Tag Archives: 2014

Teach for India: Take 2…Year 2

Ramesh concentrating on his design

Ramesh concentrating on his design

Two weeks of school complete!! YAY!!! Week 1 was good, but week 2 was a struggle. My co-fellows and I were constantly saying how our kids are getting to us and we are to them and school has only started. My thoughts take me back to the exactly the same time last year when I pretty much left my class crying. That Thursday is forever etched in my mind.

Coming back to the present, while planning my week I could not think of a better way to end it. I had my class do a project inspired by the artwork of Henry Matisse. For the next twenty minutes my kids and I probably had the best time we had this entire week. Cutting paper, thinking about designs, helping each other and making something beautiful.

Matisse said that his art really kept him going during the tough days. And right now I can’t agree more. Seeing the kids get so excited and enjoying this activity just made this tough week worthwhile. I can’t wait to see what these kids come back with on Monday!

Rohan's beautiful Matisse inspired craft

Rohan’s beautiful Matisse inspired craft


photo 4


Bollywood 2014: Films to Watch Out For


I am a self proclaimed Bollywood junkie! In my childhood, and to a certain extent even now, I can tell you about about all the latest movies, their directors, who is sorta dating who, and what the red carpet verdict for a person was. With the Cannes 2014 in full swing, and the Hollywood “Summer” just starting, what better time to look at some of the promising movies Bollywood has to offer.

The first half of the year was actually quite uneventful. There were actually only 2 movies that I thoroughly enjoyed: Hasee Tho Phasee and Queen. Two States and Highway come next in my list. But with the “big” directors like Anurag Kashyap, Raju Hirani, Dibarkar Banerjee, and Farah Khan all having films lined up for films this year, it will surely be an interesting and exciting year at the movies.

So I present my list of movies to watch out for in 2014

1) P.K. (Mid-December)

When did Raju Hirani ever go wrong? I can still watch MunnaBhai M.B.B.S, Lage Raho MannuBhai and 3 Idiots numerous times. I mean I even know the lines to some of the scenes, especially the one from 3 Idiots when Kareena sneaks into Aamir’s room and jokes about all the funny names Gujarati food has 🙂 With Aamir and Raju Hirani teaming up again, one surely just expects MAGIC on the screen. Anuskha Sharma joining the duo just makes it more intriguing. Another Aamir movie that I await for!!

 Aamir Khan

Aamir Khan


2) Bombay Velvet (November End/December)

Directed by Anurag Kashyap and set in the 1950s is this drama about love, violence, and jazz. Now when, at least in the past 20 years, did India have jazz a theme? Anurag Kashyap has said that he wanted to make this film for the past 9 years! now that must be one crazy interesting story! I think Ranbir is a fabulous actor and I have actually missed him on screen since the monster hit of 2013, Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani. There is quite a few stories revolving around this movie- from Katrina and Virat frequenting their significant others on the movie sets to Anuskha new “make-up” technique for her lips. But in all honesty, even more than the movie, I am actually waiting for the songs 🙂


3) Bobby Jasoos (July 4)

Vidya Balan donning the role of a detective. I love detective dramas/thrillers and so wished that Bollywood turned out more of these. I loved Talaash and Kahaani! The movie description of being a detective had me sold from get go!

First Look of Bobby Jasoos

First Look of Bobby Jasoos

4) Bang Bang (October)

The official Bollywood remake of an unnoticed Knight and Day , starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, with Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif. I know I differ from several people when I say that I actually enjoyed Knight and Day and will watch the movie for the story. Most people I know will probably go for this to see the intense chemistry between Bollywood’s most good looking actors, Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif….and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.


5) Detective Byomkesh Banerjee (December/Feb 2015)

I know this movie might not see the silver screen till next year, but I just wanted to let everyone know about it! Another detective drama is there!!! YEEEESSS!!! I want to see how Dibarkar Banerjee brings alive the first Indian detective.

So these are my top 5 Bollywood movies to watch out for. Do you agree to disagree?


100 Happy Days


Of late, the various #100happydays projects have become a trend within friends and family circle. Since Ahmedabad, which I visited in October, it was my resolution to start appreciating the small things or simple pleasures of life. Honestly, just by saying that I would starting appreciating the little things didn’t change me overnight. So when my sister-in-law, who has probably given me some of the best ideas till date (Teach for India was her suggestion as well :P) mentioned the 100happydays project, I was curious and quickly researched more about it. In the hustle and bustle of life, we tend to forget the little things-I know I most certainly do this. So the 100happydays project seemed to be an excellent way putting a bit of structure of me appreciating the simple pleasures. What is 100happydays? Well, 100happydays project is simple-take a picture of something that makes you happy everyday. How hard can this be? Interestingly, most people can never complete the project. I signed up for it immediately!

Reading a book right before bedtime makes me immensely happy :)

Reading a book right before bedtime makes me immensely happy 🙂

It’s been almost two weeks that I have been following the 100happydays project, and I think it’s working. I seem to be a lot less grumpy and actually have started noticing the simple things that make me happy. Coincidently, I am also reading a book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, which chronicles the small, monthly projects the author took on to be more happy. Some of her resolutions include singing in the mornings, cleaning the clutter around her, fighting right etc. I am not sure if I can come up with list/resolution of that sort, so instead, my goal is to complete the 100happydays project. I don’t know how much of a difference it will make to me in the long run; actually, I haven’t thought that far either. I am content with identifying the little things that make me simple and be grateful for all that I have got.

Leaving you with some of my happy pictures from the last 14 days.

Sisters reunion with Bobby!

Sisters reunion with Bobby!

Mushroom Bruschettas

Mushroom Bruschettas

Watching the new season of Sherlock!

Watching the new season of Sherlock!

New Year. New Resolutions


Pallavi: Reviewing my last year’s resolutions, I have come to the conclusion that I did not do too well. I have definitely started to stress less over small issues. But I am definitely the type of parent I vowed never to be.

The past year was definitely a big change for me, going from just being me to being completely responsible for another human being. It definitely has its challenges but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world.

So, here goes my new year resolutions for 2014:

  1. I will learn to drive a manual car and get my license.
  2. I hope to teach my son tolerance and patience.
  3. I hope to be a good parent.
  4. I hope to start speaking Marathi at home. I understand it completely and already speak to my maid’s daughter.
Mommy and Baby

Mommy and Baby Dressed for Diwali

Hubby and Me

Hubby and Me at my sister’s wedding

Swara: Where did the last year go? Well wait, there were times that I thought the year would never end. As part of a class activity, I made my students write new year resolutions. They did an awesome job at it; most of them wrote about how they wanted to become better readers, improve their English, be more honest and start doing homework everyday. I also pulled out my resolutions from last year and I utterly failed at completing any one of them! I never learned how to make Indian desserts-actually haven’t made any desserts in the past year, nor did I explore India as much as I would have liked to.

As Pallavi mentioned, 2013 bought a lot of new things for us…baby, new career, living in India (readjustment to India), but nonetheless it was exciting. We might have not achieved our resolutions, but we accomplished others goals. So what is the harm in setting new resolutions, we might achieve them this year around 🙂

1) Learn to speak Punjabi (I spoke 3 lines for my brother-in-law’s wedding and I think I did an okay job)
2) Enjoy the simple pleasures of life
3) More travel (not restricted to India)
4) I have adjusted to the pace in India, but there is a long road ahead of me

Here is to the new and exciting 2014!!!