28 Nov 2011

Of Broken Wings

Note: The owner of this blog is a stupid fool. Why? Because she blocked herself from Blogger and Facebook with great intentions of studying for her exams. But the plan failed when she found out that she didn’t know how to unblock herself and spent the rest of study time trying to find out. Which defeated the whole purpose of blocking herself in the first place. Hopefully they’ll help me unblock myself within the week. Anyway, till then my dear beau has agreed to post for me, so please don’t mind if I don’t reply to comments or even publish them, it’s not because I don’t want to, it’s because I can’t. Yes, I know. I’m a stupid fool.

This is fiction inspired by an tiny incident in Fringe. Hope you like it:)

They loved their break. And I loved watching them on their break.

Knees getting scraped, silly but serious games in play, fights for the swings and that one child who always shares his snack box with every single child around… I had always loved children, their innocence and their unblemished view of the world.

I liked watching the future of this world at a stage before they get caught in the rigors of human existence.

I loved KG B dearly. I loved the way their eyes lit up when they saw me come in, their haphazard sing-song good mornings, the way they kept looking for reasons to touch my skirt for they loved the feel of the satiny cloth. I was touched when the shared their last cookie with me. I was flattered when they brought me flowers picked off someone’s backyard. I was proud when they could say the entire alphabet without forgetting the ‘q’ and the ‘s’. 

They constantly surprised me with their ability to question everything.... why the President wore a sari and not a suit, why the canaries are yellow, why lead pencils don’t have color in them, why they can’t eat glue, who was the teacher who sat with me during lunch, did I have a monster under my bed too…. It was a perennial barrage that they kept up but I enjoyed the challenge of answering each question with what it took to see them skip off to their chair with that satisfied smile of having learnt that much more about the world.

Each child was unique with their own special quirks, habits and needs that it made each of them close to my heart. I prided myself in knowing each one of them better than anyone else, even their parents.

Which was why I was perplexed when Sumi joined KG B.

Oh, there was nothing that made her stand out from the rest of the class – well dressed in a red frock with white polka dots, matching shoes, socks that she pulled up to her knees and a Ben 10 bag that she clutched to herself. She didn’t like her water bottle and tried to lose it in the first few days, sighing when someone always found it out from behind the rose bush.

It was about something that I couldn’t quite place my finger on. It was about a six year old being so quiet. It was about the way she sat staring out of the window munching her Wonder cake silently. It was that she always chose the corner most seats in class. It was that she never used colors, only black and grey in all her drawings. It was that she even talked quietly, softly when she had one of her rare doubts. It was that she packed her things so fastidiously before she walked to the car herself and raised the glass even before her mother could get in.

It was only that she behaved as if she didn’t like existing.

I’d never had trouble making friends with the children; it was enough that they’d found an adult who’d actually sit and listen to them, cared about their lives and their thoughts and fears, which made them trust me implicitly. They had no qualms telling me about their hate for the cabbage their mothers made them eat, their delight at the bubbles in the air and the fear of the Yeti in the closet.

But Sumi was different. She never talked to me, she never let me hold her hand.

I tried talking to her mother about her reticence to come out of her shell, probing a little to find out if there was anything wrong at home, if Sumi had lost someone she loved to make her withdraw so early in life. But the thin, pale, sickly-looking woman who looked on the verge of a breakdown herself couldn’t, didn’t help me. She nervously said something about a pet hamster dying and left with shivering hands.

The child was wilting away in her self-imposed prison, or so it seemed. And I felt useless because for I didn’t know the problem to implement a solution. I went home every day thinking of new ways to make Sumi smile, everyday failing at the one thing that would have made all the difference. I kept trying.

One evening, her car didn’t come. After an hour I looked up her home number and informed the maid who picked up that nobody had come to pick up Sumi. She said she’d inform her father; her mother was apparently out of station and her father had forgotten to pick her up.

By now all the others had left and Sumi was sitting in the last bench drawing in her notebook. I went and sat next to her.
She shifted ever so slightly. 

“Are you hungry?”
She shook her head.
“Do you want to share my brownie?”
I saw her big brown eyes light up at the prospect. But they died down almost as quickly.
She shook her head. “No, Miss. Thank you.”

