Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Movies I remember

I must say, I am a movie freak. I love watching movies. But my problem is that I forget most movies within a few months of watching them. I can never remember the dialogs and many times I forget the supporting characters and the subplots, in some cases, I even forget the endings of the movies. But that's not the case with all movies, so here I want to mention my list of ten movies that I like to or would like to watch multiple times. It is just a list, I have not ranked the movies. I would love to hear what others think about those movies.
1. I think one of the funniest movie I have watched in my life is 'Andaz Apna Apna', and guess what, I even remember some of the dialogs from the movie. The effortless acting of Aamir Khan, the dialogs and the situational comedy in the movie are exceptional. And the funniest scene in my opinion is when Aamir Khan and Salman Khan go on a moped to give the ransom money to Paresh Rawal. The entire sequence is just perfect.
2. Another funny movie that I love watching is 'Pink Panther' starring Steve Martin. I think Steve Martin is a genius. He has perfected the comedy genre. There are very few actors who can do comedy as good as him, and perhaps there is no one who can do it better than him. He is a sheer pleasure to watch. So I can watch Pink Panther multiple times just to watch Steve Martin play the French inspector Jacques Clouseau. Some other movies by Steve Martin that I have loved: Housesitter, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Father of the bride.
3. My favourite animation movie 'Ice Age'. It is one of the best animation movies ever made. It has humor, it has emotions, and it looks brilliant. The characters are so well defined. This movie is a great experience. A watch for everybody.
4. Since I am a passionate dog and cat lover, I love watching movies on dogs and cats. My favourite canine movie character is Beethoven, the huge Saint Bernard. I have watched 'Beethoven's second' numerous times. It has Beethoven falling in love with another cute Saint Bernard named 'Missy' and then Missy giving birth to a litter. I love the movie because it has so many dogs of various sizes :) and it has a beautiful song "The day I fall in love". When I watched it for the first time, I was in my teens and the song seemed to exactly describe the way I thought the day I fall in love would be and I had this fantasy that the day I fall in love, this song will be playing in the background. Well, that was just a teenage fantasy and I am over it now. Other doggy movies I love watching are 'Turner and Hooch" (Hooch is one of the ugliest and most lovable dogs), and Homeward bound. Another movie I want to mention here is 'Hachiko' in which Hachiko, a dog, waits at a train station for his master even after his master's demise, for 10 years till he himself dies. It is based on a real story. The movie moved me so much that for few days, I could think of nothing else but the dog and his love for his master. No one should die, at least not the people who have someone waiting for them.
5. A movie that inspires me every time I watch it is 'Forest Gump', starring Tom Hanks. The humor is very good, but what I love about the movie is the honesty and sincerity of Forest Gump. Nothing he did was half hearted. He did everything in his life with utmost honesty and sincerity, be it falling in love, playing pingpong, fighting in a battlefield, keeping a promise to a dying friend or fishing for shrimps, and the best thing is that he succeeded in almost everything. No one could have been a better Forest Gump than Tom Hanks. Another must watch movie for everybody.
6. I would say the most beautiful movie I have ever watched is 'Life is Beautiful' by Roberto Benigni. I feel, it is one of the best movies ever made. It is a movie about love, courage and optimism. It is a story about a man, who was equally true and devoted to all his different roles in life, as a human being, as a husband and as a father. The last scene of the movie where his son says that his father gave him the gift of life, there couldn't have been a better summary for the movie. An unforgettable movie.
7. I am a die hard romantic and I love watching romantic movies. One of my favourite romantic movies is 'Pretty Woman'. It is a fairytale romance, a rich man and a poor girl falling in love. Similar stories have been made into movies time and again. But what makes this movie so beautiful is the lead pair, gorgeous Julia Roberts and handsome Richard Gere. No one can help falling in love with both of them after watching this movie. Their acting, their expressions, their dialog delivery, all make the movie such a pleasure to watch. All die hard romantics, I hope you have watched this movie.
8. A movie which made all teenagers (at least females) skip their heart beat is 'Titanic'. I still remember the day I watched the movie. I was a teenager and it felt as if Jack Dawson is the ultimate lover. While watching the movie, I fell in love with him, I was jealous of Kate Winslet, I was anxious to save him from drowning with the ship, I cried on his death, I went through all the emotions portrayed in the movie. For a young girl, it was an wonderful experience.
I have watched Titanic only once, but I included it in this list because this is a movie I want to watch again. But I stop myself because I know the spell will be broken. I want to remember the movie as I had watched it the first time.
9. When I am talking about romantic movies, I have to mention Shah Rukh Khan, my all time favourite actor. I have watched almost all his movies more than once, but the one SRK movie that I have watched most number of times is 'Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa'. The simple love story of a simpleton, a good hearted guy gives you the feel good factor, an welcome distraction from the everyday mundane life and its frustrations. Sunil (SRK's character in the movie), makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you want to reach out to him and console him and at the end of the movie, makes you happy. Another such movie, though not as good, but makes me smile is 'Ishq Vishq', a teenage love story. After a long day at work, this movie helps me unwind and relax.
