Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We've moved!

Yes, I've finally made the move to Wordpress.

Have been thinking about it for so long!

An empty day at work led to this. :)


Three Drinks Ahead can now be read at
http://threedrinksahead.wordpress.com

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Our first Diwali together

The diyaas that Mom sent.
This photo was taken after G was done soaking them
in water and was putting them in the sun to dry.



My rangoli. :)
G insisted, while I was making it, that it looked
like a 10 year old had made it. After I was done with it, though,
he did admit it actually looked nice.
Oh, and he helped too.
Oh, and this was made with the rangoli colours that Mom sent. :)



Sparks!



Yours truly. And, you can see the pretty
diyaas in the background.



Really like this photo. :)
Looks like both of us have our wands out, and
are casting spells on each other. Quite Potter-ish.
Oh, and that's my hand in the foreground.

Monday, November 26, 2007

November Updates

Been a really long time since I blogged last. Some updates since then:
  • Changed my job. And very happy doing what I am right now. :)
  • Had our first Diwali together. Some pictures of that later. :)
  • I am now officially addicted to Facebook.
  • Yeah...that's pretty much it. Haven't read a single new book. Except for re-reading (for the 7th time, I think) The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer, and The Godfather by Mario Puzo. Haven't watched a single new film. Except for re-watching the Godfather trilogy. Am dying to watch Om Shanti Om and Jab We Met though. Have heard the second one is a pretty good film. And the first, I've heard, isn't - but I just love the reverence for the 60s and the 70s that Farah Khan's films have.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

My Kitchen...

video

This is the first film I've made with my phone. Nice? :)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Imagination

...is stronger than knowledge...myth is more potent than history...dreams are more powerful than facts...hope always triumphs over experience...laughter is the cure for grief...love is stronger than death.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My mother is crazy!

Papa was in town yesterday, and came over for a drink and dinner, and to drop off all that Mom had sent for me for दिवाली (Diwali) - and since then, I can't stop smiling every time I think of it. : )

My mother is crazy - and both, her Mom and my Dad, wish they too had a Mom like her!

She sends me nicely wrapped presents on every festival - Diwali, Christmas, Valentine's Day - and then asks for the wrapping paper to be kept carefully and handed back to her safely. And, she's strangely fond of sending मिठाई (mithaai/sweets) - even though she knows no one will finish it in my house.

She's always sent me pretty lights for Diwali, and last year, she got me a huge Christmas tree and all the decorations for it. Yesterday though, you outdid yourself, Ma! : )

So, I got a huge box full of मिटटी के दिए (lamps), along with the cotton बत्तियां (wicks), two packets of candles, very pretty electric lights, five packets of रंगोली (rangoli) colour, (AND) a book with रंगोली designs, very pretty गणेश and लक्ष्मी statuettes, one गणेश lamp, a packet full each of बादाम (almonds), काजू (cashewnuts) and अंजीर (dried figs), and a DVD player.

All this 'coz she knows I like mitti ka diyaas more than candles on Diwali.

She knows I love making rangoli, though I don't know how to.

And she knows these are the three dry fruits I like the most - almonds, cashewnuts and figs.

And, she knows that this'll be my first Diwali away from "home" in 25 years - in my own house this time.

And, she knows I'll miss everything - the pre-made marble rangoli design in our verandah at home (for which you don't need a rangoli design book), filling oil in all the lamps and then lighting them all over the house, the crazy Diwali pooja at home, wearing saris, walking all over town to see the lights and the mela.

Yes, I'll miss all this a whole lot, Ma. But, I'll miss you more. Love you.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

My first Karvachauth...

...and I wish I lived in easier and simpler times.

The question - or questions - in my head are many.

I don't believe in god.

Karvachauth is a religious tradition.

But then I do believe in traditions, even if I don't believe in god or religion.

I celebrate Diwali, Rakhi, Christmas and Id. Not for their religious meanings or reasons - but for the tradition we've had of celebrating them in my family.

Then why am I so confused about keeping a fast tomorrow?

Maybe because it's the first time.

Maybe because it's one of those traditions that I feel if I observe then people will expect me to also observe a lot of other things I that I don't at all believe in.

But, do I believe in this one either?

Frankly, I don't know. I do like the feeling of it. Sacrificing food for a day for the long life of the one you love. Leaving food for a day, I don't have a problem with that. Just like my Mom, I won't follow the fast to extreme limits either - like not even having a sip of water all day. Talked to her a little while back - and we decided we'd have everything - milk, fruits - everything except aanaaj (grain) or salt. That's quite do-able.

