Tuesday, February 26, 2008

guess what?

Jacket on my work chair.
Shoes and dirty socks under my nose.
Dirty clothes on the dining table.
Travel bag on my trampoline.
Wallet on one table.
Keys on another.
Wet towel draped on door.
Boxes of strawberries.
No prizes for guessing.
Teja is back home.

Friday, February 22, 2008

And if you need to know more about me, you only have to ask

Dipali tagged me, so here goes.

A -Available?
Never!

B-Best friend:
Teja. Though Dhanno won't like that.

C-Cake or Pie?
Rasgullas.

D-Drink of choice:
Water, tea without sugar, red wine and beer.

E-Essential thing used everyday:
Dhanno's magic to see me through the day.

F-Favourite colour:
Don't even get me started. Jamuni purple, sunsetty blue-pink-orange, the yellow-white of champas, the emerald green of my bedroom, strawberry reds .......

G-Gummi bears or worms:
If the Gummi bears are the sweet candies I think they are.

H-Hometown:
Pune Camp.

I-Indulgence:
Dark chocolate ice-cream

J-January or February:
June and December.

K-Kids and names:
Dhanno.

L-Life:
Is unpredictable, and I like it that way.

M-Marriage date:
Teja and I can never decide which one to celebrate. Anyway, we usually forget them all.

N-Number of siblings:
Two.

O-Oranges or apples:
Oranges.

P-Phobias:
Claustrophobia.

Q-Quote:
Dance like no one is watching you. The way I dance, I have to do it that way, or I'd never dare to put a foot forward.

R-Reason to smile:
None or many, depending on MY MOOD.

S-Season:
Vacation time.

T-Tag three people:
Sur, Ani & Amit, Designing woman

U-Unknown fact about me:
Don't know who knows what about me, and who doesn't. And who cares?

V-Vegetable you do not like:
Tendli.

W-Worst habit:
Drifting.

X-x-rays you have had:
Not too many, as yet.

Y-Your favorite food:
Tandoori chicken

Z-Zodiac:
Cancer.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

the rickshaw wala and the city

Rickshaw walas in Nagpur - go home at 8 pm. Have to be called on their cell phones and cajoled into giving up their favourite TV show and bribed @ 50 Rs. per km, to drop you back to your hotel. The fully satisfying dinner your friend made digested by the time you are through kicking yourself for dismissing the production car in a spirit of benevolence.

Rickshaw walas in Bangalore - exhaust you. They demand too much money, they answer you back in a strange language, all through the journey you wonder whether you are headed towards where you want to go. My encounters with all the rickshaw walas in Bangalore redeemed by the one hero who helped me get my snatched handbag back on a dark street, at night. When I screamed hysterically, "He's got my bag, he's got my bag", the rickshaw wala made a sharp U-turn into a No-Entry lane, jumped out, chased the thief, all the while screaming like a warrior, and me following, doing the same.

Rickshaw wala in Chennai - deliberately took me from the airport to the wrong bus stand, where there were no buses going to Pondicherry during the day, and where he could get Dhanno and me to book a taxi instead, with a commission for himself. When he saw us digging our heels in, he disappeared. Another rickshaw wala took us from the wrong bus stand to the right one at 50 Rs for a distance of 1 km.

Rickshaw walas in Delhi - I avoid. I feel very unsafe in Delhi, and would prefer to book a car. Provided I could trust the driver.

Rickshaw walas in Pondicherry - had a standard 40 Rs. rate for within the city, and 100 to 200 Rs. for outside. I didn't even bust my head about it, Dhanno and I just walked, and then took a rickshaw when we were tired.

Rickshaw walas in Pune - are rude.

The rickshaw walas outside my gate in Mumbai - are there 24 hours of the day. I can take early morning flights without worrying who will drop me. I suspect their meters run a bit faster than the standard, even then Mumbai rickshaws are cheaper than anywhere else.

Of course, what I ought to have done is kept a record on the antecedents of all the rickshaw walas I've been subjected to, then this would have been a useful analysis for the MNS.

The General Secretary of the MNS defending her leader's statements with shining eyes and a sincere voice said, he only meant to talk about those people who are arrogant, who don't mix in with society. As a woman, she said, there were so many times she cannot find a taxi to take her where she wants to go, they don't do their job well.

I didn't know that taxi walas take a professional oath to serve the public come what may. Maybe they do, but it gets a bit watered down as they pass along their permits and licenses to each other in shifts.

If we are doing away with (no, oops, sorry, we are not doing away with, just sending back) people who don't do their job well, the city could be cleaned up in no time at all.

In the meanwhile, I suggest the lady take rickshaws instead.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

sholay and the art of dramatic writing

Dhanno and I dropped in as guests to a scriptwriting workshop at Kalaghoda. Manisha (good, good teacher) was discussing 'Sholay' with reference to Lajos Egri's "The art of dramatic writing." We had a lot of fun. I showed the songs from my film 'Lilkee', and we all agreed on how we love songs and believe in using them in films.

Zee Cinema was showing Sholay that evening, and Banno, Dhanno and Teja stayed up until midnight to watch it , yet again. Dhanno didn't go to school the next morning, but hey, we did notice some things in the film we hadn't before.

The words "Ramu ki saali" in the Holi song.

The sets of Thakur's haveli are really bad. I mean he's got "purkho ki zamindari" (ancestral land) and a large family, and his house looks like a shoddily put up shack.

What's with the end? Yes, it's nice to end with train leaving the station, as it was to begin with train arriving at the station. But why is Veeru so surprised at seeing Basanti in the train, was he planning to leave her behind and go away, even after she danced on shards of glass for him?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

One good thing about multiplexes is that you can go to see a film alone, without attracting any attention. That is, being a woman. I don't do it too often though, only when I want to see a film badly enough. It's not that I am uncomfortable being alone, but one of the best parts of seeing a film is coming out of it, then talking about it, bitching about it, dreaming about how you would have done things better, if only a producer trusted you enough.

When Dhanno was little, I thought she would be scarred forever by the film discussions between Teja and me. She'd sit through a film, trusting enough, enjoying herself, come out happy; and then would start our griping about the film in the car. She would get more and more miserable, not understanding why we couldn't just enjoy ourselves like she had. Then, she learned to argue with us about why we should have liked the film. Often I'd tell her, for nothing else but to lessen her misery that we did enjoy the film, but we just couldn't help ourselves, we needed to discuss it like that, it was part of our job. That pacified her a little.

Now, she either tunes off when we start discussing a film, or she joins in with a vengeance, depending on which end of her adolescent mood swings she happens to be.

Whenever I do go to see a film alone, I remember my Kaki Shirin. A gentle soul, thoroughly dominated by her husband, her one pleasure was to sneak off after lunch for a film at Maratha Mandir, sometimes with my mother who was equally film-crazy, sometimes alone when she didn't want to invite any comments from her husband about leaving home, and housework and going off to the movies.

Today, I saw 'Valu' by the way. If you understand even a little bit of Marathi, see it. It's delightful.