Thursday, December 4, 2014

On reverse gender discrimination - a reality in urban India

Feminism is defined as the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. I subscribe to this definition. That makes me a feminist. 

Now, let me list a few instances to drive home what I want to convey - the reality of reverse gender discrimination in urban India - 

  1. Last week, in a BMTC (Bangalore metropolitan transport corporation for the uninitiated) bus, I see this "Rs 200 fine for those who occupy seats reserved for ladies". I am standing and so are three other guys. This display appears to be warning us. Ahead of us, among these reserved seats, three are empty, all of them aisle seats with women occupying the window seats. Neither me nor the other three guys even contemplate occupying these seats. We continue standing until my stop comes (around 15 minutes). Through this 15 minutes, these seats remain vacant. 
  2. I have also seen men in BMTC  Volvo buses treading with extreme caution when they have to navigate the area close to the driver where typically women stand/sit. Given that the drivers of these Volvo buses take a special liking toward applying brakes every now and then, this implies drawing on all skills of balance whilst walking amid a crowd.
  3. In most suburban trains and buses across Indian cities, 1/3 of all seats are reserved for women in normal hours of commute.
  4. I observe this in the elevators at work- Whenever girls enter, especially whenever young girls enter in a group, the men inside squeeze together. Those who are unfit even make an effort to draw their bellies in. It is amusing and disturbing at the same time. 
  5. Early this week, two girls from Haryana beat up three alleged molesters. One "braveheart" girl put her belt to some good purpose thrashing these guys. These two girls became instant celebrities. Media houses scampered and queued to interview them, invite them to the studios and ask them all sorts of questions on "Women's rights". A few days later, another video surfaced, of the same girls beating up a guy in a park. Now, harassment is not pardonable but whoever arranges for these videos to be taken is a mystery. 
  6. Whenever a case of rape is reported, there is a tendency to paint the entire male gender in shades of black. Men should be taught good manners at home, they say. This tendency to make sweeping generalizations doesn't help feminism in any manner. 
  7. People joke (politically correct jokes you see) that men prefer "fair, beautiful, pretty, good looking" brides. Women too prefer "fair, good looking, charming, well earning" grooms. Somehow, if this is pointed out, many women feign ignorance. I wish they get to see what their friends and colleagues and sisters write on sites like Bharat Matrimony.Let us not even get into false cases of domestic violence.
  8. Imagine a man after doing masters, sitting at home taking care of children and doing household chores. Somehow, a man like this is seen as "a-good-for-nothing-bloke", whereas, women can do this and get way. 
  9. Corporates conduct "women focused recruitment drives" to increase representation of women and sometimes to "correct" gender imbalance. 
I have based these instances on my own experiences. I refrain from generalizing, hence the qualifier, "urban India". 
 
Sometimes, sometimes, I imagine the plight of men born into upper caste in India. I forget to find any reservation that they can lay claim to. 

The world is not a fair place. It is not a just place. However, as a race, we should strive for fairness and justice. The means by which we do that should not tilt the balance too much. I am afraid that, similar to reverse caste discrimination in the context of affirmative action, we are beginning to see many instances of reverse gender discrimination. If we, as a society, truly want our men and women to enjoy equal opportunities and rights, we should educate young children to see each other, first and foremost, as human beings.

And, yes, to reiterate, I am a feminist.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bangalore to me



It is a little difficult to write about what a city means to you, when you have not grown up there, but you have nevertheless made it your home. Scores of people from all over the country and it is not just because of IT – believe me – have made Bangalore their home, and love the city so much now, that, they would not move out, come what may. 

It is a city that grows on you. At the outset, you would think it is small, there are only malls to hang out, but explore a little more and you will discover a treasure trove. This post is inspired by this article in THE HINDU. Needless to say, it is also inspired by the parts of the city that I have seen and experienced. 

Bangalore to me is the soothing pleasant weather that attracts relatives from all across the country. On a Sunday morning, one can just go to a park with a newspaper or a book and immerse oneself. One can’t tell the difference between 9 o clock and 12 o clock and 4 o clock except by the position of the-barely-there Sun and pangs of hunger. 

Bangalore to me is early-morning-long-drives on Kanakpura road, Mysore road and Outer ring road. The fresh air, serene atmosphere and a city just waking up is a combination that one can experience again and again. The beauty of this city is that one never knows, especially along these roads, when the city ends to reveal villages with all their cattle and neat small houses. 

