Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Indian Soaps- Unity In Diversity!

The kiddo and I were talking about Indian soaps today and we realised how integral a part they are of our Indian culture! :P No matter what language, which channel, you can always figure out a few basics without understanding a single dialogue! I am more familiar with Hindi and Malayalam serials so I shall illustrate my point citing a few random examples!

The vamp is the easiest to spot! All negative characters are snazzily dressed, modern and trendy apparel, garish make-up, loads of kajal and an eery piece of music playing in the background! You have your negative character right there! In case of a male villain, he'll be wearing smart clothes with one eyebrow raised in defiance of gravity and a leery smile on the face! A never failing signal is the "Dhishding dhishding" music that starts playing when they enter, signaling yet another "Ab Aayega Mazaa!" moment!

 The Leading lady? The easiest to spot! Traditional Indian clothes, glycerin overdose, silent, suffering, looks saintly all the time. In happy times, the sitar starts singing or a happy happy tune plays the minute she enters and when tough times arrive, the wailing tune starts and then you just want to barf!

And yes, she goes de-glam the minute things go wrong! No make-up and fancy clothes! Na-uh! It's just hidden make-up and designer plain clothes henceforth!

The leading man is the eternally brooding, depraved looking pathetic creature! He cries, is bullied and manipulated by the ladies in his life and is usually a sorry character! These heroes can give the leading ladies a run for their money with all the weeping! A prop most of the time, he comes in handy occasionally to beat up the bad guys who harass his lady love or to turn her out of the house and then later cry at her doorstep pleading to her to come back! Sigh!

All confrontations are with the camera going crazy revolving 360 degrees, with a dhindhindhindhin dhindhindhindhin tune going on and cymbals clash when a point is forfeited to either party and when the game is over another dhich!

There is bitching, conspiracy, khaandaan ka naam mitti mein milaya dialogues, a lot of tears, fights, more bitching and plotting, some romane, then more fights, a few deaths, a few leaps in time, some growing olds, some more tears and some happily ever-afters. That is what is so remarkable about India! There is so much Unity even in Diversity! :P Even our soaps concur! 

Sorry about limiting to the basic stuff and the only two Indian languages I know! I would like to thank my mom for all the info regarding the Malayalam serials!!! Crap serials but were of some use! Thanks ma!

P.S.- The Minstrel like a typical hypocrite watches her daily soaps without fail- Uttaran, Na Aana Iss Des Laado being two of them! Bah! Sue me! :P 

P.P.S.- Wheeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Screw the serials!!!!! I'm back!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dressing Up Delhi

 Image source: thecommonwealthgames.org

What's the hype all about? Okay, I know I was supposed to be on hibernation but something came up today that I just could not ignore. It's going to be a shift from my regular way of writing so kindly forgive me dear readers!

The Commonwealth Games have got the whole of Delhi mad. It was irritating even when it began but now it's crossed all limitations. The hypocrisy of those in power emerges like the blazing sun and burns our vision. The city is being dressed up like a bride- new roads, modern bridges, footpaths renovated, new flyovers, better stadiums, new parking lots- the entire city is being scrubbed and shined for the visitors. All this is great stuff I agree but what the heck does the government mean to do by troubling the residents of the city. Why all this renovation work now? Millions being blown everyday for a few outsiders who are going to visit for a matter of two weeks and go? What about those who live here? Do they account for nothing?

Today I found out from Dopey that the students who lived in hostels on-campus were being forced to move to PG accommodations so that the visiting people could stay there. I mean what the hell? It's sheer beastly, that's what it is. What about those outstation students who can't find a place to move into? Nobody gives a damn? 

Footpaths are being renovated for the visitors. Why was this not done earlier? What about those Delhi citizens who walk these roads every day? Don't they matter? For all this renovation roads are dug up all over. It is impossible to walk in Connaught Place now because there's construction work and debris everywhere. Rains make it worse, it becomes slushy and even worse. To cross the outer circle road is no less than a risky challenge, because there are no subways open right now and no traffic police manning the road for most part of the day and vehicles speed down in a constant stream making it impossible to cross. 

Stadiums are being broken down and built again for those sports persons who are going to come in for the Commonwealth Games. What about our own sports persons? Didn't they deserve better stadiums and better training apparatus? Why is everything being spruced up for CWG 2010? Why was this not done before?

