You Know You’re Indian If (funny):

Some fun-facts, interesting observations and comic beliefs about Indians living abroad!  🙂
U r desi if:

  • Your parents drink 6 cups of tea a day.
  • When you are unwell/sick, everyone turns into a doctor advising what to do.
  • You have a 40 lb. bag of rice in your pantry.
  • Your parents lecture you in English “No English; you should speak in your mother tongue at home!”
  • “You want an iPhone? When I was your age, I didn’t even have shoes!!” Parents quip.
  • You have to call just about all your parent’s friends ‘Auntie’/’Uncle.’
  • You arrive an hours (or two) late to a party and think it’s normal.
  • Your dad is either some type of engineer or a doctor or a taxi-driver… or owns a convenience store.
  • Your parents blame everything bad on bad Karma from previous lives.
  • Everything you eat is savored in garlic, onion and tomatoes
  • Your parents talk for an hour at the front door when leaving someone’s house.
  • Continue reading “You Know You’re Indian If (funny):”

The Vaisakhi Abroad

April 13 – The Vaisakhi Day! The Baisakhi Day! Call what you like! 🙂
The Vaisakhi is one of the most popular festivals of North India.

For centuries, Vaisakhi has marked the time when farmers get ready to put their sickles to the harvest and celebrate a new year. Those old sickles have been replaced by the modern automated machinery; the farmers have outsourced the labor to the migrant workers but the Vaisakhi festival continued to be celebrated with same vigor, with same fanfare.

The festival bears even greater significance for the Sikhs – the Sikh Religion foundation was laid on this day in 1699.

The Vaisakhi festival is equally popular among the Punjabi communities abroad. Throughout the world wherever Punjabi’s are settled, the festival is a key part of their social and religious customs. Desi communities all over the world have their own ways of honoring this tradition of Vaisakhi Mela. Continue reading “The Vaisakhi Abroad”

The Best Bollywood Movies of 2012

Top Bollywood films of 2012
As every year, Bollywood industry churned out hundred of feature films in 2012 – some very good, some very bad and a lot of mediocre ones. Here are some of the standouts of the year:
Barfi
Barfi!: This is a romantic comedy written and directed by Anurag Basu. The movie narrates the story of “Barfi” – a mute and deaf boy in Darjeeling, West Bengal. The plot beautifully outlines his relation with two girls, one of whom is autistic. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D’Cruz in lead roles.

Gattu: A low-budget flick for all ages, Gattu appeals to kids and adults alike. Directed by Rajan Khosa, the story revolves around a kid living in a small town where everyone is obsessed with kite-flying. No glitter or high-budget stunts here; just pure human drama at its best.

Vicky Donor: This romantic comedy with modern twist is directed by Shoojit Sircar and produced by John Abraham.The movie explore the subject of sperm donation and infertility, something new for Indian cinema. It stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Yami Gautam and Annu Kapoor as the main cast.

Ek Tha Tiger: This is an action film, directed by Kabir Khan and produced by Aditya Chopra of Yash Raj Films. The movie stars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in the lead roles supported by Ranvir Shorey, Girish Karnad, Roshan Seth and Gavie Chahal. A combination of love story and spy drama, the movie is full of dazzling action, beautifully filmed international scenery and pleasant music. Continue reading “The Best Bollywood Movies of 2012”

The green door

I cannot believe he is dead!

He lived on the north side of my town, on Dorothy street. I used to pass by his house during my evening strolls. His house had an over-sized green door that did not seem to fit the neighborhood, just like him.

With a white beard and a grey turban; he was easy to spot from a distance. I always found him outside his house, gardening in the front-yard or just admiring the outdoor. As I would walk-by, I exchanged hello/hi with him. I was just being polite – out of respect for our elders. But over time, I made his acquaintance. He liked to talk, I found out pretty soon. Chatting with him became a part of my evening routines.
“Beautiful weather! Nice day for a walk!! Scattered clouds over there, look like a floating goat!!!” He would say random things with a chuckle. He laughed at his own jokes; that used to be a cue for me to laugh.

He was very fond – actually very proud, of India and all things Indian, I could tell. Not that I needed to know, but he often told me the virtues of Indian society, the pride of being Indian. He also reminded me how advanced Indian are, compared to the ‘white people’ as he would call them.

“I was the first Indian in this town” he mentioned one evening, “There were no Indian shops in this area!!”
“It must be hard back then”, I once asked; that was bad idea. For next 20-30 minutes, he told me all about the hardships of being an isolated Indian living amongst white folks.
“Many mornings I used to find eggs shells all over my new car in this driveway; these racist people, I tell you!….”

