Friday, June 10, 2005

Let me be inspired.

There is a thin line between inspiration and blatant copying. A thin, but a definite line. Unfortunately the ailment of copying afflicts many of our ilk (artists in general). We have innumerable such instances in our very own bollywood where music directors, film makers shamelessly rip-off compositions, stories from the rest of the world, in particular hollywood and pass off as their own.

Fortunately there are some self-respecting individuals who go an extra mile to create something 'original'. I do not understand this psyche though, the need to copy something and call it your own. How can one feel proud of something that is not their creation, it just takes a little more feeling and thinking to create something that is entirely yours. Something that you can take pride in.

Having said that, one needs to point out the fact that no artistic creation is hundred percent original. The human mind is such that it soaks-in everything that it is surrounded with, like a sponge, especially a creative mind. Everyday life, your surroundings, the strangers you meet or pass by, the tiny glimpses into someone else's life and everything else that happens around you, to you or someone else is enough to draw creative inspiration from. Life and nature is so dynamic that one can never run out of ideas. So when an actor emotes, or a painter gives life to the canvas, it most likely is a trickle from the sponge that has soaked-in so much. It's an amalgamation of the experiences, observations, feelings that lie there in their minds. Some obvious and some that they are oblivious to.

I can spend hours in book shops looking at design books. The human mind and it's capacity to create amazes me! To think that at any given point innumerable minds are coming up with innumerable ideas substantiates the magnificence of the human mind.

My ChungKing Express DVD has an introduction and wrap-up by Quentin Tarantino (it was released by his Rolling Thunder pictures in the US). Amongst other things, Tarantino talks about the common influences that he shares with WongKarWai in movie making. One of the things that he says and that i remember is that, one doesn't necessarily need to learn the art of filmmaking formally to make good films. One just needs to love the art. And this holds true for any creative field. One just needs to have that love and passion to run that extra mile. Our very own RGV is a fine example. He never learnt filmmaking anywhere. He just loved the movies and is one of the very few filmmakers who push the envelope and give bollywood it's share of good, popular cinema.

In my spare time (and i have had lots of it for sometime), i love browsing through websites. It is truly joyous to see such good work around you. Work that stimulates your mind and you don't feel dead anymore. I find myself both humbled and inspired at the same time.

I shall be posting links to some nice and some weird websites that i come across. Let me start with these two:

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

random comforts.

in no particular order.

a nice cozy home. not too big. not too small.

a regular job. money in the bank. maybe even a five-year plan.

comfortable bed. couches. soft pillows. cushions. bolsters.

old clothes. because they are soft. because you get attached to some of them.

old photographs. because that's all that you are left with.

books. book shelves. book shops. design books.

music. collections. movies. that you can watch again and again.

clean bathroom. long showers. soft towels. scented candles. wind chimes.

laptop. internet connection. emails. i check them everyday. yahoo and msn IM. that's what i shout on when i am about to crumble.

paint brushes. colours. imagination. ability to create and design. i wouldn't know what else to do.

day dreaming. that's all that i do.

rooftops where you can lie awake and stare at the starlit night sky. straight in the eye.

coffee and cafes that you can sit and read in and while away time. windows that you look out of when it rains.

palm trees. i like it when the leaves rustle.

wine. good food. canned food for when you are tired. soyabean milk. it's light and good for health.

a few good friends. who you can speak to without being judged. a few good friends. who you don't judge.

personal space. and someone special to invade it.

the words 'our' and 'us'. not me and you. not mine and yours.

appreciation. affection. tender words. 'I am sorry' after harsh words.

relationships that you can take for granted. people who don't leave you. no matter what. people who you won't leave. no matter what.

a partner to snuggle up to each morning. who understands you. or at least tries to. that in itself is enough.

peace. security. stability. erratic rollercoaster is painful. not joyous.

i was once asked by someone what was more important. happiness or love? i did not have an answer. in my mind i thought it was love. but i don't know anymore. perhaps it's more important to be happy. if love comes your way then you have hit the jackpot. if not at least you are happy with yourself. with whatever you have. even if that's all that you have. yourself.

Monday, June 6, 2005

Need some 'sound' advice!

Okay, can someone help me out with this. I uploaded this song 'Dilse Re' on my soundblox, but its not playing! I dont know why. On my soundblox it gives an error message:

*Data conversion error: iv exception: Invalid MP3 - only MPEG audio Layer 3 supported.*

But i can play it on winamp. The info for this song on winamp says:

Size: 6424816 bytes
Header found at: 1879 bytes
Length: 402 seconds
MPEG 1.0 layer 3
128kbit, 15429 frames
44100Hz Stereo

(Now if i understand right, this says that it's an MPEG layer 3 file, right? Then why isn't it playing?)

On the Lazslo website, under MP3 encoding limitations, it says :

To play properly over the Web, MP3 audio files for SoundBlox must be encoded at a fixed bit rate of 160 kbps or lower, and at a sample rate of 11025 hz, 22050 hz or 44100 hz. Lower bit and sample rates will yield substantially smaller file sizes and improve Web playback performance. Some users report best Internet playback for music at 64kbps.

Can someone throw some light on this? It'll also help me understand sound better :-)



Added three new songs:

Kandisa by Indian Ocean: This is an awesome number by Indian Ocean. Kandisa means 'praise'. It's based on a Syrian Catholic hym in the ancient language of Aramaic. Very earthy and soulful. The blending of the Aramaic hyms and hindustaani classical vocals is flawless and amazing. Listen to it with your eyes closed! :-)

Tanha Dil by Shaan: This is one of the rare nice pop numbers churned out of the non-bollywood music scene in india.

Phir Dhoom by Euphoria: When Euphoria first burst into the music scene with Dhoom Pichuk, everyone took notice of them. Dhoom Pichuk was a major hit owing to its fresh, folk sounds.When i was in HT back in Delhi, Palash Sen, the lead singer, visited our office for one of those celebrity chat events. And we let him go only after he had sung a few lines of Maeri, if i am not wrong. And boy can he sing! He has an amazing voice. This one is from their album, Phir Dhoom.

Sunday, June 5, 2005

ChungKing Express

I love movies and music as many of you can tell by now. I watch almost all kinds of movies and i listen to all kind of music. Language or preconcieved notions have never kept me away from my periodic food for soul indulgence. I watch action, comedies, thrillers and horrors (which is the least preferred genre and is always watched with a magazine in front - to hide behind.)

But what i love the most are movies that speak the language of romance, i am a sucker for romantic movies. Having said that there are very few movies that are truly romantic. I am not talking about the mushy - soppy romantic sagas with tonnes of glycerine thrown-in, or the girl and boy love each other and sprint through a hurdle race to happily ever after, or the teen-angst movies with jealous boyfriends and girlfirends. I am talking about romance that leaves you breathless and lighthearted, that leaves you with an indescribable feeling, with butterflies in your stomach and sometimes a dull ache in your heart. I am talking of something that is both innocent and seductive and you can't stop smiling long after the movie has finished. There are very few movies like that.

