The World as I see it

My Life. My Views

Sleeveless Banned!!! — November 20, 2009

Sleeveless Banned!!!

No, it is not a school which has banned girls from wearing sleeveless…

No, it is not a college where the ban has been enforced…

Rather, a multinational IT company in Pune…

All, I can tell them is Grow Up!! 🙄

Its that month of the year… — November 19, 2009

Its that month of the year…

… when you think of the butterflies in your stomach last year and smile about it now

… when the anticipation, anxiety, and a whole flurry of emotions last year gathered u so tight, it was difficult to breathe after a while..

… when the presence of some blessed souls around you (you know who you are :)) made the journey leading to the final steps a lottttttt easier!

… when you hated the fact that you were born a daughter and have to “so-called” leave your house for your husband’s! Well I still rant about it… poor Noobie!

… when you started questioning a lot of Indian customs like “kanyadaan”… and the sanity of the same… and also why people are following it so religiously… refusing to budge!? Am I the only one who feels so strongly about it?

… when new people, strange people… became family… and welcomed me to my new home… with warm smiles on their faces and arms wide open 🙂

Yes… it is that month of the year, which engulfs me with all kinds of emotions! Some bad… most good 🙂 And I still cant believe it has been a year already! The date has not yet come.. But, I doubt Ill be able to blog on The Day!! Hence, celebrating the Anniversary month here 🙂 Hence, the theme.. and the header 🙂

Go on… Wish me us 🙂

Can I have an Appam please? — November 18, 2009

Can I have an Appam please?

She: I am thinking of making Khichdi today. It takes just about 5 mins to cook…

He: Okies cool… How about making some “Appam” along with it too!! 

She: 🙄

Yes! No matter how hard I try… “Appalam” will always be “Appam” for Noobie! 😛

And for the uninitiated, No… Noobie is not my one-yr old child who has just started speaking… He is my husband in his mid-twenties 😛

Its these antics which make him absolutely adorable!!! 🙂

Book Review: Agaami Ateet by Kamleshwar — November 17, 2009

Book Review: Agaami Ateet by Kamleshwar

Kamleshwar Prasand Saxena was a prominent Hindi writer. A lot of his works were later converted by Gulzar into movies. One of those creations was “Agaami ateet”, which was later converted into an equally brilliant movie called “Mausam“!

Story

A famous doctor comes back from Calcutta to Darjeeling in search of some peace, some solace. 25 years ago, he had fallen in love with a woman in Darjeeling. He had promised her that he will come back… He never did! He comes back after 25 years… And goes on a journey to rediscover his past. To get back his long lost love… The story is about this journey…!

The entire journey of this one man has been projected so beautifully, it aches your heart! After reading the book, I tried watching the movie again… and left it midways! Kuch maza nahi aa raha tha!! I had enjoyed the book sooooooooooo much, the movie was leaving a bad taste in my mouth! But, I wasnt surprised. Most of the brilliant works when converted into movies do not do enough justice to the writer’s imagination!

When the book ends, you are left with a sad feeling in the heart! It has the ability to make you feel the pain, the character goes through!

Excellent story! Excellent narration! An excellent book!!

Not to be missed! 🙂

Weekend special recipes: Bisi Bele Bath and Samosa! — November 16, 2009

Weekend special recipes: Bisi Bele Bath and Samosa!

I tried my hand at Bisi Bele Bath and Samosa for the first time on the weekend! 🙂

Bisi Bele Bath

Bisi Bele Bath is a South Indian delicacy. Noobie used to love the BBB of Saravana Bhavan in NY, but somehow we have not been able to find a single place in Singapore which serves this!

So, I decided to give it a go!

If you google this word, the first URL you will get is the most perfect one. So, the recipe is a kudos to Aromas of my Kitchen. Thanks Sailu! I owe the fact that I could make up an entirely new dish without any help, to the excellent effort you have put in blogging this recipe. The pictures were a great help!! 🙂

It was a pleasant surprise, when the dish came out so well 🙂 Noobie said it was just like the one he used to have in Saravana Bhavan 🙂

Samosa

Noobie is a foodie and like all foodie guys, he adores his mom’s food! Of all his mom’s delicacies, the one he loves the most are Samosas. And I have tasted them. She is a pro when it comes to making samosas! I tried learning it from her, but found it just tooo difficult to carry on!! So left it at that. The other day I was telling him, Samosas is always going to be your mom’s specialty since I just cant make it!! And to that he responded,

You know I may actually know how to make samosas… have seen my mom make them many times… so why dont we try it together?

