Moments in life just slip away,

Some just stick and stay,

Falling slowly onto the earth,

Today is all we have at hearth,

Some words impress the heart,

Some just hurt till you fall apart,

Few tears express the joy in the soul,

Few smiles hide the sorrowful hole,

Solitudes are precious reminders of friends,

Sinful happiness and playful interludes,

Traveling on a path you look behind,

A solitary journey with nowhere to go.


Dear Zindagi: It’s not so complicated

This is not another movie review from me. Let’s just call it a review of my thoughts post watching a movie! The movie in focus here is the latest offering from Gowri Shinde; Dear Zindagi. I will not go into much details about the movie but I will sum it up by just saying that it forces you take some time and look at the youth today and somewhere you might end up connecting with your own youth. There are a few moments from the movie that sparked some discussion within me and my family. One of my kids loved the movie and the other didn’t. The spouse would have much preferred a song-dance-fight routine. Nevertheless, the ride back from the movie was not silent. There were questions flying around from everyone, spouse included and any movie that can spark an animated conversation, in my eyes is worth a thousand stars!

Some salient points from the movie that we were teased into discussing were as follows:

  1. Only 2% of the world is good looking and it’s important to have a good looking face to look at when you wake up. A friend and I were discussing the movie and we were arguing if that was a shallow thought. But the truth is that’s how the world functions. Looks are important. If you have the looks, the initial path is made easy, sustainability is completely a different ball game and that is where substance matters. But if you already have the looks, your first impression is a cake walk, the red carpet has already been rolled out. All you have to do is walk without tripping!
  2. If you do not hesitate to go to a doctor for a physical ailment, why hesitate when you have a mental ailment. This is something society has still not come to terms with. How easy it is to tell someone, I am going to see the doctor for a colonoscopy or a pap-smear but how often do we hear someone say, ‘I am going to see a doctor because I have anxiety and depression or anger management’. Nil. It is still considered a taboo topic. The truth is it’s a rough complicated world out there. People live in a nuclear world. We bond with ourselves. We keep others away. We carry many burdens and we have no time to share it with others. Result: Utter chaos in the mind! It needs help and it’s important to recognise that need and handle it accordingly.
  3. The inability to express our true feelings. The lack of expression. I am going cultural here. In the south asian culture, it is not considered prudent to express your feelings. Its an unsaid, untaught rule that you should keep your feelings in. Do not show your anger, even if you are burning inside. Do not laugh loud. It should be subtle and sweet. Do not hit anyone even if they deserved it. Do not…do not…do not lose control. End result: Botoxed faces! You learn not to share your true feelings. You fail to express your love, or anger or disgust in a timely manner until it’s too late and everything explodes!
  4. Why look to one person to fulfil all your needs. Really why? Let’s take our body for example, you eat carrots so you can see better, fibre to poop easy, okra to grow some brains, onions to keep the testosterone up (breath mints a must!), Spinach to keep the blood clean…so on and so forth. So when we use so many different foods to supplement our body needs, why do we look for all qualities in one person. Why burden him or her so much? They are not made to order, they are what they are even before you met them. Don’t try to change that. One person alone cannot be handsome (remember only 2%), be humorous, be sensitive, be courageous, be an intellectual, be polished, be rich and so on. Manage your expectations. The result will be a fairly simplified life.
  5. All tough paths are not always the right paths. Somehow we are trained to think that life is supposed to be difficult. The easy paths are wrong and the difficult ones are right. Not at all. Not everyone wants to swim across the dead sea with salt stinging their bodies to make a point. Some just sit behind their laptop, write a blog (like me!) and feel satisfied they did their piece for the world. I am totally using Dr. Khan’s words here because I can’t say it any better than him. Sometimes it’s not necessary to chose the difficult path, especially when you are not ready. Why set yourself up for failure. Take the easy path, grow, learn, toughen-up and then take the tough path. You will have a better chance at success.

