Saturday, 2 February 2013

How To Cook A Hindi Serial

A recipe for a successful Hindi serial.


A large family. 
An opulent house.
A tall, brooding lead actor.
An I-can-get-freakishly-chirpy lead actress.
Heaps of jewellery.
Truckloads of designer outfits. And truckloads of make-up. (On second thoughts, you may have to buy a few trucks first.)

-First, create the large family by mixing together the following ingredients in careful proportions.
- A domineering mother:  A Hitler-esque  lady whose word is law.  And one whose glare can send chills down every spine in the house. Especially the meek husband’s.
- A meek and submissive father:  A timid, small man trailing his Hitler wife like a doting puppy. Preferably someone who’s the owner of a large group of industries and is rolling in money but does not go to work a single day.
- Some random uncles and aunts cropping up for a few scenes and spouting a few meaningless dialogues.
- A villain: Preferably one of the wives of the aforementioned random uncles. A scheming and manipulative lady whose main occupation is eavesdropping on conversations and hatching hare-brained schemes for no particular reason at all. (Warning: Extra make-up required).
- The blue-eyed, tall and brooding son. Someone who is poised to take over the reins of the workplace from his father one day, without getting any education of any sort.
- A single servant who can handle every facet of house-keeping. Preferably with names like Ramu or Sarla.

-Then, create the castle-like, gigantic house. The house should have no less than 30 rooms with a separate room for every Tom, Dick and Harry. The door should be so huge that it requires a fleet of manpower to open it.

-After the large family and the house are ready, introduce the irritatingly-over-the-top chirpy heroine with her two irritating friends( who are less pretty than her, obviously) and give her an irritatingly perfect life.

- Make the boy fall in love with the girl.

- Rustle up some problems.

- Concoct a happy ending anyhow.

Now, you may think the recipe/serial ends here, but you’re wrong. Make sure everything has perfectly fallen into place before proceeding to the next step.

- Fast forward twenty years and start all over again.

- Repeat the same process a million times. Throw in a few dashes of amnesia, court cases, divorces, remarriages and illegitimate kids for some extra spice.

VOILA. Your Hindi serial’s ready! Doesn’t it look lovely?
Please do try it and tell me how it turned out. :)

Saturday, 26 January 2013


Armed with a paper cup brimming with hot coffee in one hand and my new  book in the other, I scanned the waiting room in the airport for a place to sit.
No luck. There were no empty seats.
Had the whole country decided to go on an air trip or something?
I was seconds away from plonking myself down on the floor, when I noticed a young man standing up from his seat and walking to the book shop. Like a lion that had found a very juicy prey, I pounced on to his seat in the blink of an eye. Hah. Finally. I leaned back in my chair, opened my book and started reading whilst sipping the scalding coffee.

                                        courtesy- Google Images

“Hey! That’s my seat! Get up.”
I looked up to see the same guy who had vacated the seat a few moments ago, staring down at me indignantly.
“Sorry. Finders keepers, losers weepers.” I shot back at him with my eyes firmly glued to my book.
“Oh ya? “ saying so, he snatched my book out of my hands in a neat swipe.
I was shocked. What audacity!
“Give it back” I exclaimed.
At that precise moment, an old lady sitting next to me decided to get up and go, mumbling something about ‘stupid, loud youngsters’.
The guy promptly sat down next to me. “You read crap like this?Haha!” he guffawed, examining my book.
“It’s for sensible and mature people, which, I’m afraid you’re not.” I said angrily trying to grab my book back.
“Okay, Take your extremely sensible book. Sorry” he held out the book with a mischevious glint in his eyes.
“That’s okay.” I muttered and seized it back.

“Anyway, I gotta go, bye” he got up and looked at me, waiting for my reply.
“Ya, whatever, bye.” I murmured nonchalantly and went back to my book.
After I thankfully watched him go away, I glanced at his seat and realised that he had left his wallet behind.
Oh crap. I took it and opened it to see if he had any ID card.
Ya there was his ID card. That was his photo. And his name was..
Akash Jain. Hmm.. sounds familiar.
Occupation- Writer. What?
Oh my god.
He was the author of the book I was reading. 
I opened my book and there he was. His photograph smiled up at me from the first page.