Bangalore to me is BTM Lake, Ulsoor lake, Hebbal lake and the water bodies that are catchment areas during the rainy season. These lakes introduce freshness into the otherwise concrete landscape of the city.

Bangalore to me is the red BMTC Volvos speeding everywhere, oblivious to the other lesser privileged citizens of the road. 

Bangalore to me is the metre mela 20 rupees and one and half metre autos. Trust me, most auto drivers are reasonable. 

Bangalore to me is the gently admonishing remarks the traffic system receives every day, ceaselessly.

Bangalore to me is salpa adjust maadi
 
Bangalore to me is the flower show at Lalbagh and the Ganesh festivities in Basavanagudi and Jayanagar. 

Bangalore to me is Chitra Santhe organized by the Karnataka Chitrakala parishath and the thriving drama culture thanks to the likes of Rangashankara and Jagriti theatre 

Bangalore to me is Toit, Barley’s, HRC, Purple Haze and other drinking holes I have not been to. Also for their music, interiors and the glamorous crowd that frequent these places… 

Bangalore to me is the long stretch of restaurants along the Jyoti Nivas college road and Indiranagar 100 feet road offering cuisine – North Indian, Punjabi, Chinese, North East, South Indian, Malabar style, Continental, Turkish, Mexican, Hyderabadi – that would leave you perplexed

Bangalore to me is being asked, Samabaara, separate a at the numerous Sagars and Upahars that dot the city serving one by two coffee, open masala dosas, kesari bath and chow chow bath. These are the places where you run into toothless grandfathers reading Deccan Herald slurping hot coffee 

Bangalore to me is Sultan school of speech on Radio one

Bangalore to me is IISc and IIM

Bangalore to me is its passion for cycling and running and fitness

Bangalore to me is its youthful energy, its lazy charm, its cosmopolitan ethos and its busy urge to stay on top

Finally, Bangalore to me is the pride that one feels when saying Namma Bengalooru with a hint of We are like that only

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Of backwaters, houseboats and beaches


Day one, on board, Gloria -

A sofa, a dining table, a television, two compact rooms with toilets and a kitchen, name: Gloria. Yes, Gloria was where we enjoyed the serene calmness of the backwaters near Allapey. She glided smoothly on the backwaters, so smoothly that we felt we were part of a performance where the scenery around us changed, albeit only in different shades of beauty.


A lone middle aged woman rowing a small yacht, another houseboat speeding away, overtaking us, a family having lunch aboard, a window being opened to reveal a pale yawning face, a group of kids waving enthusiastically to us, these scenes made our hearts flutter. We talked, mostly random things, not a care in the world restraining our expression, not a thought polished before utterance.

We clicked pictures, of heartfelt smiles, of unstifled yawns, of shy kids, of bemused houseboat steerers, of tall swaying coconut trees, of their reflections in the calm waters, of the Sun illuminating and bringing to sudden focus, a chameleon, of white beautiful birds, lone and in groups and of gorgeous houseboats moored to trees.

Just when we thought we must be dreaming, it grew dark. When the Sun emerged again, peeping demurely from behind clouds, she brought along in her wake, a rainbow with gentle shades of VIBGYOR.

We anchored at ~quarter to 17.00 at a busy marketplace. Shops sold soft drinks, coconut water, trinkets and sundry other snacks. We alighted, sauntered along the peninsula boundary and watched the Sun begin her slow descent. The clouds gathered and the sky darkened but the rains never came. It nevertheless kept the heat in check and lent the breeze a gentle coolness.

At half past six, Gloria was moored for the day. The moon lay as a thin crescent and darkness engulfed us in no time. I searched for the stars but couldn’t penetrate the thick layer of clouds. A lizard fell down and appeared to gaze for a few seconds at the television screen.

We were seeing Farhan trying to charm Katrina in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Sarayu, ever mysterious, settled farthest from the television screen. Vidhya and Shruti continued their romance. Bragadeesh aka Brags was lost in reverie and I was trying my best to find a comfortable position that could afford me a view of my friends and the movie at the same time.

Most of us were meeting each other for the first time that day but a sense of bonhomie prevailed bringing us closer.  As the night darkened and dinner was getting ready, like ants slowly and patiently making their way around things, working ceaselessly and diligently, we indulged in the tireless endeavor of knowing each other a little more. The art of open and honest conversation is under threat by constantly evolving sophisticated messaging applications and social media.  Perhaps the biggest victim of these applications is simple banter in a group with each person making eye contact and exhibiting a genuine interest in the lives of the others.

