Monday, December 31, 2007

Fun Week + A TZP Cherry on Top!

This past week has been fun-filled with family and more family! I couldn't have wished for more than what I got as I witnessed yet another decade of this oh-so-exciting life in the most grand way! And the best part of it came quite differently than what I had imagined. I was really wishing to do something special for M&V for their anniversary the day after but I couldn't as the situation didn't permit but then again we decided to do something totally different and quite spontaneously.

We had gone to the temple in the afternoon on Friday and the plan was to surprise them to a romantic dinner at a lovely restaurant that I had picked out weeks ago... but we ended up canceling it all at last minute. Just for a movie, with an awesome company. Boy! are the four of us thankful for it or what!?! We loved it - "Taare Zameen Par". Sometimes it makes me think, what we do is so important and all those deeds leave a mark behind no matter how big. And Aamir Khan is quite good at that, if I say so. The man's brains ooze creativity and he shows it off in a magnificent way each time.

A few days earlier, I hadn't really gotten a chance to check all my emails but I did get a moment to take a peek at Ami's blog and noticed that she had liked the movie so when we had to decide what movie to watch, I suggested this one. M&M cried like I could take a plunge in the puddle of their tears. Poor V was sandwiched between them for more than 3 hours. And we ran out of tissues while in the theater. But I think anyone would do the same who actually realizes what the film tries to convey to the audience. The songs are wonderful but I wouldn't want to listen to some of them while I drive or while am away from mommy.

For me, the best moment of the film was when Ishaan wins a prize for this painting and comes on stage to accept it. Throughout the movie, I did not feel even a single moment that he was acting; this kid has acted so naturally. And the titles at the end of the movie are brilliant. They reminded me of the beginning title song "ek dooje ke vaaste" of "Dil to Pagal Hai" but this was far more excellent than that. I don't want to ruin the surprise for the rest of the audience who is yet to watch the movie but the only thing I can say is, if Aamir Khan does not get an Oscar for this movie, then Oscars will have much more to lose than AK himself. I hope the movie will make more adults more tolerant and accepting towards the kids who are different than everyone else. Three cheers to Aamir Khan!

PS. Did parts of movie remind you of Calvin and Hobbes? To me they did (specially the 3 x 9 = 3) and that made watching the movie exciting for me!

NB. If you do get to check out Aamir Khan's website for this film, don't forget to read the Director's Note.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Holidays & Family Get-togethers

Aren't they wonderful? I think they work like therapy for everyone. They cheer you up, make you happy and recharge our beings.

They are hard to plan if you want everyone to get together in one physical location, but once it happens... the joy that comes with all the loved ones is out of the world. If everyone does their part and makes efforts for themselves and families, it is possible.

May be for the same reason, almost all the holidays are about reuniting with families and celebrating. Celebrating for we are part of the loving family that we have, for being blessed with all good people around us, for having an ability to appreciate and feel the love for our families. This holiday season and many more to come may everyone be more generous to forgive their loved ones and reach out to share. Share the love and happiness with all who really matter. A nice story that I read recently:

A professor stood before his Philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.

He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous yes.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

"The golf balls are the important things - your God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

"The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.

"The sand is everything else--the small stuff.

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life. "If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you"

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

"Take time to get medical checkups."

"Take your partner out to dinner."

"Play another 18."

"There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal."

"Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter."

"Set your priorities."

"The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a cup of coffee with a friend."

Happy Holidays to you & your family!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

તમે ક્યારેય રિસાયા છો?

મને કોઇ રિસાય એ જરાય ન ગમે. જે કોઇ રિસાય ને એની કિમ્મત મારે મન ઘટી ગઇ સમજો. અને મારા માટે જ નહિ, બીજા ઘણાઓ માટે આ વાત સાચી હશે.

એક જણ ખોટુ લગાડેં તે એક નહિ પણ અનેક લોકો ને નુકસાન કરે છે. સૌથી પહેલા તો જે વ્યક્તિ રિસાય એને જ મોટામાં મોટો ગેરફાયદો થાય. પુછો કેમ? જે વ્યક્તિ રિસાય એણે પોતે રિસાયા છે તે દેખાડવું પડે. એમાં જ સૌથી વધુ પ્રયત્ન કરવો પડે - નક્કામો શક્તિ નો વ્યય થાય અને પછી ખોટું લાગ્યું હોય એટલે સ્વમાન ઘવાયુ છે એવો પણ દેખાડો કરવો પડે. જો એમાં પાછુ કોઇક મનાવવા આવે તો ગુસ્સો કરવો પડેે એટલે બી.પી. વધી જાય તે નફામાં. અને છેવટે તમે જે કાઇ પ્રવ્રુત્તી બીજા કરતા હોય એમાં થી તમારી જાતને બાકાત કરો એટલે તમને તેમાં પણ સામેલ થવા ન મળે. અને આ બધા ઉપ્રાંત આજુ-બાજુ વાળા લોકો ને તમે બહુ મોંઘા છો તે બાબત ખબર પડે એટલે તમારી છાપ પર થોડી માઠી અસર થાય. કેમકે હવે તમે તે લોકો માટે મનપસંદ વ્યક્તિ ન ગણાવ. અને કોઇ હાઇ-મેઇન્ટેનન્સ હોય એટલે લોકો બને ત્યા સુધી તમને કોઇ જલસામાં સામેલ કરતા પહેલા બે વાર વિચાર કરે. એટલે આમ જોવા જાવ તો "બાવા ના બેય બગડ્યા" જેવું થાય. મોટા મોટા ઉમ્મરવાળા ભણેલા લોકો ને મોઢા ચઢાવતા જોવો ત્યારે થાય કે ખરેખર ભણ્યા પણ ગણ્યા નહિ.

