Thursday, May 31, 2012

Things I wanted to talk about...

Wanted to pen down my thoughts on some recent incidents:

  • The debate on Ash's weight is still on and my view is that she needs to lose it. It is a common trend for celebrities mom to get into shape few months into giving birth. It is also a recent trend among common (high society) people. 2 weeks back I had to spend hours in one mall. I killed time by people watching. There was some kid's b'day party and many moms were leaving with their kids and maids in tow. All of them were in shape and looked like the kids' older sisters. It takes effort to get into shape and if Ash with access to the best gyms and dietitians cannot do it, who can? Cannes was the perfect time to show her new self and she turned up like a fat cow. She is termed the "Most Beautiful woman in the world" and has no business looking like that... with the double chin and love handles. Look at Lara Dutta and Malaika Arora... and Victoria Beckham. C'mon. 
  • I do not understand the recent trend of star kids losing oodles of weight to join movies... Sonam Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha and Arjun Kapoor. Sonam and Arjun looked good but Sonakshi is fat and ugly. There are so many naturally thin and young people waiting in line to get a break. Have the producers lost their heads? 
  • Arushi murder case is still going on. This is a very significant case 'coz it first came up when I was in Gurgaon in 2008. I remember a colleague from Noida mentioning in office that her relatives know the Talwars and they are being accused un-necessarily. That they are very respectable people and can never hurt their daughter. I believed it but the recent court judgement has made me change my mind. The only defence the Talwars have is that they are parents and can never harm their daughter. Honor killings are very common in the North and so it is highly possible that the Talwars harmed their daughter. I just hope the case is resolved soon and whoever is the killer is put behind bars. 
  • KC was a little worried about the Bandh today. I assured him that it will not affect Gurgaon 'coz there has to be public transport for BJP to put a stop on. Everyone travels in their own cars or private cars. They cannot be stopped. 
There was more but I am forgetting. Will update as soon as I remember. 

The Girl with the dragon tattoo

I just read this book. There has been a lot of hype around it what with a movie based on it starring Daniel Craig. The book is good. It is a usual thriller with unusual characters. It is a regular suspense cum thriller book. I have not read one in ages and it was a welcome change.
I then downloaded the movie and watched it on the same day. KC was going to come home late and I decided to watch it without any distractions around.
The movie is a page by page copy of the book except for some incidents which have been changed. They are insignificant changes. I did not like the movie. It is a copy of the book without adding anything new. Also, many things have been lost in translation. I don't think the female herione's character comes out too well. But that will always be a limitation of movies vs books.
I have picked up 2nd part of the book and am crawling through it like a tortoise. Need to find sometime to read. Need to travel on the metro. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Naya Ghar