After some hesitation, I decided to give in to the temptation of making hot samosas! 🙂

The morning before we attempted this, we called up his mom and understood the recipe clearly! So, this is how it is made…

Continue reading

Mere saajan hain us paar… — November 13, 2009

Mere saajan hain us paar…

They walked hand in hand through those glass doors onto the check-in counter. She was wrapping up her life in the country. Her career pursuits were taking her back to her home land. As she stood nervously flapping her boarding pass to her arm, she looked at him and realized, she was not just leaving behind a beautiful country and all those memories associated to it, but also her love, her life.

But, she had to do this. They had talked about it. She would go back to India and join the new job, far less stressful than her iBanker job at JB Murrugan Caste. This is what she wanted. He knew that and respected it! He had promised to keep her happy, while taking those pious saath pheras and would always do so.

He saw her leave and felt a lump in his throat. She waved him bye and a tear escaped her eyes!

The next day morning, he went to office as usual. He was a consultant in a high-paying job at McKiski. And came back to the empty house. A day passed. A week. He could not take it anymore.

He (to his stunned boss): “I am tendering my resignation now. Thanks for all your support!

And out he walked to take the next flight to India.

He was back. She opened the door and a bigggg smile engulfed her beautiful face!

“It was so not worth it, staying away from you for that job, honey! Will find something here soon, m sure” 🙂

This may seem like a big deal for a guy to leave his job and go settle down where the girl is… But, I have personally seen a few of my couple friends do this! The days when women were asked to leave their jobs to be with their men are gone 🙂 Today, men are willing to go that extra bit for the girls in their lives and I see it as a very heartening trend 🙂

May God bless such couples! And may the love in our hearts never stop us from deciding what is best! 🙂

The list of books is finally here… albeit incomplete! :( — November 11, 2009
Book Review: Gunahon ka Devta (गुनाहों का देवता) by Dharmvir Bharti (धर्मवीर भारती) — November 10, 2009

Book Review: Gunahon ka Devta (गुनाहों का देवता) by Dharmvir Bharti (धर्मवीर भारती)

हिंदी के उपन्यास पढने का हमेशा से मुझे बहुत शौक था. ये शौक मैंने विरासत में अपनी माँ से लिया है, जो कि स्वयं हिंदी के उपन्यास किताबी कीडों कि तरह चाट डालती थीं. परन्तु हिंदी के उपन्यास ढूंढ पाना बहुत कष्टदायक कार्य है… माँ ने कभी किताबें खरीदी ही नहीं थीं, वे लाइब्रेरी से किताबें ला ला के पढ़तीं और उन्हें लौटा देती थीं. इस कारणवश किताबों का कभी संग्रह न हो सका. जैसे तैसे मैंने मुंशी प्रेमचंद की “निर्मला” पढ़ी थी और आनंद से प्रफुल्लित हो उठी थी! परन्तु उसके बाद से कोई अवसर ही न मिल सका! लेकिन इश्वर के आगे कहीं कुछ रुक पाया है? कुछ ही दिनों पहले मुझे एक ऐसा ही सुनहरा अवसर मिल गया… ऐसा जिसकी मुझे हमेशा से तलाश थी… लैंडमार्क में हिंदी किताबों का ढेर लगा था जिसे मैं उठा लायी! अब एक एक कर के मैं वो सारी किताबें पढूंगी, जो पहले न पढ़ सकी थी.

इनमे से सब से ऊपर थी श्री धर्मवीर भारती की “गुनाहों का देवता“. इस उपन्यास के बारे में मैंने माँ से बहुत सुना था. वे हमेशा मुझे कहती थीं, कि कभी ये पुस्तक हाथ लगे तो पढना ज़रूर! आपकी जानकारी के लिए बता दूँ, ये उपन्यास हिंदी के सभी उपन्यासों में से १० सर्वश्रेष्ठ उपन्यासों में माना जाता है! इस उपन्यास पर एक फिल्म भी बनी थी, परन्तु वो रिलीज़ न हो सकी! उस फिम में रेखा और अमिताभ बच्चन प्रमुख भूमिका में थे! सो हाथ लग गयी और मैंने पढ़ डाली! सच बात तो ये है कि इस उपन्यास में एक अजब सा नशा है. आप जितना भी चाहें, एक बार उठाने के बाद इसे रख न सकेंगे. न तो ये कोई थ्रिलर है और ना ही कोई रोमांचक कथा. ये एक साधारण सी कहानी है – चंदर और सुधा की.. उनके प्यार, उनके बलिदान की… और तो और, यह महज एक काल्पनिक कथा नहीं, बल्कि इलाहबाद युनिवेर्सिटी के एक रिसर्च स्कॉलर की वास्तविक कहानी है!

