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Jithe mi jaate, tithe tu diste,

Hawaat tujhe sugandh pasarte,
Manaat tu majhya dhyanaat tu…
Chaaro dishaanat tu hich tu

Dedicated to "the Nu" from the song "Nana chi taang" from the movie "Khatta Meetha"

For those who are not familiar with "the Nu" click here. And do not worry, you will be in the same boat as me. I am also not very familiar with her, multi-faceted personality that she is.

For those who want to know about Khatta Meetha, it is just one more in the Akshay-Priyadarshan series of comedies but frankly it is too tedious to write a review. Priyadarshan needs to reinvent rather than recycle his old Malayalam movies.

If you still don't get it then "tyacha nana chi taang"
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What is common between Dev.D , Wake Up Sid, Admissions Open, Aisha and Udaan? Answer:

The man behind the music of the above films launched his career just a couple of years ago with Aamir(film) and he is already my favorite - Amit Trivedi. It started with the strangely unique but arresting "emosional atyachaar" and he has delivered hit after hit which include Wake up Sid's mesmerizing Iktara voted as 2009's listener's choice best song of the year.

His sounds are unique, youthful, rocke-ish, accompanied with some great arrangements in such a way that most instruments he uses seem so clearly heard and even more cleverly introduced into a sequence. His music is definitely something you won't classify as filmy although he did go a little mainstream with Aisha at the expense of sounding like Vishal-Shekhar but even in Aisha, he had his usual trademarks when the music soared with the melancholic Lehrein and the soothing vocals of Anusha Mani. One has also got to listen to low key films like Admissions Open , especially the songs Meri Rooh and Roshini. My current favorite is Udaan, an admirable movie with a thoroughly enchanting score. From the rock dominated Kahaani, folk rock in Naav, sitar and harmonica interspersed within rock elements in Aazadiayan and finally ending with the poignant piano based theme, Amit Trivedi delivers the perfect note to capture the mood of the film.

3-4 movies in the pipeline. Really looking forward to some more of his work. Awesome, keep it up Amit Trivedi.
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A 2-0 whitewash of the Aussies in cricket and a fantastic end to the CWG games with India coming in 2nd place with 101 medals , capped off a great week for the host nation. The icing on the cake being the spectacular closing ceremony and thereby setting a high benchmark for the games in Glasgow. Bravo! as the Australian and New Zealand media put it.
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I traveled to Lancaster County Pennsylvania which is famous for a community called the Amish. The Amish are a denomination of Christianity who believe in simple living and refuse to accept modern convenience. That would mean, they don’t use cars, phones, computers and don’t watch the telly. So quite obviously, they do not use electricity. They tend their own farms, are experts at growing tobacco and quite inherently are good with woodwork.

Once you enter the town, immediately one gets to see horse droppings everywhere as the Amish only travel by buggy. And we caught one to give us a ride. Our driver was a young girl named Rachel and she allowed us to take a photograph of her (which is prohibited but some allow it). On the 3 mile long ride along Amish farmland, we came to know that if you see electricity cables running into a house, that would be a modern Amish household. The electricity would have to be powered by propane though. There are also Amish schools that are run separately but tourists are not allowed to enter one.There is a measure of discipline in children, and they are used to helping the adults on farm which is quite contrary from modern American kids who just play the Xbox all day and are protected by American child laws in regards to obedience). But the Amish are not exempted from any US laws. They pay taxes and follow rules just like the rest of the nation. Also it was surprising that Rachel knew everything from Ipods to social networking but would not use them even if she could.

The Amish house (left) is like any other modern house. They visit supermarkets and buy all modern food just like us. Some other aspects were, that a white cape on the head would mean she was below 30 and was single. Men have to wear suspenders. And we were shown a variety of dresses both men and women have to wear as they progress through the years.

It is quite mind boggling that this community that lives right in the heart of modernity is not lured by it. There are some who defect and try to live a normal life but then are ostracized from their own society once they take that step. They may only come back if they perform penance in the Church.

It is also quite amazing that such a community has thrived in America, “the Nile river delta” of innovation and technology. They sometimes refuse medical treatment calling it the will of God. But luckily their youth is sensible enough to not take everything conservatively and every Amish household does have a telephone (outside the boundary of the house) in case of life-threatening emergencies.

