Friday, August 29, 2008

A clean sweep

So Viv and I have collectively lost some 30 kg in the last few weeks.

Old clothes, old shoes, old appliances, old files, old kitchen stuff -- you name it, we threw it.

These things are like bad memories. It seems like you can never get rid of them, but when you have to, you just go ahead and do it. And then they're gone from your life forever.

We're moving to a new place. Our place. Actually, not so much our place as Standard Chartered bank's place, but in about two decades or so, we hope to change that.

So in between all the throwing and packing, and more throwing and more pa(ni)cking, we suddenly remembered - we had to get the Remyfication of both places done! Nope, that was not ramification misspelt, nor is it slang for sprinkling holy water in the houses or something. There truly is a whole vocabulary we have created in honour of Remy. Remy the freelance domestic helper who has been helping me clean the house every time I moved in the last five years. Remy, the ultimate grease and grime repeller. Remy, the goddess of shiny kitchen tiles, unclogged drains and sparkling bathrooms. In fact, I truly believe that the phrase 'Cleanliness is next to godliness' was coined after her.

Remy has seen me through thick and thin. I still remember the first house she cleaned for me. I was sharing it with two girls who had jobs, and I was looking for one because I had just quit a job where the boss was a racist psycho. It was a very bad time for me, and I was about to hit rock-bottom when a publisher agreed to hire me as an temporary editorial assistant at a measly 60 dollars a day, with the challenge to prove myself worthy of the editor's position in two weeks or get my engineer ass back on the engineering track. I still remember watching Remy scrub our floors at $10 an hour, and wondering, "Wow man. Remy makes more than I do..."

Then there was the time I had to move to the western part of Singapore because living in the east was rendering it impossible to carry on with my part-time Master's course. Unable to find female housemates, I settled for two guys (who actually turned out to be pretty decent housemates). Even then, I could not wait for that one year to get over so I could get back to the east, back home. Remy saw me through all of that, cheerfully scrubbing away with me.

So today, as she, once again, scrubbed away the grime of my life in the old house and made my new home sparkle, I thought to myself - she is truly one of the women I admire the most. Not just because dirt and grime are literally afraid of her, but also because of her grit. Her husband is in the Philippines recovering from a heart condition, her kids are in university, and she's the only earning member in the family. She has a fulltime employer whom she lives with, and on her 'free' days, she freelances her superior cleaning skills.

Her English is a bit shaky (it's quite cute actually) and I'd blogged (here and here) about a few laughs I'd had with her. But her work is so good that Viv and I often say that you can walk into a room and just know that it has been freshly 'Remy-fied'.

The most amazing thing is - you never really see any signs of the hard life she is going through. In a world where we struggle to find people who inspire us with their positive attitude towards life, I'm fortunate to have found one such soul right here in my house, scrubbing my tiles.

And every time I meet her, she makes me want to be more positive.

Today, for example.

I had taken leave so I could oversee the painting of the new house, as well as get some cleaning done with Remy's help. After an exhausting day's work, I asked her, "Tired from all the hard work, Remy?"

She smiled at me and said, "No no. Exercise."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Obsession of the month

Starting a new label at the bar -- obsession of the month. I don't know how to embed audio, so I'm embedding the video, but I couldn't care less about it. In fact, the video may ruin the song for you -- the singer kinda looks like a cross between Emraan Hashmi and Himesh Reshammiya.

Close your eyes and listen... just listen...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Calling names

So the Tiny Tapori has acquired the ability to answer simple questions.

Me - Hi Aishu, how are you?
Aish - I am fine thank you you are welcome.
[Yes, we're still working on deleting the 'You're welcome' part of her answer.]

Me - Aish, what are you doing?
Aish - I am playing with blocksh!

Me - Aish, what are you doing?
Aish - I am listening to myoozheek.

Me (Sholay ishtyle) - Aish, what is your name?
Aish - [says her full name]

Me - Aish, what is your dad's name?
Aish - [says her dad's full name]

Me - Aish, what is your mom's name?
Aish - [says her mom's full name]

Me - Aish, what is your Mausa's name?
Aish - [says Viv's full name]

And then finally I get to the best part.