Day two, Kondai Lip -

In the morning, the Sun bathed the backwaters in a gentle light. An entirely new world was getting busy to face the day - families and workers rowing to nearby villages, houseboats unmoored, engines cranked up and occupants coming out to breakfast, birds chirping and young men diving into the waters for a quick dip.  We had a simple breakfast of Idlis and Sambar and before we realized, our short houseboat sojourn was over.

A smiling Sujith was waiting to take us to Kondai Lip, a backwaters resort.  Listening to Palash Sen croon Dhoom pichuk dhoom and the occasional Tamil gaana song, our spirits were high. Kondai Lip was like an apparition out of the blue. A lanky boatman took us across a narrow canal to the entrance of the resort in a country boat.

After browsing through the food menu and ordering for lunch, we came to our cottage. The rooms were spacious and cozy with appealing woodwork. The sit out area at the entrance to the rooms of our cottage faced a large pond, one boundary of which was lined with tall palm trees. At the other end of the pond, two small boats were tied to a tree with rope. The reddish brick color of the cottages and the sloping roof also played their part in the slowing of time. The quietness of the place, the greenery interspersing the cottages and lining the paths, in the afternoon heat, this scenery was an apt textbook picture to illustrate solitude.



Shruti hovered, in communion with her thoughts. Sarayu and Vidhya indulged in fishing. To a hook, a hotel staff taught us to attach small wheat balls. Brags and I pedal boated the perimeter of the pond clicking pictures of the cottages and the girls waiting for the elusive fishes to fall for the humble bait.

Lunch was dal, vegetable curry, tomato rice, curd rice and ice cream. We ate slowly relishing each morsel. At 15.30, the resort staff knocked at our doors. Along with the other guests in the resort, we hit the backwaters in a boat. Sitting under the boat’s roof in the waning afternoon heat, passing by slumbering hamlets, we couldn’t help but contrast this pace of life with the pointless madness of the city folk.

At ~16.30, we reached a beautiful stretch of the Arabian Sea coast, Mararikulam beach. Shruti let her feet be kissed by the waves, wore a broad smile, turned to wave to us, cried in delight at the sight of a bigger wave, gathered her skirt around her ankles and gave her being over to the present moment.

A view of the Sea never fails to calm my nerves. I felt lighter, closed my eyes for a few minutes. We walked along the shore. The waves played pranks by constantly deceiving us with their strength. Brags got a couple of really good shots of our footprints on the shore.

On our way back to the resort, the sky opened up and it poured heavily for a good 20 minutes. Fishermen raised their catches by bringing up the huge Chinese fishing nets. Small boats rowed faster. Some kids waved to us unmindful of the rain. Even as it rained outside, inside our boat, a cute little encounter was underway. Shruti played with a little girl and both of them talked animatedly much to the amusement of the girl’s family.

Back at Kondai lip, thanks to the rain, the green cover looked greener. We had banana fry and coffee. A quick bath and some time at the sit out later, we had a simple dinner of rotis and curry. Post dinner, we gathered in one room and even as CSK and KKR battled it out in the IPL, we talked. After the match, we came out to the sit out area and resumed until my eyelids started drooping.


Earlier in the evening, I decided to chuck my original plan and leave for Madurai only the next day. I learnt in the morning that Sarayu, Vidhya and Brags had slept only in the early morning.

Day three, Cherai beach -

We woke up to a beautiful morning in Kondai Lip. The resort's beauty was multiplied manifold in the light of the early morning Sun. After clicking some good pictures, we left the resort with a heavy heart. 

It was a long journey to Cherai beach. We passed by a few towns before going through the city of Cochin. Despite it being a Saturday, the roads were busy.

It was close to 13.00 when we reached the blue waters hotel opposite Cherai beach. Since lunch was only at 13.30, we utilized the time to explore the rear side of the hotel. A small swimming pool and a large lawn area formed the boundary beyond which stretched a large water body. Post a sumptuous buffet lunch, Brags, Sarayu and Vidhya headed for a massage while Shruti and I talked. Conversation was easy.

The Cherai beach was a little crowded. We were happy to catch a beautiful sunset. What was a large hazy light in quick time became a reddish orange ball that steadily climbed down and moved farther until it was no longer seen.
 It was time for me to bid goodbye to the group. If not for the engagement of my friends the next say in Madurai, I would have gladly stayed back in Cherai. The goodbye moment was not easy especially because, in a span of 3 days, we were no longer strangers! As I settled comfortably in the bus that took me to Thrissur, I was pretty sure that I had made a few friends for life and I was carrying loads of good memories.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Eight lessons from Cycling!

