”-isms, click here.
The impressive lines that strike a chord are posted, to read and to enjoy…


Reading is such a beautiful thing. It whisks you away into a world that non-readers never know to exist. And it’s a shame when people say things like “I only read books related to my profession.” Or “I like reading newspapers and magazines”. Hey! That’s not reading. That’s only quenching your thirst for knowledge. Which can be done as you surf the web or go to the library. Education is not reading, but reading can certainly add to your wisdom.

Oh the bliss of seeing someone or being the one who is immersed in a novel, oblivious to the world!

Unfortunately, reading is not something you can "take up" or "give up". It needs careful effort and diligent drive. Otherwise, it's just something you do to put in your resume in order to make an impression...

A writer’s power over the reader’s mind is the most incredible thing ever. It needs no acquaintance, it calls for no introduction between the involved entities. Just words, and a thought that flows lucidly from the author’s pen to the connoisseur’s heart…

Patience, yes. That’s kinda required. You ought to allow the writer the time to settle into the story. Not too many writers can put in writing a compelling tale that engages a reader right at the first sentence. Not everyone can be a Jeffrey Archer or Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, or Wodehouse even. Besides, it may even be a ploy so that none but the serious reader can get to the crux of the book. A writer’s got all rights to have some expectations after the effort that goes into jotting down an experience.

Yet, I can’t forgive the “bestsellers” – The Monk who sold his Ferrari and The Secret.

I abandoned the books midway, and trust me, that’s saying a lot. Being the systematic and perseverant person that I am, I never leave anything half done. However, I just could not push myself to finish these 2 “wondrous” paperbacks. Thanks, but no thanks. You may be read by a million people a zillion times worldwide, but to me, you didn’t make an impact. Better luck next time…

However, I must express my heartfelt gratitude to Natashya Phillips, my ex-manager at IBM and a dear friend, for introducing, no, pushing me, to read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Merely a few pages down, and I am already enamoured.

I read The Fountainhead by the same author many years ago, a little hesitatingly if I might add, given its bulk and reputation of being a serious, boring book, incomprehensible to many and praised to the skies by some “critics”. (Critics, to me, are crazy people who find boring things interesting and fun ones silly.) Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I still think about it fondly.

The beauty and the curse with awesome books is that the one time you read them, you are floored, and you don’t dare to read them again for fear of it losing its charm. Hence, I have only read once, novels like Shantaram, Mistress, Fountainhead, No Onions No Garlic to name a few…

Thanks to BlogAdda, I’m now getting to read and review books for free. It’s fantastic! The initiative, I mean. The books dillydally between “wow” and “duh” – I’m afraid most authors aren’t too imaginative or original...

Well, that’s all for now… I thank you. 95 followers, hundreds of anonymous readers, and millions of visitors for stopping by and hearing me rant. It pleases me no end when I know that you know me through my blog, and appreciate what I write. Even if you criticize, I’m thankful. It’s better than to be ignored :-)

G’day, and keep reading… Coz a reader never lives a lonely moment…

Cheerio!
Anuja

Friday, December 2

And now when I know why...




I stood there in the rain. Waiting for you.

You never came.

With my every raindrop, I could sense increasing panic.
Where were you?
Were you all right?
Did you lose your way?
Would you come late as usual?

The shower brought anxiety, but no answers.

As the breeze ruffled the lace on my dress, I thought about how defiant you had seemed when I spoke about us ending this relationship. Our families would never agree to the union, I’d said, it was futile. You looked at me, willing me to take back my words. I didn’t. And you vowed to make me yours no matter what happened.

Secretly, I rejoiced. Your passion and need for me made me feel wanted and prized. Special beyond my wildest dreams.

But outwardly, I just stared into your deep brown eyes and sighed. It was going to be one hell of a struggle. “We’ll win, don’t you worry, my sunshine”, you said calmly.

Just as calmly as I’d packed my haversack this evening.

I couldn’t say we hadn’t tried. We’d both done our best. But then, I already knew it was not going to work. Our families were too deep-rooted in their “traditions” and swore by the “societal norms”. The stuff that we called phony was their way of life. I couldn’t blame them, one man’s food was another man’s poison. But I sure resented them for giving the community precedence over their own blood child.

You stood listening to my daily tussles, relating to me what you’d put up with the previous night. Your determination gave me strength, your love gave me power. I knew you’d find a way for us to be together.

And then you said there was no way but to elope.

I didn’t bat an eyelid before I said ok.

What did I have to fear? I loved you, and I knew I wanted to be with you.

I couldn’t be without you… That thought made my decision easier.

You, for your part, worked everything down to the minutest details. I was astounded to see how carefully you’d mapped everything, you’d obviously been thinking about this all those nights we feigned sleep. My love and admiration for you grew, if that were possible.

