Monday, November 26

The RIGHT time

What’s with the “right” time bullshit?

I mean really… Who are you to know right from wrong? And how is one supposed to be aware of the status of Father Time if one does nothing about it and only keeps waiting?? What if life doesn’t offer you that opportunity again???

Its maddening…

“Wait for the right time”. “All in good time”. “Samay se pehle …”

Useless jazz. Perfect excuse to procrastinate. The maha mantra for lazy losers.

We sing “If tomorrow never comes” and we enjoyed “Kal Ho Na Ho”. But they are not the way we function and think. Of all the million things we have learnt to do, to prioritize right is not on the top of the list. Work takes precedence over relationships, and money becomes more essential than people. We read about stories like life is a cup of coffee and life is a mayo jar but the moment the story is appreciated and done with, you move on and live the same way that is a given…

The urgent stuff that means little is done first, and the important things that must be done soon are kept on hold for ever and ever.

The “right” time is NOW.

No other time will ever be as RIGHT as the current moment.

Got a dream, pursue it. You may not be alive to do it tomorrow.

Just like Jimmy Shergill says in Munnabhai MBBS when he is told he will not live long; he said he was too busy arranging for everything and postponed his dreams. He thought there would be time later for his personal fulfilment after “necessities” had been taken care of. Guess what, the “right” time was not bequeathed to him. He was not fortunate enough.

I know there are some things you cant put off and you must do even if you don’t wish to. Being responsible is not an easy or enviable affair.

I know I am guilty of it. I preach, and I try, but I often fail.

There are so many people who express a desire to meet me, and I cant because I get tied down to various other personal and professional commitments. There are so many times I cant do what I really want on a weekend as someone has commanded or requested us to do something that they consider critical. There are so many reasons that well up as obstacles and hindrances when I plan anything.

But the question is how long can you keep someone waiting? What if that person does not stay and leaves forever? Voluntarily or forcibly… What if you are denied the chance you were hanging on for??? Will you be able to forgive yourself then? Is the thing you gave precedence to, worth that loss???

I know you are thinking of something or someone as you read this. I am glad you are…

Atleast you have that someone or something to look out for, plan for, wish for…

And if you aren’t… Well, who am I to tell you what is right and wrong? If you haven’t met anybody that crossed your mind a few seconds ago, then nothing else matters…

The minute you ask yourself, “what is more important?”, you will have your answer. The way to go about it, you can always figure out. After all, you know best… Whether you do anything about it or not…


Cut the crap… go do what you must for the people that matter…

Nothing else matters but their smile. For the small things that you can do now.

Joy is not always sold at a million bucks and big cars and posh flats.

Don’t wait for the big fat laughter that you may not see 10 years later when you have “taken care” of everything else that YOU thought was more crucial.

NOW is the time.


Friday, November 23

Shades of Love - Book Review

So, I received this anthology of short stories edited by Ankit Mittal from Grapevine. Its called Shades of Love, and as the name suggests, it includes 25 stories all based on various emotions and situations that revolve around the four-letter word.

Now I'm not very fond of short stories; they seem too detached and incomplete to me. Like either the author or the reader is too lazy and does not have imagination or the inclination to supply the root or fruit to the tale, thus, merely projecting a trunk and stopping there. The disconnected tales require me to take a break after every story, and hence, such a long time to read a book of short stories. But anyway...

Love, is a term that we all talk about and all know too much about. Obviously enough, since movies and soaps drill every scenario, possible or otherwise, down our throat, nothing is unique or shocking anymore.

So, not surprisingly, most stories that comprise this anthology are pretty mundane and predictable. Bollywood movies like 10 Kahaniya, Rockstar, Tum Mile, and some other supernatural/psycho and infidelity films will all cross your mind as they did mine when I turned the pages after extended intervals.

Some stories seem pretty autobiographical, some "inspired" (if you know what I mean) and some very genuine and profound. Some, I found, ended abruptly and left you famished for more. Others were so obvious that the anti-climax hit you long before the last word. Or left you furiously frustrated at a silly end.

One story that really had me jumping off my chair with astonishment and appreciation (a welcome change from all the other "been there, done that" stories) was Crimson Puzzle by Akanksha Bhatia - quite a twist. Good job, babe. The book could have done with some more like you and yours...

I casually glanced through the author list and found quite a wide array of last names - South Indian, North Indian, Bengali, Marathi, Sindhi, Punjabi... Quite impressive and a very diplomatic idea. Nobody will feel left out - Tiwari, Choudhary, Singh, Rai, Bhandari, Kapur, Banerjee, Kumar, Rao, Malhotra - they're all part of the kitty. Also noteworthy is the fact that the last page has an open invite to all folks who'd like to contribute their stories for future Grapevine publications. How cute is that...

The editing could have been better - I dont expect all writers to be grammar geeks but its the least I would expect of an editor specially chosen for this task. Glaring errors in terms of the syntax, spelling and vocabulary stared me in the face hindering the smooth flow of the story. Call me old-fashioned or detail-oriented, but these aspects are exactly what editing, to me, is all about.

A small but noticeable confusion for me occurred when I saw the writer belonged to a particular
gender but the story did not, at the outset, clarify what sex the protagonist belonged to. How that makes a difference is a question that I will certainly answer : it makes a world of difference since the way you perceive men and women is not the same and hence, when you imagine their feelings and demeanors, you ought to think from a gender-specific perspective. Like, if a man says "I was standing outside her window" - I know he must be looking around, checking his Watsapp / BBM / Facebook, munching on peanuts or gum, and oggling at other passers-by. But when a woman says the same thing, she is nervously fidgeting and glancing back and forth to locate the object of her desire.

