Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Magik Of Rock On!!

Contrary to what you might be led to believe, this movie is not about rock music. Well, not just rock music, at any rate. It's about human relationships - friendship, love, ego clashes, drifting apart and getting back together, and it's about going after your dreams. Doing just what your heart prompts you to do. As the tag line says, "Live Your Dream." I loved it all. That's a theme really close to my heart, as you'd have understood by now if you've been following my blog, or even if you just read what I wrote about the title song from this movie in my last post.

I found the essential ingredients here which I need in order to like a movie - being able to laugh with the characters when they laugh, and being able to cry when they do. Farhan did an absolutely hilarious rendition of Saanson Ki Zaroorat Hai Jaise at which we all burst out laughing. I'd like to know why that does not feature in the soundtrack. But all the tracks that do feature in the soundtrack are totally amazing. From the whimsically worded Pichle Saat Dinon Mein and Socha Hai to the deep, meaningful Tum Ho Toh and Phir Dekhiye, all the songs strike a chord with the listeners. They're all very hummable. I'm sure I irritated Aarti and Nidhi at least a little bit when I was singing along with each of the songs. Although neither of them complained the way Sumit always does when I do this to him. The way he did when he wrote me a testimonial on orkut.

The movie is distinctly reminiscent of Dil Chahta Hai and Jhankaar Beats, both of which are among my firm favourites which I've seen dozens of times over. Even so, it has a distinct appeal that is all its own. It tells you stuff that you already know, but it does it in a way in which you like hearing it again. The story is really predictable in most parts, but it still keeps you interested. Towards the end, at the second talent hunt where the four lead characters entered their band, Magik, I could tell that Farhan was going to sing Tum Ho Toh on stage, but I still got all misty-eyed when he started. Everybody could tell that Arjun Rampal would eventually come and join the rest of the gang on the stage, but we were still moved when he actually did.

Lovely movie. Teaches you stuff about being friends. About staying friends. About living your life to the fullest. The way you want to. Doing exactly what your heart desires. Keeping track of the important stuff in your life, in your relationships, and letting go of the trivial stuff.

Interesting incident that happened to us during the security check at the entry point. I'd gone with three female friends. (Interestingly, the four of us have known each of the other three for a significant period of time but never before have all of us been in the same place at the same time.) The woman who was performing the security check pointed out that it seemed as if only girls were coming to watch this movie. She asked if it was meant only for girls.

Well, we'd considered the Bachna Ae Haseeno option as well. But isn't it pretty obvious that we should be more interested in four hot hunks than three sultry babes? I watched Purab Kohli in his debut movie and have found him really cute ever since. And Arjun Rampal is obviously a heart throb. Farhan Akhtar has a distinctive appeal. Not to mention that he makes terrific movies, barring the Don debacle, which I could never manage to sit through for more than ten minutes at a time.

Oh, and at the end of the movie, when the closing credits roll, they say, "Don’t download the music, buy the CD." It's worth it. I'd already downloaded it a while back, but I'm still thinking of buying the CD. I'll probably also lay my hands on Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na while I'm at it.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

More Lines From Songs That I Totally Love

This is a follow up to Some Lines From Songs That I Totally Love.

It Is You (I Have Loved) by Dana Glover from the Shrek soundtrack

It's no more mystery
It is finally clear to me
You're the home my heart searched for so long
And it is you I have loved all along

From Jab Samne Tum by Jagjit Singh and Asha Bhonsle

Hum koi waqt nahin hain humdum
Jab bulaaoge chale aayenge

Mehfuz by Euphoria. This song is very special to me and I love every line, every word, but here is an extract:

Faasle they hazaaron darmiyan
Waqt ke they hazaaron imtehaan
Fir bhi ban ke nishaan
Tere honthon ke kisi kone mein
Hansi ki tarah
Main mehfuz hoon
Teri aankhon ke chipe dard mein
Aansoo ki tarah
Main mehfuz hoon

When You Say Nothing At All by Ronan Keating. Some of the most romantic lines I have ever come across.

The smile on your face
Lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes
Saying you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says
You'll catch me whenever I fall

Subah Ho Gayi Mamu from Munnabhai MBBS. Lovely thought about wanting to see other people happy.

Kaise hanste jaayen jab koi rota hai
Kisi ka dil jo tode kaise vo sota hai

Title song from Rock On!! I like the thought expressed here. Like I keep saying, I have dreams that I did not go after. But I think we all should. If there's something you really want to do, do it now. Don't live with the regret of not even trying.

Jaise jeene ko dil chahe
Jee waise tu
Meri toh hai bas ye raaye ki
Apne jitne bhi armaan hain
Poore karle tu

from Musafir

Zindagi mein koyi kabhi aaye na rabba
Aaye jo koyi toh phir jaaye na rabba
Dene ho gar mujhe baad mein aansoo
To pehele koyi hasaaye na rabba

Accidents Like Love And Marriage

This title is stolen from a novel that I recently read. This post is not about that novel, just a little similar in theme. By the way, for those of you who constantly cringe about the colour of my media player and/or blog, this particular book has a shockingly bright pink cover.

