Monday, December 31, 2012


I am at my cousin's place in California. Perhaps I shouldn't have come here. Things are not fine here. She is going through a really bad time. I knew things are not good but did not know its extent. I just hope this new year brings some happiness to her. Will write soon...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Of Snow, Cap, Meeting, Change, Wedding Photography, Becoming The Boss, and Heroine

Hmmm..long time no see..

This was the first week of the break. Everyone has left for home. A few friends are here. There was a blizzard two days ago and it was advised to remain indoors. For the last two days, I have not stepped out of home. I saw snow fall first time in my life. It is beautiful. When it was snowing, I tried to click some pictures but the wind was so harsh that I could not stand for more than a minute. There is snow still lying outside. But today the sun was out, so it has become all muddy and dirty. I slipped twice. The temperature is sub zero. Yesterday it was -18 degree Celsius. But inside the house, I am roaming without a sweater. The thing is all houses are centrally heated so whatever the temperature outside, you don't really feel cold inside. I will click some better pictures of snow. B kept messaging me to see how I was feeling in the snow. He has been living here all along and he wanted to know how people who have never seen snow in their life react to it. The people here hate snow and call it white shit. I know in a few days, my love affair with the snow is going to be over too. It makes you feel handicapped. You cannot do anything at all.

M gave me this cap for Christmas. I don't wear caps at all but she said it would look good with my black muffler that I have. It has my name embroidered on it :) Thanks. I gave her chocolates. 

My college friend S sent me a message that she is New York and she wants to meet me. Doesn't it feel nice when someone messages you to meet? I haven't met her in the last three and a half years. I really want to go and meet. And it is New York! But the thing is money :\ I don't even have a smartphone :P It would cost me a minimum $400. It is so expensive - flight, hotel, food, cab. My cousin, who stays in California, is calling me to her place. She is saying that you will get too depressed living all alone so I should go there and spend some time with her. I might go to only one place. California would be even more expensive. I don't know. But I want to meet them both. I will figure it out something. 

You know this is the wedding season no? For the last two-three weeks, a lot of friends or friend's friends got married. So, on Facebook timelines, there are a number of wedding pictures. I start seeing wedding pictures of friends, random strangers - whatever are seen on the timeline. I love wedding photography. I can never get bored of it. In the last few years or so, it has come up beautifully. By wedding photography, I do not mean the video-vale bhaiya holding a light in his hand and clicking your embarrassing pictures when your plate is full of everything that is available in the wedding menu, but rather natural shots of the bride and the groom and the wedding ceremony. Holding hands, looking into the eyes, the waiting bride, the smiling mother - howsoever the same they might look but I still find them all stunning. It is something so pure, gracious and soulful that you feel you know these people even though they might be complete strangers. This is the second type of photography I wish I knew (first is macro photography). Whenever my sister gets married, I will gift her a natural wedding photo shoot.

And you know this week it has been a year that I left my first job. It seems just like yesterday and now when I look back, I realize so much has changed in this year. I realized it when I was cleaning my mailbox and saw the powerpoint presentation that A had made last year. Whenever I am feeling low, I read it again. It makes me happy. I love everything written in it. I cannot thank enough. Life has taken complete new turns. Everyone has phases in their life in which for some years life is going smooth and some in which life changes completely. The phases where my life changed were - 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2012. But it is 2012 that has been the most eventful year yet. A new home, a new city, a new culture, a new country. Mummy and Papa are now happy that at least I am living my life independently. When I told my dad, it is snowing here - he said it is good that God is making you strong in a way :) Mom keeps saying to me you never traveled anywhere here at all and there you are roaming in Chicago all alone. Itna sab kuch change ho gaya ya. The second law of thermodynamics states that a spontaneous system always moves towards the path of increasing disorderliness and randomness. I don't know how much disorderliness that is in store or how much I can control it using external forces to increase the orderliness in the reverse direction. Sab theek hoga na?

I haven't spoken to you properly in more than two months. And as someone said, the worst part about distance, is that you don't know whether they will miss you or forget you...

For the last two three days, just out of curiosity, I have been looking at CV of the famous people in the government. Some of the people just amazing. Dr. Manmohan Singh is indeed the most impressive of it all. He has been such a brilliant economist - top position everywhere he went. 

