Monday, July 13, 2009

There are days and there are days.. but after some point the everyday of life starts feeling like your life is part of Groundhog Day. And that’s what my morning routine feels like. I have my shuttle to work at around 8.43 am and the walk to the bus stop is about 7 minutes from my apartment. So I usually time myself to reach the bus stop atleast 3-4 minutes in advance to avoid any panic. And the walk from my apartment to the bus stop gives the “it feels like ground hog day” feeling everyday. As I step out of my elevator and walk out to start my day :- the janitor is sweeping the lobby and the security guard is doing his job. There is a daddy waiting for his little princess’ school bus to arrive while the nanny looks on. The janitor greets me, so does the security guard. I exchange smiles with the nanny and walk out of the building. Jaleel, one the maintainence crew is cleaning the other block of my building complex and we exchange pleasantries in Tamil. Moving right along, I turn right and I see this young man either walking out of his car after finding a parking spot or waiting for his friends to join him after he is done parking his car. I walk past him, turn right twice and I am at my busstop. And when you have this ritual daily, you bump into the same people at the bus stop. It’s the same everyday except unlike in the movie, the costumes of all the characters (except the men in uniform) changes. Hmmm.. makes me wonder if there will be an interesting twist to the routine some day :-)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

It's been a long time.. certainly has because I dod not even remember the fact that the last time I had posted something was in May and not March. Nevertheless, finally things are settling down so to say. Michael Jackson's death did throw us into a frenzy of activity on air but all those extra hours were well worth it. Having never done any other form of media, Radio holds for me an undying fascination. I cannot explain the rush I get every time I sit in front of the on air console and have to hit the play button or do a link (even if its a dummy link for practise).. some things never do change and I hope this buxx never dies for me :-)

This weekend has been quite. Watched Last Chance Harvey starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. Like a review rightly described it, the movie was an ordinary story made extra ordinary by the calibre of the performances. It was a treat to watch Dustin Hoffman in a more meaningful role after his recent appearances in the likes of Meet The Fockers!! A tale of two strangers - an overworked and tired jingle writer, who is a stranger to his own family with a career going downhill and a middle aged woman working with the public statistics agency at the Heathrow airport, who meet each other at the airport lounge and begin what seems to be an unlikely romance, makes for a delightful Friday evening watch. The story has neither a plot that has not been written before nor are there any innovations in the "technique" so to say but what makes this adult romance poignant is the performances. It is an absolute delight to watch Hoffman and Thompson breathe life to the characters. A definite must watch if one asked me. Don't expect earth shattering cinema, but if you are in the mood for some good old romance.. then Last Chance Harvey is a good bet.

Well.. my head is full of half written posts.. which shall some day hopefully make their way to the blogosphere but right now, the dishes in my sink are driving me insane, so see you all later!!! :-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Back Again!!

My sweet cubicle mate and colleague at my new place of work made me realize that it had been quite some time since I last visited my blog or posted something.
Post redundancy, life has been a whirlwind of activity- be it the play, getting in to the groove of my new job, making space for new people in my life, reconciling with the exit of some old ones, getting the every day of life sorted out. Phew!! The list is endless!! But I am not complaining.. Lord knows I am not!

Well it certainly looks like my tryst with broadcast and Dubai continues. My new job assignment is again with a radio network based out of Dubai. So a Dubian I shall stay for a little longer.

Coming back to things that have happened, the run of our plays was bitter sweet. While the performances were outstanding, the audience turn out for a few shows left much to be desired. But that did not dampen our spirits on most days :) Must admit, this was the first time I did manage step on a lit stage and the feeling of light on your face and the empty space which is the audience is quite something. No, I did not perform in this production but I certainly will in the future. I also managed to squeeze in a very very short trip to India for my visa run. Was great to see folks, catch up with friends, attain closure on some issues. That’s what I love about a visit home. Always grounds me, makes me take stock of situation and also helps me refocus ( if need be ) I think everyone should have a place to go to where one can gather his/her thoughts, rejuvenate oneself, take stock and move on. In my experience, people also help attain that at times. And I am so pleased to say I am blessed with both places to go to and people to meet who can help me achieve that!

My new job assignment is keeping me quite busy and not to mention gainfully employed ;) Since it’s a slight departure from my job profiles earlier, it’s also an interesting learning curve. All in all, life’s good!

P.S.:- I think I may have finally found a place to live too!! Details post the move..

