Tuesday, March 30

Movie Aur TV


Heard of Aditya Narayan’s debut in Shaapit? Ya ya, the same lad who became famous for his song “Chhota bachha jaan ke…” in Masoom and his role in Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai starring Salman, Twinkle, Johny Lever.

Shaapit “introduces” the handsome youth with boyish looks as the lead hero in a horror movie. Now let’s give Adi the credit for emoting well, his face speaks a thousand words. Unfortunately his acting kills it all. Bad is an understatement. He’s managed to make the most sentimental of scenes funny by moving in a conscious, awkward way and delivering dialogues in what is called a “ham” style.

I don’t entirely blame him though, for this disaster. Shweta Agarwal, also a first-timer, although cute, shares Aditya’s inability to act. But the one who deserves all those rotten eggs and tomatoes is the dialogue and script writer. WHAT were these guys thinking, for Lord’s sake?!! It’s a shame that after Raaz and 1920, Vikram Bhatt has this debacle to his name.

The flashback is quite gripping – a prince tries to rape a young girl, and her father, a renowned pandit, curses the family that no daughter will ever marry. If she tries to, she will die. Another parallel story shows that the king’s wife plots to kill her husband and stepsons in order to ascend the throne. However, she is duly punished, but not before she makes arrangements to haunt the palace until many years to come.

You might have guessed that Shweta is a girl from this cursed family, and her lover boy Aditya desperately wants to marry her. Why they can’t just have a live-in relationship is a question I can’t answer, but that’s how it is. After enlisting the help of Prof. Pashupati (similar to Ashutosh Rana’s role in Raaz), the folks set out for their rendezvous with the ghoul – a crazy looking, wall-climbing, water-gliding banshee who is ridiculously slow and stupid. The creepy factor as compared to Raaz is poor, and the climax is stretched no end. Definitely not paisa wasool, definitely not a must-watch.

What you can watch at least once is this show called Mahi Way on Sony. Produced by Yash Raj Films (YRF Television), the soap is about this pretty, fat, intelligent, emotional, bubbly dame called Mahi (brilliantly played by Pushtiie S). She is real and likable, your typical girl next door who loves mushy stuff and dreams of Prince Charming. Her career, love life, and everything else is in the doldrums. Living her topsy-turvy life, Mahi is not afraid to admit she is not exactly joyous when her best friend patches up with her here now, gone then boyfriend. Excellent presentation, wonderful characterization and simple dialogues. This one’s a hit for sure.

By the way, Khatron Ke Khiladi shall soon be back again. With a bang. Coz this time, it’s not Khiladi Akshay who will host the show, but the lovely Priyanka Chopra who will be daring 13 cricketers to do daredevil stunts. Here we go! Another very lucrative reason for our players to ignore their real responsibility and avoid the field. Wasn’t advertising and making public appearances in various shows sufficient? Grrr…

Anyway, mera kya jaa raha hai? Jisko jo karna kare. How long can one wise person govern and guide the entire globe through a personal blog?

Arre, did you know MTV now screens movies every Friday-Saturday at 7 pm? They showed Raaz 2 and Fashion last week, and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na this week. Quite a refreshing change, eh? I bet they’ll show all nice and latest movies. The Tickr at the bottom of the screen displays informational and sarcastic comments about the movie and the actors. Keep watching!

I was thinking why girls like Emraan Hashmi… Now don’t tell me they don’t. Maybe not physically. But boss, the guy’s a whiz when it comes to passion and romance. He isn’t afraid to show his love or possessiveness. He knows how to make his woman feel special verbally and physically. He knows that showing that you want someone is almost as important as wanting that person. This could be done in various ways - showering her with small or expensive gifts, giving her a peck when she’s least expecting it, or looking at her with longing even as she pays no attention. Try it guys. It works. I’m a woman. I ought to know.

And I DO KNOW. You ought to know that, if nothing else ;-)

Happy weekend!


Friday, March 26

Did I Marry the Right Person?

Got this mail a long time ago, and thought I'd share it with you. The wedding season is here, and with all those arranged and love marriages happening, this is a good time to put this out in the open.

(Also, this comes at just the right time, as we've been talking about relationships in the last couple of posts...)

Those who are single may learn something from here for future reference. And those that are engaged or married, this holds the key to making your relationship more effective and satisfying...

Q : How do I know if I married the right person?

Here's the answer...

EVERY relationship has a cycle.
In the beginning, you fell in love with your spouse/partner. You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and liked their idiosyncrasies (unconventional behavior/habit).

Falling in love wasn't hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn't have to DO anything. That's why it's called 'falling' in love... Because it's HAPPENING to you.

