Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma- Curious Connect with Televsion

Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma.

Each one of us have weaknesses. Uncontrollable rage, sexy Steve Madden’s or a congenital sweet tooth that doesn’t help those extra pounds. I also have one – I am a Television Addict- as much as I cannot study without TV.

When you have been a bright student all your life, most people like to assume that you don’t have a life beyond books. Oddly that doesn’t hold true for me. My connect with television dates back to the day when I spoke my very first word and that was a daily soap’s name. I have grown up watching television, narrating an episode to my mother while she looked at me startled and bemused that how her 5 year old remembers every dialogue with the exact emotion and expression. For the past 15 years, there has not been a show on Indian Television that I have missed.I can immerse myself into a show so deep that sometimes I ignore the fine line between fiction and reality. For instance I watched White Collar’s fourth season finale thrice to take note of junctures where Peter made mistakes and how he could have saved himself from getting arrested.

Most of you might think, what is wrong with watching television that I like to keep it to myself? Sadly Indian shows tend to have regressive plot lines and in school watching soap operas was considered tacky. So watching television became a clandestine affair.

While people switch on their televisions to kill time or take their minds off their lives I have not only seen shows but have also given them a deep thought. I am not dismissing the fact that majority of the shows on air have a very backward outlook but undeniably these are the shows that gross highest TRPs. Google Diya aur Bati Hum or Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and you will understand my point. No matter how aggressively we advocate about women empowerment or caste/creed discrimination, people still hold on to their orthodox beliefs and customs.

I have a friend who firmly believes that one must always look at the bright side and drawing inspiration from that thought I would like to say that there have been some pretty amazing shows or some lovable characters in the not so good shows as well.  Hip Hip Hurray which telecasted on Zee Tv showcased the lives of 11th standard school kids. I think the show was ahead of its time because school affairs, ragging, drugs or live in relationships were never talked about in Indian homes during the 90s. Left Right Left was another path breaking show about Indian Military aspirants (until of course they came up with a second season). Radha ki betiyan kuch kar dikhayegi was a delight to watch every Monday because at least in a single show 19-20 year old girls had ambitions for their lives apart from getting married. I have sincerely followed Chandragupta Maurya week after week because it was difficult for me to take my eyes off Manish Wadhwa who evoked life into Chanakya. I made a mental note of every word he uttered- it was pure wisdom. And for a very brief period, Balika Vadhu was a very well conceived and executed show.

Yes, television has landed me in a few embarrassing situations as well. At a very young age I pointed out to my mother that morning sickness is a symptom of pregnancy (Neena Gupta’s show Saans) or a wedding night authenticates a marriage (Zee Tv’s show Amanat).

On a parting note, here’s another little secret. Sometimes I had other reasons that kept me glued to the TV screen namely, Abhay Deol’s dimples, Vikas Khanna’s humbleness (and the way he pronounced Aalu), Osh Kosh Bagosh Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) or Sushant Singh Rajput’s O Re Piya performance in Jhalak Dikhla Jaa 4, all of which by the way make my heart waltz in air.

Looking for a PG accommodation in National Park- Here’s some help!

It’s the season of Delhi University admissions skyrocketing cutoffs and disappointments a notch up.  For those who live outside Delhi/ NCR your D.U. dream doesn’t come to fruition only by securing a seat, you have a bigger question looming in front of you that is to find a place to live in. Not everybody has cooperative local guardians; hostels have few seats plus the hostel list comes out quite some time after admissions and then there are those of us who like a tad bit of luxury. So being a paying guest is the only respite but the PG hunt might leave you boggled midst sugar-coated landlords who are more than willing to welcome you in their foster families and their smiles that widen with every second.

Here’s a little piece of information about some P.G. accommodations in National Park, Lajpat Nagar 4 (the popular housing hub of South Campus girls). Before you get acquainted with the houses, you should bear in mind that no P.G. is going to be perfect-it  is a choice that you make between what you are willing to forego and what not. No house is absolutely true to those pamphlets the landlords publish or the hearsay that brings you to these houses.

