Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Hobbit- An unexpected journey

People who are fans of the trilogy "Lord of the Rings" are in for a treat, when they get to see "The Hobbit- An unexpected journey". This Movie is again a trilogy based on the fantasy novel by J.R.R. Tolkien and is the prequel to the "Lord of the Rings". This Movie is again directed by Peter Jackson who has done a wonderful job.

Image Courtesy: Warner Brothers
The story is about Bilbo Baggins who is Frodo's uncle and of his adventure with a group  of dwarves who are on a quest to reclaim their kingdom "Erebor" from the terrible dragon called "Smaug". The story is set 60 years before the LOTR. This motley crew of dwarves is led by their warrior prince "Thorin Oakenshield" and accompanying them is "Gandalf the Grey", the wizard, who was also there in LOTR. Their journey takes them through difficult terrains, beautiful landscapes and the land of middle earth filled with fearsome Orcs, goblins and trolls. This Movie also has the loathsome character "Gollum" who is as cunning and lusting after "Precious" just like in the Movie "LOTR"

The story will show you the transformation of Bilbo Baggins from a Hobbitt who worries about his mother's dishes and is happy to be in his own home, to a person who stands up to fight the ferocious pale Orc and saves the life of Thorin. Martin Freeman has done justice to his role of Bilbo Baggins. He slips into the role effortlessly just like the way he did as Dr. Watson in the modern day "Sherlock Holmes" series.

The cinematography and the locations are breathtaking. It is a visual treat to see the Movie. The acting is again very good and is fun and playful at many places which gives comic relief from many of the intense battle scenes. The 3D effects are so good that many times you feel you need to duck as a boulder comes crashing down. The scenes when two mountains come alive and fight with each other is simply superb. The background score again does justice to the Movie but in many places it is very similar to the LOTR. The vulnerability of Bilbo's character is endearing and of course Gandalf is as good as he was in LOTR, a wise wizard who knows how to bring out the best in people.
Image Courtesy: Warner Brothers

One of the drawbacks of the Movie was it's length. The Movie runs for nearly 2 hours and 45 minutes. It would have been more effective had it been just a 2 hours Movie. Also, some scenes could have been shortened in length, such as, when the dwarves land up at Bilbo's house in Bagend or when they meet the Brown wizard. Also, I felt the characters of the 12 dwarves were not etched properly. You cannot make out one dwarf from the other as none of them have been shown to be having any special qualities. This makes it difficult for you to bond with the characters as you cannot think of them as individuals.  

In spite of the drawbacks, I believe this Movie is again going to be a masterpiece just llike LOTR because of the sheer brilliance with which the story has been filmed. The story is gripping and at the end of it you just want to know what will happen next. The message of the Movie is again heart warming, which shows you that no matter how small or ordinary you are, you can still make a difference.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Death of a Friendship

Friendships most times are stronger than other relationships. They are the life raft that give you home in the turbulent sea called life. As time goes by it becomes deeper and stronger and it  nurtures and sustains you. Friendships happen so easily and the best part is, it is so much to fun to make new friends.

I always had a huge circle of friends while growing up. My parents were always aghast during my birthday parties by the sheer number of people who came down to wish me. I gathered friends wherever I went, my tuition class, guitar class, computer class, school, college and even in the lane where I lived. At that time,life was a wonderful ride filled with giggles and gossip. As I grew older, many of those friends became good friends, while I lost touch with a few as they drifted away. A handful of them especially the women friends became my close friends,with whom I could spend hours, talking about anything under the Sun. These friendships grew strong for many years as each one of us finished studies, got jobs and got married. Things started to change when life became complicated because of added responsibilities and as priorities changed. I still managed to hold on to a few precious good friends. All this while, I did have short term friendships that were not strong enough to form deep bonds.

Image courtesy:
Life moved on and the precious friendships, I had managed to hold on to, also fizzled away. Right now I am standing empty handed on the threshold with questions, doubts and mourning the death of my last good friendship. 

I know most of you can relate very well with what I have written. Each one of us have gone through this stage in life and grappled with many questions in our head about the "the death of a friendship". 

Why did it happen? Was it because of something I said or did? Why did we drift apart? Was it because of something I didn't do?

