Month: April 2008

My Daddy Coolest !!

Yeah well, as the title suggests, this post is dedicated to my Dad. Not coz today’s his birthday or coz he did something great today. Even it were a special occassion, it would be very uncharacteristic of me to write a post about him because as I mentioned earlier, I’m a private person and besides, my dad and I aren’t the very vocal-with-our-feelings kinda people.

Infact, my dad and I haven’t done any of the things people usually associate with “dads”. We haven’t ever discussed my career. When I decided to take up engineering, he didn’t ask me the quintessential “Why?” question even once, though he was a mechanical engineer himself. Nor have we ever discussed what I plan to do ahead. When I started my MS applications, he had no idea of the universities I was applying to. But the most amazing thing is, I’m glad he’s not like that! See, I get enough of those life-shaping discussions from my mom so I am more than thankful about not getting them from dad !! My mom was always in awe of her dad. She’s told me a million times that though they had really enlightening talks together, she always considered his words to be the pather ki lakeer. It was never that way with dad and me. I respect him and all obviously, but in the normal way one respects ones’ parents. We aren’t back-slapping buddies or anything but I definitely don’t get intimidated by him !!

Anyway, since this post is for him, and both of us share a weird fondness for list-making and bulleted info, I’m going to list out why I think he’s the coolest dad in the world –

  • He knows everything about Bollywood. The new movies, the link-ups, gossip, what happened on which film’s set…all such kind of crap. Which is rather cool considering not many 51 year old men are really interested in that kind of stuff !! So, being crazy about Bollywood myself, most of the “discussions” we have at home are on the latest B-scoop. And considering the fact that the Mumbai newspapers print a lot more of this info than the Pune editions, I sure get a hell lot of updates from him!
  • He gets all the latest flicks a day after their release! A movie releases on a Friday and it’s on his pendrive on Saturday! Some guy in their office is heavily into piracy apparently. Ok, so I’m not proud of it, but the advantage is- if there’s a particular movie I really want to see, but it’s not worth spending even 50 bucks in a theatre, then this works out perfect! I’m really waiting for him to get Tashan..
  • Speaking of theatres, he’s the only member of my family who doesn’t mind watching a movie from the first row. And my years in COEP have made it sort of a tradition to buy only the cheapest seats available.
  • We both are cricket crazy people. So if there’s a match going on over a weekend, it’s like a picnic for us. My mom watches cricket only if it’s an India-Pak match or if India is playing the final of a series like the World Cup (which is rarer than a blue moon !! :-P). That’s why I see IPL matches only on Saturdays and Sundays! Only problem though is that he supports Mumbai Indians (damn those people for winning yesterday !! :-P) while I support the Knight Riders !!
  • He knows all about politics, so he’s my one-stop encyclopedia for all the crap that goes on between BJP, Congress, Bush, Obama, Clinton blah blah..
  • He’s as technology and gadget crazy as I am (though I wouldn’t say the same for techno-savvy !! ;-)) So whenever we buy any electronic items, they have to be the absolute latest in the market. He’d rather not buy them than buy a cheaper, older version.
  • He’s actually proud of my collection of books and so in effect, appreciates my reading habit. My mom also likes “story-books” (yup, that’s what she calls my grown-up bhandars of knowledge, how insulting na!) but she considers reading them to be a waste of time and money! Maha-paap !!!
  • He’s totally cool with us drinking! He doesn’t go all “He bhagwan, my daughter’s gone haywire, ab mera hya hoga !!” My sister had her first beer with him when she was 18.. Yup, he abhors laws too !! 🙂 (Please note: This does not mean that we take undue advantage and go on drinking binges. We’re good girls and know our limits. Seriously.)
  • One thing I’ve inherited from him apart from my weird hair, is a knack for sarcasm. (Well, it may not show on the blog but when I bring it on, it’s really biting crazy!) So we have these spontaneous duels every weekend where we’re allowed to say whatever we want to cut each other and no one takes it very seriously. And believe me, it is so amazing to have a parent who doesn’t expect you to be too respectful of him every waking moment and can take a joke on him light-heartedly!
  • My dad truly understands my need to be in a creative field too, in addition having a “stable job”. And it’s such a relief to know that!

