Monday, 9 April 2018

My Favourite Animated Movies

"Animation offers a medium of story telling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world." ~ Walt Disney
As a child we had only one television in the living area which worked only after we had slept at night. My mother was very strict and she made sure that we (me and my brother) were in the bed by 7:30 p.m. I have so many memories of playing outdoor games but not a single one of watching any kind of cartoon series. I have no complaints or regrets about it. In fact, I am thankful to her for giving up her dreams to raise us and make us good human beings. 

It was only after watching the movie 'Up' that I grew fonder of watching animated / cartoon series. Here is my list of favourite movies :

  • Up (2009) :
This has to be my number 1. It won many awards including 82nd Academy Awards, 67th Golden Globe Awards, Annie Awards. The movie starts with such an emotional heartbreaking sequence that I had tears in my eyes. The story is about Carl Fredricksen (a widower) who goes on to fulfil his dream of watching Paradise Falls after his wife (Ellie) dies. Though they had planned to go together but that couldn't happen. Then how he and little Russell make it happen is an amazing watch. Hats off to Pete Docter for presenting it so beautifully that you can watch it irrespective of your age and still feel connected to it. 

Lesson learnt : Adventure is out there so live, love, laugh and enjoy the little things because you never know what's next! 

  • Big Hero 6 (2014):
This one made me cry specially because it genuinely portrays loss, sorrow and depression. For me the star of the movie was BayMax (Robot). The story is about a teenager Hiro Hamada who after losing his brother Tadashi forms a superhero team to fight a masked villain. It is a fantastic movie with everything in the right place. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. 

Lesson learnt : When life seems impossible and you are surrounded with difficulties, never surrender and keep moving no matter how hard it may seem! Try to cop up and you will eventually succeed. 

  • Inside Out (2015) :
This one is again by Pete Docter. After watching this movie I was so much in love with it that I downloaded its game from Play Store and played everyday for good six months. The story is actually superb. It wonderfully describes how emotions / feelings / moods can take a toll on our lives. The movie is about a girl named Riley Andersen whose parents shift from Minnesota to San Francisco and how she adapts herself to a new environment with 5 emotions : Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust playing a major role. This one truly deserved the accolades it received : BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, Critics' Choice Award, Annie Award, Satellite Award, Academy Award etc.

Lesson learnt : Don't allow anger, sadness, fear, disgust take away your joy! Never let anyone dull your sparkle. When everything around you turns complex just remember the good things and do the happy dance :D 

  • Kung Fu Panda Franchise :
Kung Fu Panda was released in 2008 followed by its sequels Kung Fu Panda 2 in 2011 and Kung Fu Panda 3 in 2016. The story of all the 3 films revolves around a panda named Po who is chosen as a Dragon Warrior. His journey from an obese panda to a powerful fighter is depicted excellently. Though this martial arts movie series couldn't win Academy or Golden Globe awards but its fun to watch.

Lessons learnt : Hard work, dedication and commitment pays off even if the world doesn't see your worth but still you can succeed with your will power. 

  • How to Train Your Dragon Triology :
This consists of How to Train Your Dragon (2010), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014),  yet to be released How to Train Your Dragon 3 (2019). The storyline is about a young Viking Hiccup, son of the village chieftain, Stoick the Vast who is initially considered a misfit turns out to be the most courageous one in the group. He befriends a dragon named Toothless. This is one of the best dragon films. 

Lessons learnt : Sometimes you have to take risks in life beacuse nothing comes easy. 

  • My Life as a Zucchini (2016)
For me this movie is heartbreaking and a bit depressing if you see it from eyes of a child. How issues of parents such as failed marriages,  drug / alcohol overdose, abuse and so on can affect a young one is unimaginable. The only thing I didn't like was the length of the movie, wanted it to be a bit longer.  The story is about Zucchini (Icare) who is brought to an orphanage and how he adjusts in the different environment. Though at the end he gets a new family but I wonder how many are actually lucky like him to get a second life.

Lessons Learnt : You don't have to be a perfect parent but a good one for sure. There is no rulebook you have to decide yourself what's the best that doesn't harm anyone in any way.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

First Movie Screening

From 2013 I have been writing this blog anonymously and today I have finally shared my name to all my readers. The reason for not sharing my details was just that I wanted to express my feelings without being burdened by my identity. Life has taught me a lot and hence I have learned to move on.

