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Done by a click!

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“Whoa, that’s great! Where’d you get it from??” While the essential, excited question always remain the same, the answer has changed dramatically over the past few years and how.

Lately, I’ve simultaneously educated, enlightened, and experienced for myself the joys of online shopping. Eeeyup. At the risk of sounding like a shopaholic girl, I must confess that I’ve acted like Rambo on rampage on every e-shopping site available.

When Chayanika, a friend at a previous workplace once asked me which of her two shortlisted dresses was a better choice, I gave her the twisted expression and talk-to-the-hand. What’s so wrong with that you ask? Nothing. Except at the time these dresses were being displayed to me on a computer screen. And back then, I thought that the entire notion of checking a dress or a pair of shoes is ridiculous!

I mean seriously. A) You do not ask a dude to decide flowery dresses B) Why choose something you can’t immediately buy? You don’t even know how it fits!

Then another friend, Pratik proudly declared how he was hooked to these online shopping sites even at the risk of running a high credit. The idea seemed crazy. But I did manage to see some of the good purchases he made and that too on steal away prices.

Things changed when Naina, another friend and co-worker decided to preach the brilliance of online shopping. Deal was I did want to buy some T-shirts and a pair of shoes. Wouldn’t do no harm if I did a bit of digital browsing now would it?

It’s amazing how curiosity and laziness backed by ease of service can get you hooked to something like online shopping. Not to mention there ain’t no over-eager pesky salesman waiting to help the bejesus out of you.

So between work and procrastination I found myself scrolling through scores of Shoes and T-shirts. There were so many of this. At throw-away prices! And you get free credits! Hold on! This didn’t actually look so bad!

I was hooked. Everytime I saw something and go ‘Whoa’, Naina would give me what I can only describe as a victorious and gleeful “Oh-my-god-I’ve-created-a-monster” smile.

So like Di Gama and Columbus I sailed my ship towards the prosperous shopping lands of Myntra, Jabong, Fashion&You, Zovi, Freecultr etc etc

Over the course of a week I’ve bought 3 T-shirts, a pair of mocassins and a pair of canvas shoes. I also checked out some geek eyewear and bought em pretty quick.

I got…You take!!

But as much as I love these purchases I also have this scary sense of being addicted to a digital platform for shopping. I mean everywhere and all the time, we’re constantly sucked into this digital whirlpool of life and times. With life and work so greatly exposed on social platforms it would be cool to keep somethings old fashioned.

It’s great what I found on these shopping websites. But I would always want to live and experience the process of going into a shop and buying stuff.

So while Facebook decides to show me a pair of loafers strategically placed in the sidebar to grab my fancy, and Naina tells me about the new Calvin Klien collection at FashionandYou, I’ll just pass and wait for a sale at the market. Unless these sites can bribe me with a god awesome discount! 😉

Hello world! I’m here!

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I’ve just signed up on WordPress! It’s not my first blog though. I do have a blog on my random ramblings and one that deals with sports, but WordPress with it’s awesome features and themes just attracted me enough and it was too tempting to ignore! I just hope I’m regular at this!

See ya’ll around! 🙂

"Oye Hoye" moment ho gaya!

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Don’t you have these times when the song you’re singing all day quite randomly plays somewhere and you go like “Ooyyyyyyyeeeeee! I’ve bin singing that all day”!!

So, I was listening to the classic “Darde dil dardey jigar” from Subhash Ghai’s Karz on the radio while driving to work today. It so happens to me that a particular song usually sticks with me. No seriously, yesterday I was busy humming Dhoom’s “Dilbara Dilbara Apun ki tu, apun tera” just cause I had used it in an edit yesterday! :p

And today it was “Dardey Dil” that was on the humming playlist. So when I got into my car after work and tuned on the radio the first lines I heard were “Aur thodi der mein bas, hum judaaaa ho jayegeinnnn”….and I went like “Oye hoyeee, Dardey Dil”!!!

I know it’s not much of a biggie. But something like this happened after real long. Cool tha! 🙂

The continuous Burger quest!

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I love food. And everything about it. And so does the world I think. Once my Facebook status read “Life is all about good food” and it got about 20 ‘likes’ within a minute. So ya well, i’m sure you get the point. Food is something everyone is fond of. And I thought why not write about it! I mean i’ve been planning to write about my great quest for Burgers in Delhi for a while. So I thought I’d just get to it.

I didn’t think much of a ‘Burger’ when I first chomped into one at Nirula’s as a 6 year old something. I don’t remember much of it. But the fact that I preferred to eat the equally non-dynamic plain cheese pizza of Nirula’s in the early 90’s must’ve have meant that the Burger didn’t ride too high on taste back then.

Neither did I think much of‘Hamburgers’ when I digged into Big Mac’s and Whoppers as a teenager.

