Thursday, September 28, 2006

About blogging...

[ Disclaimer: I have finished my required three hours of studying today + my college work too {not that I'm boasting}]

I have been pondering from quite some time about blogging anonymously. I never had the option, or if I did, I didn't consider it at that time.I started blogging as an experiment on MSN Spaces, but that turned into a personal diary, so I blocked it for people, made it private. But those few people who live far away from me, and who read my space there as a link to me felt cheated. Hence I started a blog on blogger. Which will explain why my earliest posts have a number of dates clubbed together under one day. I just lifted parts I could share from my space and posted here.

Then I got into proper blogging. On blogspot. Around the same time I starrted blogging on Mumbai Metblogs, metblogs opened me to whole new world of bloggers. Suddenly I realized that "Oh My God, So many people blog, in so many styles and about so many topics"
I had truly been initiated into the blogosphere then. I started reading a lot of blogs. I picked favourties, stored them on my fav list, then did the smart blogger thing to do and stored them on the links list on my blog and I then started to spruce up my blog.
Around this time I realized two important things:

1. There are well defined, well shaped groups inthe blog world. People link to each other, read each other, leave countless comments and follow-up comments to each other and generally look out for one another.

2. The best bloggers seem to be journalists. Just seem to be. And its not neessarry to love their blogs or like them even.

And unfortunately for me, both these important things scae me to hell and back. One, coz I have never been able to fit into any group as such. I'm not sure if no groups is good groups (no news is good news types..) but I seem to be pretty content in my little circle of commentators and bloggers. Not that it is a group. Its mostly my froends in the real world who are also now sitting up and taking notice of my little virtual world. Which is good, coz those of my friends who dont read my blog are missing out on a part of my world, which is absolutel essential to me now.

And two, coz I am ohalfway on the path to be a journalist. So its not like I dont want to be as intelligent as them, but I just dont want to be a bloody Journalist. Especially after this master's degree which I am gonna acquire half way I have realized that advertising IS my true calling. Like how sometimes, doing the wrong thing shows you what exactly is the right thing for you.

Now after reaching this point in my blogging, I have been debating if I should start an anon blog of my own. If you ask for the reasons, I dont have them. Maybe I want to be viewed as an identity apart from the one I have always been know for. Perhaps I want t be abl to open a little bit of that private blog to the public, but I'm too scared to do it just to be judged on what people know of me till now.

I have been initiating a few college friends into the world of blogging, and when i ask them if they wnt to blog with a pseudonym or with their own names, I feel a twinge. I just dint have this question thrown to me when I started blogging.

I read Ideasmith's Blog regularly now, which started of quite accidently. She blogs anonymously, but has her own identity. She has been contemplating revealing herself from quite sometime now. There are many who say do it, and some who say dont. I dont know what I feel, but I sure do wish I had the choice.

You know how we all have been thru that phase, when we took up silly names for our email ids. In the heat of the teenage moment. Similarly, I took this name in the heat of the moment. There are times when i wonder why I'm so stuck with this term "Dreams". It's childish, come to think of it, its like a label stuck on me, which I seem to have stuck with quikfix myself.

A lot of people have asked me why my MSN nickname, my blogspot ID, and a lot of other things are attached to dream. From quite sometime. Rather from when my life became a tumultous rocking yo-yo. At that time it seemed like dreams were the only anchor my life had. My dreams broke too, but they remained my anchor. I still can't shrug it off, and I guess when I do, I'd have left that one stoic, solid point in my life too.

Anyway, so my dreams have defined my identity. I know that for those who dont know me, and still read my blog, I am still an anonymous person. But I am very careful to not display my pictures anywhere. I am very careful to not give away details of my life, which would enable anyone to trace a trail to me.

But still that is not anonymity. I wonder howmany people would read my blog if i started one anonymously.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

GRE n more..

I have started my GRE classes. Which mean that I'm seriously putting in effort to do well in the exam. Which also means that I am face to face with my glaring inadequacy. Which is that I'm not only terrible in math, Quant whatever you want to call it, I'm also not as good as I thought I was in verbal. My prof (don't-call-me-sir-but-Karan) has told me that he will spank me if I say that, since he (just like everyone) expects more than that for me. Thank God he doesn't read my blog.

