Thursday, December 23, 2010

Man Madan Ambu - Yummy Masala Mix

Man Madhan Ambu is a good movie. No argument there. It makes for enjoyable viewing but what irks me is that it could have been a great movie but falls short by a mile. The director K. S. Ravikumar and Kamal Hasan are master craftsmen and yet when they get together they feel compelled to showcase every single weapon in their collective arsenal which leaves the movie dangerously close to an implosion.

We all know that Kamal Hassan is a versatile actor who does comedy, tragedy, sentiment, action, etc. etc. with equal ease. But everyone who works with the dude makes it a point to drive this home and with a sledgehammer at that. The resultant genre - blending can get dizzying and seriously annoying. Sometimes it is important to decide at the onset whether you are making a farce - type comedy or a seriously emotional drama.

That being said the disparate elements that comprise this flick are really beautiful. The love story is wonderfully nuanced and sensitively portrayed. There are some seriously funny gags so the comedy bits are also good. However the manufactured drama and comedy gets a little tedious towards the end when it unravels in an all - out goofball fest.

There are some good performances that contribute towards engaging the audience despite the shortcomings mentioned above. Kamal Hassan is awesome! And then some. How does he do it? He looks great and is very much in his element as arguably the greatest actor this country has produced. His talent as an actor is matched only by his singing. The haunting "neela vaanam" number is guaranteed to make the crustiest soul in the audience weep. Trisha is surprisingly decent and looks gorgeous. Madhavan plays a thankless character, that of a rich, insensitive, crude, jerk/pig but is nevertheless a hoot. A testament to his growing prowess as an actor.

Nobody and I mean nobody does flashbacks quite like Ravikumar and he has outdone himself with this one. An entire song shot in reverse depicts a tragic and heart - warming love story with none of the "lets shamelessly manipulate audience sentiment for all its worth" crap.

The music is another plus. Devi Sri Prasad is really good.

Man MAdhan Ambu gets 7/10, but it could have scored a ten.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Letter to TIME

I sent a letter to TIME in response to Joel Stein's awesome column entitled "The Awesome Column",9171,2033072,00.html They published two lines from my somewhat long - winded letter in this week's edition. (Sighs) Anyways here is the rest of it.

Reading Joel Stein’s awesome column on how his particular brand of narcissistic writing changed the world of journalism forever, reminded me of a definitive moment in my own writing career.
I first read Joel Stein’s column in 2002, on my first day in college. Feeling more than a little nervy, I had borrowed Dad’s Time magazine so that I could pretend to be the intellectual type and hopefully make a decent impression (notice the almost obsessive use of ‘I’). If I hadn’t been feeling dreadfully inadequate and homesick, it would have been nigh impossible for me to wade through the morass of high – brow and somewhat pretentious articles in the magazine. Somehow I fought my way through the treacherous terrain Time had set me and arrived at Stein’s column on the fag end of the magazine and was completely blown away.
Stein had elaborated at length about his first time on the couch, extreme love for pornography, therapist mom, and his inability to feel anything past a passion for simulated passion. All this in the interest of avoiding writing a well – researched, scientific article for that month’s issue based on health (or was it science?)
I loved the piece and could not help loving the guy for writing exactly the way I did. Sure, my similarly “sophomoric, solipsistic, snarky” articles got a lot of heat for their “morally dubious content” and I had been warned that writing in the first person was not the way to go, if one wished to achieve literary greatness. But here was a guy whose column with its predominant focus on porn and sickly self – love, had made it to Time magazine! And if that were not enough, his was the standout number in an otherwise staid and stuffy publication. Thanks to this remarkable phenomenon, I allowed myself to dream of winning the Booker, writing the way I did and have been pursuing the said course with due diligence.
Thanks Joel Stein for giving me the courage to stick to my style – writing in the first person, with highly opinionated views, and private angst squeezed in for good measure. Of course at 26, I am a struggling writer trying to juggle motherhood and a stillborn career, while the fella who writes like me is making beaucoup bucks, schmoozing with celebs and supermodels, and appearing on TV to gravely pass his opinions on “100 hottest whatevers”. Perhaps I should sue… but I’d rather wait for one of the discerning editors at Time (a truly esteemed publication) to visit my blog, and offer me his / her job.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ratha Sarithram (Rakta Charitra II) – Bloody Disappointing!

