Bloglet: Repartee

I am currently in what I imagine is a near-Cinderella stage. Drippy nose, swollen face and mopping up the red blood (poster color) that MLM generously painted on his T-Rex’s teeth and pretty much all over on an off-white tiled floor.

I fall back on the worst threat in my arsenal aka am going away and never coming back and the brat pipes up saying I’ll hide in your suitcase when you aren’t looking and go with you.

And grins. Widely.

Crapola.

PS: While I type this out, I can see a blur running around with toothbrushes in one hand and the handle of a trolley bag in another. Bested again.

Movie Review: Welcome Back…Erm Don’t

Yup, that’s right. Welcome Back should have at rider attached to it- DON’T!
Where the first movie wasn’t a shoo-in for the comedy of the year award, it was still entertaining and doesn’t fail to elicit chuckles on reruns on tv. But the sequel has a couple of things which make it one of the main contenders for MOST LUDICROUS MOVIE OF THE YEAR. And here they are in no particular order:
1) Shruti Haasan– can’t speak Hindi. Sounds like she’s majorly distressed when she does. Very limited range of emotions. She was more believable in her AC ads. A pretty prop. Period.

2) John Abraham– should stick to promoting Mens’ grooming products. From Jism to Saaya to this movie, he has progressively gotten more wooden, unintentionally deadpan and extremely unfunny. That the man has also got more ripped and has a fantastic “V” should have zero bearing on his acting abilities. His screen presence is mainly felt once he takes his clothes off. The stunt where he ran on the backs of the camels was kinda sad. One felt for the camels. Really.

3) Dimple Kapadia– Finding Fanny, Dil Chahata Hai were roles she could do something with and she did. This movie showcased amply and repeatedly that she cannot emote the light hearted stuff and her comic timing is non-existent.

4) Naseeruddin Shah– Now this was the major head scratcher. I know Bollywood pays more than art house movies and theater but one would think that after decades in the business NS would be able to pick and choose his roles rather than be in a dead end movie which tickles you into laughing rather than evoking it.

5) Ankita Shrivastava- Oh Lord. Slut central. Nothing great to look at. Exposed everything that she had to and still couldn’t get anywhere. Has a great career playing a bar dancer or one of those skimpily-clad dancers who jiggle their booties at the drop of a pin. Emoting? What emoting? Incidentally this young lady’s Wikipedia page lists her as the “most promising Indian actress” yada yada yada. Boy are we in trouble if that load of tripe is even marginally true.

6) The OST. Lord. Boring. Boring. Boring. Barring the Tutti Bole Wedding Di track, none are foot-tappers let alone a good time for the ears. If anything, one wished to fast forward through the songs and the dance routines.

Shiney Ahuja and the people like Rajpal Yadav are wasted. The former because he has no career and pretty much might have to do anything that comes his way (despite being good looking and being able to actually act) even act like a “charsi launda”. And Rajpal Yadav because he is capable of so much more than being “bajaoed like a ghanta” while playing the fool.
This is the kind of movie that forcibly makes you laugh with its predictable punchlines and the antics of Parel Rawal, Nana Patekar and Anil Kapoor. The latter not so much as before.
I wanted a movie that was a no brainer and I got it. Just goes to show, be careful what you wish for. One just wishes that none of the case survived the last scene (in the movie world and not the real one) and nip all thoughts of another sequel in the bud!

The scene at the graveyard was just mind-boggling. I mean it just made one wonder why Aneez Bazmee would direct a movie that had an Antakshari match between a so-called ghost and two mobsters. And one had to wonder at Shruti Haasan and her endless parade of hiiigh heels.

There are moments though, Anil Kapoor grumbling about having to dig a hole in a graveyard in Dubai whereas in India there would have been open ditches galore for dumping a body!

I will say this though, get stoned and maybe, just maybe this movie might be a laugh riot. If not, welcome to stale dialogues, lavish sets and loads of money spent on Humvees, Lamborghinis and massive chandeliers and the mother of all dust storms of all things. I mean, welcome back!

Yet Another Epiphany

I had another Ah-HA! experience this morning while “attempting” to explain to MLM why something is desirable and why something isn’t. People (parenting experts, those whose kids are no longer a pain-in-the-ass and those who are blissfully childless) usually say that it sets a bad example to communicate with a growing child using largely negatives viz “NO”, “NOT”. “DONT” et al. However, given that the vocabulary of most children who aren’t prodigies or savants of some kind are largely rudimentary till the middle school years, it becomes a tough job navigating the world of communicating what you want with what your child can comprehend.

But I have finally realized the biggest challenge I face day in and day out while trying to bring this boy up- I have to be an adult in the face of his childishness. And therein lies the rub. I no longer know how to be a child and he’s not reached that stage where he knows anything else but how to be a child.

