Friday, October 31, 2008

Soundtrack Of The Month: Yuvvraaj

Who knows why the name of this movie is spelt the way it is spelt?

Who thinks that the answer to the above question bears any significance whatsoever?

Need I mention again that A. R. Rahman rocks? There have been three Bollywood movie soundtracks this year that I really liked. Two of those are Rahman's. He lends his voice only so very briefly to the Tu Hi To Meri Dost Hai number, but, in doing so, he gives it the magic that it has. This song has this lovely sentiment behind it, about friendship being more significant than love, friendship being the foundation stone of love. Touches me deeply.

The Zindagi number is another really touching one. The words say a lot more than what they actually say. It's a little sad, but it's not depressing. At some level, it seems to have a ray of hope breaking through the grey clouds. And terrific vocals by Srinivas.

Speaking of hope, there are Tu Muskura, Mastam Mastam (This song begins with a kitten's meow! The words don't make much sense to me though. But a Gulzar-Rahman album would be incomplete without such a track!), Manmohini, and Dil Ka Rishta, all of which carry a distinct feel-good factor. Great vocals by the whole bandwagon in Dil Ka Rishta. Ditto for Vijay Prakash in Manmohini and Javed Ali in Tu Muskura. And very interesting use of musical instruments for Dil Ka Rishta and Manmohini. Actually, I cannot make sense of the lyrics of all four of these songs, but I like them all anyway!

There is a track called Main Hoon Yuvvraaj in the soundtrack as well. This one is not really a song. It has Salman Khan saying something or the other, with Beethoven's music playing in the background. Nothing to write home about. And there is Shano Shano. A fairly hummable track but not too great.

But all in all, this is a lovely album. Some totally great tracks in here.

Footnote: Sometimes A. R. Rahman's voice appeals to me more than his music. Remember Dil Se? Mera Yaar Mila De? Piya Haji Ali, Ye Jo Des Hai Tera, Maa Tujhe Salaam? But there are tracks like Kahin To..., Nahin Samne, Spirit Of Rangeela or O Humdum Suniyo Re where he shows you that he knows just how to play with the musical instruments and transport you to another world all together.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Very Special Bhai Dooj

This year, we held all the festivities at our place in the evening, as opposed to the traditional, morning ritual. Hardly significant, I say. What matters is that you wish your siblings well.

My brother in the office, Aman, gave me the cutest coffee mug I ever saw. And it's pink too!

Here's the best and most special part about this Bhai Dooj. My brother Nikhil, for the first time in his life, gave me some of his own hard earned money for Bhai Dooj. Until now, he's been borrowing money from our parents to hand out to me on every Rakhi and Bhai Dooj. I'm feeling so happy.

All the best, bro. May you make it really big!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tough Decision

Remember the part in Friends where Emily told Ross that, if he wanted their marriage to work, he would have to stop hanging out with Rachel? Now Rachel was his ex, but she was also one of his best friends. I don't know why I just felt like writing about this. What would you do if you were faced with a situation where the supposed love of your life asked you to choose between himself or herself and your best friend of the opposite sex?

Well, you know, it's not that easy to find love. If you've found it once, you may never find it again. So it may be a huge mistake to let go.

On the other hand, how can you let go of your best friend? The one who's seen you through all your ups and downs, all your bad days, your success, your failure, who's seen you tumble, fall, and get up again, who's been there by your side through thick and thin?

I think I would do what Ross eventually did. Because asking me to make a choice like this would mean that the guy I am in love with does not trust me. And well, I think that a relationship that has no love can be worked upon, but one devoid of trust will most certainly fail. If this person is asking me to give up my best friend today, who knows how many other friends, colleagues, maybe even relatives, he will want me to stop talking to later? It would, undoubtedly, be a very difficult decision to take, but, if you think about it objectively, this kind of love isn't really love at all. Because I think that, when you really love someone, you give them space to spread their wings, to fly as high and as far as they can, and to be just who they were meant to be.

Good Hair Day!

This weekend I visited a professional hairdresser for the first time in my life. So far, I've been trimming my own hair myself, (My mom used to do it for me when I was too young to do it myself.) and trying out simple stuff like side-bangs from time to time. Nothing too complicated. But this time round, I wanted an interesting change.

So on Saturday I went to this hairdresser and I told him I wanted to experiment with my hair, and that I wasn't going to say anything, he should just cut it exactly the way he wanted to. When I was little, I always argued with my mom about how short it should be cut. She'd never believe I said that to the hairdresser. But I'd seen him cut my friend's hair and a number of strangers' hair, and I thought he was meticulous and good at what he did.

And I was happy with the results. He gave me this nice, layered look. I like it a lot. It's a major change, significant enough for guys to notice. Guys who've earlier told me (when I tied my hair differently than usual) that I was looking different, or better than usual, but they just couldn't figure out what was different!

