Category Archives: My2.2cents

Some cents on some Movies

I usually don’t talk about movies much but in last couple of weeks I managed to see some great work which I missed earlier. Thought of sharing with you all. Movies I watched are:

Shutter Island


Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Inglourious Basterds

I’m not there (still watching)

Shutter Island, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. After watching this movie I become an official fan of Leo and Martin. What a movie, so well-directed and Leonardo did a marvelous job. I could not stop thinking about the movie for 2-3 days which confirms that its a  Martin’s movie. Earlier I saw Martin and Leo’s movie The Departed, it was again good movie but for me it had too much violence. But Shutter Island was just mind-blowing.  Initially I thought Leonardo would be acting in mostly romantic movies, you know after watching Titanic but  The Beach and Catch me if you Can proved me wrong. He is now the finest actor I can say. For some reasons I missed The Aviator but as soon as I finish ‘I’m not there’ I will watch it. What to say about Martin, his movies speaks about him. I watched some of his work like – The Age of Innocence, Gangs of New York, The Departed and have to watch Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, The Aviator. Shutter Island is a psychological thriller and an enticing and engaging piece of work. The ending has such a twist which makes you mad and chaotic.

Inception, another movie starring Leonardo. Directed by Christopher Nolan, Dark Knight fame. Interesting thing I came to know through Wikipedia that Chris Nolan wrote “Inception” script nine-years ago but he did not have experience in any large-scale movies so he worked on Batman Begins, The Prestige and The Dark Knight and prepare himself for Inception [great practice dude!].  Movie is a science fiction thriller. It is based on the notion of “exploring the idea of people sharing a dream space and entering a dream space. Frankly I am still processing and analysing movie’s each and every incidents in my mind. Man ! how they can even think of the aspect of dream invasion, dream extractor, dream architect, dream forger who can change appearance in dreams – hats off to director, writer, actors, cinematographer and even music director. Movie is like a rollercoaster ride to thriller. You move and you miss and sadly I missed a lot. Will give another go to grasp more of it.  Truly a masterpiece.

Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt. After Leonardo I am now loving Brad. Movie is directed by David Fincher ( I never saw his movies before, even the Panic Room). Though I find the subject little weird but very well-directed and edited movie, long but worth watching.  I find it similar to Forest Gump.  How old is Cate Blanchett, 40 years something but boy she is looking gorgeous in the movie. She is one of the finest actress and did a very nice job in the movie, though I never liked her and I don’t know why.  Movie is worth spending 3 hrs. Movie is a collection of short stories of Benjamin Button who ages reverse [weird!].  One of the best storytelling ever.

Inglourious Basterds, a fine piece of Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt. Quentin Tarantino’s movies has violence but for some reasons I didn’t mind watching violence in this movie maybe because it had tit-for-tat for Nazis. I love the way movie started, how it is narrated, how the climax is built up, I love everything about it even the antagonist Christopher Waltz.  Till now I have seen movies on World War II which portrays the victimization but this is no different except who the victim is. Its like revenge of all the movies based on the tragedy of Nazism. I love the southern accent of Brad Pitt in the movie, also in the Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Years of watching hollywood movies I came to conclusion that southern accent movies are super [maybe I am the last person on the planet that realised it now]. Why southern accent movies are big hit ? Initially it was hard to understand me the accent but now I like it the most, feels like somebody has change the aspect ratio of mouth to max.  Moral of the story is that I super like the movie Inglourious Basterds.