You try your best to keep it alive. Your mails to your friend go unanswered and you get to hear "I am very busy" as the excuse, which your friend throws at you. You want to pick up the phone and talk to your friend, just like old times, but you don't because you don't want your friend to feel you are needy. Even when you do get in touch, you talk like acquaintances and not like people who once ate from the same plate and who shared their innermost fears. You are left feeling that someone has stamped your forehead with a "Rejected" stamp. 

One of my favorite movies "You've got mail" has these wonderful lines which I can  relate to the "The death of my friendships".

Kathleen Kelly: [writing to "NY152"] People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all... has happened. My store is closing this week. I own a store, did I ever tell you that? It's a lovely store, and in a week it will be something really depressing, like a Baby Gap. Soon, it'll just be a memory. In fact, someone, some foolish person, will probably think it's a tribute to this city, the way it keeps changing on you, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know because that's the sort of thing I'm always saying. But the truth is... I'm heartbroken. I feel as if a part of me has died, and my mother has died all over again, and no one can ever make it right. 

My friendships that died are also like baby gaps, they are just a memory now and I am heartbroken too. All that is left is memories,which I need to let go of.

The loss of a friendship can be very devastating.When there is death of a friendship, especially one that is cherished and nurtured for a long time, it feels that some part of your heart died with it. You need to mourn that loss in order to move on and learn to live with that loss. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Freebie and Giveaway time

I know all of you rushed to this blog, when you read the word "Giveaway". We all love a good deal and especially when something is free. 

This giveaway is sponsored by "Magical Homes", and one of you could be the lucky winner.

"Magical Homes is a site about décor and lifestyle. A place that you can walk in with a cup of coffee and find décor tips, relationship advice and even parenting guides. It's a site that endeavours to make your home a magical place. Magical Homes will also from time to time bring you offbeat products, that you can buy online. Products will be directly from craftsmen or from DIY by readers."

To win the fabulous set of Silver and Blue table mats (set of 6) , all you have to do is:

1) Tell us which article you liked the most from the website and why .You can find them here.

2) Like them on Facebook here.

This contest is open only to the residents of India and will close on 12th December. 

Please do remember to leave a valid email address along with your comment, so that we can inform the winner via email. The comments will be approved only after the contest is over. The winner will be chosen at random, from all the answers we receive.

May the lucky person win. All the best!

The Blue and Silver table mat set

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Scribbling Pad

I know, I have done the disappearing act from my own blog again  and have not been visiting any of you blogs as well. Thank you for being such good friends and sticking around with me. I promise to read all the posts I have missed. I have them stored in my reader.

I have a reason for absconding from the scene, as I was juggling too many things at the same time both personal and professional. One of the balls that I was juggling was the launch of my professional website 'The Scribbling Pad'. I finally launched it ten days back and voilà, here is the link for all you beautiful people The Scribbling Pad and a snapshot of the site.

Hope the people who need Content writing and Editing services are reading this blog. It has been an exciting time mixed with lots of hair pulling and harassing the designer who designed the website. I drove the poor chap up the wall with so many changes, till I was completely satisfied. 

I have kept the website simple because I believe in, "Keep it Simple Stupid" a lot. It also has links to my social media profiles and you can even share my website with someone else by using the "Share this" button. There are links and samples of the work I have done and testimonials from a few of the clients. Have a look and do forward it to people you know who need content for their websites, brochures or blogs.

Blogging for me has always been about just pursuing a hobby and reading things that pique my interest. It has given me the opportunity to start my own business and I am so happy that I jumped in to this world with enthusiasm.

A few days back, I realized that the blog world has really changed now and has become a vicious place. There was a lot of mudslinging and some blogger friends were caught in the cross-hairs. I feel that these days there is fierce competition amongst bloggers and many have forgotten the essence of what blogging is all about. All of this has left a really bad taste in my mouth. Blogging was so different when I started off, I made so many friends in this virtual world. I learnt so much from them but there was never a clash of egos. There is space for everyone to grow and there is no need for anyone to go pissing everywhere to mark their territory. 

What has been your experience in this blogging world?

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Do you work from home?

