Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bollywood goes to hell....

What's happening to Bollywood? After I wrote this 6 months ago, I want to sit down and cry when I watch trailers on TV these days. Has anyone else noticed the BAD BAD BAD movies coming up in the next few months?

Wait. Let me list for you.

1. Khushboo: Lame looking movie. Both new actors. Both baddd looking and seemingly talentless. Adnan Sami sings nicea. But OH GOD the song "Badi albeli hai tu, gud ki meli hai tu" .. something with godaawwwwful dance steps will kill me before my achy hand or sensitive rhinal tract do!
Have you noticed how sometimes Javed Akhtar writes the inanest lyrics?? Why like that he does? Not for the money no? He's rich like that. Then why?

2. Mehbooba: Old looking Sanjay Dutt, tragic looking Ajay Devgan and Manisha Koirala who I fully despise from the bottom of my heart. Doing 80's style rain scenes, no less. Afzal Khan made this movie long ago and is hoping to recover costs, I think.
Wat, Afzal uncle? Like this a? By inflicting torture on us? Pah!

3. Haal - e - dil: 3 new kids. Same old seeming tripodish love story. Both boys look nice. Girl looks VERRRY bad and from the 3 shots of her face you can tell she can't act for nuts. The boys look like they just might be able to , but. Who will watch? WHO?

4. Woodstock Villa: Eh this is that girl from that "Love in Lovedale" story with Aftab Shivdasani. She couldn't act there, and I'm not sure her "Buy one dhoka, get one free" (Ik dhoka dee jeeye, dooja muft paaiye- Value for your money, dear Sir/ Ma'am) item number will save her pretty ass this time either.

5. Ghatotkach: Does anyone else find that repetitive "Mainnnnnnn hooooooooon Ghatotkhach, main duniya mein sabse nirala" tune irritating enough to want to throw something at the TV? I DO! I'm tired of seeing that little animatic kid jump out of his leafy bed and spring that song at me again and again and ettagain. Gah! STOP little kid! You're cute, but shuddup already!

6. Dashavataar: Who will watch this movie about the 10 avataars of Vishnu? Kids who need to be taught mythology? Our grandparents? Ok fine.

Then why is there one animated couple smooching in full view in this animated film?

Or was that Ghatotkach?

You see what I mean? It's all too confusing and undifferentiated and bah to even remember anymore!

7. Don Muthuswamy: DO NOT get me started on this one. Mithun is back (is anyone else asking why?) and apparently his idea of humor is kicking people on their butts. Literally. I'd understand if the butts belonged to hot girls. But that also no. Then why? And that horrendous tam accent borders on offensive, dude!
Dear Ashim Samanta (director uncle), why after this terrible trailor does your name appear in embossed gold frame as if you deserve to be applauded when all you deserve is a kick on *your* rear end?

So amidst all this, the only ones with a reasonable cast and seemingly decent production value are 'Jaane Tu, ya jaane na' (Jolllworthy boy), 'Love Story 2050' (Fine, I like Priyanka Chopra) and 'Thoda Pyaar, Thoda Magic' (a Mary Poppins remake, but it has Rani and Saif. So.)

Someone give me good news no. Like good movies coming up? Something. Anything.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Empty weekends gazing back at me from the crystal ball ...


It's the 1st day in a while that rehearsals start later than midday and yet I've spent the morning wondering "Eh, what do I do with all this free time?".

I shudder to imagine what I'll be thinking once we're done staging next week. 15 to 16 hours every weekend day for the last 7 months were spent practising???

NOW wth am I supposed to do with all that time?!

*Wanders off busily to chart weekend plans and errands to keep self busy*

Friday, May 23, 2008

A *drama*tic turn of events ...

The play!!!

A Straits Time's reporter just called S (who's the brainchild behind the play I keep mentioning here) and asked her for more details on the production so she could list our play under the events section in the Life Section of the newspaper!!!

In other news, we're SOLD OUT for both shows right now!!! :D

We planned for 2 screenings and counted on selling about 80% of seating capacity, ensuring we'd just about break even on rent.