OK so this post is about my first movie screening. I won't tag myself as social media addict but yes I keep checking the latest stuff. It was in March when #StarMoviesSecretScreening was trending on my Twitter timeline. Out of curiosity I tweeted to @StarMoviesIndia that how do they select people for the screening? I got no reply from them. On May 17, 2016 they sent me an invite for the screening on May 18. I couldn't accept it as I had some other important commitments. It was very kind of them to consider me again for the June screening. 

Star Movies calls it Secret Screening because the Secret Keepers (People who are invited) see it before anyone else. We were supposed to reach PVR Ambience Mall, Gurgaon by 7.15 p.m. Since we were allowed to take one person along I went with my husband. As we entered the venue we were given Secret Keeper Mask and Food vouchers worth Rs.300 each. During the interval we were given a pen and a postcard. After the movie we got two pretty umbrellas too. Overall it was an amazing experience.

About the Movie

Independence Day: Resurgence is a 2016 American science fiction film directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Nicholas Wright, James A. Woods and James Vanderbilt. It is the sequel to the 1996 film Independence Day. It was released by 20th Century Fox in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D on June 22, 2016 and in the United States and Canada on June 24.

My Review

Honestly I had not seen the 1996 movie so I made sure that before going to the screening I watch it and trust me it helped me to get a better understanding of the latest one. I liked the movie with all the wonderful special effects. The new cast along with the old ones have performed well though I missed Will Smith. The Alien Queen also manages to grip the audience but at some point I felt the sequel could have been better. Resurgence was not able to recreate the same charm of the original film. 

P.S : I completely acknowledge the hard work of many behind the scenes. This is my unbiased opinion about the movie. 

Follow on Twitter and Facebook : @IndependenceDayIndependenceDayMovie

Friday, 22 April 2016

Music Meets Happiness! (Coke Studio Season 4)

Someone has rightly said Music is the universal language of mankind. No matter how different and far people are music is one thing that connects them. With world population reaching 7 billion, there are 3 billion internet users. Imagine the impact one single song or a story can have. Thanks to social media these days. 

I am a die hard fan of Coke Studio be it India or Pakistan. I am listening to their songs since 2013 and trust me some of them are truly amazing. Every year I eagerly wait for the next season. I believe irrespective of language, religion, country one should respect  the talent. For those who are not aware I would like to share some insights. Coke Studio India, officially titled Coke Studio @ MTV, is an Indian television series, which features live studio-recorded music performances by various artists. Season One was premiered in June 2011 and Season Four was aired on 1 March 2015. You can check my post on Season 3 Music Meets Happiness!

Season 4 had six episodes. Each episode is done by different composers. Compared to last season this season had less songs. The fusion of diverse musical influences justifies the title "Music Meets Happiness". Here are my favorite songs and their interpretation according to me.

