A quick one!

I'm Tagged!

And I'm quickly finishing off this task, else I will run out of options if others overtake me with their witty answers!!

Here goes..
1.If your lover betrayed you, what will your reaction be?
I will cite that as a reason to start smoking :p

2. If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?
Nothing major. Just a trivial one - that all my wishes should come true.

3. Whose butt would you like to kick?
doesn't matter who.. but for sure would do it with sharp spike shoes :D

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
What if someone kidnaps me ? hmm, so I'll abscond first.

5. Will you fall in love with your best friend?
Nopes.. coz I need (and every1 needs) a best friend and a lover - 2 separate persons..

6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
Being loved.

7. How long do you intend to wait for someone you really love?
As long as the person deserves.

8. If the person you secretly like is already attached, what would you do?
Feel bad for sometime and then say tata

9. If you like to act with someone, who will it be? Your gf/bf or an actress/actor?
Actor.. maybe Madhavan.. but no, I like to just watch him from a distance..

10. What takes you down the fastest?

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
As always.. In the mirror.

12. What’s your fear?
Rocky mountains seen at close proximity.

13. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Smita - Naughty, Cheerful and Hyper-active.

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married but poor?
Single with many friends... or married to a loving person.. either ways its almost imperative to be rich.

15. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Try to recollect what I dreamt prev.night.

16. Would you give all in a relationship?
Not always.

17. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously, who would you pick?
Maybe consult both people involved. If both reject me well and good. lol

18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?
No. But I will keep trying to atleast forget.

19. Why am I doing this tag
Had the time and mindset.

20. List 6 people to tag:
The few that I know in blogosphere are already tagged!

Ah! Those Lovely Days!!

WIAN lovingly asked me and few others to dream, and that too about the time of life for which one would do anything to get back - CHILDHOOD. While at school, one of my close friends used to envy all parents. "They have no History or Geography to put up with" she used to say. Little did we realise that with age comes responsibilities and reading about Indus Valley Civilisation and Latitudes, Longitudes are MUCH easier! Atleast we used to have choice to omit some questions during the Social Science exams :D.

Without further ado, here goes my Super Seven childhood memories :)
1) Childhood times immediately reminds me of the much anticipated summer vacation! In most of the schools using the red ink was not allowed (for the students ofcourse). Now, aren't forbidden colours very attractive!I used to wait for the summer vacation, to pull out all my noteboks, circle here and there for typos, mark a huge tick and do something which gave me utmost satisfaction - signed my name!!

2) I was in std.VII and almost all my friends used to cycle their way to school. Daddy dear either didn't trust ME with the cycle, or maybe he didn't trust the OTHER speeding motorists.. so he used to drop me at school daily. That was the time when the Ladybird BSA cycle was SO famous. But learning to balance myself in the cycle was such an uphill task for me :( My friends were fed up training me and almost gave up. I turned to my Big Bro for help. He very affectionately took me and the cycle to the nearby play ground, made me sit in the middle of the ground, and cycled around about 10 times and said "my lovely sis, this is how one should cycle!". I did settle scores by splashing ink on all his white uniforms. :D.. Alas! Cycling & two wheeler-ing are still unfulfilled dreams!

3) I always look forward to celebrating festivals with all pomp and splendour.. As a child, purchasing for Diwali was in itself a kind of celebration! One full day used to be allocated for the purchase. And it also meant holiday for mom's kitchen! And ofcourse we (mom and me) greedily allocated more time to choose clothes for ourselves. There have been times when I've worn matching bangles, chain, hair clips and earrings during most festivals, thinking that was SO cute! eeeeks!!

4) TV times : There have been times when I used to watch ONLY the advertisements aired. My top favourites were Le Sancy bath soap (which kept us wondering what the product was, and then was swept away from the market days after its lauch), Rasna, Rin soap and Robin liquid bleach :)Other than adverts I used to be super fascinated by Ramayana and Mahabharata! So much that I used to ask my grandma, would I have been a part of either epics in my previous births.. Too much that was, I know!!

5) Play Times : When in std VIII, PT period was the last hour on Fridays. We used to quietly sneak out of the school premises if there was no PT teacher around, and this gave us a HUGE thrill, a kind of college class bunking feel!

6) Worshipping Times : There was a Chapel in my school, and I used to frequent the place, though I'm a Hindu. The differences in praying to God in both forms of religions have perplexed and amazed me to no end. I used to pose 'n' number of questions to elders at home, and they had a tough time explaining. I have inadvertently stepped into the Temple without removing my slippers, just as how I used to visit the Chapel with my shoes on.

