Tuesday, December 22, 2009

EXHILARATING EXPERIENCE WITH AVATAR


''Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited whereas imagination embraces the world '' said Albert Einstein.

If you ask James Cameron he might just suggest you a better quote with the replacement to the word "World''. His imagination takes a leap beyond this world into the space to a self created spectacular world of Pandora in his new movie AVATAR.I saw the 3D version and I can bet that it has the best computer generated graphics till date. The digital spectacle catapults us into a different world from where we can see a giant planet and 2 moons in a clear night sky. The motion capture technology sucks you into its fantasy and creates a desire that if only James could also incorporate the sense of touch, we could experience more out of his marvelous luminous creatures in Pandora.

Get ready to live the experience through my eyes. Here is the plot:

Jake Sully an ex-marine who has lost his legs in a battle is about to have a fresh start in a moon called Pandora of a planet Polyphemus which is 4 light years away from home planet Earth. The Resource Development Department hire him as he has the genome alike that of his dead twin brother who lost his life in Pandora and promise him a set of artificial legs. They have spent millions of dollars to develop an avatar and find Jake sully a cheaper replacement than to make a new avatar of new person. Just for you to know these avatar are bodies which are grown in the lab by mixing the native people's DNA with that of human DNA. Humans can with the help of special sleeping machines [;)] virtually talk, walk and kick ass with the avatars. These are designed by the greedy humans to negotiate with the Naavis, the local indigenous tribe in order to allow them to dig out minerals which cost a bomb back on Earth.

So, Jake sully gets into the sleeping machine with the help of Professor Grace. Prof Grace is a scientist researching on the flora and fauna of Pandora, apart from that she also interacts with the natives in her very own avatar wearing sleeveless tops and shorts with colorful beads in her hair. Once into the machine, Jake virtually gets into his 10 feet tall blue avatar ready to explore the mysterious planet where humans cannot survive more than 10 minutes.

Once he gains controls of his avatar he cannot control his excitement venturing into the precarious land without any prior knowledge of do's and don’ts out there. Before he comes into contact with the Naavis he comes into contact with the ferocious beast of Pandora, he being a ex marine saves himself from it on time to find himself in another danger of the dark, a pack of dirty brown colored hungry wolves (I am presuming them to be Pandora's wolves, I don’t have James phone number to ask if he has named all the creatures).As always, the hero cannot die so soon. So the next thing...

On a top branch of a tall tree, there is a catty figure that has excellent archery skills watching his moves. It is her faith in the spiritual tree called Ewyva which prevents her to kill him before the wolves attack him and now compels her to save his life. Now you would have figured it out she is a blue beauty with a alluring body and a strong spirit whom James cant resist falling in love.

The blue beauty is Neytiri, who introduces Jake to her family who are wary of him as the troops have been exploiting their motherland for ''UNOBTAINIUM" an expensive mineral found in Pandora. The mother of Neytiri seeks guidance from Ewywa, a spiritual tree that connects the entire life on the Pandora. She comes to understand that he has pure soul and they all let him to be one among them. The adventure then begins as Neytiri gets the responsibility to train Jake to be like one of them. I was very much surprised that the naavis spoke fluent English other than a ' junglee' language.

Each scene has a character of its own. I was watching slack jawed, my eyes devouring every spectacle making its way on screen and my mind anticipating the next scene. The color and objects were unpredictable except the story which was weaving into a regular love story.

The flying mountains of Hallelujah take the cake for best work in technology in the movie. I was in awe watching the giant blocks of rock in the air with my 3D glasses. The flying scenes with the dragons will give an adrenaline rush. The Naavi have a special way of communicating with the other inhabitants of their land. It is funny and bizarre that they have some worm like sensors hidden in their plaits which intertwine with the similar sensors of the animal they want to communicate. Once it intertwines, it forms a bond by which they can understand the animals and vice versa. Imagine if we humans had something like that, we would have no more animal poop in the city. I hate seeing cow dung and doggy poop in middle of the road in India. If we could bond with the animals, we Indians could better toilet train them...he he.

Back into the movie again; Smitten Sully stands up to a heroic revolt against his own greed driven people to defend the Naavi's. The rest of the movie follows with scenes of war craft that are gory except for the wonderful special effects. He emerges victorious and he kicks the humans back to Earth. He transfers his soul into his avatar by some tribe black magic and lives happily ever after with Neytiri.(It was a smart decision to escape his handicapped life back on earth)

James Cameron has marveled people with his 12 years efforts to create a movie with hardly any flaw. I am sure the critics must be having a hard time to find weak spots except the weak storyline. It is one hell of a master piece which is a must watch this holiday season. I would rate this movie a 10 on 10 for giving me a truly out of this world experience ;)I am ready to count the academy awards next year.

Until next time,keep smiling:)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND...




''The French are glad to die for love.
 
They delight in fighting duels.

But I prefer a man who lives and gives expensive jewels.

A kiss on the hand may be quite continental,

But diamonds are a girl's best friend.''

