I had read about the gallant evacuation of around 330,000 British and French troops from Dunkirk during WWII and was quite keen to see it. When my retired soldier friend also expressed a desire, off we went earlier this afternoon to watch this great production.

Frankly, this film disappointed me as I expected more human drama. The story line and the direction would appear to skip that and concentrate on the drama of the event. I am not technically savvy about the filming involve, but I doubt very much that this film could have been made around the time when other great movies like D Day, The Great Escape and The Bridge On The River Kwai. We simply did not have the technology I think. Perhaps remakes will come not before too long.

It was nostalgia all the way for both of us, me for being a WWII history buff and my friend for his own war experiences.

The greatest plus point in the film is that it is just of an hour and forty minutes running time!

If you are interested in a bit of WWII history and modern grand scale movie making technology, this is a picture worth spending some time on.

Posted in Friendship, Movies | 4 Comments

Lipstick Under My Burkha.

Another woman centric film, Lipstick Under My Burkha  is worth every minute of watching time.

I personally could not find anything that needed such drastic action by our censors where thankfully common sense seems to have eventually prevailed and the film certified for release. And I love the advertising poster giving the finger to the censor as it were!

It is a story about four women under stifling conditions living as neighbours in Bhopal. There is no fairy tale or tragic ending to it and that is part of the beauty of the film. It is rare to see such an ending.

That the story revolves around four disparate and desperate women two of whom are Hindus and the other two Muslims, has nothing to do with the reality of the situations so vividly shown.

Bhopal where the action takes place has always held a special place in my heart for its cuisine, and quaint language.  The last I visited it was in 1986 and I was stunned at the difference that time has brought about to that sleepy town of my memories!

Superb acting and great direction makes for a very interesting viewing experience. The absence of too many song and dance routines so common with Indian films, made it all the more a worthwhile experience.

All in all, a wonderful film worth a five star rating and one that I recommend to all my readers.

Posted in Movies, Nostalgia | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Real Age.

I received a suggestion from a friend that I take this quiz.

I took it and found it amusing as it gave my age as 30.

I passed it on to some friends and one particular exchange between me and a much younger friend is reproduced below.

MG: How could one know how to act their age, if they have never been that age before?

Me: You are a rare specimen. I always get age much lower than my current one in such quizzes.

Posted in Humor, WhatsApp | Tagged | 7 Comments


Yesterday was the birthday of a dear friend and ex colleague.

I mixed up the dates and did not wish him a happy birthday.

I realised the mistake this morning and sent him a note of apology via WhatsApp blaming age as the culprit for the oversight.

He responded with a message that saved the day for me.

“Never Mind. It is my birthday today. I am in the USA.”

Thank you Time Difference.

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Learning Never Stops.

As my readers know, I spend a lot of time solving crossword puzzles. In the process, I learn a number of new words and phrases.

This one however is such a simple one but something that I had to wait for the next day to learn about that I wish to share with you.

The clue was “Intense exploitation of court shoes.”

I worked around the word to try and find but failed to complete it. I stopped at TENNI-S and gave up till the next day.

The word turned out to be TENNIES. I had never heard of or this word before and to verify went to the dictionary online to find this! Slang for tennis shoes.

Had you heard of this word in this context before?

Posted in Language, Self Improvement | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Memory Trigger 18. Lullabies.

Cheerful Monk has this funny cartoon up in her post. Please click on the image for a larger resolution.

This cartoon reminded me of two ancient stories which are family lore.

When our son Ranjan was an infant we would leave with him with his grand parents and go out for dinner or whatever. On return we would often find that his grand father would have laid him on his chest and while the former would  be fast asleep, Ranjan would be wide awake and smiling at us. We would then gather that his grandfather would have sung Baba Baba black sheep while patting him on the back to put Ranjan to sleep, but would fall asleep himself before Ranjan would.

My late wife would sing a Hyderabadi lori  (lullaby) in Hindi to try and put him to sleep.

सोजा राजा सोजा, लाल पलंग पे सोजा,
ऊपर पुनका चलता है नीचे बाबा सोता है.

The translated English version going like this:

Go to sleep Raja, go to sleep, On the red bed, go to sleep
The fan is running above, Baba is sleeping below.

After a few moments of this, the second line would become,

ऊपर बाबा सोता है, नीचे पंका चलता है,

Baba is sleeping above, The fan is running below.

And like at the grandparents’ place, the Baba would be wide awake and the mother would drop off to sleep.

Posted in Blogging, Family, Humor, Nostalgia | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Blue Collar Vs White Collar.

It has not yet come to Vs in India. It is still peaceful coexistence, albeit with a subtext of unease.

The Blue Collar population striving hard to get its children move up the social and economic ladder by sending them to good schools/colleges etc and to a large extent succeeding. On the other hand, what I would call a Green Collar population, predominantly rural and agriculture oriented, strives hard to send part of its numbers into cities into Blue Collar occupations and succeeding at that too.

That leaves us with the White Collar which aspires to just keep up with the better off neighbours! In other words, wealth.

There is however a new category called Knowledge Workers which mostly does not wear collars at all and is totally outside the ambit of fashion. This category is the latest kid on the block and has created quite a stir in some of our cities like Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad where our Information Technology companies tend to concentrate.

All three are interdependent and feed off each other quite peacefully.  And Hambone explains the economic reality beautifully in this cartoon.


There is however the looming danger of automation which will increasingly affect all three categories. Beyond that, the scenario is even more startling as depicted so starkly by Yuval Noah Harari in his amazing book Homo Deus. From where we stand, he says, in the accelerating present, no long-term future is imaginable, still less predictable – and there is plenty of time for questions. In that book he suggests a future for human beings that will be more like the Gods of yore than humans of now! I leave my readers to either read the book or research on their own.

Shackman has suggested this week’s LBC topic. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

Posted in Blogging, Books / Reading, India, Sociology | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments

Wow! What A Discovery!

I must have seen it any number of times during my many stays and visits to Mumbai. I never gave it a second thought, taking it for granted as being part of the landscape. Gilbert Hill is easily a remarkable piece of our history that needs to be shared with the rest of the world and more importantly, all my friends from Mumbai.

Posted in History, India | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Another Case Of Doppelgängers!

This morning’s Pune Times had a news item with a photograph of a very well known producer of movies and I couldn’t resist thinking that he looked so much like a movie star. Unfortunately, the link does not show the actual photograph that appeared on the print version. The print version had this photograph.

A stock photograph of the gent, Sanjay Leela Bhansali is here:

The doppelgänger is the famous actor Irrfan Khan. His stock photograph is here”

I wonder if Bollywood has noticed the amazing likeness!

Posted in Movies, People | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments


It has been raining almost non-stop since last Thursday and I ventured out of the house yesterday for a drive and some South Indian snack food in town. Between the car and the entrance to the restaurant, I got wet as did my friend in whose car I had gone as well as his driver who joined us after parking the car.

Look at this rain dance on one of our main roads!  Please click on the image for a larger resolution.
It is my favourite season, and I am thoroughly enjoying watching the rain fall while I have my morning tea in our veranda. Every leaf seems to be cheering the rain, or is it my imagination? There are intrepid souls jogging or walking in the rain without umbrellas and others who do so with umbrellas. Joggers with umbrellas appear comic though not the walkers.

Chutki after her walks in the mornings and evenings needs a rub down which she thoroughly enjoys.

All in all, a good time to enjoy.

Posted in Gratitude, India, People, Pets | Tagged | 20 Comments