Me - Aish, what is your Mausi's name?
Aish - *pause*
Me - Aish, come on. What is your Mausi's name?
Aish (almost a whisper) - Jhingalaka.
Me (to sis) - Huh?? What did she just say?
Sis - Erm... Jhingalaka.
Me - What?! What the heck is Jhingalaka?? Who taught her that??
Sis - I don't know!
Me - But she said everyone's name correctly!
Sis - I know...
Me (accusingly) - Did you teach her that???
Sis - Noooo!!
Me (distraught, tries again with hope) - Maybe I didn't hear it properly. Aish, what is your mausi's name?
Me - Sigh...

Wait till you grow up, you little imp. Jhingalaka Mausi has something to say to you. :/

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Aur jigar mein hai daring!

"Ek jigar hai, do jigar hai, teen jigar hain, hum aur tum!"

Huh? What the heck was that??

Ladies and gentlemen, it was Viv earnestly singing his own lyrics to the tune of "Ek colour ke terah patte" from Singh is Kinng. Did I mention he does that a lot? For instance, there was this time, I used to play the 'Azeemo-shaan-shehenshah, farma rawa" song from Jodhaa-Akbar a lot. One day, I heard him crooning, "Ajeeb-o-shaan shehenshah, vande mataram!" Sheesh.

And the strangest thing is, his lyrics blended in so effortlessly, I often found myself singing the vande mataram version!

I was not gonna let it happen this time. So I confronted him.

"What is this ek jigar hai, do jigar hai nonsense?"

"It's that song you keep playing from Singh is Kinng."

"No, it's not."

"Yeah, I used my own lyrics." He grinned.

"Achha? And what does it mean?" I asked.

"Oh, it means, I have one heart, you have one heart, and together we have one heart."

"Huh? Heart? Dude, do you even know what jigar means?"

"Duh! Heart!"



"It means liver!"

"WHAT? Hahahaha! Good one!" He laughed.

"No, I'm serious. Jigar means liver."

"You're not just saying that because jigar rhymes with liver?" He looked at me suspiciously.


"But then that song... Dard-e-dil, dard-e-jigar, dil ko churaya aapne..."

"Precisely. If jigar was heart, why would they say the same thing again? Dard-e-dil and dard-e-jigar? And by the way, it's dil mein jagaya aapne."

"Dil mein jagaya aapne? Huh? What does the whole thing mean then?"

"Yeah. Dard-e-dil means pain of the heart. Dard-e-jigar means pain of the liver."

"So she's causing him pain of the heart... in his heart?" He looked confused.

"Erm, yeah. Looks like it."

"Then what's causing pain of the liver??"

Now it was my turn to look confused.

"Erm... I don't know... Maybe dard-e-daaru?"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Animal instinct

I've been meaning to look up this three-decade-old video ever since I heard about it, but kept forgetting. Finally, I remembered yesterday and it turned out to be worth every bit of the hype associated with it.

Video courtesy CurlyRedCar

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thought for food

Though I love to cook and at most times, am not entirely opposed to the idea of eating, I wouldn't call myself a foodie. I don't like a lot of things that many people like (ice-cream, cake, chocolates, pizza, nutty cookies) and I like a lot of things many people don't like (kang kong, broccoli). Lately, I have been having these very random, very mixed feelings on food (depending on my mood, what's cooking, and who's around), and I thought I should just blog them out of my system.

So here they are, my 25 cents on food:

Food is...

...the essence of life. everyday routine.

...the only thing to look forward to on certain days.

...a great avenue for family bonding.

...the window to a culture.

...a nuisance when you have no one to have it with.

...a factor that contributes greatly to the "It's lonely at the top" concept.

...a great way to get creative. ice-breaker.

...a tool to avoid awkward silences.

...a way of abusing the body.

...a welcome relief in the middle of a busy day. annoying interruption in the middle of a busy day.


...a way to take care of yourself.

...what some lives revolve around. avenue to be yourself.

...a perennial topic for books. times expensive and totally not worth it.

...a great source of delight, especially for guys.

...a way for us to have a say in how our body functions.



...yummiest when Mom makes it.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Prats has tagged me into naming my favourite dialogues from movies. Well, I'm not really a fan of the "Mere paas maa hain" school of dialogue, so my favourites are the more simple, Imtiaz Ali-ish dialogues, mostly from newer movies. Relatable yet powerful.

