Archive for April, 2014


Earlier this month somebody brilliant launched Pee-Budd! Freedom to stand and pee for a woman. This is a revolution because this makes camping, traveling, and public urinals so much less scarier. I ordered mine from Healthkart.com, to start off and just to try I ordered the smallest pack of 5 Pee-Budd s. As soon as I got them in the mail, I rushed to the bathroom to pee, much to my surprise, it does not create any mess. easy to use, right as it says on the packet. The packing is cute. In bright green. Although I do wonder why do the makers of women hygiene products alway insist on making everything so bright (example: the cover of sanitary napkins are like umm bright parrot green??) The product is not pricey, but it is relatively expensive for the people who might need it the most. If the maker’s goal was to target the germaphobe women, then this is a success. Ofcourse the problem lays in poorly constructed or the altogether absent public bathrooms. But while I can’t go around changing that, what I can do is grab a few of these and throw them in my pursue.


Because the only thing worse than a public urinal is having to pee in one. Now I was the little kid, who would hold it in so much so that my father would get angry and refuse to continue on the road-trip unless I made that bathroom trip. Holding your pee in for long periods of time, is unhealthy, he would argue. But the little me could never stand the smell or the unsightly sight of the public urinals, especially not in India. Even when the rest stops over the years dramatically improved, or even while using the urinals in other more advanced countries, the hair at the back of neck rose at the thought of what kind of people used the same urinal. I wouldn’t even want to touch the doorknobs. Cut to college, I lived with women who ranged dramatically in their bathroom habits. Some squatted (contrary to the popular belief, this is actually the worst way of peeing, especially when done over a european style toilet; and whenever given a choice always opt for the Indian style latrine over the European style in a public setting.) and others whipped cleaned the seat before and after use. Pee Budd is the answer to these problems.


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2 States, is a beautiful movie about cross cultural love and laughable north-south stereotypes. This movie will receive mixed reviews and a love-hate. For anyone who has ever been in love/relationship with anyone besides their own race and religion or just someone who speaks a different regional language, this movie will make more sense.

The story line is spectacular and loosely based on the writer, Chetan Bhagat’s own love story. In India as they say, it is not just important for two people to be in love with each other to get married, it is important that not only their respective parents approve off their choice in a significant other, but also should like that significant other’s family. The Big Fat Indian wedding and beyond, is about a marriage between two households. One can never make the mistake of generalizing India, there are and will be too many Indias within India, yet Love marriage although with time has gotten more acceptance, it still faces it’s share of struggles because the camp that is on the side of Arranged marriages will always struggle with the idea of their own child finding someone without their permission, or in these cases finding someone different.

Alia Bhatt is truly an actress class aparte, Ronit Roy is apt for the angry distanced punjabi father, Revathy is as graceful as ever, Arjun Kapoor is a great actor who plays a love-sick-family-harassed-caught-in-between-the-love-of-his-life-and-his-mother-punjabi-boy and I love him, Amrita Singh and Shiv Kumar Subramaniam also play their parts well. Although, Amrita Singh’s performance is so at par with her character, it is so hard to tell whether she is not playing herself. If anything, she should get an award for the best supporting actress in the lot. 2-states-new-poster-movie-stills 

The movie starts with Krish sitting at a therapist’s office, oh the perils of love and the toll it takes over you… So the whole movie is from his perspective. You’d think that since he is sitting in a therapist’s office something tragic will unfold, which it briefly does, but as they say in Indian cinema and life, it is all well in the end. Since it’s based of a true story, I can’t even roll my eyes and say “ugh movies”. Hey who said fairy tales didn’t come true. And that people didn’t fight for love.

I am not the best judge of movies where I somehow resonate with the protagonist, because I am rooting for him, and because I see myself in him, it takes away from my cinematic experience and I am sucked into my own parallel emotional monologue of sorts.

