Saturday 19 November 2011

Rockstar - Review

We happened to watch Rockstar last weekend in a theatre nearby our place. A few comments about this movie (spoilers galore!)

1. The movie belongs to Ranbir from the start till the end. He truly rocked. His transformation from a meek and endearing college going kid to an angst-filled rockstar was truly commendable.

2. Nargis Fakhri is so pale that it is impossible to believe her as an Indian girl. Though Imtiaz Ali tried to justify her looks by giving her the character of a Kashmiri girl still she doesn't look the part.

3. Nargis Fakhri just can't act. Her acting totally sucks! So much so that in some senti scenes she actually looks comical.

4. The dialogues in the 1st half are straight forward and witty without any extra sophistication, Sample this: In one scene where Ranbir's mentor asks him if he has ever fallen in love and Ranbir starts thinking. The mentor says "Agar pyaar hota toh ghanta sochna padhta"

5. The 2nd half gets boring and repetitive. Ranbir only keeps some interest alive. Unfortunately his brilliant acting also doesn't make the audience feel his pain and anguish. After the movie, hubby jokingly commented "I could soooo feel his pain!"

6. Being a movie about a music celebrity, I thought the music of Rockstar was just about ok. There was no single number which really caught my fancy.

All in all, Rockstar is an average movie. I had more expectations from it considering it was Imtiaz Ali's movie. But well, it is indeed better than his previous flick "Love Aaj Kal"

Thursday 3 November 2011

KL and Bali trip - snippets

We had booked our tickets for KL-Bali trip long back in March. And after a wait for around 8 months, October finally came and we embarked on our journey to 2 very beautiful countries in Asia. During the trip, we did lot of touristy things but I’ll remember this trip for some few not-so-touristy ones:

Visiting a Chinatown for the first time
Yeah...I was a Chinatown virgin if you say so...lol. This was my first visit to any Chinatown in any country. Hubby took me to the Chinatown in KL and I was simply blown away not just by the colors and lighting but also by the amazing replicas of so many branded items available there. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Coach – bags, scarfs, luggage, you name it…it was there. When we were tired of being amazed and amused at all these realistic fakes, we helped ourselves to fresh juice, yummy corn and coconut water.

Staying in a homestay of a Balinese couple
I had booked this homestay on the recommendation of trip advisor and needless to say, it turned out to be a really ideal place for us to stay in the initial period in Bali. It was right in the central location of Ubud and the Balinese couple was very warm and friendly. All the restaurants, taxi services etc were just a minute’s walk from this place but still this place was so calm and peaceful. No fancy stuff like expensive hotels, but all the basic things were in place and everyday we also were treated to a nice breakfast. It was a great beginning to our Bali adventure.

Eating in lakhs of Rupiah
Well, before we started our journey, I knew that 1 Indian Rupee is equivalent to around 170-180 Indonesian Rupiah. But it still took us time to gulp this fact when we had our lunch for the first time in Indonesia and the bill came out to be in lakhs of Rupiah. (Don’t really remember the figure now but imaging the guilt of having eaten food worth something like 120,000) :D

Hiking an active volcano called Mt. Batur
Bali is a rich land endowed with lot of different geographical features. It has beaches, volcanoes, lush green rice fields, rivers et al. When we came to know that hiking tours on one of the active volcanoes can be arranged along with a guide, we both were game for it. So we were to climb Mt. Batur, an active volcano with a height of 1717 m. We started from our homestay at 2:00 AM and started the hike with our guide at around 4:00. I am not really good at trekking coz I have a drawback that I start panting pretty quickly. So after lot of huffing and puffing, taking a lot of breaks and in the end being literally dragged by my guide, we managed to reach the top of the volcano. And well, the efforts were well rewarded. We saw one of the most beautiful sunrises. We also saw a huge crater formed at the top. There was even some smoke coming out from the middle of the crater. And then our guide showed us a small cave like place on the mountain where the steam was coming out and in spite of the chill in the air, it was so warm and soothing to stand in front of the cave. We reached back to our homestay in the afternoon with aching legs and severe tiredness but the hike was totally worth it.