People in love sometimes say, 'I was swept of my feet'. Think about the imagery of that expression. It implies that you were just standing there, doing nothing, and then something came along and happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is easy. It's a passive experience. But after a few years of marriage, the euphoria of love fades. The excitement dies.

It's the natural cycle of EVERY relationship.

Slowly, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse's idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts.

The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship, but if you think about your marriage, you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your spouse might start asking, 'Did I marry the right person?' And as you and your spouse reflect on the bliss of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when marriages breakdown. People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment.

Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most obvious. Sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances.

But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage.

It lies within it.

I'm not saying that you couldn't fall in love with someone else. You could.

And TEMPORARILY you'd feel better.

But you'd be in the same situation a few years later.

Because :

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. It'll NEVER just happen to you. You can't 'find' LASTING love. You have to 'make' it day in and day out.

That's why we have the expression 'the labor of love'. Coz it takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it takes WISDOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to make your marriage work.

Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed with your marriage.

Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger. It's a direct cause and effect. If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable. .. You can 'make' love.

Love in marriage is indeed a 'decision'.. . Not just a feeling.

Remember this always:
"God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go".


Nice, eh? Definitely made me "feel" good, more positive in a way... Hope I can make this work in reality... Sick of the frustrating relationships around me!

All the very best to you too!


Tuesday, March 23

Water Baby is Back!


What’s rocking mates?

Lest I forget, leme inform you right at the outset that you are requested to turn off all the lights and switches for an hour on March 27 between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm. Abhishek Bachchan entreats us all to do our bit for the WWF Earth Hour 2010 campaign. I’ve put a reminder on my cell, and it would be nice on your part to join in this save-our-environment crusade.

I know some of you might have issues with it being a Saturday night and your favorite movie/show/IPL cricket (Kings XI Punjab vs KKR at Mohali) would be aired. But c’mon ya, what’s one match compared to the longevity of humankind?

My service to the cause (partly) done, I can now move on to other topics. Duty first. Fun next.

But hey, there’s another duty that I need to fulfill. And that is to say a big THANK YOU to all you readers and followers. The latter size has now increased to 35 and it makes me tremendously happy to see some known names/faces and others who are unfamiliar yet kind enough to join the gang. Gracias fellas, and while I appreciate your silently following my blog, I would love to hear from you about the things I write and things you would like me to write… There's over 310 posts on "Life..." now, and aap ki dua rahi toh ye ank baddhta jayega :-)

Right. So, now I gotta move on and tell you about my tryst with the waves. (Well, not exactly waves, but the ripples in the swimming pool.) Yeah! I've started swimming after a gap of almost a year. Same place, Law college pool, but a different coach this time (thank heavens!) The last one, if you remember, guided or rather directed us from outside the pool. The current one is a sweet old man who is as wonderful a teacher as he is a person. He taught me to breathe while doing the breast-stroke in 2 days (something that the previous snob hadn't, in about a month). And I'm already learning the back-stroke, which he says I should be done with, in about a week. Woo hoo!!

My aqua adventures predictably include my observations about the ladies who join me in my batch every morning. And guess what, they're still the same...

Actually, women never change... And that's as good as it's bad... Ahem.

As I do my usual laps along the length and the breadth of the pool, these jokers giggle around the sides and dish out their daily gossip about who went where and what happened to who. They chat non-stop about what their husbands and siblings did, which school friends they recently met or heard about, and where they're planning their next vacation - in full detail. In the drift of their engaging conversations, they often drift into the centre of the pool disrupting the SINCERE strokes of DEDICATED swimmers like ME... Bah! If their arms and thighs got as much exercise as their tongues do, these aunties wouldn't have such huge butts and tyres to carry around...

What's also a little embarrasing for me is that I recognize these women only when they are clad in swimsuits and caps. Put them in salwars, tracks and jeans, and I have no clue if I've ever set eyes on them... They smile at me, and I wonder which swimming costume this dame belongs to...

The bad news is I got a ding again. This time it really hurt, because it was from Michigan Broad that had interviewed me in Feb. Looks like my American dream is as good as over. Am I really so hopeless that 4 out of the 5 universities I had applied to, found me not worth admitting? Its true that I had been extremely optimistic while choosing my b-schools, but Michigan and Texas definitely had my confidence. This blow has left me shattered; bring on the boys, Mamma... Leme get married and settle down. There's nothing else to look forward to and plan for...

(Austin, yup, they're still considering my application. But the miniscule amount of hope I have left is super eclipsed by my readiness for being rejected yet again.)

