Friday, January 30, 2009

ayyayooooooooo

For so many years, actually thousands of years, among many things that Indians flaunt as theirs is this thing called "Indian Culture." Somebody has to explain to me in black and white what the hell that is. Is there such a common thing as Indian culture that pertains to the entire country?? Is there? There are a few common things but then aren't we as a united country, poles apart? No kidding right?

I am from Tamilnadu (A golt born in Tiruchy) and say you are from Rajasthan. Is there anything common between us? Hell, there are few things common even between two states sharing border. And yet we have a common culture called the "Indian culture?" That a few idiots take it upon themselves to defend. Aren't we the so called "Melting-Pot" of all cultures? Are we not famous for absorbing things from elsewhere and making it our own with a twist? Then what the hell are these people running behind with baton's in their hands calling "Indian Culture?"

OK, for those who don't know these idiots, let me explain, and beware this is only for the Indian women and cannot be applied to women from any other country. This is how these idiots define Indian culture...(Argh!)
  • An Indian women is she who stays at home at all times.
  • The lady who climbs the pyre with her dead husband in the name of true-love.
  • The lady who dedicates her life between kitchen, pooja room and bedroom.
  • The women who never questions her husband.
  • Covers herself head to toe.
  • Alcohol? What are you talking about?
  • The women who never answers back to her husband.
  • The lady who is educated but cannot sound educated.
So on and so forth, you are welcome to add to the list...

But then, that is not how we all are is it? I am educated. I like to talk "educated." I work. I say no for SATI. And almost all principles these men stand FOR I am against. I am not saying this because now I am in America, I always said it even when I was in India.

Of course I am writing this in the wake of the "Mangalore Incident." Which struck close to home. G's roots, Mangalore. I was there 2006 December with family partying and pub-hopping. We went to at least 3 pubs/clubs there and had a very good time. G and I even mentioned to his cousin that Mangalore sure seems like a fun place...and then guess what happens in 2009. And do not forget to read the comments below...surely we have some brilliant men thinking very high of women wearing pants and kurti's or pants and tee's. Oh and also check out this video. Freaked the crap out of me!

The reason I am writing about this is more because of a few things I have endured living in Chennai and I wanted to write one down. I know that this is already a long post but bear with me.

In 1999, a friend and I were both driving from home to a friend's house in his Yamaha around 6 in the evening. Few cops trying to check everyone's driving license stopped us. We thought that they would check my friend B's credentials and let us go. So the minute B stopped his bike he pulled out the license, insurance and registration papers. The cops waves off and looks behind at me and asks me, give me your house phone number. I ask him why? He tells me that he needs it because he has to inform my parents that I am with a boy driving around after dark in a motor bike. WTH?!!!

I give him my home number and my dad's name and tell him that my parents know that I am out with a friend and that he can call them and check anytime they want. He is surprised but he takes B's license and lets us go asking B to pick it up after he verifies the information with my parents. Can you believe it? They were moral policing us! B!@#$%^&.

And if you want to know, yes they called and my parents were angry and B got his license back.

Isn't that annoying? Who is the cop to check with my parents about my whereabouts? If my parents want they should keep track of me, not the government. And I was fuming then for a few weeks. Now I wonder what would have gone through these girls minds? Whoever they are whatever they are and for whatever reason...what is Rama Sena's problem?

Did Lord Ram teach men to slap women? Did Lord Ram resort to violence with no rhyme or reason? What is wrong with these people? Using God's name for all wrong reasons. We are in 2009, wake up and smell the world, times have changed and we have to move on. For all the condemnation that the Taliban faced how far away from them are the Rama Sena? Are they all not following the same lines? One rule for men and one for women? I can go on and on and on and make it a longer blog...but I will stop here to see what input I get...

Peace out...

PS: I am not all for women's lib. I love my man to carry my grocery...but then I also like to be me...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Argh! Tennis again.

Last year I was sure...I knew whom I liked and whom I disliked. It was pretty simple...I even wrote it down at the end of this blog. But then I had to take some disciplinary actions towards my fav #3...Djokovic because:

  • He was mean to Roddick at the US Open 2008. Not that I like Roddick...hell NO! But he should be treated like a sportsman. When Djokovic made fun of Roddick he expected him to take it in good spirits but when Roddick made a smart-alec comment he got mean to him on-court right after he defeated him...Bad Nole.
  • He really kept falling ill all the time on-court.
  • His family is annoying...Remember OZ 2008 his dad wanted Nole's entire entourage (bar his mom) throw their tee's to the crowd? Cheap. And then his mom's comment about King FED..mean!
So now Nole does not rank in my top 3. Well I don't have a top 3. Now it is just top 2...Rafa and Fed in that order...

I saw Verdasco play yesterday against Murray (can't stand him). I liked Verdasco's game and he is gorgeous (yes somehow this is important too!). So if he continues to be good then probably he can come to my #3...I still like Gonzalez...but not sure if he can make my #3 yet. I like Santoro, just for his spirit but then I don't know how much longer he is going to hang around the circuit...Oh! And there is Berdych...hmm...well now it is between Verdasco and Berdych. Lets see!

