Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Is it a bird...is it a plane...



Superman of 1978 was magic for me.  I remember being so mad at my Dad for dismissing it as an okay entertainer.  Well now of course I'd agree with him.  But that childhood magic stayed with me for a long time.

The rest of the series Superman 2,3 and 4 just kept going from bad to worse to atrocious.

When "Superman Returns" released I got so mad (again) that I couldn't see it on the big screen - for reasons I don't remember now. Later when I got to see it on DVD I had no regrets.  The only nice thing about this one was that at least Margot Kidder didn't look like an old hag.

Then along came "Man of Steel".  What can I say about it - the man part of it was super - but the super part of it was like a sledgehammer being thrown at your head. And WHY did they have to go back to Superman 2 for the plot - just to show how that ought to have been made?  Gah!  Kevin Costner was good - but Russel Crowe - he ought to have been put in the Phantom zone.

But I really loved the ending - that was super!


Friday, September 20, 2013

September


“September has come, it is hers

Whose vitality leaps in the autumn,

Whose nature prefers

Trees without leaves and a fire in the fireplace.

So I give her this month and the next

Though the whole of my year should be hers who has rendered already

So many of its days intolerable or perplexed

But so many more so happy.

Who has left a scent on my life, and left my walls

Dancing over and over with her shadow

Whose hair is twined in all my waterfalls

And all of London littered with remembered kisses.”


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Some unusual books I remember reading as a child...


Finn Family Moomintroll
About the Mommin family.  There is a Moominmamma and a Moominpapa.  Lots of magic.  Moomintroll, Sniff and Snufkin discover a magical hat - with strange powers and so on...

The Borrowers
What I really liked about this book was all the adaptations of the borrowers - acorns for cups, the safety pin latch etc.  Was not very happy when they got all the dolls ready made stuff - took the charm out of it.  The time I read it I did not know the meaning of the word "bilingual".  Ha!

The Saturdays
The four Melendy children live with their father, a widowed professor of economics, and Cuffy, their beloved housekeeper, in a brownstone in New York City.  They start the Independent Saturday Afternoon Adventure Club (I.S.A.A.C.). Saturday afternoons are not meant to be wasted so they pool their resources so that each one can in turn can have rich and true experiences.

Log of the Ark
A supposed log of Noah's ark with the animals as the protagonists.

Granny's Wonderful Chair
A chair that tells fairy tales to a little girl whose grandma has gone travelling. And the chair can travel too.

The Cuckoo Clock
A magical cuckoo in a  magical house.  The cuckoo can take you to many lands including the far side of the moon.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Facebook Promotion

I know...I know... work is creeping into my blog too.  Please do bear with me as I use this blog as a test bed.

www.ulovegiftz.com

So that's another graphics project I'm working on.  And here is the FB page for it...

Thank you folks!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Made in Canada...

Floral Kiss Perfume

I do some package designs and other work for Canadian based Canada Scents.  Recently their products were featured in one of Canada's leading newspapers Toronto Star.

Take a peek and let me know what you think...

Lavender Spray on Lotion
Link (to Toronto Star)



In case you were wondering -  A spray on lotion is a hand and body lotion that comes in a spray bottle and can be conveniently sprayed on.  A spray on lotion is a hand and body lotion that comes in a spray bottle and can be conveniently sprayed on. These spray on lotions are enriched with aloe vera, chamomile and Vitamin E to moisturize your skin. Available in a variety of fragrances that will lift your spirits! 

Link (to Toronto Star)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Keeping your clothes fresh...

How do you like this little blurb I did? (The girl sorta resembles the Amul Girl right?)

Keep the clothes stored in drawers or on closet shelves smelling fresh with scented liners featuring colorful and charming prints.
SmellyClothesEnjoyCleanClothes
 Avoid musty odors!Keep clothes smelling fresh.

SuitcaseEnjoyGiftWrap
Use in Suitcases & bags.EnjoyMakes unique gift-wrap!

Scented liners keep clothes smelling fresh and help avoid musty odors, as well they keep shelves looking neat and pretty.
Canada Scents use only the finest quality papers and perfume oils available.
We also apply generous amounts of our fragrances on the paper for a long lasting scent and value in your purchase.

Sign Up for Round Two of The Spice and Something Nice Swap - at One Hot Stove

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Grandma and the Hdyrogen Peroxide

Spotted that typo did you?

So did my Grandma - a long time ago.

I spent all of my childhood in a quaint little hill station - ever so many feet above sea level. However, come school holidays, the family would pack bags and travel down the winding hair-pin bends all the way down to Bangalore to my maternal grandparents house.

Marati Style Saree
Courtesy: Google Images
My grandparents lived in a large rambling house in the older part of the city.  Holidays meant the house was packed to the brim with uncles, aunts and cousins.  My Grandma was your typical as-traditional-as they-come types, complete with nine yard saree worn Marati style.

There was never any reason for me to suspect she knew how to speak English let alone read it.

