Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kolaveri-ed by Dhanush!

Oh-u My-u God-u! I think I've found the answer to the world famous question: "why this kolaveri kolaveri kolaveri di". It is because:

  1. Dhanush has a smile and grin that makes the woman-kind go weak at the knees and eventually faint.

  2. The way he says "kolaveri ... aaa di" at 0:43 and grins.

  3. The way he sings "pa pa pa pan, pa pa pa pan.. " line and the music that follows.

  4. The aalap that starts at 3:30 and only lasts less than 10 seconds.

  5. Shruti Haasan is out of this world gorgeous! Especially at 2:25!

  6. The direction and the lighting in this video are done so beautifully.

  7. Of the very special soup boys. Who are they any way?

  8. He resembles Vivek Oberoi but just a lot more handsomer.

  9. It's his mooch!

  10. Last but now least, it's "cow-u cow-u holy cow-u.." I mean HOLY COW it's the crazy music!!!

OK, scratch all of that. The REAL reason is because it's RAJNIKANT's son-in-law and daughter!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wow! @ Rohini Ravada

If you already haven't listened to her, you should. Here: www.rohiniravada.com

I'm already loving her voice. Wish she sings more.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Keeping busy & Happy birthday to Big B!

It's Amitabh Bachchan's birthday today and again after a long while I ended up on his blog. One of the reasons why I love to read his writing is because of the way he writes. It is so fluid and takes me with it as I go from line to line, from thought to thought. I wish I kept a log of my daily thoughts like that. Another thing I love about the contents is how positive it is most of the time and how it impacts my mood. May be I am biased. I don't know. The reason why I wanted to put this in a post is because while I was browsing the posts, I stumbled upon this really thought-provoking paragraph. Here it is:

Its been a day when I often wonder what others do to keep themselves occupied. To me it has been one of great despair. Nothing to do, nowhere to go and having just no desire at all to do something. Yes there is work pending and hundreds of important issues to tackle and resolve, but the strange thing is that when you have the time, it isn’t time and when you do not, then you do. Which is why they say when you wish something to be done, give it to the person who is most busy for that shall guarantee that it shall be done. I was not busy today and so nothing was done !


It made me think how true it is and may be because I can relate to it. This post is a reminder to self to try to be busy as he says in there, to be the person who gets things done. I think it's hard but doable.

Happy Birthday to you, Resp. Amitji! May God bless you.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Notes from a lecture of Shri Kripaluji Maharaj

I got to overhear most of this audio lecture last week. I don’t quite remember all of it now, but from what I remember, I enjoyed listening to it and appreciated the thoughts quite a lot. So thought I’d note them down before I forget.

  • Ego is our worst enemy. Why to have ego in the first place? We are never the best, but still we feel we are. When complimenting each other, us humans use phrases like “eyes like a deer”, “tall as a giraffe”, “run like a leopard”, “faithful as a dog”, etc. Even when animals are better than humans in looks and many other characteristics as we can see in these comparisons, it is us who feel proud of ourselves. What if humans were blessed with those better characteristics? Where would we be then?!
  • There was this Sanskrit shlok/couplet that had a line "Be as tolerant as a tree". It took me back to the time when I went on vacation to Sequoia National Park. Looking at those hundreds of years old sequoia trees, made me think how long some of them have been standing there, standing tall, in freezing snow, in scorching heat, in stormy winds, in rains, one season after the other. Trees indeed are the most tolerant living things.
  • In one of the parts, Maharaj ji says he preferred when people scolded him than to when they praised him.
  • Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Random thoughts - "sorry"s & "thank you"s

    I wonder what goes in the brains of people who can't say "thank you" or "sorry" when appropriate. Especially "thank you". Are they really like that? How hard is it to say to someone that you're grateful to them when they do something, anything for you? May be these people think they're overdoing it? And that might reduce the value of it? But does it really reduce the value of it? It's difficult to understand.

    As for the "sorry"s, I am reminded of the dialog from Munnabhai where Gandhiji says to Bhai how slapping someone is so easy, but to apologize for something we've done needs good amount of courage.

    I'm reminded of a proverb in Sanskrit: वचनेषु किम् दरिद्रता
    It means: why the poverty in speech? Why not be generous when saying (good/nice) things? Indeed, it's not worth being so (poor).

