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.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

a birthday gift!

i got this poem from a dear friend on my birthday... had to share it here with all of you! :)

(i won't blame you if you think i'm going through a narcissistic phase here! :P )


I tried it all!

Shopping at the mall,

Another painting for your wall,

But liked nothing at all.

So I thought,

And I thought

And after thinking a lot,

This brilliant idea I got!

If not a book or a tee,

Or a tie or CD,

The least I can do,

Is write a b’day rhyme for you!

So! Uncle Guru,

Your 40! It’s true.

Don’t feel so blue,

For you haven’t caught the flu!

Soon enough though

Your hair will no longer grow

But don’t be so low,

For your bald head will glow!

Even when it’s bright,

You may feel that it’s night

And Thanks to faulty eyesight

You’ll want to put on the light!

when Prasann your son

is playing in the sun,

he’ll beg you to join in the fun,

but you’ll say, “Oh! My backache’s begun!”

“Sunanda! Where is my cane?

Walking is a strain.

It causes my body such pain”

You’ll sigh in vain, “I wish I was 20 all over again!”

Memory loss will come soon

You’ll leave your keys in the bathroom.

And wonder whether it’s April May or June

While heading to the clinic, in a party costume!

“I can’t seem to find the other shoe!

Where ARE you Niru?”

“But it’s time for bed, Guru!

Look at the time, its true!”

And Alas! To read,

A pair of thick spectacles you’ll need,

They’ll be sitting on your head,

Still you’ll reach for your wife’s instead!

Breathe! I’m only kidding!

Don’t look so forbidding!

To take your case is my thing,

Read ahead, cuz I’m still writing…

I can’t do this anymore,

I fear it might become a bore,

I stretched the truth, and even lied

But I can’t insult you anymore, I tried!

So listen to the other side,

Take this in your stride,

For 40’s a milestone

And not a reason to groan!

You’re twenty away from 60

And already feeling 50

But you’re a young man of 40

Who at heart is only 30

You’re talented and poetic,

At your age you’re so energetic!

A movie buff, a music lover

There’s so much u still have to discover.

You are a great sport,

A constant support.

You’re a teacher, a guide

And just knowing you fills me with pride.

There’s so much you’ve taught…

Such joy you’ve brought..

That it’s impossible to say

How grateful I am, in just a day.

it’s your birthday today,

and I wish and pray,

that you find your way,

smiling, each day.

Monday, September 07, 2009

forgotten melodies

everything seems larger than life
nothing seems normal anymore
every minute detail seems too close for comfort
and screaming without a sound.

maybe i need to step back from the peeping glass
and look around and see
the landscape spread as far as eye can see.

and see that day follows the darkest night
and spring follows the coldest winter
while life keeps moving on
whether i stand still or race ahead.

come hold my hand
and let's walk this last stretch together
we then have a lifetime more
once we reach the end of this road.

sing me your songs
so that i can sing along
and not think of 'could have beens'
or forgotten melodies.

Friday, September 04, 2009

i have learnt

i have learnt
that today is what i have
to live and to learn from.

yesterday is long gone
leaving memories
not always sweet.

and tomorrow
is too uncertain
and often packs surprises.

i have learnt
that love is not just a feeling
but is a state of being
in love.

and that willingly
i yearn forever
and smile through pain
and yet not want it to end!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


this might be slightly late in the day for many of you, but for those of you who haven't watched the movie 'kaminey' here're some words of advice :


this was my first vishal bharadwaj (vb) film (yeah, sacrilege, i know!!!) and it is not considered as his best film by far... infact a friend who's a vb fan sayd that this film was very 'main-stream commercial' as compared to his earlier films... but i still enjoyed it thoroughly!

i'm not going to bore you with another review here... there are so many reviews out there already...
but i'd like to share some kaminey and vb trivia here with you...

- the song 'dhan te tan' was actually not made for this movie... it was used by vb in a tv serial in the 90s...

