Monday, February 27, 2006


Getting to the heart of Asian health caught my attention recently. I appreciate Dr Rubeen Gujral's effort to bring heart health awareness to the Asians but a few thoughts cross my mind. Why is our traditional diet blamed all the time? The article often mentions "traditional fat rich diet", "fat rich ghee, used in much South Asian cooking". Isn't that a little too much? Isn't ghee an expensive/luxurious item(or atleast in those days!) and used sparingly by the average Indian family? There is even a famous dialogue in some old Sivaji movie, "rasamallaa neiyakkam!" Not everyone eats samosas and vadas on a daily basis. Whatever one eats gets burnt even faster with the amount of running (to catch a bus/train!) and walking they do in India, anyway!

My husband's granny often used to say 'nalla saapadanam, nalla velai seiyanam'(placing a plate full of delicious gulab jamuns in front!)! True, in her days, people did hard labour or walked miles and burnt all the extra calories. Every day life was so woven around different physical activities. Delicacies were prepared on special occasion days.

'Alavukku minjinaal, amirdhamum visham' is a known fact. In a way, the money factor helped limit the things we ate, bought etc. But now with changing life conditions, the money power, I think, self-control is getting pushed aside! One of my friend used to have 'Snickers' or other chocolate bars for lunch and when it started showing in the weight scale, blamed the traditional South Indian Rice staple diet!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Friday Melody - Hindi

To end the February special comes these soothing Hindi melodies. Most of you may not have heard (some or all!) of these before but listen to them, I promise you won't be disappointed!

Kehte hain - Grahan
A very pleasing song. Music by Karthik Raja and sung by Kavitha Krishnamurthy and Abijeet. I have enjoyed most of Karthik Raja's music so far. Wonder why he didn't make it big like his younger brother!

Bahon ke darmiyan - Khamoshi
Another mesmeriser, Hariharan with Alka Yagnik here. Great songs, wonderful performances by Nana Patekar, Seema Biswas & Manisha Koirala but the movie did not stand up to the expectation.

Chup tum raho - Is Raat ki Subah Nahin
One of my favourite albums of M M Kreem. I am probably among the very few to own this audio cassette!

Dhadkan zaraa - Prahaar
A Rang de basanti type but hard-hitting movie, Nana Patekar style! I have some fond memories associated with this song. One of it is, me seriously writing down the lyrics with my friends sincerely helping during lectures in junior college!! This lovely song is sung by Suresh Wadkar, who I consider the North's Jayachandran!

Dekh ke tumko - Gawahi
A song I unearthed during the 'Udaan' tele-serial days when all of us friends had a huge crush on Shekhar Kapoor!! This song is sung by Pankaj Udhas and Anuradha Poudwal.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

What the...???

New Balance 991Running Shoe Infants

Our Price: $19.97
List Price: $34.99

Your child may not be walking yet but that doesn't mean they can't wear a stylish sneaker. This New Balance® 991 running shoe will have them dreaming about running in no time!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Card shop!

Recently, a friend reminded me how (greetings)card crazy I used to be! I am not even sure when did my love affair with the card shop start! I think it was my father who sowed the seeds by getting a bunch of greeting cards every festival season to send friends and relatives. Then, when I became old enough to visit stores myself, these card shops became my favourite haunt. As far as I can remember, I don't have memories of buying myself anything to eat or drink but the little money left after buying the monthly bus pass was saved only for buying greeting cards. Also, these card shops were the only place in Chennai where you can spend hours and come out with just 1-2 items or even empty handed.

In a short period, this card shop industry has become a big hit in India, IMO. Many a times I have found myself staring at a card with just the words that I had been looking for or struggling to come out with on my own! The range of occasions, the creativity, the word magic - the people behind it just amaze me!

I have this bad quality of remembering special days(birthdays, anniversaries) of friends and relatives. So, every month I had some reason to visit the card shops. 'Landmark', 'Best wishes', 'Xanadu', 'Fountain Head'.... wow! Those days! Some months were real tight, with too many birthdays(and if they lived abroad, postage will kill me!!). But then to see( or hear) the surprise in their faces(or voices) was all worth it! On the down side, the people whom I wished without fail every year started getting all guilty about not returning the favour(not that I expected it especially when nearing and after hitting the 'big 3', it's become such a fuss!) that they would wish days or even months before/after my spl. days!

After Internet and E-mail started becoming accessible to common Indians, I switched to E-greetings! Definitely, browsing e-cards online cannot come close to browsing in a card shop, but with time constraints and family commitments, I was happy I did not have to give it up altogether. Moving also made me realise the bitter truth that carrying my precious collection of greeting cards, gifts everywhere I went was not always possible. I guessed it would be the same for people on the receiving end too. After all it is the gesture that matters more! So, go on! Surprise someone with a (E)card! Like in the cute caption (by Hallmark?), "They'll remember you remembered"!!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Friday Melody - 'Thottu thoda thoda'

Thottu thottu - Kaadhal
In Kollywood, most of the time, good and commercially successful movies are mutually exclusive. 'Kaadhal' is a rare surprise! I don't have enough words of praise for the director, Balaji Sakthivel(even his Guru can learn a thing or two from him!)! I cannot point to even one area that was average in the movie! Really sad that the music director, Joshua Sridar got into a mess!

