Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mumbai Nagariya

My recent (first) trip to Bombay was one of the coolest trips I’ve been on. I haven’t been on that many, of course.

Our flight was slated to take off at 6.15 PM… and Air Deccan, well, being Air Deccan, was an hour and a half late. The ‘beauty’ in flying with this airline is that the seats are not numbered or reserved. Their mantra is “First come first serve”. We had to rush to the plane to get our seats. We wanted 3 in a row. My friend rushed ahead of the 2 of us and caught good seats. My friend kept murmuring “I’m never flying this airline again!” - I had to agree with her!

We reached Bombay (sounds better than Mumbai) at around 10.15 PM. By the time we collected our bags and got into a cab, it was 10.45. We were going to stay over at my friend’s aunt’s place in Colaba. The drive takes almost an hour from the airport. I think Bombay is the only city in which 3 girls can travel by taxi after 11 PM. We reached Colaba by 12, had dinner and went to bed.
Mumbai has an old world charm to it that is so overwhelming. The old Victorian – style buildings are so picturesque that my friend and I took more pictures of the buildings and roads than of each other.

Since our shopping was confined to mostly Colaba and the surrounding places, we narrowed our focus down to Colaba Causeway. The place consists of a steady stream of road-side stalls along with stores housing some of the biggest brands in the business. Name a brand and you’ll find it in Causeway. It also houses the famous Parsi colony – Cursow Baug. The Gateway of India was a 10 minute walk from the place we were staying in. It’s funny that we never got to see the Gateway up close. We were too busy eating – out and shopping. :)

Matunga was our next target. The place is full of South – Indians, especially Tamilians. With a temple, a few dosa – idli eateries and Nalli surrounding it, Matunga looks a lot like Mylapore (if you’re a Chennaiite).

One of the most beautiful sights I saw in Bombay was of Haji Ali bang in the middle of the Arabian Sea. There is a 500-yard long causeway that leads to the shrine. With sea on both the sides and no railings for support, it’s quite an exciting as well as nerve racking walk down to the dargah.

I have one grouse, though - Mumbai is quite dirty and smelly. I guess with millions of people waltzing in and out of the place every year, its bound to get crowded and dirty.

Our trip was coming to an end and we did not want to get back; but did so with a heavy heart and an arm full of shopping bags. Our flight back home was late, as usual (thanks yet again to AD). Nevertheless, the trip was worth the wait and I would kill to go back. As they say, “Maut aur Mumbai se koi vapis nahi aata”.

Monday, September 17, 2007

JBJ reprise

I dont know if I can publish a retraction to my own post, but I'm doing it anyway. Finally watch Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. In my opinion, its one of the worst movies of 2007. I can even put it as "One of the worst movies of the new millenium". Never did I imagine that I would be talking like this about the man who gave us Saathiya and Bunty aur Babli. Its too early in his career for him lose his touch, so i guess he has just side-tracked a tad with JBJ. Shaad, get back on track, dude!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom rocks!

I've listened to the title song "Jhoom Barabar Jhoom" a million times and I've not grown tired of it yet. Shankar-Ehasaan-Loy are amazing. Cant say the same for the other songs in the album. But the title song rocks!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The film that changed my life

The film that changed my life is "City of Joy". Based on the book by Dominique Lapierre and directed by Roland Joffe, City of Joy is a tale of this bunch of daily wage workers in Calcutta into whose world comes an American - Patrick Swayze. The reason I was so enchanted by the movie is that it touches upon the rawest of human emotions. It talks about poverty and sacrifice in such a manner that it doesn’t make you depressed, rather it motivates you to do something for the betterment of the under privileged. The scene that touched me the most is the one in which the American doctor acts as a mid-wife to a leper. The family is overjoyed that the baby is born with all its fingers & toes intact.
I have watched the about 5 to 6 times and every time I do, I learn something new from it. This is one movie that made me THINK; something we rarely do after watching these so called rom-coms!

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I know there are thousands of people around the world who think that FRIENDS is just an overrated sit-com not worth their time. I couldn’t disagree more. I adore it.
For those who feel the way I do, read on.
I’ve been watching Friends, ever since it first aired on Star Plus (before the latter turned completely Hindi centric). I can surely say, I’ve watched almost every episode 4 to 5 times and some of the episodes maybe even 10 times. I know it sounds crazy but I just can’t seem to get enough of it. In my opinion has been one of the best sitcoms ever to hit television. It could not have got all those Emmys just by being ordinary.
Every character is unique. Monica, the finicky, obsessive, clean-freak who lets you eat cookies only if you promise to vacuum the apartment later; Rachel, the self declared fashion queen, who gossips like there’s no tomorrow; Chandler, quick-witted, commitment phobic, chilled out guy who is always trying to get in touch with his feminine side; Joey, the dumb but sweet neighbor to the girls, who never remembers the name of the girl he spent the night with; Ross, the geek of the group who still thinks that it was ok for him to cheat on Rachel cos “They were on a break!” and Phoebe (alias Pheebs), the craziest among them all but the sweetest.
I guess I’m gushing but I can’t help it. Let me list some of the best lines from the show.

