Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Love Quotes!

If it is your time, love will track you down like a cruise missile.
-Lynda Barry American Cartoonist, Painter, Essayist

Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable.
- Henry Ward Beecher 1813-1887, American Preacher, Orator, Writer

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.
- Bible Sacred Scriptures of Christians and Judaism
Love is love's reward.
- John Dryden 1631-1700, British Poet, Dramatist, Critic

Love possesses not nor will it be possessed, for love is sufficient unto love.
Kahlil Kibran 1883-1931, Lebanese-born Poet, Philosopher, and Artist

He is not a lover who does not love forever.
- Euripides BC 480-406, Greek Tragic Poet

Help the elderly, aged in India-helpageindia

I feel very strongly for the elderly and the aged who have very little resources to support themselves at this stage in their lives.

The reason this cause is close to my heart is because I feel that for children as well as other non privileged sections of society, someone or the other may come ahead and support them. But for old people its all the more sad and upsetting for them after they have spent the best years of their life caring for their children and others. I remember reading this story about an old man who was treated badly by his son and how his grandchild makes his father realize that no one is exempt from getting old and treating parents well is most important. The feelings of loneliness and being neglected are especially more pronounced for the old people in a busy city like Mumbai where people have very little time to be with their families.

There are several celebrities that give huge donations in countries like US and UK for different charities. I wish someone would let them know how much their donations would be appreciated for these charitable organizations in India who do a lot of amazing work.

I especially like the fact that Salman Khan- the Bollywood actor (who gets a lot of negative press for his bad boy behavior) incidentally makes it a point to donate for various charities whenever he can. I hope many more celebrities in India can also emulate his generous acts.

Helpage India as well as several other philanthropic organizations in India work for the care and support of the elderly. Any donations that can be given to these organizations will be a huge support in this initiative for the aged people in our society.

Here are some of the links to these institutions that help the aged and other causes like the children, disabled etc-

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Lord says-Amazing lines of inspiration

I read these beautiful wordings of the Bible from somewhere and they are very inspiring. Here is the article I found on the web-

For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has a positive answer for it :

You say: "It's impossible"
God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired"
God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me"
God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 13:34)

You say: "I can't go on"
God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians
12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: "I can't figure things out"
God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: "I can't do it"
God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)

You say: "I'm not able"
God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it"
God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28)

You say: "I can't forgive myself"
God says: I FORGIVE YOU (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage"
God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians

You say: "I'm afraid"
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated"
God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

You say: "I don't have enough faith"
God says: I've given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)

You say: "I'm not smart enough"
God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone"
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

The three biggest mistakes of my life-Chetan Bhagat

This book has to be the 2nd biggest mistake of the author's(Chetan Bhagat's) life after his first mistake, "One night at the call center"

ONATCallcenter was very very bad. It was cheesy and was like a HIndi potboiler film almost as if Chetan wanted someone to adapt the book into a movie. And believe it or faint production houses in India actually fought for the rights of that bad book.

This one has the same third person narrative of the protagonist as his first book. Only this one touches upon -religion and cricket -the opium of the Indian masses. The language is in Chetan's trademark kind of writing for the general public-simple and street-style.

The three biggest mistakes of my life is no better-let me correct that is just marginally better. I have no idea why but I am quite confident that inspite of this book being as bad as it is, it will still become a best seller in India.

I want my money back and I am not waiting for Chetan's third mistake now :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

'Unaccustomed Earth' -Jhumpa Lahiri

I just finished readin Jhumpa Lahiri's book 'Unaccustomed Earth'
Out of all the stories the only one that I liked and which stood out for me was Hell-Heaven. The rest didnt quite make an impact for me for whatever reasons. Maybe it was because I had very high expectations after reading the other collections of short stories by the author-The Interpretor of Maladies.

Hell-Heaven was nice with a very unexpected confession at the end. It was about adults gaining a different perspective on people from their past.

The common theme of Jhumpa's stories are characters(migrants?) slightly adrift in foreign lands as they grapple with multiple identities, finding themselves belonging neither here nor there.

I wouldnt recommend this book although I would highly recommend the other one-The Interpretor of Maladies.

This current book really has nothing much to say with the exception of one story-Hell heaven. All the other stories are strictly so-so and I dont get it why people are praising this book as there is nothing else to salvage the stories. I found most of the stories in this one boring as well as quite adrift as the characters themselves. I am for one very dejected as I had expected Jhumpa to write a collection as good as her other book-The Interpretor of maladies.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More Quotes!!

Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees."

Your pain is my pain, is that love?

A single thought has the power of destroying a string of well thought,beautiful plans.

"They say that fear can drive a man to do anything, but people will gladly face any danger, any fate, and anything standing in their way when they are blinded by love"

When the solution is simple, God is answering.
--Albert Einstein

Any person capable of angering you becomes your master. He can anger you only when you permit yourself to be disturbed by him.

You cannot be mad at somebody who makes you laugh. It's as simple as that.
--Jay Leno

A man who works with his hands is a laborer. A man who works with his brain
is a craftsman. But a man who works with his hands and his brain and his
heart is an artist.
--Louis Nizer

"But Oh! The blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearless on any subject; with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away."
-Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

"There are countless things that I can face on earth, but life without you, well that part I just don't know."

"The greatest gift you can give to somebody is your own personal development. I used to say, ‘If you will take care of me, I will take care of you.’ Now I say, ‘I will take care of me for you if you will take care of you for me.’" -- Jim Rohn

"A goal without a plan is just a wish." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Have you ever loved someone so completely that you did not save a piece of you for yourself?

Inside every older person is a younger person - wondering what the hell happened?

My dreams looking at me said to one another: “This life has let us down.’’

Love is an unusual game; either there are 2 winners or none...

"The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread." -- Mother Theresa

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want

to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of

meeting your heart's longing.


"Life is like a combination lock; your goal is to find the right numbers, in the right order, so you can have anything you want." -- Brian Tracy

"There are countless things that I can face on earth, but life without you, well that part I just don't know."
--submitted by Tshepo Mokoteli

People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.
Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)
Writer and physician


I love random lines-Quotes-Here are some o f 'em

Be careful of what you want; you might get it

'life ek race hai, koi morning walk nahi'.

~No good deed goes unpunished~

~Most problems in life stem from saying yes too soon and not saying no soon enough~

“Learn how to separate the majors and the minors. A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things.” - Jim Rohn.

The sincerest love is the love of food.
Bernard Shaw

How can you have a future when your past is still in your present.

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, October 24, 2008

List Of My Fav Hindi Songs

I am writing about my all-time favorite Hindi songs that make me happy or sad or whatever. Basically they just put me in the groove that I want to be in. Now everyone has a different list of songs that they like and this is definitely not an illustrative list but I have made this compilation so that if you haven?t heard these songs you must get them from somewhere and listen to them pronto.

Spunky-getup-n-start dancing-working-songs...
# ’’Chale jaisi hawein sanan sanan ’’ from Main Hoon Na..
The song is picturised on Amrita Rao and dude with a bad haircut (Zayed Khan). The song is zesty and it rocks big time when I listen to it. I couldn?t have picked a better entry song for these youngsters in the movie. Listen to the song and get up and go...

