Sunday, February 28, 2010

My first cribby post

Ok so maybe not first. Its the first one to have this title though! So the first thing I want to crib about is mine and God's fight against my weight loss. It seems recently whenever I look at myself in the mirror and decide, hell I'm going to do something about this! God says "We'll see". A few days ago I went to play table tennis with my mom and immediately contracted a cold. Yes, I got a cold WHILE playing tt. It started off with a very weird throat infection and turned into a full blown cold a couple of days later. Needless to say, I needed no greater excuse to keep sleeping for hours on an end. 

The next time when this happened was when I decided to go for my aerobics class. Yes, I've finally joined my aerobics class! I went for 2 days and precisely at the end of the 2nd day, I started suffering from stomach ache. I think I had a mild case of food poisoning. So I'm back to not walking, not playing. Although I am eating less too so that should compensate for some loss of activity. Even so, I am tired of falling sick all the time! I've just been bogged down by 1 disease or the other and ironically right when I'm trying to get some semblance of regular physical activity in my life... Yeah God, we'll see! Hmpf!

Next in my list of cribbing is my age. I'm almost 25! I feel like I'm suffering from mid-life crisis. Everything will go downhill from here! Its so strange to hear myself say things which I've heard from 40 year old people before. As they say though, 30s is the new 20s and by extension of that definition, 20s must be the new teens so I have quite a lot of time before I start trying to brake my downhill process. Time seems to have flown! I guess this is just because I am sitting at home whole day. I can literally count every minute passing away. Scary feeling, that is...

Last on my crib list today is Holi. "Bura na mano, holi hai" never ever works on me. Mujhe hamesha bura lagta hai if someone comes and smears colors on my face when I am in no mood to play. Plus, this article by Indian Express makes me say "seeeee!"

Alright so its not so bad, its kind of fun too. In the past few years though I have been extremely averse to playing Holi. The color just doesn't go out from your hair. In some cases, I've seen people walking around with yellow eyes. The hours and hours and days and days of baths are just not worth it for a few hours of "fun". I think it is just an excuse to beat up people you have a strong grudge against, or even a mild one for that matter. I regret to say that I've played with eggs and Subja once and walked around like an urchin for hours after that. Oh God, but that was years ago! Anyway, tomorrow is Holi and I am for sure going to flout the "no-scarf" rule. I am going out covered from head to toe! My dearest friends, please forget my home address till end of tomorrow...

Saturday, February 27, 2010


The rising number of suicides for seemingly silly reasons has prompted me to write this poem. Although I am not in that person's shoes, hence I am no one to judge if it was right to commit suicide, but even so, it seems that this "last" option is being taken up very eagerly by people who suffer even minor setbacks. 

Reprimanded by my school teacher,
Failed a very crucial exam,

Dumped by the love of my life,
Falsely accused by all my colleagues,

All these problems, and many more such,
Not bourne by a single person, but a motley bunch,

All trudge on towards the end of the cliff,
Where the earth meets the sky, the ocean, the horizon,

Do they hesitate? Do they yearn?
For some understanding or help?

A hug, a kind word, an "everything's going to be ok",
Said at the right time, could have saved them,

Are we weak or plain insensitive?
No distinction between people who commit suicide and those who don't,

All it takes is one major failure, or even a minor one,
In today's increasingly fragile world,

To turn from you into "them",
Similarly walking towards the end of the cliff,

A hug, a kind word, an "everything's going to be ok",
Is all that is required, to save "us"...

Friday, February 26, 2010

A touch of nostalgia

I recently had to visit my college to persuade a teacher to provide me with a recommendation letter. She was sweet enough to agree, and I was pleasantly surprised to have all my work finished within a matter of few hours. Quite in contrast to my college days when I had to wait hours on an end because the office was closed, or the stationery staff was having lunch. Patience was the most tested virtue and on several occasions I remember running out of it. When I was in college, I had the privilege of attending one alumni meet because I was on the students panel. I heard all ex-students telling me to enjoy my college life because it won't last forever. And I was like, enjoy what? Such pressure during submissions, the stress of exams? I believe there really was nothing much to enjoy. Coming back to the present, by chance I landed up in college during the annual college fest Gandhar. I was very graciously invited to the final eve of the week-long event.

