And the Most Farcical Awards are…

Couple of days ago, I was browsing through the NDTV website when I came across something called the ‘GR8 Women’s Achievers  Awards’. These were new to me but apparently Kelvinator has given them for the last 2 years. I was browsing through the photos of the event to see who got the awards….some inspirational stories maybe?…stories of women who achieved something against all odds…who contributed positively to our society…?NO! But who do I end up seeing…Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Bhagyashree (yup..the one from Maine Pyar Kiya), Diya Mirza (she’s every where these days), Yuktha Mookhey, Aarti Chabria, Zarine Khan etc in their beautiful sarees showing off their blouses and some in their skimpy clothes showing off their well-toned abs and yea..how can I forget….Shabana Azmi..she’s all things feminist isn’t she?

I was so disappointed…there was no one who I could admire, who actually contributed something to our society. Did Kelvinator conviniently ignore people like Dr. Sunitha Krishnan, the founder of Prajwala and many other women who are aplenty in our country? Do GR8 Women Achievers all have to be bollywood starlets? Dr Sunitha Krishnan, the founder of an NGO called Prajwala, who was gang raped at a young age fought back her horrors to become a psychiatrist and help children who are severely abused and sometimes sold and trafficked. Isn’t she inspirational to other women? Isn’t she deserving of this award?

What exactly have the bollywood startlets achieved may I ask? Most of them were models before they became actors or progeny of stars. They get paid crap load of money for their work…live in posh homes, drive extremely comfortable cars and dress in designer labels. For me, a GR8 Achiever is someone like Dr. Sunitha Krishnan…who is ACTUALLY doing something good for our society against all odds.

She is the only one I can think of now but this doesn’t mean there is no other woman in our country who is helping another. I am sure you will find one in every street corner. Such awards should carry some value…give it to people who really deserve them, to encourage them, to motivate them, to recognise their efforts and to show to the world what they do so that their organisations/NGO’s get the much-needed support. It doesn’t matter if you don’t give these awards to actors, they will still be fine…they won’t be missing out on anything. Who will it be next yr? Katrina, Kareena, Deepika etc?

Shame On You Kelvinator and the GR8 Women’s Achievers Awards panel!

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Movie Reviews: Female Agents & Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic

We went to watch Female Agents (Les Femmes de l’ombre) yesterday starring Sophie Marceau and what a fantastic movie it was. Once in a while you get to watch a master piece and this was one of them. THe only mistake we committed was to watch Thoda Pyar THoda Magic after and what a dreadful experience it was!

Female Agents is a partly true story of Louise Desfontaines (Sophie Marceau) a trained sniper with the French Resistance. When her husband is shot dead by the Nazis, Louise along with brother (Julien Boisselier) recruits four other exiled French women; Suze (Marie Gillain), a showgirl and a seductress; Gaelle (Deborah Francois), a chemist and explosives expert; Maria (Maya Sansa), a Jewish Italian radio operator, and Jeanne (Julie Depardieu), a prostitute for the SOE in order to infiltrate a German Hospital and recoup a British Geologist (pretending to be a German) captured in Normandy whilst checking to see if D-Day aircrafts could land on the beach.

The women successfuly manage to retrieve the British Geologist only to be told that in order to go back to England, they will have to complete a final task of assasinating an SS officer Col. Heindrich. The rest of the story is about how these five women go about in completing their task in Nazi controlled France.

What I liked most about the movie was how realistic it was. You feel for the women once the movie ends. So often, we have heard and seen how men die during wars but rarely did any movie capture the plight of women in war. The suffering and abuse they go through for sacrificing thier life for their country.

I will recommend everyone to watch this movie.

My Rating: 3.5/5

As I said previously, the only aspect of yesterday that did mess up my head was watching TPTM (Thoda Pyar THoda Magic) after Female Agents. S consistently pestered me to walk our of the cinema but I resisted. Even the two most boring movies of my life; Saawariya and Mohabbatein, I had to sit through…TPTM was better than those atleast 😛

For me TPTM was a mixture of many english movies. It has bits and pieces of Mary Poppins, Sound of Music and Nanny McPhee. Rani Mukherji does not look like an angel…not that I came across one…but when you see one..you will know 😉 I mean, you’d expect an angel to have a glow on his/her face which Rani absolutely doesn’t have anymore. She looks dull and tired. Her clothes are deplorable. She looks more like a hippy than an angel. The movie could be a good watch for people who haven’t watched the english flicks I mentioned earlier but for me…it was boring. And also, there’s a little too much crying and illogical dialogues which are not in my comfort zone. The only good thing about the movie was the Kids, Saif Ali Khan Topless and one song…Beetey Kal Se…which touches many important issues….like Save the Tiger, India’s new found wealth and how the poor are missing out etc etc…which I feel strongly about.

