Friday, February 29, 2008

Writers' Block.

It's that time again. When all my thoughts, instead of flowing eloquently choose to run around themselves in circles - either appearing all at one time or not appearing at all.
I feel like I've said it all... or haven't said enough.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I write when I am upset. It's better than hurting someone physically!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's one of those days again. Canberra has had many of those days lately. Slightly cloudy, sometimes windy sometimes calm, chill in the air. The kind that makes you want to snuggle into a blanket with a good book and a hot cup of chai.
I have almost finished reading Exodus by Leon Uris. My review of a book that has broken all records would just be a drop in the vast ocean of appreciation. This book is brilliant! It is flawless in its idea, planning and execution - much like the Jews it talks about. Since reading it I have been up in arms about the injustice meted out to this community and can only be bewildered that the rest of the world all but sat and watched. One of life's greatest mysteries, at least to me, is how, while one human being commits atrocity another can be a silent spectator.
Some might say that it is better to take this book for what it is. A novel written by a Jewish man. So, even if he has wildly exaggerated a fact - the facts still remain. No amount of underplaying or exaggerating can change the horrific treatment of a sect of people - much like the rest of us.
I don't think I have it in me to watch the movie.
Made a resolution of sorts a few weeks ago - to buy books only from the 2nd hand store for this year. The logic being that one less book bought somehow amounts to one less book published which means one less tree cut.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Jo Tha Akbar!

After a brief tiff over whether or not HR was right in the role of the legendary Mughal emporer Akbar, the much hyped Jodha Akbar was watched on Saturday night.
I am a sucker for all things regal. My, half-baked, explanation being that their lives meant something. The palaces, the laws, the rules. Their daily existence was governed by something - good, bad, right or wrong is not for us to judge. They lives meant honor and courage. Sometimes even justice! The clothes they wore, the colours of which signified something - rank, celebration, an important occasion. They didn't just throw on the first pair of jeans and half ironed shirt that lay strewn on the chair after being discarded the previous day. They didn't eat their food on the run as they rushed to get to work on time.
Just like Ashutosh Gowarikar's other creations, Lagaan and Swades, this film too is a little gem. It has his trademark restraint as a director. It is elegant without being garish like Sanjay Leela Bhansali's dripping-in-gold type. It would leave its impact whether watched on tele or on the big screen. While watching Lagaan I could almost sense the sweat and blood. Same with Swades that had the fragrance of soil and camphor. Jodhaa Akbar has the whiff of blood coupled with a floral scent. History is open to debate and interpretation, yet the message is loud and clear for those who will hear.
Finally, Hrithik Roshan, in all his Greek God - like glory does no wrong!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Don't quote me!

" It's always either pre-MS, MS or post-MS. So, don't ever hold me responsible for my actions!"
- Me

Friday, February 08, 2008

Quirks? Me?

I've been tagged by Mad Momma, whose blog I now frequent.

The Rules:
- Link to the person that tagged you.
- Post the rules on your blog.
- Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
- Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
- Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

1. I avoid cutting my nails after sunset or on Saturdays - silly superstition? Maybe!
2. I have to always get up at least once after going to bed, to check something (doors, taps, TV, switches etc).
3. I remember useless details like faces of the 'extras' in Bollywood songs and I can name other songs they were in.
4. I went through a phase where I had to serve myself food even number of times.
5. I always wear/carry a jumper/jacket with me -always!
6. I have never bunked a lecture in four years of university.

It's crazy how much trouble I had with that tag! And it's crazier still that blogger now refuses to revert back to normal font.

In turn I tag Megz, Amruta, Vatsa, Mayu, Ashanka and Abhilasha!

What not to do?

Just learned that the 'Great' Britain is coming up with 'etiquette guidelines' for immigrants. This in the form of a 'welcome pack' that will 'highlight' the 'rules' of the country and something they expect new entrants to abide by. 'A good idea' you say?
And pray what are these rules? Believe it or not they are things like 'Don't touch people without permission (!!??!!), don't spit in the street, don't play loud music and send your kids to school.

