Sunday, November 25, 2012

Of M...

So long time no see...

This week was the thanksgiving celebration, so we had a few days off. As usual I had planned to finish some pending work but managed to do only half of it :\ I don't know where to begin. I have so many things to write but I am stopping myself from writing them. I don't know why..will write later everything. 

So this week followed a bell-shaped happiness level curve, staring with a low levels of happiness, reaching a peak and ending with a low level. On Friday, my friend M sent me a text message that she needs someone to talk to and she doesn't know who to talk to. I am not very close to her but I don't know why she sent me the message. I text-ed her back and she said she is feeling helpless and alone and she wants to say things because no one understands her and she thought I would. I really don't know why she said that because as I said I am not very close to her. So I called her back and she told me everything. The things that have been bothering her and she started crying :( Then she told me if we could meet the next day. We met and then she told her sad story. I was trying to console her even though I have the same insecurities :( It becomes very difficult when you face the same problem and have to tell someone else that it will be fine. You have to let go of your insecurity to make the other one comfortable. I hope she is happy. And then on FB, she put a status message thanking me. She calls me PKJ. No one can say my name here!

And the things she said disturbed me and I really don't want to go more in detail. I will be strong :)  And I am not going home in December. Things not working out, so will be here. Also, no money. Ticket costs 1,40,000. It will be cold and depressing here but it's ok :) 

I finally made paranthas for myself today. Had them after ages :) Onion parantha..will do more experiment in winter when my room mate is not here. Will be more free :)

Also, started a Facebook page for discussing movies. Thought a number of plans for it. I don't publicise my blog but I can post things on Facebook. Do like the page if you love movies: 

Will write more later. Have a lot of things to write. Soon :)

Dialogue of the Day:
सबसे ज्यादा पसंद मुझे यह दूरी है , क्यूंकि अगर यह दूरी न हो तो तुम्हारे करीब आने का बहाना न मिले।
 - Amar, Dil Se

Monday, November 19, 2012

Of Diwali and English Vinglish

Hmmm.. long time no see..

I don't know where to begin. It was a roller coaster week. By the time Sunday came I was lost.

So it was Diwali the last week. We had a Diwali function in college on October 29 itself, so there was nothing to look forward to. I had a full day class till 5 on Tuesday with an assignment due the next day. So celebrating Diwali was not on the agenda. But the good part was that my roommate's wife came over for Diwali. She had got the 'jalebi' mix from India. She made some 'jalebis' and we did a small pooja. It felt weird celebrating Diwali away from home but I guess home is where the heart is and I don't know where my heart is. Mummy called and she keeps saying such things which I don't want to hear. Always tries to make me emotional like she said "tujhe hamari yaad aati hai"...ab what do I respond to this?!?! Moms are funny. But as I always say it is only mummy and papa who are there always. Rest all people can only show concern but it's them only who stand by you always. Like Gloria said in another brilliant episode this week on Modern Family

"Making a child is the easy part; The hard part is everything that comes after: keeping them safe, making sacrifices for them, and standing by them even when they let you down.” 

I gifted myself a packet of cashew nuts. (Fact: In this country, peanuts and cashew nuts cost the same). You remember in Dil To Pagal Hai, on Valentine's Day, Pooja (Madhuri) bought gifts for herself because she felt that on Valentine's Day, you give gifts to people you love, since she did not have a boyfriend, so she gave gifts to her own self.

No one will give gifts to me here I bought some for my own. As I was thinking last week also to love yourself, what better way is than to gift yourself something. And as always, the cosmic connection theory comes into play. Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi posted such a beautiful and touching message. How can anybody use words to create something that goes and touches the deepest inner nerve in your body! He wrote:

Sometimes I wonder why people – friends, lovers, allies – leave our lives. The answer is: They do because they do. But the more who leave the chambered heart, the more it is returned to its authentic silence, its original darkness. Every diya you light tonight is a remembrance that the person you have been waiting for to return is so deep in memory it not possible for them to leave: you are the sum total of all you have known together. In the darkness of their departure, when you are entirely alone, the sort of alone comparable to old oaks and sentinels, know that everyday you wake up you are already in the best company: Yourself. Everything is just right. Happy Diwali 2012.

It so relates to what I had been feeling the entire week. I don't know how many times I have read this. Loved it.



