Quick fixes

It is easy to get rattled when your beliefs are constantly ridiculed by your ‘supposed’ support system. It is also easy to let your ego get in the way of your goodness and good sense. Easy way out, step back before stepping in. Take a deep breath and take it easy. Here are my quick fixes, banal though some may be but they always perk me up.

A Hug, a kiss, a snuggle: 

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Am blessed to have a grandfather who still cares and understands. His wisdom and grace humble me and make me look beyond my small universe to the vastness of endless possibilities.

Walk in the Park or Jog around the neighbourhood: 

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There is nothing like the breeze gently blowing your face, the earthy smell of leaves on wet  ground and the sight of tall, majestic trees that have probably been around much before I did. Nature clears the mind, cleans the heart and soothes the soul. Breathe in.LIVE.

And you would surprised by the hidden treasures your by now familiar neighbourhood still has. I was for sure. I found quaint temples, a tea shop that sells cheaper eggs and a couple of adorable beagles 😉

Watch a movie

Now I don’t know about you but when I’m lost I don’t want to watch a maudlin tear jerker or a preachy ‘all will be well’ sorta movie. What I would like is a movie that takes me away to Smiley land and give me a fresh perspective to boot. Here are a few of my all time favorites

Arsenic and Old Lace: One of Cary Grant’s hidden gems where a gaggle of cooky aunts, a wicked step brother and his own eccentricities keep you in splits all through the movie.

Golmaal : Stellar casting of Amol Palekar, Utpal Dutt, Bindiya Goswami and Deena Pathak transport you to age of innocence where a moustache can determine your identity as opposed to the biometrics these days 😉

Chupke Chupke: Again this was a casting coup if ever there was one. Imagine having Amitabh Bachan, Dharmendra, Asrani, Jaya Bahaduri, Sharmila Tagore, Kestu Mukerjee and the sweetest Om Prakash together in a frame. This divine comedy is sure to tickle your laugh tracks and make you look around for doppelgangers ‘coz all of us have that annoying know-it-all brother-in-law or that sweet Bhabhi or that handsome prof.

Khatta Meeta: Ashok Kumar and Pearl Padamsee rock this movie and the rest of the crew provide a good canvass for these two central figures to shine as they unite to bring together warring sons and daughters together. While Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal 3 tried bringing this theme back, it is no patch on the original.

Padosan: Ek Chatur Naar badiya hoshiyaar sings a bucktooth, pony tailed Sunil Dutt while Kishore Kumar goes Ae gaare, arre jaare to poor Mehmood. If there is that one defining moment in Hindi comedy this is it.

Chasme Baddooor: Ms. Chamko. Yes, indeedy nobody can rival this classic Sai Paranjpe comedy with my all time favorites Farooque Sheikh and Deepti Naval with the rest of the gang (Rakesh Bedi, Ravi Baswani, Saed Jaffrey). Now if only life were this simple!

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen: Give me some feel good moments from the Middle East says the consummate PR played by Kirsten Scott Thomas and what her team gives her are images of bombings and more bombings. This is Brit Humor at its best.

The World’s Fastest Indian: Watch Sir Anthony Hopkins in one of his best performances as he shows humor, determination and indomitable courage to make you smile and get inspired to be better

The Sting: A stellar cast has you applauding as they try to outwit the mob.

Marley and Me: Marley, Marley, Marley

To Be or Not to Be: Mel Brooks has given a plethora of outstanding comedies including The Thirteen Chairs, Blazing Saddles, The Silent Movie, History of the World and so many others but for me To be or Not To Be captures his brilliant satire, quirkiness, slapstick comedy and wit! This is the quintessential Mel Brooks.

Seems Like Old Times: Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn and Charles Grodin take you to a place where everything falls apart but gets better all at once. Good old fashioned romance meets goofball comedy. 

See No Evil, Hear No Evil: Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor have you in splits from the opening credits itself. This is a movie that will take you out of the most downcasting moody blues you may have. Just be sure to have a wad of tissue since this epic comedy will have you clutching the sides of your stomach and crying out in howls of laughter.

The Carry On series: If you want the best of British Humor, this one’s for you. The Carry on franchisee with Sidney James, Kenneth Williams, Joan Sims, Charles Hawtrey and the rest of the gang will have you rolling up your eyes and slapping your thighs as you laugh along with the parodies, and digest their satirical wit and bawdy humor. My personal favorites: Carry on Up the Khyber, Carry on Doctor, Carry on Cruising and Carry on Nurse.

Doctor in the House: This was my introduction to Dirk Bogarde as Dr. Simon Sparrow and the irrepressible James Robertson Justice as Dr. Lancelot Spratt. Perhaps I would have been more serious as a student scholar had I seen the Doctor series much earlier, just so I could work at St. Swithin’s 😉

Second hand living

The past couple of weeks I have started living second hand.

