Pet Peeves Maketh The Person

I almost wrote “maketh the man” and then reminded myself of gender neutrality (another pet peeve of mine) and changed it to “person”.

Anyone following my blog of late would have wondered if they’d landed on the same person’s site or not because I’ve gone slightly berserk with my template changes. And that’s the super-duper pet peeve I’m addressing today.  I NEED THINGS PERSONALIZED. And how! If it doesn’t vibe with me, I don’t get no satisfaction!

I think I can blame Livejournal for that. With icons for depicting different moods, being able to mention the place one is blogging from and the kind of music that one’s listening to at that time…they spoiled me. Of course they got in tons of spam as well and as a result it was ‘adios amigos’ but I miss a few of their blogging features.

I bring in lots of little (and often inconsequential) details to my blogs. To me- it adds to the ambiance. To another (read Red) it was often a WTF moment to know that I’d been listening to Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Hansi Sitam while ranting on a blog post. He always asked, “what’s the damn value add for me to know what you’re listening to if it’s not reflected in the words you’re writing?”

But we all have our quirks. Some of us more than others and some of us need to see something and make it our own. Whether it’s putting the world on hold while a new phone’s wallpaper and font is chosen or the blog’s template is changed for the nth time; it adds to a sense of satisfaction to see something and think, “there it is…that’s how we roll baby!”

Call it a quirk or a mini-disease, those of us who need to make things a part of our personality, need to have those things reflect who we are or what we’re thinking about, and get fidgety if we have to settle for something which is close but no cigar. Because damn it, we want the cigar!

Note: the author is *not* promoting smoking or any kind of tobacco usage. She however does have a thing (here we go again) for proverbs and liberally peppers her speech with them.

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Tech-Savvy Woes

I’ve written earlier about the advent of Alexa in our lives. Red was in the market for good quality speakers and was considering buying Sonos and then suddenly got his head turned by the cute lil dot that now talks to us in a STRONG American accent and frequently gets our song choices wrong because she doesn’t get us much. And that’s funny because the offspring has his own twangy accent that sounds kind of like Alexa and yet they don’t always communicate correctly.

Properly enunciated crisp diction rings her bells though. Take for example, MLM wanting to hear Ra.One’s Chhammak Chhallo. He yelled out into the general direction of Alexa, “AlexaplaymeChamakChalo” and pat came the reply, “I’m sorry. I am unable to understand you.” El Brato grumbled, “Stupid Alexa” and then yelled out to me, “Ayu…come and tell Alexa the song I want to hear. It’s not listening to me.”

And there I was, speaking to the dot, yet again, telling her to play Chhammak Challo, said with tight lips and no hint of any accent anywhere. And she popped up saying, “Here’s ChamakChalo from VishalShaker”. I swear there was no difference between her and MLM but someone must have a hearing problem somewhere so I’m still running interference for them both and waiting till he asks me to tell her to play ‘Rashke Qamar’. Last time he asked her to play the song she played Paula Abdul’s Rush Rush

For my troubles, I get to hear the dratted song on loop till my brains start to leak out of my ears. *rolls eyes*

Signing off!

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Movie Review: Pari

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This movie is Prosit Roy’s love affair with the older parts of Calcutta, the bits that make it stand apart from every other city in India. It is strangely enough, also an ode to the nail cutter and umbrellas. Never has the humble implement of hand and foot hygiene received so much spotlight neither, for that matter, has so much water fallen on the city of Calcutta.

I fully expect the sales of nail cutters and umbrellas to go through the roof post people watching the movie.

The devil is invoked. He of the run-of -the-mill horned-head fame and blood thirst, comes (excuse the pun) and impregnates women (poor, low-income…take your pick) whose gestation period lasts for all of one month (the only bright spot in the movie) and then a belly button-less and umbilical cord-less child comes forth into the world. Their goal? To increase the progeny of their father. But all banality aside, the Devil needs his flesh and blood to aid in eventual world domination. The world domination bit isn’t referred to but why be the Devil if you can’t rule over the world, am I right?

That in a nutshell is Pari. The tagline claims that it’s not a fairy tale but fairy tales are replete with angst-ridden, unhappy characters who utter curses as easily as they breathe.

So why is this movie not a write-off? Because the cinematography sets the tone and mood of the entire movie without having to resort to cheap gimmicks of blood and gore to live up the “horror” genre.

The by-lanes of Calcutta, the moss-laden walls, the sooty shutters and a slightly sleepy, lethargic ambience lull you into the story only to be jarred from the calm and into the world of the preternatural. Compared to RGV’s Bhoot and movies of it’s ilk, Pari doesn’t rely on a sudden loud noise which has you clutching your heart in fear.