Chungking Express is one of them. I felt this light-hearted and in-love in a non-soppy way when i watched Amelie. Now these two films are different, very different but very similar in the way they leave you feeling long after the show is over.

ChungKing Express is the story of four very different characters and their parallel running love stories. The first story is that of Cop 223, He Qiwu (Takeshi Kaneshiro - eye candy for women). He is a plainclothes policeman who pines for an ex-girlfriend, May - who left him after 5yrs of being together. They broke off on 1st April, so he decides to let the joke run for a month untill 1st May when he turns 25. Untill then he buys a can of pineapple with a 1st May expiry date. Everyday. May likes pineapples. On 1st May, 223 comes to terms with the fact that May is not coming back and finishes off the pineapples. All 30 cans of them. He then decides to fall in love with the first woman he sets his eyes on. His ice-breaker line is "do you like pineapples?" asked in four different languages. Now this woman turns out to be one mysterious woman (played by Brigitte Lin). So mysterious that we are never told her name and never get to see her eyes. She is always in a raincoat, sunglasses and a blonde wig. She is one tough cookie who rules over the seedy corridors of ChungKing Mansions, full of south asian men and is into smuggling of drugs and the likes. She carries a gun and shoots at the drop of hat. Needless to say, this match does not work, it's not even a match. But this mysterious woman leaves 223 with a memory that will last him a lifetime. He ends up reflecting, if memories had an expiry date he would wish for them to last for centuries.

The second story is that of uniformed Cop 663 (Tony Leung - an awesome actor!). He, like 223 is yet to get over an ex. An airhostess, who leaves him with a letter that says change of flight and a boarding pass with cancelled stamped on it. Along with his house keys. When he is home alone, he speaks to the soft toys, the tattered rag, the bar of soap, her air-hostess uniform. He talks to them. He is still trying to get over her. And while he is getting over her, Faye (Faye Wong - an amazing debut) falls for him - silently. Faye works at the snack bar Midnight Express (which is the common factor linking the characters 223 and 663, both frequent this place). She is a dreamer, who dreams of going to California and listens to 'California Dreaming'. Loud. Because it helps her not think. But 663 doesn't notice any of this. He doesn't notice anything when she quietly enters his life and his home. She cleans his house, changes his bar of soap, buys new shirts, new slippers for him, gets him new rags, goldfish, looks for long strands of hair on his bed...she does all this everyday without his knowledge. He can feel that his life is changing but he doesn't know why and how. There is something incredibly romantic and lovely about this bit and i totally fell in love with how Faye takes over his life without his knowledge! You see she does all this for she is in love with him, in her own way. Acknowledgement doesn't matter to her.

Like all WongKarWai movies, this one has a very definite character and mood. The camera and the movie moves at a feverish pace. It's restless and impatient, much like HongKong. It takes you on a race at an exciting pace and you are left intoxicated. The visuals are stunning as well. The dingy, cramped up holes of ChungKing Mansions, the lanes bylanes of Central and Lan Kwai Fong couldn't have been captured better. You get to see HongKong from some very interesting angles and always with an inherent dynamism.

Despite being a romantic movie with only four main characters and two parallel running love stories, this is not a simple movie. The genius of WongKarWai lies in how he narrates the story. At first it seems simple. When you watch it the second time, you start noticing things. It's the subtlety that steals the show. I like the way he subtely introduces the characters of the second story while the first is still running. We see a glimpse of each of the characters from the second story, the airhostess, Faye, 663 while we are still with He Qiwu and his heartache. Or for that matter the themes of Canned food, Expiry dates and Boarding Passes that run throughout the movie. It's far more intricate and deceptive than it seems and therein lies the beauty of this movie. It's like one of those mosaic floors of old mansions where you would find something new everytime you had a look...something subtle and hidden, but something that makes the mosaic so much more interesting, everytime you discover it.

As i sip my wine and write this while listening to Faye Wong's take on Dreams, i still have that feeling in my stomach and i want to move the way Faye does on 'California Dreaming'. And i realise whatever i have written here can never do justice to the beauty of this movie.

Friday, June 3, 2005

I am a happy bunny and so we have some new songs!

Timid and attractive, the Rabbits of the Chinese Zodiac tend to act more like bunnies, whether they like it or not! This Sign is extremely popular and has a wide circle of family and friends. Its compassionate nature leads it to be very protective of those it holds dear, but where romance is concerned, the Rabbit's sentimentality can lead it to idealize relationships. The sweet, sensitive Rabbit often ends up giving more of itself to a partner than is realistic or healthy. The good news is, when this Sign goes off-balance, the Rabbit's core group of friends and its stable home life help bring it back to center.
The Rabbit is a rather delicate Sign that needs a solid base in order to thrive. Lacking close, supportive friends and family, the Rabbit might just break down in tears at the first sign of conflict. Emotional upsets in this Sign's life can even lead to physical illnesses. Rabbits dislike arguments and other conflict and will try anything to avoid a fight; this results in something of a pushover nature. Rabbits can also lapse into pessimism and may seem stuck in life -- often to mask their insecure natures. Rabbits tend to move through life's lessons at their own, rather contemplative pace; it's a waste of time to become exasperated with this Sign's seeming disinterest in facing its problems and conquering them.
With the right partner -- meaning someone whose high principles won't allow it to take advantage of this sensitive, giving Sign -- the Rabbit can make an incredibly loving and protective partner or family member. Rabbits love to entertain at home and always make sure their house is comfortable and tastefully-furnished. What Rabbits need most is a stronger sense of self-worth and the security that comes with it. Their discerning natures, coupled with some hard-won assertiveness, will help these happy creatures go far.

The most compatible match for a Rabbit is the
Goat or the Pig.

Which one are you?


My soundblox is back in action. I am happy! :-)

Have posted a few new songs. Assorted.

Mong Zhong Ren by Faye Wong :
This is a cantonese number from the Wong Kar Wai movie ChungKing Express. I need to write a post on this movie ! It's a lovely still under it's spell. It's basically the Cantonese version of Dreams by Cranberries.

Mong = Dream, Zhong = Inside, Ren = Person. Person in your Dream :-)

Rest of them are hindi numbers:
Lamhe DJ mix (yes i listen to these as well :D), Yaaron by Kay Kay (i love this one), Nahin Saamne Tu by AR Rahman from the movie Taal (i love this one too), Dilse Re from Dilse, Bulla ki Jaana Main Kaun by Rabbi.

Enjoy! :-)

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Of tiny little toes and fingers

I was out grocery shopping today when i saw this man with a baby. Nothing exceptional about it, except that this man was a heavy built, bald headed guy with both his arms covered with tattoos. While this baby like all babies looked extremely sweet and innocent. The visual contrast was just too amazing!