These are some of the churning thoughts that we were discussing. In talking with the kids, I told them an important takeaway for life. The importance of self-awareness and communication. You can easily tell when your head hurts but you need self-awareness to realize your heart hurts. The reasons can be many and not important right now but accepting and respecting those feelings is extremely important. Do not ignore it or push it away. Treat it as you would a physical pain. Once you recognize it, the most important final step is communication. Yes, talk about it! Choose your person but choose someone who will make you feel better not worse. Someone who can tell you there is an issue without judging you. And when you find that person amongst the other 98%, treasure them. They are hard to come by. In fact statistics says that, in a lifetime you will only meet one or two (if you are extremely lucky) such people. Just learn to communicate your thoughts and feelings, clearly and in a timely manner. Not just to that friend but also to the person who is the cause of those feelings. This will help mitigate any future arising issues and nip the molehill from becoming a mountain.

Yes, life is not easy. But there is no need to complicate it any more than it already is. I have a favorite quote, ‘You live life only once and if you live it right, once is more than enough’. So celebrate what you have, exhale, just smile and say hello to life itself.


Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: A tale of unrequited love

Love. It is the most written about topic. It is what most movies are made about, especially Indian movies. A love that wins and a love that fails. Stories depict characters falling in love, going through hurdles and either surviving to tell the story or not so someone else can tell the story. But that is not the reality that most people experience. Most people fall in love, feel that tug in their heart but don’t confess to it. They love silently, from a distance. Most people hold it in their heart forever and just move on. Then there are another set of people who manage to confess their love but turns out it’s one-sided. The latter two is what really happens in the world out there.

‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ celebrates this one-sided love. The theme of the story is unrequited love and its power. Millions of common people will identify with it because that’s what love is about; broken promises, broken hearts, weaknesses, anger, madness and a lot of solitude. If you ever fell in love, even if it was brief, you are bound to identify with atleast one of the characters in the movie. The nostalgia and melancholy will set in and tug at your own heart until all those memories come flooding back.

The movie shows you the power of loving alone. Shows you that you are not alone as long as you have your love with you and not really needing the person to be with you. If you are looking for a feel good movie, this is not for you. This is a movie that shows what mature love looks like. Karan Johar has come out of his comfort zone of candy floss pink romances and embraced a more realistic greyed aspect of love. He manages not to succumb to dictated plot lines of love that wins. Instead his movie celebrates love failing again and again.

The lead pair, Anushka and Ranbir have done a fabulous job. They have truly matured in their acting. Anushka looks beautiful and Ranbir has managed to give a subdued but powerful performance without the histrionics of Ved in ‘Tamasha’. Aishwarya as usual looks artificial and lacks the depth and passion the other actors are able to portray, especially relevant because her role is all about passion and she fails to scorch the screen. Fawad has a brief role but leaves an impact.

What kills the movie is the pace. Although important, Karan takes a long time to develop the characters and you are left waiting for the story to begin until you realize there is none. You have to view it just as pages from an incomplete diary. The last fifteen minutes of the movie is also a spoiler. Karan could have done without that bit. He stepped away from realism and ended it on a melodramatic twist that was just not needed.

The music and dialogues are definitely a plus. Channa mereya is a personal favorite, along with Bulleya and the Break-up song. Being a lyricist the title song is the best with lyrics so profound that every line speaks volumes. One such being ‘Mujhe aasmati hai teri kami’.

Few other dialogues from the movie worth thinking about are:

Boyfriends na filmon ki tarah hote hai … kuch time pass toh kuch blockbusters

Rishtey ke alava aur bhi rishtey hote hai

Love teda hai … lekin us tede love mein bhi sukoon paana sirf kuch logon ko aata hai

Pyar mein junoon hai par dosti mein sukoon hai

Kisi ne kabhi aapko suddenly chaata mara hai … phaat … us chaante ko ishq kehte hai … aur woh chaanta aur zor se padta hai jab koi teesra aa jaata hai

Main kisi ki zaroorat nahi … khwaish banna chahti hoon

Aasaan hai kya aisi mohabbat karna … jiske badle mohabbat na mile

Mohabbat karna hamare bas mein nahi hai … us mohabbat se door chale jaana … woh hamare bas mein hai

Ek tarfa pyar ki taqat hi kuch aur hoti hai … auron ke rishton ki tarah yeh do logon mein nahi bat’ti … sirf mera haq hai ispe

Finally, the movie leaves you with the question, would you sacrifice the peace of friendship for the madness of love? Love can be tough. Can you handle it?



