Friday, July 23, 2010

The Sun Sets on Summer

Two months have passed, and how. If you were to ask me (since I tend to make you ask me ridiculously hypothetical questions on this blog) where I'd spend my summer, I'd promptly reply 'Anywhere but in Delhi, thanks.' And since my life is basically a null hypothesis, where the opposite is always proven right, I did end up spending a scorching summer in Delhi. Which would explain the nostalgic weather posts, I suppose. Well, the experience was totally worth the weather....or so I tell myself in order to dive deeper into denial.

The good part is that I got to see a side of Delhi I never ventured to explore. The buses. Ever tried getting into a DTC bus, mate? Try it. It's awesome. And after you return from the orthopedic ward, tell me ALL about it. But no seriously. I spent two days driving back and forth from work, endured traffic jams, tyre punctures and road rage. Then I decided to give the car a rest and try the bus instead. Worked like a charm. Well, almost, since I spent a fair amount of time tripping down the stairs, elbowing people out of the way, grabbing a seat..the usual stuff. But the view from up there is great! (and I'm generally sensitive about views. All short people are.)

My Hindi improved drastically. So now I actually say something and the other person understands what I'm saying. And if you were to randomly ask me the time at 1.30 in the night, I will now mutter Dedh Baje rather than Saade Ek. Remarkable improvement, wouldn't you say?

I'm more comfortable flying. Yes, because I've suddenly sprouted wings and decided to test them cross country. (Sunsets on Summers does wonders to my depleting Sarcasm Levels.) So in the past two months, I've gone back and forth from home and realized it's not half bad. That would be because my recent flight included a snack of Paneer and a video of Veer. They rhymed to torture me, I suppose...but it did take my mind off flying and focus on lousy in-flight food and entertainment.

I've finally realized the value of 'Home'. Lounging on your couch and watching TV all day, drinking Chocolate Milkshake and leaving the glass below the couch knowing that it would be gone in an hour. Taking small things like wet towels and strewn socks for granted. Having your say in the menu of the day (okay, my mom refused my dream menu of Potatoes for breakfast, Potatoes for lunch and Potatoes for dinner...and after making a mess of the house in two days, I was ordered to pick up after myself as well....but you get the drift.)

So yes, Summer has been a good teacher. Not just in understanding how all my undergraduate and graduate textbooks have transformed into real people and cases, but also in managing a work+home schedule, travelling to far away places in buses, handling car malfunctions, bearing the weather, irate people and crying children. The Sun Sets on my Summer, and will soon rise on a new beginning. (That almost sounds like I've ripped it off a song from High School Musical - I really do need to work on better conclusions.)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Of Whims and Pansies.

I've never reviewed a movie on my blog. And for good reason, because I like every movie I watch. So technically, I should be given commission by the distributors for reviewing their movies because I will invariably write a glowing review. Not a very good, objective journalist, no. But it works for me, because every movie becomes a delightful experience.

The best kind of movies are those that you end up watching on a whim. (Okay, so I had planned on watching this one since forever...but something kept turning up to thwart the plan...and I had almost given up for good when a sudden let-off from work inspired a bunch of us to run to the next available show.)

And yes, I was trying to 'up my cool quotient' (courtesy Sneha) by not mentioning the name of the movie...but I guess it would be out eventually. I was clamouring so vehemently to go watch I Hate Luv Storys. Which I really don't. Hate Love stories, I mean. However, I do hate intentionally erred grammar, but that was forgiven when I saw Imran Khan's beatific smile on those huge posters everywhere.

So yes, it began with that let off (my story, not the movie.) One moment we were trying our best to calculate IQs and DQs and SQs and the next moment we were sent off politely to enjoy the rest of the day. After frantic phone-calls to those who live near newspapers, we found one theatre showing the movie within 20 minutes. Without wasting any time, we hopped on to an auto (actually, we did waste time trying to find an A/C bus....but in vain. One day I will personally vandalize 724 and change every damn bus to numbers of MY choice. I only see the A/C versions of that one bus.) and ran to Connaught Place.

Have I mentioned Connaught Place before? The place I used to love to visit, because of the many 'hurring' opportunities, because of the brightly hued clothes, baubles and shoes lining streets, because of the radials that seem to merge into each other, every step being a new one even after you've walked around for hours. So yes, fun experience.....WAS.

Today, it lies choking amidst the dust emanating from the non-existent footpaths. The pillars are on crutches and roads cease to exist between the radials. Which would explain why our seemingly congenial auto-bhaiya stopped in front of Janpath resolutely and refused to budge. We started our mini-trek amidst the debris to reach PVR Plaza. After crossing many radials, and almost getting steamrollered by a bulldozer (no really, because we kept trudging along the muddy-slushy path without bothering to look up and see that 15 foot monster glaring at us.)