I have often wondered what kind of mother will i make, that is if i ever become one in the first place. I am not particularly the motherly kind and somehow i have never visualised myself as a mother, i don't know why. Maybe it's the rebellious streak in me which abhors the general notion that fulfillment as a woman and motherhood are tied together. I sometimes feel like comforting women who are unhappy at not being mothers. I know i can perhaps never understand their pain, but i feel like telling them that's not all that makes a woman complete. That's not the end of the world. There are so many other ways to feel complete, its more important to feel complete as a person without the tags of motherhood, daughterhood, sisterhood or wifehood attached to us. Many a times, motherhood is a pressure thrust upon women by the society. Especially a society like ours. It's seen as a natural progression to marriage. And i detest this attitude! I can be happy without being a mother. I certainly will not have a child because everyone else expects that from me, or to save my relationship or for that matter bind my partner to me. My reasons for giving birth will be very different from these. Then again that's the rebellious in me speaking.

But the strange thing is, i get along really well with babies. Most of them take an instant liking to me. I guess i come across as very non-threatening! Stranger still, I have been told that i will make a good mother. Possibly because i have a lot of patience. I am not sure what that means though - being a good mother. Or what all being a good mother entails. But what i love most about babies, is knitting cute little booties, caps, ponchos for them. All the babies in the family and of friends have had one of those from me. I totally love that. And this is perhaps the closest i have come to the conventional notions of motherhood!

And then i think what if i actually end up being a mother. What would i want, a boy or a girl? I guess i would want a boy first. A skinny little boy with sparkling eyes and tons of energy! A son for the dad. To bond as men. On shaving techniques, beer binges, girls, what's cool and what's not and all other guy things. Things that i don't even know about.

Then i would want a girl for myself :-) And she will be my friend. We will bond like only women can. I'll start her with fairy tales and move on to good literature as she grows up. But somewhere in between i'll give her 'Mills & Boons' to read. Call me shallow if you want, but romance is the life blood. I'll tell her about the birds and the bees. We'll talk about men and boyfriends, just as the son and dad will talk about girls and more girls. I'll tell her all about my crushes and my heartbreaks. We'll talk fashion, art, movies, music, what's hot and what's not...everything under the sun. But most of all, i will ask her to be herself, believe in herself. I will tell her there's nothing more attractive than confidence and nothing more beautiful than compassion.

And in the midst of all this i will teach them the importance of hard work and money. That things don't come easy in life. That you have to work hard and earn everything and then work hard to maintain everything. I will never stop them from dreaming. Never ask them to paint the apple red...they can paint it anything they like. It's their dream, their apple. All this is easier said than done, and maybe too idealistic and simplified...but this is how i feel at this point. Honestly.

Somewhere down the line we will falter, make huge mistakes only to get up and start again like we do with everything else in life. I am also aware that they will eventually drift away, find their own place in this world. And i will not stop them, for i have done the same. Besides this is one relationship you can never float too far away from. I don't know how good a mother i will be. I will start as a friend...

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

New songs added!

Since i am back in the blogging world, I will post 4 more songs!

I already have Fred Astaire's version of 'Let's call the whole thing off' and Claressa Wilson's 'The way you look tonight'. So added Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald's version of 'Let's call the whole thing off' (Thanks Sanity Starved! - its a lovely number) and Frank Sinatra's version of 'The way you look tonight '(since you mentioned it sd and i remembered i have it!).

Also added Frank Sinatra's 'I've got you under my skin' & 'Somewhere beyond the sea'. :-)


Hi all

There's some problem with my soundblox. It's not picking up songs from my server. Have been busy with some stuff...hopefully it will get fixed on its own, otherwise will have a look at it later. Sorry about this!

tc all

Monday, May 30, 2005

Blocked blog - worse than blocked nose!

I have been cut-off from the rest of the blogging world! I can't access anything with a '' attached to it!! Now what did i do? These are just blogs, for god's sake, nothing illegal or indecent about these! Anyway, i was quite frustrated as i couldn't see anything all of yesterday. I can access, even publish my posts...but can't see the published pages. Mine or anyone elses!

I figured i had to call the ISP guys. So after waiting all day for it to get fixed on its own, i attempted calling the ISP hotline. And it took me like what i thought 100 attempts to finally get through to a Customer Service officer. Mr.Leo. Nice guy, helpful. Except that it again took me what i thought 100 years of painfully spelling out ''! 'A for Apple', 'P for Portugal', 'A for Apple again'.....i almost blurted out 'S for Sex', but better sense prevailed and i said 'S for Site'! At times like these, i wish i had a simpler name!

Anyway, we (me and Leo) struggled through out spelling exercise and then i got onto explaining what the problem was. I can't access my blogpages, or anyone elses. I can access everything else! Mr. Leo finally understood what i was ranting about and very politely told me he will get in touch with the engineer who will get in touch with me either the same day or the following day.

But they were quite prompt, the engineer called me back after about half an hour. This time it was Mr. Dennis. So i explained to him, what the problem was and he very patiently explained to me that it wasn't from their side. He said that website is on a different IP address and all the published pages are on a different one. Sometimes during maintenance, they block certain IP addresses (and it had to be this one!!!). So he said i should check back after one or two days, maybe i will be able to access my blog then. Basically not a problem from the ISP guys. So i am just hoping that Mr.Dennis is right and this is a temporary thing.

Went to the local cafe yesterday to access the blogs and have a look at mine, that's how addicted i have become. Hopefully i will get my eyes back sometime soon!

Till then all of you, have fun! :D

Saturday, May 28, 2005

It's the rain again!

Somehow i end up writing too many of these rainy posts. But it has been raining past few days and i 'feel' the most when its raining. And i 'feel' like writing, singing, or listening when i 'feel' the most.

It was raining hard (the kind i like) all evening, but i had to go out and get a few things. I kept waiting for it to mellow down, but my impatience took over for a change. Picked up my umbrella and went out to face the lashing water and the occassional thunder. For some reason, i feel liberated when i'm out in such weather...i feel free, im not sure why. So i walked in the rain in my blue jeans, orange cotton shirt, holding a blue umbrella. But not alone. There were a few more jeans, shirts and umbrellas braving the outpour.

I made my way around the miniature lakes on the footpath that i would have jumped into if i were a 5yr old, walking ahead followed by a bunch of giggling, shouting college kids. I had figured the lower half of my jeans would be wet by the time i returned. And I was wrong. Suddenly out of nowhere i found myself bathed in this huge splash of water, thanks to a double-decker bus. So all of us, me and a few of the kids behind me were pretty much soaked, Bridget Jones style (those who have seen The Edge of Reason will know)! I was a dark blue jeans and dark orange shirt now. The kids started giggling even more and for some weird reason i was happy!