You said you’d made arrangements, and I trusted you blindly. You explained why it was essential that I withdraw all my money from the bank, and how I needed to ensure that no one ever knew that I was giving it to you to plan a better life for us.

The raindrops dripped from the branch overhead on my nose, the wind punctuating every drop with a whoosh.

Where were you, I screamed into the darkness for the thousandth time.

I was greeted with silence. Or turbulence. Whichever way you looked at it.

I stood there all night, expecting you to come up around the turnaround and mutter some lame apology and excuse, and then I would get mad at you and urge you to dash off before someone saw us.

It never happened.

The rain subsided. Night gave way to dawn. Sunrise came and then noon. My weary eyes still searched for you. Milkmen, newspaper vendors, school kids and professionals made their way to their destinations as I waited, depression and disappointment embracing me like a loving mother.

I did not weep. I felt my anger drain away. I guess they were all right when they said that you were duping me. That you never loved me, only used me as and when convenient. It wasn’t your mistake, it was mine. I couldn’t blame you for my faith in you.

I had nowhere to go, no one to turn to. I’d let your love seclude me, exclude me from all the people and things that were earlier mine to command and cherish.

But they’re bang on when they say that blood is thicker than water. Shame-faced, I knocked on the door and mum answered it. She looked dishevelled, but the sight of me at the door kicked her into action. She grabbed me, made me sit down and sip some water. I did not realise when the tears flowed. Neither of us said a word as she fed me and put me to bed.

I lost track of time. I just noticed the alternating light and darkness. I gazed into nothingness and cared about no one, not even myself. The “living dead” was what they would have titled me in their fancy books on psychology and fiction.

“Beta, your cupboard is a mess. Why don’t you clean it up today? It’ll give you something to do and take your mind off…” her voice trailed away. We’d never spoken about that day again, and she could not break the unspoken code.

I did not argue, I did not have the right or the energy to do that. If that is what would please her and make her feel that I was getting back to “normal”, so be it.

“And line the drawers with paper, keeps the dust away…”

I’d never quite understood that concept, and had voiced my disagreement on previous occasions. But today, I just quietly obeyed her thumb rule. She loved me. Unconditionally. Under any circumstances. That was more than sufficient for me to do her simple bidding.

It was the least I could do…

As I unfolded the paper and arranged it symmetrically on the middle shelf, a picture in the corner caught my eye.

A young, handsome boy had skid and dived headlong from a cliff the night it had poured.

You hadn’t left me that night. But you’d left me…

Never to return…


- Princess


Click here to see the BlogAdda Spicy Saturday page...

This is my 6th post chosen by the website as top posts. Thanks for the love, you guys!!


Friday, November 25

Que tal ?!!

Hola amigos! Como estais?

(= Hello friends! How are you’all? And que tal is wassup?!!)

All right, all right… I know I’ve turned into one lazy, boring bum… All my blogs contain are book reviews, stories about romance or heartbreak, and a few odd bits in between.

I’m sorry. I’ve just had no time to do anything else these last few weeks (months?)

My days are tumbling into each other, and trust me when I say that I have been doing little else apart from what my routine dictates… Which basically means work 10 hours a day between Monday and Friday, spend half the remaining time on Facebook, and divide the other half among activities like reading books, watching TV (barely), sleeping, yakking on the phone, listening to music, going for my Spanish class, watching movies and hanging out with a select bunch of buddies.

Ahem, sounds like a lot when I jot it down, but doesn’t mean it ain’t predictable.

Soooo… that’s how it is… And while I have no dearth of fun, I sure have my work cut out on a daily basis.

Come to think of it, I’m quite bored about most things that I used to love earlier. Parties don’t excite me, the films that release these days are utterly frustrating (read Rockstar and Desi Boyz). I am not so elated when it comes to either ice creams (Baskin Robbins / Gelato) or food (Italian / Chinese / Thai / South Indian / North Indian)… Get the drift? I guess I’ve relished and overdone all of the above, so now very few things get me jumping.

Of course, travel is still high on the ever-ready list, but I don’t get to engage in it, coz weekdays are workdays and I don’t like using my leave balance much, and weekends are dedicated to Spanish, so that’s that.

Coffee is another evergreen wow. Costa, Mocha and CCD have thus become my fav hangouts.

Life’s not bad, but life could certainly be better. I’m enjoying reading Anita Nair’s “Mistress”, and I make the most of my weekends by catching up on movies (Breaking Dawn this weekend!) and visiting malls (Phoenix is hugggggggeeee!)

Work has become monotonous to an extent despite my trying to fire things up. One of those phases where nothing new happens and whatever does, doesn’t succeed. I’ve, however, crossed an important milestone – I no longer let people’s opinions about me hamper my relationships or alter my actions or choices. As long as I know that the people who matter don’t misunderstand me, I’m happy doing what I want without caring what others think. Gladly, it’s brought about a positive change in most people, so no complaints / regrets.

