Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Carrie Diaries

The Carrie Diaries is an effort by Candace Bushnell to write about Carrie's life before the show... before she moved to NYC (in part 1) and before she become the columnist (in part 2). I think I have blogged about the first book.
Anyway, in book 2 Carrie becomes friends with Samantha and Miranda. She has an affair with a much older playwright and spends most of her time wondering if she is talented enough. She does not write much but wants to make it big as a writer in NYC. The whole thing sounds extremely fake and not connected with the show at all.
Samantha is engaged to a multi millionaire for the money. That is so not like Samantha at all... Miranda does not like to have sex and hates men. Its as if Candace has gone bonkers and forgotten what her characters are all about... something like what she did in the 2nd part of the movie. Why can't writers realize that it is ok to end things? J K Rowling is smarter... she knows that the obsession will not end just 'coz the story has. We all crave for a happy ending... why ruin it by half baked attempts?
Friends is the biggest example... at the end of the seasons... the jokes were less funny... the actors less good looking... they ended the show. But it lives one... re runs are played over and over and over again.

Candance needs to drop it and not go further... or backwards. She is ruining it.

Speedy Singh

We generally watch movies on Friday night... with both of us working late on Friday, we could not make a plan. On an impulse, we headed to the Mall to catch Speedy Singh. I was cranky 'coz we had to skip dinner. I cannot operate when hungry and the food is so bad at the theatres. When the movie started Anupam Kher's voice was dubbed... the Canadians were talking in accented Hindi. I was horrified... we had walked into the Hindi dubbed version. We left after 5 mins.
Yesterday, we went for the English version... so avoidable. The movie is a bad remake of Bend It Like Beckham. The story is the same... made worse by the whole Bollywoodish Punjabi tilt. For some reason, people in the theatre were giggling like crazy at the most mediocre dialogues. The whole paghadi Punjabi thing was pukish. I pity Anupam Kher who has to play such roles for the money.
Please avoid.

Sunday Morning

It is just 10 am and so much is already done... house is clean, b'fast and lunch has been cooked, my shoes have been washed and are drying outside, the shoe case has been settled, the newspaper has been read.
There are more chores to be done:
  • Fill thermocol balls in the bean bag
  • Change bedsheets and wash them
  • Send courier, get eyebrows done, buy veggies
But most of the above has to be done by KC.
Sat and Sunday mornings are a pain. I cannot sleep for even half an hour extra on Saturdays... same is the situation on Sunday. The door bell rings non stop- maid, cook, garbage man, laundry guy, car cleaner, newspaper bill... etc etc etc etc. I have rested my ass at 10 am only.

But today will have to be a relaxing day... I am determined to relax today. I need it. The last week is always hectic.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Long time....

Hiya. Just 5 posts in this month.. it is not good... not good at all. It has been busy and hectic. I have started going for morning walks. Its been 1 week. I am trying to get into the habit of waking up early... which also means sleeping early. And there lies the problem. I cannot sleep before 11 pm.. there is always too much to do.... have dinner, come online, read a little... etc etc etc.
Fitting in too much into a day gets hectic but I am guessing I have one life to live and I might as well live it well. Also, cooking has been on the back burner. I have been planning to bake muffins for more than a week now. May do it tom. Fingers crossed.
So many things happened since I last blogged. Generally, I do not blog about whats happening in the world... there is enough said on news, twitter and facebook. But this time I will:
  • The bomb blast in Delhi- People say that Mumbai moves on... so does Delhi. The next day was normal. When I heard about the blast I was in Ghaziabad. I was checking the news on my mobile and messaged KC about it. We didn't discuss it further at home or even check news. Nobody in office spoke about it. And there lies the problem. In USA, something like this is taken so personally that the President goes and bombs 2-3 countries while nothing happens here. I am repeating what others have said... but its so sad
  • Shoot out at Gurgaon- I came across a news item on twitter... 2 people in a car shot the guy at the toll 'coz he did not let them go without paying. The toll costs 21 bucks. A guy got shot for Rs 21... a life is worth that much... not even that, actually. Surprisingly, I did not come across it in the newspaper. Strange but true. It is scary. You never know who is carrying a gun here... someone who does have 21 bucks in his pocket... could be anybody.... the maid... the cook... her husband... the car cleaner with who I fought today.... anyone...
  • The earthquake: The more I read about it... the less I like... people still under the rubble? No way to reach the interiors? Really? What the hell is the government doing?
Gurgaon is quite expensive... the VAT is higher... service charge everywhere and today, Pizza Hut added "voluntary" donation to my bill. I blew up... asked them to remove the donation from the service charge. If I want to donate... I will... At Pizza Hut, stick to the pizzas only.

