Of Awards, giants, faces and clouds

Rashid gave me the Inspiring blog award. To have the ability to inspire someone is a daunting prospect and I have no idea how to go about it but I (hurridly and gluttonously) accept the honour. A big thanks to Rashid for mentioning me and for the white pigeon (a word I could have never spelled correctly if someone had not thought of putting a red zigzag line below it)

Now, I am supposed to tell you seven facts about me as it is the second stage of the ceremony of passing the award. This will not be a great revelation sort of a stage where I will confess that I want to be an actor (which I don’t) and win Oscars (which I don’t) OR I find the way Sushma Swaraj speaks to be very aphrodisiacal (which I don’t) but I will tell you something very subtle and boring about me. So, do not expect fireworks. Here goes:

  1. I like toilet rolls with small Braille like dots on them. You can find loads on them in Big Bazaar. When I sit in Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’ pose every morning, I love to run my fingers on the dots on the toilet roll. I imagine someone has left a secret message on the roll and I try to decipher it by running my fingers over it. The-treasure-is-in-a-house-which-is-on-the-darkest-cloud-at-the-end-of-the-world. That kind of messages.
  2. I like houses with all the furniture and every essential commodity in them but devoid of any people. I roam around and visit every room, briskly touching things, rubbing memories off them. I imagine as if everyone in the world has died in a nuclear attack and I am the last survivor. This is a stranger’s house and I have entered it to see if I can find some food. Sometimes I try to see my own house through the eyes of a stranger. It is a funny feeling.
  3. I like looking at people when they are not aware that I am looking at them. I hide myself and enjoy their expressions – happiness, despair, plain sadness, time travel, introspection. Our faces are like poetry. They say a lot when they are alone or when they think they are alone.
  4. I watch movies when I read books. I wear my director’s cap and choose a star cast. It is a mix of Bollywood and Hollywood actors. I give them costumes, makeup, sets, outdoors, background score, expressions, voices and then I sit back and enjoy the movie. I am probably the only director who has reels of hundreds of movies stacked up in his brain – the movies only he could see.
  5. I love to see Geet sleeping next to me. I find comfort in her rhythmic breathing. I could tell when she is drowning farther in the ocean of sleep by the way her breathing becomes deeper. I could tell when she is dreaming when I see her eyeballs moving here and there beneath the canvas of her eyelids. I could tell that the dream is good when she smiles.
  6. I like to surround myself with mountains. Call it genetic because Mom was born on hills but I find a strange comfort in being dwarfed by peaks. They turn into giants surrounding me, protecting me in their valley. And I find vehicles moving on twisted roads on those mountains equally entertaining. They are like ants running on the cloaks of those giants. Imagine what would happen if they ruffle the cloak?
  7. I like dark clouds. I do not like rains that much but I like to stare at the shades of grey and whites rushing past in the sky. They are like layers and layers of water flying in the air. I feel like a fish standing under them. Is that how a fish feels when he looks at the layers of ocean above him?

Hopefully, I would not come across a loony after reading these 7 facts and you will not throw a stone at me when we meet?

I am supposed to pass the award to a few bloggers whose blog I love to read and who can now continue the cycle of pasing the award. Congratulations to everyone. This is a big honour, something similar to getting my autograph.

Here they are –

R’s Mom

GODYEARS

Some facts, Some Nonsense

The Shooting Star

This and That

The Bisexual Tag

Ever since this tag has hit the blogging circuit, people are going crazy. You can see the samples here, here, here, here, phew!! here and here. Its actually not a “Bisexual” Tag, but I have turned it into one. What’s the harm in exploiting the situation to its fullest? 😉

So, for this tag, I am supposed to turn into a woman and list all the men who might make me drool all over my keyboard. Believe me, this was as simple as Rakhi Sawant getting married to Tom Cruise! Urghhh! Just the thought sends shivers up my spine!

Tom cruise rakhi

Anyways, so when I am supposed to undergo the blasphemous transformation(in my mind, that is), why not list all the women and men in the world whom I find absolutely good looking? I was supposed to list 5 of them, but I really can’t make such a short list. So here is the long list. Feast on it! 😛

WOMEN

Audrey Hepburn

AUDREY HEPBURN

I first saw her in Roman Holiday and that is when I fell in love with her. She is THE star. She has worked in the biggest blockbusters of her times and had the magic, the aura required for a great actress. Watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Fair Lady and Sabrina and you will know.

Madhuri Dixit

Madhuri Dixit

I don’t remember any other actress who had been so popular and respected in the  1990s and this decade as her. She is what I call an Electric Beauty. The smile, the “ada”, the dance…I went completely bonkers when I saw Devdas. I saw the movie thrice in the theatre just for her. Just to see her dance to “Maar Daala” and “Kaahe Chede”. Uff!!! Maar Daala!

Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts

My Best Friend’s wedding has been an all time favorite followed by Pretty Woman and Erin Brokovich. Julia has this carefree attitude which makes her beautiful. She has this dazzling smile and a very cute throaty laughter.

Aishwarya Rai

Aishwarya Rai

Aishwarya Rai is undoubtedly the most beautiful Indian Actress ever. Whatever people say about her acting skills, I have always felt that she is pretty good. She has definitely improved. I also don’t understand what’s plastic about her. She comes across as a very genuine person.

Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz

The Sultry beauty. I haven’t seen much of her movies except Vanilla Sky, Gothika and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. She was particularly good in the last one for which she picked the Oscar this year.

Madhubala

madhubala

The Eternal beauty of the Black and White era. Here is an interesting fact about her from Wiki : In the early 1950s as Madhubala became one of the most sought-after actresses in India, she also attracted interest from Hollywood. She appeared in many American magazines such asTheatre Arts. In their August 1952 issue, Madhubala was featured in an extensive article with a full page photo. The piece was entitled: The Biggest Star in the World (And She’s Not in Beverly Hills). It presented the actress as a mysterious and ethereal woman of mythical beauty with a legion of fans.

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep

An Enigmatic beauty. She is one actress who has fully explored a wide spectrum of roles and I specially liked her in Sophie’s Choice, Out of Africa, The Bridges of Madison County and Doubt. From wiki : Streep has received 15 Academy Award nominations and 23 Golden Globe nominations (winning six), more than any other person in film history.