Two years in the professional world have made me see things in a completely different perspective. Throughout the week-long Gandhar, there is tremendous amount of noise coming from the open air auditorium in between buildings, which does not allow anybody to hear a single word anybody else is saying. The college staff not only tolerates this, they also join in to enjoy. Apart from that, while as students we ambled into lectures at 8:45, all teachers had to and still have to report at 8 am sharp. We never really gave that a thought. I made up my mind to come for Gandhar eve, just to see if it was done as it used to be done in the good ol' days (yeah yeah it was 3 years ago!). I reached college and the audi was jam packed. I made my way to the 2nd floor and sat on the balcony with my legs dangling down, head bent low and watching the stage almost in top view(our college has 4 buildings joined in a square and the audi is in between). Just like a student. I felt too shy to go and visit all the teachers. I had the best time though.

The performances were amazing as usual and this time the staff had also joined in for putting up skits and dances. I think I have always been immensely proud of the fact that I have come from an all girls college. We did and still do EVERYTHING by ourselves. Finally, I can relate to what my alumni were saying. Its not a very good feeling. It seems I have missed out on enjoying the best of my years. I wish I had cribbed less or laughed more. Its like a filter has been put on all my college-related memories. I can only remember all the good times. Nevertheless, I still have the best that my college had to offer. My awesome friends. Hey guys, remember when we... ?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dancey Rumblings

Yes, this is another one of those posts about dance. I think they are increasing in frequency coz I'm missing dance so much! I've just been cooped up at home studying for the upcoming entrance exams and I barely have any social life left. I gave up the job offer too and haven't found the time to re-join aerobics and contemporary dance class. I'm just living my life vicariously through So you think you can Dance and Dance India Dance...

From as long back as I can remember, I've been extremely fond of Latin American styles of couple dancing. There is something so stylish and sexy in these dance forms that I literally salivate at the thought of going to a Salsa party or joining a class. After all the classes that I've been through, I think I just about know the quick-quick-slow pace of Salsa. When I watch So you think you can dance, I am just amazed by the way those participants dance. Most dancers, when they're learning, specialize in one particular form of dance. Some specialize in contemporary, while others might enjoy hip hop. However, in SYTYCD (long shortform!), the contestants have to pick up a new style practically within a week! When its time to perform, most often than not they dance so well that you cannot believe that they've adapted to the new style in a week. I believe that must be the mark of a real dancer. Initially while learning a particular form, we learn certain mannerisms of the dance, certain characteristics. However, as beginners, we associate those mannerisms with dancing itself. Once you learn to separate the style from dance, it becomes easier to learn other dance forms. 

Case in point being, people who learn classical dance are at times very stiff while performing simple Bollywood steps. While on the topic, in a recent episode of So you think, a couple was expected to perform Bollywood. When I saw their costumes, I was thoroughly prepared to be disappointed. The costumes looked like some weird 80s stuff! However, I must admit, they did a fabulous job. It was more based on classical than conventional jhatka matkas of Bollywood, but even then they managed to pull it off remarkably well. I must say I felt very proud that Bollywood was a part of So you think and they hadn't made it some floozy dance but had actually used some very difficult steps! Apparently there was one in the previous season too which was even more magical than this one. I need to look for that on youtube...

Coming to Dance India Dance, I think it is one of the best Indian dance shows. However I would maintain that Boogie Woogie will remain my favorite. In Dance India Dance, although the dance forms are comparable to say So you think (hip hop, salsa, bee-boying), the level of dancing isn't. No doubt the contestants are very capable but somewhere or the other small nuances are missed because of which the whole thing looks wobbly and not well practised. It is especially scary when they perform stunts. A couple of times they haven't worked out as planned and that kind of makes the show go flop because the choreographers should have ensured that the participant will be able to perform that stunt. I believe, it is better to do an easy dance elegantly than to do a difficult dance clumsily.

