Color Me Obsolete

Facepalm Moment of the day: TO telling me he doesn't watch movies that aren't made in this century when I asked him to watch Willow (circa 1988)

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Movie Review: Black Adam

I have to be honest here, I kind of like The Rock. I have ever since he was a smooth-bodied WWF wrestler with his trademark eyebrow lift. Once he became more of a man mountain and became ripped to a ridiculous degree, he was able to transition into movies with a bit of deadpan humor and it worked in some cases and it some, it didn’t.

Black Adam didn’t work for me. It gave oodles of ROI for TO but he’s a kid who still chews on his tshirt collars from time to time, so he’s not the most discerning critic one could say. But getting back to the movie- it pretty much fell flat from the time that Black Adam was freed from his underground prison cell.

With no real badass villains to dislike, the movie is a sludgey-walk through the stereotypical narrative of people needing a savior to look up to; quite literally in this case since Black Adam can soar like a bird. The supporting cast of Pierce Brosnan looking like a bored English aristocrat and Aldis Hodge acting like IBS is his daily companion, don’t do much to make the narrative pick up the tempo at all.

Noah Centineo should stick to teen romcoms if he can’t find something solid to sink his teeth into and Quintessa Swindell barely has much to say or do expect for twirl into the storms she’s known for. And we know special effects do all that and more.

It seems like am only trashing the movie and I’m not; not entirely. But I’m an avid watcher and follower of superhero movies courtesy TO and the little kid who lurks inside me still. And the Marvel movies outpaced this narration and left them in the dust!

But since the munchkins who chew on unnecessarily expensive movie theater popcorns and the box office rule the roost, the less than stellar opinion of someone who grew up watching The X-Men movies doesn’t count for much. One parting tip: Wait for it to air on OTT, you’ll feel better watching it at the end of the day without the cost of movie tickets factored into it!

Phunless Phlegm

It’s been consistently sporadic rains for the past few days in my city. And if that’s too much of an oxymoron, tough! It’s the best a mother can do after her gravelly-voiced offspring woke her up yet again with a loud honk of his nose and his constricted breathing, not to mention the countless sneezes.

The fun (and I use as much snark as I am capable of while waiting for the milkman to deliver the farm-fresh goodness that will go into my life-saving beverage) of phlegm is actually way beneath zero. If you can think of rock bottom, imagine scratching your way to Tartarus in the effort to evade phlegm.

Your nose becomes a leaky faucet, your throat constricts in odd ways and if you’re like TO, you end up leaving mucus-encrusted napkins wherever you may roam.

All in all, a mother’s lot in life is no phun with phlegm on the horizon. Imagine me holding up a tissue box and saying, “Get thee behind me phlegm!” Nuff said!

The Art of Teaching

I realized this quite early in life; not everyone can be a teacher. Rather not everyone can be a good one. And mind you, a good teacher isn’t necessarily the person who is always a jolly, smiling individual but one who genuinely makes you interested in learning.

While I was going to school, children were largely meant to be seen and not heard unless expressly called upon to show the teacher that they hadn’t wasted his or her time lecturing a class of 40 kids, every day about things they didn’t know they needed to learn. And yet teachers are an inescapable part of life; the inadvertent ones and the one we recognise as teachers.

After going to 9 different schools from pre-primary till my 12th grade exams, I thought I had a pretty good fix on who can be considered a good teacher and then college hit and I began to have multiple A-Ha experiences. While it is harder to hold down the attention of school-going kids and give them an exposure to all the subjects in one go, it is that much harder to teach young adults coming into their own, about how the subjects they will learn in college will end up impacting their lives in a more permanent way.

I have had teachers dazzle me with their knowledge, their passion, their kindness and also their love. I have (sadly) also seen people that made me cringe and made me promise myself that I would never submit to that kind of rigor, near aggression or mindless teaching in the name of education.

The adage from G.B Shaw, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” has been proven wrong many times over. Those who can do, those who can’t, don’t or bumble along trying. It has *nothing* to do with teaching at all.

To all my teachers over the years…whether I reached wherever you expected me to or not, the lessons have been learnt. Some discarded, few forgotten but the ones learnt properly have resonated with me and continue to do so. Thank you…

Movie Review: Luck

TO has been choosing the movies he wants to watch for a couple of years now and thankfully the ones I’ve been watching with him have had something as a take away barring the entertainment factor. We watched Luck on Apple TV+ last night and except for a few parts which were a bit hokey IMO, it’s a decent watch for families.

Movie plot: Sam, a 18-year old orphan is aging out of the last orphanage she lived in; having spent her life going from one home to another without ever having found her “forever family” aka get adopted.

This doesn’t make her too down in the dumps however and she appoints herself as a big sister for the other girls in the home, most of all Hazel. Sam, unfortunately, suffers from chronic bad luck and something or the other always goes wrong for her till the day her luck changes and she accidentally finds a lucky penny dropped by a bad luck omen- a BLACK CAT!

The rest of the movie follows her adventures in the Land of Luck as she tries to reclaim good luck for Hazel and make sure she gets her forever family which she learns important lessons in life, love and about herself.