My first ahan moment in the movie was when Krish’s very punjabi mother (Amrita Singh) asks her son in what language should she talk to his girlfriend’s parents (them being Tamil and her being Punjabi) and even though they have Hindi and English in common, the very punjabi mother makes her point. (Oh I can completely resonate)

Ohh well, the punjabi stereotypes weren’t far off the mark in this movie. And neither were the Tamilian stereotypes. They were not all true for every punjabi and every tamil you will come across, but as they say its nothing better than laughing at your own-self. I had a lot of moments in the movie where I could totally point at my mother and say “you’d pakka sai do this”

There are other moments in the movie, for example when Krish insists that Alia’s parents not talk in Tamil, as he doesn’t understand it, and her father retorts back that maybe he should learn Tamil. Or even Krish’s description of Ananya’s family and home, his overbearing maternal aunt who wants to show him other girls even after he has told his family about Ananya, the punjabis calling every south Indian, Madrasi and being boastful and proud about their fair skins while Ananya’s parents being proud-of-their-music-dance kind of people who consider all north Indians uncultured, are subtle but true indicators of cultural differences and the little difficulties of a love marriage endured in India.

For those of you who wished Alia Bhatt completed her education before she continues her acting, you’ve got your wish! she’s playing Ananya at IIM-Ahmedabad. I haven’t seen her previous movies, but oh how perfect she’s at IIM right after being in Student of the Year (yes, maybe an idiotic only name based correlation, but whatever) 

Krish, the IIT graduate and now in IIM guy who actually wants to be a writer is played by Arjun Kapoor. Arjun Kapoor, I find you stunning, idk what it is about chiseled jaws, big lips, those kind of eyes and ofcourse the character you play in the movie. But more on that for another post (maybe). Thank you Arjun Kapoor, for playing Krish, you resonate with like half of India who is either forced to read Economics, study Engineering or become Doctors at college, but secretly are artists at heart. Don’t worry, like you we will also go ahead and study for our CATs and GMATs and get into B-Schools nevertheless. And more importantly I resonate with you. That is why I vouch for you, Krish. 

4.5/5 from me. (haha, as if that mattered)

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I am not a comic-book-geek, but I have seen my share of superhero movies. While most of my friends love Batman and some like Superman. A few girls “joke” about the Hulk and his throbbing parts. 

I despite it all, love Iron Man. I actually liked Iron man before I even watched any of of the other superhero movies. Except for Captain Planet, and that was something we all grew up on in the 90s. Ofcourse there was The Mask, and I adored him as a kid. He was weird creepy and just overall funny. But among the Avengers, I like Iron Man the most. 

When Superman was born, he was born Superman, he was found with his cape and gown, he puts on our clothes to be a normal human being, he has to act average, his powers are innate. And while that is admirable and distinct than all the superheroes. 

Batman and Iron Man are both billionaire kids, they both use expensive suits and live in luxury, Iron man wins for me because he is just the most conceivable of them all. And I frankly find Batman depressing. If a man cannot convince the love of his life to be his, blames himself for his father’s death, or idk constantly need to give an appearance of being a playboy on the surface, I just don’t know. Bruce has a broken heart, truly. He is a great ninja. And Iron Man? he’s none of those. Infact Pepper, has to regularly keep him in check, he would probably loose out in a fight sans his suit, he loves to party, and he has friends, something that Batman lacks. Bruce Wayne lives in guilt, and Tony Stark on the other hand is an accidental hero. Stark does not put in the effort to change his voice or conceal his identity, infact unlike Bruce he did not even want to be a superhero in the first place, while Batman’s suit is meticulous and deliberate, Iron Man’s suit at first, was accidental. Beneath it all, he is a human like the rest of us.  

Bonus points: He is also funnier. 

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I recently saw a close friend, after some four months, I couldn’t see her last week because she was undergoing a laser eye surgery. But why? you don’t have cataract! and, and glasses are actually sexy! Next she is telling me about Dr. Batra’s hair clinic where she has spent a bomb on hair treatments in vain, she confesses she bought extensions(as if it were a sin), and that she is going bald. I look up, and I see that she has exactly the same amount of hair as she had in high school. I actually find her more beautiful than she ever was, her eyes are big and clear, they shine with intelligence and confidence, hardly any acne, and a flair for great grooming habits that she’s always had and that lady like demeanor, since our puberty days.

She complains she is so frail, doing countless hours of yoga and dieting, and now my eyes linger to her thighs as she gets up to tell the barista that she wants a refill for the table, she wants to get this round, her thigh is maybe the size of a muscular guy’s neck. But I am not going to point that out, instead I will present it as a compliment, “OMG but you are sooo skinny, I am sooo jelly” I smile at her, when in reality, I have been trying to fill up my own thighs and butt a bit more. Even when I know every guy-best friend I have had, confesses he dislikes rags and bones. But that wouldn’t have been a point. Because I dislike the idea of a woman tweeking herself, to fit a man’s taste. But we are only if anything, tweeking here. 

