Archive for July, 2008

Of Blogging and Interviews…

After inactivity for long time at BaB (Being A Blogger), there are two great interviews.

One is Sidin (of Domain Maximus)’s interview by Sandeep. Sidin also writes weekly humorous columns at Rediff.

Other is blogger Meetu (of Without Giving the Movie Away) ‘s interview at BaB. Meetu runs a wonderful movie review blog, it is one-stop-shop to find all movie reviews. Amitabh Bachchan too linked to her review. Gandhi, My Father’s cinematographer David McDonald was compelled to write a comment in response to her review. I, too usually agree with her movie reviews. 🙂

Have great time reading both the interviews,

Sidin’s Interview

Meetu’s Interview

Your feedback on both the interviews is appreciated.

Before signing off, I came across this interesting site called TagCrowd, where you can put your website or blog, and see tag cloud of all words that commonly appear in your blog. It was interesting to see the tag crowd it generated for my blog.

My Personal Resolutions For 2008: Update

At the onset of the year, I had posted my personal resolutions for this year. It was first time I had taken some resolutions. I had promised that I will post a update, so here are my honest confessions on each personal resolution I had undertaken. This is my second step to be committed to my personal resolutions.

1. Work on my physical fitness. Not in terms of slimming, I am slim. I need to increase my physical stamina. Even small physical activity exhausts me. With my current lifestyle, where I sit through my work and during travel, I need to consciously take out time for some physical exercise. I will then go for trekking this year. 🙂
How to do this
• Have a walk everyday.
• Join a gym or weekend dance classes for regular physical activity.

Status: Failed (1/5)

. I have a small walk everyday, but it is not enough.
. I have so far not manged to join any gym or dance classes, but plan to go with my friend this weekend.

2. Save few bucks. I need to judiciously invest my money and generate wealth. I have some buying objectives such as I want to buy a house and buy a scooty for my sister, have a new laptop. I also want to have sufficient money to donate to my favorite charities and NGOs. Save money
How to do this
• Meet a financial planner and chalk out the best investment plan.
• Keep track of all personal expenses. Currently, I can not tell you how much I need to sustain myself for a month. Restrict my expenditure to minimum essential.
• Learn and dabble in stocks, funds and IPOs.

Status: Succeeded (4/5)

. I did experiment with financial planners till I found I was best planner with a trusted Asset Management Comapny (AMC) to guide.
. Though I can not completely track how much I spent (because I forget), I did reduce my personal expenses.
. I did dabble in MFs, but yet to kick off on stocks and IPOs. They will have to wait.
. And Yippe! I bought a house and got a home loan(not without difficulties, its a long story altogether). But the main deed is done!

Continue reading ‘My Personal Resolutions For 2008: Update’

Feminist Reader

Princess: Book about Saudi Princess

It all started with my reading of this book called Princess by Jean P. Sasson. This book is story of a Saudi Princess, who tells her story anonymously, through this American writer. We all have known that women do not have it easy in Saudi.

Saudi is rich but even princesses are shabbily treated by their fathers, husbands and brothers. The protagonist, Princess Sulatana, therefore, grows up with hatred for her brother. Other than the facts that a Saudi women is covered whenever she ventures out, she can’t drive, she can’t inherit, she has to have permission of her father/husband/brother to navigate outside, mere suspicion of sexual infidelity of a women can cause her to be stoned to death.

There are other chilly incidents of a Filipino maid who comes to country only to realise that her duties include sleeping with her male masters. As sexual activity and dates are inhibited, royal princes have been known to sleep with young girls (read children) in countries like Egypt. A girl is electrocuted by her father in swimming pool as she brought bad name to family by mingling with males. A young girl is stoned to death for committing a sexual crime but the truth was that she was raped by her brother’s friends. Brother did not take stand for her. Phew! There is more of stomach-crunching stuff (words/language in book are not gory, its the content that is sad) in the book if you care to catch up. You can read a balanced review here.

Continue reading ‘Feminist Reader’

Movie Review: Thoda Pyaar, Thoda Magic

Nothing better to watch, I went to watch Thoda Pyar, Thoda Magic (TPTM). The show was houseful, and so were all the other shows for this movie. I resigned myself to watch the movie from front lines. It was foolish. 🙂 No, not watching from front seats, you get used to it after 15-20 minutes. But movie was not worth it.

The concept is entirely picked from Oscar award winning Mary Poppins, it is Indianised on the lines of Mr. India (as director Kunal Kohli proclaimed in an interview). The only common thing it has with Mr. India is this is a movie for kids with a “sensous” underwater dance by adults, Ameesha and Saif. This movie can never be Mr. India as latter had an iconic villain, a message and awesome imagination and cinematography. Moreover, adults loved Mr. India, most adults won’t like TPTM.

Just as in Mary Poppins, in TPTM, God sends an angel on earth to unite the family of Saif and four kids. There goes the story in one line.

Casting and characterization are biggest flaws of this movie.

Julie Andrews as angel in Mary Poppins

Rani Mukherjee as angel in Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic

Compare petite Julie Andrews of Mary Poppins’s angel with overweight and visibly aged Rani Mukherjee. Plus angel does not look refined, angel speaks mixture of Punjabi and Hindi! After reading, watching so many fairy tales, this fairy was a one big let down. I almost coughed at the sight of BIG Rani cycling on a rainbow (read kiddie’s cycle) with her legs in air! Even though Manish Malhotra has designed her Nanny’s dress that she wore throughout the movie to make her an iconic character, it was hard to remember she is an angel. She looks silly at times. Now before you “Black” me, I have not said a single bad word about Rani’s acting prowess.

Ameesha Patel, as Saif‘s girlfriend is projected as pure bimbette (I hate this word though), dressed in tight, short dresses. She even rambles about bags and pink/blue interior designs. This was another silly, immature characterization on director’s part. I also cringed every time they called a Rishi Kapoor (dressed in all-white) “Bhagwaan”. And you know what, angels were also bitching in heaven. 😛

Mary Poppins was a musical that made Walt Disney pictures. TPTM has a song that traces Indian history while angel teaches kids about history of Indian struggle. Another song that you must have a lot about being for adults. But that song too had chaotic and confusing moments. I was wondering why would an angel resort to childish, destructive route? I was just confused what director was thinking, not that I care.

My friend who accompanied me to movie predicted that there would be cartoons, well, there were. Not as good as those in Hum Tum. I have like Kunal Kohli’s earlier work like Hum Tum (so- so) and Fanaa, but now I think he is one of overrated directors.

For lack of anything better than yawning, I ogled at Saif’s wardobe. He looked dashing in few scenes. To clarify, I am not a big Saif fan, but I recognize that he is a good actor, gets into the skin of the character.

I don’t know if kids liked it. But a good kid movie can entertain adults too. Harry Potter is watched and read enthusiastically by adults too. There is Baby’s Day Out, Ice Age, Simpsons, Spiderman, Superman and thousands more. If we adults stop enjoying kid movies, I think its time Film Censor board rolled out a “K” certificate, meaning “for kids only”.

Rating: 2/5

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