Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Udaan...a liberating flight...

Udaan..the story of Rohan(Rajat Barmecha), 17 year old teenager having embittered relations with his father, Bhairav Singh(Ronit Roy). Being expelled from boarding school, Rohan returns to his father not having met him for 8 years. A budding writer and inclined towards studying literature, his dream to be a writer, is forced into engineering college by his father and forcibly made to work in a steel plant which is his fathers' business.

Rohan comes back and discovers he has a step younger brother Arjun. Such a cutie pie! I almost wanted to pull his cheeks and what acting by the newcomers! Applaudable! The best part in the movie is the relationship Rohan shares with his kid step brother. Arjun is just so adorable and a natural actor. Its shown in such soft light, their relationship and one very uplifting part of the movie.

Ram Kapoor as always exudes a lot of warmth in his character as the caring and loving uncle. Ronit Roy succeeds in his role so much that you abhor him throughout the movie! Flawless acting by all the characters. At one point you really feel for Rohan and Arjun..Wonderful depiction of emotions!

Some lighter moments shared by the actors in the the drunk scene with Rohan and his seniors, "Disgraceful" said by the father every morning when he wins the race and then repeated by Arjun, this was hilarious :D The picnic scene when Rohan says "kabhi rakshas kabhi bhedh" for his father after knowing it was his idea, the picnic :)

The music score is very liberating and on the story lines. As one of my friends rightly pointed out, watch the movie first and then listen to the sound track :) You come to appreciate the music more and it works! Amit Trivedi does an incredible job as music director.

The beautiful poems recited by the protagonist in the movie are so impressive and inspirational, am trying to get my hands on them. How Rohan struggles to free himself from an authoritative, arrogant and sadistic father and pursue his dreams is what the whole movie is about.What a welcome change from the stereotypical romantic and masala movies that we have in Bollywood. Kudos to the director Vikramaditya Motwane and the producer Anurag Kashyap.

Udaan is a journey to stand up for what you want in life, break free from the chains of fear and just fight against the injustice.Its a liberating and inspiring experience, go watch for yourself!! 

Find the magical poems of the movie here

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Singin' in the Rain

What a sweet classic movie. After watching this one, I got a feeling that all movies should be like this. Light, hilarious, mushy and all things that make you feel good. Personally am not a big fan of musicals, but I did like Once and now this has been added to my list of favourite musicals.

Don Lockwood(Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont are the stars of a silent movie production. Don meets Cathy Saldon, falls in love and the love story unwinds into a pretty nice musical. With the advent of voice in cinema, Cathy Saldon is discovered as a budding star, a petite pretty girl.

Cosmo Brown adds such good touches of comedy and dance to the movie and is just phenomenal. The faces he makes, gosh!! he is superb. Lina Lamont with her shrieky shrill voice :D she is a typical piece, cawing away like a crow. The ascent trainer working on her is just hilarious. The tapping shoes dances, the classic songs, the sets, the lighting, the costumes is just so amusing. Don looks dashing and Cathy so cute, both having good chemistry.

Each one of the songs is adorable :D Please please watch this movie and laugh will make your day! :)

Enjoy this video from the movie :)

Also love the lyrics of the song "You were meant for me"

Life was a song,
You came along
I've laid awake the whole night through
If I ever dared to think you'd care
This is what I'd say to you

You were meant for me
And I was meant for you
Nature patterned you
And when she was done
You were all the sweet things
Rolled up in one

You're like a plaintive melody
That never lets me free
But I'm content
The angels must have sent you
And they meant you just for me...

But I'm content
The angels must have sent you
And they meant you just for me...

PS: Video embedding is disabled for these particular videos. But clicking "Watch on YouTube" will take you just to these very videos!

Sunday, June 20, 2010



Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley

Invictus in Latin means unconquered.

A truly inpirational movie about Nelson Mandela during his first year as South African President and how he unites the nation through their love for Rugby. As always Clint Eastwood at his best, Morgan Freeman immaculate and paying an honorable tribute to Nelson Mandela.Matt Damon delivering his best. A must watch!

The Secret in Their Eyes

This Oscar winning movie will leave you mesmerized and glued to your seat, not allowing you to budge from your place. Just finished watching the movie, I did not know its an Argentinian movie, but realized its true that movies in other languages do not lose their lustre or emotions or effect if you need to watch them with subtitles. This one will leave a long-lasting impression on your mind.
The whole experience left me so shaken that I do not know where to begin writing about it. Right from the beginning, when the brutal rape and murder case of Liliana Coloto  comes into picture, Benjamin Esposito the justice agent who is assigned the case has his doubts that the suspects arrested for the case are not the real culprits but a childhood friend of the victim named Gomez. As the story unfolds, how Gomez is caught and at large again, never does the movie lose its pace or passion. How Esposito struggles till the end to gain some closure for this case, which was 25 years ago, how he comes across all the characters in the process of writing his novel.