# ? Kehdoon tumhein’’ (Deewar The Return of Daddy mix song)...
This song with very nice retro feel video is super cool. I don?t like too many of the remixes which are being churned out but I like this one a lot. It?s much better than the old version. Someone has to be lauded for the amazing video and the whole effect of the song..play it again...
# ’’Tujhse naraz nahi zindagi’’ from Masoom(1983) -The male version : I somehow don?t like the female version of this song even though its sung by Lata.
jeene ke liye sochaa hee nahee
dard sanbhaalane honge
muskuraye to, muskuraane ke
karja utaarane honge

# ?Dhal rahi sham hai Zindagi, dard ka doosra naam hai Zindagi?from Saaransh-Probably the only song in the whole movie but a very meaningful song. ?Saaransh’ was India’s official entry for the 1985 Oscar awards.
# ’’Jab bhi yeh dil udaas hota hai na jaane kaun aas paas hota hai’’
Sung by Rafi (I don?t know which movie this song is from..But I would love to know)
# ?Khatra Khatra? from the film ?Ijazat?-
I couldn?t understand the lyrics very well but the song has a nice melody to it.

# ’’Yeh tera ghar yeh mera ghar? from Saath Saath..
In fact all the songs of this obscure movie starring Farouque Shaikh and Deepti Naval are really fabulous?
# ’’Tumko dekh tho yeh khayal aaya? from Saath Saath
# ’’Tumhein hona ho mujhko tho itna yakeen hai’’ from Gharounda.-
I like this song a lot. All the songs of this film are cool.
# ’’Tu is tarah se meri zindagi main shamil hain’’ from Aap Tho Aise na The-
The film has two versions of the song (a ghazal one,a party song). My favorite is the party version which has a little faster tempo than the Ghazal song.
# ’’Jhalak dekhake kar gayi diwana’’ from Manzil Manzil ?
I really like most of the singer Shailender?s songs and the remaining tracks of this 1983 movie.
# ?Mere pyar ki umar ho itni sanam ,tere naam se shuru tere naam se khatam? from Waris
# ’’Suno na’’ from Jhankar Beats-Sung by Shaan; a good slow song.
# ’’Yeh hawa kehti hai kya’’ Aryans.
# ?Pal pal dil ke paas tum rehto ho? from Blackmail-Lyrics,Lyrics,Lyrics say it all.
# ’’Kahin kahin se har chehra tum jaisa lagta hai’’from Jagjit Singh, Asha Bhonsle and Lata Mangeshkar?s album.

luv-hurts-theme -songs
# ’’Tum bin’’ title track of the movie-Song is very nicely written; its kinda sad .
# ’’Hum bewafa’’ from Shalimaar(1979)-I heard this song many times in a television serial and its been remixed too. Lyrics are by Anand Bakshi and music by R D Burman.
# ’’Chalte Chalthe’’ title track of the same movie.
# ’’Teri galiyon main’’ from Hawas..
# ’’Pyar ke liye char pal kam nahi the, kabhi tum nahi tho kabhi hum nahi the’’ from Dil Kya Kare-The lyrics and the song say it all.
# ’’Kasam ki kasam’’from Main Prem ki Diwani Hoon-Awful, awful movie but nice meaningful number.
# ’’Ab na jaa’’ by Euphoria-The video is so apt for this mellow song about unspoken love and remembrances.
# ’’Sajna aa bhi ja’’ by Shibyani Kashyap from the movie ?Waisa bhi hota hai-part 2?
# ?Pal? from KK?s album by the same name.
# ’’Mann ki lagan’’from Paap-sung by Nusrat Ali Khan?s son, very little musical instruments used in the song composition but amazing tune nevertheless.
# ’’Hum Tum’’ title track-Song has an amazing start and good lyrics.
# ’’Durr’’ by Strings-I like the haunting vocals in this song. This song was in Bilal and Faisal Kapadia?s comeback album released in 2000.
# ’’Bin tere sanam’’ from the film Yaara Dildaara(1991)- The last song is my all time favorite song. It’s sung by Udit Narayan & Kavita Krishnamurti . I really liked a lot the songs of Yaara Dildaara (?Bin tere sanam?, ?Koi chahe na chahe?) which were not too appreciated when the film was released. ?Tum hi hamari ho manzil my love? ,? ?Woh jo kaha tha maine who kar dikhaaya na, baazi who aan dil ki main jeet laya na.? are the other two songs that I like from this movie.

I may have made mistakes in some of the details associated with the songs so please do comment on whatever you feel about this list. I really enjoy listening to all these songs coz they make me happy and that?s the purpose behind these songs, right?

Caroline in the City Review

History of the sitcom:
Show Life: September 21, 1995 - April 1999
Running Time: 30 minutes

Background about the series:
Caroline in the City was the #1 new primetime series when it made its premiere on NBC in the 1995-1996 season. It has since then become one of the top-selling U.S. comedies worldwide, airing on leading foreign broadcast and cable networks.

Lea Thompson, Eric Lutes, Malcolm Gets, Amy Pietz

Characters in a nutshell:
Lea Thompson as Caroline Duffy
Eric Lutes as Del Cassidy, Caroline’s ex-boyfriend and fiancĂ©
Malcolm Gets as Richard Karinsky, Caroline’s new colorist
Amy Pietz as Annie, Caroline’s best friend and neighbor
Andy Lauer as Charlie, Del’s really funny messenger person
Tom LaGrua as Remo, proprietor of the neighborhood restaurant which all the other characters frequent

About the story:
Caroline in the City is a comedy based on the life of Caroline Duffy, a young cartoonist living in a neighborhood of New York City. ’’Caroline in the City,’’ the strip she has created, is a huge hit spawning an array of products. The strip is based on her own life, and the people in it. At the beginning of the show Caroline has just split up with Del; her boyfriend who has commitment problems. She has an on-off romance with Del that confuses her further. Her personal life is a mess but that does not stop Annie(her best friend who has an amusing dating life of her own) from arranging all kinds of dates for Caroline. The next important character is that of Richard a struggling, brooding artist who pays his rent by working as her cartoon colorist. Initially he views the going ons in her life in a very cynical, detached way but he slowly gets involved as he gets attracted to Caroline. He is the best part of the show for me thanks to his sarcasm. It’s a situational comedy and every episode deals with the personal problems and eccentricities of these characters.

A little more info about the characters:
Caroline in the City is all about Caroline Duffy (Lea Thompson, Back to the Future) and her oddball friends. Caroline plays the part of a naive girl trying to make some sense of the world around her. She is constantly searching for true love, happiness and some material for her comic strip (not necessarily in the same order).

Caroline’s employee Richard Karinsky(Malcolm Gets) colors the cartoons for her and is at loggerheads with everyone around him (including her cat!). On the surface he appears to be cold and indifferent which is just a pretense to avoid too much contact with the world. His sarcastic remarks are the funniest points of the show. He works in Caroline’s in-house office and is easily irritated by the different characters who walk in to meet Caroline. His shy, cynical nature makes it difficult for him to profess his love to Caroline. She is unaware of his love and in the episodes that ensue there develops a romantic triangle between Caroline, Del and Richard.

Del Cassidy
Del Cassidy (Eric Lutes) is the president of the company that makes the Caroline in the City greeting cards. He is kinda self-centered and thinks that women find him irresistible (which isn’t so). Although his relation with Caroline has ended, he still hangs around her apartment all the time. Del has an assistant Charlie who is totally berserk and strangely travels everywhere on roller-skates.