You have to look at his resume here:  
He is a very nice guy but the problem with him is that he is perhaps not a very good leader. He is very quiet and thinks that things will change on their own. Sometimes, I really identify with him because I too am quiet. I should say things but I hold myself back. That is why sometimes I feel I will never be a very good  manager. In our class, the first article, our professor made us read was this one - Becoming the Boss. In the article, the author talks about how difficult it is to become a boss. Even in you are a highly talented individual, that does not mean you will necessarily be a good boss as well.
She says,
New managers typically assume that their position will give them the authority and freedom to do what they think is best. Instead, they find themselves enmeshed in a web of relationships with subordinates, bosses, peers, and others, all of whom make relentless and often conflicting demands. "You really are not in control of anything," says one new manager. Another misconception is that new managers are responsible only for making sure that their operations run smoothly. But new managers also need to realize they are responsible for recommending and initiating changes--some of them in areas outside their purview--that will enhance their groups' performance.

The complete article can be read here. I think every one should read this.

Yesterday, I watched Heroine. It is now available on Netflix. Now what do I say about it? Kareena - what an actress she is. She delivers another outstanding performance. She remains one of my favorite actresses ever. That is how you evolve from humble beginnings in Refugee, doing some terrible performances in films like Khushi and Fida, and learning to become perfect - Dev, Omkara, Jab We Met, Heroine. My problem with Heroine was the story. Firstly, Madhur Bhandarkar has such a narrow and a cliched view of the world. He thinks he knows about everything. He has no idea about homosexuality and always tries to show as if they are some kind of weirdos in the same roles. That scene, where Promita says, she is not a lesbian, it was just a moment. I felt like what is she saying? Who will explain him that it is not a choice! People are born that way. The same old effete designers saying babes, and at one point, Mughda Godse says to her boyfriend that he needs to sleep with another guy because he is a bisexual so that he could sign her for a movie. Woah! And the stupid dialogue, "hamare industry me zip aur zubaan dono band rakhni chahiye?"  And Mahi (Kareena)? What did she really want in life? She was disheartened when Aryan (Arjun) refused to commit to her. But then Angad (Randeep) who was willing to marry her, she says to him that she wants to focus on her career! Huh? And in the end, she goes and lives somewhere in Europe. Then what was the point of it all? And seriously who makes his/her own sex video like that? Even if you are making one, would you focus on the look into the camera? Anybody would figure out that Mahi knew where the camera was. Mahi was just a dumb character. Bhandarkar uses the same name 'Panache' he used in Fashion. Even the background score was similar to Fashion. The only scenes that were watchable were those between Shagufta (Helen) and Mahi. Otherwise, the movie is plain boring - no new insights. But I was shocked at one dialogue. At one point Mahi says to Angad, agar mera career fail ho gaya, to businessmessman ke saath mil ke ek IPL team khareed lungi. Ouch!

I put some of the pictures that I had really wanted to...

I am deliberately avoiding writing about what happened in Delhi last week. I am just numbed by even thinking about it. The driver used to ferry kids from my school. I have a lot of thoughts in my mind but not able to make a coherent sense of them. The girl's family eats only salt and roti at times because they don't have enough money. And the terrible irony of it all. She was going home after watching Life of Pi. In the movie, Pi says by the time he will finish telling his story, you would start believing in God. Will the girl ever believe in God? Why do we have to suffer? I just have a silent prayer that she gets well soon and is able to stand again. Grant us the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

More later.

Dialogue of the Day:

यादों के हिसाब लगाने से उनके मोल कम हो जाते है 
- Shagufta Rizvi, Heroine

Friday, December 14, 2012

Of The Bet, Pukar, Mom and B, Team 9, Sidin, Creativity, Rani, Koshish and Saathiya...

Hmmm... long time no see... this time it is really long time no see! I was busy with the exams on my head for the last two to three weeks. They got over today. What a relief. I don't know about the grades though. I always give my best effort, rest all is not in my hands no? The grades will be out in one or two days. I have so many small topics to write about. I must have forgotten some of them. I will try to recall as much as I can.

As you all know, Ajmal Kasab was hanged to death a few weeks ago. As always, it started this old debate on the validity of capital punishment. I read some thought-provoking articles on the same defending and condemning it. One of the pieces that I really liked was by Pratap Bhanu Mehta. I have always been a fan of his writing. In this article, he presents some points against the death penalty. I loved his article but I confess, I did not get it completely. Some of it was too deep for me to understand. But these lines were so amazing.

The argument that the death penalty deters crimes is empirically untenable. The most complex moral argument for it was Immanuel Kant’s, who, paradoxically, thought that the death penalty was a way of recognizing the humanity of the perpetrator. For Kant, the most important aspect of our humanity is that we are responsible agents. Punishing perpetrators in accordance with their crime, under the principle of ius talionis, is attributing responsibility to them, and therefore acknowledging their humanity.

