Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Out and about a couple of days ago I came upon a lovely surprise- the trumpet trees are in blossom!
There are great bunches of lovely purplish-pink flowers on many streets. It's amazing how they lift the mundane roads into something pretty- you can almost forgive the arrogant scooterists honking at you as they drive on the sidewalks. They look a bit like cherry blossoms when they are not fully in bloom, but once they do bloom fully they have quite a personality of their own. I hope they last until the jacarandas come around again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just desert

The Hairy Bikers' Cookbook is a bit of an acquired taste, I find. I'm not sure I've acquired it yet. The other day I saw them cavorting in the vast Namib desert, casually putting meat through a grinder and informing us that it was zebra- pronounced to make the 'e' sound like the one in 'let'- and making a 'zebra burger.'

Anyway, the point is, I was entranced by the scenes of the desert. Vast, open dunes for as far as the eye could see, the color a strange other-worldly mixture of gold, brick-red and pink. It was awesome, in the true sense of the word. The one time I came close to the desert in recent memory was in Nevada, and that was full of scrubby little trees- very unsatisfying. I long for acres of just sand, right until the horizon.

I wonder what this means. Along with a new fascination for the color yellow, a longing for the vast open spaces. Hmmm.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Overall, my opinion is that this is an average movie. Perhaps the first thing that bothered me about it is that Priyanka Chopra simply did not strike me as very suitable to play a ramp model, I don't know exactly why. Maybe it's her 'face-cut', as they say. And as the movie progressed, I found it increasingly difficult to be okay with the constant close-ups of her bee-stung lips being flung at me.
So that apart, it's a simple enough story. Priyanka plays Meghna from Chandigarh who comes to Mumbai against Daddy's wishes to make it big in the modelling world. As she puts it, she wants to be a 'supermodel', a label that I've always found vaguely asinine. Anyway, she does make it big. She lands a contract as the face of a major fashion brand. The owner of this brand, played by Arbaaz Khan (looking vaguely like Roger Federer) kindly gifts her a sea-view apartment and they promptly make the place their love-nest. Soon, things begin to go wrong, as they must. Meghna is apprehended for drunk driving, has an abortion, tries drugs and sleeps around, loses her main contract, loses her mind, and then makes a comeback.
There are several gay men thrown in. The most convincing one, Rohit- although he was quite sweet, I didn't understand his relationship to Meghna. Then there is Kitu Gidwani and one Mugdha someone who are quite good in supporting roles. But as usual, it was Kangana Ranaut that sort of stood out. Her performance was better than the main heroine's, if I may say so. Except for her iffy diction- especially when she shouts "You bastard!" at least 8 times in the film- she does a good job.
So, as I said, it's an average film. But after so much face time with Priyanka Chopra, this is one more good reason I will not have the stomach for Dostana.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Why can't I still be photogenic? And, apparently, I was sweet-smelling. Gah! However, this picture of my youth is the only one of its kind in existence, hence a rare and precious gem. Clearly, having had two other bonny babies before the stork dropped me off had robbed the parents of all desire to preserve my every move in black and white glory. Like I said, gah! Thankfully I didn't have a twin.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Sigh. I have been trying to wade through the Fountainhead, a task that has been getting progressively more difficult. In its dense and cheerless pages, I begin to wander quickly. The two main characters, that carrot-top Roark and the glassy Dominique, strike me as mirthless gits who rather deserve each other. Still, I must continue on. I find that it helps put me to sleep- and as insomnia has started visiting me again, this is a good thing.
Then I've started on Paul Theroux's Ghost Train to the Eastern Star. This guy is the ultimate curmedgeon- I've only read the first chapter and already there have been such gems as 'the tedium of listening to the delusions of the young..." Wow! I want to be like you, Theroux, when I grow up. (I'm already well on the way, though.)
But when all else fails, it's Wodehouse to the rescue yet again. Nothing can beat the exploits of Gussie Fink-Nottle dressing as Mephistopheles for a fancy dress ball, losing his way to the party, and ending up getting arrested.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Little Shop of Wonders

The little stores in our neighborhood have always been treasure-troves of wonders and goodies, as I've always known. Today we re-discovered a forgotten gem. The Aishwarya Shopping Point. Oh, what a cave of marvels! I spent considerable minutes staring ecstatically at the rows and rows of goods that I could never find at those big 'super' markets, which I shall have the grace to leave unnamed. Finally, having decided upon a bag of almonds and a variety of Kashmiri daalmoth I'd never seen before, I became aware of some sidelong glances from the shopkeeper. His look seemed to say- "Is she allright? Will it be terribly rude to ask her if she's mentally deficient? Why does she have such a dewy look on her mug? Has she never seen different varieties of prawn pickle or indigenous yet exotic-sounding breakfast foods? Ah, but let it go. Apparently, my store of humble goods is bringing her much joy and fulfilment!"
Then there is the Fancy Store. I went in there to get a packet of bindis. Immediately, I was assaulted by the glitter and seduction of a thousand products jammed into that 2ftX4ft store. I asked the shop guy, the customary North Indian youth, if there were any 'simple' bindis, and then remembered just one other thing I needed. I should have known when he asked, a bit more proddingly than is usual, "aur kuch?" Right- the grand bill total of my two purchases came to EIGHT rupees. Quite a Fancy Store, this- where the Prices are the Only Thing that is NOT Fancy!

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