bits and pieces of life and the movies


In ‘Tamanna’ I liked the suhag-raat scene between Biswajit and Mala Sinha. 2 glasses full of milk, the glasses painted with orange flowers, I remember similar ones from childhood, 2 pillows side by side, one embroidered with ‘Good Luck’ and the other with ‘Welcome’, cut to 2 empty glasses. Cut to next morning, and 2 heads, asleep on the pillows. Beautifully understated.

In ‘Do Dil’, I liked the scene between Biswajit and his foster uncle, the pujari of the village who has brought him up after the death of his parents, when Biswajit is being forced to go to the palace and reclaim his throne. Biswajit’s agony at losing his freedom, his friends, the village he has grown up in, is very touching and makes me like him for the rest of the film. He plays a really conscientious prince, someone who knows what it is like to be poor. Also, Rajeshwari is gorgeous as a tribal girl, she has the boldness of the Maharashtrian girl in her movements and her speech.

In ‘Jigri Dost’, I could have watched Jeetendra run and run forever. Watching him run, I realized how strong and energetic he was. It was easy then on to believe that he was a robust villager, and could easily fight many men at the same time. And I loved Poonam Sinha (then Komal), she was cute and really glamorous. She even put Mumtaz in the shade. Mumtaz unfortunately had the role of a traditional daughter, sari clad in pastels which do not suit her, outwardly docile, but with the makings of a nag.

At breakfast time, it is BBC Entertainment with new shows that are almost like films, well-shot, wry. Suddenly makes me realize how long I have been watching American sit-coms.

These scattered thoughts, from one screen to another, make up my days for the time being. Meanwhile, real life somewhere else is full of anxieties. My father-in-law has a bypass surgery scheduled on the weekend. Dhanno went from one bout of viral flu to another, and then a throat infection which refuses to go away. It’s going to be more than a fortnight of antibiotics for her.

After all the stress of trying to get into college, she has hardly been able to attend classes, having been ill most of the last 3 weeks. The family doctor diagnoses ‘missing your mother’ as one of her problems.

A few weeks ago, on a whim, Teja and I applied for jobs in another country. A few weeks later, alone in a hotel room, I realize it’s impossible for us to go away from family and friends.


  1. Banno, I feel sorry for Dhanno – on top of missing her mother, she has all this missed classwork. But let her take her time to recover fully and if she’s her mother’s daughter, she has the makings of a strong gal. And I’m horrified to read you might have plans to leave the country with hubby for jobs abroad – just not worth the price one pays in various ways for merely a comfortable `tashrif rakhna.’ Temporary assignments are the best of both worlds.
    I recently found out about Poonam Sinha urf Komal (YouTube, Dil Diwana). Wasn’t she so lovely? And my cousin adding her voice to the chorus that her daughter resembles Reena Roy. Actually, Komal’s features (especially the ample forehead) are similar to RR’s (little wonder Shotgun took a fancy to her).

    • Desi-at-large, I am sure Dhanno will pull through. It’s tough on her because Teja is also away to be with his father.

      Ah, the jobs abroad were just a vague dream, nothing to do with comfort or money, but just to do something adventurous, be on our own. Obviously it means nothing!🙂

      Yes, Komal and Sonakshi do look a little like Reena Roy, though Komal is way
      more glamorous, I think.

      • Yes, do have adventures abroad, that’s why I said temp assignments. And at a time when the family must stand together, like your father-in-law’s surgery, this is what I was thinking about (being absent because of being abroad, how distressing).
        Another nuskha for any kind of tickle in the throat, signs of the sniffles or the start of some sinus situation – two-three drops of 3% Hydrogen peroxide (this strength only) in each ear – put drops in one ear, bubbling starts, when it lessens, wipe off excess and repeat for other ear. If you need to re-apply, do so after 2-3 hours – always works for us. Vicks VapoRub massaged on soles of feet at night ensures practically cough-free sleep ( I found out recently, now that both children are older and after my suffering through two prolonged episodes)
        Someone mentioned Mahasudarshan churna – my husband swears by it always.
        Poonam Sinha, apart from glam looks, is a very good cook, apparently, her daughter says (trying to explain why she had to lose weight). But I was startled to read she had a convent school accent – and married to Shotgun of the flawless dialogue delivery fame.