"Information packs are a way of getting that info across - providing a rough guide to the country, the county and the city and helping to ensure that new arrivals avoid doing or saying things that might upset local settled communities or getting into trouble with the law," says the Communities Secretary Hazel Blears, while the information is in perfect contradiction to this statement!

My family migrated to New Zealand about 10 years ago. We were provided with relevant information and my folks, for the life of them, could not imagine not sending us to school or telling us it's ok to spit in the streets. Nor was it considered ok to use foul language on buses or at teachers (a regular occurance on the school bus or in classes!). All this was not thanks to a patronising information pack provided by the government of the community. Rather, it was a initiative taken by us regardless of which country we inhabited.
This pack does not welcome as much as it demeans a person entering a country. If someone at Auckland airport had the cheek to tell me or my parents that we must not spit on the streets of 'their country' they would be in for an earful! However, if they had told us how to register with the local GP or how to enroll at the local schools it would have been mighty helpful.
A more useful venture would be to provide 'youth packs' for 'children' leaving school informing them of what exactly manners and etiquette mean. This should be targeted at 14-24 yr olds who really have no notion of acceptable behaviour, at least in public.
What say?
See what has to say about 'welcome packs' for people entering India :-D!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

My friend asked me the other day why I feel an inexplicable emotion towards lonely and seemingly abandoned old people on the streets and none at all for babies in prams. They make my heart ache and my eyes well up.
I remember when I was about 8 years old and on the bus to school. An old man got on and not a single person moved to give him a seat. I did and he looked so stunned that it took him a few minutes to realise what I had done and seat himself.
Even today I help old people cross streets, shelter them under my umbrella when it rains and once I have even carried an old man's groceries up to the steps of his house from the bus stop. I cannot bear to watch old people eat their lunch alone on a park bench or watch a movie alone. It makes me want to cry. In school I volunteered at an old age home for one week along with two friends. We all can safely say that it is an experience we will carry with us for as long as we shall live. There have been times when the old person doesn't really want my help and has made this clear in as many words - yet I persevere.
You must realise that this is very unnatural for me. I am a rather cold and practical person. If someone sticks a baby in my arms, I don't gush all over it. I am fairly neutral towards babies, beggars, old beggars and most animals. I contribute towards Green Peace and the Wildlife fund because I believe in preserving nature and wildlife- but my eyes don't well up at a dying animal (except elephants!) or a cut tree. But lonely, tired looking, old people - they can make me weep like I've just cut an onion!
So back to answering the original question of 'Why' - I am really not sure. It may have something to do with the fact that my family lived with my paternal grandparents when I was growing up and to this day they still call me every Sunday night at 8 pm. It may be because our locality for at least the first 10 years of my life was filled with old people and I would see them go for walks in the evening with their walking sticks, in groups of 2 or 3 and they would stop to chat with my grandparents and with me. It could also be because my grandparents have, to me, personified dignity, brilliance and forward-thinking (individually!) very unlike others I have met.
Whatever it is - it's my weakness.

Friday, February 01, 2008

I am not an e-bay virgin anymore!!
I bid on a Friends complete 10 season DVD set and won!! Picked it up yesterday and this weekend is going to be spent in, what I hope will be, 'friendly' bliss. I got into Friends a lot later than most of my counterparts. Partly because it wasn't something that I could watch with my parents. It was a a 'coming of age' comedy and mine happened a little later than most other people my age. So anyhow, now I am officially hooked and had been wanting to own the box set for quite a while, now I do!
Seriously though, it helps me in ways I would have never thought possible. I do not have a close friends circle in Canberra anymore. And anyone that knows me knows that I am nothing without friends. I love having people to hang out with, have coffee with, talk to for hours over the phone. My friends have helped me thorough all good and bad phases of my life.
Now, Im not implying that via the TV show I enter some delusional world where these 'Friends' are my friends but in watching the shows I am reminded of times with my own set of close friends and it does to brighten my days.
Here's to watching all 10 seasons!