Thats about it for now... movie and book reviews coming up.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Good Morning

Hiya... I am writing this just before my phone starts ringing and the day begins as usual.
I woke up slightly earlier and went for a walk. I have been trying to do that for the last few days... but its only today I managed to wake up. It was a toss up between the gym or a walk. I decided to walk... enjoy the morning air... and make waking up on time a routine before joining a gym. No point in paying and then not going regularly.
Its nice to hear the silence... only the birds chirping... some kids learning karate under the trees... men washing cars... some couples taking a walk... others buying milk or veggies... maids walking dogs... so different from Mumbai. This does not feel like a metro... it feels like a tier 2 city... a place where people have a life... where everyone is not running. And I completely appreciate it. I love the fact that there are trees everywhere... that cars are not trying to run me over everywhere... that life can be as slow as I want it to be.
There are cons too... the trees look monstrous at night without any street lights... that I can be kidnapped or raped after dark without anyone being able to hear me... etc etc etc.
But right now.... it feels good. And I appreciate this morning... no matter what the rest of the day brings.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Clothes... shoes... make up... fashion

Hey!!! I am addicted... to so many things these days:
  • Vampire Diaries: I loved the first few books (the last 2 were pretty boring)... but the series was quite good. It did not follow the book strictly, was scary and much more interesting. I am waiting for season 3 to begin... do not know how to pass time until then
  • Online Shopping: I came across the website through Femina magazine. It is quite good. I always wondered how people shop online... without the touch, feel and trial factor. I never buy anything without trying it first. I made the first purchase around 1-2 months back and now am hooked. My first purchase were leggings and kurta from "W"... the fit was great and at a discount. The next purchase were tees from Disney and Adidas... each costing less than 400 bucks. And now, I am addicted. I wait for 11 am for the new sale to begin. Footwear, I have bought for 2k (Enroute) are available for 700 bucks online. Cool, na? Of course, you have to be fast... atleast twice it has happened that by the time I started paying, the products got sold out. Delivery is a little delayed... could take anywhere between 1-3 weeks. If you want to join, let me know. I will send an invite... it will give me some credits (Thats NOT why I mentioned it here).
  • Make up: This post is really about make up... something I have inculcated in my life a year back. Till I was in college (grad and post grad) application was limited to parties... mostly an eye liner and lipstick. Never more than that. My first job involved a lot of travel... mainly to rural places and make up was limited to kajal (technically- its not make up). Working in the beauty industry had made me more aware.. its difficult to resist temptation when make up is all around me. For the past one year, make up has become part of my daily routine. I do not leave home without it (unless I am going grocery shopping).
My reviews on products and tips are below:
  • Base make up: For the longest time I was oblivious to the importance of base make up. It mainly includes foundation, concealer and compact powder. I skip concealer 'coz its awfully difficult to apply and can look bad if not done correctly. As for foundation, I have experimented with many, before finding my preferred brand. I started with Chambor's foundation (since Mom is a fan) but was using the incorrect shade until a colleague pointed that out. Its so difficult to figure these things out. I tried L'Oreal's True Match foundation but did not like the heavy coverage. I like low coverage so that the face does not look too made up. I came across Lancome accidently... it is an imported brand with limited outlets in India (Mumbai- Phoenix Mills, Delhi- Select City Walk Mall). The foundation is called Tient Miracle and covers pores, gives a glow and is perfect was party wear. It is pricey at 2700 bucks... but so worth it. Its my most expensive buy- I do not have any clothes or shoes that have cost so much. But its worth it. I have saved it for party wear. For daily wear, I discovered L'Oreal's mineral foundation. This is perfect for my oily skin. It gives an amazing glow to the skin without making it oily.... also, there is no need for compact. Another daily wear foundation is the recently launched L'Oreal Mousse... love it. It spreads easily but compact application is needed. I think Revlon also has mineral make up but I do not like that brand... for some reason. When buying a foundation, always inquire for the shade at atleast 2 counters since the beauty advisers can get it wrong. Better safe than sorry. A good foundation makes all the difference and is most important. Take it from someone who never used it before and now is not comfy being seen without it at work or on an outing. I am not very choosy about compact and have been using Chambor for the longest time.
