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What a memory!

Life’s changes come in all shapes and sizes. Change could be simply organising your cupboards, changing the layout of your living room or change in your career, moving away from home and so on. These are all the changes we go through consciously and with lot of thoughts put in. However as one grows older, change in viewpoint/likings comes silently and you do not realize until confronted on the subject.

I experienced this firsthand few days ago when I decided to show my kids blockbuster movie of the times when I was younger. My kids are big time fans of BTS (the biggest boy band of the world). While they keep listening to their music all the time, my TV time was reduced mostly to Kpop as they hardly let me touch the remote. So this was a good excuse to take control in my hand and reminisce my old times.

Amongst the available options of movies on digital platform , we chose “Raja Hindustani”. I remember the songs of this movie were a rage. There was not a single bus, taxi or restaurants where ‘Pardesi Pardesi’ song was not blaring. The cinemas were house full and Karishma Kapoor was highly praised for her straight hair look and pairing opposite Amir Khan. We had to wait a whole week to finally get tickets and we were quite thrilled to watch it in hall jam packed with people whistling. For me at that time, Raja Hindustani was a paisa wasool movie.

Cut to the present….the movie starts and we see that pretty & rich damsel Karishma along with her two servants/confidants visits Palankhet (an imaginary town) and comes across an illiterate Taxi driver. His antics impress her and she eventually falls for him head over heals. Believe me people, the movie is so cringeworthy in first half that I was afraid to turn my face towards my kids who were equally disgusted. A full grown woman talking and acting like a child was just not at all attractive. Even my eleven year old is more matured than her. There is a scene where Amir khan tries to impress her by putting face powder in abundance and dance and sing….she laughs and he feels humiliated. Obviously one would laugh if you act like joker. But no, in this movie, Karishma kapoor goes and says sorry and they share a passionate kiss. She comes back home all hyped up and bumps into her father who has come to take her back. Ladies and gentleman, she chooses to leave. Okay, fair enough, after all summer flings do happen. Highlight is that this taxi driver only goes to drop them at the airport. No communication between the pair as to why…how what…nothing.

They stop at a midway sort of place where some people are singing and dancing. Here comes our much anticipated song “Pardesi Pardesi jana nahi”. A beautiful girl starts singing and dancing passionately. Clearly dance isn’t her forte. Nonetheless, she sings exactly what the hero wants to convey at this point in time in the movie. Our hero starts singing too and going by the lyrics, he literally curses the heroine that she wont be able to sleep if she goes and will suffer a lot. Another lady with make up from hell, gets up drinks half a litre of alcohol, breaks the bottle and starts dancing absurdly.

The situation is tensed and supremely weird. Hero is sobbing and so is heroine with her goggles on, bottles are breaking and the father of the heroine has no clue whatsoever. He smiles occasionally.

Now I don’t know whether the curses shook the heroine or it was just that ridiculous dance which forces her to go and give our hero a tight hug and put a stop to this madness. At this point the father’s expressions are priceless. The song is finally over and along with it our desire to watch the movie any further.

Experience the song here yourself 😊 :

Little did I sensed that my memory was about an experience and not a movie per se. If this movie was to be released now, it would have met the same fate of Radhe. With time my likings and interests have changed too. Still, I will keep this song in my happy memories. The melody is no doubt super. I feel nostalgic listening to old songs, but my taste has changed surely. Me and my kids had a hearty laugh talking about the movie and proceeded to watch new release of a kpop group.

Continue reading “What a memory!”

How to reach Goa in 10 simple steps

Ladies and gentleman, brace yourselves as you are about to read the ultimate guide to reach Goa from Kolkata in ten easy steps, exclusively from the horse’s mouth.

Step 1. – Book yourself on a one stop flight via Mumbai to Goa. Take as much luggage as possible. Trust me, taking extra luggage has a lot to do in making your travel story successful.

Step 2. – As soon as your plane touches Mumbai, shove, push & stomp on people’s feet to get ahead in the queue to get down. Ignore the air-hostess’s plea to remain seated.I repeat, get down of the aircraft as soon as possible, as if it was about to explode. If you remain in the flight for 5 more minutes, you will totally realize that this same flight can take you to your destination in another hour.

Step 3.- You may plan your travel with your close friends and ask them to meet you at Mumbai airport, who by chance will be travelling from Kolkata itself, but of course by a different airline. Make sure your flights don’t touch the same terminals. Taking an over expensive cab just to get to Terminal 2 to be together with your friend will kick start your journey to Goa.

