Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Radio Ga-Ga

My first association with radio was the old toota-foota Murphy radio that we had at home ... which inspite of its exterior ugliness served well and played wonderful music(whenever the radio station choose to play it) ...

When I visited my grandparents in chennai, i would hate the radio, because my thatha would put it on at 5:30 in the morning and wake the whole neighbourhood up ... Those were times when the day HAD to begin with a group of singers crooning "Vandemataram" .... it would be followed by classical music by some non-existent and some existent and known musician ... Then would come the best part for my grandfather - the news ... i always admired the voices that read the news - so crisp and so much full of authority .... Radio was a part and parcel of my holidays .. it would be constantly on in the background, and no matter where in the house one was, he/she would never fail to listen to the commentator on the Radio.

Radios bring back to memory an article i read once in Gokulam(an almost non-existent magazine for children, but one which was full of so much good stuff years ago .. ) - a lady of 55 reminiscing about her childhood memories of the radio - where she would imagine herself to be a singer and sit behind the radio and sing aloud, in the hope that it was being aired all over the country ...

In the days of my mother's teenage it was the only source of music and information .. Everybody must have a radio and would eagerly wait for that one hour when new songs were aired ..
I loved seeing songs like "Meet Na Mila .." and "Nahin bhoolengi Barsaat ki woh raat" , where they show songs being aired on radio and how much people would enjoy it ...

Radios also are mentioned in this beautiful songs by Carpenters .. Yesterday Once More ..
Then for a while Radios became extinct .. No body, except poor cobblers or panwalas heard it .. and soon they became historic ...

And then suddenly, they came back with a big bang .. through the popular FM Channels .

Suddenly, Radios were the in-thing .. Miniatures radios were manufactured and were strewn all over the market. Radio was being played everywhere from Office buses, to chai shops , to hotels to City Buses! .. People would refuse to start the day without hearing to their favourite RJs and Radio Jockeys became the most envious people of all....

Today the craze for the FM Channels is undescribable .. (that is my own word by the way) .. I cannot imagine travelling for an hour in the bus without the company of the FM ... I feel something lacking on a day that my walkman refuses to play or batteries get over ...

What's in a Name?

I think it was shakespeare who said this in the very famous in the play Romeo And Juliet... But I am sure he would have never ever thought how much troubles lay in the very small,yet the most important attribute of a man - his/her name ..
I am livid right now thinking about this very particular thing.
Every Region in India has its unique own way of names. In North, runs the tradition of a family name being attached to a person's own name, in the South , it is usually the Father's name before marriage and Husband's name after marriage. In some parts, like Andhra, the tradition of Village name being attached to one's own name exists ..
This is not what I am upset about ... I don't care what name your parents give you, or what attachments get added on to it at every stage of your life .. It is when the 'government' part gets involved with a name that troubles start ...
I have had so much trouble with names in the recent past, that i wish everybody's name was just 1 or 2 letters ... GRRRRRR .....
It all started when five years after the passport was issued, everybody suddenly woke up to find that my husband's given name and surname was interchanged, and this posed the most important problem in our life ... Fine , we set about solving this .. Taking 100s of unwanted, unrelated, useless documenatation, proof for this -that(including a proof that we existed , to proofs for the fact that we breathed , ate, slept etc... ) we arrived at this most esteemeed travel agents place, who with a big beaming smile and a very assuring attitude told us that we need not worry for a single thing anymore .. and that he would fix every single problem in our life ...
We came back as happy as a pair of larks and forgot all about it ... the usual police check happened and we churned out 300/- ... kept checking the web-site often for the passport status ... In all this our Mr.Fix-it-all would hardly be available to answer any queries... and why would he - he got the money he wanted so it was time for him to make the dissappearing act... It would be infruiating to ring his number twenty dozen times, not getting it 15 dozen times, the phone being cut another 3 dozen times and being given excuses like "he is in the toilet", "he is drinking water", "he has just stepped out for a cigarette", "he is just eating the last morsel of food" ... and so on for the other 2 dozen times ....
We finally saw light today, when we were summoned to the Post office to pick up the passports .... With a very happy mind, and a beaming smile i met the post master, gave him my best dimpled smile upon getting the passport, which changed to the worst frown, the instant i saw my passport ... (in all this i forgot to say that in our enthsiasm of getting married, we even asked for spouse endorsements on our passports) ... My NAME which was all the while absolutely, perfectly correct was mis-spelt ....GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOAN! was i to go through all this rigamorale again ???? .....
If that agent idiot cannot spell 17 letters of my word properly, and the stupid government fellow cannot type those 17 little letters correct, what would he ever do if he got a passport application for my mother's colleague whose name was as short as " Veera Venkata Subba Arukuru Raghavendra Srinivasa Giri Prasad" fondly called (A-Z Prasad) ....
I wish i could catch hold of Shakespeare now and ask him "WHAT IS IN A NAME?"