But it looks like we've crossed 100% and not only will we break even, we'll even have money to give away to charity :DDD And we've contacted this group at work who officially interface between employees and this organization called World Vision and the money will likely go to the Burma Disaster relief fund :-)

As if all this isn't awesome enough, the waiting list currently counts to some 20 odd people :) This afternoon, this person from the legal section in my company mailed me and asked about tickets and after having politely assigned him to the wait list, I happened to paste the mail to N (while I was gloriously raving about the SELL OUT!) over chat, and N informed me that this person is like this REALLY senior uncle in the company and we should just have kept VIP seats aside for junta like this. PHEW! Who would've thought!!! :)

We're planning on doing a 3rd screening on Sunday if the wait list reaches 50 people :) Let's wait and watch :)

Now I just hope we perform to expectations! Prayers and wishes are welcome and needed, so please to send our way!! :)

I'm off to cook V's brother some delicious asparagus risotto and spend the evening over conversation and white wine (after SO long!). My bags are packed and I'm ready to go off to this weekend filled with rehearsals before the final screening next weekend ....

Edited to add: Here's the Risotto...garnished with mint and cheese.. tastes divine!!! Couldn't find white wine, so don't go telling me red's the wrong choice!! :D Camerawork credits to V's brother :)

Have a lovely weekend, you too!! :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is it really the X factor that makes him what he is?

It's been a while since I've had a crush on someone I saw on television. Heck, it's been a while since I've had a crush on anyone at all! I remember 2 months ago when a friend and I listed out our top 5 (people we'd ..err.. you know ...err if we had the chance to - ok my bro visits this page and this is as candid as I'll get here!) and it occurred to me exactly how long it'd been since I'd fulla jolled over someone.

And then David Cook happened.

What is with this boy exactly that makes me like him as much as I do? Yes, he has an incredible voice that can effortlessly traverse a vast range of pitches, yes he looks like this luscious dream when he strums the guitar, but obviously it's more than just that that makes my heart go out to him and want to ask him "will u marry me?". (Yes I'm just that shallow. Eh stop judging.)

Getting serious, the thing I haven't been able to articulate to all those taken aback by my fanatic rooting for David Cook is the thing that sets him apart from Archuleta - TEXTURE!

Let me illustrate by way of analogy. Imagine the difference ...
- between a pure silk sari and a silk cotton one
- between the erstwhile popular soft light polyester dupattas and the crushed cotton ones
- between a plain diary milk chocolate and a fruit and nut variant
- between between perfect seeming people and those with quirks
- between bourbon chocolate cream biscuits and my personal favorite - the hide and seek ones
- between just plain soup and soup with croƻtons
- between plain ice cream and icre cream with almond and chocolate shavings sprinkled on top (sigh)

You get what I mean? If yes, then hurrah with me! If not, then full fail. My guy won, and yours lost. Go sit in corner and feel bad for yourself. Go.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Murphy's law indeed ...

Just when you started to lower your defenses and tell yourself you're being stupid and paranoid in expecting bad things to be round the corner instead of enjoying the good stuff, Mr. Murphy, feeling ignored and untended to, lands up at the door.

And (at the risk of sounding redundant), everything that CAN go wrong, goes wrong.

A mother's concern that cannot be alleviated thanks to an erratic phone network, a looming deadline that eludes finishing, and worst of all an unfinished blog post lovingly and painstakingly written out only to realize that when I hit post, the internet had died on me, and everything I'd written straight from the heart has vanished.

I don't have the energy to try anymore. I think I'll let this day beat me after all.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Why? it that I miss being passionate about the things I was passionate about 3 years ago? Have I really run out of 'fire' as they put it? Or have I just channeled it into other things? If I have, and if it was a choice, why do I crave it all over again? it that I assume that the same behaviors can have different outcomes? It never worked, it never will. Why don't I learn from my mistakes then? Ever? I always have so frigging much to say? I was labeled too talkative sometime ago in rather specific terms and it stuck with me. I don't usually care for labels like that, but when the doc tells me my headaches can be attributed to a swollen jaw, it occurs to me that this might be God's way of telling me to finally SHUT the hell up. I put all my proverbial eggs in the same few baskets over and over again? Really, how difficult is it to know that it's a bad bet in the long term? But then what about 80:20? How do I reconcile 2 contradictory theories I admire equally? I love stories that involve serial killers, multiple personality disorders and/ or dinosaurs? And why then am I amazed at the "weirdness quotient" of my dreams?