Anyway, I guess I’m going to stop now, though I can think of a lottt of other reasons. I guess the main reason I wrote this post is coz I was feeling kinda guilty about not having written about him on my blog earlier. I’ve mentioned my mom a lot of times. So this was to take that guilt away though I know he’s never going to read this coz he doesn’t have my blog address and well, I don’t intend to give it to him in the near future !! Anyway, I’m not going to end with the maha-senti “I love you, Dad”, coz as I said, we’re not very expressive people. So all I want to say is- “Dad, please don’t change ok!” 🙂

Cheers! *clink*

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Random tag about random things

I’ve been seeing this tag do rounds of the blogosphere for quite a while now, where you have to list out ten random things about yourself or something like that! Anyway, the few posts I’ve been working on just aren’t turning out right, so I thought I might as well attempt it… (As a side note, somehow all the tags I write are a result of boredom and incomplete posts !!)

Anyway, so here goes –

  • I like reading the entire newspaper/magazine in one sitting and hate being disturbed while I’m reading. And we get two newspapers at home and subscribe to 5 magazines (JAM, Readers Digest, India Today, Good Housekeeping and Health!) My ideal sunday morning is sitting with the paper for one hour straight, with no telephone calls and other distractions. Really makes my day! Newspaper reading also is a major stress buster for me. Like if I’m getting nervous before an exam, the best thing to do is read the newspaper. Somehow calms me down.
  • I’m very possessive about my books collection. It’s not very exhaustive or anything, but I love each of my books to bits. I lend them only to people I totally trust.
  • I’m a complete morning person. The only time I really enjoy staying up late is during a party or when I’m chatting with old friends on the Net. On most days, I’m up by 6 am and get very irritated even if I oversleep till 6:30-7. That’s “late” for me !!
  • I have a thing for registrations numbers of vehicles. The number plate is the first thing I look at when I see a vehicle (unless it’s a Merc or an H3; that’s when I ogle at the vehicle first and then look at it’s number plate! ;-)) and it happens involuntarily. So I know the vehicle numbers of all my friends, relatives, people of my society and some random vehicles I’ve seen around in Aundh area. About 4 years ago, I saw an unknown guy drive my friend’s Matiz- recognized it was his from the number plate obviously. He was studying in the UK then, so I told him about it and it turned out that his parents had sold it to someone else just a day back and hadn’t told him about it yet !!
  • I also have thing for remembering people’s birthdays (without reminders on cellphones!) I even remember the birthdays of most of my schoolmates, though I haven’t even spoken to some of them since we left school 7 years ago! Somehow can’t get the dates out of my head !! 🙂
  • I hate clutter. I’m not much of a cleanliness freak a la Monica, though I do have an Annual Room-Cleaning session (I just had this year’s session over the weekend, but more on that later) The point is- I don’t mind an untidy room, but I don’t like things strewn about the place. I’d rather have them stacked up in one corner until I find the time to clean it up.
  • I own 3 pairs of shoes- my gym shoes, my floaters for college and a pair of sandals with Indian wear. I’m not too crazy about bags, jewellery, shopping and gossip too. Nor do I freak out at the sight of lizards, cockroaches and other unidentified flying and crawling objects. Therefore, I hate it if people generalize statements about “girls”.
  • I hate people who are cruel to animals. I’m vegetarian coz I saw a butcher cut meat once and I couldn’t sleep for 2 nights after that! I don’t mind it if people don’t like animals, its a personal choice; but atleast don’t hurt them. Infact there have been many occasions when I’ve lectured random kids on roads who think it’s funny to throw stones at stray dogs and laugh about it with their pals!
  • I have this weird desire to try everything once. And I mean it literally. This pertains to music, food, languages, skills, places… Like this one time, I saw an advert for coffee painting classes in the newspaper and I wanted to attend them. And I don’t even know what coffee painting is !!
  • One thing I really really want to do is scoot off on a budget trip to some godforsaken place with complete strangers! I hope that happens in the next two years…

Go Knight Riders !!!

The million dollar question of the year is- Will IPL work?! People are talking about it all over, my dad and I have been discussing it for the past month…it’s created a frenzy even before it began! Anyway here’s why I think IPL will work this year- Pure beginner’s luck! See, the media hype over the event has crossed all boundaries- the auction, the filmstars/industrialists/other party people (That’s what you call Vijay Mallya right!? ;-)) bidding for players, which players end up together, the whole speculation about whether the event will even see the light of day etc etc… has definitely managed to grab more than the attention of the Indian audience. The adventurous ones are looking forward to it; the sceptics are waiting for the whole thing to fall on it’s face so that their bhavishyavani can be proved right…but either way, people are going to watch the matches!