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston

She is my favorite F.R.I.E.N.D.S character. She is a woman whom I can define as cute and sexy at the same time. From wiki : When F.R.I.E.N.D.S was aired, her hairstyle at the time, which became known as the “Rachel”, was widely copied.Aniston received a salary of one million dollars per episode for the last two seasons ofFriends, as well as five Emmy nominations. According to the Guinness World Book of Records (2005), Aniston (along with her female costars) became the highest paid TV actress of all time with her $1 million-per-episode paycheck for the tenth season of Friends.

Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker

I love her eyes and her voice. She skyrocketed to fame with her role of Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. I saw her for the first time in a movie named The Family Stone( This is one movie which can be definitely made into a Bollywood blockbuster).

Megan Fox

Megan Fox

She looks like a beautiful wax doll and has this amazing figure. 🙂 From wiki : Fox’s breakout role was playing Mikaela Banes, Shia Labeouf‘s character’s love interest in the 2007 blockbuster film Transformers, a role for which Fox won and was nominated for various Teen Choice Awards.

Katrina Kaif

Katrina Kaif

Our Indian competition to the Hollywood babes. 🙂 No matter how bad her acting crying skills are, she is a show stealer. ‘Teri Oor’ was one song which extracted a collective sigh from the male fraternity. Watching her dance in front of the Pyramids of Egypt clad in a saree was too much for us!

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett

She is the Best Actress in Hollywood right now. A beautiful woman and a charming personality.  She rose to fame with Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth, followed by great movies like The Aviator, Babel, Notes on a Scandal, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

MEN

Now comes the difficult part. I had to litrally scratch them out!

Brad Pitt

brad pitt

An extremely extremely handsome man. I started liking him as an actor after Troy and Babel. I think he was extraordinary in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Hrithik Roshan

Hrithik Roshan

One of the most handsome Indian Actors, Hrithik’s debut will always be remembered in the history of Indian Cinema. He is the only actor besides Rishi Kapoor who took the Best Actor and the Best Debut trophy in the same year. Jodhaa Akbar could have turned into a disaster if he would not have played the lead.

Enrique Iglesias

Enrique Iglesias

He has the perfectly lean body. Not too muscular, not too pulpy, just perfect. His face has a certain innocence which is quite well exploited in all his songs.  Of all his song videos, I think Rhythm Divine is the best.

Shah Rukh Khan

Shah Rukh Khan

Yeah! I know quite a lot of you don’t like him because of his a-a-a-acting skills but that can’t take away the charisma from the man. I have always believed that 20 years down the line, our generation will be known as the Shah Rukh Era generation, very similar to how we refer to our parent’s generation as the Amitabh Bachchan era generation. Undoubtedly, he has given the biggest blockbusters in the past 20 years and he can do wonders with the right role. Examples : Swades, Chak De India and Dil Se.

Tom Cruise

tom cruise

Another guy with the right mix of personality and good looks. I specially liked him in Top Gun, Rain Man, Mission: Impossible, Jerry Maguire and Minority Report.

Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson

What eyes! And what smile! A fantastic director who gave us movies like Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto.

Shahid Kapoor

Shahid Kapoor

He is amongst a very few talented actors we have in our industry right now. Jab We Met was definitely his breakthrough movie. I really wish he had won some awards that year. Do you know that he was a background dancer in the song – ‘Kahi aag lage’ in Taal?

Chris Evans

Chris Evans

Chris is best known for his work in the movie Fantastic Four as the Human Torch for which he was also nominated in the Teen Choice Award. I handsome upcoming actor.

Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar

Its almost 20 years now and this man has no sign of fatigue. Started as an action hero, he has given some huge hits in the past few years. A very handsome man with a croocked smile. 🙂

Amit Sharma

What!?! Stop laughing!! Haven’t you heard of the phrase – Love thyself!? How can I expect someone else to like me if I don’t like myself? 😛

Thats it folks! Clean up your keyboards now!

A to Z of Bollywood Movies

When I did the A to Z of movies tag, I was accused of being an “Angrez” because none of the movies which I listed were from Bollywood. Well, I did that deliberately! 😛 I have watched more Bollywood movies than anyone can imagine!! Secondly, I must admit that this is the cruelest tag I have ever come across. Most of the time, I felt like Sophie who was asked to choose between her two children. How could I choose between DDLJ and Dil Chahta hai or between Mirch Masala and Mera Naam Joker? 😦 Here goes the list and for more details on the movies, click the movie name.

A : Abhimaan(1973)

A classic in every sense. For me, its impossible to choose a favourite song from the movie. All of them are masterpieces. Brilliant performances by Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan. I have heard that Jaya Bachchhan studied Lata Mangeshkar very closely for the role. There is one scene in the song “teri bindiya re”, where Bindu enters the party and stares at the couple. You could actually see the pain in her eyes.

In the same league : Anand, Angoor, Aradhana, Anokhi raat, Aandhi, Aakrosh, Alaap, A Wednesday.

B : Bandini(1963)

The best of Bimal Roy. A beautiful original story and amazing performances by Nutan, Ashok Kumar and Dharmendra. And can anyone forget “Mera gora ang laile” and “O re manjhi”? And those of you who don’t know, “Mera gora ang” was the first song penned by Gulzar. 

In the same league : Bawarchi, Black, Bobby, Buddha mil gaya.

C : Chupke Chupke(1975)

One of the best comedies India has ever produced. The forte of the movie was its simplicity. There is so much one can write about this movie. The songs, the performances and the beautiful story. Remember that Keshto Mukharjee scene? Or the way Dharmendra says “Jijaji”? And the “T-O” to hota hai to “G-O” gu kyun nahi hota scene? Or the title song and “ab ke baras saawan main”? A lovely evergreen movie. 

In the same league : Chameli ki shadiChoti Choti Baatain, Chashme buddoor, Chak De India.

D : Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge(1995)

This alphabet was quite tough as there are many noteworthy movies starting with this one, but then the heart won over the head. 🙂 I don’t remember the number of times I have seen this one. What I really liked about the story was that although Raj and Simram never said anything to each other when they part ways after the Euro tour, still the guy had the courage and conviction to come after her to India. Pyar ho to aisa! A movie which never fails to warm my heart.

In the same league : Damini, Deewar, Devdas, Dil Chahta Hai, Dil Se, Don, Do beegha zameen.

E : Ek Duje Ke Liye(1981)

When Raj kapoor saw the movie, he told the Director, K. Balachander that the end left him disturbed. The director told him that if this is the case then he has achieved his goal. The movie had a kind of innocence and yes, it was disturbing. While watching the movie you want everything to fall in place at the end but the climax leaves you in a state of rude shock. And the songs were just perfect. All of them.

In the same league : Eshwar.

F : Fiza(2000)

The movie flopped but I consider it a well made movie. There were some very touching scenes in the movie like the one just before the interval where Fiza meets her brother and the climax. Great songs, a good script and some heart warming performances by the lead actors. 

G : Garam Hawa(1973)

One of the most sensitive movies made on the plight and dilemma of the Muslims left in India after the partition. The movie gave Balraj Sahni his last major role in a Hindi Movie and started the career of Farooq Shaikh. 

In the same league : Ghayal, Guddi, Godmother, Guide.

H : Hum aapke hain kaun(2004)

Recently I saw the movie again with a group of friends and enjoyed it. I still can’t get over Madhuri walking down  the stairs in that purple saree. 🙂 It was a historical movie for Indian cinema and the kind of records it set are unmatched. There were stories about people travelling long distances and watching it hundred of times! The Euphoria was unbelievable.

A close second : Hum dil de chuke sanam, Hum hain Raahi Pyar ke, Hum Tum, Hum Dono.

I : Ittefaq(1969)

One of the greatest thriller ever produced by Indian cinema. It was a movie ahead of its time and was a sharp deviation from what Yash Chopra normally directed. Rajesh Khanna was seen in a role very different from what people were used to. Making a movie without songs was also something unheard of back then. If you haven’t watched it yet, please do. 

In the same league : Iqbal, Ijaazat.

J : Jaane bhi do yaaro(1983)

The unparalleled dark satire. If someone asks me about my faintest childhood memories of watching a movie, then its watching this movie in a theatre with my parents. There are so many scenes which I will count as my favourites, but the best one was the Mahabharat scene at the end. 

In the same league : Jaane tu ya jaane na, Jab we met, Jis desh main ganga behti hai, Jewel theif, Jodha Akbar, Julie, Junoon, Jo Jeeta wohi Sikandar.

K : Khoobsurat(1980)

I don’t think that anyone except Rekha could have done that role. The forte of the movie was its simplicity, well that was typical Hrishikesh Mukherjee. I love this guy for what he did to Indian cinema. Some of the very few successful Bollywood movie where the Heroine was the Hero.

In the same league : Kaagaz ke phool, Kabhi Kabhi, Kabuliwala, Kalyug, Khamoshi, Khosla ka ghoslaKoshish, Kranti, Kuch Kuch hota hai.

L : Lagaan(2001)

Its a modern day classic. The third Bollywood movie to enter the Oscars and maybe the only movie where the audience completely forgot that they are not watching an actual match. People cheered in exactly the same manner in which they would have cheered in an actual match. THAT is the magic of cinema, that is how the lines between the reel and real gets blurred. 

A close second : Lekin, Lamhe, Lok Parlok.

M : Mirch Masala(1985)

This movie has been an all time favourite. If you haven’t seen it then run and grab it. After watching the movie, what remains with you is the climax. Its so sudden and powerful that you will end up having a bewildered laugh. A brilliant cast which included almost every actor from the parallel cinema of the 80s except Shabana Azmi. A must watch!

In the same league : Maachis, Madhumati, Mr and Mrs Iyer, Maine pyar kiya, Main Zinda Hoon, Majboor, Mammo, Manthan, Maqbool, Makdee, Masoom, Mera Saaya, Mr. India, Mother India, Mera Naam Joker.

N : Naya Daur(1957)

A very socially relevant film of its time and a huge success. And what beautiful songs!!! Did you know that Madhubala was supposed to play the role which finally went to Vyajanthi Mala? This is another movie which had a nail biting climax. This is the second movie after Mughal-E-azam which has been colorized and released again.

In the same league : Naya din nayi raat, Neel Kamal.

O : Omkara(2006)

Surprisingly, the movie was a bigger hit outside India. The colourful language kept the family audiences away. The “Ch” swearword was frequently used(even by Konkana) and was a bit of shocker initially for me too. Thank God I did not see it with my parents. The movie was an interpretation of Othello by director Vishal Bhardwaj. And whenever my mom watched the song “Beedi jalai le”, she goes – “No one but Bipasha could have done this!” 🙂

P : Pyaasa(1957)

What should I say about this movie? Its a masterpiece with evergreen songs! Jane kya tune kahi, Jaane woh kaise log the and Hum aapki aankho main are my absolute favourites. And who can forget “Sar jo tera chakraye”. 🙂

A close second : Padosan, Parichay, Prem Rog, Paying Guest.

Q : Qayamat se Qayamat tak(1988 )

The movie which gave us Aamir Khan. Come to think of it, there are too many Aamir Khan movies in this list! I love the tension which the movie creates. You want things to be all right and start believing that, when the climax just stunnes you. Another well made love story with 100% unadulterated evergreen songs.

R : Rang De Basanti(2006)

This was one of the best movies which came in this decade. Its a movie which made everyone “aware” and “awake” and had a visible influence on the youngsters. For me, its one of the very few movies which made me cry. 🙂 There is a scene where the belongings of Ajay(Madhavan) are brought home and his mother opens the door. Then there is another one where DJ breaks down in front of Su after the protest at India Gate. These two scenes always make me cry without fail. 🙂 I consider it a movie which made me more responsible.

A close second : Raincoat, Ram aur Shyam.