No i didn't turn back and change. I went ahead, soaked almost all over. I didn't get soaked to skin in the rain. But i sure did get drenched...thanks to the rain! :D

Thursday, May 26, 2005

All That Jazz

New songs. Jazz this time. :-)

All That...Jazz

> Laura Fygi Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps
> Louis Armstrong La Vie En Rose
> Natalie Cole Tell Me All About It
> Ronny Jordan So What
> Claressa Wilson The Way You Look Tonight

> Fred Astaire Let's Call The Whole Thing Off
> Dee Dee Bridgewater Let's Do It
> Silje Nergaard The Waltz

Beat this!

Got this as an email attachment from a friend...I'm not sure how true this is, but this is the best one i have ever come across. And even if it isn't, whoever concocted this sure has a sense of humour! enjoy! :D


This is an actual job application that a 17-year-old boy submitted at McDonald's restaurant in Florida; and they hired him because he was so honest and funny!

NAME: Greg Bulmash.

SEX: Not yet. Still waiting for the right person.

DESIRED POSITION: Company's President or Vice President. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.

DESIRED SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options and Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.


LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility.

SALARY: Less than I'm worth.

MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and 'post-it' notes.


AVAILABLE FOR WORK: Of course. That's why I'm applying.

PREFERRED HOURS: 1.30 - 3.30pm., Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.

MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?

50lbs, of what?

DO YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"

HAVE YOU RECIEVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?: I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.

DO YOU SMOKE?: On the job, no, on my breaks, yes.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy dumb blond supermodel who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now.

Yes. Absolutely.


The job application joke above is © 1997 by Greg Bulmash. Check out more humor by Greg Bulmash, or visit his insult database, or join his search for America's best hamburger.


And all i have been thinking of is how to improve my CV!! :D

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


I think all designers (web and print) are aware of 'Lorem Ipsum'. Many a times while designing, the client is unable to provide us with content. There's a basic brief, a target audience, expectations on the look-and-feel, flowcharts and information on page/content distribution. But no real content, words that will fill up content spaces.

Word-wise designers can come up with fillers for taglines. But trying to think up copy for the content is a different ball game altogether and many a times a waste of time when you need to concentrate on the design. Filling up spaces with words like 'content here' is not an option. It ends up resembling a pattern and very different from what a chunk of actual copy should look like.

Thats when 'Lorem Ipsum' comes to our rescue. Lorem Ipsum is basically the dummy text of the print and typesetting industry and has made its way into the virtual world. It's cool how you can generate paragraphs, sentences, lists of Lorem Ipsum.

So here goes:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Vestibulum nec est nec purus rhoncus feugiat. Sed interdum dolor. Duis magna. Nunc arcu purus, semper et, dignissim a, facilisis eu, diam. Quisque sit amet arcu. Ut accumsan nunc a pede. Duis augue. Ut mi diam, viverra nec, tempus eu, tincidunt elementum.

Got that?!! :D

Get your own Lorem Ipsum here:

You made my day

Sometimes when you are going through a low phase and have lost confidence in yourself, all you need is a little pep-up and everything falls into place. I have been going through a phase of self-doubt. I was once told by my far more confident-half that "Moon, you just need to believe in yourself more." And it's true, i need to believe in myself more. And a tiny bit of reassurance does it for me. And i am raring to take on this world! :D

Something like that happened today. I was chatting with a friend (my ex-boss that i talked about earlier). And here's what made me sit up straight with my head held high, chin up:

Corrinne: Yeah... but one thing's for sure... you're really a very creative person. I'm saying this not because you're my friend, but because i really see those sparks of creativity. You know, like in your posting on the what you are - your dislikes and likes, i loved how you used different coloured fonts!

Me: yeah?!! thank you!!! :)

Corrinne: I thought that it's lovely how not only did you use words, but also visuals to complement and convey the juxtaposition.

Me: Thank you!!! you made my day!!! :)

And thank you to everyone who has given me even a little bit of reassurance, my friends, my family. You all make my day!



I'm listening to:
Bob Marley - No, woman, no cry.....Everything's gonna be alright!.....

Yeah, everything's gonna be alright :-)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Sith Sense

Check this one out. It's fun! I tried to cheat it thrice, but didn't work! Have fun :D

Monday, May 23, 2005

What does your birthday month say about you? - for girls!

You have an attractive personality and are sexy and affectionate.You tend to be quite shy and reserved and very secretive which shows in your look. A naturally honest person, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others and love to serve and help others. You are easily angered but this doesn't effect your trustworthiness although you do believe in revenge if people mistreat you. You are appreciative and return a lot of kindness when people treat you right. Observant and assesses others. You love to dream and fantasize. Loves travelling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody. :D

What's yours?


I have noticed that i get along really well with Aquarian women. I seem to have a perfect equation with them. They are perhaps all that i am not and what i would like to be - confident, focussed even though a little bit eccentric. At this point i need these two the most, confidence and focus.

So as i was saying i get along really well with Aquarian women, starting with my mother. My best friend, a cousin, a cousin-in-law who i am closer to now than anyone else in the family. My ex-boss with whom i share a perfect non-encroaching professional-personal relationship. And a friend here who i could uncannily tell was an Aquarian in our first meeting!


These are testy times...and my mind is hyperactive and all over the place. Inconsequential, random blogging helps.

*Listening to - Hotel Paper, Michelle Branch*


Came across these two photography websites today. Different in style and treatment but both very interesting.

Mark Ayrault

This is a professional photographer's website with some beautiful close-up shots of flowers and plants. The website itself is not too impressive (it's in flash though), but the photographs are beautiful.


This is an ameteur photographer's website. The style is very different from the other one. It's more real, at the same time quite impressive. I like the composition and framing of the shots. The best thing is, for a change we don't have a flash website. And yes, this comes from someone who designs in flash most of the time!

Enjoy! :-)

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Office

I bought the 'Christmas Special' edition dvd of the comedy series 'The Office'. The last one of the series. For those of you who haven't watched The Office and who like good comedies, this is a MUST WATCH.

The office is a fly-on-the-wall comedy. It's fashioned as a documentary that follows the goings-on in a Wernham Hogg office and the life of its employees, more specifically the Regional Manager David Brent (a brilliant performance from Ricky Gervais).

David Brent is a character which is very easy to believe. We all have come across a David Brent at least once in our lives. And perhaps there's a little bit of David Brent in all of us. He is the boss from hell. An extremely insecure, arrogant and chauvinistic man in his late 30s. But actually David Brent is not such a bad guy altogether. Besides he keeps you in splits with his over the top attempts at showcasing his sense of humour, which no one gets.

Another character that will keep you entertained, is Gareth (again a brilliant performance by Mackenzie Crook). He is the scarecrow-resembling character, who is a bit of a weirdo but somehow always manages to score with women (but of course that's what HE says). And he is very very possessive of his stapler and anything else thats on his desk.

