Movie Review: Tridev

After a looooooooooong time I turned the telly on last Sunday in a rush thinking I’d missed out on the Oscars and found Tridev was playing.

Released in 1989 and a blockbuster by the yardstick prevalent back in the day; the movie is a laugh and minute even during the scenes which are supposed to be very high on the emotional quotient.

Madhuri Dixit, Jackie Shroff, Sunny Deol, Amrish Puri, Anupam Kher and a plethora of other chamaktey sitaarey (shining stars) of the era come together to make a 2 hour plus movie which is replete with the all the symbols of the 80s; and therefore was a total trip down nostalgia alley for me.

These are the tropes in the movies of the 80s and early 90s that I remember vividly-

  • Minimum 3-4 outfit changes for the female lead in the course of a song.
  • Each outfit quite outlandish and fairly garish and gaudy.
  • Villains are OTT evil and had to have a trademark evil laughter. Said trademark had to occur with each evil soliloquy.
  • Women are props. Used to pretty up a scene or as lures to get the male lead to come and duke it out with the bad guy. Women also need to sing during their captivity.
  • The police always arrive after everything ends and essentially are clean-up crews.
  • The back-up dancers are drab-faced people who end up dancing either like they are on meth or are stoned and never vary from either of these two extremes.
  • There is *always* love at first sight.
  • Love is expressed via song. At Least twice. First time: Initial expression. Second time: Reiteration.
  • The fight sequence is totally of comic book proportions without the blurbs spelling out the KAPOWS.
  • Each time anyone gets hit, they fly through the air a la The Matrix and the resulting sound effect is LOUD!
  • There is no anti-hero: there is black or white.
  • There is a weird depiction of a jungle tribe replete with loin cloths, tiger-striped clothing and jungle drums.
  • The jungle tribe utters inane stuff like Jinga Lala Boom etc.
  • Party scenes are usually where everyone is standing still like statues and one person moving about tipsy and singing an alcohol-related song.
  • Patriotism is also OTT.
  • The level and diction of the spoken Hindi is far superior than that spoken these days.
  • The music is catchy and unashamedly borrowed (bits and pieces) from dance hits famous overseas.

Since the advance in special effects hadn’t happened to the extent it has nowadays, things looked made-up and really clichéd but still entertained in a way many movies of today don’t.

While I may have laughed at Sunny Deol’s “angst” at finding his dead father, Amrish Puri’s Bhujang-avatar or even Sangeeta Bijlani’s determination to find her dead brother’s killer by becoming a gangster’s moll; the fact remains is that those movies entertain!

Oye oye!

Image courtesy- madaboutmoviez.wordpress.com

 

Realizations: Gym Diaries

For all the smart alecky stuff I’ve written about my gym experiences, one thing stands out sharply in my mind; people have no business not being healthy!!

The larger you get from eating unwisely, the flabbier you get from not having adequate activity to stay fit and strong; the longer it takes to get to even the starting point of good health. And it’s hard; to say the least.

Being a short and heavy person, it takes me that much more effort to leverage my body up when I’m trying to tone up my torso. My upper body gets in the way of my trying to tone up my lower body and due to a sedentary lifestyle, even my wrists and ankles aren’t as steady as they ought to be.  The problem is we seldom break down our bodies beyond the cellulite, chunky parts and consider the wrists, elbows and ankles unless we sprain them somehow. The fact that they need to be and should be strengthened as well does escape most of us. Ironical since they are the levers and fulcrums that keep the body moving.

Today I was feeling Sisyphus‘ pain. Imagine doing something that’s supposed to get you to a better place and feeling bone-weary at the end of it; then resting up just to do it all over again. The means justifying the ends or the ends justifying the means has also never been more garbled for me.

And all this contemplation isn’t because the sweat got into my eyes, burning me this morning but because each time I came up against resistance in my body, I kept thinking that all this could have been avoided.  And should have been. But hindsight is usually 20/20 and all it can do is help us learn from the choices of the past.

So here’s to more protesting muscles, sweaty and dishevelled me staring back in the mirror but hopefully headed to a lighter tomorrow when climbing stairs, swimming laps continuously aren’t going to be viewed with trepidation but as something that’s can be achieved as a norm and *not* as the exception.