Ram Gopal Varma should have left well enough alone. The sequel to Rakta Charitra I is seriously disappointing. The story resumes where it left off in the first instalment but with a new character picking up the strands of the narrative. Surya is out to get Pratap Ravi, played by Vivek Oberoi (whose meteoric rise was chronicled in part I), who was responsible for the loss of his family. So far, so good but unlike its predecessor where the pace was fast and furious, this time around everything is in slow – mo... literally.

Surya as Surya is mostly competent, good in parts, and even superlative in one intense scene where he receives a miraculous opportunity to avenge himself upon his nemesis from a slimy and self - serving politician. But he never makes the transition to greatness the way Vivek Oberoi did in his turn as the man on a mission of revenge. RGV is to blame for this though. In his bid to make his movie appealing to a wider populace, he makes Surya ditch his shirt at every opportunity, show off his ripped bod, and bash up baddies to pulp with his bare fists or handcuffed wrists.

Unlike Oberoi who had to rely on his wits and weapons to stay alive, Surya has to rely on his pretty muscles and superhuman ability to morph into the “Incredible Hulk” to help him through tough situations. Consequently the movie makes a sudden switch from hard – hitting realism to masala – movie nonsense.

The deadly cat and mouse game played between the two should have been nail – biting, but it fell flat more often than not. This was particularly obvious in a scene where the two antagonists come face to face with only the prison bars separating them. It is an unnecessary scene that had to be squeezed into the script in a transparent attempt to make cinematic magic by showcasing the heavyweights who are in the fight of their lives to outperform each other.

The movie has some positives – Oberoi is still brilliant and manages to garner sympathy even as he becomes increasingly like the men he abhorred and killed. Priyamani is decent but she is becoming repetitive. Apte as Pratap Ravi's wife shines. RGV manages to get across the point that violence begets violence and the vicious circle of revenge and hatred has to be broken. That is commendable. But the negatives ranging from bad - dubbing to contrived plot devices are too many to be ignored. Sudeep, who plays the DCP is insipid and makes you miss Bukka Reddy who despite all his faults was never boring.
I could go on in this vein, but I don’t want to be a drag like the movie.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rakta Charitra I - Bloody Brilliant!

Ram Gopal Varma has bounced back from his "Aag" or was it "AArgh" debacle and how!His Rakta Charitra I is bloody brilliant. It is absurdly violent but all that stomach - turning blood and gore is delivered with so much cinematic panache and verve that it is not only palatable but absolutely delicious in parts.

Based on the life of Paritala Ravi (Pratap Ravi in the movie), the film takes a long, hard look at the factionists who run the country today. Narasimha Rao is the head political honcho in Anandpur and Ravi's father Veerabhadra is his loyal right - hand man. The latter becomes increasingly influential and earns the ire of party member Nagmani Reddy, who engineers a series of misunderstandings which end with Veerabhadra's brutal assassination. The son then seeks revenge and is thrust headlong into the murky world of violence and political intrigue.

It is not the most innovative script in the world but the narrative is so gripping and the screenplay so taut, you find yourself thoroughly engrossed by the happenings unfolding on screen. And the powerhouse performances by perfectly cast actors is a major plus. Abhimanyu Singh as the psychotic rapist/ evil killer is a revelation. Radhika Apte, Shatrughan Sinha as the superstar turned crafty politician, and Kota Srinivasa Rao who plays the scheming Nagmani Reddy especially, deserve a round of applause.

Vivek Oberoi gets the role of a lifetime and it is a pleasure to watch him sink his teeth into it as he devours scene after scene with gritty elan. The bit where he sees his brother's corpse in a dingy jail cell and the one where he kills Narasimha Rao, all the while staring unapologetically at his hysterical wife are simply brilliant. His attempts to change the system while being forced to play the baddie make you love him all the more for he is a bad boy who endeavors to be noble. An Oscar - worthy performance!

You have to be a nitpicker or cursed with a weak stomach to find any negatives in this masterpiece. This reviewer belongs to the former category and had a problem with the scene where a female cop lowers her gun while on a mission to arrest a loathsome criminal and touches his shoulder (maternal affection?) just because he is shedding crocodile tears and winds up with a bullet in her head. An unacceptably dumb scene in an otherwise clever pic.

