27 dresses and more...

It’s been sometime I watched a proper (bubblegum, popcorn, mineral water) light romantic comedy.

27 dresses is delightful, it is refreshing. It is also a tried and tested formula which will never go wrong, slightly Cinderella-like. Katherine Heigl who plays Jane is an amazing actress, quite turning out to be a winsome response with all her natural bonhomie with down to earth features and acting prowess. In Knocked Up, she had played this never going wrong career woman whose one night stand in a drunken moment goes horribly awry and her coming to rude terms with a less than average father, partner and whatever.

27 dresses is about unspoken truths. The moot point raised by the ‘cynical’ Kevin that the wedding industry flourishes in health and happiness is so obnoxiously true. My dad always told me hanging and marriage go by heaven. Why do we plan and rehearse so much for that Kodak moment? I wish I had an answer. All brides want to look their best and the fanfare is just justified.

The movie made me laugh at human foibles and the helplessness that comes with the package. A girl who dies for friends and is willing to spend $300 a night to shuttle between two places, has held/helped her over drunk friend in the commode so that things are fine to the point of wearing the bridal dress to see if it fits well. She has lived and died the life of a bride so many times before the 28th one.

Call it love or infatuation, she just goes all starry eyed at the drop and mention of her boss’s name(George), deservedly gets slapped by her best friend and hurt by her younger sister. You still love her even when you know she should not be picking up the laundry and selecting which tie to wear. I felt so vindicated when she quits after her boss says he loves her because she never says no. What the hell! The naah kiss with the boss is just an exaggeration.

Facing the truth never came easy. Kevin (James Marsden) played a resident scribe cum dashboard, breaking bubbles and busting misconceptions. The plot being predictable had nothing new to offer but old things in a new package is always a consumerist phenomenon.I just love the way she shrieks, “we are gonna die, we are gonna die” when she gets the car badly trapped and skidding in the rain and, also like her instinctive “don’t say anything”. Kevin is silenced anyway.

Your younger sister (Tess) can never be eternally punished even if she is a super bitch who does anything to get your dream man, why? Because all she wanted was to become like you, aww! That was supposed to make you feel bad and sad about being nasty to her to teach her a lesson. Patch-up!

All’s well that ends well. All hopeless eternal romantics go home re-affirmed that someday, you will land the best alternative who is someone you were not looking for or never imagined to go home with but well, you happened to meet and well, well who likes to look at you the way you always want to be looked at.

The best line is the response to the question- “don’t you have needs?” and dear Jane quips matter-of-fact, “no, I am Jesus.”


From BC to AD

Last week was 10,000 B.C. and I was really in for a magnanimous disappointment.The movie failed in aesthetic terms, all scum and total humbug I felt so duh!!

You would not believe but GTM got tickets for this in dubbed Hindi/subtitled(?),no clue but we were a bunch who so wanted to watch the super duper mind blowing effects.

There were a lot of mud packs (wonder they were made of sandalwood or clay). Krishna’s useful tidbits on face packs and facials were really informative. The woolly mammoths look so sweet and the Egyptian civilization twist is a real twister. Anyway, forgettable remembrance it is. Rohan, the gentle giant warned me about it but heed is something I don’t care a hoot. Coincidentally, the movie has loose adaptations from the Hindu epic Ramayana like the kidnap drama; the pack of tribal foot soldiers reminds us of Sugriva’s Vaanar sena. The protagonist is the son of a self-exiled tribal leader, reminds one of Ram and Laxman,yeah? The odds in both parallel cases are kinda similar but the weights do shift.

Tribal instincts are so similar all across the world. Bollywood sentiments also did not fail to penetrate. The heroine falls prey to a devastating poisoned arrow shot by her jealous captor who proclaims like one of those jilted second fiddles that, “if she is not mine, she cannot be yours too!” Old mother sacrifices her life and pawns her soul for the dying soul. Happies ending! I felt so triumphant, I clapped in sheer joy, no tears flowed but Somu da was a tad amused and asked me not to embarrass him. Anyway.

Lift Dynamics

Lift dynamics was the conversation at breakfast some weeks ago. What natural laws determine how people stand and how people come in, make way/space to accommodate movement is interesting.

I find the Vodafone ad amusing where a young jobless man gets an SMS alert that he would meet his intended in/on the lift. He did, at the fag end of the day.

You have an array of lifts/elevators at your press and call. You step into one and realise it is going up and not down, uhuh. Then you want to go up and no lifts come, eh!

First, it is a very democratic place. All are welcome and no one is discriminated. Come one, come all, but the minimum number of people should be 12-20 and the total combined weight should be below a certain gravitational acceptance.

Preferentially, I am not for lifts. I have some weird experiences with lifts- either they go spiralling like some horror/thriller and it refuses to stop at the floor I wish to stop. I like running up the stairs and beat the lift at its job. I have done that many times in the past. I would continue doing so until we shifted to a floor above the ground. Now the picture is different, I love my stroll from the ground floor to the desk and vice versa.

Picture this, some 10-11 heads or 2-3 heads all in a motionless reverie-staring at blank spaces waiting for that number to pop up at their desired floor. Ding!!

The haste and hurry to procure feet space and some breathing albeit the sonorous heartbeat is fleeting but you are more than relieved to be out of the lift with the steel walls around you and a panel which acts as your guide and key to your way out. Some people enjoy the scents and sights. Often women seem to enjoy the strong cologne that wafts through the lift-y atmosphere. In a way, it is uplifting and invigorates the senses. I am not sure if I should mention about men enjoying the same. Sometimes you are in for hard luck when you have to bear BO and bad hair days.