I’m not there, directed by Todd Haynes and starring 6 actors – Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw. It was released in 2007 and critically acclaimed around the world but unfortunately I never heard of it. I accidentally came to know about it when I was reading Wikipedia article on Cate Blanchett. You know after watching her in Benjamin Button, I was curious about her work. I was reading about her in Wikipdedia and came to know about this movie on her page.  The movie is inspired by great singer and songwriter Bob Dylan. Boy it is the most unusual movie I ever seen. I am still in the watching it.  Before I say something about the movie I would like to tell you how I feel about song and lyrics 3 years back.  For me they purely represent the state of mind, feelings and emotions of one person. Listening to Indian songs is a pleasure but you know they have just one side of face [I hope you are getting my point]. Like movie songs tells you the about the emotions depicted in the movie, Ghazal which is a poetic expression for love whether it is pain of loss or separation or the beauty of love.  Bhajans are devotional songs but have you ever heard of revolutionary songs. Songs for political activism . I never thought singers and song writers can create a revolution in the mass, frankly I thought Western music was mostly based on oneself, they may have different forms and genres of music but all for one reason – self. Thanks to my lovely husband who changed my horse-vision on music. He is one of a kind music lover – from Ghazal to Hard [harder] Rock, Blues to Bhajans. He loves music and under his influence I too get a taste of world music.  He told me about some revolutionary singers like – Bob Dylan, John Lenon, Johnny Cash and many more. I heard Bob Dylan through him but I find his lyrics quite hard to understand and his songs are quite different – they have meaning, have message and I never listened such kind. I tried to listened some like “Like a Rolling Stone” which is best song ever but sigh. So when I saw “I’m not there”  has received many awards under the Cate Blanchett filmography and found that it is based on Bob Dylan life made me interested. I only watched it 1/4th and to my surprise this the most unusual movie I have ever seen, it has a very non-traditional narrative style .  Movie is inspired by Bob Dylan’s important chapters of life and is public feature portrayed by 6 different characters.  Cate Blanchett is also playing the role of Bob Dylan (God, this woman has immense talent). I can not say much about the movie at this point of time but so far I am still hanging on the movie and trying to join the pieces.I am looking forward the end and hoping that someday I would develop the taste and patience to listen quality songs of some most talented artist existed and existing in the world.


You Reap what you Sow

The other day, me and my Mom was reading one of the article in the newspaper about senior people living in old age home. The article said that how senior people are left all alone in the old age center by their kids and families. It was collection of  stories told by 3-4 citizens. All were unhappy by the way their kids has treated them. After what they had gone through their lives to raise them and when it was time for them to sit back and relax, play with their grandchildren they are in old age homes all alone. The article was titled as ” क्या अनुपयोगी हो गए हैं माता-पिता ?”. The first reaction of my Mom was why did not the reporter interviewed their children, How can I believe this one side of story ?

This is the reality. We always seen the one side of story. Everyone presents and show only one side, like in “Baghbaan”. The movie was too much for me and I know people from my generation never approved that movie.  We young generation do inclined to western culture but we too have morals and respect towards our parents, we know our duties and values. But why always the one side of story ?

I tell you one real story. A girl was married in a family. Marriage was arranged. Girl was well educated and was working in one of the MNC with her husband. Family was middle cast and bit orthodox. First few days passed happily. All was colorful to the girl. He got one loving husband and in-laws like her parents (that’s whats she thought initially). Later things were changed, she was interrupted in almost everything. To her surprised she was pointed out when to wake up, when to take bath, what to wear, what to cook, how to cook, how to come in front of neighbors. She was told that its shameful to talk to her husband in front of in-laws, her opinion and views were useless. Newly wed couples were in complete vigilance. In-laws expect them to turn off their room lights to so and so time. They have to take permission for everything, whether it was an appointment with a dentist or a walk around the block. MIL dominated the girl in every way. Later things get more weird when MIL started asking for grandchild (after 2 months of marriage in this era!! ). Girl was not at all ready for the family so soon. She tried to talk to her MIL but she was too stubborn to understand. When girl was off to office MIL was used to check her room for any pills if she is using. FIL doesn’t like woman to have their own views, he just completely ignored them. He could not understand why beta and bahu go out for dinner on weekend when one can cook same dinner at home. Boy was sandwiched between his mother and wife. He was utterly confused how and when to take stand for his wife when his mother thinks that he loves more to his wife than mother. He was pissed that he met only his wife in the night and could not even talk to her properly in front of his parents. He wanted to help his wife in household chores but could not because it was against the tradition as told by his Mom. One day things got too far and MIL said unpleasant things about girl’s parents. Girl was too polite to take a stand of her parents in front of her in-laws but she decided and told to her husband that she can’t live like this and husband agreed to her, later they flew from that nest.

Do you think by this behavior seniors will get the respect ? Why we have a culture where parents hold there children from their birth till the birth of their grandchildren? Why are our society is so messy in relations, why can’t be there some space ?. I always admire the way people in western countries live. Every one has their own personal space, teenager, couples and seniors. Our societies has been divided into three parts, one who has accept to live free, one who has denied to live free and believe to follow their so-called traditions of family and third is swinging between the other two.  They pretend to be open and broad-minded but they are confused how and where to be like that. Why parents think that they own their child’s life ? Like in movie Baghbaan, Amitabh without even discussing his decision with his sons and daughter in-laws decides to spend his life after retirement with them and sold his property. Why ?? Because he raised them and faced hard times so now its pay-back time for his sons to keep them.