I opened my contingency brownie slowly making sure the delicious smell wafted towards her. She looked at it doubtfully and sniffed. Then went back to her drawing.
I broke off a bit and put it in my mouth. “Mmm, yummy.”  
Her little black head remained bent over the book.
“Want some?” I asked again.

She shook her head without even looking up.
I wondered yet again what had given the child so much self-control so early in life.

“Don’t worry, your father will come to pick you up soon.”
She stopped drawing. “Mamma isn’t coming?”
“No, your maid said she’s gone somewhere for work. Daddy will come soon ok? Don’t worry.” I’d detected a note of panic in her voice.
“Mamma isn’t coming home tonight?” she looked at me her eyes filled with fear.

I was taken aback at the pain, the terror in those eyes. It was like she was mortally scared of something.

Then it struck me then that she might be afraid of losing her mother. She might be terminally ill and the child must have picked up on it. Put together with her mother’s weak, pale countenance, that made sense. She was living with the fear that today might be the last day that she would see her mother. Enough to make even adults fall apart and Sumi was just a child. I hurt at the ordeal the little girl was put through and I cursed God yet again for the injustice I perceived that He had in store for her.

My heart went out to her; I wanted to gather her small form into my arms and hold her close. I wanted to tell her it’s ok and kiss her fears away. I wanted to see her smile more than anything I’d ever wanted in my life.             

But I just sat there helplessly for she wouldn’t let me even take her hand.

The peon came in and said that her father had come. I asked her if she needed help with packing her bag and she shook her head, yet again.
She was slow today. Her hands shook and she fumbled with the bag’s zipper. She kept looking furtively at the door. It was like she was stalling for time.

She shuffled slowly to the door and started walking out as I picked up my tote and locked up for the day.
Her father was waiting on the steps; he was a tall man, well dressed. He apologized for being late and said that he’d been held up by work. His manners were impeccable. Nothing in his manner or form indicated that he might be undergoing a traumatic period in his life, like I’d inferred, yet I knew that something wasn’t right. Sumi stood by, expressionless now. He thanked me and then held out his hand to the child who took it haltingly. “Bye Sumi, see you tomorrow,” I waved.

Then she turned around and looked at me. The desperation, the plea in her eyes screamed out to me. It was like she was begging me not to let her go, to keep her safe.

And all at once I understood that it was never a dying mother that was her problem. It wasn’t the slow threat of death that had all but broken her inside. It was the loss of a parent that had given her eyes the look of the haunted.

It was the father who caused her unnamable pain. Every night.

25 Nov 2011


There's this guy...

Politically incorrect. Brazen. Cheeky. Hilarious. Unapologetic. Handsome. Shameless.
Likes to dream that he's God's gift to womankind. 
Writes like a pro. Each individual post makes us howl. With laughter.
Still blank? This one should reveal all.
Obsessive about poop.

Yes, eternally cocky and wonderful blogger, Kalpak has decided to grace my space, guest post for me and shamelessly steal my followers (while I ignore the fact that it was ME who asked HIM to:P). 
He's someone who doesn't sugar-coat so you can rest assured that the rare compliment that comes out of his mouth, he actually means.  
And his language is impeccable. Makes me wonder why men like Atrocious Scribblings and him don't think of writing books. Or at least regular columns, articles.

Anyway, I'll shut up now and hand it over to him. 
This is a very, very typical Kalpak-post, make sure you have enough space to roll around and tissues to wipe off tears of mirth.

One advice: When your mother reads in the newspaper that Sunny Leone is going to enter the Big Boss house and she asks you ''beta, who's this Sunny Leone?'', please think a hundred times before you reply ''tch, Sunny Leone maaaaaaa''. There is but no cover up for it. It might be obvious for your peers to know Sunny Leone, but not your parents. And your ma definitely isn't stupid enough to buy 'I thought you meant Sunny Deol'

For the uninitiated, this is Sunny Leone of the Bigg Boss fame
But this incident of Sunny Leone in Big Boss house has made me realize that porn stars are people too, and good people. I recently read her interview in a newspaper and got curious about her career life. I did some background check of hers and found out she has a nice ass.

But unlike in the US, I don't think we Indians would ever be capable of looking at porn as a genuine profession and at porn stars as people.

