Tag Archives: love

Cowbells and Canola fields

17 Oct

Imagine a rolling field of canola flowers, a gentle breeze blowing across the nodding heads of yellow buds, the tinkling of genuine alpine cowbells, mandolin music….a man straightens up, slowly and dramatically, opens his arms up to welcome you in to an embrace….. sigh

(if that doesn’t make your heart go wummmm like a tuning fork, I don’t know what else can- oh yes, forgot to mention, there are dimples involved!)

If you had been a teenager growing up in India in the early 90’s, you would immediately know what I am talking about. The scene that came to epitomise romance for millions of teens in 1995 – ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya leh Jayenge’ lovingly called ‘DDLJ’ – loosely translated: ‘The Brave gets the Bride’ (I like alliterations). This movie made every Indian teen believe that Switzerland is heaven, not just a tax-haven. Alpine cowbells probably beat the sale of Swiss chocolates that year because every Indian that went to Switzerland that year or thereafter did not leave that country without acquiring one for their loved one.

My regular readers know of my turbulent relationship with Shah Rukh Khan (King Khan). A friend asked me recently how can I be so besot with that man – he overacts all the time. It is not just Shah Rukh Khan I adore, it is the character he plays – the larger-than-life romantic hero and yes, he can play that to the hilt and that is not overacting!

He never ever gives up on his lady-love, he never ever would turn away from a confrontation (be it with his father, the girl’s father, his boss, the police or even terrorists), he who would fight till the end with whatever means necessary. He rarely harasses the girl to fall in love with him – he just wins them over by being naughty, silly, with his over-the-top antics and look-into-my-eyes look. In his movies, love develops over a period of time- sometimes it takes the entire length of the movie which can go up-to 3 hours but hey, all good things take time. So you wait till the credits roll, do you hear?

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Deleted scene from the previous post

29 Aug
Pistachios on ice cream, Salzburg, Austria

Pistachios on ice cream, Salzburg, Austria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our son (yes, he reads most of my posts) pointed out that I forgot to add important details to my last post- which flavour ice-cream sundaes did we order!

Here are some more yummy details.

I am not sure what my husband ordered as at that time he was just some guy that wanted to go out for an ice-cream in a hot country, no big deal. I think he ordered Butterscotch because even today he thinks that is an awesome name for an ice-cream flavour which probably has very less butter and no whiskey at all in it. Or maybe he ordered a sandwich -*shrug* I really can’t say as I wasn’t paying any attention to him or his orders.

(I am sure he will claim that the present is no different)

Anyway, I know what I ordered – a ‘Honey Bee’ – a delicious, mouth-watering creation with chocolate and coffee ice-cream, topped with chocolate sauce, honey, garnished with chopped nuts and coconut sprinkles. Looked a bit like the picture above.

*Sigh*

Those were the days, when I could eat all that with such impunity and not worry about waistlines, coronary heart diseases and diabetes.

No, ice-cream sundaes are not part of my post-children diet.

How I met your father*

27 Aug

Children, gather around, according to the caption in the movie ‘The Notebook’, every love story has a great story behind it. And I believe my love story could make at least a 3-hr bollywood movie, if not a 8-season strong sitcom. So sit back and listen……

Btw, all copyrights reserved, except for the title (* -Thank you CBS)!

(Cue the voice over by Kallu)

It all started one balmy evening in May 1998. I came out of the open-air-theater at my Alma Mater IITM after watching the harrowing movie ‘Seven’. I was ambushed by these German exchange students C and F. C and F introduced me to this new German guy A. They told him what a helpful girl I have been and that they would unhesitatingly recommend me as a helpful person of small stature. My family ingrained in me that hospitality is next to Godliness and in my befuddled state (Brad Pitt was awesome and the ending was so astounding) I agreed to be sort of his Indian-friend and gave him my email-address.

Least did I know that being a ‘sort of a friend’, is going to be looking very different a year from then.