She will be the second of us three to get married, there is no race ofcourse, but I can just see it. The first is already gone, damaged, and now estranged and in shackles. And still the wedding dream is alive. Aaahhh. But I still believe, this one is definitely the more mature one, and when she will say yes, she will be mostly making a good decision.

K, the close friend insists, she doesn’t want to meet in the sun, I climb into her car with tinted windows, she would rather risk a fine worth some grands than un-tint the windows or worse get darker. But but we live in an age where Lupita Nyong’o has not only won an oscar, but she is also a standard of beauty. And and our own Frida Pinto is considered attractive on both the national and international front. I present this childhood friend-stranger of mine my argument. 

Yes, well Lupita Nyong’o does not live in our society, and Frida Pinto may have been in Slumdog Millionaire and might be loved internationally, but she looks from the slums. She looks like a kam-waali bai (a maid). K laughs and retorts back. She goes on to critique some other-now mainstream actresses, calling some fat, and simply dismissing others as ugly, by calling them bihari looking. For a lack of a better subject, and not to risk telling her off, she is afterall my friend, and good at heart. I open politics. She ofcourse shares the same political alignment as that of her parents.  

Alrite next, and next and next, movies, books, plays. We closely examine them. We talk about salons and spas. She complains about her maid some more. Then the driver. Then how lousy her brother is at the family business. 

Yeah, I think she is ready for an arranged marriage. Me? I am working on those abs so I can wear a sexy sari, a luscious lehenga, an elegante sharara, and a cocktail dress for all her ceremonies. And whisper in her ear, sitting close by about her awaited suhgaat raat– where she will be devirginiated by a man, who probably didn’t save himself for her, but hey.. she did right? and that is all that matters. What else can I do?


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Hardly Awake

At night when no one is around, I dream about her. Sometimes she is sitting in my living room, asking me why do I spend so much time in my room. “Mere kol aa kai beth jaa balo” (come sit next to me child) she says. And I go about my day ignoring her. I am guilty of not loving the people of my life enough. I am guilty of spending much of my time sleeping, where I can have everything as I exactly want. Where I can be a child, and stay there forever. Where I can call upon the lover who answers and loves me back, where I am there for the great-grandma who rushed to give me that moist kiss on my forehead-and I knew this was the last kiss, and I still didn’t ask for a second. I still didn’t stick around, I left for college. 

I sleep a lot. 

I am guilty of trying to escape life. I am guilty of not showing my parents enough affection and regularly not checking up on my sister. I am guilty of not making amends where they are needed.

In my dreams, sometimes I am baking cookies with my sister, and I am asking her to put lemon instead of salt. “Put lemon! Put lemon!” I keep telling her, but she never listens to me in any of my dreams. I see a young man, who has my father’s eyes and a deep dark complexion, I am maybe eighty, he is looking up and I am caressing his head, he tells me he is my grandson, he asks me everytime why did I abandon him and I do not know what is he talking about.

But at night, I go back to my old school. I walk those classrooms, sometimes I even find my chaiji there-standing there in that corridor between section E and D basking in the sun, she’s always smiling when she sees me, sometimes I find him playing soccer in my school grounds, I am walking with a friend of his, she tells me she wants to be a bartender, she asks me how do I find him, as if in a teenage gush, watching him play thru my squinted eyes, I tell her, he smiles too widely whenever he sees me, his teeth are small-but I like him. 

I walk up the stairs, I see more childhood friends. I see the teachers that hate me and the ones who love me. I see her again, chaiji chaiji, what are you still doing here? tussi ghar jao She turns around, she is cradling my daughter. I break down and cry. Everything is perfect in my dreams. And that is why I am hardly awake. 

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The show of the hour is, How I Met Your Mother. Ahem the grand finale! And while the internet is erupting with fuming fans, and my facebook newsfeed is on fire. (People are threatening to trash their whole 9-season dvd collections) The finale is said to have more twists and turns than the whole nine seasons put together. I loved the Finale. And proceed with caution: this post has major spoilers. 


I will tell you why I absolutely loved it. I loved it because I am a very firm believer of whatever is meant to be always finds its way. When the kids say, Dad this is not the story about how you meet our mom, it is about how much you love Aunt Robin.

My heart melted.

Yes, they had a very messy relationship.