I am no expert on the topic and my views do not count on it much but this whole issue reminded me of one of the stories in Class 12 English - The Bet by Anton Chekhov. It was an excellent story. Perhaps I might not have completely understood its significance at that time. When I think today, I realize it is still so relevant. Essentially, if I recall correctly as well as with some inputs from Wiki, The Bet is a story of a lawyer and a banker who have different opinions on the death penalty. The banker believed that capital punishment is more humane than life imprisonment, while the young lawyer disagreed, insisting that he would choose life in prison rather than death. They agree to a bet of two million rubles that the lawyer cannot spend fifteen years in solitary confinement. The bet was on, and the lawyer cast himself into isolation for fifteen years. The lawyer spends his time in confinement reading books, writing, playing piano, studying, and educating himself. In the meantime, the banker's fortune declines and he realizes that if he loses, paying off the bet will leave him bankrupt. The day before the fifteen-year period concludes the banker resolves to kill the lawyer so as to not owe him the money. However, the banker finds a note written by the lawyer. The note declares that in his time in confinement he has learned to despise material goods for the fleeting things they are. Therefore, to demonstrate his contempt, he intends to leave confinement five hours prior to when the bet would be up, thus losing the bet, thereby saving his own life.

The lawyer says these words to the banker,
You may be proud, wise, and fine, but death will wipe you off the face of the earth as though you were no more than mice burrowing under the floor, and your posterity, your history, your immortal geniuses will burn or freeze together with the earthly globe. You have lost your reason and taken the wrong path. You have taken lies for truth, and hideousness for beauty. You would marvel if owing to strange events of some sorts, frogs and lizards suddenly grew on apple and orange trees instead of fruit, or if roses began to smell like a sweating horse; so I marvel at you who exchange heaven for earth. I don't want to understand you.

When I read this again, I am amazed by the philosophical references of the story. I still remember a question that our English teacher asked in one of the exams - Who do you think came out as a better person in the end? Who won the bet? It's fascinating no? I miss studying English. These days my reading has almost become zilch. It's the only thing I am proud of. Do read the story here. It's too good.

There was another equally fascinating story in Class 11 - Freedom  - which talked about how individual freedom must sometimes be curbed to maintain order in society. It said that you have full right to play a loudspeaker in the middle of the night but should you actually do that? I still think our English in Class 11 and 12 was terrific. I have already written here about The Other Side of The Hedge, The Future is Now: A Zest for Living, and Machines and Emotions. I will write about some other stories as well. I still have all the books at home :)
During the Thanksgiving break, I finally watched Pukar. I liked it a lot but maybe because it was too dated, some things felt too silly. Some scenes were hilarious especially Rohini Hattangadi and Viju Khote. But I loved Madhuri who played Anjali. She is terrific in the film. She goes through a whole plethora of emotions in the film—happiness, jealousy, pathos, helplessness, dementia, disappointment, vengeance. She did it brilliantly. What I really liked was that in the end, Jai (Anil Kapoor) forgives her misdeeds and tells her that he loves her as well. Instead of killing her and trying to do the right thing  - Jai marrying Pooja (Shilpa Shirodkar), the movie, as one review brilliantly said, listened to Anjali's pukar of love for Jai - whatever she did was to get Jai and he realized that as well. Yes, she did some wrong things but she was fooled into doing them. On the other hand, Pooja stopped talking to Jai without even listening to his side of the story. Wasn't then her love fickle as compared to Anjali's? And as Aditya said in Jab We Met, when Geet is running from the house
गीत: सच बताओ। क्या मैं ठीक कर रही हूँ?
आदित्य: नहीं, तुम ठीक नहीं कर रही हो। पर तुम ही ने कहा था - जब कोई प्यार में होता है तो सही गलत नहीं होता। All is fair. और आज अगर मैं अपनी माँ को समझ सकता हूँ, तो घबराओ मत कल तुम्हारे parents भी तुम्हे समझ जायेंगे।

