Friday, April 26, 2013

Of Spring Ball, Kunti, Ram's Sister, and Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge

Long time no see..

Last week was the Prom Night or the Spring Ball or another fancy term for the farewell. I generally do not go out a lot as I feel so lost in parties but I decided to go this time. Not many people came though but I had the most fun. Probably the first time after coming here. As I have been feeling so lonely for the last few weeks, I thought it would be best if I go. And then I realized that you do need to let go of everything sometimes. Forget all worries, forget all tensions. And it worked. Even mom said go out and do not worry. I was happy being there as was evident in the pictures. There was a photo booth set up to click pictures in weird poses with weird things. We clicked so many pictures and I love each of them.

And as Meredith says, 

Make a plan. Set a goal. Work towards it. But every now and then, look around. Drink it in. ‘Cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow.

And the most funny thing is what M told me. M sends me a message that I look hot in these pictures. Hahahaha.. I couldn't stop laughing. I have been called everything before nice, cute, etc. but it was the first time I am called hot. On a scale of 1 to Bradley Cooper (I think a lot of people say he is hot), I rank -100 on hotness. Then I asked M why I look hot. So the reply comes that you look very happy in those pictures and so look hot. Haha.. I just said thank you :) Imagine me as hot.. even the thought is hilarious ;-)

I went to Des Moines. Finalized house for the summer. It is a studio apartment, will live alone. I traveled all alone in the city. It was a bit intimidating but as long as the Internet is there, it should be fine. Now will move in mid-May. 

And you know the reason I have been feeling lonely is perhaps I am missing a few things a lot. Even when I was in Delhi, I didn't go out much except that I used to watch a movie almost every Saturday morning. It made me happy and didn't feel the need to go out much. But here I am terribly missing the big screen. I have realized I will be happy in a place where I can watch Hindi movies on the big screen, find good food and 'chaat' and enjoy the rains. Perhaps all these requirements would make me call a city as good to live for me. I am really missing the first two here. And that is what making me really lonely and stuffed I guess. But theek hai.. I will be happy :)

And I have finally started reading The Palace of Illusions, about which I wrote earlier. It is still the beginning but there is an excellent passage on Kunti. Chitra says,

Adopted by her uncle, the childless Kuntibhoj, she had no brothers to cherish her, no sisters to confide in, no mother to turn to for consolation. Her marriage to Pandu - one of political convenience - wasn't happy. Almost immediately he took Madri as his second wife and lavished affection on her. Soon afterward, Pandu was cursed by a brahmin. He left his kingdom in the hands of his blind brother, Dhritarashtra, and went to the forest to do penance. As faithful wives, Kunti and Madri, too, left the comforts of the court and accompanied him. Years passed. The children appeared. But one day, Pandu, no longer able to resist, embraced Madri. He died. The guilt ridden Madri chose no to live on. Kunti, devastated though she must have been both by her husband's death and his last act, gathered all her willpower. She brought the five princes back to Hastinapur, making no distinction between those of her children and those of her rival. She was determined no one would cheat them out of their inheritance. For years, she struggled  a widow alone and in disfavor, to keep them safe in Dhritarashtra's court, until finally, now they were grown. 

We all know Kunti's story but I never reflected on her until then. Add to it the ignominy of the birth of Karan, Kunti was perhaps the most troubled character in the Mahabharata.

There is a beautiful passage in the book on how Draupadi actually fell in love with Karan at first sight but it was Krishna's shenanigans that she forgot about him and later marries Arjun. 

And call it a big co-incidence, during the last week, Devdutt Pattanaik, the guru of all mythology books, wrote a terrific piece in Mid-Day on the elder sister of Ram. My favorite book by Devdutt is The Pregnant King, about a king called Yuvanashva in the time of Mahabharata, who accidently drinks the magic potion that makes him pregnant. The book talks about some concepts on gender and humanity with some great references to Shikhandi, Amba, Draupadi, and Ardhnareshwar among others. Read it. So he says that Ram had an elder sister.

Valmiki Ramayan does not mention Ram’s sister, however, in the Mahabharata we learn of King Lompada who adopts the daughter of Dashrath. In later literature, this daughter of Dashratha becomes Ram’s elder sister, Shanta. In Telugu folk songs she is described as being furious when Ram abandons Sita following street gossip. According to the Oriya Ramayan, following adoption, Shanta is given in marriage to Rishyashringa, a sage whose celibacy causes drought in Lompada’s kingdom. Following the marriage, the rains come back. This tale is consistent with the traditional theme of Vaishnava literature that condemns absolute abstinence which is seen as world-denying hence world-destructive.

Though Dashrath seems to have fathered Shanta without any difficulty, he is unable to father any more children. Dharma insists that a man must father a son and continue his lineage and that a king must produce an heir for the throne. A desperate Dashrath therefore marries a second and a third time. When nothing works, he decided to perform a yagna and compel the gods to give him a child.

The article here:
The story of Ram's elder sister

And last week I watched Mujhse Fraandship Karoge. I really wanted to watch it for some time and it is available on Netflix. So I saw it. I loved it. I was going ga-ga over Varun Dhawan's performance in Student of the Year but you actually have to see Saqib Saleem on his terrific debut. Not even one scene of any awkwardness before the camera.. almost flawless and natural. He was brilliant in the film. He would go places and he is actually playing a role in Bombay Talkies. Saqib is also the brother of Huma Qureshi (of Gangs of Wasseypur and Ek Thi Dayan fame) and he is also H's school friend. The film is very nice and so much better than Mujhse Dosti Karoge. I really really liked it. The character of Hacky was outrageously funny :D 

Hacky :D

At one point, Preity is just looking at the Facebook profile of Vishal as if looking to profile can compensate for the real talking. Haven't we all done that at some point in our lives? :(

Staring at the Facebook profile

And so does he..

And I loved this scene when Preity says she fell in love with Vishal and will get over it.


And Kareena got the NDTV Entertainer of the Decade award at the Indian of the Year ceremony. I was so happy. She totally deserves it. I think she is awesome :)

I don't have a lot to write. Exams from next week. Super hectic weeks ahead :\

More later.

Dialogue of the Day:

उन दिनों Internet नहीं था न..No SMS.. short messaging service..In short, कैसे वो हज़ार बाते कहोगे जो आपका दिल कहना चाहता है. एक smiley में वो कहाँ बात है जो class के across उसकी आँखों में देख के smile करने में है..लोग पहले teachers, parents, या दुसरे students से छुप कर प्यार करते थे लेकिन आज कल तो एक दुसरे से छुप कर प्यार करते है.. Library shelves और पेड़ों के पीछे साथ साथ छुपने के बजाय आज कल लोग एक दुसरे के सामने हो कर भी computer screen के पीछे छुप जाते है.. Internet connection की speed से प्यार होता है और उतनी आसानी से log out भी जो हो जाता है..If I think about it, कैसे किसी की clever bio line या उसकी display picture से किसी को प्यार हो जाता ..प्यार तो किसी साँस लेती लड़ती, झगड़ती, गुस्सा होती complex, complicated, sweet, idiotic, pretty amazing सी लड़की से होता है।। 
 - Vishal, Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge

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