Some will buy tickets because for them, live cricket is the real thing, hardly matters whether its India vs Pakistan or Chennai vs Mohali !! Added attraction, of course, is the Bollywood quotient! Another section of viewers will be curious to know how many people land up at the stadium, so they’ll go to see that. Same goes for the TV audience! And it’s a T-20 format, so you blink and it’s over…doesn’t disrupt the sanity of the house too !!

So basically, the team owners and sponsors earn their money, the cricketers get their money, the viewers get to see innovative cricket…everyone’s happy! Whether the trend will continue next year- now that’s something that can’t be predicted right now !! So enjoy it while it lasts…

Anyway, I’m supporting the Kolkata Knight Riders !! They’re easily the best team- Sourav Ganguly, Ricky Ponting, Murali Karthik, Chris Gayle, Ishant Sharma…and of course Shah Rukh Khan…aur kya chahiye !! 😀

We’re too hot,
We’re too cool,
We are the King’s Men,
We rule !!!
Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo reeeee…!!!

//www.youtube.com/get_player

Check out this ad too. SRK is like the marketing God !! GO KOLKATA !! I’m lovin’ it already !!! :-D:-D

//www.youtube.com/get_player

So…which team are you rooting for ?!

Asli swaad zindagi ka !!

http://youtube.com/v/485lz0ZEwEw

This is probably the worst phase of the advertising industry !! Most of the ads we see nowadays are downright stupid (seen the ones for Axe deo, perfume etc? Yuck !!) and somehow today’s advertising “gurus” have forgotten have forgotten that an ad sells a product- not a celeb !!

Anyway, this is probably one of my all time favourite ads !! Came across this on a friend’s profile and it truly brought back fond memories of some really good (and may I add, simpler!) times !! 🙂 No jazz, no snazzy shots, no eardrum-bursting music and thankfully no stars! Just a yummy product and an easy concept- Eat Cadbury, enjoy life !! 🙂

And the girl’s impromptu jig when her guy makes a century…priceless !! 🙂

Naam toh suna hoga ?!?!

I read this post today, on Rashmi Bansal’s awesome blog. It’s this analysis on common Indian names for girls and boys. Very interesting insight, though some of the Sanskrit names are really freaky! Sample this: Mrigankshekhar, Joushura and Arkoprabha! Yikes !!

I, for one, feel very strongly about parents giving their children nice names. I know it may not be a big deal to some, but a name is like your identity for the rest of your life! I don’t know how many of you have noticed, but a person with a nice-sounding or unusual name always manages to grab attention of the listener a lot easier than a person with a run-of-the-mill name. And given the importance of “first impressions” these days, a nice name is the work half-done, right ?!

Like this incident that happened when I visited IIT, Bombay last week. I was on the train from Kanjurmarg to Dadar to catch a bus back home. And there was this lady with her newborn kid (his first travel by train it seems, taaliyaan !!) and her mother-in-law. They were playing with him, trying to keep him occupied n all….and all of a sudden, the MIL takes him in her arms and says, “Kaalicharan…arre o Kaalicharan! Train mein baitha hai mera bachcha….!!” Now I know that Kaalicharan is probably the name of a Hindu God and so they’ve named him that, and I respect their sentiments. But imagine what a complex that kid will grow up with, with a name like that in 21st century India! Realistically speaking, it’s not very fair to the kid, right?! Gogol Ganguly type crisis all over again!

I keep telling my parents that one thing I’m glad they gave me (apart from the usual moral studies on respect for elders, honesty blah blah…) is a good name! It may sound vain, but it’s true.. (Also, I inherited the weirdest hair in the world from my dad’s side, and there’s not a week I don’t crib about it. So this, kind of, has a mollifying effect! Makes him feel less guilty! ;-)) Suparna is a name that’s not very common in Maharashtra and neighbouring areas (more of a Bengali name apparently!) so I get a lot of the “Hey, nice name!” from strangers and that does make me feel uber-cool…!! 😉 Besides, all my friends have like the most boring names in the world (sorry people, but it’s true! :-P) so that’s like icing on the cake!

So, lesson to all parents: Give your children good names, please. Very important issue.

P.S.1- I’m named after a character on a daily soap that used to run on DD around the time I was born! There was apparently this lawyer lady called Suparna on the show, who had a really strong and powerful persona. My mom loved her so much that she decided to name me after her!
There’s something about me I’m sure you don’t care about !! 😛

P.S.2- Two names I really love are Aditya and Niret. And though Rashmi says Aditya is the most common name among boys these days, I don’t have any friends called Aditya! (Only acquaintances but I can’t take the liberty of calling them “Adi” na !! Sob! 😦 Lol.. That’s such a girly thing to write !!)
I have no idea what Niret means, just love the sound of the name!
That’s another bit of useless trivia about me for you !! Enjoy !!

