Friday, November 23, 2012

A Star in the Sky

She was the eldest grand daughter to someone who remembers and take pride in her cooking attempt. She was the most pampered kid in house at whose will even the strict and angry men at home have a smile at the corner of the lips. She was the eldest daughter to the luckiest parents who could never understand what she exactly wanted. She was the most lovable niece to 3 aunts who have showered their full motherhood on her. She was the little sister for a guy who shows a strong face in all phase of life. She was the eldest sister to many cousins who don't miss to mention her resemblance at people they come around. She was the closest friend to someone who can do anything for her and who can also do exactly the same thing she did.

She was so curious in everything and liked to listen to stories recited by her aunts. She was so beauty conscious that she kept on combing her hair for long hours standing in front of the mirror. She was a violent fighter with cousin brothers when they don't treat her equally in boys' games. She would climb the big gates just like how they do. She also played the sweet little girl's games like kids cooking and indoor games with her cousin sisters.

The brave cum timid girl who did what she thought was right but never once thought how she would make others cry. She no more makes people dance to her tunes. She can be seen only in the lost photographs and in non-recordable dreams. Though many years passed she stays and will stay forever young in our hearts and memories. Not all days remind her but some moments are just like flashes of lightning which can neither be predicted at what moment they come and what second they leave.

She has taught us how to live and move on in her absence. She taught us never to do the grave mistake by herself doing it. The apple of our eyes is no more in this world but a star in the sky shining ever bright.

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Singapore trip

My earlier travelogues were quite long and kind of boring. I hope I don't end up writing a similar one this time. Planning for an overseas trip was always there in my mind right from the day when Trip packages advertisements were being put up in newspapers. I had checked the tour packages to Europe, London alone, Thailand, Cambodia, Australia, North East India, Himalayan tour and what not places in the globe. I remember writing in my diary long time back the major cities in the world to be visited. One such wishlist city is Singapore and I am so grateful to my life to have fulfilled this.

Planning for Singapore started when me and my cousin(Abhi) used to chat in FB. It was our plan to visit either of our residing cities - Dubai or Singapore and this time his city took preference as according to him, it costed me less than for him to visit Dubai. Also I had a 5 day holiday weekend during which I can travel and get back to work without applying for any leave. The week when I searched for the lowest possible air price was just mind blowing with too many wavering in my mind - Should I go? Should I actually spend this much? Will I be able to make it alone? Is it absolutely necessary? What will mom say? What will dad say if at all he comes to know? :P Too many questions and finally only one answer - Yes I am going and I am not going to step back. The day or the time when I booked must be definitely a good one, coz my Singapore trip was so lucky to me. The reason for this will come in a different post may be in a month or so :)

Tickets booked, accommodation arranged by cousin and the next thing is Visa. It gives me jitters for no reason if I had to go to an embassy. Thanks to VFS Global which processed my Singapore Visa in just 2 days. The atmosphere of the visa agency was close to a military headquarters{purely my imagination} with so much formalities and security.  To my surprise I received a 2 year multiple entry visa to Singapore. A small shopping in Dubai for the Singapore trip and the currency exchange - all went smooth and I was on the plane set to fly for the holiday.

The onward flight journey had nothing interesting except for a good food and a long sleep. With so many trips to airport, my fear about airports and being over alert at all times in the airport has reduced a little. As usual enjoyed my own space in the airport with my iPhone watching 2 movies - The accidental husband and The Lake house. Both the movies were awesomely romantic - thanks to my friend who sent me a list of must-watch movies. During my return journey I had this chance to meet a russian co-traveller who was so kind enough to give me a Luck-bringing coin as a souvenir of our meeting. His name is Sergey and he took so much pain to communicate with me with his less knowledge of english by making all sorts of action with his fingers. This was all perfect for a person who go on a holiday and meeting strangers on the way. I am blessed to have a life like this.

And coming to those 5 days in Singapore - each and every day was so special in its own ways. Just like a foreign tourist, my cousin had plans to take me to major tourist spots in the city. The NUS campus where I stayed was totally green with so many trees and it reminded of my college campus. The lawns were superbly trimmed and one night we were just lying down on the bed of grass. I can never get back such a beautiful moment in my life. The thing I missed most at that second was the stars in the sky as it was too cloudy. Seeing so many research graduates talking about their thesis, papers, labs, professors, books - I felt sad a little that I was just a tourist and not went to study there.