Anushka Sharma’s vulnerability makes you wish the bad juju doesn’t catch up with her and gulp her down. This movie is Anushka’s vehicle but she has to work at being creepy and you feel sorry for her plight. She can be de-glam but she still has to nail being ferocious.

The rest of the cast is passable with Mansi Multani (Kalapori) and Rajat Kapoor standing out for their respective roles. They are by turns creepy, scary and the chief ingredients needed to bring in a bit of shiveriness to an otherwise droll “horror” movie. Kapoor with his fake eye, stoic and almost amused-countenance is a true reflection on how normal people can become evangelical and take on a mantle of evil themselves under the guise of the greater good.

The role of the crone playing Kaali Pori (Mansi Multani) has been enacted well with her entry coming in sporadically to scare the life out of Anushka. That and her sing song voice while she plays the conduit for the demon is well portrayed.

The male lead-Parambrata and Ritabhari (Piyali) do justice to their roles with the former playing a person with values and morals but still dragging his feet throughout life and becoming proactive when you least expect him to. He seems confused through most of the movie and even his repentance at the end seems to fall flat.

But all this dissection aside- kudos to Anushka for not going the expected path of KJo-type movies alone. She can emote and emote well.

Pari is all about her. But I give it half a thumbs-up because a horror movie shouldn’t just be about pathos…it should be a bit jarring. Pari fails to do that.

If Thou Beest Sick…Beest Ye Properly

I have no idea why I lapse into the Ye Olde Dayes…I just do. Imagine an imp with a neck ruff a la dear ol’ Will sitting on my shoulder, nudging me to shake things up a bit.

Anyhoo, I’d had a fever for a bit. Nothing critical but it was on the higher side and I felt bloody awful. There were fevers I’ve danced my way through (literally) but barring that I felt quite weak and miserable. I had weird Frankensteinish dreams which are bits and pieces of everything around me and my consciousness, all knitted together into an unholy mess. For e.g: I had visions of cobras being milked (I know they were damn cobras because my kid loves them and because I was stupid enough to read this article on The Better India) and some friend of the family moving into the home of one Red’s tennis partners. *shrugs*

I dreamt of days of more leisure, less responsibility (because that’s what the mind and body was craving). I kept dreaming of dinos because I was camped out on my kid’s bed while I sent him off to sleep with Red in mine. I had weirdass sound tracks running through my dreams as well because my mind was still preoccupied with setting up my customized playlists on Amazon Music for our own dear Alexa!

All the dream dissection apart, I just want to take some time and appreciate my peeps. I married one of them and made the other but both are equally precious to me this weekend at least. The Lord&Master kept me quarantined and took over the running of the house, poured liquids into me at regular intervals and made sure I took meds and basically kept my germs to myself and kept my grumpy face to my part of the house.

The offspring, and this is uber cute, came up to me for multiple hugs and kisses only to be turned away each time with threats of germs migrating onto him and setting up camp. He finally came up with a solution; he would give me a massage and make me feel better and get heaps of praise for his efforts-making him feel oodles better too. As a result of which, there is a bottle of Jergens which will not see the light of day again. Apparently the surface area of my body merits almost an entire 400ml bottle. I almost slipped out of bed by the time the lotion application got done.

But I have to mention that tiny, soft little hands, gently and delicately massaged goops of aloe-scented lotion onto my face, forehead, hair, roots, up my nose, in my ear and it was *quite* relaxing for the most part. What was particularly endearing was,”Aww you poor baby, you look soooo bad. I’ll make you feel better.” Followed by waking me up from my half-stupor to make me relate to everyone how well he’d taken care of me and what a good boy he was.

And he was…they both were. They let me wallow, they let me heal and MOST importantly…they LET ME BE. Weekends are relaxed but I’m usually the one picking up the slack. Red and brat help out but obviously I wish they were more proactive (Nyah!). And here they were, cleaning up wherever they could and BEST of all…not adding (much) to the mess. It was blissy. Verry, verry blissy.

So, moral of the story? If you’re going to be sick, don’t be a half-assed kind of sick. BE SICK! They love you to bits when you are.

Here endeth the lesson.

Cough, sniffle, sneeze!

 

Reader’s Block

I’ve experienced reader’s block a few times in my life. Not because the book was boring but because it hurt my head to read it.

One was The Heart of Darkness. Brought out (yet again) all the atrocities done in the name of deliverance, racial superiority and just plain ol’ fashioned greed.

