The World as I see it

My Life. My Views

Media and the concept of beauty — May 28, 2012

Media and the concept of beauty

How do we define beauty? Is it fair skin, 18-inch waist, green-blue eyes, really long legs? Has our idea of beauty become so narrowed down that we are willing to go to any lengths to achieve that so-called-perfection?

You know some thing is terribly wrong somewhere when

  • 10-year olds start talking about dieting to get rid of puppy fat or start applying make-up
  • women known for their beauty (?) get heavily criticised if they appear human (!)
  • people get insecure or become depressed or worse, commit suicide because someone called them ugly
  • so-called pretty men/women get undue advantages at school, work, etc

Instead of appreciating ourselves as God’s gift to mankind, we are constantly trying to change ourselves to fit the concept of beauty as “defined” by the society. In India, the concept of beauty, till about 30 years ago was defined by fair skin. Any girl with fair skin was said to be beautiful. Any girl with wheatish complexion was said to be ugly. I have heard multiple stories where girls were rejected for marriage proposals just because they had wheatish complexion. This led to a mad rush for whitening the skin color of those unfortunate girls. My husband’s uncle would tirelessly make his daughter rub whitening lotions/scrubs/masks on her face just because she was not fair. The poor child had to endure this torture for very many years till her skin actually turned a lighter shade.

The obsession with light skin was always a blot on the way our society defines beauty. Things have just got worse with an equal obsession with weight.  Now, this obsession with weight can be looked at from 2 different angles: One is obsession with being healthy, the other is obsession with being size zero. I had written a blog on the harmful effects of size zero obsession sometime back. As far as obsession with being healthy is concerned, I think its great!! We Indians tend to consume a lot more than we can burn out, so it is a great wave of healthy eating that has made its way to our kitchens! Indians today are more aware and educated about healthy eating habits and a good lifestyle. The problem occurs when health takes a back seat and people want size zero at all costs, sometimes at the cost of their health. I see young girls today starving themselves in order to get that svelte figure. What they dont realize is that proteins, calcium and even carbs are so important for growing children. If they deprive their body of the basic nutrients, they will lead a very unhealthy life later on.

Indian bodies are a certain type – it is unhealthy for us to expect everyone to have size zero. And it takes a really ugly turn when Media starts bashing celebrities who are not size zero or have put on a little bit of weight – case in point, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan being reprimanded left, right and center for not having lost her post-partum weight. The kind of things that are being said about the woman who has always been known for her beauty were enough to put any one in depression, but not her! She has gone out to say this:

This is reality. This is who I am. I am a mother. This can happen and it has happened to me and it is fine. I have lived the real life in public eye and it continues. I have never endorsed Size zero. Beauty is being comfortable in your skin and this is that. Women are feeling that and they are seeing that and I am glad about it. Thats the way it should be.

Aishwarya has gone ahead to show that it is ok to put on a little bit of weight and be happy with it. Hats off to her for that. I wish Media would stop fostering fairy tale concept of beauty and unrealistic expectations. I also wish more celebrities like Aishwarya promote a healthy body image. It will go a long way in changing our constricted perception of beauty and help us appreciate and admire each individual the way they are 🙂

Ben Flajnik – You are a nut bag — March 14, 2012

Ben Flajnik – You are a nut bag

I am sure anyone who remotely followed The Bachelor season 16 will agree with me. I find the concept of people competing for a person very amusing.  I can hardly sit through most of the episodes. But this one, in particular, kept me hooked throughout… the reason? The bachelor was the biggest douche I have seen on Reality television and I have seen the likes of Akashdeep Saigal. The guy is so stupid, it is unbelievable! I kept hoping, for his sake, that he wouldnt pick Courtney Robertson who appeared to be the most fake and manipulative amongst the entire lot!! And thats exactly what he did!!!

No wonder then that Flajnik and Robertson broke up while their season was airing. However, they were later reconciled and got engaged for the second time.

I really wonder if this show is fixed and they kept Courtney around just to keep viewers like me hooked till the very end!



