Monday, May 31, 2010

Love in Bollywood

Team Tiger Trails This post has been published by me as a team member of Tiger Trails Team for the "Super 6" round of Bloggers Premier League (BPL) - The first ever unique, elite team blogging event in the history of blogging world. To catch the BPL action and also be part of future editions and other contests, visit and register at Cafe GingerChai

Love in Bollywood - when I got this topic, very first thought that crossed my mind was the interpretation of it. I was confused whether to choose real life love stories or reel life love stories. Well, there is not much of a difference between them as few of them are very dramatical and cliched in real as well as reel life. Movie buff that I am, I decided to go for the latter one.

Who can forget the legendary "On Screen" couple Raj Kapoor and Nargis singing "Pyaar hua Ikraar hua hai" under one umbrella. There was Nargis; reluctant to go close to Raj Kapoor; shy, elegant and still managed to create the magical moment of love and attraction.

Like it happens in most of the bollywood movies, a scene change takes place - the Villain enters. Since this scene is playing in my head (now, ain't I brilliant?), the villain turns out to be Raveena Tandon singing "Tip Tip barsa Paani" from the movie Mohra and trying really hard to seduce Akshay Kumar by dancing in the artificial rain in a chiffon saari. The latest movies do not differentiate between love and lust; but let me stick to the former one!

In the Sixties and Seventies, love was defined in a different manner. Hero and heroine went behind the bush to hide from the world, or the moving leaves meant that they were expressing their love for each other, wo palke jhukana aur sharmana, Kahin pe nigahe kahi pe nishana, sending love letters to each other and such.

Then the Eighties era started with "Ek Duje Ke liye" and "Love Story". So many couples committed suicide after watching Ek Duje Ke liye; and after watching Love Story, they eloped. We did take movies seriously; to an extent that dying for our love "because Vasu and Sapna did so" was a small thing.

Nineties saw many couples making a hit "on screen" pair - Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit, Akshay Kumar and Raveena Tandon, Anil Kapoor-Shridevi to name a few; but none became as popular as Shahrukh-Kajol. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge set an example of a perfect love story. It won the hearts of 99% of Indian movie lovers (I fall in that 1% category)

These days, love stories start in exotic locations and end with a bed scene that creates a lot of controversies and gives publicity to the movie. Not only a reel life love story is used for the fame, but in real life too a break up or a patch up between two co-stars happens before the release of their movies.

Like the movies, these actors and actresses have had a lot of twists in real life too. Sanjeev Kumar was madly in love with Hema Malini. But she did not love him, so he remained bachelor all his life, Parveen Babi went mad literally as Amitabh Bachchan did not marry her, Nargis broke up with Raj Kapoor and married Sunil Dutt instead as he saved her life from the fire that erupted on the sets of Mother India.

And we thought such things happen only in movies. Such love stories exist in real life too. Bollywood truly lives by its reputation of extremity in everything especially in case of love.

PS: To convey the feelings of true love, I have used certain Hindi words. The translation is:

wo palke jhukana aur sharmana, Kahin pe nigahe kahi pe nishana - eyes lowered down, feeling shy, looking somewhere and targeting somewhere else.

This expression is used as in those days, a lady never made any eye contact to the person she loved out of respect and shyness. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

(Not only) Public Transport

Lacs of people commute by public transport - be it a local train, bus, auto, taxi, metro train or a tram. And like I always do; I will be writing about Mumbai. 

Public Transport is more than a lifeline of Mumbai. Everyday, more than half of the Mumbai travel by the local trains and BEST buses to and fro. If you are visiting the city for the first time, and if you happen to be on any of the stations during the peak hour; then God save you!

But for us Mumbaikars, the day we do not see this crowd, we get nervous. Even on a Sunday, we expect to travel standing with hardly any room to stand or without getting stamped on your feet! I have travelled for eight years by local trains; and enjoyed every minute of it. If you travel by the same train each day, then you usually find your "9:27 local Train Group" who reserve a seat for you, or give you their seat to sit for a while, chitchat, sing song and such other activities happen within the "Group".

And the Mumbai city Autowalas. I am sure they will throw more tantrums and weight around than our celebrities! You have to be born lucky to get an auto each day within five minutes. But you know, Mumbai autos and cabs are used not only for the public transport; but other objects get the privilege too, to be a passenger and take a ride.