Books and LPs i have always purchased second hand, there is a romantic streak in me that gets unleashed. I found this Larouse English-French-English dictionary (1948 print) which had a note inscribed in the 2nd sheet. This is what I remember of it… “We met at the class, and I never knew when I would teach you je ne sais quoi and j’etre conjugation we would become amis for life..” and the note went on to describe shared coffees and verb conjugations. I was hooked.

Unfortunately, I lost this copy when we moved house and than I lost several more precious copies as I moved on through life but my penchant for living second hand never wavered.

LPs I got hooked on to after jiving to a funkily weird beat and singing ‘Heh heh Bombay, I know you never goin away. I know you will stay alive till judgement day. ” I’m sure most of you haven’t heard of this kookey number but if ever you get a chance, DO. It’s Remo Fernandes at his raw best.

I haunted the streets of Avenue Road and than Fort when I stayed in Mumbai for a spell to collect LPs of Funky Town, Jagjit & Chitra Singh at Wembley and oh-so-many-more and this was even before I had me a turntable.

Movies are the latest additions to my list of living life second hand, and blissfully so.

So, all the Hindu Jagran Vedike, moral policing, rape & pillage, atrocities against women, senior citizens and humanity, ludicrous statements from NCW, politicos, so-called pillars of society had me boiling in fury. And I turned to The Accused, V for Vendetta, Irreversible, 12 Angry Men, Memento & Clockwork Orange. Enough gore there to make you puke but more importantly, enough spunk & ballsiness that we, civilised folks, lack to tackle wrong doing the way it should. Idyllic in a gorey sense, but heh!!

I don’t intend to review these flicks for you but here’s a short line on The Accused. Jodie Foster & true life story make a heady combination of ballsiness to stick it in to people who deserved to be maimed to a slow death; and another on 12 Angry Men for Henry Fonda’s courage of conviction & standing up for what is right. Only wish I could do that more often.

Jack and Sarah, The Holiday, The Thirteen Chairs, Fast Forward, Step up 3, Breakin, Flashdance, AS good as IT gets, The Terminal and It happened one night carried me unscathed through bleak weeks and dark days.  It hammered the fact that Life is always about giving yourself a second chance, even if nobody else does.

And that good ole cliches like…

–For every cloud there is a silver lining

–the hour is darkest before the dawn

–every night is followed by day

–into each life must rain fall

and so on and so forth

aren’t so much cliches at all…

Like the wise lady said everything happens for a reason in this best of all possible world my friend, so make the most of what comes your way ‘coz life is too short and ’tis so easy to forget.

Cheers, and God Bless!!

R*I*P Elizabeth Taylor

Browsing Facebook and came across this link a friend shared. My eyes popped out and I shook my head. Impossible I said.

Still in a state of shock I browsed Google News, and there rolled on 1,981 articles confirming La Grande Diva Elizabeth Taylor died at 79.

Elizabeth Taylor was not only an iconic woman but some one who represented WOMANHOOD, and its inherent strength.

Gritty not only in her reel potrayal but in real life as well. This lady to me represented what a woman can achieve if she so wills. Beauty, charisma, intelligence, wit and sheer force of character….that’s Elizabeth Taylor.

The first time these characteristics swept me was watching her play the bohemian mother in The Sandpiper.

Her kohl-lined eyes, her nude lips and jet black hair. Sensuous and seductive…the quintessential Taylor look but what keeps you mesmerised is her character. A free-spirited woman who believes in living life on her own principles with a i-give-a-damn attitude towards societal norms and mores. A mother who believes in her child and his right to innocence and childhood, strong and protective yet playful as a child herself.

Her chemistry with Richard Burton is touching yet sizzling.

Butterfield 8, yet another movie where Elizabeth Taylor plays an unconventional woman who lives life on her own terms.

In all her movies, Ms Taylor has never shied away from her sensuality and unlike the present day starlets in movies (whether Bollywood or Hollywood) her brand of sensuality was a beacon to bring home her man and not a neon signal to drive him away. She was smoldering and STRONG in her character. You always managed to sympathise and empathise with her condition. You saw her as an underdog fighting to get her own back against a society that gave her nothing.

Ah, Ms Taylor how did you manage this? Play on our emotions and root for you.

A child star, Ms Taylor’s star qualities even shone through as she essayed roles in Life With Father, Father of The Bride, Little Women, Date With Judy and her first – Lassie Came Home.

A MGM A-lister Elizabeth Taylor brought life back to the classics, especially as she became CLEOPATRA. Sigh, those eyes…..

Perhaps, it was the Eyes after all. And In Ms Taylor’s eyes you truly got a glimpse of her soul.

 


R*I*P Ms Taylor, May you stay in our memories forever…………….