Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Movie Review- Mehboob Ki Mehndi (1971)

Name: Mehboob Ki Mehndi*
Producer and Director: H.S. Rawail
Cast: Leena Chandavarkar, Rajesh Khanna, Iftekhar and Pradeep Kumar
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Music: Laxmikant-Pyaarelal

I know you must be wondering why the hell someone would review a movie that was released more than four decades back. Well, I happened to watch it on some Hindi movie channel last night, while having supper. However, there are many themes and points I noticed that made me like it immensely esp. compared to the junk that is being dished out these days in the name of movies and hence comes out this honest review. Whenever we discuss about 60s and 70s, only actresses in tight suits (with huge buns) and chocolaty college-going heroes along with some absurd comedy thrown in parts, cross our minds. That would be generalizing the entire category, like ‘all club-hopping girls are bitches’.

The plot in brief – Shabana (Chandavarkar) joins as a new tutor of nawab (Duke) Yusuf’s (Khanna) nephew. Their romance blossoms and soon takes turns towards marriage but Shabana has a dark secret she wishes to reveal. Nawab’s servant Khairu (Kumar) has an old enmity with nawab Safdarjung (Iftekhar) who is Yusuf’s invalid father. Old skeletons crawl out of the family closets and ugly truths emerge leading to a murder by Shabana. I would not like to disclose the entire plot here, for it will spoil the fun. Btw, this movie was a super-hit!

Breach of trust has deadly consequences and so is of placing too much of it in acquaintances. This is beautifully shown in this story. The trust Khairu’s father places in his business contacts is ruthlessly broken by Iftekhar and his family. That makes him smolder with revenge and do things that have deadly after-effects. This movie is different in a few aspects. It is about trust and how true love is its another side. It also gives us an important message of how old sins cast long shadows.

Firstly, there is no skin show in this movie. Shabana is shown wearing full sleeved shararas with her head covered neatly with a dupatta/chunni. The dialogues too, are sans any expletives and double meanings. Songs have certain sweetness about them and the lyrics are lovely as well, just like the sets and the decent manner of romance shown between the couple. Yusuf does not stalk her or asks her out insolently, neither Shabana displays her wild side the way it is shown these days. They just talk and discover they are meant for each other. Hence, the romance that blossoms carries more platonic shades.

Secondly, after knowing her secret, Yusuf supports his love till the end and rescues her out of the legal trouble. He firmly stays by her side till she is out of the mess. What I loved the most is that in spite of being a nawab, he does not get embarrassed of her nor does a quick nikaah (marriage) with someone else. Khairu also realizes the futility of carrying on with the enmity and bitterness all life. He too is shown deeply in love with his late wife. When Shabana comes to know of her mother’s dark past, she tries her best to embrace and accept her. Some real family bonds are reflected in this movie. 

Characters do not leave each other because of petty incompatibility issues and even after tragedies strike, they are very much a family; Shabana is taken care of by her naani (maternal granny) and latter’s foster brother. Love is all about trust and standing by the person in tough times. 

Another prominent message this movie gives out is the value of education. Shabana is educated and thus saves herself and her family from misfortune by managing a respectable job (tutor) unlike her illiterate mother. And yes! Leena Chandavarkar is looking extremely beautiful, really!

The songs are very hummable with no dirty and provocative dancing or cheap lyrics thrown in. ‘Yeh jo chilman hai…(This damned veil…) and ‘Jaane kyon log mohhabat…(Why do people fall in love…) are my favs!

So, in a nutshell, if you are looking for some meaningful and clean family entertainment, with a touch of the bygone classy nawab era, a dash of Urdu and awesome songs, this movie will not disappoint you!

*‘My henna is for my lover’
In India, Henna is considered very auspicious and is an inseparable part of marriage rituals. It is applied in hands and feet of the bride in beautiful patterns.

Check out this romantic song!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Two Limericks

Presented below are two Limerick poems*. A 'limerick' is a style of poetry, with five lines and a strict rhyme scheme AABBA. These poems generally have a humorous intent. The first, second and fifth lines are usually longer than the third and fourth. 