Ah !what a simple life. Interesting. Let me "tweet" about this via my "smart phone". :)

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And finally a century of posts and I thought I would share something personal and write about somebody special. And that would mean that there has been a curtain call on my days of bachelorhood(sweating profusely, head spinning and hands begging for mercy)

A cry for affection, a play with fate

A predilection for the cultured, a fondness for out of state

And the response :

She was genial, sober and delightful

Her demeanor calm and speech insightful

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the results are out and turns out they are pretty, quite literally. :)

Call it my penchant to find a partner from a different background or my attraction for a “I don’t take shit from anyone” attitude. Also hostels maketh the man, in this case a woman. A considerable amount of time spent in the melting pot of Pune has provided the perfect recipe for a young , independent and strong minded individual. She is originally from Gwalior so the cricket fanatic in me also saw this an opportunity to be associated with “the master” as it was at the land of Tansen, that the little champion scored the first ODI double ton :P :D.(yeah you guessed it right, she is gonna kill me for this)

The followers of this indulgent blog might know her as the STG, her previously coined term. (She has made me apologize to all the nonsense that I had written earlier, damn I am already listening to her). Everything in my life does revolve movies sadly. So in typical style the STG has been rechristened. The STG from now on will be known as “The Nu” which is quite obviously inspired by Uma Thurman's “the Bride” in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill not that she brandishes a sword and knows Kung-fu. However "the Nu" is much more skilled in other kinds of warfare what with her candy-eyed looks, her candid views and a feisty attitude to match. It is deceptive, the perils of which I have already begun to experience.

Yes, bakre ko kabhi na kabhi to halal hona hi tha. Wish me luck. Part 2 when the wedding bells toll.

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The CWG opening ceremony heralded the arrival of a new India. All doubts about India's ability to host a major even were laid to rest in a glittering show of culture, sports and fireworks. There will always be room for improvement but as the old cliche goes "Rome wasn't built in a day". Coming to the games itself, India has hit the ground running with the shooters and grapplers snaffling up the gold in their respective events. Here is to India winning much more.

And winning that too from impossible situations seems to be the norm for the current Indian cricket team, ranked as the no. 1 test side in the world, as they showed some great determination at Mohali to beat the rampaging Aussies by a thrilling margin of 1 wkt thereby retaining the Border Gavaskar Trophy. The heroes of this chase were VVS Laxman, Ishant Sharma and useful cameo by "the master". It felt sweet revenge after the farcical events that had occured in Sydney couple of years ago. What comeuppance for the Fab Four(oh dada why did you have to retire) People talk about replacing the older generation with new and upcoming cricketers but when the old men are performing so well, why touch them. Vangipurappu Venkatasai Laxman is the master of the 2nd innings. His 2nd innings(3rd or 4th in a match situation) scores from the past 18 months read : 124*, 61, 51*, 69*, 69,103*,73*. That is a stunningly mind-boggling average of 275. Whaddaplaya!! .

This is the golden generation of Indian batting and India deserves every inch of that no. 1 spot. Hope Dravid, Sachin and Laxman never retire.

Go India Go !
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India is in the centre of attention once again.

First the Ayodhya verdict, which thankfully has passed on quite peacefully and once again proved that democracy still lives on in good health in a country that is plagued by population problems. There was peace advocated in the Jummah sermons, while the victorious group has quite rightly demonstrated a controlled felicity to what has occurred. PC, the man famous for irresponsible statements has broken the habit of a lifetime by announcing something sensible on behalf of the Government. Kudos to the Judiciary and the powers that be, who have handled this with foresight and some would say proper neutrality.

Second, India and Australia are playing a test series(the Border-Gavaskar trophy) which is reason enough to be exciting if only it wasn't that short. But come to think of it, we might not even had a series in the first place and instead would have been pointlessly following seven inconsequential ODIs across the length and breadth of the country. It will be interesting to see how Dhoni and Raina adjust their game to the longer version after the heady high of winning the Champions League.

Next up are the Commonwealth Games New Delhi, a true proud moment for a nation that has made giant strides and takes one more leap of faith by hosting a global event. Despite all the controversy surrounding the event, I am really looking forward to this one. The pictures (wrongly,enviously and foolishly pointed by the naysayers as CGI) that are being released belatedly by our crappy media are spectacular. The facilities look world-class and showcases the might and influence that India now exercises in the world. Afridi, the ball muncher has made another ill-timed dig at Cricket India when he would be better off taking care of some urgent issues in his own team. Reminds me of the old Onida commercial - Owner's pride, neighbor's envy. Can't wait for the opening ceremony on Sunday.

On the personal front there is something special coming up after a week. Hopefully that will culminate in a delightful weekend and reignite the spark that has been missing for a while. Also Navratri starts next week which sends Jerseyites in a dancing frenzy - non-gujjus included. After leaving India, I have hardly felt, let alone celebrated Garba and Diwali or any other major Indian festival with enthusiasm. It just doesn't feel right here. But with autumn beginning to show its colors literally, the leaves beginning to say farewell to the trees before rustling to the ground, the heavens opening up more often, and the cooler refreshing weather, the timing is just about perfect to indulge in some heavy duty cultural activity.

Is it a good time to be an Indian , you bet it is.. and always will be.
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