What works for The Office is that it's so believable. And thankfully there are no mandatory chorus laughs after every scene. Everything is just right. Even the exaggerations are just right. There's a little bit of sadness, a little bit of romance. It's one of those cases where everything is just the right mix...not too bland, nor slapstick. And the best thing is they never stretched it till it got holes in the middle. It's just 2 seasons and a Christmas Special. So it ends just at the right time!

I remember one of Ricky Gervais's appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman. David Letterman compliments him saying - "This is possibly the best comedy show i have ever seen!" To which Ricky replies with an astonished expression on his face - "Possibly?!!" :D

A must must watch indeed. This goes into my collection.

Get familiar with the office here:

Can we be 'just friends'?

I think my blogging-drought is over at long last and i am thinking again. Even though the subject is borrowed, i am intrigued again. Which is a good thing.

Sometime back i came across this subject on, i think Dreamcatcher's blog. And today while reading the newspaper this caught my attention...again. I found myself lapping up the article with some interest. My curiosity-meter had notched up after a long while. So i had to write something despite this being a much talked about and argued over subject. And a little bit of humour does immense good to health.

So the question is, can men and women ever be 'just friends'? In other words is a platonic relationship possible between a man and a woman. This question is applicable to the men and men / women and women pairings as well, but lets stick to the straight category for now.

Now this article puts across this question to young singles (a motley mix of expats and locals) of Hong Kong, who frequent bars with drink buddies and movies with movie buddies. These people are young, working, single and mingle a lot. The reactions to this question are nothing short of interesting and something to... argue on.

As a woman, i would like to think that a platonic relationship between the two sexes is not an impossibility. What's an impossibility is to be attracted to every man/woman you come across in your lifetime. All this of course excludes the not applicable age groups - but then not too long back Collin Farrel allegedly begged for some carnal favours from a 70 yr old! *shudder* On second thoughts are they really not applicable ages? Maybe not.

But lets talk about normal scenarios. Logic and common-sense says that it's not possible to be attracted to every specimen of the opposite sex you interact with. Attraction is a complex thing. Sometimes even an Adonis can loose all charm once he opens his mouth (same goes for women), and on the other hand a pleasing personality works wonders for attraction. Besides there are so many other factors that contribute to attractiveness - bank balance, a convertible, a penthouse and the likes! :D

Jokes aside, I would like to believe 'just friendships' are a certain possibility between two mature adults. One can be great friends with a man/woman without feeling even an iota of attraction. It's not like the teenage when crushes happen to you like pimples - one appears before the other subsides!

Sometimes it's just a connection that you have with someone and you don't think if they are men or women. It's just good clean friendship. Sometimes you come across good people in life who you want to have as friends irrespective of gender. Then again, sometimes it's smart to keep friendships and attraction apart. Sometimes attractions can end good friendships.
This is of course a woman's point of view. I would like to think most 'mature' men think the same way. But 'Mature Men' are a rare breed! And before i get crucified for uttering that, i made that comment based on what one of the men in the article has to say:
Of course i have girls who are just friends and nothing more. They're fat.

So you see i wasn't entirely wrong about maturity and men! :D

In the movie Harry Met Sally, Billy Crystal [Harry] and Meg Ryan [Sally] discuss weather men and women can be just friends.

Harry: You realise of course that we can never be friends.
Sally: Why not?
Harry: What I'm saying is - and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form - is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
Sally: That's not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.
Harry: No you don't.
Sally: Yes i do.
Harry: No you don't.
Sally: Yes i do.
Harry: You only think you do.
Sally: You say I'm having sex with these men without my knowledge?
Harry: No. What I'm saying is they all want to have sex with you.
Sally: They do not.
Harry: Do too.
Sally: They do not.
Harry: Do too.
Sally: How do you know?
Harry: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
Sally: So, you're saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?
Harry: No. You pretty much want to nail them, too.


Thankfully not all men are Harry! :D

* When Harry Met Sally excerpt taken from:
South China Morning Post *


Okay since some people are such creeps (including me!), this one gets added to the stack. And i wonder why my New Year resolutions never work! :D

I know you Radiohead fans must already have this one with you. But what the heck! I get to post something! :D

Rolling Stone review
Flashing a song called "Creep" as a musical ID takes cheek, but then, everything about these Brits is unabashed. On their debut, the swagger affected by every arch-Anglo since the Kinks is already in full effect. Three guitars (and bass) and a singer whose narcissistic angst rivals Morrissey's ("I will not control myself!" Thom e. Yorke screams on "Vegetable," and on "Prove Yourself" he mourns, "I'm better off dead"), these five Oxford lads come on extreme. What elevates them to fab charm is not only the feedback and strumming fury of their guitarwork Ð and the dynamism of their whisper-to-a-scream song structures Ð which recall the Who by way of the early Jam, but the way their solid melodies and sing-along choruses resonate pop appeal. On "Blow Out" they savage a bossa-nova intro with sheer noise; "Thinking About You" is bitter folk with acoustic guitars soundly pummeled; and the rest of "Pablo Honey" is equally surprising. If they don't implode from attitude overload, Radiohead warrant watching.

Review taken from:

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Thoda Angrezi ho jaye?

Okay i have a confession to make. I am going through an extremely shallow phase where i don't have anything to talk about, introspective or silly. But the problem is i have gotten into the habit of blogging and a stagnating blog gives me the heeby-jeebies. I should get out of this addiction, untill then i will continue posting :D

Now since i didn't have anything to talk about, i thought let me piggyback on my soundblox and post some more songs. This time english. I know there are lots of Pehla Nasha fans out there...promise i will ressurrect it again on this blog. But let's have some good english numbers for now. But on a more practical note i don't think i can continue to be this extravagant with my song postings, i will run out of them very soon at this rate! After this one, the deck will be shuffled fortnightly. But for now...enjoy! :D

Dancing In The Moonlight by Toploader - This perhaps is the most known song from the british group Toploader. I love this's smooth and very difficult not to move on this one. More info on Toploader here:

Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer - This is from the 'Best of' Collection...i totally love this one. The voice, guitar...i can imagine a swing, backyard, grass, afternoons...

Listen to more of Sixpense here:

It Ain't Over Till It's Over by Lenny Kravitz - Now i don't have to talk about this one. It's an all time favourite!

Get more of Lenny at this very well-designed website:

Please Stay by Kylie Minogue - I am a Kylie fan. I am a fan of her transition from the 'Locomotion' girl to the 'Red Blooded Woman'. She is beautiful, smart, sexy and has the ability to evolve. My best wishes to her as she fights the breast cancer.
Her website has been temporarily disabled...still here goes:

Feel by Robbie Williams - I think i had mentioned somewhere before that i am a big Robbie Williams fan. He has an amazing voice not to mention he is an awesome performer. His bad boy image is all the more attractive apart from his boyish good looks! In fact i remember on his Singapore tour, he was categorically asked by the authorities not to resort to any of his crazy antics (flashing his butt etc). So he was more or less well-behaved :D

He has a damn good voice. He can sing without instruments and it will still sound good - that's the measure of a good voice according to me. This particular song is a favourite of mine. He infact cried on this one while performing live (can't remember where).
Get more of Robbie here:

Achilles Heel by Toploader - Let me end with another Toploader number. Nice one this!