This is my first attempt towards writing Limerick poems. I hope you will like them! Corrections and suggestions are most welcome!!

  Once an old lady had a chubby tom cat
It slept all day curled up on a mat
At work, lazily it groaned
When nudged, it moaned
And would cry ‘just last year I killed a rat!’

There lived a woman who loved craft
In cutting, her hands were too deft
Once, she folded papers in style
‘Ohhh! That was my office file’
Cried her man! Banging on her head, a shaft!

*Read more about Limericks here 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Haiku Horizons- Release

This is for Haiku Horizons and this week's prompt is 'Release

Hungry waves guzzle
Letters grimy with deceit
Old pain released.

Rustic cage opened
Dismal eyes glitter in hope
Released wings cheer!

*Image from: www.pixgood.com
*5-7-5 syllable pattern

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Between the Lines!

Here's what people actually mean when they talk about marriage and match-making! 

  • He (some boy) is going abroad on a company tour! He asked me if I wanted anything, such a nice fellow! (I know a family who’s looking for a match)
  • I have told his mother not to worry at all! (I want to get this match fixed with you)
  • Now you have a job too! (You are fit for marriage, what are you waiting for?)
  • Is this house your own? (You people can provide a sizable dowry)
  • They (relatives) will meet me en-route this week, they love me so much! (I can arrange your meeting)
  • Don’t know what these girls do online all day (Such Facebook bitches can never make good wives)
  • Why do you spend weekends alone? (You need to get married)
  • Own business is the best; a person is the head after all! (This school dropout boy is in his father’s business)
  • I want a healthy girl (Should be fit for child bearing)
  • I believe all girls are nice. (They all are same, all do drama…huh!)
  • I’ll go with my parent’s choice (Only they can bag the highest dowry!)
  • Girls are not that religious these days. (They all have boyfriends… these sluttish social butterflies)

  • These days boys meet all sorts of women in offices (Some damned colleague has already love-trapped our son)
  • Most of our relatives will arrive from abroad (Make sure the wedding is grand)
  • Our son is very particular about hygiene, esp. in food (You will have to cook without excuses)
  • I am biker to the core! (I can’t afford a car)
  • Our son is very good at heart, though (Our nasty son is a short fuse too)
  • I always prefer homemade food. You know, this junk is a slow poison. (I cannot afford pizza-burger for you every other day)
  • Our son is a bit choosy (We have alliances lined up at our doorstep)
  • Our son is a diamond (Consider yourself lucky!)

Image from: www.dreamstime.com

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Happier Diwali !!

The moment we hear the word ‘Diwali’ three things cross our minds: diyas (oil lamps), sweets and crackers. I would love to share a small incident here that happened more than a decade back but changed my perception in a huge way. I was in standard 8th that time and like all my other friends, was very excited about this forthcoming festival. I was never interested in or have been very fond of sweets but always expected my parents to buy me crackers, even if the total bill was enviable and they, out of love, complied. Days before Diwali night, I and my friends (who fell into my group of over-enthusiastic cracker-maniacs) would begin in the evening, after completing the homework and all and continued till our tired parents called us for supper.

One fine day an NGO visited my school to gather funds to save some child labors from a firework factory in Sivakasi. It was an entirely official visit and we students were not asked to donate any funds or anything to that NGO. However, they insisted on having an interactive session with students. Hence, batches were given dates and one day our turn too arrived. Just like any 8th grader, I sat in the room, bored, along with my friends but when they began the entire thing, it soon absorbed us and kept us hooked to every syllable they uttered. They showed us some real life photographs of utterly miserable and disabled kids with decomposed limbs and some grave injuries, who, as if stared at us from those pictures with questioning eyes. One man in the group also told us how small children as young as four years old are admitted to fireworks factories, are picked up by dedicated buses and are made to work for long hours in suffocating and dingy rooms where supervisors behaved with them in the most inhuman way. The images were really horrifying and the entire scene was made much clearer by the people representing that NGO.

