I am back to what I am best at – travelling the road. This time, infertility information pills it’s the interiors of Maharashtra. Pune is an old haunt, illness but this time it felt a tad too far off as the Volvo bus driver decided to pick up anyone and everyone to fill up the empty seats, before leaving Mumbai. The early morning journey ended in early noon.
Pune to Nashik followed immediately (since the bus had consumed the time I had reserved for there). Been used to the rugged Uttar Pradesh terrain, the route surprised me. It was lush green and weaved through little hills and hillocks (the ghats), passing through vast stretches of open and lush cloud-kissed lands, uninterrupted by man or nature. “What Switzerland? Why don’t our film-makers shoot here?” I wondered aloud. It was just the flawless location for a mesmerizing love duet!
En route Nashik, after one meeting at Sangamner, we saw a signboard of Shirdi. ‘Is it nearby?’ I asked. It seemed so. Since it would be late in any case for Nashik, we decided to pay darshan at Shirdi. It’s a typical temple-town, with all its infrastructure and business centered around Sai Baba’s Temple. We got a lovely darshan…that too on a Thursday, the day considered auspicious to the sage.
We started for Nashik after the sun had convincingly risen in some other part of the planet.
I fell in love with Nashik the moment I saw it. Wide roads, pretty clean and without any rush. It’s the ‘Pune of some fifteen years back’, my colleague remarked. A ring of mountains nestled the quaint town. The air was fresh and vibrant, and it must have helped my lungs, for I had a very deep sleep that night (it could also be due to the immense fatigue, as that day we did a whopping 9-10 meetings, in a row, one after the other – and by the end of which, another cup of tea or coffee would have made me throw up).
We stayed there for two days, and returned on Saturday late evening. It was a fruitful visit. And adds one more town in my long list of places visited.
It is the second consecutive year when, here on this auspicious day, recipe I am in a new town, without a consistent source of internet to type out a full-fledged message. But the solace is that I am breathing the same air, in the same city, as where the Queen of Melody resides.
It’s amazing how another year has gone by. And yet, in this added year, my love for that perfect voice hasn’t diminished one bit. Only, as I am away from music, the love has grown fonder, and deeper. I miss listening to Lata (Mangeshkar)Didi’s songs, and hope to be re-united with them soon, once my luggage arrives from Delhi. Still, whenever and wherever I can snatch those precious moments, I do try to listen to her. One such instance was when I travelled to Nashik, I put on my own CD in my colleague’s car, and listened to a bunch of marvellous Lata Mangeshkar-Madan Mohan combine songs.
Here’s wishing Lata Didi a very happy, peaceful, wonderful and melodious birthday, and praying to Almighty for her long life and health.
Happy Birthday, Lataji!
…and very soon. But just a quick update to those who have actually ventured into this space the past few days:
I am still home-less. More than me (after all, ask the company guest house is so comfortable) it’s my packers-and-movers guy (who is holding my stuff en-route from Agra at New Delhi) who is exasperated. From the gruff ‘when will you give me an address to send your dumb stuff’ he has now stepped down to a worried plea ‘boss, disinfection saamaan mangaa lo please’. I dread at thought of his final bill amount.
Nagpur is the new city added to my list of travels (and I type this post from a horrible cyber-cafe from there).
I stepped into Delhi for a brief while for Diwali. What to say? The four days simply whizzed by. My apologies to all whom I must have promised to meet, but didn’t.
I watch movies aplenty. And my current haunt is Cinemax at Versova. Their Red Lounge (with huge reclining sofas) is a treat, and the cheese pop-corns delicious. A bit late, but here are one-or-two sentences on the movies seen:
Jab We Met – A fantabulous film with some superb writing and excellent direction. Shahid, who had proven himself – in my opinion – last year with Vivah, carries forward his confidence in this one. And Kareena, for a change, endeared herself. Imtiaz Ali’s film rocks!
Om Shanti Om – Delightful, colorful, melodramatic, unbelievable, but just what a Hindi film should be. Various elements (and ‘items’) like the Filmfare Award ceremony or that full-of-stars-songs or the posters from seventies (including a hoarding of Ovaltine) keep the viewers glued. A quantum leap by Farah Khan from the monotonous Mai Hoon Na. Vishal-Shekhar’s music is scintillating! Deepika wows as the seventies heroine (all grace and ada) but average as the short-skirted bubble gum chewing youngster of 2007! Negatives – re-incarnation theme is not handled well (Karz and Kudrat were way above, though both are referenced), second half could have been crisp, romance between lead pairs is absent in this half!
However, my rating – must watch!
Laaga Chunari Mein Daag – Disappointing, dull and dumb film. Lacks the intensity that the subject and the heroine cries for. Too much of gloss. Rani’s pain doesn’t translate to the tears that everyone in the audience should have had. Music is pathetic. Few scenes (like the one where Rani has to take that crucial decision and calls up her mom) are well written and directed. But sadly, they are few and far. And honestly, by the time the climax came on, it looked much ado about nothing!
Bhool Bhulaiya – Did not comprehend what Priyadarshan wanted to make – comedy or horror – ends up as comedy of horrors! Akshay is brilliant; Vidya Balan as ever artificial, and Ameesha Patel – the poor girl – if she can find her role from the editing table, we can then discuss her. In all, an ok time-pass film. Nothing very spectacular.
That’s all from my side. But as I said, wait for me, I will be back on this space faster than you would imagine. Till then, ciao!