Dawat e Ishq.


Ramesh insisted that we see a Hindi film and he was fascinated with this film because it is from the stables of Yash Raj Films. He is also besotted with Parineeti Chopra which only added to his keenness to see it. Since I had to shop for some personal items, and since the theater is in a very popular mall, I agreed to go with him and wish that I had not.

By that I do not mean that I did not like the movie. I could have spent the time more usefully elsewhere is all that I imply. An experienced writer and three very likeable actors in very effective roles have been wasted in a storyline that is powerful in concept but very weak and trivialised in execution. The dowry menace and the misuse of Section IPC 498A could have been treated more powerfully instead of this trivialisation and totally unbelievable conclusion.

I however enjoyed seeing Hyderabad and hearing Hyderabadi Urdu; and another great Indian city, Lucknow, currently the residence of my rakhi sister. Scenes from both took me down memory lanes and that was the only redeeming feature of the film. The music and dance sequences were less than adequate and noisy and so I can give only  rating.  Ramesh and I have decided that we will both take a train trip soon to visit Lucknow. Maria, get the red carpet ready.

Posted in Movies, Nostalgia, Relationships, Sociology | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Two Night Stand.


The trailer was intriguing when I saw it last week when I had gone to see Finding Fanny. So, when for this week Ramesh suggested that we go again to a combination of one English and one Hindi film, I readily agreed. We went to see Two Night Stand yesterday.

The movie lived up to its expectation that I had developed from the trailer. It was fast moving, totally believable and generates a great deal of sympathy for both the lead characters who are fumbling around trying to find meaningful relationships.

I had never heard of any of the actors nor the director and so this totally new combination came as a very pleasant surprise to me. It is a tightly edited and very well photographed/directed movie worth seeing for people interested in observing value a system and lifestyles totally out of synch with my generation’s. Since the audio effect suffers in places with poor recording causing missing of some conversations, I am unable to give more than

Posted in Friendship, Movies, Relationships | Tagged , | 14 Comments


When Ranjan was driving me back home from an outing last week, we passed a permanent market where I used to shop for fresh meat, fowl vegetables etc in the good old days before all these were available closer to our home. I became nostalgic for one butcher in particular who used to get volubly welcoming every time he saw me to ensure that I did not take my custom to one of his competitors in the same shed. I casually mentioned this to Ranjan and said that it would be nice if I could come over one morning again just to buy some freshly slaughtered mutton and he promptly suggested that I do so quickly and also make one of his favourite dishes that he remembered me cooking from my pre vegan days.

I came home and found some of the ingredients missing and sent the youngsters to shop for them and they came up with something totally different. So, I took matters into my own hands and went ashopping I did and got what I wanted.

To cut a long story short, the mutton korma dahiwallah was duly cooked and was much appreciated by both Manjiree and Ranjan who polished the dish off much to my delight. I was quite pleased with myself because I did not have Ranjan to taste while the cooking was going on as I normally ask him to when I cook meat or fowl dishes. So, I just cooked the dish up without tasting at all and that it came out well was very satisfying.

What has this got to do with creativity which is the heading for this post? I remembered reading about creativity in Roman Krznaric’s The Wonderbox, and I went for the exact quotation to use in this post and finally found it in an interview that he had given. “Rather than originality, I think creativity is more about self-expression. Cooking can be creative in this sense – it’s not about inventing some amazing unknown dish, but just putting something of yourself into it, even if it’s simply adding some extra topping to a frozen pizza so it resembles a Jackson Pollock painting.” I flatter myself that the finished product looked much better than a Jackson Pollock painting.  And that it tasted better than its looks would have suggested was icing on the cake!

And a Jackson Pollock painting?

Posted in Family, Food | Tagged , | 22 Comments


Mike had this to say on his Facebook wall: “Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.”

I responded: And to prove that, try this for size – “In a world of fugitives, the person taking the opposite direction will appear to run away.” -T.S. Eliot.

Let me share a story!

