Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I might as well admit it....

....I'm addicted to:
a) Makeover shows: I watch Style by Jury- have watched Oprah episodes on free makeovers. Heck I even loved movies with a makeover theme or even a makeover scene (Pretty Woman, OSO, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (yeah!), Chaalbaaz (ok, maybe this doesnt strictly fall in this category-but we'll just extend the addiction to make'unders'- Remember, Rohiti Hattangady?), Taal etc. My 2 second pop psycho-analysis tells me that this could be because a) I'm in need of a makeover b) I love magical results without too much stress and hard work, c) Appearance can transform a person and d) just. I'd go with option d). Anyone who thought I'd choose a) doesnt really know egoistic me.
b) Audition rounds of reality shows: It's serious business, this. India seems to be the land of a billion talented people and also the land of a milllion TV channels just falling over themselves to bring this talented mass to the fore through the means of a 1000 odd reality shows. Sing, dance, act, stand on your nose, fart the loudest, have an attitude, - the term talent is loosely defined and the reality is rather un-quietly stage managed. I have come to hate these talent shows that ultimately provide a platform only for out-of-work and hence-on-your-screen judges and publicity hungry film folks who troop in to promote a release and mouth gems such as "two of you all were mind blowing", " you are a good package" etc. But what I don't ever miss are the auditions of these reality shows-Roadies, Indian Idol, American Idol and Saregamapa-you name it and I would have most likely made an effort to catch the auditions. Such precious eye-opening lessons in understanding human behaviour!- Move aside quantitative studies- one episode of Roadies Auditions is enough to make me aware of how people think, feel, react and interact. Even the most moronic episodes are revealing, if not entertaining. So take my advice, skip the shows- watch the auditions.
c) My 'satin'- Faithful companion of countless years, my security blanket, unlike me, is ageing well. No matter how rough my day or how terrible my mood, I just pull it over my head and it soothes my nerves and keeps the cruel world (exclusive of M) at bay. Laugh not, I can manage sleep without it (now), only I don't want to.
d) Pickles- I love pickles and have at least 4-5 jars at my place at any given point in time. Different flavors of course! As a consequence of this addiction, I end up spending the maximum time in Mustafa's Pickles section that has a mouth-watering, slurp-inducing array of pickles.
e) My lull-to-sleep playlist-I love music and on most nights, just before I go to sleep, I play an assortment of songs that are high on melody and low on beats. Currently the playlist comprises- a)"Vellai Pookal" from Kannathil Mutthamital-filled me with hope and peace, even when I didnt know the meaning of the lyrics. b) Chanda Re from Eklavya- it's meant to be a lullaby :) c) O Saathi Re from Omkara- because you can touch the notes of love in the tune and the lyrics d) Scarborough Fair & Bridge over Troubled Waters by Simon & Garfunkel- For lyrics that include "parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme" and for tunes that refuse to leave me. e) O Re Pakhi from Khoya Khoya Chaand and f) Raat Hamari Toh from Parineeta-To me, these just appear at their best at night.
I was tagged to do this by Goofy Mumma when Lehman was still around, when recession was a word long forgotten and when the media debate was about Obama and Clinton- yeah, the good ol' days when consumer sentiment, the stock market indices and credit ratings were up.
And since I have not provided any running updates for a long time, here goes:
3 Running attempts in 2 weeks (India): Delhi and Chennai runs were eventful only because I was chased by dogs in the park and on the beach. Very haha not. To ensure I dont tempt fate and dogs in central India, I ran in the gym in Bhopal.
2 runs on the road (yes, I've migrated from the track) with M (make that run behind M!)- 4 km on Monday and 5.5 km today-all in about 30-35 mins. All the coolness will get challenged day after when the goal is to touch 7 km. Till then, adios.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ears on Strike

