Monday, August 04, 2014

Misssing You Vizag

It's been about an year and a half of my posting in Visakhapatnam and now is the time for me to leave this city for greener pastures (not figuratively greener necessarily but literally "greener" pastures). 

The city deserves a tearful adieu. Coming to this city wasn't really a very excited affair for me so much so that my requirement for posting was very crisp and clear "ANYTHING but Vizag please". Then as fate would have it (अब होनी को कौन टाल सकता हैं ?) I landed up in Vizag with no expectations from the city and with a deep desire for a "exit strategy" ASAP. Not that I belong to Delhi/ Mumbai junta with a natural aversion to "small city", I am myself a product of "small city" Lucknow. then the heart has its own reason and the "कही-सुनी बातें" of the people about the city matter a lot too.

As I look back I find myself thanking my stars who aligned perfectly to get me posted in this wonderful city. With the highs and lows that the last 1.5 years in Vizag brought in my life, I look at my life charting a new course with cruising speed and with wind gushing through my hair and a happy song at the tip of my tounge. Thank You Vizag. Thou shall be missed immensely and tremendously. 

My time in Vizag has not only added to my professional front but also personally for which I'll be forever indebted. I met the right people whether it was workplace or be it social circles. I struck a chord with them. I was twice blessed with all  my near and dear friends were also posted in Vizag and I had the pleasure of their company around. A privilege I don't think I'll be able to enjoy anytime soon. 

I have fallen I love with Vizag. With the beaches and with it's crazy traffic nuances. With the clear hearted and simple people and choking pollution. With it's upmarket Italian restaurants and South Indian affordable eateries and with many many many things.

My life's trajectory changed when I came to be a part of dramatics club quite dramatically and which dramatically changed my life. The endless practices and the never ending coffee nights. The bonding and the bonhomie between the members. The inseparable bond between the members which made us meet again and again and well yet again. The dramatics club was an integral part of our lives and even after the successful staging of 2 plays. So the birthdays and the anniversaries became events to be celebrated together and weekends were booked in advanced with hectic plans. This was single handedly responsible in getting a lazy person like me out of the bed and keep me out, like day after day. I was never a person who went out much or believed in social bonding in large numbers and here I was having an overbooked social life with party hopping and overnight coffee nights. Man I was going places!!

The city with its endless natural wonders and natural beauty never failed to seize me and captivate me completely in its beauty. It's been so many times I have stood amazed and wonder-struck by the serenity the beaches of Yerada, Kalinga, Rushikonda, Bheemli and the lonely and scantly populated/visited beach stretch from Rushikonda to Bheemli. Astounding view of Vizag in the night from Dolphin Hill or  Kailashgiri when the whole city is lit up in infinite lights inspired one of my friend to call it Las Vizag.

Hours have been spend on conversations with bum chumps on Beach Road with coffee at The Chocolate Room. Vizag has offered me with ample gallons of coffee and they should thank me for giving them good business! Whether it be CCD lounge on a lazy Saturday evening buzzing with young crowd or be it the late midnight coffee at Novotel or Executive Court. Barista's coffee with wi-fi where I have spend my Sunday(s) solely with my gadgets or next to it the home grown "Bake My Wish" which made me feel old with youngsters hopping it. Coffee at the PCC or filter kaafee at Sai Parlour, all have stimulated me in their own fashion. The coffee from the coffee-wallah at beach road footpath or free coffee while browsing the bookstore Pages has stimulated my mind in countless ways.

As if the beaches, natural beauty and coffee wasn't enough for the city. I found my own happiness in my favourite restaurants in the city. Mentioning about each will be tad too detail but I'll put it out briefly. Remember it's not about the restaurants which served the best food or had the best service but the ones where I went for the dining experience. These include Novotel's Zaffran, the ultimate dining experience Vizag can offer then there is Four points Sheraton' Panache the authentic Chinese restaurant which gives a commanding view of the city, Dolphin hotel with just the right dosage of live music and stylish elegant decor with a just fine top floor view of the city and yes of course the good food, then there was my wonderful Little Italy oh I loved that so much that's one place I really gonna miss. Then there was Food Ex near the HSBC bank taking care of me on those late night binges, then there was Eleven which had quite a homely feel to it and yes great food, it would be such an injustice to not mention Beach Village at Rushikonda Beach which allows you to eat amazing food while enjoying the luxury of sight and sound of sea well it's actually on the beach what more do you need? 

Then there are places I can't talk about because of course I am so close so attached to them and they mean so much to me like Gallops, Pages Bookstore. They have a special place in my heart and talking about them would be like undermining the influence it had on me. I owe them (only figuratively speaking).

Thank you Vizag. For the Love. For the Friendships. For the Coffee. For the Drama. For Everything. For Everything.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Not A Movie Revew: Sixteen (2013)

So recently I had the privilege of watching the movie “Sixteen” and I have already begin to feel old almost an antique ready to be put into a glass pane inside a museum. It's been a decade since I have been Sixteen and lot has changed since then, I now surely can feel.