Mulla Nasrudin was having frequent episodes of anxiety attacks and suffered hypertension as a result.

“The reports are fine,” the doctor said, “you should probably see a psychiatrist.”


“Yes. Maybe you have a business or a family problem that’s causing these panic attacks. Just a few weeks ago, I had a similar case. The patient was worried about a $20,000 loan and had a nervous breakdown.”

“How did you cure him?” Mulla asked.

“I told him to declare bankruptcy and that life was too short to be wasted over a loan,” the doctor said. “He’s enjoying perfect health now and has completely stopped worrying.”

“I know,” Mulla said. “He has not only stopped worrying, he has also stopped picking up his phone. I’m the man to who he owes the $20,000.”

Posted in Facebook, Humor | Tagged | 10 Comments

Dead End Street.

This topic has been suggested by Maxi for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently six of us write on the same topic every Friday.  I hope that you enjoy my contribution to that effort.  The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaMaxi, and Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

I was born in a city the called the ‘Windy City’
And they call it the ‘Windy City’ because of the ‘Hawk’. All mighty Hawk
Talking about Mr. Wind kind of mean around winter time
I happen to live on a street that was a dead-end street
There was nothing to block or buffer the wind, the elements
Keep them from knocking my pad down, Jim I mean really socking it to me
And the boiler would bust and the heat was gone
I would have to get fully dressed before I could go the bed
Put everything on but my goulashes cause they had buckles on them
And my folks didn’t play that said don’t you be getting up in there with
Buckles on them goulashes and tear up my bed clothes but I was fortunate
As soon as I was big enough to get a job save me enough money to buy me a ticket I split
I got myself together now so I’m going back there to see about it see if it’s still the same
I just wanted to tell you about it, you know it’s all right

They say this is a big rich town I live in the poorest part
I was raised on a dead-end street in a city without a heart
I learned to fight before I was six only way I could get along
But when you’re raised on a dead-end street you have to be tough and strong
Now all the guys are always getting in trouble that the way it’s always been
But when the odds are all against you how can you win
I’m gonna push my way out of here ever thou I can’t say when
But I’m gonna get off of this dead-end street and I ain’t never gonna coma back again
I’m gonna push my way out of here ever thou I can’t say when
But I’m gonna get off of this dead-end street
And I ain’t never gonna come back to live here again
Never, No I ain’t gonna come back here to live on this dead-end street no more
Cause I’m gonna get me a job, I’m gonna save my dough
Get away from here you-all, I ain’t gonna come back no more
Not ever, dead-end street
I tired of breaking my back gonna start using my mind
Tired of working all of the time
I say there’s trouble down there
I say there’s trouble down there
I say there’s trouble down there yeah
Down off a dead-end street
Down off a dead-end street


Posted in Blogging, Music | Tagged | 21 Comments


Last week I observed my friend Ramesh wearing a very nice T-shirt and asked him where he had bought it from. He answered that he had bought a few of them at an airport shop and that the same brand Karlsburg is available in many Indian airport shops.

I searched the net for the brand and found that the T-shirts are available online from the owner of the brand in Chennai and I ordered for three pieces in striped designs.
Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 5.10.22 PMHaving worn them on receipt I wanted to buy some more in plain shades.
Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 5.12.02 PMI wrote to their email address asking if they had any and a remarkable exchange of mails took place pointing out that good customer service still exists. I ordered for some plain T-shirts as well and I am delighted with their quality and service.

So, when I wanted to buy some regular shirts, for me as well as for someone to whom I wish to send one as a birthday gift, I rang up their customer service person for more details than what was available on their website and I was once again impressed with the response and speed with which it was given. Having been associated with the textile and garment businesses all my life, I enquired from the Customer Service Person as to who owns the company and was pleasantly surprised to hear the Managing Director’s name, Ranjit Jacob which rang a bell. On searching the net for that name, I found that there were hundreds with the same name and not one of them fitted the profile that I had in mind. When the Representative rang me back with some information that I had asked for he informed me that the owner was in the office and whether I would like to speak to him. I decided to talk to him and find out if he is the same person that I knew and lo and behold it indeed was and the two of us reestablished contact after forty years! We had known each other when we were together all those years ago in Kerala and today after having parted company four decades ago, we are back in touch with each other! I have promised to get in touch with him when I next go to Chennai and I am really looking forward to it.