I also watch Marathi dance show Eka Peksha Ek which till recently I held in high esteem. The contestants were genuinely talented and the decisions regarding winners always seemed fair. However, since the celebrity competition started, I have kind of lost interest in it. Even so, it is watchable because of some very unique dance styles that I have never seen before. Sometimes the story behind a performance touches you much more than the moves and choreographers in EPE have used their imagination quite a bit. However, to regain its lost glory I believe they should get more judges and try to widen the spectrum of the contest.

So, basically, my dancing shoes are gathering dust, and I am becoming obese day-by-day. Salsa party anyone?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Creativity v/s Memory

I read an article in a newspaper some time back, which stated that, women can be trained to be better chess players than men. The difference, the author cited, was in the way men and women play chess. Men regard every game as a new battle to conquer and hence think of innovative ways to win a tournament. Women, on the other hand, play by memory. If they realize that the status of a game is the same as some other game they had played before, they will try to imitate the moves that had led them to win the previous game. Women generally have good memory (refer to jokes about husband-bashing for forgetting birthdays n anniversaries ;)), so if they are taught several possible game strategies, they can remember those and can win a large number of tournaments. This was the author's hypothesis and I have no idea whether anyone found out if it was true or not. However, it has made for an interesting comparison in my head and I now present it before you. 

I've lamented a million times about lack of rules and order in India, particularly in Pune. Traffic is the best example where every person applies his own set of laws. Traffic lights are missing or off at so many junctions and the impatient people of Pune rarely give way to anybody, leading to congestion and chaos. At times like these I've wondered, why can't they make the system such that it is impossible to break the law? For e.g. now they've started putting dividers on the road for people who want to take a right turn. However, people not in that section of the road still manage to cut across and take a right turn. Especially when one is stuck in a traffic jam, you tend to curse the government for not implementing stricter traffic rules. Every time you need to have a new strategy to find your way out of the mess. Dodge the bus here, cut that rikshawala there, honk at the car and you're through! A sense of achievement prevails, no doubt, but at the cost of mental health!

When I went to Dubai this time, I got a shock! Dubai has completely changed face. It almost looks like US right now. There are a hundred roads leading God knows where and they have used the "Exit" system. When you're on a road, if you want to go to a destination, you choose the correct "Exit", or else you need to go for some 10 miles before you can take a U turn and come back! Very efficient apparently, with accurate road signs, the flow of traffic is extremely smooth. However, you need to be extremely sure of where you want to go. 10 miles to take a U-turn is extremely annoying if you are in a hurry to reach somewhere. The roads are almost impossible to remember and you need to choose your lane a few kilometers in advance to head in the right direction. This is not just the case on major roads, even internal roads have no U-turn signs. So obviously, you need to have an extremely good memory of where all the important roads go. No scope for creativity here. 

So, now the question comes, which one would I prefer? Would I prefer creatively battling my way through a million vehicles, or having a proper rule system, where if I make a mistake, I have to drive around in circles? Obviously there are other alternatives, but after seeing the state my Dad is in when he is driving around in Dubai, I have started cribbing less. At least there is no chance of anyone getting lost in Pune, but it is a real possibility in Dubai. You could end up miles away from your intended destination with no way of knowing how to actually get there. I'm quite grateful that Pune isn't going the Dubai way. I'll battle my way "creatively" through all the mess, oh traffic policemen, but I will hand out chocolates every time you are there to direct the traffic when our red-amber-greens break down. More signals in working order please! Oh, and of course, drive safely dear readers...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Second to none..

I really enjoy dancing and at one point of life I seriously considered taking it up as a profession. In one of the dance seminars that I attended, I remember somebody referring to dance as a sport. Somehow, I never thought of dance as a sport. I mean, dance is dance, and I hate sports! However, I have to admit, there are many similarities between the two. Just like any sport, dance also teaches character-building. I learnt a very important fact about myself while dancing...

