Sunday, January 19, 2014

Moving Sculpture Camp in Manipal

Namaskar! Narayana, Narayana, Narayana. Sriman Narayana, Narayana.. So blessed to have attended a Satyanarayana Puja this weekend. it was a peaceful evening followed by a lot of catching up with good old friends. Rivals Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan seem to be making good progress in fixing their once-gone-sour friendship. At the Star Guild Awards 2014 held in Mumbai, the two stars put their differences aside and hugged each other, much to the shutterbugs' delight. From the pictures I saw, it looks like Salman made the first move. Publicity stunt for his upcoming movie "Jai Ho"? Who knows, who cares? It takes a big heart for such a nice gesture, which Salman seems to have. Aamir Khan has also been counting down the release of this movie on Facebook. "Chalo acchi bath hai". All Khans are getting along. Behind the innocent face of Alia Bhatt, here is a dedicated actress and a singer?!! She sang a song in her upcoming movie Highway directed by Imitiaz Ali. I am eagerly looking forward to this movie The promos look interesting. It has been shot in 6 states of North India. I can connect to this, as I recently went on a trip of North India myself. I was closely following the Sunanda Pushkar-Sashi Tharoor-Mehr Tarar. It was noting less than a Bollywood masala movie. Unfortunately, it had a quick, tragic ending to it. Both the ladies involved were gorgeous. I really hope that it was not a murder and there was no conspiracy behind Sunanda's death. May her soul RIP.  Today's Song of the day is a Ghazal sung by one of my favorite singers with a unique, deep, ringing voice full of raw energy and spirit. Richa Sharma - Chap tilak sab cheeni ray mosay naina milaike... This was written by Amir Khusro.

We all know that skilled labor is so cheap in India. It breaks my heart to see such talented, hard working, creative people, earning so little money. Clearly a case of too many skilled workers than jobs. All we can do is encourage them and help them by buying their products. That's exactly what I did when I visited a moving sculpture camp that had come to Manipal from Chhattisgarh. (If Mohammad can't go to the mountain, bring he mountain to Mohammad).  A very refreshing concept. I also saw people from Rajasthan come to Manipal temporarily to make and sell friendship bracelets. The location of the sculpture camp was behind the lake called "Mannina Palla". We had gone during sunset. Manipal is growing in the right direction. See pics below.
Sunset at the lake "mannina palla" where Manipal got it's name from
The Sculpture Camp
Artists carving a sculpture of "Buddha" from a singe stone under a tent
Artists polishing the iron sculptures
A pot maker showing us his talent o the wheel and his products



The building where the sculptures are finally going t be displayed.
I will promote Manipal every time I have an opportunity, a I have left part of my soul over there.  Do visit Manipal if you can and share your experience with me. Shub Ratri.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

When you are hooked!

Hello folks! It's raining awards at Bollywood. So disappointed with the crowd that's showing up for these awards. The "real" new generation (Aditya Roy K, Varun Dhawan, Sidhhart Malhotra, Shradha Kapoor) has decided to give these events a miss. Better things to do? All the losers showed up with full zeal. Mr. & Mrs. Nene (yeh dono kahin bi pahunch jaate hain aaj kal), Mr. & Mrs. Oberoi (hmm), Mr. & Mrs. Behl (really?), one time movie wonders girls Vaani Kapoor, Nimrat Kaur, Huma Qureshi. (How did these girls even become actresses?) And their dressing sense? Please! All look like "wannabes". The highlight of the screen awards for me was when Amitabh acknowledged the presence of Rekha and Jaya did not mind. Awww. Rekha could not make eye contact with Big B. She still loves and respects him so much. True love and sacrifice. I wish a day will come when AB and Rekha can act in a movie again. Would be a treat for the audience. Abay Deol "sported" a black eye at the Screen awards. Looks like he  took some "panga" with T Series for some royalty issues. Names like Sonu Nigam, Shankara Mahadevan are also being thrown in on the same issue. It seems Sonu Nigam got so tired that he announced his retirement. Lets wish Abay good luck on his music proms for his new movie One By Two. And the latest to be diagnosed with cancer is Emraan Hshimi's 4 year old son. Why O why? So sorry. Praying for all people who are unwell. Get well soon! Song of the day from the movie Jurm. Not the famous Vinod Khanna - Meenakshi Sheshadri starrer. This is another movie with the same name starring Bobby Deol and Gul Panag from 2005. O Sanam, O SanamTum saath hote agar... It has a nice "Khanak" to it. Just found out the male singer is Udit Narayan. Of course!