  1. No rise is permanent -  Life is like a game of snakes and ladders. For every ladder that we climb, there is a snake that is waiting to pull us down. Whilst cycling, ironically, one enjoys the fall! Some sections of the road may be well laid while some sections may be narrow and hardly ride worthy, but they have to be crossed if the journey is to be experienced. 
  2. Riding the rise is hard but is worth it -  In life, to climb up the ladder calls for hard work, persistence and focused effort. But at the end of  it all, it is totally worth it. Some of the most breathtaking views of nature have been after riding steep inclines...
  3.  Never give up - Sometimes, we give up too soon, sometimes we give up just before we reach the summit. The key is to keep going. A few cyclists quit just as they start cycling while many do all the hard work but give up just before reaching the destination
  4.  We define our limitations - This is similar to the point above. It is our willpower that determines whether we can accomplish something or not. So many people assume that they can never cycle 80 or 100 kilometers on the trot but did they try in the fist place?
  5. Choose the right role models - If we set our eyes on achieving something worthwhile, we should carefully choose our role models. If we set our eyes on completing a particular ride, we should emulate the rider who leads the pack and follow him.
  6. There are no permanent companions in our journey - We may enjoy the company of the people surrounding us but we when it is time to move on, we must. When I cycle, I never cling to my companion and if I feel like I am clinging to someone, I either let him move on or I move on myself
  7.  All of us are alone in our journeys - This is related to the point above. Darkness, rain, clouds, sunshine, steep inclines, easy plains, smooth roads, potholed lanes, we cycle alone. If we derive happiness - no matter what the terrain is and no matter what the weather is - from the act of riding, we can be contented without needing someone to depend on for our happiness
  8. Slow and steady is the way to go - We should not exhaust ourselves by racing with others or cycle so slow that we can't make it to the destination. What is the point of a long ride if one does not do it with a certain sense of measured leisure? To pause and savor a moment of beauty and to rush through a patch of rough terrain in the heat, it is important to strike a right balance
 Readers are welcome to add more in their comments. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Washed clean by the sands of time

A few years back, they were very close. She used to pour out her thoughts to him. It used to be a 'Stream of consciousness' kind of outpouring. Her anguish, jealousies, love, longing, frustrations, fantasies - he thought himself lucky. Every once in a while, they used to go on walks, along the clean, narrow road overlooking the calm lake. Every cell of his brain was intent on listening to her. He went into phases of such intense concentration that he frequently surprised himself. Her voice, the crushing of gravel beneath her shoes, in his spell, he was sure he could hear the wind rustle her jacket against her body. All other sounds were immaterial. They simply did not exist.

Today, some 15 months later, he recollected a conversation -

I am a very simple person

Whoever said, girls are simple! You are definitely not simple!

How do you say that?

You are very confused. You don't know who is the right person for you.

I know

No, you know you don't

It is just that I can't see motives behind anybody's actions

You have to grow up!

Don't you think I am grown up? (The suddenness of her smile caught him unaware and he had to catch his breath)

Not every guy is nice!

We have been through this

Oh God! Why am I even trying again? Do you know, I care for you? I care very deeply for you

I think so too

You think so?

Okay, I think you do

That is better. Look at these trees, they are barren

The change of seasons. I wish, there is a pattern to people's behavior too

In that case, we would not be people. We would become robots. How can you compare changing seasons to people's behavior?

Why do guys ask so many questions?

Because we like knowing answers

Some questions don't have answers. Sometimes, one just has to listen

Yeah, because girls like to talk more

Why should we always argue?

Yes, we always argue but I like arguing with you

Why don't we agree on something for a change?

If only she knew that he was ready to agree to anything she wanted! 

They were separated for a few months, time had intervened to wedge distances between their paths. She became inaccessible. He had an inkling that she was moving away, irretrievably away from him. It was beyond his control. The few times they managed to speak, there was a chasm, a void that had risen. He tried his best to figure out what could have happened. Did she meet someone? Did she sort out her confusions?

He called her every once in a while just to hear her voice. She would always have some reason to dissuade him from any conversation. "Forget the friendship we shared, we can be acquaintances, I can get to know you all over again", he wanted to say. He knew she was beyond that. The bond they shared, they jokes that lit up their days and the intense conversations that he so looked forward to, they were washed clean, by the sands of time. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cuckoo - Heartwarming realism

"Life is indeed tough for poor people and if you are blind, well...", my friend's words trailed off after the movie as he couldn't complete what he wanted to convey.