Within a week after their visit, one fine morning, at the assembly time, our headmistress addressed us all and requested us to take an oath and honestly, that one oath changed my Diwalis to come for ever. The oath was not to buy crackers to contribute in saving the kids, since when buying stops, their torture will gradually stop too. Also, to give us a moment of fun, there are hundreds of children who risk their lives and lose their limbs and become crippled for life at such a young age. I feel proud of myself that I took that oath seriously have not bought a single firework after that and this decision made my parents proud too!

Diwali is a celebration of bonds and happiness and not enjoying to hilt at someone’s misfortune. Now, I have been noticing that from the last few years, the use of fireworks has been on a decline and that many children have been rescued from such hell-hole factories by active NGOs.

The best Diwali is the one that is celebrated with friends and gharwallas and those members that are away for some reasons like jobs etc. rather than by lighting crackers mindlessly in one corner. This year, spread love and just give your beloveds a call to tell them how much you miss them!  Spread cheer and not noise and pollution! Happy Diwali!

Visit www.gharwalidiwali.com for pleasant surprises!!
 Also, check out this cute video!

(I agree that this blog post will remain accessible in an un-altered state for a minimum of one year.)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mother & Child (Art)

There is only one beautiful child in the world and every mother has it!
                                                                                                            - Anonymous

Medium: Pencil Color

Friday, October 10, 2014

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

How true! ‘Good fences’ have become a sort of a necessity these days, seriously! That’s why I really adore this quote from the poem ‘Mending Wall’ by Robert Frost. Here, I would like to share two of the many pesting conversations I had with relatives. I really appreciate their concern but too much of everything, even care, becomes suffocating.

A few weeks back, I had a conversation with an overbearing and over-argumentative aunt. After giving her usual opening lecture about the importance of marriage, she told me about another suitor. I am reproducing the entire telephonic conversation here-

Aunt: Beta!! I have something special for you!
I: What!
Aunt: Guess beta guess!!
I: Some delicacy, may be?
Aunt: Ugh…I have a nice suitor for you! He is a very eligible boy.
I: Ok.
Aunt: He is earning well and belongs to our community.
I: His qualifications?
Aunt: How do they matter? He is working.
I: Don’t you think I need to know his qualifications?
Aunt: But he is earning well so why do you need to?
I: A scrap-dealer also earns well and so does a drug peddler.
Aunt: God! These girls! He is an engineer, OK?
I: Which college?
Aunt (agitated)Arrey baba, tell me how does it matter?
I: It does, to me.
Aunt: That’s irrelevant, and now I’ll tell you about his family in brief. Actually beta, they are two siblings; their father remarried after the demise of their mother but the stepmother packed them off to their Bua’s place and since that boy does not like that Bua, he is staying separately for years but his sister still resides there. They are not on talking terms with their father who has three more kids with his new wife.
I (in horror): Seriously?
Aunt (elated): Seriously! See, no in-law tension too! I’ll send you his photo.
I: No need, I do not think I’ll go for this match.
Aunt: Why? What is the issue? Atleast see his photo once.
I: Why should I when I’m simply not interested.
Aunt (very annoyed): What is the matter, tell me now? Is the boy not working? He is. Is he not well educated? He is. The community is same too. Then why are you not ready? Tell meeee! Answer!! Atleast see his photoooo!
I (WTF?): Hmmm…okk…Oh! An urgent call is coming on the other line; I’ll ring you back shortly!

