Monday, June 29, 2009
And so it started. Rakhi’s search for her soul mate. On national TV.
With picturesque backdrops (a palace in Udaipur, no less!), filmi songs as well as shaadi ke sangeet making up the background score, costumes straight out of a Bollywood wedding movie, oh and not to mention the Bollywoodish dialogues, the show promises to be, what else, but entertaining.
Rakhi had clearly practiced ‘giving those shy ones’ in front of the mirror, because she had the shy-Indian-bride-to-be look down pat. The intro between her and host Ram Kapoor was so obviously scripted, that it made for absolute uneasy listening.
Each of the hopefuls (dressed either in satin shirts with contrasting suits or heavily embroidered sherwanis/kurtas) made their entrance via a limousine or horse-drawn carriage, with the title track of “Om Shanti Om” playing in the background. Each worthy swaggered up to ‘Rakhiji’ urf ‘Ma’am’ and handed over a gift with a flourish; whether a kangan from ‘aapke honewali saas’ or an intricate symbol denoting the bonds of lasting relationships or a huge pink teddy bear or painted portraits of the lead heroine in this scripted fairy-tale.
The guys took my breath away, but not in a good way! They were all court jesters trying to be princes so that they could aim for the princess’ heart. It made for painful viewing. What weren’t these guys willing to do?!? Dance like an animal, roll their eyes and make snide comments about each other, run each other down in front of the garishly made-up prize, and all in the name of winning the said prize’s hand in shaadi. And they call women catty and bitchy?
But horror, aghastment and absolute entertainment value aside, why do the producers expect this show to do well? Simple…because cynical as we are, we are still romantics at heart.
Fed on tales of happily-ever afters and princesses garlanding a handsome prince from amongst a sabhaghar full of hopefuls, a certain ideal of love-choice-marigolds-and-gold is encoded into our very dreamy, desi DNA.
Remember the success of ‘Hum Aaapke Hain Koun?’, also known as ‘Two Weddings, a Funeral and Fourteen Songs’? The garish wedding finery, the shaadi ke rasme, the chup-chup ke pyar karma and the ‘maine aapko apni jeevan saathi maan liya’ type dialogues...oh! we were flabbergasted and begging for more…and Bollywood was only too happy to oblige. Wedding extravaganza after extravaganza followed, each Bollywood shaadi more elaborate than the last. Whether it was the triple shaadi in ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ or the runaway bride act in ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ or the second-time happy in ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hain’, we did lap them up.
Then, take a look at our TV serials. There’s an average of a wedding a fortnight per story. That’s a lot of haldi, chandan and kumkum, isn’t it? No wonder the wedding industry is thriving and flourishing in our country. Whether real or reel, weddings provide mucho moolah for all the other businesses associated with it, such as the floral, jewellery and bridal wear industries.
But back to our dear Rakhiji? Will she find the man of her dreams in this badly-scripted pot-boiler? Only a true-blue romance-junkie and wedding addict can hope so.
Meanwhile, I think I’ll place my bets on the Canadian guy…
Sunday, June 28, 2009
My little one wraps himself around me like the baby monkey that he is, in the water. My otherwise great adventurer, the one who climbs furniture, the one who thinks he's Speed Racer when he's driving his little red car complete with speedy turns and screeching halts, is not yet the little water dolphin that I hope he will blossom into. But the baby pool at this particular club was so shallow the water came up to his chest. Now one of the things that the EO loves to do is to jump into the shallow pool. I've been trying to get the YO hooked onto this water sport as well, thinking that it's so, well...him. I guess we were just trying in the wrong pools, because after a little gentle prodding, he was ready and jumping and just wouldn't stop! As far as the water chapter in my little boy's book is concerned, this is H.U.G.E.!!
But the most memorable memory of that evening was after the swim. After I had washed, dried and dressed my boys, I was busy looking after me. The EO was busy playing with the other kids, while my YO had kicked off his shoes and was stretched out on the divan, the absolute pose of relaxation. I clapped my hands and told my babies to get cracking, it was chow-time and the next day was school. I then turned around and the sight that met my eyes melted my heart...the YO was standing up, looking at his feet and the EO was crouched near his little brother's feet, helping him with his shoes. They were oblivious to the world around them and just engrossed in the task at hand, totally unaware that I was watching them with all the love in the world shining in my eyes...and a couple of tears as well.
