Monday, June 20, 2016

357, 356, 355: First Impressions: Udta Punjab

Udta Punjab seems to have 89 disclaimers, one for each cut that was allowed to remain in the film. (The disclaimer in the beginning says something really funny and ambivalent like 'We're not saying Punjab is the only place with drug problem...it is the highway to the drugs reaching Maharashtra, Goa, and other places.') Kareena's character is...umm...somehow very Talaash-like. She's taking the story forward but one doesn't know where she's come from...what's her reason...And every film from the Kashyap stable, I suppose, has to pay some kind of homage to Tarantino or whoever they watch - with violence set to music and blood-soaked concrete and the humdrum human nature in which everyone turns base and corrupt within 15 seconds of meeting one another. The film has some very good actors acting very, very well. (Alia Bhatt is pure soul. And I really liked that Inspector.) But...overall, I found it strictly okay. (The guy next to me snored after the first hour so I'm not saying the movie is slow...but get your coffee to take you through all those scenes that don't have Alia or the Inspector.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

360

I see pictures of so much love on Facebook. And it's just lush living when you get to like and share all that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Monday, June 06, 2016

372, 371, 370, 369, 368, 367: First Impressions: Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

Two men find themselves, at the age of twenty, on a ranch. They are alone and herd sheep and long hours of being adrift together. One washes tin cans while the other gazes at skies turning purple with clouds that will bring rain. Their days are slow, yet meaningful.

One night the two men get close. The description of their intimacy is very raw, very matter-of-fact. Also raw is the time they spend apart. Also matter-of-fact is the way these two people cope with the typical turmoil the heart brings.

One logically explains that he isn't strong or lucky enough to buck society. The other, in great anguish, pleads for something more. ("I can't quit you.", he says.) There is a lifetime apart where they can't do much. Then one dies. The other comes back to take his ashes to Brokeback Mountain where they had first met. He doesn't get the ashes from the family. Instead, he finds two shirts that his friend wore as one piece(one on top of the other) throughout his life - to hold on to a moment where they had embraced in front of a fire - in a 'sexless, eternal embrace.' He brings back the shirt and goes on living.

Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain gives us a setting and a story of lives very different from the average person's. It also takes us beyond the details of what one would get caught up on- homosexuality, societal compulsion, etc. etc.

It simply tells us of  the time Jack and Ennis shared on Brokeback Mountain...how they too were people. And that too was love.

(I have liked this book immensely. It makes me want to be a kinder person. Looking to give it away. Anyone in Pune, let me know.)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

378, 377, 376, 375, 374, 373: First Impressions: Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

I read this book on my birthday.

This book is a collection of musings, reflections, and quotes by Cheryl Strayed. The book begins with a very endearing little treatise on the importance of quotations and how she held on to them through life. A pithy filament of wisdom nourishing her, keeping her strong, and in a strange way, even letting her be.

There are certain pieces that I particularly liked - the way society absolves itself of taking on the responsibility of a sad person. We tell that person to 'get help', instead of softening our own gaze. There is another part she talks about how we ought to be a little kind - just a little bit if being a whole lot kind feels like having a toe-nail pulled out - if we are walking away from someone. You can make your decisions and stand by them, but you ought to be kind enough to still be a friend to the ones you leave. There is a humane touch to trite advice - you will go on the way you will go on. You will clutch at any little filament of hope or you will wade in despair and get out of breath. But you will continue little by little. Then you either get past the dark hole or you come to a place where you can claim the light.

The book, I felt, was an invitation to to be kind. That, incidentally, is an invocation to be brave.

Since I read it on my birthday, on a day when I look forward and back on what this stuff is all about, there is one piece that resonated. It is a gentle kiss to all the 'What ifs'.

"I'll never know and neither will you about the life you didn't choose. We'll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn't carry us.

There's nothing to do but salute it from the shore."

Definitely a book to have on your bedside. There is a restfulness in there that one can only be enriched by.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

379

Yesterday was a rather nice day. (My nose is still twitching from the dust and chalk that one of the rooms is shrouded in - now that painting has begun.)

Anyway, a late night call got canceled at work. My sister-in-law is helping me out by staying with me. So yesterday, she'd come out for a walk. We had a nice coffee at Starbucks. Then we ate out at Tareef in Aundh. I would strongly recommend the tandoori mushroom and the fish fry. Portions are really good.

We walked back late at night, enjoying the warm, summer breeze and catching sleepy blossoms on tired trees.

It was good.


Monday, May 16, 2016

385, 384, 383, 382, 381, 380

Some good stuff that has happened so far:

1. I love and relish this article: http://firstround.com/review/the-remarkable-advantage-of-abundant-thinking/.

Do read it to see how company culture can change by rounding off the edges in interactions, being more appreciative, and building a foundation on deep love instead of iron will.

2. My back-ache has reduced somewhat.

3. Landlord has finally started painting the house. Today's the first day. I'll be staying in the house as it is getting painted. So, looking forward to the experience.

4. Worked on a really nice project.

5. The peach-colored hibiscus blooms.

6. We've had a couple of gorgeous, cloudy days in Pune.

All in all, good stuff.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

388, 387, 386

I don't know why but I am feeling so lost now. Just so lost. Sometimes the people on LinkedIn are not very nice. I have a feeling that I need to complete a whole lot of past, used, decaying, stagnating projects that are blocking just so much of my energy and I don't know how to begin.

I really need a break. I need to take 12 months off.