I visited Lavasa on Sunday. It's about 50-odd kilometres from Senapati Bapat Road. The city is still under construction, there's not much to see or do, but I hadn't been there before so my gang of colleagues set out for a picnic... Our first ever! It was sunny but the ride through the ghats and highway was wonderful.

(For those of you who don't know, you don't need permission to enter anymore. I believe you did earlier. So, anyone can just hop in and move about, enjoy the water sports and laze about in the pretty gardens along the roadside...)

Well well well... I guess that's all I have got to share today.

Be back later, alligator!

Take care!


Friday, March 19

And the reason is You...

She liked him. He liked her.

Was it love? A burnt child dreads the fire. Both of them did not want to know.

They looked lovely together.

Neither knew what would happen later, but they were content with being with each other for the present. The haze which loomed in the future did not eclipse their laughs and chemistry. Life was good.

Some relations only give joy, and others only sorrow.

She had had a lot of the latter, and it was only fair on destiny’s part to give her this gift of a delightful, beautiful relationship that promised joys, gratification and security.

They sat huddled next to each other on the sofa. A few common friends occupied the chairs in front of them.

She wrapped his arm around her waist. He looked at her and smiled. The tenderness in his eyes made her forget that she had ever been lonely.

He stroked her hair, he held her close. He could not bear her moving away from him to greet another friend. He felt so nice with her, so complete, so much at peace.

Onlookers glanced at the duo. Some visibly envied their intimacy, some wrinkled their nose in disgust as they secretly felt jealous. They looked so much at ease together. They had eyes and ears only for each other, and their hands did not part for one second.

Is love only manifest when two people decide to tie the knot? Is love only true when two individuals vow to live together for life?

What about those who stay united in their hearts despite the million miles and thousand traditions that separate them?

She sang along as the DJ belted out a favorite track. He gazed at her appreciatively.

She was so right for him. This woman, who understood him and bore no ill-will at heart, fulfilled all that he had ever desired. Sexy yet simple, jolly yet mature, naughty yet caring – she was a little more than perfect. What wouldn’t he do to have her forever?

The atmosphere was rocking. The music was terrific. She felt a little tipsy with the wine. She was content. Contented that there was a guy in this world who not just adored her and wanted to be with her, but could also manage to keep her happy. She seemed to be asking for too much by wanting this from her self-proclaimed “lovers”. This guy was sweet, this guy would have been just right for her if only…

He clutched her palm and asked if she was ok. She nodded. He asked if she wanted another drink in that case. They smiled.

Sometimes it took so little for life to be wonderful. A warm hug. An affectionate word. A drop of rain. The absence of pain.

Who knew where they might be a few years hence? They were together now, and that was fabulous enough…


And a lovely song by Hoobastank…

I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know...
I've found out a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is You...

I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with everyday
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
And be the one who catches all your tears
Thats why i need you to hear...
I've found out a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is You...

Take care!

Monday, March 15

That Ruckus Called Relationships

What makes people fall in love with the very folks they should stay away from? Is it some peculiar attraction? Is it a tendency? Or plain foolishness?

She’d heard about patterns before. That psychological thing unique about every personality, about how some individuals tend to do or choose some things over the others out of sheer habit. She had not realized she was possibly falling under the same category.

Maybe she wasn’t. She just thought too much and read between the lines too often. Sometimes needlessly.

But then, what had happened this time? Hadn’t it occurred before? Her meeting someone who seemed so perfect, not objectively, but for her. All she wanted was a lot of affection, care and attention, and she in return, single-handedly took charge of all the troubles and ambitions that the other had. No matter that the guy did not have a bike, had hardly any money or social life. If her requisites were met, she made sure that life for the both of them was rosy and rocking.

It started off amazingly well. Always did. The two of them needed nothing but each other, and they could not bear to spend a moment apart. Even if distances separated them, they were always connected by technology, concern and love. It looked like life couldn’t be better, that destiny and the gods were smiling down upon them and granting them all their hearts desired.

They laughed and they talked incessantly, they shared every single thing and feeling. Waiting for the next opportunity to meet caused anguish and parting was worse than bidding goodbye to life itself. Hearts were always warm and amorous, eyes couldn’t get enough of each other, arms yearned to take the other into an eternal embrace. Life was beautiful…

And then, it so turned out that “each other” was not good enough. Petty arguments became the order of the day, and not a single hour could they pass peacefully with the other. No one really knew how or why the fights started, but it was obvious that things would never mend again. Cracks always show when the attack is deep. The wound stays long after the injury mends.

Of course they tried. Tried long and hard. Tried with sincerity and with laxity. Tried with hope and with frustration. Did not work. The other’s words and actions grew unendurable and being together was intolerable.