Coming to what I had in mind for this post, it's quite strange, the way romantic relationships function. There are those of us who have a well formed image in mind, find someone completely different from that image, and realize that that person was better suited for them than what they thought they wanted. And then there are those who find someone who fits the image perfectly, and realize that the image wasn't so perfect after all. They make mistakes, end up getting hurt, fall, get up on their feet again, and go and make the same mistakes all over again. There are a few lucky ones who find exactly what they needed in their first attempt and end up happy.

I was, until pretty recently, one of those confused people who did not have an image of what I needed or wanted from a partner. When the image began to form, it was quite fuzzy at first. The clearer it became, the clearer it made to me that I was hoping for too much and I wasn't going to find what I wanted too easily.

So, what is the alternative here? An arranged marriage? I am terrified of the very idea. As a dear friend of mine always says, it's like jumping off a cliff. She's right to a large extent. It's a huge step into uncharted territory. I think it makes a lot more sense to marry a friend whom I know, like to a reasonable extent, but possibly do not love in a romantic way. That way, you're still walking about in unfamiliar territory, but you have a map. But then again, doing something like that comes with its own set of complications. But again, what relationship comes without a set of complications? Some food for thought here...

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who's The Fairest Of Us All?

These days I've been reading a lot less than I used to, a few years ago. There are a number of reasons for that, which are not part of what this post is intended to be about. But, from time to time, I do try to pick up a novel, or, an issue of Reader's Digest or Femina, both of which I used to read regularly a while back.

So recently I picked up an issue of Femina. I saw they were doing a feature on the 50 Most Beautiful Women. It's on their site too. They want their readers to vote for their ten favourites from a list of hundred women that their team came up with. This is a women's magazine which has been airing feminist views for about fifty years now. I fail to understand how they can be so shallow as to run a feature of this sort, and attempt to make it an annual event too. This is the second year that they are doing this. This is the same magazine that ran a feature, a few years back, on how shallow we all are, how obsessed with appearances, how, in spite of how lovely we find Kajol, Bipasha and Rekha, we'll still look for a "very fair" girl when we go looking for a bride. How can the same people actually encourage their readers to judge women based on appearances? Every woman is special. In her own unique way. Every woman is beautiful in her own right. And we all need to reminded of this fact once in while. We all need to be told that we are unique, that we have a place in the scheme of things which nobody else can take. We don't want to be told that we are less beautiful than Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, or fatter than Sushmita Sen, or darker than Kareena Kapoor. Because there may be a dozen qualities that we have and they don't. We need someone who appreciates us for those qualities, and reminds us that we are wonderful people because of those qualities.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Zindagi Ki Raahon Mein Aap Mile Is Tarah

Zindagi ki raahon mein aap mile is tarah
Ki hamaare hoton ki muskaan ban gaye
Har lamhe mein samaa gaye is qadar
Kabhi hamara dil kabhi jaan ban gaye
Dil ki dhadkanein aapko dekh kar qayam thi
Aur phir aap is dil se anjaan ban gaye

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Khwaab Ban Ke Kabhi...

Khwaab ban ke kabhi in aankhon mein samaa jaate ho
Aur neendein udaa le jaate ho kabhi
Kabhi muskuraane ki wajah ban jaate ho
Aankhon mein aansoo de jaate ho kabhi

Dil mein aap is qadar samaaye ho
Zindagi ka hissa ban jaao kabhi
Aapse hum mohobbat na karein to kya karein
Ye humein aap bata jaao kabhi

Saturday, August 23, 2008

This Is For You, Sumit

Sumit is one of my dearest friends ever. Today I am missing him for an odd reason - for the first time since I started going out with friends for movies, I watched one today which was a major disaster and Sumit was not one of the friends I watched it with. Well, actually, there was also the Bhagam Bhag fiasco, but that one was on Sumit's birthday so that does account for some influence.

Sumit is one guy who is known among all his friends for meeting with misadventure after misadventure (kela, as he calls it). If I were supposed to fly and I missed my flight, that would be a significantly catastrophic occurrence. If the same thing happened to him, it would probably be written off as just another day. By the way, I just looked up 'disaster' on in order to avoid using the same word a dozen times in one post. Because it is a word closely connected to the subject of this post.

I just randomly remembered the time when Sumit told me that he bugged his colleagues on a particular day by playing Tu Jahaan from Salaam Namaste in a loop, all day long. I love that song, but until quite recently I just could not get how somebody could listen to a single song all day and not feel sick of it. Right now it's playing on my media player on repeat.

