1998

5 girls met. Talked. Slowly at first and then incessantly. They sat in the last benches of most of their classes. Had some adventures. Loads of giggles, some fights. Went through a bunch of guys. Made other gal pals and 20 years later are still around in a pretty good capacity given that work, home, spouses, kids and pets do make their presence felt quite a bit on a daily basis.

College was such a melting pot. You had all the directions of the country converge along with linguistic and religious backgrounds and still found that you fit somewhere; with someone. And you wore each other like gloves and the fit just got better with time with a few mends here and there.

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There were classes where you each were at sea, and then those where you still had the chance to sail through. There were gaffes, bloopers, red-letter days and some days you’d rather really just never remember again. There were fests and fiestas where you met the next few months’ rides in the form of people (ahem..guys) from other colleges and also did a quick dipstick to see if you were on the right end of the social spectrum when compared to the rest of the lot out there. Fashion played a big role. Some were gawked at, some gaped at and some just grimaced at as a bad idea never to be repeated with oneself.

You had days when the homework hadn’t been done and the entire class (barring the usual goody two-shoes suspects) was asked to leave by the lecturer with clenched teeth and furrowed brows. There were classes which were bunked at the proverbial last minute to go watch a newbie director’s movie premiere with no money left for snacks ergo home made lunches came to the rescue…however lame the situation seemed.

These 5 girls had their own idiosyncrasies; they still do but they had FUN! They didn’t have stars in their eyes but didn’t really know what the world had in store for them either. They sat and laughed at the teachers’ often utterly ludicrous utterances and marveled at the sophistication and expanse of knowledge the others possessed. They wrote their hearts out, thought about new things; had their horizons and visions broadened by good books recommended by even better teachers and still managed to sleep through at least half of their graduation.

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Endless sandwiches were eaten along with innumerable cups of tepid coffee which kept the noggin running, however sporadically. They bitched, they gossiped, they cried, they guffawed with laughter and they made memories. In time they shared these memories with their significant others and introduced their friends to the new people they’d share their lives with thereon.

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Twenty years on, on the right side of the dreaded (?) 40s, it’s nice to look back and know there was a time and a place and people who made you carefree, kept you young, foolish (in the best way possible) and buoyant.

Here’s to you ladies…you know who you are.

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Salut!

A Blog A Day-Day 3

The offspring was an ADORABLE baby. He was plump in the right places without being a mini-sumo and he was always gurgling and drooling away to glory.

Didn’t cry much and definitely did *not* sleep much either but that’s a complaint that’ll never get old so we’ll keep it for another day, another time.

The mini-muffin had a myriad of expressions from a very young age (as do all kids) and I used to be amazed at each one. Now with the passing of time, my immunity’s grown stronger and I seldom melt at his antics.

But I still become a puddle seeing the baby pictures…a puddle that Red avoids like the plague lest I ask him to come join me while I go back in time,month by month and see a scrawny little infant grow into what I consider to be the cutest baby ever!

But mothers are allowed their delusions. Too bad we lose them so quickly once the weaning and the potty training bits start!

Gummy Flashback

8 years ago, someone stepped on the stage for the 1st time. They wore a gummy bear costume for the 1st time too, along with shoes that had laces….something that sadly hasn’t been mastered till date. They had whiskers painted on their tiny, chubby, kissable face and didn’t complain a bit for the long wait before everyone was seated and they got to do their thaang for the parents present in the auditorium.
This gummy bear has come a long way now. No longer chubby, but still cute (when he sleeps though), saying extremely interesting things and mangling up song lyrics with hilarious results.
The home is a louder, funner and definitely more laughter-filled place because someone learnt to shake their booty 6 years ago. Here’s a look through my trip down memory lane…
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Moving On…

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.

 

The 80s&90s

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.

2nd on my list was Hard To Kill..an utterly, completely silly farce of a movie made by Steven Seagal and starring yet another person who shouldn’t ever have “acted” aka Kelly LeBrock.

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.

Movie Review: Tridev

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!

Oye oye!

Image courtesy- madaboutmoviez.wordpress.com

 

The Day Of Lurve

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!

Naaah…

Image courtesy- voices.washingtonpost.com