I always think, is Respect is given or taken ?Anything went wrong in family blames comes to bahu and later to son. “arey unki bahu aisi hi hai, waisi hai” or “wo ladka ko itna padhaya likhaya, aur aaj dekho apne maa-baap ko akela chod gaya”. I have always one question to ask from all the MILs out there – “What do you think of daughter-in-laws, a maid or wife to your son?” I hate when they say, “ab bahu ayegi tab hamari seva karegi”. “Agar seva hi karani hai to maid rakh lo, padhi likhi ladki ki kyu zindagi barbaad karte ho”.  I tell you today’s girls are free – physically and mentally but it doesn’t mean that they have lost their moral and values. They know to respect and their duties but they wouldn’t compromise their identity. They will not take orthodox nonsense.  Why MIL thinks dominating on daughter-in-law will make her on upper edge ? You bring a girl from other family and then you treat her like she has no value, no identity in the family, her only place is in kitchen and doing household chores. All you care is taking respect from all possible ways. You are energetic and can do loads of work in front of bahu but once she is away you suddenly realize that you are old. Being son is not always has a positive side, although he is saved from all the personal remarks and ‘disciplined’ but he suddenly become a man from a boy overnight. He suddenly got all the responsibilities of the world and often compared with other ‘sons’ of neighbors, ‘are unke bete ko dekho, itni si umar mai usne ghar banwa liya, usne dekho kitni mehngi car li hai,  dekho wo apne maa-baap ki kitni seva karta hai”.

I completely denied these obligations on our generations that we are selfish and treat our parents poorly. Relations works mutually. Everyone has their identity. Everyone needs respect whether they are young or seniors.  Some exceptions are always there but you just can’t throw mud on son and daughter-in-law all the time and assume that they are the only roots of all the problems.

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each others life – Richard Bach”

Things I hate about Indian Parenting

My daughter was born in USA. She was born two months premature because of my health and kept in Neonatal ICU (NICU) for 30 days. I was floored by the way American treat babies and kids.  Nurses were so educated, warm, caring and soft-spoken. I was amazed to see their care and consideration towards babies. Frankly speaking I haven’t seen such kind of treatment to wards babies and kids at home in India. Then and there I decided I would raise my daughter the way she was treated in NICU for 30 days.

These days I am in India. Where Reva is struggling from heat and teething and I am struggling with people’s comments. Here are things which really catches my nerves:

Please don’t touch my baby or any baby with dirty hands.  Learn some basic hygiene for babies.

I don’t believe in any kind of jinx. Reva was not wearing any locket with black thread in her neck, or bracelets of black pearls in her hands, I just hate those kind of things on little babies. People came by and point out “are tumne is ko kuch nahi pehnaya, nazar lag jayegi. waise hi american hai?”.  WTF!! You don’t believe in basic hygiene but you do believe  in such things, shame on you.

Please stop asking me how I feed her, “aap upar ka dudh pilate hain ya apna ?“. And it was heights of rudeness when a man asked me on flight who was sitting besides me. Its my daughter and I will feed her whatever I want. None of your business.

Don’t raise your eyebrows when I say Formula Milk. You don’t have any idea what I had gone through and how much I tried. Stop judging me!

Cow’s Milk is not the only nutritional source for baby in the world. I am following my doctor’s instructions over yours.  Just so you know ” There are several reasons to delay the introduction of cow’s milk until your baby reaches his first birthday. Most important, a baby’s digestive system can’t digest cow’s milk proteins. Cow’s milk also has too much sodium, potassium, and chloride, which can tax your baby’s kidneys. Even if his system could handle it, cow’s milk doesn’t have all the vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin E, zinc, and iron) that he needs for growth and development in his first year. Giving a baby cow’s milk could even cause iron deficiency and internal bleeding. And it can increase his risk of an allergic reaction.

Kajal.  I don’t like to put kohl in baby’s eyes and I don’t believe any reasons why they are being put in baby’s eyes. Believe me, my granny had put kajal in my eyes for almost 3 years and still my eyes are not big and even has fewer lashes. So putting kajal in baby’s eyes makes them bigger, beautiful and makes vision strong is wrong. They are genetically build and not with the help of kajal. And if it so good then why are eye operations, put kajal.

Same with oil in ear and nose. If some one can guaranteed me that oil is pure and not adulterated with any harmful chemicals I don’t mind using it.