I could also never get how somebody could house a zillion black shirts in his wardrobe and not get sick of wearing the same colour to every wedding, every flight, every tragic movie watching experience, and every non-tragic movie watching experience. Sumit actually has an inordinately large collection of black shirts, most of which are jet black, except perhaps a sweatshirt which is black but has some squiggles on it which remotely resemble a frog. There was a time when Aditi and I tried to make him wear a bright red kurta, but to no avail.

Okay, enough leg pulling. Sumit is one friend who's always been there for me whenever I've felt low and needed cheering up. Whenever I've needed a guy's perspective on something. Whenever I've needed a sensible, objective perspective on something. Whenever I just needed a friend and didn't really know why. Or didn't really know whom to call. Or mail. I love writing to him, and correcting the grammar and spelling in the replies he writes. The habit of correcting grammar is not as prominent these days as it was when we were in school or college, but it's still there.

I could probably go on and on if I decide to put down all the good stuff about Sumit. But I'm in more of a mischievous mood right now.

This evening I was trying to remember the first movie that Sumit made us watch that turned out to be a major debacle. I just remembered that insane movie. It was the first movie I watched with my friends from school. But you know, it's the debacles that remain firmly etched in our minds and give us something to smile or laugh about every time we think of how frustrated we were when we were trying to sit through the movie. The ones that turn out to be nice are not remembered quite as fondly, or quite as often.

Lots of beautiful memories to choose from. Lots of great things to miss. Thanks for being the terrific friend that you've always been. Love you dude. Always have, always will.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More Weird Stuff From Movies That I Like

Follow up to Weird Stuff From Movies That I Like.

How could I possibly forget the sequence where Kareena Kapoor abuses, to her heart's content, the spineless guy she was originally planning to marry in Jab We Met? Today this movie was up on TV and I didn't have much desire to watch TV in general, but I watched a tiny little bit, and chose to hang around when that particular scene was coming up.

I also love the part in Pyaar Ke Side Effects when Mallika and Rahul ask each other why they won't date the other person. When Mallika was listing out her reasons for not dating Rahul, for a moment it seemed to me that she would stop at "Height thodi choti hai." But she went on to give him a long list of reasons, enough for him to doubt if any girl would ever want to be with him. And then he got back at her to his heart's content, giving her reasons to doubt if any guy would ever want to be with any "Dilli ki ladki"!

Stuff I Always Wanted To Do - But Never Got The Chance

  • Go to a beach. Yup, I've never been to a beach in my life. I'd actually love to get married at a beach party in Goa. But for that, I first need a guy.
  • Own and wear something designed by one of the designers who were my role models in the years when I was aspiring to be a fashion designer. Some day I will definitely wear something from Ritu Beri, Wendell Rodricks or Ritu Kumar. Or at least one of Satya Paul's sarees with the interesting geometric prints.
  • Visit Italy and France. See the fashion capital of the world, float on a gondola in Venice, see the Colosseum, go wine tasting in Bordeaux, taste some of the finest desserts in the world, see what Italian food is really like.

The Silver Lining

An old friend of mine landed in Delhi from Hyderabad a couple of days back. He said he'd been looking forward to driving in Delhi. But because of the torrential rain and the water logging everywhere, it was a nightmare. He made me realize that I'd begun dreading the downpours these days. Long gone are the days of innocence when I used to run towards the backyard or balcony (depending on which house we were living in at that point in time) and sing gleefully and enjoy the showers. When I'd wait for the first rain of the season and then enthusiastically go and get drenched. Even in my college days, I used to love taking a walk through the corridoors that were open on one side, feel a little bit of the rain and sing Mausam Ke Sargam Ko or Rimjhim Rimjhim to myself. Right now, it's pouring outside and I know that I don't have to worry about its adverse effects on traffic conditions today, but I am still unable to enjoy it fully. I'm not too sure why. I spent a few minutes in the balcony, watching the drops pelt down with a velocity demonstrative of what happens when Nature's forces come together, and then felt that I was better off in my room, watching the whole thing from my window.

I need to re-learn the forgotten art of finding the silver lining. Of not letting grey clouds block my view. We could all do with a bit of that, I guess.

I'll Be There...

"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down."
-Oprah Winfrey

Very well said. We all know people around us who will be there for us when it's convenient. But the ones who matter are the ones who are there when it's not. The ones you can count on to listen to you banter on about your heartbreak at 4 AM. The ones who will fly across continents to share your special moments with you. Who will always remember that, above everything else, their friend needs them to be there for them. Who know that, just by listening to you, they can make a difference. Or sometimes, by just being around you. The three words "I'll be there" work like magic, whether said verbally or just through an unspoken gesture.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Beete Lamhein

This song from The Train holds a very special place in my heart. Although I like every line, every word of it, and I've come to appreciate the philosophy behind it a lot, I just felt like putting down these lines from the song here...