That's another reason, I think - that I've seen Mom keep the fast every year. And Papa too. I got a little bit of mehndi put on one hand today, 'coz I know that'll make my crazy mother extremely happy. :)

So, I will keep the fast tomorrow.

Tomorrow is also the first day of my new job. And no - I am not going to get all dressed up and go to work. For me, karvachauth is a very personal thing - and I don't need to show the world that I'm married. I don't think that is my identity at all. My identity is me. A lot of people asked me why I didn't wear the chooda after our marriage. That was for the same reason. Because my marriage is also a very personal thing. For me, our marriage is only a formalisation of the love that G and I share. And, partly, it was about getting our families involved too.

The reason for this post was more to make up my own mind - and writing it down just made it easier. But, like I said in the beginning, I wish I lived in easier and simpler times. Then maybe all this wouldn't have made me think oh-so-much(!!) - for the last two weeks, no less!


Update: So, yes - yesterday was Karvachauth. I kept the fast (the convenient kind), and so did G. :) Then, we both waited for the moon after we got back home from work. The GPS on my phone said the moon rise time was 8:21 p.m. - but on just that day when people are waiting for it, it finally is seen not before 9:15 p.m.! Anyway, so after the whole moon-water thing, G, his dad, my brother and I went out to dinner - since neither of our maids had turned up all day, even after me giving them the whole spiel about not missing work just because you have a fast, etc. After dinner, came back home and crashed out. There! That was what the first karvachauth was like. (30\10\07, 3:17 p.m.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

There Was Once

- There was once a poor girl, as beautiful as she was good, who lived with her wicked stepmother in a house in the forest.

- Forest? Forest is passe', I mean I've had it with all this wilderness stuff. It's not a right image of our society, today. Let's have some urban for a change.

- There was once a poor girl, as beautiful as she was good, who lived with her wicked stepmother in a house in the suburbs.

- That's better. But I have to seriously query this word poor.

- But she was poor!

- Poor is relative. She lived in a house, didn't she?

- Yes.

- Then, socioeconomically speaking, she was not poor.

- But none of the money was hers! The whole point of the story is that the wicked stepmother makes her wear old clothes and sleep in the fireplace -

- Aha! They had fireplace! With poor, let me tell you, there's no fireplace. Come down to the park, come to the subway stations after dark, come down to where they sleep in cardboard boxes, and I'll show you poor!

- There was once a middle-class girl, as beautiful as she was good -

- Stop right there. I think we can cut the beautiful, don't you? Women these days have to deal with too many intimidating physical role models as it is, what with those bimbos in the ads. Can't you make her, well, more average?

- There was once a girl who was a little overweight and whose front teeth stuck out, who -

- I dont' think it's nice to make fun of people's appearances. Plus, you're encouraging anorexia.

- I wasn't making fun! I was just describing -

- Skip the description Description oppresses. But you can say what colour she was.

- What colour?

- You know. Black, white, red, brown, yellow. Those are the choices. And I'm telling you right now, I've had enough of white. Dominant culture this, dominant culture that -

- I dont' know what colour.

- Well, it would probably be your colour, wouldn't it?

- But this isn't about me! It's about this girl -

- Everything is about you.

- Sounds to me like you don't want to hear this story at all.

- Oh well, go on. You could make her ethnic. That might help.

- There was once a girl of indeterminate descent, as average-looking as she was good, who lived with her wicked -

- Another thing. Good and wicked. Don't you think you should transcend those puritanical judgemental moralistic epithets? I mean, so much of that is conditioning, isn't it?

- There was once a girl, as average-looking as she was well-adjusted, who lived with her stepmother, who was not a very open and loving person because she herself had been abused in childhood.

- Better. But I am so tired of negative female images! And stepmothers - they always get it in the neck! Change it to stepfather, why don't you? That would make more sense anyway, considering the bad behaviour you're about to describe. And throw in some whips and chains. We all know what those twisted, repressed, middle-aged men are like -

- Hey, just a minute! I'm a middle-aged -

- Stuff it, Mister Nosy Parker! Nobody asked you to stick in your oar, or whatever you want to call that thing. This is between the two of us. Go on.

- There was once a girl -

- How old was she?

- I don't know. She was young.

- This ends with a marriage, right?

- Well, not to blow the plot, but - yes.

- Then you can scratch the condescending paternalistic terminology. It's woman, pal. Woman.

- There was once -

- What's this was, once? Enough of the dead past. Tell me about now.

- There -

- So?

- So, what?