Added five more to go for a fortnight!

Crawling by Linkin Park - I dig Linkin Park and i dig their videos more. Awesome animations. Linkin Park website here:

There There by Radiohead: Radiohead were the originals. Coldplay were said to be Radiohead wannabes, quite unfairly so. Since then Coldplay have arrived on their own. But i like Radiohead as well. Get to know them well here:

After The Rain Has Fallen by Sting: He is one of the best voices on this planet and one of my favourites, besides being an expert in certain things Tantric. One of my friends in Delhi revealed quite excitedly that she saw Sting in Dharamshala. I went to Dharamshala and kept my eyes open - just in case i get lucky. But i didn't. So i make do with his songs instead! Get stung here:

Iris by GooGooDolls: Another all time favourite. A friend of mine used to sing this damn well. More GooGooDolls at:

Shakespeare in love by Layla Kaylif: This one is a beautiful number sung beautifully by Layla Kaylif, from the movie Shakespeare in Love. Joseph Fiennes who plays Shakespeare is damn handsome. What's interesting is that, Shakespeare in Love and Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth released around the same time and both starred Joseph Fiennes. I don't like Gweneth Paltrow much, but i like her voice. She has a very nice voice.

Okay i shall stop posting any more songs, for a while. And this time i mean it!! :D

Sunday, May 15, 2005

New songs

O Sanam by Lucky Ali is one of my favourites. The sound was fresh and different from everything else I had heard. And the pyramids looked awesome...left a lasting impression on me. I can listen to this one any number of times...

Chalo Tumko Lekar Chalen from Jism is another one that I like. In fact I like it more than Jadu Hai Nasha hai.Bipasha looks awesome (i love what she wears in this song). And it can't get any hotter than John Abraham in bollywood!

Neeley Neeley Ambar Par. Who else could have sung it but Kishore Kumar. This one oozes romance! But I'm not sure who the music director is. It's either Bappi lahiri or Kalyanji Anandji. Love the guitar...[Latest info from sd - music director is Kalyanji Anandji!]

Pehla Nasha. Now this was the time when I (like the rest of the female population of India) wished it was me instead of Pooja Bedi, Aamir Khan was kissing! The way it was choreographed/picturised (Farah Khan) is also very interesting and a first in bollywood. The visual if you notice is in slow motion, but the audio is at normal speed. While shooting, the actors would say the words at double the speed while acting it out normally, so that when it's shown in slow motion, it's in sync with the audio!

Rising from Ash(es)

Ash goes from garish

to elegant sexy!

Saturday, May 14, 2005


Sometimes life seems like a run towards the horizon. You see it's there but you never reach it.

Sanity Starved's post quotes from John Lennon's song - Life is what happens to you, While you are busy making other plans. I don't has always happened to me and i did not plan anything. Just let life happen to me. I haven't yet boarded my train of 365s...have just watched it chugging along. The only plan that i have is to have enough money when i'm old. I wouldn't want to depend on anyone.

Life is erratic. Can't bear anymore of it from people i interact with. Solid, reliable is a reassurance i wouldn't want to be without. And thank god (or whatever it is) for letting those pillars stay around me. Everything else can change. Everything else will change. Everything else is kaleidoscopic.

Two steps forward. Cautious. Wait-a-bit. Take two more steps. It has always worked for me. Things that have happened fast have always been a flash-in-the-pan. Expectations are also daunting. It's far better if you start at a normal pace and grow gradually, instead of euphoria followed by disinterest. Steady is good.

Arrogance is offensive. Quiet confidence is impressive.

A pair is good. A pair is beautiful. But solo is important. Important for survival. For what will you do when the pair no longer exists?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Sound Bytes

I have added a new feature (check the side bar, below Archive links!). Will be posting songs that i like once in a while. Keep checking!

Think it will work better for broadband users. Also listen to the songs with headphones on, laptop/PC speakers are not good enough, methinks!

I know the Box doesn't look that great aesthetically, i did what i could for now. Will keep tweaking the look in future. But then there's only so much i can do to change the look, the source-code lies with Laszlo and i am not a champion programmer. But i thought it's a great feature and it's free! :D

Okay now the songs. If you notice there are two tamil songs - Rasaathi & Vaseegara. Thanks to my South Indian friends i have an apetite for good South Indian music even though i don't understand a word! Rasaathi is a Rahman number from Thiruda Thiruda. Those were the days when we used to dig Rahman big time. The best thing about this song is that it's just vocals - chorus and Shahul Hamid's - and guitar. That's all...but it's an awesome number!

Vaseegara is another number i love. From the movie Minnale. Picturised on Madhavan (the slim version whom i liked quite a lot! - unfortunately most South Indian heroes expand horizontally after stardom!) and Reema Sen (yes, a bong again!). They made it in hindi as well, starring Diya Mirza and Madhavan. But somehow the hindi one doesn't sound as good!

Have fun! :D

*The music posted here is for listening pleasure only and not for any commercial gain.*

11:23 AM

Ever thought you would see Shahrukh in a humungous Rajasthaani pagdi and moustache? I guess not! :-)

But it's refreshing to see him different from the Rajs and Rahuls he plays in quick succession. Although quite truthfully its far less torturous watching Shahrukh 'Rahul' Khan any number of times than to watch Salman 'Prem' Khan! My apologies to all Salman fans. :-)

But heres a warning for those who expect modern, peppy numbers from this movie. You will be dissapointed. The flavour of this soundtrack is distinctly Classical and Folk. So don't expect Bunty Aur Bubly to take a ride here. Having said that, this is a soundtrack which screams 'different'. Bollywood music is fast becoming less monotonous!

The best track of the album is of course 'Dheere Jalna' rendered beautifully by Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal. This one has an instrumental version as well which is again very nice to the ears.

Khali Hai Tere Bina is a slow number by Hariharan and Bela Shinde, a sad but a very nice number.

Kangnaa Re is a fusion of classical and folk tunes. It's nice and predictable. But lets be fair, not every track will sound like Dheere Jalna.

Laaga Re Jal Laaga reminded me of Ghanan Ghanan from Lagaan. They are similar in treatment and about rain.

Minnat Kare again is a fusion of folk and classical. An all girls number and nice.

For some reason, Phir Raat Kati reminded me of some song from some Govinda movie. I don't remember which one but as i listened to this one, this other song kept buzzing in my mind. Now this one goes folk all out. It's rajasthani folk music all the way. Not exactly my cup of tea, but keeps the folksy flavour of the album intact.

Personally i loved Dheere Jalna and Khali Hai Tere Bina the best. Like i said before, not everyone will like this. But then perhaps that was not the intention in the first place.