“I want to be with you” she thought, “and yet I cannot… And ask me how it hurts… To choose to be away from the very person my heart is dying to caress and love.”

Every day she saw couples outside her office window, zooming around on bikes. She saw couples at the coffee shop she frequented. Couples thronged the areas she was familiar with, and she could not help but observe what they were doing and saying.

“C’mon baby, you know I don’t want to hurt you” murmured the guy sweetly as he stroked the girl’s chin and tears streamed down her cheek.

“Hahaha… And then he came to my place and I wouldn’t let him in. Then he…” grinned a girl enthusiastically.

“So, did you get the notes for that class?” asked a young boy of his equally young girlfriend.

“My cousin’s coming over tomorrow. I don’t think I can go for that gathering…”

And so on.

Topics many and topics varied. Topics funny and topics sentimental. Topics light and topics intense. Different couples living the different shades of life and love. Just like her. Would they end the same way she had? Some might, some she hoped not.

What exactly goes wrong when people decide to end a relation? Why do couples break up after proclaiming their happiness and passion to the world?

Is it because they are posing to be someone else when they are with the “loved one” and they get tired of holding up this image? Or do preferences and priorities change over time? Does love die or does understanding fail to survive? Do empathy and patience abandon the people involved? Does “I” become more important than “YOU” and “WE”? Maybe all of the above…

The reasons many, the consequence the same. THE END.

Read a saying somewhere -
Relationships are like glass... Sometimes it is better to leave them broken than to try and hurt yourself putting it back together...

The emotions varied… Ranging from hurt and broken to lively and happy, calm acceptance to frustrated unease, and at times, dilemma over whether to be or not to be… Saying “I’m happy” as you sob pitifully, and expressing your loss while smirking involuntarily.

Beauty? Money? Intelligence? Status? Humor?

Nothing is as essential as Love… Acceptance… and Tolerance.

Things to prohibit?

Ego… Insolence… And the desire to hurt.

And when the tongues wag and tempers soar high, just call for a time out and get back when you can explain yourself better. DO discuss, coz if you avoid, it’s gona come back one way or the other at one time or the other.

What to say when you’re sharing notes? Just keep it short and simple, say what you felt when something happened, and why you liked/didn’t like it. Voila! The route to more effective relationships. Why keep raking the past and future and making generalized comments that serve no purpose except screwing matters and moods?

Good luck, to you and to me.

Love always,

P.S : Found this touching paragraph in the Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. Just had to share it with you and preserve these lines and emotions on my blog for life... It's on page 340, Chapter 1 of the Third Narrative by Mr. Franklin Blake.

“I went abroad, resolved – if change and absence could help me – to forget her. It is, I am persuaded, no true view of human nature which denies that change and absence do help a man under these circumstances : they force his attention away from the exclusive contemplation of his own sorrow. I never forgot her; but the pang of remembrance lost its worst bitterness, little by little, as time, distance and novelty interposed themselves more and more effectually between Rachel and me.

On the other hand, it is no less certain that, with the act of turning homeward, the remedy which had gained its ground so steadily, began now, just as steadily to drop back. The nearer I drew to the country which she inhabited, and to the prospect of seeing her again, the more irresistibly her influence began to recover its hold on me. On leaving England, she was the last person in the world, whose name I would have suffered to pass my lips. On returning to England, she was the first person I inquired after…”

Friday, March 12

Hey Ya!

Hi folks.

Hows life ya? I’m doing pretty well myself, thank you. Of course, there are the usual ups and downs, but then when is anything perfect anyway?

At work, I’ve not much to complain - I’m taking communication training for a batch of 6-7 perky students and spending the rest of the time doing some recruiting and socializing (no tomfoolery… obviously).

The rest of the time, I’m either playing with chhota baby at home or doing masti with friends.

And intermittently, I find time to fret about the absence of a response over my MBA applications and the lack of direction and progress in my life. I mean c’mon! Either I get to know that I’m going to the US for my further education, and I continue working even as I arrange for the loan and other things. Or I am told that I’m not going and I increase my access to better jobs and matrimonial columns. As wonderful and relaxed my life is now, I still want to move ahead in life…

That’s how matters stand at the moment.