Nope, we did not buy a house.... just rented another one. Thankfully, we found a house at lower rent in the next building. Overall, we thought it was a money saving deal. The house is clean, big with a lot of minor details taken care of since the owners used to reside here years back.
There are many things which are an inconvenience:
  • No balconies. There is one tiny balcony where we can squeeze in the clothes drying rack. All the balconies have been taken inside so the house is larger. The part where the balcony should have been has wooden flooring and looks good. But, I miss balcony. No matter how small a house, it should have a balcony. I do not sit and ponder or even spend time daily there but its a nice thing to have. It gives the illusion of space and an outdoorsy feel. 
  • Yellow lights. I really do not understand this Gurgaon phenomenon. Every house has yellow lights. It is like living in the USA. For me, white light is mandatory. We will get them replaced next weekend. We have reached our saturation limit this weekend. 
  • Kitchen cupboards. When a flat is bought for investment purpose the owner does not worry about cupboards and stuff. There maybe cabinets in the kitchen which can be customized according to the tenant's needs. In our current flat, the owners have made cupboards basis their needs. For me, this means that many of my dabbas which store stuff do not fit. The cabinets are too high for me or the cook to reach and using them is out of the question. It is a weird setup. Thankfully, there is a chimney and plug for microwave. 
  • Too many mirrors. I am happy to see mirrors but there are sooooo many of them. There is one at the entry and you can look at yourself while in the kitchen, a mirror behind each bathroom door. Watching yourself pee is no fun... you get to see fat from different angles which is not the best early morning sight. These are apart from the regular mirror on the cabinet. There is another one in the lounge room. Surprisingly, none in the bedroom but our dressing table mirror makes up for it. 
  • Smaller cupboards. This means that with the amount of stuff (clothes, shoes, bags etc) I have, the cupboard is packed to the brim. I cannot shop for atleast another 6 months 'coz there is no space to keep them. Maybe, I do have a lot of stuff. A smaller cupboard brought the realization. 
  • No dressing table. The previous flat has a magnificent dressing table. Its amazing how stuff can expand (through shopping) to fill up spaces. And now, all of it does not fit into our smaller size dressing table. I have found a way around it but am not too happy. 
  • View. The current flat faces the road and the other flats are closer together. This means that we can hear traffic (not too much though), we will get better breeze since it is breezy on this side of the building. This part is the most pleasant side to take a walk on and many times I would pass it and wonder what it would be like to live here. It means we need curtains since KC and I are not very fond of the concept of "clothes" specially in this season (40 degrees and more). Even the bedroom has so many glass panes that curtains are mandatory. The balcony looks onto the tennis court but the view of the garden is blocked by another building. Our previous flat looked out into an open space and we could have done anything without needing curtains. 
All in all, the flat is better. It feels lived in and more at home compared to the previous one which was sparse (for lack of another word to describe it). KC and I are totally beat. We have been on the move since 7 am yesterday. The AC guys finished their installation at 10 last night after which we had dinner. I woke up at 7 am and cleared out stuff today. There was also the 2 hour dance class in the evening. I cannot afford to miss the classes since we have started preparing for the summer workshop in July. The workshop is basically stage performance by the students. It is different from normal class because the focus is more on the routine (series of steps on the song), performance and less on the technique. In the sense that, regular classes have 20 mins of dance and 40 mins of exercise and technique (pointed feet, straight lines, straight legs etc etc) while in workshop classes it is vice versa. Today, we were taught ten steps which we mastered while doing them slowly. When the song was played, the ten steps were barely few seconds of the song. Now, THAT is hard work. The song is very, very fast and performance can be a focus once the steps are mastered. I need to practice everyday to be able to perform decently.

I need plants for the house- outdoors and indoors. Thats the only way to get a better view. 

I will try and blog more often now that we have shifted and 80% of the stuff is done. Ciao. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012


  • It is so bloody freaking hot. My car AC which seems decent enough feels like a fan even on the highest setting. The bedroom AC does not seem to cool enough. I need the fan as well. Whew... 
  • Loving the women in shorts. They are everywhere... in the malls, on the streets, in markets. Its like a dress code for summer. Have not seen so many women don shorts at the same time anywhere else. They look good. Safety, be damned. The men are not going to keep the women from having fun and wearing what they want. No wonder, everyone has a car so that they can safely wear shorts
  • There are so many torn, dirty, fake notes floating around. Last month my newspaper wala gave me a fake 100 rupee note which I had to pass along to the grocery store. Thank god it was Rs 100 and not Rs 500/1000. Everyone checks those before accepting. I check every note I get. I do not want to carry around torn notes. Sometimes people try to force me into accepting the torn notes. It happens at the parking of malls but I refuse everytime. Weird part is I have not seen these issues in the West- Mumbai or A'bad for a long time now. 
  • Weird things I get to see here-
    •  a man driving his car with the driver's door open, not open by mistake but completely open
    • a man driving a car with broken bumper which eventually falls down and starts dragging on the road
    • a self important "Baba" who comes to GK1 market to shop with 15 commandos in 3 bullet proof cars. He enters the shop 'Kunchal's", insists that the shopkeeper not allow anyone else to enter/shop while he is there with his entourage of women. The shopkeeper gives in. He spends 2 hours inside while commandos guard the doors and do not let customers enter