These are the lyrics of the famous song in which Marilyn Monroe sang flaunting her sensuality in a pink robe wearing dazzling diamonds sparkling in her neck and wrists. Diamond is a nature made splendor exuding its luminous timeless energy. There is some aura attached to it that makes every women drop her jaw by looking at it...

There is a simple formula, that is JD ∝ DS {jaw dropping is equally proportional to the diamond size}

I am completely fascinated by this stone. I visited the diamond museum in Antwerp, Belgium and was in awe of the timeless pieces showcased there. There were diamonds as old as 18th century and it was marvelous to see them retain their capacity to capture light and reflect it with the same brilliance. We were not allowed to take our cameras inside so all I could capture was in my mind.

The word 'diamond' comes from the root word adamas in Greek which means unconquerable. India was the prime location for gemstone quality diamonds stones from 9th century to early 19th century. It was the first place where diamonds were found and mined. (We all know how we were looted of the all the wealth)Currently India has the foremost diamond polishing industry. (Just polish and return!!)

In the museum there was a display of the replicas of world famous diamonds. There were Culinan 1,Kohi-I-Noor,Centenary,Blue hope, The regent, Golden jubille........Though they were unreal, just to imagine something like them exists in the world which is of nature produce is quite thrilling. The museum gave a lot of information beginning from how diamonds are formed, mined, cut and polished.

Diamonds are nothing but carbon which is highly organized unlike the common lead that we see in our pencils. The recipe by how diamonds can be made is simple in 3 steps

• First bury carbon dioxide about 160 kilometers in to the earth.

• Then heat it well up to 1200 degree Celsius and squeeze under the pressure of 400 kilograms per square inch.

• Quickly cool by rushing it out to the earth's surface......Viola!! You have a diamond.
Hmm the recipe sounds simple but making is difficult ;)...Nowadays diamonds are synthesized artificially in the synthetic diamond manufacturer which can be flawless. Only a specialist can detect the difference between a natural and a synthetic diamond.

Heera hai sada ke liye'.....'Diamonds are forever'....This the punch line for DeBeers the world's largest supplier and marketer of diamonds in the world. It seems that before the world war took place diamond was considered just another precious stone, more value was given to rubies, sapphire, amethyst and other colored stones. DeBeers, late after the world war introduced their marketing strategies which slowly increased the demand for more diamonds and decreased its production to increase its rarity and value. By late 19th century every woman's desire was a diamond, thanks to the marketing skills of DeBeers. They made sure that if every man loved a woman he would have to spend a large chunk of his income in buying a diamond for her. They also introduced the trilogy ring which has 3 diamonds depicting the past, present and the future. They changed the image of diamond in the world.

Returning back to where I was initially, I finished seeing the museum and ventured into the many diamond shops lined together in Antwerp main city square. They have glass windows which exhibit various diamonds set in different jewelry items. Tourists and locals flock near the shops admiring the beauty of the stones embedded in gold and silver metals twisted into rings and other jewelry pieces seldom displaying their price.

When you go inside the shop, the shopkeepers start judging you with your attire. The prices can vary a lot. Sometimes the tag displays over 1 lakh rupees for a diamond ring but with bargain they can come down to 5o thousand rupees and even lesser. The price tags are in euros which I have roughly calculated. There are shops which can con a person with no knowledge of diamonds. Moreover for a customer it is hard to tell which stone is really worth the amount he is paying.

The minimal knowledge that is a must for anybody purchasing a diamond is 4C's.
1. Cut -It depends on the shape of the diamond, the common being the round cut. There are also pear, emerald, oval and heart shaped cut. The brilliance of the diamond depends upon the cut.

2. Color-The more colorless it is, the more is its value. They are generally rated from D to Z. The clearest being D which is rare to find, the color changes to yellow slowly down the scale to Z. There are red, blue, green color diamonds which are very rare and expensive.

3. Clarity-The gemological institute of America scale has 11 grades to rate the clarity. The more blemishes and inclusions a diamond has the lesser is its value.

4. Carat- This determines the weight of the diamond, the more is the carat value the larger and expensive is the diamond.
For me more than anything it is the dazzle that mesmerizes most. The beauty of it is more attributed to its cutter and polisher who can transform a plain rock into a splendid stone. I returned home more interested and tired at the same time with a small ring for my great mother.

Diamonds are indeed girl's best friend who asks a heavy price in return of their company! If you have a man who loves you dearly, he will find it for you.  But don’t measure your love with it.

Till next time....dazzle your 32 diamonds! ;)

Fizz

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Worry





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''H1N1 influenza virus outbreak killing 72 people around the world''-------"Bed bugs are coming! Worst outbreak since World War 2 in US"----------"German slump drags Europe into even deeper recession"-------"GM and Chrysler cuts combined could wipe out 100,000 jobs"----"Pakistan's war against Taliban''-------''Global Warming Biggest Health Threat of 21st Century, Experts Say''.

