Dear Internet, we need to chat about Dangal

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I have deliberately stayed away from reading about Dangal because I wanted to watch it with an open mind. But some controversies have trickled in through Twitter, some discussions on feminism and how preachy Aamir’s character is in the movie.

I watched it with low expectations because Aamir does get preachy. Lagaan and Taare Zameen Par are my favourite flicks, other movies I can barely stand.

Thankfully, Dangal has surpassed all expectations and I loved every minute of it. So am not sure what the hell the Internet ranting about.

  1. Somebody complained that Aamir’s character pressurised his kids into following his dreams. Well, that is how athletes are made. Nobody is born with a dream or commitment and discipline. Someone else has the vision for you. He wouldn’t have been able to push his daughters beyond a certain point if they didn’t want it for themselves. They do come to that point.

  2. Feminism. Behind every successful woman is a person who pushed her there. It could be a tyrant father who chops their hair or a family who threatens to get their daughter married off if she doesn’t score well in her exams. Women of my generation didn’t get where we are on our own. We had a lot of help. We were pushed into standing up for ourselves. We were pushed into going beyond the normal. Maybe 10 years down the line, women will be able to make choices independently from what everyone wants them to do.

  3. Tyrant coach. All coaches are tyrants. The first trainer who asked me to do 100 squats is a tyrant. So is the one who wouldn’t let me stop in TRX class and ensured I completed each set. That is how athletes and champions are made. By a tyrant driving them.

  4. I loved the fact that the movie talked about how training has to be customised. Everyone is different and the training has to take into consideration each person’s strengths and weaknesses.

  5. Loved that Geeta won the finals on her own, without her father guiding her. The victory was hers. It would have been easy to show Aamir in the last scene coming to help her like a regular Bollywood movie. But Aamir graciously let Geeta shine.

  6. People have criticised Sakshi Tanwar’s character. Her staying home instead of travelling to see her daughter’s match has been criticised. The explanation is simple- finances. Who was going to fund the trip? Aamir was needed there else he wouldn’t have gone either. And I assume she was working and supporting Aamir while he was in Patiala/Delhi.

Dangal is perfect. There is no false note and nothing Bollywood-ish about it. One of the best movies this year.

I guess it is time to make an year end list on Bollywood.

What say?


Movies…

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I have watched a few movies but not blogged about it (laziness?)

  • Shanghai: I was excited about the flick… Dibakar and Abhay. Everyone would have watched the movie by now so I will not get into the story. I liked the fact that it is based on reality… thats how politics works. It has not been given a happy ending as a compromise. It is not as exciting as it could have been… the end was predictable. Nevertheless, a good effort.
  • Madagascar 3: Watched it few weeks back. It was good but the magic of Madagascar was missing. It felt like a usual cartoon movie with a lesson in the end. Avoid.
  • Ferrari ki Swaari: I was excited about watching this one since the reviews are good and I like Sharman Joshi. Pathetic. All Sharman did was smile or cry. An overtly emotional Bollywood movie. But what was I expecting? It has been directed by Rajkumar Hirani. He is revered in the movie industry but I did not like his Munnabhai movies… they were too emotional. I had walked out mid way from the theater while watching the first part. Avoidable.
  • Brave: Last weekend we could not get tickets for Gangs of Wasseypur and decided to watch Brave. A really good flick. Loved it.
      • Gangs of Wasseypur: I have been hearing about the movie for a long time now and looked forward to watching it. I generally read reviews on rediff.com. I find them more reliable. I want to quote a few lines in the review:
    •  The film never recovers from the unforgivably tedious first half-hour, and despite many laudable moments and nifty touches, never quite engages. This is partly because of every Indian filmmaker’s befuddling desire to borrow plot-points from The Godfather whenever dealing with crime families, but mostly because Kashyap is defiant in his self-indulgence, piling on more and more when less could have done the job more efficiently.He wouldn’t have made a good hitman, clearly; Kashyap is a kingpin.