एक तरफ चंदर, दूसरी ओर सुधा! उन दोनों के अद्वितीय रिश्ते को श्री भारती जी ने इस बखूबी से दर्शाया है, कि आपको मालूम पड़ेगा कि जैसे ये पात्र आपके चारों ओर मंडरा रहे हों! उन के मन कि उलझनें, अपने मन कि उलझनें लगने लगती हैं! उनके सुख, दुःख, उनकी कठिनायों को हम अपना बना बैठते हैं! और इस कहानी के अंत तक हम में एक छोटी सी झीनी सी आस रहती है कि काश! काश! ऐसा न होता!

खैर! इस कहानी के बारे में जितना भी कहा या लिखा जाये, कम हैं! अगर आप हिंदी भाषा के ज्ञाता हैं, तो ये उपन्यास ज़रूर पढें! आपको निराशा नहीं होगी!

English translation:

Continue reading

On my mind: Macbook Pro — November 9, 2009
You know you have stayed away from India for too long when… —

You know you have stayed away from India for too long when…

  • You hunt for toilet papers in Indian style bathrooms!
  • You switch on the ignition of the gas stove, waiting for the stove to light up on its own! (I am glad, I did not cause an accident because of this)
  • The sound of temple artis and vehicles honking start getting on your nerves! Why do people have to be so loud?
  • It is a relief to talk to your domestic help in Hindi 🙂
  • You are about to gulp down a glass of tap water and are stopped in the nick of time by your mother!
  • When you are tooo happy to pay the taxi/rickshaw wallah more than they deserve because of the exchange rate! 😛
  • When you forget “tipping” at the local restaurants and invite glares from waiters!!
  • When you start getting scared of stray “dogs” 😛

Any others u can think of?

Movie Review: Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani – A laugh riot!! — November 7, 2009

Movie Review: Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani – A laugh riot!!

Raj Kumar Santoshi has striked once more!!

The movie is all about the president of Happy Club, called Prem, played by Ranbir Kapoor. He is a happy-go-lucky chap whose prime motive is to make people happy!! The movie is about the love story of Prem and Jenny, an orphaned girl played by Katrina Kaif

Strenghts

  • The best part about the movie are its comedy scenes. After a long time, we have a movie that can boast of fresh and clean comedy!! It was missing from the Bollywood scene for a while! 
  • Excellent performances by Ranbir Kapoor and the rest of the cast. Ranbir is a revelation, If he played the role of a sensitive, useless guy in Wake up Sid with ease, he cruises through this one with perfect elan! His comic timing is so good, he can match up to some veteran comedians with surprising ease!!
  • Excellent music by Pritam. The songs are fresh and catch up with the audience. I remember people clapping in some songs 🙂 
  • Brilliant choreography. I specially loved the rocking steps of Prem ki Naiyya by Ahmed Khan
  • Crackling direction! Rajkumar Santoshi is a pro at comedy. He shud make more of these 🙂

Weakness

  • Comedy scenes are interspersed by emotional scenes, which can get too much to handle after a while… Slowly you realise that you are laughing on the emotional scenes as well!! 😛

The last time I laughed so much in a movie was during Andaz Apna Apna, Hera Pheri or Chupke Chupke. I laughed so so hard, my stomach ached by the time the movie got over!! 😆

I strongly recommend this movie to anyone who loves a good laugh 🙂 🙂

Happy laughing 🙂 🙂 🙂

Beautiful analysis of Depression!! — November 6, 2009

Beautiful analysis of Depression!!

Depression is defined by google as “a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity

These days it is so common to hear of people saying “I am feeling depressed”!

I was listening to the words of Sri Sri Ravishankar once. In him, I find, an inspiring leader and a treasure of wisdom. Something he said, made a lot of sense to me. He said

Have you ever known a poor man being depressed? Depression is a luxury that only those people enjoy who have everything in life. Someone who doesnt know where his next meal is coming from, doesnt really have the “time” nor the “energy” to be depressed. He is too busy arranging for his square meals!!

God of Cricket shines yet another time… but… —

God of Cricket shines yet another time… but…

History repeated itself. After a crackling performance, Sachin had set the foundations for a momentous victory for India… But… as soon as he got out, the rest of the cricketers fell like a pack of cards and we lost by a very thin margin. The worst part was the run out of Praveen Kumar when we had 5 runs to make out of 2 balls!!

Nonetheless, it was really sad to lose! Noobie went to bed with a very heavy heart and a disgust “Why cudnt have Sachin stayed a little longer”!!! Despite my dislike, I felt bad at the loss too! 😦

This is what a truly successful person sounds like… — November 4, 2009

This is what a truly successful person sounds like…

She is 24. Got married when she was 18. She proudly claims today “Meri to love marriage thi… 18 me hi shadi kar li thi maine“. She works as a beautician today. Earns about Rs. 5000-6000/month. Around Diwali, her earnings sometimes go up to Rs. 10000/month! When probed on her educational qualifications, she shyly admits just having passed 10th std! Her husband is a real estate broker. Doesnt look very well educated either.

