Monday, February 25, 2008

Salespersons Beware

And why it is entertaining and exasperating in equal measures to go shopping with my husband.

- Buying a Sofa a few years back:

I want to buy the first decent looking set I see; but oh, no, not he. He wants to research. And debate. And an important criterion for him - when I'm travelling, he needs to be able to sleep on it. And it must not 'sweat'.

Glib salesperson: How about THIS one, sir?
Vijay: Hmmm. Does it sweat?
Glib salesperson, losing some glibness: Sorry, sir?
Vijay: Does it sweat, sweat? Will I be able to sleep on it without getting all hot and sweaty?
Glib enlightened salesperson: Oh yes, of course. No, no. It doesn't sweat at all, sir.
Vijay: Hmmm (Sneakily puts his hand on the sofa and keeps it there)
Glib salesperson: It's one of our most popular models. Very high demand.
Vijay: Hmm. What material?
Glib salesperson: Blah blah blah.
Vijay: Where is it made?
Glib salesperson: Blah blah blah.
Vijay: How much will it cost?
Glib salesperson: Blah blah blah.

After a few minutes of this, just as Glib salesperson thinks he has sealed the deal, Vijay attacks.

Vijay: YOU said it would not sweat. But I've kept my hand on it for the last 5 minutes and it's sweating. SEE?

Glib salesperson recoils at sweaty hand and the thought that the expensive sofa has now got this tall gentleman's permanent imprint on it. We leave shortly without the sofa, my cheeks red.

More recently, buying a playpen for Peanut

Vijay: How much is THIS one?
Casual salesperson: This one, sir, is very cheap. 70% discount.
Vijay: 70%??
Casual salesperson: Yes, sir. Last piece left. Little tear on the side, but otherwise, very good condition.
Vijay (examining the playpen, muttering thoughtfully): 70%...
Casual salesperson: Yes, sir.
Vijay (attacks suddenly in an accusing tone): But your signs outside say discounts upto 50%...
Mystified salesperson: Yes...?
Vijay: And this is 70%.
Unsure salesperson: Yes...
Vijay: WHY don't your signs say upto 70%?
Flabbergasted salesperson:'s the only piece sir...if it goes, and customer asks 'where is 70%'...then sir...problem, sir.
Vijay (satisfied) Hmmm. Achha ji. Theek hai.

I am standing on the side, mouth slightly open, wondering how he's just got a guy to feel guilty about having a great discount offer. We buy the playpen, but leave the salesperson re-evaluating his career options.

And finally, buying a suitcase yesterday:

Enthu trainee salesboy: And THIS suitcase is very good, sir. This colour also very good. Suede matrial to bahut hi achha rehta hai, sir.
Vijay: Hmmm... par yeh jaldi ganda ho jayega, lagta hai...
Enthu trainee: Nahin, sir! Par yeh aisa matrial hai ....suede matrial jitna ganda hota hai, aur bhi achha dikhta hai, sir. Sachh mein!
Me: Yes...but do you have this same thing in black?
Enthu trainee: Yes, ma'am...but THIS colour is very popular....25 pieces of this I have sold...
Me: Yes, but I want black because I think this light brown will get dirty fast.
Enthu trainee: Nahin ma'am...I'm telling you...jitna ganda hoyega, utna achha lagega...
Vijay (tired of this argument, asks politely) Phir tum issko aur ganda karke kyon nahin bechte?

Enthu trainee is deflated. We buy the suitcase, but I think he is probably still working on his comeback.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Old Pictures

Mom finally scanned some and sent them across. Walk down memory lane with me for a bit.

Me with my brother. He looks real innocent but I bet he was going to push me off the swing...nahh....
We lowed each other as kids...see?

Here's me posing.

Sigh. Here's me posing again, a few years later.
And here's me with my Merc. Just call me Y Bond. Can you tell I was a bit of a poser?

But here's a spontaneous one - and I think it captures just about the happiest moment of my life.

Oh, but my favourites are these with my sister. I am so glad she came along - childhood became a lot more interesting with her around.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

5 Years Today! Holy Cow!

It is our marriage anniversary today. 5 years. This is some landmark na? It's not quite golden or silver...but maybe bronze? Copper? Something? Help me out here!