      It must here be remembered that mob bosses, at least the ones Hindi cinema have accustomed us to over the years, have hardly been an efficient lot. They growl orders, surround themselves by those applauding their every maniacal move, and, intoxicated by their own bluster, proceed to boast about their convoluted plot to the protagonist, resulting in their climactic downfall. It is this look-what-I-did windbaggery that constantly weighs down Wasseypur, a highly competent and occasionally enjoyable product, and keeps it from soaring like it should have.

    • As you can imagine, there’s a fair bit of Prakash Mehra [ Images ] and vintage Yash Chopra [ Images ] running through this film’s veins, and while Kashyap doffs his hat to each of the directors in style, his film tries too hard to be more: more than just an actioner, more than just a drama, more even than a bloodied saga. This overreaching desire to be an Epic makes it a film that, despite some genuinely stunning individual pieces, fails to come together as a whole. There is much to treasure, but there is more to decry.Entire sequences that could be compressed into clever throwaway lines are staged in grand, time-consuming detail; while genuinely sharp lines are often repeated, as if too good to use just once. The characters are a wild, fantastical bunch of oddballs and trigger-happy loons, but attempting to do each fascinating freak justice with meaty chunks of screen-time may not even be film’s job. Wasseypur may have worked better as a long and intriguing television series, one deserving a spin-off movie only after six seasons. Here it feels too linear, and even too predictable: scenes themselves often surprise, even delight, but the narrative is cumbersome and unexciting. And, as said before, Godfatherly.
  • http://www.rediff.com/movies/review/review-the-boring-gangs-of-wasseypur/20120622.htm
I did not understand the review. It felt like someone was going out of his way to malign the movie. There are a lot of big words… too much imagery. A person reading movie reviews only wants to know if the movie is good or not. Period.
Anyway, the other reviews were good… so we watched it. I have seen Kashyap’s “No Smoking”… “The girl in the yellow boots”… which are his worst movies (my opinion)… but they are still better than most Bollywood flicks. They are different… they bring a different experience.
We decided to try the PVR gold class…. an indulgence, albeit an unnecessary one.
The movie is good… the story is not new… but the setting, background and events are real. It could have easily been shorter. The first part introduces Manoj Bajpai’s father and how he dies. That could have been cut short to 1-2 scenes. But after that, it is good. I like the fact that there are many new faces… and some we have seen here and there. Also liked the narrator… thank god, it has not been done by Amitabh/Shah Rukh. There are so many actors who are good orators… why only rely on Amitabh?
I am looking forward to the second part.
As for the gold class experience, it was ok. The tickets are priced at Rs 750 and include a recliner leather seat and welcome drink. Nothing great. We have a similar couch at home. An unnecessary indulgence.


My Sister’s Keeper

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I finished reading the book 2 days back and loved it. Why did it take me so long to pick it up?
An amazing book which really got me thinking.
It is about Anna… or is it about Kate? Kate is diagnosed with leukemia as a kid. Bone marrow transplant is one of the suggested treatments but neither her parents (Brian and Sara) or her brother (Jesse) are a match. The doc suggests that they can have another child who maybe a match. They make a designer baby… they pick out the genes needed for a baby with a perfect match and Anna is born. Her entire childhood is spent making donations- umbilical cord, platelets, stem cells, bone marrow and then, a kidney is needed. Thats when she hires a lawyer- Campbell to sue her parents. She wants the rights to her body and does not want to make any more donations. I will not reveal the end. The book is not so simple. It has separate chapters which are first person accounts of each person- Jesse, Anna, Kate, Sara, Brian, Campbell, Julia etc. I loved this style of writing. It would have been easy for the author to have taken sides- Kate or Anna. She could have made Sara seem like a negligent mother. But, when I read Sara’s account, I realized it is not so simple. Sara is a human being… she wants to save her daughter… she will do anything to keep her alive. At the same time, it is not humanly possible for her to manager everything- 2 other kids, husband, relationships, a dying daughter.
We forget that parents are humans and are bound to make mistakes. As kids, we hold it against them. They are expected to be perfect. And more often than not, parents don the superhuman role. They forget that they make mistakes and are not perfect.
Completely off the point, but a thought struck my mind. What if a parent said that he/she does not love his/her kid? Society.. anyone will be shocked to hear that. But it is possible, right? We cannot love everyone. Just like we don’t choose our parents… we do not choose our kids.
In India, parents don’t understand the meaning of “love”. Love is about liking a person. You cannot love someone you don’t like. It is about respecting the person.