The apparent physical tension between Esposito and Irene, the train scene and after 25 years how Esposito gets the courage to say what he wanted to long back, to Irene. Pablo discovering from the letters as quoted by him in the movie passion is one thing that cannot be changed in behavior, Benjamín learns now that that premise still holds true even for Molares, twist in the tale this one. With an 8.4 IMDB rating, I would strongly recommend to watch this movie! The actors are superb, the direction flawless, the story gripping!

Some likeable quotes from the movie.

Benjamin : Have you ever seen things from a different angle? You see someone else and what the other person is going through helps you see your own life

Pablo: A guy can change anything. His face, his home, his family, his girlfriend, his religion, his God. But there's one thing he can't change. He can't change his passion.

Benjamin: You are better than I am
Molares:  What do you care? Its my life, not yours
Benjamin: No Molares, its my life too!Your love for that woman..I never saw it again!In anybody! Nobody! Ever!

Molares:Choose carefully. Memories are all we end up with.At least pick the nice ones.

Irene: Its a novel. It doesnt have to be true or even believable
Benjamin:  Yes..No, What? It isnt believable?
Irene: No, Benjamin. That part when the guy leaves for Jujuy..
Benjamin: What's the problem?
Irene: Crying like he's all broken up..So what? Her running on the platform after the man of her dreams..
Benjamin: Well..
Irene: Touching hands through the glass, like they're one. And her crying, as if she knew her fate was mediocrity and never loving anyone, practically falling on the tracks, proclaiming love she'd never had the courage to confess..
Benjamin: Thats what happened, isn't it?
Irene: If that's what happened, why didn't you take me with you?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today.

I am sure you must be wondering about the caption. Well, am going to write my views about the movie "Groundhog Day"

I just loved this movie! It was unique from other movies in so many ways. Now I did not know what is Groundhog day, so heres something for those who don't like me.

Groundhog Day may seem like a newfangled ceremony — what with Punxsutawney Phil living in a climate-controlled environment in the town library (where he is fed dog food and ice cream) and being transported once a year to Gobbler's Knob where tuxedo-clad gentlemen await his exit from a heated burrow at 7:25 a.m. on February 2 and bend down respectfully to receive his meteorological prognostications and convey them to a breathless media and an attentive the way Punxsutawney is a rat or squirrel I do not know..also know and woodchucker a search showed. Source:

How a weatherman Phill Collins(Bill Murray) hates this very day and for consecutively third year is in Punxsutawney to report this very event, finds himself living the same day again and again. Every morning when the alarm rings, its the same old day. First he uses each day for his own selfish motives, to hurt people he doesnt like or do worthless things, and then after he starts knowing his producer, Rita, he realises each day can be lived in a worthwhile manner, helping people, saving peoples lives which was obviously easier for him because each day he knew the exact sequence in which any event or mishap would occur. His transition from leading an ego-centric, selfish life to a selfless, worthy life is noteworthy and along this time, how he falls in love with Rita, how he realises that he is capable of being generous and kind. The scenes where one night he admits the old beggar to hospital and the poor old fellow dies, and he tells the nurse "Not Today!". Next repeated day he takes the old man and makes him have a nice warm breakfast, sadly the old man still dies, as the nurse says sometimes people just die and he was old. Suddenly his humanity awakes in him, all these events manifest well.

With every repeated day, Phil realises there is so much good that can be done with each day. I mean think of it, how would you spend each today if you know it will get repeated the next day. What a thought! I mean who could imagine this! When Phil says "Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today." :) Gosh, if the same day is repeated everyday, I just can't imagine what I will do.

Something to muse about.

Well, what I learnt and what I felt was the central theme was that live in the now, live in each moment for now is the moment you can make someone happy, help someone, make your life better. Its like this saying..Live today as if there's no tomorrow..

A sweet movie and a must watch!

Friday, June 18, 2010

I Love You Phillip Morris

Quite a hilarious movie based on the book I Love You Phillip Morris by Steve McVicker. The story of Steven Russell, who after a car accident has this sudden epiphany as he calls it, and decides to live life as he wanted to without any compromises or without any secrets.

He was gay and his wife Debbie did not know this fact. After his car accident he reveals the same to her and thus begins a new life altogether. He has a boyfriend Jimmy and commits all sorts of frauds to shower his bf with expensive gifts. And when he's caught he tries to flee, unfortunately ending up in prison.

In prison, he meets Phillip Morris and both strike such a connection that it looks like both are made for each other. Although a normal person would not be able to fathom or understand the feelings a gay couple share, but I realised feelings or emotions are as is, they are not discriminated as feelings between a normal straight couple or a gay couple. Steven and Phillip are shown to share such a great chemistry and are so much in love.

Steven Russel has been potrayed as such an incredible and versatile con man, he fools people into believing he's a lawyer, gets Phillip out of prison, fools the chairman of a big company and becomes CFO of that company :D goes back to prison again because of all his frauds, tries to escape n number of times, and all that he does or tries to get away from is to meet Phillip Morris who is now pissed with him because he's been made an accomplice in all the illegal activities that Steve has been doing.