She has been married for 6 years now and is as bubbly and as ever! She has a loving husband who takes awesome care of her. Not just her, but her blind father as well.

Lone child of her parents. She frequently goes to her parental house and stays with them. Both her husband and his parents, do not mind this. In fact, her husband takes care of them as well!!

Ab shaadi ho gayi, to iska matlab ye thodi apne parents ko bhul jao! Main to apne papa ka bahut dhyan rakhti hun. Jitni income hai meri, usi me se unke liye jitna ho sakta hai utna karti hun! (Roughly translated: Now that I am married, it doesnt mean that I will not visit my parents, or forget them! I take care of my dad very well and in whatever pay I get, I try doing things for them)

She also told me that she has had 2 miscarriages and is taking medical attention to help conceive a child. But, if God doesnt want her to have a child of her own, she said she need not worry

Main ek anath ashram me se ek bachchi ko utha laungi na… Uska bhi bhala ho jayega and mujhe bhi ek bachcha mil jayega (Roughly translated: I will adopt a girl child from an orphanage. Both she and I will be benefited)

The moment these words got out of her mouth, I sat gaping at her. I could not believe what I was hearing. I wanted to confirm.

Me: Beta ya Beti? (Son or daughter?)
She: Beti baba. Ladkon ko to sabhi pyar karte hain. Main ek ladki god lungi! (A girl. Every one loves guys. I will adopt a girl)

I looked at her again. Here was a girl, barely in her mid-twenties, not that well educated, not that well-to-do and yet, such profound thinking!! I was overwhelmed and convinced… this kind of thinking or attitude or even mindset had nothing to do with our class, caste, education or even wealth! It is imbibed and sometimes even acquired.

Most of it, if you see carefully, is just common sense, anyways!

And just when she was about to leave, she looked at me and said

Agali baar aao to mere liye Rs 500 ke chocolates laana Singapore se… I love chocolates! Main khud pay karungi (Bring me chocolates worth 500 rs when u come the next time around. I will pay for it myself)

Such generosity! Although, this doesnt really count as generosity, since this was spending on ones own self. But, even then.. I was impressed by her carefree attitude and willingness to spend on things she liked 🙂

Another important lesson: You do not need money in your pocket to be able to spend. You need to have the heart 🙂

Seeing her wave me goodbye, I asked myself… if this is not success, what is?

Book Review: 2 States by Chetan Bhagat — November 2, 2009

Book Review: 2 States by Chetan Bhagat

Many book reviews of this latest product from the Chetan Bhagat factory suggested a good read… many strongly recommended the book as well… So, it was not surprising that I picked it up on my recent trip to Landmark.

Story

Book is the story of a Punjabi boy from Delhi and a Tamilian girl from Chennai. How they fall in love and how they convince their parents for marriage. The start is good. The author takes us into a trip to the dorm rooms of IIMA. How the budding friendships gallops into love, sex and then the time when the guy has to take a stand and commit to the girl. Now is the time for the parents to meet. Their parents meet and yes sparks fly. They cant stand each other. And thats when the journey starts.

2 States

They manage to convince their parents, get married and live happily ever after.

My 2 cents on the book

  • Start is good and captivating.
  • The protagonist of the book is supposed to be Hari from Chetan Bhagat’s first book, 5 point someone. He is battling a screwed up family and a haunting past.
  • The attempts of the guy to patao the girl’s family reminds one of DDLJ, only a really bad attempt at that.
  • The struggle of the couple to convince their parents seemed sinfully lopsided in the favor of the girl – The guy had to suffer a lot more to convince all the members of the girl’s family, while the girl had a cake walk.
  • The whole story kind of brought the character of Ananya in a very bad light. She is shown to be this smart, intelligent girl… and throughout the book, Krish has only one arguement in her favor: She is from IIMA and she works for HLL!
  • Towards the end of the book, the guy slogs and slogs… handles his parents, his parents-in-law and his girl friend… all in the same vein.. while the girl happily sits back and enjoys. In the end, she gets all she wants. The guy slogs for 6 months, while she gets everything done in a week!! Wow!! A little too hard to believe.
  • The author has tried his best to give our hero the charm of DDLJ’s SRK. He does make him seem convincingly lovable, but with reservations, due to loop holes in the story and some unanswered questions towards the end – For instance, Krish’s dad is shown to have a very shady character. Why he is physically and mentally abusive towards his wife and son is not made clear even towards the end.

With all due respect, I think Chetan Bhagat has now started writing novels, not for the love of the art, but in hope that after Aamir, some other big time director will want to make a movie out of this novel… which is not bad… but these ulterior motives take away from what could have been a good entertaining novel.

On, the whole I will not strongly recommend this movie book!!