Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ye Mera India...

15 August, 2007 : India’s 60th Independence Day.
A mid-week holiday, a day to fly kites, a day to feel good about our country, just to forget about it the next day, till we have another national holiday to do many such things again!
It’s good to be a nationalist and rave about one’s country, but is it an easy way to comfortably adorn this attitude, when convenient, and be ignorant about all the areas where we lack and where we need to improve?

I agree, “koi bhi desh perfect nahi hota, use perfect banana padta hai!”, but then, are we doing enough to make our nation one of the greats in the world?
A month back, millions of people of our country voted for the Taj Mahal to seal its place in the Seven Wonders of the World, but when I visited the monument this Monday, it just did not seem as if we really care about it as much as we showed through that poll!

These pictures speak louder than words:

Mangal Sen thinks he's written his name in the golden pages of Indian history!

I never thought we were so bad at both these languages to have such a hard time reading that!

I am an Indian, this is my country
I have the right to be free, the right to be me
But with that, I have a moral responsibility
To respect the fundamental duties, that the constitution expects of me
You may ask me, “Is it a price to be free?”

I’d say, “No it’s the love for my country, just as my country loves me!”

Hope that every Indian feels this way...Jai Hind!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Week That Was!

It started last Sunday, when I went to watch Strangers at PVR Plaza. I was way too excited, as it’d mark the start of this year’s Osians Cine Fan for me, so much so that I reached there half an hour before the show timing to get the ticket. But talk about bad luck and I’ll top the list!
They had changed the movie and postponed the timing as well, so now it was to be Shoonya at 7.15 p.m. Now that I was there, I wouldn’t have gone back without watching the movie, so I bought the ticket and went to Barista to have a quick bite; came back well in time and settled comfortably in the waiting lounge in the theatre premises. Across the room, around another table, were 3 gals, out of which 2 looked good, and that’s all to this story! Well, not really. ;-)

A nice movie, on the match fixing scandal in cricket; KK Menon was good, as usual, Naseeruddin Shah as classy as ever, and Tulip Joshi, the pretty woman.

After working for over 2 years, one always wishes that there were no Mondays in the week, I’m no different. I reached office, hoping that it wouldn’t be a heavy day to cope with. I didn’t receive any email from my team lead in the first couple of hours of the day, and I knew it was one of those lucky days!

I was browsing through some random videos when I happened to watch the trailer of the Goal-2: Living the Dream! The first part of the series was an absolute treat for the lovers of the beautiful game and I was desperately waiting for the second part’s release; found out that it released a long time back in many countries. I could not wait any longer, and the search was on! Managed to find the full movie on YouTube, and the Monday was just not the same!

Loved it as much as the first one, and just can’t seem to get enough of the track “Feeling a Moment” by Feeder, which features in the OST of the movie; someday I wanna feature in a video with this song in the background…Amen!

Having watched Goal-2 the previous day, I felt like re-living the Goal-1 experience; so I did and Tuesday’s gone, gone with the wind! The sounds of Feeling a Moment continue to fill the air around me...

Wednesday was just a regular day at work, but I was happy in anticipation of a fun-filled extended weekend!

I got up early on Thursday to catch the first movie of the day, Mithya, but thanks to the Delhi traffic, I could not make it in time for the show... just not the start I expected, nevertheless I bought a ticket for The Woven Stories Of The Other, a Philippines’ movie, based on a tribal war in some forest village of the country. I didn’t understand much of the movie and almost slept in between. I was hoping the other movies that followed would make up for these 97 minutes!

The next one was Resonance, a Bengali movie, with a solid star cast, primarily 'coz of Rahul Bose, with Rajat Kapoor, Raima Sen & Rituparna Sengupta. I took a seat in the third row from the back, about 15 minutes before the start. I began browsing through the daily bulletin, and just then 2 pretty looking gals came and sat beside me on my right, leaving a seat in between, where I had kept my glasses and the film schedule, how I wish I hadn’t!

After a while, a guy enquired if that seat was vacant, and as it was, I picked up my stuff from there to allow him to sit. Instead he asked me to shift there, and I readily did! :)
The movie started well, but became much of a drag after about half an hour of its running. I was getting restless, so I initiated a conversation with the pretty gal A, sitting next to me. Apparently, she was getting bored too. And we talked about boredom! :D
When the movie ended, more talk followed. We talked about a few movies of this year’s Osians, and when we discussed Shoonya, she told me that she saw me at the theatre that day…

Ting Tong! Dance to the song… God made a plan, for me to just play along! :)

These were the same 2 gals I saw at PVR Plaza the other day. And the story continues…

The next movie, “we” watched was Footsteps, debut venture for the director Suman Ghosh, starring Soumitra Chatterjee and Nandita Das in lead. A brilliant movie about an old man in his twilight years, his relationship with his daughter and his bonding with the neighbors’ 5-year old kid. The cinematography was superb too. I met the director at the end of the movie to thank him for giving us 90 minutes to cherish.