S : Sholay(1975)

In the present, can you even think about a movie which can run on a theatre for 5 years? To say anything about Sholay will be quite inappropriate. Its the best masala movie India had ever produced. And its the only movie which had so many memorable charecters. “Yun Ki” my favourite will be Basanti because hamain zyada bolne wale log bahut pasand hain. 😉

In the same league : Saaransh, Sahib bibi aur ghulam, Seeta aur geeta, Satte pe satta, Shatranj ke khiladiSree 420, Silsila, Sparsh.

T : Taare zameen par(2007)

This movie was a huge gamble. It broke all the norms of a typical bollywood movie and still worked. It gave us a ray of hope that yes, Bollywood has not gone completely bonkers. The movie raised a question mark not only on how we treat special children but how we treat children in general. There is a line in the movie which goes something like this – “Agar race jitne ka itna hi shauk hai to breed race horses dammit! bacche kyun paida karte ho?” Perfect!

A close second : Teesri manzil, Tere ghar ke saamne.

U : Upkaar(1967)

I consider it Manoj “Bharat” Kumar’s best movie. Its a cult classic which highlighted the difference in values of the Indian and western society. And, yes, we still hear “Mere Desh Ki Dharti” on 15 August blaring from the loudspeakers! 

A close second : Umrao Jaan.

V : Veer Zaara(2004)

The eternal love story! I loved this movie and saw it twice on the theatre. Everything from the  songs to the story to the performances was beautiful. I loved Kirron Kher’s and Divya Dutta’s role and also the small cameos by Amitabh Bachchhan and Hema Malini. The best scene was when Saamiya goes to Veer’s village and finds Zaara there, teaching girls. And there is another one where Veer reads the poem in the court. 

A close second : Vaastav, Vidhataa.

W : Waqt(1965)

The third Yash Chopra movie in the list. Its a story of a family separated and reunited by destiny. A multi-starrer and a huge hit of 1965, this movie too had all the typical Bollywood masala. I was very young when I saw this one and the earthquake scene really shook me up! 🙂 And, yes, “Aye meri zohra jabeen” is still played during marriages when the oldies want to dance. 

A close second : Woh saat din.

Y : Yuva(2004)

I could never understand why this movie didn’t work!!! Somehow Mani Ratnam’s movies don’t work in Hindi. “Dil se” was a masterpiece and even “Guru” was great but somehow they were never a big commercial success. Yuva had a very good storyline and some fabulous performances and sometimes I could never understand how movies like “Singh Is King” work and movies like “Yuva” don’t. 😐 

A close second : Yaarana, YalgaarYehi hai Zindagi.

Z : Zubeidaa(2001)

The movie had a very novel fee to it. I loved the way the story unfolded in flashbacks. Rekha’s role was the best in the movie while this is easily Karishma’s best movie of her career. When you watch the movie, you will realise that how a good background score can completely raise a movie to an entirely different level. A must watch.

A close second : Zanjeer.

That’s it!! And if you have not seen the 120 movies I have mentioned above, then you are not a true blue Bollywood movie buff!!! 

Feminism, A and the Award

Ages ago, I was tagged by Nita and Sulz and till now I have been shamelessly ignoring the tags. But the guilt is killing me and I must finish the task assigned to me. Keeping the melodrama aside, I’ll start with Nita’s tag. This is what she tagged me to write about.

What does Feminism means to me

First of all, I was not sure what the word meant, so I landed up in an online dictionary and this is what popped up there : 

fem·i·nism n.  

1. Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

2. The movement organized around this belief.
Ahem! Well, I think, the socio economic structure of the society in which we live plays an important role in determining the level of the “movement”. When the First wave came, India was still fighting for its freedom and there was no way it could have affected her. When the second wave came in the 1960s, India was all up and ready for it. Even today when we are in the third wave, an American society is much mature when it comes to a woman choosing the kind of life she wants to lead. In India, we still beat up the girl if she falls in love with a guy outside her cast. Infact, even if you compare the freedom given to women in a city with a small town/village in India, you would be shocked by the difference. After three waves, we still have to go a long way in India. Even after having laws in place, there are rapes, sexual feminism1harassment, forced abortions, forced reproductions, domestic violence etc and what not! People still think that women are vulnerable because they are weak but its just because of the kind of environment we are all brought up in. I am sure any woman who is a black belt in Karate can throw me two feet towards the sky with a single chop. 🙂
The problem is in our brains. We are wired in a wrong fashion from the time we are born. Women are not born vulnerable but are taught to be so. Similarly men are not born strong. They pick it up from what they see in their family and surroundings. I could never understand how we reached a stage where a human has to ask for her rights? And what surprises me is that we are still there. 
All these issues are way too big, but people need to understand the basic rights of an individual. I can understand when a father asks her daughter to return home before twilight because raping a girl is becoming an activity as common as wiping your ass with a tissue. But, I cannot understand when he asks her to forget the guy she loves because he does not belong to the same community. I find that laughable. Similarly, I don’t believe that a homemaker is worse off than a working woman. Its a very individual choice and depends on many factors. Equality of sexes certainly does not mean that a woman has to work to be a true blue feminist. 
It all boils down to the theory of Live and let live. We all make sacrifices in our life, but let’s not force someone to make a sacrifice because of her gender.

The alphabet A

aSulz’s tag. I have to write 7(?) words starting with alphabet A. I am putting up words which describe me. Here goes :

Absurd – Yes!Yes! I am ridiculous, illogical and senseless at times, but then even God is sometimes! So you see, no one is perfect. 😛 

Able – Leaving aside the fact that I am destiny’s favourite toy, I am quite able if I am left to my own means. If I find something interesting enough, I’ll take it up with perfect dexterity till the time I get completely bored of it. I told you I was absurd! 😛

Assiduous – I have obtained this quality from my Mom. Whenever I have to shop for clothes and I take her with me, she picks up clothes which are poles apart from my taste and then both of us “assiduously” attempt to disparage each other. 😐 Well, I consider it to be a good quality. Atleast I pick up clothes of my choice and I always win! 🙂

Aloof – I can be alarmingly aloof with strangers, so much that I am mistaken as an Egotist whose nose is always at an angle of 80 degrees from the ground. Many of my friends were surprised when they dared to know me better after that initial cold shoulder. 