Romi's Dad - Tum jo bhi karo achha karo. Agar scientist bano toh achhe scientist bano. Agar ghaas kaatne wale bano toh achha ghaas kaatne wale bano. Warna kya faayda?

Whatever you do, you must do it well. If you become a scientist, become a good scientist. If you become a grass-cutter, become a good grass-cutter. Otherwise what's the point?

Jab We Met
Geet (to TC) - Aap convince ho gaye ki main aur bolun?

Are you convinced or should I talk more?

John - Mohan, you could have gone places.
Mohan - I am going places.

Dil Chahta Hai
Sameer - Tujhe kya lagta hai, main roz is takiye par baithta hoon?

What did you think -- that I sit on this pillow every day?

Om Shanti Om
Om - Agar kisi cheez ko poore dil se chaho toh poori kayanaat tumhe usse milane mein lag jaati hai.

Om - If you wish for something with a true heart, the entire universe conspires to get it to you.

Jab We Met
Geet - Arre hum room ghante ke hisaab se lenge. Do ghante kaafi honge na? Chalo safe side par teen ghante.
Aditya - *priceless expression*

Geet - We will take the room by the hour. Are two hours enough? Okay, to be on the safe side, let's take three.

Simran - Tum meri shaadi mein aaoge na, Raj?
Raj - Nahin, Simran. Main tumhaari shaadi mein nahin aaunga.

Simran - You'll come for my wedding, won't you, Raj?
Raj - No, Simran. I won't come for your wedding.

Jab We Met
Geet (to incompetent policeman) - Wardi utaarkar phek de!

Geet (to incompetent policeman) - Take off your uniform and throw it!

Kisna - Har pyaar milan toh nahin. Judaai bhi toh ek pyaar hai.

Love is not always about being with your loved one. Being apart is a kind of love too.

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
Aditi (in tears) - Pata hi nahin chala college ke paanch saal kahan gaye.
Jai's mother - Phone par, beta, phone par.

Aditi (in tears) - I don't know where the five years of college went.
Jai's mother - On the phone, my child, on the phone.

Rang De Basanti
Karan's Dad - SMS generation hai. Char line se zyada bol do toh lecture lagta hai.

This is the SMS generation. You say more than four lines, and they call it a lecture.

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
Jai (in jail with his cousins) - Oh shit! Barah baj gaye, mujhe jana hoga!
Ballu bhai - Kyun, tu Cinderella hai??

Jai (in jail with his cousins) - Oh shit! It's 12 o'clock. I have to go!

Ballu Bhai - Why? Are you Cinderella??

Dil Toh Pagal Hai
Rahul - Dil toh pagal hai, maanta hi nahin.

The heart's crazy, it just wants its way.

Lage Raho Munnabhai
Munnabhai (after whacking the security guard) - Dono gaal par thappad padne ke baad kya karne ka, yeh Bapu ne apun ko nahin bola.

Bapu never told me what to do after getting slapped on both cheeks.

Jab We Met
Aditya - Yeh aap sab meri taraf aise dekh rahe hain, main nervous ho raha hoon.
Geet's Uncle - O ji idhar udhar dekho ji, idhar udhar dekho.

Aditya - Why are all of you looking at me like this? I am getting nervous.
Geet's Uncle - Oh, everyone, don't look at him. Look here and there.

Tum Bin
Piya - Agar sahaare ki zaroorat padegi, toh main maang loongi.
Shekhar - Main sahara nahin, saath dene aaya hoon.

Piya - If I need support, I will ask for it.
Shekhar - I am not here to give you support. I am here to give you company.

So these were my favourites. Over to you, bewdas! Name yours! :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Vande mataram

As I walked towards my bus-stop to catch the bus to work, I looked at the big clock at Chuen Chuen CafĂ©. “FRI 15 AUG” it said. It tells me the day and date every day, but today felt special. I was dressed in a white salwar kameez with a colourful bandhni dupatta (it has all colours of the tiranga except blue), and was armed with my signature low-cal gulabos (gulab jamuns) that I had made for my team. I’d badly wanted tiranga bangles (last year I saw someone wearing them on Zee TV and had been enthralled since) but didn’t manage to get hold of them.

