[TV shows] new concept… Ali Saleem aka The Bhegum

Was surfing thru the channels, and came upon BBC where they were showing a program about Pakistan and how it has evolved or not thru the years… and one snippet was about this TV show conducted by a beautiful lady called The Bhegum… and lo behold, it is not a lady, but a man dressed as a woman… and He/she talks/discusses various sensitive issues.. outright accusations about politicians… and much more..

Amazing… 1st Lola kutty and now Bhegum.. wonder why people(read as audiences) would rather watch a show done by someone pretending to be someone else and ENJOY it rather than go for the real thing…. strange …. us Human’s seem to be very strange indeed…

Ali Saleem is just another Pakistani bisexual, son of a retired Army colonel who likes to dress like a woman and interview celebrities and news makers on TV. He’s also South Asia’s first drag queen talk diva, who has made quite a name for himself over the last eight months with his Late Night Show with Begum Nawazish Ali……………

Some info about The Bhegum–

http://worldblog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/01/31/45890.aspx

http://www.newsline.com.pk/newsJan2006/startrekjan.htm

Happy Holidays n wonderful New Year…


Looking back at the months gone by,
As an old one ends making way for a New Year,
We contemplate on what brought us joy,
And think of our loved ones and dear special friends. Reliving all the wonderful times,
Remembering each moment of our lives
We tend to reflect upon who really counts,
As the bright new year arrives. I think of you,
As i say a prayer “Keep them happy and give them all they desire”
I think of you
As i welcome the New Year
Knowing, you will be with me every step of the way..

May you realize your fondest dreams
and take time to recognize and enjoy
each and every blessing.
Happy New Year, And many more!

Happpy Holidays and a wonderful new year to
all my blog friends
and to those i am yet to come across… 🙂

[Theater] PIF plays

Over the past couple of months, everytime we had a readmeet, i got to know little bit more about the concept of PIF – Politically Incorrect festival.. this was a play, or many issues taken up and presented to the chennai audience by a group of young enthusiastic theater lovers… each one was into something different… studying, writer, Techy, etc etc… but PIF brought em together..

The plays took place on 22nd n 23rd Dec and must say it was very diff from others i’ve seen and quite interesting… hope they go further….

[movie] Taare Zameen Par :)

I saw this poster about a month ago when i had gone for another movie, and knew i wanted to watch it.. not only cos Aamir was in it, but it looked adorable, like a cute movie.. and i was damn right…

time flew by.. and it was Dec 21st.. the day when Taare Zameen pe was due to be released… i had not seen a single trailor or ad for the movie on Tv or theaters… but was hoping to watch it sometime, little did i know i would watch it on the very 1st day..wowwwowww…~!! there were just 2tickets, and i booked em..yipeee.. it was for Dec 21st, fri @ 6.30pm show.. All geared up, headed to the theater and waited with bated breath for the movie to start…

The titles were all made of clay like fish, octopus, rockets, and other figures flitting about… each one transporting us into a child’s world… from the beginning till the last scene, the movie is beautiful..

Aamir’s debut venture, a sensitive issue of a child suffering from Dyslexia, and a family that fails to understand the boy, but finally manage to come around… the boy,Ishaan awasthi, played by Dharsheel Safary, has done a mind blowing job.. he looks so innocent and fits the role to the T. His brother,Yohaan is adorable.. so caring and sweet.. you just want to hug him… the mom and dad are like any parents, except the dad is much more focussed on getting his kids to ace in everything and come out winners.. i guess this is waht happens when in a house there are 2 kids, and each one is at an extreme. Yohaan is first in everything while Ishaan does not even pass his tests, he has repeated class III twice, and the 2nd time is when his dad threatens to put him in boarding school and succeeds in doing so.