  • Episode 1 : It has just one song : 'Teriyaan Tu Jaane' sung by Amit Trivedi, Jyoti Nooran, Harshdeep Kaur. I loved this peppy and upbeat number. I felt as if one is requesting the almighty that I want to spend the rest of my life with you leaving behind the relations of this world. To my surprise I thought I heard Jyoti Nooran for the first time but she has already done some popular Bollywood songs like Ghani Bawri. 
  • Episode 2 : Composed by Sachin-Jigar this episode has 3 songs. The first song 'Laadki' sung by Tanishka Sanghvi, Rekha Bharadwaj, Kirtidan Gadhvi will surely make you emotional and honesty I cried a lot remembering my parents. Its actually tough for any girl to leave everything and adjust in new place with new people. The part sung by Sachin’s daughter Tanishka made me go Awwww.. This is must listen! The other song that I liked is 'Sawan Mein' sung by Divya Kumar & Jasmine Sandlas. It is about an anguished and devastated lover. For me Jasmine is the star of this song, such a strong and powerful voice. The way she sings her part is fabulous.
  • Episode 3 :  This episode is done by Dhruv Ghanekar and has 3 songs. The song 'Ae Rab' sung by Dhruv Ghanekar, Master Saleem is beautiful composition inspired by work of Bulleh Shah talks about a man's search for God. 
  • Episode 4 :  Ram Sampath has composed this episode consisting of 4 songs. My favorite is 'Anhad Naad' sung by Sona Mohapatra, Shadab Faridi. I have always adored Sona's style of singing. This cheerful composition speaks about spiritual growth and awakening. The lyrics, music, singers all compliment each other. The lines Hunn main anhad naad bajaya, Apne dil da haal sunaya, Haal sunake luft o paaya, Ho..jiyun barkha wich ped nahaya.. expresses how one can be unburdened by  stop worrying and selflessly devoting oneself to god.
  • Episode 5 : It was Independence Special episode and the best of all. It has 3 songs composed by different artist. 
  •  Song 1 : 'Ki Banu Duniya Da' : The song is composed, written by Gurdas Maan, sung by Gurdas Maan & Diljit Dosanjh and arranged by Jatinder Shah. This joyous composition talks about how the youth is  getting attracted to westernization forgetting their own culture. I loved the lines : Hello Hello thank you karan nadiyan aa gaiyan valeton angrez vadiyan i don’t like the punjabi hindi nu sharam ni aundi sanu gallan dindi nu Har boli sikho sikhni vi chahidi Par pakki vekh ke kacchi nai dhai di.. Such deep meaning.
  • Song 2 : 'Peer Manaawan Challiyaan' : The song is composed by Salim - Sulaiman, written by Sukhwinder Singh and sung by  Sukhwinder Singh, Salim Merchant & Raj Pandit. This one is brimming with patriotism. No doubt that the confident voice of Sukhwinder is always a treat to ears.
  • Song 3 'Allah Veh' : The song is composed by Manj Musik, Sunny Brown, written by Big Dhillon, sung by Jashan Singh, Manj Musik, rap by Raftaar. What great lyrics feel like sharing the whole song. Rap is also meaningful which is usually senseless these days. It is actually true that no one is born with a tag of religion. We all are children of that omnipotent.
कुझ नि मंगड़ा दर तों तेरे
सभ दी झोली खुशियाँ अल्लाह पादे
ना कोई रोवे ना कोई तढ़पे
सभ दे घर तू आके फेरा पादे
अल्लाह वे मौला वे |
क्या रखा है ज़ुबान में
कुछ रखा नही नाम में
कुछ साथ मे राम के
कुछ साथ क़ुऊरन के
एक जान एक जान की जान लेता जान के
बिना जान पहचान के | 
  •  Episode 6 : The last episode of the season was done by various artists. It has 3 songs. I really liked 'I Wanna Fly' sung by Father Daughter duo of Sharmilee Supriyo & Babul Supriyo. It is composed by Anupam Roy and dedicated towards celebrating UNITED NATION's International Day of the Girl Child that is earmarked for the 11th of October every year. Sharmile's voice is fresh and sweet it must a great moment for her to debut with her father.!
Though there are total 17 songs but I have only shared the ones I liked that doesn't mean the ones I missed out are not worth listening. Everyone has a different taste you might like them so visit and subscribe the official channel of Coke Studio on YouTube : Click here 

I would like to thank each and every person behind all the magnificent compositions for creating magic everytime. All the Best to the entire team. Keep rocking and Keep spreading happiness. Connect with the @CokeStudioAtMTV and the singers on Twitter : 

Amit Trivedi-@ItsAmitTrivedi, Sachin-Jigar-@SachinJigarLive
Dhruv Ghanekar-@dgroove, Salim-Sulaiman-@salim_merchant@Sulaiman, 
Gurdas Maan-@gurdasmaanSona Mohapatra-@sonamohapatra
Babul Supriyo-@SuPriyoBabul, Diljit Dosanjh-@diljitdosanjh
Jasmine Sandlas-@JasmineSandlasHarshdeepKaur-@HarshdeepKaur
Sukhwinder Singh-@sukhwindersss, Rekha Bhardwaj-@rekha_bhardwaj
Manj Musik-@MANJmusik, Raftaar-@its_raftaar

*Information Source : Wikipedia, YouTube

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Third Blog Anniversary

“Get busy living or get busy dying.” ― Stephen King

I really don't know whether I am living or dying but I am really guilty of not doing what I love - Blogging. Today my blog celebrates its 3rd birthday and I couldn't miss this opportunity of updating it. Started in 2013 I had so many plans which I will definitely put in action one day. After all this little plant that grew from the seed of a thought will go on to become the tree of my experiences. I am so thankful to all the readers who took time to read and comment on my posts. I also want to thank all the members of Indiblogger and Blogadda for inspiring me to write better. I really wish and hope that my relation with this blog never ever ends. 

