Lost In Translations#501

TO has an accent. We’re not sure which country it belongs to. It’s a relic mishmash of whatever animated programs he’s grown up watching. 

He, however, doesn’t know Hindi; a language he loves listening to songs in. His pronunciations are decidedly foreign and poor dear Alexa often has problems deciphering what he wants.

The new addition on the playlist is Dilbar. TO pronounces it as Dill(the herb)+Bar(the place where people go for a drink). Needless to say Alexa’s response of, “I don’t know about the DILL-BAR. Dill is a herb ah blah blah and bar is either blah blah blah”, wasn’t unforseen. By moi. TO was part- disappointed and part-annoyed that Alexa wasn’t “getting” it.

I was called in to speak Alexan and translate the song name into something darling Alexa could make sense of and finally when the song played I got the epithet of “My favorite mother’ and a hug…the rewards of a job done perfectly.

Hang on…I have to go again…someone’s trying to tell Alexa that there’s something called  ‘Abytoepaarteeshoeroueeaye’. My translator’s ears are picking up signs that it may be Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai. I’d better unconfuse the gadget before she blows a fuse.

Ta!

Lost In Translation#498

Kids extrapolate things based on their own frame of references. Mine does it quite a bit and even more so with words of a different language.

He loves music and at different times we have played hosts to quite a few different earworms of his. One of his old favorites reemerged due to a shuffle in his playlists and we were both humming along with it when he started off with that singsong tone he singsongs more whenever he has a question to ask me, “So A…is the Bulleya song about…?” And I reacted with a mother’s instinct and one honed from dealing with these particular gems- “No baby, it’s not about bulls. It’s about a poet and thinker (because early morning rushes are rushed enough without stopping to explain what a philosopher is) whose words have been put to song and who people sing about.”

And sure enough, came the expected rebuttal which led to this bit of head scratching fun-” But it says Bulleya…BULL-eya. Are you sure it isn’t about bulls?”Am positive! Baba Bulleh Shah didn’t have anything to do with bulls.” “Baba??” That’s what you call P (his nickname for my dad). Why is he called Baba?” “GO TO SCHOOL. BYE BYE. HAVE A GOOD DAY. LOOK IT UP ON WIKIPEDIA.”

Mom over and out. Oh how I miss Red when he’s out of town.

Loving Your Child

Isn’t tough. It gets switched on almost from the time they are born but liking them every single minute of every day, that takes some doing.

Imagine seeing this gorgeous sunrise and feeling at peace with the world at large…

when suddenly ‘Pig gam ba li, de la pig gam ba li ba Pig gam ba li, de la pig gam ba li ba Pig gam ba li, de la pig gam ba li ba Pig gam ba li, de la pig gam ba li ba Pig gam ba li, de la pig gam ba li ba Pig gam ba li, de la pig gam ba li ba Pig gam ba li, de la pig gam ba li ba Bamb bamb bamb di gi di da dam (whoo)‘ blares out from the room behind you and the magic of the moment is gone. Poof!

I listen to all sorts of dumb songs myself but there’s a saying in Hindi about ‘waqt ki nazaqat’ which roughly translates to the delicacy of the time and may seem uppity to some but actually makes a lot of sense. There’s a time and place for things. Some things need a bit of a soft touch rather than going ham-handed on it. 

But more about how kids really try your patience…imagine (yet again) you calling out to your selectively hearing-impaired child about brushing his teeth and having his breakfast/milk/meal. Imagine doing it again and again till you may reach decibel levels only a dog could hear. And get no response in return. Child in question is about 20 feet away.

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The same child yells out that he wants fried onions, cheese and egg in his ramen but no veggies, from 2 rooms away just because the smell hit his nose. It’s a STRONG internal struggle not to do this at that exact time-

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My mornings are usually a rush to:

  1. get child out of bed
  2. get child off the couch where he went after getting out of bed
  3. haul child into bathroom and dump him on the toilet seat and put toothbrush in his hand
  4. come back in 10 minutes put toothpaste on child’s toothbrush and wake up him for good and tell him to get his butt off the toilet seat
  5. nudge him till he gets off toilet seat and goes and splashes some water on his face.
  6. turn on the light at which point he yells “no lights…aarrgh!”
  7. make him brush his teeth while he mumbles how sleepy he is through a mouth full of foam
  8. pray for coffee grande to magically appear while I try not to lose my shit
  9. I could probably go all the way to 100 but that coffee grande is finally calling me…

The first thing I do when the small child leaves the house is take a deep breath and stop hiding the fact that I almost constantly stream stuff while I potter around the house and get my chores done. When the big child leaves, I usually celebrate…erm…play something soothing or something reminiscent of my childhood and just dance around a bit and reclaim my domain.