Basic Amenities Provided in most of the Houses

  • WiFi connectivity
  • Laundry (additional monthly charges Rs. 200)
  • 24 hour water supply
  • Geysers, Microwaves, Television in the Common Room
  • A full time Maid
  • 3 meals plus ane cup of milk daily

House No. 63: Sehghal’s

I wish things/amenities/solutions were as promptly made available to you as quickly Mr. Sehghal promised them to you.

The most appealing aspect of this house is its spacious rooms and cleanliness. The maid Julie is cooperative and not among the provocative ones that you can easily find in National Park houses. The landlord doesn’t visit often or bother you much except for those occasional 7:30 p.m. meetings.  The food is okayish, can be bland on some days and can vanish as quickly as it came because of the scarcity in which it was served.

Kitchen is off limits, even for late night Maggi binges.The grievance redressal mechanism is as bureaucratic as in a Government office. Equipment once broken down take their due course in getting repaired. If you demand an elitist commodity then he might not hesitate in cooking up a story to pacify you like, ‘mushrooms can cause a lethal brain disease’.

House No 21. 83 and the one opposite Sehghal’s: Pasricha

Fondly called Sardarji ka P.G., Pasricha’s is the ‘It’ place among P.G.s in National Park. From what little information I have on my hand about this P.G. I can tell you that Mr Pasricha serves the best food in National Park: 3 meals, an evening snack, lime water, desserts twice a week and daily cup of milk. Parents will be pleased to know that he keeps the P.G. under constant scrutiny; the in-time is 8 p.m.and if you intend to stay outside a little longer you have to call him up and inform him.  Plus he visits the house every night to make sure every girl is tucked in safely in her room and everything under control.

A big bummer is that if you want to be in Pasricha’s and you are from L.S.R. then you have to give 3 months’ rent as security plus 3 months’ rent in advance which might burn a huge hole in your dad’s pocket. Secondly once you get in, a few hidden expenses crop up like police verification fees, etc. Another rumor is that you have to pay electricity bill at a rate higher than the prescribed rate per unit. And there are constant complaints about WiFi- mostly it doesn’t function and when it does it’s a little slow. Also Mr Pasricha has an awry sense of humor.

House No. 99 and 15: Mehta’s

This is one of those easygoing accommodations in National Park where you can get in and go out of the P.G. anytime you like, that is no supervision. It is an economical P.G. as compared to others in this locality because there is no WiFi connectivity. Plus you can easily get a bed here when the vacancies in all the P.G.s are done with.  The P.G. scores badly on the cleanliness aspect-unclean dishes, dirty soiled washroom, cockroaches at large in kitchens. Plus there is a lazy maid who thinks her time is well spent in being a couch potato.

This is an incident which happened last year with my friend.

A glass ventilator fell on my friend’s bed and the landlord did not even heed to turn up and check if everything is fine. Next morning when her parents called him up the only words that he could offer were, “good thing is your daughter is fine so we shall let bygones be bygones”. So you have to bear in mind that ‘the No Supervision policy’ has two facets. It might  be easy for you to sneak in and out but then you will have no one to turn to in the face of a problem.

House No. 70: Juneja’s

This is another one of those houses where you can easily find a bed when rests of the houses have none. Juneja’s run P.G. accommodations in two other houses though I don’t remember the house numbers. Juneja’s is a rare P.G. where you will always find food in abundance though it may not always be a delight for your taste buds. If you get one of the terrace rooms you get a television plus refrigerator for fairly the same rent- ain’t a bad barter in lieu of 10-12 additional stairs. Though the terrace rooms can be quite a pain in extreme weather. The maids are pretty decent who don’t steal or nag; and are not hesitant to cook paranthas or give that much-needed tadka to the sabzi. As of now you get 300/200 electricity units free of charge on you air conditioner but it is abuzz that this might be discontinued from this session on.