RGV can take a bow and poke fun at Karan Johar all he wants as this superbly crafted flick has earned him the right! Can't wait to see Part 2 in this delectable revenge saga.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Necklace

I broke Veda's plate today by accident. In her three - year old world, it was a tragedy of epic proportions. Ignoring my apologies, she asked if I could repair it. When informed that it was past repairing, she picked up the broken pieces, disposed it herself and then teared up. Feeling like a murderous brute, I told her it was an accident and the damaged property would be replaced asap. But she was inconsolable.

An emergency phone call was made to her Dad and she sobbed her eyes out to him, while he played the superhero to her currently not - so - super- mom. Finally she was somewhat appeased after he promised to buy her a pink plate with Nemo on it or something of the sort and tons of chocolates besides. Hubby hung up but not before letting me know that his position as her favorite parent (highly questionable) had been strengthened. Veda let me off the hook after a solelmn lecture about the importance of being careful (I knew it by heart since I was the one who usually delivered it).

Having been tried and found guilty without a fair trial (my motives had not been taken into consideration, after all it was an accident and I did not do it on purpose), I felt terrible. It was time for damage control.

I told her that she could bunk her yoga class and spend the evening with me. She was not very enthused at first. But when she saw the items I had gathered for our fun evening - candles, matches, a bowl of water, needle and thread, gold sequins, and silver flowers, she was all fired up.

And so we made a necklace with gold sequins, silver flowers,and wax. Craft work is not exactly my forte and I do clumsy work but thankfully Veda did not notice. When I punctured my index finger for the hundreth time and drew blood, I had to listen to her "Be careful" lecture for the second time that evening.

All in all, minor mishaps and lack of craftmanship notwithstanding, the evening was a success. Veda loved her necklace and showed it off to everyone. I was told to keep it "carefully" in her cupboard. All was well again in her world. And mine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Simple Stuff Parents Can Do To Keep Their Kids Safe

For the past few days, the papers have been full of the Coimbatore kidnap and murder case. Muskan(10) and Ritish(7) were kidnapped by a van driver who had worked in their school and his accomplice. No ransom demands were made though that must have been the original idea. The children were simply drowned in the PAP canal. There have also been reports of abuse. This horrible case has shocked the nation and I find myself dwelling on it often. Could not get to sleep one night so I looked up some basic safety tips for kids on the internet and thought I'd share the ones that seemed the most practical and useful.

Teach Safety not Fear: I don't want my children to grow up frightened so I like this concept. Just give them basic information and tell them there are 'bad people' out there. But there is no reason for them not to go out and play provided they follow some rules. My kids are really small so I tell my three year old that she can NEVER go out of the house alone and she must be accompanied at all times by one or more of the people expressly suggested by me (servants are not on my list of 'safe' people for her to go out with.)

Be Involved: It is nice to keep abreast of your kid's activities just so you know what is happening with your child. Take some time out to talk with your lil one everyday and listen to their fears even if it is imagined and even if you are soo stressed out it is ridiculous (This is my early new year resolution). Veda went through a phase when she was scared of Gorillas and needed a lot of reassurance. The point is you need to become their go - to person in times of need. And it is never too early to lay the foundation for that.

If your child is attending school talk to the staff about whom your child should be released to other than yourself. I usually make it a point to pick up Veda myself but if I can't make it, I call the school to let them know who to expect.

Never Leave your Child Unattended: At least in the early stages, kids need constant supervision. Now this is extremely hard to implement, cos it is nigh impossible to be that vigilant. But parents should make an attempt to know where their child is and what he/she is upto at all times. I like to make my kids wear anklets with bells on them. That way I am literally attuned to them. If I cannot hear the bells and they are not sleeping its time to check. Smart huh?

Hope readers find my tips helpful. Good luck to all over anxious parents out there!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Disaster Movie

Caution: If you are a Rajnikanth fanatic, please do not read this review by a fellow fan who is also a harsh critic when her matinee idol fails to live up to expectations.

I'll cut to the chase. Enthiran stinks to the high heavens. Not surprisingly, director Shankar (proud creator of bombs like Boys, Jeans, Anniyan, and Shivaji) chooses to cater to the tastes of the Superstar's rabid fans by attemptiong to showcase Rajnikanth in as many avatars as possible. So much to the delight of his fans, Rajni gets to play the genius scientist who creates a cutesy Robot named Chitti, who morphs into the bad -ass robot when his love for his creator's girlfriend is thwarted.