Day 1:
The emirates flight was so comfortable that the day I arrived itself I could go on a night walk along the lake side to Clarke Quay - a different night life area. The city being connected in all corners via MRT train system was easily accessible at an affordable rate.

Day 2:
Another tourist friend of my cousin joined from India the same weekend. So we had good company to go places. In the Jurong bird park, the intelligent birds gave a warming show to us doing exactly what they are said to do. I was immediately attracted to the colorful birds - parrots, pigeons, swans, macaws  swans, cranes and so on and thoroughly enjoyed visiting each section in the park and clicking so many photos. What   I loved the most is personally feeding those birds with a small cup of bird's food.
From the bird park we headed to Jurong shopping mall and a had a nice lunch post which we went to an another shopping mall - IMM where we shopped some silly things for 2$ each. The day2 evening saw me in the Gardens by the bay where artifically created chilled garden and pouring waterfalls welcomed us. Enjoyed well in the chillness after a humid day long walking. Had a beautiful view of the city from an unimaginable height of 56 floors at the Marina Bay Sands. For the first time in life I was standing at such a height{Never been to the Burj Khalifa top yet} and my ears blocked while in the lift. When I looked down the whole city was in front of me brightly lit and with the giant Flyer wheel appearing so short. This photo was shoot at that place. Really brightly lit isn't it?
The day didn't end here - Yes it was a very long night. From the Marina Bay sands, we went to the Casino - my first time visit to such a place where so many people were religiously placing their bets and hopefully waiting for their number to come. One hall itself was so big and the casino spanned 4 such floors and every seat was occupied by all sorts of people across the globe. Sigh ! photography was prohibited in the casino - but luckily I was above 21 to have at least a glimpse of the place after getting my age verified via my passport.

From the casino, headed to have dinner @Swiss restaurant - Marche where I tasted crepe and some wierd sort of mushroom. The picture below with the wine racks was shot there.

The night walk in the orchard road was so funny and so entertaining with everyone in the gang pulling each others' legs and I had a great hearty laugh after a long long time. Some happy snaps on the way were taken. One such for my blog is here.

The night of the day 2 got complete visiting the Majestic MerLion - the icon of singapore. The story why the lion became the icon and how did it reach at this place - all can be found in WIKI - saving my blog.

Day 3:
The plans were made so well that after a lengthy day, the next was quite relaxing. We went on to visit a soothing and calm place - the Buddha tooth relic temple on day 3. A typical chinese architecture in the middle of ever bright China Town was a pleasant place to just wade away the time.
I did buy a lot of cute souvenirs in the china market after which we went to Mustafa shopping centre - which was not upto its standards and its much hype. The whole place was too crowded and was rightly named as Little India as everything you find in India can be bought here. I didn't enjoy much as I was mostly waiting for my friends to finish their electronics shopping. I got hold of a foot massager from this place - it was quite handy and powerful to relieve pain. That day we had booked tickets for the Night Safari. Trust me, the place was so so jam packed with all the tourists in Singapore. The tram journey took us through the rain forest and we also had to walk a number of rails. I felt little scared to walk amidst those trees in that pitch black forest, but it was a different experience to cherish. The night ended there with all of us exhausted so much - may be because of the weather and the crowd at all places.


Day 4:
It saw me as a totally changed person enjoying all the rides in the Universal Studios of Singapore so enthusiastically and with full energy. 3 roller costers, the mummy ride,  one 3d transformer ride, a 4d experience with Shrek, The lost world dinosaur ride, Madagascar ride with all the animals, Steven Spielberg's stunt workshop, photos in front of the Hollywood, Disney land carricatures and losing my way in the crowd once. Yes I missed my way all of a sudden and searched for my gang for nearly 5 minutes after which called my cousin from a stranger's phone. Got really upset and my anger shooted up very well, but I had the sense to calm me down by staying silent for a while. These things apart, the day was so good that I almost forgot that in a matter of minutes and went with enjoying the rest of the time. I have a lots of memories in universal studios through too many photographs shot with different poses. One here for my blog.

After a whole day walking in Universal Studios, we went to Sentosa and a few minutes in the Silosa beach relieved my legs from the pain. True it is,  that the salt water soothes your feet. I loved the relaxing time at the beach and the night ended watching Songs of the Sea - a laser show at the shore of the beach. It was a different show combining technology, music and nature. The rabbit cloud at the horizon of the sea was the highlight of the night. All of us interpreted the cloud in our own imaginations - bull, open mouthed lion, rabbit and so on. What do u readers think of it? Isn't a wonder of nature to look upon for hours together?

