Thursday, March 27, 2014

My World: Keepsakes

My World: Keepsakes: I had been looking for a couple of my old friends quite a lot for the past few days. I searched on FB, Googled them and in the proces...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Keepsakes



I had been looking for a couple of my old friends quite a lot for the past few days. I searched on FB, Googled them and in the process even came across a site called https://pipl.com/.

While at it, I had this question in my mind. Why am I doing this? Not that there was something 'special' happening between us..not that we parted ways after a fight and I want to make up...and definitely not that I am 'curious' about these people. If you're deciding that I am a virtual stalker. I will clarify - I am not one! (at least this time around :P)

It just beats me how we just drift apart from certain people we once used to care about and had spent so much time with. I feel I lost these friends just out of my carelessness.

I guess we all go through a phase of rushing through life. At that time, the present and perhaps the future is all that matters. And then, after a few years, with things more or less in place,we often wonder whatever happened to those people.

pressed plant: old pressed fern stem/leaves in old hymn book

Many people have told me reconnecting isn't a great idea. You might realise how different the person is from what you remember or that it might complicate existing relationships. I don't think reconnecting means rekindling a relationship or being in touch with that person on a daily basis. For me, getting back in touch with an old friend is like finding something for which there is really no use now. It could be a pressed flower or a dried leaf between the pages of an old book, thoughts you penned down as a teenager on a scrap paper, an old yellowed letter, a forgotten photograph, a greeting card, or an old cassette tape.

You might sometimes look for such things because something triggered a memory. Or you might come across it at the most unexpected moment. Either way, it gives a minute of boundless joy or brings at least a smile on your face.

I am sure most of us would not make a big thing out of that leaf, letter, photograph or the card. We would just quietly put it back, but this time in a scrap book or a box of memorabilia.

pic courtesy: http://www.rgbstock.com

Monday, January 20, 2014

Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest - DOOM bachaaley

Even when the rushes were being aired on TV, with one longing look at Aamir Khan, I told myself, "Even Aamir can't tempt me to watch this movie." But anyone who knows me well, know the exact things that will tempt me. Two of the things being a mommy's day out and well...Aamir Khan.

So we went - two tired mothers, in need of a break. Happy to be on our own, not having to answer a gazillion wh-questions.  And I am glad we went.

And I am glad Aamir gets introduced (and how) almost in the beginning itself. Else, we would have walked out of the movie hall even before the interval. The man is a saver. Yes, he is - he saved my mommy's-day-out and he saved Dhoom-3 too.

Talking about introductions, the entire first half is full of intro scenes with various degrees of impact. AK on his (drool) BMW bike. Uday Chopra (caught in a tamil/malayalm speaking villain's den), suspended by his legs. And Abhishek Bachchan in guess what...an autorickshaw, bearing a tacky registration number 786. Katrina Kaif's intro is a proper strip-act. And the introduction of Aamir Khan (the second time) is the cleverest - it happens in a dressing area with mirrors! The intros I think foretell the role/importance of each character in the story. It ranges from clever to downright silly.

As always, the story is about how two Indian cops get posted in the USA to investigate into a series of thefts (the rolling of the eyes starts right there).  But here, the crime is more about damage than actual loot. The investigation deals with who does it and why they do it.

I have managed to expand the story as much as I could. I really tried. Coming to the casting...

Aamir Khan: Like I said before, he saves the movie. As always, he looks great. He acts well. Becomes the reason for one to sit through even the dumbest of movies. The best part about him is his conviction that comes through his portrayal. I am sure he's had fun doing this film. You must check out his expression in close-up when he rides the bike (furious and all!).  Though he has given numerous interviews about why he chose this film (apart from the money), I think he has been casted in this role for his acting prowess. He does a fantastic job switching between his two roles. He plays both parts really well-this is no big deal for him really.

pic courtesy: zeenews.india.com

Abhishek Bachchan: Why is AB's baby doing this to himself? Like I was telling someone, perhaps a certain heartbroken damsel is taking revenge through the much influential producer of this movie. There's no reason why any actor of a decent standing
will accept a role like this. I normally like Abhishek B. So, the lesser said, the better.

Uday Chopra: Well, this is what one would expect out of him - tom foolery. He doesn't let you down. This motor mouth perhaps has the maximum and perhaps the best lines in the movie.

Katrina Kaif: I don't even want to get there Just glad that there isn't anything for her to do in the movie. Even the Dhoom song appears right at the end of the film, by when 90% of the audience has walked out/escaped from the cinema hall.

Jackie Shroff is a surprise element. I wish we could see more of him in this movie and other movies as well. I've always been a fan of his subdued stylishness and relaxed performance.

