Saturday, December 31, 2011

Farewell, my friend...........

Dear 2011,

I still remember the time I was awaiting your arrival, and I had fondly promised a million moments of happiness with you. I remember, as if just yesterday, how I wrote (here) about hopes and anticipations for you.

As you get ready to be a part of what we like to call history, I would like to think that I have been worthy of having known you, lived with you, laughed and cried with you as a true friend would. I know of moments that have no precedent, moments where the whole mystery of life, even if momentarily, seemed to make sense. Moments when I have thanked the Almighty for having given me a second chance at life.

You, 2011, have shown me so many faces of my own life I didn't know existed. Take writing for instance; you made me take that one step which changed the way I look at words today. And good heavens! You even made a few people actually LIKE what I write - that explains my love for you, I guess!

You got me closer to my passions - ofcourse, it does have implications. My passion for food - and we all know how many pounds THAT has added to my personality! My passion for my family and the kids - though they seem to be growing like weeds, I still have every picture etched in my memory of you. The many times I have been able to meet, laugh and sometimes cry, with faces from the past, and renew our enlightened relationships.

You have also, through some  actors in your grand scheme of things, rooted me firmly to the ground, whenever I got too full of myself. No, don't be modest - you think I don't know who put my wise mentors and my well meaning friends right there at the right moment just as I was getting my head bloated? Needless to say, I would like to thank them all today - and maybe you can help me with that!  

Not to forget all the times when you have made me doubt my decisions, forcing me to look at them again - some of those decisions today have become my values which is etched to my character now, and some decisions have made me wiser for having tripped and tumbled, having made them wrongly.

Make no mistake; it is not as if we haven't had our little misgivings. I really have to sock your nose for some of the things you've done during our little rendezvous.... beginning with all the trouble you have been giving a friend; nay, a soul-mate of mine. She needs you to be a little more optimistic about the way you write your script, you know! So lets strike a deal, shall we? You tell that little trainee of yours, who we will get to meet tomorrow, to give her a better deal, and we are fine..... OK? 

My friend, as we gear up to celebrate your passing on the wheel of time to 2012, I want to thank you for all the beautiful sights, smells and tastes encountered in your passage. May the world remember you as the benevolent year when we all grew richer in passion, better in profession, kinder in person and closer to the Divine.

Farewell my friend, and a Happy new year to all!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Don 2 Review

I never watch movies first day first show. I am the kind who prefers to ask around and find out how the movie was, before I invest 3 hours of my life on it. So the answer I gave someone when they asked me about my comparative urgency to see DON 2 was - Shahrukh and Farhan Akhtar - hey, what could go wrong?

Well, it is with great conviction I feel now, that Farhan Akhtar (and I swoon as I say this) should continue to act, and maybe even sing and dance (a la Rock On and ZNMD) but direction he should leave to sister dear.

DON 2, to be fair, had a formidable task - it had to bring new wine in old bottle, without losing the zing. And the plot was such that it COULD have happened too. I mean look at what all it had going:

- The idea of the heist is good - the Euro plates
- SRK looks sexy; from his linen-coat-long-hair-sleeves-rolled up look, to the Mission Impossible black.
- Lara Dutta has oodles and oodles of oomph, Priyanka manages to do some believable fight scenes
- Boman Irani, SRK, Kunal Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Alyy Khan and Om Puri - how can you go WRONG with that? (if you are wondering why Om Puri's name comes last, it is the saddest Om Puri I have seen - that's why!)
- The action scenes are slick - reminds you of Oceans 11, or even a Mission Impossible.
- The trailer is just superb!!