Amy Pietz is Annie, Caroline’s best friend and next-door neighbor. She is a professional dancer who works in the stage musical ’’Cats’’. She is extremely blunt and often makes Richard the target of her acid tongue albeit in a very humorous manner. Although it seems as if she is looking for her ideal man, she often finds herself in temporary relationships. A very confident woman, she is quite the opposite of Caroline.

Charlie is Del’s bizarre messenger/delivery person enacted by Andy Lauer. He is Del’s assistant who has a penchant for stupid comments and observations.

Reason you should watch it:
This is a very humorous and pleasant sitcom with sharp and witty dialogues. Take a sampling of these:
Annie (trying on shoes): They fit fine! All I need is a shoe horn.
Caroline: You need more than the horn, you need the entire brass section.
Del: What do you mean? You’re going to give up 200 dollars just because you’re a little embarrassed? I’d walk down the street naked for 200 dollars.
Caroline: You’d do that for 15, we already determined that last Halloween.
Charlie: ’’I thought I saw God for a second, but it was just the light from the bathroom.’’
Caroline: And for my next trick I’m going to make my boyfriend disappear. I say the magic words. Opera.
Caroline: I’m fine.
Richard: Oh, please. You don’t have to be proud in front of me. I’ve seen you eat M&Ms off the floor.

When can you catch this show :
In India you can watch the series at 11 on Zee English. I have spoken to several people and they seem to be unaware of this good sitcom. I hope my review convinces you to give this series a try.

Shallow Hal

Shallow Hal is a very entertaining comedy because it deals very beautifully with the fact that most of us are superficial when it comes to judging people. We want to meet and date people who are only superficially beautiful and anyone not meeting our beauty standards is automatically rejected. What the movie tries to tell us is that we should not go by the external facade of the other person but rather give everyone a fair chance or we might miss out on some fabulous people in our lives who are not so beautiful.

The crux of the story is that Hal (Jack Black ..extremely funny)and his best friend are guys who only like to date thin, good looking women. Intelligent women who are not so presentable are ignored totally by these guys. It?s a different issue that these two guys themselves are not drop dead handsome or something. They meet a new age speaker who casts a spell on Black and makes him see the inner beauty within every person. A string of incidents happen in which Jack even meets the love of his life. But the only problem is that although she appears gorgeous to him; in reality she is really fat. How Jack learns the truth and overcomes his superficiality forms the rest of the story.

This flick has wonderful acting by Black and is ably supported by the very pretty Gwyneth Paltrow and Seinfeld actor (don?t know his name..sorry). There are so many beautiful moments in the flick, which give you the message in a very humorous manner. I hate movies that are you know the ’’preachy-preachy’’ types but what I liked was that this one makes us understand the message in a very subtle manner.

There are so many hilarious scenes like when the hero’s girlfriend takes a jump in the pool and the disastrous after effects of ’’the jump’’; when they share a drink romantically and the super fast way in which she finishes it all alone and many more. Also there are very touching scenes especially when he visits the children?s ward of the hospital the second time and when Black sees his girlfriend the way she really is(and not thin as he had always imagined and seen her). Note his first words on seeing her.
The film has lots of humor thanks largely to the fact that it is a Farrelly brothers creation. Their movies have so much of laff-a-minute humor that it is really enjoyed by people of all age groups.

Though their movies tend to have somewhat loud humor; in this one they are restrained. Mind you this is not a sappy romantic but a movie that belongs to the ’’funny romantic’’ genre so I daresay people should like it. Personally speaking the way in which Black acts is really funny with his deadpan style of dialogue delivery. His friend also excels in supporting him.

’’Shallow Hal wants a gal’’ is really the whole catchphrase of the movie so ?You my pal should watch Hal? bad rhyming but watch it if you can anyway.

Doctors-story of wounded physicians

Doctors (1988) is one of ’’the’’ best that I have read in a long time. Erich Segal’s enlightening work of fiction is both a love story and an eye-opening study of the training and practice of America’s most elite health professionals. The author, a graduate of Harvard himself has crafted a powerful and moving account of the 1962 batch of Harvard medical school. We experience the trials and tribulations that doctors go through, to be what they are.

What we understand is that doctors are as flawed as normal people but due to the nature of their work they are elevated to a demi-God status. The book leads us through the various incidences that the med school graduates encounter (demanding hours of internship, facing and overcoming your worst fears, hours of research and residency) which transforms them into the doctors they eventually become.

The central characters of the book are Laura Castellano and Barney Livingston; best friends who attend Harvard Medical School together. It takes many years filled with scientific celebrity and disappointing affairs for them to finally to realize that they have something more than friendship for each other. The stuff they do for each other remind you of your own friendships in life. Its very touching that no matter how badly messed up in life they both get, the other friend is always there to brighten the day.

Laura Castellano?s character is truly an inspiration to women folk everywhere. She achieves success in her work but at the cost of her personal life. She relies on Barney whenever she is in trouble and he helps her out no matter what. Barney(who goes on to become a psychologist) makes it a point to help Laura not lapse into self-deprecation. After a particularly bad relation he advises her in a beautiful one liner, ’’One complete person deserves another complete person’’.

An important character is that of Bennett Landsmann; a Black youth who does his best to overcome racial discrimination. He becomes one of the first colored persons to graduate from the med school. The best part is that he never lets his work suffer inspite of facing trying circumstances because of his color. The Jewish aspect also comes up in the story as Bennett’s adopted parents are Jews.

The Jewish people and their issues is a common factor in the storyline here, as in most of Segal’s other books like ’’The Class’’ as well as ’’Acts Of Faith?. The Judaic flavor that runs through Segal’s books could also be attributed to the fact that Segal was the first of three sons born in a Jewish family to Cynthia and rabbi Samuel M. Segal. Segal’s got an amazing vocabulary, which is hardly a surprise because he teaches literature at Yale, Princeton and Harvard. In fact if you plan to prepare for the GRE Verbal, you could pick up a lot of words from the book.

There are other characters like Seth, who helps in euthanasia rather than watch his patients suffer in extreme pain. Laura?s parents who let her down and go their separate ways. Some characters undergo a great behavioral change e.g. Palmer (Laura?s husband)- from a nice guy to a complete rogue without much of an explanation which mystifies the reader.

The book mentions that doctors have higher suicide and drug addiction rates than the rest of the population due to the rigorous demands of their profession. We learn that many wannabe doctors give up their lives (or end up demented), as they are unable to cope with the intense pressure of their work. We learn the inner secrets of what happens when doctors goof up in their practice and the politics that affects even this profession. Concepts like euthanasia and doctor’s ethics are touched upon, not to mention the adrenaline of the operating room. There is a lot of medical knowledge to be found here and many exciting hospital room scenes.

A long book ? its over 600 pages but it is very captivating and can be finished over a couple of days. I found the initial part of the book a tad slow but the speed picks up once Laura and Barney enter med school. In fact distinguished people of medicine recommend a reading of this book ?Doctors? to anyone who is interested in going to medical school which speaks a great deal about the value of the book. The book is a wonderful read and I would highly recommend it. You wouldn’t want to put this one down once you start it--make it a part of your classic collection!

Really cool movie!