Suddenly, I was reminded of a whole bunch of things related to this date, specifically Independence Day celebrations at school. A stark contrast to the dignified celebration I have now. I don’t quite remember specifics from all the seven schools I studied in, but the two years I spent in this tiny little school in a tiny little town in what is now Jharkhand, were very special.

It was one of the days when we would wake up all excited to go to school. No books. No school bags. No classes. No homework. We did look kinda silly armed only with water bottles though, but they were important for us to survive the parade in the hot sun later. And we wore the Saturday-wala white uniform even when it did not fall on a Saturday.

The flag-hoisting ceremony in school was pretty much the same every year. I’d look at the bundled up flag and wonder what would happen if the big shot guy whom no one really knew (no Laloo Prasad for us) tugged and tugged at the rope but the flag still did not unfurl. What if the knot was funny and the bundle stayed a bundle? Would he climb up the pole? But it unfurled, every single year, and tiny marigold petals descended on our heads as we began our off-key rendition of “Jana Gana Mana” while the music teacher winced in agony.

Then there was the pledge (which happened every day during assembly anyway), and I’d wonder, just like I did every day, why anyone would write something like “All Indians are my brothers and sisters.” And inevitably someone in the queue would crack the predictable “Why did Rajiv Gandhi marry an Italian?” joke. “Because all Indians are brothers and sisters.”

Then the chief guest would give a speech that would put everyone, who had not already fainted from the hot sun, to sleep. And then came the student speech. I don’t know why they always got the class nerd to do it. Two days before, I’d ask Dad for help with the speech and frantically scribble whatever he was saying. It was a pity that I’d spend two days memorising and reciting something that no one actually cared to listen to. Hmmph!

Then they would make us queue up and give us sweets in square cups made of leaves and held together with toothpicks. On a bed of savoury crisp stuff (which was far from crisp by the time we got it), would be a tiny yellow banana, and an extremely sweet boondi ka laddu that left a greasy layer of vanaspati in the mouth.

The frantic teachers would try to get us to finish eating and get us in line for the Independence Day procession through the town’s streets. The loudest boy in the school was entrusted to yell, “Bhaarat mata ki…” and “Vande….” during the parade, while everyone else went, “Jai!” and “Maataram!” respectively. The yells were loud and passionate for approximately seven minutes. As the sun ascended, the pitch and passion in the yells descended.

And of course, there was the famous club of Fainters Anonymous, of which I was the President. I remember one of my teachers saying, “Sayesha, try not to faint this year. You’re holding the flag and leading the procession.” Yes, I was one of the taller girls in class and had been entrusted with the flag that year. Also, the aforementioned loud guy would walk just behind me, so I wasn't quite sure what really caused my fainting - the sun or his yelling. “Miss, I’ll try, but I can’t guarantee.” So she decided to walk by me armed with my water bottle, watching me the entire time. That year, I actually did not faint.

Random kids would disappear from the procession when it was in the vicinity of their houses, and surprised teachers would hear, “Bye! See you tomorrow!” interspersed with the now meek “Bhaarat mata ki jai!” and “Vande Maataram!”

And the rest of us would complete the parade, tumble onto our bicycles and break all (bicycle) speed limits as we raced home to enjoy our ‘half-day’.

Cliched as it may sound, those really were the days.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Quirk work

Chirpy-Paaro has tagged me.

The rules for this tag:
1) Link the person who tagged you.
2) Mention the rules on your blog.
3) Tell 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4) Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5) Leave a comment on each Tagged blogger's blogs, letting them know that they have been Tagged.

Now the term 'unspectacular quirk' has confused me so I am just going to list my quirks and hope that they are sufficiently unspectacular to fulfil the conditions of this tag.

1. I have zero tolerance for people who have no respect for time. I get mad when I am made to wait endlessly. I'd rather go to a movie by myself than with people who I know will make me miss the trailers.

2. I have ACHOO. It amuses Viv to no end.

3. I am terrified of becoming unfit.

4. I like to do a lot of things, and I like the challenge of making time for them in my life. When I don't have a lot of things to do, I feel jobless. Useless.