Then what happened SRK and Farhan ? I'll tell you what happened - Don 2 is totally unbelievable, and hollow. Agreed, Indian audiences love tacky dialogues and we worship SRK - but really? You thought we would buy this? Let me explore why -
  • Dialogues - I understand why Ahktar wuld put in dialogues such as "Don't tempt me" (by a nasty looking Piggy Chops with a gun held on Don's head) - I know we cheer when we see these dialogues in action flicks from the great H. But believe me, here, you KNOW its coming! Other dialogues such as "Jab tak Don ko asliyat ka pata chalega, tab tak Don mar chuka hoga” - make you want to cringe! Much of what has been said in the movie should have been left unsaid. Some of the dialogues look like they have been translated verbatim from English - like maybe they dreamt up the scene in English, and translated it with Google translator or something. Eg: "Ab mein ne sab kuch dekh liya." (by a sinister looking Boman in a comical pose.)
  • Tall tales : How would you like to see SRK looking 6 feet tall? Let me not spoil one of the few surprises the movie has by letting you in on the secret. Lets just say, we are expected to believe SRK looks like a tall (!!), suave, green eyed gentleman in a scene. Also, you really think the MI-inspired-heist would go wrong because something tripped from SRK's clumsy hands?
  • Emotionless acting : Om Puri is acting in his sleep, and Boman has only two expressions. PC is trying very hard to balance sex appeal and toughness, and SRK well, is SRK. There could have been fireworks in the chemistry between Roma and Don, of which we see only some meaningless conversations (which, incidentally, I could predict halfway through the first dialogue.) How I wish we could have caught some of the sparks which the directer wanted us to catch!
  • Unused characters : Kunal Kappor, was a breath of fresh air, with a dash of human emotions in the roles, but he had very little to do! He was the only one who seemed that he was not sleepwalking, and unwittingly, the only gasp quotient in the climax involved him. Lara Dutta had nothing to do other than dance in that single dance number, and look pretty (which she did a good job of) - there was no twist involving her.
Verdict : My action-flick obsessed husband slept off in the first half, and I kept hoping to catch the Farhan Akhtar I saw in Dil Chahta Hai (just love that one!). My kids, however, aged 8 and 4, came back hopping and jumping like they had seen Don do it. And they were mouthing much of the dialogues as well. So I guess we know which genre the movie fall under! Do go and see it - just so that you know how SRK looks in an untidy hairstyle!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A hotel Review

Been travelling - a part of my job that keeps me sane enough to want to go back to work (yup! I got a clever boss!)

Also want to introduce you to a blog that got created with this one, but got terribly ignored, becasue I couldn't find stuff good enough to feature there. But have started thinking that maybe you guys can tell me how it looks.

See you soon with something better than a news report!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Paperback - the climax!!

Notice how we grow accustomed to irritable behaviors of people we are constantly badgered with? I have now been ignoring my blog so often, saying sorry seems an unnecessary step. But apologies accepted, I hope. Aww.... please? Pretty pleeeeeeease?

Ok, now that we understand each other better - here's what I have been waiting for all my life (in addition to that diamond bracelet and that world tour, ofcourse!) - my first presence in print! So now, you can read my words while attending to very important business on the potty seat too! (Hey! you possibly couldn't be doing that with a laptop now, could you? Unless your office has one of those chair prototypes that ensure maximum productivity!) Am sure Kalpak (of the empty vessels fame) would have more graphic details of the feasibilty on the same, but will restrict the same for now.

And here's the first look guys!

Needless to say, I am walking all over the spilled out contents from my bloated head, while at the same time biting my nails down to the last molecule of keratin. Out in Jan 2012, and fingers crossed......

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Meet the parents

What 'Men are from Mars...' did not cover was how men and women behave as parents. And believe me, when we take a close look at ourselves, it looks straight out of a comic book. As Manu Joseph would have us believe in his amazingly simple novel 'Serious Men', "When you observe serious men long enough, they become comical."

Parenting is very serious business. It goes beyond the institution of family, and on to create the futures of the world. And there are many concientious parents who truly believe that they can make a difference to the future with their contributions.

But, having said that - THATs certainly not what I am going to write about now. Completely true to my Aquarian bearing and sarcastic little grey cells, I fully intend to bring out the comic side to this very serious occupation.