Went to Mumbai 2 weeks ago for my brother’s birthday. 11-11-11. Broke my glasses. Met my nephew. Had a pretty decent time. I don’t really like Bombay much. Home is where the heart is, and I’ve grown to love Pune. Been here all along, somehow every effort of mine to desert this city have been thwarted, so methinks Pune adores me too much to let me go… It’s now mutual…

Not that I approve or appreciate Pune being bandh coz Sharad Pawar got rightfully slapped in Delhi. Politics and corruption can be dealt with in no milder way.

Kolaveri di, Sachin’s 100th century that was not to be, and Abhi-Ash’s baby girl are making news. But obviously you all know about it, so there’s nothing new that I can add. I hate news anyway.

Simply put… I don’t know what else to write about for now… So, leme introduce myself in Spanish (and show off my newly acquired language skills as well! After all, I’m top of my class and the centre of attention and translation / comprehension!)

Buenas tardes! Me llamo Anuja soy india. Trabajo en IBM. Soy entrenador. Vivo en Pune y mis favorites colores son azul, blanco y rosa. Mis amigos son Deepti, Porky, Bloody Angrez etc. Mi cumpleanos es el veintitres de Julio y soy Leo. Tengo veintiseis anos. Hablo ingles, marathi, hindi, un poco punjabi, aleman y espanol. Estudio espanol en SIFIL. Soy alta y rica, ni soy baja ni fea. Yo prefiero cerveza y vino. Mis aficiones son nadar, escuchar a music, cantar y leer. Me gusta mi vida.

(Figure that out yourselves, my lovelies! Ain’t gona spoon-feed and translate for you!!)

As a parting shot, let me share with you some amazing lines that I read in Mistress… I hope you like them as much as I did… If you don’t, that’s ok as well…

“Trust me. That is all I ask of you. And trust your intelligence. Don’t let someone else decide for you what is within your reach or what is beyond you.”

“Love lives in the present. All else is memory and hope.”

“… stirring in me much of what I have steeled myself to never feel again.”

“I feel nothing for him except perhaps a habitual annoyance”

“… and then it occurs to me why I would never ask Shyam for the moon. I hate having to ask.”

A successful artist isn’t always a good artist or even a happy one.

Cliches are clich├ęs because they are true

“… born with noble blood… could have been heroes… instead they let their dissatisfaction with their destinies curdle their minds, and so they turned out arrogant, evil…”

“You cannot make someone see the truth unless they want to.”

“… with arms that do not touch… with only his eyes… he lets her know he desires her… his smile gathers her in his arms…”

“Learning to like Shyam requires an effort that neither of us wants to make. He makes it so much easier for us to dislike him. Though there are others that think differently. What do they see in him that we don’t?”

“How perfectly they complement each other… There is grief in this, I can already see it happen.”

“I don’t know why I’m doing this. I am not impulsive. But something about you makes me want to be. I’m not questioning my impulse, perhaps neither should you…”

“I knew I shouldn’t stay yet I didn’t want him to be the one to want to leave.”

“His face lights up. Hers, too. And I feel a darkness cloud my eyes.”

“I couldn’t rob an experience from her even if was a mistake.”

“I do not know if what he has told me was to ease his burden or mine.”

“It had been easy to play the valorous hero in front of others. Alone, he had no disguise to hide behind.”

“You will know when you’re ready. Only you can decide that.”

“It is the nature of children to never allow their parents their youth, mistakes or fears.”

“People make mistakes. There is nothing wrong in admitting you made one. But to continue making that mistake, now that is wrong.”

Hasta luego!

Yours truly :-)

Princess

Friday, November 18

Now reviewing …

“I’m not twenty-four…I’ve been nineteen for five years…” by Sachin Garg, the author of “It’s First Love”.

Thus proclaims the cover of the second book I received to review by Blogadda last week.

(Thanks, Harish and team. Awesome initiative!!)

I’ve never heard of “It’s First Love” and I have no clue about Sachin Garg. My hopes were not too high, given that the genre was fiction (read chic-flick), and most small-time/new authors tend to have very limited imagination and vocabulary.

Sounds biased and discriminating? Well, it actually paves the perfect way for me to be pleasantly surprised.

Alas, this was not that time…

Like the first book I got from Blogadda - “The Ineligible Bachelors” by Ruchita Misra – it was a fairly decent effort. While not on my list of top 50 reads, it was certainly not a complete waste of time.

But let’s talk about “I’m not 24…” now.

Garg has gone to great measures to title every chapter and personalize the book. I believe he could have used that time more productively to come up with a plot that was more captivating. I am not sure if this book is a biography – apparently somebody related this story to the writer, who in turn made it into a book, by retaining the tale and changing the names. Either way, it leaves much to be desired in terms of uniqueness and un-put-down-able-ness.

