Monday, August 30, 2010

5 reasons why I LOVE Hindi Movies

1. A full paisa vasool - You get girly chick flick, the action, the style crash course... and oh yes also a tear jerker or a drama as it’s called. Even if you doze off in the middle, 30 minutes later, not much missed. Perfect, complete worth of money.
Example: Dhoom 1/2/x/

2. Multi Task - A movie at home is perfectly complimented by multi tasking.. like clean out the pantry when the movie is on. Or fold the laundry, or even cook dinner or best of all... snoozing on couch in the middle afternoon with the sweet lullaby of the movie.
Example: My name is Khan

3. Complexity
- The characters are so complex, so over mature and over knowledgeable. I have no idea how a house wife suddenly drops the oil hair with the skimpiest of gowns, how the kids are always so clean or so super naughty. Or how the hero is always macho even though he has the body of a hanger. Or even how the heroine can make anybody fall in love with her with wind in her hair and she giggling away. How oh how...complex man!
Example: Pyaar Impossible

4. Experience - The movie going experience is enhanced by the samosa sold at counter. You really don’t mind taking four trips for four samosa's. You are all caught up with the gossip thanks to your friend sitting next by. Alternatively, you really don’t care to discuss the movie with the date, you are more focused in how do I get the arms around her, nudge her or ... OMG>> when there is a romantic song, I can sneak in a kiss.
Example: Paheli.. or for that matter. Any Movie, trust me.

5. Family Time - Just to be mean, you can get the quota of family time without having to listen to your own nagging family members. Alternatively, just to be nice... you can get a complete family drama from the movie and can come out of the movie to tell your spouse.. I will never be that family member: How stupid! And oh yes, it’s a perfect outing, since you get lunch, sleep, relaxation, all in an air conditioned theater. Only thing missing- Rajai. Nothing better for family time or even me time!
Example: Bagbaan

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Movies like: Dil Chahta Hain, A Wednesday, 3 idiots, Yuva, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na and a lot of the yester year movies which somehow still make me watch the full 3 hours without moving a muscle.

Now... tell me.. what are your reasons for watching Hindi Movies?

Update:I HAD to add in my friend D's instant response to this post:
This is what she wrote to me: " What about all the "Dhin Chak Dhin Chak" that goes on while the movie starts run around trees (in sarees or lehangas)or on mountains covereres with snow in mini-skirts/shorts! LOL"

Haha... she captured it perfectly.. the essence of Hindi movies- Total Time Pass!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

And I missed it...

Boo... I missed my daughter V swimming on her own (with help of arm floats) in the pool from one edge to another for the first time. I missed her reaching out to the edge and turning back for more. I missed her covering the length and the breadth. I missed the splish splash. I miss the look on the proud father. I missed the excited voice of the little one. I missed a milestone.
But But But... on the bright side, I got to hear about it from both of them. They entered the house dripping of the pool water and V enacted how she swam on her own. I saw Sumit's excitement when he relayed the details to me. I could sense reservation in him telling me… Since I'd be all "Oh No.. I missed it. Damn!"
But I was not. Surprisingly. I was thrilled that the father-daughter duo sharing the milestone together. Just like I had with my father guiding me along when I learned swimming at the tender age of four!
I remember him taking us to the pool and literally telling us- jump in. I did, I remember him drawing an imaginary line in the pool and saying, no going beyond that. I remember him, holding my finger, teaching me how to breathe, lifting me by the belly to stay afloat. He explained the physics of swimming, bought my first costume, made me forgo the ring, the float, teaching me… my favorite activity- swimming.
He continued this while we grew up. He'd wake us each morning around 5:45 and literally drag us to the pool all groggy eyed before breakfast and school. We would drag him Sunday evenings to the pool and feast on the Ice Creams after. I would challenge him; try to swim faster than him. My brother and I would compete - who can keep their heads in water for longer. My father would teach us the new strokes, new techniques. Even now, when I go back to India, my dad and I ensure to hit the pool a few times.
V is still too young to remember this day! But, hopefully in a few years, she will be able to read this and cherish the evening when her father taught her a very important lesson- to stay afloat, to overcome the fears, to be independent and above all - "to swim like a fishy"!

