These are a few of my favourite movies

For the past couple of years,  hubby and me have been watching lots of movies… movies that we missed out seeing in the past… language being no barrier. We have watched movies in English, Persian, German… all with subtitles and really enjoyed some of them. We usually rely on the imdb ratings of the movies  and most of them have been good, though some of them disappointed us too. Let me list some of my favourite movies here. The list is not exhaustive and I will update on the blog any movie that I like as and when I see it or remember about it. So here are some of my favourite movies in no particular order.

October sky It is a beautiful movie, based on a true story about how not to give up on your dreams. It is one of those movies that leaves you with a very good feeling after watching. A must see.

Life is beautiful I loved this movie. It is based on how a father tries to protect his son in a concentration camp after being captured by the Nazis. I watched this movie with a heavy heart. Even though it is based on the troubled times when the Jews were captured and sent to concentration camps, no violence is shown in the movie. Thank God for that, otherwise I would not have not been able to watch this movie. One movie which I could not watch for this reason was Schindler’s List. We started watching it, but I could not continue. I didn’t have the heart to see it. I can’t even imagine the horrors those innocent people have suffered for no fault of theirs. Hubby watched it alone and later recounted to me that it was a very, very heart touching movie. Maybe someday I’ll have the courage to see it, but as of now, I can’t bring myself to see this movie. Strangely, this has never happened with me  for any other movie before.

The Shawshank Redemption This is one movie that has got one of the highest ratings ever and so we were curious to watch it. It did live upto  its reputation and to our expectations. It is a brilliant movie in terms of plot, characters portrayed by the leading actors and the direction. It shows how if you think positive, you can bring out the best in yourself in the worst of situations. A must watch movie.

Catch me if you can Hubby is a big fan of Tom Hanks 🙂 So we had to watch this movie 🙂 His character in the movie was great and it was a total fun movie to watch.

A beautiful mind Again, a very beautiful movie … a beautiful example of how it is your attitude towards the situation that matters and you can either make or break yourself with it.

Forrest Gump This movie has stayed back with us for long. Occasionally, you will find the Tom Hanks fan at our home (yes, that is the hubby 😀 ) speaking like and behaving like Forrest Gump 🙂 Again, a movie that leaves you with lots of positivity.

As good as it gets This is the most recent movie that we watched. This one is a must watch just for the great performances by the lead characters, Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. I loved the humour in the movie.

The Lives of others This was a very different type of movie about how a spy gets involved in the personal lives of people he is spying. Let me not say anything more about the plot as I don’t want to reveal the plot. A movie that kept us engrossed throughout.

Groundhog day A lovely comedy, this one had me in splits throughout. Even thinking about it brings a smile on my face. One of the best comedies I have seen. I loved the concept, it was so unique. Definitely a must watch if you love comedy.

Hindi movies

Mr India I believe this is one of the best hindi movies ever made. It has everything.. good songs, dance, comedy, romance, emotions  and a great plot. To this date, I never tire of seeing this movie. And I love the parody song in this movie. I think both Anil Kapoor and Sridevi were great in this movie. And not to forget Annu Kapoor 😀 I loved his character in this movie.

Dilwaale Dulhania Le Jaayenge An all time favourite movie of mine, I think it is a total entertainer. I love every single thing about it. I must have watched it countless number of times and still don’t tire of it. Need I say more about it 🙂 To me, Raj and Simran are the perfect couple leading a happy life somewhere even today 🙂

So that is it for now. There are many more. Maybe I”ll have a few more lists like this on my blog.

So have you seen these movies? What did you think about them?

My cake story

Recently Techie2mom had shared her cooking story. Let me share with you my cake story 🙂 For Cheebu’s fifth  birthday party, I had baked a princess cake. Now,  a couple of years back if someone had even suggested such a thing, I would have said “What?? Me? Baking a cake for a B’day party? A princess cake??!!?? it is just not possible.” I would have just gone ahead and ordered the cake. After all, there are such lovely cakes available in the market these days in every flavour and design….

