Wednesday, July 27, 2005

You live several lives while reading a book

Even before I set foot into the shop, I fell in love with it jus 'coz
it is named "Blossoms" which reminds me of the color n fragrance of flowers and since I’m as much fond of books as I am of flowers ,this place was added to my list of must-visit places in Bangalore.

My auto came to a rickety stop at the entrance of Church Street, the auto guy apologetically telling me “maadam yeh to one-way hai” and so I begin my search for this much-sought-after-shop. After many mumblings of directions by nondescript strangers on the road, I entered this shop- my pupils dilated and I was filled with this immense sense of feeling which ,for the lack of a better word, I would state as happiness and I sought to regain my lost senses on seeing so many books under a single roof(ok make that two considering the floor above which stocks non-fiction and strictly not my domain)

I picked up as many hard bound copies as I could lay my hands on till the shop assistant couldn’t take it anymore - I could imagine her irritation at the sight of a greedy bibliophile like me who kept piling up books into hands as if it were some sort of a shelf!
So many old titles and hardbound editions of Jane Austen, of Daphne Du Maurier, of ThornBirds...

I was in some sort of trance when the sound of my ubiquitous cell phone brought me back to the humble land - my friends were waiting for me to join them for a movie.
The timing couldn’t have bin worse, since I cud carry only a few of the books I had to remove most of them from my list.

Which comes to my second visit, this time I wasn’t alone, S had also come along n I was glad that she’d also picked many books, including a few for her kid nephews n nieces.
What is interesting about these dog-eared, yellowed pages of the books is that each one seems to tell a tale of their own apart from what they hold.
Esp. the ones that have been given as gifts -I pity all those people who, for whatever reasons, let go of these precious books.
But then someone else’s loss is my gain!
So thanx to the visits to this quaint lille shop in Church Street, my collection of books has increased considerably.

I have to mention the absolute treasures I picked up
Walden and Other Works by Henry David Thoreau
Notes from the Underground by Dotsvesky and
a beautiful hardbound copy of the Works of Edgar Allen Poe.

Due credit is given to this woman in the shop who was waxing eloquent to her partner ‘bout the first two books and I lost no opportunity in picking them up.
The book by Poe was a wonderful find by self.(a big pat on my back)

Now I think itz high time I plan my next visit ...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Sing me a Memory

Ok I did not plagiarize, only borrowed a nice sounding title from Vigs and inspired by Megha 'bout Hindi movies but believe me all the others are my very own -'mother promise'!

So u hear 'aaja re aajare mere dil bhar ...noorie....' and you start picturising the then sweet looking Poonam Dhillon in her Kashmiri attire ,But no for me this song holds a different picture - the year was 1985 and me in my blue pinafore attempting to sing (yaa trying desperately and failing miserably) in the school gathering (or was it a party?) and Amrit Panda (who incidentally also happens to be my first crush) ragged me to death about it which explains the reason why I never again attempted to sing in public again. Needless to say have seen/heard of Amrit Panda after 1986.

rangeela re mere rang mein....
bahaaron mere jeevan mein samaraon...

These songs playing incessantly by dear mummy on our old Philips tape recorder.

kis...kisko pyaar karun??kaise pyaar karun
First of all lemme curse a little – yes my Engg college belonged to the medieval times –girls shouldn’t wear skirts and jeans to college and what not! So all our minis were strictly restricted to our hostel premises.
This song brings the memory of D (moi bum-chum pal) and me sporting minis perched on top of the balcony walls of our first floor hostel rooms karakoing to this numbah and in walks the one and only male allowed inside the Ladies Hostel (the supervisor) – he was so embarrassed he quickened his pace to the exit with his head bent down like an ostrich.

yeh raat mein jo mazaa hai....juum juum juum baba.......
Jaya practicing this for our annual fest n getting cold feet, sweating, and stage fear n how we had to become cheer girls for her. Of course this very song became her claim to fame (the boys crooned it whenever she walked the corridors) last heard that shez in the Middle East, happy housewife n mother of 2 kids.

mehbooba ..mehbooba .. Gulshan mein gul khilte hain
Jab sehra mein milte hain

Yes someone did have the nerve (because I was considered Miss. Touch Me Not) to dedicate this song to me in my college juke-box, which we generally called the junk box (the grapevine said that he nursed a teeny-weeny crush on me) oh the song, those looks and then the teasing….

You are so vain....I bet you know this song is bout me… (Carl Simon)
my sister playing this song at an unearthly hour of 5.30am (I din know she had this bad fight with her guy –my Jiju now)
and trying hard to concentrate on Gross Anatomy (all those MBBS aspirants pardon me in case of typos)

kaadhal in deepam ondru etrinaale en nengil (roughly translates as "She lit the lamp of love in my heart")
Sitting beside each other on the terrace, he looking into my eyes and singing this song for me -pausing in between stanzas to translate the lyrics ...and I had thought that this song was perhaps written for me :) Only recently did I watch this song n was surprised to see it featuring Rajnikant.

jeevan se bhari teri aankhen
it was the time when my then roommate n good friend Bindu was going around with Vikas.It was Holi n we had lotza fun dipped in colors and then by evening had that bath where we try to scrub ourselves with all kindza solutions and still fail to remove the patchy colors from our faces.
then vikas sat on that small false-looking-french window of our flat and sang this song so beautifully for Bindu that for a moment we forgot to notice that he was singing so earnestly with a green colored face(and no he wasnt jealous)
of course today, Vikas and Bindu are married to different people and spite each other.

dil to hai dil, dil ka etbaar kya kige
Rohini ,my other roommate,singing this song so beautifully and Vigi wistfully looking at her. They make a wonderful and happy couple today.

I dunno what it is ‘bout songs that it retains the flavor and sometimes even the smell of the moment when we last heard them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Fish outta water?

