Wednesday, September 25

Filmi Reviews and News

Now the self-proclaimed movie critic that I am, I feel it my absolute responsibility to update you on the movies I have seen and my opinion about them.

(Tired of such posts. Guess what? Don't read. Scroll down or to the next page. Coz this is MY blog. Buhahahahaha!)

(Sorry, that's not nice of me. I know. Just find me a job that pays me to write reviews on tourist destinations, movies, restaurants and all things heavenly and nice, and I promise to stay off your back. Buhahahahaha again!)

So, the movies facing judgement today are: We're the Millers, Grown Ups 2, Phata Poster Nikla Hero (PPNH), Horror Story and regrettably, Grand Masti. You might recall that I'd named these very same titles in my previous post, and I fulfill all my movie vows with utmost sincerity and dedication.

My dad says that movie-makers spend umpteen crores to make films so it is our duty to shell out 100 bucks to watch their creations. Unfortunately, going to a cinema hall no longer is a luxury available at INR 100 unless you go for a day show in a second-grade theatre. Which is precisely why I thank God for our Reliance high speed internet. Films are downloaded in a few hours flat, and I have plenty stored for a rainy day (or for a dry one when I plan to stay indoors and not move my lazy a$$).

So, while Horror Story and PPNH were fortunate enough to be watched in movie halls, the rest were all viewed at home on my Dell laptop (which has been acting up since hubby dearest had it repaired at some shady techie shop).

Nonetheless, he's also the one that got the internet resurrected. It's even. Maybe.

Horror Story had nothing horrible apart from the acting. All the newbies (which I am not taking the pains of introducing) are a pain to the eyes and ears. The characters are far from effortless and novel. Same old ghisa-pita shit about a haunted hotel and silly youngsters who want to make their last party together unforgettable. The ghoul (who looks like Helena Bonham Carter aka Bellatrix Lestrange of Harry Potter fame) is a madwoman who died in a mental hospital which is later rebuilt as a hotel. The story has its nail-biting moments, but they do not justify the length and necessity of making a full-blown Bollywood flick. I had greater expectations from Vikram Bhatt of the Raaz legacy. I dragged my poor husband to it. For you, my advice is please avoid. Don't waste time. Take your dog for a walk, re-watch Pet Cemetry or Conjuring. Doze off. Do anything else. Just don't watch Horror Story. You'll regret it. Right down to the silly actor Achint who has a "s / sh" sound swap and the witch that keeps singing "Ring-a-ring-a-roses"...

Ditto for Grand Masti (GM) 2. It is disgusting. I would rather watch a porn movie followed by Comedy with Kapil if I wanted to LOL. GM fails miserably at both purposes - does not tickle the libido and does nothing to exercise your jaw muscles. I wonder how people can make pathetic distasteful films like these and not only tarnish the prequel but also hint at producing a third washout. Aftab, Ritesh and Vivek have a few funny scenes and dialogues but overall the movie is an abomination. And I'm not saying this coz I'm a girl, even boys have hated the sick humour. It stinks!

We're the Millers (WTM), Grown Ups 2 (GU) and Phata Poster Nikla Hero (PPNH) were way better than all of the above and definitely worth a watch.

WTM has four almost strangers - Jen Aniston, Jason whats-his-last-name alongwith Emma Roberts and Will Poulter playing the Miller family as they have to smuggle narcotics to America from Mexico. There are numerous gags that have you ROFL as each of the characters has their own personality and whims. How they come together and how the task is carried out makes for an entertaining 2 hours. Do download and check out.

GU 2 is good, though not as great as the prequel. All the actors and characters are interesting and hilarious. Jacob from Twilight (Taylor Lautner) is the bad guy this time around who bullies the wimpy seniors and needs to be taught a lesson. Adam Sandler is just too cute and his daughter's as adorable as ever. Perfect for watching with friends and family or even alone. Don't miss this!