- there was apparently much choreography planned for the song dhan ten tan... they just went out there and moved to the music and some of that was captured (i find this hard to believe though)

- vb himself has sung the title track 'kaminey' and his wife rekha bharadwaj (she has sung the catchy 'gendhe ka phool' song in delhi6) is one of the singers of the song 'raat ke dhai baje'

- vb has directed, composed music, written the screenplay and sung for the film... its unhealthy! so much talent concentrated in one person! :P

- he bought the script for $4000 from a nairobi-based writer who he mentored in a scrip-writing workshop in uganda

- this is the debut film for amol gupte who plays the role of one of the key villains - bhope bhau. amol gupte wrote the screen play for the award-winning taare zameen par.

i have now decided to catch up on all the vb movies that i have missed - maqbool, omkara, blue umbrella and makdee. the big boss shudders at the thought! :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

a peep into my feverish mind

boundless hope
unbridled desires
untamed passion
fervent prayers

primal needs
basic wants
ardent longings
urgent cravings

sharp pangs of hunger
parched throat thirst
and then this great urge
a deep inexplicable yearning

so many thoughts
swirl around in my mind
but i ride an ocean of calm.

Friday, July 31, 2009

rhyme's not for me

i fret and i fume
and feel out of tune,
and against all my efforts
fate seems immune.

i fall and i rise
for i am unstoppable


rhyme is not for me
it just doesn't have soul,
when telling it as it is,
is actually my goal.

i let you know how i feel
as i lay myself bare,
and if it doesn't fit into a metre
i really don't care.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

here we are, you and i

so here we are
you and i
connected to each other
with unseen bonds
stronger than our own fears

savoring each other
living the moment
reaching out across
and touching
just for the joy of feeling you

blinking and noticing
that you are still there
not an apparition
flesh and blood
my love coursing through you

the intensity engulfs me
and i close my eyes
in sheer ecstasy
only to notice you
are now merged within me

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

man vs. animal

there's this funny anecdote i had heard about why men are behaving more and more like animals... and why animals so much more humane than most of the specimens of our species!

if you believe in the hindu theory of reincarnation you will know that the soul is imperishable and is reborn in differnt forms depending on their accumulated past actions... now given the way in which most of us live our lives we should be reborn as animals... but then we human beings have not spared too many of the animals either... in fact we've driven many of them to extinction!

so some of us come back as human beings because there were no animal forms available at the time we were born... so we were accidently born as human beings when we should have actually been born as some animal!

so maybe that explains why most of us behave more and more like animals... sometimes more than the animals themselves!
(now some of you might say that i'm only 'monkeying' around here! but i'm not passing off some 'cock' and 'bull' story here... and i'm not going to 'chicken' off by your threats! :P )

there was this very interesting discussion about the key differences between human beings and animals that i read in this slightly bizarre book called 'fierce invalids home from hot climates' by tim robbins.

the list of characteristics that differenciate man and animal include - imagination, rebelliousness, aesthetics, spirituality, eroticism, and humour.

now when you pause to think about it, you tend to agree with this list... and it leaves you wondering if there was anything else you could add to this list... (i couldn't think of anything, can you?)

i then flaunted this list to the big boss on day... i felt she too would feel humbled by this list and wonder if she could add something to complete the list...

she heard me out and then summed it all in obe single sentence - "all of these have to do with the intellect... and that is essentially what differentiates a man from an animal!"

suffice to say that i was humbled and struck speechles... which people who know me will certify is an extremely rare occurence! :P

Thursday, June 18, 2009

tagged and delivered!

i normally don't do tags... where i have to talk about the 12 things i would like to do by standing on one foot; or the 23 things i would do with a cricket ball; or the 6 continental dishes i absolutely hate; or the 9 smelliest people i have ever come across...

i just can't get myself to do these things... but today i decided to break this self-defined rule and do this tag which preeti tagged me here

so here are the 5 things i love about being a dad :

i am sure there are many more relevant and esoteric reasons for being proud of being a dad, but here are the first 5 that come to my mind...