- So, why not here?

From Bones & Murder by Margaret Atwood

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Notes from the last one month...

  • Have had a B-A-D back...again! Was in bed for a week. Am so sick of this bad back. Have vowed to start working out, and strengthen the aforementioned back, to stop it from acting up every few months.
  • Two of my closest, best-est friends are now seeing each other. And that makes me very happy. Wish P would make A stop living in office. Also, wish P would make A start writing again ... 'coz A doesn't seem to be listening to me at all. Oh, and P should start writing too. :)
  • On the home front, our live-in help went off on a weekend off, never to come back. This was about three weeks back. Have been through one week with no help at all! With me cooking all the time, and G washing and cleaning up all the time! It is indeed surprisingly how much three people can eat in one day! We now have two part-timers - one to cook, the other to clean. And, the one who cooks is just so bad at cooking. Am desperately looking for someone who'd live with us, and manage everything. If anyone knows of anyone who'd move to our place (NCR), and do this, please please please, let me know!!
  • ...so, yeah...this is mostly where I've been. Apart from work. Which has been hectic, to say the least.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Happy Teacher's Day! :)

Mom sent this to me today...and I think it's lovely. And, I think the one person who embodies both of these perspectives is my Mom. She's been the best mother I could ever think anyone could be - and I hope I'll be like her in this way too - along with all the other ways that I'm like her - and so proud that I am. She's also (apart from being a mother, wife and friend, AND a practising Doctor), since the last 5 years, been running the school that my grandmother had started about 27 years ago. And, the way she's so involved with every child in the achool - makes me so proud. And, that's how, the rest of us - Papa, Saahil and I - help out with every year's annual function for the school - and it's so awesome every year. :)

Love you, Ma. :)

“Whose child is this?”

I asked one day

Seeing a little one

Out at play.

“Mine”, said the PARENT

with a tender smile

“Mine to keep a little while.

To bathe his hands

and comb his hair,

To tell him what he is to wear.

To prepare him that he

may always be good,

And each day do the

things he should.”

“Whose child is this?”

I asked again

as the door opened and

someone came in,

“Mine”, said the TEACHER

with the same

tender smile,

“Mine to keep just

for a little while.

To teach him how to be

gentle and kind,

to train and direct his

dear little mind.

To help him live by

every rule.

And get the Best he

can from SCHOOL.

“Whose child is this?”

I asked once more.

Just as the little one

entered the door,

“Ours”, said the PARENT

and the TEACHER

as they smiled

And each took the hand,

of the little child-

“OURS to love and

train together,

Ours this blessed task TOGETHER!”

HAPPY TEACHER'S DAY!!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Starring...

...my feet...again.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

It's 12:16 a.m.

...and I'm still at office.

Just finished work. Now waiting for a cab that'll drop me home.

I was getting bored and called G, who said - why don't you blog for a bit? Well, I'm here now - but am here so brain numbed that I can think of nothing to say.

And, I am probably going to read this tomorrow morning and wonder why I wrote at all.

I write - one, because I like to, once in a while. Two, I feel good about people visiting my blog and reading what I write. I'd feel even better if said people would leave comments though.

Saw Heyy Babyy a couple of nights ago. Lots of people saw nothing redeeming in the film. I thought it was a brilliant first effort at direction. (Film spoiler ahead)

The film was full of typically Sajid Khan jokes. I specially liked Boman Irani saying "aami tomaake bhaaloo bhashi" - with emphasis on bhaaloo (bear) - because he really likes Ritesh Deshmikh who is dressed as a cartoon bear called Eddy Teddy. Also, in another scene, Fardeen K, Ritesh D and Akshay K are trying to decide what they should name the baby - Fardeen says Aafreen - and Ritesh goes - Really? Why not Janasheen? That I think, is hugely funny!

Also, Sajid Khan managed to make Fardeen Khan act! That, in itself, is a big achievement. Not even Ram Gopal Verma succeeded in making the man look less like a block of wood and more slightly resembling a human with facial expressions.

Did not like Vidya Balan in Heyy Babyy. Had loved her in Munnabhai and Parineeta. Thought she looked very hard in this one. But then, maybe she was supposed to. But, there was none of that magic that I think Vidya Balan brings to the screen this time. Like Juhi Chawla, Vidya too lights up the screen - I think the good humour and happiness is contagious - everytime I watch either of these two actors, it always manages to cheer me up.

Boman Irani was good. As usual. The man never lets you down.

Akshay Kumar. When did the man start acting so well?! He was so good in Heyy Babyy. Now I know he got good after he finished with the action-hero type roles. But Heyy Babyy made me realise just how amazing he's become. In the scene where the doctor comes and tells the three of them that the baby's lungs are filled with water and she's got pneumonia, and might not survive the night - Akshay's face, and each expression on it, looks like it's heartfelt. It's so real.

On the whole, pretty good film. And I have not laughed as much as I did while watching Heyy Babyy in a very long time. It's not even all slapstick humour. It's actually very funny. Good fun!

I am now dying to watch Chak De and Gandhi My Father.

P.S.: Very good review of Chak De here.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

'Coz they're the best-est!

I've always thought, since I was 10 years old maybe, that there can be no two people who're as perfect for each other, and with each other, as my parents are. And, I remember wondering if I'll ever meet someone who I'm that good with. (The fact that I did actually find him is another post-in-waiting.)

But, they're the most awesome parents anyone can ever have, or want. My memories of childhood are of only being happy. And, I think, so are my brother's. (Except, in his case, an occasional whack from Mom for not studying.)

They've both always been more my friends than anything else. And, they've both believed in me - blindly - always. And trusted my decisions. And, most importantly, always, always been there after I screwed up.


Mom:
Thanks for making all our family traditions - like, Saahil tying me a rakhi as well, like decorating the Christmas Tree together, like dressing up nicely for Diwali, like cracking up during Diwali pooja just so it doesn't get all serious and stuffy, like making Sunday breakfast with eggs and toast, like singing in the car every time we drove out of town - and so many more.
Thanks for always being my best friend - and knowing me more than I know myself - and, always understanding. Always.
Thanks for reliving everything with me - I know you did.
Thanks for making my shaadi so wonderful.
Thanks for making Saahil and me the people that we are.
Thanks for making our family - the four of us - the completely crazy, madcap, happy family that we are.

Papa:
Thanks for being my biggest support - always. And for being the one person after talking to whom all my confusions clear just like that.
Thanks for being the best, most fun friend and father in the world.
Thanks for reading to me when I was a baby.
Thanks for making fun of our technologically challenged mother with me. :-D
Thanks for always standing up for me. Always, always.
Thanks for the camel story and carpenter story. :)
Thanks for teaching me that there's the right, honourable, truthful way of doing every thing.
Thanks for making me the person I am.
Thanks for making us feel so sure - Mom, Saahil and me - that we could do anything at all, and you'll still always stand by us. With us. Even against the world. Always.

Saahil:
Thanks for making my childhood so fun.
Thanks for being the one person who knows the strangest things about me - and knows my mind the way I know his - inside out.
And, a repeat of the testimonial I wrote for you on Orkut - I think that says best what I want to say - which, by the way, reminds me of asking you WHEN you're going to get around to writing one for me?!
"Brat!
Pest!
...erm...Cheeseling!

...I never thought when we were kids that you'd actually resemble something like a human being eventually - that I'd actually be able to have a conversation with you...ever!

From reading out Biggles to you...and not reading out stories with "metaphors" or literary "illusions"...and definitely NOT reading your favourite author...pretending to be asleep when Mom walked into our room at night, only to have you spoil it all by forgetting to put your head on the pillow...to stealing your money (read: opening a bank account for you)...to have you lending me money now...to dividing even air space on the bed...to understanding your crazy mutant brain...to have you understand me in a way very few people can...to sharing my childhood with you...to becoming the people we both are partly because of each other...

Love you so much!

And, so proud of you - me, Mom and Papa. " (14/06/2007)


Love you all so much.
Thanks for being the most wonderful family in the world. :)

Sphinx Deux

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

ek sau solaah chaand ki raatein...ek tumhaare kaandhe ka til...

This is a post that was inspired by something I read on Megha's blog about one of my favourite songs...

Incidentally, the line "ek sau solaah chaand ki raatein, ek tumhaare kaandhe ka til" from the song Mera Kuchh Saamaan from Ijaazat refers to the 116 phases of the moon that are listed in Indian classical literature. What Gulzar means to say is that all the possible phases of brightness that the moon has to offer, cannot even begin to match the tiny dark spot on your shoulder.

Very, very nice, I think. :)

Anyway, thinking about mera kuchh saamaan started me thinking about my favourite Hindi songs - or, some of my favourite Hindi songs, at any rate.

  1. Mera Kuchh Saamaan and Katra Katra from Ijaazat
    For RD's awesome music, Asha's awesome voice, and Gulzar's awesome lyrics. For the lines "tumne to aakash bichhaya...mere nange pairo mein zameen hai..." in Katra Katra. And for the aforementioned lines from mera kuchh saamaan.