Commercialization of love… — February 14, 2012

Commercialization of love…


IMHO, celebrating Valentine’s Day is a good idea. In fact, I believe every important relationship in your life should have a day dedicated to it! Its like celebrating Raksha bandhan, you dont need a day to tell your brother/sister how much they mean to you but having a day dedicated to that relationship means you leave everything else aside and dedicate that particular day in the memory or if you are lucky, then actually being with that loved one. This is precisely the reason why I am not opposed to the idea of Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc. It doesnt mean you dont love them or care for them the rest of the year. It just means that when life is rushing by and you are losing track of time, on a particular day you leave everything aside, take a step back and actually be with that special someone…

What I do NOT like about “days” is the commercialisation of love, the one emotion that makes everything else in your life worthwhile. Suddenly everyone from the flower guy to the chocolate owners to the greeting card gallery owners start charging from 100-200% markup on all their merchandise… and the sad part is that we fall prey to those things and burn our hard-earned money on chocolates/flowers/gifts! Many of us succumb to it due to peer pressure or the expectations set by the said loved one.. “Tum mere liye kuch nahi laaye? Tum mujhse pyar nahi karte!” Now thats the last thing you want to hear from that special someone on that day, right?

How about this? You celebrate love by thinking of each other, by spending it with each other… but instead of doling out inexplicable amount of money on flowers that will wither come tomorrow, or chocolates that will give you the extra calories you can do without, why not take a longgg walk and set aside some money to bring a smile to someone else’s life. Bring a smile on your loved one’s face by contributing your bit to someone else 🙂

On a fun note, as Sheldon Cooper once said, “Given that St. Valentine was a 3rd century Roman Priest who was stoned and beheaded, wouldn’t a more appropriate celebration of the evening be taking one’s steady gal to witness a brutal murder?” 😀

Have a fun day, guys 🙂

Have you seen the new ‘The Hindu’ ads? — January 30, 2012

Have you seen the new ‘The Hindu’ ads?

If you havent, the new Hindu ads are a must watch… Its hilarious… A satire on the state of Indian youth today!

Some of my favorite in the series:

Ques: Where is Tahrir Square? Ans: I think its like a geometrical shape, like circle, square! 😛

Ques: In Ramayan, who is Rama’s father? Ans: Pandavas maybe 😛

Ques: Who is author of the Harry Potter series? Ans: Julius Ceaser maybe, I dont know! 😛

Ques: Who will succeed Ratan Tata? Ans: His son, Mukesh Ambani! 😛

For more such funny ones, watch the videos below:

Oh and this post marks the 700th post on this blog! Yoohoooooo!! 😀

International Kolkata Book Fair 2012 — January 26, 2012

International Kolkata Book Fair 2012

Had the privilege of being in Kolkata during the Book Fair. My love for books was enough to make sure I keep a full day aside for the fair and it was so worth it…!!

There were halls full of stalls put up by various publishing houses and big book stores from all over the world. Apart from that, there were country specific set-ups! In the Italia setup, there were a few famous Italian authors floating by, seeing people’s responses to their books. It was all so informal and casual, no hangups, no starry tantrums… a few pictures and autographs here and there…

I have one regret though: I wish I was a little more prepared for the book show. For someone who doesnt know which type of books they want to browse, it can be pretty intimidating and there arent enough signs to guide you to your type of books. This type of fair was more for people who had come down to see all the stalls from A-Z. An undertaking of such a large scale should have better structure with maps handed out so people can find their way through the maze easily.

Another downside was that even though the book fair had inaugurated on 25th Jan, a lot of construction work was still going on, with many stalls not yet ready with books still stacked neatly in carton boxes. A lady at the food stall told us no electricity had been provided to her stall yet and so she could not serve any food.

All in all, I had a good time… Ended up buying something I had been wanting for a long time… My very own Tintin collection 🙂

As soon as I have had time to unpack, I will be putting up a picture of my collection 🙂

So, anyone else been to the Calcutta Book Fair?