Travelling across the countryside of Bali on a scooter rather than taking conventional tours
A suggestion to anyone going to Bali – don’t fall in the trap of sight seeing tours available there. We did our own sightseeing and how – we rented a scooter for 2 days (it costed us around INR 300 per day WITH PETROL!) and we had the most amazing time going around the countryside of Ubud and to far off places like Batur Lake and Sanur Beach on our scooter. Hubby did not allow me to drive much (against my wish) coz he was concerned about the safety but he made sure that we have a helluva time. We drove from morning till evening and saw the inner parts of Ubud village and a lot of surrounding areas which wouldn’t have been possible on a guided tour.

Chance meeting with a Marwari couple who happened to know someone from hubby’s family
Okay when I think about this incident even now, I still freak out. What are the odds that a couple traveling to Bali from Bangalore would cross paths with an elderly couple traveling from Kolkata who also by the way, turn out to be Marwaris like us and not just that – they would also know some close relative from hubby’s side. Quite remote, you may say. And when it happens you end up going out with them for dinner and even going for water sports with them the next day as they are warm and gracious enough to invite us with them in their rented car.

So, all these fascinating things made our Bali trip memorable. If I get a chance I would like to travel to Indonesia again and do so many other things which we could not cover this time coz of shortage of time.

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Janamdin Mubarak

Khushi manaane ka din hai
Aaj unka janamdin hai

Socha tha surprise denge
Saath mein celebrate karenge
Ek hamaari ore se tohfa denge
Aur return gift bhi lenge
Par who nahi ab mumkin hai
Aaj unka janamdin hai

Office ka kaam kuch aisa aaya
Unhone baahar jaane ka plan banaaya
Humko ye naa bilkul bhaaya
Niraasha ka baadal aisa chaaya
Dukhi ab hum tumhaare bin hai
Aaj unka janamdin hai

Happy Birthday dodo! :P


Wednesday 14 September 2011

bas yun hi...

कुछ गुमान हमको भी था तुम पर
अपनी किस्मत की दाद देते थे हम भी
पर आज कुछ ऐसा कर गुज़रे हो तुम
कि होंठ चुप हैं और आँख है नम भी

जिन बाहों में आसरा ढूँढा किये
जिस किनारे पे कश्ती लगाने का सहारा था
उसी की आँधियों ने डगमगा दिया
वोह सब कुछ छिन गया जो हमारा था

इस भीड़ में ये कैसी तन्हाई है
यूँ सिमट हैं गए रौशनी के एहसास भी
नहीं जानते अब कहाँ जायेंगे
दूर दूर तक नज़र आता ना ठिकाना कोई

क्यूंकि आज कुछ ऐसा कर गुज़रे हो तुम
कि होठ चुप हैं और आँख है नम भी

Monday 5 September 2011

Happy Teach-ing Day!

It has finally happened! After waiting for more than a month for this moment, it finally arrived!! I am still trying to soak in the feeling that surrounds this experience.

Well, I took my first class today...as a Faculty, for MBA students, no less. And what better day to start teaching than on a Teacher's Day! It was nerve wrecking for me to speak in front of 60 students for the first time in my life. But my nerves gradually soothed. I felt more relaxed, more comfortable.

Initially, the dean introduced me to the class and I couldn't help but smile at all the nice words he said about me. After the dean left the class, I was left on my own. My heart beat had reached a new high as I started talking...and I was just praying that the loud thumping of my heart should not be heard by any student. 

Standing on a dais in front of one big class for the first time, wasn't really easy. I gave a brief intro about myself and talked a little and then asked the students to introduce themselves. That set the momentum. And I was pleasantly surprised to know that we had one student from Afghanistan and one from Iran in that class. "Wow! My college must be really popular" I was mentally saying. But after the introduction of all the students was over, there were still 30 minutes left. WHOA! What am I gonna talk about for next 30 minutes?! (I had decided I won't teach them anything much pertaining to the subject in the first class and instead try and mingle with them and make them also comfortable). 