The movie sets out to show how smart cops are (fantasy element) but ends up as a reality show. Even Sivaji Satham and his team have been consistently clever for the past I-don't-know-how-many-years on Sony TV (CID). I am no action movie buff but I know that there is thrill, suspense and fun only if the cops and the bad guys are shown equally, smart, sharp and cutting edge. This is like setting up Alok Nath and Johnny Lever against Shatrugan Sinha for heaven's sakes. If the cops were dumb in Dhoom 1, they get the dumbest in Dhoom 3. The makers better pull up their leather chaddis if they want to make Dhoom 4 wihout getting doomed. But thinking of the crores this movie is said to be earning, you never know!

Except for one catchy romantic song (I forget what the song was :P), there isn't much to the music. The Malang song is thankfully good, as it repeated several times through the movie.

Like I always say, I cannot write reviews and this is just my experience of the movie and not review.

And talking of experience, love happened twice - no three times while watching the movie. With Aamir Khan. With Aamir Khan again. And with the BMW bike. Man! What a super-sexy bike it is. Fine, agreed, even the BMW engineers wouldn't have imagined their bike could do so much as the film makers have thought for the bike. I told you its a fantasy film.

If I'm reborn, don't know if I can marry Aamir Khan because there's no guarantee he'll be reborn as Aamir Khan. But I'll definitely own a BMW bike. It's a promise!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Understanding Law, Life and Love: 377

There has been a lot of talk of the now famous number '377' and the lashing taken out on Judges and the Supreme Court and even on India in general.

I am worried about this frenzy that (social) media creates in our lives today. Not many of us often know the real picture. So I had a talk with Arun Arnala about all this brouhaha. I read a major part of the judgement along with him and understood for myself what it is all about. Arun was gracious enough to explain the legalese.
From what I understand, Section 377 is a law that was made more than 100 years ago to protect victims of homosexual/sexual violence through abnormal acts.This is a good law in general. But the problem lies in the fact that it does not mention anywhere point blank that homosexual orientation itself is an offence. It is obvious because such things were unheard of, rather unspoken a 100 years ago. Why, no one wants to talk about it after all these years too!

So, we definitely need a change but it has be made in the Parliament, by way of an amendment. That is the way our constitution works. Scrapping 377 itself is dangerous and not correct, what with the crime rate on an upswing in recent times.

Well, what I wish the SC could have done is, it could have probably passed an interim order (?) saying consensual acts of homosexuality is not a crime by itself. Thus, clearing the misunderstanding about homosexuality in the minds of the average Indian. And the SC could have also given a time period to the Government of India to amend the Section. Well, I am really not sure of the powers of Judiciary vis a vis the Government of India.

Now it is for us to get the politicians to get moving and thinking about the country and not just the elections. Till then, can I request my Indian friends not to insult our country or its people in public forums please? Every country, just like every family has its own idiosyncrasies and ways of functioning. If our country has come this far, it can go further too. Keep the faith.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Quiz # 1-Topic: Chennai

Know-your-Chennai quiz: What do these things mean? 
a) patchworked potholes 
b) squeaky clean roads 
c) circular designs of disinfectant on the both sides of the road made to look like Rangoli 
d) sudden disappearance of over-flowing dustbins leading to a sudden appearance of footpaths

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My World: Any time, yoga time!

My World: Any time, yoga time!: I ignored my little one when she squarely looked me in the eye and asked if there's a baby in my tummy. I ignored my friends who 'l...

Any time, yoga time!

I ignored my little one when she squarely looked me in the eye and asked if there's a baby in my tummy. I ignored my friends who 'liked' my pics on FB and posted comments like "congratulations" but I have suddenly started taking it seriously ever since the elderly lady in the bus got up and offered me a seat and said "paathu okkaru ma, jaagradhey" (please be careful, have a seat) looking at my (jelly) belly. The word "jaagrathey" echoed several times in my ear and I have been trying to be 'careful'. I'm really trying.

Please don't think I'm giving out excuses but there are so many genuine reasons for not being able to practice yoga. Here are some. 
1. I forget to wake up early enough 
2. I don't own any smart, branded track pants with matching yoga mats 
3. There are times when I am really keen but I am stopped by severe health conditions like digitoonychofractura, (broken nail in the little finger on the right hand.) 

Even if I try to battle all these reasons and I actually start doing Yoga, I am sure you will understand that one really can't concentrate on breathing when you are sitting on all fours and your little thinks you are ready to take her on a piggy back ride or has fun crawling under the 'bridge' when you are trying to hold the adhomukha svanansana or the downward dog pose.
Then, one fine day I had this moment of epiphany. I realised I actually practice yoga all day - I don't have to take out a separate time. See for yourself.