Kis kadar tez raftaar thi zindagi
keh kahein har taraf, thi khushi hi khushi
Maine jis din kahin pyaar ki baat ki
Ruk gayi thi achaanak woh behti nadi

Teri Chaahat

Teri chaahat aise samaai is dil mein
Ke aur kuch chaahne ki chaahat na rahi
Teri mohabbat aise aayi zindagi mein
Ke ab zindagi se bhi mohabbat na rahi

Life With A Geek

I have a theory. Younger brothers were sent to Earth basically to irritate elder sisters. Proof of this resides in the room next to mine.

I have only one sibling. I call him Brain. For those of you who did not watch the animated series 'Pinky and the Brain' on Cartoon Network, Brain happens to be a devilishly evil laboratory rat who constantly keeps coming up with new and brilliant plans to take over the world. That's what Nikhil is like - extremely brilliant and completely devilish!

I thought people should know that it's fun living with a geek - and it's useful too. You don't have to go too far if your cellphone or laptop or other such electronic device needs fixing. You are also constantly made aware of all the latest trends in technology whether you like it or not. As a little kid, in the day and age when not too many people knew what a computer was, I was given a free home tutorial on all I could ever need to know about the Internet. He knows everything you’ll ever want to know about any kind of technology. And a lot that you’ll never want to know. The most credible thing about it is that it’s all self taught.

You are also made to feel at ease with stuff like Star Wars, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The X Files and so on. You are introduced to stuff like The Big Bang Theory and Junkyard Wars which you would never explore on your own. People like David Duchovny and Harrison Ford seem to be natural additions to your list of favourite actors, right up there with Richard Gere and Matthew McConaughey. On Rakshabandhan, it seems perfectly natural to put together a handmade rakhi that looks like an alien, faintly reminiscent of something previously seen on TV in The X Files. You are constantly questioned on when you will get married and move out of the house, so that your room may be transformed into something that resembles Dexter's Laboratory. I'm actually quite curious about that possibility. I'll come back after a couple of weeks of my wedding (when and if it does eventually happen) to see the extent to which this idea was actually implemented. Given the current state of his own room, cluttered with all sorts of wires and screwdrivers and resistors and capacitors and soldering irons, I can expect the laboratory to actually materialize.

Disclaimer: Some of this is ripped from the testimonial I wrote for my brother on orkut.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Memories

This is a follow-up to Reliving Childhood Memories.

Originally we'd settled down to watch Walt Disney's
The Jungle Book. Something has gone wrong with that DVD, so we settled for Toy Story instead. I've always loved The Jungle Book too. I love the Bare Necessities song. It has this carefree, relaxed, amazing feel to it. I adore Colonel Haathi and his herd, especially his little son, who is so exceedingly cute! Even Kaa the Boa Constrictor seems cute, even when he's trying to strangulate Mowgli to death. And My Own Home was probably the first romantic song I can recall listening to.

Disney has taken a lot of artistic liberty with the story in making this movie. I liked it so much that I could never really enjoy the actual story that Kipling originally wrote when I sat down to read it, or the TV series based on the same story, which was a lot closer to the original plot. Disney always knew what kids want, and gave then exactly that. My brother and I grew up on Disney's movies, short cartoons and comic strips. Never ventured into Batman or Chacha Choudhary or any other comic. It's stuff like The Jungle Book, Toy Story, 101 Dalmatians, Lady And The Tramp, A Bug's Life, Bambi, The Little Mermaid, The Fox And The Hound, The Lion King, Aladdin, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and probably a whole bunch of others that I could add to this list, that never fails to strike a chord with me and always leaves me with a warm, happy glow inside. This stuff reminds me of those carefree days when we didn't have to worry about anything, just a little bit of homework perhaps, and then we could spend hours in front of the TV watching cartoons that we'd already seen umpteen times and had every scene, every dialogue memorised. And yet we never got tired of watching them all over again.

Reliving Childhood Memories

My brother and I absolutely LOVE Toy Story! It was one of the earliest movies our parents took us to see. It's cute, it's funny, it's adorable, and it has a touching message about friendship. In those days, our school used to hold an Annual Book Fair. Still does, probably. At that time video CDs and DVDs were not too commonplace in India. My brother got a video cassette of this movie from the book fair that year, a couple of months or so after we first watched it. The next few months, he used to watch that cassette everyday after school. I used to join him quite often.

We still have that cassette. But the player we have reached the end of its useful life quite some time back. We do still have the player, too.

This afternoon we watched Toy Story again on our computer. We've both seen it dozens of times. But it's the kind of movie we can always watch a few more times. And we hadn't seen it in a really long while. It's really short for a movie. Just right for little, restless kids with short attention spans. And for people like me who never outgrew their fidgety and restless nature. Lovely movie. Has a great feel good factor to it. Always makes me feel happy.