  • Next step is eyeshadow. There are so many, many, many options. I used to look up videos on you tube to learn the correct application. There are so many ways to apply eye shadow... it was quite confusing. Also, very few women wear eyeshadow in India and it can end up looking out of place- specially at work. I just apply it on my eye lids.... thats it... no highlighter, nothing on brow bones... nothing to make eyes look bigger or smaller. Also, if I am using a catchy shade like blue or green, I skip the eyeliner. When I use base shades like brown or pink, I apply an eyeliner also. Coming to brands... Mac is the best out there... at 900 bucks its pricey. Go for Mac if you are looking for that perfect shade... they have the largest range. Lakme and Maybelline are good within budget... L'Oreal eye shadows are nothing to write home about. Revlon sucks... I bought their kit with 4 shades but they settle on the eye lid crease after a few hours. Max Factor is another good brand. Clarins is the only brand with liquid eye shadow but they have very basic shades (brown, goldenish, pink, green) and are pricey at 990 bucks.
  • Eye liner: There are so many kinds available in the market now. When I was in college, everyone used Lakme's liquid eye liner which took ages to dry and you had to be careful before opening your eyes incase it had not dried and would smudge. It took me a lot of practice to be able to apply it correctly. None of that anymore. The best options are gel liners... smooth, applied with a brush, do not smudge... Maybelline, L'Oreal and MAC have these liners. Maybelline is budget and strictly ok... L'Oreal is better but has only black shade... MAC is pricey at 900 or 1000 bucks but has many shades- brown, copper, green, peacock green, peacock blue, bluish purple, black etc. I have only 2 liquid liners... L'Oreal and Lakme... both are good. For pencils liners, I think Chambor is best... Maybelline has many shades but I do not like them... L'Oreal's contour liner pencil is also good. It does not smudge.
  • Mascara: I did not understand the importance of a mascara until recently. I love how they make the lashes look. There are many options in the market but I have not experimented with too many... for lengthening, volume, curl, defining etc. I read somewhere that washable is better than waterproof 'coz it is less harmful. Not sure about the facts. My first mascara was Maybelline which dried 'coz of under use. Many years later I bought Mac's defining mascara. It didn't do much since my lashes are not long and curled. Next I bought Mac's volumizing and curling mascara which is better suited. Don't go by the way a beauty adviser demonstrates its application. They tend to over apply... also, it takes some getting used to. It makes the lashes feel slightly heavy and that can be uncomfy. Go for a good brand... and practice. It is worth it. Also, its important to curl the lashes with an eye lash curler before application. It hardly costs 20-30 bucks.
  • Lipsticks: Again... so many options... long lasting, matte, glossy, lip gloss. Whichever... it will need touch ups... My favourites are Chambor's long lasting, Mac's lipsticks (for that perfect orange shade), Lakme (cheap and tikkao), L'Oreal's color riche. Mac has all kinds of shades... pale pink to bright orange red. Its pricey at 900 bucks... so go for the niche shades. Lakme is good for generic shades... L'Oreal has very nice, glossy nudes not found in other brands. I had tried Colorbar's long wear lipsticks... they hardly lasted and dried my lips real bad. So, pick with care.
  • Nails: Females in my workplace in Mumbai actually matched their nail paint to the outfit... and yet turned up at work at 9 am (after spending 1-1.5 hours in traffic). Thats dedication. I can barely change the paint twice in a week... sometimes, even once is an effort. I have so many, many shades... Lakme, Maybelline, Colorbar, Vov... Lakme is good for generic shades... Maybelline has funky colors like green, purple, black, yellow, orange etc... My fav is Color Bar... they have a huge range- 2-3 shades of green, pinks, purple, blue, yellow, purple. Not bad at 150 bucks. I do not see the point in spending 600-700 bucks on nail paint for brands like L'Oreal, Inglot etc.
  • There are many other things I have missed out- primer, blush, lipliner.... but I generally skip these. For a party, they can be included... but otherwise skip it.
All comments and suggestions welcome. A girly post after a long time...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Conflicts... work... stress... life