1. i love having my kids falling asleep while lying on top of me... not any more of course... they weigh quite a bit... but earlier when they didn't weight so much that they squeeze the breath out of me! :P

2. i love hearing my son tell me excitedly about how he scored a beautifully executed goal or catch someone out in cricket or win a chess game... ((most of the time he doesn't get chosen by the other boys to play because he can't kick a ball to save his life... but he makes up for it with all his enthusiasm... and its fun just to hear him describe it all... i always tell people, even if he doesn't become a cricketer, he has a future as a commentator! :P )

3. i love it when my daughter comes and whispers a secret in my ear and doesn't want me to tell her mom... and then the minute her mom walks in the room she can't hold it back for even a couple of seconds... she just has to blurt it out to her! :P

4. i love it when my daughter is scowling and moping (usually because she hasn't gotten her way for once) and tries to maintain a stern, serious expression while i am trying to get her to smile... and finally she can't control herself anymore and ends up grinning or bursting into laughter :)

5. what i love most is watching my kids walk hand in hand, while the older brother is leading his younger sister by hand across the road to the waiting bus on their way to school... :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

space: the final frontier

"Space: The final frontier
These are the voyages of the Starship, Enterprise
Its 5 year mission
To explore strange new worlds
To seek out new life and new civilizations
To boldly go where no man has gone before"

so many of us have such nostalgic memories when you hear these lines... of the eagerly awaited star trek series on sunday morning on television (on the solitary doordarshan channel in those days)...

i have never watched a single star trek movie after the tv series... i couldn't even bring myself to watch the new series which did not have william shatner as capt. kirk and leonard nimoy as spock... (i remember all the girls in school in those days being completely smitten by capt. kirk... yeah yeah, i know i studied in an all-boys school and you are wondering how i know this about the girls... well, i am not telling!)

but i finally decided to watch the latest star trek movie which is a chronicle of the early days of capt. kirk and his fellow uss enterprise crew members...

all of us trudged off for the sunday morning show... the big boss and the kids... the kids actually enjoyed themselves... and i don't mean just the popcorn and the fizzy drink... they actually enjoyed the film... though the younger one (daughter) did get a little frightened during some of the scenes... it was their first sci-fi film on the big screen...

i simply loved the movie... even if you have never watched star trek you will really enjoy this film... and if you are even a fringe fan of start trek and don't consider yourself a trekkie you would still be comiting an unforgiveable sin if you do not watch this film!

the movie has leonard nimoy playing the old spock (i am not telling you anything more) and he still can make you smirk with his logical dialogs delivered with a punch...

but for me, just like for another die-hard fan i chatted with earlier today, the most 'goose-bumpy' and emotional moment in the film was during the end credits where leonard nimoy says 'space: the final frontier....'

ah! that was the bestest moment in the film for me... but you have to watch it understand what i am saying...

i will sign off by borrowing spock's customary farewell line (accompanied by the vulcan hand salute of course) - "live long and prosper!"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

not so simple

this is the first poem i received in response to my tag... a really nice poem from manasi
here's the link to her blog and the actual poem below :

ओ आसमान में उड़ते पंछी,
कभी मुझे भी अपने साथ ले जा.
खुल कर निडर मुक्त गगन में,
एक उड़ान की चाहत जो है.

बैठी है जो टीले के पीछे,
वो बुढ़िया जो अपना चूल्हा फूकती.
बताया उसने कि तुम ले गयीं थी उसको,
एक सूखी रोटी के बदले.

मैं होमवर्क पूरा कर लूंगी,
दूध वाले को तंग भी न करूंगी,
उस गुरजीत से नहीं लडूंगी,
एक उड़ान की चाहत जो है.

Friday, June 12, 2009

a different kind of tag

i got a beautiful poem from a dear friend which i am reproducing here.


i wonder..

will there be a storm,
with howling winds,
and torrential showers,
when you come..

will the earth separate,
with molten lava
swirling at your feet,
when you come..

or will the mountain peaks,
lift their heads higher,
and roar to the world,
that you have come?

maybe, the trees will march,
with creatures of all sizes,
in the parade,
on the day of your arrival.

i wonder, if the brooks and streams
will join hands,
and create a wreath,
to welcome u with..

i wonder, whether this lil flower,
with petals so tiny and blue,
that just fell into my hands,
is actually you..

- riddhi shah (mumbai)

i am sure there's a poet in each one of us. now what i'd really like is for you to send me one of your poems. whichever you like. either its one you have already written before or you can write one now. send it to me and i'll publish them here. why should you do this? just so that others can enjoy reading your poems.

i'll give source credit! :P
which basically means i won't pass them off as my creation... you'll get mentioned with a byline and with the url to your blog .

so go on, don't hesitate... let the creative juices flow and share it with the rest of the world...