Monday, July 25, 2005

Of Routines and Changes

Life is full of routines and changes in them .... and i detest changes ..
You could say, I am scared of changes....
How often we feel familiar with something that we see, hear and feel no? That one sudden day, when all that we are 'routinely' used to changes, we feel lost somewhere unknown ... but then again , if you notice, the beauty of life is that , unknowingly and very cleverly a routine gets set in this change also ...
My life has always been one of routine and order(if not to the extent of an army order - much orderly than many)... I liked the routine of my life and would always make an attempt to add new things to my daily list of activities ...
In College it started with getting up early, and brushing up college stuff/catching up with my diary writing/reading a most interesting novel that i had laid hands upon , taking a bath at 5:30 or 6:00, for that is when the whole clothes line would be available for me ... do a bit of puja(got more inspired by Lalli's daily chanting of the hanuman chalisa for about half an hour or so... ), and get ready for b'fast and college.... I was inspired by my dearest friend lipika , to keep myself on toes about what and when i did ... I will never be able to forget that image of the thin, stalk like figure holding her spoon and plate and standing in front of the mess at DOT 7, waiting patiently for the "Avvas" to finish setting the dinner items ... She was a human digital clock and so was her stomach, which never missed a second ....
When I left my first job and joined the new company, I found it very difficult to adjust to the sorroundings and people... I missed those chatty lunch sessions with the girls, those teasings , the tool called "IPMSG" ... A guy whom i referred to as "Asuya" ... and so many things ... I would crib everyday to Rajesh, to my friends that i did not like the new place .... But slowly and steady, there were a few things that i started noticing, following, doing .... and slowly every morning would look forward to that little "Chart" of activities of mine - to see , to talk, to do .....
Each time I went onsite, on the last day at offshore, while going back home in the office bus, i would sigh and feel very very sad at missing those familiar sights, would feel the churn in my stomach as to how things would be at the new place .....
When i got married and came to Chennai, It was soo difficult to digest the fact that I would not be having lunch with Subha and Meens anymore, i would not have them to shoo away my problems, give me solutions, share gossip ... I was feeling scared of the new project i would get it , was feeling sad at going away from familiar close team mates like Rupa and Viji .... And indeed , i found it difficult for a long time to adjust here ....
but now i have my own routine .. waking up, making boost , hurrying to get ready for office, rushing to catch the 7:50 bus, always missing it and making for the 7:55 one instead .... switching on my radio after i get into the bus first thing ... browse thru the 'filmi' contents of BT, before moving to my fav. SU-DU-KO, feeling satisfied at having solved it in a few minutes, quickly finishing the jumbled words and then mulling over the crossword - and finshing it all my vowing that i will never try that 'Stupid' crossword again ... :) ...
As I matured, i understood that changes are inevitable in life ... and that it does take anybody some time to adapt to a change -> some do it faster than others ... some like me long for the familiar so much that they miss out the new and better things in the change ...
I am also 'changing' this habit of mine to get more used to 'changes' .... but the routine in me finds it difficult to adjust my 'routine' to accomodate a 'change' .... ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hobbies and Yourself

Little Rahul introduced himself thus when he was 8 : "My name is Rahul, I study in Class IV c, My Hobbies are : Drawing, playing violin, playing cricket, watching cartoon network, reading Tinkle, playing carrom board,visiting the beach" .....