The most amusing and gut-busting dupe that Steve does is faking his death. That was too much. How he got away with so many dupes is beyond my understanding :D Faking AIDS, its just too much when he says the private care facility people never bothered to run him for an AIDS test :D

No one could have potrayed Steven best as Jim Carrey has done also adding an element of humor here and there. Quite a unique movie. Love the end scene! Watch it for yourself :D

An interesting review/post on this movie here

Saturday, June 05, 2010


Life is not a bed of roses, its a bed of roses accompanied by thorns. Every Rose has a Thorn

Whatever happens, happens for good. Is it not too much of a consolation to be true?

An idle mind is a devil's workshop, an unpeaceful mind the devil himself.

They say one should try to live every moment of life to the fullest, what if each moment leads to emptiness?

Solitude is loneliness enjoyed.

Humility leads to Simplicity. Simplicity to Positivity.

Innocence is Ignorance. 

Life is short-lived, a well-forgotten fact.

Feeling void is a blessing in disguise but grass is greener on the other side.

The strangeness of life lies in its ability to raise you to the skies in one instant and then pull you down in another.

Continued Endurance/Tolerance is the starting point for self-demise.

Depression - a killer on the loose. Kill it before it kills you.

Love - that magical feeling telling you that he/she is always there and you are not alone.

Lust - Love lost.

Ego - a constructive or destructive entity?

Am I alone in the crowd or a part of it?

Life is a series of  ungraded entrance examinations for which there are no coaching classes.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Road, Movie

An unconventional movie, with a rustic feel to it. Charmingly simple and yet conveying all emotions with par excellence.

Vishnu, the typical modern son of a typical middle class family. Father is trying a business to sell oil. आत्मा तेल लगाया बाल भर सर पाया, बाकी सब माया :D Abhay Deol plays the reluctant son well. 

Vishnu catches hold of an old mans truck and offers to do a favour to him by taking the truck to Samudrabhar, a city by the sea. How his journey unfolds varied experiences is quite a story to tell. Its rather life changing as depicted. Satish Kaushik in the role of Chacha or the mechanic, the kiddo Mohammad Faizal was just a natural when it came to acting. Tanishtha Chatterjee added a new dimension, the only female face of the movie, a beautiful Rajasthani Banjaara in search of water. And Abhay Deol as always did not need an effort to act. The best thing I like about Abhay Deol is his unsophisticated ordinary looks, I like his unglamorous boy next door look unlike the hunk look that some of our Bollywood heroes have, I think that gives him the edge.

Road, Movie is quite entertaining and has a good pace, how the truck has a movie projector system and how Vishnu and the other three tap it in the mela is awesome. The moments in the movie like the one when the police wala threatens them to show a good movie and how the whole village enjoys it, the scene when Tanishtha breaks into a song, the Charlie Chaplin scene when Chacha passes away with a smile on his face, the smiling faces of the village people amused by Charlie Chaplin, all are scenes just so worth watching.

You should definitely visit the official site of the movie which is this A lot has gone into the making of the movie and the site has some nice facts and videos about the same. Also I like the look and feel of the site. Dev Benegal has made a gr8 movie and I think you shouldn't miss this one....
The film being aired in so many international film festivals itself speaks volumes...Need I say more?

Monday, April 05, 2010

The comfort zone of Routine

Most of you, especially people working in the Software/IT industry would fully understand the meaning of Routine or mundaneness or the usual grind of things. The same 5 days of work, 2 days of weekend and while true the loop continues, unless of course you throw an exception ( Pardon me for this piece can only be understood by Java coders mostly)

Mostly people are expressing their unhappiness over the usual routine, how things do not change. But in the real sense, we are more or less slaves to this very routine as in it, we form our comfort zone, a cocoon of familiar things, stuff or work we can do because we have done it countless number of times. After all, Aristotle said "Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”, said simply yet so profound and true.

Well, you might excel in a particular job because now you have grown accustomed to doing it. Just like you have this habit of brushing your teeth everyday. But doesn't this sort of block out the myriad other stuff you can learn or you can do? Have you experienced a mental block while trying out a new job or task assigned to you?? 

Well, All I am trying to imply is that we need to break out of our comfort zones, out of our time table like lives now and then and dare to try out some novel things, it maybe a new job at office, an adventurous activity on the weekend or even try learning a new language for that matter. 

Its important that we come out of our inertia like state and move on to things we are more capable of, experience newer horizons and opportunities ( Yeah I know what is coming to your mind now, job hunting? :D ) 

Soaking up the new stuff might take time, or maybe even a toll on you. But once you have assimilated the new, it would definitely bring about a change in you, your personality. Some of us might end up feeling more confident and the best of all, it would be a brain exercise, a good activity for the grey cells to live longer.

“You have to risk going too far to discover just how far you can really go.”
T.S. Eliot
PS: This was an endeavor from my side to break out of my inertia of not writing. It had been long and I thought, well this is the thought to write on..Welcome your comments!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Angry? Let it out, Express!