7) Home-made icecreams : Well, I am referring to the Bournvita and Ragi-malt kept in the freezer and nothing complicated! But I was SO crazy about relishing this Bournvita ice cream. Every Sunday afternoon, I used to allow the hot cup of Bournvita to cool down to room temperature and freeze it and have it as I used to read books. This used to give me the satisfaction that not even a feast that I cook these days give me!!

I am glad that I was tagged for this. Reminiscing childhood days gives immense pleasure and growing up was indeed fun!!

Kuselan Konfused everyone

I admit. I should not have even attempted to see "Kuselan" AFTER watching the Malayalam version of the same ("Katha Parayumbol")....

Before the movie was released, Rajni had mentioned in some interviews that Pasupathy would be the first hero, Vadivelu the second and he would just be appearing in a guest role (just as how Mamooty appeared in the Mallu version). Now I just couldn't stop myself from wondering about :-
=> Why was he featuring in 3 songs (all of them inappropriately placed)?? Heck! There were just 2 songs in the Mallu version... But then its Rajni here, and his fans are to be satisfied... or were they??
=> There was this person asking (actually mocking at) rajini why he's SO indecisive about entering politics, and why he hoodwinks his fans time and again about what he intends to do? His reply was almost like a SLAP on the face! He says MYOB (in a seemingly polite manner).. Hullo??!! Then why don't you keep your nose out of politics and stop passing suggestive remarks!!
=> "I am not responsible for misleading dialogues in my movie about me entering politics or favouring anyone there" says the superstar in the movie! Like as if someone's gonna refuse if you would want some alterations in the script! Oh but that would make you infamous like Kamal who is often criticised for not following what the director says!!
=> What was the scantily clad Nayanthara doing in the movie? Oh well! I've just said it! she's for glamour!
=> Rajni entertains. His movies though mostly are a complete masala package, do manage to entertain. And that is one reason (among many others like his style) why he sells. But his previous movie ("Sivaji" and that was a blockbuster) did bring down the star's credibility to a certain extent. If one gives a careful ear to some of the dialogues, there were instances which defames his image.
=> Pasupathy (though sans all the hep looks of a typical hero) IS a great actor. But sadly, you need enough scenes to prove your acting ability... which P.Vasu (the director) felt unnecessary, (though he felt the necessity of Vadivelu's comedy scenes which would make one puke).
=> The epic character of Kuselan is of one who suffers from poverty. All through the movie, one is made to guess that Pasupathy is "Kuselan" being the poor friend of the rich superstar (Rajni). But even THAT credit is shamelessly stolen from him.

All said, I'm sure Rajni's next venture (if it has all the usual glamour, songs, fight, style and punch dialogues) would certainly click. People are forgiving atleast when it comes to filmdom.

The Undomestic Goddess-Sophie Kinsella

How bitter and unwelcome could truth be at times? All of us at some point of time would have felt like just waving a magic wand and undoing some mistakes that we had committed... Be it professional life or personal life.

Samantha, 29, a lawyer associated with a top level firm in London, leads the life of a typical workaholic. Her private life is almost non-existent. Living alone, she gets back home daily to find either a note from her maid querying why she had kept cartons of food well past the use-by date or to be mocked by her nosy neighbour of her inability to attend to any of her domestic work. But Samantha has her goals set clear, her dream is to become a partner in the firm that she works, and nothing else matters for her. That her mother is also a leading lawyer, only adds to her resolve.

The day her dream is about to be realised, she's struck by a sudden catastrophe. Much to her dismay, she comes to know that there's a file unnoticed in her clumsy desk, which had cost a client a whopping £50 million. Faced with the "fight or flight" syndrome, she decides to flee from the first ever mistake that she had ever committed.

She could only possibly run away from facing the reality.. Her fame and 7 years of hard work just goes down th drain, and her reputation gets tainted, moreso because of her unprofeesional behaviour of running away.

Samantha lands in the countryside of Britain, in an opulent couples' house, who mistaker her to be a housekeeper. Not having a shoulder to cry on, she decides to stay on under the guise of a housekeeper. For a person who knows nothing more than switching on the kettle when it comes to housework, cooking, hoovering and washing is just about impossible. But Samantha has the fortune of learning chores from Iris, mother of the gardener Nathaniel. And amid hilarious turn of events, she is transformed into a full fledged housekeeper. And there is this love blossoming between Nathaniel and Samantha as well.

She doesn't just learn to cook and clean, but also learns what "living" actually is. Just when she gradually starts loving this no-pressure environment, her original high flying career beckons her. To know how, why and what she does subsequently, you've got to read the book.