Rajni does a decent job as always but one wishes that the make - up guys hadn't shot up his face with botox in an unnecessary bid to make him look younger as paralyzed facial muscles make acting that much harder. Everytime he gave his signature laugh, I flinched and longed with all my heart for the Rajnikanth of earlier days who could steal the thunder from Kamal Hassan with a role that called for just four days shooting (16 vayathinile).

My biggest problem however was with the script as the premise is so dumbed down it makes you wanna howl. You are supposed to check your brains at the door while going for a Rajni movie but this is supposed to be stylistic sci - fi flick so I doubt it was intended to come across as something scripted by a 5 - year old on a sugar rush. Chitti is refused approval by the A.R.D (or whatever) for not having emotions and thereby posing a risk to humans. Apparently there wasn't enough room on his hard drive for some basic programming on safety protocol (the movie is clearly inspired from Bicentennial Man, I - Robot, and Terminater so why not borrow some of the more intelligent elements from those flicks?) instead the scientist guy is told to give Chitti 'feelings' so that he can become more human! And the scientist endeavors to do so by making Chitti peruse umpteen books on the subject and the process is further aided by a helpful bolt of ligtning! Now really!!

And there is one sickening scene in Enthiran which made me really mad. Chitti is sent to rescue people trapped in a burning buildig and he does it with typical ease and panache. Then he hears a girl screaming for help from the bathroom and he makes the unforgiveable error of rushing her to safety even though she is nude. Unable to bear the shame the distraught nude chick runs into a truck that happens to be conveniently speeding along and ends her life. Chitti is berated soundly for his oversight in not covering up her modesty before helping her. Are you frickin kidding me? First of all, why was the girl gallivanting merrily in the tub pausing only to wail for help instead of running for some clothes if she cared all that much? Surely she would have heard the screams or smelled the smoke... Forget the girl, why the hell whould the regressive caveman who made this movie endorse the objectionable view that death is preferable to public nudity even if the individual can't be blamed for that unhappy occurence? It reminded me of the regressive movies that suggest it is the honourable thing for rape victims to kill themselves or glorify honour killings. This one scene made an already insufferable movie that much worse for me.

Ash Rai Bachchan delivers yet another inept, sexpot performance as the hero's artificial love interest who can't stay out of trouble thanks to her empty head. She was the major irritant in a thoroughly irritating film. Santhanam and Karunas were forgettable as was Danny Denzongpa. The much wanted special effects extravaganza the movie promised to deliver was disappointing. All it does is remind us that the most expensive Indian film ever made is still not a patch on films made as early as 1977 in Hollywood (Talking about George Lucas and Star Wars of course) . And is it just me or has A. R. Rahman lost his Midas touch? Perhaps its not him, anything remotely associated with the movie becomes nauseating after a point.

Enough said. For the minority who share my opinion, I recommend an afternoon spent watching DVDs from Rajni's golden days. Watch Thillu Mullu where he will make you laugh so hard your soft drink will come out your nose, Annamalai,Mannan, where he'll make you laugh, cry, and cheer wildly for him, Moonru mudichu, Moonru mugam for his turn as the finest bad - ass this country will ever see.

But if anyone waves a ticket for this disaster movie under your nose, run for cover.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Extreme Action in Kuala Lumpur

Could not think of anything new to put on my blog. So I dug this up from my journal dated April 2009.

I like to think of myself as an adrenaline junkie. My husband however begs to differ. Between snorts of hysterical laughter, he said that people who scream themselves hoarse at the sight of puppies and fluffy chicks have no right to make such outlandish claims. Outraged at his tendency to laugh about my phobia of anything with claws, fur, sharp teeth/beaks, and icky tongues I decided to rev up our weekend in Kuala Lumpur with some extreme action.

Our first stop in keeping with this endeavour was the theme park at Genting. The theme – park was a revelation. It was like those enchanted lands you read about in Enid Blyton books. Our destination in this wonderland was Genting sky venture. It is a one – of – a – kind wind tunnel that is designed to give people like me the chance to experience sky diving without having to give in to suicidal instincts and jump out of an airplane.

Perhaps it was pre – gravity – defying jitters but we decided to go on the regular rides first to ease into our as yet virginal thrill – seeking tendencies. After a giddy tour of the grounds where we giggled and screamed like school kids, we knew the moment of truth had arrived. It was time for our sky venture.