I am not sure if parents even LIKE their kids.

Coming back to the book- fabulous. Please read it.

I watched the movie as well. Disappointing. I do understand that a movie cannot compete with a book. Never. But, the movie has focused on Kate and tried to turn on the audience’s tears. It has missed out on the interactions within the family… what each person is going through. Campbell is an amusing character in the book… in the movie, he has a few scenes. Jesse has been side tracked. Did not like the movie. It could have been better but has skipped the best parts of the book.


The Girl with the dragon tattoo

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I just read this book. There has been a lot of hype around it what with a movie based on it starring Daniel Craig. The book is good. It is a usual thriller with unusual characters. It is a regular suspense cum thriller book. I have not read one in ages and it was a welcome change.
I then downloaded the movie and watched it on the same day. KC was going to come home late and I decided to watch it without any distractions around.
The movie is a page by page copy of the book except for some incidents which have been changed. They are insignificant changes. I did not like the movie. It is a copy of the book without adding anything new. Also, many things have been lost in translation. I don’t think the female herione’s character comes out too well. But that will always be a limitation of movies vs books.
I have picked up 2nd part of the book and am crawling through it like a tortoise. Need to find sometime to read. Need to travel on the metro.


Books and Movies

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Books:

  • Maximum City by Suketu Mehta: Why did it take me so long to pick it up? There are books which are fillers and then there are books like these which make the hobby worthwhile… which add to your life… which you remember forever… which mark your life. Like, I remember when I read “The bridge across forever” by Richard Bach. I remember the book… stage of life… the exact mind frame I was in. I remember reading Shantaram… remember gifting it to KC (who never finished it but thats another story. While we were dating, he would pretend to read it) … remember exactly how I felt. Coming to the book, it is about Mumbai… everything that has defined the city- underworld, bomb blast, bar girls, Bollywood etc. What makes this book different is the in-depth research. Suketu has met the underworld guys… he has even interviewed Chhota Shakeel; to the point that when a person was shot dead… Suketu knew who killed him, where he was hiding, who his accomplices were, what was his real name. He could not give this information to the police and so decided to stop the research. He has also interviewed the cops. So, you get both sides of the story. Brilliant book. I wish I could do something like that. Would make my life worthwhile. One book like this… awards… and money from royalties all my life. And of course, the job satisfaction- most important of all. Please read it. I will loan you my book if you don’t want to spend money.
