Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kabhi Geet Aisa Gaaya Karo.......

The sexy Silvara tagged me with my first. I remember when we were kids, we always used to make fun of how my dad's music and movie collection time-froze in the '70s. After doing this tag, I realized music wise, I am still stuck in last century. Not that I am complaining!

Rules of the tag: Various situations are given. You have to come up with a song ( or a couple) that aptly describe those situations in YOUR life.

Opening credits: Chale Jaise Hawayein from Main Hoon Na. I really like the video of this song and wouldnt mind making an entrance dancing like that :)

Waking up: Nindiya se jaagi bahar form Hero. Great music and good lyrics make it one of my favorites along with all other songs in the movie.

Average day: Aa ne wala pal from Golmaal. Average days come and average days go.

First date: Aati Kya Khandala from Ghulam. I like this song solely for Aamir Khan.

Falling in love: Jaan-e-man Jaan-e-man Tere Do Nayan from Choti si Asha and Mitwa from KANK.

Love Scene: Dheemi Dheemi from 1947: Earth. I would have actually loved this song to be couple with the love-making scene in the movie instead of Yeh jo Zindagi hai.

Fight Scene: Khambe jaisi khadi hai from Dil. This is really lame, but I could not think of any other song for a fight scene. Aamir Khan and Madhuri are sort of fighting in this song.

Breaking up: O Sathi Re from Muqaddar Ka Sikandar and Tanhayee from Dil Chahta Hai. Both very different sounding songs conveying the same lonely feeling in totally different ways.

Getting back together: Tere bina jiya jaaye na and Scientist by Coldplay.

Life’s ok: Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve.

Mental Breakdown: I still havent found what I'm looking for by U2 I know this song is not really relevant here but I heart Bono in this song and it gives me the jitters every time I listen to it.

Driving: The super cliched Endrendrum from Alaipayuthe and Dont Matter by Akon. I heard this song for the first time on a bus during our honeymoon in the Caribbean and fell in love with Akon ever since!

Learning a lesson: Tujhse Naraz Nahi Zindagi from Masoom.

Deep thought: I assume this meant songs with profound meaning. Rabbi Shergill's Bulla ki Jaana and Junoon's Khudi ko kar.

Flashback: Purani Jeans by Ali Haider. The lyrics actually has A+R somewhere and the husband and I still blush every time it comes up ^_^ Video Killed the radio star by Buggles for the retro feel.

Partying: Low Low Low by Flo-Rida and Please dont stop the music by Rihana

Happy Dance: Dhagala Lagli Kala Aapparently this song has another not-so-innocuous meaning which I am determined to find out.

Regretting: Socha nahi tha from Kaante

Death Scene: Jeena Yahan Marna Yahan from Mera Naam Joker.

Closing Credits: Kawa Kawa by Sukhwinder Singh in Monsoon Wedding. Actually the death scene songs comes pretty close in this category as well but I definitely like movies with happy endings and fun music playing in the background when the credits roll.

Whew, that was a tough tag! Now that I am done, I tag anyone who wants to take this up. Feel free to do the tag and leave a link to it for me to read.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weekend in the Seventies

Born in the eighties (I know, I am ashamed of it too), I missed out on the swinging seventies. After Farhan Akhtar's Don: The Chase begins again was released, I wanted to see the original Don to be able to participate in the whole comparison debate. While looking up the movie on IMDB and Wikipedia, I found out about the alleged affair between Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha and Silsila which was based on it. One thing led to another and I ended up watching Don, Silsila, Kabhi Kabhi and Abhimaan in quick succession. Since the movies have been reviewed and beaten to death, I will just write quick notes on what I felt while watching the movies.

Once and for all, I liked Farhan Akhtar's Don much better. May be because I did not see the original movie first or even because I identify SRK, Priyanka Chopra and such more than Zeenie, Pran and Iftekhar. I got the feeling throughout that Farhan Akhtar's version was totally slick and of course I loved the climax much better. The older Don was good too. Zeenie was hot and Helen rocked! Yeh mera dil and Khaike pan banaraswala were priceless in the older version.