Decoding the RGV Phenomena — December 16, 2010

Decoding the RGV Phenomena

I have been out of the circuit for a bit now and the only reason for that was lack of inspiration – I did not wish to blog for the heck of it and I found myself short on interesting ideas or thoughts worth thinking aloud!

Not very long ago in a beautiful city of the western part of India, a group of college going students were having a tea-time conversation about movies, entertainment… basically anything to keep their minds off the next assignment/project. I vividly remember those sunny afternoons – how everytime the name RGV (Ram Gopal Varma, for the uninitiated) came up, there would be a collective murmur – “Oh! he is good”… “His movies you just can’t miss”… “They have so much meaning… and they are so different from the rest”

The verdict was clear!

In an era when most movies banked on big budgets, foreign locales, big stars, crappy story-lines… RGV had the guts to make movies that an average movie-goer wanted to watch… No over-the-top drama… No star power to take away the limelight from the subject… Just pure entertainment… His name started being associated with movies that were sure to entertain you… Anyone who grew up in late 90s, watching Rangeela, Satya, Kaun and then progressing to the early 2000s that marked the cinematic brilliance of Company and Sarkar, would vouch for the phenomena and the rage that RGV had become! A power to be reckoned by!

And then… it hit…

He decided to remake Sholay. This was a bad idea to more reasons that one:

  • Sholay being an epic, is deeply imbibed in every Indian’s heart.
  • Scene-by-scene, dialogue-by-dialogue, the epic was a legend, with each character being a legend in itself. Creating it and being able to re-create the magic was a humongous task
  • Any kind of “twists” and “turns” added to the original story-line may not go down that well with the lovers of “Sholay”
  • Huge dearth of the actors of the calibre of initial star-cast!

From the time I heard, RGV had made some drastic changes to the original script, making it more modern, I knew this was a recipe for trouble! If he pulls it off, it will be a raging success, else a colossal mess. And thats what happened! To date, RGV ki aag is voted as the biggest disaster of the millenium. I refuse to believe that a man of his calibre, could not see the disaster he was concocting. Then the next question is why did he still go ahead with it? Was he too arrogant to even notice the blunders? Or was he left with no choice? Or was he so self-obssessed that it clouded his thinking? What were the actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay Devgn thinking?

Well, the movie came and went… and on its way out, it took something a lot more important than just one movie – The credibility of the name RGV in the minds of an average Indian. That was the beginning of the end of an era of wise decisions! He tried his previous formulas again, tried hard to re-surrect his career… but nothing worked! The very premise that had identified RGV as being “different” from an average Indian film-maker was gone! wooosh!

Fastforward to 2010 – Nearly 15 years after Rangeela was released, RGV is now a sad butt of all jokes. From being an example of all things that a film-maker should do, he metamorphosed into an example of all things that a film-maker should not do!

All I have to say, in the end… RGV, let us remember you by all the good movies you created and not the blots on Indian cinema.

Movie Review: Udaan – Pure, raw emotions splashed all over the screen! — July 22, 2010

Movie Review: Udaan – Pure, raw emotions splashed all over the screen!

This review may have spoilers, but trust me, no amount of spoilers will ruin this movie for you… It is the entire experience of those 2 hrs that is worth every penny!

I thought a lot before writing the review, is there one word that truly describes the movie? Cant be… coz it is as difficult to describe this movie as difficult it is to describe the most pristine of emotions one feels!

It is a simple story… that of a drunkard father trying to bring up 2 sons and doing a miserable job of it. His life has turned him into a raging maniac who has absolutely no control over his temper… and an unrepentent cynic who refuses to see anything remotely good in his children. He thinks they are useless and worthless, but it is actually his reflection of his own self! He treats his children as a commodity which has been thrown at him – does not show his love for them or rather insists on being called “sir” instead of “papa” or “dad”.

The best part of the story which actually forms the crux of the movie is the relationship between the two half-brothers, Rohan and Arjun! They have nothing in common – were not even aware of each other’s existence – and yet they share a common pain – their dad!