Ishaan is a cute little boy, all of 8yrs old, who has problems figuring out letters, alphabets and says they dance.. numbers dance around confusing him.. his hand writing is bad, he writes letters in reverse… the only thing he loves is to paint, and his room is proof of his passion. the walls are adorned with beautiful enigmatic fishes, starts, UFO’s and what not.. its a sight to be seen to understand… every morning he is woken up, and sent to school to be ridiculed by his class mates and punished by teachers, each being a blow on his self confidence.. and so when he goess to boarding school, he withdraws into the shell knowing what is in store for him.. the friend he makes there, Rajan(who relies on crutches to move around) is a sweet kid, who helps Ishaan with studies and they are a sweet twosome…

It is only when the substitute art teacherr makes the entry that Ishaan’s world changes.. Aamir, playing the role of Ram Shankar Nikhumbh(who works at the Tulip school for mentally challenged kids) makes a cool entry looking like a clown singing songs in gibberish that appeals to all ages(and he looks hotter than ever. with a cool Mohawk hairstyle).. he gives the children full freedom to draw what they want, when he notices Ishaan’s paper blank. he then digs in, understands the situation, and goes to Ishaan’s home to talk to the parents.. it is then that he takes it upon himself to help the boy go through something that bogged him as well. the flip book Ishaan’s made when his dad decides to send him away is “Wow”, dont have words to describe it…

The scene where kids are asked to go out in the open and create something is beautiful.. Ishaan sits in a corner making a makeshift boat and lets it float in the water, and it actually moves,with the help of a propeller he has made with wood and leaves…

Knowing that Ishaan loves painting.. he organizes a painting mela for the entire New era school. that breaks barriers, brings teachers and students closer,… Ishaan walks in late, but steals the day, winning the 1st prize… and when he sees what his favorite sir(aamir) has drawn he is stumped.. Aamir has done a painting of Ishaan laughing… the whole mela is so much fun, kids making fun of their serious teachers, each one chiding the other and having fun… and the moment when Ishaan is given the prize brought tears to my eyes… and the way he runs and hugs Aamir is so touching…

Till the end, when finally Ishaan;’s parents understand and come to terms with their boy’s special needs and their visit to the boarding school, and surprise on seeing Ishaan’s progress has been well shot..

A movie that is so different from the rest..
A movie that will leave you thinking
A movie that makes you appreciate and love your child more
A movie that tells you ” its ok, if ur kid is not a whiz in studies, motivate them in what they are interested in and be there for them”
A movie that is so simple and beautiful
A movie that touches our soul, deep deep inside…
A movie that has you so involved that you are yearning to reach out and tell Ishaan “its ok” or give him a hug..
A movie for every person… to watch, to learn, and to carry with them through their life…

Hats off to Aamir for taking on such a project..he is the only one who could have made it so perfect….
The songs blend in with the movie and its storyline.
Not a scene is out of place or odd.
it is a heart warming movie… worth watching over and over again….

here is the movie site for more -http://www.taarezameenpar.com/

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written by “A very touched and smiling Aaarti…. ” 🙂

————–

Chills and thrills

four seasons
we know em all
i was yet to see
what Winter felt like

living here in this warm land
i knew not what it was
to feel cold
to put on mittens and gloves

knew not what it was
to wear sweaters
to cuddle up in front of the fire….

………
………

and then it happened
was beautiful
little drops of ice
sitting pretty on the fence

sun,taking a peek
clouds, bright and white
cool air flowing through my hair
ah,i now knew it
i knew what winter was.

wish i could take you back
lock you up in a box
hide you in my closet
for me to savor everyday…

Aaarti (c) 18th Dec 07

Bringing back sweet memories… “Frangipani”

I was in delhi couple of mths back.. and thats when i got to spend a lot of time with my baby cousin Lakshmi.. she is adorable and angelic…. 🙂

one day, when me, uncle and L were getting back home from an outing at Dilli Haat, she suddenly said “Frangipani“.. i was lost, perplexed, wondering what she was talking about.. had no clues basically.. asked uncle wat she wanted.. he then spoke to L and said “kuruvi, tell aartikka wat Frangipani is”.. and she with all innocence replied saying” its a flower”….

today, was browsing the net for some info on one of the topics i was working on, and saw the name “Frangipani” pop up, bringing back lovely fond memoriess of that incident in delhi….


we then got back to my uncle’s house, n she promptly took me to their balcony and pointed to the Plumeria and said “this frangipani”…. woww~!! i was stumped…. 🙂

Pic courtesy- Rachel greighttp://www.rgp.com.au]

Happy Birthday Floppy… :)