The Joy Of Sleeping

Almost ever since I wrote about Sleepless Sunday Nights, I've been experiencing a lot of trouble falling asleep on the other six nights of the week as well. There have been nights when, as some of my colleagues will recall, I was up until 2:30 AM and released a build to the Quality Assurance team at a ridiculously odd hour. I wasn't up that late because I wanted to release that build, I released the build because I was up that late. Then there have been nights when I have, miraculously, been able to fall asleep at a reasonable hour like 11:30, but woken up at 2:30 and found myself incapable of going back to sleep.

So today I was really relieved at being able to sleep to my heart's content. I woke up around 10:30 in the morning, had some breakfast, and went right back to sleep. Dozed peacefully till a little past two in the afternoon. I felt so great. So rested. Hopefully, this extended weekend, I will be able to pay off some more of the sleep debt that I've accumulated over the last month and a half or so, which is an insanely large amount. Is interest charged on sleep debt too?

Lucky Pink!

On 12th August 2008, I went out with my teammates to World of Wonders (For the uninitiated, it's an amusement park in Noida.) followed by bowling and dinner. It was a nice evening, but I don't feel like writing about all of it, just a little bit that was memorable for me.

I am an amateur at bowling. I've done it only once before. That was also at a team party, close to two years ago. I absolutely did not seem to understand how to roll the ball in order to make it go straight towards the pins, and always managed to slide it into the gutter. After two or three of these completely unsuccessful attempts, Mr Hemant Badhani walked over to the neighbouring alley, picked up a pink-coloured ball, and presented it to me (There were various colours in our alley, but no pink.). In the first go, that ball did not hit anything either, but I could see that its weight was just right and I had a better idea of where it was going than I had with the other balls. So it was with this ball that I hit five or six pins a couple of times, and, at the very end, a strike-in-one. This colour, when seen on my media player, blog, or clothes, puts me at the receiving end of all sorts of remarks from Akash, Abhinav, Anuranjan, Hemant, and any number of other guys. After this incident, I've decided that I am not going to change the colour of any of these things for a significantly long time, and if I can't beat the people who constantly comment about it, I will join them!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Feel Good Factor Of The Day

For the first time in the history of mankind, today both Akash and Abhinav told me that I was looking good. These guys are generally the ones who make remarks like "Aapne aaj gym se aa ke kapde change nahin kiye kya?" and "Tum aunty ki saree phaad ke skirt bana leti ho." and whatever else they can come up with in order to poke fun at my clothes and/or the accessories, or just the fact that I take the trouble to match my accessories with my clothes every day. For the first time I received a genuine compliment from both of them on the same day. Thanks guys, for making my day.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Is Tarah Mohobbat Hui Aapse

Is tarah mohobbat hui aapse
Ke phir kisi ko dil mein basaa na sake
Aap humse door kya gaye
Hum kisi ko bhi paas bulaa na sake

Hum Aapki Khushi Mein Muskuraa Lenge

Ye zindagi humein har kadam pe dard bhi de to kya
Hum aapki khushi mein muskuraa lenge
Har ek pal mein aansoo bhi mile to kya
Aapki hansi ko apna jahaan banaa lenge

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Being Myself

Changed the theme of my blog back to the one that was "too pink" according to certain people. It was pink because I liked it pink, and I changed it to something less pink because people didn't like it. Well, going back to some of my fundamental beliefs, we all need to be ourselves completely, and it is up to the people in our lives whether or not they want to accept us as we are. If someone doesn't like me the way I am, instead they like me after changing some things about me, they don't like me. They like the person they want me to be. And that's, possibly, not really me.

Connecting To Myself

Is it just me or does this happen to other people too? Are there times when you feel you are better off on your own than with friends around? When you want to escape from everything worldly?

I've been getting this sort of feeling a lot lately. I have a really strong desire to take a two or three week vacation, go someplace secluded, and write a novel. This is actually something I've wanted to do since I was sixteen. Long time. I'm actively looking for a theme these days. The day I find one, I'll apply for time off from work. Because this is something I really need to do for myself. In order to really discover myself. To connect with my inner self.

Friday, August 8, 2008

My Cab Buddies

8th August 2008. Rimmi's last day at Adobe. The last time Rimmi, Nitika and I went home together.

Since July 2006, Nitika, Neha, Rimmi and I have been a very strong support system for each other. Sharing each little joy, offloading each little worry, gossiping, being happy in the other person's happiness, and cheering them up on their gloomy days. We knew practically everything about everyone else, and everyone in their teams and all their friends from college and school.

There was this broken down van that we used to travel by in the beginning. It had a knack for breaking down at the most desolate spot on the route, especially when one or more of us needed to reach office or home early. Or if it was Women's Day. Or Valentine's. Or Diwali eve. We've crossed all the possible entry points to Noida on foot. The Akshardham flyover. The DND flyover. The Rajnigandha Chowk stretch.

