February 25, 2008

Over the weekend

I love weekends and I love when almost every shop you pass has a sale on. My sis has come to Mumbai from Bangalore for a well-deserved break/holiday and we ended up doing some of the stuff that we both love- talk, shop and bicker.
Its funny, the way your relationship changes with your siblings once you grow older (this is in no way to be construed that I consider myself grown-up). The bickering has somehow stuck (and I like that) but the understanding and acceptance that has come in is welcome. So, my model-esque sister (who is blissfully unaware of her beauty) is currently in seventh-heaven as she has landed her dream job. She has always been the rebel in the family - the one who refused to follow the norm or fit in the mold. The mold being, of course me. Had decided long back that if (IF not when) I have more than two kids, I would never ever say, look at your bro/sis. Spoils their friendship, their us-kids-against-the-crazy-adults pact and starts a game of oneupmanship that I don't think ever ends. Thankfully, me being the utter conformist and she being the utter rebel the comparisons didn't stick for long and we became friends in college. Also we found common interests/hobbies!! Don't know how that happened.

Anyway, one thing is for sure. Am going to call up my kid sis whenever I need some pick-me-ups. She will still think, sincerely, that I look awesome even when I am bloated, have a bad hair day and a bad skin year. Love is blind. But isn't it nice to discover friends in places you least expected?

Sis in town means a lot of shopping or at least window shopping. But come on, who are we kidding when almost the whole city is sporting sale signs? So, between ourselves managed to spend a few thousands and I managed to achieve my to-buy list. For next month. And part of the month after. Now if that is just awesome I don't know what is.

Had gone to Candies on St. Andrews Road this time. And I was so amazed to find the quiet nooks, spacious seating and greenery in the middle of Mumbai that have decided to make it my recover-from-shopping-spree place. No matter where I am shopping. Plus all the sugary and baked goods call to me from kilometers away. Here is my review.

Am exhausted coz of the weekend. Not because of the shopping, come on! Have been avoiding/dodging/diverting and sometimes physically dragging away hubby away from movies which are nominated for an Oscar statuette. I mean, come on, most of the movies that are awarded these awards as a consolation prize coz no one watched them in the first place. Oh, ok. That is my line with hubby. But come on, who would want to drown the shopping euphoria in a tragic movie that crawls along at snail's pace? Certainly not moi. Save them for days when you either can't get any other movie or feel nothing is right with your world and pop those movies in and watch how it could be crappier. Yup, that's what these Oscar movies are for.

Speaking of awards, have decided to present the best shopping buddy award to ... no not my sis... my husband. Not only is he enthusiastic during the long process of selection, he is actually interested, doesn't walk out of the store to wait for me outside, lugs around all my shopping bags without a word and most importantly, has an eye for beauty and fashion. And then asks me when if I want to buy anything else. A gem!!

February 18, 2008

Review: Jodhaa Akbar

'The love-story of Jodhaa and Akbar has been the least documented and known love-story' says Amitabh Bachchan's voice-over. What Ashutosh Gowarikar does is try to fill in the gaps in history by his storytelling. First things first, if you are looking for a historical epic, steer clear of this one. This movie isn't, and hasn't been promoted either as, one. Its a love story out and out, full of mush, deceit, misunderstandings, sensuality, and politics. The pace of the movie is slow throughout. Most of the time is spent in establishing the numerous characters and not much time has been devoted to establish the then political scenario (some voice-over introduction or story would have done the trick).

If you are a die-hard SLB fan and are awed by the art direction in his movies and the sets, then you are in for a disappointment in Jodhaa Akbar. No lavish OTT sets and costumes. Everything that is in this movie is taken with reference to paintings and descriptions of those times. So, if the sets seem a bit less extravagant than what you would expect the great Akbar to live in, then just put it down to SLB spoiling.
The performances though, are exemplary. Hrithik as the controlled Akbar of many facets, Aishwarya as the proud Jodhaa and especially Ila Arun as Hrithik's evil surrogate mother are superb.
The sheer number of extras/artistes in some scenes boggle your mind if you think about the effort involved to synchronize their dance. Amazing. The few war scenes use special effects like the ones used in LOTR series and lately Troy. A few of the action sequences, esp the one-on-one fight between Akbar and his bro-in-law are very uncannily similar to those in Troy.
Repeat: Its more of a love story than historical epic. So, go prepared.
The music is good, although there are hardly 3-4 songs. Khwaja Mere Khwaja is the most hauntingly beautiful song I have heard in some time. Can't stop humming it. And Kehne ko jashne bahaar is already downloaded the day i first heard it.
A bit more on Hrithik and Aishwarya. Their body language and diction is impeccable. Hrithik's role especially called for more of diction, voice modulation coaching than Aishwarya's but the effort involved doesn't show. Every dialog is delivered with panache and effortlessly. The language [more than anything else] throws you back to Mughl-e-azam. Hrithik as the controlled, sometimes brutish, sometimes unsure of himself, sometimes playful Akbar is mind blowing. His best performance after Lakshya. His restrained performance alongwith the regal performance of Aishwarya are the main highpoints of this movie. Ash looks stunning and the movie and the couple's sentiments and the story is mainly played out through glances and eye-speak and is so eloquently emoted by both that you don't feel the lack of dialogs at all.

