Month: February 2011

Cricket Mania

You do know by now about my love for cricket. The World Cup has started and I could be on and off this space until 2Apr2011. I’m not going to be totally switched off from here but the posts could get sporadic – so forgive me if you can!

If you love cricket and want to follow my write-ups catch me on my cricket blog : The Corridor of Certainty. We have some very good fellow bloggers posting there – so stay tuned in!

I’ve also got the opportunity to put up my posts on HoldingWilley and am enjoying this bit thoroughly.

Additionally, the podcasts with Ayaz Memon continue on Indicast

I’m finally getting a hang of twitter and loving the interaction with some balanced cricket enthusiasts. For my updates on twitter  follow me on @grangergabblog and @TheCofC

A lot of cricket happening in my life + my day-job is getting exciting, challenging, intellectually stimulating and more fulfilling as days pass by – yes I’m feeling blissful right now:-)

Till Death Do Us Apart

Susanna Anna-Marie Jones takes this part in her wedding wows very seriously. Divorce is not an option – murder is. Vishal Bharadwaj takes us on a giant wheel ride – every time you go up you are excited but as you start to come down there is no novelty left in the ride and the cycle repeats endlessly.

The protagonist has a code written in her brain –

loop(until movie ends)

{ marry sociopath;

bear torture;

gather loyal servants;

plot revenge;

murder }

With every husband that steps into Susanna’s life – you expect a twist in the tale, a mystery, an unexpected turn – but nothing happens. By the 3rd marriage, you are wondering how further nasty will the remaining 4 have to be to get her to murder them. It so happens that the nastiness reduces and you almost get the feeling that she is marrying cause she is enjoying murdering.

When I had first heard about Saat Khoon Maaf – I felt it would defy the traditional Bollywood mould. Plus it was based on a Ruskin Bond’s “Short Story” and was being adapted into a movie by Vishal Bharadwaj. It had the perfect ingredients and yet when the final dish was served – nor was it as delicious as you expected it and neither could you figure out what was missing in it.

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m a huge Vishal Bharadwaj fan and am of the opinion that to love his movies you have to be a on different level. As much as I liked watching Maqbool and Omkara, it was Kaminey that truly made me revere him as an outstanding film-maker. So my expectations for Saat Khoon Maaf were very high and rose even further after watching the trailer and the Darling song.

The day we went for the movie my friend gave me a horrible review and so I reset my expectation level. Thank god I did, else I would not have seen any positives in the movie.

So before I head out to list my disappointment a few positives –

Vivaan Shah – clearly lacks in the looks department but makes up with his fine narrative skills and acting ( that is hereditary). He has the meatiest role after Priyanka in the movie and does complete justice to it. Like Pratiek, I don’t see him doing conventional Bollywood movies – these two have stepped in to tread on the path of their illustrious parents and the mere thought of it is exciting.

Even though Darling is a copy of a Russian Folk song – it is still a terrific song and Usha Utthup and Rekha Bharadwaj bring it alive with their voices.

The Russian guy puts in a decent performance and pretty good Hindi diction

The pleasant presence of Konkana Sen Sharma ( Ok I’m terribly biased towards this lady)brings some relief in an otherwise boring movie.

Now for the disappointments

VB gets obsessive about keeping his movies dark and having weird characters – the dwarf jockey, the poet pervert, the obsessive major, the dark cinematography, the snakes as pets. It is a bit odd for a normal person leading a normal life to digest so many oddities at once on screen. VB known for keeping it real, goes overboard and makes everything look so unnatural. He manages the exact opposite of Kaminey in Saat Khoon Maaf.

We are supposed to learn from our mistakes but Susanna refuses to. After 3 horrible experiences she still decides to take the plunge another 3 times. Not a single story develops – the characters are half-cooked and reasons for Susanna marrying them not convincing enough. VB decided it was going to be a 150 minute movie and every guy needed his 20 minute time.

Of the husbands, Naseeruddin Shah has no role, Anu Kapoor is tolerable, Irfan is wasted, John Abraham cannot act and worse cannot even pull of a rocker act, Neil Nitin Mukesh tries too hard and so the only guy you can tolerate is that Russian fellow whose name I cannot recollect.