That's Jalebi (no.. not me but in my hand)

I somehow found out English Vinglish is available online. I signed up for Netflix. It wasn't there. I then searched Eros. I found it there. I cannot watch a bad print movie. And torrents are not allowed here. So I specially paid for the subscription. I cannot live without Hindi movies. I was planning a trip to Chicago just because I want to watch Jab Tak Hai Jaan but it didn't materialize :( Will have to wait. So I finally saw English Vinglish. I loved loved loved every bit of it.

Sridevi is fabulous. Can you believe she hasn't done a film in fifteen years? How spontaneous and naturally she played the role of Shashi. If I ask you to do something you did fifteen years ago, would you be able to do it with the same perfection? It is very easy to say this but think of it in your real life. Can you still do a  thing which you do fifteen years ago. Sridevi is lovely in the movie. During her interview with Anupama she gave a terrific answer.

Anupama: I remember watching you during the shooting of “Chandni” and you were sitting when they were setting up the lights and not really talking to people but when Yash Chopra would say “action,” you would just transform completely. Is it still like that? Are you still a switch-on-switch-off actor?

Sridevi: I’m the same. I always believe in one thing: that acting should be from here [heart] not from your mind. I don’t believe in planning things. It has to come from your heart.

Acting from the heart. She truly does that. Look at those scenes with Shashi and her son Sagar. Such moments of perfection Sridevi brings to a character.

The most beautiful part of English Vinglish was the conversations between Shashi and Laurent. They both couldn't speak to each other and yet they perfectly understood what the other is trying to say. They shared a beautiful bond and as they say love has no barriers, it was shown as well. I could watch the film again and again just for the scenes between them.

Here are the English translated version of what Laurent said to Shaa-shee

They are sitting at the road side cafe and she laughs after realizing that she ordered in impeccable English, he says , "il fait plaisir de te voir rire" - which means it is a pleasure to see you laughing.

The day before their final meeting, on the phone he says "Shashi I fell in love with you..can’t help it..despite me knowing that...and obviously I will be pleased to see u cup of coffee maybe"

In the last wedding scene he says, "You will remain very special to me and I will cherish the moments spent with you for the rest of my life..”

One of my favorite scenes in the movie was when Laurent takes Shashi to the top of the building and she sees the beautiful city of New York. I thought that it was his way of making her see a new perspective, to see a world from new eyes. He is trying to open her heart, symbolic of the open space of the city that he is trying to show. He is trying to make her realize that she is at the top herself. In one of the earlier scenes, he explained to Shashi that she is an artist. When Shashi says, मर्द खाना बनाये तो कला है.. औरत खाना बनाये तो फ़र्ज़.. He then says to her, Food is love, You cook (sic) with love. Good Food. You make people happy. You are an artist.

Laurent was awesome. What acting has Mehdi Nebbou done. His expressions were so genuine as if he is really in love with Shashi. The way he emoted was fantastic. And as usual, I loved him because he didn't expect anything in return. He knew she was married but didn't expect anything except a cup of coffee. He used to take the same train as Shashi although he lived the other side so that he could spend some time with her. When she refused a coffee, he said if they could go for a walk. What else could he get no? And he would remember these moments forever. I want to know what happened to Laurent later :(

He is obviously in love with her!

And I loved Shashi because I could relate to her so much. While watching her scenes of coming to the US, it was like I was re-running my journey again. When she is sitting in the plane, she isn't able to figure out how to use the earplugs. When I was in the plane, I spent half an hour on how to use those earplugs with my co-passenger smirking at me. When she is trying to use the metro, she gets stuck and the guard helps her. But slowly, she gets used to it. I was lost when I sat in a bus here. But now I can go anywhere. In one scene, she says why do they keep numbers on the streets, why not simply name them. She was under confident about her life, whether she will be able to travel and survive. I couldn't help but think about the parallels between me and Shashi. When she gave the final speech I was shedding copious tears :( She said, "No body can help you better than you. If you do that, you will return back feeling equal. Your life will be beautiful. Family can never be judgmental. Family will never put you down. Family will never make you feel small." It's brilliant and totally what I had been thinking before. Cosmic connections no? :) Watch the speech here.