Following is an actual incidence that occurred with me once:

I was at a friend's place and he had got some new porn, so we were watching it.

ME: Isn't this the same girl who was in that My Sister's Hot Friend wala movie?

FRIEND: Hmmmm. I don't know re. Maybe.

*Girl in the movie takes off her bra*

BOTH TOGETHER: Yup, she's the one.

See what I mean.

But it is amazing that a hardcore porn star has come to India and has participated in a reality show and has already started getting movie offers, and yet no political party is opposing it. I can understand if they're big fans of her, but c'mon guys, opposing stuff is what you were formed for. What happened to the spirit of the Indian Political parties? Just think of this as another Valentine’s Day and go out there.

That reminds me. Not so long ago when the Anna Hazare fire was burning hard inside everyone, I had participated in a morcha. Now yelling slogans is a part of any morcha, and in every morcha there's a main yeller, to whom the rest of the crowd provides chorus. And which slogan is yelled is always at the behest of the main yeller.

So in that morcha, the main yeller was stupid. Maybe that was his first time as the main yeller.

There's a typical Anna slogan which goes:

MAIN YELLER: Anna tum aage badho...

CROWD: Hum tumhare saath hain!

This crow-poop yelled it as follows:

MAIN YELLER: (in one breath, with no voice modulation whatsoever) AnnaTumAageBadhoHumTumhareSaathHain!

CROWD: (looking left-right) Okay!

And then there are morchas where at times there is just one person in the crowd, who doesn't know what to yell back in chorus.

MAIN YELLER: Anna nahi ye aandhi hai

CROWD: Desh ka doosra Gandhi hai.

ONE LOST SOUL IN THE CROWD: Doosre desh ka Gandhi hai!

Honestly speaking, I have till date never seen even a single porno of Sunny Leone, mainly because she does only girl on girl stuff. And in spite of the fact that I am a hundred and twenty percent straight dude, I feel any porn is incomplete without a normal sex scene. I feel lesbian stuff is highly overrated.

The wise philosopher and genuine literature butcher Chetan Bhagat once wrote, ‘All boys watch porn’. And this is a universal fact. It’s very pissing off for us guys when girls bring exceptions to this rule.

BOY: You know all guys watch porn. Like… ALL of them.

GIRL: Yeah I know.

BOY: That includes your brother too.

GIRL: Don’t you talk like that about my brother okay? He will never do such a thing!

If you’re a girl, and if you believe your brother/ boyfriend is a hermit, then here’s a way you can test him. In a conversation, just say this line, ‘you know my friend Priya Rai? She naa…’

If you see even the slightest hint of a smirk on his face, he definitely watches porn. If you don’t, he not only watches porn, but is really good at lying.

The bottom line is, All Boys Watch Porn.

And also, girls, all the “researches” that are published in the papers that guys who watch porn start preferring porn over actual sex is bullshit. We guys live by one motto in life, ‘Porn Jaaye par Virgin na jaaye’

And at times, the stories in these movies are really very interesting. I remember watching a porno once where I actually forwarded the sex scenes to get moving with the story.

I would genuinely like to thank the producers to Big Boss though. They have provided us guys with the perfect alibi for a few weeks.

*Door Locked*

MOTHER: *knock knock* What’re you doing beta?

SON: Watching Sunny Leone maaa.

MOTHER: *to herself* whole day watching Big Boss. Stupid child.

So enjoy watching Sunny Leone people, be it on the TV or on your laptop. 

Thank you, Kalpak, for the brilliant post. As well as insights into...erm... Pria Rai and Sunny Leone who seem to be well-endowed known indeed.  
Now that you've 'lmao-ed', go visit his empty vessel which is anything but empty.

