Tag Archives: India

Because the Floor is Too Cold!


India’s rough-and-tough mongrel breed of dog enjoying the sun on a chilly morning. I feel alternately dispirited and amazed.


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Gotta love museums!


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Deepavali #2


Diwali: The festival of light.

Whenever I smell mustard oil I’m reminded of Diwali. These earthen lamps are filled with mustard oil, blessed and then lit in and around homes to keep away the darkness. (Lots of metaphors and symbolism there which I won’t elaborate on or else it’ll make me feel as though I was 12 years old and required to write an essay on   ‘your favorite festival’.) 

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At Bhujodi, Bhuj, Gujrat.

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A Salty Sunset

2011-12-24 17.58.41

Rann of Kutchh, Gujrat, India. Yes, that’s salt, not snow.

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Liebstered: Favorite Movies

A few days ago I posted my nominations for the Liebster Blog Award, and asked 11 questions of my nominees. After reading their answers today, I decided I want in on the attention, and so I’m going to answer my own questions here. In no particular order, since I don’t know the answer to my first question yet (favorite book).

Q6. Favorite movie. Or three.

Although I have a ton of favorite movies, I’m going to tell you about two Bollywood movies that I absolutely adore, and have memorized the dialogues of. (I apologize to all my non-Hindi-speaking readers; the translations just don’t cut it!)

#2. SHOLAY (1975)

In ‘You’ve got mail’, Tom Hanks tells Meg Ryan that ‘The Godfather’ is the sum of all wisdom, the answer to any question.

What day of the week is it? “Maunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday.”

Your business is in trouble? “Go to the mattresses”.

I often feel that ‘Sholay‘ is the Indian counterpart of ‘The Godfather’.

Kids bothering you? Tell them- “सोजा/बेटा, सोजा. नहीं/तो/गब्बर/सिंह/आ/जाएगा.” (“Go to sleep child, otherwise Gabbar Singh will come and get you!”)

Q. How much should you pay the auto wallah? A.”रामगढ़/का/डेड़/रुपया, बेलापुर/का/दो/रुपया.” (“One rupee fifty for Ramgarh, two rupees for Belapur”)

Q.What do you mean by ‘goodbye’? A.”जब/अँगरेज़/लोग/जाते/हैं, तो/उसे/गुडबाई/कहते/हैं.” (“When Englishmen leave, they say goodbye”

Q.How much do I love you? A.”तेरी/जीत/मेरी/जीत, तेरी/हार/मेरी/हार,ऐसा/अपना/प्यार. खाना/पीना/साथ/है, मरना/जीना/साथ/है, सारी/ज़िन्दगी..” (“Your wins are mine, your losses are mine; that’s how much we love each other. We’ll eat and drink and live and die together.”)

Can’t decide whether to wear the yellow dress to work or the red one? “चल, toss करतेहैं.” (“Let’s toss.”)

Not just the answer to every question, ‘Sholay’ also has  a dialogue for any and every situation of our otherwise monotonous lives.

(I’m sorry, it’s rude, but translating is meaningless! And if you are the forgiving sort, please scroll down, I’m reverting to English in a while.)

(And for the Hindi readers, sorry, but I can’t seem to find how to put a space between two hindi letters.)

“होली/कब/है? कब/है/होली?”

“यूँकि.. ये/कौन/बोला?”

“लड़की/देखि/नहीं, कि/line लगाना/चालू”


“नौटंकी/साला. घड़ी-घड़ीdrama करताहै.”



“आओ/ठाकुर. मैं/जानता/था/तुम/ज़रूर/आओगे.”


“काहेका/तू/यार, भाड़/में/गया/तेरा/प्यार!”

“गोगोजी, आपका/घाघरा”

“भाभी/होगी/तेरी, और/शादी/होगी/मेरी.”

“ऊई/माँ! सीता/और/गीता!” “अबे, सीता/और/गीता/नहीं, राम/और/श्याम”

“मेरा/नाम/है/doctor Prem Khurana. इस/धंधे/में/बहुत/पुराना.”

“पिताजी, मेरे/जैसा/बेटा/वहीँ/होगा/जहाँ/आप/जैसा/बाप/होगा”

“मैं/तुम्हें/तन/और/मन/से/स्वीकार/करती/हूँ” “मैं/भी/तुम्हें/तन, मन/और/धन/से/स्वीकार/करता/हूँ”


“Mogambo का/भतीजा/Gogo. आँखें/निकाल/के/गोटियाँ/खेलता/हूँ, गोटियाँ!”

“मैं/Teja हूँ, mark इधर/है!” “ये/Teja-Teja क्या/है, ये/Teja- Teja?”

“ये/Vasco da Gama की/gun है.” “किसके/मामा/की/gun है?”

“सब/काम/time to time होना/चाहिए”

“आईला, Govinda!” “जमाइला, तू/कौन?”

“Muscle देखी muscle? मसल/के/रख/दूंगा.” “Body दिखाता/है? डेढ़/पसली” (And the funny thing is that Aamir Khan is threatening Salman-Khan-of-the-muscled-fame)

“ये/jacket आपने/कहाँ/से/ली? America से?” “नहीं, ये/मैंने/New York से/ली/है.” “Oh! मैं/समझा/America से/ली/होगी.”

“ये/आप/इधर- इधर/क्या/देख/रहे/हैं? उधर- इधर/देखिये, उधर- इधर”


“बोलो/मत, सुनते/रहो.”

Once I start talking about this movie, it’s very difficult to stop! Every dialogue, every actor, their characters–they are all perfect! There is not one boring moment in this movie. Not one sentence out of a character’s mouth that is not funny. And the songs! Even they don’t fail to make you laugh, mostly because of the on-screen antics of the two heroes; Aamir Khan as the smart, cunning, yet good-hearted Amar Manohar and Salman Khan as the simple and lovable Prem Bhopali. Paresh Rawal–in both his roles (one as the overly punctual father-of-the-bride, the other as his ‘evil’ twin brother trying to usurp all his wealth)–is as incomparable as ever. Shakti Kapoor as the ‘villain’, Mogambo का भतीजा Gogo, in his red cape and oily ponytail is an absolute riot.

Bollywood just doesn’t make movies like these anymore! Movies that you can discuss with your friends over and over yet never get bored with the topic. That can bring you out of the darkest misery, deepest ennui. That you can watch a million times, and still say, “Once more!”

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From The Window Seat


This was captured during a memorable train journey through north-west India. The red building is a temple, and the idol is that of Hanuman, the monkey deity; the devotee of Lord Ram, a scholar and the protector of mankind.

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