Thoda thoda - Indira
A(nother) fantastic number/album of ARR! Lovely picturisation! Wonder why Suhashini did not continue in the movie direction side?

Thottal - Padagotti
Rediscovered the beauty of this original number after the ARR remix became popular!

Monday, February 13, 2006


YESSSSS!! I've seen 'Rang de basanti' too!!! And that too in a theatre after almost 4 years!! Without realising that Indian movie screeing cinema theatres donot follow any seat numbering system, we entered the theatre late to find empty seats only in the first row!! Saw Aamir so close but just like my recent dream didnot/could not get his autograph this time too!!!

During my last trip to India, I found gulab jamoon and vanilla ice-cream served together as a new sweet dish in weddings. Similarly, RDB seems a nice new combo of DCH(youthfulness) and Mangal Pandey/Lagaan(Patriotism)! But like the majority of good attempts in recent times like 'Raam', 'Gajini' etc., a better end could have taken the movie to a greater height. Aamir with his 'just-perfect' performance, Atul Kulkarni & Siddarth with their brilliant performances, ARR's songs just blending in, a nice new concept of using the past and the present and highlighting real issues, this movie needs a good pat on the back.

Ofcourse, it is not a flawless movie. Had I not been the crazy fan of Aamir that I am, I guess, I would fully agree with Bala(Karthik)'s views. All said and done, Come on, People! Just give atleast half the appreciation and response that you give to 'Kuch Kuch hota hai', 'Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham' and the likes. I also hope that the messages does not get lost in the "dinudings". I have some more things on my mind regarding Kavitha Gadgil whose son Flight Lieutenant Abhijit Gadgil is the real Ajay Rathod and also the controversies that cropped up before the movie release. Will try to post on them soon.


P.S. - Was the smoking ban in movies not in effect when this movie was started?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Friday Melody - 'Kaadhal'

Kaadhal oviyum - Alaigal oivadhillai

Kaadhal kavidhaigal - Gopura Vaasalile

Kaadhal vaaniley - Raasaiya

Kaadhal mattum - Kadhal konden

Kaadhal rojave - Roja

Kaadhal vandhaal - Iyarkai

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

B/W Gems - I

"Black and White" and/or "English" movies were not my cup of tea during my younger days. But it all changed when I got the chance to watch(left, right and center!) some wonderful old b/w English movies some years back. The movies of this time are simple(no graphics, no jigna work!), touching(but not melodramatic like our Indian counterparts), short and sweet.

Guess, I will start with Romantic Comedies(february aache!)! The Star who pops to everyone's mind associated with this genre is Cary Grant. With his classy looks and casual acting, he captivated everyone. He along with director Howard Hawks made some of the best Screwball Comedies!

I was a Male War Bride with Ann Sheridan

Bringing up Baby, The Philadelphia Story with Katherine Hepburn

The Talk of the Town, Only Angels have Wings with Jean Arthur

His Girl Friday with Rosalind Russell

Charade(Not a b/w movie but a cute romantic thriller) with the ravishing Audrey Hepburn

And for the Hitchcock fans, Grant did North by North West, To catch a Thief, Notorious and Suspicion.

So, the next time you find an old b/w movie with Cary Grant on TV, don't flip the channel!!!

P.S. - On a related note, I found this - Rare photos of India's Past in the BBC website today.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Friday Melody - Roja

Let me add to the Valentine's day craze with these romantic songs!!

Roja roja - Kadhalar Dhinam

Roja poo - Agni Natchathram

Rojavai - Ninaivellam Nithya

Roja malare - Veera Thirumagan

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Have you had weird dreams that are crazily disconnected memories with a nice flow?

Recently I had this dream:
I am at a small self-serve kind of eatery. I find Aamir Khan(!!) standing in a corner chatting with some people. By the time I decide on what to order, Aamir seems to have dissappeared! I am so upset that I didn't even attempt to get an autograph from him! I see my order(is that an uthappam?) getting ready but suddenly my husband rushes me(meaning asking me to forget about the uthappam!!) to get into the bus! Though I thought it was a bus, I am sitting like a witch on a broom, zooming past!! I see a big vehicle(an army truck?) coming towards us and I am scared it is going to slam into ours. Instead, it becomes an amphibious vehicle and floats in the near-by water-way!! We zoom past a busy town and then it stops near a big wooden gate which has 'Mandir' written on it. Suddenly the gate opens vertically upwards like in Sci-fi movies. Finding no-one inside, the vehicle again starts... And then I woke up!!

In my crazy dream, I can explain some of them like the eatery - The night before I had been chatting with a friend who has recently moved to Canada and we both were telling each other about eating at Saravana Bhavan! Aamir Khan - Been reading a lot about his latest movie 'Rang De Basanti'. Army truck - Probably the images of our Republic Day parade or Iraq. For others I am still digging my subconscious mind!!!

There are some dreams that I want to know if they mean something. Especially, recurring ones! I used to get this dream where I am in an examination hall but absolutely unprepared. Infact, I would have got to know what subject I am appearing for only then and would be frantically trying to learn something! To my relief, I haven't been getting this dream for a while now. These days it has been replaced by dreams about brilliant celestial/aircraft displays on the sky almost always ending in disaster. Probably its due to the 9/11 memory that has got etched in my mind!