P.S: As much as it seems like it, he did not pay me to write the good bits in the intro:P

23 Nov 2011

No P's, Only Q's

Why is it that we always seek out what is not good for us?
What is it about forbidden things that beckons us to them like pilots to MIGs?
Why are we attracted to the wrong sorta boy/girl even when we know that they'll break our heart?
Why don't we hold peace dearer to our hearts than religion?
Why do we prod the hornet's nest if only to see how painful the sting can be?
Why do we touch the flame of a candle even though we have been taught that fire burns?
Why do we load up on Lays even though we know it's crappy?
Why do we still think of the Samsung Galaxy SII even when we have an iPhone 4S?
Why do we justify our lack of drive with the excuse of taking the 'less trodden path'?
Why are we so quick to judge them when we get so riled up when they do the same?
Why don't we ever let go when we shouldn't hold on and hold on when we shouldn't let go?
Why do we revel in seeing others cringe, thankful that it's not us?
Why do we love jumping off a cliff tied to sanity and life by a rope cord?
Why do we drive at 160 kmph on the NH with watery eyes and yet increase the pressure on the accelerator just to see the needle hit 175 kmph?
Why do we bitch about things we have no control over?
Why do we try so hard to impress?
Why don't we care enough about more people?
Why do we experience un-abandoned glee in taking advantage of those below?
Why do we get deep satisfaction in damning those above to hell and back?
Why do we love so deeply and hate so fiercely?
Why do we refuse to listen and insist on talking?
Why do we derive all-encompassing smugness from proving people wrong?
Why do we argue about pointless crap?
Why do we hog like pigs and then complain about those love handles and beer bellies?
Why do we like dying of cancer so much that we smoke like chimney-pots?
Why do we like seeing money burn? (metaphorically, of course)
Why do we follow the herd?
Why do we love take-outs and not cook-ins?
Why do the little drops of rain make us dreamy?
Why does that toothless baby with an apology of a smile make our insides become coarse potato mash?
Why do our mothers' invoke an unfailing sense of security?
Why is that 'ghar ka khana' can never replace the most opulent gourmet French meal?
Why do we have an ever-persistent hopefulness of winning the lottery?
Why do we count the days down to our birthdays?
Why is childhood the most cherished part of our lives?
Why does out heart do a teeny somersault when we see our names on a privileged list?
Why do we not let go of hatred and jealousy?
Why do we blame other people for our unfulfilled desires?
Why do we exist and not live?

Because we are human. And imperfectly so.

P.S: These are questions that have been running around non-stop inside my head for quite some time now.
P.P.S: Thank you for your patience:) I'm not sure the break did me any good but I'm going to start posting again:P

20 Nov 2011

Sachin Garg's Take On Not Being Twenty Four

Name: I’m Not Twenty Four
Author: Sachin Garg
ISBN: 978-81-922226-2-2
Publishers: Grapevine India Publishers Pvt. Ltd
Genre: Romance

‘I’m Not Twenty Four… I’ve Been Nineteen For Five Years’ is Sachin Garg’s second book. I have to admit that I haven’t read the first one and therefore I read this one with no expectations or preconceived notions, whatsoever.

The story is about a city brat, Saumya Kapoor, who finds herself in no-man’s land and deprived of her daily coffee. She leaves behind all that she holds dear, because of a mistake, and goes to Toranagallu only to discover a larger purpose to her life and true love aka Shubrodeep Shyamchaudhry, the sexy globe-trotting Bengali.

The cover appeals to me for I’m a HUGE fan of pumps but it does give the book a misguided image of being a chick-lit which it is not. I like the book’s dedication and the fact that there’s a story behind the cover illustration as well. Also, the portrayal of Shubro throughout the book ranges from intriguing to endearing to inspiring. There are references to blogs and blogging which I personally loved and the Move-On Theory is genius for I would love to implement something like that in my life.
And there end the good points.

The initial introduction itself made me cringe with its blatant similarity to C-Bag’s way of introducing his lead character, you know, where Bhagat tells us how he met the character, how they told him the story and the events that transpired. And unfortunately for Mr. Garg, I read Revolution 2020 a couple of days back which made the stark likeness even more apparent to me. Negative points for that.

Secondly, I personally believe that men and women don’t understand each other all that well and therefore, attempting to write a story from the other gender’s perspective should be undertaken with utmost caution. Parts where the girls go lingerie shopping and the descriptions of the men and the kiss between Malappa and Saumya are places which I, without any writing experience whatsoever, could have dealt with better for the sole reason that I’m female. I can’t help but feel that the author would have done better if he’d written the story in third person or even from his own perspective.