I was sitting, sipping a cuppa garam chai in my cafeteria,when I heard something, which I faintly recogonized as giggles, from the nearby table.
N whom do I see? A Krishna with gopikas -yes a single guy surrounded by 6-7 girls and I couldn’t help but hear their topic of discussion, they were really loud. (So I can’t be accused of eavesdropping)

Can you guess what their topic was? I bet Not in your wildest dreams 'coz they were discussing piercing (yes you heard me right) - nose and ear piercing (to be precise)
-how (gun shot, jeweler..) ,when(when I was 6 ,last month…) and what is the best place in town.
Now had this crowd been entirely a girl gang I would’ve passed it off as jus 'another' of those discussions but seeing a lone guy in their midst piqued my curiosity so I slowly watched the guy (of course out of the corner of my eye) -he seemed thoroughly embarrassed, was squirming in his seat and making all kinds of facial expressions but since he was given a royal ignore, finally he chose the safest option out, started making calls on his cellphone!
Boy! My heart just went out to him –
which reminds me of other such similar situations :

cute girl trying to impress mr.John Abraham look-alike with her dancing abilities and the footwear snaps

girlfriend A's usual mail to her boyfriend B bitching 'bout the boss and she accidentally sends it to the boss himself (actually heard this happen to my friend)

Y saying not so pleasant things about a person Z blissfully unaware of Z's presence behind.

dial a number by mistake you din't mean to –now you can’t say "well I wasn’t meaning to talk to you"

N this one featured in the Hyderabad times takes the cake -
women sporting backless top and the bet is on "what if the clasp comes off!"

***Shudder***hope we dont ever land up in such embarassing spots.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


(Disclaimer - for all those who thought Paheli was a chick-flick or worse it's just 'nother of those stupid fantasy movies -puleeeze get back to your work/studies/college/browsing or to whatever u were doing before.)

I'm not a major TeeVee buff but the minute I hear the sound of an Amol Palekar movie then I stop whatever I'm doing (some of the aforementioned things) and stay glued to the idiot box. I mean i dont mind watching a re-run of GolMaal, Gharonda, Choti Si Baat or Baaton Baaton Mein instead of some stupid movie called "Kuch Kuch something something.."

Who else but Amol Palekar could make me courageous enough to endure SRK's histrionics and also appreciate Rani's non-existent beauty! BUT No Regrets ...

The story for a change is - ghost meets girl, ghost falls in love, ghost gets the girl and they live happily ever after!
Laachi (Rani Mukerjee) is the newly wed bride of Kishan(SRK #1).
She is just like any woman -with a million (nope, make it a zillion) dreams in her eyes when she enters her marital world. Alas! All Kishan seems to be interested is Money and sets off to some faraway land for 5 looooooong years.
Enter the frendly ghost (SRK #2, yes Casper does have a competitor) who takes the form of Kishan and enjoys marital bliss with Laachi, until the real one (confused??i mean SRK #1) returns n claims that he is the real Kishan.

Well the point here is not the story (ok, at least not for me) but a woman's eternal search for her perfect man.
Also I like the way the audience is manipulated -they actually starts believing that the ghost is the ideal partner for Laachi.
Imagine instead of a ghost had Laachi had an affair with another man, just because her husband does not live upto her expectations, then the moral police would have brought up their cudgels; but camouflage it with a hubby-look-alike and we have people enjoying the romantic antics of the ghost and wishing fervently that the ghost gets the woman in the end.

Kudos to Mr.Palekar for bringing the beauty of Rajasthan to celluloid -
Colorful Rajasthani dresses, ethnic folk music, amazing choreography and lovely colors of the desert it is indeed a visual treat for the eye.
I only wished that he could have done away with horrors like Sunil Shetty (he seems to grow uglier with each movie-wonder whatz the secret!)

Seems the good ghosts have entered Bollywood finally or shall I say the ideal/romantic guy is nothing but an illusion and is well represented by a ghost.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

i cook the same way i dress kill....

There I was- all of a full twenty and an addition of 1 whole year and still had no clue of cooking.My grandma would exclaim (as most grandmas do) "at your age I was the mother of 2 kids" and to this date I could never figure out the connection! I mean I don’t see why cooking should be a pre-requisite for reproduction.

They say necessity is the mother of invention and in my case it decided to prove itself right- a new job in an alien land and my body refused to be insulted any further after multiple attempts to keep it alive and kicking by treating it to all sorts of assorted junk that the Hyd'bad restaurants could offer (and in 1997 there were a sad handful).

So I decided to put on an apron and join the bandwagon of all those people (rolling my eyes in admiration) who can recognize the various names by which those small, round grains popularly called dal go by.The rats used for my experiments were my unsuspecting roommates; the torture endured by them would put any Tihar jail prisoner to shame.

I started dutifully by buying books of Tarla Dalal and Sanjeev Kapoor but alas! they never taught you the basic dal, roti and chawal, which resulted in huge telephone bills (since teaching to cook by Mummy on telephone wouldn’t last less than an hour) and maintaining a big notebook (which I proudly exhibit to this day).

The samples of my experiments could be bottled and pickled as exemplary examples of what not to do while learning to cook: these were the 5 popular dishes I could conjure in a jiffy.

** Idlis looking like mini dosas
** Dosas looking like mega idlis
** Chapatis competing with Papads
** Kheer, which could give a complex to ‘Camilin’ Glue
** Tamarind water with floating veggies, which could pass on as Sambar

Repeated experiments always produce good results they say and they weren’t wrong, these days if u see someone sporting a bright apron and hosting the office parties at home -then its none other than yours truly.(Needless to say 'am a proud owner of a kitchen designed by self -yup the one in the pic)
At last I learnt to use a knife for purposes other than self-defense.:)