A few years ago, I used to go for Bollywood dance classes at an institute. I had completed the basic course and was learning in the advance batch. One day, our dance instructor asked me to step back from the second row to the third row of the dance group. The formation in which we were practising was the one in which we would perform on the final day, in front of friends and family. Although I never really cared about being in the second row before, I felt deeply insulted about being transferred to the third row. Nobody would be able to see me! Besides, I considered myself to be a decent dancer, very worthy of the second row, not at all third row material! Alas the difference in perceptions!

I sulked and sulked for the rest of the class. However, in the next class I resolved to dance so well that I would come, not just back to the second row, but to the first row, in the centre position. I paid careful attention to all new steps and danced, danced with all my energy. I felt drained and exhausted, but Sir noticed my enthusiasm and pulled me to the front row. I didn't get the centre position, but at least I came to the front row. Needless to say, I was immensely happy and danced really hard for the next few classes, lest I be thrown back to the third row again.

Gradually though, I came to realize that its not just about dancing in the front row. It is about dancing your best, no matter where you are. If you are good, you'll get noticed. Moreover, I realized that the burning desire to prove myself, came only when I felt insulted about being relegated to the third row. Had I been left to dance in the second row, I would have never improved. I guess, in life, sometimes you need that extra sting, that push, which makes you go over the edge, give it your best shot. However, the push might not always come, the sting might not always hurt. The determination to succeed should come first from within. The motivation to be the best should be present from the beginning.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Name Is Khan - movie review

FR: What shit!

I remember sending an SMS during the interval to my friend. It read "engaging so far". A few minutes into the second half and I was looking for a place to bang my head open. No wait. That was my cousin. I was looking for a more painless way to die, having endured enough pain from the movie. Anyway, I could write a separate post about the jokes cracked on this one, so I'll save that for some other day. Moving on to the matter at hand...

Rizwan Khan (Shah Rukh Khan),who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, is on a mission to tell the President of the United States that his name is Khan and that he is not a terrorist. Why he wants to inform the President of this very important fact forms the crux of this story. While on this journey, Rizwan goes back in time to his childhood days. His Ammi teaches him at a very young age, that there are only good guys and bad guys, and that should be his only source of distinction between people. Zakir (Jimmy Shergil) is Rizwan's younger brother who often resents him for getting all the attention from their mother. He shifts base to the US as soon as he turns 18 and marries Hasina (Sonia Jehaan). After the death of his mother, Rizwan moves to US where Zakir gives him the post of salesman of a women's cosmetics company. This is the first ridiculous aspect of the story. People with Asperger's syndrome rarely talk, even to people who they know very well and here we see Rizwan rattling off all the pros of the cosmetics he wishes to sell. Moving on..

While on this job, he meets a beautiful hairdresser, Mandira (Kajol). He soon falls in love with her and she agrees to marry him if he shows her some place in San Franciso which she has never seen before. Soon, Rizwan, Mandira and her young son are seen happily walking hand-in-hand. I found this part of the plot highly implausible as people with Asperger's syndrome need to be taken care of and I believe Mandira already had enough on her plate in terms of her son. Either ways, 9/11 happens and the world comes crashing down. Mandira's son is killed in a racial attack and in her hysterical state, she blames Khan for it. If her son's last name was Rathore, she opines, he would have still been alive. She asks Khan to "GO AWAY" and return only when he has told the President of the US that her son was a Khan but he wasn't a terrorist. Khan takes Mandira literally and starts on a journey to meet the President of the US, while Mandira steadfastly fights for her son's justice.

Till the plot is related to these 2 stories, it remains powerful and heart-wrenching. What plays spoiler is when Rizwan goes to save a village from hurricane Katrina. People with Asperger's syndrome rarely take the initiative to direct hundreds of people to a rescue mission. In the second half, its just one implausible incident after another, till you wonder, what the hell was K-Jo thinking? The background music is jarring and I found myself covering my ears and hunching like Rizwan several times during the movie. There are such gaping holes in the logic that you wonder if the scriptwriter was sleeping while writing. For more loopholes, visit

Average music, decent cinematography and a hackneyed plot do not let My Name Is Khan become the best movie ever. However, Shah Rukh Khan's Rizwan is innocent and makes you laugh most often than not. Kajol's Mandira is also loveable though her eyebrows were much less done than Shah Rukh's which is strange considering she is playing the part of a hairdresser. All in all, worth a watch once, but don't blame me if you end up tearing out your hair towards the end.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Clarification post

My previous post received some comments which I would like to highlight and respond to. I realized that I had mixed up 2 completely separate issues. I will try to clarify my stand in this post.