A few weeks back, someone whom I look up to gave me a piece of advice when I wasn't feeling too good about myself. He told me to pamper myself. To spend money on myself. I know, it's so obvious, and we all know it, but we sometimes need to be reminded of the obvious stuff. Not that I was feeling low this weekend, but I am feeling really good today.


Not my fault that I hadn't been introduced to the concept of blogging when I watched Yuva, four years ago. Last evening I caught a little bit of it again on TV, most of which I couldn't hear among the crackers, but I love this movie all the more every time I watch it. It makes me fall in love all over again with Ajay Devgan, and a little bit with Vivek Oberoi too.

Now this is a reasonably popular, four year old movie, so most people will have watched it and formed their own opinions of it. So I'm not going to write a "normal" review. I don't feel like doing that. Just some random thoughts about it.

  • I love Ajay Devgan's character in the movie. He is so different from all the guys I've ever known. I love the way he "borrows" Esha Deol from her students. I love the way he and his friends break into Gopal's house, and then go to the police station themselves to file an FIR about their own act. I love the way he talks to Om Puri in the sequence where Om is trying to convince him to go to the United States on a scholarship. I love his "Physics lesson" inside jail where he proves that "the Universe is not composed of infinitely dense matter!"
  • I love the way Abhishek Bachchan says "Hello" each time he answers the phone. And the way he points out that he would be paid two thousand buck to guard a printing press worth two crores. Okay, so I don't remember if those were the exact figures, but that was the order.
  • I have never been able to fully comprehend why Rani chose to stay with Abhishek, against her family's wishes, even though she did not approve of what he did and how he treated her. But those two had their incredibly sweet, incredibly romantic moments. The Kabhi Neem Neem number sums it all up pretty well.
  • The scene where Ajay tells Esha to pack her stuff up and stay with him is totally amazing! I was floored with the way he explains everything in terms of hormones and chromosomes, and then says, "Ek simple si baat kehta hoon. I love you. Agar mujhe jhel sakti ho, to mere saath reh sakti ho." ("I'll tell you something very simple. I love you. If you can put up with me, you can live with me.")
  • In the very first scene, Vivek tells Kareena that he loves her. I am sure my friend Sumit remembers how jealous I was of her, when we watched the movie for the first time. I was totally crazy about Vivek then. I think, after O Humdum Suniyo Re, he was at his second-cutest best in the Anjaana-Anjaani number.
  • The end of the movie was a little, well, abrupt. Not really as strong as the rest of the movie. But well, we were all thinking about how else it could have ended, and we didn't really see a better possibility. Does anyone else?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Random Thoughts On Diwali

  • I gave up setting off crackers almost twenty years back. But today Abhinav told me to go out on the terrace and watch other people set them off. I told him that the air is too smoky for me on Diwali evening, and I didn't want to do that, but I did, for just a little while. Now the terrace here is above the seventh floor, which is, according to Abhinav, pretty high up, and he claimed that too much smoke would not reach that high. Well, guess what? It does. I wonder why people clean their houses before Diwali. All this stuff makes my house noticeably dustier on Diwali. This week, I cleaned my room exactly the way I usually do, every Sunday. But next Sunday, it's gonna need an extra-special cleaning. On the other hand, one of my dearest friends, who usually restricts himself to cleaning the switch boards in his house, was supposedly cleaning the fans in his house before Diwali. Now these fans have been known to cause any amount of dust to fall on innocent people. Even those were cleaned for the occasion!
  • One of my neighbours have put up this string of bright, shocking pink lights. There are actually these two adjacent houses with adjacent balconies, which belong to two brothers. They have strewn the pink lights across both the balconies. Now I never thought I'd say this about anything pink, but it looks horrendous. Distasteful. And it's located at a point where it's right there, in my face, when I go out into my balcony!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ae Zindagi...

The month is almost out and I haven't written anything poetic in October! I will not let my poetic streak die!

This one is addressed to life and to the forces of Nature that control it.

Kabhi phoolon se hamaari raahein mehkaai
Kabhi pattharon pe chalna sikhaya tune
Kabhi khushiyon se daaman bhar diya
Kabhi aansoo peena sikaya tune
Jab humein andheri lagne lagi ye duniya
Kabhi chaand to kabhi suraj dikaaya tune

Sometimes I write just so my creative streak stays alive. With all the festivities, I did not find time to start work on my book this weekend but I made it a point to utilise every fifteen minute chunk of leisure time by writing something.

Okay, high time I went to sleep. Need to get up early to attend the puja at my brother's office. Happy Diwali, my dear readers!

No Smoking!

I was just channel-surfing for a little while this evening, and I came across this movie on TV. I must have watched it for only about ten minutes, because it had some slightly interesting humour in some places. But in general, this kind of thing puts me off. Like I don't get the thing about crackers, I don't get why people smoke. What do they get out of doing something that is just plain harmful for their bodies? I mean, like drinking in moderation does have some positive effects. But ciggies just suck the life out of your lungs. I find it pretty difficult to respect a person who does not respect his own body. (I used 'he' here because I haven't really known a female who smokes. I know they exist, I have seen lots of them, but I haven't known any.)