So the point of this blog? You ask? Of course is Tennis. Last night I saw Nole fighting Andy in temperatures like 132F (like some 62C). Can you imagine that? I was so surprised to see Andy playing it cool when Nole was obviously buckling down under heat. Now this cannot be held against Nole becuase these are really bad conditions to play in. I am surprised that the Rod Laver Arena did not close the top. Why would they want the players to suffer from a heat stroke? Andy or Nole or anyone for that matter?

And like last year
I ask again, how come the women get paid the same but get the privilege of early matches? And not to forget the 3 setters? I think it is unfair. And they should do something. For the next game Andy is going to be tired and so on and so forth. This is a test of talent and not a test of endurance. Not a test cricket match.

And last night for once I was torn between supporting my ex-#3 Nole or Andy who is on my "I cannot stand you no matter what" list. Because I could see Nole suffering and Andy trying to do what is fair.

Anyways your thoughts?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dum Di Da Di Da

This weekend was relaxing to say the least. On Friday the little one and G retired to bed at 9.15pm and I was left to do our taxes, a bit of cleaning up and browsing. On Saturday we finally got to do our Brunch-Potluck, six of us (the rest dropped out not knowing what they missed out on) and it was awesome. Myself and M had been planning it for the longest time and we finally got to do it. Yummy pancakes, brilliant egg omlettes and tasty french toast with some Hot Starbucks Coffee. We were filled to our nostrils and all of us eased into a sloth pace. And the rest of the day was spent in relative peace knowing that there was boatloads of food in out tummy's. Again Sunday was chilled out. A friend visited me and we visited a friend late in the evening and the day ended at 11.00pm after watching Nadal starting to trash Gonzalez...We DVR-ed it but then my friend Nanda spoilt all the surprise for me with his status on facebook. Well I used to do that to everyone during my pre-DVR days and days when I would stay up to watch the entire game. I get a taste of my own medicine...

And then I decided that I had a list of complaints. Complaints that I wish to write down here so that I don't have to explain myself all the time...

1) Please share with me new stories about your baby but also be prepared to listen to stories about mine. I have some fun one's to share and if you are not interested then we can talk about the weather. Rude cutting off and interjections hurt me.

2) I hate to compare my child with yours and can you do that too please? If it is a generic comparison that is fine, but none of the evil-eye casting ones. I hate them...

example: Ooh...your child eats so much food, or, How come she speaks so much, I wish mine did too...

3) Please refrain from commenting on the quantity of food my child is eating if you happen to be around her feeding time.

4) Comment on my blog if you are reading this...negativity will be tolerated but will not go unanswered.

5) I will go GREEN at my own pace. I don't need people telling me about it all the time. I will change slowly. I cannot do things overnight. I had a whole post written on this but then decided against posting it now as it might come out as being rude. But I am generally against people shoving their ideology into my face. I might do that too...and you are most welcome to tell me not to. The problem with me is that I don't know how to say that diplomatically all the time.

6) Live and Let Live.

7) Oh! Oh! Another one, do not tell me things that will make me feel guilty. For example, don't tell me how guilty you feel about not spending time with your child especially when you are a stay-at-home MOM! Guess how that would make me feel, I work and spend only 3 hours with my daughter on weekdays on an average. Thanks!

There is more but I am going to save them for later. Till next time ta ta!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Who the Ef cares for Oscars?!!!

I read Shekar Kapur's blog regularly. Apart from some not-so-useful stuff he writes, there are some fun posts to read and see what he is upto. To me it seems like he is writing and not some PR agent and also that he is being simple, humble and honest...unlike some Big people who sit on big thrones and let us mere mortals peek into their lavish lifestyle. Anyhow, a recent blog from Mr. Kapur caught my eye, and it was on the movie Slumdog Millionaire and the comments that followed for the post.

I spoke with G about it last night about how a movie about a kid from our slums becoming a finalist in KBC (or Who wants to be a Millionaire) receives four Golden Globe nominations but at the same time other Indian movies that are equally as good or better than this fare don't get heard anywhere other than in India?

You ask me what movies? Last year we had Aamir, A Wednesday and crores of other movies in Tamil, Telugu, and Malyalam. Aamir had a tight script and a wonderful story and amazing direction just like Slumdog did, so why isn't Aamir an International Hit? Because it was made by an Indian who has not directed any other critically acclaimed movies (like Trainspotting) before? Why?

Why should I be asked to tout Slumdog as an Indian movie just because it has Indian characters in it? Because I should be proud of the slums and a kid diving into a poop-pool that I so do not relate to at all? Because all my friends think that Indians get castrated as a policy? Because now people think that Hindus kill Muslims all the time (no I do not want a religious discussion)? Because I am now happy that we are finally in the international press due a picture that depicts a rags to riches love story of a boy looking for his childhood sweetheart? A boy who clearly speaks with a British accent and has nothing to do with India? I do not relate to all this. I am sure people who live in Dharavi do not relate to all this.