Some of the two-seaters remind you of ‘Cupboard under the Stairs’ from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Secondly the rooms aren’t cleaned/moped everyday and it is not difficult to spot cobwebs in your room.  The inverters never work. And occasionally some of the girls might get a midnight craving to go  up on the terrace, get drunk and sing all the latest chart busters at their loudest pitch. From what I have heard I want you to know that the WiFi may no longer be provided in the coming session because the landlady has alleged that people have been purchasing smart bytes once the data exhausts and she has had to pay whooping phone bills of 7000-10000.

So without the free units and WiFi a monthly rent of 11000-13000 is a bit too much to ask.

Remember this is solely based on my experience and it might be different from several others’. Also the information above is for helping many D.U. aspirants to make an informed choice and not to demean anybody.

As I bid adieu, Happy P.G. hunting to you and feel free to leave any feedback/queries in the comments.

Raanjhanaa- The strange things that love makes you do!

Raanjhana- 3.5/5

A year and a half ago my friend made me hear this song called ‘Kolaveri Di’ and I just couldn’t understand what was she gushing all about. Then she showed me the video on youtube and all I remember is hitting the replay button over and over again. That was my first rendezvous with Dhanush’s charm.

Raanjhanaa is a tale of a boy, Kundan (Dhanush) from Banaras who falls head over heels in love with Muslim girl, Zoya (Sonam Kapoor) as a child. After 16 slaps, a half kiss and wrist slashing sequence Kundan finally manages to woo Zoya. But once the clandestine affair comes to the knowledge of Zoya’s parents she is sent off to Aligarh at her aunt’s place to finish her schooling. Eight years on, Kundan becomes the blue-eyed neighbor for Zoya’s parents who unflinchingly does odd jobs for them ranging from plumbing to managing a marquee. Sadly Zoya has entirely forgotten the teenage affair so much so that she can’t even recognize Kundan. But Kundan is undeterred and once again embarks on a journey to woo her until she confesses that she has already fallen for the student council President of Jawarlal Nehru University (Abhay Deol). A heartbroken Kundan arranges her marriage as well as fixes his own with his childhood friend Bindiya.

Ranjhanaa does not end here. Kundan and Zoya’s fate makes them traverse a long journey across places that the viewer least expects.

As I pointed out earlier, Dhanush is an instant charmer and if that was his impact in a three minute video then how can he not sway you in a two and a half hour movie. I think Zoya is the most complex character Sonam has ever played. She has a multi-faceted personality, the girl next door with mesmerizing beauty, envious, manipulative in the manner she gets things done through Kundan and the girl who is madly in love. Sadly though Sonam Kapoor can doll up pretty well for the camera yet she cannot act. You find her either laughing most of the time or screaming at the topmost pitch. Abhay Deol or rather the fellow who never disappoints, gets deep into the skin of his character, the headstrong and witty youngster who is eyeing a spot for himself on 9, Racecourse Road. Finally Swara Bhaskar and Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub have done an exceedingly well job in playing Dhanush’s childhood friends.The uninterrupted humor in the first half is mostly because of the trio’s tongue in cheek dialogues.

Watch Raanjhanaa for Dhanush, the guy with the unconventional looks but with tremendous acting caliber and who has undoubtedly bagged himself a Filmfare for his performance in this movie.

In one of the scenes in the movie, Zeeshan tells Dhanush, “Pyar na ho gaya UPSC ka exam ho gaya jo dus saal se clear hi nahi hua.”    (Your love is more like a civil services exam that you haven’t managed to crack in 10 years). On a bidding note all I can say is in spite of Kundan’s ten years of relentless pursuit  all that he manages to get in the end might leave you a little shaken.


Daily Prompt: Tagline- Credit Note Girl

Daily Prompt: Tagline.