There are so many memories of all colours, shapes and sizes that we have shared in these two years. So much fun that we've had together. Talked about every heartache, every elation, every dillema, every work problem. As Rimmi said when I dropped her off on her last day, Bhagwaan aise cab mates sabko de.

I'm going to miss all that. I miss Neha and I will also miss Rimmi now. Wishing Rimmi all the very best for her future. And hoping for the very best for the rest of us as well.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Visiting Chaya In The Hospital

After many days of planning and somebody or the other always being too loaded with work, on Monday we finally managed to visit Chaya. Thanks to Mohit for being accommodating enough to let me forget about the so-called "blocker" reported by our QE team and find time to see how Chaya is doing. I don't think I could have ended up with a better manager.

Anyway, this post is not about my manager. So, after much discussion on how many cars we were going to travel by and who was going with whom, Akash, Namrata and I made our way to the car parking. Akash was very enthusiastic about driving my car, and I was in a mood to let him. I found out pretty soon that this might have been a pretty bad idea, given the fact that he lost my car keys even before managing to start it up.

Moving on, he found the keys soon enough and did manage to do everything else just fine. Given the condition of the traffic that we encountered at and after South Extension, I was pretty glad I wasn't the one driving.

At the hospital, we found our way pretty easily because Akash had already visited her once over the weekend. But when Aman and company made their way through the hospital gates, they had no idea which part of the vast campus they were supposed to head for. Aman, for lack of a better question to put, asked where the typhoid patients were supposed to be. We all found it pretty hilarious at the time, though now it strikes me as a fairly logical question to ask.

So Chaya seems to be doing better now, after the few days when she did not have the energy to even answer the phone. But she is going to spend at least another couple of days at the hospital and it will be a while before she is completely back to normal. But, as Akash commented on my earlier blog post, her "Chayaism" is still with her. It was great to see her after so many days. Akash had actually shot a couple of videos with get well messages for her earlier in the day, for one of which he followed me to the gym. But his camera could only play the visual part of it, much to our disappointment. We told her that these days Akash irritates all of us more, now that she is not around for him to irritate like he used to. She thinks that might be the reason why she fell ill in the first place.

So we spent a while there, chatting and making Chaya laugh. Accusing her of pretending to be sick just so she could get some time off work. I think she felt a little better after that. I think we all felt good after that.

Oh, and by the way, this is possibly not completely relevant here but I do want to put in a few words about my drive home. Given the condition of the roads there, I was a little apprehensive about driving by myself through Naraina. In the rain. But then again, as some of my friends will recall, the day I first drove my car, when I barely knew how to, it was raining. And it was night time then. It was night time today. The whole thing did not turn out to be as quite as horrific as I had anticipated. It was the part about parking my car at home that turned out to be a bit of a horror. There was a huge mess of cars all over the place. All my favourite spots were taken. There was this one decent, but slightly precarious spot that I, for a while, tried to park neatly in, without destroying my car or any of the other ones around. There was this one moment in which I became a little irritated and thought, what the heck, so what if I scratch somebody's car? I wasn't actually going to do that, but even so, interestingly, I hadn't so far carefully noticed the car right next to where I was trying to park. This was the car about which I'd thought, so what if I bang into it? Thankfully I noticed the number plate, realized that it was my Dad's car, remembered that I wanted to live to see another sunrise, and took control of my destructive streak.

Enough digression. I hope this was a good day for Chaya. I hope she's getting better fast. Get well soon dear.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I'll Be Okay

This is the song by Amanda Marshall that I mentioned at the end of my last post. I like the thought behind the song. I like the general feeling that it evokes.

There is a very dear friend of mine whom I told, years ago, that when he announced his wedding I'd probably behave in the same way in which Julia Roberts does in my favourite movie, after her best friend announces his wedding. Since then I've gained a lot more control over myself (hopefully) and I'm not actually going to do that. This is for him, wishing him all the happiness he could ask for in life, and possibly more.

It's time to let you go
It's time to say goodbye
There's no more excuses
No more tears to cry
There's been so many changes
I was so confused
All along you were the one
All the time I never knew

I want you to be happy
You're my best friend
But it's so hard to let you go now
All that could have been
I'll always have the memories
She'll always have you
Fate has a way of changing
Just when you don't want it to

Throw away the chains
Let love fly away
Till love comes again
I'll be okay

Life passes so quickly
You gotta take the time
Or you'll miss what really matters
You'll miss all the signs

I've spent my life searching
For what was always there
Sometimes it will be too late
Sometimes it won't be fair

I won't give up
I won't give in
I can't recreate what just might have been
I know that my heart will find love again
Now is the time to begin

I can't hold on forever baby
I'll be okay

One Blog Post Leads To Another

I thought I should answer the question I asked at the end of the last blog post. What is it about My Best Friend's Wedding that makes me connect to it so strongly?