Shot on rail platforms, streets and inside trains, Cuckoo's sheer brilliance lies in the fact that it can be any blind man's love story. There is very little stereotyping which means there is no classical hero-villain sequence, no item number, running-around-the-trees routine, vulgar jokes, flexing of muscles, unintelligible lyrics and contrived sentimentality.

Dinesh as Thamizh and Malavika Nair as Suthanthirakodi fit the bill. Dinesh has done a commendable job for an upcoming actor. Malavika's beauty and screen presence at times makes Suthanthirakodi appear proud. I am sure her acting would take her places. In the scene where her liking for her reader is not reciprocated, she displays a sense of pride and self esteem that is remarkable. This scene also clothes a sharp rebuke on the camera-trigger and like-savvy FB generation that doesn't respect privacy.

Suthanthirakodi's brother tries hard to force his sister to marry his friend but she doesn't relent.The movie thankfully doesn't resort to vulgar violence here. Thamizh's friend and his street-performing troupe provide comic relief. For an audience deprived of clean jokes, this is a welcome change.

Music is refreshingly different with a prominent folk tilt. Strong lyrics, high pitched vocals and some absolutely stunning visuals together make a memorable treat for the eyes and the ears.My personal favorites are 'Agasatha' and 'Pota pulla'


As Kalyani Nair sings

Kannala Ethayum Kaanatha Ivathaan Kaneera Paarthaenae
Ini Nee Ennoda Azhaga Ponnaana Ulaga Unnala Paarpaeanae
any viewer's heart would melt at the vulnerability of the lead pair and the innocence of the love that wraps them together. Kudos to the music director Santhosh Narayan and lyricist Yugabharathi.

Cuckoo is eminently likeable because it redeems humanity's faith in itself. It shows that for every thieving policeman, there is a compassionate and helpful stranger. It repeatedly shows by virtue of it's script that mankind's natural inclination is to do good! Thamizh does good and wishes good for his friends and this is reciprocated in kind when he needs it most. It is realism at its best and fittingly ends with a strong glimmer of hope.That this is based on a true story makes it all the more endearing.

Eminently watchable. I'd rate it a 4.5 on 5.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

His and Her story

She delights in the ephemeral.
He believes in the eternal.

She prefers the objectivism of Ayn Rand.
He wallows in the sentimentality of Fyodor Dostoevsky.

She is a connoisseur of wine.
He has sampled more brands of beer than an average German.

She hates her parrot nose and doesn't wear an ear ring.
He fancies biting her nose and frequently resists pulling her ear lobes.

Her manfriday is fair, handsome and has a perfect smile.
His dreamgirl is tall, dusky and has legs to die for.

She grew up eating jalebis for breakfast.
He remembers soft idlis with chilli powder.

Her favorite evening snack is a plate of golgappas.
His choice is a plate of piping hot masala bhajjis.

She loves hiking in the mountains.
He likes sauntering along the seashore.

She grooves to the hardrock of linkin park.
He is moved by the melodies of Ilayaraja.

She knows he loves her.
He knows she wants to be loved.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Kolkata Vignettes

"With reference to the letter dated march 4, it is unfortunate that a notice has been slapped. No oportunity was given to discuss and sort out the issue..."   I could not help looking at what the bespectacled old gentleman seated next to me was writing.

I had walked in to the Indian coffee house located off college street in the first floor of a decrepit looking building. The scene before me was straight out of an old novel, small tables laid out in no particular order  and occupied by young men and women, most of them, presumably college students. Spacious, high ceilings, waiters dressed in white and wearing turbans, an old wizened man sitting on a tall chair below a large plaque on the wall that displayed the menu - it took me a while to take in the charm of the setting before I made my way to the lone unoccupied table located almost at the centre of the large hall.  



This particular gentleman walked in a few minutes later with a resoluteness that seemed at odds with his years. Seeing that I was perhaps the only person not in a group, he headed toward me and with a gentle nod that said "you wouldn't mind" and seated himself next to me. He proceeded to open his file slowly, went through the sheaf of documents carefully, rearranged it's contents, took out a A4 size sheet and a fountain pen. His manner was graceful and his every movement, so precise that one can't help wonder if he isn't the sort who regularly walks in at that hour to write important letters.  

I imagined my friend sitting with her classmates at the next table, chatting away about Anton Chekhov and DH Lawrence. It was her suggestion that had made me take a taxi to college street...