(there's no deadline for entries... i'll keep posting them as i receive them)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

naming cyclones

ever wondered how they come up with these names for the cyclones and typhoons that hit coasts across the globe? (and ever wondered why most of them are named after women? aptly so, some might say!:P )

most of you would know that the latest cyclone which hit the coast of india and bangladesh was called 'aila' (no, its not a marathi word :P ) and it means fire in the dhivehi language of the maldives.

ok, now check this out... let me mess with your minds a little bit! i can predict what the next three big storms which hit this part of the world are going to be called! hold your breath... they will be called - phyan, ward and laila! got you there, didn't i? i love this! :)

well, this is the point where i let you into a little-known secret... cyclone names across the world are fixed in advance! this is apparently done by the WMO (world meterological organisation) which is an inter-governmental body that collaborates on everything to do with weather... they also make a list of names for storms & cyclones!

in the us (trust them!) they apparently used to use only women's names for the devastating cyclones they are regularly plagued by... until 1979... feminie protests made them amend their ways and so now they name them with male and demale names alternately! that's like sharing the blame equally for all the mess we create in the world! :P

read all about the naming of cyclones on livemint here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

how to make your blog a comment magnet!

most bloggers have this secret fantasy about their blog hitting it big-time in terms of popularity and getting hundreds of comments for the posts that you write about...

there are some blogs which are in that league... but most blogs, like the one you are reading, do not boast of a huge fan following ...

so here's my own list of things you can do to make your blog a super-hit and attract more visitors than flies to a piece of jaggery! :)

1. write a daily blog on food and recipes and everything to do with food... this one can't fail... food is the universal solution for peace... i never fight with big boss (or vice-versa) when i am well-fed :P

2. write a blog with daily posts on lascivious gossip on celebrities... again a sure-fire winner... especially if you can include some steamy pictures!

3. write a blog with daily posts (preferably many updates during the day) on stock market activity with stock tips and all the associated rumors... there are thousands of wanna-be millionaires out there who will lap it up!

4. the most reliable and the oldest and tried & tested way of getting people flocking to your blog is to make it a classy porn blog with pictures and stories and advice and tips and all the paraphernalia thrown... you not only get a lot of visitors but you also have a good chance of making your millions faster than through the stock markets!

5. or else you do what i did... put up a greenpeace mailer on your blog (, thanks to some misplaced enthusiasm... and suddenly you have tons of people commenting everyday... in the beginning i noticed there were a lot of people from one side of the divide writing in like there was no tomorrow... and now there's deathly silence from that side... now it is the other side which has suddenly woken up... and every day i get about a couple of mails without fail... (after some time i stopped publishing the comments)

initially i thought that my blog was becoming the chosen battle-field for all these environmentally conscious citizens from around the globe... but after some time i realised that maybe i was slightly off the mark here (ok, way off the mark actually.. so don't rub it in, ok!)... my blog was just becoming a platform for both the sides to take pot-shots at each other through some people who plant these comments using various fake names...

i guess both sides in such episodes have a lot to lose with millions at stake... and their reputations as well... but i wonder how it helps their cause by bombarding hundreds of comments on blogs such as this one?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

reaching out

the leaves whispered urgently
as the wind came visiting
with news about you and
a message just for me.

across the distance you reached out
and touched me and smiled
as i started and looked around
wondering if you could see me.

the river gurgled past
and carried my thoughts
across the eddies and currents
and wound its way to you.

and as you drank deeply
of the cool water in your cupped palms
you could hear my response
echoing within the deepest part of you.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

birthday celebrations and a movie

i know, no long time no post... but fret and fume not, i'm still here! :)

this one is actually two posts in one!

i just got back from a fun-filled day... i had gone with my kids to attend a kid's birthday bash... and i thoroughly enjoyed myself...