Well, this post comes after an anger venting session for me. Personally, I know it does not feel too good to be angry or rather remaining angry. That is why I say "Let it out" 

When I am angry, I tend to experience this shakiness and especially when am expressing my anger aggressively. I am sure many of you must have experienced that state. But does that mean we are weak and are not able to endure the anger, the fury? No I guess. Its quite an unexplainable condition though, sometimes anger lead me to tears, at other times like now I feel good, better, stable,sane to have let it out although the moment of anger is quite  negative and self-hurting also. 

But when I was right and the other person wrong, why should I take their crap? Ain't that pure abuse? I mean come on, I should be able to take my stand, defend myself, not stay mute like a cow and endure anything.Some people are sadists, they want to take you for granted, take advantage of your timidness, don't let them please!! Its not altogether a cruel world out there, but you tend to find all kind of species. Me for one have found quite a variety and have not been very happy with my findings :|

Coming back to anger,why should I hold it in when it should be out there. Why should I be suffocating over something thats not worth it. I agree its not always good to let it out. But its unhealthier to let it stay in. Expression is the key. Blurt it out man, its no use keeping it inside you, where its going to live like a parasite and slowly take you in. Suppressed anger or even suppressed plain thoughts can come out in other devastating and perturbing forms like Depression.

And I strongly believe that people who do not accept its their mistake over whatever happened, give it to them their way. Well, Gandhiji said if someone slaps you on one cheek, put forward another cheek. I mean no  disrespect to the Father of the Nation but am sure if he were in our world today (in some avatar :) ) he would agree to the fact that, that formula is long obsolete. I believe in "जैसे को तैसा " और भाई क्यूँ नहीं? और अगर मैंने कुछ गलत किया ही नहीं तो फिर मैं क्यूँ सहूँ?

My father always says "What cannot be cured has to be endured" While there is some truth in it, I do not agree with it in totality. After all I also have a threshold and when I am past my threshold, there will definitely be an outburst. Outburst is good, expression is good. Yes we may tend to say cruel, mindless stuff to others, but hell, I believe in apologizing if I have said something wrong. That doesn't make me any lesser of a good person. Anger to come out in much more controlled way could take a little practice, letting it out is important.

Speak out and you will definitely feel "Aal izz Well" later :D :D And btw you should also watch Anger management :D :D

Don't let the sun go down in anger.
We have an assignment, a destiny and a purpose.
Don't let anything block your sun.
Wake to a new sunrise. 
Angel Cher

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Social Networking Brouhaha

Facebook, Orkut, Twitter and now the new Buzz!! Yes social networking is here to stay. It has revolutionized our way of keeping in touch with friends, or letting friends know of an important news in one's life. These sites also help us remember our friends' birthdays, yes everyone is just a scrap or a wall post away. The act of really keeping in touch however has somehow faded with the advent of the Internet. While these sites have ushered in a new era of networking, somewhere in this social networking world, it has also made us too open, too public leading to a loss of our own privacy.
Image Courtesy :
What is the first thing you check out or the first site you open when you put your computer/laptop on? Do you login to Facebook/Orkut/Twitter and see if you have a comment on your wall post or if someone has dropped you a scrap or rather what Barkha Dutt whom who are following on twitter has tweeted. Why this urge for staying connected?? Why this frenzy to keep posting updates of whether you are committed or whether you are getting married. Why is our privacy becoming more and more public?? And it is we ourselves committing the sin of self-intrusion of privacy! Sometimes I just find it as a filler in our otherwise usual humdrum of life, at other times its more of a distraction.

While one can say its a blessing owing to the ease of maintaining touch with anyone in this world, nevertheless on the other hand its an incessant addiction to which we have fallen prey.Its like "The Truman where "Truman Burbank lives a happy life. However, what he doesn't know is that his life is actually the focus of a reality TV show aired since his birth, that he's the star, his hometown is a giant set piece, and everyone around him is an actor going by a script." The only difference is here we know and knowingly we keep tweeting or updating our so-called walls with personal updates.

The need to stay connected in this networked high tech world is not hard to comprehend. When the whole world is tweeting, yes even Shashi Tharoor, you do not want to be left behind. You want to know what a famous celebrity is doing at any single minute or hour of the day. We all want some news and gossip in our lives. But hell why post personal/suggestive photos/snaps!! Ridiculous photos like the decorated bride sitting on the bed on our first night, gosh gimme a break :X @###$% I want to request an enhancement in the features when it comes to such photos. The onlooker should be able to change privacy settings so as not to see them :D Google/Picassa/Facebook/Orkut are you listening?? :P

While Facebook and Twitter are some years old, Google entered too late with buzz and had to undergo its share of hiccups in this arena. I personally found Buzz very buzzing (read bugging :D) and was thankful that the off button was provided. Nobody needed too keen an observation to say that Buzz failed to create any buzz. Plus it has security concerns. See here Also the auto-follow feature was a MAJOR glitch "The controversy is around the “auto-follow” feature that automatically links those who you email frequently with in your Gmail account to Buzz. When posting something onto Buzz everyone can see who is following you. Basically this allows strangers to see who you email with frequently." An excerpt I took from here Strangers being allowed to see whom you email frequently! Waaaaa :(

When I searched for Buzz I saw the following buzzes, these speak for themselves
"Officially ditching Google Buzz, so if you are trying to get a hold of me, don't do it there."
"Decided to turn off Google Buzz. I couldn't see any point in it. I have all I need in gmail and google chat." (I totally agree with this one)

However, the scarier part is what I stumbled on on why the user is going to stop using Google. Also went through some comments here and agreed with some that it was useless hullabaloo considering the fact that "Privacy is dead" in the social networking world. Its more at the user discretion actually.