Featuring the voices of Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, John Ratzenberger among others, Luck is an original Apple film which explains, in a very patient manner, that having only good luck isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. A balance of good and the bad is what makes life the journey it is. Bad luck isn’t all that bad at the end of the day and is just a path towards reclaiming the good luck that gives one a sense of confidence and joy to go further.

Similar to the movie Inside Out, Luck explains the slightly metaphysical concept of good being not all good and bad being not entirely bad to the younger lot and does it in a wholesome manner. Sure, some parts do seem a bit goody-goody, but with all the less than sanitary stuff that’s assaulting the kids from all around, a feel-good movie and slightly goody-two-shoes character isn’t a bad thing at all!

Jurassic World Dominion

I like dinos. Quite a bit. Have religiously watched all The Land Before Time movies and then the Jurassic Park/World ones and I was *quite*curious to see what they would do to wrap things up in Dominion. They didn’t do much.

Given that things have to follow patterns set for creature and doomsday movies, one can’t realistically expect there to be anything totally unique about a movie where dinosaurs roam free amongst humans. However, one could expect to be a bit more entertained in the process. And that’s where this movie lets you down. Pretty badly.

With hackneyed plots and less than stellar acting, this particular installment of the Jurassicverse would be enjoyed if not outright adored only by an ardent fan. The return of Laura Dern, Sam Neil and Jeff Goldblum don’t hit any entertaining notes and the inclusion of Campbell Scott as the unassuming antagonist doesn’t rouse one’s ire let alone get the feel of an honest-to-god bad guy.

As a parent, the character of Maisie Lockwood (played by Isabella Sermon) just makes you want to ground her till she’s 35 for a) releasing the dinosaurs in Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom and b) being a typical disobedient, sulky teen who essentially causes the dominoes to start falling.

All in all, this is a movie I saw purely for the love of my child and a bit of my innate curiosity. The love for the child remains but the curiousity is sated; for good!

P.S: This movie proves one thing for sure…the T-Rex always wins!

The Mother’s Day Brouhaha

My family lived in the US briefly, many years ago. Prior to that life was smaller in many ways. There were no 75 channels on tv and there certainly was no Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Presidents Day and what have you.

We had Children’s Day where we most certainly did not get to escape from school; were “nudged” into elocution or essay competitions eulogizing the first Prime Minister of India. We had Teacher’s Day where the teachers got a break..sort of. The place I did my middle school from, had the 10th graders dress up in sarees or salwar kameez and the younger classes were allocated to us to manage while the teachers had a break for a day. Lunch was organized for them and there were no classes on that day for anyone. Good times all around. But the concept of Mother’s Day being a thing and a big one at that is something I got to know when I was in 3rd grade. Still a newbie of sorts to American life.

Our teacher who had an unfortunate way of looking strict while she wasn’t too bad in real life had us make little accessories for our mothers. Small pieces of what looks like particle wood to me now were available for us to color on and then a pin would be glued on the back and it would make a lovely brooch for our moms.

In theory so many things sound good. Doable even, but give a bunch of kids glue and craft products especially a goggle-eyed one from India who is new to the concept of pipe cleaners and googly eyes and you get something like this-

My mother in her infinite wisdom *never* wore this except for the time I gave it to her. Given that she had nothing which would offset this and she never went trick or treating either, this brooch was consigned to her drawer of special things, displayed prominently but sensibly not worn.

She preserved this, possibly as a reminder to herself that Art and her daughter were not intended to be friends. Over the years I’ve got a laugh out of jiggling the brooch so the eyes jump up and down but for the most part this work of art remains misunderstood and has more depth than anyone has possibly gauge.

Happy Mother’s Day all!

Eye Roll Blog Post#2

The car mats have got pretty dirty and I wanted to wash them out before we stepped out next. It’s a simple task actually…use a hand shower or a forceful spray to get the initial layer of dirt and dust off, sprinkle a bit of detergent on the mats, let them soak for a few minutes and use a hard scrub brush to get as much of the residual dirt off and let it dry out. Including soaking, the whole thing takes about 20 minutes unless you’re like my father who would probably want some bleaching agent to make the mats look clean and new.

Imagine me doing all of the above and asking TO for one teensy little help viz opening up the foldable drying rack so I could put the mats on it to dry out. But what is teensy in my world is unfathomable in his so our conversation went something like this: Me: “Baby please open up the clothing stand and keep the side flaps straight (they are adjustable in case we need some height).” TO: HUH?!! Me: Can you open up the clothes drying stand and keep the sides absolutely straight so I can dry the mats? TO: I don’t understand...Me: What don’t you understand (washing, scrubbing going on simultaneously)? TO: What’s the clothes drying stand? Me: (voice becoming slightly frosty) The folding stand where we dry our clothes? Everyday? It’s on the balcony? TO: Oh *THAT* thing? Why can’t you be more specific Ayu?Me: (icicles becoming to form on the bathroom surface) How could I have been more specific while describing it?! TO:You know, you could’ve said to me get that clothes thingie we put clothes on!” Me: “Oye ve!

83 days till school reopens…