(Last night it was a man being mauled to death by a grizzly bear, while he communicates telepathically with his infant child that lies lost in another part of the same forest. While trying to navigate his way through the forest toward his child AND fighting the bear, he finally gets killed (head ripped off by the animal, no less) and his soul floats up into the sky, soon after joined by the soul of his child).

Seriously, my mum will FREAK if she hears this. So will many others. WHY then do I stay up until 1 am and watch shows on Discovery about 'most evil people' and 'crimes that shook the world'? Serves me right only! I suddenly scared this play thing that goes on stage in 2 weeks might see last minute goof ups? Everything's been so good so far, and suddenly we all seem to be slipping, slacking, forgetting cues, missing lines... overall
not doing our best when we can least afford it. So many people at work and otherwise are excited about this production and coming to see it. This is going to be top of mind in my prayers in the next 2 weeks. Please can I request that you pray for it too? Thanks! I up at 1 am thinking and writing negative thoughts and words?

I'm going to slap myself, say NO to this night time negativity, speak to someone who makes me happy and sleep with a smile on my face ok?

-Passion can and will be summoned upon when needed. I don't have to wait for it to come to me.

-Mistakes are the only way to get better no? Yes. So I'll stop berating myself for making my share.

-The day I have no one to listen to me, I'll stop talking. Not just yet. I still know people who like to listen. If *you* don't, go (take a) hike. Ta! Bye!

-Eggs and baskets my (size 10) foot! I'll just have to trust my instinct on the goodness of where I put my eggs, even if it's only in 20% of the baskets I know. (Gah, that could be read SO wrongly!)

-Serial killers, MPD and dinosaurs aren't the worst things one could be fascinated with. So long as I don't kill, switch between personas or try to manufacture dinos like that idiot John Hammond (Ref: Mr. Crichton's book), I think I'm fine.

-The play will turn out fabulous. Just like the team that's working on it. Nothing less is deserved. Nothing less will be settled for.

- Coz I just got home from play practice at 12.45 and felt like writing. And negativity is OK sometimes. 'Sugar and spice' includes spice, doesn't it?

No more bad dreams.

No more bad anything.

Good night to you all too. SMILE! :-)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Dichotomy ...

Of feeling, is when you're completely immobilized by the ferocity of what you feel and are at a complete loss yet as to whether it is incredible happiness or abject sadness that is at work.

Of deed, is when everything you want to do revolves around how to deliver delight and yet all you're able to attain as outcome is disappointment.

Of intent, is when you're afraid to lose someone, and yet unconsciously, with every word, with every action, you're sending out the message that you want them to leave.

Of faith, is when despite believing that you deserve the good things coming your way, you continue to wonder what nasty surprise lurks around the corner.

Of state of mind, is when despite the puffy eyes and the sordid thoughts running through your mind, you know where to look to find warmth and gladness.

Of reaction, is amidst the many many things that you're sorry you've royally screwed up, you're proud of the things you've now promised yourself never to screw up.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

There's a food crisis in the world ...

I'm usually pretty cut off from what's happening in the world around me coz I hate the newspapers here. And since I'm not much of a TV watcher, I don't even get my dose of news from TV. A very close friend actually works for a news company and has often tried getting me to be more 'aware' under the guise of reading at least items that she reports. All in vain, though.

Recently, friend A referred to a world food crisis and how troubled a good friend of his was by it all. Coincidentally, that weekend, as I flipped through channels on TV, I chanced upon a BBC series which covered this in far more detail.