The other one was The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Red gave it to me as a gift when we first met. Of course that should have tipped me off to the kind of guy I was marrying but I got blindsided. That’s another blog for another day.

I recently started reading graphic novels and after having a rather happy experience with the first one, the 2nd one has me at a dead-end. I’ve been exposed to Holocaust literature as a child. I guess it was at the discretion of our class teacher, herself Jewish, who wanted us to know about that watershed moment in history because she was emotionally impacted by it.

Our reading list had Friedrich, The Number On My Grandfather’s Arm and When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. I’m sure everyone knows that The Diary of Anne Frank is a given staple. Anyhow, the reason I can remember what I read in the 5th grade is because they disturbed me. Although the books were written specifically for children’s’ comprehension; it was the first time that I read something that was disturbing, factual and designed to shake me out of being a child and shove me towards knowing that the world wasn’t a good place or that people were good all over the world.

When I bought Maus, I thought it would be an easier read for me than those earlier books had been because back then I’d been in grade school and was a grown woman now. But that’s not how things shape up. A few chapters into Maus and I just couldn’t go further. Caricatures or not, they were depictions of real people, real incidents and real tragedies.

I guess I prefer my reading of the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson ilk..goes down easier. Color me an escapist but the world of make-believe, while deeply engrossing, doesn’t leave you with food for thought about the human condition. The kind of food that gives you indigestion I might add.

I did muddle through the earlier reader-block inducing books as well and will read all of Maus as well. But it’ll take some doing. A lot of doing.

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Image courtesy-  https://morganpawprint.com

 

The Prodigal Returns

Last weekend I went back to pray at the altar of the gym gods after a long, long a time. I know why I stopped going and it wasn’t a good enough reason then and isn’t one now either. But I like to give myself brownie points for attempting to get back on the horse/bike…you take your pick. Whatever it may be, hopefully it’ll continue to be a major factor in helping me keep up and increase the pace.

The frailty of people makes it so that it’s harder to keep doing things that take a lot of effort; breaking out in a sweat, dealing with aches and pains and still anchoring onto a reason to keeping at it. Stopping doesn’t take much doing at all so it’s usually the fallback option for many of us.

But jiggly fat, wobbly knees and jelly calves aside, the rush from doing something that pushes you ahead is quite fulfilling. However, it’s fulfilling in hindsight and hindsight usually kicks in an hour after you’ve had the whey protein and got some feeling back in the limbs. Till then you’re a slug and wondering why the world makes and endorses such instruments of torture like the foam (huh! Yeah right!) roller.

My glutes, which I thought were heavily padded and non-susceptible too much pain, were crying out for deliverance. As were my thighs, again courtesy the dreaded roller. But since the gym equipment is going to end up being a near-permanent fixture in my life I might as well make peace with it, grit my teeth and jump right in.

Here are some more instruments of torture…

Apparently we’re harking back to the medieval ages just for the fun of getting fit. Notice the rack to get stretched out on, the clubs to get…well clubbed with and the hoops to be hanged from. Bliss…

I was asked to do something called the ‘Hollow Body Hold’. But try as I might, I can’t approach “hollow” ever! Sigh…some of us were meant to be convex…we can’t concave if our lives depended on it.

 

PS: All the mentions of torture are in the overactive imagination and tired body of the author. There is *no* documented evidence of any kind of torture at all. Yet… *evil grin*

 

Me&Crappy Movies…

I have watched tons of rubbish movies. Honestly. And I make no excuses for it. If it intrigues me, I’ll watch it at least once.

I don’t look into the why it’s good or bad or why it’s made money or lost a pile of it. IF the topic is interesting enough, I’ll try and get my hands on a copy.

I really like watching creature and disaster movies. The former is usually improbable and the latter hopefully won’t happen in my lifetime but they are usually not boring; if made well.

I watched Ghost Shark, the Sharknado series and a whole bunch of other stuff with the words “shark” or “snake” in its name and have been actually entertained. And then there was Oceans Rising.

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Oh my god…what an utterly, utterly pathetic movie. To have watched The Day After Tomorrow, Poseidon and even 2012 to some extent and then see this crappy piece of well…crap, is so disappointing. And that’s saying a lot coming from me. I also watched Megashark Vs. MechaShark and lost no sleep over it.

Apart from probably not having any money for believable special effects and having people who just run their entire gamut of expressions in 0-60 seconds, this movie was not the best utilization of a Friday afternoon I’ve done.

The lesson has been learnt.

Maybe.

Naah….

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