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Why you should never ever let your children watch romantic movies

30 Jun

Quote from High Fidelity by Nick Hornby:

“People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands – literally thousands – of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss”

The same holds true for romantic movies. I usually avoid all tear-jerker movies – I do not have the patience for sob stuff anymore – usually it’s so over-the-top that you just want to throw up. I and my husband quote Joe Queenan whenever we end up watching such a scene in an otherwise entertaining movie/TV-series -”die witch, die”. This is what Queenan was thinking when the girl in ‘A Walk to Remember’ was still talking when she was supposed to just die. I haven’t seen the movie but Joe McQueen’s review was enough to convey the message. (‘Notebook’ is my dirty secret because it has got Ryan Gosling in it but otherwise I hate Nicholas Sparks books and movies based on them.)

Coming back to the quote in High Fidelity, just imagine your impressionable teenagers growing up with movies where people get married to their ‘eternal love’ because it has been destined so, imagine the pain and heart-break when they find out that there is no ready-made Mr. or Ms. Right? All these movies that portray such love should be rated 21-and-above because any younger, you are not ready to understand the difference between real-life and the edited version of reel-life.

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The importance of punctuation

17 Jun

Even into the late 90s, telegrams were what you sent in India, if you want something to go viral – be it good or bad news. It was the #twitter for 160 years. The catch was, you had to be concise – every letter, number and sign counted. You have to think of what you wanted to say and then try and say it in as few words as possible. If you turned up at the telegram counter, it meant you have something so important to say that you are willing to pay hard cash for it.

Receiving a telegram, on the other hand, was filled with trepidation. It usually brought bad news, as bad news travels faster than any other kind (except videos of Psy which travels at speed of light). So if the post man enters your gate and announces “telegram”– it was, literally, a matter of life or death. It meant someone has either passed away or is about to or a new life has come into this world. Either way, life came to a standstill at the receiving end. Sometimes people would shoot the messenger and curse the post man that delivered the bad news or he would be praised for bringing the good news. Then life at that household would take a deep-breath and continue.

Imagine my surprise then, when I received a telegram on a fine day in July 1998 at my hostel room in IITMadras. I was terrified to open it- it was from my home town but I knew of no one that is close to me or my family, who was having a baby. By clever process of elimination, my mind had come to the conclusion it must be death then that the telegram carries. With trembling hands, I opened the blue telegram and it said “come to Madurai – A”. I exploded in relief and anger.

‘A’ was a German exchange student at my university in 1998. He and a couple of his friends were on a road trip around South India and he was on his way to my home town, Madurai. He knew that I had taken other German exchange students to my place in Madurai. And he had the gall to send me a telegram, ordering me to come to Madurai. I was so offended that I must have ranted for an hour to my friends about this spindly, blond, condescending German guy! What was he thinking of himself?! I should drop everything I have and coming running to play tour guide?!? How dare he?!? 

After that angry adrenaline come down, I went off to classes and my life continued. But I kept the telegram. Looking back now, I wondered if my heart knew what my head did not. In any case, the telegram was carefully saved and was brandished when ‘A’ got back, as an example of how rude he had been to me.

‘A’ listened patiently to my carefully controlled outburst and asked to see the telegram. I threw it, well, not in his face, he is more than a head taller than me, lets say I threw it in his general direction. He looked very stricken after reading it and told me that he had put a question mark at the end of the statement but the telegraph guy had not included it! I was speechless.

He was on a budget travel and he really wanted to see me. He decided on sending a telegram. As he had to compress his message, he thought instead of writing “Please Come to Madurai(Stop)”, he would write “Come to Madurai(question mark)”. I don’t think the telegraph guy/lady ever had to send a message with a question-mark in it, so they turned it into a full stop.

That was the story of how punctuation caused our first lovers’ tiff though at that time I had no inkling that this is going to be a love story. It has been fifteen years now since that telegram, but my husband has never forgotten his lesson in the importance of correct punctuation, even in emails.