Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Bucket List


This movie is about two people (stars Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) who have cancer and are going to die in 6 months time. They both make a list of things that they want to do before they die.They call it the Bucket List. It is a very well made, light comedy movie.

Every Sunday evening I make a list of things that I want to finish in the coming week. I try my best to finish everything on the list. But still at the end of the week I feel I could have done more. Will I feel the same when I am dying... 'I could have done more'?

After watching this film I felt will I ever feel satisfied with the things I have done in life?
How am I supposed to feel satisfied when there is so much to read, paint, travel? There is never enough of it!

Maximum City - Bombay Lost and Found (by Suketu Mehta)


This book is about everything in Mumbai from slums, dance bars, movie stars, gangsters, locals, riots, muslims in Mumbai, Balasaheb Thakray, Mumbai police...

Suketu has written too lengthy descriptions of people and events. His thoughts do not seem to be cohesive.
He has made too many derogatory remarks on Maharashtrians and Marathi Language, that coming from a Gujju is ridiculous. He himself does not speak a great language like Sanskrit either.

This book is full of complaints about Mumbai.75% things mentioned in the book are not 'Mumbaiyaa'. There are stories about Vidhu Vinod Chopra (film director) which are refuted by Vidhu himself so this takes away the credibility of the other stories mentioned in the book.

Suketu, if you are aware of so many problems about Mumbai and you have so many contacts (as you have mentioned it repeatedly in the book) then why don't you come up with solutions and start acting on it?

Out of 500 pages in the book 50 pages have really some substance.
What is really good about the book:
Suketu's immense research, he has interviewed people from slums, movie stars, gangsters, politicians to bar dancers.

The book is worth a read for those 50 pages.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Binding Vine


Winner of Sahitya Akademy Award

What would be your reaction if you find your grandmother’s diary…Diary that narrates everything from her childhood to married life?

I would certainly have loved to read about my grandmother’s life, her happy and sad moments, her thoughts and feelings and how she raised 8 children single handedly.

I think the most exciting part of this book is its basic plot. Urmi finds out her mother-in-law’s (Mira’s) diary. This diary tells the tale of Mira’s life in the form of poems. So the book’s story is about Urmi and how certain incidences in her life unfold the meaning of those poems and in turn makes her aware of the shocking life of Mira.

Shashi Deshpande’s characters' struggles are those of ordinary women fighting to be themselves rather than conform to stereotypes - to a fixed idea of how women should be.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Ladron Que Roba a Ladron


To rob a thief (Movie length:- just 100 minutes)
Two thieves robbing the biggest thief they know... interesting plot isn't it?
It is not easy to rob this thief... but the two thieves do amazing planning. It was real fun to watch them execute the heist.

I think my brain is functioned for parallel processing. I can not do just one thing at a time. I have this obsessive compulsive disorder of multi tasking. While watching movies I am always either cooking, cleaning, folding/ironing clothes or doing something or the other. I think that is the reason I go fast asleep in theatres - yes because I have nothing else to do in parallel so my brain refuses to work. While watching this movie I didn't do anything else in parallel! That probably says it all :)

The movie is fast, interesting and full of happenings with amazing actors.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Dancing Diva


Around 8-9 months back I was searching for a Kathak class in Seattle on the internet. I found a class and I was in the seventh heaven as I wanted to learn it since a long time.

And then came the most surprising day of my life. It was my first day at the class and I was all excited. I went to the studio and was sitting open mouthed for straight one hour. The studio was full of all American students, rather I was the only Indian person in the entire class as even the teacher is Russian.

Born and raised in Russia Natalya Landar at age 16 was fascinated with Kathak. She moved to Seattle few years back and has changed her name to Nalini (lotus).
Actually from that day onwards Nalini surprises me with each and every thing that she does. She has in depth knowledge of everything that is Indian...right from culture, values, history, languages to movies and Indian outfits.

Nalini is a great dancer. In dancing I think the most important thing is grace. Nalini is the most graceful dancer I have ever seen (Ummm I will say after Madhuri Dixit... I consider her the goddess of grace).

No need to say, you must have figured out from the photos that she is extremely beautiful. Nalini is one of the most good natured person I have ever known. She is calm, considerate, full of energy and enthusiasm, very well organized.
Words fall short to describe her. Whenever I am in her company I feel very energetic.

In 1.5 hour of the class she teaches Kathak for 1 hour and half an hour is dedicated for learning dance on bollywood songs like Kajra re, Mera assi kali ka etc.

And then Students in the class get an opportunity to perform on these songs at various dance shows.

So all the girls in Seattle who want to learn Kathak and bollywood dance here is the address, class timing and fees...Give it a try...I am sure you will love it.
Location:

"Skin Deep Dance Studio"
at the
El Centro De La Raza
on the 3th floor

2524 16th Ave S #311
Seattle WA 98144
Parking is available on the North side of the building in the lot (entrance on 16th Ave S). You can enter the building through the North Entrance.

