Wednesday, May 12, 2010

what's missing in bangalore?

what do you miss the most when you move cities?

your friends? your colleagues? your favourite movie halls? eating joints? your house/ flat/ apartment? the temple in the neighbourhood?

i recently moved out of mumbai. and i miss the shoe-shine boys! and the beggars in mumbai! (i don't miss the smells and the sights! thank you!)

i used to take the local trains every day to office and would get my shoe shined from the ubiquitous shoe-shine boy at the railway station platform! in mumbai you will find a shoe-shine boy at every railway station at any time of the day! (i have not seen a single shoe-shine boy in bangalore till date! and i've been here a month already! anyone knows where you can find them?)

so i now have to shine my shoes every morning before leaving for work. not that i'm cribbing, but the pleasure of getting your shoe shine from a shoe-shine boy in mumbai is something different altogether ! any true-blue mumbaikar would confirm that.

i also miss the beggars & the homeless people of mumbai. in bangalore if there is excess food left over after dinner we don't know what to do with it! it doesn't feel right to throw it in the trash. in mumbai we used to pack the food in containers and drive out into the night and hand over the food to the scores of beggars and homeless people you saw on the roads.

i'm not saying there are no beggars on the streets in bangalore, but they are definitely not as many and as obviously 'in-your-face' as they are in mumbai! and for me, that's definitely an indicator of the economic status of a city.

p.s. i am not missing natural's ice-cream! they have arrived in bangalore! :P

Sunday, May 09, 2010

big move!

and i'm back again!

this must have been the longest time i've been away! and even i never thought i would ever come back. but then i guess i was missing seeing my own posts out there! i'm such a narcissist! :P

there have been some big changes in my life... actually, big would be an under-statement.

for starters, i have changed jobs! and when you change jobs, or take up a real job after 15 years of doing your own thing, it is big thing! and especially when you have taken up a job which you have never done in your life and is not exactly your area of 'expertise'!

and because of this job, we've all moved out of mumbai! again, a not-so-small change, when you consider the fact that i was in mumbai for over 23 years! and the big boss has been there for even longer!

so we're now in bangalore... and its a whirlwind affair of school admissions, house hunting, maid hunting, furniture hunting, finding your way around, meeting people... its almost like starting life all over again!

the kids are having a gala time... we're finding new eating joints, shopping malls, complexes with swimming pools, and TELEVISION!!!
we're temporarily staying at a dear friend's place. he stays at this place only for a few days each week. ever since our brood moved in here, the tv set has been used for more hours than he ever used it over the last 5 years that he has been here!!!

p.s. every morning when i slip on my shoes, i miss the shoe-shine boys of mumbai!

Friday, December 18, 2009

a pound of flesh!

i picked up this movie just on a whim. i had never heard about it before nor had anyone recommended it to me. the very brief story-line on the cover jacket got my attention and i decided to check it out.

and i was glad i did!

if you analyze the film you will find many loop-holes. you would also probably be uncomfortable about some of the moral aspects of the film.

but i would very strongly recommend this movie for all film-lovers. its not a classic or oscar material. but what i liked about the film, apart from the good acting by will smith and rosario dawson, is how the movie keeps you guessing till the very end. and the best part is that you already have an inkling of what is unfolding, but you are still hoping it turns out differently. and that is disturbing. and that is what makes this a very interesting film.

seven pounds is a 2008 film directed by gabriele muccino (who also directed 'in pursuit of happyness'). the film is all about an individual who is reaching out to seven complete strangers and trying to change their lives drastically. and you keep wondering about the motive behind his seemingly bizarre actions. you can clearly see that he is punishing himself very severely and the story slowly unfolds to give you an idea of what's happening. the film has many loose ends which all tie up pretty nicely in the end.

go out and rent the dvd tonight. you will thank me for it! :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

mission junk!!!

most young parents would have read 'what to expect when you are expecting' and some would have even read the ones that follow...

but none of these books tell you about some of the perils of parenting, especially fathering!

take monday as a case in point! i was getting back home by the local train (my preferred mode of commute in mumbai) after a late evening in office when i got an urgent call from the big boss... i was asked to pick up some stuff which could be used as examples of junk food...

now before you wonder why she was so keen on junk food articles let me clarify! we had to send some examples of junk food pasted on a cardboard sheet which our son had to take to school the next morning...

most of the kids' assignments are completed only a 'jit' basis which ensures that we optimise our effort and put in the least time and get the maximum output to input (time) ratio on the projects! :P
and this is nowhere as efficient as some of the other parents who manage to complete it on the day of the submission before packing off the kids and their bags and snack boxes to the school bus... we still have a long way to go! :P

so as part of my clandestine assignment, i had to get off the train a couple of stations before my destination, get into a mc'donald's outlet near the station, order a value meal for myself, eat the 'junk food' instead of dinner... now comes the nest part...

i had to carefully and surreptitiously squirrel away the plastic glass, the plastic and paper containers in which the fries and burgers are served and leave the outlet hoping that none of the other patrons noticed!!!

i managed to breathe easily only after i reached home... i then felt like i had thwarted some major evil operatives and pulled off some major clandestine operation successfully!