Well, first of all, unrequited love always strikes a chord with me. More so when the character feeling the pangs of that emotion is a woman. Plus, I've always believed that there is nobody better to fall in love with than your best friend. I've written about that earlier on this blog, so I'm not going to expand that idea here. Then there's the thing about needing to realize that you love someone and to let them know about it before it's too late. I can completely relate to that.

If this had been a Bollywood movie, it would have had an oh-so-perfect happy ending, where Michael would have left Kimmy and married Julianne instead. Come to think of it, that is actually what happened in Yash Raj Films' cheap take off on this movie (with a gender reversal thrown in). But this movie was a little more realistic. Michael stuck with his well thought out decision to marry Kimmy. That makes it all the more effective and easier to relate to. There are bits in the movie where I feel that Michael does love Julianne too, and is contemplating leaving Kimmy for her. But I don't get that feeling at all after Julianne professes her love for him. Makes it feel pretty natural. Like a bunch of guys have told me from time to time (one of them reiterated this to me only last week), guys have a little trouble accepting girls who show an interest in them first. Because traditionally things have been the other way round. That's the way it's built into our psyches.

I like the way they leave the story at the end, when you can feel Julianne's pain and agony but you love George's attempt to cheer her up, and, what do you know, he does cheer her up. And he cheers you up too.

And then, the song that plays as the closing credits roll (I'll Be Okay by Amanda Marshall), leaves you with a hope that this is not the end, and love will come your way again, and you will some day find all the happiness that you've always been looking for and missing out on so far.

Love And Marriage - My Two Cents

This is a follow up to Love And Marriage.

I think Plato's teacher was quite right to a large extent. We expect love to be perfect. We all like to believe that there is one perfect person just for us somewhere. We think that that one person will be just the way we always imagined them to be - one who fulfills all our needs and all our fantasies. One who understands and takes care of all our needs.

But well, guess what? I don't think perfection exists anywhere in this Universe. Those of us who have found the happiness that they were always looking for are the ones who have become mature enough to accept the fact that their partners are not perfect, will never be perfect, and they just need to concentrate on the good points and accept and deal with the imperfections. Twice in my life I came really close to getting married. Today it is crystal clear to me that I was compromising on a lot of stuff on both occasions. If I'd been a little more patient, a little more compromising, a little more willing to adapt, things might have worked out with one of those two guys. But there are some things I cannot compromise on, because they are part of who I am and I have too much self respect to let go of those things.

When you first see that most magnificent stalk of wheat, you might miss the little worms eating away parts of it. Only later do you realize that the stalk is hideously defaced in places. Only after the initial phase of looking at it with rose-tinted glasses do you begin to see everything you've compromised on.

Perhaps we all expect too much. Perhaps we don't even know exactly what we want. Sometimes we do, but we don't realize that what we've always been looking for has always been right by our side the whole time. Just like Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na. Or My Best Friend's Wedding. Or sometimes we don't even see that there is a lot of fundamentally significant stuff missing from the relationship we're in, and complacently agree to be happy with whatever we have.

We are all basically unclear on what we want, what we need. From time to time, there are people in our lives whom we think we like. And soon enough we realize the significance of the word think in the preceding sentence. We realize that this person is nothing like what we need our life partner to be. And then there are those who've always been around, who've always been part of our psyche, but we failed to acknowledge them.

Like Julia Roberts says in My Best Friend's Wedding, "Sometimes people think they know how they feel about each other. But they don't. Until, they do." I love that scene. It's when she goes to tell Dermot Mulroney's character Michael that she loves him, but returns without doing what she intended to do.

The next couple of lines Julia Roberts says in that scene sum up my current state of mind... "I have a point. Am I getting to it?"

I'll leave it a little open ended here for you to see if you can figure out what my point is...

PS: Does anybody know why I can never talk about relationships and love without mentioning My Best Friend's Wedding?

Love And Marriage

A friend of mine once told me a slight variation of this story. It is about Plato's exploration of the concepts of love and marriage. Makes one think about how much we expect and how much we should expect from love. Here's the story:

One day, Plato asked his teacher, "What is love? How can I find it?"

His teacher answered, "There is a vast wheat field in front. Walk forward without turning back, and pick only one stalk. If you find the most magnificent stalk, then you have found love." Plato walked forward, and before long, he returned with empty hands, having picked nothing.

His teacher asked, "Why did you not pick any stalk?"

Plato answered, "Because I could only pick once, and yet I could not turn back. I did find the most magnificent stalk, but did not know if there were any better ones ahead, so I did not pick it. As I walked further, the stalks that I saw were not as good as the earlier one, so I did not pick any in the end. His teacher then said, "And that is love."

On another day, Plato asked his teacher, "What is marriage? How can I find it?"

His teacher answered, "There is a thriving forest in front. Walk forward without turning back, and chop down only one tree. If you find the tallest tree, then you have found marriage".

