June 11, 2008

U, Me, aur Hum

(This post was meant to be posted some 3 months back. However, I never got the time to post it untill today.)

Ajay Devgan had left no stone unturned in promoting his directorial debut. After seeing the trailers, numerous ads such as Alpenlibe promoting the movie, we decided to give it a shot. However, the trailers were not the only motivation to catch the film. Both I and P are huge fans of Kajol and we wanted to see the movie for the sole reason that Kajol was starring in it. We had wasted our money on Fanaa two years back, but we still marched into the theatres with the hopes of catching a good flick. I have tremendous confidence in Ajay after seeing most of his movies. He’s a systematic and great actor. I was excited to see his directorial talent.

U, Me, aur Hum runs in flashback. Ajay Devgan narrates his love story, taking place on a cruise to a stranger. He tells her how he meets the love of his life, tries to win her love, their life together, and problems they encounter in their marriage. His wife suffers from Alzheimer’s and Ajay has used very touché scenes to depict the troubles he faces because of her inability to remember anything. He leaves her at the care facility and finds it difficult to cope with a life without her. His friends encourage him to bring her back and he does exactly that. The climax is quite good.

In times of difficulties it’s so easy to leave your loved one and move on with your life. But real love lies in sticking together through thick and thin. That’s what U, Me, aur Hum is all about. Kajol and Ajay are great actors and it was a treat to see them together on screen.

  • Excessive screening of consumption of alcohol. There are three doctors in a group of 6, yet all three men have been shown clinging to bottles throughout the film. If they show doctors consuming alcohol so casually, it makes a very bad impression on the common man.
  • Not so great songs: I didn’t like any of the songs. Most of the time, I could not make out the words, and whatever words I could make out, didn’t make any sense. The lyrics are good, but I felt that they have created songs just for the sake of creating them. They seem meaningless. I mean what does “Bareli jaise sajna” mean? Maybe I heard it wrong. But that’s what P heard too:). I hope Ajay improves on this part the next time he directs a movie.

Over in all, a great performance by Ajay and Kajol. Ajay’s directorial venture is a good, decent movie. U, Me, aur Hum leaves a good message about love and companionship. It reminded us of the Hollywood flicks “The notebook” and “50 first dates”.

May 8, 2008

Birthday wishes from the Cabadi clan

Guess what my office buddies gifted me on my birthday?

But before that a little bit about the birthday tradition in our office. There are two gifts one gets on his/her birthday. One is a serious gift and one is a prank gift. We always ask what the person needs as a serious gift so that we can gift her something that she needs or has been planning to buy since a long time.

Even before my friends asked me what I wanted, I told them I wanted a cookbook as a gift. I love receiving gifts and find it very difficult to control my urge to tear open the gift paper. I was on leave for the entire week before my birthday; my friends got ample time to plan and execute a prank gift.

They all know my total hatred for cabbage. I never touch it. I hate its smell and sight. I sometimes order lunch from a nearby lunch home and whenever they give cabbage, I whine and cry and hardly eat it. So it was not very difficult for them to think about a prank gift. However, I had no idea how creative they could get with a dry thing like cabbage.

My friend S took great pains to decorate a real cabbage with red chillies. She also made a paper cap for my Cabby man. Another friend P wrote a whole recipe book complete with cabbage recipes. The whole team all put together another document that listed all the things I could do as part of the cabbage therapy. This included covering my eyes with cabbage leaves, wearing the leaves as a cap, and a chant that went on:
Cabba cabba abba, abba abba cabba, aowa aowa
The whole document was very, very funny and innovative.

On my birthday, the whole team, or should I say the Cabadi clan, gathered near my workplace and handed me the cabby man and the documents. I was thrilled with their creativity. Thanks a lot for making my birthday so special. I have kept the Cabby man on my desk and told my friends that he will stay there till he stinks and they all start hating cabbage:). Here's a picture of the Cabby man who sits on my desk:

Isn't he cute?:)

February 8, 2008

Reporting live from Mumbai

Hi, this is Swapna, reporting the weather conditions live from Mumbai. It’s been 1.5 months now since we shifted back to India from US. I have been getting mails from my friends asking about my whereabouts, so I thought I will write a post and update everyone at once.

Firstly, the Mumbai weather has changed drastically over the past few days. We had the temperature dropping to 8 degrees this time. Never in my entire life in Mumbai (I could have written, “Never in my X number of years in Mumbai”, but that would mean divulging my age.) have I seen the temperature drop below 10degrees. Two weeks back, the Times reported that Mumbai had experienced the lowest temperature in 42 years. I felt cold after reading the news. After a week, it dropped even further. I leave for work at sharp 7.15 am and faced the full brunt of the cold. I see the building security guards warming their hands over a small fire, and every morning I feel jealous of them. How I wish I could join them and sit feeling the warmth, instead I would bravely rush off to face the cold. The worst part of the day was the rickshaw ride to the station. As the rickshaw zooms off at full speed, I would start shivering and pull my sweater close to my body.
Since the past 4-5 days, there has been a sudden change in the weather. The cold weather has suddenly turned hot, forcing us to turn on the fans at night.

US to India transition: The transition went off pretty smoothly. Luckily, P and I didn’t suffer from jet lag this time. He had to resume work immediately, while I spent the whole of January enjoying the last few days of my 1.5 years vacation. I relaxed, slept a lot, shopped for our house, cleaned it, and started cooking. I managed to secure a good job at a company and started working from 1st Feb. At first, the idea of going to work on a daily basis seemed daunting. I would be working after a long gap of 1.5 years. I was a bit apprehensive about the whole ‘leaving home early in the morning and rushing off to work’ process, but after 4-5 days I got used to it. Of course, all the ‘aaram’ I did in US has boomeranged back at me. My office hours are 8.30-5 and it takes 1 hour to commute to office. I get up at 5.30AM (yawn), get ready, make chapattis, and rush off to work. I sleep at sharp 11pm. I shout at P if he switches on the TV after that. We both have converted from night owls to morning persons.

Do I miss US?: Definitely. But not so much as I had thought I would. I was confident that I would crib endlessly about the pollution, the traffic jams, the hectic travel; but I accepted certain facts and moved on. I miss all my close friends back in Louisville. Other thoughts come to my mind very subtly and unexpectedly:
#I think of US when I open my wallet and see dollars and cents mingling with rupees.
#I miss ‘Coldstone Creamery’ when I buy cakes or ice cream here.
#I miss our Mitsubishi Lancer when I see any black car zooming on the road.

How does it feel to be back home?: Simply superb! It feels great to be back among family and friends, or to attend weddings and poojas, or to eat all the junk food that I terribly missed in US. Most of all, it feels great to stay in the house that we missed the last one year. We both feel belonged here, unlike feeling like a guest in US.
In the past 1.5 months, we attended a superb concert by Ustaad Zakir Hussain, saw Tare Zameen Par, and visited the Vasai fort and beach. I will post the reviews soon. I terribly miss posting on Dreams come true and Swad. I should be getting Internet connection in the next week, so stay tuned for more news from Amchi Mumbai!