"mission junk" completed successfully... ready for the next adventure! :)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

girls are smarter!

girls are so much smarter than guys... about certain things... (yeah ok, about the most important things in life... there, can i continue now?)

the big boss and i hired another movie tonight - duplicity (which i will write about later)

my son didn't even pause to look at the cover... i guess that's because it had nothing to do with cricket or football or guitar (his latest favourite musical instrument) or narnia or harry potter or any of those things which would hold his attention for a few seconds...

but our daughter doesn't miss a thing... especially when the picture on the cd cover looks something like this...

she promptly wants me to tell her what the couple is doing... (look closely at the picture of julia roberts and clive owen in the middle... missed it? she didn't!)

i knew that she knew, but that she wanted to hear it from me...

i tried talking about some other things... i don't remember but i must've tried talking about the weather... that didn't work... she listened to me patiently and then asked me again...

i then read out the synopsis of the movie on the back cover... she heard me intently and then asked me again... i realised that i am not getting away...

so i looked closely at the picture and told her that it looks like the man is trying to tell the lady some secret! she promptly curled her lips and said 'nah'... so i asked her if that was not it could she then tell me what they were doing? she said she wanted me to tell her...

i then told her that they were about to kiss... she then grinned and said yuck and went away... i thought i saw a smug look on her face as if she had scored a winning goal or something!!!

i tell you... girls are much smarter than guys about the most important things in life... and my daughter is just 5.5 years old! i'm sure the stories are only going to get more interesting with time! :P

Monday, November 30, 2009

films galore!

its been an orgy of films over the weekend... and i'm going around with a smile that would make you think that i've had a heavy sunday lunch or something! (btw, i did have a heavy sunday lunch too! :P )

i watched an old 2001 film serendipity'... nothing exceptional... fairly predictable, but nice... in a soft, mellow, feel-good kind of way, if you know what i mean...
the film revolves around two people (john cusack and kate beckinsale) who accidentally meet while shopping and click off very well... but they part ways without him knowing her full name... and she says that if they are meant to be together then life will bring them together! the movie after that is about how life finally brings them together, obviously! :)

i like the word serendipity which means 'a fortunate accident' and it actually has a very interesting history! you can read all about it here.


i then watched 'ninja assassin' late saturday night... this is a must-watch for action aficionados... the action sequences are choreographed and executed ... but if blood, gore and chopped-up body parts are not your cup of tea then i would strongly advise you to keep away... you could end up losing your dinner in a very unpleasant way! :)

the film is produced by the wachowski brothers of the matrix fame, directed by james mc teigue (v for vendetta) and the lead role is played by rain (a korean pop star actually! :) )...

the film gives you the impression that the action sequences were put together first and then they interspersed some kind of a story-line into it! :P

like i said, watch it purely for the poetry in action, the subtlety in the violence and the calming numbness of the blood and gore!

(i never knew that the human body could spew out so much blood and with such ferocity!)


and last night, the big boss and i decided to pick up a rental movie... and we both liked the brief description on the jacket of 'state of play' which is a 2009 american political thriller... its quite a power-packed film with russell crowe, ben affleck and rachel mc adams...

its actually a film adaptation of a 6-part 2003 british tv series by the same name... the film is directed by kevin macdonald (last king of scotland)...

the movie is tight, and moves at a fairly rapid pace and keeps you hooked on till the end of the 2 hour length of the film...
the script is very impressive with twists till the end, corporate conspiracies, some racy dialogs and humor...

the cinematography and the background score maintains the tension all through the film... and the actors deliver a punch with their performance... russell crowe as an old-fashioned journalist is a pleasure to watch in this film...

a must-see for everyone who likes a good film with drama and mystery!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

all i do is wait

all i do is wait
for a twist of fate
or a turn of events.

i seem to be standing
at the edge of a bottomless canyon,
waiting for a circumstantial nudge.

i expect cataclysmic events will unfold:
the cosmic soup will be bubbling
the infinite oceans will be seething
and the universe in my head
will go into labour.

new stars will be born
destinies rewritten
fortunes will be foretold
empires will crumble as i watch
and my sun will be on the ascendant.

but i am clueless
when it will all begin
and what will trigger it
and how.
all i can do is wait
for it to unfold,
spiral outward to the end
and beyond.

and then finally settle down
into an ocean of calm
where i watch my reflection
and see you smile back at me.