Those who have read My Journey as My Blog Turned One know that it was supposed to be a musical blog. On this blog anniversary I want to share my new discovered talent : Singing. Few days back I was looking for a good Android App that could record my voice and allowed sharing too. Finally I found iSing which has millions of Hindi, Bollywood, English, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Portuguese karaokes for FREE. You just need to search your favorite song, sing, record and share it with anyone. Its simple, easy and ad-free. Although I am not a great singer but it was fun and I totally loved it. Here is my list of recorded songs : 
  1. Har Kisi Ko
  2. Janam Janam
  3. Tum Hi Ho
Facebook : iSingAppIN
Twitter : iSing_Official

Lastly, a very Happy 2016 to everyone. God bless all. 
Lot's Of  Love..

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Interpreter of Maladies

Three days back I read in a newspaper that on September 10, 2015, President Obama will award the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal to some distinguished recipients. This got my attention because Jhumpa Lahiri was in the list. I remember her from my GK (General Knowledge) class in school. Many times I thought of reading her work but never did until this August when I bought her first book, Interpreter of Maladies from .

Summary :

Jhumpa Lahiri's elegant stories tell the lives of Indians in exile, of people navigating between the strict traditions they've inherited and the baffling New World they must encounter every day. An interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing revelation, a young Midwestern woman is drawn into a tantalizing affair with a married Bengali man, the eccentric nervous Mrs Sen needs to learn to drive if she is to keep her job minding eleven year old Eliot after school, a young couple exchange confessions each night as they struggle to cope with the loss of their baby and their baby and their failing marriage, and Mr. Pirzada, whose watch is always set to Decca time, worries about his family back in Pakistan.

Whether set in Boston or Bengal, sublimely understated stories, spiced with humour and subtle detail, speak with universal eloquence to anyone who has ever felt the yearnings of exile or the emotional confusion of the outsider.

My Review

I feel a good book is one that connects well with the reader and explains what the author wants to convey. Interpreter of Maladies is one such book. It is a collection of nine short stories beautifully knitted with emotions. I really liked Jhumpa Lahiri's style of writing which is simple and elegant. She is a superb story teller. Every story left me with an urge to know more about the characters and what happened next in their lives. I realized how difficult it can be to adjust in another country. I guess this happens more with Indians because we are always around our family, relatives and friends on every special occasion that we find it painful to deal with loneliness. Also it throws a light on how a series of events can drastically change relationships forever.
  • A Temporary Matter : This story is about a married couple, Shukumar and Shoba who had a stillborn baby and how this changed their lives.
  • When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine : This is a story of a Bangladeshi man, Mr. Pirzada who was awarded grant from the government to study foliage of New England in America and how Lilia got attached to him during his visits to her house. 
  • Interpreter of Maladies : It is about Mr. Kapasi, a middle-aged tour guide and an interpreter in a doctor’s office who takes family of Mr. Das for sight seeing.
  • A Real Durwan : It is a story of a stair-sweeper or durwan of an old brick building, Boori Ma who used to narrate stories of her royal past but one afternoon a sink was stolen from the building. Everyone thought she informed the robbers and no one believed her.
  • Sexy : This is a story of relationship between Miranda, a young white woman and Dev, a married Indian man. A seven year old kid explained the meaning of sexy which changes Miranda's mind.
  • Mrs. Sen's : This story about Mrs. Sen, wife of a mathematics professor who babysits Eliot and cooks food but doesn't know how to drive is painful. This is one of my favorite because one can feel how terrible it feels when there is no one for you.
  • This Blessed House : It is about a newly married couple, Twinkle and Sanjeev who moves into a house previously owned by Christians. This is the only story I din't like much.
  • The Treatment of Bibi Haldar : Bibi Haldar has an unknown disease that no one is able to cure. The story reflects the hopes of a girl who wants to get married. A mishappening changes her life and she gets a reason to live.
  • The Third and Final Continent : This is my favorite. It is about the struggles of a man who moves from India to London to America. The story explains his relationship with Mrs. Croft and how he gets married to an Indian women he hardly knew. It has an happy ending.

About The Author
Jhumpa Lahiri (born on July 11, 1967) is an Indian American author. Lahiri's debut short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies (1999), won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and her first novel, The Namesake (2003), was adapted into the popular film of the same name. She was born Nilanjana Sudeshna but goes by her nickname (or in Bengali, her "Daak naam") Jhumpa. Lahiri is a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama. Her book The Lowland, published in 2013, was a nominee for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award for Fiction. Lahiri is currently a professor of creative writing at Princeton University.