Well the classes have psyched me. After my first class, I decided that I would not blog unless I studied for three hours in a day. Now this turned out to be a no-gainer coz by the time I finished the stipulated three hours after my exhausting college day, it would be well past 2 in the night. Plus I would be too pooped to be able to get the laptop on and running and then go blog. My priorities just changed over night.

One day I was declaring my blog addiction and the next day on, I was totally off them!! Yes I missed the goddamn blogosphere but I held myself off. And I did numbers, ratios, proportions, percentages and circles. And I did word-lists and analogies and RC's.

I know all you masters achieved engineers out there are rolling your eyes, or chuckling at me and thinking, "Oh we've been through that rigmarole" but that does not make my life easier!!

I wonder if all this is worth it. I wonder if this aloofness I've developed regarding my college and college work is worth the hard work put in for just going to the yonder world to study.
I now understand why its impossible to do or co-ordinate anything along with GRE studies.
I now understand why its imperative to study for hours at a stretch when preparing for GRE.
I now understand why my future roomie (hoping against hopes) has been holed up at home from the last month preparing for his upcoming GRE on 25th. He refused to even go out for dinner with the entire group. Now I understand why, and now I respect him more for it.
I now understand why I hate maths. Really.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rude Women, Their Breaking Marriages And its Repercussions

Chronicles of a Train Traveller

Its 5 in the evening. Too late and too dangerous to take a fast train to Andheri from Churchgate. The train fills even before it stops to unload at Churchgate. And in Andheri, it is impossible to get down in one piece, even if that is managed, you are sure to be molested, pushed, pulled, felt, scraped, bruised and in general harassed. But well that is life.

Anyway, my best bet is to take an Andheri bound slow train, which has not been filled to its capacity even before it stops at Churchgate station. As I have pointed out before, to capture the coveted seat
better named as Queen Anne's Seat, I always hop onto the compartment before anyone else can. Similarly today as the train chugged in and slowed to a gradual halt, I held out my hand and grabbed the center pole. As i heaved myself ahead and placed one foot on the footboard, another female slammed into my hand and placed both her feet on the footboard, wedging my foot almost off the board.

"Aunty", I said, " just one minute."
"No" She screeched, "I will get in before you."
"But aunty.."
"NO NO. I will go first"

By now the train had halted fully and people were poring in from the other side. I was balanced in so precariously that if the woman did not stop ramming full force into my hand I would fall off the only foothold I had.
Exasperated I tried to reason out, "Aunty, you go first, I don't care, just let me balance both my feet on, then you go in first."
"No I will go first you remove your hand" she continued screaming right into my ears.
"Yes aunty, but if I let go of the pole, I will fall off the train."
"No i will go first"

My friends had caught up by now, and were.. what were you guys doing?? I dint hear anything from any of you all this while. OK this is normally coz I'm the first to hurry up the train.

After confirming with T(Miss earphones) on the phone I have found out that while this discussion was going on she and Pt were both repeating everything I was saying to the woman. T also adds that she was glaring away to glory at the female since it was obvious that I was trying to be as polite as possible while the woman was atrociously rude.

Well the woman refused to listen to anyone and finally pushed me away and rammed on thrusting my hand to the side. One would have thought that the fog in her brains would have cleared once she entered into the compartment, before me. But no.

She marches inside and turns around and hurls out with her foul mood at me.

"I am you mother's age, you should know better than to talk to me like that"
"But aunty, I was letting you go in first anyway. All i was asking..."
"No asking shasking. You can't get into a compartment that way"
"But all I was saying is that I needed to get my footing.."
"But will you understand what I was saying?? I just wanted to get my balan..."
"I don't care. You girls.."

That was quite enough for me. Also by now I had noticed that this was one of those trains where there were two of the Queen Anne's Seat, and since the stupid woman had not noticed that yet, the seat was yet unoccupied. I steered my friends towards that seat and turned back and told her,
"Well that was the main problem, you just dint get it that I was trying to let you only go first, I just needed to place my foot in."

I heard her muttering about how these girls don't know how to talk with women and as such generally complain to thin air coz it looked like no one was paying attention to her. More like snickering at her.

As we plonked ourselves in the coveted seat, Earphones gave me a pearl of wisdom from her infinite collection. She declared, "She has a crumbling marriage and is removing her frustration directed at her husband on you. Even her children don't listen to her anymore." And then she shook her head sadly, connoting, What is the world coming to.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Life and its injustice... Sighhh

10:48 PM: I am just about settling in for bed. Life is blissful. I will do a few sums from Barron's. Ok not few, around 100. But not all today. No other work. I put my cell for charge and just go horizontal, when a thought crosses my mind.