Anyway, it may not be commemorated by any precious metal but what the hell! I believe that 5 years is a long time. So much has changed - and yet, much remains the same. Actually, that sentence is completely meaningless but I've always wanted to use it.

Wow! I am rambling on and on, aren't I? I have no idea what to write. I can't say anything very gushy or romantic as this is a public space. And neither am I able to be my usual flippant self about this.

I guess I will just balance it...

...By saying that I am lucky enough to be married to the most amazing and wonderful and unselfish man in the whole world...

...And to counter that mushy sentence, I will now narrate last night's conversation...

Exhausted Vijay puts Peanut to sleep and falls into bed next to Y.

Y: Honey, have you brushed?

V: (wearily, stifling a groan) Yes, I have.

Y (suspicious because she knows he hates brushing at night and has to be reminded daily): Really?

V: (indignantly) Of course

Y: (snuggling up, not really wanting him to get up) Okay, promise?

V: (closing his eyes, sighing) I promise.

Y: (knows him too well) Promise you have brushed?

V: (without missing a beat, gaining confidence) Promise!

Y: (all the suspicions returning) Promise you brushed today?

V: (thinks a bit) Promise!

Y: Promise you brushed at night?

V: (pauses to consider this one) Promise!

Y: Promise you brushed TOnight?

V: ( Inaudible guilt-ridden mumble, pretends to drift off to sleep)

...both break into giggles and actually do go to sleep ...until Peanut cries 30 minutes later, to be lifted out of her bassinet and placed between us for the rest of the night. And that pretty much sums us up.

Yes, sir, 5 years is a loooong time. Everything changes. Everything changes but you! Hey, remember that song? ( I will not gab on about how cute my then boyfriend Robbie Williams looked in that song's video way back in 1998 or something, as talking about my past always irritates Vijay). Instead, I dive into a poem that I will make up as I go along:

You say po-tay-to, I say po-ta-to,
Actually, you say alu-gobi and I say Chicken Pesto,
Coz you're vegetarian, and let's just say I'm NOT,
And you always feel cold, when I'm feeling hot,
I'm of average height, you're over six feet tall,
You're skinny as a stick, I'm round as a ball,
That reminds me, Cricket is your favourite game,
And I can't stand it, I think it's just so lame,
You like old Hindi movies, I prefer Hollywood,
You could say that we're Mr Desi and Mrs Pseud,
Because you like the Great Indian Laughter Challenge,
Which I think is for the Mentally Challenged,
And when you catch me watching the OC on the sly,
You roll your eyes heavenward and ask Why, God, Why?
You take your time shopping, and I'm like In-and-OUT,
You sulk quietly when upset, while I not-so-quietly shout,
WHERE is the common ground, I ask, HOW will we survive?
Well, we've done pretty good these first five years, so bring on the next five!

And with that cheesy, badly metered excuse for a poem, I end this post. Happy Anniversary, honey!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Some pictures from the Dahli

The lovely mango tree in Mum's new garden. Ain't it a beaut?

Another lovely tree below- I think it is a neem tree - it's looking this way because apparently it had some problem and had to be pruned, and will now re-leaf and re-flower. Much like the Mundan people keep telling me to get done for Peanut, although I have no intention of balding my baby. Anyway, I quite like the way this tree looks even now, it casts some interesting shadows in the garden, as in the previous picture, if you noticed.

Peanut catching some sun in the new garden.

Peanut getting gifts and playing with the wrapping paper, as usual.

Peanut and Papa (my 92 year old grandpa) doing some bonding.

Yeah. It was a good trip. No, a great trip. Must do it again soon.

This is the only way to do this...

Just read Sue's post where she scribbles from Madras - and decided that 'Notes' is the only way to summarize my Delhi trip (else I will just put it off until I forget):

1. Was Very Nice Weather. Cold but not too cold. Perfect for snuggling up with your baby. Especially if your baby curls right up into the C-shape formed by your arms, front and thighs when you sleep on your side.