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Blue Man Group - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    (c) Blue Man Group

    It was my first time ever seeing a live show. It was by Blue Man Group. Here are some thoughts:

    Good: Of the 100 minutes of show, I want to say only some 15 solid minutes were real performance. A display of what you call pure talent. And I demand all those 100 minutes to be like that. Only that part was really good.

    Bad: Silly non-verbal jokes, throwing things around at one another and live video taping and all other time-pass activities do not equal to entertainment. Honestly, it just felt like they were trying to pass as much of those 100 minutes as possible without actually doing anything significant. I know they have it in them. Why waste everybody's time then? There were moments during the show where I felt like I could've been doing something better than be there. It was that bad.

    Ugly: Reading funny stuff off of an LCD screen called GiPad (giant iPad?) that lasted for more than 50% of the show time. C'mon, I can do that on the computer at home. Don't have to pay for the show tickets to have that kind of entertainment, do I? No originality and that sucked, man. Completely. Yeah. I don't recommend Blue Man Group. Save your money or go spend it else where. I can't believe some people actually pay hundreds of dollars for this? Appalling!

    Hopefully, I don't judge all shows from this one. But I'm afraid now.

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    અબઘડી, અંક: ૨ માં થી..

    તમે તમારા મનને કેવો ખોરાક આપો છો?

    આપણે આજે જે કઈ છીએ તે આપણા વિચારોનું જ પરિણામ છે. બહારથી મળતી માહિતીઓ ઉપરથી જ મન વિચારો પેદા કરે છે. આપણી આંખ, કાન, નાક, જીભ, અને ત્વચા એ પાંચ ઇન્દ્રિયો માહિતી આપવાનું કામ બંધ નથી કરતી, માટે મન વિચારવાનું કામ બંધ નથી કરતું. જેવા વિચારો એવો અભિગમ અને જેવો અભિગમ એવા નિર્ણયો. જેવો નિર્ણય એવું કાર્ય અને જેવું કાર્ય તેવા પરિણામ. એનો અર્થ એ કે જો આપણે સમૃદ્ધિ જોઈતી હોય તો મનને સમૃદ્ધિની જ માહિતી પૂરી પાડવી જોઈએ. તે માટે આપણે આંખ-કાનમાં ફિલ્ટર નાખવું પડે. આ ફિલ્ટરનું નામ છે 'પ્રતિવિચાર'.

    જયારે તમે કોઈ નકારાત્મક દ્રશ્ય કે વાત જોઈ-સાંભળી રહ્યા હોવ અને એ જોવું કે સાંભળવું જ પડે એમ હોય ત્યારે એ નકારાત્મક પરિસ્થિતિથી બિલકુલ વિરોધી શબ્દો મનમાં બોલો. દા.ત. રૂપિયા તો હાથનો મેલ છે. તેની સામે મનને કહો 'રૂપિયા હાથની શોભા છે.' આમ થવાથી મન એ નવા શબ્દો ઉપર વિચારો કરવા લાગશે. જો તમે તમારા મનને શ્રેષ્ઠ ખોરાક નહિ આપો તો દુનિયાના પ્રવાહો તો જાત-જાતનો ખોરાક આપવા રાહ જોઇને જ બેઠા છે. મન આપણને માત્ર એ જ આપી શકે કે જે આપણે એને આપ્યું હોય.

    સાભાર-સૌજન્ય: રાજીવ ભલાણી, દિવ્ય ભાસ્કર


    The name of this magazine is "abghadi". "Abghadi" in Gujarati translates to "right at this moment" and this two-page magazine comes out every month, I believe. The group of people who put it together expect that you read it instantly. It is in Gujarati because most Gujaratis are forgetting how to read Gujarati because of lack of practice... this is their way to encourage more people to read in the language. Their slogan is "not just reading, a movement to change self" and majority of the writing reflects that. The above article is from the second issue of the magazine and I really liked it so I've made a feeble attempt to closely translate it to English below. Please feel free to share a better translation of words/phrases if you can think of any.


    What kind of food do you feed your mind?