Saumya comes across as an airhead throughout the book; what with her shopping obsessions, packing suits and stilettos to for a village posting and even wearing shorts for a temple visit. I don’t know any women who are THAT blonde. At least, not ones who get through B-School. Also, she seems very shallow, from frequent references to skin color and statements about not talking to people with accents. I need slightly more solid reasons to dislike a person, let alone a guy.

The story is unbelievable in parts for I don’t think that a manager pushing his employee into a furnace and killing him would go unreported or uninquired. Nor would a newbie employee who faints at the drop of a hat will suddenly develop riot-controlling skills. And the way the romance between Saumya and Shubhro has been dealt with is abominable; like I said, it needs a woman’s touch.

The language is less than ordinary; I do not see the verbal flair that is required for an exquisite story-telling experience. And the phrases are unimaginative –“chewing gum chewing self” would be the prime example. Do not even get me started on the grammar and punctuation mistakes. If it’s a blog or just a feature story, I’d understand; but this kind of editing in a full-fledged novel is just not permissible.

The only parts that I enjoyed reading were the blog-excerpts which reveal Shubro’s real story and initial part where she screws with the interviewers heads.
I give it a 3/10. 

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

P.S: Thank you for all the comments on the last post and no, I'm not back yet; this was an obligation, hence the post.

12 Nov 2011

And I'll Be Back

I’m sorry about not updating like a Mad-Hatter that I used to be. Nia wrote a post and it made me all guilty about the kind of crap I have been churning out for my blog these days. Most of it, just for the heck of it. I see the quality of my writing taking a serious hit; The Bike Ride and Real Beauty were so much better than Of Simple Lives and Raindrops and I’m sure you’d more than agree with me.

There was a time when I used to write for myself. A time when each piece I wrote took me an hour and a half, intense involvement and thoroughly furrowed eyebrows to conjure up. A time when each word I wrote made me happy, made me feel the emotion. A time when I finished typing and I’d be overcome with a feeling of intense satisfaction, one of having done something useful. A time when I used to be proud of having written that piece, so much so that I run around asking people to read it (regardless of whether they wanted to or not). Writing good stories and pieces get me high like nothing else does.

Somewhere along the way, I started posting to accommodate the growing number of followers; I started to think in terms of what they’ll want to read rather than what I’d want to write about. I started being increasingly random, I cooked up fiction that I did not feel just so that I’d keep up the posting frequency; each post giving me increasing amount of inferiority complexes about the poor quality of my own writing. I consoled myself saying that if people don’t criticize the posts, then it doesn’t matter. I refused to acknowledge that criticism is not a part of the blogger world; we just do not say it out loud.

I started using my blog to get back at people person/s, I know I should have drawn the line then but the stupid part of me egged the sensible part on. I took up a brainless meme, which I hate seeing in my archives now.

The trick is to find that fine line between what I feel and what readers want to read. I realize now, that I’ll be proud of my blog only when I love every single post. And while posting frequency matters, quality matters even more. To me, atleast.

What was once a source of immense pleasure and inspiration, has become a chore; reading blogs, ones that I love and ones that I discover. I have hated leaving comments in the last few days for I left them just for the heck of it. I haven’t even been able to do full justice to DOV. The writer in me wilts at all these.  

I’ve decided to take a break for a week (I doubt if I’ll be able to keep away even that long and I have to block myself on Google to stop me from posting anything) but I have to do this if I want to be proud of what I write once again, something that means a lot to me in the long run. I think of this as a cleansing process of sorts, kinda like getting my head out of the dung it seems to be stuck in and airing it out a little bit.

Do NOT get me wrong, I still am as obsessed with Blogger and the writer in me still breathes for those lovely comments and mails that I get but I just need to find a way to go back to what I was when I came to Blogger first.
My not-so-new maxim
Do wait around for I’ll be back with better PeeVeeness.

P.S: No blogging crisis here. No depression. Just thoughts of having gotten stuck in a place I don’t want to be in.
P.P.S: I just wrote out a whole post bitching about somebody who has made it their sole aim to annoy the crap out of my life, the shame at the vitriol and sheer violence of the post made these realizations surface. At least Annoyer was helpful that way. And special thanks to Spiff, who has somehow become that person I go to when I'm extremely frustrated.
P.P.S.S: After more than three years, I still love my post scripts:) At least some things haven’t changed.
P.P.P.S.S: Prithvi, Shreya and Viya, you guys are the mantals :P I was reading through my Twitter timeline only to realize that we make absolutely NO SENSE:D
P.P.P.S.S.S: Does anybody else think that a grown up, seemingly non-retarded person who spells pretty as ‘pwetty’ should be shot? At least in the ankle? No? Sad.