Maybe my friends who have a press conference scheduled tomorrow need some help. Atleast I should check on them, incase their's something I can help out with. So i call up my friend and and ask her if all's ok. Just when I'm about to hang up, I tell her, "You got the message right?? No Language lecture tomorrow?"

"Uh no. So we don't have to do the essay and the meanings assignment." (Please note:these are extremely boring, stupid assignments which make no sense to me and since we din't have to do them; Life was blissful)

"Ofcourse not, even xyz is not doing it, no lecture equals to no assignment"

"Are you sure?? Why don't you talk to M(the office administrative student, who interacts with the prof)"

"Uhh. Its almost 11. You think I should call her this late??" Note: I did NOT want to call her. Scared of assignment.

"C'mon, its not that late. Call her."

Huh. So much for bliss. Ofcourse when I called M, I was told that "No-no, be safe and do the assignment. We have lecture, and although prof won't turn up, we might have to submit it." Huh. Scardy cat.

"But, if the prof doesn't turn up, she hardly take the essays." I argue.

"She asked me if I had done it, when I spoke to her. And she said that we were supposed to submit it on Monday"

ppphhuuuussssss... that's my bliss bubble deflating. Why oh why did that thought cross my mind.. Why did I pick up the phone in the first place.

4:48 AM: So here I am. Hearing cheesy songs to keep me awake. And writing a stupid essay about whether Humanism and Nationalism are in direct conflict with each other. And doing the next assignment simultaneously. Even the family in the opposite building which was keeping me company till now has shifted into dark oblivion. Ofcourse, my prof would reason that its my fault I dint take her seriously when she said she would collect it on Monday and that meant Hell or High water. Or whether she was present to collect it or not. And sleep beckons. Life is a bitch.

Saanso ko saanso mein Dhalne do zaraaa....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Lage Raho Munnabhai

Lage Raho Munnabhai has come as a huge surprise to me. Just a few days ago I was discussing with a friend about how all sequels in India are terribly made and do not lift the benchmark of excellence but push it lower still, and taking the discussion further we predicted that Lage Raho Munnabhai as well Dhoom 2 would be a flop. I should have heard by senses tingling then, because every time I have predicted a movie to go bust, it has been a phenomenal success. Gadar was one of my first predictions, followed by Munnabhai MBBS.

Coming back to the movie. Lage Raho Munnabhai has a simple straight-cut plot, simple dialogues and a tight screenplay. Raju Hirani has churned out a movie which raises the benchmark set down by his debut directorial effort. For the first time, a sequel lives beyond its predecessor. cinematography is good too. Vidya Balan looks good while Sanjay Dutt looks stoned, drunk and really old. Inspite of which he delivers. Dutt would have been thrown out of the film industry if not for his stellar acting and perfect comic timing. Boman Irani fits seamlessly into the role of a business-minded sardar and even Dia Mirza's pint sized role has substance to it.
The Gandhi could have been a better actor (like Atul Kulkarni, who portrayed the role in the same named film). But I guess a better actor would not have accepted a role like that. Jimmy Shergill has carried out his role with aplomb.

Thankfully Jaddu Ki Jhappi has been done away with in this movie. While all the other parts have been retained. All the character, big or small from the first movie have bit parts or some parts in this movie. Munnabhai MBBS came across as a venture in comedy, an experiment in clean un-govinda style, while this movie establishes its own genre of clear comedy.

Another good thing about this movie is that no twist, no sub-plot is wasted. Everything that happens, happens for a logical reason. And each action has its corresponding reaction. No loose-ends in this movie.

It is impossible to make a perfect movie. Lage Raho Munnabhai too falls short in one place. And one place only. Vidya Balan's talent has not been used to its optimum. Each actor has a meaning, while the only meaning to Vidya Balan's character, Jhanvi, is that she is the female for whom Munnabhai falls head over heals. Agreed it is this very fact, that pushes him to read more about Gandhiji, hence encounter him and hence follow Gandhigiri. And hence bring about a revolution in his usual manner. But Balan's character could have had more substance than someone who flips her hair away from her cheek. In one of the dance sequences, it looked like Arshad Warsi has deliberately toned down his more than great dancing so that it would not over-shadow Sanjay Dutt (In the petrol-pump). Other than that, Arshad Warsi makes waves with Circuit because of the wider scope given to his character.