5. I feel giddy when I talk to people who work with numbers - insurance agents, house agents, bankers, etc.

6. I love shoes. When the stock of my 25 pairs of shoes starts dwindling, I start to panic. My shoe-rack can hold 20 pairs, 7 pairs are under the bed. Of course, I'm not entirely heartless, Viv gets space on the shoe-rack too.... erm, for 2 pairs. But then, that's all a guy needs, doesn't he? :P

I tag: anyone who is reading this and hasn't blogged in a month. Muahaha! :D

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Shooting for the stars

Day 1
Me - Hey Viv, how do you think India will do in the Olympics?
Viv - Hmmm...
(Anything that doesn't involve cricket or F1 doesn't get much of his attention.)
Me - I think we'll get at least one gold.
Viv - Really?
Me - Yeah. Feels like it.

Day 2

WOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Dhakki tiki dhakki tiki dhakki tiki!
And... Finally I get to yell "GOLD!!!!" in the bar! :P

Sunday, August 10, 2008

You are the dan-Singh Kinng!

Random thoughts after catching 'Singh Is Kinng' yesterday...

  • KiNNg???!!! Noooooooooooooo! Why the typo, why???? At first I suspected this to be Ekta Kapoor's handiwork, but then if she'd been involved, the movie would be called 'Singh Is Kkkking' instead, and people would have thought it was 'Singh Is Kicking'.

  • Watch out for a hilarious disclaimer about a hen before the movie begins. They might as well have said, "Maneka, relax."

  • It is SO refreshing to watch a movie where a sardaar is not the butt of all jokes, but is actually the lead, the stud, the dude who kicks ass.

  • Only Akshay Kumar could have pulled off this one.

  • Akshay Kumar has really white teeth.

  • Katrina Kaif is just so super gorgeous -- it's unbelievable that anyone can look so good.

  • It's a pity she can't act. At all.

  • There should be a restraining order against her speaking in Hindi.

  • I could not believe they actually had a scene where Akshay is on a speedboat and is being shot at from all directions, and Katrina puts her head out of the helicopter above and yells out, "Happy, yeh log tumhe maarne ki koshish kar rahe hain!" DUH! DUH! DUH! *thunks head on wall*

  • The movie is overall not that great, but there are some super hilarious moments. Timepass hai, but better than typical Anees Bazmee movies.

  • In many scenes, the movie reminded me of Namaste London.

  • Rahat Fateh Ali Khan should SO not sing for Akshay Kumar! Like Viv says, and I agree, his voice is suited for background songs like 'Main jahan rahoon'. No actor can pull off lip-synching to his voice.

  • Did anyone else get the forward below? Sheesh. Click on it to enlarge it.

  • Sonu Sood is slowly redeeming himself, first with Jodhaa Akbar and now with this, after the horrible Aashiq Banaya Aapne.

  • I thought there would be some twist to explain Javed Jaffrey's double role, but there wasn't.

  • I wonder how they got Snoop Dogg to agree to do the item number. Maybe he didn't see the 'H' in 'Singh' and thought the movie was about him? I also wonder how much they paid him to sing for what he called 'Pun-job'?

  • Kirron Kher is back as the loud Punjabi mother. As is Neha Dhupia as the slutty actress-wannabe.

  • I was actually glad there were English subtitles. Some dialogues were in such pure Punjabi and said so fast, I wouldn't have followed them otherwise.

  • Om Puri was so wasted.

  • Ranvir Shorey actually looked good. I am actually offended on his behalf that they call him Ugly in Ugly aur Pagli?

  • The whole Egypt angle was just to shoot the item numbers in front of the pyramid. I didn't know people in Australia preferred to go to Egypt to study law.

  • I want the yellow dress Katrina wore in the scene where Ranvir Shorey slapped Akshay Kumar! I want I want I want!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Fuz-Zee logic

Sis (on phone) - So what were you doing?
Me - Nothing much. Just got back from the office, finished making dinner. Watching TV now.
Sis - What were you watching?
Me - Oh, Desperate Housewives.
Sis - Desperate Housewives?? Ha ha ha!
Me (offended) - Hey! It's a smart show, okay?!

Another evening...

Sis - So what were you doing?
Me - Nothing. Just watching TV.
Sis - What were you watching?
Me - Oh, Ugly Betty.
Sis - Ugly Betty?? Ha ha ha!
Me (offended) - Hey! It's a very clever show, okay?!
Sis - What is with you and these shows?