But I loved Pukar's music. Each and every song. What beautiful music has Rahman given. I was surprised it didn't even win a music nomination. Kay Sera Sera, Sunta Hai Mera Khuda, Humrahi Jab Ho Mastana, Kismat Se Tum, Ek Tu Hi Bharosa
Sunta Hai Mera Khuda (Is it the Grand Canyon in the US where it is shot?)
Madhuri is lovely and perhaps feeling cold ;-)!
And you know whenever I speak to my mom on Skype, she makes some very funny comments. She said, "Aisi koi technology nahi bani ki main yahan baithi hun aur tujhe screen ke andar se koi cheez pakda dun." I was like :} But then maybe in the future something like this come up no? And the other day, she made me talk to our house help B. She is working at our home for the last twenty years. Earlier it was her mom who used to work and since the time I have been in my senses, I have seen her at our home. She said to my mom that she misses me having me around. And then she said he never used to say anything that does this, does that, comes later even if he is sleeping. Aww :( That is so nice. I spoke to her and I felt very happy :) B aur Mummy ki to ladai-gappe chalte rehte hain :) 

Since the semester has ended, the teams that we were working in are now disbanded. There will be new teams allotted in the next semester. I loved my team - Team 9. I never had problems while working in our team. When I hear stories of other teams, I was like I am very lucky to have such people in my team. I have become very good friends with all of them - B, B, T, R, and J. They are such nice people. We pull each others' leg as well. R and B call me Panki (I did not tell them this name, they only came up with it!), B calls me God of Truth when I explained to him what my last name means. :) I am going to miss this team. I have learned a lot from them as well. 

I will say it again, I am in love with Sidin Vadukut. He is awesome. He is my idol. I want to be like him. He knows about everything. He has started this podcast on the history of the Indian Constitution. You have to listen to it. Everyone should listen to it! He says, when everyone was talking about the Lokpal bill he got really interested in our Constitution and started reading about it. He was hooked and he says that he continues to be fascinated by contemporary Indian history. You can listen to them here. He posts only one each week and they are not more than 15 minutes. When Dork 3 came out, he had a chat session on CNN IBN and I read all his answers. He said that he has now developed a passion for learning which he didn't have when he was studying. He likes to do a lot of things and he said that you need to learn to sleep less if you want to take out time for these things. He said that as advice to students, I will like to tell them to question a lot - don't simply accept what is being taught to you and everyone should listen to Econtalk pod-casts if you want to understand the world. I wish I could be even 10% as good as him.

And you know in the Organizational Behavior class, we discussed creativity. According to research by T.A. Amabile, creativity has three components - expertise, motivation, and creative thinking. Creative thinking is the innate ability of how creative the person is. A combination of his expertise, motivation, and skill creates a creative person. I started applying it to myself. Am I a creative person? And the answer came out to be a no. I don't have the innate creative thinking skills that come up naturally. I might have the motivation to do it but I realized I do not have the imagination required for a creative person. Perhaps that is why I am always left behind. And one of the misconceptions that people have is that creativity is all about artistic things!! It means the ability to come up with a new approach for a different problem or new ways of thinking. 

Then someone on Twitter posted this, talent is highly overrated and sometimes used as an excuse for not going out for something. Anybody who has enough passion to succeed in any field, can with consistent effort become more 'talented' than those who are definitely more talented today in that field. So if you've enough patience and enough passion, just go for it and become super-talented :)
Author Geoff Colvin talks about it in much detail in his book - Talent is Overrated - after going through extensive research on the world's most successful people in different fields who are wrongly called "naturally" exceptionally talented like Mozart, Tiger Woods, etc. But I still think some people are naturally gifted. Remember this:
I really wish I was a creative person :{

Shubhra Gupta of Indian Express wrote a fabulous piece on Rani Mukherji. She wonders whether our film industry has roles written for an actor of Rani's caliber. I loved every word of it. Rani remains one of my favorite actors. Love these lines:

In the films that Rani did after (Ghulam, Mann, in which she had a cameo, and Hey Ram), she proved she had that thing that all leading ladies need to make it in Bollywood. She could do glamour as well as plain-and-simple. She could dance. She could be funny. And yes, she could act. She wasn't just an able foil to her hero. She was a person in her own right. The rasp in her voice made her stand out from the clutter: you knew it was her a mile off. She managed to get the roles that allowed her to get under the skin, and not just show skin.