I thought Priyanka had reformed after Kaminey and here was her chance to get into the hall-of-fame, and be known as one of India’s finest actress. I kept feeling Kaminey was a fluke and she proved me right. Any other actress in her place, Konkana, Rani, Vidya even Kajol would’ve grabbed the opportunity and turned it into gold – Priyanka manages to hit an all time low – in her expressions, in her dialogue delivery, in her looks and messes it up;  what could’ve been a good movie becomes a tolerable watch.

My final verdict – if you are a Vishal Bhardwaj fan go watch but with zero expectations. I enjoyed it in parts especially where Vivaan was around. If you ask me if I understood the final confession of seven sins – forgive my poor intellect but I did not – if anyone else understood the meaning please do let me know:-)

At the end of it all, my mind must be beginning to hate me  – It was thoroughly confused after watching Dhobi Ghat; while it was on its road to recovery I halted the process by watching Saat Khoon Maaf. I can almost hear it say to me – “Thank your stars the mind does not take wedding wows – else death do us apart would definitely apply”

Another birthday…Another surprise…

MDH is known for his surprises. I’ve often been asked by my friends if I can get him to start a consultancy service wherein he can guide husbands/wives on unique ideas to surprise a spouse. I see it as an idea with loads of potential – can you all help me convince him? If you need proof of his surprises given till date – here are a couple I had blogged about:

The London Surprise

The Big ‘O’ birthday surprise last year

So after a eventful birthday last year – I was expecting a simple one this year. When he gifted me my precious book – Pride and Prejudice I thought there would be no more surprises and we’d spend the day quietly.


But Mr had other plans and so I was told that he had booked a breakfast at Dubai’s famous hotel “Atlantis” – little did I know that we were to go above the hotel not in the hotel!

Ever wondered how Dubai looks from 5000 feet? The Burj Khalifa standing in front of you, the Burj-Al-Arab below you surrounded by the deep blue sea, the Palm Tree entering the ocean, the un-built world islands – giving you the picture of what the world would look like – almost staring into a real-life Atlas, the lovely villas in Jumeirah and finally your own house from the skies!

Last birthday he swept me off my feet with his surprise but this time he ensured I stayed in the skies. Sharing some lovely pictures from the thrilling helicopter ride

Awaiting our turn


The Palm Jumeirah


Burj Khalifa & Skyscrapers along Sheikh Zayed Road


Jumeirah Villas


Burj-Al-Arab & The Atlantis


The World Islands in the making


And if this was not enough, he had planned a yacht party with our few close friends which had to be cancelled last minute owing to bad weather:-( Dubai has been having quite chilly winds over the first two weeks of February. We still do get to aboard the yacht and that should happen in a couple of weeks once the weather settles down. So all our friends came home with some incredible gifts making me feel like I was 13 again:-)

Well in a way we both got what we wanted – MDH stuck to his reputation of exceeding his surprises year after year and me – after the unexpected helicopter ride, a nice house birthday party in the evening with few close friends like good old days:-)

Now my friends and family cannot wait for my next birthday – just to check what MDH pulls out of his big “surprises” bag!

Regrets Anyone?

This post has been selected among BlogAdda’s Spicy Saturday’s Picks

Yesterday night I had a short but interesting conversation with my engineering classmate. Just took a look at where we stood currently in life – all that we wished we could’ve done and reasons for not doing so.

Every generation looks at the younger generation and wishes they had the opportunities bestowed on the younger lot and imagines how different their world would’ve been; and when you start falling in the former category you know you are not so young anymore.

I look back often at my life and take stock – the kind of expectations that were built up from school days – how I was an utter disappointment in my own book in my choice of graduation stream – how the post graduation helped in more ways than I had imagined – how I never ever gave it a thought to make a profession out of my hobbies or passions.

When you are brought up in a middle-class Maharashtrian household, the first thing you learn is to build a good career and get a decent paying job. Any other creative yearnings are to be maintained as hobbies not converted to professions.