Yipeee.. Floppy turned one today.. for those who dont know him, he is my baby.. my angel… my gift from God… my doggie… 🙂

I sure am lucky to have him part of my life.. and how he came home is a story in its own..
It had been nearly 2yrs since Boss died(the boxer we had, she passed away on Dec 31st.. heart breaking moment n horrible couple of days followed) )

Anyways…. sighh…. we dint have a doggie at home, i was too upset to bring one home and dint think i had it me to lose one more dog…

Aa little bit of rewinding here – we had a puppy Sheeba in our house about 10-15yrs ago, and she was a baby when we bought her, but died exactly 42days later.. one morning i wake up, and grampa tells me ever so gently she died… Gawd, how i cried… and then again Boss… but i know life follows death and its a chain…. so maybe Floppy is my angel for this time..

Jan 14th 2007, i was going out, walking down our road, and saw this little guy lurking beneath a water lorry… he was adorable.. hidden near the tire, he was just peeping out and going back under… got back home, all excited, dragged my sis and went back hoping he was still there… voila, he was… we petted him a bit, looked around to see if his moommy or others were in sight.. nope, nobody around… and i did the “best impulsive act of my life”… carried him n brought him home… all came out to see what the commotion was… and saw this tiny scrawny pup.. me and my sis P were soo excited and happpy…. fed him milk, and he followed us around… we couldnt get enuf of him… 🙂

we finally got the green signal from all at home to keep him, provided we got him chked out by a doc( cos his skin dint look too good, n he had fleas too)… we promptly did that 2days later… Doc gave himn a clean chit, said he was a smart guy, about a mth old and seemed to have done just fine out on his own…. named him Prince Floppy(not floppy disc, but floppy as in flops on his butt all the time…lolz..n well, Prince – ask my sis, her choice.. ;o)) and he has been with us now for nearly a year….

Since we brot him home Jan 14th and doc said he must be a mth old, we took a guess and think today is his bday… Dec 15th… 🙂

he is a sweeetheart.. adorable… loveable and u just cant resist petting him… he might not be the most well mannerd, wont sit if you tell him SIT, he just might look at you wondering where the biscuit is or why you aint petting him, but he is angelicccc… love him to bits… the entire family does…

Happy Birthday Flopppy…. Cheers~!!

2007 Mixed bag`


Was just thinking about how this year was and here are the thoughts that poured in….

This year has been different from the one’s before.. i dont know this for sure, but can risk taking a guess.. 🙂 [who else but me knows right ;o)]

– In Jan i brought home Floppy, who was lurking under a water lorry couple

of yards from my house.. it was Pongal, Jan 14th, when i spotted him, and on impulse brought him home.. he turns 1 in another 2days time.. yipeee~~

Pic 1[on right] – how he was couple of days after coming home..tiny baby …


Pic 2[on left] – how he is now.. all grown up n upto no goood..

– Sometime in March, aunt told us she was suffering from Breast cancer, and hid it from us all cos she dint want to trouble us… 🙁 and so her treatment began in this month… i took her for her 1st body scan… not a gr8 experience i tell u and till date, must have gone along for numerous chemo, radiation and other stuff… hope she gets out of this soon n gets back to normal self..

Work – [touch wood] it has been going great.. i’ve been doing writing and training… and new projects keep coming my way, some i take on, others i say “thanks but no thanks to”.money has also been good, and even if i am busier than i was while working with the corp, i am enjoying what am doing.. no regrets, no complaints… 🙂

– Weddings – attending back to back weddings, from end of the state to the other… went for a friend’s wedding by BUS to Kallakurichi and then returned, got back on the road to Pondy.. whoa, what a trip that was…

Experimenting –
*with food, trying out diff unique recipes….
*new parlor(only cos i won a voucher thru radio contest -http://words-flow.blogspot.com/2007/11/i-won-i-won.html)….
*travelled by bus(for the wedding, read prev note if u dont know wat am talking about)

– Blogging –
back into the blog world full fledged..came across some very interesting blogs; bloggers from chennai; made some friends too.. and met one such lovely fun gal who’s here on a visit [Vids, if ur reading this, advance b’day wishes sweets]

This year is also when i have set many personal records.. hehehe… i dont think these have ever happened before… 🙂

– Working beyond hours and having fun… wooopiee dooo

– Visited Delhi after nearly 12years and had the time of my life.. zimply awesomee..
Made some new friends
Got to stay with a friend n spend time with his family(they are adorable n sweeeeet)
Met loads of people who were just online friends
Had Tequila for the 1st time
Freaked out
Made a quick trip to Ajmer, Jaipur and Pushkar too.. [shall not talk abt wat happened there…hmfph]

Need i go on………….