now children's birthday parties are not exactly my cup of tea, those of my own kids included... and spending a full sunday attending a birthday bash is definitely not my idea of a sunday well spent... the lord had asked us to rest on this day and i prefer to take that word quite seriously... so what if i am not of the same religious leaning, or if i don't exactly follow most of the other commandments as seriously! :P

in this case the kid's parents had organised a day of adventure for the kids at an adventure camp at rivertrail (ecomantra) at kolad. its about a 2.5 hour drive from mumbai on the mumbai-goa route and is located next to the river kundalika. the kids had a whale of a time canoeing, kayaking, and playing in the river. and the parents too couldn't keep away for too long and we all joined in the fun. nothing like a dip in the cool river on a hot summer day!

the brochure of the camp tells us there are many more activities available at this place and it is ideally located for a group of families to spend a fun-filled adventure weekend.

i am sure i am going to wake up feeling sore all over tomorrow, but it was worth it!


the second part of this post is about a movie a friend and i wanted to see for a long time which we finally managed a couple of days back...

we wanted to watch train-spotting long before slumdog millionaire was released but we finally managed to watch it only now... this was the movie which had accorded danny boyle with a cult status long before most of us heard about him after his latest offering...

train-spotting is definitely not for the weak-hearted... but if you like gritty edgy films, this one would get slotted right up there! it gives you a peep into the dark world of heroin addiction and the youth sub-culture in the early 1990s. (the film is set in edinburgh). the film is graphically violent, morbid in parts and dark in the true sense of the word. it follows a group of youngsters who choose to opt out of a regular career-based life that society expects everyone to follow for a messy drug-driven chaotic existence. and it then traces the steady deterioration of their lives.

in the end the main character played by ewan mcgregor decides to clean himself up, but you are left wondering whether he's just jumped from the frying pan into the fire!

if you are into films and especially the hard gritty ones, which don't necessarily end happily and giving you hope, then don't miss this. the others can give it a very wide berth!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

shivaji resurrected!

a movie has to be really good to inspire me to write about it on my blog on the same day! (i watched delhi 6 a few weeks back and didn't write about it at all... well you know what that says about that movie! :) )

but this is about a completely different movie... its about this marathi film called 'mee shivaji raje bhosale boltoy' which has been making waves ever since it was released... in fact it is touted as the largest grosser for a marathi film ever!

this film could also be the comeback vehicle for actor-director mahesh manjrekar whose cousin brother santosh manjrekar has directed this film.

though the film is in marathi, most of you will be able to understand if you can understand hindi... though the film is about the 'marathi manoos' rediscovering his lost pride, a person of any other community also will be able to connect with the theme of the film...

the film is very slickly produced, just like a nig-budget mainstream hindi bollywood film... the casting is excellent, the dialogues are forceful and the pace doesn't ease up at all...

the film is about a middle-class bank clerk, dinkar bhosale, who is making ends meet... he is constantly ridiculed and pressurised and insulted by his office colleagues, family members, and many others in his day-to-day life... a strange twist in the story brings him face-to-face with the resurrected maratha warrior king, shivaji maharaj at his pratapgarh fort... (this does remind of you munnabhai m.b.b.s. but this film is very different)

after this he becomes a hero of sorts and resolves many issues related to the education system, police, politicians, builders, film industry, etc. some of these resolutions are fairly cliched but the overall charm of the film is not lost...

i must've watched a marathi film after more than 20 years! and i have been trying to watch this film for the last 2 weeks and for over 5-6 times my plans changed... i was convinced this film was jinxed :)
boy, am i glad i persisted and finally watched it earlier tonight...

if you are a maharashtrian, its a shame if you haven't wacthed this film yet!
if you are not, but are living in maharashtra (or were living in the past) then you must definitely watch this film...
and if you are not living in maharashtra and you do not understand marathi, then you should hire a dvd with sub-titles and watch this film...

you will thank me after watching it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

bon appetit!

yesterday was vishu... which is the mallu new year ... it also happens to be the new year for tams... (if i don't mention this here, big boss will go 'hmmp' at me! :P )

like any other mallu festival, vishu is also just another excuse for mallus to go around wearing their crisp white shirts and starched dhotis and have a huge meal on a banana leaf...