Socha na tha’ is like a breath of fresh air. It’s funny because most of the people who walk in to watch the movie don’t have too many expectations. By the end of the movie though the audience is delighted with the outcome. Most of the Indian films tend to go over the top with loud characters, hamming actors and so on. So it feels great to watch something that’s zara hatke. The director has wonderfully narrated a simple story and managed to catch the viewer’s attention from the very first frame.

We are introduced to the 20something, urban characters of Viren, Aditi, Karen and their respective families. Viren is hiding from his family about the love of his life: Karen. Somehow he manages to convince his family about accepting the Christian girl when things go for a toss as Aditi enters their lives. Viren and Aditi meet up several times and end up being very candid about their respective lives to each other. Somewhere along the line they realize that they have fallen in love and therein lies the problem. The pair now has the daunting task of convincing their respective families who are at a war of words with each other over a non-issue.

The surprise of the film is definitely the latest Deol on the block, Abhay who has hit the bull’s eye with this movie. His endearing mannerisms and dialogues are a treat. His portrayal of the character is sweet enough to convince you to like him, inspite of his wavering nature regarding the affairs of the heart. He has tried his best and it shows. Ayesha Takia is a total natural and completely at ease with the camera. She has as a good flair for acting, which makes us really care for her character. Sandya Mridul is wasted in a good for nothing role and makes you wonder if her role was chopped off on the editing table or what. Other actors like Suresh Oberoi, Ayesha Jhulka and Rati Agnihotri ably support the newcomers.

Sandesh Shandilya’ s compositions border on the average to the pleasant. Love stories need a good superhit score, which is sorely lacking here. If nothing the songs are a good means of generating interest about the movie amongst the public. Over here the songs are good but are not hummable enough to create an impression. ‘Abhi Abhi mere dil main khayal aaya hai’ is picturised rather well. However once you are out of the theatre, the tunes are out of your mind. I guess the director could pay a little more attention to that department next time around.

The movie could have done with better marketing and promos so that people don’t miss out on good clean family entertainment. One thing that could have been done without was the hero’s atrocious hairstyle that resembled his brother Bobby’s long locks. I hope he does not follow his brother’s footsteps and end up doing the “dishumdishum” roles. I guess his strength lies in playing characters like these.

The story has been greatly appreciated by the young college going crowd but I am sure that this is something that anyone will enjoy. The likeability quotient of the youth towards the movie can be attributed to the college situations depicted like the group picnics, parties, bahanas etc.

I read somewhere that Subhash Ghai, was so impressed after the screening of ‘Socha na tha’, that he personally congratulated the director (Imtiaz Ali) and has supposedly offered him a Mukta productions venture to direct. The storyline is very simple but it’s the treatment of the plot by the first time director that has made all the difference.

Although the film was long in the making, thankfully it does not have a dated look. There is an air of joie de vivre throughout the story. In fact after watching the film, I agree with what another MS reviewer has commented that socha na tha movie itni achi hogi. Using MTV parlance, the one thing that you should do now is see ‘Socha na tha’ and ENJOY!

Mindless movie of the year award goes to....Bewafa

B for Boring:
Bewafa has to be one of the most boring and slow films ever made in recent times. Everything about the movie is jaded from the storyline to the acting and the dialogues. I suggest that anyone suffering from ’Insomnia’ should be prescribed this film. By the end of the flick or rather should I say halfway through this nightmare; you should be sleeping soundly.

E for Exasperating:
In these times when movie makers are trying new plots and storylines; its sad to see director Dharmesh Darshan putting us through this outdated account. The storyline is very similar to ’Hum aapke hain koun’(1994). A happily in love girl (Kareena) has to marry her sister’s husband (Anil Kapoor) following her sister’s demise. She settles down to a life of domestic drudgery uncomplainingly.

Adding more gloom to her dreary life is her workaholic husband who is battling unsuccessfully with the demons of his past. Whether ?Sufferina/Kareena? chooses to stay on in a marriage devoid of any sentiments or goes back to her erstwhile lover (Akshay) is the remainder of the movie. No points for guessing what our regressive heroine chooses to do.

W for Wasted:
The lead actors have tried their best in their respective roles. What?s surprising is that none of the actors found the time to go through the script before signing on this mess. Kareena does not suit the role of a young mother. In many places she looks lost and her straight haired look does not work for her (maybe the director wanted her to follow the hairstyle lead of her sister Karisma, a la ’Raja Hindustani’).

Sushmita tries to put in a lot of spunk but is bogged down by a very tiny role. Manoj Bajpai plays the character of Dil and hams it to the hilt. He gives tough competition in overacting to Shamita Shetty, whose role could have been made shorter (that would have been a welcome relief!).

A for Acoustics:
By far the only redeeming factor is the music, which is composed by Nadeem-Shravan. They return after a short hiatus to give us some good music. However one of the songs ’’Ishq chupth nahi chupane se’’ has a tune very reminiscent of ’’Tu is tarah si meri zindagi main shamil hain’’ from the 1980 film ’Aap tho aise na the’.

Well, maybe they wanted to refresh that golden song in our minds. But all said and done, it?s a pleasant score.

F for Flop:
The story has no worthwhile dialogues or twists to hold the viewer’s attention. The movie definitely needed a fresh storyline. It is so irritating to see the posters of the movie declaring it to be a super hit. I mean which planet are the publicists living in, Mars? I think the publicist should have given the film better taglines like ?Bewafa: a boring affair? or ?Bewafa: better watch it from afar? etc. If you want to punish someone, do recommend this movie to that poor unsuspecting soul.

A for A headache:
That?s what you are left with after enduring this disaster.

The Boys At IIT

Seen ?Dil Chahtha Hai’? Well if you transport Aamir, Saif and Akshay (a really overweight Akshay, you will know later what I mean) to IIT and prod them to reveal about life in the campus, this book would be the result.

?Five Point Someone? by Chetan Bhagat is a very good account of life in India’s prestigious institute of IIT. Every year there is strong competition amongst the students to get in to the premier engineering college. We get to know the ’behind the scene’ in the lives of the three ?good? students who are kind of ?average? amongst their peers.

The story set in 1995 takes us on a rollercoaster ride through the four years that the trio spends in Kumaon. Three students with totally different backgrounds and thinking get together because they get a five point something GPA at the end of the first semester. And that?s how they end up being known as five point someones.

This was a huge curiosity factor for me because I had always heard of five point something but a five point someone was an interesting play of words. Ryan, Hari and Alok set out to defy the prevalent educational system but end up nonetheless graduating tamely as everyone else. We follow their ?mis?adventures through the Vivas, the classes, the hangout places etc.

Ryan is the typical ?I-don?t-care? about the system guy, who although not very smart, always thinks out of the box. His plans and creative thinking help out his friends at times and at other times lands them in a whole lot of trouble. Hari, the protagonist is someone who has no fixed opinion about himself or the world

He is the kind of person to whom things happen and not who makes things happen. His girlfriend happens to be his professor?s ?beti? whom he falls for in typical Bollywood style. His affair with Neha is the cute romantic sidetrack in the story. Alok’s character although beset with familial problems, has a deep love for food, which sort of runs in the family.

At the end of the book you realize that its not Hari, but Ryan who is the hero of the story because by his actions. He is a practical example of a proper (I guess) balance between books and extracurricular activities. Notice his fixing up a radio in the lab class, the ’’modified screw jack’’ explanation, the squash games etc.

