I’ve lived in quite a few places. Changed houses, states, countries and a continent in the process.
But the longest I’d lived anywhere till date was the first place Red and I bought after we got married. It wasn’t that much of a well-thought out decision. We didn’t factor in any green space close by, or schools.
The place was BIG, we had the room that we needed for our books, clothes and kitchen stuff. When the parents came to visit, they each had their own rooms with attached loos and the view from the balcony, while not spectacular, was cozy and I had flowering plants on the parapet for the almost the entire duration we lived there.
We planned a family in the apartment, had a kid who learnt to walk there. We had our fights, plans for the future, packed for trips and ultimately made it a home. And now, 4 years later, it’s gone back to being an apartment again.
We had tenants living there till recently and when they moved out I realized that I’d cut my ties with the place well and truly. Earlier, I used to be able to see glimpses of my kid toddling about the house along with other memories of us going about our lives; without getting hauled in for hallucinating.
But this time around I felt like it was someone else’s space that I was visiting. I still knew where the light switches were (Red doesn’t remember them for the place we live in even now) but there was not tugs felt once I switched off the lights and locked the door on the home we’d lived in for 6 years.
People move on. Sometimes it’s a such a smooth process that you wake up one day and realize that you no longer possess a particular frame of mind. And there are other times when you literally browbeat yourself into moving forward.
The people we couldn’t do without once- we can now go without talking to them for days on end and things still seem alright. The lifestyle we held to be an absolute truth gets swapped for another one and we ease into it so seamlessly it’s almost as if nothing else ever existed.
It’s a heady and yet a very reassuring thought…I for one am relieved.
Have a good weekend people.
Those were some fun decades…especially in the way movies were made.
This last week I watched some movies I had DVRd and utterly enjoyed the blast of nostalgia!
I started with Die Hard…a movie you can never go wrong with. Whether you’re burping a baby, fighting with a spouse, feeling angst or anything else this is an ‘Anytime Movie’.
Bruce Willis’ deadpan face gets stiff competition from the late Alan Rickman but as far as thrilling action movies are concerned, this one is right up there with the best.
Add to it the poofy 80s hair-dos made stiff with hairspray, the blazers and sweaters with their shoulder pads that made people look like linebackers. The ponytails tied high and one side, the white hightops everyone seemed to favor and the Frankie Goes To Hollywood track that most of the movies seem to integrate in their OSTs…Ah! Good stuff.
While Under Siege is another of my Anytime Movies and made by Seagal, the flow of the movie in Hard to Kill is plainly hard to swallow and yet it escapes being so bad it’s actually good. Instead it’s just a movie that makes you guffaw if nothing else simply because it’s really that flat. Seagal also delivered gems like Out For Justice which was in a class by itself (insert big time eye roll).
But this isn’t a post about movies alone. It’s about a point in time. I was a child growing up in the 80s and 90s…and it was such an interesting time. Make-up was better louder, hair was better poofier a la Bon Jovi and his ilk and groups like Bell Biv Devoe were on the air.
And while I listen to Cheap Thrills on continuous loop (courtesy the offspring); harking back to the 80s and 90s doesn’t seem like a bad time at all.
Cheers to nostalgia.
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!
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!
I’m up. Again. I’ll be useless by 11 am unless I have 2 super-duper coffees (one of them black) in the first half of the day.
I don’t mind waking up ahead of time. I like the near-solitude that the apartment offers. The offspring is sleeping in some odd modernistic dance pose and the husband is just blissfully asleep. People look very different when they sleep. You either cringe or look lovingly at them. No middle path there am afraid.
I am FILLED with love for my child when he’s asleep. The curl of his lashes, the pucker of his mouth and I notice everything about him; the crud in the corner of his eyes, a small spot of toothpaste he didn’t properly rinse off his chin and usually how his pajama bottoms are gradually heading north of his ankles.
A few days ago I was (yet again) deleting stuff from my email account because it was close to being full and I really didn’t know if I wanted to fork over money every month for more space yada yada yada. I found some utterly delicious videos of my kid. Sadly they were taken with the sturdy, never-let-you-down-hardware-wise-but-otherwise-with-a-lame-ass camera Nokia I used to tote around before Samsung Galaxy came and changed my life for the better.
So there I was unearthing these treasures which I’d totally forgotten about…these grainy videos of him while still diaper-clad and with the requisite amount of baby fat when comes in the subject of those videos in present day avatar- lean, bucktoothed and with his run-of-the-mill dino t-shirt and asks me why am I going “awww” and smiling at my laptop so much. I tell him am looking at videos of him when he was a little(r) boy and it’s making me happy to remember those times. All sorts of maternally feelings are going on in my head with the past and present right in front of me and the world seems awash in those pretty shades from the color palettes which mothers apparently see when they feel a surge of love for their kids.
He looks over my shoulder, with his surprisingly pointy chin digging into my shoulder bone and says “I was a cute baby” and with the same breath telling me to move over somewhere else because he wanted to watch something on tv and my exclamations were too loud for him.
And just like that, in a snap, your maternal feelings evaporate and you longingly look at that diapered bum running around, chin all shiny from drool, making bird and airplane noises and wish he was back just for a little bit. Instead you leave circa 2011 behind and face 2016 with semi-resignation and just plant your butt more firmly into the couch and say I was here first! And before the whiny and knee-jerk “Nooooo” starts off, you get your ‘talk-to-the-hand’ face and gesture in place and get back to viewing that chubby kid who ate everything under the sun and was cute as a button. This dinosaur-loving one could just do with cooling his jets for a wee bit!
Main Tenet of Dealing with Nostalgic Moms- NEVER mess with the nostalgia process…it brings forth the inner dragon; complete with fire and brimstone. And the claws.
A good part of my life is nostalgia-ridden or driven.
I am quite in touch with the present and look into the future (aided by booze at times) but the past is quite bright and vivid for me overall.
When aspects, however minute, crop up from my childhood; it makes me quite cheery and I’m happy to trip back to school days and regale (not!) the Lord and Master aka Red about my experiences. He, in turn, is equally happy to tune me out and is careful to insert, ” Uh huh”, “Ohs” and “Really?” into the gaps in the near-monologue-y conversation that ensues.
A month or so ago, MLM got a Ring Pop in a goody bag and I was thrilled because when I was slightly older than he is now, I’ve pestered my mom for quarters to buy them from the gumball machine. And here was my kid about to go down the same road of experiencing an edible jewelry! My favorite is the grape flavor in case anyone was wondering. No? Onwards…
One of my crushes gave me a Ring Pop to show me he liked me and that the first ring given to me by any guy and also the only delicious one!
Another one of the things that I somehow liked playing with, and grossing my mother out at the same time, was Slime.
It was oozy, gooey and so much fun! So when I found some tiny barrel of slime in a toy store, I didn’t think twice and bought it for MLM and another one of his friends. Needless to say, the slime was a hit! It was fought over. It made its way onto some upholstery, a certain grandfather’s shirt and grossed out every sensible adult in the room.
I was telling Red this morning that of all the things I thought would endure over three decades, pop rocks, bubble tape, bubblegum lollipops and play slime didn’t even make the top 10. But it’s nice to see these things once in a while. They’re silly, fun and an unforgettable part of being a carefree kid.