Step 4. – Book your tickets on a train to Goa from Mumbai. There’s a train at 11 30 AM, which goes through a picturesque landscape. SKIP THAT. You don’t want to see any other beauty as you are going to GOA. There is enough scenic beauty planned in your 7 days trip.

Step 5. – Take the one at 3 PM. This way, it will be dark soon and you will have nothing else to do besides talking face to face with your family as there will be no mobile network. Seldom comes a time in today’s hectic schedule, when we all sit together and talk heart to heart.

Step 6.- Indian train journey can not be complete without a tussle between you and the Manglorian uncle, for he wants his bags to be comfortably placed first, for he wants the window seat, for he is OLD. Forget all the chivalry and push all of your 36 bags under the tier.

Step 7. – Thank yourself for creating miracle – your babies. The train journey is never complete till one of kids either steps on some uncle’s hand, falls down from the berth or goes to the loo no less than 100 times. Keep them on sugar rush throughout the journey. They should play, run around and scream till the time half of the compartment gets migraine attack. Some old lady might advice you to make them sleep. Ignore her.

Step 8. – Did I tell you that this train does not have pantry car!! Lock this in specially if you travelling with kids. You don’t want them to have decent meals everyday. Let them enjoy Vada Paav once for god’s sake.

Step 9. – The train reaches Goa at around 2: 30 AM. There will be no coach attendant at that time, so queue in your luggage at the gate. You never know when the train will align at the platform. Make your sleepy kids sit on the luggage. Refer to point no 1 which is to carry extra luggage. You can make them lie on them. 🙂

Step 10. – When you finally reach Margaon station after a 12 hour journey, look for the way out. Don’t go too far. There is a foot bridge towards the taxi stand. There’s an escalator too but that isn’t operational till 6 in the morning. Everyone travelling, pick three to four bags each, weighing according to your caliber and pull yourself up one step at a time. Its fun trust me. When you get down on the other side, you will realize that you are the back side of the taxi stand!!  See I told you its fun. Come on, now pull all your luggage around half a kilometer to get to your cab. Once you do find your cab, you will spot the taxi driver looking desperately for you facing towards exit of the station, which of course you would had come out of, if you would had decided to walk down further on the platform and not take the bridge. But, if you would had done that, would there be any story left with you to tell your grand kids.

No journey is long enough till the time you are in good company. So my friends, do try this amazing travel plan tailor made for the adventurous soul inside each one of us.

When the earth decided to rock

They say, animals are the first to identify the natural calamity. “Not True”. Just as I was about to unwind after lunch with a book, our building started trembling. I looked at my Dog sitting near me and he had this ‘please scratch me’ look in his eyes. I looked towards my kids; they were happily running around with the ball. I thought, may be I should stop over eating. It’s causing dizziness. It took me a while to realize that this was an earthquake. I wouldn’t lie, I did panic for a bit as it had been just a few hours since I was reading the news about devastating earthquake in Italy.

I quickly sent out some sms & whatsapps (lol…it’s true) and announced we should go down. While kids and the dog seem to be excited by the suggestion of getting out of the house, my maid wasn’t so keen. She said, “Aami ekhan theke ei dekhbo”. I was startled, this isn’t a snowfall that you will watch from the 6th floor!! “Let’s go down”, I reinforced. We rushed through the stairs. You know, such events bring humans closer. The Aunty from upper floor really came close to tumble me on the stairs while sprinting downstairs. The timely pull from my Dog hustled me to the side or I would had rolled down with her. I knew all those early morning walks to make him poop will pay off some day.

The trembling had stopped by then, but the shaky feeling was still lingering in the minds. Everybody in the complex had gathered in the ground. Some half dressed, and some with purses and bags. Everyone seemed to get the smartphones with them though. While an elderly lady apprised us that Mother Nature is very angry that is why this earthquake has occurred, her daughter-in-law smartly shifted to other group where they were discussing a 4 weeks diet plan. Everyone had their own story of the event and dramatic version of how they escaped death.

I excused myself on the pretext of a call. My kids were nowhere to be seen and the dog by then had pulled the maid to his choice of shrub. I also decided to take a walk. The initial panic and tension was consoled as I saw people talking, laughing and greeting each other. Thankfully, the earthquake was not a major one and everyone was safe and together.  I was elated seeing the various flowers in bloom in our complex. Such is the power of life. Walking down the shaded pathways, I felt rejuvenated at the sound of excited chatter of my children playing in the park.