And it's not just yourself you harm if you smoke. There will be lots of passive smokers around you as well. Why would you do that to them?

Overeaters Anonymous!

I haven't eaten this much in ages! Diwali is such a bad time for sticking to healthy eating habits. And why do people have to tempt me with birthday cake in the middle of all this?

My self-imposed diet rules restrict me from eating anything sweet, except on weekends and special occasions. It just so happened that, this time round, four consecutive days fell into this category. So I've been pigging out a lot.

Gonna observe detox week immediately after this. Fruits and vegetables only. At least for the remaining three weekdays. Rabbit food, as Bhatti calls it.

Oh wait, Thursday is Bhai Dooj. Okay, one small piece of mithaai per brother. That will be all.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Random Things I Like About THE Geek

There is this creature in my house which belongs to a nondescript species. He sometimes claims to be an African Jungle Wild Cat. Sometimes he acts like a dangerous snake. On Rakshabandhan, I thought a post on the subject was in order, and I did write it then. Today, another post is in order, since the Great Geek Lord turns a year older today. And I liked the way I did my last post, so I'll do this one in the same way. So here's what I like about him:
  • He'll always be more than happy to fix anything that needs fixing, especially if it is an electronic gadget.
  • He loves to impart knowledge to other people, whether they need it or not. He loves introducing people around him to geeky sites. That's how I was introduced to CodeProject, Wikipedia, even orkut - at a time when hardly anybody around me had heard of them. When GMail was new to the world, and you could sign up by invitation only, there were lots of people dying to get an invitation. I was sent an unsolicited invitation and was actually made to sign up.
  • He has a really odd sense of humour. There was this time when he asked me where I got my handbag. I was curious about why he wanted to know. He told me, "Just in case I blow it up and need to replace it so that you don't get to know."
  • He has this incredible gift. He can sleep for twelve hours straight on a regular basis. On most weekends, he gets up only around 3 PM. Well, for him, a weekend is basically just Saturday, since he generally works on Sundays. So my weekends are quite peaceful, since he is quite a devil when he's awake, but he looks just like an angel while he sleeps.
  • He always comes up with some interesting request for a gift. (More on this here and here.) If I cannot find what he wants, he's quite cool about it. But if I can, he expresses his appreciation in a wonderful way.

Random Things I Love About My Friends

This is some slightly weird stuff that I tend to like about people. There are a lot of other, more serious, deeper things that I like about these and other people, but I am in a mood to write about the weird stuff.

  • Sumit Vohra: The way he always pulls my leg about my obsessive need to take a bath twice a day. And of course, the way he always dresses up only in black and flaunts it if I am around, or makes it a point to tell me if I am not!
  • Varun Aggarwal: The incessant PJs that always cheer me up, no matter how low I may be feeling.
  • Shashank: The weird style in which he says "Hello" when he answers the phone. It always makes me laugh! My mom heard that "Hello" once, ages ago, before the age of mobile phones, Shashank called me at home and my mom answered the phone and he mistook her for me. She still remembers it, and still identifies him with it!
  • Amit Bhatnagar: The weird noises that my cubicle neighbour makes while working at his desk all day long, the vocal ones as well as the occasional table-drumming. I am actually pretty certain that I am not a nice, quiet cubicle neighbour either! I'll look forward to Bhatti's comments on this.
  • Alok: The way he calls me to say "Ek bahut zaroori kaam hai." I can usually tell by the tone and the amount of stress laid on the word zaroori that he's calling to show me something interesting, unrelated to work, or to ask me an equally interesting question. When it's a work related issue, the word zaroori will not be stressed upon half as much. It may actually be dropped out all together.
  • Anuranjan: The way he gives me strange looks every time he walks by my cubicle. And the way he constantly teases me about my liking for the colour pink. Well, a lot of other people do that as well. But, obviously, nobody else's way is as endearing!
  • Abhinav Gupta and Akash: The way they will, on a daily basis, survey what I wear to work, together with the accessories, and come up with newer, more creative ways of making fun of it all.

Happy Song Of The Month

Jaane Kyun from Dostana. This song has this lovely, happy feel to it. It's pretty similar in theme to one of my (and possibly a lot of other people's) all-time favourites, I'll Be There For You by The Rembrandts. The basic idea that it sends across is that, no matter how much things go wrong, if you have a few good friends surrounding you, it'll all be quite okay. I like this idea. I love the general feeling that this song evokes.

Chote chote kuch palon ka dostana yeh
Jaane kyun ab lag raha hai jaana maana yeh
Coz when smile for me
The world seems all right
Yeh saare pal yahin
Yun hi tham se jaaye

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Zindagi Zindagi, Kya Kami Reh Gayi

After a pretty long while I've come across a Bollywood movie soundtrack in which I like all the songs. A. R. Rahman totally rocks! Even if he sings for fifteen seconds, he adds magic to the song. Even if it's just a little alaap that he's providing the vocals for.