However, there are certain parts in the book which looks like forcefully included :-
=> Nathaniel is an owner of 3 pubs in the village and gardening is his passion and hence he's working for the rich couple. Now, this is not quite believable. Though his mom insists that he looks after the family business (running the pub) she ain't against him running a nursery of plants to give shape to his ambition. It almost looks like Nathaniel was fitted into the scene as gardener just to make Samantha fall for him and confuse her decision making (career or love).
=> The rich couple who mistake Samantha for a housekeeper are literally sketched as DUMB IDIOTS. I mean how difficult is it for a woman to differentiate between a brand new set of clothes (say 20 tops) from her own washed laundry?? Samantha spoils and stains her employer's clothing while washing, and hurriedly throws them off and replaces all of them with new ones. And the lady of the house pats her back for washing them so well that they look like new!! hello, excuseme?? I was only reminded of how many shops I had to ransack to find JUST ONE TOP, which was supposed to be trendy at some point of time.
There are some more, but they're spoilers.

Irrespective of some such obviously unbelievable parts, the book makes for a quick and funny read. I found myself nodding in agreement in some places and felt a sense of deja vu when Samantha is just not able to forget her work. The witty humour would make you laugh out loud quite a few times. A must read for workaholics AND for people (esply women) who'd have to make tough choices at some point of time. If for nothing else, one could read it for the humour. Though about stress and pressure, the book would serve as a stress buster!

I would give 3/5.

I'm now gonna try reading one of the author's shopaholic series :D

The Mango Season - Amulya Malladi

Before I start off :-
a) I read this book few months back.
b) I do not have the book in my possession right now.

Then what prompts me to write about the book? This is one of those special books which I would never forget, just for the sheer delight I experienced reading this book. The story isn't all that uncommon. An Indian girl, Priya, goes abroad for studies and job purposes, and finds India dirty, filthy and boring when she comes after 7 years of stay in the US of A, for a small vacation. The one thing which she looks forward to is her favourite fruit - Mango. She's used to associating mangoes and the summer season in which its widely available to HAPPINESS.

She's been summoned by her parents to hunt for a "nice Indian boy" to marry her off, but little do they know of her affair with an American (with whom she's been living for some years now). Just as she waits for an opportune moment to get out with the truth about her love-life, she finds that some of her relatives have been living the life that the elders have designed for them (Unhappily so). Priya's straight-forward talk and assertiveness, and her attitude to stand up for herself to live life the way she just wants to, slowly influences their minds as well and they come out of their shell to straighten up their families.

And finally ofcourse, Priya does manage to have her way, after a bit of high drama by her conservative family!

I would give 4/5 for this book for all the humour packed into the book. Its a fun filled, delightful read. Irrespective of one's rapport with his/her mother, one couldn't help laughing out loud at Priya's plight in the hands of her mom, though she seems to have an understanding friend in her father.

There are mouth-watering recipes at the beginning of every chapter, and there's this family get-together for preparing mango pickles with loads of raw mangoes (which Priya's mother haggles and fights with the vendors for the best bargain). This and the mention of mangoes a million times, makes it kind of compulsory to have a mango by your side while reading this book :)

I managed to read "Serving Crazy with Curry" by the same author, but didn't enjoy that book to the same extent.

Its a small world afterall!!

There is this lovely aunt of mine, who advised "College days are meant to be fun.. You'll never gain back those days.. I was all studious and know how much I've missed... tk my advice and enjoy every minute". Its almost unnecessary to say how I found this advise to be the only sane one of all the numerous lectures that my poor ears had to tolerate, and WHY I refer to her as a "lovely aunt".

So right from the very first day of college, (err.. ofcourse after all those ragging ceremonies were over) me & my friends took an oath to have fun, in every possible way. And to make it more challenging, we decided to occupy the first 2 benches, and create a racket right under the nose of all the dutiful lecturers..

Don't we enjoy a thrill in irritating people who could lose their temper given the mildedst provocation? There was this lecturer, whom we named "Ms.Finicky". She was a guest faculty and we were bad "hosts". We just loved to rub her on the wrong side to get that stare from her, followed by clenching of fists, fast breathing, red lines forming in both eyes and what not... We were SUPPOSED to behave ourselves subsequent to this display of emotions. Her classes were the ones which we looked forward to.

Time passed by and we missed her presence in the subsequent years. But God and His Angels in Heaven had different plans for me!