During my younger days  when I lived with my parents I used to bake cake in the cooker. A very simple cake and decorations would be limited to decorating with dry fruits or gems. But we all loved the cake.

Later after marriage and after Cheebu came into my life, I did try making this cake at home but neither hubby nor Cheebu were cake fans and didn’t appreciate it much. So after the discouraging response I got for them, I didn’t have much motivation to make it at home and baking a cake was limited to the times I went home to my parents.

And then blogging happened in my life 🙂 I came across the cooker cake by My Era. That brought back memories of the cake I used to bake in the cooker when I lived with my parents. I was tempted to bake again. And now I had an oven as well…. and so I started baking again. The initial couple of cakes didn’t turn out too well, but as I got the hang of using the oven, there was no stopping me. I remember there was a time then, when I was baking almost every weekend. Not good for our waists I know 🙂 but soon hubby and Cheebu started liking my cakes. This gave me the much needed confidence and I dared to think about baking a princess cake for Cheebu’s Birthday at home. I am very proud of the fact that I made it. For me it was a big achievement. I am sharing some pictures of the cake as it was made.

 Another thing that I wish to successfully try to do is to bake bread at home. I have tried doing it a couple of times, but failed 😦 Somehow, discouraged by these unsuccessful attempts, I didn’t try again. But baking a bread is in my bucket list for this year. Let me see how it turns out. Fingers crossed.

Wish me luck 🙂

Thank You Card

Sometime back, I had shared my efforts at card making on this blog. Sadly, I haven’t been able to make too many cards after that. I made just one last year, a thank you card for Cheebu’s pre-primary teacher, as Cheebu was moving into first standard after spending 2 years in her class. Cheebu is blessed to have her as one of her first teachers. I would dedicate Cheebu’s love for school to her for all the love, fun and encouragement that Cheebu got in her class. Cheebu still misses her.

Here is the card I made for her.

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Claiming an award

Long long back Techie2mom gave me an award on her food blog. Since I wasn’t blogging much at that time, I couldn’t claim it then. But I just can’t leave an award unclaimed like that 🙂 So I am claiming it now. Thank you so much Zini’s mom. Coming from you, I am so honoured to receive this Liebster award

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Rules of the Award:-

1. Write 11 random facts about yourself.

2. Answer the 11 interview questions you’ve been given by the person who nominated you.
3. Fabricate 11 new questions.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers and mention them in your post.
5. Tell the person who nominated you, along with the people whom you’ve nominated.
I have already written 7 random facts about myself here. Here are 4 more random things about me
8. I have never worn a saree to work.
9. I like to teach, but I hate correcting the exam papers.
10. One of my favourite pass time is watching out of the window or balcony.
11. I love to look up at the clouds and imagine a pattern or figure out of it.
1) What do you cook when suddenly some guests appear at your doorstep?!

For snacks, usually paneer pakodas with chai.

2) How do you like to celebrate your b’day?

I like getting gifts, cutting a cake (doesn’t matter even if I have baked it myself) and being with my loved ones.

3) Your favorite book?

There are many. Among the ones that I read last year, it is “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.

4) What are the qualities that you admire the most in people?

Honesty and straight forwardness.

5) How did you meet your spouse?

Well, we were batchmates 🙂

6) Do you plan for future? if yes, then what do you see yourself doing in after 20 years?

Living together in the same house with hubby…. growing old with each other 🙂

7) What do you like the most about yourself?

My positive attitude

8) What do you like the most about your spouse?

His goodness and sense of humour

9) Would you like to change something about your life? If yes, then what’s it?

At this moment, I only wish that the 3 of us live together as a family here. I wish hubby gets an opportunity soon to move back to Mumbai.

10) Do you easily get angry or are you one of those saints? What’s your trick to keeping calm mind?

I am no saint… I lose my temper quite easily with my loved ones at least. If anybody has a trick for a calm mind, please do share.

11) What is your favorite comfort food?

