Monday, April 30, 2007

I thought Cinema Paradiso is the saviour of the good-movies-starved people of Hyderabad until I discovered that there isn’t a single DVD of any of those Oscar nominations and is this not reason enough that they should stop robbing people in the blazing daylights of Hyderabad?

But I’m glad I caught some of those my-kinda movies on the KLM flight
and I know you must be saying ‘come to the point ,lady’ so I proceed with my note on Notes on a Scandal.

Someone (don’t ask me who!) rightly said ‘I enjoy Solitude most of the time but I need someone to tell them that I enjoy it’ .
There is a subtle difference between solitude and loneliness and high school teacher Barbara only knows it too well.

Unlike Miss.Violet (of 36 Chowringhee Lane), Barbara Covett (Judi Dench) is not a kind troglodyte, she is a malicious woman who resorts to blackmail just to get some company in her shriveled and lonely life.

Barbara’s diary informs us of the new teacher Sheba (Cate Blanchett) who enters into the school of unruly 15 year olds and captures Barbara’s attention.
Barbara becomes watchful of her and capitalizes on the opportunity when Sheba has an affair with one of her young students, justifying the tagline of ‘One Woman's Mistake Is Another's Opportunity...’
Barbara is willing not to disrupt Sheba’s burgeoning family life - a teen daughter, an older husband and a son with Down’s syndrome, on the condition of undying friendship from Sheba. But Sheba is unable to give the kind of attention that Barbara forcefully tries to extract and that is when the scandal is out of the bag. I wouldn’t want to delve more details but rest assured that it isn’t about the affair between the school teacher and the 15 year old student but about how Barbara totally manipulates Sheba for some ulterior motives of her own.

The oscar-nomination-worthy performance by Dame Dench is one which would leave you with the dark bitter taste for the woman who is Barbara and Cate Blanchett is not far behind in matching the senior with her own acting prowess.

I know most people might want to give this movie a miss but I would recommend it for it’s taut script without actually making it an edge-of-the-seat thriller and of course it totally showcases the actor who is Judi Dench.

(btw, I had always wanted to blog from an airport and here I’m doing exactly that from my favorite Schiphol airport)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Flying through Schiphol Airport

Flying to US from India is no doubt a painful affair, but the entertainment provided by Mumbai airport officials, lack of bawling kids and the ladies loo in Schiphol Airport made it quite entertaining for me.
Arriving at the Mumbai airport, I was relieved to see that Jet Airways had a tie up with KLM and my luggage was checked-in through from Hyderabad to Minneapolis. I heaved a sigh of relief –no struggle to haul my luggage off the belt, instead I had to deal with one of those aforementioned airport officials who went through the routine ‘Do you have any liquids or gels in your bags?’ and when I answered in the negative I noticed that he was busy looking elsewhere pointing to someone named Kim Sharma –now, I wonder why do men who don’t want to watch her on screen are interested at gawking at her at airports while on duty ?

The flight from Mumbai to Amsterdam wasn’t very good – it was boring – there were no bawling babies or fights for the restroom, only horrendous service and of course no guy reading 'Death in Venice’ or any such in the entire flight! **sigh*** And guys complain about not sitting next to any interesting girl - it is an unfair world I tell you!

As I was cursing my luck after landing in Schiphol airport, I suddenly heard a voice from within (in the strictest grandmotherly voice it could muster) ‘Count your blessings’ and count I did, the number of women from different countries who formed a serpentine queue in the airport ladies restroom and the time taken for the makeup application of each of them. An Ethiopian mother of two who was flying to Florence was braiding the kid’s hair, a French business woman was just in her second coat of mascara and a Canadian housewife was busy brushing her teeth – it could have easily been a United Colors of Benetton advertisement. What is it about restrooms in the West which have only a portion of the door –Is it to observe the latest trends in women’s shoes? Or is it a means of forest conservation? Whatever it is, it makes one so uncomfortable after having the comfort of an entire room for oneself in India.
And then there was this McDonalds waiter who talks Tamil to anyone remotely resembling an Indian and a very handsome dutch airport official who was interested in knowing who Pamuk was – pointing to the book I was reading.

So that being the case I can say that the last leg of my journey from Amsterdam to Minneapolis was what I would call mildly interesting - co-passengers who talked incessantly in an alien tongue , and a Swedish father and son who were struggling to find out what ‘US citizen’ meant and I try to help them using sign language.
Of course the most interesting of them all was getting to watch ‘Half Nelson’ and ‘Notes on a Scandal’ on the flight (the DVDs of which haven’t yet arrived at my local Cinema Paradiso)
So now you get an idea of what my next post is going to be about…

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Are we clinically detached?

There is a moment in this video of a student, who supposedly saved many lives by barricading the door at the Virginia Tech University , when questioned whether he is a hero, does not answer but bends his head down as tears well up in his eyes and I suddenly found tears in my eyes too – all these young people with dreams in their eyes squashed like mosquitoes in a jiffy just by some lunatic and obviously left me to deal with questions swarming my mind about life and death.

Meanwhile Chris Floyd , says that ‘Tragedy in America is Normality in Iraq’ – but aren’t these mutually exclusive events? Sorry, but I do not seem to share the sentiments of this gentleman.

The Virgina Tech incident does not belittle any other tragedies occurring around the globe.
For someone watching the news I think whether it is people getting killed in Iraq or Virginia, it produces the same reaction – anger at people who are responsible for it and sympathy for the victims – unless people have become so clinically detached that another mass tragedy is just an addition to their coffee-break discussions at office.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The terrible Twos

I feel like a lousy husband who, on the verge of forgetting his wife's birthday,
rushes to the nearest Archies store to buy that last minute gift for 500 bucks with promises of diamond rings the next year.
So here’s wishing a Happy Birthday to my blog for turning two and yes baby, those diamonds which I promised have to wait .

And my blog is like a middle-aged housewife who desperately wants to participate in beauty pageants and resolves to exercise regularly, alas! it always goes the Wild(e) way (Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.)

So she goes back to her siesta and dreams about those titles she would have won, which you would be surprised to read ; surprised because they are all self-declared!

Bestest Mushy Post: (Memories associated with Songs)
Sing me a memory

Creative Best: (A Roadmap of my culinary skills)
I cook the same way I dress - to Kill.

(Obsession with Calories)
I have never met a Calorie that I did not like.

Best of the Worst Tags : (a 55 word horror story)
The short-cut of a long story.

Maximum-Comments post : (Ghent-oh no, not an insect but a town in Belgium)
Quaint Lille Town

Best Birthday Gift: (first birthday post talks about my sojourns in Italy)
The Day I fell in love with David

Best Guess: (Can you guess the blog from the title?)
Death of heroes,pilots and fountains

I think the middle-aged woman is feeling happy and dreamy and perhaps she would after all participate in the Mrs.World event coming soon. Any suggestions for preparation?