What is your take on Social Networking? Is it a necessary evil? or Is it overkill?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

5 Reasons not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

1) With all the heart shaped balloons and everything, anyone can get fed up. Teddy holding a red heart with an I love you written on it, seriously do you need that???. Heart shaped pillows, heart shaped chocolates, for Gods sake heart shaped lollipops :D Phew!! Can't digest so many hearts around :D Archies and other gift shops must have a gala time, with their sales sky high on this day! 

All these mushy mushy thoughts are so short-lived! Oh yes, we all have gifted our friends some show pieces and other stuff. But now I am more of a believer of gifting useful gifts or accessories :)

2) Love is in the air, in the parks, in the restaurants, even in public places. PDA = Public Display of Affection percentage rises on this particular day which can be very annoying for the non-valentine believers. Oww so many Romeos and Juliets moving around, you would feel like becoming a villian (Sure would make you feel better becoming a Prem Chopra that day :P)

3) Yeah now comes the Red Roses, "bhaiya zara ek red rose dena!" kitne ka hai??? 20 Rs :O :O Double the price, kya bhaiya?? Well, sure is a business day for florists, this V-Day. And what happens to the roses after you gift them. They wilt away :( Poor flowers, as they were meant to serve this purpose only. Reminds me of Pushp ki Abhilasha, the hindi kavita by Makhanlaal Chaturvedi.

4) God forbid if you are in Mumbai, better be alert on the lookout for any hungama from Shiv Sena or MNS. I am pretty scared of them myself :| Bechara SRK!

5) And I would like to end with the reason that one of my friends stated, there can be a day to celebrate Ganesh Pooja but there can be no day to "celebrate love" How true..

I bet you can jot down some more reasons for not celebrating V-day! do you have any?

Her Diary, Her Best Friend

There was a time when Naina felt she needed friends to talk to, to share her innermost feelings with, to confide in, to be able to express her fears or joys. Buddies to whom she could reveal her true self without fearing them to be judgmental or thinking otherwise. She could bare her soul in front of that one person or maybe a couple. Alas, that person never came along..The search was in vain.

Many a times she felt close to someone, but her feelings weren't reciprocated, so that was the end of it. Because, for Naina, reciprocation held a great deal of significance. In this worldly world, she wasn't a selfish or a self-centered person, she could be a selfless friend but only if she was reciprocated. Her definition of reciprocation was that the person she felt close to or the person for whom she could go out of her way to do anything should feel the same for her. But somewhere always, the feeling was missing.

It was true that “Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.”  

There were times when she felt so lost, so depressed. At such junctures, she found no one who would lend her a ear or who would comfort her and say its okay and that this will pass. Disheartened that she was she found solace in writing. Yes she saw a lot of blogs on the Internet. But what she always wondered was how could some people have online diaries, how could a person be so open so as to write things so personal. On the contrary, she preferred to write in a diary. By diary, I mean a real diary, not an online one.

She bought a nice handmade paper diary, the cover was real attractive and a nice pen to go with it. From now on, she decided, the diary would be her best friend. She wrote in it when she felt sad, she penned down her thoughts when she was elated. She even noted down quotes in her diary which made her feel good. It was the diary was her mute buddy, one who was always there to give her space to write on, she could always take the support of the bare blank empty pages, she felt healed and pacified after having written anything in her dear diary. One who would not expect anything in return, and yet reciprocate. One who wouldn't have any say and yet always be there.

The action of writing on real paper had a magical quality to it, thoughts transformed into words and put down on paper strangely composed the mind.

Naina found it so much easier to befriend a diary, after all making friends was a tough task. Then it was all the more difficult to keep a friendship. And so, she found happiness with her only best friend, her diary, her friend for life.

Monday, February 08, 2010

When Things go Wrong !

That very day it seemed as if everything had to go wrong one by one. And again and again I was reminded of this one line from some poem "When things go wrong as they sometimes will" Strangely I did not remember the rest but I could fathom that the remaining part would imply not to quit :D Here is the poem which I later found on the net. First the background of my anecdote.

Me and Khushi were on a short trip to Coimbatore for Kashish's marriage. Gosh we were completely drained out of energy, firstly coming from Bangalore, the warm climate was a big turn off. Secondly , we ventured out to see some temples and a very famous Isha Yoga center not realizing that it would exhaust us further. However, the warm and genuine people at our friends place made us feel at home leaving no room for any complaints or cribbing. But language was still a problem since in Tamil Nadu state, Hindi is the 3rd language taught in school we came to know. I was quite appalled by this fact. No wonder none of our friends' relatives could speak even a single word in Hindi. We were compelled to communicate to some people in sign language, especially the ones who could not speak English as well.