Anyway, no point in whining or feeling overwhelmed about this. I think I should just make a list and very slowly, very patiently, take one item at a time and just see it through. See it through completely.

Feeling really exhausted now.

Friday, May 06, 2016

389

Had heard this on Bandstand long ago - over ten years ago. Some guy was telling it to his girl who seemed to clutch some letter or something very hard; tears streamed down her face. They were both so, so young. That girl so broken. That boy so wise.

Just like that I found that verse on the net:

Takdeer ke khel se kabhi mayus nahi hote
Zindagi mein ese kabhi bebas nahi hote
Hathon ki lakiron par kabi yakin mat karna kyun ki
takdeer unki bhi hoti hai jinke haath nahi hote

(I feel all cities have their own special essence - something that comes derived from whatever it's main significant kernel is. Growing up in Bombay, in Bandra - it felt like a lot of Bombay's kernel was shaped by films. For so many reasons, such as this - I feel Bombay is a special city. Somehow I always got the feeling that destiny can just be dismantled and set up again and again and again. As long as the story continues. As long as it's not yet time to pack up.)

(Love this verse. Here's the translation:

Do not be disheartened by the caprice of fortune
You don't need to feel this helpless in life
Don't accept those lines in your hand as immutable fate or destiny
Because such fate or destiny exists even for those with no hands)


Thursday, May 05, 2016

390

What was good about yesterday:

1. A warm, delicious spicy egg and chicken sausage yesterday at Moshe's.

2. A very nice walk home. The breeze was cool and sweet. There were plenty of stars on the road and just all-around gorgeous stuff.

3. A great chat with my mother.

4. A really nice bowl of masala rice for breakfast.

5. A glass of refreshing kokum drink (the one by Paperboat).


Wednesday, May 04, 2016

391

Stuff that made yesterday a nice day:

1. The rickshaw rides to and from Koregaon Park. On both counts, it was really easy to get auto-rickshaws and it felt so good to simply sit in, not drive, and look out at the world go by or stay stranded in traffic.

2. Bought three pairs of ear-rings from a street hawker on Kregaon Park. One is a kind-of-mother of pearl ear-rings (very fake of course since it was for fifty rupees only). Another one is a basic, simple hoops. The third one, that I like, is a totally out there pair of chrome-shiny owl. I love that! I tried it on at home and given my short hairstyle, etc., it looked really dramatic. But I want to wear it to work some day. So I'll probably have to hunt for some very plain, dark clothes so as not to given an impression to my office colleagues that I'm going to Broadway - to star in a show!

3. Went to French Creperie again! I love that place. I love it! I had a warm tuna salad with some boiled eggs that was delicious! The proprietor is so sweet! They were playing French songs and the proprietor was singing out loud as he flipped his crepes. A happy cook is such a joy to watch!

4. Last night, I was waiting at the Veritas signal on Baner to cross the road. (I was walking back from Aundh at that point.) A lady was driving by. She waved at me and asked me if I wanted a lift. I declined because summer nights are great to walk in. It was very sweet of her though.

5. Slept really well last night. Not too much. But really well.


Tuesday, May 03, 2016

The living of it

A fitful night
A restless sun
A waking of an uncertain land;
I clawed to scrape the morning light
Yet curled up when the light scraped too bright.
A listless day
A hopeless way
A today boiled hard and jaded
I wiped the ache 
And sweated out blue
And clipped the nails from where the light had faded.
The night came as it always does
Certain and silent and strong
And despite the perpetuity it promises
It still wouldn't last too long.
When the moon is glum
And the stars keep mum
And I trace the destiny fissures on my hand
I wonder if my promised paradise
Is a simple rented home
In a lost and uncertain land.

392

Some good things I came across today:

1. Saw a spray of beautiful white-almost bluish flowers by the roadside. It was a lovely shade and it so happened that, at work today, I came across a website that calls this shade 'Alice Blue'. (http://www.flatuicolorpicker.com/?utm_content=buffer442f1&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=buffer)

2. I tried the Paneer Wrap from Mac Donald's. It was tasty and spicy. Loved the wrap itself, though. It was quite soft and not at all doughy.

3. The car has stalled since the last few days. So, I've been taking the auto since the last few days. The rickshaw stand at Balewadi Faata is working out pretty well! They go by meter. They, so far, have been polite. Yes, they will decline to give back change. But most will smile as they will tell you that it's okay to forego eight rupees.

4. Really funny episodes of Stephen Colbert's Late Night show. I enjoy those a lot.

5. My pretty black and white striped skirt from Mango which I thought I'd misplaced a while ago.



Monday, May 02, 2016

393

Things to be grateful for:

1. Had a lovely time at the play reading of Dicken's Christmas Carol. It was light and fun and it was really interesting to see people really get into the narration.

2. I went to Model Colony for the first time. Checked out Model Cafe there which was quite charming.

3. After the meetup, a couple of us tried out a new place called Tien. This is again in Model Colony. It's small, chic, with black decor and stuff. It's known for good and affordable sushi. They were out of sushi when we landed up there. I had an iced tea that had been freshly brewed and didn't come out of the box. I also had a red quince and mushroom dish that was tasty.

4. My car has stalled so I got a ride back home. On a bike. Which is always thrilling once I get past the initial fright of me falling down and having my head split open.

5. I wore my white smock dress with sailor striped. I hadn't been able to find it in my cupboards. But found it, wore it, enjoyed it.