One holiday, it so happened, the rest of the brood had not yet arrived so we had the house to ourselves.  I got busy with a science project.  I slaved over it all morning and lost track of time.  In the interim the whole family had gone out and only Grandma was at home.  She began to get concerned as there wasn't a single peep from me and popped in to see what I was up to.

I proudly displayed my fantastic bristol board with 3D pop-ups and meticulously painted diagrams and the works.

"It's amazing," admitted Grandma.  "Just correct the spelling of Hydrogen."

You can imagine the level of my astonishment!

Some years later I got to know that her father - my Great Grandfather was a Professor of English!  He had actually published books in English.  We are talking about the 1920s.  The books - actually booklets - were topics like "Fifty Frequently Used Idiomatic Expressions and their Meanings" - however, they were very popular (surprisingly the larger percentage of readership were the British!) and my Grandma and her siblings spent many hours sorting and packing the books. Also, since my Grandma and her sisters went to the local school, my Great-Grandfather took it upon himself to teach his girls English at home.

Guess I know where my "writing" genes come from!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hand Me Downs

If you were a child that grew up in the 70s and 80s and from a middle-class family in India chances are you ended up with hand-me-downs.  The funny thing was that the source of hand-me-downs would typically be from siblings, relatives or close family friends - but it was considered absolute taboo to get any "second-hand" clothes from shops!

It didn't matter if the clothes didn't fit.  Too long - no problem - fold, run through machine (singer sewing machine) - there you go.  Too loose? Again machine - who cares if the sides are uneven?  Too short or too tight?  Hmmm... sadly discarded and handed over to some other recipient.  The parents weren't picky either - so a mistakenly shrunk pair of office trousers from an uncle, with a mismatched plaid shirt from a cousin (machined over) and became part of the wardrobe.

For a long time I had to put up with my sister's clothes - she being the eldest in the entire family - got spanking brand new clothes.  Note the clothes weren't handed over directly - they went through a few cousins first!   The only time we all got new clothes was only for occasions like Diwali or some other festival.  

Also remember those pattu-pavadais with their innumerable tucks?  The joy when the last of the tucks was removed!  Remember our moms washing them with the special soap-nut seeds?

Sometime after those lean childhood years - the hand-me-down system abruptly ceased.  New clothes became the norm and not just on special occasions either.

And so I got this beautiful new gorgeous (and expensive) silk kurta - unfortunately it shrunk a size too small (should have dry-cleaned it but mom swore by her soap-nut cleansing).  Well I simply handed-it-down to my sis. You see by then I'd grown taller than her!




Friday, April 26, 2013

10 books to read before the end of the world

According to this article.

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
I haven't read it.  My son has though.  Maybe I'll get started on it.

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Read this one way back in Grade 9 or 10.  I don't remember anything much about it.  My son wants to read it.  So I guess I'll re-read it now.

Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
I read this in in Grade 9 too, immediately after "Animal Farm".  At that time I didn't quite understand what a satire was, let alone concepts of dictatorship or communism or socialism.  Back to my son (see the theme emerging?) - I'll get his copy and re-read.

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
Another one in the science-fiction genre though some critics laud it as a "coming of age" story. Somehow the synopsis doesn't appeal to me.

Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
Ha!  You guessed it.  My son had this book for his English and hated it.  Mom's genes go into their offspring, something tells me I wont like it either.

Neuromancer, William Gibson
Pretty interesting tale.

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

I found many of Bradbury's woks to be kind of sadistic, so I have always been hesitant of reaching out for this one.
The Time Machine, HG Wells
I love the concept of time travel.  That's the only thing that was attractive about this one.
Divergent, Veronica Roth
Never even heard of this.
The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
I prefer other Atwood books.  But to give credit where due - her writing skills are truly superb.

Which ones on this list have you read?  Did you like them?





Monday, April 22, 2013

Gawah

I used to know a polite girl who never failed to thank me for anything I did for her, no matter how trivial.  Then as it happens we parted ways, but since I kept in touch with the family I heard occasional snippets about what she was doing.

Then one fine morning when randomly perusing the news I came across this article:

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/film/gauri-chadha-focuses-on-the-victims-of-the-mumbai-attacks-in-new-film

Way to go Gauri for your sensitive portrayal that will tug at the heart strings and remind us that as citizens of the world we all need to stand united and do our bit to fight this nasty, brutal, ugly thing of terrorism.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Full Disclosure

Was re-reading some old books...

The first thing that comes up when talking about Michael Cricthon's "Disclosure" is sexual harassment, in particular, the sexual harassment of a man by a woman.

Fair enough, but to me I find the book is actually a really good mystery story.  As Sanders (the protagonist) is advised throughout the book "Solve the problem."

I liked the movie too.  This is one case where the movie does not disappoint.  I did see the Hindi version "Aeitraaz" too - with Akshay Kumar, Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor.  Actually it wasn't too bad - only wish they hadn't gone the "utmost devoted loyal wife who will lie on burning coals for her husband" route.

Disclosure - Revenge is Sweet and best served cold...