You could probably watch the movie once but it was not my cuppa 🙂

My Rating: 2/5 

Henna for your Hair

The one advise (amongst many) my mom gave me as a teenager was ‘Never apply any kind of dye…it damages your hair and and it is  irremediable’ and I don’t know why but this advise I took very very seriously 😉 Hair loss is a major problem among men and women. You constantly listen to people talking about it…what should i do…should I apply egg yolk…any special oils…yoghurt….lemon….?? I say…the best solution is to apply henna with all these ingridients in it along with a few important additions. If you don’t have any plans of going blonde 😉 I advise everyone to give henna a try. Not only does it nourish your hair but leaves it shiny and dark burgundy in colour 🙂

Preparation Time: 20-25 mins

Ingredients: Please remember that the amount of ingridients being added depends on the length of your hair. This method is particularly for those individuals whose length of hair is neck long (or less).

  1. Henna – 3/4 cup (You should be able to find Henna at any Desi Store)
  2. Coffee or Tea Decoction – 350 – 500 ml (aprrox)
  3. Amla Powder (Usiri Podi) – 1/2 cup
  4. Soapnut Powder (Kunkudikaya Podi-optional) – 1/4 cup
  5. Yoghurt (Curd) – 2 Tbps
  6. Fresh Lemon Extract – 2 Tsp

Tools:

  1. A Kadai
  2. A fork to mix ingridients
  3. Henna Brush

Preparation:

Add atleast 3-4 Tbsp of Tea/Coffee powder in 500 ml of water and let it boil.

In the meantime, place henna in kadai and add amla powder, soapnut powder, yoghurt, lemon juice and mix well.

Once you think the decoction has reached it’s maximum concentration, add it to the mixture in the kadai.

Mix well with a fork so as to prevent from any balls from forming

Leave it overnight

You can apply henna yourself. In order to achieve best results, I personally prefer someone else doing it for me because then you don’t miss a spot. Make sure that you (or the person helping you out) divide hair into thin layers and apply henna starting from scalp and ending at the tips. It’s obviously easier for men 😉

Leave it for ateast 2.5 to 3 hrs and wash with shampoo or preferably Soapnut Juice (kunkudikaya rasam). Some people might advise you against washing with shampoo to allow the colour of henna to set in your hair…but I prefer to wash it off because otherwise….you end up with a terribly itchy scalp…leading to an unpleasant night.

(Optional)..Oil you hair with warm coconut (or any other) oil the following day for wonderful results.

So how many times do you need to do this? Well, I suggest apply henna once a week for a month and then apply once a month or atleast once in two months.

Good Luck and three cheers to a beautiful us 😉

A Woman Among Warlords

…..a Woman Among Warlords follows the campaign of a woman running in Afghanistan’s first democratic parliament election in more than 30 years. 27 year-old Malalai Joya, one of the country’s most famous (and controversial) women since 2003 challenged the power of warlords in national politics. Forced to live in hiding and surrounded by armed guards, Joya conducts her parliamentary campaign in the remote desert province of Farah, the heart of poverty in Afghanistan. Despite death threats and assassination attempts, Joya continues to meet with clan leaders, opium kings, and adolescent girls pressured to marry older men. Six years after a U.S.-led coalition overthrew the Taliban, WIDE ANGLE provides unique insight into the politics and culture of a nation almost ruined by war, still ruled by fear, but desperate for change. A Woman Among Warlords is the television version of the celebrated documentary Enemies of Happiness, a film by Danish director Eva Mulvad……

Pic Courtesy of http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/graphics

I watched this documentary on More4 couple of days ago and had been wanting to write about it. We came back after watching Mongol. It was 11 PM…our bedtime. I still had some last minute stuff to sort out when I switched on the tv. I put a reminder for this particular show and was glad I didn’t miss it. The documentary finished at 12.20 AM and both of us were wide awake and S usually dozes off by 10.

There were tears rolling down my eyes. We watched the documentary in awe of the woman, Malalai Joya. Often, we are not grateful for what we have and who we are and this documentary makes us realise just how blessed we are.