More than anything else, Rani could deal with being grown up on the screen. She didn't have the curse of having to be bubbly like poor Preity did. Because Rani started with drama, we accepted her in tears. We believed her when she wanted to leave her husband and go off with another man (KJo’s Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna). We liked her even when she exaggerated her inner Chaplin to play the girl-with-special-needs in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s baroque Black. And one of her best parts was the one she plays in Shaad Ali’s Saathiya, as a married woman coming to terms with the fact that love can vanish. It was a demanding role that needed the actor to be unpleasant, for the anger to be unforgiving: she played that one unflinchingly, and excellently.
Rani is awesome no? I really like the point that Shubra writes on Saathiya that love could vanish. Can it really vanish? That is topic of another blog. I will write someday about Saathiya as well. The must-read article for all Rani fans is here:

And you know what somehow I got reminded of this serial Koshish. It used to come on Zee TV and was made by Ekta Kapoor. It starred Sandhya Mridul and Varun Badola. It was about this girl who was tricked into marrying a mentally challenged guy but later she falls in love with him. Varun Badola brilliantly essayed the role of Neeraj and Sandhya Mridul was equally good. I don't know why I got reminded though! I loved it. Its title song is still on my lips. Beautiful lyrics talking about hope or koshish.
वो आशा है वो अभिलाषा,
 वो अपनेपन की परिभाषा, 
वो साथ चले बन के साया, 
उससे जीवन बनता आया, 
वो दुःख सहती, सुख देती है, 
वो आंसू भी पी लेती है,
 हर पल को मधुर बनाने की, 
जीवन भर साथ निभाने की, 
यह एक कोशिश,
 हाँ एक कोशिश, कोशिश....
Listen to it. It is awesome. YouTube says it is Sony. Koshish wasn't on Sony, it was on Zee. I remember very well. Sony had this another Sandhya Mridul show - Hubahu - about twin sisters, unhappy with their lives, secretly exchange life for a week but things go out of control. I am such a big soap junkie. Hubahu was so good. I still remember its climax—open ended and left you guessing. I miss those days when TV was good :( Now I don't even have a TV. I will definitely write more about Hubahu soon :)
I wrote a lot today no? I will write another blog post soon. I still have a list of five-six topics that I thought of writing. Maybe I will write in another day or two before I forget. Would love to hear other's opinion on the topics I wrote today :)

Dialogues of the Day:

Favorite scenes from Saathiya
Friend: अरे यार, नाम कद,वजन कुछ नहीं मालूम और 1 करोड़ बीस लाख की जनता में से एक लड़की को ढूंढे को कह रहा 
Aditya: मुंबई की आबादी
Friend: 1 करोड़ बीस लाख
Aditya: औरतें कितनी होंगी
Friend: 50%, 60 लाख समझो
Aditya: 60 लाख में से college जाने वाली कितनी होंगी
Friend: Hardly 10%
Aditya: चलो 10% मान लिया.. 6 लाख में से medical student कितनी होंगी
Friend: अच्छा तो मेडिकल student है ..1% चलो मान लिया.. 600.. नहीं नहीं 6000
Aditya: अरे तेरे number बड़े गड़बड़ है.. 600 में से लोकल ट्रेन में कितनी travel होंगी, only in Bombay
Friend: Doctory पढ़  रही है तो कार से जाती होगी. अगर हम बस, टैक्सी और ऑटो छोड़े भी दे, तो कम से कम 1% तो ट्रेन से जाती होंगी
Aditya: तो कितनी हुई
Friend: मुश्किल से 60
Aditya: 60 medical students में से एक लड़की का पता लगाना मुश्किल है क्या?
Dina: किसे ढून्ढ रहे हो? उस लड़की को? जो कपडे उतार.. जो रस्सी से कपडे उतार रही है.. उसका नाम मालूम है? सीटी बजानी आती?
Good शरीफ आदमी लगते हो ...ज़रा भुर भुर करो?
अरे bike को race दो ना।।
(Aditya does bhur bhur :D and Suhani gets angry)
देखा it worked.

Suhani: दी, तू वहां क्या कर रही है?
Dina: इन्हें रास्ता बता रही हूँ..भूल गए थे बेचारे...


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Of Happy Sad

Three more days... a long blog post is coming...

Love this fusion..

Like the page for more:

Dialogue of the Day:
Ae..Silent movie, thoda sound de na!
Hum sad kyun hote hain? Kyonki mann bhaari hai, heavy heavy!
Mann kab heavy, heavy hota hai? Jab mann ko koi hurt karta hai!
Mann ko kon itna hurt kar sakta hai? Jo mann ke very very close hota hai!
Mann ke very very close kon hota hai? Jiske sang mann very very happy feel karta hai!
Happy tha, isliye sad hai na, So be happy-sad not sad-sad!
- Cheeni Kum

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Long time no see..
Too much work :( Finals coming.. not neglecting the blog.. already have a list of 10 topics to write!
Will write soon..
Don't miss me much :) Thora sa kar lena :)

 - P

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