So I just briefly introduced the subject and then asked them if they have any questions for me. And gradually one thing led to another. The students were curious to know more about me....where have I done MBA from, where was I working, what specialisation is good for them, how many holidays will they get, etc. And before I knew it, I was quite relaxed and all the initial jitter had gone. When I walked out of the class, I felt happy and at the same time I felt so much more responsible towards my students. I am not gonna let them down. I think I am much better prepared to take my next class now.

*Fingers crossed*

Saturday 27 August 2011

Back to college

I completed one month here a couple of days back. And I have survived.

Well, I am talking about my new job stint as a Faculty in one of the reputed management colleges in Bangalore. I was initially very apprehensive about taking up this job as I have no prior teaching experience. But there were two reasons for taking up this job. First of all, my entrepreneurial venture wasn't really going at the pace as I expected. So I thought that I should may be start a full time job again which would bring some discipline in my unorganized and ill-disciplined life.

Secondly, I used to love the training sessions that I imparted as a part of my job a few years back. And I always thought that few years down the line, I would take up some visiting faculty position and teach.

So when this opportunity came knocking, I grabbed it with both hands. I am so glad I did it! I am enjoying the routine of getting up early and going to work again after a long hiatus of 3.5 years. I like the idea of being presentable and looking after yourself and these things seem to take a backseat when you are working from home. So, after a long gap, I thoroughly enjoyed shopping for clothes and stuff. (Not that I did not have clothes but there is a different sense of euphoria when you join a new job)

There is still some time before I start taking classes and frankly, I am a little nervous. Meanwhile, I am myself doing a LOT OF studying to prepare myself for the lectures. When I was in college and was on the other side of the fence, I never really took the classes very seriously and would study only during exams. Little did I realise at that time that our professors put in so much efforts to deliver one single lecture. Ab jab khudko karna padh raha hai toh nani yaad aa rahi hai :D

When I had completed my MBA in 2003 and got a job, I was thrilled. Guess the thrill was more about the fact that I wouldn’t have to study again and wouldn’t have to take any more exams than about the job. But as they say "Life is something that happens to you when you are busy making other plans" :)

Not that I am cribbing, but it surely took a while for me to get into the groove again and start preparing seriously. But now I feel more confident and much better prepared to face the students and deliver lectures.

The classes would start in another 8-10 days time. I am nervous as hell and keeping my fingers crossed.

It would be one big exam and I want to pass it with flying colors!

Friday 19 August 2011

All charged up

Hubby (after coming home from office) - I tried calling so many times on your mobile today. It was saying "not reachable".

Me (nonchalantly) - Ohh, actually my mobile got discharged today.

Hubby (with a dead pan face) - Your mobile got discharged? When was it hospitalised?

Me - Ehh....errm *gulp*

(I hereby declare that my hubby has superseded me in cracking PJs. I bow to thou!)

Saturday 13 August 2011

"Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" poems

Yesterday we watched ZNMD and I was totally blown away by the poetry in the movie. Hats off to Javed Akhtar for writing these proses and to Farhan Akhtar for delivering them so beautifully and effortlessly! Without further ado, below are the pieces of poetry from the movie:

Poem 1:

Ik baat honton tak hai jo aayi nahin
Bas ankhon say hai jhaankti
Tumse kabhi, mujhse kabhi
Kuch lafz hain woh maangti
Jinko pehanke honton tak aa jaaye woh
Aawaaz ki baahon mein baahein daalke ithlaye woh
Lekin jo yeh ik baat hai
Ahsas hi ahsas hai

Khushboo si hai jaise hawa mein tairti
Khushboo jo be-aawaaz hai
Jiska pata tumko bhi hai
Jiski khabar mujhko bhi hai
Duniya se bhi chupta nahin
Yeh jaane kaisa raaz hai