Friday, May 18, 2012

Books and Movies


  • Maximum City by Suketu Mehta: Why did it take me so long to pick it up? There are books which are fillers and then there are books like these which make the hobby worthwhile... which add to your life... which you remember forever... which mark your life. Like, I remember when I read "The bridge across forever" by Richard Bach. I remember the book... stage of life... the exact mind frame I was in. I remember reading Shantaram... remember gifting it to KC (who never finished it but thats another story. While we were dating, he would pretend to read it) ... remember exactly how I felt. Coming to the book, it is about Mumbai... everything that has defined the city- underworld, bomb blast, bar girls, Bollywood etc. What makes this book different is the in-depth research. Suketu has met the underworld guys... he has even interviewed Chhota Shakeel; to the point that when a person was shot dead... Suketu knew who killed him, where he was hiding, who his accomplices were, what was his real name. He could not give this information to the police and so decided to stop the research. He has also interviewed the cops. So, you get both sides of the story. Brilliant book. I wish I could do something like that. Would make my life worthwhile. One book like this... awards... and money from royalties all my life. And of course, the job satisfaction- most important of all. Please read it. I will loan you my book if you don't want to spend money.
  • I'll do it my way - The Incredible Journey of Aamir Khan by Christina Daniels: When I bought the book I posted a pic on fb with the update that it is next on my reading list. A friend commented that the author did not even speak to Aamir while writing the book. He did not entertain her. That was a pro and a con. Pro- the author would have been able to touch upon rumors about him and give an unbiased, factual opinion. Also, Aamir would not be able to edit things out. Con- what the author writes may not be correct at all and we will never know how Aamir feels or thinks or who he is. Sadly, the book is a praise about Aamir... it is based on interviews with people around him... those who have worked with him... directors, producers, his uncle etc. There is nothing negative about him at all... which is so strange. He had a divorce... he remarried... he was accused of neglecting his brother... he is rumored to be high handed and a control freak. It is like the author was so scared that the book will not get published that she decided to play safe. Pathetic. 
Current read: Girl with the dragon tattoo

  • Ishaqzaade: We watched this movie last weekend. I read mixed reviews online and on fb that first haf is good and momentum is lost in the second half. Did not like the movie. The story of first half is different from 2nd half. I mean, it could have been 2 movies and it seems the director decided to club both and make one. In the first half, heroine falls in love with the hero even though they have been sworn enemies since childhood. It was not clear why she falls for him. Why? How? Then, he sleeps with her and dumps her. Ideally, it should have been better in the 2nd part with her taking revenge or something. Instead, they fall in love. Will you fall in love with a guy who lied to you, married you, slept with you, dumped you and then spread the pics all over? I would murder the guy. But, I am not making Bollywood movies... I just watch them. What do I know? So, they fall in love and the story becomes about honour killing which could ideally have been the end to an entirely different movie. What I liked- Arjun Kapoor- great acting, dancing and physique. Parineeta- Not good looking at all but can act. Music- rocks. Amazing. Love Amit's music- Dev D, Aisha, Udaan etc. He is truly a genius.
  • Dark Shadows: I was excited about this- Tim Burton and Johnny Depp make a good pair. The story is about a guy who sleeps with the maid who turns out a witch. She wants him but he is not interested. He marries the love of his life and the witch kills her. She turns him into a vampire and buries him. When he is revived, it is the modern world. It is funny to see a vampire in the 21st century. He goes back to the family and tries to revive their flagging fortune and defeat the witch. Thats when the mind fuck starts. Pathetic. How can anyone give it a good review? Do Indian reviewers get intimidated by Hollywood biggies and just give random stars? Avoid. We felt like the weekend had been wasted.
  • Paranormal Activity 3: I watched this one finally. I made KC sit with me even though he wanted to watch the match instead. Hated the movie. I was so disappointed. Sure, as a horror flick it works fine... but not as a 'Paranormal Activity' movie. PA was more scary for the simple reason that it had no prequel or sequel. It was about a normal couple in whose house demonic activity starts happening. While watching it, you are scared because it could happen to you... to anybody. When there is a prequel, it means there is something else going on. Now, it is just another horror movie but is not linked to me. I am removed from it so the fear is lesser. The fear is only through the special effects. It does not scare me like PA after watching which I could not sleep for 2-3 nights.
  • Black Friday: I finally watched the movie. I don't remember the bomb blasts. I was probably in school removed from normal life without access to TV or news. The movie was an eye opener and based on facts. I read about it in Maximum City and the facts were the same. In MC, the gangsters and the cop investigating it has been interviewed. Anyway, great movie. Worth a watch. 