When I wake up and read the news, I pass the whole day worrying about the life our future generations have in store. When I read the news in the night, I get nightmares how I am I going to survive this increasingly difficult situations threatening healthy human life. Sigh!!When will the news make someone happy? All I know the more the person knows what is happening in the world, the more fret-lines he adds to his face. What is happening??Apart from violence, disease, recession, destruction. There is hardly anything that will make us to sit back and relax.
Come out of the problems of the world, another set of hassles trap you. Keeping up expectations, having expectations, meeting deadlines, job security in this difficult time of recession are some examples. Meeting with friends means comparison of each others lives. Discussion with employer means harder work and lesser pay. Visiting relatives means questions about your life and future plans. Speaking with parents means fulfilling their expectations. Romancing with partner means talking about savings ahead.


Sadly but true, everybody I encounter these days have some thing to worry about. A lady caught up in an apprehension about losing few kilos she gained last month while a man is tensed about the answer he is going to get from an interview he gave last week. A mother is worried about her child's future while the father is frustrated to keep providing for his family demands. Finally when I get back home and look in the mirror, I see the strained face staring back at me. Then I have to take a deep breath and relax the muscles of my face.
Worry, worry and more worry...Caught up in endless vicious cycle of worry. Cortisol hormones begging you to give them a break. The stress resulting when you start worrying can be devastating on the health.

• Impaired cognitive performance {cognitive performance refers to the processes such as memory, attention, perception, action, problem solving and mental imagery
• High blood pressure

• Decrease in muscle tissue and bone density

• Blood sugar imbalance

• Lower immunity

• Fertility problems.

• Impaired thyroid function.

Can you believe that? I think I added one more worry about worrying!!.....So how to handle worry? I needed an answer, a practical solution, until I searched more on it to find some easy solutions which I would love to share with all of you.
Worry is like a rocking chair, it keeps you busy but leads you no where. It is just a plain dissipation of valuable energy. Every time we worry it is important that we should not be upset, remorseful, vexed or feel guilty about it but to handle it with positive energy. Worry conveys that we need to change the way we look at the problem or a given situation. In order to change the way we look at it, we must be flexible to change.
The root of worry is expectation. We need to realize that worrying does not fulfill an expectation but commitment will. The moment we realize this, we will see that worry is neither helping nor is it serving us. Start looking at worry as an indication to look at life differently. Treat problems wisely, what I mean is to treat a problem as a challenge and the minute you treat it as a challenge it becomes an opportunity to heal.
Learn to enjoy the problem. (I know it is not going down the throat, but I suggest read on)
I will share an example which I read. Once a philanthropist constructed a football stadium. He invited the best football players for the inaugural match. However his young son looked worried and sad. He said daddy you spent millions to construct this stadium, you have invited 22 players but only ONE football? Can’t you be generous to provide some more footballs? ..................Can you imagine 22 players with 22 footballs? What will be the fun and excitement in the game? The excitement begins when there are 22 players running after one ball! They may be tired, anxious, and desperate but all these add fun to the game. So learn to treat a problem with sportsman's attitude. Take it as a challenge.
Learn to study the problem which is causing worry. Problems give us invitation to be wiser. It is up to us to handle them creatively and not provoking ourselves to be miserable. Take time to list down areas which need change, development, consultation. Take advice from anybody you can rely upon. Be determined and strong to carve a way out. Never give up on hope and faith. Most important of all seek guidance from your creator and ask for understanding. As your understanding improves, the ignorance will catch the earliest train to faraway land. Count your blessings and take pleasure in small things of life. Keep a check on negative thoughts, negative people, and negative movies, negative influences that hinder progress.

By the way, I still read the news, not in the morning and night but in the afternoon ;) Mornings are fresh and calm and nights are without nightmares. Instead of worrying about future, I try to stay in present and learn from my past. So I hope this bog has been useful to cut down the unnecessary worry creeping into our lives. Don't worry, be happy. Take each day as it comes, there will be surprises some good some bad but in the end remember it is your life, make it meaningful and happy :)

keep smiling :)
Fizz

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

LAND OF CHOCOLATES,CHEESE AND COWBELLS..






''Tujhe dekha toh ye jaana sanam..Pyar hota hai dewaana sanam..Ab yahan se kahan jaaye hum..teri bahon mein mar jaaye hum.. ''
The lovely song from the distinguished movie DDLJ where a young romance blossoms into eternal love between romantic Raj and simple Simran in the land of cow bells. Cowbell?  Hmm cowbell... Do you remember the recurring tingling sound of the cowbell which reminds Simran about her Raj? The same cowbell where he finds her address in India written on top of it. If you don't then you should watch the movie again and pay close attention to the picturesque scenes which add extra delight in watching the movie.
I am talking about that land which makes you fall in love, envelopes you in its charm to make you romantic and makes you forget about reality and welcomes you in its dream. Yes it is Switzerland. The most beautiful place my eyes have witnessed till date.

I wish I could hold time not to go away so soon. The time was too less to bask in the beauty and charisma Switzerland holds.But it is always like that, when we work the clock is the most laziest and when we are on a vacation the clock is the most active.