It was time to head back home now, time to offer a lift, time to exchange numbers to seek to keep in touch!

Come Friday and I was up earlier than the previous day, to avoid missing out on the first movie of the day, which I so wanted to watch. The roads looked clearer and it was a comfortable drive at an average speed of 60 kmph, until I was faced with a traffic jam again! Stuck in there, the hope of reaching Siri Fort in time was fading. Even when it cleared out, it was near to impossible to cover the remaining distance in the little time left. I had made peace in my head with the sorry possibility of not being able to watch the movie. I reached at 9.55 a.m., just in time for the show, but I doubted if I’d be able to get the ticket. But as it was destined to be a good week for me, I was lucky to get the ticket and watch the movie, Crossroads. And the next 90 minutes that followed couldn’t be better.

“The film resembles snippets of collected photographs of everyday life. It brings together similar yet unconnected people in search of something to overcome their mundane routine - a mixture of games of perception and reality, the absurdly comic and the absolutely accurate, a mystery and a family drama. It traces patterns and drops hints that for these individuals there lies a far greater drama in the ordinariness of ordinary stories than in the melodrama of spectacles.” – synopsis from the website.

Aptly named, the movie showed different people, standing at some crossroad in their lives, knowing not where to go, which path to tread. Undoubtedly, my pick of this Osians!

The next was Shame, a documentary about the life of a 30-year old woman, Mukhtaran Mai, in a remote village in Pakistan, after she was gang-raped by the members of an influential family in the village. An outstanding film, the director has done a great job.
The last one for me that day was Moonlit Forest. No offences meant to anybody related to this film, even remotely and to all those who liked it, I just couldn’t understand why was this film even thought of to be made! I was intrigued by the title, but what I got was nowhere close to what I expected it to be. So I headed back home; it was my mum’s birthday, spent the evening with her, hogged on Domino’s Cheese Burst pizzas and the ever so yummy Chocolate Marble Cake that my masi had baked.

After 2 activity-full days, I decided to take it easy on Saturday. I had a plan to go for Strangers at 4.30 p.m., so had a lot of time before that to laze around. I had my brunch, watched TV for a while, caught on a short nap, got up and set off for Siri Fort. It was to be a “Meeting Old Friends” Day; just at the entrance, I met this friend of mine, with who the last form of any communication that I had was about 1.5 years back. It was good to meet her after so long. While I was talking to her, I saw another familiar face approaching me, a friend from college. And in no time, a colleague from office as well!

Now I was waiting, looking for someone who was expected to turn up, when the pretty gal A, dressed in white, came and stood right beside me! (Yeah, it was planned this time :D)

As we approached the auditorium, it started raining out of nowhere. It was fun getting drenched, I don’t even remember when was it the last time that I had allowed myself to do that, in college days I guess. All soaked up, we went in to watch the movie, fought with the people in-charge to finally grab the reserved seats for jury!
It was an awesome opening half an hour, with Jimmy Shergill at his personal best. But then as it progressed, it became predictable by the minute, and 2 crappy songs one after the other, made it worse enough for us to decide to move out. We went to CP to have a cup of coffee, I had an Assam tea, and then we walked to the Central Park; beautifully lit up, it’s one of the most amazing places to visit in the evening.
Another good day draws to a close; in a few hours, it will be a Sunday morning.

As late as it could be, I woke up after-noon. I had to meet a couple of friends over lunch. We went to Market Café, ordered 2 different pastas, both were good to my taste buds, and then a Mexican Pizza, which wasn’t much appreciated by anyone, but me. :)
Then we moved to The Big Chill Café for desserts, they are worth dying for!

We ordered an Irish Cream Cheese Cake and a scoop each of Belgian Chocolate and Midnight Mint ice creams. Who needs anything else to get high on, when you have all this, and cheaper...

I hadn’t had “good food” for so long, thanks to a wretched stomach infection; this meal was one to savour.

Now back home, I was in my bed, remembering the week gone by, where every day was as good as the previous one, and it just got better...

Life is about this and that
Today is good, tomorrow may be bad
In this moment, I’m just glad

For those seven days, were only fun-clad!