And finally, Phata Poster Nikla Hero. PPNH is surprisingly brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie right from start to end. Shahid's entry is fabulous and his dialogues are mindblowing. What else do you expect from the person who wrote for Andaz Apna Apna? Rajkumar Santoshi has unleashed his magic once more. Uptil the interval, there's not one dull moment. I did, however, find myself wishing that there were fewer songs and even fewer romantic scenes. Fun is the USP of the movie, and they should have stuck to that. But I guess Ileana D'Cruz would have little to do then. So be it. While the climax is nothing extraordinary, the actors have certainly done an appreciable job. Do go for this one, especially the "Main tere agal bagal" track :-)

Having said my say of filmi gupshup, let me fill you in on some gossip. There are stories about Hrithik Roshan and Suzanne getting divorced. While some say this is a publicity stunt for Krrish 3, most people are denying that this is true. Married a good 13 years ago, the couple have beautiful kids and it would be a shame if they broke up. Separation is always ugly. In my world, divorce is not an option. Once married, you're hooked for life (unless of course, there's violence and adultery involved). Let's wait and watch, and pray for the best.

Another update, and a good one at that, is that the Aadhar (UID) card is not mandatory as rumoured earlier. Bless the lord. First the passport, then ration card, followed by Pan card - when should a person work if he's kept busy getting all these identification tags?!!

And let me end with this - "Rape : It's Your Fault" - a brave and intelligent attempt at making people aware of the absurdity in Indian minds about the causes of rape. Kalki Koechlin and VJ Juhi have acted in this video created by All India Bakchod (AIB365) and while it makes you laugh, its brutal reality also makes you cringe. The only problem is, the illiterate people who ought to watch this may not, and even if they do, they'd fail to comprehend the sarcasm. My only wish is that Juhi and Kalki are not made the butt of some aggressive and inhuman act. You should watch this one - it's splashed on Youtube and all social networking portals.

And that's all for now... Be good and take it easy!


Thursday, September 19

Dare... to Love

He adored her – her pretty smile, her jolly nature, her intelligent eyes and warm acknowledgement irrespective of what wit or stupidity he displayed when he opened his trap. And oh could he talk! He could keep going at it with zero response from the listener for hours. And she listened, and sometimes laughed. It sounded like shiny musical bells, the types that adorned glass windows at Christmas.

Yet, he had never been able to express his feelings for her.

He did not know if he really liked her in “that” way. He was not sure if he was brave enough to choose to be with her all his life.

After all, he sincerely believed that every person had a super power. And his was, to turn friends to acquaintances and acquaintances to strangers.

What if he lost her in a bid to get closer to her? That would break his heart. She was a very special friend, if nothing more, to him. He could not bear to be deserted by her.

And still, their meeting became infrequent. Days turned to months and then a year. Their plans to catch up never really worked out, mostly due to his unpredictable work schedule and even more unpredictable mood swings. She complained a few times and he genuinely apologized. But it was a stalemate, things never changed.

Time and tide wait for no man. Even men and women do not wait endlessly. She moved on, met another man, fell in love and got married to him.

He was shocked when he saw that she had removed him from her Facebook friends list. Unfortunately, he did not even have the right to be angry about it, after all, he had not persevered to stay in touch. He still had her number though he could not recall when he had last dialed it. He saw that her Watsapp profile picture had her gazing dreamily with twinkling eyes and flashing that dazzling smile at a guy, probably her beau.

He wished her luck in his heart. Soon after, he got married to a pretty girl from a rich family. Life moved on. But not too far. He decided to message her, just casually, the hi-hello types. Maybe be friends again…

She responded by adding him on Facebook. He was surprised. He hadn’t known her to be too forgiving. But who knows, marriage changes people.

Every time he looked at her posts and updates on social networks, he felt a sense of longing for the fun times they’d shared. She suggested that they meet as couples, but he kept evading the invitations. He was not prepared to face her with someone else by her side. He did not trust himself enough. What if his feelings for her resurfaced like a wave in the ocean that would not stay tied down? It would only result in pain and loss.

And what about his wife? She loved him as much as she could. It would not be fair.

Dilemmas. Confusions. Unanswered questions.

So many roads that reach no destination. So many flights of fancy that ended up lost and aimless.

Theirs would be another story that could have been.

Life has no patience for “could haves”. It is lived by the “I dids”.

As had she. And him.

Along with their courage, desire and persistence to be together.

Success comes to those who dare…


Thursday, September 12

Any News = Dreadful News

So, Ganpati Bappa Morya, US Open was wow, Chennai Express rocked at the box office and made 200 crores and all that jazz. But let's accept that the world is fast approaching the uglier phases of Kalyug.

No news is good news, you say? Well, these days any news is mostly horrible news...