Chinmay says: When parts of Germany were conquered by the French in the 19th century, the first thing the French did was stop teaching German in schools. You know why? Cause your language is your identity. So there is nothing wrong in speaking your own tongue in a different region, as long as it does not become symbolic of the rowdy behavoir of other people from your state. Though you may not be a backslider, you are just as much at fault if you let a small group of people besmirch the name of your entire region.

I say: When I came to Pune from Dubai, I was absolutely overjoyed to be able to converse freely in Marathi. That is one of the most important reasons that I love Pune over Dubai and prefer to stay here rather than go back. I completely agree that mother-tongue gives you a sense of identity. Whether it is symbolic of rowdy behavior or not is a question that comes much later. At first, it is the very first language that you learnt and that is how you communicate with your parents. Mother tongue is extremely close to a person's heart. However, my point was that, IF there is someone, who doesn't understand what you're saying, try to include him/her in your conversation by using a language that they understand. That is the polite thing to do.

Chinmay says: There is absolutely no harm in speaking in a language understood by the non-Maharashtrians. However, 2 Maharashtrians speaking in Hindi is an insult to Marathi. This is not seen anywhere in India at all. 2 Bengalis / 2 Biharis / 2 Tamils always speak in their mother tongue. It is rude to speak in your mother tongue in a diverse group - staying in US has taught me that. Choose the language as per the surroundings!

I say: Exactly. Choose the language as per the people in your surroundings. I would like to redirect my post to all humans :P People, in EVERY part of the globe, if there is someone who doesn't understand what you're saying, please use a common language so that the person doesn't feel left out. I am not just directing this towards Maharashtrans. Fair?

Chinmay: The language you speak is the easiest way to know where you are from. In India we have so much chaos all around the nation that there are certain black-listed regions. The level of insecurity is so high that to protect oneself, people immediately try to gauge the area the other person is from. Now if Hindi is spoken in elite as well as barbaric areas, people tend to assume the latter and that is the source of al evil.

I say: A little off topic for my post but I am tempted to debate. There are different dialects of Hindi. Usually you can make out the location from the dialect too. Elite people would have a different way of speaking Hindi than barbaric ones, so there's your difference. Same goes for Marathi and other languages too. The only yardstick to treat a person should be in response to the way he/she treats you. Why let bias and prejudice come in the way of genuinely getting to know someone?

Chinmay says: People talk of politician induced regionalism and hatred. However, something same is present on a much larger scale in US where Americans are jobless in their own land and non-Americans flaunt expensive cars. If you are rich, its cool. Why to boast around? And that too where the sons of the soil are facing hard times? Isn't this the reason why we decided to get independence in the first place? Worse, if your irresponsible behavior gets associated with the region you hail from, you are not entirely blameless to let it happen

I say: If this is related to rich MLA's sons from Delhi or Bihar flaunting their wealth, I think this is just the jealousy talking. Why would you care about their wealth? Have they earned it? It's just coming from their Dad's pocket. Moreover, I'm sure rich Maharasthrans do it too. Why do you let it get to you? Besides, my post was about hard-working sincere people who get jobs on the basis of their intelligence and want to earn their living in a dignified manner. Like I said, the only yardstick to treat a person should be the way he/she treats you.