        • Ha, ha, desi-at-large, I do wish people were handing out temporary job assignments abroad to us, but no such luck. I usually get hired because of my local know-how, so ….

  2. Oh.. poor you, and poor Dhanno. I hope she gets well soon, and you two get together asap. It must be really tough on her. At her age, I looked at my mom as my best friend and companion, besides ofcos’ ‘mom’. Please don’t leave the country, life is too short and precious to be spent away from F&F. Best of luck with the FIL’s surgery.

    • Violet, it’s going to be less than 2 months now until I get home. We have met regularly in fact, because I’ve made 3 trips home in the last 2 months. But I guess she just likes the idea of having me around, even if she is out all the time.🙂

      Thanks for your wishes for the surgery. The family is gathered around, except me, though I was there for a few days last week.

      Yes, life is too short to be away from family and friends.

  3. I hope Dhanno gets well soon – and your father-in-law’s surgery goes off without a hitch too.

    The things you’ve been watching these days sound interesting. I’ve never watched any of the films you’ve named, and Poonam Sinha is a completely new name to me… oh, I have so much to catch up with!

    • Thanks, Dustedoff, for your wishes.

      I think I had never heard of most of these films myself. These are all thanks to the Bangalore video rental guy.🙂

      Poonam acted in a few films as Komal, before she married Shotgun! She’s not a great actress, and has a slight convent school accent, but very cute.

  4. Here’s a remedy – appropriate to Dhanno’s symptoms – which works for me and has kept the antibiotics at bay on all but one occassion over the last 2 -3 years (where perhaps I didn’t act fast enough). Though it sounds like she may not be able to avoid taking the antibiotics this time, it should still help and is a great preventive if she feels the flu / sore throat coming on in the future. So after all that preamble – it’s Mahasudarshan Churna, available in any chemist shop, mfg by Zandu (or the Dabur one if Zandu is unavailable).

    Take a spoonful, put it in a glass and pour boiling water on it. Stir and let it cool to a temp that’s still nice and hot but possible to drink. Keep stirring while drinking as the powder doesn’t dissolve and settles at the bottom. Take twice – maybe thrice a day depending on symptoms. It’s kadva to taste … but it can actually become an acquired taste with time. (Meha actually likes it, given that I started her on it when she was much younger and perhaps she had not yet bought into the notion of “sweet” is good vs “bitter” is bad tasting.)

    Just spoke to Teja the other day – didn’t know his dad was to be operated. Hope all goes off well. And though, in this mad city of ours, we seldom meet – I’m glad to know you guys are not rushing off to some other place anytime soon!

    • Hey Kuntal,

      Thanks for the remedy. I’ll pass it on to Dhanno, as she is prone to getting a sore throat easily.

      Don’t know when you spoke to Teja, his father had a heart attack on the 15th, so maybe before that.

      Yes, even though we don’t meet much, I can’t imagine going further away from friends than we already are, in this city.🙂

  5. I’d commented and probably not pressed the right buttons! Anyway- all good wishes to your father-in-law for the surgery. Wishing him a speedy recovery. All good wishes to Dhanno- I hope she’s a lot better now. I’m glad you were able to visit a few times- it must be tough being away from home and family for so long. Big hugs, my dear.

    • Thank you, Dipali, for all your wishes. Yes, it is tough being away, especially at times like these. Though I shouldn’t complain, because there are so many people with fewer choices than we have.

    • Thanks, Kate, for the wishes. I think being wise and happy also entails knowing what you can cut out of your life. And I think having children and old people around makes you realize just how much is unnecessary.🙂

  6. My prayers for all big and small..hopefully beemar ka haal acha ho jald.
    And you MUST have adventures. Zindagi bAhut lumbi hai and din judai ke (from friends family) bAhut chothey, so do travel. And apply apply (to Dhaka, Melbourne, Rawalpindi)

    • Aneela, thank you for your prayers. My father in law is in the ICU now, but already behaving like a kid, reading the newspapers, calling people on the phone. So he has to be monitored.🙂 And Dhanno is getting better, too.

      Maybe it will be better to only travel, and not get a job. Anyway, neither of us have ever had a job, so don’t know whether we would be happy tied down.

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