Let me rewind my life a bit.....When I was a child I was given Lactogen, when I was in school I loved eating Milkybar and when I went to college I loved eating Toblerone not knowing that the chocolate triangles represented Swiss mountains and when I was in university I drank Nescafe to keep me awake to study for exams. Swiss products had influence on my life early I can say, on all our lives to some extent.
The famous Nestle company was founded by Henry Nestle in Vevey, Switzerland. The company has expanded to the whole world and very famous for its products.

The Swizz chocolates such asToblerone, Lindt, Cailler are some of the world famous brands. They just send your taste buds into a trance and your salivary glands into a hypnotic flow. I happened to see a chocolate made by Lindt which has red chilly in it. The flavors of the chocolates can vary depending on your taste and preference. My favorite is the blueberry dark chocolate of Lindt.

Did you know that Omega, Rolex, Cartier, Tag Heuer, Brietling the world's leading brands of watches are Swiss made? As a teenager I remember being amazed by the handy swizz knife which had a bottle opener, file, screwdriver, reamer, can opener and many other things.

Switzerland is a small country in the western Europe with an area that is smaller than Karnataka of India. It is a house for the Alps, the breathtaking snow capped mountains. Heidi Klum, Martina Hingis and Roger Federer add to its list of famous people. How can I forget the Nobel prize winner Albert Einstein belongs to Switzerland [It is a shame I still don't understand his theory of relativity]

The quality of life in Swiss is one of the best in the world. It is a host for World Health Organization[WHO] ,RED CROSS ,International Federation for Association Football[FIFA],Union of European Football Association [UEFA]. The world's largest Particle Physics Laboratory that is CERN is situated in Switzerland.

The Swiss is also famous for its cheese and Fondues. You can come across 'La vache' at any supermarket which are small triangles in a circular box painted blue and white with a cow's face on it.

Its amazing how such a small country can be famous for so many things at a time. The electricity generated in swiss is mainly from hydroelectricity and the remaining from nuclear power. Only about 5% is manufactured from other sources nearly making it least CO2 free electricity. No wonder the trees and animals looked as if they are proud to be in a better state of health than me..!


Lastly, the renowned Swiss banks for its security and privacy. Though the book Da vinci code gives you a unrealistic picture of the bank, it does tell you about the 10 digit secret code to access the key which is known only to the owner of the account. Our Indian movies are also very famous for showing that villains and corrupted politicians keep their black money in Swiss banks.

This was just a brief introduction to the country which has made such a big mark in the world. Let me now tell you about my experience in this land. We reached Swiss Friday morning around 11 o clock in the morning after a 8 hour drive from Brussels in the car. We checked into the hotel in Interlaken, a beautiful wooden structure situated on the top of the mountain with its view of Alps from the window. Every time I peaked out of window I would stand several minutes gazing at its beauty.
We circled the beautiful town rich in natural beauty and cuckoo clock houses. By the way the cuckoo clock are one of the favorite souvenirs in Switzerland. We went up the peak close to Jungfrauh, the highest point in Europe in the cable car spellbound by the beauty of nature around us. As we climbed higher we saw snow on the mountains and finally when we reached there, it was pleasure to make snowballs.

The power of nature could be felt seeing the giant mountains standing tall supporting pine trees and various flora and fauna on its shoulders below the warm summer sun. The snow melting from the heat and flowing into crystal clean water streams from the mountain into weak and powerful waterfalls forming beautiful lakes at the foot of mountains where the cities flourish.

We headed back after wonderful shots captured by the camera which would refresh our memory at a later date, to have lunch at a restaurant. After a scrumptious meal we were on our way to the market place. I was amazed to see so many Indians strolling by and the number of Indian restaurants there. I was looking for a cowbell as a souvenir which I could take with me, but fell in love with a handy device by Victorinoix which had a nail cutter, a screwdriver and a nail filer all in one, a very sleek piece. We then shopped for swiss chocolates and and we returned late.

The next day we explored cities named Lusanne,Bern and Thun. We also visited the Trummelbach Falls, a fascinating place where a stream of water has cut its way through the hard rock, creating deep crevices and caves, only a few feet wide. A man-made series of tunnels lets visitors access the caves, and see the torrents of water cascading through the confined space. It was simply amazing. Check the videos below.

The third day was bright and sunny. After a lazy morning we went exploring Geneva. On the way, we stopped at many places to enjoy the beauty of the place. In Geneva, the lake was beautiful with its tallest fountain. The city centre of Geneva is a house for many world famous brand shops ranging from Tissot, Rolex, Louisvuitton, Armani, Dolce& Gabbana, Hugo Boss, Gucci, Omega, Cartier. Unfortunately, Sunday was a bad day as all the shops were closed. Nevertheless the galleries were open to make you ponder over the ridiculously high prices they quote.

It was late evening when we started back to Brussels and we reached early morning at 2.00 am tired and content with our trip. The next day when my eyes opened I was into the reality and the trip to Swiss was indeed like a beautiful dream which had past away leaving its everlasting impression on my mind.

''Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you... while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blending and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is sting-less indeed, and as beautiful as life.''-JOHN MUIR

So I end my blog with this quote and to tell you how important it is to conserve nature which is a mother to all the inhabitants of this world. I learnt to be wiser after seeing the Swiss respect nature in their country. Let us prevent destruction of nature. Let us plant more trees around our houses and encourage others. Lets make this world a greener place, a gift to our future generations to breath fresher air and lead healthier lives.
Until my next blog...keep smiling.




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Thursday, April 23, 2009

SCANDALOUS STING OPERATION



Innocent face with a coy smile when asked what she wants to become when she grows up,the 9 year old Rubina Ali replies"Mujhe Preity zinta banna hai"with enthusiasm. She is one of the garib living in Garibnagar slum in Bandra. With no proper roof on the head and a uncertain future she was living with her father Rafiq Qureshi and her stepmother Munni.

Rubina along with her two siblings was left under the care of her father by her biological mother Khushi who absconded five years ago to marry a rich man in hope of a better life. What could this child expect for tomorrow when she could not expect the next meal of the day. Such a sad situation can even melt the hardest of hearts.[But unfortunately there are harder than the hardest hearts.]

One auspicious day when luck was in favor and the right opportunity strikes. This young neglected child had in store a destiny which every child of her age could envy. Lights..camera..action!! The camera went rolling to focus her as the young Latika in the movie Slumdog Millionare. Little did her family imagine the movie would be grand success to win 8 oscar awards and their little girl would be a celebrity overnight walking the redcarpet in Hollywood with the other members of the cast. I am actually imagining do they even know what Oscar award means.
When Joey Fatone and Lisa Rinna interviewed the kids during Academy award red carpet, she was just a tender mind in awe of the glamor and glitter around her.Though the other kids of the movie could speak English and were voicing out their excitement, she and another co-star Azhar who is also a resident of the slum, were just mute spectators. When Joey suddenly shifted the attention towards her and asked 'How are you feeling?are you OK?' she could only answer YES, and when next question was 'A little crazy,huh?' her answer was again YES. I can say that at least the kid knew how to mask her illiteracy.

After the glitzy glamor of the dreamland evaporated into thin air and she was back into the same filthy and sleazy slum with some money following her success in the movie and funds by Danny Boyle, the director of the movie for her education. The Maharashtra Housing and Development authority have decided to give her and her co-star Azhar new free houses because they have brought laurels to the country. [Till now it was sleeping and will continue to sleep once the media stop bothering them as what the country has done for this young stars!!zzzzz....]

She was away from the limelight until recently a British Tabloid screamed of her father trying to sell her for a sum of ₤200k, roughly about 1.5 crores in a bid to escape poverty.

The claims were made that 'The news of the world' hosted a nasty sting operation by sending two undercover journalists posing as a rich Arab couple wanting to adopt Rubina.

Rubina's father dismisses the allegations made against him saying that he is being framed. He was initially asked by a rich man to bring Rubina to the hotel where he would discuss a job. I think
he happily agreed on the money since he could dream for a better future for his daughter and his other family members. A local newspaper claims that he dint understand anything much until he realized that they were actually not offering a job but making a deal to buy his daughter. He realized the folly and quickly he made a way out of it until the next morning when the news was all over that he tried to sell his daughter. The British tabloid said that he
was looking for a higher bid to sell his daughter. [Do you believe in holy crap??...;0]
He told the local reporters that he was a victim of a dirty trick and they tried to tempt him.

Can you comprehend the situation?....According to me,the Britishers have no right to make a mockery out of the poverty in India. Cant they just bother about what is good for them,cant they bother more about why 13 and 14 year old kids are getting pregnant in their country?
They wanted to investigate into child exploitation in mumbai and hence send their journalists posing as sheiks from the Arab world who happen to see the clip of Rubina on Al Jazeera TV. How nasty and dirty can they be to fall so low??

What can you expect a person living in slum who might have seen few thousand rupees after the success of his daughter in his life resist to the temptation of 2ook pounds in his life????
You must be kidding me if you said he would not give in to the temptation when life has been so hard on him all this while. I am sure the huge figures and thoughts of luxury he can have with that money must have been circling his mind than concentrating on the other details spoken to him about his daughter's deal in their British accent.

A father who has seen the dreams and hopes in the eyes of his young child amidst the cruelty of dog's life would certainly want to give her a decent life especially when she has been the reason to bring luck and fame in his downtrodden family. What can he do when he is caught up in heinous negative press story,but merely try to defend himself all alone.

Whoever has tried to gain publicity out of this poor man's life is a utter shame and disgust to his country.KINDLY KEEP OUT OF OUR BUSINESS. We Indians should strongly criticize and condemn such acts. The negative picture they want to paint in the world will only result in more stronger Indians trying to combat the crudity existing today in India.