New parking lots, flyovers, and all in that part of the city that shall be visited by those coming for the Commonwealth Games. What about the remaining part of the city? Do they not matter? The citizens who live here, pay the exorbitant taxes, walk down these footpaths, use those roads, practise in these stadiums seem to matter not a whit.

My problem is not with the dressing up. My problem is with why now? We pay for it and it is we who suffer. And instead of showing even an ounce of shame, the Delhi Government proudly says " Come out and play". The audacity is surprising really!!! 

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Minstrel In Hibernation

The Minstrel is going on an actual hibernation... Hope to be back soon! Thanks for all the support and love.. Take care.. :) 

P.S.- Don't kill my ranking plz IndiBlogger!!!! 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Appointment With a Nightmare!

Haircuts are so scary! I mean, it's the easiest way to torture someone like me. By me, I'm referring to those who need to be whacked before they shift their derriere and head to the salon, growl when asked to apply make-up and do not go for a haircut until split ends stare in their faces!

 image source: Good Housekeeping

Okay, I do use makeup I admit (without my kajal and eyeliner I start resembling the Loch Ness monster, no offence Nessie and Marshall!) But I'm not too fond of this stuff. Now going for a haircut is an ordeal really! It's a whole series of tortures going bang-bang-bang right at your temples!

Step 1: Breaking Point
It comes when you look into the mirror and cringe at the vision, filled with new admiration for your bf (since he still loves you despite your looking like that hideous thing staring back at you in the mirror!) That's when it hits! It's time to sacrifice the locks again!

STEP 2: Testing Time
It's when I try and decide what haircut to go for...Googling all the latest dope on haircuts but who am I kidding! That stuff might look good on me had I been Heidi Klum with 10 full-time personal stylists but heck, back to reality! I'm not! No, Garnier ads don't say the truth. And no, your hair won't look like that just because you use Dove! 

STEP 3: Decisions!
Realising all the mighty flaws in my hair, looking longingly at all those gorgeous hairstyles, I settle for the more normal cut! Since, well unlike them, I rarely even comb my hair more than once or twice a day, forget about styling them! :P

STEP 4: Temptation
So I'm all set to go to the salon in the evening, ready to go wash my hair and as I pass the mirror, HALT!!!Wow my hair looks gorgeous! The very day I decide to cut my hair it decides to look its very best! Now if I actually manage to fight the urge to change my mind, I end up at the salon!

PITA, folks, is just plain 'PAIN IN THE ASS' time! When I haplessly try to explain to the stylist exactly what I want. Suggestion- get a picture of the cut you want, makes it easier!

Seeing those luscious locks fall to the ground is sheer torture! My mom was almost in tears when I got my first rebel haircut (i.e. one according to my own wishes! :P) My almost waist-length hair went snip-snip and reached my shoulders that day! Mom's fiery stares almost melted the stylist into a puddle of goo! ;)

 Image source: http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa119/grubfox/1st%20haircut/DSC00853.jpg

STEP 7: Fear!
What if I end up looking like a clown? What if the cut doesn't suit me? These fears race through my mind as the stylist gets ready with the hairdryer for the final blow! (literally! :P)

If you manage to survive all this- there's that ultimate ecstasy of looking into the mirror and going- "Muah! Gorgeous!"

Now that's a high!

P.S.- Just got a haircut! Hence the ranting! :P
P.P.S- Muah! Gorgeous! ;) 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In Deep Water- the final chapter!

Let's just quickly get done with the backwater pics for good! So I can show off some other place that I visited.. :P So ladies and gentlemen...presenting before you the final edition of the back water pics!!!!! ***DRUMROLL***

P.S. -Yes, finally adieu to the backwaters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I can write!!! Yaiyee!!!
P.P.S.- There you go Mr Brainwave, the last pic- what you wanted minus the bamboo pole!!!!!!!! :P:P:P

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Moments of Madness!

Moments of madness are those few moments in our prim n propah lives in which we choose to do things that might seem crazy to others, but hell, IT"S FUN!!!!! ;)

Blog Adda has given me a perfect excuse to share the mad memories. So this is my entry to the Moments of Madness contest organised by blogadda.com in association with pringoo.com.