I stood up and ran behind him yelling “MR. JAIN..WAIT UP!I’M SORRY!...”

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Monday, 14 January 2013

A Hair-Raising Tale

It’s true what people say. The grass is always, always, ALWAYS  the darkest possible green on the other side. Wondering why I’m saying that all of a sudden? Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time there was a little Malayali girl. Almost everyone associates a Malayali with jet black curly hair. And being a true-blue Mallu (and due to the teensy fact that both her parents had curly hair), she possessed ultra curly locks. Thanks to which, she was generously bestowed with nicknames ranging from SaiBaba to Noodles. The girl hated being called all those names. Wherever she turned, all she could spot were girls with perfectly sleek and straight hair. She envied them. And detested her own hair. She prayed to God everyday to give her lovely straight hair. She also loathed the fact that her hair never seemed to grow. And even if they grew, it seemed as if they were growing upwards. The girl tried to comb her hair down neatly. But she realised it was fruitless as it would jump up like springs in the matter of a few minutes. She tried oiling her hair to hold it down. That proved futile too. It was impossible to tie her hair as well as leave it loose. The girl was disheartened.

                                                     courtesy- Google Images
The girl grew up. She decided to go ahead and rid herself of the torture of having unmanageable hair. She walked in to the nearest salon with confidence and asked the salon lady to iron out her horrible curly hair. The process will take a few hours, the lady said. The girl was adamantly clear about what she wanted. She was prepared to sit for a few days, if need be, but she just wanted straight hair.
After five excruciating hours, the process was over. The girl looked at herself in the mirror and saw a different person. The person in the mirror had lovely long straight hair. She was elated. She could hardly believe her eyes. It was a dream come true.
The girl straightened her hair a few times again, when they threatened to curl back.
But now, when the girl looks around, all she can spot are girls with lovely curly hair, flaunting their locks like some prized possession.  The girl looks at her half-curly-half-straightened hair and gets dejected. She wishes she had not straightened her hair. She misses her curly tresses terribly and wishes she could get them back as soon as possible. She has decided not to straighten her hair again and is waiting eagerly for them to coil right back to their previous positions.
The End.
By now you would have figured out that the girl in the story is yours truly. If you haven’t, well then you know now.
Sigh. Why is the grass greener on the other side ALL THE TIME? :/

Monday, 7 January 2013

Gujarat Chronicles

Gujarat chronicles

Year- 2000

This post is to recount the day I set foot in the place that was going to be my home for the next two and a half years. Gujarat.
After tearfully bidding goodbye to Pune,  the 9-year old me was in no mood to adjust to a new place all over again. However, as usual my thoughtful opinions on the matter of moving from one place to another were dismissed with a ‘Oh it’s okay, you’ll adjust’ by my parents. Okay fine so my ‘thoughtful opinions’ were more in the form of some incessant bawling. But still. They do count as important opinions in a 9-year old’s dictionary. Anyway none of my emotional atyachaars worked and I found myself following my parents reluctantly to our new destination.