no mallu festival is complete without a huge stomach-stretching meal! and its called a 'sadhya' and there's nothing sad about them except that we have only one stomach to stuff all the food into! these are literally mini-orgies where mountains (some might call them mounds, but that depends on which side of the vindhyas you are from!) of rice are polished off with almost a dozen other accompaniments... and you better not try say the names of the dishes to any hot-blooded north indian else he will bloody your crisp white shirt assuming you were saying rude things to him and his ancestors!

no mallu sadhya is complete without a few basic dishes including avial, olan or kalan, sambar, ingi-pulli, thoran, pachadi, papadam, payasam, banana chips, chakaraperati (sweetened banana chips)... trust me, all these dishes taste much better than they sound! :P

and then while i was recovering from a huge meal by wallowing all over the couch like a beached whale, i started thinking... which is what i do when i am full and satiated...
among other things i thought, i realised that its not only the mallu festivals which are about food...

most hindu festivals are gastronomical celebrations... and i think that's the single most important reason why kids love festivals and all of us have fond memories of festival celebrations... whether it is diwali or holi or vishu or pongal or navratri or teej or khojagiri or any other festival of any of the hundreds of communities in india always have some focus on the unique kind of food that is associated with that festival...

and somehow food plays an important part in these festivals because, i think, food generates a sense of well-being and prosperity and peace in the community... a well-fed person, like a well-fed lion, is always less likely to snap or growl or be a general nuisance to the soceity at large!

i'm all for all our festivals and i believe that they should be celebrated with all the elaborate ritual and gaiety... and on those days, keep aside your chronic concern for calories and just dig in... bon appetit! :)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

lost in the grandeur

last night i dreamt of
snow-capped mountains
and mountain streams,
virgin beaches and dense woods.

and you were flying
by my side as we took in
the panoramic scenes
that filled our vision while we
lost ourselves in the grandeur.

and when i awoke
you were still there beside me
and i watched as you slept
your perfect lips lightly smiling
the cascading hair, and a few
errant strands across your face.

and that's when i lost myself
again in the grandeur of this vision!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

sun and sand and a good time!

the golden square gang was at it again! doing what we love doing... we used the holiday last friday and went on a weekend getaway... this time it was to the coastal city of karwar.

we were 10 families, 37 individuals... the youngest was a little over a year old and the oldest was... (i am not telling you our secrets! it makes me feel too old actually! :P )

we had booked cottages at the devbagh beach resort which is a beautiful resort with furnished cottages, log-huts and tents situated in the midst of a dense casuarina grove. the resort is on prime property, right next to the devbagh beach with clean, beautiful sandy beaches and blue-green waters of the arabian sea.

we took the matsyagandha express from mumbai which is a convenient train to reach karwar and the kids always enjoy a good train ride. it always adds a sense of adventure to any trip!

we spent three days at the resort and didn't move out for any local sight-seeing, though there are many options in the vicinity. but we still had a action-packed and fun-filled time at the resort itself.

we were taken out to the deep sea for a joy-ride and we were hoping to see some dolphins which can be spotted here... but we were not lucky. though one of our team members was luckier and he managed to spot some dolphins the next day when he had gone snorkelling.

we also managed a few water sports including a banana-boat ride, water scooter rides, kayaking, etc. and these were activities which even the kids could do safely... and they had a whale of a time! we also spent a lot of time at the beach... and it was so refreshing as compared to the beaches in mumbai... it was far less crowded, the sand was golden, the water was also so clean... the kids and adults alike did not want to step out of the water!

the food was also very good... not the usual greasy punjabi food that you get in most of the resorts... here they served a lot of local dishes which everybody enjoyed... since we were the largest group at the resort, they even asked us if we would like any specific dish prepared... and they made some amazing local crab preparation (as reported by the carnivores in the group! :P )

while the kids did their own thing, we adults played antakshari, dumb charades, taboo, teen-patti, etc. but the highlight of the trip was the impromptu game of throw-ball that we came up with... we played on the last two days and they were very exciting matches... each point was hard-fought... the only problem was that in the enthusiasm we'd forgotten that our bodies were no longer as young as they used to be... we were all aching all over after the trip! :P

so if you are looking for a relaxed weekend to destress yourself, then karwar is the place to head for!

here are the pics of our trip which will give you an idea of the place and the activities

and here are some amazing nature pictures from karwar

(all pics courtesy - murli nambiar)