Just a few minutes back, I had another locking-horns session with my offspring. Reason? He’s been using a turtle stencil to draw outlines on an otherwise pristine ivory colored wall. Again.

The first time this was noticed and commented upon, he apologized. In a flash. And went off to do whatever it is he does when one road to mischief has been shut down. Today when I noticed the second drawing I called him to ask why he had drawn on the walls again when he knew it wasn’t appreciated at all. He simply replied that he wanted to. No defiance. No attitude. Just a simple statement of fact.

And that in nutshell is how children usually are. While some are more compliant, for reasons known only to them, others are more willful in the sense that they are guided largely by their whims. A state that many older people fall back into in their advanced years.

But try as I might, I couldn’t explain to MLM why I was upset. He finally came up with a solution of wiping it off with water. But the crux of the problem escaped him and it entirely escaped me how to clue him in.

As adults we live with and in cliches. We stay in the lines. It starts by learning to color in them, writing within in, standing in them and also driving in them. We don’t always turn into lab rats or hamsters in their wheels but we become regulated. And can also see the benefits of such a life for its opposite is chaos in some form or the other.

But a child, especially one right out of early childhood is all about seeing his or her environment as a giant canvas, playground or anything without boundaries. They want to color furiously all over the paper. Never mind that the dam fruit they were to color got buried under the strokes. They want to scribble on walls because that’s the largest unending surface that surrounds them everyday. They want to climb higher, use the bed as a trampoline because everything that gives them a sense of freedom, even briefly, is exhilarating. Never mind that you’ll be replacing the mattress or the bed springs will poke through before long. It’s just so much more fun than just calmly lying down somewhere and sleeping.

And this is why I blogged this. Right here and now. So when I’m about to have an aneurysm tomorrow or day after from whatever my son wasn’t supposed to have done but did so anyhow; I can take a quick peek at this post before my head blows up. Hell! I’ll have to clean up that mess too so I might as well read these pearls of wisdom and count to a 1000 and keep telling myself there’s always school and the next summer holidays are a year away.

Amen!

Movie Reco: The Godfather

My whole family’s been under the weather after the offspring got a bug back from school. With long periods of imposed bedrest there’s hardly any time before your mind commands you to watch a movie, or 3. Well in my case no movie is ever watchable at a stretch when my kid is around, so with all the breaks accounted for; one movie goes for at least a day or 2.

Anyhow, from the depths of my fevered brain, some voice kept throwing up movie recommendations and one name kept resounding louder than the others. Well more than the name it was the theme music that kept resounding. And while that may be schizophrenic at some level it still was THE GODFATHER!

Now I haven’t watched this movie in years but it just really hit the spot this time. James Caan, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall…it really doesn’t get any better. That it’s a bit slow-moving was discounted since my days were moving at the speed of molasses anyhow.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the Godfather-

“Don Corleone: I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

“Sonny: What the hell is this?

Peter Clemenza: It’s a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.”

Michael: [coldly] Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.”

Michael: [Confronting Carlo over Sonny’s death] Today, I settle all family business, so don’t tell me you’re innocent, Carlo. Admit what you did. Get him a drink. Come on, don’t be afraid, Carlo. Come on, you think I’d make my sister a widow. I’m Godfather to your son, Carlo. Go ahead drink. Now Carlo, you’re out of the family business, that’s your punishment. We’re finished. I’m putting you on a plane to Vegas. I want you to stay there, understand? Only, don’t tell me you’re innocent, because it insults my intelligence. It makes me very angry. Now who approached you? Tattaglia or Barzini?”

“Tom, don’t let anybody kid you. It’s all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it’s personal as hell. You know where I learned that from? The Don. My old man. The Godfather. If a bolt of lightning hit a friend of his the old man would take it personal. He took my going into the Marines personal. That’s what makes him great. The Great Don. He takes everything personal Like God. He knows every feather that falls from the tail of a sparrow or however the hell it goes? Right? And you know something? Accidents don’t happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult.”

Michael:  What’s the matter? What’s bothering you? I’ll handle it. I told you I can handle it, I’ll handle it.Don Corleone:  I knew that Santino was gonna have to go through all this, and Fredo, well, Fredo was well, but I never – I never wanted this for you. I worked my whole life, I don’t apologize, to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool dancing on a string held by all of those big shots. I don’t apologize, that’s my life, but I thought that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone. Governor Corleone. Somethin’.Michael: Another pezzonovante .Don Corleone: Well, there wasn’t enough time, Michael. Wasn’t enough time.Michael: We’ll get there, Pop. We’ll get there.Don Corleone: Uh. Now listen, whoever comes to you with this Barzini meeting, he’s the traitor. Don’t forget that.

Salut.