Chhole or rajma chaawal with onion raita.

I nominate all the bloggers who are participating in the Blogging Marathon for this award. I believe all these wonderful people deserve it 🙂 If you are reading this, please do take it up.

Here are my 11 questions:

1. Where do you prefer to go for a holiday? Beaches or hill stations?

2. What is your dream destination for a holiday?

3. What was the first movie that you saw with your spouse?

4. A favourite dish that your spouse cooks for you?

5. If you didn’t have to think about money, what would be your dream profession?

6. Do you have a sweet tooth or you prefer savoury items?

7. Did you make mud pies during your childhood?

8. A crazy childhood game that you remember?

9. A favourite childhood memory?

10. Can you fly kites?

11. What are you reading currently?

Phew! So that’s done! So people, Come on, take up the award and make a post out of it 🙂

My humble attempts at cardmaking

Last year, I tried my hands at card making and made a few handmade cards… but never got down to putting them here. But then I thought I should share them here even though they may appear quite childish 😛 After all this is my space 🙂

This one was for a little girl (my friend’s daughter) for her first B’day. Having tried quilling, I had for long wanted to make a quilled card and I thought balloons would be perfect for the little one 🙂

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Here, I tried making punchcraft flowers . I know, the flowers appear to be hanging in the air 😛

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And this one was a simple Rakhi card…

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I enjoyed making these and I wish I had more time at hand to make more. If not anything, I hope my efforts will inspire Cheebu to make and gift handmade cards to friends and family.  A handmade card gives much more joy to the person receiving it compared to any  readymade card however expensive it may be for all the love that goes into making it 🙂

2012 in Review

I saw several bloggers doing this tag and wanted to do it…. and then Visha put me on the hot seat to take up this tag. I know January has already gone past and I am very late in posting this. But life has been really very hectic and busy past few days… and well, better late than never, so here goes..

What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

I made a princess cake 🙂

I did river rafting (and that reminds me  a post on that is still pending 😦 )

Went out on a movie date with hubby after a gap of 5 years (without Cheebu). We suddenly decided one morning to take a day off from work… Cheebu was already at school/daycare… and went out for a movie 🙂

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next?

Hmmm… didn’t make any proper new year resolution.

What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

3rd November, when I became bua to an adorable baby girl 🙂 . Also 23rd November, when I became Nani to another adorable baby girl 😛

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Making the princess cake 🙂

What was your biggest failure?

Starting on a weight loss with good success and then failing mid way 😦

Did you suffer illness?

The usual cold – cough- fever… nothing serious… Touchwood!

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

A particular relative 😦

Where did most of your money go?

Travelling, paying bills.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Our trip to the North East and arrival of my little neice.

What song will always remind you of 2012?

Itti si hansi, Itti si khushi … from Barfi. Cheebu and I loved singing it together 🙂

Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

Happier definitely 🙂

What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I had been more patient with Cheebu, read more to her (though hubby compensated for that 🙂 He reads/tells her stories on a more regular basis than me)

What do you wish you’d done less of?

I wish I had regulated my online time better.

Did you fall in love in 2012?

Yes, with my cute little neice 🙂 And I continued to love all those I am already in love with 🙂

What/Who was your greatest musical discovery?

Cheebu! She started learning music in 2012… but then I already knew that she was musical 🙂

What did you want and get?

A trip to Varanasi with Cheebu and Hubby 🙂 And the best part was that my parents were also with us 🙂

Our vacation to North East and Bhandardara.

What did you want and not get?

Buying a house.

What was your favourite film?

I saw several good movies in 2012 that I had missed out seeing in the past. Some of my favorites were

A walk to remember,   Good will hunting ,  The descendentsThe lives of others50 first datesA separation

Ice Age 4 and of course Barfi and English Vinglish. Also Shanghai was a special movie as hubby and I watched a movie in theater without Cheebu after a long long time. It was a good movie 🙂

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I celebrated my birthday with my parents after 6 years! I baked a cake for my own birthday. I turned 34 in 2012.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

End of certain uncertainties from our life.

