Saturday, January 23, 2010


A week ago, I watched an English movie called 'Shine' which is supposedly a real life account of one of the world's most famous pianists. The story begins with an oppressive childhood. A father who oppresses his family because of his obsession with music and forces his son to cultivate the same love for music. Out of fear more than interest, the little boy begins to learn and is so brilliant that he reaches great milestones at every phase. The only person who stays unimpressed is his father who wants him to reach higher and higher.

Some very touching moments in this movie left me shaken. These are:

Religion is Nonsense

The father tells the boy, "Religion is nonsense. It's also a goldmine if you know where to tap it."

I'm a Lucky Boy

The father constantly shouts and finds fault with the little boy and makes him repeat, "I'm a lucky boy." He doesnt notice that his son has tears in his eyes whenever he says it because he doesnt believe a word of it.

Life is Cruel

The father tells his son, "Life is cruel but you have to find a way to survive."

I know Whats Best
When the father is questioned about a decision, he defends himself, saying, "I know what's best coz I am his father." 

I found these snippets to be thought provoking. What about you?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Call from Ma'am

Adi's play school, Roots2Wings had closed for Christmas vacations and finally reopened today. I didnt send him to school because of the severe Cold Wave in Delhi. Every one tells me that kids enjoy playing in this weather.

However, waking up Adi when it is so freezing cold and then getting him ready is like a one and a half hour roller coaster ride for me, particularly as water is freezing cold and we have to boil lots of it before it can be warm enough to give him a proper bath and all that. Geysers don't work on generator back ups and till about 10 am, we don't have electricity. The back up is a life saver but all these thoughts made me decide that its so much easier for Adi and I if he stays at home during the Cold Wave phase.

Then, I got a call from Roots2Wings, Vaishali. It was his Ma'am. She called to ask if all's fine with Jyotiraditya and said that please send him because "we are missing him. He has such a beautiful smile and nice manners that it is a joy to have him around."

I don't know why but I felt so happy that his teacher called to say this. It warmed my heart to hear these golden words about my little brat. Of course, he wants to be an actor so he acts well, I guess, that his teachers are convinced that he is well behaved:) 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Tribute to a Brave Heart called Miep Gies

The Internet was buzzing with news about the demise of a 100 year old Jewish woman. Miep Gies is an ordinary woman with extraordinary courage and compassion. She was the last surviving member of the group that helped Anne Frank's family between those painful years spanning 1942 to 1944.
Those of you who have read Diary of Anne Frank would know that it was a tragic first person account of the Holocaust. I've cried while reading the book. Those of you are not familiar with the book, please read it because it's worth the pain and tears. The book is a masterpiece though at some places, it will horrify you because it is true.

To the courage and spirit of great men and women like Miep Gies, I bow my head with humility and gratitude for the lives they saved, the hope they gave and the lessons they never preached but showed us for real that nothing's impossible if you really have the passion and will to make it happen for the greater good of people at large.

Can we take one idea or belief we strongly feel about and work towards making a positive change without fearing the consequences?

Think about it. Please.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Book Review: Nothing for You My dear...Still I Love You

Some books don't spark any expectations in you. When I picked up this book written by Arpit Dugar, I had no idea what to expect and to be honest, no expectations at all. With its cheeky title and red blurb that caught my eye because a couple seemed to be close to smooching, I thought, "Why not give the young author a chance?"

I liked the protagonist - Avinash - and could understand right at the beginning that he didnt want to get married but didnt want to hurt his parents so he goes ahead with the bride seeing routine. He tells the girl - Neha - that he doesnt want to marry her and she asks why. Forced to share his story with Neha, memories unwind right from the time he was born to proud, affluent parents. In his narrative, I liked the way he connected to 'places.' He speaks so warmly about Jaipur that you really feel persuaded to visit the pink city. He talks about his brief stay in Ranikhet where he lived in a hostel.

Do you know Ranikhet got its name because of Rani Padmini who made it her place of stay? That's how the place got its name. When Avinash talks about the greenery, the pine and deodar trees of Ranikhet,  it really makes you want to visit the place.

To get back to the story, our hero Avinash joins the engineering batch in Dehradun (the author too did so, apparently, as given in his bio on the book cover).  Avinash talks about the beauty of the campus that is flanked by the Himalaya ranges and the Shivalik ranges on either side.

Unlike many other boys in college, Avinash is well mannered, sensitive to the feelings of others and even writes poetry from his heart. He has no interest in girls till he meets a girl in college and falls head over heels in love with her. Like he says, "When you see a beautiful girl, you forget everything!" 

I loved portions in the book where Avinash and friends go out for a walk after midnight and steal litchis for the fun of it and then get caught by the cops who were investigating a rape case that had taken place at the very same spot the boys were found at. This tells us how kids can get into serious trouble even when they don't mean to do any harm. The parts where the cops try to harass the boys was almost painful and as the mother of a son, I was gripping the book and shaking in fear, imagining the worst. Thankfully, the cops find the real culprits but the fear factor is that sometimes when they don't, they go ahead with circumstantial evidence and pin the innocent ones.

Avinash's college life is a roller coaster ride with ups and downs. The good thing is his parents know exactly how he behaves, what he is capable of and what he is not capable of.  When he is rusticated from college, his parents realize it is a misunderstanding and they support him with a lot of love and attention. Again, the book warms your heart in places, especially if you are a parent. The book makes you ask: what happens to his relationship with Lisha, the girl of his dreams? Will she love him back? What went wrong that he is now talking about the whole story to Neha? And finally, what will happen to Avinash and Neha?

I don't want to steal the story that Arpit Dugar has written. There is no literary treasure in this book but there are so many warm moments and thoughts that will melt you as you read on. I would definitely recommend this book as a nice, warm read that will keep you glued from the first page to the last simply because you want to know what happened in this simple and sweet love story.

Before I end, let me say one statement by Avinash that I particularly liked, , "For every child, college life is like a dream, a life which you can enjoy to the fullest, a life which gives you immense opportunities to explore the talent within yourself and that too when you are in a technical college."

Tell me, was your college life like a dream that you enjoyed it to the fullest and explored your hidden talents too?

Do also read: So do you tell lies?


Chocolate Sundae at Cafe Turtle

This chocolate sundae at Cafe Turtle (Khan Market) is so sinfully enticing and delicious that I can't talk enough about it. The flavors just melt on your tongue and whether you are a grown up or a kid, you won't say 'No' to tasting it at least once!


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