Poem 2:

Jab jab dard ka baadal chaya
Jab ghum ka saya lehraya
Jab aansoo palkon tak aya
Jab yeh tanha dil ghabraya

Humne dil ko yeh samjhaya
Dil aakhir tu kyun rota hai
Duniya mein yunhi hota hai

Yeh jo gehre sannate hain
Waqt ne sabko hi baante hain
Thoda ghum hai sabka qissa
Thodi dhoop hai sabka hissa

Aankh teri bekaar hi nam hai
Har pal ek naya mausam hai
Kyun tu aise pal khota hai
Dil aakhir tu kyun rota hai

Poem 3:

Pighle neelam sa behta ye sama,
neeli neeli si khamoshiyan,
na kahin hai zameen na kahin aasmaan,
sarsaraati hui tehniyaan pattiyaan,
keh raheen hai bas ek tum ho yahan,
bas main hoon,
meri saansein hain aur meri dhadkanein,
aisi gehraiyaan, aisi tanhaiyaan,
aur main… sirf main.
Apne hone par mujhko yakeen aa gaya.

Poem 4:

Dilon me tum apni betabiyan leke chal rahe ho,to zinda ho tum
Nazar me khwaabon ki bijliyan leke chal rahe ho,to zinda ho tum
Hawa ke jhokon ke jaise aazad rehna seekho
Tum ek dariya ke jaise lehron mein behna seekho
Har ek lamhe se tum milo khole apni baahein
Har ek pal ek naya sama dekhe nigahein
Jo apni ankhon mein hairanian leke chal rahe ho,to zinda ho tum
Dilon mein tum apni betabian leke chal rahe ho,to zinda ho tum

Monday 7 March 2011

Go Gokarna!

I and hubby had been planning to go to Gokarna since October. We had even booked our tickets and accommodation. But as luck would have it, we couldn't materialize our plans as something urgent came up and we had to ditch the trip at the last minute. However, we finally got a chance to make our much eluded Gokarna trip in January this year.

Getting there

Distance between Bangalore and Gokarna is about 480-500 kilometers. The buses ply regularly on this route and we decided to take one such overnight bus. It was a sleeper bus which meant that we had a nice and comfortable ride to Gokarna and we were quite fresh on reaching there next morning.


Staying in Gokarna

Once the bus dropped us to Gokarna stop, it was pretty easy to find an auto rickshaw to drop us at Om Beach. We were planning to stay at “Namaste Café” situated right on the Om Beach as we had heard a lot about this place. It had a reputation of being inexpensive and comfortable. Oh boy! it did live up to its reputation. Another plus point of staying in Namaste Café was its proximity to the Om beach.


Prancing around

Gokarna is a place you would instantly fall in love with. It is so laid back, nice and cozy that many foreigners come and stay there for months at a stretch. And the best part about the beaches in Gokarna is the huge line up of cafes. If you ask me what exactly to do in Gokarna, I would simply suggest this: Eat, Sleep, Drink and be merry! And that’s exactly what we did in our short stay of 2 days over there. Oh yes, we did find time for beach hopping as well.
Om Beach
So the first day, we explored Om Beach and then took a boat to Paradise Beach. It was a short, nice ride which lasted about 15 minutes. Paradise beach was much cleaner as compared to Om Beach and we had nice time frolicking in the water.

Enroute to Kudle beach
The next day we were debating whether or not to go to Kudle beach. In the end, our curiosity took the better of us and we trekked to Kudle beach. We were so glad we did that. Kudle beach turned out to be one of the best beaches of Gokarna. It took an immense amount of self-control not to jump in the inviting waters as we had already checked out from our hotel room and were planning to go to the bus stop directly from there. So we did the next best thing. We went to a beach café and sat there for a few hours, watching the waves wash the shore, ordering something to eat and drink every now and then, and even laze a little on the nice comfy mattresses laid there.