Sleep deficit was a rather inevitable consequence of a hectic fun and work (notice how the two get separate mentions-the conjunction is deliberate) filled week in India. Loads of experiences to be recounted but that's for later, when I'm back home. (hopefully, it should bear a semblance of home, given that M is managing things on his own.)
For the moment, I leave you with this:
ASR and I were being given a free ride to the outskirts of Bengaluru by a company executive who had volunteered to take us there, when we could have easily taken a cab. That he greeted us with the enthusiasm of a tourist who's glimpsed Taj Mahal for the first time, should have given me an indication of things to follow.
Now most people are not at their best in the morning. Most people understand and respect this unwritten rule of "allow time and space and no converastion" till the person recovers and makes the first move.
Now, this rather enthusiastic and chirpy young executive who I shall dub Duracell Bunny, for it is shorter than saying "enthusiastic and chirpy young executive", did not fall in the category of "most people" and insisted on making conversation.
If you have begun to wonder why we were going to the outskirts of Bengaluru, well-that makes two of us. I think you will wonder a wee bit more when I tell you that the Duracell Bunny chose to drive us in an Omni-yes, the vehicle and spits, shakes and sputters when it reaches the glorious speed of 60 kmph. Which should ideally not make it the vehicle of choice for people suffering from sleep deficit and a natural proclivity towards sleep, when in motion.
So anyway, Duracell Bunny had resolved to emit sound bytes and ignore yawns and all other body language signals that scream " Stop speaking"/ "I'm in no mood to talk"/ "silence is golden". He asked us how we found Bangalore. When we'd arrived in Bangalore. What we did the previous day. What we were doing in the evening. You get the drift?
At one point in time he actually asked us " what happened- are you guys bored- why aren't you talking". Considering that I and ASR can both give each other a tough fight on "who's more asocial", we returned the question with what else, more silence.
Actually no- I did manage an excuse to stay silent- since it was rather stupid, I am choosing to forget it. To avoid any more silly Q&A, I thought I'd pretend that I am asleep- though that turned out to be a bigger effort, what with the Omni rattle, Duracell Bunny's eager & breathless narrative and the Tamil music doing an irritating 'jugalbandi'.
So I opened my eyes, for it was getting too hot for the sleep pretence game, and attempted to participate in the conversation that ASR and Duracell Bunny seemed to be engrossed in.
Duracell Bunny was giving us highlights of the town that we were about to approach. Suddenly, he realized that I was awake and this raised his enthusiasm several notches-he turned back and asked me "Do you like drinking?".
I admit I was a bit taken aback (some people would term it 'shocked'). This did seem like a very bold question but then i put it to my being an NRI and having missed this piece in India's liberalization and evolution of values. I managed to recover with a smile only to be told by Duracell Bunny that the town had great places for drinking and that we could go there.
Now I didn't really fancy going to a local 'tharra' bar with Duracell Bunny, much as that would have reminded me of my earlier sales route (shady bars and theatres that were customers for aerated beverages). Seeing my baffled expression and raised eyebrows, ASR intervened with a hearty laugh and an explanation " He means Trekking, not drinking". I recovered fully now and told Duracell Bunny that since I was wearing sandals I couldn't really go trekking in them.
My ears and mind, I declare, go for a toss when trying to deciphering the thick south Indian accent that makes card and curd, drinking and drayking sound the same.
On a positive note, though, my faith in Good Old Indian Values has been duly restored :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

4 Movies. 4 Questions

This week was rather movie-heavy, what with the serious looting and plundering of Panda's DVD collection. Could have reviewed but most of these movies have been watched and re-watched by most who watch movies. I leave you with the movies and the first question that came to my mind after watching them. {R= repeat viewing}
1. Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (R)- Who in the world conceptualized and finally painted all that stuff in Genelia's bro's room? Move aside, Imran Khan, I'd like to meet that brilliant person.
2. Welcome to Sajjanpur- Why was this movie made and who was this targeted towards? Was the idea to introduce village life to slick city dwellers or to show the mirror to our country cousins for introspection?
3. Johnny Gaddar (R)- Why can't more movies be like this one, with attention to detail, no hamming, no lip synching to songs, with a tight script and yes, a story?
4. PS I Love You- Could we promise to not lose our tempers so easily and to not squabble about silly issues? That way we could spend more time building happy memories and less time creating situations and scenes to regret.
Lined up for next week are Kismat Konnection, Blue Umbrella, The Prestige and Hazaaron Khwahishein aisi (R). The only question is on the first one-Do I feel brave enough to watch it after all those reviews that labelled it a disaster?