Yes Robin went off and got married to Barney, and Ted finally met the mother. But come to think of it, Robin always wanted her career and Ted always wanted children, children Robin could never possibly have. In the finale, when Ted shows up at her door with the blue horn again. They both have had what they wanted from their lives, and now they have each other. Yes, roll your eyes and smack the floor, and say why are they back together for the nth time. But maybe, just maybe some things are meant to be. I mean, aren’t we all aware of real life love-stories like that? I know a couple of them personally.

Even after her divorce, and her just touring around the world, him being in a live-in relationship with the mother and later married, two kids and a sickness later that leads upto her death. Robin and Ted are back together. And why not? I always vouched for them. Yes, I absolutely loved Tracey (the mother) and no I am not glad the woman we were all chasing for nine freaking years had been dead all along. But wasn’t Ted the one to dig up Robin’s locket? Wasn’t he the one to be always there? Barney was never right for Robin. The mother? for Ted? yes, a guy like Ted, is a hopeless romantic. But he loves Robin. And Robin loves him. Why else would he plan on moving to Chicago, right after the season long Barney and Robin wedding?

I love how the show ends, because it doesn’t give the unrealistic expectation for love majority of silver and golden screens have imparted to us. “Because fairy tales aren’t real and life is messy and it doesn’t always work out the way you planned. Things happen.”

Even if we come to the same point, after going a whole circle, it is still worth it. Atleast we went the distance. Sometimes going the distance makes us realize how much we want certain things, and lets us encompass other stuff into our life.

I, personally couldn’t have asked for a better finale. Everyone got what they were true to, Barney is divorced but has a love girl-child, he finally understand what it is to love a girl completely, Marhsall and Lily are three kids later back in New York from Rome and Marshall is a Judge, something he gave up for Lily’s dreams earlier. Ted is a widower with two kids, ready to date Robin again. And Robin, is a famous journalist.

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This 1961, Audery Hepburn film has been reviewed and viewed more than the total breaths I might have taken in my life. Yet, last night I saw it for the very first time. You’d think in my 24 years of existence, how could I have missed this classic, but what do I say, except, such little time and too much art to consume. Breakfast at Tiffany's 1

This movie is a classic. And if you have ever studied even elementary cinema at college or such, you will know when a movie is called a classic it means, it belongs to a genre where, in the end it will all make sense. The lady finally accepts and sees the true love she’s offered, finds the cat she had let go off, and all is well with the world (aaah, just the type of movies I would gladly remove from my future children’s cinema curriculum). Classics answer all questions posed in the movie, they reassure us. Hence, they are also well and universally most liked.

Although I have never given myself a chance to watch other Blake Edwards works, except for the marvelous Victor Victoria (1982) a quick search on the internet tells me he was one of the most prolific comedy hollywood directors. Surprisingly he was also very suicidal. But these are posts for another day.

I love the craft, uhh, well no doubts there, this movie has won countless awards. But I do have a problem with the storyline. Audery Hepburn is Holly, and Holly is a phony, she lives a very convoluted lifestyle, she refuses to name her cat (what?) okay okay, she is a dreamer, a self proclaimed wild thing, oh no no, that’s just her excuse to gold-dig, she is going from one seemingly rich man to another. She just wants to climb up the social ladder, and girlfriend, I have no problems with that! She is wearing all the beautiful hats and great suits. She is ignoring the man who is so much in love with her, that he is there every step of the way, and even in the end, it looks like she is settling for him. Oh no, wait, she does “settle” for him! Holly is a jerk. She is shown helpless and fragile, but she is actually just, how do I put it nicely, but cray cray. She is the jerk who has successfully propagandized the idea to young women, who now long for a man to save the day. Wait, she doesn’t even have a job!

I do love how older movies don’t actually show any racy scenes that adorn our silver screens today. I like how tons is left upto our sweet imagination. I also do realize that Audery Hepburn is an icon unparalleled (yes, I do happen to know books being written about her style and such).

I see a lot(not all) of young girls dotting over this movie, yes, a social class per say, a wannabe social class, will admit to “OMG I love Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, without really knowing that just because the title has Tiffany’s in it does not indicate wealth and abundance. Breakfast at Tiffany’s does not make my favorite movie list in terms of a storyline.

It is a hollywood classic. But will I watch it again? I don’t think so. Will I watch other Audery Hepburn movies, yes. Other Blake Edwards films? ofcourse yes.

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