This is usually how the conversation flows, whenever I am asked about my work.

X: Do you work?

Me: Yes I do.

X: Which company?

Me: I have my own business. I am a freelance content writer and an essay editor.

X: Do you work from home? 

Me: Yes.

X: Wow, You are so lucky. It must be so good to work from your own home and not go out and work. No tension and no commute. 
Photo courtesy:

If I know the person well, I do go into a long winded explanation but usually I just say, it is not all luck, but involves tons of hard work.

Well for all of you who are sailing in the same boat like me, let me say this, I know exactly how it feels when people say you are lucky, because you work from home. Most of us have given up our well paying jobs to raise children, to provide a stable home, because we have health issues that do not allow us to take full time jobs or like me who had to give up countless jobs because Hubs constantly keeps moving from one city to another. I finally got fed up of hunting for work every time we moved and we have moved houses nearly 14 times in the past 13 years. I started my own content writing firm two years back.

I get upset when people think it is all fun when you work from home.

Though I agree working from home does have it upsides too:

  • I don't have to get dressed, I work in my Pajamas.
  • I don't have to rush in the morning to reach my work place on time.
  • I don't have to bear farty bosses and rude colleagues.
  • I can work when I want.
  • I can work with music blaring loudly.
  • I can have a snack any time I want.
  • I was able to discover my passion for writing and now get paid for what I love to do.
It does have it downsides too, which most people don't bother think about. When you work from home:
  • People don't take your work seriously.
  • They think you are doing it for pocket money and do not consider your career choice to be a serious one.
  • You never get bonus for achieving your targets and most times not even a pat on the back for a  job done well.
  • It can get quite lonely when you work alone. No buddies who can perk you up when you are having a bad day. There are no birthday parties or office parties where you can let your hair down
  • You don't get to dress up and go to work where your colleagues compliment you on your outfit.
  • You never get to gossip with anyone in your "Chai" break
  • Your work gets interrupted because you keep getting up to answer the countless number of times the doorbell rings.
  • People who otherwise would not have thought of dropping in for a holiday, if you were working away from home, end up making visits because they know you are at home. You end up entertaining people on their break, when actually you should be looking for more work.
  • Getting assignments is tough, you have to keep looking for work all the time. 
  • If the client is rotten, you don't even get paid.
  • The line between your home life and work life gets blurred.
  • You get sucked up into doing household chores because they are right there in front of your eyes all the time.
  • There are times when you have no work and days when it is pouring and you don't even have time to breathe.
There, I have now said it out loud and I feel much better after ranting about it. I hope that next time you meet someone, who works from home, you will think twice before you call them lucky. Cause baby, luck has got nothing to do with it, it is all hard work, sweat and tears.

Photo Courtesy: Dudelol

Do you work from home? What has been your experience?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Happy Birthday, 'Angry Young Man'

We all know that Amitabh Bachchan epitomised the angry young man of Bollywood. Till now, no one has been able to come even close to his charisma and his screen presence. 

Just like you, I am a huge fan of his Movies, not only those Movies, where he played the 'Angry young Man' character but also Movies such as 'Chupke Chupke', 'Satte pe Satta' and 'Cheeni Kum', where you could see that he has an incredible sense of timing, when it comes to humour.

Amitabh Bachchan has the talent to deliver his dialogues with such aplomb that even now, after many decades, we still remember them and repeat them any chance we get.

Here are some of his famous Movie dialogues:

1) "Haan, main sign karoonga, lekin pehle us aadmi ka sign leke aao, jisne mera baap ko chor kaha tha ; pehle us aadmi ka sign leke aao jisne meri maa ko gali deke naukri se nikal diya tha; pehle us aadmi ka sign leke aao jisne mere haath pe ye ('mera baap chor hai') leekh diya tha. Uske baad... Uske baad, mere bhai, tu jo kahega us par main sign karoonga." - Deewar

2) " Mai aaj bhi feke hue paise nahi uthata".- Deewar

3) "Aaj khush to bahot hoge tum"- Deewar

4) “Aaj mere paas bangla hain, gadi hai, bank balance hai... tumare paas kya hai.?”- Deewar

image courtesy:

5) "Jis tarah gobhi ka phool phool hokar bhi phool nahi hota, waise hi gainde ka phool bhi phool hokar phool nahi hota."- Chupke Chupke

6) "Pura naam, Vijay Dinanath Chauhan. Baap ka naam, Dinanath Chauhan; Maa ka naam, Suhasini Chauhan, gaon Mandwa; umar chhattis saal".- Agneepath
image courtesy:

7) "Jab tak baithne ko na kaha jaye sharafat se khade raho, Yeh police station hai tumhare baap ka ghar nahi."- Zanjeer

image courtesy:

8) "Agar Kisine Hilne Ki Koshish Ki to Bhoon Ke Rakh Doonga".- Sholay

9) " Kya karu Mausi, mera to dil hi kuch aisa hai. Phir ye rishta pakka samjhu? "- Sholay

image courtesy:
10) "Hum Jaha pe khade ho jaate hein , line wahin se shuru hoti hai." - Kaalia

image courtesy:

11) "I can talk English, I can walk English, I can laugh English because English is a very phunny language." - Namak Halal

image courtesy:

12) "Rishte me to hum tumhare baap lagte hain , naam hai Shahenshah." - Shahenshah

image courtesy:

13) "Apun wo kutte ki doom hai, jo baara baras nalli ke andar daal ke, nalli tedi hoti, apun sidha nahin hota!"- Yaraana

image courtesy: Wikepedia

14) "Jo mard hota hai, usse dard nahi hota" - Mard

image courtesy:

15) "Agar apni maa ka doodh piya hai to saamne aa." -Laawaris

Happy Birthday, Amitabh Bachchan. Thank you for giving such amazing performances in your Movies. People might call 'Shahrukh Khan' the king of Bollywood, but for me you will always be that 'Angry Young Man' whose Movies are totally 'Paisa Vasool'.

For me, you will always be the one who fought injustice, spoke for the common man and taught me 'Ye Dosti, hum nahi todenge'. You serenaded your leading ladies with as much passion as you had, when you beat up gangsters and villains like 'Gabbar'. I admire your love for your  'Maa' and had a soft spot for you even when you played the anti hero. There is no one like you and I wish you many years of healthy and happy life. 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

English-Vinglish- Movie Review

I know, I am going overboard with Movie reviews on this blog. But how could I not write about Sridevi's comeback Movie?
And boy, what a comeback. There is no one like her. Acting simply runs in her blood and she proved it with this fabulous, not to miss Movie, English-Vinglish.

Folks, book your tickets pronto and be prepared to get totally engrossed in Shashi's life. Sridevi plays the role of 'Shashi Godbole', a middle class housewife living in Pune. She lives with her husband who is a typical Indian husband, a teen aged daughter, a small son and a gentle mother-in-law.

Shashi is independent and earns her own money by making delicious 'Boondi Ladoos' at home, on order. Her life revolves around her family and she puts their priorities before her needs and happiness.  Her family keeps laughing at her bad English and humiliates her everytime she speaks bad English. Her husband underestimates her and does not have any respect for her talents. Her daughter is so ashamed of a mother who cannot speak English, that she even refuses to introduce her mother to her own friends.

Many women can identify with Sashi, as the dedicated wife and mother who is taken for granted by her family, and is made fun of because of her poor English.

One day, Shashi flies to New York to help her sister for her daughter's wedding.  There is comes across an English speaking course which promises to teach her English in just four weeks. The next four weeks you can slowly see the transformation in Shashi, as she moves across New York, to reach her class everyday. At first hesitant of the new landscape and later as comfortable as a New Yorker, walking with a cup of Coffee in her hand.

Her fellow classmates are equally handicapped when it comes to speaking English. Amongst them is the French actor 'Mehdi Nebou' who gets attracted to Shashi for her beauty and simplicity. There are no heavy romantic scenes, but superb dialogues, body language and the look in his eyes convey it all. 

At first, Shashi is shocked by the revelation, but eventually takes it in her stride. She tells him in 'Hindi' that she is married and has two children, and nothing is possible between them. I found this one of the most beautifully directed scenes in the Movie. Language does not become a barrier for communication. The tone and her eyes say it all. The ending of the Movie is the icing on the cake, where Shashi finally shows to her family that she is person with feelings who has self esteem and is not just a wife and mother.