When he was 16 he introduced himself thus: "Hey! This is Rahul ... I love Painting, playing violin, watching and playing cricket"

When he was 25 he introduced himself thus" Hi! Rahul here ... My hobbies include playing violin and catching re-runs of cricket match on TV" ...

At 35, when his son asked him what his hobbies are ... he goes like ... "My hobbies are ..... ahhh ... uhhh .... ummm..." ... he is speechless....

With growing age and increasing work/home pressure - people are losing their hobbies... There are very people in my generation who take time to go out for music/art classes, who read a book as a hobby, who play a few games that they love ....
Last Saturday , when Rajesh and me spend a few wonderful hours playing the scrabble, we realised just how much are we missing out in our daily busy lives....
All of us are Tech-Savy, know everything and anything that is new in the world - are always in the rat race to grow up the corporation ladder, earn more money for a easy life, that we hardly get time to spare a few moments to do something we 'once upon a time just loved doing' ....
It is 2 years since i took out my music book to sing a few lines of my favourite keerthanam ... It is more than a month since my friend, who was once a voracious reader , started one book and could not even complete 1/4th of it ...
It is very difficult to find time ... I, for one , hardly find any time for anything (that was a nice line hee hee)... and i don't even have "GREAT" responsibilities on my shoulders as yet - so i cannot even imagine life when i do have all those BIG burdens ...
Once a while it is very important that we take out sometime to do something that gives us happiness, something which is out of the routine, something that is to do with art/music/games .... something that will keep that "extra-curricular" vien in our body alive and tingling ... It is necessary for us to rejunivinate ourselves by spending more time with ourselves, to assess where we are in life, whether what we wanted is coming fine, where are we lacking, how happy we are .... and how many more friends we have made in life ... Believe me, spending time with oneself, makes you feel more fresh and cheerful ...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Parineeta

Wonder why Fridays of all days seem to be passing by slowly. And if you have cold, headache, body ache rolled in together with a dull day, the day seems to have stopped forever ... After a nasty double cappuchino, which tasted like the bitter kashayam, my mother makes; I am no where feeling any better than I did before the coffee ...

a long time since i wrote something in my blog ... Well, I am not at all a writer, or atleast beleive so... Ideas don't flow into my mind always and all that i think is also not well-received by all - not upto their standards , so-to-say ... This reminds me of Ernie - a character in one of my favourite series as a kid and a teenager - Enid Blyton's Five - Find outers... Ernie is a look alike of the leader of the "Five" find -outers(as they call themselves) - Fatty ..... Who desperately wants to write poems, but can never write one line in like a week.... Each time he tells this to Fatty, the latter rattles out a beautiful poem in like seconds and all Ernie is able to say is "coo! how do you do it Fatty?" .... Well, I am like Ernie .... Can only "Coo" about without able to write a piece of literature ...