The Importance Of Dumb Stuff In Life

We all like to be productive. Some of us genuinely so and many of us who just like to feel like we did something worthwhile instead of just idled our time away. Because even when you idle your time away, it needs to be for an optimum amount. Else you get bored with idling and then there’s REALLY nothing for you to do since if you aren’t idling you have to be doing SOMETHING. And you were idling because there was NOTHING to do.

Yes. A real conundrum. But be as that may, the idea is to find something that gives you the feel of engaging in an activity without making you feel like you’re doing something. Because that would signify being active wouldn’t it?

That’s where watching dumb movies comes in. It’s so mindless, there’s no palpable suspense or acting to look forward to. It’s a foregone conclusion that the movie will not be making it to the Oscars or even leave any sort of imprint on you except maybe to help you pass a boring time of day; hopefully even lulling you to sleep if you’re lucky enough.

I don’t always have a lot of time on my hands but I do get bored quite a bit since my near-constant companion is almost 30 years younger than I am and we don’t always define “fun” the same way each time.

When I do have the time to myself where I know that pursuing an activity I really want to do won’t be viable I fall back on the dumbest of the dumb (movies that is) because you can (and often do have to) leave it midway without even sparing a thought about what’s happen next.

For those of you who do find yourselves in similar situations here’s a list of movies you can turn to to help abate the boredom. This list is merely a suggestion and nothing more. For those whose boredom gets exacerbated due to it, my apologies and I’ll emphasize caveat emptor very strongly.

On we go-

  • Ghost Shark– A MUST watch. It’s quite funny actually without being terribly gory and it’s a novel concept in itself which saves it from being run-of-the-mill; a double whammy if there ever was one.
  • Teeth– Not really the black comedy it was marketed to be. It wasn’t funny at all but the idea behind it was interesting, for lack of a better word.
  • White Chicks– the movie needs no explanation at all once its known it’s by the Wayan brothers so..nuff said.
  • The Scary Movie franchise. Parodies have never been more crass but hey boredom is a bitch too.
  • A rehash of any movie you’ve watched so many times that you can keep playing it in your head even if the lights go off.

If all else fails, just sit quietly for 2 minutes for chances are if you’re a woman, someone will yell out/ whine about something they want you to do.

Summer Holidays- The Scary Truth

Don’t be fooled folks, moms and stay-at-home-moms especially are terrified of summer hols. The concept essentially is fine up to a point- for about 2 months there’s a drop in the madness that comes from trying to wake up a sleepy child to go to school, get them to brush their teeth, sit on the potty BEFORE heading out the door and of course managing to drop them at the school and make your escape for a few (sadly..VERY few) hours.

The vacation means that they can get up at 8:00 am instead of 7:30. It means you can delay the power struggle that comes with the brushing of teeth for up to half an hour. It means breakfast can be french toast, aaloo paratha instead of a glass of milk/ 1 piece of toast with jam or peanut butter. It also means that you get to actually drink your coffee instead of mainlining it or snorting it to save time and kickstart the caffeine rush.

It also means longer bath times (for the kid…NEVER for you), a bit more time in front of the telly and a bit more munching throughout the day. That the playtime gets extended is a given so am not listing it out elaborately.

But the scary, and I mean scary, part of vacations are- BOREDOM. MLM has already starting off with his plaintive, ” I want SUMPHING (something)” cry. Sumphing changes from hour to hour, minute to minute and stuff that you suggest to them comes with a variety of riders (for the kids, not you). And if you have a child who goes through his “sumphings” like a hot knife through butter then you can end up exhausting the entire week’s quota of activities right on DAY ONE and then be left twiddling your thumbs throughout the remainder of the weeks and gazing longingly at the calendar, waiting for the schools to reopen.

The thing is kids need routine more than we do. Adults need routine because we have a shitload of stuff going on in our lives and that needs to be prioritized and tackled ergo routines. But kids need routine to keep them from vegging out and not having enough stimulation to think and create. Even if the creation includes messes, mischief and mayhem.

But a bored kid is unresponsive and a mini-zombie and that’s NEVER desirable. They start channeling their curiosity in different directions, some quite undesirable, and all in all; it’s a non-productive endeavor.

Enter Summer Camps ( fanfare, trumpets and confetti in the background)…they don’t have the rigor of schools, keep little minds and hands (AND LEGS) busy and give you enough time away from the little monsters…erm darlings to actually start missing them or girding up to roll with their antics.

Now that I’m faced with an impending summer vacation I have to say I’m looking at a bunch of resources to help occupy MLM’s time and mine so we get through the next 2 months without needing a strait jacket (for him) and actually having a good time throughout the entire duration.

Hang on…how about a summer vacation for moms? Away from the home and hearth? Kids? Husbands? Days full of spas, jazzerobics, Zumba, good cuisine…?………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Sorry. Got lost in the beauty of the idea.

Till then…it’s back to taking care of the troops and trying to keep a tight hold on my sanity.

Toodles!