Day 5:
The last day of the trip - I went to another electronics market in Singapore searching for Kindle which I could not buy even after a long search. Another local market was the one by the side of Burgis station where I saw all kinds of chinese local things. It was a simple place with so much liveliness and a wide variety of goods. Good to walk through the shops and get a feel of the Singaporean culture. As I had to leave early for the airport, not much was planned for the last day. Also I had covered most part of Singapore in the 4 days. Packed my bags, took the train and was at the right time in the airport. Time came to bid bye to the superb city and the lovely friends who made my stay comfortable and more cherishable. All together a very good trip to smile about even years after. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Barfi!


On a lazy weekend after a very unhealthy afternoon nap, I switched on tv to see if it could entertain me for the evening. Surprisingly it did but not by making me glued to it, but by showing the trailer of the movie Barfi getting released today. The time was 6.15 pm and I have nothing to do since dance class was cancelled at the last moment. My roommates also left to Dubai Mall, I couldn't join them as well as I had overslept. Checked the movie timings in Lamcy. It was at 7 pm and I had 45 mins to decide if I should watch the movie today. It would take me 3 hours to reach back home, by the time the roads would be deserted and it is not 100% safe for a single women to wander around in Dubai. But the thought of boredom at home is more convincing to take it a shot. The phone line to mom was busy {I am mommy's girl, somehow feel relaxed if I say everything to mom} while checking if the movie is available online to watch. Ofcourse all newly released movies are up in the internet the same day it get released. Within 5 mins, I had decided that I should watch it only in theatres and not in my laptop. Can you imagine, that I even read a small review in wikipedia in all that 5 minutes. Got ready and I was in the road for the taxi at 6.28 pm. I am amazed at my speed with which I get ready for anything. Lucky that the last ticket for the 7 pm show was given to me in the theatre. Sadly it was not a very comfortable place to watch a movie from though I never give a chance to enjoy even that.

The last time when I had watched such a emotional hindi movie in theatre was in hyderabad some 2 years back. The movie was Guzaarish and that post of mine introduced me to someone in life who made a huge difference. One word to describe about the movie - Barfi would be CUTE, just cute. Everything in the movie made me smile or laugh out loud. It was not very emotional as I had thought it would turn to be. Thanks to the movie maker. I really loved lauging out with the whole audience at many scenes in the movie. A deaf and dumb person named Burfi brought so much happiness and smile in my day. About the story and all that - I am sure that it is not that important to jot it down scene by scene. I would just finish this post by telling the best part which I loved.

* The city of Koltatta and Darjeeling. I felt like I had gone to a vacation to both of these places when I left the cinema hall. The beauty of both the cities - be it the narrow gauge in darjeeling or the huge bridge in kolkatta across the Hooghly river was captured so vividly that I have decided that I am going to both these places very soon. I wish my wish is fulfilled soon :)
* The love between Barfi and Jhillmil was perfect in all senses. Everyone just like Shruthi would yearn for such love in life and that includes me.
* Jhillmil comes in her cute little skirt and tops with her sweater most of the time in the movie. Her acting plus her costume was too good to watch and enjoy.
* The Bengali touch in Shruthi's character - her name -Mrs. Sengupta, the red tikka in her forehead, the crisp bengal cotton saree which she wears all that was really nice. It portrays the 70's bengali women neatly and I couldnot hide my admiration to bengali women just how enjoyed Vidya Balan in Kahaani.
* Ranbir's comic acting can sure now make anyone laugh. After all he has made us laugh many times in filmfare award functions. He was so so cute in the movie.

I got to stop this blog being turned to a movie maniac website. Enough for now I suppose. Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Back to back movies

Except for Harry Potter series, I haven't watched any other movies back to back. But last weekend was an exception. Saw 2 movies and will be sharing my experience and views on both of them in this post.