  2. Sona Nahin Naa Sahi from One 2 Ka 4
    For the lines "sona nahin na sahi, chaandi nahin na sahi...fikar kya hai, main hoon na tere liye...". Not great lyrics, I know. But I just love the thought in the song. That, no matter if we have very little, but you have me - always.

  3. Hum Aapki Aankhon Mein from Pyaasa
    For the lines "hum aapko khwaabon mein la la ke sataayenge...hum aapki aankhon se neendein hi uDaa dein to...". And for Geeta Dutt's and Rafi's playful, lilting voices.

  4. Tum Pukar Lo and Humne Dekhi Hai Unn Aankhon Ki from Khamoshi
    "muqtasar si baat hai tum se pyaar hai...tumhaara intezaar hai, tum pukaar lo..." from tum pukaar lo. And, "humne dekhi hai, unn aankhon ki mahakati khushboo...haath se chhuuke ise, rishton ka ilzaam na do..." - only Gulzar can write words like "aankhon ki mahakati khushboo". Beautiful! :)

  5. Meri Jaan Mujhe Jaan Naa Kaho from Anubhav
    "honth jhuke jab honthon par...saans uljhi ho saanson mein...do judwaan honthon ki...baat kaho aankhon se...". Very sexy words, don't you think?

  6. Gulmohar Gar Tumhaara Naam Hota from Devtaa
    "gulmohar gar tumhaara naam hota...mausam-e-gul ko hasaana bhi humaara kaam hota...". Such a nice thought behind the lyrics. Also, 'coz I love Gulmohar trees when they're in full bloom - especially the red ones. Look like fire flowers.

  7. Dekh Ke Teri Nazar from Howrah Bridge
    There's this one line in the song, which goes - "aaye ho dho ke kahin aankhein sharaab se" - I don't think any other Hindi film song describes intoxicating, sexy eyes as well.

  8. Abhi Naa Jaao ChhoDkar from Hum Dono
    Love this song for its lyrics and music, but more so because this is the first song G sang to me. Not "sang" really - typed. We were chatting and it was very late at night, and I said I had to go sleep - and this is when he said abhi na jaao chhoDke, ke dil abhi bhara nahin...and I said, yehi kahoge tum sada ke dil abhi nahin bhara. And, this was one of those times when I was feeling constantly surprised at how two people who've had such different exposures and lives, have so much in common. I love old Hindi film songs (as is quite evident from this list!), and most people I've known have had no idea about any except for the most over-played and popular old songs. Another of the things that surprised me the same way is when G said (again in one of our chats) "swatIsaid" (translation: that's what I said) - which is what Ern Goon from The Five Find-Outers used to say. :)
    Also, G's ID on ICQ used to be Hawkeye. From Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H, who I used to be absolutely in love with. :)

  9. Maula Mere Maula from Anwar
    Beautiful, beautiful lyrics, and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's awesome voice.

  10. Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho from Hanste Zakhm
    The most haunting romantic song I have ever heard. Gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Kaifi Azmi's lyrics and Rafi's voice. Wow!

  11. Mujhe Dard-e-Dil Ka Pata Naa Thaa from Akash Deep
    "yoon hi apne apne safar mein gum, kahin door mein kahin door tum...chale ja rahe thay juda juda, mujhe aap kisliye mil gaye..." Need I say any more? :)

  12. Teri Deewani from Kailasa
    Not a Hindi film song, but such beautiful lyrics. And Kailash Kher sings it with such feeling.

  13. Mann Re Tu Kaahe Naa Dheer Dhare from Chitralekha
    Outlook voted this as 1st out of the 20 best Hindi film songs ever. Not the best, I think. But, one of the best for sure!

  14. There's this one song that I loooove! It's by Yesudas, as far as I remember. There's this one line in the song that goes - "samay ka aanchal thaam ke pal pal umar chali hai jaane kahaan..." - and I can't for the life of me remember tha title of the song, or any other words from it. Can someone please help me? 'Coz this is going to be driving me mad till I do remember which song this is from!!
Correction: Maula Mere Maula is not a Rahat Fateh Ali Khan song - it's actually sung by Roop Kumar Rathod. Still very nice though.

Tags: Also, I tag Quirky Soul, Anand, River, Anvita and the Mad Momma. Also, whoever else would like to take it up. :)

Another Update: I have finally managed to remember - with no help from anyone - which the last song I wrote about is! It's tere bin soona more mann ka mandir! :)