And that story brings me to something that I strongly believe in.

India teaches us about The Four Laws of Spirituality.

The First Principle states: Whomsoever you encounter is the right one.

This means that no one comes into our life by chance. Everyone who is around us, anyone with whom we interact, represents something, whether to teach us something or to help improve a current situation.

The Second Principle states: Nothing, absolutely nothing of that which we experienced could have been any other way.

Not even in the least important detail. There is no “If only I had done that differently…, then it would have been different…” No. What happened is the only thing that could have taken place and must have taken place for us to learn our lesson in order to move forward. Every single situation in life, which we encounter is absolutely perfect, even when it defies our understanding and our ego.

The Third Principle states: Everything begins at exactly the right moment, neither earlier nor later.

When we are ready for it, for that something new in our life, it is there, ready to begin.

This is the Fourth Principle, the final one: When it is over, it is over.

It is that simple. When something in our life ends, it helps our evolution. That is why, enriched by the recent experience, it is better to let go and move on.

Well, the new beginning of a relationship lost for all these decades has just made a start and the fourth principle can wait.  In the meanwhile, I look forward to meeting Ranjit again by November or so when I should be going  to Chennai again.

Posted in Customer Service, Friendship, Gratitude, Spiritualism | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Finding Fanny.


As I had indicated in my post on A Walk Among The Tombstones, Ramesh and I went to see another film earlier this evening. A joint Hollywood and Bollywood production with an all Indian cast directed by a very young and promising Indian, the film has received rave reviews and I was pleased to find that all the raving is justified.

The cast, a blend of the old and new, the locale – the very picturesque Goa, a good story line, superb direction and editing made for a heady combination. The surprise package was Dimple Kapadia on who I had a crush some decades ago, in a remarkable role as a matronly busybody. The very young a bubbly pair of Deepika Padukone and Arjun Kapoor give excellent counterpoint to the seasoned Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Kapoor. Anjali Patil in almost a cameo appearance does credit and offers promise for the future.

The movie has been shot in Hindi as well as English and if you are interested to see some scenes from Goa, a slightly wacky but still serious romantic film, I strongly recommend this picture for which I have no hesitation in giving a full .

Posted in Blogging, Movies | Tagged , , | 8 Comments


Commenting on my post A spark of inspiration, Cheerful Monk had this to say:

“I like it better deflated.” I agreed with her observation, but it got me to wonder!

I wonder if she had something like this in mind!


Posted in Blogging, Humor | Tagged | 9 Comments

A Walk Among The Tombstones.


It is strange that there was never a trailer in any of the recent films that I saw in theaters about the release of this film.  So, when I saw the advertisements for it in the newspapers the only thing that attracted to me was the fact that Liam Neeson was acting in it.  I have been a fan of his since his Schindler’s List hit Indian theaters.

My friend Ramesh and I have a pact;  we must see at least one film a week together followed by a snack or a meal and we have been able to keep that going for quite some time now. So, I rang him up and suggested that we see this together yesterday and we duly did that.  We also fulfilled the second part of the pact by having some very nice snacks and tea at the food court in the mall where the theater is located.  I was also able to do some long overdue shopping at the mall.  All in all a good afternoon’s outing in good company.

This week promises to be more interesting as we both have not seen a highly rated Hindi film and it is likely that we will go to it before the week is over.  If it is of some relevance to my regular readers, I shall review that too after seeing it.  In the meanwhile, here goes my review of A Walk Among The Tombstones.