Only when I moved back to India,did I realise what I was missing. We had burgers alright. Only the choice of meat between the bun would either be a) Chicken b) Aaloo (Potato). Since the inclusion of pork or beef in our meals is usually considered blasphemous to us ‘religiously emotionally sentimentally touchy’ Indians, no one dared serve a nice juicy groundbeef patty with bacon on top.

Even when McDonalds marched intothe market with great pomp akin to Ajay Devgan’s entry in ‘Phool aur Kaatein’ in post liberalization India, they didn’t dare serve their heroic ‘Big Mac’ in fear of alienating their mass customers. Heck, I don’t blame them. KFC had been bashed a couple o years before by extremist bums who didn’t get toffees as kids. So in a bid to play safe (which they still do) they decided to stick to Aaloo (Potato), Paneer (Cheese) and Chicken. They even converted the Maharaja Mac from Lamb to Chicken to remove any ambiguity regarding meat.

Anyway, for me, it was more about food than faith. And thus began my quest for the ultimate burger in Delhi.Though, I have to say my quest did start at quite a time because I saw an explosion of food chains making their entry. TGIF, Beningans, Ruby Tuesday and the likes all opened shop which typically served all American Food. Boy I was happy! But boy was I in for a disappointment! Even these guys played safe. Only chicken! Ultimate ho hum!

I chose to stick to McDonald’s McChicken. It’s their only decent fair along with the Fillet-o-Fish and now exterminated Veg Surprise. Although I’d like to make a special mention to Wimpy’s.This now almost run down burger chain in Delhi serves pretty good spicy chicken and lamb burgers. Trust me. It better than half the nonsense that’s served intown on account of Burgers.

Then entered Hard Rock Cafe. And in bla-zing style!! In their awesome menu with the SOB, BBQ Bacon, Legendary 10oz burgers they had em all. Good ol Angus Beef with choice of a million toppings including Bacon! Woohoo! Dunno how they did it. But here was finally someone who had the stones to serve a Burger like it should be.

Suddenly everything changed. All those playing safe earlier suddenly had the choice of Beef patty available in their menu’s. Boy was I a kid in Disneyland! Now the burger choices were ultimate!

Hardrock’s burgers are pretty cool if you can chomp in a mouthful. The ingredients are fresh and loaded and you get a million flavours if you’re having something like the Legendary Burger. TGIF does a pretty decent job too only I feel their patty is sorta thick which makes it an inconvenience to munch. But if you’re looking bang for buck, then I would definitely suggest going to Chilli’s. You don’t have to ponder much, just go in for their classic cheeseburger and you’ll be blessed!:P

Now, finally Delhi – the food capital of India truly deserves its title. I can get a decent burger.

Having said that, despite the complexities and varieties of taste and ingredients in multiple outlets, you’ll still find me happily munching away on a McDonalds McChicken burger with fries. Burp!
Hmmm…..Drooooool…

On a cold night….

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I don’t know why but every winter, when I lie in my bed….All cosy and tucked under two layers of warm covering…..I visualize myself lying on my bed. Like from above and outside. Like maybe a bedroom roof camera or God looking down upon me. Me – a creature tucked warmly in a cocoon.

And then i think of the open, cold, dark vastness outside. And the chilly winds.

And I suddenly get this strange, nicely guilty sense of being warm, protected and safe. And then from the vastness of the outside, my mind zooms back to me. Lying inside my room, tucked in from everywhere.

It’s a nice feeling. Don’t know why. Just saying…. 

The choices we make…

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“You didn’t come here to make the choice, you’ve already made it. You’re here to try to understand why you made it. I thought you’d have figured that out by now
– Oracle to Neo in the ‘Matrix Reloaded’

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve known myself to be indecisive. I blame it on Venus and the Libran traits infused so heavily in me. Whether it was deciding if it was the red shoes or the green shoes I liked, whether I wanted the Robocop or the G.I Joe action figure or whether it was choosing to watch Jungle Book dubbed in Arabic or Duck Tales dubbed in Hindi, everything always posed a huge dilemma for me.

And somehow, this trait has continued to haunt me still. When it comes to the great shenanigans of making a decision,I’ve still found myself pondering whether to take the way home by driving overthe flyover or taking a turn before, deciding whether I should have Indian food or a nice burger, whether to hang out in a mall or open green spaces, whether to pick up the phone of a douchebag and be rude or try and be decent.

It got so weird once, that I shuttled back and forth thrice between the counter and the CD rack in a store because I couldn’t decide whether to buy Mortal Kombat or WWE All Stars for my PS3! 😛

Lately, it’s been different.

For the first time in my life, I was confronted with a big decision in life. And I already knew in my heart what I wanted. Even before I could think, ponder, debate, question, it was like the decision had been made.