Amiable – Well! That is what I actually become once I allow you to be my friend. 🙂 Its a difficult path and only a few daredevils have dared. 😛

Anchor – Whenever I become a part of a group, I end up becoming the anchor which holds the group together after everyone moves away to their new life/city. I met a group of friends recently after 7 years and again(!!!!) it was me who made all the phone calls and arranged the meeting. Good old Amit!

The awards

Finally, the awards. I was given the Friendship Embracelet by Kiran sometime back and the Garland Award by Kanagu. Thankyou both of you. 🙂

friendshipembracelet

 

garland

That is all guys and girls. Over and out.

The A to Z of movies

Another tag!!! 😀 And as interesting as the previous one! Lallopallo and Poonam tagged me to list an alphabetical list of my favorite films, one for each letter of the alphabet. I am doing this tag purely for Hollywood movies because including Bollywood movies here would be like comparing apples and oranges. I might do the tag again separately for Bollywood movies. 😉 If you want to know more about the movies listed below, just click on the movie name. Here goes the list :

A : As good as it gets(1997)

An obsessive-compulsive, misanthrope novelist, his favourite waitress and his gay neighbour take a trip to Baltimore which change their lives. A flawless witty script and equally flawless performances by the lead actors makes it one of the most memorable movies I have seen. Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt landed up with the Best Actor and Actress Oscars for their performance in this movie. A close second : Annie Hall.

B : Before Sunrise(1995)

One of the most romantic movies I have ever seen. Jesse, a young American, and Céline, a young French woman, meet on a train and decide to get down at Vienna. They spend the rest of the night walking down the streets and knowing each other. Come to think of it, the movie is nothing more than two people walking and talking, but its mesmerising none the less. A close second : Babel.

C : Chocolat(2000)

Vianne, a young mother, arrive in a small French village with her daughter and opens up a chocolaterie. The effect of this new addition to the village on the local people and the scheming, angry Mayor which is further fuelled by the appearance of Gypsies is the story of this excellent movie. The movie was nominated for several awards including 5 Oscars. A close second : Cast away.

D : Driving Miss Daisy(1989)

Winner of 4 Oscars out of the 9 for which it was nominated, Driving Miss Daisy is the story of a a Jewish lady(Miss Daisy) and her Old nigger driver(Hoke). The movie explores the relationship between the two characters amidst the racist and prejudiced background of the American society. Jessica Tandy became the oldest actress to win the Oscar for Best actress at the age of 80 for her portrayal of Miss Daisy. A close second : Dr. Zhivago.

E : Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind(2004)

One of the very rare Jim Carrey movies which I liked. Emotionally withdrawn Joel and Clementine meet up in a train and strike a relationship. What they don’t realize is that they are former lovers who have fallen apart in their relationship earlier and had their memory erased. A beautifully created movie with some excellent visuals and a great story which won the Academy Award for the Best Original Screenplay. A close second : Erin Brokovich.

F : Fiddler on the Roof(1971)

The movie follows the story of Topol,  a Jewish milkman in the village of Anatevka in Czarist Russia in 1905. As times change, Topol gropes through the fact that his daughters want to get married with the men of their choice and not the one chosen by the matchmakers. The movie had some memorable songs like “Matchmaker”, “Do you love me” and “If I were a rich man”. A brilliant and delightful movie to make you smile. A close second : Forrest Gump & Fargo

G : Gosford Park(2001)

The movie is set in 1932 in an English country house where a group of wealthy Britisher and American gather for a shooting weekend. Its a murder mystery which creates the drama and tension between the characters above the stairs and below(the servants). It was nominated for 7 Oscars including the Best Picture. A close second : Good Will Hunting.

H : Hotel Rwanda(2004)

One of the most powerful and hardhitting movies of our times. It is the story of the hotelier Paul Rusesabagina during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 in which an estimated 1,000,000 people were killed by extremist militants. Paul saved many people by giving them shelter in a hotel. A must watch. A close second : Harry Potter and the prizoner of Azkaban

I : It’s a wonderful life(1946)

The film takes place in the fictional town of Bedford Falls shortly after World War II where George Bailey, a man who is on the verge of committing suicide on Christmas Eve is saved by his guardian angel, Clarence who is sent to help him in his hour of need. Its a feel good movie and makes you realize that things could have been worse. A close second : Into the wild.

J : Jurassic Park(1993)

Steven Spielberg gave us the thrills of our life with this movie. I still cannot forget the euphoria this movie generated across the globe. A masterpiece in its own right. A close second : Juno.

K : Kramer Vs Kramer(1979)

Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep came together in this courtroom drama which tells the tale of a couple getting divorced and the impact it had on their only son. The movie won the Oscar for Best Movie and inspired our very own Akele Hum Akele Tum. 

L : Lost in Translation(2003)

The movie follows the story of an aging actor Bob Harris and Charlotte(who is the wife of a celebrated photographer) who meet in the city of Tokyo. Both of them find a companion in each other when they are struggling with the cultural shock of being in an alien city. A close second : Life is Beautiful.

M : Moonstruck(1987)

I fell in love with Cher when I saw this movie. Absolutely hilarious and romantic, this movie got Cher her well deserved Oscar for the Best actress. I loved the way she says – “Snap out of it!!” and “Where is the ring?”. A movie I can watch a thousand times over. The movie was nominated for 6 Oscars. A close second : My sassy girl

N : Notes on a Scandal(2006)

A chilling performance by Judi Dench as an old History teacher(Barbara) in a school who is drawn towards another new teacher(Sheba) and befriends her. Barbara when realises that Sheba is in love with a student, ends up tormenting and blackmailing her. Great performances by Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench. 

O : Out of Africa(1985)

A 1985 film based loosely on the autobiographical book by Isak Dinesen published in 1937.  The movie depicts the events during 1914–1931 concerning European settlers and the native people in Kenya. The movie went on to receive 28 Movie awards including 7 Oscars. A close second : One Flew over the Cuckoo’s nest.

P : Pan’s Labyrinth(2006)

A 2006 Spanish fantasy film which depicts the story of Ofelia during 1944 Spanish civil war, who meet many strange and magical creatures to complete her tasks given by the Faun to save her pregnant mother. One of the most enchanting fantasy movies I have ever seen. The movie was nominated for 6 Oscars. A must watch. A close second : Pretty Woman.