The first movie is Music and Lyrics - suggested by my team lead at office while talking about weekend plans. Having heard about the movie falling under the Romantic comedy genre, I had no second thoughts not to watch it. Believe me I have watched a few movies like Princess Diary, Enchanted and a few other movies of same genre n number of times that I can utter a few dialogues upfront and I am sure I would watch them again as well whenever I get a chance. A simple romance about a yester-year pop singer and his new found charming lyricist. Nothing to guess, nothing to break your brains to understand or predict what happens next in the movie. All those Mills & Boons dialogues get repeated now and then only in this those are said by famous artists - Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. A few things which I could not resist noting and admiring in the movie - Drew Barrymore placing all her things - first her bright handbag then her colourful stole and then long coat one by one on the Piano and Hugh Grant removing them from the piano one by one as soon as she keeps it. This scene alone gets repeated in the movie some 5 times or so, everytime she placing her things on the piano and he removing them except for the final time when the movie ends. Though a small thing in the movie but I loved it for some reason. Next, the scene in which Barrymore could not face the author who has deceived and stolen her writing was just perfect. It didnot end with the heroine venting out her full anger on the author. She just could not build up her courage in a day after losing all her confidence just because Grant had pursuaded to do her. I liked the simplicity in her character being maintained till the end of the movie. There happened no magic in her life which she has accepted with whole heart. Also the lyrics of the songs especially the one Barrymore and Grant work upon definetely strike a chord with we. It was so meaningful and so soleful that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I thought watching one movie would take me to sleep directly but I had enough time before the sleeping alarm gets activated in my brain. Browsed through a lot of movies and finally settled with "The lost Valentine". Such a beautiful story which has now become one of my new favourites thanks to my instinct to choose this amongst the lot. On a valentine's day a couple part from each other at a railway station. The young lady expecting a kid soon sends her navy husband to his duty with a heart so heavy and eyes full of tears. He promises to get back soon to her to fulfill all their dreams they had about their life, but never returns and goes missing. With the hope of seeing her Valentine some day, Caroline Thomas waits for him at the station every Feb 14th for 66 years. I could not believe my ears when I heard the number 66. She is right on time every year on Valentine's day at the station only to return back alone. I am sure even well-learnt psychologists today will not advise anyone to wait for someone this long. The movie does not portray that Caroline's life has stopped moving. She keeps on moving in her life ahead always with the hope of seeing her husband one day. The story of her missing husband reaches the local news-agent Susan who is asked to do a story about Caroline. In the course of knowing about the history of 66 years, Susan gets closer to Thomas' family - Caroline and her grandson - Lucas Thomas. It is hard for me to digest the fact that a woman waits 66 years in her life thinking that her husband would return some day because for her Missing means not dying. How deep her love could be? I don't have words to express that feeling, but I can definitely feel it. Susan with the help of her news channel contacts will finally be able to find the whereabouts of Neil Thomas. He had died in a mission to save others and has been buried in the forests of Phillipines while fighting Japanese soldiers. U.S Navy returns the remains of Thomas back to his home and give him the right dignity of burial he deserves. My best takes on the movie -

* The lovely rose garden surrounding Thomas' house and the cute name board at the entrance were just too good for a perfect dream home. Thomas sends back home a tiny wooden hand-crafted aircraft when he hears the news of his baby boy's birth.
* That aircraft hangs on the portrait mantel in Caroline's living room after all those years and the sight of that gave me goose bumps.
* The rose shrub planted by Thomas, which lasted 66 years and gave a rose at the end was just too much romantic to take but it is ok - Few things got to be accepted along with a good movie.
* There was a scene when Susan and her friend were jogging and talking about Susan's boyfriend and his proposal and Susan's decision on that. Her friend argues that the guy who proposed her know Susan very well and very rich enough plus he is so easy going and he gives all the independence she wants in life, but why does she still so unsure and denies his proposal. Susan replies - "I think, I might need more than that". She is not greedy here neither she over expects from the guy. She just misses the love and the passion in that relationship.
*The movie was not like happy ending where Neil Thomas returns from no where so that Caroline stops waiting, but it was sensible enough for a feel-good movie. Also at the end, Susan finds her right man in Lucas Thomas and the movie ends with them playing in the small rose garden.


Looking forward to watch many more good movies like this. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

The music never stopped


I lost totally out of touch to write a movie review. Trying this after a long while. Out of the blue, had an interest to watch a different type of movie. Browsed through the net and got the movies sorted on Ratings. Yes I purely depend movies on ratings and only then watch them. Started watching this movie - The music never stopped after reading a rough outline about the movie in IMDB website. Not many would fantasize like me to watch movies about brain tumor and memory lapse. But I can watch such movies with ease not that I am heartless to enjoy them, but I have this irk to know more about those people who have this memory loss. May be I think, sometime back, mom and me had this strange discussion about how do we handle life if we or someone in family forgets the other person and all that. I know this all sounds crap but we do all sorts of discussions when we have nothing to do. Coming to the movie, the year is 1986{coincidentally the year when I was born} and the couple - Mr & Mrs. Henry get a call from the City Hospital saying their son Gabriel has been admitted there. The son who left home years back had returned only to be found as a patient who have been operated for brain tumour and has lost his power to create new long term memories.