~I went to sleep that night, feeling a lot of love. Luckily, it carried on in the morning.
My little cookie-monster and I were in the kitchen, early in the morning, packing up tiffin boxes, when he asked me for, what else, but a cookie. I opened the packet, shook a few onto a plate and held the plate out to my little one. He grabbed one and picked up the other saying, "Aar eitaa dadar." (And this one is for dada.) And ran off to the room to give it to his elder brother, leaving me standing there with a big, ol' happy grin on my face!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
There's something even more comforting about the sight of watching your five-and-a-half year-old laugh out loud at the adventures of the inhabitants of Toyland...something which other kids his age have abandoned totally in favour of Shin Chan, Doraemon, Hagemaru and the execrable Chaddi Buddies.
And there's something totally and absolutely heart-happily comforting when you're privy to a conversation that runs thus:
YO to EO (seated in a rocking chair): Dada, aami tomaar shonge boshbo. (Dada, I want to sit with you.)
EO (lovingly patting his lap): Esho, aamaar koley bosho. (Come, sit on my lap.)
YO clambers on to the proferred lap and settles down happily. Notices the elder brother squirming around: Tomaar koshto hochchey? (Are you feeling pain?) And proceeds to adjust himself so that his elder brother is more comfortable.
Bless you both, my jaan and my praan!! (nazar naa lag jaaye!!)
Friday, June 26, 2009
He was a huge part of many a happy memory revolving around radio, MTV and school parties. His death has cast a dark, grey shadow over a part of my childhood memories.
A musical icon, and yes Wacko Jacko too, but first and foremost a 'Thriller' beyond compare.
Shake it MJ, in the clouds, on the moon, wherever you are, just shake it. And we'll keep your music alive.
Heal the World
Black or White
You Are Not Alone
...for all this and more, thank you for the music.
I've just acquainted myself with the 16 men vying to be Mr. Rakhi Sawant and I must confess my funny-bone hasn't had a laugh like this in years!
These said worthies have hippy-hippy-shaked themselves from all over; from Jammu & Kashmir and even all the way from Canada. The age range is an incredible just-weaned-off-my-mummy's-breast 21 years-old to mature-enough-to-not-need-mummy's-permission 33 years-old.
And you won't believe what some of them have had to say!!!!
Ashwin Chaudhuri admits his mom isn't actually dancing with joy at the prospect of having a DIL who dances in skimpy clothes. So our dear little Ashwin says, "I wouldn't allow Rakhi to do item numbers in future, as this would affect the reputation of my family." Erm, Rakhi, did you screen these? Or is his promise to keep you forever happy good enough for you to overlook that exceedingly MCP statement?
And then we have dear little Raman Handa, a Vaastu consultant and astrologer. He believes that "she is only one who can bring about a revolution in this world." Sorry! I think I just snorted my dinner out through my nose!! I wonder if this is what Mr. Handa's stars have revealed to him?!? If so, then he must come from a galaxy far, far away!!
Don't judge me you guys, but if this is anything to go by, I think I'm going to give this show a try!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
What was it that I swore when I was a little girl growing up? Oh yes, I remember...that I would never turn into my mom.
Sigh, when I'm crawling down the road to Mommy-Hell, I bet all my good intentions will be blowing raspberries at me.
On an aside: My not-yet-six-year-old has tests!! Bloody class tests and term tests!!! WTF?!?! He now knows the spelling of 'favourite'. Damn it, up until yesterday he used to say 'frayvrit' and now I've had to wipe out that bit of cuteness that used to give me so much pleasure!! He has TESTS!!! Tests that COUNT and will be used for ASSESSMENT!!!! Am I the only one who thinks this is fucked-up?!?
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I'm a Dan Brown fan. I loved "The DaVinci Code", loved "Angels & Demons" even more. So yes, I was eagerly awaiting the movies. Both times round. Even though I am an absolute book-worm and have always found that movies based on books generally land up in the dusty towns of Suckville (the only exception to the rule being "The Devil Wears Prada").
Yes, I was very, majorly disappointed with "The DaVinci Code" movie. Not thrilling enough and it moved at a snail's pace. A snail using a crutch. A broken crutch.
"Angels & Demons" did not disappoint. Of course it still wasn't a patch on the book, but we left the theatre agreeing that we had indeed been the beneficiaries of getting one's money's worth.