Q : Queen, The(2006)

The movie encompasses the upheavals in the British Royal family and the public reactions after Princess Diana’s death in the car crash in Paris. It all happened when Tony Blair was just elected and the movie depicts how he convinced the Queen to give in to what the public was demanding and the transformation the Queen went through during the tragedy. 

R : Roman Holiday(1953)

The first Audrey Hepburn movie I saw. She was the epitome of beauty and completely did justice to the princess’s role thus earning the Oscar that year. The rebel princess, a reporter after a sensational news and the comedy which follows. Does that ring a bell? A close second : Rainman.

S : Sophie’s choice(1982)

A 1982 drama film that tells the story of a beautiful Polish immigrant, Sophie, and her tempestuous lover who share a boarding house with a young writer in Brooklyn. The movie is famous for the scene in which Sophie is asked to choose between her two children. The film got Meryl Streep an Oscar for her touching portrayal of Sophie. A close second : Schindler’s List.

T : The Shawshank Redemption(1994)

This movie based on a Stephan King novel follows the story of a young banker named Andy who spends two decades in the Shawshank state prison and his friendship with Red. A great movie by all standards. The movie was nominated for 7 Oscars and heads the IMDB’s Top 250 films. A must watch. A close second : The Silence of the lambs.

U : Unforgiven(1992)

A Western directed by Clint Eastwood which tells the story of  William Munny, an aging and retired gunslinger living in a desolated land with his two children and who takes up a  job years after he had given up killing people and turned to farming. A dark movie that deals with the uglier aspects of violence and the myth of the Old West. The movie was nominated for 9 Oscars out of which it won 4. 

V : Vanilla Sky(2001)

One of the most puzzling moves I have seen in recent times. The ending itself has four interpretations. Despite all that, I liked the plot because for the first one hour, you won’t understand a single thing. Everything starts making sense in the second half when the climax again throws you off track. I love this movie because of the roller coaster ride it provided. A close second : V for Vendetta.

W : When Harry met Sally(1989)

A romantic comedy based on chance encounters between the lead pair and exploring the question “Can men and women ever just be friends?” You can still find people who are obsessed with the film and yes, our own HumTum is based on this movie. And how can anyone forget the “I’ll have what she is having” scene. 

X : X men(2000)

Of all the movies in the X Men series, I think the first one was the best. Its a fight between the good mutants and the bad ones but like all superhero movies, its a visual treat.

Y : Y Tu Mama Tambien(2001)

Its a 2001 Mexican film in Spanish about two teenage boys who take a road trip with a woman in her 20s and what follows. The film has the present day Mexico as its background and has some explicit sexual sequences. It is the closest you can take cinema to reality. 

Z : Zodiac(2006)

A psychological thriller based on the true events associated with a serial killer named Zodiac who was active in Northern California in the 1960s. Zodiac has never been captured.

So, this marks the end of the meme. I would like to tag Priyank, Reema, Smita, Liju and Nikhil to do this tag.

Or was my imagination running wild…

This tag is record breaking because it took me a long time to finish it. The longest ever. There was a lot to imagine and create and I hope the results are not awful. 

I was tagged by Su to do this one and I couldn’t resist it because of its uniqueness although I am also supposed to do Nita’s and Sulz’s tags. I’ll do them ladies, I promise! 🙂 

The rules first : 

  • You must use all the five words given to you by your tagger and draw pictures using paint or GIMP or any other photo editing tool.
  • Each picture must be self explanatory when you relate it to the given word.
  • Each word MUST have at least one picture attributed to it.
  • None of these pictures should be copyrighted. By this I mean that you have to draw them yourself.
  • After you finish the tag, which I think will take quite some time; you need to pass it on to other people with a fresh set of 5 words.

Su gave me the following 5 words : God, light, jet plane, golf and wallet

Here are the results:

GOD

god

 

LIGHT

light

JET PLANE

jetplane

GOLF

golf

WALLET

wallet

 

So, that is it. It was great imagining those pictures and creating them. I loved doing this tag!!! Hope you liked them!

I am supposed to tag 5 people but I am not sure who all are already tagged. So, I would like to tag anyone who is willing to take it up.  Just let me know in the comments section and thou shall get your 5 words.

Over and out.

The Know-your-house Tag

Reema tagged me for this very interesting meme. The moment I saw that I was tagged, I ended up in a cold sweat, simply because I could for-see the physical oscillations, jumping around and digging which I had to undergo to complete the tag. Mom has a very fascinating habit of putting away things and forgetting. But, more about it later. First I should give the description of what goes into the tag.

For this Tag, I was supposed to fish out an old photo, preferably a decade old and taken when I was completely unaware. I started working on this tag by asking mom if she remembers where all the “old” photos were. Thankfully I was able to locate them within five minutes of the excursion but sadly there was no “caught unaware” photo available in them. I now had to move much more backward in time and that is when the problem started. I again asked mom if she remember where the errrr “very old” photos were? She stared blankly at the wall for a few seconds and moved her head in a negative. Very original Mom!!! 

It took me almost 4 hours to turn the whole house upside down to dig out those pics. I found them in the most unexpected of places where no one would have imagined their presence. Hmpfff!!! Typical!!! On an optimistic note, now atleast I know the map of the insides of my house. I had a clear feeling of Deja Vu, because a similar incidence happened when I moved here from Chennai some months back. I was surprised to see that many of my novels were missing. When I asked mom, she replied – “All your novels are on the shelf. There are no more.”

Unconvinced, because “Lolita” and “Lord of the flies” were definitely not sitting on the shelf, I turned the whole house upside down before I spotted two huge bags full of my novels tucked away inside a diwan by my mom and comfortably erased from her memory. Even after I stood in front of her with the two bags oscillating in my hands, she could not remember a thing!!! 😐

Ok. Enough of disparaging mommy dearest. The first photo I picked up was taken when I was freshly born. I was completely unaware because I was wondering where the hell I was and who were those strange people around me who were always smiling and throwing me up and down and making all those weird sounds while they ran their fingers on my stomach and embarrass me. So here is Amit with his Mom and Dad. 🙂

Another pic which I found, was taken when I was a little grown up and was dancing in a marriage. No one remember whose marriage it was but I like this photo because I look like a budding child artist who is waiting for the right kind of a break. Here it is.