The art direction I think sticks to the realistic side rather than go overboard, a la Mr Bansali [not that I don't love his OTT stuff], the actors are great, the sappy as well as sensual moments are tastefully done and whats more, you get a full 2-3 minutes devoted to solely charting out every muscle on Hrithik's torso. Would just go and watch the movie for that only. A visual treat!!

And all them protesting and all, well, if this movie was supposed to be realistic and depict what was, then it would have been a documentary and not a motion picture, would it? But I guess, mudslingers just need an excuse to go on protest/rampage. Am I confused, or does it seem like the protests over movie dialogs/lyrics/clothes are getting insanely ridiculous??

Anyway, last word, go and watch if you love a visual treat, some good music and don't mind the long length [three and a half hours]. Go watch.


February 11, 2008

The Year That Was

Answered these questions innumerable times since morning. So please, find the answers below before calling me and asking me same ones.

Q:One year!! How does it feel?
A:I am a year older and am married. So, now I am not only old, but married and old. Feels great!!

Q:Do you think you have changed?
A:Well, duh, its been a year. Everyone changes in a year's span of time. Wedding or no wedding.

Q:Soooooooo, whats the special thing he/you did?
A:He gave me 12 roses, one each for every month we have been married. After waking me up at 12 in the morning. Yes, midnight. I didn't punch or kill him. That is special and new enough for both of us.

Q:So, how was the year?
A:Crappy. I have had better.

Q:So, what are you doing to celebrate?
A:Oh, you mean in the Oh-thank-god-we-got-thorugh-a-whole-year kinda celebration??
Ok ok. No grandiose plans. Have been celebrating and partying the whole year. Feel kinda guilty now.

If your question wasn't in any of these, do read on...
Both hubby and I discovered that apparently people attach a huuuge milestone-kinda thing to this day. Something to celebrate. Celebrate? What? Its-been-an-year-less-from-the-life-sentence kind of thing?? I don't get it. Take a holiday and go somewhere? I am afraid me and hubby are more of a spontaneous gift-givers and celebrators than occasion-waiting ones. Why celebrate when the whole year we have been celebrating?

A year. A whole year. Doesn't seem like it. Shouldn't I feel elated/ecstatic/wistful on this momentous occasion?? I don't know. Seems like just another day in the amazingly long time that me and hubby have been together.

So, how was this year? A year-end review is in the offing, methinks. It has been different, yes. But its the same guy I knew since school. Oh yeah, the boy is now my ex-boyfriend and now-husband. But other than that, superficially and intrinsically, almost everything is the same. Year was full of milestones achieved, dreams realized, plans executed and some biting the dust. And full of the firsts. Our wedding (duh!), my first 4-course dinner from scratch for people (not just the two of us), my baking successes (and the one disaster), our first white-water rafting experience, first of several 'married' fights, our flat.

Accomplished what I had promised myself or bet people. I started cooking and actually enjoying it. Won my bet with, oh, lotsa people when I didn't bawl at our wedding. (or shed a tear. Seriously, my mom was ashamed to find a radiantly smiling bride at the 'bidaai') Neither before nor later. I think my mother-in-law was a bit teary-eyed, though. Dark portends?? ;) Have I changed, you ask? Umm. For the good and bad, yes I have. And so has he.

Been a memorable year,in more ways than the married angle. Met the zaniest bunch of people, started my blog (been in my to-do list since like eons), started investing and managing money, cut down on spending sprees(marginally, but hey, an achievement is an achievement), relaxed for a solid 4 months and started more introspection than ever before.

Of course, the bad side of it - I actually have a piece of furniture in my house of solid-wood thanks to my heart that is sucker for the whole 'puppy dog eyed' routine of hubby's, have read less this year than ever, haven't donated to charity this year, oh the list is a bit longer than I thought. All in all, the most eventful year till date. One, that I am never going to forget.


Still updating the blog theme. Will get down to the blogrolling and all soon.

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