As the repercussions of the crisis were highlighted and case studies of poor families showcased, I was shocked that I was so blissfully oblivious to something so major happening around me

For perspective on how bad things out there really are, here's some links
- The magnitude of increase in food prices
- The impact on rich vs. poor nations in the world
- An Asia specific perspective

You'd probably wonder why I'm writing about all this (cause obviously most of you out there, unlike me, are in touch with world news and know all about this). Esp given most of what I write about on this blog alludes to frivolous non events from my own life.

The thing is, this is the kind of thing you and I take rather lightly. We're the kinds who don't bother about a 5 % increase in the price of rice in the supermarket. We're blessed with pockets deep enough to absorb the impact, and hence minds that can afford to not pay attention.

Many many others, unknown to us, are in the unfortunate position wherein a 5% increase in the price of food items instantly pushes them below the poverty line .

As the fortunate 'haves' in this situation, there's many things we can do at an individual level to help. I figured if I could list even 2, and tag more bloggers to list an idea each, this could collectively acquire the form of a worthwhile contribution on our part to alleviating the impact of the crisis a majority of the world faces today.

So here's my 2 tips to help make a difference ...
1. If you or the person who cooks in your home (household help, a parent, a relative, anyone) are prone to being a bad judge of proportions when you cook, and if you're the fussy kinds who won't eat leftovers, then please be careful with how much rice, lentil or pasta you cook starting NOW.

These are the most popularly misjudged food items cause they start out looking very little, and we realize we've gone awry with proportions only after they're cooked.

Don't be fussy about leftovers. When there's people out there who don't get one square meal a day, it's almost criminal to be whining about eating food that YOU had cooked 24 hours ago.

Being a tad careful in your day to day cooking and consumption will help save at least a cup of food per household on a daily basis. That's one extra mouth fed for every cup we refuse to waste. Even counting a paltry million people who do this on a regular basis means a million incremental mouths getting fed on a daily basis. That's almost a tiny country. Huge no?

2. The other situation where I've seen tons of food go to waste is social gatherings. Not only do hosts tend to overestimate the amount of food needed at such events, typically 20% of expected guests don't turn up and don't RSVP.

Every time artificial demand is created (purchase that is not consumed) as in the above case, at a collective nation wide level, it influences prices of goods. So each time we overestimate the food order at an event, the raw material for that food (rice, lentils, vegetables - the very basics) becomes unaffordable for a few more people.

It makes a huge huge difference if as a guest who plans to not attend, you could be considerate enough to inform your host that you're not turning up. That gives your host one less person to feed at that event, and artificially inflated demand is stemmed.

As a host, if your guest group comprises people you can expect understanding from (friends at a casual dinner, close family), try and order lesser than you feel tempted to. In all likelihood, what you order will suffice, and if not, you'll know by the middle of the meal anyway, in which case you can simply order a little more as a follow up. And no one will mind.

The intent of this post isn't to be pedantic and tell you how noble I am. The intent is to make as many who are unaware of this, aware.

And to let you know that the little things done at an individual level can make a difference if there's enough of us doing it.

And this world, the blogosphere, is a superb network to start with. So start helping by passing around the links posted above to other people you think might be amenable to making small changes in their lifestyle to accommodate a growing population that is being pushed below the poverty line.

I'm also tagging some co bloggers to put down 1 thing they think we can do differently with our food consumption habits to help the food crisis in what little way we can.

So Chandni, MadMomma, Parul, and Nutty: I'll hope that you can take up this tag and pass it forward into the widespread network of bloggers around the world :)

Edited to add:
The Penguin's tip here: (pasting from the comments section so you can read easily)
"My 2 bits - My favourite food-saving mechanism is to buy frozen vegetables and readymade pastes. I know loads of people disagree and say, the fresher the better. I do agree with them, but my problem is that since I'm by myself, my grocery stocking and cooking is quite erratic. Also, frozen veggies taste quite nice actually - They sort of ensure that I eat healthy food and also do not leave fresh veggies to die in my fridge :-)"

And Lucky's post on the same issue outlining how he plans to contribute.