Rich northies throw money around, steal our admissions and jobs and leave us poor is too much of a stereotype for me to digest. Open you eyes. You'll see Indians. Humans. Just like you and me. They need companionship in a strange land. See them for who they are, without bias and prejudice. A popular argument I get is, go down south, see the treatment you get. My response is, just because someone else is doing something wrong, doesn't mean we should too. Don't you think that a non-Maharashtran, in the company of several Maharashtrans, is much likely to pick up Marathi and learn about our culture than an isolated person? I am not saying that we should bend over backwards to please some rich people. All I'm saying is, let's observe the basic decency of choosing a common language to talk when someone who doesn't know our mother tongue is around. A word of advice to non-Maharashtrans: Learn Marathi as fast as you can. You really get looted by shopkeepers and riksha drivers, if you don't ;)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Language Boundary

For a while now, I've been asked to descend from my ivory-tower-philosophical-mind-over-matter topics and come down to the real world and talk about the real stuff. Although I firmly believe that mind-over-matter helps more in day-to-day life than talking about BT brinjal, today I would like to take up a topic that is very important to me because I have seen people very close to me suffer as a result of this.

I have grown up in Dubai, which has an extremely metropolitan culture, in terms of not only people of different states of India living together but having neighbours who are Chinese, African, Arabs etc too. I've seen my parents interact with people of different nationalities with the same respect as they do with our relatives. In the backdrop of this upbringing, I assumed that all educated people in Pune, Maharashtra would be horrified with the MNS beating up anyone remotely non-Maharastran and Shiv Sena proclaiming that Mumbai belongs to Maharashtrans. I am sorry to say that I was way off the mark.

In private circles, a war far more emotional and damaging is being waged. In a supposedly metropolitan environment, Maharashtrans in Pune tend to always stick together. Their easiest and most potent weapon is Marathi. They refuse to talk in any language other than Marathi with their Maharashtran friends. Lakhs of students come from every corner of the country to the "Oxford of India" in order to pursue their higher studies. Thousands of them stay back here to pursue jobs and improve our IT industry. I have lived alone for 4 years in Pune before Mom and bro came back. Even though I was living in my home town, surrounded by ALL my relatives (20 in all), I used to feel lonely. Just imagine, how people from Rajasthan, Delhi etc feel in Pune? They have no one here. The only people they can rely on for companionship is their friends at college, their colleagues at work...

Why do we isolate them? Why do we refuse to talk in any language understandable by them? If we want them to learn Marathi and respect our culture, taking them into our conversations and lives would have a better impact rather than isolating them and forcing them to make their own non-Maharashtran groups. My best friends are from Bengal, Rajasthan, Delhi. They are witty, intelligent people and it pains me to see that they never understand the conversation or jokes going on around them. I implore you, my Maharashtran friends, at least consider speaking in Hindi when some non-Maharashtran is around. This psychological warfare is not going to be of any use to anyone.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Anger Management

At some point in our lives, we have all been furious enough to throw things around, yell at someone or break something. Maybe even hit someone. Or say something really hurtful which we end up regretting later. At that time however, it seems like the most accurate thing to do. What happens after we calm down? We regret. Regret about the feelings that we hurt. My head starts hurting from all the buzzing going on inside it. But you know what? I never feel bad about it. I always feel that it was justified. Why?

I have realized that nearly all kinds of anger is one or the other form of righteous indignation. When this phrase "righteous indignation" is used in novels, it paints a very funny picture of Charlie Chaplin glaring at me. Its not scary, its silly n funny. Not at all relateable to how you feel when you're angry right? Its true though, if you think about it. Anger in any form is just righteous indignation. It could be for yourself or for others. Getting pissed off about somebody holding up the queue? RI (Righteous indignation) about how my time is important. Upset about someone making fun of your dressing sense? Someone making fun of your mom? Someone making you wait? Someone breaking your favorite pen? Someone calling your religion names? All this is one or the other form of righteous indignation. This in turn stems from ego. If you remove ego, there is no anger.

It sounds really simple doesn't it? And like all simple-sounding-things, very hard to implement in real life. Ego is within us, at its simplest it is self respect. However, it is also a fact that you do not necessarily need to react to everyone and everything around you. Is it necessary to speak harsh words in haste which you know you'll regret later? Is it necessary to hit someone? Best part is, it is very easy to control and manipulate someone who is angry. This doesn't mean that we should never get angry. We should be angry about injustice of any form. We should be angry about rights denied to us. But, never let anger get the better of you. Use your anger in a positive manner. I leave you with one quote.