The story itself is interesting; based on a folk tale. A ghost falls in love with a bride who has been abandoned by her greedy rich merchant husband. Hmmm...should be an interesting watch!

Listen to the songs here:

Paheli - Solved?

Ever thought you would see Shahrukh in a humungous Rajasthaani pagdi and moustache? I guess not! :-)

But it's refreshing to see him different from the Rajs and Rahuls he plays in quick succession. Although quite truthfully its far less torturous watching Shahrukh 'Rahul' Khan any number of times than to watch Salman 'Prem' Khan! My apologies to all Salman fans. :-)

But heres a warning for those who expect modern, peppy numbers from this movie. You will be dissapointed. The flavour of this soundtrack is distinctly Classical and Folk. So don't expect Bunty Aur Bubly to take a ride here. Having said that, this is a soundtrack which screams 'different'. Bollywood music is fast becoming less monotonous!

The best track of the album is of course 'Dheere Jalna' rendered beautifully by Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal. This one has an instrumental version as well which is again very nice to the ears.

Khali Hai Tere Bina is a slow number by Hariharan and Bela Shinde, a sad but a very nice number.

Kangnaa Re is a fusion of classical and folk tunes. It's nice and predictable. But lets be fair, not every track will sound like Dheere Jalna.

Laaga Re Jal Laaga reminded me of Ghanan Ghanan from Lagaan. They are similar in treatment and about rain.

Minnat Kare again is a fusion of folk and classical. An all girls number and nice.

For some reason, Phir Raat Kati reminded me of some song from some Govinda movie. I don't remember which one but as i listened to this one, this other song kept buzzing in my mind. Now this one goes folk all out. It's rajasthani folk music all the way. Not exactly my cup of tea, but keeps the folksy flavour of the album intact.

Personally i loved Dheere Jalna and Khali Hai Tere Bina the best. Like i said before, not everyone will like this. But then perhaps that was not the intention in the first place.

The story itself is interesting; based on a folk tale. A ghost falls in love with a bride who has been abandoned by her greedy rich merchant husband. Hmmm...should be an interesting watch!

Listen to the songs here:

Monday, May 9, 2005


It's pouring outside. It's almost dark and i can hear the thunder. And i feel a tiny bit nostalgic. I dreamt of home yesterday. Home and moments that i have left behind. I know this is a diversion from the 'current mood of sillyness' which i had enthusiastically proclaimed will continue for some time, but i don't particularly feel silly at this moment. Guess it's the rain.

I would like to think, i have come a long way. A long way from the giggly, naive teenager that i was. On being prodded once, Chitra told me what she thought of me when we first met. 'Freshly hatched egg' was what she said she thought of me! Did i come across as that naive?!! It seems i did! But then that was long back. My friends have seen my journey from 'Freshly hatched egg' to what i am today. Someone has always been there with me in my worst moments.

Somehow Kavita and me never talked about fashion and accessories and the usual girly stuff that is the main topic of discussion amongst most girls that age. Perhaps it was because of her age. She is 5yrs my senior. But we surprisingly connected well! Maybe i wasn't that naive after all! I was the youngest amongst my friends and in a way it worked for me. We had more to talk about. More than what i would have if i had been with girls my age. I remember the grand plans that we made, on our bus rides back home. Plans about saving up money and taking a euro trip, just us girls. Travelling and not resorting to a cooped-up existence is something that i dreamt of even then.

My friends have been witness to my goof-ups and embarrassments as well. I remember this incident on Kavita's wedding. She was getting married to a bengali. All of us - our whole batch took a trip down to Lucknow and i have hardly had so much fun...ever! Because it was a Bengali wedding, we had a 'Bashor Ghor'. On the wedding night, all friends and family gather around and spend the night singing, dancing - having a good time basically. Now we had some singers in our gang - the girl's side. Jeevan was there with his guitar, and of course yours truly had to sing. I could sing quite well back then, it was customary for me to sing in gatherings of this kind those days. But that was long back. It's different now. Anyway as i was singing, and i reckon i must have been singing well enough, one of kavita and her husbands friends started tossing money on me! And my obvious reaction was that of shock! I had never expected anything like that and i had seen things like this in movies only and that too 'you know in what' settings. I was embarrassed. I was very very embarrassed. But i continued singing - later i learnt that it's not an uncommon practice in lucknow. It's part of their culture and is a token of appreciation. I was relieved. There are countless such moments that we have shared. Countless nerve-wracking moments on being proposed, little crushes that are so much part of being young.

Some years later, they were there by my side at my wedding. Chitra and Kavita, both dressed in red border saris - perhaps they thought it appropriate for a bengali wedding! But there was no throw-away money this time around :D

I am happy that i am in touch with all three of them. Chitra i chat with almost everyday. She has been with me through my darkest moments. I meet up with Kavita and Preeti whenever i'm in Delhi. I guess our friendships survived because we were there for each other all along, but we never owned each other. Each one of us is living a different life, but each one of us will somehow or the other always be there in each others lives.

I got this really nice email from Kavita after i met up with her in delhi this time around. She wrote:

Hi Appu

I keep looking at the photos of us, its really nice. Its nice to feel that time has passed and some things (like u just dont change).

I thought i have changed a lot. But perhaps i haven't - inside.

As i sit inside writing this while it's pouring outside, i can't help but remember this incidence.

It was my 18th b'day. Kavita and me stayed nearby so the days she brought her moped i would take a ride with her. But there was no moped that day. So we had to take a walk from our Art School to the bus stop, which was some way. And all of a sudden it started pouring! There we were two friends walking in the pouring rain. Me in my blue embroidered salwaar kameez. Bouquets in my hands. Lots of roses. Lots of cards inside my bag. And soaked to the skin. Walking in the downpour, not a care in the world, not even bothering to take shelter! I remember saying that the rain was a birthday gift from the heavens above! I have always liked rain - the one that lashes out and pours.

It's raining pretty much the same now, but i haven't taken a walk in the rain in a long while. I haven't been soaked to the skin in rain, in a long while. I would love to though. Some other time.

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Another inane post - but i had to post it!

Since i am in an inane/ridiculous post spree, and gladly so after some very introspective ones, i thought i should continue with the current mood of sillyness. And so here goes.

I indulged in my staple diet of tabloid news today. Hollywood to be precise. Cameron Diaz & Justin Timberlake getting married? or not. Jessica Simpson all over Fred Durst. Brad Pitt-Jennifer Aniston separation. But then hollywood (and our very own bollywood) has seen enough of these break-ups and hook-ups. And lets not talk about sad things, lets talk funny. So as i was going through all this, i came across something very funny. It seems after...

Bennifer - part I
Bennifer - part II

its time for some Brangelina!
(whoever comes up with these terms?!!)

Both voted the prettiest of them all!

