Sab Theek Ho Jayega !

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Kochi / Ernakulam, Kerala, India
A Doctor who loves to Live, Love and Laugh with the World! Absolutely crazy about Cricket ! Other Qualifications: A Tired Bathroom Singer, Retired Gully Cricketer and Satire Writer !

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Decade since the Millennium !

Another year coming to an end and another occasion to celebrate for the people. Those who had a bad year would love to move on and leave behind the pains. And those who did well over the past twelve months would try to consolidate on the gains.

2009 gave us the Great Recession, The Bird Flu and the Swine Flu. So many institutions collapsed. When AIG went bankrupt, I was worried because I had invested some of my hard earned money in AIG. But to my relief, I received a very nice and soothing letter from TATA group, the Indian Partner of AIG assuring me of continued service without any problem. This is why I admire the name Tata!

2009 also gave us some very nice movies. Paa, 3 Idiots, Luck by Chance, Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani were good entertainers. In Malayalam we had a relative windfall of good movies compared to the period of drought during the previous years. Paleri Manikyam Oru Pathira Kolapathakathinde Katha, Passenger, Bhramaram, Pazhassi Raja, Ividam Swargamanu, Loud Speaker and of course 2 Hariharnagar were not only good; but also set the box office on recovery path.

Team India went onto lose the only title it had won since 1985; the T-20 World Cup. They also lost miserably at the Champion's Trophy. But on the positive side, they went onto win more tests and climb to the Official No. 1 position in Test rankings. With Gambhir becoming the Top Test Batsman and Dhoni, the Top ODI Batsman; it was a double whammy!

On the personal front, 2009 was a fairly good year for me. But for a severe acidity problem that has prevented me from enjoying my most loved drink coffee, it was pretty good on the health front. 28 May was the last time I tasted coffee and ended up sleepless for almost half a week due to 'An almost Peptic Ulcer'. On the positive side, I managed short but very nice breaks to visit Goa, Tirupathy, Karkala my beloved native place, Kumarakom and then Guruvayoor with my entire family including in-laws. But the dampener came with my failure to make it to Madikeri to meet up with old chums from Medical College due to one unavoidable commitment. I wish myself better luck for 2010.

It sounds as if it were only yesterday that we welcomed Y2K or the Millennium Year. And it is already 10 years since! A Decade has passed since and that only means one thing! We all are getting older, but thankfully wiser too! The Internet has penetrated into our lives to unimaginable levels. Try not to check mail for 3 - 4 days and see your in-box bursting out on your face when you finally log on.

If you're not on Orkut, Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin, you don't exist in this world. Correct me if I am wrong. Blogging, Social Networking, Micro-blogging and so on... The world clearly is getting younger, quicker and impatient. The younger lot have everything going for them and clearly are in a majority. The middle class like me, are forced to learn new things every other day just to appear 'Up-to-the-hour'. Up-to-date was fashionable when we were young. Now things change in hours; including marriages that happen and are broken within a matter of hours.

So at the breakneck speed the world is moving ahead, we only stop for a few hours to celebrate 'The New Year'. Not all are as lucky or as optimistic as some of the younger lot. I have never been an ardent celebrator of this 'New Year' thing. But I have gamely sent Happy this festival and Happy that festival messages to almost all my contacts during most of the festivals. I will be doing it again for the 'New Year'. It doesn't hurt to wish and to celebrate. Not if you have 6000 free messages in your monthly package!

So let me wind up wishing all my friends... A Very Happy, Healthy and Hopeful New Year!
Question: What major change will the year 2010 bring into our lives?
Answer: The Calender!

Finally remembering those who departed during the past 12 months leaving a lacuna behind them...
My Uncle, Guide and Godfather: Mr. T. M. V. Shenoy
A Family Friend: Nithin Shibu who died at 23 falling victim to a two-wheeler accident.
Malayalam Cinema people: Adoor Bhavani, Rajan P. Dev and Lohithadas!
My Childhood Hero: Vishnuvardhan who left on 30 December 2009 just before the dawn.
Though he was never a favorite, just because of his fame: Michel Jackson.
And many more, especially those faceless thousands who die everyday due to someone Else's mistakes!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

'Great' 'Grand' 'Paa'

‘Paa’ is the talk of the town; not only the town but the whole of India and beyond among the film lovers. It is true that there are a lot of people who say the movie is lousy and Bachchan is crap. Surf the net and you’ll see every piece of writing admiring ‘Paa’ will be countered by articles abusing the movie in general and Bachchans in particular. But then you immediately know they are biased and motivated. So let me not dwell too long on these issues. I am writing about something unheard of in Indian movies before.

There are critics who compare the movie with the ‘The curious case of Benjamin Button’. But this movie is absolutely different except for the ‘Progeria’ issue. This movie is about life and about living your life to the best of what you have got. This is also a movie that celebrates the ‘Greatest Indian movie star of all times’.

Amitabh Bachchan, He has acted in so many movies which were plain dumb. Toofan, Jadugar, GJS, Lal Badshah, RGV ke Aag and many more. But then he has given us some of the most poignant moments in movies like Mili, Anand, Deewar, Muqaddar ka Sikandar and Baghbaan. He also gave us many outrageously funny movies like Amar Akbar Anthony, Khuddaar, Namak Halaal and Satte Pe Satta.

Cheeni Kum was a nice and intelligent movie. Sarkar was intense and good stuff. He did well even in multi-star capers like KANK, K3G and Mohabbatein. But the one thing missing was ‘Something Special’. All he did was good, but nothing great!