Again, like always the spirit of the city surprises me. In one of my posts, I had mentioned about what all kinds of work people do for their living. Two men were changing the hoardings under the sun without worrying about the height factor!

Commendable job they do. But another set of people who carry more weight than they can pull of on their cycle or push cart.

Ain't they amazing? Last, but not the least - there are nice autowalas too around. Like the one who took me around the Mumbai suburbs this morning, without complaining once about the waiting time for which he did not charge me anything.

All I could say was "Thank You"!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Romantic? How boring!

When a girl thinks about her dream guy; she imagines him coming on a horse or a Ferrari depending on the era she is in mentally and takes her with him in the dreamland with nature and its beauty all around them; a perfect weather (usually spring; yeah even Indian girls dream of springs); the guy is showering her with flowers, evening is so very special with candle light dinner, amazing evening gowns and tuxedos as dress code, a violin is playing in the background specially for you. While you are waiting for your food to arrive; the guy proposes to you. Ah, picture perfect tears come in your eyes but you realize that this situation is not for real!

Yes, most of us dream of such a situation; but we know they are not for real always! And thank god such things don't happen. At least not in my case.

I lack interest for romantic things and gestures. They kind of bore me. How very dull it is to get red roses as a gift! Isn't it a complete waste of money? For they wither in a few hours and all your money is wasted. Those long drives are good; but not when you live in Mumbai and while coming back, you get stuck in the traffic at Panvel, Vashi, Sion and Western Express highway!

And those candle light dinners! If you cannot see your food properly; then how can you enjoy eating it? Sigh! the synonym for romantic things is suffering - monetarily, mentally and physically!

But I love the idea of a perfect date! An ideal date for me would be - a live match in the stadium. A cricket, football or a tennis match. But my husband is only fond of cricket; and sadly there are no good football and tennis matches happening in India; so cricket it is. Isn't it exciting to go, cheer and shout on top of your voice to support your team?

And dinners - I so loathe to dress up well to go out for dinner. Sit at home, order your meal and eat! Isn't it super comfortable to sit and eat on your bed? It's feels so good when you play card games with your partner rather than saying "I love you" ten times in one minutes! Romantic things can never give you such a comfort!

Let me not discuss my dancing abilities all over again! Who said that a ball dance is romantic? Ask me! How awkward it leaves me and how embarrassing it may get for my dancing partner! 

Romantic gifts - those red hearts all over the place - be it a teddy bear or a tee. I will not say it's very kiddish as many of you might be loving such hearts placed all over.

But there is one romantic gift that I simply love - chocolates. They do not have to have a heart shape; or even wrapped in a fancy paper and ribbons. A simple pack of chocolates will also do.

So, are you guys as boring as me or being romantic is boring for you?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Being Human

Since last Monday, there has been only one face across all the news channels and newspapers - Ajmal Aamir Kasab! I had almost started believing that he is some sort of a hero; but luckily his death sentence was pronounced and he was awarded capital punishment under five counts! This case was indeed a rarity in "Rarest of the rare" case!

A landmark Judgment - some say; while some believe that it is "inhuman" to kill somebody and capital punishment should be abolished as many "Foreign" countries have done this too. First and foremost thing that really makes me irate is that we always follow others but we never take the lead! We have to certain things only because others are doing it. We must abolish capital punishment only because other countries have done it. Great! Then why don't we attack on Pakistan when other countries did it too post 9/11?

And there goes those wonderful arguments by our "learned" Human Activists. I happened to watch a few debates about the morality and humanity issues relating to death penalty. The arguments were:

To kill someone is inhuman and immoral. We cannot be like them!

Yes, to kill someone is inhuman. but to kill an inhuman is human or not? A person who killed 62 people that included men, women and children without any remorse; his intentions were to kill as many people as possible and sacrifice his own life in the deed if needed! Not even once his hand shivered when he shot a nine year old girl who is still recovering from the bullet injury on her leg!

I want to ask those activists; "If you had lost your only son of 25 in the attack; or your mother or pregnant wife; would you still have maintained the same statement of not killing a terrorist? Would Kasab still be a HUMAN for you?"

Capital Punishment will not serve as a deterrent for criminals. Award them a rigorous life imprisonment.