Connect with the author :

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

31 Quotes by Rumi that will Inspire You to be Better!

I never thought living in 21st century I would love something written in 13th century. Yes you read it right. This 808 year old poet has magical power in his words. His works are written mostly in Persian, but occasionally he also used Turkish, Arabic, and Greek. Today three countries claim him as their national poet : Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan. He is none other than "Rumi"

Its said that Rumi's meeting with the dervish Shams-e Tabrizi in 1244 completely changed his life. From an accomplished teacher and jurist, Rumi was transformed into an ascetic. Shams and Rumi were close friends for about four years. In December of 1248, Shams disappeared; it is believed that he was either driven away or killed. Rumi left in search of his friend, travelling to Damascus and elsewhere. Eventually, Rumi made peace with his loss, returning to his home believing Shams to be a part of him.

My Favorite Quotes By Rumi 

  • The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
  • Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.
  • These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.
  • Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.
  • The moon stays bright when it doesn't avoid the night.
  • You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?
  • Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.
  • If you dig a pit for others to fall into, you will fall into it yourself.
  • People want you to be happy. Don't keep serving them your pain!
  • If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?
  • You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.
  • Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.
  • When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
  • Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.
  • Love rests on no foundation. It is an endless ocean, with no beginning or end. 
  • I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.
  • Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
  • Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.
  • Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.
  • Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death.
  • Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself. 
  • Listen with ears of tolerance! See through the eyes of compassion! Speak with the language of love
  • Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.  
  • Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are. 
  • Let's get away from all the clever humans who put words in our mouth, let's only say what our hearts desire. 
  • If you could untie your wings and free your soul of jealousy, you and everyone around you would fly up like doves. 
  • Never lose hope, my heart, miracles dwell in the invisible. If the whole world turns against you keep your eyes on the Friend. 
  • Hardship may dishearten at first, but every hardship passes away. All despair is followed by hope; all darkness is followed by sunshine. 
  • The world's flattery and hypocrisy is a sweet morsel: eat less of it, for it is full of fire. Its fire is hidden while its taste is manifest, but its smoke becomes visible in the end. 
  • When you go through a hard period, when everything seems to oppose you, when you feel you cannot even bear one more minute, NEVER GIVE UP! Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!
  • Be like the sun for grace and mercy. Be like the night to cover others' faults. Be like running water for generosity. Be like death for rage and anger. Be like the Earth for modesty. Appear as you are. Be as you appear. 

Rumi (1207-1273)

I am one of those who keep looking for quotes to motivate myself and others around me. But if some of you are thinking why I am so much into quotes I would say we all go through ups and downs and quotes somehow are able to relate to many of us. Sometimes the words perfectly explain our situation or what we are going through in life. 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Amy - The Girl Behind The Name

"I don't care what people think about me. 
Never did, never will. 
Life is too short to be worrying about that shit."
~ Amy Winehouse

This is one of my favorite quote and I believe the same. Life is too short to waste time worrying, thinking or explaining. Life is not a bed of roses but then it is not full of thorns too. Its just that we have to decide what we want. No one knows us better than ourselves. 

Recently I won a contest on Twitter and got couple movie tickets for the movie Amy. I booked the evening show at PVR - Select CityWalk. In case you haven't heard about Amy, it is a 2015 British documentary film about singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, directed by Asif Kapadia. The film shows her life closely from childhood to death. It features some of her unseen archival footage and unheard tracks. Amy's family members and friends have also shared their experiences with her in the film. 

I liked the movie and realized how some things can change life forever. She was a blessed and talented artist who was not after fame or money. Her glorious rise and sad decline is heartbreaking. I was never her die hard fan but now I love listening her songs. Its just that once you understand what the other person has been through you have a soft corner for them. Amy was the first British female to win five Grammys in 2008. Its said that Amy died of alcohol poisoning in 2011 but God knows what factors contributed to her death whether it was just alcohol or drug addiction, depression, loneliness and troubled relationships together. I just pray that her soul rests in peace. The world lost her but we have her words and songs with us.

Amy Winehouse Quotes :
  • Life happens. There's no point in being upset or down about things we can't control or change.
  • Life is so much more rewarding if you strive for something, rather than take what's given to you on a plate.
  • You are the only person who can sort yourself out, you can't rely on other people to sort out your problems. 
  • I don't like to look back and think 'That was a horrible time'. I prefer to think 'I'm glad I came through that'.
  • There is no point in saying anything but the truth, because at the end of the day, you don't have to answer to anyone but yourself.

Amy Winehouse Songs :

Facebook Page : Amy Winehouse