Gauri Shinde (wife of Balki who made Cheeni Kum and Paa) has truly done a commendable job. She dedicated the film to her mother. This is the story of every mother in some way no? Would be waiting for her next film :)

FT ranked her on the list of 25 people to watch for:

My favorite dialogues:

मुझे प्यार की नहीं इज्ज़त की ज़रुरत है

हम सब अलग है, तुम्हारे लिए वो normal नहीं है, उनके लिए शायद तुम normal नहीं हो। दिल तो दिल है न, दर्द तो दर्द है न..

पही बार एक ही बार आता है, पहला अनुभव बहुत ही स्पेशल होता है, एन्जॉय बेशक बेफिक्र बिंदास

Entrepreneur...शब्द नहीं हुआ, ग़ज़ल हो गयी।

यह कैसी मासूमियत है जो हर पल हमारी कमजोरी का फायदा उठाती है, सब कुछ सिखाया जा सकता है पर किसी की भावनाओं का ख्याल रखना कैसे सिखाया जाये।

Every child should see English stop treating moms as an embarrassment. When you do something embarrassing, she is the one who will come and stand by us. Natasha Bhadwar wrote a column on English Vinglish. I did not read it when she posted it but I just read it yesterday. It's too good. Read it here:

The next time Shashi’s husband laughs off her entrepreneurial venture and “jokes” that his wife was born to make laddoos, I want to hear her rejoinder. Say something witty, sharp and satisfying.

Shashi’s children need to hear her speak up. They will learn from their mother how to stand up to put-downs in their own lives. It will take more than just Shashi’s functional English to heal this family.

I want to see this woman confidently declare her aspirations to her family in their living room. No more guilty secrets. No silent tears.

I have some more things to write that completely spoilt my mood on Saturday and Sunday. I felt so low because of some things. I will write later.

Dialogue of the Day:
जब अपने आप को पसंद नहीं करते है तो अपने से जुडी हर चीज़ अच्छी नहीं लगती, नयी चीज़ें आकर्षित करती है, जब अपने आप को प्यार करने लगते है, तो वोह पुरानी  ज़िन्दगी भी नयी  लगने लगती है।
 - Shashi, Enlgish Vinglish

P.S. - If only I could learn this myself.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Of Chicago, Getting Back Your Hand, Dil Chahta Hai's Traditionalism, Shah Rukh Khan, Rekha and Dil To Pagal Hai Trivia I wrote the last week was super hectic. Somehow managed to scrape through it. I have a number of things lined up.

I am so so so happy for A :) I spoke to her and she told me a very good news. I know the last time I called her, she was sad and confused. Now, she has taken a decision :) :) Hope it turns out to be a very good one. She deserves all the best in of the very few people who can relate to me so much. 

I visited Chicago - my second visit after coming here. Every time I go fall in love with it a little more. It reminds me of Delhi in so many ways. It is modern and yet so traditional, people are rude, life is so fast, there are pockets where one should never ever venture out, but it is beautiful beyond words. It lets you be. It doesn't judge you. It is harsh but still you love it. I wish I could visit everything there. There are so many things to do there. We visited some companies there. One of them had a terrific office. A view of Lake Michigan with the Chicago river flowing in the front.

Park on Michigan Avenue

View from Sears Towers..

Glass Deck at Sears Towers (Paid $18 for the view)

Chicago River

I just managed to watch another awesome episode of Grey's Anatomy - Love the One You Are With. It was as always terrific. I learn so much from it. I should rather take it as a lesson to live life. The theme focused on how people in your life make so much effort to be with you, howsoever you behave with them - so give importance to them and love them back. Even if you are alone, love yourself. This was exactly what A told me - to love yourself. I always try but somehow am never able to.

 Richard gave this advice to Bailey. 
"You know what happens when someone lets go of your hand? You get it back. It’s a good thing. They all still love you. But it means you get your hand back. It means you have time… not to wash the dishes…But to do something with, to get out there, to take it to the next level. But you got to get out there, do something. And don’t look back."

Isn't it so true? When someone lets go of you, you get to be yourself and start loving yourself. But it's not easy no?

And this week, D sent me a mail which made me feel good. I was worried over some things but this made me smile. He wrote:

You are so awesome dude…especially your blog posts…it’s a weekly ritual for me and I wish I could be like you analytical, so much in love with movies…I’m going to watch that Yash Chopra interview. I also think SRK’s character in Darr is one of the finest.

And last week, A had also sent me an e-mail.