The songs are good, not too many in number but they can never be too less. The movie starts with the trademark,
Chanda Mama so gaye, suraj chachu jage,
dekho pakdo yaaron, ghadi ke kaate bhaage,
ek kahani khatam to duji.. shuru ho gayi na mamu
which very evidently emabarks on a new episode of Munnabhai's life. The title track makes for catchy listening, while the Pal Pal trach has made its way into my mom's favorites. The movie has been shot widely in Mumbai. With the exception of Goa, where the Munnabhai and his entourage go on a holiday.

On a more personal level, this movie has pleased me immensely. Simply because till a month back I used to debate with people about how great a man Gandhiji really was. At that time I knew of only one person who idolized him as much as me, if not more. And from last week, since this movie has been released, I can clearly see the people from my class, who till some time back bad-mouthed the great man, believing in his principles. I always knew and hated the effect media had on youngsters, because of the all the negativity it radiated. But this movie again (RDB being one) has used its power positively. Now I will not have to beat my brains with he people who degrade and abuse Mahatma Gandhi but simply point them to the movie, because if they don't believe that he was in all actuality a great man, then, they are knuckleheads.

Words to Remember From this film: Sorry to sound so cliched, but-
dimaag mein Chemical Locha
was the best dialogue. Coming close to it was,
Bapu ne yeh naho kaha tha ki dusre tamache ke baad kya karne ka
chal ab sorry bol!!

Things I learnt From This Movie: GANDHIJI ROCKS!! this was just reinforced by this movie.. not that I needed it!!
Also, no matter how well Sanjay Dutt acts, he will always look drunk and stoned.
Lastly, Arshad Warsi shines more than his gold chains in the film!!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Stupid stupid Farah Khan

Celebrity Host, Celebrated Choreographer, One-film Old Director and Established Dancer Farah Khan choreographed a dance performance for Shakira in the MTV Awards recently.

The performance starts with a few Bharat Natyam poses. There are two stooges behind Shakira, and all three then get into a few, what-is-supposed-to-be-picturesque, steps and then she grabs the microphone to resume her normal belly shaking flavor of dancing in tune with her very popular number, "Hips Don't Lie". While the performers behind, switch from Bharat Natyam to Belly Dancing and back to Bharat Natyam and then back to Belly Dancing.

Farah Khan (I never did like her style of dancing too much anyway) has erased whatever little bit respect she had from the minds of any dancer. Being a Bharat Natyam dancer and a Latin Ballroom dancer myself, I can point out the smallest of mistakes and crimes(for the lack of a better word) that Khan has committed by choreographing this song.

Was she trying to mix Indian and Latino style dancing?? Was she trying to commercialize India's much-respected folk dances, or was she trying to simply make a mark in the international arena with the thought that "Any publicity is good publicity". Did she forget that Indians too would be seeing this performance?? Did she forget her own sense of (however little) styling and polishing in dances?? It looks like Khan just jumped and grabbed the chance to choreograph an international star and in the process, she completely, completely forgot her dance moves and the art too.

Shakira is a good performer because she has a good stage presence(even in a shiny pink Ghaghra Choli). She can pull off anything, and still leave her mark, but even from the initial steps one can make out that what she is doing, is really not her cup of tea.

The girls behind are.. never mind.
They add a certain touch to the performance. The touch of vulgarity. I was thoroughly, thoroughly shocked when I observed their moves. They are made to wear orange Ghaghra Cholis and Mang Tikkas and everything only to gyrate Indian-style to the number. Don'T get me wrong, I do like the song myself, but only when it falls strictly in the realm of Western Music. I mean, don't the Event Managers see the dance to be performed and comment on it or anything, or don't they try to monitor each performance??

What, for heaven's sake, is happening to Indian artists.. Sheeeeesh!!

Moral of the Story : Farah Khan is better off judging celebrities who dance to entertain the TV Masses, losing weight and gaining pimples on her skin. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE KEEP HER AWAY FROM INTERNATIONAL ARENA AND THE HUMILIATION SHE BRINGS TO INDIA.

Cross posted on Mumbai Metblogs