Thursday, March 19, 2009

This week has turned out to be one of those when one says a lot of goodbyes. A decent number of people I know are leaving the country for good, are travelling for business/pleasure and I am moving my stuff to a friends. That's the goodbye for me that is turning out to be not so easy. Well, its a not a palatial villa I am moving out of. Its a small cosy studio, S and I shared for just over a year. How many nights we have spent chatting away till early mornings, sleeping in late on Fridays, green tea the first thing when we woke up at noon! dinner from Parantha King or Dubbawala, the chai from the mallu cafeteria downstairs, the steady order of milk and fruit from the grocery store round the corner, the laundry wala, D staying over at weekends, good times, sad times, frustrated times, the everyday of life- and thats what one misses the most and thats the crucial thing that keeps people together when they are in the same physical space- be it the under the same roof, same locality, same workplace or even the same city in a lot of cases. Maybe I am thinking all this because I have had too many goodbyes and there is potential for a LOT more, but I am also writing this since I know for a fact long distance makes the heart grow fonder aint what its all made out to be..

That aside, I have been bored outta my skull all this week inspite of having the onerous responsibility of packing all my worldly belongings. Realised I am a clothes horse and I have some pretty ones :) not to mention footwear. Hey, what do you expect its a girls' apartment being emptied out!!! I find myself taking just a little longer and procastinating everything just a bit more... Will miss this pad! Goodbye home I say...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Having given a decent buildup about my project, it is but expected that I elaborate about it nai?
SO...the project was a guest lecture I was invited to deliver to a bunch of pre grad media and mass comm students at a University here. Preparing for it was enlightening for moi since I have never in my life read about the history of broadcast media having been a broadcast media professional for hte past five years. The lecture went of very well. Thankfully I had to address a small group of 10 students. Loved the casual/interactive format of the classroom which was a contrast from what one is used to in the desi classrooms. The students also were a revelation by themselves from their approach to situations, opinions and questions they posed for me. All in all a very gratifying experience. I can actually see myself happily teaching kids.

Potential employment opportunities have been cropping up finally making me feel like March is actually marching forward towards the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. That having been said, the roof above our heads is falling apart. We have to move out of this ghar to a temporary ghar with friends/ PG acco etc by the end of this month. So the project in hand for the next couple of weeks will be packing and unpacking. And things in the house have been falling apart- from the lights in the bathroom to the washing machine that refuses to wash clothes- all seem to be signs in the sky to find a new abode I guess.

Cirque Du Soliel is in town till the 5th of April. That's a definite action item in my now very open and flexible calendar. So are the movies Gran Turino and Bella. If someone has not already watched, then I would say avoid "What Just Happened" like the bubonic plague. Because one will walk out of the movie hall asking himself/ herself just that "What just happened?! !@$@!#$". Shot in a very "Curb Your Enthusiasm" narrative, the movie follows Hollywood producer Robert De Niro through a week in his life when his career and personal life are falling apart and he is trying so hard to stay on top of things. The movie is extremely funny at a lot of places but as a whole, there is neither a proper flow nor structure to the film. Watch it only if you are tired of twiddling thumbs at home. And last but not the least, I might be doing sound and lights for an adaptation of Moliere's play Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme which will be staged at the end of April. So rehearsals keep me busy on most evenings of the week.

Life is looking good at the moment :-)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Well I did mention a project which would culminate on Monday. On another day, I would have gushed about it and written at length about it but today I will just say my project was successful. But at this point of time, I am bit disgusted with things people do for their survival....

Friday, February 27, 2009

I am listening to the plastic bag theme from the movie American Beauty on loop. Helps me think sometimes. An idea borrowed from a writer friend. And on my super cool birthday gift, my Bose headphones, I can even hear the rustle of the plastic bag :) My project for Monday is in process. Not with the speed I would have liked but progressing nonetheless. And I am always at my best when I am running out of time. So there...

After quite some time of this...

I am glad to announce that I am finally back to that state of mind when I feel like writing. My mind is overflowing with possible post drafts. Which is cause for a big woohoo! Though cannot say the same about roomie and my situation since we are both redundant. But this too shall pass :-)

I finally know why Clive Owen was a front runner to be the next Bond. Having always maintained that he is an actor one cannot help but notice, he has proven he can handle action and espionage just as effortlessly as emotion and histrionics with The International, Tom Tywker's latest post Perfume. A rivetting movie that gave me the pleasure of reading a very good espionage novel. Featuring an ensemble cast including Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller Stahl amongst others and shot in various locales across the globe, the movie also has some really neat lines like "Sometimes you find your destiny on the road you took to avoid it" .. I would definitely give the movie two thumbs up! Yes sirree, Tom Tywker is back and how. Another movie I am waiting to watch is Frost/Nixon. Missed The Wrestler by a couple of weeks. Also tried watching Billu Barber, but dozed off half an hour and two songs into the movie. Boredom or fatigue or both.. I dunno but what I do know is that I did not want to see the movie all the way till the end. That settled the issue then I guess ;-)

More later, back to my project and the plastic bag theme now..