We reached the first building that resembled a multiplex and demanded tickets for the 2.50 show. No can do, we were told, since a 2.50 show didn't exist at Plaza. We cursed wrongly printed time-tables in newspapers until it struck us, to um....I don't know, maybe read the name of the multiplex we were standing in. (really, we HAVE to look up once in a while....bulldozers, wrong multiplexes...everything evades us.) It took us about a millisecond to realize that a 2.50 show does exist in the Plaza, except we weren't there. And it was 2.45. So we began another dash through the radials to search for Plaza.

A couple of very frustrating, sweaty, muddy and hunger-filled moments later, we found ourselves in plush seats, surrounded by popcorn and air conditioning. The movie finally began.

So how was it? Well, I *loved* it. The songs, clothes (including a particular shirtless protagonist ;-) ), the acting, the jokes, everything. It makes for good entertainment. And since I'm a sucker for love stories (and my room is pink), this is one movie people have made with credulous pansies like me in mind.

So the best way to watch a movie is on a whim. Plan everything in advance, and you'll end up expecting too much. Just take the next available means of transport to a theatre and watch the first movie playing, and you'll walk back home in the drizzle with a smile. Or at least, I did.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I've Heard That Song Before...

'I've heard that Song before' ..did you know that's the title of a rather creepy Mary Higgins Clark book? But it is also a phrase that's been going over and over my mind lately. (and is in ABSOLUTELY no way related to Higgins Clark...who by the way, is the author of some pretty fantastic psychological thrillers.)

So anyway, like every other post, I digress from the topic, getting carried away by an allegorical title. Hm. So when was the last time you happened to channel surf on the radio and catch an English Song from way long ago?

Today I heard 'November Rain' by Guns N' Roses. Blame it on the weather (it was actually raining today...and I don't mean the paltry tears of pity.....but more like how my house gets flooded when I read books like 'A Walk to Remember'.

Took me back to school memories. (And no, I'm not that old. Just some memories with the song.) And it got me I've loved one genre of music at various stages of my not very old life.

Remember Aqua? Those neon-fuschia haired people who looked like they were perpetually inebriated on psychedelic colours and weird lyrics? They sang that noxious Barbie Girl song. (now I call it noxious...back then I knew the entire song by heart and would go HAW when the undress me everywhere part would come) They were the Coolest! (Back then.)

And then came, of course BoyBands. Yes yes. I've also drooled over Nick Carter at some point in my life. And bought the BackStreet Boys cassette just to have a record of his photograph. Songs like 'I want it that Way' and 'Show me the meaning of being lonely' were, like, soulful. Or whatever. I've never somehow felt that miserable in life to sing Backstreet boys songs to myself. Then and now. Thank god.

I even tried experimenting with Rock and Metal and all those non-breakable types of music. St.Anger, was it? Where prisoners beat food plates and sing in some frenzy? And that Linkin Park song? Where the whole song happens underwater, and you come to know right at the end when a fish goes gurgling by? Very interesting videos. Songs were catchy too. I remember narrating the video of Guns N' Roses 'November Rain' to a friend of mine. She burst out laughing at the whole wedding-funeral lachrymose. But when I told her the name of the song....she had this awed look. So I eventually realized. The more ludicrous the video, the more popular the song. How else can one explain Thriller?

Oh, and then there was that Avril Lavigne stage. Oh Dear. I don't like thinking about it. I'd sing 'Complicated' at the drop of a hat. It was so bad that if I were to assess the Passing through the Avril Stage version of myself, I'd diagnose Cyclothymia. (milder version of Bipolar Disorder). And then came Evanescence with the pseudo-head banging routine (which has nothing to do with the song's video....but more to do with look I can appreciate clanging music and follow its rhythm.)

Who can forget School/College fests with Summer of '69 and Zombie? They've been played at every fest I've attended. Every. Like an anthem of sorts. Even now when I hear those songs, my mind goes into reverse gear and takes me back to then.

So isn't it funny how every song can remind you of something or the other? I've cast my iPod (which I gave my dad actually, who, in a fit of enthusiasm, filled all the memory with songs from Sinatra, Simon and Garfunkle, Beatles, Eagles, Abba etc etc. Ancestral but brilliant music-makers.) away for my dysfunctional Mp3 player just because it plays the radio. So I can listen to English songs that spurt out spontaneously, and not from a rehearsed shuffle pattern. So I can dream on with every song I've heard before.