South Indian weddings are so simple unlike North Indian weddings. We were careful enough not to stand out in the south Indian crowd, hence we took quite sober clothes, not too much dhinchak or cham cham(dazzling) ones. Nevertheless, we did stand out a little bit, the 2 north indian girls amongst a whole silk sari clad south Indian ladies crowd :D Look here look here, look anywhere and you see Silk saris in different varieties and colors. It was quite a sight for us :) Never saw so many colored silk saris in one place.

The engagement and the wedding were the 2 main functions, and so after the wedding ended, me and Khushi set out for the station with the print out of the ticket in our pockets. We were actually very happy to leave as in a very short duration we felt drained out of energy , mainly because of the weather and were eager to get back to the pleasant weather of Bangalore. As soon as we reached the station, with the ticket in hand, I moved towards the enquiry counter to know the platform number on which our train would come. As soon as the railway person checked our ticket, he was quick to respond saying that our train had already left at 1:25 in the morning :O Dumbstruck I turned towards my friend who was secretly praying that it wasn't me to whom the railway person told this. He was actually using a mike so she heard it on loud speaker :D

The look on our faces, totally dumbstruck and blank :D 1:25 am and 13:25 pm the 24 hour format betrayed us with an extremely grave impact. We had no ticket in hand, standing amidst the crowd at Coimbatore station feeling the scorching heat, we started calling our friends. So desperate my friend was, that she was ready to travel in General compartment of a train which was about to arrive shortly on a station. Awed by her unawareness of how a general compartment is, I began to discourage her saying that it would be highly suicidal and uncomfortable to travel in general. Knowing not what to do, and heeding a friends advice, we started towards platform in search of TT in case he could give us a berth. Desperate not seeing the TT, I left my friend with the luggage and went off to enquire for another night train to Bangalore, to see if we could book tickets in that. In the meantime, the train arrived on station and my friend met the TT and he told her to board the train and that he would make some arrangement. Unfortunately at that time, I was at the reservation office and so we missed that train as well :( One mishap followed by another :| 

Thankfully for my friend I did not lose my cool. She was quite level headed and so was I, strangely enough :D And I realized what a contagious effect the 2nd person can have on your personality :) Because Khushi was so composed, I guess I was too. Finally we decided to head back to Kashish's place and told a friend to book bus tickets for the night from Red Bus site. Having found our solution, we celebrated with a cup of coffee each :D and since I needed something to munch on, I bought Tiger biscuits. LOL. And both of us laughed hysterically at our condition while sitting on a bench on the platform. Because of the language problem, we bugged our friend Kashish too, who was with her in-laws at that time :O yes!! but we had no choice but to try and contact her.

Finally her bro came to pick us up at the station, we took print outs of our night bus ticket and waited eagerly for the time to pass. Kashish's college going cousin was sweet enough to give us company. And Kashish's parents and relatives were sweet enough to feed us 2 more meals :D To be frank I was quite bored with the unknown curries , idlis and rice nevertheless eating on a banana leaf had its own charm :)

Photo Credits : Thumbs up to Khushi to suggest taking this photo ;) .and thanks to myself :D for taking it

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Once is a wonderfully unique musical

When I saw Once is a musical, memories of Mamma Mia came to my mind. Well, I was in for a pleasant surprise when it wasn't the same. Music wasn't forced into a dramatic setup, rather music fitted quite naturally and beautifully into every scene as the movie was so woven into music. IMDB rating of 8.1 and the Plot as per IMDB : A modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant and their eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story.

The busker playing guitar so spontaneously and heartily, the piano girl, so natural again and so cute. They both make such a wonderful music duo. The time when she insists he play in the piano shop and the way she accompanies him is just superb. The way they come up with a band and do the recording. The soundtrack is just so awesome. With no definitive end, the movie retains its uniqueness not giving away its charm.

The movie is about Unrequited love.Yes look that up in the dictionary :) I think whoever said it or not, its right, Music uplifts the soul. There is nothing like music. Music is divine. A wonderful review of the movie here.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Birthdays come and Birthdays go

Imagine when you were a 10 year old :) The big Birthday Cake, the new flowery dress or rather colorful party wear. The tiny tot birthday parties, the joyful brouhaha, the gifts your friends brought, the colorfully hued invitation letters you got to invite them to your party, the return gifts you bought for each one of them who attended your party. The multicolored balloons :) The candies you got to distribute in your class, the whole day felt special. Am I right??