I just felt like quoting from the Zindagi number:

Zindagi zindagi
Kya kami reh gayi
Aankh ki kor mein
Aankh ki kor mein
Kyun nami reh gayi

I will write more about the music of Yuvvraaj once I familiarise myself with it a little more, but for now, this is all I wanted to write.


I have never been able to get just why people go crazy on Diwali. What is it that they get out of setting fire to little explosives? What kind of pleasure do people get out of creating this insane amount of noise and polluting the air way beyond sane levels?

I think I was perhaps six or seven years old when I last remotely enjoyed setting off firecrackers. I don't think that anyone who's any older and more mature than that should actually enjoy doing so much harm to the environment. I mean, Delhi is already in a state where you can't see the stars in the sky. Why do people want to be unable to see the moon as well? Or is it the sun that they are trying to hide? That won't make the scorching summer any more bearable, people!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Me And My Confusion

I'm a pretty confused woman. Two months back, I thought I was quite settled, career wise, and old enough and mature enough to seriously consider the prospect of marriage. This week I've been thinking I've wasted the last five and a half years (three years of MCA and two and a half years at my current job) doing something I really couldn't care less for. I'm not settled in my career. I don't even have a real career. I want to give up my current job and take up what I really love doing. I want to write. I have been looking around for a Mass Communication/Creative Writing course for the last few days but I did not find something that suits my temperament as well as my budget. Well, actually, I don't think I really need a degree in this field. But the thing is, I don't have what it takes to just give up my job and sit around and write. I just realized, this week, that this was the reason why I wanted to marry someone who was settled in another city. So that I would have to give up my current job. And then I could write, instead of hunting for another software job. Last year, when the subject of marriage came up in my house, I told my mother that I wasn't too keen on marrying someone who intended to settle abroad. Eight months later, things were completely metamorphosed. I was more keen on the guys who were settled or planning to settle abroad or at least outside Delhi. For all the wrong reasons.

These are the only two ways I see which can give me the courage to take the big plunge that I have been contemplating for so long. But here's the thing. This is not the right reason to get married. And I don't think I really need a degree. Plus, I haven't been able to find a programme that I like.

I was also confused about whether this post should go on my public blog or the private one. As it happens, in the last one week, I have been sharing things more openly with other people than before and I thought putting this on my public blog was in order.

Another extended weekend coming up. Hopefully I will be able to work a little on the vague idea I have in mind for a book. Don't ask me what that idea is about. I'm not planning to share that just yet!

PS: You know what? When I got back from Tanu's engagement today, I was feeling a little tired and I thought I would blog after a little nap. But there was this restlessness which did not allow me to sleep. So I decided to blog anyway. And guess what? I am feeling so refreshed and so much less tired!

Of Friends, Felicity And Fiascos

My friends from St. Stephen's and I have a pretty close-knit group. The six of us are still very regularly in touch after five and a half years of leaving College. We have shared so much, had so much fun together, been there for each other in times of need. We have, over time, acquired a reputation for meeting with fiascos and debacles every time we are together. We've been practically thrown out of a McDonald's in CP, sort of insulted by a guard outside Kavita's apartments, and I don't remember what else. I hope some of my friends will chip in by putting down some of those memories in the comments.

So, given the reputation and the history, since today was a major event, it had to be accompanied by a major disaster.

Today was the first formal wedding related function in the group. Tanu's engagement.

We'd met her fiancé a few weeks back. We interviewed him at leisure, to decide whether or not he was well suited for our dear friend. All of really liked him and were really happy for both of them. We've accepted him into the group now and he will be part of the interview panel when we next need to judge whether or not someone is suitable for one of us.

We were all pretty excited about today. Yesterday was spent looking for a gift and planning where we would all meet and how we would go. I'd decided to drive all of us there.

At 8:51 this morning, I woke up with a message from Aarti telling me that a flyover had collapsed at Vikas Marg. That is the exact location of the banquet hall where we were supposed to go! I got out of bed in that drowsy state and turned on the TV to take a look at the state of affairs on Vikas Marg. Pretty bad. And pretty sad it was. There was a lot of debris under which a lot of people were buried.

So there were a lot of roadblocks all over the place. The idea of driving was dropped. We took the metro instead. The interesting thing was that today everybody reached whichever metro station they were supposed to reach at the time at which they were supposed to reach. I did have a bit of trouble with the security check lady because I was carrying a wrapped gift and it did set off the metal detector. That caused a bit of delay. But in spite of everything, we reached at the designated place at the designated time, and just before Tanu made her appearance, looking totally terrific.

We spent most of our time trying to figure out what the ceremonies were all about, and how things were going with Anuradha and her soon-to-be fiancé. We hope nothing collapses on that day! Fingers crossed.