– Was without using the computer nor doing even .00000000001% of work for 6whole days…wowwwieee… 🙂 ..

– Most number of hospital visits[aunt, floppy, uncle]… they are all on the way to getting back to PINK of health ;o)

– Buying the laptop i have always wanted.. Sony vaio….
[N17 – http://vaio-online.sony.com/prod_info/vgn-n17g/] … Yayyyy.. now if only the net would work.. shucks…

– Nearly stopped watching TV [except for the odd couple of mins i catch while taking breaks from work].. tv is boring.. esp since i dont get AXN or Star world.. rest is just crappppyyyy…

– Reading a lot [diff genres, diff authors].. not on comp, but real books, that have pages and covers… 😉

– Saw maximum number of movies.. [esp Nov – Dec == more than i can count on my fingers ;o)]


Got to see some temples in Chennai that i have never been to.. the Madhya kailash and
Ashtalakshmi temple(absolutely beautiful)

shall add on as i can remember… 🙂

” The graveyard as bustling café”… Yewwwwwww….

yep, that is the headline in today’s edition of The Hindu in the Newscape section.. i read it and was like “yewwww”.. how can someone have coffee in a graveyard.. That is just plain spooky,eerie and creeepy and disrespectful to the dead…

This is exactly what is happening in Ahmedabad where a cafe exists and has hoards of people coming in to have a cuppa Tea or coffee and read paper, have candle lit dinners (yea right…with a ghost sharing the table with u… ) etc…

here is the article.. read on if you dont believe me… 🙂

AHMeDABAD: In India, death is a part of life — and, at one restaurant here, a part of lunch. The bustling New Lucky Restaurant is famous for its tea, its rolls, and the graves between the tables.

Here, elderly men page through newspapers and argue politics in the morning, young couples share candlelit meals and hold hands after dusk. That the candles sit on graves adds to the ambiance.

Krishnan Kutty Nair has helped run the restaurant built over a centuries-old Muslim cemetery for close to four decades, but he does not know who is buried in the cafe floor. Customers seem to like the graves, which resemble small cement coffins, and that is enough for him.

“The graveyard is good luck,” Mr. Nair said one afternoon after the lunch-time rush. “Our business is better because of the graveyard.”

The individual graves are painted green, stand about shin high, and every day the manager decorates each of them with a single dried flower. They are scattered randomly across the restaurant: one is up front next to the cash register, three are in the middle next to a table for two, four are along the kitchen.

The waiters know the floor plan as a bus driver would know his route, and they have mastered the delicate dance of shimmying between graves with a tray of hot tea in each hand. “We’re used to it,” said waiter Kayyum Sheikh.

The restaurant dates back to the 1950s when K.H. Mohammed opened a tea stall outside the cemetery, said Mr. Nair. He had helped run the place and became Mohammed’s partner. Business was good, and the stall kept expanding until its tin walls encircled the graves. Mohammed died in 1996.

Some say the restaurant is disrespectful. “They should maintain the decorum of the graveyard,” said a Professor of history who asked that his name be withheld. Asked why he did not want to be identified, he said: “Because I have my tea there.” — AP….http://www.hindu.com/2007/12/12/stories/2007121257702200.htm
Wonder what is next in store for us.. [leaving with shivers running down my spine]

Eight Gifts That Do Not Cost A Cent

  1. The Gift of Listening…
    But you must really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.
  2. The Gift of Affection…
    Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.
  3. The Gift of Laughter…
    Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “1 love to laugh with you.”
  4. The Gift of a Written Note…
    A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.
  5. The Gift of a Compliment…
    A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.
  6. The Gift of a Favor…
    Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.
  7. The Gift of Solitude…
    There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.
  8. The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition…
    The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it’s not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You.
Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.

[dint write this.. found it on the net :-)]