Hiya. I wish I could import people from Mumbai out here... work people. It would make life so much easier, better and fun. I don't blog about work but these days its getting to me. A new conflict everyday.
There are many thoughts rushing to my mind... best way to organize them is through bullet points:
  • I am an aggressive person by nature... my job also does not allow me to be anything else. Begin a woman means I cannot be soft with people... it is either misconstrued as weakness or flirting. No kidding. Instead of mellowing me down, the aggressiveness spills into my personal life. It has its own pros and cons.
  • In Mumbai, I hated working after 8 pm... never did. I just wanted to come back home and do my own thing. Now, I don't mind so much. If there is something important, I do open my laptop at home. I guess I am less irritated and impatient now that KC is around. Having someone to talk to or just be with makes a world of a difference. Staying alone ain't much fun. But I could not admit that to myself in Mumbai... it would have made me weaker. And when things are not in my control, why wallow about them?
  • There is a major difference between people in Mumbai and out here. In Mumbai, you wake up to run.... from morning to night... thats the life. Someone who refuses to run will not survive a day... whether he/she is from Mumbai or not. Everyone is running... either ahead or with you or behind you. Not so in Delhi. People are born and brought up here... there are not too many outsiders... everyone stays with families... generations of them... it is all about taking it slow... working at your own pace. For a person like me who did not take it slow even in Kolkata, it is not a very comfy place. I am running... and I need to get people to run with me... the only way I can... through aggressiveness.
  • Thats how conflicts come in... I want to reach the goal ... people can either work towards it with me or I will drag them along... but I refuse to let them drag me down. Its complicated.
  • Thankfully, I come home and everything is easier to handle. I go for Jazz for 1.5 hours and suddenly life seems much better. It can't be that bad if I can spare 3 hours per week to do my own thing after work. How many people can boast of that?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Movie Reviews

I like Mila Kunis... she was fab in That 70s show and Black Swan. She is so pretty and I love her voice. We were trying to decide which movie to watch today... Mere Brother ki Dulhan was out... the choice was between FWB and Contagion. We picked this. The movie is full of cliches... guy and girl have commitment and emotional issues... both are single... become friends... decide to have sex... it gets complicated... they fall in love... the end. There was no interval and I couldn't even have nachos. A bummer.... but I got to watch Mila Kunis and that makes it worth it.

TGIYB is out and out an art movie... Art movies these days are... Phas gaye re obama, Pyaar ka punchnama... Dhobhi Ghat... etc... also called multiplex movies. TGIYB is not in that genre... it is an art movie of the kind in which Shabana Azmi... Om Puri... Smita Patil etc would star. The background reminds of that time.
I like art movies... so found it quite ok. Ok... not good. I was surprised that all reviews given were good. This is what happens when perceptions take the front seat. Anurag Kashyap has made a name for himself... to the point that critics have stopped trashing his movies. Some have even called it his best movie to date... which is so not true. Dev D and Udaan are the best. None of the others come close.
I also do not understand why such movies are hyped and why there is advertising done. Everybody goes to watch it expecting it to be a commercial movie and comes back disappointed. Why not just target the niche audience who will appreciate it?
Watch it only if you like art movies... else avoid. I would have preferred to download it online and then watch it instead of spending money.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Time for Update...

What have I been doing??? Loads...
  • I didn't feel like going to my dance class today. It was actually an extra class and since I missed class on Thursday it was sort of compulsory for me to attend. One part wanted me to just stay at home and laze around... the other part knew I would regret it and the guilt would eat me if I did not go. So, I went... I really needed the break. 1.5 hours of hectic moving has made me cheerful again
  • I spilled milk on my blackberry phone. It started acting weird... switching off and on at will. The people at the service centre told me to give it for 6-7 days; after which it may or may not get repaired. I was horrified. Thank god, I had not spent my money on it. It was a gift from the company last year. I decided to buy a new only priority was that it should be sturdy enough to withstand further spills. Its back to Nokia. This time with E6. The internet is not as convenient as a bb since it depends on gprs network but thats ok. I do not want to spend 10k for another phone every year.
  • My brother (who is in grad college) recently changed his relationship status to "committed". I was curious... on checking the gf's profile on fb I could not find a link between her and my bro. They are definitely not from the same college and have different set of friends. I questioned my bro after one week of digging. He said they met 2 weeks back and "hit it off". I wasn't convinced. KC cheekily reminded of my age when I had my first relationship... I was not even 18... atleast he is 21. Old enough to make these decisions. Aah... first love... when we are stupid enough to believe 2 weeks is enough to dive into the relationship pool.
  • I met my best friend this week... she came down for a day. I picked her from the airport and planned to drop her at the hotel in New Friends Colony after work. Big mistake. I was not carrying my GPS. The phone's GPS was hard to read... and we kept going round and round in circles. We reached after 2 hours... But it was so nice to meet her and talk. I didn't have to explain "how I feel"... she just knew. I miss that. Also, silences with friends are so comfy... they do not need to be filled with words...
  • We finally, finally went to Big Chill which is a famous restaurant in Delhi. We reached at 3 pm for lunch on Sunday and it was packed. We had to wait for an hour to get a table by when we were not too hungry. We just ordered a pasta (cannelloni) with a red pesto sauce. It was delicious. Definitely worth another visit. Next I want to visit Kareem's.