I am not one of those outspoken individuals and when I went to college, not many people in my class were aware of my existence. In the first semester I did a subject called Accountancy. Being proficient in Accountancy it was only during its lectures that I ever opened my mouth.
In one such lecture the professor asked us what a credit note is and nobody in my class could answer. Recalling what I had learnt in school while doing the fundamentals I fired some life into my voice box and answered correctly.

Since then I became ‘the girl who remembers what a credit note is’. So I am definitely going with this tagline because it gave me the initial recognition among my peers.

For note, a credit note is a document issued by a supplier of goods to a debtor in the event of sales return.

Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out- I can no longer be a fire extinguisher

Dearest Peacemaker (within me)

Do you know how excruciatingly stressful it is to be Peacemaker? Jumping into someone else’s  argument, lending them a shoulder to cry on, offering an open ear to listen to them yakking about their troubles and finally setting every single neuron of your brain into motion to come up with a solution to help them.

And you my friend are the one attribute that I had to be born with as if being  lazy, careless, insensitive or any other trivial attribute would have shrunk my life to a meaningless existence. Whenever I sense an altercation around me, you seize control over my mind, make me suspend all the ongoing activities and completely defy this thought constantly looming in a corner of my brain, ‘for once just let it go’.
You make me feel like I am this human fire extinguisher who cannot resist but quench any and every fire – a bleak spark to a catastrophic one but nevertheless I end up being the must foolish person altogether.

As a bidding souvenir I would like to leave you with this poem that will help you understand my plight better.

Oh dear peacemaker

Why do you have to be such a hell breaker?

No matter how often and tightly I screw every brain chip

I end up appeasing the clefts in others’ relationship.

When they decide to call it a truce,

The allegations turn evanescent, which were once hard to excuse.

They say it was all in good humor

And I was foolishly the weeper-worrier.

So I think its time for us to part ways

Because even I deserve a few peaceful days.

P.S. As you can see I am not very adept at poetry but a friend once told me that the trick lies in keeping the rhyme scheme consistent and so I have managed to keep.

Love Palak

Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out.


Akbar- He Whose Second Name is Terror

Killing History Softly

The title comes from the teaser of the Ekta Kapoor’s to be launched show Jodha Akbar. Ekta Kapoor has undoubtedly been my least favorite person on television. With her unimaginative plots it is indeed boggling that she has manged to be around in the TV industry for such a long time. With Jodha Akbar she is venturing into an entirely alien territory of period dramas.Inadequate background on historic figures endow the creator of a period drama with a certain flexibility to mold the characters. However creative liberty is one thing and making Akbar sound like Aurangzeb is another. She has let her imagination run out of bounds and etched out a character which is in stark contrast to the most popular Mughal Emperor, Akbar. She has reduced the stature of Akbar to a self indulgent loathsome king who wants to establish a proprietary right on Jodha.

The fact of the matter is that the plot has clear resemblance to the story lines of her previously successful shows like Kasamh Se, Parichay, Kasauti Zindagi Ki where a mean/snobbish fellow marries a coy girl, though they live like two strangers under the same roof yet destiny forces them to walk on intermittent paths and voila love happens. But then comes along a villain who draws the lovers apart, eventually one of them ends up in a prison and a midst  the looming despair and long drawn misunderstandings the female protagonist gives birth to a child and somehow ends up in a totally different part of the globe.

While there is a lot of buzz about this show’s extravagance I am quite sure that it is no different from the rest of her shows and the show will go off air within a short span just like one of Ekta’s former ambitious project, Mahabharat.

On a final note brace yourself to witness the killing of history softly next Monday only on Zee TV.

Connected Hum Tum- PhD in Female Psyche

downloadThe newest show on Zee Tv explores the lives of six ordinary women, each of these women record their most intimate moments and feelings through a camera. The first one is struggling with the transitions in her marriage- her husband shying away from family responsibilities and losing interest in family. The second one once divorce Continue reading “Connected Hum Tum- PhD in Female Psyche”