Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dhobi Ghat - Mumbai Diaries

I don't watch many movies; I mean, I do, but not in the theaters! The last Bollywood movie I saw at the theaters was 3 Idiots and I was totally shocked today when I realized that was in 2009!! So today, after a long time I went and saw Dhobi Ghat - Mumbai Diaries.

The funny thing is I went without a clue about the movie. I hadn't even heard of it till my friend asked me if I wanted to go, a week ago. We're not exactly die-hard Bollywood fans anymore, my family, I mean. But if someone had warned me about the artsy-ness of the movie, I wouldn't have paid to watch it! But I'm glad I did. It was not the typical Bollywood movie, which was great! Of course, it wasn't exactly 'brilliant', but it wasn't all that bad, either!

I am not a big fan of movies with no particular plot as such, and I can't appreciate a movie just because the filming and effects are good; but the characters of this movie somehow made it interesting! There was sort of a mysterious air to the movie, never letting the audience know more than was absolutely necessary. There was just the right amount of drama - the right amount of romance - the right amount of humour and the right amount of boring! I have to admit though, those video tapes got a tad bit irritating after a while. For me, it was the little things that made the movie special. My personal highlights were the painting(duh! it was awesome), Munna's cat(aw) and every time he got really shy I just had to laugh!

The characters were good and the actors as well. Not only did Prateik totally steal the show, but I also thought Aamir did a great job of letting Prateik steal the show! It could have easily been a movie revolving around the superstar, like most Bollywood movies are.

I'm not going to claim I "understood" all of the messages that the movie offered, but it sure kept me involved the whole time(inspite of my friend periodically commenting that she was bored, and not to mention, the crazy comments!!). That's more than I can say about most Hindi movies. Like, I just read that apparently the old lady that just stares blankly at people, silently watching, is a symbol for Mumbai! Thinking back, that kind of makes sense! Gave us a whole load of laughs, though, that woman!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Identity Crisis?

My Zodiac sign used to be Virgo till suddenly, one day, it is decided that I should be a Leo. And then, to add to my intense fury, Wikipedia says that the existence of the 13th Sign has been argued over since at least the 1970s! So we all read the wrong zodiac predictions all our lives because some astrologers thought they were right, only to realize so late that they were not?!! What a disaster! I'm freaking out like 20 other friends of mine who updated their Facebook statuses to show their immense indignation at this very important turn of events.
How am I supposed to get up one day and start acting like a Leo when I am such a Virgo at heart? Even though (technically) I have been acting like a Leo all along, and not a Virgo, since that is what I have always been! Does this confuse you as much as it is confusing me?
And now my mom smirks at me and tells me that according to the Indian Zodiac, which I am actually supposed to be 'following', I'm a Vrishchika, which is Scorpio!
What a big identity crisis, isn't it?

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace

I recently read the book "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again". It is written by David Foster Wallace. The only other book of essays I've read was by Bertrand Russel and I read it five years ago. So, you can see, I'm not too keen on reading essays. But this was something else. One of the best books I've read!

The essay that I loved the most, was the title essay that was published in Harper's Magazine in 1996, which is otherwise titled as "Shipping Out: On the (nearly lethal) comforts of a luxury cruise". The author is on a ship named the Nadir and is extremely bored of the "absolutely nothing" that he is doing there, that he is supposed to enjoy! It's a long essay, but it's remarkably funny. I was hooked from the start till the end!

Every thing about the word 'luxury' makes me cringe - which is one reason why this was the perfect book for me. Another is that I'm not fascinated much by the ocean; I love nature, but there is only a finite number of minutes for which I can look at endless blue water and not get bored. And I'm not into fish! I've never been on a cruise, and I really don't think I ever want to be; specially not now after reading this book!

I read about the essay somewhere, before I got my hands on the book(or my mouse...or cursor?) and there was this quote: my single biggest peeve about the Nadir: they don't even have Mr. Pibb; they foist Dr. Pepper on you with a maddeningly unapologetic shrug when any fool knows that Dr. Pepper is no substitute for Mr. Pibb, and it's an absolute god-damned travesty, or, at best, extremely dissatisfying indeed. The total randomness of this is what made me want to read the essay! And I wasn't dissatisfied at all!

For me on a list of five Supposedly Fun Things that I'll Never Do, on the fifth position will be 'going to a fancy restaurant, where you have to eat teenie portions with knives and forks'; and the remaining four positions on the list can be filled by one thing: shopping! What about you?!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"A doodle. I do doodle. You, too. You do doodle, too."

I love to doodle. Every second of every minute of every day!

I love painting as well. But I guess it's just too much effort for someone like me, specially when I could get just as much satisfaction from a pen and a piece of paper! And I can also avoid a scolding from my mom for accidentally painting the floor(oops!)

I've heard that doodling is one of the best ways to get your creativity flowing. I couldn't agree more. Doodling helps me relax. I've gotten over the worst of "writers' blocks" by doodling! One of my teachers had told me that doodling is like a warm up exercise before you draw anything. He always made us draw random patterns before moving on to the actual drawing; whenever we did that, our strokes ended up looking more gentle and natural!

Doodling has also kept me from falling asleep in lectures - all my school and college books are filled with doodles along the margins and on the last few pages! In fact, according to psychologist Jackie Andrade, doodling stops you from daydreaming, without affecting your performance on the main task. But that should be your last resort to improve concentration, mind you!

The best thing about it is there is no such thing as a "bad" doodle. Or a "wrong" one either. You don't have to be artsy do be able to doodle! No one is going to tell you that the lines aren't straight or the perspective isn't right. To each his own.

As I'd mentioned before, in this post, I would love to be a professional doodler. Yep, that's an actual occupation (Google this guy; Jon Burgerman). To doodle and get paid for it; who wouldn't love that!?

(The title is a dialogue by Alyson Hannigan's character in Buffy; a shy girl who rambles on nonsensical stuff when she's caught unawares; kind of like me!!)