9 Nov 2011

Of Simple Lives and Raindrops

The doorbell rang.

I groaned out of sheer laziness as I took the plate of nachos off my stomach and dusted the crumbs off the Abercrombie tee.
I tried hard to shake off the dark mood; no thanks to the dismal, cold weather. 

I should have been happy for my best girl, she’d gotten engaged.
But somehow it didn’t feel right.

I knew exactly what wasn’t right though. I’ve gotten used to having her around and now I didn’t want anything to change. I didn’t want to share the only girl who’d seen through the bad boy act and rapped me on the head when I tried to sip Grey Goose in class.
She was the only one who dared.

For one insane second, I thought I was in love. But I knew almost as soon as the thought flitted across my mind that it was bull. Granted that I might have checked out her ass for a second too long than friends should but that was then end of it.
She might be hot but she was most definitely not his type.
You know how so many thoughts take up a second? I reached for the door knob.

I was completely wet… the rain had left me shivering to the bones. It reminded me of the torrential showers in Kerala, where I’d grown up; it was like Nature absorbing my wrath.
I wasn’t thinking straight. I couldn’t. He was the last person to go to for relationship advice, I snorted at the idea. But I didn’t have a relationship now, haven’t since I threw Karan’s ring back in his face an hour ago.

Nor did I labour under the illusion that advice was what I was going to him for. Nor did I have any doubt he’d feel otherwise. I’d seen the looks.

She was standing there, her clothes plastered to her body, her hair dripping rivulets all over his mat. And she had that look.

He smirked and said, “Look what the cat brought in.” Typical him.
She uttered not a word. Not one.
She looked like she was struggling with something, like an internal war.

“Unless you’re waiting for grass to grow on the door step, get in,” he said.

I never was good with over thinking things. When I do, they don’t work out well.
I grabbed the front of his tee and pulled his head down to mine. That should wipe that cocky smile, I thought.

It did. His eyes widened in real shock as he worked out the next part.
Not that I gave him much thinking time. I crushed my lips against his.

She was an amazing kisser. Where did she learn that? 
I had to fight to keep my hands to my sides.

I shook my head. I should be more worried about the whooping Karan was going to give me. I pulled away.

“You’re engaged.”
“Not any more.” Some irrational part of me enjoyed the frisson of pleasure that ran through me; she was breathless.
“I’m going to Leyla’s place, California.”

We looked at each other for one long second, the air almost crackling around us.
“Is this rebound?”

His hands went behind her as he pulled her up against him. Was she always this soft?
She went limp as her hands met at the nape of his neck. Did he always have such luxurious hair?

As the kiss deepened, buttons and zippers became outlived their usefulness and normal thought processes had come to a standstill.

Breath shortened. The mirrors misted up. Her barely audible sighs filled the laden air.
And the rain belted out a rock song against the windows.

What happened to their story? Maybe someday you’ll know.
But neither California’s lush tomatoes nor Deloitte’s prize package made them forget the beauty of rains in Bangalore.

7 Nov 2011

Parinda Joshi's London Tale

Author: Parinda Joshi
Publisher: Rupa and Co
ISBN: 978-8129118233

Genre: Fiction

‘Live from London’ is a chick-lit(?) by Parinda Joshi set in hip London and society Mumbai. It’s quite a simple tale of a girl, her dreams, career, disappointments and how she gets over them to make it big. 

Starting with an epic fail on the stage of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, the author takes us through Nishi Gupta’s quest to get her big break and find her niche. Her internship with a big record label company crosses her paths with those of Nick Navjot Chapman, the handsome American Idol runner-up, and the seemingly surreptitious affair that ensues adds another dimension to her life. Though, contrary to claim, it is far from steamy.