To tell you honestly my friends I have personally faced many painful questions after Slum dog Millionaire. Staying in India we share the same story but living abroad we represent our country.
Questions like are ''Is your country so poor''?or "Do the scenes of the movie be a part of real life''? or ''Is their child prostitution and child beggars?" has made me live that life of Latika in real life. Though we Indians have made great contributions to the world and are the largest democracy in the world, the foreign documentaries on India focuses only on the poverty and filth in India.

We may win Oscars or go to space, we may have the best engineers and doctors, we may have the most talented people but to the people around the world we are poor people who can be brought at a cheap labor.
I wonder what the politicians do when they visit other countries of the world? They only marvel at the cleanliness and the prosperity of the developed countries and go back and forget it all. Do you also wonder???Please do send in your comments as what you think about it.
I end my blog for today sending a clear message to the British media condemning this shameful sting operation from their shameless minds.


Keep smiling and do one small act today to bring a smile on the face of a poor child living near your locality or area. Why wait for the government..what say??:)







Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Select your leaders:VOTE

''Si j'etais un pays .....je serais l'Inde'' was my spontaneous reply when my pretty French teacher popped the question that if I was a country what would I be. I know it is a little comical but these French are different class of people altogether. We were having the class on Le conditionnel Present[present conditionals in english]. So we were each given different hypothetical questions.

Answering the question was a little sentimental, I was dewy eyed missing my Bharat, my home, my family, my friends. When we are living in India we want to go abroad and when we are abroad we want to go to India...irony of life.

The resplendent colors in the saris of the traditional ladies to the jingling bangles of a traditional girl.[I know it is changing with western influence, that is why I am specifying traditional] The mouthwatering roadside panipuri to the heavenly halwai ki dukan. The celebration of lights to the celebration of Eid.  Drinking cool Lassi , sucking on cold watermelon in summer to adorning light sweaters in Bangalore winter......I miss it all and miss much more.

It reminds me of a particular incident when I was for a vacation in Bangalore and would love to share it.

One particular day when I decided to meet my friends, I chose to travel by BMTC bus to Forum mall where we were supposed to meet. I roughly calculated about an hour to reach there considering the ever growing Bangalore traffic. I merrily hopped into the bus towards Shivajinagar. As soon I climbed in the bus, people started scrutinising me with their looks. I sighed and muttered to myself 'It happens only in India'. The ride was nice after a very long time. It was a mixed feeling seeing the mediocre and the underprivileged in the bus.

There was immediate comparison running with slideshows in my brain. It was feeling of jealousy that the Europeans do so much for the common man and in India our politicians do so much for themselves. My eyes were filled with sympathy as my eyes darted towards the torn cotton saree of the woman with a flower basket. 'Life is so tough' was clearly written on the creases of her forehead and the roughness of her shriveled hands.

May be when I start to live in India for good it would become a part of my life and I would also be a mute spectator caring only about my life, but the sting is felt when you have just returned from a different part of the same world inhabited by humans only but who live differently and think differently. I was lost in the feeling of anger towards the government and anguish towards the indignant politicians, when a yell from the driver brought me back to my senses. Due to heavy traffic, he was asking all of them to get down and walk to the stop which was about 200 meters away. Oho, I was already late as per my calculation, I had already exceeded 15 minutes to reach my destination.

I got down and could see a sea of people on the road at half past four. I quickly decided to take an auto from Shivajinagar to Forum mall. I showed my hand signaling few auto rickshaw drivers.

One auto halted in front of me and the young driver quickly brushed his hair with his fingers and raised his collar, looking in the eye.

He asked 'kahan jaana hai'?(For a minute I wondered whom is he talking to, but figured out there was nobody other than me.)

'Forum jaana hai bhaiya'..

I replied stressing a little more on Bhaiya. He gave me a weird look.

He said 'pundra rupaiye extra'[15 rupees more,baap ka paisa hai kya??]

For heavens sake the clock did not yet strike 9 pm. I said thank you looking at his old conventional meter and sensing his clumsy demeanor, walked towards another auto driver. The uncle was slightly better with less attitude and a digital auto meter.

Driver:yes madam

Me: Forum bartira(I decided that I will speak in Kannada from my previous experience)

Driver:huttu rupai jasti madam,tumba kashta wapas barakke.

(He asked me 10 rupees extra quoting the reason that he would not find customer
coming back to the same place)

Me: (@#%*%* in my mind)Yakri kodbeku,innu ratri agilla.nanu bere auto thogantini.

.....I meant that why should I give you when it is still not dark, I am going to take another
auto......

Driver: Ok madam,yake kopa maadqullotira, banni.

I think he read what I said in my mind than listening to the words from my mouth..he he.
He agreed to give me a ride.

Me: Swalpa begahogi ( can you go quickly? politely with a 32 teeth smile, I was running late)

Uff !!the auto guys can be full of attitude, they behave as if they are the bosses of the roads. I was reading the information given in the template behind his seat and casually asked him where exactly was the place where he stayed. He replied he stayed in a low lying area to the south of Bangalore. Then I casually started asking him why auto-drivers still used the old meter thinking that traffic police had a rule asking them to change the meter 2 years back.