Leaving you tonight with Kapil Sharma in mind. He has been in my thoughts for the past one week. Multi talented guy. A TRUE Punjabi. I stumbled upon a singing show called "Star ya Rockstar" on You Tube. Apparently this was aired on Zee TV in 2011. He was one of the participants on that show. Did not win the show but his songs were amazing! When he sings, he brings the environment of Punjab right in front of you. The 'sarson ka keth", the "mitti" "makki di roti", the "lassi" etc. That makes Punjab what it is. He makes everything look so easy. So far success has not gone to his head. He is so simple and down to earth. Every time I watch him perform, I feel that I should meet people like him in real life. People who are so creative and really enjoy what they are doing. I have never heard him repeat a single joke. Amazing talent! Well, he does portray girls to be the weaker sex, as many people argue. Lately he got into trouble as some woman institute in Maharashtra has registered a case against him for speaking poorly about pregnant women delivering babies in rickshaws due to the number of potholes on the roads in India. It's hard to keep everyone's sentiments in mind while doing such a huge show. Kapil does have a responsibility as his show is being aired on national TV at prime time and billions of people are watching him around the world. Lets hope the show does not stop for these kind of reasons as laughter is indeed the BEST medicine and can cure many people like me of a disease called boredom. LOL! Thanks Kapil!  I AM HOOKED!!!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Too much "free" time?

Hi blog dosts. I am a happy camper since the last 2 days. Yes, you all guessed right. I found a job. A good start to this year. A very happy Makara Sankranti/Pongal/Lohri! Call it whatever you want, it's the most auspicious occasion for the Hindus and is celebrated almost in all parts of India. It is the harvest festival. It is marked as the beginning of Spring in India. Indian television, will soon witness a war of the comedians very soon. Sunil Grover aka "Gutthi" is soon going to start his own comedy show presenting himself as "Chutki". Kapil Sharma beware!. It's a win-win situation for the laughter hungry audience. I am hooked on to Comedy nights with Kapil. At the end of a long, tiring day, he makes me happy. And poor Sanju baba, looks like a dark cloud follows him where ever he goes. Now his wife is terribly sick. Looks like she has a tumor which is undergoing diagnosis. I really hope she gets well soon! Virat Kholi and Anuska Sharma. Hmmm. Not a cute couple. But who am I to judge? These watchmen, at the buildings are notorious for keeping tabs on all the wrong things. Apparently, opened his mouth and told TOI that Virat was staying with Anushka for the past 5 days. Ouch! Well, Bollywood mein yeh sab chalta reheta hai. The hot, now old John Abraham is now married to Priya Ranchal and Bipasha is dating Harman Baweja. Looks like everyone has moved on and rightly so. Live and let live! Song of the day from the movie Dil-E-Naadan. Chaandini raat mein ek baar tujhe dekha hai...

Is there such a thing as too much free time? 2 weeks have just gone by since I had no agenda to follow. It did feel like I wasted all my time. The sooner I have a routine, the more constructive I will feel. When I was working full time, I was so pressed for time, that I would wait for the weekends to pack so many activities. Believe it or not, I accomplished a lot more then. When I had a couple of weeks to do nothing, I took time for granted and postponed doing the things that I really wanted to do, like reading, cleaning house, going to the gym, etc., that I ended up doing nothing! I had too much free time! I don't regret it though. I always wanted to do nothing. I always wanted to be at home with no one around to disturb me. A quiet, peaceful home! Now I have been there and done that too. I enjoyed it for sometime. One more check mark on the "to do list." That being said, I don't think I can do this forever. We have come into this world to be productive and contribute to society. And that, everyone should do, as long we are energetic and healthy.

Time = Life. Therefore, waste your time and waste your life or master your time and master your life. - Alan Lakein.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The many uses of a Sari

Hello blog friends! The Polar Vortex has come and gone and we survived. For most of you, it was just about the cold to pass and life would continue as it was. For me, not so much. I am in this restless period of time. Looking for a new job, new friends, new hobbies, basically a new beginning. Last week was a grueling week with back to back interviews. I hope to hear some good news soon. The Song of the day that comes to mind is from the movie Don. Uff! Zennie baby can make any dance sexy, simply by her presence. Love her and her movies.

My Mom, the genius! She is a multitalented lady. An over achiever. She can find a use for any thing that is lying around the house and make it look so good in the process, that you are left dumb founded. Every trip I make to India, I find many such examples. This time, it was a washing machine cover. After I came back to my parents house, from a 3 day trip to Coorg (my next post), I decided to use the washing machine at my parents house, to quickly wash all the dirty clothes from the trip. What I saw on the machine was unbelievable. The washing machine was  beautifully draped by one of my Mom's old Sarees. How interesting! I thought to myself. I carefully pulled it off the machine, not wanting to spoil it's shape. I realized that the sari was not sewed to that shape The pleats were gathered at the center and the rest of the Sari simply hung loose over the machine. (See pic. below). 
What an economical washing machine cover! It also adds color to the otherwise dull and boring corner, that washing machines usually occupy in Indian homes. I am sure many housewives will benefit from this idea. If only I knew someone who could do some marketing for me. It was a pleasure washing clothes, as my Mom made everything so convenient. The taps and pipes were well within the reach of the machine. The water flow was powerful as it the water was coming from a full tank upstairs. From that day on, my morning routine at my parents, included washing clothes. Now drying the clothes? That was another pleasurable experience altogether. I would dry it out in the open under the hot sun on the clothes line. The clothes would dry in exactly 1 hour. The fragrance that was emitted from the dried clothes, had CLEAN written all over them. So folks, next time you don't know what to do with your favorite old sari, please think "washing machine"! Shub ratri.