Let me say this at the cost of breaking a few hearts and trashing a few dreams – everybody’s life may have a story, but not everyone’s story can make it to the shelf.

But let me tell you a little more about the story before I tell you my assessment of it…

The novel tells us about Saumya, a regular Delhi belle, who has hopes and wishes akin any other regular cosmopolitan-city-dweller. Her world turns topsy-turvy when her job leads her to a godforsaken place far away from civilization. She intermittently hates the place and likes it, and experiences her share of surprises and shocks. Until finally, she falls in love.

Not bad at all, was my thought as I turned the first few pages. I was reliving my own story – my elation at being placed with Tata Motors at the end of my M.A. in Psychology at Pune University, replaced with confusion coz I was expected to work in varied departments before I finally chose what job profile I’d like to settle in. Not entirely the same as Saumya’s MBA placement, but pretty much analogous.

The straightforward narrative and simple language ensured that the book was a quick read.

(Being me, I would obviously prefer more ornate English and a higher level of maturity. Yet, I can’t blame the author for this, as the intended, I’m guessing, teenage audience would probably find it more relevant and relate-able.)

As I grope for positive things to write about, I recall Saumya and Vartika’s true friendship, Saumya’s honest bursts of emotion and observation, and the concept called Malappa. Quite charming.

Giving out more details about the above would not be right, so let me tell you about what didn’t work for me. The Mills and Boons kinda sex part grossed me out – it’s not everyone’s cuppa tea to write with finesse about something as sensitive as erotica, that too, in a teenage novel. Also, I did not appreciate the condescending statements made about the learning and development fraternity. But let’s forgive the writer’s prerogatives…

The protagonist’s outrage at her work location and dress code were described competently, while the gory organizational mishaps left a bad taste in the mouth. No doubt intentionally, so that we could empathize with Saumya and her woe.

Enter Shubhro, and the story takes a turn for the better. The way he is portrayed, it’s tough to not like him. A couple of times while reading, I caught myself wanting to know more about the intriguing Shubhro and his “Move On Theory” than about Saumya’s predictable feelings and reactions.

Saumya is charmed by this young man, and as things turn out, he’s crazy about her as well. Happy love stories are still in vogue. Or not…

To be fair to the author, I’m going to stop my re-telling of the story here.

What I’m certainly going to tell you is that the book has both, pieces that can be skipped and those that can be re-read. How you judge Garg’s effort, would be based on your exposure to the world of books. As Anita Nair’s “Mistress” lies on my bookshelf halfway read, “I’m not 24” pales in its magnificence.

Garg could fare better if he worked a little on his writing technique and language. A more impactful story would make the reader “feel” … and that’s the real victory of an writer…

Obviously, the plot has to have some merit. And something distinctive from the run of the mill fables and yarns.

Simply put, “I’m not 24” is not a must-read by any standards, but a day’s timepass if you fall short of reading material.

Back to “Mistress”… !!! Woohoooo !!

Cheerio!
Princess

Monday, November 14

Secrets Untold

Smith wed Veena a little before his 33rd birthday.

He had broken up with Elena, his girlfriend for 7 years, a year ago. They made a lovely couple, Elena and he, everyone had said.

But not everything is meant to last.

Time had brought Smith and Elena together, and it was time that had driven them apart. So much so, that the last time they had met, there was nothing common between them, nothing to talk about.

They used to chat for hours earlier, spend days in each other’s company, talking about their agreeable married life together. And it had all vanished. Without a trace. Memories lingered, but they fade with time. As both had discovered.

If not truly discovered, at least forcefully convinced themselves.

He thought her stubbornness was to blame. She said it was not exciting anymore to be with him.

Whatever the trigger, Smith and Veena were now pronounced man and wife.

Did Smith love his spouse as much he had Elena?

How did it matter? They weren’t together anymore – said Elena’s friends.

Elena thought differently. “So what if it doesn’t matter directly”, she said to herself, “I know that he felt for me in a way that he’ll never feel for anyone else ever again.”

Elena was hurt when Smith did not invite her for his wedding. Maybe it was a good thing, considering it would be an uncomfortable and difficult day for the both of them. But Elena expected something more personal, after all, they had spent 7 years together, first as colleagues, then friends and finally lovers who squabbled and romanced as most couples are wont to do.

She wanted to believe that Smith thought about her every now and then. She wanted to believe that he missed her, though she was completely sure he would never contact her. That was one obvious thing about Smith – he was fiercely loyal and would never jeopardize another’s faith and his character.

Elena wanted to know if Smith was happy…

"Are you, Smith?"

No one would ever know.

Coz some secrets stay hidden forever…

- Princess

Friday, November 4

The Most Eligible Bachelor(ette)

No, I aint her.