Watching shoes, sandals and clean feet is another fetish. Pedicured or not, smelly types or not, short clipped toe nails or not and you can figure out the rest.

Who is carrying which bestseller? Some open their mouths and confirm any remote doubt that they are dumb. Acting intelligent is taxing and being one is misleading.

Which phone is ringing with the saddest ring tone? Ah, trust the fetish for movie OSTs and all that jazz.

Some friendships happen and some ah-I-wish kinds also happen.

Crazy place, some smile… some don’t. It’s a lil’ better than a crowded bus.

It’s a good place to practise meditation, standing, no talking and only breathing, probably pranayam!!



29th is a very special day, you have one or two days of broke-ness. I was born on the 29th many summers ago. My birthday treat is always on the 1st of the next month since I am always broke.

February this year is special because it has 29 days. God knows, how many eyes blinked their way to a new life? How many closed theirs forever? How many lost their near and dear ones, how many were given the marching orders?

29th is special for me this year- Dad retired from service. Those brown eyes, wonder how he must have felt to wear his office suit for the last time in his work life. Those firm rugged hands, did they tremble when he wore his socks and moccasins for that day? As much as he woke up to a weird feeling of never having to go to work again from the next morn, I was also feeling horrible to attend the team dinner that evening. I can never understand the feeling of retirement, maybe the work culture prepares you as such to get fired/laid off any moment. One is always on the move, prepared for the worst.

I spoke to him with tremendous regret that I could not be with him to be there to wish him a great day and be there to have dinner together that evening. He was like, chill girl…go ahead, have a safe party and reach home in good time.

All those nice ads on TV about great retirement plans and all, how true are they?? I know a lot of uncles and aunts who lead very shelved lives, economically very thrifty and tending their garden. My dad is not one to pluck weeds from the garden, he left that to my mother. He prefers haggling with the fish monger and the vegetable vendor. He loves talking to students about a forward moving radical India. He is a semi-Gandhian for whom the other is more important than the self. At times, I hate the passive stance and his unshakeable faith in being content and not fighting for an already coveted orange. He loves his meagre reading patience, just about manages to read 2 newspapers in 8 hours on a weekend. I always ask him to write, he says yes, he will. Probably now, after years of cartography and plotting of confidential maps...the gentleman needs to pick up the pen, he will. I told him, that the anniversary of his retirement will come occasionally, once in four years.

He has done some funny things tho’ post retirement. He always refrained from casting his vote during any election, he did it for the 1st time this year. I am happy. He wants to read the TELL ME WHY and TELL ME MORE children/adult series of books, asked me to pick them up when I visit him anytime soon. I will.

He asked me when I am planning to settle down, maybe when I am 29 and on my birthday. I am sure I won't be that broke then.He was not amused.

Black and White

Black and white is so misleading. Ok, I am not rambling about the movie. I am referring to the colors. It means you can either have it this way or that. You can never have it the third way. It means you are bad and not good, or good and never bad. It means you are no longer human and you are no longer capable of a lot of good and some lil’ bad. Black and white to me means there is no room for hope and reform. It means you have a problem of color blindness, you suffer from some kind of jaundice which allows you to see everything in this world in terms of black and white.

Please remember, black and white are not polar opposites of each other. The opposite of black is something which is not black (it could be yellow, red, orange, blue, blah blah) and the opposite of white is something which is not white (similarly, it could be green, violet, lavender, magenta, just about anything). Now we can’t conveniently exchange the variables and say ok, black and white, from today…you are opposites of each other. On paper, they are, incidentally. Is it the symbolic import of the message they convey? In that case, they are complementary to each other.

Of course, B&W is a cool phenomenon. Our 1st photograph, our 1st TV, our favourite outfits have both of them as indispensable colors.

I love the touch and feel of old photographs, fair people always looked white fair and dark people were glad the light did the magic, shine shine all around.

I grew up watching Byomkesh Bakshi, our desi version of Sherlock Holmes and He-man on our B&W TV and that smart lady still holds a position of pride in our family museum.

Colors, of course add glory to happiness and too much of color can also be funny. But some people either love it black or white or both. If it is both, it could be grey and if it is not, then it is black and white still.

Subhash Ghai’s Pardes, Karz, Karma even Yaadein had lot of music, colors, drama, enthusiam. His latest offering, Black and White is different with enough reason and resonance after the Geelani case that rocked Parliament literally. Most academicians are not like Prof Mathur and his firebrand wife. Most teachers I know lead shelved lives, scared of being scarred. Only a few make it to the podium and shout slogans. Many do not even go to attend R-day parades. Nevermind, attending R-day parades does not make you good or bad, you can still watch them on TV and shed a tear or two when the bravery awards are being handed out.

The cinematography is powerful, lot of tough terrain and vision through the lens. A photographer gets shot for some honest photography, some news is recorded ala Al-Jazeera fashion and the available media taking a sonorous afternoon siesta at Chandni Chowk for some spicy gully-nukkad communal stuff. Lack of color is bland but it also goes to tell a scary tale why the colors faded away and you have only black and white. When the cultural or other forces (read religion, for example) take precedence over trivial matters, it results in red, symbolic of danger and bloodshed, actually.

What kind of a world are we looking at? A world that ends up burned, all you see is black billowy smoke against the white sky. Yes, am I beginning to believe that the world is only black and white?