I mean a girl would say something like "I want to be all that (he) wants" but for a boy, that is not

really that important a thing... He'd probably say that he wants her happy, and this need not mean that they are necessarily together when she's having a gala time. A boy may not object to a girls' night, but most girls sure would feel a little restless when their partner is at a boys' night or bachelors' party.


Never mind...

All in all, this is an interesting purchase for the "Chicken Soup" lovers or teenagers who find a struck chord in every story they read or see. For more widely read folks, umm... skip. Or maybe borrow and read then return :-)

Happy Thanksgiving, fellas!! And be good...
Don't take God, people and things for granted. You may not know its value until you lose it, and then it may be too late...

With "lowwwe",

Saturday, November 10

Creativity Cut

Heard of power cut? Pay cut?? Job cut??? Kut-cut????

These are the adverse times of what I would call the “Creativity cut”.

People just don’t seem to be coming up with novel, outstanding plans anymore. Borrowed ideas and stolen visions take shape in the form of “inspirations” and substandard stuff is sold through means like books, movies, soaps, etc.

No wonder then that books like Kane and Abel, Mahabharata and Fountainhead happen once in a decade. TV serials too, be it their plot or humour, rely totally on things that have been said or directed in the past. Fortunately, Three Idiots and Taare Zameen Par happen every year since we have an Aamir Khan in the film industry. Hollywood, too, is gifted with some exceptional creators and producers and so, no complaints there.

Which brings me to what I’ve recently experienced and hence, arrived here to talk about:
1920 Evil Returns and Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana in Bollywood and The Bankster by Ravi Subramian in book-world.

Let me confess, I loved 1920 Part 1. I did not initially watch it on the big screen since I had heard the silliest of reviews (ditto like Ragini MMS), but when I watched it (both the movies actually), I enjoyed them thoroughly. Being a big fan of horror, I liked the way these movies were made, and though 1920 was not 100% original in terms of ghoulishness, I did appreciate the way they’d incorporated it all.

1920, in contrast, was stupid. The dialogues were disastrous, the casting was pathetic, the scenes and plot were tardy, and the songs agonizing. Let me elaborate:
- Dialogue : “Duniya mein har cheez ka toh ilaaj nahi ho sakta, par tumhari beemari ka ilaaj karna bahut zaroori hai” – sheer brilliance, eh? Especially when spoken to a possessed woman in a completely irrelevant situation.
- Casting : Vidya Malwade in Chak De did a pretty neat job, but she looks like a transsexual (cross-dresser) in this one. And after telling you that Aftab is the lead in this film, I think my point is sufficiently justified. The heroine Tia somebody, too, looks sick (even when healthy) and her acting is sick-er.
- Scenes and plot : Nothing special to talk about, it has all been out there forever. Yes, a ghost back to take revenge does sound a little intriguing, but let me assure you, nothing else is. 
- Songs : What would you say when you hear “Hum bhi tanha  the, tum bhi tanha the, mil ke rone lage…” My response was stop this shit before the audience starts bawling…

Having said that, let me waste no more time and effort on 1920. Vikram Bhatt, hay hay.

Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana (LSTCK) has been made by those who created Khosla Ka Ghosla and Dev D. You would obviously expect a grand fare served modestly given this knowledge. I would not call this flick a disaster, but it sure was not a treat in any sense. Punjabi munda goes to UK and proves himself a bad penny who needs big bucks and hence returns to plunder his once looted family’s wealth. There’s no treasure there, except for the secret recipe for a chicken dish – a Darji special. Mindblowing performance by the chachiji and mamaji in the movie, and I found the heroine gorgeous.  While not anywhere close to a 10 on 10, this movie is a decent 7. Kunal Kapoor is not hero material, and I think he should have stopped at teeny roles like the one in Rang De Basanti. Just like the movie should have stopped at 2 hours (or lesser) instead of approximately 2.5 hours.

The problem with Indian movies and books is that the creator does not know when to stop. Just coz I’ve paid 250 bucks does not mean I want the movie or book to drag well beyond the enjoyable or endurable.

Unfortunately, I shall say the same about Ravi Subramanian’s Bankster. The author used to be a banker and therefore, most of his stories revolve around the financial and banking domain.

No problem with that. After all, my blog is full of relationship and love banter dotted with these occasional reviews that are becoming more frequent.

What IS wrong with the book, is that … One, it stretches. Two, a plot does not have to involve several geographies to become a hit. Three, the suspense is frustrating. On multiple occasions, the author mentions a call or a conversation and does not write what it is about. It is NOT exciting. The third time this happened, I was tempted to jump to the last page and skip the mystery altogether. What I did end up doing is keep the book away for a while and then resume reading since I had a review to write in less than 2 days. Blogadda keeps us on a leash, and I am not one to ignore deadlines or need reminders. Possibly why I keep getting 2-3 free books to review every month.

More about the book… The backdrop is a global bank, money laundering scams, political drama and corporate “relations”. People are getting murdered one after the other, and there is no saying how and what occurred since it is all part of one smart, greedy plan. The summary at the back appears far more interesting that the entire story actually is, and I can really recount not one scene where I was held spellbound. The intricacy of a few scenes is overdone, and that kills the thrill rather than whets it. I remembered Harry Potter’s gash on the forehead when the author describes one character, and you would not be surprised to find other resemblances to folks written about and seen somewhere or the other.

I’m struggling right now to tell you more about the book, coz I don’t want to give out anything that mars the climax. All I will say is that the author is nowhere close to being John Grisham, as the front cover proclaims.

Please, please, oh please god… give me my daily book and daily movie which is not a dud!!

Until then,

- Princess

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