I start my day with the most difficult movements-reaching for that persistent alarm, trying to turn it off and finally giving in.



Picking up the hubby's socks and baby's toys after them.







Trying to use the office loo without infecting myself.


                                              


Back home, begging the little one to do homework/eat dinner.



                                                                                                                                                        





                                                                                 
               End  of day.







See how Yoga's become an intrinsic part of my day?

PS: These 'stickmen' are only a diagrammatic representation and bear no semblance to the author of this post. 

Pictures courtesy: Yoga Stickmen

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Love leads the way


True love - is it an old fashioned concept?

I don't know but Bharat Bala at least doesn't think so. I appreciate him for that. In perhaps his first attempt at directing a full length commercial film, Bharat Bala comes across as this honest artist who still believes in the good things in life, true love for instance.

Maryaan is the story of a young braveheart from a coastal village in Tamilnadu, who is forced by circumstances to seek a job in a foreign land, hundreds of miles away from two things closest to his heart-the sea and his girl. What leads him to go that far is one half of the story and a terrible incident that happens while he is there, forms the second half.

As always Dhanush, is brilliant but the leading lady Parvati is a huge surprise. Just not a pretty Malayali actress with large doe-like eyes and luscious hair but also loads of talent. She matches her on-screen lover in almost every sigh and every stolen glance.

And Dhanush. I don't know if he moulds his roles into the cast of his body or if his physique moulds itself around his characters. Whatever it is, he knows how to use his eyes, voice and body, even his hands. The director has completely depended on Dhanush to give this character the much needed conviction and push. And Dhanush hasn't failed in his duty. I must say Dhanush picks up his roles with care. He obviously can't do a superhero or a nattamai. Aadukalam, 3 and now Maryan. I'm curious to see how he's going to further his career graph from now.

Coming back to the film, there are many beautifully thought out scenes, like the imaginary feast Maryan lays out for his friend, the hallucination scene and the cute church scene. Oh yes, and the way Maryan reacts when he all of a sudden 'sees the sea'. Then, the scene where the heroine instinctively knows her lover is safe and goes off into a state of trance as if she were drugged. I will linger a little longer here because these are moments when a director strikes a chord with his viewers. Extremely well played by Parvati with the aid of some great camera work. Yes, there must be this thing between  lovers - soul connection, and of course there are still people who believe that love is a drug that makes one blind to any impending danger. Throughout the movie, there is so much emotion happening but there's no melodrama, right up to the last scene in the way Panimalar (that's the heroine's lyrical name in this film) registers her lover's presence next to her.

The story line might drag a little here and there. There isn't much for the audience to do when there isn't much happening on screen itself - there are no bad guys to fight with, there is no one to even say a word to...for a while, nothing much really happens. Fortunately, the story picks up tempo and the audience sits up too, guessing what might happen next.

A R Rahman. Hmm...must have had a great time working with his good old friend. The most striking thing about the music of this film is the simplicity. I am sure it takes a lot of effort to be simple. No complicated harmonies. Just a few simple instruments put together. The inspirational chartburster Nenje Ezhu, thankfully has been picturised well. O ye, oyelle has this strange mix of folk and pop which doesn't sound great on first hearing. The song that makes you sit up is Innum Konjam Neram. This song has a beautiful old-world feel to it-the lyrics as well as the tune. Sakthishree Gopalan was so good in Kadal that he had to give her another shot with the haunting Enge Pone Raasa. The background score is very good in parts. After all how much creative can you get when every villain in every movie HAS to have his own personalized 'theme score'. Rahman still achieves the desired effect. The score for the scenes between the lovers is kept simple...as simple as the lovers themselves.

Just like how the music felt like vintage ARR, the film in general had this vintage Mani Ratnam feel to it.

There are parts where the movie could have been better. I wish the poor girl was not bashed up so much, at least by her lover. Its just not right. Then, the heroine's voice, rather the diction. Not sure if she has dubbed herself, but her voice sounds too urban for a village belle. Her English words sound totally convent educated. Notice the way Dhanush says 'yemty graundu' and the way she repeats it later. Like I said, the pace and the wrapping up could have been much better. It reminds me of my Fiction paper in my degree examination where I would luxuriate in the first 2.5 hours, elaborately quoting, analyzing, imagining  and delving deep into the littlest detail. Suddenly I would be jolted out of my dream by the stern examiner's unemotional voice "10 minutes more" and I would go into panic mode, realising there's so much more to write and so little time. My essays would end up looking like short answers! That's what happened to the ending of the movie.

Last word: If you believe that love is Mariyaan (one without death), go and watch it. If you are going to snigger at those who do believe, stay at home.