I wasn't sure if she was talking about shows whose names started with an adjective, or commenting on my general taste in TV.

Me - I watch other stuff too...
Sis - Like what?
Me - Like Zee TV?
Sis - What on Zee TV?
Me - *mumbles incoherently*
Sis - What???
Me - Okay fine, I watch Banoo Main Teri Dulhan!
Sis - Banoo Main what?!
Me - Teri Dulhan!
Sis - *stony silence*

And just when I thought she'll shriek a "Oh my goodness! Me too!" thus bonding us forever in a bond beyond sisterhood, she laughed. That's right. She just laughed. In my face. Except that she was on the phone on the other side of the world so technically it wasn't in my face. But she laughed.

Sis - Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha!
Me - Hey!
Sis - What? This is a 'clever show' too?? Ha ha ha!
Me - Fine, laugh all you want.

So here's the thing. I watch this show. I can't imagine why, but I do remember how I got started.

8 pm is my free time. I get home from office at 7 pm, and am done with making dinner by 8 pm. On the rare days when I'm not being hounded by my publisher for manuscripts, I do a variety of things - check email, blog, reply to comments, check Facebook, read the news, and watch TV. So it was just another 8 pm when I stumbled across this serial while channel-surfing. Mom was here then, and both of us started watching it, and she told me a bit of the background.

Evil woman wearing a cotton sari, and most importantly, NOT wearing dark blue eye make-up or purple lipstick, AND wearing a blouse with her sari (you don't see a lot of hindi serial vamps doing that), enters the room and the background is filled with a resounding echo, “Sindoooraaaa!” Ha ha ha! I liked it so much I considered hiring people to say “Sayeshaaaaa!” every time I entered a room. Imagine me entering a meeting room in the office, and everyone standing up to the echo of “Sayeshaaaaa!” Muahahaha!

Last year when I was trying to decide which of the hindi channels to subscribe to, I asked my mom for suggestions. “I have time for only one. Whichever has the least number of saas-bahu serials.” I told her. She suggested Zee, not just because it doesn't have any Ekta Kapoor serials but also because of Saregamapa which she knows I love. Ah well, the last season of Saregamapa put me off because Amanat did not win, and Aneek “poor man’s Sonu” Dhar and Raja “poor man’s Sukhwinder” Hassan did. Also, the hounding publishers started to take up a lot more of my after-office hours. But I still did not want to unsubscribe to Zee as it was my only link to Bollywood trailers. (Of course, lately what I only see is Harman “Harry Puttar” Baweja going, “What? The parday’s over?” Sheesh.)

Mom went back to India, but I continued watching it. It was interesting at first. Good guy and good girl are good-looking people. Hell, even Sindoora is good-looking, albeit on a scary level. The saas was nice for a change. The serial was not called 'Kkkaun Hai Terii Dulhan?' The atypical nature of the serial may have been what attracted me to it initially, but lately it has become as typical as it can get. Every must-have element of a typical hindi serial has been used. Sample the following:

Access to all kinds of deadly living and non-living things
The ease with which evil woman Sindoora manages to get her hand on everything that can kill amazes me. Guns, knives, liquid poison, powdered poison, snakes, scorpions - you name it, she produces it from the pallu of her starched cotton sari!

Dhakkan good guy
The good guy is a dhakkan. He has no frickin’ clue that evil woman is trying to kill him. He has been shot at, stabbed, run over by a truck, flung into the river, put in the same bed as a snake and a scorpion, but he thinks she is devi ka swaroop and that good girl is a liar. No wonder the good girl is so frustrated. One of these days she will just leave him and the darn serial will come to an end. No dulhan, no serial.

Sidekick sister
So Sindoora has a sidekick sister whose sole purpose in the serial is to go, “Lekin aapne aisa kyun kiya?” every 5 minutes so Sindoora has a chance to explain her painfully obvious evil schemes to the audience.

Dead but not dead
I have lost count of the number of characters who have died, but didn’t actually die, and reappeared with all sorts of ahem… ‘explanations’ of how they did not actually die.