We were greeted by a friendly ‘body fly’ instructor, who assured us that there was no cause for worry and promptly gave us forms to sign. Apparently we should guarantee that the Genting guys would be absolved of all blame should one of us die in the course of this adventure. And if such an unhappy event were to occur our RM50 per person would not be refunded. It was all very encouraging. Hubby asked me if I wanted to quit looking like he might burst out laughing. That did it. I grabbed the pen and signed on the dotted line.

The instructor briskly ushered us into a changing room where we were suited up in flying gear. A briefing session followed on how to fly and basic safety procedures. We were then ushered into a wind tunnel where our simulated sky diving experience would commence. Nothing in my wildest dreams had prepared me for the next few moments. With knees bent and chin tucked in (I was following instructions solicitously) and buffeted by winds up to 193 km/hr I soared upwards. Truly believing I could fly, I soared higher and higher like a majestic eagle or a clumsy peacock depending on your point of view. The wind was screaming in my ear and my eyes stung with the force of it. But my tended towards plumpness frame felt gloriously weightless and I continued to fly. All too soon, it was time to return to Earth. My magical experience had ended.

Hubby and I were given certificates and a DVD that had preserved the moment for eternity. We were told that we were now part of an elite club that included astronauts and cosmonauts from all over the world who came to Genting for practise sessions. Next stop... NASA!!

As it turns out, newly inducted adrenaline junkies are always looking for a fix. Consequently, the next day saw us at the Menara Towers, KL, all set for our urban adventure. I had discovered in my quest for thrills and chills that the AJ Hackett group, pioneers of bungee jumping had a site in Malaysia. The ride is called Flying Fox Park. For the small sum of RM30 you are promised a quick thrill that is guaranteed to get your pulse racing as you glide over the treetops suspended from a steel cable with a pulley.

The ride was everything it promised but was a little tame after our sky venture. I tried to jazz it up by attempting some daredevil stunts but gave it up after inadvertently tickling the funny bone of a group of watching tourists.

All in all, we had thoroughly enjoyed our first foray into the world of adventure sports. I am now game for anything – bungee jumping, sky diving (the real thing), swimming with the sharks, frolicking with killer whales, carousing with man – eating tigers, friendly wrestling matches with grouchy bears and what have you. Just so long as I don’t have to play with a puppy or pet a chick.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Slice of Heaven

I had the perfect birthday... cake! It was a strawberry layer cake from Puppy's (Only the best bakery in the country and Sivadump's only legit claim to fame) with oodles of cream and abslutely gorgeous strawberry icing (glaze actually). I spent a long time simply feasting my eyes on it and trying to capture the beauty of it for all eternity with my camera phone. My elder daughter who cares little for the aesthetic value of cakes insisted that I cut 'her' cake at once and proceeded to wave her plate at me for emphasis.

With great reluctance, I proceeded to slice it up. Not surprisingly it tasted even better than it looked. The sponge was so moist, it felt like velvet in my mouth! Had promised myself that I'll have only a tiny slice on account of my no - sugar diet but needless to stay my willpower put up a token resistance and then succumbed shamelessly to its delectable opponent. So I wound up having only cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Damn it all).

Guilt unfortunately tends to stimulate my appetite so I let my birthday celebrations continue over the weekend and committed one diet crime after the other. Had this concoction called 'Chocolate fantasy' which is chocolate cake with ice cream and followed it up with a sizzling brownie. Talk about chocolate overkill!

Anyways, birthday celebrations are finally over and I am going into chocolate rehab. God help meeee!!!! And Happy Birthday to me. Hopefully this year will be a leaner one.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Discovering Gone with the Wind

I hate love stories. And no, I am not referring to that hindi movie, just stating a fact. At boarding school, the sisters forbade us from reading Mills and Boon romances on the grounds that it was 'sinful'. Since it was given an honorary position in our school's versin of the Index, we girls simply could not get enough of it. We must have waded through dozens on a daily basis. I remember reading one such romance called "Tender Night" and thinking it was the greates piece of fiction ever written. It was about a typist who gets jilted at the altar and swears off men for life only to be swept off her feet by her masterful boss. Remember being so moved, I actually had gooseflesh.

But I lost my appetite for romances pretty quickly. Initially, it was because all the other girls were reading them and I prided myself on being different. So I used to walk around saying that M & Bs were blah and that I myself was into the classics. Later, I genuinely came to hate the sappy fare that was being churned out in that genre. There is only so much a person can take off high - strung, gorgeous, well - endowed chicks and their self - manufactured drama. My well - meaning sister let me borrow her copy of Judith McNaught's "Whitney, my Love" before my wedding and the cloying romance made me wanna puke. After that awful experience, I promised myself I'll never touch another romance.