When there was still some time left for our bus to depart, we returned to Gokarna town and visited a couple of temples before boarding the bus. Also, in true tourist style, I picked up a couple of things from the shops that displayed a variety of stuff specifically meant for the tourist brigade (No locals usually buy those things which the tourist does)

Every good thing has to come to an end. Sigh! Our Gokarna trip was no exception. We returned back with heaps of laundry and loads of memories!

Monday 14 February 2011

"Lucky" numbers


I dont really associate myself to the evergrowing population celebrating Valentine's Day worldwide (in the typical and cliched manner), but it does feel good to go out of the way and do something un-routinely for a change. So I got a reason and a chance to give N a surprise last Sunday in the name of Valentine's day gift. Apparently, Lucky Ali was performing live in Bangalore and I did not want to miss out this opportunity as we both are ardent Lucky Ali fans.

There was just one problem!

The same day, Indian team was playing Australian cricket team for a practice match in Bangalore (and I had a doubt that N might be planning to go for this match). So I double checked with him a couple of times if he has any plans for Sunday and he definitely got suspicious.

"Are you planning something?" he asked, suspiciously.

"Oh no!" I muttered to myself.

"No, not at all. I was just asking coz a few of your friends are planning to go" I finally managed to say.

"Nopes! Its totally impossible to get the tickets and then, I am not really much enthu about it coz its just a practice match" he said, still looking suspiciously at me.

He kept pestering me till Sunday and when I finally handed him the print-outs for the concert tickets, he was really excited. When we reached the concert venue, we were pleasantly surprised to realise that it is happening in an open air amphi-theater in UB City, one of the most beautiful malls in Bangalore. When the concert started, it was just like any other concert. Some random chap came and started crooning self-composed english songs. We waited and waited till finally Lucky Ali decided to show up.

And then, it was as if we were transported to a different world altogether. Lucky Ali kept belting out one beautiful number after another. There was no hooting and no chaos usually associated with live concerts. Just beautiful, touching and heartfelt songs. Since a sizeable number of Bangalore crowd was busy with the cricket match and Bryam Adams concert (again happening on the same day in some other venue), it was not very crowded. The weather was also just perfect. It felt more like a private performance for a small group of people simply there for the love of Lucky Ali. There were a few song requests and Lucky Ali entertained them all.

When he wasn't singing, he was busy making everyone laugh at his witty jokes and clever one liners. Sample this:

Talking about love:
"Love doesn't necessarily mean.... Well, love doesn't mean...it just is..."

Taking a jibe at the hype of Valentine's Day:
"Ahh...the pressures of Valentine's day..."

When talking about his character in "Sur"
"In Sur, the main protagonist is an egoistical person. May be this character resonated with the director's personality"

When someone shouted "Tu kaun hai" (requesting to sing one of his songs "tu kaun hai"):
"Main Lucky Ali hoon..."

We just wanted him to go on and on but he finally ended the concert with one of his father's songs "Aao twist karen". Even after he left we kept waiting for around 5 minutes expecting him to come back and sing may be just one more song. But no, he was gone for good.

"This was one of the best concerts I have ever attended. I am so glad we came for this" N said.

I couldn't agree more :)

one of the shots of Lucky Ali that I took with my phone cam

Friday 7 January 2011

Happy New Year 2011

Dear blog,
I know I had sort of abandoned you. So many times I thought of penning down my thoughts here but didn't do it. Anyways, I am not going to write down all the regrets and disappointments today, I am simply going to celebrate the fact that I finally wrote.

Last year did not turn out to be as good as I had expected, but I am gonna make this year a really rocking one. And you would be a part of all my trials and tribulations, I promise.

I am not going to have any new year resolutions as I do not believe on living life on pre-determined basis. Rather, I would take each day as it comes, and try to make it more fulfilling than the previous one. But yes, I do make a resolve to spend less time fooling around on the internet and more time enjoying the little blissful moments that the life has to offer. I also hope to travel more this year as traveling keeps me rejuvenated and alive.

Here's to a rocking 2011
Cheers!!!
-N