Thursday, 27 November 2014

Come, fall in love

"Aisa pehli baar hua hai satrah athrah saalon meinUndekha anjaana koi aane laga hai khayalon mein"

Some 1000 weeks ago, Indian cinema was divided into two eras. Pre-DDLJ and Post-DDLJ.

So basically, we are 1000 weeks into the post-DDLJ era and it is certainly something to be proud of. I have only three regrets in life and one of them is not being born early enough to be able to watch DDLJ in 1995. I can imagine myself going to a theater to watch DDLJ and coming out teary-eyed. It would have been a gem of a moment! If you’re one of the people who have been that much lucky and reading this blog, please let me know in the comments below.

In the 90’s, Bollywood had the air of those silly Karishma Kapoor Rom-Coms (Some of them were epic, though). And DDLJ came as a breath of fresh air. Everything about the Aditya Chopra directorial was so overwhelming, so new. It had never happened before; neither did it happen ever after. The movie gave us some of the most incredible scenes and dialogues that act as a thumbnail of Bollywood in the 90’s.

Not only did the movie scored aces at the box office, it was a turning point in the careers of almost the entire cast and crew. Aditya Chopra has established himself as one of the most successful directors and is leading YRF to the heights. Kajol has had a clear steady stardom ever since. Right from Mandira Bedi to Farida Jalal, they all cherish a career worth being grateful for. And of course, pre-DDLJ who would have thought that the long-haired lad from Fauji would make it this big in Bollywood? Like literally, he is the KING!

Now, I can go on and on rambling about DDLJ and you might just sleep.

So as my little tribute, I would like to share some of my favorite elements of my favorite movie:

Amrish Puri’s Grocery Store

The very famous scene where Raj peaks into the grocery store and runs with a bottle of beer was shot in Trafalgar Square, London. And this place is on my to-visit list since forever!

Raj’s Violin

All through the movie, Raj’s violin was a character in itself. Not only do we all fantasize it, but the very holding of the violin by SRK added on to its sex appeal.

The ‘Palat’ scene

"Agar ye tujhse pyar karti hai, to ye palat ke dekhegi. Palat. Palat. Palat."
And that glance was the moment-of-realization for Simran.

Karan Johar!

Very few people must have noticed the blink-and-miss appearance of Karan Johar in the movie. He plays the role of Raj’s buddy, Rocky. However, in the scene before the song Ruk Ja O Dil Diwane starts, he’s got dialogues too! xD This is how far back Aditya-Karan-SRK friendship goes.

The Sarson Ka Khet!

The mustard field in the movie has got a career of its own. When Simran runs through all those plants and embraces Raj, the Sarson ke khet just add to the whole moment.

The feeding of the pigeons by Amrish Puri
Bauji starts his day by feeding the pigeons. But then one fine day Raj tries to replicate. And then we got it. Aao. Aao. Aaao.


Remember the geeky looking little sister of Simran? She acts cupid in the love story and we all loved her in the movie! She is Pooja Ruparel , a cousin of Sonakshi Sinha. And Lajwanti , Simran’s mom, was played by the evergreen Farida Jalal. The cutest mother in Bollywood!

The Railway Station scene

This whole scene was the best. Starting from the Raj-Baldev fight that still causes Goosebumps, to Bauji’s holding back Simran; and then, finally, Simran’s running frantically to reach Raj’s hand. Isn't it magic?

Have you watched the new trailer of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge launched by Yash Raj Films? If not, you're missing something beautiful. So here is the video for you:

- celebrating 1000 weeks of DDLJ :)

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Once Upon A Time

One of the fondest memories of childhood includes the bedtime stories and rhymes our granny used as a lullaby to transcend us to our world of imagination. Reading and reciting them were our first step to the realm of fiction and hence on, we have embraced the world of stories.

Little Red Riding Hood

Remember the little girl who was caught in a trap by a wicked wolf on her way to her grandmother’s house? We all have heard this story, but never looked through it. We can still relate to the story if we read between the lines. We all are like the red riding hood, fragile and na├»ve. There are many wicked wolfs in the world out there waiting to devour us. But the question is, that after being deceived once, do we actually learn from our mistakes or repeat them? The Red Riding Hood made a mistake by going deep into the forest off her path even when her mother had forbidden her to do so. We all often defy our parents and regret it later. But we must remember that the only people, who will love us even if we wrong them, are our parents. They know what is the best for us, yet we deny it. The red riding hood rectified her mistake and taught a lesson to the wicked wolf. She also made it a point not to repeat the mistake again. So the story, in its own simple and sweet way, teaches us to be wise and learn from our mistakes. And that makes it my favorite childhood story.

If You’re Happy

This song is my favorite even now. The sudden outburst of energy the moment I listen to it is just amazing. I study in a convent school and rhymes have been a major part of my formative years of schooling. I still remember when Sr.Noila used to teach us this song along with the actions that go with it. The music Hall echoed with our voices, some melodious and some like mine, that were just offbeat. Sr.Noila’s voice was as sweet as her heart. All the students used to clap and thump their feet and sing in full fervor. I just wonder when my childhood went away. Was it when I stopped singing If You’re Happy? Perhaps yes. But with this blog post, I have revived my childhood memories. As I write this blog post, I am also thumping my feet and singing if you’re happy and you know it, pen it down!