Unlike most films, this films does not depend on any female actress for any contribution other than as some background information. That makes it very unusual. It also unapologetically brings in the Twelve Step Program of the Alcoholics Anonymous as part of the background but that fits in perfectly with the story and the characters using that in the storyline.

It is a powerful story told simply and the violence is not over board like many new detective stories now a days tend to be.  Characters develop nicely and the director ensures that the actors deliver credible performances.  And my favourite actor delivers a memorable performance.  I give the film .  Having thoroughly enjoyed the film I am contemplating getting the book to read too!


Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

The Best Career Advice Ever.


A Guy Asked Mike Rowe For Career Advice. The Response He Got Is Something Everyone can learn from.

Mike Rowe is best known as host of The Discovery Channel’s ‘Dirty Jobs’. The TV personality is hugely popular and gets a ton of fan mail, but one particular letter really caught his attention: a young fan had written to him in search of career advice. Rowe’s response was brilliant – when you read it, you’ll see why.

Hey Mike!

I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out the right career for myself and I still can’t figure out what to do. I have always been a hands on kind of guy and a go-getter. I could never be an office worker. I need change, excitement, and adventure in my life, but where the pay is
steady. I grew up in construction and my first job was a restoration project. I love everything outdoors. I play music for extra money. I like trying pretty much everything, but get bored very easily. I want a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel. I figure if anyone knows jobs its you so I was
wondering your thoughts on this if you ever get the time!

Thank you!– Parker Hall.

Here’s Rowe’s brilliant reply:

Hi Parker,

My first thought is that you should learn to weld and move to North Dakota. The opportunities are enormous, and as a “hands-on go-getter,” you’re qualified for the work. But after reading your post a second time, it occurs to me that your qualifications are not the reason you can’t find the career you want.

I had drinks last night with a woman I know. Let’s call her Claire. Claire just turned 42. She’s cute, smart, and successful. She’s frustrated though, because she can’t find a man. I listened all evening about how difficult her search has been. About how all the “good ones”
were taken. About how her other friends had found their soul-mates, and how it wasn’t fair that she had not.

“Look at me,” she said. “I take care of myself. I’ve put myself out there. Why is this so hard?” “How about that guy at the end of the bar,” I said. “He keeps looking at you.” “Not my type.”“Really? How do you know?”“I just know.”“Have you tried a dating site?” I asked. “Are you kidding? I would never date someone I met online!”  “Alright. How about a change of scene? Your company has offices all over – maybe try living in another city?” “What? Leave San Francisco? Never!” “How about the other side of town? You know, mix it up a little. Visit different places. New museums, new bars, new theaters…? ”She looked
at me like I had two heads. “Why the hell would I do that?”

Here’s the thing, Parker. Claire doesn’t really want a man. She wants the “right” man. She wants a soul-mate. Specifically, a soul-mate from her zip code. She assembled this guy in her mind years ago, and now, dammit, she’s tired of waiting!!

I didn’t tell her this, because Claire has the capacity for sudden violence. But it’s true. She complains about being alone, even though her rules have more or less guaranteed she’ll stay that way. She has built a wall between herself and her goal. A wall made of conditions and expectations. Is it possible that you’ve built a similar wall?

Consider your own words. You don’t want a career – you want the “right” career. You need
“excitement” and “adventure,” but not at the expense of stability. You want lots of “change” and the “freedom to travel,” but you need the certainty of “steady pay.” You talk about being “easily bored” as though boredom is out of your control. It isn’t. Boredom is a choice. Like tardiness. Or interrupting. It’s one thing to “love the outdoors,” but you take it a step further. You vow to “never” take an office job. You talk about the needs of your family, even though that family doesn’t exist. And finally, you say the career you describe must “always” make you “happy.”

These are my thoughts. You may choose to ignore them and I wouldn’t blame you
– especially after being compared to a 42 year old woman who can’t find love. But since you asked…

Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what
you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a
job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.

Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you’re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you.Good luck –


Posted in People, Philosophy, Self Improvement, Values, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments