Friday, July 31, 2009
So yes, India Today Top Ten, baby. If I were not feeling that any movement may reverse the direction in which the earth spins, I would very much do the happy dance with a dash of some crazy, vindictive moves but feel free to picture me doing it anyway. Where is that tequila and the digestion required to process it when you need them?
I am working on the second one these days. There, I have said it. And that is all I am going to say for now.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Anyway, this is a good opportunity to catch up on some good movies on World Movies, given that the book I am reading is too heavy to hold. Stephen King's The Dark Tower, part VII (the finally final part). I have been reading this series over the last two years and still haven't finished it. How the mighty have fallen.
More reviews on my book. This one by Nishtha at N's Nook.
I also wanted to chime in with my thoughts on “The Book!” as I call it. Parul Sharma, a fellow blogger (me cleverly getting into good company, heh heh), who writes a perfectly delightful blog, wrote it. Yes, really. As many have exclaimed before me, I know an author who has actually written a published book, albeit through the internet. Bravo! Parul.You can read the rest of it here. I am told the book is doing very well. Given that it has had no publicity at all, the only reason could be positive word of mouth. If you have said a kind word or two about it to fellow readers and therefore prospective buyers, I say thank ye. If not, oh well, next time.
Alright, now I go to get sick again.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Once upon a time there was a child who had great trouble sleeping. His parents decided that playing the radio for him at bed-time would perhaps be an effective remedy for the boy's sleeplessness. They discovered a brilliant program on the one of the numerous FM stations. This programme had two advantages:
a. It lasted for three bloody hours. This meant that there was no need to stretch the hand, fetch the remote and change stations in search of music
b. It played only old and very old Hindi songs which are known for lyrics on the lines of 'Jo bhi ho tum, khuda ki kasam, lajawab ho' rather than 'zubaan pe laaga, laaga re, namak ishq ka'
After a few weeks of this bedtime ritual, the child was nowhere close to sleeping any earlier. In fact, he rather seemed to enjoy all the music and wanted to put on his party diaper to go out drinking (chocolate milk) with other babies in the vicinity. The parents soon become thoroughly well-versed in Hindi songs from the forties onwards and had also made acquaintance with the RJ known to the world only as Painful. Now Painful had the unique gift of being able to value-add in any situation and before any song.
Hamaare saath hai, Shammi Kapoor, Sadhna aur......suspenseful wait, breaths are bated while everyone silently urges RJ Painful to continue
Arrey yaad aaya, Shammi Uncle se meri bas kal hi baat ho rahi thi.....suitably impressed listeners nod in appreciation, maybe he will play the song now
Rafi saab ki aawaz mein, Rajkumar film ka yeh gaana, bas main kya kahoon.....Kuchh mat kaho comes to mind but unfortunately the radio is a one-way medium
Wahi mehfil, wahi dost, RJ Painful ke saath, ab suniye yeh gaana.....phew, close call.
The songs were brilliant of course but soon it became clear that another strategy was called for to make the child sleep. The parents tried keeping the radio off and the lights dim that was the end of the late nights and RJ Painful.
M's top three. Any older and we would have to call archaeologists to dig them out.
For the stylish cigarette lighter. I want it, or one like it so badly. The song isn't half-bad either!
For the haunting melody. Listen to it once and it stays put in your mind forever. Love it.
For Sadhana, whose smile was once compared to a blossoming rose bud, for the incomparable lyrics and for Dharam Dev Pishorimal Anand, our answer to Gregory Peck.
Tell me yours. Only black and white and only Hindi. And log in a little later to see M's list. Poles apart we are, matters it does not.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
The carpenter fortunately is a person who goes beyond just carpentry. So far he has been quite flexible with his scope of work. Remove these lights, I tell him. He nods. Also, get the leaky tap in the kitchen checked, M commands. Will do, he says. Smoothen the walls and put POP (plaster, not art) where required. Ho jayega, he assures. I am going to check if he can cook and take care of kids as well and then we are set. Of course I would have never believed that my carpenter could be Superman but he comes with glowing references. Also, I have noticed the faint but unmistakable smell of alcohol about him at all times including nine in the am. That proves he is not perfect. So we are good. (Don't bother mailing me to take his contact details, he is mine.)
In other observations, I have observed that things are damn expensive in this city. Maybe we now only go to premium stores but still, some of those price tags fair take my breath away. These stores are doing quite well even in these times meaning of course that there are plenty of rich people wanting pretty things to do up their houses in Mumbai but still. But. Still. Everyone tells me that there are cheaper options available for everything. So far they have had limited appeal for me. On that note, my dears, your wise owl blogger goes off to partially pass out on the couch and watch mind-numbing television.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The reviews incidentally haven't ceased. Not just yet anyway. Iya over at The White Rain has had an eventful time, having a birthday, reading my book and then saying this about it...
Among finishing other books I also managed to read Bringing up Vasu, by Parul Sharma. I usually don’t do reviews but this one time I do want to write a bit about this one solely because Parul is the first person I know who has a book to her name :). I have been reading her blog for a few months now and I feel I owe this to her.Rest of it here.
To continue with the initial train of thought, it would have been very different to do the book without the blog. A little empty. And so I have decided that all things considered, it's nicer to have a blog...than not.
This is mine.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I am not really able to spend any time at at the site though, things at home not being entirely under control. The boy fell ill again and the new maid, Ghajini (short for Gaja Gamini) lives up to the name that I have given her (or borrowed from Vatsayana, it refers to her walk, not her size). Itni bhi kya jaldi hai is her ruling theme in life. Ghajini, you scream, come here at once, Adi has puked in my lap and on my laptop, the phone is ringing, the carpenter is at the door wanting to know if it is alright to do the exact opposite of what you told him to and my script is flying out of the window as we speak. Ghajini throws her hair over her shoulder and slowly begins to walk towards me, gently so as to not hurt the earth, her hips swaying in perfect rhythm as she makes her relaxed way towards me. I am fairly certain that many a street-Romeo had written odes to her mastani chaal but I have little use for it, unless I do a sudden MF Hussain, of course. By the time she reaches ground zero, I have already handled the crisis in my own slipshod way. What do you need, didi, she asks of me. Gah, couldn't you hurry up, I shout. In response, her eyes well up with tears. I clench my teeth and ask her to take her presence away, my patience not being a heavyweight these days. Oh ok, she says and starts to compete with snails again, back to the kitchen.
In all of this, all that comes to my mind is bloody Padma. If she had not abandoned the ship for reasons unknown to mankind, I wouldn't be stuck with the likes of Ghajini. While on the topic of Ghajini, I'd like you, dear reader to know of her voice or lack thereof. While Ghajini can technically speak, she feels it is just too much effort. So if she does need to ask me something, she ambles over to the room where I work and makes some movements with her lips. Aforementioned patience being what it is, I start sending forth streams of smoke from both ears at this transformation of Ghajini into goldfish. WHAT, WHAT, WHAT, SPEAK UP, WOMAN, I snap. Her eyes well up again. I just wanted to know what to make for dinner, she says. (This incidentally is at about three in the afternoon but at Ghajini's speed, dinner will take about that long, so we are good.) I don't know, I want to shout, whatever you want. But I don't. Because I know that elephants can remember.
I just finished reading "Bringing up Vasu - the first year" by Parul Sharma. For the initial 30 pages or so, I got pretty worked up thinking of what was coming my way. Peapod was a custom made child for me from the dear good lord. She wasn't much trouble, I pretty much slept peacefully and the only sore point was breast feeding, I mean the amount of it. It made me feel like a dairy farm at times.
To read the rest, please go here. Any other reviews/opinions in the offing? Don't forget to send me the link.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
That however had me thinking of all the things that I had left behind when I quit my full-time job and I realized that there was a fair bit there too. Early morning smokes and coffee, some great people, shared food, adult company on tap, always having someone fun to make sudden drinking plans with. And yes, that's it. A short list for the five years spent in various offices, wouldn't you say? And surprising that I shouldn't miss the certainty of the amount credited in the account at the end of the month and the pleasure (heh) of a real job.
I figure that I always was something of an introvert. Taking up writing and the isolation that it requires has come so naturally to me, it is scary. As a rule, I don't seek company. Social interaction is something I can take in intervals and a little bit at a time. Making new friends is almost impossible for me now that I am set in my thirties and my ways. With my laptop for company and a few clever lines, I can be quite happy for hours together. Sometimes I tell myself that it's important for me to go out, meet people, cultivate contacts (like they were plants or something) for my son but then M tells me that Adi can do it on his own when the time comes. Ghar ghussu - that's what I am. Oh well, takes all kinds.
What kind are you? Social butterfly flitting from party to party or awesome on your ownsome? Would you like to change the way you are? Think the grass is more potent on the other side?
For all those wondering about the title of the post, check this out.
Friday, July 17, 2009
This marathoner starts off her post saying,
I read it two weeks ago and I have still not said a thing about it. Whats up with that now. See, the thing is, I don't do reviews of books. Or movies. In general you can say that I don't write anything coherent or sensible about anything, and you would be right. But at least a usual non-review? That I can do.
So, Bringing up Vasu.
I, of course, love Parul's blog (and her). See, she loves MJ, and ran in the Standard Chartered Extravangza in Jan. What's not to like? Oh yes, she is totally hilarious!! (I do object however, to how tall she is, but am willing to forgive her that, maybe it makes the words that come out of her funnier).
I was hopping about on one foot, saying I need to find Parul's book, I need to find Parul's book. Mum, who was here then, was irritated. But accompanied me to Crossword patiently. The one on Venkatnarayana Road. Have I told you I hate this store. I mean Sriram can go to hell, really. Of course I go there real often, at least I used to back in Mumbai when we lived a stone's throw away from one of their stores.
Of course you want to know what she says next. For that, you need to go here. Yenjoy!
It's tough, this whole doing up the house thing. To begin with, I need to remove some existing, in-built showpieces in the house (their idea of tasteful decor and mine, they are not to meet). They are made of glass and wood and have all sorts of things growing in them and have colourful lights to enhance the beauty of the cultivation. I thought I would sell these structures to the kabaadi but the kabaadi says that the carpenter will need to pull them out and the carpenter says that the electrician needs to get the colourful lights out first (I mean, everyone wants to do their business without getting electrocuted, right? A fair demand, I thought). So now I have called my old handyman and I am hoping he will take care of the three aspects on his own viz. prevent possibility of electrocution, remove structure and sell structure for profit (his, not mine, I am all detached from this scenario now).
The Asian Paints Home Solutions store on Hill Road came as something of a pleasant surprise and while they are not paying me to write this, I have to say that the store was something of a dazzler. Of course I had paint figuratively dripping out of my ears when they were done taking me through the room-sets and the kidproof chalk paints and textures and the finishes and the polishes but then I never was good with too much information. I have decided to go with them so if you have a point of view, speak now or be forever silent.
Tomorrow, veneers and door handles and such like. And getting rid of a particularly pesky man currently lurking the streets of Mumbai under the legend Khaleel Joona Furniture Wallah. The joy.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
She starts off by saying,
Bringing up Adi is a blog that have been reading for about an year now, needless to say when I came to know that a book is being launched by Parul, I wanted to grab it ASAP
And now I have finally finished reading it and rereading some parts of the brilliant Bringing up Vasu : The first year
The thing I love most about Parul’s blog is her humor and that was one of the best things in the book too… there were times when people around me were surprised to see me laughing out loudly in a book in hand…
You can read the rest of the review here and while you are at it, vote for her and make her driving challenge dream come true. You need to hurry about it though because I think tomorrow (17th July) is the last day. Now I am off to damage my brain further with carpenters and such like. See you in a bit.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
A series of disappointments followed. Rundown buildings complete with peeling plaster greeted us wherever we went. The houses themselves were apologies for what apartments should be, ending before they had begun. Like haikus, said the husband sadly.
We have something in a TDR building, said the broker. That sounds like something to do with taxation, I thought to myself but wisely kept my silence. A TDR building is the equivalent of an unmade up mind in the world of property. The building is originally meant to be a squat two-floor edifice. Time passes by as time is wont to do, the rate per square foot increases while the supply of land remains the same, our earth not being an expandable planet. Consequently, more floors are added to the old building.It looks strange, I said doubtfully, like the mismatched floors of a child's lego building. You cannot afford to be fussy about these things, explained the broker.
The sensex hit the 21,000 mark. Housing became ever more expensive, but the stock market cycles are supposed to be independent of the real estate cycle. You need to understand one thing, said a friend, anything and everything that happens in the world makes Mumbai houses more expensive.
I would have taken this with a pinch of salt but then Kareena Kapoor lost weight and gained a hit. Suddenly people were asking for even higher amounts for buildings where Kareena was ostensibly buying a house. I am not a fan, I feebly complained, why should I be expected to pay a premium for her expected presence. The broker did not reply.
Even more time passed. We had a child, the desperation for space increased. His toys and clothes and books began to have children of their own or so it appeared every evening when we surveyed the house that looked like a tsunami had been visiting. Yes, we needed a larger house. We were now at a budget that was twice the original. And yet, no houses that would tug at the heartstrings, no strains of 'ek bangala bane nyaara' in the background and definitely no neighbour in the gorgeous Ms. Kapoor.
Look, sea-view, they would say and then quote a price for the same. Well, at that rate, we will need to gaze at the sea all the bloody time to get anywhere close to a good ROI, the husband would growl. A terrace, they would announce grandly and direct us to a patch of grilled-in concrete. Park view, parking view, even gym-view had takers apparently. But we refrained.
That theory about having to kiss many toads before getting to lock lips with the good prince holds true for house-hunting too, we were told. You have to see as many as sixty, seventy perhaps even a hundred bad houses to arrive at the one that is just right. At the rate at which we were going, hundred seemed a very achievable number.
Things finally reached a pass when the brokers started showing us the same houses over and over again. Murti Mahal? Oh we know the building. Kinara Kunj? Seen the place. Beach Haven? Yawn. Then we are done, said the middle-men. You have successfully exhausted all available flats in the area, not to mention us. The time to take a decision had arrived. The kind of house we actually wanted was a big, beautiful bungalow in Pali Hill but that notwithstanding the minor issue of affordability was taken by a superstar many decades ago. What were we to do?
Maybe we are not meant to get a place in Bombay, I would often stoically tell the husband, we are supposed to live it up in Como, remember. Yes, but retirement is at least twenty years away, he would groan. A couple of false alarms followed. And then, one day, just when we were nearing the end of the tether, we saw an apartment and did not have the single-minded urge to run away at once. It was nice and what was not nice could be made so. The hands were shaken, the house bought. The time to call Bombay home had finally arrived.
Interior magazines, here I come.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
I love wit, humour, sarcasm. It should therefore come as no surprise that I totally heart Parul's blog. And even that doesn't begin to cover just how much I love it.
It's because of the way she writes. There's a gentle humour emanating from her writing, like a favourite aroma. It makes you want to read her every morning so that you can start your day with a smile. That's the kind of coffee it is.
So when I found out she was writing a book, I knew that I would love it. And I knew that I wouldn't be able to to be objective about it. It's hard to detach yourself from something you love so much and write with a kind of un-sentimentality, but I'm going to try, nevertheless.
For the rest of the review, please go here. I love to read what fellow-bloggers have to say about my maiden effort, so if you are planning to write a review or a post about the same, do leave me a link. Thank you.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I mean, Sofia Coppola has designed this lovely bag (and shoes to go with it) for Louis Vuitton and my birthday is coming up in just eight more months and Sofia's Lost in Translation is one of my favourite movies of all times which means I must encourage her when she expresses her creative genius in other ways and she is Francis Ford Coppola's daughter and he made the Godfather trilogy which has answers to all my life's problems and therefore when his daughter takes on a project, my wallet and I must look on in a fond fashion.....AUGH, just give me the bag. NOW.
And speaking of fashion, I must must must change my glasses. I change them every year or at least I did when I still had the time for such frivolities. Now I like to spend my free time in eating a full meal or applying lip-balm, you know?