I am disappointed our ways to feed solids to baby. Being an agricultural country we hardly feed any of the grains/vegetables/fruits properly to our baby. My doctor specifically told me that by the time she is 1-year-old she should eat  2 yellow vegetables, 2 green vegetables and 2 fruits. People ask me what you give to her I say puree of – Squash, Carrots, Beans, Peas, Banana, Apple…. They are surprised.  One woman told me “Are ye sab to itna fayda nahi karta,  gay ka dudh pilao ise“. And they say today kids don’t eat vegetables and fruits.

I hate when people here don’t respect newly parents. They think they are the dumbest people on face of the earth. Please they are “Parents”, they are smart enough to know what is best for their child.

All I know is Motherhood/Parenthood doesn’t not mean to suffer. You don’t have to face hard times to raise a child. Its a beautiful journey and let it enjoy. Just use you instinct and nothing else.

A disappointing Customer Service of the fastest growing Electronics Shop

I am talking about Central India’s fastest growing electronics shop Lotus Electronics. Indeed they have make electronics shopping easier but what’s the point of shopping when one get a poor customer service. I just want to clear one thing by this post to all big and low sellers- today’s customers not only looks for lower prices but also a quality customer service. Whats the point of running a showroom when you don’t test the product before selling it to the customer, you don’t hand the warranty card, manuals along with the bills and claim that is in the box and box you never tested before. You don’t have refund policy, you run service and repair center on the basis of warranty card and card was never delivered to the customer.

We bought two products from the showroom. Automatic washing machine and Vacuum cleaner. And with both the products we did not get any documents. Last year we bought the washing machine. They told that every documents is in the box and we found nothing. My sister had to call the showroom daily for 15 days to get the documents. Now for vacuum cleaner’s documents when I called them and told that we did not recieved any manual and warranty card with the products, you would not believed what did he said “Madam it is you fault that you did not collect them.  Now I have to check whether we have them or not. Visit the showroom once with the bill and we will note it.” I asked how many days will it take to come he said “3-4 days or so”. Which means 15 days again.  Why visit the showroom when you can note it over the phone ??

It means customer only get what they pay for and it is customer’s responsibility to collect all the things which is associated with the products. As they are favoring us with the low prices and they are done with it.

मेरी अमेरिका यात्रा – सबसे पहले बात शिशुओं की

मैंने अपनी पहली पोस्ट में कहा था की मैंने अपनी अमेरिका यात्रा में जो कुछ सीखा वो सब कुछ में आप सब से बाटूंगी। तो उसी श्रंखला में सबसे पहली पोस्ट शिशुओं के ऊपर है। अमेरिका मे जिस तरह से शिशुओं की देखभाल की जाती है, उनका ध्यान रखा जाता है, और सबसे बड़ी बात उनका आदर किया जाता है वो गौरतलब है। शिशुओं का ही नहीं शिशुओं की माओं का भी बहुत ध्यान रखा जाता ही। शिशुओं की ऐसी देखभाल मैंने भारत में नहीं देखी। इस बात पर पूरा यकीन तब हुआ जब मैंने रेवा के साथ भारत में कदम रखा। अन्तराष्ट्रीय हवाई यात्रा में सबसे पहले उन परिवारों को विमान मे अनुमति दी जाती है जिनके साथ शिशु या छोटे बच्चे हों परन्तु भारत में जब मुझे दिल्ली के अंतर्राज्यीय हवाई अड्डे में विमान लेते समय ऐसी कोई सुविधा नहीं मिली। चलिए वो बात पर मैंने गौर नहीं फरमाया लेकिन लोगों मे इतनी भी तमीज नहीं थी की शिशु के साथ महिला है तो उस रास्ता दें, उल्टा मुझे उन्हें रास्ता देना पड़ रहा था जाने के लिए जैसे उनके बैठते ही विमान चल पड़ेगा।
जितनी हमें तकलीफ होती है विमान में बदलते हवा दबाव से उससे ज्यादा तकलीफ होती है बच्चों को और उससे वो बहुत रोते हैं। बच्चा अगर रोयेगा फिर भी चुप भी होगा। एक बात और बता दूँ की जितनी तकलीफ बच्चे को होती है उससे ज्यादा दिल माँ का रोता है जब बच्चा रोता है तो कृपया उससे घुर कर या उससे देख फुसफुसाए नहीं। थोड़ा धीरज रखिये, उसकी माँ उससे चुप करा रही है।

