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Archive for July, 2007

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

friends.jpg

one of the most meaningful sitcoms i have come accross… that leaves quite an impact… you can never ever- literally never .. not be entertained by it…
real situations, distinct characters, a look and feel like its happening next door… they are all really a perfect group of FRIENDS..it is not difficult to explain why all the characters grew larger than the sitcom and are discussed much more than the actual people who’s brainchild and hardwork went into making the whole thing so awesome… namely Marta Kauffman,David Crane,Kevin S. Bright. apparently they have a whole list of directors, who keep alternating according to the kind of episode and some of the cast have been directors themselves…
theres ross, whos so responsible and so caring, a true gentleman, with his genuine interest in paleontology and his museum
rachel, probably the cutest of all, extremely good looking… goofing up often, comes natural to her and friendship within the six is more important to her than most of the things..
monica, a perfectionist, tries hard to please everyone and has a black and white opinion for everything…deeply involved and obsessive when it comes to her friends’ problems, decision making stuff etc.
joey.. a perfectly chilled out guy…cannot worry about anything even if he tries to 🙂 and can compete with rachel when it comes to logical abilities..
phoebe, a no nonsense girl who has lived through hardships in past life and has some amazing one liners thrown in at the perfect times… she cares a zillion for all the rest but will only not express it outward…
chandler.. can compete with joey for the title “who has a more cool attitude” 🙂 but a li’ll more responsible version of it…
they all make a perfect combination, making life look like its really eventful… also the setup.. may it be the central perk cafe or monica’a apartment helps in creating liveliness..
it drives in a lot of subtle values, like.. you should enjoy friendship in its true sense, that you should care but not be possesive, that you should be involved but not be too intervening, that it makes problems smaller if you laugh them off..
some real freaking facts about the same :
* Friends was released in the USA on September 22nd, 1994 and in the UK on April 28th, 1995.  
* The whole cast huddle together before each episode to wish each other luck. This made frequent guest star Tom Selleck feel a bit left out.
* Central Perk, the café in which they all hang out, is based on the Manhattan Café in New Yorks West Village.
* The first line of dialogue in the very first pilot episode of Friends was “There’s nothing to tell.”
* A 30-second commercial during the break in the show in America cost advertisers £500,000.* Phoebe has performed over 25 original songs on the show since the first season.
* Monica and Joey’s refrigerators actually work (a TV rarity). Monica’s is filled with water and soda for the cast and crew. Joey’s is, um, pretty darn bachelor-like.
* 30,000 feet of film is used to tape one episode of Friends 
* Executive producer/co-creator Kevin Bright often directs episodes. He also re-edits the opening title sequence twice each year with new footage. Once for the first 12 episodes, then again for the second 12. 
* It takes 366,000 watts of electricity to light all the sets on Stage 24 (one of the stage in warner bros. studio) for one Friends filming. That is the equivalent electrical power of 12 large homes.  
* When the pilot show was approved by the network, and a series comissioned, the entire cast was sent on a free trip to Las Vegas.   

what stuff are holidays made of..

this is a kind of evening i like. i am in matheran.
i am in a mansion look alike resort. my suite has oldish black rose wood furniture and it smells of herbal incense.
i come out to the spacious verandah that has a big grandpa’s swinging chair and wooden fence on which I prefer to sit. a family is staying in the adjacent suite, and an old lady is sitting in their verandah sipping her coffee and keeping an occasional eye on the monkey hanging down from the roof vying for the biscuits kept on the table aside.the whole place is surrounded by trees trees and more trees and you cannot hear anything but their rustling.my ears have taken a day to get used to the infinite calmness. 
i proceed towards the dining arena that has its old grandeur preserved in the large oval mirror with carvings and other furnishings and the tea pots like other crockery that makes you feel like a movie that’s in flashback mode.. the food tastes great !
i feel like going for a walk.. i walk out towards the gate, only to find a couple of guys with 3-4 good looking and tall and healthy horses in tow.. “ madam 5 point leke jayenge.. bolo kitna ? “ .. as in we will give you a horse ride to 5 sightseeing places / peaks ( as matheran is all of a hill top ) .. how much would you negotiate..i just nod at them to not invite further offers and start walking..