And then we come back to reality some 15-20 years later :D where everything you do is to make you feel its your birthday. For gals its more like a countdown towards the growing years, by this I mean the thirties or the forties :D Well, thankfully for all the Olays and the Garnier Anti aging creams :D Ok, no pun intended there. Alright alright that was just to add some humor. But on a serious note, I did not feel a thing when my birthday was almost a week back. It was the usual mundane day in office ( yes fortunately it was a working day :) ) I kinda feel somewhat sane in a formal milieu like the office. I do not know but it has a nice effect on me and helps me to stay away from disorientation. 

Well, coming back to the Birthday talk, my colleagues were sweet enough to order a nice cake for me,yes and the icing (it was a creamy rose :D) did match my dress color as well. That is a custom we follow in office, which is good since it again gives you a teeny tiny feel of your birthday, its difficult to get that feel on your own. I mean I am not saying Birthdays are not great but I feel as you put on a year each year, they kinda constantly make you feel that the whole concept of Birthdays is overrated. Or is it not?? 

One or two years back, birthdays meant a whole lot of different things to me. I remember and I guess it was some 2 years back that I wanted to do something nice and different on my birthday and I ended up in an NGO office called iVolunteer. I wanted to share my birthday happiness with people whom I could give a little joy with something as little as a birthday cake and some snacks :) It felt good. It was this children home called Makkala Jagriti I do not mean to glorify what I did, just felt good writing about it and more importantly linking to their sites for those of you really interested in volunteering and social service. Just wanted to do this wee bit of online social service :) 

Again switching back to the topic of birthdays, I think friends make a considerable or maybe even remarkable amount of difference. I do not know what or how I would feel on my birthdays without my bunch of friends. Even a bunch is not needed, mine was a trio this time :) My beloved friends(just the two of them) got me a nice gift and a yummy birthday cake :) Cut it after blowing the single candle on it( hee hee candles on cakes should never indicate your age  :D) and with the birthday music playing in the background. I just felt so elated, thanks to both of them. And then the yummy Chinese birthday treat followed followed by a run for the chocolate at the ever famous Corner House. Reminiscing old days and the good times spent together, I wonder is always around food or drinks or coffee, probably because that is when the conversation follows or rather flows into the mood :)

Oh yes and I forgot to mention that Birthdays are also interestingly to put on weight and to intake more calories. Lets rename Birthdays as the "High Calorie Day" :D Kidding, but it is true. 

Birthdays I would define as a day meant to make you feel special, cherished by friends, family with each passing year, may you be 15 or 50. May the charm of birthdays remain the same for all every year!

Because time itself is like a spiral, something special happens on your birthday each year:  The same energy that God invested in you at birth is present once again.  ~Menachem Mendel Schneerson

While I was searching for some cute cake pictures came across these, they are so cute :) Check them out

Friday, January 15, 2010

Longest Solar Eclipse in 2010 - Matter of Science or Faith

It was a day of Science vs Superstition. A matter of science or faith.The spectacle of the millennium.

What a Godly sight it was, simply divine.I was fortunate enough to observe it for a few minutes, managed to catch hold of the special glasses needed for viewing it from some colleagues in office. Could not observe the diamond ring but that did not reduce its beauty, it was just so awesome. South India was privileged to have been bestowed with proper visibility, me again fortunate to be located in Bangalore. I was elated because as being told in news, the next solar eclipse can be seen only in 3040, more than a 1000 years from now. In this life, I did not miss it :) Hope get to watch in other lifetime as well.

Ok lets come to the debatable part of the eclipse. I was motivated to write this post after viewing a discussion on CNN-IBN which was captioned Superstition vs Faith. Quite an interesting topic!

So many Myths that people do not have any basis to follow

1) Do not go out during Eclipse ( I observed many people taking leave today in office or Working from home :D felt it to be quite absurd, also in Haridwar hundreds of people took a dip in the holy waters, how contradictory)

2) Pregnant ladies should not observe the Eclipse ( No scientific basis)

3) We should not eat or cook during Eclipse because there are harmful rays in the atmosphere when the fact is Eclipse rays are the same as normal sunlight rays :P  ( What about the grains and vegetables in the field exposed to eclipse? No wonder office cafeteria was 90% empty, was quite surprised to see that though. I on the other hand had my lunch :) Could not resist the hunger pangs )

4) Eclipse is inauspicious , so do not make any important decisions today or do not start any good work today ( very debatable, can't say more :D)

Bharat Bhushan, a famous astrologer and also a participant in this discussion rightly quoted that "Astrology was being misinterpreted by half-knowing people". He also said that Blind faith is an individuals' prerogative. Changes like the eclipse mark the change in the dynamics of nature's energy spectra.The kundlis and the zodiac signs predictions that we see are astrological but these very predictions constitute a very insignificant part of the field of Astrology

Eclipse is just a simple geometry in space. People buy lot of things from astrology, predictions. But actually  there is nothing auspicious or inauspicious about an eclipse. An eclipse day is just like any other day, sun cannot be looked at directly on any day just like you need protective glasses to observe an eclipse as well.

“Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.”  Victor Hugo

My wish for all is that any eclipsing phases in your life pass away soon. Just as the moon can cover the sun only for a certain a amount of time and not obscure it for eternity, so also the darkness in your life not remain forever :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pump it Up!