What kept you sane?

Hubby, Cheebu, my parents and my job.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

Being more tolerant and patient with people and situations. And trying to see things from the other persons perspective, sometimes, helps you in being more tolerant and patient with them.

Which new place/s did you visit in 2012?

Darjeeling, Gangtok and around; Bhandardara.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Zindagi har kadam ek nayi jung hai, jeet jayenge hum tu agar sang hai…

Tag some bloggers you would love to read these answers from.

I think most bloggers have already done this tag or have already been tagged.

PS: Last few days have been very busy. I have not been able to reply to comments to my previous posts. Will do that soon.

 

A quick update…

Life has been very very busy lately. I have lots of things to share, but things have been so busy both at work and on the homefront that I have had no time to update my blog. There are many half written posts in my drafts… while I finish them, I thought I owe this space a quick update.

Making the most of the good weather at this time of the year, most of the weekends are spent outdoors. We made a day trip to Kashid beach which is about 120 km from our place. We love this beach so much that it has become like a sort of annual pilgrimage for us 🙂

Last to last thursday, hubby pings me at work and we plan a road trip… yes, just like that 🙂 By next day, plans are made and hubby gets the bookings done and saturday morning we are on the road 🙂 We planned a 3D/2N trip along the Konkan coast to Velneshwar and Ganpatipule but when we reach the beautiful beach of Ganpatipule, we decided to extend our trip by one more day. It was such a lovely place. I had heard so much about this place and was longing to visit it for a long time. It was much farther than any road trip we had done so far, so we were not sure if we could drive all the way till there especially since I don’t have the confidence to drive on highways and so the entire job of driving falls on hubby. We had  always thought we would go there by train. But synchronizing train reservation with MTDC resort availability at short notice always proved to be impossible. So when hubby suggested that we could drive there with a break at Velneshwar, I quickly agreed. As it is, I love road trips and with our own car we get to explore more of the place. We had a great trip… travelogue coming up soon 🙂

On the work front, it was that time of the year where in addition to my usual work, I take some lectures for the trainees. I have realized that while I like to teach, this is the most that I can manage for the year. Preparing for the lectures takes such a big amount of my time and there is so much of effort involved that I really really admire people who do it on a regular basis. But I am not complaining… I love all the interaction that I get with the trainees and it is a learning experience for me too. Here’s an incident… last year, after I finished with my lectures, a  trainee came and said to me “Thank you Ma’am. You taught the subject really well” To say that I went over the moon would be an understatement 🙂 So this year, after I have finished the course, when I see a trainee approaching me with words like “Ma’am, I would like to tell you something…” I am prepared to go over the moon again till I hear “… you have a great collection of salwar suits” 🙄 Sigh! I manage to mutter some thanks and then ask her about the course 🙂

Lectures are over, but life at work continues to be busy. At home too, since weekends are spent outdoors, there is a long list of unfinished chores. Most of the last weekend was spent doing that. Looking forward to the coming long weekend. Yippee! 🙂

We have discovered a Table tennis table in our building. While hubby goes down to play every morning, I manage to play with him (I have no one else to play with 😦 ) on weekend evenings. I must say, I am enjoying this 🙂 I wish we had discovered this earlier.

I have lots of Cheebu updates as well. Hope to do a post soon. As of now, we are worried by her recent behaviour. Since last week, she has been a bit unwilling to go to school. Now this has never happened before. In fact, she loves school and her teacher. But on at least 3 days from the past 6 school days, she has refused to go to school and even cried at school 😦 I tried to discuss with her but she gave me all sorts of vague reasons. When this happened again today, hubby spoke to her teacher. She is as surprised as us but said that once in the classroom, she is normal. She is doing good at school and everyday she shares with us stories from the school as enthusiastically as before. She tells us about the stars teacher gave her, about her friends … I hope it is only a phase but it is worrisome for us. I am planning to talk to her daycare teachers tomorrow.