Hiya. I have been so exhausted and busy since the Vaishnodevi trip. 3 days break meant a backload and current load. And there are only so many hours in a day and I cannot work at nights. Its just not worth it. I had a review and then there preparation for a market visit. Everything else went on a back burner.
Apart from work, a lot has been going on:
  • On my way back from work, I stopped at New Friends Colony Market for a bite. I had not eaten b'fast or lunch that day. I parked my car, entered McD, took the food, sat down at a table and had a bite. A lady approached me; "Can I sit here?"
Me: Sure. (If I was not so hungry I would have realized that half of the outlet was empty and she asked to sit at my table)
Her: There is a guy following you
Me: Huh???? (Open mouth... no words)
Her: I was outside the outlet and I saw a guy follow you and enter. He is sitting on the other table
Me: Huh?
Her: Do you understand English
Me : (recovering) Ok. But I just entered and I am just leaving.
The man was sitting opposite and saw us looking at him and pointing. He quickly finished his ice cream and left. He wandered outside looking around and the woman showed me that. 
I was so freaked out. I left the food, rushed to my car and left. 
Scary. Thank god, I do not go to NFC.. ever. And thank god, this did not happen anywhere near my house. And thank god, I had a car and did not have to use public transport. I don't know what that guy was trying to do. Follow me... to where? All the way home? For what?

  • KC and my life was revolving around water last week. Since summers have arrived, the water situation has worsened. I have not faced major issues in my building but last week the supply was affected. The water was available from 5- 8 am and 5-8 pm. Weird timing. We had to wake up earlier and finish bath. My maid had to come earlier and finish the work. I would rush home from work and rush to the washing machine all the while praying that the water is supplied for an hour extra. Gym was out of the question... getting sweaty in the heat and then no water for a shower was out of the question. On Saturday, KC woke up late and there was no water for bath. He had to wait till evening to take a bath and leave home. On Sunday, I woke him up early. He took a bath and went back to sleep. Thankfully, things are ok now. The only time I have faced such a situation was in boarding school in Mt Abu. We took a bath on alternate days only and head bath was once a week. 
  • On Monday I woke up to body ache, head ache, cold, fever and a pukish feeling. I still had to go to work. There was no scope for taking the day off. It is so so so so so bloody hot and I cannot stop drinking cold water. My nose is running and yet I cannot bring myself to drink warm water. 
  • Apart from water, we are dealing with electricity woes. Yes, it was always bad in Gurgaon and we didn't feel the pinch since there is power back up. But now it is worse, in one hour at night... the electricity will go and come atleast 4 times. It is very irritating. At night I woke up at 3.30 am when the electricity was cut off. I couldn't sleep for quite sometime. Its sad... Gurgaon is called the "Millenium City" but there is no public transport (apart from some metro stations) or electricity or water or safety or street lights. Sad... 
  • We are moving out of this flat. Our landlord's broker made our life hell from day one. Our own broker was no use. I am still pissed with KC for paying him the entire money. We renewed the lease on the current flat since moving out would be an added expense but the landlord's broker sent us her "bill" for services provided. We refused to pay and decided to move out. Hope she goes to hell soon. So next 2 weeks are going to be hectic with moving. We have yet to start any of it. 
  • We went for pre dinner pre movie supper to Chillis. We had visited the outlet in Mumbai on the recommendation of an acquaintance. It was a bad experience then... the food sucked. The cheese was too heavy and tasted pukish. I wanted to try again since I have seen the outlet in Vasant Kunj Mall always packed. We ordered a sandwich and fries in some ranch sauce and iced tea. I had to ask for water twice. I hate restaurants that do not serve water and have to be reminded. How expensive is water? How can you not serve the basic need of a person? Everyone serves water first to a guest... how can a restaurant not? Strange. Food arrived but drinks did not. I reminded the waiter. He had forgotten. We finished our food... no sign of drinks. When he brought it, I told him we have finished eating. Instead of apologizing, he took away the drinks. He did not even ask us. Then comes the bill... and they bloody charged me 10% for service. If I am happy with the service, the maximum I would pay anywhere is 5%... 10% is stealing from me. In Gurgaon, most restaurants have a service charge. I refused to pay the service charge. Why pay for something I did not get. They deducted the amount from the bill since they have opened recently and a ruckus with a customer will not look good. 
Whew... long post... and I have more... but I will wait for 1-2 days. Until then, next post is on books and movies. :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Trip