PS: Tomorrow we will return to the usual tone of the blog posts. Reflecting too much on what could have been is giving rise to major existential angst and my brain is too tired from the hip hinges I did today.

 

Have Teeth, Will Eat

It’s no secret am a foodie. It’s also no secret Red thinks I can and do eat pretty much everything under the sun.

We go to the gym on different days and whoever is home makes the protein shake for the other individual to save time etc. Now Red gets creative every now and then and comes up with secret ingredients which I have to guess at. His concoctions usually turn out palatable but the way in which they are presented to me especially, is anything but!

Before we proceed further a little backstory is required. See I eat limes and lemons down to the rind. Occasionally chew on the rind as well. More so if I’ve done some tequila shots as well but for the most part, I strip the lemon bare and it’s mostly cringe-worthy for people sitting around me. They end up puckering their faces while I suck on the lemon so often there’s a bunch of people making kissy faces at me (as it may look to an outsider); while I sit blissfully unaware of anything of the sort!

Anyhoo, apart from the bizarre lemon eating (their words not mine) I also occasionally eat the watermelon seeds instead of spitting them out. So in the last 10 years I’ve become either goatish or bovine in Red’s estimation.

Jog back to circa 2017 and present day. Red kept my protein shake ready and it was slightly tangy and quite nice when suddenly I munched on something I thought was a shrivelled up goji berry and this bitter flavor spread in my mouth. I fished out a half chewed up orange seed and Red, feigning complete innocence, asks me, “You eat seeds, don’t you?”.

If I only had a grapefruit handy to lob at his face at that moment…

Apparently you eat one tiny watermelon seed once and you’re tagged as a garbage disposal forever!

Sighhh.

 

The Day Of Lurve

I didn’t know about Valentine’s Day till I was in elementary school in the US. It didn’t mean much once I came back to India. Well it still doesn’t mean much because I’ve only celebrated it about a handful times in my adult life.

The husband isn’t the roses (red or otherwise)and candy kinda guy. He does his bit on a daily basis and then some. Anyone who makes me a cup of coffee every morning is aces in my book. Even if he then leaves wet towels on my side of the bed without fail. EVERY DAY.

So over the years these are some of the more interesting V-Days I’ve experienced:

  • Circa early 2000s- a long-stemmed red rose on the eve of V-Day followed by a movie with 2 other couples and a nice, long bike ride to nowhere in particular.
  • Circa early 2000s (again)- a bouquet of flowers which smelt STRONGLY of Charlie because the flower vendor thought the natural smell of the flowers wasn’t powerful enough for such a special day. I spent half an hour sneezing and then tearing the petals off and scattering them all along the road while heading out for a movie with a special someone.The special someone grumbled on the entire ride at the stupidity of the flower guy and it made for a funny anecdote later on.
  • Circa  early 2000s (boy! I haven’t lived since the early 2000s, have I?)- my BFF and I doing a nice girls night out and landing up in the auto of a creepy, fanatical Hindutva- spouting, pink-heart-hating maniac who grumbled and ranted the entire time we were in the auto. Needless to say, we stopped the meter earlier than expected!
  • Circa early 2000s- another girls’ night out with BFF and another friend, recently single; dinner and lots of laughs over Chinese food and some pretty lousy tipping on our side.

Since then 14th February has been a date in the calendar and nowhere else. But that’s fine because if given a choice I wouldn’t know where to go and what to do. Red&I normally factor in a date night when my folks visit or when we want to watch a movie badly enough to park MLM on a good friend’s couch with his faithful iPad for a few hours.

But it’s also nice to look back on those days when the day meant something ‘more’ than the usual routine was in the offing and that it included a dinner, a movie, a well-groomed guy and definitely some marked attention from aforementioned guy; for a few hours.

Oh to be young and single again!

Naaah…

Image courtesy- voices.washingtonpost.com

 

Of Hip Hinges&Mountain Climbing…

I must be doing something right because my trainer (P.B.U.H) added new exercises to my routine. He also tweaked an existing one just to see if I could take it up a notch. And a tiny notch it is. A wee one really but I have been extremely pleased (and tired) all day because things got taken to a slightly higher level.

