Monthly Archives: February 2005

To link or not to link..

Jobless person that I am, I’ve been blog-hopping a lot lately and in the process, discovering tons of blogs I like to read. This is of course a reason for *me* to rejoice, but the same cannot be said of my blog’s sidebar. Why? Cos a LOT of things catch my fancy — some pretty, some funny, some pretty funny, some awww, some kooky, some fanatic and some just plain weird. However not everyone who visits my blog is necessarily wowed by every blog I read. In addition, I use the Sage extension with Firefox, so the blogroll is actually, rather redundant. So my big question then — who do you put on your blogroll? Here are some options —

  • Every blog you read. Even if that makes your sidebar excruciatingly long.
  • Blogs of friends. Cos that’s what friends are for .. through good times, and bad times .. blah blah.
  • Blogs of friends who stopped writing six months ago. Just when you are ready to yank their name off your blogroll, they resurrect with a ‘Hello, I am back, I hope to blog more regularly‘ post and slink into oblivion once again.
  • Blogs of friends who haven’t written in a while. The moment you take their name off your blogroll however, they will e-mail you dost dost naa rahaa.mp3. Damn emotions.
  • Bloggers you don’t know from Adam. You add them to your blogroll because they wrote to you and asked you to. You’re just nice, that way.
  • Cool and famous blogs that you never actually read. You add them to your blogroll to *look* smart. The Shaan of your blogroll. Not to be confused with Sonu Nigam.
  • Blogs you like to read, but are too embarrassed to admit in public. The guilty pleasures.

It’s all so confusing. So I have come up with a grand plan for world domination .. oops .. making my blogroll manageable and tidy. I’m thinking it should only contain links to blogs that are *similar* to mine. The similarity could be in content, style of writing, sense of humor .. assorted goop like that. Bottomline — If *I* think that someone who reads my blog will want to read linked blog, then blog will be linked. Yes, it is totally subjective. But as Devang Patel so succinctly and eloquently put it in his comedy rap — meri marzi!

Pyaar ke mod pe..

When it comes to Hindi film music, there are tons of songs I love. People make fun of how I have songs I love, songs I looove, and songs I luuuuuuuve. But amongst the many, there’s a smaller subset that truly touch my heart. Be it the lyrics, the singing, the music or some altogether indescribable element .. there are some songs that make me go weak in the knees and a li’l wet in the eyes. This is one such number.

The music of this movie came as a welcome relief at a time when noise still ruled the scene. And in the midst of a powerful and violent movie, soft melodies like this brought peace and calm, much like the bird that symbolizes its title — Parinda (1989). The soundtrack has the more famous and universally favorite duet — tumse milke aisa lagaa tumse milke. But this song is my pick from the album. Outstanding music by R D Burman, exceptional singing by Asha & Suresh Wadkar, and simple, beautiful lyrics by Khursheed Hallauri, a rare female lyricist for Hindi films.

The scene — near the seashore. The moment — just around sunset, surrounded by the gold and orange hues of the twilight sky. The strains of the santoor, the bass guitar, the saxophone in the interludes, and Asha’s mellifluous voice .. the way she completes the antaras and returns to the mukhda, giving it a slightly different twist each time, something extra .. something more that tugs at your heart. Pyaar ke mod pe chhodoge jo baahein merii .. tumko DhuunDhengii zamaane mein, nigaahein merii ..

pyaar ke mod pe chhodoge jo baahein merii
tumko DhuunDhengii zamaane mein, nigaahein merii

zindagii mein jo kahin aur main kho jaauunga
tumse milne ke liye lauT ke phir aauunga
ae merii jaan-e-wafaa dekhnaa, raahein merii

aisaa naa ho ae sanam jaao to phir aa naa sako
merii ye tamannaa hai tum mere paas raho
kyon tumhein bhaatii nahiin aaj, panaahein merii

koii ban jaaye meraa aisii taqdiir nahiin
dil ke aaine mein ab koii tasviir nahiin
ye haqiiqat hai, asar kho chukii, aahein merii

saath main tumhaare huun, ab koi gham naa karo
khud ko tanhaa mere hote humdum naa karo
hoke maayuus naa dum tod dein, chaahein merii

Film: Parinda (1989); Singer(s): Asha Bhosle, Suresh Wadkar; Lyrics: Khursheed Hallauri; Music: R D Burman

Love, from a woman’s point of view. No red roses, no pink teddy bears, no chocolate-covered candy-hearts. Just a gentle assurance that I’ll always be there.

The ugly, the bad and the good

I recently chanced upon a nugget of information that left me horrified, so I thought I should promptly share it with all my readers and spread the joy. As someone once said — a hundred scarred souls are better than one. Yes that someone was me, so what?