"Anger is like a hot burning coal. You pick it up with the intention of throwing it at someone, but it ends up charring your inner self"

Now, who put smudges on my beautiful DBB!! I'm going to kill my brother!!!! ;D

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sherlock Holmes - movie review

FR: Reminiscent of Angels n Demons and Iron Man. Overall, entertaining.

Sherlock Holmes, the movie, shows the legendary detective and his sidekick Dr. Watson in a completely new light as Sherlock Holmes is shown to be a mad-scientist-cooped-up-in-dark-room guy and Dr. Watson has the charm of a 1000 fireflies in a forest at midnight. When I used to read Sherlock Holmes, I used to always imagine Sherlock as the smarter, more charismatic person but somehow here, Dr Watson comes out as the charmer. The plot is reminiscent of the recently released Angels n Demons and unfortunately that movie came out in the recent past.

An evil sorcerer by the name of Lord Blackwood is in the midst of his 6th murder of an innocent girl using sorcery, when he is caught red-handed and stopped by the dynamic duo of Sherlock and Watson. Watson and Holmes personally attend the execution and Watson declares Blackwell dead after his hanging. Just as they think the case is closed, Blackwell reappears from the beyond the grave and the murders start again. Watson and Sherlock believe only in logic and magic has no place in their minds. As fear spreads about Blackwell's reappearance, Sherlock and Watson race to solve the mystery.

A sub plot involves Sherlock's love interest, Irene, who has been employed by Dr. Moriarty to trap Sherlock and get vital information from him regarding Blackwell's work in sorcery. As Watson puts it, "the only reason you (Sherlock) have fallen for a thief is because she has outsmarted you on more than 1 ocassion". The chemistry between the detective and thief has sparks flying all around. Also, Sherlock and Watson's camarederie has been captured very nicely by constant battles of wits. Lord Blackwell's acting is the best as he inspires fear in you by all the magic he can conjure.

221B Baker Street looks just like I had imagined and the sets have captured the era perfectly. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are extremely believable as Sherlock-Watson and Robert especially plays his mad-scientist-part who experiments on his own dog, very effectively. His wide-eyed innocence at doing perfectly stupid things seems a bit reminiscent of Iron Man but his rapport with Watson ultimately makes this movie unique. The plot could have been different as we just had a dose of there-is-no-magic-only-logic from Angels and Demons, but an entertaining movie nevertheless.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Last Day at Work

I've been talking about this and blogging about this since a very long time, but today I took my very first step in the direction of my dream. I quit my job at a software company. The decision was made eons ago but it came to fruition today. I wrote 4 different LDAP (last day at persistent, geeky right?) mails to 4 different groups of people. I tried hard to put my feelings and affection for those people in a few words but it wasn't very successful. Most of the people exist on my gtalk list so there was no real final goodbye. I would pride myself about the fact that I am leaving with so many friends from here and not mere acquaintances.

It's strange really that something so positive has started off with saying goodbye to so many people. If not people, at least to the office building. The routine of finding parking, calling the lift, settling down in office, getting up after 5 mins to fill up the water bottle.. I left all this about 3 months ago. Yet as I entered the premises, I just felt like I am leaving behind a very important part of my life. When I removed the access card from over my neck and gave it back, I felt a sense of loss. It was quite surprising because I have been looking forward to this for months. I guess some incidents just have an emotional impact on you. Whether you think about them or not.

Another strange thing is that, apart from the work (which is totally my fault), Persistent gave me so many opportunities. I danced, acted and was a part of the creative writing group. I was also the Hinjewadi events team head. I explored a side of myself that I didn't know existed and I am deeply grateful for that. Anyway, all good things do come to an end and fortunately I have something better to look forward to. I will be working in the capacity of an editor at a finance based website. Cheers to new horizons!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Best Laid Plans..

I just had a terribly scary experience which in retrospect now seems comical. You know the rolling-eyes-will-find-this-funny-in-ten-years funny? I just wanted a couple of things to fall into place at a particular time and well I just realized that when someone very "consistent" is involved, it is highly unlikely that things will go as planned. Nothing life threatening really, just a few hiccups in a seemingly simple procedure. No point harping on it especially since I can't do so. At least not here.