I could not stop comparing Silsila, Abhimaan and Kabhi Kabhi because of the similar cast. Silsila and Kabhi Kabhi both directed by Yash Chopra, had that unmistakable PnJabi flavor: the Mehras, the Khannas, the Kapoors and the elaborate punjabi weddings. Both movies had wealthy protagonists and palatial mansions. Both movies had snow-covered locales and the actors in the best of their winter wear. I don't understand Amitabh Bachchan's obsession with closed neck outfits, he was more often than not dressed in Bandh Galas. Turtle necks and suits. Oh actually I do prefer him dressed that way after seeing him and Shashi Kapoor go topless under the shower in Silsila. That was really gross to watch!!

I hated the way they shaped Jaya Bachchan's character and I am surprised that she agreed to play a role like that. She plays the role of a meek woman who cajoles AB to marry her saying, "Amit, mera kya hoga? Kaun mujhe sahara dega? Kaun mujh se shaadi karega? Kya tum mein mujh se shaadi karne ki himmat hai?". I find it very irritating that even when she realizes that her marriage is on the rocks, all she has to say is "mera kya hoga!" Seriously, in real life if I find out that my husband got back together with his ex-flame and is leaving me for her, I would rather walk out of the mess with my dignity in place rather than weeping about how I am going to be alone all over again. But again thats just me. Gathering from the grapevine that the movie was based on their real life, is that how she blackmailed AB to stay married to her when he allegedly had an affair with Rekha? Another thing I did not like is that the movie fails to show what happens to Rekha's character in the end. We are never told if she wanted to go back to Sanjeev Kumar or what. So according to the movie, its always upto to the man to decide if and when he wants to have an affair and when he wants to return to his dharampatni.

As far as I can remember, Kabhi Kabhi is one of the very few older movies that had an English tag line. The movie is actually titled, 'Kabhi Kabhi: Love if Life". I thought the movie was way ahead of its time in many other ways as well. Neetu Singh in shorts and bikinis, Neetu Singh and Rishi Kapoor going bowling etc (may be I grew up in a village but I did not know anything about bowling until I went to college). I am not sure if it is intentional but the movie tries to portray generation gap as well. AB and Rakhi are in love with each other but they don't even consider letting their parents know about their relationship for the fear of hurting them. Whereas, Rishi Kapoor does not hichkichao-fy even for a minute to declare to his parents that he is in love. Also the movie had glimpses of where Suraj Bharjathya could've gathered inspiration for Maine Pyaar Kiya. The scenes in which Rishi Kapoor works on AB's construction site to stay close to Neetu Singh reminded me too much of Salman Khan in MPK. Despite the multi-star cast, Kabhi Kabhi was Neetu Singh and Rishi Kapoor's movie all the way. They managed to look beautiful, young and refreshingly real.

Abhimaan had a completely different look and feel to it compared to Silsila and Kabhi Kabhi. It w was suprisingly short (2 hr 3 min) and had crisp editing. There was very little melodrama involved despite the dramatic plot. JB looked super beautiful and her performance won full points for me. Although most of the twists and turns were predictable, the movie sustained my interest for two hours and that is what I call a good cinema. I hear they are planning to remake Abhimaan with Mr and Mrs Bachchan jr, because like in the movie, Aishwarya is more successful than her husband right now. That sure provides ample scope for us to compare the two movies and discuss the Bachchan family at length but then, do we really want the classic to be remade? Do we want it remade with Aishwarya and Abhishek? Don't we all remember what happened with Umrao Jaan?

All the movies had superb music and excellent lyrics. Despite the punjabi look Silsila and Kabhi Kabhi, am I glad there were no Kudis Mundas and Mahiyas in the lyrics!! Overall, the movies completely deserve the classic-status that they achieved and are definitely worth a watch especially if you like to experience the movies your parents watched when they were young.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

To be or not to be?

To do or not do? To stay or leave?
How do you make a decision? How do you choose especially when you know the decision might come back to bite you in the future? How do you do it?

I have been trying for about 3 months now to make an important career-related decision which influence my personal life as well. I don't feel like revealing complete details here so lets just say I can either do nothing and live with status quo or choose to grab a new opportunity that came my way. This new opportunity looks like a better option but is short-term and risky while status quo is safe yet frustrating. Also, who knows what price I will have to pay for the change!

It looks like I am very close to making a decision yet I feel terribly jittery. I doubt my rationale and try to talk myself into accepting things as they are. So this is essentially my monologue (I fell in love with this word and have been dying to use it) and sort of my justification for choosing what I chose.