I had been avoiding 'Gone with the Wind' for this reason. Billed as the greatest love story of all time I figured it would be nauseating in the extreme. Recently, I came across a copy and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it WAS the greatest love story of all time. Loved the fact that Scarlett was detestable to the fag end and Rhett a bona fide scallawag despite being annoyingly lovable. And the sheer drama of it all! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!

That being said, I still hate love stories and will continue to do so, but I love 'Gone with the Wind' and will always do so. And I am not ashamed of it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Death Penalty, Mental Illness, and Parenthood

I did a paper on the death penalty and mental illness recently. It is nice to focus on something far removed from babies and household chores, so I got a big kick out of it. Did anyone know that many people on death row are mentally challenged? Imagine that! I thought the insanity plea was the surest way to escape the slammer and the pleasantries associated with it (Figured that out from John Grisham's 'A Time to Kill'). But apparently there are dozens of cases where offenders who have been executed or are going to be executed suffer from some sort of mental illness.

Reading their case histories, my stomach literally started churning (And I have a cast – iron stomach and am a horror – movie aficionado) . Most of these poor schmucks have a history of abuse – sexual, emotional, and what have you. One poor fella had a monster mommy who would tie him up in a sack and hang him over the fireplace or she would request the neighbors to beat up her son. (Talk about the neighborhood from hell! )Once she even buried him in the ground claiming it was a cure for asthma! This fella (Freddie Lee Hall) was convicted for the murder of a young, pregnant woman (prpbably mistook her for his mother). Another of these mommies from hell used to beat up her son, taking it in turns with his stepfather to whip him with cords and belts. They even made his siblings hold him down while they beat the crap out of him. The boy (Robert Anthony Carter) was convicted for a murder he committed at seventeen. Small wonder that these guys turned out the way they did!

Perhaps we should start handing out licenses for parenthood- decide if people are up for the task before giving them permission to go forth and procreate or whatever. It makes sense does it not? Remember that bugger named Josef Fritzl who kept his daughter captive in a basement andd fathered 7 children with her? If we had the licensing thing in place unspeakable tragedies like that one could have been averted. We have licenses for everything elso so why not for parenthood? Perhaps I'll make like Reese Witherspoon and do a 'Legally Brunette' to get the needed legislation passed.

Funny how I always come back to mommyhood, even when I am doing intensive research on hardened criminals and their fate.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Horrifying Friday the 13th

There are times when you feel like flushing yourself down the toilet simply to put yourself out of the excruciating misery that has claimed you for its own. Yesterday, Friday the 13th was one of those days. I had caught the mother of all things monstrous - the cold virus. And to make matters worse my daughters had it to. Spent the day cuddling the babies and trying to make them feel better about having their noses forcibly cleaned to get rid of the bucket loads of phlegm that had taken up residence.

The elder one broke my heart by shrinking away from me and howling for her daddy every time I approached her, as if in her book I was nothing less than the Boogeyman and the ugly witch combined. Unfortunately, the virus does little to enhance my looks and I must have looked quite scary to her with my red nose, deathly pallor, and streaming eyes armed as I was with the dreaded hanky and noxious antibiotic. As for the baby she whimpered miserably bearing up with the stoicism of the young and made me wanna cry along with her. Finally, I got them to sleep but there was little relief to be had for me.

Could not fall asleep as my lousy cold simply wouldn't let me. Drank hot water laced with honey by the gallon. It is my personal remedy to ease the pain inflicted by the torture device that has plagued mankind since the dawn of time and which is destined to do so till computers take over our mind and then the world after laying waste to it. Anyways it works quite well, for me and people like me who hate medicines and will not touch it unless their life literally depends on it. And I have always ignored naysayers who have disparaged my brilliant yet simple remedy and gone on record behind my back to say all education has done is make an idiot out of me.

Loaded with honey and hot water, I made myself as comfortable as possible and proceeded to read Julie Garwood's 'Murder List'. It is about a hot, do - gooder heiress who is pursued by a serial killer and sexed up by a tough cop. I gleefully devoured Ms Garwood's literary offering with its liberal doses of blood and romance and was thankful for the release it offered me from the twin terrors of phlegm and a tormented throat. More importantly it had helped me survive Friday the 13th and kept me from the clutches of my murderous toilet.