007 is back! Spectre shows you what Bond is all about, the cars, the chases, adrenaline pumping action and picturesque locations. Having grown up on the Connery and Moore kind of Bond movies, I often wished they would bring that era and style back. Sam Mendes does that in his final film. He manages to bring back the old fashioned action packed film and also a style that is more representing of today.

The first few minutes of the movie is what gives you a sense of the experience the next two and a half hours will take you through. So even before the opening credits roll, you are hooked. The movie begins with a scene that looks like a moving painting, that shows what Mexico is all about; the vibrance, the culture and the celebrations in some  panoramic breathtaking shots. The celebration is rudely interrupted and your attention is captivated by the first building blowup of the movie and a chase on the streets of Mexico that ensues. Finally what makes it worth the money you paid for, is the fight on the helicopter. Amazingly shot with the day of the dead parade going on below, a fight in an out of control chopper above and nail-biting action that pushes you to the edge of your seat, the movie continues. It everything Bond movies have come to represent: sexy, thrilling, action and suspense.

Another captivating sequence in the movie is the car chase. The villain’s Jaguar C-X75 chasing Bond’s Aston Martin DB10 around the midnight streets of Rome makes for a spectacular chase scene that keeps you riveted. The eye-gouging villain driving the Jaguar makes the chase even more gripping. Of course, you find yourself swallowing the lump in your throat when you watch the Aston Martin sink under water.

Talking about the characters, Lea Seydoux manages to leave a mark as a Bond girl although she doesn’t have much to do. Craig as always delivers with style but looks a tad too worn out and tired. The one person though that is thoroughly missed in the movie is the beloved Dame Judi Dench as M. Ralph Fiennes just does not do justice to the role. In fact he looks like he might change sides at any moment and become the villainous character that he looks like. Christoper Waltz sends some shivers down the spine but the role could have been developed better. He is just not cold and sinister enough to be the antagonist, and sometimes even manages to look comical.

Sam Mendes’ story borrows heavily from Craig’s past movies and this almost comes across at a part two to his own Skyfall. By keeping the antagonist alive, there is a hint that he is to continue in the future storylines.

All in all its a good watch and you come out definitely feeling you watched a Bond film! Beautiful women, good locales, nail biting action, fast cars and a handsome Bond.

Rupees To Dollars

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Ok the Mother India posters are a bit too much but thats the image that comes to mind. So let me elaborate on what’s brewing in my head!  

Recently, I was talking to friend of mine and the topic about how far we have come in life came about. We talked about how life has changed over the years. Much after the conversation was over, it lingered within me.  It has been twenty years since I left my home country and moved to the land of golden opportunities. Opportunities were many and the outcome was golden but looking back at the journey, I realized it was not easy at all. Every aspect was an uphill task and it took a lot of endurance and determination from all of us to get to a cruising level.

All about relationships: When I first moved west, I did not know anyone, no family and no friends. Everyone I knew and relationships that were built over the last 20 years had to be left behind. In this new country, everyone was alien. Not having a job was another impediment, since there was no place to actually go out and meet people. Then slowly people trickled into our lives, a friend who introduced us to a friend of theirs and they inturn introducing us to two more, so on and so forth. We latched on to every one of them and tried to fit in. We cooked, we hosted, we played, we talked, we partied, just to have some people to talk to. The perseverance paid off, slowly we built our own little family here. Our kids played and grew up together. We helped each other out in times of need and fought with each other too just like families do!

