27 March 2010

Its a (M)Ad world

Its a weekend, that too, during one of the sweltering summer months. Time to chill out with a cool drink in front of the idiot box. As usual, hubby and I cannot agree on which channel to watch. He wants to watch cricket(ugh!) and I wish to see the golden oldie running on 'Filmy' (how retro!, retorts hubby). After a fruitless battle for control of the remote control we wisely call a truce. Ah, life (or is it marriage?!) is full of little compromises:( We decide to flip the channels in between commercial breaks.

Peace reigns for sometime. Eventually, I realize that I have been had by hubby. While the break between overs in cricket used to be brief, the break in the film used to be really long. After staring at the various ads being played one after the other, I had lost track of where in the movie we had taken a break. The ads too have become so innovative and glossy that they keep you glued to the TV. The concept, the catch lines, the glamor quotient, the sheer dazzling presence of celebrities - the advertisements on TV are much more enthralling than the long time saas-bahu family soaps churned out by Balaji Telefilms. Incidentally, I loved the jingle for BMW - its not only what you make, but what you make them feel that matters.

Some of the best ads in recent times - Aamir Khan's Tata Sky ad where he is dressed half as a man and half as a woman. The ensuing dialogue seems as if between a groom and his bride, rather than a soliloquy by AK. There is a series of Tata Sky ads- the latest ones with the wife avenging her hubby as he made her miss her favorite soap due to IPL are really good. Nowadays, the chat at the lunch-table is not about "Did you check out Parvati's get up in xxx serrial?" Rather it is around - "Did you see the latest Tata sky ad?" Other such series include the Kurkure series, the zoozoo series, the Wheel series, AXE series, the Maaza series, Bingo series, IDBI series - the list just goes on.

Fact is, watching ads on TV is as much entertaining, if not more, as the actual programmes these days. We did manage to watch a bit of cricket and movie in between the ads :)

24 March 2010

Marrying abroad

A friend of mine called me up today. I was rather busy at the time, but the suppressed excitement in her voice made me take the call. She was to fly to Melbourne tonight to join her husband. That explained the excitement. Their marriage was solemnized back in Dec 2009. Hubby darling went off to Melbourne (he works there) and she had to wait until her visa came through to join him. I had met her in the intervening months once or twice. Each time I could see that she was desperately waiting for the visa to come through though she tried to show that she was dreading having to leave the country, her parents, her job etc.

I remembered the same kind of excitement on my sis-in-law's (brother's wife) face a few years ago. She had never been abroad and my brother was to go for a long-term assignment to UK. She was so excited about the trip! After reaching there, she used to be full of all the sights and highlights of London. The apartment-hunting, the commute by the tube, the scarcely varying weather, the dishwasher, the carpeting - she enthused about them all. Having been through a similar experience when we were in the US some years ago, I said to her - "I would like to hear the same excitement in your voice a year down the line." A year went by and she could not wait for my brother's assignment to get over and for them to return. The phone calls were all about the lack of variety in weather, dress and life-style there. About how she missed her family, visiting us over the weekends, the carefree life, the auto-rickshaws, the maid and the dhobi :)

When a woman gets married, and especially if she is not to live with her in-laws, she is always excited at the prospect of moving to a new place. Even if she has to leave her familiar routine, her family, friends and even her career behind. The new challenge of setting up her own nest sets her adrenaline pumping. But invariably, somewhere down the line, the need to be with family and old friends, to be able to share her woes with familiar people and to put down roots where she can give her children the same kind of childhood that she enjoyed, always catches up. Also, if there is no job,and no family to visit, there is not much to do in such places.

I wonder if my friend will go through all this too? Melbourne is certainly a new place for me, and I haven't heard of any experiences from there yet.

16 March 2010

Saved by the bell

Got a visit from the latest guy in my life. When he came to know that I'm unwell today and may not visit him to wish Happy New Year, he decided that he will come and meet me instead! Needless to say he managed to cheer me up:) In case this reaches the ears of the real guy in my life, let me hasten to clarify that my brand-new nephew came to visit us today. His first official visit to anyone's place since he was born! He managed to squeeze in sleep, feed, bio-breaks AND some playtime all within the span of two hours. Wonder how his mom puts up with this day in and day out.

Spent quite some time on the phone today for New Year wishes. Felt good to connect with some relatives after a long time. In my case, it is said that I never forget to wish people on their birthdays or special occasions. So really, I have got a reputation to maintain which even though I am least bothered about, others are forever using as a yardstick of etiquette. Sometimes I can't thank the inventor of the telephone enough. Without it, it will be difficult to keep up the communication with so many people. As one grows older and the list of people one knows only keeps on increasing, the sheer thought of keeping in touch with so many folks is daunting. But the phone, and especially text messaging, has made life so much easier! So today I was literally saved by the Bell (pun intended:))

Home sweet home!

Today's is Maharashtra's New Year, aka Gudhi Padwa. Here's wishing all readers a very happy New Year! It is a time of new beginnings, new hopes and new aspirations. Time to bid goodbye to the old and heartily embrace the new.

It is one of the three and a half muhurtas (auspicious days) in the year when people buy major item such as gold. It is also a good day to move into a new home, job or business. We moved into our home a few years ago on this very day. I was reminded of our relentless search for the place of our dreams. A place that we can call our own, which will become our permanent address in this town and which I would decorate with my own hands. We've come a long way toward that dream. Our home is an oasis of peace and harmony in the melee of life. Today, when the economy is still struggling and the property prices are rising at an alarming rate, buying a house has become a pipe dream for many.

Flash back to a few years, when we searched high and low for our dream home. It had to be close to our workplaces, it had to be close to at least one set of parents, yet within easy distance of good schools and where the property will keep appreciating over the years. All this within our budget too. It was infact on the higher side for us, but boy was that a sound investment! When we bought it, many derided us that it is too remote, almost out of town. Now, we are well connected not only to the city but also to the expressway going to Bengaluru and Mumbai. Also, the property has appreciated quite a bit since we moved in. The initial hiccups during the move, having to get the furniture, painting and decoration done while both of us were juggling with our work assignments, and no one at home to oversee these, was a challenge. But all the sweat and pain seems worth it when we relax at our palace on laid-back days such as today! Its our nest that we have put together twig by twig over the years and is still a work in progress.

Could not help but pat our backs today, when I recall a difficult, and life-changing decision, that we took on this day some years ago:)

07 March 2010

Blah, blah...




Its been a while since I wrote. What could I do - so many things have happened lately that it was difficult to decide what to write about. What all happened? Well, Holi came and went. So did the Budget. Saw 'My name is Khan'. My aunt's home got burgled - they lost all their jewelry and lots of cash. Also, I was a tad unwell last week. Women's day is coming up. No wonder am confused:)

A friend has been sending me texts all last week to start writing my long overdue book. Well, I actually succumbed to the pressure and wrote the prologue! Hope I can keep up the momentum until the last chapter. Wish me luck!

Loved yesterday's episode of 'Housewives. It dealt with how people like to judge everyone but themselves. Judging is so ingrained in our psyche that we do it subconsciously. What we forget is that others are doing the same.

Am sure most of you have judged by now that I'm babbling :) Time to sign off before you judge more.

Decision making - an underrated skill

Today, there is an article in Sunday TOI about maids and the rising class divide in the Indian context. Yet another context is the manager ...