Many readers must have noticed in the story that the author has left many things unexplained (deliberately?). Some of the vague things like the reason for Hari’s blank outs, his family background, and his future with Neha are all unexplained as the story draws to an end. Maybe the author will take their story forward in a sequel to this book or something like that.

Five point someone is being made into a movie by Ritesh Sinha. If he manages to get the cast of ?DCH? back that would be a casting coup. Aamir will ?improvise? the role of Ryan Oberoi (but naturally) and Saif will make the character of Hari unforgettable. But Akshay will have to like, put on 10 kgs to play the character of Alok, who is a little too healthy. I guess the movie could be named ’’Dil IIT Main Masti Chahtha Hai’’.

I liked Chetan Bhagat’s style of writing but I somehow feel that the book is a little over hyped. If you are one of the people who end up loving this story then you must also read Erich Segal’s ’’The Class’’ and ’’Doctors’’. These other two books also talk about more or less the same things as ?Five point someone?. Engineering students can travel down memory lane with the incidents mentioned in the story.

?Five Point Someone? will have you nodding and smiling throughout the book.

Zoom is hot + happening!

Zoom is a very smart move made by the Times of India group of publications. After the stupendous success of Bombay Times, which was mainly due to the page 3 section, the top management has read the signs and launched the lifestyle channel. The channel essentially caters to the up market section of society with the parties, the fashion dope, and everything-glitzy and glam. What I like about Zoom is that it is completely a page 3 concoction and makes no bones about it.

Zoom had a very well publicized launch with billboards all over the city announcing its foray into the television world. As many people know the voice of Zoom is Sushmita Sen, whose voice announces the tagline of the channel ’Zoom, Isko Dekho’ Zoom has a pretty snazzy presentation style, something I believe that has been modeled on the lines of a foreign channel.

The shows on zoom that do make for interesting viewing are Popkorn, Kya Kahein, Price tag (which is a filler actually), and the Manish Malhotra show.
Popkorn gives the entire grapevine about the Indian television industry. It has daily updates on who is in, which serial or personality is out and all the related controversies. The show is telecast on weeknights at 10. A new touch to the show is that nowadays it has a different television personality hosting the show on the weekends. (P.S. last week our made-over gal Jassi hosted it)

Price tag is cool because we get to know the actual worth of the attire of the featured actor/actress. It was astonishing to see Tanushree Dutta (who was last year’s Miss India) whose attire totaled one lac rupees(sheesh..I could buy lots of stuff with that kind of money).

The Manish Malhotra show is somewhat a poor cousin of the Koffee with Karan show. The reason I say this is because although he also gets the A-list celebrities on the show, he finds it very difficult to make them talk on awkward questions. (Manish, run to Karan bhaiya for tips on that ability).

I am not too fond of ’Kosmic chat’, which is hosted by Sunita Menon and Simone Singh. But for tarot card aficionados, this show would be a must watch. It also features celebrities who shuffle the tarot cards and ask questions about their future. Sunita does give some serious believable answers and then again it’s finally up to the viewers to decide. One very irritating show on Zoom is ’Not just page 3 ’ hosted by Pooja Bhatt. The hostess is extremely irritating and guests also look bored on it. She has started another show ‘Just Pooja’ on Zoom that needs to be avoided like crazy.

’Kya Kahein’ hosted by Irfan ‘underrated’ Khan has episodes dealing with the supernatural. Some of the episodes were good and some so-so but it lacks consistency. ‘Page 3’ telecast daily at 7.30 P.M, is essentially the guide to the parties and happenings in town. It is hosted by two PYTs who dish out all the dope on the happenings.

Lately the channel has also started showing crossover films on Saturday nights. Although this is a nice concept, what I feel is that they could also start screening old Hollywood classics that are not seen much on any channels.

The channel also has tie up with E! Entertainment because of which they get to telecast E! Entertainment features like ‘Celebrity homes’, ‘Its good to be’ etc. Both the shows show the lifestyles of the rich and famous people in Hollywood. So if you haven’t had your fill of upper crust ‘phoren’ glamour, this is what you should be tuning into.

If you want more information on the timings of the various programs and more details you can log onto zoomtelevision.indiatimes.com. Bombay Times needed a media representation and Zoom has fit the bill quite nicely. To sum it up, Zoom has lots of beautiful people, nonstop party roundups and glamour. Enjoy or rather tune in till the party lasts.

Stories of love, loneliness and longing

I am reading a short stories collection after a really long time. So forgive me if I wax lyrical about this book but believe me this is good reading. The Interpreter of Maladies is a short stories collection by Jhumpa Lahiri. The book had won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for best fiction and a host of other awards. All the stories have the underlying theme of ‘yearning’ , the deep desire to go back to your roots, in this case, India. The cultural displacement of the Indians and their adjustments in the new land of opportunity (America) brings out different reactions from the myriad characters.

Here is a short synopsis of some of the stories.
A Temporary Matter is about this couple who are individually grieving over the loss of their dead infant and have completely not overcome the sadness. Instead of talking it out, both of them keep silent about it, while the wounds of loneliness and pain fester beneath their hurt bodies. The power cuts in their area force them to spend time together by candlelight. They end up slowly and unsurely, having conversations about their past. This one is highly recommended and my favorite of the whole lot.

This Blessed House A young couple finds sacred objects of Christianity, hidden in extremely ingenious ways in their newly acquired house.

The curing of Bibi Haldar tells the tale of a emotionally disturbed, young girl who has to endure a lot of pain before finally getting her deliverance. It reveals the huge expectations of the traditional Indian culture on single women who have to marry someone within an appropriate time and the resultant implications of that.
When Mr Pirzada came to dine is the story of Mr Pirzada(a Pakistani) who is separated from his wife and kids at the time of the Dacca war. He spends time with a friendly Indian family across the seven seas. The food shared by the protagonist with the Indian family is the strongest bond of love that also expels the collective feeling of homesickness.

The Third and Final continent is about a shy Bengali immigrant who recollects how he had to get accustomed to a new culture and a new land (having traveled from India to Britain and finally to the US). He finds a mother figure in his 103 yr old landlady who has her own quirky ways. The story ends with the protagonist’s wistful lines, ’’Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept.’’

Mrs.Sen’s is about this Bengali lady who takes up a job as a caretaker of little Elliot. Though the boy’s eyes, we understand how she is sick of leading a false life and pretending to be well off and happy in the alien place. In reality, she is bored and miserable and the trips to the fish market are her only solace. The fish market is so vividly described that you actually experience the sights and sounds of that place. In a way, the food is her link to her homeland that she sorely misses.

The characters in Jhumpa’s story are very ordinary people who lead mediocre lives. Though they look somewhat happy and okay with their lives, but beneath the surface, they have lots of desires, fears and wants, which are unexpressed. These hidden needs manifest in different ways in their day-to-day lives and everyone continues to exist mundanely, ignoring what they really want from life.

Jhumpa does not go too deep into the characterization of the people involved but she mentions small personal details about them, which more or less tell the reader everything about the character. The writer has captured the nuances so well, that you actually feel the pathos of the characters.

Somehow the narrative does touch a chord in your heart. You know these people because they could be anyone of the persons that coexist with you in your locality. The silent workaholic couple, the lonely bachelor, the disloyal wife and so on. The point that the writer makes is that none of us are completely black or white but we have loads of gray shades to our personas.