The character of Ronit Roy in the movie has sooo many different layers to it that it leaves you baffled!! On the onset it may seem like here is a maniac person who wants nothing to do with his children, at the same time, we get to see his softer side when he apologizes to his sons for his misdemeanor! You empathise with him, loathe him, are apalled and disgusted by him… all at the same time!!

But the icing on the cake is the little kid, Arjun! He does not have many dialogues to say or many things to do, but every little thing he does and every time he get that little smile on his face, your heart flutters with joy at seeing the little one smile, which is not very often! The calmness with which he faces inhuman torture gives you goosebumps! This kind of made me think, that this is probably one of those things that make a person so hard hearted! The soft emotions that a 6-yr old child should have are completely missing from this one because he has not seen any form of love in his life!

If you have not already, then go… rush… this one will be worth every penny!!

In defense of Raajneeti, the movie! — July 6, 2010

In defense of Raajneeti, the movie!

A dear friend who is All Talk and No Action came up with this review of Raajneeti, explaining why she thought it was a disappointment. I disagreed with it on so many levels that I decided to blog about it… My comments inline in red

It’s a little late in the day for a review.

I spent a lot of  time trying to find people who held views similar to mine. Sadly, those who did, either didn’t understand Bollywood or held childish views on politics.

Anyway, I share with you why Raajneeti was an absolute disappointment for me.

  • Indian Politics and Mahabharat are both rich subjects, requiring deft treatment. Jha failed in this department. Why he mixed both, fails me. – I thought it was a brilliant idea to mix both.. After all, being the intense story Mahabharat is, it has all that can be referred to as a political drama! Actually the mix seemed very logical to me…
  • Life, including Politics, is mostly gray. Jha showcases Politics as uni-dimensional. “Everyone out there is a scoundrel” is what the message appeared to be. Really, it is a very damaging view to hold. Saner and more realistic movies to have come out on politics are Satta by Madhur Bhandarkar and Gulaal by Anurag Kashyap. – Raajneeti was anything but uni-dimensional… Not a single character in the movie can be pinned down as being white or black. They were all shades of gray. Some grayer than the rest…
  • The movie had awful character development. Katrina’s new age woman, who is raring to go after the man of her dreams, giving in meekly to the demands of the men in her life, was such a no-brainer! Her character is treated like cattle – auctioned from one party to another. You may say that this is how it is for women from political families. Then, I say, don’t show a street smart belle. Someone timid would seem more authentic. Or, at least show a decent fight being put up by the character. Pouts don’t count! Yeah well yes she did give in rather quickly… but m glad Jha did not waste screen time in that… Wud have unnecessarily stretched the movie and diverted from the original plot… Similarly, Ranbir’s “Arjun” was beyond me. I laughed out when, during the climax, he loathes politics, stating how it brings out the animal in him. Really?? No external force can ever bring out the animal in you, unless you already have one residing within. Actually, I completely disagree with you… Firstly, every person has a good side and a bad side to them.. which is why they say, some people bring out your side while others bring out your worst… So, all of us have an animal residing inside of us. Our actions and sometimes circumstances bring it out… The most evil of people have a good side too… Its just that their bad side overshadows the good one… Same was the case with Ranbir… He had it in him but stayed away. He had grown up in that environment and he knew how the game was played by watching his father and elder brother…  Ranbir’s transformation from an international student of Victorian Poetry to a blood thirsty, scheming mastermind was an assault on my senses. For all the drama about his conscience, there was not a single scene depicting agony or internal debate within him. The agony and the internal battle was there throughout, though not in an obvious way… It was subtle… I hold similar views on all other characters in this opus. Bollywood movie makers really need to work on creating believable characters.
  • At a subconscious level, the movie seemed to promote the idea that children of political families are born with political acumen. How else do you explain Ranbir’s character? It seemed as if the guy had been writing poetry, always secretly wishing to manage a national election campaign. Duh ! See, the movie does not promote that… Ranbir’s character was kind of inspired by the character of Michael Corleone (of The Godfather), who is forced to become a gangster by the circumstances… Sometimes circumstances and situations bring out the animal in us and that is what the poetry writing Ranbir is put through!
  • The quintessential rain sequence – The scene between Nikhila Trikha and Naseeruddin Shah gave the impression that all one requires to unleash stupidity in people is monsoon! Hahahahah looks like the Mumbai rains are getting to you 😉
  • The only good thing to have come out of the movie is the “Jesth Putra” scene between Trikha and Devgan. It is my official recommendation for the most hilarious scene of the year. Yes, that scene was uncalled for… Actually the only point where I agree with you 🙂 But then again, they had to show the confrontation… without that, this would have been incomplete!
  • It would be unfair to say that I found no good in the movie. Arjun Rampal was quite an unexpected delight. So was Shruti Sheth. But that’s that. Arjun Rampal was a revelation, yes, but Shruti Sheth’s performance was over-rated. Yes, she managed to make us all cringe in our seats, with her not-so-flaterring presentation of a conniving and manipulative who*e, but the character was way too disgusting!