Where the time went: We had a lot of time for each other the first few years. There was nothing much to do. So our evenings were dedicated to reruns of ‘Married with children’ or ‘Seinfeld’. I also can own up to unashamedly spending my afternoons glued to ‘The bold and the beautiful’ and ‘The young and the restless’. I remember waiting for him to come home from work so I could tell him about all the new developments in those soaps. Then one day I realized everyone on the show had slept with everybody and that I had turned into a couch-potato with a soap addiction, I decided to call it quits!! And that truly was the end of it and I never looked back again! But the point is that, it was lonely. There were not many places to go to and not much money to be frivolous.

The part about money: Yes, we started out with none. It was not an easy path. I remember that right before I moved here, he asked me if I would like an apartment with a washer-dryer in the house or a common one. I distinctly remember not even understanding what he meant and wondering, why on earth would I want to go wash clothes in a common place. He of course got us an apartment with the washer/dryer and it was only after I moved in that I realized we were paying a small fortune to have that luxury! We had to think about everything twice. We wrote budgets, planned where the money went and what we could afford. K-Mart was our answer to everything. The cheapest most affordable store. I remember that we went to restaurants/movies once  in 4-5 months. We just couldn’t afford to be frivolous. Slowly, we grew. We worked hard, saved and survived. It took us about a year to just furnish the apartment. But it taught us the value of money. Life was definitely simple with real problems.

Today when I look back, I think we did good. Our kids have everything they want today but I wonder if they realize all the sweat and toil that went into us getting where we are today. What they take for granted today was out of reach for us a decade back.

So the big question I am stuck with right now is this: Should we as parents make our kids also earn their money to teach them its value or just be parents and give them what we didn’t have so they don’t have to face the same hardships? Someone once told me, if you get your kids to enjoy all the luxuries of life, they will get so used to it that they will aim big and make sure they at least get what they are used to, if not more! While I do feel like Mother India and I am sure he feels like Father India, do we really want our kids to experience those days? I don’t think so! This was our journey and we crossed it. I am sure they will have their own journeys to make. 



Call it craziness, a crisis or a dare to myself. I wanted a tattoo. Yes, the permanent, non-removable, needle piercing, painful kind. It took me two years after the initial thought invaded my mind to actually get it. Over the period of two years, I did a lot of research, spoke to people, drew tattoos on my body with permanent marker to see how I feel about it and looked up symbols that I could use.

The first time I really came close to getting a tattoo was when I was on a vacation with my family and friends. A friend who was a tattoo veteran with a prior tattoo wanted her second one and so she motivated me to get my first. We went around looking for a place to get our tattoo but unfortunately the place was closed for that weekend.

Having come that close to getting a tattoo, I knew I had to get one soon. So I spent time reviewing places close to my house where I could get a good one. Since I have extremely sensitive skin, I had to find a place that used natural products, would be careful with their art and be patient with me. I did find such a place which had good reviews. My friend was in too and we both decided to get one soon.

My next step was to make an appointment. To my shock, when I called them, they said I would have to go in person to make an appointment and also pay a deposit. I instantly liked them! They seemed very professional. So on my way home that evening, I stopped at their place and made the appointment for the following day.

The final step, in preparation was to actually decide on the tattoo I wanted to get. So after much thinking, I decided to go with four stars; one for my hubby, one each for my sons and the last one for all the people who have made a big impact on my life. I signed it off with three dots which is my signature to pretty much everything I do!

The day finally came and I woke up feeling excited, scared and apprehensive. I was worried about the level of pain I was going to experience. We reached the place and soon enough I found myself on the chair with my wrist laid out in front of him. It was ready to be prodded, pricked and inked. Did I tell you I took my son along for encouragement?!

After reaching there, it was a a long process of explaining the design, the artist creating a stencil and applying it to my skin. So the longer it took, the more antsy I got and there was a point when I was ready to bolt. Fear or ridicule for chickening out was the only reason I stayed. Finally, the artist was ready and I was in his parlor with my arm stretched out.