As The Bard wrote- Make happy and sad times as you fly by, and do whatever you want, swift-footed Time, to the wide world and all its vanishing delights. The vanishing delights take on another form when the school bus pulls up and you prepare for another round of body slamming hugs, clothes scattered all over the floor and shouts of “what’s there to eat” and “ewww I don’t want this” or “oooh! my favorite! I love you…you’re my favorite mother in the WHOLE WORLD!!!”

It’s not easy to like the little monsters all the time. But it’s no hardship either.

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To mothers everywhere…Salut.

Movie Review: Kedarnath

This post isn’t advocating that you go and see the movie if you’d much rather not. However, it does stress on the aspect of enjoyment you’d get and the surprise you may feel if you did.

Set in the backdrop of the catastrophic floods that ravaged parts of Uttarakhand back in 2013, this movie has people, communal tensions and the fury of nature playing critical roles without anyone giving an inch to the other. If you have star crossed lovers on one side, you have bigotry on the other and everything getting submerged (excuse the pun) under the torrential flows of water.

Sara Ali Khan- is a surprise. Mainly because so many other young debutantes, barring Alia Bhatt and Anushka Sharma, have failed at being convincing or even realistic. She doesn’t sound like an NRI who just got off the plane and neither does she seem uncomfortable in her own skin. Her body language is spot on when playing a devil may care young girl who flouts societal norms and her ‘in your face’ attitude seems to flow naturally.

She could have gone with more modest attire when playing a girl who’s father is a staunch Hindu priest and one who lives in a town built around religion and myths. But if you have Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla dressing you up for the movies, then the look of a small town girl is probably hard to pull off. She could take a leaf out of Anushka’s book ala Sui Dhaga.

Sushant Singh Rajput as Mansoor is believable as a (pitthoo) guide who lugs the pilgrims up and down the mountains. A lot of Bollywood actors get so used to the urbane, yuppie roles they play that even when they have to go deglam, they can’t get into the skin of the character. Mansoor doesn’t appeal unworldly, far from it, but he does appear to be straight talking and knows who he is. SSR could have avoided the SRK-like posturing towards the fag end of the movie but the scene called for drama and SRK does drama; cliched as it were.

Pooja Gor, Nitish Bharadwaj, Nishant Dahiya, Alka Amin and others round up the cast and bring to life the stronghold that religion has not only on the lives of the people in Kedarnath, but their actions, their thought processes and ultimately what they deem is right or wrong. All these actors with their strong backgrounds in television bring in a whiff of freshness amongst the acting talent that’s been around in Bollywood for a while.

Amit Trivedi’s score for the movie isn’t fantastic but the song Namo Namo certainly is. The visuals are quite breathtaking and made me want to visit the place. Any movie that evokes that kind of a feeling in a viewer must be doing something right.

The images of the lake overflowing, the cloudburst don’t look realistic at all. Even back in the day movies like The Day After Tomorrow was able to make tsunamis and rampant destruction look believable.

But special effects only add to the mix in a movie like this. At the end of the day you still feel bad when the boy and girl fall prey to nature, stigma and society. What remains is a good time that was had, hummable music and lovely visuals!

Rating: 2.5/5

Paying For It…Literally

Once upon a time there was a world which had movies and t.v shows up to the heavens. It was a lovely world. All (almost) the latest episodes and movies uploaded as soon as they aired and it was FREEEEEEE! There were heroes like Yify who made the world a happy, happy place.

This world needed slight maneuvering in stealth aka incognito mode because of the mine fields of toolbars, extensions and slithery worms that lurked and wanted to make their new home on your beloved instrument of happiness (click here for to know about another take on the same).

Anyhoo, after quite a few years of binge-watching AHS, GA, HTGAWM, 24, Bones and whatnot, my online streaming rampage came to a crashing halt. TO was given access to his very own laptop at the start of the school year. To say he loves it like the sibling he never had would be exaggerating it. He probably loves it more. I have seen him caress the damn thing and look lovingly at it!

The first day he got the laptop he was schooled (‘cuse the pun) on the best sites to download music and games from; again in stealth. When he got home, proud to show off his prowess in downloading and claiming his place in the long-standing family tradition, he got a rude shock. Apparently it was *not* ok to download stuff for free from dubious websites. Gasp! Who knew?!

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My goto #dafuq gif. #gottaloveIceCube

Red gave him a whole litany of reasons why it wasn’t the right thing to do especially since access to Prime and Netflix was so easily doable. The child absorbed the shock and immediately told his father, “So that means A can’t download movies anymore either, right?” And then, right there in that little moment, the parents got schooled. And were grudgingly proud of it.

So here I am, paying for Prime, Netflix and occasionally renting movies from Google during the movie&junk food weekends that all kids (big&small) seem to love. At times I wonder why I should have to pay to watch a movie like ‘The Meg but then I remember that I didn’t pay a dime to watch about 3 Sharknadoes and a whole host of shark movies which most people wouldn’t watch even if they got paid to. Well Red wouldn’t. I still did watch this one and swore that I wouldn’t waste precious bandwidth on that kind of imbecility ever again. I’ve kept to that promise. I think.