    Who we are today is the result of our thoughts. Our mind creates the thoughts from the external information. Five senses - our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin don't stop relaying information, so mind does not stop thinking. Thoughts turn into approach and approaches turn into decisions. Decisions lead to effort and efforts lead to results. This means that if we want enrichment, we have to provide our minds with enriching information. For this, we have to place filters on our eyes and ears. This filter is called "rethinking".

    When you are viewing/hearing about a scene with negativity and the situation forces you to see/hear that situation, then think completely opposite from that negative situation. e.g. money is like dirt of your hands. Then against that, tell (your) mind 'money adorns your hands'. By doing this, (your) mind will start thinking about these new words. If you do not feed your mind with the best possible food (nutrients) then the streams of the world are ever eager to provide (it) with various/any kinds of food. The mind can only give us what we give it.

    Contributor: Rajiv Bhalani, Divya Bhaskar
    Source: "Read Now", Issue no. 2

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Kutch Highlights - Day 2 - Anjar, Mata No Madh

    Day 2 in Kutch started out with shopping and sight-seeing in Anjar - the sword & knife capital of Gujarat. As soon as we got there, we went straight to the market as we were going to hangout with one of our acquaintances, JS, there. After spending some time with Mr. JS, we went around shopping for some quality knives, and sudi. Anjar is famous for the metal handicrafts such as swords, knives and all other kinds of metal items. We shopped at this place called Palan Sarota Works.

    Store selling knives

    While shopping there, these two Kutchi women stopped by for some shopping and I got to shoot them. :) It was nice to see the details of their clothes and jewelry from so up close. They were shy at first but then smiled and posed for their photos eventually.

    Kutchi women in traditional Kutchi attire

    More shopping needed to be done but first thing was first. That was to visit the Samaadhi of Jesal Jadeja and Sati Toral as they close in the afternoon so we headed straight to this place. It was interesting to visit this historical landmark and hear about the story of Jesal-Toral and how he (a dacoit) went to steal the Tori ghoDi (horse) at the home of Saansatiyaaji - husband of Jesal and ended up kidnapping Jesal. They spent the latter part of their lives here.

    Main entrance to Jesal-Toral Samadhi

    Right across from the samaadhi are little shops selling all kinds of things such as swords/knives, music, books and other collective items.

    Knife & sword store

    Next stop was at the temple of Ajepal (Ajay Pal) dada. City of Anjar is named after him and there's huge class of his devotees in and around Anjar.

    Entrance of temple

    Once we were done with roaming around Anjar for sight-seeing, it was time for shopping! First stop was at Ahemad's Handicrafts. Oh my goodness! this place has some of the most fantastic bedsheets and dress materials I've ever seen. Even the lungis were so beautiful, I couldn't help but buy three of them for myself. Now what I'm going to do with a lungi is something I still need to find an answer for. May be I'll get a top made or use it as a table-cloth or open it up and use it as a bedsheet. If you are in Anjar, don't forget to stop by here

    Ahemad Handicrafts

    and also at the garment shop of Katri Ismail Haji Abdul Latif. This place is THE PLACE for ready-made clothes, baandhani dress materials/saaris, purses, wall pieces, other handicrafts along with tops and many other similar things. Their gaji silk saari are totally drool-worthy and you wouldn't want to get out of there without some for yourself/your loved ones. :D

    Garment store of Katri Ismail Haji Abdul Latif

    After spending relatively less amount of time than what I wished, we were off to Mata No Madh. This is where they have Maa Ashapura temple. While driving to Mata Na Madh, we got to see the TV tower, which reminded me of the Space Needle tower of Seattle,

    TV tower near Mankuwa

    and the Lignite project plant of Gujarat Khanij Vikas Nigam Limited and a very beautiful sunset.


    Once at Mata No Madh, we got some flowers and prasaad for the temple and headed inside the temple for darshan. As like most temples, this one doesn't allow photography inside also so I couldn't take photos of the outstanding intricate work on the inside of the temple. The visitor center personnel did let me take some photos from outside after I requested him numerous times.