Friday, April 03, 2009

lazy sunny afternoon

i lie on my back
on this grassy knoll
content watching the clouds
as they form strange patterns
in my head.

a lazy stream gurgles
somewhere nearby
as it meanders across
trying to find meaning
through its wandering
towards the sea beyond
the distant horizon.

she's also lying beside me
maybe dozing
or is that her humming
my favourite song?
we both don't utter a word
lest we disturb the
comfortable silence
cocooning us.

her delicate perfume
wafts across and mingles with
the smell of the grass
crushed under our bodies
and makes for a heady mixture
that i inhale deeply.

i shut my eyes softly
and now
i'm at peace with the universe.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

at the ocean's edge

i sat at the ocean's edge
for three days at a stretch,
watching her every move
as her waves crept up and drenched me.

i could taste her salt in the wind
as it whipped against my face.
she supported life within her
and at arm's length i waited
for her life-saving embrace.

i was thirsty, parched
my lips cracked
but not a drop could she spare
to quench my thirst.

and finally defeated, i stood
to turn back home.
and that's when the cloud burst
and she reached out to me
from the heavens!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

someday maybe - a reprise

hmmm... someday maybe, she said!

someday maybe
i'll be able to open
myself up to you
and give of me fully!

someday maybe
i'll be able to walk
this thin treacherous line
and come across to you!

someday maybe
you'll understand
that i love you
but can't lie down beside you!

another year? another age?
or another lifetime maybe?
but i want you here and now!
can't you see i'm burning here?

hmmm... someday maybe, she said.
and smiled wistfully!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

someday maybe

hmmm... someday maybe, she said.

someday maybe
i'll be able to understand,
why life throws a curve ball
at you when you are looking away.

someday maybe
i might understand,
why love creeps in on you
unnoticed, and knocks you senseless.

someday maybe
i'll understand,
why the centre of the universe
shifted from within me into you.

and today when
she walked into my life
and into my arms,
understanding suddenly dawned on me.

Monday, March 16, 2009

a math and movie evening

its been ages since i last blogged! and i have no clue why i had stopped... but i definitely have a compelling reason for writing here today... i have no clue whether this means i will be back to writing more posts now! :P

no prizes for guessing what could be the compelling reason... the big boss actually asked me the other day why i had not blogged for so long!!!
and there was one specific event which thought i would blog about... so here it is!

i saw this obscure announcement in the newspaper about a lecture titled 'history of numbers' by bill casselman who is a professor of mathematics at the university or british columbia.

now its not so much about the lecture, which in itself was quite interesting, that i wanted to write about. (the lecture was about the 9000 year history of numbers!)

what we found more fascinating was the motley bunch of 50-odd people who had assembled in a small lecture hall at the y.b. chavan auditorium in mumbai.

there were a few school & college students, (some of who were clearly brought there much against their wishes by their enthusiastic parents), academicians, maths enthusiasts and some curious souls like yours truly! there was even one white-haired & bearded elderly gentleman who could easily pass of as an eccentric genius! :P

this is when we both realised that there exists a completely different world in cities like mumbai, far removed from the daily hustle and bustle and the frantic tracking of the stock index... a world which sighs when they see a picture of an ancient clay tablet with some scribblings on it, a world which takes pride in being able to decipher a set of hieroglyphs and finds immense satisfaction that the ancient babylonians knew how to add up a series of numbers to the base of 6!

it was with this humbling feeling that we waked out into a muggy evening and decided to take in a movie... and that's how i came about to watch 'the curious case of banjamin button' which is worth a watch just for the amazing kate blanchett... the ladies might like to feast their eyes upon brad pitt, but i think i'll just pass! :)

this magical mystery tour

i'm on this magical mystery tour.
i've visited some fascinating places
and had some wonderful experiences,
with you by my side.

each day seems like a dream
and i'm filled with awe and wonder
as i take in the rare sights
and breathe in deeply your presence
which fills my senses completely.

but on some days i don't see you
and notice that you've taken off
on a solitary winding path
all by yourself.

but i fret unnecessarily
i only need to look ahead
and see that the path you've taken
finally joins back the road i'm on!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

slumdog made millions!