So, what do you guys think? 🙂

Random Question #3 — July 5, 2010

Random Question #3

Reading about Viveka Babajee’s suicide sends shivers down my spine.. what irks me is that there are many so-called successful women who end their lives because their relationship did not last! The list includes Kuljeet Randhawa, Nafisa Joseph, et al

With all the talks about women being as strong or more than men… with all the talks of equality to genders… such incidents are a big slap on the face… On one end, when the women of this world are trying their best to match pace with the men around, on the other hand, established successful women who should be an inspiration to others, are ending their lives… The prominent reason being failed relationships! And this nullifies all the effort towards building a nation full of stronger, more confident women!

My question for today is:

With all talks of women liberalisation, is a man still the universe of a woman? Is it worth ending your life in love?

Random Question #2 — June 30, 2010

Random Question #2

With the advent of social networking sites and their raid in our lives, it is rude to keep fiddling with your phone on either twitter/facebook in the company of friends and family? Is it a big deal to multi-task, as in engage in conversations with people around you and at the same time keep updating your facebook status message?

FIFA – My journey until the bug caught me! — June 29, 2010

FIFA – My journey until the bug caught me!

I have always been away from Football or Footy as Noobie calls it… I managed for a long time despite his best attempts of luring me to some good matches. As luck would have had it, the supposed “good” teams ended up playing real bad and I wud end up getting bored. Nothing was working… Noobie was unable to get me interested in this particular sport!!

So, here I was… happy, content, going on with life as usual, blissfully away from the fever that has engulfed the people all over the world over a phenomenon called FIFA!! Thats when the bug bit me… I hold a few things responsible for my surrender:

Noobie’s perseverance

He would drag me to these for-saken matches or sit at home sulking, not watching the matches himself (Blackmail always works, doesnt it :?) So, you would find me sitting in the condo-function room (where these matches were being broadcast) with a drawn-out expression… Anyone could look at me and make out that I was there against my supposed-will. And then, just the crowd’s enthusiasm at every supposed-goal/every yellow card/every near-miss.. Just the crowd’s reaction got me wondering… what the hell happened!! And then the curiosity killed the cat and in this case, the cat was me! I started asking questions – Thats exactly what Noobie wanted… And well, that was the start… I began understand how the game is played! And Messi creating waves on the court, coupled with Maradona’s antics off the court, dint help matters either!


The woman sure can move!! And I blame her to a large extent for my surrender! Whats with the song (Waka Waka)? It is so bloody addictive!! I surely could not ignore this one… She had me completely mesmerised… And the South African tribal bits added beautifully into the song had me in a trance! *Doing* The lyrics do not make sense at all… and that gets u interested in finding out what it means. For eg, one part of lyrics goes Jumbo…eh eh… Jumbo… eh eh… Tsamina mina Zangaleva, Aanawa aa. That drew me to read about the meaning of the lyrics. The video is equally good – In fact when I could recognize a few football faces, I knew I was slipping away… faster than I thought…


Football is so widely covered – by all forms and types of media that it is difficult to stay away from it altogether! I mean, for how long can you avoid new websites/facebook/twitter/blogosphere?? You name it and its there! And some websites even had the “Top 10 best goals/top 10 worst goals/worst players” lists on their websites, which took me closer to the game…