Memories of madness, well are too many to count...So I'll just dig out five random episodes. And here goes..

1. This is quite recent really. We had no electricity in the house and it had been gone for quite a long time. My lil sis and I were alone and bored (yes folks, that's when most of the craziest ideas take shape!) so we decided to do silly things to kill the time. And we invented "TORCHER" (our reinterpretation of torture!). What it entailed was that we took a torch (a powerful one at that!) and from our house on the 2nd floor, we torched (no silly, not burning them, but directing the torchlight at them and ahead of them..) random people walking on the road. We succeeded when the person being "torched" noticed that there was a mysterious light ahead of them and looked in surprise where it was coming from! It was silly and yes, quite crazy but yes, we HAD FUN! ha!

2. This was part of the same night. Now Justin Bieber has become a hot topic of conversation these days.. either on the pedestal or as the butt of a million jokes! Kiddo said that Justin sounds like a girl. So she decided to do a lipsync concert to prove her point. Folks, there was no electricity, the heat and boredom can inflict severe brain damage as can be seen from this incident. But no offence, Justin, kiddo was right.. So I took a video of kiddo mouthing the lyrics of "Baby, Baby. Baby" with the torch (yes our very own WMD) doubling up as the spotlight and the song playing on the kiddo's cellphone! The end result was hilarious! Wish I could put up the video, but then the Kiddo would get me torched (nah, this time, the real thing ;P)

3. Monsoons can also drive people to insanity!! So how could I get left behind? Bhaiya ji and I were meeting up at Kamla Nagar market after classes. This happened about 3-4 years back so I'm a little foggy on the details regarding the hows and the whys! So well, it was raining cats and dogs and we had no umbrella. Usually I don't even use mine even if we have one because it gets wet! (Okay okay, I've heard that a zillion times! But I don't like wet umbrellas okay? I just don't!!!) So getting ahead with the story, I don't know what the heck got into us that we decided to get drenched for good!!! Bhaiya ji and I went splish-splosh on the roads, jumping into puddles, kicking in them and spraying water jets at each other! By the end of it, we were drenched from tip to toe and my jeans felt like a sack of bricks! But it is one day that I will never forget... ( senti ho gayi bhai likhte likhte...Miss those days bro!)

4. My gang...oh how can things go any less crazier when we are together! The 9 of us put together spelt TOTAL MADNESS! Dopey, Zooks, Don, Enna Rascala, How Rude, Onku's Fashion Guru, the Gollywog, Miranda Priestly and me.. We stepped into the metro and it was a riot, mad fight for the corner seats with Zooks charging ahead of all of us, we were enough to occupy an entire row with our number and the entire Metro with our noise! Our conversation ranged from the inane to the bizarre to complete bullcrap(Enna Rascala's toilet humour)! But one distinct memory I have is of Don's birthday (her 21st if I'm not wrong!) We decided to celebrate with drinks (okay, Breezer it is, but on campus Breezer is still wild for us innocent brats!). Now acquiring the stuff was the twist. Onku's Fashion Guru (OFG) and I were the bravehearts who volunteered to get it. Now where to get it from? Well, a theka (or booze shop)! Sounds pretty simple eh? Not when you're young girls in Delhi at the counter of a booze shop where most of the customers are male! We planned to check out the known theka points in Knags for Breezer but were wary of stepping up to the counter coz of the male crowd assembled in front! So we skipped each until we reached one whose counter was completely empty. but as we stepped up two middle-aged aunties crossed us on the footpath staring at us as if we were aliens with a gaze that would put Cyclops to shame!!! The uncle manning the counter just smiled and commented "unko aadat nai hai na ladkiyon ko yahaan dekhne ki. Aap bura mat maanna!" (they are not used to seeing women here. Don't mind!) We just smiled and asked him for the breezer, stashed the bottles in our bags and left. As we walked we saw the aunties ahead of us and we walked faster to cross them and as we walked by we flashed them grins broad enough to put the Joker to shame and yes, the aunties were left open-mouthed in surprise, not knowing how to react!!! ;) Thus after the sweet revenge we headed to the D-Skool grounds where the rest of the Gang waited with the food stash! With a bottle-opener borrowed from the canteen, we clinked our bottles and all was well in Lala land... :) ( P.S-No, mom, I don't drink anymore! Chill!) ;)