Of sky watching, star gazing and shooting stars

As a child, I was always fascinated by the night sky. Some great memories of sky watching from my childhood are from visits to my grandparent’s place during summer vacations. They stayed in a small village where there was hardly any electricity during those days. In the evenings, dinner would be over before sunset and we would go to the terrace of the house as soon as darkness came over. Since there was nothing to do till we went off to sleep, most of the time was spent watching the night sky. Without any pollution and reflections from city lights, the night sky was brilliantly lit up with millions of tiny stars. My dad first introduced me to the constellations of stars like the great bear, the hunter and many more. Even after so many years, I have vivid memories of those days and I have yet to see a sky so lit up with stars as it was there. Occasionally we would also spot a shooting star moving across the sky. Being summers, we would sleep on the terrace under the open sky and it was a wonderful feeling to lie down under the stars and wonder how far they are and how tiny we are in this huge universe. It was here that I had my first and probably only sight of the Milky Way. I still remember being woken up in the middle of the night by my dad to see the Milky Way. And my!! What a sight it was! It was like a bright river full of stars in the sky. No wonder it is called the Akashganga.

As I grew up, my fascination continued. I remember that the night sky for every month was published in the newspaper and I, armed with a cutting of the same would be on the lookout to spot various planets and constellations though the sky in the city was never the same. I remember having a sprained neck from my experiment of continuously watching a star as morning approached to see how stars disappeared as dawn came 🙂 I remember waking up in the middle of the night and sitting in my balcony trying to see meteorite showers 🙂 In short, I was crazy 🙂 My dad encouraged my interest by getting me books on the subject and taking me to the planetarium. I dreamed  of  being a space scientist or an astronaut some day 🙂 But life had other plans. I am not complaining, I like my current work too. But then for the last many years I lost touch with this hobby or fascination…. until recently 🙂

Some days back, I read about the Geminids  shower on the morning of 14th Dec. I was skeptical that we would be able to see anything in Mumbai skies, but decided to take a chance. The directions given in the news articles were very clear… the shower would be visible in the eastern part of the sky and would peak at around 5 am. I told Cheebu about it and she was quite excited and seeing her excitement, hubby agreed to accompany us. So a plan was made… We were to wake up at around 4:30 am and go to the top floor of our building which has a gallery facing towards the East (The terrace unfortunately is not open) and look out for any “shooting stars” 🙂 I wasn’t sure if Cheebu would wake up though, as I have a tough time waking her for school every morning. But on the D day, as soon as I called out her name and told her that it was time to go and see the “shooting stars”, she was up and awake in a flash 🙂  Dressed up in our night suits and gowns and covered with caps, shawl and jackets we went up. There was not a soul around and I wondered if it had been the right thing to do …waking  up Cheebu so early on a school day to see some shooting stars which in all probability we might not see at all. But the moment we reached there, our eyes fixed to the sky, we saw a “shooting star”(as Cheebu calls them) and the excitement in Cheebu’s eyes… it was priceless… certainly worth the effort we put in sacrificing our cosy sleep on a cold winter night 🙂 And to me, it brought back my own childhood. In the next 20 minutes that we were there we saw about 8-10 shooting stars … not a shower but well, much more than we had expected. While we were there, Cheebu spotted the Great Bear and told me that those group of stars appear to make a P. I was overjoyed at her observation and told her that it was called the “Great Bear” or “Saptrishi”. Later, during one of our evening walks after dinner, I showed her the “Hunter” constellation which she can identify now. Parts of our evening walks are now spent in skywatching 🙂 and seeing her interest I thought it was now the right time to introduce her to one of my books from childhood which I had safely kept for her 🙂

DSC045971A book that my dad had got for me, a book that I had enjoyed immensely as a child. Incidentally, the book is about 2 children Alex and Sveta whose father introduces them to astronomy in a fun way.  I hope Cheebu will enjoy it as much as I did and it will give her as much joy as it gave me 🙂