Note: Since I was not there last night to take a picture... here is an older one of hers with the life vest a couple of months ago. Big step to get out of vest and only with arm floats for a 2 years 6 months old toddler!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Eavesdropping is so much fun!

Son: I sent you a card in the mail.
Mother: Oh, I just checked the mail, there is none?
Son: Hmm, It should be there, I sent it three days ago.
Mother: Hmm, the servers are down, may be.
Son: Yeah, may be the service is down.
Mother: Are you sure, you didn’t forget my birthday and are making it up now.
Son: Of course not mother, I sent it to you over mail so you'd be surprised.
Mother: Hmm, Let me check it on the computer once more.
Son: why the computer, I didn't add tracking on the card.
Mother: huh? No mail yet. I am sure you forgot.
Son: No, Ma, I swear! What kind of a son you think I am?
Mother: Oh-ho... You sent it via mail.
Son: yes, mother, via mail
Mother: Tch Tch.... I mean the old-fashioned way: The postal mail and not email.

Son & Mother and over hearing Me: All burst out laughing!

Friday, August 20, 2010

An evening to remember.....

And I get amazed... every time I go to Chicago Summer Dance Festival... How are the people old enough to be my grandparents so nimble, so excited and dancing without a care in the world. I as usual was astounded.
As I held hands with a 74 year old on one side, my daughter's finger in my other hand and we danced to the music of XXX last night, I realized after 15 minutes of covering the dance floor, I was huffing, but people on either side of me were still energetic. The lady was adorable, she would tell me, oh right leg first and then left and then back and then front. I followed her along. My husband joined as well... but both of were mesmerized at how lively this grey generation was.
When I looked around, I saw a few people on the chairs; they were either people of our generation or our future generation- the infants. Besides that, everyone was giggling, laughing, following, leading and dancing in unison.
I caught an elderly couple in the corner. Just holding each other’s hands and gazing at each other. For them, we probably didn’t exist. The smiles were equal to those of the "first kiss" feel, the gaze was the "new love" like and the warmth was well known to both. It was magical.
As I staredgazed, at them... I noticed; they were not the isolated ones. There were so many other couples! Full of Life, Full of Love.
What makes them so different and so energetic?
I get that 40 is the new 30 and that concept. But I don’t get, how 74 is the new 40? Impressive!
Recently on our camping trip, I had met another couple- 55 years of age and running at least 2-3 marathons a year. And here I was, generation Y, scared to even commit for a 5K.
25 years from now, I want to be them. I want to hold SD's hand as my support; I want to be dancing, exploring, learning new things. I want to be energetic and not just sit on the sidelines and discuss the time that went by, but look forward to the time ahead, the time left.
In addition to enjoying V's dancing, I learned one thing last night from the 74 year old dancing whiz..... Look ahead in life, cover the entire dance floor. It does not matter if you are 2.5 years old, 29 years or 74 years.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I was in India for a day.

Or at least it felt like that. We went for the JSMC Mela 2010 on Indian Independence day and it was a whole load of fun. It was truly a "mela" a fun fest. It was a gathering for at least about thousand people. Everyone seemed happy enjoying a Chicago afternoon. There was enough activity of adults, kids, toddlers and the older folks. There were stalls set up for the yummiest food from all over India, there were games for the kids, and there was a moon bounce and even a volley ball game. We would walk down the road, and meet someone we know or someone who knows us. We met new people who were just excited about meeting someone from the same native town. We bumped into a few friends whom we haven’t seen for over eighteen years and some for eighteen hours.
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
By the end of it, we pulled out our beach chairs and hung out chatting and enjoying the afternoon sun. It was simply amazing.
We went to the mandir, prayed. The soft soothing prayers filled the room. The smell of the incense captivated us. V's constant requests of doing Aarti, doing ‘namo to bhagwaaniji’ and aping us were adorable. Just sitting inside for a while was both relaxing and appealing. This was followed by us just hitting the food stalls. We ate whatever was left and then a bit more and then a bit more again.