    Temple at Mata no Madh

    If you're visiting this temple, make sure you are there to be part of the evening aarti at the temple. OH MY GOD! It is out of this world experience to be part of that event. I guarantee that it will be an experience that you have never had before. After the aarti, I just wish I had an opportunity to record even the audio of it but it practically transported me to this divine world and all I could feel was that every single hair on my body was standing up with happiness and feelings I can't describe. I'd go to this place just to be able to attend that aarti of Mataji. With the sounds of bells and nagara playing during the aarti, it was one of a kind experiences! It is said that when the district of Kutch had severe drought, this place was the only one where water remained and people came from faraway distances to drink water around here.

    By nightfall, we arrived at Narayan Sarovar and had really nice, simple dinner of khichadi-kadhi at Shri Kutch Narayan Sarovar Annakshetra and Bhojanalay and spent the night at the dharmashala there.

    More photos of Anjar & Mata Na Madh.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Kutch Highlights - Day 1 - Gandhidham

    Imagine that you've never seen this ad of Amitabh Bachchan or never heard him say all the things he says in the video about Kutch, including "aapne Kutch nahin dekha to kuchh nahin dekha.. kuchh din to gujaaro, Gujarat mein! hai! AYE KAKA!!" and moreover, you've never really heard of things to see/do in Kutch. The only thing you remember of Kutch is that Lagaan was shot there and read the horror news about a massive earthquake. Then you find out that you're getting to go there just the day before you are supposed to leave for Kutch.

    This is exactly how I was the day before I left for my first visit to this magnificent land called Kutch. The original plan was to visit Rajasthan, possibly Jaipur, Udaipur, Ambaji and whatnot, but work took higher priority so I didn't have enough days left for the planned roadtrip. That's when plan B came to rescue - everyone else suggested we go to Kutch instead and my only requirement was that we pick a place none of us have seen before. This worked out pretty well because none of us had been to Kutch before, except for my youngest cousin. He said that he didn't mind visiting it again and got super excited about it so we were all set to go.

    We started out from Bhavnagar after lunch on Monday and arrived at Gandhidham by night. For dinner we stopped by at this all vegetarian dhaba-like place called Shri Chamundakrupa Restaurant in Samkhiyali, Kutch. This is on highway and serves really nice all-you-can-eat thaali.

    Shri Chamundakrupa Restaurant, Samkhiyali, Kutch

    In Gandhidham, we stayed at this really nice place called Hotel Gokul. We had a booking at another hotel near by but that one got more people than they expected and gave away our rooms to other tourists before we got there. So instead of getting upset and nervous, we roamed around a little bit on the Gandhidham highway and found this really nice place called Hotel Gokul! It was better than the place we were supposed to stay at and had a wonderful time because we got two rooms connected from inside so all seven of us could stay together. I definitely recommend this place.

    Hotel Gokul, Gandhidham

    Next day, we had super delicious South Indian breakfast at Chawla Cafe in Gandhidham downtown and started driving towards Anjar by 10 AM.

    Chawla Cafe, Downtown Gandhidham

    Tuesday, April 05, 2011

    My Favorite & Yours.. Old Door Darshan Ads

    When I start recalling those Door Darshan ads from the 80s ad 90s, I can't help but recall Nirma to be the most easily remembered as there were so many versions of it and probably the most famous one.

    washing powder nirma..
    washing powder nirma
    doodh ki safedi nirma se aaye
    rangeen kapda bhi khil khil jaaye
    sab ki pasand nirma!
    washing powder nirma
    washing powder nirma

    Then there was another version of the goti/sabun that had a line like this one:

    ab aap samjhe yeh tikiya maine kyon li?

    That one had the line "ek sau pachaas gram ki tikiya ____ dhero kapda dhoye aur zyada chale..."

    There was also one where the little girl from the billboard starts singing "suno suno aye babuji.. kapde kyon itne maile hai?"

    Do you remember this one?

    chehre ki sundarta ko nikhaare naya hamaam
    se saaf rakhe tan ko de taazgi hamaam
    yeh ghar ghar ka hai pyaara
    hamaam hamaam hamaam!

    fresca! fresca!
    sundar suhana fresca khushbu ka khazana fresca!

    tandurusti ki raksha karta hai lifebouy
    lifebouy hai jahaan tanduristi hai wahaan!

    I think my favorite one (music and singing wise) was the Liril one that started with a girl in white under waterfalls in a rain forest like place and singing "la.. la la la la la la la la la la la la.."

