From Madras to Manila

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Fanaa, Noritake, a Wedding Anniversary and Acute Homesickness!

Last Sunday was our 3rd wedding anniversary. We celebrated it by watching a tragic love story (Fanaa) and having dinner with friends. We got ourselves a lovely Noritake crockery set to celebrate the occasion.

I don’t eat off it, I just stare at all that lovely China. Of course, I can’t cook very much so there isn’t much we can eat off our China anyway.

Hmm, what was that again about romance & time spent together being inversely proportional?:-)

Anyway, back to the movie. For all my-not-familiar-with-Hindi movie friends, Fanaa is a typical Hindi movie. Girl is blind. Falls in love with a flirt who shamelessly woos her. Many dances in the rain later, they end up spending a wild night of passion together(in older Hindi movies, it would happen because the girl would be freezing to death and the hero would have to set her on fire to keep her warm&alive :-) No kidding, really!) Hero prays that heroine should be able to see, and lo & behold, one short operation later, the girl is no longer blind! And then there was light!

Or not. Slight twist in the tale - the hero is actually a terrorist who vamooses after this, regretfully leaving behind the one love of his life without knowing that their one night of passion was an immensely fruitful one….

Get the drift? Rest of the movie is about how love triumphs over evil. But Aamir Khan was gorgeous in the second half and Kajol is still a terrific actress and I loved every, every predictable shot.

I had this huge lump in my throat when they showed Delhi in all its glory in the first few scenes of the movie. I miss India, its sounds, smells, familiar faces…..I miss predictable movies & hunky heros & all the singin’ in the rain we Indians are so good at…
Happy Weekend Folks. I'm gonna watch another Hindi movie this weekend:-)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Lies, all lies!

Hi there, violently protest about the being lazy part. My sister met with a really bad accident in LA & I was with her almost all of May. She is getting better, albeit very slowly:-( We are terribly shaken but very very grateful that she is alive & out of the hospital now…

Have not really wanted to write anything much since then…


If I weren’t married to Amit, I’d sue him for defamation & scurrilous lies. All of them, lies. (Only can’t sue coz it will be our joint account funding Amit’s lawyers. Not good)

I admit I was a little scared, but just a tad. Tell me, wouldn’t you be if you were in a SMALL banca (a very small boat), just enough for 4 people to crawl into, and you were attempting to cross a big stretch of the ocean?? Plus, there is no other boat for miles in sight, and the boatman’s preferred style of navigation is to beam a flashlight that barely reaches a meter into the sea. Worse, the ride is like 45 minutes long to get into the mangrove where the firefly cruise actually begins, and all you have for company till then are the giant 50ft long whale sharks, which as you would have realized from Amit’s post, have this habit of popping to surface ever so often, toppling little Bancas that stand in their way.

SO as I said, I was just a little scared. Not anywhere close to being astral-travel-scared.

But seriously, the firefly cruise was awesome once I began to sight other boats and knew we were not alone in the universe (30 minutes in of paddling about in a pitch dark expanse of sea can spook you). It is something else – citydweller that I am, to watch a sky filled with stars, all jostling for space and sighting news ones that appear every minute. It was humbling and so very beautiful.

So on the way back, I just fixed my fears. Got the boatman to follow other boats heading back the same way so we were never alone. Gazed at the stars, played with the phosphoresent water, switched on my iPod and blocked Amits comments about scary whales & toppled bancas out.

It was perfect.

Night of Liquid Fire

Sandi has been lazy and is refusing to write so thought would put in my bit on the night-time firefly cruise we went for after whale-watching. It's a 2-hr experience where you get taken out across the sea to a river mouth where you have these hundreds of fireflies that congregate on three trees and convert them into arresting, Vegas-style flashing displays that are quite out of this world!

We set out for the cruise in a little boat at around 7:30 pm, well after it was dark. The ride over to the firefly site was quite surreal - complete and utter silence, an inky-black sky dotted with a gazillion stars and the soft swoosh of the boatsmen's oars as we made our way, gently rocked by the waves ...

...and Sandi clinging to my arm and shaking in her boots completely spooked out by the darkness and the all-enveloping sense that we were the only living beings for about a thousand miles that did not sport gills and didn't have the common sense to stay on dry land rather than taking to the ocean in a bathtub - a sense that she communicated to me in urgent and insistent whispers that increased in volume till she frightened the boatmen who thought they were hearing voices from the deep and gave themselves up to rowing furiously for land.

And, oh, the phosphoresence! Liquid fire!! With every stroke, every ripple and every leaping fish, the sea comes alive in shimmering green and the boat leaves a vivid, flourescent trail behind it. If there ever was a time when I felt one with the universe, this was it.

Sandi, too, was feeling one with the Universe, as her soul had, by then, departed her body and was at that point roaming free and thinking positive thoughts or whatever it is that recently departed souls do while hovering over the Boat of Darkness as it made its way inexorably to the Isles of Doom.

I was, I admit, rather disappointed when we finally reached the banks and made our way up the river towards the firefly trees where Sandi's soul decided it was safe to make its way back to its earthly form and she perked up and played with fireflies for the rest of the evening before we started back for the resort.

"Look," I said,"crocodiles!" and sent her soul scurrying for cover as we made our silent journey to shore, to safety and back into the real world.