सबसे अच्छी बात मुझे अमेरिका की लगी की वहां अनजाने और परिवार के बाहर के लोग बच्चे को हाथ नहीं लगाते और लगाते भी हैं तो हाथ धो कर या hand sanitizer इस्तमाल कर के। बिना माता-पिता की आज्ञा से उससे गोदी में नहीं उठाएंगे, और उसके सिर्फ पैर ही छुएंगे – गाल और हाथ भी नहीं। उसक सामने आ कर जोर से नहीं बोलेंगे। अगर वो सो रहा है तो उससे कमरे में नहीं जायेंगे। लेकिन ये सब बातें यहाँ अनजानी है।
रेवा से मिलने कितने लोग आते हैं, आते ही अपन गंदे हाथों से उस उठाते हैं, उसके सामने जोर जोर से बोलकर खिलाते हैं, बेचारी आधे घंटे तक आंसुओं से रोती है। मुझे समझ नहीं आता की उससे जोर जोर कर बोलकर खिलने से क्या मिलेगा। इससे वो आपको पहचानेगी नहीं बल्कि आपकी आवाज सुनकर इतना डर जाती है। एक परिवार ने तो हद करदी, जब वो मिलने आये तो रेवा सो रही थी, बोलते अरे उससे उठाओ ज़रा देख तो लें अंग्रेजन कैसी है !!!

आप सभी से मेरा और एक माँ का अनुरोध है की शिशुओं के प्रति थोड़ा सावधानी बरतिए। कुछ बातें गाँठ बाँध लीजिये –

  • शिशु को बिना हाथ धोये न लें।
  • कभी उसके गाल पर न पुचकारें, न उसके हाथ पकड़े। बच्चे बहुत कोमल होते हैं और आपके द्वारा दिए गए कीटाणु उनके मुंह में जायेंगे। सिर्फ उनके पैर छुए।
  • शिशु के सामने हमेशा आहिस्ता से बोले। आपकी तेज़ आवाज से बच्चे डर सकते हैं। अगर आप किसी शिशु से मिलने जा रहे हैं तो उससे सीधे नज़र न मिलाये। पहले उसके हावभाव देखिये की वो आपको किस तरह मिल रहा है।
  • शिशु की नींद सबस ज़रूरी है, उसकी नींद आदर करे और उसमें कभी दखल न दे।
  • सबसे ज़रूरी बात, पहले माँ/पिता से आज्ञा लें।

आशा करती हूँ की आप इन सभी बातों का ध्यान रखेंगे और अपनी उपस्थिति से शिशु या उसकी माँ की परेशानी का कारन न बनकर बल्कि उनका आनंद और बठाये।

अभी तक हम बच्चों को सिखाते आये हैं, अब कुछ सीख हमारे लिए –

रेवा की डॉक्टर के रूम में एक कोटेशन बोर्ड टंगा है, उसमें लिखी हर बातें मुझे इतनी नेक लगती हैं। मैं जब भी ऑफिस जाती हूँ उससे एक बार ज़रूर पढ़ती हूँ। साधारण और इतने सुन्दर तरीके से सीख लिखीं है की मन किया की आप सब के साथ बांटू –

Be there,
Say Yes as often as possible,
Let them bang pots and pans,
If they are crabby, put them in water,
If they are unlovable, love yourself.
Realize how important it is a child,
Go to a movie theater in your pajamas,
Read Books out loud with joy,
Invent pleasures together,
Remember how really small they are,
Giggle a lot,
Surprise them.
Say no when Necessary,
Teach feelings,
Heal your own inner child,
Learn about parenting,
Hug trees together,
Make loving safe,
Bake a cake and eat without hands,
Plan to build a rocket ship.
Imagine yourself magic,
Make lots of forts with blankets,
Let your angel fly,
Reveal your own dreams,
Search out the positive,
Keep the gleam in your eye,
Mail letters to God.
Encourage silly,
Open up,
Stop yelling,
Express your love a lot,
Speak kindly,
Paint their sports shoes,
Handle with caring.

जल संचयन के प्राचीन और प्रभावित तरीके

अनुपम मिश्रा एक पर्यावरण कार्यकर्ता हैं। उन्होंने TEDIndia के मंच पर इतने अच्छे से प्राचीन जल संचारण की बात कही। उन्होंने अपनी वार्ता में उनसभी जल संचार के प्राचीन तरीकों की चर्चा की जो सदियों से भारत के रेगिस्तानी इलाकों में उपयोग में आज भी हैं और हरसाल की गर्मी में भी कितने गाँव का फलन पोषण कर रहे हैं। किस तरह हर साल की गर्मी में सरकार के महंगे महंगे जल संचार के mega projects खिल्ली उड़ाते हैं। ज़रूर सुने उनकी ये बहुमूल्य वार्ता –