2. Mum has moved into a new house. Is beautiful, ground floor and with a garden that has lovely trees, especially one mango tree which I wanted to climb immediately but didn't. Mum is doing it up very nicely, is a lot of work. More power to you, Mom! Don't ask me what that means, I don't really know, but it's a good thing.

3. There is a whole lot of junk that needs to be cleaned up. I did my bit by sorting out my old clothes from ten years ago, there is a huge pile that will make some poor young girls very happy, if somewhat out of date. I also undid all my helpfulness in my mothers eyes, by taking the initiative to sort out HER old clothes - made a huge give away pile but it turns out she wanted them all, for some reason. Sigh. No one appreciates initiative. Initiative ka to zamaane hi nahin raha.

4. My brother and sis-in-law were in town and met Peanut. They were quite the doting Maama and Maami, and had bought her a huge pile of board and touchy-feely books, and even one talking Nursery Rhymes book - I particularly love 'Meg and Mog' and 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' and 'Where's Spot?'. They are a lot of fun. Oh, must remember to share them with Peanut. By the way, Meg and Mog has a poem which the witches chant to cast a spell

'Frog in a Bog
Bat in a Hat
Snap Crackle Pop
And Fancy That!'

Isn't that lovely? I can't stop reciting it, once I start. It may even replace the Wombat stew poem for me! Well, that's pushing it, but still.

5. Peanut's Maama and Maami played with her a lot, and even danced with her to songs from Om Shaanti Om and Saawariya. That Deewangi song is nice. I must watch OSO. I am hopelessly behind the times, aren't I? Never mind. My brother and sis-in-law were quite sad to see us go, and there were talks of hiding Peanut and smuggling her away in their suitcases. All talk and no action, that's them.

6. We decided to watch a movie one evening at home, but couldn't decide at all - spent half an hour arguing until someone said 'Sholay'. Watched only the first half hour but kept singing the movie's praises and enjoyed the whole 'Wah, wah' session thoroughly. That is one classy movie! This is a public apology to my husband, whose attempts to watch it recently I have been thwarting, saying 'Not again'. You can never watch that movie too many times, I think. It was great, except that my brother kept saying all the important dialogues 5 seconds before and after the actor on screen said them.

7. I met just about everybody in my family in Delhi, which was really nice - all four grandparents, bua, masi, cousin, siblings... A few friends kept popping in here and there, too, which was also nice - but this trip was really about the family. Peanut took to everybody very happily and has suddenly become very social. Is stranger anxiety only supposed to last a week? Oh well, it's good, I guess.

Am so glad I did this trip. After an afternoon spent basking in the sun while eating oranges in the park, and chatting with my 92 year old Dadaji, I had a feeling that if this were my last week alive, I wouldn't have spent it any differently. Slightly morbid thought but an interesting perspective. Especially since I don't think I've ever been able to say that before. Pity we can't just live like that all the time. Or can we? I don't know.

I will not ruin this post and my mood by writing about the flight back over here. And how are all of YOU?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Yet Another Reason I Find Cricket Annoying...

The commentary is just so long-winded and boring.

As pointed out by my sister today, as we were in the car, dashing to the airport:

''The commentator just said...'They have had a quick drink....which indicates...that the sun...while it is setting...the intensity and heat....are not significantly lower....than they were...earlier in the afternoon!'


Good point, sis. Good point.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Girl in Seat 4B

As it often happens when you don't get time to post, many posts have piled up in my head again. And this after a few days when I had really nothing to blog about. Ain't that always the way. Bah! Anyway, will write more about the rest of the trip later.

So anyway, a couple of days back I took a flight with the K and Peanut to come to Delhi for this flying visit, needing to sort a few things out and meet some people before I start work. I thought I was a relatively seasoned travelling new mother, having done this many times (once) before. Therefore, I actually purchased a ticket for Peanut as well.

Vijay, of course, was kind enough to bung us off at the airport and hand me over some signed upgrade vouchers, which we actually managed to convert into business class seats.Peanut, the K and I were going to travel in style! Vijay also kept calling every two minutes to check where we were, until I asked him not to, assuring him that we would be fine.