After ranting it out to G, he told me that the point is the West relates to India being nothing but slums. We might not have been raised in slums but for the West India is a country of snake charmers and people who swim in poop. Ya, he told me to face the truth. The truth that my 3000 SFT house with additional 3000 SFT land for us to play badminton or kabaddi cannot be told to anyone here becaue they will think that I am lying (I have photos!). They cannot come to face with the truth that Mysore Palace and the many palaces in Rajasthan can kick Buckingham Palace's ass anyday even 400 years ago...So I must let go, he told me.

I argued.

He then told me only one thing can be done then. We should not care a damn for Oscars. Remember BCCI? Board of Cricket Control of India? Well the entire cricket world now looks towards BCCI for commands. Why? Becaue India is the worlds largest cricket playing nation with maximum number of viewers. And what India wants is what the world will do for it when it comes to cricket. And we should do the same to the cinema world too.

We afterall make the maximum number of movies. We spend more money into entertainment than Hollywood does. Then why should we be worried about what the West thinks of us? We should in fact go ahead and include a category called "Best Foriegn Picture" and start giving away awards to movies from the west. The only problem he pointed out was that our Filmfare awards are uber-biased and that we should work on fixing that!

That conclusion made me slightly happy knowing very well that the cinema industry is surely heading in that direction only. Wouldn't you agree with that? Don't you also think that Indian movies do not need an Oscar but they indeed need to get nominated respectfully and truthfully by their own country and peers from their own industry? How can we select only one film from the millions we make to send for an Oscar nomination do justice to our cinemas? I think henceforth we must not really give to much credit to Oscar and only compare and focus movies in the realm of Indian cinema.

PS: Do you think The people of Rawanda also felt the same way we did after they saw Hotel Rawanda?

PS: The only great outcome from Slumdog Millionaire I think is the fact that A R Rahman got a Golden Globes and that he thanked the one billion Indians who stood behind him! But then did I not say above that I should not care about Oscars or other western awards? Damn I am confused!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Its 2009!!!!!!!!!

I am blogging in 2009! Yay!

I stayed away from the computer starting December 25 through January 4th. I signed in just to check e-mail, that too once in every two days or so but pretty much kept away from anything that could stress me out. I even ignored reading annoying blogs, which I usually read for the sake of entertainment. Now I cannot really always expect everyone to write what I want to hear, can I? So annoying blogs make me see what everyone with an annoying perspective think like and so on, therefore I waste about 15 mins a day on them!Well, enough with annoying blogs already.

So starting Dec 25 through Jan 4th early morning we were camped at Fremont, CA at Chez Prabhu's, G's Cousin S, wife SS and little darling R. In the last two years it was probably the best time we have had. So much fun, and got to do loads of things, especially with two kids we still got to behave like kids. G's bro and wife, M and P were also there for 75% of the trip.

We saw SFO, the crooked street, fisherman's wharf, Museum of Fine Arts, the Golden Gate bridge, Sausalito, got to play Bocce Ball for the first time, went to a nice Temple, saw the bay at Berkley and the beautiful campus at Stanford, the hills and the vales of SFO, even got to visit a two storey (WOW) Target in a mall. We cooked and ate boatloads of food, and played a bit of carrom and erected a Christmas tree and also had a fun Christmas party at home.

We were loaded on caffeine, fun, the car was loaded on gas and music filled our lungs. I say that because R somehow liked my voice, I wonder why, seriously, but everytime I sang he gave up throwing a tantrum and listened to me patiently. Now since I love music, I sang to him some real classics from Singh is Kinng (Bhootni ke and the title song), Dostana (munda sadda, and all others), Welcome, Race (oh Jaane Ja, Touch me), Kismet Konnection (Aye Paapi, Bakhuda) and such, songs that only I can reproduce. I think the rest of them in the car were waiting for the torture to end! But I enjoyed doing encores. And they should all be thankful that I did not sing any Himessss.

Then we went to the Lake Tahoe. Beauuuuutiful! Picture perfect. We had the best weather possible. It was about 40 F and we did not even need a jacket till we went sledging. We did loads of stuff around the city and then headed down to Reno, Nevada to spend a night in a hotel called Golden Sierra Resort. We had a beautiful room, a perfect view to the mountains when the sun came up in the morning. We gambled. G gave me a budget of $20 and told me to go and enjoy. Me and SS came back with $5 winnings. We giggled and squealed and jumped holding hands. Felt like kids again while everyone around thought we had won $5K. G and S were angry that we did not spend more time on the floor and came back up so early.

Later SS offered to keep Babs with her for a while so that G and I could go gambling. We went down clutching the $25 coins in our hands and came back with $300. Yes! We made $250 on a slot machine and then the rest at roulette. It was fun. We were high on our victory especially since it was the New Years day too. What a fun way to start. Hopefully this is not God's way of telling us, "here is a bonus, now the rest of the year is going to suck!" The pessimist in me comes out!

Happy New Year Once again and hope all of you had fun too :) Write back and let me know what y'all did for new year.

PS: Did you notice that we did not do anything NY's eve? It was the best decision ever. We were in no stress to find a party where we could take a baby. No stress to dress up. No stress to wish strangers Happy New Year. It was just us. So perfect! I think I will do it again!