And you know what, I visit your blog every alternate day. On Saturday and Sunday, I visit at least 10 times, because I know that you will post something. Woh alag baat hai that I don't comment a lot, simply because you write very deep things and I can't think of what to comment :) 

Thanks so much :) I think A, D and S are the only people who read everything I write. I sometimes feel I should publicize my blog but then I will think every time I write. People don't understand things. They will always say kya rota rehta hai types. I am very shy (or afraid) of being judged by people. Call me a hypocrite but I think every time I write something on Facebook. Last week On Facebook, I put this picture of Simran and Raj from DDLJ and it became such a huge topic of controversy. I hate that. I removed it. Why can't people understand emotions? I avoid judging anyone as much as possible but why can't people do the same. I guess I will keep my blog as it is. But reading such comments is indeed very flattering :)

I also read another equally fascinating anecdote about my favorite film ever - Dil Chahta Hai. How much there is to learn from that movie. The writer says, 

Although it seems like a Hollywood movie, Dil Chahta Hai’s heart remains Hindustani, with its three principals professing a dosti that they will never torenge (“I will always be there for you”), Sid’s lap-hugging loyalty to mother  - even after she says cruel and unfair things to the woman he loves, and (as in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Pardes) benevolent paternal agreement the crucial ingredient for making Aakash and Shalini’s boat-rocking “love marriage” acceptable.

Love it. I love the point about Sid's lap-hugging loyalty to his mother. Awesome no? It is so true of DDLJ as well. I suddenly remembered what Anupama wrote in her book about it. She wrote that how DDLJ was so much about acceptance of parents (when Raj refuses to take the jewels given to him by Simran's mom) unlike the rebellion of Bobby. I miss that book. It is back home :( I want to re-read that chapter. She has written a beautiful chapter on DDLJ. 

This week on the The Front Row, it was the Yash Chopra special. Anupama interviewed Shah Rukh, Katrina, and Anushka. I love this picture. Have you seen such beautiful people in one picture? How sharp everyone is looking. I have to watch Jab Tak Hai Jaan but how? :( :( 

Read the interview here:

Seriously what is with Shah Rukh these days? He writes such deep lines that leave me thinking. I cannot wait for his autobiography. He is an awesome writer. Check his Twitter or Facebook timeline to see how profound he is.

The illusion that you could hold to yourself the things you most want and lose the things you least wanted to keep is the struggle of life...

There is something wrong in me. I sense it. I feel it but I don't know what it is. I have a beautiful family. I have a few friends with whom I spend lot of time. I don't want to die like my father. I don't want to be unknown. I would like to be just successful. Believe me it is lonely at the top.

Somehow there is this feeling of emptiness. I have this restlessness, strangeness, which I fill up with my acting. Once, my father took me to show a cinema in Delhi. He did not have enough money. We sat near Kamati auditorium and he told me that it is wonderful to see the vehicles passing. When I want to take my son out for a movie I should be able to show him the movie and not the cars. I think my father was most successful failure in the world and I am proud of him.

A lot of things which are Bollywood-like or flamboyant in me are actually to cover up my emotions. I don't have guts to be so simple. To avoid depression I act. 90 per cent of the things which I depict in the films are experiences of my life.

And finally after waiting for so long, Rachel Dwyer posted her moving tribute to Yash Chopra. She wrote this:
Leaving Bombay, stunned at seeing Yashji's memorial photo but full of admiration (as ever) for Pam Chopra. Yashji wanted to be a good person and often asked me if he was. I wish I had told him that he was a great person and that I am honoured that he was my friend. His body may have gone but his films are immortal.

Do read it here. 

I was also watching some excerpts of Rekha's interview with Simi. Simi asks her, "in the process of working with Amitabh Bachchan did you fall in love with him?" I loved her answer. She is awesome.

Absolutely...that's a dumb question. I have yet to come across a single man, woman  child, who can't help but fall completely, passionately, insanely, desperately, specially hopelessly in love with why should I be singled out.

Finally, I was just reading some trivia on Dil To Pagal Hai. Aditya Chopra and his ex-wife Payal made an appearance in the title song Ek Duje Ke Vaaste. It's ironic that the song began as someone somewhere is made for you. They both are now separated. This is perhaps Aditya Chopra's only appearance on screen. He is never ever seen. Very media shy he is.

And while I was listening, I see Siddharth Kak of the Surabhi fame is also there.

And of course, Yash Johar and Hiroo Johar

And Yash Chopra and Pamela Chopra..