And Oh yes!!! While looking at all the old photos, I came across a very old pic of my Grandparents. It was taken when they were just married. Since I have already told all of you about my Grandparent’s love story in A Bygone Life, I thought it would be great if I could post their pic too. Here it is. 

So. thats all for this tag. Hope you all liked the pics. And I would like to tag Ish, Lallopallo, Nikhil, Sulz and Xylene.

The Mosaic tag

Poonam tagged her whole blogroll (a very brave decision) to do this collage sort of tag. These are the rules.

1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
2. Using only the first page, pick an image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

And this is what I got.

1. What is your first name?
Amit. Unlike many people, I did not cheat. 😀 I don’t know who this guy in the pic is, but I liked the pic!!

2. What is your favorite food? Right now?
Rajma Chawal. After coming back home, I realized this is what I was missing the most. Err….besides my family. 😉

3. What high school did you go to?
I could not find my school pic or the college pic. I went to Khalsa College in Delhi University but this is what I got. Reminds me of a wall in my college. 😐

4. What is your favorite color?
Black. Its one of the most elegant and mysterious colours. And, the astrologer has told my mom that black is not good for me. Why God Why?? *Khush to bahut hoge tum* ??

5. Who is your celebrity crush?
Hehehehe. Do I really need to answer?? 😀

6. Favorite drink?
Hot Chocolate or chocolate in any other form.

7. Dream vacation?
Paris. Well, I would love to roam in each and every nook and corner of the world but this place would be purrfect for starters.

8. Favorite dessert?
Kheer!!!!! And some of the people find it really weird but I love Kheer with Aaloo parantha too.

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Too late. Ok, I’ll still answer. Satisfied. Well, that’s the answer.

10. What do you love most in life?
Myself. I believe that you have to be in love with yourself to love someone else.

11. One Word to describe you.
Optimistic.

12. Your flickr name.
Free soul.

p.s. I would be a weekend blogger for the next 2-3 weeks. My office hours have been stretched. Which means that I have to leave at 7.30 in the morning and come back at around 10.30 at night. Don’t ask me why. I don’t want all of you to cry for me. 😛 And if you are wondering how I managed the strength to write this post then let me enlighten you. This was done last weekend. So, stop overworking your brains and put some bloody commentzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……zzzzzzzzzzz…. guunite….zzzzzzzzzz

[[If any of the photographs in the mosaic is copyrighted and the owner finds the display of it on my blog as objectionable, then please inform me so that I could delete the photo from this blog]]

The I and The Muzik

The I Meme

Nova tagged me for this meme. Here it goes.

i am: vulnerable yet strong, emotional yet ruthless, happy yet sad, afraid yet fearless, surreptitious yet open and Einstein yet Bush.
i think: there is always a reason behind everything, that we are all part of a bigger scheme of things.

i know
: that life is beautiful.
i want: to break free, to inhale tons of fresh air and to let go of a few dreams I am clinging to.
i have: hope and faith. Love and fear.
i wish: to fulfill my present lot of dreams so that I can move to the next lot.
i hate: diplomats and hypocrites.
i miss: the days devoid of anxiety.
i fear: calamities.
i feel: anxious right now, afraid of what the future holds.
i hear: the whirl of the air conditioner. The unexplained emotions churning in my brain.
i smell: a normal life ahead. Full of ups and downs and hopefully some meaning to it.

i crave
: for being with my family right now. To cry out loud. To laugh till tears run my cheeks.
i search
: for the purpose of being born on this planet.
i wonder
: how faith in God can make a human kill someone.
i regret: nothing.

i love
: anything which puts a smile on my face.
i ache
: to visit Dalhousie. To see my Nani ma who lives there.
i care
: for small small things and…
…i always
: end up looking like a fool. 
i am not
: a fool.
i believe
: that life means moving on and not clinging to the past.
i dance
: in dance parties and in my dreams. 
i sing
: when people ask me a 100 times to. 
i cry
: rarely. But when I do, there is no stopping me. I end up like a broken dam.
i don’t always
: ask for things. Some things are better understood than asked.
i fight
: rarely. But when I do, then my opponent is in big trouble.
i write
: in my blog and in my brain.
i win
: to loose lose everything.
i lose
: to make someone happy. 
i never
: do something to someone which I don’t want someone to do to me.
i confuse
: people when I want to hide something.
i listen
: to anyone who has something to tell. I am a very good listener(I can sleep with my eyes open 😉 ).
i can usually be found
: reading, watching a movie, sleeping with my mouth open or blogging.
i am scared:
of loosing control of my life.
i need
: to find a girl to fall in love with.
i am happy about
: the fact that I have people around me with whom I can share my happiness and sorrows. 

The Muzik Meme

The meme queen, Poonam tagged me to do this Music meme. The rules first.

Think of THE song that most inspires you to write, whether it gives you an idea for a story, script or just puts you into a better frame of mind AND/OR peek into the lyrics and find a verse that sums up the theme of whatever project it is you’re working on.

If possible, post a video of the song to convey to readers the full context of the song and the mood it puts you into. Finally, send the assignment to five other writers to do as well.

1. That’s the way it is – Celine Dion

This song always manage to cheer me up whenever I am in a dull mood. Beautiful lyrics.

2. Rhythm Divine – Enrique Iglesias

The song which still remains as fresh as a dewdrop, even when I have heard it a million times. Very very romantic.

3. Ye na thi hamari Qismat – Mirza Ghalib

The lyrics of the song still amaze me. “Mujhe kya bura tha marna, agar ek baar hota” (Dying would not have been that bad, if it would have happened only once). Profound to the core.

4. Show me the meaning – Backstreet Boys

Beautiful lyrics and the guitar is amazing. Perfect song to feel lonely in a crowd.

Ok, before I loose control and end up pasting the whole youtube here, I end this meme. As a parting shot here is a list of celebrities I resemble. 😉 I got this from Sulz.