Worried about your health?? Do you despise the growing flab in your body?? Do you want to age slower?? Do you want to keep diseases out of your life and build body immunity and stamina?? Exercise, Exercise and Exercise thats the only answer to all these questions.

And with growing awareness about health, we have gyms and fitness centers in every nook and corner of the city. In fact each company, especially IT companies boast of gyms these days. With hectic work schedules why go anywhere but office for even a workout. I work in an IT company myself and I try to hit the gym at least 3-4 days a week out of the 5 working days. Its also a welcome break from the work stress and also a great form of relaxation. A state of blankness is what I experience during workout, well I would say thats closer to meditation. You are focusing on your exercise and your mind is not wandering anywhere. After all meditation is focusing on a single task, may it be your breath or the flame of a candle or the second hand of a watch.

And if you are a person who enjoys any kind of music, take that MP3 player you love so much, load it up with high energy, nice feet tapping music and see how you enjoy your workout. Music is such a God-send entity I must say, it can engross you, relax you, make you workout harder.Yes!!! Good beat music and really make you pump it up!! And you end up burning more calories on that cycle, treadmill or elliptical trainer :) Ain't that a blessing? :D Listening to your favorite play list can help you to go up to 20% longer and burn more calories, according to research from West London's Brunel University as indicated here

A more fascinating fact is that solving a Sudoku game for an hour can help you not only boost your brainpower but also burn 90 calories :P Yes its true, true, true!! Look here for the news article. Yeah yeah you still need to do physical exercise :D I just wanted to mention it since it does involve brain exercize which is equally important.

Now you would say "We don't have the time" or "I don't find the motivation to exercise" Its not necessary to hit the gym for physical exercise, there is Yoga, there is the alternative of walking and simple habits like taking the stairs instead of a lift can help you lead an active life. And then in spite of having so many options to be a healthier you, if you still find it difficult, just think, its your health, its your life, either you make it or you break it! Its only and only in your own hands

"The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. Do it without motivation. And then, guess what? After you start doing the thing, that's when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it." — John C. Maxwell

 Some good links for getting into shape :) This is a very good site for understanding any yoga posture as it has animations illustrating each step of the posture

This for the ladies especially I believe there is a menshealth site as well. You won't believe the plethora of free resources you get here beginning from a workout to flatten your belly ending at toning your body or a gear free workout

Again a very good one when you want to monitor your portions on your plate. Register here. Goto the My Plate option in the Daily plate and record your calorie intake for each meal each day. Will help you to cut down those calories :)

Please do add any other good links you would like to share!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Feeling lonely?

Suffering from pangs of loneliness??? There was a time when I did not know what to do when I felt lonely. Couple of years from that state of mind, now I know I have transformed the negative loneliness into positive solitude and that is something I cherish so much, its the "me" time I cannot do without any single day. So any day if you feel lonely, your next thought should be to do something you enjoy doing, maybe something that you wanted to learn from a long time, a class of classical music or a driving lesson.Go for a walk all by yourself, go do your chores. Pamper yourself, get a pedicure or a manicure or got get yourself a hep outfit. Now this activity need not necessarily involve spending money :D. For instance, I personally am very content spending time given a good broadband connection and a laptop. 

Now you would say all this is easier said than done. And you would not always have the motivation and drive to get that thing done. After all man is a social animal and you do need social interaction, a group of friends sometime. In that case, call up a friend, catch up with a friend over a cup of coffee, go for a movie..there are so many activities you can do with a friend. Its hard to come out of your shell, but do give yourself a push a day or two.I know I know you may not always also have the drive to call up a friend. That part I myself find very difficult, taking the initiative. 

Another key to driving away loneliness is engaging yourself, preoccupying yourself in an activity you enjoy doing. Now there is an ocean of options when it comes to learning something. Even a Google search on the Internet gives you thousands of results.One of the other things that also helped me to be comfortable in my solitude was the feeling that I cannot always be dependent on any person for anything. This one feeling helped me immensely in becoming independent and instilled a fearlessness, now I do not need any company for anything. I can shop alone, explore alone, do anything alone on this earth.
I discovered a new freedom in myself. A new independence. A new me. And all that came from my "me time".

But let me confess one thing that I still need to overcome. In spite of enjoying time alone, and engaging myself, when the loneliness factor is very strong, I avoid going to crowded places. I have never understood, but I know maybe its human psychology that when you feel lonely, the whole of the world appears to you having some sort of company, you always see couples roaming in your vicinity or a happy group of friends laughing away and your misery is aggravated. May be this can be over come by thinking that its just a phase, a temporary feeling.

Now I am not being preachy here but just sharing my thoughts on something I have experience in-numerous times. Being lonely is no doubt a herculean task but once we start breaking out of the chains of loneliness and the metamorphosis of loneliness into solitude begins, we will be a more happier and sane person and believe it or not we will experience a lot of self-development.

“Language... has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone.” Paul Tillich

Do you have any tips or suggestions that you can share on how to overcome loneliness??

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