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Like the new cheesy header and profile picture for the blog, my playlist has also got a refresh of sorts.After tripping on Dev D's soundtrack for almost a month, I am constantly smiling to the tunes from Delhi 6 OST. Genda phool and Masakali being the hot favourites preceded by Arziyan. As far as the movie goes, quite a nice movie as long as one doesn't compare the movie to RDB, which was another league altogether. Lovely ensemble cast with some memorable performances by Deepak Dobriyal and Divya Dutta among others. Wish ROM had kept the intensity alive at the climax instead of the Big B cameo But the trade has its own demands I guess. Will it go down as a memorable film? I don't think so. Same holds true for The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. There were enough and more times during the film when I happily walked out knowing I wouldn't have missed much. That could also be attributed to the information overload about the movie and its reviews. Loved the visual effects and makeup in the film. Parts of the film reminded me of Forrest Gump. Don't ask me why because I am the reigning queen of weird associations.

Movies apart, I have a new project on hand till Monday. Will write more about it once I am done with it. What I can share at the moment is that I am excited about it and slightly nervous too. More post monday.

That apart, what happens when four gorgeous and intermittently smart women- three of whom dont drive and one who doesn't know roads in U.A.E besides the ones in Sharjah, get out on a lazy Saturday afternoon to get a cup of joe at the neighbourhood Starbucks coffee shop? Well, that one cuppa joe takes them on a 120 km drive around not just the city but the country! Accident or mishap? More like an adventure which I am taking great pleasure typing out while sipping a cuppa chai at 1130 PM in the night :P This is what happened, four of us finished a sumptuous meal at this place ( won't mention the name but one of the places roomie and I swore we would NEVER enter in our one year together), we gorgeous ladies decided we needed coffee from Starbucks. The chosen destination was Wafi Mall but en route to Wafi, we missed an exit and ended up At Dubai Outlet Mall some 30 kms away from where we intended to go. We, of course, decided to not just make lemonade, we even threw ourselves a margarita party. After indulging ourselves with shopping to our hearts content at Dubai Outlet Mall ( which according to me is Dubai's answer to our factory outlets, albeit in a much bigger fashion), we decided to head back home- which was Dubai. We again took the wrong exit and headed to Dubai on a detour that was the longest possible, only to realise a couple of kms into the exit that the car was already on reserve fuel. That meant, lots of swearing (not at each other), nervous laughter, major stress and praying like hell for a gas station. The car just about started slowing down and lo behold! there was a gas station. Never have four women been so happy to stop at a gas station. And then, the night was still young and the adventure had just about begun unfolding. Like I mentioned earlier, we were to head to Dubai but where did we end up in.. Sharjah!! One second we were on the highway and the next minute we were right in the middle of a huge traffic jam.. I swear that's what happened. Finally roomie and I got dropped off at a point where we could hail a cab and head home. The ride to the neighbourhood mall to get a cuppa coffee turned out to be quite the adventure indeed! Lessons learnt- never miss an exit or take the wrong one because there are no U turns in UAE. Always pay attention to the routes and yes, dont get on the highway without enough fuel in your car because the gas stations are few and far between. And yes, I am very proud to say that the four of us can really take lemons and make a margarita party out of it ... we definitely did :-)

Monday, February 9, 2009

So much for declaring I have all the time in the world to blog now.... lol!

Over the past month and some, I have a set routine of trying to get by the first half of the day as quickly as possible. This, of course, means I get most of the job hunting, calls, meetings set up in this time band. Post lunch, the day is not that difficult to get by. I am getting good at it and not to mention, there is also my new obsession with The Wire. To add fuel to my modified telly obsession, I have also laid my hands on the Season 5 of House MD (grin).

If one is wondering about the employment status, I am still a jobless bum :) But having said that, this is my longest break in over ten years. So I would rather consider myself as being in transition than being out of job. Its all about using words to suit one's needs it turns out. And boy did I learn it by burning the midnight oil or what?! Now, most of us pretty stop "writing" or drafting letters once we get out of school or grade 12 latest. In this era of digital communication, the fine art of writing and correspondence is indeed a dying art form. Now, I had to write cover letters to apply for jobs and it certainly turned out to be quite a task! This brings me to concur with a friends opinion that every literate person should write through out their lives and aim at writing atleast 500 words a day. Now thats a lofty target I agree but I shall diligently try to write more often if not daily. Thats a promise and I hope I do keep it.