The check in process was reasonably smooth and uneventful, except for the fact that the K's purse was turned inside out at security because they got a glimpse of something through the X-Ray. The security personnel and I kept asking her whether she had any sharp objects or liquids and she replied most sincerely 'Mere bag me kooch nahin hai...kooch nahin!'. I tried my best to eliminate items one by one...


'Kooch nahin!'...


'Koonch nahin!'


Kooch nahin!'

And so it went while they searched and searched. Eventually it turned out that she was carrying a blade - yes, a BLADE - to cut her nails ( Mere ko kya pata?...Mere ko Kooch nahin pata!...) and we were all released to proceed, minus one blade.

We took our seats and I found myself next to a very hep young girl, who looked to be around a couple of years younger than me - tall, lean, wearing some clothes I couldn't quite understand, and with a mass of tight black curls tumbling from around the huge sunglasses perched on her head. She offered a wry 'Cute kid' towards Peanut and went back to messaging on her fancy cellphone. My heart sank as I figured this would be the last person on the plane to offer any sympathy if Peanut did what all babies do - cry.

And now, suddenly, I actually began to feel a bit guilty about the prospect of ruining the flight for all the people around me. The thought crossed my mind that it would have been better to stay in Economy - but that was quite an irrational thought and I quashed it by telling myself that if I extended that logic, I should have travelled by train...or bus...or bullock cart. And so the business class people would just have to steel themselves and wait for that special infant-free first class section to be introduced on planes.

Peanut, who had been looking around with great interest at everything, suddenly decided to cry. I got up to walk her up and down for a while, but eventually, take off was announced and I had to sit down with her. The moment I resumed my seat, she resumed her crying - and, of course, our flight was sixth in the queue for take-off and therefore, we would be on the ground for around twenty minutes. During that twenty minutes, according to the safety procedures, I could not get out of my seat and Peanut kept crying and crying - I think those may have been the longest twenty minutes ever. I sang, made funny sounds, checked her for potty, tried to feed her, gave her a newspaper to destroy, waved her rattle in her face frantically - but nothing worked, and her wails just got louder and louder. I avoided eye contact with the people around me, but could imagine them getting increasingly irritated.

Suddenly, there was a tinkly sound to my right and Peanut stopped crying, blinking through her tears and looking curiously at the girl in the next seat. The girl had pulled out two sets of the most beautiful, exotic keychains. One was a shiny, purple crystal type with various trinkets attached - and the other was a really classy, large, silver one, designed as a fan of a few playing cards. Peanut shoved aside my pathetic looking plastic rattle, and made a grab for the keychains. I could fully understand and sympathise. It took all my will power not to grab the keychains and pocket them myself, they were so shiny and fascinating.

Peanut was then far easier to handle from then on - because although she did still fuss a lot through the flight - whenever she got too cranky, I would wave the girl's keychains in front of her and she would stop crying and stare at them as if hypnotized. It was only a little embarassing that she then made a game out of throwing them on the floor, one by one, to watch me crouch down and pick them up - over and over and over. I kept apologizing to the girl, but she just laughed it off. She also helped by holding Peanut a couple of times while I stood up to fetch some stuff from our bags, and also occasionally made strange noises to distract her.

During the half hour that Peanut fell asleep, I sank back into my seat and tried to relax. I mentally chided myself for having thought the girl a snob, because my first impression had been 'Uh oh - Delhi girl' - before any Delhi girls who read this judge me for this, let me tell you that I am a Delhi girl too, just not a very typical one (or so I think!). But anyway, the point is, I was too quick to jump to conclusions. Just because she was dressed rather flashily and looked like a single, fashionable young woman, I had assumed that she would be irritated by kids, and had exhorted her to change her seat, taking up the offer made discreetly by an airhostess - but she had politely declined. And now, she was the one who had managed to make Peanut quiet down.

I cast her a sidelong glance to check out the book that she was deeply engrossed in. And she went up a few notches even further in my estimation when I saw the cover -this young fashion plate was quite unabashedly reading a Double Digest copy of -none other than-Tinkle.