Finally it’s befitting that none of the stories have an ending per se. The ending of each story leaves the readers to draw their own conclusions and ponder about the vagaries of life. Successful stories are those that make the reader go through the entire gamut of emotions that the characters experience. With her stories, Jhumpa Lahiri has succeeded in doing just that and much more.

Fame Gurukul-I’m loving it

Fame Gurukul is the Indian version of Fame Academy that was telecast in the UK. After intensive singing auditions, a talented group of people were selected or rather admitted into the academy.

Ila arun is the strict head of the Gurukul who is helped by two other mentors in managing the Academy. The academy is the place where the students live 24/7 and have been getting singing lessons during their stay. Their stay in the Gurushisya environment has been quite enriching with the steady stream of visitors as renowned in music like Pandit Jasraj, Jaspinder Narula etc.

The deal is that every week all of them perform in the Gala round where three people wind up in the danger zone and have to be elected back to the Gurukul based on audience votes. Out of the three, one of them can be rescued by the remaining safe contestants who have to vote individually.

But somehow there’s more to it than meets the eye. The show had its fair share of controversy with the elimination of Kirti (a good singer) who was ousted due to some politics on the part of the Fame students. Since then the choice of the remaining students has come under close scrutiny by the judges as well as the public in general.

Last week saw the elimination of a very bright talent, Rex D’souza. The way I perceive this elimination was that the mindset of the contestants was smart (cunning?) enough to understand that when it came to popular votes, Rex could have posed a threat to each of them and could easily have won a public opinion in future. But by selecting Arijit who has been unpopular with the aam junta, the students did play their cards well. As lyricist Javed Akhtar pointed out accurately, that the Gurukul students had two wrong choices in front of them and any which ways they would have made a wrong decision.

Thankfully the new rule has brought back 3 previous contestants (Rex, Mona, Keerthi) and 2 fresh faces into the academy. When the news of the new entrants was told to the remaining contestants, they were pretty taken aback, not to mention irritated with the fact that these new contestants would get a direct entry into the show.

The funny(!) part in Gurukul is that everybody cries at the drop of a hat. Rex is the frontrunner in the crying category followed by Shamit and Arijit. At times it gets difficult to comprehend whether the participants are really sad or putting on a show for the camera. The contestants are a mixed bunch of people each with his or her own idiosyncrasies. Some of the leading contenders as of now are as follows:

Qazi Tauqueer:-
The lucky Hrithik-lookalike from Kashmir is the most popular of the lot. His singing is no great shakes but he is topping the people’s popularity charts consistently. Every week he lands up in the danger zone where the audience dutifully votes for him and bails him out, much to the chagrin of the other contestants and the bewildered judges. Qazi had recently visited a college festival where he himself was surprised to see the audience comprising mostly of girls going completely gaga over him. He is an entertaining guy all rite and the biggest draw of the contest as of now.

Shamit Tyagi:-
Mr confidence as well as the most popular guy amongst the Gurukul inhabitants. He has been pulled up and admonished by Javed Akhtar for being manipulative and playing to the gallery. He and Arijit are a little too close for comfort and consequently have had insinuations flying left right and center about their behavior.

She looks the sternest and does not seem to be too diplomatic and hence ends up being quite blunt about whatever she feels. Her singing is okay enough to keep her away from the danger zone.

The Bengali lass puts in the maximum hard work when rehearsing for her songs. She is the one who might in all probability end up being one of the fame Jodi winners. Her singing abilities are good but her Hindi enunciation leaves a lot to be desired.

Arijit Singh:-
He is the baby of the group and one of the few singers with a classical background. Arijit has not been able to garner the public votes and that has been a drawback for him. He might lose out in the end due to his lack of charisma.

Rex D’Souza:-
I personally feel his voice is the most suited to playback singing with its robust quality. His voice is very similar to singer Udit Narayan’s voice and is quite pleasant in nature. During the Independence Day special, singer KK had put him in the danger zone citing that Rex had over emoted in the rendition of the song something which I fail to understand. Before being eliminated he was a tad over confident but given his singing abilities, it shouldn’t be tough for him to make his mark in the singing world.

As the weeks have passed, the contestants have become familiar faces and most people have their favorites. Overall Fame Gurukul has really caught on and it should be interesting enough to find out who the winners (Rex n Rooprekha?) are in the finale.

Are you a desperate somebody?

Many or rather most of us have a darker side that is never really acknowledged by us. But what if circumstances in life expose our hidden nature? Should we be then branded as evil persons or is it fair that we come to terms that none of us are all good or all bad. This is just the dilemma facing the characters of the hit drama series- Desperate Housewives.

Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”. That sentence aptly sums up the premise of Star World’s latest offering- “Desperate Housewives” ; the zany drama series that’s making viewers go “Aha”. It’s the story of four housewives desperately trying to make most out of what life has to offer them. All of them are crazy, smart, beautiful and most importantly very, very desperate. These saucy ladies slowly realize that they must do, whatever pleases them to break out of the shackles of their situations, that had forced them to lead their mundane(read ordinary) lives.

Each of the housewives makes us realize that being a ‘housewife’ is no joke. Still waters run deep ‘coz although the women look happy on the outside, below the surface there is deep loneliness and insecurity. If that’s not all they also have quite a bit of dirty laundry which comes to the forefront as time goes by.

The first episode started in a mind-blowing manner (no pun intended) with the fifth housewife (Mary Alice) of this group ending her life all of a sudden. The remaining four housewives don’t have the faintest clue, as to what could prompt a perfectly happy woman to just end her life. Through the extremely stylish voiceover of the dead woman (!), the audience is introduced to each of the quirky inhabitants of Wisteria lane, an upper middleclass American neighborhood.

For those who came in late, here’s a short bio of each of the ‘desperados’ of the show.
=| Susan Myers (Teri Hatcher) is a softhearted, shy divorcee living with her teenaged daughter, who is still looking for that one perfect guy. In a coming of age manner, it’s her daughter who encourages her mom to get back to the dating scene.

=| Bree (Marcia Cross) is a terrible perfectionist who has made the life of her family a living hell, with her constant attention to details.

=| Gabrielle (Eva Longoria) is a former model who is caught in a loveless marriage with her husband, whose work has taken centre stage in his life. She has a casual, no frills relationship with a person who works for her husband and does not feel guilty about that at all. She is the hottest amongst all the ladies and the most stylish too.

=| Lynette Stavo (Felicity Huffman) was a successful business woman but had to give up her flourishing career when the kids came along. Her life has been reduced to a hapless condition because of her four hyperactive kids who are as mischievous as they can be.

The four women are unconsciously like a support group for each other. Their friend’s death makes them realize that she had a deep, dark secret that could have been the reason for her death. The suspense track is further enhanced in the weeks to come with both Mary Alice’s husband and son acting very suspiciously. In the ensuing episodes there has been further drama with a couple of accidents, arrests and new character developments of the seemingly innocuous people of Wisteria Lane.

The series has a lot of situations that shows human behavior with all its folly, superficiality and craziness. Like when a housewife poisons her husband knowingly/unknowingly when he wants a divorce from her. Another situation has a woman trying her best to invite her handsome neighbor for dinner but has a lot of issues doing that.

I have just seen a couple of episodes but I can safely say that the show just rocks. Most of new series that start, do take some time in getting a fan following but this drama is an exception to that rule. Many people including yours truly are addicted to the show and the progressive episodes have only gotten better. The show has all the ‘masala’ with weekly episodes on topics as diverse as dating issues, family problems, teen angst, obsessions, adultery-you get the drift.