This is a true story of survival in the face of adversity and how something as humble as honey and hot water plus a racy novel can make the difference between life and death. I hope people draw their inspiration from it. Let my saga of suffering be a lesson to all - WE SHALL OVERCOME :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Two Girls?

People usually look a little sympathetic when I tell them I have two baby girls. Some sigh a little, others talk about fate and how we are powerless against its machinations, a few say they hope the next one will be a boy and then get red - faced when they see the look on my face. But my gyno's reaction takes the cake by far...
As I lay on the operation table, trying not to feel like a chicken on a butcher's block, telling myself repeatedly that it would all be over in a few minutes, and I'll finally know the sex of my baby, the room suddenly went still and I heard something that sounded like a mouse. And then Doc told me in a voice loaded with apprehension, "Its a girl Anuja".
"Ok, Can I see her?" said I.
"Sedate her! Do it now!" Doc told the anesthetic in an urgent whisper.
Next second I was out cold and I had not seen my baby! Boy was I mad when I came to. What the hell did they think I would do? Perhaps they expected me to conjure up a machine gun and go on a killing spree...Later Doc told me (by way of explanation for her unforgiveable behaviour) that she thought it was awesome that I was cool with having two girls and not many people handle the whole thing with anything close to equanimity.
A Doc buddy told me the same thing. Apparently there are cases where husbands and in - laws storm out of the hospital leaving the poor mommies sobbing into their pillows. Others pay Docs to tell them the sex of the baby though it is illegal and then opt for an abortion if its a girl. And my maid showed me an innocuous little plant (the internet tells me it is the oleander plant) and told me with ghoulish relish that somebody she knew had used it to poison and get rid of an unwanted female child!!
Anyways its far too depressing to think about all the crap that goes on in the world. I am just glad I don't have to worry about getting peed on in the face, Oedipus complex, future battles with the chippy who my hypothetical son was stupid enough to marry, etc. My only regret was I could not use the perfect name I came up with in case it was a boy - Agni (Imagine how cool it would be to introduce yourself as fire!) So anyone reading this can feel free to use my cool name for his/her son. You have my blessing.
Finally, for those who worry that they may wind up with a 'female' I have only one thing to say - Just give your lil gal a chance, trust me, she'll make you fall head - over - heels in love. And yes I read that over and lines like that are super cheesy but this one has the redeeming factor of being the truth :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Wow!!! Its been soooo long since I blogged. But I have been busy (kinda an understatement :) ) Got pregnant with baby number two and I must admit I freaked out a lil bit. Found myself in a constant state of panic as I wondered how exactly I was going to raise two kids and simultaneously do all the other stuff I had planned for myself (Write the best novel ever, win the Booker Prize, write a script that will have the hollywood bigwigs queing outside my home in Sivadump, win the Academy award for best screenplay, see the world, dive with the sharks, and finally get that perfect body) . Unfortunately, none of this is compatible with childbirth.

Anyways, I handled myself very well all things considering. I snapped at hubby and everyone who had the ill judgment to come within a foot of me, lost my mind temporarily when Doc informed me that she was not even going to attempt a normal delivery, spent the next few months raving about quacks who wanted to butcher you, cried at the drop of a hat, and generally drove everyone nuts with my bad behaviour. Finally, I found a way to get a grip ... STAR WORLD and Veda's PEDIASURE. The former helped me veg out and put my life on hold temporarily while the latter became my pet poison to drive the panic demons away.

I started writing in earnest as well but decided to put blogging on the back burner. By the time Varna was born I had successfully tackled my panic attacks. After the delivery, I was buried under an avalanche of mommy duties that included feeding, changing diapers, looking after the elder one,staying up nights, and keeping my act together. Star world reliable as always is still my bastion of strength and Ensure which has replaced Pediasure is the magic potion that keeps me going. And here is a tip for mommies who stay up nights - pop a DVD into the player and watch a movie. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale once kept me company while Varna struggled with sleep issues.

Anyways, Varna is almost 5 months old and Veda is going to play school. As for me, I am writing again. Women's Era ( God bless em) publishes some of my articles. Also doing some research work. And I have made my peace with the fact that it will be a while before I do the other stuff, I wanted to but I have promised myself that I'll do it eventually.