The rest of the flight was okay, except for the fact that Peanut did her potty just as we were landing (of course!) and I had no choice but to change her immediately when we landed at the airport - on the floor of the ladies toilet (eeeyuck!) - the infrastructure for travelling parents suck. But let's not go there and concentrate on thanking the girl in the next seat.

Wherever you are - You rather strange Business class-travelling, Tinkly Key-chain-carrying, Curly-Black-Haired, Tinkle-reading Delhi girl - you were quite an angel.

I wish I had remembered to ask you where you got those keychains from, though. Sigh.

Quick Hello


Am in Delhi for a quick visit, that's why the lack of posting. I can tell you guys have been missing me, especially on Friday...(215 visitors ...but... 485 page reloads!!)

Either you're all having a tough time waiting for the weekend...OR my biggest fan (the ubiquitous Ganju) has been truly vela!

Will post soonly,

Much Lowe,


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Quote of the Week -1

The K, delighted that Peanut actually opened her mouth to take in a spoonful of mashed banana:

'Kitna Shona Baby Hai! Aise Achhe se Khaaoge to Achhe Tareeke Se Khilaane Mein Kitna Achha Logti Hai!'

Tagged Again...

By Tharini, Dipali, Parul...and since I'm going through a dry spell (and still posting every day, sheesh), I'm actually going to do this tag. And no, Rohini, I'm not taking a blog break. Yet!

"Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 key words given (family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like). Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better."

Ok, here goes:

Family: Okay, here's one on my beautiful grandma and her award-worthy SMS's.

Friend: This is a post involving one of my oldest friends, Abhi.

Yourself: I don't have too many posts on myself but I was rather amused to read my own post on ugly babies, written last year. How much becoming a mom has changed me! I sound almost like a troll to myself in this post, although I know I was just trying to be funny. But then again, last week, I was looking at Peanut's earliest pictures and said 'No way! She was never that ghastly...or was she?'. So, in short, I still think new parents (including me) overestimate the beauty of their babies. So there!

( Please, other blogging mamas, please continue to be my frands even after you read this post...imagine me beseeching you with big puppy dog eyes...say you lowe me still...)

Your Love: Well, this is hardly a romantic post but it stars my love and gives a pretty good idea of the magnetic personality he has - all revealed when he met Khalid. Oh, and more recently, this and this set of conversations.

Anything you like: Okay then, so here's something I wrote way before I had a blog, like 5 years ago. My experiences in conversing with Vichit, my driver on a work stint in Bangkok.

Happy Browsing!

I tag nobody because everyone I know either has already done this tag, or are idiots who never take up my tags!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I Have Decided... be true to the spirit of my blog - and therefore, post only when I'm feeling funny. That should put an end to the otherwise incessant whining.

So here goes...


Oh, okay, I got one:

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Yash who?
Bless you!

Hahahahahahahahaha....oh. Right. That does suck.

Chalo then, I'll be back when I have something amusing to say.

Check back again. In a year or so.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Yet Another Peanut Update

So here's the thing. Peanut has started to eat a little bit of food.


It's been a month and a half since I've been trying to feed her things, but she decided she was ready only well after crossing the six month mark.

I started by trying to feed her mashed bananas, which a lot of people including my doctor recommended. She rejected it completely, screwing her face up like it was the worst taste ever and wailing as if I were trying to poison her. I gave up that fruit pretty early on, but after a few consistent tries.

After that, it was a long journey of trying many different things to start her to eat and to get along without me for a few hours.

... boiled and mashed apples.

...boiled and mashed apples with a bit of jaggery, as suggested by Rohini.

...Nestum with expressed breast milk.

... cereal made more runny than usual, as suggested by Sue.

...boiled and mashed Lauki.

...a special homemade rice cereal, as suggested by a neighbour.

...Dal ka soup, as suggested by Cee Kay.

...using the sippy cup to feed her expressed milk, as suggested by Parul.

... expressed milk with a cup and spoon, as suggested by Sur.

...trying to feed her when she had nursed first for a bit, as suggested by Sur.

...trying to feed her when she had not nursed for a while, as suggested by Rohini.

...warming her food, as suggested by Mona.

...mashed potatoes, as suggested by Sue.