I dabbled in few extra-curricular activities but discovered that my biggest problem was zero perseverance to take them up seriously to the next step ahead (plus I never thought that I could ever make a career out of the). Guess my mother sensed it very early and I was given ultimatums – to consider them seriously enough or to give them up altogether. Those activities cost my parents their hard earned money and in the 90s Rs100 had a lot of value unlike today where I see teenagers buying Barista coffee for the same amount. Being good at academics was merely my excuse to not pursue anything else seriously. The lure of a lucrative career at the end of completing a good education from the best of colleges seemed more realistically achievable for me rather than pursuing a career in dancing or journalism. The risk in opting for the latter seemed too large then and I admire my friends today who have made a name in their chosen fields – different from the regular boring people like me:-)

During my school & college years I was obsessed with becoming an IAS officer – it seemed to me that it was one place from where I could make a difference to this country. My father most encouraging and my mother most opposing towards this ambition of mine. I sometimes wonder if my papa had not passed away so early in my life, if I would’ve still pursued that dream of mine. My mother did try her bit to give her encouragement, although reluctantly, but I felt I lost my zest to pursue it seriously, often comparing the expectations of the job and the other easier options available to me.

Apart from IAS, I also considered being a historian – history fascinated me, still does especially Maratha history. What could this career option offer me? Peanuts compared to the others available on a platter and so a possible major in history by choosing the Arts stream was ruled out.

I was never an all-rounder at school – probably the quintessential geek you know. The girl who topped her academics and was good for nothing at everything else; the only other activity I knew I could’ve done equal justice was classical dance. When the classes close to home moved away – mom said that as working parents they both did not have the time to pick me up and drop me to the classes. They were willing to do it but I had to show that much more interest and dedication which was clearly lacking from my side. If I was looking to take it up professionally or pursue it seriously she made it pretty clear that it will never fetch me the returns that my academic degrees would. I was not willing to take the risk and I chose the easier option out.

I’ve over the years craved for creative genes – my mom is a powerhouse of talent and my father was an excellent writer and orator. Both however never got the opportunities to showcase their talent and build a profession out of it – if circumstances would’ve been great, he would’ve made an excellent lawyer and she would’ve built her art school. I was not blessed with their gifts but when they saw that their only child was blessed with a little above average intelligence they preferred that she got to see less struggles in her life. Best way to ensure would be to get her the best education opportunities that will help her settle down comfortably in life rather than spend time as a struggling dancer, historian or journalist. I can’t blame them for the options they kept before me cause they only had the best interests in mind. My mumma has often confessed that if things were different financially maybe she would’ve let me run the risk of not choosing to pursue professional studies.

We had not been hit by the internet boom in the 90s when we were studying. The 21st century was just opening up and by the time we realized the power of internet – we had completed our mandatory education and were settled in marriage and comfortable jobs. I’m rather envious of the options available to the current generation – I would’ve given anything to be born in the late 80s/early 90s. Those kids have had different streams open up and parents who are ready to break the traditional mould.

My example was always given in my family for my academics and education; obviously you guessed right that I was mostly hated by my younger cousins and nieces/nephews who had no inclination towards academics. Whenever their parents requested me to guide them on the importance of education, I told them that education today is no longer defined by a medicine/engineering/MBA degree. The world has changed and there are a million opportunities on offer. They need to pursue what they like, in the fields of their choice. There is not much age gap between us and I probably wanted them to pursue what I could not. Result – I’m proud aunt today of an international award winning graphic designer, an architect in the making, a dietician in the making, and the younger ones looking good to excel in different arenas.

So do I regret my choices? Yes and No. Given my interests I’m glad I’m in the financial field and into some hard core analytics. It gives me much joy. I’m glad I’ve kept my cricket writing to a hobby; else who knows I would’ve been bored of it and that would’ve been depressing for me. I’m glad I’ve the independence today to choose the dance form I want to learn without bothering to clear exams for each level. Would I have done things differently if given the chance – yes – I would’ve been less of a geek , taken my limited creative abilities seriously and made the most of it. Given them a serious chance – I would’ve failed but atleast I would lived with the fact that I had tried.

I also feel that maybe now my generation is better placed to let the kids make their own choices – not only are we more financially secure but  we are also willing to let our kids take the risks they want, let them fail and try again.

