Thursday, January 23, 2014
Sunday, September 4, 2011
A romantic once fell in love with a cynic,
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Below is one of my favourite pictures. This was taken almost 4 years back in Goa at my first company offsite to Taj Fort Aguada. This pic has an innocently happy feel to it - the happiness of heading to Goa straight after joining your first job from college. Evident, isn’t it? ;) And of course I love the setting.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
I truly believe in the saying - Music is what feelings sound like. Music makes it so easy to express the most complex of situations. Music is an integral part of my life. Most of the days, I wake up with a song playing in my mind on loop and that sets the pace of my day. On grumpy days, it is just Altaf Raja playing in my auto :P People categorise music into genres - be it classical, pop, rock, jazz etc and a lot of other jargon but to be honest I do not care for quoting the 'correct' group or genre…for me the criteria is simple - I like music that I can hum and stays with me elevating my mood :) as simple as that. But I must confess that I am greatly inclined towards soppy, emotional, heavy worded songs.
So, here go two of my most hummable songs:
- Ajeeb dastan hai ye – I have been listening to this song since childhood and love the music, the pain, the singer and the setting. It has a soothing and calming effect on me. This song is a strange concoction of serenity, pain, happiness and celebration. Having heard the song a zillion times I should have memorized the lyrics but while my heart knows it, the brain just does not transmit the signals properly :P
- Iktara – This song from Wake Up Sid is an all time favourite. I love the lyrics and just like several other songs it makes me feel that the lyricist has penned down the words just for me. This song has mood uplifting qualities for me and just makes me happy at any point of time. I like the male version of the song as well. Packs in slightly more emotions and feelings. Check out in case you have not heard.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Movies – my perfect getaway from mundane reality and entry to the fantasy land. My love for cinema has given me sleepless nights, endless conversation points, fabulous ideas, memorable dialogues, lingering music and at times just a 2-3 hour break into oblivion. I am greatly influenced by movies...case point just before penning this post down I was thinking
So here go the chosen three and in no way do these represent my favourites, they will act more like recommendations of sorts as they may not be that popular....
- The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – One of the most underrated war movies. This movie is among the rare ones where the brutalities of war are portrayed in the most subtle and figurative manner. The story unfolds through the innocent eyes of an eight year old German boy who is oblivious of his father’s role, the adjacent Nazi concentration camp or the holocaust that awaits him. Brilliant acting, plot and the setting makes this a must watch movie. The ending is absolutely remarkable and comes packed with a punch. Caution: Can leave you with a lump in the throat or a few tears trickling down.
- In the Mood for Love – Recommended by my dear friend, this can easily top my favourite romantic movie list. Highly impressed by the cinematography, story-line and subtle expressions. Post this movie, I became a great fan of the Chinese director Wong Kar-Wai and have watched many of his other movies like My Blueberry Nights and Chunking Express but In the Mood for Love remains my favorite. The movie is a lesson in love, infidelity and doing the wrong for the right reasons or vice-versa. Loved the ending – unexpected, sad and moving. Also, the soundtrack of the movie along with the visualization is absolutely brilliant.
- Children of Heaven – This simple story of two siblings and a pair of lost shoes leaves you with such a warm and happy feeling. One of the simplest tales told with a sweet message of love and faith is a must watch and does not require much critical analysis. Watch it just to remind yourself that life is all about the simple joys and how underrated they are!
Shawshank Redemption, The Prestige, Memento, Forrest Gump, Inception, The Departed, Amelie, Revolutionary Road, Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, Rashomon, 12 Angry Men, An Education, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, 500 Days of Summer, August Rush are some of my other favourite movies which I would really like to recommend others to watch. Phewww! The list is just endless and I am sure I have missed many of the good ones that I cannot recollect at the moment :-/
PS: This post does not mention any Indian or animated movies since these will require another post altogether as I am a complete Bollywood and fantasy movie freak
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
What would I do without books? I’m so glad that I was such a bookworm growing up and equally unhappy about the fact that I have turned into such a snail speed reader off late. There was a time when I used to read comics and then novels hidden inside textbooks and I have never regretted doing that. I am utterly and totally grateful to Enid Blyton, Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Nancy Drew, Rabindranath Tagore, O Henry, Roald Dahl and many other great authors for making my childhood and growing up years so wonderfully colourful. I have enjoyed every bit of those summer vacations spent in a fantasy world of some silly but a fantastic European make-believe world where I could be a spy, a hostel boarder, a detective...whatever I wished to be. The best part was that it opened gates of my imagination!! I used to look forward to my bi-annual trips to Calcutta and the high point of the train journey used to be the stopover at the railway Wheeler bookstore. I would religiously buy books on every trip and also finish them in decent readable time window. Sigh! Those were the days. And I always used to think when I start earning I will invest loads and loads of money and buy all the books my heart desires. But, the sad part is, that now when I can afford to buy as many books as I want, I hardly have any time to read them. I do blame the internet and my diminishing concentration levels for the same. There is always so much to do!!!