Someone rightly said, “People are a lot like icebergs; there is so much more to them than what’s visible on the surface”. As the voiceover of the dead woman tells us, things are all around us; it’s just that we really need to ‘see’. So the big question is are you seeing the show, the world is talking about?

Nach Meri Jaan, Tujhe title Milega (Paisa bhi)-- Old post

Nach baliye is a snazy dance show and the first one of its kind in India. I have no clue whether they have a reality show like this abroad. But the episode that I saw last Thursday was fantastic or in Mumbai parlance total paisa vasool. All the couples gave it their best shot and even went overboard as if their whole life depended on their dance performance :-)

This whole review is in reference to the first episode. What I liked about all the couples excluding one ( Neeru Bajwa and Amit Sadh) is the level of chemistry and enthusiasm for the whole event. Every couple wanted to do their best and the end result was a rocking show. Athough I must say that the show stretches for a looong time. Some more editing would make it a lot more interesting.

Sangeeta and Shabbir the show’s comperes were cool but in a surprising way I found Sangeeta to be a bit over the top while the guy, was subdued thanks to Sangeeta’s over the top screeching.

The couples that I really enjoyed watching were Rajeshwari-Varun Badhola and Archana-Parmeet. These two couples really made me cheer for them, I felt that they were that good.The following are just a few things I have noticed as of the first episode:

# Poonam Narula and Manish: Their dancing was okayish but they need to work on their costume and their energy levels as compared to other couples. Their dance was on ‘Salaam Namaste’ but their steps didnt look that exciting.

# Mihir Mishra-ManinniDe were super cute in their dance. For starters any one who has missed Mihir’s dance in the first episode really needs to get back and watch it. His dance was so laboured, that you could literally feel the trouble that he was having in doing his steps. The dance movements made him look a lot like Jimi Mistry of ’’The Guru” fame. To make matters really worse for him, his wife Manini is such an elegant dancer that she makes his two left feet problem all the more obvious.

# Rajeshwari and Varun Badhola performed their steps of Bunty Babli with so much style that it was unbelievable. The confident maner in which Varun started the dance was complemented beautifully by Rajeshwari’s steps.

# Neeru and Amit were really not having a good time.This was probably the only couple, dancing more so for the judges and the audience rather the the sheer joy of having fun together.

# Supriya and Sachin have had plenty of practise in their Marathi films dancing to a whole lot of numbers so their movements were pretty coorinated. But the couple really needs to be complemented that they are as agile as their competing twenty something counterparts.

# Apoorva and Shilpa Saklani were rocking away to glory in their zabardast ’Dus’ performance. It was very obvious that Shilpa was having a tough time keeping pace with Apoorva’s steps.

# Rajeev and Delnaz Paul were quite cute especially Delnaaz who did her steps without missing a beat all this inspite of the fact that she is on the healthier side. The other couple that may just win over Sachin-Supriya may be the Archana-Parmeet duo coz their chemistry shows through very well and the judges also are fida on them.

The judges were good at their task but they themselves looked quite thanda to me. Saroj Khan was okay but Farhan looked uncomfortable and seems to be having a tough time judging an event of such proportions.

I felt that the judges were a little too harsh on Saara Aakash duo (Sai Deodar and hubby) coz their dance was quite enthusiastically done. The poor couple was pretty zapped as to why they got such poor scores inspite of doing an enthusiastic version of the ‘Just chill’ song. The judges are also in a difficult position as far as rating Sachin and Supriya goes. I doubt if they can be as fair as they want to be.

What I liked about the whole effort is that inspite of being another one of those reality shows; this one is really good in terms of supporting the fav charities that every couple has chosen. This way at least, not all the viewer’s money goes down the drain and its all for a good cause.

The Jodi that I am really favouring is the Rageshwari-Varun Badhola one. If not the Nach Baliye couple they will at least be the 2nd or 3rd runner up that’s for sure. All in all the show is quite happening and as far as the final Jodi is concerned it looks as if Sachin and Supriya may just run away with the title as of now.

Book for the laughing soul

Everyone has definitely heard of the famous ‘Chicken Soup for the soul’ series of books. Well if you are in the mood for some hilarious, lighter reading say hello to the parody of that series with this book titled ‘Chicken Poop for the soul’ by David Fischer. Chicken Poop is a collection of stories that spoofs the Chicken soup series of books, right from the title of the stories to the actual senti-content.

You know how it feels when you read emotional stuff like ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’, ‘Chicken soup for the soul’etc. That’s right, you feel very emotionally drained and not to mention completely taxed out. In those circumstances, I would highly recommend reading some laugh-out-loud stuff like this one.

In these stories get ready for:-
· The experiences of a teacher who answers any student’s queries with her polite teacherly answer, “Over my dead body”
· Read the multimillion Governments study undertaken to find the biggest cause of anxiety in Americans was narrowed down to-Government studies.
· A man who takes the road less traveled (so often advised in the self-help books) only to realize that the road is pothole-ridden and there is simply no petrol outlet for miles on that less taken road.
· The persistence and positive thoughts of a lover while stalking the woman of his dreams in ‘The True Meaning of Love’.

This book is filled with all the life experiences that no one will ever tell you about. While chicken soup for the soul had inspiring and uplifting stories, this book is filled with rib tickling stories told in dark humor style, all served sunny side up. Both chicken soup as well as chicken poop will make you cry, the difference being that in the latter book you will be crying tears of laughter.

Most of the stories are extremely funny and start off in the typical sentimental story style. ‘The old house’ will make you ROFL as you read the remembrances of a young man about the house in which he grew up. I totally liked the warped sense of humor in the story as he fondly remembers the skid marks on the floor where the kids pushed old granny on the wheelchair down the staircase, the writings on the wall which were his sister’s letters to the devil and finally the basement of the house where many a pet had died an untimely death.

Another favorite of mine was, ‘My father’ about a boy reminiscing about his father (who was more of a fruitcake and less of a father) that will leave you in tears from laughing off course.
‘I’ll never forget the day of my ninth birthday. Dad was driving and I was next to him in the passenger seat. Suddenly he screamed, ’’Think fast!’’ and leaped right out of the car. I had to learn how to drive right there on the spot. But as long as I live, I’ll never forget that broad, proud smile on his face when I pulled that old car up the driveway. That was my old man.’

The cover of the book can only be so funny in advocating to us the virtues of the stories within the book. The cover warns you to prepare yourself for a collection of stories guaranteed to harden your heart and dampen your spirits. And oh boy, Chicken poop does live up to its promises. It is said that we need to laugh at least 10 times in a day. Going by those standards at the end of the book, I was sure that I did have more than the required laughter dose for the day. :-)

Dammit! I moved ur cheese

‘I moved your Cheese’ is as cheesy and funny as it gets. In ‘I moved your cheese’; award winning columnist Darrel Bristow prattles on, making fun of every topical thing affecting American life today. Not even remotely related to the best seller ‘Who moved my cheese’, Darrel admits to simply using a similar name to sell his book! The author royally spoofs the top best selling self help books and makes snide albeit ribtickling comments about the gurus imparting wisdom(Deepak chopra and Oprah being his fav targets).