My mom often jokes with me that my first salary was equal to her last salary in 35 years of her government service; then she turns serious and tells me  how proud she feels about that fact. Her daughter is independent, doing reasonably well in her career and still getting to do all that she missed out in her early days. So when she says this to me, I know exactly why she insisted on me making a decent career instead of pursuing hobbies where the future was uncertain. That makes me regret a little less on the things I missed out on in this life:-)

The Unforgettable Crush…

This post was selected among Blogadda’s Tangy Tuesday Picks


Have you had a lifetime crush – the one that began when you were a kid and stayed on till date. The one that keeps coming back every now and then and still gives you the blushes. The one that is never forgotten, deep buried in your sub-conscious – your first memory of feeling something special – the one that made you go weak in your knees the very first time.

And don’t call me crazy when I tell you that mine triggered when I first read Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’. For someone who never touched romantic novels – the one book romance I craved for in real life was that of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. I read the book over and over again – only the chapters which dealt with Mr.Darcy and Elizabeth’s alliance. There may be immense criticism of the character – he being too haughty, or insulting towards lesser people, condescending of the Bennets’ standing in society; yet he did not fall for the beauty or the wealth of a woman but was charmed by her independant thought, her strong-willed character, her intelligence, and the beauty within. His hidden generosity and love for his woman makes you forgive the rest of his flaws.

When I read the book I kept wondering if the book were to be ever adapted into a motion picture who would suit the role of Mr.Darcy. The image of the character was so deeply rooted in my system that I dreaded to see any adaptation of the book – seeing the image of Darcy distorted on screen would’ve driven me to hunt down the casting director and murder him.

Little did I know that director Simon Langton would hit a bulls-eye having cast ‘Colin Firth’ to play the role of Darcy. His portrayal of Darcy ensured I would never ever get over Mr.Darcy in this lifetime. His gaze, his proud demeanour, his arrogance, his restlessness, his affection, his courtesy, his guilt, his love – Colin Firth emoted exactly the way one would’ve imagined Darcy emoting when reading the book. His performance was flawless – we book lovers complain so often when the books are adapted into movies or mini-series, but Colin Firth left me nothing to complain about.

I had not heard of him before I watched this series and I wondered how such a  fine and handsome actor was hidden away all this while. I was most curious to watch the famous ”first proposal” to Elizabeth – the precise moment in the book where one falls in love and hates the man at the sametime.

The next scene – their unexpected meeting at his lavish Pemberley lawns – Colin Firth looked sexy when he walked out of that lake after the swim. The awkwardness with Elizabeth and repeated questions about her family simply made the man look so vulnerable and in love. The admiring gaze with which he looked at Elizabeth as she and Georgiana connected over playing the piano. The moment when his and her eyes met. Elizabeth’s increasing longing for the man – her hatred slowly turning into love and the feeling of regret of refusing his proposal. The final episode where she broke the awkward silence between the two and where he asked if her feelings were the same as last April. His inability to hide the joy when she accepted his proposal a second time – the happiness over the fact that his dearest loveliest Elizabeth would be his forever.

Sigh Colin Firth wooed me every time he came on screen during the 6-part mini series!

Darcy is now synonymous with Colin Firth and both together have made my first crush immortal. I fell in love as a 10-year old with Darcy and deep down I still am:-) Fitzwilliam Darcy makes me go weak in my knees whenever I read ‘Pride and Prejudice” and if that is not enough, he becomes exceedingly impossible to forget when I switch on my DVD of “Pride and Prejudice – the BBC mini-series’ and watch Colin Firth portray him!

P.S: In real life – I’m glad I met my Darcy – not as arrogant or as brash as the real Darcy and far more tender,caring and open about his feelings but admiring the same qualities in a woman that Darcy did;-)

(Image courtsey:

Life in 55 words over the last 2 months

Guests, touring, delicious food, best friends, parents, grown up nieces, reliving childhood & teen years, laughing all over again at the past, night-long chats, cricket podcasts, blogs neglected, RWAs, RoEs, SVA, portfolio management, falling in love with my work, minimal online life, watching my 10 month-old niece grow up fast, exhausted, tired but still rejuvenated!

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