Watching the videos of my favorite story and rhyme from the childhood was nostalgic. I wish I was small all over again. 
This post is a part of Kids Hut activity at

Friday, 14 November 2014

Your Life Is Not Yours

Let X be an arbitrary character representing all of us, at some or the other stage of our life.
Now let us have a look at X’s life:

X is born. His cradle is surrounded by distant relatives who all claim that his features resemble their own. X’s mother is lying peacefully on the bed beside his cradle. She starts knitting strings of dreams for her little baby.
X will be a doctor one day
X will make me proud one day
X will get married and give me grandchildren one day
The parents start a slideshow of dreams for little poor X who has just entered the Universe and has completely no idea he has landed in a world so peculiar that from now on his life will be like a Drawing Room TV set whose remote control arguably shifts from one hand to the other.

X is 4 now. (No, he’s not Tobias Eaton). He is climbing the steps of his school bus and crying his way on the first day to a place where he will receive everything except education. He will be taught all kinds of complex stuff but will never be taught why it is important to learn them. He would be expected to mug up dates and formulae which will have no direct or indirect connection to increasing his intellect. Rightly in the words of the great Albert Einstein:
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."

X turns 10. He is celebrating his birthday at home and the huge gathering is clapping and singing the birthday song for him. He is dressed in a glittering and sequined Nicker-Shirt outfit. He blows the candles and cuts the cake. All the aunties adjust the palloos of their red-pink-orange-green Sarees and jump forward to leave their lipstick imprints on X’s cheek. He is only rubbing the gloss off his cheek when he is suddenly carried up to the shoulders of a heavily-built uncle who starts dancing with X’s legs hanging down from either side of his bald head. Startled with all the noise and commotion X bursts crying. To make matters worse, all his relatives start consoling him with sentences that are far from providing any consolation.
“Oh this kid is so sensitive”
“Why are you crying like girls?” (As if boys don’t have tear ducts. Du-uh)
Le beta ro mat. Campa peele” (Don’t cry son, take this soft drink)
Tired of all the melodrama, little X goes back to his room and pretends to sleep. He wishes this day would have been a somber affair with only his family but he still can’t do anything to shoo away his irritating guests who are still munching on a plate stuffed with wafers, cake, toffees and a samosa. And of course, the Campa.

X is now 16. He is scrolling down his Facebook home screen and his mother is peering down on his computer from behind his back. Realizing the presence of his mother, X instinctively changes the tab and stares blankly at the Google search box. Not that he’s doing anything wrong, but he still doesn't like to be spied upon. Just when his mother is about to head to the kitchen, X’s phone hung to the charging point starts to ring. And just when he is about to hurry to it....There. His mother answers the call. He stands frozen when his mother angrily puts down the phone without uttering a word.
“The advertising perverts”. And she heads to the kitchen. 
X heaves a sigh of relief. 
The doorbell rings and X goes down to open the gate. Her mother’s friend glares at him with a sugary smile.
“OMG beta you've grown so big!”
Does anyone also grow small, aunty?
As the lady rests her hips on the sofa, X’s mother appears out of the kitchen. X is about to head back to his room when the aunty babbles up again.
“So which stream are you planning to take after class X results?”
There you go.
“I am not sure, aunty. Humanities would be the preference most probably”
Arts!? Arts lekar kya karoge!?” (What will you do after taking Arts?)
And then there was no stopping at all.
Beta Science leke Engineering karo. 4 saal ki mehnat hai fir aish hi aish.” (Take Science and pursue Engineering. Just 4 year's hard work and then sheer luxury)

X is now 23. He is done with the 4 saal ki mehnat and is nowhere near to aish. It is a very busy Monday as he hops from one interview to the other. By the evening when it is all over, he is hell tired, more of his life than of his daily routine. He imagines what life would have been had he listened to his heart and pursued his dreams. Then the auto stops outside his house and he sighs over what life had become, rather.

X is now 27. After changing multiple jobs, he has finally got a decent one. He has endless working hours and sleepless nights. He starts thinking of his past. The only girl he ever loved had been married off to somebody else because her parents thought that X was an aimless poor guy who will never be able to keep their daughter happy. X is also going to be married soon to a girl he doesn't know as yet. It doesn't matter anyway, he thought. Mom is happy.

And the rest, we all know, is the life of a common human being. 90 per cent of “common” people live this kind of a life. And the rest 10 per cent become their idols.
We will all die one day and blah blah. Nobody is going to give a damn what job we had, whom we got married to and how much we earned. Then whom do we do this all for? Why don’t we let our lives be our own? We become what we become not because of our talent or our education, but because of our choices. One choice can make all the difference. 

P.S: As the #KissOfLove campaign emerges as a breakthrough of sorts, I read a newspaper article where a JNU student was quoted as saying:

Ye log rape aur crime se nahi, chumme se darte hain” (These people are not afraid of rapes and crimes, but of kisses) 

What happens to people’s moral policing when they see girls being teased and children being harassed? They keep quiet when all that happens and mind their own business. But they have all the time in the world to hit and abuse couples walking on the road? Such double standards exist to ruin the society. They again and again prove the harsh reality that your life is not yours.