Mush on the net !!

I’m not a very big fan of publicizing my personal (read: love) life- whether in public or on the net! I find it pretty incredible how couples are so upbeat about the idea of putting up little details about their “better”-half or their marriage on their blogs or personal websites. I’m not saying it’s wrong or whatever; I guess it’s just about me being a kinda private person, that’s all.

But I came across this and this on the blog of this girl I know through a common friend. Now, though I don’t think I would ever write similar posts on my blog, reading them even made me go awwwww…… 🙂

Note to all boyfriends: Girls like having a “proposal story”, so even if you’ll have been seeing each other for ten years, make it a point to formally “propose” to your girl before taking the big step !! She’s obviously going to say yes, so you don’t have to get all jittery and anxious about it.. You may call it the western influence or whatever..but it’s important to us! Gives us a nice story to tell the children and grandchildren and well…makes you look kinda cool too !! 😉

Found this cartoon strip on the net – guys would probably be able to identify with this! 😉 Cheers !!

Film Review: U, Me Aur Hum

I have a great deal of respect for first time film directors. So I make it a point to definitely watch their films (in the theatre) in the first week itself. And of course, when the film is made by someone like Ajay Devgan, the anticipation is even more, and justifiably so!

But unfortunately, the film- though strong in its conception- didn’t quite live up to my expectations. I expected the film to have a tried and tested template- you know- boy meets girl, something goes wrong, but they get back together, marry, again something terrible happens but they tide over it and well…live happily ever after! This fact in itself was surprising, considering romance isn’t exactly what Ajay Devgan is known for, in the film industry. But though the start is pretty typical (especially the title montage with love quotes amidst white clouds!), the story takes on a brilliant turn after the initial mush is done with. Surprisingly, the brilliant Kajol and Ajay Devgan pairing doesn’t quite make the mark this time. Their earlier films together- who can forget the frothy Pyaar to hona hi tha and the sensitive Dil kya kare- had a freshness and genuineness to them that made them stand out. But somehow, the whole part where Dr. Ajay, a psychiatrist meeting Piya, a waitress on a cruiseline, falling in love with her “at first sight” (phew!) and trying to charm his way to her heart, comes out a tad too artificial. The sequences are cliched (salsa and liqueur chocolates…..really!?) and Kajol and Ajay look too comfortable with each other to seem like first-time lovers! This is probably why the first half doesn’t make an impact!

The story does pick up a lot in the second lot- that’s when you actually have a “story” to the film actually! The whole Alzheimer’s issue and what each of the characters go through while dealing with it has been brought out brilliantly! That’s the sort of stuff you expect from a veteran actor, who’s done more than his share of meaningful cinema. There’s limited yelling, screaming and depression and the film does progress through all of that to successfully bring out its point- that is to convey the true meaning of togetherness and commitment. But again, one thing I didn’t like about this part is the supremely detailed visuals. I distinctly remember this scene where it’s raining and Kajol loses her way home and can’t remember her address etc. There’s this part where the camera focuses on the raindrop falling off her eyelashes as she blinks! And there’s this other part where we have orange brain cells trying to transmit some information and slowly turning a dull grey (obviously decaying coz of the disease) I mean, what is that about?! The way I see it- if you have a complicated and layered storyline, keep the visuals simple so that it doesn’t get too garish on screen! Remember TZP?! Special effects are used to add charm to otherwise cocky stories- like in Dhoom 2 !!

One thing I really liked about the movie though- are the supporting characters. Brilliant performances by Sumeet Raghavan and Divya Dutta- as expected, of course. Isha Shervani and Karan Khanna don’t do much, except add a few laughs here and there! What’s different in this film is that the supporting characters don’t waltz in every 15 minutes just to sing-n-dance or drink vodkas! They actually “support” the main characters- like extended family. And since there are no sasu-mas and pitajis in this film, these friends provide the love, support and encouragement to the main couple when the need arises. This is the kind of importance not given very often to the supporting star cast. As a director, Ajay Devgan has really scored brownie points here!

Songs are nice, nothing that lingers on in our minds! All in all, it’s a film worth a watch- at least for its second half. I think after this film, no one will be questioning Ajay Devgan’s competence in handling love stories. But one suggestion- maybe everyone in Bollywood should steer clear of the “love at first sight” concept yaar. It was great when Yash Raj Films did it but it’s become a bit too commonplace now and well, everyone knows that doesn’t work! 😉

(Read an awesome review of the film here)