Friday, January 25, 2008

Ching Chong Chang...

I was home on maternity leave for 7 weeks. I was tired most of the time but then when the baby slept I had nothing much to do. As y'all know that TV programs during day time suck as they are filled with soaps or judge TV or Jerry Springer kind of shows...which is when I got addicted to IATV. I saw all the interesting programs on that channel and some of them are Desi programs...the ones I love the most are:

Showbiz India: A program on all the latest news in Bollywood
Asian Variety Show: Same as above
Pulse: They play some nice songs requested by viewers as well as cover some Desi happenings in and around the country.
Cricket Today: An ICC program that shows what is happening in the cricket world.
My India: That takes you around India.
Princess Hours: A Korean Soap on a prince who marries a princess at a very young age and their relationships...(Korean with English Subtitles)
It Started with a Kiss: A Taiwanese chick flick program on a girl who falls in love with a boy who completely ignores her only to fall in love with her at the end...(Taiwanese with English Subtitles)
Tiramisu: A Singaporean program on the lives of a few people who work in a restaurant. (In English)
Koffee with Karan: Self explanatory I guess...a talk show hosted by K.Jo.

If any of you find time do tune in to IATV to catch these shows...they are actually good and fun to watch! Let me know what you think...

IATV is a free channel on Comcast/Time Warner Cable...it is right below Zee and Asia TV and above AZN another Asian channel which shows Indian movies and other Indian programs too.
Ok...Here is what I think...

I spent $120 on maternity/baby classes for which I dragged my poor husband along. I of course realized that of all the 14 hours I spent I must have retained a total of 2 hours of which I have used only 1 hour of classes. The rest were either useless or easily forgettable. Of course I have reffered to the notes that I made in class which only reiterated what I read on websites like www.babycenter.com.

Anyhoo the point now is...while I was taking my maternity/baby classes I think my baby was taking her "living in the outside" classes too...because she does everything against what I learnt in those classes...

Example:
My Class: Let the baby cry for 15 mins...they will definitely calm down...
Baby's class: If they don't come when you cry...cry longer and harder and eventually they are going to come.

My Class: Don't make carrying a baby and walking a habit while the baby is cranky.
Baby's Class: If she does not carry you then don't stop crying.

My Class: Feed babies every two hours.
Baby's Class: Feed every hour...if they don't feed then cry...

My Class: Babies should learn to sleep on their own in their crib.
Baby's Class: If they let you sleep alone cry till they let you cuddle with them.


And in spite of all this...babies are so much fun!!! Absolutely love my darling...
Babble Babble Babble...

It is a little more than three months since Sanjana was born...in other words Sanjana is fourteen weeks old and growing. So many things have changed and she has developed in so many ways...

Sanjana can now recognize mom and dad...how do we know this? Well for the last four days she has been going to a daycare...it has been a heartrending experience for me...but I guess somethings have to be done whether we like it or not and this is one of them...and when we go to pick her up we can see the change in her expression.

If I am in the room her eyes are only for me. She follows me around the room wherever I go irrespective of daddy doing funny faces to make her laugh. I guess she adores me to distraction...just the way I do when she is around and sometimes not even around...

She turned over on her 93rd day...January 19th...big progress in baby world...

She now laughs and smiles and sometimes makes real loud baby noises. She is almost always relaxed when daddy or mommy is around her and she likes to watch Tennis on TV.

Baby is growing and all my mommy friends tell me that time is going to fly away and I am going to miss holding my infant daughter...and sometimes when Girish about Sanjana we have discussions that start with..."when she was a little one..." or "When she was so small..." That's when reality strikes that in the time of a person's lifespan three months is not old but for the parents three months is long enough because the child makes the maximum progress in terms of brain development and mental growth in the first year...and that year runs so fast...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Taare Zameen Par (2007) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 4/5

Cast: Aamir Khan, Darsheel Safary
Director: Aamir
Music: Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy

The minute you see this movie you will remember all those years that we went through school in India with the teachers wielding a stick and making our lives miserable...Most people walk out of school with fond memories of hanging out and spending time with friends but many walk out hating teachers in general...

Ya because in our country and our society artistic aspirations are considered useless as they will not help us in our future to make the moolah...I am not arguing with this at all...such practices arise out of necessity and I am not the one to tell that this is wrong...but what is wrong and should change in our country is the mentality of our teachers...they are easily prejudiced and also make judgments as if they are paid to do just that. Half our teachers are not even qualified or reasonably strong in the subject they are trying to teach...they learn by heart what is in the book and come and vomit it in front of student...ok enough of me getting my frustration on teachers in India...