                    on the way…

the road is tiny and muddy and red. It is winding down amidst the trees and greenery is all that i can see as far as i can. it seems to tell the road.. uff you are coming in my way.. occasional boards and advertisements of  other resorts/hotels arrowpoints etc hanging down from the trees help me find my way. a cheering of crowd and a fading sound of horse hoofs in the mud tells me that theres a road next to mine but theres no way I can see it through that dense a greenery.
now I see a chai stall that play hindi music and two old men sitting on the bench outside with legs folded and knees near their chins sipping tea and chatting away after the day’s work. this is the first sign that market is close by. it is followed by a “futwear mart” – note the spelling and slowly the shops have increased in density next to each other.
on my left is a railway track were the matheran mini train comes thrice a day in the mornings, enough to make the place noisy and hustling bustling with chaiwalas, coolies to carry people’s luggage to their destinations, horse wallahs etc.but now there are kids playing on the tiny tracks and people posing for snaps on it.
i have reached the market. it’s a very chirpy colourful and entertaining place. i realized here that it was already sunset as now I could catch a glimpse of the sky due to the wider road. shops clamouring and clinging to each other on both sides of the road and curiously vying for attention with their colourful ware and misspelt but decorated lighted name boards. some have embroidered scarfs and shawls while others have pretty brown handpainted typical matheran bags, still others have wooden artefacts waiting to be bargained and taken away.
there are eateries that smell of hot samosas, and spicy chaat and a vendor frying bhutta (sweetcorn) on charcoal. the chikki shops draw most of the people to them.
the market boasts of an eager crowd with myriad variety. You can see faces that can be traced to different cities and sometimes different countries.some look busy, some are eager to buy, some want to wait outside a eaterie for their turn, a traditional indian wife here wants to strut her new fashionable outfit which she is uncomfortable to carry off, and of course there is also a variety of people who are just strolling for leisure.
i go up a smaller bylane off the market road, that has many leather ware shops.. leather that is manufactured locally by the villagers. i am already hungry and getting ready for a round of bargaining as i see pair of  flowery slip-ons..

bheja fry

our air conditioner needed some conditioning it looked like.. as usual our landlord paid a courtesy visit over the weekend.we informed.
landlord :
oh that’s not a problem at all… i have some 5-6 air conditioners lying with me…in a house in khilpauk (place name). that house used to belong to a lady who stays in mumbai…she got married to a wealthy businessman from USA, last year…. the wedding was grand one and they had invited the who’s who of society… the food arrangements were looked after by a friend of mine… now what happened was that, they went to US… and after 3-4 months of getting married,  she came back alone, for good… she did not tell me everything, but they had fought… frankly, if you ask me, it was her fault only… she has been very demanding always… we studied together in calcutta…i know her since.. by the way, this friend whom i was telling you was the food contracter in her wedding, runs his business since a long time successfully… you can contact him if you need such services..
noticing a (very minute ) gap in between his knowledge sharing session, I managed to squeeze in : you were saying something about the extra air conditioners..
he again :
oh yes yes… so these airconditioners are in this house in khilpauk… the house is large and i manage to get a whopping rent for it….i am a small guy..i own nothing you see.. I have just leased it… i maintain it and rent it out for a higher sum… its just a business opportunity identified in this small city… i am a civil engineer by education, then studied interior designing in clacutta, but in an altogether different profession now… my mother said i was good at talking to people… i am planning to lease and rent out vehicles now..similarily…
by then it was already more than a couple of hours, we were older by 2 rounds of tea and some fries and juice and we were wiser by some (a lot actually )  or whatever knowledge  we could grasp from the entire speech…it was raining heavily, he went to out to reach his bike, but it refused to start and he said it had given away… looked like he would have to spend some more time with us till the sky opened up… we ordered pizza for lunch…
thanks for the lunch offer …so which pizza did you order ? i think ……………………………… ……zzzzzzzzzz

invincibles

he is graceful.. he is masculine..he catches the eye.. he doesn’t blend in the background.. he walks with a dignified confidence… when he walks, his muscles on the back and joining the legs go up and down making that toned body more obvious as it sparkles in the sun..his eyes have a i-know-don’t-worry look… ladies and gentlemen.. he is the tiger..