હવે ફરી વાર મોઢું ચઢાવો તે પહેલા એક વાર વિચાર કરજો, કોના ફાયદા માટે છે? તમારા કે સામેવાળાનાં?

San Gregorio State Beach, CA

The beautiful San Gregorio state beach is located off of California's Pacific coast hwy 1 at the hwy 84 intersection near the town of San Gregorio, about 10 miles South from Half Moon Bay. The place has picnic tables and is perfect location to spend the day at!

A person sits on the edge of a cliff

Fishing on the Beach

A couple stands at the edge of the hill overlooking the Pacific ocean

A couple watches sunset

The trail on the hill and the bridge (highway 1) over the San Gregorio Creek

Kids play in the creek water that flows into the ocean


More San Gregorio Photos

Monday, December 10, 2007


You can catch more flies with honey than with the vinegar, if you want to.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Choice of Words

Every once in a while we come across people who use so called bad words freely when they talk. Sometimes they apologize saying "Pardon my French" after they say their favorite words and at other times they just say them. I've been thinking about this on and off since quite a few years when I first came across this phrase "Pardon my French".

Actually, it was one of the Indian aunties (who also used to be our neighbor) from whom I first heard this phrase. We were driving some place and some driver cut in front of her and she said one of those famous words that you don't hear in a decent conversation. Later on, she apologized but I thought, is that how you lash out at someone? I thought there were better ways to get angry/show your anger than that.

Then at other instance, we were visiting some relative of a family friend who were from Navsari (that's a city near by from Mumbai in India). Actually, we were not visiting but our family friend had to drop off something at their place so we stopped by on our way to a function. We must have spent less than 10 mins at their place but by the time we were out, my dad was really upset and told us all to never step foot in their home. Later on, I found out from aunty (because dad was so upset he refused to even say the reason) that the host using a bad word practically every other word in their sentence. And it made me think... why would someone do that? Have these people got no respect for their language?

In the past, I have come across some colleagues, male and female (I was so shocked at first!), also who'd freely use such words at work during normal conversation or when something goes wrong or something bad happens unexpectedly.

And then there are drivers or other people whom you meet randomly on the street or highway that are having a really bad day that they decide to take it out on you by giving you some bad gesture. I really feel sorry for them. It's too bad they don't have anywhere else to let that anger out but on the road at a stranger who hasn't done anything bad to them.

I remember once a not-so-close friend of my sister told her, "Wow! I've noticed that you never use any bad words. How do you manage that?" and my sister had responded with a smile that she just didn't like that kind of behavior. Later on, my sister and I had just laughed at the thought that people actually had to make an attempt not to say bad words.

Of course, majority of the people I encounter during the day are very decent and aren't very rude to say whatever without thinking but then again I wonder, why do people choose to speak and act so low? What kind of pleasure are they getting out of it? It does them more harm then good I believe. I wish these folks became little more decent than they are, for the greater good.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Golden Oldies - an article

It was so nice to read the Golden Oldies article by Hardeep Jandu, Nov 21 2007, a couple of weeks back.

While reading the article, it took be back a dozen or so years when I started feeling the same about Indian music and I still do, just stronger now.

The part that I found most interesting was this one and it conveys my feelings so closely that I couldn't agree any more with the author.


It seems to me that in trying so hard to be forward, Indian film has lost its culture and dignity. Aside from a few rare aberrations, everything is a remix. In trying to be modern, we have gone backwards. We have equated sex and flashing bulbs to moving forward. Forget about lip-syncing! Now, the vogue is just gyrating to DJ-ed tabla beats. What is the next generation going to face?

The fact is that India is a young independent country, though we have inherited years and years of ancient traditions. We can choose how we want to represent ourselves. Our films should reflect the age-old Indian values of integrity and community, values which must be kept for posterity. And, by teaching through example, we can ensure that our children do not only internalize the importance of superficial success and shiny lehengas.

The "modernization" of Indian cinema reflects the fact that India is changing rapidly, but perhaps changing so rapidly that she is falling off track. The era of clean and simple cinematic escapes may be over, but we should still be careful as to which direction our film industry is going. The media produce what we consumers seem to want. Instead of becoming a society that looks for cheap-cheap-cheaper thrills, perhaps we should focus on how to represent India the way she deserves to be represented -- with respect, depth, and dignity.


I really wish there were more people like Hardeep, who actually shared their thoughts and spread the word around so that eventually it can reach to the music directors of today who might think that the music of yesteryears does not create magic any more and is just not as cool as the remixed stuff.

And I was very pleasantly surprised to know that Hardeep is actually a high school student living not more than 20 miles from where I am. God bless you, Hardeep! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.