Sometimes, he complained, but he was not bitter. He told his past stories with the same braggadocio as a captain would shares his encounters with the rough stormy weather.

He was different. I enjoyed these brief daily encounters, and his stories from all over the places. He came across as a fanatic Indian; he never tried to hide his obvious bias for ‘the great India’. Without hesitation, he would share his thoughts about superior Indian culture, the sins of the western society…. But it was never monotonous; he always had new anecdotes.
I did not agree with many of his views, but I never argued with him either. When in serious mood, he spoke like a professor, like a preacher – as if never in doubt. I thought to myself – you cannot change the thinking of an old man, those outdated views….

I recall it was Friday; I did not see him outside his house that evening. It was strange, his absence. Then, even more disturbing, I did not see him for days, for weeks. I looked for him, I even waited and lingered around his house, but he was nowhere to be found. Continue reading “The green door”

On Demand Bollywood movies in USA

I recently subscribed to Netflix Service. Not sure if it is offered outside USA and how widely, but I was looking for an on-demand network for English movies and TV shows. For $7/month and with first month free, it was rather a no-brainer.

It took me about 5 minutes to sign up for Netflix using my laptop and I was all set to watch a wide variety of TV shows and Hollywood movies on the laptop/computer and TVs. As you can imagine, the TV has to be able to access the internet for Netflix programs to play on it.

I was able to set-up Netflix on our TVs in 3 different way (on 3 different TVs):
– My main floor HD TV has internet access, so no problem there.
– Second plasma TV (no direct internet access) in the basement is connected to XBox360 (and Xbox comes with wireless access); so we can watch internet on that TV as well. However, we have to use Xbox remote-controller to scroll around the Netflix menu.
– Upstairs TV (in the bedroom) has no direct internet access but the blu-ray player is internet-ready and hence Netflix ready.

So in no time, I was able to watch a variety of English shows and movies on my TVs. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a wide variety of Hindi movies under ‘Foreign’ category. I even found a few Punjabi movies, along with quite a few documentaries about India.

Currently on Netflix, there are about 200 Hindi movies to select from, and watch at your own convenience. I am sure Netflix periodically adds new titles (just like English movies and shows), and perhaps removes less popular ones. When I sorted the Hindi movies by release date, I found many recent Bollywood movies, some of them released this year (2012) like Ishaqzaade, Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, Joker, Rowdy Rathore… Continue reading “On Demand Bollywood movies in USA”

A baby’s cry

“Mom, it is a baby girl…,” her voice barely audible, she called her mother in India.
“Are you okay? Is the baby okay?” Her mom inquired, her voice nervous, but excited.
Sonya was too tired to respond, but that did not stop her mother from asking more questions, “When was she born? Who she looks like? Have you named her?…”
“Mom”, Sonya interrupted, “the nurse is here, I am very sleepy; will call you later..”
“Are you okay, is the baby okay?”
“yes mom, we are okay,” she said before ending the call.

The hospital discharged her along with the baby two days later. The nurse gave her a handful of literature, each pamphlet with a different title – ‘How to care for a new born’, ‘what to expect after a natural birth’, ‘Newborn feeding techniques’….
She was tired, she was drained, she was not ready to take care of her first born. The Nurse helped buckle the baby in the new car-seat and Raj drove them home – to their apartment in Mississauga.

“How is the baby doing,” he mom phoned again next morning.
“Esha is okay, she is sleeping now.”
“Beautiful name”, she paused, “How are you doing?”
“I am okay mom, I am very tired. the baby was awake all night.”
“Oh, where is Raj?”
“He is at work, I am home alone with the baby and I am worried”
“Worried about what, Sonya?”
“If the baby wakes up..” Continue reading “A baby’s cry”

Naming a baby girl

“Yesterday, we were blessed with our second child”, he wrote an email to his friends and family members. “A beautiful baby girl – 7.25 lb, 16.5 inches, brown hair, brown eyes,.. not sure who she looks like.” He ended the email with an open invitation to all, “Cannot decide on the name, suggestions welcome! :)”

Kiran, his wife, wanted to name her Navee; she had always liked that name.
“Umm… not sure about this one!” He quipped.
“It is a cool name, and easy to pronounce, even for Canadians!” she insisted

“What would you like to call your sister?” Kiran asked Sonia, her 6 years old daughter.
“I don’t know”, she was mesmerized by the little thing, “She is so cute! Name her princess!”
“Well, you are my princess!”
“Now you have two!” She giggled

His mother sat in the chair next to the hospital bed, holding the baby, rocking her gently every now and then. She wanted a son, but she was content with God’s will!
“Every child is born with a predetermined luck – a destiny!” She had said when the doctor first gave them the news. “We cannot change it, it is His decision!” She pointed up with her index finger. Continue reading “Naming a baby girl”

Funny translations around the globe!