And what good will that do? Terrorists will get scared if you are going to lock them up for life? Will that serve as a deterrent? And how much money will the State spend behind their security? A normal person works hard to earn bread; so that he can eat twice a day. The terrorist will do the same thing - work hard and eat four times a day.

There will be a day when our plane will be hijacked or our people will be made hostages by terrorists. Their demand will be to release Kasab or they will kill our people. Then what will the state do? Sacrifice another 200 lives or release the person who has already killed 62? Oh yes I forgot. To kill is inhuman. We cannot endanger 200 lives; so release Kasab!

Kasab must stay alive; so that we can take out more information from him. He has not yet revealed all the secrets.

Do they know that interrogating a convict is illegal? The state CANNOT ask him a single question to the accused as our Constitution of India has provided an accuse a right to remain silent under article 20(3)? I wonder who appointed these people as spokespersons for Rights Commission?

By killing Kasab, we are closing all the doors of his reformation. He is only 21!

Reform a person who joined LeT - A terrorist organization voluntarily. He was not brainwashed, nor was he forced into joining it. He joined it as he wanted to become a terrorist! After his training period got over; he was given an option to either go and stay with his family for a few days; or stay in the camp. Many of his colleagues left for home and never came back; while Kasab preferred to stay back in the camp. He did not even feel for his family. What reformation you will do to him further? And does he deserve it really? You should reform the person who regrets his acts and not the one who did it without any guilt or regret or fear!

I think it's high time that we realize that certain acts and certain people cannot be changed by showing humanity. They need to be punished. A person has been convicted and awarded a death penalty under five counts. Isn't it a sufficient enough case to consider his case an exception in your so called Human Rights Books? I know killing Kasab will not help much as he is a small fish in the large pond full of crocodiles; but don't you think our State cannot let go of him only because he is a small fish? The same small fish killed so many. How can we finish the master minds if we forget and forgive these small people who eventually make a big difference?

If my wish to kill Kasab makes me inhuman; then I am happy being one!

PS: The post is based on my views completely. You may disagree to it.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Boring Calculations

No, this post is not about math or any other calculations. It's about my special calculations. I call them special as I am tired of using the word weird for myself all the time. Now weird is someone else. Yes, this great name has been given to my Farmville puppy. I need to feed this weird once in twenty four hours so that he does not run away. Sigh! Yehi din dekhne baaki the bas! I am not a farmville addict; I keep making guest appearances to that game. But that's altogether a separate story.

This post is about calculations - and a pretty boring ones that help me pass my time.

I love to travel. Be it by train or by road or a flight; I simply enjoy the journey. Given an option; I would travel by road; enjoying the sight, windows rolled down and breeze spoiling my hair, people passing by, scattered trees around, old songs playing in the background and food at roadside Dhaba. Ah, it cannot get better than that.

But the part that I enjoy the most during a journey by road is adding up those digits on car number-plate! The moment I spot a car, I start adding up those numbers. Oh it drives me crazy sometimes as I get really upset if I miss out on one car!

Initial half an hour to one hour I really control myself so that I don't start my calculations right away. Oh man it's an addiction - a dangerous one that too. Even if I get tired of calculating; my mind does not give up at all; as if my life is depended on it or my car won't move if I stop calculating!

And the train travel. You know, I keep looking at those poles that mention the kilometers. I observe the pattern to an extent that if there is a number missing in between, I get upset. Those poles have numbers like - 32/1, 32/3.....32/25, 35/0 Each pole has sub-numbers along with the kilometer digit. If this pattern is broken; I feel like getting down and make it appropriate! I used to remember where all the pattern is broken between Borivali and Churchgate. Now if i travel once; I will remember it all over again!

Not only calculations; but when I am walking in a mall or a station; rather anywhere where there are tiles; I make sure that I do not step on the crack if the tile is big enough! I carefully step on the proper square tile. If the tiles are small, then walk on the alternative tiles! I am damn weird people!

I once tried asking a family friend who happens to be a psychiatrist about these things. She said that I am obsessed with multi tasking more than anything else! I cannot only walk or travel. I need to do some activity; a proper activity. And since I love math; I do things related to calculations, or AP and GP, etc.

But, I think it's weird to be a math crazy to this extent. What do you feel?