And now finally Bachchan has broken the jinx. At the age of 67, he plays ‘Auro’ a 13 year old boy with a very rare congenital illness that leads to accelerated ageing and early death, Progeria or “Hutchinson–Gilford Progeria Syndrome". Auro, his mother, grand-mother, his teachers at school and even his friends take it as a matter of fact. There is no lamenting or no melodrama. But all are concerned about Auro and they take care of him well. He grows up to be a funny and fun-loving but a little too head-strong boy with a very sharp brain. In spite of his frail health and awkward looks, he is a very popular character at school. And he comes up with one-liners that are simply funny. When his grand-mother starts getting on his nerves, he tells his bear, “Are you not a non-vegetarian? Why don’t you eat her?” He is a boy with an attitude too. Written on the door of his room, “Knock, else I will knock your head off’. He also has his way when he decides to leave his best friend Vishnu back as he joins his Politician Father on a trip to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

R. Balki, who also made the delightful ‘Cheeni Kum’ with Bachchan and Tabu has come out on top with a fabulous idea and a wonderful movie experience. The beauty that Bachchan brings to the role of the 13 year old Auro is matchless. You feel like you are one of those characters in the movie as you cheer on towards a climax. Vidya Balan as his Gynecologist mother and Abhishek Bachchan as her estranged lover and Auro’s father are very good. Arundhati Nag is good too. Only Paresh Rawal is perhaps a little wasted. Auro’s friends are cute and loveable and Vishnu is too good.

There are moments like the little girl apologizing to Auro and presenting him with a caricature of himself made of ‘Sorry’ that are touching. You will not be wetting your hankies even though Auro has to depart at the end. If they were to re-promote this movie, I have a slogan for them. “His birth did them apart. He lived as everyone’s loved. And his death had to bring them together”.

A very mature and sensitive movie from the Bachchans and R. Balki. Let us all stand up and applaud at this moment for a truly wonderful movie experience gifted to us during this Christmas by the Big B!

And especially a huge thank you to Balki!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

People who have made a Difference... 2

‘Wife’ is a ‘Four’-letter word; so is ‘Life’. They both rhyme and there will be a wonderful harmony in ‘Life’ if the ‘Wife’ and ‘Hus-band’ are in tune!

There are millions of ‘Wife’ jokes. Many are funny and mild. Some are mean and wild and some others downright offensive. I too have shared and forwarded some of them. But to be honest, I don’t really subscribe to any of them. I respect women too much to generalize about womanhood.

I have mentioned about my admiration for “Womanity”! Well, I don’t know if anyone has coined this word before. If I am the first, then let me be firm, this isn’t a ‘typo’. ‘Womanity’ is ‘Humanity’ with a Feminine touch!

This rather weird introduction is necessary because I am writing about a ‘Woman’ who has made a huge difference in my life over the past dozen years. That is my wife. We first met as a part of our arranged match at her home on 9 June 1997. When I asked her opinion about me; she told me, I was ‘no problem’! I wonder if she still thinks so.

We had a rather short courtship and were married on 3 September 1997. It was a culture shock for me. I had grown up being pampered by my sisters. But this was different. She knew very little about the world outside her circle. My short temper had to cause a few problems. During a journey to Ponkunnam from Kochi, I had to shout at her because she was walking on the road without noticing a speeding bus, which certainly would have knocked her down. Through the entire 3-hour journey, she was sobbing and the see of humanity was staring at me as if I were some kind of a villain who had committed a sin!

Then it was a learning process for both of us. For her, everything from cooking to cope up with a temperamental husband. For me it was about learning to teach. Teaching her how to cook what I liked. Teaching her to manage our time, money and so many other things. 12 years down the line, she now manages all our money matters, banking and shopping single-handed. She has an Orkut profile that has a burgeoning list of visitors. When we went on our first date, she didn’t know what was a ‘soup’. Today, she manages to bail me out of it whenever I need her. For a girl who didn’t know how to walk on the road without her mother, she is now taking care of both her parents and mine!

We aren’t without our share of quarrels, disagreements and follies. But we are together at the end of the day because, we have become used to each other. I can’t wake up without her and she can’t sleep without me. When we do a balance sheet of our life together, she has had to change much more than I have. She does more work than I do and she keeps the home tidy in spite of my laziness.

Her weight is a heavy-duty issue and I have always managed to remain below the BMI mark for my height. My anger is the danger our relationship faces constantly though I never raise my voice and she can’t keep her volume down even during the times of peace. She forgets what I had told just about 3 minutes ago but reminds me to wish my cousin on his wedding anniversary. She also remembers every single birthday, wedding anniversary and such things in our circle. I am happy that I somehow manage to remember our own wedding anniversary and her birthday. She doesn’t think much about those comedies of Malayalam actor Sreenivasan that I love. She loves spicy food and I just can’t stand them. I remove all kind of Chillies and spices from my food and she gorges on them. I can laugh any time and most of the times and she finds it hard to understand why I am laughing.

So many differences and yet we stick to each other. Why? Simply because I need her and can’t do a thing without her. She has stood by me through some of the most difficult times of my life. It is no exaggeration if I say she is an addiction. She is not fond of reading except those scraps on her Orkut page. But I hope she reads this and understands how important she is to me. Love you and need you to be with me till I live!

I have only one message to her:
Live [For Me], Love [Me] and Laugh [With Me], because I Live [Thanks to You], Love [You] and [Love to see You] Laugh!