Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trip down the Nehru residence

My job takes me to places in India that I would normally never think of visiting. One such place was Allahabad, a relatively small town in Uttar Pradesh and it was an eye-opener. During my stay there I had the opportunity to visit "Anand Bhavan". As I approached the huge bugalow which once housed the members of the Nehru family, I was told that I could not take photos inside.As I entered the place, which is now an attraction for people from world over, I could not contain my excitement and felt like a kid in a candy store.I moved from one room to another seeing the grand style in which the Nehru family lived. But the whole experience left me with the feeling that our country could have been a great nation if its leaders worked towards the prosperity of its people.For instance the memorabilia at the Anand Bhavan included Nehru's leather long coat worn by him overseas, his London issued passport, silver cutlery, travel iron (small sized), different designed leather wallets with his name engraved on it, porcelain leg warming equipment, letters written by him to Indira, Bapu's letter to Indira.Why in those days Nehru also had an electric shaver (which was popularized much later)!!!.All the rooms had a high quality and beautifully crafted furniture and loads of books (the size of a library).It was truly like going back in time.The bungalow also had rooms kept for Mahatma Gandhi, study rooms for the Nehrus, Indira's rooms, Congress Committee meeting room.The huge property had a sprawling garden, planetarium and now what is converted into a book store. Seeing all of that made me wonder if the common man in those days had even one of these mentioned items that the Nehrus' possessed.

All in all, it was a thought provoking trip. I would recommend a visit to anyone who comes to Allahabad.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Freebees Ahoy!

8th March is celebrated as Women’s Day worldwide and India is no exception. However, this year, apart from the usual discounts and special offers by companies selling all kinds of goods and services (read-beauty products and designer clothes) there were some offers that came with absolutely no strings attached. And that is too irresistible even for someone like me since advertisements have never enticed me.

One such offer was that by Big Cinemas who gave every woman in this country, an open invitation to walk into any Big Cinema theatre and watch any movie free of charge and that too all day long! What can I say-too irresistible isn’t it? I felt it was my duty to oblige since I got handed a pamphlet informing me the same when I visited there the last time! So, come 8th March I called in my friend and told her that we have to grab this offer with both hands and both legs if needed, and she obliged of course. Now mind you, we have never done such a thing before, never even tried the free make up session at the Shoppers Stop outlets. So we braved the Mumbai traffic and landed at R City Mall in Ghatkopar well within time. Took the elevator to the 3rd floor with much anticipation knowing that all the women with us had also come to celebrate women’s day and were headed in the same direction. Finally on arrival we found a huge serpentine line, which was being manned by staffers handing out forms (yeah-forms asking for details of which movie we wanted to watch!). We could not believe the turnout and kept cracking up seeing the addition to this queue. All women kept chattering among themselves deciding which movie was worth the free ticket and if they would in fact get the ticket at all. There were college groups, kitty party groups, families where women came along with their men folk who of course were paying for their tickets as was the case with yours truly. The whole scene was fascinating as it was funny. Once we came close to the ticket counter the decision on which movie to watch took paramount importance. Women were calculating with increased fervour the odds of getting the tickets before them being sold out. As for us we knew all the way that we would be watching the Road Movie since we had planned for it a few days back. Good for us that nobody wanted to watch this hatke movie, so we sailed through with getting our tickets on time.

We wanted to remember this day where we actually watched a movie for free and hence captured it on our camera feeling and looking every bit jubilant.

I realized that people actually love being a freebee even if that meant standing for hours to get what is being doled out free of charge. The growing consumerism is what theatre owners are capitalizing upon, with such offers. On any other day, I am sure the footfalls in the food stalls and other stores would not have been this high.

All in all it was one fun day, which left me feeling that people do take time out from their busy schedules to enjoy such bounties. Currently I am checking if there are any more such days which will be celebrated with all earnestness!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mile My Lip synching Sur ....

Was looking forward to the much publicised 2010 version of the evergreen Mile Sur Mera Tumhara which captivated the hearts and minds of million Indians right through the 80s and 90s. Read that many-read current- celebrities had been roped in to be a part of this venture which was touted to recreate the same magic of yester years. However, the product of all the efforts, was a pale and uninspiring version of the original, which left me tortured to say the least!
Firstly the original actually had renowned and established people from the field of music, movies,defence and sports.These were achievers in their own right. The musicians actually sang the parts that featured them! The sportsmen and women were truly inspiring. The original even showed the average Indian man and woman doing routine activities which all of us connected with and felt a sense of being represented. The men and women from the armed forced were equally given airtime making us realize how important their jobs are. The movie stars, well, I don't have much of an opinion of them, but they did add to the glitz of the entire song making it larger than life itself.I am sure every Indian felt the pride-I did.
The latest version was nothing but a bunch of popular actors lip syncing the song with hardly any patriotism in their emotions! There were a handful of the original talents who were the only saving grace. I barely recognized any of the so-called superstars from the south. How on earth did the organizers put people who are barely known in a song like this which was to air on national television as a symbol of national unity?
In all-a complete let down and a sham-that's what it was....