Again confronted with some realizations. Something happened as well but I will fight :)

Wrote a lot today. Have a lot more to write. Will save that for another day.

Dialogue of the Day:

कितनी अजीब बात है हमसे मीलों दूर रहनेवाले चाँद की पूजा तो हम कर लेते हैं, लेकिन जो पास है, उसको पहचानते तक नहीं।
 - Rahul, Yes Boss

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Of Work, Icarus Paradox, Rachel Dwyer...

Long time no see..

This past week was terrible and the next week is even more terrible in terms of work. Three assignments, two midterms, two full days classes before the midterms, class till 8, Chicago trip, and household work..I am already getting tensed how will I cope up. Didn't have the time to read even the newspaper..was just skimming through the news :\ When work piles up, I feel helpless and lonely. But what else can we do? :) Perhaps that is the purpose...

I don't have much to write though. I have to send mails to so many people. I haven't responded to their mail. U, M, A, A, C, R and D...I have to write a mail to M. I just keep on postponing. She sent me a long message on Facebook. She wrote such a beautiful mail that every time I log onto Facebook, I read that and shed a tear or two. Solitude has switched places with perpetual loneliness. Why can't everyone be happy? I wish people find real happiness, and remove the mask they wear. I just remember what Anuradha's mom told her in The Last Song Of Dusk, "in this life, my darling, there is no mercy." 

I am also trying to make peace with the tyranny of distance. Some say distance makes the heart grow fonder. But I think it is right when they say: Out of Sight, Out of Mind. The hardest thing is just to convince yourself. I will like I always have. 

I absolutely love organisational behavior class, in other terms, it is also called the human resources. It is more of psychology. This week topic was conflict resolution. How do you resolve conflict in a team? During the discussion, someone said that sometimes working with a rude and demanding boss, who ridicules you is good in a way, as he makes you tougher. Look in the military, people are so tough there because of disciplined bosses. Then someone pointed out that military has also the highest suicide rate in the world. People get so affected psychologically that they get emotionally stunted. I totally agree with this. I just cannot work with a person who mocks and ridicules continuously. Prefer to be direct in communication rather than adopting negative ways to motivate. But I love this class. I also learnt something called Icarus Paradox. More on that class later.

Icarus was a figure in Greek mythology who fashioned some wings out of feathers and beeswax to escape an island. So enamored of his new found ability to fly, Icarus ignored warnings not to fly too close to the sun. Upon getting close to the sun, the beeswax melted, his wings fell off, and he plummeted to his death. This tale forms the Icarus Paradox: The same thing that had made Icarus successful is what led to his downfall. In his overconfidence he had become blind to the dangers of flying too close to the sun.

And do watch this video. It is a discussion on the life of Yash Chopra conducted at Brown University. Barkha Dutt and Rachel Dwyer talk about him. Rachel Dwyer is one of the most respected voices on Hindi cinema. She teaches PhD students at Oxford University who are doing their thesis on Hindi cinema. Isn't it a fascinating thing that one of the experts on Hindi cinema is a foreigner? She writes such brilliant insights on Hindi cinema. I am seriously thinking of doing some course from her if possible. I will write to her. But the only thing that stops me is money. How will I make a living out of it? Can I teach cinema? Neither am I a good critic (think more from heart) nor a good teacher? So how will I live? I get withdrawal symptoms sometimes. I still don't know what I want to do in life but reading and writing on cinema comes very close. In the video, she talks about Yash Chopra (she has written a book on him), his life, his upbringing. I love the part of Silsila and Lamhe. She also says there were different Yash Chopras - one of the Dhool Ka Phool, one of Deewar and Kaala Pathhar, and the third of Darr and films after that. Barkha makes a fascinating point that his films were based on romance but in essence, they explored the darker side of love as well. Extra marital affairs, getting married to the wrong person, falling in love with your mother's lover. Rachel makes an equally fascinating point that his films made us think what would we do if we were at their place. In Darr, he made SRK a stalker and yet the audience was rooting for him. Brilliant. I love such people. I have seen only half of it. Will see it completely. Here is the link. 

Got to run...more later..

Dialogue of the Day:

Raj: "हे Simran, चाँद निकल आया "
Simran: “कहाँ ?”
Raj: “वोह देखो "

 - Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge

P.S. Who would not fall in love with Raj? He is such a charmer.