At the end of the day, what matters is that we're all very happy for Tanu and Gaurav. We're looking forward to welcoming him into our own little family, and wish both of them a beautiful life together.

PS: It was not my day, but I was complimented on the weight loss by Tanu's Dad, and on my blog by Gaurav. I feel good!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More On Looking For A Gift

Follow up to The Art Of Gift Giving.

So my brother decided he could settle for a Yoda action figure instead of a Hobbes soft toy. I searched for "Yoda" on and they told me that there were no search results for Yoda, and they replaced my keyword with "Yoga" and showed me a long list of books on exercise and meditation.

Huge Star Wars fan this guy is. The computers in our house are called Yoda, Windu and Vader. The local network we have is called HoloNet.

Anyone know where I could find a lightsaber?

Bad Bad Girls

I really like some of the songs from Chak De! India. I just felt like putting down these lines from Bad Bad Girls to remind some of the guys out there who need to be reminded that girls are no longer living in the nineteenth century and that they have come a long way. They are not going to stay in the kitchens and allow themselves to be treated like dorrmats. They have a mind, a life of their own.

na roti khilayegi na chotiya banayegi na palke jhukayegi
na chhat pe bulayegi na nange pair ayegi na sar pe bithayegi
na ankhiya milayegi na sakhiya bulaayegi, na nakhare uthaayegi
na gori hoke aayegi na chori se manaayegi, na bori mein samaayegi

Just could not resist the desire to go back to male-bashing mode!

PS: Anyone who dares to comment that quoting from the Hockey Doongi Rakh Ke number would have suited me better will be subjected to the treatment described in that song.

The Art Of Gift Giving

It's so hard to find a good, meaningful gift for someone. Something that you know the other person will like. This often holds true even for family and friends.

It's really easy with my brother. He'll always tell me exactly what he wants for his birthday. The year before last, it was a black kurta "like the one Circuit wears." That was pretty simple to find. But then there was an added request for gold chains to go with it, for which I looked around quite a bit, and when I finally found some, he said he didn't really want them any more. Then there was the request for a bright orange kurta last year. I can still recall the way his face lit up when I bought that for him, together with a bright red one. There is still a pending request for a Hobbes soft toy, for which I have looked in every Archies Gallery, every toy store, ebay, amazon, and I don't even remember where else. Any help with this will be greatly appreciated.

There was this article I read in The Reader's Digest years ago. It spoke of this woman who maintained a small journal in which she'd jot down hints she received from her family on what they wanted for Christmas. And she'd always keep her ears and eyes open for these hints. A familiar exclamation in their house on Christmas was, "How did you know this was just what I wanted?"

These days, we are so caught up with our own lives, that we tend to settle for gift vouchers, or cash, or no gift at all. Or a meaningless gift with no thought put into it whatsoever. Or, well, no gift at all. Sometimes we do the sensible thing to do - ask the recipient of the gift what they need or want. But well, not everybody likes that.

It's always a great feeling if you buy someone a no-occasion gift and surprise them. Or get them exactly what they wanted for an occasion, without having explicitly asked them. It seems to me that people hardly ever do this sort of thing these days, except perhaps occasionally for their partners. Whatever happened to doing something really special for friends? Or siblings? Parents? Do something nice for a friend today. Send someone flowers for no real reason, except that they mean a lot to you. Meanwhile, allow me to get back to my search for the Hobbes toy. I have only about a week.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Better Late Than Never

I did a lot of things pretty late in life. Not the stuff like learning to talk, or count, or read, or crawl, or walk. My mom tells me I did all those things pretty early. At a significantly earlier age than my brother. But you know, most girls develop a liking (or an obsession) for junk jewelry and kurtas and skirts in their college days. Not me. I hardly worried about my clothes or accessories throughout my six years in the North Campus of the University of Delhi.
Barely ever thought about how I looked or how much I weighed. I know some people will find this really hard to digest, but I owned only about three pairs of earrings when I was in college. (I know Abhinav will have lots of comments to voice after the last sentence). I was twenty three years old when I first travelled by air. My mom was at least ten years younger when she did that. I lived in Delhi for twenty four and a half years before I visited Jaipur for the first (and so far, only) time. I mean, Jaipur is very worth seeing and it's only a longish stone's throw away from Delhi.

When my brother was in the tenth standard, he already knew that regular education was not meant for him and he was not meant for it. He, and a friend of his, who used to appear for re-test after re-test after being unable to score sixty percent in their pre-board exams, figured that they would get nowhere with this education system, and that they should give it all up and start their own enterprise. Just after barely managing to scrape by three years of college, he did start his first enterprise with the same friend. It's a different story that that start up did not do too well. But he did not give up on his dream. He went and started something else in partnership with another friend. He knew exactly what he wanted, kept that in focus, and never lost sight of it. These days he's still struggling, but he's slowly and steadily finding his footing.

I have a point.