Just when you watch Sindoora kill good guy and good girl and you go, “Aha! Nice try! They are so not dead!” it appears they really are. "Twist in plot" you see. And the only way to make them come back is for them to be born again. And thus starts phase II (bees saal baad) where everyone looks and talks differently. Sindoora now sports translucent long-sleeved blouses with her saris and a ring which is as big as her nose. Good guy is now some Banaras ka chhora-ganga-kinaare-wala, and good girl has forsaken her phase I pativrata saris for short dresses (temporarily, of course. The moment she remembers her past life, she promptly switches back to her saris and vrats and what not). Everyone has changed. Except grandma, who brings me to my next point.

Super old grandma
So the grandma exists in both phases, which are incidentally two decades apart, and yet looks exactly the same in both. Gotta find out the name of the night cream she uses.

Zoom in zoom out
Anytime anything (1) happy, (2) sad, (3) shocking, (4) surprising, or (5) ironic happens, the camera pans to the face of each of the characters present around the incident, including the children, pets and soft toys. It focuses on each face for about 10 seconds and then suddenly starts zooming in and out as if possessed. If they didn't have this, each episode would last a grand total of seven minutes.

Cheesy coincidences
In phase I, good girl is Vidya and good guy is Sagar. In phase II, good girl is Divya (wah wah!) and good guy is … no, not Gasar as you’d think (well, I did!), but just plain old Amar. But he is a tourist guide whose taxi is called 'Vidyasagar'. Wah wah!

Amnesia and other strange diseases
Of course. No serial is complete without the mandatory amnesia which makes the good guy forget that the good woman is good and the evil woman is evil. And then there's the very popular disease where a man has the mind of a child. So the 20-something Sagar runs around in a Disney T-shirt and shorts with suspenders, and a cap, and perpetually holding a lollipop, while dulhan Divya runs after him to 'cure him with her love'.

So the babies are swapped at birth, exchanged 20 years later, and the good guy decides to entirely ditch the parents who brought him up, and enjoy his newfound daulat which he is the sole heir to.

Item numbers and cameos
Every ten episodes, there’s an item number where characters from all Zee TV serials make random appearances. Good guy misses good girl as he walks through the park, and what do we see? All the other serials’ couples strewn over the benches of the park, reminding him of good times with good girl.

Changing actors
Every twenty episodes, we also see a subtitle over a completely fresh face with the text “The character of XYZ will now be played by this actor/actress.” After a while, you just lose it. What if they change the actress who plays Sindoora? I think the people who do the ‘Sindoooooraaaa!’ echo will also get confused when to do it.

The know-it-all babaji
The babaji apparently knows it all, and for the last twenty years he has been telling Sindoora “Sheegra hi tumhara sarvanash hone wala hai.” It’s been twenty frickin’ years! Give up, old man. You don’t exactly know-it-all.

Changing servants
Every time Ramu Kaka appears, it’s a different guy. Maybe the director just catches hold of any random spot boy and asks him to step in.
Director – Oye, chai rakh aur idhar aa. Aaj tu Ramu Kaka hai. Yeh le, dialogue yaad kar.
Spot boy – Ji, sa’ab.
Director – Arre wah! Shabash! Badi jaldi yaad kar liya! Yehi toh bolna hai tujhe scene mein!

Sometimes, as I settle down on the couch at 8 pm every day and turn on the TV, I wonder - why, oh why, am I still watching it???

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Guilty as charged

One of my bar's bewdas (wasn't sure if he/she wanted his/her identity to be disclosed) emailed me this graph.

London Bridge is falling down... Falling down... Falling down...

Waaaaaaaaaa! :'(

*Takes rolled-up newspaper and repeatedly whacks self on head*

Friday, August 01, 2008

Poll position

Marhaba, bewdas!

It's time for the monthly movie poll! Errr.. except that this time it's not really a 'poll' poll.

Has there ever been a time when you watched a movie that for some twisted reason, you really really liked, but which the whole world unanimously thought was... how do I put it diplomatically... 'SHEER CRAP'? Now this movie must be so bad that it sank without a trace almost as soon as it released, and was not the kind that bombed at the box office but resurfaced at some international festival with critics raving over it. It has to be a movie which was condemned worldwide without exception, by all but yourself.

Tell us about the movie and what you liked about it so much. :)