What I HAVE learnt is that sometimes the best laid plans get messed up. Most delicately planned, down to the last intricate detail, eagerly looked forward to.. all kinds of plans are waylaid and tossed aside. A very wise man who wrote an excellent book called "What makes you not a buddhist" said, this is the rule more than the exception. The most basic principle to be remembered is "Everything in this universe is compounded". Each and every thing that you see on this planet, can be broken down into its assembling components. Moreover, a specific set of circumstances and people coming together at a specific time has allowed that entity to be assembled. Take something as simple as a cupboard. It is made of nuts, bolts and planks of woods. If you take a single bolt, it is made of steel which was pressed into that precise shape by several machines. I can go on and on. If any one of these parts was not present, there would probably not be that cupboard. Or maybe a different cupboard. It is mind boggling to think about the alternatives. And here we are, hoping that things will go exactly as decided by our fanciful whimsical minds! Seems like a 1 in a million chance? You bet it is!

This does not mean that we should never make any plans or be pessimistic about the future. Plan. Plan by all means and with all the good intentions of your heart. But if something does not work out, you should be objective enough to not feel like your whole life has come crashing down. Most often than not I've noticed, when something doesn't go as planned, there is either a very important lesson to be learnt or something much better waiting to happen. The lesson has been learnt, now waiting to see the silver lining in this dark cloud...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Back Home.. At last!

My heart aches at the sight of my dwindling readership as can be evidently seen from google-analytics. I sincerely thank the people who kept lingering around for something new and did not let the readership count touch 0 on any given day. Unfortunately, getting digitally pampered in terms of having a laptop and wireless internet makes one quite incapable of blogging with a 512mb RAM desktop and 50 kbps dial up internet connection. Having given sufficient excuses for my laziness and utter lack of will to move my ass in any direction whatsoever while getting thoroughly indulged by my parents, I will now attempt to re-engage your interest in my self-indulgent chatter.

Going to the 124th floor of the 160 storeys tall Burj Dubai (or Burj Khalifa, I do not care to argue), was a real treat. 100 dhs (1400 rupees) per head entry charge is a bit too steep but the whole thing is kind of worth it because there are super cool telescopes with attached digital screens as a result of which you do not have to pretend to be a pirate while trying to make your one eye focus on something obscure and blurred. As is our luck, that day was extremely hazy and we could barely see a few kilometers away. The telescopes once again came to the rescue with static day and night images already present. The fastest lift in the world (10 m/s) took us straight up to the 124th floor and my ears were popping trying to adjust to the height so quickly. Once up there, the viewing deck was out in the open but fully protected by glass so no chance of anybody having a historic suicide. Me and my Dad went crazy with 2 cameras and took loads of pics. To conclude, I still think that its better to look AT the Burj Dubai than to look FROM the Burj Dubai.

I also managed to catch up with a few friends to go to Ceramique Cafe. There are plenty of mugs, plates, bowls, dishes made in ceramic which you need to buy. The waiters then provide you with paints and a pencil with which you can destroy the pristine white thing (I did :D) and then they put it in the flame so that the paint shines and you have something really fancy to use as a showpiece. In this photo, I have showed the backside of the plate because the front side looks like it has been painted by a lunatic. I hope my Mom manages to get the plate back safe and sound without "accidentally" breaking it :P It was fun to unleash my creative side and go wild with the paints and my imagination :D

The best part about this trip is that the Dubai Metro has started. I used to hate going to Dubai because it is impossible to commute there without a car. The taxi fares are ridiculous and the buses were infrequent. Now, however, the metro goes far n wide for very cheap rates and is very convenient to use. As a result I crashed into my best friend's place at least twice and landed up at her office too. Ok this is a girl friend and I am not some crazy stalker. We ended up having the best time and I was really glad that I could commute without having to rely on my Dad. Mom and me went to malls far and wide to shop to our heart's content. Just when I was completely about to write off Dubai..

This is one trip I'll definitely not forget in a hurry.