I also knew, fifteen years ago, that I wanted to do something creative. Twelve years back, I knew what that something creative was. I knew that I wanted to write. I knew, at that time, come what may, I will, one day, write a book and get it published. I just never knew how important that dream was to me. I just somehow lost sight of it. I never knew that it would not be too long before something or the other would make me realize how meaningless my current job is to me, and that I needed to do exactly what is closer to my heart. Whenever somebody asked me if I ever thought about doing an MBA, I'd always say that I'd had enough college education and simply did not have the patience, willpower, or inclination for any more of it. And here I am today, suddenly telling my friends that I want to go to some foreign University and study Mass Communication. That's what I wanted to do right after school too. Only without the "foreign University" clause. That's what I always wanted to do. But is it too late in life for me to do something like this? Well, enough is enough. It is never too late to do what your heart desires. Never too late to make a run for your real goals. Never too late to fall in love. Never too late to look for happiness. We all owe it to ourselves.

Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets.

Of Confusion and Women

Something interesting I heard on the radio this morning:

Female RJ: A woman’s weight varies with her relationship status. At the beginning of a relationship, it reduces. When the relationship becomes a little stable, it increases. When her wedding approaches, it starts to reduce again. Once the wedding is over, it increases again. When she is expecting, it increases. Once she has her baby, it reduces.

Male RJ: So a woman’s weight is just like the woman – confused!!!

I shared this little piece with my friends in the morning. Bhatti was really happy that I shared a thought like this one after the male-bashing phase.
Akash was happy that I admitted that women were all confused. Well, I told him, women are intelligent enough to figure out that they are confused and mature enough to admit it. Men are neither of these things!

And I'm back to the male-bashing!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grandpa

Today my grandfather turns eighty four. Well, not exactly today. Since nobody in the generation above his had ever been to school or known how to use a calendar, he doesn't know his actual birthday. He does, but according to the lunar calendar. That one actually falls some time in late May-early June. This is the birthday he put down in all his school records. It's actually a random date, but this is the day we wish him every year.

I am more attached to my grandfather than I am to my father. I just want to take this opportunity to wish him a happy, healthy life ahead.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Song Of The Month

Since music is so important to me, and it contributes greatly to my moods, I thought I'd pick a worthy song once a month and put down a couple of lines about it. For this month, I picked Mar Jaawan from Fashion. Now I've never heard of this singer, Shruti Pathak, before. I think this movie promises to be one of the biggest disasters of the year. But I love this song. It's been playing in the much-famed pink media player for just over a week, and its play count is already 25. I love listening to this girl over and over again.

Previous songs of the month, since I started blogging:

May: Teri Yaadein from Love Story. This comes from a TV series that I'd never seen. I haven't seen it to date. I think it airs (or aired) on Sab TV. Hemant introduced me to this song one evening in Ashish's car. I don't know what it was that I liked about this song. But I did really like it. Listened to it over and over again over at least two whole weekends. This song has joined the likes of O Humdum Suniyo Re and Dil Chahta Hai in being one of the few songs that can cheer me up almost instantly, or calm me down if I am feeling restless and unable to sleep. Play count in the media player: 95. This has also been played often in my car, and on my iRiver. Oh, I still cannot remember all the words!

June: Beete Lamhein from The Train. This song used to bring back some really unpleasant memories. I played it on repeat over a week or so, and got so used to it that there was no longer any room for the negative vibes. And I ended up liking the song once again.

July: Kahin To... from Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na. This was one of the only two movies this year which I enjoyed from end to end, and also enjoyed all of its songs thoroughly. A R Rahman rocks! As always. Play count: 122. This is the only song I have also heard on repeat in the car.

August: Ye Tumhari Meri Baatein from Rock On!!

September: Tum Ho Toh from Rock On!! More on the music of Rock On!! here.


How long should one take to decide upon a life partner?

I'd answer this question differently in different moods. In the mood of the moment, the answer is, as little as possible. Take only as much time as you need to figure out that there isn't something very fundamental lacking, such as total lack of ability to make decent conversation, or that he has no income and no means and/or inclination of making it in the near future, or total lack of respect for women.

If you stretch it out for long, one of two things can happen. Either you discover that you were right in initially thinking that this is the right person for you, or you figure out that you were wrong. If you were right, well, you might as well have taken the big step a while back. If you discover you were wrong, after spending a really long time with the other person, you know what happens? You start thinking that, since you've spent so much time and energy in nurturing this relationship, you might as well spend a little more and make it work. Then there comes a time when you're just hanging on to a relationship that you know is meaningless, but won't admit it to be meaningless. You'll just hang on to it for fear of the consequences of letting go. What if you let go of this, and never again find someone who is even half as good? You know you'll be happier single than you are in this relationship, but you won't let go because of social pressures to be in a relationship.