Now, unless you were living under a rock all your life, you have heard of the movie Casablanca (1942). This Humphrey Bogart — Ingrid Bergman — Paul Henreid story of love, honor, duty and sacrifice set against the backdrop of World War II is a perennial cinema classic. But I bet you didn’t know they made a Hindi remake of it! Not just any aira gaira remake we’re talking about, mind you. None other than Armaan (1981). Bogart’s role (Rick) played by Raj Babbar (Yikes! Is there no God!?), Bergman’s role (Ilsa) by Ranjeeta (I’m still recovering from sher Babbar, so no comments) and my favorite block of wood — Deepak Parashar, playing the role of Paul Henried (Victor). Oh the horror, oh the tragedy! Oh that reminds me, the Germans are replaced by the Portuguese and the scene has shifted from World War II to Goa’s liberation. Pure joy, I tell ya.

Imagine this — the smoke filled Rick’s Cafe, Sam playing the piano, Bogey taking a long drag on his cigarette and .. <jarring scene change> .. Shammi Kapoor at the piano, Raj Babbar trying to swallow a cigarette and just when you thought it couldn’t get any better — enter Kalpana Iyer dancing to Bappi Lahiri’s ramba ho samba ho. Or is it Prema Narayan? Either way, it scars you for life, eh? Well, that’s about it for ugly.

Now for something a li’l more worth your time. A couple of days back, I got a very interesting comment from Braveheart on my Ghost stories blog. I am quoting the relevant portion here—

You have rightly pointed out that there is no reason God should be more respected than Ghost. But we the weak human beings protect us always through defence mechanisms. God is our biggest spoof, out strongest protector. We take refuge in his arms all the time. But Satan should be worshipped just as much. I am saying this because if you dont worship him, you fight with him. And fighting with him is fighting with urself. It weakens you. It wouldn’t ever let you discover yourself.

So the key lies not in surrendering yourself, but absorbing him into urself, and hence, growing bigger than him. You should not reject what you are afraid of, you should submit, absorb and grow through it.

It got me thinking again about a topic that I often mull over.

Good is not the result of the absence of evil, but the ability to take on evil, accept that it is a part of us, and then find mechanisms to deal with it. Reminds me of a line from a song from the recent movie Swades (2004)Man se Raavan jo nikaale, Raam uske man mein hai. To do that one first has to accept that there is a Raavan in all of us.

I don’t think this is true only of evil. It extends to a number of negative emotions in general. Grief, hurt, fear, turmoil .. I once had a conversation with a friend about relationships. She mentioned that she avoids getting emotionally involved ‘cos it can lead to grief and pain and she doesn’t want to get hurt. I remember that my reaction was that as long as she avoided that pain, she’ll never learn to deal with it. It is much better that she jumps into a relationship and handles that hurt if and when it comes, and thus, no longer *fears* the pain. Not quite in the same spirit as good vs evil, I know.

They say that peace comes not from the absence of conflict in life, but from the ability to cope with it. True of inner peace too. Acknowledging one’s inner demons, and yet not letting them consume us, is one of the toughest things to do.

That, and keeping a straight face while watching Armaan.

Mommy

My mum is a teacher. At least she used to be one until she realized that the kids she had at home were far worse than any class of unruly devils she could discipline, so she quit her job in despair. What is it they say about trying to improve the world outside when the problem is right at home? Something like that. Poor ma. At least that’s how *I* tell the story. So anyways, I think her teaching gene has been passed on to me. On that note, there is something I’ve realized recently — my life can be divided into phases with regards to my mom —

The nine stages of my evolution

  1. Pooped on my mom
  2. Was in awe of my mom
  3. Disliked my mom
  4. Swore I would never be like my mom
  5. Proud that I was completely unlike my mom
  6. Horrified and emotionally scarred when I started seeing signs in me, of my mom
  7. Denied that I am turning into my mom
  8. Resigned myself to the truth that I am like my mom
  9. Proud that I *am* my mom

Is it just me or is this normal? Do guys go through something similar with their dads maybe?

Oh .. I was saying something wasn’t I? Ah yes, the teacher part. I’ll save that for another post.

Trumped

John Jaani Janardhan
Trrrrump pam pam pam pam

Watched an episode of The Apprentice tonight. For those if you who haven’t heard, this is the reality show from Donald Trump where contestants are divided into teams and compete in business-related challenges. Every week a contestant gets fired until the final candidate who ends up with the much-touted dream job and a six-figure salary.

Given the gazillion people that apply to be on the show, one would like to believe that the final eighteen who compete are some of the brightest and the best. Today, one of the contestants quit, which was a first. Some priceless parting words from the lady —

I couldn’t continue like this any longer. My body was mentally exhausted. My mind was mentally exhausted.

Er .. HUH?