Don’t wana be either.

Can’t deal with all the compromises and pretensions that come with being the most “eligible”.

The expectations that people in the community have are endless, and to live up to each one of them is downright impossible.

It’s amusing how a woman is asked to “adjust” and “give in” when a male suitor comes her way, but the guy is free to reject if the girl does not match up to his hopes and ideas.

Hypocrisy to the core!

This coming from people who are well-educated and worldly-wise… Haa! Joke of the decade, eh? Make it century… millennium even.

All of us by now are aware that guys can gallivant and philander all they want with so called “bad” and “modern” girls, but when looking out for a spouse, they go by what their mummies and aunties, uncles and daddies say. The guy might drink and smoke like there’s no tomorrow, but when they assess a girl, she has to be pure vegetarian and dress traditionally.

WTF?

Given, quite a few men and families are now quite “liberal”, but girls are still reared to expect that men might dither and deviate sometime or the other, but they’re supposed to be accepting and tolerant, and even supportive in his endeavours, come what may. Their own lives, personal or professional, has to take a backseat when the man wishes or requires so.

Reminds me of Mona Lisa Smile. The movie that aptly portrays how Wellesly girls are not really being educated to pursue a career, but merely groomed as in finishing schools so that they may one day become some career-oriented gentleman’s wife and partner. She cannot expect anything and has to make do with everything that her hubby can provide or spare her.

Ridiculous!

But hell, that’s the way it is… Be it a movie set in 1954 or the real 21st century.

I pride myself on not being the regular Marwari girl with oil in her hair, modestly attired, looking pretty and cooking well for every unwanted guest that plans to spend a month at her mother’s place, just so that her reputation as a kind, homely girl can do the rounds and win her some matrimonial proposals from some grouchy boys and their families.

No sirree.

I have a personality and a life of my own, and I am not afraid to dream, expect and demand. So what if it makes me notorious in society? At least I would be a known devil to whosoever deems me a possible companion. Not that there aren’t any. But their passion and liveliness, honesty and wisdom has to match up to my own. Tough, not impossible.

(I hope!)

I look at people, often women, who are living someone else’s interpretation of life, and it saddens me no end. To not be free to even imagine a life for yourself, to be unable to experiment with life and learn from your own mistakes, it’s such a pity! And what’s worse, these folks don’t even realise it!

I’m not here to change the world. I’m not here to teach people how to live. I’m not here to do anything that I don’t want to do.

But I know there are people out there who could certainly benefit from a lecture or two!

I look at them and smile. I see their vulnerabilities and disguises and ache to share the power of being unique and strong.

Am I unique and strong?

As much as I allow myself to be.

I falter, we all do.

The trick is to not give up.

The trick is to give yourself the freedom to explore and to forgive yourself when you seemingly err.

The most eligible bachelorette – I could never be her.

The most bestest person I can ever be – I’m being her.

Almost every moment of every day.

And if it doesn’t please you…

Too bad.

Cheerio!
Princess

Saturday, October 29

Hearts of Gold

Some meet none.

I’m lucky to have met more than a few in my lifetime.

Don't need a thank you day to say this, I'm thankful for them every moment (even when I'm pissed with them!)

Say hullo to these abso-flippin-lutely fantastic folks... Not mentioned in any specific order.
Each of them are unique and special and incomparable.


Dr. Satish Pandit – The bestest doctor ever. He practices Ayurveda, which a lot of people scoff at, and quite a few swear by. Honestly, to me, it makes no difference coz he’s got a magical hand. This wizard can delightfully and effortlessly set right anything that’s not right. He’s not crude and heartless like some other physicians I see, know or hear about. His smiling face heals half the trouble, and his medicines do the rest. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve met in life, I think I’m blessed to know him. He’s got an answer for everything that aches your body and mind, and he knows the remedy for every malady, be it a simple cold or the most severe illness. Probably his bestest feature is that he doesn’t prescribe needless tests or expensive and complicated treatment. He calls a spade a spade, and cures your fears and fevers as simply and quickly as is humanly possible. Isn’t that what being a medical practitioner is all about? One person for who work is really worship! May god give him a long and healthy life. Just like he grants to so many other people… I’d be lost without him.

(Coincidentally, I'm unwell right now and he's on vacation and I'm eff-ing annoyed with him... but that's ok... he deserves his holiday!)


Ameya Gupte – A beautiful person and great friend. We met at work, and I couldn’t care less about who he was or what he did. But when we connected, damn, did we hit it! We were inseparable, and now though our ways have parted, we still nurture a million memories and a thousand laughs. He’s a gem. Completely reliable and amazingly humorous. The extent to which we think alike is incredible, and with him around, I know I have nothing to worry about. Ever. Coz he’ll be there… Love you, bud! Wish you all success, fun and girls in life ;-)


Shila Rathi – My aunt. She drives me up the wall at times, but her awareness about everything under the sun, outspokenness and sense of justice astound me. She is forever thoughtful and she pampers me like a spoilt child. In my times of celebration and difficulty, she has somehow always been there. And that’s really important because I clearly remember that no one else from my family was. She’s got her shortcomings, but who doesn’t? The fact that she is available for anyone that needs help expunges all her faults and failings. God bless her.