  • I’ll do it my way – The Incredible Journey of Aamir Khan by Christina Daniels: When I bought the book I posted a pic on fb with the update that it is next on my reading list. A friend commented that the author did not even speak to Aamir while writing the book. He did not entertain her. That was a pro and a con. Pro- the author would have been able to touch upon rumors about him and give an unbiased, factual opinion. Also, Aamir would not be able to edit things out. Con- what the author writes may not be correct at all and we will never know how Aamir feels or thinks or who he is. Sadly, the book is a praise about Aamir… it is based on interviews with people around him… those who have worked with him… directors, producers, his uncle etc. There is nothing negative about him at all… which is so strange. He had a divorce… he remarried… he was accused of neglecting his brother… he is rumored to be high handed and a control freak. It is like the author was so scared that the book will not get published that she decided to play safe. Pathetic.
Current read: Girl with the dragon tattoo
Movies:
  • Ishaqzaade: We watched this movie last weekend. I read mixed reviews online and on fb that first haf is good and momentum is lost in the second half. Did not like the movie. The story of first half is different from 2nd half. I mean, it could have been 2 movies and it seems the director decided to club both and make one. In the first half, heroine falls in love with the hero even though they have been sworn enemies since childhood. It was not clear why she falls for him. Why? How? Then, he sleeps with her and dumps her. Ideally, it should have been better in the 2nd part with her taking revenge or something. Instead, they fall in love. Will you fall in love with a guy who lied to you, married you, slept with you, dumped you and then spread the pics all over? I would murder the guy. But, I am not making Bollywood movies… I just watch them. What do I know? So, they fall in love and the story becomes about honour killing which could ideally have been the end to an entirely different movie. What I liked- Arjun Kapoor- great acting, dancing and physique. Parineeta- Not good looking at all but can act. Music- rocks. Amazing. Love Amit’s music- Dev D, Aisha, Udaan etc. He is truly a genius.
  • Dark Shadows: I was excited about this- Tim Burton and Johnny Depp make a good pair. The story is about a guy who sleeps with the maid who turns out a witch. She wants him but he is not interested. He marries the love of his life and the witch kills her. She turns him into a vampire and buries him. When he is revived, it is the modern world. It is funny to see a vampire in the 21st century. He goes back to the family and tries to revive their flagging fortune and defeat the witch. Thats when the mind fuck starts. Pathetic. How can anyone give it a good review? Do Indian reviewers get intimidated by Hollywood biggies and just give random stars? Avoid. We felt like the weekend had been wasted.
  • Paranormal Activity 3: I watched this one finally. I made KC sit with me even though he wanted to watch the match instead. Hated the movie. I was so disappointed. Sure, as a horror flick it works fine… but not as a ‘Paranormal Activity’ movie. PA was more scary for the simple reason that it had no prequel or sequel. It was about a normal couple in whose house demonic activity starts happening. While watching it, you are scared because it could happen to you… to anybody. When there is a prequel, it means there is something else going on. Now, it is just another horror movie but is not linked to me. I am removed from it so the fear is lesser. The fear is only through the special effects. It does not scare me like PA after watching which I could not sleep for 2-3 nights.
  • Black Friday: I finally watched the movie. I don’t remember the bomb blasts. I was probably in school removed from normal life without access to TV or news. The movie was an eye opener and based on facts. I read about it in Maximum City and the facts were the same. In MC, the gangsters and the cop investigating it has been interviewed. Anyway, great movie. Worth a watch.