So the movie was almost a chick-flick with the right amount of sexual innuendo to pull crowds into the theaters. Well who can resist the kacchi-kalis of the present generation talk and act sex on the 80mm big screen cinema?

Dev D (one of my favorites and a milestone in Indian Cinema) was released in 2008 where the character of Kalki is loosely based on the girl in the DPS RK Puram scandal. Where does a leaked MMS takes her? Well all her friends and family abandon her, she becomes toast for national media, her family flees the country and father unable to take the shame commits suicide. Moreover unable to find a place in the society the character of Kalki becomes a prostitute and a porn movie artist.

Where does a leaked MMS in 2013 takes the character? Friends stand strong with the girl (friend in need is a friend-indeed), the girl storms out of the mum-dad counseling session saying there are just too many MMS' floating around for anyone to even notice, poor girl is thrown out of school for misconduct (these old people as Principals I tell you with their stone age values). Unperturbed she plans in the final scene of the movie to go for Miss India when her friend jokes that winning the title will get her MMS even more hits (such an insight these kids have). Hmmmmmm...

Another character from the story, a teenage middle-class guy, gets beaten up by his father routinely for the gap between his poor performance in studies and the expectations of his father is well quite huge. He's beaten up on other occasions when he comes home late after drinking (wtf dude? You're 16! go out, get drunk, vomit your guts out and come back home and expect dad to sing a lullaby and kiss you Goodnight?). He's beaten when his father discovers porn in his computer, he's beaten when he gets marks too low (by all standards not just below his father's expectations). So what does the guy do? Rebel! Long Live Che! He kills his own father and mother happily takes the blame while the guy ends up joining a gang. (पर कोई ना लड़की तो मिल ही जाती है आखिर में) Okkkkkkkk.....

This girl all of 16 is pressurized for sex by her bf. Her mother nags too much with questions like where are you going? When are you coming back home? This and that so she's labeled as a demonic mother who's so un-cool, irritating and over-protective. The girl ends up in a hospital because of complications in termination of her pregnancy but then Indian parents have grown-up now. It's ok for them if their 16 year old daughter lands up in a hospital trying to get her pregnancy terminated in a cheap hotel. It's alright girl you can smile now and no tears please, daddy's here to take care. Hmmmmmm....

The MMS girl has a life to be envied, she bunks school and goes out with her BMW wallah bf's. Changes her boyfriend with a frequency that might make even Mr. Hertz shameful, dumps boys cause they are small (and she isn't talking about their phone), has enough sexual encounters to become an expert and all the minor vices including smoking, drinking etc. Where do you find these girls by the way? (May be if I was loaded with some BMW's I would know for sure.)

Have I started any moral lecture yet? Am I acting as a moral compass of the society so far? No? Then read on...

So the guide for parents as per the movie for today's teenagers is as follows:
  1. (a) If you are middle class and want your teenage school going son to do well please take it easy. Don't scold him when he returns home fully drunk like c'mon his one sided lady love was talking and flirting and dancing with another cool guy at the club, he needs a break he'll handle the future disappointments quite well.
    (b) Don't beat him if you find porn collection in his computer, I mean he's  so 16, he's watching it not doing it with (not cause his principles won't allow him but just a lack of opportunity).
    (c) Never beat him up for low marks or poor performance that's so 90's. Gone are the days when the 90's kid used to be beaten black and blue to get into PMT or JEE. It's 2014 economy is past liberalization days and all kinds of career are opening up I mean even Sunny Leone is making tonnes of money.
  1. If you have a teenage girl and you're living in Delhi/NCR encourage her by all means to go and have a good time till late in the morning at the club. I mean all these not-safe-for-woman talk is good for op-ed and news channels discussion panels don't burden your jawaan girl on the laborious boring talks on women's safety and coming back home soon and not going to club. These kind of parents really take the life out of their kids I mean like c'mon let them loose send them by all means by all times loaded with cash and encouragement to late night clubs especially of it's Delhi/NCR. And yeah Girls look boyfriends of 16 are really into true love sorta thing. If they keep pressuring you for sex even dump you for you not giving enough encouragements for sex treat it as a surest sign of true love. They only want to take this relationship to the next level so when they take you to pregnancy-termination cuz of their excesses treat it as the surest-possible sign of truest-love. Yes girls one last thing parents are all so cool when they learn from someone that their daughter is admitted in a major hospital cuz of pregnancy termination complexities, they'll shower you with love and affection.
  1. Yes parents of these born-with-the-silver-spoon-types-driven-around-in-BMWs-by-middle -aged-boyfriends-girls well nothing for you, you can do what you wish, if i had that sorta money maybe I wouldn't be doing much different from you. I mean it's all about the money isn't it?

If you are 32 y.o and witnessing these lives from close quarters you can write a book on it. You'll win the bookers (like it happens in the movie, Goddamn with Rushdie and the likes.)