Time:

7:00-8:30 pm
Wednesday

Price:
drop in - $18

or monthly $15/per class

For any more information about the class please visit www.nalinidance.com

See you there!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Art Of Calligraphy

- The art of beautiful writing

I wanted to learn it since a long time now. I have put almost all the fonts that I learnt at:
http://picasaweb.google.com/rasika.mahabal/Calligraphy

You can write quotes in different fonts and frame them. It looks much better than the printed messages as the ink's thickness and shading gives it a completely different and beautiful outlook.

You can get calligraphy papers, ink, nib and nib holder from any art supplies shop.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

It's always possible

I was in 9th grade, sitting in a very small restaurant on M.G. Road in Pune with my friend Aishu. This restaurant had long benches to sit on, so everyone coming in would sit on the same bench in a line. A guy came towards us and he asked for an autograph on a 100 Rs. note from a lady sitting right next to me. I looked at her. She was short, with short hair wearing a long kurta jacket and pant. I heard Aishu screaming ‘Kiran Bedi SSSSSS’ and then I asked one of the stupidest question of my life “is that Pooja Bedi’s mother?” (afterall Pooja Bedi was hot and happening those days, she had made a record by wearing shortest skirts in the history of Indian cinema!). Now I thank Aishu for still acknowledging me as a friend. Aish was completely shocked with my response and replied “NO she is the first female in India to be in police”. (In my case IGNORANCE is always possible :))

Kiran Bedi – Not just the first female to be in police but also first female to reach the highest position in police in India. If the concept of rebirth is true I would like to be someone like her. She ruled the field which was dominated by men over the years. I admire her so much not because she ruled a man’s world but because she had the courage to do it.
“If people who have committed crimes are tortured more in prisons then it is in fact going to turn them more bitter and after releasing from prisons they can do more crimes. The concept of a prison itself is people who have done crimes should live alone and think about their actions.” – Kiran Bedi


She transformed India’s and for that matter Asia’s largest and most infamous jail called Tihar jail. (Largest in terms of human population)


It’s always possible – Kiran Bedi

In this book she has described in detail the corruption, bad condition of food and medical services provided, problems faced by foreigner prisoners, concerns of the endangered species in the prison – women and adolescent prisoners before she was posted to Tihar jail. She changed Tihar into a place where the prisoners were taught meditation, yoga, reading, writing, various language related courses and skills like candle making etc. Her journey of transforming the most notorious jails into an Ashram was definitely difficult but as she says ‘It’s always possible’!

Read this book to know how a person can really change impossible to I m possible.

“Does our criminal justice systems are at all fashioned to help change offenders and forgive those who were willing to mend?”

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Sea Inside


"Life is a right, not an obligation."
What were you before you were born and where will you be when you die?What exactly death means? Does death mean freedom?
What is the use of everything that we do in life if we are eventually going to die?
Really, what is the meaning of existence?

No, the movie is not about all this but it made me think about all these questions.
The movie is about Romano who can not move his body because of an accident. He has been a quadriplegic for 28 years. People still love him, care for him and their life revolves around him. But Romano wants to die because he is completely dependent on people for everything. But the law doesn’t allow him to kill himself.
Suicide is a crime but can euthanasia be?
Particularly can it be a crime in this scenario? But then who will decide which situation could be suitable for 'legal suicide'. Why aren’t people allowed to die at their own will? Why should they suffer rather than dying?
Not moving a single body part for 28 years! isn't it worst than death? Will actual death be freedom for Romano? But then there are so many people who have similar problem. Example that I can think of right now is Stephen Hawking who is in a similar situation…
I don't k now… I am still thinking about all this for 2 days… but could not reach any conclusion and probably won't even be able to.
Though Romano could not move himself, he had the uncanny ability to move others. A truly joyous experience, The Sea Inside celebrates the nature of freedom and love, and the mystery and beauty of life.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Short History Of Nearly Everything

This post is dedicated to Clair Patterson – who devoted his entire life in convincing people about the ghastly effects of 'Lead' on human body.


We live in a universe whose age we can't quite compute, surrounded by stars whose distances we don't altogether know, filled with matter we can't identify, operating in conformance with physical laws whose properties we don't truly understand.


A short history of nearly everything is a very interesting book. It is about scientific discoveries and inventions. There might be many books on this topic but the way Bill Bryson has written it, is astounding.