There are so many books I would like to list down but cutting them down to four for the sake of this post. The ones listed here are for sheer nostalgia and the fact that these books made a big impact on me, they gave me perspective, helped me grow up and well taught me a lot. So here they are:
- To Sir With Love – This book was given to me by one of my favourite English teachers and almost like a challenge to finish it in a week. I loved the book and finished it in much less than a week. The smooth and simple portrayal of the complex social and racial issues in a school by E R Braithwaite left a deep impression on the school going teenager that I was.
- Wuthering Heights – And this was my introduction to romance in teenage. I loved the plot and can still vividly recall the description of the hero Heathcliff. Thanks a lot for the lovely introduction to romance Ms. Bronte. A confession here is that I have hardly read any Mills and Boon. My introduction to this trash romantic literature was during my PG days and that too one book and I was done with it. I feel proud of the fact that I never grew up on those lofty novels in the name of romance. (Apologies to all the M&B fans)
- The Shadow Lines – I fell in love with Mr. Ghosh with this book. One of my favourite novels and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from first to last page. I clearly remember the night I finished this book, I sat in my room pondering over the fact that what a genius of an author to pen down such complex issues of partition, belonging and home in such a simple lucid manner. Post this book I have read many other Amitav Ghosh novels and the love/respect for the author has just grown. Have often thought about writing to the author but recently when I met him in person, awestruck I did not know what to ask him :-/
- Only one slot left and I have so many more books to list. But I think I will list the writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez with two exceptionally great books 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' and 'Love in the Time of Cholera'. Love in the time of Cholera scores slightly more over the other, I loved the narrative and the plot. The book left me with an entirely new meaning of love, infatuation, patience and passion.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Food – I live, breathe and dream about good food besides eating of course :P Foodie to the core, I feel there are few joys that match up to the joy of having a delicious meal with good company. People bond over smoke, drinks or other weird things but I feel the bonding over good food is unparalleled. Also, it is an absolute pleasure to prepare a meal that is enjoyed by the people cooked for.
Extremely difficult to shrink and limit my favourite food items into a list of just five, here go the lucky panch tatva:
- Hardcore non-vegetarian, I enjoy my meat and as a policy do not prefer eating vegetarian food outside home. Ghar ka khana is mostly simple vegetarian food. My favourite non-veg food item is Mutton Kosha (Bengali dish where the mutton is cooked in thick gravy). I like it with pulao, parantha, luchi, roti and just like that. This dish conjures up memories of many Sundays where as a child I would just wait this dish to be cooked by Ma. The funny or out of character part is the potato used in this dish - but please don't think I do not like my veggies, this aloo(potato) happens to be my favourite as well.
- I love Thai curry both green and red. Green Thai curry with steamed rice is absolutely drool-worthy. I can never have enough of it and the discovery of the Thai cuisine has been a delight for the foodie in me. Sadly, there are only select few places in Delhi which serve decent Thai food. Among the Asian cuisine, I’m also very fond of the Burmese Khao Suey.
- Another very popular and staple Bengali food – Luchi (puffed, fried maida mini rotis) Alur Dom (Potato cooked Dum style) or Chholar Dal (Chick Pea Lentil) is very close to my heart and stomach. This again is the perfect Saturday/Sunday breakfast item. I crave for this food item staying away from home since I have not yet mastered the art of cooking luchi or alu dum or chholar dal.
- I love desserts and all kinds but my most favourite dessert is the Mississippi Mudpie. This dessert’s deliciousness is directly proportional to its exotic name. In case you are a chocolate fanatic like me, do give this dessert a try at Big Chill. It is a huge brick of frozen chocolate and I can finish it in one go after a full meal :)
- Also, I am fonder of Indian sweets than the foreign desserts. Coming from the land of sweets, it comes as no big surprise. The list of my favourite sweets can fill up the entire post :P Rasgulla, gulab jamun, rabri, kheer, gajjar halwa, cham cham, sohan halwa, kaju barfi, moong dal halwa, jalebi, kalakand, malpua – I love them all besides many more. But my ultimate favourite sweet dish is mishit doi (sweetened curd) that you get in any roadside shop in Bengal in earthen pots. Recently, Mother Dairy has introduced a variant of Mishti Doi which comes very close to the original. Do try the same in case you are fond of Indian sweets.
Ok finally I’m done and now hungry after writing this post. Let me food lust for the time being since I am not getting any of the mentioned items right now :-/