What do you call a person who only speaks English? An American! But fear not, many countries try to help the visitors by putting up signs in English language.

A hotel elevator in Paris read:
Please leave your values at the front desk.

The real meaning may be lost in translations unless that’s what they really meant! The unintended outcomes of English translation are at full display in many of these travel signs, intended to help the tourists! Here are some of the funny ones:

Ladies have fits upstairs.
~ Outside a dress shop in Hong Kong

Drop your trousers here for the best results.
~ A Bangkok dry cleaner’s sign Continue reading “Funny translations around the globe!”

Best Bollywood movies of 2011

The best Bollywood Hindi movies of 2011
The tastes vary, choices differ. When it comes to the Hindi films, some like spicy and action packed thrillers while others prefer sweet and romantic dramas. The films below may not be what you crave, it may not include your ‘all time favorite’, but these are the standout Bollywood features from 2011.

1. Ra.one: This is a very ambitious, very expensive and a very technically complex film from Bollywood. It pushes the envelope on the visual effects. This science-fiction/superhero film is well written and beautifully directed by Anubhav Sinha. The star-studded cast includes Shahrukh Khan in dual roles, Kareena Kapoor, Armaan Verma and Arjun Rampal in the lead. Amazing graphics, along with Shah Rukh Khan as the superhero make this sci-fi thriller a great success. Hollywood delivers so many sci-fi themed movies every; this is a good one from Bollywood.

2. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: This flick is a beautiful reminder that you only live once. The film features an ensemble cast of Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin, Ariadna Cabrol and Naseeruddin Shah. A story of three bachelors dealing with their friendship and romance, the well-scripted film has real-life acting all around. The scenic back-drops are very lively; the refreshing music is composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy with lyrics from Javed Akhtar.

3. Delhi Belly: In the words of ‘The Hollywood Reporter’, the movie is a “Sexy, filthy and thoroughly entertaining comedy”. The film is shot in English mostly, with very little Hindi dialogues. Directed by Abhinay Deo and produced by Aamir Khan, the movie stars Imran Khan, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Vir Das, Poorna Jagannathan and Shenaz Treasurywala. Rated ‘A’ for adult contents, the film highlights today’s street-smart youth in an evolving society, influenced by the global culture. Continue reading “Best Bollywood movies of 2011”

Price of True Love exceeds $100K in 2011 !

Every culture, every place has its own unique traditions, some meaningless, some plain weird. We follow many trivial customs as a part of our culture, not because they are important but because it is part of our past!

Here is another tradition, followed every year soon after the Thanksgiving holidays: the calculations of ‘True Cost of Christmas’, or the cost of True Love, as some call it.

This ‘True Cost of Christmas’ or the price of True Love is calculated based on the current price of the items or commodities mentioned in the carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

To refresh your memory of the carol, it goes like this:

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
a partridge in a pear tree

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Two turtle doves
and a partridge in a pear tree….. Continue reading “Price of True Love exceeds $100K in 2011 !”

Just a job

“You can easily find an Engineering job in your field in America… no problem for a smart guy like you…”
“There is no shortage of work for Indian Engineers…this is just the fact…”
“You will find something – something good, no problem….”
….. Back home in India, just like any typical Indian family, everybody was full of advice. Everyone had told him that it was very easy to get an engineering job in America.

“You can make lots of money in a few years”, His future father-in-law told him at the time of his engagement 3 years ago. A year after that, he was married to Anu.
He used to be very optimistic about his career in USA, so was the rest of his American family – his in-laws.

He had big dream. After all, nobody dreams small.

Once in US, he was greeted by his wife and her family and they welcome him into their home. His old classmates, now living within driving distance, came to visit him.
He was treated like a guest for many months. However, he soon realized, you cannot be a guest for too long. He had to figure out the next step – the job. With all the expenses and cost of living, he needed a job soon. His parents and siblings back home were already calling to check on him; to see when he might send them some money, like every other NRI does.

After a few months, the tone of the advice changed:
“You just need to try a bit harder, maybe try something in lower pay scale to gain some experience…”
“Find a way to get your foot in the door…”
“My cousin started as a technician; now he is the director of engineering…but they are not hiring…”
“You cannot give up…We never give up…”
“You will find something – may be not that good but something… something good….” Continue reading “Just a job”

Top evergreen ghazals from Jagjit Singh

Best evergreen ghazals and songs from Jagjit Singh

Selecting the best songs or ghazals sung by Jagjit Singh is like trying to pick the best mango from a tree full of ripe mangoes. Never tried a mango or Jagjit singh? Well, then you are missing out on something special. Just like mango is considered the king of the all fruits, Jagjit Singh is the king of the ghazals.