(Coincidence again... as I'm writing this she's traveling to Amravati to see her ailing mum. God bless her, too.)


Rakshith Shetty
– Another person I met at work and grew to became great pals with. Very sensible and extremely considerate, though he sometimes behaves like a callous, irritating nutcase. His maturity and patience sporadically impress me, and we’re in splits often over seemingly stupid jokes. When I am not beating him up, I’m sharing my never-ending observations, issues and PJs with him. Then depending on how he responds, I hit him again. And if I get hurt by my own mistake, he gets it all the more. So you see, it’s a fairly balanced relationship that we have. What are friends for, after all… right? Be there, mate. Else you know what’s coming… (Bam Pinch Bash Slap Punch Kick)


Sumant Jena – The most eligible bachelor I’ve ever met, and the perfect husband now, I am sure. I knew he’d be a great life partner even before I knew him as a friend. How did I meet him? At work again. (I think my workplaces have given me immense experience as a person and professional, as well as people and memories for life.) We’re not in touch anymore, and I don’t think we ever will be, such are the ways of fate. But that does not stop me from ranting about how awesome I think he is in every way. Hardworking, caring, sincere, responsible, honest… I could talk about his excellent qualities for hours. He’s always taken a helluva lot care of me, and I hold him in complete respect for that. He’s been perseverant and though we’ve had our fights, I’ve no complaints whatsoever. He’s infallible. I hope he has a great life and all goodness comes his way...


Sarika Lodha – Hmmm… I can’t decide whether I love her more or miss her more. I think I do both equally. There was a time when my world revolved around her. We were closer than the closest siblings, and I’ve never felt that way before or since. More disciplined and headstrong than me, less daring and audacious, and my well-wisher and guide, Sarikadi has been a great friend and companion. We chatted endlessly into the night, enjoyed gigantic chocolate cakes (when she wasn’t dieting or fasting), and shared a deep bond that all this distance has not been able to kill. She’s now married and has a bonny beautiful kid, and we haven’t met in years (at least it seems that way). Even our conversations happen once in months, and are sadly inadequate and decorous. Yet, I feel touched and bothered by her troubles, though they don’t seem to impact her as horribly as they sound to me. Very tolerant, this woman is. Wonder how. Wonder why. But I sure don’t wonder how lucky anyone who knows her is, to have her in their life. Intimately, I mean. She can be quite un-like-able at first meet, but once she allows you to know her, she’s super sensitive and super amazing! Love you, Di. Please stay in touch. And I request you to give yourself some importance and freedom. Stop being so conscientious and right all the time!! Others can take care of themselves sometimes. Even as I say this, I know there’s just no convincing you! Bear-hug and sloppy kisses you to you, my angel. Be happy always.


Hearts of Gold… The lot of you…

Not the end of the list, by any means... Will write about some more soon again :)

Thank you for entering my life and leaving a mark. Just don’t ever leave!!

Happy Diwali my lovelies ...

Blessed and forever grateful,
Princess

Monday, October 24

The (In)eligible Bachelors

First of all, thanks Harish and the BlogAdda team for sending me this book to review as part of their varied initiatives. It's a fab idea, methinks. Spread the hobby and cheer, and get reviews in return. What wouldn't I do to get a full-time job of enjoying the finer things in life - eating out at swanky joints, traveling to exotic locales, reading millions of books, AND being paid for my opinion!! Swooooon...

Ahem. Pardon my flight of fantasy.

The (In)eligible Bachelors by Ruchita Misra (RM, for the sake of brevity) is (fortunately and may I add, surprisingly) fairly good book. It's not outstanding, it's certainly not a drag, and possibly the best way to describe it would be genuine and interesting. No pretensions, and absolutely no claims to being revolutionary - the book is a quick and engaging read.

The author profile caught my interest, quite a ticking brain this pretty damsel's got; she’s an MBA and triple gold medallist from IIFT Delhi. Neat, eh? The thank you note, too, was very endearing. RM’s got an flair for writing, and thankfully better than average English. I’ve made no bones about how I immensely resent any and every IIT/IIM student giving vent to their non-existent writing skills. This book, for a change, has a range of vocabulary and few typos that can be pardoned. Whether this compliments the writer or the editors, is their call. To me, it's a pleasant observation.

What's the novel about? As the title suggests, the story revolves around a Kasturi Shukla (revolting name, if you ask me; no reason why I should think so apart from freedom of thought and expression) and various situations that come her way when she takes up a job while her mum is hell bent on getting her hitched.