The movie basically takes off from near the end of the book. Major, and I mean major portions of the book have been snipped. Characters have been dropped. And there was quite the change in the Assassin's character as well. I guess in today's global, political climate, sticking to the 'original' character of the Assassin might have stirred up more controversy than originally intended.
In the movie, the Vatican is reeling under a double shock, the death of the beloved Pope and a deadly threat from an underground, secret society relegated to the pages of historical myth (or so they believed) -- the Illuminati. With a vial of anti-matter, strong enough to blast the whole of Vatical City into oblivion, gone missing from CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) and the four preferiti (cardinals favoured to be next-in-line for Pope) kidnapped by a crazed killer, time is running out for Harvard symbologist Prof. Robert Lagdon and Italian physicist, Vittoria Ventra to try and stop the Illuminati's plan from succeeding.
A gripping thriller. An all-out entertainer.
In other words, a must watch.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The long, fat thingamajigs that you can't write with but which little boys with violent imaginations can put to 'good use', as in "Knights and Dragons", "Aliens vs. Monsters", "Sword Fighting" and my personal 'favourite', "Let's Fight Near Baba's 48" Plasma TV and Give Mamma a Heart-Attack". In this particular case, the said pencil had found pride of place between the little guy's legs.
And so my baby boy waddles up to me, stops and says, "Mamma, I Harry Potttaah!"
And then he flies off on his broom and disappears in a cloud of giggles.
Magic, I say!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Also, my FIL had to be hospitalised while the MIM, boys and I were on our first ever trip abroad. We went to Phuket on the 31st and were due back to Kolkata, via a three-night stop-over in Bagkok on the 10th. On the 2nd, he was very critical and my MIL told us that she thought it best if we came back...just in case. The poor MIM was distraught and I was shaking with fear. We couldn't get a flight on the 3rd, but landed back home on the 4th. Luckily, and with greatest thanks to God above, the FIL came out of it, weak, but at least he's back home now.
With so much happening, I found myself sinking in a quagmire of nasty emotions and misery. And the feelings stuck to me like the humidity, sweat and grime of Calcutta's pollution, so I just couldn't seem to shake it off...until two things.
I took my mom to a place called Dakshinapan...this is a lovely, shopping complex where all the emporiums are. We went to Rajasthali and somehow, seeing the fabrics there and the colours and the prints, vivid memories of the girl I used to be just came rushing back. I was flooded with the person I was and how I used to dress...khadi kurtas, ethnic prints, handloom materials, tribal jewelry, big bindis, boho skirts, colourful jholas... I rocked that look. It was me, all me, pure and unadulterated ME!! Why did I let her go? I don't have a penchant for labels and designer names, so why do I get excited whenever certain items at Ritu's are in discount...and that too, the ugly ones?!? Why do I get upset that I can't wear noodle-straps and boob tubes? I never could! They don't suit me or my personality. I'm a very Indian-looking girl, oops, woman. I should just stick to what suits me best. Are my khadi kurta and faded jeans days over just because I left JNU a decade ago? No, not if I don't want them to be. Not by a long shot!!
The second incident happened when I was passing through Saturday Club and I got a whiff of chlorine coming from the pool. I actually stopped and breathed it all in...deeply, almost sinfully, like a lover's scent. And I got such a high! It made me feel vibrant and alive and I realised just how much I love and miss swimming. It rejuvenates me, it makes me feel whole and fresh. I should start swimming again, not just for weighty reasons aesthetic, but because I love it.
So now that these two incidents have kicked me out of my abyss of despair for the time being, I've decided to make a list of some of my favourite things. Things that put the sun into sunny-side-up...
~ My sons' laughter. A tickle fest, or a round of funny faces and the sweet sound of their pure, innocent laughter takes me straight-away to Mommy Heaven.
~ Music, Music, Music. Specifically jazz, Rabindrasangeet, Masakalli, Prem Joshua.
~ Sweet, juicy strawberries; ripe, tangy kiwis.
~ Boiled corn. Roasted corn. Corn.
~ Cooking and feeding other people.
~ Rainy days.
~ Black'n'white Bengali movies, especially the oeuvre of Satyajit Ray.
~ Art-house cinema.
~ Perfume. Especially from Lancome and Estee Lauder.
~ You. Yes, you all, my blog friends. Even though I may not have been blogging, I faithfully followed you all. Thank you for letting me into your lives and sharing. Without you all, in these past few days, I may not have recovered my sanity.
And now, won't you share your lists with me?