Now it can't get hotter than Angelina - Bee stung or not! Tattooed or not! I would think perhaps only Natalie Portman can pack that much punch when she grows up, she's still quite young. And like Angelina she is also a Gemini (and i still haven't gotten over her and Clive Owen's spell in Closer).
And Brad Pitt is a pretty boy indeed! Second only to George Clooney i think. Although i'm sure more than half the female population of the civilised world will disagree with me.

So here's to the pretty girl who wants to adopt a kid from each religion and the pretty boy who wants to be a dad desperately! Here's to Brangelina!

I spotted a Spotted Dick!

Yes, you read it right! Let me explain how...

A few days back i was watching one of those stupid Reality-TV series (but i still watch them!). This one had a few American girls competing for the title of 'The American Princess', wherein they had to go through 'rigorous' training in being ladylike. Basically how to walk-the-walk, talk-the-talk, eat-the-eat and look all dressed up and elegant, upper-story being empty...not a problem.

So in one of the sessions they were being tutored on table-manners by none other than Paul Burrell, Princess Diana's butler. While he was tutoring the girls on how to eat - which fork/spoon to use etc etc, in came this delicious looking thing. And he informed us (the girls and i) that it was the 'Spotted Dick'.

Come again...Spotted what? Me and the girls asked.

Yes you heard it right, 'Spotted Dick' he said, which simply put is a traditional pudding. Now that's some pudding!! :D

So that's how i spotted the Spotted Dick. And then i had to go into my google over-drive and spot it again!

So girls (and boys) here's the Spotted Dick recipe for you:

6 servings

8 oz self-raising flour
1 pn of salt
4 oz margarine
2 oz castor sugar (superfine)
4 oz to 6 oz sultanas (big-raisins)
6 tb water

1 - Have ready a sheet of foil or a double thickness of grease proof paper brushed with melted margarine.

2 - Make the pudding crust: Sieve the flour and the salt. Rub in the margarine. Add the sugar and sultanas. Mix in the water to make a soft dough.

3 - Turn out onto a floured board and form into a roll.

4 - Wrap loosely but securely in the grease proof paper or foil. Tie or seal the ends.

5 - Place in the steamer and cover tightly. Steam for 1.1/2 to 2 hours.

6 - Serve with hot custard sauce or sprinkle with castor sugar.

Variation: At stage 3: Put the mixture in a medium-sized (1.1/2 pint) pudding basin with a round of grease proof paper in the bottom and brush all round inside with melted margarine. Smooth the top. Cover with foil, or double grease proof paper brushed underneath with melted margarine and steam for 1.1/2 to 2 hours. Serve with hot Custard sauce or sprinkle with castor sugar.

[Recipe sourced from]

Those of you, who are familiar with Irish/English cuisine will be familiar with this dessert. Some more information:

The earliest recipes for spotted dick are from 1847. For non-British readers, "spotted dick" is a boiled suet pudding, with bits of dried fruit (usually raisins or currants) that (as already noted) look like little spots.

The Oxford Companion to Food comments that, strictly speaking, "spotted dick" is made by taking a flat sheet, spreading sugar and raisins on it, then rolling it up. A similar dessert is "spotted dog," a plain cylinder of suet paste with the raisins and currants and sugar stuck into it, so that the spots are visible on the outside. Both spotted dick and spotted dog were traditionally boiled (or even steamed) in a cloth, but nowadays they are usually baked.

The dessert is slightly different in Ireland. In Ireland in the late 1800s, the tradition of yeast-bread manufacture was not strong, so most breads were raised with bicarbonate of soda and an acid, rather than with yeast, and thus called soda breads. Thus, the spotted dick in Ireland is sweet soda bread, with sugar, currants, and raisins, and it's also called the spotted dog or railway cake.

[Info courtsey]

Have a great time errr...savouring some home cooked Spotted Dick. :D

Friday, May 6, 2005


A friend of mine reminded me today was 05/05/05. I was like...oh really, wow! I didn't realise that!

And it was then that it struck me how much 'for granted' I take dates and time. I don't keep track of dates on a day to day basis. If you were to ask me off-hand what date it is, it would take me a wee bit more than normal to give you an answer. But I am good at remembering b'days of my friends and family. B'days and Sunsigns. :-)

Is it that in the end your life becomes a succession of 365 days? You don't even realise till one has turned into past and another one is staring you in the face.

In school, everytime I jotted down a new year on my notebook, it left me with bittersweet feelings. As juvenile as it seems now, I would find it difficult to let go of the past year. It left me with a faint sadness - as if I was letting go of something personal. Something that I owned and felt attached to. But the sweet of the bittersweet meant I was excited with the thought of new experiences, another year of growing up and one step closer to adulthood. But that was then. Teenage. When adulthood and emancipation were infinitely charming and exciting.

And this is now.

A few months back I went through the same feelings that I experienced while jotting-down the year on my school notebook. I knew I was hitting the big 3 soon. It was quite unbelieveble that I was crossing the threshold to the 30s. That I was leaving behind my 20s; a whole decade of being young. Funny how I had stopped thinking in terms of age once I crossed my teenage. But all of a sudden my third decade was not a thing of a blurred future. It was real, staring me in the face. I was a little honestly I was quite sad for sometime! But again the sweet of bittersweet came to my rescue (as did my friends and family), and I started seeing all the perks of being 30! I am so much more aware of myself. I think I understand people better. I hope I am more mature - a lot less of the girl in me, a lot more of the woman in me. I wouldn't want to loose the girl altogether though. And I can finally look down upon the 20 somethings with an air of 'I know it all'!! :D

Even then, I sometimes wonder how many more 365s do I have to go through. And should I just relax and see them go past me, one after the other. Or do I jump-in and run along? For some reason, I feel like being a spectator, for now. Tomorrow at some point I'm sure I would want to jump in. I wouldn't want to be left wondering in the end - the last 365, why didn't I jump-in after all?!

Thursday, May 5, 2005

What colour are you?


You were given rare combination of artistic creativity and financial know-how. It is a wonderful gift to be able to create your dreams while building a financial structure to support them. It is important that you share your talent and your wealth with others because it is the sharing that will bring you some of the most worthwhile blessings. Your personal color helps you stay centered. Wearing meditating or surrounding yourself with Winter Sky infuses your life with faith and magic.

So what colour are you?

*For the design conscious, don't skip the intro. It's well done, i like the flash transitions.* :-)

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

The potter's wheel

The wheel spins into a blur. And your fingers caress the wet shapeless mound to give it shape and identity. Wet mud. Sensual. Your fingers are like a dancer's or a masseur's fingers, soft yet firm. You see contours emerging from this shapeless mound, much like a baby in the mother's womb. Just a little stress there, a different choreography of the fingers and you see a whole new form unfold before your eyes. The incredible feeling of creating something.

I have always wanted to learn pottery and i was happy that i could make that happen...finally. I risk sharing a few of my creations with the world at large. They are not the best ones, but they are special to me. They are my babies. Like all first good things, the first crush, the first kiss, the first painting, the first first attempt at pottery :-)