If you think this spells meeting innumerable potential grooms in typical Bollywood style, falling in love with the proverbial jerk, goof-ups at work and outside, living through perpetual stress and distress - you're not mistaken. This is exactly what the plot is all about.

What particularly stood out were the honest emotions, genuine thoughts and real people. You can relate to exactly what the folks are thinking and feeling as various situations arise and ebb. I laughed out loud quite a few times, and I can’t recall having done that in ages. So, good going there!

Parts of the novel reminded me of Bridget Jones’ Diary, especially where the protagonist Kasturi writes about her fears of being found dead at home with a dog. The structure, too, is similar – it’s a diary that spans various days over 8 months in 2009 (often even hours and minutes, especially those that are highly amusing and relate-able).

RM takes us through the conventional settings with ease and humor, and presents an action-packed masaledar concoction that is replete with accidents, goof-ups, and relationships that predictably break and blossom.

Some scenes that stayed with me much after I’d turned the last page…

(Skip this if you don’t appreciate spoilers!)

- A typical girl’s dilemma over wanting what she doesn’t want, and feeling undervalued even in circumstances where she’s better off being misjudged…

- “Women don’t admit their age. Men don’t act theirs.”

- How Kasturi ridicules the name and behaviour of the suitors that she is forced by her mum to meet “for marriage purposes”… Her choice of terms is fantastically insane!

I still don’t understand why recent books and movies have to have the proverbial gays – is it like a lucky charm or something or are we just ensuring that we grab every opportunity to appear forward and accepting? Yet, I shall pardon that, as RM hasn’t dwelt much on that aspect.

Overall, a commendable effort, for a first book. I expect a lot more from this lady and will be watching out for her next, which I'm sure will be infinitely better. The magic number this time round - I'd say 7 on 10.

Time to hit the shelf... Mistress by Anita Nair's next !!!

Cheerio!
Princess

Wednesday, October 19

You got the Look...

I look at you… and I see you looking right back at me.

Does it fluster me?


Not at all.


Well, maybe.


Yes, actually. It kinda does. Coz I see so many things in your eyes.


Pain. Coz you miss me.

Jealousy. When you see someone else sharing a laugh or heart to heart with me.

Yearning. Coz you know things would seem better no matter how bad they really are, had I been by your side.

Frustration. Coz you think I cannot see your loneliness.

Anger. Coz you think your misery gives me joy.

Revengefulness. Coz you want me to suffer and feel what you’re feeling.


I do.

I totally see what you’re going through.


You always knew I knew what you thought and felt.

I still do.


And I know you force yourself to hate and ignore me.

And it doesn’t work.


And that bugs you probably a little more than the fact that I seem so blissfully unaware and merry in my own life.


You detest me for being happy.

You resent me for not being with you.


You gave me no choice.

You pushed me away.


So many times.

In so many ways.


I just had no other option.


I thought we were meant to be.

I was so utterly sure that you were my one and only.


But I found it hard to keep up with your heartless disappearances and complete lack of priorities.


Yes, I gave up.

I couldn’t fool myself no more into believing that you truly, loyally, unconditionally and selflessly cared.


And that you would do so forever.

Till death do us apart.


As I look at you now, giggling away, trying to show it doesn’t matter and you’re doing very well, thank you… I wonder… Are you aware of your own pretenses? Coz you’re sure as hell not deceiving me.


God bless you.


Love always,
The One You Couldn't Have


Thursday, October 13

What's Up !!

All fiction and no personal update make Life… a dull blog

And hence, I present to you what I’ve been upto over the last few days…

(Weeks? Ahem.)

Now where do I begin? When I completed a year at IBM? (May this year.)
The catastrophe that shook me several months ago taking the form of my Lasik surgery at the jerk Darak’s clinic? (July 2011)
Or my Ladakh trip in August?

I think good times make great beginnings. So Ladakh trip it is.

You’ve no doubt seen the many snaps on Facebook and the multiple posts on Leh-Ladakh that I shared for the benefit of hundreds of travel enthusiasts. I must say this again at the risk of sounding redundant, you MUST visit this destination. It’s marvellous. And completely mind-blowing.

September kicked in with a bang – Ganesh Chaturthi brings a cheer to entire humanity.I voluntarily chose to give up non veg cuisine for the 10 days that Ganapati lives with us, but then, anything for Lord Ganesha. He’s after all, granted me everything without my explicit requesting, and he’s also the son of my most favourite and handsome god Shiva.

Did I tell you I finished reading the Secret of the Nagas? While I was extremely appalled and annoyed that Kali and Ganapati could be called Nagas, I loved the book much better than the first. Amish has built up the plot fabulously, and I think the final book will be even grandiose. And controversial.