A fair guy with beard and so hairy on his face - I knew not why I like such characters even though they kind of look shabby and have a cancer patient look. For many years I think the film industry is not aware that hair loss is definite in tumour treatments. The elderly couple starts taking care of him by moving him from the hospital to the care centre. In this commotion in their life, Henry loses his job which forces his wife to start working so that they can afford a decent living. In the initial days, Henry is very much uninterested to meet his son regularly - he even utters to his wife "what if I dont go for a day? He will anyways not come to know." Having worked as an engineer for 30 years, he could not be idle for long. He starts his quest for his son's treatment and find a Music therapist. The therapist who has been doing research on connection between music and brain is called to treat Gabriel.

Gabriel who was a hard-core fan of music and had a music band for himself earlier responds to the different kind of treatment. He is made to listen different type of music and the albums from 1958 to 1965 had a deep impact and he remembers each and every song. He pulls out from his memory about the first time when he heard the song and co-relate it to his life incidents. Hearing all this his father does not want to continue the treatment, because he thinks that those music has only ruined his life and taken away from them. He wants his son to like the music what he liked and he wants his son to return back to him as how he wished. But slowly he realises that the only way to connect to his son is through his son's music. Everyday they talk about all sorts of music and his son teach him the intricasies of the lyrics. The father-son bond improves a lot and Henry tries hard to make Gabriel normal like any other person to create new and fresh memories. In spite of his health getting worse, he does not give up on a single chance to get his son's life back.

The son whom he had thought to be a revolutionist and lazy and good for nothing has turned out to be a music genius whom he had never understood. Today he feels so happy that he is able to talk to his son through the music once he hated. One evening, he takes his son to a live concert of a famous band which his son loathes. In that concert, many songs known to Gabriel are played and he enjoys each and every minute of it with his father. At the end, a new song not known to him is played and he does not recognise it due to his memory lapse but still enjoys it. The night turns out to be most memorable night for him as he finally get to meet the famous band. Unfortunately few days later Henry passes away and on his funeral, upon his wish the new song is played and Gabriel recognise it and the movie ends with him telling his mom the incident during which he first came to know about the song.

The movie was so simple and narrated in a very delicate manner. It had few touching scenes like the moment when Henry realizes his son's passion with music, the regular lunch which Gabriel look forward so that he can meet Celia(a small character) at the cafe, Gabriel's mom crying about his health and the therapist's belief that she can make a change in Gabriel's life. I liked the positive ending of the movie on how Gabriel could recollect the night with his father. Of course not all movies about cancer should end on a sad note. All together the weekend started with a good felt movie.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Come-back

It has been almost a year and more that I have stopped writing to my blog space. Yes writing has taken a new format in my life and I was not really stopping that. But after this 3 week vacation in India and after so much brain-storming, I could not find a reason not to start scribbling again. Though I cannot say that the resilience has finallly finished, I would love that phase of my life to get over soon. This post would be mostly kind of wrap up post for those missed days which I feel must be preserved through my blog.

Countless number of books surrounded me and I was reading in a speed like never before. But the quality of reading remained the same what I used to read. My favourite Crichton and Indian fiction plus one or two Historic fiction was what kept my reading brain active. As far as the thinking side of my grey cells, I should say it went almost to a standstill and I could not still remember those lapse of time in my life. But do I regret for those absent-mindedness? Yes I do - for the first time in life, I regret for that. How did it happen? Or in other ways how did I let it to happen? How true it is that it is always WE become the reason for others to hurt us so easily. At the same time, being rigid and unperturbed by anything - would I have gained anything? I am sure it is a big NO.

Loved the winter in Dubai last year and looking forward to another winter though it is 2 months ahead from now. Till then, I am sure I will survive this hot and scorching sun. I am proud of myself that in midst of so many haywire thoughts and happenings, my passion to dance has not come down an inch. Thanks to my Guru and her endless effort to pull out my strengths and more of my expressions.

Had 2 vacations in the past 1 year which would together become 1 whole month during which I visited Mysore, Ooty, Bangalore as part of sight-seeing trips and the usual relative visits. Got promoted to aunt for the little kid at my sister's home. At the professional front, the usual learnings and the responsibilities kept me busy throughout to which I don't have complaints and my fingers are crossed while I say this. Hoping to contine the same.

I think that would be enough as of now for this. Would come back on a different one on another fresh day.