Now, I do not think I am a fan yet, but all I know is that I am desperately looking forward to the Argentina-Germany match this Saturday! 🙂

[PS: If you havent watched it already, watch it here (combined with lyrics down)]


You’re a good soldier
Choosing your battles
Pick yourself up
And dust yourself off
Get back in the saddle

You’re on the front line
Everyone’s watching
You know it’s serious
We are getting closer
This isn’t over

The pressure is on
You feel it
But you got it all
Believe it

When you fall get up, oh oh
If you fall get up, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
Cuz this is Africa
Tsamina mina, eh eh
Waka waka, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
This time for Africa

Listen to your God
This is our motto
Your time to shine
Don’t wait in line
Y vamos por todo

People are raising
Their expectations
Go on and feed them
This is your moment
No hesitations

Today’s your day
I feel it
You paved the way
Believe it

If you get down get up, oh oh
When you get down get up, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
This time for Africa
Tsamina mina, eh eh
Waka waka, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa a a
Tsamina mina, eh eh
Waka waka, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
This time for Africa

Awela Majoni Biggie Biggie Mama One A To Zet
Athi sithi LaMajoni Biggie Biggie Mama From East To West
Bathi . . . Waka Waka Ma Eh Eh Waka Waka Ma Eh Eh
Zonke zizwe mazi buye
Cuz this is Africa

Voice: Tsamina mina, Anawa a a
Tsamina mina
Tsamina mina, Anawa a a

Tsamina mina, eh eh
Waka waka, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa a a
Tsamina mina, eh eh
Waka waka, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
This time for Africa

Django eh eh
Django eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa a a

Django eh eh
Django eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa a a

(2x) This time for Africa

(2x) We’re all Africa


Love is in the air… :) — February 9, 2010

Love is in the air… :)

I consider February as the month of love… Not just because it has the most universally celebrated day of the year, the Valentine’s Day, but also represents the sacred thread of love which bound two of the purest souls on Earth forever – Yes, its my parents’ Wedding Anniversary! 🙂 Love you, mom and dad 🙂

So, that officially makes February the “Love Month of the year” 🙂

Talking of love, I sometimes wonder if it is indeed the most “loosely” used word in English dictionary… do we really mean it when we use it? Then how do people fall in and out of love with so much ease, as if just changing into a fresh piece of clothing!

And yet, everyone seems to be in constant search for love… even those already married or seeing someone! The quest for that “perfect soul mate” has ruined many a lives in the past and will continue to do so in the future… whatever happened to the concept of “Eternal love”? People use the word “love” to depict their ulterior motives… They often confuse love with lust, obssession and what not! Are we running behind an illusion, which is anything but love?

While designing the theme page for the blog, I cudnt help but wonder… Love has never been more celebrated than today’s times… We have days to celebrate our love with that special someone! Innumerable number of ways in which love can be expressed… u have e-cards, letters, e-mails… Communication media is at its all time best! Facebook, orkut, u name it… And yet, love of the yesteryears survived the toughest of the hardships and was truly eternal… It was never important to say it out loud then… it was felt in the eyes!! There was a romantic subtlety about it… which made it sooo pristine and pure… much unlike today, when one seems more engrossed in finding the best of the lot… and the search never ends… coz the moment u have found someone, there will always be someone better waiting around…!! I am not sure if you guys did notice this… whenever there is a break-up, the one breaking up always has someone better in their mind already! The entire phenomenon has been sadly reduced to a strategy game of sorts!


And yet, there are some others who deeply and truly understand what love is…

Let us just hope that with all our fancy dos and amidst all the dhinchak means, we are able to celebrate love in its purest and most unadulterated form! 🙂

Enjoy 🙂

[Image: courtesy: truewhisper]

Phir Mile Sur Mera Tumhara – Sadly PALE!!! — January 26, 2010

Phir Mile Sur Mera Tumhara – Sadly PALE!!!