The sun was beaming, the breeze was blowing and the worries of the world were left at the door. The organizers had done a phenomenal job at putting it together and making sure everyone came to the temple and had a good time. There was a Karaoke set up and I was mesmerized by the voices of a few who sang in front of the audience. I could imagine them, closing their eyes, and being one with music. I saw by daughter jump in the moon bounce for almost an hour. I could hear her excited voice and see the face lighten up. I saw SD and our friends play volley ball or the bean bag toss, challenging each other, supporting and enjoying the victorious dance. My friend became V's best buddy and they both tossed the bean bags and my friend was just happy losing to my daughter all the time. I could see myself just blend in, just let it sink in more and just be one with my surrounding.
It felt like I was home... if only for a day. I knew I was in India.

As a side note: See "Eat Pray Love" movie.... Its a must for the girls. I went after my day trip to India with some friends and saw this. It was beautiful.. the company and the movie. I slept with a smile.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Smartly Chicago - Yay!!

Like I promised… Here is my first post published on Smartly Chicago.

It is about something that I repeat to myself all the time. Enjoy the smaller joys in life, the bigger ones will follow.
Just live in the moment!

Life is Good!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cough.. Sniff... Ouch!

I hate feeling sick.. I know so do you. No one likes it. But, I hate feeling sick when I am sick. I tend to keep myself more occupied, busier and go about life like I am perfectly fine even if I am nursing fever and something. My reasoning, this way, I don’t "feel sick" but feel normal and the mind will tell the body to get better sooner.
Over the years, SD and I have discussed this often. When he is under the weather, just give him the blanket, the TV remote and the fluids. He is perfectly fine snuggling in and just being. On the contrary, when I am unwell, I like to go about life like normal. I would prefer being out, or doing things around the house and being on the move even if I am down with 101F. I don’t like just taking it easy. Since if I do, I self pity myself and I hate it. It’s weird, per SD.
For me, it’s normal. It's funny since when I was full term, I remember my gynac telling me: Take it easy. Don’t run around so much. I argued. I want to feel useful and not just sit around with a protruding belly. SD was given the herculean task of ensuring I don’t do anything over and above for at least two weeks. ;-)
Yesterday was different. I was feeling unwell; I knew I was coming down with something. I left work early and slept in the afternoon. I snuggled in the blanket and SD went around the house to maintain some decorum. He pretty much did everything that needed to be in done in the evening power hours. And except getting up for water, I slept in the bed. He closed the bedroom door, took V out, made dinner and played with her. He fed her and me, and let me just be. For once, I actually let myself take a break.
And honestly, it felt good. I am still not recovered completely, but I think by being out and about as well, I would not have recovered any sooner. For one sick evening, I didn’t mind taking a sick day!
I can imagine SD giggling while reading this and saying: "See I told you so!"

Monday, August 9, 2010

A day that might not come.