But you know what? We all have this incredible capability to make adjustments. Once we decide that we have found our soul mate, it becomes pretty easy to agree on the significant things in life, and to agree to disagree gracefully on the others. There is no disagreement that cannot be resolved in a mature way, once you put your mind to it.

That's just my mood of the moment dictating my thought process. Maybe I will express a different opinion on this in a different sort of mood.

How It All Began

Okay, this is way past its due date, but this is all very instrumental to how Random Musings came into existence.

There was a time when I just felt like sharing some random thoughts with my friends. One fine day, my cubicle neighbour, Bhatti, told me he found them interesting and I should write them down on a blog.

Well, as it happens, that was just the push I needed. I thought those initial thoughts definitely deserve a place of pride on this blog. So here goes.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ever notice how we never realize what we were missing until it arrives?
How we never notice the void in our lives until we find something to fill it up with?

There’s this conversation in the movie Failure to Launch which I found interesting:

Tripp: Do you have real feelings?
Paula: Of course I have real feelings!
Tripp: For what?
Paula: For you! And believe me I did not want that because I had a good life before you. Well, not good... but... it was okay. Well... it was empty actually, but at least I was blissfully unaware of how miserable I was. Whereas now... because of you... I am acutely aware of how completely and totally unhappy I am. Thank you for that.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why is it that we feel like being left alone when we need to be with friends the most?
That we feel like not talking about the stuff that we most need to talk about?
That we find the best things in life where we least expect to find them?
And if we do find something good that we’ve always been looking for, we fail to recognize and appreciate it?

A little piece from Sleepless in Seattle that is rather interesting and thought provoking, although you might need to know the context somewhat:

JAY: Well, this is fate! She's divorced, we don't want to redo the cabinets, and you need a wife. What do they call it when everything intersects?
SAM: The Bermuda Triangle.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Disclaimer: no male bashing intended

I have a feeling that guys do not, in general, like it when girls make the first move in a relationship. Even if the girl is someone you’d otherwise find attractive and nice and interesting, you’d probably not like it if she asks you out first. A friend of mine (a guy) once explained to me at length that a guy would want a girl to ask him out, but he would not like it if she does. I was given a long discourse on the difference between like, want and need which I will not go into right now, but it’s an interesting thing to think about and to do some research on :P

A conversation from Sleepless in Seattle between a guy (Sam) and his son, Jonah, who’s about eight.

SAM: You see someone you like, you get a feeling about them, you ask them if they want to have a drink or --
JONAH: -- a slice of pizza --
SAM: But not dinner necessarily on the first date because by the time you're halfway through dinner you might be sorry you asked them to dinner whereas if it's just a drink, if you like them you can always ask them for dinner but if you don't you can go home if you see what I mean.
I wonder if it still works this way.
JONAH: It doesn't. They ask you.
SAM: I'm starting to notice that.

Oh, by the way, if some of you people have started to feel that I have started spamming you with total nonsense these days, you are more than welcome to express that feeling. Not that it’s going to make me stop, but I’d like to hear that expression of your feelings anyway.


Thanks Bhatti, for pushing me in this direction.

By the way, Bhatti recently sent me a link to someone's blog. Now this someone is a girl I don't know, and I don't think Bhatti knows her either. But she is someone who is an engineer by qualification, who gave up her engineering job to become a magazine editor. I am having so much fun reading her blog! This just might be the push I need right now.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I'm pretty much used to the idea of one or more of my friends moving to another city or another continent to study, work, or to be with their spouse. Because that kind of thing has happened to me a lot. I've learnt how to keep the relationships alive across the miles, through e-mail, over the phone, and the occasional get together whenever two or more of us are in the same city.

But I never contemplated what would happen if I have to move to another city or country some time. How would I deal with a situation where I have to move away from all my friends, my family, my current way of living, all in one shot? What happens if, one fine day, everything that I take for granted today, changes completely?

Of course, change is the way of life. Change is what keeps things interesting. Keeps life from becoming mundane. And I do believe that, in the long run, changes are always for the better.

Okay, I know I'm just rambling on with a rather random philosophy. But that's what I feel like doing right now.

I think a change of place, a change of pace may be just what I need in order to experiment with my career like I've long wanted to do. It might be able to give me the perspective I need in order to think differently, in order to find a theme for my book, and perhaps the time to write it as well.

Cleaning Up...

Today I spent the better part of my day cleaning out some of my closets. This is an almost annual activity for me, but I normally refrain from throwing out any of my stuff. Today I'd decided to be ruthless in deciding what to throw out and what to keep. Not to say that I would ever throw out something like my College Yearbook. No way, not even in a fit of extreme ruthlessness. But today I did throw out a lot of stuff I'd been hanging on to for five or six years for no apparent reason, except that I am a bit of a pack rat. By the way, for those of you unfamiliar with the term "pack rat," I looked it up on Wikipedia, and here's what their article says: "This article is about the rodent. For the human behavior, see compulsive hoarding."