My reading of the Moonstone is not complete yet. It is indeed an unusual detective novel; unusual because it does not capture events and descriptions in the traditional manner. Instead it asks people who witnessed the movement of the precious stone to describe the events they experienced first-hand, no hearsay involved. So, the story consists of narratives by the butler, some relatives, the detective, the lawyer, etc. Not bad at all, I must say. I’m quite enjoying the book because it deals with the attitudes and thought processes of the narrators themselves, a thing that certainly fascinates me given my knowledge and interest in Psychology

Wassup with TV, you say? Well, I’m thrilled that my all-time heartthrob VJ turned actor Rannvijay has broken up with his girlfriend, VJ turned actor Anusha. The girl never deserved the hunk, leme tell you. Langoor ke muh mein angoor… He’s still hosting MTV Roadies, and while I do not watch the show religiously, I happen to know that there’s just one girl (Priyanka) left on the show and some fine men like Amrit and Ameya have been kicked out. This season lacks memorable characters, and so, the TRPs may have been hit since the last time. Even Splitsvilla, The Player and other reality shows suck. What a waste!

I find VJ Ayushmann and Jose of MTV very dashing and witty. Their shows MTV Fantastic Five and MTV Wassup are quite agreeable and comical. Riya is bubbly, too. Wonder who their newest catch is – wasn’t MTV hunting for a new Video Jockey?

While we’re still on the topic of reality shows, I guess you are aware that the gobbledygook called Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayenge is over . Thank heavens! As I’ve told you before, the elder brother had a weird weakness for it, and hence, the updates were forced down my throat. Harpreet, Dimpy and Nikunj were battling their way to the pedestal of Mrs. Mahajan, and I openly admit, I was dead sure Harpreet would be the chosen one. Kamsin kali of just 20, she had stars in her eyes when she looked at monkey man Rahul, and everything about her screamed “perfect bride”. However, Mr. Monkey put the var-mala over Ms. Ganguly’s head. Congrats Dimpy Mahajan. (Thank your bloody lucky stars silly girl Harpreet!)

About movies, I read decent reviews of Atithi … and Rokkk in the Sunday Times. I’m not sure if I’ll be watching either though. With a working Saturday, it’s hard to find time to catch all the latest releases. Going to the cinema in the nights is impossible coz my family has to stay home with Bhabhi and baby, and I don’t usually watch late night shows with friends. I’d much rather go out clubbing and catch up on gossip rather than sitting in front of the big screen for 3 straight hours.

Hey, it was nice to see a lot of men wishing ladies on Women’s Day. As expected, I got some messages from men who felt left out and ignored on this day. Worry not, guys! I shan’t forget to wish you on International Men’s Day… It falls on November 19 :)

Here's an SMS that I received from a buddy that I met at the ISABS event in Goa last year, a sincere message forwarder called Mr. Mohan from Suzlon... Yunnnjoy!

(It's in Hindi)

Bechara Mard...
Agar aurat pe haath utthaye to zaalim, pitt jaye toh buzdil.
Aurat ko kisi ke saath dekhe toh jealous, chup rahe toh begairat.
Ghar se bahar rahe toh awara, ghar mein rahe toh nakara.
Bacchon ko daate toh mean, na daate toh laparwah.
Aurat ko naukri se roke toh shakki, na raoke toh aurat ki kamai khane wala.
Ye bechara aakhir jaye toh jaye kahan, kare toh kare kya?!!

Take care!

Monday, March 8

Happy Women's Day!

I know some of you think that male-bashing is my favorite subject and pastime. But trust me, I love both genders for their peculiarities and specialities. In fact, I’d say that I like women as they are connected to their and others’ emotions, and I like men because they are fun company.

(Want to expand your vocabulary? A man-hater is a misandrist and a woman-hater is a misogynist.)

Know what? Just like men want to fool around with a sexy siren and marry a virgin, girls want to date boys and finally wed a gentleman. Fair enough, eh?

Anyways, let me wish all you female readers a VERY HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY.

(I know ladies say they don’t think just ONE day needs to be celebrated, but they love the pampering nevertheless, so let the passion flow!)

And the men who are reading this, move your butt and start wishing the feminine folk around you.

(They’ll hate you less, though they might poke fun at your sentimental side. So they laugh at your expense and start liking you; not that bad a deal, right?)

Here are a few ways to make your woman feel special today… some that I’ve thought of myself, and others that I’ve picked off the net. Oh, and you might check out 10 things while you’re still reading this…

1. Tell her you love her. A hundred times. (You do that already? All right, make it a million. Don’t stop.)

2. Do something to surprise her. (I mean surprise, NOT shock.) So, give her flowers or buy her chocolates or anything else that she likes. It could even be not leaving the towel and dirty linen around or taking her out for an impromptu coffee or drive. Or even keeping everything aside and spending some quality time just listening to her…

3. Tell her how special she is, and how your life is so much better because of her. Make her feel wanted and adored. Thank her for her commitment and sacrifices. And mean it. Saying sorry is not such a bad thing…

4. Treat her the same as your friends. Of course, give her more priority and be protective and courteous, but don’t make her think that you relax and enjoy more with your gang than with her. Share your problems and plans, and make her feel involved and respected. Take her opinions and know her desires. After all, she loves you! Don’t make her feel taken for granted, disrespected or not taken seriously. And most importantly, DON’T treat anyone else the same as you treat her. Let her be the sole recipient of all your excesses and granted liberties.