Well, this blog has got nothing to do with all of the above nonsense.... I would like to write about the "oh! - so talked" about movie "Parineeta" which we watched yesterday .... The spark of interest for the movie came when we came to know that the Female lead in the movie Vidya Balan was my cousin's wife's cousin ... And of course the hype the movie created ... for a couple of days , any channel you watched HAD to have an interview with the pretty, unconventional looking , beautiful "Lolita" .... To the extent that "Outlook Money" (my husband's favourite these days), had an interview with her ...
So, we booked the tickets online a couple of days ago ... and were pretty excited about it yesterday ... A day when everything that had to go wrong , did go wrong ... my cold, feverish feeling, hunger and not having time to eat anything, rajesh's supposed call at exactly 6:45 (the movie was to begin at 7:20 - and the journey from E-City to Forum takes atleast about 40 minutes) ... Everything ended in full Philmi Ishtyle .... I got down at forum at 7:01 , cribbed standing in a long queue(yes, you stand in a queue inspite of booking online - Mera Bharat Mahan), got the tickets at 7:13 .... ran down the 3 floors of Forum(you guessed right - the elevators had to stop working just then) ... picked up some food , just to meet my grinning husband standing at the entrance at 7:19 , trying to make one of his persistant friend (who decided to talk about the world's happening just then) put the phone down ... and ran into the theatre exactly at 7:25 .... and were releieved to see only Ads playing ....
A Beautifully made Period film, bringing to life the characters of the famous bengali novel - of the same name - by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay .... is "Parineeta" ...
The movie will always be remembered for the life that each actor/actress has poured into each small character ... the melodious and soul-touching music of Shantanu Moitra . I was reading about this talented music director and was surprised to know that he rose to fame in the field of music with the jingle "Bole Mere Lips, I love Uncle Chips"... This ad was such a craze at one point of time ... Whenever i hear this, the cute little kid muting its lips to sing this tune comes to my mind ...
Saif Ali Khan, who rose to fame with "Dil Chahtha Hai" ... has grown to be a very mature actor. He won the National Award for "Hum Tum" recently .... and can easily bag one more for his potray of the intense character of Sekhar - a spoilt rich kid , whose interest lies only in Music and is so used to having Lolitha by his side always, that he hardly realises that she has a life of her own, and that he probably is in love with her, and should care for her needs also.....
Lolitha plays a character that shows woman immortalised.... Whenever I see movies with the woman potrayed as the perfect "Sati-Savithri", I really wonder if this should give me some inspiration , or should I feel angry that the entire society expects a woman to be patient no matter how she is treated.... Sekhar treats her like a servant, expecting her to be at his beck & call whenever he wants , and thinking that all she would need is his money - to which he gives her unlimited access .... And Lolitha - is there for sekhar no matter what time , what situation, uncaring of what others think of her, uncaring of what she wants in life ... Why do woman always have to be potrayed this way ? For once why cannot they potray a man to be so unselfishly loving ?
Sanjay Dutt, as the soft natured Girish, very easily captures your heart with his soft nature and wonderful potray .... I always felt that Sanjay Dutt has grown as a mature actor over the years ... but it is when he does rubbish movies like "Musafir", I wonder where does his sense go once in a while ...
It is very difficult to make a period film ... to potray calcutta as one of the most serene places, in today's world, is very difficult.... KUDOS to Vidhu Vinod Chopra to have paid utmost attention to every single detail ... He has not missed out on a single thing - even the paper that Saif reads in a scene is an age old news paper... The costumes, streets of calcutta, the durga pooja, depiction of a bengali wedding --- all leave you wanting to go to calcutta immediately ....
"Piyu Bole" .. is one of the most beautifully picturised songs in a long long time .... The shot under the Howrah Bridge makes you wish Time would stop then and there ..... Sonu's voice lingers in your ears for a long long time ... and so do the beautiful and meaningful lyrics ...
On the music front, Sonu Nigam steals your heart with his soulful renderation of "Soona Man Ka Angan" - a beautiful tune by Rabindranath .... Each song has its own beauty .... Sunidhi's renderation of "Kaise Paheli" and the setting of the song takes you years behind to the eternally famous song of "Howrah Bridge" --- Aayeyee Meherban ....
"Kasto Mazaa" - a jolly tune , winding its way into your heart , as the train winds its way through the hills to darjeeling ..
"Raat Hamari Tho" - brings tears into your eyes , leaving you wondering what will happen to "Lolitha" ....

All in all a MUST watch movie and a good collection to DVD collectors ... "Parineeta ... "

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Tu Tu Main Main

Every weekday evening finds me rushing home to make a cup of hot tea for me and sitting in front of the computer to watch one of my ever-favourite serials "Tu Tu Main Main" ..... A long running episode about the "nok-jok" (as it is called in Hindi) between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.... It depicts the ever existing fued between the MIL and DIL in a very humourous way..... Each day is a new episode - new "Taane-baazi" ... new laughs, new emotions ....
Some of the eposides are very silly, but what makes the whole thing so nice is the genuineness of the key characters - Reema Lagoo and Supriya Pilgaonkar... They are so spontaneous and so nature, one would atleast give a smile seeing them, if not guffaw with joy ... Sachin's slick direction certainly deserves a wonderful applause - all the characters are so much at ease and you long to know what is going to happen in the Verma household the next day ...
In this age of soaps - mostly filled with tear-jerking stories of saas-bahu, the 'other' women categories, or the supposed thrillers (that leave you anything but thrilled) - this is one of the best serials I can say .... half an hour of guarenteed entertainment ....