Okay, enough about the mangoes, or the kings. Here is some of the ultimate ghazals by the… ummm.. king himself. Many of his famous ghazals often show up in the Bollywood movies, and for the right reasons.

1. Yeh daulat bhi le lo (Jazbah): Want to walk down the memory lane of childhood days? This ghzal summarize it well. The wording and melody is simply irreplaceable. “Woh Kaghaz Ki Kashti, Woh Baarish Ka Paani..”

2. Hothon se choo lo tum (Movie: Prem Geet): A beautiful poetic wording throughout… “Tum Haar Ke Dil Apna, Meri Jeet Amar Kardo”. This is a very soothing and very enticing ghazal at the same time, depending on how you take it!

3. Koi ye kaise bataye (Movie: Arth): This is another masterpiece from the king. The philosophical wording and laid-back style of music make this song very unique and haunting.

4. Tum ko dekha to yeh khayal aaya (Movie: Sath Sath): “aaj phir dil ne ek tammanna ki, aaj phir dil ko hamne samzaya,zindagi dhup tum ghana saya.” This is another soulful ghazal that has natural flow, a beautiful imagination and very expressive throughout.

5. Apni Aankhon Ke Samundar Mein Utar Jane De (Beyond Time): “…tera MUJRIM hon mujhe dub ke mar jane de..” This is very well composed and equally well sung ghazal from Beyond Time album. The natural music flow, and soulful wording make this number a timeless masterpiece. Continue reading “Top evergreen ghazals from Jagjit Singh”

Bollywood Trivia Quiz

A well rounded quiz about Bollywood – the Indian Hindi Cinema. Enjoy:
madhubala200x260

This is the first hindi movie to have two intervals.





This word has been added to the Oxford English dictionary





This actor has won the most (total 8) Filmfare Award for Best Actor.





She was the youngest actress to win Filmfare Award for Best Actress





This famous singer has won the most (8) Filmfare Best Male Playback Awards.





More than forty-two (42) well-known and famous Bollywood stars appear in the course of this film:





This Bollywood's dreamgirl made her film debut in Raj Kpoor movie 'Sapno Ka Saudagar':





This is the first Hindi movie whose popular dialogue soundtrack was released along with the music.





Amongst many other successful and critically acclaimed movies, Deepa Mehta is best known for her 'Elements Trilogy' of movies:





Mandi, Earth, Dor, Mirch masala, Water - These India films are examples of....







Other Similar Quizzes:
Bollywood Quiz 7: Evergreen playback singers of Bollywood! The quiz is on the all-time popular playback singers of Bollywood!
Bollywood Quiz I:Know your Bollywood?:A Bollywood quiz about old movies of yesteryears!
Bollywood Quiz – Kishore Kumar, the legend : A fan of Kishore Kumar? – Test your knowledge about this great singer!
Continue reading “Bollywood Trivia Quiz”

Rafi – the versatile maestro of Indian Music

“I am incomplete without Mohammad Rafi. I used to often go for the recoding of my song, which was sung by Rafi, only because I used to like telling him how I would perform on this song on screen so that he can sing it that way. Even he liked my involvement” ~ Shammi Kapoor

This is an understatement that Mohammed Rafi has left a lasting and permanent impression on the Indian music. In fact, Rafi and Indian film music are inseparable.

Just try to imagine the soulful and broken-heart songs from Guru Dutt without the playback voice of Rafi; or try imagining Dev Anand’s movies without Rafi’s songs – ranging from romantic to sad. Shammi Kapoor’s jumping-jack and light-hearted dance numbers are impossible without Rafi. It is inconceivable to think of Indian movies of 50s, 60s and 70s without Rafi’s melodies.

When it comes to the Indian Music, Rafi was a true genius. From classical to folk, from sad to romantic, from religious to dancing tunes – he was able to sing every genre with equal finesse. For every mood, for every occasion, you can always find memorable numbers from Rafi. The man could sing anything, and in any range of octaves.

“Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho”(1960, Chaudhvin Ka Chand)
“Chahunga Main Tujhe” (1964, Dosti)
“Baharo Phool Barsao” (1966, Suraj)
“Dil Ke Jharoke Mein” (1968, Brahmachari)
“Kya Hua Tera Wada” (1977, Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin)
“Maine Poocha Chand Se” (1980, Abdullah)
“Yeh Jo Chilman Hai” (1971, Mehboob Ki Mehandi)
“Khilona Jaan Kar” (1970, Khilona)
“Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki” (1949, Dulari) Continue reading “Rafi – the versatile maestro of Indian Music”