It was the day of my betrothal, and as every other person I was ecstatic. From among the crowd, this close friend of mine, (who was enjoying a cup of juice when I was starving in the dais), hurriedly came towards me with an angry look and asked me why I've invited Ms. Finicky to the function. I gave her a blank look, and she understood what to do next. Ms.Detective's quick enquiry revealed that she is my spouse's aunt, and that she very well recognised all of us. Such turn of events are not-so-welcome!!

With a sheepish smile, minutes after the function, I had to pose with her as with all others, for photo sessions.. We (me, my friends and Ms.fini.. err, my spouse's aunt) had a small chat about those "good old days".. She didn't seem to have taken to heart of all our pranks.. Maybe we weren't all that bad;)

Spooky, Rivetting tales

What could make a collection of short stories impactful?

A hard-hitting message in every story despite the brevity in narration, which leads the reader to not just sit and ponder about the same, but serves as a stark reminder when confronted with a similar situation and admonish the erring conscience.

The Best of Satyajit Ray is a translated version of 21 short stories from the Bengali.(8 of which translated by the author himself and remaining by Gopa Majumdar). In his Foreword, Gopa Majumdar has mentioned that even if Ray had not written the Feluda and Shonku stories, his success as a writer would not have been affected in any way, as his short stories equally captivate the reader (young and old alike) through several generations of posterity. Not having read any of his detective stories featuring the sleuth Feluda or sci-fi adventure tales of Prof Shonku, I couldn't agree more to that statement.

This book is predominantly a collection of spooky, spine chilling tales with a supernatural element or aliens from outer space (which would fascinate the reader), and few stories with a rivetting message (which would resonate the inner-conscience of the reader FOREVER). As I am used to looking out for "moral of the story" I was more impressed by the latter category mentioned. It probably takes a combination of the film-maker and writer ability in Ray to bring out the desired effect.

I was hooked onto the book after reading the very first story.If the tale about a carnivorous plant with an extraordinary and deadly appetite amazes you, there's the incredible story of a dog which bursts out laughing one fine morning. The reader is left to keep guessing till the end about how the owners of these bizarre creatures tackle with them. Incredible the characters may sound, but the reader is simply transformed into a child and led into the fantasy world.

Despite the fantasy element, the stories seem straight out of life.

In "Ratan Babu and the Man" the beast lurking within a man leading a simple life, is prompted when he confronts a stranger who is a replica of himself.(Physical and habit-wise). Afterall, it wouldn't be all that amazing to see a duplicate image of yourself for a long time.

How would a person constantly looked down by his mates, react when he chances upon an alien creature? Confidence which is shattered by fellowmen, is boosted by this alien creature, and that transforms his life in totality.This is captured in another story.

There may be some people who have confided in us, guided us, and held out a helping hand when we were in distress. That single gesture may have altered our lives for the better, but its not always that we think of the path we tread during difficult days. There might probably be a pricky feeling in our subconscious mind, that we have been ignoring the person whose been the very reason for our success today. Before it becomes too late, atleast to be truthful to our mind, atleast to face ourselves eye to eye in the mirror, atleast to ward off the guilt, we ought to express our gratitude to that mentor. Without being preachy like this, Ray has lucidly brought out the essence of being a human in a couple of stories, both of which are hard-hitting, though there is not a single mention of the word gratefulness/gratitude or any such nouns. I am AMAZED how . (I really looked for those words in a second read).

The last story in this collection, Pikoo's Diary is a heart-wrenching one. Pikoo, a young boy, is in the habit of maintaining a personal diary. His mind is disturbed by the adulterous affairs of his promiscuous mom, which in turn leads to strained relations between his mom and dad. Ray has succintly captured the mind of a child's state of mind in a chaotic household. What more, the whole story is written in the font of a child's writing, with the kind of typos that only a child could make. This gives the reader the feel that he/she is peeping into a child's diary.

Personally, I feel literature is at its best in the language it was originally written. That is one reason why I have been shunning away popular translations of literature for fear of they being simplified for ease of read. But the fact that the author himself has translated some of the stories, came as a plus. Moreover, Gopa Majumdar's style of narration seemed (to me) to be much similar to Ray's take.

This day... That thought...

I am excited!! There's a first time for everything, and that first time brings with it a bit of child-like enthusiasm and nervousness.... And yes, I am having that kind of feeling right now... I have been meaning to try my hands on blogging for sometime now, but today seemed to be THE day for the kick off!! There, I've given an explanation for the title!!This is the day to give shape and form to that thought!

No-rules-to-adhere is so very encouraging :D.... How cool it is to just pen down what crosses your mind! But conscience wouldn't permit me to just go blah! and blah!! Afterall, I need to respect and feel proud of myself when I look back years from now!!

Just stay put... Bubble is ready to come bouncing!!