When I was looking over my cc statement I found an ever-growing list of charges towards movie-viewing: in the theaters, on the telly and all totally 100% legit. Yup…we’ve turned a new leaf. And paying a pretty penny for it too.  But we are not subscribing  to Animal Farm!

P.S: we pay for our music too.

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Movie Review: Simmba


If there was a movie which could have had ‘OTT’ as a catch phrase it would be this one. Or it could have the slightly longer but also accurate one of ‘The Movie Where Rohit Shetty Didn’t Blow A Car Up’. Whatever be the case, Simmba is a movie that is unadulterated entertainment. The kind that harks back to the days when we whistled as the hero made an entrance for the first time and blew everyone else away! 
Seemingly tailor-made for Ranveer Singh R.S), Simmba is the story of a cop gone wrong who changes his ways when tragedy hits a bit too close to home for his comfort.

With unabashed cheesy dialogues and catch phrases, R.S is the epitome of a mast, bindaas guy who is always looking for his pound of flesh. Life’ taught him that crime does pay and if you wear a uniform while committing the crime, it pays even more! With endless amounts of pomade and clothes as tight as Akshay Kumar in his Churakey Dil Mera days, Singh delivers the goods in the movie.

Ashutosh Rana in a middle-aged form; plays the voice of R.S’s conscience. The only other cast member to have significant screen time and have something else to do barring looking pretty is Sonu Sood. He growls, barks, threatens and flexes his biceps menacingly in an unending series of muscle shirts.

Sara Ali Khan is a prop plain and simple. She prances in with a bouncy ponytail and then steps back and lets R.S run amok. Because that in a nutshell is Simmba-in your face, brash and total paisa vasool. It’s like an 90s movie in this age with two famous remixed songs to prove it.

Should you watch it? Absolutely! You’ll leave the hall dancing and laughing- what else does one want from an action packed flick?

Rating: 3/5

Movie Review: Uri The Surgical Strike

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Not only was this my first movie of 2019 it ticked multiple boxes of requirement for my movie-watching pleasure. Having grown up on the kind of war movie fare that comprises of Border, LOC and its ilk, Uri sets a new benchmark in the genre. While it’s not as taut as Zero.Dark. Thirty or Hurt Locker, it doesn’t drop the ball much and maintains the EQ (entertainment quotient) at an even keel.

The positives:

  • The cast doesn’t ham it up or go excessively overboard A la Manoj Kumar and the jingoism is kept to a tolerable minimum.
  • Vicky Kaushal stands out as always. He has the ability to get into the skin of his characters and make them believable. His Vihaan Shergill is light years different from Vicky from Manmarziyaan. Hopefully he won’t go down the Salman and Shah Rukh route and rehashing the same role over the decades.
  • The cinematography and combat scenes are shot well and look pretty realistic without the main protagonists coming across like invisible superheroes.
  • The locales and terrain are well-chosen and play as much of a role in building the pace as do the characters and the plot.
  • The chest thumping machismo is kept to highly realistic levels while giving a *very* human glimpse into what a soldier’s life is like. Image result for border movie gif
  • The music is spot on and thankfully they don’t burst into a song and dance like Border did. *rolls eyes*Image result for sandese aate hai gif
  • The lack of a romance angle, the staple fare in Hindi movies, is very refreshing. The movie is about brotherhood, vengeful justice and about family from beginning to end.
  • The so-called side characters like Rakesh Bedi, Ivan Sylvester Rodriguez, Mansi Parekh and Riva Arora do their bit very competently in adding layers to the evolving story line and Riva Arora especially, emotes beautifully as the daughter who has just lost her father. Her outpouring of grief is very realistically portrayed in a child this young.

The Not-So Positives

  • Paresh Rawal is wasted in this role IMHO. An actor of his capabilities just frowns and breaks mobile phones in half all through the movie and would have been more apt as a spokesperson for an antacid or IBS.
  • Rajat Kapoor too doesn’t succeed in embodying the persona of the PM. His casting seems to be a misfire.
  • Swaroop Sampat too falls flat slightly as an Alzheimer’s patient. She is restrained, too much at times, to really have any impact at all. Pretty much a wallflower.
  • Yami Gautam is pretty. And that’s pretty much all there is to her. She fails to convey a sense of urgency as a RAW agent. She is entirely extraneous in the whole scope of things.
  • Kirti Kulhari, as always, comes across as very serene and composed as real. Her role could have been a bit more fleshed out.
  • The scene where Asma and her husband get information about of a senior Pakistani official about the troop deployment at the Indo-Pak border could have been choreographed better. But then again, who knows how spooks get the job done.

All in all, Uri is a slick flick where the cast, locale and OST all do justice to the subject- The Surgical Strike. This is the kind of movie that evokes the pride and patriotism slowly but surely.

Rating: 3/5