5. Let people “see” that you love her. Oh yes! A woman thinks a lot about what others think of her and her relationships. So, if you can show that your love “shows”, then she can’t argue that she cannot “see” your love. Confused? Don’t bother. Just do it. Private compliments, praise in public, light PDA like holding hands and caressing her (if appropriate), chivalry and romance – bring it on!

Well, five is a good number for starters, and if you can do all of the above, I can guarantee you a more blissful relationship with your partner.

Right, ladies? ;-)

And if there’s NO one to make you feel special, why weep? DIY or Do It Yourself is the name of the game… Watch a movie alone and eat all the popcorn yourself (WOW! No sharing!), go shopping and buy something unusual like a weird shade of lipstick or corset, or just take a quiet walk in the park or sit by the lake… Life is beautiful and you’re your favorite person!

Love ya!

Friday, March 5

You're my Honey Bun, Omi!

Never told you about my family history, did I?

I’m talking about “family” in the nuclear sense, because I have neither the time and energy, nor the data and enthusiasm to write about all the people and details that came before that.

So… My family used to consist of 4 people in till 2007. My parents got married in 1979 and had a handsome, naughty boy in 1980 followed by an intelligent, sensible, caring, smart, adorable girl (guess who?) in 1985. (So now you know my age, happy?!! Maybe not! ROFL)

My bro wed a sweet, nice girl in 2007 and thereafter, I had to correct myself each time I uttered “Aap teeno” or “Hum chaaro”… Sudhir, Madhu (originally Madhulika), Anand, Shruti, Anuja… The Famous Five.

That was till Feb 9, 2010.

Starting Feb 10, 2010, the Rathi family comprises 6 individuals – 3 men and 3 women. God’s sense of fairness and equivalence!

Yessss… My family was gifted a baby boy by the Lord. A bundle of joy that came into my family and multiplied our hope and happiness a thousand-fold! Oh my god, he’s so cute, I can’t tell you. Fair and good-looking like my brother, features as sharp as mine and what’s more, he has the ability to set us all racing with a shriek, sob or whimper.

We haven’t named him yet – he was born in the Mul Nakshatra, and his Janma Akshar are Bh, Dh, Fa and something equally inconvenient. So, all of us who had names ready for his christening now have to scratch our heads and use our networks and surfing skills to come up with a name that he wouldn’t be ashamed of owning up to. (Badmash baby! Aate hi sab ko kaam pe laga diya…) Temporarily and consensually, we’ve agreed on Omansh. Unique name, eh?

Omansh Anand Rathi – the OAR of the Rathi boat!

I was actually wondering how to relate this experience to you. And what better way can there be, I thought, than picking up some quotes online and using them to express exactly what I see and feel at home?

Here’s the first :

A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for - Anonymous

The author is unknown, but I bet all of us who have ever interacted with a baby and its family know the precision and veracity behind this statement. Me and my brother who didn’t see eye to eye before the baby came now murmur in approval when the other does something that calms the baby or makes him smile. I can’t wait to get home after work and play with the angel, happily sacrificing my time with the friends and colleagues. (Yeah, he sleeps most hours of the day, so I end up talking to myself more often that to him, but I enjoy it nevertheless.) I don’t scream for silence when there’s pandemonium in the house like I used to. (Gosh, I was a terror feared by my family and servants! But with the baby at home, I know who’s boss. Gladly.)

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one – Leo J. Burke

Clever chap, Burke… The kiddo is our prince and we are all servants, waiting on him hand and foot. So, if he moves a limb, one of us pounces to see if he’s not comfortable, and if he moves his lips, one of us whispers to ask if he’s starving. If he cries, the person handling him has to face the music!