The Trip

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Hiya. Sorry for the silence. I wanted to blog about many things but life has been extremely busy. Last Saturday, my parents had a stop over at Delhi on their way to Srinagar. I did not join them on the Kashmir trip since I had month end. They landed at 9 am and I took them to the mall in Vasant Kunj. After some retail therapy (why do shops open soooo late?) I dropped them at the airport and rushed home. In the evening while heading to the gym D called and invited me for dinner to Nizamuddin. KC and I had planned a night in with some wine but I really wanted to try the non veg at Nizamuddin. It is a very famous place where people park near the road and eat non veg and have liqour in the car. No, there are no cops. Cops look the other way. It is hard to find if you don’t know where exactly it is located. Umm, it is between Khan Market and NIzamuddin… just before the signal. We had mutton burra kebab, chicken seekh kebab and mutton burra roll. I do not eat mutton ‘coz it is red meat (and unhealthy) and also I find it harder to chew. Here, I fell in love with the mutton… it unbelievably soft. For 3 kebabs and 5 rolls, we paid 300 bucks per head among 5 people. Not bad.
On Monday night, we headed for Avengers. I reached the mall from office while KC came direct from Noida. I was exhausted waiting for him and it was a late night show. I fell asleep within 15 mins of the movie. I don’t think it was too great. We left for home in the interval.
On Thursday I left for Jammu from where I took a bus to Katra to go to Vaishno devi. No, I am not religious. On the contrary, I am allergic to anything remotely religious. I think it is all a farce… people are just trying to find something/someone to blame for their problems and God becomes a convenient excuse. It gives them false hope and they keep waiting for miracles to happen to them instead of finding their own solutions. To counter my own self, it also gives people hope and a strength to fight life’s battles. I think I can fight without heavenly help. My parents, specially Mom, is overally religious and our views do not match on the subject. Few years back, she had expressed a wish to go to Vaishnodevi. She wanted me to come along since I was in Gurgaon then. I had reluctantly agreed but the trip never materialized. She has been to the temple twice already and this time wanted my bro to come along. I decided to join them to gain some goodwill.
Vaishnodevi is a temple located among the Himalayas… 11 km from Katra. People generally walk all the way… there are options of horse ride or palkis for those who cannot walk. I reached Katra at 7 pm. After dinner, we negotiated for a palki for my dad since he cannot walk. Since it was night and the government palki wala was closed, the locals had doubled their rate. We had no option but to pay. Mom, bro and I decided to brave the walk. The 11 km are steep, on a winding slope. There are steps at some places but climbing steps creates more pressure on the knees. We walked… and walked… and walked… all night and reached the temple at 3.15 am. (We started walking at 10 pm). The first 5 km of the road are lined with markets selling food, snacks, handicrafts, knick knacks which are open all night and day. There are 2 CCDs on the way. Anyway, there was not a long queue in the temple but it was still filled with people. After a quick darshan (very, very quick) my mom insisted on going to another temple 2 km away. Now, I was pissed. I just wanted to get over with and go back to the hotel. So, we walked… the most difficult part of the journey… since the 2 km were ascending directly upwards. There were around 1000 stairs incase someone did not want to walk. I rushed through the darshan which pissed off my mom. I didn’t care… it was some Bhairon’s temple. Not that it matters.
On the way back, we took a tempo for the first 5 km and horse ride for the balance 6 km.
We slept all day and then headed to Jammu next morning.
I think the place is over rated… the whole idea is to get people to spend money and boost the economy of Katra. I believe that in a religious place people will be polite and charge correctly. Not so here… from the palkiwalas to tempo guy to horse guys… everyone charged a bomb. I was disgusted. These people are taking advantage of religious sentiments. The management in the temple is pathetic. Going during the day can be mind fucking.
If you are very religious, please go visit the place. You will love it. If you are anything like me, avoid. Pathetic place.


So much to talk about…

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There are so many posts I have wanted to write… I am going to club all of them in one:

  • I attended a wedding last month. It was a casual affair since the couple had already had a court wedding few months earlier. No… they did not elope. The girl’s father was not well and the couple wanted to get married anyway. I was not happy that KC wore jeans. I have attended Delhi weddings and jeans is a no no. In Mumbai, its ok… but not in Delhi unless you are flaunting a Tommy or Armani or something. I turned out wrong ‘coz the whole thing was very casual. There was no stage or anything. The time on the invitation said “8 pm”. My plan was to finish dance class by 7 pm, rush home, change into wedding finery, leave home by 8 pm, reach at 8.30 pm, have dinner by 9 pm and be home before 10 pm. Sigh!!! Just shows how long it has been since I attended a wedding. When we reached at 8.30 pm, we met the groom at the gate. He was leaving for home to pick up the bride. Thankfully, people started trickling in… but even till 9.30 pm, there was no sign of dinner. We left anyway since do not prefer being out till late on Sunday nights.
  • The cook has taken leave for 15 days. Lucky lady. I wish I could take 15 days off to go home. Even 3 days leave is hard to come by and involves a lot of planning. I am cooking dinner these days. Last night, I cooked cauliflower veg and chappatis… KC made the rice in the microwave and there was leftover daal. I started cooking at 7.45 pm and we finished eating by 9 pm. Not bad. And my rotis turned out well. Rotis are tricky… no matter how well you can make them, they require practice. We have started guarding the leftovers. It means one thing less to cook.
  • A mouse has entered the house. It was staying right outside the house and the neighbor kept requesting us to keep the garbage somewhere else but the garbage collector wanted us to leave it outside the house. I decided to listen to the collector. After all, the mice can scourge in the garbage even if it is kept few steps away. And now, one of them is living with us. I have laid out a trap for the last 3 days with goodies inside- cheese, bread and biscuit. But he is a smart cookie. 2 days back I managed to feed it rat kill. Now, we are waiting for it to die. Unfortunately, it is living inside the couch and biting into it. Die… mouse.. die. It is like living with a ghost… it is not seen just felt.
  • Vicky Donor: Brief review- Love story about a sperm donor. Reading the rave reviews online and on fb, KC and I headed for this one last weekend. Big mistake… for some reason, the tickets cost more- Rs 350/head. The first half was humorous… well, anything showing Punjabi family is hilarious. Just before the interval- Anu Kapoor was explaining the hero that he is making a mistake by thinking about marriage ‘coz then he will not have enough sperms to donate. It sounded sooooo damn ridiculous. Also, the movie drags on for 3 hours. The choice was between getting mind fucked or going home and getting good sleep. We chose the latter and left in the interval. The biggest grouse I have – sperm donation has been treated in such a ridiculous manner… the infertile couples have been made fun of… sperm donation is linked with making huge money. Its so sad that in such progressive times such insensitive movies are made. And John Abraham has produced it. I thought he is an educated, sensible guy. Guess, I was wrong. The actors are good… the lead hero and heroine have played their roles well. Please avoid.
  • Mirror Mirror: We watched the paid preview last Thursday. Julia Roberts was the reason we went for it. It is the story of Cindrella with a twist. I liked it. Even though the bad reviews are justified, I liked watching something other than the usual Cindrella story. And its always a pleasure to see Julia Roberts.
  • Jazz is going well. A lot of my old batch mates have been promoted and a lot of people from current batch have moved ahead. Now I am more or less with people of the same level which makes it easier to catch up. I have shifted the timing from 4.30 pm to 9.30 am. That gives me entire Sunday to myself. Looking forward to it.
  • De-cluttering: Few weeks back I cleaned out my dressing table cupboard. I had not done that in 3 years… yep, not even when we moved from Mumbai to Gurgaon. I have the habit of hoarding or buying ahead to time. I hate to run out of stuff. My worst nightmare is to wake up in the morning and realize I am out of shampoo/soap/toothpaste/conditioner. Trust me, I will skip work on that day rather than stepping out without any of these. Not just that, I always over stock utensils detergent/washing powder/phenol etc. This is also ‘coz everyone in my family stocks up. My mom would buy detergent in wholesale for the entire year. Since, the hospital bedsheets (dad is a doc and has a hospital below the house) are washed at home, the detergent usage is very high. Another reason is that I work in the personal care/cosmetics industry. I get some products at discount every quarter. I tend to stock up incase the next sale is delayed… I also buy all our new launches… and also competition new launches. And then I have my preferred products. All this has lead to around 10 pcs of deos, 4-5 bottles of hair spray/gel/mousse (I do not use any of them), anti ageing cream (useless for me), entire year’s stock of shampoo and conditioner, 4-5 bottles of face scrub, 4-5 bottles of face washes, 3 jars of moisturizer, 3 brands of suncreen, 3 brands of face mask, 3 brands of make up cleansers, 4 brands of perfumes, 5 brands of hair serum etc etc. You get the idea… I have not purchased all of these… some are gifts from the company (2-3 times in the year we get free products) and some gifts from my sis (incidentally, she also works in the same industry in USA). I managed to throw away all the expired products and still have a year’s supply. But my cupboard looks very much neater. I have been begging KC to finish his deos before they expire. Btw, all this is leftover after sending products home every quarter for family- bro, dad, mom, sis and relatives- 4-5 masis, mamas, cousins etc.