Life teaches her some lessons in friendship, trust and broken hearts before she decides to follow her parents back to her roots. She is surprised to find India so much more advanced than when she left. The ensuing events, including a larger-than-life, unfazed ‘Mom’s friend’s son’, a series of half-hearted attempts to find work, social mess ups, a couple of fashion disasters and an unexpected visitor, put Nishi where exactly she wants to be.

Nishi’s characterisation makes me think of the new breed of young, strong, independent women trying to break free of the shadows of parental concern and the shackles of the tag of a newbie in the workplace. Though she breaks down at failure, she is quick to bounce back, that too with The Plan. 

What I admired is that she asserts herself as one not to be cuckolded in love. When she finds out what Nick did, she is quick with her dismissal. No moaning and groaning and whiny dialogues or all-night-over-ice-cream-bitching to friends. But at certain points she does come across as slightly teenager-ish and air-headed.

While some other characters have distinct quirks and traits like the blunt Sarah and the over-protective thoroughly Indian mother (who reminds me of the line “you can take an Indian out of India but never the India out of an Indian), most others seem dispensable. The fact that she doesn’t go to her friends at the darkest times of her life even after she has repeatedly reinstated that they are her support system, irks.

The climax wraps up most of the loose ends, but fails to impress without scope to even second guess. What could have been a very different tale of contemporary feminine victory ends up being just another story of the princess and her frog (of sorts). But maybe I expect too much.

The writing style is simple; the lingo and intended(?) clichés add fun. The fashion and music references hold value to an enthusiast. 
The cover is interesting (there are three, as I understand) but there are no illustrations in the entire story, not even caricatures or sketches (I’m very partial to pictures in a story, call me juvenile).

Overall, Live from London is a read you’ll get through once when you’re stuck in the hostel with nothing else to do and your Agatha Christie has been stolen by your stupid friend.
I would give it 5.5 out of 10.

And I can’t help admit that I’m jealous of Nishi Gupta’s red guitar. But that's just me.

Thank you, BlogAdda, for the opportunity.
This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda. Participate now to get free books!

4 Nov 2011

Theatre Goers - A Case Study

As a human being of the 21st century who is economically okay-ish enough to have some form of a computer + a decent net connection and literacy enough to be reading and writing blogs, I think it’s a safe assumption to make that you, Mr. /Ms. /Mrs. Reader, have gone to the movies and watched your favorite hero spread his arms/take his shirt off/deliver dialogues at Wile E. Coyotespeed.

You have been charmed (or not) by dialogues the likes of “Dawaon ki nahi, duaon ki zaroorat hai” and “Yeh shaadi kabhi nahi ho sakti!”

You have paid anywhere between 80 to 500 INR to see people prance around trees, heroines play teachers while wearing a bikini blouse (which flies off her shoulder every 4th second), goondas beat up a non-damageable hero and witnessed miracles in the form of non-extinguishable diyas (lamps) and come off with a smile after the unsahikable (unbearable) amounts of first class entertainment you got treated to.

Hold your horses, this is not another RA.ONE review (which might be bleh but SRK still is awesome, but we’ll abuse each other on that in another post).
I’m talking about the awesomeness of theaters. No takers? Oh come on.

One of my hobbies is people watching. No, it’s not a new hobby that I just added because suddenly everybody seems to love people watching (makes me wonder if the girl I’m ‘watching’ is ‘watching’ me back because that would just be creepy). I have unconsciously watched people for years now and most of the stories (in my head and on the blog) are inspired by people around me, characters I have picked up on train journeys, buses, while shopping, malls, public toilets (yes!) and even KFC.

I digress.
The point being that when I go to watch a movie in a theatre (which is kinda rare because I’m a lazy, spoilt ass who prefers watching movies on her laptop because she can skip the songs, fast forward the heroines cleavage show and watch the whole thing in 1.5x mode just because it’s fun to see them scuttle around that fast:P), I spend more time watching the movie-goers, the people. Waste of money, you say? Nope, it’s far more entertaining than the Saif Ali Khan Pataudi (a title which I’m entirely sure weighs heavy on his rather empty head) doing bhangra to impress his shy(?) yet-to-be beau, to say the least.