He said casually that they make rules there in Bangalore, they don't care much for the corrupted police. He said with difficulty they earn throughout the day, a policeman stops them and with some cunning pretext takes away money from them. He explained that that the recession has hit them hard, with no call centers and no much businesses running well it was a difficult life. I told him that I see no much development since a year and half that I was away.

The driver poured his heart out giving his opinions, his complaints against the government and his suggestions for a better Bangalore. He was telling about the difficulty of raising his children. It was surprising that he had in depth knowledge about GEORGE BUSH. He was cursing him for the bad economy of the world.

He was pleasantly amused that I was giving a keen listening ear and sympathizing along with him. When the destination was close, I had changed my mind and decided to give him 10 rupee tip which he had initially asked and which I had refused. I could help him in a very small way.
When the auto stopped the meter showed 53 rupees and I dint have change of three rupees.
So I gave him 60 rupees and waited till he could give me back the change and then I would surprise him asking him to keep the change.

It was something which I dint expect, he handed the 10 rupee note and said it was OK if I dint have the extra three rupees. I told him to keep it, he said he could not accept the note as I dint have a good feeling to offer him the money initially and that money would bring only harm in his life. I gave a smile and said I wholeheartedly offered it now. His weary eyes suddenly twinkled and his sagging face lit into the most broadest smile. He thanked me and accepted it after insisting. He bid goodbye and it had made so much difference to my soul. I went ahead to meet my friends in the mall, though I was 3o minutes late, I was the first to arrive. Grrr..I had to wait another 15 minutes to see them and it was a great evening discussing, laughing and reliving college days.

Thinking about the incident, I feel that's how the people of India generally are, the poor may be weared out from the difficulty of life but still have great values and warmth in their hearts.
If only we as one nation worked to together to build a better country, We would be the greatest nation in the world. No where you would come across such people who consider a goodwill more important than a bill, despite the need. I feel such people deserve more in life and I am sure God will help him someday.

We need to fight dirt on our hearts which may be in the form of corruption, greed, ill mannerism. I am sure you look closer the dirt can be wiped to reveal a human heart that is in ever need of care and kind words. You need to take the initiative to wipe. It only needs direction to work in unity to help in the progress of our country. That direction my friends can be with the help of genuine leaders and each one of us can make a difference by choosing and voting for a good leader.

Best of luck for the coming elections and go ahead and make a difference.


Well friends, considering the time and the text of today's blog I bid goodbye till my next update.

Smile is a curve which sets everything straight...so dont forget to smile:)

Fizz

Sunday, April 19, 2009

....continuation of time

Maandag, Lundi, Montag, Somvaar, Getsuyobi, Pazartesi...I think by now you must have figured out what I am talking about. If not, well thats how Monday is called in different parts of the world in different languages. Hmm, the week has started on Sunday according to USA, Canada and Japan. For me the week begins today, the blues begin today which decrease through mid Tuesday and start diminishing by Wednesday, then by Thursday the anticipation of the weekend starts and transforms into eagerness by mid Friday and converts into pure pleasure by Friday evening. Viola! the weekend finally. Every learning child, college going teen and workforce look forward. Well don't give me looks, I know some schools and colleges and offices make us work on Saturday. The mood is a lighter weighing against any other weekday.

The weekend was great with respect to events and tried my hands on Hariyali Chicken. You can sure try this green dish with no much pain bothering about exotic ingredients,


Ingredients1/2 kg chicken boneless
1 cup mint leaves
2 cups coriander leaves
1 1/2 tbsp ginger, garlic paste
Salt
3 green chillies
Whole masala (3 sticks cinnamon, 5-6 pods cardamom, 3 tsps jeera)
2 sliced onions
2 tsp oil
2 tsp butter


Directions
  • Wash and cut chicken into pieces.
  • Boil chicken with 1/2 cup water, add ½ tbsp ginger garlic paste and little salt for 5 mins.
  • Meanwhile heat oil in a pan, add cinnamon and cardamom, add onions and saute till golden brown.
  • Grind mint and coriander leaves in a grinder with a small onion and green chillies.
  • Put some butter in the same pan, add jeera and when they splutter, add this paste, mix well, reduce heat and cook paste for 5 mins,.
  • Add boiled chicken (check salt) and continue cooking till chicken done and gravy thick. (you can add lemon juice if you want to)
  • Garnish with onion rings and serve hot with naan.
 I tried and can assure you it tasted succulent and appetizing.:)

Ok, let me get back to where I left my last post unfinished. The people who achieved a lot at a blossoming age to lay successful foundation for a life ahead, who managed to get most of time. I wrote about Sania and Lewis(yeah, my buddies) and today I continue with another two examples.

Gary Kasparov

Well let me introduce Mr.Gary to people whom it still dint strike a cord. He was a world champion in the game of chess. He is regarded by many as the 'greatest chess player of all time' he has many victories to his wizard name. He started playing chess at the age of 5 with his father and at 7 years of age he started his training in the game. He started a serious study of the game when he had to come to a solution for a chess problem proposed by his parents.