...adding a tiny bit of salt to her food, as suggested by Sue.

...a bit of good old Khichdi, as suggested by everyone.

I'm sure there was other stuff which I am now forgetting.

But two days back, when I ran out of everything, including patience to prepare anything even remotely complicated, I mashed a banana and held it hopelessly, listlessly out, under her nose.

And that's when she sniffed it suspiciously, stuck her little tongue out and tasted it and then proceeded to calmly devour the whole thing. I watched in amazement as she finished, smacked her lips and looked at me expectantly for more.

Her entire aspect was that of a person who is saying 'Now THIS is more like it, this is what I was waiting her. Why didn't you think of this earlier, Mama?'

WHATEVER! Now I know I'm going to go prematurely grey.

Anyway, so the thing is that now she seems to be a little more open to eating a few things, including Khichdi, the Homemade rice cereal, Carrots and Apple. But the Banana continues to be her favourite.

I hope to expand her repertoire but this is yet another lesson that worrying doesn't help, my baby is pretty much going to decide when she wants to progress from one thing to another, at her own pace.

Thanks a ton to you all for your suggestions. Sur and Sue have been really helpful on the phone. Mona, Parul and Cee Kay have been giving me tips on email.And Rohini was kind enough come over with Ayaan with special feeding spoons. All of you, really, and anyone whose name is escaping me at the moment due to temporary amnesia.You guys are awesome.

Soon I shall be able to go to work and leave her behind and know that she will not starve without me. Oh, Joy.

Oh, Hell.


Yes, and also, she sits now. No one told me you're supposed to make a baby sit and let her get used to it. I was watching her quite keenly all this while, waiting for her to get up on her own. I was quite interested to see whether she would think of it herself and how she would manage it.

Is there anything else I should know about her next move? Will she start crawling on her own or am I supposed to crawl in front of her so that she tries to copy me? These books are all hopelessly inadequate. Not that I'm in any hurry to have her crawl, mind you - it's quite tough managing her squirms and wiggles nowadays.

Here's a picture of her sitting and watching her father playing my guitar. Pretending to play. He knows only one tune - that Kya Zamaana tha tune from that old reincarnation movie of Anil Kapoor's - Lamhe! Well, he knows only one line from that song. And he always gets it wrong. It drives me crazy.

But she didn't seem to mind. The perfect audience.

Edited to add: As per Stuti, the hero and movie are Rishi Kapoor and Karz, respectively. I stand corrected. And NO, it was not a test.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Taare Zameen Par - I finally saw it!

Warning: Don't read this post if you haven't seen the movie and want to watch it. Although it's a bit unlikely that you haven't seen it yet! Also, if you're not interested in this movie, you may want to skip the post and come back tomorrow, or you'll get very bored. Cool? Chalo, then.

So everyone I know who has seen Taare Zameen Par absolutely loves it. I have been wanting to watch the movie for the longest time, but haven't been able to do it because of Peanut - can't take a six month old to a movie hall, can't leave her behind for so many hours yet, and the DVD isn't out yet.

But Vijay managed to get a CD with a not-so-great-but-watchable print, and so we actually sat down and watched it this morning. Phew! Glad that's out of the way because we had heard so much about it and the anticipation was killing me.

I was also most curious to see if I would cry during the movie because I have heard that most people - at least the women - or maybe the mothers in particular - are quite affected by the movie in this manner. I was therefore heartened by the fact that within the first five minutes I felt a definite lump in my throat to see poor Ishan being treated so badly. So misunderstood. That part of the film was just brilliantly done. I didn't actually cry though, though I felt my eyes beginning to well up a couple more times. Damn! It's been so long that a movie actually made me cry - because it was moving and not just plain bad -and I was quite looking forward to it. In fact - which was the last one? I can't remember! Ohh yeah, I think it was Chota Chetan - the original one when I was a kid, not the recent stupid 3D version with Urmila playing Batgirl.

But the thing with Taare Zameen Par - now, a lot of people are just going to plain disagree with me and that's quite alright - I found the overall thing quite disappointing. Part of this is because my expectations were way too high, although I tried not to let this affect me. But the truth is, I loved the movie till the time that Aamir made his highly dramatic entrance. And I thought it was just all downhill from there.