Have you seen parents talk? To each other, to their own kids, to other kids, to THEMSELVES (yup! this borders on slight schizophrenia common to parents with really bad stress management skills). And here, fathers take a complete different take on the same issue as mothers. And THAT, ladies and gents, is what I intend to portray here. Some samples:

Scene 1. Four year old toddler has decided to take up painting as a profession.

Problem : His canvas is your satin-finish-expensive-as-hell living room WALLS and his paints are discretely smuggled nail paints and lip gloss.
Mother : *Scream/wail/gasp/faint*  followed by *run/scrub/hyperventilate etc.*
Father: : "Dude, you know how we can get this goop off my TV screen so I can watch the match?"

Scene 2 :  8 year old comes back saying the neighbour's kid would not play with her.

Problem : You want her to be able to make friends, get enough exercise by playing in the park, learn to play badminton, and OUT OF YOUR HAIR while you burn err.... make dinner.
Mother : "How many times have I told you that the best way to keep friends is to share your stuff.... what did you refuse to share now? And do you think dinner makes ITSELF come on the table? And after all the pastas I have made for the neighbour's kid when SHE comes here.... hey! COME BACK HERE!! ....."
Father : "Great! Now we can see the match together..... Did you know your Dad was the best bowler in college.......?!"

Scene 3 : Getting ready for a wedding

Problem: Its a WEDDING !!
Mother : "You, get off your butt and take a bath. YOU, stop watching your stupid cartoon and finish your milk. And YOU.... you just stay out of they way!" (you can decide what statement holds true for whom!)
Father : "I'm telling you EVERYONE's gonna be late - its a WEDDING, for heavens' sake. And why does she need to take a bath? She just showered yesterday!"

Scene 4 : Four year old brings back a note from school :"Your ward is not willing to write inspite of the teacher's help and prefers to draw cars" (yes, they ACTUALLY write 'ward'!)

Problem : Its MY son, dammit!
Mother : "How dare they call my son an idiot! What do they expect, an Oxford professor in Nursery? Where's my pen, let me write something intelligent back so that she'll know WE are not idiots!"
Father: "You the man! You like cars, dude? Wait till Dad gets his Ferrari ........"
Mother: "@#!$%$#^#$!!"

Scene 5 : Some poor shy little eight year old guy smiles at daughter at a party.

Problem : Daughter is cute
Mother : "Aww.... he's such a well behaved kid! Whats your name beta? Who is your Mummy?"
Father: "Grrrrrrr" When alone with the guy, "Watcha doing here? Got no folks of your own to bug?" While pulling said daughter behind him.
Mother : "What was that all about? Why did you make the poor guy cry?"
Father : "He's a GUY - that's why!"

Scene 6 : Son falls down and hurts knee.

Problem : When 4 year olds scream, the whole neighbourhood thinks you are murdering someone.
Mother : "Aww.... baby, its ok. See Mummy will beat the rock that hurt you (yup! we really do it!) Whack! whack! And Mummy will give you a kissy - wissy and all the pain will vanish" (can you believe this crap works?)
Father : "Get the band-aid! Get the dettol! Get the cotton! Oh my God! Blood! Where's the buffoon who knocked you down...............We may need to get the tetanus ....."

Scene 7 : Two parents talking

Mother : "Your son is so sweet. He really knows how to behave in front of elders." (While thinking "Wonder which school he goes to! But what horrible taste in clothes!")
Other Mother : "Oh thank you. He is verrrrry studious in school. But we have always encouraged his dance classes as well." (While thinking, "I hope she asks about his dance so that I can mention the Boogey Woogey competition he was in!")

Father : "Hi. My son can draw cars." (Thinking, "I wonder which car he likes to draw - I bet its a Ferrari.")
Other Father: "Really? Mine too." (Thinking, "I should check if  he can draw a Ferrari....")
*Shake hands and leave.*

No. I do not want to give away my family, but thank you very much for asking!