    It's funny all the ads I remember on top of my head are of soaps. I know I'm forgetting Rin here.

    There were the ones with Rasna, Maggie, Complan (I am a Complan boy *elbow poke* I am a Complan girl!), Boost (with Kapil Dev saying Boost is the secret of my energy), and my favorite of all Humara Bajaj.


    Lijjat paapad

    The one with bunny going:

    ..furram.. farram....furram.. farram..
    swaad swaad mein lijjat lijjat paapad
    lijjat paapad! eh.. eh eh.. eh.. eh eh..


    Hawkins pressure cooker

    Hawkins ki seeti baji
    khushbu hi khushbu udi..
    (can't recall the rest)


    Lakhani shoes

    The song was based on "mera juta hai japani" song and ended with "..rang-birangi shoes lakhani, yeh hai campus shoes lakhani...".


    Thumbs Up

    taste the thunder! or should I say? toofaani thanda! :)


    Daabar laal dant-manjan

    daanton ki kare hifaazat
    moti sa chamkaaye
    daabar laal dant-manjan se mukhda khil khil jaaye

    arre raaju! tumhaare daant to motiyo jaise chamak rahe hai!
    kyon na ho masterji.. main daabar ka laal dant-manjan jo istemaal karta hoon


    Seema bulbs aur tubes

    ghar ghar mein ujiyala laaye
    seema seema seema

    I think this was a Sridevi-ad


    Oh my all time favorite:

    jab main chhota baccha tha
    badi sharaarat karta tha
    jab meri chori pakdi jaati
    tab roshan hota bajaaj!

    ab main boodha.. (can't recall what goes here)
    goli khaakar jeeta hoon


    Khetan fan


    Oneida TV

    This one had green-colored taklu devil guy with tail.


    Do you remember any other ones?

    PS. I'll update this post as I remember more.

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Adalaj Stepwell (vaav)

    Adalaj ni vaav (step-well) is a must-see place if you're in Ahmedabad area. I was fortunate to have visited the place during my last trip there. And whatever amount of time you will have there will not be enough. I know for sure that I'm going back there again. It's less than an hour worth of drive from Ahmedabad and if you leave early in the day, it might be half an hour or so. The place has nice market like thing to hangout at and spend the afternoon or even make a picnic like trip.

    It was so much fun to shoot the photos as it was a clear bright day. In India, it's not so hard to find such a time but when you don't get to see that during winter season, it just makes you appreciate it so much.

    At the step-well, they don't allow videography or flash photography. There's personnel there to enforce this. They might look like normal visitors but they're actually employees (of Archeological Survey of India? I'm guessing). They allow visitors to take pictures without the flash though so I was really thankful for that. I didn't have more time otherwise I'd have checked out the graves of the workers who created this vaav back in the day (A. D. 1498).

    Here's a glimpse to the vaav and the history of it:

    Details on the stairs

    Details and damaged walls

    Jharukho (balcony)

    Multiple levels of the well

    View from the bottom

    Details on the walls

    Pillar stacks and walls

    Banyan tree (vadvaai & vad)

    More photos of Adalaj Step-well.

    Tuesday, March 08, 2011

    Bollywood songs now at a new level!

    This incident reminds me of those reader's digest jokes. This one happened last month while I was in India. My niece, nephew and younger cousins were all going crazy screaming and singing songs in the room next door. Overhearing them, I sat there wondering what food and what person they were talking about while singing "chhee laagi javaani..." (છી લાગી જવાની/will have to go poo/toilet). I chuckled and thought how kids sing craziest things as songs these days. I walk into the room only to find out that it actually is a Bollywood song and a super-hit one at that and goes like this: "my name is sheela, sheela ki jawaani". We laughed and laughed for the coming days singing this new song... "sheela ki jawaani" was never this famous before!

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    Maya, The Illusion (Album)

    Happy new year 2011 to my blog and my readers! :)

    One of the albums that I've been listening to lately. It's one of my favorite works of Rahul Sharma. It reminds me of of this other album lover's conversation quite a lot.

    My other favorites from the collection are:
  • Permeability
  • Clairvoyance
  • Delusion
  • Embodiment
  • Leela - Nature Of Supreme Conciousness
  • The Veil

    You can listen to the tracks here.