I am a die hard fan of Indian Integrity and the whole concept of “Unity in Diversity”. And nothing better could represent the sole soul of the nation than “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara”

I am apalled, aghast, disgusted after seeing the new representation of India in “Phir Mile Sur Mera Tumhara”.

Here goes my review of the same:


  1. Amitabh starting the video – gave it a powerful start. Shankar Mahadevan and gang followed it well with a good rendition


  1. Are you trying to show India without The Taj? I mean, seriously? In the 17 min long video, you could not devote a few seconds to the most recognizable structure in India?
  2. No Lata!? Without her voice, can a video on India be complete? Her beautiful voice gave us goose bumps in the earlier version and we are super lucky to have had her around during the re-make – and the makers missed out on that!!?? Sad!
  3. No Sachin or Dravid? Basically no representation whatsoever of Cricket, the most loved religion of India!
  4. Too much of Mumbai in the video.. How about the ghati of Kashmir or the Backwaters of Kerala or the tea-gardens of Assam or the beaches of Goa?
  5. Deepika and Ranbir looked rather stupid merely acting and not adding any value to the video. From the looks of it, they seemed like they were doing yet another film and not a video on National Integrity!
  6. Really poor representation of WB – They could have roped in Sourav – the prince of Kolkata!
  7. And no one better than Gohil to represent Gujarat? They could have got Mallika Sarabhai back! Or roped in Prachi Desai or Paresh Raval.
  8. The fusion of Shiamak Davar and Kuchipudi was done in real bad taste
  9. Aamir’s portion badly shot and a novel touch to the tune of the song has made it disastrous. His portion did not add any value at all to the whole theme.
  10. Sonu Nigam looks disgusting… he looks like a firang bozo! His portion was sadly easily editable!
  11. The video was trying hard to give enough footage to all the stars involved – Just one line given to every one of them would have sufficed – ensuring little digression from the theme! In the earlier version, all the stars were shown, not as stars, but as aam aadmi. Most were just there, contributing their bit in an unobtrusive way!
  12. Not an iota of mention of Chandrayan? One of our bigger scientific achievements of the decade!
  13. Many portions of the song seemed completely out of tune!
  14. They could have used the famous child stars in portions involving kids.

The video frankly seemed like it was trying hard to satisfy the vanity of each of the stars involved! They could do with some serious editing! It started with a good intention, which was not successfully met. Wished they had concentrated more on showing the real “India” and less of pomp and show!

To cut a long story short, the 17 min long video no match for its short and crisp 6+ mins old counterpart!

I give it a thumbs down! Wats your take?

[PS Prepared with some creative inputs from Praveen]

Sports and Women — January 25, 2010

Sports and Women

Last weekend, a younger cousin (male) of mine and I were enjoying a game of Lawn Tennis, well he was and I wasnt… Thats because I lost all my stamina in the first game itself and by the second one, I was in no mood to run! My complacency and gaucherie soon got the better of him and he commented

Kya ladkiyon ki tarah khel rahi hai… dhang se khel na!! (Why are you playing like women? Play properly!) 

My first instinct was to go across the lawn and bash him blue with my Tennis racquet. And yet I found myself standing there with an I-know-what-you-mean kinda smile on my face! I knew exactly the meaning behind the supposed sexist statement he had passed.

When I was growing up, I was into all kinds of sports – my preferred choice being outdoorsy types! They rejuvenated me like nothing else could.

Until 8th Standard, almost all the girls at least tried to give their best to whatever we were playing – usually DodgeBall or ThrowBall – {have always loved my school, but I will always grieve the fact that the sole volleyball ground in the school was property of the boys, so we had to content ourselves with games like Dodge-all and Throw-Ball}. Nevertheless, it was fun playing those games!! I used to hate missing schools, specially on the days when we had Games period.

Come 9th Standard, girls were not girls anymore… they were turning into women! That led to a marginal decline in their willingness to indulge in any kind of sports/games. Most of them were more into their looks than even their books! 😛 Moreover, playing sports is so “manly”! D-huh!! The ones still interested were a tiny lot… who did not have a team big enough to play anything.