Steve, my tattoo artist pulled out all the tools required for the work. First came out a drill machine kind of tool, next came the needle. I almost passed out looking at the needle. It was about 6 inches long and pretty sharp! I looked at Steve and said, “Why can’t you put some topical anesthetic and then start poking the needle?”. He smiled at me and very seriously said, “Sashi, you have to earn the tattoo, its not for everyone.” Okay! So I wondered what I did to earn this pain. But I wanted it. I guess the want was enough to earn it.

He turned on the drill and dipped the needle in the ink. The hum of the drill, bore into my nerves and I almost panicked even before the needle touched my skin. He said I could look away if it scares me but I wanted to watch the needle do its work. And then I felt it. Almost like a needle scratching my skin, nothing more than that. I realized I had stopped breathing. I let go of all my apprehensions. It was not bad at all. Some stars hurt more than the others but I guess it was a part of the soul behind the tattoos.

Twenty minutes later, I was the proud owner of a tattoo. I felt elated, free and accomplished. Yes, its just a tattoo. But you gotta get one to know one.


Bajranji Bhaijaan: Being Human


Bajrangi Bhaijaan is a sheer pleasure to watch, from the first frame to the last. The first ten minutes of the movie and the last thirty are all it takes to convince anyone that the money paid and time spent was well worth it. The movie uses a good dose of comedy to teach us a few lessons in secularism and tolerance for cultures. Many superstitions and prejudices are slowly broken and delivered to the audience with a smile. The movie truly shows what it means to be a human. ‘Being Human’ is all that is needed to make this world a peaceful place to live in.

Salman Khan as usual delivers with style. The honesty and earnestness with which he portrays his character, immediately has the audience rooting for Bajrangi all through. Special mention has to be made about his willingness to share the screen space with a six-year old. The two make a fantastic couple and their onscreen chemistry is very endearing.

On the other hand, Kareena Kapoor Khan hugely disappoints. Neither is the role meaty enough nor is her glamour quotient high. She fails to impress us in any area. The makeup looks atrocious and she is made to look like a starving raccoon all through. The zero size is not impressive anymore.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui delivers once more with another short but powerful performance. He is a born actor and the ease with which he slips into his role is commendable. He shows his comic side in this movie and instantly connects with one and all.

Finally, the real star of the movie is Harshaali Malhotra. Yes, she is just six-years old and she plays a mute child but then thats what makes her performance even more powerful. She can give any star a run for their money. The movie completely belongs to her. The way she emotes in the entire movie, is so natural and perfect. The one scene I would like to mention that is oscar worthy is the one towards the end as she runs, with Nawazuddin chasing her with a camera. Just watch the emotions on her face as it goes through myriad changes. That one scene can convince you of her stunning performance. And then let me not even start about how absolutely adorable she looks in every frame!

The first half of the movie completely unfolds as a Salman Khan Films movie, with the usual, dance, fights and comedy but the second half of the movie has the Kabir Khan Films stamp all over it. The second half is where Kabir Khan weaves his usual magic and shows what he is best at. The cinematography is spectacular with Punjab and Kashmir being presented in breathtaking shots, frame after frame. Pakistan has been shown in a good light and once again we realize that the enmity between the counties is mostly media created. The people on the other side are just like us. There are many bad ones and a few good ones. Just like the rest of the world.

The only area the movie fails in is the music. Not many songs stay with you once the movie is over. Adnan Sami’s sufi rendition being the only song worth mentioning. The chicken song is very different and stands out from the rest. It is a fun song with a foot tapping track. The rest just stay with you as long as the track runs.

On the whole, the movie constantly moves you to tears, either with the rib tickling comedy or the emotional strings it tugs at in scene after scene. Looking around me there was not a dry eye in the theatre by the time the credits start rolling. Once again Salman Khan has delivered. What a great way to say ‘Eid Mubarak’ to all his fans.