Monday, February 23, 2009

Eight Oscars for Slumdog Millionaire!

It was thrilling to sit here before our small TVs and watch SM winning one award after another.
There was a flurry of phone calls made to dear ones. Did you hear? ....Hey! is the TV on? ....Watch this…
It was almost as if we had won a personal award…

The choreography of the stage performance to announce the nominations for best song was indeed amazing….Indian music blending into African beats...and the drummer disappears into the crowd beating the drum.

We find BBC rejoicing that a British film won an Oscar.
We find Indian Channels rejoicing that an Indian won the Oscar.
The award is the highest film honour bestowed by America.

We are living in truly great times…we see artists and creators world over, coming together on a single platform to create a wonder that has world appeal.

The language of happiness and hope is universal. AR Rehman put it so well when he said, there were many moments when he had to choose between hate and love. And he chose love…and so he is here.

Love is a force that heals, builds a bond and lights up paths. It is a force that creates in us a respect for others, enabling us to give our best. Hope is what we need lot of today.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fleet of Foot

My friends tell me yesterday’s blog was too heavy….too much gyan!!
Shows I have been reading heavy stuff and some of that gyan has rubbed off into my blog too!!
So easy to sound knowledgeable when all u got to do is write…errrr…. type!

And here I was in seventh heaven planning to leave footprints on the sands of the e-world…..

Look! All I thought was that I would at the least put a foot at the door of some good blogging….
But my friend tells me I have instead put my foot in my mouth!

Now that leaves me on a back foot….forcing me to have a re-look at what I upload. No problem, I am sure with help from lots with whom I am on a friendly footing….
I would soon be wearing the boot on the other foot.

I recall a dear pal who would often tell us that we ladies must put our foot down and get what we want. To do that …she would further advice…just put your best foot forward and move on! After all football is a game of two halves…..

Are you saying “My Foot!”
I agree, my volley of free advice is fine…as long as you don’t shoot yourself in the foot. For when you do that you are left stranded and nobody would touch you with a ten foot pole!”

I think I have stretched this ‘foot thing’ a bit too far….and ……..
Before you ask me to foot the bill for the headache pills,
let me hot foot out of this page!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Using The Blessed Emotion of Fear

There is some solace in doing a thing for many years with the regularity of a ticking clock. That is what I have read somewhere. The article mentioned potted plants that were watered, dogs that were taken for walks, clothes that were ironed, weekly letters written to mom …etc

But I have never had the grit and determination needed to do this. Just look at my blog entries! This time I have come back to say hello after almost 2 weeks!
But I take solace behind Paulo Coelho’s words. Some are born to plant seeds and some to build he says.

I like to convince myself that I am a seed planter. Now pods burst when the time is ripe…right? Not when the clock ticks…right?
So what shall we talk about today? What seed shall we plant?

Have you noticed? One of our most powerful emotions is fear. The heart to reacts, blood rushes, and our thoughts are out of control. Fear is a great emotion.

Fear can be as helpful as it can be harmful.

Fear of God keeps us on the right path. Fear of calamity helps us to be cautious. Fear of failure allows us to be prepared for events. We can use fear as a positive emotion that guides us toward preparedness. It saves us from the embarrassment of a sloppy job. Fear improves our performance and enhances our self esteem.

But this can happen only if we are able to use the fear for positive action. Fear must be a starting point. It can mould our thoughts toward better planning. Can I anticipate a disaster? What can I do to prevent it? If I cannot prevent the disaster, how am I prepared for it? If I have done everything I can possibly do, then I can rest and be peaceful, for fear has served its purpose.

But if fear gains control, if the fear is faceless or nameless then it is corrosive. It deletes the joy in present life, for an unidentified and perhaps improbable disaster in the future. Ultimately such fear forces us to live in constant sadness, visualising and perhaps living a calamity that is not true.

These are tough times. Recession troubles us all. But let not thoughts of sadness take away what little joy there is in our everyday life. Every problem has a solution. This too will pass. Meanwhile the world has learnt a lesson. A lesson about the virtue of fear…

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The coffee vending machine and its many avatars

Bon jour. You do not need a board of instructions explaining how you to use the seat in the park. Right? Obviously not! Even the greatest dummie would know that right?

Well, the French have been using coffee vending machines for so long that they think instructions are for dummies and so not necessary.
Obviously……..they did not expect us to visit their country?
Back home in Bangalore, we just hand over the cash to the guy who mans the vending machine. He asks coffeenaa teanaa? All you got to do is say coffee! And yehhh! A steaming cuppa is in your hand!
Well, our encounters with the coffee vending machine are hilarious…..and how!
read on.....

Attempt 1
This vending machine was in the railway station in the city of Orleans in France. We dropped a precious euro coin into the slot and started trying to punch in the coffee selection. I had just managed to read through some 4 options, when all lights blinked a couple of times and the coin dropped into the pocket for discarded coins. We were supposed to make the selection first and then drop the coin!
Now the coin fell with such force that it jumped right out and rolled under some chairs. France is soooo cold in February! There I was, in hard-to-manage multiple-layered-clothing, trying to reach a coin under lounge chairs!!! Not a very amusing experience…I must say!!! The coin was found and we were back at the machine. We had paid 60/- rupees for that precious Euro. We could not let it escape.
Never say die!

Attempt 2
This time I quickly selected an option and put in the coin. Oops! The cups are stacked on the side! Hey…the coffee is pouring into the drain!! Hey get me the cup…here…collect whatever you can…aah! Got a half cup……….
Gross! This is black and cold! At home we call this decoction! And this is only one of the ingredients required to make my steaming cuppa! Where’s the Milk? And the Sugar?

Attempt 3
Our next attempt was at the mall. There was no one at the lounge and the coffee machine beckoned with alacrity. We went up to the machine and almost made the selection. Aaha …this time we remembered! Let us get the cup first. Where is it stacked? How inconvenient! The machine has no cups…look there are the cups…by the water dispenser! Ok...we place the cup, make the selection and put in the coin!
WHAT IS THIS? The machine has a hidden stack of cups and a single specimen comes out like a stiff soldier when the coin is placed.
You can guess what happened! The soldier cup pushed over the thin cup that we had placed AANNDD…………………….!!! We ran!

Attempt 4
Then there was this coffee machine in a library offering some 20 selections! Coffee ……..with sugar and milk, without sugar with milk, with less-fat milk, with thick-cream, with extra sugar, a strong half cup option, a weaker double amount option….then there was all these made with real decoction too. Everything costs one euro. I took my time and gradually made a selection. Dropped a coin, collected my steaming cup and then made a selection for my husband, dropped another coin and collected one more refreshing cup. With a satisfied smile we turned back ……………and waved sheepishly at the line of patient persons waiting silently for us to finish! I dint hear a whisper of complaint or 'Arre Yaar' from them!

But! Yes, within a week we had all those machines in place……..we could order for and get exactly what we wanted! We learnt to decipher their French instructions too!

Have a good day