                                             courtesy- Google Images
So after a gruelling train journey we finally reached Gujarat and made our way to the house that we were supposed to be staying in. Since the household stuff that was sent from Pune had not arrived yet, we found ourselves standing in an empty and dusty house. To my surprise, I took an instant liking towards the house and started inspecting the rooms, all the while making sure to pretend that I was completely disinterested in the whole process (although it was awfully difficult to not squeal in delight when I discovered that the house even had a cute little room in the basement.).  
Anyway, we were to have lunch at our neighbour’s place who incidentally, were our house-owners too.
Mr.G, our houseowner, lived with his wife, three children and a dog. Now he was the quintessential rich businessman, complete with a potbelly, a thick moustache and with a gold watch dangling off his wrist even while casually sitting at home. His main hobbies were gossiping, sitting on the balcony and surveying(read stalking) the neighbourhood, ordering his wife around and stealthily allowing his dog to pee and poop in front of the neighbouring houses.
 His wife, Mrs.G, was the perfect embodiment of a Hindi serial heroine. She was quiet, minded her own business, followed her lazy husband’s orders, cooked food and in her free hours, cleaned the house. Yes, you heard it right. She was deliriously obsessed with cleaning each and every inch of her house till it was spick and span and neat and tidy and clean and clear. On most days, you could see her frantically scrubbing away at some spot, which was invisible to the naked eye but yet clearly visible to her, on some wall of her house.
Now Mrs. G seemed to have passed on her love of cleaning and scrubbing to her three children (two daughters and a son) who also spent considerable amount of their time cleaning and scrubbing. And if it was festival time the entire family (minus Mr. G, of course ) could be seen sitting and scrubbing away to glory. The son loved cleaning the car in particular. And his absolute favourite pastime was opening and banging shut the doors of his car as loudly as possible in the afternoon when you try to lie down for a nap.
The dog, like every other dog, loved barking. The only speciality of this dog was that, more than barking at strangers, it loved barking at its owners. It also loved barking for absolutely no reason. So basically it just kept barking all the time.
Anyhow, we popped over to their house in order to have lunch. Mrs. G came out of her abode, the kitchen, and asked us sweetly if we wanted some water first. The tired souls that we were, we immediately accepted the offer. When she came back with the glasses of cold water, I pounced on a glass and hastily gulped some of the water down my parched throat.
Ugh. Something was wrong with the water.
It was SALTY. It felt like I had swallowed a cup of sea water.
I stopped with my hasty water drinking and proceeded to the dining table for lunch. Mrs. G plonked a large amount of rice onto my plate and ladled a big spoon of daal on top of the mound of rice. I mixed it up hurriedly and scooped a large portion of it into my mouth. Only to discover that I shouldn’t have done that.
The daal was SWEET. In fact, there was loads of sugar in almost everything.
Till date, I don’t know how I finished that meal.
Post this disastrous lunch, we came back home only to find that Mrs.G and her army of invisible-spot- cleaners, armed with their favourite tools ( a bucket of water and a mop), had taken over our house. Amidst scrubbing every corner of our house she managed to induct us into her army too by employing us as the minions who supply her with filled buckets of water. Any feeble protest of ours saying “That’s enough..thank you” was met with an air of indifference and requests for more water to wash the floor for the 456th time. By that point, we were all so tired that we would have gladly poured a bucket of her water on HER. But we had a strong feeling that that wouldn’t stop her.
 Anyway, we were not off to a very good start. On that day, I would’ve never thought that I would fall in love with this place eventually.
More on that and other Gujarat chronicles, in my upcoming posts :)

Monday, 31 December 2012

A Tribute To India's Daughter

As the tragic news of the Delhi gang rape victim hits us with a deafening force, shattering the feeble thread of hope for her survival that we were holding on to, an entire nation is reduced to tears. The same nation which, until a day ago was enveloped in protests and candlelight marches demanding the government to dole out befitting punishments to the perpetrators of this heinous incident, fell silent for a moment. The government, which was busy engaged in trying to ward off the protesters and internally involved in a mudslinging game within itself, was hushed for a moment. An entire nation collectively shed a tear for the girl.
How do we feel so emotionally attached to this one girl, when in reality thousands of girls have and are still suffering the same fate?
Why do we shed a tear for this stranger and mourn her death like the loss of a loved one?
Why is she being heralded as ‘India’s daughter’?
These are the questions running across many a mind in India. Mine too.
 I guess the answer lies within the fact that she managed to awaken the people in the country from a deep slumber by thrusting the callous reality in front of them. She managed to lodge a deep sense of panic and trepidation in every woman’s heart by exposing that things were spiralling out of control and no woman is safe in the country. She succeeded in bringing home the fact that if appropriate action is not taken now, no woman can live a peaceful life anymore. She managed to drive people out into the streets to protest against the brutalities inflicted upon her and the hapless state of womenfolk in general. She silently willed everyone, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, to stop sitting quietly and launch a much-overdue furore against the pathetic state of the country and its governance. The citizens erased factors like religion, caste, social status and presumably every aspect of discrimination from their minds, and took to the cause of fighting for justice in whatever way they could. Be it via protests on the roads or through social media, they made their point heard to a government which has always sought to ignore such cases before.
Yes, she has achieved the impossible.