Hiya. Sorry for the silence. I wanted to blog about many things but life has been extremely busy. Last Saturday, my parents had a stop over at Delhi on their way to Srinagar. I did not join them on the Kashmir trip since I had month end. They landed at 9 am and I took them to the mall in Vasant Kunj. After some retail therapy (why do shops open soooo late?) I dropped them at the airport and rushed home. In the evening while heading to the gym D called and invited me for dinner to Nizamuddin. KC and I had planned a night in with some wine but I really wanted to try the non veg at Nizamuddin. It is a very famous place where people park near the road and eat non veg and have liqour in the car. No, there are no cops. Cops look the other way. It is hard to find if you don't know where exactly it is located. Umm, it is between Khan Market and NIzamuddin... just before the signal. We had mutton burra kebab, chicken seekh kebab and mutton burra roll. I do not eat mutton 'coz it is red meat (and unhealthy) and also I find it harder to chew. Here, I fell in love with the mutton... it unbelievably soft. For 3 kebabs and 5 rolls, we paid 300 bucks per head among 5 people. Not bad.
On Monday night, we headed for Avengers. I reached the mall from office while KC came direct from Noida. I was exhausted waiting for him and it was a late night show. I fell asleep within 15 mins of the movie. I don't think it was too great. We left for home in the interval.
On Thursday I left for Jammu from where I took a bus to Katra to go to Vaishno devi. No, I am not religious. On the contrary, I am allergic to anything remotely religious. I think it is all a farce... people are just trying to find something/someone to blame for their problems and God becomes a convenient excuse. It gives them false hope and they keep waiting for miracles to happen to them instead of finding their own solutions. To counter my own self, it also gives people hope and a strength to fight life's battles. I think I can fight without heavenly help. My parents, specially Mom, is overally religious and our views do not match on the subject. Few years back, she had expressed a wish to go to Vaishnodevi. She wanted me to come along since I was in Gurgaon then. I had reluctantly agreed but the trip never materialized. She has been to the temple twice already and this time wanted my bro to come along. I decided to join them to gain some goodwill.
Vaishnodevi is a temple located among the Himalayas... 11 km from Katra. People generally walk all the way... there are options of horse ride or palkis for those who cannot walk. I reached Katra at 7 pm. After dinner, we negotiated for a palki for my dad since he cannot walk. Since it was night and the government palki wala was closed, the locals had doubled their rate. We had no option but to pay. Mom, bro and I decided to brave the walk. The 11 km are steep, on a winding slope. There are steps at some places but climbing steps creates more pressure on the knees. We walked... and walked... and walked... all night and reached the temple at 3.15 am. (We started walking at 10 pm). The first 5 km of the road are lined with markets selling food, snacks, handicrafts, knick knacks which are open all night and day. There are 2 CCDs on the way. Anyway, there was not a long queue in the temple but it was still filled with people. After a quick darshan (very, very quick) my mom insisted on going to another temple 2 km away. Now, I was pissed. I just wanted to get over with and go back to the hotel. So, we walked... the most difficult part of the journey... since the 2 km were ascending directly upwards. There were around 1000 stairs incase someone did not want to walk. I rushed through the darshan which pissed off my mom. I didn't care... it was some Bhairon's temple. Not that it matters.
On the way back, we took a tempo for the first 5 km and horse ride for the balance 6 km.
We slept all day and then headed to Jammu next morning.
I think the place is over rated... the whole idea is to get people to spend money and boost the economy of Katra. I believe that in a religious place people will be polite and charge correctly. Not so here... from the palkiwalas to tempo guy to horse guys... everyone charged a bomb. I was disgusted. These people are taking advantage of religious sentiments. The management in the temple is pathetic. Going during the day can be mind fucking.
If you are very religious, please go visit the place. You will love it. If you are anything like me, avoid. Pathetic place.