Coming back to my point, I did find so many things that I should have thrown out six years ago, but I did find so many others that I would want to keep for the next sixty (if I do live that long, that is). There is so much stuff in my closets that reminds me of who I really am, of what I once wanted to be, of what I once was. The many issues of my school magazine that I edited and wrote articles for, the issue of Teens Today that reminds me that I do have what it takes to be a published writer, the innumerable prospectuses (I actually did not know the plural form of prospectus. This is what Merriam-Webster and wiktionary say.) of British Universities that I gathered towards the end of my undergraduate degree, when I was planning to apply for higher studies in Mathematics, the offer letters from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge (the only ones I actually applied to), the sketches I drew in the days when I was aspiring to go to NIFT and be a fashion designer. Now these are the things I can never throw away. (Except the prospectuses. I kept the ones from Oxford and Cambridge, but got rid of the rest.) This is the stuff that forms such an integral part of my identity that I can never imagine doing away with any of it. I even managed to dispose of the first job offer letter that I ever got (from Flextronics), because I don't think that that defines me half as strongly.

And then, of course, there is all the miscellaneous memorabilia. The College Yearbooks, the cards and stuff I got from various friends on various occasions, the photo albums, the large school-leaving group photograph, the lovely picture of me as a chubby two-month old in my mother's lap, the pictures from the school farewell, the College Fests, Graduation Dinner, the Tech Fest we organized during our MCA years... it is such a good feeling to recount all those memories.

I'm not sure why I am writing this on my public blog, because it does seem like something that's meant basically for me. But these are things that all my good friends should certainly know about me. And for the others, well, like I do say sometimes, I enjoy irritating people by making them read stuff that is of no consequence whatsoever to them!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Princess Bride

I was looking for something interesting to watch today and my brother suggested this movie. It actually turned out to be really interesting. It's a fairytale filled with a decent amount of insanity. All sorts of weird stuff, like oversized rodents, a Fire Swamp, a giant, a miracle man bringing a "mostly dead" man back to life, and a lot of the usual fairytale stuff. And the cherry on top of the ice-cream sundae is a very special appearance by Fred Savage (remember the cute little guy from The Wonder Years)?

I just thought I was going to watch a random movie and had no expectations whatsoever. Therefore it obviously surpassed my expectations, as opposed to what happened yesterday when I went to watch Imran Khan's second movie expecting everything under the sun. The Princess Bride is a welcome change from the usual stuff we see in Hollywood or in Bollywood, even though it has a very ordinary plot. Its presentation and treatment is different in an odd sort of way.

By the way, this is a 21-year old movie, not something released recently. I just happened to watch it for the first time over this weekend and felt like writing about it.

Some really memorable lines from The Princess Bride:

Buttercup: You mock my pain.
Westley: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

Buttercup: We'll never survive.
Westley: Nonsense. You're only saying that because no one ever has.

Miracle Max: Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe.

Oh, just for the record, this movie has one of the longest (possibly the single longest) memorable quotes pages I have come across on IMDb.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Jaane kitne rangon se rangi ye zindagi
Har rang kuch nayaa lagta hai
Ek hi rang ko alag nazariye se dekhiye
To wohi rang koi doosraa lagta hai

My Favourite Feel-Good Factors

I know the title phrase of this post is slightly odd, but I like it that way. There are a few feel-good factors in my life that always cheer me up when I am feeling blue. The day I am feeling low and one of these fails to lift my spirits, I will know that it is time to consult a clinical psychologist. Here are some of them:

  • Writing about whatever it is that is bothering me. Sometimes I write about the exact problem, at other times I like to express it in slightly vague terms in a poetic way.
  • Listening to a song that reminds me of an incident or a friend whom I like to be reminded of.
  • Spending money on myself. Not necessarily lots of it, even twenty bucks well spent can sometimes make all the difference.
  • Costa Coffee's chocolate chip muffins.
  • Watching an episode of Friends or The Big Bang Theory or Mr Bean.

Some More Little Lessons

  • No matter how great your work or your job is, it is, by no means, more important than your family and friends. These are the people who really care for you, to whom you actually matter, who should actually matter to you. It's really important that you see things in perspective, know how important everything is, and why those things are important. If you work really hard and make a lot of money, with the intention of giving your family a good life, and, in the process, neglect them, stop spending quality time with them, well, you need to stop and think about what you are actually doing to your life.
  • Amidst all your responsibilities at work, at home, towards society, make it a point to chalk out some time on a regular basis just for yourself. Do something you like doing, relax, cool off, introspect, whatever catches your fancy.
  • Let the people who matter to you know that they matter. Sometimes an expression of that sort can make someone's day. And sometimes, you may not express a sentiment of that sort, taking it for granted, and realize only when it is too late that you actually needed to express it. Expressing your affection for your family and friends and family on a regular basis helps maintain a strong feel good factor. And it really helps if you know exactly when one of your loved ones need to be told how special they are to you, and you do tell them at that point in time.