While reading each and every chapter I felt as if I am actually witnessing it. For example while reading the first chapter I thought I am actually watching the birth of universe and then in the next chapter I was sitting on Pluto and watching everything in the universe pass by…

There are lots of interesting stories about scientists. It was fun to read about their dedication, struggle, weirdness and sometimes politics.
Scientists get all sorts of ideas, sometimes it perplexed me on why would anyone get those ideas. For example someone actually worked to find out 'how much the earth weighs?'
I am too worried about my own weight all the time to think about Earth's weight.
And yes, there is no doubt that Earth's sex is female… she has taken measures to hide her age…

The book is fast paced. It is as thrilling as any Sidney Sheldon story and full of happenings may be more than 'Bold and the beautiful'.
Almost all of my questions were satisfactorily answered in the book.
It covers everything from universe, cells, chemistry, dinosaurs, birds, evolution, volcanoes to earth's inner layers and the list goes on….

I didn't know that there is a science of clouds and there is an International cloud atlas too!
Just by looking at the shape of the cloud you can tell its height, moisture etc. Clouds are divided into 10 basic types out of which the plummest and most cushiony looking was number nine and hence the expression 'to be on cloud nine'

Excerpts from the book:

Atoms are fantastically durable. Because they are so long lived, atoms really get around. Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms-upto a billion for each of us, it has been suggested probably once belonged to Shakespeare. A billion more each came from Buddha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven, and any other historical figure you care to name.
(The personages have to be historical, apparently, as it takes the atoms some decades to become thoroughly redistributed; however much you may wish it, you are not yet one with Elvis Presley :))


Modern human beings have existed for only about 0.0001 percent of Earth's history. We really are at the beginning of it all. The trick of course, is to make sure we never find the end. And that, almost certainly, will require a good deal more than lucky breaks.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Mathrubhumi - A nation without woman




According to the Union health and family welfare minstry and UN organisations over 35 million girl children have been killed systematically over the last hundred years (in India).

This film is harsh, intense and brilliant.

The concept, though abstract, is quite radical in itself.

The movie is set in the future where prejudice and economic concerns have caused female infanticide to run so rampant that there are hardly any women left in the country.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Rani - The Queen


Agony and Ecstasy..
Why those intense moments of agony and ecstasy have to be deeply personal? Why can't we share those intensely passionate emotional moments with loved ones? Why would words fail us and the only company we long for is a deeply craved solitude? Why is the crow black!?
- Rani



Rani has one of the rocking blogs I have ever read.
This Queen has been writing since 2004 and has been regular.
It took me around 10 hours to read all the posts. I was completely hooked on the blog and read several entries more than once.

She has written wonderfully even on simple topics. For example, one of my favorite posts is on Sunlight where she is bored with winter and she has expressed how eagerly she is waiting for sunlight…

Rani has covered so many topics from love, marriage, work life balance, optimism, managers, pain, sacrifice, Tata Nano car, Madness!, qualities of a good leader, faith, short temper, possessiveness, family, relationships, train journeys....

She has an amazing collection of English poems, lyrics of Hindi songs, quotes and thoughts of famous writers.

She has written incredible reviews on books (management/ fiction/ non-fiction) and movies.

There are some mind-blowing travel posts as well. While reading post on Rajamundri I felt as if I am actually visiting it.

There is no doubt that she is a fantastic writer. I feel people like me are attempting to be a writer but she has an innate skill of writing.

I never met this girl in person but still after reading her blog I feel that she is exceptionally intelligent, full of enthusiasm with positive outlook towards life and also she is a profound thinker.

One more prominent thing about the posts is outstanding use of English.

Last but not the least, engrossing titles which make you want to read the posts.

And finally here's is the link for the blog:
http://nrsl.wordpress.com/

Friday, January 25, 2008

Jeeves and Wooster

I finished watching the entire series of ‘Jeeves and Wooster’. It is based on P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves stories. There are 4 seasons with 23 episodes.
Two main actors are:
Stephen Fry as Jeeves and Hugh Laurie (House fame) as Bertie Wooster.

It’s a treat for you if you have already read P.G. Wodehouse. And if you haven’t read P.G. then the first thing you will want after watching the series is to read all his books. I think P.G. is one of the best comic writers. What I like the best about his style is his humour is always situational and clean.

Reading books lets you picture things the way you want, from the look of the character to the locality. I must admit while reading P.G. my visualization version was a little Indianised from their mannerism (e.g. the way Jeeves says ‘Ahem’) to Bertie's house. It was absolutely pleasurable to view the authentic British version.

I am planning to read the books again and envisage Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie as Jeeves and Bertie.

Well, not so good factor about the series: No subtitles are recorded so during some scenes it is difficult to understand heavy British accent.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Urmila A Urmila A Urmila

As one of my friend says "Urmila Matondkar is one of the hottest babe on planet Earth" :)

I find her very stylish.

I completely enjoyed making this video.
What 'ingredients' do you need to make a movie...
1. Photos
2. Song
3. Microsoft movie maker
4. Lots of time :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Interesting

I found a very interesting website --> http://bighugelabs.com

Here is the calendar, mosaic and a stamp I created using different tools available on the website.