I’ve decided to start my own venture. And I’m bloody excited about it! I find myself more happy thinking about it, more excited when I’m working on it and it’s already filled me with a new kind of energy and belief I’ve never experienced ever before.

I don’t know whether it’s the right thing or the wrong thing. Whether I will succeed or fail. Whether I’d be better off in a steady, secure job or touch greater heights doing my own thing.

But now these questions don’t even matter. Now I believe in my choices. And I believe I can make the right ones.

Life’s already been different. I’ve found myself giving less stress on making a decision. I’ve just started acting.Doing. And boy it feels good. Anyway, these days work is crazy, days are longer and by the time I’m left with my brain, I’m already ‘poofed’. It’s scary but I think I like it.

I’m 25. It feels I’ve started my life.

Wish me luck!

Of Kurbaan and other Mumbo Jumbo….

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So dig this…an Indian Muslim man weds a Indian Hindu girl…they go off to the United States of America where the girl eventually learns that her husband, neighbours, colleagues are all terrorists hell bent on destroying the Western world. Why? Hmmmmm…Lemme guess……Oh wait!!! Yea that’s right! They’re all Muslims!

I’m sure that ’s not exactly what was intended to be portrayed in the 2009 released Hindi film “Kurbaan” but somewhere down the line, I feel that unconsciously and unintentionally the movie did more harm to the image of the Indian Muslim by portraying almost every Muslim with an agenda for revenge.

Before the release I heard the lead actor of the movie Saif Ali Khan make a point on a TV show about how back in the old days of glory the Muslims of India were known for their artistry with clothes, their command of language, and their palate for fine taste. Now with the current global environment Muslims are branded as terrorists more often than not. He hoped that the movie would change that point of view.

But as the movie unravelled its buffoonery I noticed how like never before the movie showed economically well off educated Indian Muslims as terrorists, conmen, wife-beaters, killers etc. WTF????? So what the movie actually did was that it somehow DID brand all Muslims as terrorists, added fuel to the idea of love jihad (which is frantically talked about by extremist Hindu organizations) and showed Muslim women in pitiable condition.

But Kurbaan is not the only time. Depictions of Muslims in Hindi films have done more harm than good of late. Take any example. Rajiv Khandelwaal was the only “good” Muslim in the film Aamir whereas the rest were busy plotting a bomb. Touché for A Wednesday where all mentioned Muslim terrorists in India had convenient links with Al-Qaeda. Even an ordinary comedy film like Bheja-fry had a Muslim friend (Ranvir Shorey) of the central protagonist named Bharat Bhushan (Vinay Pathak) supporting the Pakistani cricket team. “Khaathe Idhar ki hai, gaatey udhar ki hain” Bharat Bhushan had claimed. Motherfucker! I had exclaimed.

I am a Muslim and so the portrayal of Muslims in Hindi film industry has always been a cause of concern for me. They say that cinema is a reflection of society but in our cinema the portrayal of many religions and cultures has been inaccurate and stereotyped. How else would you explain the Muslims to be bearded, skull cap folks with a mark on their foreheads or the Christians to be jolly, drunk, god fearing and me-child talking all the time? The south Indians always end up being cooks or naaryal paani sellers whereas the Parsis are relegated to being an old couple randomly taking a drive in their vintage hot-wheels. Not to mention Sikhs being relegated to dumb comic characters. But that is slowly changing with better depictions of Sikhs in movies like Love Aaj Kal and Rocket Singh: Salesman of the year.

I just can’t help but feel that these representations somehow and somewhere play into the psyche of the film goer and might help in developing an opinion. I’ve had many instances where the topic of me being a Muslim has crept up and people have said, “Oh you’re a Muslim? You don’t look like one.” And what am I supposed to look like? The one they show in films?

My point is, just because a certain religion or culture is not part of the majority, does it mean it won’t be considered as everyday normal by the film audience? I don’t think so…I think that religion or cultures can always be in the background of storytelling whereas the attention can be on the plot. So the characters can always be called Fayaz, Ismail, Baman, Rustam, Harpreet, Joginder, Michael etc and they are as capable of fighting aliens from outer space as a fair north Indian Raj, Rahul or Vijay is. Normalcy and equality in depiction is what is being demanded here.

I’m a movie buff…and I go to the movies almost every week with one semi-conscious thought in the back of my mind. That please have some degree of logic and accuracy in the movie that I see. I know that this rant of mine wouldn’t get across to many. But if you’ve read this and are a budding filmmaker….please, please, puh-fuckin-lease try to portray all characters as Indians from Earth instead of crazy-loony-bloodthirsty Muslims/Sardars/Parsis/South Indians from stereotyped lala-land.

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