Speaking of higher levels, doing step-ups on a 16 inch high box is my new nemesis. I mean who designs these things anyhow? I am 60 inches high. I’ve stopped using the word tall when I mention my height because when you’re 5 feet, you are anything but tall. But being vertically challenged is a story for another day. I’ve also been called a preshrunk-shrink back when I was studying Psychology but I digress. Ah yes…16 inch box is baaad. I gasp, pant and puff a la the Big Bad Wolf only without blowing anyone’s house down!

Anyhow, the reason I’m pleased is quite simple. I can endure a little more than I could one month ago. Even a week ago. I break into a sweat later and later during the exercise sets each time and don’t always need a water break to recharge myself after every 5 minutes. And those voices inside my head saying, “Have Mercy!” and “Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?” have kind of faded. Not gone away completely, but faded a bit.

Today I started doing something called a Hip Hinge- you fix your hip/lock it in a particular position and keeping bending till you touch your toes or ankles. So your torso is functioning like a flap that opens and closes. I was not a fan initially of hinging the hip but it worked out. And then my instructor sprung another surprise on me by getting me to do something called a Finisher. That nearly did finish me off since it was in the fag-end of the exercise routine but after it was done, it felt pretty damn good. After my heart stopped pounding in my ears and I could feel my limbs again that is.

I’m turning 37 soon and honestly, this is the worst I’ve ever been physically. I was actually in much better shape while my kid was an infant and a toddler (no surprises there) but over a point of time the eating became haphazard and so did the sleep and I made the mistake of thinking that I had time for a do-over. I have it; but just barely.

So when I can move from one exercise to another, do a new one without needing a bolus of glucose just to feel alive again; it feels really good. I suspect those are my endorphins talking but I hear them loud and clear!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to hobble away to my bed and sleep for 12 hours.

Image courtesy-clipartfest.com

Gym: Where I Meet My Body

Before I started going to the gym, I thought I knew my body. Most of it was bulgy or chunky in places it shouldn’t have been but I did not become acquainted with my scapula, soleus, trapezius as much as I thought I would have earlier.

They were names in an anatomy book but barring that they weren’t too relevant on a daily basis. Now they are. Because they ache, are tender or getting flexed and nudged rudely out of their comfort zone of near-complete inertia.

There’s a small poster in the gym that states, “The trouble is, you think you have time.” And while I try andq get my short arms and legs to move, I realize that time has not been utilized well all that much. 

I started out with a mix of exercises while my trainer figured out which ones would go well together and not have me pass out on the floor at the end of it all.

And gradually I got to have a proper routine. I’m refraining from calling it a regime because that makes it sound more rigid and barring my stiff muscles post the workout, there isn’t anything rigid about it. My trainer isn’t a drill sergeant and basically takes care of the people under his care. And he does seem to be able to size up the people who come in. 

A gym I briefly went to when MLM started playgroup, had the the usual cliches coming out of it in spades. The too-tight muscle shirt-wearing himbos, tank tops, people calling each other “dude” and trying to surreptitiously flex their muscles when chubby people walked in the door.

The trainers there would usually tell you your BMI and tell you to sign up for a year and get shoes of a specific brand while playing jhango Bollywood beats for you to exercise to. 

The place I go to now is unpretentious. It’s largely minimalistic and doesn’t embrace the “gymming” culture by showcasing treadmills and cycles the moment you enter. And am fairly sure *no one* calls anyone “dude” there.

Anyhoo, back to all 5 feet of me. I’m getting to know my adductor muscles daily while my calf and my plantar also make it a point to chat me up. Usually cribbing about being weak from disuse. Maybe if I’d walked to the fridge to snack more often rather than favoring my gluteus maximus for so long.

Speaking of which, no amount of lard on your rear end will come in handy when you’re asked to sit on a ridged object and roll back and forth. So might as well cultivate your hieney as a brief resting place rather than masquerade it like a mini land mass.

But all snarks aside, it is amazing how moving your hand back and forth or standing on one leg for a little bit of time can teach you how wobbly your entire body is. It’s not merely mind over matter; you actually have to make things happen! Willing it to happen is only the first step.

As it is, no other muscle of mine has ever got as vigorous a workout as the ole tongue. That one can bench press a helluva lot of words while scarfing down a large plate of cheesy nachos. Which again go and set up shop at the hips and south of the border. 

*emits forlorn sighs*

My body and I are so *not* having a happy reunion till now!