Decision theories and decision analyses say the simplest way to make a decision is to attach a numerical value to each of the expected outcomes and pick the outcome that has the best value. While the algebra involved is simple, how do you attach a numerical value to your outcomes? How do you evaluate the joy of staying close to loved ones? What is the value of the fear of loosing your independence and self-respect? What is the price of knowing that all your friends and family disapprove of your decision? What is the cost of abandoning your safety net and venturing into an unknown? I have been able to attach value to the monetary gains/losses (obviously), but everything else is just driving me crazy. I wish I could hire a consultant who would help me make a "decision with clairvoyance". (I have been learning decision theory in class and its fun to use the jargon here)

Every time I had to pick between conflicting choices, I would think about how I would feel about each of my choice 10 years later. That really helped me look at the bigger picture and make a decision that I will not regret. In this case, I don't know what the bigger picture is. No wait, I know what the bigger picture is. But my idea of it seems very incongruous with the popular belief. My family is appalled at my simple needs and concludes I am some kind of an anti-feminist. (Well, I might not be the bra burning kind, but I do believe in equality and respect)

Why is it anti-feminist to choose to have a cosy little home against making crazy money? Why is it important for us to have a work-life, personal-life and other such segregated lives without having the time to enjoy any of them? When is it a good time for us to take a step back, figure out where you are actually headed? For me, it is right now. I cannot continue like this before realizing it has already been too late.

I know what I will regret the most 10 years from now. I will miss not having a lovely little home, not having warm food on the dinner table and of course not having lovely people who long to come back home and share the food with me. I will miss not having taken vacations, not spending time with loved ones and not being there when they need me the most. I dont mind the luxury of having money but I definitely don't aspire to have disposable cash enough to buy me a Birkin.

Ok there you go, I have made my decision. I will choose the opportunity that came my way. If it turns out to be good, excellent! If it turns out to be a bad choice, I will have something to fill in my regret column. I have an important meeting on Monday and am hoping I will walk out of the meeting more confident of my decision. Now wish me luck and go enjoy the lovely Spring evening.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Weekend in the Big Easy

A weekend in New Orleans was full of activity, fun and totally worth all the hype! Although most part of the city has been rebuilt, it was interesting how everyone talks about before and after Katrina.
Aside: Its funny I was having a conversation about how the husband refuses to share pictures of vacations with family and friends and my brother says, "No self-respecting male would want to go back and email pictures to half of this world as if he has conquered it all". Really?!!? Is it a girly thing to share pictures?

Went on a tour on this tiny family-owned swamp about 30 mins away form New Orleans. It was a quiet tour and we got to see loads of gators, a few turtles and a couple of herons. The coolest part was when one if the gators let the tour guide pet him while feeding on Marsh mellows. He also had a restrained baby gator on the boat and let us touch it (er I meant everyone else including a 6 year old. I am too chicken to be any where near creepy crawlies)

Harbor Cruise took us around the waterfront to show a little before and and after effects of Katrina. They also let us take a look at the engine room and the paddle wheel which was really cool. Oh and they sell really strong alcohol on-board *wink*.

I guess for everyone that visits New Orleans, Cafe DuMonde stall on French Street and Gumbo Shop, French Market and Jax Brewery are must go places and are actually pretty fun. We were there for the St.Patrick's day parade as well and did take that mandatory picture with the leprechaun.

Spending a quite afternoon on a beautiful beach in Biloxi, dinner at a cozy little restaurant, getting drunk on Bourbon Street and watching girls flash to get Mardi Gras beads was what we did in the rest of thr trip. Boring..I know I know.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Stray? Or Great?

While reading "A Suitable Boy", I looked up Vikram Seth out of curiosity and came across this poem.
Some men like Jack and some like Jill
I'm glad I like them both but still
I wonder if this freewheeling
Really is an enlightened thing,
Or is its greater scope a sign
Of deviance from some party line?
In the strict ranks of Gay and Straight
What is my status: Stray? Or Great?

All the ratta marofy-ing that we did in school made me hate poetry for not remembering those four-liners or eight-liners or whatever well enough to parrot them for the teacher. But this little poem here did the trick for me. I like it for its simple words and a deeper meaning. Besides, I looked up the poem because I liked the way he wrote and I was not forced to learn the poem by-heart and recite it in class. I did read his "Equal Music" a couple of years ago and predictably, I skipped all the poems. I probably will go back and read the book again to see if this new found interest in poetry is here to stay.