Come 10th Standard, Women were either into their studies, looks or discussing about guys! No one had the time or even the inclination to play any kind of games. Games period was no fun anymore! This wud very often depress me as I really looked forward to it

Come 11-12th Standard, Games classes in schools were spend solving assignments/studying/sleeping!

Some women themselves have created a mould where-in they themselves are not interested in any kind of sports. They consider it un-feminine for some reason. Bull shit.

And yet again, some want to do well but the stereotype that prevails in the society, prevents them from doing so. The state is quite sad! Movies like Chak De further highlight the kind of responses women in sports get from people around them! No one wants to take them seriously… its almost as if no one is convinced that they will do well!! Who knows India probably lost a promising Tennis player in Ruchika Girhotra, thanks to the lecherous head of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association, retired Director-General of Haryana, SPS Rathore. He killed not one, but two promising Tennis players of India.

When it comes to sports, women are doing better by the day… but we still have a loooong way to go! Hopefully, we will be given as many opportunities as men to do well.. even in sports!


Movie Review: Blind Side – Fantastic!! — January 21, 2010

Movie Review: Blind Side – Fantastic!!

There are all kinds of movies one watches in their life time… I would define them in 2 categories: some make it to your blog, some dont 😛

And dont get me wrong here… Those who make it to my blog have certainly impacted me a deep way! Either I want my readers to run at the mere mention of their name, or I would like them to push these up in their To-watch-movies list.

I am proud to announce the latest introduction to the latter category: Blind Side! I am serious when I say leave all that you are doing and go watch this movie! You wont regret it!

It is also important to mention that this movie review fits in perfectly with my theme of the month – as it is touches the beautiful relationship of a son with his birth and foster mother! This movie also reiterates the fact that feeling of being a mother does not arise only by giving birth, it is that instinct which makes you want to fiercely protect the ones you love.

Even before we start with the review, let us honour the author, Michael Lewis, of the original book (The blind side: Evolution of a game) from which the movie is adapted. Cant wait to read it! And I admit I just found out (courtesy: wiki) that this book and the movie is based on the real life story of Mike Oher! I mean all the characters in the movie are real, actual people! Wow!

Ok enough of the digressing, lets get down to business!


  • Excellent story – When I saw the movie yesterday and I had no idea that it was based on a real-life story, I thought the storyline was fantastic. Now that I know it happened for real, I am dumb-founded and stunned! I have no adjectives left!! (Doesnt speak very well of me as a blogger, I know!) But seriously, *Hats Off!*
  • Brilliant performances – Sandra Bullock, in the role of a strong, super confident woman, Leigh Ann Tuohy, is mesmerising. Her screen presence is so extraordinary, it is hard to take your eyes off this miraculous woman! Not to mention, Quinton Aaron‘s intense portrayal of Michael Oher is fantabulous! He hardly has any dialogues in the movie – this man talks with his expressions and his eyes! Super!
  • Awesome direction by John Lee Hancock. His sensitive portrayal of a desolate, lost child regaining confidence in himself and the world around him and the journey he undertakes, is exceptional!


  • None!

My review would be incomplete without a special mention to Sandra Bullock’s character in the movie: Leigh Ann Tuohy! According to me, she is an epitome of the perfect woman – she has her career in place, is a doting and loving (albeit strict) mother and wife, a humanitarian with her heart in the right place and not to mention, a super tough woman who can kick anyone’s a** if they even as much as think of hurting her family and yet a super-sensitive mom, who doesnt take long to well up!! She is, in all sense of the word, my idea of an ideal woman! You will know what I mean once you watch this movie!

I would like to end this review with a small personal letter to this woman who has made it to my list of top-10 most influential women of the decade.

Dear Ms Tuohy,

If you ever come across this article, I would like you to know that if you are, in real life, even 10% of what was portrayed in the movie, I bow down to you!

You are an inspiration to millions of women all over the world.

Thank you!

Love, Nova

As far as my husband is concerned, he fell in love with the youngest son of the Tuohys, SJ!

Please leave everything that you are doing to go watch this movie. Trust me, you wont regret your decision 🙂