Of late, I spend a lot of time at a friends sprawling apartment which I think personally has the best panoramic view of Dubai's skyline. I manage to get my daily 20 minute walk sessions every time I walk up tp her place and back home. En route her place, I use the neighbourhood Spinneys as a thoroughfare. The same complex also has a pizzeria and a McDonalds outlet in the same premises. And quite often, I have many an individual sitting on the trademark McD bench next to the clone and gazing at the horizon. This for me is one of the loneliest sights in Dubai, which I guess I feel so because some of them quite frankly look lonely. But today a friend of mine told me the story of why there is a Ronald McDonald sitting on a bench at every McD outlet. Apparently, before hitting upon the idea of the fast food chain, the founder of McD sat on park bench everyday for two years trying to think of some means of making money since he was unemployed and penniless. So as a reminder that sometimes sitting on the bench can give you great ideas, every McD outlet has the bench with Ronald very happily perched on it. Of course, the story can be imspirational if you want it to be but more than that the next time I use the thoroughfare, maybe I wont really think about the lonely people sitting on the bench.. :-)

The new "25 random things about me" meme on Facebook is catching on fast. I have already been tagged thrice. Maybe I should write 25 random things! This meme is reportedly the fastest spreading meme on Facebook almost likened to a bug! Read more. Well, I haven't really decided if I should participate in this exercise/activity which is taking Facebook by storm. And after reading these two articles, even you might change your mind. Click here and here.

Facebook aside I am a bit saddened by the fact that the movie which is heralding Indian cinema coming of age is not going to be screened in UAE for its controversial content. I am talking about Dev D- Anurag Kashyap's interpretation of the Bengali tragedy, Devdas. A la Omkara by Vishal Bharadwaj, Anurag has adapted the storyline to the current times. So understandably- Devdas becomes Devinder Singh Dhillon (Dev D) and Paro becomes Parminder Kaur. The film not just adapts the classic tale to this day and age but also addresses issues plaguing the youth of Bharat, female sexuality, past scandals like the famous DPS MMS scandal. Sigh.. will have to wait for my DVD fairy to get me my churaya hua copy but something better than nothing I say. Another thing about Dev D I absolutely love is the soundtrack- eclectic and brilliant! Especially, Emossional Atyachaar( Brass Band version)- absolute genius. If I had to describe the OST in one word it would be trippy. And a trip is what the film is from what I understand from the promotions. More about Dev D after I watch the film. Another film I watched a couple of months ago and has been much deliberated about its Slumdog Millionaire.Enough has been said and written about it. I really do not want to add my two pence opinion to it. Another movie talked about recently a lot is Delhi 6- Rakeysh Mehra next offering post the landmark RDB. The music of the film is classic ARR- some tracks grab you instantly while others grow on you. Personally I think I am giving Delhi6 OST a step motherly treatment over Dev D because I simply cannot stop listening to Dev D's tracks. Might watch The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and Delhi 6 this weekend. More about post watching them... for now, some emotional atyachaar looking for jobs :P

Monday, January 12, 2009

Redundacy..

The phenomenon is global but the effect is always felt locally. And after months of hearing about friends and acquaintances' stories of redundancy, and seeing them live in the fear of losing their jobs, I find myself in a somewhat similar situation. I have been made redundant. Yes, I am truly a jobless bum in the gelf at the moment :)

This twist in the kahani should be interesting. I can delude myself about having a "paid vacation" till I find a new job..... At the moment, having gone through disbelief, anger and grief( I know its not yet over), I am getting myself organized. Not bad I would since it has only been 31 hours since our entire team was told "You all have been redundant with effect immediately". Just like that! At the moment I feel like I have lost a very dear one and am having to be the one to receiving the condolences- reliving those last few minutes and the entire event over and over again.

Have got a fair amount of asinine behaviour from "well meaning" acquaintances, viz.,

Q- What really happened
A- We were made redundant
Q- No,what really happened?
A ( in my head of course)- @#!$!#$.
A( as it comes out of my mouth)- Need to go now cos I really dont feel like "talking about it". Bye!

Even worse are the patronizing types, "how are you feeling?", "are you ok?" enquiries. Though mostly well meaning, they really dont serve any purpose except to fill up the awkward empty spaces with idiotic words.

If you know someone who has been laid off:-

  • Please dont offer platitudes unless you find out if the person willing ot talk about it.
  • Though very well meaning," dont worry things will work out", "whatever happens is all for good" statements can be extremely badly timed.
  • Volunteer emotional support but offer it only when asked for.
  • Dont try to get into a "my life is a lot worse than yours" contest with the person cos you might still have a job in hand. And its not about you anyways right now!
  • Offer a genuine bear hug, kleenex and/ or just be a patient listener. Some times that is all one needs.


As far as I am concerned, being out of a job is not all that bad since I have all the time in the world to blog now.. Watch this space for regular updates on "Kissa Maddy Ka" :P

And yeah, its not the end of the world.. so chill maadi :)

P.S:- I will definitely miss playing music and yapping on the microphone! No two ways about it..