and i'm not talking about the character in the story of the film 'slumdog millionaire' but the people who made the film including the producer, director, actors and the rest of the gang!

i saw the movie last night, a late show as usual! along with the golden square gang.

this morning my friend (who was part of the gang last night) called to check my take on the film... so here it is.

i loved the movie... liked the gritty edge the film has through till the end... (i would score it a 6.5 on 10)

1. it is a well-made masala film... a love story well-told
2. a good story well adapted into a film (in fact one of my school friends said it was better than the book. and that's something!)
3. the brit accent seemed jarring
4. the actors were all pretty good especially irfan khan and anil kapoor were very good. i thought dev patel gawked a bit too much! :)
5. i also agree that we take many aspects of the poverty (child beggar-workers, child prostitution, slums, filth, etc.) for granted and it doesn't shock our sensibilities as much as it would most of the rest of the world... including other asian countries.
6. i am sure the film made on vikas swarup's next book 'the six suspects' will also be good... its finally about the story and how well it is told
7. but at the end of the day i am not sure this is oscar material, the nominations notwithstanding. its possible that inspite of so many nominations it doesn't win any oscars. and then maybe it will... maybe for technical aspects.
8. but if it does win the oscars for best film, then it proves that the film impressed the western critic and sensibility... india being presented to the westerner through a westerner's eye! in all its grit, grime, gore and glory!
9. but i also believe there are many new-age bollywood films which present a story as well, if not better (wednesday, tzp, etc.)

finally, there is one line in the film which comes to my mind... the actor says that 'today india is at the centre of the world'.... i would add to say that 'mumbai is today the centre of the world'!

my friend felt that the movie wednesday was far better... i agree with him... it had better cinematic values... a story very well told, gripping, and slick... and most importantly, it presented mumbai in a far better light! (manish, murli and i are planning to watch trainspotting soon!)

p.s. for film trivia buffs and those who saw the film, did you'll notice the director's signature style in the frames in the last dance sequence on vt station? (hint : check the time displayed on the large digital clocks on the platforms!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

another puzzle!

i recently came up with another puzzle... and i'm sure there are many puzzle lovers among you here... this one is a fairly simple one... so have a go at it!


there's a fairly simple message in the cryptic puzzle below... try solve the puzzle to read the message :




you can send in your answers through mail or leave it here as a comment... entries accepted till 16th jan. first person to crack it (based on the time stamp of your mail or comment) will be mentioned on the post after the 16th! go for it... fame and glory awaits you! :)


p.s. for the answer check the comments... and for the record it was my school batch-mate sivaram manda who cracked it first! way to go buddy!

Monday, January 05, 2009

our new year celebrations!

the guruprasad family went for a very unique year-end family camp and ushered in the new year in a very different manner...

here're some snippets which should give you an idea...

- imagine a 70 acre campus in the midst of villages (kolwan village in paud, which is a 2-hour drive off lonavala beyond pawna dam)
- imagine more than 500 people across all age-groups staying together on a state-of-the-art campus with solar-heated hot water and a huge dining facility, etc.
- imagine people from all over the world including the us, canada, europe, uk, africa, south africa, sri lanka, singapore, hong kong, mauritus, australia, new zealand, indonesia, philippines, etc.
- imagine night-time temperatures plummeting to sub-10 degrees and being able to see millions of stars in the night-sky!
- imagine lectures on the bhagwad geeta and talks by various inspirational speakers
- imagine your children being taken care of with fun-filled activities so that you can attend the sessions without any interruptions
- imagine cultural programs from across the world including a 'dindi' performace, a 'hari-katha' with english commentary, a violin & cello recital (western classical), bhajans sung by veena sahasrabuddhe, a bag-pipes performance, a hi-tech multi-media show called 'surya 108' presented by the youth, etc.
- imagine spending new year's eve chanting the vishnu sahasranama archana with puja, archana, bhajans and celebrations along with 500 other people to usher in the new year!

so that's what we did this new year... and the kids had a blast too!

this was an international family camp organised by the chinmaya mission which we were fortunate to attend. click here to learn more about the place and here for some pics of the place.

p.s. for some amazing photographs of the camp and the venue click on this link - (courtesy suchit nanda)