Plato walked forward, and before long, He returned with a tree. The tree was not bad, but it was not tall either. It was only an ordinary tree, not the best but just a good tree. His teacher asked, "Why did you chop down such an ordinary tree?"

Plato answered, "Because of my previous experience. I had walked through the field, but returned with empty hands. This time, I saw this tree, and I felt that it was the first good tree that I saw, so I chopped it down and brought it back. I did not want to miss the opportunity."

His teacher then said, "And that is marriage. You see son… love is the most beautiful thing to happen to a person, it's an opportunity but you don’t realize its worth when you have it but only when it's gone like the field of stalks. Marriage, like the tree you chopped, it’s a compromise; you pick the first best thing you see and learn to live a happy life with it."

Chocolate Chip Cookies Strike Again!

It's amazing how chocolate can soothe even the most extreme of all heartaches. At least for those of us who stay away from alcohol. It's amazing how a bit of heartache can undo any amount of hard work that I put into my attempts to lose weight. How overpowering the lure of chocolate sometimes is. Enough to make someone like me, who would ordinarily think half a dozen times before reaching out for a couple of chocolate chip cookies, think nothing of guzzling down an entire pack. I have discovered that writing about whatever it is that's bothering me is a great help. I actually discovered that some time in the spring of 2003, but I've recently rediscovered this. But even after any amount of writing, painting, music and shopping, there are some gaps left which only cocoa can fill.

Oh well, what the heck. There are also days when working out gives me the mood lift I need. I guess those days balance these days out. Otherwise, when I'm in a happier mood, I'll make sure that they do.

For Chaya...

I think all of us miss Chaya these days, her being at home with typhoid. I miss her for my own peculiar reasons. She's one person who will always put a cheerful face forth, come what may. Who will cheer me up on the darkest of days with her PJs, even if I don't tell her that I need some cheering up. And if I need cheering up and she's not to be found on her desk, all I need to do is sit there in her cubicle and hold on to her teddy for a while. That always perks me up. That's a tradition that I've been following since 12th April 2007. But now that her stuff has been moved to a new cubicle and she hasn't been able to attend office since then, the new cubicle just doesn't have the aura I need.

We miss you dear. Get well soon so we can all laugh at each other's stupid jokes together.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

For My Friends

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray

This is for all those people who've touched my life in their own special ways, brightened up my days in their own unique way, brought a smile to my face when I felt low, tolerated all my oddities and my mood swings, and still been there for me when I needed them, even if I didn't say so explicitly. You guys mean the world to me. Happy Friendship Day!

Ugly Aur Pagli

One of the more interesting movie titles I've come across in recent times. This was another movie I'd been looking forward to, though not as enthusiastically as Jaane Tu.... Saturday morning, when Ruchi and I were making our plans to watch it, she happened to read some of the reviews that it got. And as it happened, people had put it down quite badly. But since both of us had been waiting for it and we don't always like the ones that do receive good reviews, we thought we'd go and watch it anyway. We did think of waiting for Aarti's feedback, who was watching it in the morning with her sister, but soon after that we decided we'd still want to watch it even if Aarti did not like it. In any case, I reminded Ruchi, I've never seen Aarti say anything bad about anything or anyone. She never complains.

But you know, if you don't go with the Pyaar Ke Side Effects level of expectation in mind, Ugly Aur Pagli does have a lot to offer. It is, for the most part, one of the most senseless movies I've ever seen. But I still found it really entertaining. It was totally unrealistic, and I could not relate to the characters at all, (which is generally an important factor contributing to how much I like a movie) but I still thoroughly enjoyed myself. I loved the unpredictability of Mallika's character Kuhu. The fact that the two protagonists seemed to be totally unlikely candidates for being soul mates, but eventually turned out to be. The fact that Ranvir Shorey's character Kabir was so madly in love with Kuhu that he'd do just about anything for her, including putting on six-inch heels or riding a bicycle with a missing seat. When Kabir ended up in jail and was feeling frustrated, he screamed "Mummy!" (I found that so completely adorable!). And the next morning, after he got to go home, he was beaten up by his mom with a sandal. It seemed to me that he was probably better off in jail than in the custody of the mother he was so fervently remembering. When Kuhu and Kabir split up, Kabir wrote down their love story, giving it a happy ending. I liked that idea. Maybe I'll do that sort of thing some time. Maybe that will be the novel I've long been planning to write.

I found everything about this movie a little odd, but I found it all so adorable. In the last eight years Ruchi has probably told me eight hundred times that I always find the odd stuff (and the odd guys) adorable. But that's the interesting stuff. I think Mallika and Ranvir are a slightly odd couple, but then, so were Mallika and Rahul Bose. Both these combinations turned out great.

All in all, this was a nice movie. Don't set any expectations, expect the unexpected, and you'll enjoy this one.