 Lined with book shops on either side of the road, college street in Kolkata is perhaps the only avenue in the country where books of every imaginable genre could be found. "Dada, dada", at every step, men called out to me seeing opportunity in the curiosity of a passerby. I could find organic chemistry sitting next to philosophy and Tolstoy. Many college students and quite a few middle aged men and women were asking for specific titles and authors...  



On one side of the street, people lined up in rows of 5 with placards. The man at the head of the gathering started shouting a slogan that was quickly taken up. Taxis, autos, a lone tonga, cars and bikes came to a stop and policemen sprung out of nowhere to regulate the group's march and the traffic.  

The previous evening, we had been to Someplace Else, a happening pub at the Park hotel in Park street. At the smoking area, another unique facet of this city was in evidence. Dense clouds of smoke and through them, animated faces were discussing Chelsea and the latest stars of the India under 19 cricket team. A band just began tuning instruments as we left the pub known for it's live music every night.

Surely, this is one city where the simple lies juxtaposed with the sophisticated, the poor rub shoulders with the nouveau riche, the wise old seat themselves next to the vivacious young, tongas and trams wait at signals, intellectuals sip coffee whilst talking to the men next door, Chetan Bhagat occupies space behind Rabindranath Tagore at book shops, men in suits come to pubs and listen to rock music played by young guys wearing simple fashionable kurtas...I can go on, suffuce it to say that it is well and truly, a city of Joy!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Disconnect, switch off, cycle and sleep under the stars

There is a notification on Facebook, a friend has pinged on Whatsapp and another on Gtalk. This is so typical of our lives today. And, honestly, it has become irritating, energy sapping, boring and pointless. Yet, we connect, switch on our tablets and smart phones and laptops and ensure that wifi is on.

I posted a link to a DD News clip on YouTube in Facebook where Kaveri Mukherjee and Sukanya Balakrishnan present the day's news.



Sample these comments on the link:

i miss the 90's ...while growing up back then, it was a lovely time, a lot simpler, happier and filled with contentment

never ever ever ever ever ever ever remind me of the 90's! it was so good!

Now, why were the 90's so good? Partly because, we led simpler lives. By simpler, I mean uncluttered and less noisy lives. Today, a scary profusion of choices make our lives complex, decision making, stressful and consequently, attention and concentration get diverted easily.

Just imagine these:

  • so many multiplex screens to choose from for a movie
  • 100s of restaurants to eat out
  • half a dozen messaging and chat applications
  • so many news channels and some news is always breaking in all of them 
And now compare this with the 90s. Two television channels, a few good restaurants, no messaging, no breaking news, to simplify, no explosion of choices.

I gazed at the stars, actually noticed the moon, played cricket on the streets, saw a serial on DD Metro every weekday at 9 in the evening, waited for Rangoli and Mahabharat/Ramayan on Sundays, chewed boom boom Boomer, drank Rasna and Complan, read the good old Hindu, met friends in the evenings and chatted away under the light from the street lamps, got lost in faraway worlds by turning the pages of Famous Five and Hardy Boys.

Today, by giving in to these choices, we have made ourselves restless. Once in a while, we should

  • cycle instead of taking out two wheelers and cars
  • switch off our mobile phones for the weekend
  • unplug the modem
  • sleep under the stars
  • make it a point to meet people instead of calling or chatting
  • write letters and read comics
Life is simple and fun, it depends how we choose to live it. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Why I love Parineeti Chopra

Hasee Toh Phasee was my first Parineeti Chopra movie. Ever since the trailers came out, I had decided not to miss this one. 

Parineeti has done a great job literally carrying the movie on her shoulders. She makes us laugh, cry, angry, incredulous, jealous and irritated. For a fourth outing, she has done remarkably well when it comes to emoting. 

Some observations - Parineeti

  • comes across as completely natural in front of the camera
  • has an adorable smile that warms the viewer's heart
  • carries herself elegantly in all the costumes she is shown in this movie 
  • is not obviously obsessed about a size zero figure
  • has a powerful screen presence and an unmistakable charisma
  • looks pretty wearing her hair short 
  • looks prettier in glasses
  • can carry off both a nerdy and a sexy look with aplomb
  • overshadows other characters in a movie by a big margin 
Doing away with bullet points - 

She  can steal, romance, prance, eat toothpaste, fix a car battery, earn a doctorate in chemical engineering, rattle about cricket, throw a cricket ball accurately at the wickets, speak Chinese, drink and eat with abandon and jump a compound wall.