I have shied away from writing about politics, the corruption, the politico's termed as gods for a reason. There is no point.
What's the point of now "OMG" at the status of the common wealth games? So what it was decided 8 years ago for India to host it? So what if the tenders, the budget, the location was all public knowledge. So what only a few weeks before the game, did people realize...OMG... we are not ready to host the Common Wealth Games.
The games which could have catapulted the host country's image! India's vibrant colors as a tourist location, as a flavorful country, as a modern yet cultured place, as an almost developed country would have been showcased across the world. The tri-color would have symbolized progress, vision, history and above all the achievement.
When I talk with my colleagues from around the world, I always tend to hear something along the lines of: India is an amazing country. I really want to see the land of snake charmers and the land of the tech gods. But, It's just way too dirty and way too complicated for a simple vacation. It's just not worth it.
And I assure you, I am not making it up.
I am an Indian, and a proud one. But I also know, no country is perfect. My dreams of seeing India hosting the F-1 race or the Olympics or any international level games of quality seem very distant. The Common Wealth Game could have showcased India for what it wants to be, for what it can be and for what it’s capable of. Look at how China and more recently Africa learned and earned from hosting the games! Sadly.... only the not-so-good, the-corrupt, the short terms visionary's got showcased.
Am I doing something to brings about change? No. Am I trying, No... Yes, I am one of the million other people who are on the sidelines saying "Tch Tch". I may go as far as saying. Better Luck Next Time... But after this shame, do you think, we the Indian people think we are ready for it? Can we handle it? Can we actually implement a long term plan which will benefit the country and eventually us? Instead of… let me fill my own pockets and as for long term. What long term?
There will be more scandals, the TRP's will increase not because of the games but for the scandal. There will be some politician who will resign. There will be some morcha, some slogans, some heart burn.
Even to the optimist in me... it seems like a day that never will come. The day where we are on the forefront, considered a hot tourist location, a smart country, a flexible country, a country where the good has started outweighing the bad!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A simple request

There are few people whose blog I read regularly. IHM or Indian Home Maker being on the forefront. She blogs about women in general, of how Indian women have to live by norms of society. Of how she is unknowingly controlled by other forces of how she is made to choose a path which might not be her preference. I follow IHM regularly and get amazed at the simplicity of her words, the kindness in the wisdom and above all the ability to speak the facts as is with no fluff, no diplomacy but just straight talk.
I am blessed to be born and raised in a family which did not differentiate between girls and boys. My husband is a primary advocate of women's right. There are times when he would just tell me point blank...get out of your conceived notions of how women should be, just be yourself. So yes, I am blessed and I don’t discount the strength that my parents, my in-laws or my better half have given me to be myself no matter what.
IHM talks about the girls who don’t get the freedom to be themselves. She raises awareness and she talks and breaks norms and does it not for herself but for people to see two sides of the coin. For people to realize that by controlling all you are doing is hurting. She has inspired hundreds of people in the blogging world and in the real world to be strong and be okay with speaking your mind.
Today she posted about her own personal crisis... and all she is asking is for prayers, for her daughter who is suddenly sick with Dengue fever and is battling life and death in ICU. For her daughter who is blessed to have a mother like IHM. For a parent there is no bigger pain than seeing a child suffer. I can only imagine how hard it was for her to post about it. All I am asking my readers today, whether you now, read, follow IHM or no.. Please pray for her daughter's well being.

A simple request...Please pray.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A non-post.

I am going through a writer's blogger's block if you will. I should be maintaining my two blogs and writing cute stories and angst posts. I should be really starting to work on my posts for Smartly Chicago or The Chicago Moms or other sites I contribute to. I should be commenting, writing, reading. But right now - I have a block. I am suddenly out of content.
I walk home and I have thoughts flowing freely… but when I sit down to type, I just can’t. I want to think, to form sentences, to let the thoughts flow, to write, I keep opening my notepad, type a few words, but nothing seems to flow. No idea, no cute funny stories, no point which has to be made, no arguments, judgments or even stories. Nothing. Nada.
what happened?
It’s not like life is at a full stop. There is lots happening, lots of people who cut me off, lots of people whom I cut off, lot of introspection and lots of cute relatable incidents that I could generally write about. But I just can’t do it.
It’s not like I don’t have time, I mean I do have the same amount of time I had before. Then why?
I guess, I should just breathe. I could count to ten, be myself and stop judging my own writing. I should remind myself that I write because I enjoy it and may be someone else can relate to it as well. I should blog, be honest and just go with the flow.
But for today, for now, I’ll just have an ice breaker-
Hi, I am Garima and hope you come back for more interesting reads than this non-post. But for today, for now…. Please excuse my downtime.

I will have my caffeine shot and get back for more at: It's a Start!