                     tiger.jpg

their forehead has a marking which resembles the Chinese character 王, which means ‘king’. it was god’s way of sending someone as royal and setting him class apart.

in a poll organised by Animal Planet in 2004, More than 50,000 viewers from 73 countries voted to decide their favourite animal. The tiger received 10,904 votes winning the title of the world’s favourite animal, beating man’s best friend, dog, by 17 votes. third most popular was the dolphin, followed by the horse and the lion.
ruskin bond has beautifully expressed the emotion in a tiger and his tigress in his short story – tiger tiger burning bright.
male tigers are protective about their territory and the females in their territory and never go into other male tiger’s area. they have their own ways of figuring out. sadly as we all know they are endangered…
let us save them or atleast support those who are trying.

life is a change

life has changed for sure. it was a foreseen change.it was like a brand new chapter that a kid in school opens and eagerly waits for the teacher to read out.i got married.
the life so far… work – that had created an identity amongst peers, friends – good old college mates who discussed everything from professor thakur and his sine waves to relationships and career moves and made life look oh-so-comfortable, parents – my support system , a continuous source that refilled energy and confidence, family – an occasional meeting up of a huge gathering of atleast 50 at a time.. a real cheerful lot, I tell you… colleagues – those made me look at work differently…and some of them taught me that friends and colleagues is really all the same..
then came traveling… traveling to a different country..I saw people who stayed on the other side of the earth, how they lived and how they worked and how they saw the same things as people back in my land, but how differently! How the place and circumstances just made everyone so helpful . Staying away from home also has another meaning, more than the physical one. You start  valuing close ones, you care for them more than ever, but you get rid of unnecessary emotional dependancies, good for you.
and then … the present. I moved to chennai as mrs kulkarni. so i was mrs kulkarni to all the new people i met who hadn’t known any of me before. the city has a simple and less sophisticated attitude. maybe it comes from the fact that it doesn’t have too many things to boast about. highly dominated by the native culture of tamil nadu. i like the place.
we both have now moved into this house. Slowly and steadily we have worked on it. Now it looks like our home. i believe every house conveys something to a visitor who can understand , only others can say about what ours does.
our home has chirpy and busy mornings, quiet afternoons, soothing evenings. it is a very peaceful and quiet locality full of trees with some of the richest and influential of the city staying around in huge and good looking houses.its here that I have realized, life has changed. my priorities have changed. my decisions about the smallest of the things are more like a grownup taking into account more than just what I feel like doing to entertain myself. There has to be an underlying and subtle  disciplined routine, way of doing all things, which will give a good shape to the scheme of things. its upon me to implement it.it’s the responsibility of steering us both to good things , to accompany him in all his emotional journeys, to be alert on the professional and personal front all at the same time.
the greatest change in life, however,  is that I have someone in my life whom I love more than anything else I know, and who has taught me the true meaning of the word. 

textism – its the ‘in’ thing

“blogging is a really creative way of expressing your self dear.. why dont you try it..”
this was how a friend gave birth to a small worm in the form of an idea that kept creeping crawling in my head for a couple of days till i decided to go to google.com and figure out how i could start one of my own !
next thing..i wanted a good name for my blog. so i typed “euphoria in greek” in the search text. The results were showing “eight smart tips on feeling euphoric”, “learn greek in 21 days” , interview of some celebrity on what cosmetic gives her that euphoria like smile.. and so on.. the search page was crowded with all the materialistic quickies that sold euphoria (and greek) to men and women.
then i went on to type “popular names for blog” in the search text… thats it.. the next page on the protected internet machine showed me.. “sorry..webcontent that has words resembling sex/porn is blocked” !!
okay.. that was some news..now here i am .. finally made a blog.. decided upon this one – akshar shilpa … sculptures carved out of words… beautiful for a thought isnt it ? or atleast i think so. Though i intend to keep it simple and meaningful, not some endless text all about myself and my unique life and family and friends and that perfect party last sunday and….. that fills up space and is sent out in email signatures, and keep reminding friends to post comments on it, though they find it boring..so here i am.. starting on an enthusiastic note.. going to login next when i feel like meeting myself.. welcome to blogging !