A perfect example of minority rule is a baby in the house - Milwaukee Journal
Having a baby dragged me, kicking and screaming, from the world of self-absorption - Paul Reiser

The Maharaja that he is, baccha doesn’t let our affection and worry hassle him. He sleeps on… well over 16 hours a day I should think! Obviously, his resting does not imply we can put our feet up with ease, coz he gets hungry and wets his clothes without even bothering to wake up. So, we need to keep checking irrespective of his wakefulness or declaration. And the most interesting part is, I, who values my sleep so much, get up with a jolt at the dead of night and rush to the baby if I as much as hear him sighing… That’s what a child in the family does to the toughest of us all… Abba and Ammi also visit us more frequently… The house is often full and bustling with energy… Thanks to Omu! Man, I love him! And my mum, I think she’s hardly slept these two weeks since the cute fairy came home to live with us… The poor darling. Love her, too… A little more :-)

The worst feature of a new baby is its mother's singing - Kin Hubbard

Ahem, no comments.

Hahaha... Sorry Bhabhi… You know I’m kidding. I love the way you love the baby. It shows in your eyes and your face when you look at him. Congrats, girl! You’ve made us all very happy and proud. Muaaaahhh! Love you…

Having a baby changes the way you view your in-laws. I love it when they come to visit now. They can hold the baby and I can go out - Matthew Broderick

Hehe. This is true at times when I really have an urgent or attractive commitment. For example, when I need to get ready for work, I thank my lucky stars that there is someone else to take care of the baby. At other times, I can’t bear to share the baby with anyone else – not even his dad or mine!

If your baby is "beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand, an angel all the time," you're the grandma! - Theresa Bloomingdale

Right, Mum?!! Stop fretting about our baby. He’s a fine boy and he’s going to be bright and healthy and illustrious just like his Aunt Anuja ;-)

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body - Elizabeth Stone

Don’t need to tell you that hum sab ke dil ka tukda hai wo. When he cries, all of us rush to him and scold the one handling him, be it his mom who’s devotedly feeding him or the maid who’s massaging him lovingly. Sucha lucky boy! He twists all us adamant and egoistic Rathis on his little finger. Ab Rathi hai, toh ziddi to hoga hi… Hehehe.

A baby changes your dinner party conversation from politics to poops - Maurice Johnstone

Baby ne aaj ye kiya, baby dekho kaise kar raha hai, baby is smiling! That’s all we speak day in day out nowadays. Mum manages to ask me how my day was at work, but all the rest of us can see, think, feel is baboo, baboo, baboo… He’s the apple of our eyes. Nazar na lage mere bacche ko!

Aahhh… I could go on for ever and ever about my sweetie pie, cootchie coo, sugarplum. He makes me feel so many emotions at one and the same time… The first time I picked him up, I was anxious about being able to handle him correctly and I was also enchanted to feel his soft, warm skin. I was filled with marvel at how a tiny, living thing had grown inside my sis-in-law’s womb, and also angry when someone spoke anything belittling him. I feared his wellbeing when he was kept in the NICU, and I celebrated his homecoming…

Oh baby, you make me feel alive… You make me feel so different…

Thanks for enriching our lives and hearts. We love you, for now and forever.

I pray God gives you a long, healthy, happy, wealthy, successful life and all your desires come true.

Aatya’s always gona be by your side.

My everlasting promise to you, cuddly-wuddly pixie!

-Anuja Buaa

P.S. : And guess what?!! This blog has been chosen as one of BlogAdda's Spicy Saturday Picks... Omi, you're famous already baby! Thanks, Harish and the BA crew :-)

Monday, March 1

My Name is Anuja, and I'm NOT Calling Karthik

Happy Holi, world-mates and countrymen!

(Ain't one of my favorite festivals, but a lot of people I know are crazy about Holi. Enjoy, then! To each his own.)

I know I owe you the review of My Name Is Khan, and I'm going to give it to you though late. I saw it last week, but did not get the time to write my analysis given that I had to fill you in with my trip details and other assessments. Here you go, now...

Would you be surprised if I told you I LOVED this movie? Guess not. You are aware how much I adore and admire Shahrukh Khan, so I was bound to like the film under any condition. Add to it my indignation at MNS and their stupid reaction over SRK’s support to Paki cricketers. I mean why the hell do we talk about India being a democracy, everyone having freedom of speech and desiring to build peaceful relations with neighbors and world-mates when we can’t even allow one of our biggest icons to spread cheer and unity? And then such an ideal celebrity is punished by having his movie thrown out of theatres? How fair is that?!!

Anyway… I was told by a few people that the movie is not too great, quite boring in some places and certainly not as magnificent as publicized. These reviews did not deter or bother me. I was definitely going to watch the film and I’d made up my mind beforehand that I’d like it. I’d heard the songs, and they sounded melodious; my favorite is Noor-E-Khuda, but Tere Naina and Sajda are just as nice.