5. This one day remains closest to my heart because yes, its one of the craziest chapters of my love saga! ;P So it was in the days when the Nawab would walk instead of vroom! When he didn't crib after every 5 inches that he walked! ;) So we were out on a date and were at my favourite khopcha- the Hauz Khas ruins. It was late evening and we had to get back fast because there was some work. But it had been a great day together and the evening was amazing and both of us wanted to stay. Work is work folks but work is irritating when it comes in the way of love! But well, loyal to the cause we dragged our feet back to the road and tried to get an auto.. Destiny had other plans for us though! :) After our futile attempts at getting an auto, the Nawab turned to me and said, "I don't feel like going today yaar". I smiled and joked, "Chal bunk karte hain aaj!" (Let's bunk today!). He looked at me, grinned and said ok. I grinned and mouthed a second affirmative OKAY! Now the perennial problem is where to go. And it came up again. He just smiled and said, " We'll go wherever the roads lead us!" So we started walking, late evening, breeze blowing..we walked hand in hand with the stars shining down on us.. It was the most romantically crazy evening. We walked all the way from R.K. Puram to Sarojini Nagar market, had golgappas, talked about the most random stuff, teased each other, ended up walking almost till my house, a long way off!! Until the Nawab's legs could take no more!!! Finally an auto ride later, I was back at my place, he back at his, nursing our sore ankles and aching knees for the next two days!!! But whoa, was it fun! A day I can never forget! :) 

Okay, rounding up the five, I admit that I'm off my knockers completely and if given the space, there can be a book written about the 'madventures'! A bestseller awaits! But enough for now.. Let the applause begin!

P.S.- I am sane most of the time though.. No, really!!!!!! :P

This contest is sponsored by Pringoo.com


The Grand Sequel to Water Water Everywhere!!!

As promised, here's the next batch of the backwaters pics..Okay all these pics are making me write less! So I want to get done with them asap! So I'll bludgeon you with an overdose of pics and a little less of my yak-yakkety-yak!!!!!!!!!!! :)

A squiggly-wiggly coconut tree I spotted on the way! Fundoo!
A church en-route..notice the boat jetty on the right?
It seems that I'll have to put in another edition of the backwaters so well, "Back To The Backwaters" coming soon...Watch this space! ;) :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere...

I don't know how to swim...No, really I don't (don't you dare laugh! :P) So the thought of spending 24 hours on a boat sent shivers down my spine! The backwaters? Yes, pretty and gorgeous...But oh poor me! what if I fall? This was my main concern as I stood in the parking lot with my backpack. The first thing I hunted for as soon as I stepped onto the houseboat was a life-jacket! And my, was that a relief to see one! 

But a few minutes into the ride, I was thrilled! It was an amazing experience, the perfect recipe for relaxation. The houseboat took us from Alleppey to God only knows where! But it was a whole lot of fun.. It was a little hard for me to sit and do nothing, so I killed time clicking away all and sundry!

It's a different world altogether. Boats are the only mode of transport available for most of the people in the area. Their lives revolve around the water, the houses have boats parked in front of them instead of cars and bikes! Imagine going to buy groceries on a boat! (*shudders*) Yes, they even have a Public boat transport system! And there are boat-stands(or whatever they are called!) instead of bus stops. Children go home after school on overloaded(yes, the same there too!) boats. Shops, churches, schools, toddy shops, restaurants, yes all have boat jetties in front! It's a tough life. I did get a ride on the little rowboat too! and my, was that scary! Onlookers got something to amuse them, but hell, I was terrified that the boat would capsize and I'd drown! All it took was a little wave to rock the damn boat like mad!

But it was fun..One advice for those planning to follow suit though...do take something to pass the time there-boardgames, a pack of cards, your Mp3 player, a  book, something! Or it can get quite boring after a while! We played cards all evening after the houseboat was parked for the night and also tried our hands at fishing (well, caught nothing but fine, atleast I tried! :P) Another must visit..an experience not to be missed! :) Here's a dekko! 
P.S- Okay!!! Too many pics will spoil the blog! :P More pics in Part 2... :)