Phoebe and Monica are out with two guys. Phoebe’s date is foreigner who can’t speak English and Monica’s date is that guy’s interpreter.
Monica: “My guy has coupons. You guy can’t even say coupons!”

The first episode. Rachel has run away from her wedding and is taking refuge in Monica’s house.
Monica: “Joey, don’t hit on her. It’s her wedding day!”
Joey: “What? Like there’s a rule??!”

Joey buys a couple of hideous bracelets for Chandler and himself.
Joey: “Look! We’re bracelet buddies!”
Chandler: “That’s what they’ll call us!”

At the hospital, when Karen (Ross’s ex-wife is about to give birth to Ben).
Ross: “Where is she? She must still be in the cab….”
Rachel: “Don’t worry Ross, it’s probably $1 for the first contraction and 50cents for every additional contraction!”
Ross stares at her
Rachel: “What! It’s ok when Chandler does it?”
Chandler: “You have to pick your moments”

Rachel wants to get an annulment from her marriage to Ross.
Ross is trying to convince her not to.
Ross: “Common… just once in a while when you fill out some form, you check the box that says Mrs instead of the box that says Miss. Its right next to it!”
Rachel: “Oh! I was under the impression the boxes were far apart!”

Let me end with…..
Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you?
Smelly cat, smelly cat, its not your fault...

Sunday, March 04, 2007


I guess I’m writing this too late, but I want to make my voice heard. Just finished watching Salaame Ishq. In my opinion, it is probably one of the most over-hyped, substance-less (if there’s such a word!) movie I’ve ever seen. The promos made it out to be this love saga which will bring a tear to the eye but what I got were stomach cramps. Ok… I think I’m being a little too harsh here. Let me give you the low-down on SI.
6 love stories, 6 beautiful endings is what Nikhil Advani promised the audience. And what he finally cooked up was a 3 and a half hour long boring tale of these 12 odd people dealing with love and life in their own boring (forgive me for using this word twice) way. Here, I must mention that the only stories that really held my interest were John – Vidya’s and Govinda-Shannon’s. The final scene of former couple was heart wrenching, with both Vidya and John (surprisingly) putting in amazing performances. Govinda as the innocent taxi driver is cute as well as witty. Even though Anil and Juhi’s story did not hold my interest for a long time, their performances did. Salman as Rahool (?) was boring (with a capital B). His dialogue delivery is stilted and incomprehensible. Half the time, I found myself leaning towards the screen trying to figure out the words that were tumbling out of his mouth. And why the hell does he have a wired accent?? Priyanka is ok as Kamini, the item girl, but gets a little too irritating at times. Sohail and Isha are cute though they did not get much screen time. All things considered, Salaame Ishq is worth watching only for Vidya, John, Govinda and Shannon (maybe even Sohail and Isha). The others just slow down the pace of the movie.
I wish Nikhil Advani comes up with a better movie next time and shorter one, please!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Make us feel secure

We've come a full circle. Life used to be so uncertain in the 17th, 18th and even the early part of the 19th century. Common cold, high fever or even a few broken bones were termed deadly. It is the 21st century now and things havent changed much. Even now, I cant be sure that I'll be alive and kicking tomorrow. I may have to finish writing this soon because if I'm not around tomorrow, this would be an unfinished train of thought. Jokes apart, life now, is uncertain for different reasons.
Militant outfits are mushrooming like never before. Bomb blasts and shoot-outs are so common that people have become de-sensitised to violence. The recent blasts in Mumbai, Varnasi and Delhi have shown how fragile life is.
Talking about uncertainity is not going to get us anywhere. What are we going to do about it? Security in public places should be beefed up. And I dont mean, just a dozen more policemen. Recently, I was at this multiplex watching the flavour of the season, Dhoom 2. At the entrance, there was this guy checking our bags. He was doing quite a good job of it. After the movie, we went to a mall to just do some harmless window shopping. The mall has about 5 to 10 entrances. There was an armed security guard only at the main entrance. And even the tommy gun that he was carrying seemed to be of no use. It was so huge that it would take him a day or two to lift, aim and shoot. It resembled one of those long stemmed rifles on display at museums. Wonder if he got it from one such place.
My point is, why make a farce of having a security guard around when the guy cant even pick up his so-called weapon?
Why has there been no such incident in the recent past in the US or the UK? Cos they have really woken up after 9/11 and the London bombings. We should be doing the same thing. Copying good stuff from the west is not that bad an idea. What say?
Authorities, please wake up to the real fear around us and make us feel secure.