Turns out that a survey recently reported that one in four Asian men have raped a woman, either their domestic or sexual partners. While marital rape is not a crime in several countries including India, the act is just as heinous. What's wrong with seeking consent, menfolk? There are loads of women willing to go all the way for free and for a charge. Take your pick and do your deed. Why do you need to bully and force an individual scarring their self image and marring their reputation for life? Irrespective of whether you know or are related to the person, it's detestable. I completely support the hang-until-death sentence or even better, chop off their manhood and leave them to their fate... Call me wicked, but that's exactly what these demons deserve. Making life so scary for women anywhere within the nation - the backward villages or the modern cities and dashing metros.... This is the least they should get! Freedom and safety is a joke.

While on the topic, let me also vent my ire on the lack of sensitivity and sensibility of Indian journalism. Journalists would rather tape and interview the victims rather than saving them from the perpetrator. And then they post these on television and in newspapers with utter disregard for the consequences on the victims. Court cases also tend to be a pain for them maybe more if not equally disturbing as the actual incident itself. Imagine having to relive, describe and scrutinize every tiny detail of the horrifying experience. What a shameful lot, you lawyers and journalists! Can't display humanity unless it happens to you, is it?

I must have told you earlier about the newspaper somewhere in Europe or the middle east that only prints good news on the front page. Let alone waking up with a smile, our newspapers are filled with filth and garbage from politics to scams to daily accidents. God save the world, or is He helpless too now?!! No wonder then that most people now find the nation unlivable and hence wish to settle on Mars.

Anyway, let's move on to stories more optimistic and intelligent... That hookah tobacco contains less toxic metals than cigarette toabcco doesn't in my opinion make the cut. How about the latest top 20 universities of the world? UK and US top the list again as usual - MIT aces followed by Harvard and Cambridge. Stanford, Yale and others bring up the rear, but no Asian university has yet entered the top 20. We're top when it comes to petrol prices - it has now climbed to 82 rupees in Pune, which is insane. We Indians are supposed to be the most intelligent folks yet we don't offer quality education. University of Pune has dipped almost 100 ranks from 601 to 701 worldwide and around #200 within Asia. We're top in nothing but poverty and racism. Despite this, we're so full of ourselves and our greatness. That Rajinikanth gets a million clicks on day 1 of the release of his first trailer of the Tamil film "Kochadaiiyaan" proves his popularity, what you got? Just blah blah and more blah..... huh!

The tabloids are going crazy with news of Katrina Kaif tying the knot with Ranbir Kapoor. Wasn't she Salman's gal? What with KBC 7 and Big Boss 7 and Besharam and Shuddh Desi Romance, I have lost track of who's dating who and who's double-crossing who. Too many new "stars" and "actors" on the block now. All of them are one film wonders, and who's got time for this crap anyway? I do enjoy Comedy Nights with Kapil and that's about it. He's got a sense of humour, that guy, even if his jokes tend to get a little monotonous and nasty. But he's made the masses forget Raju Shrivastav and Johny Lever. Quite an achievement, methinks.

Speaking about comedy, Grand Masti is set to release soon - and it promises to be nastier than before. I also want to watch Jogn Day, Horror Story and Grown Ups 2. When is the question I would like to answer with a "soon" but only time will tell....

It's only now that I've managed to resume reading books. Although I am not very regular, I've started where I let off "Asura" by Anand Neelakantan. I'm not very pleased with the writing though. It says that Sita was actually Ravana's daughter and his son Akshaya was burned in a fire set by Hanuman. Such gross inaccuracies don't a great book make. Especially for someone like me who loves mythology and folklore. I might just abandon the book altogether and move over to Jeff Arch or some such. Palace of Illusions gave a whole new perspective on Draupadi while Mahabharata by Ramesh Menon remains my best ever when it comes to mythology.

I'm planning to buy a new phone in a few days' time. Some suggest Lumia but Nokia is outdated now. My hubby says Samsung S4 or Apple 4S - I don't quite like either. My heart is kinda set on the Note 2 due to the features and stylus :-D What opinion you got?

And hey, before we end, let me inform you that IBM has sold (=divested, for the more prudent among us) the BPO unit to a company called Synnex. They will now be called Concentrix after Synnex acquired them for 505 million dollars. Most employees are disgruntled, while other are excited about new prospects and growth. What do I think? Well, I'm just glad that I decided to move on in time. Yes sirree... I've put down my papers at IBM and I'm moving to an IT firm in Pune as an Assistant Manager in Learning and Development. Thank ye all for your best wishes and support :-)

That's all we have time for right now, fellas. Be back soon!