I also read The (In)eligible Bachelors that was sent to me by BlogAdda to review. It’s a rib-tickling chic lit novel written by the extremely witty and funny Ruchita Misra who believes in writing it as you feel it. However, the detailed assessment belongs to another post, as promised to and requested by Blogadda. Will publish it once they give me the go ahead... But it's not bad at all, for a first timer.

And then of course, Navratri happened. And Dusshera. Many good wishes to you all!
(Psst – read what some folks posted as their FB update on the day of the festival - “Dassera is a gentle reminder of the consequences of fooling around with someone else’s wife”… ROFL!)

The tiresome paintjob at home began then, which is still incomplete. Grrr… There’s just no order and professionalism around this stuff.

Even at the State Bank of India where I had to do something as simple as open a savings account in order to start a PPF account. An hour only to get the form, another half hour for the incompetent woman at the counter to check it, then two weeks for the form to lie around on the desk, only to be entered into the system when I went a third time for an hour. I mean, WTF? I have accounts with HDFC, ICICI and Axis, and not even with one did I have to undergo such an ordeal. Everything was systematic and effortless, not to mention pleasant. Bloody government servants at SBI. No sense of responsibility and zero agility. They ought to be flogged and taught how to EARN a living. By actually using their brain, being good to customers and working hard. Grrr…

But let’s focus on the good (again). I’ve had an eventful fortnight, basically because the first week of October was full of holidays. Club Miami happened, the discotheque in Marriott, very close to my place. As did so many movies. Yippee!!

I’d been wanting to hit Miami for a long time, but opportunity didn’t strike before October 1. I brought in Gandhiji’s birthday at this ostentatious club, where sexy chics flaunted their moves and attire, and average guys boogey-ed with their poisons. The music was so-so till midnight, and then it caught on. The club shuts at about 3 am I believe, which is cool, and even the entry/cover does not burn a hole in the pocket. Plan a trip to Miami this Friday/Saturday if you enjoy nightlife. You won’t be disappointed.

With that off my list, came movies. None planned and all excellent, fortunately. Johny English Reborn, Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster, Real Steel and Soundtrack. All worth a watch in this age where most movies are a waste of hard-earned money.

JER stars Rowan Atkinson, that funny serious man more famous (notorious?) as Mr. Bean. While his “charm” remains, the comedy is wittier and thankfully less brainless. I was in splits right from the start right uptil the end. A thoroughly entertaining film with not one dull moment.

SBG was a flick that my movie-hungry friend dragged me to, as I was completely aghast and against watching this pervert-postered enterprise. Surprise surprise. The dialogues and scheme were splendid, and my friend walked out visibly pleased with herself. (Dippi, you still owe me Tere Mere Phere! It’s not Bacche, WOMAN!!!)

Real Steel was real cool. Hugh Jackman is gorgeous and the tiny kid has done a terrific job as well. Robot-fighting is something I’d never watched before, so this movie was very fresh and enjoyable for me. The entire crowd in the theatre was rising in applause and excitement, so you can imagine how impressive the film was.

Soundtrack would’ve been sweeter had it been shorter, but again, good movie.

Not giving you too many details, but as I said, go watch them. They’re not bad at all.

Two great people died within a week (day?) of each other - Steve Jobs and Jagjit Singh. What a loss! RIP, you both. You were magnificent folks, and there shall never be another like you…

Two places I hung out at – Durvankur and Doollally. I know, I know. I can’t mention them in the same vein as they’re poles apart. One’s a Maharashtrian thali food place, the other’s a brewhouse at Corinthians. But both mighty good. Durvankur used to serve better grub earlier, though it still commands endless crowds. Doollally is a place that I’d never graced before, but the ambience (outside) is relaxed and fun. Not to mention they serve their own beer – Bohemian, Wheat, Smoked Ale, Apple Cider – the complete history and trivia of which was explained to me with great enthusiasm by one of their biggest aficionados. Merry company and a delightful evening…

Andddd… Da-da-da!! I’ve joined the Spanish class at SIFIL. FINALLY!! The weekend batch I’ve enrolled for begins Oct 15 and ends Feb 5. Which basically means that there’s gona be no more late Saturday nights for me, but hell, this has been pending long enough! Are you ready to deal with this Senorita, readers?!!

Something interesting that came up the other day. “Half the lies they say about me are not true”. Yogi Berra, an amazingly funny man. Check out his quotes - http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Yogi_Berra

So much for fun, now let’s get serious…

I’m taking on a few new initiatives at work. Planning on doing novel things that are exciting me and simultaneously making me nervous. But then, it’s not for nothing that they say - “Someone who’s never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

Busy times up ahead!

Obviously shan’t forget you :-)

Gear up for Diwali!

(Bless the Hindu calendar!!)

Muchas Gracias!
Princess