At the crux of the story is a little kid who has dyslexia and as usual our teachers ignore the fact that he is unable to study and get good grades not because he not trying but simply because his brain is not programmed to do that...he is an artist...and he cannot read words...if he was taught verbally he will understand but ask him to take up a book and it will make no sense...The kid goes through a lot of heartache and confusions and gets sent away to a boarding school. Thanks to his lucky stars he meets a teacher who understands his problems and helps him overcome educational issues...

The movie is good and tightly scripted. It is paced smoothly and actually makes the viewer empathize with the life of Ishaan because everyone of us has seen a classmate who has suffered similar to this...

All i can say is this movie is a must watch...holla back if you don't like it.

Kanamootchi Enada (2007) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 2.5/5

Cast: Sandhya, Prithviraj, Sathyaraj, Radhika
Director: Priya


I have seen the earlier movie of this director called Kanda Naal Mudhal...a very sweet romantic story starring Prasanna and Laila and it was a real nice feel good movie. The director I am assuming wanted to recreate a similar magic but failing terribly in the process. This movie is very similar to Meet The Parents-Desi version...

Sandhya is a college student in Singapore where she bumps (literally) into Prithviraj and it is love at first sight for him. He lands up convincing her to give him a chance before rejecting him and they start hanging out together till the day she plans to head back to India to celebrate her parents wedding anniversary or something. They both decide that they like each other and want to get married.

Prithviraj, an orphan raised by his uncle Radha Ravi seeks their blessings but is rejected and asked to marry someone else. Prithviraj tries to polietly convince them but things dont go his way. So he leaves to India anyway with Sandhya to meet her parents and convince them and with the confidence of finding a new job in India only.

Sandhya's parents are played by Sathyaraj and Radhika, a loving Police commissioner-housewife couple who keep doing cute things. Sathyaraj is not able to accept his daughter marrying Prithviraj a Brahmin. He waits for him angrily...

The director now tries to make the plot funny while it is obviously cliched and gets a little boring towards the end and draggy too...how Prithviraj wins the heart of his father-in-law forms the rest of the movie.

The movie lacks in pace and interest and also chemistry. The age difference between Prithviraj and Sandhya is obvious and I wish the director could have chosen an older heroine but I dont think that would have solved this movie's inherent problem-bad direction and screenplay...

No doubt this movie is aimed at being a family entertainer and hence can be seen by people from all age groups but ultimately a bore...so your choice to spend your time watching a bore or see Sivaji-the Boss again ;)

Evano Oruvan (2008) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 3/5


Cast: Madhavan, Sangeetha
Director: Nishikanth Kamat
Music: G.V. Prakash Kumar


I wonder why Madhavan decided to do this movie in Tamil, especially since such movies already exist in thousands thanks to Shankar alone...but anyway it is a very similar plot to many of Shankar's movies other than Boys that work towards a single man taking law into his hands and trying to set the society right.

Frustration leads Sridhar Vasudevan (Madhavan) is an honest and upright citizen who works in a bank. He refuses to take or give bribe. He stands for his principles and is the same even in his house. He refuses to send his son to a pricey school because they are demanding donation over talent. At work his clients nag him to take bribe and at home his wife nags him to give bribe and also a better lifestyle. Day in and day out Sridhar goes through the same frustration. He craves for stability and a better system but things do not go in his way.

One day over a small argument with a retail store owner Sridhar beats the owner with a cricket bat. After which he roams the city beating everyone with the cricket bat who in his eye are doing injustice. In a few hours he has already attacked cops and then starts making national news. He is wanted and the city police are hunting him down trying to make a point. He keeps evading them and stays away from home and with lack of sleep for almost three days.

During one such beating episode an old couple asks him to reflect on what he is doing which changes his perspective and he takes the same train he took everyday from home to work one last time...

The story is definitely not novel but Madhavan has proved himself as an actor other than just being a pretty face with a cute smile (yes...he was this in AP, Run, Minnale...). I only wish that the plot had something new to offer. It is surely a family story and a story that many family can relate to India...not the bribe giving part...but the wife nagging part atleast! The songs are not very memorable but definitely can be seen once...but do not set time apart from doing important things to watch this movie.