Ta…da… be back with more updates soon.


Weekends filled with stuff

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I have been meaning to write about stuff we have been upto over the weekends…

Here it goes…
  • We watched stand up comedy “Nothing Like Anything” by Kunal Roy Kapur and Anuvab Pal. Its is the first stand up comedy I have seen live. I hate the shows on TV. They are so pathetic with Archana Puran Singh and Sidhu laughing over nothing. Kunal is the actor in Delhi Belly… but I know him better as Jay’s friend in ‘Just Mohabbat’. It was ok… not bad… not earth shattering… a welcome change from dreadful movies. I like that Gurgaon has a cultural hub called ‘Epicentre’ where plays, cultural programmes are screened as often as in Delhi. I also wondered if I was over dressed for a play but the glitterati put my mind at ease. Epicentre is where the high class come for a dose of culture. After all, the tickets are priced higher than multiplexes. There were ladies with LV bags and stuff.
  • We had dinner at Drift- the restaurant at Epicentre. I have read rave reviews about it. We had Indian non veg. It was very, very good. Service is very slow but otherwise its good. Oh, and it is priced high. I would visit again on a special occasion only.
  • The Hunger Games: I had overlooked this movie but a friend’s review on fb got me interested. We watched it last weekend and I liked it. It is a kids movie… it had the potential to become a thriller for adults but kids are the target segment… so, it is slow and violence has been toned down. I read that it is based on a book and I purchased it today. Very excited about reading it. Please do watch the movie…
  • Godaan by Munshi Premchand: I have grown up reading Hindi stories in the textbooks in school by Munshi Premchand. He is a very famous writer. I picked up the book from the library and have taken my time finishing it. It is the story of the farmers and zamindars before independence. I don’t think the situation has changed much- for the farmers, at least. It is a very touching book… Initially, I thought it would be quite depressing but its not. Despite the storyline, it is not depressing. Worth a read.
  • TGIF: I really like TGIF…. not a place I would visit every weekend, but maybe once in 2-3 months. The other day- KC, a friend and I met up for lunch there. They have a seperate menu for lunch where you can order any 6 dishes (3 have to be main course) for 300 bucks per head. The quantity is lesser than the normal menu but its a good deal. Do try it. Btw, it is only for lunch- Monday to Friday.


Movies

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What I liked about it:
  • 2 hours long
  • Has Irfan Khan
  • Is based on a true story
  • No songs
But… the story moves very slowly. The story is about Paan Singh Tomar… his transformation from an army man to an athlete to a dacoit. The part about the army days is entertaining but then the story moves very slowly from being an athlete to a dacoit.
I especially did not like the end… its as if the director was sympathizing with the dacoit. I was comparing Bandit Queen with this movie… BD also kills a group of villagers in a similar fashion for revenge. In BD, I couldn’t sympathize with Phulan… no matter what she went through. In PST, the director is trying to get the audience to sympathize.
I hated writing that sentence… ” I couldn’t sympathize with Phulan… no matter what she went through”. Maybe I would want to kill… and I would have, in her place. But I don’t want to be a put in a position where I have to sympathize with a dacoit. That is wrong.
All in all… a good effort but when there was something lacking. I think PST is being made out to be a hero, which he is not.