Unity in diversity.
 She has managed to unite a nation which was sucked into a vortex of hatred for each other. We have finally started to let go off trivialities and joined hands to focus on the bigger picture. Our nation has awakened.
You managed to instil a new sense of vigour and hope amongst us, Damini. A faith that we still do care for each other and will join forces if need be. Thank you.
Rest In Peace Damini. You will always be remembered as a beacon of hope and justice. You are indeed, India’s daughter.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Advertisements? Or MAD-vertisements?

You’re my pumpkin pumpkin
Hello honey bunny               
Feeling something something
Hello honey bunny

Forgive me, but this song has hijacked my head and is currently playing on a continuous loop. It looks like all the television channels ( and every other form of social media for that matter) have taken it upon themselves to make sure that this jingle becomes the next anthem. Well, it's only a matter of time before the song starts getting on everyone’s nerves and people start to scramble for their remotes in order to switch the channel when they hear it playing. I’m telling you, dear Idea advertisers and TV channels, if you continue to keep splashing this song everywhere in every way possible, then very soon people are going to begin  ‘feeling something something’ different and start throwing pumpkins at your honey bunnies. So stop while the going’s good. :D

Anyway, talking about advertisements, I came across this particular one while flicking through a magazine. It is an ad for Incredible India’s Orissa Tourism wing.

This is officially the creepiest ad I’ve ever seen.  I can picture the crab, sitting on the beach with menacing eyes, rubbing its claws in glee and waiting to ‘receive’ me. With a bite or sting, maybe. I don’t know about others but I, for one, would never set foot in Orissa after seeing this vicious advertisement. On the other hand I would run as far away as I can. To some place where there are no scary reptiles and insects ‘waiting’ to receive me. Maybe they should put up a disclaimer before the ad saying ‘only for scary-red-crab-lovers’. Are you listening, Incredible India advertisers?

Monday, 24 December 2012

The Christmas Wishlist

So it’s that time of the year again!

When the heavenly aroma of freshly baked cakes wafts through the air.

When almost a quarter of the male population dons a red-and-white costume, sticks on a fake beard and cruises the streets shouting HO-HO-HO. Oops, I almost forgot the potbelly.

When the sales of Christmas trees and twinkling lights go overboard.

When half of the Facebook crowd finds another reason to change their display pictures. Really. In case you do not have a calendar at home, or you’ve simply forgotten about Christmas (or ANY festival, for that matter) just log onto Facebook. It’ll probably take only 5-6 seconds for you to figure out that its Christmas time, what with the overdose of people uploading pictures with the Santa cap on.

Anyway, Merry X’mas :)


I can picture all the little kids around the world penning down their cute little wishlist, completely enchanted by the whole concept of wishes-coming-true and fervently hoping that they get whatever they wished for, from Santa Claus. Well, this year I too have a wishlist, Santa. Make them come true will you?

--A huge pool of chocolate sauce. So huge, that I get sick and nauseous at the sight of chocolate after that and my mom heaves a big sigh of relief. That’s like two gifts for the price of one. :P

--Gift me a British accent. Or a guy with a British accent. Anything is fine.

-- Can you please eliminate ALL the cockroaches from the face of the Earth. Thank you.

--Oh yeah, and after eliminating them, if you find time, please attend to the mosquitoes too.

-- A Spongebob Tee-shirt. Preferably pink/white.

-- Dimples. Not the scary Sharmila Tagore ones though. Just normal sweet ones.

-- Throw the perpetrators of the heinous Delhi gang-rape incident from the highest mountain possible. Upside down. Into a sea of boiling oil. Perfect.

-- Gift me some guts so that I can finally get into a roller coaster.

-- The entire collection of FRIENDS on DVD. No, I do not have it yet. Yes, I’m an ardent fan. Don’t snigger, please. Just look at the price and THEN mock me.

-- The answer to 4-across from the crossword in today’s newspaper.

-- A proper winter season in Chennai…What? Are you absolutely sure that there is no chance of that happening? Ok ok I get it Santa, you can stop shaking your head.

I know this list is getting too long and Santa is probably just getting bored and yawning. Nevertheless, what’s the harm in wishing, right? :P
Merry Christmas again, y’all! Have a fun day :)