I started wearing glasses in grad school. Seated at the very back of the classroom, I often found myself squinting at the board to catch what was written there. One day, as I contorted my eyes in various shapes to make out the blurry words at the other end of the room, a kind-hearted/flirtatious and bespectacled boy seated next to me suggested that I get my eyes checked. Here, try my glasses, he said generously and throwing all caution for hygiene to the winds, I did. The world appeared clearer. On my next trip home, I found myself finally living upto my geeky destiny and sporting a pair of gold-framed, eek, spectacles.
Since then I have gone from thick-framed to rimless to current, fancy designer wear. Initially it was strange to find something resting on the bridge of one's nose like an irritating fly. I would take them off and then forget all about them. I must have lost at least three pairs in that phase. Then, like pretty much everything else that life throws one's way, I got used to them. Now of course they are like any other accessory, much like shoes or bags. And much like shoes and bags, I regularly tire of them and want new ones.
Of course, at different points in my life, I have also tried to do away with the glasses altogether by wearing those awful contact lenses. I have made an honest to God effort and I have failed. I keep forgetting to put them in and then I keep forgetting to take them out. Not my thing apparently. Strange because I have had friends who have counted putting in their lenses in the morning as natural as brushing their teeth or washing their faces. I, on the other hand will be found wondering if the occasion really demands that I slap foreign objects onto my eyeballs. Weddings, parties and other glamorous events have not qualified and have seen me sporting my glasses with all my finery. Either I am one hell of a frump or the world may not be ready yet for the dazzling effect of a me, sans glasses.
And you? Do you wear spectacles? Ok with it? Hate it? Contacts are the way to go?
Picture lifted from here.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
We start on Season Four of House tonight. No doctors Cameron, Chase and Foreman? WHAT will happen now? How will world order be achieved? Talking of doctors, I quite miss that other hot doctor friend of mine. Hawkeye. Maybe it's time to stop House and go back to a bit of M*A*S*H for old times' sake. Old times should remember this and return the favour sometime.
Next month - Bono and I have a date. I am getting my boots on. Anyone else going for the U2 show?
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
And I was writing this, a box of crayons sitting at my desk just fell down to the floor. No provocation. Just. Fell. Down.
I thought Casper was supposed to be a friendly ghost. Why is he increasing my work?
Maybe it was just gravity.
Back to dreaming about Goa. We will be staying at the Taj Exotica. The last time we were there was as a young couple married for barely six months and with a bunch of other people. There was plenty of alcohol, all sorts of games and much fun was had. One of the games was something called Killer. Let me tell you about that, it's quite interesting.
Anyway, long and lengthy description of a game that you probably know well yourself. But if you don't, it is a must-try if you have a huge gang of people with loads of alcohol and time on their hands. Trust me, you will have fun.
- Everyone sits in a ring and closes their eyes.
- One person is the referee who stands up and selects one killer by tapping once on their head and one guardian angel by tapping twice. So now only the killer and the guardian angel know who they are.
- The referee declares to the group that he has selected the killer and the guardian angel.
- Now the referee asks the killer to open his/her eyes and chose to kill someone. The killer does that by pointing out the person to be killed to the referee.
- The referee now taps this chosen person on the head to indicate that he has been killed. The killer then closes his eyes.
- The referee asks the guardian angel to open his/her eyes. The guardian angel now gets to point to (only in sign language) one suspect. The referee is obliged to confirm/deny whether that suspect is the killer or not.
- Everyone opens their eyes. The killed person declares that he is dead and leaves the game.
- The rest of the group now argues among itself who the killer could be. The angel's task is to help the group identify the killer based on the extra knowledge that he has without revealing that he is the angel looking after the group.
- Based on group vote, one person is accused as the killer and eliminated. If the accused is indeed the killer, the game ends and the group wins. If not, the accused innocent leaves the game after abusing the group. The game now continues with the group closing their eyes and the killer killing one more person. The guardian angel gets another shot at guessing who the real killer is. Of course sometimes the group/killer knocks off the angel himself.
- The game goes on till the killer is found or has killed everyone save one in the group.