Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Fair maidens or plain slobs?

To most people, I come across as a calm, collected and level headed person. My childhood and college friends know me as a very different person . I was notorious in my neighbourhood as a gang leader of kids. I was a fair leader, broke up fights, and introduced new games. I always had the passion for directing plays and even script writing. I made all my young friends perform in the plays I wrote. Unfortunately, the only bit of direction I now do is, 'try' to make Hubs do the dishes (mostly things don't work as per my script now).

I stepped out of my hometown after my graduation and moved to another city for my post graduation. That was my first taste of freedom and I managed to have a good time in spite of my elder sister watching my every move. After graduation, I moved to another city for my first job. Soon I came back licking my wounds after having been made redundant after the dot.com crash in my first job.

Soon after, I started living in an apartment shared by six other girls. We were three girls in one bedroom; there were three in another and another girl in the third room. We all shared a kitchen, loo, and bathroom. As per rota, each of the girls was to clean the common areas once every 2 days. Four of us were diligent and proceeded to clean as per the rota. The other three always skipped their turn and never paid heed to our requests. I am a neat freak when it comes to the loo and the kitchen; their behaviour really ticked me off. One fine day, after tolerating the gruesome threesome (GT) for a few weeks, I went and purchased a huge lock and locked the loo with it. Four of us shared the key. The 'GT' were in for a shock when they found a huge padlock hanging on the loo door. It was a Kodak moment. I wish I had clicked a picture then. First they got angry, then amazed, then begged me to open the door and when I refused, they were on the verge of tears (Evil me).

They ran to the Landlord to make a complaint (He stayed in a flat just above ours). I had already roped in Mr. Landlord in our scheme and he had agreed with my idea. The result was that the girls got back on track and never tried to pull a fast one by not cleaning up.

I recall another horror story from one of my hostel living days. I shared a room with a girl from Mauritius. I became an object of pity when other girls in the hostel came to know who my roommate was. Soon enough the mystery was solved. My roommate was a pig in human clothing. In the entire 2 months I stayed in that room, I never saw her wash any clothes. Leave aside jeans and tops not even undergarments. She stank and always looked like a street person, I always wondered if she ever bathed. One fine day I come back to the hostel from work and I see her wearing a pair of my socks. I donated her that pair and arranged to move to a different room the same day.

The whole gender based assumption ‘Men in general are untidy and not too high on personal cleanliness’ actually went out of the window after staying with slobs in my hostel days. I found that women are equally untidy and unclean. Moreover, given a chance can even make men appear to be the 'epitome of cleanliness'.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Wake up Sid- A Movie Review

I saw this movie last week. It’s such a rare experience for me to watch a Hindi Movie in a cinema. Most of the times I am left with watching grainy prints on the web trying to decipher the faces of actors.

The movie revolves round a character called 'Sid' played by Ranbir Kapoor. In short, he is a spoilt brat whose father has sacrificed and worked hard and is now loaded with money. Sid is oblivious of the hardships his parents had faced and is completely pampered by his mother and father. His life revolves round his friends a geeky guy and an overweight girl. He spends his time loafing around and blowing cash. He meets a girl called 'Aisha' played by Konkona Sen-sharma at the college farewell party. They become friends in spite of having nothing in common. Aisha is new in Mumbai and is here from Kolkata to become a professional writer. She is older than Sid and is mature. She finds Sid as immature and without any aim in life. Sid is good hearted kid who has lost his way in life. He helps Aisha get settled in a new flat and they become good friends.

Sid gets a reality check, when he fails in the last year of his graduation and finds out that his friends have cleared it. In a fit of anger, over his failure some heated words are exchanged between him and his parents. Sid walks out of the house with no job, no skills and no place to stay. He ends up living in Aisha's flat. His journey of self discovery starts from there. Slowly he realizes that he needs to have his own identity and ends up getting a job as a photographer at the same Magazine where Aisha is working. Aisha starts falling in love with him whereas Sid is oblivious of it. In the end, all is well and Sid also realizes he is in love with Aisha.

This movie is refreshing without any heavy emotional drama. It’s a surprise to see Karan Johar not signing up his usual clan of friends for this movie. It’s a good movie to watch when you want a break from serious stuff. I feel it reflects the lifestyle of today's generation of youngsters very well. Ranbir fits the character of Sid to a 'T'. His performance is very good. I am a big fan of Konkona and she plays each of her roles with aplomb. This movie reminded me of 'Lakshya' a lot, wherein Hrithik wrestles with the same demons as Sid.

Some parts of the movie are debatable. I feel that Sid's parents played a major role in spoiling him. Putting the blame entirely on him was a bit unfair. Also, the pieces fit together too smoothly. Sid never saw the harshness of life. He stayed protected and dependant, first on his parents and then on Aisha. The sudden turnaround in him and the self-discovery part were too slick and candy-coated. I wish life was so easy for all the struggling souls in this world.

In nutshell, the movie is a good one-time watch. It will entertain you without jarring your senses but it will not leave any lasting impression to make you want to see it again.






Monday, 5 October 2009

Highway Glory

It started as a usual lazy Sunday morning. Getting up late and having breakfast at a leisurely pace. I was trawling the Internet looking for entertainment and found that 'Wake up Sid' the new Bollywood movie was running at a cinema in a nearby town. Anytime we want to watch a Hindi movie, we have to drive to another town which has more of a Hindi speaking population. This time it turned out to be a town called 'Blackburn', around 35 miles from where we live. We made it to the movie and found that there were only two other people besides us to see the movie. After the movie, we decided to head to another town called 'Bolton' another 12 miles from 'Blackburn'. My boss owns an amazing restaurant called 'Sizzling Palate' in Bolton.

After having skipped lunch, I was looking forward to a well deserved Sizzler. Working for the boss does have some privileges. Hubs and I were bombarded with special treatment and yummy food. Never have I tasted such delicious sizzler..not even in India. With fully satisfied taste buds and a memorable day, we decided to make the finale with a 'Meetha Paan'.

I was looking forward to reaching home and crawling into a warm bed after eating so much that my stomach was about to burst at the seams. We tootled off on the motorway towards home. After driving for about 10 miles, a weird sound emanating from the car broke our daze. The engine temperature needle had swerved towards the red end. Heeding to the motorway rules we pulled on the hard shoulder of the road and put up the hazard lights . As the norm goes hubs proceeded to poke his nose under the hood and tinker around a bit. (Why do all men think that they are super duper mechanics?)

It was a cold night with the mercury dipping below 10 deg, which on open roads and countryside feels close to freezing. With hubs spurting ominous statistics about number of accidents happening on motorway while sitting in broken down vehicles, I dragged myself out from the car just like a reluctant bride on the altar.

Hubs in the meantime had called up our Insurance company and a vehicle recovery request was put across. The estimated time for the pick-up was 'Within one hour'. To suppress the need to pee and to bring to life my freezing butt both of us started an impromptu dance by the roadside. Thankfully, it was dark and people in passing vehicles could not see our faces.

The recovery guy arrived 45 minutes later and towed our car and gave us a lift back home. All in all, a decent film, a fantastic dinner and dancing on the highway turned out to be a pretty interesting weekend.