It's just that right before he jumped onto the screen in his clown costume, I was telling Vijay that the sad about this movie is that it is actually so close to the way that teachers in our schools behave - always rewarding consistency and rote and never making an attempt to understand a student's individual needs. And I was so happy to see that there weren't any songs which were randomly thrown in - each song that was sung in the background was meaningful and relevant to the scenes being shown. At this point, Aamir jumps in wiggling his bum singing 'Bum bum bole' to his students. Now don't get me wrong - it's a nice song, and that bum wiggling step is fun - I know because tried it almost immediately after the movie in the privacy of my own room - it's just that I thought it was all too sudden - and that the movie became completely predictable right after Aamir's entry. Suddenly you knew exactly what would happen, and even how it would happen - this cool, understanding, creative, super new art teacher would help Ishan and it would all be okay, etc.

Now, I know what staunch supporters of this movie would say -that the storyline is fairly well-known and predictable anyway - and it is the treatment that matters. True enough, but I just felt that the treatment in the first half of the movie was so classy, so different from all other movies, but despite the known storyline, it also left me really looking forward to what would happen next-and the second half just didn't live upto that.

I guess it was mostly that everything until that intermission point was so touching because it was so incredibly Real. And then, quite suddenly, it took on this fairy tale like quality wherein everything was being set right by Aamir and falling into place so nicely. I don't know. I guess that is commercial cinema for you, though. In Hindi movies, at least.

I also found the whole 'Art mela' and Ishan winning the first prize and being lauded by his peers, etc etc a trifle overdone and very predictable. Did you? It was a bit like Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer being suddenly loved by all the reindeer after Santa requested him to guide his sleigh. I'm hoping you know what I mean.

That's the thing, see. Why did he have to have a predictable special talent at all? I mean, why is it hard to imagine someone being average at everything? Obviously not everyone can be outstanding at everything - or maybe even at one thing. What's wrong with that? But then, when I think abouti, then it wouldn't be a movie, it would be reality - and that's not always much fun to watch, na? I mean, Rainman wouldn't have been so great if Dustin Hoffman wasn't always flabbergasting Tom Cruise with his nonchalant mathematical genius. Yeah.

But the best part of this movie is that it really makes you think. Think hard about the way that we are all set to always compete with each other - how everything is about Relative Grading, or RG-ing to use a Management Institute term. Winning competitions, first prizes, certificates, medals, badges, blah blah blah. Gah! I was taken back to my own schooling and college days, and how many of the teachers were just plain uninterested in creativity -in fact, uninterested in their jobs. A couple of years from now, we'll really need to figure this one out for Peanut's sake - and I'm not sure what we will actually do, but I know we'll do our best when that time comes.

And of course, I was only a little turned off by the rather obvious lift that the movie made from Calvin and Hobbes - when Ishan is imagining himself as 'Captain Ishan' (the equivalent of Calvin as Spaceman Spiff) trying to add 3 and 6 together and somehow concluding that the answer is 3. Why does a whole sequence like this have to be lifted with hardly any change from the original- that's a little bit more than inspiration, na? But then again, Ishan's huge grin and confident reply of 'Bindaas!' when asked how his test went, almost makes up for this rather blatant lift.

Overall, that kid who played Ishan was just brilliant throughout the movie. For him and the treatment in the first half alone, this movie was way, way above 'worth it' for me.

Man, this is why I don't do movie reviews. It's really quite pointless reviewing a movie that everyone else has already seen - and most people simple lowe. But heck, it's not really a review, it's just something that was on my mind and so I wrote it!

P.S - Vijay just came in and saw me writing this and asked me 'tum apni rai prakat kar rahe ho iss movie par? kyon itni achhi movie ke dhajjiya uda rahen ho?'. I am not doing that at all, am I?! And what is dhajjiyan udana, anyway?!
P.P.S - I think the only Hindi movies I have seen which have stayed brilliant throughout and not gone 'over the top' are Monsoon Wedding and Water. But then again, not quite fully commercial cinema, na?