Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Decisions!

Ok...so here is a story...of my life of course...

I had just finished high school and was on my way to college. Since my parents had vehemently shot down any plans of me going outside of chennai for college, I told them that I would like to study in SRM Engineering College as a couple of my cousins were already there and it would be fun. Plus my other choice Sathyabama was certainly not luring me with their strict rules. If you don't believe me check this video out...

But then there were these neighbors...a chemistry teacher (mom), a dad, and a grandpa. The grandpa who we all think will have worldly knowledge wanted me to go to Sathyabama...I wonder why, I think he thought I had too many boys for friends. He pulled my mom to one side and told her that in Sathyabama they give three meals everyday and that the bus will take me to college and back. He also told her about the advantages of girls and boys not talking in college...

After hearing all this and getting almost convinced that it was the place for me my mom came and spoke to me about it only to get it solidly from me...but then she was concerned for me and I think also at the prospect of me having good hot food made her think that it might be the right place. But I put my foot down and landed up going to the then much cooler SRM...(this college has due to its own workings spoilt its reputation after I graduated).

Three years go by and I see a bunch of freshers come in to college...and guess who walks in...that wordly knowledgeable grandpa's grandson...wonder where all the gyan he gave my mother did not work in his own family...hmm...maybe the grandson wanted to mingle-jingle with the opposite sex? or maybe the grandson wanted to eat canteen food and not the three square meals that Sathyabama provided? or maybe he just did not want to be jailed...hmm...I was burning, fuming, and angry...

That same evening my mother heard it from me for the second time about why she should not listen to others while deciding the future of her daughter...hehehehe...even today I bug my mother about it...

Wonder why these worldly knowledgeable grandparents cant keep their ideas/opinions within their family and shove it down others throats? Thank god that my mother actually listened to my reasoning and did not force me to do what I did not want to...it would have made my life hell.

College...

I read everywhere and the hottest topic in town seems to be "if our parents should decide our future for us?" I think about it from different angles and then the only angle that seems right to me is the angle that I was raised up in...and I think I am glad that my parents helped me decide what I should do. I am glad that my mother pushed me to study hard and harder when I was whiling away time. If she had not done that then I might not have been there...

For self-motivated kids it is a different case but for the likes of me who needed a slight nudge I think my parents did the best. I wanted to do arts degree while my parents wanted me to do professional and we landed at a middle point and I landed up doing architecture. Not bad eh?

Am I happy with what I am doing? I am not sure...but would I have been happy had I chosen my future? I am not sure about that either. So I think as of now I am glad that I have a job and a life that is full with a great husband and a wonderful baby and I am grateful for that.

Now I have a little kid, and I wonder what is going to happen to her in the next few years when she will be at the same place where I was thirteen years ago. Same decisions...boys, life, education, future, etc...and am I just going to stand back and wait for her to do what she thinks is right? or subtly help her through the confusions. Teen age can definitely be stressful as well as confusing and some help from me and my hubby will certainly not put a damper on her future or life plans...

No parent (most of them) will ever try to sabotage the future of their children. If they do then you are one of the few unlucky...but otherwise it is not a bad to listen to them and see what they have to say and have a dialogue with them. Hopefully they are not headstrong and will actually understand where you are coming from. Times have changed so much and today parents are also adapting fast so children really do not have many things to worry about acceptance from their parents. I can say this for sure because our parents agreed to our intercaste marriage without any tensions...

And to my parents I want to assure them that they raised three wonderful kids and giving us the little push and a little pull here and there when we rightfully needed it without overdoing it certainly has helped shape our future better :) Thanks.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Manorama 6 Feet Under (2007) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 4/5

Cast: Abhay Deol, Gul Panag, Sarika Hassan
Director: Navdeep Singh
Music: Jayesh Gandhi, Raiomond Mirza



Satyaveer is an engineer by day and a writer by evening. His only published book falls dud and he also gets suspended from his work because he accepted bribe. His wife (Gul) nags him about their lifestyle and his son keeps him on his toes. Sitting home making no money Satyaveer's life is not going great until, a lady calling herself Manorama knocks on his door and offers to pay a huge sum of money if he can spy on her husband who is a rich local politician.

Satyaveer accepts the offer and starts spying only to get entangled in the murder of Manorama under mysterious circumstances. Satyaveer meets Manorama's roomate Sheetal to talk to her about Manorama's disappearance and they get to spend a night together in his house alone as his wife had gone back to her parents house with their son...

After a lot of investigation and stress and interesting twists what does Satyaveer discover? What happened to Manorama? Who is Sheetal? Do catch this movie. It is definitely an awesome crime story and it has a funny side to it too.

Once again, I like Abhay Deol and definitely love his acting and is probably the only Deol who can act, at least in my humble opinion.

Ek Chalis ki Last Local (2007) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 3.5/5

Cast: Abhay Deol, Neha Dupia
Director:
Music:

Such movie rarely get any recognition. This one is a dark story (it all happens during the night) but with a sense of humor. Once again Abhay Deol has done it. I liked him Socha Na Tha, Manorama 6ft Under and in this one...He is brilliant. Wonder why he is not getting into the main stream...maybe because he is a good actor. Definitely a fast paced film and especially if you see it following Jodha Akbar then you will know what I am talking about :)

Nilesh (Abhay) who works for an IT company, after a late night at work misses the last train home for the night. His next train is not until 4.40 in the morning. He has to spend the night in the station or take a rick home. When he finally manages to find one, a lady accosts the same rick and they both come to know that there is an auto strike and their only way home will be to walk...the lady also claims that she is headed in Nilesh's direction so they start walking together.

Along the way they see a dance bar and the two of them decide to spend whiling away time in the bar. While at the bar Nilesh meets a friend of his who asks him to gamble with him with some underworld bigwigs. Nilesh's luck favors him but eventually he does start going down the drain...but with some fake confidence he does rustle some feathers with the goons. On his way to use the restroom he sees that someone is trying to molest his lady friend. In an effort to save her the molester dies by crashing his head on the wall. The molester is none other than one of the goon's brother.

Only then does he also notice that his lady friend Mala (Neha) is a prostitute having a rendezvous with her favorite customer in the bathroom...from here on it is a quick spiral for Nilesh. Does he make it out alive from there? Find out by watching this awesome fantastic movie!

Definitely a must watch for some real cool acting, humor, and time pass.

Jodha Akbar (2008) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 2.5/5

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, and 10,000 others
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Music: A.R. Rahman


I have been dying to write the review of this movie. How can a movie critic not love a movie that has made such an impact on the film industry and in the box office? What do I think of it? B.O.R.I.N.G. If you go with loads of expectations then this movie is a bore but if you go knowing it is a bore then it might not be that bad...and better still if you have a remote control then it will be fast too...hehehehe

Music:
I think is just above average...either ARR has run out of steam or he has forgotten how to copy...er...get inspired...anyways the Jashn bahara song's starting is lifted straight from 'ek ladki ko dekha' from 1942 a Luv Story...and the other songs put you to a soft sleep and this happens pretty easily considering the slow pace and the length of the movie. I know the AR cannot do a ma ma mind blowing mahiya for this movie but still could have given life to it...don't we have period movies that have brilliant songs that captivate our minds? Say what about 'jab pyar kiya tho darna kya' from Mughal-E-Azam?

Movie:
Why I did not like this movie much:

1. Akbar looked like this...


and this is Hrithik Roshan and not Akbar...FYI Akbar was a Mughal which means he had Mongol features...and was related to Ghengis Khan...



2. Akbar had like four known wives and many concubines now how can you prove that this marriage was the one in which he truly loved his wife?
3. Why is it shown as if Akbar only had time for Jodha and not his other wives or women in his life?
4. What is the deal with Akbar dancing like a dumbass at the end of the Kwajaji song?
5. Wasn't Jodha very young when she got married to Akbar...why does she look 40?
6.Why are the fight scenes so blah?
7. Why are the songs so slow and melodramatic?
8. Why is Akbar shown as a wimp in certain scenes? Did he really spend most of his day daydreaming and walking soooo slowly thinking of Jodha?
9. You claim to be a historic film but then also disclaim anything and everything about it...then why not simply make a movie and call it Ojdha-Kabar in stead of calling it Jodha Akbar?
10. Other than a few scenes in the movie most of it is fiction, there are no documentation of any of it even in Akbarnama...why are you serving the viewers with a fake story served on a wooden (boring) platter?
11. The other noted Akbar's Hindu wife converted to Islam before marrying Akbar...So what proof do we have that Akbar let Jodha remain Hindu and not have her converted?
12. History tells that Maham Anga wanted to rule Hindustan by keeping Akbar as a puppet but other than that there is no written documentation of her trying to poison Akbar's mind against Jodha.

I could go on and on and on...the only ones who liked this movies are fans of Hrithik or people who are excited at the prospect of watching anything that is historical...

Plot:
Akbar the all powerful Mughal king is requested by a Rajput King to marry his daughter in return for peace. Akbar obliges and Jodha marries Akbar. Jodha wants to stay Hindu and practice her religion inside the palace and Akbar smitten by her obliges...but in a twist of villainous fate Akbar sends Jodha back home. And then he realizes his mistake and fights (literally according to Ashutosh and his writer Hyder Ali) to bring her back...

The plot also involves Sujamal who is like a brother to Jodha which forms the subplot of the story to show that Akbar is not only a lost loveboy but can also wage wars and make official decisions on the side...

Review:
Ashutosh thinks it is his birthright to make movies longer than 2.5 hours. He is very confident that he can make long movies and get away with them because people did not complain in Lagaan and Swades (although a few raised their voices)...but sorry both those movies were at least a little interesting and fast paced...this one here is a dud...so slow that even a tortoise will win the race hands down.

The movie has no freshness appeal to it. It just seems to drag on and on and feels like forever before you get to the intermission. There is no doubt that this movie can be watched with entire family but what a boring affair that would be. But I would say definitely watch it once just so I can know if you agree/disagree with my review...That was a long review...now I am tired...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Buses!

It had been a year since I had moved to Chennai from Trichy. I was still not used to going in the bus alone or seeing boys rag girls...I was in my 7th grade and it was during the annual exams. My brother Bal had been my sarathy driving me from our home in Anna Nagar to my school in Gopalapuram and then going back to his college in Nungambakkam (Loyola). But during my annual exams he could not pick me up during the afternoon so I had to take the bus home...

The first day my friend and I went to the bus stop which was the 1000 Lights stop that was located close to both Presentation Convent and New College. My friends bus came pretty much as soon as we got to the stop and she left leaving me alone with a few girls from Presentation Convent in the stop. Later a few guys joined us and started to eve tease the girls. It started getting a little rowdy for me. The boys were obviously not interested in me because I was a kiddo still nevertheless it scared the crap out of me.

Freaked out I ran all the way to my friends house which was closer to the school and called my mother asking her to pick me up. Mom came and then told me not to be afraid of such incidents and that I must be brave. She also hinted that coming and picking me up daily was going to be out of choice for me.

Next day, same place, same scene repeat...I am freaked out but with nowhere to go but home I stand patiently praying and hoping that my bus would come soon...when it did come I noticed to my chagrin that one of the girls from the stop who was the prettier of the lot also got into the same bus which was crowded. The boys too obviously trying to annoy her furthermore got into the same bus.

I got a place to sit in the back...the girl is standing in front of me facing me while the boys are behind me not giving her a second to rest or relax. I could feel her feeling uncomfortable and saw a tear come out of her eye. I did not know why I did it but softly asked her if she would like to sit down and hold me on her lap?

She beamed, smiled, and immediately sat down and held me close. She thanked me over and over again. And when we got down from the bus we realized that we lived close by too...so she walked me home that afternoon and did so for the rest of the annual exams.

I did not see her ever after that but I felt that I had helped a person and in some funny way we had bonded and I remember this incident as if it was yesterday.

Even today such things happen to girl/female/women passengers in public transportation in Chennai...I cannot speak for the rest of the country although I know that it is prevalent throughout the country...I wonder why fellow passengers sit and watch a girl get harassed and don't step up to help her out of the misery. The attitude of "nammaku enna achu" (What is in it for me...) should change and it might make the city a much more safer place for us. I don't mean to give advice but when such things happens around me my blood boils and I have always tried to do the best to help the person in disaster in my own way. Have I been a victim? Of course...but that's for another blog :)

Toodles.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Flu Sux...anyone wants to argue with that?

So it was Friday the 21st of February. I went to a doctor to make sure that my annoying cough and cold would not turn into a fever. The doc looked at me and assured me I have nothing to worry about and over-the-counter Robutussin should do the trick. Happy I went back to work and left around 2.00pm to take Baboo for her 4 months shots.

I was already dreading her temper when she got poked four times but when we got there Baboo did pretty good. She cried for exactly two minutes and then forgot all about it. But the doc told me that she had ear infection and that she needs to get hooked on to antibiotic ASAP.

I got home and left sleeping Baboo in her car seat and in a minute was consumed with severe shivering. I called Giri and told him to get home ASAP as I was not feeling well. Later that night I had 102.5 and was really sick. Now Giri himself was not in the pink of his health and was still recovering from flu and the onus fell upon him to take care of both me and Baboo.

The next day it only got worse with me hitting the 103.6 mark and feeling weaker than ever but on Sunday morning Baboo had a 104. We freaked out and took her to the ER...those guys made us sit there from 10.00am till 2.30pm and finally told us that Baboo had bronchitis and ear infection. They changed her antibiotic.

I am recovering slowly and Baboo is too...at least thats what we think. Girish leaves out of town on Wednesday and Baboo seems just fine. On Thursday early morning around 5.30am Baboo woke up and started crying and would not stop till around 2.00pm until my friend V came and took care of Baboo. I was out and tired taking care of a crying Baboo who wouldn't give me a minute's break even to drink water. Later that night she was better but had a fever of 103.3 again. I freaked out and in the morning noted that she had the same high fever again which of course went off with Tylenol. I called the doctor and made an emergency appointment and took Baboo around 12.00pm.

The doc saw her ear and told me that her ears are so inflamed that it should be hurting her as if she had a nail put through her head. Poor thing, no wonder she was so cranky the previous day. The doc also told me that the antibiotic that the ER prescribed was useless and she had to go on another 10 day series. I got her prescription drug bought myself some Taco Bell and headed home...I got it and started to rock Baboo slowly to sleep when the door started to open automatically...I stood there rooted to the spot and wondered who it might be...well it was Girish. He was back cutting his weeklong trip short by 5 days because his deadline had gotten pushed...yay! Tears rolled down my eyes...

I had not recovered completely myself and then to see Baboo so sick had made things only worse but now that Giri was back I already regained most of my strength. I am so glad that V and R helped me out when I needed them the most. Without them I would have starved to death and died of exhaustion on Thursday. It was Saturday the 1st of March and with the new antibiotics Baboo was already looking and feeling better.

It is not how sick you are...but how sick your children are...when you see them down you are down too...an excited and energetic Baboo is all that we want! And now she seems to be making slow and steady progress. Hopefully things get back to normal soon...

Such is life! It does take the life out of you sometimes...