A cousin of mine shocked me one day by the display of her sense of responsibility towards me. She arrived at my place one afternoon and this happened-

Cousin: Yaar! Give me your photograph.
I: You have so many of them.
Cousin: They are all group pics but I require a nice one, a single pic.
I: Ok, click one then.
Cousin: No, in Indian attire, with proper expressions.
I: What for?
Cousin: I need it urgently.
I: First tell me the motive for I am getting a bit suspicious.
Cousin: I think you should get married now and I want to know in detail the type of boy you wish. Tell me now!
I: Hey, what is your problem?
Cousin: Arrey yaar, actually I am creating your matrimonial profile and for that, I need a proper shaadi-wali type pic. I feel it is the correct time for you to get married.
I: Whatttt!
Cousin: Relax. Yup!
I: You did not even ask me? Strange!
Cousin: Do I need to take permissions for such day-to-day sundry things too?
I: Marriage is not a sundry thing. Are you nuts?
Cousin: Leave it. Pic?
I: You do not need to worry about my marriage and all, we can take care.
Cousin: See, I really care for you. I will create a profile and then we will scan the matches and would select the best one! I’ll provide my own contact number and only I’ll filter the matches.
I (WTF?): You don’t have to take such pains. Please go home and relax. Thank you.

There is a thin line between care and interference. When one’s patience is tested, only irritation and anger spill, leading to a friction in relationships. In this era, it is considered inappropriate to cross the limits and trespass into someone’s privacy, even in close relationships.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Shiva & Shakti (Art)

The above work is done in crayons and depicts the two energies that create, bind, rule and propagate the cosmos. These two energies are depicted as Shiva and his consort Shakti. 

While Shakti, the destroyer is the furious form of energy depicted by fire, Shiva, the calmer form, is depicted by water. The yellow whirl below indicates the cosmos that starts with their energy and culminates in form of the universe. 

Modern scientific research* also proves that matter is a highly condensed form of energy. The green part indicates potency and fecundity and along with the yellow whirl, the lower part of this work also reflects the third eye of Lord Shiva.

Suggestions and corrections are most welcome!

                        *The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Seal That Deal!

I have always loved watches, ever since I was in kindergarten, yes, seriously! Till primary school, my mother would buy me local watches with cartoon characters printed over them and I wore those with much elation. With time, my fascination only grew in size and I got my first branded watch in class sixth, an HMT with a dash of color. Well, my post is not about watches but the main point I wish to thrust is something else- I mean, we all love certain things where the buying process is therapeutic in itself. Some people are addicted to buying clothes, say jackets or saris, and some others, shoes. One friend of mine loves heels and says shopping for the same relieves her gloom.

Let me tell you about a small incident that happened yesterday- I had a voucher of a brand which could be redeemed only at its physical store and not on the brand’s online portal. So, in such sultry weather and after postponing something I was working upon, I went all the way to the brand’s outlet after an hour’s drive and spending an unfair amount for parking. As I knew what exactly I had to buy, I went straight to the watches section and to my utter disappointment, could not locate the desired brand. However, another good one came to my rescue. So, I spent around 40 minutes, exploring the collections of various watches and got one, finally using the vouchers. The mall was almost empty and the food court was just too far so I came out and drove back home. 

Alright! So you must be wondering the logic behind my describing this experience. If there were online coupons, I would have saved on two important things- money and time. The fuel, toll and the parking charges could have been saved along with almost an entire day. In such cases, when you have to buy and wish to save a good amount on the deals too, online coupons are Godsend gifts!

Even better is that now there are websites that make coupons available according to your purchase. You just have to visit such a site that not only provides product reviews but attractive bargains, vouchers and deals too. So, first choose the coupon as per your shopping type and size and use it (the code) at the time of checkout. To put simply, a penny saved is penny earned!

I shop a lot online and there are certain websites, I love using Myntra coupons very frequently and I remember, a few months back, I purchased a brown off white dress from that site. This is some model wearing the same in the picture. So, this dress stole my heart and I ordered it instantly. However, it would have been far better had I visited a deal coupon site and could have saved much. But now, there is no worry, be it any online site or portal, we can save and seal a good deal! I generally prefer CupoNation to search for the best deals and offers online.

Hey shopper, don’t be naive
Here’s a super way to save!
First visit site CupoNation
And pick your fav. coupon
Then, use it while shopping
And you save on everything!

So, what can be more amazing than to avail awesome deals on every purchase that too, in the comfort of our homes!