It’s true…when the going gets tough…only the tough get going and Malalai Joya is a fine example of this. She is all of 29 and dreams of a better future for her country. In a male-dominated society, she is fearless, strong and out-spoken. She is the voice of thousands of Afghani women who lead a life if desperation…in search of justice and hope. Inspite of innumerable death threats…she still fights for her and the rights of other Afghani women and children. 

I RECOMMEND EVERYONE TO WATCH THE DOCUMENTARY. NOT JUST WOMEN. IT’S AN INSPIRATIONAL STORY FOR ALL.

Whey I say Law is in the hands of the Rich and Powerful

Why sometimes I am ashamed to called be an Indian. Please read the article here. And remember, this case is in the NEWS…there are hundreds that aren’t.

The woman was first robbed of her dignity by a couple of men and then again and again by our legal system….by the people who were supposed to protect her. The progress our country makes is worthless unless we learn to protect and respect our women.

Why Women?!

I wanted to update my blog with a couple of recipes…but since my head muddled up thinking about the recent event in Birmingham….I wanted to write the hell out about the psychological mess I am undergoing!

I was speaking with my mom when she told me more about the news…of how the guy after killing Jyothirmayee, self-inflicted injuries to avoid any doubts of his involvement in the murder. I was asking S why a girl would want a relationship with a psycho as himself in the first place. Probably she did not know he’d turn out to be like this. Not her fault. Now that she is gone…it is her family who have been punished for life. How can a human being be so selfish that he/she can think only about himself/herself and is ready to ruin anything that comes in his/her way?

Why didn’t God give the same strength to women to protect themselves as He/She gave to a man? Why is it that a woman is always molested or raped…? Why is it that a woman has to listen to vulgar talk while walking on the road inspite of wearing a shalwar kameez? Why is it that a woman is disfigured, tortured and sometimes killed if she doesn’t accept a man’s advances/demand for love or lust? Why is she tortured and murdered if she does not pay dowry to her husband and her family…..and the most sorrowful fate of all: she is killed even before she is born!

Be it Ayesha’s murder case which has now taken a political turn or the gruesome murder of a 10th class student Mendu Lakshmi who was all of 15 yrs old by her 19 year old neighbour all because she did not accept his advances, a woman undergoes pain that is unimaginable. If we dig history…thousands of such cases will come up…most of them still in courts after tens of years. In a country like India, where law is in the hands of the rich and powerful….middle-class families have to see generations of their off-spring perish before a verdict is reached!

My thoughts stop here….SHE IS THE BEARER OF ALL, YET SHE SUFFERS THE MOST!

Pic Courtesy: Cornell.edu

Movie Review – Iron Man

Loved It! Loved It! Loved It!

One of the Robert Downey Jr’s dialogue in the movie goes like this..’There is an assumption that I am a Super Hero…I am just not the Super Hero type’…and that is what I exactly thought before I went in to watch the movie…Robert Downey and a super hero….hmmm??!?!

I was skeptical. I remember Downey from movies like Friends and Lovers and Only You…and the most recent being Gothika where he plays the role of a middle aged doc. According to IdliDosa’s rule book…he did not have the chrisma to be a super hero…but I was in for a shock!!! He suits the role perfectly..better than the kiddo Tobey Mcguire as Spider man.

Downey is such a natural…he potrays the role of Iron Man with such ease. From being the head of a weapons manufacturing company (Tony Stark) to Iron Man…resovled to end violence his weapons are creating in Afghanistan and from going into the wrong hands….he blends into both the roles effortlessly. His sense of humour…his quick & intelligent single liners….the way he flirts with women…..he is being himself and not trying to put on an act for the camera! No..I am not exaggerating…you have to go watch the movie.

I will not elaborate on the story ‘cuz you will find innumerable reviews everywhere but what I will say is this…. Downey Jr is simply FAB in the movie….go watch it for him!!!

I’d give it 3.5/5 😀

and i think the beard really suits him….. 😉

Oh…and I almost forgot to mention. There’s this moment in the film where Tony Stark aka Iron Man is kidnapped by terrorists in Afghanistan and is held in captivity. The leader of the terrorist organisation wants to speak in Urdu..but comes across to us as if it’s Hindi and the remaining terrorists respond to him Afghani/Arabic. S and I were looking at each other every time this happened. 

I am sure it would not have been an expensive affair to get a guy who speaks Arabic or Afghani to play that role. Do these Hollywood people take us to be fools? FUNNY!