(Can you believe that! At the age of 5 when I asked my mom what I was doing? She said she doesnt remember much except for my tantrums .Oh my god, my family tells me i am an expert at it. So does that mean I have spent so many years specializing in it..ha ha ha)

Gary Kasparov went on to win the junior soviet championship in chess at the age of thirteen. He was already a chess master at the age of 15 which convinced him to choose chess as his career. By 22, he won the world championship to become the youngest chess world champion.

He continued to bag victories and he became the highest rated chess player continuously from 1986 to 2005.Kasparov holds the record for the longest time as the #1 rated player.Even when he was retiring from the game of chess, he was considered number one player.What can one say, only marvel at human ability. He is now a active writer and political activist.


Elton John

Who doesn't know this British musical legend, one of the most successful artist of all time. If you search his house you will find five prestigious Grammy awards, one academy award, a tony award and a golden globe award. Probably you will also find lot more trophies and medals, just guessing this one.;)
Travelling down my nostalgia, I remember the admiration in my eyes when his live song Sacrifice was churning out emotions in my head, during his concert in India. My all time favorite are 'sacrifice 'sorry seems to be the hardest word'. Though 'Candle in the wind' was much speculated, it did not go well with my taste.
Elton john could play piano at the age of three and his mother once noticed that he was playing a famous number at that time, which he had just picked it up by ears. He started taking piano classes by the age of seven and continued to show great musical aptitude.When he was eleven years old, he won the scholarship to the Royal academy of Music.
He father was not supportive of his music career but his mother was contributory to his interest. A local pub hired him as a weekend pianist when he was only 15 years. He then never looked back in his musical career and is still standing through his continuous fame and fortune. He has sold over 200 million copies of his records and considered one of the top song writers in UK.

Well that's all for Lundi meaning Monday in French which happens to be one of my favorite language.

Keep smiling, be loving, look adoring:)

Fizz.

































Saturday, April 18, 2009

Time....An enigma

I was one vivid writer during my school days. Loved writing and churning out creative sentences with the latest swanky words. I used to look up for new words and had the passion to find synonyms and to tailor make my sentences to fit in the exact word in a eloquent manner. It definitely was a sense of achievement and not to be forgotten that I kind of managed to really impress some of my seniors in school and at home who complimented me on my work and also managed to win some prizes in writing.

I loved to write poems and still do, the rhyming words dancing with synchronization in my mind and I would weave them in stanza. Alright, I am Blogging not bragging. Ok! Lets get to the point.
Thanks to one of my friend, who is also a recent blogger for giving me this way where I can vent out the true writer in me. 

Writing just relaxes me, makes me think best of all. Life can become monotonous with the same mundane tasks. Everybody needs to discover some passion or some activity to keep their mind off over the future, fears, fantasies and facts.

Time flies away before you even know, leaving us a plethora of memories. The magic is to make most use out of it. I remember the proverb I read as a child and it affects me till today,
"RESPECT TIME AND TIME WILL RESPECT YOU.''
This proverb will tell you a lot about the achievers, the go getters who have accomplished a lot in a short period of time or the conspicuous people who have invested a lot of time of their lives in finding what best they are at and to be able to set an example to others.

The most impressive people are the people who start young to tap the potential in them and manage to achieve success and fame in a short period of time. It is their early investment in time for doing something they love or something they are passionate about.
The examples that I can remember are

Sania Mirza
Who doesn't know about this sensation who set out to carve a place for Indian women at the face of international tennis.She was merely six years of age when she held the tennis racket given to her by her Dad Imran.What started as an early dream in the eyes of her parents, she lived up to their expectation and more, carving a niche in world tennis. She was 13 years when she was already an international player in a junior tournament for INTERNATIONAL TENNIS FEDERATION.

The biggest breakthrough was when she reached the third round of Australian open 2005 against the tough Serena Williams. This certainly opened a lot of eyes around the world to recognize India is not far behind in the good game of tennis for women. She made India proud again when she won the Australian open 2009 along with Mahesh Bupathi earning her maiden Grand slam title.

Starting a tennis career in 2003,in a span of 6 years she has made Indian history. She has achieved so much at her best learning years and can look forward for more in the time ahead that can offer her. Way to go gal!!


Lewis Hamilton
He started his first motor sport career at the age of 8 and at the age of 10 won his first British championship and went on to win four more championships.McLaren and Mercedes spotted this young champ and decided to make him a part of their Young Driver support program providing him financial and technical support. In 2008 ,he was the youngest world champion in formula one history.

What started as a craze for playing with remote controlled cars led to winning championship at an age of 10. He was only ten when he walked up to the Mclaren team principal Ron Dennis at an award ceremony and told him. ''Hi, I am Lewis Hamilton and I won the British championship and one day I want to be racing you cars.'' Can you believe? A young man with such a big dream and he actually worked through time to fulfill it.

More people to admire and adore in my next blog. Till then keep smiling.:)

Fizz