Anyway, I have endeavored to classify a few types of theatre goers:

1) The newlyweds: Self-explanatory. They are a dying breed, ones that say ‘chal picture dekte hain’ as a form of bonding after an arranged marriage. This trip is one on the list which reads: movie, beach, Khandala... you get the point. The lady is usually highly decorated adorned complete with the red chudiyan (bangles) and the mehendi is still intact. They come, sit there, talk to each other intermittently and then leave. The most de-yaaaawwwwwn-cent ones.

2) The couple with the kid/baby: This is the kind which has the child screaming/bawling at the top of its voice throughout the span of the movie, INCLUDING the interval. It.Just.Never.Stops.Crying.
If you’re the kind who doesn’t like to say anything, after some time, you can actually feel your ears wilt from all the pressure. WILT.

Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. I really do. But I truly believe from the depths of my heart that parenting skills is an art not many people care to learn.  How difficult is it to have a happy baby? (I’m not judging here without any experience, I have a sister who’s 10 years younger than me and I used to babysit her ALL the time) How difficult is it to keep it comfortable and to dress up a BABY in some comfortable clothes and not leggings and a blingy kurta (trust me, I have seen one)? How difficult is it to LEAVE the kid home for he/she is TOO YOUNG to watch a goddamn movie? Why foist your choice on the kid? Why ever?

3) The Couple: Now these can be further divided into three sub-categories-
a) The Barely-Legal Gropers: We all know these kinds, the ones who skip school and college and spend the whole day at the theatre, feeling each other up and leave thinking nobody noticed when they were wriggling around in their seats.
b) The College/Working Couple: They hold each other’s hand throughout, maybe sneak an occasional smooch, thoroughly enjoy themselves, whisper sweet-nothings for solid two and a half hours and yet manage to actually watch the movie and are entirely and completely oblivious to every single soul around.

c) The Older Couple: I strongly suspect they come out of habit than anything else. The wife walks a few steps behind the husband; they bring snacks from home in a tiffin carrier and don’t exchange one single word the whole time except to answer each other’s questions.
(Ironically, they seem to portray three stages of a relationship, don’t they:D)

4) The Fan Males: They are the ones who make business for the theatre owners for they are there almost every day bunking college, purchase the cheapest tickets and dance with their shirts off during the song sequences. More often than not, they are part of fan clubs of actors as well.

5) The Gang Of Girls: The highly dressed up, made-up bunch with their totes and high heels and trademark gum-and-shades-perched-on-head, Sex-and-the-city types, who laugh loudly, whistle to prove they are as koothara (I need help with the translation here) as the guys, make eyes at the hot guys, come back with HUGE Cokes after the interval, comment on every single person around including the guy who tears the stub, and generally leave the aftermath of a ruckus, a faint whiff of Chanel No:5 and Blue Lady and sometimes, a few hard ons.

6) The Office Bunch: Friends from the office, a mixed bunch, watch the movie, have conversations about office ‘chicks’, project deadlines and make ‘bleddy boss’ jokes. Very fun to watch especially if there are two hot girls in the party; the group dynamics sizzle, if you know to read them well:P

7) The Fancy Pants': The rich kids who come in cars and FZ bikes, the ones everybody stares open mouthed; at the bare legs of the girls and at the shades of the guys (they look good with them on; unlike locals who look like a stoned, sun-burnt Mika on a bad hair day or Santhosh Pandit, if you don't know who he is, Google him but at your own risk). They talk loudly, make crass jokes. The most awesome part about this group is that they have SO many good-looking guys ;P 

8) The Mallu Merpeople: Another gang, very similar to the aforementioned. They talk in Malayalam about the ‘pandis’ not knowing that Malayalam is not undecipherable to the locals and unaware of the glares of those who do understand. And they usually get a lot of puffs and samosas rather than popcorn.

And hence I conclude, leaving to your interpretation the rest of the types. Next time you head over to the multiplex, watch.

P.S: I have linked relevant pictures for my non-Indian readers like Hazel and Mark, this is our Bollywood in all its glory for you guys and we are SO proud of them despite the jokes:D
P.P.S: In spite of all the snide comments I make, I’m a sucker for movies, English AND Hindi.
P.P.S.S: Does anybody know how to kick a corporate’s ass? Reliance, to be specific.
P.P.P.S.S: I skipped a Monday Pitch and The Month That Was in honor of the birthday post, nobody noticed? Boo-hoo.