Well, I always knew I resemble a hero and Adrien Brody is good enough. And Einstein (*Ahem*) is also fine although he is a bit old, I must admit. And who the hell is Song Hye-kyo??

Whatever. 😐 I am not tagging anyone. Please help yourself. That’s all folks. I am outta here. Phew!!! 🙂

Dinner at Eight : The twin tag saga

Meme – Table Talk

Pr3rna tagged me for this meme and I can say this very confidently because I confirmed it with her. 😀 Here goes.

What’s your favourite table?

The table at my home would be my favourite. It sounds cliched but all the people who are staying away from home and who miss all the mommy made food, know what I am talking about.

What would you have for your last supper?

Aaloo parantha with Kheer, Rajma Chawal, Chicken and rice and finally some gajar ka halwa, all homemade of-course. 😀

What’s your poison?

Aaloo ki chaat (yes, I am quite an “aaloo” guy), Ice-creams and anything remotely non vegetarian.

Name your three desert island ingredients.

Al Kabeer’s ready to eat Aaloo paranthas(I hope creating fire won’t be a problem), Desi Ghee and lots of Chocolate milk. I guess I am going to return back like a stuffed pig rather than a starved cow(read Chuck Noland). 😉

What would you put in Room 101?

The food cooked in the canteen of my recent office(pathetic is an understatement) and the vegetarian lunch at Sanjeevanam (This is a restaurant in Chennai and I took a burning-candle-oath that I would never ever eat lunch there again). Other than that I don’t think I have much of a problem with things I chew and bite.;)

Which book gets you cooking?

Book??? I generally call up my mom and she is then constantly at the call instructing me what to put and how much to put. That is the way I have learnt most of my cooking.

What’s your dream dinner party line-up?

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Khaled Hosseini, Amitabh Bachchan, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, Madhuri Dixit, Michael Crichton, Julia Roberts, Steven Spielberg….now its getting all to filmy, but then what the heck…SRK, Rowan Atkinson, Meg Ryan, Cate blanchett, Judi Dench, Peter Jackson, Laloo Prasad Yadav, Shreya Ghosal, Gulzar, Lata Mangeshkar and Kareena Kapoor. I guess that is enough for the first party although I can go on and on. 🙂

What was your childhood teatime treat?

Parle G biscuits(I loved to dip them in the milk), Aaloo n paneer’s pakaude.

What was your most memorable meal?

In January this year, I went home after almost a year. My flight reached at 12 am and I reached home by 12.45 am. The food which I ate that night will remain with me forever. Although it was the regular mommy made food, but its hard to make someone understand the way you feel when you eat it after a year. *sigh*

What was your biggest food disaster?

Well, I am a natural cook, so I have to really think about this one. Recently I was making tea for four of my friends and the final result tasted like a lot of hot and sweet water. That is the worst I have done.

What’s the worst meal you’ve ever had?

The lunch offered at my office on the occasion of Valentine’s Day last year. I took a non-veg dish which had a very atrocious name and equally atrocious taste. I don’t know what it was because it all went down the drain after the first bite.

Who’s your food hero/food villain?

My food heroine is of-course my Mom

and food villain would be one of my roommates, not because he cooks bad. Although he can’t cook anything beyond eggs and sandwiches, but he would drive you crazy by asking you all the minute details about how to cook such simple things. He can write a 1000 page book on how to make scrambled eggs. 😐

Nigella or Delia?

Nigella certainly looks more sexy. 😉

Vegetarians: genius or madness?

I think being vegetarian is a state of mind. Nature works by one rule – You have to kill someone to be alive. I don’t understand the difference between killing a plant or an animal. In the end, you are killing someone to fill your stomach. So, I guess, its ok to be a vegetarian as well as a non-vegetarian.

Fast food or fresh food?

Depends on my mood. An insatiable, piggish appetite would be quenched by Fast food while a more sober, art-of-living sort of an appetite would just require some fresh, non calorie food.

Who would you most like to cook for?

My family I think. Although I haven’t got a chance yet but I would love to experiment a few things on my family’s taste buds.

What would you cook to impress a date?

Why do I need to cook to impress a date? All I need is some chocolates, honey and ice-creams. 😀

Make a wish.

No matter how much I eat, my weight shall remain constant. Amen.

Meme – Eight Bait

Now another one. I was tagged by Arvind to do this meme.

Eight things I am passionate about :

1. Watching movies

2. Reading

3. Traveling

4. Blogging

5. Eating (something new every time)

6. Buying clothes

7. Listening to music

8. Computer games

Eight things I want to do before I die:

1. Loose my virginity.

2. Try out all the adventure sports.

3. Go on a world tour.

4. Set foot on the moon.

5. Fall in love.

6. Write a book.

7. Learn to play Guitar and the piano.

8. Learn to sing.

Eight things I say often:

1. Shit.

2. As*ho*e.

3. Ab iska kya matlab hai(Now what does this mean???)

4. Aur kya(That’s what)

5. Wohi to(That’s what)

6. Sahi hai(Good)

7. You have gone mad.

8. Sorry I am not interested. (to the please-sir-have-our-credit-cards executives)

Eight books I have read recently:

1. P.S. I love you by Cecelia Ahern.

2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

3. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann.

4. Snow by Orhan Pamuk.

5. The French Leutinent’s woman by John Fowles.

6. Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle.

7. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

8. Animal Farm by George Orwell.

Eight songs I could listen to over and over

1. Show me the meaning ( Backstreet boys )

2. Dil-e-Nadaan ( Jagjit Singh & Chitra Singh, Album – Mirza Ghalib )

3. In the end ( Linkin Park )

4. Escape ( Enrique Iglesias)

5. Tujhe Dekha to ye jana sanam ( Kumar Sanu & Lata Mangeshkar, Movie – DDLJ)

6. Ye na thi hamari kismat ( Jagjit Singh & Chitra Singh, Album – Mirza Ghalib )

7. Raina beeti jaaye ( Lata Mangeshkar, Movie – Amar Prem)

8. Iss mod se jate hain ( Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar, Movie – Aandhi)

I am not tagging anyone else because I don’t think anyone is left to tag. Thats it for the day people. I am out of here. Sayonara.