10. And lastly, I want to mention a movie I watched yesterday night, 'Twilight', but I am sure I am going to watch it again and again. I watched it on my laptop, but I wish I had watched it in a theater. I am sure that would have been a great experience, because I loved the movie even on the small screen of my laptop. It is again a love story, but between a human and a vampire, a breathtakingly beautiful vampire :). I am sure every teenage girl wanted to fall in love with a vampire after watching this movie :). It is a fantasy, something that is very far away from reality, but still, what every female will wish to have after watching the movie, is a strong, protective and beautiful boyfriend like Edward Cullen, who is always there when his girl needs him. Since I am not that teenage girl anymore and happily married, that is not my wish. What struck me in the movie is Robert Pattinson's acting talent. He blended into the character so well and has made the vampire so real, so lovable. I cannot think of him as a human being anymore :). Very well made and well acted movie, I must say.
You won't see any horror movies in my list, I hate them. Thrillers, yes, I do like some, The Departed, The Godfather, The silence of the lambs, etc. But mostly I like reading thrillers and suspense novels, rather than watching. It gives me time to think and have my own interpretations. Well, I will talk about books some other day.
So here is my list of movies I remember and wish to watch again. Let me know what you all think about these movies and may be you can suggest me some of your favourite movies too.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Visiting US - a dream come true...

United States of America - A land of dreams, land of Hollywood, land of world power, land of fashion, land of dollars. It is all these and more for me. I had always cherished this wish of visiting this country, observing closely the life of the people here and if possible learn something that will help me in my life. I remember when I was 16 years old, one day, my father came home and announced that he is getting a foreign posting. He said that he was given a choice between New York and Hongkong and he had chosen Hongkong. I was very disappointed with him, but probably he had his reasons. Though Hongkong was a great experience and I loved the city, but my stay in Hongkong made me want to visit US even more. If Hongkong can be so beautiful, so clean, so comfortable, how beautiful US will be.
Well, I must admit, though I wished so much to see US, during my academic life, I didn't work hard enough to earn a scholarship and come to this country. I, kind of, left it on fate. May be my job will take me to US someday, or may be I will marry an NRI, or may be some day I will be so rich that I will very easily afford a vacation in US. I kept waiting and waiting. It seemed all the people I know have been to US and they start their stories with "When I was in US..." and I was still waiting for my chance. And I got my chance. A business trip to San Jose for 3 months.
The thought of staying alone in a strange country was scary and exciting at the same time. At last I will be living my dream. So with thousand thoughts and plans and ideas, I landed in San Francisco on 20th Jan. It was night and the city was so beautifully lit up, as if someone has covered the mountains with a blanket of white and yellow lights. I loved it. It felt nice, everything was new and exciting. I kept reminding myself that I have landed in US. I still do sometimes :).
I am here since one month now. Can't say I have seen much of this country. But whatever I have been able to see and observe in this one month, it has really been my dream come true. This country and its people have not disappointed me. Their warmth, their smile, their easy attitude, and above all, their respect for human life has touched me, impressed me, left a smile on my face. When a person bound to a wheelchair boards a bus, everyone waits patiently till the person settles down. I can imagine the reaction of a bus full of Indians on an Indian road in such a scenario. But then, it is impossible for a person bound to a wheelchair, to board a bus in India. The comfortable life here makes me wish that life was so comfortable in my own country too. When one of the two entrance doors to my office building in San Jose broke and people had to walk in the rain from the parking to the other entrance, they found it extremely uncomfortable and annoying. In my country, when it rains, our parking space gets flooded and we have to walk in knee deep water and we don't find it reason enough to get annoyed since we have much bigger frustrations in life. May be because of such a comfortable life, they can so easily smile at strangers, be nice to them, try to be helpful.
When I visited the city of San Francisco two weeks ago, I fell in love with city instantly. The roads going up and down, dark green trees, narrow winding roads, all trees neatly trimmed and shaped, neat and clean roads, sunny weather, nice cool breeze, everything was so perfect. Everyone so nicely dressed, people smiling and enjoying their time, even beggars singing and trying to make people laugh. It makes you feel as if everything is just fine, there is nothing to worry about.
When I went to Napa Valley, I saw another beautiful side of this country. The breathtakingly beautiful valley surrounded by mountains, miles and miles of vineyards where yellow mustard flowers have blossomed just after grapes have been harvested, big and small picturesque cottages and bungalows. It was as if I have entered a picture postcard. There is nothing ugly, no slum, no dirt to spoil the picture.
I am loving my stay, this freedom, this comfort. No one to question and no one waiting for me. I can catch up on my reading, I can cook if I want to, and not cook if I don't want to. Though there are times when I miss Shailly a lot, who is not only my husband, but my best friend in every possible way. And the thing I miss most is touching my baby, my dog, Coco. But I know that the way my wait for US visit came to an end, this visit is also going to end.
Have I learnt anything? Yes, quite a few things. Dedication to one's job. Whether it the CEO of a company, or a sales girl in a shop or a waitress, they are all trying to prove that they are worth every cent of the money they are earning. Proactive thinking. No one wants to live within the boundaries, they want to expand, new ideas are always encouraged. Semiconductors to memory chips to NASA to SUVs to McDonalds, they were all born in California. And most important respect for fellow human beings. And yes, got some fashion tips too :).