Let not my stubbornness and opinionated chatter mislead you – the film is indeed lovely. Here’s why. In three words – SRK and Kajol. The pair has rocking chemistry, man! Their friendliness and comfortableness really shows when they interact with each other. Not to forget the fact that they’re both good-looking and outstanding actors who ooze sincerity and passion. They bring alive their characters, Rizwan and Mandira, as though they were a part of our lives. And Mandira’s kid from a previous marriage (Sam – Yuvaan Makar) is cute and handsome. A happy albeit unusual family, utterly believable.

Truth be told, I’m sick of 9/11 and the stories revolving around it. There was New York, then there was Kurbaan, and now this. Yeah, the film isn’t entirely based on that fiasco, but it does touch upon the suspicious and inequitable way in which all Muslims were treated after the blast.

Why does Rizwan Khan have to meet the President? That is the question everybody is asking in the movie. And it is also the question that most people ask after watching the movie. Silly folks. The point is not why does he have to go and tell the President that he is not a terrorist. The point is (and I’m borrowing my friend’s words here coz I couldn’t find anything that was more apt…) that his beloved told him to do that, and even if she had told him to go to the moon, he would!

Ok, let’s start at the beginning. So, SRK plays Rizvan Khan, a Muslim boy from India who has Asperger’s syndrome – an autistic disorder in which a person has difficulties in social interaction. So while SRK is a brilliant chap with mechanical and cognitive faculties as marvelous as in Swades, he keeps repeating words and actions, and fears crowds, noise, things that are strange and unfamiliar, and the color yellow. After the demise of his doting mother, Rizvan goes to the US to live with his brother Zakir (Jimmy Shergill) and his congenial wife Hasina (Soniya Jehan). His brother puts him to work as a salesman for beauty products and his work leads him to Mandira (Kajol), a hair stylist.

It’s love at first sight for Rizu, and he tries all that he can to get Mandira to marry him. Which involves serenading her and finding out places that she’s never seen before. Mandy has a sad but brave past of her own, and she decides to tie the knot with Rizu coz he’s so sweet and nice at heart. The trio start living happily together and everything is rosy for a while. Then 9/11 happens and life goes haywire for the Khan family, because of their religion and surname. People start avoiding them, and the kid loses his life in a racial assault. Happy times over.

Mandira can’t bear this heartbreak, and blames Khan for her loss. She tells him to go inform everybody in the world that he is a Muslim but not a terrorist, that all Muslims are not bad. Rizu has no idea why he is being accused, but he can do anything that a loved one tells him. So, just as he fulfilled his mum’s wish by settling down in a happy family, he sets off to fulfill his spouse’s command. On the way, he comes across various people that he forges a bond with and spreads the message of love, peace and goodwill.

There are some heartrending scenes where he is tortured and maltreated because people find his (Asperger-related) behavior suspicious and his name (Khan) threatening. Each step that Rizu accomplishes and each person he endears on his difficult journey strikes a chord with the audience. Shergill, Parvin Dabbas, Vinay Pathak, Navneet Nishan and the cute tomboy from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (Sugandha Garg) occupy trifling roles.

The songs and their situation are extremely apt and emotive. Though Rizwan’s dominance and influence on the American media and citizens is a tad questionable, it is not unpardonable. So, thanks to Rizvan’s sensitive and caring nature, a small town called Wilhemina is restored alongwith its residents. Because he becomes so popular, the US President himself calls him upon stage and congratulates him on his courage and devotion to the people. Mission impossible attained. Cheers!

My name is Anuja, and I suggest you watch this one. My rating – 8 on 10.
(Could have been a bit shorter.)

Broadening the scope of Rizwan Khan’s message: All Indians are not terrorists.
(Balls to those who are. Hate you, scumbags.)

I also saw Karthik Calling Karthik over the weekend, and my verdict is boo! It's not innovative and it's not extraordinary. I mean, a schizophrenic who records voice messages for himself - just how WOW is that? I hate Farhan Akhtar and the movie belongs to him, but Deepika looks stunning though her role ain't meaty enough.

A Rubik's cube depicts Farhan's life when it is a mess to being perfect. He's used like a punching bag by colleagues and bullied by all those around him. His life changes like never before... courtesy his namesake calling him every dawn at 5 and counseling/training him. The transformation happens night after night when Karthik talks to Karthik, until the loser becomes the king with the perfect job, the perfect life and the perfect girlfriend. And then, life goes downhill, when he screws his own life. Happy ending, obviously. Don't ask for more details. Not worth it.

Farhan's a torture on all senses, and without my passion for "Hey Ya" and 2 packets of popcorn, I wouldn't have been able to sail through the movie. Avoid. Watch Teen Patti if you must; it's got a better review.

Asta La Vista!


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