Friday, September 6

Yatra's Happy Travellers!!

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ― Saint Augustine

I love traveling. Pondicherry, Ladakh, Munnar, Goa, Jabalpur, Konark, Sikkim, Mahabaleshwar, Kedarnath, Rajasthan - you name it and I've been there.

Heartfelt thanks to my parents for this proud achievement of mine. They took me to most places and allowed me on my own to the rest. My uncle and aunt have also been kind enough to take me to Kenya with them where I enjoyed many wildlife safaris. Takes sheer luck to be me!

No surprise then when I choose to take my family for a vacation to someplace exotic and beautiful. Lazy and adventurous, spendthrift and generous, religious and trendy - I have them all in my family, which ensures that I enjoy all possible experiences in a single journey.

Where would I like to go, I wonder.

My humble dream is to visit every destination in the world, big or small. Two names that cross my mind are New Zealand and Europe. Somehow, I have a soft corner for NZ. And since less than 2000 people from India go to New Zealand every year, let me add to that statistic and let Europe be for a while...

New Zealand - also called "God's own country" due to its gorgeous landscapes and unparalleled natural beauty. Creating a happy vacation here shouldn't take much, because for a traveller, nothing beats novelty. And who's better at that than Mother Nature herself?

"I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad" said George Bernard Shaw.

I couldn't agree more. Which is why I detest all the tour guides that boast about serving Daal Baati in Australia and Khichdi in America. Thanks but no thanks. Roast kumara or pies, pav or seafood - that's the fare I will choose to woo my palate. Be NZ-ian and eat NZ-ian. (Of course, my mother could be thoroughly inconvenienced with this cuisine leading to my discomfort. But we'll figure that out. She's forget her hunger pangs when she sees the whales in Kaikoura or walks on a glacier at Franz Josef!)

My dad loves fine wine and my husband is a lively teenager at heart. We will cycle between vineyards and enjoy the magnificent scenery as we taste wines at Waiheke island. Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Central Otago Pinot Noir and so many more! Woohoo!!

The more daring amongst us will try our luck at bungie jumping later - something I always desired to do but didn't want to risk in India! The adventure capital of the world - hurray! We would be spent and adrenaline-challenged come dusk. So, to take it easy in the evening, we will hit the clubs in Queenstown and take some pictures to remind us of our memorable vacation in Kiwi land.

North Island and South Island - we will be spoilt for a choice of activities. My uncle wouldn't want to miss a taste of Maori culture and we would head to Rotorua - the cultural heart of New Zealand. Whether we like the "hangi" feast remains to be seen, but it would serve as a reminder of our awesome time drenched in the tribal culture of Africa. Goes without saying that we would also check out the bubbling, steaming & hissing geysers and volcanic craters. Being a lover of massages and spa treatments, I would opt for a pleasurable thermal therapy while my hiking-crazy mother goes for a walk to the stunning sights around the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Bay of Islands and Auckland harbour, so many places to sail away to Paradise! Tucked in a corner, I would enjoy the wind on my face and gaze at the beautiful ripples in the water thinking of days bygone and ambitions to happen. We would alight at a new beach whenever our hearts said so and dig into dreamy dinners on a yacht.

Wellington, Christchurch and Nelson, we wouldn't miss those either. But that's about specific locations and sightseeing itineraries. The mesmerising prettiness of NZ can be explored even without an agenda. I and my family would go for scenic drives without a destination in mind. The spectacular waterfalls, national parks and snowy peaks we see on our way would give us many sleepless nights and high definition dreamy visuals.

My uncle can have a relaxing time watching birds, while my brother swims with the dolphins and seals. My sister in law can got for a Lord of the Rings (LOTR) tour and see the actual locations in the film and my dad can watch a live rugby match. My aunt would love to sit in a hot air balloon even as my husband goes mountain biking. There's something for everyone.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” ― Lao Tzu

No offence, but hey mister, this promises to be a marvellous holiday irrespective of everything!

When, oh when will this dream come true?!! - Will you be our wish fulfilling angel?!!

... written for the "Creating Happy Travellers!" contest by


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