The Movie is as smooth as melted Butter on hot toast. There are no breaks in the storytelling and you cannot find fault with the dialogues or the screenplay. The songs are at the right place and do not hamper the rhythm of the story.

Amitabh Bachchan is superb in his special appearance. Shashi's classmates and her English teacher have all acted well and provide many light moments in the Movie. 

There are a few drawbacks in the Movie. Since this Movie is based on a Marathi family, the ambience in the house does not come close to a Marathi household. Also, very few Marathi middle class women will read read a Hindi Newspaper. They should have shown Shashi reading a 'Sakal' or a 'Kesari'. Also, why did Shashi wait to learn English till she came to New York? She could have studied it in India too.

Apart from these few drawbacks, I feel the Movie is delightful. Sridevi chose the right film for making a comeback. She is still beautiful and age has added a certain edge to her acting. Her bubbliness and effervescence is hidden well to show her as  mature and rooted, but can still be seen in many places. 

A few scenes that stuck with me are, when Shashi encounters a rude Barista at a Cafe and when she meets Amitabh on the Plane to New York. 

I give this Movie a rating of 4.5 out of 5. A must watch Movie especially for Sridevi fans as she brings back her magic on the silver screen.

Director: Gauri Shinde
Running time129 minutes
ProducerR. Balki
ScreenplayGauri Shinde
CastSridevi Kapoor, Mehdi Nebbou, Priya Anand,Sulabha Deshpande.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Kabootar Ja Ja Ja

Does it ever happen to you, that one of God's creatures manages to get on your nerves every time it flaps it's wings?

The title (Kabootar Ja Ja or Pigeon fly away) of this post aptly describes the feeling I have about Pigeons. These rats with wings have been hounding me everyday and have surrounded my house from everywhere. My house is under total lock down these days, with all the windows shut in the daytime, with only a little gap left for ventilation.
The culprits
 Every day, without fail, I am woken up not by the jangle of the alarm clock but by the scratching of claws on empty cardboard boxes stored on the kitchen ledge. Those dratted pigeons never fail to make an appearance early in the morning making that peculiar noise and dropping feathers everywhere. Even before I have managed to open my eyes completely, I am out of the bed, running behind these feathered monsters to shoo them away. Things have become so bad that these days, I have dreams of shooting these suckers with a gun. The other, day I threw a wooden coaster at one. It just gave me a disdainful look which said 'Missed me, ha ha' and flew away.

The pigeons in my society have lost all the fear of humans. Today, the kitchen window was left open by mistake and one wily pigeon took this opportunity and entered the house.It took a merry stroll all the way from the Kitchen to the Living room and even said a quick hello to hubs who was in the living room, before it got chased away.

Another specimen

I cannot figure out the usefulness of having so many pigeons all over the world. Apart from pooping everywhere, spreading diseases and troubling people like me, what do these birds actually do?

Pigeons are considered to be very intelligent (I have doubts) birds and were used to send messages in earlier time, especially during wars. I guess with Postal service and now because of Internet, they are jobless, except  getting roles in Bollywood Movies.

Come to think of it, these nasty birds are there everywhere. They were even there in the UK where you can see signs posted everywhere, 'do not feed Pigeons' or 'Pigeons carry diseases'. Even then you could see people feeding them. Here too a family from the building opposite to mine keeps feeding these birds everyday. They get free food and keep producing even more pigeons.

Bollywood might wax lyrical about the Masakalli of Delhi 6, the beloved Kabootar from the Movie 'Maine Pyar Kiya' or the Pigeon in the song 'Chadh Gaya Upar re' from the Movie 'Dala'l, I dislike these birds. They are a nuisance, especially because they are foul and end up making me feel like a 'Jack-in-the-box' every time these birds are nearby.

Disclaimer: No pigeons were harmed during the writing of this post, though there was an intense desire to catch hold of one and....... rest I leave it to your imagination.

Featured Post

Life's Lessons

I have been missing from this space for nearly a year and a half, but hey! what to do, I was out living my life and learning valuable les...