 

 
 
 
 

What I liked:

  • It is only 2 hours
  • Vidya Balan has not applied any make up- except kohl and lipstick. A heroine without foundation… WOW
  • Most actors were not well known or not seen before. Lends the movie an authenticity
  • Kolkata and Durga Puja is a backdrop… giving the movie an interesting personality
What I did not like:
  • Could I have predicted the end? Yes, if tried
Kahaani is a genre not made anymore… suspense thrillers. Remember movies like Gupt (can’t recall any other) with a suspense in the end? A suspense that cannot be very easily guessed? I miss those movies. These days, filmmakers do not even try to surprise the audience. We just have to watch recycled crap.
Vidya is a gutsy actress. Who else would have agreed to go make up less, wear 3-4 dresses in the movie and play pregnant throughout? (Only Priyanka Chopra comes to mind… but I do not like her lips anymore… too much surgery). Vidya has done it again… hits pe hits.
I loved seeing Kolkata. I have been there during Durga Puja and it is chaos… but fun. I remembered the one month I spent there. I pointed out to KC all the places I had been to.
Must watch.

 


Everything I wanted to talk about…

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Hey, there is a lot I have wanted to talk about… movies, restaurant, food, books, dance…. this post will cover everything I have been upto.

  • Movie: We watched ‘I am Kalam’ last weekend. Loved the movie… don’t know why we didn’t watch it in the theatre. Worth a watch.
  • Restaurants: I went to Mamgotto in Select City Walk Mall last week with colleagues. It serves Asian food and has some very innovative dishes. We ordered Thai Basil Chicken rice, Veg pan fried noodles and Cantonese chicken noodles. The food was so amazing that I have been looking for another opportunity to visit the same. Maybe this week. The next day, after working in the market at Green Park we headed to Hauz Khas village for lunch. Hauz Khas is a different place. You have to park your car outside the gate and walk down lanes… so many lanes, you can easily get lost. It is full of artists, designers etc. We didn’t explore and headed towards Gunpowder. It is a South Indian restaurant on the 4th floor (stairs, no lift) of a building. It overlooks some ruins and a lake. Beautiful view. Sitting there on a summer evening will be amazing. On a weekday, the tables near the balcony were reserved. We had to sit inside. The food is yummy… we ordered a pork dish, rice, spinach daal, dry chicken and parotha. The pork was too good. I am going to take KC there this month.
  • Food: KC has been travelling every week to different parts of the country. It gives me a lot of free time… once I am home at 7 or 8 pm, I have little or nothing to do till bedtime (11 pm). I have spent the time baking… Chocolate chip cookies- the recipe was taken from here (Kalyan’s blog). The only problem was that I do not have the mould and when placed on a tray, the batter melted in the oven. What I got was a flat base of cookies. I had to cut them into uneven pieces. It did not look too good, so no pics. But they did taste good. For once, KC and I polished them off in a week. I tried baking mini fruit and nut loaves. Recipe taken from here (Anita’s blog). I went on an elaborate shopping trip for the fruit and nuts- cranberries, raisins, blueberries etc etc. The first time, the loaf was uncooked at the bottom. Same thing happened the 2nd time. The 3rd time, I baked it in large size muffin moulds instead of big cake pan (like I was doing earlier). The loaf turned out to be decent… but not as good as Anita’s pics were. I guess, I should have used smaller muffin moulds.
  • Books: I finished reading another part of True Blood series and have picked up Delirious Delhi. It is a book written by an expat on his experience during the 18 month stay in Delhi. Very funny. It is an eye opener… the efforts expats make to understand the culture and fit in.
  • Dance: Today was my first day in the class in the basic elementary. Till now my biggest problem was getting a full split. Not anymore… now, I have to worry about other exercises which are extremely difficult. The class was from 4.45-6.45 pm. Till 6 pm, we were doing exercises. I need to go to the gym from tomorrow to become more flexible. Practicing only on Sundays will not help too much. I had become completely comfortable with my current instructors… batch mates… dance routines. I could let go. I listen to the songs played in class all the time. I used to practice with my batch mates before class everytime. Now, everything is new. The new instructor has his own style… his kind of music is different… his steps are more hip hop. It will take me atleast 3 months to get comfortable. But thats ok. It is a new challenge.