Darrel makes no bones about the fact that self help books are the bane of humanity. So in order to free the people of the world from the nonsensical, dothis-dothat advice doled out in those books, the author wants us to read this book. He touts his work as the self help book for people who want to take no steps at all. In fact he says on the cover that the book is for people lying on the sofa!

Each chapter of the mini book is a classic.
~ Seeking and finding ~
In this Darrel tells us about the grueling time he spent in searching for wisdom from a mango-throwing wise, old man living on the mountains. Consider this piece of ‘deep wisdom’ he gathers during the journey-
‘If you are climbing the really steep part of a mountain with a waterproof jacket over your head, you cannot see where you are going and consequently it should come as no surprise if you bark your shin on a rock’.

~ Finding your egg ~
In a humorous parody of the actual ‘Hem and Haw’mice story, we are told the hilarious tale of Xam, a young man who sets off to hunt the desert elephant. In accordance with the mindless story, Darrell explains matter-of-factly that most people are not truly accomplished or anything but we are all adept at ‘Faking it’. He wants us to remember: ‘Objectives can be shifted; success can be manufactured. Anything can be faked’.

~ Finding your mate ~
This is a chapter filled with hilarious anecdotes about his personal experiences in finding the right woman. Also don’t miss his friend Chunko’s plight doing the come-hither thing at the market place.

~ Who moved my keys ~
The super hilarious section has Darrel suspecting his wife of hiding and moving his keys all the time. Darrel wants us to understand that the most important question facing mankind is not who moved my cheese (change management) but who moved my ‘actual keys’. He admits to ‘keeping’ his keys religiously every night in convenient places like his fish tank, his fridge and under the couch-and then wonders as to where the hell they have disappeared.

~ The body beautiful ~
This one is filled with his experiences in avoiding the gym and eating & drinking away to glory. Here in his own words is his story:-
‘Just the other day, in an unguarded moment, I was prevailed upon to remove
my shirt in mixed company. The circumstances aren’t important, although I
can reveal that they involved a deck of cards, a bucket of gin martinis, a
small tub of tangy avocado dip and a toothbrush ... a young mother hurried
her small children from the scene, covering their eyes with her hands.’

And a mind-blowing self-help realization:-
‘Do not waste your time wondering if the glass is half-empty or half-full. If
the glass looks half-anything, it is time to order another round …’

~ In conclusion ~
In the final chapter Darrel takes a final jab at the famous emotional tome ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’. He recounts incidences about his old neighbor Bill, who wants to leave his experiences of life in a book. Bill rambles on senselessly and the author has no option but to listen to Bill’s ramblings. Not to be outdone, the author troubles the old man in various ways like arranging his plastic geese in appalling (read vulgar) positions etc and then confessing to him with an awfully guilty punchline of the book, “Bill, I moved your geese”.

Laugh away as much as you want reading this book and the review wouldn’t be complete without Darrel’s interpretation of the cheese story. Faced with the puzzling question of who actually moved your cheese, this is what the author wants you to do.
‘If you can find who moved your cheese, you can tie them up and poke them with sharp objects until they tell you where the cheese is .And then you can get them to go steal the mice’s cheese and bring it to you’.
That’s ‘I moved your cheese’-The baap of all self help books.

Is it raining or are the heavens weeping?

Raincoat is a mellow film directed by acclaimed Bengali director, Rituparna Ghosh. The movie released towards the end of 2004 had Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgan in pivotal roles. It won the National Award quite deservingly for the best film of 2004. The whole film has a theatresque drama like effect that hitherto had rarely been tried in Hindi cinema.Shubha Mudgal’s rendition of the songs in the movie is outstanding. The classical based “Mathura Nagar kahai” along with “Birhan ke nain jale” evoke the sadness of the picturised situations. The usually plasticky Ash shone in a role bereft of any glamour, makeup or loud mannerisms. After Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Rituparna Ghosh is the only director who has succeeded in making Ash act as best as she could. She definitely deserved accolades for her performance maybe not the National award but at least a popular award. ___________________________________________________________________Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, it’s what you areexpected to give-Which is everything! ___________________________________________________________________As many people know, the plot is loosely based on O’Henry’s “Gifts of Magi” which tells the tale of two lovers sacrificing their all for the happiness of the other person. The story ends with the thought that the Magi (the three kings) were truly blessed to be the first visitors bearing their precious gifts for the baby Jesus. But even more blessed than the Magi, are the people in the world who sacrifice their all for the happiness of someone else.___________________________________________________________________Inside every older person is a younger person - wondering what the hell happened? ___________________________________________________________________Ajay Devgan played the part of a down-on-luck character (Manu) who comes to the city to borrow some money for starting a new business. At his friend’s house, he expresses his desire to meet up with his long lost love Neeru (Aishwarya Rai). His friend, a practical guy advises him against meeting up with Neeru but Manu’s adamancy forces him to give in to his wish. The fury of the rains serves as a poignant backdrop and a striking metaphor to the raging turmoil within Manu’s heart. With a borrowed raincoat on a bleak rainy day, Manu begins his journey into the past. ___________________________________________________________________In a relation there’s always one who loves and one who lets himself be loved.___________________________________________________________________The flashback reveals how he had to give up his love because of his adverse conditions (read jobless state). Neeru’s parents marry her off to a ‘well settled’ man leaving Manu broken hearted. With great difficulty he manages to move on with his life and bury Neeru’s memories deep in his heart.___________________________________________________________________What’s in your Mind may escape but what’s in your Heart will remain forever___________________________________________________________________The melancholy of the rainy day forms the premise for the reunion of the erstwhile lovers. Life has been pretty unkind to the duo as they have had to make a compromise with their unhappy circumstances. Manu notices a huge contrast between the carefree Neeru whom he once knew and the pale, tired looking Neeru before him. As they catch up with each other’s lives; they have to resort to fabrications of the actual reality so as not to cut a sorry picture in front of the other person. The pathetic interiors of Neeru’s house raise a lot of doubts in Manu’s mind. Neeru has an explanation for each of Manu’s doubts. Many of her explanations are unbelievably funny (like her phobia of getting locked inside the restroom in the plane, the reason for the antique furniture cluttering the house etc) but the viewer finds it difficult to laugh at her expense.___________________________________________________________________ My dreams looking at me said to one another: “This life has let us down.’’ ___________________________________________________________________In a struggle to hold on to the last remnants of her dignity, Neeru has to weave a bunch of lies to cover up for her dismal state of life. Manu also has to build a make-believe world of his own to match Neeru’s prosperity. Both try their best to convince the other person that they are happy and contented with their respective lives. __________________________________________________________________Our soul mate is one who makes life come to life___________________________________________________________________The arrival of Neeru’s landlord (Annu Kapoor-in a marvelous cameo) serves as the finale to the game of lies between the lovers. His stark revelation leaves Manu shocked and bewildered about Neeru’s reality. He gives away all his collected money as the rent so that Neeru wouldn’t have to be homeless. On the other hand, the raincoat plays its part in helping Neeru improve Manu’s conditions. She gives off all her jewellery to help Manu collect the finance to fulfill his dreams. It goes without saying that when you truly love someone, they take away a huge part of your heart permanently whether you like it or not. Raincoat is just a sad commentary of lost love and a reiteration of the fact that when you have loved someone, no matter how many hardships you would have to face, you will always try to make them happy.Sacrifice is the highest virtue of love and the story says it all.
Love is an unusual game; either there are 2 winners or none...